Help finding FS/G510/Gates bike..

jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
Now, I'm looking for a true car replacement for commuting that is also a lightweight (comparatively) trail bike. At the same time, as I don't accumulate 'stuff', I'm looking for the last bike I will ever need to own. I want to invest in that platform, and haven't figured out what compromises I'll be okay with yet..

I mean, I'd just look for a hardtail with whatever motor you want and clearance for reasonable tires and go to town. I think you're overthinking this. Some of your wants are in conflict with each other (full suspension is needlessly complex overkill for a commuter, and the geometry that makes for a good trail bike isn't ideal for riding on pavement or commuting). Belt drives are low maintenance, but then you want to saddle a commuter with suspension at both ends that will need at least annual servicing.

Jack-of-all-trades bikes tend to be mediocre at a bunch of things. It really makes more sense to get an actual mountainbike for mountainbiking and a commuter for commuting.


I'm not a mud thrasher, I ride carefully. Why? I had to repair people's bikes everyday with the stupid things they would do to them, not understanding mechanics. I'd see how poorly seasoned mechanics would end up slapping together repairs, because they got burnt out dealing with the carelessness of people. I know that I am the only one I trust to do any repairs and builds. Any bike I get, I always end up rebuilding and fixing all the errors. When I ride a belt off road, if I do.. I for certain won't be the type of person to thrash up a gravel cloud or rooster tail of mud because I care for my machine and it is an extension of my body. It's the responsibility that comes from doing all the work yourself. So, I'm looking for ideal technologies put together in a bike that I've always wanted.. and I want that with serious torque and power in a mid-drive for late nights that I need to get home and am exhausted from work.

Riding carefully doesn't make that much difference when you get to real MTB trails. Maybe you just mean, like, dirt roads? MTBs break. They get exposed to dirt and water and bounced on rocks, and you will definitely crash eventually if you spend any time on singletrack. I do my own maintenance too, but I expect to break things because I like to ride difficult terrain. I don't lose sleep over it, I just don't spend big bucks on derailleurs or brake rotors or rims.


I had a road bike that I built from the ground up that weighed a solid 27 lb., but I'd go for rides with dudes who had carbon Cervelo's and Pinarello's and Willier's. Many times I'd end up besting them because my wheels and drivetrain were optimized for micro friction. That kind of optimization doesn't 'happen', it takes months of work to build up, and if you thrash on a bike, you destroy many micro regions that can't be repaired, even on an $8k bike (10 years ago, that was about the most expensive carbon road bike.) So, I'm just hyper aware of these things. Categories and customer warnings really don't apply as much when you are in-tune with the machine you ride.

I... don't really know how to parse this. Your average road bike is ridiculously efficient, and any semi-fit roadie is going to be cruising at a speed where wind resistance starts dwarfing drivetrain losses and rolling resistance. Theres a reason that pros doing TT stuff are waaaaaaay more concerned with aero than they are with fancy low friction drivetrain mods (or even low bike weight).
 

EBRQuest

Member
Trust me, you will not find one bike for both. I got a Frey CC for city riding and light off road and a Luna X1 for more aggressive off road riding. I would not want to use either for the other purpose. The Frey CC is an absolute joy to ride (with upgraded controller) but heavy and similarly the X1 is light enough to throw in the back of the SUV and does what it should off road (with some quibbles about refinement at lower PAS but I found I tend to ride at higher PAS anyway so works for me). Not getting too caught up in what bike is best for city vs. trail, the reality is one will not work well for both. I started out with 1 bike, now I have 4, and 1 more on the way because... I must havez a belt drive and IGH. 🤪

Ahaha.. so it goes. Hey, were you the one saying that Luna was great with the M600 drive, so the X-1 is really well done? I wonder how much changed with the internals of the Ultra..
 
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EBRQuest

Member
I mean, I'd just look for a hardtail with whatever motor you want and clearance for reasonable tires and go to town. I think you're overthinking this. Some of your wants are in conflict with each other (full suspension is needlessly complex overkill for a commuter, and the geometry that makes for a good trail bike isn't ideal for riding on pavement or commuting). Belt drives are low maintenance, but then you want to saddle a commuter with suspension at both ends that will need at least annual servicing.

Jack-of-all-trades bikes tend to be mediocre at a bunch of things. It really makes more sense to get an actual mountainbike for mountainbiking and a commuter for commuting.




