From home made to Factory Build

Andy230262

Pedelecer
Jul 8, 2021
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Dorset
Anyone on here had a conversion EBike before buying a factory made one? If so how much better is the factory one or do you have and regrets?
 

AndyBike

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 8, 2020
365
171
Nope.
Too much hassle.
I'm not an electrician, nor an electronics engineer. I dont have the knowledge that tells me if i do this-that happens, nor of the problems of things that can go wrong.
And I've seen enough of the begging letters on here ;)

Same with gaming computers. For what I intend to spend I could get a hell of a buy the parts and build it yourself gaming rig.
But should it go amiss or i do something wrong im flummoxed and will then have to shell out to have it fixed. Me = Alienware = Jobs a good 'un.
 

Raboa

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 12, 2014
498
168
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I have found that it easier to get replaceable parts LCD screen etc for a conversion kit. My ready bought ebike has a lot of unmarked parts and trying to source them is a pain.
 
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guerney

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 7, 2021
3,636
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Nope.
Too much hassle.
I'm not an electrician, nor an electronics engineer. I dont have the knowledge that tells me if i do this-that happens, nor of the problems of things that can go wrong.
And I've seen enough of the begging letters on here ;)

Same with gaming computers. For what I intend to spend I could get a hell of a buy the parts and build it yourself gaming rig.
But should it go amiss or i do something wrong im flummoxed and will then have to shell out to have it fixed. Me = Alienware = Jobs a good 'un.
Utterly spoiled by the customisability of my Bafang BBS01b, and availability of spare parts for many years to come, I don't think I'd ever be happy with an off the shelf ebike. Similarly, one can assemble a PC which beats Alienware for performance, upgradability, repairability, temperature, looks and price; these days, it's pretty much like meccano... a bit less so three decades ago.
 
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GSV3MiaC

Pedelecer
Jun 6, 2020
211
133
Yeah, populating memory boards with DIL chips was more of a pain than today's solutions, but i enjoyed playing with electronics and software (back when you could actually see what Windows 3.1 code was doing, and fix it).

For bikes however, the bit I enjoy is the riding, so I bought a ready to ride, low maintenance (high cost) solution. Kudos to those who enjoy tinkering, but not for me any more, life too short to do the bits you don't enjoy if you don't have to.
 

matthewslack

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 26, 2021
522
252
Anyone on here had a conversion EBike before buying a factory made one? If so how much better is the factory one or do you have and regrets?
There are more than two branches to this picture. I'd add a split in the factory branch into 'big names', principally shimano and bosch, where everything is in- house, closed to change, expensive to buy and repairs tend to be 'replace the whole motor unit' style, and 'smaller names' who are basically using the same stuff as the kit sellers.

Personally I'm contemplating the opposite direction of travel as I need the ability to fiddle to implement my solar trailer plans.

I'm reassured by what I read here that a good kit will serve my purposes well, and be fixable no matter what happens.
 

Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
16,564
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West Sx RH
A diy bike if the right kits are used have many spares available to keep the bike working for years to come, one also can tailor the kit/bike to suit their own needs.
A diy bike might not have the kudos of a branded one but you gain the knowledge of being able to quite easily repairing it your self, the use of an digital meter is essential which in it self are cheap to buy and easy to use.
For those with a practical mind and hands then an ebike build is the way to go, for me it has led to other worthwhile skills which I had little need for like wheel building/ trueing wheels up and a vast greater knowledge of lithium batteries from fault diagnosing to decent professional pack building all for personal use.

Price I find a little immaterial as one only lives once so I like to spend my money on things I enjoy doing rather then frivolous things like holidays I don't enjoy and wasting money on cars etc.
 

sjpt

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2018
3,005
2,269
Anyone on here had a conversion EBike before buying a factory made one? If so how much better is the factory one or do you have and regrets?
Yes. The conversion was front wheel to a tandem and the factory bike was mid drive Bosch (Raleigh Motus) so hard to compare.

If I were to do things again I'd certainly go for a kit for the tandem again, but a little more powerful. (The XF07 we have is fairly low powered, especially for a tandem, but choice was very limited at the time we got it.) Also I'd go for the bigger battery rather than the 13aH one we have. Partly for range,partly because I suspect it would have less voltage sag on big hills.

