Electric Bike Outfitters EBO Front Range Kit Review

Ebo Front Range Electric Bike Kit Review
Electric Bike Outfitters Front Range Kit
Electric Bike Outfitters Front Range Gearless Motor Cassette
Electric Bike Outfitters Front Range Battery Pack And Controller
Electric Bike Outfitters Front Range Led Console And Twist Throttle
Electric Bike Outfitters Front Range 500 Watt Direct Drive Motor
Electric Bike Outfitters Front Range Battery Lock And Power Button
Electric Bike Outfitters Front Range Controller Box
Ebo Front Range Electric Bike Kit Review
Electric Bike Outfitters Front Range Kit
Electric Bike Outfitters Front Range Gearless Motor Cassette
Electric Bike Outfitters Front Range Battery Pack And Controller
Electric Bike Outfitters Front Range Led Console And Twist Throttle
Electric Bike Outfitters Front Range 500 Watt Direct Drive Motor
Electric Bike Outfitters Front Range Battery Lock And Power Button
Electric Bike Outfitters Front Range Controller Box

Summary

  • A powerful gearless hub motor kit capable of being installed as a front or rear wheel, sturdy and relatively quiet
  • Gearless motors tend to be heavier and this one is ~12 lbs and does not offer a regeneration option for regenerative braking
  • The display console is more basic (LED lights vs. an LCD screen) but also takes up less space, the kit comes stock with trigger throttle but has a twist throttle as an opion
  • Quality Samsung cells in the battery pack, larger capacity at 14.5 amp hours, solid one year warranty on all parts

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National eBike Shops

Electric Cyclery
900 N Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach,  CA  92651
Propel Bikes
134 Flushing Ave
Brooklyn,  NY  11205

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Electric Bike Outfitters

Model:

EBO Front Range

Price:

$1,083

Suggested Use:

Urban, Trail, Commuting

Electric Bike Class:

Throttle on Demand (Class 2)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

30 Day Return, 1 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

20152016

Bicycle Details

Battery Weight:

7 lbs ( 3.17 kg )

Motor Weight:

12 lbs ( 5.44 kg )

Gearing Details:

9 (Single Speed or Shimano 6 or 7 Speed Cassettes or SunRace 8 and 9 Speed Cassettes)

Brake Details:

Mechanical 5 Brand Levers with Motor Inhibitors

Rims:

Aluminum Alloy

Spokes:

13 Gauge Stainless Steel, 36 Spoke

Wheel Sizes:

26 in ( 66.04 cm )27.5 in ( 69.85 cm )28 in ( 71.12 cm )

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Female USB Charge Port on Battery Pack, EBO Quick Connect Anti-Water Wiring, Optional Black or Silver Motor Color, Optional Black or White Battery Color, Optional Twist Throttle, Optional Wuxing Twist Throttle

Other:

Compatible with Disc Brakes or Caliper Style Brakes (Clamp Diameter 22.2 mm), Compatible with 100 mm, 120 mm, or 135 mm Dropout Sizes, Compatible with 26", 27.5" or 700C Wheel Size, 22 Amp Controller

Electronic Details

Motor Type:

Front-Mounted Gearless Direct Drive Hub, Rear-Mounted Gearless Direct Drive Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Battery Brand:

Samsung

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

14.5 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

522 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

25 miles ( 40 km )

Estimated Max Range:

45 miles ( 72 km )

Display Type:

Fixed LED Console

Readouts:

Mode (Low, Med, High), Speed (5-33 MPH), Charge Level (1-4)

Drive Mode:

Trigger Throttle, Twist Throttle, Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist

Top Speed:

20 mph ( 32 kph )

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Written Review

The EBO Front Range Kit is a mixed bag for me. I appreciate the more powerful 500 watt motor but given the gearless direct-drive design it weighs more than the more affordable planetary geared kits. Gearless motors are said to be tougher (no gears rubbing inside) and often allow for regenerative braking but that isn’t an option here. What you get is a relatively affordable, medium-power ebike kit. It operates quietly and should last well (you get a one year warranty which is great) but the display is more basic and there’s not throttle-only mode which can come in handy for off-road riding on bumpy terrain.

Even though the Front Range kit is compatible as a front or rear wheel motor, I would almost always choose to put it in the rear. The added weight in the front would definitely impact steering and might even spin out on loose terrain. At the rear, you get a more solid mounting point (especially if you’ve got a suspension fork up front as the demo bike I tried did) and you’re still balancing some of the weight forward with the downtube-mounted battery. The battery is actually one of my favorite parts of this kit because it uses quality Samsung cells, offers more capacity than some of the smaller kits and is easy to remove or lock onto the frame. This pack style is called a “Dolphin” and it can power your bike as well as a USB accessory given the female port on the right side. I’d mostly use this off the bike as a backup power source because when you’re pedaling it’s easy to snag this are of the pack (and any protruding USB plug and wire) with your shoe or leg.

