It’s always a bit of a tough one to convert a road bike. The problem lies with drop-bars. They have a larger diameter than all other sets of bars and we’ve found it impossible to get throttles to match. We’ve done a few dodgy solutions to get by in previous times but here is far more elegant solution. Use a mid-drive conversion kit with torque sensing. This allows you to get away with not needing a throttle. The pressure on the pedals activates the motor straight away – as opposed to a regular cadence sensing motor that requires a few revolutions of the pedals. Our little mid-drive kits are really superb now. They are small, quiet, pressure sensitive and full of power. You can modify quite a few settings from the LCD as well. This TCR came together nicely, it takes a little longer as you have to replace the bottom bracket but the result is worth the effort. Our customer will surely be pleasantly surprised with his new ride – or his old ride made new.
One of our new eye catchers is the SolarBike converted Norco Indie a flash colored lightweight urban city bike from North America. Before conversion the Indie is a bike with 8-speed gears, disc brakes and a stiff frame. A joy for the eye and great to ride up and down the streets of Perth and around.
The SolarBike Conversion
We converted the Norco Indie to an electric pedal assisted bike featuring 750 Watt Bafang mid-drive motor which together with a 48V 11.6Ah battery will take you quickly to your destination. The mid-drive motor assists you pedaling along the streets while you enjoy your morning-midday or afternoon rides. All in all, a great bike that will draw some looks with you riding it.
This is the MERIDA Big 9 100 that has been converted with a SOLAR BIKE high power 1500 Watt kit. The local butcher needed something to deliver his products around the hills and this bike fit the picture. The motor is mounted in the rear dropouts and supported using two torque bars. The battery was neatly put in a rear rack. It has a 48V 17Ah capacity for a great extended range. This is a super bike, excellent hydraulic disc brakes and top forks make it quick to stop and soft over the bumps. It’s a neat configuration.
The new VALLKREE is in stock. The Scrambler is their 500W model that comes with a bit more punch than usual. At first we were a bit dubious about ordering the smokey blue colour from online pictures but we’re extremely impressed to see it in the flesh. This latest up-spec model comes with a 5 speed pedal assist function as well as open throttle. It’s a beautiful and classic electric bike if you’re a classy type of ebike enthusiast!
WA is coming alive tomorrow night with the West Coast Eagles taking on the Western Bulldogs in the 1st AFL final for the season starting at 6.10pm. We’re giving away either a men’s or ladies’ electric YUN bike or else any of the SOLAR BIKE conversion kits if you can correctly guess the exact score at the final siren!
An additional bonus is 10 free coffees from the great Barber & coffee shop up the road – Cut Throat Coffee.
- Only one guess per person.
- You must post your score on our facebook site here.
- You must share our facebook post onto your timeline before the game starts.
- Score must be posted before the game starts.
- Only one winner – the first person to correctly guess the score.
This is a Bakfiets box bike that came into the shop for electric conversion this week. We put the Bafang mid-drive kit on it and it works a treat. The Solar Bike rear rack battery replaced the existing rack. It’s well equipped now to take two kids strapped in up any hill. Bafang make great mid-drive motors, you take the existing crank out and replace it with the mid-drive motor system. They’re a little bit more expensive than hub motors but have their own advantages. The bike came from a group called “Dutch Cargo Bike“, they have an importer based in Claremont and stock a bunch of fancy cargo bikes. Some of the better known cargo bikes they import are the Douze, Nihola, Bakfiets, Biomega and Bullitt models. Well worth having a look through their site if you’re interested in this type of cycling. Bring it over here if you want to make it electric!
Over the last few months we’ve been working to find the best e-bike setup for a folding bicycle and we may have found it! Folding bikes are an excellent choice for those who need to use public transport as a leg of their commute or who have limited space in which to store a bike either in the home or at work.
The bike in question is an XDS City Pro. It’s a well equipped and well priced folding bike that’s absolutely ideal for shorter commute distances. When in action, its generously sized wheelbase is comfortable enough for a larger framed rider yet it is still able to fold down to a manageable size for stowage on peak hour public transit services. Furthermore, the smaller 20″ wheels make this bike extremely agile around town which is likely where this bike will see most of its action.
The City Pro’s componentry is of excellent spec for this price point with a SRAM X4 8 Speed rear dearilleur and a pair of Tektro V Brakes for reliable stopping. Pair that with a lightweight alloy frame and XDS’s comfortable finishing kit and you’ve got a seriously capable bike at an excellent price point of $550.
The Electric Conversion
To make this already great bike an even more versatile e-bike, we’ve fitted it with a Solarbike 20″ rear-drive swift kit. It features a street-legal 250 Watt rear hub motor and a Panasonic 36v 9Ah ‘Frog’ Battery specifically designed for use on folding bikes. The rear-drive configuration affords the high torque motor extra traction which is sure to make the steering performance more predictable. Furthermore, the seatpost mounted battery retains the functionality of the City Pro’s folding mechanism.
The e-bike conversion kit from Solarbike provides the XDS City Pro with great all round performance. The 250 Watt motor should give a top speed of between 25 and 30 km/h with the smaller 20″ wheels allowing for great acceleration and hill-climbing ability. Meanwhile, the 9Ah battery should give ranges of up to 35 km/h with light to moderate pedaling making this e-bike ideal for inner city commuting. Perhaps most importantly, with its snappy handling and great acceleration, the electric City Pro is great fun to ride!
