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  1. #1
    Senior Member Mike B.'s Avatar
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    Do I need steel?

    I have a Schwinn bicycle. The frame and forks is an aluminum alloy, anyways it is not steel.

    I've heard that it's not a good idea to convert an aluminum framed bike into an electric. Is that true? I'm tempted to try it anyways. I really don't want to buy a new bicycle, just to convert it, when I already have one that may work. (Yep...you guessed it...I'm a tight wad.)

    Is a steel frame (forks) really necessary?

    What's your experience?

    Thanks!
    I may not be the most important person in your LIFE.
    I just hope that when you hear my name you smile and say,
    THAT'S MY FRIEND!

  2. #2
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    Steel

    4/10/10

    For what it is worth. I had my 1200 W Cyclone motor mount welded to my Aluminum frame Diamond Back Recoil mountain bike. It is a 3 wheel chain drive system. I am very happy with the bike. I am still have some issues with my kit; I burned up a controller after less than 150 miles & I am disappointed how it takes the hills. It is great on relatively flat paved bike paths.

    Carlsbad Carl

  3. #3
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    Are you sure your Schwinn is not steel? Most are I think. If it's Aluminum 6061, that's steel.

  4. #4
    Senior Member rscamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by morph999 View Post
    Are you sure your Schwinn is not steel? Most are I think. If it's Aluminum 6061, that's steel.
    6061 is an aluminum alloy.

    The issue with aluminum isn't strength alone. The failure mode can be catastrophic...
    Rob

  5. #5
    Senior Member Mike B.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rscamp View Post
    6061 is an aluminum alloy.

    The issue with aluminum isn't strength alone. The failure mode can be catastrophic...
    I'm sure it's not steel. A magnet will not stick to it. I've heard that steel is more flexible than aluminum, which is needed to handle the torque. Is that right?
    I may not be the most important person in your LIFE.
    I just hope that when you hear my name you smile and say,
    THAT'S MY FRIEND!

  6. #6
    Senior Member rscamp's Avatar
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    Mild or tempered steel flexes and yields (deforms) more before failure which gives you more warning. The aluminum is more prone to sudden fracture. If this occurs, the result can be nasty - I would think the rider would take to the air over the handlebars...
    Rob

  7. #7
    Senior Member CowtownPeddler's Avatar
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    My Katmandu frame is all Aluminum. I decided to buy the rear wheel conversion and it's been working just fine. Sometimes it worries me, that seems to be a lot of weight, but so far no issues.

    I wouldn't use a front wheel drive kit.

  8. #8
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    My Giant Suede is aluminum so I went with the rear drive amped system with a torque arm.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mike B.'s Avatar
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    So, would anyone happen to have a link(s) to rear wheel conversion kits? I have no idea, as to what company would be producing a good product.

    Thanks!
    I may not be the most important person in your LIFE.
    I just hope that when you hear my name you smile and say,
    THAT'S MY FRIEND!

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    the nine continent are pretty good motors.

    ampedbikes.com
    e-bikekit.com

    both use nine continent motors.

    Hightekbikes.com uses aotema motors and those are pretty good too.

    http://ebikes.ca has a lot of different motors to choose from.

    If you want some decent lifepo4 batteries that aren't too expensive, check out the "looking for battery recommendation" thread here in this forum.
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ecommendations
    They were dirt cheap, about $104 per 12v pack but they raised prices a little but they are still a good buy at $120 per 12v pack. That thread also tells you what to buy and how to charge them properly so that you don't destroy any cells.
    Last edited by morph999; 04-11-10 at 08:59 PM.

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