Santa Cruz Cham-E-leon (mk7) - Mid Drive Conversion

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ebbsocalMTB   10 mW

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Santa Cruz Cham-E-leon (mk7) - Mid Drive Conversion

Post by ebbsocalMTB » Apr 05 2021 9:46pm

Hey everyone. This is my first e-bike conversion. I'm looking to build this for primarily commuting to work, but also for recovery rides after long mtb rides/events/races.

I've got two candidates already in my garage for this conversion, my first choice would be my 16' Santa Cruz Chameleon. If that ends up not working for whatever reason, I figured I'd audible to my 2013 Kona Dew Deluxe. This will mostly be a parts bin build up as I have most of the parts sitting around.

At any rate, let's get some before pictures going. The photos of the chameleon are from a previous build... I have since torn it down in order to build up a kona honzo for my wife. The leftover parts have been sitting in the bin, and the frame up on the wall since mid last year. Time to put it into service again.
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I'm going to be doing a pretty standard build on this thing. This will be using the following parts:
-TSDZ2 Sourced from Eco-Cycles pre-modified and flashed with the OSF
-PSWPower 48v 12.5ah Hailong shark

I was really drawn to the torque sending ability of the tsdz2. I wasn't looking for insane power as I have an ftp of round 320w, so if i can get a reliable 250ish watts out of it, it will serve it's purpose. I think the biggest thing that has me concerned about the tsdz2 is snapping the axle. Other then that, I feel it was a good choice. If it doesn't make it, I'll try and salvage it and build up a bike for my wife.

I started the test fitting process this last weekend. There are still some parts to come in, but I I have about 80% of what I need.

Battery fits nicely, but just barely. I'm going to to be drilling the frame and adding rivnuts. Just test fitting everything for now. I drilled the cast aluminum plate just to locate everything.
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This is a 29/275+ boost frame, and I'm very concerned about the chainine, I'm going to try and pull out as many stops as possible to correct the chainline back to a reasonable position. That starts with an 8 speed drivetrain on 11 speed spacing. I'm basing this on a m7000 shimano slx 11-46 cassette. This will be mounted to an spare set of enduro race wheels from Speedtuned. These are the exile model with 30mm internal width.
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This cassette only has the top 3 gears on the same spider. The good news is that it has a stupid huge jump up to the 46t cog, so that works out well for my usage.
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All bolted up, there ends up being only 1 jump in the middle of the cassette that is off by a few % compared to the rest.
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Test fitted to the bike. I actually think I can space the cassette over 1mm more, maybe 2mm if I'm lucky.
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Tomorrow... It's time to start test fitting the motor. Stay tuned.

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Re: Santa Cruz Cham-E-leon (mk7) - Mid Drive Conversion

Post by Manbeer » Apr 06 2021 5:31am

Sweet bike, i was looking at those a while back. I ultimately wound up with a superfly 9.8 but every time i see them especially in that color i get butterflies

More importantly...Is that a 135i?

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Re: Santa Cruz Cham-E-leon (mk7) - Mid Drive Conversion

Post by ilu » Apr 06 2021 6:48am

Maybe you already have read about possible improvements for TSDZ2, but one I definitely recommend is supporting the axle with additional bearing(s). At least on the non-drive side add another 6902 bearing to support the axle outside the circlip groove. Apparently some people have also replaced the outer rubber gasket with a bearing that has better seals, but that I haven't done personally.

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Re: Santa Cruz Cham-E-leon (mk7) - Mid Drive Conversion

Post by ebbsocalMTB » Apr 06 2021 1:18pm

Manbeer wrote:
Apr 06 2021 5:31am
Sweet bike, i was looking at those a while back. I ultimately wound up with a superfly 9.8 but every time i see them especially in that color i get butterflies

More importantly...Is that a 135i?
It's definitely a color scheme that grows on you with time. This bike is like a cockroach for me, I've lost count of how many times I've built it up and torn it back down. The superfly was a classic bike, I had one for xc racing back in the day.