I accidentally snagged the power cable running to the motor on this kit during the video review above and that goes to show how cable management can be a chore on any ebike kit. It’s nice to have your cables all zip tied up but even the best cable management can still look a bit tacky… that’s why all-black frames are a good choice because the cables blend in more. In addition to cables, this kit also has an independent controller box which can be mounted to the seat tube or possibly a rear rack. It’s just one more thing to deal with and it completely takes up the space for any kind of accessory or bottle cage when paired with the downtube style battery.

Overall, this is a solid package but generic gearless motors aren’t my personal preference. I’m a light weight guy who likes to pedal so I tend to opt for geared hubs or mid-drives. Some ebikes like the Stromer ST2 and Specialized Turbo show off what’s possible when you go high-end gearless because their motors are light, fast and offer regeneration but you’ll spend quite a bit more for that performance. I feel like the EBO Front Range motor could benefit from a 48 volt battery here to take full advantage of the extra copper windings inside but as it stands you’re going to get more power and drive than with some of their lighter kits. For true power however, I’m more excited about the EBO Mountaineer for just $100 more.

Pros:

  • There’s a built-in female USB port at the top right portion of the battery pack and this can be used to power a phone or other mobile device while riding the bike or as a backup source of power off the bike
  • Solid value at just over $1k considering you get a powerful 500 watt gearless motor and an oversized 14.5 amp hour battery! Most ebike kits offer 350 watt motors with a 10 ah battery, the cells on this bike are also Samsung and I trust that they are higher quality
  • Not only does Electric Bike Outfitters offer a one year comprehensive warranty, they also provide a 30 day money back guarantee and in my experience have been very willing to do custom swaps to get you the right wheel size or a different throttle unit (twist vs. trigger) free of charge or for very little money
  • Great wiring hardware (color coded makes it easier to setup and repair), the 5 Star brake levers are more generic but they do include motor inhibitor switches to cut power whenever you barke
  • Pedal assist is great for conserving the battery and getting some exercise and three modes is alright but I love that you’ve also got a throttle that can override at any time to help power up a hill or pass a fellow cyclist
  • The hub motor design on this kit is compatible with disc brakes but you can also use standard rim brakes as well, the one thing that requires a changeout is hydraulic brakes because the included levers only work with mechanical systems, you could use hydraulic levers of your own but if they don’t have electronic brake inhibitors built in you won’t be operating as safely (especially given the “all the time” pedal assist design)
  • The kit comes in several configurations to replace a 26″, 27.5″ or 700c wheel, to fit a 100 mm, 120 mm, or 135 mm dropout, and to work as either a front or rear wheel drive kit (though I’d highly recommend rear given the weight of the motor so as not to adversely impact steering)
  • The battery pack snaps on and off easily and quickly for convenient charging or lighter weight transport, you also get a solid locking core built into the battery for when it’s mounted to the frame
  • Especially for trail and mountain use the default trigger throttle works very well as it does not compromise your grip though it might take more space on your bars than the twist throttle (I just don’t like full-grip twists)

Cons:

  • I like the USB charging port but it’s positioned on the side of the battery which makes it easier to bump with your leg when pedaling or to snag the wire… would be better on the top or front end of the pack vs. the side
  • The controller unit for this kit is built into a separate black box which adds clutter to the frame and means more wires have to be dealt with
  • On the demo bike I filmed and photographed above the battery was mounted to the downtube using the stock water bottle cage bosses and the controller box was fit onto the seat tube so there wasn’t anywhere to add a bottle… Consider an aftermarket saddle rail adapter, a rear carry rack with bottle bag or using a Camelbak
  • The LED console offers several readouts (mode, charge level and speed) but is still more basic than an LCD which could show trip distance, time, max speed etc. the unit they chose is fairly small, tough and more affordable so it’s not too bad
  • The battery pack has an independent on/off button built into it which has to be activated before the display panel is turned on, this extra step makes the pack easier to leave on accidentally and can be confusing if you forget and try to activate the bike just using the display
  • There are no lights built into this kit and I think it would be difficult to wire them in, I like when I can run everything off of one battery but you can always get some aftermarket lights that are rechargeable if you ride at night a lot
  • While the cadence sensing pedal assist worked alright, it only uses a five magnet system vs. 12 on a lot of newer builds and kits I’ve seen which means it is less responsive (especially in higher gears where pedal rotation can be slower at low speeds)
  • Gearless motors are very durable and operate without producing much noise but they do weigh more and this one is ~12 lbs, the battery is also a bit heavier because it’s a larger capacity pack so ~7 lbs
  • Sometimes gearless motors offer regenerative braking which can extend rides by ~10% but that feature was not included with this kit (likely to keep the price down)
  • There is no throttle-only mode with this kit, you have to enable one of three pedal assist settings in order to use the throttle and this means that any pedal movement can also activate the motor which could cause instability for some applications
  • The pedal assist sensor is not a clip-on design so you actually have to remove the crank arms in order to mount it, once it’s on however it feels solid and is actually quite responsive

Resources:

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Shoestring
16 hours ago
Welcome TPA, these are MY opinions regarding your situation. The eco bikes you selected are not suitable for a 20 mile commute, no way no how! I think these are death traps on the road, the small wheels will be very unstable. A pot hole of any size will be an instant catastrophe. 20 miles at 20mph takes a pretty decent bike with moderate power, especially with little or no pedal assist. A quality battery alone will run you $500.

