November 13, 2023

🥷 Choose Your Fighter: Cadence vs Torque Sensor

Plus, massive sends on electric unicycles.

Welcome to Mod Monday! This is your weekly newsletter on all things brilliant and bizarre in the world of DIY riding.

Before we start, a quick reminder that you should cast your ballot in Rider’s Choice Awards right now if you haven’t already. The first round of voting ends this Wednesday (November 15th), at which point the bottom 30% of nominees in each category in terms of popular vote will be eliminated. 

We have nearly 2,000 nominees across approximately 100 categories. Vote asap to make sure your favorites stay in the race. 

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What You Need to Know Today

Cadence sensors vs torque sensors. What’s the difference and which is the best for your ebike setup? Generally, cadence sensors are more affordable, but elicit jerkier starts—while torque sensors are pricier, yet smoother. So it really comes down to budget and what you’re willing to pay for.

YouTuber Adam Malicki (aka mr. Wrong Way) went to one of the U.K.’s top mountain boarding locales to send some absolutely massive jumps on his electric unicycle. 

This DIYer is working on replacing an Ampler ebike’s standard controller with an open-source VESC (electric motor controller). The modification maintains the bike’s stealthy look (with the new controller hidden inside the downtube), while enabling the bike to reach speeds of around 35 kph (21 mph) and includes features like activating lights by pedaling backward.

Sometimes, in order for a mod to come together, everything needs to come apart. This tinkerer took their bike apart completely to switch out some components, wire it up, and style it their way.

It wouldn’t be a proper Mod Monday without hearing from YouTuber and bike enthusiast Sam Pilgrim. In his latest video, the British wildman tests a bike made out of the headboard of a bed frame. It’s pretty sketchy, but he sends it anyway.

Anti-theft technology like GPS tracking is important to many bike riders, but a stolen bike might be tough to retrieve even if you know exactly where it is. Police say that GPS coordinates aren’t always enough.

Here’s a crisp mod––a Salsa Rangefinder plus a CYC Photon with internal cable routing. This is a pretty snazzy-looking DIY ride. 

Cold weather can severely limit battery range. In order to fight the frigid temperatures, this Coloradan added a heated battery bag mod with a space blanket to insulate the power system.

This homemade folding ebike weighs under 10 kg (22 lbs). Sounds insane doesn’t it? Well, retired engineer Derek Cranage didn’t seem to think so. His lightweight design might make some folks at Brompton turn their heads.

This commuter made some modifications to his 2018 TVS Ntorq moped to make daily trips into Mumbai more comfortable and reliable.

Bamboo Bicycle Club not only makes their electric cargo bikes out of bamboo, but also lets you customize them. These last-mile delivery vehicles fully embrace the DIY spirit, allowing buyers to choose from different frames and components.

How YouTube legend Casey Neistat and his vintage Boosted electric skateboard became the new face of Lululemon sweatpants.

One Redditor posed the question, “If you had $500 to mod an ebike, what would you get?” Some of the top answers were new brakes, a new chain, and better tires. What would you spend it on?

That’s all for today’s Mod Monday newsletter! Remember to use the hashtag #ModMonday if you want us to cover your project. Tune in next week for more mods.

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