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How to increase the number of gears on my 20 inch eBike (2 gear automatic right now)

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How to increase the number of gears on my 20 inch eBike (2 gear automatic right now)

Old 12-02-14, 04:04 AM
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prophete
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How to increase the number of gears on my 20 inch eBike (2 gear automatic right now)

Hi all,

I am posting this to the mechanics forum even though itís about an eBike, since my question is not connected to the electric part.

I bought this eBike to ride to work every day and itís well suited for that. The route is only about 10km every day, but I didnít want to get sweaty before work so I bought an eBike.

It is a 2 gear automatic switch in the rear wheel, but it is really hard to ride up hills and especially once the battery is empty, it makes it very strenuous. So, I would like to add more gears if possible.

Iím very much an amateur so keep that in mind please. I searched a lot and it seems that the easiest way is to change the internal gear hub with something that has more gears (although more pricey). Ideally I would like 7-8 gears, but 5 would be okay as well. I donít want to have one of those external gear switches with the chain.

What is the easiest way to do this and which gear hub should I get? Is there anything else I need? For instance how do I switch the gears and what are the extra parts called? Are there any differences in sizes I know to know about since my wheels are 20 inchs?

I know this is a lot of questions but Iím basically looking for any advice you can give me to do this in the most painless way possible and on the cheap.

Any other suggestions/advice are most welcome as well.

I'm attaching a photo if that helps and will of course provide any other info on request

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Old 12-02-14, 05:19 AM
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It just occured to me that another way might be to change the crank. Would it be easier to get a crank with two or three gears? I mean instead of getting an internal gear hub.
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Old 12-02-14, 06:50 AM
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You or your bike shop should be able to install a five speed internal gear hub which will give you a wider range of gears.

The much cheaper alternative is to have your bike shop put a larger sprocket on the two speed hub you have now, which will make both gears lower. "Lower" gears means easier to climb hills but harder to ride fast by pedaling (no impact on the ability to go fast using the motor, since it is in the front wheel). You will also need a longer chain. I don't know where you are located. Where I live that might cost $50 for parts and labor.

It doesn't make sense to install a front derailleur, and it would be difficult and expensive. So don't even consider it. I think that is what you mean by two speed crank.

Why does your battery drain on your ride? Brochure says 40 km range and your commute is only 10 km.

Finally, what does the "130 kg" mean?. Is that the bike's weight or how much it can carry?
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Old 12-02-14, 07:25 AM
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Hi jyl,

Thanks for your advice!
Originally Posted by jyl View Post
You or your bike shop should be able to install a five speed internal gear hub which will give you a wider range of gears.

The much cheaper alternative is to have your bike shop put a larger sprocket on the two speed hub you have now, which will make both gears lower. "Lower" gears means easier to climb hills but harder to ride fast by pedaling (no impact on the ability to go fast using the motor, since it is in the front wheel). You will also need a longer chain. I don't know where you are located. Where I live that might cost $50 for parts and labor.
That’s a great suggestion too though I would prefer to spend more but be able to do both (have lower and higher gears). Sometimes when I go down a decline, I’d like to ride faster but with 2 automatic gears the bike is capped at 25km/h which is a little low.
I looked at Shimano nexus 7 gears and some other brands and those seem doable, though a little pricey at 150 eur (cheapest I found). I haven’t been able to find any 5 gear IGH for 50$. If you know of any place I could order one from that would be fantastic. Actually, even just a name of a specific brand that is cheaper would help me, because the Shimano ones are all over 100 EUR just for the IGH. As long as they fit on a 20 inch wheel that is.

Originally Posted by jyl View Post
It doesn't make sense to install a front derailleur, and it would be difficult and expensive. So don't even consider it. I think that is what you mean by two speed crank.
Yes, that’s exactly what I meant. Thanks for the advice!

Originally Posted by jyl View Post
Why does your battery drain on your ride? Brochure says 40 km range and your commute is only 10 km.

Finally, what does the "130 kg" mean?. Is that the bike's weight or how much it can carry?
My commute is only 10km but I still have to help when going up a steep incline, and then it would be nice to have lower gears. The battery only depletes when I go on longer rides in the summer, and this is also when having more gears would be better because it would make it easier to use the eBike like a normal bicycle once the battery is depleted.

The 130 kg is the total weight the bike can carry, exactly.
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Old 12-02-14, 08:07 AM
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$50 is what it would cost (in my area) to buy a larger rear sprocket and longer chain and have them fitted by a bike shop.

A new 5 or 7 speed IGH would be substantially more. I don't know enough about them to recommend which one.
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Old 12-02-14, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by prophete View Post
As long as they fit on a 20 inch wheel that is.
Well, the sensible route is to have the hub of your choice built into a new wheel. There's no guarantee that you'd be able to reuse the spokes anyhow. That way, finding a compatible combo of hub+rim isn't a problem. And finding a hub that'll fit your dropout spacing shouldn't be a problem either.

Originally Posted by prophete View Post
I haven’t been able to find any 5 gear IGH for 50$. If you know of any place I could order one from that would be fantastic. Actually, even just a name of a specific brand that is cheaper would help me,
Try here: Search Results

At least the 3-speeds are cheaper. Or dare look for used ones on Ebay. Biggest risk is that they pretty much have to be either built into a wheel or disassembled to see if they are OK.
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Old 12-03-14, 04:35 AM
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Thanks dabac.

