Has anyone converted a Trek bike to electric.

JMS51

New Member
Region
USA
I have a Trek 7000 aluminum frame bike that I would like to convert to electric with at least 700 watts due to the hills in my area. I have been looking for a good rear hub kit but am seeing a lot of mid crank kits. My frame diameter seems to be larger than the mounting clamps of those kits advertise.

Anyone convert a Trek or similar bike?
 

JES2020

Active Member
Yes
Alot of people have successfully converted a Trek to an ebike.
I did it with a Trek cromoly frame with very few issues.

One important note, with a 700w hub motor be ABSOLUTELY sure to install at least 1 tourque arm, as aluminum tends to fracture under such high out motors at the drop out.

There are literately tons of hub kits out there and they are by far the easiest to install, my recommendation would be the rear install for handling characteristics.

Have fun!
Also I reccomend the "geared" rear hub...a bit more prone to matainance issues (nothing compared to a gas engine) but the direct drive is louder and drags when you take the power off.
 
Last edited:

indianajo

Well-Known Member
Ebikeling.com
Lunabike.com
I buy the motors built into a wheel of the appropriate size for my bike. Note you want one for 135 mm dropout as you do not probably have a fat tire bike.
My ebikeling motor lasted ~4500 miles & 2.5 years. I now have a Mac12 from luna which is designed to go slower with heavier loads. I carry 80 lb cargo sometimes. The mac12 goes on the flat up to about 23 mph. It uses less watthours on my hilly commute than the ebikeling. note the latest luna kit came without switched brake handles or any input to the controller for such handles. If the mac took off full throttle, I'd have to reach in front of the handlebar and turn the key off. both vendors have reputations that include competent batteries. I built my battery into an aluminum frame with plastic foam to keep the rain off and warm in the winter. I take the battery off from Dec 15 to Feb 28 though. it freezes here.
Grin is in Canada. If you want customs to play games with your parts, buy from there.
 

kmccune

Active Member
I used a 500 watt "Voilamart" 36 volt kit on a Trek"800" with the steel frame( couldn't get it to drop in an aluminum Huffy I was converting, had a brainstorm, flopped the old steel Trek over and lo and behold dropped right in.The 36 volt rear hub climbed well and went plenty of fast for the 'rim brakes" the 20 ah battery give it plenty of endurance.I think I could have used it on the Huffy if I could have got the 6spd freewheel swapped. As it was the Trek already had a 7 spd derailleur installed, got it working pretty good then give it to my younger brother. Am planning on taking the Front hub motor and kit off the Huffy and putting the std wheel back on it and putting tthe 6 spd 750 watt hub motor on the huffy if it will work( anybody want the 500 watt front hub kit 26" from the huffy? it yours for $50 plus shipping.
 

kmccune

Active Member
Huh oh, looks like the "Tabby Kittens were doing something else when I left besides eating on the Twix candy bar, had to delete a few double posts.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
I put a ebikeling kit on a Trek 830 in 2015. It was 500W 36V rear geared hub for $200. Added a $280 36V dolphin battery and it's been a reliable ebike. Always there if I want it. Just a simple three speed PAS with throttle. 20 mph. No display. No frills. The natural upgrade would have been to upgrade to a 5 level PAS controller with LCD, but I never did,
El Trekko (1 of 1).JPG

I have purchased several more ebikeling geared hub motor kits. I did not like the way their newer LCD kits work with the geared motors. No speed display when coasting. Crude PAS response. I junked their electronics and put on KT controllers. His business has grown, and he is now a big seller, especially for the higher power direct drive kits.

If you want a direct drive motor, ebikeling, voilamart and a whole bunch of no names will fix you up, and you can fly at 30+ mph on 48V. You have to decide whether you want a direct drive or geared motor.

Or you could consider a mid drive. The Bafang BBS02 is about 450? I paid $550 in 2016. The standard kits fit bottom bracket widths of 68-72mm. There are higher cost kits for wider bikes. Better for hills, but you still have to be a bicyclist at heart because you still need to use the gears. Personally, I think the mid drive is easier to install. The cabling is easier and there is no controller to mount on the frame. A hub motor is tricky when you have rim brakes. You may have to dish the wheel to center it between the calipers.

workshop_fitting_race_face_crankset_chainset_002.jpg

Grin is very pricey. You need to be making a super bike if you use their kits as you'll be close to a thousand bucks. Even a cheap kit/battery will cost around $500-600. For that kind of money, you could almost buy an imported ebike.
 

