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bolt on e-bike kits?

Old 12-11-21, 03:01 PM
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thook
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bolt on e-bike kits?

i have a client (i do home/odds and ends repair) that's looking to sell his truck after i getting it running and then build an e-bike with a 26" mtb. i know nothing about e-bikes, but been working manual bikes for decades. iow's, if there's a universal type kit, i'm sure i can put it together for him. i suspect any kit will have fitment parameters, and perhaps in the next few days i can get a few photos together for the thread so ya'll can better help. but, are there kits that bolt on like there are for motorized bikes?? where should i look and what should i look for in terms of quality and best frame fit?

thanks,
matthew
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Old 12-11-21, 04:04 PM
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Depending on budget and intended usage, bolt-on kits may eventually cost just as much as a complete ebike that may suit their purpose; without the time spent on installing & troubleshooting the bolt-on kit.
Maybe with more detail of budget, intended use and rider criteria; better suggestions can be made from the collective.
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Old 12-11-21, 09:01 PM
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In the meantime read the tutorials at ebikesca (very expensive kits, but good info) and look at a YouTube video on installing a Bafang BBS02 or BBSHD. My first kit six + years ago was a Dillenger 36V, and it's still in use by my daughter.
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Old 12-14-21, 03:12 PM
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As ebike prices come down, kits are not that much cheaper. I have built up 4 bikes with kits. Everyone needed some level of modification to the kit and bike to work. As a long time cyclist, I am very comfortable with any bicycle maintenance, but the electronic stuff is out of my knowledge base. For the 1st three kits this was not a problem. The last one tested my patience and knowledge at every step. For instance I needed a 2 ft battery wire and a 6 inch motor cable. The kit came with a 6 inch battery wire and a 3 ft motor cable.

For what I ended up paying in bike parts upgrades (tires,chain,freewheel, crankset, etc) and electrical wire and XT60 caps and other things to make the ebike work I had roughly $1200 invested.

So think carefully, for a few dollars more you can have an ebike that was actually manufactured as an ebike.
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Old 12-14-21, 04:49 PM
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An alternative view is that kits let you use a bike that you know fits you well, the end result will likely be lighter, and often the kit can be moved to a new bike if you get one.
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Old 12-14-21, 05:36 PM
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To add, building (for me) is a fun hobby; if there are problems, you probably can detect & correct them; the system usually doesn't require proprietary parts (check the price to replace a battery on some completes if you can locate one); and you have the ability to design it for your purpose.
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Old 12-15-21, 07:56 AM
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At a bike show in 2019, I saw the Alizeti kit. At first I dismissed it, however, the kit is well thought out and easy to install. It even has traction control. One other thing that I like about this kit is if I have a bike I like, for instance a vintage Peugeot mixte, it doesn't' change it much.

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Old 12-15-21, 05:05 PM
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I have built a kit with a 750W mid drive Bafang BBS02 ($450-500 today). My original battery was $550 in 2016. so my kit cost over $1000, but it lets this old man climb any hill that a strong biker on a regular bike can handle and is faster (28 mph) than I ever go., and that's good enough for me. Battery prices have dropped too, so I could probably but that battery for $400. You won't find a import ebike for $1000 that can do that.

Here is a different bike. Rear hub motor and electrics about $250. , I'm using a custom pack under the seat I had built for $250.I don't think there is a 20" electric folder on the market with front and rear suspension. That's the nice thing about kits. You can electrify a bike that you like. Keep it light and it handles like the original bike, but a bit heavier.


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Old 12-16-21, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by thook View Post
i have a client (i do home/odds and ends repair) that's looking to sell his truck after i getting it running and then build an e-bike with a 26" mtb. i know nothing about e-bikes, but been working manual bikes for decades. iow's, if there's a universal type kit, i'm sure i can put it together for him. i suspect any kit will have fitment parameters, and perhaps in the next few days i can get a few photos together for the thread so ya'll can better help. but, are there kits that bolt on like there are for motorized bikes?? where should i look and what should i look for in terms of quality and best frame fit?

thanks,
matthew
Hub drives are the easier to build up and cheaper. mid drives are easier in the field. for full blown commuter I think hub drives are totally adequate. Get a good battery for a good source(skip amazon and ebay unless you know for sure its a trusted source).

its been mentioned but ebikes.ca has a ton of info he is pretty hub drive focused but the info is valuable either way. endless-sphere is a pretty active ebike forum.

If you have worked on bikes the hardest part of the conversion will be wading threw the endless interwebs BS about whats better and what wont work.
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Old 12-16-21, 11:21 AM
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Just a few comments about commercial ebike vs. DIY. I've built up a few bikes from scratch and do most of my own maintenance but I'm by no means some professional bike mechanic. Last summer I started looking for a replacement for an all season hybrid bike for commuting and shopping, and I also wanted to explore an assisted setup (ebike). The two thoughts were separate, I wanted to continue to ride a bike (and I'm quite picky about fit and performance) and not have the idea of an ebike totally take over (didn't want a moped style setup). So I purchased a solid dependable replacement for the old hybrid that had the additional features I wanted/needed (primarily larger tires with room for fenders) plus using standard (older) dimensions for dropouts and such so the upgrade to an ebike would be easier.

The bike is a steel framed 27.5" Surly Bridge Club (considered an adventure touring type of bike) - about $1300 CAD (on sale)
The kit was from Grin (ebikes.ca). 500w geared hub, 750w 52v battery - also about $1300 CAD (the premium battery was about half the kit).
About 1/2 a day of my time for the conversion.

