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  1. #1
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    Need Advice on a Good Electric Bike Conversion Kit

    Hello. I've recently gotten a serious bug for an Electric Bike. I have an old Bianchi 21 speed with 700c wheels that I would like to convert with one of those prebuilt kits. I'm basically looking for recommendations to the best Kit builders.

    Here are the particulars:
    I'm looking for a pre-assembled kits with the motor already installed in a new Wheel. I'd like to get a motor that won't create drag on the wheel when the motor isn't in use if possible, and I'd like the Lithium Battery Pack for the lighter weight. I want it to have a throttle and not just Pedal assist. A 20 mile range would probably be enough. I weigh 170 lbs. so something with a decent amount of Torque would be nice. Not sure how fast I'd need it to go, but I'm thinking the 20 mph ones would be enough. I'd assume that feels pretty fast on a bike, no? I've seen faster ones available (28 mph) at a higher cost and weight. My budget is around $1500.00 and I'm open to any and all suggestions. Any advice greatly appreciated.

    The only kits I've seen online are some very inexpensive ones without a battery at Amazon.com and some pricey ones over at Electric Bike Conversion Kits | EBikeKit.com. Are there other reputable places that have pre-assembled kits?
    Last edited by bareyb; 02-23-15 at 07:40 PM.

  2. #2
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    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

  3. #3
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    Hello and welcome, bareyb.

    What is the terrain you'll be riding in? Lots of hills or mostly flat? In the city or rural roads? Do you expect to carry any cargo (i.e. books, laptop, groceries, etc.)? Will you be on bicycle lanes the majority of the time or sharing the road with vehicles? What are the speed limits on the roads you plan to ride on? Do you expect to carry your battery charger with you or only charge at home? Where would you like the battery located on the e-bike? If you could build an e-bike so you could sell your car, would you? Do you plan on riding in the rain, snow, etc.?

    Just a few more questions and issues you may want to think about. Any additional information will assist the members here give you a better answer.

    Oh, one last thing. Riding a well built e-bike is addictive; you may not want to use any other form of transportation once you've ridden one.


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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by EBikeFL View Post
    Hello and welcome, bareyb.

    What is the terrain you'll be riding in? Lots of hills or mostly flat? In the city or rural roads? Do you expect to carry any cargo (i.e. books, laptop, groceries, etc.)? Will you be on bicycle lanes the majority of the time or sharing the road with vehicles? What are the speed limits on the roads you plan to ride on? Do you expect to carry your battery charger with you or only charge at home? Where would you like the battery located on the e-bike? If you could build an e-bike so you could sell your car, would you? Do you plan on riding in the rain, snow, etc.?

    Just a few more questions and issues you may want to think about. Any additional information will assist the members here give you a better answer.

    Oh, one last thing. Riding a well built e-bike is addictive; you may not want to use any other form of transportation once you've ridden one.
    Well thank you EbikeFL. I appreciate the help!

    Terrain: City riding with a few medium grade Hills on the way home. No cargo. Bicycle lanes and backstreets through neighborhoods etc. The speed limits are 25 mph for the most part. I will charge it at home. Battery location is open. Whatever works best. I do not have a rack at this time. I probably wouldn't sell my car, but if it helps, it is fully Electric. I will not be riding in the rain, sleet, or snow, and yes, I am extremely addictive. I absolutely love the idea of an electric bike. I think I will use the heck out of it. Thank you so much for helping me sort through all this. I have so many questions... I really appreciate it

  5. #5
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    I'll add to 350htrr's links by including ebikes.ca. They also have great information in general on e-bikes.

    I had a Tesla Roadster pass me several months ago while I was on my e-bike commute. He was easily doing twice the posted speed limit but the acceleration I witnessed was very impressive. However, about three to four miles down the road I caught up to him and we were both sitting in traffic. It got me thinking on how much people spend to get from point A to B and how efficiently they do it. The Tesla didn't have a passenger but I always wonder how much did it cost him to drive the same distance I rode. I'm sure there's some chart out there that plots the cost-per-mile of both internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and electric. I just have to find it.

    I read somewhere that the replacement cost of the Tesla Model S battery is over $40,000. The Nissan Leaf around $5,500. My Ping battery around $600.


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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by EBikeFL View Post
    I'll add to 350htrr's links by including ebikes.ca. They also have great information in general on e-bikes.

    I had a Tesla Roadster pass me several months ago while I was on my e-bike commute. He was easily doing twice the posted speed limit but the acceleration I witnessed was very impressive. However, about three to four miles down the road I caught up to him and we were both sitting in traffic. It got me thinking on how much people spend to get from point A to B and how efficiently they do it. The Tesla didn't have a passenger but I always wonder how much did it cost him to drive the same distance I rode. I'm sure there's some chart out there that plots the cost-per-mile of both internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and electric. I just have to find it.

    I read somewhere that the replacement cost of the Tesla Model S battery is over $40,000. The Nissan Leaf around $5,500. My Ping battery around $600.
    I have the Tesla P85. With the PG&E EV-1 program I actually pay less in electricity now than I did before I got it. Even with charging the car every night, our power bill has gone down every month. I don't imagine that'll last forever but for now, it's incredibly cheap to operate. The batteries won't be anywhere near that costly by the time I'd need one (8 to 10 years). They Will also reportedly have a trade in program for the old battery so it shouldn't be too bad.

    I'll go and check out ebikes.ca. Do you have a particular kit you can recommend?
    Last edited by bareyb; 02-23-15 at 10:34 PM.

  7. #7
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    The main thing one needs to decide on is, how you want to ride your E-bike...
    E-Bike, = throttle with some pedaling once in a while.
    E-Assist = pedaling most/all of the time with motor helping a certain % of pedal effort.
    Hilly terrain, mid drive can be more effective than hub drive
    Flatter terrain, hub drive is plenty good enough
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
    The main thing one needs to decide on is, how you want to ride your E-bike...
    E-Bike, = throttle with some pedaling once in a while.
    E-Assist = pedaling most/all of the time with motor helping a certain % of pedal effort.
    Hilly terrain, mid drive can be more effective than hub drive
    Flatter terrain, hub drive is plenty good enough
    I think I'd like to have it still be a bike, but have the motor if I need it. I'd also like it to have a throttle controller and not just pedaling. So E-Assist? We have mostly flat terrain with a couple of medium grade hills. Nothing too long.

    Question:

    • Do "geared motors" have less drag than "direct drive" motors when straight Pedaling?

    • Do the mid drive motors allow you to use a throttle or just peddle?

    • I notice a lot of these kits come with hand brakes. My current brakes have the gear shifter integrated into the brake handles. Will I need to buy new gear Shifters?
    Last edited by bareyb; 02-24-15 at 02:28 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bareyb View Post
    I'll go and check out ebikes.ca. Do you have a particular kit you can recommend?
    I'm using the Papamotor 48v 1000w rear hub motor kit with modifications. This particular setup would probably be too much for you in terms of performance. I average 30 mph and the motor overtakes my pedaling effort after 24-25 mph with my current chain-ring setup. The kit gives you plenty of spare power in case you run into high winds, medium sized hills, or haul cargo.


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  10. #10
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    Should you decide that 20 mph on a flat road with no wind is acceptable, you might look at Dillenger (36V, front hub kit $699 - my kit function is excellent); nice weight distribution with front hub - mid battery, but otherwise you might not like the feeling of being pulled along. Good luck.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bareyb View Post
    I think I'd like to have it still be a bike, but have the motor if I need it. I'd also like it to have a throttle controller and not just pedaling. So E-Assist? We have mostly flat terrain with a couple of medium grade hills. Nothing too long.

    Question:

    Do "geared motors" have less drag than "direct drive" motors when straight Pedaling?

    Do the mid drive motors allow you to use a throttle or just peddle?

    I notice a lot of these kits come with hand brakes. My current brakes have the gear shifter integrated into the brake handles. Will I need to buy new gear Shifters?
    E Assist is the way to go if you want to ride the bike normally most of the time or pedal. Just use the throttle when you want for a burst of speed is what I do.

    *Only have actual riding experience with gearless hub motors and my BionX 350 has absolutely no noticeable drag when I pedal the bike as a regular bike.

    *You can get just throttle or peddle or both.

    *The brake is just a magnetic switch on your bike brakes that cut out the motor when you start braking, on my set up it also applies engine braking of the bike with re-gen.
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

  12. #12
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    350, thanks for the info on the BIONX, since I thought that gearless motors all had some restriction when in pedal only mode.

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    Okay. I've done some research and I think I've narrowed it down between the Falco Kit or the BionX Kit. I'm leaning towards the Falco because the BionX is limited via software to 20 mph. I've not ridden an electric bike before; is 20 mph fast enough or am I going to wish I'd gotten something a little faster?

