Broken Spokes - EZip - Solutions!

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DrkAngel   100 GW

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Broken Spokes - EZip - Solutions!

Post by DrkAngel » Mar 14 2012 2:25pm

Broken Spokes seem to plague the EZip bikes.

Closer investigation was done!

Turns out, there are multiple reasons for these failures!

1. Torque is mono-directional, but typically, this is not accounted for.
The "torqued" spokes should have their elbows turned outward!
Stressed MT.JPG
Stressed MT.JPG (34.39 KiB) Viewed 5347 times
All EZips, I've had, have one side turned inward, one outward. (4 EZips, 1 IZip)

2. Hub spoke flange is too thin, spokes are not supported, so there is excessive stress on the spoke "elbow" causing early failure!

Solutions?

1. Re-directionalize spokes. (Partial solution)
redirect.JPG
redirect.JPG (55.48 KiB) Viewed 5347 times
2. Use better hub. I lucked into a few of these, present source unknown.
New Hub.JPG
New Hub.JPG (49.8 KiB) Viewed 5347 times
NHSpk.JPG
NHSpk.JPG (32.69 KiB) Viewed 5347 times
3. 12 gauge spokes with "proper directionality".
The EZip uses 14ga 258mm & 260mm spokes, I was able to find 260 & 261mm closest match, extra length was on purpose ...
This still doesn't address the issue of the spoke flange being too thin, so ... washers!
#4 SAE washers work nicely, and look impressive!

12g wash.JPG
12g wash.JPG (100.1 KiB) Viewed 5347 times

Nice and SOLID!

torquer.JPG
torquer.JPG (61.91 KiB) Viewed 5347 times

Oh! Why the "longer" spokes.
Well with the spokes "solidified" and capable of great strength, the weak point, is now the wheel, being a cheap alloy extrusion.
Might even pull the nipples, through the wheel.

So ... washers!
#10 SAE "stamped" washers have a nice concave side, that works nicely with 12ga nipples.
Aluminum alloy wheels don't particularly like steel, even zinc coated steel washers, against them, so I ran 2 wraps of duct tape between.
TapedWh.JPG
TapedWh.JPG (53.44 KiB) Viewed 5347 times
Also see: 14ga to 12ga Spoke Upgrade
Last edited by DrkAngel on Sep 10 2014 3:34pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Broken Spokes - EZip - Solutions!

Post by DrkAngel » Mar 16 2012 8:19am

Presently, I am testing 3 prototypes.

1. EZip Stepthrough, with oem spokes re-directionalized.

2. New alloy hub with new "WheelSmith" stainless spokes, properly laced to support torque. (Hub has smaller spoke flange diameter, used 262 & 264mm spokes - eZip oem are 258 & 260mm.)

3. "EnArmored"
EZip hub re-laced with 12ga spokes and #4 SAE washers.
Probably overkill, should have gone with a better wheel!
Gotta put it on a heavy hauler

Will try to heavily test #1 & #2, both are on 25.9V bikes, but will test at 37V, and probably 44.4V also.
As a test bed, I am building a 44.4V Lipo pack with 48V controller and quick mount thumb throttle w/12ga wire for connection to T-Plug on my eZip motors.
Everything fits in a 6-pack cooler!
Will Velcro between bars and front fork and run wire back to rear motor, extend thumb throttle, clip on, ready to go!

I would recommend relacing the oem wheel, for proper torque support, but also, adding #4 washers to all spokes.
Last edited by DrkAngel on Jun 30 2012 10:15am, edited 1 time in total.
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There, shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely, sobers us again.

I enjoy enlightening ... and enlivening the spirit of the innovators.

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Re: Broken Spokes - EZip - Solutions!

Post by DrkAngel » May 24 2012 7:31am

DrkAngel wrote:Presently, I am testing 3 prototypes.

