DIY inquiry from those with homebuilt e-bikes

linklemming

Well-Known Member
When you have time available can you share any additional photos close up of the motor systems you have on some your bikes and provide a brief explanation of how you secured the motor to the frame including any techniques you developed to solve potential installation issues of a component not fitting or in need of reinforcement. Best way I can learn and get started is to see what others have successfully accomplished with detailed photos.
I have a thread available which shows both hub-drive and mid-drive conversion.
https://electricbikereview.com/forums/threads/my-new-custom-gmac-build-now-a-bbshd-as-well.38385/

Also check out endless-sphere, I spent over a year researching every aspect I thought I would need for a conversion. I got quite detailed in my research and in the end, it paid off as the conversions went really well with minimal problems.
 

creativepart

Active Member
Region
USA
Its for a personal goal. I like the concept of using batteries and a motor to surpass what I did at an earlier time in life.
That's fine. I hope I didn't offend you with my comment. I just see these posts where folks want to build a 2000w 45mph bike with three batteries and 120 mile range and while I know anything is possible with enough money and effort that none of that is real world everyday ebike specs. I hope you find the parts and build the bike that suits you to a "T."
 

JES2020

Active Member
I have a thread available which shows both hub-drive and mid-drive conversion.
https://electricbikereview.com/forums/threads/my-new-custom-gmac-build-now-a-bbshd-as-well.38385/

Also check out endless-sphere, I spent over a year researching every aspect I thought I would need for a conversion. I got quite detailed in my research and in the end, it paid off as the conversions went really well with minimal problems.
I second the recommendation of endless sphere, super friendly , helpful people and very deep knowledge base. like graduate school compared to high school.
 

Gionnirocket

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Y. O.
Also check out endless-sphere, I spent over a year researching every aspect I thought I would need for a conversion. I got quite detailed in my research and in the end, it paid off as the conversions went really well with minimal problems.
A year!?!?
Covid hit, lock down started... I ordered a kit in less than 2 weeks 🙃
 

linklemming

Well-Known Member
A year!?!?
Covid hit, lock down started... I ordered a kit in less than 2 weeks 🙃
I wasnt sure I would like the outcome of a DIY ebike as many I see on endless sphere are cobbled together and until just recently EBR wasnt really a DIY site.

I also already had 3 perfectly functional well integrated ebikes but in the end my DIY tendencies couldnt be ignored.

When I say I researched, I mean I "really" researched.

I didnt mention my TSDZ2 experience in late 2018/early 2019 which I just jumped into, putting on the opensource software myself and even modding the software. I think I read all the TSDZ2 stuff on endless sphere (like every single post) at least 5 times and even took notes of post# for issues, In the end my TSDZ2 experience wasnt good as bearing failures caused issues at less than 1k miles so I scrapped the project.

I did to a BBS02 conversion in early 2018 and never really liked it (default PAS with a few adjustments) and sold it.

So two DIY failures.

I really wanted a torque sensing setup and researched every single aspect/potential issue. I also didnt think a hub drive would be the best but kept researching(and re-researching) it anyways. I finally just took the plunge on the only system that met my criteria (Grin GMAC, phaserunner, CA3, erider torque sensor) and figured I would document it for others as I have done on me DIY GMAC thread. Nobody else had documented this.

That year of research also included BBSHD research(pretty much researching every single BBSHD build I could find).

I was about to do a second DIY gmac build as all the research(and experience from the first gmac build) said it would be the best for me and just decide to throw a wrench in the works and try a BBSHD.

In the end, the BBSHD was a super easy install on my surly troll frame. Perfect chain alignment.
 

Alanzo

Active Member
As for details on it, look back to Post #5 in this thread.

m@Robertson,​

I tried to view your website and my browser is blocking it. I wish I could view it for all the documented information you have available. All the info you posted is very helpful and my brain is in a bit of overload. I clicked on the "cyclone" link and did not know that forum existed. That is some serious power for an e-bike.

I now have to take time to digest what everyone has posted in this thread.
 

Alanzo

Active Member
I wasnt sure I would like the outcome of a DIY ebike as many I see on endless sphere are cobbled together and until just recently EBR wasnt really a DIY site.
linklemming,
I saw your bike thread before I started this thread. I enjoyed your decision to paint out the Luna logo. Your bike turned out great! Got a lot of inspiration after seeing your photos.
 

linklemming

Well-Known Member
linklemming,
I saw your bike thread before I started this thread. I enjoyed your decision to paint out the Luna logo. Your bike turned out great! Got a lot of inspiration after seeing your photos.
Good to hear that my thread inspired you, thats the greatest compliment.

