A Day's Work


Active Member
City of Dreams
More like an afternoon, but I took some me time and put a motor on a bike that I have been piecing together from free stuff:


The bike, a Rocky Mountain Fanatik, came without wheels, chain, or rear derailleur. The rear wheel is now an unused Nuvinci 360 hub in a new eyeleted 24 inch rim (I did buy the tire and inner tube for the wheel.) Otherwise, it all came from a pile of free bike parts. Just couldn't resist doing a build around that Nuvinci! I also bought a Shimano roller brake for the hub. I swapped out the front fork for one from a donor bike for more height, and so too with the front wheel.

I made sure it was rideadble before I sprung for the motor, a 36v Tongsheng TSD2b.

With the bottom bracket removed:


The motor is on. I must say the finish quality of the motor is very good. It's such a cute little thing that I wish I had taken a picture of it before the installation.


With the chain on! I bought a chain tensioner, for a Shimano IGH I found out, so it was jury rigged with a longer bolt and more washers.


There is a stabilizer that clamps between the chain stays and the motor. It doesn't fit. I could easily fab up a clamp for it, but those chain stays move. Haven't figured out what to do there yet. Been thinking about a flexible link. I have a piece of an old conveyor belt to cut a link from, that might work?

I'll hook up the electronics later, but I did do a test pedal around the neighborhood. Ordered a front 2 ring chainwheel. It hasn't arrived yet, but the bike needs lower gearing to make it pedalable on moderate hills.

The plan is to use a spare Huffy Oslo battery on the rear rack for testing. I'd really like a battery that fits on top or underneath the downtube. There's about 8 cm+ above the downtube. Maybe a water bottle battery underneath if there's clearance? Haven't figured what to do about the battery either.

On it's first powered ride I will find out if the bike is truly rideable. It could be that I wasted my time and money, but, after all, the motor and battery are transferable, and the bicycle is just a bicycle. My third conversion so far, and all three are such different beast. It's a learning experience, I guess.
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I put the other electric stuff on the bike today. Below is the throttle test:


Ready to roll, take one:


On the first ride the connectors pulled out of battery power. Damned suspension!
Second try:


I got a brief surge of motor power on my first attempt. I fixed the power supply problem, but didn't notice then that the motor had shifted forward. So I found out what that stabilizer clamp does. I think I can fix that problem with some epoxy goo.

Here, I'm back from a successful second test ride:


It's going to take a bit smooth the rough edges off this build. I have a BBS02 bike I put together -- a cleaner build and a quieter motor, but he TSDZ2 seems to do its job, and the torque sensing PAS works fine.

The steering seems heavy, but stable. I changed the geometry and the weight distribution so there is some concern. I'm used to quick steering, like you think you turn. This ain't that. Ultimately this build is for someone shorter than I am, and quite a bit lighter too. So, I'll need to get them on the bike when it's ready for service.

I'm trying to build a quality ebike for less money. There is a growing glut of decent low mileage acoustic bikes out there as the ebike surge takes over bicycling. Converted, they might be a better ebike than some of those consumer ebikes out there.
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Version 3.
I put handle bars with more rise on them. Went on my longest bike ride with it to date and the bike handles really well. The rear roller brake is suboptimal at the moment. The Nuvinci 360 hub is great, though is doesn't have enough gear ratio. I absolutely need that 2 sprocket chainwheel that I ordered that, hopefully, is being shipped from China.

