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Author Topic: E-bike build using a kit  (Read 5878 times)

Offline Lesgold

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E-bike build using a kit
« on: August 16, 2023, 03:05:14 am »
Hi Folks,

It?s good to be home from the trip but there is a lot to do around the place. Cleaning the ute and van is the number one priority followed by beekeeping chores and plenty of gardening. Mixed in with that will be a couple of projects that I have planned. The first is to build an e-bike using a donor bike and a conversion kit that was purchased on line.

During our travels, I met a guy who had done exactly that. I?ve always wanted an e-bike but the expense put it on the back burner for a while. If you build one yourself, you can end up with a product that is much cheaper than a store purchased bike. So I decided to give it a go and put one together.

The first step was to look for a donor bike. Going down the second hand path can save a lot of money and you can buy one that is well made for a fraction of its new value. When we were passing through Sydney, I saw a good bike advertised quite cheaply. It was over ten years old but it had all of the features that I was after. This bike would have cost well over a $1000 new but I was able to pick it up for $350. I chose the conversion kit that I wanted and it cost me $1500. If I wanted to buy an e-bike with similar features, I would be paying double the amount that this project will cost.The kit arrived this morning and I had to make a start. (Even though there were some more important jobs waiting) The first task was to disconnect the crank from the bottom bracket and remove the pedals. This only took 5 minutes and was a simple task using some of the tools supplied with the kit. Guilt got the better of me so I returned to my cleaning jobs. I may spend an hour or so on the bike tomorrow if beekeeping duties allow. I?ll keep you guys posted on the build. It should only take about half a day but it will be assembled in small blocks of free time.

Offline Kathyp

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Re: E-bike build using a kit
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2023, 11:53:57 am »
please do keep us updated.  I have been looking at those but they are stupid expensive to buy new.
There is no week nor day nor hour when tyranny may not enter upon this country, if the people lose their roughness and spirit of defiance.? --Walt Whitman

Offline BeeMaster2

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Re: E-bike build using a kit
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2023, 01:10:23 pm »
I don?t ride my bike very often so there?s not really any reason to buy an e-bike. They sell them at our local Ace Hardware store, the price tags are well over $4,500.
Not something that I could justify. Being out in the country where I live, the main road are not the safest place for a bike. I?ll stick with my side by side. At least I can get pretty close to the speeds that the cars are doing and it is large enough to be seen.
Jim Altmiller
Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.
Ben Franklin

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: E-bike build using a kit
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2023, 01:27:35 pm »
I am very interested in you project also Les.  As Katyhy ask, please keep us updated.
Thanks,

Phillip
« Last Edit: August 16, 2023, 11:38:15 pm by Ben Framed »
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Kathyp

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Re: E-bike build using a kit
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2023, 01:29:14 pm »
Quote
Not something that I could justify.

That's where I have been.  We have a grocery store that is within walking distance if you like long walks, but I don't want to carry all that stuff home by hand.  I always feel  kinda dumb driving to the store though.  Especially in good weather.   :grin:
There is no week nor day nor hour when tyranny may not enter upon this country, if the people lose their roughness and spirit of defiance.? --Walt Whitman

Offline Lesgold

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Re: E-bike build using a kit
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2023, 07:17:30 pm »
I guess everyone?s situation is different and I know what you are saying Jim. Riding on a major road would be a scary experience. I wouldn?t even think of doing that (although many do). I live about 5 minutes drive from the local beaches and town is about 4km away. Apart from one short hill to climb to get to my house, the country is flat and is well suited to cycling due to the excellent cycling path that keeps cyclists off the main road. I may eventually put a rack on the bike so that I can pick up a few groceries from the supermarket rather than using the car. It?s something that I could have done with a normal bicycle anyway but this conversion kit will just make the whole experience a little more enjoyable.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: E-bike build using a kit
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2023, 09:14:13 pm »
Back onto the project for about an hour before other duties call. The next job was to remove the front gear shifter mechanism as it wouldn?t be required for the kit. The chain was also broken, the drive cog attached to the motor and the left hand grip was removed. When the motor was slipped into the bottom bracket, I noticed that the drive cog was hitting on the frame. I bought a spacer kit with the motor as this is often a problem. Two spacers fixed the issue but that then created another problem. The bracket that attaches to the motor on the other side now had a gap. Washers will then be needed to fix this issue. Again, it is common to encounter this problem when assembling the kit. A few washers to act as spacers will close the gap. I will sort that out tomorrow.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: E-bike build using a kit
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2023, 11:58:16 pm »
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: E-bike build using a kit
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2023, 05:09:18 am »
Quote
I live about 5 minutes drive from the local beaches and town is about 4km away. Apart from one short hill to climb to get to my house, the country is flat and is well suited to cycling due to the excellent cycling path that keeps cyclists off the main road.

The e-type bike is really picking up interest in my area Les. Until now I did not realize there was a conversion kit available.
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: E-bike build using a kit
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2023, 06:28:40 pm »
Hi Phillip,

I had a look at the clip. There are some clever people out there. It was very interesting.

