Should I upgrade my components for my bafang conversion?

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ho3ein   10 mW

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Should I upgrade my components for my bafang conversion?

Post by ho3ein » Mar 14 2018 7:33pm

Hi, I'm about to convert my trek x-caliber 7 2015 mountain bike into electric with a Bafang BBSHD conversion kit and I need some advice regarding my bikes component.

Parts list can be found here: https://www.evanscycles.com/en-ca/trek- ... e-EV215509

I was wondering if I need to upgrade my bike at all, I bought this bike used in decent shape for $550 CAD and I am planning to use it as my commuter during the week and some offroad on the weekend ( I'm not planning to do anything extreme like jumps etc )

The bike comes with ok components, I'm not very excited about the wheels tho, I have come across this wheelset http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/ca/e ... prod162556 but it seems a little too expensive considering that my bike itself costs that much after shipping and taxes.

however I feel like considering the discount on the wheels, it would make a huge difference in my ride, or would it ? is upgrading my wheels necessary ?

also upgrading the wheels means that I need to upgrade my brakes to something like this: http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/ca/e ... prod141819


I am planning to ride this bike everywhere that I can and I would like to ride comfortably without having to worry about components failure at least for a year.

What are your thoughts, should I upgrade anything on my bike at all? or should I sell my bike and see if I can find anything under $1500 CAD.


Any suggestion is appreciated,

Thank you!

2old   10 kW

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Re: Should I upgrade my components for my bafang conversion?

Post by 2old » Mar 14 2018 8:45pm

Several considerations:
1) The DT wheels have rear spacing of 142mm; I couldn't find that spec for your bike, but check first. In any event, for an e-bike the Trek wheels are fine.
2) The Shimano hydraulic brakes are superb IMO.
If I were you, I would complete the conversion first, then decide whether you need to replace any parts. A more important consideration might be whether you should procure a Lekkie (or equivalent) chainring since the stock Bafang ones are enormous hunks of soft steel.

ho3ein   10 mW

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Re: Should I upgrade my components for my bafang conversion?

Post by ho3ein » Mar 14 2018 11:29pm

2old wrote:
Mar 14 2018 8:45pm
Several considerations:
1) The DT wheels have rear spacing of 142mm; I couldn't find that spec for your bike, but check first. In any event, for an e-bike the Trek wheels are fine.
2) The Shimano hydraulic brakes are superb IMO.
If I were you, I would complete the conversion first, then decide whether you need to replace any parts. A more important consideration might be whether you should procure a Lekkie (or equivalent) chainring since the stock Bafang ones are enormous hunks of soft steel.
1) Correct, however DT has a conversion kit to convert them into QR 135mm.
2) Okay, I will be considering the brakes for sure. I guess that kind of makes sense, I was worried that the deal on the wheels would end by the time I get everything working. I am actually getting a Lekkie chainring but I am debating whether I should get the 36T Or 42T since I live in Vancouver and there are a lot of hills.

Raisedeyebrows   1 kW

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Re: Should I upgrade my components for my bafang conversion?

Post by Raisedeyebrows » Mar 14 2018 11:56pm

What type of bottom bracket does your bike have? Will a BBSHD kit work in it?
Yuba Mundo w/BBSHD
Specialized Hard Rock w/9c clone, statoraid, hubsink
Trek Fuel 90 w/BBSHD
Above all run on 14s4p 52v li-ion
Ecobike folder 36v
Currie Flyer scooter 24v on 24ah of SLA

Every trip made with electric bike is one less car trip, saves money, no toxic fumes, less noise, less impact on roads.

dustNbone   10 kW

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Re: Should I upgrade my components for my bafang conversion?

Post by dustNbone » Mar 15 2018 7:20am

If you're not for some reason concerned about the weight, I wouldn't worry too much about the stock chainring.

It's heavy for sure, but I've been using a 46T one for a couple of years now on my daily rider and it works fine. It was a bit finicky about staying on when I first did the conversion, but that turned out to just be poorly adjusted derailleur tension.

I ride about 1000km a month average through the year, and seem to eat a chain/cassette about every 6 months. Honestly not much more than I did under pedal power.

