Help finding FS/G510/Gates bike..

EBRQuest

Member
Well, I've come to the point in research and trying several models of bikes that I absolutely have to have a FS IGH MTB with Gates drive..

Unfortunately, I realize that the only two e-bikes that have this (that I found here) are the Riese & Muller and Nicolai bikes of Germany. I guess they have the only proprietary belt tensioner systems on a mid-drive frame right now?

I also was completely underwhelmed with the 80Nm of torque on the Bosch and Yamaha mid-drives. No way am I paying $4k+ for that weakness. I'd rather buy a basic e-bike and save up until I can afford what I want..

However, it seems like I may have to build the rest on my own. Does anyone have any leads on a powerful controller, motor, battery system on a FS frame with Gates? I could modify the rest of the system. Not sure I could build my own belt tensioner but I'm up for the challenge..
 
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Timpo

Well-Known Member
Well, I've come to the point in research and trying several models of bikes that I absolutely have to have a FS IGH MTB with Gates drive..

Unfortunately, I realize that the only two e-bikes that have this (that I found here) are the Riese & Muller and Nicolai bikes of Germany. I guess they have the only proprietary belt tensioner systems on a mid-drive frame right now?

I also was completely underwhelmed with the 80Nm of torque on the Bosch and Yamaha mid-drives. No way am I paying $4k+ for that weakness. I'd rather buy a basic e-bike and save up until I can afford what I want..

However, it seems like I may have to build the rest on my own. Does anyone have any leads on a powerful controller, motor, battery system on a FS frame with Gates? I could modify the rest of the system. Not sure I could build my own belt tensioner but I'm up for the challenge..
You won't find it.

Pushkar, the owner of WattWagons ( https://wattwagons.com ) already looked into that possibility, with 160Nm Bafang Ultra, IGH and Gates belt drive.
According to Gates, I forgot the exact figure, but Pushkar came to his conclusion that he should not be using Gates carbon belt for his custom full suspension bike (WattWagons does lots of custom job for their customers) because of Gate's tensioner limit (I forgot the exact pressure limit).

You could call Pushkar to see if he would build you one, ( https://wattwagons.com/pages/contact ) but last time I checked, he wasn't overly excited about the idea of Gates Belt Drive with full suspension because of tensioner limit.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Nobody uses IGH or Gates belt in MTB. How strange.

85 Nm of SyncDrive Pro translates to 120 Nm at the wheel in an e-MTB (or more). Because the gearing ratio could be 0.70 or 0.62 in a derailleur MTB.
 

EBRQuest

Member
You won't find it.

Pushkar, the owner of WattWagons ( https://wattwagons.com ) already looked into that possibility, with 160Nm Bafang Ultra, IGH and Gates belt drive.
According to Gates, I forgot the exact figure, but Pushkar came to his conclusion that he should not be using Gates carbon belt for his custom full suspension bike (WattWagons does lots of custom job for their customers) because of Gate's tensioner limit (I forgot the exact pressure limit).

You could call Pushkar to see if he would build you one, ( https://wattwagons.com/pages/contact ) but last time I checked, he wasn't overly excited about the idea of Gates Belt Drive with full suspension because of tensioner limit.

Man, thanks for the help Timpo. Not what I wanted to hear, but I get it. As an engineer myself, I'm skeptical as to why the Gates is rocket science. Sounds like something I need to find the answer to myself through experience.

Stefan, thanks for the reply. Not sure what you meant though?
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
@EBRQuest:

The MTB world (not necessarily e-MTB, just mountain-biking realm) has own rules how a mountain bike should be designed. Since the Specialized Stumpjumper (1981), the bike industry was learning about the mountain-biking needs and developed the technology to the paramount level, with these classes of e-MTB: Cross-Country, Trail, Enduro, Downhill, All-Mountain. Every smallest detail of a modern MTB was thoroughly studied. The technology progress in MTB affected other bike classes. e-MTB is even more complicated, and the first real e-MTB, Specialized Turbo Levo was only released in 2015, with major improvements in following years, to come to Turbo Levo SL, super-lightweight, low-power, low-torque e-MTB that was met with applause. Because mountain-biking is a separate world with own rules.

To make a long story short: No serious e-MTB brand makes an IGH, Gates belt bike because these do not belong there. You might say "and R&M Mountain?" No. It is like you were looking for an ATV and chose a SUV instead. The R&M never was and never will be an e-MTB.

