Questions: first time ebike build ??

cruzer

New Member
I'm doing my my first ebike build, using (2) old school Jamis MTB's and the Bafang BBSHD kit. I've watched a bunch of videos and googled a bit, hoping to get some final advice before I start.


- I already have high quality conventional hand tools, but NO bike tools. Looks like Luna has the lowest priced "ebike" kit, which gives me most of what I need. I'm guessing at $39, the tools are "Harbor Freight" quality, but hoping I don't have to use them much. Any better kits out there? Or should I just get individual bike tools, since I already have all the regular tools that I need? https://lunacycle.com/luna-cycle-ebike-tool-kit/

- The Bafang kit comes with the standard installation wrench...but one thing I've heard mentioned online (and one instructional video) is that some people have trouble getting the BB bolt tight enough with the supplied Bafang tool. I'm only doing (2) bikes, but is it worth getting the $55 (ouch) Luna socket? https://lunacycle.com/bafang-mid-drive-installation-tool-kit
It's spendy, but I could get a proper grip on the nut and use a torque wrench if necessary.

- Chain Line: Read a lot about using the proper front chain ring (or motor spacers) to get a good chain line with the rear cassette. Assume the chain line target be the middle sprocket of the rear cassette?

- Is there such a thing as an acceptable & cheap bike stand? The YAHEETECH stand ($55 on Walmart and $72 on Amazon) get decent reviews, but I'm sure the weight of an ebilke only magnifies the flimsiness of the stand....Any better suggestions?

- Wire management: Bundle up and zip tie? Or cut to proper length, butt splice, and hear shrink for a clean installation?

- Brake sensors or NO brake sensors? We'll be doing a combo of street, trails, and a tiny bit of technical riding. I grew up on dirt bikes, so Im thinking maybe I don't need the brake cutoffs for myself?....but maybe a desirable safety feature for my wife? I'm assuming the levers that come with the bafang kit are less than stellear...Has anyone had any luck adapting brake sensors to their existing brake levers? (in this case older Deore XT)

- I'm sure it comes down to personal preference, but is there a consensus view on throttles? First guess is left side with "included" Bafang throttle, since the front derailleur shifter can be removed....BUT I grew on on motorcycles, so will be expecting my throttle on the right hand. Any feedback on the half-twist throttles? (My knees are bad, hence the ebike, so I suspect I will use the throttle a lot)

- My kit comes with an CNC front chainring, no chain guard, and I guess I will be removing the front chain derailleur. Any reason to leave the front derailleur in place? For example.....help keep the chain on the ring or act like a "mini chain guard?

Thanks to all...any other advice or first timer tips would be appreciated !
 

Clyde

Active Member
Welcome aboard!

Bit of a noob here, myself, but I've been obsessing for about 2 months and have learned a thing or two.

1 & 2) Tools... I ordered the Luna wrench, and need to obtain a T20 torx bit to mount the speed sensor, but it looks to me like that and a decent set of wrenches, sockets, and drivers ought to get the job done. I wouldn't spend $55 on the socket unless you're planning on making a habit of this.

3) Ugh... chainlines. I ordered the $10 spacer set from Luna with my kit (shipping any minute now!), and hope that will address any issues, but I'm building on a single-speed frame and using a 3-speed internal gear hub, so chainline should be a set-and-forget experience.

4) I'm looking at stands, as well. On the cheap, I'd try the https://www.amazon.com/SONGMICS-Repair-Heavy-Duty-Workstation-USBR07B/, as 55lbs should be close. My bike is 30 lbs, plus another 10 for the motor, and 10 - 15 for the battery (guess I'd dismount that during maintenance, mostly). This one's the same capacity at $129, but people seem to like it: https://www.amazon.com/Bikehand-Mechanic-Bicycle-Repair-Stand/dp/B00D9B7OKQ/

5) Wire management is everyone's personal hell, and I will not be involved!

6) I was thinking about this, too. My car engine doesn't shut down when I hit the brakes, and neither does my motorcycle's. Why would I need that, unless it was to keep the motor for continuing to run for a critical second or so while I'm attempting an emergency stop... I'm going to order them after the fact. Ordered the shift sensor, too, as who knows what kind of nincompoops I'll let ride my bike. There are magnetic sensors you can mount to your existing levers that everyone seems to find some way to mount, although some need to be more creative than others. I'll probably end up springing for the replacement mechanical levers.

