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Electric converted vintage bikes

Old 01-31-20, 02:29 PM
  #26  
spinnanz
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Rickert63, In regards to a few points you make in your replies...

Weight, it's weight is now 23kg, which is 3kg LIGHTER than my alloy framed electric commuter bike with battery of half the capacity. The original wheel set weighed 5.2kg and the new set with electric hub is 7.2kg. The battery is 4.1kg so a total weight increase of 6.1kg. Im not seeing the danger here sorry.

Tires, it now has modern 700c tires and alloy rims. Brakes, agree they AREN'T the best but with modern pads and the facts its now clamping onto an alloy rim vs chrome steel ones, in the dry I expect it should be afforded some extra stopping power to at least equal the stopping power it had when it weighed 6.1kg less. In the wet, with modern pads and an alloy rim id expect braking to be better than original. I dont see any danger here either Will Robinson

"90% of accidents, injuries, fatalities happen to riders over 60 years of age". I'm about 20 years outside this demographic and am currently already using an electric commuter. Your comment on this isnt anti vintage ebike, it's anti ebike in general so kind of irrelevant to my conversion.

"Your reflexes and habits will cause no issues when you suddenly have three times the power" Im looking at around 450w max, the motor is a single speed rear hub. The doner electric bike the wheels came from had 46t/16t sprockets and a quoted top speed of 25kph. My Ralieigh uses a (by fluke) a 46t front sprocket as well, so I expect to do a similar top speed on the Raleigh. I dont think I'll be out speeding my reflexes or breaking any land speed records at 25kph.

Reliability. Well after 47 years its not broken. But your comment on this has encouraged me to go over the frame very well to inspect the frame and its joints.

I would concede some of your points if I was going all out for speed, and the weight increase is negligible. Im going for a slow to mid speed commuter, on flat streets
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Old 01-31-20, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by crank_addict View Post
I'm in on the vintage e bike conversion. Have test ridden a few recent new e bikes, and they're impressive... with a big fun factor. Do I want a new one? Nope.

But, always the tinkerer my brother and I built an e-snowmobile with rad suspension over three decades ago. Pretty sure a leading manufacturer even copied the cowl and windscreen design, after it was on display at a convention. The project was just for grins.

My thoughts and reason.
This monster will mostly be for loan and welcoming a few whom may like to join in my usual evenings 30 mile loop without stress. Or perhaps join in the Sat AM group fun and just enough to hang with without collapsing.

Anyways, no current pics but this Japanese Schwinn is prepped for a mid mount Bafang 750w.. Afraid of buckling the frame or the wheel ripping out of the dropout, I scrapped the hyd. disc brakes. Shimano 8 speed Alfine IGH. Drop bar, vintage appeal, single big ring up front with some pretty fun calculations from this setup. Lighting will run on the dyno front hub and batt.
All of this I like!
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Old 01-31-20, 03:51 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
I am very mixed on this subject...... getting older I can see benefits of keeping people on bikes longer

I also see more people commuting on ebikes in my area and I am pretty sure most would not be commuting unless it was an ebike, so removing cars from the road is good

Downside is I see a lot of people riding way to fast for conditions and probably their ability. There is this absolute doofus who rides a fat tire, ebike, fast on the local MUP (los gatos creek trail for anyone local to me) at 20 to 25 and he does not slow or stop.

You can see a bit of a more power, hotrod attitude that from the author of the review the TSZD2 hub motor, which leads me to think among other things braking power can rapidly not match the need

looking at the specics of that hub, it seems it would be hard/lkudge to do a double up front which may make a person more dependent on the boost

so in summary Hmmmmmm?
I can definitely see older folk riding at speed above their reaction times being a problem, especially those who are maybe being re-introduced to bikes as they are no longer comfortable with driving.
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Old 01-31-20, 05:50 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by spinnanz View Post
Reliability. Well after 47 years its not broken. But your comment on this has encouraged me to go over the frame very well to inspect the frame and its joints.

I would concede some of your points if I was going all out for speed, and the weight increase is negligible. Im going for a slow to mid speed commuter, on flat streets
I've been biting my tongue about some of his comments (especially those that use ad populum negativity as a weapon against e-bikes in general), but my main concern would be installing anything that loads a Raleigh Sports fork with larger-than-usual amounts of torque. Using a rear hub should negate those issues, but I would take care to make sure those rear dropouts don't have any voids; same for the rest of the lugwork.

