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Old 06-04-12, 11:26 PM   #1
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Question Schwinn Ditch 3.0 E-Bike Conversion

Hey guys! I need to do an E-bike conversion on a Schwinn Ditch 3.0. It has full front and rear suspension, disk brakes, and 24 speeds. I know, is a crappy dept. store bike (I rode the holy *bleep* out of it - replaced the axle 4x before the bike store found out it was the wheel - replaced the cassete x1 - disk brakes full replace - tires same). I'm really surprised it can even last this long

This is the ONLY bike I can use right now, as don't have enough money to buy ANY bike (new or used), but oddly enough, whenever I get paid, something goes wrong with it. Also, my dad's bike is probably more expensive than my bike and laptop combined.

Now onto the main point:

I have a really big hill on the way back from school, and most adults I know who are more or less pros have at least some difficulty with it. I would love it if someone could help me in the conversion. I was thinking of a rear-mounted hub motor? I know it's stupid, but I need to do this. I have access to some machinery if that is required. I don't need a professional setup; heck, I'd be ecstatic if it was held together by duct tape, baling wire, and a prayer and it worked.

I also want help in a design for a front or rear rack for the batteries and controller stuff as the bike has almost no space in the triangle (is that what the thing in the middle of the frame is called?)

I have a picture attached (I found it off the internet as I do not own a camera ) , but the only differences mine has with this one is that mine is black and it's in (somewhat janky) working order.

Thank you all for this help!

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Old 06-05-12, 08:41 AM   #2
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That's a pretty tall order for having no money to spend. Most front or rear hubmotor or chain drive conversion kits will cost you $500 without batteries. SLA batteries will cost somewhere around $150 for a 36V 12ah pack. And a lithium battery will run over $400 for 36v 10ah.

I converted a Schwinn S-25, which has a similar if not the same geometry to the Ditch. Front hub 500W and a set of salvaged APC SLA batteries mounted on a rear seat post rack in pannier bags. It's an entry level bike, but a nice ride once you tune it up properly.

My primary commuter bike is an older GT AllTerra Timberline with a Ampedbikes front hub and 36v SLA pack, also in pannier bags on the rear. This one has no trouble climbing 3-5% grades continuously over a couple miles solid. I pedal with it in top gear and can maintain 17MPH. I also take an 8% grade hill on my return ride and maintain 8MPH. (There is a section of this hill that is supposedly 18% grade for a few hundred feet as well. If I don't anticipate it, it's pretty hard on my poor old SLA packs.)

1) What IS your budget?
2) what is the average and steepest grade of the hill you need to climb?
3) and how long is the hill?

How good are you with wiring motors and controllers if you want to hack one together your self?
I have seen a couple people hack together a friction drive using batteries, an inverter, and the guts from a treadmill if that is what you are thinking of? The motors from tread mills are pretty heavy though and rated 1.5-3HP and 180VDC. You can even rig the safety interlock to your brake levers and the speed controller to the handle bars or cable actuator.

Be really careful if you are intending to hack this project together using found parts. Make sure you have an emergency cut-off on the battery pack.
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Old 06-05-12, 04:16 PM   #3
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Take a look at my write-up:

I ran into the same problems you mentioned about storing the battery and controller.

SLA batteries are cheaper but there are plenty of threads on this forum were members have had enough of the problems associated with them.
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