I’ve been thinking about building my first e-bike for about a year and now having just moved across the country from PA home to MN, I think it is time to work on it just in time for Fall. I’d like to build an e-bike for the purposes of commuting to work. My route is a fairly flat 10-12 miles each way (depending on if I go to Crossfit afterward). It looks like there would be a couple hills that I’m estimating are 8-10% grade from calculating on Google Maps. It is all paved and is generally separated from traffic.
With my first build, I should keep it fairly cheap to see if I enjoy the commute as much as I anticipate that I will. With that in mind, I won’t plan to be able to handle big snows like a fat tire bike would be able to do and focus more on a 3-season bike. I’m estimating a budget of $1000-$1500.
My commute now is an easy 13 minute drive and I’d like to target a bike ride of 30 minutes or less. For that 10-12 mile ride, that means an estimated cruising speed of 25-30 mph and a top speed somewhere around ~40 mph on level ground. My desired minimum range would be 25-30 miles so I have some extra battery capacity to spare. I weigh 250 lbs and want to be able to bring my work stuff, gym gear, lunch, etc. with me (likely on some saddlebags). I would like to pedal moderately (or at least have the option) to get some exercise and reduce some of the motor load at starts.
From what I read here, it sounds like a Lunacycle 52V 13.5ah Shark Pack should cover that distance pretty well - am I estimating that correctly? As for the drive system, I could use some direction. I had originally thought about a Leaf 1500W rear hub motor, but there seem to be a lot of virtues with the mid-drive BBS02 and BBSHD. They also have the simplicity of integrated controllers and a seemly straightforward install. But I suppose that depends on what frame I convert. That leads into...
Which frame should I convert? I have an 80s vintage Maruishi Road Ace 404 that I had been thinking I would use. It has U-Brakes and 22-630 tires. However, this week I happened to get some frames for free from Facebook that someone was going to just throw away. That gives me 5 more options. Are any of these good candidates to look into further? (Images shrunk to promote faster loading. Higher resolution photos available)
Note: First picture is not my actual bike, but looks just like it Lastly, wheel size and tires. While this depends on the frame, I read good things on the forums about Schwalbe Marathon Deluxe tires. The Marathon GT 365s look good as well and might allow me to take it into some winter conditions. Looking at Schwalbe’s site, that seems to put me in the 28”/ 700C wheel size with 2in/50mm width (50-622 if I’m understanding right).
With all of that:
- Am I on the right track?
- Do any of these frames have potential if so, which should I investigate more?
- How much do I need front/rear suspension?
- Am I better off with the hub or mid in my situation and why?
- If hub, should I look at the Leaf 1500 or something that I can get from a US importer like this one? Which controller?
- If mid, am I better off with the BBS02 or BBSHD from Lunacycle?
- Should I consider a different wheel size?