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Recommendations on chosing chainrings for the Cyclone 3000W kit

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    Recommendations on chosing chainrings for the Cyclone 3000W kit

    Hi there, I get asked this a lot so I'll try to explain the thought process to decide what charinging to use.

    Lets begin by explaining what a double and triple chainrings are:

    Double means it has two chainrings, one for the motor chain and another one for the cassette chain, or the regular bike chain.
    Triple means it has three chainrings, one for the motor and two for the cassette chain, which can be shifted using a front derailleur; just like most MTBs can.

    Doube or Triple?

    In order to decide this you need to first determine if you want to pedal your bike/trike without any electric assist, ever, and this is a must for hilly areas, and also taking into consideration if you ever run out of battery which you might not be able to pedal uphill, etc. If you are unsure I would definitively chose a triple chainring, all my eBikes and eTrikes are triple chainring, plus I like to give the motor extra torque in case I am towing something. Having a triple means you can use the smaller chainring when off-road and the big one to cruise at high speeds on the roads without resorting to use the small cogs on the cassette, which will lend itself to a longer lasting chain.

    If you are going to cruise on flat roads mostly, and very little hills around your area and your bike and rider is considered lightweight enough (I'd say a 140 lbs rider on a 30 lbs eBike) then you can probably get by with a double chainring.

    A triple chainring offers you the option to do both high speed and high torque applications while protecting the drivetrain as much as possible.

    Number of teeth

    So, the number of teeth determines how RPM and Torque are traded. For the Cyclone I recommend the following options:

    For a light eBike/rider combo I recommend a 44T drive chainring and a 48T cassette chainring. Why? Because you want your cassette chain to last as long as possible, due to the fact that one the cassette chain is too stretched it will eat the cassette and the chainring, so that will be a more expensive fix than just replacing a cheap BMX chain and, potentially, the drive chainring.

    For anything else heavy I would recommend nothing but a triple 48-48-24T combo. This will give you the option to pedal the heavy eBike/eTrike up any hill and be able to cruise comfortably on the roads without requiring the use of the smaller cassette cogs, which will eat the chains.

    What about the default 44-44T that ships with the kit?

    I don't recommend it, and here is why. Since 44-44 is the same ratio as 48-48, or 1:1 ratio that is... the 48 - 48T is better because it has a larger diameter and 4 more teeth engaging both chains at any given moment, thus will last a little longer, especially so on the cassette side. You always want to maximize the number of teeth engaged in the chain so the chain lasts longer. Before going with the 44-44T I would always chose the 44-48T, which is what my eBike uses. (actually 44-48-36T triple)

    G.
    Last edited by gman1971; 07-11-2016, 12:59 PM.
    Alpha One 6000W tadpole e-Trike (Cyclone): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFC8MRwvgUM
    Alpha Two Cyclone 3000W tadpole e-Trike: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkakVw8yY8E
    Electric Cyclone 3000W eBike "power mod": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_weSmz_h3Ig

    #2
    I was considering the same issue as I ponder a Cyclone build on my KHS 1000 fatbike. I was going to go with the 44-44-24 triple chainring on my build. My bike has a 36-22 double ring on it now and it is perfect for my riding. So I wanted to maintain that super low gearing for snow and technical areas but I think it will still run 25-30 mph.on the straights. My only concern is the chain line. I also want the ability to disconnect the drive chain and motor in the event of a failure and pedal back home in any terrain conditions. The bike is used a lot for duck hunting and it is normally carrying me at 235 pounds plus 25-35 pounds of gear! I may end up replacing chains frequently.

    Comment


      #3
      Im about to order my Cyclone 3000. I weigh 190# and my bike will weigh close to 100# with rear rack, batter, motor etc. Where do I order a triple chain ring. If I like the Luna-Tic http://lunacycle.com/luna-tick-crank...or-mid-drives/ can I still have a triple chain ring? What kind of front derailer do I need to make the chain switch from the small to large front chain ring?

      Comment


        #4
        The triple chainring is one of the options you can change when you make the order. The Luna-Tic is a double. The front derailleur you need will depend on your bike. How do you plan to use your bike? If you plan to use it on the trails, you may want to consider having a front derailleur even in a 1x setup to keep your chain from falling off on the left, or you can use a chain guide. You'd still want to get the triple because it will improve your chainline if you use the inner chainring, and the unused chainring will keep your chain from falling off on the right.

        Originally posted by SDharlie View Post
        Im about to order my Cyclone 3000. I weigh 190# and my bike will weigh close to 100# with rear rack, batter, motor etc. Where do I order a triple chain ring. If I like the Luna-Tic http://lunacycle.com/luna-tick-crank...or-mid-drives/ can I still have a triple chain ring? What kind of front derailer do I need to make the chain switch from the small to large front chain ring?
        Last edited by Robocam; 03-02-2017, 09:39 AM.

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          #5
          Hi G! Great recommendations. I just wanted to mention one thing about the 48 tooth chainring. Not all bikes can take a 48 tooth chainring. Many direct mount derailleurs have an upper limit of 44 teeth. They can't be moved higher to clear a larger chainring. Another issue might be that the 48 tooth chainring will hit the chainstay.