1. EZip Stepthrough, with oem spokes re-directionalized.
Even though these spokes were previously abused, they have held up nicely for 700+ miles!
DrkAngel wrote:2. New alloy hub with new "WheelSmith" stainless spokes, properly laced to support torque. (Hub has smaller spoke flange diameter, used 262 & 264mm spokes - eZip oem are 258 & 260mm.)
I did re-tension spokes after initial break in, new hub, spokes and nipples in old wheel.
Everything looks and feels great - 1000 mile report.
DrkAngel wrote:3. "EnArmored"
EZip hub re-laced with 12ga spokes and #4 SAE washers.
Probably overkill, should have gone with a better wheel!
Gotta put it on a heavy hauler
Sorry! My "simpler" "solutions" seem to have rendered this heavy duty re-build ... unnecessary?
I did purchase a 3/16 Southpaw freewheel, in case I wish to rig a more powerful motor.
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There, shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely, sobers us again.

I enjoy enlightening ... and enlivening the spirit of the innovators.

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Re: Broken Spokes - EZip - Solutions!

Post by DrkAngel » Jun 30 2012 9:59am

Presently, I am testing 3 prototype rebuilds.

1. EZip Stepthrough, with oem spokes re-directionalized.
Even though these spokes were previously abused!
1200+ miles and no problems! - Update

2. New alloy hub with new "WheelSmith" stainless spokes, properly laced to support torque. (Hub has smaller spoke flange diameter, used 262 & 264mm spokes - eZip oem are 258 & 260mm.)
I did re-tension spokes after initial break in, new hub, spokes and nipples in old wheel.
1600+ miles and no problems! - Update

3. "EnArmored"
EZip hub re-laced with 12ga spokes and #4 SAE washers.
Probably overkill, should have gone with a better wheel!
Gotta put it on a heavy hauler
Sorry! My "simpler" "solutions" seem to have rendered this heavy duty re-build ... unnecessary?
I did purchase a 3/16 Southpaw freewheel, in case I wish to rig a more powerful motor.
Still, not placed in service ... yet. - Update
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There, shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely, sobers us again.

I enjoy enlightening ... and enlivening the spirit of the innovators.

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DrkAngel   100 GW

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Re: Broken Spokes - EZip - Solutions!

Post by DrkAngel » Jul 31 2012 8:33am

Presently, I am testing 3 prototype rebuilds.

1. EZip Stepthrough, with oem spokes re-directionalized.
Even though these spokes were previously abused!
1600+ miles and no problems! - Update

2. New alloy hub with new "WheelSmith" stainless spokes, properly laced to support torque. (Hub has smaller spoke flange diameter, used 262 & 264mm spokes - eZip oem are 258 & 260mm.)
I did re-tension spokes after initial break in, new hub, spokes and nipples in old wheel.
2500+ miles and no problems! - Update

3. "EnArmored"
EZip hub re-laced with 12ga spokes and #4 SAE washers.
Probably overkill, should have gone with a better wheel!
Gotta put it on a heavy hauler
Sorry! My "simpler" "solutions" seem to have rendered this heavy duty re-build ... unnecessary?
I did purchase a 3/16 Southpaw freewheel, in case I wish to rig a more powerful motor.
Still, not placed in service ... yet. - Update

It appears that I have "cured" the eZip broken spoke problem!

Merely re-directionalizing the spokes, seems to be enough!
Tho, I would recommend adding #2 washers, for, even better, elbow support - added strength.
(#2 for 14ga spokes, #4 for 12ga.)
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There, shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely, sobers us again.

I enjoy enlightening ... and enlivening the spirit of the innovators.

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DrkAngel   100 GW

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Re: Broken Spokes - EZip - Solutions!

Post by DrkAngel » Sep 05 2012 12:10pm

DrkAngel wrote:Presently, I am testing 3 prototype rebuilds.

1. EZip Stepthrough, with oem spokes re-directionalized.
Even though these spokes were previously abused!
1600+ miles and no problems! - Update
Near the 2000 mile point, one of the abused oem spokes broke ... not surprised.

Decided to use the last of my 14g steel spokes, for a properly directionalized, "washered" install.

Purpose -
1. To test the effectiveness of spokes laced to best support the stress of an externally motored wheel.
2. To test a method of better managing-supporting elbow stress.

Parts:
18 - 258mm UCP (universal chrome plated) spokes
18 - 260mm UCP spokes
36 - #4 stainless steel washers
36 - M4 stainless steel washers (optional)

Tools -
Scotch tape ... ?
"Proper" spoke wrenches.
Cordless drill with "slot" bit.

