LightningRods mid drive kit

Discussions related to motors other than hub motors.
This includes R/C motors, botttom bracket, roller and geared drives.
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Green Machine   100 kW

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by Green Machine » Oct 07 2015 3:27pm

The rohloff will defintiely handle 3000 watts with no problem.

IF your worried 7th gear i believe is a straight through gear and cannot be stripped.

Like Mike said i ran 10,0000 watts through one on my luna cycle astro bike and did not rip it up....i was careful how i applied power... i accelerated hard but i did not really abuse it....

THe best part about the Rohloff is it has some kind of plastic tabs that are the first to strip of you do apply power.

THe USA districutor is Cycle Monkeys, and in the event that you do strip those plastic tabs (sorry i forget what they call them) they will repair it for under $100 and send it back to you. In fact the price for me as a dealer was $60 a few years back.

I ran many IGH's....the nuvinci, the alfine 8, the nexus 8.....the weak ones were the alfine 8 and the nexus...but i loved the way they shifted...even those would put up with a lot of power.

The best by far was the Rohloff.... the nuvinci sucked....the worst part was the weight and the shifting mechinaism made it feel like a toy. That being said i never stripped a nuvinci either.

ERIC

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by sparkz » Oct 07 2015 11:50pm

Has anyone used one of the Sturmy-Archer 5-speed hubs? I believe they are used for heaver contrivances. A quick look didn't give me torque-handling specs.

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by LightningRods » Oct 08 2015 12:08am

Wouldn't it be great to get all of the bicycle IGHs in a lab, put them on a dyno, and run them up to their failure point? There is so much talk about what these various hubs can take, but no one really seems to know. No one wants to spend the money to blow up a bunch of hubs in order to get the answers. It would be fantastic if there is a $100 4 speed Rohloff lurking out there somewhere.
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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by Mammalian04 » Oct 08 2015 12:32am

If someone has the facility to do that kind of legitimate testing, I'll chip in $100 to the "buy a bunch of IGHs and blow them up fund."

It is disappointing to hear the N171 sucked. I just bought 2. Dangit! However, if the shifter is the big disappointment, I saw a thread where someone used a Rohloff shifter with more repeatable precision in shifting (but obviously no accuracy since the indicator marking would not be right with a different hub).

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by spinningmagnets » Oct 08 2015 6:20am

The N171 might not be up to the power peaks of the small block LR system, but...I suspect its a wonderful option for the BBS02. I like how it can be shifted while at a stop.

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by Mammalian04 » Oct 08 2015 8:25am

I was a little skeptical of the power ratings but the word around ES is that the n171 can take 5000w. I haven't seen a Fallbrook document say that but I suppose I will find out. I just hope that a failure doesn't happen 10 miles in a trail...

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by meelis11 » Oct 08 2015 8:34am

Mammalian04 wrote:I was a little skeptical of the power ratings but the word around ES is that the n171 can take 5000w. I haven't seen a Fallbrook document say that but I suppose I will find out. I just hope that a failure doesn't happen 10 miles in a trail...
Acrually these things should be rated by torque, not power - or at least we need to know RPM when it is rated at.

Probably depends at what gear and speed you are making 5000w.
There is big torque difference 10RPM vs 300rpm @5000w (in this example 30x more torque)

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by bowhunter29 » Oct 08 2015 10:03am

I have a NuVinci 360 laced up on the rear wheel of my Luna Cycle that will be powered by a LR Big Block. I'd be happy to report back on the durability. The bike will be used as my mode of transportation during hunting season so I'm not going to be tearing around at 40mph, jumping it, or using it in a moto style. It's going to be used to slowly and quietly drive on logging roads to my treestands, etc. I don't plan on doing full throttle takeoffs or driving aggressively with it. I have a 22t cog on it so I'm attempting to get good low-speed control.

