What mods have you done to lighten your Ebike

Greydog

New Member
Region
USA
I have a Yamaha Civante Ebike on order. I am curious as to what upgrades people have done to lighten their Ebikes.

I plan on upgrading the tires to 28c or 32c Pirelli Cinturato Velo TLC tires (very low rolling resistance and excellent puncture resistance for a training tire) which should save about 300gm per tire which should save almost 1.5 pounds. I will be adding a light weight carbon seat post, lighter more comfortable seat, lighter stem and a more narrow range shimano ultegra or 105 cassette. It should save me about 4 pounds getting the bike to about 38-39 pounds. The bike as is, is 43 pounds. It should make the bike more nimble, maybe extend the range a little, it should accelerate a bit faster and be a bit easier on my back loading it onto my bike rack.
 

BarnBoy

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Pleasanton, CA
LMFAO- removed two SLA batteries and replaced them with Li-Ion packs. Saved 4kg and have now gone further on one of the two packs purchased than the previous SLA series solution....
-BB
 

Greydog

New Member
Region
USA
LMFAO- removed two SLA batteries and replaced them with Li-Ion packs. Saved 4kg and have now gone further on one of the two packs purchased than the previous SLA series solution....
-BB
Nice, that EVG bike you have looks sweet. I am just trying to make the bike feel a little more nimble as I am coming from a 23lb bike. I did a test ride on the Specialized Vado SL which is a straight bar Ebike that weighs about 36 pounds and if was fairly nimble, more so than the 44lb Yamaha Cross Core. I ended up buying the Civante drop handle at 43lbs and 28mph. I already have some of the lightweight parts that I will take from my road bike.

Just putting on narrower, lighter weight, faster tires will make a huge difference in handling.
 

Catalyzt

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Maxxis Ikon tubeless tires + some off-brand CF seat for 48 cm Motobecane Ultra eAdventure. Dropped from about 49 pounds to 46 pounds, and yes, it made a big difference, though that's probably mostly due to how the tires roll and because the weight came off the tires. Downhill speeds increased by 1.5 MPH and my usual 850 foot 4.4 mile uphill climb is a minute faster and noticeably less painful, now 19:20, previously 20:20 was the best I could do.

I'm probably not going to go to CF bars or seat post. Anything else I would do starts getting into under-hundred-grams decisions and a lot more money per pound lost. When the front for is shot, I might replace it with something lighter, but I'd really have to spec it out first.

Weights provided are only bathroom-scale accurate, obtained by the extremely empirical method of jumping on and off the scale many times, averaging out different readings I got for myself and myself + bike (the scale has at least .5 pounds of error). Gun to my head, I'd guess it started at 49.3 and went down to about 46.5.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
I just don't think your going to get it to be zippy thats something you're going to lose on most bikes unless you fork out 10k or so.
 

Catalyzt

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I just don't think your going to get it to be zippy thats something you're going to lose on most bikes unless you fork out 10k or so.

...or only within limits. I doubt the OP will feel the bike pulling away from him like a moped.

But I dropped a little over 5% of the weight and it made my climb about 5% faster. I wouldn't call that "zippy," but I'm right on the edge of the power-to-weight limit to begin with. If my Moto were 53, it would be a dog-- and when I carried 4 pounds of extra crap, it was painful.

On the one hand, losing three or pounds on a 42-pound bike like the Civante might make a bigger difference, but OTO, the Civante has got plenty of power to begin with... maybe it'll be like, "Okay, I got to 28 MPH in 2.7 seconds instead of 3, 10% faster, but who cares?"

Will be easier on the stairs, likely to make it more 'nimble,' but balance is a funny part of the equation. I found my 40-pound Trek 930 front hub kit bike-- also underpowered-- to be more unstable at higher speeds, but weirdly, it cornered better with the motor than it did before I added it, so the extra 10 pounds actually HELPED. (That was not only due to the weight distribution, but also to the front wheel drive and the fact that 75% of my riding is on canyon roads.)
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
One of the lightest tire would be Bridgestone Extenza R1S (weighs 145g for 700 x 23c)
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
I have a Yamaha Civante Ebike on order. I am curious as to what upgrades people have done to lighten their Ebikes.

I plan on upgrading the tires to 28c or 32c Pirelli Cinturato Velo TLC tires (very low rolling resistance and excellent puncture resistance for a training tire) which should save about 300gm per tire which should save almost 1.5 pounds. I will be adding a light weight carbon seat post, lighter more comfortable seat, lighter stem and a more narrow range shimano ultegra or 105 cassette. It should save me about 4 pounds getting the bike to about 38-39 pounds. The bike as is, is 43 pounds. It should make the bike more nimble, maybe extend the range a little, it should accelerate a bit faster and be a bit easier on my back loading it onto my bike rack.
Also, you should worry about WHERE you are cutting weights, not HOW MUCH weight you're cutting.

