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A-Lines Abound: First ride after some major changes

MattyCiii

100 kW
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
1,374
Location
Boston, MA, USA
Call me late to the party, but I've joined the A-Line club. Here's my build:

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A medium frame Norco A-Line, pedal powered on the right by legs through a NuVinci N360, electric power on the left via a Recumpense DaVinci drive.

Lots of pieces missing... The next to be installed will be the shock, a used Fox DHX 5.0. I'm installing it with a needle bearing kit from Real World Cycling (http://www.enduroforkseals.com/id275.html), I hear they're worth the cost.
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Hopefully I'll have at least a pedal bike out of it soon, seat post and seat are on order but have not even purchased chain, chainring or cranks yet (I have some ISIS front freewheel trials cranks lying around, is there such a thing as thread-on front chainring adapter?)
 
The bike in its current form.

Updated 1 August 2012
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Current configuration (Updated 19 July 2014:
I'm going to maintain and update the present day configuration of the bike here so it's easy to find.

Motor: Astro 3220, (4 or 5) turn

Drive components - guiding principles:
1. No smaller than 20t belt driver. I tried a 16t driver (on my other bike) but it wore out in less than 1 year use.
2. Use odd number teeth, preferably prime number, for sprockets/freewheels/chainrings to make teeth wear more evenly.

Electric drive:
Performance - excellent. Very satisfying acceleration and top speed (speedo inop, top speed unknown)
Future upgrades: Consider 43 tooth chainring on second reduction, for parts standardization (same chainring as on human side drive).
CAv3 setting: . . . . . . . . . . . . . Throttle up-ramp: 0.05 X/yyy
Primary reduction: . . . . . . . . . 1:5 via 20 tooth driver to 100 tooth pulley
Secondary reduction: . . . . . . . 1:2.41 via 17 tooth freewheel to 41 tooth chainring
Total reduction: . . . . . . . . . . . 1:12.05

Human drive:
Performance - I recently changed the rear cog from 18t to 21t to get a better low end. This worked... too well, and I lost enough high end gearing to make the system uncomfortable at speed. I will tweak some more to get some of that high end range back at the cost of losing some granny. (An alternative would be to upgrade the ATS Speed Drive with a Schlumpf High Speed Drive, but that's very expensive.
Future changes: Consider changing the rear cog with a 19t for better ttop end human input.
Front chainring: 43t
Rear cog: 21t
 
What's next:
1) Finding a place to mount the electric drive.
2) Fabricating brackets to hold the drive in that place.
3) Figuring out where to mount the batteries.
 
Love those wheels Matt!!!! Subscribed!!!
 
Those are certifiable ES wheels:
Spokes by JRH,
Rims from the Recumpense 47mm wide, 406mm rim group buy.
The tires are Pirelli 16" x 2.5" moped tires. Something I never would have thought would fit a 406mm rim without the ES collective knowledge base.

Up front the hub is a Lefty (of course) hub custom machined by Project321 (http://www.project321.com/), who was incredibly helpful in getting me the right parts to fit a lefty fork to the Norco. Stopping power from a Hayes Prime Pro and 203mm disk.
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Out back the wheel is laced to that NuVinci N360. I've removed my dropouts in anticipation of Magudaman's replacements http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=35654&p=532410#p518345 coming hopefully in March.
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I gotta thank MadRhino for the tip about Magura Gustav M brakes
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, there's not a lot of room between the brake rotor and the drive sprocket.
 
Welcome to the a-line build club. There are surely more of us building these bikes then riding them at the moment, so you're not late to the party yet! I'd say this summer will be owned by the A-lines :). You're the first using a Davinci drive though; the rest of us so far are doing hubbie builds. I wish you the best of luck!
 
Not even 1/2 built and I'm already making changes. I'm using Magura Gustav M brakes on the rear because of the tiny, ~10mm clearance between the left hand chainring and the brake rotor. I got the Gustav as a pair of used brakes through Pinkbikes - I paid $250 for the pair, bleed kit, and a bunch of parts including rotors and pads to last me a long time.

Now I'm thinking - why use the Hayes on the front - why not go with Gustav front and rear? That way I can standardize on one type of brake, carry only one type of spare pad, and have all that Gustav stopping goodness on the front, where it'll do me some good. Of course, I don't have the correct mount to use the front on my fork, so I'll have to figure out which one is right for me and buy more parts...
 
