LightningRods mid drive kit

Discussions related to motors other than hub motors.
This includes R/C motors, botttom bracket, roller and geared drives.
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LightningRods   10 MW

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by LightningRods » Jul 31 2020 9:55am

I used to have YouTube videos showing how to put these disassembled “kits” together. I took them down about five years ago when I started shipping the drives fully assembled. People were seeing the videos and then getting the incorrect impression that I was still shipping disassembled. I checked my YouTube account for you hoping that the videos were in an inactive folder. They’re gone.
Start by mounting the upper bracket with jackshaft. There are two M8 bolts on the right, output shaft side of the motor. The left, non output side mounts with the M5 motor case bolts. This will put the upper frame hanger to the back of the upper bracket and the big bracing plate to the front, viewed from the motor output side.
One you have the upper Jackshaft bracket installed Install the lower bottom bracket using the next three M5 motor case bolts counterclockwise. Looking at photos of assembled drives should make this pretty obvious.
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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by LightningRods » Jul 31 2020 10:22am

Here is my Lightning Rods Facebook page. You’ll have to go back a few years, but there are lots of photos of these legacy drives. https://www.facebook.com/Lightning-Rod ... 531978401/
“I have not failed 700 times. I have discovered 700 ways not to make a light bulb.”
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Lightning Rods Web Site http://www.lightningrodev.com
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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by fatty » Jan 09 2021 5:22am

For anyone interested in or already using these drives, I posted a gearing calculator which includes both the LR BB belt and chain drives here.

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by DogDipstick » Jan 20 2021 8:58am

LightningRods wrote:
Jul 31 2020 10:22am
Here is my Lightning Rods Facebook page. You’ll have to go back a few years, but there are lots of photos of these legacy drives. https://www.facebook.com/Lightning-Rod ... 531978401/
Is it possible to get a Bottom Bracket mount cradle in 74mm ( instead of the 68mm, that came with the drive, I bought ) for one of your older Two stage big blocks? I have a bike with a ISCG mount in 74mm... and obviously the mount I have does not fit.

I will cut the ISCG mount off if have to, and that will get me to the dimension I need ( 6mm less) but would rather not. Looks as to have been designed, for many size(d) bike(s), with the proper adapter.
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84v of Ironhorse XC.. :) :bolt: by Chevy :bolt: :D You call .. that.. a "glitch:" ? :twisted: (...No Mom. The formula is Kaw > 1(Hr) = Impounded. The math checks out. I'll be fine. ).. :? Broke20Horsies! 17,830w !! :x 1 (pound / second) Hp = 338.24 M^2 Kg^2 / Sec^4 ( :twisted: 1200v? :twisted: ) :| isn't 13" x 27".. Oh nvrmnd :roll: 4+25% = 5 ; 5-20% = 4... 5(1-20%) = 4.. so, to correct the incorrect reading, of 4 ... 4(1+25%) = 5 :confused: Fabricator @BSECo.

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by LightningRods » Dec 19 2021 1:07pm

A lot has changed since this thread was started in 2014. Back then I was building two stage reduction drives and 3000 watts was a lot of power. Even at 3000 watts I found that a lot of reduction with high gearing would bend steel mounts and destroy drive lines. I noticed that the more reduction gearing I used on the motor to get the pedalling cadence down, and the higher the final gearing I used to get rpm back up at the wheel, the more destruction I saw. Aluminum hubs smeared like warm butter. When I reduced motor reduction for more chainwheel rpm and lowered the final gearing, the destruction stopped. It became obvious. High torque multiplication meeting high overdrive gearing equalled stress. The irresistible force meeting the immovable object.
I simplified my drives into a single stage of 6.25:1 reduction. Then I had a second stage of 1.5:1 for 9.37:1 overall. I could immediately feel how little stress was in the drive and in the entire bike. This meant that I could increase power. Luckily, around this same time the new sine wave controllers were coming out and power levels were soaring. 6000 watts, 8000 watts, 10,000! How much power could the Big Block make? A lot it turns out. Over 11,000 watts at 84V. Additionally, field weakening increased no load rpm of my new IPM motors to as much as 12,000 rpm from 20S. This allows brutal acceleration and a top speed of 60 mph or more. In one gear. Everything had gotten simpler, stronger, more durable and way more powerful.

