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2021 Marin Larkspur 1 BBHSD Conversion

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    2021 Marin Larkspur 1 BBHSD Conversion

    Background: I’m a 330 lb woman living in Pittsburgh. I’m not in great shape but I wanted to get into bike commuting which felt impossible especially with our hills (I lived on top of a mountain) until I thought of getting an e-bike. I bought my first e-bike, an Aventon Pace 500.2, in July of 2022. In 3 months I had put 900 miles on it and frankly that would have been much higher but it was constantly in and out of the shop because the bike was constantly giving me problems. Breaking spokes, losing power over time. The shop replaced the wheel and the battery and that fixed it but I knew the Aventon wasn’t a long term solution.

    I spent the winter doing a lot of research on all of the different pre-built e-bikes but it’s really hard to find a bike with a weight limit over 300 lbs, that isn’t super heavy, a long tail cargo bike, or extremely expensive. I had narrowed it down to the Surly Skidloader (300 lb rider weight rating) and one of the Tern HSDs but they were still very expensive.

    I decided to look into alternatives and I landed on converting a non-electric bike into a mid drive electric bike with the Bafang BBHSD kit. My goal was to build a heavy duty Pittsburgh commuter bike. I spent probably just as much time trying to find the right bike and ended up on the fence between the Marin Larkspur 1 and the Kona Dew Deluxe and I chose the Larkspur. The Larkspur 1 comes with a 10 speed 11-51t cassette which is great for hill climbing in Pittsburgh.

    When it came time to do the conversion I worked with a local bike shop who let me use their space and tools for the conversion while the provided support as needed.

    For the conversion I used:
    - Bafang BBHSD
    - Horn/Light/Brake Light kit for the Bafang mid drive
    - Bafang 500c display
    - Gear shift sensor
    - Unit Power Pack 52V 22.4ah rear rack battery
    - Specialized Pizza Rack
    - Ergon EC1 Grips

    Recently I added:
    - Lekkie 42t Pro chainring for 10-12 speed bikes
    - Jones H-Bar® SG 2.5 Loop Aluminum
    - Cane Creek Thudbuster ST
    - Ergon SC Core Saddle

    I converted the bike on January 14, 2023 and have since put over 2,000 miles on the bike.

    In the future I want to add the Pedaling Innovations Red Catalyst Pedals to help with my foot problems from riding.

    Coming into the winter I’m thinking of getting some sort of winter or all season tires.

    I would like to add a duel kickstand in the future. Not sure if one would be compatible with this bike though.

    I’m a bit unhappy with the rear rack battery. It’s heavy and with the weight on the back of the bike it makes it harder to move around when not riding. The top of the rear rack is also quite a bit higher than it would be if there wasn’t a battery mounted there. This puts the top of the rack almost level with my butt which makes it hard to use the top to mount something like a basket. This is why I added the front rack. I have thought about getting a new battery and mounting it on the top tube near the front of the bike.

    Her name is Chestnut
    Attached Files

    Thank you for posting you bike build, and congrats on you efforts with Chestnut. No doubt you know every inch of your purpose-built and very practical bike. Maybe a G.A.P. trail ride someday?

    Having battery weight mounted high on a rear rack is almost always bothersome. On this step-thru build, I was fortunately able to squeeze a 17AH battery within the triangle.
    Last edited by ncmired; 11-18-2023, 05:46 AM.


      Thanks for sharing your build. In many cases it is wise to consider a bike conversion vs ebike purchase. It took my wife months to choose a bike that she liked. Our bike outings ended when she was ready to turn back but I would have liked to do more. I decided to convert her bike and liked the conversion so much I did mine as well.