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Thoughts on This eBike Kit and Battery

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Thoughts on This eBike Kit and Battery

Old 03-03-22, 06:57 AM
  #26  
cat0020
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1000w hub-motor plus giant battery for 60-80 mile range... not going to be stealth to avoid attention.
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Old 03-03-22, 11:50 AM
  #27  
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"Stealth it up" ... riiiiiiggggght. Some black tape and a few silly labels aren't going to hide the great big direct drive motor in the rear wheel. If you draw any attention from the local constabulary you're done. Have you spent any time on the UK Pedelecs board?

;-) I came across a YT video (
), this guy has a rear disc wheel cover, with something like that in place potentially you CAN hide the direct drive motor in the rear wheel and it's more aerodynamic?

I've also been considering where to put the battery pack and controller. I've come across some pics of DIY bikes where they are completely removable from the bike by just wiring in a simple molex connector inline for fast removal. What they do is have a small basket holder with a small kids backpack in it directly behind the seat and the battery and controller are in a custom 3D printed enclosure that fits exactly in the bag that fits exactly in the bike basket behind seat so it cannot move around when riding or affect balance. Bonus is that if you have to lock and leave the bike for any time when you're out that you can just unplug the MOLEX and take the small back back with you ;-)

I also don't plan to use the LCD it comes with all that often as I can get most of what I need from my phone so the only real giveaway when looking at the bike's handlebars will be the thumb controller but that can be disguised too as a bell.

As I mentioned I imagine by far that the majority of rides I go on the bike will be limited so unless the cops pull up beside me, clock the bike and are bored I won't be drawing any attention to myself, I'll be taking it at easy as mostly I'll be escorting my son on his bike. I play cards with a cop in a regular game once a week (have done for may yrs now), he's not traffic or anything and he knows pretty much nothing about eBikes law bar the basics and he had to look that up. He's going to subtlety ask about the station as a favour and see if ebikes are on cop radar, if they are clued up then I will think through what I want to do. There are multiple routes to almost anywhere for bikes around here (West End of Glasgow), and numerous bikes on the roads (students/locals/delivery drivers), so if I'm careful and stay off the main roads I should be OK

I did look at Pedelecs the other day, I've now bookmarked it so will have a good look next few days and see what advice is on there, thanks for the reminder.


As for 60-80 mile range ... if you are willing to a) keep pedaling for the 3+ hrs (putting out somewhere between a continuous 75-100w) b) keep your speed at or below 20mph and c) ride basically on a flat terrain you have a chance with the 52v 20ahr battery to get 60 miles. 80 would be a real stretch and doable IMHO only if you optimized things a lot (aero as possible, continuous 100+w protein output, light weight and high pressure tires). If you want to see what the effect the variables have on your potential mileage plug some numbers in Grin's motor simulator tool - https://ebikes.ca/tools/simulator.html

Thanks for posting this, very useful information to me and much appreciated! I will spend some time looking at the tool as i do need to make a decision on the trade-off between legality/power/range sooner rather than later.
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Old 03-03-22, 12:46 PM
  #28  
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I really don't think the issue will be "is that an ebike", but more of "hey is that guy is riding an illegal ebike?". The later only occurring when you've drawn the police's attention. Spending a bunch of time to camouflage the bike is IMHO time misspent. It is indeed possible to put a controller and battery in a rack or bag and be able to disconnect it with each ride. This is much easier with just a battery that has only one heavy amperage connection ... a controller on the other hand is going to require a number of connections that won't be a good idea to be constantly plugging and un plugging.

What I think you want is more of a bike that just doesn't shout "I'm illegal" ... and unfortunately that big direct drive motor or an aero cover on a 26" wheel is going to be a dead giveaway. Instead I think what may be an obviously DIY ebike (albeit one well put together) but not one that is obviously illegal is what you should shoot for. Then it's a matter of riding in a manner that doesn't draw attention to yourself.