With your $800 budget you could: get a decent used bike, a craigslist special- $150, A front geared hub motor kit $400, and a battery (an inexpensive one) $2-400 range. Put it all together and get the job done. Your expectations are borderline unrealistic. Don't cheap out, your safety is on the line.
mrgold35
5 days ago
I'm 6'3" and 265 lbs (down from 287 lbs when I started biking again at the end of summer). I've had pretty good luck with my 2016 Radrover. I added a larger Sunlite cloud-9 seat 11.5 X 12.5 size and a Suntour NCX SP-12 suspension seat post. I didn't have to adjust anything else for a comfortable ride. The longest ride I've taken with my ebike was 36 miles at PAS 3 and my legs gave out before the battery did (just under 20% battery life). I use the ebike mostly for commuting to work 13 miles round-trip on paved main and side roads. I'm probably 290-300 lbs with cold riding weather gear, large back pack, Topeak Rack bag with Panniers, work cloths, lunch, and cool weather gear for the afternoon.

It is mostly a drop in elevation to work of 5400 ft down to 4900 ft and I maintain speeds between 20-23 mph at PAS 5. My speed range heading home is between 15-17 mph at PAS 3-4 depending on how stiff the headwind is that day. I have no problems maintaining 18-19 mph at PAS 3 on level ground (again, any headwind will drop my speed).

One thing I really like about my 4" fat tire bike is it can transition from paved road, bumpy dirt lots, dirt trail, rocky trails, mud, and sand on the same ride. If you are planning to ride at all in the sand, fat tires with low PSI make it possible.

Which ever ebike you pick, I would plan to upgrade the seat post to a suspension type like thudbuster, cirrus body float, or Suntour NCX SP12 (assuming it is not a full suspension bike). I would also lean towards a bike with:
- front suspension forks
- larger tires to fat tires if possible to smooth out the ride more (cracked paved road are very bumpy at 15-23 mph)
- PAS and throttle
- opt for a larger battery capacity if available because you and I seill always use more e-power because of the extre weight
- plan on upgrading the seat and seat post. My seat Suntour seatpost is 27.2mm/400mm long. A 350mm lenght will work; but, you will be at its max height if you have long legs.
- make sure the bike comes with or has places to add accessories like water bottle(s), fenders, and racks.
Nirmala
1 week ago
Of course another option is to get an ebike with two or three chainrings in the front, and let your legs give you the added range. Then you can save your battery for the really big hills.
JRA
4 weeks ago
I can't suggest a lower psi for you but I can give you an example based on what I personally use and how I arrived at what works best for me.

The only good low psi you can run is what works for you ultimately without pinch flatting all the time. As that article suggests wider tires run at low psi don't do much to rolling resistance especially on an e bike one would assume. I see that stock tires on an ST 1 are 26x2.15 but there is no spec for the inner width of the rim which you can guesstimate by measuring the outer dimension and subtract a few mm for the rim material. I haven't run 26" wheels for a long time but when I did on my mtb I would use in the low 40's IIRC on i19-25 rims for mtb use that also included road riding.

For this type of bike I am using rims that have an interior dimension of 23-25 mm.

View attachment 13103

Previously rims of this width were used primarily on mtb's with 2.0 tires and up. But fat bikes and now plus bikes and gravel bikes have shown that wider rims can be used for them to achieve lower psi. I first came to this conclusion myself 3 years ago when I ended up with a set of wheels that had i35 rims and after mounting them on my mtb with my 2.1 tires on them and doing the air test as described below I was amazed to see that my new psi was 15 whereas before with the same tire on an i20 rim it was 30.

To that end I use 40-45c tires (1.5-1.6 approx) that I inflate to psi in the low 30's front and rear. I have done this both tubed and tubeless with good results and no noticeable increase in rolling resistance over if I run them at a higher psi but with a marked increase in comfort and traction. Tubeless is generally considered a way to be able to use lower psi as it won't pinch flat but it takes the correct tubeless system rim/tire combo to work properly. It can be done what is called the "ghetto" way but that has never been worth it to me over just using a tube. But now that I am with the tubeless program I find it easy to use and am phasing out tubes altogether. I still carry one for emergency use though!

I am a little under you in body weight at 195 lbs. and I have never weighed my bike but it has to be in the 50 lb range. A good test that you can do is to letting a little air out at a time from your standard psi ride around the block each time letting out a little more air and go until the ride starts to feel squirmish. Check that psi with a gauge and as a starting point add 5 psi to it and inflate to that psi which should be pretty close you your lowest possible psi. It is ok to use more in the back than in the front if you feel the difference during your air out testing but I find it doesn't make that much difference once you find your optimal psi for your terrain and riding style.

