1st time custom eBike

BillDeLong

New Member
Looking for some help, please confirm if I am headed in the right direction or if I am making any mistakes with my plan to build a custom eBike for my wife.

The desired result is to make something that looks as close to this "Hybrid Cruiser" from SixThreeZero as possible:



2 Major problems with this design is that it's not waterproof and it costs $2K which is nearly double my budget!


So then I noticed that they sell a regular version of this bike but it's not clear if the disc brake mounts are on this version... I sent a message to the manufacturer but they are not taking any calls nor will be answering any email questions for at least another 4-6 weeks... My assumption is that disc brakes are a requirement for a eBike to ride safely on hills which we plan to ride on several hilly hike/bike trail systems in our area which also have low water crossings (paved) which is why we need the bike to be waterproof.

$329 - SixThreeZero EVRY Journey




1st Question... I know there are conversion kits to add disc brakes, but I wan't this to look professional, will I need to weld + paint match or is there a kit that anyone knows that can do this reasonably?

I am also open to the idea of buying a stand alone frame and building the bike from scratch, but I am having a difficult time finding a "Cross Through" frame with integrated disc brake mounts :(

As far as power goes, I plan to re-purpose my EGO 56V battery in similar fashion to what this guy is doing:


Main reason I want to run the EGO battery is because it's essentially waterproof, and I already own this battery for my trimmer/blower ;)


I've read all kinds of reviews on conversion kits and it seems that the most common recommendation is the BaFang BBS02B 48V - 750W where any of the lower power motors tend to burn up if you push more than 48V into them, but the 750W motor can handle the 56V battery that I plan to use.


So this is where I am at, please help me decide if it's worth the hassle adding disc brakes to the EVRY Journey or please help me find something comparable, even if I have to buy all the parts separately.

***UPDATE 6-JUL-2020
Here are parts that I've ordered so far with actual cost after tax/shipping:
Total Project cost (so far) - $747.69


***UPDATE 3-JUL-2020

All my parts have finally arrived, most items arrived within a couple of weeks, but it took roughly 8 weeks to get the Crankset Tool, that was the last tool to arrive a couple days ago. I plan to start working on the conversion this weekend now that I have everything I need, more updates to come soon!

I will try to update this post regularly to help keep track of incidentals so I will know what to expect for actual costs should I plan to do future conversions for other friends/family members :)
 
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indianajo

Well-Known Member
56 v batteries are not compatible with 48 v bike motors, or 36 v bike motors. Plus I think the range of a battery that small could be measured in single digits. I bought two trash batteries from amazon & ebay, so I recommend Lunabikes.com. I put a plastic bag over my battery inside the aluminum frame to keep the rain off. The wire exit is on the back pointing down. The frame baffled at least one thief, that removed some of the wrong screws while I was in the grocery. TJ recommends somebody named california ebike for batteries but I don't know the URL. The other 2 respected battery vendors are out of the country & I recommend using a throwaway debit card to protect against hackers if you buy from there. Em3ev in HK & grintech in Vancouver.
Installing a mid drive puts electrical equipment 10" off the ground. Installing a hub motor puts electrical equipment 13" off the ground. Which is deeper? I've ridden my pedal bike through 14" of water & had to turn it upside down to lube the crank, and back off the crank nuts to let the water out.
Any "sealed" bike motor is IMHO, a scam. The hub drive motors have seals around the outside, but the wire enters through the shaft and that is not sealed. I like geared hub motors for hills.
There are plenty of cruiser bikes with disk brakes on the market. Hit the discount store and LBS, you are in Austin pop. 2 million? I find mechanical 160 mm disk brakes will stop 310 lb promptly even if wet.
The advantage of a conversion is if the motor/controller/pas/throttle/brake handles fail, you throw it in the trash & buy a new one for $250. The disadvantage is the wiring is external to the frame, where you can work on it. See maintenance thread about a guy whose PAS pickup wire fell down the frame tube & he can't reach it.
I paid $1900 for my pedal bike left with 24 speeds, disk brakes, a frame that won't throw me over the handlebars on my chin when it hits a stick or a pavement bump, bags & a 2 leg stand. Then I spent $920 on the motor, 17.5 ah battery, mount brackets & torque arms. The frame fits my short legs, 28" pants inseam. Speeds are 32:32 to 52:11 so I can pedal unpowered 60 lb of groceries up a 15% grade or help the motor at 23 mph. Speeds are 3x8 so my first chain lasted 5000 miles. Shifters are SRAM, very precise. I have the controller mounted under the seat with wires down to keep rain out of it. The throttle will quit working in a heavy rain.
Strong people that can keep the handlebars from whipping to the side on bumps & sticks can ride modern quick streering forks without breaking or ripping their chins open. I'm done with standard frames. if I exercised & built my muscles up that strong I'd just rip my tendons off (again) or sprain my hands, which a 5 lb weight has done. With my weight on the front tire this frame hasn't thrown me in 5000 miles & 2 1/4 year. Cheapest unpowered stretch frame bike is the Mongoose envoy https://electricbikereview.com/forums/threads/mongoose-envoy.33132/
Happy shopping.
 
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Mike_V

Active Member
Hi Bill,
You have a good plan, I think, although consider buying the best used bike you can find.
Full price on a new bike that 'needs modification', obviously adds work and $$ beforehand.
You know the bike has to look colorful (right?) & nicely 'finished', as she rides, and it's your creation.
Good Luck
Mike
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
The bigger EGO is a 7.5AH, 14S battery, and would be considered a 52V battery in the ebike world. It peaks at 58.8V at full charge but not for long. It's soon down to 52V, which is half charged. The 7.5AH times 50V puts it around 350 WH nominal. I'd say 300WH real world. At 15 WH/mile, that's around 20 miles.

I've played around with the 40V Ryobi, really a 10S 36V pack on my bikes. One is 80WH and the other is 150WH. Really too small. Works for a 10 mile jaunt,

For discrete controllers used on hubmotor bikes, most every 48V controller will safely run on 52V. I've run one such bike on 52V for several years. My old mid drive Bafang BBSO2 runs fine on 52V packs, but I've read that later refinements have made the latest models problematic. Check what the new ones can handle.

I routinely do 20-40 yards of flooded path, say 4" deep on hubmotors or my BBS02. Never had a motor wash out, but last year I had discrete controllers stop working. Water splashed up into the wiring on two occasions, and seeped inside a a controller on a third. I've gotten more careful about that. Installed fenders, protected the wiring, etc.

How fast are you going to ride a cruiser? This one can barely do 20 mph on 36V with its 250W motor. The fastest it's gone is 26 mph downhill in Colorado, with my wife lightly riding the rim brakes because 26 mph was the speed limit. It was a rail trail, so the uphill was made for trains, 4% grade? The motor did well, plus I had it on 48V anyway, Disk brakes are better, but unless your frame has the lugs, the best you can do is buy a front fork. A good rim brake is fine for recreational bike riding. For dicing it out in traffic, you want disks.

P1500636.jpg

I think $2000 is a way too much for that beach cruiser. You can find them under $1000. For someone with DIY skills, those inexpensive store boughts are pretty competitive in a make vs buy decision.
 

BillDeLong

New Member
Thanks for all the input guys!

I spent some time this week giving our bikes a long overdue tune up... they haven't seen the trails in probably a couple of years to be honest, plus our bikes are 22+ years old, though still in fairly decent shape. Went for a ride this morning and my wife couldn't make it back, I had to leave her at one of the parks and double back with my truck to pick her up, she definitely needs a motor to make it over all the rolling hills... getting old sucks!




Since we are only planning to ride on the trail systems in the area, I'm leaning toward installing the BaFang 750W Mid Motor on her existing bike and see how that goes for now. If that works out, then perhaps I may swap it over to the v-brake cruiser I pictured above when they come back in stock later on. Worst case, I may swap the Shimano brakes from her existing bike if necessary, they are very strong and smooth.

Bikes are really hard to find in stock these days with the COVID-19 shutdown, at least a bike style/color that my wife is interested in riding.

The seller has posted this note on their product page:
Capture.JPG


Here is a warning for the lower 500W motor which is limited to 48V:

Capture2.JPG
 
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harryS

Well-Known Member
There could be a problem with the Ego on the newer BBS02 motors. I have one from 2016 before the engineers started tweaking it, That's something you'll have to ask the vendor, about the highest voltage allowed.

They may have lowered the operating voltage to manage the warranty claims. You can smoke a mid drive trying to climb a hill in the wrong gear and lugging it at 10 mph. I used to run mine on 52V, but I'm kind to my vehicles. I rarely ran it w/o pedaling aside from a few top speed runs..
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
You are probably more likely to fry the controller than the motor, but both are in jeopardy with long grades and high current draw. You should be able to see caliper lugs on the forks in the picture if they were on there. With just $500 more in your budget, you can buy just about any e-cruiser made. No idea why that one is $2000. For $1,200 you could get a RadRunner and she would be riding in a couple of weeks instead of waiting for you to figure out how build the custom with a smaller battery capacity. 20 miles will likely be a stretch with a 7.5ah battery
 
