E-bike kit purchase - questions from a newbie

tobo

New Member
#1
Hi
I am new to e-bikes.

I want to buy a kit for my mtb to use the bike on regular roads/in the city (as commuter and for longer trips).

My expectations (don't know if they are realistic):

- rear wheel motor
- top speed - about 25-30 miles/h
- range: 40-50 miles per one full charge riding 20 miles/h. I live in a very hilly area
- wheel size 26/27.5
- standard 8-10 speed compatible - cassette freehub
- disc brake compatible - I have a hydraulic rear brake.

Some of the kits have pedal assist mode. Is this option like pedal assist on the "legal" e-bikes? (motor supports the cyclists when he pedals?)

I has to be reliable.
I want to buy the kit and the battery from a shop in UK (local - I live in Dewsbury/West Yorkshire or on-line) or on Ebay.
The price? I don't need any high tech stuff, need something that works.

Please link any Ebay or on-line offers if you can.
Thanks.
 

AHicks

Active Member
#2
Yes, pedal assist means the same thing, legal bikes or not, to my understanding anyway.

Not sure on how legal you want to remain regarding max amount of watts legal in the UK.

20mph for 40-50 miles may be stretching it unless using a smaller motor (limiting your potential for 30mph ability), a bigger battery, or you're providing a large level of assist.

Reliability of the components you buy should be pretty good. The rest of the overall reliability based on your workmanship (e.g. cable and wire routing, attention payed to wiring connections, etc).
 

tobo

New Member
#3
It doesn't have to be legal.
The kits on the market are 250/350/500 and 1000 watts.
I need one that offers 25-30 mph Max, range 40-50 miles at 20 mph, is good quality plus - if it's possible- compatible with my 2x10 Shimano xt drivetrain
Can you find something for me on Ebay?
 

indianajo

Active Member
#4
ebay & amazon sellers come & go. the ones hot last year are gone this year. Find somebody that has sold more than a dozen. We can't search for you, US vendors will come up. put "48 v bike hub motor" in the search box and see what comes up. Ignore wal-mart and probably tesco, and scroll down though page 5 or something. Vendors through amazon can be okay, amazon warrenty works really good. Work fast, you've got 30 days to find any problems. I wasted my 30 days getting the battery adjusted then when the motor started blanking out at 13 miles, warrenty was done. E-bay, the warrenty didn't work, instead the vendor disappeared.
Most of the kits are all ****ese ****, 90% chance of getting a good one, batteries less likely. Reliable manufacturers of hub kits apparently golden pie, mac bafang. bafang I could only get a thick motor incompatible with 2" tires, so I bought generic. (LY) Couldn't get golden pie or mac from a US vendor when I bought. Established shops don't monkey with cheap kits, when they make a bad one they make lots of bad ones. We've had one US internet vendor survive 3 years, he won't monkey with the cheap kits and is always out of stuff when I try to buy anything. If your cheap kit burns you, you've lost L150, whoopie. Don't waste big money on fancy display, I spent $100 and it didn't tell me much. Battery was always 5 bars until the display blanked out. Fancy display is not much use with a dodgy motor. If cheap kit works, add a fancy display for it later from the same vendor (quickly as products change).
Most hub kits disk brake compatible, except the thick motor ones. Most rear hubs have a thread for sprockets, come with a cheap 7 speed sprocket. You'll need a park 3-1 tool to get the cheap sprocket off, plus a 1" socket (25 mm) plus a breaker bar. I think 8 spd sprockets compatible with 7 speed the kits come with, but will find out tomorrow when my new 8 spd sprocket comes. standard 7 spd sprocket is 28 tooth, I need 32 for hills around here if battery is dead.
30 mph will beat you to death on an unsprung bike. Also 25.
PAS is very useful for motoring along without your hand glued to the throttle every minute. Sometimes I need to signal a turn or something. PAS not very useful for fine speed control, on the cheap kits. Mine runs 11 mph PAS 1, too fast for lots of pavements.
Make or buy torque arms, especially if aluminum or plastic frame. May need to grind out slot in frame to fit axle, I had to. Use safety glasses with power grinder.
Don't sweat the watts or speed, poiice stop bikes only for dangerous stunts in traffic or around pedestrians. 250 W too low for hills IMHO, Mine uses 350-400 W starting up a steep grade.
Maybe 50 miles in low assist from a 15 AH battery, buy what you want. I use generic crimp on bulitt connectors from Dorman 3M Ideal Thomas & Betts or Panduit, cheap ****ese bullit connectors will melt out at 26 amps (1000W) Branded bikes come with custom connectors, may be hard to find 3 years from now when the battery goes bad.
 
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harryS

Well-Known Member
#5
I believe your speed is too high for legal ebikes in the UK, but who is looking? I believe the law does check harder in your country. It also puts you in the heavy hub motor territory if you really need to go 30 mph. Those do not make for nice riding bikes with potholes, etc. You can't have both 50 mile range and 25mph speed w/o a huge ($$$) battery.

