- A Quick Guide to Building an E-Bike
- Assemble a Regular Bike
- Converting the Regular Bike to an E-Bike
- Accessorize the Machine
- Inflate Your Bike
- The Final Once-Over
- Precautions for E-Bike Building and Use
- Go Out And Enjoy Your Bike!
A Quick Guide to Building an E-Bike
Your buddy recently bought a fancy e-bike, and you want to be on par. The available options are too expensive for you. There is an on-going pandemic, and all your monies long got tied up in bills. Building an e-bike is your only option.
Worry not, because you can build an e-bike on a budget. Let us take you through the steps, and you will soon rival the buddy’s ride. It will be safe, no doubt about it. The fun thing is that nobody will ever tell the difference!
But how to build an e-bike from scratch? Building an e-bike is not as hard as your fears threaten. Anybody apt with hand tools and can follow instructions will put together their bike at home. That said, it is good to take precautions and safety measures. Whenever you are not sure, do ask a professional or a skilled mechanic. It makes economic sense in the long run.
Before you build a prized ride, check to have a set of hand tools. Examples would be fixed-end wrenches, Allen-Key set, and enough adhesive. Additionally, prepare enough water-resistant grease, tie-wrap straps, and a piece of thin cloth.
Place a blanket or a bike mat on the floor to avoid any damage. It helps to have a grease-cloth near, as well as a large bin to toss trash. Run through the procedure religiously, and we should have a standard, home-made e-bike in the end.
Assemble a Regular Bike
The building phase needs an extra pair of hands. There shall be heavy lifting and precision fitting involved. It helps if the handyman is apt with tools, or they possess elementary mechanical skills.
a) Run through the inventory to ensure relevant components are available.
You will need a front suspension fork, a saddle, wheels, a handlebar, a frame, a braking system, and a crank system. Arrange them in groups on the floor where access is easy.
Carefully inspect all the components for faults. Parts that require prior greasing are the priority. The integrity of the finished e-bike depends on them, and we advocate you pay attention to tiny details. Run tests where possible.
Choose a frame and a front suspension fork not made of carbon fiber. The material cannot hold the extra weight and torque of an e-bike. A set of wider handlebars accommodate the accessories and electronics of the resultant machine. We also recommend front disc brakes.
b) Installing the Fork and Handlebars
The front fork and handlebars should be the first to fix. Turn the handlebars so that the brakes face forward. For suspensions that have bearings, apply water-proof grease generously. Carefully place spacers and other adjustment features for ride comfort.
Slide-in features of the handlebar and fork are standard nowadays. They need a snug fit at this building phase. Many bikes have slide mechanisms with markings for minimum insertion levels.
To erect the suspension fork, place the frame in an upright position. Lift the front to make clearance to insert the suspension. The greased pole of this apparatus inserts and holds the handlebars at the top. Most bikes have the fork directly connected to the handlebars through the frame. In their correct position, the brake handles should face outwards.
Tightening screws in small turns is recommended. Avoid fitting one screw all the way, closely followed by the second. Align the handlebars properly, but avoid fully tightening the mechanism. It is the last step in assembly.
c) Fixing the Wheel Set
Wheels come often pre-equipped with hubs, rims, axles, brake systems, and crank set-ups. When building a bike, check to ensure the spokes have the right tension. Fit the tires and inflation nozzles as prescribed before embarking on fixing the wheelset. This process cannot take place once the set is in place.
After you have had the fork and handlebar put up, the next item is the front wheel. You should get two people for this task to avoid some grave damage at this stage.
Aim the front fork so that the brake discs sit inside the caliper. A standard part comes calibrated to sit on top of the wheel. No space exists between the prongs and the hub receptor in an ideal fit. Front wheels usually come with pre-installed brake systems.
The front axle needs greasing to cordon off any corrosion. The rest is easy: push the outer spring onto the axle and screw the cap on from the other end. You are allowed to give this wheel a tight fit in one go. You do not need brawn to fix the quick-release.