Riding carefully doesn't make that much difference when you get to real MTB trails. Maybe you just mean, like, dirt roads? MTBs break. They get exposed to dirt and water and bounced on rocks, and you will definitely crash eventually if you spend any time on singletrack. I do my own maintenance too, but I expect to break things because I like to ride difficult terrain. I don't lose sleep over it, I just don't spend big bucks on derailleurs or brake rotors or rims.




I... don't really know how to parse this. Your average road bike is ridiculously efficient, and any semi-fit roadie is going to be cruising at a speed where wind resistance starts dwarfing drivetrain losses and rolling resistance. Theres a reason that pros doing TT stuff are waaaaaaay more concerned with aero than they are with fancy low friction drivetrain mods (or even low bike weight).

That's very true.. at an even higher level, wind resistance is the largest factor by far. All the stuff you said about trails is right on, I get it. I guess I see something in my own mind that I'm trying to achieve. Thanks for your help..
 
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TomD

Well-Known Member
The Luna X1 gets the job done but I wouldn't say it's really well done. I don't care for the tuning Luna did to the M600. Unlike the Ultra the user can't tune the M600. That requires custom firmware and $100 BESST tool with dealer login to flash it. Luna told me they had Bafang come out and tune the motor for them. I suspect they wanted to dial it back at lower PAS because the ludicrous controller (which doubles the power) was too powerful at lower PAS. The problem with this is I believe they use the same tuning for both ludi and non-ludi, so at lower PAS where they tried to dial it back for the ludi controller, the non-ludi is under-powered and not smooth. It's fine for me because I use higher PAS on my rides. I may eventually upgrade the controller when innotrace comes out with a M600 controller. I've also read there is new firmware from Bafang that makes the M600 smoother and more efficient. I've asked Luna if they will provide a means to flash the new firmware to my M600 but so far crickets.
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
I think I mentioned this earlier but if you are good with a wrench you can just order the latest frame from Dengfu and build your own. Won't be a belt drive or IGH but the new frame has a larger battery and the non-Luna motors may have the latest Bafang firmware. See here where someone swapped out the components from another bike:


And here where someone bought the motor from cnebikes and flashed the new firmware.

 
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EBRQuest

Member
The Luna X1 gets the job done but I wouldn't say it's really well done. I don't care for the tuning Luna did to the M600. Unlike the Ultra the user can't tune the M600. That requires custom firmware and $100 BESST tool with dealer login to flash it. Luna told me they had Bafang come out and tune the motor for them. I suspect they wanted to dial it back at lower PAS because the ludicrous controller (which doubles the power) was too powerful at lower PAS. The problem with this is I believe they use the same tuning for both ludi and non-ludi, so at lower PAS where they tried to dial it back for the ludi controller, the non-ludi is under-powered and not smooth. It's fine for me because I use higher PAS on my rides. I may eventually upgrade the controller when innotrace comes out with a M600 controller. I've also read there is new firmware from Bafang that makes the M600 smoother and more efficient. I've asked Luna if they will provide a means to flash the new firmware to my M600 but so far crickets.

See, this is exactly why I'm leaning towards the Ultra. The spindle torque of the M600, BBSHD and Ultra are all passable for me, but it's the user programmable aspect that's really awesome. Every industry has proprietary lock outs. The fact that this motor is the first 'open source' one, is real progress. Very interesting stuff, thank you very much for posting..

I got crickets too with Luna when I started diving deeper. I don't blame them.. I know how tough business is and how you just need people to buy your 'thing'. Innovation and business are brutal. I'm sure they make awesome bikes. It's just very important to know for what you are paying. The Germans have a cultural aversion to mediocrity. Pushkar's tuning may be something worth paying for..
 

EBRQuest

Member
I think I mentioned this earlier but if you are good with a wrench you can just order the latest frame from Dengfu and build your own. Won't be a belt drive or IGH but the new frame has a larger battery and the non-Luna motors may have the latest Bafang firmware. See here where someone swapped out the components from another bike:


And here where someone bought the motor from cnebikes and flashed the new firmware.


I did see that earlier.. I'm a pro mechanic but the issue is time investment with my other work now. Spending enough time on these forums to tip the needle, but a stitch in time saves nine..

Luna sources their frames from Dengfu correct? Looks like the X-1. Man, everything comes from China these days. Goddamn..

