Official Electric fatbike build questions (no e-bike commentary please)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Official Electric fatbike build questions (no e-bike commentary please)

    Just curious.....

    Have any of you ever thought or have taken the plunge on building up an electric fat bike?

    I started up a project and now wish I had not. Why? It is overwhelming what you need to know and dealing with suppliers is a pain. I planned on putting a 500 watt hub motor in the front wheel of my Pugsley, and did go so far as having an electric hub laced into a 36 hole Rolling Darrel unholy rim.
    I did it for the front as I have a alfine IGH and really did not want to get rid of it. Also...this way I will be able to switch back to the original front wheel, or even put it the electric wheel on the rear. I planned on using it primarily for commuting, which is what my pug is used for. I have rode the bike for over two years without a hub, and did fine, but basically I just wanted to extend my range. I still need a battery, and that is not cheap. Before I go forward with that I wanted to see if any of you have already done a build and how its working for you.

    Yes...I know that there are a lot of sites that talk about electric bike stuff, and I have been on all of them. But I like this forum the best and wanted to get your opinions. So those of you that built one, let me know what you did and how its working for you.

    Thanks
    OSRL

  2. #2
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    No reason to ruin a perfectly good bike but maybe if I had one extra, money to burn and got laid off from work then that could be something to do to keep me occupied.

  3. #3
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    Just to be clear, I am not interested in those of you that won't build an electric bike, fat bike or not, but rather those that already have built one. I am sure there are many here that would never do it.

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    I am looking to do the same thing but a bit behind.

    I want a daily use bike for real transpo here on San Diego beaches, the roads in my neighborhood and even the boardwalk are too packed in the summers and the beach hardpack sand is seriously the only open 'road' around. Saltproof is mandatory which makes an IGH like an Alfina mandatory, I have had great luck with those here and watching expensive cassettes and derailers rust will make me cry.

    I want the power assist because this bike can cover 70% of my transport needs via the beach, including grocery shopping. I don't need a workout every time I need some eggs. Sounds like a pretty decent problem I know but after awhile you can't stand sitting in traffic behind 1,000 cars looking for 20 parking spots, it can take 30 minutes to drive 3 miles at times. Plus there are girls on the beach.

    I also want to cover some desert mileage on the Anza Borrego/Death Valley hardpack. I don't mind pedaling all day but I want to cover serious ground doing it. Also mountain trails and maybe the snow if we ever see any again.

    I would go with a rear hub but the Alfina - A mid-motor is likely out because it will be based in steel and rust before my eyes. That leaves me a front motor which likely means the nice carbon fork I got with my Carver O'Beast will have to go.

    Am starting out with unholy Rolling Darryl's as well and hoping my friend at the LBS will help out with the installation. Haven't picked a motor or controller yet but am probably going with a 48v Ping because they are very reliable by all accounts and because I can get then in pairs that can be mounted apart for better balance. 30AH should give me plenty of range. 48 Volt LiFePO4 Battery Packs with BMS (Battery Management System)

    I just want a reliable, low maintenance but capable e-fatty that I can easily change out with a non-motored tire, just like you. I am interested to see where this goes and will help where I can.

  5. #5
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    Local guy here makes one called the juggernaut. Its a cheapo bike with a motor thats mounted infront of the crank. Sells whole unit for $2000. Norco makes one now thats $3700....

    I wouldnt mind one. I commute and its 12 km. takes 30 minutes in the summer but am pushing 50 in winter. to turn the assist mode on a bit to pit the same work out as summer and same time would be great
    Fatbike, XC bike, Gravel Bike....

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldschoolReloaded View Post
    Just curious..... Have any of you ever thought or have taken the plunge on building up an electric fat bike? I started up a project and now wish I had not. Why? It is overwhelming what you need to know and dealing with suppliers is a pain. I planned on putting a 500 watt hub motor in the front wheel of my Pugsley, and did go so far as having an electric hub laced into a 36 hole Rolling Darrel unholy rim. I did it for the front as I have a alfine IGH and really did not want to get rid of it. Also...this way I will be able to switch back to the original front wheel, or even put it the electric wheel on the rear. I planned on using it primarily for commuting, which is what my pug is used for. I have rode the bike for over two years without a hub, and did fine, but basically I just wanted to extend my range. I still need a battery, and that is not cheap. Before I go forward with that I wanted to see if any of you have already done a build and how its working for you. Yes...I know that there are a lot of sites that talk about electric bike stuff, and I have been on all of them. But I like this forum the best and wanted to get your opinions. So those of you that built one, let me know what you did and how its working for you. Thanks OSRL
    Well, you've done the hard part already. Wheel/motor is already built. Add battery and controller, and you're done. I built my first ebike out of an old '98 Mongoose mountain bike and have ridden it over 1600 trouble-free miles, most of it on my 24 mile commute (round trip.) I currently building No. 2: a mid-drive fat-bike. The Mongoose/hub motor setup just does't work for true mountain biking. I've stripped the motor's planetary gears more than once tackling trails it couldn't handle. (The re-build wasn't too hard - just tedious.) But it is a great commuter bike. There are several good-sized hills between home and work and it can power up them effortlessly, if I choose not to pedal. Old setup: BMC 1000W hub motor (rear-mounted) with BMC controller. Grip throttle. Allcell 48V x 21Ah battery pack. New setup: LightningRod mid-drive kit with 6000W motor, Lyen 18FET controller. Grip throttle. No battery pack yet (still building the bike, remember?) Surly Black-Ops bike running Holey Rolling Darryls and Nates front and back. Modified Letfy Max front suspension. Let me know what you're dealing with - maybe I can help.
    2012 Surly Black-Ops