Good eye. That is my wife's 135is. That car is quite the trouble maker, especially with her driving it. It's got the full set of e92 m3 control arms, camber plates, H/R coilovers and a tune on it. Quite the sleeper... well it would be if she weren't such a lead foot. :P
ilu wrote:
Apr 06 2021 6:48am
Maybe you already have read about possible improvements for TSDZ2, but one I definitely recommend is supporting the axle with additional bearing(s). At least on the non-drive side add another 6902 bearing to support the axle outside the circlip groove. Apparently some people have also replaced the outer rubber gasket with a bearing that has better seals, but that I haven't done personally.
Thanks for the response. I did read about that actually and ordered up myself a set of 4 of the 6902 bearings. The unfortunate part of this frame is that due to the chainstay clearance, I need to utilize the 92-100mm axle extension. I'm hoping that doesn't lead to even more axle durability issues. See the following posts for all of the motor mounting musings.

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Re: Santa Cruz Cham-E-leon (mk7) - Mid Drive Conversion

Post by ebbsocalMTB » Apr 06 2021 1:35pm

So... as I have eluded to above, due to the chainstay clearance, I'm needing to utilize the 92-100mm axle adapter kit with this TSDZ2. I need about 7.5mm of spacers in order to clear the chainstay. It appears that I could improve that slightly by grinding back the motor housing a bit... I'm going to post in the TSDZ2 thread to get people's opinion on that.

Axle adapter kit, pre-installed by eco-ebike. Also 7.5mm of BB Spacers to clear the chainstay.
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The chainstay bridge/bracket doesn't quite work with the extra wide chainstay yoke to clear 27.5+ tires and run in the short position. This bike has stupid short chainstays so I will be running it in the longest position. Looks like I'll be coming up with some custom mounting solutions and fabbing something up.
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Test fitting with a 29x2.6 Maxxis rekon (from my wife's bike). Tire clearance is good enough, but you can see the conflict with the chainstay. It appears that with some grinding I may be able to get 1mm - 1.5mm of room back (2 would be awesome but seems unlikely).
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You can see why I needed the axle extension adapter. I'd need to about 5mm more clearance to have any short at all of using the normal sized axle. It may be a possibility that I explore long term... It would require some clearancing of the BB shell, but I do have the tools for that. Just not sure I'm ready to commit to that quite yet.
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Chainline after day one of fitting things. My straight edge is a bit wonky, but it more or less shows the current alignment, which seems to be just short of the #3 cog by a fraction of a mm. Between shifting the cassette outward 1mm, and getting 1-2mm out of the motor location, I'm hoping to get this within 2-3mm of typical sram eagle spacing.
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Re: Santa Cruz Cham-E-leon (mk7) - Mid Drive Conversion

Post by ebbsocalMTB » Apr 06 2021 1:44pm

One of the best parts of this chameleon for DIY ebike builds, is that it has a pair of bottle cage bosses outside of the main triangle and low on the down tube. I had this figured as a way to brace the motor, should the chainstay solution not work out... and here we are.

I started the process by putting grease on the bb shell and the bottle cage bosses. This allowed me to fold some templating cardboard (thin and rigid currogated core) and transfer the grease marks from the frame to the template.
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From there, I poked holes in the bottle cage bottle bosses, so I could attach the template to the frame, squarely and mark the bb shell through the shell from the inside. Then, it's just cutting and trimming the template using tracing marks with pencil, while the template is bolted to the frame. You can see here I'm starting to also adjust the clearance of the template for the non-drive side chainstay.
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This is where I am at with the initial 20 minutes worth of effort. I am still debating the material, thickness and ultimate configuration of how this bracket will work. I usually make 2-3 of these templates with different ideas/styles as I'm doing a project like this and settle mix/match the different templates to come up with the goldilocks solution.
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I'll be beautifying this bracket a bit before I'm done, but I'm going to also use it to take care of a few other housekeeping items like cable management and so forth. I may even tie in the front derailleur attachment points on the seat tube so that it has full points of connection to every single mounting point on the motor.

