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Canondale "Super V-lectric" build

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    Canondale "Super V-lectric" build

    Hi everyone,

    Over in the Cyclone specific area I have asked, and been lucky to get answers to a lot of questions while I researched exactly how I wanted to upgrade my Canondale Super V 1000 to an e-bike. I'm finally ready to give it a custom build thread, so here she goes.

    I started with a well upgraded Canondale SuperV 1000. Years ago, I swapped in a Jekyll Swingarm, and a longer travel shock (Progressive 5th Element) which turned it into an "Uber V" according to the Canondale forum over at MTBR. I also added an Avid Code 180mm front brake, Hope XC4 120mm rear brake., along with Marzocchi Bomber SuperT RV forks, and Sun Rhyno 26" wheels. The bike was great for me when I was doing more regular mountain biking, but my buddies have bought e-bikes. Going riding with them now means getting an e-bike, but I really like my setup. So instead, I decided to electrify what I had! I chose a Cyclone 3000W as my kit, with the standard 30A controller, and it does have bluetooth, so I can configure things without programming cables.

    The first thing to figure out was mounting the controller. I decided to take advantage of space on the double leg forks. I found some nice aluminum clamps that could hold the two aluminum strap pieces across the fork legs, and the box mounted to the straps across.

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    I am quite happy with getting the controller up out of the muck. While I was at it, I also upgraded the stem to a Truvativ 32mm, and bought a set of 780mm Fifty-Fifty aluminum bars. I will live with the bars and see if I want to cut them shorter.

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    With the controller mounted, I needed to connect the motor. Turns out if you contact Cyclone directly over in Taiwan, then can sell you a 120mm extension for the water resistant connector setup. That was $50 well spent.
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    Next on the mechanical issues list was strengthening the motor mounting. I found a stainless clamp that is perfectly sized to fit the downtube of my bike, so I used it as an attachment point for the stiffening brackets I made from some Aluminum. The clamp bolt tightens it, and holds the left side bracket. The right side just uses a locknut to hold the straighter bracket piece solid. Now the motor shouldn't rotate up and hit the frame under power, nor should it twist (the big known weakness of the Cyclone setup). I do plan to thicken the drive side bracket, so it really fights the upward push of the motor.

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    Now that motor and controller were mounted, I needed to wire up the hand controls. The right side grip control is a simple keyed thumb throttle unit. I did find the paddle too big, and it made gripping the bar no-fun. I cut down the paddle, and love the feel now.

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    The right side is a re-purposed motorcycle controller. The L/R signal switch controls the Eco/Normal/High power mode. The red button is the manual cruise control trigger, and immediately to the right of that button is the little, rubber covered rocker switch (headlights) that enables/disables PAS. You can also see in the following pic. that the bar end starts to get crowded, and with the controls in place, there is no room for the existing thumb shifter. I had to change from thumb shifters, to a SRAM NX twist shifter. It seems to be working well, and plays nice with the new drive train.

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    New drive train you say? YEPPER!!!! I know we can have multiple chainrings up front, but everything I read says switching gears involves manually moving the chain. I have no desire to deal with that, so it seemed that treating the ol' C-dale to a 1X drivetrain conversion was the way to go. I learned that my 8-speed Shimano hub should be able to fit a 10-speed cassette, so I picked up a Sunrace 11-46T upgrade, and a Shimano SLX RD-M7000 derailleur as well.

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    The last piece of the drivetrain conversion was about dealing with chain angle, and dreaded front chainring drop. This little swingarm mounted idler really seems to help keep the chain moving in a consistent line with the front chainring. I am thinking about playing around with a pivoting mount that will help reduce noise when I have the chain on the end cogs of the cassette, but for now the fixed location is working well. The new derrailleur does have a clutch, so I might even try things with the idler removed and see if a clutch really is effective as well.

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    Last edited by DaHose; 02-25-2020, 10:03 AM.

    That last pic. hints at what I did with the motor. To keep the primary drive chain tensioner in place, I bent a piece of stainless TIG welding rod, and hooked it on an unused hole in the Cyclone mount plate. I think it looks pretty good, and am confident it will hold solid. In the process of fitting things, I did find that the idler wheel sat too close to the main drive sprocket, so I needed to cut about an inch off the pivot arm of that idler wheel. You can see it is nicely located right in the middle of the space between the motor and chainring teeth.

