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Which Cheap Amazon Bike to Start With

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    Which Cheap Amazon Bike to Start With

    A month ago I bought my first ebike at a garage sale for $80. It's an old La Free Lite made by Giant. It's a mid drive and a blast to ride. It came with two batteries. I They are 12 volt nicads, about 10 ah. That's not a lot of juice and one is only good for 6 miles. I have ordered a 12 volt 30 ah lithium battery that will fit in the case. That might get me the range I'm after but it might not. At any rate I would like to fit a Bafang 750 watt mid drive on a mountain bike for light trail and street. I'm wondering if a $300 aluminum frame, with disk brakes from Amazon would work ok. Any thoughts?

    #2
    Do have a picture of the bike, a link, the specs of the bike?

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      #3
      It would be nice to find a bike that someone has done so you know it will work. There are quite a few bikes these days that you just can't get a decent chain line on. You could check walmarts in your area and see if they have an Axum in stock, couple of us have done those with both BBS02 and BBSHD. They were $399 but I think may be $499 now if you can find them. Search axum and you should find our thread.

      I had looked at a GT Agressor pro from Dicks earlier this year for a friend, I think those were maybe $550. I never did it and there was a pic of one here that had been converted but there were no details about how well it worked. My eyeballs didn't see any issues but it only takes a couple MM's to screw things up.

      $300 I would really worry about the overall quality. My Axum for $400 was pretty borderline and both of us ended up changing the brakes fairly quickly. I changed the drive quickly but the other guy I think is still running the 8 speed with only a new chain because it needed to be longer. Those were $400 bikes last year so the way I look at it is what you are looking at would be $200 less comparison wise. You are $100 less to start with then I knock off $100 just because everything cost more this year, shipping, tariffs, and general materials increase. I just can't imagine a bike with $200 less stuff and quality than mine hardly at all and thinking of adding an other 25 pounds of weight to it and going 25mph?

      Have you been keeping an eye on facebook and craigs list? If you look a few times a day decent disc bikes do come up for sale at OK prices but they seem to go fast. I would also consider a maybe 10 year old high end used bike over a $300 new one. You can find some really nice older bikes with XT drive on em in good shape for $300. New pads on an XT rim brakes can stop as well as the discs on a $300 new bike especially if you throw some high end cables on like say Jagwire. Older bikes tend to (but not always) fit mid drives a little better than some newer ones.

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        #4
        I have read some favorable owner reports on the Ancheer 500w model. They don’t like the 250w version as much.
        "My favorite childhood memory is Having Energy” -Libby Harper

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          #5
          I like old 8-9 speed 26" mid range MTBs for conversion. if you can find one with Avid BB7 brakes, and rims with eyelets around the spokes it will probably have a decent fork. I would shop local if possible. Frame size and wear and tear can be hard to tell on amazon. Many people buy MTBs and park them when they find out that it's physically difficult and also dangerous. The more offroad you do the more you will want a newer 27.5 bike to start with.
          I always look at the best MTB in the sporting goods stores to see what $500 will get you. Then you will know ho much your actually saving buying used.
          https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...rail-bike#post

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            #6
            I found a Giant bike that once was an ebike someone turned into a standard bike. It has standard brakes but the forks are rear frame are wide enough for disk brakes should I decide to put them on. It has a seven speed internal Shamano gear box. It was covered with dust and cobwebs at a garage sale. I got it for $10. The guy was so anxious to get rid of stuff I could have got it for $5. It cleaned up very nicely. I have measured things and it looks like the Bafang 750 should go right on. After doing some riding on it yesterday I determined it is geared way to low. It has a 36 tooth ring on it. I'm thinking a 48 would be ideal and still clear the frame but only by 4 or 5mm. Now I have more questions.

            Who to buy the Bafang kit and battery from and which display. Luna is out of stock so it's Amazon or Ebay? I don't really care if the display is color or not but being able to read in bright sun is a must.

            Comment


              #7
              Disc brakes don't have anything to do with the width, its about the frame and fork having the mounting points and being designed to take the stresses in those areas from disc brakes. 100mm fronts are still very common, maybe narrower than 130 rears could be limited but anything wider than that should be lots of options for disc hubs.

