Staton/NuVinci build,helpful advice appreciated



Coming out of hibernation,I have splurged on the Nuvinci kit from Staton,I expect this will make getting around in this hilly area a lot easier if I get it to work. My ultimate goal is to ride the Blueridge Parkway to the Smoky Mountains (about 500 miles), camping on the way.
I ordered it with the hub already installed in a heavy-duty rim (My bike store is staffed by young Spandex clad cycling purists,whom I don't trust all that much)
The first thing I noticed is that everything is really HEAVY, some of the hardware parts unnecessarily so.I'll prob. try to do some "pruning" with a hacksaw, where feasible
My target bike is a garden-variety Raleigh MTB, with cantilever brakes,3/7 gears front/rear derailleur.I want to keep the front 3 speed ( useful in a power-failure mode).After some experimentation I managed to get all the controls on the handlebars,on the left,the front brake and the NuVinci controller (it can be used on the left too).On the right the front derailleur control ( I lucked out, it is only 2.5 " wide),the rear brake and the twistgrip throttle with light&kill switch
The Staton kit is a generic collection of parts that
can be adapted to different bikes by people with some mechanical smarts. The instructions provided online, leave something to be desired,to put it charitably.They will be clear to someone who has done it before,but otherwise will involve some head scratching,but by studying the pics. on their website you can get a pretty fair idea of how to go about doing what needs to be done.One thing that struck me right away is that the U-bracket up front is longer than it needs to be,this raises the gearbox higher above the rear wheel and father to the rear than really necessary.It turns out that this bracket is actually a carry-over from their roller drive kit !.Has anybody had any issues&experience with the lateral stability,that is a tendency to sway sideways of the gearbox& engine assembly, with Staton equipped bikes that affects handling?.The transverse rigidity of the combination is rather questionable in my estimation.Please let me know,I can drill another set of gearbox mounting holes in it, if needs be and also add a X brace between the rear gearbox stays,to make things more rigid.Retaining the front derailleur presents some complications since the rear derailleur has to be used as a chain tensioner,so less room is available to mount the two stanchion plates on each side, that support the engine/ gearbox,in fact one bolt has to be used for both and one plate piggybacked on the other,but it's doable,although a bit scary,one lone 1/4 " bolt has to support the whole THING including the chain tension in the drive from the gearbox,this works out to a max sideways load on the bolt of 200/300 lbs at full power.
Tires,it occurred to me that fixing a rear flat would be a real drag and that puncture proofing the tires would be a smart thing to do.What is the best product ,Slime ?
The engine I will use is a Mitsubishi TLE43,more compact than the 50 cc Honda and a quite a bit cheaper too,it has better fuel efficiency than comparable 2 strokes and much better pollution numbers.With my setup at 6k rpm,the min/max road speed will be about 7/25 mph,at 7k they become 8.5/30 mph and the pedaling cadence is 63/74 with front/rear sprockets of 48/16 teeth.
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I used the "Top ends" that I cut off of the front two tubes for spacers inside that "U" bracket around the gear box. I just followed the pictures on their site and all went well. "I" did not try to re-design their work. I just installed it and it works! After all they been at it for a long time now. I take my GXH50 off of my mountain bike and put it on my trike, and back and forth,,, no problems, follow what they show you in the pictures. Later after you get it all working, go ahead and make some changes, but for now? Follow the pictures, you won't be unhappy with their product. Or not.

Ah, we'll have to compare notes. This does seem like a really nice kit. It seems like a rockhard setup even stock. I'm doing the finishing touches on mine right now so I've built it and tore it down. Tire changes should be easyenough. Just raise the seat so the engine isnt on the ground and pop off the drive chain masterclip.
I bought doublethick slimed bell tubes and kevlar tires from wallyworld. They seem tough enough to hold up to some punishment so hopefully no flats next years. Cant wait to see how this thing performs on rough terrain and loose soil hillclimbing.
Thanks for the input,I just got the hub on the bike,for a preliminary look/see,it turns out that the torsion arms are pointing forward and downwards at about 60 degree with the vertical ( the dropouts are at that angle in my Raleigh bike).This is bad news as far as transmitting the torque reaction from the hub axle to the frame is concerned,at the lowest speed 0.5 out/in ratio,the torque reaction is equal to the input torque ( 95 lbs.ft max) and the arm will attempt to turn ccw.(looking at the hub from the right side).Do you have the torsion arms installed? (they are an absolute must,unless you want to destroy your bike).Let me know then I can discuss the torsion bar installation subject further.By the way none of the Staton pics. show the torsion arms installed,which might lead some innocents to conclude they are not needed,(These are old pics.),far from it they certainly are if you want to keep your bike intact.
From the clash of opinions the truth will be found,JJ
Yeah I have the torsion arms installed just fine. My dropouts are opened toward the front of the bike so my torsion straps are rather small; Once I get the hex bolts tightened down around the frame and torsion bar I think it will handle CW and CCW forces from the axle. I will probably be insulating the frame from torsion strap with some woven rubber embedded padding my paps got from between pallets at the sheet metal warehouse he works at. Not that i thin it will improve performance much I just think that addition will keep metal on metal grinding to a minimum. I'm also planning on using this stuff to insulate the U bracket from the frame near the brakes for the same reason. Nothing worse than taking apart things for maintenance than finding a whole other project because metal was grinding away and rusting where you couldn't see it. Hoping this will reduce vibration as well. But we'll see. See here for my project

In any case this kit seems like the best suited for rough terrain and steep hills (especially on loose packed dirt and rocky trails)

PM me or whatever if you have any questions. Haven't finished or test driven this setup yet but I think its going to be most excellent.
I ordered my kit with the 22t freewheel on the gearbox as dave staton told me this will definitely pull you up any hill you would ever think of climbing on an MTB plus give you a 32mph top speed. What else could you ask for?

Below is a pic of the torsion bar and strap (kind of) installed. The torsion strap is now on top of the bar as it should be, was just measuring when i took this picture. But it gives you an idea of how things should come together. If this was tightened down as it is the torsion strap could easily go as it is in the picture, just looks better OVER the bar rather than under it like in the staton pics. hope this helps. I did a fair amount of grinding and cutting to get the staton kits pices rounded and finished rather than blocky looking. it helps a ton for appearances. Otherwise this kit would take almost no time to install. The torsion straps were a bit of a pain since I had to apply heat from a propane torch and bend them into shape with a vice. I ended up ruining the first strap supplied by the kit so I replaced it with some steel from lowes, worked great.


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