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Newbie to E-Bikes: ? on conversion

Old 02-23-21, 10:03 AM
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Scubaquarius
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Newbie to E-Bikes: ? on conversion

I have 2 Liv bikes, one is a cruiser with a three gear hub and the other is a Sedona with 16 gears. I am interested in converting one of these to an ebike.
Any ideas on which would be easier to convert and a suggested conversion package?

Thanks so much,
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Old 02-23-21, 10:56 AM
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Either can be a good choice depending on application. If it were me, I'd convert the one that is used the least frequently, but just my opinion. Need to know more about your goals to be more definitive.
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Old 02-24-21, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
Either can be a good choice depending on application. If it were me, I'd convert the one that is used the least frequently, but just my opinion. Need to know more about your goals to be more definitive.
I only ride on pavement and concrete bikepaths. I can't keep up with my wife on her Catrike Villager; she rides faster and wants to add more mileage to our rides.
So I don't want to be holding her back. I thought the e-bike conversion might even up the playing field some...

Thanks for your reply 2old,
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Old 02-24-21, 11:22 AM
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Thanks for amplifying your needs, and an "e" addition will definitely level the field. You can realize your goals with either a hub or mid-drive conversion (look at the tutorials at ebikesca for information). I think a small (350w) geared motor (preferably rear) will maintain the bike-like feel and provide enough boost, but others with just as valuable suggestions will differ.
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Old 02-24-21, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
Thanks for amplifying your needs, and an "e" addition will definitely level the field. You can realize your goals with either a hub or mid-drive conversion (look at the tutorials at ebikesca for information). I think a small (350w) geared motor (preferably rear) will maintain the bike-like feel and provide enough boost, but others with just as valuable suggestions will differ.
Hey 2old,

Thank you so much,
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Old 02-24-21, 06:12 PM
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I did a Sedona conversion using the Bafang BBSO2 mid drive unit. The bike came out quite nice and very versatile
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Old 02-25-21, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by KPREN View Post
I did a Sedona conversion using the Bafang BBSO2 mid drive unit. The bike came out quite nice and very versatile
Thanks so much for the information,

Scubaquarius
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Old 02-25-21, 02:38 PM
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I've had one for off road for about six years. Powered bt a 52V battery, it's been perfect. Lots of viable options.
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Old 02-26-21, 01:25 AM
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nice
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Old 02-26-21, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
I've had one for off road for about six years. Powered bt a 52V battery, it's been perfect. Lots of viable options.
Great looking ride,
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Old 02-26-21, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by KPREN View Post
I did a Sedona conversion using the Bafang BBSO2 mid drive unit. The bike came out quite nice and very versatile
So I'm a man of average mechanical skills. Is that a conversion I might be able to perform or should I pay to have it done?

Thanks,
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Old 02-26-21, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
Either can be a good choice depending on application. If it were me, I'd convert the one that is used the least frequently, but just my opinion. Need to know more about your goals to be more definitive.
I was wondering why you recommended converting the bike I ride "the least". Is it that this is a learning experience and I might be better learning of the least used bike, in case it it a time consuming project or I "mess" something up ?

Thanks,
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Old 02-26-21, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Scubaquarius View Post
So I'm a man of average mechanical skills. Is that a conversion I might be able to perform or should I pay to have it done?

Thanks,
Scubaquarius
Its pretty straight forward. If you can't, then find someone.
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Old 02-26-21, 11:06 AM
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Least

Originally Posted by Scubaquarius View Post
I was wondering why you recommended converting the bike I ride "the least". Is it that this is a learning experience and I might be better learning of the least used bike, in case it it a time consuming project or I "mess" something up ?

Thanks,
Scubaquarius
I thought about that afterwards too and my original thought was using the lesser used bike wouldn't impair your "normal" riding. However if most of your riding is with your wife (my situation), might make more sense to convert the one you use with her. A mid-drive conversion isn't difficult as stated above, but you need tools for removing a bottom bracket, and need to be careful how it's done if your BB is 73 mm. BTW, the Liv 3-speed appears to have a rear coaster brake. That pretty much (absolutely IMO) relegates it to front hub system.

