C5alive - The Premier Sinclair C5 website

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C5 Support / Front wheel question
« Last post by Paul Langton-Rogers on 24, April, 2016 - 13:55:12 »

Is it possible to fit a 16" wheel to the front instead of 12" or would this cause problems with the balance and steering of the C5?
Wanted - Sinclair C5 Parts & Accessories / Front wheel wanted
« Last post by Paul Langton-Rogers on 24, April, 2016 - 13:53:55 »

My C5 has a flat front tyre and the wheel and tyre condition might not be great and probably needs replacing.

Can anyone recommend a source for 12" wheels+tyres?

I'm not fussed on whether it's original C5 or something entirely different.

Is it possible to fit a 16" wheel to the front instead of 12" or would this cause problems with the balance and steering of the C5?
C5 Support / Wing mirrors
« Last post by Paul Langton-Rogers on 24, April, 2016 - 13:51:22 »

I'm after a pair of wing mirrors, but the original ones seem to sell for crazy prices (there's a pair on eBay now for £180!).

I'm not too keen on the 3D printed ones being sold, as these look rather expensive too and the finish quality is not quite to my liking.

A quick search on eBay for "electric indicator wing mirrors", reveals tons of cheap wing mirror pairs (some new for bicycles, some used pulled off cars) which might be a cheaper alternative as they generally sell for £15-£50 a pair...however I need to figure out a secure and tidy way to attach them onto the C5 body.

So does anyone have any advice, suggestions or ideas on attaching non-standard wing mirrors?

Ideally I'd like to use smaller car-type with indicators on.

Wanted - Sinclair C5 Parts & Accessories / Front wheel covers wanted
« Last post by Paul Langton-Rogers on 24, April, 2016 - 13:44:32 »

If anyone has a set of front wheel covers they'd like to sell, I'd be interested!

They don't have to be original either.

How much do these normally cost?
Hi all,

Here is the C5 itself...

I purchased the C5 off the original owner from new, who is now an elderly gentleman. The C5 has been in dry-storage for over a decade but as you can see, is in need of some TLC and restoration to tidy it up and get it back running again. There's no battery included, however the motor and electrics I have been told should be in good working order still.

I'm still in two minds about whether to restore this myself as I don't think I will be using it or keeping it after restoring, so not sure it's worth the time and hassle.

How much is a C5 worth in this condition as a restoration project, or if anyone is interested in acquiring it for parts maybe, how much would you think it's worth?

Photos album link:
C5 Support / C5 restoration - general advice and feedback wanted
« Last post by Paul Langton-Rogers on 24, April, 2016 - 13:32:29 »
Hi all,

I have just recently acquired a Sinclair C5 with a view to restoring it. It's not in the best condition and has a few things missing, but I have seen worse, so I think it's possibly viable as a restoration project but wanted some opinions...

Here is the C5 itself...

Now for the bad parts!

I purchased the C5 off the original owner from new, who is now an elderly gentleman. The C5 has been in dry-storage for over a decade but as you can see, has considerable rust to the chassis which is my main concern.  I haven't taken delivery yet so cannot fully determine the extent to how deep or bad the rust is, and whether the chassis is structurally safe now. 

What do you guys think looking at the photos? How would you normally go about dealing with rust like this, assuming it is just superficial and the chassis is structurally sound? I assume a complete strip-down and sanding off the rust and re-spraying the chassis with protective metal paints?

The owner says the original battery is dead and long since gone, but assures me the electrics are fine and it ran ok before it was put into storage.

My restoration options I'm considering are:

1) Restore it as originally was, keeping the original motor and just sourcing a suitable 12V battery (or two maybe). This is not my preferred option, but if members think it's better than my other options, I may well consider doing this.

2) Do the above (retaining original motor+12V battery), but also fit a front-hub 250W motor wheel to give it more hill climbing power (to keep it road legal, the rear motor and front motors would only be engaged at same time when climbing steep hills a single motor couldn't manage).

3) Strip it down and remove the motor and all the old 1985 electrics, change or adapt the rear axle assembly to allow for 2 rear hub motors and switch to a large Lithium-Ion battery and a modern controller.  Looks looks to be a challenge, as the rear axle rotates, and it doesn't have drop-outs like a bicycle, so I'm not sure fitting rear hub motor wheels is practically possible or safe. What do you guys think?

I don't want to spend a lot of money on restoring this really if I can help it, as I'm not even sure I will keep it or use it much. I'm doing the restoration more as a hobby project and challenge!

Some general questions...

