4 Bike 500w Rear Hub Motor Builds from Greenergy

BADsDAD

New Member
Your local bike shop will lace any wheel on a hub that you want. If all else fails, just build the assembly you need.

I would not convert a bike to disc brakes - there are no brackets for the calipers to mount to and in many cases the frame or fork are simply not designed for those kinds of stresses.

ebikes.ca in Canada will build you anything you want with their hubs - they have a mini-250watt geared hub that would be perfect for something not too go-fast.

LBS is an option for those willing to pay their prices (crazy high in Dallas, from my experience), but I am really a DIY kinda guy. I enjoy learning a new skill even if it takes a few tries and want to teach my kids to have the same tenacity.

Totally agree about the disc conversions, but I notice that my kids' Specialized bikes have caliper mounts already, but just have rim brakes mounted factory. I think at this point, it's all about finding the right used donor bikes and for that, we are on the hunt!
 
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BADsDAD

New Member
Wish I could weld. I would tacked on some caliper mounts onto my steel fatbike. I had to buy new front forks and rigged an adapter on the rear.

Harbor freight - get a welder and hood.. Tractor supply - get shielding gas and go at it. It's not as difficult as you might imagine. I've been doing it for over 25 years now, but could mig weld steel the first day, you can too.
 
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PDoz

Well-Known Member
Good move keeping a set of regular bikes for the kids - I find mine struggle with learning skills on a heavier ebike , and get sucked in by the ease of reaching speed / start riding above their ability.

btw, you could always try building the 24 inch bike as a "mullet" - 20 rear /24 front , tell them that's the latest trend in mountain bikes (27.5 r / 29 f) . Then put the $ saved aside towards something decent for you that gets handed down to them in a couple of years....pics below are my 10 yo on my old (2017) norco optic....he's already starting to borrow my emtb...Oh, and if you want to justify a high purchase price for your toy...that norco was also used by my 14 yo daughter ( until she got faster than me
 

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WilliamT

Active Member
I used to have a BBS02 on my son's 24 inch Cannondale 24. Wow, that was a fun ride until he outgrew it. It used a 6ah 52v Luna battery that was small enough to fit in the frame of the bike.

Now he is riding an XS Marin Hawk Hill full suspension (non-ebike).

Marin has a Hawk Hill Jr full suspension with a frame that is compatible with 24 or 26 inch wheels.
 

BADsDAD

New Member
Some pics of build #1 which is bike #2 of the below:

Donor bikes:
1. 20" 7 speed Hotrock with rim brakes - 12AH 48v 500W 500c
2. 26" wheel - 16" frame Motobecane 400HT with manual disc and cassette - 12AH 48v 500W 500c
3. Same as #2 except with 18" frame - 17.5AH 48v 500W 500c
4. Rockhopper sport 29" hydraulic disc and cassette -17.5AH 48v 500W 850c



Opened case and verified battery void as the test fit showed that I would need more room than the 16" frame allowed to be able to get the battery in and out.
Then heated with a heat gun and indented the battery case:
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Added rivnuts based on the existing Hailong locations as well as adding one in the lower cast aluminum portion:
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Very little space to work with the drill, so I cut down a bit to be just long enough to fit:
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Purchased real stainless 5mm hardware from Ace Hardware (tested with magnet):
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Drilled and installed the cast portion of the base:
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Drilled for a 4th fastener to use existing frame rivnut:
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Looks pretty good, I think, and is just barely removable:
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Tire/disc/cassette swap - added heavy duty slime tube.. This is one heavy wheel now!!:
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BADsDAD

New Member
Well, 4 out of 4 bikes built with only 2 rather major issues (and LOTS of minor ones!).

1. One of the controllers failed in about 30mins and is now dead. It was on my Son's bike so I ended up swapping his controller with mine and I'll go without until Greenergy lets me know what they will do about it. The scary thing here is that I figured replacement parts would be plentiful, but not so much.. A search for the controller part number yields nothing much and I see only one with the Bafang connectors available on ebay. I also don't see where Greenergy has a parts store on ebay or Amazon. -- edit-- nope, I take it back. They have an ebay store that sells pretty much every part except the controller! :-(
41580


2. The 700c rim for my bike came cracked at a spoke. I noticed as I was checking all spokes to make sure none were loose and one was REALLY lose on my 700c wheel.
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It was more fun than should be allowed by law for that first 30mins though! And the wife and kids are still riding in the yard on our little track we have built.
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4157841579
 
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BADsDAD

New Member
They finally stopped for a minute so I could get pics of their bikes.

This 18" frame just fit with no modifications:
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The 16" was something of a trick to get it all in there. Need to find a small bag that will fit in that space to clean this one up a bit:
41583

And the little guy, well.. The only option was on the top tube, but the 12AH battery isn't very heavy so he says it's just fine.
41584
 

BADsDAD

New Member
The initial reply from Greenergy is to offer me $10 for the cracked wheel and that it poses no danger, LOL. I replied that the LBS wants at least $50 to swap the hub motor to my old wheel plus spokes. So, I said I'd take $50 and we'll see what they say as you only get one reply at night and is usually around midnight..

