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This video is from my trip to EcoSpeed in Portland, Oregon November 2010. Tad Beckwith, VP of Sales, gave an overview of their system

The Electric Mountain Drive looks like a really nice kit. The controller, motor, mounting system, and battery are very high quality.

The Velociraptor controller is their own design. It’s driven by a 32 bit RISC processor and is fully programmable by EcoSpeed with many different operational settings. The idea behind the name Velociraptor is that it’s built to survive.

Some of the controller features are:

  • Auto battery voltage detection.
  • Programmable power limit.
  • Intelligent battery interface that is optimized for battery chemistry.
  • Mode switch between full power and economy mode.
  • Intelligent low voltage limiting to extend range without cutting out.
  • Intelligent high temperature limiting that adjusts power to help prevent cutting out.
  • Fully upgradeable.

Available motor choices for the kit are 700W and 1000W. They are considering just offering the 1000W but both are available now.

The new mounting system on the motor attaches directly to the bottom bracket to prevent twisting of the motor on the down tube. They have different sizes of down tube clamps that will work with most bikes. A new adjustable clamp is in the works that will allow clamping to any size including oval tubes.

Their battery packs come in different voltage, amp hour ratings and mounting systems. They have a rocker switch for power and a U bolt if you want to lock the batteries to the bike. The batteries are encased in aluminum with a heavy duty fabric cover. The batteries supplied by them are LiFePO4 but their system is compatible with other vendor’s batteries.

Overall the Electric Mountain Drive system looks like a quality choice for a mid-drive system. For more information visit their website at EcoSpeed.com.

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E-BikeKit is offering a lower power, lighter weight, internal gear hub motor to their kit lineup. These kits are 350 watts and have slightly less top end speed than the higher power direct drive hubs unless run at 48V. Even though they’ll run at 48V, they are only warranted at 36V.

Because of the internal gears, they have good torque at lower power. Maybe not as much torque as the higher watt direct drives but they do have a significant weight advantage.

It’s a good balance between power, torque, and weight. This would make a great motor for a commuter bike. I’ll be installing one soon and will share all the details about it. More videos and photos on the way.

For more details, visit the E-BikeKit product page here.

P.S. Want to know more about electric bike motors? Click here to get my free Motor Selection Guide and newsletters that contain information not included on the blog.

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After deciding what angles to mount the arm and mounting bracket (as shown in the previous video) the next step is to figure out how to mount them.

The mounting bracket needs space between the dropout to allow for the mounting nut and arm. I could have put several spacers between and then used the flanged axle nut to secure it all but instead chose to use the axle nut as the spacer. I think this will make for a stronger attachment of the hub motor to the dropout.

Using the axle nut as the spacer required using an extra nut to attach the mounting bracket. I found a 14mm 1.5 pitch nut and washer at the hardware store to use. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a flange nut. This means that I’ll need to use two different size wrenches to take the wheel off. I’ll keep hunting for a flange nut. It will be easy to change this later. If I use a flange nut, I’ll only need to carry one large wrench instead of two for road repairs.

The large space between the dropout and mounting bracket causes a steep angle on the arm to the mounting point on the stay. I fixed this by bending an S curve in the arm which brought the top of the arm closer to the stay.

There are two mounting hole options at the top of the arm. The long slot is for the tube clamp provided in the E-BikeKit torque arm assembly. The round hole can be used for some other method of attachment.

While at the hardware store I found an insulated clamp that looked like it would be easier to install and remove than the tube clamp. I’m thinking it will be as strong as the tube clamp as long as I’m careful how it is mounted. I may switch to using the tube clamp if it looks like the other clamp isn’t as strong or loosens up easily. It will be easy to change later as needed.

Lock nuts were used to secure the bolts. These are only designed to be used once. If I have to take the wheel off and disassemble any part of the assembly, I’ll have to use new lock nuts. I put a drop of thread lock on the threads as a further precaution against loosening.

After riding the bike for awhile, I’ll check that everything is still tight and secure. I may change to the tube clamp at that time.

The next step for Leah’s electric bike is to mount the rear rack and battery.