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beach Ride View Post
    ....but am probably going with a 48v Ping because they are very reliable by all accounts and because I can get then in pairs that can be mounted apart for better balance.
    I looked into the Pings, and just may go that route. I got a Falco 500 watt hub, with the internal controller, it has the crank sensor and throttle control.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by FallingRock View Post
    ....Old setup: BMC 1000W hub motor (rear-mounted) with BMC controller. Grip throttle. Allcell 48V x 21Ah battery pack.
    How did you like the AllCell? They are expensive, but they use the cells instead of the pouches like the Ping so they are more easily repaired I guess.

  9. #9
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    The rear wheel Falco looks like a winner mounted into the front hub. Were there any issues with that mounting or anything special that you needed to do? Is there a reason you know (other than $$) to not go with the full wireless control the Falco offers?

    A sealed motor with internal controller and wireless control is absolutely ideal here even at a premium, that eliminates cables and all the usual sources of rust we have to deal with. You can smell the salt in the air here, there is a constant cloud of atomized salt spray from the waves and it eats through metal in literally days. Even SS silverware rusts if you get anything less than the top grade.

    As an aside, the Alfine IGH is amazing in this atomized salt air. You can leave the hub outdoors for years without worry. Few items like that last long here.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beach Ride View Post
    The rear wheel Falco looks like a winner mounted into the front hub. Were there any issues with that mounting or anything special that you needed to do? Is there a reason you know (other than $$) to not go with the full wireless control the Falco offers?

    A sealed motor with internal controller and wireless control is absolutely ideal here even at a premium, that eliminates cables and all the usual sources of rust we have to deal with. You can smell the salt in the air here, there is a constant cloud of atomized salt spray from the waves and it eats through metal in literally days. Even SS silverware rusts if you get anything less than the top grade.

    As an aside, the Alfine IGH is amazing in this atomized salt air. You can leave the hub outdoors for years without worry. Few items like that last long here.
    Mounted offset for my Pugsley, other than that nothing bad. It is full wireless, sort of. Falco are odd ducks, not easy to deal with and not very professional. Just may sell the setup and do something else. I hate to drop even more money when the future may prove frustrating.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldschoolReloaded View Post
    Mounted offset for my Pugsley, other than that nothing bad. It is full wireless, sort of. Falco are odd ducks, not easy to deal with and not very professional. Just may sell the setup and do something else. I hate to drop even more money when the future may prove frustrating.
    Interesting to know, my first requirement is a quality and hassle free life once I get it set up. I don't mind a little complexity and expect issues to resolve but when finished is it a quality system or buggy and immature? There are a lot of things I like about the features of it.

  12. #12
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    I'm not finding where Ping divulges which cells they use to build their packs (service life), nor which type of BMS theirs is (as in, pack managed or cell managed, and how that's done). I'm always cautious when the info you need to compare one offering with another isn't provided up front.

    There's a low percentage of people here with knowledge of e-bikes. Get over to places like endless-sphere, if you want to best ensure you get good value, and something that will work as you expect.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canoe View Post
    I'm not finding where Ping divulges which cells they use to build their packs (service life), nor which type of BMS theirs is (as in, pack managed or cell managed, and how that's done). I'm always cautious when the info you need to compare one offering with another isn't provided up front.

    There's a low percentage of people here with knowledge of e-bikes. Get over to places like endless-sphere, if you want to best ensure you get good value, and something that will work as you expect.
    Already been there...endless sphere that is. As I said in my first post, I value the opinion of those of you on this forum that have already built up a bike.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldschoolReloaded View Post
    How did you like the AllCell? They are expensive, but they use the cells instead of the pouches like the Ping so they are more easily repaired I guess.
    Yes, the Allcell is expensive, but it has been 100% trouble free and has the greatest cycle life of any of the chemistries. Even on long climbs, I've never had the pack even get warm. And it is very safe.
    2012 Surly Black-Ops

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beach Ride View Post
    weekend trail access for an elite handful of bike riders
    You have GOT to be kidding me. Take that crap elsewhere, double time. You haven't vaguest idea what you're talking about, and statement like that speaks louder than you ever could to the contrary.

