DIY Build - Touring eBike - Journal - Beginner

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
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bengee   10 mW

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DIY Build - Touring eBike - Journal - Beginner

Post by bengee » Apr 14 2019 8:21am

Finding this forum has opened my eyes to the wealth of information around e-bikes, but I’m struggling to process it all and decide which route I should go down, so would like some additional hand-holding (metaphorically), whilst I find my feet and get my first bike on the road/track (both).

I officially quit owning a car 2 years ago. Living in London, this was no issue. Public transport is everywhere, and I got myself a Xaomi scooter to help get about. City life wasn’t for me, so I escaped to the West Country and now reside on the Devon/Somerset border. I’m loving the new way of life, but the lack of public transport (a bus every 2 hours) made me think I need a car again. That is, until now (or a week ago).

So I did what I guess a lot of people do. Start looking at stock e-bikes, moved onto conversion kits, then before I knew it I was reading about re-programming controllers! Haha

I’m determined to build my own, preferably keeping it simple for now (modular components with light modifications) whilst I learn the ropes. I don’t weld (yet) and I don’t have a lot of electrical tools/meters etc (yet).

I’ll be using the bike daily, but also plan to take it on camping tours (I’ll consider solar in a later phase).

Daily use will mainly be on A and B roads (60mph limit) with moderate hills. Travelling up to 30 miles a day. I want to take the bike off road, but plan to stick to suitable gravel / hard paths. Due to UK law, the bike needs to look like a normal bike at a glance. Although saying that, who’s to know what’s in my panniers? Haha
EDIT: The bike will be built as a tourer cable of 25mph, but rode a lot slower as will be carrying load.

I'm 30yo, so don't require the bike to do all the work for me, although saying that I'm not particularly fit!

I’d like to keep the total cost under £2,000, but if I can justify it, I can spend up to £3,500ish.

I have an old GT Aggressor 3.0 frame I bought in 2001. It’s sturdy, but I don’t think it will suit my touring needs.

Image

I’m here for your advice – be it on components or my outlook/approach. Keen to learn from you all!

I’m sure you get people like me come along all the time – so if easier – just chuck a load of links at me for recent similar projects/components etc. A lot of the FAQ answers are out of date in terms of component tech.

I’m thinking Bafang Ultramax, suitable battery, touring frame, disc gears, lockable front suspension (no experience of these either, just heard of them), and the rest, including space for panniers. I have built a normal bike before from combining the working parts from two knackered MTBs, so have a lot of the tools I will need and a novice understanding of the nomenclature.

I have a lot more thoughts, but since I don’t know what I’m talking about, I’ll shut up now, so you guys can help me focus on the right thoughts. At the moment feel like I'm currently wading through a muddy swamp in the dark! Any and all help appreciated :)
Last edited by bengee on Apr 16 2019 4:17am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: DIY Build - Touring eBike - Journal - Beginner

Post by bengee » Apr 14 2019 8:24am

FYI - this post will be my journal. Hopefully it will be useful to future new comers with similar ideas!

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Re: DIY Build - Touring eBike - Journal - Beginner

Post by markz » Apr 14 2019 12:23pm

60mph limit you say, on a bicycle frame :shock:
That is absolutely crazy mate! You should be building on a motorcycle frame.
Others go those speeds on a bicycle frame, but you'd need full suspension bicycle and preferably a downhill bike!

London England: A to B with moderate hills and 30 miles per day.
Its subjective, whats moderate to you maybe labeled as easy hills for others.

Is that A to B in stop and go commute on the road, or is it a constant speed on pathways or bike lanes?
How much pedaling do you want to do?
Are you scared of the law with their measly 250W non-sense?


2-3.5k British Pounds is a ton of money mate, thats like $2.6k-4.5k usd and another 1.3x for cdn$ which is more then enough for a beast of an ebike.

