READERS & THEIR RIDES
READERS & THEIR RIDES
Hemdan’s Silver Bullet e-cruiser mk2.3
Hemdan Dizon came to the U.S. with his family from the Philippines a few years ago. He was a mechanical engineering student, and always had a love of engineering and art. When he first learned about e-bikes, that would prove to be the thing that combined both of his passions.
Starting in 2012, with a Kent Genesis Astra 29er as a base, Dizon added a direct-drive hub motor to it to make it a good commuter. He regularly towed a trailer to work, which was partly uphill. When the weather went up over 100 degrees, the motor would get really hot, so he had the idea to put a mid-drive on it as well to help it climb the hills.
Four years later came the second build. It started with a rear hub and mid-drive, but he reconsidered and reconfigured it to be an all-wheel drive—mid-drive for the rear, front hub for the front. It was no longer needed as a commuter, so it was just to be for fun. Why not make it look great in the process?
A self-proclaimed hobbyist and graphic artist, Hemdan took inspiration from vintage motorcycles, and WWII fighter and bomber aircraft with polished aluminum finishes. “I’m not really that skilled in metalworking. I’m a beginner at best, so I had to utilize pre-shaped objects that you can find in a hardware store and somehow make them fit and look good together on the bike. It’s very reminiscent of how they did it back then on early bikes, so I try to mimic the look as much as I could.”
He used a Fito Modena GT frame as the base and a triple-clamp suspension fork. A motorcycle headlight and taillight are used with the electrical system, requiring step-down voltage converters to reduce the 51 volt to 12.
The LiFePO4 batteries are housed in the leather saddlebags, and they’ve been going strong for five years now. This is the mark of someone who knows how to care for batteries. The positioning of those helps balance the weight, since the mid-drive and front hub motor put so much weight up front.
Originally, he ran 24 x 2.0-inch Kenda Flame tires, but because of the deflection when cornering, he switched to 24 x 2.2-inch Callaway Odyssey Pursuit slicks, which improved cornering and overall handling.
A limited budget keeps parts buys from becoming outrageous, but instead he opts for basic parts known for their robustness, like the 7-speed Shimano TX-35 derailleur, and the heavy-duty kickstand from Sunlite. With the number of years and number of miles, this bike stands up well. It certainly looks amazing!
Motor: GNG mid-drive, tuned to 1.4kw peak, 8T MAC front hub, 1kw peak
Battery: 16s/51v 20ah/ 1kwh Ping LiFePO4
Top speed: 34 mph
Range: 15–30 miles
Drive: Shimano TX-35, 7-speed, Sun Race cassette, 11-34T
Brakes: Hydraulic disc controls: 1 EM3ev 9fet 4110 eb3 (mid-drive), EM3ev eb3 controller 12fet 4110 (front drive)
Fork: Zoom 650
Frame: Fito Modena GT, aluminum
Tires: Callaway Odyssey Pursuit Slick P-Lyte 24×2.2”
If you have a cool ride you’ve built yourself or customized and would like to have it featured, let us know. We need high-res, clean photographs and a good description. Send those to [email protected].
THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS TO GET
ELECTRIC BIKE ACTION
In print, from the Apple newsstand, or on your Android device, from Google.
Available from the Apple Newsstand for reading on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.