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First build, 2006/07 Specialized Epic Expert/BBSHD

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  • KennVFRidr
    replied
    Someone mentioned that they thought the chain looked to short on my conversion. As soon as I read that comment I recalled the sound/sensation I heard/felt as I climbed a steep hill on my test tide...and realized it seemed the same as an overtightened and/or excessively dry chain on the VFR. The comment made sense until I counted teeth on the old chainrings...I went from a 44 tooth large chainring, to a 42 tooth...so my logic says it shouldn’t make any difference. I lubed the chain...but have not been out to test again...just wondering if there might be something else I should look at...and I’m wishing I spent more time getting familiar with the bike before doing the conversion.

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  • KennVFRidr
    commented on 's reply
    I was wondering about that security bit.

    Hard to complete a real report yet. Pedal assist is going to take some getting used to, but I’ll be appreciating it as soon as I drop down off the mountain and start the climb back up. I need to play around with low pedal assist compared to no assist. At the moment, at least mentally...no assist is easier to ride, something I’m sure I’ll adapt to as soon as I get a bit used to the bike itself, as well as settings and gearing. I did notice a little extra noise from the chain/sprockets as I rode up a short steep hill...which I didn’t anticipate, but could be normal. I lubed the chain but have not had a chance to get out for a better ride yet.

  • KennVFRidr
    commented on 's reply
    I have basically zero time in the dirt...unless you count zooming around on my balloon tire’d Schwinn Corvette as a kid in the mid/late 60’s. Most of my dirt riding (at least for now) will be DNR/Forest Service roads and easy trails, so at least initially, nothing technical. Who knows what the future brings, so I appreciate your perspective...it’ll help me figure things out as I go. For the time being, I need to convert almost 30 years of street motorcycle skills and habits into powered bicycle skills...and I’m sure I’ll have plenty of sorting and adjusting to do as I learn. Just getting used to pedal assist is going to take some time... :-)

  • 73Eldo
    replied
    Looks good. Whats with the sort rides? Lets get s full ride report!

    On the speed sensor Bafang changed to that security screw design for some reason. Earlier ones were a larger unit with a slotted screw that was very easy to chew up. I doubt it is due to people just stealing those off bicycles, more likely its for some other application where security of that part is more critical. You can buy those bits. They often come as part of larger sets where you get around 100 bits in a little box. Just look for the mention of security in the description.

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  • TNC
    replied
    Very clean looking install. On the brake sensors, I think if you're not riding technical trail, one can get away without them. However, this is a fairly preferential element. Strictly opinion here, but if you're riding trail that has a lot constant slowing, starting, turning, going over decently rough spots in a real off road trail, I think at least one brake sensor is required. Here's my take. I have what I believe is as smooth but powerful a power delivery as I can tune with the program cable. Even with that, however, coming fast into tight turns around trees or whatever, you really benefit from being able to tap at least one of the brake levers to kill the motor immediately when needed. On the other hand, I find I like not using the brake sensor when coming into a corner/turn at times when I want power on tap immediately either midway or coming out of the turn. To do that, I have my rear brake on the left...motorcycle style, always have had my MTB's set up that way...and the only brake shutoff switch is on that brake. The front brake, right side, has no sensor, so I can lightly ride that brake without killing the motor and have full pedal assist power the whole time into, midway, and out of the corner immediately. This is not too different from dirt motor riding technique. Having one active brake sensor is a crucial to me but not both.

    Now, one other brake sensor issue IMO is the need to kill the motor or keep the motor inactive while off the bike when wrestling it over something or if you've stalled out on a rocky climb and you're pushing the bike through rocks with no way to really jump right back on the bike and take off. Whether you're using a thumb throttle or a full twist grip Luna or Bafang throttle, it really helps to be able to keep some pressure on the brake lever with the sensor to keep from bumping the throttle in a precarious situation. OP, I have the same Luna throttle you do, and I found it extremely touchy. By "touchy" I don't mean the power delivery was harsh, abrupt, or touchy. I programmed that down to a very nice, smooth delivery. I'm talking about a twist throttle that had no play or slack from a fully closed/off position to starting to engage the throttle. You being a motorcycle guy, you know you almost have to have some play in the throttle tube from full off to where it starts to engage the carb or FI. My Luna unit had zero play. I made a thread on here about that and how I fixed that. Still, I think a brake sensor is fairly critical if you're ever going to be wrestling, lifting, or yanking the bike around while you're on or off the bike while trying to get going again in a precarious situation...like a rock pile or getting over a log. A twist throttle in particular is easy to get bumped.

    On the requirement of the shift sensor, some of my above applies there too, but only as it covers shifting in harsh off road conditions. It's a nice feature to have and is usually much easier to install than the brake sensors. On the brake sensor install, this can be a royal pain depending on how your brake lever/master cylinder is designed. I spent a ton of time digging through my shop extra/spare parts bins to come up with a truly functional mount for my left/rear brake sensor. I think there is some reward with trying to find a creative way to mount the sensor so that it has a little room to move fore and aft in its orientation to the magnet...a form of adjustment. Invariably you'll find brake lever adjustment and wear will cause the distance to change and can cause your brake sensor to shut off the motor or you get no motor shutoff when you want/need it. Having the sensor firmly attached but having some adjustment movement is important to me. The magnet can more or less be permanently attached to the lever IMO once you find a suitable spot.

    Leave a comment:


  • First build, 2006/07 Specialized Epic Expert/BBSHD

    First build milestone...test ride, FINALLY. :-)

    2006/07 Specialized Epic Expert, BBSHD (68mm - 73mm), Luna Wolf V2 52v battery pack, Luna 860 Display, Luna right full twist throttle, Luna Eclipse Face/42T sprocket.

    Pretty straight forward conversion to date...although possibly slowest build ever. Snagged the donor bike from eBay, and ordered parts as they became available. Lots of questions answered here on the forum (thanks guys!), and fortunate to have a small DIY friendly Independent bike shop here in Port Angeles, WA. Only needed the Park Tool BBT-9 to remove the bottom bracket, and the BBSHD installation was a breeze. The Eclipse Face and 42T sprocket just fit without needing any spacers, and provided a good chain line. The display install is a no-brainer, and the speed sensor just needed a bit of trial and error to fit...but, three hands would make it easier to attach.

    *(One possible glitch - my speed sensor magnet was packaged with three screws, one small black phillips head to lock the bracket adjustment, one very small allen head screw and one slightly larger allen head with locktite on the threads. I assume the one with locktite is for the magnet attachment...but there was a small pin in the hole which prevented my allen wrench from being inserted...either a funky defect, or a special wrench I’m not aware of). The smaller screw seemed a bit loose, but a dab of locktite and it worked, so far.

    I snagged both the hydraulic brake sensors, and shift sensor kits...but, looking at the install info, asking a couple questions and coming from a more motorcycle oriented background I decided to test ride without them first. At this point I don’t think I’ll use them, at least for the time being.

    Finally...a couple short test rides...I think more noise from the tires (Specialized Fast Track Elite), than the motor or sprockets, but not obnoxiously loud. Curiously the bike arrived with the tires installed backwards, so maybe that is contributing to the road noise. I’m hoping the Schwalbe Super Moto-X will fit...if and when they become available...and thinking they’ll likely be quieter. A bit more noise from the chainring and sprockets when climbing, so I’ll be watching that. I wish the throttle had a bit more friction, but I’m certain I’ll get used to it as is.

    I’ll be doing a number of shorter test rides and getting the battery balanced over the next few days...but very happy to be on the road.


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