I will hold off on any suggestions because most UK'ers are fascinated with 250W systems for some odd reason. :wink:

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Re: DIY Build - Touring eBike - Journal - Beginner

Post by Electric Earth » Apr 14 2019 6:22pm

So you Can go up to 60mph limit, but is that your goal? Do you want to travel at those speeds regularly? I think if a cop sees you ripping along at 60mph, they're gonna figure out pretty quickly that you're not on the legal 250watts. Will the police in your area care?
If you still have a license, what about maybe converting a scooter that can legally operate on those roads? Then you won't have to worry about the goons pulling you over and extorting money from you.
If you prefer the bike route, and wish to go 30mi and up to 60mph, you're gonna need a pretty significant system. ...One which I can't help with at all, and I think the majority probably can't relate to very well. You'll need the experts on this one. That's a lot of power and a Lot of battery. I will say that you want to be looking at nice quality, full suspension frame-sets for that. You might want to check out the thread of suitable full suspension frames. It'll at least get you going in the direction you need. Older models with a large, open frame triangle seem generally preferred.

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Re: DIY Build - Touring eBike - Journal - Beginner

Post by MadRhino » Apr 14 2019 7:32pm

On this bike, you can build 40 mph top speed and you will be fine to ride that speed on the nicest sections of the road. I'd say you will top at 30 most of the time, and that is fine with your expected range.

Your bike will need some upgrades, mostly wheels and brakes. I suggest a rear 5T DD hub around 8 to 10 kg, a 12 mosfet sine wave controller, 72v top quality battery with a capacity between 12 and 16 kw/h. Wider tires, the widest that your frame does clear, and rims accordingly.

Of course there are many ways to beat the egg, so you might have very different recommendations. The way I suggest, is the simple and reliable solution.
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Re: DIY Build - Touring eBike - Journal - Beginner

Post by markz » Apr 14 2019 11:10pm

Most likely he/she got pinched hard, and has to hoof it, but thats hearsay.
"Goons" is putting it lightly to The Fuzz, or the P-word.



ig

Electric Earth wrote:
Apr 14 2019 6:22pm
If you still have a license, what about maybe converting a scooter that can legally operate on those roads? Then you won't have to worry about the goons pulling you over and extorting money from you.

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Re: DIY Build - Touring eBike - Journal - Beginner

Post by wturber » Apr 15 2019 12:01am

bengee wrote:
Apr 14 2019 8:21am

I have an old GT Aggressor 3.0 frame I bought in 2001. It’s sturdy, but I don’t think it will suit my touring needs.
I think that kind of frame can work great for a daily commuter with some ability to carry cargo. In fact, I think my e-bike is very similar. But for more cargo capability and longer touring, I'd look for a longer wheelbase and base the bike on a cargo or longtail of some kind. That will make it easier to build something that will carry more stuff for touring and the longer wheelbase will be more flexible and put your seat more in the middle of the wheels which means a more comfortable ride for long distances.

My shorter wheelbase bike is great for commuting. But as I've been thinking about some long multi-day trips, I've come to the conclusion that a longer wheelbase might be better if I don't want to also pull a trailer. That longer wheelbase can be less optimal for commuting, but that depends a LOT on where you need to park the bike. Do a search on longtail or cargo bikes to get some ideas on that. Also, if you start with a steel frame and are handy with a welder, you can convert a standard bike to a long tail. There are at least two general approaches.

BTW, if I understood your original post, you aren't looking to go 60mph but simply mentioned those road speeds in order to describe the character of the roads you'd be travelling. Is that correct?
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8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
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Re: DIY Build - Touring eBike - Journal - Beginner

Post by Chalo » Apr 15 2019 12:30am

That GT bike looks like it could work, of you swap the fork for a rigid one that has rack bosses on it.

The Bafang Ultra doesn't fit in a normal bike frame; it requires one that has a special proprietary cradle instead of a normal bottom bracket shell. The next closest thing to fit a regular bike would be a Bafang BBSHD.
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Re: DIY Build - Touring eBike - Journal - Beginner

Post by dogman dan » Apr 15 2019 6:29am

Hmm, lots to discuss.

