MAC vs Bafang

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
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Re: MAC vs Bafang

Post by Arbol » Aug 10 2013 2:45pm

Thanks for your reply.

The BBS-01 seems great, and in fact, it is the #1 motor I am considering right now. I have only one doubt: what about reliability? Mid drives are mostly intended for steep hills, so it seems natural to use them off-road. Do you know if the reliability of the motor (if used within the correct power parameters) is good?

It is a pity the embedded controller of the BBS-01 is so weak. I have seen somewhere some power charts for the 350W showing max power and max torque are accomplished around 17A. With LiFePO4 being able to deliver at least 20A and probably 30A or even more on a continuous fashion, it is a pity this motor is not able to use that.

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Re: MAC vs Bafang

Post by Arbol » Aug 10 2013 2:48pm

greenspark wrote:
Having said that, now that the 250W is running on the 1951 Raleigh DL1 and the detuned 300W on the Bella Ciao, we really can't tell much difference. Remember that both drive the 3-speed internal hub (one a Shimano Nexus, the other a SA S3X), thus going up hills, we use the lower gears, and then on the flats use the higher gears. Like a car, this allows a broader range of power assist than if we used a hub motor that does not take advantage of the gearing. It is a completely different experience.
One question: are you using the same battery for both motors? Or are you using a 48V battery for the 350W one and a 36V for the 250W one?

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Re: MAC vs Bafang

Post by greenspark » Aug 10 2013 2:51pm

Arbol wrote:
greenspark wrote:
Having said that, now that the 250W is running on the 1951 Raleigh DL1 and the detuned 300W on the Bella Ciao, we really can't tell much difference. Remember that both drive the 3-speed internal hub (one a Shimano Nexus, the other a SA S3X), thus going up hills, we use the lower gears, and then on the flats use the higher gears. Like a car, this allows a broader range of power assist than if we used a hub motor that does not take advantage of the gearing. It is a completely different experience.
One question: are you using the same battery for both motors? Or are you using a 48V battery for the 350W one and a 36V for the 250W one?
We are interchanging two batteries (meaning we swap them around on the two bikes):
36v bottle battery from BMSBattery
39v A123 battery from Cell Man
We notice the 39v gives a bit more power. However, the interacting with the rear hub gears is a far more significant factor. The difference between the two batteries is far more noticeable on the Bafang CST motor and the Mac rear motor than it is on the BBS01 crank motor.

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Re: MAC vs Bafang

Post by Arbol » Aug 10 2013 2:59pm

Wow, that is great, greenspark. I could not know this without somebody like you, with direct experience on the motors.

I have looked at BMSbattery. Is this bottle battery the one you have?

http://www.bmsbattery.com/36v/571-bottl ... ttery.html

If it is, I am really surprised, because it says max continuous amperage of 10A and as said, the 350W delivers max power at 17A, so the difference in power should be quite significant between the 250W at 10A (supposedly, really 360W = 36V*10A) and the 350W at 17A (663W = 39V*17A).

Why do you think there is not much difference? Could it be the bottle is providing in fact more than 10A?

Edit: then, possibly with a frog battery like http://www.bmsbattery.com/36v/17-36v-li ... -pack.html with continuous discharge of 15A and peaks of 30A, one should have basically enough for the 250W, right? (of course, I am talking about power, not about total Ah, which always could be larger).

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Bafang BBS01

Post by greenspark » Aug 10 2013 3:16pm

Arbol wrote:Wow, that is great, greenspark. I could not know this without somebody like you, with direct experience on the motors.

I have looked at BMSbattery. Is this bottle battery the one you have?

http://www.bmsbattery.com/36v/571-bottl ... ttery.html

If it is, I am really surprised, because it says max continuous amperage of 10A and as said, the 350W delivers max power at 17A, so the difference in power should be quite significant between the 250W at 10A (supposedly, really 360W = 36V*10A) and the 350W at 17A (663W = 39V*17A).

Why do you think there is not much difference? Could it be the bottle is providing in fact more than 10A?

It is possible, but until I learn more about the electronic guts, I'm not the best one to ask.

It is the older 8.8 Ah battery http://www.bmsbattery.com/36v/362-bottl ... ttery.html.

However, soon after I bought it, it quit. I took it apart and found that the BMS had shorted (dark spot on the circuit board). Contacted BMSBattery and after a few emails, they agreed to send me a new BMS board free, provided I pay the shipping (which was three times the board price). I ended up buying an additional one in case it would fry again, but when the two arrived, their wiring was slightly different, requiring I solder in a longer power wire so it would work. Thus, it suggests it was not the identical board, and it is possible that the replacement board has a higher continuous amperage than the one that came with the unit. The problem with buying from BMS is that the information provided online is not necessarily what is sent, and when one enquires of them the answer clearly suggests that they don't have a clue... non-technical, opaque Chinglish is what you get from them.

