Bike Conversion

(Oasis NM)
After having ridden my fatbike for four months, I decided it was time to do the conversion to an electric motor. This was my plan from the beginning. However, now that I was in the southwest it became more urgent. Where, it seems, everything is either up or down hill.

Caballo Lake

Bike Conversion

I purchased a mid-drive motor kit from LunaCycle and had it delivered to a town nearby my camp. It is the same set-up that two of my friends have; so, I received lots of advice and help. A couple of trips to the hardware store for some minor items, too.

Bike Conversion

Battery, motor, speed sensor

Bike Conversion

New red chain ring & gear sensor

In my eagerness to get it done, I neglected to shoot photos of the tear down and build. It required removing the peddles, chain ring, and bottom bracket guts. In addition, all the handle bar items, like grips, gear shifter, and brake handles.

Bike Conversion

Power Switch & Display

Bike Conversion

Mirror, padded grips, gear selector, throttle

The completed build included the motor and battery, a new chain ring, new brake handles that send a signal to disengage the motor when braking, a sensor that does the same when shifting gears, a thumb throttle, a speed sensor, power switch, and a display that monitors battery charge, speed, power level, trip mileage, and time. I also added seat suspension, new grips and a rear view mirror.

Bike Conversion

Thudbuster ST seat suspension

The system is peddle-assist; which means the motor engages when I am peddling. That greatly helps on hills and rough terrain. It also means I can still ride the bike as normal with the motor turned off; so, I still can get useful exercise. My fat eBike is a pleasure to ride and allows me to go places I might not otherwise.

Camp: Caballo Lake SP-Lakeview drycamp
Scene: Lake, bike

Also see: Fat Bike

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8 Responses to Bike Conversion

  1. Steven F. Crisp April 8, 2017 at 1:47 pm #

    That looks great David. Also looks like quite an involved upgrade. I’m wondering if you would mind sharing a ballpark figure for the cost of the upgrade, either in the comments or PM.

    Also, on a different note, I just wanted to thank you for the tips on where to visit and stay from AZ to CA. We took advantage of many of your suggestions. Thanks for taking the time to write the detailed e-mail!

    S-

    • Pleinguy April 8, 2017 at 5:55 pm #

      Costs would vary depending on the options you select, and of course over time. So, that detail was left out on purpose. I will send you a message. Glad my route suggestions were useful.

  2. Martha April 8, 2017 at 4:44 pm #

    It looks like a great idea, and you must be pretty handy to be able to do it yourself.

    • Pleinguy April 8, 2017 at 5:56 pm #

      I read extensively about others doing this conversion. So, I felt pretty confident. Plus, I had a little help from my friends.

  3. Brad VT Harris April 8, 2017 at 8:19 pm #

    Great conversion, Pleinguy! I like the power assist. Does it generate quite a bit of torque? By the way, your comment reminded me of the Beatles song that said “I get by with a little help from my friends…”

    • Pleinguy April 8, 2017 at 10:02 pm #

      There are 9 levels of power assist, so you can increase or decrease as the situation requires. Combined with 8 gears the ride can be fine tuned or adjusted accordingly. It will take me a while to understand what is needed for different conditions.

  4. Terri Reed April 9, 2017 at 5:36 pm #

    Welcome to the Club of eBikers! I love my ebike; 7 gears and 5 levels of power, pedal-assist, etc. 500 watt motor can get me up any long hill. I used to bike manually as a youngster (under 55) but now that I’m 65 with an eBike, I have no hesitations, no doubts, no worries about what roads I may find ahead. Just pure pleasure! I bike for groceries, errands, can go everywhere. Best toy I’ve bought in the last 5 years!

    • Pleinguy April 9, 2017 at 6:07 pm #

      I agree. Having the motor makes riding so much easier. The choice of where to ride is greatly expanded. I can now explore areas I might have hesitated to go before.

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