My daily commuter finally stolen, so here i am

I_AM_VENNLIG

New member
Local time
3:52 AM
Joined
Mar 28, 2023
Messages
16
Hi All. Thanks for having me. I purchased a 2018 Trek Marlin 7 with a BBSHD and a large battery, rear mount and fenders, almost 5 years ago, and it was stolen in Philly last Thursday. I am so sad. I feel like a cowboy might feel after losing their beloved horse. I am gutted. To make it even more painful, I sold my car 3 years ago, and used that bike to go everywhere. I mean everywhere. I also posted my loss to Reddit, and the link is below, if interested.

The person who built this bike for me, is far away now, and I was told that the Trek Marlin 7 is no longer compatible with the bafang mid drive. I also have zero mechanical ability, and do not understand measurements, bottom brackets, etc and etc. I am not that smart. I am hoping to find someone here who can tell me of a good hardtail mountain bike in the $1000-$1800 range that I can buy for my next build. And I want to outfit it with the Bafang BBSHD and a large 52V battery from Luna. Can anyone please make some suggestions?? I am even willing to pay a consultation fee if someone can please help.

Link to Reddit post:

Thanks for reading
Best
Greg
 

Attachments

  • 0607201008a.jpg
    0607201008a.jpg
    219.8 KB · Views: 209
I hope this person does not mind if i keep mentioning their name, but, @m@Robertson has built some awesome BBSHD builds.
Nope don't mind at all. I hang out at places like this to help people get stuff like this figured out.

I wrote this article to explain ... well the title says it all. It may be more than is needed for the job at hand. HOWEVER, you can use it to gain some insight on a suitable frame. In short, an ideal frame has a big open triangle for a battery, and enough room at the root of the chainstays so the BBSHD secondary housing fits up tight to the frame and doesn't need to be shimmed out. A BBSHD's secondary gear housing is about the width of a coffee can. 4.8" if I remember right. You want enough space to fit that so... 2.4"? A 1x drivetrain with its tiny front chainring is a maybe on that. Also you want a frame that does NOT have an ISCG or ISCG05 (chain guard) mount at the bottom bracket. One of those will stop you from being able to fit a BBSHD until you literally cut it off the frame (been there and done that to a titanium frame and it came out ok but was a huge effort).


If I was starting from the position of trying to buy a complete bike and then electrify it, I'd look to something like a Giant. Or a Specialized Rockhopper in that price range. But honestly, if I were doing a commuter I would do a full suspension bike.

Why don't you pick out some candidates you like and come back with them here? Give us something to work with. Myself personally I would do a frame-up build but I understand thats not for everyone.

Keep an open mind. This Surly Long Haul Trucker would be a great option but skinny tires. The thing I would be most positive about would be the fact that Surly uses chromoly for their frames and steel is real for ebike conversions. In fact maybe the best choice out there for a full DIY build is a Mongoose Dolomite because of its rather wonderful steel frame... but everything else on it is sub-par and needs to be replaced. But its a fantastic BBSHD donor frame.

 
Links to eBay may include affiliate code. If you click on an eBay link and make a purchase, this forum may earn a small commission.
Dig into the photos on this Surly Krampus a bit and you can see one photo of the chainstay root - Its a solid steel bar and not tubular. Some 1x drivetrain bikes have this and its gold for allowing a BBSHD to fit more closely to the frame. This bike has braze-ons for a rear rack and the fork has 'barnacles' (more braze-on bosses) to allow the attachment of a front rack.


My Great Pumpkin commuter (now retired) has a Surly Ice Cream Truck rack on the front and you can see how its intended to be used. Nowadays I have a weatherproof charger bolted to the top of that rack so I can pull up to a power plug anywhere and top up. And also notice the battery bag... You mentioned a Luna battery. I have several of them and they are fine, but surf over to Bicycle Motor Works and take a look at what they offer. Great prices, top quality, USA made to order. This bike below has a custom 30ah pack with a BMS able to handle twin 35a controllers. Its a commuting beast. One day I will take the time to put it up for sale.

img_20181204_074555[1].jpg
 
Links to eBay may include affiliate code. If you click on an eBay link and make a purchase, this forum may earn a small commission.
Nope don't mind at all. I hang out at places like this to help people get stuff like this figured out.