Also, keep in mind that on the 350W motor, I asked that Bafang detune it to 300W max, thus they may have lowered the max power setting whereas the Euro spec (but with a thumb throttle as well as pedalec) was supposed to be standard.

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Re: MAC vs Bafang

Post by Arbol » Aug 10 2013 3:32pm

Thanks for your reply.

By the way, is the following mid drive:

http://www.bmsbattery.com/central-motor ... motor.html

the BBS-01 250W, or it is something different?

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Re: MAC vs Bafang

Post by greenspark » Aug 10 2013 4:07pm

Arbol wrote:Thanks for your reply.

By the way, is the following mid drive:

http://www.bmsbattery.com/central-motor ... motor.html

the BBS-01 250W, or it is something different?
Not a BBS01. Looks very different.

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Re: MAC vs Bafang

Post by d8veh » Aug 11 2013 5:31am

A thing to bear in mind if you're considering the Bafang BBS01. When you set off in a low gear, it feels quite powerful, and it can climb steep hills in bottom gear without too much pedal effort, although you'll be going quite slow. As you increase speed, each gear-change up decreases the torque, so by the time you get to top gear, there's barely enough torque to maintain speed on the flat. It has the advantage of being EN15194 compliant, but there's no way it can compete with a 500w geared hub-motor if you want to go at speeds over 25km/h.

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Re: MAC vs Bafang

Post by greenspark » Aug 11 2013 5:50am

d8veh wrote:A thing to bear in mind if you're considering the Bafang BBS01. When you set off in a low gear, it feels quite powerful, and it can climb steep hills in bottom gear without too much pedal effort, although you'll be going quite slow. As you increase speed, each gear-change up decreases the torque, so by the time you get to top gear, there's barely enough torque to maintain speed on the flat. It has the advantage of being EN15194 compliant, but there's no way it can compete with a 500w geared hub-motor if you want to go at speeds over 25km/h.
d8veh, are you speaking from experience, or theory? I have not found any problem with maintaining speed on the flat, but I ride well-made European city bikes with low rolling resistance. Not sure what speed it is going, because I ride for comfort, not time trials... too fast and the wind roars in my ears.

As for comparing it to a 500W motor, its apples and oranges. A 500W motor (from MAC anyway) turned my bike into a moped... 53km/h where pedalling is optional. I do hear that Bafang was showing a 750W BBS01 version in Europe recently, although early reviews suggested it felt less gutsy than one would expect from such wattage.

The BBS01 is a different experience. Comparing it to a hub motor is a bit like comparing a 1960's Chrysler 383 V8 with the much smaller but high-performance European engines of the time like the 1969 Alfa 1750 with Spica Fuel Injection (I still own one of each, although they have become garage hermits since we moved here). When I ride a hub motor, I know I have a motor, either on the front or the rear. When I pedal with the BBS01, I actually tend to forget I have power assist until the battery quits and I realise how much work it is doing. This is especially the case when using the PAS instead of the thumb throttle.

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Re: MAC vs Bafang

Post by d8veh » Aug 12 2013 4:01am

I'm talking from experience. Of course a 500w motor has more power than a 250w one: That's the point I was making. For A European EN15194 compliant bike, the BBS01 is a good solution. It can get me up to about 20 mph on the flat in favourable conditions, but it soon slows down when there's any incline or wind. Different people want different things from their motors. These low power crank motors are great if you like to pedal, but people that want to be lazy or maintain speeds of around 20mph need to look elsewhere. I compare the BBS01 to the GNG Gen 2, which has substantially more power and torque. I even converted a QSWXK5 to crank drive, and that had a lot more torque than the BBS01.

The main point I was trying to make is the way the torque is multiplied or divided by changing gear. When you're in a low gear, there's very high torque, which makes the motor feel powerful, but in top gear, it's a different story. You can hardly feel the power because the torque is very low, so not enough to maintain speed. It's very easy to get a false impression of the power on a short test ride.