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Re: Santa Cruz Cham-E-leon (mk7) - Mid Drive Conversion

Post by Bigwheel » Apr 06 2021 10:35pm

I've built up three bikes now with TSDZ2's and I just push the motor up against the DT and tighten the piss out of the ring nut, check it after a few rides, and have never had any issues. Doesn't adversely effect ground clearance any more than it does when in the position you have it in.

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Re: Santa Cruz Cham-E-leon (mk7) - Mid Drive Conversion

Post by HrKlev » Apr 07 2021 1:44am

Nice bike!

If you plan to do offroad with this bike, and pedal hard, I would suggest you do everything you can to use the 68-73mm axle. The groove for the locking ring on the 100mm axles (well, at least the two I got) are macined deeper than the original axles. Making a really weak design even worse. I hope you have better luck than me with this motor. After the axle snapped on the road for me, I dont trust it to keep the cranks where they belong anymore when going downhill, so I went with another solution.
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DIY lightweight mid drive with torque sensing build thread: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=107622

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Re: Santa Cruz Cham-E-leon (mk7) - Mid Drive Conversion

Post by ilu » Apr 07 2021 4:24am

I understand the frustration with the standard axle mount being just a tiny bit too narrow, and the 100mm axle being unnecessary wide. But I definitely wouldn't modify a nice frame like that to install the TSDZ2. It can be a good motor, but it has a few major flaws and it's better to at least try it for some time in a less-than-optimal setup to see if it is the right choice for you.

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Re: Santa Cruz Cham-E-leon (mk7) - Mid Drive Conversion

Post by ebbsocalMTB » Apr 07 2021 9:44am

Bigwheel wrote:
Apr 06 2021 10:35pm
I've built up three bikes now with TSDZ2's and I just push the motor up against the DT and tighten the piss out of the ring nut, check it after a few rides, and have never had any issues. Doesn't adversely effect ground clearance any more than it does when in the position you have it in.
I appreciate the advice, thanks! I still think I'm going to make sure I am overly cautious about the bracket setup for this, just because that's my nature and this will likely see a decent amount of socal fire road riding. That being said, your post gives me confidence to not overthink it, and at the least get the thing gorilla tight and ride it around the block to test ride it without worry. :thumb:
HrKlev wrote:
Apr 07 2021 1:44am
Nice bike!

If you plan to do offroad with this bike, and pedal hard, I would suggest you do everything you can to use the 68-73mm axle. The groove for the locking ring on the 100mm axles (well, at least the two I got) are macined deeper than the original axles. Making a really weak design even worse. I hope you have better luck than me with this motor. After the axle snapped on the road for me, I dont trust it to keep the cranks where they belong anymore when going downhill, so I went with another solution.
Yeesh... that is exactly what I have been concerned about since I ordered this. I've had this nagging feeling that because of this axle issue, I would have been better off with a bbs02. The thing is I am a rabid cyclist, and I just couldn't bring myself to jumping into the pedaling for show riding style of the bafang units. The good folks at eco-ebike were kind enough to include the standard 68-72mm axle with this unit, so if I happen to kill this axle, that will trigger me either moving this to my kona dew commuter or building up a bike for my wife with it.
ilu wrote:
Apr 07 2021 4:24am
I understand the frustration with the standard axle mount being just a tiny bit too narrow, and the 100mm axle being unnecessary wide. But I definitely wouldn't modify a nice frame like that to install the TSDZ2. It can be a good motor, but it has a few major flaws and it's better to at least try it for some time in a less-than-optimal setup to see if it is the right choice for you.
Definitely good perspective. This frame has already lived a tough life and it doesn't owe me anything at this point. I've tried to kill it a few times by new both on accident and on purpose (not really but kinda) and it won't die. This is all really a stopgap to hold me over until I convince myself that 10k for a loaded EMTB isn't a stupid idea. Fortunately for me, but unfortunately for my wife and my wallet... I'm affiliated with a local bike shop here in southern california as a sponsored racer and ambassador. It means that I have pretty easy access to product and fuels stupid ideas like this far too often.

