No announcement yet.

The Pikes Peak Special

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    The Pikes Peak Special

    I've been riding, and racing up, Pikes Peak since the Colorado State Games in the 1990's when the road was all dirt and we started at the ski area and raced up 9miles/3000' or so. This was on the highway that goes to the top of the 14,115' mountain - we'd also ride up the trail up to and past Barr Camp as far as it was ridable and turn back, or ride to Elk Park where the trail intersects the road.
    The last 3 years, the Broadmoor Pikes Peak Cycling Hillclimb as had an ebike class. I put a BBS02 Luna kit on a 1996 Cannondale Super V and raced up in 2020. Last year I pedaled up the 12.44 mile /4724' of climbing - the 40mph winds reminded me why I liked eBiking that race.

    This year I almost skipped it. But, something pulled me in again. I blew up a Wolf V2 13.5ah battery, needed to replace it, and somehow it wound up on a bike that I decided to make very fast and race up again. I contacted Luna about being considered for a BBHD Ludi V2 controller - I was using a V1 already. The response was quick (thanks Gary) and I had a V2 controller not long after. I "stole" my wife's BBS02 equipped KHS softail - light, aluminum, 68mm BB. And started the build:

    Click image for larger version

Name:	PikesPeakSpecial.jpg
Views:	481
Size:	1.67 MB
ID:	154769

    I'll add the build details and race report later today/tomorrow as I can.
    Attached Files

    The build had one purpose, to go up Pikes Peak as fast as possible. And somehow stay together with that BBHD Ludi V2 trying to pull the axle out of the dropouts while pulling the front tire off the ground.
    • Aluminum KHS Softail Team Race frame, from back in the day.
    • Even though a Softail, a suspension post helps keep the road noise out of the saddle.
    • Avid disk brakes - BB7 mechanical. I do prefer hydraulic, but had the setup and the brake levers with cutoff wires so pretty clean
    • 68mm BB, perfect for a BBHD
    • 26er frame, but enough room for a 650b x 40c gravel tread tire.
    • Reba Team 29er fork up front, ran a 700c hybrid wheel with a disc and a light maxxis. Fork was redone by Push - it is a straight 1 1/8th headset , rare beast. Locks out, super light 29er fork
    • Rear hub is a Stans 3.30, I spun the 11t and 12t cassette on the light aluminum driver/freewheel, So I replaced with steel.
    • I pushed A boxed 7spd shimano cassette on, plus an 8th gear for spacing (9 spd spacing). I wanted the gears I intended to put the V2 torque on closer to center of the axle.
    • Ran a 48t up front
    • I put new brake pads on - and kept a spare set.
    • Recabled it.
    • Used loctite or antiseize on all hardware.
    • eggbeater clips - again, this was for a 35 minute sprint up asphalt, I wanted my feet to stay put.
    Seems wonky and a big mismatch of parts - it is. But it worked. No wheelflop on the front, and I like how 29er/27.5 combos carve. I never rode it without a battery and motor, I suspect the weight helps.

    The Power:
    • BBHD 1000miles on it with a Ludi V1. All offroad. This was on a beautiful Banshee Prime. (It goes back shortly)
    • Swapped out the Ludi V1 with a V2.
    • Replaced the nylon gear with a Peek gear. Quiet and has put up with a lot
    • Eggrider display
    • 52v 16ah 14s 4P Samsung 21700 40T cells from (blew up my wolf v2 and luna was out of battery options).
    • made the mount from a Home Depot tool holder, plus velcro to keep it from rotating.
    • Used silicone to seal it. Loctite or antisieze here too.


    • Retrorockit
      Retrorockit commented
      Editing a comment
      That's pretty much my pedal bike. KHS Team Issue ST, 48t XT chainring, BB7 with sintered pads. 185F/160R. Rockshox SID fork.Mine has 73mm BB. Back before 650b was a thing I had a set of cane Creek Strados rims w/ 700cx32mm road tires. 650b would be better. But now it has 26" Mavic 24 bladed spoke rims with 2" slicks. It's always been a street bike. I had some dirt wheels but never used them much. I did put some TRP Spyke brakes on it. Not better than BB7, but not bad enough to undo it either. The rear triangle on those is chromoly, not aluminum. It needs to flex to do the ST thing. So probably tougher than you might expect. maybe you can talk the organizers into an outlaw E bike class.
      My 2 favorite things BBSHD, and KHS Softtail. But I keep mine separate.
      Last edited by Retrorockit; 08-20-2022, 06:28 AM.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Resize_20220816_215608_8435.jpg
Views:	392
Size:	670.9 KB
ID:	154811 Click image for larger version

