Why I'm pulling my Bafang BBS02

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peytonmusic   1 µW

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Why I'm pulling my Bafang BBS02

Post by peytonmusic » Sep 25 2015 2:21am

I'm certainly no expert and won't claim to be. The BBS02 is very popular and I'm not here to bash it. The reason I got it was largely because of this super helpful forum. I certainly wouldn't have been able to even install it if not for the help on here. (Thanks!) I've learned a lot about bikes and myself in the process. That being said, I'm pulling my new BBS02, taking a loss, taking recommendations, and getting a hub.

Here's why:

While the torque, power, and weight are amazing, I got the uncanny sense that I'd always be maintaining my bike and this kit. Firstly, installation was no joke and required tools I didn't have. It's a fairly conspicuous modification compared to a hub, and requires you to change out some pretty major parts, which is a bummer since I like mine.

It was seriously tough to go from 27 smoothly shifting speeds to 6 grinding gears. Since it's geared for top speed, it's tougher to get it started with your own two legs and just ride it like a normal bike. I was always pushing the line between stressing against the gear with my legs, or stressing the motor/controller/chain/cassette.

While my rear cassette is a 9 speed, I couldn't use gears 1-3 or the chain would fall off constantly. The answers on this and other sites to this common problem are to buy a specifically made $90 aluminum chainring about every six months, or rig your front derailleur or similar specific device that would constantly rub against the chain to keep it from falling off while in the lower gears.

This thing has amazing torque and snapped my chain during my third use. Thankfully, I was a few blocks from my house at the time instead of the 7 rolling miles I'd just crossed.

For legal reasons, it ships handicapped, only providing power up to 15mph. Past that, the motor stops which isn't helpful if you need to keep up with 25mph traffic. The answer to that is to buy a cable you'll use once, download some iffy software, and void your warranty to open the BBS02's potential. Alternatively, you can disconnect the speed sensor and bypass your speedometer and display altogether.

Another consideration is the shipping to and from China. It can be purchased in the US and I would've done that had I known better. The em3ev.com price is certainly the cheapest and the support is great. However, when I wanted to exchange a part, shipping was slow and more expensive than the price of the part itself. Shipping ALONE was over $200 in the first place, so make sure to factor that in when buying from China. I haven't tried to return it yet, so we'll see how that goes. I suspect that I'll again face horrendous shipping charges and just sell it used here in the US.

I really, really wanted to love this thing, but I just don't. It's definitely not for me. Again, I'm not setting out to bash anyone. I just want to write the review I wish I would have read before I bought it. Maybe I would have saved myself a lot of money, time, and hassle.

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voicecoils   10 MW

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Re: Why I'm pulling my Bafang BBS02

Post by voicecoils » Sep 25 2015 5:52am

Sounds like a dedicated ebike (rather than a conversion) might suit you better, or a front hub motor kit which can be installed/removed with minimal disruption to the bike.

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Re: Why I'm pulling my Bafang BBS02

Post by Lurkin » Sep 25 2015 6:32am

Pretty similar experience here.

em3ev is not the cheapest to buy from, the premium relates to getting service from vendor situated in China. After buying stuff from other (cheaper) Chinese vendors, I realise the benchmark is a bit different - unlike em3ev, they have no concept of service. Any 'service' was forced via paypal.

I'll add the use of proprietary bearings, lockrings etc is also plain irritating. I've just stuck with the original chainring and copping the chain coming off whenever it feels like. I have been tempted to buy a Lekkie ring but can't get over $120 for a disposable.

I have just received it (or a replacement) back from Bafang after the original died after 3,500kms. It's probably going to die again within two months, at which time, my new toy should be finished... including a DD 1500w leafmotor.

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Re: Why I'm pulling my Bafang BBS02

Post by Ykick » Sep 25 2015 7:09am

Will you be putting it up for sale?
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peytonmusic   1 µW

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Re: Why I'm pulling my Bafang BBS02

Post by peytonmusic » Sep 25 2015 12:57pm

Will you be putting it up for sale?
I will be selling it if I can't get a substantial enough return from em3ev. I haven't heard back yet. I'm afraid that shipping to China is going to kick me in the tenders again and make a local sale the way to go. Even if I just sold it for what I paid minus international shipping, it'd be a steal seeing as it's been used three times.