My lbs is a really bad influence... They let me borrow a SC bullit for a week of riding and I got to ride it back to back with my megatower... The first hit is always free, but it's the second one that gets you.
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That being said, I honestly don't think there is much I could take off the BB shell. I could take off about 1 - 1.5MM before I would be starting to get too close to the chainstay and seat tube welds. In order for that to be enough, I'd need to gain another 1mm or so from the drive side chainstay to motor housing clearance.

On that very subject... I did a bit of chamfering on the pinion/spur clamshell housing bolt last night and was able to get another 1.5mm or so of clearance. Now I'm down to 6mm of drive side spacers/shims from 7.5 originally. I think that I may be able to put a slight chamfer on the actual housing and get another 1mm of space. If I were to combine that with 1mm from facing the bb shell, I may be able to run this thing with the 68/73 normal shell width.

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Now the limiting factor is the the actual housing and not the bolt eyelet. In this photo it appears as if it's touching, but there is enough room to slip a piece of paper in between the chainstay and the housing. Not really enough clearance for general usage as there will be flex in both and they will touch each other in normal riding conditions. However I think a bit of time with the dremel and I might be right where I want to be, or at least very close.
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I'm still waiting for a few final parts to come in:
-140mm air spring for this fox 36
-36t - 110 bcd chainring
-Bafang BSBF-1 stabilizer bracket

The only parts that I need before being able to test spin this is the air spring, and that will be here friday. The rest is en route and may be here saturday/monday.

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Re: Santa Cruz Cham-E-leon (mk7) - Mid Drive Conversion

Post by COAR » Apr 07 2021 10:33pm

ebbsocalMTB wrote:
Apr 07 2021 9:44am
Yeesh... that is exactly what I have been concerned about since I ordered this. I've had this nagging feeling that because of this axle issue, I would have been better off with a bbs02. The thing is I am a rabid cyclist, and I just couldn't bring myself to jumping into the pedaling for show riding style of the bafang units.
I think many of the bbs02 ghost pedaling issues are due to the over boosted stock programming. I programmed the 1st 4 levels in 3% increments, starting at 0, and that way most of the power is definitely coming from my legs. However I'm not sold on the bbs02 yet for technical trail riding. 1st off it pushes the total bike weight to nearly 50 lbs, and the power delivery is jarring enough that it feels like I have to relearn how to mountain bike. There's a ~1 mile section of technical trail near me that I can typically clear 90% of on my Fuse, but I took my bbs02-fitted Surly there earlier this week and it was down to maybe 50%.

So I may have some buyer's remorse seeing your build, but I'm curious to hear riding impressions once you get it up and running.

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Re: Santa Cruz Cham-E-leon (mk7) - Mid Drive Conversion

Post by HrKlev » Apr 08 2021 1:42am

ebbsocalMTB wrote:
Apr 07 2021 9:44am


Yeesh... that is exactly what I have been concerned about since I ordered this. I've had this nagging feeling that because of this axle issue, I would have been better off with a bbs02. The thing is I am a rabid cyclist, and I just couldn't bring myself to jumping into the pedaling for show riding style of the bafang units. The good folks at eco-ebike were kind enough to include the standard 68-72mm axle with this unit, so if I happen to kill this axle, that will trigger me either moving this to my kona dew commuter or building up a bike for my wife with it.

Yes, I know exactly that feeling. The cadence based pedal sensors are great for commuting, but if you enjoy pedaling and ride anything close to technical a torque based system is a must IMO. The tsdz2 are great at first, so I bought 2 of them, one 68-73mm and one 100mm version. I only ride up and down single trails. There were some small things like replacing the plastic gear, etc, but when the axle broke on the 100mm version after only 200km or so, and the controller burned on the 68mm version the next week (after about 1000km), I got rid of them. The reliability issues I can handle, but losing a pedal when landing a jump is not something I want to deal with :p I went with a different solution which has been better in all ways, except initial installation (in my sig if interested). The guy that was posting a few posts before you in the big tsdz2 thread had a really interesting solution with belt drive, but it requires a lot of space inside the frame triangle.