When previously working with 12g spokes, I found it advantageous to pre-position the spokes.
Scotch tape worked nicely
14g taped.JPG
14g taped.JPG (126.77 KiB) Viewed 4633 times
#4 washers pulled the spoke "elbows" nicely close to the hub flange.
14g #4washers.JPG
14g #4washers.JPG (52.92 KiB) Viewed 4633 times
M4 stainless washers (accidentally purchased) gave secure corrosion free seating to the spoke nipples.
14g M4 washers.JPG
14g M4 washers.JPG (25.39 KiB) Viewed 4633 times
Completed relace.
14g relace.JPG
14g relace.JPG (95.05 KiB) Viewed 4633 times
P.S. As a test item, I applied a synthetic chain lube to the threads of the steel spokes.
Anti-rust?
Last edited by DrkAngel on Nov 21 2013 9:01am, edited 2 times in total.
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There, shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely, sobers us again.

I enjoy enlightening ... and enlivening the spirit of the innovators.

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etriker   100 kW

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Re: Broken Spokes - EZip - Solutions!

Post by etriker » Oct 09 2012 8:40pm

Currie must have seen your thread.

They are now using aluminum hubs with thicker flanges and spoked with the pulling spokes on the outside. :)

Quieter motors, better hubs. They are on it ! :)

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Re: Broken Spokes - EZip - Solutions!

Post by DrkAngel » Oct 09 2012 9:04pm

etriker wrote:Currie must have seen your thread.

They are now using aluminum hubs with thicker flanges and spoked with the pulling spokes on the outside. :)

Quieter motors, better hubs. They are on it ! :)
Damn!
They never sent my consultant fee.
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There, shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely, sobers us again.

I enjoy enlightening ... and enlivening the spirit of the innovators.

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Re: Broken Spokes - EZip - Solutions!

Post by DrkAngel » Sep 10 2014 9:17am

2013 eZip LS broke a spoke at 1200 miles.
Overvolting might have helped ...

2009 eZip w/14ga UCP spokes and washers has held up an additional 4500 miles with no spoke issues.
Guess it was a good idea!

I will rebuild 4 wheels for eZip.

Been waiting for mass production opportunity.
2 OEM wheels with 13ga SS spokes and washers.
2 aftermarket alloy hubs, better rims and 14ga SS spokes - got 2 WheelMaster wheels, alloy w/SS spokes on clearance, will relace onto new hubs.
Will document ...

Maybe 5 ...
Got cheap steel compatible hub, but threads are tight.
Might cut some grooves in freewheel threads, create a die, and cut a bit deeper.

NOTE - The 2014 eZips, reputably, come with proper alloy hubs and likely have cured their spoke malady! ... ?
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There, shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely, sobers us again.

I enjoy enlightening ... and enlivening the spirit of the innovators.

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Re: Broken Spokes - EZip - Solutions!

Post by Paderolis » Sep 10 2014 11:38am

DrkAngel wrote:2013 eZip LS broke a spoke at 1200 miles.
Overvolting might have helped ...

2009 eZip w/14ga UCP spokes and washers has held up an additional 4500 miles with no spoke issues.
Guess it was a good idea!

I will rebuild 4 wheels for eZip.

Been waiting for mass production opportunity.
2 OEM wheels with 13ga SS spokes and washers.
2 aftermarket alloy hubs, better rims and 14ga SS spokes - got 2 WheelMaster wheels, alloy w/SS spokes on clearance, will relace onto new hubs.
Will document ...

Maybe 5 ...
Got cheap steel compatible hub, but threads are tight.
Might cut some grooves in freewheel threads, create a die, and cut a bit deeper.

NOTE - The 2014 eZips, reputably, come with proper alloy hubs and likely have cured their spoke malady! ... ?
Darn! Mine is a 2013 model and I've had to have numerous spokes replaced, I think part of that is due to going to a smaller tire with higher pressure for less rolling resistance. I have since gone back to the stock size though and it seemed to help a little. I wonder if a 2014 eZip wheel would be worth buying. Honestly though I haven't really ridden the eZip much since I put the Yescom kit on my Trek, mainly because the eZip tends to shut down if I give it full throttle for more than like seven seconds! I have it overvolted to 36V with a new controller, the motor doesn't feel hot so I assume it's some kind of protection in the controller.
If I turn the power switch off and then on again it immediately starts to work again! I kind of want to make it a pedalic only system like I did to the Trek, but I lost pedal assist when I put in the 36v controller.

