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

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
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
Your experience is on par with the consensus of other high mileage commuters.
Recently, I was watching a video where Gates Drive engineer was explaining a scenario in Netherlands and how Gates drive was able to alleviate his problem.
This guy was commuting 60km everyday in Netherlands (flat as pancake), so he was spending 90% of the time on the last two cassette clusters (smaller ones) and he was tired of replacing them every 5 weeks.
Then they switched him over to gates drive and Rohloff and his maintenance intervals were much longer and less work.

On flat-ish terrain, chain spends disproportionate amount of time on the smaller cogs and wears them out quicker and in process wears itself out as well.

 

batmick1

Active Member
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 .
Good to know. Though, based on my many years working in a bike store in Germany, I will be forever biased against Kettler bikes. Back in the day they had a terrible reputation in terms of quality.

But I will take a look at some of the new models when I get a chance.

However, in terms of mid-drive 11-speed commuter bikes I can tell you that my Haibike does just fine for my 36 miles every day. I would not trade it for any of the hub drives I regularly pass on my way.
 

Mike's E-Bikes

Well-Known Member
An often overlooked critical reasons Tesla has been so successful, is due to its elimination of a lot of the traditional drive train. Losses are significant, and limitations are many.

Direct drive motors at the wheel are the present and future of successful EV transportation. RIvian is gaining massive support and investment due to how its further advancing concepts Tesla has pioneered. Their torque ratings of their motors is off the charts. Of course this involves appropriate power electronics.

Motors are getting more powerful and more compact. check out the motor developed by Hunstable as one of many examples on this trend. Eliminating gears and minimizing drive train losses and complications is crucial. Of course there is the battery, BUT nothing goes anywhere without the prime mover using the electric stored in that battery.

Despite the 'supposedly beautiful' interior of a Brose mid drive shown in another thread, there is very little 'beautiful' inherent to rubber belts and bunch of pinions and gears that 'eat' the precious power of every battery which we all want to get smaller and lighter, and use a LOT less materials.

The most efficient and appropriately designed motors that eliminate gear losses, drive train peripherals, few to no exotic materials, and are of super low environmental impact, but have very high torque allowing for optimal efficiency at typical wheel speeds of our modern transport, will lead the way on all types of EV's, especially in terms of micromobility. Ebikes, scooters, many derivatives of 'EV's' are all in this category of substantial growth for the next 4 to 5 decades. Unfortunately mid drives won't be a part of this, as they are too remote from the wheel itself.
 

Johnny

Active Member
Good to know. Though, based on my many years working in a bike store in Germany, I will be forever biased against Kettler bikes. Back in the day they had a terrible reputation in terms of quality.

But I will take a look at some of the new models when I get a chance.

However, in terms of mid-drive 11-speed commuter bikes I can tell you that my Haibike does just fine for my 36 miles every day. I would not trade it for any of the hub drives I regularly pass on my way.
I believe in another thread you also mentioned that your average chain life is around 1200 (it seems to be the case for many commuters). That means you at least change 2 chains and cassette every 4 months with a commute of 36 miles every day. If I go ebike specific chains this translates into 450-600$ a year. I think that is a lot of money for bicycle maintenance per year...

Since you have a lot of experience I think I should ask you this. I am planning to switch to 22T instead of 20T do you think it is too large?
I think on flats it is a better choice since it would let me use a larger cog on the cassette. I am afraid it would limit my climbing since i only use eco on steep hills but I guess I can be ok with it.
 

batmick1

Active Member
I believe in another thread you also mentioned that your average chain life is around 1200 (it seems to be the case for many commuters). That means you at least change 2 chains and cassette every 4 months with a commute of 36 miles every day. If I go ebike specific chains this translates into 450-600$ a year. I think that is a lot of money for bicycle maintenance per year...

