Parts bin Cadillac Fleetwood TSDZ2 mid drive build

EMGX

Well-Known Member
I put my wife's Dahon Briza with the TSDZ2 up for sale. If it doesn't sell very soon I'm going to pull the motor and put it on a Cadillac Fleetwood bike I have sitting in a shed. I bought that bike years ago to go riding along with my wife when she was able to ride her Schwinn beach cruiser. It has the first version of the Nuvinci CVT hub (N171). Unfortunately the hub bearings have become loose and adjustment isn't possible, the wheel has lateral movement on the hub. I liked the Nuvinci riding experience so years ago I had also laced a N360 into the wheel of my wife's Schwinn beach cruiser and since that bike isn't used anymore I'm going to put that wheel into the Cadillac using a roller brake because unfortunately the N360 didn't come with a disc brake interface. The Cadillac is a sweet riding bike, heavy mostly because the N171 is a heavy hub. I live on a mountain so it is no small task riding up with a non-assist bike, a Tongsheng mid drive might be just the thing to get the Cadillac back into riding rotation.

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EMGX

Well-Known Member
There was a break in the weather so I started preparing the Cadillac for the transplant.
The rear wheel with the Nuvinci n171 and Schwalbe Big Apple 2.35 tire weighed in at a massive 15.26 pounds! The N360/wheel/tire from my wife's old bike should be considerably less, I'll be using Continental 1.75 tires that I have sitting around unused.
The crank assembly (without the 1.25 pound pedals) and chainguard weighed in at 3 pounds so the TSDZ2 swapped in adds about 5 pounds total.
 

EMGX

Well-Known Member
Working on this parts bin bike I'm reminded how quirky and difficult the Nuvinci hubs can be. I've spent more time reading the Nuvinci manual and watching a Park Tool instructional on the hub than the entire time required to install a Tongsheng. I need new shift cables for the N360 and they are somewhat of a pain, two cables with different length housings/cables and the cables have to be cut to precise lengths. My N360 has a roller brake interface but I found that I also had a disc brake interface in with the parts. Unfortunately it takes a special expensive and not consumer obtainable tool to remove a lock ring that holds the interface in place. I tried a two pin spanner wrench and even a drift punch but no go - frustrating that I have the brake interface that I want to use but no way to install it. I do have a unused roller brake sitting around but not sure how well that will work braking on long steep downhill runs - guess I'll find out.
Then I read of Nuvinci hub failures when run with mid drive motors, not to mention that my N171 hub failed on a standard pedal bike - and the N171 is supposed to be the sturdiest of the Nuvinci hubs. And I see that when I laced the N360 into a rim for my wife's bike I went for light duty quick and easy 1x cross and with 14g spokes. I might end up having to re-lace the wheels 2x as recommended by Nuvinci and use 13g spokes.
I'm waiting on delivery of shifter cables as well as a cable for the roller brake then will see how it goes. I'm still optimistic that I can get this to work, but not as optimistic as before.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
I've carried up to 80 lb on the rear baskets with 14 ga DT swiss spokes. I weighed 180 at the time. Not some ****ese garbage alloy.
I've been eyeing Nuvinci because shifting caused a 10 x 1 cm cyst on my thumb joint. Disappointed to hear about the shifter problems. I had to scrap a Sturmey Archer S80 IGH because it started popping into unrideable 8th gear every 100 feet after 500 miles.
Snap ring tools are pretty common at transmission shops. The one near me sells tool out of their stockroom. Or you can get the scrap metal ones at the import tool shops. Works on light duty rings.
 
