I have been mountain biking for 30+ years and interested in electric bikes for the last 10 or so. However, until recently, all the models I road tested were ponderous because the weights of their lead acid batteries were excessive. A year ago, my interest was rekindled and I rode a number of new models including Pedego, Motiv, I Zip and several others. All were a big improvement over past electric bikes, but they still seemed unbalanced by their rear hub motors and rear oriented batteries. It was time to explore the do it yourself (DIY) market. I had acquired a steel mid 90's Diamondback frame that was sand blasted, painted and equipped with some light parts to make a single speed off road bike. This would be a good platform for the conversion. Unfortunately, most of the DIY kits that I found initially were too expensive for what I thought would be a bike that was ridden only intermittently. Then, by reading the Endless Sphere (ES) web site, I discovered that Dillenger offered a warranted product for about half of its competitor’s prices, so I ordered a 350w front hub conversion..
The Dillenger kit arrived a week or so after I ordered. The electric bike kit came very well packaged and all of the components were in excellent condition. I would like to embellish the details of assembly, but cannot because it was so easy. The instructions were not exceptional, but were not necessary except for how to program the King Meter and to plug the battery into the charger before plugging the charger into the socket. The only enigmatic part of assembly was how to hide the excess wires. This has not been perfected yet, but by zip tying them to the frame, they are somewhat hidden and unobtrusive. In addition, I added a torque arm for safety. This may not have been necessary with steel forks, but cannot hurt.
There was an initial problem with the controller, which limited performance somewhat, but Dillenger rectified that situation as soon as Sam was aware of it. Since then I have ridden the bike for more than six months and it is extremely functional with a top speed of 20 mph (33kph) and a range exceeding 16 miles (27km); that has been my longest excursion. I should add that I enjoy ascending and provide as much assist as possible when climbing hills. The most gratifying aspect of the conversion is that the bike still pedals extremely well since the weight is balanced with the motor in front and mid mounted battery. I use the bike for errands and an occasional ride on dirt trails in the area. Interestingly (to me) is that I have let a couple of MTB racer friends try it out and they were impressed. It would not be surprising for them to consider a DIY kit to shorten their bike commute to work while still providing as much exercise as they desire.
The Dillenger kit has been as advertised. They are an excellent solution to the price performance dilemma facing DIY individuals. One receives an excellent product at a fair price without the vagaries of dealing with ordering directly from China. In addition, they have proven that their warranty is valid.