Last edited by 2old; 02-26-21 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 02-26-21, 02:39 PM
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The Sedona looks like a good candidate for conversion, but if you're street riding you might get enough boost by going to narrower, smoother tread, lighter tires (Look at Specialized Nimbus 1.25 inch width).
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Old 02-27-21, 11:43 AM
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The cruiser with a three speed rear is out as far as a rear hub motor. If it has a steel front fork, maybe a front hub motor, but I don't recommend front drives for novices. Too easy to spin the axle, ruin the motor, or face plant. Some people will do a mid drive on a three speed. Some reliability issues there if the hub can't take the power.

A rear motor on the Sedona? That's probably a cassette? You need a cassette motor. Might be a little wide, and I wouldn't press my luck speading the frame.Pull the wheel and check its width. If it's around 140mm, you might do a motor. Freewheel motors are usually designed to be 135mm with the freewheel.

BBS02 on the Sedona would be my choice. Special tools would include the BBS02 wrench, a crank puller, a chain breaker. All inexpensive. I don't know if the Sedona needs special mounting plate for the BB. Your youtube video will cover it. In my opinion, the install of a mid drive is less work than a motor. The latter requires more thinking to locate the controller, mount it, and make it waterproof. The pedal assist sensor for a hub motor is often unmountable on many bikes and requires some ingenuity. You still need a crank puller to install the hub motor too.

A mid drive is more expensive, but more powerful and versatile. You have to be a bike rider to use it, as it wants to be shifted.
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Old 02-27-21, 11:46 AM
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Whatever you convert, plan on converting a second one for your wife.
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Old 03-01-21, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Doc_Wui View Post
Whatever you convert, plan on converting a second one for your wife.
She has already informed me !

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Old 03-03-21, 11:28 AM
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Thank you everyone for your generosity in offering information and suggestions!

Happy riding,
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Old 03-03-21, 01:09 PM
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Please keep us informed on your progress.
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Old 03-04-21, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
Please keep us informed on your progress.
2old,

By the way I love your bike. I'm a little bogged down. I looked at a video for a mid-conversion on ebikesca and perused the website. Too be honest the installation looked beyond my skill level. So I would definitely need to find help.

But I prefer being able to use the step through on the Sedona, easier to mount and unmount. So I think a rear hub would be best.
Could you make recommendations on a rear hub - manufacturer?
I very much appreciation your help and interest !

Happy riding as always (at present I'm riding with a broken rib, missed the black ice taking the trash out ),
Scubaquarius
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Old 03-04-21, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
Please keep us informed on your progress.
Hi 2old,

I did look at a video on installing a Bafang BBSO2 mid drive unit and it looked like something I might can do. I notice you have a mid-drive on your bike.
Is it easier to keep the batttery dry on that?

Thanks again for any suggestions,
Scubaquarius
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Old 03-04-21, 11:33 AM
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There will be a plethora of different opinions on rear hubs, from direct drive kits to geared models. eBikeling is a good source for either although there are lots of other possibilities. Be aware that most DD systems are heavy and you might not like the ride although on smooth roads they're fine. Since you're looking for a modicum of assistance and not a "motorcycle", I would recommend a 36V, 350w geared rear hub (eBikeling's is 500w which is OK), but make sure you procure a good battery. Em3ev and ebikesca (expensive, but configurable) are good vendors although there are others. Don't know where you reside, but a 36V kit should be "legal" (look at the "Class" system) and be considered a "bicycle". I'll include a picture of my six year old
48V, 33 mph, $200 kit plus $500 battery which I don't recommend for you.
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Old 03-04-21, 11:39 AM
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Mid-drive installation is not that difficult (look at the YouTube videos on BBS02) if you're familiar with working on bottom brackets. Also, I have a picture of the 36V, 350w 20mph front conversion on my daughter's bike, which is a 3-speed internal geared bike with rear coaster brake. I couldn't fit the battery in the frame tubes..
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Old 03-04-21, 11:50 AM
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Bbs

Originally Posted by Scubaquarius View Post
Hi 2old,

I did look at a video on installing a Bafang BBSO2 mid drive unit and it looked like something I might can do. I notice you have a mid-drive on your bike.
Is it easier to keep the batttery dry on that?

Thanks again for any suggestions,
Scubaquarius
That's an old picture; now the battery on that bike is mounted like the green one (on the down tube). Interestingly (to me), it's attached magnetically although I add a strap for off road. We don't get rain in socal so that's not a consideration, but if you ride in the rain there are others better equipped to help than me except for me to say don't use a front hub drive and, IMO, mid is better.
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