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IGH manufacturers getting with the e-bike program

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    IGH manufacturers getting with the e-bike program

    For those considering IGH mid-drive builds, to a degree (i.e. more than simple marketing blathering) some the IGH manufacturers seem to be recognizing the e-bike design needs.

    ... or maybe they're salivating over the e-bike related potential revenue.

    The strongest hubs are likely still the 3-speeds, but unfortunately have a rather narrow gearing range.

    Bosch in particular is partnering with enviolo (Nuvinci), Shimano, and minimally Rohloff, interfacing with their respective e-shifting systems to ease the shifting under power issue.

    enviolo (Nuvinci) now provides wattage rating standards for their 380-ish hub, upwards of 500 watts, implying that this new hub would better survive a BBS02, at least.

    Shimano touts that their Alfine hubs (both 8 and 11 speed) have been hardened for e-bike use, but I haven't seen mention of wattage ratings.

    Rohloff brings up the rear, mostly with their Bosch interaction.

    These manufacturers likely also specify chaingring/sprocket gearing combination minimums (similar to their single versus tandem ratings).

    It's a start anyway.
    Last edited by ncmired; 12-12-2018, 10:47 AM.
    BBSHD / BBS02 IGH Builds: Nexus / Alfine 8: 1 2 3 4 5 6, Rohloff: 1

    What I'm keeping an eye open for is wide range (≥4:1) for a fat dropout, 190+mm preferably but would consider 170mm...


    • ncmired
      ncmired commented
      Editing a comment
      Rohloff XL or XXL now, Kindernay maybe someday.

      But, based on this image the Kindernay may have a not-so-great chainline -, with the shifter box between the sprocket and the frame.

      Has Shimano shown any interest in anything fat?
      Last edited by ncmired; 12-12-2018, 03:07 PM.

    • AZguy
      AZguy commented
      Editing a comment
      Shimano is what I'm hoping for - the price of the rohloff can't be justified IMO although I appreciate their elegance and if I find that endless coin tree it'll be on my christmas list of gifts for myself. If shimano puts out an alfine-11 in 197mm I'll be up in the front of the line... If they get to 170mm I'll at least be considering a 170mm build...

    Like the Sturmey-Archer (S-A) 3-speeds with 177% gear ratio 33% gear spacing, I can say the S-A Heavy-Duty 5-speed with 243% gear ratio 25% gear spacing IGH is a solid strong consideration. I am very happy with mine. 25%-35% gear spacing works great with electric assist. Most pedal bike spacing is about 12-13%. The S-A 5spd can be had for about $125-$150.

    After going IGH I can honestly say I hate derailleurs now. I only have one non-IGH bike and it is a pain to plan all your downshifts while pedaling after getting use to shifting without pedaling. I am an IGH convert forever! I may even sell my one derailleur bike and put the money towards a Rohloff. I wish someone made a 25-30% gear spacing 7-speed on the cheap.

    It is worth mentioning that I've read you can shift an electric Rohloff in 3-gear gaps by holding the shifter button. That would give you about 3 X 13.6% up shift increases and about 3 X 12% down shifts through the 526% gear ratio; affectively giving you 526% 7-speed (double shifting) or a 526% 5-speed (triple shifting). Some day I will own one...
    Last edited by Rider; 12-17-2018, 10:43 AM.
    2020 Banshee Paradox V3 1x11 (pedal)
    2018 Soma Wolverine 3spd IGH Belt Drive (pedal)


      Some of the electronic IGH shifter systems automatically shift to a predefined start gear once the bike stops for a period (at a stoplight, for example).

      I too really appreciate the shift-at-a-stop IGH abilities, and have felt that coupling a powerful mid drive with a bending chain, derailleur based drive train was a bad idea.

      I wasn't aware that SRAM stopped all their remaining IGH production over a year ago. They cited, "the market share of bicycles specified with an IGH are suffering from the e-bike popularity. Those IGH’s we still produce are used on bicycles in the price range between 700 to 1,000 euro. Today consumers spend a little bit more money and buy e-bikes. Particularly the mid motor e-bike category, which represent a large part of the market, mainly relies on derailleur shifting. Moreover the market of the 3-speed IGH business was hit by fierce price erosion. Today they are on mass merchant bicycles being sold for killer prices down to 199 Euro."
      Last edited by ncmired; 12-13-2018, 02:09 PM.
      BBSHD / BBS02 IGH Builds: Nexus / Alfine 8: 1 2 3 4 5 6, Rohloff: 1


        I'm looking into the old school Shimano Rapid Rise 8 speed derailer parts for shift at a stop ability. You can dump a bunch of gears when stopped. The shift won't actually occur until the wheel moves some. The hard part is most shifters work backwards for RR, so trigger shifters will only dump 1-2 cogs, and grip shifters have a reversed shift pattern, and the detent is hard against the derailler spring and soft going with it.
        Shimano did make some RR 8 speed Grip Shifters. RR came and went (a couple times) back in the 7-9 speed era, so 10-12 speeders need not apply. I've ordered a cruiser level Tourney RR shifter because the better offroad part has the brake lever built in amd the shift cable comes out where the brake switch goes. Since I'm only using one of the shifters maybe a front brake switch only will be good enough. I don't want to find out the hard way thoiugh.


