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My First E-bike Conversion, EBikeKit.com Kit

knoxfel

10 µW
Joined
Nov 23, 2014
Messages
5
I never thought that I would end up embarking on this journey. However, at this point, it makes the most sense because I’m a professional parkour athlete, which requires all fast twitch muscle fibers. In order to jump far, you need to be explosive and open your hips quickly, engaging the posterior chain. Biking is mainly all slow twitch fibers, quad dominant, and all while never fully opening the hips. Fast twitch fibers can handle slow twitch easier than the other way around. It does this by basically creating a hybrid fiber type, which I have. It's the most versatile of fiber types, but I would prefer to have all fast twitch and the energy to use it. I’m 27 now and this is my second year without a car since I was 15 and I really notice how it affects my performance. So therefore, it’s time for an e-bike. Feel free to check out one of my parkour videos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rrDKj-LvuI

When I moved to Colorado last year, I decided to sell my car and get a bike since it’s 2-3 miles to most places. I needed a job, so I continued as a bike mechanic, since I had a love for it as a kid. I work at a badass non-profit bike shop called Community Cycles, located in Boulder, CO. People donate bikes and we refurbish them. We have loads of programs to educate and advocate for cycling in Boulder as well. We also have almost every old school part imaginable. Most of the donations are old school steel bikes. So I’m going to build my e-bike onto an a late 80’s/early 90’s Trek 830 mountain bike. It’s set up as my commuter right now, but I’m going to make some changes to make an optimal e-bike for me. I wouldn't be able to do this without my shop.
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The kit that I’m using is from Ebikekit.com and the hassle that I’ve gone through to receive this is absolutely beyond reason. The customer service has been great; Dogman Dan is the man and he helped me so much during the process. I purchased it through a distributor but there was a mix up, they sent a front wheel and not a rear. That sucked only because it took FedEx 4 attempts to deliver it because they were determined to deliver it to us at 6:40am, one day being a Saturday. We are a bike shop that doesn’t open until 12pm, come on now. New wheel on the way the next morning, but once again took FedEx 3 attempts, after dealing with their terrible customer service and no-reply webmaster. So I tried getting the battery all charged in the mean time while the right wheel was on the way...charger not working. I asked to have it rush shipped due to the inconvenience and they said its a 2 day ship, so I was cool with it. They sent the electronic shipping info the next (Monday) morning (it was really a 1-3 day, but I didn’t give a shit at this point), but didn’t get into their local facility until 10:20pm the day after (Tuesday). Didn’t arrive until Friday afternoon. I finally received the working kit after 2.5 weeks. Well at least I thought. I plugged in the new charger and it sounded different and it tested out fine, but no difference in battery charge after a night of charging. So, I tested both ends of the battery... I had only been checking the output side of the battery for voltage. I had opened the charger plug end on the first charger and it seemed like it was soldered properly. After getting no reading on the charger end of the battery, I opened it because Jason from ebikekit.com mentioned that could be it the connector. The hot wire was soldered to the pin but it had snapped somehow, there was nothing in one hole, so no connection was made. With this being said, I'm not sure if it was the charger and the pin or just the pin. The new charger did sound a little different and actually put out a small amount of voltage, where the other didn't. These chargers may only work when properly plugged into the battery.
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Found a female to female extension from another donated ebike charger laying around and soldered on a new connector. Its actually all working at this point. I also noticed that the wire housing from the controller to the throttle/brakes/display was pulling out of its main tree, where it branches off.
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Bullshit, but electrical tape works. I shouldn’t need electrical tape on a $1k kit. I contacted Jason, and they sent me out a new 4-1 cable right away. Obviously, they can’t help FedEx’s shit service, but it could have been solved by having the right, fully working kit sent the first time. Its just a bitch when someone has a bunch of your money and it takes almost 3 weeks to get what you paid for, and having to fix things yourself. I got everything that could go wrong with an order in one, I know it’s a fluke but you never want it to happen to you. I’m not trying to protect anyones view of me, so I’ll tell it how it is. If you are expecting a perfect shipment from them, don’t. Then when it comes and its good, you’ll be stoked instead of the other way around. Done ranting. Their customer service and online chat is awesome. They will take care of you if something is not right. And more than likely, it will be totally fine... I just happened to get the ONE. The kit is really awesome, powerful and great for beginners. I hit 31 mph on flat! 37 mph and climbing on a down hill, no helmet, decided to slow down.