I think I will opt for a wheel-hub combo, as that's the easiest as you say. New ones are kind of pricey for me as I'd like a 7 gear hub ideally, so it will have to be a used one looks like. Thanks again for the info regarding the dropout spacing. I'll have to measure mine, but I think also those can be stretched a bit if need be. In any event, I've got all the info I need right now. The way I understand it, the easiest way is to get the hub+wheel and then plus the gear switching box and cable. That way it's also easy to install, which is important for me since I am a beginner. I am handy with tools, but no need to push my luck.
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Old 12-03-14, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by prophete View Post
..dropout spacing. I'll have to measure mine, but I think also those can be stretched a bit .
Yes and no. Stretching AKA cold setting steel frames is generally an accepted practice. Aluminium frames, not quite so, although some certainly do it.
But the big thing here is that your bike has a lot shorter chainstays than most adult-sized bikes. This means that any bend has to be a lot sharper to achieve the same amount of change in dropout spacing. It'll take more force to bend too.

Originally Posted by prophete View Post
..The way I understand it, the easiest way is to get the hub+wheel and then plus the gear switching box and cable..
... and the appropriate anti-rotation washers....
But yeah, wheel, clickbox, cable and shifter is usually fairly easy to install. Zipties may be needed. The shifter will take up some extra space on your handlebar. You'll need to be careful when installing the shifter cable WRT folding the bike. Shifter cables don't like sharp bends.
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Old 12-03-14, 11:15 AM
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The which Hub gear Q, I'd say Sturmey Archer, For their 3 speed you can get each and every small part .. for 50 year old Hubs, still.
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Old 12-03-14, 02:34 PM
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Alles ueber Schlumpf Innovations: Wasserpumpe, Einradnaben, Fahrradantrieb. Hersteller & Entwickler.
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Old 12-03-14, 02:46 PM
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Few people are willing to buy a component part that doubles the cost of their Bike , but It ^^ does work well .
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Old 12-03-14, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Few people are willing to buy a component part that doubles the cost of their Bike , but It ^^ does work well .
Indeed, the Schlumpf does work very well, but it seems Herr Schlumpf has chosen to stop producing them himself and license the product. It's available here for less than I used to get them wholesale.
ATS Schlumpf Speed Drive | Greyborg USA
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Old 12-03-14, 03:34 PM
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Multiple licences ? Interesting **

thats just the 1.6X overdrive 110 BCD one . apparently .. I got the Brompton-mountain drive , almost Plug and play On my Bike .

Haberstock Mobility in Germany took over the Manufacturing there

Switzerland being the host of Numbered Secret Bank accounts for the embezzled treasury from Despots around the world ,

Currency trading in the over valued CHF has to be a Liability for anyone making Products in Switzerland.



** I note they are a Maker of E bike parts , so the overdrive crank Option for More speed makes sense..

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-04-14 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 12-03-14, 04:34 PM
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It appears for now at least it's just the one product. So far it looks like no licensees in Asia.
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Old 12-04-14, 03:43 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Few people are willing to buy a component part that doubles the cost of their Bike , but It ^^ does work well .
Indeed, if the cost was slightly lower, say 50 bucks, I would certainly consider it

For now though, looks like I'll be buying a used SRAM S7 which seems can be found for anywhere between 25 and 60 bucks with a wheel attached. The only problem now is that 20" wheels are somewhat of a rarity, especially with a 7 gear hub. So, I might have to just buy a used IGH and have a bike shop attach it to a 20" wheel for me.
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Old 12-04-14, 10:02 AM
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TheGreyborg SD one at $345 is considerably less than the Swiss MD I got thru a Cal Brompton dealer.
If, as Pictured .. you have to come up with a Chainring.. have its inside turned down a bit to clear the gear case..

the overdrive with a 34t chainring (Surly Stainless a good choice) turns as if a 54t.. the chainring turns faster than the crankarms. 1.65X

(MD the reduction gear is the opposite effect, crankarms turn 2.5X faster than the chainring so my 54t acts like a 21t in low)



I suspect that, yes, you will need a LBS to build a wheel , Bike Friday Builds A Lot of 20" wheels for their Oregon Production of Bikes, with all sorts of hubs..

they would sell you one ... [My Bike friday has a 32 hole Rohloff Hub in a Sun CR18 rim] .. but it won't be a used hub , unless you find one and send it ..




BTW the Patterson Metro is an Asian made variance of the Internal gear Overdrive , not a Licensee, it uses an external Bearing BB assembly type,
rather than a square taper (+ a mix of existing single left and tandem cross-over drive front, right, crankarms)

and shifts with a cable control on the handlebars .. http://pattersonbike.com/

there is also the Truvative HammerSchmidt from Sram's MTB production https://www.sram.com/truvativ/produc...dt-am-crankset

(FSA and SRAM are both Manufacturers in Taiwan) Different enough to not infringe on any Schlumpf Patents I suppose..

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-04-14 at 10:38 AM.
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