First of all, I didn't think he wants to go 60 mph, but the cars on the road will. Mainly, that just means he will need a generous shoulder to ride on, or he'll get hit, or at least nicked by truck mirrors.

Which brings me right to what I often say right off the bat. Get a real motorcycle. Like a 125cc scooter that can at least get in the lane and do 50. ( the speedo will say 65 :roll: ) Or better still, a larger scoot. That is of course, harder to do on his budget, but in the used market, he should be able to find a used 125, eventually.

But if the bike lane is wide, or there are other routes, that GT is an excellent start for an e commuter. I think its steel, which opens up options like attaching disc brake mounts, or bob trailer hitch. If you want to hide the motor, get a rear, geared, hubmotor. I would go with a Mac, or similar 500w rated motor. This is not the 6 pound motor, but the one that weighs about 9 or 10 without spokes and rim. It can run on 36v for initial economy, but later, it could be bumped to 48 v. Get a very sturdy rear rack, and panniers, and the motor will be completely hid.


Nothing though, hides you ride 25 + mph all the time. :P But the key thing everywhere is cops do tend to ignore somebody who stops at stop signs, rides on the correct side of the road, doesn't scare walkers on sidewalks, etc. A holes they stop and ticket. At 30 years, hopefully you outgrew some of that hooligan by now.

This same setup will take you touring, but most likely you will need a trailer if you tour with camping gear. For day rides, or rides to a place to sleep, two big panniers will do er.

30 miles a day. That's about 1000watt hours if you ride about 18-20 mph, much more if you ride full speed, say 25 mph and up. That's a 48v 20 ah. But if you can ride 15 miles, charge at work, then 15 back, then a 36v 20 ah pack, or a 48v 15 ah pack will be the perfect size. 750 wh.

Later on, if you wish to really get into touring, then a long cargo bike is what you need. With welding, the GT can become one. At that point, a mid drive might be best, as well as accepting a much slower ride on tours. Slow so that the same battery that takes you 40 miles at 25 mph, will take you 80 miles at 12-15 mph. Fast charge is an option, but only with batteries that can take a fast charge. There are some epic threads in the forum from the longest tours forum members have taken.


With no particular legal issues involed, in north america, touring can be done different. Big powerful motor, and 30 mph or faster is possible. But in EU, a 750 w mid drive configured legal for a "speed ebike" might be your best bet.


But for now,, I still say get a rear hub motor, able to haul a rear pannier load of gear, and try to tour to a hotel, persons house, or whatever. Weekend stuff, ride, stay one night, ride home.

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Re: DIY Build - Touring eBike - Journal - Beginner

Post by bengee » Apr 16 2019 4:14am

WOW thanks for the overwhelming response! A lot to digest. I've only just read through them all. :bigthumb:

Thanks for the life ring. :D

To clear a few things up:
1. The 60mph was describing the roads "character"
2. I met a guy on a walk yesterday living in an elaborate shack on the edge of a forest. I was being nosey and we got talking. He happens to weld steel. I agreed to help him with the online side of his business, and he'd help me with my bike. So random, but such brilliantly perfect timing!
3. I have a driving licence - but I don't want to stick to roads.
4. I'm 100% going down the tourer route. I don't know why I said commute. I don't plan on working a normal job ever again!
5. I want it capable of doing LAJOG (Lands End - John O'Groats) with my dog when the off-road route opens in 2020. I don't really care how long it takes me. It's 900 miles, and I could take a month to do it.
6. Laws don't worry me. The bike needs to look like a bicycle and not be too heavy to push "easily" (I'm 6ft and 14 stone). I.e. doesn't look like its registration plates are missing and I've run out of fuel when I'm pushing it.


To research;
1. buy a tour frame vs convert existing GT
2. how to carry my dog
3. mid-drive vs rear motor - or both? :?:
4. fast charge batteries
5. very comfortable seats
6. suspension on tourers, yay or nay. Seat suspension (?)