Anyways, the kit that I purchased was the Rear 500W (1000W with 48V) 48V 9AH SLA Direct Drive. I decided to pull the freewheel and see if it had been greased, but it seemed like a dab of motor oil. I applied Park grease and went on my way. I would highly suggest greasing this before riding, especially in more extreme weather conditions. I filed my frame so the 7th gear cleared the frame and the dropouts for the axle to sit flush. The screws provided for the controller clamps are at least 4mm too short for a standard steel top-tube. Zip ties for short-term solution, but ended up picking up some M4 bolts that were longer and with 3mm hex heads, instead of phillips head. I also wrapped the clamps with electrical tape to protect the frame.
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I used a few zip ties for the front wiring, I plan to use corrugated conduit in the near future to clean it up. I zip tied the excess motor cord to the underside of the rack, between the rack and fender. Routed the motor cord through the fender struts proved to make a nice line for the cord. The longer wire for the front controls is rolled up and fed though the hole in my battery bag.
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Anyways, its time for some fun.
I’m swapping my cranks: Shimano STX 175mm double for a Shimano STX 170mm single for more clearance and simplicity. The cranks clear the battery mount, but not the battery, didn't think smart enough. I have a temporary spacer/padding for the cranks to clear. Plans to find a tighter fit.
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The derailleurs stay and a I’ll leave the front as a chain guide: Shimano Deore DX for both. I’m swapping my shifters: Shimano Deore 7spd thumbies for a Sram MRX 7spd (Shimano compatible) running it on the left side and upside down, leaving room for throttle on drive-side. Gotta love those custom OURURY grips.
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I’m swapping my brakes: Shimano Deore LX cantilevers for Avid Single Digit 7 v-brakes for substantially more braking power and stiffness. It was also necessary to use v-brakes to be compatible with electronic cut-off levers that come in the kit.
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I pulled my hand-built wheelset off initially to keep the front and the rear rim at the same wear. These were old school Deore XT hubs built onto Mavic F519 freeride rims. I swapped the 7spd freehub body with an 8/9/10 freehub body. These wheels are truly badass, so I’d like to save them for a touring bike.
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I have an American Classic sealed hub built onto a Mavic rim for my front wheel with a Schwalbe Furious Fred. After the first snow, I decided to keep my XT front wheel as my snow wheel with a studded tire, seeing as I will be at lower speeds and braking with the front less in those conditions. Plus its much easier to swap the quick-release fronts than unbolting the DD wheel and torque arm each time. I have a new set of Schwalbe Big Apples from spring to fall, but here in Colorado, it snows a lot in the winter. It also gets sunny fast and the snow turns to ice pretty quickly. I’ll leave on a hybrid tire in the rear and swap the front wheel out depending on conditions. Now I want a snow specific e-bike, that would be the ultimate solution.
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I fabricated a battery mount for the downtube using an old rear rack. Chopped it up, used a Dremel on the bond points, and JB welded the beast.
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I mounted it using the cage bolts, letting it dry and set on another frame during the curing process. I used a u-bolt on the top of the mount to provide more stability, tightening a nut on either side of the rack to each other. I also wrapped an old tube around the bottom of the clamp to protect the frame.
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It seems super sturdy, we’ll see if it holds, if not I’ll make something else. This should put the weight in the center of the frame, making it more balanced. This is essential because I carry panniers on the rear. And, still enough space for a bottle cage.
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I attached the torque arm, but its definitely not meant for a rear dropout, it works though. It feels pretty cluttered on the drive side. I had to rotate the pipe clamp so that it doesn't dig into the pannier. Also, I snipped the pipe clamp too short the first time, proving difficult to take on and off. So I tucked the excess behind the rack this time. I had an extra NAPA clamp lying around so I used that.
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There is a pretty harsh angle on the non-drive side where the wires come out, don't like that the panniers press on it. After rerouting the motor cord and the rotating the pipe clamp, my panniers sit flush.
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The last swap that I made was the saddle. I dont need a cycling saddle, I need the padding and comfort. Swapped out a Terry Fly for a Cloud9 saddle. Super comfortable.
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It looks good naked.
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It looks good with BarMitts and Ortliebs too! This is the final version for now. Will upgrade the battery pad, corrugated conduit, center-mounted kickstand, and riser bars in the near future.
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Let me know if you any questions or concerns. If you want anymore photos, let me know.
 
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