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Sooooo... this one?

Old 08-12-21, 05:15 PM
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Korina
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Sooooo... this one?

I'm thinking about converting a '90s steel mountain bike, and being completely ignorant about the subject, I'm hoping one of you fine, edumecated folks could help refine my search. Humboldt Bay has two very different landscapes; flat, and steep. If I wanted to haul a trailer full of groceries, the ride would be flat. If I want to go exploring, it would likely be steep. I'm no lightweight, so I'm wondering if the Bosch Active Plus would haul me, my stuff, and my bike. I want pedal assist only if I can, as I like pedaling, and I'm not looking to go fast. I'm just getting older, and the hills just keep getting steeper. TIA for any advice.
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Old 08-12-21, 05:40 PM
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Good choice IMO. I have a 2017 Haibike with Yamaha motor and it does fine hauling me up steep hills off road. The current Bosch motor is probably much more effective than my old system.
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Old 08-12-21, 10:06 PM
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Bosch is not an add-on system, they come as a whole bike only. You need to look for systems like Bafang to convert.
There are 2 types of motors for conversion.
The mid mount motor, similar to the Bosch systems
and
the motorized wheel, there the hub has the motor in it.
Depending on your budget, you can choose differently powered motors and battery sizes.
Youtube has some good tutorials

Last edited by MarcusT; 08-12-21 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 08-12-21, 10:15 PM
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If you are set on conversion look at a Bafang mid drive, but the better choice will always be a prebuilt bike by a major manufacturer.

-SP
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Old 08-12-21, 10:44 PM
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Sorry, I missed the conversion part, and assumed (yeah, I know) the Bosch was on a bike the OP was considering. OP, I was totally incorrect. Bosch is OEM only. If you look around, you'll see a steel-framed bike that has served me well for six years.
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Old 08-13-21, 06:57 AM
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Think disk brakes and threadless headset. Not available in the 90's bikes. It will work but those bikes were not made for rugged use.
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Old 08-13-21, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by MarcusT View Post
Bosch is not an add-on system, they come as a whole bike only. You need to look for systems like Bafang to convert.
There are 2 types of motors for conversion.
The mid mount motor, similar to the Bosch systems
and
the motorized wheel, there the hub has the motor in it.
Depending on your budget, you can choose differently powered motors and battery sizes.
Youtube has some good tutorials
Well poop. Thanks. YouTube also has bad tutorials; who's good?
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Old 08-13-21, 10:14 PM
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My first conversion was a 1991 Steel Trek with a rear motor. I added a suspension fork that I converted to thredless. If I wanted I could also put in a front caliper, even a hydraulic unit in that fork, but I don't want. Life is kinda simple here in Northern Illinois. Glaciers flattened the land, and then melted 12000 years ago so there are no hills, other than some valleys when a river formed. A 500W motor is all we need.

Looking at today's kit prices, a geared motor kit runs about $100-150 cheaper than a $500 Bafang BBS02 mid drive kit. Buy the mid drive kit for a little more, and if you know how to shift, it will handle hills. A BBS02 was my second conversion, on a newer 2005 Diamondback bike. I did put a disk brake on the front wheel of that one, but it was only a mechanical model. I would say the mid drive conversion was less work and more plug-n-play too. Prior to the Covid crisis, I bought a complete front/rear Shimano disk brake setup, levers, hoses, and calipers for $75 from CHina and put them on a bike. They work nice.

Around $500 for a battery that you don't have to worry about it blowing up your house, but you should be wary anyway,
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Old 08-14-21, 09:30 AM
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Don't be saddled by some archaic thoughts. Read the tutorials at ebikesca, which are heavily slanted toward hub systems, and look at the conversion with BBS02 on YouTube. My first DIY was a front hub on a mid-80's Diamondback and it's still about as much fun as I've had on an ebike. It was used for errands and off road, and although the "experts" say a front hub won't climb off road,. they're incorrect (you just need to know how to transfer weight to the front with body English). Your bike will work; tell us what your riding conditions entail, budget, and you'll receive expert assistance from DW, C58 or some others here.
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Old 08-18-21, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by KPREN View Post
Think disk brakes and threadless headset. Not available in the 90's bikes. It will work but those bikes were not made for rugged use.
Heh. Neither am I . And threadless was invented in the ‘90s, ya young whippersnapper. It wasn’t all stone knives and bear skins back then.
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Old 08-18-21, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by speedy25 View Post
If you are set on conversion look at a Bafang mid drive, but the better choice will always be a prebuilt bike by a major manufacturer.

