E-Bike system – Part 2 – CAN Interface

The first part of the E-bike system will be a computer interface to connect to all the nodes using the CAN-bus. This will be used for diagnostics, parametrization and software flashing. This makes it the logical starting point before developing the other parts of the system.

There are several commercial tools for this. Of course I could have used one of them, but it’s more fun, and cheaper to build my own. The tool I’m used to, is CANalyzer from Vector which is extremely competent but also extremely expensive. CANalyzer woll be a big inspiration for the windows application I build to communicate with the hardware interface.

Windows application

The windows application will have some basic features for setting up a signal database and debug generic messages, but also some specific features for communication with the different parts of the E-bike system. The application is created in C# .NET using Microsofts free Community edition of Visual Studio

Hardware Interface

The hardware will be built around the STM32F042C6 processor which have built in crystal-less USB and a CAN-interface which makes for a very low part-count device. Apart from some LEDs and passives, its only a processor, can transceiver and voltage regulator. For low volume production the BoM cost of the v0.1 prototype is around $10.

I’ve already designed and built the first prototype hardware and ordered the boards from OSH Park.

USB2CAN PCB v0.1 top
Top view of the USB2CAN board prototype v0.1
USB2CAN PCB v0.1 bottom
Bottom view of the USB2CAN board prototype v0.1

Firmware

The embedded firmware is built on top of the ChibiOS RTOS using ChibiStudio which is a great tool for getting started with ARM Cortex-M development. Functions for communicating with the USB and CAN hardware and task synchronization is already done in the RTOS with the corersponding HAL.

The first version of the firmware works fine for sending and receiving CAN messages. There is still some work on the bootloader and the windows application. But I’m far enough to move on to the next part of the e-bike system, the BMS.

E-Bike system – Part 1 – Introduction

I’m currently working on replacing the complete electric system on my E-bike. The new system will be completely DIY and consist of several parts connected by a CAN-bus. I will post about the progress here continuously.

The system will be divided into several parts, all of them controlled by a STM32-series ARM Cortex-M processor running ChibiOS RTOS. The image below shows a system overview.

Overview of E-Bike system
Overview of E-Bike system

Handlebar Control Unit [HCU]

The main node controlling the rest of the bike will be mounted on the handlebars. Later on I’m thinking about something with a ~4.3″ TFT screen. To begin with it’ll probably be something much simpler. The main tasks would be to sample the acceleration and braking request and forward to the motor controller. It will also controll and display status from the BMS

Motor controller [DCAC]

I will probably start with a VESC with a redesigned PCB more suitable for e-bike use with heftier power transistors. Perhaps I’ll develop my own software to this later on since I find motor control software very interesting.

Battery Management System [BMS]

The battery will be built of 12 cells long series of 18650 cells. To monitor, balance and protect these I will build a BMS around the Maxim MAX14920 chip. This is an analog front end for voltage level conversion and balance discharge of 12 cell batteries. A STM32F373 processor will handle the sampling, control SoC estimation and communication with the rest of the system. The BMS will be able to continue running after the rest of the bike is shut down to handle charging and balancing after a ride.

Voltage Stepdeown [DCDC]

To generate 12 V from the main battery for driving the other nodes and things like lights. To begin with this will probably be designed around an off-the-shelf switching regulator controlled with a hard wire from the BMS which should have its own power supply.

CAN interface [CAN2USB]

This will be the first part I develop, the first prototype is already built up and somewhat tested. I will write a longer post about this later on. The CAN interface will be used to be able to download software, parameters and to read diagnostics using a computer. There are comersialy available alternatives but how fun is that. I manage to get the BoM down to the $10-$15 range as well. The can interface is based on a STM32F042 processor with built-in crystal-less USB and a CAN transceiver chip. This will talk with a Windows application over a virtual com port. The Windows application is written in C# using the community edition of Visual Studio.

Charger

A “dumb” standard Lithium battery charger like the one I have for my previous E-bike could be used as a start, but it would be nice if the charger was connected to the CAN-bus and let the BMS handle the charge and current control.

Mechanics

The mechanics will be the same ase described in for example [these] posts. The difference is that the bike will be touched up quite a lot with both paint and parts.

Dual pulse battery spot welder

I recently bought 20 Sanyo NCR18650GA Lithium batteries. 12 of them will be used for developing a BMS for a upcoming E-bike project. From the other cells I will put together 2 battery packs for my bicycle lights, 4 cells each in 2s2p configuration.

