BionX PL350 Based Build with Pack Powered Lighting

I’ve wanted to do a BionX based build for a while now, and finally got it done!  I built this as a “daily commuter” class bike for the Seattle area, tried a few things I wanted to try, and added a few touches of my own!

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

(Comments from Blogger)

2016-04-19 by Unknown

It looks like you did a good job building this bike Russell.Can I ask how much you sold it for?

2016-04-19 by Russell Graves

Gene - it sold for $2200.

2016-04-19 by Unknown

Thats good for a custom bike.

2016-05-13 by Unknown

Where in Seattle are you? I live in Seattle too. Trying figure out how your 220’ hill compares to the ones in my neighborhood (Beacon Hill) to understand your conclusions about the hill climbing capacity of some of the bikes you discuss here on your blog.

2016-05-13 by Russell Graves

I no longer live in Seattle, but I was over on the east side around Kirkland.

I never got my bikes over into Seattle to try them on some of the insane hills, but a good geared motor will make a huge difference, and even a direct drive motor like this build will make a very, very noticeable impact on hills. You just won’t be able to throttle up them without pedaling.

2016-05-14 by Unknown

Just trying to understand the rear drive motors vs. a mid-drive like the bbS02, which I’ve read is supposed be great for hills. I rode a bbs01 350 Watt mid drive conversion at the Electric Bike store in Ballard on Leary, and it definitely made a difference on the hill I climbed (Think it was NW 57th from 17th NW to 3rd NW). But I definitely had to pedal, and the hill coming up the top of Beacon are steeper than that grade in Ballard.

I’m assuming the 750 watt motor with 48v or 52v battery on the bbs02 would probably require less pedaling help.

I need to go ride one of those Rad power bikes one of these days and see how they are, since they have the motor in the rear.

2016-05-14 by Russell Graves

If you’re looking for raw hill climbing power (especially without you having to pedal), the BBS02 is a great way to go. You can either use a normal gear setup, or use an internally geared rear hub.

However, the disadvantage of those is chain wear - they’re hard on chains. You’ll want an ebike specific chain and a chain stretch checker if you have something like that.

Go take the Rad Wagon for a spin - there are some nice hills near the shop. You’ll still have to pedal with a rear motor, but it makes a huge difference, you can get regen braking (useful on a cargo bike, if not hugely useful on a regular single person commuter), and it’s a much quieter motor than the BBS02 based bikes I’ve ridden.

Either way, it’s going to make a huge difference in climbing hills.