The gap in between the housing bracket and motor was 4mm. I could have used some washers but I actually had some aluminium plate of the correct thickness so I made my own. Pedals were added and the motor was finally installed. A controller switch, display and throttle were then positioned on the handle bars. The battery bracket was then fitted using the existing bottle holder mounts. All of these tasks were very simple and were completed using the Allen wrenches supplied with the kit. I will start running cables and mounting sensors over the next couple of days.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: E-bike build using a kit
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2023, 07:04:53 pm »
Quote
All of these tasks were very simple and were completed using the Allen wrenches supplied with the kit. I will start running cables and mounting sensors over the next couple of days.
Thumbs Up!
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: E-bike build using a kit
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2023, 06:21:35 pm »
With the markets coming up on the weekend, most of my spare time was spent bottling honey and making labels. Only managed to do a bit of work on the bike yesterday. Checked that the battery fitted and then routed and connected the cables where possible. A speed sensor was added to the back wheel of the bike and then cabled ties added to keep everything in place. The chain was cleaned and lubed and the motor was given a run to ensure everything was working as it should. Later today, brake sensors will be added. Components will need to be glued in place with epoxy which will delay the testing of the bike.

Offline BeeMaster2

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Re: E-bike build using a kit
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2023, 07:39:39 pm »
Les,
How much weight will this add to the bike?
Jim Altmiller
Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.
Ben Franklin

Offline Lesgold

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Re: E-bike build using a kit
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2023, 01:04:53 am »
The whole kit including tools and packaging was 11kg. The weight added to the bike would therefore be just under 10kg which includes the battery. Obviously a larger battery would increase weight a bit more. Bike strength is important due to the stresses and strain placed on components. This is why I chose a good quality mountain bike for the build.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: E-bike build using a kit
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2023, 05:36:38 pm »
The final steps of the build are to instal a gear shift sensor and brake sensors. The gear shift sensor fits on the cable and cuts power to the motor when it detects cable movement. This reduces stresses that can be placed on the chain and rear cluster during this process. Again, it was a simple job to instal this component. The brake sensors do the same thing when the brake levers are activated. From the picture you can see that the sensor is glued to the brake housing and a small rare earth magnet is attached to the brake lever. As the brake lever is activated, the magnet moves away from the sensor and the motor shuts down. I used a good quality epoxy for this task to ensure a permanent bond. The double sided tape that comes with the kit is not a good option in my opinion as tape would let go over time. This part of the build involved a little trial and testing before the correct magnet location was found. When the glue cures, I will finalise cable placement and test the beast.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: E-bike build using a kit
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2023, 09:45:54 am »
Your getting close Les..
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: E-bike build using a kit
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2023, 06:47:06 pm »
The bike is finally complete. I reckon it took about six hours all up to put it together. As it was my first build, I took my time and spread tasks over a few days. This allowed me to think through and plan each step so that mistakes weren?t made. If I were to put together another bike for my wife, about four hours would be needed for the build. I forgot to include a photo of the gear shift sensor. As you can see from the pic, the outer sheath of the cable is cut and reduced in size and the inner cable is threaded through the sensor. The remaining wires were positioned and secured with cable ties and the wheel size was entered into the display program. Fingers were crossed as I switched the bike on and started riding. There are 5 power assist levels on the bike and the lowest level was selected for the test. The bike was so easy to pedal. It felt like you were riding down hill all of the time. I went for a 2km ride to show the guys at a new bike shop what I made. They adjusted the gears for me so that all changes were smooth. I will see them again tomorrow to buy a new chain. Cycle paths were followed all the way to the main shopping centre. I used gear changes and brakes regularly to ensure that all sensors worked as they should. The bike couldn?t be faulted at all. I live on a hill and there is one short ,steep climb to push up before reaching the house. Normally people walk their bikes up this hill as it is quite a difficult climb. I selected a low gear and put the bike into assist level 3 and climbed the hill with ease. I was impressed with how the bike performed. Later that day I rode into town again. On this trip, I was pushing into a breeze. I needed to put in a bigger effort with my legs to keep the bike speed up. It was still easy going but the extra effort required was noticeable. I pressed a button and went to power level 2. The bike immediately took off and accelerated when I turned the crank. On the trip home, a tail wind allowed me to ride home on the lowest power setting with minimal effort on my part. 23km was covered in the test rides. The battery was still showing 80% charge so it looks like the range will be very good. Hilly country and higher assist levels will obviously reduce this. I did try the high assist levels briefly but there was so much power there, it would rarely be needed. Overall cost for the build was $1850 which included the bike, kit and an assembly tool kit. The kit did come with a front light but that has not been fitted as yet. While we were away on holidays, I rode a $3500 bike. It looked pretty was quite nice to ride. My bike doesn?t look as refined but I have a larger battery and have double the power of that bike. As far as value for money goes, I?m well in front. Can?t wait to jump on again and get out on the road. Unfortunately, my bees are calling me and they take priority today.

Cheers

Les

Offline Kathyp

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Re: E-bike build using a kit
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2023, 07:12:50 pm »
That's very cool.  Makes me want to give it a try.  I have a bike in the garage that I have been thinking about pulling out anyway. 
There is no week nor day nor hour when tyranny may not enter upon this country, if the people lose their roughness and spirit of defiance.? --Walt Whitman

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: E-bike build using a kit
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2023, 12:28:42 am »
Awesome!
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Acebird

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Re: E-bike build using a kit
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2023, 08:46:22 am »
I paid 400 for my ebike last Christmas.  It folds up to where you can place it in the back seat or trunk.  Top speed is 18mph and goes way farther then I can stand sitting on it.  So I bought another seat for it.  It is wonderful for nature trails and running the dog.  Bought it at Costco.  However I do know the pleasure of building something yourself.  I hope you love it.
Brian Cardinal
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