A good gauge really helps to define this as the ones connected to floor pumps are not all that exact.
Christopher
4 weeks ago
Joe Pipes
It may be more difficult to choose my second bike than selecting my first bike. When starting out, you dont know the questions to ask. Once you get into it, er- addicted, you get kind of picky.

I am currently riding a Pedego City Commuter. 45v 15a battery the range is awesome. and comfort is sweet.

Here is my spec list, if anything jumps to your attention of a brand / model to look into. Let me know.
Front Suspension, If my pedego had front suspension forks, I prop would not change.
Pedal Assist, not throttle only / pedal mode
I prefer longer range over top speed. I can ride three four five hours and enjoy it. up to 50 miles +
relaxed / easy / upright position. I enjoy the cruising, not racing or in a hurry.
Rear fender rack, either standard or add on I like to pack a lot, too much
Front rack. Yes I told you I pack way too much s*it. But hey I am never hungry or thirsty.
digital display, battery life - miles - speed

If a particular model / brand comes to mind, please share.
thanks
Joe
JoeT, you asked and Pedego listened!

Based on your needs listed above, I highly recommend the Pedego Interceptor Platinum Edition:

1.) New front suspension feature added (RST Zeus).

2.) New and improved Panasonic 48V 15a battery for longer range over top speed. Pedego is transitioning from Samsung to Panasonic battery cells (Tesla electric vehicles use the top of the line Panasonic battery cells).

3.) New and improved swept back handle bars for a more relaxed / easy / upright position.

4.) The Pedego Interceptor Platinum Edition is hands-down the ultimate cruiser-style e-bike on the market today.

5.) Rear fender rack with optional clamp.

6.) Solid frame built pannier blockers. Instead of a front rack, I recommend a pannier for increased storage since you like to pack a lot. Or you could always add a basket to the front if you need more storage than a pannier can handle.

7.) Last but not least, priced at the low end of your 3-5k budget, listed for $3,795.


Cheers,

Christopher


Steve Plattner
4 weeks ago
I agree tire inflation is important. I tend to pump mine up to 55 on the rear tire, 50 on the front. I weigh 205, so the bike and I with an extra battery are up in the 275-280 lb. range. Any thoughts on what a good lower psi figure would be that would provide a smoother ride but also minimize rolling resistance?
Joe Pipes
2 months ago
Wanderlust
Hi,

I'm not particularly in a hurry. I was thinking I may start touring in April, which gives me 5 months for planning. I haven't decided on pannier vs trailer yet. I don't intend to carry much with me.

My local ebike shop has Bulls, iZip, Pedego and EZ Motion bikes. Any feedback on the bikes from these manufacturers? I think I may be leaning toward the Bulls Lacuba; it is about $1000 over my planned budget though.
Wunderlust. Sounds like a fantastic journey / adventure. I am the very happy owner of a Pedigo
https://www.pedegoelectricbikes.com/shop/28-classic-city-commuter/ with the 48v 15a battery
and Love it. It has incredible comfort and very good range. On one trip in NW Arkansas I made it about 49 miles into a 53 mile trip with very hilly steep inclines. I weight about 210 and pack so much gear my buddies joke that it takes a village to ride with me. My only hesitation is that it does not have front suspension, I do miss that since I do take this bad boy off road. and yes the looks are part of the fun. Must be a sight to see pee wee herman bouncing along the trails. But hey. I enjoy it.
I have no info on any other bikes, but am currently looking for a second bike for me, and this one will be for sale very soon. almost free. LOL.
Joe
Taipan
2 months ago
Plus the additional weight and wind resistance of the bodies (bike + rider position) ;-)

The only viable option is regenerative braking, pretty complex on a pedelec (1) since your engine is not located where you break most (ie. the front wheel) and (2) it'd need to trigger as soon as you stop pedaling, before you activate the mechanical brakes, very uncomfortable.

Tesla Motors does it on the Model S and X, it's super-efficient as a brake when you released the accelerator and many drivers use it 90% of the time by coasting, except emergency ofc; super rare to change brake pads on a Tesla as a result.
Energy wise though, it only regens 3-5% of the battery max on a full trip and that's world-class hardware/software electrical engineers who shared offices with world-class rocket scientists at SpaceX.
It slowly became a non-critical selling point (not even mentioned on the current prospectus) like the 7-seats configuration.
https://www.tesla.com/models?redirect=no

