Author Topic: Installing an electric mid-motor  (Read 17917 times)

Andre Jute

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Installing an electric mid-motor
« on: April 24, 2015, 12:08:42 AM »
My Bafang 8FUN QSWXK front motor http://coolmainpress.com/BICYCLINGbuildingpedelec1.html has clocked out after four years on the hills of West Cork, so y'all are cordially invited to follow with me the installation of the  Bafang 8FUN BBS01 midmotor I've ordered. I'll report on the destruction of the old motor later, and on the installation of the BBS midmotor.

For the moment I just want to say that, when UPS, as per usual, messed up picking up the parcel and lost two whole days (!), my dealer, Eclips Ebikes www.eclipsebikes.com drove to the local depot at 6.30 in the evening to rescue my parcel and then made a 40 mile round trip to the UPS regional depot to put it on the truck.

That's service over and above. You can't ask for more from a dealer. All hail to Eclips Ebikes.

You could ask for a lot more from bloody UPS. Considering that it's almost May, and how the weather this year has gone, UPS has cost me probably 5% of the good cycling weekends in the entire year. A curse on UPS.

More on the death of the QSWXK and the installation of the BBS01 follows in due course.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2015, 03:01:30 PM by Andre Jute »

Andre Jute

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Re: Installing an electric mid-motor
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2015, 12:25:08 AM »
For those who want to perve the new gear I've ordered but not yet received, I bought the full bolt-in kit plus the special optional cutouts for my Magura rim hydraulic brakes.

Bafang 8Fun BBS01 Mid Drive 36V 350W Motor Kit:


Summary specs at http://eclipsebikes.com/bafang-8fun-bbs01-drive-350w-motor-p-1101.html

The experts here who want know where the motor controller is will delighted to hear it is inside the motor case, cutting down on those wretched wires running around all over the bike.

Bafang 36V/48V BBS01 / BBS02 Hydraulic Brake Sensors:


More info at http://eclipsebikes.com/bafang-36v48v-bbs01-bbs02-hydraulic-brake-sensors-p-1109.html


THE SYSTEM DESCRIBED AND PICTURED DOES NOT FIT THE THORNS WITH ROHLOFF GEARBOXES. MY INSTALLATION IS ON A UTOPIA KRANICH WITH ROHLOFF OEM SLIDERS IN THE FRAME ENDS, NOT AN ECCENTRIC BOTTOM BRACKET. IT WILL HOWEVER FIT THE THORNS WITH STANDARD BOTTOM BRACKETS, LIKE IAN'S SHERPA -- DOWN THE THREAD.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2015, 05:31:46 PM by Andre Jute »

Danneaux

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Re: Installing an electric mid-motor with a Rohloff hub gearbox
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2015, 02:48:47 AM »
Hi Andre!

Several questions...

I notice the unit is approved for off-road use only due to the power output. Do you anticipate any legal hurdles in its use?

Is the chainring compatible with your Hebie Chainglider? I see the listed chainring is 46t and Chaingliders are not available in that size. Are other chainringss available? The supplied unit appears to be stamped as one unit with the integrated spider....

I notice the BB is preinstalled. Is there some means to shift the unit laterally for fine chainline adjustment?

Do you have an idea what the effective Q-factor (tread) will be?

For those with Rohloff-equipped Thorns, is the fixing plate compatible with an eccentric bottom bracket?

Best,

Dan.

Andre Jute

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Re: Installing an electric mid-motor
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2015, 04:25:36 AM »
SUBSTANTIALLY EDITED  23 JUNE 2015 TO REMOVE SPECULATION AND SUBSTITUTE FACTS LEARNED SINCE THE KIT ARRIVED

I notice the unit is approved for off-road use only due to the power output. Do you anticipate any legal hurdles in its use?

Jags is cracking his ribs laughing. I'm Irish, man. Scofflawing is my birthright.

Is the chainring compatible with your Hebie Chainglider? I see the listed chainring is 46t and Chaingliders are not available in that size. Are other chainringss available? The supplied unit appears to be stamped as one unit with the integrated spider....

If you ride in street clothes as I do, it is not only possible but essential to fit a Chainglider to the Bafang BBS. In my first 100km, my trousers were twice caught between the chain and chainring, with the free circular chainguard in the kit adding to the danger of a broken leg or worse rather than preventing it. The kit came with a 46T chainring for which no Chainglider is available, so I ordered a 44T Bafang chainring from EM3ev in China http://em3ev.com/store/index.php?route=product/product&path=46&product_id=193 and a Chainglider https://www.bike-components.de/en/Hebie/Chainglider-350-Vollkettenschutz-Vorderteil-p29665/ from my usual German supplier and fitted them as a soon as they arrived.