The commercial EMTB's look really sweet. The price and not being able to repair and modify them myself is a big turn-off, but I am not sure if I can resist if I try one. So I try to stay away from them as I am sure they are addictive :lol: If there will be third-party solutions for motor and battery-maintenance and repair in the future I will probably be sold, but I try to keep to the homemade stuff until then :D
DIY lightweight mid drive with torque sensing build thread: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=107622

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Re: Santa Cruz Cham-E-leon (mk7) - Mid Drive Conversion

Post by Manbeer » Apr 08 2021 6:45am

The TSDZ2 is a great little motor. It really feels like a bike on steroids. I was just riding yesterday and was thinking how much i love the way it performs. I put down a bit less watts at around 250. To throw down some shitty metrics, i would estimate between weight, resistance and unideal gearing for humans i loose equal to about 50-75w. I am running an untouched 500w version so about 13a full send iirc

My off road rides will average roughly 25 percent higher speed on the third level of assist. So my rides where i may do 9mph overall, i will do 12ish. Bear in mind these are east coast trails so very narrow and twisty with lots of roots and crap so its hard to really open up. It takes riding from fun to "oh shit, i really need more tire and brake"

I would be a bit concerned with the longer bb shaft at your power level, but also don't like the BbS off road. Its fun, but a different kind of fun if you really want to get a good workout in.

My next build will probably use a CYC X1 stealth even though it costs a bit more. When I compare it to something of similar power levels like a BBSHD, It's only a couple hundred bucks more and well worth it because of the torque sensor. I believe they will also clear the boost spacing without any modifications. The added bonus is they seem to fit inside the frame triangle as well

That being said, for normal spirited riding you really don't need any more power than the TS unless you're bombing a lot of fire roads etc. I can already see this one being a bit sketchy at times so hopefully the X1 Doesn't get me into trouble

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Re: Santa Cruz Cham-E-leon (mk7) - Mid Drive Conversion

Post by ebbsocalMTB » Apr 08 2021 1:21pm

COAR wrote:
Apr 07 2021 10:33pm

I think many of the bbs02 ghost pedaling issues are due to the over boosted stock programming. I programmed the 1st 4 levels in 3% increments, starting at 0, and that way most of the power is definitely coming from my legs. However I'm not sold on the bbs02 yet for technical trail riding. 1st off it pushes the total bike weight to nearly 50 lbs, and the power delivery is jarring enough that it feels like I have to relearn how to mountain bike. There's a ~1 mile section of technical trail near me that I can typically clear 90% of on my Fuse, but I took my bbs02-fitted Surly there earlier this week and it was down to maybe 50%.

So I may have some buyer's remorse seeing your build, but I'm curious to hear riding impressions once you get it up and running.
Well, we certainly seem to align across the board on the pros/cons of each setup. With my situation, I realized that the bbs02 was the preferred option of the two bafang units, but the conversion to 100mm spindle/bb is cost prohibitive on that option. That left me with the BBSHD and it is simply more power and weight then I am looking for for my usage of this. It is definitely a situation where you're choosing based on your own pros and cons list and hoping for the best.

I am going to be building up a bafang equipped fat bike for my dad pretty soon, so I'll get the chance to compare the motors side by side... I'm wondering if I'm going to have the same buyers remorse... Haha. Grass is always greener I suppose.
HrKlev wrote:
Apr 08 2021 1:42am

Yes, I know exactly that feeling. The cadence based pedal sensors are great for commuting, but if you enjoy pedaling and ride anything close to technical a torque based system is a must IMO. The tsdz2 are great at first, so I bought 2 of them, one 68-73mm and one 100mm version. I only ride up and down single trails. There were some small things like replacing the plastic gear, etc, but when the axle broke on the 100mm version after only 200km or so, and the controller burned on the 68mm version the next week (after about 1000km), I got rid of them. The reliability issues I can handle, but losing a pedal when landing a jump is not something I want to deal with :p I went with a different solution which has been better in all ways, except initial installation (in my sig if interested). The guy that was posting a few posts before you in the big tsdz2 thread had a really interesting solution with belt drive, but it requires a lot of space inside the frame triangle.