-SP
Where’s a good place to look? If I go looking in the bay or the river, Ghu knows what I’ll find, but there’s a good chance it won’t be the real deal.
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Old 08-18-21, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Korina View Post
Heh. Neither am I . And threadless was invented in the ‘90s, ya young whippersnapper. It wasn’t all stone knives and bear skins back then.
Why thank yah. At 66 I will take that as quite a compliment.
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Old 08-19-21, 01:40 AM
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Originally Posted by KPREN View Post
Why thank yah. At 66 I will take that as quite a compliment.
At 58 I bow before the wisdom of my elders. Or something. What were we talking about?🤔
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Old 08-19-21, 06:18 AM
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Back to your original question, a BBS02 mid-drive should satisfy your requirements. You might want to add a front fork depending on the terrain. This system on a steel MTB has served me well for six+ years including yesterday. I use either a 52V, 14 ah or 52V 4 ah battery.
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Old 08-19-21, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
Back to your original question, a BBS02 mid-drive should satisfy your requirements. You might want to add a front fork depending on the terrain. This system on a steel MTB has served me well for six+ years including yesterday. I use either a 52V, 14 ah or 52V 4 ah battery.
Coolness. 99.9% of my riding is on pavement and all of my rides are fully rigid, so that isn't an issue. I'm really looking for torque(?) and range over speed; 15mph is plenty for me.
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Old 08-19-21, 06:04 PM
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What do y'all think about this 36v 250w kit?

Actually, the Bafang BB01 looks really good, just have to find one.
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Old 08-19-21, 06:08 PM
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If your rides don't include steep hills (>10 - 15%) and are on concrete a hub would be a good consideration. Read the tutorials at ebikesca and you'll discover the motor you want has its torque curve "adjusted" toward lower RPM (possibly would be designated as 10T or 12T). Then you just need to decide front or rear hub, and normally rear is specified unless the bike has belt drive, IGH or some other characteristic that makes a rear system infeasible.
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Old 08-19-21, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
If your rides don't include steep hills (>10 - 15%) and are on concrete a hub would be a good consideration. Read the tutorials at ebikesca and you'll discover the motor you want has its torque curve "adjusted" toward lower RPM (possibly would be designated as 10T or 12T). Then you just need to decide front or rear hub, and normally rear is specified unless the bike has belt drive, IGH or some other characteristic that makes a rear system infeasible.
Thanks; my bike is going to be an '80s or '90s steel mtb. with canti brakes. My uninformed concern with hub motors is the bike was designed to have the power come from the bottom bracket, not the stays or fork, and I'm not sure they could take the stress.
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Old 08-19-21, 08:15 PM
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A Bafang BBSO1 will be tough to find state side as we are allowed 750 watts here. You can get more torque of of a BBSO2 as well. You can program them for any number of speeds you want. The BBSO1 does not weigh less than the BBSO2. Don't sell yourself short.
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Old 08-19-21, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Korina View Post

Where’s a good place to look? If I go looking in the bay or the river, Ghu knows what I’ll find, but there’s a good chance it won’t be the real deal.
The bigger bike shops usually carry ebikes now. There are lots of choices, but look at the Trek Verve 2+

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Old 08-20-21, 09:24 AM
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The BBS01 should be fine although, as above, not much reason to prefer that over the BBS02 except slightly lower cost and slightly lower weight battery (depending on ah, of course). California e Bike and Dillenger have the BBS01 in the US AIR. Just for your information, the picture is my former mid-80's Schwinn steel MTB with a 1000w, 48V rear hub motor (really 30 amp controller X 52V battery, so nominally 1500w) that could achieve 35 mph on flat terrain with my 180 pound carcass.
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Old 08-22-21, 01:12 AM
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Thanks everyone for your advice. Everything may have been derailed by a 10-year-old Surly Disc Trucker at the local pawn. In my size. And green. And my size!!

What? I can stop any time I want!

really
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