New Fat Tire BBSHD Build From Scratch! Need HELP Selecting Components!

Cyb0rg d3ck3r

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I'll absolutely be doing a full build thread with tons of pictures here soon. But I'm not 100% sure about some parts, and I was hoping some more experienced riders might steer me in the right direction. Thanks in advance!

Kinda Light vs Kinda Heavy? I don't want to go 40mph, but do I want range and nimbleness? Or heavy duty with more float?

Priorities: I'm building a commuter that will spend most of its time on gravel or pavement, with the occasional singletrack/cornfield in mind. Deep snow maybe once or twice a year if I'm ahead of the plow trucks somehow, but not a backcountry trailblazer per se, nor a downhill bomber. I don't want to buy a bunch of parts and then upgrade them, and no current models really check all my boxes, so I'm starting from frame. I have a lifetime of experience on rigid MTBs and I love them, and fat tires alone are such an improvement in ride, I don't want suspension (if I find out I was wrong about that I can maybe add a suspension seat post, MAYBE suspension stem, most likely neither).

Motor/Battery: 100% going with a BBSHD, probably with a half-grip throttle and a 500c or Eggrider display, and Ludicrous controller. For battery, I will probably either try to cram in the biggest one possible, or keep 2 small ones. Probably Luna.

Rigid Frameset: Probably going with a BikesDirect level frame for cost. I was looking at a Gravity Bullseye Monster frameset, or a Motobecane Boris frameset, both $200 on Amazon (pictured). At 5'10" 170lbs, I can run either medium size (16-17") for handling or large size (18-19") for stability, both comfortably. However, the Boris has a modern geometry that might require a large's triangle for a battery. I have no idea which frame is lighter, but the Monster has hub spacing of 135mm/170mm (4" tires max, = lighter?) and the Boris has 150mm/190mm (5" tires max, = optionally heavier). I wish they were thru-axle rear, due to power level. ALMOST CONSIDERING a Surly Wednesday/Ice Cream Truck frameset for the steel construction and TA spacing, but it's another $600-800 so that's quite a choice. Any experience with either? SUPER OPEN to other suggestions too!

Wheelset: I consider "default" to be like an 80mm Mulefut with 4" Maxxis Minions. The "light" option, maybe Alex Blizzerk 70mm with 4" Kenda Juggernaut Pro? The "heavy" option might look like 100mm HED Big Aluminum Deal with 5" Snowshoes/Cake Eaters or some such? Haven't decided between tubeless or ultralight tubes yet. Definitely interested in any notable options here!

Freehub/Cassette: I want inexpensive all-steel stuff to handle the BBSHD torque confidently. Might get a wheelset through Bikesmiths with the Novatec D101SB/D102SB hubs. Cassette somewhere in the 8-9-10 speed range.

Brakes/Rotors: Noticed everyone suggests nice big/strong hydraulic disc brakes, but I've also heard only hydraulics can fail at high (ebike) temps. I was unwilling to accept "Powerful Hydraulic Disc Brakes" from BikesDirect lol. Not sure how "nice" these need to be, but I DO like the low maintenance of mechanical discs, if they'd be enough with huge rotors, maybe 200mm front/180mm rear, maybe Ice Tech? Wildly open to suggestions here, but will probably go with bb7 and metallic pads unless/until I NEED hydraulic.

Chainring/Crank Arms: We'll see. I want to see how the stock Bafang stuff lines up before I choose a Lekkie or Luna ring. I like the idea of longer crank arms but I'm concerned about pedal strike so who knows. Any input appreciated!

Derailleur/Shifter: We'll see. Not too picky here, I'll go with something serviceable. Suggestions welcome.

Stem/Handlebar/Seatpost/Saddle/Pedals: I'll basically pick this stuff up last, when the rest of the bike is pretty much done. Not sure how I want to set up a cockpit until I can see my frame size choice in real life.

Thanks for reading, I GREATLY appreciate any advice/experience/input! Once these decisions are made, I'll be starting. This will be posted on a couple different forums, feel free to chime in wherever! I can't wait to get this daily driver started!
 
