reliable middrive for commute?

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Laissez   10 W

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reliable middrive for commute?

Post by Laissez » Jan 19 2021 5:41pm

I'm looking as reliable as possible ebike for my 10km(6miles) commute. I don't need crazy high speed 40km/h(25mph) is enough. Any recommendations? I thought about middrive because maintenance is easier with it compared to rearhub. My weight is 85kg(187lbs).

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Manbeer   100 W

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Re: reliable middrive for commute?

Post by Manbeer » Jan 19 2021 6:10pm

BBS02 seems like the best bang for the buck right now, few sellers with warehouses in US and EU have them well under 400 shipped

The tsdz2 seems to be a love it or hate it situation, with half the people praising it (mostly with the OSF program) and the other half saying it is built like a bag of turd

I personally want to try one at some point for the hell of it, but if the Bafang is the same price and you dont specifically need a torque sensor, I think nothing will you get more power and more reliability than the bbs02.

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motomech   1.21 GW

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Re: reliable middrive for commute?

Post by motomech » Jan 19 2021 6:43pm

There really is no maintenance w/ a hub motor and for your speed and climbing requirements, a geared motor like a Bafang BPM, Mac, Ezee, etc. will do the job more reliably than a mid-drive.
Run it on 48 or 52 Volts.
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Re: reliable middrive for commute?

Post by amberwolf » Jan 20 2021 3:05am

Laissez wrote:
Jan 19 2021 5:41pm
I thought about middrive because maintenance is easier with it compared to rearhub.
Not really. Middrive means replacing chains and sprockets; the more power you use (the more torque on the drivetrain) the sooner that has to happen. Hubmotors (especially direct drive, vs geared, but even geared wont' need much, if any) don't need much, if any, maintenance.

If you have had a hubmotor with a wheel problem, then the problem isn't the motor, it's the wheel, and you'll have that same problem with any wheel, if it's built the same way and sees the same loads. ;)

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Chalo   100 GW

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Re: reliable middrive for commute?

Post by Chalo » Jan 20 2021 4:03am

amberwolf wrote:
Jan 20 2021 3:05am
If you have had a hubmotor with a wheel problem, then the problem isn't the motor, it's the wheel, and you'll have that same problem with any wheel, if it's built the same way and sees the same loads. ;)
Hub motors typically have much narrower flange spacing and much bigger spoke holes than normal bicycle hubs, and often have more asymmetry between one side and the other, compared to normal bicycle hubs. It's also easier to have the spokes enter the rim from a screwy angle. All these elements reduce wheel reliability.

However, all of them put together don't equal the maintenance burden of a mid drive using the bike's gears.
This is to express my gratitude to Justin of Grin Technologies for his extraordinary measures to save this forum for the benefit of all.

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Re: reliable middrive for commute?

Post by fatty » Jan 20 2021 4:45am

Laissez wrote:
Jan 19 2021 5:41pm
I thought about middrive because maintenance is easier with it compared to rearhub. My weight is 85kg(187lbs).
As mentioned, this is reversed: direct-drive hub maintenance is dramatically easier compared to middrive.
And with a hardtail, the handling and road holding penalty is not significant.
Don't take advice from:
there is no difference between a mean well CC/CV power supply and a device sold as a charger. they operate in EXACTLY the same way
Testing has demonstrated that ordinary rim brakes thermally outperformed all but the best disc brakes...You'll always add weight and cost, while not equalling the capabilities of comparable rim brakes, if you use discs

Laissez   10 W

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Re: reliable middrive for commute?

Post by Laissez » Jan 20 2021 5:51am

amberwolf wrote:
Jan 20 2021 3:05am
Not really. Middrive means replacing chains and sprockets; the more power you use (the more torque on the drivetrain) the sooner that has to happen. Hubmotors (especially direct drive, vs geared, but even geared wont' need much, if any) don't need much, if any, maintenance.

