The inspiration on what to build came from a thread by Calfee20 (thank you!) over on electricbike.com, where he described his build of a bike based on an Electra Cruiser frame. So I scanned Craigslist and found someone selling an large steel Electra Cruiser frame. Then began the process of buying components:
- MXUS 3K Turbo hubmotor, thumb throttle, magnetic brake switch, chain tensioner on AliExpress.
- Battery, charger, sine wave controller, cycle analyst, spokes and connectors from Grin.
- Rims, tyres, freewheel, front hub, chainring, pedal set and adapter, front fork bearing and headset, disc brake components and so on from eBay.
- New front forks from the U.K., needed forks with a disc mount.
- Handlebars from Jones.
Thus began a few weeks of summer evenings surrounded by boxes gradually making my ebike. It’s been a fun learning process, and the end result has exceeded my expectations. The bike is a heavy lump, a big steel frame with a 20ish pound hub motor at the back. Because of the long wheelbase it actually feels like an old classic motorcycle, not very manoeuvrable but once you’re rolling and leaning it through the corners it’s brilliant. Top speed is about 37 mph, so I can happily hang with the car traffic and avoid riding in the gutter being overtaken by texting housewives. Everyone who tries it comes back with a manic grin on their face, always fun to see the reactions.
The traffic here is getting worse and worse, and parking is becoming more expensive and more of a pain in the ass. The ebike is the solution - unlike a motorcycle I filter to the front of the queue of cars at every traffic light then I can park it for free when I get to my destination. This means that for errands or lunch dates it is a much faster form transport than my car. So far I have only done 800 completely reliable miles on it, as it is used for lots of little 10 mile trips rather than big outings.
So the idea of writing this brief description was to maybe inspire someone else as I was myself inspired by someone’s build thread, and equally to answer any questions if anyone is doing something similar and wants any pointers.
As you can see from the photos below my build is fairly rough, wires just tie wrapped in place, for me it is about function over form! Thanks for reading!