As far as the bad controller, they are having a hard time understanding what a broken controller is, so their reply makes me think this is going to take some back and forth and a few days to get them to agree to send a new one, plus shipping time from China. So, I did find a single one listed on ebay for $44 and ordered it. If I get a replacement from Greenergy, I'll have a spare.

All in all, I have right at $4k into 4 bikes (so far) because I had to buy 2 new donors from BD. For 5K, I could have bought 4 Rad Rovers. There are pros and cons there for sure as the displays on the Rad Rovers look pretty cheap and they are likely heavier than these donors, but I could have kept/sold my Rockhopper and the small Hotrock, plus the support of RPB and probably parts in the US. So it would have been close to even as far as cost and a lot less headache. Presumably, we'd all be riding now, instead of waiting for parts to come from China..

The builds while fun, where a bit frustrating. For example, the PAS sensors are a mess and took some careful Dremel modification to get them to fit. All of the crank arms had to be made a few mm thinner to fit the PAS without rubbing, but luckily I had the tools to do so. I can't really fathom any nice clean way to mount the controller on the 16" Motobecane until Son is taller and I can raise the seat a bit. The 18" Motobecane and the 21" Rockhopper worked much better but all still required crank grinding.

It does however, look like the Rad Rovers will be considered class 2 ebikes given the twist throttle and therefore not legal in most parks. Not real sure that anyone would ever stop and ticket you, but the possibility exists.
Even so, doing it all over again, I'd probably go that route, disconnect the twist throttle and buy some class 1 stickers once the class stickers become the law on ebikes (Jan 2020) and are available on ebay.
 

BADsDAD

New Member
Greenergy is refusing to do anything about the wheel. They will send a replacement for the failed controller, but they insist a cracked wheel with a loose spoke is perfectly fine.
That's what I get for dealing with a Chinese company, I guess. Maybe I'll try the spoke calculator and re-lace the hub motor to the old rim myself.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Thanks for the heads up regarding Greenergy. I can't imagine what their thinking is regarding a cracked rim (other than what it would cost them to make it right).

Did you go through Paypal? If so, I would think filing a claim with them for defective parts would be my next move.
 

Handlebars

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
Greenergy is refusing to do anything about the wheel. They will send a replacement for the failed controller, but they insist a cracked wheel with a loose spoke is perfectly fine.
That's what I get for dealing with a Chinese company, I guess. Maybe I'll try the spoke calculator and re-lace the hub motor to the old rim myself.
From my many dealings with Chinese companies, my experience is that if you kindly persist, often you get a different response on different day/from different staff member. Most commonly I would say the type of better response I'd expect would be a new rim and a portion of the installation expense.
Always use simple language without metaphors that don't make sense in translation, and make it a short message.
 

BADsDAD

New Member
From my many dealings with Chinese companies, my experience is that if you kindly persist, often you get a different response on different day/from different staff member. Most commonly I would say the type of better response I'd expect would be a new rim and a portion of the installation expense.
Always use simple language without metaphors that don't make sense in translation, and make it a short message.

Thank you, and yes, I have had the same experience. They are not rude and I may persist, but I want the controller shipped and a tracking number before I persist further on the rim.

I really just wanted to share my experience with the group here and point out that it may or may not be worth the trouble to build yourself given the delayed shipping and communication times vs just buying a pre-built ebike that is not that much more expensive (depending on brand/quality).

We all have to make the choice as to how we value our time and while I do love to build and work on things, I am rather used to being able to get parts for most anything in a day or three. The two to three week wait for Chinese parts may not be worth the hassle for everyone and I think I am started to be swayed in that direction. After all, I'd rather be riding with my family than waiting for parts and that's pretty valuable to me.

I do however, have a couple of Hammerhead Chinese go-karts for the kids and those have been fantastic. BUT, the parts for them are super common and for maybe a 10% markup, there are sellers in the US that can ship in a day or two. Ideally, once the ebikes catch on more with people, this will be the case for those parts as well.
 

tomjasz

Well-Known Member
I guess if I don’t value my time these Chinese lowball kits have value. But if I want to ride, and have warranties and reliable conversions these kits are akin to a night at Las Vegas slot machines. they don’t build billion dollars properties on winners. My MXUS kit with a CA3 and Lyen controller has 10,000 uninterrupted miles for 20-40% more no failures and 4 years of service. The Yugo of EBike kits.

These Greenenergy kits are about worth 1/4 of the price paid. i will never get the willingness to accept the disappointment and inevitable failures. Takes the fun out for me. And thst doesn’t even address the higher risks with substandard electronics and volatile battery packs.
 

