How To Build An Ebike From Scratch: Assembly (General Notes)

We’re finally to the nitty gritty: Actually assembling our parts pile into an ebike. This quick foreword will set down some final notes before we pick up the wrenches and begin.

Introduction
Step 1: Planning
Step 2: Hunting
Step 3: Tinkering
Step 4: Buying
Step 5: Assembling (you are here)
Build Day 1
Build Day 2
Build Day 3
Step 6: Perfecting
Tools List

Here We Go!

The assembly process that we have finally arrived at after all of the other steps in this saga should actually go pretty quickly, right? Well… it will only if you’re lucky. Lets just go over a couple of quick things.

The Build Section Will Change

That is not a guarantee, but it is highly likely. I plan to update and revise the text over time as better instruction videos are uncovered, or I do detailed, photo-supported, step-by-step work myself.

I mean… how detailed do I get here? Right off the bat starting the Day 1 post, I found I could write enough to fill an entire page if all I did was try to cover the bases on a very tight tire and tube install, factoring in things like tire liners, sealant and so on. I had to put a sock in it (as you’ll see in that section) and assume a certain minimum level of ability on the part of the builder (thats you). I also relied on already existing, good vids on installing whatever sub-assembly was the subject of the moment.

And still the Day 1 post ran just under 7400 words. I think thats a record for this site.

Over time I may expand a ‘Day’ build post to multiple linked posts and get very detailed on specific tasks. Or simply move sideways and change one set of instructions for something better? Time will tell, but I am leaning towards expanding each individual sub-assembly to an individual article.

For now, If I try and paint the Mona Lisa out of the gate, this series will be an unfinished masterpiece that does no one any good. Better to get something usable up now and refine it over time.

Expect The Unexpected

Unless you are DIRECTLY following a blueprint from some other identical build, with identical parts, chances are really, really good something is going to hang you up at some point.

  • Something that is not supposed to be a giant pain in the ass, but turns out to be exactly that.
  • Something that you have every reason to think is only going to take a few minutes introduces a wrinkle and turns into half a day’s work. Or worse.

You are creating something. Creation doesn’t always go according to plan. Expect this, and roll with it. Don’t let it get you upset. Just get to work, and remember you can always walk away from the project for a short time if whatever it is thats hanging you up is taking the fun out of the process.

Walking away from a brain teaser can be the best way to solve it as the solution will oftentimes pop into your head as you mull it over from the safety of your sofa or the driver’s seat in your car.

You Can’t Win ‘Em All

Keep in mind that failure is always an option 😀 Know when to walk away from an idea you thought would be cool to do if thats what it takes to keep the project moving.

For instance, I intended – as part of an overall effort at bulletproofing this bike’s wheels from flats – to install Tannus Armour when I installed tires and tubes on Assembly Day 1. I failed, and probably wasted an hour on the attempt. I have Tannus on several of my bikes and the ease of installation ranges from simple to horrific. Add in the fact that Tannus Armour is acknowledged by the manufacturer to compress thin over time, which significantly reduces its effectiveness.

I had decided that even a thin armour plating is better than none, so I was OK with that. But this latest installation failure was not my first, and represented one failure too many. I have three bikes’ worth of inserts sitting around now that could not be put into a wheelset and thats a lot of wasted money. There are other ways to flatproof a tire that don’t cost as much and don’t suffer from this installation weakness.

Chip Away in Advance Where You Can

You might consider tackling standalone elements of the project in advance of the actual build event. There won’t be many of these, but one likely candidate is to finalize your wheel assembly. Put tubes and tires onto your wheel. Add your brake rotors. Put sealant in the tubes. Having wheels ready to mount will save you time when you are ready to put them onto the frame (for this project, I wasn’t able to do this).

One unique element done outside of the build days was a custom motor cover. After I was done with Tinkering, I changed my motor cover to a Lekkie version that allows the use of a special, smaller 40T front chainring. All in, counting some extra fiddling thanks to the need to deal with a surprise screw-length issue, it was a couple of hours worth of work (if I had to do it again, I would take less than half that since that was my first time at the job).

But enough of that.

Lets Begin

Author: m@Robertson

I'm responsible for the day-to-day operations at my place of business: Leland-West Insurance Brokers, Inc. We do classic and exotic car insurance all across these United States. I'm also an avid auto enthusiast, a born again cyclist (i.e. an ebiker) and participate in medium and long range CMP and NRA sanctioned rifle competitions.

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