How we convert a bikeWe pay great care and attention to each bike that we convert to an electric bike. There are a number of steps that we go through when undertaking a conversion. Here is a quick guide to our front drive conversion:
1) Check the suitability of the bike for the conversion
We ensure that the bike is suitable for the conversion by checking the fork size and taper; dropout positions; bottom bracket and handlebar set up. In some cases we have to change the forks or the gear change mechanism so that it's compatible with the electric kit and for the bike to be comfortable and safe to use
2) Prepare the bike for the conversion
Once we've established that the bike is suitable for the conversion we remove the front wheel; left hand side pedal arm; brake levers and gear changer. In some cases we also remove ancillaries such as pannier racks and seat posts to make the conversion easier
3) Install the motor
The motor is preinstalled in a new wheel. The tyre and inner tube from the existing wheel is removed and re-used on the new motor wheel. The new wheel, motor and cable are attached to the bike. If the bike has disc brakes then we swap this over to the new motor wheel at this point.
(When we convert a new bike we have a brand new wheel left over. Ever wondered what we do with them all? Take a look at Upcycled Clocks to find out more.)
4) Speed sensor
The speed sensor is fitted onto the forks and the front wheel. The cable is then secured in place along with the motor cable.
5) Install the battery
The battery holder is installed into the bike in readiness for the battery to be clipped in place at the end of the conversion process.
6) Install the pedal assistance sensor (where fitted)
The pedal assistance sensor is fitted onto the bottom bracket housing. We have a tried and trusted method of installing the sensor whether it's a sealed bottom bracket or semi-sealed.
7) Handlebar Assembly
On the right hand side of the handlebar we now install the throttle (where fitted); the auto shutoff brake lever and refit the gear changer. All of the components are secured in place and the hand grip is replaced. On the left hand side of the handlebar we install the controller (where fitted); the auto shutoff brake lever and refit the gear changer and the hand grip.
8) Create the wiring loom
At this point we have all of the electric component fitted to the bike and a whole load of cables to organise. Starting from the front of the bike we create a loom for the cables (motor cable; speed sensor cable; 2 x brake lever shutoff cables; throttle cable; and controller cable) by intertwining the cables together. We then cover the cable set with wiring loom tape as used in the automotive industry. This gives a neat, professional finish to the cabling. The loom is loosely positioned in place and then tie-wrapped to the bike ensuring that the cables do not interfere with the steering, brakes or pedals.
9) Connect ECU
Once the main cable is in place from the front of the bike to the ECU housing we then make all of the electrical connections. The ECU housing differs depending on the battery type but its main purpose is to keep the ECU in place and to house all of the connections.
10) Re-attach pedal arm and connect battery
The pedal arm is reattached to the bike and the battery is located in it's holder.
11) Set up bike
The brakes and gears are adjusted; tyres are set to the correct pressure; all nuts/bolts and screws are checked for tightness; and finally a visual check is performed to ensure that no cables are snagged and are free to move as appropriate.
12) Test Ride
Now for the fun part. We test the bike to ensure that the steering; brakes and gears all work correctly and that the electric components also perform as they should. Hence, we test the throttle and each level of pedal assistance (as appropriate) to ensure that the motor delivers the expected power and cuts off at the correct speed or when either brake is applied.