HA were breeding like rabbits it seems!

Andje said:
Welcome to the a-line build club. There are surely more of us building these bikes then riding them at the moment, so you're not late to the party yet! I'd say this summer will be owned by the A-lines :). You're the first using a Davinci drive though; the rest of us so far are doing hubbie builds. I wish you the best of luck!

Andje, your comment got me thinking... am I the only one atm with a running aline? I saw one short vid where someone (cant remember who) had extended the wheelbase by like 1.5 feet :shock: , but dont know if that was just prototyping...





mattyc how are you dealing with the BB height given your running effectively ~22" wheels front and back? I'm striking all the time unless I'm going straight, and even then only when it's pretty flat! mine's a 26" front, 22.6" rear (mX rim/tyre)

LOVE the lefty. It still amazes me that they can be built strong enough to withstand all the abuse DH/XC brings, but that one looks beefy enough for sure!

what motor are you using? Have you given any thought to putting it just infront of the rear wheel, in the space created by the smaller wheel + extended drop-outs?

I think I'll be joining you in the non-hub aline club by years end... the HT works well, but I do miss the nimble rear end/suspension...
 
sn0wchyld said:
mattyc how are you dealing with the BB height given your running effectively ~22" wheels front and back? I'm striking all the time unless I'm going straight, and even then only when it's pretty flat! mine's a 26" front, 22.6" rear (mX rim/tyre)
Good question. I definitely want to pedal this bike a lot - though it will be a beast. I'll have to get short little crank arms. I'll also have to specify a "lowering" of the dropouts when it comes time to commission replacements. I want to go 2" to the rear already. For every 1" down, that's like adding 2" in wheel diameter, right? Maybe I'll have to go 2" down, 2" back. A longer shock would help too, wouldn't it?

sn0wchyld said:
LOVE the lefty. It still amazes me that they can be built strong enough to withstand all the abuse DH/XC brings, but that one looks beefy enough for sure!
I love how there are as many genres of bikes as there are breeds of dog. Beach cruisers, trials bikes, BMX, I can tell these apart. But I can't tell between some of the close cousins - what makes a DH bike different than a FS mountain bike?
When I was talking to Project321 about putting a Lefty on the Norco, they warned me a Lefty is not tough enough for DH use. That's fine with me, at age 44 I don't think I'm in the shape, nor frame of mind, to take up DH cycling. This build is more along the lines of Fractal's A-Line... a way overbuilt commuter bike where I don't have to swerve around potholes or blink when taking curbs. I'm sure the Lefty will handle that!

sn0wchyld said:
what motor are you using?
I'll be using a low KV Astro 3220 run through a Recumpense DaVinci drive. The Astro is on order.

sn0wchyld said:
Have you given any thought to putting it just infront of the rear wheel, in the space created by the smaller wheel + extended drop-outs?
That's my plan! DaVinci drive will be very light compared to those monster motors people are putting on these bikes. And forward in the triangle mitigates its unsprung weight even more. Hell, maybe I won't even need a chain tensioner on the left side - we'll see.
 
MattyCiii said:
sn0wchyld said:
mattyc how are you dealing with the BB height given your running effectively ~22" wheels front and back? I'm striking all the time unless I'm going straight, and even then only when it's pretty flat! mine's a 26" front, 22.6" rear (mX rim/tyre)
Good question. I definitely want to pedal this bike a lot - though it will be a beast. I'll have to get short little crank arms. I'll also have to specify a "lowering" of the dropouts when it comes time to commission replacements. I want to go 2" to the rear already. For every 1" down, that's like adding 2" in wheel diameter, right? Maybe I'll have to go 2" down, 2" back. A longer shock would help too, wouldn't it?

sounds right to me


MattyCiii said:
I'll be using a low KV Astro 3220 run through a Recumpense DaVinci drive. The Astro is on order.

sn0wchyld said:
Have you given any thought to putting it just infront of the rear wheel, in the space created by the smaller wheel + extended drop-outs?
That's my plan! DaVinci drive will be very light compared to those monster motors people are putting on these bikes. And forward in the triangle mitigates its unsprung weight even more. Hell, maybe I won't even need a chain tensioner on the left side - we'll see.

