Before building an electric bike, I first need a bike suitable for electrification. With the expected expense of the project, I wanted to ensure I was building something to last. For the past few years I have been riding an ill-fitting mountain bike which actually belongs to my fiancé, so the first step was going to be finding a bike I liked enough to call my long-term rider.
Growing up I always had a cheap mountain bike. Just like children’s shoes, these bikes were designed to be functional but inexpensive. After considering my bike options, for this bike I decided on something a bit more streamlined and roady. I also was interested in trying my hand at building the bike. At least maybe some of the simple parts. The next step was acquiring it.
With the help of some friends, I started looking for the parts necessary to build the bike I wanted. The frame seemed like the most logical first component, so we started our search there. Fitting of the frame is very important, or so I am told. A quick search resulted in a great tool telling me too look for a 61” frame. Most often this measurement can be found on the vertical tube in which the seat mounts.
My friends and I first visited Bike Works and luckily found a perfect frame on our first visit. We also picked up a bottom bracket, handlebars, and a few other parts.
Here is were the amazing community starts to really shine though. I had all these bike parts, but without the right tools, they would stay as just that. In Seattle however, there are several neighborhood tool libraries. These amazing places are not only dreamland for makers and builders; they provide all sorts off less conventional tools that often are only needed infrequently, making them perfect for any homeowner or craftsperson.
In my case the tool library did even one better. The North East Seattle Tool Library shares its space with Bike Shack which is staffed with bike building enthusiasts. With the help of these knowledgeable and helpful people, my new bike was up and running just two weeks after my first purchase.
With the bike now rideable, the next step is adding the motorization. That will require many decisions and research, so I will post updates as they are made.