New e-Rad Conversion

pocomo

Member
Just got my first ebike yesterday, with Lectric's 750W/48V/11.6Ah kit. I did a break in ride of about 15 miles in the evening yesterday (mix of bike path, residential and fairly busy roads with some moderate hills), which went great. Practiced my 4.5 mile commute to work today up over a killer hill, which it handled just fine.

The bike is from Brooklyn Bicycle (Driggs model) with a 7-speed IGH rear hub. That's plenty of gears for this setup; I don't think I even shifted all the way up to 7 yet. My local dealer is Bicycle Belle in Somerville MA and they did a great job on the conversion. Everything works and the wire management is quite reasonable.

I'm pretty biased toward pedal assist so I think I may just take the throttle off. I only touched it for a second during yesterday's ride to make sure it worked. Does anybody have any great reasons why somebody who likes to pedal should keep the throttle just-in-case?



You can see the motor better from this side:



The cockpit is reasonably clean:



Safety First!



I'm happy to answer questions if anyone has them. This forum and site have been a great help to me as I learned about the world of ebikes over the last couple of months.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
Wow, that's a nice looking bike. I ran the frame on Google and saw it for $750, so I'm thinking this is around $2k plus a bit, for a very distinctive looking bike. If they built it, I was wondering what the labor works out to be. I could definitely recommend kits to some people if the LC dealers did the build.

My other question is why you opted for the 750w. That's a lot of power (really 1200 watts), enough to get well into the 30's (mph). Without some pretty great disk brakes that's not a speed I would do on that bike, or any similar bike. It's not much money, for sure, to go to that power. With a mid-drive you are going to be able to climb any hill without needing much over 500 watts.

People remove the throttles. Sometimes a throttle might give you a boost through an intersection, or around a hazard. The throttles seem to be what kills the motors, when people push too much power through the controller and the somewhat fragile gears. To me a throttle is a infinite pedal assist.

Is that the newer battery case? It's a good look. (Is that a bag of bells?) Weight?

Have fun. Nice refined looking bike. Sort of New Englandy.
 
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Tara D.

Active Member
Very slick bike! I'm glad your local shop did a great job for you, and I'm happy to hear that the forums helped you along your E-bike journey!
 

Allezdude

New Member
Very clean looking- well done. I think black bikes look best with the mid drives. What's your top speed? I just installed their 36v 500w kit & can get to up 28 by pedaling with a good amount of effort, somewhat slower if just throttle.
Feel the same way about the throttle. Plus removing the throttle forces you to use it as a bike, not moped.
 

pocomo

Member
Wow, that's a nice looking bike. I ran the frame on Google and saw it for $750, so I'm thinking this is around $2k plus a bit, for a very distinctive looking bike. If they built it, I was wondering what the labor works out to be. I could definitely recommend kits to some people if the LC dealers did the build.
Have fun. Nice refined looking bike. Sort of New Englandy.
Thanks George. You are correct on the pricing. I probably overbought on the motor simply because I have very little experience with ebikes; I did test ride a Stromer St1 on a decent local hill and I felt like a bit more power would be nice so I went whole-hog for my bike. I chose the bicycle first, and then talked to them about ebike conversion. They turned out to be a dealer for Lectric Cycles kits so I went with that; I felt good about the gear change sensor, the support and the fact that my dealer could make a couple of points off the kit (they're a young company that I would like to see succeed). They charged me $200 for labor, so the whole deal was around $2600 plus tax. That's WAY more than I have ever spent on a bicycle before (and I rode cross country in my twenties), but I totally fit the profile of a fiftysomething guy looking to make it just a easier to get some seat time on a bicycle again. It's been really fun in the 2 days I've had it, and I plan to start bike commuting tomorrow.

It does have a lot of power. PAS level 3 (of 5) is about as high as I need and I can see on the display that it generally is staying below 500W of boost on hills as I gear down a spin fairly lightly.

