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Building an Ebike for under $300.

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    Building an Ebike for under $300.

    Last summer I ran across a guy on the KATY trail riding a cheap mountain bike with a sub-$200 DDRH 48v kit and a pack of 4 SLA batteries. It was pretty primitive---just the kind of thing to spark my interest. I wondered what kind of performance a bike of that caliber would produce and the only way to really find out is to try doing one myself.
    I had built a geared FWD 36v Ebike a couple years back and pretty well used up the LIPO battery and geared motor in the first year or so (I put over 4000 miles on it the first year) (see first pic). That bike served me well and helped me recover from physical problems that had me about out of biking with friends... so at $1000 invested I felt it didn't owe me anything in the end.
    I did mount the kit on another bike and moved the battery to the triangle for better weight distribution and that bike did handle a little better...see second pic below...
    I sold what was left of the kit a while back but kept thinking someday I'd build a DDRH kit to try the better traction and reduce motor noise of direct rear hub drive. I saw this kit on Amazon for about $155 in 36v and decided to build a low budget Ebike to play around with using 3 12V 12ah sealed lead acid batteries. That's 25 lbs of battery and the wheel must weigh a good 20 lbs...but I figured it would be worth a try...keep the weight as low and centered as possible and use a sturdy bike.
    I chose to put it on a homebuilt crank forward bike I had built from an old Huffy MTB I salvaged from a neighbors trash pile a few years back...see pic 3...In this picture I had just installed the first part of the battery mount, hoping to support 25 lbs of batteries.
    With $155 in motor kit and $75 in batteries and $30 for a 36v charger and very little actual money in the bike itself it came in pretty close to $300 total. The Electric Beast weighs about 95 lbs but rolls pretty good (especially downhill;). I strapped the batteries together using saran wrap and duct tape and attached the pack to the frame with steel angle brackets bent to fit and radiator hose clamps. see pic 5 below:...
    I've been impressed with how well this low tech combination works. I've ridden it 20 miles on a charge by peddling along with it most of the time and keeping speed under 15mph. It will run 8 or 10 miles with very light input. Tope speed is about 25mph on throttle--I never put on the included PAS.
    One day I may upgrade the battery pack but its a good bike to ride around the neighborhood and cool off on warm summer evenings.

    #2
    Nicely done. Who says you got to go broke to ebike.

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