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Okay - here's the post:
 
I've completed my 5-speed conversion. 48t front sprocket, 14-17-19-21-24 gears.
First, the good news: it works (well, four speeds work; on the highest gear the chain rubs against the frame, so I locked it out.) The stock single speed has a ratio of about 2.4 to 1; that's about what I see in third gear. First gear (~2 to 1) is noticeably lower than stock - it helps a lot when starting out uphill. In fourth gear (~2.8 to 1) I have a brisk but comfortable cadence at 20 MPH where the governor shuts off the motor (haven't got my LCD yet.) By comparison with the stock gearing I'm pumping maniacally at 20 MPH. And my parts cost was only about $50-$60.
The bad news: I read the stories of the pioneers who converted to 7 speeds (actually 6, due to the same frame/chain problem I had.) They wrote of pounding away at the rear sprocket with chisels and hammers until they had destroyed it before replacing it with the multi-sprocket freewheel. It sounded scary and destructive.
I figured that was due to a lack of appropriate tools, or lack of imagination, or something.
I was wrong.
You actually have to pound the existing single speed freewheel with a hammer and chisel until it breaks apart in order to remove it. (If you attack it before riding it that may not be true. But if you've been pedaling with any force you will have seated the threads on the sprocket too firmly to get it undone any other way.) It is not designed to be removed in a civil manner with a freewheel removal tool or by any other non-destructive means. I removed the part of the motor housing to which the freewheel is attached before beginning my assault so I wouldn't subject the motor to the violence needed to bend it to my will.
Then you have to cut, grind, or file away about 3/8 of an inch of the part the freewheel threads on to, because it's too long for a multi-gear freewheel or cassette. Once you've done that you have to spread the frame, which is less difficult. And after that there's a bunch of fiddly stuff with the axle bolt (which is split for the motor wire on that side.) Bottom line: I can't recommend the project for anyone whose plan is to replace the rear sprocket with a multi-gear one.
A few pointers for those who don't take my advice: You'll need a long chain. (See the derailleur angle in the pics.) I got a 116 link one which is pretty standard for 10-18 speed bikes. I'm thinking I need to add another 4 links or so. I got a derailleur which is held in place by the axle nut; I think it would be better to get one that requires separate mounts and drilling holes for it. The axle bolt threads are marginal after you spread the frame that 1/2 inch due to the cutout for the motor wire.
Finally: I encourage someone to work on a solution other than one which requires replacing the rear freewheel. My wife was alarmed at the noise I made removing it. We had a "frank exchange of views." I was stubborn. She thought I was crazy. (So far she has declined my generous offer to "upgrade" her bike with my hammers and chisel...)

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Edited by Steve Condie
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Steve, I just experienced what you did with the rear freewheel. I have the two pin tool, and tried to use it, even tried using a huge washer to press it into the holes better. I then lubed with WD-40 and hammered at it with an awl, then a screwdriver. What really stinks is, my very first try using the pin spreader tool, I got it to move, IN THE WRONG DIRECTION. So i literally tightened it.

I am convinced I'll either have to dremel it apart, or JB Weld the insides of it so the cog and the threaded part are fused so I can use the pedals/chain to yank it free. I spent the last 2 hours with it and you can't even tell I did anything. A very frustrating experience, especially knowing if I do destructively remove it, I cannot replace it except with this 3 gear one that I have no idea if it works. I may have to get another 16T single speed to have on hand just in case.

I am thinking if I have to break it to remove it, I'm either going to squirt JB weld inside so it fuses and I can remove it that way, or I will hammer the sides of it until then are pressed against the threaded part, without damaging the motor/hub assembly or bending the spokes. Not sure how else to do it.

So that was my big frustration this evening. Then I broke part of the shifter trying to install it, not realizing I'd have to remove the grip to slide it on. Ugh. It's cosmetic and I can glue it but still, it was the easiest part of the install and I bofo'd it.