I wrote this article to explain ... well the title says it all. It may be more than is needed for the job at hand. HOWEVER, you can use it to gain some insight on a suitable frame. In short, an ideal frame has a big open triangle for a battery, and enough room at the root of the chainstays so the BBSHD secondary housing fits up tight to the frame and doesn't need to be shimmed out. A BBSHD's secondary gear housing is about the width of a coffee can. 4.8" if I remember right. You want enough space to fit that so... 2.4"? A 1x drivetrain with its tiny front chainring is a maybe on that. Also you want a frame that does NOT have an ISCG or ISCG05 (chain guard) mount at the bottom bracket. One of those will stop you from being able to fit a BBSHD until you literally cut it off the frame (been there and done that to a titanium frame and it came out ok but was a huge effort).


If I was starting from the position of trying to buy a complete bike and then electrify it, I'd look to something like a Giant. Or a Specialized Rockhopper in that price range. But honestly, if I were doing a commuter I would do a full suspension bike.

Why don't you pick out some candidates you like and come back with them here? Give us something to work with. Myself personally I would do a frame-up build but I understand thats not for everyone.

Keep an open mind. This Surly Long Haul Trucker would be a great option but skinny tires. The thing I would be most positive about would be the fact that Surly uses chromoly for their frames and steel is real for ebike conversions. In fact maybe the best choice out there for a full DIY build is a Mongoose Dolomite because of its rather wonderful steel frame... but everything else on it is sub-par and needs to be replaced. But its a fantastic BBSHD donor frame.

Hello new friend, and thank you for your time! I want to say straight away that I do not expect more of your time for nothing. Also, I am dealing with a sick dad, have a 50+++ hour a week job, and need an e-bike like yesterday. I also know nothing about bikes, and am not that smart (for real). I am also not at all wealthy, but I value your time and knowledge and would gladly venmo you a fee ($50? $100) to consult with you and for you to recommend a brand new bike (in the 1800-$2000) range that would 100% take the Bafang mid drive, and house one of the larger 52V batteries. (I do not want a used bike, but I appreciate your suggestion.) Also, I found a list of bikes that i would love, and they are linked below. Please advise, and please feel welcome to contact me privately and work out a consultation fee. I truly need help, and will pay a fair fee for it. I do not want knowledge for nothing, and i do not expect that. I can been private messaged, or reached at iamvennlig@gmail.com

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/...x-caliber/x-caliber-9/p/35112/?colorCode=blue

https://www.marinbikes.com/bikes/2023-pine-mountain-1

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/...-caliber/x-caliber-8/p/35069/?colorCode=white

https://www.marinbikes.com/bikes/2023-pine-mountain-2

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/...ikes/service/service/p/33239/?colorCode=black

https://www.specialized.com/us/en/rockhopper-elite-29/p/199581?color=319817-199581
 
Links to eBay may include affiliate code. If you click on an eBay link and make a purchase, this forum may earn a small commission.
Also, I found a list of bikes that i would love, and they are linked below.
If you have a thrift store nearby, you might be able to find a really nice, suitable bike at a really low cost. I saw a really nice looking Trek at GW about a year ago. I didn't need it so I didn't take to close of a look at it to know what the buyer was getting. Butt the price, as I recall, was about $100.
 
