Help Me Build My Daily Commuter?

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
User avatar
motomech   1 GW

1 GW
Posts: 3449
Joined: Sep 11 2010 12:21am
Location: Punta Cana Baja Mexico

Re: Help Me Build My Daily Commuter?

Post by motomech » Oct 04 2018 9:53pm

Dude, what planet do you ride on??
I am absolutely convinced that a properly functioning hardtail can be counted on whereas who knows about a 15+ year old used FS bike.
MTB's have been equipped w/Fox Floats since the early 2000''s and the rebuild kits are like $15 and take an hour to install w/ no special tools. The only possible area of concern might be worn pivot points, but they have been using sealed brg.s since 2002 and they will never get worn street riding. Besides, it's as easy to find an older low-time full suspension mountain bike as it is to find a little used hardtail. People buy MTB's, realize quickly that trail riding is a lot of work and park them.Whether they are hard-tails or FS hasn't nothing to with that.There certainly more mint used mountain bikes out there than DJ's.
MTB equipment is not meant to be cornered on pavement at 20+ mph, my previous ride's fork shuddered and buckled under side loads present due to the grip and speed that pavement + electric provides.

Oh, I suppose motorcycles w/ suspension are hazzardous and the manufacturers should go back to the hardtail designs of the '40's. The cornering limits of bicycles, like motorcycles are mostly a function of the tires. Besides, not many riders here think they are Valentino Rossi. That statement is just pure nonsense.
Lost in all this is that MTB suspensions are not made to provide a smooth ride on pavement at high speeds plus older, used MTBs are primitive by today's standards and their shocks will be old, poor and possibly worn as will their pivots.
Since you apparently haven 't noticed, mountain bike suspensions have this amazing feature, it's called adjustability. That somehow a hard-tail will provide a better ride than a suspended bike at speed just defies logic. Even suspensions 10 or 15 years old work perfectly on the street. The quality of travel hasn't changed that much, it's more about the amount of travel. 3 or 4 inches is fine for the street.
Try an understand that not every rider here uses his or her ebike like you do and to make these "etched in stone" statements of what works and what does not serves no purpose to anyone
Motomech


'07 GT Idive 4 4.0, Q100H 201 frt. mounted, 14S Multistar LiPoly, elifebike 9-FET 20A controller. Mean Well HLG-320H-54A, Crazy Bobs on Alex DM32's 21 to 22 MPH. viewtopic.php?f=3&t=28151&p=1373714&hilit=Idrive#p13737

User avatar
wturber   10 MW

10 MW
Posts: 2128
Joined: Aug 23 2017 8:52pm
Location: Fountain Hills,AZ
Contact:

Re: Help Me Build My Daily Commuter?

Post by wturber » Oct 04 2018 10:56pm

craigsj wrote:
Oct 04 2018 8:24pm
wturber wrote:
Oct 04 2018 5:31pm
craigsj wrote:
Oct 04 2018 5:08pm
Rear suspension on a commuter is not required even at 30 mph and rear suspension corrupted by the wrong rear wheel is a move you may regret and for certain you will never appreciate. Keep it simple.
Keep in mind what the OP said at the outset, " If I were to deviate to all bike paths, it would be 20 miles one way. Both routes would be very flat, on paved roads with a fair amount of bad quality cement and potholes (more on the road than the paths)."

Required? No. Perhaps worth considering? Certainly. A suspension seatpost might be a compromise option worth considering.
Sure, but if he slows down on paths then it's less justified and it's not clear that his paths are rougher than the streets. We can talk in hypotheticals but we don't really know, you may be right.
There's a thread called "Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike... " More than one or two people here have complained about the problems with riding a hardtail in areas with lots of rough roads and potholes. I ride a hardtail. But the roads I ride are pretty decent and I don't mind raising up out of the saddle.

When I jump into threads like this, I try to avoid just assuming that what I did is what some other guy should do just because it has worked out well for me. Situations differ. If this guy was riding lots of hills, I'd be more inclined to recommend a mid drive. But he's riding flat ground.
"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

User avatar
motomech   1 GW

1 GW
Posts: 3449
Joined: Sep 11 2010 12:21am
Location: Punta Cana Baja Mexico

Re: Help Me Build My Daily Commuter?

