Custom built, self made ebike frame project

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Jordan.1
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Custom built, self made ebike frame project

Post by Jordan.1 » Feb 28, 2016 8:36 am

Hello guys,

I'm proud to show you guys what I'm building at the moment, but first af all, I want to introduce myself, cause I'm quite new in here.

My name is Jordan, and I'm a 19 years old from Heidelberg, Germany, studying mechanical engineering. My hobbys are working (cause it is fun mostly :) ), sports (rugby and fitness) anf or couse my girlfriend and, guess what - ebiking. So thats why things cant be done fast at the moment, many many things to do always :/. But nervermind, lets get started:

Around 2 years ago I started to build my first ebike. I already head a really good bike to convert, so i did this. It's a typical geared hubmotor conversion so nothing special, but still capable of 55km/h.
But somehow I found out that I need something better, stronger, bigger.. (why..? idk I dont even need it), so i decided to build something by myself, cause I really enjoyed the idea to ride my selfmade bike :D. I've got to say that in my past, I was always building stuff by myself, cause its way cheaper than buying, so I dont have "two left thumbs" as we would say here in Germany, which means I dont mess up things :D

So somehow I designed this frame to fit my needs, but also possibilities I have here. Remeber I'm 19 years of age, and I'm paying every single bill, so I dont have everything I want in my workshop, but still I'm capable to do many things here. All the tools weren't really more expensive than a good new downhill frame, so why not..?

The main thing that i didnt like in most ebike frames is, that they are somehow particulary long. Thats why I used the contact points of my body and my current bike, cause i really like the position. The rest is a custom geometry designed by myself, cause there are some differences in a slopestyle bike and an high speed big travel bike.

I'm planning to different versions. The one I'm building now, is for a hub motor like a crystalyte 4080 or so. The other one is designed to take a Revolt 160 pro short as a middrive, with 4:1 gearing. As the frame for the revolt motor is the newer one, its not finished yet, still have to design a connection between motor mounts and frame. And, I'm not done with the bottom bracked part of both frames, cause I would need a cnc mill to build some parts as sprockets and mounts.
Im planning to build the mill, when I'm done with the frame builing and testing. I want my frame to be perfect for me first. Of course, the mill is already finished as a CAD model :D
Attachments
Rahmen Gesamt 3.0.JPG
For hub motor
Rahmen Gesamt 3.1.JPG
For middrive
(187.52 KiB) Downloaded 62 times

Jordan.1
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Re: Custom built, self made ebike frame project

Post by Jordan.1 » Feb 28, 2016 9:11 am

NEW UPDATE:

Today, I was in the workshop for a couple hours, and managed to cut nearly all the parts for the frame. Its really important to cut as precise as possible, otherwise welding will be horrible. (And germans like precision :D)
Its always good to have good lights to work with. A 360 degree arm with a super bright light and a magnatic stand is just so perfect for many applications. More than i noticed before even building it :roll:


Then I started to build the heatsink for the headtube welding, otherwise it would distort. Its just as simple as it is: a thick piece of aluminum turned down to loose-fit in the head tube, than a cut, and two cones that will be pressed into the heatshrink by a long screw, so that it will kinda connect to the headtube.

Pics of cutting:
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Pics of turning:
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[/spoiler]

denso
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Re: Custom built, self made ebike frame project

Post by denso » Feb 28, 2016 2:46 pm

Way to go Jordan!
Is that a 1.5" headtube?

Jordan.1
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Re: Custom built, self made ebike frame project

Post by Jordan.1 » Feb 29, 2016 4:32 am

denso wrote:Way to go Jordan!
Is that a 1.5" headtube?
Yes, or well it should be..but a 1.5" headtube has 49.95 mm in diameter (wtf???), something above 50mm would make it soooo easy to build one out of a 60 x 5mm tube, just turn down a bit on the inside. now i have to make a custom headset i guess, or use a center punch to create some craters on a headsets surface to kinda grip in the headtube (already did this, it works)

Jordan.1
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Re: Custom built, self made ebike frame project

Post by Jordan.1 » Feb 29, 2016 1:44 pm

UPDATE 29.02.16

Today is a special day, its 29. February so i have one day more for this year on top :D

I continued a bit (several hours :( ) with the parts for the frame.

