Lekkie E-bike Conversion

Way back in 2014 I built up a commuter e-bike using a Lekkie conversion kit.

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.

I transferred:

  • 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

2022 conversion on a 1990s carbon fiber Diamond Back frame

Front end with 36V front light - taking power from main power wires coming out of the battery cradle.

Rear end showing three red LED strips - made by stringing three 12V LED strips together in series, then connected to the 36V power wires coming out of the battery cradle

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).

General thoughts

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.

Cheers, Paul
2 Aug 2022

Page last modified on August 02, 2022, at 10:48 am
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