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New Here--- Looking to build a bike

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    New Here--- Looking to build a bike

    New to the electric bike scene.
    I'm looking to build my own bike... and I'm still trying to figure out the one-million possibilities and options.

    Hope to see you around the forums and be able to contribute something.
    All the best,

    Welcome. Tell us some things like what sort of riding do you think you want to do including speed and range. Did or do you ride a regular bike? Any significant physical issues? Things like can't really fully use say an arm or leg sort of a thing? Does it have to be easily carried in a car or public transport? Will you have to carry it up stairs at home or work? Any sort of budget you are trying to stick to? Are there any bikes or systems you are thinking of at this point? Those things may help us to help you narrow down the options a bit.

    Also may be slightly helpful if you can narrow down the location of your house at least to a continent. From reading here I have learned there are some countries with pretty strictly enforced laws and terrible availability of e bikes and parts so that could change our advice if you live in one of those vs say the USA where for the most part there are lots of options and pretty lax rules and enforcement in many areas.


    • AJspeed
      AJspeed commented
      Editing a comment

      Do you by-the-way like Cadillac Eldorados? Just thinking you do from your username.
      The riding I would do would all be urban... no MTB offroad.
      Speed: as fast as possible!
      Range: 10 miles is plenty for now... my office is near my home.
      I do not ride a regular bike... yet I do ride motorcycles.

      Physically I have no issues, other than the typical loose bolts in the mind.
      No need for carrying the bike in public transport... and budget would be $5,000-ish give or take.

      As to inspiration bikes: I'm still wading through the 1 million possibilities.
      Yet I do see the Bafang is big and the Bafang M620 seems to be the more powerful version (??).

      I'm in the East Coast of the USA... no laws or regulations regarding ebikes where I live.

      Thank you for the awesome welcome!

    • AZguy
      AZguy commented
      Editing a comment
      Nice to hear someone come in and not only have realistic expectations (not I want a bike that goes 50mph, has 80mi of range and costs under $1000 =] ) but is generous with his requirements

      I'm a moto guy and the first thing I'll say tho is that a electric bicycle is nothing like a moto - they are like a bicycle where the rider has consumed some krypton. They weigh 5-10x less and much above 25mph is pretty scary to me (and I used to race motos, so it's not about the speed).

      OTOH there are "electric bikes" that are really more just small electric motos (think sur-ron like) and with the budget they would fit in and may be closer to what you might expect... or not..

      So couple of questions (well, more than a couple)... will you be riding on the larger busy urban streets? Are urban bike paths and multi-use trails on your menu? Do you plan on pedaling? If so, pedaling all the time like a bicycle or just some of the time and throttling most like a moped or moto?

      There are always regulations. Mostly they are state specific though so it will depend on which state you are in. Answers to those first questions will help point to which ones you'll want to understand...

    That is a great welcome post, 73Eldo. Welcome to the forums AJSpeed.



    • AJspeed
      AJspeed commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you very much!
      Looking forward to contributing positive things.

