My mission is to find the BEST solution for my needs

Kemosabe70

New Member
Hi court and anyone else reading this! I’m brand new to posting on EBR.

My mission is to find the BEST solution for my needs, but I don’t think I’ve came across it yet.

TL:DR
1. I converted a bike that I’m not certain can handle what I’m throwing at it and it’s making me concerned for my safety.
2. I need a motor recommendation to use with my 52v 13.5 ah Luna wolf pack v2 for commuting, hauling groceries and very short climbs. (30 miles+ at a reasonable speed, 13-18mph would be ideal)
3. I would appreciate opinions on the structural integrity of my donar bike and any recommendations for a new donar bike/upgrades I could make to my existing donar (replacing my fork with something sturdier for example)
4. Recommendations for a reliable motor to use with my new pack, be it mid drive, a front or rear hub drive or even front and rear hub drives.
5. What’s better for me geared, direct drive or a mid drive system?
6. HELP ME GET MORE STOPPING POWER

Quick disclaimer: I get it, I may have been better off buying a purpose built ebike, but at this point the ship has sailed and I’m all in building my own!

My uses for the bike:

I’ll generally be using the bike for casual weekend rides for shopping or just riding, to haul some groceries on the rear rack with panniers and commute to work sometimes. A comfortable cruising speed for any of the ranges that I mentioned would be approximately 13-18mph. Again, I don’t NEED to go fast, but I do feel like I’d appreciate having some more power that I can tap into at any point.

The weekend rides could potentially include a trip over the Williamsburg Bridge in NYC. I wouldn’t ever be hauling anything over it though. I would like to easily be able to get across that bridge from my home in Brooklyn, ride around manhattan for a bit in stop and go traffic and be able to get back home without charging (two trips over the bridge)

Some info on the Williamsburg bridge:

The path is about long a mile long and about half of that would be the climb...from what I have gathered across the web the gradient would be anywhere from 3-4%, and I’ve seen a mapmyride chart that peaked at 5.6%.

I think 30 miles would suffice, but the more the merrier....

The grocery or other hauling trips (with 2 panniers full of food) would be a round trip total of about 5 miles all flat paved roads.

My commute would also include the Williamsburg bridge 2x, with the rest being mostly flat paved roads.
Round trip total: 16 miles (if I just went to and from work nothing in between before or after) +4 miles for real world use I guess...so 20 miles.

Some background info on me and my current build:

I’m Matt, 5’10”, 210 pounds and I live in Brooklyn, NY...which is where I’ll be doing the majority of riding (on flat paved roads).

I originally set out to make a budget ebike and purchase a 1200w front hub kit from eBay for $350 and an open box battery for $250 on eBay as well.

I was excited, I converted my beater to a beast for $600...or so I thought....

I have been using a 1200w ebikeling front direct drive hub motor kit with a 52v 13.5ah Luna Wolfpack v2 on a single speed wyatt street king (4130 chromoly) with 700c wheels and rim brakes. I have yet to do any range testing because I have been very busy at work.

Before getting my Luna pack, I bought a “New(other)” hailong battery pack, it was 48v 14.5ah Sanyo cells that was marked as open box, the battery worked well for a a couple miles and then would sag down to its low voltage cut off.
Did some research and the results were inconclusive,realistically it could be a number of issues. I have never worked on batteries and don’t feel completely comfortable, so I searched for local repair options to no avail.
After doing some research I concluded Luna cycle would be my best bet for a battery being that they are in the USA and have an excellent reputation among DIY’ers.
So, I I set up a call with Luna to get some background info on their batteries and to be honest, the dude had a great pitch for the battery and as a salesman myself I appreciated it and pulled the trigger on it.

I have no issues with the battery thus far.

The kit has worked great thus far, but I feel as though it is too powerful for my needs I would much prefer range to power for my uses.

I am much more concerned about the integrity of the kit itself, the stopping power and quality of the donar bike. I’ll get into my specific concerns later.

I can EASILY push past 20 mph and I feel as though that’s plenty (20mph). Speed isn’t the motivation here, it’s more traveling by bike, but without using any effort....so speed isn’t a huge concern for me, but at the SAME time buying a more powerful motor and having some more power to tap into is also a plus.

So my build is fully functioning at this point, but I do have some concerns.

My concerns:

Before converting I had the bike safety checked by my lbs, opted to not change the brake cables, although recommended, but I did swap the tires to marathon plus tires.

I’m concerned about the integrity of the frame itself. The bike was rather cheap in 2014 when I purchased it, about $400, it has some rust. I don’t think anyone has ever converted a Wyatt street king, I’m genuinely worried that the bike itself can even handle the sort of stress I’d be putting onto it, especially at the front fork.