Post by motomech » Oct 04 2018 11:09pm

In the summer here, I ride mostly at nite and while I have a great h.lite, I seem to hit something I didn't see almost every ride. It's then when my spine really appreciates have some cushion to take the sting off.
Motomech


'07 GT Idive 4 4.0, Q100H 201 frt. mounted, 14S Multistar LiPoly, elifebike 9-FET 20A controller. Mean Well HLG-320H-54A, Crazy Bobs on Alex DM32's 21 to 22 MPH. viewtopic.php?f=3&t=28151&p=1373714&hilit=Idrive#p13737

donn   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 503
Joined: Aug 13 2018 10:30am
Location: Seattle

Re: Help Me Build My Daily Commuter?

Post by donn » Oct 05 2018 1:45am

I'm looking for a suspension option to move to, even though the shock causes me very little physical suffering. It's more mental. I can't really get comfortable with all the clunking and banging as I go over the slightest rough spot. It's like riding around in a grocery cart. I'm on a recumbent, so the shock is transmitted through basically a lawn chair, which takes a lot of the sting out of it. But suspension isn't common in recumbents, I guess mainly for that reason and because they aren't popular choices for trail riding/mountain biking.

reluctantsuburban   10 mW

10 mW
Posts: 28
Joined: Sep 17 2018 3:01pm
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: Help Me Build My Daily Commuter?

Post by reluctantsuburban » Oct 05 2018 9:18am

Hey All,

Really appreciate everyone continuing to comment. Even in the midst of some disagreement, as a noob, I am benefitting from hearing the different perspectives.

Sorry for not posting for a while. I think I'm getting to the point where the sheer amount of advice is more confusing than helpful. I think that if I knew more clearly what I wanted I could sift through it a little more cleanly, but I just don't know what I don't know. On paper, I think I am looking for a bike like the Juiced CCX in terms of stats, but hoping that I can build it myself for both the satisfaction and the (hopefully) reduced cost and increased learning.

So far, I still don't know what type of motor I need (seems DD, geared, and mid-drive could all serve my <30mph top speed commuter needs while supplying lots of pedal power at my price point) and I still don't know what frame I need (all else being equal, it seems that FS MTB would make the most sense given that I am not building a hotrod, but my limited knowledge of FS MTBs means lots of research to know if I am getting a good deal or a dud).

I still haven't found a perfect fit for an FS MTB. I am not in a huge rush to build, so I don't mind being patient while scanning Craigslist.

One suggestion that was posed to me that I am VERY curious to hear your thoughts--I have seen some people saying maybe I would be better off buying a used ebike frame (something like a RadCity or Juiced Cross Current) and then adding my own motor (and potentially battery). The logic was that I getting a frame that is purpose-built to be an ebike already, and then I can customize just the motor to suit my speed needs. In this suggestion, the poster was claiming that converting an old MTB may not be a good bet since I don't know a lot about them, and I might be converting something that is ultimately unsuitable to be subjected to the riding conditions (speed and potholes). Your thoughts? Are purpose built ebike frames that much stronger/better suited to the speeds?

Edited to add - there are some used 2016/2017 RadRovers Juiced Cross Currents near me between $1000-$1200. I would try to talk them down. Then, I would be adding a ~$200-300 hub motor and controller. Assuming decent battery. Thought is the component set would be more ready to roll.
Trying to build my first commuter. Goal is mid-20s mph cruising for 20 miles, to arrive at work (semi) Sweat-Free, while pedaling all the way. $1.5k is the budget (bike, accessories, and electronics).

donn   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 503
Joined: Aug 13 2018 10:30am
Location: Seattle

Re: Help Me Build My Daily Commuter?

Post by donn » Oct 05 2018 10:12am

reluctantsuburban wrote:
Oct 05 2018 9:18am
Edited to add - there are some used 2016/2017 RadRovers Juiced Cross Currents near me between $1000-$1200. I would try to talk them down. Then, I would be adding a ~$200-300 hub motor and controller. Assuming decent battery. Thought is the component set would be more ready to roll.
If I may make a radical suggestion, what about just buying the RadRover and using it, as is? The way I read it, it already has a "750W" hub motor, controller, 48V battery, etc.

reluctantsuburban   10 mW

10 mW
Posts: 28
Joined: Sep 17 2018 3:01pm
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: Help Me Build My Daily Commuter?