Looks like your derailleur is even more hyper extended then mine was with 116L, that 48T def looks like it's a tight fit. That's what I am going to use to get the 19T to match up as stock speed. I'd say you will need 10 more links to get it in position on yours, or more. I was guessing close to that for mine with the other chain.

Looks good though man! You kicked butt on this. And so we know it can be done.

My 3 gear freewheel is the same width as the stock one, so that at least means no frame spreading, I hope. It looks like you used a 2 chainwheel replacement and just ignore the smaller inside one?

Again, nice job man. I am going to try and absorb some of your mojo to work on mine tomorrow. The freewheel comes off or I scrap the project. I tend to get into these projects and then break something and get so upset I have to walk away.

I had such high hopes for this. Now I'm starting to wonder if I should just cancel the parts I have on order and give up and put the money into a bigger battery. I'm discouraged after tonight.

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@Steve Condie It looks like you used an extender to raise the handle bar higher. Could you spare some details about that? Since I intend to raise the handle bar of my Sondors, I'd be glad to see examples. Thanks in advance!

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10 hours ago, Steve Condie said:

That's how I felt at the end of day 1, too.  Success came on day 2, when I accepted that I had to go all in and accept that destruction had to preceed creation.

That is usually where I do or quit. I did some research and figured out a way to pull the old freewheel easier... I was going to use JB Weld to fuse it together and then use the chain and cranks to get it off. But now I can literallt take it apart, I hope. If I haveven't already overtightened the ring on the top from hammering on it last night.

I did test the new cogs on the old chain yesterday so technically if I Can get the old freewheel off, the new one can go on and just be used on 16T until I haev the shift stuff setup. I hope. :D

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3-D, I did two things.  First, I got an alloy handlebar with a 5" rise.  I also replaced the stem (the part that holds the bar in front of the riser - it's about 3" long on the Sondors) with the shortest version made.  I wanted to bring the handlebar up and back, because I wanted a more upright seating position (I'm 6'1", and with the seat high enough to extend my legs I was practically horizontal with the stock bars.)  Since I was replacing the stem, I bought one which held a 25mm handlebar because there were more available in that size than in the 32mm size which the Sondors comes with.  I wasn't quite satisfied with the result, so I bought the riser to bring it up a couple more inches.  

So:  New riser, new stem, new 25mm handlebars.  Result is about 7" higher and 3" further back than stock.  Much more comfortable riding position.

Edited by Steve Condie

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@Steve Condie - It looks like you bolted the new chainwheel to the old stock one from the photos, did that cause any chainline issues due to the shift to the right?

I am going to give the freewheel removal another try, but am waiting on a replacement just in case. I don't want to be down and have no means to ride when the weather warms up this weekend. I found a guide online that showed a method that involves removing the freewheel body and then using a pipe wrench to take off the inside part. It's that or JB welding it. I can't hammer the thing apart, I'm a klutz and would ruin my motor or bend spokes and have to have the bike shop repair them. I haven't trued a wheel in 30 years and hated it 30 years ago :D

I got the 3 Speed shifter mounted (and have to remove and glue the plastic I broke) and started figuring the cable routing. I'm already reconsidering getting a new lower profile derailleur. And am waiting for the extra chain to arrive to build my chain from. And my new cranks and chainwheel are supposed to be here next week.

I feel like I can do this but the issues i've run into and the lack of info on certain things has certainly made it a long drawn out process full of discovery and error.

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3-D - Here's the end result: white is stock, yellow is my modified bar setup.

ams - yeah, that's what I did.  Much easier than replacing the crank.  I drilled holes in the 48t chainring to match up with the holes for the chain guard on the old one.  No issue with the location; the high (small) gears on the freewheel are offset in that direction as well, so it's probably a little better position than the stock one.

What's your technique for removing the freewheel body?  Once it's off it's easy enough to remove the "collar."

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23 minutes ago, Steve Condie said:

ams - yeah, that's what I did.  Much easier than replacing the crank.  I drilled holes in the 48t chainring to match up with the holes for the chain guard on the old one.  No issue with the location; the high (small) gears on the freewheel are offset in that direction as well, so it's probably a little better position than the stock one.