Please keep sharing your thoughts! They really help me focus my research :mrgreen:

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Re: DIY Build - Touring eBike - Journal - Beginner

Post by bengee » Apr 16 2019 4:25am

dogman dan wrote:
Apr 15 2019 6:29am
Hmm, lots to discuss.

First of all, I didn't think he wants to go 60 mph, but the cars on the road will. Mainly, that just means he will need a generous shoulder to ride on, or he'll get hit, or at least nicked by truck mirrors.

Which brings me right to what I often say right off the bat. Get a real motorcycle. Like a 125cc scooter that can at least get in the lane and do 50. ( the speedo will say 65 :roll: ) Or better still, a larger scoot. That is of course, harder to do on his budget, but in the used market, he should be able to find a used 125, eventually.

But if the bike lane is wide, or there are other routes, that GT is an excellent start for an e commuter. I think its steel, which opens up options like attaching disc brake mounts, or bob trailer hitch. If you want to hide the motor, get a rear, geared, hubmotor. I would go with a Mac, or similar 500w rated motor. This is not the 6 pound motor, but the one that weighs about 9 or 10 without spokes and rim. It can run on 36v for initial economy, but later, it could be bumped to 48 v. Get a very sturdy rear rack, and panniers, and the motor will be completely hid.


Nothing though, hides you ride 25 + mph all the time. :P But the key thing everywhere is cops do tend to ignore somebody who stops at stop signs, rides on the correct side of the road, doesn't scare walkers on sidewalks, etc. A holes they stop and ticket. At 30 years, hopefully you outgrew some of that hooligan by now.

This same setup will take you touring, but most likely you will need a trailer if you tour with camping gear. For day rides, or rides to a place to sleep, two big panniers will do er.

30 miles a day. That's about 1000watt hours if you ride about 18-20 mph, much more if you ride full speed, say 25 mph and up. That's a 48v 20 ah. But if you can ride 15 miles, charge at work, then 15 back, then a 36v 20 ah pack, or a 48v 15 ah pack will be the perfect size. 750 wh.

Later on, if you wish to really get into touring, then a long cargo bike is what you need. With welding, the GT can become one. At that point, a mid drive might be best, as well as accepting a much slower ride on tours. Slow so that the same battery that takes you 40 miles at 25 mph, will take you 80 miles at 12-15 mph. Fast charge is an option, but only with batteries that can take a fast charge. There are some epic threads in the forum from the longest tours forum members have taken.


With no particular legal issues involed, in north america, touring can be done different. Big powerful motor, and 30 mph or faster is possible. But in EU, a 750 w mid drive configured legal for a "speed ebike" might be your best bet.


But for now,, I still say get a rear hub motor, able to haul a rear pannier load of gear, and try to tour to a hotel, persons house, or whatever. Weekend stuff, ride, stay one night, ride home.
So much to digest here! Thanks man. I'm currently looking at your psuedo extracycle project. I could start with something similar for the GT.

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Re: DIY Build - Touring eBike - Journal - Beginner

Post by bengee » Apr 16 2019 4:28am

Chalo wrote:
Apr 15 2019 12:30am
That GT bike looks like it could work, of you swap the fork for a rigid one that has rack bosses on it.

The Bafang Ultra doesn't fit in a normal bike frame; it requires one that has a special proprietary cradle instead of a normal bottom bracket shell. The next closest thing to fit a regular bike would be a Bafang BBSHD.
I'm going to make start with the GT.

Ah OK - glad I didn't just buy it! Those frame look horrible. I think the BBSHD looks suited to my purpose. I need to look into BBSHD vs rear-hub to decide which bests suits me.