Post by reluctantsuburban » Oct 05 2018 10:56am

donn wrote:
Oct 05 2018 10:12am
reluctantsuburban wrote:
Oct 05 2018 9:18am
Edited to add - there are some used 2016/2017 RadRovers Juiced Cross Currents near me between $1000-$1200. I would try to talk them down. Then, I would be adding a ~$200-300 hub motor and controller. Assuming decent battery. Thought is the component set would be more ready to roll.
If I may make a radical suggestion, what about just buying the RadRover and using it, as is? The way I read it, it already has a "750W" hub motor, controller, 48V battery, etc.
Definitely an option. Major concerns for me are:
  • lack of top speed (limited at 20mph, I believe?)
  • with it being a fat bike, do I need to worry about tire wear on a 20 mile one way commute?
  • whether or not the owner did a good job of maintaining battery

None of those are a deal-breaker to me. Early in my posting I was steered away from used, so I had written it off. I suppose I could buy and then convert as necessary as well, but it's a more expensive entry. Think it could be a decent purchase given my needs?

Link here https://dallas.craigslist.org/ftw/bik/d ... 91827.html
Trying to build my first commuter. Goal is mid-20s mph cruising for 20 miles, to arrive at work (semi) Sweat-Free, while pedaling all the way. $1.5k is the budget (bike, accessories, and electronics).

craigsj   10 mW

10 mW
Posts: 27
Joined: Jul 17 2018 4:14pm

Re: Help Me Build My Daily Commuter?

Post by craigsj » Oct 05 2018 11:31am

wturber wrote:
Oct 04 2018 10:56pm
When I jump into threads like this, I try to avoid just assuming that what I did is what some other guy should do just because it has worked out well for me. Situations differ. If this guy was riding lots of hills, I'd be more inclined to recommend a mid drive. But he's riding flat ground.
If only others did. I "jumped in" in response to those pushing the FS solution. I advocate the simplest solution with the greatest possibility of success, not merely what worked for me. However, I will add a couple more points regarding FS:
  • Road bikes with FS are rare if not non-existent. There's a reason for that.
  • Mountain bikes with FS have shocks tuned for trail use. They are not built to improve pavement performance at speed.
  • I live a short distance from the OP in the same state with similar roads and commute at similar target speeds. I not only don't require (rear) suspension, I don't want it. I'm 30 years older than the OP.
  • Suspension components require maintenance that is most often neglected. When buying FS used, the parts most likely to fail will be the ones that justified the purchase to begin with. Not good for the budget.
Sure, there's plenty of people on ES that want to do all variety of things, that doesn't mean we should advocate doing them to a first time builder or that those things are even good things to do.

As for recommending the mid-drive, I do so because objectively it's an easier conversion with greater likelihood of success and fewer gotchas for a first-timer. My current commuter is a mid-drive while my project to replace it is not, specifically because of maintenance.

As for the OP's question as to whether a used e-bike might be a better choice, I'd say that e-bike frames are not necessarily better suited than other frames. They are designed to be inexpensive and have arguably less attention to quality and fit. I'd also think it would be false economy to buy a used e-bike with intention of modifying it since the things you'd like to change may be difficult. If you found one in good working order, though, that was capable of 25 mph, then perhaps you buy and ride it as is. Then you'd have a better idea what you want. Your first e-bike hopefully will not be your last.

reluctantsuburban   10 mW

10 mW
Posts: 28
Joined: Sep 17 2018 3:01pm
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: Help Me Build My Daily Commuter?

Post by reluctantsuburban » Oct 05 2018 12:26pm

craigsj wrote:
Oct 05 2018 11:31am
wturber wrote:
Oct 04 2018 10:56pm
When I jump into threads like this, I try to avoid just assuming that what I did is what some other guy should do just because it has worked out well for me. Situations differ. If this guy was riding lots of hills, I'd be more inclined to recommend a mid drive. But he's riding flat ground.
If only others did. I "jumped in" in response to those pushing the FS solution. I advocate the simplest solution with the greatest possibility of success, not merely what worked for me. However, I will add a couple more points regarding FS:
  • Road bikes with FS are rare if not non-existent. There's a reason for that.
  • Mountain bikes with FS have shocks tuned for trail use. They are not built to improve pavement performance at speed.
  • I live a short distance from the OP in the same state with similar roads and commute at similar target speeds. I not only don't require (rear) suspension, I don't want it. I'm 30 years older than the OP.
  • Suspension components require maintenance that is most often neglected. When buying FS used, the parts most likely to fail will be the ones that justified the purchase to begin with. Not good for the budget.
Sure, there's plenty of people on ES that want to do all variety of things, that doesn't mean we should advocate doing them to a first time builder or that those things are even good things to do.