But for anyone else peering in this thread and considering the conversion on a Sports, I would caution them with this blog post and article - the result of installing a 90mm Sturmey-Archer drum brake on a Sports: https://smutpedaller.blogspot.com/20...aking-bad.html



As for braking performance: The brakes don't care whether a human or a motor brought the bike up to speed. If a given brake can reliably stop a human rider on a conventional bike at the max speed achievable by a hub motor (with ballast representing the extra weight of a battery, motor, and motor controller), the same brake will do the same job with an electric motor.

Case in point, I've been playing around with the beta demo of RideOn's docked e-bike service for the last two weeks. These use Bafang front hub motors, Shimano Nexus rollerbrakes front and back, and Tektro brake levers. Top speed is 15mph.

Though the Shimano rollers are generally firmly stopping brakes - if not too firm - RideOn has set them up like sponges.* A well-adjusted Tektro 800A/900A on a Raleigh Sports could easily deliver better braking than these do.

*I'm almost certain they've done this because they made the mistake of pairing the Bafang motor with the Shimano roller brakes - anyone remember the debacle when CitiBike NYC, Jump, and Lyft all had to recall their bikes because the Nexus front brakes were locking up and throwing people to the floor? Yep, these bikes have the same configuration.

At any rate, I'm convinced my 1951 Raleigh Sports - which weighs 42 pounds - weighs more than these, and I often push that pile of Whitworth bolts up to 15mph with it's existing '50s calipers and lousy pads. It hasn't fallen apart yet, and as bad as the braking is, it does stop.

I'm willing to bet that the '51 Sports retrofitted with modern Tektros would still stop quicker than these from 15mph, and that the Sports is heavier than these. I wouldn't mind testing this theory if someone wants to fight me on it






-Kurt
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Old 01-31-20, 06:30 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
I've been biting my tongue about some of his comments (especially those that use ad populum negativity as a weapon against e-bikes in general), but my main concern would be installing anything that loads a Raleigh Sports fork with larger-than-usual amounts of torque. Using a rear hub should negate those issues, but I would take care to make sure those rear dropouts don't have any voids; same for the rest of the lugwork.

But for anyone else peering in this thread and considering the conversion on a Sports, I would caution them with this blog post and article - the result of installing a 90mm Sturmey-Archer drum brake on a Sports

As for braking performance: The brakes don't care whether a human or a motor brought the bike up to speed. If a given brake can reliably stop a human rider on a conventional bike at the max speed achievable by a hub motor (with ballast representing the extra weight of a battery, motor, and motor controller), the same brake will do the same job with an electric motor.

Case in point, I've been playing around with the beta demo of RideOn's docked e-bike service for the last two weeks. These use Bafang front hub motors, Shimano Nexus rollerbrakes front and back, and Tektro brake levers. Top speed is 15mph.

Though the Shimano rollers are generally firmly stopping brakes - if not too firm - RideOn has set them up like sponges.* A well-adjusted Tektro 800A/900A on a Raleigh Sports could easily deliver better braking than these do.

*I'm almost certain they've done this because they made the mistake of pairing the Bafang motor with the Shimano roller brakes - anyone remember the debacle when CitiBike NYC, Jump, and Lyft all had to recall their bikes because the Nexus front brakes were locking up and throwing people to the floor? Yep, these bikes have the same configuration.

At any rate, I'm convinced my 1951 Raleigh Sports - which weighs 42 pounds - weighs more than these, and I often push that pile of Whitworth bolts up to 15mph with it's existing '50s calipers and lousy pads. It hasn't fallen apart yet, and as bad as the braking is, it does stop.

I'm willing to bet that the '51 Sports retrofitted with modern Tektros would still stop quicker than these from 15mph, and that the Sports is heavier than these. I wouldn't mind testing this theory if someone wants to fight me on it

-Kurt
I'd love to have converted to a small front disk however decided against it for exactly the reason in that picture, being that the braking force is near the tip of the fork, rather than 1" below the head-stock. The same goes for an electric hub on the front putting torque forces on the forks, although to be honest the only reason I went with it (I actually wanted a front hub motor, to retain the 3 speed rear) was that this wheel set came up for only 40.
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Old 01-31-20, 06:31 PM
  #31  
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That's one cool bike you have there too Kurt, love the tires!
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Old 01-31-20, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by spinnanz View Post
I'd love to have converted to a small front disk however decided against it for exactly the reason in that picture, being that the braking force is near the tip of the fork, rather than 1" below the head-stock. The same goes for an electric hub on the front putting torque forces on the forks, although to be honest the only reason I went with it (I actually wanted a front hub motor, to retain the 3 speed rear) was that this wheel set came up for only 40.
Makes sense on all counts - all you'll have to do is file the bottom of the dropouts, spread the rear spacing, and realign the drops.