Great! Exactly what I was thinking for mine too! except using a 80100 rewound for about 55kv, running on about 60-70 volts and a 2 speed dogbox if I can get it all to fit.

Any thoughts to battery placement? I'm buying some new lipo so I can squeze 24s8ah into a box that'll go on the handlebars.


ps
where 'bouts are you from?
 
sn0wchyld said:
Any thoughts to battery placement? I'm buying some new lipo so I can squeze 24s8ah into a box that'll go on the handlebars.

Well with the Lefty, I'll have to be creative with placing batteries up front. That is Plan A though. Plan B is to always ride wearing cargo pants...

sn0wchyld said:
ps
where 'bouts are you from?
Boston Mass. I just updated my profile. There's a chance I'll cross paths with ES member Gestalt tonight at a bicycling event here in Bean Town.
 
MattyCiii said:
There's a chance I'll cross paths with ES member Gestalt tonight at a bicycling event here in Bean Town.

Damn straight, now I've met two ES members in person.

That Aline is looking sweet. With a davinci drive, astro and a bunch of lipo you'll be rockin the baddest ebike in Boston. Not a lot of competition for that title, but none the less.

As for me, I need about 20 feet of some 1 1/2" chromolly to bend a new frame out of on the 'ol fire escape. Oh...and my tax return.
 
Looks good.

There are a number of us working on downhill bikes with 20 inch wheels right now. I have two full suspension freeride frames (not quite as beefy as a downhill frame, but with longer suspension than a cross country FS bike) that I am looking at. As for bottom bracket hight, yes, you will want to do something about that. I am making a custom rear suspension linkage on my Diamondback X6 frame to accomplish this. One thing about raising the rear end is that the headtube angle increases as you raise the rear. However, a downhill frame already has a relaxed headtube angle. So, increasing it slightly may not make that much difference. I do like the longer wheelbase that a 26 inch bike with 20 inch wheels appears to have. It looks more like a motorcycle. 26 (or even worse, 29) inch bikes have a distinct bicycle look to them, while a 26 inch frame/20 inch wheel setup definately looks more motorcycle.

Matt
 
Here are some pictures of the tires/wheels. I took them to cross/post with this post http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=29888&start=60#p542254, but also to show the wheel in relation to a close cousin: 406mm bike tires on a more standard bike rim.

Both front and rear are 406mm x 47mm rims (from the Recumpense group buy) with Pirelli moped tires:
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Here's the whole thing, laced into a NuVinci N360. Mmmmmmm, beefy!
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Here it is next to another 406mm wheel from my "daily driver" Dahon folding bike.
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The Schwalbe is a 20x1.6 inch tire. Here it is alone:
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And here they are stacked.
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That's the perfect setup for high powered ebike for the streets, I can't wait to get my spokes in to lace this up! Those dropouts are sick too man. About the BB clearance on 20's, just put some 150mm crank arms on and you'll have a nice low bike and still have pedal clearance on turns. :twisted:

Hey can you put your calipers around those tires? I'm wondering if the wider rim profile flattens out the tire face at all.
 
etard said:
Hey can you put your calipers around those tires? I'm wondering if the wider rim profile flattens out the tire face at all.

67mm.

I have about 4mm clearance between the Lefty and the tire up front!
 
etard said:
Hey can you put your calipers around those tires? I'm wondering if the wider rim profile flattens out the tire face at all.

It looks like it does flatten it out a little compared to my front on a 20x1.75 BMX wheel, here are some pics I have a 16"x 2.75" ML75 on a standard 20x1.75 BMX wheel on the rear, sorry I don't have pics of the front. The 2.75" and 2.5" are pretty close in profile, not much difference. I wanted a more rounded sidewall for cornering grip. The 2.75" wide might be a better match for the wheel. I really like the way that rim looks, especially if you can fit a 3.0" tire on it.

borghub1.jpg

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Suspension:
I'm going to replace the rear shock's bushings with a needle bearing kit from Real World Cycling. First I have to press out the bushing:
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Don't need special tools to complete the task. Just some appropriately sized sockets, and a vice. The smaller socket presses against the bushing and bushing collar/spacer, and the large socket will be on the other side against the shock's shoulder.
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I'll swing by a friend's place this weekend and use his vice.
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Here's what will be installed in its place:
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Not a lot of work, but without a vice I can't move forward and install the shock.
 
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