JES2020

Active Member
I put a ebikeling kit on a Trek 830 in 2015. It was 500W 36V rear geared hub for $200. Added a $280 36V dolphin battery and it's been a reliable ebike. Always there if I want it. Just a simple three speed PAS with throttle. 20 mph. No display. No frills. The natural upgrade would have been to upgrade to a 5 level PAS controller with LCD, but I never did,
View attachment 74347

I have purchased several more ebikeling geared hub motor kits. I did not like the way their newer LCD kits work with the geared motors. No speed display when coasting. Crude PAS response. I junked their electronics and put on KT controllers. His business has grown, and he is now a big seller, especially for the higher power direct drive kits.

If you want a direct drive motor, ebikeling, voilamart and a whole bunch of no names will fix you up, and you can fly at 30+ mph on 48V. You have to decide whether you want a direct drive or geared motor.

Or you could consider a mid drive. The Bafang BBS02 is about 450? I paid $550 in 2016. The standard kits fit bottom bracket widths of 68-72mm. There are higher cost kits for wider bikes. Better for hills, but you still have to be a bicyclist at heart because you still need to use the gears. Personally, I think the mid drive is easier to install. The cabling is easier and there is no controller to mount on the frame. A hub motor is tricky when you have rim brakes. You may have to dish the wheel to center it between the calipers.

View attachment 74348

Grin is very pricey. You need to be making a super bike if you use their kits as you'll be close to a thousand bucks. Even a cheap kit/battery will cost around $500-600. For that kind of money, you could almost buy an imported ebike.
How much trouble was it to swap the ebikling controller to the KT?
I have an ebilking controller in the mail and hoping it will plug and play into a KT set up. Still trying to upgrade from 22 amp to 30.
Any advice would be appreciated.
 

EMGX

Well-Known Member
I put a ebikeling kit on a Trek 830 in 2015. It was 500W 36V rear geared hub for $200. Added a $280 36V dolphin battery and it's been a reliable ebike. Always there if I want it. Just a simple three speed PAS with throttle. 20 mph. No display. No frills. The natural upgrade would have been to upgrade to a 5 level PAS controller with LCD, but I never did,
View attachment 74347

I have purchased several more ebikeling geared hub motor kits. I did not like the way their newer LCD kits work with the geared motors. No speed display when coasting. Crude PAS response. I junked their electronics and put on KT controllers. His business has grown, and he is now a big seller, especially for the higher power direct drive kits.

If you want a direct drive motor, ebikeling, voilamart and a whole bunch of no names will fix you up, and you can fly at 30+ mph on 48V. You have to decide whether you want a direct drive or geared motor.

Or you could consider a mid drive. The Bafang BBS02 is about 450? I paid $550 in 2016. The standard kits fit bottom bracket widths of 68-72mm. There are higher cost kits for wider bikes. Better for hills, but you still have to be a bicyclist at heart because you still need to use the gears. Personally, I think the mid drive is easier to install. The cabling is easier and there is no controller to mount on the frame. A hub motor is tricky when you have rim brakes. You may have to dish the wheel to center it between the calipers.

View attachment 74348

Grin is very pricey. You need to be making a super bike if you use their kits as you'll be close to a thousand bucks. Even a cheap kit/battery will cost around $500-600. For that kind of money, you could almost buy an imported ebike.
I agree about ease of mid drive installation and confirmed as being "easy" by others also (contrary to the dogmatic opinions/"advice" advanced by those who have never done a mid drive installation). There can be limitations and difficulties with any of the ebike conversion options depending on the donor bike characteristics. I ordered one of these cheap 48v 500w geared rear drive kits to see if it provides adequate assist on hills for my tandem cruiser bike where a mid drive won't work. It comes with a "KT" controller, whatever that means. If it doesn't provide enough assist for the tandem (FWIW they advertise 60-64nm torque) I'll play around with it on another bike. I only plan on using the throttle for assist when needed, not really interested in PAS function. Looking forward to see what it can do.