              I didn't know Shimano made a 7 speed IGH but looks like its part of the Nexus line. They are not know to be the most robust so you want to take it easy on it and maybe get a gear sensor just to add some extra margin of safety. I think all the Nexus hubs us the same cogs so you should have a decent range to choose from if you need to refine the gearing slightly. I think you can get into the low teens and then up into the 20's. I found using a 7 speed chain was happier on the Luna or Lekkie BBS chainrings and was a little more tolerant of a non perfect chain line than the single speed chains. If the bike doesn't have horizontal rear dropouts you may find it to be less hassle to run a tensioner than try and get the chain lengths right.

              I thought in the stock thread Pax said they had the 68-73 BBSHD's in stock right now. Or were you set on the 02? I think he said those are on their way likely meaning they are in the USA just waiting for a truck and driver to get them from the port of LA to Luna. You can always dial back the power if you don't trust yourself and in many cases the HD fits as well as the 02. The HD 'narrow' shaft is longer than the 02 to start with so you have room for a few more spacers if you need them to clear the slightly larger gearbox without running out of threads. You also have chain rings like the Luna Eclipse that will get you offset further than the stock ones which can really be a good combo for some frames. There are frames that do better with the 02 tho so if you have researched it or read about other builds on that bike and the 02 was a better fit than an HD don't listen to me. I'm just saying that people don't usually say they got too big a motor with too big a battery.

              Looks like Johnny Nerd Out has a store in addition to a youtube channel and his site doesn't say out of stock on BBSHD or BBS02 but I didn't go very deep so maybe there are options like Luna's site that are all out of stock so even though the main listing doesnt say its out its out.

              Comment


                #8
                Starting with a bike that doesn't have disc brakes already can be a big mistake. It may not have disc brake mounts on the fork, and or frame. It may not have disc brake hubs either. if you need to buy a frame, fork, wheelset, and disc brakes. Then factor in removing the crankset to install the motor you've pretty much discarded the whole bike.
                If offroad riding is not the primary goal then a 26" disc brake MTB can be a bargain. They're no longer popular for offroad use. Small wheels, shorter travel fork (65-100mm) and obsolete 3x8-9 speed drivetrain. They will be strong, the 26" wheels accelerate and handle better than bigger ones.They're stronger wheels also. A BBSHD doesn't need more than 8 gears. BB7 disc brakes are a tip off to serious components. You're not likely to find them on a bike that doesn't have a decent fork and wheelset . Hydraulic brakes didn't exist yet in the classic 26" era, so BB7s were high end on those bikes. With a big rotor upgrade, and metallic pads they can hold their own against hydraulics. More importantly they can handle a BBSHD. You may find a suitable bike with BB5 brakes. BB7 can be bolted right on those.
                But expect corners to be cut elsehwere on the bike also. Fork and wheelset being the prime suspects.
                Last edited by Retrorockit; 07-13-2021, 05:41 AM.

                Comment


                • TNC
                  TNC commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Totally agree with those commenting on what may be the downright necessity of disc brakes on many of these conversions. Depending on the motor, these bikes can achieve speeds that even on pavement can require some severe braking at the last minute...pedestrian steps out in front of you...car door opens up in your path...huge pot hole appears...car turns in front of you. Heck...even in my case of off road, trail riding, I'm seriously considering going to 4-piston discs on my MTB over the very good 2-piston units on there now.

                  I think new comers don't realize that 20 mph and beyond is pretty much hauling on a bike when you suddenly realize you need to stop that thing ASAP. Then on top of that consider that often the bike we're talking about...disc brakes or not...is often not of the caliber of construction to be hammered on with an electric motor attached. There is a lot of misconception on how an electric motor on a cheesy bike is going to affect things. And no, I'm not claiming one has to go out and spend a huge chunk of change on the best bike out there, but there are big pitfalls attaching big power to some of these bicycles.

                • Retrorockit
                  Retrorockit commented
                  Editing a comment
                  A 1500W BBSHD is a completely different matter than a 250-350W Eurobike. Just about any reasonable quality bicycle can handle 20 MPH. 30+MPH is another matter entirely. An MTBs ability to blast down a mountain at speed and maintain control is a good place to start. But be sure and get a real MTB not a $50 Walmart clone. This is something you want to consider ahead of time, not out in traffic.

                #9
                You might look at this thread to see what's possible doing it right the first time.
                https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...r-29er-w-bbshd

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                  #10
                  Thanks for all the info. I get it about speeds over 20 mph and the need for stopping power. The wheels and frame on this bike are set up to be able to accept disk brakes. It also has the nicety of the lower frame member is accessible by removing a cover plate to run wires. We have a class 1 bike path where I live that runs from city to city that was once a rail line. I plan to use this bike mainly for riding that trail to the major city in the county.

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