Does anyone make conversion kit to create a Faux Faraday?

Kingsinger

Member
I rode a Faraday electric bike a couple of weeks ago, and while I loved the styling, I don't have $3500 to spend on a bike like that. So I'm trying to figure out whether there is an ebike conversion kit that would yield a user experience that's similar to the Faraday. Here are the attributes I really liked about the user experience of the Faraday:

1. Lightweight (i.e., more like a bike than a scooter). I don't mind pedaling.

2. Simple, but not too simple. The Faraday has no throttle, just off, level 1, and level 2. But with the torque sensor it was very natural.

I've looked at the Hilltopper. Indeed, Clean Republic headquarters is very close to my house. I like the price, and it seems to have a similar level of power to the Faraday. But it feels maybe a little too simple with just the on/off switch for the motor.

That Dillenger 350 watt kit looks kind of cool too, but I don't love the idea that you can't turn it off.

Does the Faraday have the brake levers that disengage the motor like the Dillenger? I can remember. Or does the Torque sensor mitigate the need for those levers?

Anyway, if there isn't a kit like this, it sure seems like there would be an opening for somebody to put something like that together. A lot of people biking in cities like Seattle don't want a no pedal solution. They just want a lightweight seamless pedal assist experience for a reasonable price.

I don't understand all the technology, etc. around ebikes enough to understand how much the torque sensor and basic three-position switch would add to the cost of kit like the Hilltopper. Does it double the cost? Add $400USD to a $600USD kit?
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
Number one I would say don't jump into anything too fast, especially one of the big name kits. They do a lot of advertising to make sure they are the first options you find, but there are many better possibilities out there.

If you are considering a kit, you might enjoy the diy route, so take some time to read up on those possibilities and also check out endless sphere forums for more discussion (more technical and diy build talk there).

A good kit will run you in the range of $800 to $1200 or a bit more depending on motor type, size and then battery type and size. You can check em3ev.com, they are a pretty well recognized kit seller in the diy area, you'll find then mentioned regularly in many discussions.

You'll want to know how far you want to travel, how fast and whether you want something with better torque for hill climbing (I promise the hill topper is NOT the answer to more torque!).

You won't get the torque sensing pedal assist in a diy kit, but the standard pedal assist options do just fine...they just apply more power up front (that had been my experience anyway).
 

Kaldeem

Active Member
I don't know if this bike is what you are looking for... it's not like a Faraday. It's simplistic, but only has a single speed gear. The motor is built in the down tube and it uses a throttle for boots, no pedal assist. 1799$. Riide is based out of Washington DC. Don't get confused with the "Pre-order" on the main page, they sold out of their first batch of bikes and are calling their 2nd batch a pre-order to keep the introductory price of 1799$. After this batch of ebikes, they are going to up their price.

This bike was on my top 5 list for a while.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
That Dillenger 350 watt kit looks kind of cool too, but I don't love the idea that you can't turn it off.

Not sure what this means. Maybe something Court said in his review?

Anyway, something like that kit with a simple Bikes Direct bike would be light, for an ebike. The difference between the Dillenger kit and a more expensive hub is the amps it will draw. The Dillenger is going to be closer to an honest 350W, which is enough power to get up some hills, but nothing really steep, without a lot of help.

If you go with a front hub a bike with a steel fork would be best. Court has the video of installing the Dillenger front hub on a bike. It's quite easy. I did it with a different motor.

There are a lot of things people like about the $3500 bike. You'd have to sort that out, depending a lot on what bike you chose to convert. Take your time. There's a certain level of knowledge you need to make any decision. Endless Sphere can be a great resource.

This is an interesting bike but the campaign appears to be failing:

https://www.kickstarter.com/project...ralightweight-electric-bicycle?ref=nav_search
 

Kingsinger

Member
Yeah, I don't want to buy a bike. I have a '90s steel mountain bike that I'd be converting.

In Court's review of the Dillenger kit, he indicated that you can't turn off the pedal assist. So if the unit is powered up, it's going to be in assist mode. There is level 1-5. There's no level 0 for it. Conversely, the Faraday has very simple controls. It's a switch with three settings: Off, Assist, Extra Assist (or something like that). But it has a torque sensor in the bottom bracket, so that does most of the heavy lifting of figuring out how much assist to give you. There's no computer read out thing on the handlebars or anything like that.

Since the Faraday is pretty light, it feels very natural to ride it without the motor. I live on top of a hill, so leaving my house I may well happily ride a bike without any pedal assist. But coming home is a different story. There are also some uphills involved in getting to some of the places I'd want to ride my bike.