Name:	Resize_20220816_215608_8833.jpg
Views:	395
Size:	958.6 KB
ID:	154812

    Torque arms, both sides to keep that poor 9mm quick release in the dropouts. Peek gear replacement for the nylon gear.
    Attached Files


      Click image for larger version

Name:	quarterMile.png
Views:	402
Size:	2.22 MB
ID:	154817 Click image for larger version  Name:	Resize_20220816_215607_7566.jpg Views:	0 Size:	585.0 KB ID:	154814
      Ready to roll, 1 battery, 54.5lbs. Not too bad. 13 seconds to 40mph, 23 second 1/4 mile. Slight downhill so 50mph is not flat, reversing and uphill it does the same 0-40mph (maybe 13.5 sec), < 24sec 1/4 mile, 46 or 47mph. It goes through 30 and 35 so fast it is scary. 40 is easy. The wind makes it hard to get to 50 - after 46mph or so it takes over.

      Attached Files
      Last edited by jnordby1; 08-16-2022, 08:25 PM.


        waste of time
        Last edited by stts; 03-24-2023, 03:35 PM.


        • jnordby1
          jnordby1 commented
          Editing a comment
          That Peek Gear held up to a lot of abuse, heat and torque. I'll pull it out and get a pic since I want to check the BBHD out after the abuse

        • AZguy
          AZguy commented
          Editing a comment
          Some people manage to smoke the nylon gears over and over

          Others get tens of thousands of miles with no worries

          It likely has a *lot* to do with riding style and possibly parameter settings but I'd guess mostly the former

          8000mi no worries, no plan on changing it unless I manage to damage it... but then again I keep pedal rpm's high and don't run more than 500-750W for any length of time... and that's in the desert even after the bikes been sitting in 50°C direct sun and is too hot to touch before even being turned on

        Dialing it in and putting it all together:

        Prep for the race started 6+weeks before - I had to get back in bike shape. I was on the couch April and most of may after losing a ribs vs boulder event on local singletrack. Every watt counts, and had been riding quite a bit in June - so I made sure I could blow my legs up for 30-40minutes. That was doable.

        Gears and Brakes:
        • Target speed was 25mph avg, goal was to finish in 30min.
        • 48t front, 11x28t 7sp cassette. 46T x 11 on a 650b running at 45c had me spin out at 30mph so I went taller
        • Chain was straight on 4th or 5th, 25mph at 70rpm. Top speed was 45mph.
        • I used an SRAM 8spd chain. Never had an issue, but carried master links with. I used some high pressure synthetic motorcycle chain lube to help with the stress. Messy but..
        • I had a 9spd driver on a stans 3.30 hub. I spun the cassette on the original aluminum driver with a ludi V1, this was steel. I set that 7spd all the way inboard, spacers outside, so torque was more centered in the dropouts.
        • Although the cassette was boxed 1-6 gears, every ride I checked it and something would loosen up. I then built some torque arms for both sides and jb welded the cassette on the driver. Nothing came loose after that! Some might call this a hack, or overkill - it worked is all I needed. Very well even, and I did get the cassette off to regear the hub after the race. Torque arms in a pic earlier in this thread
        • You cannot have too much brake on these. Avid BB7 mechanical disc on 160mm rotors with new pads barely worked. Coming downhill 4700’ in 12 miles was not good. Use large rotors, sintered pads, and hydraulics.
        • I needed one, my wolf v2 gave me 230wH and then would tank. I mean no voltage on the ouports, 28v on the inports. BMS would reset.
        • Luna was sold out. So I Chose a 52v 16ah 60ah capable unit from Samsung 21700 cell based
        • After rides, and calculations, I needed ~200wh in case it was windy, or if my legs did not show up with their 200wh !
        • Tried a craigslist mini-cube 52v 30amp Samsung 30Q to get me over the top. I could get 78wh out of it, 20amp max, and then it checked out. Eggrider graph shows it (pink line).
        • Ended up using the Luna wolf. 11 lbs for 230wh is not a great plan, but this is 4 days before the race. I put it on a rack over the rear- ughh I hate the handling of a bike with a battery high and behind
        • So devised a plan to start the race with it, use it up, unplug and jettison. I did so, and picked it up later of course.
          Click image for larger version