Niels Baardseth in Norway had a very pretty ELEEK Lite Fat frame that he wanted to build into a high powered but relatively light weight package. He also wanted a belt reduction for quiet operation. I created a new big block drive with a built in pivot tensioner for the belt. Niels planned to use a Nucular 12F sine wave controller. Compact, but putting out a solid 250 phase amps. The bike not only does nearly 60 mph, it pulls like a freight train and doesn’t even notice most hills. There is so much power everywhere that there is no need for multiple gears.
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Last edited by LightningRods on Dec 21 2021 12:23pm, edited 1 time in total.
“I have not failed 700 times. I have discovered 700 ways not to make a light bulb.”
-Thomas Edison

Lightning Rods Web Site http://www.lightningrodev.com
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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by LightningRods » Dec 19 2021 5:28pm

Many high power ebikers don’t bother with pedaling. The pedals are just there for legal compliance and for emergency pedaling to avoid the Walk of Shame if the battery dies. Other people like to pedal, whether to extend range, get exercise, or both. Matt Shumaker (recumbence) was one of the masters of Left Hand Drive (LHD). The big advantage to LHD for the motor is that the bicycle driveline on the right is left to do exclusively what it was designed to do- transmit human power. The left side can be set up to handle the torque and rpm of electric motors. I designed a LHD drive that uses a bearing on the BB axle to create the first of a two stage drive. Once I came up with a way to mount a sprocket next to the brake rotor I was in business.

This customer wanted a LHD to fit the Mongoose Dolemite. Not the most high end fat bike, but he was building three identical bikes so it still ended up being an investment. The bikes actually rode great and are a lot of fun. A year later all three are still running strong and have had zero issues. The bottom bracket on the Mongoose is total garbage but fortunately I replaced them with nice ISIS spline BBs as part of the kit installation. The stock seats are also torture devices and were replaced immediately.
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The first stage of reduction on these bikes is 219 kart chain. The second stage is 415H scooter chain. Way stronger than any bicycle chain.The chainwheel on this side rides on sealed roller bearings and spins completely independently of the BB.
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This chainwheel was designed to fit on a five bolt freewheel. Since there is already a freehub on the rear wheel I machined a solid thread-on hub to connect the chainwheel to the threaded crank arm. You could also use an ISIS spline spider.
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A view of the LHD. Because of the proximity of the chain to the brake rotor I used chain wax to lube the chain. Little to no cast off and wax is also good for not collecting sand. Since these bikes live on the Oregon Coast that works out well.
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Right side chain and rear gears are box stock and work just as they did from the factory.
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Last edited by LightningRods on Dec 21 2021 12:38pm, edited 1 time in total.
“I have not failed 700 times. I have discovered 700 ways not to make a light bulb.”
-Thomas Edison

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Lightning Rods Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lightnin ... 4531978401

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by calab » Dec 20 2021 7:14am

What is the net benefit for a left hand drive mid mounted motor that has fixed gearing to suit your needs for the reduction you've done versus a high powered direct drive hub or the highest powered geared motor both in a kv and wheel size to suit ones needs. The leafbike with ff 2.5kw cont or any of the wider hub options 3kw+ cont. Go with the MAC geared hub that maxes out at 1.5-2kw cont. if you dont want the drag while pedaling unpowered. Going 5kw+ needs wider dropouts fat bikes can accomodate. I doubt theres any weight savings to be had with fixed gear lh drive mid motor. Maybe your 11kw LR motor was the ticket for weight savings. I do not know what motor you used on that, doesnt look like the LR motors I was used to seeing, it looks to be a very wide diameter motor so its likely a 2000w motor of some kind a cyclone or qs variant?

Not to dismiss your awesome build, its very clean and pleasing to the eye, but it just seems like a lot of extra work that your customer paid for utilizing your awesome skills. Using the gears of the drive train has its wear and tear but it can climb like nothing else if you dont shift under power and if that suits the riders requirement. A high powered hub solves most issues, but choose the right tool for the job. There is a lot of visuals coming from the crank area of your fat bike build, but you kept it very clean looking.

Keep innovating LR, are you still selling the Big Block mid drive's?

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LightningRods   10 MW

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by LightningRods » Dec 20 2021 12:01pm

I built these bikes in this way because that’s what interests me. I enjoy the engineering and design challenges involved. Hub motors have their place, and a fat tired, hard tail beach cruiser is certainly one of them. These bikes would have also been nice done that way. Hub motors simply don’t interest me. This customer came to me because he wanted what I do and this is what I do. That’s the shortest and most honest answer. With the amount of power available and the way that these bikes are used the owners would never shift gears if they had them. There is simply no need for it. If they wanted to climb very steep, slow trails or go over 40 mph that would be different. I had a great time designing and building these bikes and the owners love them.