I completely see your logic. The issue here is motor firmware, battery capacity and proper hinging of the suspension (for my Gates issue). Everything else I can build easily. I will probably build the wheels with my own rims and ideal spoke tension, and while I'm at it I can get the right IGH and front cranks..
 

EBRQuest

Member
The more I think about this, the more I lean towards the Cavalerie. The things I can't do are frame fabrication and motor fab/firmware. This frame is specifically the only one that has a FS fitting for a consistent Gates belt line. Cavalerie is also planning e-bike implementation in the near future if you check out their site. The Effigear box is centrally located, internal, and I'm sure can probably take more torque than a standard cog set. Just checking the materials and cog dimensions, together with the pinions. There's no spring loading to fail, as in most IGH's. There's also a flat face there to install a motor, and high ground clearance to do so..

Pairing the Archon X-1 with the Cavalerie would create a true automotive grade superbike. Low CG and indescribably well engineered. As batteries evolve in capacity, as well as motors, these could be replaced in the future. They could also be taken off to use the bike alone. I think I may be heading this route.

Maybe this solves your problem too, Tom? Not too much work to strap on a motor and battery to an Anakin. I'm sure more designs around the Effigear will be coming out soon!

At least it avoids giving as much money to extremely evil countries like China. I mean we are bad, but they are crazy evil. The totalitarian model for the world is happening there now..
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
Dengfu is in Taiwan I believe. Technically China. Bafang Ultra is fom China. Archon X1 doesn't make the motor non-chinese, just the brain. Batteries, frame, components, all likely have more China than any other blood line. Whatever you want to believe in regards to crazy evil. Until November we are contending for totalitarian honors in 'murica, lol.
 

EBRQuest

Member
Dengfu is in Taiwan I believe. Technically China. Bafang Ultra is fom China. Archon X1 doesn't make the motor non-chinese, just the brain. Batteries, frame, components, all likely have more China than any other blood line. Whatever you want to believe in regards to crazy evil. Until November we are contending for totalitarian honors in 'murica, lol.

I know.. lol.. we are cornered without a choice anymore. Crazy days. Great to know Dengfu is Taiwan. They are at least in a territorial feud with China. The more forces against each other, the more freedom we retain.

By the way, no shade intended. Your post and help has been awesome. I just was thinking out loud. Lots to learn about all these things..
 
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EBRQuest

Member
Thinking more here, and hopefully this helps someone else as well. So, the cheapest way to actually get the Innotrace controller with the Ultra motor is just to buy the stock bike from Exess: €5,890 comes to about $7k. With import duties and taxes, that's maybe $7.5k? That's the least money and time solution, although I seem to understand that they don't have UL cert. for the US market. So, possibly the only way to get it is through Pushkar at Watt Wagons?

You do get more there, with $8.5k paying for a great base model and 2 years of full support. It's just a question of what you want to pay. Watt Wagons also offers the Kindernay 14-sp. IGH for this bike. Very cool modular design from Norway that is unquestionably superior in concept to the Rohloff Speedhub..

I noticed that the chainstay pivot is just rear of the chainring on the Exess bike. Unfortunately, that means the arc will require a tensioner. In any case, this is AS CLOSE as someone can get right now to Ultra/Innotrace/IGH/FS/Gates without a ton of custom work.

It definitely looks like Pushkar is in the position of importing and working with the Effigear system, to allow tensioner-free Gates drives! If anyone is equipped, he is the man. Every single one of his bikes is using Gates to support the torque requirements of the G510. All of his bikes use Gates drive because of its superior torque handling capabilities.

Pushkar, if you read this.. I hope this inspires you! You look like the right guy in North America to bring Effigear into an Archon X-1 system with full suspension. Only Cavalerie and Nicolai have those systems so far, but all that remains is for someone to fabricate a frame mount for the G510 motor and we're done!


That means that all these technologies are breaths away from being brought together. That would also allow a full line-up of Gates drive bikes for Pushkar's inventory and the future investment for all of his customers in an even more investment worthy platform.

I hope you find this post, Pushkar!

I want to add, I think the reason that Effigear is worth investment towards, as a platform, is not only because of the suspension pivot design, but because (1) trigger shifters have been developed for it, and (2) the friction should technically be less than in the Pinion design. For that, I don't have calculations, but my gut as an engineer tells me so, just from studying the exploded diagram. Only likely so..
 
