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Old 02-03-20, 01:04 PM
Join Date: Jun 2012
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Originally Posted by spinnanz View Post
With a multitude of "retro" and "vintage" style ebikes out there, how many have actual old bikes, converted to electric? Im most of the way through on a conversion using a 1973 Raleigh Sport.

1951 Raleigh DL-1 with Bafang BBS-01 300W (first edition batch custom made for New Zealand in 2013). Battery in leather bag on handle bars

New Pashley converted with same batch of BBS-01 mid mount kits. Battery is in military canvas bag under basket

1980's Gazelle - repainted (powdercoat). Battery is in custom made leather saddle bag.

2010 Bella Ciao - an Italian frame maker who has made the same frames for over 50 years on a German assembled bike. Frame is Columbus Thron tubeset. Battery in Brooks handlebar bag

Montague with Bafang 300W CST rear motor and 36V bottle battery

1990's Velorbis with Bafang BBS-01 36V. Battery held on with zip ties (yes it really works)

One of the big advantages of using a vintage bike in 2020 is the thieves are now focused on new ebikes which look very different.
Of course, the frames are durable, all made of steel. Brakes need attention. In some cases, the brakes were converted to be suitable at 32 kph. Pay attention to kick stands, the balance is different.

Bottom line, ebike kits start under US$500 from Paul at and excellent quality vintage bikes can be had for under $200 that are superior to the ebikes selling for thousands.
In the end, after trying lots of bikes, I've settled on Bella Ciao for most riding and the Velorbis when I am hauling a heavy load home. The Italian frames are sporty, meaning great with a backpack, but too whippy with 20 kg on the luggage rack.
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