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Re: DIY Build - Touring eBike - Journal - Beginner

Post by bengee » Apr 16 2019 4:33am

wturber wrote:
Apr 15 2019 12:01am
bengee wrote:
Apr 14 2019 8:21am

I have an old GT Aggressor 3.0 frame I bought in 2001. It’s sturdy, but I don’t think it will suit my touring needs.
I think that kind of frame can work great for a daily commuter with some ability to carry cargo. In fact, I think my e-bike is very similar. But for more cargo capability and longer touring, I'd look for a longer wheelbase and base the bike on a cargo or longtail of some kind. That will make it easier to build something that will carry more stuff for touring and the longer wheelbase will be more flexible and put your seat more in the middle of the wheels which means a more comfortable ride for long distances.

My shorter wheelbase bike is great for commuting. But as I've been thinking about some long multi-day trips, I've come to the conclusion that a longer wheelbase might be better if I don't want to also pull a trailer. That longer wheelbase can be less optimal for commuting, but that depends a LOT on where you need to park the bike. Do a search on longtail or cargo bikes to get some ideas on that. Also, if you start with a steel frame and are handy with a welder, you can convert a standard bike to a long tail. There are at least two general approaches.

BTW, if I understood your original post, you aren't looking to go 60mph but simply mentioned those road speeds in order to describe the character of the roads you'd be travelling. Is that correct?
Thanks for the pointers. I'm looking at your project now. Very inspirational. I'm looking at extending the frame of my GT - or buying. Not yet decided.

I want my bike to do everything but I'm coming to term with the fact I need to compromise somewhere. Why does compromising never get any easier haha :roll:

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Re: DIY Build - Touring eBike - Journal - Beginner

Post by bengee » Apr 16 2019 4:34am

markz wrote:
Apr 14 2019 11:10pm
Most likely he/she got pinched hard, and has to hoof it, but thats hearsay.
"Goons" is putting it lightly to The Fuzz, or the P-word.



ig

Electric Earth wrote:
Apr 14 2019 6:22pm
If you still have a license, what about maybe converting a scooter that can legally operate on those roads? Then you won't have to worry about the goons pulling you over and extorting money from you.
:wink:

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Re: DIY Build - Touring eBike - Journal - Beginner

Post by bengee » Apr 16 2019 4:37am

markz wrote:
Apr 14 2019 12:23pm
60mph limit you say, on a bicycle frame :shock:
That is absolutely crazy mate! You should be building on a motorcycle frame.
Others go those speeds on a bicycle frame, but you'd need full suspension bicycle and preferably a downhill bike!

London England: A to B with moderate hills and 30 miles per day.
Its subjective, whats moderate to you maybe labeled as easy hills for others.

Is that A to B in stop and go commute on the road, or is it a constant speed on pathways or bike lanes?
How much pedaling do you want to do?
Are you scared of the law with their measly 250W non-sense?


2-3.5k British Pounds is a ton of money mate, thats like $2.6k-4.5k usd and another 1.3x for cdn$ which is more then enough for a beast of an ebike.

I will hold off on any suggestions because most UK'ers are fascinated with 250W systems for some odd reason. :wink:
Thanks mate.

Sorry I wasn't clear - 60mph is how fast the cars can go. I don't want to be plodding along at 10mph, is what I meant.

Not scared of law. I just can't have it looking like a motorbike without reg plates is what I'm getting at. In the UK i'll get pinched in a moment. If it looks like a bike however, they won't bat an eyelid unless you're being an idiot.

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Re: DIY Build - Touring eBike - Journal - Beginner

Post by markz » Apr 16 2019 12:44pm

Hiding the hub motor, controller and battery is very easy. Stay away from Mid-Drive then if you want your e-ride to look like a bicycle. I think what you need is a big motor with lots of mass, like the MXUS 3000W because it sheds heat very well! The diameter of the motor itself, is no different then a 1000W, its just that the MXUS 3kw is wider and heavier, which is what you want to shed heat. You could get the Leafbike 1500W and add Ferro-Fluid. For stealth, I wouldn't add no alum heat sinks between the flanges as that would make it appear that something is up.

