2nd Round of my Rhino's (Rover) Upgrades for Long Distance riding

Kyogiro

Member
So first things first. I can do the basic stuff on my bikes if I have too. Changing tires/tubes, changing drive system/cassette/freewheel, changing cables, replacing the chain, etc.... but I don't like it at all and I wouldn't say I'm good at it. I learned the basics because I used to be a non professional triathlete and I didn't want to be stuck away from home during my training because of the flat.


1) Tubeless tires

So, 3 months ago, I first turn my tires into tubeless using the "ghetto" split tube method. I was planning to take my Rhino on some long trips and I could anticipate that removing the rear wheel would have been a hassle. Fixing flat on tubeless tires wouldn't require to remove the wheel nor the tire if the hole wouldn't be too big. So far, I didn't need to worry about that since I remain flat free (for now).

IMG_20200627_183520.jpg

IMG_20200627_204611.jpg

IMG_20200627_205041.jpg

IMG_20200627_205307.jpg




2) Bolton Upgrade Controller

So after 3 long months, I finally received my Bolton Controller. Already had the 750W bafang motor (you can also see the stock Rhino motor and the 750W side by side). I tried the Rhino with stock motor and the upgraded controller for a day. Installation was smooth and easy.

IMG_20201002_202606.jpg



3) Bafang 750W Hub Motor

Here is where things get "interested". So at first, after trying to unscrew the old motor, I figured I didn't have the right tool (I would advise anyone to watch the CitizenCycle video first on YouTube in order to get the right tools and not afterwards like I did). So fast forward an hour and I purchased the right tool to do the job.

3.1) Unscrewing the new motor : easy. The Motor is out.

IMG_20200924_191346.jpg


IMG_20200929_184344.jpg


3.2) Unscrewing the old motor... and things turn for the worse, the first time I tried to unscrew it with the wrong tool, I ended up damaging its head. Then I watched a bunch of YouTube videos and I brought the hammer trying the recreate somehow the shape of the original head.

Oh but that is only the beginning, even with the right tool, I went on damaging 2 more screws (not as much as the first one). 3 were removed and 3 stayed in.

Not knowing how I could resolve this on my own, I called a friend whose brother is like Superman with tools (he repairs buses for a living).


3.3) So today, during his lunch break, no less, he asked me if I need the old freewheel which I didn't, so he just cut it to easily access the last problematic screw (he removed the first two ones with ease with his tools). He reshaped the head with a small electric saw and we finally swap the motors.

3.4) Is that a job well done ? On my friend's brother (let's call him Jay) part, of course. On mine... not so much. When I first remove the motor, I lost a small piece in my garage which connects the motor to the wheel. Otherwise, the motor is turning and functioning but it doesn't drag along the wheel with it, quite useless in this state.

After removing again the new motor and comparing the old and the new side my side, Jay figures out in less than 2 minutes that a small piece is missing in the new motor. Quite frankly, I don't think I would have noticed it even with ample time. We salvage it from the old one and put it in the new one and everything ends up working fine. I took some large photos of the missing piece in case some of you would be as careless as I was.

IMG_20201002_115009.jpg
IMG_20201002_115609.jpg
IMG_20201002_222113.jpg
IMG_20201002_222200.jpg




Anyway here are the performances of my Rhino :

These are cruising speeds, easily sustained, I can go a bit higher when hard cycling but this is not a realistic experience. I am currently still using the stock battery (48V, 14 Ah)

Stock Motor & Stock Controller : 35 km/h (21.75 mph)

Stock Motor & Upgraded Controller : 40 km/h (24.85 mph)

Upgraded Motor & Upgraded Controller : 45 km/h (28 mph)


The time save while commuting in Paris is marginal since traffic is quite dense.


PS : this is not my complete first round of upgrades. I am still waiting for some key pieces (ordered them at the same time in early July) to fully complete this first step.

I'll probably upgrade the brakes for hydraulic ones for more braking power and less maintenance (tightening every now and then the brakes' cables). But this is going on the 2nd round of upgrades, next spring maybe ?

IMG_20200627_183520.jpgIMG_20200627_204611.jpgIMG_20200627_205041.jpgIMG_20200627_205307.jpgIMG_20201002_202606.jpgIMG_20200924_191346.jpgIMG_20200929_184344.jpgIMG_20201002_115009.jpgIMG_20201002_115609.jpgIMG_20201002_222113.jpgIMG_20201002_222200.jpg
 

Ccount

Active Member
Looks good! I can feel some of your pain, having done a motor exchange myself. You MUST make your next change a swap for a 35A controller and color display. It mates so well with the better Baffang Motor! My speed increases are almost identical to yours (I am on a Rad Runner). You will see a bit more with the new controller! The first time I rode my bike with the new motor and controller, it literally popped a wheelie and went out from under me! I saved it, but what a shock! Huge power! It is really notable in soft sand or on hills. Enjoy!
 

Kyogiro

Member
I already did that on the step two when I received my upgraded controller. Acceleration is much better.
 

