Panda Pro/Orbit Orion Conversion

Discussion in 'Electric Bike Conversion Kits' started by Warwick, Jun 26, 2017.

  1. Warwick

    Warwick Pedelecer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    82
    Bloomin' War & Peace, that's what this is becoming!

    I got the bike out today and started working on it. I replaced the rear brake cable and reinstated the rear Avid BB7 disc brake. I then put the rim tape and tyre on the Alfine 8-speed rear wheel and put it in-situ. I put back the chain tensioner and all was set for the Alfine shifter, which I was sure I had put away with the cable and the (vital) shifting nut in one piece - I hadn't! Cue a fevered search that ended up fruitless.

    So, the bike is ready once I get the cable for the shifter sorted. That's due by the weekend, I hope. I can then try it out.

    I did notice the On-One Pompertamine front forks lurking in a corner. They might get put on the bike, so I can have the front disc brake too. Far, far better than the v-brake it currently has.

    By the next instalment, who knows, it might be ready!
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  2. Warwick

    Warwick Pedelecer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    82
    Success! I have now have the bike back working and it is sitting in the garage charging, ready to be taken on a test ride tomorrow.

    I have to admit that I gave up in the end and got the LBS to do the fiddly Alfine hub bit. They also put a star nut in-situ, as my confidence in the expander bolt was not high. They also did a few extra jobs unrequested, which means I won't have to do them in the morning and the charge wasn't unreasonable.

    The brief ride home was without complications and the lowered gearing seems better suited to my needs. I'm looking forward to a longer ride in the morning.

    Update: Just done 12 very blowy miles on a round trip in the rural lanes twixt Kenilworth & Warwick. Luckily, the wind was behind me on the return stretch. I averaged a reasonable 17MPH. The gearing is much friendlier now. One fly in the ointment is an occasional chain jump. This is down to either the tensioner or the hub. Fortunately I foresaw the eventuality & I have a replacement tensioner waiting to be fitted. It's from China, so I hope it isn't made from cheese. The current one is of a type that's given problems before, so I hope that cures things.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    #22 Warwick, Nov 11, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  3. Warwick

    Warwick Pedelecer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    82
    I'm getting 2 return trips to work at an average speed of 16MPH over c.40 miles on full assistance. There is still about 25% charge left, maybe more.

    I get just one out of the Oxygen, albeit at a much faster pace.

    The key is the batteries. The Oxygen's 13AH one is 2 years old, the Orbit's is new, 17.5AH and fresh from RGA.

    Even with a touring load, I reckon I could get 50+ miles out of the Orbit if I lowered the assistance and kept to 15MPH.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. mountainsport

    mountainsport Pedelecer

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1,419
    Likes Received:
    148
    This sound terrific but 50+ miles will give me a very sore bottom.

    MS.
     
  5. Warwick

    Warwick Pedelecer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    82
    The tensioner was replaced, well I scavenged parts from the two knackered ones I had to make one good one. I also took a couple of links out of the chain to hopefully stop the gear jumps. Partial success, as they have reduced, but I suspect now that it's a hub thing as they haven't stopped entirely.

    Over the Christmas break I'll fit the Schwalbe Winters I have in the garage. The Marathon + ones it has now aren't grippy enough on wetter surfaces, especially in the cold.

    Having said all that, it is now a very well set up machine. It is very smooth and a great commuter. The motor is loud on start off, but once above 12MPH it is very quiet.

    I prefer the versatility the Oxygen offers me, but for range and comfort, this is the bike of choice.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  6. Warwick

    Warwick Pedelecer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    82
    Still going strong, although the gear jumps still happen from time to time. It's still on Marathon + tyres, as the Oxygen has the Ice Spikers for frosty conditions.

    The Orbit was a light machine pre-conversion, and the whole package is a very well balanced bit of kit. It is certainly easier to move around when static than the much chunkier Oxygen.

    I still haven't done a full charge to flat battery run, but I think 70 miles would be in the realms of possibility, especially if I reined in the maximum speed to 25Kph.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  7. Warwick

    Warwick Pedelecer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    82
    I spoke too soon. The Alfine failed spectacularly on the way home. It just spins without drive making a rather unpleasant grinding noise. Luckily I was <1 mile from home, so the throttle did the work.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  8. Warwick

    Warwick Pedelecer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    82
    Well, I am going to put my hands up and admit I'm an eejit! When I actually went to change the wheel on the Orbit to one I bought off eBay, I noticed that it wasn't as I described above (I never actually looked closely & just assumed it was the hub gone tits up!). It was the chain that had come off the tensioner which I had adjusted and then off the rear sprocket. So no wonder it wasn't turning!

    Anyway, I will replace the rear wheel on my day off tomorrow, as the current one does jump in some gears, but that is sort of a justification to hide my stupidity!
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  9. Warwick

    Warwick Pedelecer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    82
    I was hoping to use the Orbit now the weather has improved, but the battery isn't taking a charge. It's going back to BGA to fix it. I assume it's only a minor BMS fault & I'll have it back soon. The Oxygen is great, but the Orbit is nicer to ride on roads, much quieter mechanically & electrically and has a much better range.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    #29 Warwick, Apr 16, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
  10. spanos

    spanos Finding my (electric) wheels

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    24
    I have had a couple of welds go on my bga battery....not really their fault . I forgot to the lock the battery on and it went flying across the road a couple of times ! Might be a simple thing like that (just from rattle, not suggesting you abused like I did !)

    for completeness I repaired myself rather than return , not fair otherwise
     
  11. Warwick

    Warwick Pedelecer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    82
    I don't think it'll be anything like that. It was taking a charge fine, then it was laid up a month or so during the Beast from the East. It was charged up during the time it was in the integral garage, but when I took it out and put it back on charge, I just got the green light using both of the chargers I have. It did start to take a charge yesterday, but only for a few minutes despite it being about 60% charged.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  12. Warwick

    Warwick Pedelecer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    82
    So far BGA have been very supportive. They have arranged for UPS to collect the battery today and are going to rectify it under warranty. Brownie points for Jimmy...
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  13. Warwick

    Warwick Pedelecer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    82
    Right, I finally have the battery back from BGA. They couldn't find anything wrong with it rather embarrassingly. Anyway, they've sent it back with a new charger, just in case.

    I've just done 24 miles with it on the Orbit and it worked a treat. I hope that's it back to normal now. The Alfine hub still slips in 7th gear, but not as bad now I've read that it's best to lay off the power when changing gear. I need to delve to see whether it's worth fitting the spare Alfine wheel I have in the garage.

    One thing I like about this bike is that it's almost totally silent when coasting. The Alfine freewheel mechanism is really quiet. All I can hear is the slight roar of the Marathon Plusses and they are at 70psi, so there's not much rubber on the road. The Oxygen is very much louder.

    I think I will have the On One Pompetamine forks fitted soon, so I can have the Avid BB7 fitted in place of the v-brake. Apart from that, it's tip top.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  14. Warwick

    Warwick Pedelecer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    82
    As soon as I have sent my Oxygen rear wheel to Woosh & got it back, the Orbit faces some serious mechanical attention. The Alfine Hub is infuriatingly prone to skipping gears and the front brake needs upgrading to the BB7 I have waiting for the task.

    Electrically it is superb.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  15. Warwick

    Warwick Pedelecer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    82
    Old Alfine wheel borked - disc fine (it's rivetted on so non-removable!). Replacement wheel's gears good - disc warped (also rivetted). Luckily, I have a 9-speed derailleur set up sitting unused in the garage, so started to fit that today. This is getting complicated!
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice