About this project
The Kickstarter is over but now you can get the book on my website at www.UltimateEbikeEbook.com - and a big thanks to all my backers that made it possible for me to publish my book!
I built my first electric bicycle years ago to allow me to commute around Pittsburgh, up steep hills and to the far edges of town without breaking a sweat and without spending any money on gas. From the first moment I instantly knew I had a love affair with electric bicycles. That's when I became hooked.
What I love most about electric bicycles is that at the end of the day, it's still a bicycle! I can pedal my eBike whenever I want, but if I get tired or I feel like riding up a hill at 20 mph, I can just turn the throttle and take off! I can still get exercise whenever I want, but I can also have the experience of an electric motorcycle in a sleek, stealthy package. I couldn't believe that all of this could be had in one bike, and for so cheap too!
Since my first eBike experience I've continued moving forward in the eBike world. I've gone on to build hundreds of eBikes for all types of people, founded an eBike startup and for the last year I've been volunteering time to teach people to build their own eBikes. By working with beginners, I quickly began to learn what areas new eBike builders had trouble with and where they needed the most help.
Using all of these experiences, I decided to write an eBike e-book specifically designed for complete beginners to help everyone learn to build their own eBike. My book wound up being well over a hundred pages and full of everything a beginner needs to know from the planning and part-sourcing stages to the parts buying, installing and testing of an eBike. I included nearly one hundred professional quality photos of every step of the build process, detailed reviews of the best eBike component vendors and important maintenance and safety information that every eBike rider should have.
Now that I've written my e-book and started to promote it, the question I get most often is "can I get it as a real printed book?"
My goal is now to take the e-book I've written and have it formatted, proofed and printed as a real book. After all my research and planning, I see that I'm going to need $900 for the formatting, proofing and printing of the first run of paperback books.
This is where you guys come in! I am super excited about getting my book out there on actual shelves to help people learn to build their own eBikes, but I can't do it without your help. A pledge of as little as $10 not only helps me get closer to reaching my goal, but is ALSO gets you a free copy of my e-book. Even better, a $25 backing will get you the e-book AND the paperback book. Plus at other levels I have some other interesting rewards, including personal videos for fun and to help to help you succeed in building your own electric bicycle.
I really hope you'll help support me in getting my book out there by backing my project and spreading my link around to your friends. If you support the goal of getting more eBikes out on the roads to replace cars, please help me by posting a link to my Kickstarter page on Facebook. Thank you in advance for supporting me at any level that you desire!
Here's a list of exactly what you'll find in my book:
Chapter 1: Getting Started - starts with a brief history of eBikes, an overview of commercially available eBikes and why you can save money and get a better eBike by building your own.
Chapter 2: Planning your eBike - everything you need to know to plan your own eBike by focusing on factors such as speed, electric range, weight, charging time, bicycle size, bicycle features and accessories.
Chapter 3: Choosing your Components - covers the details needed for choosing the right bicycle, motor, battery, controller, throttle and accessories, as well as additional online resources to help you out even more in the planning process.
Chapter 4: Purchasing Components - covers the pro's and con's of the two main options: buying a pre-made kit versus assembling your own kit from individual parts, plus a detailed review of all the major eBike component vendors to let you know where to shop and where NOT to shop!
Chapter 5: Installing the Kit - detailed, step-by-step instructions of the entire installation process, starting with the motor, then battery, then controller, then throttle and lastly any accessories you choose to install. This section is loaded with great pictures to help you through the process and make installation as easy as possible.
Chapter 6: Making the Connections - shows you how to plug everything in once you have your parts installed on your bike. This is pretty easy if you went with a pre-made kit but could be a little trickier if you decided to assemble your own kit from different suppliers. Either way, you'll be thankful you have this chapter.
Chapter 7: Finishing Touches and Maintenance - includes a detailed safety check, procedures for your first test drive and the important maintenance notes that you'll want to have. Also includes resources for more safety information online; safety first!
Chapter 8: Sample Builds - this final chapter takes you through a number of sample builds where hypothetical first time eBike builders go through the process of planning their eBike, buying their parts and building their bikes. You'll find this to be a great resource to show you a few different directions you can go with designing and building your eBike, plus it will give you some more confidence before beginning your own build by seeing the whole process from start to finish on multiple sample builds.
Risks and challenges
Publishing a book can understandably come with some unforeseen delays, but I've done my best to avoid them ahead of time. I already finished writing the book, which is the majority of the work. Now I've set up a plan for the specific formatting, proofing and printing with the printing company so that everything will be ready to go when my project is successfully funded. This way I've done my best to avoid potential issues in fulfilling rewards. My goal is to even beat my projected reward fulfillment dates!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Almost any bike you have laying around your garage can be easily converted into an electric bike with just a couple hours of work. The major exceptions are road bikes with really thin tires and bicycles that have super lightweight frames (think expensive racing bicycles). Mountain bikes and cruisers usually make the best eBikes. Surprisingly, cheap department store bikes are actually an excellent candidate to turn into an eBike because their frames are often heavier and thus better for mounting a strong motor.
This really depends on how you plan and build your eBike, and my book takes you through the planning stages to meet any budget. Some of the cheapest eBikes I've built cost just over $200 in components (not counting the actual bike) while some of the most expensive I've built have been over $2,000 in components. It all depends how you choose to customize your eBike; the freedom is yours!
Again, it depends on what type of eBike you want to build. For people on the lower end of the handyman skill spectrum, there are super easy eBike conversion kits that come prepared with everything you need for installation without any extra modifications. You really only need a few wrenches and maybe a screw driver to install the entire kit in an hour or two. For people who want to get more creative and make some more custom or powerful eBikes, there are many options for you too. In my book I cover all these options as well as exactly how to plan your eBike to match your skill level.
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