7) I have a Shimano 4-speed with a half-twist shifter for the selector that I find a bit annoying, but I think a half-twist throttle makes pretty good sense, as you can rest your wrist during long rides by gripping the non-twist part of the grip and just hold the throttle wherever you set it. That said, I ordered the universal as my IGH uses a half-twist, already.

8) IIRC there are multi front chainrings available to fit the BBSHD. Don't know that I'd bother (three gears replicating a 12-18-24 cluster should be fine once 1000w is added to the equation). That said, why have a mid-drive if you're not going to take advantage of your drivetrain?

Welcome to the forums, and enjoy your journey!
 

dunksalot

Member
4) I'm looking at stands, as well. On the cheap, I'd try the https://www.amazon.com/SONGMICS-Repair-Heavy-Duty-Workstation-USBR07B/, as 55lbs should be close. My bike is 30 lbs, plus another 10 for the motor, and 10 - 15 for the battery (guess I'd dismount that during maintenance, mostly). This one's the same capacity at $129, but people seem to like it: https://www.amazon.com/Bikehand-Mechanic-Bicycle-Repair-Stand/dp/B00D9B7OKQ/

I just bought this one off eBay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/383610583769

To be honest the cheap tray was the closer. I'll let you know as it's due this week. I'm thinking of upgrading to hydraulic brakes on my analog bike before I go electric. Looking at Shimano M365 unless anyone has a better recommendation with a legit reason.
 

Clyde

Active Member
I like the description:

" If you are a bike fancier or you opened a bicycle shop, you can't miss this Foldable Adjustable Bike Trainer. This bike trainer is made of high quality iron frame with magnetic wheel, which is sturdy, durable and flexible. It adopts three feet to stand, which is more stable..."

Let us know how it looks!
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
I'm doing my my first ebike build, using (2) old school Jamis MTB's and the Bafang BBSHD kit. I've watched a bunch of videos and googled a bit, hoping to get some final advice before I start.


- I already have high quality conventional hand tools, but NO bike tools. Looks like Luna has the lowest priced "ebike" kit, which gives me most of what I need. I'm guessing at $39, the tools are "Harbor Freight" quality, but hoping I don't have to use them much. Any better kits out there? Or should I just get individual bike tools, since I already have all the regular tools that I need? https://lunacycle.com/luna-cycle-ebike-tool-kit/

- The Bafang kit comes with the standard installation wrench...but one thing I've heard mentioned online (and one instructional video) is that some people have trouble getting the BB bolt tight enough with the supplied Bafang tool. I'm only doing (2) bikes, but is it worth getting the $55 (ouch) Luna socket? https://lunacycle.com/bafang-mid-drive-installation-tool-kit
It's spendy, but I could get a proper grip on the nut and use a torque wrench if necessary.

- Chain Line: Read a lot about using the proper front chain ring (or motor spacers) to get a good chain line with the rear cassette. Assume the chain line target be the middle sprocket of the rear cassette?

- Is there such a thing as an acceptable & cheap bike stand? The YAHEETECH stand ($55 on Walmart and $72 on Amazon) get decent reviews, but I'm sure the weight of an ebilke only magnifies the flimsiness of the stand....Any better suggestions?

- Wire management: Bundle up and zip tie? Or cut to proper length, butt splice, and hear shrink for a clean installation?

- Brake sensors or NO brake sensors? We'll be doing a combo of street, trails, and a tiny bit of technical riding. I grew up on dirt bikes, so Im thinking maybe I don't need the brake cutoffs for myself?....but maybe a desirable safety feature for my wife? I'm assuming the levers that come with the bafang kit are less than stellear...Has anyone had any luck adapting brake sensors to their existing brake levers? (in this case older Deore XT)

- I'm sure it comes down to personal preference, but is there a consensus view on throttles? First guess is left side with "included" Bafang throttle, since the front derailleur shifter can be removed....BUT I grew on on motorcycles, so will be expecting my throttle on the right hand. Any feedback on the half-twist throttles? (My knees are bad, hence the ebike, so I suspect I will use the throttle a lot)

- My kit comes with an CNC front chainring, no chain guard, and I guess I will be removing the front chain derailleur. Any reason to leave the front derailleur in place? For example.....help keep the chain on the ring or act like a "mini chain guard?

