Convert any bicycle into a battery driven electric + pedal hybrid
Hi there! I'm Myshkin, a long time fan of electric bicycles.
Got started with DIY ebikes, and eventually ended up as an engineer on the Copenhagen Wheel project at MIT.
[Now spun off as Superpedestrian]
Butterscotch started as a very personal effort: I wanted a simple, usable, easy to run and easy to maintain electric bicycle, to use for my daily commute.
My attempt is to simplify conversion kits so that anyone in their home, using simple tools, can convert their regular daily use bicycle into a hybrid.
Here are the general rules I've tried to follow
1. No particular special skills should be needed for the conversion.
A simple set of instructions, on paper and online. Clear, concise.
2. No particular specialized tools should be needed for the conversion.
Allen keys, spanners. Assembly at home or with the help of any local road-side bicycle mechanic.
3. The resulting electric bicycle should not require any specific daily or weekly maintenance, over and beyond a regular bicycle.
Sturdy and rugged is good.
4. Battery should be detachable and easy to carry indoors, easy to charge.
And if needed, easy to lock onto the frame
And finally, but most importantly
5. The whole thing should be FUN to ride
The joy of cycling, in my opinion, is in coasting along. Freewheeling along a beautiful country road, wind in your hair.
The system should not overwhelm with technology, should not obfuscate or take away, from this simple joy.
You're on a bicycle, free from the world.
And that's a beautiful thing.
Principles behind the design
The butterscotch ebike conversion kit is not a particularly complicated piece of technology. My main focus has been to assemble things as simple, rugged and easy maintenance as possible. Whatever anyone tells you - things will break. And when they do, it is better to have replacement parts available quickly and without inordinate expense.
I've strived to have as many parts 'off the shelf' as possible on the kits - so that even in the unfortunate event of a breakdown far from home, you are not necessarily left to human pedaling effort to get you back. Switches, clamps, connectors, wires, casing, etc are all designed for easy 'on-the-road' replacement, with perhaps a little help from a road-side mechanic, as needed.
If you really are up for it, I would actually recommend that you go DIY: Buy different parts, assemble stuff, tinker around. I urge you to explore by yourself. Try by doing, and learn by failing. It's the only way, its the best way, it's definitely the most fun way :)
And if you do go DIY, I hope you have as much fun as I did, assembling these kits!