Electra Townie

Discussion in 'DIY Electric Bicycle Hub Motors and Kits' started by Jim C, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. Jim C

    Jim C New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have and ride a Townie 3i and I do love it. I am considering converting it to a simple 36 volt front hub motor. My Townie rims are black with a unpainted side for the front brake to grab. My plan would be to lace the motor to the Townie rim to keep the good look of the bike. Have any of you laced up a motor to a rim, how has it worked?
     
  2. paul

    paul Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,542
    Likes Received:
    7
    just need to make sure you get the right size spokes which depending on your hub can be really short. i had a trek pure (treks copy of townie) i replaced the rim with one to match and so have a few others on different bike. Suggestion is get a rear hub. The font hubs can spin out from under you in a heartbeat when going around a curve if their is the least little bit of gravel. even the low power hubs will do this.
     
  3. Semaj

    Semaj Electric Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2014
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    0
    You can take it to any bike shop if you dont feel like doing it yourself, they should be able to tell you the length of the spokes needed to boot.
     
  4. KCvale

    KCvale Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Messages:
    3,812
    Likes Received:
    3
    That Townie have a 3-speed hub?

    You can put a shifting 36V electric kit from SickBikeParts with a 36V 12AH LI bottle battery on it for ~$700 and enjoy the gears with pedal and/or electric power.
     
  5. Jim C

    Jim C New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    0
    it is a 3 speed hub. That is why I am thinking of a front hub motor. So I can use the gears for pedal assist. I am not really thinking about a $700.00 expense but I will take a look at that on Sick Bike.
     
  6. KCvale

    KCvale Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Messages:
    3,812
    Likes Received:
    3
    Well, an electric hub motor is going to cost about the same or more than the $400 electric shift kit, and either way you'll need a battery.

    This is a Rover 3-speed with the SBP kit and a $300 'bottle' battery mounted on a rack in the back.

    [​IMG]

    The motor can also be mounted under the down bar.

    [​IMG]

    That fat tire has a 48V 1KW battery but a water bottle battery would attach to the downtube like a water bottle sort of like this Fito.

    [​IMG]

    It's a slick system and both your feet and your motor share the 3-speed.
    The pedals freewheel as does the motor so your feet don't get beat to death when the motor is spinning the sprockets and no drag from the motor when just pedaling.
     
  7. SilentRider

    SilentRider Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2014
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    2
    The townie is a great bike to make electric, that's what I did.
    I know you want to keep the 3 speed hub but a rear wheel drive is a much better choice. I suggest buying a rear wheel for $30-40 and having a bike shop lace a rear motor into it. You should be able to get a shop to do this for $40-50 plus cost of spokes. If you decide to move the motored wheel to a different bike or sell the Townie without the motor you can swap the original quick release wheel back in.

    The real advantage to rear wheel gearing is when you use a mid drive motor like KC suggested, only I feel the Bafang BBS02 is a better choice.
    Whatever motor you decide on I suggest buying the best quality and highest Ah battery you can afford. A cheap battery is often a ebike's weakest link. And if you find this out later and end up buying a better replacement battery, that 1st cheap battery is wasted money. Good batteries are expensive so it's hard to build a ebike that's good for little money.

    Here's what I did with my Townie, I've added some nice accessories since I posted this > http://motorbicycling.com/showthread.php?t=56597
     
  8. KCvale

    KCvale Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Messages:
    3,812
    Likes Received:
    3
    Nice ride SR, EM3ev brick battery, they made me 3 up a little bigger than that, I put 2 in trike builds and the third in this.

    [​IMG]

    48V 1680W kit with 53V EM3ev battery and programmable controller.

    It was for a kid ~17, and though repeatedly being informed of it's power and instructed to take it easy on the throttle from a dead stop in 1st the first thing he did was hop on and gun it.

    It promptly responded by throwing his stupid ass off the back on his butt.

    0~40 mph in ~10 seconds with only even numbered shifts on the 7-speed, and it would climb any hill with speed.

    There is no substitute for having ample power, but gears change everything.
     
    #8 KCvale, Apr 8, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2015
  9. Jim C

    Jim C New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    0
    Those are all really nice rides, I do like the clean look of the open wheel. I have built 2 hub motor bikes in the past and a hub motor trike for my girlfriend I did own and loved an eGo Cylce (scooter) I have also built 4 gas bikes and my last build, a 29 inch 49 cc 4 stroke is for sale.
    My thought on using the townie is I already have one and I do like the comfort. The townie forks are alum. and may not work or I could use a torque arm. I have some ideas on battery mounting in the frame V.
    I am a retired tool and die maker and I always build clean bikes. I have used hub motors in the past and they worked well for me but I did use Schwinn's with steel forks. Going the cruiser ride with steel is a possibility, I just thought I would use the Townie because it is here and I have one, besides it is the best bike for an old guy like me to ride.
     
