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So many apparent problems with BaFang mid drives - is it worth it ?

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    So many apparent problems with BaFang mid drives - is it worth it ?

    Completely new to ebikes and reading all I can but one thing I do notice is LOTS of complaints and problems with BaFang mid motors.
    Is it just that there are so many out there?

    I'm having a REALLY hard time justifying $850 for a drive system that so many have problems with.
    Are most people getting long service life from them with no problems?

    For $350 I can get a Hub drive kit and they are far less complex and more reliable or so I also hear?
    I also read that if a hub kit had a torque sensor setup it might be better from a reliability standpoint?
    I do understand that a mid drive kit is more efficient and gets better range.

    Thanks
    Last edited by MemberOfDistinction; 1 week ago.

    #2
    You are likely getting a very skewed view - there are plenty of them out there that have zero issues... frankly, I'm not sure what issues you are talking about

    I ride with about half dozen folks with them, know at least another half a dozen locally and many more on this board and others with zero issues

    Most of the "issues" people on the 'nets have are usually with their installation and once things are ironed out no more issues

    Sure - a few folks have smoked controllers or the nylon gear, maybe broke a magnet ring, etc. but it's nearly always due to some form of abuse and more likely than not easily remedied... if you ride the bike like a bike and not like a moto or subject it to some sort of environmental abuse (don't let your kid power wash it - duh)... I've even ridden mine several times when it's 50+°C (>120°F) after letting it sit in the sun for a few hours. In my mind these are very durable, especially the BBSHD (the BBS02 not so much but just fine if not pushed as hard)...

    I recently turned 7000 entirely trouble free miles on mine and I ride it hard, off-road, in the heat, etc.

    Comment


      #3
      It does seem like there are more issues when they are bought from the cheapest vendor possible. I'm not sure if that is because there is some quality difference in the units or if cheapest possible just tends to be a certain type of person that also has installation issues and unrealistic expectations. I suspect there are units out there that maybe fail some QC standards or are maybe assembled on 3rd shift by the newbs. A vendor like Luna may be paying a little more than others to get some that meet a higher standard or maybe that get a QC test at all? You don't want a QC check at all here is the price, you want a QC check price goes up depending on which level of QC it passes?

      The rest I think is like AZ said its the expectations. There are a lot of people here with 1000's of trouble free miles on them and what they all have in common is that for the most part those are treated like bicycles. Average speeds still in the teens so faster than a typical recreational rider but maybe on par with an athlete sort of rider. Generally fair weather too. Sure sometimes you go through a puddle or get caught in some sprinkles but most don't set out in a downpour or intentionally ride through a creek.

      Comment


        #4
        Did you both buy direct from Luna ?
        My desire was a 1000watt kit but I don't see that from Luna......just 750watt or 1600watt


        Bafang BBSHD Mid Drive Ebike Kit
        Hot Rod Program (For Off Road Use Only)
        68mm-73mm (Standard) Stock 46T Steel Chain Ring
        Bafang Display DPC-07
        Luna Right Full Twist Throttle Blue $15.00
        Mechanical Ebrake Levers with Cutoff
        GearSensor for Derailers and Internal Geared Hubs $45.00
        Edit Remove


        1 × $699.95
        Last edited by MemberOfDistinction; 1 week ago.

        Comment


          #5
          Standard BBSHD will do roughly 1500W - it can be programmed to do less... I'd plan on getting a programming cable or some other device to allow you to diddle parameters regardless - people, bikes and the missions are different so best to be able to tweak them - one of the most powerful features of having a BBSHD IMO

          Comment


            #6
            My first was a Luna bought BBSHD with a Wolf pack on a Surly (about $2k new bike) that I bought used with about 800 miles on it. I think now its pushing 2000 but its now my trail only bike so it doesn't get the miles it used to but the ones it does get are hard ones.

            My 2nd I bought from Luna, another BBSHD with a Wolf and it got installed on an antique MTB that as it turns out just doesn't get used much. I mostly use it to load to others to hopefully get them hooked. I also keep it around for spare parts if I need them which I'm sure I will at some point. I think its maybe got 200-300 miles on it.

            My 3rd I picked up the BBSHD kit itself used that looks like it came from E3MV and based on what the 1st owner told the 2nd owner that I bought it from it may have had around 3000 miles on it when I got it and I have put close to 1000 more on it so far. It looks well used and does sometimes make some odd noises but it keeps going. I tired to take it apart for an inspection before I installed it but it was too corroded to easily come apart so I left it alone. I think it was originally an all season commuter in a freezing climate and I know I rode it in the snow and salt covered streets. Its now on a $400 walmart MTB and is my street bike. Look up 2020 Axum if you want to see the thread where another guy and I talk about our builds on the same bike, he did a BBS02 and I did the HD.