I run an 8 speed 34-11 cassette and can't say I've ever needed lower gearing even with the big 46T front, it's a touring bike so I don't do anything beyond light off roading but I do live in Vancouver and climb many badass hills carrying sometimes substantial loads.

I don't use the PAS, and I generally don't use the motor to launch from a dead stop. Take up the slack and get it rolling, then hit the throttle.

I think the best thing I did was to replace my rear shifter with a grip shifter mounted on the left hand side. With the thumb throttle on the right I can shift very quickly and smoothly (after a bit of practice), without needing a shift sensor or ebrake. I think getting this right is key to a long life for your chain, cassette, freehub, etc.

ho3ein   10 mW

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Re: Should I upgrade my components for my bafang conversion?

Post by ho3ein » Mar 15 2018 1:50pm

Raisedeyebrows wrote:
Mar 14 2018 11:56pm
What type of bottom bracket does your bike have? Will a BBSHD kit work in it?
Yeah, its a 73mm BB.

ho3ein   10 mW

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Re: Should I upgrade my components for my bafang conversion?

Post by ho3ein » Mar 15 2018 1:57pm

dustNbone wrote:
Mar 15 2018 7:20am
If you're not for some reason concerned about the weight, I wouldn't worry too much about the stock chainring.

It's heavy for sure, but I've been using a 46T one for a couple of years now on my daily rider and it works fine. It was a bit finicky about staying on when I first did the conversion, but that turned out to just be poorly adjusted derailleur tension.

I ride about 1000km a month average through the year, and seem to eat a chain/cassette about every 6 months. Honestly not much more than I did under pedal power.

I run an 8 speed 34-11 cassette and can't say I've ever needed lower gearing even with the big 46T front, it's a touring bike so I don't do anything beyond light off roading but I do live in Vancouver and climb many badass hills carrying sometimes substantial loads.

I don't use the PAS, and I generally don't use the motor to launch from a dead stop. Take up the slack and get it rolling, then hit the throttle.

I think the best thing I did was to replace my rear shifter with a grip shifter mounted on the left hand side. With the thumb throttle on the right I can shift very quickly and smoothly (after a bit of practice), without needing a shift sensor or ebrake. I think getting this right is key to a long life for your chain, cassette, freehub, etc.
I am concerned about weight. My bike is not exactly light. I feel like in the long run I'd like to get the lekkie chainring so might as well get it with the kit and save on shipping.

Hmm how comfortable is shifting on the grip shifter, I have bad wrists so I have replaced my grips with comfortable ergon grips, it does help a lot.

Raisedeyebrows   1 kW

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Re: Should I upgrade my components for my bafang conversion?

Post by Raisedeyebrows » Mar 15 2018 6:31pm

ho3ein wrote:
Mar 15 2018 1:50pm
Raisedeyebrows wrote:
Mar 14 2018 11:56pm
What type of bottom bracket does your bike have? Will a BBSHD kit work in it?
Yeah, its a 73mm BB.
Is it a threaded bottom bracket?
Yuba Mundo w/BBSHD
Specialized Hard Rock w/9c clone, statoraid, hubsink
Trek Fuel 90 w/BBSHD
Above all run on 14s4p 52v li-ion
Ecobike folder 36v
Currie Flyer scooter 24v on 24ah of SLA

Every trip made with electric bike is one less car trip, saves money, no toxic fumes, less noise, less impact on roads.

dustNbone   10 kW

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Re: Should I upgrade my components for my bafang conversion?

Post by dustNbone » Mar 15 2018 6:47pm

ho3ein wrote:
Mar 15 2018 1:57pm

Hmm how comfortable is shifting on the grip shifter, I have bad wrists so I have replaced my grips with comfortable ergon grips, it does help a lot.
For me it's very comfortable, the actual movement between gears is very small. But I don't have bad wrists, so your mileage may vary.

I tried a few shifter configurations first and this is the one that lets me coordinate throttle and shifting the best, and getting back into 1st gear to stop is one motion instead of potentially several.

ho3ein   10 mW

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Re: Should I upgrade my components for my bafang conversion?

