ebike II – a joyful choice

I spent some time on the web.

here in the uk on the road you can have a 250 watt motor - no higher and still be legal.

You can buy 350 and 500 watt and even higher systems but they are illegal. The police do not care that much but if you have an accident then they will nobble you for driving a moped with no licence, tax, insurance if it is over the 250 watts

and it seems that there are three different retro fit ebike kits

1/ rear wheel - you buy a rear wheel for about £200 and it replaces your existing wheel

and then you put your rear cog set on that and away you go.


That is fine for a derailer set but useless for a three speed sturmey archer as I have on the black roadster (new bike description to me)

2/the cheapest is the front wheel conversion at about £120


I don't fancy being dragged around. If front wheel drive on a bike was a good idea they would have it on motorbikes.

3/then there is is mid drive - which comes in at about £350. This works by replacing the crank with a new crank and a motor. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BAFANG-M8-Electrically-Power-Assisted-Cycles-EPAC-Mid-Drive-System-BBS-01B-02B/262503662804?epid=1675346230&hash=item3d1e7004d4%3Am%3AmQfJlrs0lg18PAlz11jfo3w&var=

this works through the gears - which seems like a good idea


I could of course buy a bike with a mid drive for about £1200


the other consideration is where the battery goes

on the frame

or on the rack

I prefer rack mount because I am used to the weight being over the back wheel as that is where I carry my camera.

So I arrived at the point where I would convert the vicar - the roadster - the black three speed to electric

just one snag

the vicar is imperial - ebike kits are metric

So now I have to buy a bike

looking around there are the dutch three speed bikes


Now as luck would have it my daughter is coming home from amsterdam this weekend and I have been given instructions to drive to amsterdam to pick her up

so I will buy a big dutch three speed bike while I am there

unless I find the right electric bike second hand while I am there.

Are there any dutchmen out there prepared to help me find the right bike for a 6 foot 14 stone englishman, three speed gear box, back pedal brakes. Already electtric perhaps?

I will be in amsterdam monday morning.


This is about Dylan Winter's Blog, Sailing around Britain.

13 Responses to “ebike II – a joyful choice”

  1. 2 September, 2017 at 9:50 amHerman Verheij says:


    There will be bicycle-shops everywhere. Try googling ‘rijwielhandel’, ‘fietsenwinkel’, ‘rijwielen’ or ‘fietsen’ in combination with ‘Amsterdam’and you’re bound to find some. Or go to the bicycle-parking at one of the railway-stations, they usually sell second-hands, or will be happy to tell you where to go.

    Good hunting!


  2. 2 September, 2017 at 11:32 amApplescruffs says:

    I’m very interested to see how this pans out,

    I’ve got a Pashley Roadster and it weighs a ton so I’ve been thinking about fitting a motor for a while, problem is its got 28″ wheels, hub brakes back and front and sturdy archer 5 speed gears so fitting the wheel motor is not an option.

    The crank motor looks favourite for me but seems more complicated to fit ??

    Good luck with the project whichever one you go for



    PS: Amsterdam eh? …..


  3. 2 September, 2017 at 1:32 pmPeter Truelove says:

    If you buy one on Amsterdam it will probably be left hand drive. Could you cope with that Dylan ?

  4. 2 September, 2017 at 2:00 pmdylan winter says:

    good point pete

    maybe I can have it converted!

  5. 2 September, 2017 at 2:00 pmdylan winter says:

    two hour job apparently

    your bike sounds perfect for conversion


  6. 2 September, 2017 at 4:15 pmTed B. Charging Rhino says:

    Having gears sound like a good idea for hills and crossing bridges. And staying clear of the “moped rules” saved a lot of insurance headaches, and the restrictions of where you can ride a moped; sidewalks, “pedestrians only” High Streets, etc…

    I’ve been looking at a few folding mopeds looking for one compact-enough and light-enough to stow in a hardcase forwards of the the mast on-deck for my Chesapeake and Delaware Bays project. So far I haven’t found the right balance. Here it can be miles from dock to the Kroger, with little or no taxi or Uber available.

  7. 2 September, 2017 at 5:34 pmstevec says:

    not sure I agree with your quick rejection of front wheel option – the only disadvantage I can think of to front wheel drive is less traction due to your weight being disproportionately over the rear wheel – but this would be countered to some degree by the greater weight of the powered front wheel in itself (and you keep your sturmey archers)

    as for why not on motor bikes? – much trickier proposition

  8. 2 September, 2017 at 8:21 pmRob Heath says:

    Hi Dylan, Sue and I both have Raleigh Motus e bikes which have a Bosch mid drive motor through a 10 speed deraillier. The motor driveing through the gears works really well, and with 5 levels of assist is a bit like having a 50 speed gearbox!! I have heard good reports of the Bafang units, and as you say these fit in in place of the standard bottom bracket. The Bosch unit requires a custom frame to mount. Have fun whatever you end up with

  9. 3 September, 2017 at 9:40 pmRonG says:

    I used to have great fun on a Solex when I was a kid. There are still Velosolex available I think. Electric front wheel drive would probably be faster, definitely quieter and the c.g would be reassuringly lower in case you got a good wobble going.

  10. 3 September, 2017 at 10:17 pmdylan winter says:

    I had one of these

  11. 4 September, 2017 at 9:45 pmBryanD says:

    Of course there has been a front wheel drive motorcycle, check out the Megola Motorcycle, a 640cc 5 cylinder rotary engine, no clutch or gearbox and capable of 96mph:


    Or for your Imperial Vicar’s Bike try the BSA Winged wheel:


    You should have guessed the MOB would take up the challenge.

  12. 5 September, 2017 at 12:48 pmdylan winter says:

    well web ferreted BD – both out of production I notice

    that front wheel drive is amazing

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