This type of cells are usually spot welded together using thin nickel strips. I’ve read that many have been successful soldering the cells together but how fun is that when you can build a DIY battery spot welder.

Most designs that I have found is based on a SSR (Solid State Relay) controlled MOT (Microwave Oven Transformer) with the secondary replaced by few turns of heavy wire which converts mains voltage to high welding current. This doesn’t seem like a good solution since the current comes in 100 Hz pulses which makes welding energy control very difficult. I know some SSR can only break the current at the zero-crossing-point of the mains voltage resulting in a pulse time resolution of 10 ms. I don’t think this is good enough to get a consistent result.

There are also variants which discharge a large capacitor bank through a MOSFET which seems like it would give a much higher degree of control. I also found a similar design using a car starter battery instead of capacitors which seemed even more interesting.

I don’t have any spare car batteries, instead I’ll use some high power LiPo batteries. I have a pack of 4 Turnigy 6S 20C 5Ah batteris that I could connect in parallell. This will result in a 6s4p 20C 20Ah pack capable of delivering  ~20 V 400 A continuous. It will not have any problem delivering enough current for battery tab welding in short ~10 ms pulses.

The main focus of the build was to use as much parts from my junk-bin as possible.

Electrodes

The electrodes are built om 10 mm copper rods sharpened in one end and threaded with an M10 thread in the other. On the threaded end a 25 mm² welding cable are connected. To set off the welding pulse I have placed a small button on the top of one electrode.

Electrode
Left hand electrode, a sharpened 10 mm copper rod
Trigger
Right hand electrode with trigger placed for thumb activation

Electronics

To switch the current I found six FDP8440 MOSFETs rated at 40 V with a very low RDSon of 2.2 mΩ. If the welding current reach 1200 A they will handle 200 A each resulting in ~90W losses. This will easily be handled for a few hundredths of a second every 10 s or so. Especially since they are mounted on a thick copper busbar.

The control circuit semi-temporarily built on a Veroboard
The control circuit semi-temporarily built on a Veroboard

The mosfets will be controlled by a Microchip TC4421 from a 8-bit PIC microcontroller. Haven’t used a 8-bit PIC in ages, nowdays i prefer ARM Cortex-M processors, mainly the STM32 and LPC series. Since I’m building this on a veroboard I needed a DIP-casing so I decided to use an ancient PIC16F648A from the junkbin. This processor was perfect for a quick job like this, extremely simple keeping the datasheet reeding to a minimum

Spot welder schematic
Spot welder schematic

It has an internal 4 MHz 1% oscillator which will work fine for this application since there are no asynchronous communication, and 1% precision of the pulse timing is more than enough, no need for an external crystal oscillator. The reset-pin can be turned off with the config bits and all I/O-pins on Port B have internal pull-ups saving me a few resistors.

To program the processor I used Microchip MPLAB X IDE, XC8 compiler, and a PICkit 2 programmer. I’ve never used MPLAB X before, but it worked rather well. This is the application firmware, perhaps a little bit overdone, but why not?

The pulse length is currently hard coded in the application, it’s easy enough to update. If needed i will later add a switch with a few presets. The microcontroller has no A/D-converter, otherwise a potentiometer for setting this would have been nice.

A 6 S LiPo used as a power source discharging in a 3,3 ohm power resistor.
A 6 S LiPo used as a power source discharging in a 3,3 ohm power resistor.

There is a lot to read about pulse welding online, essentially the first pulse is to break any oxide layers and the second performs most of the welding. I have set pulse 2 to 10 ms, and pulse 1 to 1,25 ms which works fine for 8 x 0,18 mm Nickel strips.

I haven’t received the nickel strips I ordered yet, so my first test subject was some pieces of box cutter blades. It worked perfectly, but perhaps I need to shorten the pulses a little with the much thinner nickel strips.

Top side of welded knife blades
Top side of welded knife blades
Bottom side of welded knife blades
Bottom side of welded knife blades

Future plans

I will use this to build a few batteries, if the design works well, I’ll probably make a new PCB with a display, rotary encoder and a more modern processor.

Battery bag for my E-Bike

Last weekend we borrowed a sewing machine to make new curtains for the apartment. When I was sewing the curtains I realized that It wouldn’t be very difficult to make a custom battery bag for my e-bike. I would like a bag that I could mount in the frame triangle and have room for 4 Turnigy 6S 5Ah batteries. Doing some measurements, calculations and drawing I came up with this design

Battery bag drawing
An outline of the battery bag, the red triangle is the frame, the blue rectangles are batteries and the gray rectangle is the controller mounted on the frame.