          It had been a year or more since I was on the websites of Rohloff and Cycle Monkey. 2 years ago, when I first started getting interested in the Rohloff, before eventually getting one, through Cycle Monkey, there was zero, zilch, nada, about Rohloff use with an ebike of any kind. That has changed, they have seen the dollars....I mean they have seen the light, and it looks like they are dropping their snotty purist attitude. That's a bit harsh, neither badmouthed ebikes, they just didn't "go there".

          I'm still riding 2 bikes with DR's (easier to spell) , and one with the Rohoff, and the biggest problem I have, is the Rohloff has spoiled me. The simplest way to put it is:with the Rohloff, I shift often, fine tuning my ride for max performance or max economy, or somewhere in the middle. With my DR's, I avoid shifting as much as possible, because I know it will annoy me with its less then precise action. It's better to just deal with whatever gear I'm in, though it may be less then optimal.

          I'm running 1300 watts through the Rohloff, with lots of trail riding, up to 9,000'+ a few times, and no problems at all. Then back on the pavement, it hauls ass at close to 40 mph. That speed range, combined with the absolute joy of operating the thing (fine German engineering, blah blah blah, true here) makes it worth at least half the cost of what I paid for it! I still want one for my fatbike, everytime I ride it, but have yet to tackle the project. If it was just the money, it'd be done by now, but it's the complicated ordering process I went through the first time, eventually giving up, it just didn't make sense to me. The "sizing kit" I was sent, was the flip side of 'fine German engineering", too frigging complicated for this old fart. I may still run down to Cycle Monkey, with the fatbike in the car, and just say "here, put a Rohloff on this pig, even if you have to hold your nose when doing it." My Sturgis Bullet is not their cup of tea, they are a very high end bike shop and would not doubt be embarrassed to have the thing seen in their shop. But I love it, and know it well, but I'm afraid it may have a few issues with the conversion, like the chain line (maybe) or more importantly, the drop out width. So then I start thinking a fat bike optimized for the Rohloff IGH, but then THAT also means it has to be adaptable to the BBSHD, which I also love. So a big project when you combine the e conversion AND the hub install, money aside. My Montague was a piece of cake for both conversions, just dumb luck there.
          Last edited by CPG; 12-16-2018, 03:43 PM.


            ASFAIK no one has succeeded in breaking a Rohloff. Even tandem MTB riders. Serious value there. Costs as much as a BBSHD conversion. Probaly the best driveline to go with it.


              I'm trying to convert to belt with Shimano Nexus 3 speed rear hub. According to Ben at Gates Carbon:

              Since the Bafang mid-drive motors mount different to each frame, there can't be a standard beltline. Furthermore, the sprockets will not mount will on those spiders. For these reasons, we do not suggest the use of mid-drive retrofit kits with our drivetrain system.

              BEN CASTANEDA
              Application Engineer

              Technical Support

              Gates Industrial Corporation
              330 Inverness Drive South
              Englewood, CO 80112
              d: 303-744-4593

              m: 303-656-8507


              -----Original Message-----
              From: Nathan Gant []
              Sent: Saturday, December 15, 2018 5:02 PM


              • Rider
                Rider commented
                Editing a comment
                FWIIW the only way I can see getting the belt-line in far enough for standard Shimano/SA 3-speeds is to combine a "machined" Lekkie Bling Ring and Gates sprocket welded together, putting the front sprocket as close to the side of the BBS02B motor as possible. In addition, the frame used has to allow for proper lower chain stay sprocket and BBS02B reduction gear clearance (easier on narrow tire frames than wide tire ones). If the chain stay clearance is there, you can face the right side of the BB to bring in the belt-line even further as needed. All that requires a lot of measuring and trial and error test fitting.

                If/when I ever wear out the teeth on the 42T Lekkie Bling Ring on my eSurly, I will use it to create such a maximum inset 50T belt front sprocket that bolts directly to the BBS02B. With something like that in hand, one can measure what the actual maximum inset that can be achieved is. From there, you can calculate how much BB has to be faced off and if there is adequate lower chain stay clearance on the frame you are working with.

                Furthermore, a way to work around the lower chain stay issue is to use a frame with a lifted chain stay like the Trek Stache or 1120, but those both use a wide Press Fit BB, so that issue needs to be addressed and the height of the chain stay lift has to be checked for a 50T gates sprocket (I don't think it will clear on the two frames mentioned, but might on others?). A 39T Gates sprocket will clear those frames (I've seen them in pedal belt drive form), but a 39T Gates won't clear the BBS02B gear reduction housing, so you can't run one in a custom inset position, only in a way out position that "might" still work with the wide Rohloff belt-line.