Yeah, that Luna logo was horrendous (looks like m@Robertson removed his as well). I have since totally removed all decals from my bikes so they are 100% black. Love the look
 

Gionnirocket

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Y. O.
I wasnt sure I would like the outcome of a DIY ebike as many I see on endless sphere are cobbled together and until just recently EBR wasnt really a DIY site.

I also already had 3 perfectly functional well integrated ebikes but in the end my DIY tendencies couldnt be ignored.

When I say I researched, I mean I "really" researched.

I didnt mention my TSDZ2 experience in late 2018/early 2019 which I just jumped into, putting on the opensource software myself and even modding the software. I think I read all the TSDZ2 stuff on endless sphere (like every single post) at least 5 times and even took notes of post# for issues, In the end my TSDZ2 experience wasnt good as bearing failures caused issues at less than 1k miles so I scrapped the project.

I did to a BBS02 conversion in early 2018 and never really liked it (default PAS with a few adjustments) and sold it.

So two DIY failures.

I really wanted a torque sensing setup and researched every single aspect/potential issue. I also didnt think a hub drive would be the best but kept researching(and re-researching) it anyways. I finally just took the plunge on the only system that met my criteria (Grin GMAC, phaserunner, CA3, erider torque sensor) and figured I would document it for others as I have done on me DIY GMAC thread. Nobody else had documented this.

That year of research also included BBSHD research(pretty much researching every single BBSHD build I could find).

I was about to do a second DIY gmac build as all the research(and experience from the first gmac build) said it would be the best for me and just decide to throw a wrench in the works and try a BBSHD.

In the end, the BBSHD was a super easy install on my surly troll frame. Perfect chain alignment.
I typically do research a project or purchase and did do some here.. but definitely fast track'd this one. When covid hit my knee was really bothering me and I knew that I wanted to continue riding as most other activities would be out for a while. More so I wanted something to tinker with and keep my mind and hands busy during covid. Having read what I had I felt that I would be in the ballpark with the BBS02B and my current bike and with shipping times and prices increasing, I felt compelled to $hit as the pot could possibly be shut down as well.
Honestly it was a mind and body saving experience... I enjoyed doing the install and my chainline ended up dead on as I had concluded (hoped). My only real concern was battery placement on my inexpensive fsmtb as the triangle is very tight. I ended up throwing it on a rear rack which worked out OK but took a few iterations on the attachment. I wish I had gone with my original thoughts as that's where I ended up. Since I mainly ride paved though a bit rough rail_trails for exercise, the placement of the weight isn't a problem. That said I did just order an inexpensive smaller heatshrink pack which should fit my triangle as an experiment... But honestly I think I did this more as an exercise for the mind as I was running out of things to tinker with.
For me sometimes a hands on approach is more enjoyable then researching something to death and I can afford a loss here and there if things don't work out perfectly.... if I had wanted perfection, I definitely wouldn't have started with a 12 yr old bike from Amazon 🙃

This said... I did/do follow your GMAC build and then the BBSHD add and I think you're doing an excellent job!
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
If you have had success with a kit or custom build from scratch, what would you do different on the next DIY e-bike project? Have any homebuilders welded additional frame support in the bottom bracket to handle the the additional torque and stress on a non e-bike frame? Where have you purchased your motors and batteries?
No welding skills. If I did have them, I'd be welding disk brake tabs on the steel frames, but I don't believe my bikes need additional support for the small motors I use.

My goals for ebiking did not include going fast. I did that with motorcycles as a kid. I eventually found I was happy with ebikes that looked like bikes, were light, and felt good when pedaling. Saved me money in future builds. Got away with smaller batteries and motors.

Hoping to get some input of what to consider for a homebuilt e-bike project. My objective is to be self reliant on repair when needed. I use to wrench all my non e-bikes and hoping to do the same with a custom DIY e-bike.

Max speed of the motor system has to be in the lower 30's mph, No throttle assist. Battery capacity range from 50 min - 120 miles max depending on level of assist, Dual suspension with intended use as a road bike.

