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Surly ECR Expedition Bike 750w BBS02 Mid-drive

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    Surly ECR Expedition Bike 750w BBS02 Mid-drive

    I decided to pull out all of the stops with this E-bike build and use all top shelf components which have proven to be tough and reliable. The end result, in my opinion, is a sturdy yet simple expedition bike which is easy to repair in the field and disassembles quickly for transportation by plane or ship. It sports a dynamic hub generator to operate lights and to charge accessories. S&S couplers are used in the frame as well as cable separators for ease of disassembly. I opted to use the 29+ platform with semi-fat tires for use in a variety of conditions from soft snow to marshlands and everything in between. Multiple attachment points were required for racks and water cages and a durable powder coat finish was added for frame protection. The handlebars needed multiple hand placement positions and to be wide enough for good control on rough surfaces, so I chose the Jones H-bar which also has a perfect cross bar to hold the C961 1000 Display.

    I started this bicycle build with a new Surly ECR frameset which I commissioned Bilenky Cycle Works in Philadelphia, PA to retrofit S&S couplers to. Then it was sent out for a custom metallic black powder coat and then shipped to me ready for the build. Next I installed a Chris King headset and Luna BBS02 750w Mid-drive electric kit in place of a standard bottom bracket. Adding Thomson Elite X4 stem and Jeff Jones H-Bar Loop handlebar came next along with a Rohloff speed shifter and E-bike brake levers. I used a Thomson Setback seat post with a Brooks Cambium C15 vulcanized rubber saddle for weather proof riding. Avid BB7 S mechanical disc brakes were mounted with 160mm rotors and Jagwire compressionless cables. The drive train consists of a Rohloff 500/14 SpeedHub using a 16T cog mated to the BBS02 Crankset using a Surly stainless 34T chainring. The wheels were laced with black DB Wheelsmith spokes and nipples on black Velocity BLUNT & DUALLY rims. For a front hub I used a black Shutter Precision PD-8 6V3W dynamo with 36 holes. In the rear I used a black Rohloff 500/14 Hub also with 36 holes. I then wrapped these 29” wheels in a pair of Surly 29×3 Knard tires officially turning this bike into a 29+ E-Bike. The addition of a Surly Nice Rack in the back and a pair of Salsa Downunder Racks up front with a side of Salsa Anything Cage HD hanging off the left fork rounded out this expedition build. Finally I hooked up the lights and attached some Ortlieb waterproof panniers and this bike was ready for a serious adventure.

    I have just recently added a Bafang Gearsensor by Luna Cycle which works flawlessly with the Rohloff internally geared hub. Prior to this new install, I had to pull back on the brake levers slightly before shifting to keep from putting too much strain on the chain and gears. The Gearsensor causes a slight pause in the Bafang motor while the Rohloff shifts smoothly into another gear.

    How does it run?

    I live in the US Virgin Islands so there are two types of riding conditions, flat waterfront & extreme hillclimbs. On the flats the bike travels easily at 32mph and even the most demanding long hills 14-16% grade can be climbed at 12mph or faster. I purchased one of the earlier BBS02 units and had a little trouble with it overheating on long climbs. Last month I switched out the controller with the upgraded 25 amp mosfets controller and now it doesn't even get warm under the most grueling workout. I'm using a Luna Cycle TRIANGLE 52v Panasonic PF 18650 20ah Pack Battery which gets between 35 and 50 miles per charge. St Thomas island is only 14 miles long so I usually charge the pack once a week.

    In my opinion, the BaFang Mid-drive motors coupled with a good IGH (Internally Geared Hub) such as the Rohloff Speed Hub is the ideal platform for an E-bike.

    Here is the complete build list:


    Manufacturer / Model


    Frame and Size

    • ECR – Size Medium

    • S&S Couplers retrofit

    • Custom Powder Coat (metallic black)

    • Headset Chris King 1-1/8"

    • Luna Cycle BBS02 BaFang 750w Mid-drive Electric motor

    • Luna Cycle TRIANGLE 52v Panasonic PF 18650 20ah Pack

    • Luna Cycles Triangle Frame Bag

    • Surly Stainless 34T Chainring

    • Kmc Bicycle Chain “X-1 For Rohloff” 109 link Dyna-sys compatible 275 grams

    • Jagwire Pro Mountain Brake Cable Kit


    • Luna Cycle E-bike Brake levers
    • Avid BB7 S Mechanical Disc Brake Front and Rear
    • Avid G2 Cleansweep Rh Disc Rotor Rohloff 160mm

    Handlebar & Stem

    • Thompson Stem Aluminum. 4-bolt face.
    (10 degree angle, 120 extension, Black)

    • Jeff Jones 660 H-Bar

    • Shifter: Rohloff Twist Shifter

    • Grips: Ergon GC1


    • Brooks Cambium C15 Slate
    (waterproof cotton & vulcanized rubber)


    • Thomson Elite Setback Seatpost


    • Headlight – Herman’s 50 Lux Headlight

    • Taillight – Herman’s H-Track Ultra-bright Taillight

    • E-werk Dynohub Power Converter for charging cell phone etc.

    • Anker External Battery

    • Wiring harness for lights
    (Schmidt part coaxial Fly type 1.9m w/con)

    • Supernova gold plated wiring connectors



    • Front Hub/Wheel: Precision dynohub (black),
    laced to a 36-hole Velocity BLUNT rim (black)
    with Wheelsmith DB 14-guage spokes (all black).
    • Front Tire Surly Knard 29×3
    • tube Surly 29×3


    • Rear hub: Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 TS DB OEM2 black
    36h ISO (black) laced to a 36-hole Velocity Dually
    rim (black) with Wheelsmith DB 14-guage spokes (all black).
    • Rear Tire Surly Knard 29×3
    • tube Surly 29×3
    • Surly Tugg Nut
    • Ritchey 29er Rim Tape


    • Shimano A530 SPD Dual Platform Pedal

    • Locking Axle Skewers


    • Ortlieb Bike Packer Plus (Hazel)

    • Ortlieb Ultimate 5 Plus Medium Handlebar Bag (Hazel)

    • Thorn Accessory Bar MK1

    • Ortlieb Map Case

    • Ortlieb Front Roller Plus (Hazel)

    • Ortlieb Classic Saddlebag (Black)

    • Salsa Down Under Front Rack

    • Surly Nice Rack rear

    • Water Bottle Cages x 4

    • Salsa Anything Cage

    • Bike Buddy Fuel Bottle Rack

    • Da Vinci cable splitters

    • Extra cables for splitters

    • steering tube spacers



    • SURLY Bolt-On Seat post Clamp

    Just found this thread. Well put together thread. Thanks for posting.


      Wow! Let's see some pictures of the whole bike.

      An ECR Speedhub BBS02 was my first thought when I started planning my custom build, but I ended up with a Soma B-Side V.2 Belt Drive Strumey-Archer 3spd BBS02 in the end. I'm into it for over $3,000 and if I went ECR & Speedhub I'd over $5,000.

      I bet it is beautiful to look at and ride.
      2020 Banshee Paradox V3 1x11 (pedal)
      2018 Soma Wolverine 3spd IGH Belt Drive (pedal)