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Giant XTC Custom 69er BBSHD - 30 speed

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    Giant XTC Custom 69er BBSHD - 30 speed

    A few years ago I started with a bare frame that was a race team discard with half the paint removed and no decals.
    ​I was riding a Giant Sedona DX at the time and was trying to make a cruiser out it when I found the 2007 - 2008 XTC frame for $50 and took a chance.
    ​A couple thousand dollars in parts and I ended up with the bike of my dreams in my youth.
    ​But I'm almost 60 now, and my living situation is suddenly changing, so I decided to look into e Bikes as they are becoming more available and are legal in Seattle where I'm moving.
    ​First I went to eBay because that's where I had seen e Bikes and motors for bikes to DIY.
    ​I left there intrigued but confused; so I went down to a couple local bike stores and asked if they sold them , etc. - nothing going down at all.

    ​Undeterred I went back to eBay and found Luna Cycle's Bafang BBSHD kit at prices near import from China cost.
    ​I read Luna's ad and really wanted to get the kit; but worried about hydraulic brake sensors, and so I ended up at Luna's website looking at tons of cool stuff and drooling.
    ​After reading a lot of stuff about power and batteries and such on their website I decided I would make my own custom Luna BBSHD kit online instead of the eBay item.
    ​So I started out with the Bare Bones BBSHD motor - and then got the brake sensors and a 965 display and a 42t chain ring on a 130 BCD spider adapter.
    ​Add a universal throttle because it looks faster than keypad that comes with 965 screen.
    ​I'm geeked after placing the order and trying to decide if I make a battery or buy a battery, (buy one - just buy one :-), as I await the parts delivery.
    ​ Click image for larger version

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    My Giant "Fat Marty DXTC" 90 Speed 69er before BBSHD conversion Click image for larger version

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    ​Here you can see the 90 speed drivetrain - Sturmey Archer CS-RK3 Internal Gear Hub with 10 speed 11-32t cassette in rear - 22,32,42t front triple. Click image for larger version

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    ​A look down the chain line with a better view of the 10 speed cassette.

    I made the decals up in Photoshop and had them printed at Kinko's/FedEx for around $50 after I stripped the frame of the remaining black paint.
    ​No sealer - no nothing but a lot of zeroes on the steel wool I used to clean it with - this grade of aluminum barely oxidizes so the decals are just stuck on the bare metal.
    ​I call it the Fat Marty Hybrid Touring 420 - whatever that means - it took me a while but I found 420 mm between the center of rear axle and the center of crank...
    ​It's been a wonderful bike - I built my own wheels and they are still true - so it was easier to contemplate a mid-drive motor than a wheel based unit for me.
    Besides - if you intend to climb any long or steep hills like they have in Seattle - mid-drive is the only logical choice for the average builder.

    ​(first in a series describing my BBSHD conversion)
    Last edited by FatMarty; 08-30-2016, 02:55 PM.

    Christmas arrived a few days after placing my order when my BBSHD arrived and I popped the box open and inspected my new toys.
    ​I went inside and ordered a Luna Carbon Shark and a charger with all the upgrades.
    I was feeling pretty good for a while when it dawned on me late into the evening that none of the wires coming out of the motor controller would plug into my fancy 965 display and hydraulic brake sensors, etc.
    ​So in a panic I go to the Luna website and look at everything BUT the BBSHD kit which had everything shown I needed...
    ​Eventually I figured out I needed a wiring harness, a speed sensor, and some crank arms!
    ​In all the excitement of ordering the Bare Bones BBSHD I forgot or did not notice the fine print covering what's included in a BARE BONES motor.
    ​So I frantically wrote Luna and searched for parts they happened to be out of until Luna called me and I explained what happened and how frantic I was because I still wasn't sure if I had ordered everything I needed this time.

    ​They informed me that yes the non-offset crank arms I got would work, and yes it sounded like I had all the parts but did I think I needed anything else?
    ​I said only thing I could think of was programming cable and they said let us send you one along with a wrench with your last order and please contact us if you run into problems because we want you to succeed in your build.
    ​Wow! I am still humbled by the experience and so grateful I chose Luna to be my supplier.
    ​The wrench is really nice, and I like it a lot better than the huge socket I bought that I needed to use a pipe wrench to turn because I don't happen to have a 'spanner' wrench in my toolkit to use the socket properly.

    ​I removed the pedals, crank arms, crank, and bottom bracket assembly and brought all the parts in and started wrenching.

    Click image for larger version

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    ​My bare bones BBSHD with the 42t chain ring and adapter with my initial parts order.