You might as well have a throttle with a DIY bike. All the controllers have the inputs. My wife's first ebike, a beach cruiser, was advertised as 28 mph in pedal assist. Yes, it could do that, but I was pedalling so hard, I couldn't watch for traffic, and stuff comes up fast at 42 feet per second. Plus I was getting tired. I still have bikes that will do that speed on throttle, but it's not biking. It's commuting.

And if you DIY, of course you have to be self reliant. Reminds me of when I put a simple cold air intake in my car, and the dealer moaned about how it would be harder to work on it. Huh. I dropped in a supercharger, and put in some crazy ignition box. Car hasn't seen a dealer since 1998. Now no one can work on it, not even me, because I did it 20 years ago and forgot what I did.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Second the thought of installing a throttle. I look at it this way. If you were to NEVER use it for the entire length of time you own the bike (VERY doubtful), it might help add some value when you sell it. This, for a total cost of about an ounce of weight and 15.00. How can you loose?
 

Alanzo

Active Member
And if you DIY, of course you have to be self reliant. Reminds me of when I put a simple cold air intake in my car, and the dealer moaned about how it would be harder to work on it. Huh. I dropped in a supercharger, and put in some crazy ignition box. Car hasn't seen a dealer since 1998. Now no one can work on it, not even me, because I did it 20 years ago and forgot what I did.
harryS,
I use to ride bikes which required carbon fiber fabrication. There was no dealer dependency for a component. Most of the one of a kind components built were crude looking but quite strong and effective while other components were a waste of time and effort. Overall a good learning experience.

I am certain the same process can be appliesd to a homebuilt e-bike. Get a frame, ask a lot of questions from people with experience, purchase some components needed and give it a go.This will be another learning experience with cycling.
 

Haystacks

Well-Known Member
I'm just about to complete another build - Carbon Fat Bike Build - which aimed to create an ebike for all the haters to hate, #Bafang #FatTyre #1500Watts #DIY But in all seriousness the point of this build was to DIY a non-obvious DIY build with integrated motor and battery, and to blow my own trumpet i have succeeded spectacularly, shes been 85% built now for a couple of weeks whilst waiting for some bits and bobs to turn up, she is BEAUTIFUL, when the shock bushings turn up tomorrow i'll post some pictures.

But driving this project is rebellion - disruptive technology. Can someone tell me what these top bike brands actually manufacture? Are Specialized components produced by Specialized? Trek? R+M? Giant? C'mon surely someone uses their own components! The frame? Oh no thats right, you buy into a brand who sell you the idea of a lifestyle, just like Apple. Remember MP3 players? Or did Apple invent the concept? PCs? Crapintosh, don't make me laugh. This notion of disruptive technology has been around quite a while now but for a contemporary example PCs are prime; If you want the highest spec on the market you build yourself, it's that simple. Ebikes are and will go through a similar phase.

You used an interesting term - 'dealer dependency' and i think thats exactly right; Dependency. Theres a crackpot on here who believes he is part of an elite and THE authority on all things ebike, but you know what, he can't change his brake pads or even fix a puncture but he'll let you know what a piece of s*it he thinks you are if you are 'off brand', i'd rather be a piece of s*it than dealer dependant THAT is punk. Must add the same guy became homeless, moved into social housing and thinks its an appropriate time to buy a new status symbol.

Back to the topic the Dengfu frames are spot on, the new Wattwagons are Dengfu, Seroxat are an interesting aluminium frame receiving good reviews too, so there are options out there for a complete, quality self build.
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
@Alanzo,
Why do you want a full suspension for a bike that will be mostly for roads? They add a lot of mechanical complexity and weight plus the effective chain length is constantly changing and it is harder to mount a secondary motor mount on the chain stay. They also tend toward wide, so that the chain line is often out of whack. I did a 35-mile ride today with a Cube, Specialized and Ultra. My DYI was fastest and returned with a greater percentage of its battery remaining. It is the blue one below.
If you are going for a Bafang mid-drive you will want one of these ShortyHacks. I will also post it in Show Us a Tool. With the motor mounted on the upside down bike, mark the BB shell with the motor all the way against the frame in the forward position. Cut a nine sided clock face into the left side of the bottom bracket shell every 40-degrees. The mounting plate will secure into the cut lines and will not be prone to wiggle under load. Bafangs want to twist. The TSDZ2 cannot be used on full suspension bikes because the secondary mount attaches to the chain stays.
 