Ccount

Active Member
As far as I can tell you and I are among the few who have done controller, display and motor. Highly recommended! I had to use an impact driver to break the motor case screws, as I saw that stripping them was a real concern. I must have lucked out, as I did not loose that axle key, and had few other issues. Keep us updated. I don't know if you have seen my posts, but I put a 1000w hub motor on front of my bike, intending for it to help out with getting through soft sand on the beach. It worked well, but as a side benefit, I can get up to 30 MPH with just the front motor, and frankly I don't want to go much faster! My next endeavor is installing gear shift ability now that I have that 7 gear cassette, and I am close. Keep us updated!
 

Kyogiro

Member
So right now, I am just training and testing everything out in order to do some ebike touring next summer. At this stage of testing, the bike might weigh around 70 kg (155 lbs) when I'm training on it. Fully pack, I would expect 80 kg (176 lbs).

First, listing the upgrades and then commentating on them.

2nd round of upgrades consists of :
- Juintech M1 hydraulic calipers (I initially wanted to buy the Tektro ones but out of stock about everywhere), plug and play install
- swapping for a regular flat handlebar and aero bars
- 2 additional battery packs bought from a Chinese dealer
- Brooks Flyer Imperial saddle

Juintech M1

I didn't switch to full a hydraulic system because I wanted to keep the simplicity of cables if I have to maintain or change them, especially if I'm on the road and not at home.
So far (I guess more than 500 km / 310 miles with them), stopping power is about the same but maintenance is far easier. Didn't have to touch the brakes whereas before I had to tighten every two weeks or so the brakes cables.

Of course, with a bike weight of 70 kg, I really have to anticipate and be careful on fast descent, stopping power is not great but it is acceptable. Don't think I'm gonna put bigger rotors or anything else in the new future.


Flat bar + aero bars

A game changer when it came to comfort. Less weight on the saddle, so it is far easier to rack up km/miles on it without suffering too much from my behind. At first, I tried out my ISM road bike saddle without changing the handlebar, did a 138 km (85 miles) ride on it. Butt and hands were suffering a lot at the end of the day - I previously put a thumb throttle on top on the regular one which reduced the right hand space too much, I ended up removing it -.

I used to race in triathlon races, so just used my old aero bars. Though, I was much much much (you can add ten more "much" and it still wouldn't be close) fitter than now.

The aero bars are bit too wide but can't put them closer because the display takes space in the middle. The aero bars provide a very much needed additional position and it is a quite relaxing one.

I put one my battery pack on the front rack which influence greatly the handling, the handlebar can very easily shake if not strongly held (which cannot be done of the aero bars, so rode with some shaky handlebars, I will put the two packs in the back on my next trip).

I chose a somewhat shorter flat handlebar because I am not a tall person (168 cm / 5'5), with the aero bars, the display and the throttle, not a lot of space left to put additional lights


Battery packs

So "officially", it says 52V 40Ah, I put those two huge packs in parallel, done some range testing in 3 different rides (138, 125 and 200+ km), I would say the battery packs would last me 13 hours on a 200W power output which would translate into 200 W x 13 hours = 2600 Wh (this is a very approximative estimate). Officially, it should have been 52 x 40 x 2 = 4160 Wh, so 63% of the official rating.

Price for the two battery packs : 1187 USD with two 10A chargers.


Brooks Flyer Imperial Saddle

Can't say I'm impressed by it. Been on it for 350 km / 217 miles. I have read I need more riding time to properly break the saddle in, but really not convinced.


What I am looking the change next ? Probably the crankset, I appreciate shorter levers, 165 mm levers like the setup I had on my road bike.

My last ride (yesterday, it was very cold in France), over 200 km / 125 miles : Strava E-Bike Ride Activity

Bag on the front rack : Decathlon Waterproof Itwit 20 L bag (it is a kayak bag but it has built-in straps)
Panniers : Ortlieb Back Roller Pro Plus (35 L x 2), the bottom can't be attached to the Rad stock rear rack.
 

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Timpo

Well-Known Member
As far as I can tell you and I are among the few who have done controller, display and motor. Highly recommended! I had to use an impact driver to break the motor case screws, as I saw that stripping them was a real concern. I must have lucked out, as I did not loose that axle key, and had few other issues. Keep us updated. I don't know if you have seen my posts, but I put a 1000w hub motor on front of my bike, intending for it to help out with getting through soft sand on the beach. It worked well, but as a side benefit, I can get up to 30 MPH with just the front motor, and frankly I don't want to go much faster! My next endeavor is installing gear shift ability now that I have that 7 gear cassette, and I am close. Keep us updated!
1000W motor?
Bafang G062?

 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Battery packs

So "officially", it says 52V 40Ah, I put those two huge packs in parallel, done some range testing in 3 different rides (138, 125 and 200+ km), I would say the battery packs would last me 13 hours on a 200W power output which would translate into 200 W x 13 hours = 2600 Wh (this is a very approximative estimate). Officially, it should have been 52 x 40 x 2 = 4160 Wh, so 63% of the official rating.