I wrote some articles pretty much tailor-made to your situation. The How To Build From Scratch article uses a BBSHD mtb build and goes into detail on precisely what you need to measure, how to correct issues and so on.


Secondarily, this one goes into detail on drivetrain choices and how to not use stuff that will not be suited to a mid:


And how to keep from screwing it up once you build it up with the right parts (a couple simple rules that trip people up frequently)


Mid drives can be 100% reliable with no parts wearing out too soon but building them to be that dependable ups the ante on builder competence, and thats where the horror stories come from.

I can expand on stuff you have questions about but give this all a read as I put it together to be a complete reference that covers everything I could think of.
 
Also, to get into some specifics that you asked about that jump out at me:
View attachment 13524View attachment 13525
I'll absolutely be doing a full build thread with tons of pictures here soon. But I'm not 100% sure about some parts, and I was hoping some more experienced riders might steer me in the right direction. Thanks in advance!

Kinda Light vs Kinda Heavy? I don't want to go 40mph, but do I want range and nimbleness? Or heavy duty with more float?
Heavy duty is going to be better. I commuted on different fat bikes for years and basically what you want to do is what I did minus the snow on the road. I would pick the frame on the left but that one is not as fat-friendly as the one on the right. Be advised after many years I have stopped doing fat bikes. Mid/plus sizes are almost as good and you don't have to suffer thru the more limited flatproofing options of truly fat tires. But if you really want overland capability there is no substitute for fat. Refer to the Frame Choice stuff in that article and take to heart the parts about taking your time and looking for just the right frame.
Motor/Battery: 100% going with a BBSHD, probably with a half-grip throttle and a 500c or Eggrider display, and Ludicrous controller.
How do you plan on getting a Ludicrous controller? Luna does not sell them except to special customers, or to people who buy complete bikes. Thats it.

Half-grip throttles are usually preferred by motorcycle riders but they are quite a bit less safe. A live ebike looks just like a shut down one, and if you grab the throttle while the bike is stationary the results can be Youtube-worthy.

Stay far away from the Eggrider would be my free advice. It is totally invisible in bright sunlight, and it has never cured its bugginess. As it matures new bugs replace the old ones it seems. A good ultra-small display is the DZ40 which is dirt cheap and tells you almost nothing, but if you are a lifelong cyclist you have learned to ride without a data feed. I personally have gotten rid of all my big pretty displays. Yesterday I put a very small BN136 on my little red Apostate emtb and it seems to be a very good compromise.
For battery, I will probably either try to cram in the biggest one possible, or keep 2 small ones. Probably Luna.
Forget about Luna batteries. They are out of the standalone battery sales business. They were nice enough to sell me a standalone Wolf Pack in 2022 but only because I am a longtime customer and it was a special order that needed approval. Look instead to Bicycle Motor Works in Pennsylvania. And do one single biggest battery that you can fit. Two batteries open up a whole can of worms I'll stay out of for now.
Rigid Frameset: Probably going with a BikesDirect level frame for cost. I was looking at a Gravity Bullseye Monster frameset, or a Motobecane Boris frameset, both $200 on Amazon (pictured). At 5'10" 170lbs, I can run either medium size (16-17") for handling or large size (18-19") for stability, both comfortably. However, the Boris has a modern geometry that might require a large's triangle for a battery. I have no idea which frame is lighter, but the Monster has hub spacing of 135mm/170mm (4" tires max, = lighter?) and the Boris has 150mm/190mm (5" tires max, = optionally heavier). I wish they were thru-axle rear, due to power level. ALMOST CONSIDERING a Surly Wednesday/Ice Cream Truck frameset for the steel construction and TA spacing, but it's another $600-800 so that's quite a choice. Any experience with either? SUPER OPEN to other suggestions too!
I did a Motobecane Lurch that I bought for $200 on Ebay. Stripped it and had it powder-coated for $60. I would go on Ebay and bide my time for just the right frame. Thats the way to go.
PXL_20220814_002823626.jpg


Surly frames are wonderful but oftentimes they use goofball bottom bracket widths that throw a wrench into a BBSHD install.

