Seems like I’ve been getting a lot of emails about the Origin 8 Crawler fatbike with the Nuvinci hub from people wanting to do BBS02 conversions on it. Seems like a decent platform although pretty hefty at a claimed 42lbs, probably for the smallest frame size. 42lbs is the same weight that my singlespeed Deadeye Monster came in at WITH the motor installed. Add an extended axle BBS02 to the Crawler and you’re looking at mid 50lb range and around $2500 total for a BBS02 pre-converted from California-ebike ($1299 + $35 shipping) installed on a Crawler bought on ebay with several of them going for around $1100 right now.
So what do I think? I just bought a 21″ Deadeye (34lbs stock) for $250 from Bike Island to convert to a 4″ tire fatbike commuter with a N360 nuvinci hub for my birthday. I’m pretty convinced it will be a great build and the Deadeye means I can use a stock BBS02 without having to swap out the axle which saves me about $535 and 3 hours of work. I’m betting that the end result will be a 48lb bike that costs around $1000. That being said the N360 CVT is only rated to 60Nm of force and the BBS02 can easily put out closer to 120Nm of force. There seems to be many people using the N360 with the BBS02 on endless-sphere although most of them are commuter builds. My intention with the new Deadeye build is to start using it for commuting with a higher gear ratio (44T in front) and the controller castrated down to 15Amps then slowly start adding more and more power until I destroy the Nuvinci hub. If I can’t destroy it on the road then I will go trailriding with it which will almost certainly kill it.
The biggest disadvantage of the crawler other than the N360 being limited in the power it can take and the weight is that the Crawler has a 100mm bottom bracket like almost every other fatbike in existence. This means that you have to get your BBS02 axle extended in order to fit it to this bike. That is going to add $620 or more to the cost of your bike ($50 for the tap rental, $499 for the kit plus $35 for the shipping and then another $35 to ship the tool back when you are done). You can also ship your BBS02 to me to convert for $599 + $35 for the return shipping, instructions to do that are at then end of this post.
If you hook any ebike motor up to the Nuvinci that puts out more than 250 Watts you immediately void the warranty. Considering that the BBS02 can put out well over 1000 at peak (I’ve measured 1200Watts on a third part meter) you’re talking about 5x above what you should be using. Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.
If you can stand dealing with an electric fatbike that is in the mid 50 lb range without the battery and don’t mind paying $2500 for a build with a N360 CVT that absolutely will not be covered under warranty with a BBS02 then the Origin 8 Crawler might be for you.
It’s not for me though…
Thanks to Ronald Roberts for the tip, who feels that people without alliteration in their name will always feel empty, hollow and incomplete in their lives without ever knowing why.