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Thread: E-bike conversions

  1. #1
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    E-bike conversions

    Has anyone bought an e-bike conversion kit to retrofit to their bike? If so, which one did you go for? I'm considering doing this to my hybrid commuter but there's a variety of kits out there. There aren't many UK companies that manufacture these (swytch comes to mind) but plenty in the far East!

  2. #2
    From the other cycling forums Whoosh are supposed to be excellent with good customer care.

    I don’t know how good your hybrid is but there are some good deals on lasts years models of e bikes.

  3. #3
    I bought a bafang mid drive from eclipse bikes. Easy to fit to my Surly Troll. I’ve been very happy with it. Just purchased an eggrider to accompany it.

  4. #4
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    This is mine from another e-bike thread on here.

    I purchased a mid-drive TSDZ2 from the PSW-Power factory in Germany, so no extra duty.

    They also sell the batteries, but I patched together my own.

    ————————————————————

    Quote Originally Posted by Tooks View Post
    I just couldn’t bring myself to spend the kind of money a lot of these e-bikes are asking, so I converted one of my mountain bikes using a mid-drive Tongshen TSDZ2 motor, and made up my own battery pack from some 5S RC modelling batteries.

    It’s a pedal assist setup rather than an ‘electric bike/moped’, it’s a nominal 250w so road legal and makes me feel like I’ve got bionic legs! Hills are no longer an issue.

    It’s a 36v 5.2Ah battery pack, and I get an easy 15 miles of pedal assist without stressing the battery.

    Cost was about £400. I’ve got the batteries in a small frame bag now rather than under the seat, and I’ve changed the crank chain wheel for something a bit smaller to suit the off road riding I do.

    Sorry for the links, I’ll embed the pictures later when I’m on a tablet/computer.

    E-bike Conversion by iaintookey, on Flickr
    E-bike Conversion by iaintookey, on Flickr
    E-bike Conversion by iaintookey, on Flickr
    E-bike Conversion by iaintookey, on Flickr
    E-bike Conversion by iaintookey, on Flickr
    E-bike Conversion by iaintookey, on Flickr

  5. #5
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    Thanks all. Were the mid drives easy to install? Or did they require a lot of modifications on the existing bike? The mid drives look better than the hub ones.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironmonk3y View Post
    Thanks all. Were the mid drives easy to install? Or did they require a lot of modifications on the existing bike? The mid drives look better than the hub ones.
    Very easy on the Tongsheng and Bafang, as long as you’ve got a standard 68 or 73mm bottom bracket, just screw straight in.

    I think there are adaptors out there for non standard bottom bracket sizes too.

    With a mid-drive, and assuming you only want pedal assist and not an e-moped, then you don’t need any special brake levers either, nor a thumb throttle switch. That’s how I wanted mine setup, but both the Bafang and Tongsheng have options if you do want a throttle etc.

  7. #7
    Fyi China friends reckons most of China own e bikes!

    Correction: 200 million.
    Last edited by Bry1975; 18th January 2020 at 04:56.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tooks View Post
    Very easy on the Tongsheng and Bafang, as long as you’ve got a standard 68 or 73mm bottom bracket, just screw straight in.

    I think there are adaptors out there for non standard bottom bracket sizes too.

    With a mid-drive, and assuming you only want pedal assist and not an e-moped, then you don’t need any special brake levers either, nor a thumb throttle switch. That’s how I wanted mine setup, but both the Bafang and Tongsheng have options if you do want a throttle etc.
    Thanks Tooks. Your setup looks great! Definitely want pedal assist.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bry1975 View Post
    Fyi China friends reckons most of China own e bikes!

    Correction: 200 million.
    Lol. Still more than our population!

  10. #10
    Yep.

    They have e buses in China also, 421,000 supposedly!


    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...421-000-to-300

  11. #11
    Master Harry Smith's Avatar
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    Personally I would look for a second hand or last years model Ebike rather than convert. I looked into it and went the former route. Tbh Tooks example is an exceptionally nice job as most don't look that good and can be very expensive to boot. Not as easy to move on either if you don't take to it.
    Just my opinion but I did do quite a bit of research.

