Good-bikes, Bad-bikes to convert??

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TylerDurden   100 GW

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Good-bikes, Bad-bikes to convert??

Post by TylerDurden » Apr 10 2007 9:18am

This thread is for posting potential conversions, ie: if you find a bike you are considering for conversion or upgrading, post it here for opinions.

Example:
the bike below is currently available at Toys-R-Us for $80usd. Steel frame, soft shocks, 24" wheels, 40lbs. Would it make a good e-bike?

EDIT: this bike would be for general use: around town, mostly paved paths, some street, some dirt paths.

Your comments are requested. Many Thanx!
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Post by Matt Gruber » Apr 10 2007 10:01am

i'm going to have a look at X-games bikes. should be strong.
i want to get a 20"(prefer 16"), stretch it 2-3 feet to sit low, recline actually.
wind resistance will be so low, i'll discard the crank/pedals.

Tyler any bike can work at bike speeds 10-15mph. SPEED and fatigue KILLS. 300 mi yr, no problem.
5000 mi/yr big problem
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Post by TylerDurden » Apr 10 2007 10:19am

Matt Gruber wrote:i'm going to have a look at X-games bikes. should be strong. i want to get a 20"(prefer 16"), stretch it 2-3 feet to sit low, recline actually. wind resistance will be so low, i'll discard the crank/pedals.
Tyler any bike can work at bike speeds 10-15mph. SPEED and fatigue KILLS. 300 mi yr, no problem. 5000 mi/yr big problem
I looked at the xgames bikes, heavy-duty, full suspen. & dual disk-brakes... but they are too small for an adult to easily pedal, which is one reason I am thinking a 24" will will be better for me. FWIW - Target.com has the xgames bike w/ gears, Wallyworld has the singlespeed at lower price.
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Post by TylerDurden » Apr 10 2007 10:49am

Found the source:
http://www.worldwidecyclesupply.com/

odd site... they don't mention much about the private-label bikes like Harley or store-brands.
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Post by Ypedal » Apr 10 2007 11:11am

Personal preference makes a big difference here... but some bikes are better suited to e-conversion than others..

Weight.. not really a factor.. heavy.. light.. bah humbug.. Consider frame geometry, materials.. and weld quality etc.....

My Norco Chaos is not light weight.. but it's made of Aluminum. and cost 1000 $ by itself. My 300 lb friend takes it for rides and i don't worry about it.. i would NOT let him on any other of my bikes as they would buckle and fold in half...

If you want a weekend toy, to travel 10 km total on occasion.. then don't spend 3000 $ on a bike, ( Unless you have that type of budget !! ) spend 500 $ on an Izip and have fun.

If you want a long distance, daily commuter bike.. spend the money on a quality bike with good components and you will enjoy every minute of your 30 + km rides. safely.
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Post by CGameProgrammer » Apr 10 2007 1:42pm

I'm planning on building a second bike because I think a rear hub motor would be more suitable at high speeds, purely so I can enjoy a front suspension. Bumps are killers even at just 30 mph, and that's with a suspension seatpost.

This is a $260 Schwinn with a steel frame, front suspension, 26" tires:
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My current bike, with a front hub motor, is a $400 Trek 7.2 FX with an aluminum frame, 700C wheels, and a steel rigid fork:

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Post by TylerDurden » Apr 10 2007 2:10pm

It was kinda hard to find a sub-$300 bike that had full suspension and disk brakes. My nephew remarked that he got his cheapo Rhino MTB at ToysRus, so I stopped-in on a whim. (I still can't find any reference online to the Harley bikes . )

:?
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Post by Reid Welch » Apr 10 2007 3:18pm

That's because, I bet, it's an unlicensed steal of the HD name.
---

Say, the Thud Buster is so good at shockeating that I forget about rear suspension.

This heavily buttressed steel Currie cruiser is break-proof. It has built-in space for your choice of battery. Install whatever drive system wanted.

Here was the bike as it came from the box. $380 delivered last summer.
Image

I'll jump curbings all day and not worry about it.
A good old cruiser frame--the springer fork does work and is strong as can be; it's trussed.
Would be perfectly up-to a disk brake
(unlike most telescoping forks not meant for disk brakes).
I don't need a disk brake so the V brake is just fine.

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Re: Good-bikes, Bad-bikes to convert??

Post by lemmiwinks » Apr 10 2007 7:26pm

TylerDurden wrote:This thread is for posting potential conversions, ie: if you find a bike you are considering for conversion or upgrading, post it here for opinions.