It’s been my beater for 6 years at this point and yes my lbs said it was fine, but I didn’t strap a kit onto it at that point, and who’s to say it won’t fall apart at 20mph?

So the bike has rim brakes, which worries me. I ended up swapping the pads out to ebike specific koolstop pads and it has definitely been an improvement from my old ones, but I feel as though I’d be much more comfortable and have much more stopping power with some disc brakes or even swapping these cheap calipers with something better like 105s or ultegra if that would be enough.

I know there are varying opinions on this, and I also admit that I haven’t even tried a heavy ebike with disc brakes, but my perceived suboptimal stopping power with these rim brakes brings me to four options:
1. Buy a new bike with disc brakes and use a front hub (budget for the new bike would be +/-$1000)
2. Replace the existing fork with a disc brake ready steel fork and get some discs for just the front and use a front hub(would appreciate any recommendations for a good fork)
3. Buy a new bike with discs and get a mid-drive or rear hub motor.
4. Upgrade the calipers and keep the same fork.

Onto the kit, the wheel just doesn’t seem straight, there are some spokes that aren’t completely straight and it just seems like it’s been poorly assembled. Ultimately, I don’t want to run into ANY issues at 20mph in regards to the integrity of a wheel. Ebikeling has approved my return and I’ll almost certainly be returning this, as I don’t want to take ANY chances.

The kit came with a cheap torque arm that wasn’t very confidence inspiring, so I added a grin torque arm v2 to the other side which definitely helped me feel a bit comfier.

Ebikeling even messaged me saying that 1200w is too powerful for my front fork. Would I be better off with a rear kit? I have also heard good things about mid drive as well...I’m really open to any and all recommendations.

My budget for the “kit”...be it a complete kit or total for the parts (motor, controller, throttle, PAS, display, etc.) would be: $1000

Although Ebikeling has a decent reputation and reviews, but at the end of the day here, I don’t feel comfortable using their product. I would feel much more comfortable with a kit that someone has already used and tested extensively and the same would go for a donar bike and/or new fork.

I have attached a photo of the build below:


What I think I should do at this point:

I’m pretty much convinced I’ll be returning the ebikeling kit and replacing it with a recommended kit from you guys. I am considering buying a entire new donar bike or new fork to convert as well.

So I built the ebike, I like the idea of it, I’m worried about the integrity of the parts used.

I know that I’ll want whatever is “best” eventually and I’m almost certainly sure that there are better options than the ebikeling kit.

To be fair ebikeling has been excellent with their support, but I would much rather buy from a more established reputable dealer, like grin or em3ev or even Luna if they get anything back in stock..or maybe somewhere else if you guys recommend it!

At this point in my life, I’m the type of person that buys things with the intention of using and keeping it for a very long time, BIFL sort of purchase (buy it for life) and I do not feel as though the street king or ebikeling kit is it.

Ultimately for me to feel confident and comfortable I feel as though I need a safe and reliable motor and frame that has withheld the test of time.


Main issues :
1. Help me figure out how to get more braking power
2. Help me find the right motor for my needs and one that I don’t have to worry about breaking down too often and has been built properly, with safety and longevity in mind.
3. Opinions on my frame/build in regards to its structural integrity. (Any other comments or criticism not related to its integrity would also be appreciated!)

I know this was long, but I wanted to be as detailed as possible...I’m sure your responses will help me get on the road feeling comfortable and confident and I thank you taking the time to help!
 

zzRider

Active Member
Hi court and anyone else reading this! I’m brand new to posting on EBR.

My mission is to find the BEST solution for my needs, but I don’t think I’ve came across it yet.

TL:DR
1. I converted a bike that I’m not certain can handle what I’m throwing at it and it’s making me concerned for my safety.
2. I need a motor recommendation to use with my 52v 13.5 ah Luna wolf pack v2 for commuting, hauling groceries and very short climbs. (30 miles+ at a reasonable speed, 13-18mph would be ideal)
3. I would appreciate opinions on the structural integrity of my donar bike and any recommendations for a new donar bike/upgrades I could make to my existing donar (replacing my fork with something sturdier for example)
4. Recommendations for a reliable motor to use with my new pack, be it mid drive, a front or rear hub drive or even front and rear hub drives.
5. What’s better for me geared, direct drive or a mid drive system?
6. HELP ME GET MORE STOPPING POWER

Quick disclaimer: I get it, I may have been better off buying a purpose built ebike, but at this point the ship has sailed and I’m all in building my own!

