Reliable single speed cruiser conversion

CliffordJee

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Mar 25, 2022
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As my wife and I approach our seventieth decade we decided to try exercising more via a bike. We found a couple of “step thru” beach cruisers at an “on sale” price at the local Walmart and bought them. They are an off brand bike but they are sturdily built with 26”x 2.125” wheels and a coaster brake. So far the bikes have served us well and we are enjoying biking as a fun exercise regimen.

So far we have encountered plenty of other seniors that are also enjoying biking and many of them had electric bikes. We have talked with a number of them and they all liked having the extra help and extended range that came with having integrated battery power incorporated into their bikes. Naturally, we became interested in electric bikes as well! However, after checking the prices of factory-made electric bikes, we decided a “front wheel conversion kit” was a much better option for us to try out an electric bike option of our own.

Online research has ensued. It has been very incredibly frustrating to find pertinent information! All the information we have reviewed seems to be directed toward “hard core” bicyclists…. or people with an unlimited bank account … or at machine shops …. or to bike shops/mechanics. What we would like to know is how we might convert via a “conversion kit” of our admittedly cheap bikes into an electric bike given the following constraints.

- it must accommodate a 26” single speed coaster brake bike

- a battery package must be included and mount to a rear wheel rack

- the battery package must employ good quality cells

- the battery package must be at least 500 watts of power and at least 12 amp hours

- contain a rear rack that mounts on the rear wheel axle (not a seat post mounted rack)

- a good quality battery charger must be included

- a good reputation for product performance and reliability.

Does anyone know of such an electric bike conversion kit? If so please advise soonest … and you will have our “Thanks” (and many others I suspect) for doing so!
 

CuckooForCargoBikes

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Feb 16, 2022
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If you want to keep your rear coaster brake, a front hub kit will be the way to go, although Tongsheng makes a middrive kit specifically for coaster brake bikes, but it's 350W (which is still plenty peppy for cruising around though probably more complicated than you want for your current needs). Look for a Bafang 500w front hub conversion kit on eBay or Amazon, specifically a geared hub over the direct drive, geared hubs are smaller and lighter than the direct drive style. Make sure that it's shipped from a US location and always check the feedback and reviews, a lot of the kit sellers are sketchy and pop up/disappear under different seller names when they get bad reviews. Also if you're going front hub, make sure your current bikes have 100mm dropouts, a lot of coaster bikes have a slightly narrower front hub opening, and use at least one torque arm, but two torque arms are better if only for peace of mind.
 

CuckooForCargoBikes

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Feb 16, 2022
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This kit from Eunorau is typical, maybe a few bucks more than some of the eBay/Amazon sellers, but they've been around for years and ship from Las Vegas and their customer service is very prompt.
 

Nelson37

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Mar 15, 2022
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Check that your front forks are STEEL. A magnet should stick tightly. If not steel, then you need reinforcing torque arms to prevent the motor from spinning the axle in the fork dropouts, which can cause a catastrophic accident.

If you have suspension forks, the motor will likely cause binding of the suspension under load, this is not a huge problem but can cause some variations in handling than can be disconcerting if you are not prepared for it.
 
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