I think a smaller geared hub motor in the 500w class (but with those 250w stickers) mounted in the rear wheel would be the way to go. A small box or bag to handle the 20a controller and that big battery on a rear rack (or in a back pack ... but I personally don't like that option). A setup like this and properly tuned is capable of 40-45km top speeds but is much more "subtle" around town (no aggressive tire burning starts). I ride a commuter/around town type of ebike with these characteristics (I have a slightly smaller but more obvious 750w downtube battery) that doesn't draw any extra attention. My ebike is a bike first and foremost (it's based on a Surly Bridge Club) and is ridden as such, but it does have a throttle (twist type so it's also not obvious) and a 45kph top speed capability. What it doesn't have is any sort of scooter/moped look and a rider who doesn't look like anything other than just another bicycle rider on an around town bike that has a rack, fenders, and a pannier.
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Old 03-03-22, 12:55 PM
  #29  
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Oh, almost forgot to mention ... that Pedelecs forum, aside from it having a lot of DIY content the reason I mentioned it is that there have been a number of interesting comments over the past years from folks who've had interactions with the UK police. Yes, it's very variable depending on location and experience of the officers. I found it interesting reading about what seemed to catch the officer's attention and the various different outcomes.
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Old 03-03-22, 01:42 PM
  #30  
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I really don't think the issue will be "is that an ebike", but more of "hey is that guy is riding an illegal ebike?". The later only occurring when you've drawn the police's attention. Spending a bunch of time to camouflage the bike is IMHO time misspent. It is indeed possible to put a controller and battery in a rack or bag and be able to disconnect it with each ride. This is much easier with just a battery that has only one heavy amperage connection ... a controller on the other hand is going to require a number of connections that won't be a good idea to be constantly plugging and un plugging.

If I go down the small backback route I will wire all the controller cabling in to MOLEX and leave just the motor connection, so to remove the back pack that contains the battery and controller I have only three cables to disconnect/reconnect, the battery, motor and MOLEX for everything else.




What I think you want is more of a bike that just doesn't shout "I'm illegal" ... and unfortunately that big direct drive motor or an aero cover on a 26" wheel is going to be a dead giveaway. Instead I think what may be an obviously DIY ebike (albeit one well put together) but not one that is obviously illegal is what you should shoot for. Then it's a matter of riding in a manner that doesn't draw attention to yourself.

That is very true, I want it to look as vanilla as possible so maybe the aero cover is a step too far. ;-)


I think a smaller geared hub motor in the 500w class (but with those 250w stickers) mounted in the rear wheel would be the way to go. A small box or bag to handle the 20a controller and that big battery on a rear rack (or in a back pack ... but I personally don't like that option). A setup like this and properly tuned is capable of 40-45km top speeds but is much more "subtle" around town (no aggressive tire burning starts). I ride a commuter/around town type of ebike with these characteristics (I have a slightly smaller but more obvious 750w downtube battery) that doesn't draw any extra attention. My ebike is a bike first and foremost (it's based on a Surly Bridge Club) and is ridden as such, but it does have a throttle (twist type so it's also not obvious) and a 45kph top speed capability. What it doesn't have is any sort of scooter/moped look and a rider who doesn't look like anything other than just another bicycle rider on an around town bike that has a rack, fenders, and a pannier.


The controller I'm looking at comes in a more simplified configuration for 350W - 1000W versions, the controller for these wattages is physically the same size/wiring. If you're disguising a 500W kit as a 250W kit I'd be as well with the 1000K kit rather than the 500W kit and a 250W sticker? The battery packs seem to all be roughly the same size too so the bike won't look really any different from a 500W kit with 750W battery as a 1000W kit and 1500W battery? I think any throttle whether twist or thumb also deems the bike illegal in UK (never mind top speed of 30+MPH?

I need to do some sums and come up with the best combination, so some work to do...
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Old 03-03-22, 04:11 PM
  #31  
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300-500w geared hub motors are radically different in size than 1000+w direct drive motors. The Shengyi SX motor I use is 140mm in diameter (so it hides behind cogsets with at least 32 teeth and the brake rotor on the other side), it's also only 3kg, If you weren't looking specifically for it you'd miss it was a motor. I also put as much as 1100w through this motor for acceleration in traffic or climbing short steep hills. This motor has an internal temp sensor and my control setup monitors it to prevent turning the motor into a crispy mess if I abused it. The other benefit is as a low weight geared hub it gives me the option of pedaling the bike without power.
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Old 03-03-22, 05:29 PM
  #32  
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Sounds like you have a very nice setup with your bike, I guess it wasn't cheap though, can you give some indicative prices of the basic kit and battery costs?

My shopping list is what it is, I may just buy it over weekend and see how I go, for 500 it's not a big punt ;-)
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Old 03-03-22, 06:07 PM
  #33  
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I agree that you'll probably be fine with your initial choice as long as you're aware of the potential issues (which we've now discussed at length in this thread).

