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SmartStep back tire locking up


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Just as a disclaimer, I am a recent Sondors Owner, and I have had my smartstep for a little bit over three weeks now.

My rear wheel ran flat a week ago, and I went to a shop to repair it. They refused to fix a Sondors, as it is a liability, and gave me a patch. Figuring that fixing a rear wheel wouldn't be too hard, I decided to do the repairs myself at home

That proved to be more difficult than I expected. It has been a week now, and problems after problems have sprung up. Now I am at a in impasse at such a tangibly close goal. It would be greatly appreciated if someone could give me some pointers on how to solve my problem. 

Here is a chronological list of problems I faced and how I solved them

-Snakebite puncture in the tire due to low pressure and rough terrain.

-uninstalled LCD screen to prevent cracking as I put the bike upside down. Disengaged the motor

-unscrewed the tire's nuts and removed the rear tire from its socket (rear drop outs). Removed nut (Bolts?) on the brakes (brake disc?) due to unclear instructions from other Sondors media. 

-Repaired tire using patch, still holding pressure to this day

-Chain got tangled, forced to dismantle derailer to untangle

-readjusted derailer and placed tire back onto the sockets.

Now the problem that I face currently. After thorough work this past week, I am finally stuck on my path to fixing my bike. Placing my tire back into the sockets (drop outs), it suddenly has friction to it, as if the brakes are halfway on. Tightening the nuts of the tire back on, it then no longer moves, even when pedaling. I have pondered it if is the bearings, but when I removed the tire and suspended, the tire moved freely. If it is the brakes, I'm afraid that is beyond me and my abilities. If anyone has advice on what to do, I would appreciate it immensely. Spending a week on this bike has begun to turn infuriating, and I hope to find a solution soon

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I suspect you installed the axel washer, with the Dropout Alignment Lugs, on the wrong side of the rear dropout on the brake disc side.  That could happen if you removed the axel nut and washer from the axel on that side of the Wheel.  OR. if the lugs are not in the dropout slots. Without pictures it’s impossible to tell but you wouldn’t be the first person that has reassembled it that way if that’s it. 
‘Most bike shops are not knowledgeable enough to fix a flat on an Electric bike. 
You could try viewing the procedure for repairing flats on an ebike on YouTube. But it gets pretty routine with time as does maintaining proper tire pressure and lubing the chain regularly. 
https://sondorsforum.com/topic/2081-visual-map-to-sondors-original-parts/

https://www.electricbike.com/category/technical/
‘Actually you don’t need to disassemble anything to patch a flat on the rear of your Smart Step. But that procedure and supporting your handle bar grips on spacers so your LCD won’t touch the ground when overturning your bike, are for more experienced owners. I would never turn over my bikes but support them from underneath, under the support between the chainstays and bottom bracket shell with wooden blocks. (Nomenclature is important when speaking bicycle)

This is the best reason for finding a LBS (local bike shop) that works on ebikes and starting a relationship with them by buying extra tubes, patch kits, tire tube sealant, tire levers, chain lube (and please use a wax based lubricant often, not oil that collects grit and wears the chain and cogs getting everything filthy) for services and owner assisted repairs so you can learn about your bike.  You can probably find local shops online. 

1B12C797-0A52-4B68-84C5-5C919C27CFC4.jpeg.0fc4022e6b64f07503db62fdfe7233d6.jpeg

                   REDDY

 

 

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5 hours ago, Reddy Kilowatt said:

I suspect you installed the axel washer, with the Dropout Alignment Lugs, on the wrong side of the rear dropout on the brake disc side.  That could happen if you removed the axel nut and washer from the axel on that side of the Wheel.  OR. if the lugs are not in the dropout slots. Without pictures it’s impossible to tell but you wouldn’t be the first person that has reassembled it that way if that’s it. 
‘Most bike shops are not knowledgeable enough to fix a flat on an Electric bike. 
You could try viewing the procedure for repairing flats on an ebike on YouTube. But it gets pretty routine with time as does maintaining proper tire pressure and lubing the chain regularly. 
https://sondorsforum.com/topic/2081-visual-map-to-sondors-original-parts/

https://www.electricbike.com/category/technical/
 

‘Actually you don’t need to disassemble anything to patch a flat on the rear of your Smart Step. But that procedure and supporting your handle bar grips on spacers so your LCD won’t touch the ground when overturning you’re bike, are for more experienced owners. I would never turn over my bikes but support them from underneath, under the support between the chainstays and bottom bracket shell with wooden blocks. (Nomenclature is important when speaking bicycle)

This is the best reason for finding a LBS (local bike shop) that works on ebikes and starting a relationship with them by buying extra tubes, patch kits, tire tube sealant, tire levers, chain lube (and please use a wax based lubricant often, not oil that collects grit and wears the chain and cogs getting everything filthy) for services and owner assisted repairs so you can learn about your bike.  You can probably find local shops online. 

