Frequently Asked Questions about e-bikes and more!
Welcome to our new FAQ page, where we're starting to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about solar e-bikes, our business, and more. Click the links in the Contents section to jump to each individual question. If you still have a question after checking out this page, then please don't hesitate to get in touch.
This page is a work in progress. Please check back soon for edits! Thanks.
I. General E-Bike Info
II. General Bike Info
- What types of bicycle can I electrify using one of your kits?
- What Is My Bike's Tire Size?
- How do you build the motor into the wheel?
III. Solar + E-Bike: How It All Comes Together
IV. Sol Mobil
- What We Do
- What We Don't Do
- I'm thinking of using Affirm, but want to read the fine print.
- How long will it take to process my order?
VII. Customer Support
VIII. Repair Resources, By Bike:
a. Organic Transit ELF
- Do you have any info on the ELF's original Kelly motor controller?
What types of bicycle can I electrify using one of your kits?
Using one of our hub motor conversion kits, almost any type of bicycle can be electrified if you choose the correct components for your specific bike. We, as well as our customers have converted all types of bikes to electric, including mountain, road, cargo, commuter, trike, recumbent, folding bikes, and more. If you're unsure which components are needed for your particular build, you can always click 'generate a quote' instead of proceeding with checkout, which will give us a chance to take a look and make recommendations before purchase.
What Is My Bike's Tire Size?
Tire size is always printed on the side of a bike's tire. It is given in inches as well as millimeters according to the different ISO standard tire sizes. Below are the common sizes of bike rims; if you have a modern bike, made in the last 20 years or so, it's most likely using one of the sizes in this first list. It is important to double check which rim size your bike uses before ordering any components to ensure the best possible fit and overall compatibility. Some frames are designed for multiple sizes of bike tires, while other frames can only tolerate a certain size rim. Here is a list of the common rim sizes we normally keep in stock:
20" = ISO 406
24" = ISO 507
26" = ISO 559
27.5"/650B = ISO 584
29"/700C = ISO 622
Here are some other, more obscure sizes that we don't typically sell, but do come across from time to time. If you have a bike with one of these rim sizes, get in touch with us when placing your order so we can get you setup with the proper rim size for your bike:
16" BMX = ISO 305
16" Recumbent = ISO 349. This is the most common standard for 16" wheels, and is used on recumbents as well as folding bikes such as Brompton.
20 x 1-3/4" = ISO 419
20 x 1-1/8" or 20 x 1-3/8" = ISO 451
24" Schwinn S7 = ISO 521
24" Schwinn S5 = ISO 547
26 x 1-3/8" = ISO 590
26" Schwinn S6 = ISO 597
27" = ISO 630
36" = ISO 787. Typically seen on unicycles, as well as bikes built especially for tall people such as Dirty Sixer
How do you build hub motors into bike wheels?
At Sol Mobil, we hand build every wheel to order using spokes freshly cut to length on our Morizumi spoke cutting & threading machine. This machine offers visually perfect, factory quality custom length spoke threads at karate chop speeds. We do hub motor builds, as well as regular hub wheel builds, in 14g, 13g, and tapered 14/13g spokes in order to offer complete front & rear wheelsets. It is a good idea to consider replacing the non hub-motor wheel at the same time as the motor wheel if your bike's spokes are tired, or you want the rims & spokes to match. We typically use rims & hubs from Velocity, and spokes from DT Swiss or Sapim.
What We Do
- Unique E-Bikes: We curate an exotic catalog of e-bikes designed to offer you the best in the world of each class of e-bike without compromise. We will never sell you junk, only the best in the world in every category. We can provide integrated solar recharging for any e-bike listed here as well as most currently on the market.
Trikes: Stein Trikes
Custom Geometry: Sol Mobil (coming soon)
Solar Charging: SunPower & Genasun
e-drive systems: Grin Tech.
More to come. Have a brand you want us to sell? Let us know!
- Online sales & remote support: We stock a small selection of e-bike parts, mostly from Grin Tech, for a few reasons:
1) To make sure we're able to complete repairs in our shop in a timely manner
2) make these parts available in our location for people needing to complete a repair on their e-bike.
3) provide high quality e-bike conversion kits that are easy to install and maintain. We want to make it as easy as possible for people to setup their e-bikes for solar recharging.
- e-bike repairs: we will take a look at anything under 1,000 pounds powered by batteries. If it's larger, we may or may not be equipped to work on your vehicle, it just depends (for instance: CitiCar yes, Tesla no. Basically anything larger than a Porsche 914 won't fit up our ramps). We service & repair all types of e-bikes, regardless of the age or manufacturer, as long as it's still safe to ride. We're also able to do some work on things like scooters, hoverboards, etc, though our support is more limited with other vehicles than with e-bikes.
