This area has endless really steep hills but at least they are short. The road to my house has an 18% grade, I measured it! So the chain is getting lots of torquey workouts.
I'll replace the chain with that $50 E9 option soon and hope the cassette has some life left.
The SRAM EX1 chain is their ebike entry, has 144 links and, while it is labeled a 10s chain, is in fact the chain they recommend for their 8s ebike drivetrain. So this chain will work with 8, 9 and 10 speeds. The best part is at the present time you can buy if for less than its usual $25 retail price (Amazon is selling them today for $16.99
). I used to swear by the KMC x9e/e9's, but none of the SRAM chains I have used have ever let me down, and who can argue with the price and the 144 links?
The chain is only half the battle. The other half is the rear cluster. Steel is real as the saying goes, and a steel cluster should be considered mandatory for a powerful mid drive. My current favorite 9s cluster is the hardened steel Microshift Advent in the 11-46T size. The 9s version sells regularly for $36
, and there is also a 10s version for just a few bucks more. If you need something smaller (West-By-God-Virginia hills say use the big cluster) and you can get a steel Shimano HG-400-9 that maxes at 32-36T for about $40. Derailleur can't handle the big rear cog? Microshift Advent again. Derailleur and shifter for about $100.
Keeping a mid drive alive without any unusual drivetrain wear is doable. But you have to build it with components that will not die, and ride it right. This is one of the most popular pages on my site:
If you can ride a bicycle you already know how to ride a hub drive ebike. Not so a mid drive. Particularly a powerful one that can tear your chain apart. Fear not. The rules are simple.
engine oil is the LAST lube I'd EVER use...
I have to say I agree. Regardless of any other properties, engine oil will attract dust and dirt like a magnet, and that caked crud is why no bicycle component manufacturer will say anything but don't use oil. Same with transmission fluid. No need to take my word for it just try it and watch what happens.