Note this about the construction of the BBS mid motor: The chainring is attached to the motor and of course the chain; this is the non-clutched part. The bottom bracket axle sticks through the big hole in the middle of the chainring and the crank is attached to that. If you guys haven't yet studied these midmotors, read these sentences again. The crank is not directly attached to the chainring. The crank is double-clutched and freewheeling. It needs to freewheel or the midmotor will become one monstrous fixie looking for someone's knees to break. The motor itself serves as a spider for the chainring.

To get the narrow tread (trendy talk: "Q factor") beloved of roadies, the chainring is dished. Clearly, the size of the motor limits how small the chainring can go. Here's a high quality 42T chainring from Italy, which is thought to be as small as one can go with the dished, narrow tread setup; you can see how deeply it is dished.


You can already buy chainring adaptors (spiders) to fit the motor (I say again, the chainring is not connected to the crank except indirectly) for chainrings of 104, 110 and 130 PCD, with a choice in some between Californian, French and Australian manufacture. Since the spider needs to move the chain far enough away from the motor to clear the chain and the Chainglider, it will have plenty of metal for fancy pattern cutting. Then you can use any chainring you fancy but...

Chainrings 38T and smaller will very likely not be useful for narrow chainlines. Some people have taken a grinder to the motor casing to use both a low tooth count and a narow chainline; I don't fancy that much!

I notice the BB is preinstalled. Is there some means to shift the unit laterally for fine chainline adjustment?

The right hand, drive side of the bottom bracket is attached to the motor, the lefthand side is fixed by a normal screw-in bottom bracket fitting, with an over-locknut as well.

Default chainline is 50mm. I arranged a 54mm Rolloff-spec chainline very simply by using spacers, over the bottom bracket unit on the right hand side between the edge of the bottom bracket shell and the motor.

Do you have an idea what the effective Q-factor (tread) will be?

50mm with the OEM dished chainring.

For those with Rohloff-equipped Thorns, is the fixing plate compatible with an eccentric bottom bracket?

NO, VERY LIKELY NOT. It is a matter of space. The Bafang BBS hangs on its own integral bottom bracket, which fits standard bottom bracket shells with a clearance outside a standard steel shell for under-bottom bracket cabling of about 12mm. I just don't see enough clearance to allow enough adjustment of chain tension on a standard Thorn Rohloff/EBB installation with the two adjusting bolts under the BB. Sorry.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2015, 05:33:15 PM by Andre Jute »

Danneaux

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Re: Installing an electric mid-motor with a Rohloff hub gearbox
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2015, 04:56:49 AM »
Quote
If you guys haven't yet studied these midmotors, read these sentences again. The crank is not directly attached to the chainring. It is clutched, ratcheted, freewheeling, or whatever it is called in bicycles. It needs to freewheel or the midmotor will become one monstrous fixie looking for someone's knees to break. The motor itself serves as a spider for the chainring.
Yep, I read the manual: http://www.energiecycles.com/pdf/8FUNmanual.pdf

Looks interesting, and a straightforward installation. Will you be installing it yourself?

Looking forward to your in-use report, Andre.

Best,

Dan.

Andre Jute

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Re: Installing an electric mid-motor
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2015, 05:24:02 AM »
Looks interesting, and a straightforward installation. Will you be installing it yourself?

As soon as UPS actually permits me to have it.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2015, 03:02:21 PM by Andre Jute »

jags

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Re: Installing an electric mid-motor with a Rohloff hub gearbox
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2015, 11:46:39 PM »
if u run into any problems Andre give Dan a shoot  don't attempt to  ring me  ;D ;D.

btw did u see where the UCI are looking into the pro's riding motor assisted bikes  hidden in the seat tune  made by  an aussis company ,i tell you something you'de never be up to these boys  ;D ;D

jags

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Re: Installing an electric mid-motor with a Rohloff hub gearbox
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2015, 11:49:09 PM »
Here u go Andre its this rocket fuel u need not a motor.
http://www.myprotein.com/sports-nutrition/ener-gel/10530821.html

Danneaux

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Re: Installing an electric mid-motor with a Rohloff hub gearbox
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2015, 01:20:28 AM »
Quote
...if the external diameter BB shell on a bike designed with an EBB does not exceed this 12mm over and above the internal diameter of a normal BB shell, the BBS motor can be fitted to the bike with the EBB
Andre, a quick calipering of my Nomad Mk2's BB shows it is unlikely to fit. With the "meat" (largest part) of the eccentric at the bottom of its travel, there is 13mm of clearance between the outer edge of the shell and the outer edge of the outboard bottom bracket's *cups*, meaning there is more space yet to the edge of the BB threads.