I went to the fabric store and found a black nylon fabric that had a PVC layer on one side. This should be fairly water resistant and I plan to spray it with some textile waterproofing spray as well. I was recommended to use a thread for furniture which is much stronger than ordinary thread as well. A couple of hours thinking, cutting, and sewing later:

Battery bag
I use some Depron in the bottom, and some foam in the two corners to protect the batteries and fill out the bag.
Zipper
The zipper has a bit of fabric folding over it for water protection
Hole for cable
The hole for the cable is also waterproof since the side of the bag overlaps ~10 cm where the cable comes out.
Cable
I'm using the cable I made for the E-Puch. This cable is for two turnigy batteries in series and two in paralell with a 60A fuse. The LEGO part is just for size reference.
Packed
Everything fits nicely inside the bag

The bag fits perfect on the bike!

Battery bag on bike
Battery bag on bike
Battery bag in frame
Battery bag in frame

Pleas write a comment if you think I should make some kind of drawing and description on how to make a bag like this.

Modifying the Turnigy 80-100 Brushless Outrunner – Part 3

Continuing on: Modifying the Turnigy 80-100 Brushless Outrunner – Part 2

As I’ve written before I had problems getting the Turnigy motor to run in sensored mode using the modified cheap-o eBay controller. Just to se if It’s the controller that is the problem I’ve tried the motor with my e-bike controller.

SUCCESS!

It works perfect! Turns slow and have lots of starting torque. I didn’t try more than 15%-20% throttle and the battery was empty in my current meter so I could’t measure the current. I will try full throttle and measure the current as soon as I’ve got a new battery.

The motor looks much neater with the internal sensors than the external I think I’ll paint it black to match the black moped when I’ve epoxied the stator and not going to take it apart again.

Turnigy 80-100 with internal sensors
The motor looks much better with the sensors mounted internally

Compared to the externally mounted sensors

Sensors mounted in bracket
Sensors mounted in bracket

Modifying the Turnigy 80-100 Brushless Outrunner – Part 2

Continuing on: Modifying the Turnigy 80-100 Brushless Outrunner – Part 1

This is a picture of the rewound stator. As described un the previous post the stator is now wound for ~90 rpm/V using double 1.5 mm copper wire. To hold the windings in place I use some dabs of low temperature heat glue. This will most certainly melt if I would put 3 kW of power through the motor, but I will replace the heat glue with high-temp epoxy when I know that everything works.

Rewound stator
The stator has been rewound with double strands of 1.5 mm copper . The heat glue is just to hold the windings in place while testing. Before using the motor under heavy load, the heat glue will be replaced by epoxy.

The motor is wound as an Distributed LRK (DLRK) and terminated in Y-mode. Using the notation from the picture below, S1, S2 and S3 are connected to the motor controller and E1, E2 and E3 are soldered together inside the motor.

DLRK
The DLRK winding scheme. I've connected E1, E2 and E3 together and use S1, S2 and S3 as phase wires for a Y-termination. The sensors are mounted between 1 & 2, 5 & 6 and 9 & 10.

In the previous post I used ATS177 sensord mounted in a bracket outside the motor. This didn’t work very well with the modified controller. This itme I will try SS441A hall sensors, which are more expensive but thats the sensor that is usually recommended on the Endless Sphere Forum. I will also try to mount the sensors inside the motor which I hope will  be more robust and better looking. The sensors are mounted between slot 1 & 2, 5 & 6 and 9 & 10. Which gives them 120° spacing. To hold them in place before applying epoxy I use the same low-temp heat glue and a little kapton tape.

Sensor in stator slot
The sensors is mounted between two teeth of the same phase on the motor, all three sensors are 120° apart. To hold them in place I applied a small dab of hot glue and some kapton tape (the brownish tape in the image)

When I tried this setup with the modified controller it still didn’t run in sensored mode which leads me to suspect that there may be something wrong with this controller. I didn’t have time to do any thorough investigations why but my next step will be to inspect the sensor signals on the oscilloscope and try the motor on my other controller which doesn’t run at all without sensors.

Continue to: Modifying the Turnigy 80-100 Brushless Outrunner – Part 3

Fried connector


Fried Connector
The contacts inside this Anderson SB50 connector vaporized the first time I connected it to the controller

When I connected the modified e-bike controller for the first time a little accident happened. The Anderson SB50 connectors I use for my bike are great since they are polar and you cannot connect the battery in reverse polarity. Of course you have to put the positive and negative terminal in on the right side of the connector housing first. I missed that with the result that i connected the controller in reverse.