Example:
the bike below is currently available at Toys-R-Us for $80usd. Steel frame, soft shocks, 24" wheels, 40lbs. Would it make a good e-bike?

EDIT: this bike would be for general use: around town, mostly paved paths, some street, some dirt paths.

Your comments are requested. Many Thanx!
Looks like it would be a perfect candidate for a Cruzbike conversion:
http://www.cruzbike.com Might not want an ebike after a few miles on one of them :wink:

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Post by Mathurin » Apr 10 2007 8:51pm

Tyler, I stepped into a toys r us a few hours ago to check out the said bike. They didn't have the exact model but, they did have one that looked nearly identical except for V-brakes.


Let me tell you about a bike I got for the sole intent of turning it into a power-assist

Most of the bike I've purchased were used, this one is no different. Trouble is I felt it rode around too well to ruin it by adding a motor and stuff. The bike cost me 300$ can. When I got it it needed some attention, I ended up changing the grips and shifter rubbers, put bigger semi-slicks on instead of the knobbies, installed bottle cages, a new chain, new cables & housings and decent brake pads. And voila.

It's a '98 Oryx Équipe 7000ds, made of 6 & 7K aluminiums, it's got an 8 speed XTR rear XT front driven by Yeti shifters, 4:1 overall transmission ratio, It's got a shimano roller clutch that's silent and grabs just about as soon as you start turning the cranks, regardless where they are. Cranks are White industries. It's got a dual crown front RST Hi-5 Mozo, that is to say, from before RST got bought out and became crap. Rear shock is a Rox Shox coupé deluxe, nothing to write home about but still eats up anything out of a department store, 5 inches travel at both ends. Rear rim is some german double wall w/ss eyelets, in the front is a cheapie Rigida. Front brake is a Shimano LX, rear is a cheapie aluminium V and I've put Kool-Stop salmon pads on both ends. The brake levers are different, I expect one of them got broken off at some point, but everything in the brake system is made of metal, no plastic here, and these brakes have eaten up every mechanical disk it's been up against, although I'd guess something like a MX1 would beat it. I'd like to try, but it seems people go hydro before wasting money on high end mechanical disks. Anyways the whole bike weighs around 35lbs, and it's rather decent. Quite pleasant to ride around, too.

This is what it looked like when I got it:
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y46/200164259/oryx.jpg

For 300$, the Wal Mart bike with suspension at both ends is absolutely no contest whatsoever.


So, I'd suggest you went in a bike shop to examine quality bikes, see how they're made and what they look like, to see what to look for, so you can know what to avoid. Then do pawn shops, craigslist, flea markets etc. until you find a good bike that fits you. It may take a few weeks, but it's worth it. Look for something that doesn't have obvious signs of wear, damage from accidents or rust, and it should be pretty easy to do whatever maintenance may be needed from there.

Here's some mechanic stuff that'll show you how to install new brake cables and such if you don't already know, it's quite easy.

http://www.parktool.com/repair/


Also the early mountain bikes are pretty cool if you can find a good one because they have a semi-road bike geometry with really beefy tubes and eyelets to install things like racks and mud guards, my Oryx lacks that. Unfortunately it seems fluorescent colours were popular for bikes in the late 80s... (hint: mongoose hadn't sold out yet back in the 80's, good bikes if you can find them)


It's really important to have a bike that fits you, other wise it's a bad value regardless of cost. A bike that doesn't fit you will be uncomfortable on anything but short rides, it'll hurt on long rides, and in the long run it can cause injuries like swelling, pain, numbness... Been there, done that. If you bought a given bike model from a good bike shop, they'd measure you up, use the best matching frame size, stem, seat post etc. And generally adjust it to make it fit you, although it would take a few more weeks of fine tuning to get right, but it's not unreasonable to think about changing the stem to fit a used bike to yourself. Also the one-size fits all department store bikes may not the optimal choice for fit.

Though if I have to chose, I find too big a bike is the lesser of two evils because the big bike generally rides along well and causes burning pain behind the shoulders and in the neck, the small bike robs your power away, feels all squirrelly, hurts your knees and makes your wrists go numb.

This fit calculator should give a good idea what to look for.

http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CC ... ATOR_INTRO
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Post by jondoh » Apr 10 2007 9:21pm

I've electrified three bikes:

1. schwinn cruiser 1 speed
2. raleigh gruv (my gruv-e)
3. k2 bike camano from REI

The schwinn cruiser was a poor choice because it didn't have a front brake but it did the job. Nice steel frame.

