Dillenger / SP Crosstrail build thread

creativepart

New Member
Region
USA
I've started a build to convert my Specialized Crosstrail Sport Disc into an eBike with a Dillenger Premium Off-Road Bike Kit.

I have owned a Bilx Vika+ folding eBike for the past year and enjoyed the powered rear hub. But when I decided to try this build I looked at both front hub kits and mid-drive kits. In the end I settled on the Dillenger rear hub kit. I made this choice because of my familiarity with rear hub eBikes and concerns about mid-drive bikes not riding the same enjoyable way. I've found that I ride my eBike like a scooter, even though I pedal almost always... it's really ghost peddling.

The Dillinger kit looks to be very complete and straight forward. Another plus was it's "sale" price and availability, too. It comes with a 500w-1000w geared hub motor (my Blix is 500w-750w geared hub drive) and includes a 48v 13amp hour lithium battery and charger. At the price of about $750 complete it was a compelling set of components for the price. And it has plenty of good reviews and YouTube reviews, too.

My kit arrives on Monday (today is Saturday), so I took yesterday to get my Crosstrail ready for the install. I removed the rear wheel, tire/tube and handle bar controls. In the process I discovered I needed a new Freewheel and brake rotor. The Crosstrail has a shimano cassette that can't be used on the Dillenger wheel's threaded freewheel hub and the brake rotor is shimano centerlock while the Dillenger wheel requires 6-bolt rotors. Those have been sourced easily and I'm at the waiting stage to get started on the actual build.

I'll report back early next week about how this is all going.
 

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creativepart

New Member
Region
USA
All of my parts came in and I spent the day... well, about 6 or 7 hours installing everything and so far everything has worked as planned. As you would expect some things took longer than anticipated and the instructions were lacking in a few areas. Not so much that they did much but require double checking on YouTube videos about how to do things that seemed unclear.

I'll post some work photos tomorrow and I'll contact Dillenger to let them know where the details need improved.

As of right now the entire bike is built and the hub motor, throttle and pedal sensor are working normally. I need to tidy up the cables, use a bunch of zip ties, program the display/controller and do the minor adjustments to handlebar control placements, etc.

If you are of average mechanical ability YOU CAN DO THIS. I'm 70-years old, worked as an Advertising exec my whole life and would describe myself as a tinkerer. If you've worked on bikes previously and have a few bike tools you're golden.
 

creativepart

New Member
Region
USA
Some pictures of the process:
 

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creativepart

New Member
Region
USA
The Dillenger kit has been pretty complete. I had to source a 9-speed freewheel and a bolt on brake disc rotor but other than that everything has been included in the box and easy to install.

The only parts that are not well documented in the instructions are the RPAS sensor install details and some cable routing kerfuffles. All were easily worked out by watching YouTube videos (not of Dillenger builds).

It took only about 6-hours to complete the build. I used the weekend before the kit was delivered to strip the bike and get it ready for the build. That took about 4-hours tops. I still need to add about a hundred zip ties to the wiring and dial in the placement of handle bar items and a little programming of the display/controller. I'd guess it will take 3 or 4 more hours at max. So, this is an easy ~2-day build start to finish. I expected it to take a week when I first started thinking about the project.

Everything seems to be good quality and while the bike hasn't been put on the pavement yet (it's 28 degrees here in South Texas this morning) it turns on and runs via pedal and throttle.

The kit came with motor cut sensors for my hydraulic disc brake levers (they come standard) but I haven't installed them and I'm not sure if I will. My current Blix eBike has mechanical disc brakes and the brake levers have the controllers built in. I can't think of one time when I tried to brake with the motor still cranking. So, I'll go a while without the brake cut outs and see how that works.

When I started this process I thought I'd try to use the battery and charger from my Blix eBike and save some money. But the Dillenger kit was offered with the 13ah 48v battery and charger at only about $250 more than other kits would have cost without batteries. At under $750 for a complete DIY eBike kit including 500-1000w geared motor, electronics, cabling, battery and charger this was a great bargain. Also, I ordered the kit on a Tuesday and received it on the following Monday. Shipping was a reasonable $38.

Hope this helps some thinking about taking on this challenge. I'll circle back after I get some road miles into this bike.
 

EMGX

Active Member
Are you planning on taking it with you to Tucson? I'd be interested in your opinion on how it does on hills. Saguaro East is a fun short loop with some hills to test it.
 

creativepart

New Member
Region
USA
It will depend on how I feel it is before we leave. I'm putting on the final zip ties and the temp is up to 50 now so I'm about to go for my first ride. If today and tomorrow it seems ready to go I'll take it. I don't really take bike tools with me - so it depends on what I think still needs work. If not I'll take the Blix foldable. I took the Blix last year and it did great.

We stay in South Tucson and the bike trail around there is pretty extensive. I keep the Trails Tucson maps on my phone. But the trails around there are flat as a pancake. We have a number of big hills in our home subdivision. We live at the beginning of the Texas Hill Country. So, I'll get an idea probably tomorrow.

The Blix does OK. I'm 220 and the hills on my daily ride are pretty significant. On PAS 5 up a steep grade with pedaling the speeds drop to 13 mph or so. The Blix does a steady 25 mph on PAS 5 on the flats. The Dillenger is supposed to do 28 mph. That's why it's the "off-road" version.
 

creativepart

New Member
Region
USA
Finished the Dillenger build today and took my first ride. It was 48 degrees outside so it was very chilly at the top speed of 28 mph. Climbing a short steep hill the bike was pretty effortless at 18+ mph.

