Have you ever consider a DIY ebike? I'd like to introduce you to Micah Toll, author and ebike builder. He's going to talk to us, today, about this exciting, Eco-friendly mode of transportation. Take it away, Micah ...
Buying a commercially available retail electric bicycle is a great way to get going quickly and enjoy the immediate gratification of traveling by ebike, but converting your own bicycle into an ebike comes with many additional advantages over buying a retail ebike. Some of the best reasons to go the do-it-yourself route include saving money, increased customization opportunities and better quality parts, not to mention the pride of commuting on your own sweat and labor.
When you decide to convert your own standard bicycle into an electric bicycle, you cut out all of that extra stuff and just pay for the ebike parts themselves. That’s why you can actually get the same parts from, for example, a $2,000 electric bicycle for a quarter of the price. Ebike conversion kits and individual ebike parts are available all over the internet. You used to only be able to buy them from Chinese suppliers, but now there are many American ebike kit companies in market.
Don’t worry if you aren’t a handyman/woman; ebike kits are really easy to install on nearly any bicycle. They’re specifically designed for absolute beginners so that pretty much anyone can convert a bicycle into an electric bike. You usually only need a couple of wrenches and a screwdriver.
What I love about DIY ebikes is that when you get the chance to choose your own parts, you have total control over the performance of your ebike. There are so many different ebike kits out there that it is possible to find something for everyone, with speeds from as low as 12 mph (20 km/hr) or as fast as 35 mph (56 km/hr). The kit you choose will largely depend on your own desires. Are you looking for just an around-the-town-grocery-getter or more of a hot rod that can beat cars at traffic lights? Both options are entirely possible with different ebike conversion kits available all over the internet. Planning out your build with the right parts for you and then choosing the best vendors is something I cover extensively with many chapters in my book.
Another great reason to build your own ebike is that you can start with a much better quality bicycle than standard retail ebikes. A dirty secret of the retail ebike industry is that many ebike manufacturers skimp on the quality of the actual bicycle, including the frame and components like brakes and shifters, so that they can try to bring the final price down enough to draw in consumers. By converting a bicycle yourself, you’re already saving a bunch of money, so why not put some of that back into a better quality bike? There’s a good chance you’ve already got a great bike just gathering dust in your garage or basement, so why not convert your bike into an ebike? Or you can get a bike you really like from your local bike shop and start the conversion on your new bike. This way you’re using a bike you already know and love, instead of settling for whatever bike the ebike manufacturer chose based on their bottom line.
Converting an ebike is fairly easy to do, but some extra help will definitely make things easier. I’ve written a book to help first-time ebike builders through every step of the process, from the planning stages through installation of ebike parts all the way up to routine maintenance to keep an ebike in tip-top shape. You can check out my ebook at www.UltimateEbikeEbook.com and use the coupon code on the special offers page, or for the next few weeks you can get a copy of my book for a deep discount through my Kickstarter campaign.
All images courtesy of Micah Toll