diy ebike

DIY Electric Bike - Building the Ultimate Commuter [MEGA THREAD]

5/22/2013 - Where to Start

Between work, home life, and responsibilities, my personal time consists of my drive to work and my drive home. An 11 mile drive from work to home takes me 40 minutes on some days--that's California Bay Area traffic for you. I want to turn that time into something productive where I can bike to work to enjoy the outdoors, get exercise, and save money.

Production eBike vs DIY build
When I think of an eBike, I see myself flying up hills, feeling the adrenaline rush of torque, and the wind howling in my ears. Top speed is not so important for me but how fast I get to 20mph is. My time is limited. I like learning new things, but then again, I cannot dedicate time to experiment. Therefore, I want a bike that's quick to assemble, parts I can replace, and teaches me something while I build it. 

Comparing the production ebikes like the Stromer ST1, BH Emotion Neo Jumper, and a2b Metro/Octave resulted in prices around $4,000 with features like purpose built frames, high quality components, and pedal assist. From my reading, the power ranged from 250w-500w. 

My plan is to purchase a bike and an eBike kit from a USA distributor, assemble, and document the challenges and fun of commuting via an eBike to work.

Stromer ST1

BH Emotion Neo Jumper

a2b Metro/Octave
The $10,000 Stealth Bomber

5/23/2013 - Purchased the bike

'06 Marin Nail Trail

Looking through Craigslist ads was fun! Imagine the possibilities. I started my search dead set on getting a Downhill race bike because I liked the full suspension and loved the look of the front forks. However, after thinking about the initial cost, maintenance for the suspension, and battery placement, I ended up going with a '06 Marin Nail Trail hardtail mountain bike. I figure the hardtail mtb triangle is plenty big for the battery, and the price of the bike will provide flexibility when I choose the motor kit and battery.

Next on my list will be a full tune up for the bike, and a possible brake upgrade.

5/24/2013 - Purchase rear brake

$81.45 Picked up a Hayes Stroker Trail hydraulic brake to replace the aging rear Hayes Nine brake.

6/6/2013 - Accessories installation

An old bell ringer
Stroker trail rear hydraulic brake (front brakes were stroker trail brakes when I purchased the bike)

Giro Remedy 2013 Full Face Helmet made from fiber glass. Check out the unboxing:



YPedal's Intro to eBikes:


Choosing a frame:

 Phasor Frame Made in the USA

Battery Supplier:


Electric Rider - USA

e-BikeKit - USA
My brief customer experience with was excellent. Communication was fast and top notch here. Well known on the internet for their 5 star customer service.

FalconEV - USA

Conhis Motor - China

Bike Maintenance 

Production eBikes


Torque Arms

Storage in the triangle



Quantification of Car vs. eBike

The Car
Plans for The Electric Bike:
$18,000 car $375 '06 Marin Nail Trail (purchased)
$2,000 for gas a year $100 Overhaul tuneup by:
$600 for insurance $749.99 Phoenix II 4840 Motor Kit 28mph from
 48V 40amp Controller
 7-Speed Freewheel
Active Power Management LCD
Spoke Wrench

$180 for oil changes $30 Brute 26" Rear for more torque (my route has hills)
$200 for wear on tires, smog check, and wheel balancing alignment $689.00 LiFePO4 Lithium 15AH Battery w/BMS + 4A charger + 12 month warranty
$150 registration $50 Shipping
Air pollution/noise pollution
Enjoy outdoors
Good for long distance travel

Fun when turbo kicks in

Total: $18000 car + $3130
Total: $475 bike + 1469.98 kit + $50 shipping


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