Hello new friend, and thank you for your time! I want to say straight away that I do not expect more of your time for nothing. Also, I am dealing with a sick dad, have a 50+++ hour a week job, and need an e-bike like yesterday. I also know nothing about bikes, and am not that smart (for real). I am also not at all wealthy, but I value your time and knowledge and would gladly venmo you a fee ($50? $100) to consult with you and for you to recommend a brand new bike (in the 1800-$2000) range that would 100% take the Bafang mid drive, and house one of the larger 52V batteries. (I do not want a used bike, but I appreciate your suggestion.) Also, I found a list of bikes that i would love, and they are linked below. Please advise, and please feel welcome to contact me privately and work out a consultation fee. I truly need help, and will pay a fair fee for it. I do not want knowledge for nothing, and i do not expect that. I can been private messaged, or reached at iamvennlig@gmail.com

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/...x-caliber/x-caliber-9/p/35112/?colorCode=blue

https://www.marinbikes.com/bikes/2023-pine-mountain-1

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/...-caliber/x-caliber-8/p/35069/?colorCode=white

https://www.marinbikes.com/bikes/2023-pine-mountain-2

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/...ikes/service/service/p/33239/?colorCode=black

https://www.specialized.com/us/en/rockhopper-elite-29/p/199581?color=319817-199581
Well I appreciate the offer but I have a job :D I just do this in my spare time and want to keep it that way. With that said, I did take a close look at the bikes you listed. I am more of a build-your-own guy and I tend to lean towards picking individual components, so I'm a tad out of my element here, but I thought there was one specific standout. The Pine Mountain 1. Its head-and-shoulders above the rest, and that includes the Pine Mountain 2 you also listed.

Steel frame, bosses everywhere including full fender and rack mounts, 2.6" tires. The steel frame is also gusseted so this thing was built to take a beating. The chainstay root is solid steel and not tubular so best case construction for adding a BBSHD without having to push it outboard. 73mm BSA threaded bottom bracket so fitment will be perfect and need no weird adapters.

32H front and rear wheels so also good for abuse. And wider rims = better for the bigger tires you want on a heavier ebike. It seems almost built to purpose for commuting - and it will also be a great gravel bike, which is what it was really designed for. It uses 11s, which is the most gears I would use on a mid drive. I know the DIY community swears by 9s, but 11s chains are just as strong if not stronger, and you can get hold of steel 11s clusters that are perfect for mid drive use (I use the Sunrace CSMS7 but its not the only one). The one big drawback of 11s vs. 9s is the parts are more expensive. In particular the chain. A KMC 11e is going to typically run you about $55, where a SRAM EX1 will only be $22-$25. However, my 11s cargo bike just reached 3000 miles on its 11e chain and its still not showing signs of wear on the gauge.

There's a lot more I like about this bike, but I'll just close with its also one of the cheaper options which is a bonus.

Many of your other choices are 12s and that is not a good choice for a BBSHD. I think only the Rockhopper is 11s. That bike has a good price point but 25mm wide rims and 28H front wheel aren't ideal for a street commuter. Also 'stealth' rack bosses and I would want to have that explained to me to ensure Specialized is not trying to lock you into a proprietary rear rack solution.

There is a good review on the PM from 2020, which is essentially the same bike.

 
Well I appreciate the offer but I have a job :D I just do this in my spare time and want to keep it that way. With that said, I did take a close look at the bikes you listed. I am more of a build-your-own guy and I tend to lean towards picking individual components, so I'm a tad out of my element here, but I thought there was one specific standout. The Pine Mountain 1. Its head-and-shoulders above the rest, and that includes the Pine Mountain 2 you also listed.

Steel frame, bosses everywhere including full fender and rack mounts, 2.6" tires. The steel frame is also gusseted so this thing was built to take a beating. The chainstay root is solid steel and not tubular so best case construction for adding a BBSHD without having to push it outboard. 73mm BSA threaded bottom bracket so fitment will be perfect and need no weird adapters.

32H front and rear wheels so also good for abuse. And wider rims = better for the bigger tires you want on a heavier ebike. It seems almost built to purpose for commuting - and it will also be a great gravel bike, which is what it was really designed for. It uses 11s, which is the most gears I would use on a mid drive. I know the DIY community swears by 9s, but 11s chains are just as strong if not stronger, and you can get hold of steel 11s clusters that are perfect for mid drive use (I use the Sunrace CSMS7 but its not the only one). The one big drawback of 11s vs. 9s is the parts are more expensive. In particular the chain. A KMC 11e is going to typically run you about $55, where a SRAM EX1 will only be $22-$25. However, my 11s cargo bike just reached 3000 miles on its 11e chain and its still not showing signs of wear on the gauge.