As for recommending the mid-drive, I do so because objectively it's an easier conversion with greater likelihood of success and fewer gotchas for a first-timer. My current commuter is a mid-drive while my project to replace it is not, specifically because of maintenance.

As for the OP's question as to whether a used e-bike might be a better choice, I'd say that e-bike frames are not necessarily better suited than other frames. They are designed to be inexpensive and have arguably less attention to quality and fit. I'd also think it would be false economy to buy a used e-bike with intention of modifying it since the things you'd like to change may be difficult. If you found one in good working order, though, that was capable of 25 mph, then perhaps you buy and ride it as is. Then you'd have a better idea what you want. Your first e-bike hopefully will not be your last.
Hey Craig, this is helpful to hear, especially if you know the type of roads that I'm talking about. The variety of opinions here is...overwhelming :)

Do you still have a front suspension fork? Or totally stiff frame?

Honestly, I would be very interested in a mid drive for the ability to retain an IGH set up, but since my goal is to make this a workout commute, I fear that I won't be able to meaningfully pedal with a mid-drive, based on some other threads that I have read. Your thoughts?

Finally, I appreciate the sentiment that my first ebike will hopefully not be my last, but I think I would like to get something that will at least suit my needs to the foreseeable future as best as possible. I'm simply trying to get it as right as possible the first time around, though an eventual rebuild doesn't turn me off.
Trying to build my first commuter. Goal is mid-20s mph cruising for 20 miles, to arrive at work (semi) Sweat-Free, while pedaling all the way. $1.5k is the budget (bike, accessories, and electronics).

User avatar
wturber   10 MW

10 MW
Posts: 2128
Joined: Aug 23 2017 8:52pm
Location: Fountain Hills,AZ
Contact:

Re: Help Me Build My Daily Commuter?

Post by wturber » Oct 05 2018 1:00pm

reluctantsuburban wrote:
Oct 05 2018 9:18am
I think I'm getting to the point where the sheer amount of advice is more confusing than helpful. I think that if I knew more clearly what I wanted I could sift through it a little more cleanly, but I just don't know what I don't know.
Yes, it is tough to know for sure. That's why so many people build a second bike. That said, the thing that convinced me to go forward and also directed the kind of bike that I eventually built was this video. I then looked at his earlier videos as well to see how the bike evolved.



This isn't a genius build. It is mostly just common sense and practicality applied. The benefit of watching the videos was that I could see how he integrated the bike into his daily life and get an idea of what really mattered. I could also see the practical benefits of the speed etc. And further, the complexities of how he managed batteries convinced me that I didn't want to do that.

From where I sit, the main question I think you need to answer is whether or not you really want/need rear suspension. IMO, motor choice follows from that. A front suspension fork is nearly a given IMO. But if you go full suspension, I'd seriously look at that mid drive that was suggested and just plan on living with a bit more maintenance. The mid drive will keep the motor from affecting how the suspension works since it adds no weight to the wheels. If you go with a hard tail, I'd suggest a direct drive motor in the rear for its simplicity and low maintenance. The typical e-bay DD kit wheel comes with 12 gauge spokes that (counter-intuitively) are not the best/strongest way to go. So if your roads really are rough, I'd suggest having the DD rear wheel rebuilt with 13 gauge or 14/13 gauge buttes spokes. Of course, you could wait and see. Mine went 4,200 miles before it finally broke a spoke and still seems to be solid after replacing that spoke. But my situation is apparently not typical.

My bottom line on this is that you'll just have to pick a direction and go. If you get an integrated kit and don't do something stupid on your frame choice, I'm fairly confident that any of the various options will work well for you.
"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

Jon NCal   1 kW

1 kW
Posts: 369
Joined: Jun 15 2015 3:59pm
Location: Mendocino, California

Re: Help Me Build My Daily Commuter?