It is possible the motor might fit (assuming it cleared the eccentric grub screw bosses on the BB), but it seems unlikely the EBB could be turned through its entire range of motion to retension the chain due to the 12mm limit. Of course, a chain tensioner could be fitted, but it would have to be secured by the rear axle nut or q/r or be of the type that fastens to the chainstay. Neither is ideal compared to the usual EBB on Thorn frames, which are not equipped with Rohloff OEM sliding dropouts.

I think it is safest to say these mid-motors will work *best* with conventional, non-eccentric bottom brackets and Thorns sporting the same, so only Sherpas and Club Tours in Thorn's current range.

Sorry you're suffering a delivery delay, Andre.

All the best,

Dan.

Andre Jute

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Re: Installing an electric mid-motor
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2015, 02:41:36 AM »
Andre, a quick calipering of my Nomad Mk2's BB shows it is unlikely to fit. With the "meat" (largest part) of the eccentric at the bottom of its travel, there is 13mm of clearance between the outer edge of the shell and the outer edge of the outboard bottom bracket's *cups*, meaning there is more space yet to the edge of the BB threads.

It is possible the motor might fit (assuming it cleared the eccentric grub screw bosses on the BB), but it seems unlikely the EBB could be turned through its entire range of motion to retension the chain due to the 12mm limit. Of course, a chain tensioner could be fitted, but it would have to be secured by the rear axle nut or q/r or be of the type that fastens to the chainstay. Neither is ideal compared to the usual EBB on Thorn frames, which are not equipped with Rohloff OEM sliding dropouts.

I think it is safest to say these mid-motors will work *best* with conventional, non-eccentric bottom brackets and Thorns sporting the same, so only Sherpas and Club Tours in Thorn's current range.

Thanks for the information, Dan. You've answered your own question further back in the thread. Pity, but time and space are immutable to the wishes of mere cyclists.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2015, 05:21:15 PM by Andre Jute »

ians

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Re: Installing an electric mid-motor with a Rohloff hub gearbox
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2015, 03:57:50 PM »
Hi Andre

I've only just spotted this thread.  I sold my RT precisely because the unit I had in mind (Sunstar) would not fit an eccentric BB.  Hoping to get mine fitted to my Sherpa in the next week or so.

best

ian

Andre Jute

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Re: Installing an electric mid-motor
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2015, 05:44:11 PM »
Good luck, Ian. Send a report when you get the Sunstar conversion. I'm enjoying my Bafang BBS now that I've fitted a Chainglider and am no longer in danger of having my trousers sucked into the chain despite the useless chain guard Bafang supplies. The rest of the system is like Anto would say, "Class!", with a superb wiring harness and elegant control modules. There's even a parking mode, which I use to let the bike by itself climb the two shallow steps in front of my townhouse when I return whacked from a ride with too-fast pedal pals.

Off for a ride!

THE SYSTEM DESCRIBED DOES NOT FIT THE THORNS WITH ROHLOFF GEARBOXES. MY INSTALLATION IS ON A UTOPIA KRANICH WITH ROHLOFF OEM SLIDERS IN THE FRAME ENDS, NOT AN ECCENTRIC BOTTOM BRACKET.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2015, 05:23:50 PM by Andre Jute »

ians

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Re: Installing an electric mid-motor with a Rohloff hub gearbox
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2015, 02:41:00 PM »
Andre

you've given me pause for thought - I've been reading up on the BBS.  It's around half the cost of the Sunstar.  I'm wondering why? - is this because the Sunstar is a torque sensor kit (which appear to be more costly than cadence sensors?).

Don't let that last sentence fool you btw - I only discovered torque sensor motors this afternoon.  That should not imply expertise or familiarity. I know little about electric motors other than I want a mid-drive unit.