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Re: Why I'm pulling my Bafang BBS02

Post by Lurkin » Sep 25 2015 4:29pm

Price dependent, I could be interested.

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Kepler   1 GW

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Re: Why I'm pulling my Bafang BBS02

Post by Kepler » Sep 26 2015 8:22pm

My experience has been very positive even though my kit was a very early unit. Had a few teething problems that needed rectifying in the first 1000km but after that the drive has been rock solid. 2 years of hard constant use and the drive is still going strong and continues to be my main mode of transport.

Done well over 10,000km now. Replaced a couple of chains, chainrings, and cassettes but that needs to expected with any mid drive system. In regards to the actual drive, no internal parts have ever been changed and it is still as quiet as the day I go it. My bike also sees plenty of off road action on some pretty knarly tree rooted single track. I never have any chain dropping issues even when on the 34 tooth on the cassette.

Keeping the chain on is not rocket science. Just leave the front derailleur on and manually adjust it to hold the chain inline over the chainring as you shift over to your larger gears on the cassette.

I run the 42 tooth offset chainring from em3ev. Wear does not seem to be any worse than other chainrings I have used. Using the front derailleur to maintain chain line over the chainring certainly helps here.

In relation to "special tools" to install, all the tools required are basic off the shelf bottom bracket tools. Surely if you are going to work on your own bike, you should invest in these tools anyway.

Anyway, that's my personal take on the drive. Heading off the Lysterfield Park this afternoon to give the bike and drive a good smashing. Anyone in in Melbourne interested in joing me, shoot me a PM. 8)
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Re: Why I'm pulling my Bafang BBS02

Post by Nathan » Sep 27 2015 5:27am

Kepler I was reading on your thread and I can see you had to open the BBS02 several times and fix some things, I wouldn't call a kit that needs you to do that reliable as most people wouldn't have the ability or tools to be able to do that, Most people would just keep riding and destroy the whole gearbox very quickly. it should work as it is and not need to be opened often.

Also I read on you thread you often ride with only 200w power and average consumption of only 6 wh/km that's the lowest I have seen especially for a 750w motor ! so you either peddle a damn lot or never use the motor, hence it will never wear out with so little load . The 10,000km you do are nothing like someone normal person who doesn't peddle much and has more normal 12 to 15 wh/km.

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Kepler   1 GW

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Re: Why I'm pulling my Bafang BBS02

Post by Kepler » Sep 27 2015 10:18am

The faults I fixed in the early days have all been resolved in later models. However l agree that my early model drive may well have suffered an early death without intervention.

In regards to using low power levels, since the addition of a 500Whr battery, l tend to ride at much higher power settings now. Spend much of my commute at around 800W and enjoying 40 kph plus cruise speeds.

Believe me, my drive has earned its keep over a the past 2 years.
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tomjasz   10 GW

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Re: Why I'm pulling my Bafang BBS02

Post by tomjasz » Sep 27 2015 11:06am

Simply the silliest post I've read in recent memory. FFS who builds an eBike without proper and basic tools. Every tool needed should be in your tool box already, IF you are building and maintaining your bike. There are so many silly statements in your post it's nearly head spinning. All the tools would be used in maintaining a hub drive as well.

Shipped handicapped? You mean it's to difficult to read the display manual and rest the wheel size and speed limit? Which BTW has nothing to do with the warranty.

Why would EM3ev refund a motor price to anyone who simply bought a product without understanding the basic installation. Why not post an get the darn thing fixed. I wouldn't dream of refunding your purchase. You are missing the boat, not the BBS02 or EM3ev.

It sounds to me like you haven't the first idea on how to shift and use your gearing. But then I'm just an old guy with dementia whose motors all run and I do all the repairs. :roll:

Seriously, I doubt there will be any refund or return. You may as well step back, take a deep breath and get the problems sorted. OR I'm in ine with Ykick for the buy. MINUS the $200 shipping you'd have paid to return. Oh and a deduction for all the stress you put on the motor snapping chains.
:lol:
Thanks Justin_le we're here thanks to you. All the best to the mods for their tireless work keeping it on an even keel.

