Everyone wants their bicycle to go faster, and thus take their places more quickly. Conventionally, traveling by bike can be slow, as you are limited by your own strength.
To overcome these hurdles, innovation has been thought of – adding a motor to the bike. This will invariably make the bike faster and also make it possible to travel over harsher terrains.
However, this installment may not always be easy, and that is why we will showcase how to put a motor on a mountain bike in particular because mountain bikes are usually the best for this job.
So, read this article through and through, and transform your ordinary bike into a speed and power monster in no time.
Why Do It In The First Place?
That’s a good question and one that needs to be answered first and foremost. Installing a motor on a bike does have its cost, so you should be fully aware of what you are doing and why you are doing it.
There are several reasons to do so, actually, and we will discuss a few top ones.
No doubt, this is the factor that plays behind everyone’s mind and is actually one of the foremost reasons people install motors on mountain bikes.
Compared to the usual speed, a motor will obviously boost speeds to greater levels and take you from point A to point B in a shorter amount of time.
Conquer Harsh Terrain
Another prime reason behind installing a motor on a bike is that you can traverse even very treacherous or tricky pathways with much more ease than before.
This mainly includes steep and inclined pathways or surfaces. With pedaling, there is only so much force you can exert.
However, when you bring a motor into the equation, climbing uphills is much faster, easier, and takes less effort.
You can also travel more smoothly over rocky and rough terrain without having to exert all that energy.
Installing a motor will also lead to a better workout, and this is especially true for people with heart conditions.
People with fragile conditions should not exert themselves too much, as a shortage of air will lead to a faster pumping heart, which could then prove dangerous.
For getting their dose of fresh air and exercise, such people could make full use of the motors and use it to their advantage.
They can take the bike for a spin in the early mornings and even attempt to climb dunes and small hills.
The exertion on the pedals will be much less, and their health will not be affected by that.
5 Things You Should Consider To Put A Motor on A Mountain Bike
While installing a motor can have several long-term benefits for the rider and the bike, there are still some things that must be considered when making this big decision.
Here, we will cover the top few so that you know about the basics.
Just like bikes, motors also have a variety of classes, sizes, powers, and types. Simply installing a motor will not do the trick if the motor itself is not suitable.
For bikes, the motor power is usually a standard 750W or 1 HP. This makes the bike fast, but not overly so.
For most riders, 750W is perfect, and few think of going beyond this limit. If you are installing a motor for general purposes, we think you should also stick to this rating.
Now, for pros or people who want to travel even harsher terrain, or want to take the speed to a maximum for training purposes, then more powerful motors obviously exist.
The battery should be of moderate to large capacity. This will prevent you from frequently having to charge it over and over again. A 40-48 Volt battery is a pretty good choice, all things considered.
Furthermore, for long distances and traveling, a high-capacity battery pack will ensure you do not run out of charge on the trail.
The best types of batteries are usually Li-ion batteries. These are much lighter than conventional batteries, have a lot of charges, and are also more durable.
When installing the motor, it is crucial to make sure that the frame of the bike does not collapse on itself and can actually take the given weight being attached.
Installing the motor and battery will obviously add a bit of weight to the overall frame, and a weak frame can easily break down.
Thus, you should pick a bike frame in advance and ensure that it can actually take the weight that is soon going to be applied.
Remember that after fixing the motor, the bike will be noticeably heavier than before. This extra weight is normal, and a good tradeoff between the power of the motor and the weight of the frame must be reached.
The newly installed battery pack, wiring, and motors have to fit right in, and in most cases, this installation space will take up the area between the handlebars.
There are some connectors and wiring to be installed, and if not fitted properly, the motor may not work.
A wide handlebar space will allow enough room for making sure all these components are properly fitted and joined with one another.
Just like the frame of the bike, the wheels also play an equally important role in the overall performance of the bike.
If the wheel is not strong enough, there is a chance it could give way to the weight of the bike and collapse. This could even happen when riding a bike on a highway or on dangerous terrain.
Hence, make sure you give the wheel some prior thought before purchasing the motor.
Installing The Motor on The Bike
Now come the main part and the crux of the topic. In this section, we will go over the steps you should undertake when installing the motor on the bike.
If you are an amateur who is doing this for the first time, then this section will be a good beacon to guide you through the process.
Even if you are a pro at this, you may still pick up some useful tips and tricks. So, without further ado, let us begin.
Step 1: Prepare Yourself
Preparing to install the motor involves, first and foremost, preparing yourself as well. This means getting the tools ready, putting on suitable attire, and so on.