Wheelset: I consider "default" to be like an 80mm Mulefut with 4" Maxxis Minions. The "light" option, maybe Alex Blizzerk 70mm with 4" Kenda Juggernaut Pro? The "heavy" option might look like 100mm HED Big Aluminum Deal with 5" Snowshoes/Cake Eaters or some such? Haven't decided between tubeless or ultralight tubes yet. Definitely interested in any notable options here!
Minion fatties have horrific rolling resistance. Your street rides would suck. You want something that is a smooth roller with knobs. Look at something like a Surly Edna. A much cheaper version is the Chaoyang Big Daddy which is sold in about 10 different brand labels but they all come from the same factory.
Freehub/Cassette: I want inexpensive all-steel stuff to handle the BBSHD torque confidently. Might get a wheelset through Bikesmiths with the Novatec D101SB/D102SB hubs. Cassette somewhere in the 8-9-10 speed range.
Read what I say in the How To Build stuff that doesn't break. You are on the right track though. Novatecs are ok but not great. What you want is ratchet engagement and that translates to the ideal hub being the DT 350 Classic with the steel cassette upgrade. Better still is the DT350 Hybrid that includes the steel upgrade, is heavier duty and has a heavier duty 24 pt ratchet.
Brakes/Rotors: Noticed everyone suggests nice big/strong hydraulic disc brakes, but I've also heard only hydraulics can fail at high (ebike) temps. I was unwilling to accept "Powerful Hydraulic Disc Brakes" from BikesDirect lol. Not sure how "nice" these need to be, but I DO like the low maintenance of mechanical discs, if they'd be enough with huge rotors, maybe 200mm front/180mm rear, maybe Ice Tech? Wildly open to suggestions here, but will probably go with bb7 and metallic pads unless/until I NEED hydraulic.
Hydros failing at high temps is nonsense. Mechanical brakes suck on emtbs and commuters. You have a big heavy bike traveling at speed that needs frequent haul-downs at stoplights, so you can expect to be retensioning stretched cables every few weeks. It used to be only cheap ebikes had cabled brakes but in the last year thanks to some lawsuits and horrific accidents even the low end companies are putting in hydros on their basic models. Lectric is even giving away free upgrades to existing owners. I personally have standardized on Magura MT5e's with Tektro Type 17 2.3mm downhill rotors. You can get a BBSHD wiring harness that uses the Magura red plugs for about $35 at California Ebike. Use the Magura size adapters and your brake alignment will bolt up perfectly every time. I use 203's front and rear regardless of manufacturer recommendations. Do not fall for expensive floating rotors. Just get the thick steel Tektros that only cost $30 and you will be golden.

Oh and I tried a set of BB7's on my Mongoose Envoy after the factory brakes proved to be junk. I re-learned a lesson I already knew which was stay away from half-measures. Thankfully the BB7's were leftovers on my parts shelf and I didn't have to pay for them again. MT5's went on and they were perfect and still are years later.
Chainring/Crank Arms: We'll see. I want to see how the stock Bafang stuff lines up before I choose a Lekkie or Luna ring. I like the idea of longer crank arms but I'm concerned about pedal strike so who knows. Any input appreciated!
Stock Bafang is junk. You almost have to have an offset non drive side. The how to build article shows how to do the measuring for that with pics. I have used Bafang, Minerva, Shimano and Lekkie. It seems I always end up gravitating to Lekkie but the Minervas I tried out recently with an offset worked very well (I replaced them trying to diagnose something that turned out to be a different problem).

