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2022 Surly Wednesday with a BBSHD and a Sturmey Archer IGH

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    2022 Surly Wednesday with a BBSHD and a Sturmey Archer IGH

    Currently a work in progress. I was looking for an ebike that had fat tires, taller bmx style handlebars for a more upright riding position, a bbshd, a 3 speed internally geared hub, and a decent front suspension fork. Just a fun offroad cruiser for somebody who is getting older. I didn't like any of the prebuilt options in my budget so I decided to build mine from the frame up. The main components that I already have are

    Frame - Surly Wednesday
    Suspension Fork - RST Renegade (100mm travel, 150mm front hub)
    Rear Hub - Sturmey Archer SX-RK3 (170mm 3-speed internally geared hub)
    Brakes - Deore M6120 4 pot
    Rotors - 203 in the front, 180 in the rear (in the mail)
    BMX stem and S&M Pro Cruiser bars
    Tires - 4.3" Surly Edna's
    Wheels - "SE Bikes JP60." They're cheap but feel fairly solid. Not a whole lot of 60mm+ rim options out there with the 36 hole configuration to match the IGH.

    Yet to come -
    Cane Creek ST suspension seatpost
    Brooks Cambium C17 carved seat
    120mm fat BBSHD (Wednesday has a 100mm BB, but you need the 120 and spacers to get the chain to clear)
    Shift sensor, brake sensor, display, throttle, etc


    So far the build has been fairly straightforward. It took a few weeks to find a source for the SX-RK3, but they are still being manufactured and they do come around. I had to use the 10/12 washer from surly to get the 170mm sturmey archer hub to fit in the 177mm frame, but the inner diameter of the biggest diameter washer was still too small. So I had to ream the washer out myself. I also might have manufacture my own torque arms for the rear to get something that will fit. Other than that everything has pretty much just bolted together.

    Any suggestions for a torque arm setup or comments on the build in general would be appreciated. It's my first bike build so I could be overlooking something.


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    Last edited by acidx; 08-31-2022, 09:55 PM.

    #2
    Have you tried to fit the BBS yet? Seems like we had mixed info on how well they fit a Wednesday. I can't find em with a quick search but seems like one person concluded no way no how but another person had some issues but made it work. I don't think either of them really gave us the important details needed to understand what the specific issues were and how they tried or did deal with them. I have a Pugsley which I think shares the same basic geometry but otherwise is a different animal or I guess in this case character.

    I bought mine used with a Nexus 3 that was alright but just didn't have the gearing range I wanted to get my fat ass up climbs doing single track. I also wasn't confident it would hold up the way I wanted ride so i went back to a 10 speed. I have a 42 up front and I think on the Nexus eventually had a 23 on the back. On the 10 speed I kept the 42 up front and have an 11-42 on the back. My street bike has the 42 up front and 11-36 in the back and does alright with my fat ass and hills but that is because paved hills I can usually get some speed up to keep the motor R's up so its making decent torque. Riding single track speed often isn't an option. I do sometimes wish it was a bit lower but kinda like I ran into with the 3 speed the fairly high cost vs minimal gain just isn't practical.

    With your shifter issue do you really want/like a grip shift? Nexus came with that too but I don't generally like those plus just didn't have any flexibility for mounting so I picked up a SA what I think they call a thumb shifter. Looks like its an SLS30-RT3. Its not as convenient to use as a grip or trigger shifter but its a 3 speed so you are not going to be doing the constant subtle changes like if you had a 12 speed. When I first bought the bike it had a set of 29's that still had the 10 speed and the fats that were 3 speed. I was able to leave the 10 speed trigger mounted and still had room for the SA 3 speed to stay mounted so I would guess it would give you more mounting options too. I don't know for sure that that lever works with you hub but from what I could tell 3 speeds are not that special since basically you only need the lock for 2nd gear. Another gear pulls the cable and the other slacks it so its not as precise as needing to have the exact correct pull for more than 3 gears.

