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Old 12-03-21, 07:52 AM
  #26  
cat0020
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Seems like a sensible option for the type of riding you described.
Honestly, with the supply chain issues the way it is, Rad ebike shouldn't be difficult to sell used if you determine that it's not for you.
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Old 12-03-21, 09:17 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Lastmohecken View Post
Well, I have been doing a bunch of research and it looks like I would have to buy the 120mm HD Bafang to fit my fat bike and clear the chain stay. It's the 1000 Kw and then after pricing all of the special tools, I will probably need, I am within $500 or so of just buying a new Rad rover so I don't know, And then it looks like you still need to program the Bafang to make it more user friendly and I am not much on computers. I am going to test ride a Rad rover and if I like it, for 500 more and I still have my old bike to ride, also, the Rad just may be the way to go for my first Ebike.
I'll recommend the Rad rover. Building your own bike can be "fun" but it takes a fair amount of time, research, trial, and error that all dissapears with an off the shelf solution. Unless you are a tinkerer (or want more than one bike), its worth the $500.
I designed and built my own, for about $500 (+ $600 bike), but if I put a dollar value on my design, engineering, and shop time - well it would cost thousands of dollars. ;-)
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Old 12-03-21, 09:19 AM
  #28  
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1. Simplicity.
2. Cost less.
3. No extra wear on chain.
Agreed.

I'd add redundancy.
on a hub motor, I have ridden home with a dead battery and with a broken chain. Can't do the broken chain bit on a mid drive. ;-)
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Old 12-03-21, 09:33 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
Agreed.

I'd add redundancy.
on a hub motor, I have ridden home with a dead battery and with a broken chain. Can't do the broken chain bit on a mid drive. ;-)
you can I you invest in a quick link a whole 5.00
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Old 12-03-21, 10:03 AM
  #30  
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^^^^^^^ Agree on this; I've been riding for 40 years and have broken a chain once, and that was repaired in five minutes. Fortunately, several years ago when I became interested in e-bikes, the production models weren't attractive to me, so DIY was the only option (plus I had the needed tools with a couple of exceptions). Otherwise probably would have gone OEM, and maybe never looked back.
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Old 12-03-21, 12:08 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
Building your own bike can be "fun" but it takes a fair amount of time, research, trial, and error
Wow, I've built my one Specialized hybrid bike into two different ebikes - one hub drive and one mid-drive - and neither one took a lot of time, research, trial or error. I'd add that by far the most difficult and time consuming part is positioning the wiring and using a lot of zip ties. That was followed by a few handlebar item adjustments to get the cockpit laid out just so.

The actual builds required... 1) order the kit, 2) take one day to install the kit, 3) try different places to zip tie the wires for half a day and 4) ride the bike to check the locations of everything on the handle bars.

It really has gotten that easy if you are building up a standard bike. If you're trying to convert a full-suspension MTB or super wide tired sand/snow bike or similar then yes, some pre-planning is necessary. But that part is kind of fun.

I will say it's much easier if you have a few specialized bike tools - the kind you'd have to do any work on any bike.
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Old 12-03-21, 06:08 PM
  #32  
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Good points by all. Thank you, fellows.
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Old 12-04-21, 02:53 PM
  #33  
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I've built my own mid-drive & hub-drive ebikes since 2008.
I used to think that converting old mt. bikes to ebikes would suit my purpose, but the old frame geometry & capacity may not be well-suited for extra weight of motor, controller & battery; finding locations to fit those items can also be difficult.
Nowadays, (as I get older) I prefer just get complete ebikes that are reliable, practical & suit my purposes, leaves me more time riding than tinkering with batteries, wirings & controllers.
Technology have trickled down enough that complete ebike packages under $2k have enough performance that are well capable & reliable that suit about 80-90% of people looking to "get in shape" and enjoy cycling.
No, they may not be suited for aggressive off-road at higher speeds; probably don't even have the optimum frame geometry to do high performance type on or off-road cycling.
But I suppose most people looking to "get back in shape" are not looking to do 2-3 hour rides average 25+ mph.
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Old 12-04-21, 09:35 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by cat0020 View Post
I've built my own mid-drive & hub-drive ebikes since 2008.
I used to think that converting old mt. bikes to ebikes would suit my purpose, but the old frame geometry & capacity may not be well-suited for extra weight of motor, controller & battery; finding locations to fit those items can also be difficult.
Nowadays, (as I get older) I prefer just get complete ebikes that are reliable, practical & suit my purposes, leaves me more time riding than tinkering with batteries, wirings & controllers.
Technology have trickled down enough that complete ebike packages under $2k have enough performance that are well capable & reliable that suit about 80-90% of people looking to "get in shape" and enjoy cycling.
No, they may not be suited for aggressive off-road at higher speeds; probably don't even have the optimum frame geometry to do high performance type on or off-road cycling.
But I suppose most people looking to "get back in shape" are not looking to do 2-3 hour rides average 25+ mph.

