Build & Review - Hi Power Cycles' 1200W (52V) Mid Drive Kit

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BigEzy   10 µW

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Build & Review - Hi Power Cycles' 1200W (52V) Mid Drive Kit

Post by BigEzy » Feb 05 2015 10:48am

First post & build of a long time lurker.

I have been following the Ebike scene for a few years. I've know for a long time that I wanted an ebike, and came to the conclusion a mid drive system would work best for me. I also realized that although very confident with tools and mechanics, my current garage lacked the space or tools needed to do anything too involved or customized.

My Need:
For the past several years I have used my standard mountain bike as a work platform for my photograph business. I shoot a lot of events that require me to carry up to 30lbs of photo gear. This has worked well by allowing me to move around "inside" an event or quickly move setups to another location on large events like races and such. I have tried a moped and a dirt bike, but both were restricted from some areas... Areas I could get to by walking a bike.

The biggest problem I had with a normal bike was getting it up hills, ramps, levees and such. I'm not a small guy, 5'11" @250lbs, plus 30lbs of photo gear equalled a lot of work, both on long grades and short, slow inclines. Top speed wasn't the big factor, most riding is at 10 to 12mph in roads, or slower when single-tracking or accessing remote areas. Torque was my main goal. Also keeping the additional weight centered was important.

Old Bike being replaced: XL Gary Fisher, 26"
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The base bike:
Frankly I didn't give a lot of thought on the base brand/model. My old Gary Fisher 26" had served me well, except it was too tall for me in stop & go situations. I knew I wanted a 29" and I wanted something that fit me better. I looked at several and decided on a HARO Sport 29er. which felt good and was available at my local shop at a good price.

New Bike: HARO Sport 8 speed, 29er:
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Hi Power Cycles' 1200W (52V) Mid Drive Kit:
One of the reasons I waited for over a year to build an ebike was news of the newer 750w, BBS02 system. I wanted to see the reviews and videos of the newer version. I also wanted a build that was more geared towards the consumer who wanted a "bolt-on system" that was somewhat beefier and more customizable than a production ebike. In fact, I would have purchased a complete pre-built Bafang Equipped bike, if one was available locally. But size and fit were so important I needed to test the base bike.

I read many pros & cons here on ES, about the different mid drive systems and vendors selling kits. The Banfang BBS02 kit seemed my best option and Hi Power Cycles had a juiced kit that was geared towards plug an play. I'm sure I could have saved some money shopping for the system via components online, but I felt after reading all the opinions (good & bad) on HPC, they were a good source for a complete system.

I ordered the Hi Power Cycle, 1200W (52V) Mid Drive Kit on a Monday afternoon and it was delivered that same Friday by ground. The kit was $1799. HPC did not have the standard 52V, 10Ah Li-NMC kit battery in stock, so I was upgraded to the 52V 12.5Ah Li-NMC with upgraded 58.8V, 4A charger at no cost.
Fast shipping & free upgrade a Positive for HPC !!

Kit Info: http://www.hi-powercycles.com/hpc-mid-d ... fun-bbs02/

The Kit & Install:
The install was as most readers here on ES would expect, fairly easy, only special tools are those needed to remove the crank & arms. Kit comes with everything you need to get on the road in about an hour (in theory). For the first-time ebike builder, it is a good kit if simple is your goal. Can easily be installed in your kitchen or in the field with minimal tools.

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However, I was a bit surprised that the kit came with NO instructions!! I didn't panic because after 2 years researching and lurking on ES, I pretty much knew each step to installing the BBS02 without worry. But for the uninitiated or garage build consumer, not having a single instruction could be intimidating. Now I'm not sure what instructions come with a standard BBS02 system?... if any?? But not including anything except an invoice, is a major CON for HPC. At minimum it should have an inventory list and some basic install instructions!

Also at around $800 for the included 52V battery, at minimum the battery and charger should have instruction on how to charge correctly and such. The kit contained none. Because of which I still have some questions, which I'll get to in my next post.

First impressions - Fantastic!
Within 2hrs of starting the build I was zipping around the neighborhood at speeds of +30mph testing the ride.

Stripped of all photo gear & bags the bike's base weight is 26.2 lbs, add the mid drive & battery and the bike weighs just at 43lbs ready to ride. Add 30lbs in photo gear, 10lbs in racks & bags, and a stout 250lb rider, and the whole rig weighs in at about 330lbs !!

