Converting a Birdy Folder

Warwick

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 24, 2015
633
167
My Birdy Blue folder wants me to convert it to a FWD ebike! There are, however, some complications and I was hoping I could get some advice here. I don't want to compromise the folding ability if at all possible.
  1. The front wheel is an 18" one. I have a new rim and was wondering if you could recommend a motor only deal that I could then have laced into a wheel. Are there certain windings that suit a small wheel better?
  2. Is there anyone who specialises in making these wheels?
  3. Once I have the wheel, what controller, display and wiring do you recommend?
  4. Panda have a kit for a Brompton that includes an 8ah battery with controller in a bag that goes onto the 'bars. That would be ideal, but I'm not sure if they'd sell me just the battery and controller. Are there any other such options out there?
Any other tips or guidance welcome.

TIA
 

Croxden

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 26, 2013
2,016
1,298
North Staffs
I've never had any joy trying to find a way to provide power to my Birdy.

At last years Bike Show, I spoke to Claud from AMPS who had a project to electrify a Birdy, it's not an easy task.

Should you find any success please post it on here, I wish you well in your search.
 

KirstinS

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 5, 2011
2,696
691
Brighton
Any reason why you don't want panda motor too?

But Olli at panda I've found to be a helpful chap. Just send him an email , sure he'll help if he can.

A decent wheel builder LBS can lace a motor into a rim for you - I can recommend one near me in Brighton. Plenty around though. Just ensure they are proper wheel builders.

Can't help with other birdy specific issues I'm afraid. Never owned one
 

Warwick

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 24, 2015
633
167
At the moment, the Panda Swift kit is only advertised for 20"+ wheels. 18" is not a common size, so probably not worth the effort for commercial purposes. I may end up having to have a wheel laced for me using one of their kits.
 

KirstinS

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 5, 2011
2,696
691
Brighton
At the moment, the Panda Swift kit is only advertised for 20"+ wheels. 18" is not a common size, so probably not worth the effort for commercial purposes. I may end up having to have a wheel laced for me using one of their kits.
If the motor is wound for 20inch but you put it in a 18 inch (for vice versa) I think you trade a little torque for speed. Not a whole lot mind, should be fine
 

Croxden

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 26, 2013
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Would having disc brakes on the right hand side be a problem?
Not the normal positioning.
 

Alan Quay

Esteemed Pedelecer
Dec 4, 2012
2,341
1,073
Devon
Would having disc brakes on the right hand side be a problem?
Not the normal positioning.
I should think so. I've never seen a hub motor with a RHS disk mount. Turning a geared motor the other way around won't work as the clutch is directional.

I can't see why a DD hub wouldn't work, installed backward. Just have to swap the phases so it goes the right way.

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk
 

Warwick

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 24, 2015
633
167
Disc brakes aren't an option on my vintage of Birdy.

Ollie at Panda has replied and has offered to get a one-off done for me at a substantial discount IF I pay up front and can wait several months for the kit to arrive. That's estimated to be three months. I'll probably go for that, as it's a very cheap way of getting sorted. The Panda Swift kit is basic on the control side of things, but is all I need. Croxden, you might also want to get in touch with Ollie...

The 8Ah battery is small, but will hopefully get me the 16.5 miles to and from work. If need be I can get another charger and sneakily top up at work.
 

jhruk

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 13, 2009
315
67
The Birdy has a very narrow front hub, 70mm according to Sheldon Brown, and expanding the width would be quite difficult due to the unusual design of the forks.

Before you part with your money I'd check that Panda are aware of this as there are very few ebike motors this narrow. Their standard Swift kit claims a hub width of 100mm, which would certainly not fit.
 

trex

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 15, 2011
7,703
2,669
you would have more choices with a rear wheel conversion.
 

Warwick

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 24, 2015
633
167
That's very useful advice jhruk, thanks.

A RWD option would mean ditching the SRAM Dual Drive hub and that ain't going to happen. As it is, the FWD solution would mean ditching the SON dynamo hub.

Back to the drawing board.
 

5threeone

Pedelecer
Jun 27, 2015
33
7
80
So, Has anyone converted a Birdy yet? I am looking at a mid drive and putting the battery on the rear rack. Up to this date my investigations have not come up against serious obstacles. However, I am being cautious and await the experiences of other Birdy owners.IMAG0875.jpg
 
D

Deleted member 4366

Guest
Would having disc brakes on the right hand side be a problem?
Not the normal positioning.
You can reverse any of the Q-series (Aikema) motors by flipping the clutch to get the brake on the right side.
 
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Reactions: Croxden

Croxden

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 26, 2013
2,016
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North Staffs
So, Has anyone converted a Birdy yet? I am looking at a mid drive and putting the battery on the rear rack. Up to this date my investigations have not come up against serious obstacles. However, I am being cautious and await the experiences of other Birdy owners.View attachment 16703
I've contacted a few firms but none of them can do.
At the bike show last year, Claud of AMPS said he had a couple of motors to try to see if viable. Not having heard from him or seen anything I must presume it's not going to happen. Pity.

I have just gone through the posts, I'm just repeating myself, sorry folks.
 

5threeone

Pedelecer
Jun 27, 2015
33
7
80
It seems nobody that we know of has converted a Birdy to mid drive. So here goes. In for a penny, in for a pound! Progress reports as they imerge....I mean, if they imerge!Potential battery rack.JPG Checking Dec 13th.JPG Dec 14th 2016.JPG
 

Croxden

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 26, 2013
2,016
1,298
North Staffs
  • Offensive Language
Reactions: grldtnr

Croxden

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 26, 2013
2,016
1,298
North Staffs
What offence language?
 

Croxden

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 26, 2013
2,016
1,298
North Staffs
Words like Riese & Muller and Rohlhoff in your signature. I was going to report you too. Oh yes, and we all know about your gang drives with the poor birdy.
I didn't know you cared.
 

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