Therefore, it would be nice to have the ability to turn off pedal assist completely without turning the entire system off, because although I might not need it for stretches of a ride, I'll want to be able to turn it on for other stretches. Seems like this would also allow me to preserve my battery (or perhaps get by with a smaller and lighter battery).

A lot of what people seem to like about the Faraday is the style of it. It's a great looking retro bike. It also has the batteries inside the tube of the bike, which gives it a very clean look.

What I'm trying to understand is how expensive the drive system itself really is, given its simplicity.

On the one hand, it's not a very powerful motor and it doesn't have a very large battery. It also doesn't have a lot of fancy controls. But it has the torque sensor. So it seems like kind of a mix of basic components and more expensive/exotic components. Just trying to figure out what the total expense actual would be to replicate that mix either in a pre-made kit or by sourcing components individually.

I've been reading endless Sphere and it's been somewhat helpful. One guy over there has put a build together similar to what I'm talking about here. But I haven't been able to determine how much it cost him to do that. He hasn't responded to the question I asked about that. So I figured I'd see if anyone else had a sense of that here.
 

Kingsinger

Member
I don't know if this bike is what you are looking for... it's not like a Faraday. It's simplistic, but only has a single speed gear. The motor is built in the down tube and it uses a throttle for boots, no pedal assist. 1799$. Riide is based out of Washington DC. Don't get confused with the "Pre-order" on the main page, they sold out of their first batch of bikes and are calling their 2nd batch a pre-order to keep the introductory price of 1799$. After this batch of ebikes, they are going to up their price.

This bike was on my top 5 list for a while.
Looks cool, but not really what I'm looking for. I already have an old steel mountain bike that I want to convert.
 

Kingsinger

Member
Number one I would say don't jump into anything too fast, especially one of the big name kits. They do a lot of advertising to make sure they are the first options you find, but there are many better possibilities out there.

If you are considering a kit, you might enjoy the diy route, so take some time to read up on those possibilities and also check out endless sphere forums for more discussion (more technical and diy build talk there).

A good kit will run you in the range of $800 to $1200 or a bit more depending on motor type, size and then battery type and size. You can check em3ev.com, they are a pretty well recognized kit seller in the diy area, you'll find then mentioned regularly in many discussions.

You'll want to know how far you want to travel, how fast and whether you want something with better torque for hill climbing (I promise the hill topper is NOT the answer to more torque!).

You won't get the torque sensing pedal assist in a diy kit, but the standard pedal assist options do just fine...they just apply more power up front (that had been my experience anyway).

But it's not impossible to put together a set of components that includes torque sensing pedal assist, right? You'd just be more on you own, correct?

From the little bit of research I did on that, it seemed like installed the torque sensing bottom bracket wouldn't be any more involved than installing a Bafang mid-drive. Or am I confused about that? Or would I just be better going mid-drive if I'm going to start messing with the bottom bracket?

JL
 

PowerMe

Well-Known Member
Check with lectriccyle.com. They have Bafang mid drive kits, customized batteries, and they also do custom work to adapt their kits to fit any bike. Court just did a very thorough video of their shop, their products, their technology and posted it in a new "lectric cycles" thread. They're based out of Tempe, AZ, but also have a dealer network.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
The Faraday is low power and minimal battery. If you had a basic hub motor, say 350 watts, and a basic battery, 10ah and 36v, those parts are maybe $200 and $400. That's about what Dillenger charges. I guess that system is designed to just turn off. Interesting. Not sure it is a flaw. You could bounce it off them, in terms of being disengaged but not off. Everything is about power these days. That's one reason the Faraday stands out. Most people seem to want to go 35mph. I think with some time and energy you will find something.
 

Kingsinger

Member
Yeah, I think that in a lot of urban environments pedal assist and light weight are more important than power/top speed, particularly if you're going to use the bike for a multi-modal commute, where you may life it onto bike rack on a city bus. Many parts of Seattle are relatively flat, but there are also a bunch of hills separating different parts of town, so flattening those hills is one of my agendas in exploring the electric bike idea.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I think that in a lot of urban environments pedal assist and light weight are more important than power/top speed, particularly if you're going to use the bike for a multi-modal commute, where you may life it onto bike rack on a city bus. Many parts of Seattle are relatively flat, but there are also a bunch of hills separating different parts of town, so flattening those hills is one of my agendas in exploring the electric bike idea.
Check out the Vela:
http://electricbikereview.com/community/threads/faraday-has-competition-the-vela.2116/#post-29436