However, a modern 650B disc fork (e.g., a Surly Straggler) wouldn't be a bad option if someone wanted to consider both a front motor and suitable brake on a Sports. It'd also open up some front rack options.

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Old 01-31-20, 06:40 PM
  #33  
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I little filing was needed on the drop-out, although very little
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Old 01-31-20, 06:43 PM
  #34  
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I actually like the DL-22 a lot. This does not preclude being realistic about them. As for older ones being better that used to be my opinion as well. Then one day was at Yellow Jersey while Andy was busy replacing the head tube on his '54 daily rider. Which was maybe the tenth frame repair he'd done on that bike. Enough so that he no longer had a firm count. And I got a chance to look at the top and down tubes that had never actually been long enough to meet the head tube. So that was the quality of a '54. Sometimes to know about bikes it is necessary to ride them, not just admire them.

In top post there was mention of a bike doing 25mph with a Copenhagen wheel. I have done 25mph on a DL-22 a few times. Downhill it is roughly as exciting as doing 50mph on a bike that is designed to be capable of 60mph or a little better. Doing it under power on the flat is even more exciting. The bike does feel like it is ready to come apart.

Just took a look at some Trek e-bike specs. First one had specified torque of 75 newton metres. That would be the same as the spec for a 2019 Honda VFR800 Interceptor. Yes, a human engine has abundant torque too. But finely controlled by the rider and intermittent. Not the same thing as turning a switch and having constant force applied. Engineering on the Honda is going to be a lot better than on the Trek. Driveability will be a lot better on the Honda. Reliability will be better on the Honda. Backyard engineering? You want to trust your life to that?

450 watt motor on a bicycle is a little crazy. Andy Muzi rides regular and frequent and for many years but does not have a lot of power. But breaks his Raleigh regularly. Put Peter Sagan on a DL-22 and see how long the frame lasts. If it were an assist motor intended to assist it would have 50 or 100 watts. Can you even get an assist motor like that?
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Old 01-31-20, 06:43 PM
  #35  
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I took these a few weeks ago, part way through building.
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Old 01-31-20, 07:25 PM
  #36  
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Considered for some kind of electric.
Rear wheel assist being prime candidate, if we go that way.



This project also in What ya Wrenching - with different bars, saddle height for spouse.
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Old 01-31-20, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
450 watt motor on a bicycle is a little crazy. Andy Muzi rides regular and frequent and for many years but does not have a lot of power. But breaks his Raleigh regularly. Put Peter Sagan on a DL-22 and see how long the frame lasts. If it were an assist motor intended to assist it would have 50 or 100 watts. Can you even get an assist motor like that?
You are under the illusion that watts equals speed, it does not. You can have a hub of 450w that's geared internally to do 40kph or one that's geared to do 25kph, its max rpm is its limit, be it 100w or 500w. My hub, as its come from a single speed is geared for acceleration over speed, its rpm limit is around 25kph. My eZee sprint electric bike, is the same wattage but is geared higher, as the bike has gears its expected that the rider is able to provide more help off the mark.

As for force applied from the elec motor, I can set the controller ramp power up from 0%-100% over a set period, ie 4 seconds. I believe this would only be needed if I was using a front hub or mid drive. Funny you mention Honda vfr reliability. I have a vfr400 with near 120km on it now. Again Id not expect Honda reliability but I dont think im in a deathly position in regards to converting the Raleigh, given its top speed wont be much, if any, more than I could manage if I pedaled as hard as I could.

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Old 02-01-20, 05:09 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by spinnanz View Post
You are under the illusion that watts equals speed, it does not. You can have a hub of 450w that's geared internally to do 40kph or one that's geared to do 25kph, its max rpm is its limit, be it 100w or 500w. My hub, as its come from a single speed is geared for acceleration over speed, its rpm limit is around 25kph. My eZee sprint electric bike, is the same wattage but is geared higher, as the bike has gears its expected that the rider is able to provide more help off the mark.