First thing today was the heatsink for the seattube. this worked out quite good, better than i thought. Was about the same procedure like the headtube heatsink i made yesterday (and i figured out it wont work like that later..). But as I said, the seattube heatsink is perfect :)

These are the small cones is turned: (why is it so fun to turn cones?!) :D
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And this is the complete assembly:
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Second thing to do today was to mark the intersection with the headtube and top/downtube, therefore i had to line up everything properly first:
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Later on, I made the rear suspension mounts. this was quite hard, because these parts have to be exactly the same, and later, also line up in the exact same position. So my presicion goals were extremely high on this one. First i sketched the outlines of the shape:
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Then, I lined them up properly in the drill:
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After drillig, I cut of the contour with the bandsaw. this was quite hard cause the parts are actually to small to be clamped propperly in the vise, so i had to improvise with some other pieces of aluminum.. didnt came out as bad as i thougt afterwards:
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And these are the finished parts: (the small cylinder was turned to make a press fit in the holes, making it way easier to align things)
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Soooo. now the problems:

The headtube heatsink doesnt work. i think the aluminum tube is just to thick for the force applied by the cones. So tomorrow, I will try smt else.
The cone angle is 30 degrees at the moment, so my goal for tomorrow is to make 60 degree cones. these should put much more pressure into the tube, because they will take less force for driving them in. I was really annoyed when this didnt worked out as expected, cause its just 0.04mm in between headtube and heatsink. But hey, its still 10mm of wall thickness..i was to naive :twisted: :roll: :mrgreen:

Jordan.1
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Re: Custom built, self made ebike frame project

Post by Jordan.1 » Mar 03, 2016 1:22 pm

UPDATE 03.03.2016

I didn't have internet on my PC for two days now, so everything below is the result of more than one day.. hours of work :roll:

The first thing to do, was to finish the heatsink for the headtube. I'm glad that this worked out pretty well, a 60 degree cone angle was way better than 30.
Still I had a problem: the cones where too short to hold them in the jaws and machine them, so i press fitted a round bar into the hole. I was feared this wouldn't work, but well it did.
Now the heatsink works flawless:
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Later on, i decided to make the cutouts for the headtube, which was a hell of work, cause i had to do most of it by hand (with a file) :evil: Lots of shavings here..that aint fun.
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Next step was to cut the headtube reinforcement plates. My local aluminum dealer messed up and gave me 6mm thick material instead of 4mm : :x
So i had to cut an old square tube with 4mm wall thickness (yeaaah recycling) to have some material :D
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Last thing to do today was to align everything for the first time. I was very nervous..(would everything fit up well?)
But just see the result, theres nothing more to say :P afterwards I cleaned all the tubes for the first time.
I'll be welding it in a few days, im still waiting for new tools to make some minor things..
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macribs
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Re: Custom built, self made ebike frame project

Post by macribs » Mar 03, 2016 9:42 pm

Cool that you are making your own frame, will be following your build.

Jordan.1
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Re: Custom built, self made ebike frame project

Post by Jordan.1 » Mar 05, 2016 5:02 am

macribs wrote:Cool that you are making your own frame, will be following your build.
Welcome on board macribs!

UPDATE 05.03.2016

Welding has begun! Today I aligned the downtube first, then tack welded it:
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After that, I aligned the headtube, you can also see the heatsink installed:
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Then welding it, wich did not work out that good, I've got to say.. Somehow the weld puddle was not really clean, but clean enough after I turned up the AC balance more to the positive side than usual. Still, the weld has good penetration. You wanna know how i can tell? Well, I welded the f*** heatsink to the headtube by accident :roll: :D :D :D . But i was lucky, it was just in some smaller points, so i was able to press that thing out. Now im sure that my welds are good :wink:, and the Headtube is still round. I have another idea for a new heatsink or more like smth that actually just prevents from distortion, will post infos when im done..
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Rest of the Downtube welds were no problems. The welding practice did its job. Its all about welding, then checking the penetration, trying to get some aesthetics in there 8)
In the picture below i marked the root of a weld. You can see the outside and inside, trust me, you cant jugde any welds root just by looking at the outside. Always double check if possible!
Of course, im keeping things aligned as much as possible by using "fixtures" haha :mrgreen:
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Last edited by Jordan.1 on Mar 05, 2016 7:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

