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Geared 2 speed xmsn in a “hub” motor

1132 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  brian_

I use the word hub lightly

Has anyone evaluated how functional the above sealed solution is to driving individual wheels?

It seems to solve 1 or 2 of the issues with a hub motor in that
1. It is geared with a 2 speed xmsn
2 it is sealed (how well)
3. It weighs about the same amount as a traditional disc brake and tire

My issue is that their initial offering has too much HP, cost and size to physically fit my little 10” or 14” wheels.
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As a general rule, I think any business that tries to use a Facebook page and a Shopify store as their online presence isn't a serious contender for anything other than retail... so I would ignore the graphics-and-toys company. The actual maker of the hardware is Orbis; they call variations of this scheme Ring-Wheel™, Ring-Drive™, and Ring-Track™, and their website provides some clear illustrations.

Also, for those who are using a real computer (and so don't want Facebook's mobile site):

1. It is geared with a 2 speed xmsn
There have been lots of in-wheel motors with gearing; a 2-speed transmission is a straightforward addition of more complexity and weight. The credibility of the Orbis guy is indicated by the fact that he calls the motor a "direct drive motor" and in the same breath points out the two-speed transmission and shows the rim-drive gears - what's "direct" about that? Nothing.

But is this a two-speed? The Orbis guy talks about being able to change gearing, just as a set of gears can be replaced with a set of gears of a different ratio in any transmission or final drive unit; I didn't hear any claim that it has a two-speed transmission in it.

2 it is sealed (how well)
The motor is sealed (as is every EV motor) but the rest of this mess isn't sealed at all - the final drive gears are just hanging out in the dirt and water of real-world road use.

The six tiny little wheels running on exposed sections of the rim appear laughable for an actual functional vehicle, assuming there is any dirt in your world. Think of the rotational speed of these glorified skateboard wheels. This is a scheme that is commonly used for "hubless" wheels on show motorcycles, but not used for any functional vehicle.

3. It weighs about the same amount as a traditional disc brake and tire
That weight claim seems implausible to me. If you look at the scale, the stock hub, bearings, carrier (upright), and brake rotor weigh 28 pounds, and the motor (with transmission) weighs 31 pounds by itself. They then add part of the upright (only the inboard side) to get to 41 pounds, and still claim no increase in weight over the 28 pounds of stock hardware. And that's comparing their aluminum components to stock cast iron.

He points to the removable part and says that the "whole thing" weight 12 pounds, but he is showing it with the tire and the tire alone weighs more than that, so the 12 pounds can only be the rim, ring gear, and brake rotor. He then says that the stock equivalent is 29 pounds, which seems high for the same rim construction - the wheel centre doesn't weigh that much. Like his comparison of billet aluminum upright to stock cast iron upright, he's comparing apples and oranges.

He claims 170 pounds of battery, which is plausible, but also claims plug-in hybrid capability. No, with a Prius battery you're not storing enough to be a useful plug-in hybrid. More misleading crap, and so more reason to question anything Orbis says.

My issue is that their initial offering has too much HP, cost and size to physically fit my little 10” or 14” wheels.
Look at the size of the motor and consider that it is only air-cooled: this is not too powerful for anything; it's just too exaggerated. It certainly is bulky.

Now picture the same motor mounted inboard, driving a completely conventional hub through a CV-jointed shaft. This scheme is just packing everything inside the wheel, requiring a large wheel, increasing unsprung weight and causing problems such as the need to use something like this silly Ring-Wheel™. That might be an acceptable compromise for their target convert-to-hybrid market, but it's not a technically winning idea.

The whole unit obviously bolts onto the vehicle quickly, but it is obviously useless without the battery and a motor controller per wheel. The Orbis guy talks about an hour for installation and conveniently doesn't mention the time and effort to install the rest of the components. These people are clearly only a small step above pure scam artists, aside from any technical issues.
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