In my case I went with a bit more expensive setup. I bought a front hub SX1 ready to run kit (hub motor in a built up 27.5" rim) from Grin Technologies in Vancouver BC. I added a 52v 750w downtube battery (using premium Panasonic 21700 cells), and integrated (in the battery case) BaseRunner controller. I ended up paying about the same for the kit as I did for the bike (I had just found a brand new Bridge Club in my size in a local shop). So all in (new bike, kit, battery) I paid just over $3k CAD ... and by the time I was finished (fenders, studded winter tires, Luna advanced charger, etc.) it was closer to $4k CAD. (1$ CAD is about .59 pound Sterling)

I did pay more than if I had ordered similar technology off of Ali or Amazon but for the extra I got what I think was a better quality motor (with the temp sensor) and wheel build, a better quality battery, a highly configurable setup (because of the Cycle Analyst display), and local (within Canada) shipping and support. While I did pay more I also learned a lot and ended up getting a second similar kit (this time a rear hub setup and without the battery) for a road bike a year later.

Last edited by mclewis1; 03-03-22 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 03-05-22, 10:41 PM
  #34  
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I have converted two bikes to e-bikes. The first one is a DF with a 500W BaFang motor drive on it and works just fine. The seconds one is a Sun Sport recumbent that has been converted too. With it I started out with a 1000W drive thinking that would be better with the added weight of the Sun. Wrong! The weight of the 1000W wheel assembly made it almost too heavy to put on a hitch mounted bike rack, and also very difficult to work on. The bike stand would barely support the entire assembly. I went to another 500W BaFang drive on that bike too, and very happy with the performance of it. It can now be placed on a stand for servicing, and MUCH easier to load in the van or place on the bike rack. Does just fine out on the road or trail too!

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Old 03-08-22, 12:14 PM
  #35  
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I have converted two bikes to e-bikes. The first one is a DF with a 500W BaFang motor drive on it and works just fine. The seconds one is a Sun Sport recumbent that has been converted too. With it I started out with a 1000W drive thinking that would be better with the added weight of the Sun. Wrong! The weight of the 1000W wheel assembly made it almost too heavy to put on a hitch mounted bike rack, and also very difficult to work on. The bike stand would barely support the entire assembly. I went to another 500W BaFang drive on that bike too, and very happy with the performance of it. It can now be placed on a stand for servicing, and MUCH easier to load in the van or place on the bike rack. Does just fine out on the road or trail too!

I'll be honest I don't know the kit/battery combined weight will be, the frame I have have is also quite heavy, but for the outlay (500), I'm going to give it a go, if it's too heavy overall then I've learnt my lesson for the next ebike build.

Last edited by portals; 03-08-22 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 03-08-22, 02:30 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by cat0020 View Post
Something like this complete ebike would be close to the cost of your conversion kit,
It's hard to find better value for your money when looking for ebikes:
https://electrek.co/2022/02/28/ride1...-there-period/
I bought a HillTopper Discover Bike that's very similar: belt-drive, flat bar, mech. disc brakes, gravel width wheels, same motor controller, same 350W power output. Although mine is a front hub drive, has a "throttle only" option, has a removable battery which I needed for the charge-when-removed-from-bike option, and has a Shimano Nexus 7 speed internally geared hub, to help with the hills a bit, but mine was $600 more, which may explain the extra features. I'm seeing these "stealth ebike" w/belt drive and front/rear drive showing up more and more on lower cost bikes, some multi-speed like my Hilltopper Discover, and some single-speed such as the Babymaker II, KBO Hurricane, and the one above.

I also own a 350W HillTopper conversion kit fitted to my commuter, that has performed flawlessly for the past 3,000 miles of all-weather 13 mile commutes. But as others have said, if you don't already have a sacrificial bike to install the conversion kit on, for just a few $100 more you can get a whole ebike.
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Old 03-09-22, 01:48 PM
  #37  
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That's a really nice ebike for the price and had great reviews, thanks for posting the link!

It looks the business and pretty 'stealth', it's also pretty much the colour I want to respray by bike with, a nice shade of matt grey.

However they only deliver to US, Canada and New Mexico and I'm in UK, the other issue is the range it has however you can get an additional battery pack for it to increase this so that's actually not a deal-breaker.

In fact it's a real shame they won't deliver to UK as for 945 at current exchange rate I actually would likely buy one, as you say given the price of even budget kits for few dollars more you get the bike too and it's already built! Plus I'd still have my other perfectly good mountain bike!

