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Conversion v Stock E-Bike

Old 07-19-22, 09:36 PM
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Conversion v Stock E-Bike

What are the advantages and disadvantages of buying a "stock" e-bike from my LBS vs having a customized bike built by converting an "analog" bike frame?

For example, will my LBS service a conversion bike? What happens to warranties on a conversion? Which is cheaper? Can I get a build with better parts on a conversion?
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Old 07-19-22, 09:46 PM
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unless your shop is good with Ebikes they daywork o the hardware but forget the electronics. usually if you get specialized or trek or bulls or such your getting the most efficient and smooth mid drive. if you build one you can get more power but you need bigger batteries and the motor is not as efficient. Bafang warranty is not easy to actually get any service so you may be all on your own.
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Old 07-20-22, 09:58 AM
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The advantages of OEM, as indicated above, are mostly related to convenience, while those for DIY are power and economy oriented. statements about warranty don't bother me since I've had only one problem with 10+ conversions. My BBS02 dirt bike has functioned perfectly for seven years with neither maintenance nor problems. The other good thing about DIY is you can convert a bike that's already a comfortable ride. Plan to spend $250 - $500 for the motor kit and $500 max for a good battery. My LBS (and probably most) will happily service any bike-related problems (haven't had any on any bike that I can't handle), but (probably) I'm on my own with electrical.
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Old 07-20-22, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
The advantages of OEM, as indicated above, are mostly related to convenience, while those for DIY are power and economy oriented. statements about warranty don't bother me since I've had only one problem with 10+ conversions. My BBS02 dirt bike has functioned perfectly for seven years with neither maintenance nor problems. The other good thing about DIY is you can convert a bike that's already a comfortable ride. Plan to spend $250 - $500 for the motor kit and $500 max for a good battery. My LBS (and probably most) will happily service any bike-related problems (haven't had any on any bike that I can't handle), but (probably) I'm on my own with electrical.
electrical is the part I don't want to deal with. I hate doing it at work I don't want to do it on my bike. Plus I am a klutz so i would mess something up.
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Old 07-20-22, 02:27 PM
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home built vs ready made Ebikes

If you have an LBS that carries a good line of bikes like Trek you might be happier just buying a factory bike.
I love tinkering in my bikes and don't mind doing my own trouble shooting so I enjoy my TSDZ2 and BBS02 and DDH Volamart kit powered bikes but
if I wasn't so picky about custom comfort (1 homebuilt recumbent and 2 homebuilt crank forward bikes) I'd probable go with a factory ebike.
Lots of Trek and Specialize ebikes around Columbia these days. I'd recommend some good long test rides on several bikes and see what
feels right after sitting on them for an hour or two, even if you have to pay for some rental time.
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Old 07-21-22, 08:38 PM
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A proper e-bike with quality parts will generally have good support behind them. The bike will be designed to be an e-bike. A home-brew generally won't have any warranty or something very limited if anything and you will more than likely lose out any frame warranties or original equipment warranties from the analog bike.

Cheaper is a loaded question. Initially cheaper to me doesn't matter in the least because if the bike is potentially less reliable and will cost more long term or I will lose out on warranties which could cost a lot of money in the end. Unless I am good at working on my own stuff and want to work on it more and deal with more issues I would rather have a bike with fewer issues that I can call the shop and they can take care of it as needed. If you do enjoy D.I.Y. go for it D.I.Y. can be fun it is just more work in the end.

If you are going D.I.Y. stick with known quantities Bafang is a good go to in that sense.
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Old 07-21-22, 09:31 PM
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Usually (but not always) Mr VB and I disagree. He has many good points, and each individual needs to decide based on finances, needs, expertise and a bunch of other things that I haven't crystallized. Different strokes, as they say, and for some, both strokes. I enjoy my DIY & OEM.
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Old 07-21-22, 10:07 PM
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Yup, it's finances in the end.
I bought a factory ebike (Bosch) Spent more money than I wanted, but am satisfied. Of course the disappointment comes from bigger batteries and better motors came out the following year.
A friend mounted a Bafang motor on his MTB. He is also quite happy with it and spent approx half.
I suggest, if you can, try both systems and see if the price increase is worth it.
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Old 07-22-22, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
Usually (but not always) Mr VB and I disagree. He has many good points, and each individual needs to decide based on finances, needs, expertise and a bunch of other things that I haven't crystallized. Different strokes, as they say, and for some, both strokes. I enjoy my DIY & OEM.
When have we ever disagreed
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Old 07-23-22, 09:26 AM
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Servicability is absent in most of the country
DIY is the norm
It would be interesting to have data on number and distribution of eBike designs
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Old 07-23-22, 09:28 AM
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I've bought two electric bikes, with a third one on the way. Have built at least 10 and I don't want to count. I've never made a warranty claim on the store boughts, and only one was from a bike shop anyway.