The commercial EMTB's look really sweet. The price and not being able to repair and modify them myself is a big turn-off, but I am not sure if I can resist if I try one. So I try to stay away from them as I am sure they are addictive :lol: If there will be third-party solutions for motor and battery-maintenance and repair in the future I will probably be sold, but I try to keep to the homemade stuff until then :D
Your response gives me pause and re-assurance all at the same time :lol: I am planning on being pretty nice to this setup. I'm buying it mostly for commuting usage, which sorta makes it even dumber that I am putting it on this chameleon frame since I have literally the the perfect, 68mm hybrid/commuter setup already in my stable. In the end, I figured that if I could get 80% commuting usage out of this and then still be able to do a few cruises of the local mountain fire roads I'd be getting a bonus on the whole thing that I didn't intend to get.

I don't intend to do any jumping or drops on this as I have better tools for that style or riding (170mm Enduro Race Bike, 140mm Trail bike and a DH bike). That being said, my riding style definitely puts a lot of weight and energy into the cranks of the bike, and I'm not a pro cyclist by any means, but I can put out enough power to stress this thing pretty good. I'm definitely still questioning my plan and the smart play would really be to install this on my commuter... but I'm a mountain biker at heart... so I'm not starting there. Your build looks really awesome and once I get this initial DIY experience under my belt, I'd love to start exploring other more involved projects. I'm a tinkerer at heart and I'm just now dipping my toes in these waters for the first time.

Regarding the oem pre-builts... I've been holding off of buying one of those for a few reasons. Mostly because up until now, the ebikes on the market didn't allow me to do anything that I couldn't already do with my own power. I can already knock out 50mi/5-7k' climbing days without much fuss... so carrying a bike around that I go downhill slower on didn't seem worth it.

I'm lucky enough to have been able to ride pretty much all of the top range current and a few generation old bikes; pivot shuttle, giant models, orbea, specialized, santa cruz etc etc. Quite frankly, the SC bullit was the first ebike that I've ridden that really changed the game for me. Nearly all of the bikes prior to this generation had geometry compromises that would stop me from spending money on them, namely chainstay length and front/rear center ratios. That does seem to be changing now with the current crop and I definitely see myself selling my dirt bike at some point in the not so distant future to get an ebike with 50ish miles of range.

That being said... with another generation or two of development on kits like the CYC and a few others... It's pretty tough not to think that the future for some one like me is to get a few generation old downhill bike and do a conversion on it.
Manbeer wrote:
Apr 08 2021 6:45am
The TSDZ2 is a great little motor. It really feels like a bike on steroids. I was just riding yesterday and was thinking how much i love the way it performs. I put down a bit less watts at around 250. To throw down some shitty metrics, i would estimate between weight, resistance and unideal gearing for humans i loose equal to about 50-75w. I am running an untouched 500w version so about 13a full send iirc

My off road rides will average roughly 25 percent higher speed on the third level of assist. So my rides where i may do 9mph overall, i will do 12ish. Bear in mind these are east coast trails so very narrow and twisty with lots of roots and crap so its hard to really open up. It takes riding from fun to "oh shit, i really need more tire and brake"

I would be a bit concerned with the longer bb shaft at your power level, but also don't like the BbS off road. Its fun, but a different kind of fun if you really want to get a good workout in.

My next build will probably use a CYC X1 stealth even though it costs a bit more. When I compare it to something of similar power levels like a BBSHD, It's only a couple hundred bucks more and well worth it because of the torque sensor. I believe they will also clear the boost spacing without any modifications. The added bonus is they seem to fit inside the frame triangle as well

That being said, for normal spirited riding you really don't need any more power than the TS unless you're bombing a lot of fire roads etc. I can already see this one being a bit sketchy at times so hopefully the X1 Doesn't get me into trouble
This is really good feedback and info for me. I know what you mean about east coast trails. I'm originally from the midwest and haven't ridden back there in over 15 years. I went back last year while on a road trip visiting my parents, and noted that the riding style and gear is quite a bit different then the extended climb/descend style of riding we have out west. I had a tone of freekin fun riding through the autumn leaves and snakey trails when I was back there. I actually threw some 29x2.6 tires on my trail bike before I went and holy crap are those tires perfect for the application.