These folks would probably be better off with a standard frame mount and that second battery they paid for as a back-up on a rack if max range is the objective.
smitty
2 months ago
Nikolai
I ended with ST2 because of the range and overall better feelings.
ST1 range is simply too limiting.
I think you made the right choice, I started with the Limited Edition and loved it, but after doing a ton more research, including many posts on this Forum, I moved up to the ST-2. Somewhere on this Forum, I did a comparison feature by feature between the two. The easiest summary I think is that there is an elegant difference between the two models and the price difference clearly indicates that. My continued thinking is that it was worth it to go with the ST-2; best of luck with it...one note of caution, my daughter in Seattle has an e-bike and unfortunately dropped a front wheel between the trolly tracks downtown and took a pretty bad spill off of it. Apparently it was a freak accident caused by trying to be polite in heavy traffic...I'm thinking that the tires on the ST-2 are probably larger width-wise which could mitigate the problem if one were to run into it...
karlos
3 months ago
Hi LC1, some of the differences for 2017 are listed below:
  • Carbon fibre frame addition to the existing lineup
  • Hi spec model added - Carbon Wheelset & RS1 Front Fork
  • Lower spec models offered to expand the price range to offer lower cost models
  • Slight modification to the Bulls logo
  • Minor colour changes
The models I have arriving in October are all the last of the 2016 range.
In the E-Stream EVO Range for 2017, the 27.5 model is dropped from the range and due to popularity, the 27.5+ and 29" only are offered.

In summary, the 2016 models I have arriving are different in colour and Bulls logo only. The 27.5 will no longer be available (only 27.5+)

As far as support goes, your local bike shop will be able to handle any regular servicing issues regarding the actual bicycle componentry.
We are the Service Agents for Brosë in New Zealand and Australia will be able to assist you with any electronic issues.

I can organise shipping to anywhere in Australia on your behalf using my freight forwarder if you like.

Please feel free to contact me directly if you would like to know more.
Cheers!
Richard@Paris
3 months ago
Hello Dewey, I appreciate you taking the time to reply.. I have found your info very useful.. I have done some further investigation, and found that "the Alfine eight-speed IGH gear range is more than enough for regular town and country use. With a 20-tooth sprocket on hub, this approximately imitates the gears on a 12-38-tooth cassette". I have a 20 tooth rear sprocket so I will add a 42 tooth front chain ring and see how that goes.. I have the IGH Gear sensor but yet to install it.. Once i have tested this, I will then update the Controller PAS setting as you have done and see how this improves the overall output..

Thanks again for your assistance..
Cameron Newland
4 months ago
LawrenceEaden
Hi All.

I'm a little way into my build now and I thought I would share my experiences. My main goal for the project is to build an eBike that doesn't look like one. I recently got a single gear bike to try because i like the aesthetic and simplicity. A bike like this has a compromise with the gearing though, you can choose to make it easy to take off at the lights and get up hills, or have a good top speed.

This lead to my eBike project, could i gear the bike for a good top speed pedalling, then have electric assist for hills and getting off the line.

The Bike
This is the bike I'm starting with from Hackney Cycles, London. (£160)



All the components feel extremely cheap but considering what i had planned for it I wanted to keep the risk capital low and I can always upgrade components later.

The Battery
This is where it starts to get a bit tricky. I don't want a visible battery on the frame, so i had the idea of putting the battery IN the frame using 18560 cells. I could only fit 20 cells in the frame (top tube 6, seat tube 6, bottom tube 8). This would let me do a 36v (10s,2p) battery. So I did some maths.


Cells Used - Samsung ICR18650-26F (£3.95 each)
http://batteriesplus.co.uk/acatalog....7-V-2600-mAh-Lithium-cell-1957.html#SID=1123

Weight
20 x 45g = 900g

Voltage
3.7 x 10 = 37V

Capacity
2.6Ah x 2 = 5.2Ah

Max Current Draw
5.2A x 2 = 10.4A

Max Power
37 x 10.4 = Approx 350w

WattHours
37V x 5.2Ah = 192.4Wh

I was then trying to work out what range this would give me i found lots of different estimations of how many WattHours per Mile you use, between 5 and 20. So I took the top estimate to be conservative.

Range
192.4Wh / 20Wh/m = 9.62 Miles

For a first build I think this will be okay. My commute to work is 7 miles, so i can charge at both ends, and it's fine to get to the shops and back. I always have the option for longer journeys to add another battery in parallel in a rucksack.

10s is quite a common setup so findng a BMS PCB is very easy. I will add the balancing wires when I build my pack.

The Motor

The maximum power my internal battery could provide is 350w so that's a good start for my motor spec. I wanted to keep the rim that came with the bike for the oem look. The rim has 32 spokes, most hub motors are made for mountain bikes which have 36 spokes, and 135mm drop outs.

The options were very limited so I went for the Q100C CST 36V350W (£117.88 inc shipping)
https://bmsbattery.com/ebike-kit/65...driving-hub-motor-ebike-kit.html#/213-rpm-201

I am waiting for this to arrive. but I have tried to work out the spoke configuration using a great online calculator here. http://www.ebikes.ca/tools/spoke-calc.html

The Controller

I have done a few home automation projects before using raspberry pis and arduinos so I would like to go down this route eventually to add my own features like gps and data logging. There are so many cheap controllers around though I wanted to get one to reverse engineer the circuit and use it to get the bike going.