Since the MOSFETs conduct from drain to source through the body diode this was practically short circuiting the battery and resulted in a big spark. It was a good thing that I had a 30 A fuse on the battery lead otherwise the connector would probably lock much worse than on the picture above. The controller survived as well, probably thanks to the fuse, otherwise i think $50 worth of MOSFETs would have released the magic smoke.

Increasing the power of cheap eBay BLDC-controller

After installing sensors in the Turnigy 80-100 motor I needed a high current sensored BLDC controller. Since I’ve decided to use a 12 S LiPo battery the maximum voltage of the newly charged battery is 50,4 V with a nominal voltage of 44,4 V. Most high power e-bike controllers are designed to operate on >72 V and are quite large.

When i find the time I will build my own controller but for now, I want to modify a small 48 V 350 W controller, that I bought for $25 from eBay, into something that is a lot more powerful. The key to increase power handling capability is to decrease the heat losses under high power. As a side effect, more of the energy in the battery will be used to move the bike and less to heat the controller.

the modification is done in a couple of steps described below.

Replace transistors

The controller originally contained six STP75NF75 MOSFET which can handle a voltage of 75 V and (according to the datasheet) 75 A. The typical resistance when turned on is 10 mΩ which is quite high. Realistically I think six of these is capable of handling ~15 A continuously with decent cooling. I’m not even sure if they are genuine and 48 V 350 W will be ~7 A  so the original controller isn’t really pushing them.

Components
Close up shot of controller motherboard. You could see that I've replaced the MOSFETs with IRFB3006 and that a STM8 processor powers the controller. SOMETHING WENT TERRIBLY WRONG WITH THIS IMAGE! I WILL FIX THIS.

Instead i will use six IRFB3006 which can handle 60 V and up to 195 A (again, according to the datasheet). The silicon could actually handle up to 270 A but the wire bonds between the silicon and the case limits this to 195 A. The typical on-resistnance on these are 2 mΩ, five times lower than the original FETs! Another popular transistor to use when modding e-bike controllers is the IRFB4110 which is capable of handling 100 V but not as much current as the IRFB3006.

STP75NF75 Datasheet
IRFB3006 Datasheet

 

Controller
The controller

Beef up the PCB traces and wiring

The original high current PCB traces of the controller had some extra solder on them to increase the current capabilities. To increase this even further i added 3×1.5 mm copper wire to these traces. Compared to copper, solder is a pretty bad conductor so this will decrease losses and heating under high currents considerably.

Upgraded power traces
The PCB traces carrying high current are upgraded with 3 x 1.5 mm copper wire.

There was one problem with this, copper and PCB laminate have different Coefficients of Linear Thermal Expansion, a view from the side reveals that the board got a little curved when soldering. I hope this doesn’t break anything.

Curved PCB
The copper wires shrink when they cool down after soldering 🙁

The wimpy phase and battery wires on the original controller is replaced with 6 mm² wire instead to handle he increased current. And a lot of the special function wires on the controller are removed. I only need the throttle and brake inputs.

Modify the current shunt

When I ordered this controller I was pretty sure that it were based on the Infineon XC846 ship as most china-made e-bike controllers are. These controllers can have the current limit and many other properties changed in software by connecting your computer ti the controller. Instead this controller is based on a STM8 microcontroller, maybe this is programmable but I haven’t found any information on how.

Instead of programming I can increase the current limit by decreasing the resistance of the current shunt. The processor measures the voltage drop across a short bit of wire with a known resistance to determine how much current the motor uses. If I for example decrease the resistance of this wire to half, the current will be twice of what the processor thinks.

Current Shunt
The ordinary current shunt (the curved silver wire) are paralleled with a thicker and shorter copper wire to decrease resistance.

Today I recorded two videos running the motor. The first one is just running the motor in sensorless mode. I actually got it running once in sensored mode but as soon as I started adjusting the sensor angle the controller fell back into sensorless mode. The throttle in this video is a tired 10k trimpot hence the uneven throttle signal.