1B12C797-0A52-4B68-84C5-5C919C27CFC4.jpeg.0fc4022e6b64f07503db62fdfe7233d6.jpeg

                   REDDY

 

 

Do you have a manufacturer's web site for buying the wax based lube?  I ride a few miles to work everyday, all weather conditions on pavement, so what is a good indication of when to lube the chain?

  It is imperative for me to get as many miles/years as possible out of my 2020 XS, thus  preventive maintenance is mandatory.

'BTW Is it (KMC) chain?'

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How right you are Gunga Din. KMC
Just as a point of reference, my Sondors 2015 Original (one of the first ordered and shipped Sondors eBikes) has over 14,000 miles on it. It has required some maintenance, but it’s has been unbelievably reliable.  I wouldn’t wish my maniacal chain care procedures on anybody but you can find "White Lightning Clean Ride" at any bike shop, big box store or any online bikes retailer, that is part of my maintenance plan . Use it often, every 50 miles or once or twice a week. My ride partner since the 80’s, Bike Shop Ben, doesn’t think riding less than 50 miles is worth while. He owned a very successful local bike shop for over 35 years and only rode once or twice a week because he was open 7 days. 
I’m a cyclist and between my two bikes (were originally labeled Sondors), now called the "Electric Black Lightning"  &  the "Electric White Lightning". I’m closing in on 20,000 miles, between the two, rapidly.   https://www.amazon.com/White-Lightning-Original-Self-Cleaning-Lubricant/dp/B0876SZ5S7
Here is my chain maintenance routine and my chains (cassettes & chainrings) stay clean and last 5 times longer than those using petroleum based oil chain lubes that collect contaminates. (Don’t believe me, go rub you index finger & thumb along just a few links of your chain then rub those fingers together. That crap is grinding your chain, cassettes & chainrings into scrap).  The Clean Ride I recommend, excretes those same contaminates when you use it regularly.  I only use nickel plated Chains so you can see the crap that accumulates. 
‘I’d like to re-hot wax my chains more regularly than I do but here’s the plan. Every two weeks or every couple of hundred miles, I remove my chain and place it in a quart jar 1/3 filled with gasoline and shake, rattle and roll that bottle for a few minutes. Remove and air dry to let all the aromatics evaporate which leaves petroleum distillates (oil residue) that next needs to be cleaned completely out of the chain links, pins and bearings surfaces, so the combination of Hot Paraffin Wax & PTFE,  can coat every nook and cranny of the chain by immersing the chain in a second jar of rubbing alcohol and agitating for several minutes to remove the oily stuff. I bought a couple of small crock pots at Good Will for a few dollars each, where I melt my wax concoction, until it’s liquid and immerse the chain after a second, wipe down and air dry. I leave it in the hot wax for 30 minutes moving it around a little to insure it’s getting into the pins and inner surfaces.  I fish it out with a old spoke with the end bent in a hook and hang it outside on my ebike work stand to cool enough to wipe down the "outside of the links" with an old but clean gym sock, [(reference only Zappa fans will relate too) formerly owned by Carl Zappa and still damp] that’s developed a hole or two (I’ll never run out of these and one of the joys in my life is a new package of Haines Socks). Not to tromp on an old coffee commercial but “The Best Part Of Waking Up”, AIN’T FOLGERS IN YOUR CUP, but it’s putting on new socks.) I buy my coffee beans from: https://redbirdcoffee.com and I pity those who brew pre-ground Coffee.  
Every few days, I supplement my hot wax (call it a Brazilian if you like) with White Lightning Clean Ride. 
I buy KMC 8.99 nickel plated chains https://tinyurl.com/REDDYS-Chains , the plating is super hard and they stay bright with waxing and you could hand-cuff your momma with your used chains and call them jewelry! But I digress. 
See the youtube video https://youtu.be/HHr9znwpwmQ

F15BF769-FA64-43B6-81C9-18B3AD910CC7.jpeg.ec9298ae1f3166d07fe618901feadeab.jpeg

           REDDY


 

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19 hours ago, Reddy Kilowatt said:

How right you are Gunga Din. KMC
Just as a point of reference, my Sondors 2015 Original (one of the first ordered and shipped Sondors eBikes) has over 14,000 miles on it. It has required some maintenance, but it’s has been unbelievably reliable.  I wouldn’t wish my maniacal chain care procedures on anybody but you can find "White Lightning Clean Ride" at any bike shop, big box store or any online bikes retailer, that is part of my maintenance plan . Use it often, every 50 miles or once or twice a week. My ride partner since the 80’s, Bike Shop Ben, doesn’t think riding less than 50 miles is worth while. He owned a very successful local bike shop for over 35 years and only rode once or twice a week because he was open 7 days. 
I’m a cyclist and between my two bikes (were originally labeled Sondors), now called the "Electric Black Lightning"  &  the "Electric White Lightning". I’m closing in on 20,000 miles, between the two, rapidly.   https://www.amazon.com/White-Lightning-Original-Self-Cleaning-Lubricant/dp/B0876SZ5S7
Here is my chain maintenance routine and my chains (cassettes & chainrings) stay clean and last 5 times longer that those using petroleum based oil chain lubes that collect contaminates. (Don’t believe me, go rub you index finger & thumb Along just a few links of your chain then rub those fingers together. That crap is grinding your chain, cassettes & chainrings into scrap).  The Clean Ride I recommend, excretes those same contaminates when you use it regularly.  I only use nickel plated Chains so you can see the crap that accumulates. 
‘I’d like to re-hot wax my chains more regularly than I do but here’s the plan. Every two weeks or every couple of hundred miles, I remove my chain and place it in a quart jar 1/3 filled with gasoline and shake, rattle and roll that bottle for a few minutes. Remove and air dry to let all the aromatics evaporate which leaves petroleum distillates (oil residue) that next needs to be cleaned completely out of the chain links, pins and bearings surfaces, so the combination of Hot Paraffin Wax & PTFE,  can coat every nook and cranny of the chain by immersing the chain in a second jar or rubbing alcohol and agitating for several minutes to remove the oily stuff. I bought a couple of small crock pots at Good Will for a few dollars each, where I melt my wax concoction, until it’s liquid and immerse the chain after a second, wipe down and air dry. I leave it in the hot wax for 30 minutes moving it around a little to insure it’s getting into the pins and inner surfaces.  I fish it out with a old spoke with the end bent in a hook and hang it outside on my ebike work stand to cool enough to wipe down the "outside of the links" with an old but clean gym sock, [(reference only Zappa fans will relate too) formerly owned by Carl Zappa and still damp] that’s developed a hole or two (I’ll never run out of these and one of the joys in my life is a new package of Haines Socks). Not to tromp on an old coffee commercial but “The Best Part Of Waking Up”, AIN’T FOLGERS IN YOUR CUP, but it’s putting on new socks.) I buy my coffee beans from: https://redbirdcoffee.com and I pity those who brew pre-ground Coffee.  
Every few days, I supplement my hot wax (call it a Brazilian if you like) with White Lightning Clean Ride. 
I buy KMC 8.99 nickel plated chains https://tinyurl.com/REDDYS-Chains , the plating is super hard and they stay bright with waxing and you could hand-cuff your momma with your used chains and call them jewelry! But I digress. 
See the youtube video https://youtu.be/HHr9znwpwmQ

F15BF769-FA64-43B6-81C9-18B3AD910CC7.jpeg.ec9298ae1f3166d07fe618901feadeab.jpeg

           REDDY


 

Ha Ha! Great post!  For they're hangin' Danny Deever, you can hear the Dead March play,

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Hi Reddy! Thanks for the reply

Looking at your recommendations, I realize I should have had some photos ready for any problems that occurred. Before I do anything rash, I want to make sure that I am sure that my tire is in the right place and the right washers are installed. In these photos, are the washers in the right place? If not, in what order would I put them in?

IMG_E4198.JPG

IMG_E4197.JPG

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I can’t tell if the engagement lugs on that thick washer are engaging the slots in the dropouts in your pictures.
Did you now switch that lugged washer from the outside location on the dropout sliding on the motor axel, to the inside?  You need to answer this question?
That washer locks the motor axel in a fixed location (acting as a torque arm) keepIng the axel from turning, so just the motor case and thus the cassette / freewheel turn when the motor is powered.

I’m hoping this is evident, but when sliding the rear wheel back into the dropouts, the Slot In the Hollow Motor Axel, where the motor cable exits needs to face forward so it has the correct orientation to continue to the bikes controller.  
F041D007-0236-48C6-9F4A-4C6484D1B7C2.jpeg.00e012adf5e04768a1ab0db40e872129.jpeg
                      REDDY


 

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HI Reddy! Apologize for the extended delays between posts. 

Frankly, I'm afraid I need some clarification.
The link showing the Sondor's parts and how they are installed showed no insight, as the model is vastly different compared to the one I own, and showed no insight of how the washers should be put in order.  To ensure that I understand completely before I mess something else up, please give me guidance on which washers should be on which side of  the dropout socket.