What's your technique for removing the freewheel body?  Once it's off it's easy enough to remove the "collar."

Good idea, as long as you get it centered, it eliminates the need to figure out BCD for a spider for the new one!

The freewheel removal... Basically, it just involves in 'taking apart' the freewheel by using an awl or punch in the little holes to spin the inner disc lid (not sure what to call it) off, clockwise. Once this is off, supposedly the freewheel and bearings all come off and you are left with just the threaded part on your wheel. Then you can clamp a pipe wrench or similar onto that and take it off. The idea is to remove the rotating part so you have something solid to grip to remove it.

I am going to try loosening this plate/lid tonight, but I'm concerned I have tightening to more from trying to use it as the means to loosen the whole freewheel.

The new freewheel fits the chain as far as I can tell, so even if I destroy the old one, I can use the 16T on the new one to ride. But I like to be prepared and sometimes rush into things and break something and then am stuck waiting for a part. I've got everything to do most of the job, but I'm kind of that that point like you said where it's destroy and move forward or stop and do nothing.

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39 minutes ago, Steve Condie said:

3-D - Here's the end result: white is stock, yellow is my modified bar setup.

Hi Steve,

thanks a lot for the elaborate reply and the pics. Yeah I have a similar need. I'm 1.80m with short legs and a long torso, so I want to take away some of my body weight resting on the handle bar. I also prefer a more upright position.

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I was considering replacing the neck on mine with one that can angle up a bit to bring me up and backwards some. I have my seat pretty low so I can tippy toe on the ground when I stop and so I am not haunched over too much. I also would like to replace the "bling" with something black and simple on the neck. It's one of my projects on the list along with this 3-Speed conversion. But at the rate this is going I may put it off and do some of the others instead.

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When taking of the cranks last night to do some measuring, I had a look at the cadence sensor disc. It looks like it's probably going to break or something eventually, so I am wondering how to replace it. And I was also considering trying to make my own to change the number and spacing of the metal or magnets on it to adjust PAS speed for the new gearing. It has 8 metal or magnetic discs on it evenly spaced.

I haven't taken time to see if they are magnets or just metal, but the disc itself is just plastic and seems like it could get easily damaged. It simply slides onto the crankshaft and has flexible plastic teeth to hold it in place. a modification may be required to keep it from spinning as time passes. It should not be too difficult to glue a small screw worm drive style clamp to it to hold it better. There's more then enough room between it and the cranks as you can see in the shots below.

Has anyone looked at this? I was concerned about PAS and my new gearing, didn't realize this was how it got cadence, I thought it was using something on the back of the chainwheel.

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Sondors offerst the PAS set on their Parts Catalog Homepage, but it seems highly overpriced. I also found something similar on AliExpress, have a look here. There also are 10- and 12-magnet discs available, but I dunno if they fit. I think it is vital to have the K3 display to configure the PAS settings.

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Overpriced indeed. Their freewheel is 4x what a freewheel costs. As far as the cadence wheel, the AliExpress one looks identical. I'd bet it's the same.

I'm going to experiment with the cadence wheel since I can get magnets cheaply, see what I can make that is a bit more sturdy and possibly figure out how to match it to the new gearing somehow.

I need to investigate what settings in the LCD need to be made to use this and what kind of effect it has on the PAS system. My limited knowledge of electronics leads me to beleive that the sensor on the seat post gets a blip each time a magnet passes, which blips the motor. And this creates the effect of a continuous output of power since it's happening so fast. It sounds like it's basically Pulse Width Modulation, like what used to run motors in gadgets and gizmos. Just with a lot more computer behind it.