    Click image for larger version

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    ​I wasn't quite sure where to put spacers, etc.; so I watched a video linked to at BBSHD kit page on Luna Cycle website and it was real easy to install motor.
    I have 68mm bottom bracket plenty of clearance; so no spacers were needed except behind beauty ring, (black aluminum nut), to make it look better.

    Click image for larger version

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    Motor is on and useless kickstand space becomes wire conduit/protector instead.
    I need an unwieldly long kickstand because of the 69er configuration.
    69er means 29" front wheel, and 26" rear wheel.
    With 100mm of fork travel my kickstand would have to be almost 400mm long...


      Once I got the motor bolted on I decided to step back and see what my bike looked like now and started checking chain line and ground clearance.

      Click image for larger version

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      It doesn't look quite right because I don't have crank arms on yet; but yeah I can clear the ground with this thing...

      Click image for larger version

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      ​Chain line seems okay; but the front derailleur is pinching the chain a bit.

      Click image for larger version

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      Other than the derailleur issue - I'm starting to like this!

      ​I tried jamming something in derailleur to push it over more after letting out adjust screw; but just couldn't get it in a manner where I felt it would stay there long term.
      Off with the derailleur; now what about a chain guard?


        I'll worry about a chain guard later - what else can I do while I wait for a wiring harness, etc.?
        ​The gear sensor - go watch another video - and realize Yes the cable must be cut to insert it, and NO do not open the sensor unit.
        ​Oh, and by the way, there are two different types of sensors for two different types of gearing: derailleur and internal gear hub.
        ​I have the D model; so I need to order the I model and a Y-cable to hook these up.
        ​Having realized I must cut my shift cable(s) I decided to at least get that part done and cut the shift cables off near the ends, and yanked the lines out past the sheathing I need to cut.
        ​Cut cables - run to eBay and order new ones :-) - and decide I want to protect these sensors from water with heat shrink tubing along with some extra frame protectors I had from my Jagwire kits.

        Click image for larger version

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        Got everything fitted and have to wait for new cables to arrive before proceeding.The sensors go inline the shift cable at a spot where there is outer sheathing on the cable. You can't connect them where cables are bare runs between stanchions. Is that the right word?

        Click image for larger version

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        ​A view of the shift cable ends on my bike cut near the ends. IGH shift cable on bottom - derailleur on top.

        Click image for larger version

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        ​Before I forget - underneath the "66 mm" tag are two rubber washers crimped between motor and frame to protect it in case of disaster.
        ​I did not lose more than a couple mm of ground clearance because of the geometry of my frame; so I want to see how this works out.


          That's the perfect bike for an extra tall double legged stand from Crow Cycles.


            So now I turn to the shifter situation, and the first thing is to remove one of them.
            So the X9 I'm currently using for IGH can go while making room for the throttle.
            ​I can route the IGH cable through the 3-speed XO grip shifter previously used for the front derailleur.
            ​After I remove the X9 I am curious if the throttle will fit the handlebars and if the cable from the display is long enough.
            The throttle with the 965 display is hard wired; so it's important it reaches or maybe I have to change to another.
            ​But the clamp fits my bars where I have room and the wire is long enough.

            Click image for larger version

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            ​The underside of the X9 shifter is shown as I prepare to remove it. Notice the bottom of Guide RS brakes and the reach adjust knob positioning.

            Click image for larger version

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            ​C965 display throttle test fitted on Easton Monkey Bar. nice fit and cable is plenty long for my installation.

            Time to figure out how these brake sensors go on - definitely watching the video for this one because I am perplexed at how this is going to work.
            ​Video is cool and the cut out brake handle is pretty easy; but that ain't happening on the Sram Guide RS brake levers I have.
            ​I mostly one finger brake, and these brakes are really good despite all the problems Avid and Sram had with the XO tapered ones using almost the same dual piston caliper as the Guides.
            ​So the levers are smaller than most; but mostly it's the odd linkage these levers use to feel more natural that makes them tough to put the sensors on.
            And I love these brakes and don't want to start changing more stuff; so I think I came up with a workable solution using the reach adjust knob to mount the magnets to.

            Click image for larger version

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            Sram Guide brake lever reach adjust magnet mount for hydraulic brake sensor.