                As you can see there are many issues to consider. That is why I went with the S-A CS-RK3 mentioned below for my first Gates Belt Drive conversion. It is by far the easiest because of the huge belt-line range on the rear cassette mounting surface.
                Last edited by Rider; 12-17-2018, 11:31 AM.

              Originally posted by ngant17 View Post
              I'm trying to convert to belt with Shimano Nexus 3 speed rear hub. According to Ben at Gates Carbon:

              Since the Bafang mid-drive motors mount different to each frame, there can't be a standard beltline. Furthermore, the sprockets will not mount will on those spiders. For these reasons, we do not suggest the use of mid-drive retrofit kits with our drivetrain system.
              If all you want is the three speeds and don't care what brand hub, you can get there much easier using the Sturmey Archer 3-speed/9-speed hub with spacers, as rider has done successfully and gracefully:

              Click image for larger version  Name:	fetch?photoid=22069.jpg Views:	1 Size:	153.3 KB ID:	79911

              If you're willing to consider the Tonsheng motor, have a look at this build.

              But, back to the Nexus 3-speed ... What frame BB width - hopefully 68mm.

              What Nexus 3 - the disc version (hopefully)? If so, that one has the widest belt line, at 43.7mm - which is not a good start right off, but may be doable. 43.7mm is a VERY tight beltline.

              What Bafang motor - the BBS01 or BBS02 (hopefully)?

              If the answer is "No" to any of the above, it's a no-go, I believe. I say this as there have been several Nexus/Alfine 8 to BBS02 builds - BUT, the Nexus/Alfine 8 is slightly wider, at 45.5mm.

              It's said that the Gates belt line has to be "right on the money". Here's a picture of one of the beltring/spider setups (Gates CDC belt, BBS02 to a Nexus8 roller brake hub):

              Click image for larger version  Name:	2017-01-28-photo-00000271-jpg.14978.jpg Views:	1 Size:	579.2 KB ID:	79910

              There's a picture out there somewhere, of a Spot Brand Ajax with a similar setup ((Gates CDX belt, BBS02 to a Alfine 8 disc brake hub). I'd love to know how the Tongsheng TSDZ2 caters to belt drive builds.
              Last edited by ncmired; 12-17-2018, 09:43 AM.
              BBSHD / BBS02 IGH Builds: Nexus / Alfine 8: 1 2 3 4 5 6, Rohloff: 1


                Yes, 68mm BB and Bafang BBS02.

                I do have the disc hub, 2017 Shimano Nexus SG-3D55 Universal Hub (32H 3 Speed w/CenterLock Disc). Thanks for the detailed photos and reply.

                I’m riding all mostly flat turf and flat road. My friend is a hardore Motobecane biker who gave up cars long ago (issue was narcolepsy and driving heavy machinery). He is no fan of derailleurs anymore because of constant adjustments.

                Didn't know about the cheaper Tongsheng 36v TSDZ mid-drive and China/Singapore venture. Would have gone there but Bafang will have to do.

                Ben seems to have dis'ed me once I said "Bafang". Gates has the Shimano Nexus IGH for 24T and 22T CDX/CDC rear spockets. Matching it to some Bafang-compatible 5-bolt front sprocket and belt should be out there. Your advice is much appreciated from previous thread.

                All that’s needed is my chainstay length on the frame, which probably will be 430mm.

                Gates lists all the German and Japanese e-bike players: Bosch, Brose, Panasonic, Shimano Steps, Yamaha). Yes, I know MPF is Austrian/Taiwanese coop venture. But nothing from mainland China. Get real, is Gates Carbon a 'Cold War kid’? Who woulda guessed?

                Apologies to indie rock band, Nathan Willett, et. al. I will buy Alibaba and will take the hit on shipping, not a problem for me. In fact, my profile is official "Flash” DC comic logo biking shirt, direct buy from AliExpress.

                Still riding on chain. Next frame most likely chrome-moly Soma as that's what all the similar custom builds have been detailing in the forum. I think it’s only a matter of time when we can get Chinese quality frames at the higher level of Taiwanese frame builds. BTW I’ve handled Ti metal and I know it’s got potential.

                I'll be cannibalizing my original single-speed e-bike build for parts, which has Bafang BBS02 5-bolt front chainring, 104BCD x 46T (now replaced with Luna Mighty Mini 30T spider).


                  Originally posted by ngant17 View Post
                  Gates lists all the German and Japanese e-bike players: Bosch, Brose, Panasonic, Shimano Steps, Yamaha). Yes, I know MPF is Austrian/Taiwanese coop venture. But nothing from mainland China. Get real, is Gates Carbon a 'Cold War kid’? Who woulda guessed?
                  Yup - not even for the various Bafang frame integrated motors. But then, not many bike manufactures have given these motors a second look either.

