Chapter one: Starting down the ebike trail, decision and kit purchase

After much agonizing over which type of conversion kit to use I purchased an elation ebike bottom bracket drive kit from Oz which has finally arrived in the US after a bit of a wait. My main concern is no US distributor yet so it's all long distance so to speak.

I decided to go this route for multiple reasons. Local terrain includes many steep hills, the finished product needed to be light enough for me to lift into a transit bus bike carrier, I have no access to a machine shop and zero experience with electric bikes. This kit seemed to offer all that I was looking for. Mostly I wanted the bottom bracket mount Unite motor, motor freewheel adapter and the freewheeling crank set. I also liked the light weight, quick release, easy to carry, complete with handle battery pack.

My first impression of what I received was that of a few surprises. The kit is accurately portrayed on the website. Packaging could have been better as the plastic chain guard is cracked and some paint was scratched on the cranks due to aggressive handling in shipping.

The surprises were that the battery charger did not include a cord to plug into an outlet and the chain guard for the motor sprocket was a no show. I decided to fashion my own rather than hassle Allan with more long distance shipping. I already popped off at him once and would like to continue doing business with him.

To be fair I have not contacted Allan about the damage and missing parts as I have some model glue to repair the chain guard, a spray can of satin black paint for the cranks from which the cap will make an acceptable drive sprocket chain guard with a little trimming and I picked up a power cable at work from the free bin. He has been a real gentleman to deal with and has been quite honest. I'm sure by now he has his start up issues dealt with and things are running smoother.

The donor bike is a 2001 Kona Blast that I got free with my Kona special edition Ford Focus ZX3 purchased back in 2000. Mid to high end ride in it's day ( the bike! ha ha ) complete with disc brakes. It only has a couple hundred miles on it due to some health problems I've been dealing with. The main reason I started exploring electric biking was that I miss riding but need help getting my now less than complete 52 year old harpoon scarred body up hills and any distance greater than a few miles.

While waiting for the kit the Blast has been converted to street configuration. Full 60mm speed eeze fenders from Planet Bike, Continental Town and Country 2.10 x 26 tires, Esge dual leg kickstand and The Seat from Ergo. One of those snoutless jobs to hopefully help preserve my manhood. Finally a 4 inch Delta stem riser to get me more upright when riding. More accessories to follow.

I chose the Esge stand because the Kona Out of Bounds frame has a very short rear triangle and no kickstand mounting bracket. I'll be using the stand and it's upper bracket as a sandwich to attach the rear of the motor mount to the frame.

The intent is to go with a Phil Wood bottom bracket but I'm not sure enough of the sizing yet to special order the one at $109 US plus $35 US retainers I think I need. Guessing a 68mm x 130mm R +5 to replace the stock 68mm x 113mm symmetrical cartridge. So I am getting some cups, bearings and the tools needed to assemble this with the supplied spindle for starters.

I'll be finalizing my shopping list and hopefully will have the bottom bracket stuff sorted out and purchased in the next couple of weeks. Thanksgiving holiday will slow this part of the project.

I'll then start the installation and report back in with the results. My intention is to install as is then make any refinements desired.

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Great blog. I look forward

Great blog. I look forward to reading your project's progression, especially how you rain-proof it!
( I live in WA too -- the PDX/Vancouver area :-)

--xyster
moderator

My rides

That lucky star still shines over me

I was hoping that I would have all of the bottom bracket parts and tools to start my conversion by now.....not.

Ordered everything from Harris because no one locally had any grade 25 ball bearings in stock.

Lo and behold after ordering from their website they informed me that they too were out and would send them in another week or so.

Shine on oh star of luck that blazes so brightly above me.

Report delayed, really, the dog ate my homework!

Feedback from the "Design Side"

Hi All

As Rick has mentioned in Blog Part 3 I am going to try and offer some insight into my decisions, trade-offs and possibly even cop-outs when I progressed the eLation design.

So starting with Rick's patience waiting for the kit. I expected to sell a few a month (if lucky) when I started selling the kit. After TV, Radio and paper coverage that went out the window and I was quite literally already in over my head. I expected to learn as I went on our to distribute a product, doh.

So here goes:
"Packaging could have been better as the plastic chain guard is cracked and some paint was scratched on the cranks due to aggressive handling in shipping. "
Yes this has been improved. The box we used was too large and no filler was provided.

"The surprises were that the battery charger did not include a cord to plug into an outlet and the chain guard for the motor sprocket was a no show."
Did not know what to do about cord as I do not have US plugs here, so decided not to send one. As market shifts so to will area specific items.
The guard that was original on was a disc of 1/8" HDPE and was glued on. I did not like this approach and removed it. A guard is being looked at made of similar material but fitted as part of motor bush.

Stay tuned in part 2.

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