You said you were underwhelmed with low torque of Bosch and Yamaha mid-drives. You should add to it Shimano, Brose/Specialized and Mahle/Specialized motors. All of them are up to 90 Nm, with the Specialized 1.1/Mahle one used in SL e-bikes sporting only 35 Nm! Why? Because you don't need more in an e-MTB. First of all, e-MTB is equipped with a very small chain-ring (32, 34 or 36 teeth), and the large cogs in the cassette are very large, for instance 51 teeth. The gear ratio is well below 1 there, meaning the motor torque is amplified at the rear wheel. For example, SyncDrive Pro (Yamaha PW-X2) offers 85 Nm max but it is 120 Nm at the rear wheel in the granny gear of Giant Trance E+ 2 Pro. The peak motor power of 520 W, full torque when you have just touched the pedal make the Giant ebike do a wheelie! Try this with an R&M.

I can guarantee that a Bosch, Yamaha, Shimano, Brose mid-drive e-MTB will climb any hill. You don't need a kilowatt or 120-160 Nm for that. You need an e-MTB.

Next thing is the bike weight. An e-MTB has to be possibly light-weight. e-MTB motors are lightweight, and batteries are possibly lightweight, too. There are many factors for that I don't want to elaborate on now. It is sufficient to say the Specialized Turbo Levo SL is almost as lightweight as a pedal-only MTB. The battery is small. The motor is underpowered and not torquey. Yet that e-bike is praised because it is as natural to ride on single-track as a mechanical MTB, offering the necessary assistance the unpowered bike doesn't have.

Mountain biking is not about power or torque: It is about riding technique. Please see several videos on Electric Mountain Bike Network channel, for example this one:

I apologise for this lengthy and direct post. Your thread title reads "Help finding FS MTB bike". If that would be "Help finding FS bike" I would even not say a word. Yet you asked to help finding an MTB. The bottom line is: No e-MTB from a respected brand (and there are many) makes a mountain e-bike with IGH/Gates belt.

You might ask your question in this thread, and then a real expert would tell you why.

Ride on!
 
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EBRQuest

Member
@EBRQuest:

The MTB world (not necessarily e-MTB, just mountain-biking realm) has own rules how a mountain bike should be designed. Since the Specialized Stumpjumper (1981), the bike industry was learning about the mountain-biking needs and developed the technology to the paramount level, with these classes of e-MTB: Cross-Country, Trail, Enduro, Downhill, All-Mountain. Every smallest detail of a modern MTB was thoroughly studied. The technology progress in MTB affected other bike classes. e-MTB is even more complicated, and the first real e-MTB, Specialized Turbo Levo was only released in 2015, with major improvements in following years, to come to Turbo Levo SL, super-lightweight, low-power, low-torque e-MTB that was met with applause. Because mountain-biking is a separate world with own rules.

To make a long story short: No serious e-MTB brand makes an IGH, Gates belt bike because these do not belong there. You might say "and R&M Mountain?" No. It is like you were looking for an ATV and chose a SUV instead. The R&M never was and never will be an e-MTB.

You said you were underwhelmed with low torque of Bosch and Yamaha mid-drives. You should add to it Shimano, Brose/Specialized and Mahle/Specialized motors. All of them are up to 90 Nm, with the Specialized 1.1/Mahle one used in SL e-bikes sporting only 35 Nm! Why? Because you don't need more in an e-MTB. First of all, e-MTB is equipped with a very small chain-ring (32, 34 or 36 teeth), and the large cogs in the cassette are very large, for instance 51 teeth. The gear ratio is well below 1 there, meaning the motor torque is amplified at the rear wheel. For example, SyncDrive Pro (Yamaha PW-X2) offers 85 Nm max but it is 120 Nm at the rear wheel in the granny gear of Giant Trance E+ 2 Pro. The peak motor power of 520 W, full torque when you have just touched the pedal make the Giant ebike do a wheelie! Try this with an R&M.

I can guarantee that a Bosch, Yamaha, Shimano, Brose mid-drive e-MTB will climb any hill. You don't need a kilowatt or 120-160 Nm for that. You need an e-MTB.

Next thing is the bike weight. An e-MTB has to be possibly light-weight. e-MTB motors are lightweight, and batteries are possibly lightweight, too. There are many factors for that I don't want to elaborate on now. It is sufficient to say the Specialized Turbo Levo SL is almost as lightweight as a pedal-only MTB. The battery is small. The motor is underpowered and not torquey. Yet that e-bike is praised because it is as natural to ride on single-track as a mechanical MTB, offering the necessary assistance the unpowered bike doesn't have.

Mountain biking is not about power or torque: It is about riding technique. Please see several videos on Electric Mountain Bike Network channel, for example this one:

I apologise for this lengthy and direct post. Your thread title reads "Help finding FS MTB bike". If that would be "Help finding FS bike" I would even not say a word. Yet you asked to help finding an MTB. The bottom line is: No e-MTB from a respected brand (and there are many) makes a mountain e-bike with IGH/Gates belt.