I definitely plan to not wring this motor out. I don't have any real interest in forcing it to try and climb 15% grades at full power and a low cadence. I'm a 70-120rpm cadence rider and if I can get 250-300w nominal power out of this thing while doing the mild off roading i'm planning on doing, I will be very pleased with it.

I was reading about that CYC x1 stealth. That looks like a great kit/unit. I definitely want to try and find some one with one so I can checkout the noise and see if one of these could be in my future. The design of the kit, frame fitment and power are pretty damn amazing.

Since forum posts are worthless without photos in my opinion... here's a few for good measure.

Loving those east coast wooded/windy trails.
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Quick stop in moab on that same road trip in october of 2020... yes I road tripped across the country with two bikes. Gotta have the right tool for the job. I had to get laps in on ahab, whole enchilda and slick rock trail on my way east.
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This is my kona dew that has been serving commuter duties. I also use this for touring adventures with a pannier/rack setup. I have a backup wheelset that has 40c off road tires for mixed surface adventures. It would definitely be smarter to put the tsdz2 on this bike, but I'm not a smart man.
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Re: Santa Cruz Cham-E-leon (mk7) - Mid Drive Conversion

Post by shirk » Apr 08 2021 1:36pm

My suggestion is ditch the Cameleon frame and find something that the motor fits on better.

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Re: Santa Cruz Cham-E-leon (mk7) - Mid Drive Conversion

Post by HrKlev » Apr 08 2021 2:34pm

Sounds like the tsdz2 should do you well for that kind of use. I would try to make it fit with the 68-73mm axle anyway. I would think that you can just remove the material that is needed and if you grind through, just patch up with silicone or something. Its just a big metal gear behind there, and its not like the rest of the motor is 100% waterproof...

Another motor that seems really interesting for the future is the lightest.bike kit. Its looks really compact and powerful. I dont think the kits have started shipping yet, but it should be pretty soon. Neptronix on this forum has ordered one for a recumbent build if I remember correctly, so we should get a review when it arrives.

I have only been riding mtb for a year, and the old Liteville is my first "proper" mtb. Im still blown away about what kind of terrain it can handle going downhill. When I am ready to upgrade next year or something I will remember to give the SC bullit a go :D
DIY lightweight mid drive with torque sensing build thread: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=107622

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ebbsocalMTB   10 mW

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Re: Santa Cruz Cham-E-leon (mk7) - Mid Drive Conversion

Post by ebbsocalMTB » Apr 09 2021 3:03pm

The last parts I need are rolling in. I got the fork parts I needed last night with the air spring. The fork that was on this bike for a previous build (fox 34), is now on my wife's bike. This means I had to source a fork for this build and the combination of me being particularly picky about suspension products and pandemic bike part availability in the 300-500 fork range... was a bad combo. I realized that I had a 51 offset fox 36 CSU sitting on the shelf, as well as an air spring, damper and associated parts. All I was missing with the lowers. So I placed an order with the local bike shop, and judging by the response time from fox, I assume that they only accept orders via carrier Pidgeon. A few weeks later, and the lowers showed up.

Time to get assembling.
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About 2 beers later, I had an assembled fox 36 setup at 140mm.
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I'll be finalizing the bike to shakedown ride point tonight and tomorrow morning and will spin it over the weekend a bit. Here's a teaser shot for now. Still plenty enough to do.
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ebbsocalMTB   10 mW

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Re: Santa Cruz Cham-E-leon (mk7) - Mid Drive Conversion

Post by ebbsocalMTB » Apr 10 2021 7:18pm

85% done. Plenty of cleanup items to do, but it's good enough for a real shakedown cruise tomorrow. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I've got plenty of refining to do, but the biggest items are done. Less talking more pictures.