There's a lot more I like about this bike, but I'll just close with its also one of the cheaper options which is a bonus.

Many of your other choices are 12s and that is not a good choice for a BBSHD. I think only the Rockhopper is 11s. That bike has a good price point but 25mm wide rims and 28H front wheel aren't ideal for a street commuter. Also 'stealth' rack bosses and I would want to have that explained to me to ensure Specialized is not trying to lock you into a proprietary rear rack solution.

There is a good review on the PM from 2020, which is essentially the same bike.

Thank you so much. I can't tell you how valuable this information is to me. I am going to order the 2023 Pine Mountain 1 today, and once delivered, I will bike it 22 miles to the shop where my builder is. (He is the person who built out my Trek Marlin 7 -- I have no idea how to build it myself.).

I am so excited to finally have a light at the end of the tunnel. I will make sure to post some pics, once it is built. And if I can donate $40 to a cause you like, and in your name, just let me know where t send it. I am forever grateful, and I truly mean that.
Best
 
If I were to build again, I think I would go the CYC Photon route. Smaller, lighter, comparable power, and you dont have to buy the proprietary Bafang battery, which is a PITA. As far as a bike, there are tons of suitable frames, from Norco to Giant. Lots of deals on Pinkbike too.
 
If I were to build again, I think I would go the CYC Photon route. Smaller, lighter, comparable power, and you dont have to buy the proprietary Bafang battery, which is a PITA. As far as a bike, there are tons of suitable frames, from Norco to Giant. Lots of deals on Pinkbike too.
There is no requirement to buy the proprietary Bafang battery. That is only true with the M625 - the follow-on to the BBSHD - which is in very limited distribution. I wouldn't touch that motor as not only is it tied to a Bafang battery, it also has a closed-off controller whose settings you can't modify (although you can swap in a BBSHD controller but still, why bother when you can just buy a BBSHD). Almost everywhere these motors are sold, you can still get a BBSHD that takes any battery you care to hook into it.


I use Bicycle Motor Works, who makes them in USA as they are ordered. He has done custom packs for me as well to my specs.

As much as I like what I see with the Cyc Photon, I know from owning the X1 Pro gen 1 that Cyc has a growth period when they introduce new motors. I think its best to let the Photon mature in the market a bit. Wait for gen 2. Also the Photon is more of a BBS02-plus kind of motor and is not comparable to the BBSHD.

Wait a little for Cyc to come out with their next motor which is reportedly a more powerful Photon-style motor that will be a direct BBSHD competitor.
 
Since you’re starting from scratch, and have no technical ability, why don’t you just buy a commercial built commuter eBike in your budget?
 
Nope don't mind at all. I hang out at places like this to help people get stuff like this figured out.

I wrote this article to explain ... well the title says it all. It may be more than is needed for the job at hand. HOWEVER, you can use it to gain some insight on a suitable frame. In short, an ideal frame has a big open triangle for a battery, and enough room at the root of the chainstays so the BBSHD secondary housing fits up tight to the frame and doesn't need to be shimmed out. A BBSHD's secondary gear housing is about the width of a coffee can. 4.8" if I remember right. You want enough space to fit that so... 2.4"? A 1x drivetrain with its tiny front chainring is a maybe on that. Also you want a frame that does NOT have an ISCG or ISCG05 (chain guard) mount at the bottom bracket. One of those will stop you from being able to fit a BBSHD until you literally cut it off the frame (been there and done that to a titanium frame and it came out ok but was a huge effort).


If I was starting from the position of trying to buy a complete bike and then electrify it, I'd look to something like a Giant. Or a Specialized Rockhopper in that price range. But honestly, if I were doing a commuter I would do a full suspension bike.

