Dillenger 36v on Marin Wildcat Trail 3

WilliamT

Active Member
So this is another build I did for someone that recently had to give up her eBike (the Specialized I built earlier for someone else) because it was on loan. I purchased a 2017 Marin Wildcat Trail 3 to fit her size and then added the kit similar to the Specialized.

This time is that I had to work with a bike with hydraulic disc brakes instead of v-brakes. The kit I received is a v5.0 kit which uses the same display C965 as the Bafang mid-drive kits they sell. On the previous kit (v4.0) there were 5 levels of assist. With the new kit there are 9 levels of assist. I think the older one is nicer.

On this bike, the pedal assist was much easier to install as the crank axle was a perfect fit; no clipping of the PAS disc needed. The hydraulic brake cutoff sensors are clunky and the tape it comes with just doesn't hold. I plan to wrap it with black plumbers tape so it looks better. I also replaced the 720 mm flat bars with a 640 mm bar with a 50 mm rise to make for a more comfortable ride. Its going to be used as a weekend bike. I also replaced the seat with a comfort seat and had a carbon fiber seat post lying around so I just threw that on there too. Also added a Niterider 750 light and a classic bell.

Overall very easy to put together.

With this bike (and the Specialized), I added a Grin v3 Torque arm to the front and loctite the threads. Before each ride and after each ride I check the bolts. So far, it has lug nuts have stayed very tight and haven't loosened at all. I'm impressed.

One thing that I've noticed with these kits is the thumb throttle is bulky and can get in the way of the shifters. When you click back, the lever can hit the throttle when placed adjacent to the shifter and brakes. Because the shifter is separate from the brakes on this bike, I added a bar extender and moved the shifters there.

I would say 95% of the time, this gears never get shifted. It usually on the largest at the front and in the middle towards the smallest at the end.

This bike is used mainly with the pedal assist sensor. On occasion the throttle is used to provide a bit more assist without have to change the PAS setting. So you can still get a decent workout on it. Total weight remains under 50 lbs with everything including the super tourist rack that holds the battery in the bag with bars on the side for panniers. Bought the same topeak ex mtx rack because it works well.

With the rack, I had to return the disc version and get the non-disc rack. These mountain bikes have a 6 inch wide dropout at the rear and the disc racks are for 4 inch dropouts. The non-disc racks work perfect on mountain bikes regardless of the brake system. Something to keep in mind.


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harryS

Well-Known Member
Good looking bike.

Shifters and throttle often don't play well together. The 3-button unit for the display takes up room too. Moving the shifters to the extender bar means they won't get used, though, as you note.

Most of my builds were on older bikes with twist shifters, so I replace the shifters. The Shimano Acera ML-310 shifter will clear the generic thumb throttle control on my builds. Seems to fit better on the left side. However, I've usually got some pretty wide handlebars.
 

WilliamT

Active Member
Thanks, I'll check out the Acera ML-310 shifters. I thought the only options I had were the Shimano Tourney thumb shifters. A left handed throttle would be nice too. If I had to do it again, I would probably look for a bike with a rear 7 speed freewheel.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
I have been positioning the throttle on the left side, so that the thumb lever is on top and rotates forward and is above the shifter levers.

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Hugh

Active Member
I solved the brake sensor fastening by cutting 2 small pieces of light gauge tin approx 1/2" by 1' long and using a vise to put a U shaped bend in half of the length so it would fit wrapped around the brake levers with the supplied magnet on the piece of tin nearest to where the sensor was to be placed. Test fit the tin to the lever using pliers to shape it and snips to cut off sharp corners Then used a plastic tie to hold it in place. and position it so the round magnet was very close to the sensor which was also positioned with a plastic zip tie. Tried each lever to make sure nothing was binding and the sensor was working then went to the hardware store and bought some epoxy, I used a version that has 2 tubes together that squeeze out in equal amounts and then you use a toothpick or whatever to mix them together and apply to both the sensor and the piece of tin holding the magnet on the brake lever. The epoxy is good for metal, plastic, etc. The sensor body did not conform to the shape of the brake very well but the epoxy filled the gaps and has held up very well. Before applying the epoxy use sandpaper to rough up the surface a bit then I used a little bit of black craft paint and done. Also applied a dab of epoxy to the magnet to keep it on the tin. Its been working so far it late winter to early spring temps ranging from 10 below C to 18 above.
 

Hugh

Active Member
Any issues with using a front hub motor on suspension forks? They don't seem to be recommended in the information I've read. The reason I ask is my friend with health issues has a schwinn mountain bike with a front suspension fork and I'm thinking a similar setup to what you've done to the Marin would be effective and not too costly for him. I would of course not go to high with the power and use 2 torque arms as well.
 

WilliamT

Active Member
Any issues with using a front hub motor on suspension forks? They don't seem to be recommended in the information I've read. The reason I ask is my friend with health issues has a schwinn mountain bike with a front suspension fork and I'm thinking a similar setup to what you've done to the Marin would be effective and not too costly for him. I would of course not go to high with the power and use 2 torque arms as well.

I haven't had any issues with the suspension forks. I have one torque arm on it and the loctite glue keeps the lug nuts tight. I check it before each ride and it's been solid.
 

WilliamT

Active Member
Wanted to provide an update. So far the kit has been holding up well. I was able to change the assist level settings from 0-9 to 0-5 similar to my RadWagon.

With my weight + 30 lbs of gear (180 lbs), I have been able to go 45 miles before the bars go from 5 down to 3. Most likely hit 50 miles on a single charge. This is at level setting 3 assist (0-5 scale)

This geared hub climbs very well. On hills where I can only get about 10-12 mph on the RadWagon, I'm doing 14-16 mph. In both cases I do pedal but the effort is light. I suspected a geared hub would climb much better that the direct hub on the wagon.

The wheel nuts remain tight. That loctite is the best.