Last week we featured a now deleted video of an extremely powerful DIY ebike – that is, one with a throttle that would be classed as a motorbike in the UK. The creator took the video down because the it showed him riding it unlicensed on roads, and unfortunately, awful internet people started sending him death threats with his home address included.
Nothing like that this week, but lifting the lid on that particular subculture of DIY ebike tinkerers revealed an amazing world of people, ranging from skilled builders and designers, to conspiracy theorists in the comments speculating that, for sinister reasons, the bike industry is holding back the kind of powerful ebikes you can build at home in your garage.
Sometimes one of those ebikes has too much power for whatever a rider’s doing on it, particularly home built ones with throttles and drivetrains that have been designed for teh maxx wattages. Such as this one (turn your sound up):
(Nothing above? Here’s a link to the video).
For similar reasons, this rider has unintentional style:
(No video visible? Here’s a link).
“Lemme just show you guys what I can do. Check it out”
(Can’t see it? Check it out here instead).
This fella ends up with his throttle stuck on, but manages to bail into a verge:
(If you can’t see it, follow this link).
There’s quite a bit of mockery for “ebike specific components”, but these things are overbuilt compared to normal bike bits for a reason. Here are a couple of reasons why.
Those 20″ forks? Not designed to handle hub motor torque:
(♫ Here ♫ Is ♫ A ♫ Link ♫)
That Vario frame you have knocking around from 2008? Not overbuilt enough to handle a ride in the park, at least not with all that other stuff hanging off it:
(No video? Try this link).
Sometimes, you just get carried away with the welder and it’s a failure of design:
(Can’t see a video? Guess what? Link!)
This man’s duct tape wiring job probably saves him from severing his leg on the gnarly looking bunch of metalwork sticking out from the downtube:
(No video? Try here to see it on YouTube).
This last one isn’t so much a failure of the ebike as a failure of the rider, who might be in the right on a particular point of law where he was riding, but picks exactly the wrong way to talk to a cop. Remember: winding up cops is almost never smart.
(Can’t see it? Here’s that link).
As with any videos of things going wrong, there are a few ebike fails we’ve not posted here because they showed people either getting seriously hurt, or cut off leaving that ambiguous. If you’re going to mess around with DIY ebikes; stay safe, stay legal, use heatshrink, and for goodness sake double check everything on your home made wiring.