Why don't you pick out some candidates you like and come back with them here? Give us something to work with. Myself personally I would do a frame-up build but I understand thats not for everyone.

Keep an open mind. This Surly Long Haul Trucker would be a great option but skinny tires. The thing I would be most positive about would be the fact that Surly uses chromoly for their frames and steel is real for ebike conversions. In fact maybe the best choice out there for a full DIY build is a Mongoose Dolomite because of its rather wonderful steel frame... but everything else on it is sub-par and needs to be replaced. But its a fantastic BBSHD donor frame.

Curious why you don’t like aluminum frames? . I’ve built 3 ebikes on aluminum frames, 2 with bafang mid drives all have been great bikes. One mongoose, a schwinn and a Chinese fat tire which is my off road hunting bike. That gets abused.
 

Attachments

  • 9F204673-B4C0-4818-A90A-85627AB00A25.jpeg
    9F204673-B4C0-4818-A90A-85627AB00A25.jpeg
    183.2 KB · Views: 192
Links to eBay may include affiliate code. If you click on an eBay link and make a purchase, this forum may earn a small commission.
Curious why you don’t like aluminum frames? . I’ve built 3 ebikes on aluminum frames, 2 with bafang mid drives all have been great bikes. One mongoose, a schwinn and a Chinese fat tire which is my off road hunting bike. That gets abused.
Not a simple answer to that. Forgive the stream-of-consciousness nature of what follows.

Its not that I don't like them. Most of my bikes nowadays are aluminum in fact. Thing is though, steel is typically a better choice for a bike that is going to get punished. In particular for a higher-powered build. Just for starters, at the outside of the envelope, steel bends while aluminum cracks. Steel is more amenable to a repair.

Here watch this. Its short I promise. Note the direction change of the camera as I crashed to a halt. I got back on the bike and made it home with some cracked ribs and a bent fork that survived the trip home. If that was an alloy bike, I would need an Uber.


Also, in the DIY groups I frequent, when you see a cracked frame or destroyed dropouts, often its alloy. You can work around this most likely, but the material is much less forgiving when power is applied to it. I have gotten alloy forks to survive on my ti sand crawler, but I have seen so many destroyed I know I am at risk and have been trying for some time to find a chromoly replacement.


Side by side chromoly vs. alloy, same frame design, an aluminum frame will be stiffer and less comfortable. That stiffness is more livable when you elongate the frame. Thats why my Bullitts are so comfortable... they are also 8 feet long from wheel tip to wheel tip. The same thing goes with my Mongoose Envoy, but not as much, and that stiffness coupled to its solid front fork makes for some difficulty on the wrists on long trips. My Big Fat Dummy in chromoly - even with narrower tires, is noticeably easier to ride.

If I was riding a high speed hardtail commuter subject to potholes at 30 mph (which in a nutshell is a BBSHD'd bike), my first choice is a steel frame with plus-sized tires. Its more comfortable and more survivable when you are talking a lifespan of years and thousands of miles. If, on the other hand, you are dealing with a full suspension everything changes, comfortwise. provided the frame is beefy enough. I built one almost exactly a year ago (1999 Intense Tracer frame) and if you want to break it you'll have to throw it off a cliff.

This isn't just me. Its a pretty common attitude in builder groups. An old meme I got a good laugh out of from one of the DIY builder forums:

miyagi_frame.jpg
 
Not a simple answer to that. Forgive the stream-of-consciousness nature of what follows.

Its not that I don't like them. Most of my bikes nowadays are aluminum in fact. Thing is though, steel is typically a better choice for a bike that is going to get punished. In particular for a higher-powered build. Just for starters, at the outside of the envelope, steel bends while aluminum cracks. Steel is more amenable to a repair.

Here watch this. Its short I promise. Note the direction change of the camera as I crashed to a halt. I got back on the bike and made it home with some cracked ribs and a bent fork that survived the trip home. If that was an alloy bike, I would need an Uber.


