I will be adding my review thoughts here since there is most the material already contained in this thread.
The Lighting Rod's Big Block on full suspension bike Review
preamble: I ride rougher terrain than most people who think off road equals, parks, paved surfaces, smoothe single tracks with the occasional obstacle negotiated with out power.
Things it is terrible for:
full suspension bikes and high powered bb mid drives are a match made in hell.
The worst part of the concept of "mid drives are superior off road" is totally overlooking the bumps, humps, rough terrain exists on steep grades. If you have a hard tail that is fine. But hey nobody recommends mid drives for hard tails usually because the unsprung factor is pretty much the same as running a hub motor. It's all the magic full suspension bike with sprung motor weight that people want.
Hold on, chains dance like crazy and will jump off unless there are 4 points to secure them on the bicycle part.
Wait up, freewheels wobble, seating of the freewheel / chainrings also slants, the pivots twist and the swing arm crabs outwards. Making a perfect chain line totally impossible.
Dirt. Guess what? there is lots of dirt, dust etc off road. 3 chains to take care of means 3 times more work, and at 3kw as it is advertised which is more than 10 times more power, that makes your chains being clean at least 30 times more important. A build up of dirt, mud whatever and its a walk home.
Parts and extra costs. Custom or very rare and only available with shipping often twice the price of the part. On top of the initial price the ongoing breaking of parts until something starts to work will set you back a grand at least. One big one is an expensive rear hub such as the DT SWISS that has a star engagement system. Breaking your frame, going through at least 10 chains.... etc. there are endless costs also related to all the tools required to service this.
BETA. Don't let them fool you, this is a beta system and the users are feeding a search to make it work. As it was stock, the cranks had peddle strike as soon as it was installed. Clearance on the BB was a compromise between cranks falling off because of having to have them on loosely to clear the motor, until I could find longer bolts and a new FW. There was even a pretend aesthetic bolt doing nothing on the kit that just fell off. Grub screws dislodging and then jamming up chains, jack shafts warping, key ways deforming, keys compressing, adapter cracking in half, sprockets folding, teeth getting clean ripped off or getting destroyed in many ways and time spent searching and waiting for rare 219 pitch stuff.... only one guy can offer you a replacement, and if you share your experiences he will not.
Time. This could be good for those who prefer to work on their bikes more than ride them. Something fails every few rides on my eroded fire trails. It might last perfectly on your immaculately maintained version of off road, but hub motor would have no problem on that either.
Sound. This is subjective to the rider, but most people and dogs will know you are coming from far away. As run at stock set up with primary chain, it a screamer. If you like attention that's great. It is not stealth.
What's it's good for:
riding it up with power on smoothe terrain, and then enjoying your suspension downhill without use of the motor. That basically rules out 90% of the terrain the bike was intended for.
I'll say it again with a different angle, riding steep smoothe stuff at high speed, where torque is low. Even at low amounts of power its enough when getting moving to crab out suspension. At high speed on smoothe it will climb steep all day long. Which brings me to a related point. There is absolutely no heat issues. That's a really big plus, it is the main plus. Unfortunately, its only on road and moving relatively quickly that you can use it.
Gearing. Kind of related to heat but it's own category because it basically means you can choose whatever speed you want. This is also totally related to power consumption. If you choose a low speed and are happy with it, you don't need mega watts to climb a hill. And finally this is related also to complete freewheeling.
Freewheeling. Compared to hub motor you can roll equally well as a normal bicycle and have absolutely no drag. Unfortunately this is almost totally negated as a positive when considering the mechanical waste or drag of the whole system when powered up.
EDIT June 2017 broke the swingarm I think due to crabbing or twisting. That spells the end of this DH bike frame running this motor.... and for some time now it will mean the end of the LR kit.
Below is the original posting for this thread
Just starting a new build thread now that I bought the bike for the LR kit which I am waiting in line for (ordered 22 July
). Although I was going to go for a new entry level priced bike, everything produced now is 27.5 and more importantly they all have curved downtubes. A lot of the older downhill bikes had straight down tubes so hunted around for second hand. This bike has a lot of fine lines in the paint work with a chip near the pivot bolt. Those lines still have me paranoid. They don't look like what I would think cracks look like. They look like some one used a fine knife to cut along near the beading all over the frame. My biggest fear is that I am wrong and they are all hair line cracks.... If the bike do turn out to be cracks I plan to send this off to Sam to chop the frame and make battery space and bead up everything with extra meat and then cook it.
The FRO stands for "For Race Only" lol, so at 5kg it should probably hold up with cracks touch wood.
I Paid an AU grand for it. The frame itself brand new would be $3k. The fox 40 fork brand new would be $2k (au everything is more expensive!) Rear Spring shock would be $1k new, So if I don't discover any structural flaws I got this pretty dam cheap.
It does have scratches....
About the frame in general with marketing hype
http://www.competitivecyclist.com/inten ... -fro-frame
Forum thoughts about the frame
http://www.pinkbike.com/forum/listcomme ... &pagenum=1
Issues with it include in full compression the tyre would hit the frame ( I don't see that happening for me)
http://www.ridemonkey.com/threads/warni ... rs.199859/
About the Fox 40 fork (I don't know much about version / year)
looks like this one http://www.ridefox.com/help.php?m=bike&id=45
Never heard of the BOS Stoy rear coil shock before but it has a glowing review
http://dirtmountainbike.com/products/pr ... q0LgUpl.97