With new tires, fenders, etc. I ended up around $3K CAD invested. Yes I could have found a commuter style ebike for about the same price but for that price I have a customized setup that is sized well for me, has lower weight, a larger battery, better tires (winter studded), and generally better components. Plus I learned a ton about ebike technology, efficiencies and tuning for a precise feel (from the Grin Cycle Analyst display). So in the long run I came out well ahead of buying a commercial ebike.
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Old 12-16-21, 11:35 AM
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Thank you all for the input. things I haven't considered and didn't think to. I'll see where the guy's at with regards to all the info here and reply back soon. Probably with some questions.
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Old 12-17-21, 07:53 AM
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For $1600 complete ebike, this is hard to beat:
https://electrek.co/2021/12/16/ride1...w-entry-price/
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Old 12-17-21, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by cat0020 View Post
For $1600 complete ebike, this is hard to beat:
https://electrek.co/2021/12/16/ride1...w-entry-price/
I dont think I would even attempt to build a bike for commuting with this option...

Well for a customer anyway.
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Old 12-17-21, 10:03 AM
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That's indeed a nice new option.
A couple of comments ... while it's common "lawyerese" I wouldn't be happy with a bike for commuting that has the disclaimer of "While we do not recommend leaving the bikes out in the rain or riding in the rain or other hazardous conditions due to personal safety, the bikes can handle water exposure." So while it is highly unlikely to leave you stranded it would weigh on my mind.
The other wet weather related issue - that front fender is too short. It will allow the front wheel to spray water all over your feet in the rain.
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Old 12-17-21, 10:10 AM
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One other consideration between types of kits/commercial bikes - will you ever want to ride unmotored? You can't drop the weight on a commercial ebike, so that's not an option. Some kits will allow you to swap out the front wheel and eliminate the hub motor and remove the battery. Some kits are easily removable (Alizetii, Onemotor, etc.). And some kits (mid-drives, rear wheel) are not. If you have a stable of bikes, it's probably. not a consideration. If you've one bike, it might be something to think about as well. I love my bike and don't want to spend the $ to buy two of them so I can ride one unmotored, so an easily removable kit is a priority. It also helps with the theft issue as well =)..
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Old 12-17-21, 03:34 PM
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Friction kits make a lot of sense (to me) when the bike has road tires, dirt not so much.
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Old 12-17-21, 07:59 PM
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I am in kind of in the same boat. I want an ebike, because of the hills around me, and at 64 and 50 lbs overweight, I need a little help getting up some hills. I test road several ebikes at one shop. Most were pedal assist only and ranges from 350 Kw up to 650 Kw. They would have been all right in town on paved streets but not where I live. I also rode a KOA brand fat tire ebike with a 750 rear drum motor, with throttle, and I think it had more power and might have worked for me. However, all of these bikes were rated for less weight than I weight. The Radrover, which I have not seen or ridden, has a higher weight rating, so I am leaning towards one of those for around $1600.00

However, I am also considering converting my existing fat bike with a Bafang 1000 Kw mid mount motor, but this set up will still yet cost me probably $1200.00 However, I would have considerably more power, but it would also be considered illegal for the street and bike trail use, but I doubt that's a problem for me, since I don't ride there anyway. I have to go to the 1000 Kw HD, anyway, because my lower bracket is too wide for the Bafang 750 Kw, but after riding the KOA, I kind of want more power, anyway.

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Old 12-19-21, 10:41 AM
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LOVE the idea of this and considering getting one! Thanks for letting us know.
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Old 12-19-21, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Velo Mule View Post
At a bike show in 2019, I saw the Alizeti kit. At first I dismissed it, however, the kit is well thought out and easy to install. It even has traction control. One other thing that I like about this kit is if I have a bike I like, for instance a vintage Peugeot mixte, it doesn't' change it much.

Alizeti e-bike kit into
LOVE the idea of this and considering getting one! Thanks for letting us know.
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Old 12-19-21, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Sempervee View Post
LOVE the idea of this and considering getting one! Thanks for letting us know.
Yeah, that's an interesting solution. I always have a rack on my commuting bike, so this would fit right in. Pretty cool.
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Old 12-19-21, 12:01 PM
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Bbshd

Originally Posted by Lastmohecken View Post
I am in kind of in the same boat. I want an ebike, because of the hills around me, and at 64 and 50 lbs overweight, I need a little help getting up some hills. I test road several ebikes at one shop. Most were pedal assist only and ranges from 350 Kw up to 650 Kw. They would have been all right in town on paved streets but not where I live. I also rode a KOA brand fat tire ebike with a 750 rear drum motor, with throttle, and I think it had more power and might have worked for me. However, all of these bikes were rated for less weight than I weight. The Radrover, which I have not seen or ridden, has a higher weight rating, so I am leaning towards one of those for around $1600.00

However, I am also considering converting my existing fat bike with a Bafang 1000 Kw mid mount motor, but this set up will still yet cost me probably $1200.00 However, I would have considerably more power, but it would also be considered illegal for the street and bike trail use, but I doubt that's a problem for me, since I don't ride there anyway. I have to go to the 1000 Kw HD, anyway, because my lower bracket is too wide for the Bafang 750 Kw, but after riding the KOA, I kind of want more power, anyway.
I believe a BBSO2 now is offered in a wider bottom bracket version. I installed the HD version on my fat bike over 4 years ago and it has been trouble free. So far the only thing that broke was the freehub once. If you get the HD make sure to buy an E bike specific chain
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