Battery: In the e-bike community lead-acid batteries are no longer used to power e-bikes (they were in the earlier days) and now Lithium-Ion and other battery technologies are preferred as they have lower-weight and longer-life profile compared to lead acid batteries. However bicycles are much lighter than C5, and for heavier electric vehicles, generally lead-acid batteries are used due to their being cheap, and able to withstand deep discharge cycles. Would you say lead acid is still better for a C5, or would Lithium-Ion (36V/38Ah) be a good alternative that might last longer and be lighter?

Gearing: I know the C5 doesn't have any proper switchable gearing but does have a gearing system for added torque on the motor. If I modernised the C5 and took the rear-drive hub motors approach, how would this affect the gearing and ability to ride the C5 unpowered? I know some people have fit hub-gears like the sturmey archer 3-speed hub-gears used on the old Raleigh Chopper bicycles. Could this be the way to go? Or would gearing not really be an issue or necessary, providing my modernised C5 has sufficient redundancy built-in (backup controller units and extra battery power onboard)? Shouldn't ever need to pedal.

Bodywork: Looking at the condition of my C5 you can see it's pretty poor and dirty. Generally speaking, how easy is the C5's bodywork to clean? I'd ideally like to spray-paint mine (metallic silver I think) as others have done. Are there any reasons why I shouldn't do this, and would it significantly lessen its value to enthusiasts if I did spray painted it?

Handlebar: I really don't like where the handlebar is positioned beneath the knees. Has anyone ever attempted to move the handlebar further forwards (or adopt a completely new method of steering that comes off the front fork directly? Is changing the steering handlebar even practically possible, given the riding position and seat location?

Photos album link:

This one looks in very good condition with all the extras, wing mirrors, seat and booster, indicators, looks, fully restored, a little over an hour to go guys, if anyone interested will have to be quick, but it has no maiden bids (starting price look too high at £1,250..

The second C5 is a non-runner but looks tidy and a good restoration product for someone, has a lot of bids though, and around 3-4 hours to go..


The second C5 is a non-runner but looks tidy and a good restoration product for someone, has a lot of bids though, and around 3-4 hours to go..


Btw, I own neither of those C5's nor have any connection with the sellers. I'm just posting in case they're of interest to anyone.
Welcome To The Forum / Greetings from Redditch - Worcestershire
« Last post by Paul Langton-Rogers on 24, April, 2016 - 12:41:48 »

Hi all,

I've just joined this excellent forum and community and wanted to post a quick introduction and say thank you for letting me be a part of your enthusiasts community.

Although I'm 44 and so can remember when the C5 launched in the 1985 just about! I was only 13 then and so badly wanted one but £399 was a fortune back in the day, and we simply couldn't afford one.

I had always hoped to buy one later on when I started work s the C5 intrigued me.  As the decades rolled by, I forgot all about it. Until recently when they started appearing on eBay fairly regularly. By chance I noticed one and started watching them being sold well over my budget. After patiently waiting many weeks I managed to get one for a good price finally, it's in need of much restoration and I've yet to take delivery of it.

Now I'm trying to learn as much as I can before I decide whether restoring the C5 is viable, worthwhile and to assess the likely cost.

Anyway, enough waffling, this is meant to be an introduction about myself, so here's a little about me, and my reasons for joining C5alive...

I became a keen electric bicycle owner enthusiast around 2011-2012, and have converted several bicycles over the years into e-bikes. I am hoping some of the knowledge and experience can cross-over to the C5 in a restoration project. I want to completely modernise my C5 and bring it into the 21st century and have some different ideas about how to go about this I'd like to float and get advice and opinions on.

I have already learned a great deal about the C5 both from reading threads on the forum and from the site resources, the PDF's and other downloadable docs, and also the many images members have uploaded so many thanks to the site owners and members for uploading those and sharing freely! Kudos  :D

I live in Redditch, which for those unfamiliar with is in Worcestershire, and lies approx 15 or so miles south of Birmingham. Redditch is actually home to the Royal Enfield one of the first to produce motorized bicycles, and later the now famous motorcycles.

My reason for joining the forum is to get some advice from you experienced guys on how to go about restoring my newly acquired C5...and to float my ideas for modernising and  discuss what is possible, and how best to go about doing it.

I'm not very mechanically skilled, but I learn fast and do have a background in electronics and computer programming, both in work and as a hobby.

Thank you to Pat for letting me join, and I look forward to being a regular contributor to the forum!


C5 Support / Re: 24volt and 12volt accessories
« Last post by Lancealot on 17, April, 2016 - 20:11:29 »
Hi theojw71.
I have done a few c5 refurbs and also in the middle of a 24v conversion.
I am an ex electronics engineer so know my way round the wiring of a c5.
I also live in North Manchester and come to Wigan on a regular basis.
email me directly with you contact details and see when I am free.
Ta Lance
60  Here is the application form for those who need it. - Josh
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