BADsDAD

New Member
I guess if I don’t value my time these Chinese lowball kits have value. But if I want to ride, and have warranties and reliable conversions these kits are akin to a night at Las Vegas slot machines. they don’t build billion dollars properties on winners. My MXUS kit with a CA3 and Lyen controller has 10,000 uninterrupted miles for 20-40% more no failures and 4 years of service. The Yugo of EBike kits.

These Greenenergy kits are about worth 1/4 of the price paid. i will never get the willingness to accept the disappointment and inevitable failures. Takes the fun out for me. And thst doesn’t even address the higher risks with substandard electronics and volatile battery packs.


I agree, to a point. There is a point where I am just being taken for "quality" (think Mercedes) and that I have no interest in.

Having been a mechanic, I like the middle ground of excellent reliability and unmatched build quality for a fair price (think Toyota/Lexus).

Who is the Toyota of ebikes?
 

tomjasz

Well-Known Member
Who is the Toyota of ebikes?
as an owner of more than a dozen Toyota products over a 40 year period, and a kit builder of more than a dozen different kits as well as 5 years selling and supporting kits...

MAC geared hub drives, MXUS direct drives, and a few BBSxx series mid drives, fit that same reliability. As resellers go, eBikes.ca, and EM3ev, and the fella I work for are the most reliable sources. I no longer ride the motors I support and sell. Not because they are unreliable, but because I only own rim brake bikes and consider 33mph conversions on rim brakes unsafe. I’m happiest at 20MPH max. At 69 years old and after decades of high risk adventures 20MPH is a speed at which I might best survive in a crash. As always, YMMV.
My newest builds are 36V and high AH batteries. My 3000W hubs and 1500W mid drives builds were fun. But cuddling with the Mrs of 46 years without contusions is far more satisfying. VVBG

as batteries from China are concerned EM3ev are among the very best. As LBS bikes are discussed I think Trek are the Toyota of complete eBikes.
 

stanmiller

Active Member
Well, 4 out of 4 bikes built with only 2 rather major issues (and LOTS of minor ones!).

Bummer that you've had these glitches. If I had a broken controller and a janky wheel, that would make this project harder to recommend. Let's set those aside for the moment.

Great project with the kids!

You guys built something, kicked butt!, and also have a lot of follow on you can do. First, the glitches are an opportunity to teach about how to resolve things and disagreements in real-time. Second, the wiring is bunchy on the bikes. Shorten them. You could show them how to solder and heat shrink, about stripping wires, the lineman splice, flux, and so on...

Prepping wires:

41737

Coming together:

41738

As a kid, my dad had me changing brakes and oil and drive shafts. I hated it. But now, I know and I'm forever grateful.
 
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Browneye

Well-Known Member
I figured if something went haywire on my build I would just buy or make a new part. It can surely be frustrating though.

Reminds me of building ultralight aircraft in the pnw with nylon tarps and rotax motors. LOL
 

Browneye

Well-Known Member
Well thank you Thomas, that's just what one should expect with product imported from China. My favorite saying, "Make it do or do without".

Greenergy or Bluenergy, whomever this stuff is coming from, is likely this little factory or warehouse in Shanghai somewhere and getting them to re-do or replace parts around the world is probably an unrealistic expectation. They're not 'buidling bikes', they're shipping parts, they're not even a manufacturer. I don't even think they're building the wheelsets, I think they're buying them from some other little factory and reselling them.

For the cracked nipple hole in the rim I would simply replace the rim if it's breaking down, or ask the supplier to send a new rim, and re-lace it. Surely they're not going to send a replacement hub and wheel asssembly. Or get a credit - can probly get a new rim for $50 to $80. It's even an opportunity to get a little wider rim if you're running wider tires on the donor bike.

And now I'm coming to understand Thomas' point of view on cost for these conversions and how they can get expensive - the parts is just one aspect, you gotta make them all work together and then troubleshoot and fix if something doesn't work right. Usually without any support.

For the controller, it might be worth a call to Grin in Vancouver, or CA ebikes, and see what they might have that would work as a substitute. Or even shop for the same controller on aliexpress, figuring one may have to change connectors or re-do them. It may will prove futile to get just one replacement from the Greenergy people. For OP I would call the domestic support line, I think it's in NV, 'Vegas or something. Evidently they have some kind of presence there, a warehouse or office or something, and do ship some parts from there. This is the 'Greenergy' people, amazon, ebay, and aliexpress seller.

In any case, it's surely not like sourcing products from a domestic supplier, that is for sure.

As another aside, it's taking a LONG time to get items into the mail system in China lately. When any of the China exporters ship product it seems to go into some kind of transportation service, and that can take two or three weeks to even get shipped from there. I waited nearly a month for an air shipment from there - any tracking shows it arrived at their DC but weeks to actually get sent out/freight forwarding. Once they send it then it gets here in a day or two.