Doing an Ebike Conversion

HillAversion

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I'm new to this. I'm scoping out an ebike conversion using a Specialized bike in my shed that's a few years old and in good shape. Any advice is welcome.

I'm currently thinking I'll go with a Bafang 750 watt mid-drive motor kit and a 52v battery. Maybe 12-15 AH. I don't expect to ride long distances, but there are some mean hills in the neighborhood. I don't aspire to ride 40 mph on a bicycle, but hills are another thing. I'm excited to do this because I live next door to a large nature preserve that's perfect for exploration by bike.

The YouTube videos make a conversion look easy, but you don't know what you're into until you're into it, and I'm not expecting it to be that easy. I know I'll need:
  • Motor (I'm looking at a kit on Amazon)
  • Controller
  • Display
  • Battery
  • Brake sensor
  • Gear change sensor
  • Bike tools, including torque wrench
  • Lots of patience
The business of measuring the bottom bracket is a little confusing to me. I'm not sure if I need to take it apart to measure. Also, I posted a battery question in the battery sub-forum. Any guidance, caveats, recommendations or free motors would be golden. ;)

Thanks.
 

HumanPerson

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So the 52v will get ya up some mean hills, to go farther in the saddle you'll need more than 12-15AH

I started with 20ah 52v batteries on a bbs02 750w then built a bbshd 1600w with 52v 30 and 35ah batteries.

It's nice to have the long ride times if needed.

Also if you get an eggrider display (eggrider.com or lunacycle.com) you will have the ability to tweak the controller settings to suit your
needs/wants on both bbshd and the 750w bafang kits. It helps tremendously.


I hope this helps ya somehow :)

HP
 

HumanPerson

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I had the 750w bbs02 on a specialized sirrus road bike and that was 68mm bottom bracket.
 

HillAversion

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Thanks for the welcome and for the input.

I don't expect to do super long rides. I imagine 10-12 miles with a single hill will be about my limit.
Still think I'll need more than 15 AH? At this point it's a WAG for me.
 

HumanPerson

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Thanks for the welcome and for the input.

I don't expect to do super long rides. I imagine 10-12 miles with a single hill will be about my limit.
Still think I'll need more than 15 AH? At this point it's a WAG for me.
Nah you do you, but if it were me i'd go at least with a 20ah battery as long as i didn't go beyond 8 or 9 miles one way.
Is your ride round trip at 12-14 miles?
Even then i might panic :)

Seriously though we're all different with different needs. I think you'd do good with a 52v 17.5ah battery from what ya've said.
 

socialfilter

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Welcome to our humble home :)
I'm in a similar situation except I have a Rattan 750LF that arrived with a broken display and customer service has been useless so I thought I might just take everything off and put it on a different frame. I just have no clue how difficult this would be. Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated
 

HumanPerson

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I'm in a similar situation except I have a Rattan 750LF that arrived with a broken display and customer service has been useless so I thought I might just take everything off and put it on a different frame. I just have no clue how difficult this would be. Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated


Like the motor and everything including a new Display? Onto a another/new frame?

Might be a bit tedious but can be done, me thinks..
 

socialfilter

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Like the motor and everything including a new Display? Onto a another/new frame?

Might be a bit tedious but can be done, me thinks..
It arrived in August with a broken display and Rattan reps refused to exchange or send a new display so I'd need a new display and frame plus a bunch of issues that will arise because I have no idea what I'm doing but at this point why not?
 

HumanPerson

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I'm not familiar with the Rattan 750LF display and controller situation....
I do not see why one could not just take the components and put them onto another frame with a new display and controller....

Also here is their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/519788095270423/posts/980922089157019/

I feel the same way when i tackle some of these issues i have myself....why not? ;)

Possibly a KT controller and LCD8 display would work :unsure:

There is alot to know that we don't know...ya know?
 

socialfilter

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I know less everyday it seems. I'm just working with my cc company now I'm beyond frustrated with Rattan and have nearly 3 months of screenshots from my texts and emails so hopefully I'll get my money back and get to keep the ebike. Thanks
 

"A"

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There are many reasons not to convert your age old bike into ebikes as first ebike experience, I hope all this trouble doesn't discourage you from riding an ebike when you get it working properly.

If your goal of owning an ebike is to have a simple bike just to get on, ride casually to get an decent riding experience; I would always recommend getting a complete ebike from reputable manufacture like Lectric or Rad. Something under $1k for complete ebike ready to ride is much more fun than trying to sort out motor/battery mounting issues.

Another note, if your prospect bicycle for conversion is a few years old, it may or may not have the capacity to safely operate with extra power/weight of a motor/battery installed on it.
Especially when you have a heavier rider operating at higher speeds with motor/battery mounted on a bicycle that is not meant to operate at higher speeds.
When bad thing occur, serious injury is likely result from the usage of converted ebike.

After working at retail bike shops for decades, I can assure you that bad things happen more in converted ebikes vs complete ebikes purchased from manufacturers.
 

socialfilter

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There are many reasons not to convert your age old bike into ebikes as first ebike experience, I hope all this trouble doesn't discourage you from riding an ebike when you get it working properly.

If your goal of owning an ebike is to have a simple bike just to get on, ride casually to get an decent riding experience; I would always recommend getting a complete ebike from reputable manufacture like Lectric or Rad. Something under $1k for complete ebike ready to ride is much more fun than trying to sort out motor/battery mounting issues.

