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BBS02 on Motobecane Elite Adventure

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    BBS02 on Motobecane Elite Adventure

    Last month I built my first ebike, a BBS02-powered Motobecane Elite Adventure, and I just finished 500 miles on it. It's been awesome! I love that I can pedal as much or little as I want, keep up with 30mph traffic on roads, and let the motor take me up the big hill to get home. I can bike to work faster than I can drive at commute times with the motor boosting my speed and climbing the hills quickly.

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    I chose the Lunacycle BBS02 kit with a 52v 11.5ah Panasonic PF Shark battery, 52v Advanced Luna Charger, the DPC-14 full color display, and the 44t chainring.


    I spent about $1,600 altogether - $400 for the bike, $1,100 for the kit, and about $100 in tools and accessories. It's my first build and took about four hours to get everything put together. The build was mostly straightforward but I ran into a few problems.

    The Tools
    • A bottom bracket removal tool
    • A crank removal tool
    • A hex key set (2mm - 10mm)
    • A large wrench (for enough torque to remove the bottom bracket)
    • A Luna Wrench (I didn't have this, but it would've been much easier)
    • Screwdrivers (Phillips and Flat)
    • Mineral Oil (to slip the handlebar grips off and on, and to get the BBS02 axle through the bottom bracket)
    • Paper Towels
    • Loctite Blue (to keep the BBS02 secured)
    • Electrical Splice Connectors (to join the motor to the battery mount)
    • Heatshrink Tubing and heat source
    • Zip ties to secure cabling

    A $40 Bikehand Tool Kit from Amazon contained the first three tools and will hopefully help with future maintenance.

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    The Build

    First, I removed the parts which would no longer be needed - the front derailleur and shifter, the stock brake levers, the pedals, crank arms, and bottom bracket. Removing the crank arms with the tool was surprisingly easy. Removing the bottom bracket was not difficult but I needed a long wrench to get enough leverage, and I was pulling the wrong direction on one side initially, forgetting it's threaded backwards on one side.

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    Removing the handlebar grips was very easy thanks to a trick I read online - use a flat screwdriver to pry them up slightly and then pour some mineral oil in to get them to slip off. Use it when putting them on as well. It evaporates quickly, leaving the grips on tight in an hour.

    With the stock parts removed, I quickly encountered my first problem - the BBS02 axle wouldn't quite go through the bottom bracket on my bike. It caught just past the threaded portion. I ended up lubricating it with mineral oil and hitting it with a wrench a few times to get it in.

    Next, I didn't have the Luna Wrench, so I used the Bikehand YC-502A freewheel tool (from my kit) to tighten the inner nut and a regular wrench for the outer one. I couldn't get them really tight, and of course the wrench scratches the outer nut somewhat. I didn't use Loctite the first time, so they loosened quite a bit after a few hundred miles of riding. I highly recommend the Luna wrench as an inexpensive way to get the most important part properly tightened down the first time.

    Installing the speed sensor, display, and hand controls was easy. I chose to put the throttle on the left, with the brake level and then the button pad next. I routed the cables into a bundle at the handlebar stem and zip tied them to the downtube while turning the handlebars to the far side to ensure there was enough slack in the wires. I wrapped excess wire around the kickstand mount to keep it out of the way. Luckily, when I got a kickstand later I found it installed around the excess wire without problems.

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    Next, when installing the shark battery mount, I found that my downtube water bottle mounts were a little too close to the seat tube. The battery pack hits the seat tube when inserted into the mount and the lock bolt wouldn't go into the hole in the mount, so it couldn't be locked. I really wanted to use the water bottle mounts for the battery mount, and the battery is electrically connected in this position, so I drilled the lock hole into an oval shape to get the lock bolt to fit into the mount in this position.


    Finally, I found out that the motor had nice connectors on the battery cables, but the mount didn't. I had to cut off the connectors and join them with splice connectors. I joined one side at a time, cut to different lengths so the joints aren't next to each other, carefully intermeshing the wire strands. I used heat shrink tubing to wrap each wire individually and then the two together. My heat shrink didn't end up completely tight - the 3-to-1 waterproof heat shrink would've been better for sealing everything completely.

    Build Conclusions
    Looking back, the build wasn't difficult, but there were some challenges. Expect a few problems and be patient when you get stuck on something. Make sure your bottom bracket is narrow enough - it's really important to get the motor tight.

    Next time, I would:
    • Get the Luna Wrench to secure the motor more easily and more firmly.
    • Try a regular 3A 48v charger. I'm always charging at 3A to 80% for cycle life. The regular 48v charger would do the same and save some money.
    • Consider a smaller battery - the 14s4p is more than I need. A 14s3p Panasonic PF in a hard case would be ideal for me - 45 mile "normal speed" range, 5 pounds, 30A rated current, and cheaper than a 4p.
    • Consider a 36t chainring, which would be ideal for my 11-32 cassette. I reach top speed in my 15t ring with two smaller gears left, so a smaller chainring would allow steeper climbs and more acceleration with no loss in top speed.

    After 500 Miles
    I've ridden the bike 500 miles now, and I love it.

