Leah’s New Electric Bike Conversion Project

October 12, 2010 · 1 comment

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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. I like working on bikes so didn’t mind doing a complete overhaul.

What we were looking for was a comfortable bike with upright seating position that fit Leah’s body size. She also wanted a step-through frame. The upright seating position needed some work. I replaced the handlebars with cruiser style bars and that fixed that. I put on a more comfortable saddle that rounded out the comfort aspect. The photo shows the bike right after we bought it. Photos that show all the changes are on the way.

If you’re looking for a bike to convert for yourself, you don’t have to do what I did. It’s possible to find a good used bike that just needs a minor tune-up and safety check. There are some ‘department store’ bikes that are good candidates too. Maybe you already have a bike that works for you and meets all the criteria for installing an electric bike conversion kit.

For more information on bike selection, see my post about starting with the right bike when converting to electric.

The Overhaul

When I overhauled the bike I made sure the frame was solid with no cracks. I made sure the brakes were in perfect working order and had new pads. It is critical to make sure any bike is safe. Have a bike shop look over your bike if you can’t or don’t want to do it yourself.

Finding An Electric Bike Conversion Kit

We chose a bike with 26” wheels. It’s a very common size. This made finding a used bike easier. It makes finding an electric bike conversion kit easier too since the hub motor comes laced to a rim. It’s more likely that the 26” size will be in stock and won’t delay your order.

If you have read my Motor Selection Guide, you will know which wheel I’m going to put the hub motor on. You don’t have my free Motor Selection Guide yet? Really? Click here, I’ll wait.

So now that you know which wheel I’m going to use the hub motor on, you’d probably like to know which electric bike conversion kit I’m going to install. Will I use an internal gear hub motor or direct drive?

I’m spending a lot of time reading the forums and looking at vendors. I want to find a kit and supplier that has a good reputation for quality and service. Cost is important too.

The information is out there but is taking several hours of my time to find it. When I decide on a kit I’ll tell you which one and why. Stay tuned.

P.S. If you don’t have my free Motor Selection Guide yet, click here and I’ll send you the link to it.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Pdxebiker October 12, 2010 at 11:47 am

Nice choice of bikes, at a very nice price!

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