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    With all the basic mechanicals in place, it was now time to move on to the electrics. I bought a really cool little project box that I mounted to the surface of the controller with super sticky 3M double sided foam tape. It's the same stuff I used to side-saddle a shell holder on a shotgun, so I have NO worries it will hold solid. Below you can see how much spaghetti will fit inside. The bluetooth module is also stuck to the box with that 3M foam tape. To tidy things up, I bought some really cool braided wire loom that is split. You can just wrap it around the wires, and it clamps itself shut, then you put on a zip tie or two where the really aggressive bends are to keep it nicely closed. I really like the end result. It leaves the whole controller package looking way more finished than just using zip ties to organize things. You can also really quickly/easily remove it to troubleshoot wiring or replace the loom in the future.

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    One thing I wanted to be sure of is that the main power connector is still accessible for a quick disconnect if necessary.

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    With the controller all buttoned up, I gave the motor wiring the same loom treatment. Since I used a couple of different sizes of loom, I had a few seams to dress up. I am trying a couple of things out. The middle joint is covered in self-fusing silicone tape. The upper seam, and lower section near the BB, are just covered in regular old electrical tape. I will also use some double sided velcro tape at the top. Once it's all on there for a while, I'll see which is the most durable, and then cover all joints with the same stuff. You can also see the PAS sensor in this pic. I decided that a left side mount was prefereable, as I can get to it and troubleshoot if anything ever misbehaves with the PAS function.

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    The brake sensors were a bit of a puzzle at first, but through trial-and-error I figured out where the magnets should sit in relation to the sensor. I got the front brake lever done, but still need to do the rear.

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    So far the one thing I am not so happy about is the loop I have to leave in the power cable. The wires are thick and heavy, but I don't know how many strands are in each line, so I am hesitant to fit it really close and have a lot of flex when I turn the bars to full lock. With that loop, the movement is gradual, over the whole loop. We'll see what it's like living with that loop there. I might end up cutting that motor extension, and instead go with a fine strand, silicone wire that can handle lots of bending. That would allow me to take out that loop, and fit the wire inside the fork tubes.

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    That's where I am at this point with the main bike build. I will now tackle the battery build, and add to this thread when that part of the project is ready.

    Attached Files
    Last edited by DaHose; 01-24-2020, 09:17 PM.


      Before I get to my battery, I would like to share what I am doing for charging. Since my battery is arranged with 16 cells in series, my max voltage (67.2) is not one of the more common numbers for which you can easily buy a charger. I also want to be able to consistently charge to 80% of max. (to preserve battery life), which means an adjustable charger is ideal. My solution was to build my own from the following components.

      First, I found this adjustable buck-boost type unit on Amazon for $30. It will take in anywhere from 8-60V input, and output anywhere from 10-120V at 15A.

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      I tested feeding it with a 24V/3A laptop charger, and it powered up my Cyclone kit just fine when set to 60V output, although drawing more than 1.2A to the motor caused the power supply to shutdown. Best of all, testing with my multimeter confirmed I can limit the output to .01 V accuracy.

      Satisfied that the booster would work for my needs, I searched for a better power supply. I bought this 48V, 12A power supply off Amazon for just $18 friggin’ dollars.

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      It has adjustable output voltage, but I just left it maxed it to 48V. I was able to run it through the booster at 60V/5A output, and operate the motor at full throttle just fine. That is more than enough power to charge my batteries, so I am very satisfied with the PS.

      Now I needed to mount things up. I bought a project box, and screwed in some aluminum angle bar to hold the booster unit up inside the box. One piece is just screwed to the front of the box with self-tapping screws. The rear uses two short pieces to create little shelves on the sidewall, then the one piece goes across. The cooling fan gets lots of fresh air to move across the heat-sink, and hot air can escape freely as well.

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      Mounting the PS on top of the box was easy with some 3M double sticky foam. I can tuck the battery charging lead into the box. The power lead from PS to booster goes through the lid. You can see I lined things up so that when the lid is open, the PS rests firmly on the table, making for a really stable platform.