Thanks to all...any other advice or first timer tips would be appreciated !
A Shimano BB socket for the secondary lock ring is useful. A simple lock ring wrench and a rubber mallet with some Blue Loctite and never a drop. Just get a stabilizer if you can't use torque settings.
Clean installations and custom wiring are the shiz, but serious time suckers. ALWAYS brake sensors. Legally required in many states and just a good idea. Let the hotdogs eat dirt. Heavy-duty thumb throttles. Twist throttles work on motorcycles but tend to be a nuisance on an ebike. Moving the bike? Forgot to turn it off? Twisted the throttle inadvertently? NICE FRAME SCRATCHES!
Chainguards? I have yet to have one or need one. pant clip if in dress clothes but I've never had an issue.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
When I got into e-biking, I had hundreds of dollars worth of automtive tools. Wouldn't waste my money on the cheap all-in-one kits. Just bought what I needed. For a BBS mid drive, you need a crank puller, chain breaker, and a BB tool specific to your bike.

I sure wouldn't spend $55 on a cheap forged Luna socket.

You're asking for trouble if you cut and dress the Bafang handlebar harness. Only nine wires, but it won't look as good and the splicing adds a point of failure where none existed. Jist get some sprial wrap, not the plastic wire loom, but the cheap looking wrap. It makes a tight wrapped package and you can wrap the brake wirs with the brake cables, etc. Better than zip ties.

I've glued microswitches to my hydraulic brake levers. I could have bought the levers, but I'm not making a show bike. No one is going to look at the bottom of my levers.

Big believer in brake cutoffs. I've seen three cases of run-away throttle on our ebikes, although it only happened on our little bikes. In one case, I only noticed the throttle was stuck because the wattmeter was reading unusually high.
 

cruzer

New Member
A Shimano BB socket for the secondary lock ring is useful. A simple lock ring wrench and a rubber mallet with some Blue Loctite and never a drop. Just get a stabilizer if you can't use torque settings.
Clean installations and custom wiring are the shiz, but serious time suckers. ALWAYS brake sensors. Legally required in many states and just a good idea. Let the hotdogs eat dirt. Heavy-duty thumb throttles. Twist throttles work on motorcycles but tend to be a nuisance on an ebike. Moving the bike? Forgot to turn it off? Twisted the throttle inadvertently? NICE FRAME SCRATCHES!
Chainguards? I have yet to have one or need one. pant clip if in dress clothes but I've never had an issue.

Thanks for the info guys !!

Thomas - After posting, I found a thread online stating the primary Bafang BB nut should be torqued to 60 to 90 ft lbs. (?)
From what I'm reading that will be difficulty with the Bafang wrench that comes with my kit.

Found a slightly lower priced socket here - https://california-ebike.com/shop/bafang-professional-bb-tool-bpt-1
What is you opinion of this socket? I have quality torque wrenches, but it appears that this tool is tightened with a spanner, rather that 1/2" drive? (they opted to put a shaft seal removal tool on the back side)
Screen Shot 2020-07-15 at 8.06.16 AM.png



And if I'm reading your post correctly....your saying if you tighten with the stand Bafang BB wrench, use one of these stabilizer bars?

Bafang-Stabilizer-Bar-BSB-1.png


I've wrenched on things my entire life, except for bikes, so I'm trying to do it right the first time. Seems like I don't want the Bafang BB washer with the locking nubs, rocking over time and chewing up the aluminum bottom bracket housing.

Thanks again!
 
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Clyde

Active Member
The problem with that torque arm is that it causes the motor to hang down from the BB at a weird angle. Might work better flipped and secured to the seat tube.
 

