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Old 03-31-2014, 05:09 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by vskid3 View Post
Nice ebike, BarelyAWake. I read through your thread about it (link if anyone wants to check it out) and it looks like it would work well for me.
Do you have any torque arms on it? They're highly recommended over on Endless Sphere if your bike has an aluminum frame. I'm considering using a cheaper bike like you did, mainly to have disc brakes because it looks like it would cost about the same to add them to my bike as it would be to buy a Walmart bike. How is the regen? Does it kick in when you let off the throttle or when you apply the brakes? Maybe it would be enough to make my rim-brakes be ok.
What's the hottest temperature you've used it in? A complaint I've seen about the Magic Pies is that the internal controllers burn up, so I wonder if the MP3 with its fan would hold up in the 100+F temps I'll be riding in.
Its still going to be a couple weeks before I can start buying parts, I have to wait until after I finish selling the Insight.
Thank you vskid3! I should mention for others the thread you linked to starts out with trouble, the solder, wiring & connectors of the (now outdated) MP2 left much to be desired - however once repaired they've given me no issue and from all reports the MP3 has addressed this with better connectors & wiring and presumably, soldering as I've heard no complaints whatsoever.

Endless Sphere is an amazing resource, having said that they're not the best when representing the more basic builds, off the shelf kits & simple setups like this - they do represent the cutting edge of ebike tech quite well, high power custom motors & builds abound... but there's a middle ground oft ignored or dismissed.

Torque arms are as good an example as any - they're ofc a good thing that can't hurt to have, but for a mere 1.3hp at most, peak at that (1000w)... they're just not the absolute must as so often presented, aluminum frame or not. A human can produce that much for brief moments (power/down stroke) with as much or more torque. In this application axle rotation if any is far more likely caused by sloppy or loose axle mounting, while axle movement (down & out) is however another matter and not all torque arms are capable of preventing it - fortunately it's a simple fix for those kits that haven't accounted for it with suitable hardware. Five minutes at most w/my dremel fixed the issue, it's not been a problem since in all the miles of abu... erm "use" & there's no torque arm to be seen lol;

The box-store bike thing I'll get back to - but the regen is normally initiated via switched brake levers during braking (they're included with the kit) which can be an issue if you've integrated levers with your shifters, as mine does. As a workaround I rewired the regen to the disused horn button (momentary switch) and so I'm able to engage the regenerative braking when I please, without using the bicycle's brakes.

This is actually a handy modification as not only does it reduce brake usage, I can choose not to activate the regen on questionable surfaces such as paint, leaves or ice & snow. The braking power of regen is significant, borderline not-quite lockup on packed dirt isn't uncommon - but it's an adjustable parameter within the controller and most are quite pleased with the simplicity of the switched levers so... to each their own I figure.

I have ridden in excess of 100 and I've had no problems, I've even hauled cargo & trailers without issue - however as I do live in Maine it's usually the other extreme I've to contend with, far too often actually it's sub-zero conditions that Mongo is dealing with, without complaint I might add

I'd summarize by saying, the MP is a decent, even decedent (feature rich) entry level hub motor - but there are many hubs to choose from that may or may not be better, the features themselves may or may not be needed or wanted. Again, it's the batteries that are so very important, they're the investment and what will "make or break" a build, your satisfaction with it.

Originally Posted by Grant-53 View Post
As much as I admire WalMart I would not buy a cheap bike for an e-bike project. The big issue is with the wheel bearings...
Originally Posted by bryn View Post
i would start with a good used mountain bike that is tenish years old. find one for $100...

if my local bike shop was a walmart... I would walk.
Ahh... the never ending box store bike debate lol

First let me say, of course a better bike is better - it's how good "good enough" needs to be that's the real question here.

Like with all things there's a middle ground, I'd no sooner buy a $100 wallyworld special then I'd kick out thousands for the name brand BSery - they're both a rip off in their own way.

Don't buy by price - make an informed purchase, research the components, look at materials & most importantly weld quality. If you've not the experience to do this, find an unbiased friend to aid you. Paying too much for not enough isn't limited to Walmart - trust me, I ride a recumbent lol

I purchased the Mongoose because it had a stout frame design with simply gorgeous welds, everything else unimportant as it was to be replaced or upgraded anyway - and it's far less expensive to do this yourself then buy a "branded" bike with the same components. The rims are the critical weak point, but a good set of double wall alloys laced up isn't much at all. The bearings may well be questionable - but the rears are replaced with the electric hub motor (sealed BTW) and the fronts have held up without any sign of failure with no more attention then proper adjustment & repacking with a quality marine grade grease, as I have done with all of my bikes & builds with the same result.

It's of course not better then a "better" bike, but it is better then I've needed so far. I've crashed & smashed the thing more times then I'd care to remember and it hasn't failed me, nor has the other "not the cheapest" box store bikes I've motorized & that's the trick of it - buy by your eye, not your wallet lol

Figured I'd throw in a "crash & smash" just for the heckofit, the skid marks left by my cartwheeling carcass amusing if nothing else; & impatience, a bad combo if ever there was one - in any case, moving right along

The wheelset is the most questionable on these less expensive bikes, the suspension forks a distant second with the shifters generally being garbage. The wheelset should be upgraded on any motorized bicycle due to the speed & weight increase, the forks will suffice till they fail & honestly, while annoying - the shifters aren't particularly needful with an additional 1.3hp helping you along, I start off aided in 21st (highest) and don't bother shifting again until winter snow, then I put it in the 10th gear or so & leave it be till spring rolls around again at long last

I'll skip right over v-brakes/rim brakes as I hate them with a deep and abiding passion, I'll not purchase anything other then disc (or drums for a vintage build)... but if someone likes them & thinks they are "good enough", then again I'll say "to each their own" lol & ride on!

Last edited by BarelyAWake; 03-31-2014 at 05:48 AM..
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