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ebike conversion mtb or road bike

jsisidorejsisidore Posts: 122
edited August 2018 in Commuting general
I want to convert one of my bikes into an ebike. I wonder which would make more sense to upgrade, the road bike is 2x7 and mtb is 1x9. I use road bike for commuting as it's lighter and quicker but mtb would be more comfortable considering the state of london roads. Any thoughts?

Posts

  • CitizenLeeCitizenLee Posts: 2,227
    I'd convert the MTB since it's more comfy. The motor will make up for the lack of gears and extra weight. Be good for off road uphill sections too.

    Have you costed it up vs a cheap pre-built?
    Current:
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    2015 Genesis CdF 10, 2014 Cube Hyde Race, 2012 NS Traffic, 2007 Specialized SX Trail, 2005 Specialized Demo 8
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    I've converted a trike and a bike - with front wheel conversions - not mine! We got them from Powerbikes.uk ... the owner is really helpful and pleasant to deal with.

    You get a front wheel - fairly chunky rim width - suited to a 35mm+tyre. Control lever, Control pad (we went for LED), replacement brake levers with a microswitch in to turn off the motor when you're braking and have the option of a rack battery or bottle battery - the bottle battery is larger than a 2L bottle of lemonade - so don't think of it as a replacement to your normal bottle (although the mounting brackets would work) and has an external control box too. We also got the PAS kit - which is basically a cadence sensor with a disc that fits on your crank - it has to be mounted very close to the sensor.

    The brake levers are straight bar levers - so not suited to a drop bar bike. The Control lever (accelarator) interfered with a trigger shift gear lever (7 speed) so we had to change to grip shift and you've got 2 wires to route from the front of the bike to the controlbox/battery.

    If I was putting this on one of my bikes I'd probably go for the rack mount battery as I'd use the rack anyway and the controlbox is in the front of the battery pack. Not sure what I'd do about the brake levers as I don't have a suitable flat bar bike!
    Having seen the price of some complete bikes - it's not a huge difference and the temptation would be to sell one bike and buy an e-bike as the cost wouldn't be hugely different to doing the upgrade.
  • jsisidorejsisidore Posts: 122
    edited August 2018
    CitizenLee wrote:
    I'd convert the MTB since it's more comfy. The motor will make up for the lack of gears and extra weight. Be good for off road uphill sections too.

    Have you costed it up vs a cheap pre-built?
    I got marin bobcat trail 2017 and Halfords has a cheap looking carerra for something like a whopping thousand pounds.
    I think I will get a better deal if will go conversion route. Another thing the kits are really ugly and cheap looking too, and only a few of them have 27.5 option.
    Any thoughts on mid drives?
  • jsisidorejsisidore Posts: 122
    Slowbike wrote:
    I've converted a trike and a bike - with front wheel conversions - not mine! We got them from Powerbikes.uk ... the owner is really helpful and pleasant to deal with.

    You get a front wheel - fairly chunky rim width - suited to a 35mm+tyre. Control lever, Control pad (we went for LED), replacement brake levers with a microswitch in to turn off the motor when you're braking and have the option of a rack battery or bottle battery - the bottle battery is larger than a 2L bottle of lemonade - so don't think of it as a replacement to your normal bottle (although the mounting brackets would work) and has an external control box too. We also got the PAS kit - which is basically a cadence sensor with a disc that fits on your crank - it has to be mounted very close to the sensor.

    The brake levers are straight bar levers - so not suited to a drop bar bike. The Control lever (accelarator) interfered with a trigger shift gear lever (7 speed) so we had to change to grip shift and you've got 2 wires to route from the front of the bike to the controlbox/battery.

    If I was putting this on one of my bikes I'd probably go for the rack mount battery as I'd use the rack anyway and the controlbox is in the front of the battery pack. Not sure what I'd do about the brake levers as I don't have a suitable flat bar bike!
    Having seen the price of some complete bikes - it's not a huge difference and the temptation would be to sell one bike and buy an e-bike as the cost wouldn't be hugely different to doing the upgrade.
    Both of my bikes have a flatbar. I won't be able to sell my bike even for half the price I bought for so I;m stuck with and it's a good bike. Those entry ebikes that resemble normal bikes are expensive and lowest spec too. Looks like ebikes are still a novelty.
  • jsisidorejsisidore Posts: 122
    Truth be told I like the gtech one.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    jsisidore wrote:
    Both of my bikes have a flatbar. I won't be able to sell my bike even for half the price I bought for so I;m stuck with and it's a good bike. Those entry ebikes that resemble normal bikes are expensive and lowest spec too. Looks like ebikes are still a novelty.
    I went N+1 because the old bike was worth more to me that what I could get for it s/h.

    The conversions aren't that bad - but (for me) the asthetics of the wider rim on the front would kill the looks of my bike(s) plus I dont have a flatbar to convert (other than the 29er - which doesn't need converting!). If you're happy with your bike and spec of it then a conversion is probably the way to go - just be aware of the obstacles I found.
  • jsisidorejsisidore Posts: 122
    Slowbike wrote:
    jsisidore wrote:
    Both of my bikes have a flatbar. I won't be able to sell my bike even for half the price I bought for so I;m stuck with and it's a good bike. Those entry ebikes that resemble normal bikes are expensive and lowest spec too. Looks like ebikes are still a novelty.
    I went N+1 because the old bike was worth more to me that what I could get for it s/h.

    The conversions aren't that bad - but (for me) the asthetics of the wider rim on the front would kill the looks of my bike(s) plus I dont have a flatbar to convert (other than the 29er - which doesn't need converting!). If you're happy with your bike and spec of it then a conversion is probably the way to go - just be aware of the obstacles I found.
    Yea I predict a head scratcher but also fun
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    jsisidore wrote:
    Any thoughts on mid drives?
    Two friends have both played with ebikes, both started with hub motors and then swapped to mid drive, both highly rate mid drive as being a nicer ride than hub motor, you get better torque delivery and efficiency as the motor is geared not single speed (so longer range from a smaller battery), the only downside is you need to get used to judging the modulation of power delivery through a gearchange.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Can you get mid drive conversion kits?

    I realised what it was about the wheel that's wrong - it's a box rim ...
    loads of spokes - but I guess you need that when you're putting 250w down through the front wheel...
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