Also, in the DIY groups I frequent, when you see a cracked frame or destroyed dropouts, often its alloy. You can work around this most likely, but the material is much less forgiving when power is applied to it. I have gotten alloy forks to survive on my ti sand crawler, but I have seen so many destroyed I know I am at risk and have been trying for some time to find a chromoly replacement.


Side by side chromoly vs. alloy, same frame design, an aluminum frame will be stiffer and less comfortable. That stiffness is more livable when you elongate the frame. Thats why my Bullitts are so comfortable... they are also 8 feet long from wheel tip to wheel tip. The same thing goes with my Mongoose Envoy, but not as much, and that stiffness coupled to its solid front fork makes for some difficulty on the wrists on long trips. My Big Fat Dummy in chromoly - even with narrower tires, is noticeably easier to ride.

If I was riding a high speed hardtail commuter subject to potholes at 30 mph (which in a nutshell is a BBSHD'd bike), my first choice is a steel frame with plus-sized tires. Its more comfortable and more survivable when you are talking a lifespan of years and thousands of miles. If, on the other hand, you are dealing with a full suspension everything changes, comfortwise. provided the frame is beefy enough. I built one almost exactly a year ago (1999 Intense Tracer frame) and if you want to break it you'll have to throw it off a cliff.

This isn't just me. Its a pretty common attitude in builder groups. An old meme I got a good laugh out of from one of the DIY builder forums:

View attachment 8269
Thanks, always interested in the opinions of you ebike experts. I think our priorities are different. I ride slow, a lot of it in the woods, in wet conditions and corrosion is a major problem here in FL. The fat bikes are pretty soft riding with 5-7# in the tires, along with a good suspension seatpost, they’re comfortable: even for my 76 year old frame. I’ve never had a problem with an alloy frame, though for the average person, I could see that repairs if needed, could be an issue. I can weld aluminum, which helps. My old mongoose is full suspension with a front hub (golden motor) that I’ve bused in the woods, jumping fallen trees and going through swamps. I also need as light a frame (that’s tough) as I ca get, having to lift them on and off the high RV carry racks.
But I can certainly see your point. I cracked some ribs 3 weeks ago, I’m breathing better now ..
Thanks again for your input!
Greg
 
I finally got the new bike last night. Thank you again, m@Robertson, as you helped me pick the right bike for the build (a 2023 Marin Pine Mountain 1). It is really a pretty build, and I think I will eventually love it. And having nothing to do with the choice of the bike, there are some significant issues and punchlist items. When I tested in onsite, it all seemed fine, but after the first 8-12 miles on it, I noticed a few issues. They were:
  1. There is a slight "wobble" in the stock Bafang chainring twice on each full pedal stroke. When I look down at the chain ring while pedaling, I could see that the chain ring "wobbles" or rocks back and forth a little bit. It is so annoying because it feels like something is loose or even broken. The builder thinks a smaller chain ring will be better. I am ordering this one soon, per his suggestion, unless someone recommends something else: https://a.co/d/fiWIIK3.
  2. The bike is somehow programmed so that I do not have throttle when the Power Assist is set to 0. And the amount of throttle is limited to the Power Assist level, which is very undesirable. I would never want a bike that is limited to this. The builder thinks it is possible to program it, but he is not a computer person. I am trying to figure this one out, but it is a touch one. I would have to think iti s possible, becasue my 1st bike had full throttle no matter the Pedal Assist (0 through 5).
  3. I used the motor very sparingly on the rider home, but I started to feel it shift a little when i did. I stopped to check it, and sure enough, it was loose. I ordered a Lekki onenut and it is being shipped to the builder. Hopefully that will prevent further motor slips. Does anyone have any experience with the Lekki onenut?
  4. The motor wires would rub on the tire every mile or two. I would stop and push them back into place, but it would eventually happen again. This is an easy fix for the builder, and for many of you, I am sure.
Also, the brakes levers are fitted with an external magnet for the cutoff sensors, and they look very rigged and unfinished. I remember that my first build had regular levers but also had a cut off switch. They looked so much better but the builder does not know where to get brake levers for hydraulic brakes.