If you have had a hubmotor with a wheel problem, then the problem isn't the motor, it's the wheel, and you'll have that same problem with any wheel, if it's built the same way and sees the same loads. ;)
Well I have to change tires at least twice per year because studded tires for winter. And changing cassettes and chains are very fast to do with quick release tyres. With hub it's not fast to do anything related rear wheel.
Manbeer wrote:
Jan 19 2021 6:10pm
BBS02 seems like the best bang for the buck right now, few sellers with warehouses in US and EU have them well under 400 shipped

The tsdz2 seems to be a love it or hate it situation, with half the people praising it (mostly with the OSF program) and the other half saying it is built like a bag of turd

I personally want to try one at some point for the hell of it, but if the Bafang is the same price and you dont specifically need a torque sensor, I think nothing will you get more power and more reliability than the bbs02.
Yeah I thought so, seems like tsdz2 or BBS02 seems the only choices. And I prefer to have throttle which I use some times with current rearhub motor.

Laissez   10 W

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Re: reliable middrive for commute?

Post by Laissez » Jan 20 2021 7:02pm

amberwolf wrote:
Jan 20 2021 3:05am
Laissez wrote:
Jan 19 2021 5:41pm
I thought about middrive because maintenance is easier with it compared to rearhub.
Not really. Middrive means replacing chains and sprockets; the more power you use (the more torque on the drivetrain) the sooner that has to happen. Hubmotors (especially direct drive, vs geared, but even geared wont' need much, if any) don't need much, if any, maintenance.
How often is often to change chains and sprockets?
Any estimates how long they last? Something like 750W bbs02 isn't crazy powerful?

kcuf   100 W

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Re: reliable middrive for commute?

Post by kcuf » Jan 20 2021 7:57pm

personally use cheap $10-$12 chains

between 1-2k miles before seeing measurable wear


avoid small rear cogs

especially 11t


use a chain wear gauge/tool regularly

swap for a new chain any measured wear

doing so greatly reduces cog wear
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Laissez   10 W

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Re: reliable middrive for commute?

Post by Laissez » Jan 21 2021 4:19am

kcuf wrote:
Jan 20 2021 7:57pm
personally use cheap $10-$12 chains

between 1-2k miles before seeing measurable wear


avoid small rear cogs

especially 11t


use a chain wear gauge/tool regularly

swap for a new chain any measured wear

doing so greatly reduces cog wear
Thanks I currently have 10 speed cassette at back. But after it's done I thought about getting 7-8 speed cassette. I was planning to get 48 tooth front chainring. Is there cassettes with larger than 11t cogs?

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Re: reliable middrive for commute?

Post by kcuf » Jan 21 2021 1:37pm

more limited choices bbs 02 vs hd

smallest front ring better 44t if option


cassette cogs may be readily changeable

freewheel cluster cogs not so easy


most riders will never

need more than

3-5 gear options
In 2013 an ad appears on Russia social networks: Интернет-операторы хотели! Работа в шикарном офисе в Ольгино !!!, зарплата 25960 рублей в месяц

Laissez   10 W

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Re: reliable middrive for commute?

Post by Laissez » Jan 21 2021 4:54pm

kcuf wrote:
Jan 21 2021 1:37pm
more limited choices bbs 02 vs hd

smallest front ring better 44t if option


cassette cogs may be readily changeable

freewheel cluster cogs not so easy


most riders will never

need more than

3-5 gear options
I have cassette and tools to change it. It's really fast job to do. Why only 44t? I was thinking about getting 48-50t front ring so no need to use the smaller rings at the back so often.

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Re: reliable middrive for commute?

Post by Stu Summer » Jan 21 2021 5:45pm

I have a bbshd with a 61tooth chainring so I can effectively pedal at 35mph. To your question, I have done quite a bit of maintenance on my BBSHDs to keep them running. The hub motor is more reliable for sure.
2013 DB Haanjo Commuter with BBSHD and Zzipper fairing
Marin Rift Zone FS with BBSHD
Kysmo "lab" bike with 350w hub motor
Ryan Vanguard recumbent LWB with a 36v Cyclone 350w middrive and a 56v MAC 5t in the front hub.

Laissez   10 W

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Re: reliable middrive for commute?

