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2017 Montague Paratrooper E-bike Conversion

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    2017 Montague Paratrooper E-bike Conversion

    I bought the Paratrooper last fall after seeing some members of this forum building them and I really like how versatile the bike is. I drive a Chevy Sonic and I wanted a full-size mountain bike that I could fold-up and cram in the hatchback. This bike checked all the boxes. Here it is stock.
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    The first thing I wanted was to make sure I was completely comfortable with this bike as a pedal-only bike. Why is that? Well, if I’m ever in a situation where the battery or motor dies, I want to be able to get to where I need to go, pedal-power if necessary. So this meant the bike was due for some upgrades. Oh, there's this thing I have about not modifying anything I can’t put back to stock (more on this later) aannnndddd I’m a bit OCD and when I get something in my head, it’s gotta happen, no deviation from the plan!

    To start things off, I wanted to build a wheelset. I’d had pretty good success building my first set for my Townie last year and thought an IGH and road tires were in order for this one.

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    I ended up with an Alfine-8 for the rear hub and a pretty generic Shimano Deore hub for the front. Then I got it in my head that I wanted to go tubeless and never worry about flats. Of course, I went about this in all the wrong ways possible… rims were not tubeless ready, rims were schraeder drilled, gorilla tape in lieu of rim tape AND I wanted to use CushCore inserts. I was convinced that with the inserts, tire sealant etc. I could run through a pile of nails, screws and everything else and come out unscathed.

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    After some wrestling I was able to the inserts on, tires on, sealant in and got the tires to hold air. I then dropped the bike off at my LBS to have the rest done by people who know what they’re doing. I had them upgrade my front mechanical disc brake to hydraulic. For the rear, I went with the TRP HY/RD which is a cable actuated hydraulic disc brake, allowing me to retain the Bafang motor cutoff brake lever. They put in the shifter and all the various parts for getting the Alfine-8 up and running, along with a chain tensioner and other random items. I was all set to go pick it up and test ride it when the mechanic called me and said that over the weekend both tires lost pressure and leaked sealant all over the shop floor. I was able to pick it up, but I couldn’t test ride it at that point until I figured out what I was going to do with the damn tires. As I often like to say, “no good deed goes unpunished.”

    Turns out the gorilla tape had failed. At this point, I thought I’m not going to try wrangling these things to go tubeless unless I do it the right way somewhere down the road. I also justified that deviating from the plan was part of the plan all along, so technically I have not deviated from the plan! I ended up getting some heavy duty tubes figuring maybe I’ll try filling those up with sealant later on (I think it was AZGuy that said he does that with good results). So I finally got on and rode it and it’s awesome. I am now a huge fan of the Alfine-8. It is super smooth and very quiet.

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    Here it is back from the shop with tubes, tires, and wheels all sorted out. You might notice the wacky seat I have on it. I’ve tried so many different seats and finally found out the cheap Schwinn “no nose” seat was the most comfortable for me. You can also see the Jones H-Bars (awesome) and stem riser.
    Last edited by theronchaplin; 09-04-2018, 05:19 AM.


    I had always intended to hang my existing battery (carbon shark 48V) in a Blackburn bag from the top tube. I’d seen it done that way successfully on a few builds and I swear I measured all that earlier in the year confirming everything fit. Well, either I didn’t measure it, or the bike got smaller because the bag and the battery were too long. Looking back I suspect the problem was that I bought a medium frame and I bet everyone else’s Paratroopers I saw were probably large.

    So now I gotta figure out where the heck I’m going to put the damn battery. I really wanted to use the one I already have (money’s always tight, plus I hate having a battery lying around I’m not using) but after some forum posts and other ways seeking help, I was nearly convinced I would have to get some mini’s or a pretty specific custom rectangle/triangle setup. Then Paxtana replied to one of my posts saying “hey didn’t that thing originally come with a rack?” Yes. Yes, it did. I had totally written the rack off because I had gotten rid of it when I switched to the Alfine-8 as it no longer fit. But Paxtana was right, I needed to figure out how to make that rack work because that was definitely the best place to put a battery and guess what, it could be the battery already have!

    So here’s where you can laugh at my awesome fabrication skills. Someone who knows what they’re doing would fab up some cool aluminum blocks and screw em or weld em in place so everything was rock solid. Well, I don’t have those skills. Plus as you may remember from earlier in this build log, I got a thing about being able to put everything back the way it was, just in case, for someday… that probably won’t happen but I don’t care, never deviate from the plan!

    My solution was hose clamps! (Yes, now you can laugh. It’s cool, I can take it.)
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    I tell you what, that rack might not sit on the axle anymore, but it ain’t going anywhere.

    And just when you thought I was done with my super impressive fabrication skills, I topped the hose clamp idea. The cradle didn’t fit flush on top of the rack because of the bolt that holds the rear fender on. So I found some “drive cleats” at the hardware store. I guess they’re used for connecting ductwork, but in my case, I could put them on either side of that bolt and have a flat surface for the battery cradle to sit.

    And oh boy it gets better.

    Because I don’t have the metalworking skills (hell I don’t even own a drill right now) I was going right back to the dog that bit me. Gorilla tape failed me with the wheels, but damn if I was gonna let that stop me from going hog wild on the rack.​​​​​​​
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    Beautiful, ain’t she? Okay, no more laughing at me cuz now it’s time to get down to the serious business of putting in the BBSHD.
    Last edited by theronchaplin; 09-05-2018, 03:50 AM.


    • max_volt
      max_volt commented
      Editing a comment
      Images not showing

    • theronchaplin
      theronchaplin commented
      Editing a comment
      Yeah I'm having a hard time doing the pictures right. I choose them, upload them to server, resize and it shows on my end. Then the post gets flagged for spam and when it gets accepted, I lose a bunch of pics. I must be doing it wrong.