There are more than two branches to this picture. I'd add a split in the factory branch into 'big names', principally shimano and bosch, where everything is in- house, closed to change, expensive to buy and repairs tend to be 'replace the whole motor unit' style, and 'smaller names' who are basically using the same stuff as the kit sellers.
I absolutely agree with that. The Motus was 2nd hand and has been excellent so far, but if I had to replace it I'd go for a ready built bike with more standard parts (probably from Woosh).
 

egroover

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 12, 2016
717
386
54
UK
Was in a bike shop a few weeks ago checking out ebikes, in particular a new Cube Katmandu 625...looked very nice, smooth lines, well engineered, nice features...£3.2K..ouch! But I get why people buy them if they have no skills or desire to build their own with a kit
I sticking with my mid drive BBS01B 250w mid drive/17.5ah hailong battery Boardman conversion bikes, when I can get a complete new motor/display etc for sub £250 and a replacement or spare battery for £200. OK doesn't look as smart as a pre built one (and I also own a pre built Carrerra Crossfire-e which I like for what it is and it got me into ebiking), but it does everything that Cube does, same range, same power, same enjoyment...
If I had the £3.2k Cube, in year 3 of ownership (out of warranty) I'd be worried about what if the battery/motor etc packs up...up to £1.5k to replace both...plus I'd be always worried of it being nicked...
 

AndyBike

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 8, 2020
365
171
I'd add a split in the factory branch into 'big names', principally shimano and bosch, where everything is in- house, closed to change, expensive to buy and repairs tend to be 'replace the whole motor unit' style, and 'smaller names' who are basically using the same stuff as the kit sellers.
Many of these 'small names' though are in fact giant Chinese companies making tens upon tens of thousands of units each year.
But one thing is clear though between big pharma companies- oops sorry there, made a slip, how you weren't offended by it :oops: but the difference is the smaller companies aren't driving the development.
 

stargazer30

Pedelecer
Sep 29, 2020
34
15
I’ve done two DIY hub conversions and bought two 2k+ name brand ebikes trying to find my ideal bike.

The name brand Bosch/cube, Fazua/Boardman mid drive bikes I bought are better than the DIY bikes. Better range, better ride, nicer in nearly every way. But… they both cost around 2.5k Each. My DIY cost less than £800. It was a nearly new boardman MTX £400 and a £350 Yose hub kit.

If the cube or boardman electrics broke I’d have a hard time fixing them The yose kit bike is easy to fix as parts are easy to replace or swap. Plus the yose hub kit may not be as nice to ride but it’s not far off, certainly not £1700 worse!

Of course an off the shelf ebike you buy and ride. Going DIY you need some basic bike skills and there’s always that one thing that just goes wrong on the build and you have to work around or fix.
 

soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
12,606
5,179
my factory bike was bought 2nd hand on ebay in 2014 for £3500 and delivered it to me with a dropper post fitted that he paid for.


it now has a new cx motor and will soon have a kiox display and the original 400w batt is still working and got a 500w one for £700! a few years ago but if you cant service the parts or have the tools to do so it can get expensive fast esp out of warranty but peter at performance line bearings can service most mid drive motors if the controllers still work and not shorted out, but as for the batts still no cheap options to recell the packs as use can bus.

DSC_0123_03.JPG

if i was to buy a new bike id want total control of the motor and no can bus bs with the batts bms.


45189

 

AndyBike

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 8, 2020
365
171
Going DIY you need some basic bike skills
I think you're oversimplifying it a tad there and its considerably more than 'basic' bike skills.
For starters you need an understanding of electrics. And thats an obvious given the many many threads on here with diyers asking question on electrical issues, from wiring batteries to setting voltages to configuring controllers.
I've got more than basic skills. Been servicing and fixing hydraulics, forks,wheels and building the bikes for at least 20 years.

Personally the holier than thou nonsense bores to balls off of me. You get that same nonsense haughty attitude from weans who build their own gaming systems. They would never buy one, and those who do are lesser individuals then them.

What a load of pants.
 