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Re: Why I'm pulling my Bafang BBS02

Post by tomjasz » Sep 27 2015 11:15am

peytonmusic wrote:
Will you be putting it up for sale?
I will be selling it if I can't get a substantial enough return from em3ev. I haven't heard back yet. I'm afraid that shipping to China is going to kick me in the tenders again and make a local sale the way to go. Even if I just sold it for what I paid minus international shipping, it'd be a steal seeing as it's been used three times.
I'd like to read how this is a returnable motor? I can't grasp the logic. The motor hasn't failed. You have, and that can be fixed.

BTW I ride my BBS01 350W all day at 34KPH (21MPH) Problem free for 1500 miles.
Thanks Justin_le we're here thanks to you. All the best to the mods for their tireless work keeping it on an even keel.

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Rassy   10 MW

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Re: Why I'm pulling my Bafang BBS02

Post by Rassy » Sep 27 2015 11:38am

peytonmusic wrote:
For legal reasons, it ships handicapped, only providing power up to 15mph. Past that, the motor stops which isn't helpful if you need to keep up with 25mph traffic. The answer to that is to buy a cable you'll use once, download some iffy software, and void your warranty to open the BBS02's potential. Alternatively, you can disconnect the speed sensor and bypass your speedometer and display altogether.
When I read this statement I realized you are more of a complainer than a typical DIY. Anyone thinking of installing an assist kit, battery, and other accessories has to have some DIY ability. Yes, the BBS02 is shipped with a speed limit of 25KMH, but changing that anywhere up to 40KPH is a basic operation using the keypad on the display unit, all explained in the on-line user manual.

As far as chain and gearing issues, that's well documented in this forum and a common problem with any crank drive system and not the fault of the BBS02 system. On my tadpole trike with a chain three times as long as a regular bike using all 9 speeds on the cassette is not a problem. On a regular bike I put together for my sister I used a Nexus 8 speed IGH with no chain guides or tensioner and again there are no problems. I also see where others have experimented with double front chain rings to increase their gearing choices.

A fairly conspicuous modification compared to a hub? Not in my opinion, and certainly not a "fault".

I replied to your post not so much to pick on you but to let others know that the BBS02 is currently one of the best and simplest ways to add electric assist to a bike, in my opinion. However, if a potential user avoids the BBS02 because of this post, he should at least be able to base that decision on valid facts.
-Rassy-
One Tadpole Trike equipped with a Bafang BBS02
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 28&t=69419
One Delta Trike equipped with a Bafang BBS02
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 0#p1291260

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Re: Why I'm pulling my Bafang BBS02

Post by slowhands » Sep 27 2015 2:45pm

The original poster implies that on his Bafang BBS-02 the chain drops easily. I'm curious why.

If this is a common problem, what is the generally accepted fix? Here are some possible fixes, top of the head:

Chain length: Is your chain length correct for your gearing? If you changed the front chainwheel, you needed to adjust chain length.
Long Derailleur: Would a long rear derailleur help by giving more chain lengths?
Different Chainring: I know there are Bling 42T chainrings for the Bafang that help a lot. Easy fix.
Chain guard on both sides of chainring: A lot of ebikes have this. So do a lot of cheap kid's mountain bikes with single chainwheel. Cheap fix?

IGH: Obviously an internally geared hub would help too, but can they handle the torque? I have doubts, since I know Shimano expressly states the Nexus IGH is not for mountain bikes where you stand on the pedals and pedal hard, although I have heard of racers using the Nexus 8 speed for doing just that. I don't know about NuVinci or Rohloff. I would not risk an expensive IGH if it is likely to get torn up quickly.

I'm surprised that the chain broke. How/why did it fail? Did a pin shear? Was it worn to begin with? I know 9 speed chain is slightly thinner than say 8 speed chain, maybe weaker. Love to know why it broke.

As for special tools, you need a crank puller, and likely BB removal tool, maybe a spanner for the lock ring. The usual adjustable and socket wrenches too, if you don't have them. I'd want a digital volt meter to figure wiring problems out. Yeah, a few tools, not so bad though.

I can see going to a hub motor if you are frustrated so long, and don't see any end in sight. But is this a common experience? I've been considering the Bafang, so I hope these problems are rare.
Last edited by slowhands on Oct 31 2015 7:24am, edited 1 time in total.

