Advice for a newbie

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
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countelliot   1 µW

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Advice for a newbie

Post by countelliot » Sep 02 2019 11:34pm

Hello all,
I have been frequenting this forum for a couple of months now and am interested in building a bike. I am looking for recommendations on what bike I should buy and what parts. Any advice would be appreciated.

Desired max. speed on level ground: 30mph
Desired max range: 20 miles at 25mph
Preferred bike wheel size, or wheel size of bike you want to convert: I do not have much experience with bikes, but I am 5'9 and 150lbs.
Brake type of motor wheel: I would prefer good brakes.
Rider weight: 150lbs
Terrain: I want a bike that can take me to school (and back), the school is 5 miles away and downhill. I also would like the bike to be able to tear up some trails by my house. The trails go through some hills that can be pretty steep, at most 50% grade.
Budget: My budget is $3200
Thank you all and I look forward to correspondence!

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parajared   10 kW

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Re: Advice for a newbie

Post by parajared » Sep 06 2019 10:03am

Due to their more robust frame downhill and freeride bikes make the best bikes for what you are talking about. You can probably find a used one on Craigslist. You could put a large hub motor on the rear wheel but having single-tracked on both hub and mid-drive I find mid-drive to be better.

Having mounted the batteries to a whole slew of locations I personally find backpack to be the way to go for trail use. I like to use a "pigtail" wire, a wire that coils up sorta like those old telephone cords. I would just toss your battery in your book bag on the way to school.

You are probably looking at a BBSHD for a motor.
https://electricbike-blog.com/2015/11/1 ... k-testing/

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E-HP   1 MW

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Re: Advice for a newbie

Post by E-HP » Sep 06 2019 10:39am

countelliot wrote:
Sep 02 2019 11:34pm
Hello all,
I have been frequenting this forum for a couple of months now and am interested in building a bike. I am looking for recommendations on what bike I should buy and what parts. Any advice would be appreciated.

Desired max. speed on level ground: 30mph
Desired max range: 20 miles at 25mph
Preferred bike wheel size, or wheel size of bike you want to convert: I do not have much experience with bikes, but I am 5'9 and 150lbs.
Brake type of motor wheel: I would prefer good brakes.
Rider weight: 150lbs
Terrain: I want a bike that can take me to school (and back), the school is 5 miles away and downhill. I also would like the bike to be able to tear up some trails by my house. The trails go through some hills that can be pretty steep, at most 50% grade.
Budget: My budget is $3200
Thank you all and I look forward to correspondence!
Your build looked to be straightforward until the two unknown variables with respect to grade for the 5 miles downhill (which I assume means 5 miles uphill on the return), and distance, when it comes to how long the 50% sections are. 10 to 20 yards at 50% isn't an issue, even with no assist, but anything sustained will be a challenge.

So what's the grade on the 5 mile return trip, and what is the longest section of 50% grade offroad, and what's the average offroad grade otherwise?

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MadRhino   100 GW

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Re: Advice for a newbie

Post by MadRhino » Sep 06 2019 11:12am

Riding steep mountain trails and commuting are two very different games. The first does require a pretty expansive bike that is built robust. The second can be cheap yet reliable. A dirt bike can commute on the street, but a street bike will never be a good MTB ride.

Most of us in that situation, are using two bikes. I mean a faster, lower commuter with street tires, and a robust long travel bike for the mountain.
Make it fool-proof, and I will make a better fool.
Current bikes
Street:
Trek Session 10 mod. Variable geometry. 70mph
Dirt:
Santa Cruz V10. 50mph

Grantmac   10 kW

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Re: Advice for a newbie

Post by Grantmac » Sep 06 2019 12:51pm

I commute using my offroad bike. I just swap wheels with a lower geared cassette and smoother tires for the road.
One of the benefits of a mid-drive.

markz   100 GW

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Location: Alberta Canada

Re: Advice for a newbie

Post by markz » Sep 06 2019 2:51pm

Interesting combo with the commuter and trail riding.
Depending on your the gradients, depends on what you get.

https://www.ebikes.ca/tools/trip-simulator.html
Chart Options
Input Type - Google maps
Zoom out, then zoom into your area of the woods, right click starting point, right click ending point, move the route line to where your going.
Close window, its calculated for you.
9C is your generic direct drive motors
MAC is your geared motor
Mid Drives theres a trick with changing the wheel size.