As for force applied from the elec motor, I can set the controller ramp power up from 0%-100% over a set period, ie 4 seconds. I believe this would only be needed if I was using a front hub or mid drive. Funny you mention Honda vfr reliability. I have a vfr400 with near 120km on it now. Again Id not expect Honda reliability but I dont think im in a deathly position in regards to converting the Raleigh, given its top speed wont be much, if any, more than I could manage if I pedaled as hard as I could.
I am not under the illusion that power equals speed.

The notion that available power is merely held in reserve and never utilized is fanciful.

Raleigh frames are just not made for 450 watts of power, either human or electric. The way to get a Raleigh up a steep hill is to walk.

The Cancellara motors are slick and expensive engineering. Early versions did only have 100W of assist. The pros visibly have problems keeping that power under control. Ordinary mortals will not do better.

The way to keep balance and traction under control on a small two wheel electric vehicle is to first replace the complex controller with a simple throttle. Then delete the pedals and replace with footpegs. With 450 watts and buckets of torque there is no reason for pedals. I never see anyone on an e-bike pedaling. Of course forum members are different.
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Old 02-01-20, 08:18 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
I actually like the DL-22 a lot. This does not preclude being realistic about them. As for older ones being better that used to be my opinion as well. Then one day was at Yellow Jersey while Andy was busy replacing the head tube on his '54 daily rider. Which was maybe the tenth frame repair he'd done on that bike. Enough so that he no longer had a firm count. And I got a chance to look at the top and down tubes that had never actually been long enough to meet the head tube. So that was the quality of a '54. Sometimes to know about bikes it is necessary to ride them, not just admire them.

In top post there was mention of a bike doing 25mph with a Copenhagen wheel. I have done 25mph on a DL-22 a few times. Downhill it is roughly as exciting as doing 50mph on a bike that is designed to be capable of 60mph or a little better. Doing it under power on the flat is even more exciting. The bike does feel like it is ready to come apart.

Just took a look at some Trek e-bike specs. First one had specified torque of 75 newton metres. That would be the same as the spec for a 2019 Honda VFR800 Interceptor. Yes, a human engine has abundant torque too. But finely controlled by the rider and intermittent. Not the same thing as turning a switch and having constant force applied. Engineering on the Honda is going to be a lot better than on the Trek. Driveability will be a lot better on the Honda. Reliability will be better on the Honda. Backyard engineering? You want to trust your life to that?

450 watt motor on a bicycle is a little crazy. Andy Muzi rides regular and frequent and for many years but does not have a lot of power. But breaks his Raleigh regularly. Put Peter Sagan on a DL-22 and see how long the frame lasts. If it were an assist motor intended to assist it would have 50 or 100 watts. Can you even get an assist motor like that?
I don't recall Sports tubing ever being mitered in the first place. Straight from the bandsaw into the frame jig.

Still, Andy's bike is just one data point. Hardly scientific.

Not that we have sample sizes that are by any means suitable in the first place, but there have been a lot more reports here at C&V of TI-era Sports frame failures, and precious few from the 1950's.

You're comparing 25mph to the OP's 25kph, which is more or less equivalent to the 15mph that I've achieved on the RideOn bikes (and a blistering 20 on the Jump 6.0) with their Bafang G010.250.D (250W 36V) front hub motors. Your point is valid, but not representative of what the OP is working on. Also, that 15mph is achievable on a Raleigh Sports just with a human rider.

The members at ElectricBikeReview have spent a fair amount of time tearing into torque specs given by bicycle manufacturers vs. reality, and the difference in measuring mid-drive and hub drive systems. I won't quote the whole mess here, but I'd encourage anyone curious to take a look at these threads:

https://electricbikereview.com/forum...-gimmick.2467/
https://electricbikereview.com/forum...inefield.3353/

Also, if the motor controller system on the RideOn pedelecs are any indication (not to mention the Jumps - the 6.0 does run a Bafang motor; don't remember the 5.0's motor), the torque, even at max setting on the controller, throttles up along a very gradual bell curve - like a turbocharger spooling up. About the only time it kicks in harder is when it's in high and the rider is starting to move from a dead stop - and it still tapers slightly once the rider is pedaling steadily; returning to the bell curve as you accelerate. These systems are not giving you all the torque all at once.