I also made a small load test just holding the motor. In this video the motor is run on the lowest speed possible in sensorless mode. The battery used in this clip had a voltage of 46 V. Since the currentmeter maxes out at 5,5 A the load power I created is somewhere around 250 W

Electrifying a Puch Maxi

I while ago I bought a Turnigy 80-100 motor to put on my bike. For several reasons, mechanical, electrical and self-preservational, I ended up putting a more suitable E-Bike hub motor on my MTB and the large Turnigy motor has been lying on my unfinished-projects-shelf since I bought it. Recently my brother told me he has an old Puch Maxi moped, where the original petrol engine were broken, that would be the perfect candidate for this motor.

The motor is just a little bit larger than a soda can and capable of producing 7 kW of power for short periods of time. It will probably be more safe to mount it on a moped instead of a bike considered the moped is built to handle a lot more power than a bike.

In Sweden, there are two classes of legal moped, where this is classified as ‘moped class II’ limiting the motor power to 1 kW and maximum speed to 25 km/h. With this motor the moped will be very illegal but I will keep it off public roads. It would however be interesting to limit the power and speed electronically and try to get every permit needed to use it in traffic. Sadly I suspect that’s impossible due to all bureaucracy involved.

The moped has a chain drive with a 415 chain, hence I needed a chainwheel matching this chain and the motors 12 mm shaft. I found the Swedish company Kedjeteknik that was very helpful and helped me custom make a 10 tooth chainwheel for 415 (1/2″ x 3/16″) chain at a reasonable price. There is a 12 mm hole for the shaft with dual stop screws. I really hope this will manage the ~5 kW of power I want to get out of the motor.

I bought the 180 rpm/V wind of this motor meaning the maximum rpm would be 180 times the battery voltage. This is quite fast with only a single reduction, especially on a bike with 26″ wheels. On the moped with 17″ wheels and a rewind of the motor this will be perfect.

The rear sprocket of this moped is 43 tooth and the wheel diameter is 17″. As a battery i will use the same type as on the MTB, 12 cells of LiPo in series resulting in a battery voltage of 44.4 V. As a rule of thumb the final velocity will be about 80% of maximal velocity. With this information the expected top speed can be calculated.

Motor speed using 44.4 V battery and 180 rpm/V motor

[latex]
180 * 44.4 * \frac{2\pi}{60} = 837 rad/s
[/latex]

wheel speed after 10:43 chain reduction

[latex]
837 * \frac{10}{43} = 195 rad/s
[/latex]

80% of unloaded speed with 17″ wheels

[latex]
195 * \frac{17 * 0.0254}{2} * 0.8 = 33.7 m/s = 121 km/h
[/latex]

Which is a little too fast, half of that speed would be enough. Since the equations above are linear one way of achieving this is to rewind the motor for 90 rpm/V instead of 180 rpm/V. This motor is wound with 6 turns per phase and terminated in delta. By increasing the number of turns to 7 and terminating the motor in Y instead the resulting kV will be ~90 rpm/V. (I think I’ll write a more in-depth article about brushless motors in the future describing why)
Last wekend my brother and I made a motor mount out of 5 mm aluminum that bolts on to the original motor mount of the moped. I only have a picture from a mobile camera right now but I will update this post with better pictures in the future.

Motor mount on Puch Maxi
Motor mount on Puch Maxi

Next post will be about the motor modifications, which are extensive…

Electric MTB

My E-MTB
My electric MTB. I forgot to mount the battery pack for the photoshoot.

I’ve got a 6 km bike ride to work, the route is mostly flat but there is a high bridge I need to pass and the wind is not your friend when biking westward in Gothenburg. Despite this it is quicker for me to go by bike than public transport. The problem is that I do not want to be all sweaty when i arrive to work.

The solution: Put a motor on the bike

My bike is an Crescent Balder 24 speed mountain bike with front suspension and aluminum frame. Here in Sweden there are some regulations limiting an E-Bike to 250 W of power and a maximum speed of 25 km/h. That is not enough for me but I need a drive train that is possible to limit when driving on public roads.

After several hours of reading at the Endless Sphere forum I settled for a Nine Continents conversion kit including a 2809 rear wheel motor, 48 V 27 A motor controller, twist throttle, regeneration break handles and some other parts needed for the conversion. This kit has what is called an Infineon controller (based on the Infineon XC846 chip) and is programmable and possible to limit within legal limits.

E-Bike controller
E-Bike controller mounted behind the saddle

This is a 12 MOSFET version of the controller with a somewhat splash proof aluminum case that i mounted on a luggage rack from Biltema. One of the reasons that i choose the Nine Continents kit was that someone wrote on the web that it was one least bad china made E-bike kits regarding weather resistance.

