Aft Driven Nicolai UFO ST

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stuntmanmike
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Aft Driven Nicolai UFO ST

Post by stuntmanmike » Aug 08, 2014 9:37 am

After reading a lot of the reviews on the current available Mid Drives and building a Bafang bbs02 driven Hard tail, I decided I wanted to build something with a full suspension & much more power. So I ordered the AFT kit with all the upgrades including the IsIs bottom bracket. The bike I'm gonna use was my primary freeride bike until I got a Zerode, It's a Nicolai UFO ST which is a super well built German bike with fully adjustable geometry. I really love this bike, its totally custom with every component being top of the line for its time.
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-I have since replaced the Totem with a Boxxer WC fork but other than that this is the bike.

I'm hoping this will be a good platform to electrify, my Aft Drive arrives in 10 days, Ill update as I go.

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Re: Aft Driven Nicolai UFO ST

Post by dypsomaniart » Aug 08, 2014 10:00 am

Nice bike Mike,
Hope the aft kit goes well for you. It'll be interesting to see what you think of it, having also owned a bbs system.
Good luck, looking forward to seeing how you go :)

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Re: Aft Driven Nicolai UFO ST

Post by stuntmanmike » Aug 08, 2014 11:42 am

Hey thanks dypsomaniart,
I followed your build closely & ultimately decided on the AFT because of how detailed you were, thanks for that.
Your bike is killer but I'm sure you get that a lot , I can only hope that mine will come out as well as that...We'll see.

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Re: Aft Driven Nicolai UFO ST

Post by stuntmanmike » Aug 25, 2014 11:25 am

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I received my kit Friday 8/15 & immediately went on vacation... It was eating at me all week knowing the unopened box was just sitting there ...Idle. When I returned a week later, I got right down to business.
I have Profile cranks and they were easy enough to remove with the removal tool but I had problems with the Profile Bottom Bracket. I didn't have a spanner big enough so I used an adjustable wrench being very careful not to mar the soft aluminum bearing cups & after about an hour, got them out. Next I opened & removed the contents of the box and went through it. Maybe I'm just a quality snob? But I expected something...more polished. After all this cost $2700+Usd all told and seems as if it were haste-fully cobbled together. I mean its bulky & heavy & not very stealth or streamline. Unlike my BBso2 there will be no mistaking that this is a motor, I'll have to be careful at my regular riding spots and not get caught.
So far I mounted the unit to the bike frame with the ingenious mounting brackets that I'm sure can accommodate most any frame style. I used Sugru(mold-able rubber) on the brackets that meet the frame tubes & let dry overnight. The next day they were perfect form fitting rubberized brackets. This is much better than the section of inner tube that it comes with. I would recommend Sugru to anyone for this and lots of other projects. In looking at the cranks & chain wheels, I think I can do much better. I'd like to use a Hammerschmidt FR converted to a freewheel crank with an adapter I saw here on ES. I'm just waiting to hear back from the seller then Ill commit. Otherwise I'll lighten the existing chain wheel assy. by changing the sprockets to aluminum and drilling holes in the chain guard/guide. For now, I'll assemble the drive as is and modify it later... My pics are a little behind my progress, I'll update them tonight.
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Re: Aft Driven Nicolai UFO ST

Post by Gab » Aug 25, 2014 4:07 pm

Interesting build, do you have any photos of that rubber you used?
I mean its bulky & heavy & not very stealth or streamline. Unlike my BBso2 there will be no mistaking that this is a motor, I'll have to be careful at my regular riding spots and not get caught.
You can't compare this kit to the BBS02, as the BBS02 is only rated to 750w continuous and 1600w peak, these AFT kits are rated at 1680w continuous and 2800w peak. So of course the BBS02 will be a lot smaller as its half as capable so you would expect half the size and weight . Lucky you didn't buy a GNG kit as they are even bigger and even more bulkier for the same power as they don't have the compact planetary gearbox and the controller is bigger.

Probably the best way to make it more stealthy is to paint all the silver parts black to match your bike?

Can aluminium chain rings you want to change to , handle the 2.8kw power ? I think that's why most people use steel rings on the high power builds.

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Re: Aft Driven Nicolai UFO ST

Post by stuntmanmike » Aug 25, 2014 6:17 pm

I agree that a comparison can not be made between the two and I was expecting the AFT to be larger and much more powerful. I did a fair bit of research before I bought it and knew more or less what I was getting into. I read a lot of the reviews but without having it in front of me I just imagined it differently, that's all... It's like one of those things you picture in your mind for a long time but in reality its not exactly so. You're probably right about the steel sprockets but I like to improve things. So I'll try something different & if it works it works, if not whatever. In reality & the amount of time I'll be able to ride this I think it will be just fine...we'll see. Thanks for the advise & I do plan to paint it black once its sorted.