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BillDeLong

New Member
I have also ordered this USB Programmer as well, from what I have read in many reviews is that the default amp draw is 25A but this programmer will let you reduce the draw to 18A so that initial acceleration will not be as much of a shock to the system, this is supposedly a "Must Have Upgrade" for folks running 52V and also smooths out the initial acceleration:




Thanks for the tips on "gearing down" when climbing hills.... On a related note:

Here are the specs for my Wife's Bike:
1998 Raleigh SC-30

I'm a little concerned that the smallest crank that BaFang offers is 44T and the largest crank on my wife's bike is a 42T, she really only needs the motor so she can keep up with me on the hills where I typically average 10-15mph on the hill climbs, but I rarely use the 42T crank myself, I almost always keep it in the 34T crank which has me thinking that I might need to mill a custom crank so we don't overwork the motor. Here is a typical elevation of the most common 20 mile round trip (out and back) that we would make on the trail system near our house to get a better idea of the demand we will be putting on the motor, hence why I have chosen the mid motor BaFang instead of a rear drive system:

 

smorgasbord

Well-Known Member
1st Question... I know there are conversion kits to add disc brakes, but I wan't this to look professional, will I need to weld + paint match or is there a kit that anyone knows that can do this reasonably?

This question has been skipped in favor of the drivetrain discussions.

IMO, it's not going to be economically feasible for you to add disc brakes to a bike that doesn't have them. It's not only the welding of the appropriate brackets, it's the replacement of wheels with hubs to which discs can mount and still fit in the drop-out/fork spacing you have. It's certainly do-able, just not cheaply unless you can find a used bargain bike somewhere that matches and from which you can take the wheels. And then there's the cost of the hydraulic brake levers/calipers themselves.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
And then there's the cost of the hydraulic brake levers/calipers themselves.
Hydraulic brakes are for bragging to your friends. Mechanical disk brakes are for stopping in the rain. Rim brakes are fine on hills, when it is dry. Rim brakes IMHO lose 80% of their stopping power when wet. I have tektro mechanical calipers on 160 mm disks, very minimal system but will stop 310 lb downhill on a 15% grade short enough I'm not afraid of hitting a deer at the bottom.
Per the experience yesterday, an exercise program involves doing 80% of what you can do in a day, then resting a day. Then adding 10% tomorrow. Binge exercise is no fun. leads to great pain, and leads to sitting on the couch as a plan. A little soreness is usual the day after a good workout. I use an ibuprofen pretty frequently those days. One, in the morning. Stretching is important before exercise, my stretching before bike riding takes 30 seconds.
Good luck, my wife only binge exercises, has some great stories of memorable days when her friend encouraged her to over do it. A year or two ago; she does nothing now. Her employer told her to stay indoors, and she takes it literally. Women can get away with that, men die off from sitting around. Lost a key member of our organ project last month, woke up dead one morning. I couldn't talk him into doing anything besides work, which since he was semi-retired was not much. Covid 19 has scared the other 72 year old into walking laps around a church when he practices over there. I ride the bike everywhere unpowered, as a plan. No car. Power is for 25 mph headwinds, which come at odd times now the globe has warmed. Again, buying a bafang mid drive is like buying a new motorcycle. Not an exercise program, doesn't work power off. Geared hub motors, mid-drives yamaha shimano brose can be ridden without power until one hits their limit (mine is ~25 miles & 61st hill).
 
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rich c

Well-Known Member
Hydraulic brakes are for never having to adjust them, along with 3 finger short brake blades on the handlebars.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Looking for some help, please confirm if I am headed in the right direction or if I am making any mistakes with my plan to build a custom eBike for my wife.
The desired result is to make something that looks as close to this "Hybrid Cruiser" from SixThreeZero as possible:
2 Major problems with this design is that it's not waterproof and it costs $2K which is nearly double my budget!

So then I noticed that they sell a regular version of this bike but it's not clear if the disc brake mounts are on this version... I sent a message to the manufacturer but they are not taking any calls nor will be answering any email questions for at least another 4-6 weeks... My assumption is that disc brakes are a requirement for a eBike to ride safely on hills which we plan to ride on several hilly hike/bike trail systems in our area which also have low water crossings (paved) which is why we need the bike to be waterproof.

