Note to self: Don’t try the BMX spinny-fork trick on an ebike.

Good news! I figured out the electrical problem on the ebike!


As quite a number of people suggested and I myself suspected, it was really only a separated connector.

Bad news! The connector is nonsensically located inside the bike frame.


And I will be damned if I can figure out how they ever fished it in there in the first place, since the wire on one side is potted to the charge controller and the wire on the other side is part of a bundle that couldn’t possibly fit through that space. I’m missing something obviously, I mean they did do it so probably I can too.

Once I removed the grommet at the bottom of the frame, a little very light tugging made it immediately obvious that something that should be attached … wasn’t. When I took my relatively high-speed header in the mud on Tuesday, the front fork spun in a most un-ebike manner and a couple of minor connectors were pulled loose at the handlebars. So another disconnected connector didn’t surprise me, though I couldn’t find it until I plumbed the depths of the frame itself. I never would have been able to firmly diagnose the problem if Radrover hadn’t sent me all those free parts two years ago including a replacement harness. Once I had everything electrically connected, the display and motor worked perfectly. So that’s good.

But right now it’s just an oversized bicycle with a whole bunch of wires hanging everywhere. Getting it properly back together is going to take some patient thought. Still, I feel much better about the whole thing knowing I can fix it one way or another.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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10 Responses to Note to self: Don’t try the BMX spinny-fork trick on an ebike.

  1. Ben says:

    You don’t really need me to tell you this, but: Tie-wraps and/or a few wraps of electrical tape will conceal many sins.

  2. Joel says:

    Of course and it might come to that. But the majority of that frame rail is taken up with the battery and mount, so there’s no way to really tie the wire down. Much better if I can snake it back through the rail.

  3. Andy says:

    Hi Joel, it looks pretty easy in their video however it always does when somebody else is doing it 🙂

    https://radpowerbikes.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115002061833-RadRover-Wiring-Harness-Replacement-Guide

  4. Joel says:

    Hey, I never even thought of going to them for advice. I’m on the Monday water run right now but I’ll watch that as soon as I get home.

  5. Mike says:

    Andy beat me to the punch. Nice…

  6. Terrapod says:

    As an old EE, first rule of “donts” is don’t put a connector in a place it can’t be reached. That is plain silly unless there is an access hole into the frame at exactly the right spot and you have two pairs of forceps to hold the bloody parts in line to plug them together (likely special tool BZX-2021A and B) . And they should lock together such that they can’t shake loose,.

  7. Tennessee Budd says:

    Remember, Terrapod, it was one or more of our fellow engineers who did this in the first place. Some tron-chasers are evil-minded bastards. Most of us, probably, but with a lot of us the desire for a clean design execution overcomes the fuckemall urge.

  8. Tennessee Budd says:

    Uncle Joel, you were a mechanic, so you probably don’t need telling, but just in case–be sure and label those connectors before unhooking them, at least any that look a lot alike.

  9. Terrapod says:

    Tennessee – Could not agree with you more. Modern engineering gets overridden by the artistic types. They design the outside first, then tell us to make it all fit.

    Being both an old school EE and by hard knocks an ME automotive wrencher, I curse a lot at all the guys at VW, GM and Chrysler. Heck even Mercedes is falling into that mode, no room to get your hands in to fix anything.

  10. paulb says:

    Bought a kit to make the wife’s bike and e Bike. Going to see how good pull ties work. Good luck getting you RadRover back into running spec.

To the stake with the heretic!