b-hatch

New Member
Hello, I am a college student looking to make my commute to school a little easier while also interested in taking an e bike camping in the future. However being a college student im on a pretty strict budget. I would like to spend 400ish on the kit (Everything minus the bike) I dont need a super long lasting battery, but I would like something that might last(reliable wise) awhile, and atleast reaches around 20mph (faster the better honestly). I was wondering if someone could help me find the best kit for me. Also any suggestions on a bike >300$, I know my budget is small but im not looking for the best bike just something that will last and gets helps me get to school and back. I am 6'0 200lbs.
 
Hello, I am a college student looking to make my commute to school a little easier while also interested in taking an e bike camping in the future. However being a college student im on a pretty strict budget. I would like to spend 400ish on the kit (Everything minus the bike) I dont need a super long lasting battery, but I would like something that might last(reliable wise) awhile, and atleast reaches around 20mph (faster the better honestly). I was wondering if someone could help me find the best kit for me. Also any suggestions on a bike >300$, I know my budget is small but im not looking for the best bike just something that will last and gets helps me get to school and back. I am 6'0 200lbs.

Hello b-hatch!
Well there are plenty of kits in the $400 range, the problem is they don't include a battery! You will find that batteries are the most expensive part of an ebike. Usually surpassing the cost of either the motor or the donor bike, sometimes both.
At 6'0'' 200lbs, you're a big boy, so if you have hills to conquer you'll want to consider that. Hub motors do not do hills well unless they are very powerful (1500 watts+) Power=expensive. Mid-drives are better for hills but are more complicated to install. You'll have to stretch a little, but if you could manage it I think the best deal available is at Luna Cycle, They have the Bafang BBS02 750watt mid-drive kit with a 13.5Ah battery for only $750. That's a really good mid-drive with a great battery. Hard to beat! Add a bike from Walmart and a little elbow grease and for less than $1000 you will have a bike that will climb moderate hills well, will do almost 30mph and will go about 30 miles per charge.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
In the midwest you can find a mountain bike or 10 speed for $50 at a charity resale shop or a flea market. For a large sized frame to fit a 6'er, you may have to go to craigslist and spend $150-200. don't buy carbon or titanium, light weight and motor wheels are incompatible. How handy are you? Usually with a bargain bike there will be issues with the brake cables and maybe the shifter, perhaps requiring replacement with the $3 cables from the discount store. If you find one with bolt on pedal arms, that is the kind the wheel kits have a pedal sensor for. Usually tires will be flat, the tube has to be replaced, if cracked the tire too.
You can get a powered wheel for $150-200 including motor, wheel, controller, pedal sensor, brake shutoff controls, display, not the tire or battery. Adapter and 7 speed sprocket cluster for rear installation is extra. Don't put 7 speed cluster in a really old (pre 1995) bike which was 5 speed originally, the old chain is too wide for 3/32" sprocket teeth. You can get a battery for $150 up, make sure the voltage is compatible with the motor. If your area has steep hills, 10-15% I don't recommend mid-drive because they eliminate the lower tooth count sprocket of a mountain bike. I bought a ebikling geared wheel, which was complete with a internal one-way clutch, as I have 15% hills I have to conquer plus I intend to pedal unpowered a lot on long (80mile) trips. Make sure motor wheel will fit inside your bikes forks spread. you may need a huge pliers or allthread/coupler nut combination to spread the forks. You may need a file or grinder to open up the fork slot a little - I did. You'll need a crimp tool to put connectors on wires. The ebikling used barrel connectors .157" from the auto supply (dorman) to connect the battery. I used insulated flag terminals for the charge wires of the battery, male for minus, female for plus. Don't uses ****ese crimp connectors at 30 amps, use taiwanese (dorman) or US (3m, panduit, ideal, T&B). The ****ese ones melted on me on another project. Pull test your crimps before trying to use them - amateurs don't squeeze hard enough often. Longer tools give more force, I use an ideal or klein. Some bolt on pedal arms require a puller to get them off after using a socket to remove the nut. Remember one side is left hand thread.
A torque arm is useful for the shaft not spinning in the fork, I made one out of a piece of scrap steel (bed frame leg) making the custom shaft sized hole out of two holes and a grinder (use safety glasses). A file will work ifyou have more time than money. Bolt the torque arm to the accessory holes of the fork, 10-32 screws on my mountain bike. 5 mm screws on my 10 speed. Get odd screws at home store or auto supply. I double nutted the motor shaft, took 12 mm x 1.5 nuts which I had to go to a motorcycle shop to buy. I double nut on all bike drive wheels; I'm strong enough on the pedals to pull the shaft forwards in the frame and bind up the tire against the frame when I get on it up a hill.
You may find at higher speeds disk brakes are advantagious. I bought them but couldnt fit them in my fork: since I'm riding way out in the country deceleration speed is not really important. In a city you may need disk brakes more, especially in the rain. I intend to stay below 15 mph, 12 average, to extend my range between charges.
Some batteries come with a charger, some don't. The battery from btrbattery did, but a 15 ah 48 v was $435, more range and weight than you probably need. I had to make a mount for the square battery out of aluminum angle. Bagged hanger batteries or ones designed for the water bottle holder are easier to mount, cheaper, but easier to steal and hard to secure IMHO. Once I glue the screws on my mount, thieves will have to use a saw to get it off.
Don't forget the 6' steel cable (coiled) from master and a serious lock (the round ones take two cuts) from the home store. About $30. On a budget you don't want to donate your project to the neighborly thief. 6' cable to put through both the frame and the powered wheel.
Have fun saving money.
 
