The Pedalshift Project 358: The eBike Build Update

The big project for 2024 is building the ultimate custom e-bike. On this episode we update where I’m at with the project… have I narrowed things down or am I hopelessly lost in  the paradox of choice?

The Pedalshift Project 358: The eBike Build Update

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e-Bike Build Update

  • Overview of the e-bike build vs. buy decision.
  • Experiences and research done in Portland, Oregon, highlighting e-bike focused shops.
  • Discussion on the drawbacks of commercially available e-bikes, particularly around proprietary battery systems.
  • Attraction to the “Biking Brian” style of massive battery and universal adapters for custom builds.
  • Considerations against “chonky” e-bike frames for a sleeker, non-e-bike appearance.
  • The decision leaning towards a custom build for its expandability and customization.
  • Thoughts on suspension and tire width for e-bike comfort and stability.
  • Exploring the option of converting the host’s Safari touring bike into an e-bike.
    • Financial and technical considerations of a DIY build.
    • Potential barriers and required new skills and tools.
  • The sentimental value of the Safari bike and the implications of converting it.
  • The downsides of rim brakes on an e-bike and the consideration of disc brakes.
  • Timing concerns for the build project overlapping with prime touring season.
  • Upsides of undertaking the e-bike project: a rewarding challenge, expanding bike mechanic skills, and personalizing the bike.
  • Dilemmas between the ease of buying a pre-made e-bike and the appeal of a custom build.
  • Future steps: considering all options post upcoming spring tour with the Safari bike.
  • Closing thoughts on the e-bike build or buy journey and its implications for the host’s cycling future.
  • Mention of Biking Brian’s build video and load management insights.
  • Security considerations for e-bikes, particularly battery theft.
  • Final reflections on the episode’s discussion and the ongoing decision process.

As always we like to close out the show with a special shoutout to the Pedalshift Society! Because of support from listeners like you, Pedalshift is a weekly bicycle touring podcast with a global community, expanding into live shows and covering new tours like this summer’s upcoming bike tour! If you like what you hear, you can support the show for 5 bucks, 2 bucks or even a buck a month. And there’s one-shot and annual options if you’re not into the small monthly thing. Check it all out at

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You’ve been hearing about Jason Kent and his music for many fine episodes. Jason has a new solo album available NOW. Go listen to COMMON TONGUES wherever cool music is available! 

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