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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Selecting a Bicycle for Electric Conversion

In choosing the right bike to convert to electric, I first narrowed down what electric kit I was going to use.  Based on my research at and other sites, I knew I wanted a system that used a Crystalyte direct drive rear hub motor. Crystalyte motors seem to have a reputation for lasting thousands of miles of use.  I like the idea of a rear hub direct drive motor for several reasons:

  • low center of gravity
  • rear wheel drive
  • simple gearless mechanism for durability
  • simple installation
  • clean look

With the motor system selected I proceeded to select a bicycle with the following characteristics
  • Disc brakes for added stopping power given higher average speeds
  • Front suspension only to keep main frame triangle open for battery pack, again with the interest of low center of gravity and a clean look.
  • 7 or 8 speed rear cassette since Crystalyte motor will not accomodate 9spd or 10spd cassettes/freewheels
  • Additionally I wanted Shimano drivetrain and at least  4" travel fork from a recognized brand
Given the above requirements I purchased a K2 Zed 4.6 bike from the Sports Authority for $449 during a Black Friday sale.

The next step will be to select system voltage and battery capacity based on desired speed, performance, and range.

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