I find it curious that the actual wheel has 8 magnets, but the LCD/controller is set to read 6 in a cycle. That to me seems like it would through off the PAS since it would be reading not crank revolutions but magnet count. I wonder if that is wheel rotations equivalent to the crank rotation ratio. So if the wheel completes a full 360 degree rotation but the crank, based on the gearing, has only gone around 6 "magnets"... I wonder what if that was a battery conversation or power ratio decision. P2 should be 8 since there are 8 megnets. I need to check my crank vs wheel rotation to see if it matches. It wouldn't be difficult to change the number of P2 to more appropriately fit the new gearing, picking the main gear that you ride at mostly.

The documentation also specifically mentions wheel vs crank. So I wonder if they are trying to match the wheel rotation and not the crank rotation. I know that at certain speeds on a flat surface, I can actually pedal much slower then what would engage the chain and rear wheel and the motor pushes me along at a constant speed.

I definitely want to learn more about this. And figure out how it will apply to the new gearing.

 

Quote

P2 Wheel Speed Pulse Signal Setting Mode P2 is wheel speed pulse signal setting mode. If wheel generated 1 pulse signal by a revolution, P2 should be set as1. If wheel generated 6 pulse signals by a revolution, P2 should be set as 6. If users didn’t configure the pulse signal system, and then P2 parameter setting can be 0. The setting range of P2 should be between 0-6. 0 : motor hall sensor only (speed is only shown while motor is working) 1-6: Pulses per Cycle

Sondors: Cadence (Pulses/Cycle) 6/1 = 6 = P2

 

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I just noticed that the Thin bike actually says:

Quote

Drive Mode:
Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Trigger Throttle (Six Magnet Pedelec Disc)

If they are indeed tracking the crank rotations and how many should occur for one wheel rotation, that is more of a torque sensing then speed or wheel rotation sensing to create the needed power for PAS.

The system now is more symbolic I believe. Its a general representation of the motion forward you are generating and then pushes the bike based on that. A true torque based system would literally know exactly how much you were exerting and assist based on that.

Edited by alienmeatsack

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I am still waiting for shipment of my LCD. I ordered 2 sets of fenders and 2 LCD controllers before Christmas and the last word from Sondors was the items should ship sometime toward the end of February (oh, that's now. Hello Sondors....any time now)  I don't have enough information about the inner workings of the controller until i receive the LCD. You are correct about the magnets on the hall sensor. The sensor is mounted on the frame and lines up with the neodymium magnets on the cadence wheel. The number of magnets should be input into the LCD controller so the pulses match one revolution. If there are more magnets than listed in the LCD than you would get a ratio to the 360 deg revolution.

You are probably correct about the PWM. The hall pulse(pulses per revolution) probably has a PWM value in a table in the controller. I doubt that it's 1 to 1. More likely it's a 1 to x frequency. X being a number set in the LCD or controller. Once I get my controller I can put the motor and hall sensor on my scope and find out more about how the system functions.

Your problem removing the stock cog has me motivated to jump into the mechanical aspects of this project. Till this point I have just been concentrating on the parts list. I think tonight I will take one of the bikes and remove the rear wheel assembly and get into the mechanical aspects of the hub replacement. Maybe I can help shed some light on the easiest way to accomplish the separation, short of the sledge and chisel method. If the hub threads are on as tight as you indicate I might try scoring the hub with a dremel and diamond wheel so when I hit the hub it will split and relieve the thread tension. I need to get down and greasy and put hands on to figure out a good strategy. This is something I am very good at and I am usually able to devise a simplified strategy to accomplish a task like this. It would be great if I can take the OMG factor out of removing the hub making this project less of a nail biter for the uninitiated.

I will get back to you as soon as possible, hopefully in time to save you some un-needed stress. You have taken point on this whole project and I would like to both thank you and help to take some of the load off your shoulders. Frustration causes mistakes, costs extra cash and can cause project shelving. None of which is a desirable outcome. Take a deep breath, stay calm and lets see what we can do to make this phase of the project easier.

Sincerely

MisterFixIt1952

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I just got a status update from the Sondors Kickstarter site that the container with upgrades (i assume LCDs) is delayed but is coming soon. I have their LCD on order but I ended up buying one from Velomobile instead as well as the upgraded controller. I got impatient. And I figure I can find a buyer for my Sondors LCD easily.