    The BBS02 provides more than enough power to put a grin on my face. On flat road my bike will go about 30mph by itself, and 35mph if I'm pedaling hard as well. With the motor off, comfortable pedaling keeps me around 15mph. If I pedal the same way and have the motor boost me to 19mph, my battery is good for about 60 miles of range (10wh/mi). If I'm riding on the street at 25-30mph, it looks like the range is about half that. It climbs steep hills at 9mph in first gear, compared to the 3mph I manage alone. On typical rides the motor is only warm (not hot) even after a long climb. It's only been really hot once, after a long 30mph street ride on a 90F day. Even when I plan to make the motor do all of the work, I use pedal assist and find I'm sweating when I'm done, so I'm getting solid exercise from every ride.

    Since my battery has more range than I need (40 miles is plenty for me), I always charge my battery to 80% capacity and at 3A. I'm hoping to get at least 1,500 cycles from it (four years of daily use), which looks very likely given that charging only to 80% by itself provides about 4x the normal cycle count, and the battery is rated for 500 cycles.

    I set the display to five speed mode so I don't have to change speed as often. I prefer a fast pedal cadence, and I find assist level one is good for helping me get up to speed but then letting me maintain speed on my own. Level two is good to boost my speed on trails, so the motor and I are working together at cruising speed. Level three is great for riding at high speed on streets (24-30mph). I can't keep up with level four or five, so I never use them.

    I haven't had any electrical or mechanical problems (other than a few flat tires). I've added a kickstand, bell, u-lock, and saddle mounted repair kit to my bike, which are essential. Getting the brakes tight enough was challenging but watching videos on YouTube helped me figure it out. I've gotten a few creaks and groans on some rides, but tightening hex nuts and the nuts holding the motor in place have eliminated them. I moved the throttle lever down lower so I don't hit it accidentally with my thumb.

    Happy riding!


    #2
    Thank you for this very meticulous and helpful post! Very good choice on the bike IMO.You literally got me to stop lurking this forum and create an account and post..

    What's funny is, I have a similar bike and ordered the exact same kit from Luna this morning. It will be my first ebike, also putting it on a $400 hybrid-ish bike. As luck would have it, this helpful post on a nearly identical build comes up hours later. However, it's mostly reassured me that I have made the right choices after weeks of lurking, researching and contemplating all of the options.

    Can't wait to get started on this.. your post has me even more pumped and already thinking of future upgrades! Thanks again, stay safe out there!

    Edit: Got pics of the battery mount mod? I'll probably be in a similar situation.
    Last edited by sandiegan; 08-22-2016, 04:48 PM.

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    #3
    Would you please share the brand of kickstand you have there? Been looking for a suitable one for my bike. Thanks!

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      #4
      @sandiegan: You're welcome! I hope my post helps with the build process. Once you get it put together and running, you'll love it. =)

      @SQN: Sure - the kickstand is a BV Bicycle Foldable Double Kickstand. I really wanted a double kickstand to hold my bike up when putting my kids into the rear seat, and this one does the job. It's easy to adjust the height to sit square on both pegs, and when you sweep the left leg back the other one folds in next to it. The only downsides are that it's heavy (which isn't a big deal for an eBike) and sometimes I have to lift the back of the bike slightly to get it off the kickstand. It's a good thing my kids aren't too heavy yet.

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        #5
        Great build thread...thanks :) PM sent.

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          #6
          @Rodney64: I'm actually not sure. I think it was a 2016, but I can't find the year on my order receipt. It was ordered from BikesDirect in mid-June 2016, so just a two months ago. The current 2017 picture looks exactly like my bike to me, but maybe they changed something subtle.

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            #7
            Nice build! What size is your bike? Maybe with the next size up the shark battery would fit better? Any photos of your battery lock mod?
            I wonder how this bike would work with the bbshd😀 I'm still deciding what bike to make my first ebike.

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              #8
              @Charles: My bike is the 17.5" size [for heights 5' 9" to 5' 11"]. Maybe the next size up would've been an easier fit, but only if the water bottle mount was moved. I'm not sure if Motobecane would be more likely to keep it the same distance from the pedals or from the handlebars.

              The battery mod was literally just drilling the hole into a bit of an oval shape to allow the battery to ride a little higher. I'm not even sure if another of the same bike would have the mount in exactly the same place so that it was needed. Picture below - you'll see just a subtle oval at the top and a little burr where it was drilled.

              I've been thinking I might do a BBSHD next time (if I can convince my wife to have me move the BBS02 to a bike for her). It would only help for the hills, though, as I can already go 30mph on flat ground pretty easily and don't want to go much faster. There are a few hills on my commute, though, where the BBS02 can only go up at about 15mph and I'd be happy to go 20mph instead.

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                #9
                I'm doing a similar build which chain ring did you use and how do you like it?

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                  #10
                  The RaceFace 36t. It didn't come with the chain ring bolts even though I got the mount, so get some. The gearing might be a little too low now. It can climb anything but on flat ground I now start in 4th gear and I can barely go 30mph while pedaling in top gear. It feels like about 40t would've been perfect.

                  I will say it has never thrown the chain off, which is really nice. That used to happen on some big root bumps in the trail I ride on.

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                  • 805gregg
                    805gregg commented
                    Editing a comment
                    What is the offset? And is that pretty much in the middle?

                  #11
                  The chainring is flat (unlike the stock one, which curves back in toward the frame). I have it mounted *under* the mounting bracket, so it's just about 1mm away from the mounting surface on the motor. It ends up being pretty close to a straight chainline to my fourth cog (so almost perfect).

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                    #12
                    Thanks, Scott

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