Currently have a chinese ebike, and after a year, have decided to do my 1st electric conversion build! Woo hoo!
After scouring numerous online resources for a few months, would appreciate some current advice from those of you "in the know" to help me from making silly choices? Is that ok to ask here? Ebikes are fast growing & moving, and unfortunately that means there is also a lot of outdated info out there; I don't think i need to learn the hard way! haha
Myself, am technically inclined, within a diverse array of disciplines, but don't have a machine shop at the moment, so prefer something I can put together with common tools on a Saturday (as cool as those months-long DIY projects are, prefer to be up and running sooner!)
Here are my build parameters:
- will be riding 99% in urban areas; live in a flat hot place in the US.
- desire good-to-great speed; i know the law
- desire good distance; +25miles at very least.
- desire having some sort of regen system, where i can just peddle and recharge the battery.
- need some space somewhere for pannier / basket / rack; will do most of my shopping with this.
- form & function are both important; so likely won't see any duct tape or garish wire ties, etc.
- prefer modern & well-designed parts whenever possible (mac user here); the Cycle Analyst is very cool functionality wise, but visually is painful with that outdated dot matrix screen! (still will get one tho! haha)
- have some money to spend; would rather spend $2k and build a superior machine than buying a pre-built for the same price. To say, don't mind to pay for quality goods, but prefer to not get my pants pulled down on prices, ahem.
- am 6' 175lbs so taller bike / bigger wheels is preferred (if it helps!)
- Recommend off-hand some quality bike brands / models to use as a base? A light, but strong frame & prefer something sleek / unique that speaks to the future, but without a hefty price tag (prefer to spend the $$ on quality conversion parts!). Being able to route wiring in the frame is a big plus!
- Which motor would you recommend? Are eZee kits worth the price (seem underpowered). Thought maybe get eZee or Bionx; good idea? Or 9C, BMC, Crystalyte? See some geared motors at 350W but shouldn't i go with at least 500W given i desire speed? Also, prefer front motor, so i can later upgrade to a nice Rohloff!
- Battery am thinking 48v min. (for the extra push) or maybe 60v? (saw these on ebay) why so little talk of using 60v? (no motors available?) Also why do most use @10ah and so few use superior 20ah (is it the cost alone or other reasons?). Thinking LIFePo4 or LIPO (which is preferred in my case?)
- Any other "latest best-practices" tips or add-ons to consider? Will be getting a Cycle Analyst (is there an iPhone app yet? ) Are torque arms supported / needed for front mounted motors? Etc.
UPDATE1: Narrowing some of this down from everyone's excellent contributions!
Have decided to go with a Cruiser base if i can find a strong one (they look cool to me haha), rear DD motor + disc brake + torque arm + CA, likely Lyen's 12FET controller, and still undecided on LiFePo4, Lipo, or the A123s (conflicting info), and balloons + seat-suspension due to lack of FS on Cruiser.