Yes, that is Lectric's new battery case, which has a custom plastic honeycomb inside to support the cells. It's not as heavy as I expected with 550Wh aboard, around 8.5 pounds. The frametube mounting systems seems really solid. And yes, that is a cluster of cheap jingle bells hanging off the bar which is my bike path public announcement system ;)

I haven't weighed the bike (and probably won't as it doesn't really matter to me) but it's pretty heavy. I'd guess 60 pounds with the accessories. Still, it pedals well at low speeds with the power turned off and if the motor quit I'm pretty sure I could make it home.
 

pocomo

Member
Very slick bike! I'm glad your local shop did a great job for you, and I'm happy to hear that the forums helped you along your E-bike journey!
Thanks Tara. I do think they did a good job and I'm hoping I can help them drum up some more conversion business. Bicycle Belle (http://bicyclebelleboston.com) is a completely female owned and staffed shop (which is a rarity around here) and they concentrate on commuting and family bicycles. They have some really cool stuff like the Brooklyns, Papillonaire and a uniquely designed brand called Paper Bicycles. Plus a bunch of cargo bikes and city bikes. Definitely worth a visit if you are in the Boston area.
 

pocomo

Member
Very clean looking- well done. I think black bikes look best with the mid drives. What's your top speed? I just installed their 36v 500w kit & can get to up 28 by pedaling with a good amount of effort, somewhat slower if just throttle.
Feel the same way about the throttle. Plus removing the throttle forces you to use it as a bike, not moped.
Thanks for the kind words. My kit comes set to max out at 32 kph (20 mph) which is easy to achieve. I haven't yet felt the need to raise the limiter; I think I want to get a sense of what my range is like with the current restrictions before I crank it up. I did 15 miles of mostly flats yesterday, charged overnight and then 10 miles today with some pretty big hills and I've yet to see the battery meter on the display lose a 'segment'.
 

sal

Member
Pocomo, nice bike, I too have lectriccycles new 48v battery. How do you like urs? I was confused at first on why the light meter didn't light up when touched, or even fully charged. ... But Jeff said they changed and simplied it.... They bypass the 2 button steps, Turning system on simply holding down the center button for 2 seconds on the controller. I guess this improvement was to quite Court Rye and other critics on the tedious 2 stages, 2 button to push. So our new battery's essentially always stay on, minor leakage of power for controller clock that stays on. P.S. is your charger small and light too? I like how lightweight it is.
 
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pocomo

Member
Hi Sal - Yeah, I got my bike this weekend and loving it so far. I noticed that about the battery lights too, no big deal. My favorite feature (besides the boost!) is the watt output display. Based on what it says I probably could have been just as happy with a 500W system but it's good to have some buffer. I took it up to PAS level 4 on a big hill this morning (in a medium gear) and I could see the power peaking over 700W. Honestly, in this dense area with traffic it's not good to be flying around above 20 mph, people don't expect it and my rim brakes take a while to haul me down at that speed. I'll mostly be using PAS 2 or 3.

I like the compact charger as well. I had been planning to bring it to work to charge up for the ride home but with this big battery it doesn't appear that I will need to do that. I take the battery off the bike while parked at work and home so not much leakage hopefully.

Did you get out for any extended rides? How was your range?
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
Yes, that is Lectric's new battery case, which has a custom plastic honeycomb inside to support the cells. It's not as heavy as I expected with 550Wh aboard, around 8.5 pounds. The frametube mounting systems seems really solid. And yes, that is a cluster of cheap jingle bells hanging off the bar which is my bike path public announcement system ;)
There was an interesting comment by Jason (Grin Tech) about how battery packs catch fire. One battery goes bad, maybe an internal short. It gets hot and that leads to thermal runaway and that cell gets really hot. If it gets hot enough, the cells on any side of it start to heat, and it's a domino kind of thing. My understanding is that Tesla uses spacers to keep the cells from interacting in this way, and they use maybe 7000. Not sure if @Chris Head addressed the honeycomb and the fire issue. I've asked a company that makes battery packs what they are doing, and they still seem to be gluing the packs. Bosch seems to be doing that, as well. I'm hoping they work out the fire issues with ebike packs. They are too hard to ship.

I hope the dealer model works for LC. It's a pretty solid idea to have some bikes available for conversion, or let people bring their bikes in for conversion. The BBS02 is a motor that is fully understood, all the quirks and issues. It should be practical to use or upgrade the Bafang/8Fun for a long time. That bike should be around for a long time, and probably pretty reliable since it is quite simple.

The weights come up a lot when people want a bike rack. Basically, if you do an ebike 'right' it will weigh quite a bit.
 

pocomo

Member
There was an interesting comment by Jason (Grin Tech) about how battery packs catch fire. One battery goes bad, maybe an internal short. It gets hot and that leads to thermal runaway and that cell gets really hot. If it gets hot enough, the cells on any side of it start to heat, and it's a domino kind of thing. My understanding is that Tesla uses spacers to keep the cells from interacting in this way, and they use maybe 7000. Not sure if @Chris Head addressed the honeycomb and the fire issue. I've asked a company that makes battery packs what they are doing, and they still seem to be gluing the packs. Bosch seems to be doing that, as well. I'm hoping they work out the fire issues with ebike packs. They are too hard to ship.
That's very interesting. I hadn't considered that possibility, but now I will try to remember to disconnect the charger if I am leaving the house, thanks.