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Re: Aft Driven Nicolai UFO ST

Post by drew12345 » Aug 26, 2014 8:07 am

Cool, another AFT Mid drive!!!

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Re: Aft Driven Nicolai UFO ST

Post by stuntmanmike » Sep 02, 2014 10:25 am

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I got a lot done over the long weekend, should be complete by weeks end. I'm waiting on a post mounted chain guide, the bottom bracket mounted one I have won't work. I have to say I have gotten very familiar with this kit over the last few days with all of the fitting & refitting. The one problem I'm having is fitting the cover over all of the electronics.
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Re: Aft Driven Nicolai UFO ST

Post by drew12345 » Sep 02, 2014 12:47 pm

Lookin good! Not sure if you got the alignment tool from Jim but make sure your motor chain is aligned exactly according to directions or you will have dropped chains.

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Re: Aft Driven Nicolai UFO ST

Post by stuntmanmike » Sep 02, 2014 2:40 pm

drew12345 wrote:Lookin good! Not sure if you got the alignment tool from Jim but make sure your motor chain is aligned exactly according to directions or you will have dropped chains.
Thanks man, Yeah I hope I got that right...I spent a lot of time on that step with the alignment tool.

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Re: Aft Driven Nicolai UFO ST

Post by stuntmanmike » Sep 03, 2014 12:54 pm

I fired the system up for the first time last night & it went really smooth. I still have the wheels off & the bike is on the work stand but it seems to have a lot of power. For batteries I'm using a gutted camel back with six 6s 8000mah lipos. I wired these in groups of two in series then to the unit in parallel, which is around 44v on 12s. I can change the config. around to 18s if needed but for now I'll try it this way. My chain guide should be here today so first ride Saturday.

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Re: Aft Driven Nicolai UFO ST

Post by Samd » Sep 03, 2014 6:53 pm

Cool build! Be careful with your spine, backpacks can hurt a lot later...
http://ballaratebikes.com/

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Re: Aft Driven Nicolai UFO ST

Post by stuntmanmike » Sep 18, 2014 8:14 pm

Finally Completed!!
I ran into a few issues with the chain guide that threw my progress off. But I was able to modify the removable front derailleur tube & set it back from the seat tube more. I mounted an MRP 1x chain guide to that & it worked out really well with a really nice amount of clearance on either side. I haven't ridden it as yet but I plan to this weekend.
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Re: Aft Driven Nicolai UFO ST

Post by stuntmanmike » Sep 19, 2014 12:44 pm

I got to ride the bike this morning for the first time....This is a completely different animal from the other one I built. The power comes on smooth & feels endless. It effortlessly pulls the front end up like a dirt bike in the higher gears & will go for as long as I can hold it. I was expecting it to be a lot louder than it is, which was a nice surprise. I would say it sounds the same as if you were to push a dead motorcycle, mainly a mechanical chain noise but not at all loud or unpleasant. I'll need to redo the suspension to compensate for the extra weight of the unit for sure . Right now I have a 400lb steel spring on the Rear(Fox DHX5), I'll replace it with a 550lb titanium one I have lying around. I think I'll add the stiffer green springs to the Boxxer which should tighten things up at the bars..Overall I'm very happy with how it turned out, I took my time with it and learned a lot in the process. Like everything I build I tried to give it the "Too Few Parts To Run" look and shortened all the wires to the minimum & ran them through the cable routes which turned out very neat & clean. Saturday I'll bring it on the MTB trails to see what it can really do, I'm confident this thing is a beast & will handle anything I can throw at it.
***Footage to follow

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Re: Aft Driven Nicolai UFO ST

Post by drew12345 » Sep 19, 2014 1:38 pm

Thats great. Sounds like your really pleased how it's performing. Look forward to some footage.

