Electric Touring Bicycle

A kit built touring ebike for long term travel. Tech upgrades for comfort and convenience.

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A touring ebike built around a trek FX3, using a Bafang rear hub motor that came with a Chinese ebike kit. This is my only form of transportation and carries everything I own. The end goal is to have a solar powered ebike that can reach unlimited range with enough solar power coming in, using power limiting and an efficient motor. At the time of this writing, it has just over 2,700 miles on it as a commuter ebike.

I built this in 2022 as an escape from the 9-5 life that I despise so much. An old knee injury took away my bicycle touring dreams in 2018, so this ebike enables me to finally hit the road and live my dreams.

This page covers the bike, gear, and all of the tech upgrades and maintenance. I hope to provide a very detailed account of the life of an electric touring bicycle. I find it difficult to find such info. Electric touring bicycles are fairly uncommon still, and can be hard to research. I hope this page can enlighten people interested in ebike touring.

Shout out to Tom Allen at

Chatting with Tom reminded me that I really need to publish my findings. Thanks Tom! For everything.

For all of the details, check the logs. I keep a paper log book with the bike for maintenance and such. Full details will go here. That log book will eventually get digitized and put here as well. This is going to be more than just an electrified bicycle with touring gear strspped to it. I'm working on some other electric vehicles projects, so this is the first step in testing ideas and equipment. It currently has an electric battery heater that I made up and installed. It's going to have a few special features for touring and commuting, such as turn signals, horn, brake lights, cruise control, power limiting, solar charging, and a security system. I'm planning to exhibit the bike at Open Sauce 2025 as an experiment on bicycle technology. This will be my entire life and home.

This bicycle was converted from a really nice hybrid Trek FX3 to be a capable electric touring bicycle. It's got a 1,000 watt Bafang rear hub motor, a 20ah lithium ion battery pack, front and rear luggage racks, and touring bags. I have 4 large saddle bags, a bag for the top of the front rack, and an adventure backpack for the top of the rear rack. The bike is very heavily loaded. It's probably 100 pounds at this point. I'll lighten the load when I can afford lighter equipment. I currently weigh 220 pounds. The bike is rated for 350 pounds. Cutting it very close. 

The goal is to hit the road full time as a bicycle tourist and find my place in the world. Wwith an old knee injury, I was taken off the bike for years. This new bike has gotten me back in the road and ready for adventure. It carries everything I need to survive, as well as a few luxuries and some basic camera gear for filming adventures and some upcoming projects. It's become the single most important purchase and decision I've ever made. I plan to share it's journey here in as much detail as I can.

  • Final Preparations

    Dustin06/04/2024 at 14:32 1 comment

    I Leave tomorrow at 5am for my first journey away from home on this bike. It's as scary as it is exciting. I've made a few changes to the bike that I'd like to cover here, before the adventure begins and I forget, and write out some thoughts and updates. I'll try to keep this page all about the bike itself. I've got a blog for the actual adventure stuff.

    The first major change I made was to put my old seat back on. I've run a Serfas RX men's split saddle since 2017. I was finding it very difficult to get comfortable on the gigantic padded Cloud9 cruiser seat I had on for a little while. The pressure it puts on sensitive areas was too much for me. It's also insanely heavy. I was still uncomfortable on my old seat until I made another change.

    The next major change was to flip the handlebar stem around backwards. This brought the handlebars far closer to me, allowing me to ride even more upright. Not ideal, but it would seem that I'm between frame sizes for this bike. I have short legs, short arms, and a long torso. Finding a bicycle that actually fits me is nearly impossible. I went with the medium frame, instead of the small, since it's easier to adjust for that. I can now very comfortable reach the bars. With my ebike display mounted where it is, standing over the frame is very right. There isn't much room between the bars and the front of the seat. I can work with it though. This looks very strange now, but it does work. I'm still not entirely comfortable, but I can get comfortable for once, so I know I'm on the right track. I need to raise the seat and tilt it backwards. I might need to slide it forward a bit as well. Once all those adjustments are done, I should be good to go. I can do them on the road.