Post by Laissez » Jan 21 2021 5:52pm

Stu Summer wrote:
Jan 21 2021 5:45pm
I have a bbshd with a 61tooth chainring so I can effectively pedal at 35mph. To your question, I have done quite a bit of maintenance on my BBSHDs to keep them running. The hub motor is more reliable for sure.
Yes but I'm looking for bbs02 which has less torque and and watts compared to bbshd

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Chalo   100 GW

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Re: reliable middrive for commute?

Post by Chalo » Jan 21 2021 6:28pm

Laissez wrote:
Jan 21 2021 5:52pm
Stu Summer wrote:
Jan 21 2021 5:45pm
I have a bbshd with a 61tooth chainring so I can effectively pedal at 35mph. To your question, I have done quite a bit of maintenance on my BBSHDs to keep them running. The hub motor is more reliable for sure.
Yes but I'm looking for bbs02 which has less torque and and watts compared to bbshd
I have only used the BBS02 on my own bike, with all stock settings. I'm a longtime cycle mechanic, so I did everything I could to refine the chainline and keep the thing maintained and adjusted. Despite this, I went through at least three times as many chains and cassettes as I would have during the same mileage on a pedal bike.

Having followed up with two different front hub motor bikes, I can tell you that hub motor bikes demand less maintenance than regular pedal bikes. Mid drives demand much more.

Mid drives are more fun and more capable, watt for watt. Hub motor drives are more likely to get you to work on time, and less likely to leave you walking.
This is to express my gratitude to Justin of Grin Technologies for his extraordinary measures to save this forum for the benefit of all.

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Re: reliable middrive for commute?

Post by Warren » Jan 21 2021 7:24pm

Chalo wrote:
Jan 21 2021 6:28pm
Mid drives are more fun and more capable, watt for watt. Hub motor drives are more likely to get you to work on time, and less likely to leave you walking.
Totally agree. I put 30K on a 250-500 watt mid-drive. I ate one rear derailleur, one freehub, and lots of chains.

My monster DD required 150 mm dropout spacing to get half decent dish with an 8 speed freewheel. But it has only broken one spoke in 29k miles. I didn't even notice until I got home. The spokes are like the size of a Philips screwdriver shaft! Reminds me of the spoked wheels on my old MGA. Stupid thick.

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Re: reliable middrive for commute?

Post by Laissez » Jan 22 2021 9:41am

Chalo wrote:
Jan 21 2021 6:28pm
Laissez wrote:
Jan 21 2021 5:52pm
Stu Summer wrote:
Jan 21 2021 5:45pm
I have a bbshd with a 61tooth chainring so I can effectively pedal at 35mph. To your question, I have done quite a bit of maintenance on my BBSHDs to keep them running. The hub motor is more reliable for sure.
Yes but I'm looking for bbs02 which has less torque and and watts compared to bbshd
I have only used the BBS02 on my own bike, with all stock settings. I'm a longtime cycle mechanic, so I did everything I could to refine the chainline and keep the thing maintained and adjusted. Despite this, I went through at least three times as many chains and cassettes as I would have during the same mileage on a pedal bike.

Having followed up with two different front hub motor bikes, I can tell you that hub motor bikes demand less maintenance than regular pedal bikes. Mid drives demand much more.

Mid drives are more fun and more capable, watt for watt. Hub motor drives are more likely to get you to work on time, and less likely to leave you walking.
I have suspension fork so front hub is not option. Also we get a lot of snow here during winter so I have to change tires multiple times per year to studded and to non studded depending on snow/ice situation and with rearhub it's a bit pita. Changing chain/casette is fast thing to do. And I heard if you cycle with 3 chains you get over 2000 miles out of cassette. Also I'm using my bike for leisure driving etc. not just for commuting
Warren wrote:
Jan 21 2021 7:24pm
Chalo wrote:
Jan 21 2021 6:28pm
Mid drives are more fun and more capable, watt for watt. Hub motor drives are more likely to get you to work on time, and less likely to leave you walking.
Totally agree. I put 30K on a 250-500 watt mid-drive. I ate one rear derailleur, one freehub, and lots of chains.
How so, why would mid drive leave me on road? During winter and spring(approximately November-March/April) we have a lot sharp gravel on roads which punctures a lot of tires.

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Re: reliable middrive for commute?