Name:	batteryfailure.png
Views:	404
Size:	124.2 KB
ID:	154876
        Attached Files


          I finished dialing it in and l left most everything alone unless it could be a source of an issue for me not getting there.
          • break the chain or cassette. Shifting under load without a motor breaks this stuff. Under 1500w load will send parts flying off your bike. Ludi V2 does not have a gear sensor - I find off-road or roads with seams cause false positives so I'm not sold on them. You can use a brake cutoff hooked to one on the V2 - which gave me an idea. I ride dirt bikes a lot, so I started to use my left brake handle as a clutch- pull in just enough to cut power and shift. Front brake - so be careful not to grab a handful! To me this feels so natural it is habit now.
          • strip or melt the nylon gear. I've put 1000's of offroad miles on BBS02 and BBHD Ludi V1 in very high torque and heat, never had an issue. I decided to put the PEEK gear in and not think about it. No difference in noise, just less to think about.
          • overheat the motor. I had only one overheat event pre-race, 1800w sustained for 15min on a warm day,. My phone and the contoller did not play well together so data was scarce. I did the same run 3x, 20 degrees cooler day, higher cadence and never hit the temp issue again. Heck race day should be in the 40's, not the 70's. Last year I overheated the V1 on the same BBHD 1 mile from the top during practice. Heavier bike by 15lbs. It recovered and I finished in 35min.
          • battery. I had 830wh on one battery, I put my failing Luna V2 on a rack behind the seat for 230wh more.
          • regular bike nonsense like flats and cables and ... loctite, stans in tires, tighten cable anchors at calipers and derailleurs, only so much you can do.
          Last edited by jnordby1; 08-20-2022, 04:36 AM.


          • Retrorockit
            Retrorockit commented
            Editing a comment
            I got rid of the tool less chain links and use a Rohlofff Revolver chain riveting tool. I also run the godawful expensive Wippermann 8SE chains,
            My BBSHD street bike is built like a tank. PEEK gear, DH wheelset with 203mm/185mm BB7s and sintered pads. 48V sitting straight up it's good for 36mph. Weighs at least 10# more than your,s but on flat pavement it's no big deal. Since I've never been a bike racer it's almost all motor.

          Race Day -
          I leave at 4:15am, get to the start line at 5:30 for a 6:13am start. The course is smooth very curvy pavement. Super steep in spots and a blast to ride up or down.
          Click image for larger version  Name:	CourseMap.jpg Views:	0 Size:	471.2 KB ID:	154949

          Everything above mile 7 is above timberline with beautiful views. Temps were near 60, not even close to where it should be at 9000' 6am. I brush it off, plan to keep my cadence up, and go with avg speed on the eggrider display. The VESC display would connect, then fail. So to watch the temp I planned to just reconnect and check it. Hard when racing and heart rate in 160's. I hit enable on the logging on my display and hoped for something - it promptly disconnected as I lined up with ~22 others. Only 2 of us on kit bikes, the rest were Biktrix, Specialized Levos, Rad Power, Trek, Stromer, etc. Nice bikes, I planned to not see them again.

          Last minute I put a water bottle in my pocket, to spray on the motor if I had to. We took off - 20 ebike motors sounds awesome btw. I left in 2nd place, first was a rad power with a custom controller,Bolton upgraded bafang hub. The remainder I never saw again. The first 3.5 miles were flawless, 1000' climb, the easier part of the course. My wolf V2 was sagging, I knew it was time and looked for a place to stash it. It did very well to get me where I was - over 3.5 miles and 1/4 of the climb. With 11 lbs off the back of the bike, it felt light, fast, and ready to go. I get into the throttle to get going, around the corner, and everything stops.