Lurkin   100 kW

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Re: Why I'm pulling my Bafang BBS02

Post by Lurkin » Sep 27 2015 4:19pm

I suspect the real issue is communication at the time of sale.

Whilst all of the information is available on the forum, it's not consolidated and pointed out at the time of sale. I.e. The chain typically fails off because the alignment between cassette and front chainring is out - usually because of using the BBS unit on a 73mm BB width rather than 68. This can be allegedly fixed with a Lekkie or similar aftermarket chainring. Anything other than that mentioned is just typical bike set up/ maintenance, which is not rocket science. But it is an additional $100 to pay before the product will work correctly. And it means any replacement is $100, instead of the $20 for a Bafang replacement. In other news, it looks the 1000w units coming out may have a greater offset on their front chainring. I'm crossing my fingers its the case because I want to try one to avoid the above cost of replacement. None of this is mentioned at product purchase.

As for tools - I totally disagree. I have replaced parts of a 105 BB and played about with my Octalink mountain bike crank set - with no need for a lockring spanner.... As times moved on, tool requirements have changed. Definitely wasn't in my tool box and it's unlikely I'll ever need it for anything other than Bafang units. But it's essential to install it. Is there one out there that actually uses all four notches without being a custom tool? Preferably with an offset to avoid it fouling on the frame? I'd like to see it, and better yet, an optional extra to purchase with the kit at the time of sale. I've only seen the sparkplug style socket from cali bikes which I wouldn't have thought would work with the pedal arm normally there?

As for shipping - that's just part of buying something direct from China. Maybe next time see if there's someone more local to you?

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Re: Why I'm pulling my Bafang BBS02

Post by tomjasz » Sep 27 2015 5:28pm

A lockring spanner is a $5 item for the BBS0x. Maybe $8 from some vendors. California eBikes includes one with their kits. I agree the bits are hard to sort out but the OP could just as easily simply asked for help. It's worked for me, every time I asked. Some of us want nothing more than to see others succeed with this motor. But sympathy for tis sort of complaint is hard to come by. Still, this motor could be fixed by many brighter minds here in a proper thread with that aim. I must say I do have empathy. My learning curve was steep, but it works. And I'm slow.
Thanks Justin_le we're here thanks to you. All the best to the mods for their tireless work keeping it on an even keel.

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Re: Why I'm pulling my Bafang BBS02

Post by Lurkin » Sep 27 2015 6:03pm

I purchased a cheapo lockring spanner and successfully stripped the nipple off the end of it, rendering it useless and a waste of money. Cheap quality tools are garbage and I'm done with them.

I purchased a Park Tool replacement which is of far better grade, but doesn't quite match the profile of the lockring and fouls on the frame due to the lack of offset. Yes, I have a solution, no, it's not ideal.

Bafang could easily remedy this problem by selling a Bafang tested and approved (quality) tool to go with it. or why not sell a Bafang approved tool kit for installation? If they can be produced so cheaply on mass, what's the excuse for not doing it? Ditto for cheapo, larger offset factory chainrings.

Rather than perceiving this as a whinge, its appreciation of the customer experience that should be taken into account by Bafang to have repeat/referred customers, particularly by those who haven't had ebikes before. This is a very different sort of complaint to "It didn't work so I want my money back" to "I expect and want this product to work out of the box without modification or further expenditure. If it doesn't, it's a failure and I want my money back."

Arguably design wise, Bafang is pretty close to this, definitely from installation perspective. Its interesting, because it doesn't look like it would be that hard for them to identify areas for improvement and really succeed in the long run.

As for chains snapping, pretty sure Kepler/programming thread had a solution for this relating to being off steam when changing gear? These sorts of things should and can be remedied at the factory, not upon receipt. Their R&D department could always be reading on here for ideas... half the testings been done already!

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Re: Why I'm pulling my Bafang BBS02

Post by slowhands » Sep 27 2015 7:39pm

Since you all know the bugs in the Bafang BBS-0X, would some kind soul summarize them in a sticky post? Here's a random list for a start:

Recommended chainwheel size on ordering
Chainwheel aftermarket options, spider, chainwheels
Spanner needed, what kind? Other special tools needed
Hits plastic cable guide under bottom barrel if you have one there
O ring loose in motor
early weak mosfets, datecode for upgrade (206?)