Chainrings should end up being either Lekkie or Luna Eclipse. Do the Luna if it will fit but on a fat bike the 42T Eclipse will probably have too much offset and hit the stays.
Derailleur/Shifter: We'll see. Not too picky here, I'll go with something serviceable. Suggestions welcome.
The article lists the best of the best (value and function) in the present market. My vote would go to 10s Microshift Advent X with a hardened steel $45 Microshift 11-48T cluster. Can take positively brutal abuse. The Luna long tooth profile guards against any chain drops over and above just narrow-wide.
20231106_125114.jpg

Stem/Handlebar/Seatpost/Saddle/Pedals: I'll basically pick this stuff up last, when the rest of the bike is pretty much done. Not sure how I want to set up a cockpit until I can see my frame size choice in real life.
Good plan., I have a pile of stems and handlebars, and never get it right during planning on paper. I use the oldies first and actually ride before I buy something.
 
I'm gonna need a minute to absorb that, and to do some suggested reading. But I just want you to know that I really appreciate your time. Holy crap! Thanks!

Proper reply later. I'll be back.
 
I built mine with an Eggrider V2 for Bafang from Luna and it has been flawless. It is so nice to be able to change parameters on my phone while I’m out riding and save them instantly. I can’t see the lcd display that well due to needing readers, but it doesn’t matter. Just need to change PAS settings, Off-road/road mode and turn headlight on. Easy peasy.
 
I built mine with an Eggrider V2 for Bafang from Luna and it has been flawless. It is so nice to be able to change parameters on my phone while I’m out riding and save them instantly.
An app came out a few years ago (called 'Speeed' with three 'e's) so you can do parameter changes on any Android phone with any BBSHD. Link to it below. You'll need a programming cable and a USB-C adapter but otherwise thats it. I used to use a portable Luna Black Box but since the Speeed app came out I rely on my phone now.

Over the years, once I got a set of parameters that gave me a kinder/gentler drivetrain treatment, and good PAS performance, I stopped fooling with settings. I found a single setting will shift the power curve up and down without screwing up or changing anything else.

 
An app came out a few years ago (called 'Speeed' with three 'e's) so you can do parameter changes on any Android phone with any BBSHD. Link to it below. You'll need a programming cable and a USB-C adapter but otherwise thats it. I used to use a portable Luna Black Box but since the Speeed app came out I rely on my phone now.

Over the years, once I got a set of parameters that gave me a kinder/gentler drivetrain treatment, and good PAS performance, I stopped fooling with settings. I found a single setting will shift the power curve up and down without screwing up or changing anything else.

If you'd ever consider selling me your luna black box please msg me :)
 
Also, to get into some specifics that you asked about that jump out at me:

Heavy duty is going to be better. I commuted on different fat bikes for years and basically what you want to do is what I did minus the snow on the road. I would pick the frame on the left but that one is not as fat-friendly as the one on the right. Be advised after many years I have stopped doing fat bikes. Mid/plus sizes are almost as good and you don't have to suffer thru the more limited flatproofing options of truly fat tires. But if you really want overland capability there is no substitute for fat. Refer to the Frame Choice stuff in that article and take to heart the parts about taking your time and looking for just the right frame.

How do you plan on getting a Ludicrous controller? Luna does not sell them except to special customers, or to people who buy complete bikes. Thats it.

Half-grip throttles are usually preferred by motorcycle riders but they are quite a bit less safe. A live ebike looks just like a shut down one, and if you grab the throttle while the bike is stationary the results can be Youtube-worthy.

Stay far away from the Eggrider would be my free advice. It is totally invisible in bright sunlight, and it has never cured its bugginess. As it matures new bugs replace the old ones it seems. A good ultra-small display is the DZ40 which is dirt cheap and tells you almost nothing, but if you are a lifelong cyclist you have learned to ride without a data feed. I personally have gotten rid of all my big pretty displays. Yesterday I put a very small BN136 on my little red Apostate emtb and it seems to be a very good compromise.

Forget about Luna batteries. They are out of the standalone battery sales business. They were nice enough to sell me a standalone Wolf Pack in 2022 but only because I am a longtime customer and it was a special order that needed approval. Look instead to Bicycle Motor Works in Pennsylvania. And do one single biggest battery that you can fit. Two batteries open up a whole can of worms I'll stay out of for now.