Since you have a lot of experience I think I should ask you this. I am planning to switch to 22T instead of 20T do you think it is too large?
I think on flats it is a better choice since it would let me use a larger cog on the cassette. I am afraid it would limit my climbing since i only use eco on steep hills but I guess I can be ok with it.
I went to 20t from the stock 18t after about 2k miles. From the limited information I found that seems to be the biggest recommended gear for the Bosch CX drive. But I am no expert with e-drives and it may well be doable. I'd have to refer you to one of the other experts on here.

In terms of chain, I do not use e-bike specific chains but simply go for the cheapest brand-name 11 speed chain. Last time that was the SRAM PC-1130 that comes to about $20. I buy in bulk when I see an offer. For me that's $20 every other month. My last chain lasted just over 1500 miles until the Park tool showed 0.05% stretch, btw. so maybe my pedaling is getting better for the e-bike. Add to that a cassette roughly once a year, again, cheapest brand name, that came to $60 for a Shimano SLX. So all in all, drivetrain maintenance will maybe run me $200/year. Another frequent item is brake pads, about 2-3/year at $12 a set.
No labor costs because I do all my own stunts.
 

Johnny

Active Member
I went to 20t from the stock 18t after about 2k miles. From the limited information I found that seems to be the biggest recommended gear for the Bosch CX drive. But I am no expert with e-drives and it may well be doable. I'd have to refer you to one of the other experts on here.

In terms of chain, I do not use e-bike specific chains but simply go for the cheapest brand-name 11 speed chain. Last time that was the SRAM PC-1130 that comes to about $20. I buy in bulk when I see an offer. For me that's $20 every other month. My last chain lasted just over 1500 miles until the Park tool showed 0.05% stretch, btw. so maybe my pedaling is getting better for the e-bike. Add to that a cassette roughly once a year, again, cheapest brand name, that came to $60 for a Shimano SLX. So all in all, drivetrain maintenance will maybe run me $200/year. Another frequent item is brake pads, about 2-3/year at $12 a set.
No labor costs because I do all my own stunts.

In terms of chain that is exactly what I am going to do with the new cassette (I am waiting my 3rd KMC x10e to stretch afterwards I will switch to standard sram 1030 or kmc 10.73/93 chains) since I suspect that these ebike specific chains are mostly marketing. Do you feel any difference between ebike and normal chains ?

22t Connex is manufactured for bosch cx but I am not sure about the conversion since most people are converting to 20T.

What is your average speed? Since you mentioned CX I guess your average is around 15-16mph?
 

batmick1

Active Member
In terms of chain that is exactly what I am going to do with the new cassette (I am waiting my 3rd KMC x10e to stretch afterwards I will switch to standard sram 1030 or kmc 10.73/93 chains) since I suspect that these ebike specific chains are mostly marketing. Do you feel any difference between ebike and normal chains ?

22t Connex is manufactured for bosch cx but I am not sure about the conversion since most people are converting to 20T.

What is your average speed? Since you mentioned CX I guess your average is around 15-16mph?
I only tried one e-bike specific chain and it actually did not make the 1k mile mark. I think you're right in terms of marketing.

My average speed over the entire year has been 18.76 mph that's 5217.07 miles as of today.

6DF2CF3A-109F-4E4F-B221-0B35110F09DA.jpeg

Ignore the top speed. I had some GPS issues last week when it jumped all over the place for a few minutes. I have hit 50 before but not this year. The real top speed is about 10mph less.
 

Johnny

Active Member
I only tried one e-bike specific chain and it actually did not make the 1k mile mark. I think you're right in terms of marketing.

My average speed over the entire year has been 18.76 mph that's 5217.07 miles as of today.

View attachment 40173
Ignore the top speed. I had some GPS issues last week when it jumped all over the place for a few minutes. I have hit 50 before but not this year. The real top speed is about 10mph less.
18.76 really nice, did you derestrict it ?
 