Today, I cannot build one for less than what it costs to buy a inexpensive non-name chinese ebike. For parts warranty, I can buy online from Walmart, and I hear they have a relaxed replacement policy. For service, I can do it myself. For a person to have a happy experience with converting an ebike, that person needs to have the tools and technical skills, or be adept enough to learn them.

I like that a converted ebike still looks like a bicycle, and rides like a bicycle, only with an extra 10-12 pounds.I don't ride my ebikes much faster than their original design speeds, so I beileve the original braking systems and frame are adequate. However, I do love the feel of one finger stopping with hydraulic brakes, and am converting my bikes to use them.

Batteries have been a point of worry for me. Lithium batteries can catch on fire. I believe the established brands have safer batteries, although the shop where we bought our first ebike only sold established brands, and they burned down,. It just shows that one has to be careful.




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Old 07-23-22, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
When have we ever disagreed
Thanks for the comment.
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Old 07-23-22, 09:38 AM
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[QUOTE=Doc_Wui;22584791]I've bought two electric bikes, with a third one on the way. Have built at least 10 and I don't want to count. I've never made a warranty claim on the store boughts, and only one was from a bike shop anyway

I like that a converted ebike still looks like a bicycle, and rides like a bicycle, only with an extra 10-12 pounds.I don't ride my ebikes much faster than their original design speeds, so I beileve the original braking systems and frame are adequate. However, I do love the feel of one finger stopping with hydraulic brakes, and am converting my bikes to use them.

Batteries have been a point of worry for me. Lithium batteries can catch on fire. I believe the established brands have safer batteries, although the shop where we bought our first ebike only sold established brands, and they burned down,. It just shows that one has to be careful.


WOW! Thanks for the comment. That's the first I've heard of an OEM battery catching fire (although I'm sure it's occurred multiple times). I keep my Haibike battery in my bathroom.
You might add that newbies to bike maintenance can learn a lot at Sheldon Brown's site (or YouTube, of course).
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Old 07-24-22, 02:45 PM
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If you are mechanicaly and electricaly enclined buy a good quality conversion kit and battery, the price for the kit, battery and the bike will be about the price of an already made ebike.
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Old 07-24-22, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by CVT View Post
If you are mechanicaly and electricaly enclined buy a good quality conversion kit and battery, the price for the kit, battery and the bike will be about the price of an already made ebike.
I would have a local guy do the conversion in his garage. If I went that route.
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Old 07-29-22, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by BROOKLINEBIKER View Post
I would have a local guy do the conversion in his garage. If I went that route.
Have you decided which kit to get?
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Old 07-29-22, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by CVT View Post
Have you decided which kit to get?
I haven't opted yet to go the kit route.
I'm still information gathering.
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Old 07-29-22, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by BROOKLINEBIKER View Post
I haven't opted yet to go the kit route.
I'm still information gathering.
I would say go for it, I got my kit couple days ago and I am in the process of converting my bike, so far it looks well made and has brakes regen option, lcd screen..the wheel build was good as well. I will keep you updated.
Edit: added pictures of the bike, still work in progress and I need to tidy up the wirings.


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Old 07-30-22, 02:27 AM
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Cool

With the current popularity of ebikes and also the availability of lower cost ebikes, I wouldn't want to waste the money, time & effort to convert an acoustic bicycle into an ebike.
Especially an acoustic bicycle that is not meant to handle the extra stress that comes with strapping a motor, battery &other components onto the bike, additionally the extra brake performance needed once your acoustic bike is capable of traveling at higher speeds with an electric motor.