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Re: Broken Spokes - EZip - Solutions!

Post by DrkAngel » Sep 10 2014 12:31pm

All breaking at the elbow on one side.
Where the spokes are inside the hub ... right?

Once they start breaking, you have to replace all.

Relace with SS spokes, directionally proper, but most importantly, add the washers!
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There, shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely, sobers us again.

I enjoy enlightening ... and enlivening the spirit of the innovators.

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Re: Broken Spokes - EZip - Solutions!

Post by DrkAngel » Oct 20 2014 9:34am

My 2013 eZip Trailz LS suffered broken spokes @ 1500 miles ... typical.
Oops, running at 33,3V ...
Instead of "properly" re-lacing the original wheel I rebuilt one of the WheelMaster wheels with the compatible alloy hubs I picked up a few years ago.

I might have 3 eZip wheels that are primed for rebuilding with the 13ga SS spokes I bought for them.
13ga spokes w/washers and "proper" directionality.
After cleaning, inspection and lubrication I intend on an assembly line type mass re-lacing.
I have enough 13ga SS spokes for 4 wheels.
With my washer type install I highly doubt any further breaks, so might re-lace a 4th still good wheel.

If, as I suspect, one of the wheels has a bearing seat problem, I will attempt making dies and re-threading some of the cheap steel eZip compatible hubs I picked up.
Might try pulling good seat from hub and repairing a previous similar failed hub ...
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There, shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely, sobers us again.

I enjoy enlightening ... and enlivening the spirit of the innovators.

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Re: Broken Spokes - EZip - Solutions!

Post by golfn8r » Jan 28 2015 12:47pm

Thanks DrkAngel for all the great information. There's a lot of information here and I'm having trouble figuring out the best solution for my 2008 Trailz with broken spokes. I need to order new spokes anyway so I will go ahead and replace them all, and relace them as you have shown. Do you have an ultimate "best" solution in terms of gauge, length, washers etc? I am also planning on replacing the freewheel with the ACS Southpaw 16T since I will have to take it off anyway.

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Re: Broken Spokes - EZip - Solutions!

Post by DrkAngel » Jan 28 2015 2:59pm

Most important is to add the washers!
"Proper" lacing direction-pattern.

Parts:
18 - 258mm 14ga SS (Stainless Steel) spokes
18 - 260mm 14ga SS spokes
36 - #4 stainless steel washers (If too thin, use 2 per spoke) box of 100 is usually the best buy
..... (#2 washers might fit better? - test on new spoke at hardware store before purchasing) .....
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There, shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely, sobers us again.

I enjoy enlightening ... and enlivening the spirit of the innovators.

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Re: Broken Spokes - EZip - Solutions!

Post by LeftieBiker » Sep 17 2015 12:11am

As luck would have it, I broke a spoke today on my Trailz men's bike. I did get home without any others breaking this timer, at least. It's a replacement wheel from Currie that I put on a little over a year ago, and I had hoped it would last longer. I already have another wheel on order, but I was wondering if anyone here would sell me 2-6 each of the 14 gauge 258 & 260mm spokes. A few #4 washers would also be great, although I should be able to find them locally...? I'm not going to re-lace the wheel, just want to make it usable as a spare bike.

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Re: Broken Spokes - EZip - Solutions!

Post by Old Veteran » Nov 18 2016 1:03pm

HELP PLEASE , I have the replacement spokes for this ezip trailz but can not figure out how to get them thru the holes because I do not know how to get the side with the chain sprockets off the wheel to get at them the holes .Old Vet

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Re: Broken Spokes - EZip - Solutions!

Post by DrkAngel » Nov 18 2016 7:35pm

Should be a 1 time operation ... ?

Best bet is to take wheel to a local bike shop.
Probably cheaper than buying the necessary tools.

Both motor and pedal freewheels reinstall by hand.

Removal from 2007 - 2009 eZips explained - $20 for 20mph
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There, shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely, sobers us again.

I enjoy enlightening ... and enlivening the spirit of the innovators.

New & Improved - Acronym Definitions

Index - Homemade Battery Packs - Updated - February 2019

EBike Toolbox - Bargains! $

Endless Sphere Wiki - Lost?

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