I'm not an engineer, so take this as a grain of salt and if you have further questions, please ask engineers.

When I was a kid, I went to this motorcycle show and this Kawasaki engineer gave us a presentation on weight reduction.
The total weight reduction does not tell you the whole story.

He was giving us examples of what he explained as "moving components", basically, if you are reducing weights from moving components such as crankshaft, cam shaft, sprockets, brake rotors, wheels, chains, etc... that would be far more important than shaving weights from frame.

Here's an example, if you carry a 10 lb backpack (and make sure it doesn't move around and keep it tight to your body), can you still walk and run normally?
Yes you can, you will very likely be able to run and walk normally with 10 lb backpack.

However, what if you carry 10 lb weight on "moving component"? For example, can you run or walk normally by wearing 10 lb shoes?
No, you will have a very difficult time walking / running.

Again, I'm not an engineer, but apparently this is called "Rotational Mass" , "Moment of Inertia", etc. in engineering.

If I remember correctly, adding weight on rims will affect the acceleration by (approximately) 10 times compare to carrying weight normally.
This is exactly why installing wheels that are 5 lbs lighter on motorcycles can have dramatic difference in acceleration.
However, if you shave 5 lbs off motorcycle from fairings, seat, frame, etc.. you won't notice any difference.

In addition, just because it is a moving component, not all moving components will give you the same effect.
For example, what if you cut 30g from tire vs 30g from hub or brake disc?
You will see bigger effect on cutting down weight on tire (or rim for that matter) because of leverage.

Anyways, where you cut down the weight plays a big role.
 

Greydog

New Member
Region
USA
I am not really looking for better acceleration. I care about turning and how the bike handles as well as having to lift the bike as I get older. I am already 62 and plan on riding into my 70's if I can. I bought an Ebike so that I can keep up with my son and other riders who can cruise at 20 mph all day. I don't expect it to handle like my 23lb bike but I felt the difference between the Specialized Vado LS at 36lbs and the 44lb Cross Core and 43lb Civante. I really liked the Vado SL and it's build quality is great but it only has 35N's of torque (vs 70 for the Civiante) and even on its highest setting it really was anemic feeling otherwise I would have bought it. With a few mods you could get that bike down to about 31-32 pounds.

The biggest change will be going to the Pirelli Cinturato Velo TLC 28c or 32c tires which will save at minimum 300 grams per tire and then the weight savings of the smaller tubes. I can use even lighter tires like the Conti 5000's that I use on my road bike but I don't think that they will hold up well to the weight of the bike long term and they have relatively poor puncture resistance compared to the Pirelli's. I always carry an extra tube or 2 on rides but I would rather not have change a rear flat on an Ebike. I should notice the change in tire weight and rolling resistance when I ride in the lowest power settings which will be most of the time.

Other tires that I have considered are the Michelin Pro 4 Endurance which are lighter and a little faster than the Cinturato's but not as much puncture protection.


By the way, even a 3-4 watts difference is noticeable. A few years back I went from Michelin Pro 4's to Conti 4000GT's and there was a difference of about 3-4 watts and the Conti's were way faster. I gained about 1.5mph to 2mph on cruising. The Michelin's were smooth riding though and felt like the tubular tires that I use to ride on my Peugeot PX-10 racer.
 
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fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
good quality wheels make a difference in handling. after I toasted the rim on my bulls bike I got hand built wheels with dt swiss rim and hub and sipam butted spokes. the read madea huge difference in feel and the shimmy I had with one loaded pannier.I just got the front wheel and the handling is quicker. well worth the 650 I paid.
 

Greydog

New Member
Region
USA
good quality wheels make a difference in handling. after I toasted the rim on my bulls bike I got hand built wheels with dt swiss rim and hub and sipam butted spokes. the read madea huge difference in feel and the shimmy I had with one loaded pannier.I just got the front wheel and the handling is quicker. well worth the 650 I paid.

Yes, wheels do make a huge difference. Better wheels are stiffer and lighter. But with wheels it is the whole package-Rims, Spokes, hubs and tires. I upgraded the wheels on a few bikes and it is the best place to upgrade your bike. One of my local bike shops use to sell road bikes that cost thousands and they did not come with wheels. You had the option of picking your wheels and pedals.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
Y
Yes, wheels do make a huge difference. Better wheels are stiffer and lighter. But with wheels it is the whole package-Rims, Spokes, hubs and tires. I upgraded the wheels on a few bikes and it is the best place to upgrade your bike. One of my local bike shops use to sell road bikes that cost thousands and they did not come with wheels. You had the option of picking your wheels and pedals.
Yes but I kept the same tires I commute too much to try ligher tires.
 

troehrkasse

EBR Webmaster
Staff member
Region
USA
City
Fort Collins
He was giving us examples of what he explained as "moving components", basically, if you are reducing weights from moving components such as crankshaft, cam shaft, sprockets, brake rotors, wheels, chains, etc... that would be far more important than shaving weights from frame.