My uses for the bike:

I’ll generally be using the bike for casual weekend rides for shopping or just riding, to haul some groceries on the rear rack with panniers and commute to work sometimes. A comfortable cruising speed for any of the ranges that I mentioned would be approximately 13-18mph. Again, I don’t NEED to go fast, but I do feel like I’d appreciate having some more power that I can tap into at any point.

The weekend rides could potentially include a trip over the Williamsburg Bridge in NYC. I wouldn’t ever be hauling anything over it though. I would like to easily be able to get across that bridge from my home in Brooklyn, ride around manhattan for a bit in stop and go traffic and be able to get back home without charging (two trips over the bridge)

Some info on the Williamsburg bridge:

The path is about long a mile long and about half of that would be the climb...from what I have gathered across the web the gradient would be anywhere from 3-4%, and I’ve seen a mapmyride chart that peaked at 5.6%.

I think 30 miles would suffice, but the more the merrier....

The grocery or other hauling trips (with 2 panniers full of food) would be a round trip total of about 5 miles all flat paved roads.

My commute would also include the Williamsburg bridge 2x, with the rest being mostly flat paved roads.
Round trip total: 16 miles (if I just went to and from work nothing in between before or after) +4 miles for real world use I guess...so 20 miles.

Some background info on me and my current build:

I’m Matt, 5’10”, 210 pounds and I live in Brooklyn, NY...which is where I’ll be doing the majority of riding (on flat paved roads).

I originally set out to make a budget ebike and purchase a 1200w front hub kit from eBay for $350 and an open box battery for $250 on eBay as well.

I was excited, I converted my beater to a beast for $600...or so I thought....

I have been using a 1200w ebikeling front direct drive hub motor kit with a 52v 13.5ah Luna Wolfpack v2 on a single speed wyatt street king (4130 chromoly) with 700c wheels and rim brakes. I have yet to do any range testing because I have been very busy at work.

Before getting my Luna pack, I bought a “New(other)” hailong battery pack, it was 48v 14.5ah Sanyo cells that was marked as open box, the battery worked well for a a couple miles and then would sag down to its low voltage cut off.
Did some research and the results were inconclusive,realistically it could be a number of issues. I have never worked on batteries and don’t feel completely comfortable, so I searched for local repair options to no avail.
After doing some research I concluded Luna cycle would be my best bet for a battery being that they are in the USA and have an excellent reputation among DIY’ers.
So, I I set up a call with Luna to get some background info on their batteries and to be honest, the dude had a great pitch for the battery and as a salesman myself I appreciated it and pulled the trigger on it.

I have no issues with the battery thus far.

The kit has worked great thus far, but I feel as though it is too powerful for my needs I would much prefer range to power for my uses.

I am much more concerned about the integrity of the kit itself, the stopping power and quality of the donar bike. I’ll get into my specific concerns later.

I can EASILY push past 20 mph and I feel as though that’s plenty (20mph). Speed isn’t the motivation here, it’s more traveling by bike, but without using any effort....so speed isn’t a huge concern for me, but at the SAME time buying a more powerful motor and having some more power to tap into is also a plus.

So my build is fully functioning at this point, but I do have some concerns.

My concerns:

Before converting I had the bike safety checked by my lbs, opted to not change the brake cables, although recommended, but I did swap the tires to marathon plus tires.

I’m concerned about the integrity of the frame itself. The bike was rather cheap in 2014 when I purchased it, about $400, it has some rust. I don’t think anyone has ever converted a Wyatt street king, I’m genuinely worried that the bike itself can even handle the sort of stress I’d be putting onto it, especially at the front fork.

It’s been my beater for 6 years at this point and yes my lbs said it was fine, but I didn’t strap a kit onto it at that point, and who’s to say it won’t fall apart at 20mph?

So the bike has rim brakes, which worries me. I ended up swapping the pads out to ebike specific koolstop pads and it has definitely been an improvement from my old ones, but I feel as though I’d be much more comfortable and have much more stopping power with some disc brakes or even swapping these cheap calipers with something better like 105s or ultegra if that would be enough.

I know there are varying opinions on this, and I also admit that I haven’t even tried a heavy ebike with disc brakes, but my perceived suboptimal stopping power with these rim brakes brings me to four options:
1. Buy a new bike with disc brakes and use a front hub (budget for the new bike would be +/-$1000)
2. Replace the existing fork with a disc brake ready steel fork and get some discs for just the front and use a front hub(would appreciate any recommendations for a good fork)
3. Buy a new bike with discs and get a mid-drive or rear hub motor.
4. Upgrade the calipers and keep the same fork.