The raleigh gruv is just sooo comfortable with good v-brakes and 7 speeds. The frame is longer than standard. The pedal forward design lets you sit lower-- so lower wind resistance. This bike has the go-hub which was transfered from the cruiser.

The k2 bike was my wife's old bike. This is the bike I paired with the cyclone 500 watt. It's not nearly as comfortable as the gruv but it's not bad. It's more or less a standard diamond frame bike with a real big 700c front wheel and a small 24" rear wheel (i had to use a 24" wheel to fit the motor.) The seating position is much higher than the gruv and the increase wind resistance is noticeable.

I'm not the biggest fan of the walmart/target bikes. While they seem to get better and better every year and have outstanding value, I'm still of the opinion that the best value for most namebrade bike manufacturers (giant, schwinn, raleigh, diamondback, etc) in terms of overall quality of all components (frame, wheels, brakes, shifter, chain, peddals, seat-- everything!) is around $400. A bike is more than its frame and brakes. Having said this, i reserve the right to buy a walmart/target bike to mess around with.

Overall, i think the older gruv-e is my favorite ride because of comfort and lower wind resistance.

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Post by CGameProgrammer » Apr 10 2007 9:50pm

You're right; the Gruv's wheelbase is 5 inches longer than normal, which probably helps at speed. But it's an aluminum frame. I'd be wary of running a hub motor in aluminum dropouts, even in the rear... has anyone done it and had no problems, even at higher voltages?

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Post by xyster » Apr 10 2007 10:04pm

You're right; the Gruv's wheelbase is 5 inches longer than normal, which probably helps at speed. But it's an aluminum frame. I'd be wary of running a hub motor in aluminum dropouts, even in the rear... has anyone done it and had no problems, even at higher voltages?
[Raises hand] I have.

I had this concern before choosing my bike too. I went for 7005 series aluminum specifically for this reason -- it's a little stronger than the more common 6061 series (though frame construction matters too)

http://www.brucescycleworks.com/tips/tip18.html
"You may have noticed that there are two types of aluminum listed in the specs for aluminum bikes; 7005 or 6061. Which is the stronger material? Your first answer may be 6061 because you see it on the more expensive bikes. 7005 aluminum is actually the stronger aluminum alloy. "

I haven't had any problems, and I've not heard of problems with aluminum frames and rear hubmotors. Last I checked, the area around my dropouts looked find. Before I bought my x5 from him, I asked Justin at ebikes.ca about this. He told me aluminum + rear hubmotor shouldn't be a problem. But before I do the 60amp (~100 volt) mods, I'll affix some kind of torque arms just to be sure.
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Post by CGameProgrammer » Apr 10 2007 11:05pm

OK, great -- then I have many more options available. 7005 seems to be the most common frame material.

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Post by jondoh » Apr 11 2007 12:21am

Yeah, about my gruv. The front fork is chromoly so i think i'm pretty safe there with the front hub. It's actually one of the reasons why i chose the bike in the first place.

I'm finding a lot of manufacturers a little shy about the exact formulation of their front forks only saying they're aluminum alloy or some kind of alloy which doesn't tell you much.

One kind of good thing about the walmart/target bikes is that they're usually steel frame-- which is good for electrifying. The typical decent bike frame is made of aluminum.

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Post by TylerDurden » Apr 11 2007 8:59am

Thanks for the comments!

The toy store had three flavors of Harley-labeled bikes: two @ 26" & the 24". The 26" were aluminum and only had disk in the front. I felt better about drilling/modding the steel 24". The steel 24" weighs 20lbs less than my 20" currie/mongoose mx.

I'm assuming the 24" will have better torque for hills.

That cruzbike is slick. (Maybe BobMc can tell us about tight turns?)

There seems to be plenty of room for a cyclone-style setup, but stacked freewheels like Randy's are also still on my list.


:D
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Post by TylerDurden » Apr 15 2007 10:49pm

Here b another dpt. store bike: (alum)

http://www.abikestore.com/Merchant2/mer ... mc-topkick

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Post by Thaddeus » Apr 16 2007 5:52am

I don't like aluminum frames. I like steel.

Aluminum frames are very rigid and the failure mode is catastrophic breakage. Not cool.

Steel deforms before it fails.

That said, I have an aluminum framed Novara commuter that is very nice. But if the fork was chromoly, I would have electrified it. And it makes me nervous when I regard the aluminum fork.

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Re: Good-bikes, Bad-bikes to convert??

