Convert Road Bike to Ebike - Advice!

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Cool! Thank you for trusting me enough to at least try, @EMGX. SPINNING OUT. It is time for a dozen gravel doughnuts to start off Saturday morning. Now you are running at low nominal waste but with high peaks.
That HD Kilowatt cargo bike went out just now. The seven-year-old is thrilled. Daddy will take her and her little brother to the school upon a hill each day, bypassing the line of cars and SUVs. The battery would not fit the triangle (by six mm) so it went low and center. Here is an update photo of the completed build. And thanks to all for the positivity. This stuff is fun.
@RunForTheHills, This is what the Red Steel bike looks like now. I still need to install the eBike rear brakes which I just picked up at the LBS then I will start the conversion. It is getting all black housings and polished cranks with a stealth battery. I like classic look road and town bikes.
 

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EMGX

Well-Known Member
Pictures please. I’m pondering a conversion to my ‘16 Trek Verve 3. Thoughts?
Do you have a special use for this bike or just trying to make a bike that you already have more useable?
It is fairly similar to my Schwinn that I recently installed a Tongsheng and I like that bike a lot, just got back from a scenic 24 mile hilly country ride. I did need an aftermarket 10mm dished (42t) chainring for a good chainline on my Schwinn and I changed the 8 speed cassette to 12-44t (required a derailleur extension for my SRAM X4) for better hill climbing ability.
I'm not suggestion that the Tongsheng is what you would want but removing your triple chainring should drop about 3 pounds, if you were inclined to replace your suspension front fork with a suspension corrected (non suspension) steel fork it would probably drop another 3-5 pounds which makes up for the 8 pound Tongsheng. Then the only additional weight would be a battery, the TS seems to be pretty efficient so unless you do long rides a small light battery might do. Pick Pedaluma's brain for suggestions.
Again, maybe you aren't interested in the Tongsheng but if you were I would go for the 36v version. My 36v is much quieter than my 48v which has a louder high pitch whine at higher assist levels, The 36v still provides good assist.

Oh, and the rim brakes on my Schwinn are excellent, at least as good as mechanical disc brakes that I have had on other bikes (but not as good as Avid Elixir hydraulics on another bike I ride) so I don't see disc vs rim as an issue just because one does a ebike conversion - excluding the high speed, heavy Bafang mid drives I read about.
 
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Dallant

Well-Known Member
Do you have a special use for this bike or just trying to make a bike that you already have more useable?
It is fairly similar to my Schwinn that I recently installed a Tongsheng and I like that bike a lot, just got back from a scenic 24 mile hilly country ride. I did need an aftermarket 10mm dished (42t) chainring for a good chainline on my Schwinn and I changed the 8 speed cassette to 12-44t (required a derailleur extension for my SRAM X4) for better hill climbing ability.
I'm not suggestion that the Tongsheng is what you would want but removing your triple chainring should drop about 3 pounds, if you were inclined to replace your suspension front fork with a suspension corrected (non suspension) steel fork it would probably drop another 3-5 pounds which makes up for the 8 pound Tongsheng. Then the only additional weight would be a battery, the TS seems to be pretty efficient so unless you do long rides a small light battery might do. Pick Pedaluma's brain for suggestions.
Again, maybe you aren't interested in the Tongsheng but if you were I would go for the 36v version. My 36v is much quieter than my 48v which has a louder high pitch whine at higher assist levels, The 36v still provides good assist.

Oh, and the rim brakes on my Schwinn are excellent, at least as good as mechanical disc brakes that I have had on other bikes (but not as good as Avid Elixir hydraulics on another bike I ride) so I don't see disc vs rim as an issue just because one does a ebike conversion - excluding the high speed, heavy Bafang mid drives I read about.
Thanks for the ideas. I’m not very mechanically/electrically minded so a good, well thought out kit would be a great help. It’s just as a general use paved trail bike that could handle hills.
It’s the acoustic bike I had for several years before I committed to my Allant+7. I just thought it would make a great lighter project bike.
 

