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1969 Raleigh Sports Restoration/ Ebike Build


1 W
May 8, 2011
(Formerly Titled: "Should I Take the Plunge?")

Greetings, been lurking a while. Have to say thanks up front for the info I've gleaned so far. From the newbs to the veterans, so many posts have helped so much.

All the information I've gathered from here and the rest of the Web, may have me quit before I even start. That may be a good thing, because I don't have a lot of money to burn, and this is just basically a lark. If I do manage to slap a decent bike together, I will use it for my six mile commute. It could pay for itself in fuel savings over the next few years. Should be fun to boot!

The motor I had my heart set on (Curie 36 Volt 1000 Watt brush motor), is no longer available, but is available with a gear reduction attached. I was planning on using a jackshaft anyway, so that gearbox might just save me the trouble. However, I see the scooter(s) this assembly is mounted on, only manage 19MPH or so. My question is, can I be assured this motor & gearbox combo will perform better when driving the crankset of a 26" 3-speed bike? 19MPH just isn't going to be worth the time and expense to me.

TIA, John
1000W motor will get you faster than 19. You just need to get the final gearing dialed in how you want. With the right gearing plus maybe a bit of pedal assist, there's no reason it can't do 30 if the motor really puts out 1kw.
If your interested in a enter level reasonably priced non-hub setup, Cyclone kits are an option. If
your a tinkerer you can make these kits very reliable. Google Cylone Taiwan if your interested
in any of the products i would suggest emailing 'paco' on the contacts page, members have had much
success dealing through him...All the best and welcome to Endless Sphere.

I got the same motor/gearbox on the shelf. Ain't used it... yet.

A bunch-O-pix here: http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=13622&start=0
I am using that motor with a reduction I had made up. It is fantastic with 44.4v of lipo and I get about 37mph.

I got the motor from superkids in December and he said he had others, but they were buried in his warehouse. He is a really nice guy and was very helpful.

If you can get one, it is a good way to have a mid powered bike fairly inexpensivelly, depending on your reduction and mounting. I see peaks of 5000w and can pull wheelies if I want. Check my build log.


I would say go for it. I can tell the difference in my bank account at the end of a week when I ride the bike every day vs driving. Besides, it was fun to build and even more fun to ride.

Thanks for the prompt replies & suggestions. Guess it's a go!

I'll spend the rest of my lunch reading the links and viewing your builds. No doubt I'll have some questions later. Hope I can help you all out in the future.

Thanks Loads,
Great site, KiM. Got lots of inspiration there. However, I'm using my Raleigh Sports, which I purchased about 40 years ago. It's a sentimental thing at this point.

TylerDurden, God bless you for all those pics and dimensions. That's a huge head start!

Clay, just glossed over your build. Very unique! How did you settle on that particular controller? The Yiyun YK-34b doesn't seem to be available now. Are most of their other controllers reliable?

About ready to pull the trigger on the motor. I'm wondering if I ought to buy one of their controllers to defray shipping, but their selection doesn't seem like the "bang for the buck" variety. Any other controller suggestions?
AussieJester said:
If your interested in a enter level reasonably priced non-hub setup, Cyclone kits are an option. If
your a tinkerer you can make these kits very reliable. Google Cylone Taiwan if your interested
in any of the products i would suggest emailing 'paco' on the contacts page, members have had much
success dealing through him...All the best and welcome to Endless Sphere.


However, my real life experience with Cyclone Taiwan is that you can expect no level of after sales service and a battery pack that should never have been on the market.

I had a 24v 600w currie before I metled it. I wanted a controller that could hanlde 24v to 50v as I wasn't decided on what voltage I was going to run. There is at least one other member here that is running the same controller and had good things to say about it. It has been great so far and never even gets warm. you can still get them here.


I've fried at least one currie controller, and the other 2 I have won't handle the voltage I am running. That is why I didn't go with another currie one. I am sure I get the preformance I do, because I can get 100+ amps from the yk43b. I regularly pull 40amps to 50amps continuosly and see 60amps to 70amps or so for up to 3 minutes or more. I have seen spikes of up to 120amps when accelerating.

Good luck, looking forward to see what you come up with.

Thanks for the info Clay,

Coincidentally, I have that controller in my list of parts under consideration. I'm balking at the shipping charges from these suppliers. Orderd the motor from Superkids, and had to cough up twenty bucks to ship a single motor. They had nothing else I wanted. That controller is available on Ebay for $50.00, but they want $20.00 to ship it! Maybe I can add some parts to the controller at TNC Scooters. I see a a freewheel for one thing. Wonder if these cheap chargers are worth a shot? Circuit breakers too, but what size? Sprockets, but what size? Time to break out the slide rule...


