TNC wrote: ↑
May 22 2021 11:38am
While mountain biking can indeed be a very broad term, where suspension function and operation are critical...think riding places like Porcupine Rim in Utah...most hub drives I've seen would violate the optimum "unsprung weight" requirement for hardcore trail riding. And yes, "hardcore trail riding" can seem nebulous to some...why I mentioned a classic trail like Porcupine Rim. Of course there are those who will ride that trail and many others on a rigid hardtail for the challenge, but as a comparison most surgeons don't go into the OR with just a Swiss Army knife.
And please understand that this isn't a slam against hub motors. The good ones are impressive in their application categories. markz on your comment about the fragility of mid-drives, it appears the Bafang BBSHD has been proving to be fairly rugged, and the somewhat explosive power can be tuned/programmed to a very smooth operational level. As to my MTB's drivetrain, I installed an all-steel 9-speed rear cassette, a clutched rear derailleur, and an ebike rated chain. My wheels were already DH rated, so they do fine.
Hey, speaking of Porcupine Rim and mid-drives...
Funny enough, I knocked the derailleur on a drop here that got away from me and the d-hangar wasn't long for this world several destinations after this. Even with the chain guide and long-narrow tooth chainring, I had recurring problems with my drivetrain amounting to several sheared derailleur hangars, and running a clutch-less SRAM X3 derailleur and wolftooth certainly didn't help. I've changed things up with the drivetrain since then, but not enough miles to weigh on the improvements. That said, can't say I'd ever want to ride Porcupine Rim on a hardtail (RIP wrists)!
For downhill MTBing, I love the BBSHD and agree with you, it's been very rugged/reliable. I don't really find myself ever wanting for power and the 14S6P pack has all the battery capacity I need to never worry about shuttling. She goes up and down, over and over again. It's a thing of beauty. I have a second hub-motor bike for all things urban/street. A high power, low-profile, go-anywhere street weapon that can cruise/pedal along at 18 mph like anything else. Virtually zero maintenance. Also, incredibly good at what it's designed/built for.
Just my opinion, but if we're talking bicycles and not motorcycles, mid-drives excel in off-road applications, hub drives excel on the street. Get/build 1 of each for their respective purpose and never look back
Your bike looks very capable btw.