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With this weight, the bike can easily get up to around 23mph, faster than a fit non-Ebike rider who rides daily. My riding buddy, my wife, has completed the MS150 several times in the top 25%, and my Ebike fully loaded both accelerates and cruises fasted than she can maintain with only mild or no peddling. Perfect!

Using the gears on flat ground, fully loaded, with average peddling, I can get the bike to about 30mph in PAS 4 in about 200meters. Using throttle only it takes about 600meters to get above 30mph on flat ground. Top speed so far has been just above 40mph (slight downhill) throttle only. Way too fast for a aluminum bike with this much weight. But perfect for my needs.

I have stated a log on my test rides and will update as I fine tune riding style and do more range & incline tests, but for the most part it really shines in stop & go (red lights) traffic and hill climbing overpasses, levees, and city trails. My first few rides have been around 12miles with a mix of throttle only, PAS cruising, and various acceleration and climbing test.

Overall I have to say I'm very pleased with the kit & performance out the box. I still have a few questions for other ES members regrading battery management. But I need to do some more range and power testing first.

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Thanks to the info I learned here on ES, I think my choice to go Bafang, BBS02 is showing to be the right move. Whether spending the extra $$ for a complete (plug & play) juiced system from HPC is the best route, well that depends. For me.. Yes, I like having a single source for everything, but I do feel there are some issues HPC needs to address if this kit is truly going to be a "consumer bolt-on" option. More on that later....

~Gene

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ohzee   1 MW

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Re: Build & Review - Hi Power Cycles' 1200W (52V) Mid Drive

Post by ohzee » Feb 05 2015 11:34am

Looks nice BigEzy. Sounds like an electric bike is the perfect means for you to get around for your profession.

I have looked at those kits. Ifigure I will have one some day. Sorta hoping they come out with a newer version tho
before I jump the gun.

Anywya nice pics & nice build.

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Re: Build & Review - Hi Power Cycles' 1200W (52V) Mid Drive

Post by Fastest1 » Feb 05 2015 6:34pm

Gene,
Thanks for the review. I just received my BBS02 today from another ES member. I dont have a battery yet and would prefer a bottle boss mount. What kind of range are you getting now? I live North of 1488 now, used to live at 11th & TC Jester.

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BigEzy   10 µW

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Re: Build & Review - Hi Power Cycles' 1200W (52V) Mid Drive

Post by BigEzy » Feb 05 2015 9:56pm

Fastest1
Funny, sounds like we were close neighbors here in the Hieights.

I haven't done any detailed range testing yet, but I have several 15-20 mile rides, and a 10 mile trip through Huntsville State Park's trails. My longest has been about 32miles, to which I had to peddle back home from about 3 miles out. All have been mixed rides, so I'm guessing if I tried, I could easily get 35 miles.

I tend to run in top gear at PAS2 on most long flats. That's around 20mph at 500W. I just installed the CA, so I'll know more soon.

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Re: Build & Review - Hi Power Cycles' 1200W (52V) Mid Drive

Post by hi-powercycles » Feb 18 2015 10:33pm

Hi There,
Should have been in the email correspondence, but all kits/instructions are on the website under "Support." Although I agree that the instructions as they come from 8fun are terrible. We will be re-doing the manual with pictures and easy to follow instructions that are succinct and to the point. We have a video up on Youtube about the basic assembly/dis-assembly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwUCcX15KiU

Sorry for your lack of support, we appreciate your constructive criticism. New manuals should be up soon. Please don't hesitate to call us if you have questions.

Fastest1   10 W

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Build & Review - Hi Power Cycles' 1200W (52V) Mid Drive Kit

Post by Fastest1 » Feb 21 2015 10:40am

Big, How many levels of PAS do you have configured? I am assuming creating more levels merely makes finer increments. I could be wrong.

I did just receive my battery (48v,9.8ah EM3EV bottle boss mounted). It is amazing so far.

I am running a 44/12 as my tallest gear. This is on a 700c road bike at the moment. Might have to buy a few more front rings. Maybe a 52t just to test the top speed. However the 30-31mph I have been reaching is sufficient. I only have about 9 miles of testing with no detectable battery drain (on the C961). That was over riding with the throttle pretty often ;-) I am currently set up with 9 levels of PAS.

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