Advice Grip Shifts & More. Turning a Trek XCaliber into a Electric Bike


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3:54 AM
Aug 4, 2020
To start off I'm a newbie at doing work on bikes. My old diamondback response has never needed any work done on it since I got it back in 2002. I recently bought a 2018 Trek X Caliber 8 and I'm planning to convert it over to electric. I found the kit I plan to get from Electric Bike Outfitters (Cruiser Kit) and it is rear driven and they recommend I go with the Rear 7 Speed Freewheel so I'll have enough room. They also recommend I go with grip shifters instead of the normal thumb ones that came on the bike so there's no room issues for when I put a throttle on. So I have some questions that I figured would be answered on here faster than me researching everything.

1. If I'm going to a 7 Speed (would be 2x7 instead of the stock 2x10) can you use grip shifters that are 3x7? There would be just 1 setting that wouldn't be used on the left side. Would that throw the chain off if I did click it over to that by mistake?

2. If I'm unable to use a 3x7 grip shifter on a 2x7 setup, I will need to put on a additional crank ring. What would you recommend? Change out the entire 3 rings or add a larger or smaller ring? If I need to add a ring I'd prefer it to be larger since I'll be using a lot more higher gears if I have pedal assist turned on.

3. Will I need new derailleurs? If so, what would you recommend.

Here is what is currently on the bike as stock

Shifters: Shimano Deore M6020 10 Speed
Front Derailleur: Shimano Deore M6020
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore XT, Shadow
Crank: Race Face Ride 36/22
1: yes, you can use a 3x gripshift for 2x. That was the only option for a while. You can limit the derailleur so it's not possible to accidentally shift to the position you aren't using (or so it won't cause the derailleur to move if you do, depending on which 2 positions you use).

2: probably irrelevant. Without seeing your crank, I wouldn't just assume you could add a chainring to it.

3: Yes, you will need a new rear derailleur. Model depends on the gripshift you get. Front should be fine as-is

I think if I were in your shoes, I'd try fitting up the ebike kit to what you have and see if you really need to convert to 7 before obtaining those parts. There haven't been good-quality 7-speed parts out for a long, long time.
Thanks Joules. If I don't have to mess with the front crank I'm not going too. So that solves that issue. As far as the Ebike kit that is why I ended up calling to talk to them about what would be best. They said since I had disc brakes that putting in the 9 or 10 Freewheel in wouldn't leave room for the brake. The 8 would be really close and it may or may not work. That's why they said to go with the 7. I attached a picture giving you an idea of what this thing looks like.

Truthfully I believe there will be plenty of room for putting the throttle in without messing with the shifters and I will try it before I do go for grip shifters. Nice thing about being a former machinist I can make parts or mods if I need too. So basically I need a new Rear Derailleur. If I'm able to stay with my thumb shifters will it be fine staying with what I got?

EBO Electric Bike Outfitters Crusier 20with RACK.jpg
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