            ​I unscrewed the reach adjuster knobs, (you have to force it at the end gently to break a thread seal).
            Because undoing the knob pulls the needle all the way in you will want to screw it back in to set your reach position without the knob before re-installing it.
            ​However - you first want to cut the newly exposed reach needle adjuster down about 5mm with a handheld hacksaw or a blade, etc.
            ​Once you've cut the reach needles and re-adjusted reach you need to use some small screws to mount the magnets on the ends of the reach adjust knobs.
            ​I used some out of the X9 shifter :-) that appear to be holding well so far; I used a dab of silicone to lock them in before screwing them back on the reach adjust needles.
            A machine thread would be better here; but I only have limited junk box to draw from, and these saved me from a trip to store.


              While the bike was still upside down I found it fairly easy to cut off the 5mm from adjust needles.
              ​I only slipped a few times; oh well I prefer function over pretty if I must choose.
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              ​The reach adjust needle hangs down below lever prior to removing 5mm for knob magnet modification.

              ​Once I got the adjusters back together, and shot a squirt of silicone to keep the knob from vibrating off, I flipped the bike upright and mounted the wired part of the sensors.
              ​The lever action on these brakes prevents finding a flat surface to mount the sticky brake sensor to; so UV resistant zip ties are needed here to secure them to brake lever body/master cylinder.
              Click image for larger version

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              ​Hydraulic brake sensor is zip-tied to brake lever body while magnet is screwed into reach adjust knob.

              ​I'm feeling pretty good about this thing now that I've overcome the brake sensor problems.
              Time to mount that display and throttle and call it a night.
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              Oh wait - my battery just came - besides that bell is going to be in the way.

              CAUTION: The sensors in these images are too far from the magnets to work proper;
              in a later post in this thread I show you the proper way to align them.

              Last edited by FatMarty; 08-26-2016, 06:25 PM. Reason: Let them know the brake sensors need adjusting different from these images


                Okay that's a nice battery man - even the box it came in is awesome artwork - it exudes special.
                I go ahead and mount the display/dashboard and throttle, and although my choices are to limited to none - everything fits except now the bell is touching the display.
                This is bad for the display and catastrophic for the ding.
                The bell must be moved out a few silly millimeters to restore the distinctive sound of a bicycle bell.

                Click image for larger version

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                ​Got my Luna 965 display and mechanical dinger co-existing peacefully.

                ​Battery! I have to mount it now.
                ​The battery from Luna dubbed the Carbon Shark is really nice molded case with USB port, led indicators on top, charger port, a switch hidden in the bottom, with pigtail leads exiting the sturdy aluminum mounting cradle.

                Click image for larger version

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                ​Battery mounted and I'm in a hurry to hook it up to the motor. This is starting to look like it will work.

                ​Once I got it mounted I noticed what appeared to be a small charger wire pinched between the 5 spade connector and the cradle cover; so I decided to open it and take a look.
                ​So far so good - at this point simply taping up the severely pinched charger plug lead would be the most prudent action - I'm not that smart though.
                ​I decided that as long as I was in here - I can solder the motor wires directly to the battery cradle - I can skip connectors completely!

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                See those beautiful flexible pure copper power leads on each end of the connection block?
                Don't touch them unless you are replacing with similar wire.
                The wire coming out of Bafang motor is not 100% copper and needs a whole lot of heat to flow solder that sticks to it.
                ​I loosened the plastic holding the red pin in place and ended up with an embarrassing blunder to show for my effort.


                  So I get it back together and it is pretty loose in there so I know I got to do something before I can ride it on that.
                  ​I tinned the motor wires first; but that was the easy part...
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                  ​The only place you should be soldering these motor wires is in the back side of an Anderson or XT-90 connector.
                  ​(The world's smallest chain without a missing link use as a wire weight?)

                  Well I got it all soldered up and covered with crappy GD spiral wrap and am none too happy with my performance the last hour or so.
                  At least I can test the charger and see if the battery is all good now.
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                  ​Luna 300J charger set to 100% at 3A charge for initial charge.
                  Click image for larger version

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                  Why did I run the speedometer cable up along the battery and zip tie it? That's not right!

                  Okay - the charger is working - it's time to medicate man.
                  ​I feel dumb for screwing up battery cradle, I know I'm not done here yet at all; but the battery is charging and I really like Pink Floyd and pizza...
                  Last edited by FatMarty; 08-30-2016, 03:13 PM.


                    It's tomorrow and I need to look at these wires and get the speedometer cable installed proper.
                    ​This calls for the good spiral wire wrap - the kind I used on my lights - I also need to watch another video:-)

                    Click image for larger version

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                    ​I should have bought more zip ties. But hey - I'm liking the way this came out. Speed sensor and magnet mounted.