I must say that the performance of the 36v TSDZ2b is underwhelming. This build was by design to be a lower power, lower speed bike, and it does do that; but my 250 watt rear hub motor Huffy Oslo kicks this bikes a**. Granted, I put a new controller and gearing on the Oslo, but a 250 watt hub drive beating a 350 watt mid-drive? Version 4 waits in the wings.
Maybe the TSDZ2b will cool better than the hub motor on hills. I burnt a 350 w bafang on the 60th hill of a 77 hill route. Admittedly I was using 48 v on it instead of 36 it was rated for, but it was so wimpy with a dropping resistor! I'm going back tomorrow to a 1000 w 48 v Mac12t hub motor I burnt the connector off of in the rain 7/21, That motor would climb the 12% hills 3 times faster than the bafang, leading to shorter max power times. Had about 3000 miles on the Mac before the rain fell on the tiny ASI controller connector & shorted across. Only way to buy another mac is to dance to alibaba's tune.
I have a couple TSDZ2 motors that I've put on and taken off of several bikes, things that may or may not be helpful:
For most bikes I didn't use the chainstay bracket, instead I rotated the motor housing forward, put dense rubber pads between the housing and the down tube and tightened the bottom bracket lock ring very securely. No problems with a combined few thousand miles of use.
I had a Nuvinci N360 on one bike and found the roller brake inadequate, my N360 came with a disc brake adapter (as well as the roller brake adapter that it came installed with) so I switched to disc brake. BTW there is a special, expensive and unobtainable Nuvinci tool to remove the brake adapter from the hub but I was able to remove the adapter easily with a two pin spanner instead (correction, I used two two pin spanners).
The Nuvinci has a fairly wide gearing range but if it isn't indexed correctly you won't get the full range. There is a Park Tool video detailing the proper way to index the hub.
My TSDZ2 are fairly quiet, similar to Yamaha mid drive, but definitely louder at higher pedaling rpm/cadence climbing hills - very quiet at lower cruising cadence.
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Thanks for the suggestions EMGX.
I did watch the Park Tool video, and also followed the manf. install instructions. The shifter does its full travel and the hub's ratio changes through out, but for me I need a lower "gear". I have a double sprocket chainwheel ordered, and that should fix my "gearing". Couldn't source a disk brake adapter for the hub, and, yes, the Nuvinci tool price is exorbitant. So, for the moment I'm stuck with the roller brake. I'll use your motor stabilization method, and I have the perfect piece of rubber for it to cut out of an old sewage hose.
Post up pictures when you install it. My concern with a double chainring would be chainline, they're not dished chainrings are they? Also the front derailleur might not have enough reach since the tongsheng displaces the chainring outboard, which is why they use dished chainrings in the first place. I used a 34t dished single chainring that attaches directly without the spider and it worked OK but apparently it doesn't fit the newer tsdz2 "b" motors.

You also might be able to put a larger rear sprocket on the N360.

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Oh, I have no idea other than it was advertised for the motor, a 34/42. I await its arrival, and will post pictures of the install (though it may be lost at sea for all I know.) I like the speed on the flats with the stock 42, but the motor needs a lower range to go up the steeper hills that I travel. I think this will "fix" this bike. It's actually getting fun to ride, but it's taking quite of tinkering to get there.
Any chance of some detailed photos of the cradle you use for that boat on the box trailer? ( I'm about to do the same with my son)
Sure! Here's a couple of pictures. The bunks are 1x6's, everything else is 1x or 2x4's. All held together with deck screws.
Much smarter than what I had intended - I was going to try and replicate the hull shape across rather than along the trailer. Thanks
Yay! Sometimes I build something elegant. Don't know if the boat cradle counts, but at 30 years it has stood the test of time (outside of replacing some rotten wood and rusted screws.)
Well, I put the 34/42 front chain rings on the Tongsheng and after jury rigging the front derailleur I got it to reliably shift between the two chainrings.



The bike is now within my acceptable range of performance, which ain't much from my experience with a 36v TSDZ2b! But don't she look fast?

Next is the battery box.

So, out of a pile of discarded bicycle parts I built a a full suspension CVT mid-drive ebike for 500+ bucks. Some might say " it looks like it." :rolleyes:
Only way to buy another mac is to dance to alibaba's tune.
48v battery on a 36v motor? h silly.
Whats the problem with Cutler Mac? They’ll sell you a motor. If you fried the ASI it’s on you for a bad install. Undersized wiring? Next time treat connections like the big boys do. ACF 50 or Boeshield. Rain riding for nearly a decade and no shorts here.
Take the 30mm M8 stainless hex cap screw and wrap it with old inner tube and electrical tape. Then move the motor up against that and the downtube. That will secure the motor and give ground clearance on the full suspension. If the piece of inner tube is 7" long and 30mm wide, that is ideal. Then slice out a V so it looks like a snake's tongue. That will give a stability notch when wrapped.
Do you see the wrapped stainless cap screw? It is nestled in between the motor and the frame. Rock solid. It is also quiet because it acts as a rubberized motor mount bushing. And gives the ground clearance you need to prevent a strike.


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Oh, one more thing. Remove the chainring. Remove the four outer screws of the round plastic ring. Place grease in the perimeter of the inside of the plastic cover. Replace the cover and chainring. This will quiet the motor and make it last.


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Do you see the wrapped stainless cap screw? It is nestled in between the motor and the frame. Rock solid. It is also quiet because it acts as a rubberized motor mount bushing. And gives the ground clearance you need to prevent a strike.
Thanks for the picture PedalUma. That's a great solution. I have pieces of rubber hose cut up and stuffed in there. A bit ugly it is.

I'll take it apart (again) and grease it as you suggest. What grease do you recommend?
What grease
There are a bunch of opinions and debates about this. The main thing is just getting some lube on the main gear and stepdown gear of the transmission. I like moly-graph. Some lithium in a tube makes it quick and mess free. It is as easy as laying down a bead of toothpaste. I am not going to quote the guy talking about the smoothness of a lubed tranny.
Thanks PedalUma. I guess I'll just drop down into that rabbit hole, or should I say corn hole, of grease for a mid-drive. 😁