Conversion: How To Turn A Bicycle Into An E-Bike
The technology has arrived to upgrade kinetic energy vehicles like bikes and scooters with electric motors. Convert your old bike into an E-Bike. Affordable electric bike motor conversion kits are a great entry level project. Do this if you want to trade your effort for thousands of dollars in cash off the purchase price of a new top line factory model. Direct drive motors have a large barrel-like wheel hub. They mount to the frame directly at the axle so a motor rotates around the axle, instead of rotating the axle. This is the easiest way to go for the results you can get.
Here’s How to Turn An Old Bicycle into A Powerful Electric Bike
Convert your old bike into a e-bike with a kit
This is about how to turn your old bicycle into a powerful electric bike. Everything you need to make these conversions can be found at green tech specialty outlets. There are major, American based retail stores and craft shops in all the major urban markets that you can walk in and explore the possibilities. For this article I have selected BikeBerry for inspiration and visual proof for my post’s assertions. So if you want to show me some loving support. it would be best to discount shop for parts -or buy a factory e-vehicle, by using my affiliate links on Motiv8ionN8ion.com.
What You Start With
Usually a DIY conversion job begins with an existing or cheaply bought bike frame. Then you get a 500 Watt e-bike upgrade kit. Usually, you want an expendable bike if the project involves cutting or drilling into the metal. It would probably not be worth it putting cost and effort into the paint and finish. You figure, if you can save money and time the rugged look won’t be bad once you get it dusty on the trails. I know some may just use their best bike for the project, so this will work for you too. If you have a metal shop and a new frame, then you are assembling a kit e-bicycle, this is not your article. This is just all about doing an E-bike upgrade by kit anyone can install. So Let’s Begin!
When you pedal a bicycle the force of your foot moves the chain, thus the wheel, in relation to the frame and the ground.
Without a solid attachment to the frame, the force of your foot would be directed only toward the ground. So the axle is bolted to the bike in a way that allows for rotation of the wheel and chain. The force is directed into the ground over distance through the tire. Matters of efficiency have been thoroughly worked out over a century of experience. So any moving parts you buy are quite optimized. Don’t worry much about it. Brakes and gear cables don’t change much when you convert your old bike into an e-bike.
Your kinetic energy must be connected between the frame and the wheel.
First, a look at the mechanical connection. For project ease and satisfaction for your money I suggest a hub drive conversion kit.
Converting into An E-Bike Basics
Direct Hub Mounted Drive Motors
Direct drive motors are easy to spot due to the large barrel-like hub. The hub has a larger radius than the teeth of the gears.
With a direct drive or hub mount, the electric motor is mechanically affixed to the frame directly at the axle of the drive wheel.
In this stable design the axle is fixed to the bike and holding the motor. The brushless motor can rotate around the axle instead of rotating the axle. Wheel alignment is key to success with direct drive electric motors.
These motors will allow you to ride without help until you turn it on. Then you can use it for an assist. That is an additional force multiplier as you pedal along. You can also turn it up to simply propel you forward. I haven’t heard of a kit that includes power in reverse but some will convert downhill rolling force into braking and battery re-charge. Pretty cool!
A Word About Frame Mounted Drive Motors
There is another way to add a motor to an old bike. That is by secure connection of a friction motor to the frame. It can’t be vibrating or twisting out of alignment. Keep rotational forces parallel or you can’t get a smooth ride. I will not cover that method in this article. It’s a very old way to do it that has fallen out of use but may be needed for certain frame types and situations.
The banana seat bike from the 1970’s is a good application for a friction drive motor. You would mount to the rear 2 seat posts so a pinch roller motor can turn or assist the wheel. This method causes a lot of wear on the tires. It can also lose traction and slip when wet or muddy. You would use this method for a city commute e-vehicle, but not for sport.