            My 4th is a friends bike. Its on a gravel bike I found for him used with the BBS02 kit on it. It came from Bafang USA and I think had about 400 miles on it when we got it. So far it seems to be performing fine and he is happy with what he got for what he paid.

            My 5th is a friends bike I just converted for him. BBSHD from Luna with a Wolf. Just finished it a week ago and I only did about 10 mile test ride and sounds like he as only done the same so far but its been hotter than usual here since I got it done so not the best riding weather even on an E bike.

            Luna has been like most vendors for stock lately, hit and miss so if you do see something you really want in stock you have to grab it as soon as you see it because it may be gone and not re stocked anytime soon. It may also mean you have to get some accessories that maybe were not the exact ones you wanted like maybe the model of display or a color of something or maybe have to find another vendor for some items that has stock. That is one thing that drew me to the Bafang stuff, lots of vendors so very good chance you can find someone with what you want in stock somewhere.

            Last summer my Luna orders seemed to ship same or next day which was awesome but then the shipping companies seemed to be the slowdown. More recently its taken closer to a week for them to ship but oddly I have got the stuff a day earlier than the initial tracking said which was something I guess. I did have a Wolf pack that was shutting off too soon limiting its usable capacity but it was a fairly easy process with them to come up with what I thought was a fair solution. They just wanted some very specific testing in a specific order on video and from that they determined it was likely a defect and made me what I thought was a fair offer for a replacement battery after I took the old one to a local recycler. I doubt you would get that kind of response from most other vendors. If you got any response at all it may involve you having to ship the old one back at your expense or they would just send you another likely defective unit but most likely you would get no response at all.

            Comment


              #7
              As both knowledgeable gentlemen have already stated, a lot of these "apparent problems" with the BBSHD is a mixture of improper installation, programming errors, and even some outright abuse. And frankly on the outright abuse, I'd say the BBSHD can take a lot of that. Another aspect of these "problems" is that it's the internet...and on the internet you will hear a lot about problems and not nearly as much as the trouble-free, daily use of any product.

              OP, you apparently are focused on the BBSHD from your second post. You didn't mention what application you will intend to use this motor for. This always helps in determining whether a BBSHD is your best option...reliability or not. I'm pretty much an off-road-only, mountain bike guy with my BBSHD on a long travel, full suspension bike. The mid-drive Bafang is about the only true solution for that, and it has been awesome so far...though the BBS02 also applies with a little more thought given to its less durable controller compared to the HD. For many other applications for ebike commuting, no aggressive off road, etc., hub drives are a solid option.

              Here's one other thing I notice and appreciate about the Bafang mid-drives. Parts for service are available for most any repair if needed, and the process for disassembly and repair is pretty simple. It stikes me as the "small block Chevy" category in terms of ultimate servicing, tweaking, hot-rodding, and durability...if you're a car guy who can appreciate my comparison there.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by TNC View Post
                As both knowledgeable gentlemen have already stated, a lot of these "apparent problems" with the BBSHD is a mixture of improper installation, programming errors, and even some outright abuse. And frankly on the outright abuse, I'd say the BBSHD can take a lot of that. Another aspect of these "problems" is that it's the internet...and on the internet you will hear a lot about problems and not nearly as much as the trouble-free, daily use of any product.

                OP, you apparently are focused on the BBSHD from your second post. You didn't mention what application you will intend to use this motor for. This always helps in determining whether a BBSHD is your best option...reliability or not. I'm pretty much an off-road-only, mountain bike guy with my BBSHD on a long travel, full suspension bike. The mid-drive Bafang is about the only true solution for that, and it has been awesome so far...though the BBS02 also applies with a little more thought given to its less durable controller compared to the HD. For many other applications for ebike commuting, no aggressive off road, etc., hub drives are a solid option.

                Here's one other thing I notice and appreciate about the Bafang mid-drives. Parts for service are available for most any repair if needed, and the process for disassembly and repair is pretty simple. It stikes me as the "small block Chevy" category in terms of ultimate servicing, tweaking, hot-rodding, and durability...if you're a car guy who can appreciate my comparison there.

                My apologies.
                It is going on my 29" MTB that came from Walmart.

