If you would like a project that will give you many years of enjoyment, building an electric bike can be a great one to work on. It is a little challenging, yet can be accomplished by most people with just a little effort.
The savings in fuel and enjoyment of riding once completed is something to look forward to. Building a diy electric bike at home will give you something to be proud of once you are done.
If you want to build a fast electric bike, you can chose to start with an diy ebike kit or build one from parts that you assemble yourself.
A diy electric bike kit might be easier, but you will be limited to what someone else has designed.
Designing and building your own electric bike will be more of a challenge. This will give you more control of speed, handling, as well as comfort.
Buying individual items in a kit form will give you much more control over the finished product. This can give you more top speed as well as acceleration.
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Making an electric bike from a kit can be an easy process. Everything should be ready to install in a few simple steps.
All wiring should already be connected and you should only need to attach the motor and throttle control to your existing bike.
A diy electric bike kit can be found easily online or a good sporting goods store. These diy ebike kits come in many different sizes and prices.
A diy bike conversion kit is probably the fastest way to get your project up and running.
Building an electric bike that goes fast does not necessarily mean finding the biggest diy electric bike motor. Too big of a motor will cause the bike to be unstable and too powerful.
This can lead to injuries from a crash. Finding the combination of an electric motor and proper gearing will give you a bike that handles right, is stable, and still very fast.
Anything over a 3000 watt motor can be potentially dangerous for the operator of the electric bike.
There are basically two different choices for building a great ebike. You can use either a mountain bike or road bike as your model to work with.
A diy electric mountain bike will give you more stability and a better ride, which is probably the best choice for safety.
A road bike has narrow tires which is easier to lose control in loose gravel and harder to control on bumpy roads.
A good mountain bike is usually equipped with a suspension that will give you better handling, especially at higher speeds.
You can also purchase an electric mountain bike kit that is easy to install that will boost your speed and acceleration many times faster than just pedaling alone.
Finding the right motor for your ebike is one of the most important part of building your electric bike. A motor without enough power will not push your bike to speeds that you might want and hills will make it really inefficient.
A motor with to much power will drain the batteries faster and also have too much torque for the rider to control. This is not only dangerous to the rider, but anyone who happens to be in the way.
Picking a good battery to combine with the motor will give you more sustained power and longer riding time. A lithium battery pack will overheat if the motor is too powerful. The pairing of the right battery and motor not only gives more riding time, it is a lot safer.
A direct drive motor runs either on the back or front wheel. This makes a convenient and easy installation. It limits the electric bike to a single speed gearing which will limit both power and speed.
It is good for cruising with pedal assist to get the ebike up to speed.
This is the best mounting option since it gives you access to gearing that is already on the bike you chose. This gives your electric bike both power and speed while limiting the drain on the battery.
This gives you a fast ebike using a smaller motor that is more efficient due to being able to shift through the gears.
Having good shocks and tires will give you a smoother ride and better handling. This is important due to having more power and torque during takeoff.
It will give you a better ride which is one of the reasons for wanting to build an electric bike. When picking a bike to build, make sure the shocks and tires are top notch.
An air suspension shock system works much better than standard shocks and will absorb bumps much easier. Heavy duty tubeless tires will also improve the quality of your ride.
Pick a Frame That is Both Strong and Lightweight
An aluminum frame is much lighter than a steel frame and still has strength to handle the power of a strong electric motor. The wheels should also be aluminum for added weight savings.
Keeping your bike lighter will give you more acceleration which is another reason for building your ebike.
Going fast on a bike is great, but not being able to stop quickly is very dangerous. At high speeds, standard brakes are not much good when trying to stop.
Most people driving cars will not expect a bike to be coming so fast and will often pull out in front of you. Good quality brakes are a must for part of your homemade electric bike.
A good set of mechanical disc brakes will give you the stopping power that you will need for higher speed cruising.
Hydraulic brakes are also available if you want to put out the extra money.
Riding any bicycle for a period of time will make you realize how uncomfortable most stock bike seats are. An over-sized padded seat will make any ride, whether short or long, much more pleasant and comfortable.
On longer rides, you will be glad you got a larger seat.
A high efficient battery charger will keep you on the road longer. Waiting 8 to 12 hours for the battery pack to charge back up keeps you off the road instead of riding.
The whole purpose of building your electric bike is to enjoy being able to ride it. A one amp charger will take approximately ten hours to charge your battery back up while a good five amp charger should have you back on the road in about two hours.
There are several tools that you will need for building an ebike with a mid drive motor.
A good socket set with both standard and metric sockets so you will always have a good fit when loosening and tightening nuts and bolts. A good Allen wrench set with both metric and standard wrenches are also a must.
A chain breaker and crank puller will also be needed. A soldering iron and solder should also be in your tools. It is also possible you will need an electric drill and bits.
Besides the bike of course, you will need a motor, controller, throttle, and battery back. It is also a good idea to have a brake sensor that cuts off the power to the motor when the brakes are applied.
A thumb throttle is safer than a hand grip twist throttle since you are more apt to be stuck at full throttle during quick acceleration.
A 3000 watt motor should have enough power for any seasoned rider and a beginner should start with maybe a 1500 watt motor.
With proper gearing, either motor should propel the bike to 40 or 50 MPH, which is very fast for a lightweight bicycle.
This is if you mount it in the middle of the frame to take advantage of the gearing. A rear or front hub drive will be slower, maybe speeds of 30 MPH or a little faster.
The controller is an electrical device that senses where the throttle position is and transfers it to the motor accordingly.
This should be a quality one so the ebike does not accelerate so suddenly that you will lose control.
The electric motors have improved greatly in horsepower over the years and too much power at once can cause a wreck.
Batteries for electric bikes range from 24 to 72 volts. The higher voltage battery will give you more range and speed.
They are also a lot more expensive. Start with a 48 or 60 volt one so you will be able to ride longer.
After all, this is the whole reason for building your electric bike, so you can enjoy riding. A battery box should be built for the battery to set in, which should be lockable since the cost of the batteries are so high.
This will probably be the most expensive part of building your ebike.
Staying safe while riding should be a top priority. Wearing a helmet, knee pads, and other protective gear should be done every time you go out for a ride.
Taking a spill at any speed can be dangerous and even life threatening. A flag should be mounted for visibility in the daylight hours and a good lighting system should be mounted on both the front and rear of the bike.
Just like a motorcycle, always ride with the thought that you are invisible to other drivers. A lot of people do not register small objects in their line of vision.
Your electric bike should be properly maintained. The chain should be properly lubricated and tire pressure should be maintained at a safe level.
The braking system should be checked periodically for wear and adjusted or replaced as needed. The seat position should be the right height so your feet can reach the ground.
Sitting really high might give you a better view but can be potentially dangerous.
Now that everything is ready, go out and have fun. Go exploring on and off road.
Ride your ebike to work to save on fuel and not have to worry about finding a parking spot.
Start an electric bike club and get your friends building their own ebike. Have competition races to see who has the fastest electric bike.
This is the reason for building your bike, to have fun and enjoy. Remember, your mileage is limited, so do not ride out of your batteries range.