Here's an example, if you carry a 10 lb backpack (and make sure it doesn't move around and keep it tight to your body), can you still walk and run normally?
Yes you can, you will very likely be able to run and walk normally with 10 lb backpack.

However, what if you carry 10 lb weight on "moving component"? For example, can you run or walk normally by wearing 10 lb shoes?
No, you will have a very difficult time walking / running.
I've never thought of it that way before, great analogy! I've always wondered why some heavier bikes somehow feel lighter and more nimble than different ones that are significantly lighter.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
With converted bikes. there are often more opportunities to lose some weight. I have swapped out steel handlebars/stem for alloy. Have also swapped steel suspension forks (rare) for alloy forks. Then again. on other projects, I just pulled those steel handle bars out of my scrap bin and re-used them, so I didn't have to spend 20 bucks on new bars. A pound here or there is just for bragging rights on an ebike.

Meanwhile, saving weight on the wheels makes for better biking, Got rid of some cheap 26" fat tires/tubes and saved about 2 pounds per wheel. I could barley pedal that bike before it was electric. Add a motor and the lighter tires, and it was far easier to pedal.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
My biggest weight savings was on my body. I lost 55 lb pedaling a bike that used to weigh 75 lb. New bike is 94 lb. New bike hasn't pitched me on my chin the way old mtb did 3 times.
I lost 2 lb by finding a rail seat I could sit on without major pain. The previous seat had a 1/2" socket, whereas the bike fits only rails. The rail to socket converter was about 2 lb. This Evo Cruiser 218 seat is a minor pain, still looking. Cloud9 is a socket seat. No, a suspension fork won't fit a yuba seat tube. Neither will other seat columns.
I could lose 4 lb by converting from steel combo wrenches to cupro-beryllium. Only about $350 each for 3 of them IMHO. Would be nice if front & rear axle nuts, and the lock nuts on the front axle, were all the same size. I ordered 3/8"x26 nuts 3 times, got random pieces of hex shaped garbage each time. Finally made them. Same with 14 mm x 1.75 hub motor thread. Had to make the ***-**** lock nuts with a tap, nobody stocked them.
 
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Deacon Blues

Well-Known Member
My Cannondale Topstone Neo Lefty 3 weighs 39 pounds and the only weight saving I've done is I've gone to carbon wheels. I can't say exactly how much weight the carbon wheels saved, because at the same time I replaced the stock 42mm tires with a much better rolling (but at 47mm a bit wider and maybe heavier) tire.
In total, I saved 800g.
Unfortunately, I keep on adding thing to the bike, like a different handlebar, a mirror, lights, fenders, and a seatpost rack and bag.
Have I noticed any difference......nope. The only noticeable change was going from the stock knobby tires to the Specialized Pathfinders, which have a solid strip of rubber down the center. The bike feels MUCH faster.
 
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Greydog

New Member
Region
USA
Those specialized Pathfinder Pro tires are on the Specialized Vado Super light bike and they have a low rolling resistance due to the center tread. The bike uses 38c's. They are a good tire and did not feel like a wide tire when I rode the bike.
 

elliot friedman

Active Member
Went on a diet!
My Felt Sport-e originally weighed ~45lbs, which isn't all that heavy for an E-bike. One reason why chose it.
 
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kmccune

Active Member
My biggest weight savings was on my body. I lost 55 lb pedaling a bike that used to weigh 75 lb. New bike is 94 lb. New bike hasn't pitched me on my chin the way old mtb did 3 times.
I lost 2 lb by finding a rail seat I could sit on without major pain. The previous seat had a 1/2" socket, whereas the bike fits only rails. The rail to socket converter was about 2 lb. This Evo Cruiser 218 seat is a minor pain, still looking. Cloud9 is a socket seat. No, a suspension fork won't fit a yuba seat tube. Neither will other seat columns.
I could lose 4 lb by converting from steel combo wrenches to cupro-beryllium. Only about $350 each for 3 of them IMHO. Would be nice if front & rear axle nuts, and the lock nuts on the front axle, were all the same size. I ordered 3/8"x26 nuts 3 times, got random pieces of hex shaped garbage each time. Finally made them. Same with 14 mm x 1.75 hub motor thread. Had to make the ***-**** lock nuts with a tap, nobody stocked them.
Next time try "Bowman" or "Rockford' fasteners, usually reputable "US steel" and castings are top tier, somebody mentioned Cu-Be alloy wrenches, I wonder if they would be hard enough?( Didn't bother to check hardness).