  14. #14
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    I wish my BionX had a way to delete the 20MPH cut off... But in every other way I am 100% happy with it. It's very smooth, very quiet, 4 levels of power, 4 levels of re-gen, a system that easily allows me to ride my bike 110+KMs on one charge on level 1 assist... Helps me to go up any hill around here with 1/2 the effort...
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
    I wish my BionX had a way to delete the 20MPH cut off... But in every other way I am 100% happy with it. It's very smooth, very quiet, 4 levels of power, 4 levels of re-gen, a system that easily allows me to ride my bike 110+KMs on one charge on level 1 assist... Helps me to go up any hill around here with 1/2 the effort...
    Cant tell if you already know this from the whistling smiley, but there IS a way. I saw it posted over at Endless-sphere.com ? View forum - E-Bike Reviews & Testing

    Apparently there's a guy on eBay who will do it for $100.00 or conversely, you can buy a kit that will allow you to change the firmware yourself. Of course, this would likely void any warranty you have so proceed with caution.
    Last edited by bareyb; 02-25-15 at 07:14 PM.

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    Would you guys recommend the 500 watt version or the 750 watt version? I assume the downside to more power, is less range and more weight? I believe the bigger motor weighs about 3 lbs. more. Is that significant on a bike?

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    If member "powell" happens to see this thread would you mind replying here. I have a couple of questions I'd like to ask you about the Falco Kit you have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
    I wish my BionX had a way to delete the 20MPH cut off... But in every other way I am 100% happy with it. It's very smooth, very quiet, 4 levels of power, 4 levels of re-gen, a system that easily allows me to ride my bike 110+KMs on one charge on level 1 assist... Helps me to go up any hill around here with 1/2 the effort...
    I'm still considering the BionX. I have a dealer nearby. How does the 20 mph limiter work? Does it cycle the motor on and off when it hits 20? Do you find it annoying or is it pretty unnoticeable?

  19. #19
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    The limiter works quite unnoticeably while in power PAS mode, I don't really notice it cutting out when I go faster than 20 MPH pedaling. But it does go on/off noticeably when in throttle mode and is a bit annoying but I practically never ride the bike that way anyways so... It doesn't matter to me. One can adjust the setting to come on with more urgency or less.
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

  20. #20
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    I built something like what you are describing.
    20mph is pretty good for something on skinny 700c tires

    For 20mph, you need something that spins about 250-260 rpm no load
    If you want to pedal, a 250-350 watt motor is best. 500 to 1000 watts is great, but the motor will be a lot stronger than you (pedaling will be mostly for show at that point).

    I like a light weight 250 watt motor and a light weight battery good for 20mph and 24miles. 19lb bike, and 10 lb motor makes a 30lb package. Most ebikes weigh at least 50-60 lbs (motors and batteries get heavy real quick).

    It depends if you want it to feel like a bike, or feel more like an electric scooter.

    FYI, for a light 250rpm electric motor, I recommend the Q100H or the Bafang SWX. Let me know if you want more info. These motors weigh 2.2kg.

    My builds:
    Endless-sphere.com ? View topic - Cute Q100 lightweight builds slow mtb, fast road

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
    I built something like what you are describing.
    20mph is pretty good for something on skinny 700c tires

    For 20mph, you need something that spins about 250-260 rpm no load
    If you want to pedal, a 250-350 watt motor is best. 500 to 1000 watts is great, but the motor will be a lot stronger than you (pedaling will be mostly for show at that point).

    I like a light weight 250 watt motor and a light weight battery good for 20mph and 24miles. 19lb bike, and 10 lb motor makes a 30lb package. Most ebikes weigh at least 50-60 lbs (motors and batteries get heavy real quick).

    It depends if you want it to feel like a bike, or feel more like an electric scooter.

    FYI, for a light 250rpm electric motor, I recommend the Q100H or the Bafang SWX. Let me know if you want more info. These motors weigh 2.2kg.

    My builds:
    Endless-sphere.com ? View topic - Cute Q100 lightweight builds slow mtb, fast road
    I keep going back and forth between the Falco 500 watt and the 750. Sounds like the 500 would be the top end of what I'd want to do if I want to keep my bike a bike. Thank you for your insights on the motors. That helps a lot. It's so expensive to change my mind later, it's something I obviously want to make sure about before I dive in.

  22. #22
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    The RPM is going to give you the speed, the current (amps) is going to give you the power.

    Figure out the difference between the 500 and 750 kits. Is it the motor RPM, the battery voltage, and/or the current of the controller?

    A motor is about $100 (plus shipping). It is the batteries that get expensive.

  23. #23
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    Got a picture of your bike?

    Keep in mind you need a flat bar bike to put a throttle on it.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
    Got a picture of your bike?

    Keep in mind you need a flat bar bike to put a throttle on it.
    I'll see if I can find one. It's a Bianchi "Crossroads" upright Hybrid (with flat bars). It's got Bontrager side wall reinforced road tires on it right now. Are there hard core tires that people use for this, or is any high quality tire okay?

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    Yep. Here it is.


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