I did a Motobecane Lurch that I bought for $200 on Ebay. Stripped it and had it powder-coated for $60. I would go on Ebay and bide my time for just the right frame. Thats the way to go.
View attachment 13531

Surly frames are wonderful but oftentimes they use goofball bottom bracket widths that throw a wrench into a BBSHD install.


Minion fatties have horrific rolling resistance. Your street rides would suck. You want something that is a smooth roller with knobs. Look at something like a Surly Edna. A much cheaper version is the Chaoyang Big Daddy which is sold in about 10 different brand labels but they all come from the same factory.

Read what I say in the How To Build stuff that doesn't break. You are on the right track though. Novatecs are ok but not great. What you want is ratchet engagement and that translates to the ideal hub being the DT 350 Classic with the steel cassette upgrade. Better still is the DT350 Hybrid that includes the steel upgrade, is heavier duty and has a heavier duty 24 pt ratchet.

Hydros failing at high temps is nonsense. Mechanical brakes suck on emtbs and commuters. You have a big heavy bike traveling at speed that needs frequent haul-downs at stoplights, so you can expect to be retensioning stretched cables every few weeks. It used to be only cheap ebikes had cabled brakes but in the last year thanks to some lawsuits and horrific accidents even the low end companies are putting in hydros on their basic models. Lectric is even giving away free upgrades to existing owners. I personally have standardized on Magura MT5e's with Tektro Type 17 2.3mm downhill rotors. You can get a BBSHD wiring harness that uses the Magura red plugs for about $35 at California Ebike. Use the Magura size adapters and your brake alignment will bolt up perfectly every time. I use 203's front and rear regardless of manufacturer recommendations. Do not fall for expensive floating rotors. Just get the thick steel Tektros that only cost $30 and you will be golden.

Oh and I tried a set of BB7's on my Mongoose Envoy after the factory brakes proved to be junk. I re-learned a lesson I already knew which was stay away from half-measures. Thankfully the BB7's were leftovers on my parts shelf and I didn't have to pay for them again. MT5's went on and they were perfect and still are years later.

Stock Bafang is junk. You almost have to have an offset non drive side. The how to build article shows how to do the measuring for that with pics. I have used Bafang, Minerva, Shimano and Lekkie. It seems I always end up gravitating to Lekkie but the Minervas I tried out recently with an offset worked very well (I replaced them trying to diagnose something that turned out to be a different problem).

Chainrings should end up being either Lekkie or Luna Eclipse. Do the Luna if it will fit but on a fat bike the 42T Eclipse will probably have too much offset and hit the stays.

The article lists the best of the best (value and function) in the present market. My vote would go to 10s Microshift Advent X with a hardened steel $45 Microshift 11-48T cluster. Can take positively brutal abuse. The Luna long tooth profile guards against any chain drops over and above just narrow-wide.
View attachment 13529

Good plan., I have a pile of stems and handlebars, and never get it right during planning on paper. I use the oldies first and actually ride before I buy something.
Okay. So. First and foremost, those articles are AMAZING! I really appreciate the time you took to make them, and I am enormously appreciative of the benefit of your experience. Wow.

Broke my heart with the Ludicrous controller news. I didn't realize that, I've seen them on some builds and thought they were simply available. Definitely want something that can access the power of the BBSHD under a nice 52v setup, but we'll see how that goes. That DZ40 looks pretty sweet though! Right up my alley.

I'll certainly check out that battery manufacturer. Also bummed about the Luna here lol. By second battery, I meant a switched reserve battery rather than a parallel setup. But still, perhaps bigger is simply better. More homework needed here.

What do you recommend as a throttle? Thumb? I like thumb shifters, hoping there's a compatibility possibility here.

I would love to find a Lurch frame! Or any suitable frame locally online. I'll keep my eyes open but not hopeful.

Interested in the DT350 hubs but I'm a bit lost on how to properly select them with rims to get them built. More homework needed here.