          Another thing to consider when choosing teeth counts is whether you want to keep your bike more like a mountain bike. For example, if I wanted to motorize a bike that came stock with a 24/38 crankset, I might want to use a 24/38/44 triple. In fact, that's similar to my current setup, which works great on the trails. I only have the 24 for when I want to pedal.

          Another benefit of the triple is that it can improve the chainline (if you only use the inner chainring). When I used a double on my bike, the chain would sometimes fall off because the chainline was so skewed when I was using my largest rear cog. Right now in order to use the middle chainring as my main chainring, I have to use spacers to move the 2 inner chainrings as close to the bottom bracket as possible.

          So my recommendation to singletrack riders would be to get a triple. If you're choosing one of the configurations available from Luna, I'd pick the 44/44/32 and only use the 32 in a 1x system.

          Originally posted by gman1971 View Post
          ...the 48 - 48T is better because...

          Comment


            #6
            Can the chain rings on the Luna-Tick be swapped out for different sizes. I just finished installing my Cyclone motor on my bike after removing my BBSHD. I LOVE the Cyclone!!

            Comment


            • g725s
              g725s commented
              Editing a comment
              SDharlie,
              Looks like a great Cyclone build. Please do a writeup on what you did there and how you mounted the Cyclone. Did you setup the PAS or are you purely throttle?

              Looks like a lot of pressure in those tire, as the liner seems to be bulging out pretty good on, especially on the back tire, but the front too.
              Last edited by g725s; 01-22-2017, 07:02 PM.

            #7
            Originally posted by SDharlie View Post
            Can the chain rings on the Luna-Tick be swapped out for different sizes. I just finished installing my Cyclone motor on my bike after removing my BBSHD. I LOVE the Cyclone!!
            I'm planning a write up soon. Maybe a video. No PAS but amazingly I do my bike workout on it every 2 days..........................peddling at 30mph ha ha.

            Comment


              #8
              Besides the stock chain ring combos that come with the Cyclone 3000 kit and the Luna-Tick, what other options do I have for chain rings ? Seems like the Cyclone ones are crap and the Luna-Tic has only one size

              Comment


                #9
                Why do you say that Cyclone cranksets are crap? If you've never tried a Cyclone before, just get a 44/44/32 triple (even if you don't plan to use a shifter because the chainline will be better when you use the 32). They're not crap. If anything fails, you have plenty of options for parts (there are many freewheels to choose from), and you can find parts from many sellers. You can't go wrong starting with a Cyclone crankset. A Cyclone crankset uses 104 BCD chainrings, so you can change those out as well. Basically, anything you can think of, you can make it with a Cyclone. I've ran a 24/38/44. Before, I had a 32/48/48. I've also tried a 24/38/40 and a 32/44/44.

                Originally posted by SDharlie View Post
                Besides the stock chain ring combos that come with the Cyclone 3000 kit and the Luna-Tick, what other options do I have for chain rings ? Seems like the Cyclone ones are crap and the Luna-Tic has only one size
                Last edited by Robocam; 03-02-2017, 01:04 AM.

                Comment


                  #10
                  Robocam to be fair the pressed metal chain rings included with the stock Cyclone 3kW kit do look a bit dodgy compared to a nicely milled set :(

                  The key for me how well they hold up compared to the other parts of the drivetrain. From what I have seen, you have put a lot of hard miles on your bikes and the chain wheels don't seem to be the weakest link.

                  Comment


                    #11
                    I agree that chainrings don't seem to be the weakest link, so that's why I thought maybe he's heard bad things about the freewheel, for which the Cyclone has many options from $20 to $120.

                    The outer chainring of the Cyclone crankset is actually a very nice machined steel chainring. The inner chainrings are stamped steel similar to what you'd find on a Shimano crankset, but if you want better shifting, you might want to swap in a Shimano, FSA or Race Face chainring because the "pins" on some Cyclone chainrings aren't actually pins. They're stamped into the ring vs. an actual metal pin (as a shift aid). If you don't plan to shift your crankset, any chainring will do.

                    Also, the chainrings on the Cyclone are made out of steel which lasts MUCH longer than aluminum. This is especially important for those running dual chainring sets because the chainline is a little crazy which causes accelerated wear on the chainring and cassette. When I went from a double to a triple, the chainline improved greatly. If you really want aluminum chainrings, Cyclone has aluminum versions of many of their chainrings, and you can use any BCD 104 or BCD 130 chainring of your choice.

                    And the chainrings on the both cranksets do not have a narrow-wide tooth profile, so neither can claim an advantage there. Narrow-wide chainrings can deal with a much crazier chainline but unfortunately are usually made out of aluminum (unless you get one of the steel ones made by Wolftooth Components). But if you're trying to prevent chain drops, a front derailleur and a triple will do the trick. The unused chainring will keep the chain from falling off on the right, and the derailleur will keep the chain from falling off on the left. You could also use a chain guide.

                    The Cyclone crankset is nice because it is so widely supported (there are so many stores that sell parts for it) and extremely affordable. It's been around for quite some time.

                    Oh, and also, the Cyclone crankset has an ISIS bottom bracket option for those that prefer that type of bottom bracket.

