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Road Bike Conversion for Keeping Up on Training Rides

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Road Bike Conversion for Keeping Up on Training Rides

Old 09-10-23, 06:31 AM
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Road Bike Conversion for Keeping Up on Training Rides

Hey everyone,

My fixie training rides are 30 miles long at an average speed of 18 mph (mostly flat). I would love to convert a steel roadbike to electric for my wife so she could come with me for at least part of the ride. She is not a cyclist but wants to be.

Has anyone done this? I am experienced wrench so anything is possible. I am looking for some experienced based wisdom on which options work best. Did it work- was your noncyclist person able to keep up?

Candidate bike is a 1990s superset Bianchi Eros currently sporting a triple. Very strong frame...


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Old 09-10-23, 07:38 AM
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I put a mid drive on a Cannondale mountain bike. Makes an excellent commuter. With a decent battery she would have no trouble covering multiple rides like you describe on a single charge.

The swaps aren't difficult at all. For mid drives the hardest part is removing the existing bottom backet, followed by routing the wires. Bike shops will remove the bottom bracket for a reasonable fee.

You could go with a hub motor as well. Lots of write ups on line. This site doesn't have an overly strong e bike section compared to some others
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Old 09-10-23, 06:03 PM
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Your options are a mid-drive (Luna Cycle or other supplier) or hub system from a premium supplier like ebikesca (look at their tutorials). FME, Bafang's BBS02 is an excellent candidate for a mid-conversion, and the only "extra" tools needed are for removing the bottom bracket (BB). Several individuals here have experience with many different types of DIY, and can help when you decide which is optimal. If possible, it would be worthwhile for her to ride a few different bikes.
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Old 09-14-23, 11:29 AM
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CYC Photon. Around $1500 with a 10ah battery that fits under the saddle. No really!

ISIS spline cranks, not square like most cheap conversion kits. You will end up losing the triple, but it is no big deal. With plenty of power to spare, it is really not needed. Looks like it came with a 12-25 in the back, so a smaller front ring like a 38 will give a good range and top speed.165 cranks available, which is nice. Q-factor is reasonable with an effective 83mm width BB.

Adds around 15 lbs additional as shown here, which the MCD was a stout 30lb bike to start with.

Just for reference:

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Old 09-16-23, 07:03 PM
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Some road bikes have funny 120-125mm rear drop out widths don't they? A lot of hub motors are 135mm rear or 100mm front, If it's steel, 5mm can be bent, I guess.

You also want to get them with the right size rims so you can reuse the caliper brakes. While hub motors are usually lower cost, they introduce complexities when changing tires. Your current gear set on the rear wheel may have to change too. A front motor simplifies the drivetrain issues, but brings in the possibility of a fork failure, as road bike forks are quite slim.

I would advise a mid motor conversion. These come in different price and power groups. The CYC shown above is top dollar, top power. Bafang makes two motors, the 1000W BBSHD and 500-750W BBS02B, There is also the Tongsheng TSDZ2B at 500W, although they claim 750W. I recently bought the BBS02B and TSDZ2B this year and paid $440 and $250 respectively.

Of the two motors, I prefer the TSDZ2B for my own use because it's smaller, cheaper, and makes me work harder. However, in the lowest assist modes, you don't get much help unless you're willing to pedal hard hard enough to engage the torque assist. The BBS02B is the real deal as far as ebiking, and you will never worry about not having enough power.
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