Seems like new buyers could benefit from this knowledge

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Re: Why I'm pulling my Bafang BBS02

Post by Lurkin » Sep 27 2015 8:30pm

Add it here:

https://endless-sphere.com/w/index.php/ ... s_Middrive

The wiki is the central repository of information. It will just get buried in the thread putting it here.

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Re: Why I'm pulling my Bafang BBS02

Post by tomjasz » Sep 28 2015 2:28pm

m33 tool
Attachments
Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 2.27.12 PM.png
Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 2.27.12 PM.png (191.41 KiB) Viewed 8480 times
Thanks Justin_le we're here thanks to you. All the best to the mods for their tireless work keeping it on an even keel.

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Re: Why I'm pulling my Bafang BBS02

Post by 2old » Sep 28 2015 3:46pm

PM; thanks for the report; very helpful (to me).
Had no trouble fitting the kit since I had all the tools (among them the "spanner" from 25-30 years ago; at that time "uncaged ball" bottom brackets were prevalent).
One thing that amazes me so far is the non-symmetry of the BBS02 system (one crank arm is about 10 cm farther away from the chainstays than the other). I recall an ES member saying he had hip trouble that might have been associated with this characteristic.
Since I purchased the unit, I had a chance to ride Bosch and TransX middrives. Shifting was seamless, but for some reason I like throttle only much better.

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Re: Why I'm pulling my Bafang BBS02

Post by Patches1958 » Sep 28 2015 9:21pm

I bought a BBSO2 750 watt from EM3EV last year and used it as a pedal assist commuter bike. I read the threads before the build and put a Nuvinci hub on as well. It was nothing but a trouble free pleasure to ride. I put just over 1200 mi and never had any kind of trouble from it. I had the 52 tooth chain ring, changed the chain to a single speed chain and put a Surly 22 tooth spocket on it and it ran like a Seiko watch. If used as a pedal assist bike it was nothing but a pleasure to ride. I did just recently sell the bike though because I rode a friends 4,000 watt hub motor and was hooked. I cannot say anything but good things about EM3EV and the Bafang/Nuvinci combination. You just got to know that if it is hard to pedal, it must be hard on the motor and with the twist of your wrist, adjust the gear ratio on the Nuvinci.

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Re: Why I'm pulling my Bafang BBS02

Post by slowhands » Sep 30 2015 1:00pm

I saw an interesting tool for installing Bafang BBS 02 drives. It's a double ended tool for both sides. Someone saw a need and custom made a special. Obviously not necessary, but very nice.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/BPT-1-Bafang-8F ... 1c45805312
Bafang installation tool in use.gif
Bafang installation tool in use.gif (68.17 KiB) Viewed 8363 times
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Bafang installation tool large side.gif (57.89 KiB) Viewed 8363 times
Bafang installation tool small side.gif
Bafang installation tool small side.gif (63.65 KiB) Viewed 8363 times

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Re: Why I'm pulling my Bafang BBS02

Post by oobagooba » Oct 06 2015 2:16pm

peytonmusic wrote:I'm pulling my new BBS02, taking a loss, taking recommendations, and getting a hub.

Here's why:
Firstly, installation was no joke and required tools I didn't have. It's a fairly conspicuous modification compared to a hub, and requires you to change out some pretty major parts

Since it's geared for top speed, it's tougher to get it started with your own two legs and just ride it like a normal bike. I was always pushing the line between stressing against the gear with my legs, or stressing the motor/controller/chain/cassette.

For legal reasons, it ships handicapped, only providing power up to 15mph. Past that, the motor stops which isn't helpful if you need to keep up with 25mph traffic.

Another consideration is the shipping to and from China. It can be purchased in the US and I would've done that had I known better. I just want to write the review I wish I would have read before I bought it. Maybe I would have saved myself a lot of money, time, and hassle.
I run hubs for similar reasons. Still you're going to need "special" tools for a hub kit, spoke wrench, files, metric wrenches, cassette tool/freewheel tool/chain whip if you go rear. Hose clamp nut driver and truing stand also nice.

You will need to true & tension the wheel, maybe build one later.

You'll need to do homework on cassette vs. freewheel. Front is easier but has disadvantages. Then there's the whole disc brake thing.