                My riding style is 90% casual cruising on mostly flat ground...no rough stuff, no racing....just casual riding...no rain unless accidental.
                10% of my riding will be on mildly hilly streets. It's hard to explain but nowhere near like SanFrancisco.
                Just mild hills, no long inclines.

                And yes, I'm the ultimate "tinkerer". I've built car engines and motorcycle engines for 45 years. Have excellent mechanical abilities and a fair amount of electronics knowledge. Quite a bit on different batteries and their chemistries etc. Arduino fan. :-)

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by MemberOfDistinction View Post
                  ...And yes, I'm the ultimate "tinkerer". I've built car engines and motorcycle engines for 45 years. Have excellent mechanical abilities and a fair amount of electronics knowledge. Quite a bit on different batteries and their chemistries etc. Arduino fan. :-)
                  I'd bet a BBSHD would suit your tastes

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Arduino...dang! I had to google that...LOL! That's another nice thing about the BBSHD. Even a luddite like me can play with the program, not screw it up, and get some very satisfying results...LOL!

                    Comment


                    • 73Eldo
                      73Eldo commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Arduino is a family of almost mini computers. They are not full blown computers that you can use for general purpose stuff, Raspberry Pi is more the ticket for a mini full computer. The Arduinos whole thing is to be given a fairly specific job and just sit and do it 24/7/365. It can be something very simple like when some sort of input happens do some sort of output.

                      I'm going to use one to fix the gas gauge on my boat. Sender and gauge are not compatible so the reading isn't anywhere near accurate. I'm pretty sure I can program one to read the existing sender, do some math to covert it to what the gauge wants to see then send that signal to the gauge. I can also make it dampen the reading a bit so the gauge doesn't bounce around so much.

                      An Ebike application i have thought about is you could rig one up with a ambient light sensor and to the brake levers that would run a brake light as well as send the signal to the controller to stop the motor. The light sensor could turn on a headlight and the tail light when it got dark and you could add some sort of warning if the battery got low.

                      Those are all super simple and not even slightly taxing the processors in these things. A $5 feather board likely has more power than all the Apollo moon program computers combined.

                    • AZguy
                      AZguy commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Arduinos are ok for microcontroller platforms - mostly 'cus there are lots of little boards you can plug into them, they are widely used so good for sharing designs with others, and if you aren't very proficient with C they're sort of C-lite and pretty easy to program.

                      Generally if I'm doing anything microcontroller based I'll just get a development kit for a microcontroller that's best suited for what I'm doing and go that route though

                      I've never found much use for the raspberry pi's - maybe someday I'll have an application they'd be good for but for the most part I likely do best with the dev kits for my projects

                    #11
                    As a Magic Pie V5 rear hub rider I would like to add an additional comment, as I do the type of riding you specify.

                    I tend to look at a hub motor set-up as a type of "automatic" transmission operation. No gear jamming here looking for the correct load/speed to supply ratio. Or constant worry of starting out in a too high of gear possibly stripping gears as it seems the mid-drives require. (just what I've read... no experience with a mid-drive.)

                    My bike has 7 gears, and it's rare if I ever change it out of the highest. The hub goes from 0 to 20 mph (state speed limit) with no other changes or inputs other than throttle, and does it effortlessly. With the gears mainly there for back-up if ever needed...

                    I really like the cruise feature my system employs, and use throttle input exclusively. No drama, no hassles, just go and cruise under electric power. With the ability to "help" pedal along if desired, or at least help power up a steep incline which is more choice than required...

                    Another small difference is a mid-drive can't offer regeneration braking which I also enjoy.


                    Just the other side of the coin...



                    Regards,
                    T.C.
                    See my completed Magic Pie V5 rear hub motor E-Bike build HERE.

                    Comment


                    • AZguy
                      AZguy commented
                      Editing a comment
                      All good points

                      If steep stuff and all you want is lazy riding a rear hub can be a good choice. I really like mine for a way to introduce electric to friends since like you say you don't have to fuss with shifting at all which is an absolute requirement with a mid. All they have to be concerned with is turning the pedals...

                      And guess what? Even my experienced bike riding friends have the exact same reaction on the first pedal stroke - great big wide open eyes and ear-to-ear grin

                      For aggressive riding it's hard to beat a mid but for lazy riding it's hard to argue with a hub (as long as nothing steep!!!)

                    #12
                    I haven't read the other post but im sure a lot of what in about to tell you will be similar. Im On my fourth build. Two rear hub builds and two mid drive builds.

