Modified XP Lite

Shark413

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Joined
Apr 11, 2021
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I purchased a XP Lite for my wife and did some modifications. I originally bought her an XP 2.0 but she is tiny and did not like the size, weight, and complexity (shifting) of the 2.0 so I got her the Lite. Things I changed: Went with the BMX bars and did a way with the giraffe folding stem. I do not ever fold my bike so I went with a stronger stem/bar setup, plus I think the BMX bars look way better. With the smaller tires and stock non-suspension forks you really take a pounding so I added 50mm travel spring/oil suspension forks. I changed to cable pull hydraulic brakes mainly because they are self-adjusting. I had some Xtech’s laying around from the XP 2.0 and they fit perfectly. Last because of the lack of rear suspension I went with a Cloud 9 suspension seat. Overall, I am very pleased with the bike and had no issues installing the parts. My next upgrade will be changing the stock gearing, as we live in a very hilly neighborhood and could use a little more torque,

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Another thing I noticed during the mods was when I had the front wheel off I spun the axle by hand and noticed it was super gritty and didn't turn smoothly. This usually indicates either a worn bearing (which is not the case because the bike is brand new) or the races are over tigthened causing the binding. I readjusted the tension on the axle races so that the axle turned smoothly with no play. I also noticed the rear wheel suffered from the same problem (I guess the factory over tightens everything and hopes they wear in) and the pedals also have a lot of binding. All of this adds friction and drag on the motor/pedaling effort, reducing over performance.
 
Here is a picture of the stock crankset (52T) vs the new one (42T) I will be installing. Once I get everything back together I will report on how it feels regarding take off torque (pedaling), hill climbing and top speed (pedaling and PA).

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Will you take some links out of the chain then, since there’s no derailleur to take up the slack?
 
Will you take some links out of the chain then, since there’s no derailleur to take up the slack?
Yes I bought a new chain and shortened it to fit the new chainring. I kept the stock chain just in case I return to the stock chainring. Both chaines now use master links.
 
interested in how the chainring swap works out. Keep us posted please.
Papa, good question, I did a quick test a few days ago using the new gearing. I personally really like the lower gearing. The main reason was that this bike is mostly for my wife who is tiny and a novice cyclist. So, with the stock high gearing she had a hard time getting the bike going w/o PA and with PA she would be struggling to pedal then the PA would kick in and she found it abrupt and disconcerting. So, the lower gearing really helps her out with a smoother start. Some have mentioned that they use throttle only to get going and I agree this is a good alternative. But the lower gearing does make hill climbing a lot easier. During my initial testing, in PA level 5 using a normal pedaling cadence I hit 15-16 mph. If I peddled as fast as possible, I could hit 18-19 mph. So, the lower gearing does impact top speed but this reduced top speed actually works out better for my newbie wife. In PA level 1 using a normal cadence I hit 12 mph. I was so pleased with the results I am considering testing a three ring chainring I have from one of my mountain bikes and testing even lower gearing (24 and 34 teeth). Also, with the three-ring chain set using different length chains I can theoretically manually change my gearing to suit the situation. My only concern is chain line alignment, but if a chain works on a 21-speed drive system where the chain line varies a lot more, I don't see why it would work on a 3-ring chain set.
 
I also added the folding lock on the downtube and it was a royal pain to install because of the tight clearence for attaching the mounting bolts.
 
Ok been riding the Lite the last few days and I am very happy with it and the new lower gearing. But I felt it wasn't low enough so I decided to add a 3 ring crank I had laying around. I originally was going to make 3 different length chains for each sprocket but thanks to Sic Puppy on the EBR forum I went with a derailleur to act as a chain tensioner. The derailleur is stationary but I can manually move the chain to the 3 different front sprockets (42, 34, 24 teeth). Still a WIP but I went for a test ride using the 34T ring and it was awesome. Way more torque, easy to get going and I could still hit 19 mph using throttle. Using PAS 5 with normal pedal cadence I hit 10-12 mph using the 34T ring, perfect for my wife.


I did run into a few issues, which I will describe below:

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Triple chain ring installed up front.
 
Most high-end derailleurs use a frame specific mount which the XP Lite does not have, fortunately thanks to Sic Puppy he turned me on to budget bikes that use an axle hanger mount. After loosening the axle bolt to check to see if there was enough room, I fitted the derailleur and ran into my first issue was the Lectric cable guard hit the top of the derailleur. But I found if I turned it 180 degrees it cleared the derailleur and still provided protection.

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Need a derailleur that has a drop out mount.

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Cable guard hits the derailleur.
 
Then I ran into problem number 2, the derailleur locating bolt (the bolt that keeps the derailleur from spinning around the axle) got in the way of the cable guard. I had to grind a notch in the guard to clear it.

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Ground a notch in the guard.

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A little black paint and as good as new.
 
Got everything installed and went for a test ride. I initially used the limiting screws on the derailleur to adjust chain line alignment using the middle ring (34T) and got the chain alignment spot on. I added a short cable so I could use the barrel adjuster for more tuning. In the next few days Ill test the outer (42T) and inner (24T) sprockets to see how they work.

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