    This, from a guy who willingly bought a home at less than sea level, whilst professing to be so aware and concerned about the possibility of rising sea levels?

    I fully support eBikes, have a fat eBike too (seldom is ever use it on the trail though, and it doesn't create advocacy stress locally anyway), will go toe to toe with folks who scream foul at the very mention of them (because it really is old and tiresome, rather like an endless stream of Jehovahs I didn't invite to my porch).

    However, this version and style of self righteous indignation is just begging for someone to look up how closely your ISP is to our late favorite troll buddy Sunnyday.....

    Everyone else. If the guy wants to ask questions, let him, and ignore him, the more who do, the faster it dies, which is what would make you all happy anyway.

    I changed the name of his thread, as it's not a poll anyway, and hoped it would help it attract less negative attention, as he simply wanted help. I think Drew makes an excellent point though, that with the whole of the WWW at your finger tips, answers are not very far away if the OP would just dig a bit.

    Frankly, it'd be much better posted in a forum about DIY eBikes, as the fact that it's fat, has virtually nothing to do with 99% of the questions you have, and everything to do with the fact that you'd prefer to DIY than invest in a complete system and support your local retailers in the process. Whatever on that though, it's a free world.

    Once you get to the point that you do have fat specific questions, pop in. Questions like, how do I convert this 100 front hub to 135, and build an offset wheel for it, or some such thing, and you might get some decent answers, otherwise, it's simply flame bait, unintentional mind you, but flame bait just the same.

    Go ride guys, I don't want to shut this down, as the OP just asked a question, but the whiney BS on both sides of this issue is really below what this forum started out as.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  16. #16
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    To the OP - here's a post I made a while back with a similar idea.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/fat-bikes/2wd...er-787756.html

    I had a Rohloff rear and wanted to be able to swap front ends.... A couple years on I find I don't use the motor as much as I thought, and am thinking of selling it. I really enjoyed it, I just found I was riding more singletrack and beaches than snow or commuting, which is where the motor really shined. Feel free to send questions via PM. I got flamed and lost some rep too, but good luck! Electric fat bikes can be tons of fun!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldschoolReloaded View Post
    ...you can't find info elsewhere on builds that are fat bikes. When I get my bike done I thought you all would like to see a picture of it, respect my idea for what it is...
    Fair enough point. Yes, I'd like to see it.


    Quote Originally Posted by OldschoolReloaded View Post
    ...to heated conversations about the ethics of e-bikes....

    That is to be expected, many people have strong views on this. I'd suggest not throwing petrol on the fire by using personal insults even if they are merited.

    You'll find most do not have a great objection to electric assist bikes where a very low power motor (up to 250 watt) supplies power ONLY while the rider is pedalling. That is still a bicycle in the eyes of most people (and great fun IMO).

    However what you are building is an electric motorbike (6,000 watts), and most of us recall the trail closures caused by the damage that was done to trails by idiots on motorbikes. Unfortunately this meant that the majority who rode carefully suffered too. Allow open access to high power electric bikes, and the idiots will be along shortly to stuff it up for everyone.

    In this case it will be a ban on bicycles and that affects the people on this forum.

    BTW I think you should seriously consider the safety aspects of your construction. You will have the weight and power of a 125cc motorbike and are intending to use bicycle components. As a longterm offroad motorcyclist and cyclist I would be very nervous of using such lightweight parts. I would suggest at least constructing a more robust frame and using the fork and wheels of a lightweight motorbike.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
    You would probably be better off on a e-bike forum than here.

    Endless-sphere.com ? View forum - Electric Bicycles

    Personally I see the e-bike as more of moped than a bike.
    Nobody on Endless Sphere knows fat bikes!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjbrubaker View Post
    To the OP - here's a post I made a while back with a similar idea.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/fat-bikes/2wd...er-787756.html

    I had a Rohloff rear and wanted to be able to swap front ends.... A couple years on I find I don't use the motor as much as I thought, and am thinking of selling it. I really enjoyed it, I just found I was riding more singletrack and beaches than snow or commuting, which is where the motor really shined. Feel free to send questions via PM. I got flamed and lost some rep too, but good luck! Electric fat bikes can be tons of fun!
    Thanks....