$329 - SixThreeZero EVRY Journey

1st Question... I know there are conversion kits to add disc brakes, but I wan't this to look professional, will I need to weld + paint match or is there a kit that anyone knows that can do this reasonably? I am also open to the idea of buying a stand alone frame and building the bike from scratch, but I am having a difficult time finding a "Cross Through" frame with integrated disc brake mounts :(

As far as power goes, I plan to re-purpose my EGO 56V battery in similar fashion to what this guy is doing:
Main reason I want to run the EGO battery is because it's essentially waterproof, and I already own this battery for my trimmer/blower ;)

I've read all kinds of reviews on converion kits and it seems that the most common recommendation is the BaFang BBS02B 48V - 750W where any of the lower power motors tend to burn up if you push more than 48V into them, but the 750W motor can handle the 56V battery that I plan to use. So this is where I am at, please help me decide if it's worth the hassle adding disc brakes to the EVRY Journey or please help me find something comparable, even if I have to buy all the parts separately.

Running Budget $1,000 max: ;)
  • $0 - 56V EGO Battery/Charger (already procured) 7.5Ah with plans to ride 20 miles max per charge
  • $470 - BaFang BBS02B 48V - 750W
  • $??? - Hybrid Step Through Cruiser with disk brakes, preferably 26" but 700c will work if necessary to stay in budget
  • $??? - What else am I missing

Hi Bill,

Unless you really want to do a DIY project, have you considered a purchasing a complete Ebike?
You can get a decent electric bike for under a grand and can add your modifications as you like over time.
I have no affiliation with BD, just a satisfied customer that has purchased a number of bikes over the years. ;)

1587857043243.png


Aluminum eBike Cruiser with Shimano Eight Speed Drive Train, Disc Brakes $899

If you are willing to spend $100 over your budget you can get hydraulic discs, rack etc.

1587858000278.png
1587858197686.png


Gravity Electric Bicycle Shimano 8-Spd, Shimano Disc Brakes, Adventure Hybrid eBike $1099
 
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BillDeLong

New Member
Thanks for confirming my suspicion on disc brakes, I'm going to drop that requirement for now.

We're not going for speed anyway, my wife is content with 20mph max speeds going downhill anyway.

I've already placed the order for the 750W BaFang so I'm committed with that choice.


I have found a "Lekkie Bling Ring" which will save me the hassle of having to mill a custom crank, they offer 28T, 36T and 42T where I believe the 36T should be the sweet spot for the hills in my area. Does anyone have any experience with these Lekkie's?



Does it make sense for me to try and match up with the same tooth count that we use the most when pedaling manually up the hills?

She won't be racing, I'm thinking that gearing for hill climbs while sacrificing top speed may be worth the compromise in hopes of extending the longevity of the motor :)
 

BillDeLong

New Member
...
Unless you really want to do a DIY project, have you considered a purchasing a complete Ebike?
You can get a decent electric bike for a grand and could add your modifications as you like over time... ;)
...

That's an excellent suggestion, and yes my wife and I had discussed this strategy, but the main problem was that we know for sure the bike will have to go through a low water crossing and will get wet every single use. None of the entry level cruisers offered any warranty protection for water damage and that was a deal breaker for us :( Another ding was that we need a hill climber, most of these cruisers are designed for relatively flat use.

We've been getting lots of good advice from everyone so far, I appreciate everyone's feedback!
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
Does it make sense for me to try and match up with the same tooth count that we use the most when pedaling manually up the hills?

She won't be racing, I'm thinking that gearing for hill climbs while sacrificing top speed may be worth the compromise in hopes of extending the longevity of the motor :)

Nah. Whatever they sell for the BBS will be fine, The pedal assist is quite overboosted in stock form.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
Hydraulic brakes are for never having to adjust them, along with 3 finger short brake blades on the handlebars.
I adjust mechanicals every 18 months or 3000 miles. Takes 1 minute with a 5 mm allen wrench. Much quicker than rim brakes which take unclamping the cable then tightening it up while it doesn't slip back too loose.
 
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BillDeLong

New Member
Nah. Whatever they sell for the BBS will be fine, The pedal assist is quite overboosted in stock form.

Do you know of any literature on the BBS which states the max grade for climbing hills?

The largest crankset on my wife's bike is 42T, but the smallest available from BBS is 44T which is already a pinch too big to begin with, the options I'm considering with Lekkie are 36T and 42T, where this bike will be used almost always on rolling hills. I've circled the main selling point from Lekkie here, though it's not clear what constitutes a "steep hill":

Capture.JPG
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
It's your money. I'm cheap and didn't see a need to buy any Lekkie stuff. No gear sensor. No programming cable.

I believe I have the 48T bafang gear. With a 34T/14T freewheel, and pedaling like a senior at 60 bpm, that's about 15-16 mph on my 26" beater mid drive. Didn't want to go any smaller. This bike has lugs for a disk caliper. I later spent $60 for a new front wheel and 160mm rotor, and $50 for Avid BB& calipier. It didn't stop much better than the rim brakes on dry road. Does add some bling. Anyway, I'm only going 15 mph.
BBS02_2.jpg