EMGX

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the ideas. I’m not very mechanically/electrically minded so a good, well thought out kit would be a great help. It’s just as a general use paved trail bike that could handle hills.
It’s the acoustic bike I had for several years before I committed to my Allant+7. I just thought it would make a great lighter project bike.
I wouldn't want to suggest something that you wouldn't be able to do and I only have experience with the TSDZ2 mid drive and front and rear wheel hub motors, not Bafang mid drives. That said, the tongsheng mid drive is pretty complete. You would only need a battery of your choice - the electrical connectors to the motor consist of simply a positive and a negative wire with bullet type electrical connectors. The tongsheng installation is so simple, I don't know why some people try to make it sound like a difficult or intimidating job. Remove the crank assembly, if your Trek has a cartridge type bottom bracket (I assume it does but it is easy to check) then the only special bike tools you need are a crank arm puller (mine is Park Tool and cost $8) and a splined socket to remove the bottom bracket cartridge (a cartridge tool cost ~$6). The chainring/drive side has left hand threads (removed by turning clockwise instead of counterclockwise). There are youtube videos on this simple procedure. Then you just slip the TSDZ2 into the bottom bracket, there is a collar on the left side of the motor that attaches with two hex screws and a couple spacer washers then a large nut that goes on with an included wrench. There is a bracket to prevent the motor from rotating in the bottom backet to install. Then a magnet for a spoke on the rear wheel and a signal pickup that goes on the left chainstay lining up with the magnet and held on with zip ties (you don't even need this for the motor to work but without it the odometer and speedometer don't function). If you choose a simple handlebar display like the C3 or XH18 (I have both) there is only a connector cable that goes to the handlebar control/display. The only other connectors are for the battery. I replaced the bullet connectors with better connectors but that isn't necessary. Eco-ebike is a US based seller who answers questions quickly, often within minutes of sending them an email in my limited experience. China based sellers charge up to $100 less. I've put batteries on a rear rack as well as in a handlebar bag and had good luck with inexpensive batteries purchased on Amazon for ~$200. Of course, as with anything there can be complications but I've put Tongsheng mid drives on 4 different bikes and except for a Dahon Briza with a unique frame it has been as easy as described above. I've been very pleased with the Tongsheng and its performance compares well even to my Yamaha PW-SE powered gravel bike.

If you even considered doing this check your Trek to see if cables are routed under the bottom bracket, that could introduce difficulties if there are cable guides that could get in the way and prevent a tongsheng from just slipping in without re-routing the cables. Submit pictures of the bottom of the bottom bracket if you want.


I edited this post to correct bottom bracket "cassette" to the proper term "cartridge".
 
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Antonella

Member
Region
USA
City
New York
Hiya! You make it sound very appealing. Can you tell me the best kind of battery mount that clamps on rather than using screws? I like the batteries shaped like a bullet.
Thank you!
 

EMGX

Well-Known Member
Hiya! You make it sound very appealing. Can you tell me the best kind of battery mount that clamps on rather than using screws? I like the batteries shaped like a bullet.
Thank you!
Pedaluma or others might be able to give guidance. I've only purchased inexpensive generic batteries on Amazon and put them in handlebar bags or put them in bags on a rear rack. Batteries add significant weight so unless you travel longer distances I wouldn't go above 10ah. The last battery I bought is 36v 10ah, weighs less than 5 pounds and fits in a handlebar bag with room to spare.
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Hiya! You make it sound very appealing. Can you tell me the best kind of battery mount that clamps on rather than using screws? I like the batteries shaped like a bullet.
Thank you!
@Antonella, EMGX is correct about battery size and weight. I like to put the battery low and to the center for handling. I have used the 'bullet' shaped batteries and those do come in smaller sizes. You can use a product such as the Topeak Versamount to install a battery mount or water bottle cage on the downtube or the seat tube. These clamp on and then you can screw into them. I do this all the time.
Three Photos: 1) Versa Mount holding water bottle cage, holding small battery, 2) Bike with large bullet shaped battery, 3) The red bike I showed before, but now in its electric form. Zoom in on the saddle. I love the red rims.
 

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Antonella

Member
Region
USA
City
New York
Thank you PedalUma and Dewey! Those battery mounts are great to know about!
Just found out today that Banfang has updated their motors to keep the motor from loosening and also to allow attachment of their gigantic battery by using hose clamps as well!!!