Punx0r
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Re: Custom built, self made ebike frame project

Post by Punx0r » Mar 05, 2016 7:10 am

Interesting project, thanks for sharing :)

litespeed
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Re: Custom built, self made ebike frame project

Post by litespeed » Mar 05, 2016 10:16 am

Looks excellent!

Tom
I'm married so you know I'm no stranger to pain!

Jordan.1
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Re: Custom built, self made ebike frame project

Post by Jordan.1 » Mar 07, 2016 4:27 am

Welcome @ litespeed and Punx0r!

Update 07.03.2016
Uni starts again for me tomorrow, so things will slow down a bit :cry:

Since my tools still didnt come till now, i decided to continue my design for the bottom bracket area, as theres a small chance to have access to a cnc machine.

Only problem left now is, that i need to customize cranks to fit in the frame (axle is too short).
Anyone know how to do this? I would like to use cranks like shimano hollowtech, cut the axle and place a extra 30mm piece in the middle. Or maybee, you know cranks that have a 24mm bolted axle..?

Below, you can see my ideas on how to make the drive system. Its a double reduction gearing so that i dont need chain tensioners. Its designed to be postmounted if you want to pedal aswell. Or you just take it off and go mx style with footpegs.

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EDIT

Finally my tools arrived. There was also my new 40mm holesaw i was waiting for sooo long in there (7 days :D).
These tools are extremely precise. I'm capable to cut holes with the diameter of 40,01mm, wich is damn good on a small crappy machine, so the fit is nice, i have to press it in by hand. 0.01mm diameter difference :roll:
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Re: Custom built, self made ebike frame project

Post by Leeleeducati » Mar 08, 2016 9:11 pm

Looking great, keep keeping us updated.

macrosloth
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Re: Custom built, self made ebike frame project

Post by macrosloth » Mar 09, 2016 3:55 pm

Thanks for sharing - What brand hole saws? I hate my current ones..

Jordan.1
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Re: Custom built, self made ebike frame project

Post by Jordan.1 » Mar 10, 2016 2:48 pm

macrosloth wrote:Thanks for sharing - What brand hole saws? I hate my current ones..
youre welcome! The brand is called "Karnasch Professional Tools" but i dont know if they are available in your country.

Jordan.1
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Re: Custom built, self made ebike frame project

Post by Jordan.1 » Mar 11, 2016 4:07 pm

UPDATE 11.03.2016

I had a couple of hours today to continue welding, so thats what I did. I had to weld many things at once, otherwise i would get great distortion..
It was not a good day for welding..I dont know why, but i had some problems with oxidation (maybee a small air leakage in my torch?). Some welds look good, others dont. It was really hard, to find any positions for welding, I had to improvise with pieces of wood to rest my arms on them :D
Still, I'm happy that i made everything i wanted to do today. All the welds have good penetration.
Had to weld the seatposttube to the upper tube, then the upper tube to the seattube, then the shockmountings aswell.

these ones are good looking welds:
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and then, others dont look that good if you look closely..
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In the pic above, you can see some marks on the shock mounting plates. They just distorted too much, and i had to hammer them back in position.
Well, my hammering skills arent good :mrgreen: ! I missed the plates, or hit them in the wrong place. Now they look like crap, but have proper aligment.
I tried to capture the distortion:
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Everything looks a bit worse in the pictures.. :wink:
next thing to do is welding the swingarm connection to the seattube, then the bottom bracket stuff..

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Re: Custom built, self made ebike frame project

Post by waynebergman » Mar 16, 2016 11:10 pm

Way to go Jordon! I will be following your build with interest and I hope it goes smooth for you.

