About Steel Gears (A long journey)

Hi guys,

I dont know where this thread is exactly going but I want share my experience about steel gears. (Its some text)

I can tell I wont go back to POM, ever.

Like some of you know, between vesc repairs, work and modding my coffe machine I got deep into gears. Some of you are sharing my opinion we need more steel gears, some dont. I think it really depends on the application - for some builds POM is more than good. But on the other side I was thinking exactly the same like @b264. The main problem is the hard impacts when landing or changing direction fast.

It wasnt just me having theses problem, there where multiple emtb guys just pushing to far, so all started like this:

It felt so bad having this massive motors, trucks a massive battery with a ton of power under our ass but always have to worrie about the gears. And yeah, in the end my gears broke, everytime. I used the right grease and set up all correct, of course. Didnt help. I was sad and a solution had to be found. Many have said that steel doesn’t make sense. That was absolutely wrong!

I want to ride like a madman, that’s what I have the board for. Jumping high in the skatepark, doing 180s with a lot of speed, drifting, all that stuff without limiting myself because of plastic gears…

So I started to make a Mod for the etoxx gear drive mini, the old gears from the one and only @NoWind were POM and Helical. New ones I created where a mix of c45 and chromosteel straight- the whole thing just had to stay intact, summer was just around the corner.

It took a while for me to get into CAD, calculating stuff and creating stuff for “production” but
it took forever to find a good partner who would make the gears for a first prototype for an affordable price, so I came to Stefan, here 45 minutes of the finest craft on youtube. (Modifying and machining gears - YouTube) I was in his workshop just amazed by all those tools and his knowledge. This is what we came up with, more or less a copy of Jens Gears in Steel changed to straigt gear:

Not cheap, not light in weight, but the Gears 1.0 were ready.

The gears are about 500g each, 40/9 ratio, Module 2. The 9 teeth layout for the small gear was not optimal, more on this in Stefan’s video. However, I didn’t want to make the module smaller at this point so that, as I said, everything lasts first. The weight really doesent feel that much, its fine in my opinion. But getting those even more lighter would be good, of course (yeah, already in the works)

The first tests 1 year ago, extremely loud:

Somehow the sound got much better after some time and under load. A loud but somehow cool sound came up, especially when braking (i bet so many people thought the sound was the motor) here is a video that gives you a good feeling:

After months of extreme tests, skatepark, a lot if 180s even a motor screw came lose while doing decent speed. Wheels locked up, but the gears only had little scratches. I was going so wild in the skatepark even the motorplates got lose (Thats why Iam improving those, too) but gears where fine. Just crazy solid! Nothing broke. Feeling awesome!

I was in love with the Star War Sound but there were also disadvantages due to the large module:

The 9t gear run just wasn’t optimal.
At full speed the axes wobbled very uncomfortably.

I think that was a mix between the unsteady rotating mass and the motor which tried to compensate for this movement via the teeth. Which led to this wobbleing.

After realizing how incredibly stable these gears are, I dared to go to module 1.5, the best decision I could have made. The production was no longer over Stefan (I think he is always looking for different stuff and even much more smaller stuff, but crazy dude) so I was looking for a new partner for a long time, with the background to milling more gears later if necessary. After a long search I found what I need! Version 2.0 was milled.

Gears 2.0 arrived, like version 1.0 still 500g. 12/54. At this point I had already ideas to make the gear even more lighter and want to change some stuff. But this will it be for Version 3.0 in the future.

The first run on the bench was so extremely smooth even without grease and not 1 mile driven in. I could hardly believe it. Here is another video:

(Compare it with version 1.0 Video, just crazy how smooth)

I went on a first test ride, and what can I say. Its just pure awesomeness. Gears are the perfect mix between not to loud and having starship sound. The freeroll, start from low speed feel so freaking crazy, its like having Sensors 2.0 so crazy smooth. No wobbling and so on. Video is dark but listen to the sound:

We now know, these things hold up all the burdens, foolproof, even if there’s a screw in the gear, they last forever, the sound is next level. Weight is ok (already improving)

Unfortunately, the main disadvantage is the price, only the gears (2x large gear + 2x small gear for motor cost me around 400-450)

What I can tell - you guys have to experience that! The extremely smooth feeling, the cool fighter jet like noise thats still not to loud + knowing that the gears won’t break when going completly crazy → worth gold!

Tell me your thoughts! :slight_smile:
Also I will post updates if you guys like!


Awesome journey :sunglasses:

I am also looking into steel gears for the hardcore riders. Aim to be as light as possible and drop fit into the latest batch of the moon drives.


yes please :muscle::point_up:t2:


This is the future of our GDs, hope they will come to regular street drives


Is it possible to have helical/herringbone gears made of metal? I assume yes but a significant price % increase for manufacturing would be my guess, correct?

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I think kaly made some prototype steel helicals for his gear drives not long ago.

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Nice write up.
Love the sound of the mod 1.5 gears.


Yes please also


Excellent write up. Looking forward to following the rest of your journey. So cool you got to work with Gotteswinter!!! I’ve been following him for years. He is a true toolmaker and craftsman!


When @b264 shows up to this thread


Awesome stuff, love the sound of the new ones. I am definitely interested in trying some steels gears in the future.

@Bavioze I’m sure you like this too :wink:





Thanks to @Minimadness

Btw i could easily have gone mod 1 for my geardrives, oh well lesson for next time.

i advise against opening this with headphones


For the ones who do not want to worry about gears. Steel gear ring on aluminium core for our standard SGD drive. A straight replacement for the POM gears.


Herringbone steel gears? $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$


If you don’t mind me asking, why go with such a large helix angle when it is way over the necessary to have teeth overlap? I imagine you guys tested a few and this is quieter?

Really cool hybrid material part for the wheel gear


Just checked the site today, they have multiple degrees starting from straight cut to 30°. I think 0, 10, 15 or 17.5 and 30.
I would try the 30° ones to be honest, too bad they all max out around 51km/hr :frowning:

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The 1:7 ( 9/63) has the biggest angle. The angle has an impact in the diameter of the slave gear and fitting it into the existing housing required to choose a higher angle. It also makes it quieter.

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glad some liked my little write up. I can recommend creating stuff yourself if you have time, feels nice when everything works out.

@moon is the man, he also helped me a bit back in the days. Would be awesome to see some steel gears in your drive. If you need something let me know. :point_up:t2::smiley:

sesh, I didnt know trampa has gears like this. But Iam not sure about the aluminium steel combination.

@Trampa Frank, nice work, when those came out? How are they actually „connected“? simply out of interest :smiley:saw some waveform cycle hybrids.

But for me that was nothing, too much effort, money is tight and things just had to run 1st try. Weight difference isn’t much either, isnt it? (3.0 will be even better hehe) do not know if this is not another weak spot at the end. Maybe Iam wrong.



Thanks, I am always happy to help