C5alive filming with "" at Brooklands Museum - 13th November 2010

Author Topic: Improve my C5  (Read 3782 times)

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  • Guest
Improve my C5
« on: 02, June, 2008 - 20:55:14 »
Hello, I bought this year a C5 from C5Martin and I am very pleased with it.
Here is what the seller wrote, so you get an idea of what I have:
"This Sinclair C5 has been totally striped down. The chassis and all metalwork have been painted and bearings greased. I have stripped down the motor, serviced and greased the gearbox.  The tyres and inner tubes have all been replaced with Schwalbe low rolling resistance tyres, supplied by C5ALIVE.  Battery connections have been replaced with quick release type plus two C5martin battery holders also fitted.  All the electronics have been serviced and are working O/K. I have fitted a fan cooling on motor also C5martin mod to chain tensioner. This C5 has been restored in the spirit of the original."

Now my questions are:
- I did recently see some rear mirrors on a C5. My C5 has no. Where can I get them?
- Enclosed was also side panels for rainy days. However, I didn´t get it how to connect them with the C5. Any instructions?
- During driving the rear brake was only braking on the right side. Is this ok? As a result the C5 was sliding a bit to the right and I am afraid that in case of a real emergency brake I will really slide. Is there any improvement?
- I didn´t find the button for the horn. At all I am unsure if there is a horn... as a standard there should be one or not?
- I am thinking about adding turn-signal-lights. Is there already a kit available?
- I have seen that there is a metal plate to put in batterie, but it is left and right. Is it standard maybe for a spare battery or is it eventually modified for the 24V kit? Maybe C5Martin can answer this question...
- The supplied battery is a car battery, but rather old. I cannot read the stickers anymore , but I want buy a new battery. However, I am rather unsure what kind of battery I can use, especially as I could read on the site of the official C5 dealer that we should never use something else than a Sinclair battery, as other batteries fully loaded can have up to 15 Volt and damage the electrics...any comments on this?

At least I heard that this car is allowed to drive on the streets. However, I am from Germany and I am not so sure if it is also allowed here. I mean I need at least a confirmation that this vehicle is produced in conformity with common standards for using on there existing something like that? Also in UK, do you have an insurance for your cars like mopeds have it or you just use it "as a bike"?

As I know the Germans, I guess it will be not allowed to drive here on the streets...but maybe I can get allowance with at least a horn and better brakes, make with turn-signal-lights. We will see.

Last but not least I did discover something maybe interesting:

I don´t know how I can translate it, but basically this set delivers power for several weeks!!!! Imagine what trips could be possible if your C5  has this powerset.




  • Guest
Re: Improve my C5
« Reply #1 on: 02, June, 2008 - 21:33:12 »
Hi there I'm fairly new here, but i have read most of the messages on this site and have searched about a lot for spares and parts so maybe I can lend a hand.

Firstly for the mirrors or any of the original accessories you can go here:

As for the horn it was an optional extra, so I'm unsure as to if you have one.
If you need to buy one they are available here:

The best cost effective battery you can use is a Leisure Battery for a caravan or boat and these are 12v so should be fine. I've also read somewhere that car batteries when fully charged can be up to 15v and would like to know if they can damage a C5?

As for the indicator lights they were available as an optional extra but I've had a quick look around for you and can't find any, but other people on the site might be able to help.

Sorry i can't answer all your questions but I'm sure other people will help more ^^

Cant wait to get a C5 so i can restore it  :D


  • Guest
Re: Improve my C5
« Reply #2 on: 03, June, 2008 - 16:27:48 »
Brakes : There are 2 sets of brakes on the C5 - first set are on the front wheel (normal caliper bicycle brakes) and the second set are drum brakes on the rear wheel.  As you correctly noticed, the rear brakes are only fitted to the wheel with the motor - so you get some pretty exciting skidding and sliding if you use those brakes at speed!! LOL ;)

Another thing to point out is that the front wheel tends to melt/disintegrate if it's used a lot at speed!! When this happens your front tyre pops off!  Always good fun in traffic! ;)

Good old C5 - it's a lotta fun for a deathtrap :) :D


  • Guest
Re: Improve my C5
« Reply #3 on: 03, June, 2008 - 17:15:10 »
C5 Side Panel Information. 8)

Good to see you on the forum :)


  • Guest
Re: Improve my C5
« Reply #4 on: 03, June, 2008 - 19:56:01 »
Hi Thomas & welcome to the forum.

In reply to some of your queries ;

The legal issue is a bit of a minefield. The c5 was built within the confines of "electrically assisted bicycles" legislation from 1985. The rules have since changed to such an extent that there is some doubt as to whether a C5 could be manufactured today and be road legal.

If your c5 has a Sinclair horn fitted, the button will be on the right hand side of the handlebars in a position to be operated by your right thumb.

Which battery to use is down to personal choice. Adam Harper advises measuring the output of your battery and making sure you dont use anything over 13v otherwise damage may occur.
Although I have not suffered any damage by using freshly charged batteries, it is only fair to pass on the warning.

The C5 is designed to carry two batterys, some of the options are 1 in use plus 1 spare, or both in use as a long range twin battery version 12v (usually genuine Sinclair batteries & keyswitch - pod display retained) or both in use as 24v  (kit required, loss of pod display) .

Personally , I have found one 12v 70ah Halfords leisure battery provides a greater range than two Sinclair batteries.

Hope this helps.



  • Guest
Re: Improve my C5
« Reply #5 on: 26, June, 2008 - 08:17:45 »
for LED turn-signal-lights or LED stop lights you can look at