Analysis Paralysis

SQN

Member
Hi! I've been glued to this site and the videos for the past two weeks. Prior to that, ebikes were really not on my radar. A huge shout out to Court and the rest of you for such an informative resource!

I could really use some advice and recommendations.

I am interested in an ebike to allow me to roundtrip my daily commute. I've done it one way many, many times on my two year old stock Surly Cross Check, but I just don't have the time or stamina to round trip it all the time. I'd love to be able to round trip it most days.

I live in central Ohio, and have a 16 mile / 26km one-way commute. I'm ~155 lbs and moderatly fit. When I'm in decent shape and riding regularly, I tend to average 15mph on this ride. It is mostly flat with some really minor hills. I like to be able to commute in any weather, rain, snow, super cold, etc. I'm on public roadways 95% of the time, and can be 100% of the time if needed.

I've recently test ridden both a Stromer ST1 Platinum and a 2015 izip E3 dash. Wanted to also test ride the Specialized, but it was not available.

I love the concept of going as fast as possible, i.e. 28mph+, and I really like the idea of having a throttle to not have to peddle if I'm really tired.

I don't like the idea of spending $3,000 USD or more.

I've tried to understand how some of the conversion kits might work, such as the Falco and the Magic Pie.

I've researched what I can on the Copenhagen Wheel and the Ridekick.

At this point, I'm just completely confused. I really do like the idea of continuing to use my current Surly Cross Check. The Magic Pie seemed like a possible low-cost answer, but I don't see how I could use that with my drop bars, doesn't really seem like a pedelec, etc.

Anyone have any suggestions for my particular use-case?

Thanks in advance!
 

pocomo

Active Member
I am sorta in the same boat as you, being a long time cyclist but not having encountered ebikes prior to June of this year, then getting kinda obsessed ;) I rode a Stromer at a local shop, which I liked, but it just seemed like too much money. I also tried a 250W BionX based Trek bike at another shop; I loved the feel of the torque sensing pedal assist but it just didn't have enough power on hills. Since I live in the Boston area I was also able to try out a Copenhagen wheel - very cool/unobtrusive but fairly low power and questionable company status.

Check out a BBS02 mid drive conversion from Lectric Cycles. It will let you keep your Surly intact, keep your current wheels and use your bike's gears to keep the motor in the sweet spot for efficiency on hills, plus give you a throttle and the ability to remove the speed limiter (though 28 mph fully loaded is probably getting beyond the design parameters of your Surly). Court did a review of a couple of their e-Rad branded kits in late July (although they were mounted on far less-premium bikes than yours.) The main drawbacks are all the wires running around your bars/downtubes, replacing your crank with the lower quality (and uglier) BBS02 unit, and losing your presumably nicer brake levers for the plain/crappy kit ones with the integrated motor kill switches.

I've purchased one of these kits (750W/48V/11Ah) and am eagerly awaiting delivery.
 

SQN

Member
Thanks for the suggestion! I also found the following Magic Pie review which got me to thinking that perhaps I'm approaching this all wrong. Instead of trying to turn my prized Surly into an ebike, perhaps I ought to turn my older mountain bike into a ebike commuter.

http://motorbicycling.com/showthread.php?t=56500

These and other bike kits sound a bit too good to be true. I'm worried I won't be able to do it all on my own. A local bike shop says they can do it for a fee, but they also recommend ebikekit.com.

As I continue to ponder all the possibilities, I think I like the idea of not getting a purpose-built bike, and instead try out the world of ebikes by way of converting an existing bike.

Anyone have any thoughts on Ebikekit.com's kits vs. Magic Pie vs. Falco vs. any other rear wheel kit options for my proposed commuting parameters?
Thanks!
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
The BionX D-500 is a real power house with quality components, regen, very good batteries and a solid 2 year warranty. I've done a few conversions with this latest of their motor kits and ride on one of the S 350 system myself, so can attest to the quality. They are on the higher side pricewise but they have exceptional support. Golden Motor does offer pedal assist options; however on any motor over 250 watts, they suggest using a CycleAnalyst 3 with a thun sensor (which they sell) to have multiple levels of pedal assist, otherwise its just an all or nothing type of PA, so a bit rough for their larger motors. Golden Motor kits are programmable by the user to set the speed, regen and other add-ons. Falco kits are pretty strong and offer an integrated heart rate monitor and shielded electronics, so wireless items can operate properly (like a cycle computer-although you don't need it with their console). E-BikeKit has bragging rights on a planetary geared hub motor with a clutch, so it doesn't add any drag when you're not using battery power with the motor, just old fashioned pedaling.

The E-BikeKit and Golden Motor are both less expensive than the BionX or Falco kits, but may lack on durability; you will have to read Court's reviews and determine how invested you want to get moneywise on a first conversion on an older bike. Note also, that many kits that you may see online do not necessarily include the battery, which can skew what you think a kit price is.
 

sal

Member
I am sorta in the same boat as you, being a long time cyclist but not having encountered ebikes prior to June of this year, then getting kinda obsessed ;) I rode a Stromer at a local shop, which I liked, but it just seemed like too much money. I also tried a 250W BionX based Trek bike at another shop; I loved the feel of the torque sensing pedal assist but it just didn't have enough power on hills. Since I live in the Boston area I was also able to try out a Copenhagen wheel - very cool/unobtrusive but fairly low power and questionable company status.

Check out a BBS02 mid drive conversion from Lectric Cycles. It will let you keep your Surly intact, keep your current wheels and use your bike's gears to keep the motor in the sweet spot for efficiency on hills, plus give you a throttle and the ability to remove the speed limiter (though 28 mph fully loaded is probably getting beyond the design parameters of your Surly). Court did a review of a couple of their e-Rad branded kits in late July (although they were mounted on far less-premium bikes than yours.) The main drawbacks are all the wires running around your bars/downtubes, replacing your crank with the lower quality (and uglier) BBS02 unit, and losing your presumably nicer brake levers for the plain/crappy kit ones with the integrated motor kill switches.

I've purchased one of these kits (750W/48V/11Ah) and am eagerly awaiting delivery.
I too awaiting a shipment from lectriccycles.com. I bought the Origin 8 fat tire bike, should arrive 8/20/2015 from fed ex. Did you order the shift sensor from them, real cool idea?
 

pocomo

Active Member
Hi Sal -

Good to hear your bike is coming tomorrow! I take that to mean my battery (new case) will be delivered soon; I already have the updated motor.

You should start a thread in the e-rad forum once you get some seat time. I'll do the same.
 
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