What We Don't Do
As of January 2022 there are a couple things we don't quite offer anymore. We pulled back on these specific things in order to better focus on what we're best at and provide the best possible customer service:
1) Installation of conversion kits on existing bikes. We provide e-bike conversion kits online, and after purchase, you can schedule a time to talk to us on the phone about the install on your particular bike. We recommend you go ahead and attempt the install and get as far as you can carefully. Then, if you get stuck, we can have our scheduled call, and 15-20 minutes is usually all most people need to get unstuck. If you didn't get stuck, hooray! Now we can help you dial it in to get the best performance depending on your terrain, location, and riding style. If you're still stuck, we can keep talking on the phone until you aren't, or you can take it to a local bike shop or ours to have it finished by a bike mechanic. We no longer convert existing bikes to electric for customers, but do take converted bikes in for diagnostic & repairs.
Over the last 4 years, we have found that it is ideal for the customer to install the conversion kit on their own bike. That way you best understand how everything is installed and can properly do maintenance on the bike. These kits are also the best way to make sure your bike will accept solar recharging. If you are not interested, or don't have the tools necessary to convert your bike to electric, then it may be best to consider one of the new e-bikes we have available from our top end brands including Stealth, Yuba, Montague, etc.
2) Upgrades on existing e-bikes that aren't broken. While this is totally possible, and often the practical choice, we no longer seek to take this on in house. At Sol Mobil, we will happily sell you the required components, and help you make sure the part is compatible with your bike. But we no longer take on major upgrade projects on existing e-bikes --- it should be an e-bike in for repair, with some issue that needs resolving, or even a regular maintenance check. We advocate & will provide routine maintenance; we'll replace your brake system if the original ones suck, and we can upgrade the controller if it's been cutting out or loses power all the time, but we will not be able to fit your bike into our project schedule if there are no issues with the bike that prevent it from being ridden safely. We may tell you something along the lines of 'well if it ain't broke, then don't fix it.' We do this for a few reasons: one being the current volume of e-bike repairs & design activity in our shop. We want to prioritize bikes that are really broken, as well as internal R&D projects. Another reason is the cost; often, major e-bike upgrades cost as much as an entire new e-bike, since it often requires a new controller, battery & PAS sensor and several hours install time to achieve notably higher speeds. If it's going to cost $1,800 dollars to upgrade your bike, might as well buy that system as a new kit instead, then you'd have the original bike as well as the new, faster one!
The following information comes directly from Affirm, and only applies if you choose to use their financing services.
"Affirm Overview and Application Process
What is Affirm?
Affirm is a financing alternative to credit cards and other credit-payment products. Affirm offers instant financing for online purchases to be paid in fixed monthly installments.
Why buy with Affirm?
- Buy and receive your purchase right away, and pay for it over several months. This payment option allows you to split the price of your purchase into fixed payment amounts that fit your monthly budget.
- If Affirm approves your loan, you'll see your loan terms before you make your purchase. See exactly how much you owe each month, the number of payments you must make, and the total amount of interest you’ll pay over the course of the loan. There are no hidden fees.
- The application process is secure and real-time. Affirm asks you for a few pieces of information. After you provide this information, Affirm notifies you of the loan amount that you’re approved for, the interest rate, and the number of months that you have to pay off your loan -- all within seconds.
- You don’t need a credit card to make a purchase. Affirm lends to the merchant directly on your behalf.
- You may be eligible for Affirm financing even if you don’t have an extensive credit history. Affirm bases its loan decision not only on your credit score, but also on several other data points about you.
- Affirm reminds you by email and SMS before your upcoming payment is due. Enable Autopay to schedule automatic monthly payments on your loan.
What is required to have an Affirm account?
To sign up for Affirm, you must:
- Be 18 years or older (19 years or older in Alabama or if you’re a ward of the state in Nebraska).
- Not be a resident of Iowa (IA) or West Virginia (WV).
- Provide a valid U.S. or APO/FPO/DPO home address.
- Provide a valid U.S. mobile or VoIP number and agree to receive SMS text messages. The phone account must be registered in your name.
- Provide your full name, email address, date of birth, and the last 4 digits of your social security number to help us verify your identity.
How does Affirm work?
Affirm loan-application process steps:
- At checkout, choose Pay with Affirm.
- Affirm prompts you to enter a few pieces of information: Name, email, mobile phone number, date of birth, and the last four digits of your social security number. This information must be consistent and your own.
- To ensure that you’re the person making the purchase, Affirm sends a text message to your cell phone with a unique authorization code.
- Enter the authorization code into the application form. Within a few seconds, Affirm notifies you of the loan amount you’re approved for, the interest rate, and the number of months you have to pay off your loan. You have the option to pay off your loan over three, six, or twelve months. Affirm states the amount of your fixed, monthly payments and the total amount of interest you’ll pay over the course of the loan.
- To accept Affirm’s financing offer, click Confirm Loan and you’re done.