Click here to see all posts about Leah’s Electric Bike Conversion.

Stay tuned for more details as this project proceeds.

P.S. Want to know more? Click here to get my free Motor Selection Guide and newsletters that contain information not included on the blog.

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Mounting a torque arm assembly for a rear hub motor can be a challenge. There are multiple angles to choose from and multiple mounting options. In the video I show what the optimal angles are and then figure out the best placement on the bike.

The E-BikeKit torque arm assembly contains a separate arm and mounting bracket. Since the arm and mounting bracket are two separate pieces, their relationship to one another is critical. If the arm is not at the optimal angle, the assembly won’t be as strong with more twisting possible at the mounting point which could loosen the nut.

If the arm and the mounting bracket were one piece, it wouldn’t be an issue. I might weld mine together once I get the final install done to eliminated the possibility of the mounting bolt from loosening.

The mounting bracket can be installed on the axle in four different orientations. On Leah’s bike, there was only one orientation that provided the best position for the arm mounting angle. Picking the right angle of the mounting piece depends a lot on the best placement for the arm. In the video I demonstrate how the optimal angle is determined.

Once I figured out what angles to mount the arm and mounting bracket, I was able to finish the torque arm assembly install. There were more details to figure out. I’ll show those in the next video.

Click here to see all posts about Leah’s Electric Bike Conversion.

Stay tuned for more details as this project proceeds.

P.S. Want to know more? Click here to get my free Motor Selection Guide and newsletters that contain information not included on the blog.

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Now that the freewheel is installed and the minimum space between the dropouts is verified to be 135mm, the next steps are to

  • Test fit the wheel
  • Check for freewheel clearance
  • Check the wheel centering
  • File and fit the axle to fit in the dropout.

Check freewheel clearance

Without the inner washer, there isn’t enough space between the freewheel and frame. The inner washer should provide enough space for it but will require the distance between dropouts to be 140mm. This will require spreading the stays.

Check wheel centering

I like to check wheel centering often because it can be an indicator that there is something else wrong that needs fixed before proceeding. It’s a confirmation that everything is in order.

If the original rear wheel was properly dished and centered in the stays, the hub motor wheel should be centered too. The E-BikeKit wheel is properly dished so there were no centering problems to solve.

File to fit axle into dropout

Most dropouts are made for 10mm axles. The rear hub motor axle is 14mm with a 10mm keyway machined onto it. This means that the axle will slide into the 10mm dropout but won’t go all the way to the top as shown in the video.

The axle needs to have a tight fit in the dropout. See the video for tips on how to do this. It’s going to require filing a little and inserting the hub motor wheel to test fit repeatedly until it fits. This can be tedious and frustrating. Be patient, take your time. Plan for it taking a while to get a smooth tight fit. All of the stresses from the wheel are focused on the dropout. It can break and hurt you if it’s not strong. So take your time and make it right.

Note about filing: Take it easy and take your time. It’s a lot easier to remove metal than it is to replace it. You can ruin your bike and make it unsafe to ride by removing too much metal or leaving jagged edges. Make sure to file a little, test fit, and then file a little more only as needed. Make it smooth, clean looking, and precise. Large gaps will make the fit loose. Jagged edges are opportunities for cracks to form.

Spread stays for correct space between dropouts

As mentioned previously, Leah’s bike is going to need the inner washers to create enough clearance for the freewheel. This is gong to require spreading the stays to 140mm between the dropouts. I made it 142mm to make it a little easier to install the wheel.

Watch the video to see how I spread the stays. It’s not too hard but will require repeating the process of spreading and measuring. Start with lighter pressure and work up to higher pressure to avoid over widening. Do it in stages.

I don’t recommend spreading the stays on an aluminum frame bike. It might be possible but aluminum tends to break before bending. Leah’s bike frame is made of steel. Steel is much more forgiving when bending. See more about selecting the right bike for conversion here.

Next Step

The next video will finish the hub motor wheel install by showing how I install the torque arm.

Click here to see all posts about Leah’s Electric Bike Conversion.