I went for this one on amazon (£15)
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00EB84L70

I'm still not sure where to package this on the bike. I have seen you can get nice leather frame bags for tool kits. This could work well because it butts up to the frame so wires can go between them discretely and it's something seen on non electric bikes.

Power Control


For simplicity to start the power will be completely controlled by a thumb throttle.

I found an inconspicuous one on ebay. (£8.99)
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/-/162194486812?roken=cUgayN

Final Specs

Voltage
36v

Power
350w

Range
9.5 Miles

Weight
Motor = 2.1kg
Battery = 0.9kg
Controller + Wiring + BMS = 0.8kg approx
Total = 3.8kg

Battery Build

Finally I get to start making things! I have seen a lot of people build battery packs spot welding nickel strips to the cells, but because mine has to take on the form of a tube, i thought that soldering wires should be okay. I used 0.75mm2 wire for the parallel connections and 1.5mm2 for the series ones. The balance wires are rated to 2 amps, i only expect to charge at 1amp.



To fit in the tubes I am building 3 packs which will be joined in series.
Top Tube - 3s,2p
Seat Tube - 3s,2p
Bottom Tube - 4s,2p

I started by making the 10 parallel pairs


Then linked 3 pairs together to make by first pack, and added wires for the balance charging. I tried to keep a 5mm gap between all the cells, and insulated all the ends with electrical tape to stop any shorts.


Once it was done i put heat shrink on it for a little rigidity and insulation. Two finished with ample wire at each end to route in the frame and add connectors.


This is as far as I'm up to with the battery. I have ordered more cells to finish the final pack. I am concerned about my soldering cracking after some time, so I think I will get some 20mm ID tube cut it into quarters down its length and heat shrink it to the packs for extra rigidity.

Frame Modifications

Okay so you may be wondering how i'm going to get these battery packs in the frame? I had a couple of options. The seat tube is easy, you can slide it right in but i can't get to the top or bottom tubes without drilling somewhere. a scary thought! I originally considered the bottom bracket after reading how over-engineered they usually are. but to get the right angle of hole i would come in contact with some welds for the drop out arms. So! Both holes could go through the head tube. I found some cool looking FEA for a bike frame and it looked like very little force went through the front face of the head tube.


Drilling a 15degree and 30degree 25mm hole in the centre of a tube freestyle didn't sound appealing at first, I designed some sheet metal jigs that would give me the angle and position i wanted. But with a 10 day lead time and extra cost I scrapped that and made paper templates i could stick to the tube and drill up to the line.



I got the angle grinder out to try and make a flat surface on the tube perpendicular to the tube the battery was going in. then centre punched and drilled a 5mm hole. I widened this with a stepper drill bit. finishing off with a die grinder to get the right profile.



I've only done one of the holes so far, but i'm pretty happy with the result! I removed the smallest amount of material to get the holes lines up to get the pack in the tube. I haven't done much modification work like this before, so i'm still learning the best ways to do things like this.



The pack fits! I haven't been able to find anywhere online someone making a DIY eBike like this so I'm going a little blind, but that makes it more fun as well! I will be left with two holes once i'm done, this could be perfect for designing a little custom front light and horn?



What's Next?

There's still a lot to do on this project, but as it's getting dark earlier now I have more motivation to stay after work and crack on with it. My list at the moment is

Bottom tube battery pack
Final wiring diagram
controller/bms packaging design
hub motor lacing to the hub when it arrives

Any comments, especially if you've seen any huge errors!, would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Lawrence.

Nice build, Lawrence! If I may ask, why did you decide to go with the 26F cell when there are other cells out there that offer higher energy density and higher current draw at a similar price? For instance, the Panasonic NCR18650PF cell offers 10A max current draw and 2900mAh and is a mid-priced cell ($2.00-$2.50/cell in bulk, shipping not included).
mrgold35
4 months ago
I ordered a white and black RadRover to NM. My black RR also had a bent derailleur and the chain was rubbing the tire in 1st and 2nd gear. The wife's front disk brake rotor was out of true and rubbed against one brake pad at one spot. My front brakes were extremely noisy compared to the wife's brakes.

I was able to bend my derailleur by hand back into place. I've tried to true up the wife's front rotor (by hand and adjustable wrench) and it sounds a little better; but, still rubs a touch. I also switched up the front tires between the two bikes and my noisy brakes are gone (wife's bike brakes are still in normal noise range). Now I have the out of true rotor and I'm going to give the rotor/brakes a few hundred more miles to see if it corrects itself on its own before replacing the rotor.

I emailed Rad Power Bikes about the above issues and they got back to by the next day with suggestions and YouTube video links on how to fix (Cory Tsai).

