We had been working on refining our eCUB design after the eCUB 1.0 and it was just before we arrived at the Mk. 2 that we looked up from our work and decided to step back from what we had achieved to try and see it in perspective. It is very easy when working on an intensely detailed project such as the eCUB to get so drawn into the minutiae that you don't stop, breathe and reconsider it as a whole. It was with this in mind that we paused and came up for breath, as it were, and realised what we were creating.
Any conversion necessarily comes with a seemingly endless list of problems and hurdles, and as soon as you have overcome one you are faced with ten more. That's all part of the fun us, coming up with innovative designs and methods to overcome them, but we realised that for anyone trying to build an electric conversion who didn't have the experience and the team that we have the task could well feel insurmountable.
We had refined and refined our designs on the eCUBs to the point that we could feasibly make it plug & play and so we decided that rather than just use our design and machining work to build our own bikes, we would bring it to the world and make electric conversions accessible in a way they have never been before.
Of course, it took an extra level of development and refinement (actually rather an enormous undertaking, even with the original eCUB work under our belt) to make our designs into a truly simple conversion kit that requires no soldering or welding. A gargantuan effort later we had our kit ready. It was an amazing feeling to have it all laid out in front of us and to see everything you need to convert a humble CUB to an eCUB right there.. but as they say, the proof is in the pudding and in this case the pudding was a bike. We had to build it. But it wouldn't be a fair test for one of us to build it as we know these CUBs inside out.. how were we going to prove it truly was the IKEA fit of electric conversion kits?
Lena, an up and coming Shanghai artist and close friend of Matthew's kindly volunteered to do the build, and she was ideal having some experience with tools building bicycles but never having built anything as complex as a motorcycle. We prepared a C70 frame and a pair front forks for the conversion, having them smoothed and painted in bright gloss white to really contrast the gloss black kit parts that were to be fitted.
One morning in early September Lena cam over to our workshop and over the course of a day she built the first ever Shanghai Customs eCUB conversion. One or other of us was there to lend a hand when part of the build was a two person job, but otherwise Lena did the lot!
The bike came together beautifully both in terms of the kit fitting seamlessly but also that the eCUB that came out at the end was truly a thing to behold, and was a pretty epic ride as well..
With our kits what we really wanted to do was level the playing field and bring electric conversion to everyone, and most importantly build a community of eCUB builders who can share their creations and innovations with us and each other. If you have an eCUB conversion that you're proud of please send it in to us and you may stand to win a prize in our "Best CUBs" contest and have your bike featured in the eCUB Community for all to see!