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Lynskey Backroad e-bike build

Posted: Apr 06 2018 9:17am
by hak
Great resource this place... lurker, first time poster.

I love my current non-e commuter bike. But I'm hesitant to put a conversion kit on it (I've ridden it for 22 years, I love it) because I don't want to over-stress it's lovely tubes . I'm heavier than I was in my 20's, so the frame is already hating me - why add another 20-30 pounds and risk breaking it (it's a 1996 Ibis Hakkalugi, steel is real baby!)

sexy behind:

Anyways, after considering converting that one and stepping back, I've test ridden some purpose built e-bikes (from MTB like hardtails to A2Bs, to hybrid step throughs) I realized that the DIY resources and my specific bike tastes mean I'd be happier long term building my own. I am Ohms law fluent can fiberglass/solder/tinker at decent level.

So... Lynskey, you may know them from their Litespeed days they have a frame that meets my criteria:

* 700c / 27.5"
* disc brakes
* rack and fender brazeons
* heavy duty
* a keeper/lifetime material/build quality (if i kept my steel bike for 22 years and running... this Ti bike should be buried with me)
in their words:
The Backroad is Lynskeys' fully loaded touring bike. Its strong and stable for middle to long distances touring and commuting. Our fully loaded, self supported touring bike does not have a weight limit in the frameset, it is the strongest touring frame available. The employed disc brakes provide high stopping power and are resistent to water, mud and grime. The durability of the frame is unwavering with titanium craftmanship resistent to scratches and corrosion.

The massive 1.75 inch downtube matched with its 1.375 inch top tube sustantially improve handling and increase stability under heavy loads. We have made room for 45c tires on the rear by adding a stong titanium plate for clearance. The Backroad addresses and exceeds all expectations, its the strongest touring frame available. Using disc brakes provides the best stopping power under full loads. The frame is built around a stable tubeset, with precise steering. Room to run double or triple cranksets, all built around a fully durable and realiable rig.
oh and 3 watter bottle mounts :)

this is the previous gen, with a straight head tube, the current gen has tapered headtube:


So, I plan on posting updates as I go. I applaud the other projects I've seen and understand the cost effectiveness of converting an old bike or even buying a beater, but I wanted to have something special, something I could build on for years to come.

Re: Lynskey Backroad e-bike build

Posted: Apr 06 2018 9:30am
by hak
So, initial thoughts on how it will be spec'd:

1) straight-bar build, not drop bars
2) 27.5/650c 2.1" wheelset
3) 2x chainrings up front
4) to start, likely an eZee rear wheel kit from Grin (questions below) with the 9spd cogset in the back
5) rear rack battery pack if i go dual motor with the 2nd one in the frame, but even considering rear rack battery if i only go rear motor - having it hidden by my panniers/commuting bag would make it a little stealthy...

when i finish this build, my commute will change (augment) to include other days that take me to a different site that is both farther and hillier than my current route. The geared eZee hubs are attractive to me because:

* hilly route + I'm currently 265lbs = direct drive may not be ideal
* I may go 2WD, so having motors that freewheel is ideal
* I've heard the sound of other geared motors, not too terrible to me, hopefully these will be similar

I'm thinking of doing the pedalassist in rear with:

* Bottom bracket torque sensor, since this frame needs a BB anyways, need to see if frame comes with hole in BB shell -- anyone love/hate this type of setup?
* with the Phaserunner controller how do you like yours?
* with the CA3_DAux_Slim (for pedelec levels adjustment) how do you like yours?
* I'm not sure about a throttle on the rear drive, b/c If I want more range/speed and redundancy, I'm thinking of doing a second eZee kit up front, but not pedalec, just throttle on the front (so left hand = front brake and front hub throttle) and right hand is the CA3 for pedel assist levels only for rear

front geared hub will freewheel most of the time except for when i hit the juice for passing or hill climbing (or to limp home if my rear controller/motor have a bad day)

my new route would take me on a few miles of gravel/creek path, so I may swap out the supplied eZee kit slicks with something hybrid like for loose surface grip, we'll see, but having a 27.5 x 2.1 tire vs. a 700c x 45 is where i'm leaning.

Re: Lynskey Backroad e-bike build

Posted: Apr 06 2018 5:37pm
by dogman dan
First impression, your 22 year old bike is perfect. However, I very often advise "don't ruin your favorite bike with a motor"

So a new bike does make sense, but only if you love the old one that much. Its definitely sturdy enough to motorize.