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Re: Aft Driven Nicolai UFO ST

Post by stuntmanmike » Sep 22, 2014 12:04 pm

I ran into a problem...
I got stranded a couple miles into a 5 mile loop & had to push it out. Lucky for me it wasn't hot on Saturday. It seems I had a catastrophic failure in the AFT aluminum frame, the main part of the drive that mounts to the Bottom Bracket & frame. It bent completely to the point where the motor was on a 45 right degree angle to the down tube... Needless to say it threw the chain off, hence stranding me on the bike trail. The unit I have is AFT's newest design that employs a single frame tube mount. I don't think AFT is at fault here at all & I firmly believe it had all to do with my installation. I really thought I had it right but after speaking to Jim at AFT, I may not have used enough of the supplied shims leaving a gap somewhere & causing the entire frame to flex under load. When I removed the motor & electrical components, I was able to straighten the frame out almost perfect. I'll put it all back together this week with any luck it should be ok...fingers crossed.

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Aft Driven Nicolai UFO ST

Post by drew12345 » Sep 22, 2014 12:39 pm

That sucks. Sorry to hear that. Didn't yours come with two downtube clamps?

Edit: Added picture. It's one bracket and two clamps. The clamps are right next to each other. Jim is always updating his stuff so mine maybe little outdated.
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Re: Aft Driven Nicolai UFO ST

Post by stuntmanmike » Sep 22, 2014 1:33 pm

Hey Drew,
No mine didn't come with 2 frame mounts. I originally thought that was the one I was getting also but Jim said this is the latest version. But I think I like yours better, it just seems more burly. I'll speak to Jim again this week & see If I can get that set up instead.

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Re: Aft Driven Nicolai UFO ST

Post by dypsomaniart » Sep 24, 2014 9:24 am

Hey Mike, that sucks ya had a failure with it. Did the frame clamp slip on the frame? Mines as solid as a rock, im just tryin to picture what went wrong with yours?

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Re: Aft Driven Nicolai UFO ST

Post by stuntmanmike » Sep 24, 2014 10:01 am

Hey Dypso.
I don't think it slipped on the frame, I think there was play somewhere in the clamp. Meaning I didn't take up all the slack with the shims on the nut side of the clamp bolt. So while under load, it caused the thing to violently shift & twist like it did. I think you have square tubes on the Glory so the clamps probably fit perfect & squarely. Mine are round so there's more chance of slippage.I have been talking to Jim at AFT & we might go with the double frame clamp version like Drew's. This should help things out I think. Luckily I was able to straighten things out with the frame & it should be fine when I re-assemble it...

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Re: Aft Driven Nicolai UFO ST

Post by drew12345 » Oct 15, 2014 7:03 am

Hey Mike. What's the update?

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Re: Aft Driven Nicolai UFO ST

Post by stuntmanmike » Oct 17, 2014 7:11 am

Hey Drew,
Well I took the whole thing apart again & straightened the unit's frame out near perfect & painstakingly put it all back together for the second time. Only this time I used all the shims properly and everything was rock solid. I really took my time on every step & had the chain line & tensions perfect as before. When I went for a ride, it seemed smoother than before but within 10 minutes the clamp slipped & it bent again just as before...So this is proof that the single clamp design, high power motor & small round down tube do not work well together. I contacted Jim & he will be sending me the second clamp and shims (No Charge) like yours. I hope it works...
-Frustrated.

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Re: Aft Driven Nicolai UFO ST

Post by district9prawn » Oct 17, 2014 8:29 am

I'm surprised that a mounting bracket from the left side of the BB is not used to support the motor. Seems like such a strong part of the bike is going unused?

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Re: Aft Driven Nicolai UFO ST

Post by drew12345 » Oct 17, 2014 9:40 am

stuntmanmike wrote:Hey Drew,
Well I took the whole thing apart again & straightened the unit's frame out near perfect & painstakingly put it all back together for the second time. Only this time I used all the shims properly and everything was rock solid. I really took my time on every step & had the chain line & tensions perfect as before. When I went for a ride, it seemed smoother than before but within 10 minutes the clamp slipped & it bent again just as before...So this is proof that the single clamp design, high power motor & small round down tube do not work well together. I contacted Jim & he will be sending me the second clamp and shims (No Charge) like yours. I hope it works...
-Frustrated.
Hang in there. Jim will take care of you as you have seen already which one of reasons I went with him. Once you get it going, you will have the e-grin and have soooo much fun.

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Re: Aft Driven Nicolai UFO ST

Post by dypsomaniart » Oct 17, 2014 10:04 am

Hey Mike, thats a bitch that it slipped again.
Maybe try the normal bike tube on the clamp? I havent used sugru, but maybe the sugru silicon rubber is slipperier than natural rubber? Or just go metal on metal and it should grip solidly if its tight enough, just might mark your frame.
I lucked out with the square section frame on the glory. No chance of slippage whatsoever.
Hope ya get it sorted and get to do some riding soon!

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