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m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
And very weak warranty support.
I had one time where I screwed up and bought a 100mm BBSHD and it turned out to fit my fat bike's stays, I needed a 120mm. I told them straight up the issue was my fault, and they took the motor back and shipped me a 120. I paid for shipping back and they picked up the cost of the second one to me. I also had an issue with a motor that was giving me trouble, and they worked thru it with me to solve it via email - now, Luna's email is one per day, so a complex solution could take a few days to talk thru, but they always responded and it was always someone who was paying attention and made intelligent decisions. I had another problem once and I sent an email on Super Bowl Sunday, figuring I was just getting in the queue for next week. I got an answer that day. A Cyclone I bought from them had issues with its controller and after troubleshooting via email they asked for the whole shebang back, reprogrammed the controller and sent it all back to me working fine.

I know they aren't perfect, and my experience is that of one customer. But they've always done the right thing by me so I continue to keep them on my list of vendors I recommend for stuff.
 

linklemming

Well-Known Member
I'm just about to complete another build - Carbon Fat Bike Build - which aimed to create an ebike for all the haters to hate, #Bafang #FatTyre #1500Watts #DIY But in all seriousness the point of this build was to DIY a non-obvious DIY build with integrated motor and battery, and to blow my own trumpet i have succeeded spectacularly, shes been 85% built now for a couple of weeks whilst waiting for some bits and bobs to turn up, she is BEAUTIFUL, when the shock bushings turn up tomorrow i'll post some pictures.

But driving this project is rebellion - disruptive technology. Can someone tell me what these top bike brands actually manufacture? Are Specialized components produced by Specialized? Trek? R+M? Giant? C'mon surely someone uses their own components! The frame? Oh no thats right, you buy into a brand who sell you the idea of a lifestyle, just like Apple. Remember MP3 players? Or did Apple invent the concept? PCs? Crapintosh, don't make me laugh. This notion of disruptive technology has been around quite a while now but for a contemporary example PCs are prime; If you want the highest spec on the market you build yourself, it's that simple. Ebikes are and will go through a similar phase.

You used an interesting term - 'dealer dependency' and i think thats exactly right; Dependency. Theres a crackpot on here who believes he is part of an elite and THE authority on all things ebike, but you know what, he can't change his brake pads or even fix a puncture but he'll let you know what a piece of s*it he thinks you are if you are 'off brand', i'd rather be a piece of s*it than dealer dependant THAT is punk. Must add the same guy became homeless, moved into social housing and thinks its an appropriate time to buy a new status symbol.

Back to the topic the Dengfu frames are spot on, the new Wattwagons are Dengfu, Seroxat are an interesting aluminium frame receiving good reviews too, so there are options out there for a complete, quality self build.
Thanks for all the details on your fat bike build. Its good to see more DIY stuff here on EBR.

Im not much a fat bike person (tried many, just not my cup of tea) but different strokes for different folks. 2.8 is as wide of a tire as I like for my conditions.

I prefer building my own bikes from the frame up, hopefully I will do a build in the next year on a WW frameset (hydra or helios). Im not up for setting up a paint booth.

Dont be so hard on the 'crackpot'. We all just recently learned the name for a polish energy drink called OSHEE by "Lord Red Helmet" along with yet another useless pic. My life is now complete :D :D :D
 

Gionnirocket

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Y. O.
Dont be so hard on the 'crackpot'. We all just recently learned the name for a polish energy drink called OSHEE by "Lord Red Helmet" along with yet another useless pic. My life is now complete :D :D :D
Naaa... Twisting them on him is well deserved and does bring a bit of levity to the site which I for one enjoy 🙃
Most of his "please look at me posts" qualify him for Pedal Uma's thread Show Us a Tool
@Haystacks ...don't forget #Throttle
 
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JES2020

Active Member
Thanks for all the details on your fat bike build. Its good to see more DIY stuff here on EBR.

Im not much a fat bike person (tried many, just not my cup of tea) but different strokes for different folks. 2.8 is as wide of a tire as I like for my conditions.

I prefer building my own bikes from the frame up, hopefully I will do a build in the next year on a WW frameset (hydra or helios). Im not up for setting up a paint booth.

Dont be so hard on the 'crackpot'. We all just recently learned the name for a polish energy drink called OSHEE by "Lord Red Helmet" along with yet another useless pic. My life is now complete :D :D :D
LOL, but you don't know THIS crackpot :)