Motor Choice
#1 MXUS 3000W
#2 Leafbike 1500W - https://www.leafbike.com/

As for winding choice, I'd say 4T so you can pump a lot of amperes into the motor, and use a good quality 24" bicycle rim or a 19" motorcycle rim with moto tire (tire shouldnt look too off from a bicycle tire) 19" moto rim equates to 24" bicycle rim diameter. This gives you a quicker take off, lower speed, but the 4T gives you more rpm/v. 5T motor winding is another solid choice, and I would not pick anything 6T or more. I have only been able to find 19" in 1.60 wide, but there are others that are narrower, like 1.40 and 1.20. This website is great....
https://www.treatland.tv/new-puch-peuge ... s-s/88.htm

Next up is the controller, the Grintech Phaserunner controller is small, compact and powerful! But its expensive at $380CDN - https://www.ebikes.ca/shop/electric-bic ... llers.html
Be sure the controller matches the color of the bike, because it will need to have airflow.

Battery should be hidden in the pannier bags, and the pannier bags should be large enough to cover the hub. For added measure, I would also add the largest disc brake rotor to the rear, along with the largest plastic spoke protector behind the freewheel. Be sure the frame, motor match in color for ultimate stealth.

Have no display! Have an obvious bell, have obvious front, rear and wheel reflectors. Have everything (bike, motor, controller, rear rack) black. I would have the saddle bags a slightly different color, enough for people to see the wrinkles of the bag. I would even go so far as to get custom pannier bags done up at any alterations store nearby, so you can have the bags fully cover the hub.

bengee wrote:
Apr 16 2019 4:37am
Thanks mate.

Sorry I wasn't clear - 60mph is how fast the cars can go. I don't want to be plodding along at 10mph, is what I meant.

Not scared of law. I just can't have it looking like a motorbike without reg plates is what I'm getting at. In the UK i'll get pinched in a moment. If it looks like a bike however, they won't bat an eyelid unless you're being an idiot.

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Re: DIY Build - Touring eBike - Journal - Beginner

Post by wturber » Apr 16 2019 1:07pm

bengee wrote:
Apr 16 2019 4:33am

Thanks for the pointers. I'm looking at your project now. Very inspirational. I'm looking at extending the frame of my GT - or buying. Not yet decided.

I want my bike to do everything but I'm coming to term with the fact I need to compromise somewhere. Why does compromising never get any easier haha :roll:
My build is pretty ordinary. But it works and is reliable. Important factors for going long distances.

If you want it to do it all, maybe this would be worth looking at. Maybe your welder friend can cobble something like this together. :^)

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/17 ... ible-ebike
"Commuter - DC Booster"
Iron Horse 3.0 hardtail - 48V / 1000W / 470rpm generic Chinese DD Hub motor (ebay)
8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90369

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Re: DIY Build - Touring eBike - Journal - Beginner

Post by E-HP » Apr 16 2019 3:53pm

bengee wrote:
Apr 16 2019 4:28am
I'm going to make start with the GT.
Personally, I would start with a frame that already has disc brake mounts. I'm pretty sure that GT only had a few models with disc mounts in 2001, mostly on their high end bikes. I guess if your friend welds aluminum, they could be added, but there are so many donor bikes out there, why start with something you need to modify for your first project?

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Re: DIY Build - Touring eBike - Journal - Beginner

Post by markz » Apr 16 2019 6:43pm

That's all that matter's in the end, is to have a hassle free ride after everything is setup. Not skimpy on key components, including the charger and battery is a must!

One thing I noticed on my journey today, is no real stores sell quill stems anymore, old tech gone with the wind. Sure they can order it in, in the end I found the end piece that binds, there were actually two in the old fork. Which brings me to another thing to keep in mind if someone wants to ride long distances, what would stores have in stock ready to purchase. Would they have that 27.5x4.0 tire or tubes for that matter. Everytime I went into a Canadian Tire, or American equivelant would be say maybe Cabela's, they've had 26x1.90 or 26x2.00 tires and tubes! Something to keep in mind when riding long distances. Even them tapered forks would be a mission, whether bearings or fork itself. Lots rave about tubeless for puncture proof, others say it can be much of a hassle if things go wrong. Give and take, always some sort of give and take.

wturber wrote:
Apr 16 2019 1:07pm
My build is pretty ordinary. But it works and is reliable. Important factors for going long distances.

