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more rings on the freewheel bottom bracket

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    more rings on the freewheel bottom bracket

    Hi what would be the limiting factor to adding a 4th chainring to the Cyclone drive? I ask cause I'm interested in having the room to use a derailleur to shift my front chain rings with the Cyclone drive installed.


    I've read this post a while ago... And the other one too...

    I'm not sure exactly what you're asking about. That's why I was reluctant to respond.

    I like having lots of gears when I'm pedaling. It's nice to be able to match the resistance to the conditions of wind, grade--my own tiredness or motivation level--or amount of hurry I'm in, etc...

    But when I'm riding with my Cyclone doing all the work--it's a different situation, and I find that I don't need so many gears.

    When using a small front-chainring, the amount of mechanical advantage available to the Cyclone is enough to snap the most heavy-duty of chains, can shear off the drive-cogs of rear-sprockets, can even tear your whole front-chainring loose (there's photos of somebody's bad luck with this to be found--fella came up with a first-class fix--another story that you'll find if you dig). That's a lot of power--four to five--even six horsepower (depending upon version and system voltage).

    With that kind of power available, I've found it seems to work actually best with more resistance--as odd as that may sound. It's all just a lot less severe. So, I leave the chain on the larger of the front-sprockets. Also, and this may seem shocking--but I've found that my 3-speed Sturmey Archer rear-wheel hub-shifter [gear ratios of 0.75:1, 1:1 and 1.33:1] is actually plenty in terms of gearing--uphill, downhill, with or against the wind.

    In fact, I do almost all my riding in 2nd-gear, only downshifting if I'm heavily loaded, to ease the stress on the drive-components a bit.

    Because the Cyclone is very powerful, I predict that if you've got lots of gears, most will go largely unused--skipped over. And I reserve the right to be completely wrong!

    Now. Setting my experiences aside for now--let's focus on your question:

    You'll be able to see, if you look closely at the pictures available, how the sprockets are attatched to each other via bolts, using stacked washers for spacers. I think (but don't know for sure) that you might be able to fiddle with the number of washers, and possibly find a way to squeeze the spacing together of the inner-two--maybe even just enough to sneak another chainwheel in.

    So, though I'm not certain it'll work, I do think it's a plausible idea you have--to potentially add another front chainwheel.

    The Cyclone sytem's motor drives the outermost chainwheel. There is no option for a shifter on this chain-run. However, the cranksets are available in double, or triple-chainwheel versions--though not a quadruple version (to the best of my knowldege).

    If you can find a way to mount a standard front derailleur, there's no reason it would not be able to switch between the two available remaining front chainwheels of a normal triple-chainwheel kit-version. It seems obvious to me, that if you got that to work, it'd surely shift between all three--provided you'd found a way to squeeze that extra chainwheel in there.

    However, if you visit, you will find that there are a lot of different chainwheel options, as far as how many teeth will be on each. You can select varying numbers of teeth for the outermost, middle, and also innermost chainwheels. Through careful selection, you can get a pretty broad range!

    So I'm not sure why you think you'll need yet another chainring up there--even if it turns out there is enough room there for it.

    Plus--can't you add some wider range onto your project's rear-wheel's gearing? If you really need lots of gears, woudn't that be a simpler way?

    Anyways, I know that's not specific. I've taken no measurements, provided nothing specific data-wise. But then--even if I had, they'd have only been the measurements for my project--not yours--so I didn't really think that'd be all that helpful.

    Best of luck with your project, N2T!

    Take care,

    Last edited by tklop; 3 days ago. Reason: to correct my IGH's gear-ratios


      I am interested in using the Cyclone in addition to what I already have for pedaling, the intent is to only use the motor when I am too tired to pedal myself. IE go hard and fast away from home and use the motor to get back in a reasonable time frame.



      • tklop
        tklop commented
        Editing a comment
        I'd replied here, but it seems to have disappeared.

        It's good to hear more about your project plans--they'll work just fine with the Cyclone--the freewheels will offer no extra resistance at all when you're purely on leg-power.

        I understand completely why you want plenty of gears to work with now!

        With that in mind, here's another available option:

        That can give you 27 different gear-combinations, all on your rear-wheel.

        With a standard triple-chainwheel kit, the inner-two chainwheels will double this--to 54 gear combinations.

        If you still wanted a fourth chainwheel, that'd allow 81 gear combinations.

        Or--if you find like I did--that the bigger front-chainwheel is best for Cyclone power--you might just use the smaller exclusively for leg-power--giving you 27 powered, and 27 non-powered combinations...

        Now--if you found you had issues with your chain-line, and were limited to say--the middle four gears of your rear-cassette--this would still let you have 12 speeds on your tail-end... 24 with the regular triple-chainwheel kit; etc.

        Whatever you choose to do, best of luck with your project, N2T!
        Last edited by tklop; 3 days ago.