That's probably really all I need, also.
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Old 12-05-21, 04:06 PM
  #35  
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Something to inspire towards, eventually... maybe?
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Old 12-08-21, 01:49 PM
  #36  
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Talking

Originally Posted by fooferdoggie View Post
you can I you invest in a quick link a whole 5.00
LMAO. Good one!
I'm sure all the people I see riding and ebike around town have a quick link and know how to use it.
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Old 12-18-21, 12:53 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Lastmohecken View Post
Well, my needs are kind of like this:
I want to ride gravel roads, with steep hills and maybe also some off road farm field and woods riding, still possibly steep hills. I am 64 years old and want to get in better shape, and lose some weight. I do have some friends that ride on paved bike trails using mountain bikes, but that are in younger and better shape then me, and there is no way I could keep up with them on any kind of regular bicycle for very long at all. But maybe I could with an ebike. But most of my riding will be on gravel, dirt, and sometimes muddy roads, for general exercise.
Iím in a similar situation. 66, too much weight for my heart and body and too steep of hills to ride. 95% off road riding. I went for a bafang bbshd on a Rivendell Clem Smith bike. It is now essentially an electric motorcycle as the cadence sensing comes on with gobs of power at the lowest pedaling speed making the throttle a safer control on tricky steep trails. On steep open sections and pedaling Iím barely contributing to the climb. Without torque sensing and all that power I doubt Iím providing more than 15% of the effort. I am glad I installed it but for the $1800 for the bike and $1300 for the kit if I was looking for the equivalent ebike just going for a torque sensing midrive under $4000 would have made sense. You have to be careful making comparisons between an add on Bafang and a hub drive Rad bike because they are not the same thing. With your weight and steep hills itíll require torque and power and that simply doesnít come cheap. I donít have any experience with geared hub drives and your weight on steep trails but research it to learn if the Rad can do it. The demands on a motor going up a steep grade compared flat ground is just like it is for the rider, unlike your muscles you wonít feel it if the motor is overtaxed. Again this is where comparing a bafang midrive to a hub drive is apples to tangerines comparison.

And now Iím looking for a decent hardtail to put the motor on as itís just too rough w/o a front shock.

Last edited by LeeG; 12-18-21 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 12-19-21, 11:53 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
Iím in a similar situation. 66, too much weight for my heart and body and too steep of hills to ride. 95% off road riding. I went for a bafang bbshd on a Rivendell Clem Smith bike. It is now essentially an electric motorcycle as the cadence sensing comes on with gobs of power at the lowest pedaling speed making the throttle a safer control on tricky steep trails. On steep open sections and pedaling Iím barely contributing to the climb. Without torque sensing and all that power I doubt Iím providing more than 15% of the effort. I am glad I installed it but for the $1800 for the bike and $1300 for the kit if I was looking for the equivalent ebike just going for a torque sensing midrive under $4000 would have made sense. You have to be careful making comparisons between an add on Bafang and a hub drive Rad bike because they are not the same thing. With your weight and steep hills itíll require torque and power and that simply doesnít come cheap. I donít have any experience with geared hub drives and your weight on steep trails but research it to learn if the Rad can do it. The demands on a motor going up a steep grade compared flat ground is just like it is for the rider, unlike your muscles you wonít feel it if the motor is overtaxed. Again this is where comparing a bafang midrive to a hub drive is apples to tangerines comparison.

And now Iím looking for a decent hardtail to put the motor on as itís just too rough w/o a front shock.
I don't know the details but a friend has about a four year old Rad. I don't know the model or much else. I do know he burned out the motor. He was using it on steep forest service roads in the Mt Baker/Sisters area to cut off hiking distances. He might have overtaxed the system.
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Old 12-20-21, 11:33 AM
  #39  
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K, rule of thumb for hubs on anything but a short uphill (maybe 20 seconds) is you need to be able to have a speed which is 50% of max or too much energy is transferred as heat.
Lee, old (90's or so) steel MTB's make good platforms, and can be coupled with a $250 or so Manitou Markhor (straight steerer); I have two of the Manitous and they perform well and aren't ponderous.
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