Last edited by portals; 03-09-22 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 03-09-22, 04:07 PM
  #38  
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I'm back to see what's happened. The OP lives in the UK where they cannot sell a commercial bike with a motor larger than 250W, but he is going with a big DD rear motor with plans to ride along with his son, Also 60 miles would be nice.

Well, they ship a lot of those motors to the UK., so I guess people do ride them w/o getting into legal difficulties.

I like pedaling, using the gears, and coasting. In some of the ebike forums I frequent, I'm the odd one, Who uses the pedals? Me. And pedaling is often an afterthought on the high power DD kits. The pedal assist is set too high to allow someone to ride at 10-12 mph alongside regular bikes, And if you pedal without power. You have to fight magnet drag from the motor. I've never owned a big DD motor, so I believe I'm overly harsh on them.They certainly had advantages in being quiet and reliable, and inexpensive.

The Pedelecs.uk DIY crowd tend to be either mid drive or geared motors. Their input may be more geographically suited. Here in the US, a lot of DIY like to go fast.

.
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Old 03-15-22, 05:27 PM
  #39  
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I'm back to see what's happened. The OP lives in the UK where they cannot sell a commercial bike with a motor larger than 250W, but he is going with a big DD rear motor with plans to ride along with his son, Also 60 miles would be nice.

Well, they ship a lot of those motors to the UK., so I guess people do ride them w/o getting into legal difficulties.

After much thought I've decided to stick with my original plan and kit/battery choice posted above as may as well be hung for a sheep (1500W) as a lamb (500W)...

I've bought the tools I didn't have including a telescopic heavy duty bike stand as it was killing my back, wow what a difference, for 40 I'd recommend you buy this for working on your bike if you don't have one!
Also bought chain breaker, chain pliers and chain checking tool as well as crank removal set, circular hook tool and a spanner for 36mm cup/cone bottom bracket with 2 pins on other end for the other side of bottom bracket.

I've stripped the bike down apart from finishing bottom bracket as the bottom bracket tool is coming tomorrow ;-)

In meantime I have cold set the frame, before doing this I used some wool to check the alignment as per the Sheldon Brown method of how the frame alignment is before widening it, looks pretty good and even and no 60 tool required, just some wool!

So using Sheldon Brown method with a bit 2by4 bit of wood I bent out the forks, actually I didn't have any wood lying about that was right size so I used a wooden baseball bat, worked a treat and took less than 10secs to bend it out from 126mm to 140mm give or take as the new hub requires a spacing of between 135mm-142mm. Checked alignment again and it was out by maybe 3mm so I bent back in by hand and don't know if I've just been lucky here but after that the alignment was spot on, gap was within 1mm on each side, I'll take that!

Here's a cpl of pics re vintage Halfords Apollo Plateau ebike build so far - I don;t know to upload photos direct, can anyone help?

Tools required so far:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/cBHNA77G2G5s1CbC9

String (wool) method for wheel alignment
https://photos.app.goo.gl/gy6nVLEvuBPHTuS2A

Cold setting drop outs with baseball bat
https://photos.app.goo.gl/fiy4KuBgPQhejYNP6

Last edited by portals; 03-16-22 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 03-16-22, 11:14 AM
  #40  
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You're fortunate to have a frame that you could stretch. I increased the rear dropouts on my 1985 Fuji MTB from 126 mm to 165 mm incrementally using axle nuts pressing against the inside dropouts, and when I removed them the frame sprung back to 126 mm.
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Old 03-16-22, 12:31 PM
  #41  
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You're fortunate to have a frame that you could stretch. I increased the rear dropouts on my 1985 Fuji MTB from 126 mm to 165 mm incrementally using axle nuts pressing against the inside dropouts, and when I removed them the frame sprung back to 126 mm.

Lol.

You're only supposed to cold set steel frames (test with a magnet, if it sticks it's steel), if your frame is aluminium, carbon fibre or something else then it's not recommended.

I watched some YT videos on using the axle nut method and that was what the guy said, that you need to over stretch a lot as the dropouts will just ping back in. ;-)
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Old 03-17-22, 01:40 PM
  #42  
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Mine, a 1985 Fuji was steel, almost eight pounds of chromium molybdenum. This frame was manufactured before it seemed the producers knew how strong the tubes needed to be and was lugged to boot.
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