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      Now I have a single package, that is easily setup, and closes tight for easy storage without cables to keep track of separately. I might anchor a velcro strap to the top of the PS to coil up the power cable too.

      Here is a video of my motor running off the power supply. HOLY COW this thing is going to be fast!

      Attached Files
      Last edited by DaHose; 02-24-2020, 04:22 PM.


        Wow that is a sweet build. Congrats! Did you look at if the BBS02 would have fit? I have a 98 Super V 1000 Free Ride and am thinking about doing a conversion on it. The Cyclone is out of my skill set.


          Hey there two_wheel_fun,

          I appreciate the positive feedback. Yes, I did check, and a BBS02 should fit. So should an HD. The tricky part is the battery. We have less frame to hang things on, so I had to be creative with my mounting. I haven't posted pics, but I finished spot welding up two separate battery blocks which will create an angled battery. That battery will then mount where the water bottles would go.

          Last weekend I bought supplies to fabricate the mounting base plates, which will allow me to finally know the real angle for my battery shape. Then I will need to settle on what kind of housing materials I will use. I will update this thread soon with all that stuff.



            Good to hear they should fit. I was worried the chainstay may get in the way as it bumps out on the drive side. Battery issue is definitely one I will have to ponder. A wolf pack would go on no problem but not much range with that little guy.

            Keep up the great work on that beats!


              Ok folks,

              Now I can share how the battery is coming along.

              The first thing was to generally decide on final shape, and construction process. I decided that just hot glue welding the batteries together might allow for loose construction, or possibly tearing the plastic cover between some batteries and causing a short. To avoid that, I decided I would use some neat little plastic trays that are shaped perfectly to hold the batteries in staggered rows, but totally separate each cell from direct contact with another. Assembling things was then a matter of making sure that as each layer was built, it was properly lined up. Here you can see I have glued all the batteries in place, and the mock-up matches my design plan/guide.

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              The stacks were built as two separate pieces. Once I put them together I realized that the BMS would actually mount better on the bottom stack, so I will do that. At any rate, I built a motorcycle battery powered 12V spot welder to spot attach nickel strip to the batteries, but it wasn't powerful enough to join the .2mm thick nickel strip I bought. Cost of a bigger battery would have been just a little less than buying a Sunkko 737G battery spot welder, so I bought ready made welder. However, once I had the welder, I realized it can only weld .1mm nickel strip reliably, so I had to adjust my process around that limitation.

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              Because I can only weld .1mm nickel strip reliably, layering strips was a must. Parallel groups on each of the two battery blocks were joined together with two 0.1X8mm strips across the three batteries in-line, and single strips joining across those two groups. The doubled up strips across the three batteries will allow each battery to flow 5 amps safely when connected, and the cross strips balance everything out.

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              At this point, I realized that parallel groups would need buss-bars across the stacks, with at least 6 contact points to safely flow the theoretical 30A my controller can pull. Looking around at left-over parts from other projects, I realized I could make buss-bars using some pure copper 10-3 romex I happened to have lying around. I slapped together a little jig so I could put together the 12 buss bars I needed, then cut pieces of strip and copper wire to GIT ER DONE!

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              You can see that I first soldered 6 strips across the buss-bar, which were then spot welded to the doubled up cross-strips on the batteries. That lets each leg pull up to the 5A max. the motor can theoretically draw from each cell. I could easily have layered a second strip across the top if higher amperage were needed.

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              I did end up with three parallel groups that had to join vertically. So I did something a little different there. I added another piece joining the triple groups, then spot welded small strips over the top of the layered long strips, and the new layered cross-strip. I then bent/fitted the copper buss-bar for each connection, and tinned it. The prepped buss-bar was then laid on top of the short strips tacked to the batteries, and the loose tail was then folded around the buss-bar. I was able to spot weld the remaining tails of the short strips down onto themselves. I finished by doing a soldering iron pass over the buss bar to reflow the solder, and added more solder across the top to ensure good contact with the nickel strip. That results in a doubled up connection on each strip (6 contact points) to the buss-bar that can still handle the 30A target. Below you can basically see how it all gets connected. I finished by putting on a piece of duct tape to cover all the joined groups in an effort to minimize the risk of something shorting across some terminals, and causing some wild shenanigans.