I stopped building the two stage small block because it was too expensive for me to build and compete with all of the cheap Chinese mid drives, including a direct rip off that GNG/CYC made. I stopped building the two stage big block because once the power got up to around 3000 watts it destroyed sprockets, chains, even frames. As I wrote in a recent post, lots of reduction x lots of watts of motor power equals driveline destruction.
“I have not failed 700 times. I have discovered 700 ways not to make a light bulb.”
-Thomas Edison

Lightning Rods Web Site http://www.lightningrodev.com
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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by spinningmagnets » Dec 20 2021 1:30pm

I do not know what motor you used on that, doesnt look like the LR motors I was used to seeing, it looks to be a very wide diameter motor so its likely a 2000w motor of some kind a cyclone or qs variant?
About a decade ago, pollution in many large Chinese cities got them to pass legislation restricting the millions of 2-stroke vehicles.

Over a dozen companies sprung up with kits to convert cargo trikes and mopeds to electric, and now all the big vehicle producers there have ground-up EV designs of all sizes. I said that to say this...many of these motors "look" the same, but they are not.

You mentioned the Leafbike hubmotor. It costs less than $10 USD to upgrade that popular size of hubmotor to using the thinner 0.35mm thick laminations, compared to the common 0.50mm lams.

The Leafbike phase wires have thicker copper, not just thicker insulation to "look" heavy duty. Maybe another $10 USD. Neodymium magnets have a wide range of quality, not evident to the eye. Better magnets can take more heat without suffering demagnetization.

Are the two shaft bearings German/Japanese? Or...lowest-bidder generic Chinese?

Quality Hall sensors can take abuse, and last decades. Most Chinese motors do not use authentic Honeywells.

You can't tell by looking at the outside, but...are the magnets surface-mount, or the more modern IPM-style that helps the magnets run cooler during peak amps?

Lightning Rods made the decision when they started to stand behind their product, so they use a motor supplier that makes motors to his spec, instead of saving a few dollars and then wrestling with unhappy customers and product returns.

I dont compare his motors to Cyclone motors, which may look similar. Cyclone has its place in the world, and a Google search will show Endless Sphere threads that discuss their autopsies and upgrades.

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by LightningRods » Dec 20 2021 2:00pm

Thanks Spinningmagnets. I wasn’t ignoring that question, I just forgot about it. Yeah, there are many quality levels of these motors. They all look similar on the outside but certainly not on the inside. One vendor I eliminated sold motors that were dirty, rusted, and had metallic debris stuck to the magnets. I would say that most of them have the same noisy hall signals that prevent the use of sine wave controllers.

Externally my Big Block is exactly the same size it was in 2014. Internally the rotor is different and the hall board is different. I’m on my fourth factory supplier of the base motor.
“I have not failed 700 times. I have discovered 700 ways not to make a light bulb.”
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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by DanGT86 » Dec 23 2021 8:50am

Is there any improvement in the hall issues with the new ipm motors.

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LightningRods   10 MW

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by LightningRods » Dec 23 2021 11:10am

The hall wires are now in a separate sheath from the phase wires. That was part of the problem on older motors. There is also a completely new hall board. They don’t interchange between the IPM motors and the old external magnet motors. The hall signal is now pristine. The IPMs have worked flawlessly with every controller they’ve been tested with.
“I have not failed 700 times. I have discovered 700 ways not to make a light bulb.”
-Thomas Edison

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by spinningmagnets » Dec 23 2021 1:30pm

Sounds like the inductance from the phase wires was really screwing with the hall sensor signals. I'm embarrassed to admit that this is new information to me, and I'm now thinking that this may explain a lot of the sporatic intermittent problems that a variety of controllers have had.

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by LightningRods » Dec 23 2021 2:00pm

The Cyclone 3000 motor is internally exactly the same as my old small block. It just has a different external case with a planetary gear set. All of these motors have very ‘dirty’ hall signals with lots of interference. Old school square wave controllers are less fussy and will tolerate a poor hall signal. The more sophisticated sine wave and VESC controllers need a clean signal. Otherwise they stutter and cut out under load and at high rpm. I successfully experimented with rotary encoders on the old motors. That became unnecessary once I found the IPM motors.
“I have not failed 700 times. I have discovered 700 ways not to make a light bulb.”
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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by SlowCo » Dec 23 2021 3:21pm

LightningRods wrote:
Dec 23 2021 11:10am
The IPMs have worked flawlessly with every controller they’ve been tested with.
Have you seen the new Flipsky VESC based controller yet? It could be great (small) match for your Small and Big Block motors.
viewtopic.php?f=30&t=113445

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by LightningRods » Dec 23 2021 4:02pm

I’ve heard about the Flipsky but haven’t checked it out yet. I have been looking at the Trampa VESC. I’m psyching myself up to pull the trigger on one of those. I have a love/hate relationship with controllers. I don’t enjoy wrangling with them but I love what a good one well set up does for performance.