What makes no sense, is 27.5 inch wheels. No need for that big with the motor, and the ride is fine on good ol 26". with 26, you get soooo much more choice of tire, rims, wheels, everything. Hard to find a stock motor wheel with 27.5 rim. You are going mid drive though, but even so, you will want to go with a less exotic tire size I think.

Strong frame a GOOD idea, you will ride faster, and a frame that is floppy side to side won't be good, especially if you take to carrying more as your bike replaces a car more and more.

That leads me to a suggestion, at least look into some of the better longtail cargo bikes. They really make great utility bikes, and their huge weight is a total non issue once you motorize. ( unless you live upstairs or something).

Best bike I've owned I custom built. Crazy strong frame, long tail, small rear wheel for lower cargo deck and better torque.
Finished cargo mixte..jpg
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Re: Lynskey Backroad e-bike build

Posted: Apr 06 2018 8:15pm
by hak
thanks for the feedback.

i did this frame b/c apart from the e-bike strength and mounts, if eventually i get a purpose built e-bike, i can convert this back to my gravel/touring bike.

i'm not looking for mid-drive tho, i'm looking hub motors fwiw. middrive clamps and teeth dig into the BB shell ends, yes? not an option for either of these frames for me, and my other older (26" FS mtb) has ICSG tabs i'm not willing to grind off...

About the wheel size, the eZee has a 27.5" prebuilt wheel kit, and this frame calls for 700 but 27.5 will fit. And i can build my own - that blue bike is pictured with some MA40 36 spoke wheels i built myself in '96, so even buying a hub-motor alone, where I self build the rim/wheel is fine.

And i've confirmed with the factory that this Backroad model's rear triangle fits a 700x45, but also a 27.5 x 2.1 which is plenty wide I can test fit a 26" wheel, before i order my hub kit - this rear dropout area comes with both 9mm x 135 QR dropouts and 12mm x 142 through axle drop outs and i can swap them back and forth... so i can test with my FS mtb's 26" 12mm 2.35" Schwable tire and see how it sits, then swap back to a 9mm QR dropout if i go with the eZee kit:


So point taken on the 26", I'll test fit some wheels before I order my pre-built rear hub motor wheel.

i thought about a cargo bike, like the big dummy actually.



1) i have no garage, i'm actually finally building a bike shed for our bikes, and my dimensions would need to be re-worked for such a beast :)
2) at my new "in the city" commuting target location that would be opened up with the supplemented range/hillclimbing the e-motors would bring me, is a client that has approved me putting my e-bike indoors, but down a flight of stairs in one of their buildings (there is metal railing to lock to and a power outlet i can use on this lowest landing). so weight and size will matter (another strike against a cargo bike and apart from budget, a strike against dual motors - those stairs). Plus i already have a burley kid carrier that now that my kids are older is just for stuff, not humans, for when i do want to load out.

I get the draw of a cargo bike, but I'm looking for more compactness and down the road traditional bike utility.

oh, and the 0% financing (truly 0 cost of money) offered by Lynskey right now is pretty attractive...

Re: Lynskey Backroad e-bike build

Posted: Apr 06 2018 9:05pm
by hak
Questions for Grin:

(1) I want hydraulic disc brakes - do you offer a sensor kit that would allow input to (one of) my brakes to disable the rear motor (the one that would be pedelec/pedalassist) - what do you recommend for this? (I saw eRad has a sensor you add to existing brake levers) or maybe because I need the whole setup anew on this build, I just go with these? ... mt4ek.html with the CA3 plug? can this be used for both front and rear?


(2) do you know if the cog spacing of the 9 speed cassette which is part of your eZee kit ... d-pas.html

is compatible with the cable spacing on this Sram "X5" 9 speed shifter? ... B0063HG45Y

or the Shimano SL-M590? ... B00IKVJF8Y

Re: Lynskey Backroad e-bike build

Posted: Apr 08 2018 6:32pm
by hak
Grin replied offline but is ok with me posting the answers he shared for others to benefit from

1) if you want to use normal modern cassette(s), like the 9 speed one i'm looking for, do not get the pre-built wheel - because that comes with a thread on cogset which in some user reported cases may not be 100% spacing compatible with some 9 speed shifters on a gear or two. Instead order the kit without the pre-built wheel, motor not mounted, to then mount a modern freewheel and then the 7/8/9 speed cogset of one's choice and still be at 135mm spacing.

