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Cyclone's Power Demands Mechanical Skills & Regular Maintenance

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    Cyclone's Power Demands Mechanical Skills & Regular Maintenance

    I posted an earlier version of this under my project thread, but I thought maybe this was worth saying here too.

    Though mentioned in the Main Page articles on the Cyclone, and also in the tutorials, I just don't think the point quite really hits home.

    So: If you are interested in the powerful line of Cyclone mid-drive (or axial drive) motors, there are some things worth noting:

    If you are the kind of person who feels that your bike ought to be a "set it and forget it" device--then a Cyclone mid-drive motor kit is probably not for you.

    The Cyclone uses a very powerful motor. No matter which model you might choose, it will deliver much more power than any human being's legs ever could. Bicycle parts are made to withstand human leg forces, so if you want to push tremendously high amounts of force through those components, you'd better get the strongest components you can find. All that extra force also means another thing: You will wear out parts, and things will require regular adjustment.

    I'm an American, but I live in The Netherlands. Here, the Dutch want simple. They want to just "set it and forget it" when it comes to their bikes (or e-bikes). In The Netherlands, bicycles are actually (for the majority of the population), their "daily commuters", but most Dutch people will never turn a single screw or bolt on their bikes, or even so much as patch a tire. The Dutch do know how to use a bike pump to put air into their tires, but that's about as far into the realm of maintenance as they'll want to go. Here, people want--well, actually demand--solid, indestructible bikes that roll for two or three years without anything but the yearly visit to the bike mechanic for a "check-up" (and most Dutch cyclists will freely admit they skip that yearly check-up too). The Dutch are willing to pay good sums of money for that level of quality too--and bike-commuting is so important, that many people can actually get the costs for their (expensive) bikes (or e-bikes) partially offset through their workplaces! Dutch bikes are, for this reason, the most reliable bicycles you can buy, hands down. Now--I say "Dutch bikes"-- but in reality it's the particular collection and assembly of components, along with frame-geometry and construction of course, that gives the aforementioned reliability -- and all the best bikes and the most reliable bicycle components -- including the ones carrying Dutch brand-names, are (just like the Cyclone motors) made over in Taiwan.

    In contrast, I'm a mechanic. I've worked on aircraft, cars, boats and bikes (and on a lot of toys). I'm not afraid of tinkering on things--in fact I enjoy it! So, the Cyclone is a great fit for me.

    Clearly, different strokes for different folks.

    I think in terms of comparison, you might think back to the older air-cooled VW's. If you can't handle dirty fingers, or performing some maintenance sometimes, you won't want one of those cars. Another perhaps even more fair comparison? Harley Davidson motorcycles. Classic Harley owners all know, that you have to do some tinkering after pretty much every ride. Those bikes are powerful, and things need adjusting; things vibrate loose... The point I'm trying to make, is that you will need to accept this fact, if you wish to be a Harley owner, or an air-cooled VW owner; and if you are wise, you will need to accept this fact if you wish to be a Cyclone owner as well.

    I say embrace it: The tinkering is the price you pay for being able to get that face-stretching grin--at a relatively tiny cost... right? ;-)

    So, to summarize:

    If you have the mechanical skills to adequately maintain your own pedal-powered bicycle--you might actually be very happy with one of the Cyclone mid-drive motor kits. If not, you may want to go another route (BBSXX, hub drives, etc.).

    But do not worry, if it is already too late for you, and you got started with the Cyclone, and now you've found yourself "in over your head." There are plenty of knowledgeable folks here, along with basic bike-skills tutorial-type videos out there on YouTube, which can help you with your learning-curve. It may seem impossible now, but once you've honed those skills a bit, you too, can find the joy (and maybe even some zen) in e-bike maintenance!

    Best of luck with your projects, everyone!

    Take care,

    Last edited by tklop; 05-16-2018, 04:58 AM. Reason: for clarity