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Shaft Drive Grocery Getter


1 MW
Apr 8, 2014
Houston, Texas
Well I have been riding this one for about six months now. Time to do post on it. The origonal thread where I bought the bike and started working on it is:
The basic bike frame was a Sonoma Evolution Urban Commuter Bicycle with a shaft drive (i.e NO CHAIN) and a Shimano internal 3-speed rear hub.Full View Right Clean.JPGView attachment 14Full View Right.JPGShaft Drive 00X2.JPG
To that I added a 52 Volt Lunacycle Sharc battery and Golden Motor Smart Pie Front Hub motor. The reason for choosing the GM Smart Pie is I happened to have it from another bike but I wanted a tad more power and range than the original GM 36 Rack mount battery gave me (that battery has since been used elsewhere). I do not use PAS, E-Brakes or 52 volts lights nor did I need a 10 foot long cable harness. Much of the GM cabling was cut away to form a new wire harness using the original connectors. That was encased in PET Expandable Braided Sleeving. One problem I had was the CHEAP plastic GM used to make the handle bar clamps. It out gases and becomes very brittle. Those crappy mounts do not last 6 months. I epoxied a 1/4-20 steel nut inside the display unit and used a handlebar mount from a cycle analyst. I still need to fix the clamp for the button mount. I relocated the Shimano 3 speed shifter to the left hand side so that I could use the standard GM thumb Throttle (the LED 'fuel' gage is useless of course --- as is the one on the Shark battery). As the Shark battery has no switch I am currently using an XT60 connector (nicknamed old sparky) that I plug and unplug as needed. That is a future upgrade. Despite all the naysayers about suspension forks and front hubs I have not yet had any problems in that regard ... but I am a sedate rider.Handlebars 01 X2.JPGCheap GM Plastic Mounts X22.JPGFront Hub Motor X2.JPGSparky 02.JPG

Those are the standard GM 700C rims which are nothing to brag about but they suffice. They are fitted with SCHWALBE Big Apple RaceGuard RLX 50-622 (28 x 2.00) ... the largest that would fit in the rear frame. The tubes are Schwalbe AV 19 29 x 1.75-2.4" with 40mm Schrader valves. I keep a spare tube in the box on the back of the bike (note the nut on the stem and brass cap with valve core tool). The short seat post allowed me to use a Thudbuster (with the softest insert) and Cloud Nine Suspension seat. The C9 has been modified to remove about half of the spring preload. The C9 seat, Thudbuster, Big Apple tires and suspension fork work together to make riding on Houston's sorry streets pleasant. Valve Stemx2.JPGSeat Thudbuster 2X2.JPG
I needed somewhere to store miscellaneous items such as a spare tube, tools, bungees, etc. I used my usual (cheapest available) rack from Amazon to which I added a bright orange Ammo box. A 1/4 thick piece of Bamboo plywood was cut to fit inside the bottom of the box. Then three 1/4-20 "T" were put into the plywood. The two rear bolts go through a Aluminum piece that I hogged from a 3x3x1/4 angle with a jig saw. It also provides a mounting point for the 1/4-20 bolt I use for my Travoy trailer. The shoulder bolts provide additional hook points for bungee cords. At some point I am going to add rear lights to the back of the box. When I need more space I use the Travoy trailer. Box Inside 00.JPGhitch 05.JPGView attachment 4View attachment 2

With the larger tires and extra weight the stock kickstand was unstable. It needed a bit more height and a larger contact surface especial on Texas hot asphalt or grass. I added a 5/8 inch crutch tip to solve both problems. The inside of the tip is filled with epoxy. That is going to be a problem when it wears out ... :cry:Kick Stand.JPG

I can top 25 MPH With tires inflated to 30 PSI (makes a big difference) and a hot battery using 900 watts. Mostly I ride around 18-20 MPH at about 300 watts.
Me: 160 pounds
Bike (as shown with box , tools, tire pump and battery): 65.5 pounds

Update, November 2019: :D
Shaft drive Bicycles are still being sold by BRIKBIKES in Rabobank Netherlands: http://www.brikbikes.com
Glad to see this build has evolved to the point that you have a nice rideable bike.
Love the idea of shaft drive, please keep us updated with your experience.
That's a great looking bike LewTwo. Very practical mix of components and utility. Looks like an everyday grocery getter, commuter and all around utility bike. Great job.
wineboyrider, soaresdacosta, footloose, Wolfeman: Thank thee :)

I had a problem yesterday. Lunacycle uses an adapter cable to go from their charger's XT60 connector to the charge port's 2.1mm (2.5 ?) barrel connector. They use really stiff wire for the adapter cable. The cable flexes less that the rubber boot on the barrel connector. as a result the solder ring on the center pin broke off. Made for some interest arcing and sparking.

I had some XT60 panel mount. I managed to make one 'kinda fit' into the charging port recess (with the cavity filled with JB Weld). Then I spice the adapter cable to internal charging wires. The Volt meter on the Lunacycle had stopped working shortly after I got it. So I took the opportunity to wire up a watt meter while I was at it. I get a lot more information out of that and it works inline with the motor/controller as well.

I just got back from my usual trip to the Post Office and Kroger grocery store. That is a round trip of 6.2 miles (per google maps). I used 3.6 Amp Hours of energy (I do not pedal much). That works out to 1.7 miles per amp hour. If I derate the battery to 12 Amp Hours then I should have a realistic range of about 20 miles.


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Thanks for posting this. It's too bad there aren't more options for frames with a shaft-drive. The fact you also have three speeds is awesome. One of the annoyances of a powerful mid drive is that the chain and sprockets wear out faster. Also, once you have significant power, many riders suddenly realize they are happy with fewer gears, so...3-speed IGH is gaining in popularity
spinningmagnets said:
... It's too bad there aren't more options for frames with a shaft-drive....
FYI: The manufacturing date on the frame is 2009-01-26. It was almost an 'antique' when I bought it new. They are still for sale on Amazon but only the smallish frame size (a bit short for me actually, but I don't pedal much). The one BIG disadvantage is that there is no way to change the final gear ratio. Pedaling at speeds more than 18 MPH is absurd. Sussex was manufacturing the shaft drives in Taiwan but they have packed up their tent and left. I understand that they may still be manufacturing some in China somewhere.

Update, November 2019:
Shaft drive Bicycles are still being sold by BRIKBIKES in Rabobank Netherlands: http://www.brikbikes.com
Shaft driven ebike sounds awesome. No more dinking around with derailleurs and chains. I've spent hours trying to get derailleurs to shift perfectly on bikes. The idea of just having a shaft drive that just works every time is a bit mind boggling.

I used to ride a Honda CX500 motorcycle that I loved because it was shaft driven. Basically zero maintenance required. I bet your ebike is the same.

Nice job on the ebike. Hope it serves you well.