The weight is a non-issue for me but it would have been a huge problem back when I lived on Beacon Hill in a 4th floor walk up. Since younger city dwellers make up a large proportion of bicycle users this could inhibit growth, but then again all of the new buildings (both office and residential) around here are making provisions for bicycle parking.
 

pocomo

Member
I was just out bombing around the area. I find I can maintain 17.5 mph pretty easily with PAS 2 and PAS 3 is good for 19 - 20 mph. That's fast enough for me on the city streets and bike paths around here.

I was just going up a local bike path (Minuteman Bikeway 'America's Revolutionary Rail Trail' http://www.minutemanbikeway.org/) which is pretty busy in the afternoon with commuters since it terminates at an MBTA station. There was a pretty strong headwind and it is slightly uphill heading west. Two times I pulled in behind a 'lycra warrior' mashing their way forward and I politely hung behind them. Of course they didn't like a 'sit up and beg' rider in long pants catching up and tried for a while to pull away. I'm sure they realized I had an assisted bike. Anyway, in both cases when I pulled out to pass and gave a friendly 'hey' neither one of them replied or acknowledged me. I was waiting to hear the dreaded 'C' word.... to which I would just say 'hey man, one less car'.

Fun fun fun.
 

Jonah

Member
I'm pretty biased toward pedal assist so I think I may just take the throttle off. I only touched it for a second during yesterday's ride to make sure it worked. Does anybody have any great reasons why somebody who likes to pedal should keep the throttle just-in-case?
I have an Evo Jet with which I commute to work (4 to 5 miles each way). I am dressed for work - slacks, dress shirt (my tie is in my panniers). I use the throttle going to work on hot, humid days so that I arrive fresh and un-perspired.
 

pocomo

Member
Thanks Jonah. I'm a little misty after my 4.5 mi hilly commute but it doesn't bother me too much. When I tried riding a legpower bike to work I was drenched!
 

Chris Head

Member
Wow, that's a nice looking bike. I ran the frame on Google and saw it for $750, so I'm thinking this is around $2k plus a bit, for a very distinctive looking bike. If they built it, I was wondering what the labor works out to be. I could definitely recommend kits to some people if the LC dealers did the build.

My other question is why you opted for the 750w. That's a lot of power (really 1200 watts), enough to get well into the 30's (mph). Without some pretty great disk brakes that's not a speed I would do on that bike, or any similar bike. It's not much money, for sure, to go to that power. With a mid-drive you are going to be able to climb any hill without needing much over 500 watts.

People remove the throttles. Sometimes a throttle might give you a boost through an intersection, or around a hazard. The throttles seem to be what kills the motors, when people push too much power through the controller and the somewhat fragile gears. To me a throttle is a infinite pedal assist.

Is that the newer battery case? It's a good look. (Is that a bag of bells?) Weight?

Have fun. Nice refined looking bike. Sort of New Englandy.
The 750watt is 750watt continuous. 1200watts would be peak and the motor could only hold that for very short periods of time.
 

flymeaway

Well-Known Member
Just got my first ebike yesterday
Very nice conversion......I don't put the throttle on any of my conversions. I appreciate why some people do, but not necessary. I ride in the Monadnock region of New Hampshire and the BBS02 750W 48v system conquers every hill. 28 mile round trip commute is a pleasure to do, peaceful and beautiful at 5:45 in the morning going to work. I like seeing people deciding to do conversions, and seeing happy (ecstatic) customers comments after they've had a chance to ride. I know there are a lot of opinions about buy compared to convert, and I think any decision is correct for that individual, but I also believe that a properly converted bike provides the user with a relatively less expensive, equally (or more) capable bike.

Have fun riding.....and be careful competing with those notoriously gracious Boston drivers!!!! ;)

Court J.
 

sal

Member
Excellent. Happy Trails Sal!
Thanks pomoco, your bike looks beautiful, and your seat looks comfortable. I changed mine, not it very comfortable. Oh, if get around to wanting to unlock your speed controller on your LCD screen, I can help. Also L C website has a self help video in Website, I think under fax... ?