    The bottom bracket was pretty easy to get out.
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    And getting the motor in place was a piece of cake.
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    Because apparently, I’m in love with hose clamps, I decided to shore up the motor and make sure it wasn’t going anywhere either. If I recall, I saw this trick from some cyclone users as a way of improving the old mounting system.

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    Luna Aluminum Chain Ring adapter, Shimano STEPS crank arms and Wellgo platform pedals.

    I ended up cutting the connectors on both ends and hardwiring the controller to the battery cradle. I also found out that motor controllers have capacitors in them that store energy even after the battery is removed from the cradle. Ask me how I know that! LOL
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    Voile straps are awesome, That battery is rock solid.
    Last edited by theronchaplin; 09-05-2018, 03:56 AM.


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      I’m really loving this bike. So much that I don’t see riding my Townie ever again. We’ll see, but plans are to put the Townie back to stock and have all my electrical leftovers as spare parts.

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      This Timbuk2 bag is great. It’s sturdy, comes on and off pretty quickly and holds a ton of stuff.

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      Nice glare from the sun *sigh*, but that’s the eggRider V2 and the corresponding app running on an old android phone that doesn’t have service anymore. I think they call that repurposing… yeah, I’m like saving the environment and junk.

      The chain line is not superb. I really like the chain ring I have on it now, but it looks like I’m going to have to get another one with more offset at some point. So once that’s done, and I get the motor settings dialed in, this bike is gonna serve me well for a long time. Until of course I get that next e-bug… a fat bike? No no no! A trike!!!
      Last edited by theronchaplin; 09-04-2018, 10:37 AM.


        Always nice to see a paratrooper build, montague bikes sure are something special.


        • theronchaplin
          theronchaplin commented
          Editing a comment
          It's certainly fun to ride and definitely versatile. Thanks to you for reminding me I had a rack on this bike to put the battery on. I think for a medium frame, the rack is definitely the best place for my existing carbon shark.

        • paxtana
          paxtana commented
          Editing a comment
          Glad I could help. How you liking those Voile straps, I heard good things.

        • theronchaplin
          theronchaplin commented
          Editing a comment
          So far so good on the Voile straps. I had bought a bunch of 20" ones when I had thought I would be hanging the battery in a bag from the top tube, but they turned out to be just a tad short for strapping the battery/cradle to the rack. I ended up getting 25" for that application. They ship pretty quick too.

        I LOVE the Voile (and their competitors, TITAN for one) straps also. One great thing: you can easily use them with gloves on, like the other day when I was camped out in what turned out to be 19 degree temps (at 8 K'), and when you can't see them. By that I mean working blind, they are still easy to latch, even working blind and in 19 degree temps! I like them so much I kept stealing for other uses the ones I first bought for bike use, so I bought more.

        My third Montague, over the last 20 years, bought for carrying in my small plane, they have long been a game changer for me. This pic is from last week on a flight to Montana, showing the bike hooked to my Travoy folding trailer (my plane is SMALL) with 11 gallons of mogas on it. The bike's folding mechanism continues to work flawlessly. Of course the Mont's quick folding means it easily fits in my car, or anyone's car for that matter. With a tweaked BBSHD and the Rohloff hub, it's also fast (38 mph) or a stump puller, both.


        • theronchaplin
          theronchaplin commented
          Editing a comment
          I've been looking at the travoy trailer for a while now but haven't pulled the trigger. Looks good on a Montague! I'm a little bummed because I just recently found out I won't be riding the bike for a year or more as I'm taking a job in another country and cost to ship is too high to justify. I might just take the straps with me though LOL

        Nice build


          This is the only thread I could find as a result of search "Montague" from home page, that offers specific details about the installation of a BBSHD motor onto the BB of a Montague Paratrooper.

          I saw in other threads that some installers of the BBSHD were having trouble inserting the drive shaft of the motor cleanly through the BB of their chosen cycle. Because of that detail, they would take a dremel tool and sander barrel, and have to enlarge the BB holes. So, I became curious about whether or not that would occur on a Montague Paratrooper cycle build. That specific detail seems to be put to rest here, it appears to be a slide in fit. Great!

          Some details that I would like to request from the "best and brightest" (that's you guys :) are:
          Did you purchase the 68-73 mm shaft motor?
          What amount of mm of spacers (if any) did you have to install to assure clearances on these Montague Paratrooper builds?
          Did you have enough thread space remaining on the drive shaft to use the locking ring, or did you have to use the Loctite solution?

          I will perform the measurements before placing an order to confirm these details, but I would be thankful for the "leg up" in understanding.

          I have the luxury of being able to select my full size folding cycle for build-out. The Paratrooper / Pro / Elite / Highline / Allston is on my short list (and the Changebike 609 , 611, and 612 models are, too).

          Last edited by mebgardner; 12-30-2018, 01:36 PM.


          • paxtana
            paxtana commented
            Editing a comment
            Unless you have a good reason to do otherwise, you probably want the 68-73mm BBSHD version for this frame.

          Just did the same build with a Luna BBSHD kit, Jones riser bars. Love it.


          • STS
            STS commented
            Editing a comment
            Riding this build, last week I made it to the top of Pikes Peak.

          curious what these bikes are coming out weight wise, with and without battery

          STS please post some pics of your build


          • STS
            STS commented
            Editing a comment
            My build looks just like his without the bags and mirror. I used a Luna Cycle BBSHD kit, 42 tooth chain ring, 52volts 13.5 amps
            Last edited by STS; 07-18-2020, 12:02 PM.

          I'm looking to do this to my Montague Navigator. It looks like everything is the same where it needs to be. Thanks everyone for posting.