Direct drive + Pinion gearbox + Gates drive system = Lowest maintenance powerful E-bike

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
To build a fast commuting machine, one needs a powerful motor. A powerful mid-drive stresses the drivetrain and finding the right balance is a tricky thing.
This EUROBIKE, several companies launching bikes with clever combination of direct drive motor + Pinion gear box + Gates drive system and this I believe is one of the lowest maintenance configurations possible.

Kettler will be launching this model.

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Klever mobility will be launching this one:

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MTB- cyclotech will be launching this one:

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opimax

Well-Known Member
I prefer the Klever, racks for panniers to hold extra batteries for long rides. Also fender clearance looks better, I have had issues in the past. I have only owned hub drives so far which is suited to my riding style. Local service a must though
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
Not a direct drive hub but I still like the Desiknio over those other designs. Maybe better for a stronger rider. And their video with Fully Charged mentions a patent related to the Pinion integration:

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Vin

New Member
Ravi: just curious, why a mid-drive for a commuter bike? Wouldn’t something like Juiced Crosscurrent with more robust and high end components work as well, without the expenses of IGH and Gates belts? (I have been reading your posts and learned a lot).
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Kettler just announced that they'll be closing. So I guess we can take that one off our list.

Kettler has multiple departments and subsidiaries and I am not sure if their E-bike division is closing.
Fallbrook/Nuvinci filed for bankruptcy 2 years ago but then their hub business did no fold down. They are continuing under Enviolo name.

Kettler has multiple new models for 2020 and lots of market share.

Nothing in that article mentioned about E-bike closure. Typically, they close down businesses that are not performing well but Kettler seems to have contract with Bosch and Shimano. So, I will wait to come to a conclusion.
 
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Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Ravi: just curious, why a mid-drive for a commuter bike? Wouldn’t something like Juiced Crosscurrent with more robust and high end components work as well, without the expenses of IGH and Gates belts? (I have been reading your posts and learned a lot).
I apologize if my post was confusing. Mid-drives are not ideal for commuting. A decent hub-drive with high-end components will provide high performance at half the cost.
Juiced CCX is a great example. IGH + belt works well but it cost a lot more for a high-quality hub like Rohloff and that is why I mentioned it is tricky to get this right.

My gripe with mid-drives is they are not powerful enough to cover "US-centric" commute distances of 25-30 mile round trip each day. Cassettes, chains, etc get work out very quickly and hence the belt and IGH. But one can get higher power and performance from a well-built hub motor.

The only area mid-drives shine is in mountain biking.
 

FlatSix911

Active Member
I apologize if my post was confusing. Mid-drives are not ideal for commuting. A decent hub-drive with high-end components will provide high performance at half the cost.
Juiced CCX is a great example. IGH + belt works well but it cost a lot more for a high-quality hub like Rohloff and that is why I mentioned it is tricky to get this right.

My gripe with mid-drives is they are not powerful enough to cover "US-centric" commute distances of 25-30 mile round trip each day. Cassettes, chains, etc get work out very quickly and hence the belt and IGH.

But one can get higher power and performance from a well-built hub motor. The only area mid-drives shine is in mountain biking.
This post does not make much sense... Mid Drive motors are selected for mountain bikes because the provide higher power and performance for climbing. ;)
Not to mention the inherent benefits due to a lower center of gravity and more natural bike handling.
BTW, I do agree that a belt drive and IGH system are great for commuting... along with a mid-drive motor.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
@FlatSix911

A 750W geared hub motor like the Dapu or even some Bafang hub motors will last a long time and provide excellent acceleration.
They are better suited for commuting on flat or rolling hills kind of terrain than a mid-drive. The trick is to pair that hub motor with a nice torque sensor. That is exactly what Juiced did with their CCX and there are people here who commute 50 miles everyday on that thing. No other mid-drive without Rohloff would be able to handle that kind of distance with similar maintenance input.
 

