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thinking about building my own

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    thinking about building my own


    i was considering buying a sondors. but i hear the advertised specs are not accurate. i also tend to like higher quality stuff. so i have been considering DIY. i've been building my own computers for years. i know you end up with a better product for a better price. i know it's going to be the same story for an e-bike. but to be honest i know nothing about this market. hoping people with experience can share some wisdom. i have tons of questions but i'm going to start with parts. let me know if i am missing anything.

    pedal powered fat bike
    regenerative braking
    LCD display
    twist throttle
    hydraulic brakes
    regarding the BBSHD kit. aside from the battery and battery related parts, does this kit provide everything i need?
    Last edited by Fiasco; 06-30-2016, 01:11 AM.

    Why not start with a bare frame to your liking and add exactly the parts you want? I have done that four times and I documented it here:

    If you start with a bare frame, finish it how you want (e.g. paint or powder coat), plan out all of the bike parts and e-bike parts you will end up with a lot of familiarity with your rig when it is done.

    Bicycle parts are fairly modular (i.e. interchangeable) and your LBS and the internet will tell you what can be used together (e.g. 7 speed chain with a 7-speed freewheel).

    E-bike components are even more interchangeable and you can choose the right power level for your individual needs.

    Repairing and maintaining your rig will be easier if you were the one who planned out every single detail.

    Some things to consider:
    (1) steel, aluminum, titanium or carbon fiber frame.
    (2) full suspension, hardtail or no suspension.
    (3) the max speed you will travel, and a chainring and smallest cog in the freewheel which will yield a reasonable cadence (90 RPM?) at that max speed. This way you can pedal meaningfully when you are bombing down the road or trail.
    (4) Rim brakes or disc brakes. If disc brakes, mechanical or hydraulic. 160 mm rotor? 200mm rotor?
    (5) Max power desired.
    (6) Max speed desired.
    (7) Range desired.

    I urge against using an adjustable stem.

    Fat tires may look cool, but you get more flat tires (in my experience) and they require a lot of power to get going.

    Good luck on your project!

    If you can imagine it, then you can build it!
    Last edited by commuter ebikes; 06-30-2016, 01:15 AM.


      my first thought was to buy a standard bike and add to it. something like this.

      after thinking about it i started to wonder how much of this bike am i going to be able to use. example, will i be able to use the rotors, chain, brakes, or will i have to buy stuff specifically for e-bike use.

      i then saw this frame on luna. looking at this i can definitely see more options for customization, which is something i like. but at the same time, when i look at this frame, two other thoughts come to mind. where do i start with something like this, and how much more is this going to cost me. being a complete nub, and being unsure how much people on forums are going to be willing to hold my hand, makes me think the pre-built bike may be the better option.
      Last edited by Fiasco; 06-30-2016, 01:34 AM.


        The way that I did it made for an incredibly expensive project.

        Being a noob, you may want to start with an economical bike and take it easy on the fancy stuff. My original budget for one bike was $3,000 and it ended up costing over three times that much because I needed everything to be just so.

        I recommend that you start with a prebuilt bike if you are not sitting on several thousand dollars of hobby money.


          The end result will be a very fun and exhilarating rig. It will definitely be worth it, but you will have to work hard and be very patient and understanding along the way.

          There will be innumerable people who will hold your hand, but it does take a village. You will employ the LBS, your vendor (e.g. Luna) and hopefully some local electronics technician (just my opinion).

          I guarantee it will be 100% worth it when you are riding the bike. You can do it!

          I made huge, permanent sacrifices in probably all of my non-ebike spending habits. I will never be able to afford any car or fancy vacation ever, but I am very happy with my ebikes.
          Last edited by commuter ebikes; 06-30-2016, 01:33 AM.


            i am prepared to drop $4000 thousand on this. i also have plenty of free time on my hands and am looking forward to a new hobby. i enjoy goofing around with my computer and keeping up with the latest tech. i have a feeling this is going to be the same story. i see you edited your OP and added additional questions. here is my response.

            1) steel, aluminum, titanium or carbon fiber frame.
            titanium and carbon fiber is too expensive. steel is heavy which decreases performance and makes it harder to handle. because of this aluminium is what i am learning towards.

            (2) full suspension, hardtail or no suspension.
            don't know what hardtail means. was gonna stick with whatever suspension is on the pre-built.

            (4) Rim brakes or disc brakes. If disc brakes, mechanical or hydraulic. 160 mm rotor? 200mm rotor?
            don't know the pros/cons between rim / disc brakes. same story for the size. was considering the hydraulic set from luna if using the brakes on the pre-built bike is a bad idea.

            (5) Max power desired.
            don't have a number in mind. i'm looking at the BBSHD kit. but in reality 600-800 watt should be enough.

            (6) Max speed desired.
            30 should be enough. 40 sounds nice, but probably unnecessary.

            (7) Range desired.
            30 miles full electric should be enough. but i would be willing to spend more on the battery if i can hit 50 miles for peace of mind. i hear the weight of these things makes them a nightmare to pedal when the battery dies.
            Last edited by Fiasco; 06-30-2016, 02:22 AM.


              I was in your position 5 years ago and yes it's an additive hobby. But well worth it. My current ride I'd a specialized 2009 enjuro expert with a BBSHD kit. Search my profile on this forum and you will find it. The below link is where I started.

              Post up your photos share and discuss I thought it was time to start a dedicated Phasor build thread.


                ↵First off, I have to agree entirely with Commuter ebikes response. Starting with a bare frame is the way to get the most personalized ride. But can be expensive. Save that for build two, yes , if you build one, you will likely build two! I also think your 4k budget is right on. You can build a VERY nice ebike with that budget. I built my first on a prebuilt and it came out better than anticipated. I built mine, including my bikepacking trailer w/ solar array and all for less than 4k. Check out the pix.