Post by Jon NCal » Oct 05 2018 1:15pm

Radrover can be increased to 24mph limit (40kph) in menu setup. There is a facebook group for Rad bikes.
reluctantsuburban wrote:
Oct 05 2018 10:56am
donn wrote:
Oct 05 2018 10:12am
reluctantsuburban wrote:
Oct 05 2018 9:18am
Edited to add - there are some used 2016/2017 RadRovers Juiced Cross Currents near me between $1000-$1200. I would try to talk them down. Then, I would be adding a ~$200-300 hub motor and controller. Assuming decent battery. Thought is the component set would be more ready to roll.
If I may make a radical suggestion, what about just buying the RadRover and using it, as is? The way I read it, it already has a "750W" hub motor, controller, 48V battery, etc.
Definitely an option. Major concerns for me are:
  • lack of top speed (limited at 20mph, I believe?)
  • with it being a fat bike, do I need to worry about tire wear on a 20 mile one way commute?
  • whether or not the owner did a good job of maintaining battery

None of those are a deal-breaker to me. Early in my posting I was steered away from used, so I had written it off. I suppose I could buy and then convert as necessary as well, but it's a more expensive entry. Think it could be a decent purchase given my needs?

Link here https://dallas.craigslist.org/ftw/bik/d ... 91827.html
Last edited by Jon NCal on Oct 06 2018 3:05pm, edited 1 time in total.

reluctantsuburban   10 mW

10 mW
Posts: 28
Joined: Sep 17 2018 3:01pm
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: Help Me Build My Daily Commuter?

Post by reluctantsuburban » Oct 05 2018 1:17pm

wturber wrote:
Oct 05 2018 1:00pm
reluctantsuburban wrote:
Oct 05 2018 9:18am
I think I'm getting to the point where the sheer amount of advice is more confusing than helpful. I think that if I knew more clearly what I wanted I could sift through it a little more cleanly, but I just don't know what I don't know.
Yes, it is tough to know for sure. That's why so many people build a second bike. That said, the thing that convinced me to go forward and also directed the kind of bike that I eventually built was this video. I then looked at his earlier videos as well to see how the bike evolved.



This isn't a genius build. It is mostly just common sense and practicality applied. The benefit of watching the videos was that I could see how he integrated the bike into his daily life and get an idea of what really mattered. I could also see the practical benefits of the speed etc. And further, the complexities of how he managed batteries convinced me that I didn't want to do that.

From where I sit, the main question I think you need to answer is whether or not you really want/need rear suspension. IMO, motor choice follows from that. A front suspension fork is nearly a given IMO. But if you go full suspension, I'd seriously look at that mid drive that was suggested and just plan on living with a bit more maintenance. The mid drive will keep the motor from affecting how the suspension works since it adds no weight to the wheels. If you go with a hard tail, I'd suggest a direct drive motor in the rear for its simplicity and low maintenance. The typical e-bay DD kit wheel comes with 12 gauge spokes that (counter-intuitively) are not the best/strongest way to go. So if your roads really are rough, I'd suggest having the DD rear wheel rebuilt with 13 gauge or 14/13 gauge buttes spokes. Of course, you could wait and see. Mine went 4,200 miles before it finally broke a spoke and still seems to be solid after replacing that spoke. But my situation is apparently not typical.

My bottom line on this is that you'll just have to pick a direction and go. If you get an integrated kit and don't do something stupid on your frame choice, I'm fairly confident that any of the various options will work well for you.
Thanks wturber. I think you are right in terms of choosing a direction and just going. I am scheduled to rent an ebike next weekend to drive it around a bit. I hope that will allow me to choose FS or hardtail with confidence. Once I have that, it's just a matter of picking the kit (assuming hub, not mid--mid seems like BBS02 hands down)!
Trying to build my first commuter. Goal is mid-20s mph cruising for 20 miles, to arrive at work (semi) Sweat-Free, while pedaling all the way. $1.5k is the budget (bike, accessories, and electronics).

craigsj   10 mW

10 mW
Posts: 27
Joined: Jul 17 2018 4:14pm

Re: Help Me Build My Daily Commuter?

