Vulcan Gear Drive development thread

Alrighty folks thank you for the 55+ people that submitted their votes into the post/polls I made here: What do you want out of a Gear Drive?!?

What the people want
Overwhelmingly, 86% of votes stated the reason people didn’t touch gear drives were due to cost. Followed by 15% due to lack of gear ratio options.

Along with this, premium materials and compatibility were also concerns. This conflicts with cost, but who knows maybe we can do everything.

Gear Ratio’s
55% of votes said a gear ratio between 2.5:1 and 3.0:1 is ideal, which hints at the majority of riders using 83-110mm ish wheels, 28% wanted 3.5-4.0:1 and the rest wanted something below 2.5:1.

51% of votes said they would pay between $175 to $250 USD for a dual gear drive setup. Seems pretty reasonable. 40% of votes wanted it even less at $100-175 for a set. That’s tough but who knows. 9 and 7% wanted even more expensive options which hints at a high end several thousand dollar builds.

Who wants them
Well, i’m glad to say that 72% of voters said they would be willing to put their money towards something that met some of their expectations highlighted above.

Now, with that being said, lets get this party started.

Trucks and Wheels
I have noticed that the large majority of riders use caliber style or hexagonal (heXL, etc) hangers so that is what development will start with. In hopes of retaining a cheap development process and specifically prototyping costs down we will start with these truck styles and stick with them until the opportunity to branch out presents itself.

Adapters will be made for different wheels, but primarily Abec style during development. This will branch out to pneumatic wheels

Gear Ratio
2.5:1 to 3.0:1 to start. Second version following soon after will be 3.5:1 and higher reductions.

2-gear and 3-gear.

Getting gear drives to a 2.5-3.0:1 reduction is very challenging with 2-gears without wide hangers due to center distances between gears bringing a 63mm motor sphincter clenchingly close to the trucks. It can and will be done for those with wide hangers, but hangers under 200mm of width cannot support most motors. A 3-gear drive with a single transfer idler in the center brings the motor further away from the trucks and allows smaller hangers to be used. This will be the one for those with small hangers. It will be louder and slightly less efficient than a 2 gear.

Cost again
Alright here is the important part. How much does this cost?

I don’t know. My gut reaction is that 75% of the costs will be machining and impossible to determine right now. Many things I can make myself, including bored gears with pressed bearings and all 3D printed parts (if any) but I do not have direct access to a CNC and I don’t want to have machining done in China. I want this to be made in the good old US of A. It isn’t a quality concern, it’s a time concern. I am not willing to wait a month for a part to arrive to then realize that my center distances are off by 10 thousandth. To drive down costs, many things will be in imperial. I would prefer metric but in the US there are suppliers that can get me 50 different types of imperial bearings overnight, but only 5 types of comparable metric bearings. It’s what is is.

The goal is ~200usd a set shipped. Don’t quote me. please.

Development Process?
I am going to go about this piece-wise. We will start with the truck mounting situation, move onto the gearbox plates and gears, then prototype and test, repeat. I will attempt prototyping with 3d printed plates, lapping to get a nice flat surface and praying it works well enough to test functionality OFF the board. Once I am happy with the way it looks, I will move to aluminum plate and test on a board.

If at any point shit hits the fan, costs get to high, someone makes a set for $25 made out of titanium and solid gold, or it impedes my final year in college I will stop development. I am as motivated as those who are interested and if I can make something high quality for a low cost I will.

Thank you to anyone who supports the development, starting with @Skunk for offering his trucks for science.

also i’m calling it the Vulcan gear drive


Definitely going to watch this. I’m a fan of the lower entry cost for sure, can’t wait to see where this ends up.


This sounds awesome to me, can’t wait to try to them.


Quality of my machined parts from various suppliers was top notch! They usually ship fast through Fedex or similar (3 days to Australia).


To be fair any machining done in China is just asking for the design to be stolen and put on some random chinese rip off.

Not particularly. Just name it as something else. E.g. washing machine spur gear drive box lol


Hmmm interesting tactic :thinking::joy:

Its a gearbox it is very common…


Maybe so but not in this type of specialized mounting, I was just stating the risk :man_shrugging:

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maybe @jeffwuneo can recommend a place?

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We have many CNC machine in our factory, 2, 3, 4 and 6 axis. We can helping for making part, it no need take many time.

I do not recommend making imperial measure, this is not good, is better for use metric.


Jeff, any chance of coming up with a CVT drive like NuVinci but for esk8? This will give users all forms of gearing options including braking


I’ve seen some Cone style CVT that is super dope tho


I’m interested. Been thinking about drawing something up


I sense a neo gear drive thread happening soon :joy:

Very interested in how this project progresses, good luck!




Neo Gear Drive of the Future!


What is shipping time like from receiving a design to receiving it on the west coast of USA? Give or take?

Also for those that haven’t been following my occasional messages on this in other threads, this is still 100% moving forward. I have the design done, and just need to start prototyping and testing.

Limiting factor right now is time and money. Mostly time though. I am in my second to last term until I graduate and am arranging my move after college. Fortunately I have a job offer which means I have more money and (ironically) free time to pursue this passion. As soon as spring rolls around expect this to take off and people to be getting test units.

double edit - and trust me when I say I want to use metric :wink: If I find cheap metric stuff I will make the move but its not much of an option without driving up price or wait time here in the US


Good to hear the project is still going strong, for me it would be awesome to have another more affordable gear drive option for caliber type trucks :slight_smile: good luck with your last term :muscle: looking forward to see more!

Edit: I have a feeling 2020 is also somewhat gonna be the year of geardrives :upside_down_face:


Depend how many piece you need and what kind of finish you want. We have more than 400 cnc machine which running 24/7.

Ship only need 3-4 day by DHL. Can finish part in 2 week if have file and detail you want.