Here's a thread for you to check in the UK. You'll get good local advice from your UK peers.
http://www.pedelecs.co.uk/forum/threads/yosepower-hub-kits.30061/
 

tobo

New Member
#6
Thank you for response.
More questions:
1. I don't want threaded sprocket- is there any option with rear wheel for cassettes? I have Shimano 2x10sp drivetrain and I would like to keep it if possible. Threaded sprockets are bad quality and shifting performance is not good.
2. Low assistance - what speed does it mean? I used restricted 25 km/h max bikes only and low assistance means no assistance :)
3. I can buy a bigger battery - many have 20 Ah capacity.

4. I did a market research and in my opinion I have to spend about 600-700$ for the kit and the battery. Is it too much for a good kit with a quality battery?

5. Unsprung bike - I have a hardtail with front suspension fork and I can put mtb tires back on. I will use it only on regular roads, not off-road.

Let's say I want to have a kit with those parameters anyway (speed 30 mph max, 50 miles range at 20mph).
What battery should it be? Is it necessary to buy a specific motor to match those parameters?

Even if you can't search for me - can you link some kits and batteries so I can maybe find them here?
 

tobo

New Member
#7
I believe your speed is too high for legal ebikes in the UK, but who is looking? I believe the law does check harder in your country. It also puts you in the heavy hub motor territory if you really need to go 30 mph. Those do not make for nice riding bikes with potholes, etc. You can't have both 50 mile range and 25mph speed w/o a huge ($$$) battery.

Here's a thread for you to check in the UK. You'll get good local advice from your UK peers.
http://www.pedelecs.co.uk/forum/threads/yosepower-hub-kits.30061/
It is too high.

I think I need a big (expensive?) battery for 25 mph and 50 miles range- it's very hilly here. It's West Yorkshire with plenty 10-30 % climbs.
 

AHicks

Active Member
#8
A quality 20ah battery alone is going to be all of 600., especially when considering freight.

Whatever you do, use a credit card to make your purchase. This give you rights that you may need if your deal gets sideways.....
 

indianajo

Active Member
#9
All rear hub kits come with a 7 speed sprocket. A cheap ****ese one, ATA brand on mine. That means they are all threaded. Not all 7 speed sprockets are cheap. I've gotten 7000 miles out of a shimano 5 speed before the teeth wore round and 3000 miles out of a shimano 7 speed, before I abandoned the bike for dumping me on the ground. Shimano 6 speed had a 5/16" dia shaft and 160 lb me broke one of those, so yeah those were cheap ****.
Front hubs come with no sprocket mount at all.
I haven't been able to get the 8 speed sprocket off my cargo bike hub even with a park 5-2 tool, so maybe they glue them or something. Will find out what new 8-11 speeds look like on the back when I get my new 8 speed maybe this afternoon.
I spent $320 for my first hub motor that worked only for 13 miles at a time, and $180 for this second direct drive hub that I want rid of the 28 tooth 7 speed sprocket before I install it. A battery was $300 for 48 V 15 AH. So your $600 budget is a bit low, IMHO.
Front sprung bike should be better than no spring at all. All the used front sprung frames I've seen had bad cylinders, no parts available, so I'm riding solid solid. I want electricity to go 12 mph into a 20 mph wind for 3.5 hours, not to go 30 mph.
My 1000 W geared hubmotor would start on 15% grades fine at about 500 W. If I went 10 mph it would draw 300 W but if I tried to go 4 mph up 15% it would draw 700 W.
I'd say you want minimum 15 AH battery and maybe 21. I've had a bad battery from an Amazon vendor who gave me my money back, so dropping $700 on a vendor you don't know for a 21 AH battery is risky IMHO. The shop who everybody respects in the US is frequently out of batteries, and he won't tell you online what connector they are so ????. He dropped geared hub kits when I was trying to buy, and now he is not selling batteries. Picky picky.
One kit vendor here has been in business for 3 years, *****opper but he sells 250 W hubmotors for $1000, $1500 with battery. At that price he should come to your house and hold your hand.
To get full support from somebody, buy a whole electric bike from some established shop in your area. Piecing together a system can be risky, but the costs are so low!
 

tobo

New Member
#10
I have been working as bicycle mechanic for 7 yrs. I hate threaded ones- bad material, grease and they are badly sealed.

Does it mean there's no wheel on the market compatible with standard cassettes?

"All front sprung frames had bad cylinders" - what cylinders do you mean?

I will not buy a whole bike - I have plenty bikes at home. I need a kit to upgrade one of them. It is well equipped, that is why I want to use the drivetrain.

If I buy a kit and a battery separately are there standard "plugs" so I can connect the components easily?
 