As for ridability - I've repaired and ridden way too many bicycles in my fairly brief lifetime here on Earth, and if a frame/fork isn't confidence inspiring, it usually makes itself known fairly quickly under my own two feet. I kicked a Raleigh Alyeska out of my collection because it couldn't hack 22mph without a death wobble. Didn't need a motor to figure that one out.

Heck, I recently rode a friend's Schwinn Wayfairer, and it took me all of a few yards to realize that the front fork is either bent or Pacific Cycles did something very, very wrong with the front end geometry. I've ridden track frames less twitchy.

The type of person who'd consider taking on their own DIY e-bike conversion on a C&V frame is likely to be someone with the smarts to know whether the end product is a deathtrap or not. Let the industrious give it a try - I can't think of a single good that unscientific, safety-nanny fear-mongering has ever done to improve our lives (emphasis on the unscientific).

I'll be back later with some photos of the brazing (what's visible given the paint, anyway) on my '51. Diss what you want about the 1950's frames, there aren't any indications of crappy workmanship on it. And if appearing well brazed (or welded) isn't good enough, how can you be sure any frame is up to e-bike duty? You can't.

-Kurt
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Old 02-01-20, 09:52 AM
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Back with some closeups of the '51. Not a single void. The dropout-to-seatstay joints appear to have a bit of extra brass that was never cleaned up. If anything, they went for the sloppy-but-secure method of putting more brass than necessary into the gaps.

Need I mention that the lugs are also far superior in prep? Someone actually put effort to remove the majority of the weld seam. Good luck finding that on the 1970's examples. Ditto for those massive seatstays.

Also, this example has properly reinforced seat lug ears, so even after 69 years, the ears are square and not chewed up (like a Raleigh Professional )

















Incidentally, if there's grit and grime in these pictures that offends anyone...get over it. It's a rider.

I think I'll follow this up with closeups of my 1980 Sports to show the obvious difference in quality between the two.

-Kurt
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Old 02-01-20, 10:12 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
I've ridden track frames less twitchy.



-Kurt
In what universe are track frames twitchy?

Few broken 50s Sports are seen because precious few were ever sold on these shores. The rest are used, used up, discarded. Not normally a bike that went straight to collector storage.

The grumpy old man who had the LBS when I was a kid was a Schwinn dealer and believed in them. In the back room he kept a bin full of broken Raleigh frames. This would be early 60s. There were not a lot of Raleighs around back then but he had plenty. I've seen hundreds broken.

JRA I routinely see e-bikes struggling for control and my assumption is the controller circuits are throwing the pilots curve balls. Considering how close they come to hitting me, and that they have hit me twice, I am being extraordinarily generous in that assumption. For all of two months I owned an electric vehicle, a Prius, and never adjusted to how the programs drove the vehicle, not me. The notion of fighting a chip for control of the vehicle while on two wheels is just frightening. The Toyota programming is subtle and sophisticated compared to Bafang.

Someone upthread is converting a Raleigh Twenty. I used to own one, the wife currently owns one. All I can say is 451 wheels, not 406. And then pray. If that makes me a safety nanny so be it.
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Old 02-01-20, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
In what universe are track frames twitchy?
The same where 1950's Raleigh Sports are imploding by the truckload. To each their own experiences.

Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
Few broken 50s Sports are seen because precious few were ever sold on these shores. The rest are used, used up, discarded. Not normally a bike that went straight to collector storage.
There are truckloads of them in the Northeast, especially in Massachusetts where Raleigh's USA headquarters was located. Just ask nlerner, who has been fortunate to pick up a number of early Raleighs in his area - even off Craigslist.

In fact, my '51 was one that was "used up" and "discarded" in a New York barn, disassembled down to the last bolt. Bought it on eBay about 14 years ago. Seems like it hasn't been used up yet, and I'm a fat bastard who sometimes treats it like it's a Trek MTB being ridden by a police officer in hot pursuit.

Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
The grumpy old man who had the LBS when I was a kid was a Schwinn dealer and believed in them. In the back room he kept a bin full of broken Raleigh frames. This would be early 60s. There were not a lot of Raleighs around back then but he had plenty. I've seen hundreds broken.
Without seeing the specific failures and the mode of failure, your grumpy old Schwinn hawker is moot. Speaking of which, I wouldn't dare put an electric bike motor on an Ashtabula fork.

Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
JRA I routinely see e-bikes struggling for control and my assumption is the controller circuits are throwing the pilots curve balls. Considering how close they come to hitting me, and that they have hit me twice, I am being extraordinarily generous in that assumption.
This comment has nothing to do with C&V conversions, but it has everything to do with unsubstantiated assumptions. Also, you are redirecting your frustration at scofflaw riders towards the types of bicycles they are riding.

In case you haven't noticed, the great majority of people driving automobiles can't drive without hitting something or someone either. Long ago, the auto industry socially conditioned us into making the same fallacy as your e-bike argument by calling these crashes "accidents" and anthropomorphizing the vehicle ("...the car ran into the building") lest we dare blame the human beings to force up and own their mistakes.

...but it sure has resulted in a whole lot of people driving cars recklessly and a society that supports it. Had the people who hit you been driving automobiles instead of riding e-bikes, you may not have survived their stupidity.

Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
Someone upthread is converting a Raleigh Twenty. I used to own one, the wife currently owns one. All I can say is 451 wheels, not 406. And then pray. If that makes me a safety nanny so be it.
Your rationale for the 451's? Stock steel 451's? Current aftermarket 451s? Is this versus stock 406 rims? Aluminum 406 rims? What's your point?

-Kurt
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Old 02-01-20, 12:05 PM
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Here's the 1980 Sports. Void city. More or less representative of what Raleigh was pushing out in the late 1960's to the '80s. The rust around every shoreline is a smoking gun of bad brass penetration.

Admittedly, the seatstay / dropout joint appears to have better-than-average penetration, but the right chainstay is sloppy.

Seatstays are absolute crap at the seatlug - both the brazing to the lug itself, and the visibly cracked and poorly brazed bent-over caps. And this is standard fare.

















-Kurt
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Old 02-01-20, 01:33 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
Raleigh frames are just not made for 450 watts of power, either human or electric. The way to get a Raleigh up a steep hill is to walk.

The way to keep balance and traction under control on a small two wheel electric vehicle is to first replace the complex controller with a simple throttle. Then delete the pedals and replace with footpegs. With 450 watts and buckets of torque there is no reason for pedals. I never see anyone on an e-bike pedaling. Of course forum members are different.
How does a rear hub place any extra load on a frame going up hill? There will be torque on the axle but no more than on the flat, under acceleration. I can guarantee the frame will be getting a harder time going down the hill than up, do you walk a Raleigh down hill too? I see you say you never got used to the way Pirus did things. Did you ever think this may be a you problem rather than a problem with the car? Tech left to its own devices is NOT infallible, however it is generally less infallible than humans.

Where are you from? I've yet to routinely see people on ped-electrics not pedaling. Maybe we arent as lazy here? We do however have a great number of electric scooters, which do cause accidents. Even so, I'm not anti electric scooter, Im anti drunk people scooting at night.

You have MANY valid points of why converting vintage to electric is a bad idea in general, or worst case scenario. I've yet to see any taking into context of what my particular goal is. A converted vintage, converted to single speed, using an electric rear hub, to be used on flat roads, traveling at 25kph/18mph max, with a weight thats a non issue. Also take into account im outside the demographic you mention that are crashing and I am also a currant ebike commuter.

At worst, I may need to learn to braze a frame if needed, although thats a possible failure in general, not likely a failure because of my conversion,

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Old 02-01-20, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Here's the 1980 Sports. Void city. More or less representative of what Raleigh was pushing out in the late 1960's to the '80s. The rust around every shoreline is a smoking gun of bad brass penetration.

Admittedly, the seatstay / dropout joint appears to have better-than-average penetration, but the right chainstay is sloppy.

Seatstays are absolute crap at the seatlug - both the brazing to the lug itself, and the visibly cracked and poorly brazed bent-over caps. And this is standard fare.

















-Kurt
Why the mfg department allowed silver as a product color was sabotage.
One thing that is interesting with many of these, the poor construction was "good enough", maybe the limited actual use? Luck? overengineered to begin with?
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Old 02-01-20, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Why the mfg department allowed silver as a product color was sabotage.
One thing that is interesting with many of these, the poor construction was "good enough", maybe the limited actual use? Luck? overengineered to begin with?
Silver is a fine color if you build the frame underneath correctly - that's the problem with this one. Otherwise, I'm having a pretty good time playing around with black components on this bike because of the silver scheme, and still somehow maintain a C&V look.

BITD, it was good enough - without the rust marks, the average buyer could probably be duped by a salesman that these crude lugs were a sign of "handbuilt quality." Find an original owner of a 1970's Raleigh, and you'll get that same sales pitch handed right back to you. Can't blame anyone for it when they're oblivious to what good lugwork is.

