I’ve always been a fan of doing your own electric bicycle conversion instead of buying a retail ebike. By going the do-it-yourself (DIY) route, you have so much more freedom and room for customization, allowing you to choose from many different ebike parts.
Nearly every electric bicycle part has been designed to seamlessly integrate with standard bicycles to make the conversion process simple and easy. Throttles just slip over handlebar ends, motors mount easily in the wheel dropouts, and controllers can be bolted just about anywhere. The only problem can be fitting a battery onto a bicycle.
There are a few ebike batteries specifically built for mounting to bicycle frames, but generally DIY builders have been stuck building their own custom boxes and enclosures.
The best place to mount batteries on an ebike is in the center triangle of a bicycle frame. By mounting batteries in the triangle, you keep the weight centered in the bike and lower to the ground. But how can you securely mount your batteries in such an odd shaped area of the bike?
Enter: The Electric Rider Triangle Battery Bag!
Electric Rider Triangle Battery Bag
I got my hands on one of these new bags about 6 weeks ago and have been putting it through the paces ever since.
Now this isn’t my first triangle bag I’ve used for mounting batteries on an ebike. Readers of EbikeSchool.com might remember a review I did of the Ibera triangle bag, which I loved. Well, now I’ve found the Ibera bag’s big brother, and that’s the Electric Rider triangle bag.
This triangle bag has everything I loved about the Ibera bag, and a whole lot more!
Let’s start with the material. The exterior of the bag is made from what appears to be some type of tightly woven nylon, which gives the bag its water resistant feature. The zipper itself is a waterproof variety, just like I have on many of my hiking bags that are meant to keep all your gear dry in a downpour. The zipper closes behind a plastic-like sealing barrier which stops water ingress via the zipper. These two methods together make the bag highly water-resistant. I hesitate to say it is water proof, because I’m sure if you held a hose to it for long enough, especially around the wire ports, you’d start to get some water leakage. But fortunately for us, real rain isn’t directed like a sideways hose, and the light sprinkling rain I encountered left me with a bone dry interior. I haven’t had an heavy rains yet to give it a more intense test.
The wire ports themselves are really neat. One port in the front is covered by a nylon hood, which means the wires exit up but then immediately turn 90 degrees to the side. This helps to keep falling water from entering the exit port.
Many people will require a top mounted wire exit, especially if the controller is to be included in the bag, because that’s the most direct path to the handlebars and all of the devices you’ll have mounted there. This hooded exit port is a great way to provide a top mounted exit port without the risk of water easily getting through.
The second wire port is located on the underside of the bag and is similar to the headphone ports on many backpacks. A spiral cut piece of rubber holds the port closed and tightly seals around wires that exit the port. These two different designs for top and bottom mounted wire ports should provide many options for accessing your battery and any other electronics stored in the bag.
This might be a good chance to check back in on the Ibera triangle bag I used before I got the Electric Rider triangle bag. While it was nice and roomy, it didn’t have any wire ports, probably because it was never meant for use on electric bicycles. That’s one of the biggest advantages of the Electric Rider triangle bag: it’s designed specifically for ebike use.
A great example of how this triangle bag is meant for ebikes is that included padding. The bag itself doesn’t feature built in padding, rather there is a long strip of foam padding included with the bag to allow the user to shape it to whatever battery they are using. At first I wasn’t a fan of this method, as I would have preferred a bag that came padded on all sides. But as I started using the bag, I realized how useful this feature was. By not padding the entirety of the bag, Electric Rider left as much usable space as possible in the bag. I could then add their padding only where I needed it. This meant the bag could remain as wide as possible for holding as thick a battery as you can get in there. Then you can just wrap the padding around the corners or bottom of the battery (or top of the battery if you want to put more stuff in there on top of it) as you see fit.
One downside of the triangle bag is that there isn’t a great way to protect against theft. This is a problem inherent in all battery bags, since they don’t lock to the bike the way an aluminum case battery can. One trick to get around this is to use a luggage lock on the two zipper pulls. This isn’t going to stop a determined thief, but it will prevent opportunistic crime where a would-be thief sees and easy target and goes rummaging through your battery bag. Check out my article on Ebike theft prevention to learn more here.
Adding a lock to the zippers is something you very well may want to consider, especially when you see how much expensive lithium you can cram into this bag. In terms of size, I’m not sure how else to say it other than that this bag is cavernous. It just keeps going. It will fill up the triangle on most bikes (and might even be too big for some, though it will squish down to fit) and its width means you can stuff a lot of battery into it.
The EM3EV triangle bag (which is a nice bag in its own right, and one which I will be reviewing here soon too) has been the largest triangle bag to date. Well, now we’ve got a new king in town, as the Electric Rider triangle bag is even bigger.
To test it out, I put it in the biggest, weirdest and most open frame I could find: the Electra Townie. This gigantic frame can fit enough lithium to take you half way across the country. The only problem is fitting it in there somehow. But the Electric Rider triangle bag actually surprised me by fitting in this gigantic frame triangle (or perhaps ‘abstract quadrilateral’ is more accurate than ‘triangle’). You can see that the frame is so large on this bike that the bag stretches a bit to fit. However, the long mounting straps that Electric Rider designed into the bag means that it can hold on securely even with the edges of the bag an inch or more from the frame members.
There is even still plenty of room for another bag up front to hold a controller, keys, wallet, sunglasses etc. The large shape of the bag and the extra long straps make this bag adaptable to many different size and shapes of bicycle frames. It even fit nicely in another weird yet smaller frame I had: a fat bike.
But fitting in a frame is just part of the story. A battery bag has to hold a lot of battery if it wants to live up to its name. So the next test involved loading the bag up with a bunch of batteries to see how well it worked.
For comparison, I tried loading in a few 48V 10AH lithium packs that I had on hand. Just for reference, my Ibera triangle bag could only hold one pack, and it had trouble closing. I was able to fit two of the 48V 10AH batteries into an EM3EV triangle bag, but the zipper wouldn’t close. Those same two packs fit in the Electric Rider triangle bag easily, and the bag was able to close with plenty of room for a controller and some other goodies.
I could even get three packs in the Electric Rider bag, but then I had trouble closing it.
Not for lack of trying though. A bit like battery Tetris.
An ebike bag that can carry 48V 20AH isn’t bad at all – that’s about twice as much battery as most retail ebikes feature. And remember, each of those packs I used had their own Battery Management System (BMS), wiring and connectors, not to mention cell arrangement designed for a single pack. If that had been one pack instead of three, and without all the redundant components, I think 48V30AH would have fit in the Electric Rider bag easily. It certainly swallowed my big 72V battery without a problem.
But all that space for batteries means the bag is going to get pretty heavy. Electric Rider was prepared for that though, and included nine (yes, nine!) wide velcro straps for holding the bag into the frame triangle. That sucker isn’t going anywhere.
So what does a bag like this cost? Well that’s the kicker – you’re going to have to shell out $65 to put one on your bike. Compared to the Ibera bag, that’s about 4 times the price, which might be hard to swallow for your first conversion. But when it comes to fitting the maximum amount of battery in your triangle, there aren’t many options out there that can do it besides Electric Rider’s triangle bag. And that’s when the price suddenly makes it seem so worth it. If you’re stuffing 20 AH or more of lithium in your bike’s frame triangle, you’re probably talking about a battery that is nearing $1,000 as it is. At that point, it just makes sense to protect that investment with a quality bag like this.
Want to get your own triangle bag? Head on over to Electric Rider’s website to check out their bag here.