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Front wheel electric Bakfiets (cargo bike) - safe and effective?

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  • jonnyboy
    MoneyPit, here's a very belated thank you for responding! I actually missed the reply for some reason and only now realized you had replied after logging in long after (now three years). I did consider your option, but there were some disadvantages to the mid-drive that took me away from it, not least being that the shop who fitted it didn't offer me that option! I didn't have any problem with power or torque in the end although I had to pedal up some hills still. I was worried about the central drive would put too much strain on the chain. The front drive actually increased stability slightly, and was also useful given the fact I regularly take the bike on paths that are slightly rocky. The both-wheel-drive definitely helps there. Biggest disadvantage has been the fact that I had to lose the roller brake and had to substitute it with a rather poor caliper. I'm now looking for a motor that is compatible with the roller brake.

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  • MoneyPit
    Are you SURE you can't do something simple like a BBS02? I have done quite a bit of research on a Bullitt build and the 02 and HD will fit just fine directly under the bottom bracket, which would be a problem on any other bike but a pure street bike like this. I have looked at your frame and it sure looks do-able

    The CargoBike Classic Long is the extended version of the CargoBike Shorts. Extra options: by extra bench, space for 3 children, space for maxi cosi, a black box, tents in different colors or a dog crate.

    You would have to lose the chain guard but I'd say possibly thats it. Chain alignment would of course be an issue but an offset ring should make back most of what you lose. Especially a Luna ring which has considerable offset.

    The reason I am straying from answering your question directly is because a front wheel motor is going to be either a geared hub, which is of limited utility and especially lifespan given the nature of your bike (carries heavy loads) or a direct drive hub which has less torque than a geared hub. Its the least amount of assistance you could get on a bike whose nature commands a more robust solution. With all that said, yes you could easily do a small front motor... but again its going to give you the least amount of benefit.

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  • Front wheel electric Bakfiets (cargo bike) - safe and effective?

    Hello, I'm a new user looking for a bit of practical advice on converting a heavy cargo bike.
    I have a Bakfiets (Van Aldern) that I used to ride everywhere when I lived somewhere flat. But now I've moved to a very hilly area in Spain and the weight of the Bakfiets is getting too much for my knees, not to mention the 35ºC heat in summer.
    I've balked at the €3,500 cost of a new electric Bakfiets, so I've seen a Danish electric conversion with a front hub motor. I am not sure how effective or safe this is. I'm thinking of doing a similar conversion. I'm not wishing to go fast anywhere, just save my knees on the hills. Anyone got any comments on this?
    Why front wheel?
    - Rear wheel already has a hub gear, which I will probably still need
    - mid motor: things like the Pedelex require a shop fitting, and there are no dealers nearby
    - Front: I'll only lose the dynamo, and I should be able to power the lights by the battery, right?