The biggest workout the bike will get is towing a deer out of the woods on a cart. I don't think that will push the 360 enough to break it, I've been doing tests pulling my wife and kids around with pedal power on my Specialized Hardrock and it doesn't take that much power to tow 150lbs with the correct gearing. Time will tell!

jeremy

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by LightningRods » Oct 11 2015 8:13pm

The Sonders Storm made quite a splash on Indiegogo when they sold over 6 million dollars worth of their $500 electric fat bikes. After some initial fears that the whole operation was a scam, people actually started receiving their bikes. No huge surprise, their $500 electric fat bike was- a $500 Chinese electric fat bike. The motor was so anemic as to barely pull it's own weight, the battery range was disappointing, the bike would barely get out of it's own way. But as is often the case, the bike was not without it's virtues. The frame is really a very decent frame. It's worth the $500 by itself. It's a bit heavy, but seems strong and has solid wheel drop outs and lots of room around the bottom bracket to use full size chainwheels.

David in Escondido really liked his Sonders overall but was very disappointed by the power provided by the puny 350W hub motor in the back. So he stripped the frame and shipped it up to me in Oregon for an infusion of power. About 10 times the power. Behold the Big Block Lightning Storm:

Image

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Eric at Luna Cycle is also developing an upgraded battery pack to fit the stock Sonders case. The plan is to offer a complete, turnkey Storm upgrade kit before Christmas. The prototype (see above) is already finished. This is a done deal. The Lightning Storm is going to be one of the baddest, best performing fatties out there. For about the price of a nice non electric fat bike. If you can find a stock Sonders Storm for sale on eBay, grab it.
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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by Mammalian04 » Oct 11 2015 9:45pm

Lol... Lightning Storm. Love it.

Are you going to include a rebuild of the rear wheel without the hub motor or just leave it since it probably doesn't have that much drag?

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by LightningRods » Oct 11 2015 9:51pm

I think that we really have to deal with the rear wheel. I'm already talking with Eric about the best solutions.
"I don’t mind that they stole my idea, I mind that they don’t have any of their own.”
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Lightning Rods Web Site http://www.lightningrodev.com
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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by Nelsjourney » Oct 11 2015 11:33pm

To bowhunter29.

I have a cargo bike (Kona Ute) with a small block LR kit. I am in the final stages of hiding all the wires and will be ready for my first street ride soon. I also have a nuvinci n360 which I changed from having a cog set to having the internal drive in the nuvinci. The torque on this small block is huge. I weigh 300plus. I was putting all my weight on the bicycle seat and hit the accelerator to see if I could make the wheel spin. Do you believe the torque of the motor threw my chain off the crankset and the motor kept going. luckily the chain to the drivesystem came off or the bike would have hit the wall. This small block is strong. I can just imagine what the big block can do.

I would suggest for you to try to start pedaling on the easiest level of the nuvinci then start the throttle because depending on how big your trophy you will be throwing the chain.

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by slowhands » Oct 12 2015 1:33am

The Sonders fat bikes are not selling for $500, more like $1000 on Craigslist. The $500 was for the initial buy via Indiegogo, long done. It's no bargain for the bike body unless you already bought it, and it's already a sunk investment.

If you want a good cheap fat bike, consider the Mongoose Malus. Around $250 with free shipping at Kohl's. 7 speeds, Disc brakes, steel frame, adjustable bar. Probably low quality, but I did say cheap and meant it. It just looks like a good basic platform for epower.

The Mongoose Vinson is much higher quality, still relatively cheap but a step up from the Malus. 24 speed, disc brakes, alloy frame, better quality. Around $580 plus ship. In some ways, the steel frame of the Malus makes it better for ebiking. But this Vinson is a better bike pedal powered.

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by bowhunter29 » Oct 12 2015 9:04am

Nelsjourney wrote:To bowhunter29.

I have a cargo bike (Kona Ute) with a small block LR kit. I am in the final stages of hiding all the wires and will be ready for my first street ride soon. I also have a nuvinci n360 which I changed from having a cog set to having the internal drive in the nuvinci. The torque on this small block is huge. I weigh 300plus. I was putting all my weight on the bicycle seat and hit the accelerator to see if I could make the wheel spin. Do you believe the torque of the motor threw my chain off the crankset and the motor kept going. luckily the chain to the drivesystem came off or the bike would have hit the wall. This small block is strong. I can just imagine what the big block can do.