For under $2k, you can get a very nice, reliable ebike, complete, shipped to your door & ready to ride.
No need to spend time fussing with how to mount your motor or battery, connecting everything and go through the trial & error of setting up everything; which leaves you more time to enjoy the riding.

I've been converting acoustic bicycles into ebikes since 2014, I used to enjoy the time spent in garage testing different setups and optimizing performance; but now I just want a ebike that I hop on and ride. No longer want to fuss with stuff that could go wrong.

I ride in NYC metro where ebike delivery folks are on every block, working 24/7 in all weather, they depend on their ebikes to make a living, to be reliable and take abuse.
I don't see converted ebikes used for deliveries.
I do see plenty of cheap Chinese made ebikes among the delivery folks, lately I've seen more Lectric XP, and other fatter tire models; and I think there are good reasons for that.

Ultimately, depending on your usage of the ebike.
If you want something that you like to tinker with, spend time in garage working out the optimum performance, go DIY.
If you just want to turn key & ride, buy a complete ebike and you may just spend more time riding instead of tinkering.
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Old 07-30-22, 08:26 AM
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CVT, as I stated in the "pictures" section, the forks appear to have aluminum dropouts, and you should consider double torque arms to insure the stress of the motor doesn't destroy them (look at endless sphere for examples), and don't even consider regen IMO.
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Old 07-30-22, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
CVT, as I stated in the "pictures" section, the forks appear to have aluminum dropouts, and you should consider double torque arms to insure the stress of the motor doesn't destroy them (look at endless sphere for examples), and don't even consider regen IMO.
Thank you for your concern, this will also help the OP if he wants to go with the conversion kit route. I did reply to you on the other thread.
Here is my reply:
'' The magnet sticks to fork stanchions, so I guess they are not aluminum. I did install the torque washers that came with the kit.''
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Old 07-30-22, 08:38 AM
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Thanks for your kind response. This is the first time in awhile that I have seen suspension forks with steel stantions.
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Old 07-30-22, 10:08 AM
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I've got a set of steel suspension forks taken off a Schwinn 26". They were quite heavy. I put on a rear motor though, If one is looking for electric assist, I feel most ccnventional bikes will support a hubmotor operated at 200W, That's barely 15 mph,

I joined the Hyper owners group on Facebook. They get these bikes at Sams CLub for less than $500 or wait til the dead of winter when they go under $400, I'm not buying one, but people do have fun with low end ebikes. I believe the Hyper is pedal assist only.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Hyper-Bic...E&gclsrc=aw.ds
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Old 07-30-22, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
CVT, as I stated in the "pictures" section, the forks appear to have aluminum dropouts, and you should consider double torque arms to insure the stress of the motor doesn't destroy them (look at endless sphere for examples), and don't even consider regen IMO.
SORRY! I made a terrible mistake when saying stantions, but meaning lowers since that's where the motor is attached, and I've never seen a fork with steel lowers (although I'm sure they exist). Please check the lowers and dropouts.
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Old 08-06-22, 03:36 PM
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I live in West End of Glasgow, from lunchtime until darkness it's impossible to travel more than 100yards from my flat without seeing multiple delivery guys at all times of day on ebikes (deliveroo/just-eat/uber etc.), I would suggest that probably 80% I see in total are conversions, they're easy to spot with the large battery on down frame and quite a few of them have a second battery on top of frame near headset too. Clearly there are a lot of illegal bikes being used, 250W motors are small, 750W+ motors are much larger in diameter so easy to spot.

My issue with buying OEM is that you cannot get anything much above the 250W legal limit if that's what you're after re power so you're limited to a kit, I have 1500W and 52V 17/5AH Samsung battery on donor bike, total cost was under 1000 for kite/battery/respray/new forks/breaks/tyres etc. I built it myself and took to LBS for safety check, it's good to learn about the mechanics of the bike and I did spend a few bob on tools however did have issues with rear axle and spinout, currently about to put second torque arm on.

There are some places that sell prebuilt kits with more power - maybe that's worth looking at too as you've got a kit but didn't need to build it

I found the electrical part simple, just plug in all the connectors - you cannot really go wrong with kit I bought.

Battery guarantees tent to be 3months, I'd hardly used the battery in 3 months as will still finishing off build, however I am glad that I bought Samsung given the battery lives in my flat.

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