Since then I've ridden the 32 km into work and back about 1200 times, for a total of 38,400 km!
Sadly, a few years ago I managed to dent the downtube near the bottom bracket, so eventually a crack appeared, which slowly migrated around the tube resulting in a gentle end to the frame.
The Lekkie/Bafang motor system was still going fine so I migrated it over to an old 1990s carbon-fiber Diamond Back frame.
- the Lekkie/Bafang mid-drive motor
- 610 Ahr, 36V (17Wh) battery - now 8 years old and still going OK! Note: it used to be able to run in full-power mode for the complete 32 km round trip. These days it'll still do one way in full-power mode. I have always charged it both at home and at work (I have two chargers) so the battery has spent most of the time either full or in use.
- Lekkie display controller and wiring loom
- my 36V front and rear "commuter" lights
- front forks (with disk brake) and handlebars (with grip throttle)
- mud guards
- Schwalbe Marathon (puncture resistant) tires
While I was at it I added:
- a new Bling Ring chainring which gives a noticeable improvement in the smoothness of the chain line. (It sounds much better.)
- a Onenut bottom bracket locking fastener (not visible in these photos).
Prior to building the first commuter e-bike I was a pure "one bike" person. I rode my full suspension mountain bike to work and back, on mountain bike rides, and on cycle touring holidays - so it took a bit of a mental shift to have a commuting only bike.
It was a mistake trying to be too pure. The commuting bike has quite a few advantages:
- the full mud guards are great for keeping my bike and clothes cleaner
- the electric motor means I'm not worn out by the 16 km commute in to work
- the bright front and rear lights are always on the bike and always charged (because they run off the main battery). Removable USB lights are actually a hassle.
- having a separate unimpressive/grubby-looking commuter bike reduces the odds of it being stolen
- having two bikes means if one I out-of-action I can still use the other one
As someone who plays with lithium ion cells a lot I'm still impressed that this 8-year-old battery pack is still doing the job.
2 Aug 2022