Wrenches, pliers, and screwdrivers are a must-have. Alongside those, it is better to wear gloves as well, since your hands could get a bit dirty.
Some people will also advise you to wear overalls, but that’ sup to you.
Step 2: Prepare the Bike
The next step is the obvious one: to prepare the bike itself. Ideally, try to place the bike on an elevated level and try to raise it to the levels of your arm at least.
This will greatly reduce any crouching or getting into uncomfortable positions.
Step 3: Motor and Bike Frame Compatibility Check
The worst thing that could happen is that your motor is not compatible with your bike, and you realize this after setting things up.
If it fits, you will have to drill some holes into the frame and then pinpoint the location of where the motor will be placed.
Step 4: Bracket Removal
The next step involves some technicalities and also getting your hands a bit dirty as well. The bike brackets need to be removed to facilitate motor installation.
Start by removing the wheel that comes in the way of the battery. The rear wheel is mainly removed to ensure the battery is placed.
Also, be sure to remove the brake pads as well, as they touch with the frame. A pair of pliers and careful maneuvering should do the trick here.
Next up, remove the chain and make sure nothing else is attached to the wheels.
Step 5: Motor Installation
Now comes the installation of the motor. The motor is fixed on the frame at the position you have pre-determined.
In the motor installation kit, you will find a list of instructions to help you with this step. Basically, you have to secure the motor on the frame using some sort of mechanism.
This is usually a U bracket, which is found in the installation kit. The U bracket is tightened with a number of screws or bolts that go into the hole you drilled in the previous steps.
Make sure that the motor is securely fastened with the frame; otherwise, it could come off during rides, as there will be some vibrations produced.
Step 6: Refitting the Chain
Next up, refit the chain as it was before and also refit the wheel that you previously removed. The chain can be a tricky customer to deal with, so make sure you follow the rules given.
Also, make sure that the brakes are firm when the adjustments are made since you also removed the brakes in the previous step.
Step 7: Battery Installation
Now, you are almost at the end of the road, and the battery is all that is left. The battery comes with several connectors and wires.
The connectors go on the motor, and one connector goes into a speed gauge. Here, the battery needs to be handled with care, and gloves should be worn in this case to mitigate the effect of shocks if they occur.
Ideally, you could consider placing a cover over the battery once you are done installing it.
The cover acts as housing and prevents dirt and water from messing with the battery, which could otherwise lead to accidents.
Step 8: Double Checking
With the technicalities out of the way, you must now ensure that all the components are properly bolted.
This goes mainly for the wheel because if the wheels are not secured, then disaster could strike.
Also, double-check the wiring and connections that go out of the battery and into the motor.
Step 9: Test Run
Once you are done with everything, there is one final step to be completed: the test run!
The test run is very important before you hit the tracks or rough terrain because any mistake you may have made in the installation will be uncovered here.
If you do find any mistake or feel that things are a bit off, then go back to the garage and try to find it.
It is way better to spend more time readjusting minor errors than suffer a big loss when riding out in the open, where you may not have access to tools.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to install a motor on my bike?
Well, that depends on how well the motor is installed and how wisely you use it. For people who are just learning to ride a bike, we would not recommend installing a motor yet.
If you have a few years of biking experience up your sleeve, then a motor is more or less safe.
But ultimately, it is up to you to exercise due caution.
Is it legal to install a motor on a bike?
In most states and areas, it is legal. However, legal restrictions may change from time to time, so be sure to check with the authorities on this.
Will rainwater affect the motor?
The motor is sensitive to water, and thus rainwater may have a detrimental impact. Thus, you have to secure the motor properly during installation so that contact with water is minimized.
The same applies to the battery.
Do I need a license to ride a motorized bike?
This also depends on state rules and regulations. Some states or areas require a license, while others are more relaxed.
How else can I power the motor if I don’t want to include batteries?
Motors can also be powered with solar energy, i.e., sunlight and also petrol. Petrol motors are much more expensive.
Solar-powered motors are pretty good, but they depend on the sunlight, which could vary from time to time.
We hope you learned more than how to put a motor on a mountain bike by reading this article. As you now see, installing a motor is no easy task and depends on several factors, such as the motor type, handlebar space, etc.
Remember to take in all the factors when considering installing a motor, and be sure to follow our tips to get the best out of your motorized bike.
So, that is all for now from our side. We hope to write for you again soon enough and bring you more articles that will be equally enlightening.
Till then, happy bike riding!
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