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Advice needed for MTB e-bike conversion

Old 07-13-19, 05:38 PM
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01 CAt Man Do
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Advice needed for MTB e-bike conversion

Hi folks. Bought my first road e-bike several weeks ago and have just been loving it to death. Since I don't have the buck$ for a quality e-MTB I'm seriously considering converting my current 26" FS MTB over to e-assist. However I'm not quite sure what type of motor will work best for me. Not looking for something with a throttle ( although if it has one as an option as well as programmed assist that would be fine ) Whatever I get I want it to be efficient and capable of doing 30-35 miles on lowest level of assist. My two choices I'm considering are...

Mid Drive: I thought this might be the preferred method but now not so sure. Also not sure of the wattage motor I want. Higher wattage means it has more power and more speed. Speed not an issue for me. Of course the more powerful motor will drain the battery faster so I'm not sure what would work best for me. I should be able to have no major problems but if I go mid-drive I lose my triple for a single speed front chain ring. Not to mention my rear wheel is a nine speed so not sure how well everything would work once the chain begins to angle off to the outer cogs. ( Note; My Trek Conduit has a ten speed rear and is mid drive so perhaps this is not an issue ) Also needs to be a way to disengage the motor if I hit my disc brakes. I have no wish to change my brake levers or my rear gears although I could work with a seven speed rear as long as my current 9spd rapid fire shifters can accommodate the change in rear gears.

Rear Wheel drive: Rear wheel drive might work as well. Wouldn't have to lose my triple chain rings up front but....Am I going to be able to get the rear wheel to work with my current disc brake set up (?) and how many gears will I have ( since most of the rear wheel setup's I've seen are either 6 or 7 speed? Heck, I just want to be able to climb the steep hills again with a little help.

Other thoughts: I would kind of like to mount the battery to a rear rack so I can still lift the front wheel up over logs / ruts without the extra weight of the battery on the down-tube. Problem is the rear of the bike is full suspension and thus will move. Not sure if there is a solution for a rear rack unless I use one of those racks that just mount to the seat post. Not sure any of those would work though as ebike batteries are quite heavy and something just clamped to the seat post might have a tendency to move or swing about.

Anyway, anyone with experienced advice will be appreciated. Whatever I get I won't be installing it myself. I'll be letting the Pro's at the LBS do the conversion.

Last edited by 01 CAt Man Do; 07-13-19 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 07-14-19, 01:21 AM
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Most "experts" suggest a mid-drive for hilly terrain. I've had excellent performance for four years from a BBS02-equipped hardtail, and have avoided the TSD because even the proponents say it requires more frequent maintenance; additionally, many have had major problems with them. The option of a large rear hub motor wasn't feasible because when I tested bikes with this system, they rode and handled poorly. Be aware, the right crank of a BBS02-equipped bike is about 15 mm farther from its respective chainstay than the left; since I'm OCD about symmetry, I purchased a Lekkie crank set which resolved this situation; also, installed a Lekkie front chainring to move it closer to the center of the bike and allow the use of all cassette gears.

Last edited by 2old; 07-15-19 at 10:31 PM.
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