BIKE CONVERSION TO EBIKE - Schwinn hybrid

Daddeooh

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I have a Schwinn hybrid bike that I would like to convert to an e-bike. Is that a good bike for conversion?
 

Anton

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Hi, welcome to the forum!

You should have no problems electrifying a Schwinn Hybrid, they look like decent bikes and will take the extra weight of an ebike kit. Some of the Schwinn Hybrid range already come electrified with a mid drive motor inbuilt into the frame:

You can simply add a front hub drive kit for the cheapest and simplest conversion. Make sure that you get the right size hub drive kit for your wheel size. Your other option is adding a mid drive kit, but this is slightly more complicated and probably not the best option if this is your first ebike build.

Good luck and let us know how you go!
 

Daddeooh

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Thanks so much, Anton. I am fairly handy and mechanically adept so I wouldn't intimidated by the conversion. I'm 73 years old and still healthy enough to ride for the exercise, but the hills around my area have become a challenge. So, a motor with good assist in climbing those pesky hills would be the driving factor in making the choice of which type of motor to choose. Your thoughts, suggestions?
 

Vinz

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Yo, Daddeooh!
I'm 70 and just got a Giant 2020 Roam 3 last year. I put 2K miles on it in about 11 months.
This April I converted it to "E-Status" when I installed a Bafang BBS02 motor. Installation went very well, but like you, I enjoy tinkering with the bike. Before I converted it, I had already made many mods to the bike: going from 2x8 to 1x10, putting on slightly larger tires, installing larger brake rotors, changing out the stock handlebar for a Jones Bar, installing a dropper post (to help me get on and off the darn thing!), different pedals, and more. I've put 1.3K more miles on it since I converted it.
I can tell you it changes everything! Yes pesky hills (inclines) are a breeze now, and I don't get tired as quickly, and I can stay out longer. 2 days ago I did my first ever 30-mile ride! I was pleased with that.
I chose the BBS02 because it is mid-drive, extremely popular, and has a long and very good track record. I considered the BBSHD, but it's more expensive and a bit heavier - as you would expect because it is slightly more powerful too. Weight was important to me because I do keep the bike in the house, and it's a bit of a challenge getting it out and back in.
My only other comment is that converting it is a commitment. That's because the bike is now 20+ pounds heavier with the motor and battery. And for me, the motor must always be on, even if it's a low level of assist, cause it's really hard pedaling a heavier bike. People look at me go by a lot, I guess they can hear the motor, even though it seems quiet to me. Just today somebody stopped me and asked a lot of questions about the bike, as he was looking too. And I think he was my age or older.
So - join the club!!
 

Daddeooh

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Hey Vinz,
Thanks for your response. I wasn't familiar with the Giant Roam 3 so I googled it. Looks like a kick ass bike. Very cool that you converted it to "E-status". Sounds like you're having a blast with it.
I have a great neighborhood for riding but the inclines, as I said were too challenging for me to keep up my riding habits on my Schwinn. A friend of mine loaned me his Prodeco Tech Outlaw 1200 e-bike and I fell in love with it. It will haul ass when I want it to but I peddle without the assistance most of the time (or maybe 50/50 :giggle:) . Sadly, my friend wants his bike back. Can't blame him for that. My Schwinn Hybrid 3x7 has been hanging on the garage wall for a good while. I was going to buy an e-bike, but like you I'm a diy'r, so I decided to go with a conversion kit. . The few reviews online about front hub e-bikes where good, and the word about mid drive motors is that they put extra strain on the drive chain, so I went ahead and ordered a Bafang front hub motor kit. I won't get for a week or two. Should be an easy install. My only concern is that my Schwinn has v brakes. I may upgrade to mechanical disk brakes. Any thoughts about that?
Keep on pedaling and keep the rubber side down!
 

Vinz

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Daddeooh!
The vast majority of ebikes, as far as I know, have disc brakes. Hydraulic disc brakes were a must for me when I first bought the Roam 3 - and I had no real knowledge of ebikes at that point. I'm 200 pounds, and with the added weight of the motor and battery, I'm glad I have hydraulic discs, and as I mentioned, I replaced the stock 160mm rotors with 180mm rotors. I also recently installed sintered metal brake pads, and I'm happy with them so far.
You are right that mid drives put more stress on the drive chain, and can shorten the life of the components. But I have already changed out the chainring, chain, derailleur and cassette when I converted from 2x8 to 1x10. I'm sure I'll be able to handle any replacements if these parts wear out.
But one advantage of mid drives that I rely on is - occasionally I have to make a quick stop, we all do. If I'm riding in 5th gear or higher, and then stop, I find it very hard to get started again in that gear, even with pedal assist. The rear wheel has to turn in order to shift down, so what do you do? Well, I'll shift down to 3rd gear, lift the rear end up slightly by the seat stay, and give the throttle a little touch. Shifted!
And I still look at the MANY ebikes now available online, some are unbelievable! The one that has me drooling at the moment is the Sondors LX. It has fat tires, 750W mid-drive motor, step-thru (which really appeals to me), and just looks super hot. But, it's $2300. Maybe someday, huh?
 
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