                1)Steel is heavy, and complete overkill unless your real heavy or are planning to haul a lot of weight, like a passenger or such. Titanium and carbon too expensive.

                2)Hardtails, are front suspension only. Full suspension is , heavier, much more expensive unless you get a pogo stick suspension bike from Walmart. A hardtail with a suspension seat post will be way comfortable and will cost less, and will be all you need unless you plan on riding really serious tech single-track.

                ​3)On an ebike you really want disk brakes. Really good ones with big rotors to give the best braking. Do not short yourself here. Going is great and fun, stopping is essential!

                4)Go big! The BBSHD is by far the best for the money.

                5)The BBSHD will get you 30 easily with proper gearing. 40 is a pipe dream unless you go with a kit rated more than 2500watts. Or use really tall gearing, which makes it accelerate slowly but go faster on top.

                6)A 52v 20Ah battery will get you 30+ even with hills and lots of throttle usage, and if you use pedal assist a lot more. A 20Ah battery has just over 1000 watt hours. using pedal assist and staying off the throttle, you can get a mile for every 20 watt hour, which comes to about 52 miles. Your mileage will be differently based on how you use it.

                7) No regen braking on mid-drives, that's a hub drive thing.

                8)When picking a bike, frame design is very important. If your going with a big triangle battery, make sure it will fit your frame. also, the way the down tube and bottom bracket meet is important. if the down tube is straight where they meet the drive will sit up fairly high and stay out of the way. If the down tube curves to the back just before it meets the BB it will cause your drive to hang very low like a cows udder, unless the frame has room to rotate the drive up into the frame triangle. Also the type of transmission you use is important. If you plan on an internally geared hub, get a bike with the one you want on it, or get a single speed bike as they convert to IGH's much cheaper and easier.


                • Louis
                  Louis commented
                  Editing a comment

                that solar panel bike : )

                is after market suspension necessary or can i get away with my pre-built suspension. i hear after market suspension is only necessary if you are heavy or ride off road. i'm 150 and plan to ride on paved roads.

                i kinda already knew somebody was gonna tell me not to use the pre-built brakes. but is hydraulic brakes really necessary for 20-30mph? i'm going to be riding on long country roads. immediate stopping power won't be as essential as if i was riding in a busy city with lots of traffic.

                is mid drive better than hub drive? i'm assuming hub drive is easier and cheaper while mid drive is more powerful.
                Last edited by Fiasco; 06-30-2016, 05:00 AM.


                  You don't need aftermarket suspension, just buy a quality bike to start with that has the suspension, brakes and frame design that will meet your needs. With your weight and riding style I would go hardtail or no suspension. Suspension is the single most expensive item on most bikes, if you don't need it, why buy it? Don't kid yourself on the brakes, 30mph on a bike is freakin' fast! you want hydraulic disks, shimano or better. Ever had a collision with a deer or dog or other critter on a country road doing 30mph? Believe me, if you don't start with quality brakes, you will be up grading! Stick with a mid-drive, you won't be sorry.

                  ​Just for example; My donor bike is a Diamondback Overdrive Sport hardtail. It came with an aluminum frame, hydraulic disks and great tires. It lists for $800, got it on sale at Nashbar bikes for $420 on a sale. Installed a BBSHD and 52v 11.5 Ah battery for $1380 including shipping and a Luna Charger. Then I upgraded to a Nu Vinci N360 IGH, pre-laced to a tubeless WTB rim with a new Maxxis Crossmark mounted for $500. Even after all the odd bits required to put it all together, and plenty of accessorizing, I am at way less than 3k. Built the trailer my self for about $300. Solar array ran another $600. You can do this!


                    alright, i will trust the experience here. i will get the hydraulic brakes. kinda surprised to hear suspension is the most expensive part. i assumed a high capacity battery was.

                    i've been looking at the motors on luna. the BBSHD kit looks nice. but the 3000w cyclone is more powerful and cheaper. this is confusing me a bit cause it looks like the stuff in the kit can be purchased for less than the $449 price difference of the BBSHD kit and the barebone cyclone motor. is the cyclone not as good a motor?
                    Last edited by Fiasco; 06-30-2016, 06:03 AM.


                      Agreed on the brakes, and like most things there's no need to go crazy. Also look at used bikes on craigslist. I just bought a high quality suspension bike for about 1/4 its original value, well ridden but it's like buying a Lexus at 30k miles. And yes, big batteries are more expensive than suspension parts - I think he was referring to bike parts.


                        Cyclone is a great motor, more difficult build, faster and UGLY. Instead of a clean install like the BBSHD it has an external controller and wiring nest. There's good support to build one here. But IMO mid drives as clean as the BBSHD cost even more.
                        <ducking from Gman's evil stare>

                        I improved tha pads on my BBSHD rim brakes and i's fine. It's about quality of the brakes. The Bikesdirect discs on sub $1000 bike SUCK! I'd rather have my Tektro rim brakes anyway.

                        Hey Craig, ask Chalo about discs. Or search ES for Chalo and disc brakes. You'll laugh!
                        Last edited by Louis; 06-30-2016, 06:39 AM.


                        • CraigAustin
                          CraigAustin commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Ha! I can already imagine. The man knows bikes and has opinions.

                        Don't forget about our family member Karl and his blog. Some great builds to emulate there too!



                          Louis is right, Tektro rims are better than a lot of disks out there. Besides, I love the way they squeal! Or hydroplane when wet! And all those moments spent adjusting stretched cables, What fun! Chose carefully!