I would suggest for you to try to start pedaling on the easiest level of the nuvinci then start the throttle because depending on how big your trophy you will be throwing the chain.
I won't be doing any full-throttle launches on my bike. I'm aware that the N360 will most likely be the weakest link so I'll be babying the bike in the beginning. My starts will be slow and steady. I'm going to use the CA to try to get good low-speed throttle control. I have no prior experience with ebikes so I'll probably need help getting things set up on the electronic side.

jeremy

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by RalterWöhrl » Oct 12 2015 9:22am

Hello,

can you please provide some basic info and specs on the kits? Maybe even a beginner DIY guide what to watch out for before a conversion?
Your website doesnt exit anymore, the pics here are offline too.

I want to convert a proper downhill MTB to an free-ride motocross machines with one of your big block kits, is that possible?
Is there a list of things I need to consider or get before choosing the right LR kit?

thanks alot for the info!
dirt + mud = cake.

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by LightningRods » Oct 12 2015 9:45am

The web site is still up. I just went and checked. http://www.lightningrodev.com/ I notice that you're in Germany. Unfortunately a lot of internet communication between the US and Europe is being interfered with because of hacker and cyber-terrorist activity. I should look into getting a mirror site on a server in Europe somewhere.

I also have instructional videos that show assembly of the mid drive.
Kit Assembly:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Al3CAnQzmuA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03aHimPsm8c

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIacn6E7AeA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmTbLxVy30Y

Electrical Connections:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBJfvwPkKDg

The big block makes a great e-mx motor. Zack or "stonezone" on E-S races a big block Giant downhill bike in Hawaii. You just need to build a strong rear hub with a strong sprocket to take the power. Single speed with higher voltage for a wide rpm range is the best combination for racing.

Image
"I don’t mind that they stole my idea, I mind that they don’t have any of their own.”
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Lightning Rods Web Site http://www.lightningrodev.com
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RalterWöhrl   100 µW

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by RalterWöhrl » Oct 12 2015 9:58am

LightningRods wrote:The web site is still up. I just went and checked. http://www.lightningrodev.com/ I notice that you're in Germany. Unfortunately a lot of internet communication between the US and Europe is being interfered with because of hacker and cyber-terrorist activity. I should look into getting a mirror site on a server in Europe somewhere.
Wow, I would have never believed this is possible, but you are totally right! Ive used a one click US proxy and its totally working. Strange, cauze your website is the very 1st where I have notived a country-boundary 404, facebook and all the usual crap is working :shock:


To get a little bit more specific:

I am looking out for opinions from some experienced Free-Ride / Motocross mid-drive Builders:

I got super excited about LMX Bikes concept of a leightweight motocross bycicle but want to option out any other build-alternatives first. Therefor I got interested in LR kits. But I red alot especially the big block kit can cauze all kinds of trouble with ripping gears/chains/freewheels apart. Is there a good reliable ground base bike that will hold up the immense torque big block kits can achieve? Do you know any strong rear hub sprocket combinations that work 110% ? Single speed seems kind if limiting, would it help to have only 3-4 gears of transmission instead?
What are the other must do's and dont's for a super reliable LR conversion?

I would love to read myself instead of asking newb'ish questions so any links to DIY/how to guides are v-e-r-y welcome!

Thanks alot mike!

Greetings from censored-germany :D
dirt + mud = cake.

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by r3volved » Oct 12 2015 10:34am

You're going to want something with the bottom bracket fixed to the downtube (cannot be a floating bb). I'd suggest a decent quality downhill frame with full suspension. There's a lot of torque stress on the swing arm over 2kw and it will want to twist chain-side - swing arm needs to be pretty beefy for the lightning rods kit.

I personally used an old '01 Norco VPS frame. It was the biggest baddest frame I could find used (only $400 with 888 fork - super score). Being that my frame is very square, I've had very little 'kit flex' under torque, but I also added a suggested torque arm anyway.

The kit itself is pretty heavy and with everything mounted to the bike, it feels about 80lbs and more Moro than bicycle.

I use it at 48t chainring with a 16t single speed rear sprocket. The available double chainring would probably be enough ratio difference on a single speed rear for torquier climbing. I get 55kph at 48-16t (large chainring) and I get ~40kph at 36-16t (small chainring).

You'll want to beef up as much of the drivetrain as you can - decent rear hub (I need), strong chain (I recommend Dhadow Conspiracy BMX chain if using only one single speed combo), strong rear cassette or single speed conversion (I haven't tried a 14t, but 12t and less skips like crazy...16t is what I landed on for strength and skip-free use).