#11
For connector see end of post 4.
Second LIfePo4 battery I bought came with "andersen" connector. Couldn't find mate so cut it off and replaced with bullitt connectors. Since have found andersen connector at parts-express.com but haven't bought any, since there is $8 freight charge. Having a proprietary connector is a big advantage to resale of parts of any vendor, expect not a lot of help on that from branded batteries. Soldering a 25 amp connector requires a huge iron and lot of skill to have it not melt out; I prefer crimp connectors since if it won't pull off it won't fail, usually. BTW when using bullet connectors use male for plus, female for minus so you can't plug it in backwards in the dark. I unplug my battery every time stored, the controller draws a lot of current even turned off.
I got 10 years out of shimano 5 speed sprocket, finally wore tips off round. No grease necessary. 6 speed mtn bike shimano axle was ****, broke and I had to push the bike home. My 7 speed shimano stays in the rain quite a bit, no problem with lube. But the SRAM shifter that came with the 8 speed bodaboda is more precise than a shimano 7 speed trigger shifter. I need 32 tooth sprocket, I like the 11 sprocket, don't need all those speeds those.
Discount store sprung bikes have cylinders on the front fork. think they have air preload in them. I see those bikes in flea markets, at a big premium to unsprung bikes, but I've never seen the cylinders for sale at online parts houses. I tried 25 mph on the electric converted cruiser when it worked, on glass smooth pavement, didn't like it much with no springs. That was 2.1" tires at 55 psi.
 
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tobo

New Member
#12
Whatever it is I have a suspension fork.

I repeat my question: if the motor is in the rear hub are threaded sprockets one and only option? It's a big downgrade that I'd like to avoid.
 

rich c

Administrator
Staff member
#13
Whatever it is I have a suspension fork.

I repeat my question: if the motor is in the rear hub are threaded sprockets one and only option? It's a big downgrade that I'd like to avoid.
I can’t directly answer your question, but really doubt you have the chainstay distance for a hub motor with cassette on a standard bicycle.
 
#14
I've never seen any rear hub motor with anything but 7 speed sprockets. I'd like 5 speeds myself, to fit my existing chain and drive sprocket, but you can't buy that either. 8,10, 11 speeds, I've never seen it. Search in the internet yourself, 11 speed hub motor is bound to happen some day.
 

tobo

New Member
#16
I've never seen any rear hub motor with anything but 7 speed sprockets. I'd like 5 speeds myself, to fit my existing chain and drive sprocket, but you can't buy that either. 8,10, 11 speeds, I've never seen it. Search in the internet yourself, 11 speed hub motor is bound to happen some day.
You can buy 8 and 9 speed easily. 10 speed ones are expensive (from 90$). All of them are made for example by Sunrace.

We sold bikes with 8 and 9 speed threaded ones.
I checked many offers it looks like there's no option for rear wheel motor and a cassette sprockets.
That makes the upgrade more expensive, I need a new shifter and rear mech.
 
#17
The 8 to 11 speed sprocket cluster is easy to buy. I received an 11 speed last Monday, that the picture was showing an 8 speed. But it sounds as if you are predicting 8-11 speeds clusters will not fit threaded hub motors like mine. If all the hub motors can be bought with a 7 speed cluster, then that means they are all threaded. All the ones I've seen on the search results.
Do your own search, times and vendors change. This product category is changing rapidly. Put the string "bicycle wheel 27" hub motor" in a search box. Or whatever size wheel you want. I use bing search engine because google is so domineering but results should be similar. Read down 3 or 4 pages, I found my first vendor on page 5 or 6. Page 1 is always whole bicycles from WallMart since they pay the most, but you can get to actual wheel conversion kits a little later. If you only have a cell phone, go to a library and use a full screen PC for more rapid reading and scrolling. I found a vendor that allowed me to choose type of throttle twist or thumb, choose type of display LED or LCD, brand of sprockets shimano sunrace or generic, type of wheel, plastic or aluminum, thin or fat tire. A bit more expensive than the price leaders that come up on page 2.
Don't buy at the library, don't put the debit card number in that PC. Library PC's are often infected with viruses. Copy the URL down of the vendor you want to enter manually in your phone later.
 
#18
I have used three geared rear hubs, one from ebikeling.com - 500W-750W geared with 7 speeds, a MAK 750W -1000W with a 8 speed, and also a 48V Bistro 700W - 1400W that can be ordered in any gear cluster or wheel size. . The Bistro is by far the best motor but is not cheap kits cost $700. They build their own batteries with high drain cells and they are expensive - but worth it if you are using the bike to commute. I believe the MAK is no longer available and the ebikeling one is a good deal for the money/entry level kit for under $200 but not available in a 27" rim
Use geared motors and not direct drive.
If you order batteries from China make sure the BMS is big enough to handle the wattage. A 20AH battery with a 20 amp BMS will still only power up to 500W. If you have a bigger motor it will work, but perform, like a 500W. BTW there is a reason why a battery is cheap and you do get what you pay for..
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
#19
Hubmotors do come with cassettes, but I only know about the smaller geared motors like the Bafang CST or "Cute" Q100H and Q128H. These will not roll you at 30 mph.
 

AHicks

Active Member
#20
I'm thinking the bigger/better dealers for hub motors can supply them set up for cassette - though most are going with freewheels setups - in my experience anyway.
 

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