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Vitus Nucleus 29VR 2019 BBSHD

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    Vitus Nucleus 29VR 2019 BBSHD

    Hi, I've recently finished my ebike conversion and thought I'd share some info that might help other people thinking of converting a vitus nucleus 29VR. Firstly, before I'd even received the BBSHD kit, I hacksawed 40mm off the end of each handlebar end, and about 50mm off the seat post (I'm 5'11" and the bike is size large).
    I chose to buy the nucleus because it won MTB of the year (under $1000) and because it has a clean bottom bracket - no cables running underneath. The bike was delivered quickly and in mint condition, although after a few rides I've realised the rear wheel needs trueing. Now to the ebike stuff...

    This is my first ebike conversion, and it went fairly well. I found two main issues needed to be dealt with:

    1. The battery. I went for a 14AH 48V LG battery. It's quite heavy, and I didn't feel comfortable securing it to the downtube with only the two bottlecage rivet nuts on the bike. So I took it to a frame specialist (Jessie's bike bar in Melbourne) and he added two rivet nuts, which he secured with some kind of NASA level epoxy glue. Now with four rivet nut points, the battery feels rock solid. Jessie charged me fairly, about AU$70.
    2. The motor. Like the battery, it's heavy. After about week of use (about 50km), I noticed it was starting to come loose. During the initial install, I used the ring spanner I bought with the kit. It simply didn't provide enough torque on the steel ring. So I spent some more and bought the 1/2inch M32 socket drive. Paired with my big torque wrench, I managed to torque the steel ring to 100foot/pounds. I also used blue loctite on every rotational surface, both drive-side and non-drive-side. Finally, I used some epoxy putty to make a stopper between the top of the motor and the bottom of the downtube. The putty stopper may not be necessary, but I wasn't going to take any chances, reasoning that if the motor came loose again I was just chewing up my bottom bracket. After another 100km, there is absolutely no movement at the motor, I feel confident about it. Time will tell I guess.

    Space, the final frontier...
    The nucleus has a 73mm bottom bracket. I bought the 68-73mm BBSHD kit. It needed about 8mm of spacers on the drive side. The second 'pretty' lock ring doesn't work, there is not enough thread left on the crank axle. I bought a 42T lekkie bling ring, which needed NO spacers. I used about 10mm of spacers on the 2 triangle bracket allen bolts.

    Final notes...
    As mentioned, I bought a 42T bling ring. After some use, I tend to think a 36T ring would provide better gearing. However, keep in mind anything less than 42T provides less offset on the chainring, and risks creating too much bend on the chain. So I'm very happy with my choice of 42T.
    The stock nucleus chainring is 36T, so going to 42T means I will eventually buy a new longer chain. At the moment I'm reluctant to use the 3 larger rear cogs because the stock chain is too short.
    I chose the 500c mini display, very happy with it. Also strongly recommend a programming cable to fine tune PAS. Lastly the gear sensor, while not 100% perfect is a good idea - I mounted it on the upper drive side chain stay right behind the gear cable frame stop.

    Hope this info helps someone, cheers :)

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    #2
    Hi scull,

    The bike looks amazing. I am thinking on replicating your setup. Even though getting a bike these days are almost impossible.

    I have a couple of questions I hope you can find time to answer.
    1. one year down the line, do you have any findings or tips you can share? Is it still running flawlessly?
    2. How fast does it actually go?
    3. Regarding the putty between the top of the motor and the down tube - Is this just to minimize the amount of direct shocks to the motor?
    4. The spacing issue at the bottom bracket - how much of a hassle is it to get by?
    5. Do you have any close-up photos of the installation and the different parts?
    Thanks for your time,

    Nougat

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for your compliment, I'll see if I can help you with your questions. If I were to re-write that original post, I would leave out the bit about the rear wheel needing trueing, it was fine. Also I would leave out the bit about needing a longer chain, the stock one is fine.
      Just a couple of notes about the nucleus in general, it's a great bike for the price and I'm very happy with it. However the rear groupset is near the bottom (at the bottom?) of the shimano range, and the gear changes are sometimes a bit clunky. This is something I will probably upgrade in the future. Another thing is weight. With the battery and motor the bike is reasonably heavy. It's not a problem in use, because the 1000W motor a more than enough to cope with the weight. But if you plan to lift it in and out of a hatchback often, or cart it upstairs to your third floor apartment every night, I would be looking for something lighter.
      One other thing, I don't know if you have a conversion before, but ask yourself....
      -are you good with your hands?
      -do you have the time to spend on the conversion?
      -do you have a good range of tools? like a hot air gun? a torque wrench? a soldering iron? If you don't have these things, factor them into the price.