You might ask your question in this thread, and then a real expert would tell you why.

Ride on!

Hey, I appreciate it. I just didn't know. I was a long time roadie and never mixed in the mountain biking world. From an engineering standpoint, this would be an awesome thing. Perhaps one day the MTB world will wake up to adding different technologies. Of course, the art of technique and fine finesse are central to both mountain biking and road racing. I am deeply familiar with that balance. However, it is frustrating to be looking for a creative solution in a world tied to its sporting objectives like concrete. Such is the nature of market forces..
 
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
I'm not an MTB expert but I noticed anything designed in a mountain bike is justified. For example, why not fenders? (These can be added aftermarket but are not kosher). Because a tree branch could be entangled. And so on and so on. I can bet an MTB expert would easily explain why not Rohloff and not carbon belt. I cannot.
 

EBRQuest

Member
I'm not an MTB expert but I noticed anything designed in a mountain bike is justified. For example, why not fenders? (These can be added aftermarket but are not kosher). Because a tree branch could be entangled. And so on and so on. I can bet an MTB expert would easily explain why not Rohloff and not carbon belt. I cannot.

Yes! On another note, I just recently learned through an interview that Continental has been working with Fallbrook Technologies and R&M to produce the first integrated transmission mid-drive. Ideal! Keeps the weight and powertrain centrally located, that can be transferred via Gates by single speed and lossless chainline to the rear hub. I can't believe it took until 2020 to creep in this direction for industry leaders. When I left the work in 2007, these ideas were already on the plate. I was sure by 2015, some would have hit the market..

I know for MTB, that CG is even more important. Hell, it's critical on all bikes because a heavy rear hub really fucks up balance and high speed handling. That's why pretty much no one I knew was actually into Enviolo (@2.5kg) when it came out (nevermind the efficiency losses). It was seen as a touring 'granny bike' add-on only. Now that I'm older and absolutely tired of doing the daily maintenance that high end derailleurs require (to run at 94%+ efficiency), but not willing to ride a poorly tuned derailleur after years of enjoying what is possible, I'm much more seriously looking at IGH. Add on to that, how the technology has advanced for the better in the last 10 years.

I think we will see Pinion/Effigear/Enviolo transmissions merged with mid-drive motors in the next ten years, with lightweight, low friction hubs and zero-dish, hyper strong deep 'v' wheels. Cassettes have always been engineering nightmares. Only waiting on battery and power density to increase with motor designs. Part of me wants to come back to the industry to push this forward, but I'm not naive enough to realize that the slow stupidity of market forces really rule the day. Business is always so far behind ideal solutions.

Here is an example of Gates done properly in a MTB design (in my view). It requires no tensioner, as the power transfer axle exits the Effigear transmission through the chainstay bearing. No motor unfortunately..

 
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EBRQuest

Member
You won't find it.

Pushkar, the owner of WattWagons ( https://wattwagons.com ) already looked into that possibility, with 160Nm Bafang Ultra, IGH and Gates belt drive.
According to Gates, I forgot the exact figure, but Pushkar came to his conclusion that he should not be using Gates carbon belt for his custom full suspension bike (WattWagons does lots of custom job for their customers) because of Gate's tensioner limit (I forgot the exact pressure limit).

You could call Pushkar to see if he would build you one, ( https://wattwagons.com/pages/contact ) but last time I checked, he wasn't overly excited about the idea of Gates Belt Drive with full suspension because of tensioner limit.

Funny enough, just a day after I posted this I did find it! I was closing in on the trail after reading articles from Pinion, as their engineering team was trying to merge hub motors with the Pinion transmission (the guys at Pinion believe that it is inferior to place the transmission after the motor drive). I disagree with that concept and think that it is only partially true, but also conveniently aligning with their motives to market their BB mounted gearbox. However, MITech produces 2 models of the exact bike for which I was looking. Only issue is they employ weak hub motors..


For anyone else searching for the engineering I'm looking for, enjoy! I hope this helps others..

Here is also an E-MTB that was introduced at Eurobike 2018, with integrated mid-drive motor and transmission! No carbon belt, but that is a tiny step away. Now that I'm learning what to search for, I'm discovering more engineers are following my exact train of thought. Excessive weight in either wheel is horrible for control and stability. Mid-drive motor/tranny combos are where things need to move. More info for other people looking for the same..


Currently Effigear (444% range) is the only gearbox that has a suspension pivot design to be able to run Gates without a tensioner. However, I hope Pinion wakes up and adds this hardware to their box as well. Frame designs will truly move into the 21st century then..
 