Onto the kit, the wheel just doesn’t seem straight, there are some spokes that aren’t completely straight and it just seems like it’s been poorly assembled. Ultimately, I don’t want to run into ANY issues at 20mph in regards to the integrity of a wheel. Ebikeling has approved my return and I’ll almost certainly be returning this, as I don’t want to take ANY chances.

The kit came with a cheap torque arm that wasn’t very confidence inspiring, so I added a grin torque arm v2 to the other side which definitely helped me feel a bit comfier.

Ebikeling even messaged me saying that 1200w is too powerful for my front fork. Would I be better off with a rear kit? I have also heard good things about mid drive as well...I’m really open to any and all recommendations.

My budget for the “kit”...be it a complete kit or total for the parts (motor, controller, throttle, PAS, display, etc.) would be: $1000

Although Ebikeling has a decent reputation and reviews, but at the end of the day here, I don’t feel comfortable using their product. I would feel much more comfortable with a kit that someone has already used and tested extensively and the same would go for a donar bike and/or new fork.

I have attached a photo of the build below:


What I think I should do at this point:

I’m pretty much convinced I’ll be returning the ebikeling kit and replacing it with a recommended kit from you guys. I am considering buying a entire new donar bike or new fork to convert as well.

So I built the ebike, I like the idea of it, I’m worried about the integrity of the parts used.

I know that I’ll want whatever is “best” eventually and I’m almost certainly sure that there are better options than the ebikeling kit.

To be fair ebikeling has been excellent with their support, but I would much rather buy from a more established reputable dealer, like grin or em3ev or even Luna if they get anything back in stock..or maybe somewhere else if you guys recommend it!

At this point in my life, I’m the type of person that buys things with the intention of using and keeping it for a very long time, BIFL sort of purchase (buy it for life) and I do not feel as though the street king or ebikeling kit is it.

Ultimately for me to feel confident and comfortable I feel as though I need a safe and reliable motor and frame that has withheld the test of time.


Main issues :
1. Help me figure out how to get more braking power
2. Help me find the right motor for my needs and one that I don’t have to worry about breaking down too often and has been built properly, with safety and longevity in mind.
3. Opinions on my frame/build in regards to its structural integrity. (Any other comments or criticism not related to its integrity would also be appreciated!)

I know this was long, but I wanted to be as detailed as possible...I’m sure your responses will help me get on the road feeling comfortable and confident and I thank you taking the time to help!
Dang, that was some long and detailed post!

Never heard anyone complain about too much power before, but if you have concerns about the frame being overloaded, I guess that is a valid worry.

Your controller may have a wattage limiter--I converted my wife's Schwinn Meridian trike to a 1000w Voilamart front wheel e-trike but didn't hookup the 2 blue "sissy wires" that limit wattage to 500-750w. Maybe you can check yours to see if those are connected (you may only have a single blue wire).

Also do your brake levers have wires to the controller to shut off the motor when the brakes are applied? That is an important safety feature.

Upgrade to hydraulic front and rear disc brakes. That will improve your stopping power.

Kudos on the DIY! I'd ride it until something breaks.
 
Last edited:

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Don't have a kit to recommend, just an experience. Our first ebikes were DIY conversions of entry level MTBs we had. Found Grin Tech, as you have. They became my go to source for learning, advice, and eventually components. They didn't do batteries back then so I ended up at Battery University for that info.

I selected front wheel hub motors and a 48V, 20Ah battery that drove the motor to over 1,000W. They climbed our local hills just as Grin's simulator had predicted.

As to the bikes, I traded out their entry level front shocks for steel forks and changed out the steering tube bearing sets for downhill BMX bearings all to take the stress of the motor that would be pulling the bike forward.

It all worked as expected, except for the V-brakes. They just weren't up to the task of quickly stopping these now heavier bikes on our steeper hills. We learned to keep our speeds down on these descents.

As the batteries in these bikes aged out we went with a pair of new brand name ebikes. WOW, brakes that really stop you!

Anyway, hope our experience with this process helps.
 

Kemosabe70

New Member
Dang, that was some long and detailed post!

Never heard anyone complain about too much power before, but if you have concerns about the frame being overloaded, I guess that is a valid worry.

Your controller may have a wattage limiter--I converted my wife's Schwinn Meridian trike to a 1000w Voilamart front wheel e-trike but didn't hookup the 2 blue "sissy wires" that limit wattage to 500-750w. Maybe you can check yours to see if those are connected (you may only have a single blue wire).

Also do your brake levers have wires to the controller to shut off the motor when the brakes are applied? That is an important safety feature.

Upgrade to hydraulic front and rear disc brakes. That will improve your stopping power.

Kudos on the DIY! I'd ride it until something breaks.

Plan is to replace the front fork with a disc ready fork and move the motor to the rear. That should fix Everything.