An update on my life: BBSHD 52V Radrover & "Frankenbike"

walawn

Active Member
Hey guys! I know I've been quiet for about a week. That's because I've been working on my bike, and now, bikes plural. Last Friday I took apart my Radrover by removing the controller, battery, mounting plate, brake levers, throttle, cranks, and bottom bracket. That Saturday morning I installed the BBSHD kit (100-120mm) along with a 52V dolphin pack that I soldered in. I splurged for extras like the 42T sprocket, orange 1/4 twist throttle, Full color Luna display, and gear sensor. All in all it wasn't too bad of an install. I did my best on cable management and heat shrinked everything. The hardest part to me was sliding the BBSHD through the lower bottom bracket since there were several aluminum burs in the way. Once I got past all that it was pretty intuitive going forward with things like installing the gear sensor and speed sensor. It will do over 30 mph with the 42T sprocket and over 40 mph with the 46T. One thing that bugged me was leaving the rear motor in the wheel so I purchased a cheap Mongoose fat tire 7-speed bike with disc brakes to swap parts with. I can lift the new bike with one arm, while the Radrover's 60 lb. heft takes two of course. The tires retrofitted with little issues (I had to swap the 160mm rotors with the 180mm to make it all work). NOTE: Guys and gals with Radrovers or Rad Minis, please check your rotor bolts. Mine were not loose, but they were not tight either. They came off the stock RPB wheels very easily. In contrast, the cheap China bike's rotor bolts seem to have been torqued on with an impact lol. I have hydraulic brakes made for the BBSHD kit on the way as well as a Chromoly front fork (sans suspension). I think eventually I may swap the tires or install another set of the Maxxis Hookworms since I love how they handle and ride. The Mongoose will eventually get the Radrover's original controller and battery. And the brake levers, brake calipers, shifter, and throttle so I guess it will be "converted" into a much lighter Radrover or you could just call it a 25 mph "Frankenbike." It will be interesting to see how it hold's up to the Radrover's motor and speed over time. The Mongoose Mauls really was cheap, feels cheap (rock for a seat & super light) and nothing worked out of the box and still doesn't (i.e. derailer and mechanical disc brakes are junk), but I paid $200 for wheels and a frame so I'm satisfied. So anyone local to the DMV area (@NinjaNick, @opimax), when you are ready to ride a full 26" bike I will have a spare ready!
 

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Metalusion

Active Member
cool. was wondering if it would be better to start with a whole new frame instead of swapping things on the RR. it seems you replaced alot of it.
would you recommend this route for others who already have a radrover?

i'm specifically interested in the BBSHD as well
 

walawn

Active Member
@Mark in CA It's doing well. I didn't have the special tool when I first did the install, so I used a ball-peen hammer and brass punch and large flat head screwdriver to snug up the lock nut. I had the tool for the outer aluminum jam nut. When my specialty arrived I double checked the lock nut. It had backed off about half way, pressing into the outer jam nut. Luckily the BBSHD was jammed into the bottom bracket due to the aluminum burs from where the factory wielded the frame together. It was a tight fit for sure which stopped it from backing out. I tightened both nuts securely and no issues as of yet. I'm getting about 25-30 miles per battery (especially on the 52V vs. 48V) with a mix of pedal assist, throttle, and coasting. I feel like this motor is way more efficient than the stock rear hub because I'm getting more range! The power even on the lowest assist level is nice (You can do 3, 5, or 9 levels of assist and set your own top-speed).
 

walawn

Active Member
@opimax Yeah, I saw yours in the shop today sans front brake hose. It made me sad. Hopefully Patrice will get it squared away. If not, we sure will. No worries.
 