          Heat I guess, but no connection to tell. I pedal hard, for about 90 seconds, get power back, and continue. I get a connection. 99 degrees C. I go for the water bottle, it was gone, bumped out somewhere at the start. I use my camelback and drip water on the motor, mostly the driver's side where the coils are. It steams.
          Every time I reconnect I would get a view that told me I was at 98 or 99. This pic shows 95, just showing it for illustration. at 100 this motor derates. at 110 it is off.
          Click image for larger version

Name:	displayMotorTemp.png
Views:	382
Size:	459.4 KB
ID:	154950 Click image for larger version

Name:	displayMotorTemp.png
Views:	387
Size:	459.4 KB
ID:	154951

          I had it turn off 5 or 6 times over the 40 minutes I was on course. PAS stopped working early on, so I had to use the throttle only, pedaling like crazy at 80rpm or so. Despite gearing down, high cadence, slowing down (fewer amps) it just wouldn't stay cool.
          I still had a great run, stayed in 2nd, finished in 41 minutes, never saw others on course. The winner was 38 minutes on that bafang hub motor - recall I'd done a 35 on a V1 and 15lbs more bike. Oh well. (An aside, in 2012 a guy named Adam is a hero for his crushing 25min time up this
          htt ps://

          Click image for larger version

Name:	jontopofpeak.jpg
Views:	375
Size:	1.46 MB
ID:	154953

          I was still good with it - disappointed in the heat issue that I somehow missed , but the top of the peak 3 years in a row is cool. Twice on ebikes, once on a regular bike that taught me one thing - I'll ride ebikes up that climb from now on. The winning pro roadie was 1:13. Dang.

          I get to the start line, and DQ myself. The rules stated class I, II, III ebikes. I was not in any legal category. They call me up for a 2nd place medal anyway. I DQ myself again. Then I found the third place young lady who was on a Biktrix - gave her the 2nd place medal, her brother got moved up to 3rd. I emailed the race directors to change the results.

          Got home, started tinkering around, now my display connects (bluetooth Android to BBHD), and I look for a race file. Not there. I leave it connected, reenable the logs, and later in the day I get data. Somehow it logged 25 minutes or so of the race. The first 13 minutes are missing. Recall that is the first battery, plus the overheat minutes.

          Click image for larger version

Name:	PikesPeak2020TempChart.png
Views:	399
Size:	72.5 KB
ID:	154955

          Where the green (amps) dips are the shutdowns. The logger seemd to stop logging during the off times. Except for the one in the middle. Notice the temp never recovered. It stayed at 98, 99, and over the entire time. The battery voltage is impressive, never sagging below 50.

          My current thoughts are that I was too fast out of the start - no data for that time, but either put too many amps in or a small chance of field weakening since the motor ran very high speeds there. Once the magnets, case, and other mass got hot, it did not come back down. Although the battery did not sag into the 40's, to generate the same power you add more current. And the loss is a square of that current - so a little voltage drop is more heat in the coils. Dunno. Yet.
          I do know that water on the case did not help - I tried it at home as well - I don't think these shed heat well at 52v and > 25amps sustained.

          I have a 72v battery on order, that is the next step for me, reduce the heat loss (copper loss) in the coils by running higher voltage. I've got measurements for the 52v setup as well. I'll add a few more posts here - more data and a few experiments near home.

          Attached Files
          Last edited by jnordby1; 08-20-2022, 05:18 AM.


          • Mike_V
            Mike_V commented
            Editing a comment
            Bravo ! You have great confidence and I wish you the best !

          Here is a temp on the driver's side of that bbhd, after 15min of harsh treatment and hitting 100 degrees C on the display. By harsh I mean full throttle, lots of climb, 2400w stuff.

          Click image for larger version

Name:	Compress_20220820_113023_3996.jpg
Views:	401
Size:	269.9 KB
ID:	154964


            Very, very cool stuff. That was a fun read. Thanks for posting! Based on your enthusiasm, I'm sure you are already planning for next year.


            • jnordby1
              jnordby1 commented
              Editing a comment
              Indeed, not so much that I took 2nd, more so that it's what I like to do and I think this V2 can break 30min if I learn a bit more how to use the power smarter. Feels like unfinished business! More to come, I have the V2 back on my Banshee Prime, what a blast that is.

            • Retrorockit
              Retrorockit commented
              Editing a comment
              I found the Tannus tire liner lets me put down a lot more power in the turns. Whether it's worth the weight or not is another matter. something to play with.
              Maybe a pit stop 1/2 way up to swap batteries?
              They should have a modified E bike class so progress can be made with Ebikes.
              Very nice project