Post by amberwolf » Jan 22 2021 5:13pm

Laissez wrote:
Jan 22 2021 9:41am
I have suspension fork so front hub is not option.

Suspension fork doesn't eliminate using a hubmotor automatically. Depends on your fork if it will work with any particular hubmotor. There are a few different kinds of mountings and axles, so there is probably one that will work with your fork.

How so, why would mid drive leave me on road?

If the middrive goes thru the pedal drivetrain, and the middrive breaks the drivetrain, then you can't pedal either.

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Re: reliable middrive for commute?

Post by Laissez » Jan 22 2021 5:39pm

amberwolf wrote:
Jan 22 2021 5:13pm
If the middrive goes thru the pedal drivetrain, and the middrive breaks the drivetrain, then you can't pedal either.
Yep, I have always spare chain and inner tube with me. The fear I have with hub motor is tire puncture during winter when it's going to be pain to change the inner tube.

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Re: reliable middrive for commute?

Post by amberwolf » Jan 22 2021 5:50pm

Laissez wrote:
Jan 22 2021 5:39pm

Yep, I have always spare chain and inner tube with me. The fear I have with hub motor is tire puncture during winter when it's going to be pain to change the inner tube.
The sudden-failure problems that can happen with middrives that also disable the pedal drivetrain also include:
--freehub or freewheel in the rear wheel
--gearing in an IGH, or it's overload shear pin
--the freewheel for the cranks at the drive itself
--bearings inside the drive on the crankshaft, etc.
--derailer on a multispeed non-IGH rear cluster


For hubmotors and tire/tube problems, there are some things that help minimize the time needed to deal with it, such as preparing connections for easy disconnect/reconnect, preferably right at the axle so you don't have a bunch of wire to tie down, and using motors with integrated torque arms so there's not a bunch of separate pieces to handle and put back just the right way.

I ride heavy-cargo haulers, these days using just big heavy hubmotors, so any tire/tube problem is a huge PITA, especially if I'm carrying cargo (cuz it might have to be unloaded to deal with the problem). So i understand the issues. :)

FWIW, I've only ever broken a handful of chains, all while riding...all of them by using motors thru the pedal drivetrain. I've worn out lots of chains with just pedals or with motors...but never actually broke any by only pedalling.

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Re: reliable middrive for commute?

Post by Laissez » Jan 22 2021 6:00pm

amberwolf wrote:
Jan 22 2021 5:50pm
Laissez wrote:
Jan 22 2021 5:39pm

Yep, I have always spare chain and inner tube with me. The fear I have with hub motor is tire puncture during winter when it's going to be pain to change the inner tube.
The sudden-failure problems that can happen with middrives that also disable the pedal drivetrain also include:
--freehub or freewheel in the rear wheel
--gearing in an IGH, or it's overload shear pin
--the freewheel for the cranks at the drive itself
--bearings inside the drive on the crankshaft, etc.
--derailer on a multispeed non-IGH rear cluster


For hubmotors and tire/tube problems, there are some things that help minimize the time needed to deal with it, such as preparing connections for easy disconnect/reconnect, preferably right at the axle so you don't have a bunch of wire to tie down, and using motors with integrated torque arms so there's not a bunch of separate pieces to handle and put back just the right way.

I ride heavy-cargo haulers, these days using just big heavy hubmotors, so any tire/tube problem is a huge PITA, especially if I'm carrying cargo (cuz it might have to be unloaded to deal with the problem). So i understand the issues. :)

FWIW, I've only ever broken a handful of chains, all while riding...all of them by using motors thru the pedal drivetrain. I've worn out lots of chains with just pedals or with motors...but never actually broke any by only pedalling.
Yep, I have geared rear hub motor(MXUS XF15) on my rigid hybrid bike it's a bit rear heavy and it would be really PITA to change the front tire because I have 2 torque arms with it. I just thought about getting mid drive for my mtb for easier tire change(because I do this multiple times a year, onroad/offroad/winter tires) and more balanced ride.

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Re: reliable middrive for commute?

Post by electric_nz » Jan 27 2021 5:34pm

For what it’s worth the cyclone kits have been rock solid for me. Not exactly subtle or elegant though and the motor mounts are the weak point of the kits.

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