Bike kit for long road rides?

daleL

New Member
My wife and I are 62 and experienced road riders who used to do 50-70 mile days but are now only riding 30-40 miles due to age.

We want to buy bike kits that will inexpensively allow us to retain as much reliance on our own pedal power but supplement it to extend our mileage. We want a front hub motor kit to retain the full gearing of our existing road bikes.

I just bought her a Dillinger Street Legal bike kit and mounted it with ease on her 1990 Bridgestone MB frame. We are impressed with this $700 36v 13aH kit that got 40 miles on the battery's first charge. (EBR has not yet reviewed this kit but it appears to be the best value compared to all kits reviewed by EBR.)

She can now keep up with me on my as-yet-not-modified Surley Travelers Check road bike and we hope she can easily increase her range to 60 miles by using more of her own power to pedal.

I am now ready to buy a kit for my Surley Travelers Check. Should I buy something other than another Dillinger Street Legal kit. Entice me!

P.S. We can't be the first baby boomers who want an ebike to help them stay in shape rather than just make the ride easy or faster. Are there ebikes made for our demographic?
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
Dillenger cycles (sorry) through a lot of products, much of it off-road. I'm hoping you got the Samsung pack, since they used to use Headway cells, and I'm not thrilled with those cells. They have had a '350 watt' kit for quite a while, so it must work for people. The battery upgrade, at that price, provides most of the value. There are bigger batteries you can buy, of course, but you could buy a second battery.

So if you leave the battery aside, what you can pick is another motor. The upgrades from here would be a low power version of the Golden Motor, or a Mac. These are higher performance motors, but unless you climb hills, the performance will kill your range, so it's a double edged sword. I'm not sure if your motor is 'branded'. Some Dillenger bikes are using the Bafang G06, but your motor may be comparable.

The front motors do, indeed, leave the gears intact. I use a front Mac. You can keep rear gear clusters with a rear hub, but you may have to go with a freewheel, not a cassette. Front hubs are safest with a torque arm.

Demographics are tough. The Pedego beach cruisers are aimed at the boomers, but it's too casual for what you are doing. You might like a torque sensor pedal assist bike, where you can set the level of assist fairly precisely. Not sure how you are using the motor. I think the Pedego Ridge Rider is being aimed at Boomer who take cycling seriously and maybe do some trails. Tough to say. They want to get some young riders, the industry does.
 

flymeaway

Well-Known Member
P.S. We can't be the first baby boomers who want an ebike to help them stay in shape rather than just make the ride easy or faster. Are there ebikes made for our demographic?

Hi Dale.......you're far from the first BBer's who've discovered the value of ebikes for exercise. For 40+ years I road Fuji road bikes until age and long relatively steep inclines (and my wife's Arthritis) made us begin to look for alternatives. We both love to ride and it made sense to buy ebikes. So we took a drive over to E-Bikes of NE and bought a Neo Cross and a Neo Carbon.......we were immediately hooked. Since then I've converted a Cannondale MT1000 and converted 3 Motobecane hybrids bought from Bikes Direct. Most people have their preference of kit conversions; mine are the MAC rear hub, and the Bafang BBS02 mid-drives, but I'm not impartial.....those are the kits I used.

Have fun....whatever you choose!

Court J.
 

daleL

New Member
George S.:
Thanks so much! I wasn't aware of the torque sensor pedal assist feature and it sounds like a feature I want for my road bike. Are there decent kits under $1000 with that feature?
 

daleL

New Member
Hi Dale.......you're far from the first BBer's who've discovered the value of ebikes for exercise. For 40+ years I road Fuji road bikes until age and long relatively steep inclines (and my wife's Arthritis) made us begin to look for alternatives. We both love to ride and it made sense to buy ebikes. So we took a drive over to E-Bikes of NE and bought a Neo Cross and a Neo Carbon.......we were immediately hooked. Since then I've converted a Cannondale MT1000 and converted 3 Motobecane hybrids bought from Bikes Direct. Most people have their preference of kit conversions; mine are the MAC rear hub, and the Bafang BBS02 mid-drives, but I'm not impartial.....those are the kits I used.

Have fun....whatever you choose!

Court J.

Thanks Court. I want to find a kit under $1000 for my Surley Travelers Check that has the torque sensor feature George S suggested. Any suggestions? Also, what are the disadvantages of a front motor? Thanks so much.
 

daleL

New Member
Just barely...a good torque sensor set-up versus PAS will add $150+ to the kit. All torque sensors aren't created equal.
Here's a good place to start...http://www.ebikes.ca

Court J.
Very Interesting!! Could I add the torque sensor to a Dillinger Street Legal kit without having to buy a different display? If not, are you suggesting I might want to build my own kit from components?
 

flymeaway

Well-Known Member
Thanks Court. I want to find a kit under $1000 for my Surley Travelers Check that has the torque sensor feature George S suggested. Any suggestions? Also, what are the disadvantages of a front motor? Thanks so much

The question is; "where to begin"? There are many different options and configurations to choose from and, many of the options are personal preference. My Neo Carbon has a torque sensor system (strain gauge) built into the rear dropout and I very much dislike it. All the conversions I've done have inexpensive PAS sensors and I prefer them. If you want a workout you can get it with either set-up. Much of what you'll find about ebiking comes down to individual preference, I don't think there's a right or wrong way. The biggest difference is mid-drive versus hub drive and within hub drive, geared hubs or direct drive. The only other significant decision is battery voltage and capacity. I haven't built a front wheel hub ebike so I can't really comment on it. I believe George has a MAC front hub configured bike.

Court J.
 

flymeaway

Well-Known Member
Could I add the torque sensor to a Dillinger Street Legal kit without having to buy a different display?
I'm not sure because I don't know what the sensor inputs are on a Dillinger kit. But, if it will accept a torque sensor then yes it should work.

Court J.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
The problem with the Grin stuff is that you need the spindle and you need a CA, plus there are some issues with responsiveness. I would try to make a cadence system work. I think Court uses the cadence sensor with a Cycle Analyst. Most of the time you are cruising along. There are ways to refine it, I think, with the CA?

Front motors don't have the weight of the bike for traction. The front fork is not a 'power' structure, so a torque arm is recommended. I like them for simplicity. It's easy to fix a flat. I've used both and don't notice a lot of difference.

Not sure how the Falco torque sensor works. Falco has a website. A few people here love the Falco, say it is a fantastic and refined motor that might last 'forever'. You might look around their website.

Two of the more interesting bikes announced for 2016, the Cross Current and the Biktrix Monte Capro, have torque sensor systems, and they run around $1500. It's a good way to sell bikes. You take a test ride and the bike feels exciting, adding power by itself. But, like I say, most of the time you are cruising. I have a cruise control. That's it. It works for cruising. Then I use a throttle.