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stargazer30

Pedelecer
Sep 29, 2020
34
15
I think you're oversimplifying it a tad there and its considerably more than 'basic' bike skills.
For starters you need an understanding of electrics. And thats an obvious given the many many threads on here with diyers asking question on electrical issues, from wiring batteries to setting voltages to configuring controllers.
Thats based on my own experience with the Yose and Gtech electrics. Both just plug together and you don’t need to know anything about the electrics really. The controllers are part of the battery mount on both. Pretty much plug and play, or erm ride! I’d never touched a bike mechanically before lockdown 1. The only skills I needed to learn were changing the rear wheel and cassette, removing a bottom bracket and how to setup gears. Nothing you can’t learn off utube easy enough.
 

Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
16,564
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For self build bikes one needs to first be competent with working with their hands and a general basic knowledge of mechanics and electrics. Probably missing from a lot who go down that route.
I remember as a young teen many years ago having my bike in pieces and mum saying that's the last that will work, me doing so because I wanted to spray the bike a colour I liked. And it did work again and was used for many years.

Yep quite a lot of diy problems do appear on here most because the posters are too lazy to search for an answer that are already on the internet or even in the search section of this forum, not understanding the needs of current demand and continuous current delivery is another issue that crops up regularly with buyers wanting the cheapest battery and not understanding fully how these work.

I can go on with more basics but then this post would be very long indeed.
 
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Yak

Pedelecer
Mar 20, 2020
104
39
I fitted a Yose rear hub kit to my road bike. Rode 12,800kms in a bit over a year over every mountain I could find, then the frame broke. My folks stumped up for an Orbea Gain, which I love, but has considerably less power, half the range and is harder to control the motor (I’m having to fiddle with the power all ride). I’m now avoiding the big climbs, and when the battery dies it’s going to cost a fortune, but it’s was an amazingly generous gift so I will just have to deal with that. Frankly, it’s Yose all day long in my opinion.
 

stargazer30

Pedelecer
Sep 29, 2020
34
15
I fitted a Yose rear hub kit to my road bike. Rode 12,800kms in a bit over a year over every mountain I could find, then the frame broke. My folks stumped up for an Orbea Gain, which I love, but has considerably less power, half the range and is harder to control the motor (I’m having to fiddle with the power all ride). I’m now avoiding the big climbs, and when the battery dies it’s going to cost a fortune, but it’s was an amazingly generous gift so I will just have to deal with that. Frankly, it’s Yose all day long in my opinion.
That's by design on the Orbea. The idea is to assist and they assume a decent level of fitness. My Fazua boardman ADV is the same. Unless you set it to rocket mode, you need to put some work in and I come back tired and sweaty after a 30-40mile ride. That's fine though as I wanted a bike for exercise too. I'm fit enough to use a regular clockwork bike if I want to but I'm done after about 20 miles, the ebike allows for more range.

The hub drive on my gtech is more like your old Yose. That's a ghost pedal job, no effort and the bike does it all. Great for running errands but of course the range is far less than the Fazua.
 
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guerney

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 7, 2021
3,636
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Kits empower this nation's great tradition of gentlemen tinkering with technology in their garden sheds. I slow jog for fitness, my ebike transports me to work, and does so with my expending as little effort as possible. I can't see that any UK legal ready made bike would allow me to as easily ghost pedal up hills, down dales and speed across flats for dozens of miles, like my BBS01b allows me to. Sometimes the cheaper option trumps financial elitist solutions. Sure you could throw more money at something in the hope that a niggle will go away, but often you're stuck putting up with what someone else thinks is best for you - sod that! I want something perfect, the BBS01b isn't, but something else will be someday.
 
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Andy230262

Pedelecer
Jul 8, 2021
44
3
Dorset
Kits empower this nation's great tradition of gentlemen tinkering with technology in their garden sheds. I slow jog for fitness, my ebike transports me to work, and does so with my expending as little effort as possible. I can't see that any UK legal ready made bike would allow me to as easily ghost pedal up hills, down dales and speed across flats for dozens of miles, like my BBS01b allows me to. Sometimes the cheaper option trumps financial elitist solutions. Sure you could throw more money at something in the hope that a niggle will go away, but often you're stuck putting up with what someone else thinks is best for you - sod that! I want something perfect, the BBS01b isn't, but something else will be someday.
So far I have done about 700 miles on my converted ebike BBs02. I totally agree. Small problems that you fix or just do.
 

AndyBike

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 8, 2020
365
171
Kits empower this nation's great tradition of gentlemen tinkering with technology in their garden sheds.
This is true.