    I hear great things about the Thudbuster seat posts but since you mention getting older maybe consider a suspension dropper? I can't ride without one now. As far as I know PNW Coast is the only reasonably priced one. I think there is some others but may be carbon and a similar mechanism to the thudbuster but not remotely what I would consider affordable. The dropper is great to be used offroad which is what droppers were designed for but not many people talk about how awesome they are for older people that don't mind a little more clearance for getting on and off the bike but still want to get to a fully extended leg height for pedaling.

    I also really like it for stoplights. I can drop the post and get flat footed on one side with a slight lean but still extend it for riding. The suspension aspect of the Coast is air so its pretty decent and adjustable using a standard shock pump. The movement isn't as fancy as the thudbuster but I'm not that fancy either and really like the dropper aspect. I first put one on my Pug but after about a month ordered one for my street bike too. The lever I'm using with the Coast is the Crank Brothers HyLine. The Hyline is great for E bikes because it can be left or right above or below and because if the ball design can be angled to clear other stuff we tend to have on our bars.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by 73Eldo View Post
      Have you tried to fit the BBS yet? Seems like we had mixed info on how well they fit a Wednesday. I can't find em with a quick search but seems like one person concluded no way no how but another person had some issues but made it work. I don't think either of them really gave us the important details needed to understand what the specific issues were and how they tried or did deal with them. I have a Pugsley which I think shares the same basic geometry but otherwise is a different animal or I guess in this case character.
      Not yet, but I did research for a few weeks. There's videos of it working on youtube, and I've gotten in contact with some people who made it work. General consensus is that the 120mm BBSHD is pretty plug and play with spacers (6mm from what I heard but we'll see what my experience is). The 100mm can work but it will probably require some grinding and isn't a good idea.

      I bought mine used with a Nexus 3 that was alright but just didn't have the gearing range I wanted to get my fat ass up climbs doing single track. I also wasn't confident it would hold up the way I wanted ride so i went back to a 10 speed. I have a 42 up front and I think on the Nexus eventually had a 23 on the back. On the 10 speed I kept the 42 up front and have an 11-42 on the back. My street bike has the 42 up front and 11-36 in the back and does alright with my fat ass and hills but that is because paved hills I can usually get some speed up to keep the motor R's up so its making decent torque. Riding single track speed often isn't an option. I do sometimes wish it was a bit lower but kinda like I ran into with the 3 speed the fairly high cost vs minimal gain just isn't practical.
      If I had found a used Pugsley with a Nexus 3 in good shape this build probably wouldn't be happening lol. It's been fun though. I mostly plan on using mine as a backcountry cruiser, and I'm not a huge guy, so I'm hoping I can get away with a little less low end torque. I think I'm gonna start with a Lekkie 42 tooth with the stock 18T Sturmey Archer sprocket in the rear and see how that feels. I want to set things up where in pedal assist 9 in 3rd gear, while in a comfortable cruising cadence, I'm going like 25-30mph on flat ground. Hopefully then when running pedal assist 9 in 1st gear, I'll have enough hill climbing ability and torque when starting from a stop for my needs. It's hard to tell without putting the thing together and riding it. Hopefully I can get the gear ratio in a range where I'm happy with it, because the pros would be a nice straight chain line and a more durable single speed chain.

      With your shifter issue do you really want/like a grip shift? Nexus came with that too but I don't generally like those plus just didn't have any flexibility for mounting so I picked up a SA what I think they call a thumb shifter. Looks like its an SLS30-RT3. Its not as convenient to use as a grip or trigger shifter but its a 3 speed so you are not going to be doing the constant subtle changes like if you had a 12 speed. When I first bought the bike it had a set of 29's that still had the 10 speed and the fats that were 3 speed. I was able to leave the 10 speed trigger mounted and still had room for the SA 3 speed to stay mounted so I would guess it would give you more mounting options too. I don't know for sure that that lever works with you hub but from what I could tell 3 speeds are not that special since basically you only need the lock for 2nd gear. Another gear pulls the cable and the other slacks it so its not as precise as needing to have the exact correct pull for more than 3 gears.
      I'm not really a big fan of the thumb shifters. With the SA the only other option I'd really considered is the SA trigger shifter which isn't super appealing. I just got the brakes in the mail yesterday, so I'm gonna have to get used to the feel and see if I'm cool with the grip shifter. My initial impression after some tinkering is that it isn't too bad. Since it's only 3 speed, it's not such a big deal to change gears, and it feels like my hand has enough room when it's in a normal cruising position. I might put some miles on it like this and see how it goes. If it's terrible I could go with a thumb shifter, or one of those lever shifters as a comedy option. I don't know if I could get away with using a shifter from a different manufacturer. Might be worth trying. I'm sure I could find a nice 3 speed trigger shifter of some kind that I would like, but not SA's.