    Well to build a bike......
    Have not been on this site for a long time. I have built many, many bicycles. I have two E-Bicycles that have been gone through a couple of times. I built one from scratch. The other is a Haibike I have been through a few times.
    First and important . E-Bicycles get heavy really fast. They can easily weigh more than35 pounds. Second is important. E-Bicycles can be extremely powerful. These things are not toys! My build which is a road bicycle can easily do 35 mph. Down hill I can exceed 40 mph.
    Now what for? Commuting , going shopping, off road, all terrain, road? Full suspension or whatever. It is not unusual for the battery to cost MORE than the bicycle.
    After that how to gear it. Low/High?
    Luna kits are pretty easy if you have used tools. 750 watts BBS02 have plenty of power. 52 volt set ups do not have much in support, that is that the instruments are not accurate. I think like 48 volts is good as instruments are accurate. Lower voltage like32 work just fine. WHAT you need to build a bicycle is a FRAME that fits you. E-Bicycles require more strength. That is good welds and good metal. Do not use a frame from some Wal-Mart piece of crap.
    Now.....the frame has to have a bottom bracket tube that is designed for the kits.. That is where your pedals go through the frame. Where the crank rings are. It is a size often referred to as English.
    Given that you can build what you want. You should have water bracket mounts for certain batteries. Otherwise the battery over the rear wheel is my second choice. Batteries are very important. Read as much you can stand. They are a bit complex. Be prepared to purchase a charger that works. It has to be a smarter better designed one. You just spent a S-load of money for a battery. Do not F it up with a cheap charger.!
    I guess in the end it is pretty doable if you are familiar with tools. Just remember the more power the grater the risk. As your set up gets more powerful then the chance of burning things out also goes up. Full power on some bicycles will wheelie the bike and throw you off on yer sweet toosh.
    PS: Hub kits work just fine. Many prefer them. They have some advantages as in they are more user friendly.
    PSS: I have seen two wheel drive set ups. Two Hub kits, one front and one rear. Larger tires, and a big battery you are unstoppable. Sand ,snow all that but not mud. Stay away from mud. Just sayen....


    • AJspeed
      AJspeed commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for that awesome post!

      I'm going to have to start with something, anything!
      I'm itching already.

      And I'm 100% onboard regarding the quality components.
      Nothing like seeing the owner of a nice vehicle throw bad-quality parts into it.
      You got me thinking with that dual-hub drive bike... wowza!

    For a high speed mostly pavement sort of bike my thought goes to Surly. Not sure what current availability is but they have quite the range of styles and typically the option of just a frame set if you want to get real custom. Many of their bikes are in the $2k range new so that leaves you plenty for a motor and other extras. One reason I go Surly other than they are a local company and I own one and love it is they are a Quality built (pun intended for those that know the industry) steel frame. They are nice and strong but still reasonable weight. They also have a little flex to them which adds some comfort. A nice thing about steel is if you do have an issue its rarely going to just snap like carbon or aluminum would which is an advantage if you are on it going fast at the time. I had people ride my steel surly with Schwalbe Big Apple tires on it this summer that said it was smoother and a more comfortable ride than their suspension bikes on the streets. A bike like an Ogre is what pops into my mind for fast street commuter type bike.

    For a fast motor maybe a Cyclone? I haven't installed one but have read its not for a first time builder. Maybe start out with a BBSHD? Then if you like the concept and still want more upgrade to something like the cyclone? I have not looked at an Ogre in person with the idea of a BBSHD but looking at the specs on the site and the few photos of the BB area it looks dooable. The fact you can run a 42t chain ring implies there would be room for the gearbox and since this is a street build you don't have to worry about trying to run small rings making the chain line worse.

    I do have a few Cadillac Eldorados. Also planning the funeral for a 90 Coupe Deville right now.... sad day. Its still on the operating table but after yesterdays bypass its suffered another burst artery and now needs a double bypass. Salt is bad for everything.




        I ride urban South Florida. I like the BBSHD if you want to convert a bike, or get one of the KHS.Giant bikes Luna sells.
        For tires I like the Scwalbe Big Ben Plus. I upgraded from the Big apple Plus and like them better.
        Acceleration in traffic is important to keep up from stop lights. Quick handling for tight spots and tight situations. I find this all favors 26" wheels. Gearing for a 30mph top speed is useful also.
        I don't use it often but it's nice to have. Learn to clean and lube and replace chains.
        A lot of bicycle brakes won't haul a bike down from 30mph. I use Avid BB7 mechaical discs 185mm rotors and sintered metallic brake pads. Hydraulic brakes are nice but with metallic pads some can have issues with overheating the fluid. Get Downhill racing rated brakes. They can stand the speed and weight of an Ebike.
        For urban riding I like an upright riding position. Few Comfort bikes have a decent fork or brakes. But the Trek DS, or Gary Fisher Dual Sport series are good donor bikes. They tend to be 29ers though.
        Good for pedal bikes and offroad, but not so much for urban Ebiking. Not saying that they won't work. I just prefer 26" for this.
        I personally prefer Rapid Rise derailers with matching twist grip shifters for urban to prevent being stuck in a high gear when surprises happen. But they only exist in older 8/9 speed formats. 8 gears are more than enough for a BBSHD. But this stuff has become hard to find.
        Last edited by Retrorockit; 01-23-2021, 09:22 AM.


