I do hope you have followed along with this project. If you are just getting started, links to the first 7 articles are at the bottom of this post. I suggest you read (or re-read) them all to get up to speed on all the info I have offered. I won’t go over it all again now, yet I do want to re-establish that I found it a great bike to ride, it met all my goals, and you can create your own perfect bike like this for your commuting or everyday rides. This post will show every part used, your personal options and the costs involved.
Of course there are unlimited options, from what bike you use, to what E-conversion kit you take advantage of, to all the accessories that you think are important. I used the word “ULTIMATE” to lend towards having the best, yet better could have been accomplished. And even more important, having the best isn’t necessary, yet having ‘good enough’ isn’t necessarily the best idea. It is up to you to decide what it will take to make your “ULTIMATE”.
Prices and Options—-What I spent—what was donated—what you might spend
I used a second hand bike. You might make yours from a bike you already have, or a brand new quality machine. I fully reworked mine, something that could be needed for yours, yet with a newer or new bike you can most likely bypass this step. Some of these items you might need (or want). Pay particular attention to the ‘items carried’ list for things you should take with you on every bike ride, not just for commuting.
$25—-my initial outlay for the bike———————$0 to 1500 might be your price here.
$0–new donated pair of Serfas tires—list price $85—$0 to 100 depending on your needs.
$20-new purchased thorn-resistant tubes————$0 to 20 depending on your needs.
$5–new purchased bottle of Slime tube sealant———-$0 to 5 depending on your needs.
$10—-grease, polish, cleaners, misc—————————————$0 to 10 if needed.
$12—-purchased brake & shifter inner cables————————–$0 to 12 if needed.
$0—–brake cable noodles donated by North Park Bikes————-$0 to 5 if needed.
$18—purchased Serfas brake pads—————————————$0 to 18 if needed.
$12—purchased Greenfield kickstand———————————–$0 to 25 if needed.
$12—-bell, Crane, already had——————————————–$0 to 12 if needed.
$3—–shifter, NOS, already had——————————————$0 to 20 if needed.
$0—–donated Serfas grips—list price $24—————————–$0 to 30 if needed.
$0—–donated Serfas RX saddle—list price $56———————$0 to 150 if needed.
Electric Conversion Kit
Here is another area of many options. I used the eRAD mid-drive from Lectric Cycles. For many I would recommend a hub motor conversion, yet all in one E-conversion wheels and electric (push) trailers are also good ways to go. No matter what you decide, get a kit from a reputable maker (supplier). And without a doubt, get with a quality lithium battery for it. The capacity of the battery will help decide its range, so make sure to get one that will handle your needs.
I used the 500 watt, 36 volt kit that included the shift detector (throttle interrupt). They now only offer 48 volt kits, that list for about $995 for a comparable unit to the one I used. Your battery options from them range from $695 to $1095. Figure on spending from $800 to $2200 for a decent electric conversion kit no matter which one you choose.
$0—eRAD mid-drive motor (on loan from Lectric Cycles) (500 watt)—–list $895
$0—Lectric Cycles Slimline 36 v-13.8 Ah battery (on loan)—————–list $1095
$0—–donated BikeSmart saddle bag—list $50————–$0 to 100 if wanted.
$0—–donated BodyFloat seatpost——-list $300————$0 to 300 if wanted.
$0—donated Moto Reflex Pedals———-list $60————-$0 to 60 if wanted.
$0—donated Torch T2 lighted helmet—–list $140———–$0 to 140 if wanted.
$0—donated Serfas super HD chain lock—list price $90—$0 to 150–recommended.
$0—donated Serfas cable lock—for secured areas————list $26—needed.
$0—donated Serfas light duty cable lock for saddle———–list $22—optional.