      I hear great things about the Thudbuster seat posts but since you mention getting older maybe consider a suspension dropper? I can't ride without one now. As far as I know PNW Coast is the only reasonably priced one. I think there is some others but may be carbon and a similar mechanism to the thudbuster but not remotely what I would consider affordable. The dropper is great to be used offroad which is what droppers were designed for but not many people talk about how awesome they are for older people that don't mind a little more clearance for getting on and off the bike but still want to get to a fully extended leg height for pedaling.

      I also really like it for stoplights. I can drop the post and get flat footed on one side with a slight lean but still extend it for riding. The suspension aspect of the Coast is air so its pretty decent and adjustable using a standard shock pump. The movement isn't as fancy as the thudbuster but I'm not that fancy either and really like the dropper aspect. I first put one on my Pug but after about a month ordered one for my street bike too. The lever I'm using with the Coast is the Crank Brothers HyLine. The Hyline is great for E bikes because it can be left or right above or below and because if the ball design can be angled to clear other stuff we tend to have on our bars.
      I had never considered that about the dropper, actually. I ordered the Wednesday based on Surly's sizing chart and if anything I'm on the upper range of the scale for the medium. I feel like the bike is going to be very comfortable when in the riding position, but I had definitely already noticed it was concerning how high my seat was going to end up, since I'm really not that flexible. I'd already decided to get the Thudbuster ST instead of the LT to try and lower the seat height at the expense of a bumpier ride. I never looked into dropper posts because I thought they were just some trail bike thing you use when doing runs at Whistler. Hadn't considered how it would make it much easier to get on and off in the years to come. If there's one with decent suspension, it might be a perfect option for this bike. The big fat tires should help a lot even without the suspension seatpost, but with the bike being a hardtail, I'd still like to do what I can to reduce how much of the shock is going straight into my back.

      Comment


        #4
        I don't think there is 6mm of extra threads on the 100mm unit so the 120 seems like the way to go. I think I have 2mm of spacer and there isn't any extra threads sticking out. I think the Wednesday gets wider than my Pug so having that extra inch may be handy for crank clearance too.

        Be sure to read descriptions carefully for the displays if you really want 9 pas levels, seems like there are a few models now that no longer allow 9 levels.

        I forgot to answer your question on the torque arm. Personally I would not worry about it. I would just buy the socket vs the wrench and then you should not have any issues with the motor coming loose. I think a guy with a Ice Cream Truck too a file and filed notches in the BB shell to engage with the ribs in the stock plate. Mine came to me with a Luna torque arm on it but it didn't align properly so the PO just bent it which took away its strength plus it was the vintage where they laser cut the name in it further weakening it. When I first got the bike it was loose and I think I had it get loose a couple more times before I worked a little harder at getting it tight with the wrench. There is a chance it has just rusted in too. Other builds and bikes I have used the socket and have had zero issues.

        I would consider the PNW Coast suspension dropper for sure. You will be better off than me since yours has the 30.9 seatpost. Mine was still in the 27.2 days so I could only get a shorter shorter travel post for my Pug. My street bike does have the larger post so I was able to go with the more travel. If I rode the Pug more distance I think it would bother me but about have the Pug's time is on trails where I really don't want to be at full leg extension height at all and the other half is getting to and from the trails so I'm kinda in warm up or cool down mode so it still works. You being lighter should help too because you will have a lot more adjustment range in the pressure than I do. If you do do some distance riding being able to drop the seat an inch or so can really shift your weight around if something starts to get sore. Its a super handy thing on many levels.

