Before you disassemble a bicycle for conversion to electric, ensure you have chosen the best bike for the job. You can learn how to pick the perfect bike on my website, where you will find videos and articles for picking a good bike to convert to electric. You will also find articles and videos discussing unboxing and testing a mid-drive motor conversion kit.
Once you have chosen the best bike for eBike conversion, you can move on to disassembling the bike to ready it for conversion to electric. You should always test the motor, battery, and various components that come with the conversion kit prior to breaking down your bicycle. Ensure the motor and battery will fit properly on the bike, and that all electrical components are working properly before you install them. Read this article to 👉 Test the Mid-Bike Kit
Tools Needed for Disassembly
- Chain removal tool – To remove the bicycle chain
- Flathead/Phillips screwdriver – Handlebar items and derailleur
- Hex wrench assorted sizes – For removing handlebar items and derailleur
- 15mm Pedal Wrench – To remove pedals
- 8mm hex or Allen wrench – To remove crank arms
- Bottom bracket tool – To remove the bottom bracket cartridge
- Crank arm puller – Pulls crank of square taper
- 15mm socket – Usually part of the crank arm puller
- Bike cable cutters – For removing the front derailleur
- Side cutters – For zip ties
- Bike repair stand – optional item, but highly recommended to hold the bike in place
Bike Disassembly Steps
Remove the pedals
The first step is removing the pedals. This can be done with a pedal wrench, usually 15mm. Position the wrench between the pedal and the crank arm, with the handle of the wrench facing the back tire. This works on both sides of the bike, so the same will be repeated on the second side.
Break the nut loose and continue loosening the pedal until it comes off. If you are not replacing your pedals, keep these, and the nut, where will not lose them.
Remove the crank arms
Place the crank arm puller socket into the opening on the crank arm. Use the same 15mm wrench you used to remove the pedals and place it around the socket. Break the nut loose and remove the crank arm bolt. Spin the crank arm puller back and use the other side of the socket to insert into the crank arm. Crank arm pullers usually have a removable larger head on them.
If you find that the crank arm puller is pushing against the outer metal of the crank arm, rather than the inner bolt, remove this top portion. Screw several threads onto the crank arm. Do not use a wrench right away as you can thread this by hand to avoid cross-threading.
Once it is secured onto the crank arm, you can grab your 15mm wrench and tighten it even more. You will start to feel the crank arm pulling off the square bottom bracket. Repeat this step for the second side.
Remove the bottom bracket cartridge
Use the bottom bracket tool and loosen the bottom bracket. The entire cartridge will come out once it is loosened enough. Double-check the width of your bottom bracket to ensure it fits properly with your conversion kit.
There are four standard widths of bottom brackets depending on the type of bike you have: 68mm, 73mm, 83mm, and 100mm. Use calipers for more precise measurements.
Test fit the motor
Now is the time to test fit the motor to ensure it all fits properly on your bicycle. This is a good time to do this as you have not disassembled the entire bike yet, and can easily put everything back if your motor does not fit.
Slide the motor into the bottom bracket. Take note of anywhere the motor is rubbing against the frame. You can install some spacers to keep the motor from rubbing against the metal frame. Make sure the motor does not interfere with any important welds or cables running along the underside of the triangle.
RIDE e MTB Tip: Are you thinking about building an eBike? It isn’t very hard – Heck I’ve got step by step instructions with videos along with all the tools. Check it out 👉 How to Build a Mid-Drive Electric Bike
Test fit the battery
On my website, you will find printable cutouts for checking your battery size. You can also trace your battery on a piece of cardboard and cut it out. It is important to make sure your motor and battery both fit well within the space.
Double-check that the battery and motor function together. All motors have a voltage associated with them and your battery must be within this voltage range for the motor to properly function.
Remove the chain
Check the length of your chain and look for a master link. Not all bikes have a master link. If your bike chain does not have a master link, you will need to use the chain tool. Fix the tool onto one of the chain links. Ensure it is properly lined up with the pin.
You will remove one of the pins to allow the chain to come apart. Twist the handle of the chain tool until the pin is out enough and the chain comes apart. Check the pin as you twist to ensure the pin does not come all the way out of the link. This is difficult to put back in and much easier to reattach if the pin remains in the link.
Remove brake noodles
The brake noodle is the curved part of the brake line that fits into the stirrup. Remove the front and back line from the stirrups. This gives you some slack to work on the handlebars.
Remove everything from the handlebars
Remove the grips, brake handles, and shifter. Use a small hex wrench to remove the shifter. Remove the brake handle with a slightly larger hex. Loosen the locking nut where your brake line runs inside the hand brake. As the locking nut opens, you will see the wire run through the nut and into the brake handle assembly. Remove the wire and set it aside. Repeat on the opposing side.
I have seen some people spray WD-40 or another type of lubricant on the bar when replacing their handlebar grips. Avoid doing this as you will now find yourself with a grip that is constantly moving around on the bar.
Some bicycles have shifters and brakes integrated together as one part. If your bicycle has this setup, the right assembly will need to stay as-is if you will be using the same shifter.
Did you Know You Can Convert a Regular MTB to Electric?
Bafang a leader in DIY electric bike conversions has a mid-drive kit that will fit on most regular bikes. I’d recommend the BBSHD kit, it’s a complete setup with a huge capacity battery and a 1000 watt motor. Why this setup?
- Heavy duty 1000 watt motor (built for cargo bikes)
- +50 volt 17.5 Ah battery for speed and distance
- Easy installation with provided tools.
If you’re considering a conversion, do what I’m doing get the BANFANG BBSHD 1000w eBike Conversion with Battery
Choosing a Good Electric Conversion Kit
One of my favorite conversion kits on the market is the Bafang BBSHD 1000-Watt Mid-Drive Motor Kit. This kit is easy to assemble and comes with all the necessary components to transform your bike to electric.
This kit can be used on bikes with standard bracket sizes, fat bikes, and extra fat bikes. It is compatible with 48- and 52-volt batteries give speeds up to 30 miles per hour, and features throttle and pedal-assisted power. The kit comes with an LCD screen for changing the mode, changing the assistance level, and monitoring your speed.
Learn more about the Bafang BBSHD 1000-Watt Mid-Drive Motor on Amazon with this shortcut link 👉 Bafang BBSHD 1000-Watt Mid-Drive Motor
RIDE e MTB Pro Tip: With eBikes growing in popularity learning all the terms and definitions can be a bit overwhelming. Let me help with this comprehensive glossary. 👉 eBike Glossary
As you remove items from your bicycle to make way for the parts included in the conversion kit, make sure you keep all the parts you strip from the bike. You never know when you might need them. As mentioned earlier, a bike repair stand is not a necessary tool, but it will make working on your bike much easier as the bike will be fixed in place.
It can be difficult and frustrating trying to work on a bike that keeps tipping over. Now that you have disassembled the necessary parts of your bicycle, it is time to install your new electric bike conversion kit! Head back to the website to view my video and read my article about 👉 assembling your new electric bike conversion kit.
Hi David Humphries here the guy doing all the pedaling behind the scenes with this blog. I’ve been in the MTB world for a while and recently started getting into eMTBs. You can check out more about me HERE and on my other passion project – DIYMountainBike.com