And I understand that there are frequently punchlist items on a custom mod, so while I am a little sad, I am hopeful that the above can all get fixed. And I have no mechanical skills whatsoever, so my new bike will sit in my garage until next Saturday when the mechanic returns, as I doubt it is good to ride it when the motor is loose.

I'll post an update once I have one, and if anyone has any suggestions to the above issues, I would be super thankful.

Happy Riding!
 

Attachments

  • PXL_20230420_211339046.jpg
    PXL_20230420_211339046.jpg
    413 KB · Views: 179
  • PXL_20230420_211400643.jpg
    PXL_20230420_211400643.jpg
    365.2 KB · Views: 163
  • PXL_20230420_223537781.jpg
    PXL_20230420_223537781.jpg
    311.5 KB · Views: 142
  • PXL_20230420_232957632.jpg
    PXL_20230420_232957632.jpg
    322.6 KB · Views: 136
  • PXL_20230420_233747487.jpg
    PXL_20230420_233747487.jpg
    233.9 KB · Views: 135
  • PXL_20230420_222052215.jpg
    PXL_20230420_222052215.jpg
    303.7 KB · Views: 134
Links to Amazon may include affiliate code. If you click on an Amazon link and make a purchase, this forum may earn a small commission.
"...I also have zero mechanical ability, and do not understand measurements, bottom brackets, etc and etc. I am not that smart. I am hoping to find someone here who can tell me of a good hardtail mountain bike in the $1000-$1800 range that I can buy for my next build..."

I would concentrate on my "zero mechanical ability" and/or not understanding the basics ("etc. and etc.") before investing in a bike that you hope to transform in to anything better. Knowing what you first want in something and comparatively how much it might cost to do it yourself *if* you are capable of such a task in the first place would be key.
Just my $.02
 
Taken in order:
1.
I'll bet that chainring wobble is all about the loose motor. Your builder screwed up no doubt. The 'how to build an ebike from scratch' article I gave you early in this thread goes over this common screwup in detail and shows how to make sure it never happens. A OneNut can fix it but there is a $4 solution. Add another dollar and include a couple of hose clamps and you can do drops for the life of the bike and it will never move. But for an urban solution the dual inner locknut will also work forever.

2.
Yes you can completely change the character of the motor and in fact default BBSxx settings tend to suck. Especially if you want pedal assist. Here is one of many articles on how to deal with the motor settings (its not programming I just used that in the title because its often mistakenly referred to as such)

3.
See 1. above. I'll tell you this about the Lekkie: Its principles are entirely sound. You just don't need to spend that kind of money to get a solution. Almost certainly your installer used one of those silly $10 knuckle-buster Bafang wrenches that are totally unsuitable for the task. What is needed is a proper socket to grasp that inner Bafang nut (or the Lekkie) so a proper amount of torque can be applied. With a torque wrench. Then do a second one also with measured torque. Without proper amounts of torque on the nut, you can't tighten the Lekkie right, either. Lekkie sells a socket but it too is expensive. The Bafang branded version (I think Cali Ebike sells them but sources are listed in the how to article) is commonly in use, and IIRC I also linked a bottom bracket socket that will also work.

4.
Another a sign of sloppy work on the builder's part, unfortunately.

The magnets on the levers are a common basic DIY workaround. I've always used Magura MT5e's and a wiring harness meant to work directly with their red HIGO cutoff connections. Grin Technologies had a hydraulic switch solution but like most of their accessories it was/is grossly overpriced.

Good call don't ride it with the motor loose... but damn its a shame your builder screwed up such a basic, essential part of the build. Again I go step by step with pics on how to make sure this will never happen in that article.

EDIT: This link jumps straight to the final motor installation section. The Tinkering installment digs into the ins/outs of chain alignment, centering the pedals, spacing the motor from the frame safely and more.