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harryS

Well-Known Member
$250 drivetrain on ebike. The bike was purchased in 1992 and I almost threw it out after my son graduated and moved away, so I consider it free. Like Indianajo, I used an ebikeling 36V geared geared motor ($200). It used to be a $500 ebike because I started with a $280 battery, but lately I have been running it on a hoverboard battery (boom) just so I can say it's a $250 ebike. Looks cleaner without the battery on the downtube, and performs the same with the small motor.

It won't go 20 mph, Many other 3V bikes do, but this one runs out of power at 18. On 48V, it will do 24 mph. I only ride bike paths anyway, and if I were to ride that fast on the street without traffic, it wouldn't be fun. Average speed of 13 mph, and those little batteries will take me about 20 miles.

I use XT60 connectors, soldered on. Never got a crimp to work. Steel framed bike. Unloved on Craigslist. Good for ebikes. I used a jack to spread the frame wide enough for the motor. Had to replace center pull brakes with good v-brakes. Original gears. Replaced shifters. It worked fine with the original fork, but I added a suspension fork. It's what you have to do with beater bikes, although the suspension was just for more comfort.
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George S.

Well-Known Member
A decent amount of research and self-education will go a long way. Micah Toll has two good books, one on bikes, the other on batteries. He has a YouTube Channel. Micah markets the Vruzend battery system which is one way to build a basic ebike battery. He has some cells, from China, listed with some recent videos. There are some hoverboard batteries kicking around on Ebay. I have some of these modules, and a lot has been written about them. If you learn enough to know how to use any pack you are basically building, you will save tons of money. Jehugarcia has a DIY electric car site on YT, but he finds a lot of recycled battery modules that work for an ebike.
 

Trail Cruiser

Well-Known Member
Hello, I am a college student looking to make my commute to school a little easier while also interested in taking an e bike camping in the future. However being a college student im on a pretty strict budget. I would like to spend 400ish on the kit (Everything minus the bike) I dont need a super long lasting battery, but I would like something that might last(reliable wise) awhile, and atleast reaches around 20mph (faster the better honestly). I was wondering if someone could help me find the best kit for me. Also any suggestions on a bike >300$, I know my budget is small but im not looking for the best bike just something that will last and gets helps me get to school and back. I am 6'0 200lbs.
You don't want to end up with your house burning down. That's how important quality batteries are. Remember, some hover boards (from direct Chinese import) were banned due to fire and explosion hazards. It make sense to simply avoid the super low priced electric bikes from Walmart. Good batteries alone would be about $400, then another $400 for the motor/controller combo, plus a donor bike of your choice, plus the trial and error hassles and issues with reliability of DIY jobs.

For the same money, you could get a fully assembled bike with decent quality components, without the headaches of DIY reliability issues.
(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)
(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)
 
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