      Now to your questions....

      1. I've now done about 3000km's on it. Early on, I noticed the rear gear cassette had a bent gear. Perhaps I hit the throttle too hard in low gear once or twice, not sure. Anyway, I replaced the stock HG200 cassette with a HG400 cassette which supposedly is better quality steel, and it's been fine ever since. The HG400 was about AU$50 I think.
      Also, I installed a brake sensor on the rear brake lever. Technically you don't need this, but in practice I'd recommend it, just makes the experience smoother and gentler on the gears.

      2. Top speed about 45km/hr, although as the battery runs down, the top speed reduces a bit. Also, carrying heavy loads in my backpack reduces top speed a bit too. Keep in mind running at full power all the time will drastically reduce your range.

      3. I'll try to explain this. I assumed incorrectly that if the motor came loose, it would be because I hit a big bump and gravity would pull the motor down. But what actually happens is that the motors' torque causes the motor try to 'climb' upwards towards the frame. So the hard epoxy stopper prevents that happening by filling the gap between the motor and the frame.

      4. The website/shop you by the motor from should be able to supply you with spacer kits for the motor and the bling ring. The triangle bracket spacers were a little bit harder to find, I had to visit a couple of bike shops and go through their bit's and bob's.

      5. Here are some photos. Apologies for how dirty the bike is, I've been commuting to work through lots of rain this week.


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      Comment


        #4
        Hi guys, I also appreciate your posting scull, I ordered the Vitus Nucleus 275 VRS and used some of your info to help assemble the motor.

        I think it worked out phenomenal, I got the BBSHD with the 50 amp controller from Lunacycle, so it's about 2500 watts, and the bike rips.
        A couple things I did different, were:
        Using a stabilizer bracket to mount the motor. The supplied bracket came loose after a day or 2, so I thought I'd try this bracket and it's solid. It is secured to the seat tube with 2 hose clamps.
        I fastened a section of a cross type tire I had laying around, to the down tube to protect it from the motor, I may not need it with the stabilizer bracket I'm using, but still nice to have the protection, especially from the edge of the bolt housing, plus It's possible the bracket can still bend a bit. The tire's about 5mm thick. I also slightly filed down and rounded the edge of the bolt housing so it didn't have the possibility of digging into the down tube.It's a bit fuzzy, but the edge of the tire, basically the sidewall also protects from the bolt housing.
        If you use the supplied bracket, I think the correct socket is a necessity to tighten it securely. I didn't have that when I first mounted the motor, one reason why it came loose.
        I think I have 9mm of spacers on the motor, they compress slightly when you tighten it down, so I have just enough clearance on the chainstay now.

        I'm using a 48T chainring from Lunacycle, it has 25mm of offset, so I needed 5mm of spacers to clear the chainstay and get the chainline just right.
        I put on 27.5 x 2.8 Super moto X tires, (they measure more like 2.6 ), I ride mostly on the street, but am starting to do more offroad. They are great on the street, but have a cross type tread so they work fine on the trails I ride which are mostly dry hardpack in Socal since it rarely rains here.
        I've had the bike up to 40 mph (about 65km) several times, and can cruise easily at 32 mph in pedal assist, and up to 35, but 32 is fast enough for me. The fastest speed I've hit is 42mph.
        The rear cassette is 10 speed 11-46 and the large 46T rear cog is geared low enough for hills I've encountered offroad, but if I was using this mainly for offroad use, I would probably go down to a 42T front chainring.
        The standard 116 link chain is just about the right size, all the gears work great.
        I also put on an adjustable stem to customize my riding position, and a 203mm rear disk which stops much better. The small one that came on the bike was getting slightly warped.

        I can't think of anything I'd do different, the bike is great, love riding it. I'm going to get a suspension seatpost, and may eventually upgrade the front shock.
        Last edited by Westcat; 10-04-2020, 12:52 PM.

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