          Hope pic. displays. Anyway this is a build I did. It is a 52 Volt BBS02. Primary use is paved roads. The frame is from a generic Mtn. bicycle. It is a "29er" frame. This is essentially 700C. Actually the tire size is 28. But never mind. You want urban so the ultimate tire is Continental Ride Tour Extra. This tire is puncture resistant and an excellent choice for heavier E-Bicycle applications. It has good dirt road manners but stay away from loose sand. The size I use is 28X1.75. Again this is 29er or 700C.
          Larger wheels make for better road apps in my experience. The rear cog is a 12 / 44 10 speed. The build is XT. Again the 10 speeds are tricky. The chain likes to run up and down if tension is out. The advice above about brakes is essential. Good brakes are a must. As I said this machine will easily do 35+ down hill and 25 is a common pace in traffic. The advice about upright seating is right on. Better to see than look cool. I also use 185 discs. but I prefer hydraulic. They feel very responsive compared to mech. Perhaps just taste. All in all good acceleration comes from good shifting on an E-Bike. Because of their power they go through the gears quickly. The inner front ring is a 39 the outer is a 46 I think.
          By the way, for 5 gs you have a good choice of off the shelf.
          Keep the shiny side up!...


          • Retrorockit
            Retrorockit commented
            Editing a comment
            I don't actually prefer Mech to Hydro brakes.I already own them and don't see the need to upgrade.But metallic pads for Avid BB7, and Avid Juicy interchange and they warn not to use the metallic pads on the hydraulic brakes for downhill racing due to fluid boiling issues.Some pads for hydraulics have aluminum backing with heatsinks hanging off the sides to deal with this. Brake fluids in bikes vary greatly.Hydraulics may feel better, and have better modulation on slick surfaces. But if they boil the fluid in the caliper this will be a complete loss of braking right when you need it most.I think this needs to be understood before adding power to any bike with hydraulics. I wish I could be more specific but IDK which Hydro brakes are the good ones and which aren't.
            Large diameter wheels are nicer for long straight runs. But 26" is better for stop and go traffic due to less mass to accelerate, and are quicker handling

          No argument. I wonder about a 20 inch E-Bike. Super quick turns! Smaller diameter is easier to accelerate. As to boiling hydraulic fluid I managed to do this in a Chevrolet Suburban off road adventure. Very long steep down hill. Fade comes fast but not so quickly that one stop could not be made. Then held by hand brake.
          Motor cycles and bicycles I never had an issue. However it is possible as we know. Then I do not race. All of my bicycles with discs have generic brakes of ok quality. The pads are more expensive as they are important. I have warped discs but no boil. However long decent of 3 to 5 miles often braking for curves has indeed produced some fade. I am going to pay more attention to this issue. Thanks.


          • Retrorockit
            Retrorockit commented
            Editing a comment
            A lot of the prebuilt E bikes are going to a fat tire 20" format. So it may be the way to go.
            I picked up on the fluid boiling issue from EBC brake pads warning not to use their metallic pads for DH racing on the Avid Juicy brakes. This same pad fits the Avid BB7 cable brakes. I'm sure there are many hydro brakes that don't have the problem.
            I tried some generic sintered copper pads to see how they worked and they performed alright for me. But when they wore out I got The EBC "Gold" bronze pads. The rear dropped right in and worked, the front I had to sand the old metallic material off of my rotor to get them to stop squealing. But they're much quieter than the old pads were.