$0—-Serfas 2500 lumen headlamp—won in Facebook contest—–list price $425
$0—-donated Serfas taillight————————————————–list price $50
$0—-donated Serfas frame bag to hold battery & store headlamp–list price $33
$0—-donated LightMeUp Safety Lights—LED Wheel Lights———list price $30
$0—-donated ORP Smart Horn & Light w/remote switch————–list price $70
$19—Minoura handlebar accessory mount————————————————
$0—donated Serfas backup headlamp– charges from USB———–list $100
$0—donated Serfas backup taillight——-charges from USB———-list $75
$0—½ roll toilet paper in baggie——————————————————–
$0—local bike paths map—————————————————————–
$0—local road maps———————————————————————–
$0—donated Serfas tire pump—part of combo pack———————list $40
$0—tube repair kit——————–part of Serfas combo pack——————-
$0—multi-tool—pretty nice———part of Serfas combo pack——————-
$0—pair of tire levers—————-part of Serfas combo pack——————-
$0—donated Serfas high-end multi-tool————————————–list $ 23
$3—2 bungee cords—-already had—————————————————-
$3—Park Tool glueless tube patches————————————————–
$20–paper money and pocket change for emergencies——————————
$0—spare tube in baggie——came with bike—————————————
$8—2 ID dog tags w/medical info—1 to wear & 1 attached to seat rails———
$0—15mm combo wrench for wheel nuts—-already had————————–
$0—donated Serfas saddle bag to carry much of above——————-list $24
Once I started using my trailer it was hard to quit. Having it was so convenient, it just made continual sense. I have had it for years, yet without the E-assist, I didn’t use it that often. I got it for free, yet for this project I gave it a full one-over and face-lift. That included greasing the bearings, fresh tires, tubes and Slime, plus a new antenna and lighting. I nicknamed this whole project my “rig” once the riding started.
$0—-bike trailer—-already had———————————list $ 90 to 300?
$0—-tires———— already had———————————–list $40 to 80
$5—-Slime tube sealant————————————————————–
$?—-grease and cleaners———————————————————–
$0—-donated LightMeUp Safety Lights for wheels and antenna–list $45
$10—basic flashing taillight———————————————————-
$0—–bag to carry misc extras—-already had————————————–
$0—-spare tube—-came with trailer————————————————-
$0—-tire pump——-already had—————————————————–
$0—-½ roll toilet paper—————————————————————-
$10—paper money and spare change————————————————
$0—–misc tools and maps———————————————————–
I think you can see from the above figures your basic minimum here for an E-converted bike is around $800, if you already have the bike to convert and get an OK conversion kit. This figures into not getting any of the extras (some I strongly recommend and others are just cool to have). Spending more to have a better E-conversion kit makes big sense when you are counting on this bike to get you to work on time with no hiccups, one reason I went with the eRAD from Lectric Cycles.
If I had purchased all of the items I used, the grand total would be a whopping $3900, really not that much if you consider the gas-powered 4 wheel alternative (and all that goes with that undesirable way to commute). That doesn’t include the trailer, something I loved, yet not needed for many. I think you can see that several of the items I didn’t fully need, yet they were great to have, and really helped make this project bike the “ULTIMATE” for me. And, as you look at that $3900, how does that compare with many high-end ready-to-ride E-bikes? And when you buy one of those, all you get is the bike, none of the extras or carried items I had with me all the time.
The total would have been higher if I had started with a more expensive bike, yet many of the repair items wouldn’t have been needed. If you go into a project like this and all you have in mind is the bottom line, you may not end up with the bike you want and need. It is fully up to you to decide your directions and desires when it comes to your ultimate commuting E-bike.
I personally spent $172 for this project, yet in the end, after returning the E-conversion kit that Lectric Cycles loaned me, I just had a great non-powered hybrid bike, something I am still using for other E-bike conversion kit tests (I have another cool one on it right now). I had my regrets about returning the eRAD motor kit and battery, yet I was over it pretty quickly. I have other bikes to ride and the nice E-bikes for test reviews are coming and going all the time. Still, I really loved the way this whole project E-bike came together.
The last thing I didn’t cover is the time and labor put into this project. For me it was fun and exciting. For some it could be a pain and a headache. Many will have to lay over a pile of cash to their mechanic for all this. I can’t say for sure just how many hours I spent building this “ULTIMATE”, yet I can assure you it didn’t happen overnight. Most E-bike conversions take 2-4 hours for the basic install. You can see I did way more than that before the riding started.
In reality, I spent more time writing and composing these 8 posts, and preparing the photos and videos, than I did building the bike. And I spent even more time riding it, to get the full feel for everything it has to offer. It has been great getting to do this project, and the end result has been so satisfying.
And I can’t wrap this up without giving big thanks to all the companies and shops that helped out with the pieces I needed to make it all happen. I put in the thought and sweat on my end, yet support is important. Below are links to each of their websites and Facebook pages. Once again, thank you.
Convert your bike and ride it, Turbo Bob.
Articles 1 though 7 links
Some of the many videos I posted on this project bike.
Lectric Cycles—E-bike conversion kits & complete E-bikes
Serfas—Bike accessories of all kinds
Cirrus Cycles—BodyFloat isolation seat post
LightMeUp Safety Lights—Bike lights of all kinds
Moto Cycles—Moto Reflex Pedals
Torch Apparel—T2 lighted helmet