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              The two battery blocks are now ready to be joined.

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              One block measured at 37 volt, the other at 29, for a total 66V. Now, I move on to putting the battery mount plates on the bike, and figuring out the final shape/angle of the battery.

              Attached Files
              Last edited by DaHose; 02-28-2020, 12:19 AM.


                Originally posted by Two_wheel_fun View Post
                Wow that is a sweet build. Congrats! Did you look at if the BBS02 would have fit? I have a 98 Super V 1000 Free Ride and am thinking about doing a conversion on it. The Cyclone is out of my skill set.
                Here is my V

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                  Another nice V. Bummed out as I realized that my bike has the Cannondale front suspension w/o mounting provisions for disc brakes. No way the V-brakes will be enough. Looks like the conversion is less attractive for me.


                    Originally posted by Two_wheel_fun View Post
                    Another nice V. Bummed out as I realized that my bike has the Cannondale front suspension w/o mounting provisions for disc brakes. No way the V-brakes will be enough. Looks like the conversion is less attractive for me.
                    It’s not hard to convert, you can get a decent pair of forks and the adapters pretty cheap online and anyone with a Tig welder can help you weld a couple of lugs on your swing arm to mount some hydraulic brakes. Then again there is no shortage of good quality used mountain bikes already set up that would be easy to adapt a bottom bracket drive to. I just liked my Cannondale, but in reality it’s an old style with not much fork rake. I really notice it when I switch back-and-forth between my X1


                    • tklop
                      tklop commented
                      Editing a comment
                      [I suppose I should've commented on Post #9 --sorry about that]

                      Conversion is certainly possible.

                      But Rim-Brakes / V-Brakes aren't a deal-killer--or at least they should not have to be.

                      This article explains what I mean far better than I could:

                      Still prefer disc-brakes? It can be done.

                      But maybe, it's worth the smaller investment to try some milder mods (like the alternate pads suggested in that article).

                      No matter what you decide, best of luck!

                      Last edited by tklop; 03-11-2020, 08:44 AM.

                    If I was going to do it again I would buy a good used downhill bike and adapt a bottom bracket drive. lots of people here to help and you might be able to pick up the parts from builders on this site or endlasssphere and get the whole thing done for $1200 or less and have a bike that performs as good as any high dollar bike.


                      I agree with you on how to approach a scratch build JimmyN, but I think the price tag would be higher. Even building your own battery, you would land at more like $900 in parts. The cost of the decent dowhnill MTB would probably land you more in the $1500 - $2000 range total. However, that would get you a really ass kicking e-bike for single track, that could double as a FAST commuter.

                      I also wonder if building with a mini-cyclone is a better way to go for a non-commuter build. The smaller package, and lighter weight are more ideal for a primarily off-road use. A 3000W cyclone is definitely the way to go for a dual duty build like mine. It will be really nice to have the speed/power for summer commuting to work.



                        Hello again folks,

                        I finally spent some time in the garage to put some good work into the battery. I figured the place to start was with wiring up the BMS.

                        So here is the BMS I purchased. It is a 60A, 16S model, and the single connector on the top side is for the Bluetooth module. The wiring schematic was fairly clear, or so I thought.

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                        My first efforts to test the BMS had me thinking I bought a dud, but after some communication with the seller from Ebay, I realized the problem was that you HAVE to connect the balancing cables for the unit to work at all. So, I set to connecting the octopus/spaghetti of the balancing wires. As expected, the balancing wires go on the positive end of each parallel group.

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                        It threw me off at first that the connector only had 14 wires on it, and I thought something was wrong. When I checked with the seller, he explained that the reference connector makes up the last two connections.

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                        Here you can see that the reference connector attaches to the very last parallel stack, so it can measure the voltage of that single stack and compare to all the others. I am positive I have seen other BMS models that reference by measuring full stack voltage against the middle parallel groups, so that is why I was a bit confused by what I saw in the wiring schematic.

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                        Once the reference connector was soldered on, I attached both reference connectors to the board, and the Bluetooth unit flashed. When I connected the light blue ground wires from the BMS to the negative post of the battery, the Bluetooth unit lit up.