Post by craigsj » Oct 05 2018 1:53pm

reluctantsuburban wrote:
Oct 05 2018 12:26pm
Do you still have a front suspension fork? Or totally stiff frame?
Yes, I have a Fox gravel fork which provides only 40mm of travel but is a conventional hydraulic fork.

My first commuter was rigid which worked fine but had liabilities as speed increased. I replaced it with a Lauf gravel fork which is a carbon fiber leaf spring fork with very low travel. Feels like a rigid fork for handling but takes edges off. It was the fork that chattered in corners, though. Doesn't seem to like cornering forces.

Now I use the Fox and it's the best of the 3 for ride quality. All 3 are sized to road frames since my bike is drop bar. My next project will be flat bar so I will use a 100mm fork. More that lots of suspension, my opinion is that you will most appreciate really good brakes.
reluctantsuburban wrote:
Oct 05 2018 12:26pm
Honestly, I would be very interested in a mid drive for the ability to retain an IGH set up, but since my goal is to make this a workout commute, I fear that I won't be able to meaningfully pedal with a mid-drive, based on some other threads that I have read. Your thoughts?
You can make Bafang pedal assist work quite well with programming. It's not great out of the box. As a cyclist, you will want the bike to continue to ride like a bike but stock Bafang programming is infuriating in that regard. Don't worry about it. Advice on programming of Bafangs in not good IMO, my programming is quite different.

Proportional PAS is much better without a doubt, but you won't get that with Bafang. Instead you will need to program some sane settings and change them occasionally during the ride so that you're still working. I change my power levels several times per ride, but I have hills. It's easy to cheat, whereas proportional PAS prevents that (any eliminates the need to change settings during the ride).

If you're doing a hub motor then you can do proportional but you will pay for it. My mountain bike is proportional and it works great but it has a Thun BB and a CA which eats into your budget.
reluctantsuburban wrote:
Oct 05 2018 12:26pm
Finally, I appreciate the sentiment that my first ebike will hopefully not be my last, but I think I would like to get something that will at least suit my needs to the foreseeable future as best as possible. I'm simply trying to get it as right as possible the first time around, though an eventual rebuild doesn't turn me off.
Of course, I would feel the same way. My advice is conservative, plan only what you are sure you need and can deliver. Others are more aggressive. Pick what you can feel you can handle. I think a hub motor can work too, just has some more issues for you to understand, but at least consider what extra issues full suspension might present and decide if it's worth it.

I've been a cyclist for decades and assembled my own bikes for a long time. When I decided to try an e-bike commuter I quickly became vapor-locked over choices. I gave up and it was good that I did. A year later I got a cheap road bike with a BBSHD and rode it, fixing things as I learned. That worked for me.

One more thing, you're planning long commutes. If you do that 5 times a week, that's a lot of miles. A Bafang wants periodic regreasing which you may not like to do. It also requires a new chain and cassette more frequently. While I encourage you to consider a middrive, the mainenance issue is real.

User avatar
MadRhino   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 6459
Joined: Sep 03 2010 5:28pm
Location: Montreal QC Canada

Re: Help Me Build My Daily Commuter?

Post by MadRhino » Oct 05 2018 2:10pm

I spend minimum 5 k$ to build a good FS ebike, and that is with a used frame, many used components, lots of mods and tuning time. Build one with your 1500$ budget, you will be happy at first, but you won’t be satisfied very long.

Everyone who tries both, will prefer the FS bike if it is built and tuned good, but it is at least twice the cost to build it good.

Those who say that a DH bike is not made to corner on the street at 20+ MPH, are those who never built a good bike and don’t even know what it is. My 70 MPH FS bikes are cornering shorter than motorcycles. They also brake shorter, and no motorcycle ever succeeded to keep in my tail in the city traffic. A good FS, powerful ebike is the ultimate city commuter. You need a helicopter to be there before me, and even then I’d probably be there before you can find a place to land. Yet, a good hard tail with only front suspension will always be better than a crap FS. Build the best you can, with the budget and knowledge that you got. That is the wise way to build.
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

craigsj   10 mW

10 mW
Posts: 27
Joined: Jul 17 2018 4:14pm

Re: Help Me Build My Daily Commuter?

