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LaFree Bike

I have this LaFree Electric Bike, all I really know about it is that it was made by Giant.

I am an Electrical Engineering student and I am looking at bringing new life into it, would it be worth updating to more modern standards? Any information on this bike is greatly appreciated!

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    Looks like a run of the mill e-bike. At best you’ll be able to rebuild the battery pack. Anything more than that you’d be looking to replace the controller and motor, and at that point it’d be simpler to just make your own ebike from scratch with a kit.
    – RoboKaren
    Jul 7 '18 at 7:21
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    VTLO because its definitely about bikes, and has more of chance to get results than the generic "ID my BMX frame" questions. Edited to remove off-topic valuation bit.
    – Criggie
    Oct 18 '18 at 19:12
  • @RoboKaren I only just realised that the motor is in the bottom bracket area.
    – Criggie
    Dec 30 '18 at 12:47
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    If you're an EE student then it's a good project for you, regardless of it's valuation. The first step would be to analyze it for major defects -- bad battery, burned out motor, burned out controller, major mechanical problems, etc. Likely the batteries are long in the tooth, but you may find that an outfit like Batteries Plus (with franchises in many US cities) can fix up the batteries without busting the bank. Jan 3 '19 at 0:42
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    Here's a link to the manual for the LaFree Sport flecc.co.uk/m/giant_lafree_sport_manual.pdf
    – David D
    Jun 19 '19 at 15:21
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This is a Giant Lafree e-trans e-bike. They were made in three versions from 1999 on and yours is the Sport model.

It has two SLA batteries totalling 24 volts in the case. The roadster version I knew had the charger integrated in the bike so your's probably has too.

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Looks like a comparatively old ebike.

Start by pulling the battery and check its chemistry and state of charge. Googling suggests Sealed Lead Acid or possibly Nickel Metal-Hydride.

Give the bike parts a bike safety check, and probably replace the brake pads just because ebikes are heavy. There are plenty of google results out there for "lafree electric bike"

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I just bought the same one at the flea market, I have the book, it has few stains on it ( the book ) I can scan it for you if you like I have the battery housing, but I don't have any batteries inside it, I would love to adapt a connector so I can slip couple of power tools batteries in there from Kobalt or Dewalt or others since I already use those on my tools and have the charger for them

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  • Great stuff thank you for the offer. Please go ahead and scan all the useful pages, ideally into a PDF, or a bunch of jpg files, and we'll figure out how to present it.
    – Criggie
    Aug 13 '19 at 21:28
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I bought a Giant LaFree Lite bike new in late 2003, and pedaled it until I broke a transmission case at about 5000 miles (aluminum casting, weak design) wore out the internal hub gears inside the back rim (around 6000 miles) then the frame broke, down near the pedals/transmission, because aluminum is weak, and weaker near a weld. That was at just over 6,000 miles. I am 5'8", average build, so am no Goliath or Superman. The bikes were just built to last a few thousand miles, tops. Altogether, in the 15 months or so I rode it to stay in shape, I was in my mid-50s, and put over 8,000 miles on it, and the battery still worked good. It showed some signs of age, but was still at about 80-90%. It seemed like 100% though, because I had gotten so much stronger over that year-plus. I'm getting the battery rebuilt now, so I can get it out and ride it some more, now that I am old and retired. (turning 69 next month!)

Looks like a bike that will snap in two like a wishbone because it has no triangle between the seat post and front yoke. Aluminum frame, too, I bet.

Fenders were designed by an idiot, who does not know how water flings off a spinning tire.

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