                    ​So I only have a couple yards of this spiral wrap left and I'm thinking I need to do something about brake sensor wires with it.

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                    ​I already had a rats nest of wires and cables - e Bike adds a few more - there's a lot going on up front of this bike.

                    Click image for larger version

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                    ​Yep - sure is a lot going on there - Okay these three should get the spiral wrap treatment - after I fix those wires and that cradle I screwed up last night...


                      I can't live with a loose battery connection - even if my Bafang would - so I need to use these connectors Luna sent me and get something on this motor I can be proud of and then try to fix the cradle.
                      ​I dress the wires and decide to mesh the pigtail end Luna sent me into the motor wires to solder them together.
                      An empty connector would be ideal here I think - but this is what I have to work with and for this I am grateful believe me. :-)

                      Click image for larger version

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                      ​Here I have meshed the wires prior to soldering and I have slipped heat shrink tubing on each line and then wrapped a wetted paper towel around the wires.
                      The wet paper towel absorbs the heat on the wire and saves the heat shrink tubing for later. Also note the blue hanger meant to save my burnt fingertips.

                      Click image for larger version

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                      ​Main leads are soldered and showing a decent reflection of light. Good solder joints shine - bad solder joints are dull.

                      ​Okay - it's time to address my embarrassing blunder from last night - the cradle needs fixing or replacing.

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                      ​The upper power connector was heated too high for too long and started to melt the supporting plastic molding that holds it in place.
                      So now I need to go inside the cradle again - remove all the wires - shore up the bad pin - and reconnect using Luna pigtails for power leads.


                        Take off cradle cover and remove the wires carefully noting where each was located originally.
                        ​I then finished the heat shrink on the power leads below as they had cooled by now.
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                        ​It would have been best to solder motor leads into bare connector I believe - but this method worked and should be fine.

                        I used the tip of my solder iron to melt and mold the plastic back around loose connector and got it to stabilize quite a bit.
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                        ​But once I put the cover back over the wires onto the cradle mount it loosened a little bit.
                        ​It was still way better than before, and not sticking off on an angle; still I put the screws in figuring this is all I can do inside.

                        ​Once the cradle was back together I hooked up the main motor leads to it and noticed that the stiff wires pushed the wiggle out of the connector.
                        So I put a rubber grommet in to hold the wires stable and then coated the wire entrance area with silicone to set it in place.
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                        XT-90, (not Anderson), power connectors between motor and battery cradle. Zip-tied to seat tube while silicone dries.

                        While the night before had been frustrating and taught me valuable but painful lessons today things went as well as could be hoped for.
                        ​I caused the cradle problem - Luna designed their system to avoid this sort of blunder - but I'm not real good at reading instructions FIRST. :-0

                        ​I can't afford to be stupid; so I think my blunder helped me learn to slow down and take this one step at a time like I did with the brake sensors.
                        ​My instinct told me to not say anything about my goof; but that wouldn't help you avoid making the same mistake and this thread is here to help.
                        Last edited by FatMarty; 08-26-2016, 06:27 PM.


                          Cool frame, in unpainted aluminum. Nice build too.

                          That's an XT-90 connector, not an Anderson, though.

                          Originally posted by

                          Anderson power connectors between motor and battery cradle. Zip-tied to seat tube while silicone dries.


                            Thank You Christian and I appreciate the heads up on the power connector - I will change it to be accurate.


                              So as mentioned above the connectors are XT-90 and the crappy spiral wire wrap should be GB (for Gardner Bender).
                              ​The good spiral wrap I know of is made by Alpha - I used 1/8" on the wires I've done so far; but I will do the larger wires with 1/4".

                              I wrapped the cables from last night and rearranged the display to deal with all the wiring and I'm pretty happy with the results.
                              ​I had to trim my headlight switch cord down just to cut the clutter a bit and that was interesting as it has internal battery in light and so I had to do it all 'live' so to speak.
                              ​All came out well so I wonder why I never did that before seeing as that extra wire bugged me anyway:-)

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                              ​The display covers the e Bike wires from handlebars along with headlight switch cable.
                              I needed to lay the display flatter to accommodate wires; but I'm sure it's fine in that position.

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                              ​Here's a look from above of the progress so far. Looks clean from this perspective huh?

                              I told you guys I have to move; but I never told you about my pets who make it very hard to leave my home of 30+ years now.
                              Here's a picture of one of them who was not at all deterred by my attempt at a decent photo of the Carbon Shark battery:

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                              ​That's either Fric or Frac; I can't tell the twins apart. And look at that battery case reflexing everything - Luna rocks man.