On another note, I was just at the Sea Otter Classic at Laguna Seca on Thursday. I went by the Marin booth and made sure I went in and took an up-close look at the Pine Mountain specifically because of this discussion. Its a perfect frame for what you are after and I can say for sure its one I'd be happy to buy for an HD conversion. One thing I noticed was the bottom bracket was awfully narrow and used external cups. Possibly thats a bike that will benefit from a bottom-bracket spacer on the drive side to make up for the missing external cup.

Can you show a picture looking straight down to the motor, to show how much clearance your builder gave between the secondary gear housing (the big round part) and the frame? A business-card's width of clearance, at least, is critical. If it is in contact that is a total disaster that will crack the frame. If it is much more, that is undesirable if it can be avoided.

20230420_135641.jpg
 
oh and also I would absolutely do a smaller chainring. Especially seeing some of the hills - possibly short but still there - in the background of your pics. The big Bafang chainring positively sucks in terms of its size, tooth profile and other things. No one should use them, frankly. To have an idea of what would fit there, that top-down pic up very close to your seat tube would be good.

Also I see in at least one of your pics you are up on your bigger rear cogs and your derailleur cage is pulled far forward. That is a consequence of having a big front chainring and trying to compensate for that mismatch by going to big gears in the back. At most you want a 42T chainring. At most. A Lekkie 42T ring is the default best product, but very expensive. Also possibly it gives too much offset to clear the chainstay (won't know for sure until see a pic). A Deruiz 42T chainring provides a lot less offset (despite its external appearance, which is deceptive due to its thick construction) and is much less expensive. I got mine here:

 
Links to Amazon may include affiliate code. If you click on an Amazon link and make a purchase, this forum may earn a small commission.
Thank you a billion times m@Robertson. Your replies give me hope that these issues can be fixed. I really am so grateful for your time. I know you have declined my offer of a consultation fee, but that offer stands. And I uploaded a bunch of photos. I think I got what you asked for, but I am not sure. And I also ordered this new ring for the builder to install: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B5YMLR6S?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details

I have to also say that I am so sad now because I am into this build now for about $4,800, and as of this minute, the bike is sitting in my garage and can't be used. Also, I just went to the garage to try to get the photos you requested, and I noticed that the motor is more loose than I thought, causing the chain ring to get within literally 1-2MM from digging into the frame. I am so lucky I did not damage the frame on my 20 mile ride home from the shop. I am afraid to even move the bike right now, let alone turn the pedals, for fear that the chain ring will strike the frame.

Add to this, that the builder's shop is 20 miles away, and I have literally no way of getting the bike there (other than riding it, which is not an option because the motor is so loose that I think the chain ring will eventually eat into the frame). Crazy how sad this has made me, but I am trying to be solution's driven. On that note, I just looked into renting a moving van from uhaul. I can probably get the van on Saturday morning and deliver my bike to the shop. At this point, I will just leave the bike there until he gets it right. And it is such a pretty looking commuter. I just love it, but as of right now, I do not know how this will turn out. I will keep you posted.
 

Attachments

  • PXL_20230425_003433183.jpg
    PXL_20230425_003433183.jpg
    185.2 KB · Views: 187
  • PXL_20230425_003453099 (1).jpg
    PXL_20230425_003453099 (1).jpg
    146.5 KB · Views: 141
  • PXL_20230425_003458667 (1).jpg
    PXL_20230425_003458667 (1).jpg
    154.7 KB · Views: 146
  • PXL_20230425_003458667.jpg
    PXL_20230425_003458667.jpg
    154.7 KB · Views: 148
  • PXL_20230425_003800799 (1).jpg
    PXL_20230425_003800799 (1).jpg
    164.2 KB · Views: 141
  • PXL_20230425_003806635.MP.jpg
    PXL_20230425_003806635.MP.jpg
    158.8 KB · Views: 152
  • PXL_20230425_003829949 (1).jpg
    PXL_20230425_003829949 (1).jpg
    101.6 KB · Views: 189
Links to Amazon may include affiliate code. If you click on an Amazon link and make a purchase, this forum may earn a small commission.
Back
Top