          • AZguy
            AZguy commented
            Editing a comment
            I've ridden a couple of 20" fat tire electric bicycles and they felt very unstable much faster than ~12-14mph to me so as long as you are planning on just poking around and not going on bumpy stuff likely ok. Most are hub motors and the 20" help a little on hills for that.

          • Retrorockit
            Retrorockit commented
            Editing a comment
            I see a lot of them in town and near the beach. But not for the intercity runs I make. I've never been tempted to ride one, and they do seem to be hub motors. But this is a beach town and they're all over the place.

          Hello, Welcome to the forum, i also looking for a my first E bike ! :D
          Last edited by AmyTurner; 3 weeks ago.


          • 2speedBBS02
            2speedBBS02 commented
            Editing a comment
            Amy Turner, There is a lot of useful information around. This thread above has some pretty good info in general. Most of us are people who like to tinker around with stuff to get it to work. If you just want an opportunity to ride an E-Bike it is good to see if you can demo them at a bicycle shop. To build an E-Bike is not so intuitive. Things go wrong as soon as you open a box.
            There are many good choices out there. As in cars if they work reliably for your comfort and need that is good. If they do not work they are useless pieces of dead weight. I would recommend a useful bicycle with powered assist. "Just for fun" often involves carrying something. This is not so easy on many bicycles. Then there is the kick stand thing. Center stands are almost a must for usefulness. Then it can runout of power. You need to know the state of charge remaining in battery. These things are difficult if they have no power, In general they are much lighter then a gas powered moped.
            Given that if you just want to haul ass and have fun then all bets are off. E-bicycles can do all most anything.

          By now you see how expensive batterie are. To go fast spend money. Like motorcycles. Amperage discharge from battery over time equals "power" / "torque" which means ratios (gears) over time (RPM). To go fast you sacrifice acceleration for "overdrive". Overdrive is where the front gear (ring) is turning slower then rear gear, wheel or cassette. Take a 53 tooth or a 48 tooth ring and mate it to a 11 or 10 tooth rear cog. With a 700C (28) rear wheel you are at extreme end of most bicycles. This set up is getting close to 5 to 1 ratio. That is once around in front for just under five turns of rear wheel. When you measure circumference of rear wheel/tire you will find that you are truly moving FAST. However reality sets in ,the torque to turn this set up is beyond the design capacity of most bicycles. Things like wind resistance and heat will kill it. Most batteries and controllers are either shut down or close to burning. Sooooo......I recommend a 42/44 front and about a 12 in back. NOW all of this assumes you have multiple gears in back to get to the final drive ratio. That is a major plus of Mid-drive E-bike systems. By the way, under-drive is the opposite. This is a small ring gear in front and really big cog in back. Like a 32 in front and a 50 in back. This is easy to peddle up to 3mph but you get there really fast. This is the set up for climbing a wall.
          To end this thing I will say that electric motors love to SPIN. That would be rpm. Most motors in the mid-drive set ups will spin far faster then you can ever hope to peddle. That my friends is why we have a throttle. Push throttle equals want to spin. if all things are in order the machine will go like hell. Think back to the 32 tooth front ring and 50 back cog. Pushing the throttle on a BBS anything
          with this set up will result in the bicycle leaving you in mid-air. You will see the bicycle vertical and still trying too climb straight up into sky. This is not good.
          I do not use a 20 inch bicycle set up. They are too small for me. The Luna Cycle site is full of information on how to put together E-Bikes. But it assumes the reader is fairly familiar with theory.
          You can do absolutely anything you want with bicycles. They are amazing machines for many reasons. I believe if you want to exceed 35 mph for any period of time you need a motorcycle.
          However to cruise smooth, and be comfortable climbing hills E-bikes are the solution. Oh did I say it sucks in the rain/wind.