OK, order's in at TNC Scooters:

  • 24 - 60 V Controller (Model YK43B)
    Item# 101217 , $60.00 USD 1 $60.00 USD
  • Clutch / Free Wheel
    Item# 103210 $7.00 USD 2 $14.00 USD
  • 55 Tooth Sprocket for #25 Chain
    Item# 103230 $10.00 USD 1 $10.00 USD
  • #25 Master Link
    Item# 105100 $1.25 USD 1 $1.25 USD
  • #25 Chain Sold By The Foot
    Item# 105250 $3.00 USD 3 $9.00 USD
  • 36 Volt INLINE Charger
    Item# 101140 $16.50 USD 1 $16.50 USD
  • INLINE Charging Port (3 Pin)
    Item# 101240 $3.00 USD 1 $3.00 USD
  • INLINE Charging Port Cover
    Item# 101242 $1.00 USD 1 $1.00 USD
  • 15 Tooth Freewheel Sprocket For #25 Chain
    Item# 106016 $14.00 USD 1 $14.00 USD
  • 15 Tooth Sprocket With 10mm Bore For #25 Chain
    Item# 106015 $6.00 USD 1 $6.00 USD
Subtotal $134.75 USD
Shipping and handling $17.90 USD
Total $152.65 USD

Here's a thumbnail of the donor bike:

1969 Raleigh Sports
Awesome. You have some fun ahead of you. I had to follow up on my motor order from superkids and he dug one out of the back of the warehouse. So, if you might want to check up on it in a couple of days. He was really good to deal with.

What batteries and voltage are you planning on? That will tell you what size circuit breaker to use. I don't have one at the moment, but am looking at putting one in. I just need to find a 50v 130amp one. There are some great gear calculators on the forum if you do some looking and they are helpful for determining what sprocket sizes. I have one stage of reduction before going to the rear wheel. Then going to the rear wheel is a second stage.

Morning Clay,

Looking at three 12v 22AH, UB12220 batteries as I type this. Would pumping 48 volts into that motor be a problem? That's 54lbs. of batteries! I was planning on putting them just under a rack above the rear wheel. Four batteries couldn't fit there. I suppose I could put two in each side of some saddle bags in the back. That would keep the center of gravity lower. Not sure if that's good or bad either.

Well, either way, I'm committed on the motor & controller. TylerDurden figures the output shaft is running at 440RPM. I'm hoping to connect a 15 tooth sprocket from there, to a 55 tooth sprocket. That's about 120RPM at the crank at full throttle. I'll probably shrink the rear sprocket to 13 tooth from its current 18. Might increase the current drive sprocket from 42 teeth to... ?

I can snag circuit breakers and connectors locally. LBS is going to hook me up with square drive BB spindle, cranks, tires, brake parts, cables, rack, saddle bags or folding wire baskets... whew, my wife's going to shoot me!

Edit: Just remembered, I already have a 36 volt charger coming, so I guess I'm doing 36 Volt...
48v will be fine. I see 50v off the charger and the motor only gets a little warm. Never too warm to touch. Don't expect much preformance from the lead acid. It is a good place to start, but it is heavy, hard to mount and lacking in power. I did get reasonable preformance out of lead acid on my second build at 36v on a 24v 600w currie motor, though. It was very scooter like, not motorcycle like.

Thanks again Clay,

Just pulled the trigger on three Powersonic PSH12180FR 21AH batteries a few minutes ago. Only $15.00 shipping!

By hook or by crook, they'll be mounted under a rear rack, leaving room on top for storage, as well as empty (not filled with batteries) saddle bags or collapsible baskets. Hoping they'll take me six miles to work and back at a solid 20MPH before needing a charge. If I can accomplish that with minimal peddling, the cost will be worth it.

I'll have no amp meter, battery meter or speedometer. I suppose I should have those to help tweak the gearing, eh? Lord, I still need tires and other miscellaneous pieces. I'll be lucky to get it rolling solidly for under $500! Let's see, $4.00/gallon for gas, my car gets about 17MPG, 12 miles round trip to work... that's 177 days of riding it to work to pay for itself. Man, I gotta get this thing together before summer's over! :shock:

Edit 05-11-2011: After further consideration, I can't see having a 3"x7"x21" black obelisk hanging over the rear end. Going to have to suspend the batteries from a rack, and disguise/ protect them with panniers. Didn't think I'd have to put so much thought into the battery location on this project...

Edit 05-14-2011: Parts are trickling in. Trying to sort out the dual freewheel chainring and sprocket...

Edit 05-15-2011: Decided to make my life easier. Opted to have just a single front freewheel.

Edit 05-16-2011: Motor, BB Cups & Tires Arrive. Crank arm ready for welding. Motor position found...
This was a big let down today. Cobbled it together enough for a test ride, but the 1/8" pin connecting the freewheel gear to the gearbox, keeps shearing off. It's got no key or flat, so it's not going to work. I'm whipped, and discouraged. Hoped to ride to work this Monday, but I don't see that happening.

One other issue, is when the bike is rolled backward, it tries to spin the freewheel gear backward, too. That gearbox doesn't like being driven by the output shaft.

Latest images...
Good work and nice pix.

Bummer about the pin... fair bit of torque there.