I'm fine with the above issues as long as the "e" part of e-bike is 100%.
Thomas Jaszewski
4 months ago
That Biktrix build is about as nice as they get. Especially in the price range. Not all step through frames are created equal. Some are more difficult than others. Georges example is nearer a Mixte frame and I find that a hard step through. Some of the lowest step throughs haven't been converted to eBikes. I'm about to do another front drive with a very low step through frame. Easiest mount ever and a real sweet ride. Unfortunately not a great climber for Seattle hills. But the Biria is without question the easiest mount step through. Biria EB-sm.jpg
James Kohls
4 months ago
Coming up on 500 miles; today I had my first flat. Big hard piece of metal wire, about 6 inches long, skewered the rear tire. Thankfully, I always carry a flat repair kit with me (attached to down-tube in water bottle holder in top photo).



I was a bit worried that an electric bike might make noticing flats more difficult with the motor giving so much assistance. But it was blatantly obvious as the big 47c tires make a very loud flapping noise. I was glad I had prior experience removing the rear axle, so i knew what to expect. I really recommend everyone try it at least once instead of learning during your first flat. Especially if you've never owned a bike with a thru axle before.

Here is a little trick some may not know about their SRAM X7 Rear Derailleur for loosening the chain.



Once the rear axle was removed from the non-drive-side, I laid the bike down on the non-drive-side to remove the rear wheel. If you can find a place with grass, this would be idea to keep from scraping up parts on your bike. The wheel had some heft to it, but it didn't really hinder the process.

I will say the trigger sport tires are fairly easy to remove and replace without tire levers. I had them, but really didn't need them. Overall, saving time using CO2 to fill the tire (vs a mini pump), it only took me about 10 minutes to change the tube with my spare. I'm really happy with how my Park Tool IB-2 performed. It is super small, but never felt like I was lacking leverage.

500 Mile Update

I've really been happy with how my Turbo X has performed. It is just a really fun bicycle. I think my favorite part about it is that it really feels like a bicycle...not some bike/moped hybrid. I don't miss having a throttle at all. The bike does just fine providing the power I need when I need it.

The longest trip I've taken so far is about 33 miles. In Eco 50 with 42% remaining on my return. 99% of the place I ride are within a 10 mile radius. Anything longer is usually a trip for pleasure. My worst range so far was during a very windy day. 20-30MPH gusts put me in Turbo mode the entire way. It was windy enough that when it hit me as a cross wind, I was actually leaning about 10 degrees to the side while I rode. A 10 mile bike trip ate up almost 50% of my battery. I passed a number of other bicyclists who were barely moving forward.

I did my own tune-up today—checking for loose bolts/screws/spokes, etc. Overall, things are still pretty tight. A few tweaks on some of the rear spokes is really all I needed.

Since I got my bike, my car has sat mostly idle. This bodes well for my eventual plans to not replace my car when it finally dies. I haven't had to put gas in my car since I bought the bike (and it has been several months now—still 1/3 of a tank left). With a cargo trailer, I can easily grab 3 full size grocery bags of food an bring it home with me. While it is over-priced—I would like to get a Burley Travoy some day for over-sized items.

The trailer is rated for 70 pounds, but I've used it to take home two 50lb bags of rock salt for my water softener. The Turbo X pulled it like a champ. I hardly knew it was there. Even up hills.

The Turbo X already has plenty of battle scars. I store my bike inside and have banged the pedals on my concrete steps more times that I care to admit.



I also used the kick stand on somewhat uneven ground and watched how quickly and hard a 50 pound bike can fall.



No matter. Battle scars build character.

Overall I am very happy with my purchase. The price of admission was steep, but it is paying off well. I have no regrets with the route I've taken and I am even more confident in sustaining a bike-only future for my transportation.

Accessories

Here are a list of some of the accessories I've gotten for my bike:

- Cateye Rapid X2 Front Light
- Cateye Rapid X3 Rear Light
- Ibera PakRak IB-RA5 Touring Plus Bicycle Carrier
- Topeak Modula II Bottle Cage Mount
- Flat Repair Kit:
--- Specialized KEG Storage Vessel
--- Park Tool IB-2 multi-tool
--- Park Tool GP-2 Pre-Glued patches
--- Genuine Innovations CO2 Kit
--- Generic tire levers and glue patch kit
- 12x135 1.0mm Thread Pitch RobertAxleProject Threaded Hitch Mount (ONE005)
--- Stock Axle says 12x142, but if you replace your axle you need a 1.0mm thread pitch axle with a length of ~160mm. You can see my video here on replacing the axle.
- Allen Sports ACT200 Cargo Trailer
- Phone Mount
- Kool Stop Organic Brake Pads
- Two Wheel Gear convertable pannier/backpack

MLB
4 months ago
seem like solid choices on the lower end of the price range. My concerns with extreme back injuries is if you can really peddle and sit on a normal bike without pain while peddling too. It's a fairly uncomfortable thing for most healthy people, so you'll have to be careful.
Have you gotten on a regular bike to see if you can ride without pain? The next day? On a regular bike, potholes and other frequent bumps can really annoy some folks backs. I would definitely ride a regular bike for a week or two to make sure you're bodies ok with it before spending a lot of money on an Ebike.
Personally, I'd be looking at full suspension bikes considering your back. That likely puts you into buying used, more expensive bikes. My Haibike got me back (full time) on uprgiht bikes Because of the suspension. I can't ride a rigid upright due to my carpal tunnel syndrom (hands) and tender tushy! but after some time building up my tolerence I can now ride 20 miles on it. That's after 15 years of recumbent only due to those problems.
Nigh on amazing to me how much it helps. You could buy front suspension only (much cheaper) and add a floatation seat post for the rear. Thudbuster or Bodyfloat.

