Gary Fisher conversion

LostCreekl72

New Member
I am wanting an e-bike for off-road (gravel paths and logging roads) access to hunting areas and on maybe on national forest areas. I have a 2003 like new Gary Fisher Marlin mountain bike that I bought in 2003, and I am wondering if anyone has suggestions or thoughts on whether this bike would be a good candidate for conversion, or if I should just buy a new entire e-bike from one of the many manufacturers.
 

Browneye

Active Member
The bafang mid-drive may well work in that one.
My bet is you would be happier with a current e-MTB out on the market.
Mountain biking comes with its own set demands, then add e-assist for more complication. Yeah, the new ones are high dollar, but they are REALLY nice.

Frankly, a '03 is really old verses today's technologies. Like everything else, bikes just keep getting better and better. 👍

Does your bike have disc brakes?
 
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LostCreekl72

New Member
The bafang mid-drive may well work in that one.
My bet is you would be happier with a current e-MTB out on the market.
Mountain biking comes with its own set demands, then add e-assist for more complication. Yeah, the new ones are high dollar, but they are REALLY nice.

Frankly, a '03 is really old verses today's technologies. Like everything else, bikes just keep getting better and better. 👍

Does your bike have disc brakes?
No it does not. I figured that was going to be an issue.
 

Browneye

Active Member
IMO any e-bike with a front suspension will likely suffice. So it's a matter of finding one that suits the budget and other personal criteria.

It is pretty well accepted that disc brakes are a necessity on an ebike due to the higher speeds. And if you do any riding in wet weather then all the more reason.
The hub conversions are really setup for a disc brake bike, and while it can be possible to convert a rim-brake bike, there are a variety of complications, not the least is mounting the calipers. Frames originally made for rim brakes can be pretty lacking in support for the forces of disc brakes.

It is also pretty well accepted for larger tires, even balloon tires, as the assist overcomes any additional rolling resistance. Same deal, the added speed of the assist tends to create a need for additional suspension action, so you see balloon tires, front suspensions, suspension seat-posts, etc.

Do some more research here, and be sure to visit some of your local bike shops and look at what's for sale out there. Then come back and ask questions. Lots of help here - plenty of early adopters that can lend a ton of wisdom and experience.

We got introduced to the whole ebike thing by some friends that rented RadPower demo bikes and decided they wanted new ebikes. They bought a Rover for him and a City for her. I got really excited about the entire concept and started doing a bunch of research. I ended up converting her Specialized Roll, and got a new Giant Explore for me. We're very pleased with them both, and the whole ebike concept is just fantastic. It got us back enthused about getting out for rides - really enjoying them and putting in a lot of miles would never have done otherwise.
 

LostCreekl72

New Member
IMO any e-bike with a front suspension will likely suffice. So it's a matter of finding one that suits the budget and other personal criteria.

It is pretty well accepted that disc brakes are a necessity on an ebike due to the higher speeds. And if you do any riding in wet weather then all the more reason.
The hub conversions are really setup for a disc brake bike, and while it can be possible to convert a rim-brake bike, there are a variety of complications, not the least is mounting the calipers. Frames originally made for rim brakes can be pretty lacking in support for the forces of disc brakes.

It is also pretty well accepted for larger tires, even balloon tires, as the assist overcomes any additional rolling resistance. Same deal, the added speed of the assist tends to create a need for additional suspension action, so you see balloon tires, front suspensions, suspension seat-posts, etc.

Do some more research here, and be sure to visit some of your local bike shops and look at what's for sale out there. Then come back and ask questions. Lots of help here - plenty of early adopters that can lend a ton of wisdom and experience.

We got introduced to the whole ebike thing by some friends that rented RadPower demo bikes and decided they wanted new ebikes. They bought a Rover for him and a City for her. I got really excited about the entire concept and started doing a bunch of research. I ended up converting her Specialized Roll, and got a new Giant Explore for me. We're very pleased with them both, and the whole ebike concept is just fantastic. It got us back enthused about getting out for rides - really enjoying them and putting in a lot of miles would never have done otherwise.
Thanks so much for the comments and insight. I had the opportunity to take a RadRover for a test ride in a nearby conservation area with typical trails thru woods and gravel roads. It was a blast but the single gear of the rear hub e-motor was a inhibiting factor. When coming back to parking area and going up a 20% grade on gravel roadway it slowed down to under 5mph even with me pedaling in about 2nd speed. Without me pedaling it would not be able to climb much of a grade. I am told the mid-mounted motors with 3 internal gears (?) may have lower max speed but have much more climbing power. I haven't been able to try one out yet.
 

Browneye

Active Member
IMO a geared hub is not the best configuration for anything offroad.

Modern mid-drives from Yamaha, brose, bosch, and shimano, all multiply your pedal effort in any gear of your cassette by up to 350%. And why so popular for mountain bikes.

Hub drives are less complicated and cost less, are well suited for easy going paved lanes, commuters and city bikes.

The popular e-mtb’s are pedalics - they sense pedal effort cadence and speed and provide assist seamlessly. You really need to try one.
 

LostCreekl72

New Member
IMO a geared hub is not the best configuration for anything offroad.

Modern mid-drives from Yamaha, brose, bosch, and shimano, all multiply your pedal effort in any gear of your cassette by up to 350%. And why so popular for mountain bikes.

Hub drives are less complicated and cost less, are well suited for easy going paved lanes, commuters and city bikes.

The popular e-mtb’s are pedalics - they sense pedal effort cadence and speed and provide assist seamlessly. You really need to try one.
Thanks. I will definitely find one to try out.
 

Browneye

Active Member
I'm not a big fan of 'fat-bikes', but many seem to like them...for a lot of reasons, both sides. To me they're very bulky and balky, lethargic, noisy on pavement. They sound like a monster truck on mudders. 🤣

OP should drop into a LBS and try out a Giant Trance or Stance (yamaha power), or a Specialized Turbo Levo (Brose derivative). All phenomenal bikes.
If any of your dealers have Haibike, Lynx, or Bulls, also worth looking at. Surely there are others. The Haibikes with the new Bosch CX are really nice as well, and you can find Yamaha power in some of their models. Same for BH Lynx - some are yammer-powered. Trek has Bosch power - the 'powerfly' I think. Some of these are fairly spendy - be forewarned.

Yamaha has their own branded hardtail - the YDX-TORC - a really great looking offroader. Put road tires on it and do both with it. And why I like my Giant Explore - took the gravel tires off it and put balloon smooth road tires on it for paved paths.

If you're not really 'mountain biking', as in riding dirt trails and racing downhill, most get by just fine with a 'hardtail'. If you're racing and jumping then there's no replacement for a full suspension bike. Even hardcore trail and cross-country riders prefer a 'twenty-niner' hardtail - a bike with 28/29" wheels and no rear suspension. The most popular downhill racers have the stronger 27.5 wheels and wide-wide tires (2.5" to 2.8"), but they're surely not 'fatbikes'.

E-MTB's aren't all that great for paved riding either - they are geared for hard going, and their tires are designed for dirt surfaces. Yamaha is the first to offer a double front chain ring with a derailleur.


The Yamaha YDX-Torc:

 
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