Stay tuned for more details as this project proceeds.

P.S. Want to know more? Click here to get my free Motor Selection Guide and newsletters that contain information not included on the blog.

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The first thing to do with a rear hub motor eBike conversion is to prepare the motor and frame for the first test fit. As shown in the video, the initial preparation includes:

  • Tighten disk brake rotor mounting screws
  • Install freewheel
  • Check width between dropouts, 135mm minimum
  • Check dropout for exact width of 10mm

Disk Brakes

This install doesn’t cover disk brake installation; Leah’s eBike uses rim brakes. For a rim brake install, all that is required is to make sure the rotor mounting screws are snug.

Install Freewheel

Make sure to apply anti-sieze or other lube to the threads before installing. This will make it easier to remove later as needed.

Make sure the threads are lined up before threading on. The freewheel should spin on without resistance. If it binds, stop, back off and try again. Otherwise, the threads will be damaged.

Check width between dropouts, 135mm minimum

I’m using an E-BikeKit rear hub motor. It’s OLD (Over Locknut Dimension) is 135mm without spacers or washers. If the inner washer is used, the OLD increases to about 140mm.

For the first test fit, 135mm width between dropouts is enough. If the width between the dropouts is less than 135mm, the stays will need to be spread apart. The width on Leah’s bike turned out to be 136mm so I don’t need to spread the stays for this step.

Since I’m going to be using the the inner washers on the final install, the width between the dropouts needs to be 140mm. I’ll have to widen the stays later. I’ll show how I do this in the next video. For now, I just want to get the hub motor installed to check for other clearances and centering as well as prepare the dropouts.

Check dropout for exact width of 10mm

The hub motor axle keyway is a full 10mm. Most bikes have dropouts to accommodate a 10mm axle but could measure slightly less because of paint. Some careful filing or sanding might be necessary to make the dropout width the full 10mm. The hub motor axle is going to need the full 10mm before it will slide into the dropouts.

My dropouts had a thick coat of paint which made the dropout width slightly less. I had to carefully file the paint off to get it to 10mm.

A general note about filing and sanding: Take it easy and take your time. It’s a lot easier to remove metal than it is to replace it. You can ruin your bike by removing too much metal or leaving jagged edges. Make sure to file a little, test fit, and then file a little more as needed. Make it smooth, clean looking, and precise. Large gaps will make the fit loose. Jagged edges are opportunities for cracks to form.

Next Step

The next video will cover dropout preparation, checking freewheel clearance, and centering between stays.

Click here to see all posts about Leah’s Electric Bike Conversion.

Stay tuned for more details as this project proceeds.

P.S. For more details on electric motors and how I select them for my electric bike projects, enter your information here and I’ll send you the link to my Motor Selection Guide.

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E-BikeKit arrives

October 30, 2010

The electric bike conversion kit for Leah’s e-bike arrived. It looks really good and everything checks out. It’s a rear hub motor kit. The wheel looks well built with 13 gauge spokes and double wall rim. The other parts look well made and thought out. I’m looking forward to getting it installed and going for [...]

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Bicycle Wheel Building : part 3 : installing the leading spokes

October 26, 2010

This video shows how I install the leading spokes for a 20”, 32 spoke, cross 3 wheel. The follow on video will show how I install the remaining spokes and tune the wheel. This wheel will be used on the ShortHopper electric bike. To see more about this project click on the ShortHopper Category.

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Conversion Continues While Waiting For Kit

October 17, 2010

Work on Leah’s eBike conversion continues. My research is done and I finally ordered an electric bike conversion kit. More about this later. While waiting for the eBike conversion kit to be delivered I’m making modifications to the bike to get it ready. I already overhauled and tuned it up. Now I’m making some modifications [...]

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Leah’s New Electric Bike Conversion Project

October 12, 2010

Finding the Bike Finding a bike to convert using an electric bike conversion kit turned out to be easy and inexpensive. We went shopping for a good used bike and found one for $50. It was in reasonable shape. It needed an overhaul and tune-up but the frame was sound and had many reusable parts. [...]

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