Full suspension Ebike conversion: Looking for advice


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5:24 AM
Nov 11, 2020
I was a road/MTB rider for 30 years. I'm looking to convert my full suspension MTB to an Ebike. It's a nice 10 year old alum frame with hydraulic brakes, XT Shimano group and RockShox front/rear. Weighs in at 26 lbs.

Looking on advice on conversion. Looking currently at a system sold by Dillenger: 1000w geared rear hub motor, 12Ah battery listed for around $1200. Seems like this would give me decent power/range for the $$.

I'm over 60, so I won't be using it for any technical off road trails (I break too easy these days). Probably light trail riding, possibly run errands in town and take along of road trips as a fun/utilitarian travel option.

I've also got a full carbon road bike/Ultegra equipped that weighs in at 16lbs. But I don't think this is a good option for me to convert. My lower back can't stand the abuse from skinny tire road bikes anymore. The MTB affords a plush ride, plus versatility of use.

THanks in advance,

Been doing this search for months. Everything I've seen says rear hub motors are for fat bikes, not mtn bikes. Do a YouTube search, many videos on the subject. However mid-mount motors have many advantages, like having the weight suspended. A hub motor is an unsprung rock in the wheel.

Luna offers a number of conversions, as do others. Your frame at the BB determines suitability for a conversion. Post a BB photo of your FS mtb, also you need to have room for the battery in the triangle.
Thanks for the input. Really does sound like a mid-drive system is the way to go. With the way my main triangle is configured, I've only got room for a battery pack that is right under 4 inches tall. That limits my options. But I did find BafangUSA has a battery that is only 3.5 inch tall with 48v/11.6Ah that will fit. Looks like my bottom bracket is compatible as well.
I think another battery option is to mount on the bottom of the down tube. I've seen pictures of MTBs with battery packs mounted in this fashion. I've got plenty of room even with my fork fully compressed. Might be the way to go since I would really like to go with a pack that is in the 17-20Ah range.
Your BB is an excellent fit for a mid drive motor because the downtube goes straight to the BB. Many downtubes have a long flat bend in front of the BB. This prevents the motor from rotating up and out of the way during installation. Motor strikes are the result in rough terrain.

As to battery size, I recall one rider stating that his butt gave up long before the battery even though his battery was half the size of what you can fit.
I considered a BBS02 for a Trek with rear suspension similar to your system (I've had a kit on a hardtail for five years and it's superb). The enigma for me was routing the wires around the suspension pivots. Then my son snapped up the bike, so solved the problem. Show us your build when you proceed.
Thanks for the input. I believe I will go the mid-motor mount option. The more I think about it, the more sense it makes. I've got a really nice set of upgraded wheels I bought for the bike. It would be a shame to ditch the rear wheel. The mid-motor route puts all of the extra weight just in front of the bottom bracket as well. Should balance the bike out a little better for my use, I don't see myself doing any steep descending anymore. Still waiting on my tax return to come in. So once it does I'll get going on it. I've built up a number of road bikes from bare frame and done plenty of crankset swaps and MTB upgrades. I've got all the tools I need and a nice Park workstand, so I should be more than able to do the build up. I'll post pictures and reviews once it's completed.
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I ordered a Bafang BBSHD kit this week. It should be delivered by the end of the week. I would imagine that within a few days after delivery, I should have it set up and ready to try. Ordering a new stem for the bike as well since I'm looking for a slightly more relaxed position on the bike. Ordered kit with the 48v ~12aH slim battery pack. I'll post feedback and pictures once completed.

I think you will be satisfied with that option. Get the programing cable. The BBSHD is quite powerful and the standard programing gives few options at the lower levels. The standard jumps 10% in power for nine levels. If you are trying to ride with anyone else or trying for extended range you will find that you are always in the first two levels. I reprogramed mine for 5% jumps at the low end then to 10% jumps with one great big jump I call "thunderstorms/ I have had about enough of this sht" level which is 30 amps and no speed limit. The first six levels are all 20 mph speed limits.
PierreR, thanks for the feedback. My BBSHD kit will arrive tomorrow. One of the reasons I went with the BBSHD is that the motor is really overbuilt and I figure it gives me a good durable platform. I imagine I'll be predominantly riding solo. Haven't really been a group rider since I was in my 20s and 30s. Once it's all together it should be pretty solid overall. It should weigh in right at 50lbs. The hydraulic disc brakes should provide adequate stopping power.
I'm interested in how you get along with this project since I'm planning to do the same thing with my Salsa Mukluk fat bike in the upcoming month.

Please update us with any problems you encounter along the way.
I aslo would like to convert my 2014 29er trigger lefty.
Same reason, over 60 and can't keep up with the younger riders.
Any suggestions ?
Luna BBSHD mid drive with a 52v 21Ah on my 1998 Specialized FSR is nice!