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Re: MAC vs Bafang

Post by greenspark » Aug 12 2013 4:46am

d8veh wrote:I'm talking from experience. ... It's very easy to get a false impression of the power on a short test ride.
d8veh, I don't mean to get into a bun fight, but having owned a number of ebike motors, front hub, rear hub and now crank drive, I am talking from direct experience rather than general experience. Have you actually owned a crank motor that drives a rear hub bike, and if so, what type? Until the BBS01, I had not, and it was an eye opener. Previously, we were finding it very difficult to hit the sweet spot between a right-torque, right-top-end motor. Some could not pass the killer-hill test, others had too much power - no longer bike riding, but "mopeding". The closest to sweet spot we came was the Bafang CST motor... until the BBS01 came out. I'm not as good at engineering as you, and cannot explain why, but in real life performance, I feel they got it right. It does have a few things I would like Bafang to do better (and the company is not set up for retail sales), but overall, its a well-executed motor. We are now putting together a bulk order (ten motors so far) of people on our island who have tried out our bikes and like them... it's a co-op group, not a business, and we still have not verified we can actually get the order processed, but I will keep folks updated on our progress. I did get an email from a person in South Africa who wants to put together a buyer's group, so if this works, I'll let everyone know (BTW, we run a charitable trust... making a living off of ebikes would be in the too hard basket).

On a three-speed rear internal hub motor, in top gear the power assist is strong enough to maintain speed. I am using it regularly now in widely variable terrain and under conditions that include the roaring 40's wind of New Zealand and I continue to be impressed. The one motor now reads 84km on the odometer, the other 23. The first job they must do every day they are used is to take me up a 15 degree hill that serves as the torque test (it was too much for a number of "higher powered" 350W front hub motors we bought). On that hill, I must pedal, and it is better if I am in low or 2nd gear. In second, I have to give it more muscle. I would say the speed with the motor up the hill is about 15-18kph (which is the speed four of us pedalled the Bella Ciao along the Elbe River for five days on flat paved bike roads before we brought those Bella Ciao bikes home and added motors). Without the motor, I can barely make it up the hill in the lowest gear - leg muscle spasm, lungs hurting, and sweating profusely (it is a long hill). Then along a winding road that has some hills and dips where I set the motor boost to zero on the dips, back to three on the hills and occasionally give it the thumb throttle boost if the angle increases. Then down a steep hill to the ferry with no power, and on the other side a city that begins flat and then has urban hill conditions.

At no time do I sense that I am running out of power assist, and while I feel warm, I am never sweating, feeling muscle ache or lung scream. Of course for every rider, the setting of the gears becomes important. The front gear is a single Bafang 46 or 48 tooth chainring. Thus, the rear gears will determine the relative effect of torque. I expect it could be possible to use small rear gears that are too high for the motor, and there may be bike frames that are harder to move (fat MTB tyres for example) but that is not the case on either of the bikes we use.

Yes, if a rider is looking for a moped (no pedalling and up to 50 km/h) then this is not the motor for them. I agree with you there. But I disagree that it lacks sufficient power at higher speeds.

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Re: MAC vs Bafang

Post by spinningmagnets » Aug 12 2013 5:49am

Greenspark, since you are ordering ten units, you might consider performing surgery on one of them. I suggest removing the internal controller and then fitting an external controller. I have a 6-FET near me right now, and they are fairly small. Then, add a temp sensor (easy and cheap). That should double the number of amps the BBS01 can take without damage.

Since it is an inrunner (much like the GNG Gen1) the motor-shell on the left sheds heat reasonably well. Having the tiny controller integral to the motor case (like the old 500W Cyclone) will hold in the controller heat. The 650W Cyclone had the same motor and controller, but with an external controller. One good thing about the Cyclone kits was that they had temp sensors that would roll-back the max amps when the internals got hot, so at least they wouldn't fry. 150W more over 500W is approximately 30% more power.

If you could safely add 30% more power to the BBS01, you could call that a $100 extra "upgraded" kit. There were a couple video links posted at the end of the Bafang crank-drives thread, they are tear-downs and installation videos that show the guts.

http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... 75#p779986

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Re: MAC vs Bafang

Post by Arbol » Aug 12 2013 8:05am

That is a great idea, if greenspark has the time and willingness to do so. I would like to do it, if I could.

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Re: MAC vs Bafang

Post by arkmundi » Aug 12 2013 8:59am

greenspark wrote:We are now putting together a bulk order (ten motors so far) of people on our island who have tried out our bikes and like them... it's a co-op group, not a business, and we still have not verified we can actually get the order processed, but I will keep folks updated on our progress. I did get an email from a person in South Africa who wants to put together a buyer's group, so if this works, I'll let everyone know (BTW, we run a charitable trust... making a living off of ebikes would be in the too hard basket).
Apart from the motor debate, just commending the cooperative purchasing approach, via charitable trust. Best of good fortune on the follow-thru. Hope to make something similar happen here in Worcester, MA.

