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
III. Solar + E-Bike: How It All Comes Together
IV. Sol Mobil
VII. Customer Support
VIII. Repair Resources, By Bike:
a. Organic Transit ELF
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.
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
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.