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Re: DIY Build - Touring eBike - Journal - Beginner

Post by markz » Apr 16 2019 6:47pm

Another thing to note, especially when your considering taking your bike onto a bus with a bike rack, is that the bike racks have a limit to what wheel base will fit.

This bike, will never fit on a bus bike rack
https://emkcycles.co.uk/wp-content/uplo ... r-bike.jpg
^Nor would it be sufficiently small to be boxed up and transported by airplane.

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Re: DIY Build - Touring eBike - Journal - Beginner

Post by Electric Earth » Apr 17 2019 4:55am

If you're gonna use the GT and build it up, I would really recommend getting a new fork with disk mounts, and a hydraulic disk front brake. I haven't been ebiking too long, but have been biking my entire life. I have a handful of other bikes. My ebike is the one I would consider disk brakes basically a necessity for. Can you ride carefully all of the time and be fine with v-brakes? For sure. But you don't want to ride carefully all of the time. You want to casually cruise along at a higher speed than regular bikes go, with much more weight than regular bikes weigh, and be able to stop quickly and safely. Even a cheaper modern fork will outperform that older one on your GT anyway. Personally, I'd spend enough to get something half way decent. A smooth travel, stiff fork will give the bike a smooth, stable ride. And nothing beats the effortless and consistent lever pull of a decent hydraulic disk brake on a fast, heavy ebike.

My bike conversion is using a late 90s Trek 930 that originally had a "top of the line" v-brake suspension fork from Rock Shox. I rode that fork for a little bit when I first did my conversion. Then I scored a used, but Much nicer modern Fox fork for cheap on craigslist for $75. Then a set of disk brakes from craigslist for another $35. That upgrade probably made the biggest difference of anything I've ever done to a bike, having been working on them as a hobby for over a decade now.

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dogman dan   100 GW

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Re: DIY Build - Touring eBike - Journal - Beginner

Post by dogman dan » Apr 18 2019 9:22am

Lengthen the GT. That will make it a much better touring bike. see the threads in my signature for examples. Its quite possible to take a junk bike, and weld a bolt on attachment, similar to those you used to be able to buy. Then it could move from bike to bike, as you upgrade the bike.

But easier actually, to just weld onto the gt, making it about 8-10 inches longer. disc mount is part of the job. Then it can carry a lot more, in larger panniers, and longer rear deck. Weld on mounts for a bob tail type trailer too while he's at it. Not hard to do really. I weld extremely poorly, and I did it.

Yes, when you do upgrade the fork eventually, disk mount. Wait till you can scrounge a disc wheel for it though.


What you want one way or the other for touring, is something more or less like this. Really strong motor, 2000w is ideal, but less can do er for you, since you are not like me, in the rocky mountains with the really long hills.

But best for sure for the loads, without going to 2000w, would be a mid drive. Just on a long bike, with trailer.
Long cruiser with trailer.JPG

Riding slow, you can hit 25 watt hours per mile average, getting a decent length of ride from 1000wh, 48v 20 ah battery. But at any speed at all loaded like that, all that wind resistance, 40-50 wh/mi.


Trailering at low speeds works better than piling it all on a rear rack. My first toruing setup had its virtures, but it was a bear to ride when fully loaded with camping gear. In the desert, I also had to load on 3 gallons of water.
P2130006.JPG

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E-HP   100 kW

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Re: DIY Build - Touring eBike - Journal - Beginner

Post by E-HP » Apr 18 2019 9:43am

dogman dan wrote:
Apr 18 2019 9:22am

My first toruing setup had its virtures, but it was a bear to ride when fully loaded with camping gear. In the desert, I also had to load on 3 gallons of water. P2130006.JPG

How hard is it to fix a flat on a rig like that? Makes me feel like a whiner now if I complain about fixing one on my bike.

