Initial Review: Dillenger 48v 10amp 1000w Rear Direct Drive Motor kit

Discussion in 'Dillenger Forum' started by anoNY, Aug 10, 2015.

  1. anoNY

    anoNY New Member

    I finally started commuting to work on my old Diamondback MTB with the Dillenger 1000w kit linked below:

    This kit was only $809 when I bought it on sale a month or so ago. It's $899 normally. Shipping is $50 more (to Florida).

    Here is my info:
    Terrain: Flat (Central Florida)
    Route: 17 miles
    Weight: Rider is 220, plus 10 lbs of work clothes and lunch
    Bike: Normal no-suspension mountain bike, Diamondback Traverse, 1.5" street tires
    Battery: 48 volt, 10 ah

    This kit worked well for my first commute. The battery level meter was only down halfway after 17 miles with no loss of power for acceleration. I rode on PAS level 4 (out of 5 total levels) the whole way, maintaining between 20-21 mph with many stops/slow-downs for intersections. I have a 13T cog in the back (freewheel), and 20 mph is a pretty easy cadence. The motor is very quiet, I could only hear it when accelerating from a stop.

    Court's review of these kits notes that the racks tend to slap around when hitting bumps, and this is still the case even with the rubber Dillenger provides to try to stop it. I am next going to try putting the battery in a frame bag so that I can use the rack for my cargo. This should quiet things down some.
    Tara D. likes this.

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  3. anoNY

    anoNY New Member

    500 Miles review:

    The kit is still going strong after 500 miles of commuting in 17-mile (one way) trips. The voltage meter tends to be down to two bars out of four, usually with the third bar having just disappeared near the end of each trip. I have the battery in a pannier now and I got rid of the Dillenger-supplied rack so there is no more noise.
    Tara D. likes this.
  4. SQN

    SQN Member

    Great to hear you're continuing to have a good experience with this kit.

    I would be curious to hear more about your setup. When I googled "Diamondback Traverse", I only found older circa 1990's steel framed bikes with caliper rim brakes. Is that what you're riding? If so, that's somewhat similar to what I have.

    How is your bike holding up to the 1000W system? Are your brakes sufficient? Does the bike feel stable on just 1.5" tires? Any issues with the weight all on the rear of the bike - motor + battery?

    I'm also curious to hear about where you're storing your battery. Are you simply placing it inside on of your panniers?

  5. anoNY

    anoNY New Member

    You found my bike! It's pretty much the most basic, low-end 1990s MTB ever built, but it still works brilliantly. I found it on Craigslist and I am very satisfied, since it is a combination of all-steel construction and very low price. The only mod to the bike itself that was necessary was buying a new freewheel, since the bike came with a cassette (or a prior owner put one on it, I don't know for sure). I also have to bend the rear dropouts out a bit when I put the kit on, but it's only a few millimeters or so.

    The bike is working well with the 1000w system, but that might not be saying much in my case. I only use the bike to commute to work, and I only ride with PAS so the motor is never doing all the work or going at WOT. I don't feel the need for torque arms since I am kind of babying the system to get more miles out of the battery.

    The brakes are very good, the bike came with new Shimano pads and they brakes feel terrific. I have my speed limited to around 21 mph, and the brakes have not failed to slow me down quickly when I need to.

    Stability is an issue sometimes if I am leaning in a turn, but I try to balance out my panniers to spread the weight. I am satisfied with the tires due to their price ($12 each, Nashbar Streetwise City), but I will probably find something else a bit wider when they wear out. This is more for comfort that stability, though.

    I have all my weight on the rear of the bike, and it really is only an issue when I am walking the bike through the office or leaning it against something. The rear tire is up around 80 psi I think, which seems sufficient to carry my load. Nashbar's website says max psi of 40, but that really would not work for my weight.

    As for the battery, it is pretty large, but I also have large panniers (M-wave brand from amazon, not sure what model). The battery just sits with the handle end in the rear-bottom of the pannier, and the business end at the front-top. I have it also in an extra large ziploc bag, something like 10 gallon size I think, which is for rain protection. I have not had any issues with this configuration yet, rain hasn't gotten through my pannier.
    Tara D. likes this.
  6. anoNY

    anoNY New Member

    1500 miles and still no problems whatsoever. My office moved closer to home so my commutes are now only about 9 miles each way, no sweat for this ebike kit.

    I ended up taking the battery out of its aluminum case, in order to fit it into a triangle frame bag along with the controller (the large version of the Ibera Frame Bag It just barely fits, and it will eventually rip the cheap frame bag. I have ordered the Luna Cycle frame bag, $10 off on Cyber Monday.

    I also ditched the panniers (the battery was ripping them up too) and now I have a front rack for my work clothes, etc. This is not an ideal setup, since the handling now sucks, but it takes some weight off the back tire. I will say the Nashbar tires are holding up well, I have over 1500 miles on them and the back tire still has plenty of life left. Not bad for $12 (or $10 on sale days).
    Tara D. likes this.
  7. jazz

    jazz Active Member

    How much smaller was the battery when you took it out of the aluminum case? If you could give me the dimensions that would be great! I am interested in this kit but the aluminum case is too big for where I need to put the battery and I don't want a rear rack. Thanks
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2015
  8. Tara D.

    Tara D. Administrator

    Thanks for sharing your experience. That is to bad that the rack was still slapping around on the bumps even with the addition of the rubber.
  9. anoNY

    anoNY New Member

    Original dimensions: 14.5 x 6 x 3 (inches)
    Battery without case: 10 x 4.5 x 2.5 (inches) plus the wires and dangling connectors and key cylinder
    jazz likes this.
  10. anoNY

    anoNY New Member

    I agree, though I wonder if that is a problem with any such kit since the design seems pretty standard. Either way, the bike handles way better now that I have the battery in the frame triangle...
  11. jazz

    jazz Active Member

    Thanks for the dimensions.
  12. anoNY

    anoNY New Member

    2000 miles and only one hiccup.

    I left work one day and my bike would not turn on, the screen just flashed at me giving me a "low voltage" warning. The battery was fine (54 volts) so I contacted Dillenger. They looked at my video and sent me a new LCD unit, which unfortunately did not solve my problem. Then they sent me a new controller, which solved my issue. The bike is once again working great.
  13. jazz

    jazz Active Member

    Kudos to Dillinger for good support
  14. anoNY

    anoNY New Member

    3000 mile update:

    My original battery is now dead (one bad cell group). I can go about a mile before the LVC kicks in and shuts it down. So in the end the no-name battery from Dillinger got me 3000 miles. I'm now in the market for a battery with Panasonic cells. Anyway, the rest of the kit still functions well, and I am still happy with my purchase. As I have learned a lot over the past two years, I don't plan on buying another ready-made kit in the future, but rather putting together higher-quality components a la carte.
  15. jazz

    jazz Active Member

    Not many cycles on that battery for 3000 miles. Yes, they are prob using those no name crappy batteries. Thanks for the update
  16. anoNY

    anoNY New Member

    Yep, they are no-name cells. In all fairness, the latest Dillinger 1000w off-road kit has Samsung cells, so they are stepping up their game it seems.
  17. anoNY

    anoNY New Member

    This is an update that may not help anyone since Dillinger doesn't even sell the kit I have anymore (they sell a better version now):

    Since my original battery recently died, I bought a shark pack from Luna Cycle that is 52V nominal instead of the original 48V nominal. I am happy to report that this works fine on my Dillinger system that was originally set up to run 48V (so far I have put about 50 miles total on it through commuting).