  12. #12
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    I've been having a good read up on doing a conversion for my mountain bike, and prices don't look too bad for the TSDZ2 at £300 give or take, but a battery pack at around £150 seems to be taking the p.

  13. #13
    Sort your own battery pack.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bry1975 View Post
    Sort your own battery pack.
    Thanks, any info how?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nigel306 View Post
    Thanks, any info how?
    To be fair, there’s more money required to build a decent battery pack than the motors.

    £150 for a factory battery with a battery management system and charger isn’t that steep when you consider the DIY route.

    I chose to use RC batteries, but then I have balance chargers to keep them healthy and that’s all that would fit my frame anyway. Even then they cost about £120 for the two batteries.

    You could build your own from 18650 cells, but you need something to put them in, and you’ll need some kind of BMS still, as well as a battery spot welder to build it safely. You can get some Arduino based spot welders for not much cash, but after all that you won’t save much over that £150 battery when all is said and done.

  16. #16
    I've gone the TSDZ2 route but have not fit it yet. Regards thumb throttle drive option I think I read somewhere that they are now not legal unless you had one fitted before a certain date.

    £150 for a battery depending on quality of batteries used and ah seems a very good price. I'm looking at a Samsung cell battery with about 12ah for £250ish.

  17. #17
    Master thieuster's Avatar
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    Interesting to read that there's a power limit law in the UK. Here, one can buy a bike with a 500W power pack any day - legally.

    There's a big advantange when it comes to installing integrated or add-on batteries. Replacement of universal batteries (the add-ons like the ones Tooks showed us) are cheaper than the ones specifically designed for the frame of a bike. The Bafang battery is an 'inbetween': it has the shape of a big water bottle that's mounted on the frame.

    I'm more and more drawn to the add on motor + battery. My current bike is still in perfect condition (< 2 yrs old) and it's a very well-made Dutch design/Dutch built quality product. Shame to p/ex that for an electric bike.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by thieuster View Post
    Interesting to read that there's a power limit law in the UK. Here, one can buy a bike with a 500W power pack any day - legally.

    There's a big advantange when it comes to installing integrated or add-on batteries. Replacement of universal batteries (the add-ons like the ones Tooks showed us) are cheaper than the ones specifically designed for the frame of a bike. The Bafang battery is an 'inbetween': it has the shape of a big water bottle that's mounted on the frame.

    I'm more and more drawn to the add on motor + battery. My current bike is still in perfect condition (< 2 yrs old) and it's a very well-made Dutch design/Dutch built quality product. Shame to p/ex that for an electric bike.
    You should do it, they work fantastically well.

    There is a power limit here in the UK, that’s true, but the wording is sufficiently woolly that there are work arounds even on factory bikes.

    The 250w relates to the average power output over 1 hour, they can actually legally produce much more power (eg 750w) for short durations, and I guess the electronics are supposed to do the rest. More frustrating is the assist limit which over here is 15.5 mph, which feels very slow when you’re bumping up against it.

    You can of course pedal it much faster than that quite legally!

    ‘Throttles’ or drive requiring no pedal input is now limited to 6mph, which is pretty pointless.

    I also have a factory bike with a Shimano E8000 system, a lot of people use a smartphone App to change the region setting to the USA where the assist limit is a more reasonable 19/20mph. I believe you can do the same on Bosch and Yamaha, and some people move the wheel/crank sensor to achieve similar.

    Criminals the lot of them!
    Last edited by Tooks; 20th January 2020 at 13:03.

  19. #19
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    If you are using it for anything other than roads, then a proper ebike is the best solution, if it's just going to be a commuter then these conversions are alright, but as fugly as you can get.

  20. #20
    All this 'hacking' is great until you hit someone. Ill keep mine stock when i get it fitted. Actually i have a spare hour, might give it a bash now.... wish me luck!

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Argee1977 View Post
    If you are using it for anything other than roads, then a proper ebike is the best solution, if it's just going to be a commuter then these conversions are alright, but as fugly as you can get.
    I wouldnt consider Tooks bike 'Fugly'. You also have to factor price in. If you already have a decent bike then conversions make sense.

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