For help, advice and discussion about stuff not related to aviation. Play nice: no religion, no politics and no axe grinding please.
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By DarrenL
I ran a business building and supplying custom e-bikes (mainly to the British Police) for several years before I checked out.

Firstly, dedicated e-bikes are often junk. You are fair better off sourcing a decent mountain bike (something with hydraulic disc brakes) and converting it. The aforementioned Bafang mid-drive motors are very good. You get the benefit of the existing rear gears on the bike. With hub motors you lose them. I'd go for a 48V motor. The motor controller offers pedal assist and throttle options (or both).

Regarding batteries, I'd opt for A123 LiPos, they offer between 3000 and 5000 charge cycles. You will be lucky to get 300-500 charge cycles out of batteries supplied with most cheaper e-bikes - they want you to buy replacement batteries.

You should be able to buy a bike and convert it for about £1,200. Something like this:


A comparable ready to go e-bike will set you back thousands. If you want to see some crazy ones, check out Stealth.
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By cockney steve
That picture is a demonstration of the need for practical mudguarding! All road -bikes used to be equipped, yet when the BMX and "mountain- bikes" came into fashion,with knobbly tyres throwing up far greater quantities if muck, protection was omitted......likewise the little wire duberry that sat close to the tyre-tread and hopefully caught any stray sharp items .
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By romille
cockney steve wrote: All road -bikes used to be equipped, yet when the BMX and "mountain- bikes" came into fashion,with knobbly tyres throwing up far greater quantities if muck, protection was omitted.

That is what is known as clever marketing, you sell the bike then extract more money selling the mudguards riders need, as an optional extra. It's the same with a lot of modern cars, if you want a spare wheel that is now an extra in many cases, but is necessary as sometimes a can of foam and a little compressor just won't get you going again.
Last edited by romille on Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By Georgeab
Bill McCarthy wrote:G. - do you write fitting instructions for the Chinese exports by any chance ?

Was this for me ? I used the videos on you tube.. Lot of people had posted on it how to fit Bafang. Its about 650 usdb for 300 W Battery and Motor and some places in Europe is the shipping point. So no Duty.. I am not affliated to any agents. :D
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By leifarm
I have a couple of converted bikes, a Hard Rock hybrid with rear hub motor and a Mongoose mountain bike with crank motor. I would say the crank motor is best for steep hills and general performance, but it puts a much greater strain on the chain and sprockets resulting in faster wear. For relatively flat terrain I would maybe prefer the hub motor. Both my bikes have Bafang motors.
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By Paul_Sengupta
Red wrote:I can only Imagine that it was a bike with horizontal drop outs and only the non drive side was properly tightened

Um...I might have to google that!

Ok, I've googled it, it's how the wheel is attached...whether it goes in fore-aft or up-down. I really can't remember, I don't have the bike any more, it went missing in railway territory.

It was one of these.

Don't know if you can tell from this photo?
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By Flyin'Dutch'
They are not drop outs, they are normal nuts
By Red
Paul, Can't see from the pic but It looks like the angled type with the closed end to the rear, they suffer slippage, not as bad as a pure horizontal type but enough that if the non drive side is tight and the drive side nut not so tight then an axle bend is possible with a bad quality axle and enogh pull from the chain.
If both sides are tight then even a very soft axle is almost impossible to bend before the chain breaks, at least Iv'e never seen that in 20 odd years of fixing the things
(seen quite a few broken ones on downhill bikes but thats a different scenario)

FlyinDutch, Drop out refers to the slots in the frame that the axle locates in not the fastening method, I think you are confusing with Quick release skewers.
I have converted my two Montague folding mountain bikes using Bfang drives. The conversion is very straight forward, neat and tidy, requiring not a lot more than basic skills and a couple of specialist bike tools.

Obvioulsy purpose designed e-bikes have progressed to the batteries and wires being incorporated into the design and some may argue are, in consequence, slight more elegant. However, with a little thought most of this can be achieved almsot as neatly with a conversion.

In terms of pros and cons, I think if you already have a very good bike suitable for conversion, unless you spend a great deal of money you will end up with a far better bike converting the one you already have.

For me another key diffeence is all the current crop of e-bikes are road legal and therefore speed limited. This may all be very laudable but if you take the bike off road frankly they are hopelessly short of power with which to have any real fun. On the road all I can say is the extra power is even more desirable.

You also have the advantage of being able to source a vast range of compatable parts without being restricted to the much more limited parts catalogue that might marry up with a particular be-spoke e-bike and the inevitable premium the manufacturer will apply.

I did the second conversion totally myself, but had the local bike shop do a couple of things for me on the first. They were so impressed with the Bfang kit than within a couple of months they had large signs on display inviting customers to come to them for e-bike conversions and have done a roaring trade ever since.

Bfand did have some reliability issues, but the motors have improved a lot, and there is lots of information on the web about things you should and shouldnt do to ensure they are reliable and trouble free. Some of this advice is very well worth while following if you want to end up with a bullet proof bike. I can put mine through anything now and havent been able to break them - and believe me I have tried. Not ensuring the correct gearing is probably the most grave mistake.
Last edited by IMCR on Thu Dec 12, 2019 8:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PS if you are interested take a look at the Lekkie chain rings - maybe not cheap, but I have them on both mine. Beautifully engineered, and reduce the chain wear significantly if matched with the rears and a really good chain, and beautiful gear changes. Well worth the cost, and their pedal cranks are also very nice (I have these as well).