If you're only looking for a mediocre-power build (~2kw) most of the typical (not low quality) downhill parts will hold up fine. I drove my gng at 2kw for a few years with no bike breakage.

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by LightningRods » Oct 12 2015 10:37am

Not to prevent others from commenting but from my position I do have a few heavy duty parts to offer.

First is a 219 kart chain primary. It's noisier and dirtier than the regular cog belt but for racing you don't care about that. 219 chain will handle at least 25 horsepower.

I also offer a solid billet hub that eliminates the primary drive freewheel. You will no longer be able to pedal without the motor, but the primary freewheel is eliminated as a source of trouble.

The bottom bracket freewheel can be replaced with a White Industries HD freewheel. These cost $80 USD instead of $28 like my ACS freewheels do but they are much stronger and are rebuildable.

A torque brace to prevent the motor from twisting the upper sheets is really required for racing. They can be made inexpensively out of metal tube or angle stock.

I raced motocross for years. Shifting gears was always a problem during the race. Even with a gas engine you couldn't hear your engine over everyone else's engine. If you race on a track where one gear will provide enough speed range it would really simplify your life. Remember that many if not most of the other race bikes will still be big hub motors that are always in one gear. You will have better balance, rear suspension that works, and the benefit of torque multiplication from the mid drive's reduction. Hub motors get by with one gear by using big amps for low speed acceleration and high voltage for speed. That will also work for a mid drive.

For normal riding, with a lot of stop and go as well and climbing hills at speeds lower than flat out, gears are important. For racing where you usually only start out once and then the only speed is flat out, single speeds work.

Cheekybloke what kind of rear hub/sprocket setup are you running? You posted about it on the Endless-Sphere Facebook page.
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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by Mammalian04 » Oct 13 2015 7:09am

Mike, I am finally making some progress on some bike work and will be installing the Big Block kit you sent a while back onto my Motobecane Fatbike.

Since you just did this on a Motobecane Fatty, can you tell me if the kit I have will work or do I need to have it modified as you did before a start trying to put it on?

Thanks.

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by LightningRods » Oct 13 2015 9:16am

Cliff,

I'm glad that you posted. I'll reply to you here for the benefit of anyone with a fat bike.

I've done a few fat bikes now and have actually had the luxury of having a couple in the shop to get the hood up on. (That's bonnet for you Brits). While they are mostly easy and straightforward to work with, the huge bulging chain stays needed to clear the fat rear tire causes chainwheel clearance issues. The BB and chainwheel parts that work on most downhill bikes won't work on a fatty.

When I was working with Russ T to get his Motobecane fat bike going Russ found a 170mm axle length bottom bracket. This is important on a fat bike for two reasons: (1) It moves the chainwheel out to clear the frame stay (2) It moves the chainwheel out to clear the wide tire when shifting to the lower gears. By combining the 100/170mm BB with chainwheels close in tooth count to what comes with the bike, everything clears.

The 100/148mm ISIS and large chainwheel that I shipped with your kit won't fit the Motobecane. Send them back to me and I'll get you set up with the parts that will fit.

Thanks,
Mike
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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by LightningRods » Oct 13 2015 10:36am

Here is Cheekybloke's solution to a Big Block worthy rear hub:

"My rear cassette is made from 2 single speed cogs and 1 cog from a cassette.
At the mo it is a 16t, 20th and a 28.
The mech is a short cage long throw 10 speed Zee.
I also welded another mech hanger on top of the original one to move the mech outboard to get bigger gears nearer frame end of freehub."

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by spinningmagnets » Oct 13 2015 1:37pm

I like it...a LOT!

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by LightningRods » Oct 13 2015 1:44pm

It looks brilliant. Fingers crossed it works the same.
"I don’t mind that they stole my idea, I mind that they don’t have any of their own.”
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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by John Bozi » Oct 13 2015 3:19pm

I will be very interested to see how it shifts across that spacing.

Also, since people on this thread might be the ones most interested in powerful hubs,

could we come together to have something made or group bought from Chris King to bring down the price to something less ridiculous?

I'd be happy to pay up to $250 AU for a hub that can handle what my downhill bike can handle.

When people talk about the IGH hubs handling 10kw - 5kw - 3kw do any of those ride off on serious rough stuff? (Not just gravel)

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