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Re: MAC vs Bafang

Post by d8veh » Aug 13 2013 5:19am

greenspark wrote: Have you actually owned a crank motor that drives a rear hub bike, and if so, what type?
I have a GNG Gen1 and GNG Gen2, and I made a crank drive using a Bafang SWXK5. If you look at the link at the bottom, you can see these bikes. I had a Woosh bike with TMC motor on long-term test, for which I did a full review on the UK Pedelecs forum. I've ridden bikes with just about every Bosch, Panasonic and Kalkhoff crank-drive, and when I was in China, I tried the 250w and "750w" Bafang ones plus the Ananda, and another one similar to the Ananda whos name I can't remember. All the Chinese 250w crank-drives had similar power, except maybe the TMC was a bit weaker. The Bosch, 36v Panasonic and Kalkhoff impulse drive have noticeably more power. The "750w" Bafang one felt similar to a GNG gen 2 at 36v and 22 amps. I guess the Bafang had 15 amps at 48v. Both are more powerful than the Bosch. The 250w SWX as a crank-drive was about the same as a Bosch.

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Re: MAC vs Bafang

Post by Arbol » Aug 30 2013 1:39am

Is it possible (ie reliable) to add a 48V battery to the 250W BBS-01?

I am asking this because the more I read about it, the more I think the 250W BBS-01 fits what I need: EU legal, able to go up hills at low speed (even though the motor can be weak at high speed, but I do not care much about high speed), easy to install, no need of torque arms, even cheap in the sense that one does not need to buy front derrailleurs and all that if one is building the bike from scratch.

Adding a 48V battery would probably (if maintaining reliability) give a small plus in power, while keeping legality.

I know there is the 350W 48V version, but that one is not EU legal anymore.

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Re: MAC vs Bafang

Post by greenspark » Aug 30 2013 2:16am

Arbol wrote:Is it possible (ie reliable) to add a 48V battery to the 250W BBS-01?

I am asking this because the more I read about it, the more I think the 250W BBS-01 fits what I need: EU legal, able to go up hills at low speed (even though the motor can be weak at high speed, but I do not care much about high speed), easy to install, no need of torque arms, even cheap in the sense that one does not need to buy front derrailleurs and all that if one is building the bike from scratch.

Adding a 48V battery would probably (if maintaining reliability) give a small plus in power, while keeping legality.

I know there is the 350W 48V version, but that one is not EU legal anymore.
The controller is built into the unit, so you would need to know how to program it. Probably better to use it as is.

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Re: MAC vs Bafang

Post by circuit » Oct 14 2013 10:11am

Hi,

Does anyone know a supplier that can offer Bafang BPM with code 8? I am struggling to find it anywhere, all those chinese sellers have no idea what they are selling.
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Re: MAC vs Bafang

Post by Allex » Feb 26 2014 7:27pm

What about noise?
How is MAC compared to a 500DD from EM3ev.
Which of them is more silent.
Can't decide on what to get yet...

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Re: MAC vs Bafang

Post by lollandster » Feb 27 2014 7:26am

I haven't tried the 500dd, but if I compare mac against MPIII its not buch difference in volume. I put a sine wave controller on my Q100 and that made a big difference, goes to show that a lot of the noise is generated by the motor and not just the gears. I guess if you find a sine wave controller to run the 500dd it would be very quiet.
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Re: MAC vs Bafang

Post by neptronix » Apr 19 2014 1:06pm

Allex wrote:What about noise?
How is MAC compared to a 500DD from EM3ev.
Which of them is more silent.
Can't decide on what to get yet...
Having owned both motors, i can say that the MAC is a tiny bit louder, but the frequency of sound it outputs is higher, which is more noticeable. But for some reason, the sound that DD motors output seems to travel further.

The magic pie is the loudest motor i've ever ran. It has a pleasing tone... :)
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Re: MAC vs Bafang

Post by miuan » Apr 23 2014 4:46am

neptronix wrote:Having owned both motors, i can say that the MAC is a tiny bit louder, but the frequency of sound it outputs is higher, which is more noticeable. But for some reason, the sound that DD motors output seems to travel further.
The magic pie is the loudest motor i've ever ran. It has a pleasing tone... :)
I've built and ridden bikes with all of these motors, and Bafang BPM too.
MAC has the most disturbing, kinda high-pitch noise, especially at high speeds. BPM is similar but less intrusive thanks to its softer nylon gears that damp the noise better than MAC's composite gears.
The em3ev DD is nearly silent as long as it's fed a solid waveform. The more it gets into PWM, the worse the buzz gets.
The Magic Pie II is louder, but not as loud as my MAC. It is a very nice torquey motor.
Keep in mind, this comparison was made using high voltage square wave controllers. Sine wave SHOULD make the DD considerably more silent.

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