If you want to keep it simple go sensorless. More homework. Also for simple run a throttle and no pas, cruise is nice but more stuff.

It's not great for a hub motor to take off from a stop either.

Hubs cheaper than mid but that's from china with same issues you already had. US vendors cost more. Everything from china at this price range.

All my hub installs needed "special" tools and mods. There was one that didn't work out, i sold at a loss, sometimes that happens.

easy, powerful, cheap, pick 2

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Re: Why I'm pulling my Bafang BBS02

Post by LyonNightroad » Oct 20 2015 12:58pm

In many ways I am grateful that building an ebike still requires a bit of work, a few tools, basic electrical knowledge, and some maintenance. We are the golden age of ebikes right now (in the US anyway) much like the golden age of fpv drones several years ago. Look at drones while there were barriers to entry and you had to build your own (except a few very expensive models). Back then the barriers to entry (building your own, some knowledge of electronics, telemetry, amateur radio knowledge (polarity, frequency, etc.)) kept the idiots out. Now that drones are becoming cheap and any fool who can play a video game can fly one, things are looking bad for the hobby. The FAA wants to regulate it because of dummies who fly too high, near airports, near crowded events, landmarks, etc. That is what the future of ebikes looks like once anybody can buy a cheap high-powered ebike and little knowledge is needed for maintainence. We should enjoy these days while we can (in the US)

Also, this is my lockring tool, works great:

Image

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Re: Why I'm pulling my Bafang BBS02

Post by Commuterman88 » Oct 21 2015 4:36am

peytonmusic wrote:I'm certainly no expert and won't claim to be. The BBS02 is very popular and I'm not here to bash it. The reason I got it was largely because of this super helpful forum. I certainly wouldn't have been able to even install it if not for the help on here. (Thanks!) I've learned a lot about bikes and myself in the process. That being said, I'm pulling my new BBS02, taking a loss, taking recommendations, and getting a hub.

Here's why:

While the torque, power, and weight are amazing, I got the uncanny sense that I'd always be maintaining my bike and this kit. Firstly, installation was no joke and required tools I didn't have. It's a fairly conspicuous modification compared to a hub, and requires you to change out some pretty major parts, which is a bummer since I like mine.

It was seriously tough to go from 27 smoothly shifting speeds to 6 grinding gears. Since it's geared for top speed, it's tougher to get it started with your own two legs and just ride it like a normal bike. I was always pushing the line between stressing against the gear with my legs, or stressing the motor/controller/chain/cassette.

While my rear cassette is a 9 speed, I couldn't use gears 1-3 or the chain would fall off constantly. The answers on this and other sites to this common problem are to buy a specifically made $90 aluminum chainring about every six months, or rig your front derailleur or similar specific device that would constantly rub against the chain to keep it from falling off while in the lower gears.

This thing has amazing torque and snapped my chain during my third use. Thankfully, I was a few blocks from my house at the time instead of the 7 rolling miles I'd just crossed.

For legal reasons, it ships handicapped, only providing power up to 15mph. Past that, the motor stops which isn't helpful if you need to keep up with 25mph traffic. The answer to that is to buy a cable you'll use once, download some iffy software, and void your warranty to open the BBS02's potential. Alternatively, you can disconnect the speed sensor and bypass your speedometer and display altogether.

Another consideration is the shipping to and from China. It can be purchased in the US and I would've done that had I known better. The em3ev.com price is certainly the cheapest and the support is great. However, when I wanted to exchange a part, shipping was slow and more expensive than the price of the part itself. Shipping ALONE was over $200 in the first place, so make sure to factor that in when buying from China. I haven't tried to return it yet, so we'll see how that goes. I suspect that I'll again face horrendous shipping charges and just sell it used here in the US.

I really, really wanted to love this thing, but I just don't. It's definitely not for me. Again, I'm not setting out to bash anyone. I just want to write the review I wish I would have read before I bought it. Maybe I would have saved myself a lot of money, time, and hassle.
I am doing the same now. Built a bike with 750w engine, it has been to time consuming from start to the end. Now, after looking around for other solutions im just going with a Cannondale Kinneto. Just seems more slick and no more hassel with the motor...

I understand that some might like the DIY solution better, but its not for me. People should be aware of all the work.

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