                  Still waiting for version three of the BBS motor with a much improved chain/belt line, and some other issues fixed/improved.

                  BBSHD / BBS02 IGH Builds: Nexus / Alfine 8: 1 2 3 4 5 6, Rohloff: 1


                    "Gates engineers and technical specialists from Mobia Bikes have worked closely with Taioku(one of leading bicycle manufacturers in Taiwan) to train their workforce on proper installation techniques and best practices when using Gates belts." 8 May 2017 News from Shanghai, China.

                    So going beyond that, with my $100 Shimano IGH 3-speed hub, authentic Chinese replicas or knockout frames are likely being made precise enough to run Gates belts. With backstreet peasant companies welding frames in titanium at costs of comparable Tiawanese chrome-moly welded frames.

                    I’m holding out for a decent frame to start in 2019.

                    Besides, China has one of the largest ilmenite reserves on Earth, and could probably bring in more titanium dioxide on the moon if they keep landing robots there.


                      There is a raised chainstay frame on a Nishiki trail bike at Dicks sporting goods. List price $500 but at Dick's 20% off isn't unheard of.
                      I posted it in the frame discussion.


                        I had an early '80's Kawasaki motorcycle that had an early generation belt drive. It was back when that was a new concept, and I put about 30K miles on the bike in 2 or 3 years. During the same period more or less, airplane propellor reduction systems for light aircraft also using cogged belts, were coming into vogue. In fact, I had a Subaru powered kitplane that used a Gates belt drive as a way to gear down the engine R's to the most desirable prop R's. So at one point, I decided to ignore the recommended replacement time for my bike's drive, and just keep riding it to see what would happen, as this would give me some practical experience with the drive system of belts that may come in handy.

                        I think it was 20K miles for the belt replacment, and at 28K miles, it was still working fine, but I did notice some missing "teeth", so I then finally replaced it, proving to myself that there was a significant safety factor in the things. On the plane, which I flew for 1300 hours, trouble free, the replacement time was 300 hours, which I followed religously, though they looked identical to new still. I only had one bad experience with belt drives, two actually, one on the bike when I was on a dirt road that was really muddy, and ended up with the belt and sproket so clogged with mud that I had to stop and using a screwdriver clean it out. It was making a funny noise due to the extreme tension caused by the mudding gooping up the works, though no damage seemed to be done, and it was still driving.

                        The other instance, in the plane, was shortly after a 300 hour replacement, like maybe 20 or 30 hours, I was on the far side of the Frank Church Wilderness Area, getting ready to fly clear across it, the largest in the lower 48, and as I was giving the plane a better then normal preflight, I took the cowl off to closely inspect the belt. By this time, I had absolute faith in the belt system, and would usually not inspect so closely, so I was REAL surprised to see a few missing teeth..... long story short, I screwed up when last replacing it, not following the usual tension procedure correctly, resulting in a very slight out of parallel of the two drive sprokets, point being, this minor out of whackness caused majors problems, quickly.

                        Looking at a IGH conversion for my current fatbike, or my next one, as a result of these two belt experiences, I feel no overwhelming urge to use a belt drive. Especially with the robust chain that can be used with a IGH install, and it's always straight chain line (hopefully). I like belts, but a chain drive on a IGH has a pretty easy life, so I guess I won't go out of my way to pursue a belt drive.


                          Very good points to keep in mind. I know chain-drive machines rather well, having put to work a few McLane chain-driven reel mowers at workplace. Actually the McLanes are running with a weenie v-belt on top, to engage cutting blade only. But real drive to move the heavy machine isn't a belt, it's hiding underneath. Heavy duty #41 chains like you have on motorcycles and go-carts. Fixing a dropped chain for me only required keeping a few master link kits around for spares. Older machines dropped them more and more, but not enough to keep me idle during mowing season. If the reels ain't turning, I wasn't earning.

                          As for a bike, I haven't had enough time on a carbon belt yet, and I won't toss away chain drive immediately. I will swap back to that if alignment isn't good enough. K.I.S.S. At least I'm sold on 3-speed IGH hubs.

                          My newest proforma invoice on frame is from a small peasant factory in Shaanxi Province. Hard to beat $650, except they don't get the "premier" shipping discounts like their bigger competitors. So you get a cheaper frame but you lose that on the freight cost. Design looks strangely similar to a Tiawanese name-brand mentioned earlier.


                          • Rider
                            Rider commented
                            Editing a comment
                            If you are a K.I.S.S. kind of guy and like 3-speeds, then the S-A CS-RK3 is for you. You simply rearrange the spacers on the rear axle cassette to achieve the belt-line you need. Done!