Post by ho3ein » Mar 16 2018 1:19am

Raisedeyebrows wrote:
Mar 15 2018 6:31pm
ho3ein wrote:
Mar 15 2018 1:50pm
Raisedeyebrows wrote:
Mar 14 2018 11:56pm
What type of bottom bracket does your bike have? Will a BBSHD kit work in it?
Yeah, its a 73mm BB.
Is it a threaded bottom bracket?
Yeah its threaded.

ho3ein   10 mW

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Joined: Apr 12 2015 1:59am
Location: Vancouver-Canada

Re: Should I upgrade my components for my bafang conversion?

Post by ho3ein » Mar 16 2018 1:19am

dustNbone wrote:
Mar 15 2018 6:47pm
ho3ein wrote:
Mar 15 2018 1:57pm

Hmm how comfortable is shifting on the grip shifter, I have bad wrists so I have replaced my grips with comfortable ergon grips, it does help a lot.
For me it's very comfortable, the actual movement between gears is very small. But I don't have bad wrists, so your mileage may vary.

I tried a few shifter configurations first and this is the one that lets me coordinate throttle and shifting the best, and getting back into 1st gear to stop is one motion instead of potentially several.
I see what you mean, that sounds interesting, I might look into that. Thanks!

Raisedeyebrows   1 kW

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Re: Should I upgrade my components for my bafang conversion?

Post by Raisedeyebrows » Mar 16 2018 1:33am

ho3ein wrote:
Mar 16 2018 1:19am
Raisedeyebrows wrote:
Mar 15 2018 6:31pm
ho3ein wrote:
Mar 15 2018 1:50pm
Raisedeyebrows wrote:
Mar 14 2018 11:56pm
What type of bottom bracket does your bike have? Will a BBSHD kit work in it?
Yeah, its a 73mm BB.
Is it a threaded bottom bracket?
Yeah its threaded.
Good and I might mention the 42T bling ring has been a small enough chainring for me to get up steep hills but still big enough to pedal at a bit higher speeds. I would keep your wheels and components and install the kit, if you're like me you'll really like it, climbs hills good and is very quiet.
Yuba Mundo w/BBSHD
Specialized Hard Rock w/9c clone, statoraid, hubsink
Trek Fuel 90 w/BBSHD
Above all run on 14s4p 52v li-ion
Ecobike folder 36v
Currie Flyer scooter 24v on 24ah of SLA

Every trip made with electric bike is one less car trip, saves money, no toxic fumes, less noise, less impact on roads.

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dogman dan   100 GW

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Re: Should I upgrade my components for my bafang conversion?

Post by dogman dan » Mar 16 2018 6:30am

Bottom line is that your original components are at least pretty adequate for a hard riding dude. Its not a Walmart genesis piece of crap, AKA bike shaped object. It should hold up well as is.

Forget about light, now you will be packing a ten pound battery or more, plus lunch, maybe dinner later, and all the clothes you needed in the morning that you don't need in the afternoon. You are about to become a cargo bike.

I would not spend a penny yet on upgrades. Let the ride tell you what needs improvement.

As you ride though, I predict you will want to replace many components, but for the most part those will be parts that improve the fit of the bike increasing your comfort riding a commute. I doubt you will need better shifters, brakes, etc, other than choosing decent pads, and replacing worn chains. Flip flopping twist grip shifters so your rear shift is on the left does make sense. I tend to just remove the front shifter, and put the rear shifter on the left (upside down), unless I have trigger shifters that work well with a throttle.

Your body will tell you what you need, It might be taller handlebars with more back sweep, different saddle, taller seatpost, or anything else that improves the bikes fit. Once you start riding more than 10 miles a day, fit of the bike gets seriously important. Whatever makes it easier to ride longer distances, and improves your ability to ride head up and aware of the car about to kill you.

Or you may indeed trash the wheels, in which case I would suggest a cargo or touring bike wheelset, and or learning to ride better. If the wheels problem is your body weight, then an entirely different type of bike might be your eventual solution. But a merely half decent wheel should be able to go many thousands of miles of hard commute riding if you are 200 pounds or less. You WILL need to learn to keep up on tuning it though. Do not ride a wheel with loose spokes, and do try not to hit every pothole in town.

You likely will find at least a front fender added will make some days ride nicer, and you will find a rack and panniers makes the bike more useful.

ho3ein   10 mW

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Re: Should I upgrade my components for my bafang conversion?