Price for the two battery packs : 1187 USD with two 10A chargers.
I'm a bit confused, because in the picture you still have the stock 48V 14ah.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
So first things first. I can do the basic stuff on my bikes if I have too. Changing tires/tubes, changing drive system/cassette/freewheel, changing cables, replacing the chain, etc.... but I don't like it at all and I wouldn't say I'm good at it. I learned the basics because I used to be a non professional triathlete and I didn't want to be stuck away from home during my training because of the flat.


1) Tubeless tires

So, 3 months ago, I first turn my tires into tubeless using the "ghetto" split tube method. I was planning to take my Rhino on some long trips and I could anticipate that removing the rear wheel would have been a hassle. Fixing flat on tubeless tires wouldn't require to remove the wheel nor the tire if the hole wouldn't be too big. So far, I didn't need to worry about that since I remain flat free (for now).

View attachment 67273
View attachment 67274
View attachment 67275
View attachment 67276



2) Bolton Upgrade Controller

So after 3 long months, I finally received my Bolton Controller. Already had the 750W bafang motor (you can also see the stock Rhino motor and the 750W side by side). I tried the Rhino with stock motor and the upgraded controller for a day. Installation was smooth and easy.

View attachment 67277


3) Bafang 750W Hub Motor

Here is where things get "interested". So at first, after trying to unscrew the old motor, I figured I didn't have the right tool (I would advise anyone to watch the CitizenCycle video first on YouTube in order to get the right tools and not afterwards like I did). So fast forward an hour and I purchased the right tool to do the job.

3.1) Unscrewing the new motor : easy. The Motor is out.

View attachment 67281

View attachment 67282

3.2) Unscrewing the old motor... and things turn for the worse, the first time I tried to unscrew it with the wrong tool, I ended up damaging its head. Then I watched a bunch of YouTube videos and I brought the hammer trying the recreate somehow the shape of the original head.

Oh but that is only the beginning, even with the right tool, I went on damaging 2 more screws (not as much as the first one). 3 were removed and 3 stayed in.

Not knowing how I could resolve this on my own, I called a friend whose brother is like Superman with tools (he repairs buses for a living).


3.3) So today, during his lunch break, no less, he asked me if I need the old freewheel which I didn't, so he just cut it to easily access the last problematic screw (he removed the first two ones with ease with his tools). He reshaped the head with a small electric saw and we finally swap the motors.

3.4) Is that a job well done ? On my friend's brother (let's call him Jay) part, of course. On mine... not so much. When I first remove the motor, I lost a small piece in my garage which connects the motor to the wheel. Otherwise, the motor is turning and functioning but it doesn't drag along the wheel with it, quite useless in this state.

After removing again the new motor and comparing the old and the new side my side, Jay figures out in less than 2 minutes that a small piece is missing in the new motor. Quite frankly, I don't think I would have noticed it even with ample time. We salvage it from the old one and put it in the new one and everything ends up working fine. I took some large photos of the missing piece in case some of you would be as careless as I was.

View attachment 67284View attachment 67285View attachment 67286View attachment 67287



Anyway here are the performances of my Rhino :

These are cruising speeds, easily sustained, I can go a bit higher when hard cycling but this is not a realistic experience. I am currently still using the stock battery (48V, 14 Ah)

Stock Motor & Stock Controller : 35 km/h (21.75 mph)

Stock Motor & Upgraded Controller : 40 km/h (24.85 mph)

Upgraded Motor & Upgraded Controller : 45 km/h (28 mph)


The time save while commuting in Paris is marginal since traffic is quite dense.


PS : this is not my complete first round of upgrades. I am still waiting for some key pieces (ordered them at the same time in early July) to fully complete this first step.

I'll probably upgrade the brakes for hydraulic ones for more braking power and less maintenance (tightening every now and then the brakes' cables). But this is going on the 2nd round of upgrades, next spring maybe ?

View attachment 67273View attachment 67274View attachment 67275View attachment 67276View attachment 67277View attachment 67281View attachment 67282View attachment 67284View attachment 67285View attachment 67286View attachment 67287
Awesome project! :)
 

Kyogiro

Member
@Timpo : I use the big battery packs for long distance / touring (anything above 100 km), though I still use my Rhino for commuting therefore the stock battery and its placement are much better suited. On the other hand, it is almost brand new (bought my bike last June).

If I'm touring, I can leave all my luggage, battery included at the hotel and then explore the city with the stock Rhino.

For training, I am keeping it because I want to simulate touring conditions and the added weight, it also allows me to test the range of the my big battery packs in a safer manner with some extra range.

For those purposes, my Rhino is XT90 ready. I didn't solder anything (not familiar with it), I ordered from https://biggamebikes.com/ a custom cable that goes from the stock battery pack towards a XT90 connector. I already had a cable converter for the controller to XT90 connectors which connects to my big battery packs. That way, I can swap battery system very easily. Otherwise I have to remove my skid plate first (very useful piece btw) and then swapping everything and usually I turn my bike upside down for that, which means removing the luggage as well. At least 15 mins in terms of time saved.