2) yes, those Magura's will work with the Phaserunner_bk and CA3 setup in the rest of the kit. But for cut-off's for existing brakes, take a look at:

3) yes, the Phaserunner + CA3_Daux_slim, can be set for several pedelec assist levels, ie: up to 32 (!) one option is to set 100w increments from 0 (walk mode using throttle only when needed), up to 600 - 800 watts, saving the throttle for higher bursts.

4) when discussing my 48 (@ 14ah) or possibly a 52v, and wanting more range, I asked about wiring a pair in parallel vs. running one then the other when needed. He advised i check out: ... -batteries

hopefully this helps other noobs

Re: Lynskey Backroad e-bike build

Posted: Apr 13 2018 10:08am
by hak
the 36 spoke MA40 on my blue bike has lasted 22 yrs, so going to be lacing up my rear wheel on this project, hopefully with the same results :)

For the Rim, i went with the Andra 40:


"TIRE WIDTH (MM) 28-69" so a pretty wide range. will start with some 2.15" Schwalbe Marathon Modial as > 50% of my proposed/new commute will be gravel:


27.5 rims with 36 holes were very hard to come by, so I am downsizing to 26" on this project, front and rear to match to not affect the head angle. Speaking of, the stack to axle height of the Lynskey fork (which is no longer available, they're focusing on their road forks only now) was best matched by the 27.5" 3T Luteus II Team Stealth Forks, so these are on the way:


tapered headtub, disc brake cable routing, comfy carbon, we'll see.

ordered my kit from Grin today...

Re: Lynskey Backroad e-bike build

Posted: Oct 15 2018 9:08am
by dirt huffer
hak wrote:
Apr 13 2018 10:08am
the 36 spoke MA40 on my blue bike has lasted 22 yrs, so going to be lacing up my rear wheel on this project, hopefully with the same results :)

For the Rim, i went with the Andra 40:

Hows the build coming? Curious how you liking the Andra 40 rim? I'm thinking about ordering one

Re: Lynskey Backroad e-bike build

Posted: Jan 04 2019 3:08pm
by hak

just got it on the road yesterday, and commuted today on it :)

Progress: my April build was going ok, until i hit a tree gravity biking in Breck in early summer. This required surgery for detatched bicep tendon and rotator cuff (ouch) which meant i was unable to do much with tools (forget lifting heavy e-bike into my stand) until recently. PT is my friend.

Setup: eZee 250rc rear hub motor, GRIN Cycle Analyst 3.x, phase runner controller for future growth, 52V 13Ah downtube battery (the rear battery is more stealth, but for weight distribution, i chose downtube) I've got PAS via a 24 pole sempu BB, don't have my speedo working yet, but do have the 3 button aux, so i have 9 settings for .25 - 3.00 assist in steps, very cool so far. The throttle is nice to override when needing to get out of the way of a bus, etc.

the magura e-brakes (with motor cut off) are very nice, as i tune the PAS settings, it's good to know that tapping the brakes cuts all motor power. I mounted my motor controller behind the seat tube, with extra cabling along the underside of the perma-rack for now.

also this thing is silent. so much quieter than anything i test rode before.

Things that didn't work out like i wanted:

a) although Lynskey included both types dropouts with the frame (they swap out with a 3mm allen) the ones that fit the slotted hub motor axle are bulky enough that the torque arm (v4) doesn't fit on the right side of the frame - not enough treads left for the big-ole-nut. So being careful to not go WOT from a slow speed, and only tried when rolling already. if i trash the drop outs ,they are easily replacable, but don't want to risk a wreck.

b) lynskey no longer makes the backroad fork, and it was (is?) longer than the other forks they sell now, but luckily i found the old fork's specs online, and found the 3T forks matched like a twin. no braze-on spots for fenders and rack, so improvised with some german fender. it's not rated for 2.1" tires, so it's very close (but being 26" vs. 700c helps). ideally a carbon fork with rack/fender mounts would be better.

c) the wheel - when (if?) this rear wheel fails, i'll get one with offset spoke holes. the drive side rear spokes are nearly veritcal, never built a wheel with such aggressive dish, in the end i had a shop i trust finish it off for me to make sure a pro did it right. still scary vertical on the drive side, even with "spokes out, heads inside hub flange" spoke arrangement.


1) narrow the bars, right now full width nuke proof DH bars, too wide for urban commuting
2) rearrange the throttle and aux-selector to the outboard side of brake levers (up against grips) right now have to break my hand grip to use them
3) cable management in general, asap, eventually when sure of phaserunner placement, trim cables to proper lengths
4) i think i found another carbon fork that is this size with rack/fender mounts, just recently, i will then move this fork to my hardtail, but let's see how the front german fender holds up.

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