Jordan.1
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Re: Custom built, self made ebike frame project

Post by Jordan.1 » Mar 24, 2016 10:57 am

UPDATE 24.02.2016

woah...uni took away all my time.. almost...No time at all to finish the frame quickly :(
somehow I finished the virtual design now, had to modify the bottom bracket area so that i can use standard shimano 83mm wide cranks. i planned to use an exchangeable bottom bracket (its clamped in place).
Now i have to align the pivot points as good as possible.

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Lets hope that i can find more time..im getting nervous :/


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macribs
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Re: Custom built, self made ebike frame project

Post by macribs » Mar 29, 2016 1:17 pm

You keep mentioning headtube heatsink. I've reread and still do not understand what you mean by headtube heatsink.
Could you explain that for me please? And the reason to have heat sink on the headtube. I am lost.

Jordan.1
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Re: Custom built, self made ebike frame project

Post by Jordan.1 » Mar 29, 2016 2:03 pm

macribs wrote:You keep mentioning headtube heatsink. I've reread and still do not understand what you mean by headtube heatsink.
Could you explain that for me please? And the reason to have heat sink on the headtube. I am lost.
Yes, of course. Aluminium has a big thermal expansion coefficient. This can cause problems when welding because round things won't really stay round if you don't weld them like "all around", so heat input will distort the tubes. The heatsink takes away the heat, or spreads it easier so that there's not too much distortion.
I already had a problem once I welded a round tube without any knowledge about this, resulting in an oval shape (diameter difference was more then 5mm..

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waynebergman
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Re: Custom built, self made ebike frame project

Post by waynebergman » Mar 29, 2016 2:23 pm

HI Jordon, you had mentioned you were having problem with oxidation. Is there any chance you have any kind of a breeze at all in your shop or welding area. As you know there are so many variables than can make a weld look funny,bad torch angle, too long of an arc, contaminated tugnsten, dirty rod or dirty stock, bad settings on the machine and on and on it can go. Sometimes just ONE of the many things that that need to be close to perfect can cause you grief. I mention the breeze as this is an easy one to make sure it is not present in you welding area and I am sure you know this, tig needs still air for the argon to shield properly.

Keep her going Jordon you have a great project there. A couple more tips I can give is to think about putting a chamfer on that thin tubing before welding and clean it real well with a SOFT stainless brush........wayne

Jordan.1
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Re: Custom built, self made ebike frame project

Post by Jordan.1 » Mar 30, 2016 12:54 am

waynebergman wrote:HI Jordon, you had mentioned you were having problem with oxidation. Is there any chance you have any kind of a breeze at all in your shop or welding area. As you know there are so many variables than can make a weld look funny,bad torch angle, too long of an arc, contaminated tugnsten, dirty rod or dirty stock, bad settings on the machine and on and on it can go. Sometimes just ONE of the many things that that need to be close to perfect can cause you grief. I mention the breeze as this is an easy one to make sure it is not present in you welding area and I am sure you know this, tig needs still air for the argon to shield properly.

Keep her going Jordon you have a great project there. A couple more tips I can give is to think about putting a chamfer on that thin tubing before welding and clean it real well with a SOFT stainless brush........wayne
I think the biggest Problem is the rough band saw cut causing a big surface for oxidation.. Im welding in the basement so there's no wind

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macribs
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Re: Custom built, self made ebike frame project

Post by macribs » Mar 30, 2016 11:46 am

If your saw was rough maybe you can smoothen the surface with a fine file? Or a dremel tool or something?

Jordan.1
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Re: Custom built, self made ebike frame project

Post by Jordan.1 » Apr 03, 2016 6:39 am

macribs wrote:If your saw was rough maybe you can smoothen the surface with a fine file? Or a dremel tool or something?
Did this, it helped but its lots of work always.. :(

UPDATE 3.4.2016

*small update*

I found some time to do the seattube reaming today.
Image

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Byte
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Re: Custom built, self made ebike frame project

Post by Byte » Apr 05, 2016 2:14 pm

Very nice! Will be following this one

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