Apex Chain Drive

APEX Chain Drive:

A Chain Drive for the esk8 Masses.

The Chain Drive was designed to take this high-performance drive solution and make it accessible to all.

Performance

  • Light weight for those that prefer an easy to maintain drive system
  • 5:1 ratio
  • Raised motor position giving maximum rear clearance for serious offroad

Reliability

  • Chains couldn’t care less about the kind of mud that makes belts weak at the knees
  • No lock-tight, fully retained chain pinion (when using Apex motors) that’s easy to change
  • Swapping punctured wheels takes seconds without needing to loosen or adjust the chains

Maintainability

  • No hardware wheel adaptors allow quick switching between two different wheels (MBS Rockstar 2 and Trampa Twatlads)
  • No wheel chain adjustment. Set chain tension without wheels getting in the way
  • Revolutionary fractional difference mount pattern giving angle adjustment in 6° increments
  • All bolts and grubs accessible externally for quick adjustments

 
 
 


History and design

The Apex Chain Drive started as an idea in Lee’s head. Chains have been done before but fell out of vogue due to many people moving to gear drives. Recently there has been a resurgence of riders looking for those easy to maintain drivetrains that are up to the rigors of hardcore off road riding.

Back in April 2021 Lee purchased some sprockets and designed a 3d printed Push Fit adaptor to connect his Rockstar 2 wheels. This idea had been borne out of a previous project where he made Push Fit adaptors for a 4WD Evolve Gen1. Lee also designed some basic motor mounts and thus the chain drive was born! Although the mounts were quite long, they rode so nicely!

Over the course of the next few months the design of the mounts was streamlined and made as small and light as possible. Queron was in the middle of designing what would become the Jump Drive and had made a pass over the Push Fit adapter and it was decided that we would make the parts common between both drivetrains.

Lee and Beiran spent many months Pushing the chains to the max trying to damage them in any way they could.

Later in 2021 Queron made a visual pass over the motor mount with this becoming the final design. Some minor adjustments later and this is the final production version.

 
 
 


Compatibility

Wheel Hubs:

The Push Fit adapters do not require any additional hardware fitted to the wheel and are compatible with:

  • MBS Rockstar II
  • Trampa Fatlads (are slightly narrower so require extra spacers on longer axles)

It may be possible for us to make adapters for other common wheels if there is sufficient demand – let us know what you want to see.

Tyres:

Apex Shit Slingers are the perfect companion for all our drives and have been tested on all hubs, but most 8” or 9” tyres should work. For particularly wide street tyres or wide 9” tyres we would recommend using Trampa Fatlads owing to the additional width and offset of this hub.

Trucks:

The Chain Drive has been designed with Apex Air and Trampa CNC hangers in mind. We currently offer 2 different truck adapters:

  • The AIR adapter which has been extensively tested with APEX AIRS, but may also work with other trucks supporting a similar 22mmR6 profile
  • The Trampa CNC adapter which fits current 19.5mm CNC trampa hangers. Trampa hangers have slightly shorter axles, which means you can only use Trampa Fatlads with these hangers

We know people will ask, but unfortunately the MBS Matrix II is not compatible with the Chain Drive. This is due to the stepped axles, which are not compatible with our bearing layout. Hopefully this changes for Matrix 3.

If there are any other adapters that people want then let us know and we will see what we can do.

 
 
 


Chain Drive Porn

 
 
 


Where/When can I get them?

The Chain Drives are available to purchase now for £270 per set.
Additionally we have a sprocket only kit available for £170. This is great if you want to convert your current belt drives (eg Trampa OBD) to chains and get the benefits of using our quick switch system.

All the Chain drives are at Apex HQ, we’re just waiting on some packaging so shipping will start on the week of the 25th.

We also know that our Chain Drives work best when paired with other Apex tech, so we are offering a whole selection of combo deals on the website. That means better prices when ordered with trucks, motors, or both.

24 Likes

whats the weight of just the sprocket and chain setup, and the weight of the motor mounts?

2 Likes

Umm that’s a good question which I don’t have an exact answer to hand.

We well get a set weighed and get back to you with an exact answer as soon as we can. might be Tomorow

5 Likes

check out that flat tyre switch at 1min in

20 Likes

As chain drives go, that is a remarkably tidy piece of kit. Nice work. Respect due.

8 Likes

I can see this being really attractive as a less-expensive alternative to gear drives for people who snap a lot of belts. I’m guessing as long as someone’s existing motor mount is long enough they should work :slight_smile:

8 Likes

This is seriously making me consider chain drives in the future. Very cool bit o’ kit!

4 Likes

good catch.

Chains are a great option if you want cheep but robust drives that can deal with the most hardcore of ride conditions.

2 Likes

Good looking chains. My favorite thing about chain drive systems is the sound. And they’re quite reliable.

5 Likes

Cheap upgrade to 4wd for winter as well :eyes: :snowflake:

5 Likes

This is beautiful. So slick. :clap::clap::clap:
Well done guys :tada:

I’m curious about wheel sprocket.
Is it an off the shelf item, is it in-house CNC’ed (I doubt because anodising and that scale would be a pain), or are they custom cut from a factory?

6 Likes

These sprockets are 100% APEX designed and we get everything custom made to spec.

We also know one of the most intimidating things with chains can be getting the chain to length correctly, so we’ve had chains made up to the correct lengths already which will come with the complete kits.

We don’t have them on the site yet but we also plan to keep both sprockets as well as the chain loops in stock so that people can continue to keep their drives maintained easily in the future.

10 Likes

Bless you guys.

Your product speaks for itself, as always with Apex.
Shaking up the diy world :fire::fire::fire:

4 Likes

And since there’s no slippage, is the braking more immediate like gears then?

4 Likes

That’s what I love about my chain drive: you can drive massive torque through it, whether that’s to accelerate or brake, without having to worry about chipping teeth (besides than the ones in your mouth).

5 Likes

It’s not mentioned here but presumably this is an ISO-06B chain, right?

3 Likes

Yes it is ISO 06B

2 Likes

Well done! Happy to see more options hitting the market. Looks like a great kit - I’d love to try one out some time on a build.

2 Likes

!!! Shipping Update !!!

All outstanding Jump Drive and Chain Drive orders are boxed up and ready to ship tomorrow, so keep an eye on your inboxes.

There’s also a few extra sets of each boxed and ready to ship immediately, so if you want some shiny on its way to you this week then get your order in quick before these get dispatched tomorrow.

7 Likes

Gah I’m so excited to get my hands on these!!

5 Likes