Dylan’s E bike project

Having messed with the Torqueedo Chris sent me I am now thinking about converting one of my bikes to electric power - it should make an interesting project now that I will not be winter sailing in scotland

You can now buy motors that fit down near the crank - they cost between £300 and £500 depending on power

the battery, which will go on a luggage rack will cost another £300.

I have two bikes to choose from

this 21 speed

or The Vicar



the mid ebike motor drives through the gears.


I will keep you guys posted on the progress of the project.


if anyone has any ideas, personal experience, links to videos or urls please let me know






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

14 Responses to “Dylan’s E bike project”

  1. 10 August, 2017 at 12:52 pmSteve says:

    …I appreciate this negates the project, but if you’re short of the spondollicks for the KTL project would it not make more sense to buy one ready built? These days it’s almost always cheaper than buying separate components as the manufacturers make bulk savings we can’t… eBay for second hand? You can scratch the project itch by getting one and doing it up?

  2. 10 August, 2017 at 1:29 pmAndy Davis says:

    I’m with Steve, this is really not very good value; complete e-Bikes start at around £400, so a DIY kit for £800 that requires you to supply your own bike seems bonkers.

  3. 10 August, 2017 at 2:51 pmdylan winter says:

    I have bought very cheap bikes in the past….they seldom last very well

    the other reason is that the Vicar – the black bike – is extremely comfortable and a handsome bike to boot

    I don’t think I could get an electric bike of similar quality and big man’s comfort for £800

  4. 10 August, 2017 at 10:09 pmJim Legere says:

    Dylan, what I think is bonkers is converting a perfectly good exercise vehicle to a lazy man’s e-bike. I am the same age as you and a similar ‘build’ (judging by your videos). Frankly, I need all the exercise I can get. A bike is a lot cheaper and healthier than a gym membership. Get out there and pedal those cranks man!

  5. 10 August, 2017 at 10:16 pmEd Bourgoine says:

    Sounds like an interesting project, have you given any thought to where you will mount the solar panels and/or wind generator?

  6. 10 August, 2017 at 10:29 pmdylan winter says:

    I agree – in part. However, the electric outboard means that I row much further. I row on the easy bits and put the electric outboard on for the harder bits. As for a Gym…..not any more.


  7. 10 August, 2017 at 10:33 pmdylan winter says:

    hoping to put solar panels on the roof.

  8. 10 August, 2017 at 10:56 pmdylan winter says:

  9. 12 August, 2017 at 1:33 pmDon W. says:

    I’ve considered constructing an e-bike on several occasions over the past 2 or 3 years. Although I love the idea and concept, in practice, my DIY project list now stretches well into the 2020’s. Home remodeling, sailboat refurbishing, and, hey!, what about that duck punt?! So the idea of *you building* an e-bike while *I watch* you build it–and, better yet, watch you spend *your money* on the parts–just tickles my vicarious innards no end, D. Go for it, bro!

    To that end, you might want to give the “Mr. Money Mustache” Web site a close look (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/). Written by, and targeted toward, Millennials (“financial freedom through badassity”), the articles and ideas on the site work well for this retired MOB, too.

    A search on the site for e-bikes (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/?s=e-bike) produces a number of good hits, including:

    — a “recipe” for building an e-bike (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2016/05/25/recipe-for-a-badass-diy-electric-mountain-bike/), which includes a complete breakdown of his rationale for purchasing each part.
    — an article on building vs. buying (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2015/08/31/electric-bike-reviews/). I like the picture of the author doing wheelies in the snow. We get a lot of that around here.
    — and, my personal favorite, how to build a *trailer* for your e-bike (or regular bike) so you can haul major appliances (or sailing dinghies?) around behind you as you pedal your way through your Golden Years. (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/06/23/how-to-carry-major-appliances-on-your-bike/). Tallyho! If you’re gonna build an e-bike, D, how about committing to build a stout trailer for it, too? Seems like the righteous thing to do.

    Looking forward to subsequent blog posts on this brand new adventure.


  10. 13 August, 2017 at 6:46 amdylan winter says:

    excellent links – just spent an hour there

    learned a lot – thanks Don

  11. 16 August, 2017 at 9:19 pmJules says:

    Bloody hell, it sounds like things have come full circle….. I had a trailer on the back of a push bike when I was a kid !.

  12. 18 August, 2017 at 11:57 amNeil says:

    I have the grave misfortune to be both a keen sailor and cyclist, so you can imagine the state of my shed!!! I can understand wanting to build rather than buy, as the cheap e-bikes I’ve seen look pretty nasty. from the pictures, it looks like ‘The Vicar’ has a trusty Sturmey Arc 3 speed hub, which means it will have 1/2 by 1/8″” chain. Most modern bikes are 1/2 by 3/32″” I’d be surprised if you could find an e-drive which runs on 1/2 by 1/8th. You can get different rear sprockets for the gear hub, but that’s specialist (and expensive) kit. You might do better to buy a 2nd hand bike as your start point. Or if you already have an electric outboard, couldn’t you just replace the water propeller with an air propeller and clamp it on the back???? Totally impractical, but the videos would be worth watching!!!

  13. 19 August, 2017 at 7:24 pmAndrew Wilkinson says:

    For battery power I would look to see if power tool battery’s can be utilised. Probably more cost effective and dual purpose.

  14. 27 August, 2017 at 10:03 amColin says:

    Very interested in how you get on. I still cycle every day, really bad weather excepted, and I’m finding it harder on the hills than I used to. My dilemma is I love my old bike so don’t want to stop using it. I’ve thought about a conversion but you get such conflicting views I’ve held off from doing it. Please post a video if you go ahead.

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