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Need help hobbling together a kit. Looking for recommendations

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    Need help hobbling together a kit. Looking for recommendations

    Ebike Conversion Time! I want your advice/opinion

    Well the time has come to convert one of my bikes to an e bike. I've been an avid bike rider for 20 years. I have retro bikes, full carbon bikes, and everything inbetween. My knees have had it though. I cannot keep pedaling.

    Seems there are tons of options of what to hobble together and it gets a bit overwhelming so I was hoping some of ya'll could help me decide.

    If anyone has converted a bike and it has been totally solid and it seems to fit my application then please let me know what you have and links to where you purchased it. I'm sure one of you has gone down a huge rabbit hole of research and figured all of this out. I'd like to learn from what you know.

    The platform:

    Aluminum Bianchi Lynx 26". This is the bike I would like to convert as it's worth the least but is the most fun that I have. It's my go to for short trips in the city


    Honestly I only need it to go around 10 miles round trip max but I want some leeway there. Most trips will be under 6 miles. I live in Chicago.


    I weigh 230 lbs (ex powerlifter) so I was looking at 48V 1000W kits but am not sure how much power I will really need. I do not want to have to pedal much because of my knees.

    The style:

    I want rear hub drive because I want the throttle and do not want all the maintenance of a mid drive. I'm an industrial maintenance manager by profession. I've learned less maintenance is best, always.


    I would like to come in under $500 if at all possible but am willing, upon sound advice, to up my budget.

    My questions:

    First off is the power. I would love the power of a 1000-1500W but am wondering if this is overkill for my city. It's mostly go, stop, go every couple blocks at stop lights. I also noticed that most batteries only output a MAX of 500W so then what's the point of having a bigger wattage motor? Is 500-750w plenty? I do not need to go 50 mph but would like to be able to cruise at 25 without overly stressing the motor, inverter, and and the battery by running it maxed out all the time

    I have heard the battery is more important than the motor size as far as performance goes. Is this true? Am I better off getting a nice big 48V 20 Ah battery and then going smaller with the motor? I found some batteries that will output 1000W but they are expensive and they could easily just be lying. Do they really all cost over $200 or are there deals out there. Feels dumb to drop $260 on a battery that could easily just become a brick in my garage in short order.

    Seems they are all Chinese so which kits actually output the right power and which batteries are actually sound? Which ones last? I assume this industry is like any other where some manufacturers make a quality product whiles others make something very similar, for a similar price, yet it's a piece of junk and they just rake in profits.

    How is the longevity of these kits? Are they solid or do they break after a few years? No point in even wasting my time if the batteries just give out or the modules after a few thousand miles.

    Thanks for your time and advice. ​

    Grin is the go to place for all things hub motor. They have a great reputation for quality and support and they have a ton of info and videos so even if you don't buy from them they are still a great source of information. Note that if you buy a battery from them that ships outside of Canada there is a surcharge.

    Biggest problem I see is your budget. $500 for something new isn't going to get you want you want. Maybe used if you have to stick with that budget but that then also takes some luck to find the right stuff at the right time. Its pretty common for the battery to cost at least as much as the rest of the e parts.

    Personally i think you should put some money into the battery. $250 for a 48v 12ah ish is on the lower side of things, $500 is more in line for a quality pack that is less likely to just die or explode. Buy it from a US or Canadian vendor that has been around for a while and has a good reputation. Think about how it mounts and where you will charge it. If you can't change it on the bike or will be using it during freezing temps you want an battery that is easy to remove so you can charge it. You also want a battery that has a decent case. Hard plastic (or metal) fully potted (where they pour epoxy into the case) is the ultimate. The other end of the spectrum is hot glue and packing tape.

    For power you got a decent amount of weight and 25 mph is pretty fast when it comes to wind resistance. If you really want to go 25 mph and with all the stop and goes I think you do want to be in that 1000w range. A 350 watt you can for sure feel but you still have to do some decent pedaling to get going. I would say 750 is the minimum to be able to do throttle. One catch with the hub motors is you have to pre select the 'gear' when you buy it vs a mid drive that uses the bikes gears and can often be adjusted with different chain rings and cassettes. I think the Grin website has some guides on how to select the right motor.