Mid Drive - Cyclone 4000W CycloneTW website
Geared - MAC 1500W EM3EV website
Direct Drive - MXUS 3000W MXUS website, or 1500W Leafbike/Leafmotor Leaf bike website Leaf motor website - I like the cleaner looking website.

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dogman dan   100 GW

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Re: Advice for a newbie

Post by dogman dan » Sep 09 2019 7:32am

You really need to decide if you want a bike, or a motorcycle with pedals. If bike, a reasonable priced used full suspension 26" MTB will do fine. It will handle steep trails, and with a mid drive, climb some steep grades. It may not quite hit your 30 mph, but it will definitely cruise you at 25 mph. Might not get up 50% grade trails, but I bet yours are not 50%, because people just wheelie off the bike at closer to 30%. So a trail that steep tends to be the way down, not up. Usually the trail system will have an easier way up somewhere.

If you want a motorcycle, copy one of Mad Rhinos bikes. And up your budget, the bike alone could cost you 3 thou. Yes, a thou for a fork is worth it, when you ride at that level. At this level, you get hydro disk brakes too.

My advice, build the bike first. Just get a decent MTB, with a tolerable rock shock or whatever on the fork, and put the mid drive on it. It could even have rim rear brakes. Get a 500-800 wh battery that is high quality, high discharge rate cells. That is in your current budget, and will ride nice on the trail, and on the street. Only thing is, if you ride your trail tires on the street, you'll be buying them 3 times a year. Soft rubber on most of those trail tires. And street tires will suck on the trails.

Which leads you to option three.. Build a street bike now, a cheap hub motor kit on a 7 speed beach crusier, with rim brakes. Same good battery. Then with the rest of your budget, about $1500, start looking for a real good deal on that high price mtb. for the motorcycle with pedals that will be next.

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MadRhino   100 GW

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Re: Advice for a newbie

Post by MadRhino » Sep 09 2019 12:28pm

Grantmac wrote:
Sep 06 2019 12:51pm
I commute using my offroad bike. I just swap wheels with a lower geared cassette and smoother tires for the road.
One of the benefits of a mid-drive.
If I was commuting with my dirt bike, I would have to change the wheels twice a day? I sure wouldn’t see any advantage then. My commuter is built for street performance. When I ride the streets with my dirt bike, I am calling it a mule.
Make it fool-proof, and I will make a better fool.
Current bikes
Street:
Trek Session 10 mod. Variable geometry. 70mph
Dirt:
Santa Cruz V10. 50mph

Grantmac   10 kW

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Re: Advice for a newbie

Post by Grantmac » Sep 09 2019 6:04pm

Exactly my point:
With a mid-drive a total dirt to street changeover is like 5 minutes of work.
I don't need massive suspension changes because I'm not trying to control the excessive weight of a hub motor.

Also my total build cost including frame is sitting under $1000usd. Older DH bikes make awesome EV conversions.

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dogman dan   100 GW

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Re: Advice for a newbie

Post by dogman dan » Sep 12 2019 6:25am

That would work on a mid drive. But you'd still have to change suspension settings for serious dirt, even without a hub conversion. Hub motor conversions make two e bikes and one battery the better way to go.

Much depends on the kind of dirt you mean to ride. I like a converted beach cruiser for street, but with the fat and semi knobby tires, it does just fine on a dirt road up to 5% grades. But for tough singletrack, you want a dedicated bike for that.

I also like to mention to newbies, don't convert your favorite bike. I have at least two bikes I don't want motorized, the lightest, sweetest riding ones I own. One for dirt, one for street. All the others can get motors when I want to use them, and all can run on a single battery.

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