I need to create an eBike. I need help.

My Alien LIfe

New Member
Region
USA
Hello,

I am new to the forum. Thanks. It's very cool. I want a front wheel ebike conversion kit and see them on eBay, WalMart and elsewhere.

I have 3 older bikes that have almost zero miles on them and they are super light and great quality. All three have soft, spring seats with suspension seat posts.
I am 215 lbs, 5'10" and just want to buzz around the local rail to trail system here which is paved. Would like to go 20-30 mph and 30 miles.

Which bike should I use for an ebike front wheel kit with LED display? Where should I get a kit for my needs for around $500?

The Bikes
Jamis Citizen 1 6061
19" Frame
700c or 29” tires
Grip gear shifter
Suspension Seat Post

Raleigh SC 200
18" Frame
26" Tires
Grip gear shifter
SRAM Dual Drive
Suspension Seat Post
Front Shocks

Specialized Expedition
19" Frame
26" Tires
Grip gear shifter
Suspension Seat Post
Front Shocks

All have a back rack and aluminum frames. Super light and nice bikes.

Thanks for helping out a bike dude. Cheers..C.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
As general advice, front wheel conversions are not advised for suspension forks, alloy forks, and/or powerful motors. It's easy for an inexperienced builder to make a mistake, have the wheel spin out of the fork, and face plant the rider. However, a lot of people get away with it.

It's not that hard to go with a rear motor and avoid the potential risk. Still, there are often reasons for FWD. I went with a small 350W motor on an alloy fork on one bike, because it had a very nice 8 speed cassette on the rear. I used dual torque arms to keep the axle nuts from spinning loose. Later, I switched it to a steel fork, but I kept the torque arms. I also had a 500W front motor that only cost me $45, so I put that in a cruiser bike that also had steel forks.

Front motors can slip the tires on slick/loose surfaces, but you do get that pulling of the front motor, coupled with the push from your pedals. Check your forks with a magnet to see if they are steel. Be modest in your initial power choices. I personally like a lighter geared motor. Assemble it carefully, Use torque arms. Mark the nuts with a sharpie so you check to see if they move.

With a 500W geared motor, 36V will get you about 20 mph while 48V will increase to 25 mph. If you want 30 mph, probably need a 1000W direct drive motor with a 25A controller and 52V. I shudder to see those on a front fork.

Your budget is tight though.
 
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Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
@harryS makes a couple of good points. As well there is an advanced forum dedicated to kits and builds here.


I will mention that trying to go 30 mph on a rail trail isn't a very good idea.
 

JRA

Well-Known Member
"If you want 30 mph, probably need a 1000W direct drive motor with a 25A controller and 52V. I shudder to see those on a front fork."

Shudder away Harry. I've got thousands of miles on the above as shown below with no issues at all. The key is in the torque arm setup and in general keeping an eye on the situation before rides.

IMG_4890.JPG


To the OP forget the 30mph speed thing usless you can milk that on a downhill. I have been there and it is teeth rattling as well as nerve rattling. 25mph under power on flat ground is plenty fast enough but will still only get you uphill at around 15mph if you also put some effort into the pedals.
 

My Alien LIfe

New Member
Region
USA
Well put. I am good with 25. What do you recommend for $500 with a good range of 20 miles or more?

I am more than willing to go with RWD.... That makes sense. I was thinking less labor with FWD.


GREAT info btw....
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
I ride front geared hub motors up to 1300 W on steel fork with no problem. Mine don't go 30, about 23 with 48 v battery. The supply of 48 v geared hub motors has dried up due to the tendency of owners taking them up the sierra or rocky mountain range and burning up the windings. 1000' in an hour max mac says. I don't ride off road much, just on my grassy rutted 1/4 mile driveway @ 3 mph. I don't use power on slick surfaces, and walk the bike on muddy steel plates where loaders cross.
You haven't said if any of your donor frames have disk brakes. I would not ride 25 mph in the rain with rim brakes. The stopping power goes away after you run through a puddle. Been there, done that, the car that ran the 4 way stop sign didn't kill me. I was going all of 2 mph & couldn't stop.
batteryclearancewarehouse.com has $23 500 w front geared hub motors today. Mine worked. They have $38 rear ones built into a 26" wheel sometimes. Takes a bafang to rectangular adapter harness for most controllers. Don't buy the $70 36 v 20 ah battery unless you can mount a 40"x8"x2" box somewhere without shorting the ends. Weighs 21 lb too. I think I can do it but will look stupid stuck 40" out in front of my steering tube. I save the back for cargo: battery on the front balances the bike better IMHO.
For trouble free installation ebikeling.com stands behind his kits.Even his batteries are no trouble. Everything matches which is a ****shoot buying one component at a time off ebay. I mounted my battery in packing foam inside an aluminum angle cage held together with SS machine screws and elastic stop nuts. Wannabe thieves at the grocery have taken a shot at loosening a couple of nuts, didn't get even 2 of them off and there are 18 of them. My bike has welded 6 mm bosses in the frame to mount a front basket to without steering it.
I didn't like DD motor. It weighed 12 lb in the back where I have trouble picking the bike up anyway. The freewheel limited me to 7 speed cluster of 28-14 which wasn't low enough to get me up 15% unpowered in the spring when I'm out of shape. No 32-12 7 speed freewhells were ever in stock in N America. Plus the DD motor drug unpowered like I was in 2 higher sprocket ratios. I ride unpowered mostly, except when wind is > 12 mph in my face or up the 60th to 80th hill. 3 2/3 hour exercise is enough for me, 25 mph head wind can make my 27 miles take 5.7 hours.
Don't forget the torque arm. I made mine out of bed frame rail. 4" long, held to fork with a 5/4" band of electric fan shell fasted with SS screws with elastic stop nuts. #10 (us) is thick enough. Prob 5 mm too.
Happy converting & later riding. I'm 8000 miles out on one bike, on the 3rd motor now. Rain killed the second controller: don't buy an ASI controller except in the mojave desert. Gears went on the 1300 w ebikeling @ ~4500 miles.
 
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JRA

Well-Known Member
Well put. I am good with 25. What do you recommend for $500 with a good range of 20 miles or more?

I am more than willing to go with RWD.... That makes sense. I was thinking less labor with FWD.


GREAT info btw....
Sorry I don't follow the low end market. $500 only buys a battery in my world.
 

My Alien LIfe

New Member
Region
USA
this is what’s weighing heavily on my troubled mind. Delivered in 3 days by UPS and Bobs your…
 

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Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
Your uncle seems to be a bit too cheap to trust, but its your money. ...
 

rtp

Active Member
Region
USA
this is what’s weighing heavily on my troubled mind. Delivered in 3 days by UPS and Bobs your…
It might be worth you taking a look through the DIY section of the forum and searching for 'cheap battery' and the inevitable results - 'when something sounds too good to be true' compared to what some experienced guys are telling you.... it probably is. I'm sure I've seen that or very similar battery packs being discussed.

Total no-name on the motor as well. No direct experience on hub motors but you've got people who do have experience with them in this thread.
Jumping into e-bikes I started 'on the cheap' and read tons of info from what people had bought and done before. Will leave it at the $ numbers crept upward with the more I learned.

Spend low and do it many times as you burn out the motor and roll the dice on the battery and charger (think - fire is a possibility), or build it better for more $, hopefully once, or if not, far fewer times than the $500 special?