Pricing and Availability
Currently we’ve got one electric XDS City Pro setup and ready for a test ride in our store down in Fremantle. Alternatively, the bikes can be ordered in and setup within 7 working days.
The Electric City Pro is competitively priced at $1750.
Finally, if you’ve got an existing folding bike that you wish to have converted, Solarbike conversions start at $1150 Installed.
When you’ve converted as many bikes as we have, you grow accustomed to seeing a multitude of hybrid, flatbar road, comfort and mountain bikes coming in for electric fitouts. As a result, it’s always a real treat to work on something completely different. By this standard, we really got lucky when Luke brought his Specialized Fatboy in to us a few weeks ago.
Fatbikes have become popular in Australia over the last few years. They’re now used for everything from recreational cruising, to high performance off-road use on surfaces that conventional mountain bikes just can’t handle. That said, a great many fat bikes have been chosen simply because they’re so radically different to conventional models. It was this appeal that made the Specialized a bike that Luke wanted to ride everyday.
The Specialized Fatboy is one of the better entry level fatbikes available today, with a lightweight alloy frame furnished with a dependable wheelset and rugged componentry that makes it more than suitable for the rigors of off-road use. It also sports a very comfortable riding position that affords good all round vision and predictable handling. These features gave it great potential as a high powered e-bike.
The main challenge with converting any fatbike is finding a suitable hub motor and wheel combination. Up until recently, a custom wheel build was required. However, fortunately we’re now able to offer a Solarbike 1000 Watt rear wheel kit made specifically for use on fatbikes which greatly simplifies the process.
Battery placement was the next consideration. The 48V Tiger Shark style battery can be mounted centrally within the main triangle of the frame to allow for optimum weight distribution, however Luke preferred to have a rack style battery fitted given that he planned on using the rear carrier to mount pannier bags. This choice also allowed a larger capacity 48V 17Ah Panasonic Lithium Ion battery to be fitted to give this high-powered machine a range of around 35 kms on a charge with a cruising speed of between 40 and 45km/h. Pretty blistering performance we think you’ll agree!
We’ve electrically converted a handful of fatbikes in our store over the past couple of years but few have been quite as exciting as this one! It goes to show that there are a great many possibilities when you choose to custom build an electric bike. So if you’ve got a specialist e-bike build in mind why not drop in and see us at our Fremantle store to discuss our great range of conversion options.
This is the Elliptigo It’s a strange contraption that gets along by doing a type of skiing motion. Toby asked us to convert it to electric about 8 months ago. Here is his review:
“I ride a weird bike because I had a spinal fusion and cannot ride a normal bike. Its less like riding and more like running. Combine the running, the smaller wheels, a 36 km daily commute and you have a recipe for exhaustion and overlong days.
Enter the electric conversion. I can use my bike every day now, the commute time is manageable and I’m not exercising into an early grave. The best part is I still get to exercise. Riding with an electric motor is a bit unusual. The extra power doesn’t stop me pedalling, but there’s a steep drop-off in return past the max speed generated by the motor. I had the conversion done around November 2015. Eight months later, the battery and motor are still running smoothly.
The Fremantle crew were great. Converting the Elliptigo required some creative thinking and a wheel rebuild but they got the job done and were cheery and enthusiastic throughout the process. I wholeheartedly endorse electric conversion kits for commuter cyclists. Anything that keeps you riding every day pays for itself very quickly with lower transport costs and better health. Give it a go and if you do try the Fremantle people, they seem nice.”
Though the vast majority of electric bike conversion kits take the form of hub motors, alternative systems such as mid-drive systems have carved out a solid niche in the market. While they lack the simplicity of hub drive systems, they may well fit the bill should you have specific needs. Their compatibility with existing drive trains makes their power delivery extremely flexible being able to make use of high torque gears in the hills whilst also being able to use bigger gears for efficient cruising.
Of all the major mid-drive conversions available, the BAFANG BBS systems caught our eye as the best option for performance and integration, in particular, the 48Volt BBS02 which we fitted to an Avanti Montari 4 Hard Tail mountain bike.
The end result is a spectacularly fast, robust not to mention purposeful-looking electric bike with 750 Watts of power for going and reliable Shimano Deore hydraulic brakes for stopping. Short of the 2000+ Watt monsters that some manufacturers are supplying in Australia this is one of the best performing electric bicycles that this mechanic has ever ridden.
It’s also worth mentioning that BAFANG make these mid drive systems for all applications, offering more modest power outputs of 250, 350 and 500 Watts that should suit everyday commuting and recreational use extremely well. What’s more, the nature of the mounting system means that the bike’s existing wheelset can be retained.
If you’ve been thinking about an electric bike conversion but perhaps want to try something a little different, a mid-drive system is well worth considering. This AVANTI Montari is currently in our Fremantle store and available for a test ride. It’s also available to buy with a demonstrator discount for just $2400 down from $3150.
Also, if you’re thinking of converting your bike using a BAFANG system, we now have them available starting from $1500.