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TomD

Well-Known Member
Stefan has a case of penis envy being limited to 250W. He bad mouths anything bafang and has no clue how refinded the Ultra is with the innotrace controller. He would probably fall in love with it if he ever rode one. Ignore him, he's just trolling.

I don't think exess will sell you the bike. Watt Wagons is the exclusive NA distributor of the controller. Pushkar can't offer the controller in Europe and vice-versa. If you want the travalanche just contact Pushkar, he can likely down spec it to the base config from Exesss and the cost should be similar.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
I don't want to sound offensive... Once my old band played in a folk music talent contest. My mandolin player had a mandolin that looked like a small guitar. The jury asked him:

— What's that strange instrument you've just played?
— It's a mandolin.
— Are you sure? Perhaps that instrument could be given some other name?
— Dear Jury. It's a mandolin. There's no need to give a new name to something that already has a name...

I think an MTB is a precisely defined type of a bike 😊 No need to invent just another bike.

TomD, some world areas understand cycling better than other. Perhaps it is why Europe rides ten times as many e-bikes as North America. I just sympathise with people who ride £2000 Chinese crap and are proud of it.
 
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EBRQuest

Member
Stefan has a case of penis envy being limited to 250W. He bad mouths anything bafang and has no clue how refinded the Ultra is with the innotrace controller. He would probably fall in love with it if he ever rode one. Ignore him, he's just trolling.

I don't think exess will sell you the bike. Watt Wagons is the exclusive NA distributor of the controller. Pushkar can't offer the controller in Europe and vice-versa. If you want the the travalanche just contact Pushkar, he can likely down spec it to the base config from Exesss and the cost should be similar.

Thank you, Tom. You've saved me a ton of time. I hope Pushkar finds my post and maybe gets inspired to work with Effigear. He seems like the only guy capable and set up for the challenge. Nevertheless, all these roads point to him as the leader in NA with e-bike innovation..
 
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EBRQuest

Member
I don't to sound offensive... Once my old band played in a folk music talent contest. My mandolin player had a mandolin that looked like a small guitar. The jury asked him:

— What's that strange instrument you've just played?
— It's a mandolin.
— Are you sure? Perhaps that instrument could be given some other name?
— Dear Jury. It's a mandolin. There's no need to give a new name to something that already has a name...

I think an MTB is a precisely defined type of a bike 😊 No need to invent just another bike.

Haha.. I will concede. I was technically wrong with my terminology apparently. I consider what I'm looking for to be an e-MTB, but not for the primary purposes of the sport..

Ahaha.. you've got to be kidding me! After all that, he's walking distance from my shop. What a small world it is..
 

EBRQuest

Member
I don't want to sound offensive... Once my old band played in a folk music talent contest. My mandolin player had a mandolin that looked like a small guitar. The jury asked him:

— What's that strange instrument you've just played?
— It's a mandolin.
— Are you sure? Perhaps that instrument could be given some other name?
— Dear Jury. It's a mandolin. There's no need to give a new name to something that already has a name...

I think an MTB is a precisely defined type of a bike 😊 No need to invent just another bike.

TomD, some world areas understand cycling better than other. Perhaps it is why Europe rides ten times as many e-bikes as North America. I just sympathise with people who ride £2000 Chinese crap and are proud of it.

You know, I actually do agree with many of your points, Stefan. I hate Chinese crap (which is less crappy now, but only because of American and European consultants visiting factories to bring them up to spec). I hate supporting China. However, the laws in the EU are what kill my desire for their underspec'ed motors. Everything in the EU is superior. It's precisely because so many people ride there, as a result of the smaller 15th century city planning designs, that there are 101+ regulations and clampdowns. E-bikes are a less regulated entity in the US because the geography is so large and varied that we need cars to survive.

I wish I could buy a non-capped motor and suspension system directly from a fine EU maker. Unfortunately, hyper controlling lawmakers prevent that from happening..
 
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onlineaddy

Well-Known Member
I don't want to sound offensive...some world areas understand cycling better than other. Perhaps it is why Europe rides ten times as many e-bikes as North America. I just sympathise with people who ride £2000 Chinese crap and are proud of it.
You’re the worst kind of bike snob and proud of it.

Not everyone has to or want to ride what you ride. That doesn’t make them or their rides inferior.