Dr.V

Member
I also did a BBSHD conversion recently (luna kit) and here are some things I did, which were also mentioned by other members' posts:

1. I used the standard luna wrench tool and was able to tighten the respective nuts adequately. They tend to loosen after the first few hundred miles, but I tightened them again after that and they have been OK, so I don't think you'll need the socket. Torx for spoke magnet otherwise allen wrenches and standard tools, and a crank puller, chain breaker, bb removal tool (I didn't get the toolkit) for the bike specific stuff.
2. I removed the front derailleur - ordered the 48 tooth chain ring. Haven't needed a chain guard, but did need the spacer kit to allow the chainring to clear the chainstays (may not need this depending on your bike's geometry).
3. Left side thumb throttle (almost never use it).
4. brake sensors can be added (glued) to your existing brake-levers (there are videos), but I haven't added mine, yet.
5. Added the shift sensor (cutting shift cable housing requires a decent cutting tool!! - I had my LBS cut some to specs for a lot less than it would have cost to buy a decent cable cutter that I would probably not use again).
6. My kit came with Andersons at the motor which is what the battery cradle that I ordered had, so need for me to cut/splice those connections. The rest I zip-tied, etc. I agree that I would not want to be cutting into the other wiring.
7. As for the torque arm, I decided to try the turnbuckle approach as it seemed more elegant than the above torque arm, and that has worked:
https://electricbike.com/forum/foru...s/78741-a-way-to-stabilize-bafang-bbshd-motor
 

Clyde

Active Member
That turnbuckle is very cool. If my battery doesn't end up interfering with the bottle mount I may just try that. Thanks!
 

cruzer

New Member
I like the turnbuckle too! I got my horse in front of the cart.....I have a full suspension bike, so can't consider the torque arm anyways :cool:
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
Found a slightly lower priced socket here - https://california-ebike.com/shop/bafang-professional-bb-tool-bpt-1
What is you opinion of this socket?
I like the products I work to support! The socket needs a large crescent wrench or a 1 5/16 open end. SometimesI use a rubber strap wrench. But mostly I use a Hozan lockring tool and a small rubber mallet with some Blue Loctite (never red!). Doug designed the stabilizer and left it open access. There are many cheap copies these days and the Heavy Duty is best for BBSHD. Making torque setting redundant. A Shimano BB socket is better than the rip off Bafang tools. I had a set, originally they sold the set for under $55 when Lectric Cycles and others were selling them for $135.

Screen Shot 2020-07-16 at 3.24.20 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-07-16 at 3.26.23 PM.png
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
Actually, Luna has one for full suspension bikes, too. I kind of like it better than the other model.


View attachment 59106
Yes they copied both of Doug’s California eBike designs and decided to make thinner duplicates. But like the BBS02 100mm and 120mm conversion kits he left them open source. The version for dual suspension usually needs some bending. I’ve never had a snugly installed BBSxx series motor shift or drop.
 

cruzer

New Member
I like the products I work to support! The socket needs a large crescent wrench or a 1 5/16 open end. SometimesI use a rubber strap wrench. But mostly I use a Hozan lockring tool and a small rubber mallet with some Blue Loctite (never red!). Doug designed the stabilizer and left it open access. There are many cheap copies these days and the Heavy Duty is best for BBSHD. Making torque setting redundant. A Shimano BB socket is better than the rip off Bafang tools. I had a set, originally they sold the set for under $55 when Lectric Cycles and others were selling them for $135.

View attachment 59104View attachment 59105

Thank you Thomas, really appreciate your expertise! If the Hozan lockring tool is working for you, and no stabilizer bracket required (after tightening with that and blue Loctite) that seems like the way to go. As a bonus, the Hozan tool looks like it could be used for the other BB applications.
 

Clyde

Active Member
It's my understanding that the BBSxx drives want to rotate clockwise, toward the downtube, so if you get a nice, tight install close to the downtube, and don't do many jumps that might cause the motor to break away and rotate down, you shouldn't need a torque arm.
 

cruzer

New Member
What are you guys doing for cable management?

- zip ties as neatly as possible?
- wrap with silicon self fusing tape?
- stow in stem bag?

Maybe should ask this in the Bafang section....but does the BBSHD have to be greased upon arrival? (understand the older motors needed additional and different grease than supplied by factory)
 
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