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7 speed derailleur vs Direct Drive

Old 03-08-20, 08:34 AM
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jgjulio
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7 speed derailleur vs Direct Drive

I have been looking at the Electric Bike Company Model R. They offer on this bike as well as all their others the choice between a direct drive single speed drive train and a Shimano Alivo 7 speed geared drive train.

The owner talks about this in his YouTube video and strongly recommends against the geared drive train saying that it is not useful and potentially unsafe whereas the powerful motor on their bikes and the internal gearing do the job of the geared drive train without all the equipment of shifters and derailleurs.

What do you think and know about this allegation? It would be cheaper ($99) and simpler without the gearing on the outside. If in fact having it will be a waste of money because it would not be useful.

Thank you for your advice.
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Old 03-08-20, 09:04 AM
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There is no internal gearing on the Model R motor. It's direct drive. Personally, I would hate it, but my wife would be OK with it.

We have bikes with identical geared motors and 7 speed deraillerurs. When we ride together, I'm the one starting off in lower gears, shifting up a cruising gear, and downshifting for hills. She leaves her bike on the seccnd smallest gear and just pedals along. On a hill she might have to add throttle to crest it, but she always falls back a bit. I'll have to wait for her to catch up. I have fun with the way I ride. I think shifting is fun, and it allows me to amplify my pedal contribution with gears. She has fun too, where the motor has to do a little more work. And our motors are geared motors, so they can be small/light and still be able to climb hills.

The downside of a direct drive is it might need rider effort on steeper hills, but in this case, you have a larger motor so it will handle hills better, If cruising on a flat surface, they are good at that. I think the main tradeoff is you will have a heavier bike and if you ever run out of battery, it will be no fun to pedal w/o gears. You may also feel the motor dragging when you coast.

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Old 03-08-20, 09:33 AM
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Their representative stated the motors are geared, not direct drive, as suggested by their size. As mentioned above, the gears don't detract, but can improve performance. I didn't read the comment about safety, but don't agree that gears with a geared motor are unsafe.

Last edited by 2old; 03-08-20 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 03-08-20, 09:39 AM
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I don't have a direct drive system so maybe it's not the same, but I use my friction drive on both a single speed and a geared bike. The biggest differences to me are that (1) you can spin out on the single speed pretty quickly and (2) you don't get as much exercise because you cannot control the cadence/gearing. On my geared bike, I can shift to a harder gear to maintain the same cadence when I ride unmotored and pretty much put in almost the same effort. I can also reduce battery drain by providing more human power when I choose. On the single speed, while it works acceptably, I do not have the control options and the motor tells me what to do rather than me telling the motor. Which is why my single speed is my trailer bike and I ride my feared bike for everything else. Again, maybe a direct drive system works a bit differently? And, of course, then there is the question of which you'd rather be pedaling if you run out of juice.
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Old 03-09-20, 07:32 PM
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Thanks for the reply. I was very much on the side of getting gears for a new bike. The video from Shawn (owner of Electric Bike Company) made me stop and think. If I get this bike I will order it with gears.
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Old 03-10-20, 12:34 PM
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I would get it with gears too.
I highly recommend these freewheels (when you can find them) as they have the 11 tooth high cog...that helps preventthe bike from overpowering the rider.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This one is in stock, but only has 11-28
https://www.amazon.com/DNP-Epoch-Fre...g-goods&sr=1-2

I'd prefer an 11-32 or 34.

They also have a 9 speed one (overkill), but you need a different derailleur, shifter, and chain.

https://www.amazon.com/DNP-Epoch-Fre...g-goods&sr=1-1

Last edited by restlessswind; 03-10-20 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 03-10-20, 10:27 PM
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All those cheap no-name components for 2K, huge pass. 7 speed in the 11-12 speed era is way outdated and I love single speed stuff but with zero info on it I have to imagine it is going to be low quality stuff. They can't even be bothered to put a photo of the bike and claim they have the best motor in the world that will last 18 years but it's a no-name hub drive that may not have support in 1 year let alone 10 years for the claimed warranty or 18 years which is the claimed lifespan.

Also throttles are not for "safety" they in fact can be quite unsafe. It is so easy to accidentally hit the throttle and the bike gets away from you or you are on it and hit someone or something.

On an e-bike I would want gears but good quality stuff that can better handle the torque and extra stressors that an e-bike will provide. Shimano Deore 10 speed and above is generally holding up quite well. I liked the Specialized Como Single Speed conversion we did at the shop but it is a bike that isn't for everyone and really for those who know and love single speeds already but then again that one had a nice Brose mid drive motor and quality parts and it was a short term test.
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Old 03-12-20, 05:36 PM
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With hub drive motors, the specs on gear shifting doesn't matter. The motor torque is after the chain drive. Turney and Altus fare well. It certainly does matter for mid drives though


Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
All those cheap no-name components for 2K, huge pass. 7 speed in the 11-12 speed era is way outdated and I love single speed stuff but with zero info on it I have to imagine it is going to be low quality stuff. They can't even be bothered to put a photo of the bike and claim they have the best motor in the world that will last 18 years but it's a no-name hub drive that may not have support in 1 year let alone 10 years for the claimed warranty or 18 years which is the claimed lifespan.

Also throttles are not for "safety" they in fact can be quite unsafe. It is so easy to accidentally hit the throttle and the bike gets away from you or you are on it and hit someone or something.

On an e-bike I would want gears but good quality stuff that can better handle the torque and extra stressors that an e-bike will provide. Shimano Deore 10 speed and above is generally holding up quite well. I liked the Specialized Como Single Speed conversion we did at the shop but it is a bike that isn't for everyone and really for those who know and love single speeds already but then again that one had a nice Brose mid drive motor and quality parts and it was a short term test.
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Old 03-12-20, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by restlessswind View Post
With hub drive motors, the specs on gear shifting doesn't matter. The motor torque is after the chain drive. Turney and Altus fare well. It certainly does matter for mid drives though

Tourney and Altus don't fare well. Maybe yes with the torque info but that stuff doesn't hold up that well at all. It constantly needs work.
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Old 03-13-20, 09:59 AM
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I've had an Altus 8-speed system on my BBS02-equipped hardtail for five years, using it off road very vigorously. Altus was selected because it has a large "back" pulley on the rear derailleur and it seemed that aspect plus wider 8-speed would wear better.The chain and cassette was replaced after about three years, but is still functional and the shifting system has been flawless. Any concerns about lower level Shimano products is baseless; they might be heavier, but function well.
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Old 03-13-20, 11:07 AM
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I have never had any issues with Turney and Altus gear, and I have dealt with dozens of bikes with them equipped. They don't work well under continuous heavy load shifting, but the typical recreational bike doesn't need high end specs.
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Old 03-13-20, 01:26 PM
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In general, hubmotors derailleurs just don't see the same heavy pedaling force seen on road bike gears ridden by fit bike enthusiasts. The DNP freewheels, weak as they are, will last a long time on an ebike,

The pictures ofr the "bestest motor inna world: for that model R sure looks like a direct drive to me. Not aware of many 1000+ watt geared motors. If it is geared, then it is. I do think a single gear on a 50 pound bike is foolish, and cannot see a drawback to having a 7 soeed, unless they got frames that were too small and have to be spread to fit a frreewheel.
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