        On the gearing you will have to see how it works out. Its good you are on the lighter side because wanting to go 25-30 with a 3 speed is going to take some high gears which won't leave you very low gears but if you don't have a lot of weight to haul up hills like I do you may be able to get by with having that speed and still getting up hills OK.

        Comment


          #5
          Alright, well how about this then. I use two of these tuggnuts, one on each side of the frame, and use those to tension the chain and snug the rear axle into place. Then I'll tighten down the axle nuts to the torque specs that Sturmey Archer recommends. I'll just check the torque and tighten if I need to after each ride. I'll do that for a while and then re-evaluate and see if it's working or if I could get away with going just a little tighter. It would be really awesome if I could get away with something like this, because any torque arm is going to lock the hub in place relative to the frame and force me to get a chain tensioner. I really don't want that hanging off the side of the bike. It's not like I need it be a wheelie machine so hopefully torqueing down the axle bolts would be enough. 1000 watts is a good bit of power to be running through it.

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          I think the PNW suspension post is the favorite now, but I'm not sure if I would still want the same seat with that post. I'll have to look into that some more.
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            #6
            I thought you were referring to a torque arm for the mid drive. I forgot that a IGH also has possible torque spinning issues. My Nexus didn't have anything special but the torque nut washer thing that came stock with it. I did have issues but it wasn't spinning it was moving in the drops. I seem to recall about the time it got to be a real problem for me was about the time I decided the IGH just didn't have the range for me. I remember considering the snugnut sorts of things but never tried one because by that time I was looking for the parts to go back to 10 speed.

            What does SA have for options? Is the SA axle the same as any hub motors? If so Grin ( ebikes.ca ) has several options for torque arms for hub motors.

            On my Pug I still had issues with the rear wheel moving on the 10 speed. I could not run all the way forward in the drops due to a combination of tire clearance and brake rotor alignment. To solve that I ended up getting Monkey Nuts. I don't remember which version, the small round ones since mine is a 10mm QR axle. So what I'm saying is its good to be concerned about keeping that rear wheel where you want it. I never had a torque rotation issue but I didn't put that many hard miles on that setup.

            Comment


            #7
            Alright, so here's what I've come up with. I didn't want to use one of those sorts of torque arms like the grin one that lock the rear axle into place inside the horizontal dropout, because then I would need a derailleur style chain tensioner. I'm a CNC machinist by trade, so I designed and made these adapters and hopefully they will do the job.



            You can see here how they seat right into place within the rear dropout.

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            There's just enough room for the rear axle to slide back and forth, but there's not enough room for it to twist. Hopefully there will be enough rigidity here to keep the hub in place when it comes to twisting.

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            As far as sliding back and forth, this part mates with the Surly Tuggnut, so I can *hopefully* tension the chain this way, and then have everything locked firmly in place.


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              #8
              Spectacular. I wish I could run a cnc machine. All I do is fix them when they break. Hah. I could learn but I been saying that for decades now. Seems a Bridgeport is all I have ever needed.

              Comment


                #9
                Originally posted by stts View Post
                Spectacular. I wish I could run a cnc machine. All I do is fix them when they break. Hah. I could learn but I been saying that for decades now. Seems a Bridgeport is all I have ever needed.
                I could've figured something out with a bridgeport. The slot ended up needing to be about .315" wide, so it could've been done with just a 5/16 endmill going in a straight line. We had a machine sitting down while we were waiting for parts though, so why not have some fun.

                Comment


                • stts
                  stts commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Yup, Im tearing into a Mazak vtc300c right now. X axis went bonkers. Got the drive tore apart now to swap IGBTs. Found nothing bad yet. Cant run it but sure can fix it. Hah.

                #10
                Made the spacers for my BBSHD today. It's a 120mm motor in a 100mm bottom bracket, so I needed 20mm worth of spacers. I made my own because I didn't want to stack a bunch of the little 2mm spacers. Might help with keeping the motor from slipping from the torque. The drive side spacer is 6mm, the non-drive side spacer is 14mm. Looks like just the right amount of clearance to me. Once I get the big single speed chain in, I'll be able to check just how straight the chainline is, but I expect it should look really good.



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