walawn

Active Member
@Metalusion If you don't own a Radrover, I would say that there are better bikes out there for this conversion. If you have $1500 to spend as well as the money for the BBSHD, buy a solid bike with front suspension, hydraulic brakes, and a strong frame. If you do own a Radrover, I feel like it is a fine platform for converting. The frame is nice and sturdy to handle the speed and power of the BBSHD. The front fork that comes on our stock bikes is utter crap though and will need to be replaced for safety. As will the crappy mechanical brakes. You are basically doubling your stock top speed. I have a fork and hydraulic brakes in the mail to me now to add soon. I also installed an 11-32 Nickel-Plated cassette when I swapped the wheels over. It needs adjustment, but the lowest gear is lower now and the highest gear is higher. For $30 I feel like it was a much needed improvement. Super steep hills are no issues now and I feel like I can help the motor by pedaling even over 30 mph now whereas I was running out of gear before. I'm not sure if I am going to sell, keep, or give away the second bike once I put the Radrover's stock battery and controller on it (since it now has the Radrover's rear hub motor in it). I may keep it as a spare when I wreck the drive-train on the BBSHD and am in the process of fixing it, or I may leave it for friends to ride when they need to. Let's see how the conversion goes on it first. It would be nice to recoup some of the money I've spent so far. ;-)
 

walawn

Active Member
Finished the second conversion today minus the handlebar shifter which will arrive tomorrow. Everything works well. I will eventually switch over the better calipers from the Radrover to this new, silver bike. Also, my new chromoloy fork came for the BBSHD equiped bike. I don't trust myself to do the install safely so I'll leave it for my LBS. I'm debating another set of tires/tubes as well. Sigh...it never ends...
 

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pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
For all that work I agree with another poster above, should have just bought a nice bikes direct bike for the bbshd build and just left the radrover or sold it as it was!
 

walawn

Active Member
UPDATE: I just test drove the Frankenbike today for the first time. It is extremely fast! It is very light and I can lift it up steps with one arm. The bike is probably 40 lbs. lighter or more than the stock Radrover. It did 22 mph up a medium hill accelerating the whole time with my 180 lb. heft on the seat. It needs a better seat (OEM is as hard as a rock) and brakes (OEM mechanical disc are weak), but is essentially finished. I will probably upgrade these before I let it go (I may put the old Radrover calipers on to see if it makes a difference and I have a Sefaras gel seat around here somewhere I could mount). It is a Mongoose Malus ($200 bike) frame with the Radrover battery, controller, motor, wheels, levers, and display. I've upgraded the tires to Maxxis Hookworms (26 x 2.5) and installed a Shimano speed shifter. I will sell it with the battery for $1000 or $750 without the battery. Shipping will vary based on location and hazmat cost.
 

PRW

New Member
UPDATE: I just test drove the Frankenbike today for the first time. It is extremely fast! It is very light and I can lift it up steps with one arm. The bike is probably 40 lbs. lighter or more than the stock Radrover. It did 22 mph up a medium hill accelerating the whole time with my 180 lb. heft on the seat. It needs a better seat (OEM is as hard as a rock) and brakes (OEM mechanical disc are weak), but is essentially finished. I will probably upgrade these before I let it go (I may put the old Radrover calipers on to see if it makes a difference and I have a Sefaras gel seat around here somewhere I could mount). It is a Mongoose Malus ($200 bike) frame with the Radrover battery, controller, motor, wheels, levers, and display. I've upgraded the tires to Maxxis Hookworms (26 x 2.5) and installed a Shimano speed shifter. I will sell it with the battery for $1000 or $750 without the battery. Shipping will vary based on location and hazmat cost.
walawn,
If the Mongoose has the RR battery, motor , wheels etc - how can it be 40lbs lighter than the stock RR? Are you saying this is the difference in frame weights, or am I misunderstanding something?
 
@walawn I also do not like the stock junk front fork. RR had to replace it after only 200 miles because it broke. Can you be more specific as to which (model) front fork you bought? Thanks
 

walawn

Active Member
@PRW frame weights is exactly right. And maybe tires since they were changed as well, but the frame is the bulk of the difference. I just installed the Radrover calipers today as well as a Safaras seat so it is ready to be sold if there are any interested parties. It is noticeably faster (both top speed and acceleration, even up hills, than the stock Radrover). Keep in mind that it doesn't have suspension and you are leaning over a little more than stock.
 

walawn

Active Member
@Mike in Spokane I agree completely! The factory one is junk and mine broke during the first couple of weeks (the lock out knob popped up and off). Even the internals in the fork came up somehow, but I didn't even bother RPB with a warranty claim. The replacement I purchased was the fatbike chromoloy fork in gloss black from bikesdirect.com. It took maybe 3 weeks to finally get here. Maybe two weeks to ship and one to arrive. I will miss the front cushion (what little there was!) but I think I will feel much safer with a solid fork up front instead of the squirrelly RPB unit.