Another note, if your prospect bicycle for conversion is a few years old, it may or may not have the capacity to safely operate with extra power/weight of a motor/battery installed on it.
Especially when you have a heavier rider operating at higher speeds with motor/battery mounted on a bicycle that is not meant to operate at higher speeds.
When bad thing occur, serious injury is likely result from the usage of converted ebike.

After working at retail bike shops for decades, I can assure you that bad things happen more in converted ebikes vs complete ebikes purchased from manufacturers.
Thank you for the detailed reply. I got my original ebike running so that I can work Door Dash to buy a better ebike, a means to an end I suppose. I am just unhappy with my purchase and especially the customer support, or lack of, and want to put a video on their FB page of me setting that piece of junk on fire. I just hope it runs long enough for me to earn enough money.
 

"A"

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Yeah, if your reason to get a ebike is to make money doing DoorDash, that's not quite the same operation as someone who just want to ride around casually.
I would recommend investing more money into a reliable ebike for 24/7, all weather usage.
I commute in NYC metro, where ebike delivery folks are everywhere, most ebikes I see being used are hub-motor ebikes with large battery capacity.
Metal rack front & rear, hundreds if not thousands of them running 24/7, all weather; some carrying two batteries to extend the operating time.
I doubt any of them cost more than $2.5k or $3k (Arrow brand).
IMG_2497-rotated.jpg
 

HumanPerson

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"a means to an end"
Makes sense to me. My bikes were built to carry me and cargo (not alot) ...built with a purpose.
All big brand box store ebike may not be for users wanting to have a utility/casual ride bike, but there are a few that make for a utility purpose...

"A" is right...just buy or build to suit yur Needs

It's not always just plug and p[lay to get what our needs tell us we need lol...takes time and patience and sometimes..a good chunk of money.

We have a good Family here. Have a good day ya'll :cool:
 

keithfritze

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I did three ebike conversions using our old Trek MTBs and a more recent Motobecane 29er for myself. I used BBS02 mid-drive motors, P850C Displays, and 52V 13A batteries. I am very happy with my conversions. Myself, my wife and sister-in-law all rode quite a bit this summer on both pavement and dirt/gravel trails (not MTB-type single track trails). We rode in all kinds of conditions all the way from flat paved trails in Idaho (Cour De Laine) to steep hills in Western Montana (Trail of the Hiawathas/NorPac, etc.). The bikes worked very well. I am an older rider (68+ yrs) and found our bikes more than adequate to handle those types of rides. On flat trails the 52V battery would take my wife about 50 mi with moderate assist levels (30%). I never ran out of juice on any of our rides. The rides with moderate to steep hills that we did were 25-30 miles. We pedaled on all of our rides and didn't use the throttle.
I am admittedly a DIYer and did tinker with my bike quite a bit to get it right. I even re-programmed the Flash for all of our bikes to get a good workable ride for all three of us.
It depends upon what you want and whether you buy or build. As another individual mentioned, there are some very good ebikes for reasonable prices if you just want to ride. And there are many fantastic MTBs and specialty bikes that you can purchase for a pretty penny. We are happy with our choices based on our riding style, budget and the fact I am a DIY guy.
 

socialfilter

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I did three ebike conversions using our old Trek MTBs and a more recent Motobecane 29er for myself. I used BBS02 mid-drive motors, P850C Displays, and 52V 13A batteries. I am very happy with my conversions. Myself, my wife and sister-in-law all rode quite a bit this summer on both pavement and dirt/gravel trails (not MTB-type single track trails). We rode in all kinds of conditions all the way from flat paved trails in Idaho (Cour De Laine) to steep hills in Western Montana (Trail of the Hiawathas/NorPac, etc.). The bikes worked very well. I am an older rider (68+ yrs) and found our bikes more than adequate to handle those types of rides. On flat trails the 52V battery would take my wife about 50 mi with moderate assist levels (30%). I never ran out of juice on any of our rides. The rides with moderate to steep hills that we did were 25-30 miles. We pedaled on all of our rides and didn't use the throttle.
I am admittedly a DIYer and did tinker with my bike quite a bit to get it right. I even re-programmed the Flash for all of our bikes to get a good workable ride for all three of us.
It depends upon what you want and whether you buy or build. As another individual mentioned, there are some very good ebikes for reasonable prices if you just want to ride. And there are many fantastic MTBs and specialty bikes that you can purchase for a pretty penny. We are happy with our choices based on our riding style, budget and the fact I am a DIY guy.
I have a Rattan I bought in August but the display is messed up and thier customer support, warranty etc. is useless so I'm trying to decide what to do with it. I filed a claim with my credit card company so hopefully I'll get my money back and have everything but a display to put on a new bike
 

Vaf513

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I'm not familiar with the Rattan 750LF display and controller situation....
I do not see why one could not just take the components and put them onto another frame with a new display and controller....

Also here is their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/519788095270423/posts/980922089157019/

I feel the same way when i tackle some of these issues i have myself....why not? ;)

Possibly a KT controller and LCD8 display would work :unsure:

There is alot to know that we don't know...ya know?
So happy I found this forum. Soooo much better than the you know the other one that mashes everything together and at times people are snarky. There's a great vibe in this community. Keep up the great job your doing here.
 

socialfilter

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So happy I found this forum. Soooo much better than the you know the other one that mashes everything together and at times people are snarky. There's a great vibe in this community. Keep up the great job your doing here.
Absolutely! I don't get bashed here for not spending 5k on an ebike!
 
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