FYI, look up the stories of British Leyland in the 1970's. Makes these Raleighs look as if they were built by Patek Philippe.

-Kurt
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Old 02-01-20, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Silver is a fine color if you build the frame underneath correctly - that's the problem with this one. Otherwise, I'm having a pretty good time playing around with black components on this bike because of the silver scheme, and still somehow maintain a C&V look.

BITD, it was good enough - without the rust marks, the average buyer could probably be duped by a salesman that these crude lugs were a sign of "handbuilt quality." Find an original owner of a 1970's Raleigh, and you'll get that same sales pitch handed right back to you. Can't blame anyone for it when they're oblivious to what good lugwork is.

FYI, look up the stories of British Leyland in the 1970's. Makes these Raleighs look as if they were built by Patek Philippe.

-Kurt
My father bought an new XKE in 1966.
Beautiful car, Dark Navy blue over black leather- when they still had glass over the headlamps.
Wire wheels, true knock offs.
Mechanical disaster. He owned it 9 months, was three months in the shop.
Still, drove it a lot, and sold it at 12k miles, the warranty ended back then at 12 or 12.
If he bought it later after the lemon laws, he would have received his money back.
The differential was rebuilt 3 times among other things. He suspected that the case was not bored concentric, it kept eating up bearings.
This was of the time that they rebuilt things, he asked for a replacement diff', Nope.
He would have lived with the other issues, they did not repeat.
Engine was of no concern, but did have to come out once when the transmission went sour, shift linkage broke.
Was traded in on a new '66 Corvette Stingray coupe. My mother drove that car once, and she would not drive anything else after.
My brother has that car today.
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Old 02-01-20, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Here's the 1980 Sports. Void city. More or less representative of what Raleigh was pushing out in the late 1960's to the '80s. The rust around every shoreline is a smoking gun of bad brass penetration.

Admittedly, the seatstay / dropout joint appears to have better-than-average penetration, but the right chainstay is sloppy.

Seatstays are absolute crap at the seatlug - both the brazing to the lug itself, and the visibly cracked and poorly brazed bent-over caps. And this is standard fare.

















-Kurt
Every picture tells a story, don't it. This picture speaks loudly of UK strike and malaise era build quality. I wouldn't do an eBike conversion of this example. It needs to be really babied, those voids in this lugwork aren't confidence inspiring. This is pretty typical Sports build quality from 1974-1980 right here. And this was not unusual to find on most of the Worksop built nicer Raleighs, even more so on the lower end of the price point. Sad in the day to see happen to a marque I liked often, and owned my fair share of from childhood. The best Raleigh of all the ones I owned, was far and away my old small framed Green International built in 1969.
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Old 02-01-20, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
My father bought an new XKE in 1966...
There were a pair of Series 1 XKE shells at a shop here not long ago; one convertible, one coupe. I somewhat regret not buying one of them and sacrilegiously building it up with a completely unrelated drivetrain, modern wiring harness, and a diff pulled out of something else.

Originally Posted by Kent T View Post
Every picture tells a story, don't it. This picture speaks loudly of UK strike and malaise era build quality. I wouldn't do an eBike conversion of this example. It needs to be really babied, those voids in this lugwork aren't confidence inspiring. This is pretty typical Sports build quality from 1974-1980 right here. And this was not unusual to find on most of the Worksop built nicer Raleighs, even more so on the lower end of the price point. Sad in the day to see happen to a marque I liked often, and owned my fair share of from childhood. The best Raleigh of all the ones I owned, was far and away my old small framed Green International built in 1969.
All the more reason why the '50s examples shouldn't be lumped anywhere near the later models. I prefer to envision the late TI-era bikes as Raleigh Sports replicas, even though the later models are the ones people most commonly associate with the name.

I've seen this build quality to a slightly lesser extent on Sports as early as 1969 - as far as I'm concerned, any frames that post-date the lug transition era require scrutiny.

Some of the sloppiest stuff I've ever seen - worse than this Sports - hailed from Worksop. Champagne-painted Internationals from the mid-1970's have been my personal nemesis in this respect. Seems like I can't find a single one that isn't a complete disaster. The two Copper ones I've come across have been nice though.

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Old 02-03-20, 01:04 PM
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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 EM3EV.com 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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