How to Build A 35mph Electric Bike on the Cheap — Fabricate IO

Build electric Bicycle Motor

Electric Motors / September 24, 2016

My Electric Bicycle Project

I have been browsing the internet for over a year, trying to find a reasonably priced hub motor around which to build an electric bicycle. I ran across the website for Cycle 9. They sell a Nine Continent hub motor which they claim is "More efficient than Crystaltye, these motors easily compete in performance to some of the best out there, reaching speeds of 30mph without sucking down your battery." Their price for a hub motor laced into a 26 inch double wall rim was less than $200. I had seen hub motors advertised by Golden Motor for as little as $85.00, but counting shipping cost, finding and buying a rim and the correct size 12 gage spokes, plus the labor to have someone lace the rim to the motor, the total cost would be closer to $300.00. So I ordered the motor from Cycle 9.

The plan was to use this motor with a controller that I had previously bought from Kelly Controls to modify my electric scooter for higher speed. This controller had not worked out for the scooter, but over the past couple of years, I have learned that there is more to hooking up an alternate controller than meets the eye at first glance. I also had two other controllers which I had experimented with, in case I did not get satisfactory results from the Kelly

  • For My bike, I had several goals in mind.
  • Flat road speeds of about 30 MPH
  • Ability to climb a 10% grade
  • 20 mile range
  • Regenerative braking on steep hills

Along with the motor, I ordered a thumb throttle, a six speed freewheel, and a torque arm. I wasn't able to complete my order online due to some technical difficulties with their online order procedure, but I called them up, and they cheerfully accepted my credit card and processed my order. They also talked me into ordering a 6 speed freewheel instead of a 7 speed, which would be harder to fit. I was impressed with how they handled me as a new customer.