Post by craigsj » Oct 05 2018 6:46pm

MadRhino wrote:
Oct 05 2018 2:10pm
Everyone who tries both, will prefer the FS bike if it is built and tuned good, but it is at least twice the cost to build it good.
Incorrect. I am a member of "everyone", I have an FS bike that is built and tuned "good", and I don't prefer my FS for commuting. The OP desires a pedalec, not a motorcycle.
MadRhino wrote:
Oct 05 2018 2:10pm
Those who say that a DH bike is not made to corner on the street at 20+ MPH, are those who never built a good bike and don’t even know what it is.
LOL, A DH bike, by definition, is not made to do anything on the street at 20+ mph. It's a mountain bike and every single part on it was made without the slightest consideration of pavement performance. DH bikes are like rally cars, they go fast and take big hits but they aren't made for the freeway and bolting on a larger shock doesn't fix that.

Be careful who you accuse of not knowing what a bicycle is. I've seen no evidence that you do.
MadRhino wrote:
Oct 05 2018 2:10pm
My 70 MPH FS bikes are cornering shorter than motorcycles. They also brake shorter, and no motorcycle ever succeeded to keep in my tail in the city traffic. A good FS, powerful ebike is the ultimate city commuter. You need a helicopter to be there before me, and even then I’d probably be there before you can find a place to land.
You may think this is making your point but it is not. You goal is clearly bragging rights, not commuting or even pedaling. I was a pimply-faced teenager once so I appreciate your point of view, but this kind of attitude has no place when bicycling 20-30 miles a day to and from work and frankly no place on the road at all. It's not a race and you aren't winning by being more irresponsible than everyone else.

User avatar
MadRhino   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 6459
Joined: Sep 03 2010 5:28pm
Location: Montreal QC Canada

Re: Help Me Build My Daily Commuter?

Post by MadRhino » Oct 05 2018 7:14pm

craigsj wrote:
Oct 05 2018 6:46pm
MadRhino wrote:
Oct 05 2018 2:10pm
Everyone who tries both, will prefer the FS bike if it is built and tuned good, but it is at least twice the cost to build it good.
Incorrect. I am a member of "everyone", I have an FS bike that is built and tuned "good", and I don't prefer my FS for commuting
Show it


I clearly recommended a hard tail bike to the OP. I know he doesn’t want a motorcycle.

It doesn’t mean I believe the best commuter is a hard tail, only that it is for someone with his speed, ride requirements, and budget.

For me, the best commuter does perform advantageously with the other users of the street. You may prefer pedelecs, but saying DH bikes can’t be built to perform on pavement, is plain ignorant.
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

markz   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 9437
Joined: Jan 09 2014 11:38pm
Location: Alberta Canada

Re: Help Me Build My Daily Commuter?

Post by markz » Oct 05 2018 7:37pm

LOL

A Full Suspension (FS) bicycle is ideal for any ebiker!
Not only do the sidewalk curbs ease the "Shock" but the roots, the pot holes, the rocks, make it easier on your bum and nutsack!

I wish I had $5k to build (of course that is in great Canadian currency)
I too would buy a used full suspension eride, with large traingle space for a triangle bag with a triangle battery inside it whether it be DIY tab welded, maybe LiPos (maybe), or reputable china sellers, or retailers. Braking of course is mandatory. That is why I'd go with direct drive, rear, 5000W, a nice quality controller like a Kelly/Adaptto /Sabvoton and of course Sinewave for no noise operation! and have regen braking to save money on brake pads.

User avatar
amberwolf   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 29844
Joined: Aug 17 2009 6:43am
Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth, Sol, Local Bubble, Orion Arm, Milky Way, Local Group
Contact:

Re: Help Me Build My Daily Commuter?

Post by amberwolf » Oct 05 2018 11:43pm

reluctantsuburban wrote:
Oct 05 2018 10:56am
lack of top speed (limited at 20mph, I believe?)
If you have to you can change the controller to fix that, but Radbikes may have a setting or other solution so you don't have to.

craigsj   10 mW

10 mW
Posts: 27
Joined: Jul 17 2018 4:14pm

Re: Help Me Build My Daily Commuter?

