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My First DIY: BBSHD Kona Fire Mountain with all the trimmings

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    My First DIY: BBSHD Kona Fire Mountain with all the trimmings

    Some quick background on me. Prior to 2 years ago, I hadn't ridden a bike in about 21 years since I was a kid. I then bought a used rear hub 36v throttle only Prodeco as my first e-bike, which I loved, but soon discovered it wasn't powerful to bring me up the huge hills where I live. I then bought a Sondors fat bike (still 36v rear hub, but a bit more wattage), which wasn't any better.

    I then researched all about the Bafang mid-drives and got a 48v BBS02 which I love, but wanted just a bit more power to really get me up those hills without any strain, so I then bought a 52V BBSHD Juggernaught from Biktrix. I discovered that I didn't like fat bikes and they weren't my style, and I wanted to experience building a bike myself, so here I am with my (soon-to-be) 5th e-bike in 2 years, but my first ever build.

    I've done a lot of research beforehand as I get really nervous with things like this, and I have absolutely no mechanical experience, and my bike knowledge is very limited.

    For this build, I ordered a BBSHD kit with 52V 14aH from Biktrix (since I'm in Canada), 68-73mm (Standard) size, upgraded to the 750C display (only display that shows current voltage), and a gear sensor. They arrived within about 4-5 days with no issues.
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    I already had two bikes with BBSxx before, but feeling the weight of the motor and battery in my hands, I was surprised at just how heavy they were. In fact, I felt bad for my bike that I was going to load them with that weight! I weighed them out of curiosity and discovered that the battery was 8 pounds and the BBSHD 12.4 pounds! If you generously estimate that all the remaining electrical parts (gear sensor, wires, speed sensor, display etc.) are 0.6 pounds, then that's a total of 21 pounds extra being added to the bike just to convert it to electric. It feels much heavier, but that'd also be the same on a normal bike as a 160 lb person riding a bike vs a 181 lb which made me feel a bit better about it.
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    I have progressed in this build beyond just the unwrapping parts, but will be updating the posts over time as I don't want to make a single long post only to have it not post properly.

    I will be documenting my entire build and journey here, and may need help from you guys later on!

    More to come soon...

    Last edited by Modulus; 02-09-2018, 02:43 PM.

    I ordered a Luna Cycle Ebike Tool Kit and Bafang BBSHD and BBS02 Mid Drive Installation Tool from Luna, which took a few days to fulfill the order, then a week to ship, which wasn't bad since I'm in Canada, and I wasn't hit with any import/duty/taxes on it.

    While waiting for the tools to arrive, I purchased a used PCS-10 bike repair stand. The PCS-9 and PCS-10 both have a 80-pound capacity, but the PCS-10 has quick release levers and a 360 degree rotating clamp. It holds my BBS02 bike pretty securely, so I'm confident it will hold a full BBSHD bike. Being used, the 360 degree rotation gets stuck and I have to use a hammer as a wedge to unstick it, but I got it for $150 so I'm happy with the purchase.
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    I'm doing the build in my office because it's February in Canada here right now and too cold to do it in my unheated garage!

    For my donor bike, I purchased a used 2016 Kona Fire Mountain for $580 Canadian (you can tell me if I paid too much; came with aftermarket pedals and a decent cable lock, but don't worry I have a New York Fahgeddaboudit). It seems to be in good shape, although I'm pretty sure at least one wheel needs trueing, and the chain needs a good cleaning, so I plan to take it in for a tune-up after I get the bike built... mainly just to get the wheels trued up as I can do the rest. I will also then buy fenders, rear rack, a bell, and a kickstand. I'm hoping the kickstand will have room to install once the BBSHD is in place...
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      It's been a while since my last update because I've been sick and have been working a lot on the bike.

      After buying the 2016 Kona Fire Mountain above, I regretted my purchase because the bike did need servicing, had no kickstand, fenders, and rack, and had hydraulic brakes (harder/more expensive to convert). However, after putting it up for sale and getting a lot of compliments on the bike, I decided to keep it.

      I started my build by mounting the battery. Unfortunately, this was also my first roadblock - one of many I had during this build. The problem was that the bike's water bottle bolts were just slightly too far down the downtube, to where the battery mount could just barely fit, but then the battery itself would be a few mm too big to fit, as demonstrated in the following photos:
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      I asked for help online and researched solutions to which there were several. A newer solution is to purchase special straps that basically work as moveable water bottle mounts. However, I didn't want to spend more money on this and also wait for delivery. I also was nervous that it wouldn't be strong enough to hold my battery in place.

      The most common solution was to open up the battery mount and then drill through the metal plate to create a new mounting bolt point. However, when I tried to open this compartment, I found that one of the little screws was stripped on the threads and I couldn't get it out:
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        Fortunately, I came up with a different idea - one I hadn't seen anyone else mention yet.

        First, I removed the bottom metal plate which was attached by two screws:
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        Then my plan was to first lengthen the area in the plastic by a bit, being careful not to hit the 4 metal prongs where the battery attaches, and then also lengthen the area in the metal plate, again being careful to keep the height the same so that the bolts can fit properly.
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        My girlfriend's dad has a drill press and he helped me with this process, and along with some filing, the surgery was a success!
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        Ta da!
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        Here's the battery fully mounted. It's a tight fit, and I had to remove one of the bolts from the seattube, but it definitely fits now. Whew.
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        So the battery is now mounted, but there's still a ton left to do... stay tuned for more updates soon.
        Last edited by Modulus; 02-22-2018, 10:47 AM.


          So this thread is actually a fair bit lagged. I add another update to it when I've hit another milestone in my build, but my current progress is actually a bit ahead of what you currently see here.

          Around this point, the Bafang BBSHD and BBS02 Mid Drive Installation Tool - $55 USD and Luna Cycle Ebike Tool Kit - $39 I had ordered from Luna Cycle had arrived. Shipping to Canada- $40 Grand Total: $134.00 USD.
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          I will review the installation tools later when they come up, but will talk about the Luna Cycle Tool Kit here. Overall, I'm happy with my purchase. The quality is not the highest - some cheaper metals and thicknesses are used for things such as spanners, and some tools are a bit oddly designed such as the chain tool which for some reason has no half-split outer head area, but for only $39 you get a big bicycle tool kit that will help you with most bike jobs you come across. My plan is to slowly replace those items with quality Park Tools over time, but for now the tool kit is great as it gives me everything I need without having to run out to buy a new tool every 5 minutes.

          When I opened the Mid Drive Installation Tools, I realized that they were 1/2" sockets, and all I had was a 3/8th socket wrench...
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          I went everywhere looking for a 3/8" to 1/2" adapter, but not a single store in my city had them, so I ended up ordering a pack of 4 adapters from Amazon, which was cheaper than buying a 1/2" ratchet. Here's my dog helping me sniff out the proper adapter.
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          Not wanting to wait for the Amazon adapters to arrive, I borrowed my dad's 1/2" ratchet for the time being...
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            Why is there no happy ending to this story?


            • 73Eldo
              73Eldo commented
              Editing a comment
              Note this is a 4 year old tread and the OP hasn't been online since the just after the last reply.

            Yea I knew that. I was just hoping the system would ping his old addy and he would respond. I’m looking at the same model here thinking about converting it.


              atlarge did you end up making the build? Saw one of these locally for $250 tempted to snag it for a build.


                Originally posted by yuletide View Post
                atlarge did you end up making the build? Saw one of these locally for $250 tempted to snag it for a build.
                Nope. Used my old Ross MTB with a BBSHD. Works surprisingly well. $250 is decent for a platform to get started with. You can usually move the hardware over to something else in the future.