electric bikes

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 justdoit 02 May 2023


im looking at getting an electric bike, more for commuting, after having a go on my dads its totally converted me to getting one now, plus im a lazy bugger

anyone got any advice of what to look for? what's good / bad. 

im mainly looking at a hybrid bike, it will mainly be road, but some light trails too. 

going to a few shops I keep on hearing you won't have as many problems if you get a Bosch motor electric bike? can anyone confirm this. 

ive realised though im looking to spend at least £1500 if I want a Bosch motor / battery. 

or maybe looking at second hand too?

any hints or tips would be much appreciated 

many thanks 

 Trippin Mark 02 May 2023
In reply to justdoit:

Have a look at this video, it should shred some light on your situation. 

In reply to justdoit:

Bought a second hand Carrera off Gumtree for £150. Spent £350 on a Bafang 500W hub motor kit and used some of old LiPo batteries from my hexacopter.

I've been more than happy with it. It also doesn't immediately scream ebike so I don't worry about leaving it locked up outside for short periods of time.

In reply to justdoit:

> going to a few shops I keep on hearing you won't have as many problems if you get a Bosch motor electric bike? can anyone confirm this. 

Mmm. I’ve nothing to compare as I’ve only had Bosch on electric bikes since 2014, but let’s say they all, bar one bike, have had some problems. No doubt Bosch set up has improved over the years though. Early models for example had seal problems and this meant moisture within the motor (where the electronics are) either worked or not or a bearing in motor failed. Bosch used to say there system had a lifespan of 18k miles. I certainly didn’t get near that before problems; at least yet - current hybrid has only done 3.6k miles.

I’m not going to put you off getting a Bosch as I don’t regret having Bosch systems, but you may need to budget for maintenance/replacement parts if outwith warranty. Also budget for some extra maintenance costs  eg brake pads wear quicker due to extra weight to stop, chains wear quicker (e-bike chains if used are heavier duty chains and are dearer), some bikes need higher spec e-bike tyres to cope with the extra weight, etc, etc.

Modern Bosch motors have service requirements built in and either you need to get that disabled or budget for a service at a LBS.

If buying secondhand I don’t see a big problem as such if you check the bike out and say ask for service/repairs details. All Bosch systems can give a print out from a LBS which should highlight problems as well as details of services, updates, % and time of different power settings used, mileage, time on etc. BTW, on switching on any current fault will be display either immediately or after a few turns of the wheel under power so for a test ride of any bike you will know right away of a current problem. Some errors are nothing to be worried about - eg it can throw an error if the speed sensor is very slightly out of alignment; can happen if putting bike in car and the sensor is caught accidentally for example.

Also, for 2nd hand check if it has been de-restricted (unless that’s what you want to buy of course!). Bosch do not do repairs/replacement on any de-restricted bike as warranty is voided.

Official replacement parts are not cheap if not under warranty. Unless Bosch has changed things, changing a motor had to be approved by Bosch and it was electronically tied to the bike so if you just swapped motor it would not function. Batteries were interchangeable between their bikes though. The display can also be “electronically” locked* to the bike and if this is done you just can’t replace the display without Bosch being involved. If buying secondhand, check if the lock has been activated.

* It’s a security feature so if you remove the display when leaving it, anyone stealing the bike can’t use it with another display. Used to be thieves carried any display and just putting it on the stolen bike allowed them to pedal away.

Anyway, I’ve had lots of fun on my Bosch powered ebikes. If you have any specific questions, just ask.

OP justdoit 03 May 2023
In reply to Climbing Pieman:

hi thanks for that sorry what is 'LBS' ? 

As in getting Bosch bikes repaired is it done at any bike shop where they sell electric bikes ? 

In reply to justdoit:

LBS = Local Bike Shop.

In reply to justdoit:

LBS is as clarified Local Bike Shop. You will need to pick a bike shop that does service Bosch btw; not all shops selling e-bikes will sell/maintain Bosch systems so they won’t have Bosch authorised access.

Of course they don’t have to be local, but if you buy online and anything needs doing under warranty, you may find some LBS will not get involved*, so will have to pay for courier each direction to where you bought the bike.

*Around me I noticed this pre lockdowns, most if not all LBS refusing to service bikes that they hadn’t sold as many folk were buying online (cheaper) and yet expecting the local bikes shops to do warranty work or software upgrades, etc. The local shops were so busy anyway and it was no benefit to them. 

 magma 06 May 2023
In reply to justdoit:

still can't decide if my first foray into e-bikes should be a conversion kit or a custom e bike. prob will go for cheap option but can't decide on hub vs mid drive. would prefer mid drive but Bafang has a rival in Tongsheng with torque sensor. may wait a few years until i really need one or i can decide. hope this helps

 felt 06 May 2023
In reply to magma:

> my first foray into e-bikes 

What are you talking about man? Get a grip!

 dovebiker 06 May 2023

If you’re considering a DIY kit, seriously get a fire-proof box for charging the battery as they can catch fire with serious consequences! At least make sure you have a decent charger from a reputable source, not some fake CE marked one off eBay from China. If you’re looking at used, make sure the warranty is transferable as a new motor can be £600+ and a new battery £300+. For £1500 new you’re probably looking at a hub motor, 7 speed transmission and cable disc brakes. Last year for £2k I bought an ex-demo with 30 miles Moustache Samedi with Bosch CX motor, full Shimano Deore transmission with hydro brakes for £2k with full warranty.

 Mark Edwards 07 May 2023
In reply to dovebiker:

> If you’re considering a DIY kit, seriously get a fire-proof box for charging the battery as they can catch fire with serious consequences!

I charge my bike's battery inside my multi fuel stove (I mostly use the bike in the warmer months when it's not burning) just to be on the safe side. It occurred to me that if it did go into meltdown how would I put the fire out? I thought of dumping a bag of sand or cement on it, but finally settled on buying a Li-Ion fire extinguisher, just in case, and having one rated for all fire types can't be a bad thing to have around the house.

Getting back to the original thread, when I was looking for a kit I found some reviews of motors that use plastic gears which aren't recommended for hilly environments, which for me was a limiting factor.

Post edited at 15:17
 artif 07 May 2023
In reply to dovebiker:

My neighbours woke up last year with their house on fire from a battery charging. The battery was for a well known make of fishing gear.

The whole downstairs had to be gutted and refurbished as bits of battery were stuck in walls etc throughout his living room and kitchen. 

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