As previously mentioned to finish I needed to program the controller (which is located inside the battery mount by the way) via the display and that went fine. I added about a pound of zip ties to tidy everything up and keep wires tucked in and not going to catch on anything.

A size Large Specialized 700C front suspension bike rides a lot different than my Blix with 20" wheels, tall handlebar stem and big cushy seat. My new Specialized Dillenger rides more like riding a road bike, that's for sure.

I only got in 3.1 miles before I headed home with frozen ears. Tomorrow the high is 61 so I'll take it out and put another 5 to 10 miles on it and get to know it better.
 

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creativepart

New Member
Region
USA
I wanted to circle back and report that all is well with this DIY Dillenger Crosstrail. We're in Tucson and have been here nearly a month. There is a great paved bike trail here that goes all around the city something like 68 miles in total. It's called "The Loop." I have already put 300 miles on the bike and thoroughly enjoyed it. Everything is working perfectly and it's changed my riding style completely.

My previous eBike, a 20" folding Blix Vika+ was something I rode like a motor scooter. I pedaled but with the PAS at 5 100% of the time all I needed to do was "ghost-pedal."

This new eBike is capable of 28 mph but I've been riding the trails here in PAS 2 (out of 5) and averaging 16 mph. At this speed I need to use the gears much more and after a 25 mile ride I feel I've gotten a bit of a workout with sore legs, etc.

When deciding between getting this rear hub drive kit or a Mid-Drive kit I thought about going with the BeFang BBS2 mid-drive instead. But because I felt it would change my riding style as detailed above I decided to stay rear hub drive.

Now that my riding style has changed anyway the thought occurs to me that I might have preferred the mid-drive setup more.

All that said, I'm loving my current "new" eBike and feel it's doing all I'd hoped it could do. Very positive experience with the Dillenger DIY kit. Highly recommended.
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EMGX

Active Member
Nice. I also ended up putting a 48v, 500w nominal, geared rear hub motor in a old Schwinn Sierra mountain bike that I already had. Not the Dillinger but it is also a nice and complete kit (minus the battery which I already had). For comparison I have a BH rebel gravel X Yamaha PW-SE mid drive bike and installed a Tongsheng 36v 500w mid drive on a couple different bikes, (it's now on my wife's Dahon Briza 24" folding bike). Later this spring I'll remove the geared rear hub kit from the Schwinn Sierra and install it on a cruiser tandem bike so my wife and I can ride it again on hilly paths. While the geared rear hub motor (with a KT controller and display) isn't as refined a biking experience as the torque sensing Yamaha or Tongsheng mid drives it is still quite good - not like a motor scooter at all. I was surprised to find that I could pull long steep grades as well as on the mid drive bikes and neither the controller nor the motor got hot. Bottom line is that while I like the mid drive bikes that I have I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't have purchased the BH Yamaha bike if I already had this kit at that time. Consider that the Bafang mid drives (other than the ultra?) might not have the torque sensing feature so it might not be a step up in riding experience vs your Dillinger.
 

stanmiller

Active Member
This new eBike is capable of 28 mph but I've been riding the trails here in PAS 2 (out of 5) and averaging 16 mph. At this speed I need to use the gears much more and after a 25 mile ride I feel I've gotten a bit of a workout with sore legs...
Thanks for the update. I'm looking at this kit for another Mongoose Envoy build.

Was the motor bogging down? Thus you needed to keeping pedaling to move through the gears? And if you put the bike in PAS3, maybe it would go too fast?

Do you have a link to the 9-speed freewheel you went with?
 

stanmiller

Active Member
Nice. I also ended up putting a 48v, 500w nominal, geared rear hub motor in a old Schwinn Sierra mountain bike that I already had. Not the Dillinger but it is also a nice and complete kit (minus the battery which I already had).
Which motor? Link to kit?
 

creativepart

New Member
Region
USA
Thanks for the update. I'm looking at this kit for another Mongoose Envoy build.

Was the motor bogging down? Thus you needed to keeping pedaling to move through the gears? And if you put the bike in PAS3, maybe it would go too fast?

Do you have a link to the 9-speed freewheel you went with?
No the motor wasn’t bogging. It was a combination of what seemed the best speed for the bike path and the desire to preserve battery and get some exercise at the same time. PAS3 took me to 20 mph which was just a bit too fast for the path and required zero effor.

I was riding between 20 and 30 miles a day and after the first couple of days I just naturally settled into a comfortable rhythm in PAS 2.

I bought the 9-speed Freewheel that Dillenger sells.

 

EMGX

Active Member
Which motor? Link to kit?

When I bought it there was a $33 discount for Prime members and another $20 Amazon coupon so it was $280. My only other experience with a geared hub motor is a MXUS 36v 250w front motor kit which was gutless on hills so it was never used other than short testing on a few bikes so I wasn't sure what to expect. This one is in a different league power wise. I haven't ridden any other 48v 500w nominal geared hub motor to compare it to but I'm impressed so far.
 

stanmiller

Active Member

When I bought it there was a $33 discount for Prime members and another $20 Amazon coupon so it was $280. My only other experience with a geared hub motor is a MXUS 36v 250w front motor kit which was gutless on hills so it was never used other than short testing on a few bikes so I wasn't sure what to expect. This one is in a different league power wise. I haven't ridden any other 48v 500w nominal geared hub motor to compare it to but I'm impressed so far.
Interesting... That motor appears to peak at 1000W.

And it looks like one can get a cassette version on AliExpress though the lead time is several months.