The rear wheel is a bit tasking. You may use a bike stand or flip the bike over to fix the wheel. Although the process is similar (but reversed, of course), the rear derailleur will be an added feature. It calls for added locking mechanisms and an intricate pattern of fixing the apparatus. Like the front wheel, give the rear wheel a tight fit in one go.
d) The Crank System
The two crank arms go to each side of the frame. Make sure they face different directions. That is the only way they work. The pedal or arm that goes to the right side will be marked R, and the other will be inscribed L. Fixing them either call for a screw or a securing pin.
Grease the threads on each crank arm. Using your bare hands, twist the threaded pedal bit until you attain a snug fit. Final tightening will take place at the very end. For a tighter fit, use a wrench wrapped in a thin, soft cloth to avoid damaging painted surfaces.
e) Setting up The Saddle
Grease the seat post before inserting. Many seats come with a seat-post marked with the minimum insertion point. Check to make sure this mark is attained and not exposed. Reverse the top saddle collar and fix the saddle. The seat post screws need a good tightening after straddling and getting the right seat height.
Converting the Regular Bike to an E-Bike
Now that we have a bicycle converting it to an e-bike is the easy part. You first choose a battery with careful consideration to its capacity. They come in 36V or 48V specifications. Lower voltage means a lower range and less torque. Upon getting the battery, charge until it indicates full.
Next, choose a fitting bolt-on conversion kit. These come in 500W or 1000W variations depending on battery capacity. Consider the power level, the wheel size, and which wheel harbors the motor before procuring the kit. The kit comes ready with a hub motor in a wheel, a throttle, a speed controller, and an assortment of kit-specific accessories. Gauges, displays, and fancy brake levers depend on your budget and manufacturer.
Change the wheel on your assembled bike to the kit’s hub motor wheel. Since the kit wheel has no tire or tube, replace them with the dislodged wheel components. Fix the rear derailleur and motor chains such that they do not slack and are not too tight. Changing the wheel is done as with a flat bike tire.
Bolt the speed controller on the frame. This element is delicate and is the brain of the motor. Secure the throttle and any other accessories that come with the kit to the handlebars. The accessories and cabling should not interfere with the steering.
Lastly, insert compatible plugs into their specific junctions. Most kits come with standard plugs fitting the components and attach to the battery without a fuss. Place the battery in its compartment and plug in the power cables. Ensure the cabling does not entangle, is not too loose, and does not have unnecessary tension at any handlebar angle.
Accessorize the Machine
Many accessories contribute to safety. Others add pomp to your bike or adapt it to various functionalities. Accessories may include headlamps, decorative and reflective strips, rack, among others.
Inflate Your Bike
Tire air pressure has a direct impact on the biking experience. Check that you have a pump with a nozzle specification recommended for the tire. After long sojourns, check the tire pressure. Also, routinely check the pressure readings. We recommend once a week.
The Final Once-Over
Check to make sure all fastenings, screws, and bolts are tight. Adjust the seat height accordingly. Even out any snug cabling with tie-wrap. Ensure the brakes function as they should, and make adjustments where necessary. Wipe your gem of all grease or factory preservatives.
Lubricate all moving parts appropriately apart from the brake system. Chains rarely come lubricated. Check to ensure spokes are tight. Look out for visible faults.
Test the handlebar and all lights. Place the battery in its compartment, switch the system on and get a test-ride!
Precautions for E-Bike Building and Use
Make sure not to use brute force when assembling components that have threads. Do not force things. Manufacturers calibrate them to precision before packaging. We recommend you not to use an e-bike or put it together in damp conditions. It may affect the integrity of the battery negatively.
E-bikes are not fit for stunts, and neither do they come in kid sizes. They require regular and routine maintenance. Do not be tempted to undertake braking, mechanical or electrical inspections if you are not a professional bike mechanic.
Go Out And Enjoy Your Bike!
And that’s it! We hope we could provide some help and show the most important steps needed to build an e-bike from scratch. Now all you need to do is grab a custom, comfortable helmet, protective gear, and wear your bike shoes. Fill up that water bottle, and let us meet at the other end of the road!