I’ll take a look at the Flipsky. Thanks!
“I have not failed 700 times. I have discovered 700 ways not to make a light bulb.”
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DanGT86   100 kW

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by DanGT86 » Dec 23 2021 9:14pm

Don't want to derail this too far away from your specific products so I'll be brief. That's good news about your IPM motors and halls. I have an LMX motor similar to your old small block and experimented with different physical hall placement using a Nucular. I put the halls on the shaft outside of the motor with an external bracket mounted to the motor face and the problems mostly went away.

I bet it was the separate wiring away from the phases that was making the difference more so than the location outside the motor.

Either way, I'll probably be in the market for one of your motors pretty soon. I already have some time in designing mounting solutions for this motor case so its easier to stick with this form factor.

The Nucular controllers would make a perfect partner for the power levels and pedal assists you offer. Too bad they can't build them fast enough.

Thanks for continuing to innovate and contribute knowledge.

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by drdrs » Dec 23 2021 9:41pm

LightningRods wrote:
Dec 23 2021 11:10am
The hall wires are now in a separate sheath from the phase wires.
Is it possible to run the thermistor through the same sheath as the hall wires?
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=101184
5kW ASI 2000, Crystalyte, Vruzend 14s5p

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=104324
VESC, MG 310, Vruzend 12s3p

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=109860
VESC, Crystalyte, Custom Compression Battery 14s5p

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by LightningRods » Dec 23 2021 11:25pm

DanGT86-One of my regular customers picked up an LMX with a bad battery pack. He’s upgrading the battery and installing my XL IPM motor with a BAC4000 controller. He’ll have twice the torque plus twice the rpm. Should be pretty exciting
“I have not failed 700 times. I have discovered 700 ways not to make a light bulb.”
-Thomas Edison

Lightning Rods Web Site http://www.lightningrodev.com
Lightning Rods Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lightnin ... 4531978401

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by LightningRods » Dec 23 2021 11:27pm

drdrs wrote:
Dec 23 2021 9:41pm
Is it possible to run the thermistor through the same sheath as the hall wires?
Sure. They won’t interfere with each other. It’s just added shrink wrap
“I have not failed 700 times. I have discovered 700 ways not to make a light bulb.”
-Thomas Edison

Lightning Rods Web Site http://www.lightningrodev.com
Lightning Rods Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lightnin ... 4531978401

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by drdrs » Dec 24 2021 1:03am

LightningRods wrote:
Dec 23 2021 11:27pm
drdrs wrote:
Dec 23 2021 9:41pm
Is it possible to run the thermistor through the same sheath as the hall wires?
Sure. They won’t interfere with each other. It’s just added shrink wrap
Could that be done at the factory? Motors with integrated hall and thermistor cables are very convenient.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=101184
5kW ASI 2000, Crystalyte, Vruzend 14s5p

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=104324
VESC, MG 310, Vruzend 12s3p

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=109860
VESC, Crystalyte, Custom Compression Battery 14s5p

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by LightningRods » Dec 25 2021 7:24pm

Customer Pete Ellsworth asked that I convert his right hand drive Big Block to left hand drive. Doing this allows him to run 415H chain single speed on the left while retaining all of his pedaling gears on the right.
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“I have not failed 700 times. I have discovered 700 ways not to make a light bulb.”
-Thomas Edison

Lightning Rods Web Site http://www.lightningrodev.com
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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by SlowCo » Dec 25 2021 7:44pm

Beautiful conversion but why that much power potential on a non suspended bicycle?

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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by LightningRods » Dec 25 2021 8:27pm

This bike won’t see anything close to what the motor is capable of. It has enough power to be fun from 0-40 mph in one gear. The point of that is reliability and ease of operation. This motor has as much torque in high gear as the little mid drives have in low gear.
“I have not failed 700 times. I have discovered 700 ways not to make a light bulb.”
-Thomas Edison

Lightning Rods Web Site http://www.lightningrodev.com
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Re: LightningRods mid drive kit

Post by DanGT86 » Dec 25 2021 8:39pm

LightningRods wrote:
Dec 23 2021 11:25pm
DanGT86-One of my regular customers picked up an LMX with a bad battery pack. He’s upgrading the battery and installing my XL IPM motor with a BAC4000 controller. He’ll have twice the torque plus twice the rpm. Should be pretty exciting
I'm sure it will be quite the upgrade.

I'm a huge fan of single stage reductions. The 42kv of the LMX was the absolute reasonable limit of Kv for single stage. I think I am running 12:94 teeth on 20s lipo. That was one of the largest decision factors for me personally when deciding between your motors and the LMX motor.

With the multi stage reductions of your drives these motors are all insane compared to something like a BBSHD.

Better have some good chain or give up on pedal cadence to really use one of these LR kits to its max capability.

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