New project: Dyno Glide electric tracker

I've been thinking about putting together another electric bike for awhile. Since making up Jenna's e-bike, I've found myself riding it quite often - more than I thought I would. It's the perfect transport mode for shortish trips around Auckland, from cruising down to the swimming pool, to meeting friends at a bar in the evening. I still like to ride my road bike on my work commute, however I've found that an almost all other trips where I'd normally take my car, an Uber, or the bus are more convenient on an e-bike.

Unfortunately I still can't find a ready-built e-bikes out there I actually like. Most are either ugly, under powered, or overly expensive. So if I want one, I gotta build it.

I figure that if I'm going to build a new bike, I might as well try out some new techniques, and experiment with new parts, like:

  • Getting some custom parts fabricated
  • Spot welding battery cells
  • Using high performance battery cells
  • Converting with a mid-mount, rather than a hub motor.

Tim at T. White's Bikes put me onto Jeff Wolf, a really skilled custom 2-stroke bike builder in Los Angeles. I was inspired by his use of GT Dyno beach cruisers, in particular an e-bike conversion he uses as his personal commuter.

One thing I learned while converting Jenna's bike was the importance of selecting the right frame first. Tim warned me that if I wanted to use a Dyno frame, I should make sure I buy one with a 1 1/8" threadless headtube. This would allow me to easily select a pair of front forks with disc brake mounts. Unfortunately only some of the later models were manufactured with this head tube type. After about 6 months of waiting, a 1999 Dyno Ultra Glide turned up on Trademe. Here it is:


Upon receiving the bike, I was struck by how pleasurable it is to ride. It feels extremely laid back and gentle - I imagine perfect for meandering down the Venice boardwalk with a six pack dangling in one hand. Now I just got to mod it for the nasty 8km journey from Mount Roskill to Point Chevalier beach!

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