Still on the fence about brakes. The thought of installing those MT5s and getting everything working is scary. Bit of a learning curve. I don't intend to ride recklessly and cable tensioning is easy. But that IS a decent price. Considering this further.

That 10s Microshift Advent has been suggested elsewhere. Thinking this might be a solid bet.

Thanks again! Still a lot to ponder here. I'll be back.
 
Hydraulic brake aren't scary, you can set yourself up to bleed brakes for almost nothing. Watch a few youtubes on bleeding brakes. Getting the right brake mount for the size of discs you are running and what type of mount your frame and fork have is the only other thing, but not hard.
 
An app came out a few years ago (called 'Speeed' with three 'e's) so you can do parameter changes on any Android phone with any BBSHD. Link to it below. You'll need a programming cable and a USB-C adapter but otherwise thats it. I used to use a portable Luna Black Box but since the Speeed app came out I rely on my phone now.

Over the years, once I got a set of parameters that gave me a kinder/gentler drivetrain treatment, and good PAS performance, I stopped fooling with settings. I found a single setting will shift the power curve up and down without screwing up or changing anything else.

I’m aware of that method. But I’m not an android user. I have IOS devices.
But I’m going to further modify my bike. Going to a Grin Phaserunner controller with a CA3, and 72volt. I’ll guess I’ll see if the N171 CVP hub can handle that.
 
I'll certainly check out that battery manufacturer. Also bummed about the Luna here lol. By second battery, I meant a switched reserve battery rather than a parallel setup. But still, perhaps bigger is simply better. More homework needed here.
Much better to have a big pack that just does the job you want with no extra BS or brainpower involved. Part of my thing on that is I ride for utility not recreation, so I want to just jump on the bike and go, then come back and plug in. Maybe I'm going back out again in a bit on the same day, and the need for dependable convenience is greater than an occasional recreational ride.
What do you recommend as a throttle? Thumb? I like thumb shifters, hoping there's a compatibility possibility here.
Thumb throttle for sure. I also use thumb shifters.
I would love to find a Lurch frame! Or any suitable frame locally online. I'll keep my eyes open but not hopeful.
Expand your horizon to ebay. I got the Lurch and my Apostate on Ebay and the only thing you have to do is sit back and bide your time. I had a couple of standard search terms and I checked daily. You also need to strike while the iron is hot so someone else doesn't grab it. I hemmed and hawed over a brand new, unused alloy Specialized Demo, in bare aluminum finish Seller wanted $750 plus shipping. Someone else snapped it up while I waffled, and if you look around on the market a NOS Specialized Demo frame is worth at least (at LEAST) twice that.
Interested in the DT350 hubs but I'm a bit lost on how to properly select them with rims to get them built. More homework needed here.
Go to Wheelbuilder.com. I had them build my Apostate wheels when I could not get the hubs on the open market during that build. The 350 uses interchangeable end caps so the same core hub works with almost any dropout width and type you just change the end caps.
Still on the fence about brakes. The thought of installing those MT5s and getting everything working is scary. Bit of a learning curve. I don't intend to ride recklessly and cable tensioning is easy. But that IS a decent price. Considering this further.
There's no reason for it to be scary. Its easy and hydros are fire-and-forget: You adjust them when you install and never need to touch them again. The pads self-center. Removing the wheel: Pads will re-center after a couple of pulls. I am sure there are hydro brakes not as easy on maintenance, but Maguras require none.

And in case you missed it :D


and this one has video tutorials on cutting hoses and bleeding

 
Happen to have any opinions on a Torque-Sensing alternative that fits up to 120mm and compares favorably? I've had CYC Photon and ToSeven 1000w (only 100mm...) suggested elsewhere, and I'll admit torque sensing function seems cool. Still probably BBSHD regardless.
 
Given the extreme level of adjustment you have with a BBSHD's settings, getting one to behave like you are riding a real bicycle is simple IF and only if you just take someone else's secret sauce to start with. That article I linked above does that for me.