So when I got home, I decided to do some quick tests. I know the gear ratio is 2.44-2.5ish, so technically, the back tire should spin 1.25 times per 1 rotation of the cranks in stock gearing. I did a test of this and it was more like 1 and maybe .10 a full rotation in back to one up front. Of course it was not very scientific, I held up the bike and put my hand on the tire so it'd not free spin and hand cranked the pedals around 360 degrees.

I am thinking I'm going to experiment with the settings in the LCD/Controller for the cadence sensor. I know what "stock" is supposed to be so I can change it back. I want to see what the setting for P2 = 8 does vs the recommended P2 = 6 since there are 8 magnets. And looking further into the LCD documents, I am starting to wonder if they chose 6 for P2 because the motor itself has gears and those gears will also factor in. You won't just get a straight line from A to B when you pedal, the gears shift up and down as well. So perhaps that is why. Or maybe they just took the data for the Sondors from what others said was the right settings (I see a lot of other places online with the settings that match the Sondors ones when using the Bafang 350W hub).

You're an electronics guy, cool. I am actually a "hacker" (or circuit bender and a bit more) myself. I don't touch anything AC, only DC. But these new fangled gadgets just are too tiny for me to mod them. Those micro resistors are a real bword to solder on! I've killed more then my fair share of toys and kids keyboards trying to mod them. :D

This project however is more about using what I have and what I can do to make my bike work better without batteries, then learning how to make the "e" part of the "bike" work in concert with it. I saw some parts online today while digging around that appear to be torque based (the Bafang motor has no torque output or sensor best I can tell for the computer to use) and wondered if we could adapt one of those to feed torque data to our controller/computer to turn PAS into something more then "pedal this fast, get XX number of watts". Matching PAS to each gear would be super interesting if it can be done. Imagine going up a hill in a hill gear and the motor only has to kick in lightly to help instead of it doing 90% of the work. Less burned motors and battery connectors eh?

Anyway, so today, I am going to get the freewheel off my rear hub. I have a new one ordered that I hope is the right size and thread as well as tooth pitch. And I have the 3 speed which I know has 16T and the chain fits it, so, I figure its destroy or die time.

I keep forgetting to take phtoos as I work on things. Of course, when I do, i brake soemthing and the photos reflect that. Like my wonderful Shimano 3 speed sram shifter I broke because I tried to bend it over the bar instead of removing the grip. Lesson learned, and its cheap enough that I can replace later. I'm going to pull it off tonight and glue the plastic back together if I Can find my good glue. But it's on the bike for placement now. I've done everything but run the shift cable and install the freewheel and chain, and taken it all off at least 2-3 times as I learn and break things.

I wish I knew where that other chain went that I bent, I want to pull it apart and use for another project. Its somewhere in the shop out in the garage. Which is covered in bike parts, camera parts and electronics parts. I desperately need some drawers out there.

I am taking a deep breath and about to go make that freewheel come off or die trying. If I die, you all get my bike but someone has to finish the 3-speed mod and put it online in my name lol.

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29 minutes ago, alienmeatsack said:

I am taking a deep breath and about to go make that freewheel come off or die trying.

Success! The method I discovered online was a bonafied success! I've made actual real progress and everything.

So, the trick is to use something like a flat head screw driver or a hole punch and a hammer to tap the center ring clockwise to unscrew it. Use the little holes pointed at by the red stick as the catch point. Hit the screwsdriver or punch with a hammer once or twice and the ring will free up. Then, you unscrew carefully as the inside is filled with tiny little bearings. I used some rare earth magnets to catch all the bearings and still managed to lose some, so that freewheel is not going back on.

Once you unscrew the cover, lay the wheel down and carefully pull the main sprocketed part of the freewheel up and off, watch the bearings as they will go everywhere. Then, you are free to attach a large wrench or Vise Grips to the main threaded part, with the nice handy notches on the sides to grip by, then whack at that with a hammer OR use a long pry bar to give you leverage, turning it counter clockwise. It should break free and then unscrew by hand.