A Word About Mid Mounted Drive Motors
People love the versatility and power of mid drive electric bike motors. Unfortunately, whether your bike is an old 10-speed or a new factory bicycle, you may not be able to mount the mid drive with your old frame and sprocket. It could require metalwork or just a new frame. At which point, we are back to building a whole bike from a kit or custom that will be a lot of work and cost. You may still be able to realize substantial savings over buying an e-bike new. However, this goes outside the scope of what I’m proposing in this post.
Let’s Continue Converting To An E-Bike With A Hub Drive Kit
How To Wire It All Together
The motor is powered by a battery through a controller box. Your main concern, after power capacity, is safe storage. This is not a place to skimp or cut costs, even though the best ways may require metalwork you’re not ready for. You need to keep the battery clean, insulated, and moisture free. Automotive connectors are UL approved connection devices you can use.
Find a good place to mount the battery. Locations include mounted against the front post, mounted on the middle post, hiding under a rear wheel package rack, or in a side car configuration for more batteries. The batteries are well encased and weather-proof. So be sure to dress all wiring to prevent moisture and insulation cracks or breaks that could expose power-bearing wires. Ready to look at the parts needed to convert a bicycle into an e-bike?
Here’s the Battery Kit
This Part Available Here…
The battery is sold separate from the conversion kit for user flexibility. This 48 volt, 11.6 amp hour battery takes just 5 hours to achieve a full recharge. This has an aluminum housing which protects its power cells. Panasonic power cells have an expected lifespan of over 800 charging cycles. So riders can expect years of use before a replacement of any of the internal cells will be required. This battery is compatible with 48 volt 750 watt and 48 volt 1000 watt electric bike hub drive wheels. As well as with this 500 watt kit I’m using for this example.
A standard E-Bike Battery like this includes Anderson electrical connection plugs. If you need to use a different style connector plug, all you do is remove the plug end and install the appropriate connector. The battery case is mounted by 2 screws into your bike frame that you will have to drill and thread. Otherwise a compression clamped plate can be used for mounting. Some frames may have screw holes already for mounting accessories like a water bottle, they may line up right for battery mounting. Be sure to mount by at least 2 points. Most people find this to be the hardest part of the whole upgrade procedure.
This is the Controller
This Part Available Here…
This will need to be mounted on the frame near the battery. Clamping with a metal strap is a suitable way to install this unit. After that the connections are all easy to figure out based on the plug connections. I like to cover the plugs with waterproof tape after the installation to add further protection from cables wiggling loose or water short circuits. Also use tape to keep the cables dressed and free from snagging on things.
The Wheel Goes On Next
This Part Available Here…
First off You want to know your new e-bike wheel will fit to the width of the opening in your frame. Don’t worry if the wheel diameter is 2-4″ different from the new 26″ ModWheel. Frames in this wheel size range should be compatible enough to use. There are just 2 basic standard width for hub drive wheels, a larger clearance for Mountain Bikes – 135mm, and the standard of road bikes like 10-speeds of 130mm. So measure the distance of the inside edges of the wheel slots. Now that you know if it will fit, it’s time to install. Remove or open the brakes wide. Then simply bolt on the 26 inch, 36 volt 500 watt, Enthusiast 7-Speed Rear Wheel, with Brushless Motor directly to the axle slots. Remember: all the drive force is focused on this point. So be absolutely certain the connection is tight and aligned parallel to the frame.
Wiring and Cables Replaced To Convert Into An E-Bike
Attach the control cable from the wheel to the controller box. Install the sensor to the hub and plug wire into the controller. Mount the display box and handlebar assemblies. Then plug the controller to the LCD display, and two handlebar motor and shifting controls. You may want to upgrade your brakes to disc brakes while you are doing this step. Otherwise, re-install and adjust brake lines.
Now you know how you can convert your own bike into an E-Bike.
For this article I have selected BikeBerry for inspiration and visual proof for my post’s assertions. So if you want to show me some loving support. it would be best to discount shop for parts -or buy a factory e-vehicle, by using these affiliate links on Motiv8ionN8ion.com.