Post by MxusMick » Feb 17 2020 10:53pm

Hi, new post in old topic, may help new readers, pawn shops are a great way to find a worthy bike for converting, $140-$300 is a ballpark price for bikes that would cost 2 or 3 times more. Thrift stores will sell bikes for $40-$100 and if you keep your eyes open you may get lucky with a full suspension Motobecane for $100 like I did! Mick

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Re: Good-bikes, Bad-bikes to convert??

Post by dogman dan » Feb 20 2020 7:52am

Wow, you really dug for this thread. Posts by Tyler Durden and Reid Welch.

Best deals on bikes I ever got, were estate sales. But then the bikes are 20-40 years old. Takes a long time, but eventually the guy with 50 bikes dies. I paid 30 bucks for my vintage steel centurion road bike. Best bike I own now. Very pricy in any vintage bike shop.

Next after that, the flea market. Look for the guy with nothing but bikes, and out of state plates on his truck,, nudge nudge wink wink, you know what I mean. Yep, its stolen, but not from your neighbor. Be there when he rolls in, the local vendors will snake the best bikes and mark them up.

But if you want to get a great deal on an average price bike, its amazing what goes on the curb for the trash. Two half bikes can make a whole, although a straight rear wheel is hard to find. Replace it with a motor wheel, and presto.

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Re: Good-bikes, Bad-bikes to convert??

Post by markz » Feb 20 2020 12:55pm

..... 12.5 yrs later

nothings changed.

Pawn shops aren't a place for bargains from what I can tell.
Abandoned bicycles are good to take/strip.
:thumb: Estate Sales

I like the out of state license plate comment. There was a Uhaul got pinched in Canmore/Banff with a load of bicycles. Canmore/Banff love to use cable locks on every single bike, I have yet to see those cities inhabitants use a yellow Kryptonyte U-lock, or for that matter an Orange Kryp. Ulock, or for that matter any U-lock whatever. I saw old old bicycles with a 14awg wire as a lock, pliers its yours if your a thief. Trek fat bikes, worth $1500+ cable lock. Silent bolt cutters.

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Re: Good-bikes, Bad-bikes to convert??

Post by dogman dan » Feb 23 2020 7:46am

Yeah, I had a couple trikes stole from my workplace. No thief tools carried, the guy would heat up the cable with a lighter to ruin the temper, then snip it with toenail clippers. Tweaker methods, can't be caught carrying bolt cutters.

But the real pros drive vans, and carry the cordless grinders. They can clear out a campus bike rack in two min. I got my nicest mtb from a guy who was in the network. He had a used bike shop here in town. He'd take everything those guys had in the van that they stole in Colorado. Then they'd fill it here in New Mexico, and head back to Colorado. Likely they'd mule some dope back up to Denver too, likely bought from the bike shop guy.

I knew the thing was stole, I really cracked up the story the guy told about it. Oh no, this one not stole, all but admitting all the rest in the shop were. That shop is long gone, cops got him on something, most likely drugs. But don't think the van from Colorado never comes anymore.

But craigslist here just doesn't have shit, just a lot of bike shaped objects, or road bikes guys want every dollar back out of it years later. At some point, if you want something nice, used = stolen. Its just how it is. At the flea mkt I just try to buy rusty stolen. So its not somebody's daily ride, its either stolen long ago, or it sat in the yard a year or two.

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Re: Good-bikes, Bad-bikes to convert??

Post by markz » Feb 23 2020 6:24pm

Quieter methods can be had.

edit: which would be just as fast if not faster then noise and sparks.

dogman dan wrote:
Feb 23 2020 7:46am
Yeah, I had a couple trikes stole from my workplace. No thief tools carried, the guy would heat up the cable with a lighter to ruin the temper, then snip it with toenail clippers. Tweaker methods, can't be caught carrying bolt cutters.

But the real pros drive vans, and carry the cordless grinders. They can clear out a campus bike rack in two min. I got my nicest mtb from a guy who was in the network. He had a used bike shop here in town. He'd take everything those guys had in the van that they stole in Colorado. Then they'd fill it here in New Mexico, and head back to Colorado. Likely they'd mule some dope back up to Denver too, likely bought from the bike shop guy.

I knew the thing was stole, I really cracked up the story the guy told about it. Oh no, this one not stole, all but admitting all the rest in the shop were. That shop is long gone, cops got him on something, most likely drugs. But don't think the van from Colorado never comes anymore.

But craigslist here just doesn't have shit, just a lot of bike shaped objects, or road bikes guys want every dollar back out of it years later. At some point, if you want something nice, used = stolen. Its just how it is. At the flea mkt I just try to buy rusty stolen. So its not somebody's daily ride, its either stolen long ago, or it sat in the yard a year or two.

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