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EMGX

Well-Known Member
I've carried up to 80 lb on the rear baskets with 14 ga DT swiss spokes. I weighed 180 at the time. Not some ****ese garbage alloy.
I've been eyeing Nuvinci because shifting caused a 10 x 1 cm cyst on my thumb joint. Disappointed to hear about the shifter problems. I had a scrap a Sturmey Archer S80 IGH because it started popping into unrideable 8th gear every 100 feet after 500 miles.
Snap ring tools are pretty common at transmission shops. The one near me sells tool out of their stockroom. Or you can get the scrap metal ones at the import tool shops. Works on light duty rings.
Not a snap ring, a ring with 8 pin holes threaded on the outside circumference that threads into the hub and holds the interface in place. This is the tool needed for removal of the retainer ring.
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the retainer ring is to the left of the disc brake interface in the picture below
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The N360 shifter works like a dream and can be shifted even with moderate pedal loading (the N171 couldn't be shifted while pedaling). Functionally it works great with a wide continuous gear range. I couldn't use the shifter cables from my wife's bike on this bike due to different frame geometry, they are a pain to set up new cables. Some of the failures with mid drive motors have been with high powered bikes, but not always. When Fallbrook came out of bankruptcy a few years ago they split the bicycle division off as Envolio. What little I have read indicates they have made improvements in the hub since my 10+ year old N360.

If I can get it to work well on this bike I'm not afraid to re-lace the wheel 2x. I'm sure I used quality stainless steel spokes when lacing it. I'll see if I break spokes or not before a re-lace.
 

EMGX

Well-Known Member
It's coming along. I've had to raid another unused bike in the shed along with some stuff from the parts bin. So far have only had to buy cables. I had an unused roller brake that I put to use since I couldn't get the interface retainer ring off in order to replace the roller interface with the disc brake interface. The bike came with only a rear brake so I put a side pull brake up front.
Tomorrow I might get to changing the shifter cables which have to be precisely cut to each length. Installing the TS mid drive should be a piece of cake compared. Still waiting on a 8 to 6 splitter cable for a twist control that I got a while ago cheap on amazon. Looking forward to riding this bike again, especially with the mid drive.
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The frame is surprisingly light. Including the handlebars, steel fork, steel fenders and kickstand (wheels and crankset removed) it weighs 15 pounds, less weight than the rear wheel with the original N171 along with the porky Schwalbe Big Apple 2.35 tire.
 
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EMGX

Well-Known Member
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The tsdz2 is a great fit for this bike. Chain line looks and measures perfectly.
I still need to decide where to mount the battery and I might wait until the splitter cable (so I can use a 6 pin xh18 display/control that I have) is delivered to finish the installation.
 
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EMGX

Well-Known Member
I got tired of waiting for the splitter cable to use the xh18 twist control/display so I used the lcd5 until the cable arrives.

Working great so far, will give it a more thorough test later
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EMGX

Well-Known Member
The splitter cable finally arrived so I could use the xh18 control/display. Without the vlcd5 display I could use my Walmart wire basket again, sweet. Can't wait to go cruising with my wife, she on her Biria converted ebike. This time maybe I'll be able to keep up!
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EMGX

Well-Known Member
I took the Cadillac on a 22 mile test ride that has somewhere between 1500' to 1700' elevation gain with some long steep segments.

Things I found:
The TSDZ2 along with the Nuvinci N360 provided all the hill climbing ability that I needed.
The XH18 display is nice but annoyingly shuts off after a few minutes (probably 5 minutes) if the assist is turned off even with pedaling and the bike moving. The other two displays I have (C3 and VLCD5) don't turn off as long as the bike is moving (unless the magnet speed sensor is disabled). It also doesn't have a menu option to disable the auto shut off function. The display has a "day" and "night" mode, I've only used the day setting and in bright sunlight there is a lot of reflection off of the screen making it unreadable without shading.

The Shimano roller brake isn't great. If I was going to use this bike more than I plan to then I would try to find a bike shop who has the special Nuvinci tool to remove the brake interface retainer so I could use the disc brake instead.

I'd forgotten that while this beach cruiser style bike with a big seat is comfortable and fun for shorter rides, it gets pretty uncomfortable for longer rides and the very upright seating is more jarring on my lower back over bumps than my bikes with a more forward leaning posture.

The motor is noticeably (much) louder on this bike than when it was installed on either of my two Dahon folders. Maybe because the folders don't have continuous downtubes, instead they are interrupted by the hinge mechanisms. So maybe the extra noise that I noticed with the 48v TSDZ2 on another bike is more frame related than motor related as I had supposed.
 
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