Clean up the hub's threads and then you're ready to put the new freewheel on. It should just screw right down onto there perfectly. Avoid voila, you have installed the new 3-speed freewheel.

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Next is reinstalling the wheel, which is going to require some washers or spacers because the chain will rub the frame on the outside 16T gear without them. Since you can't just slide a washer over the bolt due to the plug for the power harness being there, you will either have to cut a slot in some washers and place them over the axel, or remove the motor and wiring, the latter is not such a fun task I bet.

I am going to just put several washers on with slots cut in them to slide them over the axle, slightly bent so the slots are thinner then the axle so when I flatten them they don't come off. I think it needs about 1/8th of an inch or more of spacers/washers, depending on the width of the new chain you put on. For now, I'm using the stock one, so I'm going to just make do and add the spacers. Or possibly use the middle 19T gear just to make sure it's good.

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Hit a hopefully minor snag. Any suggestions on how to put a spacer between the frame and the hub, keeping the spin-stop spacer intact to keep the hub from spinning under heavy torque? I don't want to rely on just the one side to keep it from spinning.

Since the wire plug's there, I can't slide off and slide on things, or cut a new thicker spacer with the flat sides to replace the stock spin-stopper. Suggestions appreciated.

My other option is to hammer the frame where the chain hits and hope it doesn't cause structural issues. I don't really want to do that.

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The new chain is a bit thinner so i'm hoping that it will clear the frame a bit more. But I still don't know how to spread the frame and keep the spin-stop spacers intact. I decided to stop for the evening and watch tv and hope someone here has a good suggestion.

My initial idea was to make a spacer that has slots for the spin stop part, and then does the same when it goes into the frame, but I am not sure how to get it on the axle minus JB weld or finding a way to pull the wiring off.

I have soldering skills and could cut the plug and rewire it but that to me just has "danger" and "why did I do this!?" written all over it. There's not enough lip on the back of the freewheel to grind off, and I've pedalled it down tight so it's where it's going to be.

If I grind on the frame, I'll have to squirt some JB weld into it or something to make it strong. Out of ideas. So, anyone with any suggestoins, let me know.

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Awesome job. As a mater of fact your method is exactly the one I was going to use. Great minds really do think alike. Question, what is that up/down switch on your left side by the shifter? I did some casual reading about torque sensor controllers when my roomie was shopping for his bike. He was spending the big bucks so it was anything goes. Here is a great article about torque sensors. The article takes all of the mystery out and explains the pros and cons of both the torque and cadence systems.

https://www.electricbike.com/torque-sensors/

I am going to do some checking on the possibility of making my own torque sensor. I will let you know what I come up with.

Here is a good looking cadence sensor that is enclosed and less susceptible to damage than the stock open sensor. fairly inexpensive too @ $27

http://www.amazon.com/Piece-Assist-Sensor-install-Durable/dp/B00VKCX1I0/ref=sr_1_fkmr3_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1456358388&sr=8-2-fkmr3&keywords=ebike+pedal+assist+torque+sensor

MisterFixIt1952

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@MisterFixIt1952 - That is the LCD controller. The middle is power and visual mode select, up is lights and down is cruise, and combos of those get you into menus, reset the trip meter etc.

Thanks for the link I will give it a read when my brain is firing on all cylinders. :D

I took the plunge and pulled the stock chain since it has to go anyway. Worst case, my bike is powered by electric until I get my new chainwheel. I -might- be able to put the pin back in and put it on the bike, but since it rubs, and I can't move the wheel forward enough to fit the 19T due to the brakes, its just kind of a do or die thing and its done.

New chain fits freewheel but does not fit the stock chainwheel, it starts riding the edges and tops of the teeth after a few. So I am reeeally hoping this new chainwheel fits it or I am going to have to scramble to find a chain that fits. Looking at what I'm seeing in the description, it's also 1/8" so, I may have to order new chains. Dangit.