    Note that a rear hub motor means you will have to screw around with the shifting and freewheels / cassettes and spacing so it can end up being similar amount of hassle to a mid drive to get to fit and work right. If you want to go cheap maybe start out maybe look at a front wheel kit? They will be lower powered but usually less money and easy install. I'm not sure if Swytch has better stock now or not but they are pretty easy to install and clean kits that should be easy to re sell later. If you like it in general it may make it easier to spend the $1500 ish you really should be spending.

    Range wise I think you should be fine. Weight and stop and goes with higher speeds are going to hurt but if you are in the 1000w range a 12ah pack should easily get you 12 miles, even 20 miles would be a reasonable estimate.


      Originally posted by Bmsluite View Post
      ...I want rear hub drive because I want the throttle and do not want all the maintenance of a mid drive. I'm an industrial maintenance manager by profession. I've learned less maintenance is best, always.... ​
      IMO the maintenance for a mid drive driveline is not a good reason to avoid them because, IMO *and* my experience it's just not a reality that it is all that significant

      Case in point, I've got a BBSHD, ride it hard both off-road and on and last $30 11sp chain got replaced at 3000mi (it could have gone longer) and I've got 5000mi on the cassette

      There are other reasons to go hub vs. mid but I just think the maintenance concern is a red herring and likely the very worst reason on the list

      Granted, with a hub if you aren't really pedaling much you can completely neglect the driveline... but I wouldn't =]

      FWIW I have two similar bikes, both fat-tire and one is a rear geared hub, the other the BBSHD... I pretty much never ride the hub - it's gotten relegated to the lowly status of loaner

      Clearly, YMMV


        I ride in sometimes windy South Florida. A 20mph wind can double your power and batttery range requirements. I would go for 1000W and 18-20Ah. It will seems like too much until you need it.
        A strong headwind is just like riding up a never ending hill. To make 25mph into a 20mph wind takes over 1000W.
        25mph takes about 45% more power than 20mph. Add in a headwind and 500W isn't going to cut it.
        The only thing that costs more than doing it right the first time, is doing it right the second time.
        Last edited by Retrorockit; 02-15-2023, 11:43 AM.


        • Retrorockit
          Retrorockit commented
          Editing a comment
          $500 for the kit, and $500 for the battery is about what it will take to do what you want.
          Luna's hotrod BBS02 gets you in the game for a mid drive at 1200W
          This E bay vendor ships from US and is tied in with Hailong.
          We are a high-quality seller of electric bike batteries. Our batteries are very cost-effective. We are a US seller. Shipped in the US, it will be delivered within 3-7 days. We promise that the product is not satisfied with free return within 1 month. Your satisfaction with our battery is our greatest pursuit! We sell electric bike batteries, electric bicycle batteries, and balance scooter batteries. The voltage of the battery is between 3.7V-12V-24-36-48V-52V and the current can be between 4-40A. We have been engaged in the production of electric bicycle batteries for 10 years. Dedicated to cutting-edge technology and high-quality materials for 10 years, we continue to innovate, optimize battery costs, and provide our customers with the most cost-effective batteries. H HAILONG batteries are all batteries with real capacity, we are honest sellers, customers are welcome to test our battery capacity, we support 30-day free returns, don't worry about buying batteries with false capacity.

          The 26" Bianchi sounds right to me for urban. I've posted a bunch of stuff here on this kind of riding on that type of bike
          BBSHD itself is king of the hill for low maintenance.but chains and cassettes become consumable parts.
          Last edited by Retrorockit; 02-15-2023, 12:00 PM.

        Look at 48-52V batteries with 21700 cells, Samsung or LG 4800-5000mah, sure they can easily output 1000+W.


        • Retrorockit
          Retrorockit commented
          Editing a comment
          I like the 21700. Those packs are commonly rated up to 40A continuous. 18650 tops out at 30A. I have a 24Ah 21700 pack 40A.
          But 30A is what a 1500W BBSHD needs. So 18650 options will work for him also. But 20Ah is common in 21700, while 18650 is typically 17-18Ah
          IDK where the best deal is going to be for this guy. I haven't heard of any off brand/counterfeit 21700 battery cells yet. But I'm sure they're coming.