Feliz

Well-Known Member
I find the best compromise is a well tuned mid drive, something like a Yamaha PW-X or Brose S drive driving a nice 10/11 speed cassette. That's what my mountain bikes run but of course for commuting the rear suspension isn't needed and a different frame is a must. The best range I get is with my bikes using that configuration. Some people say a large gear spread isn't necessary with an ebike but I really like having the flexible torque band. SRAM did a lot of testing and they found most of the wear on a chain/derailleur system is due to bad shifting technique hence the one gear at a time ebike specific shifters showing up on most bikes now.
 

FlatSix911

Active Member
@FlatSix911

A 750W geared hub motor like the Dapu or even some Bafang hub motors will last a long time and provide excellent acceleration.
They are better suited for commuting on flat or rolling hills kind of terrain than a mid-drive. The trick is to pair that hub motor with a nice torque sensor. That is exactly what Juiced did with their CCX and there are people here who commute 50 miles everyday on that thing. No other mid-drive without Rohloff would be able to handle that kind of distance with similar maintenance input.
A quick search of eBike reviews with a Rohloff on EBR shows almost every model is Mid-Drive paired with the IGH.

Take a look at this beautiful Riese-Muller with a belt drive Mid Motor. ;)


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Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
A quick search of eBike reviews with a Rohloff on EBR shows almost every model is Mid-Drive paired with the IGH.

Take a look at this beautiful Riese-Muller with a belt drive Mid Motor. ;)

Thanks for your input.

Rohloff can only be coupled to a mid-drive not a hub motor.
When you try to commute 40 miles (64kms) everyday, you will quickly realize the limitations of many systems.

It is hard to realize those without experience.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Kettler just announced that they'll be closing. So I guess we can take that one off our list.
See this article. They are doing very well.


The ZEG announces for current reasons that Kettler Alu-Rad GmbH, which operates under its umbrella, has nothing to do with the final insolvency of Kettler Freizeit and Kettler Plastics GmbH, which has just been announced.

Accordingly, the company from Cologne announces that this is the only way to " burst out with energy and innovation ", as it had recently shown at the relevant trade fairs. As an example, the manufacturer names the new e-bikes with double battery , the child trailers or child seats of the Quadriga DUO series or the new Scarpia e-mountain bikes from the Kettler manufactory .

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Feliz

Well-Known Member
Thanks for your input.

Rohloff can only be coupled to a mid-drive not a hub motor.
When you try to commute 40 miles (64kms) everyday, you will quickly realize the limitations of many systems.

It is hard to realize those without experience.
You aren't the only one with experience or in fact the most experience.
 

Johnny

Active Member
I find the best compromise is a well tuned mid drive, something like a Yamaha PW-X or Brose S drive driving a nice 10/11 speed cassette. That's what my mountain bikes run but of course for commuting the rear suspension isn't needed and a different frame is a must. The best range I get is with my bikes using that configuration. Some people say a large gear spread isn't necessary with an ebike but I really like having the flexible torque band. SRAM did a lot of testing and they found most of the wear on a chain/derailleur system is due to bad shifting technique hence the one gear at a time ebike specific shifters showing up on most bikes now.
I am someone who has less experience than many and definitely not the one with most experience.

However I disagree that 10/11 cassette is the best compromise. I have a 10 speed sram cassette with slx derailleur (a nice setup, shifts are crisp good for recreational riding or mtb). I don't abuse my drive-train, clean and lube it regularly but I simply came to the realization that for longer commutes this setup is not practical. It is eating chains.

While changing gears is a contributor to chain wear I think for high speed commuting it is actually the constant high power that causes the wear. At higher speeds rider + motor output can easily exceed 400W for long periods and you wear the chain at a much faster rate. I am busy with moving these days but I am keeping a somewhat accurate chain wear journal (measuring with a digital caliper to see the chain wear progress) and will share it once I have the time.

I have seen 8 speed wide range(40 / 11) cassettes for less than 20$. 8 speed chains are also wider, more durable and much cheaper than the 10+ speed ones. I don't know why ebike manufacturers are not using them for commuters.