                    Originally posted by funwithbikes View Post
                    ...to be fair the pressed metal chain rings included with the stock Cyclone 3kW kit do look a bit dodgy compared to a nicely milled set :(

                    The key for me how well they hold up compared to the other parts of the drivetrain. From what I have seen, you have put a lot of hard miles on your bikes and the chain wheels don't seem to be the weakest link.
                    Last edited by Robocam; 03-02-2017, 09:31 AM.

                    Comment


                      #12
                      Originally posted by Robocam View Post
                      I agree that chainrings don't seem to be the weakest link, so that's why I thought maybe he's heard bad things about the freewheel, for which the Cyclone has many options from $20 to $120.

                      The outer chainring of the Cyclone crankset is actually a very nice machined steel chainring. The inner chainrings are stamped steel similar to what you'd find on a Shimano crankset, but if you want better shifting, you might want to swap in a Shimano, FSA or Race Face chainring because the "pins" on some Cyclone chainrings aren't actually pins. They're stamped into the ring vs. an actual metal pin (as a shift aid). If you don't plan to shift your crankset, any chainring will do.

                      Also, the chainrings on the Cyclone are made out of steel which lasts MUCH longer than aluminum. This is especially important for those running dual chainring sets because the chainline is a little crazy which causes accelerated wear on the chainring and cassette. When I went from a double to a triple, the chainline improved greatly. If you really want aluminum chainrings, Cyclone has aluminum versions of many of their chainrings, and you can use any BCD 104 or BCD 130 chainring of your choice.

                      And the chainrings on the both cranksets do not have a narrow-wide tooth profile, so neither can claim an advantage there. Narrow-wide chainrings can deal with a much crazier chainline but unfortunately are usually made out of aluminum (unless you get one of the steel ones made by Wolftooth Components). But if you're trying to prevent chain drops, a front derailleur and a triple will do the trick. The unused chainring will keep the chain from falling off on the right, and the derailleur will keep the chain from falling off on the left. You could also use a chain guide.

                      The Cyclone crankset is nice because it is so widely supported (there are so many stores that sell parts for it) and extremely affordable. It's been around for quite some time.

                      Oh, and also, the Cyclone crankset has an ISIS bottom bracket option for those that prefer that type of bottom bracket.
                      Here are some hot rod Cyclone parts this reinforces my thoughts that If you are going to build a 3k put together your own kit
                      and skip the cheap parts $120.00 for a chain ring bearing dude I want to see that bearing and hold it in my hand
                      I am just grateful that there are upgrade parts so you don't have to make them
                      http://sickbikeparts.com/shift-kit-a...eatured&page=2
                      Last edited by Green Werks; 03-04-2017, 03:50 AM.

                      Comment


                        #13
                        Now that I know that I can buy a quality freewheel and can swap out chain rings using the 104 BCD explanation my options just opened wide up. Thanks for that guys

                        Comment


                          #14
                          I have to agree that the stock Cyclone chainring setup is crap (semi-crap perhaps) although probably a good value. $36 for a complete triple chainring/freewheel assembly and reasonably strong albeit quite heavy. I ordered my Cyclone 3K kit with the 48/44/24 option; the method of attaching the 24 tooth ring is why this steel monstrosity only gets a "reasonably strong" rating from me.

                          This sprocket is attached with five 5mm screws and spaced off the freewheel with BRASS(!) spacers 12mm tall. I was surprised that they only loosened a little bit during break-in and then seemed to be fairly stable. However; after 4 months of hard riding it failed catastrophically with the all the screws failing at the 48 tooth drive sprocket. I suspect that the screws had again come loose and became loaded in bending instead of loaded in just shear and tension.


                          No warning at all; I had just forded a creek and when I came back on the power everything came to a sudden stop. At first I though it was chainsuck until I stepped off the bike and the chainrings slid down the crank!


                          Very soft steel sprockets; it was easily straightened using a rawhide mallet. The stock screws are threaded over their whole length = bad design practice. The overhung loading created by the spacers also is bad practice.

                          Here's my fix; I machined an aluminum spacer and used good 'ol AN aircraft hardware. The overhang is now carried by a shoulder on the spacer and it also has a pocket to fit tight over the freewheel. In hindsight I probably should have just made a custom spider to adapt regular MTB chainrings. Would have saved a lot of weight!

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                          • Robocam
                            Robocam commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Wow, nice work! You probably could have gotten by with using regular chainring spacers and maybe larger bolts, but that looks nice! Can you make a custom bracket for the Cyclone? I'm toying with the idea of mounting it in the triangle, so I need longer brackets.

                          #15
                          Thanks Robocam!

                          The Cyclone chainring spacers supplied by Luna won't work as their ID is much too small to fit over the freewheel hub. At least what was shipped to me. (They'd work on top of 8mm long standoffs but the standoffs are the weak link in the design) Not sure why they sell those things.

                          I could make custom brackets but being retired I only cobble stuff up for myself. I don't have the machinery to be competitive in this day and age. Sorry.
                          Last edited by pliebenberg; 06-12-2017, 04:56 AM. Reason: week or weak?

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