Some items of note:

Stock chain model - KMC 5K-2 (prominently stamped on the chain, yet I cannot find a single reference to this chain anywhere)?
Stock freewheel model - EPOCH by DnP (model LY-1016A)

The freewheel is 1/2" by 1/8", which means the stock chainwheel is as well, which explains why it won't fit the other chain. On the smaller diameter cog, there aren't enough teeth engaging to hit the chain's length limits. On the larger chainwheel, you have so much more surface area touching the chain that you hit the limit and the chain floats after 5-8 teeth on each side.
 

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This video pretty much just summarized everything I've learned in the last week about cogs, chainwheels and the chain sizes:

And I just checked and my new chainwheel is the larger size so I need to order two more chains to put together that are 1/2x1/8". This project is both a learning process and ARGH all in one.

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Not sure about how to put a washer on without taking off the plug on the wire. The wire is color coded, I assume, so putting it back together using marine bullet connectors shouldn't be that difficult. Or you could use shrink tube. Harbor Freight sells marine shrink tube that seals the wires with a water tight cover.

 

Being the cheap kind of mechanic, I would be inclined to turn down the width of the stock chain wheel so it works with the 3/32 chain. It would be easy to chuck the CW in my lathe and reduce the width by 1/32. Either that or you could add another chain wheel to the existing one giving you the option to play around with a different gear ratio with the thought of upgrading later. Cheaper and less work than replacing the whole crank assembly.

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      Protect your motor wires going through the rear axel and if you have a derailleur with a derailleur guard. One of the best I have found is available at REI and is highly effective and provides a great deal more protection than the cheep thin guards sold online. Certainly worth the $20 i paid and if you have an REI near you it's available in most stores or at: REI.com


    • By Brandnew
      Just Ordered Fold X, LCD Screen question?
      I am Gary from Lagrange Ga. I just ordered a Fold X for myself and one for my wife, both with the 7 speed option. The info on the site shows the LCD screen and states 5 gears and 5 levels of assist.  Referring to the LCD screen it states "this option supplies Fold “X” with five gears and five levels of electric pedal assist plus added torque for increased hill-climbing power, even greater range, and improved towing capacity."  I understand the levels of assist but what would the 5 gears be that would be controlled from the LCD display? Does the LCD screen show miles or speed on the original bikes?
    • By 3D-vice
      Know your Gear - Freewheel vs Cassette
      Hey all,
      on my quest to gain more knowledge about bike parts, I stumbled over this nice video:
      Freewheel vs Cassette - What Are They? Can I Convert?
      As a noob, I found this especially helpful, since I'm about to exchange my original rear wheel with a new one. If those with professional knowledge out there have things to add, please feel free to do so.
    • By CrazySondorsRider
      Hello everyone. I've been a lurker here for a while and learned a lot from this forum. Well here's the situation, I got into a small accident last week and ended up bending one of the crank arms. It ran fine just up until tonight when I was riding home from the beach. My bike will no longer freewheel.  For a while if I pedaled enough the bike wouldn't freewheel but after about 2 minutes it would start to freewheel again. I'm at a loss at what I should do, my roommate fixes bikes for a living on the weekends at a local flea market and he says he doesn't have the tools to remove the cog that is on the bike. I have the fat tire Sondors bike from indigogo.
    • By MisterFixIt1952
      I have been working on a  3-Speed Conversion with alienmeatsack, biknut and steve-condie . I have 2 yellow bikes purchased on the third day of the first indigogo campaign, one for myself and one for my lady. I have purchased most of the needed parts. Three speed freewheel cog set, the derailleur and a new 52t sprocket crankset. The only part missing, besides a chain and some misc. hardware, is a shifter. Due to the odd pitch (pitch is the measurement between cogs) of the 3 speed cogset (6.2mm vrs. 5mm-5.5mm found on most 6-10 speed bike cassettes) I am unable to find a suitable index shifter that will work with a shimano derailleur. Apparently, no one makes an index shifter for a 3 speed, only a friction shifter or a twist grip shifter. I would really like to use an index shifter with a gear indicator. Not so much for myself, but to simplify shifting for my ladies bike. She likes things obvious and simple. Myself, I would use whatever I could cludge together, if I had too. With only three speeds it just strikes me that you should just be able to thumb the shift lever and shift up or down with the indicator showing 1, 2 or 3. Yeah, right!! We all know what should be and what is are often miles apart. No one makes a 3 speed rear derailleur shifter, they only make 3 speed front derailleur shifters and the two are entirely different animals with different pull lengths (the length of cable pull required to move the chain to the next cog).
       