                    From my experience and from the style of riding you mentioned on flat surfaces I'd urge you to look for a rear hub kit. Mid drives are more complicated and better suited for mountain biking and climbing. Make sure you research the pros and cons of each. I love tinkering too but if a rear hub was better suited for off road trail riding I would have certainly gone in that direction. Rear hub kit is much easier to get up up and running. The one major supporting mod is the torque arm bracket. Just make sure your kit comes with one. If your into speed and want a lot of power I would also encourage you to go the rear hub route. All the fast ebikes are all rear hub. All emtbs are mid drive. Commuter bikes are a mix but I would lean towards a rear hub.

                    BBSHD is solid but only if you throughly understand what's required to make it run probably. Out of the box I seriously doubt anyone would be happy for very long. It requires a lot more planning. Chainline and chain stay are the two big issues. Suitable donar bike and battery placement. BB fitment. It took me a long time to plan it all out. Battery voltage and capacity are huge factors as well and all of this depends on your very specific use case. The more info you provide the better advice the community can provide. To be honest my first BBSHD build was solid but was on the wrong type of bike and I had way to big of a battery for what I was trying to do ,which is mountain biking.

                    Also IMO you need more supporting mods to get the BBSHD to operate reliably and properly and these things are not always stated hence why a lot of people have issues with the BBSHD. IMO if you go the BBSHD route your gonna need an aftermarket.chain ring, shift sensor and chain guide. This adds a considerable expense to an already expensive kit.

                    Don't get me wrong I don't want to come off as I don't like my BBSHD im a big fan boy. It's super powerful and has been super reliable and im very happy with it. However I don't think I would be if I hadn't installed all of the the supporting mods.
                    Last edited by FIDIG; 1 week ago.

                    Comment


                      #13
                      I can't speak for any of the pros here with their BBSHD's but as a complete amateur who's NEVER worked on a bike in their life beyond adjusting the brake tension screws my 500w BBS02b has been completely trouble-free and really fun from a learning perspective. My main issue I had was not understanding the torque requirements for those two main nuts that clamp the BBS02b to the frame. THe first 2 rides I did started out well but I'd get this strange "creaking" noise later on in the rides which would go away once I tightened everything down again. This happened twice before I REALLY went nuts on the Bafang wrenches with a rubber hammer and tightened those nuts down like crazy. It's been a month since then and zero creaking no matter how hard I push this thing up steep hills. I've also:

                      -I've completely replaced the front suspension with a set of Suntour Raidon's, cut the head tube myself and everything

                      - swapped the stock 44t chainring with a 36t thin/wide tooth aftermarket one for a bit more torque and better spacing out my gear ratios

                      -^^the above also involved my removing 2 links from my chain to keep it nicely tensioned and prevent the chain coming off

                      -completely re adjusting my disc brakes because they screeched like crazy from day-one. Now they're silent.

                      -Because I've been tearing around town in this thing I've also had to swap TWO rear tires due to flats while out and riding, handled them easily.

                      Soooo many issues with the bike itself but none with the motor that couldn't be traced back to user error. Everything I've learned has been pretty helpful and honestly kinda fun once its all put back together and working better than before. You'll probably run into a bunch of issues like I did that will completely overshadow the motor itself. All-in-all I'd say going with the Bafang has been pretty much effortless and allowed me to speed-learn a lot of bike maintenance. I'm VERY happy with my 500w BBS02b clamped onto an over-priced department store bike.

                      Comment


                        #14
                        I took my time and it did take me several hours to install the BBSHD on my bike but since then I've worked with a few others and it was an easy one beer afternoon job - literally throwing the bike on the stand after lunch and riding off to go to a pub... but yes that was after some time planning

                        Obviously having all the proper tools goes a long way and some experience helps a lot too - I've been wrenching my bikes since I was a teenager... never, ever took one to a shop... Some of my tools are that old... A good stand is not just helpful too...

                        Comment


                          #15
                          Lots of pros and cons either way.
                          I do not intend to do any mountain biking or even off road riding.

                          The other big factor is budget. I'm looking at either $800 for a solid mid drive with add ons (at least) or $400 for a rear hub drive kit (at most).

                          For this first bike that may be the deciding factor especially since it's been suggested that I may have to buy another bike specifically for a Bafang mid motor set up and I intend to use the 29" Walmart Mountain Bike I already have.

                          The mid drive sounds great, but I'm leaning towards the rear hub drive at the moment.
                          One thing that concerns me about the rear hub drive is I hear of spokes breaking a bit much?

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