Post by craigsj » Oct 06 2018 10:09am

MadRhino wrote:
Oct 05 2018 7:14pm
Show it
How old are you? Grow up.
MadRhino wrote:
Oct 05 2018 7:14pm
I clearly recommended a hard tail bike to the OP. I know he doesn’t want a motorcycle. It doesn’t mean I believe the best commuter is a hard tail, only that it is for someone with his speed, ride requirements, and budget.
Is that not the topic of this entire thread? Why does anything else you've said even matter?

Also, I never said the "best commuter" is a hard tail, nor would I. What I would say is that buying an old FS mountain bike of unknown condition, putting an undersized hub motor wheel in it without appreciation for required gearing or its effect on kinematics, and then claiming doing so would magically improve the performance of the shock is ignorant, terrible advice and that a hard tail makes a far better solution than that, one that established cyclist would much more likely be happy with.
MadRhino wrote:
Oct 05 2018 7:14pm
For me, the best commuter does perform advantageously with the other users of the street. You may prefer pedelecs, but saying DH bikes can’t be built to perform on pavement, is plain ignorant.
Show it

It's not about "DH bikes", MadRhino, it's about your insecurities, and your continual misuse of terms and deliberate straw man arguments don't help your cause, nor do your bullying tactics.

reluctantsuburban   10 mW

10 mW
Posts: 28
Joined: Sep 17 2018 3:01pm
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: Help Me Build My Daily Commuter?

Post by reluctantsuburban » Oct 06 2018 2:24pm

amberwolf wrote:
Oct 05 2018 11:43pm
reluctantsuburban wrote:
Oct 05 2018 10:56am
lack of top speed (limited at 20mph, I believe?)
If you have to you can change the controller to fix that, but Radbikes may have a setting or other solution so you don't have to.
Yeah, good call. Read a bunch about it on a forum over at Electric Bike Review and came away inconclusive. Sound like the motor is not wound for higher speeds? Link here: https://electricbikereview.com/forum/th ... 929/page-6

One thing that was interesting to me was a commenter used the Rad Rover as a base and just ended up installing a leafbike (or comparable ebay; can't remember now) 1500W kit. Said that it worked out really well. Would be interested in hearing thoughts on it. Basically he said he felt more comfortable doing it since the frame was already purpose-built for electrifying as opposed to stressing a regular bike.
Trying to build my first commuter. Goal is mid-20s mph cruising for 20 miles, to arrive at work (semi) Sweat-Free, while pedaling all the way. $1.5k is the budget (bike, accessories, and electronics).

User avatar
amberwolf   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 29844
Joined: Aug 17 2009 6:43am
Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth, Sol, Local Bubble, Orion Arm, Milky Way, Local Group
Contact:

Re: Help Me Build My Daily Commuter?

Post by amberwolf » Oct 06 2018 10:01pm

If the Rad motor doesn't spin any faster than a certain speed at a certain voltage, then you can use a proportionally higher voltage to get it to reach that speed. (keeping in mind that above about 20MPH, it starts to take significantly more power for each increment of speed above it, so at some point you may exceed what the controller can provide). Depending on the existing controller's parts, it might have to be replaced to do the higher voltage (since you probably don't want to have to change out parts in it to do this).

The battery itself may be able to be run in series with a second battery to get that voltage (assuming you don't need more current than the original can provide), or you can sell the old battery and replace it with a new one of the voltage you need (at the capacity you need for the range required).

reluctantsuburban   10 mW

10 mW
Posts: 28
Joined: Sep 17 2018 3:01pm
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: Help Me Build My Daily Commuter?

Post by reluctantsuburban » Oct 08 2018 2:13pm

Back again with another Craigslist bike to see if anyone has any feedback. At this point, I am keeping a search on CL for used MTBs while I wait for doing some test rides next weekend to get a better feel for the range of bikes that are out there. In particular I am hoping to come away from the test ride with a better sense of what level of suspension I will need for my commute. If I go hardtail or FS I'll be looking at DD rear hub, I think. If I go no suspension, just wider tires and susp seat post, I will look into front hubs.

In the meantime, anyone have thoughts on this GT Sensor? Guy is asking $800: https://dallas.craigslist.org/mdf/bik/d ... 85099.html
Trying to build my first commuter. Goal is mid-20s mph cruising for 20 miles, to arrive at work (semi) Sweat-Free, while pedaling all the way. $1.5k is the budget (bike, accessories, and electronics).

Post Reply