You might need to flip the shaft and use a freewheel & keyed adapter. That might also mean a larger sprocket by the pedals.

It seems do-able, but not as simple as originally envisioned.
Your gearing may be the issue. The pin looks the same as the one on the output of my motor. I have only had it break once, when I ran up the motor and I let the rear wheel hit the ground. It may be a sign that the gearing could be wrong for the bike as well. The resistance to rolling backwards is more likely the motor than the gear reduction. With out a freewheel you are trying to drive the motor. There is no way around that, unless you use an elaborate clutch.

As for the pin, you could try to replace it with a harder bolt or metal rod and see how that goes. The rest of the build looks fantastic. It is so simple.

Thanks for the advice. Current plan is to weld the freewheel sprocket to the shaft. If the gearing is too steep, I'll attach a bigger sprocket to the chainring. Right now it's a 55 tooth for a 3.7:1 ratio. I can get as many as 80 tooth for 5.3:1 instead.

I was worried about getting a circuit breaker in there to protect the controller, but now I'm more worried about stripping the pinion in the gearbox!
Took care of that pesky, puny pin:


Of course, it was gorgeous all day. When I got home, and installed the new output shaft, it clouded up and started to rain. Didn't stop me, though. Ran up and down the street in all three gears. Got soaked, but was grinning from ear to ear. How fast does she go? Well over 20MPH. I'll have to clock it against a car soon. An engineer at our shop, did some calculations using his brother's Bicycle Gear Calculator. Here's the results: Ebike_Gear_Calculations Thanks a ton, Andy. I don't even want to imagine how long I'd have spent on that!

Stopping is a quite a trip with wet, rim brakes. But, not as bad as I thought. Just squeeze 'em both hard! Ever see a dog wag its tail, to the point where his whole body is wobbling? Well, picture that when I describe stopping with 40lbs. of batteries wobbling on a spindly Pletscher rack. :shock:

Tell me if there's a name for the phenomenon, where you lose all interest in peddling? I really don't care to when riding this thing. Just want to twist the throttle and hum down the road. :D

One issue still needs to be addressed. Under heavy load, the chain starts prying itself off the large sprocket. I see it start to whip toward the inside until it derails. I've got it as tight as I dare. Don't want to strain the bearings in that little gear box. Based on his calculations, Andy suggested getting a larger sprocket. That might do the trick. If not, I'll be back with more questions. In the mean time, I'm going for a little ride...
Wow, talk about overdriving your headlights! That tops the to-do list:
  1. Lighting up this thing, with serious headlight, tail light and turn signals... maybe more.
  2. Larger front sprocket. Motor's running pretty warm. Ran around the block a few times. Didn't put a dent in the batteries, which brings me to...
  3. Wear cushions for batteries. The aluminum baskets are going to wear holes in them in no time.
  4. Electrical parts like a project box (the size of one SLA battery), power switch, quick disconnects, circuit breaker, ammeter, volt meter, bike computer...
  5. Cover for the batteries, like a pannier, saddle bags or similar configuration, for stowage of groceries, tool kit, lock, rain gear, cover etc.
  6. Fenders
  7. Touch up paint
  8. Shore up the rack
You might reconsider the turn signals. The more it looks like a moped, the more likely you will need to register, etc.

How is the drivetrain noise/sound level?
Awesome!! You got it running. Nice work. Glad to hear it is working well and it sounds like you are hooked.

Good point about the turn signals, TD. Gotta get a serious headlight, though. Concerned about being seen as well. Just more details...

No decent video camera here. I could borrow my dad's, but he's 30 miles away. Quite a test of the range, eh? It's got a low motor hum, with gear whine. Imagine a small car running quickly in reverse. I'm sure it can be heard from as much as 50' away, but I'm OK with it. RPM's come on somewhat slow. Have to keep off the throttle, so the chain doesn't wrangle itself off the sprocket. Great to have gears to step through. I can assist with the peddles, but still have to modulate the throttle. Just as well, because the motor does get warm. I will be ordering the bigger sprocket. Not sure that will help with the derailing. Not sure how to fix it if it doesn't.

I'd like to ride this morning to work, but I have no cushions in the battery compartments, and the weather calls for rain. Crap, I'm looking at rain all week! :(

Oh well Clay, I am hooked. Soon as I get the derailing issue worked out, I'll be living on this bike, like I did when I was 13!

Edit: Jesus, look at the headline that greets me as soon as I finish that post:

Geauga County Judge Charles "Chip" Henry killed
I think I located the source of the derailing issue, but suffered a breakdown in the process:


All the while I was thinking the bottom bracket or freewheel was flexing, so I kept watching there while I applied the throttle. I finally noticed the twisting was happening at the other end:


I applied the throttle while it was stationary. Watched the gearbox twist inward while I did, but accidentally applied too much throttle, and the chain snapped like a twig.

Despite 3/16" plates welded in position, and being secured with three 1/4"-28 screws, it still twists in the direction of the arrow. Unreal. Un-flippin-real! I gotta find a way to shore that up now...