    I'd like to replace the adjustable stem with a very short fixed stem at some point. It's not in the budget right now, so I'll have to wait. The adjustable stem is great for figuring things out, but it has far too much play in it. It's wobbly. Before I narrowed down my gear and removed a ton of weight from the bike, it was quite hard to ride. The front end just wobbled too much for comfort. This was never a problem until I flipped the stem. I can get used to it and ride safely like that, but it is a problem worth solving as quickly as I can.

    I've been thinking about charging my bike lately and how dependent I am on that motor and battery. I really don't like that at all. I'd rather have no motor or battery, ultralight gear, and a small solar panel. The truth of the matter is that my old knee injuries likely would not be able to handle bicycle touring without the assistance. Instead of being upset or sad over that fact, I built an overpowered touring ebike. They simply did not exist in the configuration that I wanted, so I built this thing. It has carried me happily along for 2,700 miles now. Only a few minor problems, and many little upgrades.

    My favorite change to the system has to be the backpack on the rear rack. It's a special National Geographic edition Eagle Creek weatherproof bag. I got it new at a discount store for $35. It's sat unused for about a year. I decided I wanted a nice bag for off bike use, and tried for months to fit this into my trip. I eventually realized I could move the rear top bag to the front rack and put the backpack on top of the rear rack. It actually fits very nicely and blends right in. I just wrap the straps around each other and clip them together to keep them out of the way, lay the bag upside down on the rack, and strap it down to the top. That bag holds all of my clothes, hygiene kit, card games, camera tripod, tiny fishing pole, and other important stuff. I can take it somewhwre with me and have everything I need to get cleaned up or stay the night in a room somewhere.

    Not too long ago, I went for a ride and found that my pedal assist function has stopped working. Luckily I have a thumb throttle to run the motor. This bike CAN be ridden without the motor, but it's a proper chore to do so....

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  • Introducing My Ebike

    Dustin05/15/2024 at 12:01 0 comments

    I've been obsessed with the idea of bicycle touring since 2017. I came out to find my truck broken one morning. I rode my old industrial delivery bike to work that day. It took me over an hour and was a very hard ride. Definitely the wrong bike. I ended up riding every day and didn't fix the truck for a very long time. One day I was riding to work and had an idea: What if I just DIDN'T make that turn to go to work? What if I just kept going until I found something interesting or got far away? What if all I ever had to worry about was pedaling and basic survival? Those thoughts would not go away. I finally discover the term "bicycle touring" and was hooked. 

    I tried to build a touring bicycle on a 1982 Schwinn Crosscut. It was pretty good. Low budget, but effective. When I went to ride 1,000 miles out to a new place to live, my old knee injury stopped me. That was in 2018. I was crushed and gave up on touring until 2022. That's when I bought my Trek FX3. $1,000. The most I'd ever spent on a bicycle. By a huge amount. I was thinking of touring when I bought it. It didn't take me long to order an ebike kit from Amazon and convert it. That first test ride was done without a chain as I didn't have the tool to move the rear gear cluster to the new ebike wheel. It was so exciting. I was hooked.

    After seeing just how powerful that motor was, and the freedom it provided me, I started working hard to build up a touring ebike and finally escape. In its current state, it's nearly ready to leave on an open ended tour in June this year. I need touring tires and a few odds and ends, but am just going to hit the road and make it work. It's a good bike and I trust it. 

    This project has been on my mind for a while, but I've been very busy and distracted. An email exchange with none other than Tom Allen kicked the old buns into gear and got me here to start this project page. There is so little super detailed info on touring ebikes that's I've been able to find. I plan to cover things like tire wear differences between touring bicycles and electric touring bicycles. Hint: it's significant. Battery heating in below freezing temperatures. The battery recall that was issued for my bike. The best rims I've found for a touring ebike(Velocity Cliffhanger). I'll be covering the electrical system, mechanical systems, and even the emotional aspects related to an electric touring bicycle. The information would also be useful for other heavy duty bicycles, such as tandems, cargo bikes, kid carriers, and bikes for heavy riders. This thing is going to take a hell of a beating. Wish us luck.

    Shout out to Tom Allen at

    His book is what made it easy to get all of the key info in one place and get me ready to start a new life on the road. Cheers Tom!

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