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SamRich   100 W

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Re: DIY Build - Touring eBike - Journal - Beginner

Post by SamRich » Apr 18 2019 12:12pm

Sounds like a great project.

Here are my recommendations (stuff I wish someone would have told me 5 years ago when I started)

MOTOR

I have quit a bit of experience in touring and building a wide range of bikes ranging from low power geared hub motors, direct hub motors and mid-drives. If you are out on the road away from home and repair shops (do ebike repair shops even exist?) you want reliability and longevity...and that basically means a direct drive hub motor.

For 25mph I'd recommend a 35mm wide motor often called the leaf motor. 30mm motor might do if your terrain isn't too hilly - I've used one on a 100lbs cargo bike and it ran fine, but did eventually upgrade to a 35mm motor. Going bigger i.e., 45mm (ie., MXUS) or 50-55mm(QS 205) is just extra weight (many lbs) that you don't need.

RIMS

Lacing up the rear to moped rims would better way to "spend" that weight and a nice way to pretty much ensure flat proof riding. The rear wheel on a ebike tire wears out much faster than on a normal bike. I found that one of my biggest cost when commuting was tire cost. Moped tires are about the same cost as normal tires but will last 5-10X longer. Check out Ncycle on aliexpress, I custom ordered a 21" moped tire to a 35mm motor. The diameter is comparable to a 26" MTB tire - just double check the clearance - most MTB frame will take 2"-2.5" tires

CONTROLLER
Doesn't have to be fancy, but get a sinewave one. 30A should be sufficient. I love these on my mid-power bikes - cheap efficient and easy to install - has regen 3 speed etc... https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Electri ... 46052.html

BATTERY
The most important part of your build! I'd recommend 52-72V. 72V if you want to hit 40mph and 52V if 30 mph is good enough. Spend as much money as you can on this. Buy from a reputable seller. I build my own now so can't really recommend any seller....just make sure it is a big as you can fit on your bike. One thing that I would recommend is getting a battery with bluetooth BMS. It's a huge game changer when it comes to trouble shooting and customizing charging profiles - such as balance only to 4.1V to increase cycle life. ANT-BMS is currently the best option IMO right now. You might be able to buy a off the self battery and replace the BMS with an ANT BMS (not a novice thing to do but pretty straight foward). Those BMS come with optional display that tell you how much energy you have left and estimated range based on current speed - how cool is that!
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/8S-to-2 ... 35751.html


CHARGER
Try to get at least 5A if not 10A (make sure the battey can handle it). If you are on the road you'll like to be able to top off quickly during stops.


FRAME
As other have suggested, get a steel frame with disc mount. Front suspension is almost necessary - get a decent AIR one.
As a compromise to dual- suspension - you can get a decent seatpost with suspension like the thudbuster.

BRAKES
I'd recommend hydraulics like the Magura MT5e but BB7s will do the trick - just make sure you have ebrake cutoffs (for safety and added braking power via regen)

MISC
Full fenders, lights (dynamo or powered of your main battery - avoid AA powered ones) are essential.

Good luck.

PS here are two recent builds for reference and perhaps inspiration.

Built on Radwagon frame, has 35mm hub with 21" moped rim, 50A controller and 52V battery with ANT-BMS
Image

Built on Nashbar frame, has 35mm hub 42A controller and 72V battery with ANT-BMS

Image

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Chalo   100 GW

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Re: DIY Build - Touring eBike - Journal - Beginner

Post by Chalo » Apr 20 2019 4:18am

SamRich wrote:
Apr 18 2019 12:12pm
Moped tires are about the same cost as normal tires but will last 5-10X longer.
And all that time, they'll waste as much juice and range as if you used bicycle tires and dragged a pig heavy moto tire behind you on a rope. Not worth it.
This is to express my gratitude to Justin of Grin Technologies for his extraordinary measures to save this forum for the benefit of all.

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