After your purchase, you’ll receive monthly email and SMS reminders about your upcoming payments. You can also set up autopay to avoid missing a payment. Your first monthly payment is due 30 days from the date that we (the merchant) processes your order.
How does Affirm approve borrowers for loans?
- Affirm asks for a few pieces of personal information: Name, email address, mobile phone number, date of birth, and the last four digits of your social security number.
- Affirm verifies your identity with this information and makes an instant loan decision.
- Affirm bases its loan decision not only on your credit score, but also on several other data points. This means that you may be able to obtain financing from Affirm even if don’t have an extensive credit history.
Does Affirm do a credit check, and how does it impact my credit score?
Affirm does a “soft” credit check, which verifies the customer's identity but does not affect a customer’s credit score. Affirm's underwriting model does not use a hard credit check. There is no effect on a consumer's credit score when they apply for an Affirm loan.
Why was I denied financing by Affirm?
The merchant has no information regarding a customer's financing denial. Affirm strives to offer all credit-worthy applicants financing with Affirm, but isn’t able to offer credit in every case. Affirm will send you an email with more details about its decision. Unfortunately Affirm’s decision is final.
Why was I asked to verify my identity?
If Affirm has difficulty confirming your identity, you may need to provide more information. Affirm uses modern technology to confirm your identity, including verifying your address or full SSN, or requesting a photo of your ID. Affirm takes these steps in some cases to counter fraud and provide the most accurate credit decision they can.
Why was I prompted to enter my income?
Affirm may sometimes need more information about your finances and your ability to repay in order to make a credit decision. Your income gives Affirm additional insight into your ability to repay.
Why was I prompted for my checking account?
Affirm may sometimes need more information about your finances and your ability to repay in order to make a credit decision. If you are prompted to link your checking account and would like to proceed, please provide the login information for your online bank account. Affirm does not store your online login credentials—they are transmitted securely to your bank.
If Affirm asks you to link your checking account, Affirm won’t be able to offer you credit if:
1) Your bank is not listed
2) You choose not to link your checking account
3) You don’t use online banking
4) The username and / or password you provide is incorrect
5) You're unable to successfully connect your checking account
Why is my bank not listed?
Although Affirm is continually adding support for additional banks, they aren’t able to connect to every bank at the present time. We apologize for the inconvenience. If you’re unable to connect your bank, you’ll need to complete your purchase with another payment method.
Why was I prompted for a down payment?
Affirm isn’t always able to offer credit for the full amount you request. In these cases, Affirm asks you to make a down payment with a debit card for the remainder of your purchase. The down payment amount can’t be changed and must be made upon confirming your loan and before the loan offer expires.
Will I see how much interest I am paying prior to accepting my loan?
Yes! Affirm works hard to be completely transparent. You’ll see the amount of interest you’ll owe on the terms page and again on the loan confirmation page. If you pay off your loan early, you’ll receive a rebate for any interest that hasn’t yet accrued.
Why can't customers outside the U.S. use Affirm?
Affirm is available only to shoppers residing in the United States. Affirm hopes to expand its services to customers outside the U.S. in the future."
How Long will It Take To Process My Order?
Sol Mobil strives to provide world class electric bike components at the most fair prices possible. If one were forced to choose between quality, price, and speed, we always choose the first two, then let the process take exactly as long as it needs to in order to yield the required results. While we have access to an overwhelming amount of e-bike tech through our extensive worldwide dealer network, and can source almost anything upon request, we are quite a small company relative to the rest of the industry, so we choose to only stock a limited supply of the best e-bike components we can find for immediate shipment. We make these parts available for people building and maintaining their own e-bikes, as well as if they are needed to complete repairs in our shop. If you require something that isn't listed as 'in stock' on our site, but see that we're a dealer for that product line, simply send us an e-mail and we'll send you more information about how to order, including an invoice and estimated ship time from the manufacturer.
Most small online orders, for one or two components, are processed the next business day, though it sometimes takes two business days for the package to make it to our local UPS store - and the same goes for FedEx battery shipments. That means, for instance, that orders placed on a Friday will most likely be shipped the following Monday or Tuesday.
For larger orders, including wheel builds, or anything involving crimping or soldering, please allow an additional 2-3 days processing time for a total wait time of 2-5 days before the shipment is initiated.
For more extensive purchases, such as a new e-bike, custom solar kit, etc, the estimated wait time will be provided a short time after the order is placed. If you're curious what the wait time for any particular custom product would be, send us an e-mail before ordering. Typical wait times on special orders can range from 1 week to 3 months or more, it just depends on what you want and who is providing it! Typical wait times for special orders include:
Grin: 1-2 weeks
Garmin: 3-4 days
Stealth: 3 months
SunPower: 2-3 weeks
Yuba: 1-2 weeks
Do you have any info on the ELF's original Kelly motor controller?:
The manual for the ELF's original motor controller, which was part of the Kelly KBS-X series, can be downloaded Here
. Originally from Kelly Controllers
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