1608147263862.png
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
How much trouble was it to swap the ebikling controller to the KT?
I have an ebilking controller in the mail and hoping it will plug and play into a KT set up. Still trying to upgrade from 22 amp to 30.
I had no problem with the motor cable. I matched by color, and the motor ran, I believe most of the major motor and controller guys have standardized on how these should be wired, although all of the old tyme kit ebikers will say it's blind luck if they fit.

You can only use the display and controller from the same maker. Can't mix and match ebikeling's SW900 display with a KT controller or an LCD3 with an ebikeling box.

The rest is just looking at the throttle, PAS sensor, speed sensor, and figuring which wire is ground, power, or signal. Be prepared to splice and solder.
 

kmccune

Active Member
I had no problem with the motor cable. I matched by color, and the motor ran, I believe most of the major motor and controller guys have standardized on how these should be wired, although all of the old tyme kit ebikers will say it's blind luck if they fit.

You can only use the display and controller from the same maker. Can't mix and match ebikeling's SW900 display with a KT controller or an LCD3 with an ebikeling box.

The rest is just looking at the throttle, PAS sensor, speed sensor, and figuring which wire is ground, power, or signal. Be prepared to splice and solder.
Nice Kit, some kits I have bought are pretty spartan.
 

kmccune

Active Member
I put a ebikeling kit on a Trek 830 in 2015. It was 500W 36V rear geared hub for $200. Added a $280 36V dolphin battery and it's been a reliable ebike. Always there if I want it. Just a simple three speed PAS with throttle. 20 mph. No display. No frills. The natural upgrade would have been to upgrade to a 5 level PAS controller with LCD, but I never did,
View attachment 74347

I have purchased several more ebikeling geared hub motor kits. I did not like the way their newer LCD kits work with the geared motors. No speed display when coasting. Crude PAS response. I junked their electronics and put on KT controllers. His business has grown, and he is now a big seller, especially for the higher power direct drive kits.

If you want a direct drive motor, ebikeling, voilamart and a whole bunch of no names will fix you up, and you can fly at 30+ mph on 48V. You have to decide whether you want a direct drive or geared motor.

Or you could consider a mid drive. The Bafang BBS02 is about 450? I paid $550 in 2016. The standard kits fit bottom bracket widths of 68-72mm. There are higher cost kits for wider bikes. Better for hills, but you still have to be a bicyclist at heart because you still need to use the gears. Personally, I think the mid drive is easier to install. The cabling is easier and there is no controller to mount on the frame. A hub motor is tricky when you have rim brakes. You may have to dish the wheel to center it between the calipers.

View attachment 74348

Grin is very pricey. You need to be making a super bike if you use their kits as you'll be close to a thousand bucks. Even a cheap kit/battery will cost around $500-600. For that kind of money, you could almost buy an imported ebike.
True, on the other hand, you have Justin and company to help with problems if you have any. Always check with Companies like that for odd pieces in their closeout inventory, Grin had an 11-32t 6 spd freewheel in their odd parts would be rather hard to find now and stuff like that might let one complete a difficult install.
 

JES2020

Active Member
I had no problem with the motor cable. I matched by color, and the motor ran, I believe most of the major motor and controller guys have standardized on how these should be wired, although all of the old tyme kit ebikers will say it's blind luck if they fit.

You can only use the display and controller from the same maker. Can't mix and match ebikeling's SW900 display with a KT controller or an LCD3 with an ebikeling box.