Mounting the 860c to 35mm handlebars. I have a better, long term solution planned involving a garmin 1/4 turn mount. But this will do for now.
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Zip ties and silicone self healing tape.
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mounted up
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I ended up using a bafang full suspension mount with one of the ears trimmed off to brace the motor. The chameleon has a set of water bottle bosses in the perfect spot. It was a pita to bend, twist and layout the bracket but I'm happy with how it turned out.

I use a pipe cutter and an is brake mount adapter to cut the tsdz2 spacers to the size that I needed.
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More in a minute, time to drink a beer or two and eat.

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ebbsocalMTB   10 mW

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Re: Santa Cruz Cham-E-leon (mk7) - Mid Drive Conversion

Post by ebbsocalMTB » Apr 10 2021 8:03pm

I ended up modifying the bafang full suspension mount. That involved cutting an ear off of it and completely re-bending it. I the end it's even more solid then I anticipated. It was quite a pain in the ass, but it ended up working out very well.

I put one 2.5mm spacer up against the bb shell, then the tsdz2 triangle bracket, then the bafang spacer and then another spacer before the lock ring. The images speak for themselves I guess.

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ebbsocalMTB   10 mW

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Re: Santa Cruz Cham-E-leon (mk7) - Mid Drive Conversion

Post by ebbsocalMTB » Apr 10 2021 8:10pm

Some more shots tomorrow. Going to get up and take it for a mixed surface cruise. Impsressions to come, but initial rides around the neighborhood were pretty awesome. This thing is more then powerful enough for my usage.

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ebbsocalMTB   10 mW

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Re: Santa Cruz Cham-E-leon (mk7) - Mid Drive Conversion

Post by ebbsocalMTB » Apr 11 2021 2:09pm

Got out for the first real shakedown ride this morning. Overall pretty happy with the setup so far. I did 24 miles, and about 1,500' of total climbing. The ride was a mix of pavement, horse trails, fire road and singletrack. Overall a pretty good mix of all of the usage cases this bike will see.

The bike's performance is really good off road. It's more then enough power to satisfy me for both single track and fire roading. I was quite surprised at how steep of climbs the 42t front chainring and the 46t rear cassette were able to handle. I was planning on putting a 36t front chainring on, and I did find an interesting 110bcd 36t chainring that seems to have some offset. I digress. I'm definitely going to just run the stock 42 for a few work commutes to get a better feel for the gearing. The modified slx 11 speed cassette performed reasonably well as well.

I am definitely still getting used to how to get the most out of the motor. I definitely hit a spot where the motor went into some thermal throttling for a brief period. It seemed to be when I was running on assist level 7 or so and climbing a slow steady grade. Interestingly enough, there really are no temperature issues on steel climbs in the granny gear at higher assist levels.

Batterywise, as a reminder I'm using a 48v 12.5ah hailong shark based battery from pswpower. The stated cutoff voltage is 36.4 according to their site. I set mine at 39v. I'm not quite sure what he actual safe minimum/cutoff voltage should be. I started the ride at 54.4v and finished the ride at 47.4v. The battery indicator on the 860c was in the red. Any thoughts on this one?

battery link - https://www.pswpower.com/products/no-ta ... -motor-173

I've still got some more fiddling and more work, so there will be more updates and more rambling to come. I hadn't drilled the frame for the rivnuts yet because I wasn't sure I was going to commit to this frame... well, at this point I'm all in. That means that I'll finalize things a bit more, clean up the wiring and make a few custom parts for it.

Pretty stoked so far.



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COAR   10 mW

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Re: Santa Cruz Cham-E-leon (mk7) - Mid Drive Conversion

Post by COAR » Apr 11 2021 8:20pm

So how does the power/power delivery compare to that SC e-bike you pictured earlier?

And what's your finished bike weight?

I saw this thread the other day which also has issues with the voltage display (to spare you the click, there's no resolution).

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