      To solve my problem I have decided to investigate building an electronic derailleur controlled by an up-down shift switch. Now this might seem like a complicated solution to the shifter problem but being a mechanical engineer (in a former life) I decided to investigate the possibility. Shimano and Sram both make electronic shifters but at a cost of close to $2,000 for the set, I decided to see what good old DIY ingenuity could accomplish. Never dismiss the capabilities of a broke man with an expensive dream. Necessity truely is the mother of invention. Besides, it sounded like a fun project and being retired, I'm supposed to have time for fun projects, right?
      So, I did what any modern inventor would do, I went to Google for information regarding electronic derailleurs. To my delight, I found quite a bit of information on the subject. It seems that when shimano came out with their $2000 electronic shifter/derailleur setup, for road bikes, it set off a storm of shifter envy among the poor but inventive DIY community. The best website, devoted to the subject of servo shifted derailleurs, was DIYshift.com by Preston Fall (a fellow Oregonian). This site is referred to in almost all of the web articles that I came across. Unfortunately, the site is no longer available having been replaced by what ap[pears to be an Asian porno site. What makes this so unfortunate is the fact that most of the newer articles used DIYshift.com as a model for their designs and they refer to that site for pictures and details leaving little, useful, detailed information, just vague descriptions of the actual mechanism. Also, there are half a dozen uTube videos about DIY shifter projects. As is usual with uTube videos, there is a noticeable lack of hard information about how to build one with builders showing very little detail and few closeups, preferring to tease you with their cleverness and leaving you to fend for yourself figuring out the details.
      The good news is I found the contents of DIyshift.com on Github https://github.com/Diyshift (thank you Google)
      Here is a list of all of the uTube videos devoted to electronic shifters. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=DIY+electronic+derailleur This is worth checking out so you can see what the possabilities are.
      I also found an instructable detailing how to build an electronic derailleur. http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Electronic-Derailleur/
      This project is totally awesome. Not only does it solve the shifter problem but it can easily be upgraded to a larger cassette by changing the programming. Also, I have some ideas to turn this into an auto shift by putting a strain gauge on the crank chain that will automatically upshift or down shift depending on how much force I am putting into peddling. Much better than the cadence system built into the controller. It would be easy to also put together a shifter that would also shift a front derailleur by using a 2 channel servo controller. Do to the cheap cost of servo controller boards, DC-DC converters and arduino processor boards, this project could be put together for about $50 plus the cost of the derailleur. The whole system could be powered by the bike battery or a separate 7.4v Li-On battery, like the kind used in RC models. According to what I've read, a 7.4v battery is good for about 40,000 shifts (a conservative estimate).
       I plan on putting some real effort into this project, including designing a circuit board, shift switch with an led readout showing the gear selected and the servo mount. The software has already been written but I will check it out and make sure that it works with my version and is easy to use. I have an idea that will allow me to program the controller wirelessly using my tablet or a smart phone making it easy to tune the system. I think I will see about putting together a complete shift kit with everything but the servo and the derailleur. I have quite a bit of work to do on this but I will post more information as it comes. I am shopping up parts right now and still waiting for my shimano 105 derailleur to arrive. I'll know more when it gets here.
      Let me know if anyone out there that has any experience with one of these electronic shifters or if there is anyone else interested in this project.
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