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Sun Spider 3-speed IGH ebike conversion....

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    Sun Spider 3-speed IGH ebike conversion....

    This is now my fifth ebike project. Two were for a friend and his wife and three were for our household. As the title implies, it's a Sun Spider with Sturmey-Archer 3-speed IGH hub and dual disc brakes. Karl Gesslein and Ron (Spinning Magnets) both seem to think that with careful shifting, this type of hub should be pretty durable.

    My local bike shop ordered the bike and it arrived in a box:
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    I had it home soon enough, removed it and put it together:
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    Above is the photo of the assembled bike with the new Luna kit. Aside from a stubborn crank arm bolt that I managed to strip, minor disassembly in preparation for the ebike components went OK. The crank arm was cut off using a Dremel Tool with a cutoff wheel... several of them. Below is a photo of the carnage. You can see where the clamp section was massacred. Karl would likely approve:

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    Everything else went rather well. I cut the battery leads and soldered/shrink wrapped the connections. I did have to order a new chain as my new 8-speed chains wouldn't fit very well on the chainring. The new one is a beefy single speed chain in stainless steel.

    I managed to blow out the color display somehow and have contacted Luna about that. I had a spare so I put that on for the meantime.

    Aside from the less than stellar disc brakes, the bike seems to be quite serviceable as a recreational fat cruiser. This one was never intended to be used as a race bike or aggressive trail rider. If I hit a soft patch of sand or mud, I hope to be able to stay upright on it. That's about it....
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    #2
    Looks awesome, I'll be looking forward to a 3-month ride review. Seriously consider a suspension seatpost, cupholder, and some kind of cargo-bag / basket...

    Comment


    • john mellor
      john mellor commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you Ron. So far I'm liking the 3-speed thing. I shift like I would a standard transmission on a car... I.E. rev it out in first, coast/disengage/shift, rev it out in second, etc. I've just been standing on the pedals and squeezing the seat between my legs when negotiating bumps. Have also installed a rear rack with a clamp that wraps around the seatpost. I'll be needing some space to carry a spare tube. I flatted my rear tire yesterday and had to hitch a ride home. Will have to be carrying a few tools to fix a rear flat on the road.

    #3
    What type of brakes are those? I highly recommend compressionless brake housing for mechanical disc brakes. I have Avid BB7 brakes, and got much better braking feel when I switched from standard brake housing to Jagwire compressionless brake housing (made specifically for brakes, DO NOT use standard compressionless shifter housing for brakes!).

    Comment


    • john mellor
      john mellor commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi - The brakes are a brand I've never heard of... "Clark CMD 18" - likely about as cheap as they get. With a little bit of work I've got them where they don't rub and still bring it to a stop eventually but they are not high end disc brakes. I have some decent hydraulic disc brakes but they don't have the motor cut-off levers. I will take a look at the Jagwire compressionless housings. I'm sure they'll be an improvement. Overall I'm pretty happy with the bike and have been riding it every day since it was built. Took it out in deep sand today and found the limit of the tires at full inflation. I'm sure reducing the pressure will improve that as well. My rides have mostly been on the street so I'm riding at full pressure... 25-30 PSI. I've heard of people reducing that to less than 10 PSI but since I didn't have a pump with me, just went for it. The 'spider' tread on the tires isn't the most aggressive I've ever seen. HAHA

    #4
    Clark's is a British company that's been making bike stuff for about 60 years. A great deal of it (most, likely) are now Chinese/Taiwan copies of other brands. They make a fairly reasonable budget hydraulic disc -- the M2, which I think is a copy of a Shimano or Avid. The brake shoes are relative crap, but the rest of the system isn't at all bad, and can be had from Bikewagon for about $60 for a complete set with rotors! I just mounted a couple of sets, and am not at all displeased -- they are fully the equal of the budget stuff from the other brands. I think Bikewagon has them in the US, and Chain Reaction will ship 'em over from Blighty.

    Did you bed your brakes in? Just accelerate fairly vigorously and then clamp 'em on about a dozen times. Clark's isn't noted for the raging quality of their shoes, either, so changing them out can make a huge difference.

    Comment


      #5
      I imagine you read the articles on the IGHs, but just for the benefit of new readers, the 3-speed IGHs are much more robust than the common 8-speed and 11-speed units. Also on the 3-speed, 2nd gear is BY FAR the strongest gear. I recommend starting in 2nd and running it as a 2-speed, with third reaching the bare minimum top speed that is acceptable (put the larger sprocket on the IGH to increase the number of teeth engaged, then top speed is chosen by chainring size, smaller has less top speed, but more torque). I would save first gear for extra steep uphills, and do not pop wheelies in first...

      Comment


      • PatrickGSR94
        PatrickGSR94 commented
        Editing a comment
        2nd gear being the strongest because it's a direct 1:1 gear. I can't remember which one is 1:1 on the Nexus 8. I read about it recently, 5th gear maybe?

      #6
      John, my original plan for first ebike was a sun spider. Wholesale price was pushing me there. I went with a recycled bike to keep cost down. I have a 3spd igh and barely use 1 gear but have yet to climb anything steep yet. 2nd gear most of the time till I want to throttle only. My 3gear is toasted so I use it sparingly. Ron is right on. Have you thought about a gear sensor for cheap insurance? Oh ya that thought of keeping cost down was just a mirage.

      Comment


      • john mellor
        john mellor commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi RusticoRay - I apologize for the delayed response. I had read Karl and Ron's informative articles on mid drives and decided that for me, the S-A 3-speed internally geared hub was worth a shot. I generally ride in 2nd gear but if facing any sort of steep, down shift and pedal. I have not felt much need to go faster than 3rd gear with pedaling. I reprogrammed (through the display) the tire size. Adjusting for the 4" tires brought the outer diameter closer to 29" instead of 26". This seems to give me a fairly accurate speedometer reading as confirmed with a GPS device. I'm running a 40 tooth front ring and a 20 tooth sprocket in back. I suppose if it does not have enough grunt going steep hills, I can pedal harder or swap to a smaller chainring.... or smaller rear cog. So far I'm happy with it as is. On flat pavement, no wind, tires fully inflated, full throttle it'll hit 30 MPH. I shift gears as if I was driving a standard transmission car.... rev, pause, shift, rev, etc. It kind of feels like the grip shifter is getting a bit smoother with use. It was a bit notchy and at times 'sticky' at first. The cable disc brakes are not that great but I ride conservatively and keep my eyes open all around. I can get the rear tire to skid in dirt but can merely bring it to a stop (eventually) on pavement. It takes a pretty good handful of brake lever.... not some 'one-finger' hydraulic disc brake like some of them have. I typically get a good handful of both brake levers and give them both a good squeeze until she comes to a halt. In all honesty, I think for flat riding on pavement, it would be pretty easy to get by with a single speed and pedaling. I am not afraid to stand on the pedals to get her going or to absorb some bumps here and there. For an Aluminum framed bike, it is pretty heavy but I attribute much of that to the tires, tubes and wheels. It is what it is. If you live anywhere near San Luis Obsipo, Ca you are free to take it for a spin. I've let other people ride it and they've all gotten pretty jacked up over it.
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