Post by ho3ein » Mar 18 2018 2:23am

Raisedeyebrows wrote:
Mar 16 2018 1:33am
ho3ein wrote:
Mar 16 2018 1:19am
Raisedeyebrows wrote:
Mar 15 2018 6:31pm
ho3ein wrote:
Mar 15 2018 1:50pm


Yeah, its a 73mm BB.
Is it a threaded bottom bracket?
Yeah its threaded.
Good and I might mention the 42T bling ring has been a small enough chainring for me to get up steep hills but still big enough to pedal at a bit higher speeds. I would keep your wheels and components and install the kit, if you're like me you'll really like it, climbs hills good and is very quiet.
I like the sound of that, 42T it is! thanks.

ho3ein   10 mW

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Re: Should I upgrade my components for my bafang conversion?

Post by ho3ein » Mar 18 2018 2:37am

dogman dan wrote:
Mar 16 2018 6:30am

Let the ride tell you what needs improvement.
That right there is probably the best advice I could've gotten.

I have a problem with doing things right or not at all which costs me money :D You are absolutely right, I should probably let the bike speak to me once its been converted, because as of now the bike is fine for what I do, I just thought once I convert this, everything will be twice as hard on the bike's component.

Thank you Dan, you just saved me some money lol.

miro13car   1 MW

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Re: Should I upgrade my components for my bafang conversion?

Post by miro13car » Mar 18 2018 7:49am

you better upgrade to better components if you instal bafang.
Sprockets, chain, draintrain will wear out on Bafang much faster than on DD hub motor.

Raisedeyebrows   1 kW

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Re: Should I upgrade my components for my bafang conversion?

Post by Raisedeyebrows » Mar 18 2018 10:42am

miro13car wrote:
Mar 18 2018 7:49am
you better upgrade to better components if you instal bafang.
Sprockets, chain, draintrain will wear out on Bafang much faster than on DD hub motor.
In general yes but by trying to make sure you cut motor power before shifting gears, downshifting to a low gear before coming to a stop and starting again and using common sense to reduce impact/wear and tear on the drivetrain you can really minimize wear on it. I have not changed any Chain rings, cassettes, chains on either of my Bafang systems, if you're wearing them out rapidly that's not good.
Yuba Mundo w/BBSHD
Specialized Hard Rock w/9c clone, statoraid, hubsink
Trek Fuel 90 w/BBSHD
Above all run on 14s4p 52v li-ion
Ecobike folder 36v
Currie Flyer scooter 24v on 24ah of SLA

Every trip made with electric bike is one less car trip, saves money, no toxic fumes, less noise, less impact on roads.

User avatar
dogman dan   100 GW

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Re: Should I upgrade my components for my bafang conversion?

Post by dogman dan » Mar 18 2018 11:41am

Yes, the bike WILL tell you not to run any cheap chains. That is one thing you could go ahead and upgrade right away.

But shifters, derailleurs, I'm not so sure you will need better.

You will go through brake pads like never before, so of course replace with the best when you do. But its not like you have trash brakes now. Tires will wear fast, like you were a racer in training. Because of nails and crap in the roads, I rarely got more than about 1000 miles from a rear tire. The front wheel tips up the nail, then it slashes the rear.

Wheels themselves, that can be a bit of common sense to miss the big potholes. But sometimes, shit just happens. Replace wheels when they brake, and do lots of spoke tuning. Weekly perhaps.

Or, your roads could be just impossible, requiring a new bike with full shocks. I ran FS on the commute, because here the roads here have gigantic heat cracks, similar to riding over spilled 2x2 lumber on the road all day. When I went to a cargo bike, I lost the need for shocks. I also ride the cargo bikes slower most of the time. No commute now, so no hurry. (35 mph on good road possible though)

So when you do spend big bucks, I suggest you spend it on the right type of bike. Which you will know in about 6 months/ 2000 miles. Personally, I really fell in love with the longtail bikes. So much better ride for street, and more of a car replacement.

For a reference, here is what I ride street on now. Its a cheap beach cruiser, but with huge modifications, starting with dual disk brakes, 9 inches longer, and a 2000w hub motor.
6-1-2015  Schwinn Cruiser with 52 t crank.JPG

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