 IMG_E4241.thumb.JPG.4e509408d9bd84423056fb6fce5340a0.JPG

I understand that #3 (the lugged washer) should be on the inside. But should any other washers be placed on the inside? 

 

Another issue (they seem to never stop!): when I removed the axel from the dropout socket to place the washers onto the axel, it suddenly became impossible to slide them back into the dropout. The derailer prevents it from sliding in, the slight metal edge making the entrance too tight for the axel. So it ends up being suspended above the sockets, jammed on the derailer. 

IMG_4240.thumb.JPG.03cb260d4c4eae7abba4b91e3079eb4e.JPGIMG_4239.thumb.JPG.7144cc6c8f55e9f8932aa70b642426df.JPG

 

Please help me with this, I can't seem to find a solution no matter where I look

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No Apology required, for any delay, it gives me time to recuperate from writers’ cramp. 

I didn’t say anything about turning the bike right side up.

Reassemble the 3 washers in the reverse order that you removed them.  And for future removal of the rear wheel, loosen the axel nuts but don’t remove the disc brake side, of course the cassette side is captive but don’t totally loosen that nut either. Move the nuts to the threaded end of the axel but leave them on the axel/ 

The smallest washer slides on the axel first (you have that labeled 2), next # 3, lug pointing outward. See the markings on the surface of #1, that matches the same pattern on the axel nut so place it on last and I’d place the same side outward so it’s contacts the matching surface on the axel nut. You should assemble all those, including the opposite side axel nut, on the axel before replacing the wheel in the bike frame. The slot in the axel where the motor cable exits needs to face the forward. The Axel has Flats that allow the wheel to slide in the "SLOT " (a narrow, elongated depression, groove, notch, slit, or aperture, especially a narrow opening for receiving or admitting something). If you don’t have it and the motor cable in it’s exiting slot, in the axel and the axel flats correctly orientated, the axel will not slide into the Dropout Slot, in the frame.  While trying to manipulate the whole wheel, getting the brake disc into the caliper’s slot, you’ll also need to turn the wheel or motor itself, on the gear side, and thus the axel flat, into the correct orientation so the axel flat (faces rearward to pass buy the derailleur hanger) and the thick washer lug on both slide into the frame’s Dropout Slot also in the correct orientation. You’ll have to determine for yourself if the lugs on both thick washers need to be orientated to the front or rear of the slot on either side of the bike (I’m not there to make sure which might hinder installing, in their respective slots but both facing in a like matter. I like to face them to the front (capative end of the slot, not the open end) if possible, because they are more secure and resist twisting from motor torque and spreading the distance between the inner surfaces of the slot, that could occur on the open end of the slot that could over time allow the axel to turn in the dropout. That would be very very BAD!

Dont forget that you have to place the chain on the cassette before trying to mount the rear wheel in the dropouts. Remove the chain from the chainring to make it easier. 
 

And what are you using the alien wrench that on the floor in the picture for?
 

‘Using both Google Map and the Yelp App ,do a search for eBike shops. 
F15BF769-FA64-43B6-81C9-18B3AD910CC7.jpeg.ec9298ae1f3166d07fe618901feadeab.jpeg
            REDDY

 

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Hi Reddy!

I attached all the lugs like you said and they fit like a charm! After a bit of persuading, the axel went right into the socket. Tightened the bolts and the bike now looks like its in one piece again. However, now comes was perhaps my first issue.  

The tire itself has some serious friction to it. Moving it with my bare hand only shifts is a couple inches around, and pedaling now takes an insurmountable effort. The motor works, thank God, but it requires the full 400 someodd volts to push the tire. I wonder if it has to do something with the brakes,  or because how long this process has been, its oil has run out. But I won't do anything until a proper diagnosis can be prescribed. the solution is almost tangible!

I searched for E-bike shops across the tri-state area. The closest is in New York City, about a two hour drive away from my location- not ideal when the vehicle I use has its rear wheel jammed by some kind of mystery force. I met up with the local bike shops, but they refuse to take any e-bikes or bikes over $1000, which may be absurd. 

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Follow my last recommendation and find a bike shop and follow Sondors.com recommendations ; 

ASSEMBLY

Now that you have your new SONDORS , If you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the assembly process, please take your SONDORS to a reputable bicycle professional for assistance. 
 

REDDY

 

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This will be my last post,

The problem has been solved. I recalibrated the caliper and managed to "unstick" the wheel. It turns out the brakes were rubbing against the tire, so loosening the brakes then readjusting them proved to be the solution. Did a test run, bike works and the brakes work. Engine is functional and battery operational. Thank you for helping me these past few days. Your guidance was much needed and greatly appreciated!

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