Feliz

Well-Known Member
Of course, I respect your opinion, I just don't like people trying to cram their believes down my throat. Thanks for the ignore button. I agree with you, the SRAM ebike specific 8 speed is awesome

I rode up a 23% grade today and it was all I could do to make it up in the highest PAS and largest cog. That was with my Biktrix Juggernaut BBSHD and I wouldn't of wanted fewer gears. Mind you I'm 80
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Though, based on my many years working in a bike store in Germany, I will be forever biased against Kettler bikes. Back in the day they had a terrible reputation in terms of quality.
I do not when you worked in Germany! 5-6 years ago, E-bike tech was poor and none of the brands had a very solid product.
Kettler now uses Bosch motors and batteries just like your Haibike and for any given e-bike, motors and batteries are the two most important things.
Rest of the components are standard. Enjoy your Haibike! it is a very good product.
 

batmick1

Active Member
I do not when you worked in Germany! 5-6 years ago, E-bike tech was poor and none of the brands had a very solid product.
Kettler now uses Bosch motors and batteries just like your Haibike and for any given e-bike, motors and batteries are the two most important things.
Rest of the components are standard. Enjoy your Haibike! it is a very good product.
It IS ancient history, I worked there in the 80s and 90s. But the quality issues were with the frames, which I think would be at least as important as the drive system. But I am sure they have adapted and just from looking at the catalog the new bikes look much better than back then. I was just saying that once you have a bias it is very hard to overcome...
 

Marshmonkey

New Member
I'm also interested in the hub motor / gearbox setup. Looking at the European bikes listed on the first page, they look to all be paired with a pretty low power / low torque hub motor. Is that due to local restrictions?
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
they look to all be paired with a pretty low power / low torque hub motor.
They are not low power by any means..

I think you are referring to the torque numbers and these torque numbers are mostly "marketing".. we discussed this here: https://electricbikereview.com/forums/threads/torque-rating-on-e-bikes-marketing-gimmick.2467/

The only real way to mention torque is to put dynamometer beneath the wheels and measure what's torque at the wheel, which none of the E-bike manufacturers do.

The best way is to test one for yourself. These hub motors have adequate power and in many cases more power than most EU mid-drives.
 

Marshmonkey

New Member
They are not low power by any means..

I think you are referring to the torque numbers and these torque numbers are mostly "marketing".. we discussed this here: https://electricbikereview.com/forums/threads/torque-rating-on-e-bikes-marketing-gimmick.2467/

The only real way to mention torque is to put dynamometer beneath the wheels and measure what's torque at the wheel, which none of the E-bike manufacturers do.

The best way is to test one for yourself. These hub motors have adequate power and in many cases more power than most EU mid-drives.
I have had 2 Bafang geared hub motors so I definitely appreciate the torque. I wish it were easier to test European e bikes over here in the US. The only European models I can find in shops are R&M or big bike brands.
 

Deacon Blues

Well-Known Member
We're fortunate in Canada that we have a more reasonable motor cut-off of 32kph (20mph). Where we're not so fortunate is many of the nice e-bikes, such Kettle, are not sold in Canada. Heck, we're still waitin for the Orbea Gain models.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Direct drive motors at the wheel are the present and future of successful EV transportation.
Mike.
We appreciate your enthusiasm but Tesla does not use direct drive in the wheel. It uses a direct drive but it is suspended, so in a way it is a mid-rear drive.

DD hubs in a bike are different because they are really the hub of the bicycle. In a very light vehicle like E-bikes that rarely exceeds 25mphs, on a pavement, the effect of unsprung weight is negligible.
So, it is fine to use DD motors in the wheel but it becomes vastly more complex in a car. In fact, Tesla uses a simple single speed transmission and open differential.

To support your statement, there are millions of electric scooters in Asia that use DD hub motors and Bosch is one of the biggest suppliers of quality DD hub motors.

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Teebund

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:

View attachment 40088
If you like the desiknio, you might be into the Enki Cycles' new bike.

Mid drive with 25% more torque than Bosch apparently

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