Truthfully for back issues, after 20 years experience and endless hours on bentrideronline.com, a trike simply can't be touched for comfort and many rave about how it HELPS their back.
There's something about that position (feet out front, back supported and completely relaxed) and the gentle peddling motion that you actually get on and ride the trike to EASE your back pain.. Almost any time I get on it with some back stiffness/pain, I get off it feeling much better.
If possible I would highly recommend you try one! Mine has a 500w Falco hub motor in the rear wheel. Love it but they are on the expensive (but worth it) end of the scale. FWIW

Robert Wetzel
1 year ago

Nice review as always - you guys at the other side of the big lake sure
have not only the nicer landscapes, but also the nicer e-bike laws. All we
get here is 250 Watts / 25 km/h or 500 Watts / 45 km/h but in the latter
case you already need a driving license, a helmet, a license plate, are not
allowed on bike paths and so on.....bummer.

Anyways, is there a chance you might make a more general video explaining
the differences between the geared and gearless hub motors? What are the
respective advantages, and so on....
Thanks for the good work anyways, keep it up!

Robert Wetzel
1 year ago

+ElectricBikeReview.com
Wow, thanks for the quick and exhaustive answer! I can see how you are a
very light person by most standards, and this affects engine performance of
course. At 230 lbs, and another 70 lbs by the bike, I'd often wish for more
than just 250 Watts.
Thank you also so much for the link, I'll read it right away. Your verdict
about mid-drives is surprising, as most other reviews I came across laude
the Yamaha over the Bosch as the former is supposed to be more powerful (70
Nm vs. 60 Nm, no idea how many lb ft that would be in your whacky system
;-)) as well as being quieter.
What positively surprised me about the Bosch was its endurance - we rented
two mid-drive pedelecs in Switzerland and the battery lasted a little shy
of 50 km with about 1500 meters height difference, and performed decently
until the very end.
With my cheap system power will noticeably fall when passing about 70%
battery.

ElectricBikeReview.com
1 year ago

+Robert Wetzel Yeah... I've heard about the restrictive laws in some parts
of Europe. Fun fact, the 750 watt 20 mph law was passed under George W.
Bush here in the US... it's like one of the only cool things he did while
in office :P

Great question on the hub motors, I've created an article about it here:
http://electricbikereview.com/guides/difference-between-ebike-motors/ with
some great pictures and I'll probably do a video in the future. The short
answer is that geared is lighter, peppier and usually more affordable but
doesn't offer power regeneration and might not last as long (gears rubbing
inside vs. just magnets). I'm an active type of rider and I don't weigh
much so I usually choose geared. These days I've really developed a taste
for mid-drive motors and you can get these awesome kits with shift sensing
(to reduce wear and strain on your chain) from e-RAD which offer pedal
assist and throttle actuation: http://electricbikereview.com/category/e-rad/
otherwise I really like Bosch (Impulse and Yamaha are pretty good as well
but not as responsive and "quick" feeling in my opinion).

DrZarkloff
1 year ago

still the Sonders is more bike for the money. when will these kit
manufacturers get with the program?

ElectricBikeReview.com
1 year ago

+DrZarkloff The Sondors has been a decent deal for people in the US who got
them delivered. I still get emails from people in the UK and Australia that
haven't received theres (in fact I heard most of Australia was refunded
because of legal restrictions?) not everyone wants a fat bike frame so kits
like this can be great, Electric Bike Outfitters sells several others for
even less like the "EBO Commuter" that's rated at 350 watts just like the
Sondors
http://electricbikereview.com/electric-bike-outfitters/ebo-commuter-kit/

James Jacocks
1 year ago

Court, you have a strong international following-very good show! Yes,
Denver is a great place to live (or ride bikes). I an looking for a front
wheel kit for my beloved Fisher hybrid from the early nineties. It is a
light bike with a bumper shock. Any ideas? Great vid, per usual!

Flo Mo
1 year ago

Your bike tests are cool. Now I feel like I'm in Denver/Colorado. :) It's
great to ride with you on the test bikes. You make very good shots. Thanks
for that. Greetings from Berlin.

LUIZ FELIPE MENDONÇA RIBEIRO
1 year ago

Congratulations on video

ElectricBikeReview.com
1 year ago

+LUIZ FELIPE MENDONÇA RIBEIRO Thanks, doing my best, lots more to come ;)