E-Bike kit delivered
E-Bike kit delivered

The motor comes already laced in a 26″ rim and has mounts for disc brakes and a 7-speed freewheel, the only thing missing is a tire.

The 2809 means that the stator and magnets are 28 mm wide and each stator tooth have 9 turns of wire wound around it. There are different configurations of this motor, for example 2807 which have 7 turns wind resulting in a faster motor. The 2809 has a top speed of 35 km/h, on flat ground with 48 V battery voltage, which is enough for me. The slower speed means that the motor will be more efficient than the faster one at slow speed, for example uphill or with strong headwinds.

To power the motor I use Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries made for electric RC airplanes. At the moment I have 4 Turnigy 5000 mAh 6S 20C LiPo Pack batteries with 6 cells @ 5.0 Ah each. These are connected together as two 12s1p (12 cells in series and one paralell) packs like the one below.

Battery Module
One of my two 12S1P battery packs. These can be connected in parallel as well for a 12S2P pack. The serial wiring contains a 30A automotive fuse and a Anderson SB50 connector.

But the two packs can also be paralleled for a 12S2P pack with twice the range. The serial/paralell harness is made out of HXT 4mm Gold Connector for the battery, 10 AWG (~5,27 mm²) wire, a 30 A automotive fuse and a Andersson SB50 connector.

12 cells, at 3,7 V nominal voltage, in series results in a battery voltage of 44,4 V. 2 cells, of 5,0 Ah in parallel results in a total 44,4 V 10 Ah battery or 444 Wh of energy. My plan is to, at a later stage, extend this to 3 packs in parallel to 666 Wh of energy. Commuting to and from work with the bike has shown a energy usage of ~12-14 Wh/km. Mostly dependent on the amount of pedaling from me and wind speed/direction.

The battery specs say that they will deliver 20C continusly which means 20 times the capacity. My current battery with 10 Ah capacity will hence deliver a maximum of 200 A @ 44.4 V which is almost 9 kW of power.

There are a couple of different types of batteries used for electric bikes LiPo (which I use) has the highest power- and energy-density. The downside with LiPo is that they can be quite dangerous if you mistreat them, for example overcharge or puncture them in which case they will explode in a ball of fire. There are other lithium chemistrys for example LiFePo4 which are more stable but have lower energy density and much lower power density. There exists LiPo batteries that can deliver up to 90C while I haven’t seen LiFePo4 batteries capable of more than 10C. There are nickel and lead based batteries as well but they belong to the last century IMHO. Maybe I’ll write a more in-depth post about batteries, battery management and chargers in the future.

If you have any sort of experience repairing bicycles the install is easily made in a couple of hours, the most difficult thing was that the dropout has to be filed a little to suite the large axle on the hub motor. Since all torque from the motor is transfered through the dropouts the axle is 14 mm instead of the ordinary 10 mm bike wheel axle. The hub motor axle is flat on two sides making it fit in the 10 mm dropouts. Since the bend radius on the non-flat sides is 2 mm larger than on a regular bike wheel the frame dropouts has to be filed to a bend radius of 7 mm for a good fit.

Dropouts
Original dropout and axle to the left, hub motor dropout and axle to the right.

Since an aluminum frame is not as strong as a steel fram I decided to use what is called a torque arm to strengthen the dropouts. When using a hub motor that delivers a considerable amount of torque to the small flat sides of the wheel axle this is a must if the dropouts should survive. For example a powerful hub motor on an aluminum front fork without torque arm could end bad if the motor manage to twist itself out of the dropouts and the wheel comes loose. The rear wheel is probably less dangerous but I still don’t want the bike to break.

Torque arm
Torque arm. Note that the rear derailleur isn't used.

In the picture above you can see that there is no wire to the rear derailleur. The bike is originally a 24-speed bike but the hub motor only has room for 7 sprockets. Since the gear lever was mounted on the handbrake lever on this bike the rear 7 gears had to leave room for the regenerative brake lever supplied with the conversion kit making this a 3-speed bike. The left gear and handbrake lever is still intact controlling the front derailleur and brake.

I have used the bike to commute to work for a couple of months now and it works perfect. I have some future upgrades I want to make:

  • Move controller to water bottle mount
  • Replace phase wires to 12 gauge
  • Create fiberglass battery box
  • Tidy up cabling

This time of the year the weather in Gothenburg usually not invite to biking so I’ll have the winter to perform these upgrades on the bike.