  10. KCvale

    KCvale Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Messages:
    3,812
    Likes Received:
    3
    How retired are you?

    I could really use a simple punch die set to make a 35mm hole in 12g steel with a 12 ton hydraulic press.

    And a slot making punch ~2" long x ~11mm wide would sure help with fabing new designs.

    I know they are expensive, but it doesn't hurt to ask right?
     
  11. kevyleven007

    kevyleven007 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,178
    Likes Received:
    2
    I have never laced a hub motor to a rim. But it seems like it would be easy on most rims. I know some of those double wall rims with the deep spoke holes could be harder because you could loose the nipple inside the rim. so you need a magnetic driver I guess. Seems like tedious work but not hard. I have replaced a few spokes on one of my hub motors but it was an easy rim to work with.
     
    #11 kevyleven007, Apr 9, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2015
  12. Jim C

    Jim C New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    0
    35 mm is about 1&3/8 inch. Are you talking about a free punch with you picking up a center punch or a die that would locate the hole. If you are not doing a bunch of parts I would bore or chassis punch or hole saw. If it is flat stock I would stack them and bore the hole, if it is only one or two, hole saw on a milling maching.
    The slot you are talking about is only about 7/16, I would mill it.
    But I am retired and have tools but no machines except for a drill press and a belt sander a compressor and some air tools. To build a die I would need to machine D2 material, heat treat it and grind it. I am guessing you need both a punch and a die with or with out a die set.
    Talking shop with you is fun, but it isn't getting anything done on the bike.
     
  13. KCvale

    KCvale Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Messages:
    3,812
    Likes Received:
    3
    I tried lacing a 3-speed hub into a common 26" rim once.
    By once I mean like 8 times before I took it up to the bike shop around the corner and had them do it on their truing machine.

    Lacing a wheel is not like lacing your shoes.
    Lacing a big motor in can't be fun, easy, or maybe even possible to do right without the right tools and equipment.

    In short, I wouldn't trust my own lacing work to ride on, and I'm a fairly competent mechanic.
     
  14. kevyleven007

    kevyleven007 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,178
    Likes Received:
    2
    Oh yeah a truing stand would help. It will take some skill and maybe give you a headache for sure.
     
  15. Semaj

    Semaj Electric Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2014
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    0
    I know id like to learn, untill then the bike shop is gettin my dough to make sure the spokes are on right :p
     
  16. Jim C

    Jim C New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think a person could build a good truing device with an old set of forks and a dial indicator mount. I have dial indicators and mag bases and probably old forks around here somewhere. If my own labor is free it may be worth it, but the bike pros may be better?
     
  17. kevyleven007

    kevyleven007 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,178
    Likes Received:
    2
    A DIY truing stand is all you need if you can make one no reason to buy one. I have a sunlite truing stand but you can just use the bike forks.
     
  18. KCvale

    KCvale Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Messages:
    3,812
    Likes Received:
    3
    I use a fork in the vice to true rims and rag sprockets too, but that's not lacing in a motor right before it even gets to truing.

    It's not rocket science, but it's sure no cake walk either.
     
  19. kevyleven007

    kevyleven007 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,178
    Likes Received:
    2
    yeah I wouldn't want to have to do it. I would just buy another wheel to match the hub motor wheel and put the original wheels up.
     
    #19 kevyleven007, Apr 14, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2015
  20. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Messages:
    8,172
    Likes Received:
    0
    What I use for a truing stand is a cruiser type bike turned upside down and mount my newly laced wheel in the front fork. Take your time and pay attention, tightening spokes just a bit at a time. I've done a number of wheels this way with good results. Lacing the rim in the first place is daunting the first time you do it and may require some starting over to do it again until you get it right, but there are guides on U tube and a very good tutorial from Atomiczombie. I have not laced an electric hub to a rim, but have laced extra large drum brakes from light motorcycles onto bicycle rims and I would think that would be similar.

    Riding around on wheels you have built yourself is a really good feeling of accomplishment and saves a lot of money. I'm glad that Bairdco encouraged me to give it a try some years ago, so I try to pass that encouragement along to others. I'm an old fellow (70) with a traumatic brain injury (lightning survivor), not a mechanic and don't like puzzles. If I can do it, I'll bet you can for sure.
    SB
     

Share This Page