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banshee28

New Member
Looks like you found nearly every Belt/IGH MTB around! Nice job... lol
Honestly I also think this is a very interesting technology and seems like a good fit but maybe there is much more to it than I am aware of, dunno??
I never knew a Belt setup existed with a rear HUB eMTB. I guess that would work ok?
I am actually holding out for now until I can figure out which direction I really want to go.

In fact, I may just get a Commuter for now... 😆
 

EBRQuest

Member
Looks like you found nearly every Belt/IGH MTB around! Nice job... lol
Honestly I also think this is a very interesting technology and seems like a good fit but maybe there is much more to it than I am aware of, dunno??
I never knew a Belt setup existed with a rear HUB eMTB. I guess that would work ok?
I am actually holding out for now until I can figure out which direction I really want to go.

In fact, I may just get a Commuter for now... 😆

I was searching my a$$ off! Haha..

It does in the case of lighter SA 3/5 speeds. Otherwise, the higher end ones use the mid-frame gearboxes to reduce unsprung rear mass. I'm with you dude! Holding out until I can get what I want. These technologies are just arriving, so maybe another 5 years?

The bike industry moves slooooooowww..
 

banshee28

New Member
I was searching my a$$ off! Haha..

It does in the case of lighter SA 3/5 speeds. Otherwise, the higher end ones use the mid-frame gearboxes to reduce unsprung rear mass. I'm with you dude! Holding out until I can get what I want. These technologies are just arriving, so maybe another 5 years?

The bike industry moves slooooooowww..
You could get an electric scooter for now if you want to get around town and have some fun. I got one of them around Jan and love it!
 

EBRQuest

Member
You could get an electric scooter for now if you want to get around town and have some fun. I got one of them around Jan and love it!

I actually did! That's hilarious, we're hitting this problem the exact same way. Funny enough, it was riding the scooter I got 2 weeks ago that made me so disappointed in the weak ass motor assists on these Euro bikes. Best decision I ever made. If I had test rode all those bikes with no idea how far their motor tech was lagging behind, I might have bought one of those duds. A $400 scooter is more fun than the $4,500 bikes I tested.. lol..

I was an extreme athlete when I was younger, so it's not like I'm lazy now. I just want a low maintenance, true car replacement. If I'm paying $4,500+ I also want that thing to be fun as s*it! Not gonna buy something half-ass..

I wanna buy a 2,500W Luna Apollo so bad, but would have to rebuild the entire rear wheel, mount a SA-5, Gates cog, replace the front crank, and then build my own tensioner.. nevermind having to replace the shifters and probably retune the motor drive afterwards! Just don't want to sign myself up for all that after dropping money on a brand new bike. Already modding the electronics on my scooter with this BMS system. I don't need yet another project. God, they add up..

Hey, what scooter did you get?
 
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banshee28

New Member
I actually did! That's hilarious, we're hitting this problem the exact same way. Funny enough, it was riding the scooter I got 2 weeks ago that made me so disappointed in the weak ass motor assists on these Euro bikes. Best decision I ever made. If I had test rode all those bikes with no idea how far their motor tech was lagging behind, I might have bought one of those duds. A $400 scooter is more fun than the $4,500 bikes I tested.. lol..

I was an extreme athlete when I was younger, so it's not like I'm lazy now. I just want a low maintenance, true car replacement. If I'm paying $4,500+ I also want that thing to be fun as s*it! Not gonna buy something half-ass..

I wanna buy a 2,500W Luna Apollo so bad, but would have to rebuild the entire rear wheel, mount a SA-5, Gates cog, replace the front crank, and then build my own tensioner. Just don't want to sign myself up for all that after dropping money on a brand new bike. Already modding the electronics on my scooter with this BMS system. I don't need yet another project. God, they add up..

Hey, what scooter did you get?
Nice... So yea I dont think pretty much most ebikes would match a high end scooter in power esp since many of these scoots are dual motor.

I had a feeling you would ask, lol ..... I got a Lightning +. I REALLY Love this scooter. Its VERY powerful (for a scooter), it can climb pretty much anything I would be willing to ride up.

Tops out 40+ Mph, but I have not yet taken it that fast! Chirps the wheels if I want to, brakes are awesome, dual 1200 watt motors, 3600 Watts max total, lots of upgrades, etc. Really loving it, esp for the price!

Take a look and tell me what you think.... https://www.ewheels.com/product/new-turbowheel-lightning-957wh-battery-2x-1000w-3600w-motors/
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
You don't want a 2500W Luna. Ludicrous just magnifies the issues with the stock controller. If you go with the Ultra you'll want to upgrade to the Innotrace controller (offered by Watt Wagons in North America). Much smoother and more efficient. One user reported almost twice as efficient.

 
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