How To Build A Stealth Electric-Fatbike

Nothing is worse that riding in your favorite stomping grounds and having another rider stop you and start harassing you about biking with a motor. The easiest way to avoid confrontations with other bikers,hikers,xc skiers and park rangers is stealth.

See how this Borix X9 just blends into it's own shadow. That's the power of Black.

See how this Borix X9 just blends into it’s own shadow. That’s the power of Black, baby.

A stealth ebike does not look at all like an ebike with a cursory inspection. Only if someone is up close and checking it out would they even know that it was electric at all. Here are the rules I follow when building stealth ebikes.

1) Like the old model T you can have any color you want as long as it is black. The cables and motor on a BBS02 equipped fatbike will disappear if the frame and rims are black. I use Velcro ONE zipties which are much stealthier, reusable and hide cables better than zip ties. I use a black paint pen to cover over the 8FUN logon on the side of the BBS02.

Looks like crap but it works. Holes cut for cooling and 2 layers of thermarest.

Looks like crap but it works. Holes cut for cooling and 2 layers of thermarest.

2) Keep the battery in your backpack. If you want to be stealth you must not mount your battery in the triangle or anywhere else that can be seen. Wrap it in a thermarest pad so when you take a spill and land on your back your battery won’t get crushed. For riding single-track you want to keep as much weight off the bike as you can to maintain the integrity of the mountain biking experience. It shouldn’t feel like motocross lugging around a 100+lb bike.

3) Your power cables should all be black/black not black/red. Run black 12 gauge (or thicker) cord into under the back of your seat and into the backpack that is thin and flexible. Put color coded Anderson connectors on the ends of your cables so that you don’t screw up the polarity. Stick the connectors in your backpack and secure the cord with two Velcro ONE ties with the Velcro sides taped together. When you take a fall and get separated from your wheels the Velcro will unhook and the Anderson connectors will detach with no damage to you or your bike.

Run cables along the back of the seat-tube and under the top tube. Keep the down-tube and triangle clear.

Run cables along the back of the seat-tube and under the top tube. Keep the down-tube and triangle clear.

4) Clean up those cables. You should have zero cables on the downtube and your cables should only run along the underside of the top tube and the back of the seat tube. Use as many Velcro ONE ties as you need to so that the cables are not hanging down. You can buy them on ebay for pretty cheap.

C963 the smallest display you can get with the BBS02

C963 the smallest display you can get with the BBS02

5) Get the smallest display you can. For the BBS02 the smallest and best display is the C963. It is also the hardest display to come by as well as the most expensive right now.

6) When you see someone else riding don’t use the motor at all. People can immediately tell if you’re cheating. If they see you slogging along pedaling as hard as you can and going 3 mph they will assume that you are just like them and will not give you a second thought. If you fly by someone at 10mph without pedaling in several inches of heavy snow they will know that you have a motor. When I see someone I usually stop and pull to the side of the trail and let them pass. If you say a quick hello and do not maintain eye contact they usually won’t even stop.

7) Be legal and carry a copy of HR 727 found here. Set your speed limiter to 20mph ahead of time. You will never want to go faster than that in the woods anyway. When a cop stops you and you have to convince him you are legal your argument is going to be a lot more convincing if you are not lying. These guys deal with liars and cheats all day long and they can tell right away. You can show him the HR 727 law and offer to let him ride your bike, that should convince him to leave you alone. If he writes you a ticket anyway be friendly and courteous. A cop can write anyone a ticket for anything no matter what, it’s up to the courts to decide if it is legitimate or not.

Save the burnouts for your front yard. Flinging snow is cool, flinging dirt is not.

Save the burnouts for your front yard. Flinging snow is cool, flinging dirt is not.

8) Don’t ride like jerk. Riding in wet & muddy conditions and tearing up trails is sure to get the locals pissed at you. Going out first thing in the morning is the best bet for avoiding everyone else, but be aware that you’re still leaving tracks and people can tell how much of the trail you tore up if you’re spending a lot of time spinning the back tire and getting through the snowpack or flinging up mud.

9) Participate in trail maintenance. Riders who know and like you are far less likely to harass you. Almost all trail systems have work parties, join in. They are fun. When you work don’t talk about electric bikes, don’t try to promote the sport and don’t risk pissing people off.

Ride On.

Karl

12 thoughts on “How To Build A Stealth Electric-Fatbike

  1. You mentioned that you can hide your battery in a backpack. While I like the idea best, how can this be kept stealthy when running the wires to it? Would it be preferred to use a rear rack and pannier bags (even though it offsets the balance of the bike)?

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    • I run the wired down the backpack between the straps so no one can see it. There is a small amount of wire that flops around under your butt, but if you use black wire no one will see it most of the the time, (unless they are staring at your ass).

      It is imperitive to keep weight off the bike any way you can. Riding a 80lb bike though the woods is an entirely different experience (more like motocross) than riding a 40lb bike through the woods (more like downhill mtn biking).

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      • Thanks for your reply! Could you perhaps put up a photo to show exactly where you run your wires in between your straps on your backpack? I would like to see how you did it with your backpack.

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  2. Thanks for the info.

    Hey, HR757 says the motor must be less than 750w. My Bafang IS 750w.
    Can’t anal polezei ticket me?

    Same thing with max speed of LESS THAN 20mph?

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