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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldschoolReloaded View Post
    Nobody on Endless Sphere knows fat bikes!
    As I said earlier, if you have a fat specific question, ask away.

    The vast bulk of building an E has little to do with fat bikes, and the vast majority on this forum (quite apparently at this stage) don't know, or care to know much about them. There's a few more open minded folks, who will help if you have a question that relates to some unique aspect of mating the hub motor to a funky fork, but if you just need hand holding about which motor to buy or which controller, charger, brand, etc, this is not the right place for those questions, Endless Sphere would be. Front fork spacing and offset (for some models) are about the only curve balls I can see, otherwise, you lace the wheel up, build the bike and go.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldschoolReloaded View Post
    And another thing...this same stuff happened to fat bike people in the beginning. People on this forum railed on anyone trying to talk about fat bikes. But, they did get more popular and now look at them. Stop telling people to go to the back of the bus.
    Huh?

    This forum was started FOR fat bikes. Nobody was hating on them on this board, ever. I've been here since day one. Not sure where you were though...

    Get back on topic, ask your fat specific questions, someone perhaps even me if I can, will answer.

    At this point, it's your thread to derail the rest of the way, Bob will hold his tongue (or is it, fingers?)
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  23. #23
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    start again, listen to MCS or you will find out this forum is inaccessible to you as well as the rest of mtbr. This is not a threat it is how we work at MTBR. If you can't play by the rules you don't get to play anymore.

    OP, and specifically Beach Ride, we do not have an electric bike forum and as suggested in this thread building an electric fat bike is no different than building any old electric bike, just fat. I suggest that if your questions are of the e-bike variety you post in the general forum, you will get a lot more knowledge about e-bikes in there, and if your questions specifically pertain to fat bike components then post in here.

    But in all seriousness, come in here and ***** about politics, e-bikes in general or anything that is off topic from the original question and I will give you a 7 day vacation from mtbr. That is to all users that come in here and read. If your comment is about e-bikes in general take it to one of the other numerous e-bike discussion threads.
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  24. #24
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    OK I will behave now

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beach Ride View Post
    People insultingly asked me to justify my choices, I responded with my reasons and in the same tone...
    You realize that's why you lost the debate, right?

    I wish someone had told me this when I was 16. So many legitimate ideas I tried to vouch for that were glossed over because I responded in a snarky tone to snarky criticisms.

    You want to sell people on your ideas, you have to "kill people with kindness".

    There were so many not-touching-that-with-a-ten-foot-pole moments before things got edited, but the one that stuck out like a sore thumb was... the notion that people wanting to protect their hard-won trail access privileges was somehow arrogant from the scope of the greater human good.

    Not cool. Not even a little bit cool. Some of these people have dug trail. Very few of them have a relative in politics.

    And then you called the moderator / inventor of the Fat Lefty a fool.

    There is NO thought police occurring here. Give me a break.

    Don't piss off people who put shovels in the dirt. Park rangers don't get paid enough.
    Disclaimer: I run Regular Cycles (as of 2016). As a profiteer of the bicycle industry, I am not to be taken very seriously.

  26. #26
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    Dolomite Fat Tire E-Bike Conversion

    Hello,
    New to the forum and just wanted to post my latest project with a Mongoose Dolomite, adding a front wheel drive 48V 1000w motor, Iberra bag with controller, wiring, and 48v 12ah Battery, full fenders, rear rack, upgraded 5000w lights, usb charger for my phone, and leather saddlebags as panniers (not shown). I commute to work 12 mi on this and average 20 mph up hill. A tank of a bike, weight wise, but a ton of fun.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by gryfin2015 View Post
    Hello,
    New to the forum and just wanted to post my latest project with a Mongoose Dolomite, adding a front wheel drive 48V 1000w motor, Iberra bag with controller, wiring, and 48v 12ah Battery, full fenders, rear rack, upgraded 5000w lights, usb charger for my phone, and leather saddlebags as panniers (not shown). I commute to work 12 mi on this and average 20 mph up hill. A tank of a bike, weight wise, but a ton of fun.
    Stunning...simple and cool, thanks for the post.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by gryfin2015 View Post
    Hello,
    New to the forum and just wanted to post my latest project with a Mongoose Dolomite, adding a front wheel drive 48V 1000w motor, Iberra bag with controller, wiring, and 48v 12ah Battery, full fenders, rear rack, upgraded 5000w lights, usb charger for my phone, and leather saddlebags as panniers (not shown). I commute to work 12 mi on this and average 20 mph up hill. A tank of a bike, weight wise, but a ton of fun.
    Glad you're still having fun. How long does the battery last?

  30. #30
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    It seems to die at 12-14 miles with hills, haven't tested on the flats as we don't seem to have any here in Western WA.

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