The rest is just looking at the throttle, PAS sensor, speed sensor, and figuring which wire is ground, power, or signal. Be prepared to splice and solder.
I was hoping the ebikling WAS a KT controller, they wouldn't say, they did say it should work.But I don't want to switch my display and wanted to stay away from splicing so many wires, I guess it's back to the search.
Do you happen to know of a good source for a 3oa KT WP preferably in not from China?
I have had too many lost shipments from China after waiting for 60 days : (
 

kmccune

Active Member
I put a ebikeling kit on a Trek 830 in 2015. It was 500W 36V rear geared hub for $200. Added a $280 36V dolphin battery and it's been a reliable ebike. Always there if I want it. Just a simple three speed PAS with throttle. 20 mph. No display. No frills. The natural upgrade would have been to upgrade to a 5 level PAS controller with LCD, but I never did,
View attachment 74347

I have purchased several more ebikeling geared hub motor kits. I did not like the way their newer LCD kits work with the geared motors. No speed display when coasting. Crude PAS response. I junked their electronics and put on KT controllers. His business has grown, and he is now a big seller, especially for the higher power direct drive kits.

If you want a direct drive motor, ebikeling, voilamart and a whole bunch of no names will fix you up, and you can fly at 30+ mph on 48V. You have to decide whether you want a direct drive or geared motor.

Or you could consider a mid drive. The Bafang BBS02 is about 450? I paid $550 in 2016. The standard kits fit bottom bracket widths of 68-72mm. There are higher cost kits for wider bikes. Better for hills, but you still have to be a bicyclist at heart because you still need to use the gears. Personally, I think the mid drive is easier to install. The cabling is easier and there is no controller to mount on the frame. A hub motor is tricky when you have rim brakes. You may have to dish the wheel to center it between the calipers.

View attachment 74348

Grin is very pricey. You need to be making a super bike if you use their kits as you'll be close to a thousand bucks. Even a cheap kit/battery will cost around $500-600. For that kind of money, you could almost buy an imported ebike.
Add a $10 "Catseye" or similar speedometer to your setup( works pretty good) I had a Bafang Hub drive that would only give me the speed when it felt like it, so the add on speedometer solved that , sometimes the sensor magnet will fall out of position on motors that were so equipped, turns out the trouble with my "Bafang" 750 was the controller, switched controllers and it worked intermittingly.
The trend I see now is lower prices for "factory built" ebikes with all the competition, do a little research on the "Ali Baba" site you will come to understand the "nuts and bolts" of this business( if you order a "ConEx" full of Ebikes- you can get a smashing good deal per unit, Mr.Trumps tariffs not withstanding)
And you will see little 'upstarts" come and go for awhile, the cheap bikes that stay are the ones that actually have facilities already in place.
Kyle of "Bolten Ebikes" is fighting a good fight, I get the impression He is sharing a warehouse or shop with someone and I hope He gets enough business to expand( He would be a good one to endorse and frequent and be loyal to, hard to tell where He will be in ten years)
" Maxfoot' is doing a very good job on the'pricepoint" as well,so if you like them be loyal at the end of the day its more than a hobby for these young companies.
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
About 10 years ago I did a DIY conversion of an entry level Trek MTB, a 3700 model I believe. I liked the idea of 'two wheel drive' so I went with a pre-laced front hub motor. Grin Tech had a 9C motor on close out that was rated 36V, 750W. Their bench tests showed that it would perform well within temp limits at 48V so I drove it with a 48V, 20Ah pack and a 25A controller. Displays were pretty limited 'back in the old days' of ebikes so I wired in a Watts Up power meter to track electrical performance and kept the bike's wired bike 'computer' for speed and distance.

The cheap front suspension fork wasn't going to cut it so I swapped in a Cromo fork and downhill BMX bearing sets.

The Grin Motor Simulator predicted that this motor would climb any of our local hills while developing over 1Kw. They were right on. Plenty of power. I'd recommend their Simulator to anyone considering a build. It doesn't cover every available motor/controller combo, but in most cases you can get close so you're not completely in the dark.

I rode this bike for some years retiring it when the battery pack started to fade. Its replacement is a mid-drive which I'm liking even better for the weight distribution and ease of flat repair.

What would I have done differently with the first DYI bike?

1. With our steep hills and the weight of the bike the rim brakes were marginal. They never failed to stop me, but the stopping distance was longer than I liked. Disc brakes would have a much better choice.

2. Wider tires. The original tires were maybe 45mm. They didn't absorb enough of the road bumps and holes. I replaced them with wider tires when the time came, but should have done it out of the box. They made the ride much smoother.

Good luck with your build.