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                        Voltage at the battery was 66.1V. Voltage from the C- to B- terminals on the board was the same 66.1V as the battery. Then I ran my charger positive wire to the battery positive end, and the negative to the black C- wires of the controller. The C- wires measured 67V, and the battery side started slowly rising. At this point, it seems like the BMS is good to go!

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                        It's on to the actual battery case next. Speaking of which, I have a little teaser of something I made for it. I plan to use an XT90 connector at the battery, and want it to look really clean. So I designed a flanged holder for it, and printed it on my brand new Creality Ender3. If you look close at the first picture, you can see that there is a gap in the center of the female XT90 connector. I figured out I could stuff a zip tie in there. So I designed the holder in a way that the wires and the long end of the zip tie would stick through openings. I grabbed a second zip tie, and clipped off the tail, so I could use just the head. I slid the head onto the zip tie sticking out the back of the holder, jammed it down close, and now the female end is firmly attached inside the printed holder.

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                        Now, I can attach the holder to the case I make, and the bike connector can quickly be attached/detached .

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                        Last edited by DaHose; 04-16-2020, 09:35 PM.


                          I have another update for this thread. YAY!!!!

                          Today was about taping up the battery sections, and getting them ready to shrink wrap onto a pair of forms that will hold the whole thing in its shape.

                          I figured if I ever have to take it apart to troubleshoot, it might be nice to be able to see the balance connector solder points, and test voltages. So step 1 was to put some kapton tape over all the exposed positive terminals.

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                          Here is what both sides looked like when done.

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                          Next, I realized that the connector wire that bridges the voltage for the two pieces of the pack really stuck out. In order to wrap the battery with the reinforcing forms, I need a flat surface. I had some rubber sheet laying around from a previous project, so I tacked down some insulating foam to the battery with hot glue, and made some shims with a double layer of the rubber sheet. You can see the first layer of foam on the bottom section. It really conforms nicely to the battery and buss bar shapes. On the upper section I have already cut, and glued down the shims.

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                          With all the left side shims glued on, now I can work with that ABS forms to get them exactly the right shape without the BMS mounted. I will use mirrored forms on either side of the battery, and heat shrink it all together, but leave the balance cables, and the main wires sticking out. That will allow me to tack down the BMS, and fit the whole thing into a custom ABS case with the XT90 connectors integrated into it.

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                            Hello everyone. Here is today’s battery update.

                            I hooked up the BMS, and routed the wires as cleanly as I could. The BMS negative wire needed some length, so I soldered on a piece of the same 10GA solid copper wire I used on the buss bars. This time it was easy to solder things, because I could pre-wrap the joint with some thin copper wire. This is a great trick I picked up many years ago. I really helps get larger joints making good physical contact before you solder. I finished with a piece of marine grade heat-shrink tubing.

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                            Next up, you can see that given where I mounted the BMS, the light blue batt. negative connecting wires are almost too short. They JUST reached without putting tension on the wires. I soldered each main wire up with two of the nickel tabs, which gives me 20A current capacity on each wire (40A total). That is a good safety margin for the 30A my controller maxes out to. You can see I ran the BMS ground (10GA) wire up alongside the Bluetooth controller. The case with foam will cover all that up, and protect things nicely.

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                            An issue of concern with my design, was that the angle of the bike frame forced me to make the battery in two parts. When joined up, the side panels squeeze the battery ends and should keep things all in place thanks to the hot-glue and the alignment trays I used. However, there is a gap between the two pack halves. I worry it is possible for the upper pack to inch its way down over time, which in theory could split a battery cell and wreak havoc. I decided to fill the void between the pack halves with some kind of potting. I went to the hardware store, and they had some Dap 3.0 self-leveling silicone which would fit the bill nicely. I filled up the bottom part, sealed it off with some foam sheet, and taped it off so it would not leak when turned over. Here you can see where I checked the fill level. It settled some from first fill, which gave me confidence the sealant was flowing nicely and filling in all the gaps.

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                            With the bottom filled up, I flipped the battery and filled up the top.

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                            Now to wait until tomorrow, remove the temporary foam covering, and hot-glue on the final protection layer. I am waiting for something called a hurricane nut, so I can get to working on the outer cover of the battery. I am also using my 3D printer to add something I think is both functional, and cool. Stay tuned.


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