The Cyc Photon has maintenance issues. Hang out and lurk on the Cyc user group on Facebook and you will see what I mean after a couple of weeks of just observing. And you will see this amplified elsewhere. Look to the High Voltage Kits videos on Cyc reliability for an easy in depth lesson.

My Cyc X1 gives what I call a weekend sports car experience: Lots of fun and lots of tinkering to keep it running in top shape. That seems to be true of all their products in addition to the reliability concerns.

The ToSeven motors could be a good alternative but they just hit the open market so their long term performance is completely unknown. Let some other pioneer take those arrows in the back.
 
Given the extreme level of adjustment you have with a BBSHD's settings, getting one to behave like you are riding a real bicycle is simple IF and only if you just take someone else's secret sauce to start with. That article I linked above does that for me.

The Cyc Photon has maintenance issues. Hang out and lurk on the Cyc user group on Facebook and you will see what I mean after a couple of weeks of just observing. And you will see this amplified elsewhere. Look to the High Voltage Kits videos on Cyc reliability for an easy in depth lesson.

My Cyc X1 gives what I call a weekend sports car experience: Lots of fun and lots of tinkering to keep it running in top shape. That seems to be true of all their products in addition to the reliability concerns.

The ToSeven motors could be a good alternative but they just hit the open market so their long term performance is completely unknown. Let some other pioneer take those arrows in the back.
This reminds me of something I'd love your opinion on. I've heard in a few places that BBSHDs prefer to "spin," with one particular guy (6'8" and prefers longer stroke) saying he went with ultra-SHORT crank arms to accomodate this strangely high-rpm "power band" of sorts.

Do you think this is simply a characteristic of the BBSHD to be accepted? Or could this be an example of an improper controller tune, and "fixable?"
 
Do you think this is simply a characteristic of the BBSHD to be accepted? Or could this be an example of an improper controller tune, and "fixable?"
Well... its a characteristic of all ebike motors. If power is applied to a motor that does not result in its powered axle rotation, the power is instead converted to heat. So bogging any of these motors heats the crap out of them and thats how you cook a motor (or just as likely thats how you soften an internal nylon gear so it becomes more likely to 'peanut butter' itself).

So yes the BBSHD likes to spin fast. And so does the Cyc X1 and every other ebike motor. I dug into this in detail in the "How to ride a mid drive" article linked above. Including specifics on the technique to use. Its really simple.

Its also not something you have to really worry about so long as you follow some simple rules that in some ways you already know. I have never cooked a motor or peanut-buttered a gear, or for that matter taco'd a chainring or snapped a chain.

Also 'spinning fast' doesn't mean you have to spin the crankarms crazy fast. You gear the bike down when you are climbing a steep hill. Thus you go slower but the motor still spins happily away and you get up the hill without the motor really noticing, which is what hub drives can't do.

Short crankarms have their place. I put 160's on a bike and, since I like to minimize throttle use and rely on pedal assist as much as possible, the shorter arms let me spin up from a dead stop faster. But I also have used 175mm crankarms on a different bike, and both bikes use a BBSHD. So this is purely personal preference on how you feel like riding and is different for different bikes. The motor pretty much couldn't care less since its gear reduction and other settings (that YOU plug in yourself) decide how hard and how fast it spins up.
 
Given the extreme level of adjustment you have with a BBSHD's settings, getting one to behave like you are riding a real bicycle is simple IF and only if you just take someone else's secret sauce to start with. That article I linked above does that for me.

The Cyc Photon has maintenance issues. Hang out and lurk on the Cyc user group on Facebook and you will see what I mean after a couple of weeks of just observing. And you will see this amplified elsewhere. Look to the High Voltage Kits videos on Cyc reliability for an easy in depth lesson.

My Cyc X1 gives what I call a weekend sports car experience: Lots of fun and lots of tinkering to keep it running in top shape. That seems to be true of all their products in addition to the reliability concerns.

The ToSeven motors could be a good alternative but they just hit the open market so their long term performance is completely unknown. Let some other pioneer take those arrows in the back.
Anyone know if CYC has come up with any solution for the heat buildup issue in the Photon?
 
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