I'm pretty sure I can fit the thing myself.  It's choosing the right one that's the hard part.  Thanks for your insights.

ian

Andre Jute

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Re: Installing an electric mid-motor
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2015, 06:54:02 PM »
I took a quick look at Sunstar, Ian, and I hope you don't mind me saying I paid less than half of what you will for one simple reason: you're being ripped. Royally. In my opinion, of course. All of what follows is only my opinion; your parameters may be different.

Some of those Sunstar bits look like they're straight out of the Bafang factory; this is a not uncommon experience in pedelec conversions; the QSWXK motor fancied by many here comes in a wide range of kits packaged by various suppliers, under a variety of names, at a range of prices, some of them amazing; the one I recommended and many bought was the cheapest competent package deal with a fixed price from a reputable, reliable dealer.

Some of the Sunstar engineering won't cut it in kindie mechanic school, for instance an anti-rotation tab you have to bend -- how many times can you bend it before it breaks off and makes the whole unit unserviceable? -- this is a joke!

If there is a torque sensor, you want to ask to see the patent. Bafang also claims a virtual torque sensor, and if Sunstar's bare motor supplier is indeed Bafang, this may be what they're talking about. The reason the Chinese don't have a proper torque sensor yet is because Bosch and Panasonic have the patent sewn up and aren't licensing it to every Tom, Dick and Harry. Where did Sunstar get the technology? I wouldn't pay extra for this socalled torque sensor without checking further into it.

Even if the Sunstar torque sensor is real, I don't know that I would pay more than the price of a whole Bafang BBS kit for it again, because that's what the pricing comes down to. I have a more powerful motor than you're contemplating, and there is definitely more torque, but I haven't been thrown over on my head yet, though before I got the hang of it I lifted the front wheel a couple of times on the throttle. But you're an experienced cyclist. Maybe if you were some nervous nellie with zero experience I'd say, sure, the torque sensor is worth doubling the price of the installation, but even so I'd probably say, ride the various models first, compare for yourself.

The controls and facilities of the Sunstar model I looked at are pathetic, and that's being polite. My previous motor was conservatively chosen because it was well established, which also meant that it was a couple of generations old. It had several useful facilities more than the Sunstar, which makes the Sunstar really outmoded. The Bafang BBS packages available in England have controls facilities that leave the Sunstar for dead.

Of course, it might be worth it to you to have something different (I drove Citroen SM for several years despite the nuisance of constant repairs -- but nothing short of a Bentley Turbo could match the crosscountry times of those Citroen, and the Citroen was more comfortable), and on the forum you'll be appreciated and celebrated as a pioneer taking one for the team... And I might just be an old fogie who is outmoded enought to expect serious value for serious money.

Some of the Sunstar accessory bits may be of better quality than supplied with the Bafang, for instance with the Sunstar, according to the video, you get branded cranks (presumably because at the elevated Sunstar price, the "free" Bafang cranks look a bit cheap). But for the difference in price you can buy many sets of cranks...

Sunstar pricing is a wonder to behold. The Sunstar SO3 kit is priced at The Electric Transport Shop at 800 without a battery. Eeowwwww!

The comparable 250W Bafang BBS-01 kit is priced at Eclips Ebikes at 320 without a battery, with what appears to be better operating peripherals (throttle, control facilities, modes and tools). That's 40% of the Sunstar price... Eclips Ebikes, from whom I bought, and a few other people on other fora too on my recommendation, is at http://eclipsebikes.com/bafang-8fun-bbs01-drive-250w-motor-p-1102.html. You can import the same kit for less from China if you want to take your chances with swingeing customs duties and import taxes and perhaps even a special "anti-bicycle dumping tax(1)" and fees added willynilly by the couriers; I decided the risk wasn't worth the small saving.

(1) According to literature on the Irish Customs netsite, this could be 48% of the value of goods, transport, brokerage fees, import duties and VAT on all of that, and then the 48% on top of everything (taxes on taxes? -- shiver my bones!), by which time you'd be better off buying a Range Rover and adding to pollution.

Sorry about this, Ian. If you're in love with the appearance (bright ali bits) of the Sunstar and the money isn't important, go for it. But if like me you insist on value for money, I really do think a close comparison is in order, and some hard questions about what you're actually getting.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2015, 03:03:20 PM by Andre Jute »

ians

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Re: Installing an electric mid-motor with a Rohloff hub gearbox
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2015, 11:12:10 AM »
wow - thanks for all this Andre.

It turns out (not clear from the ETS site) that the Sunstar is a new model - 36V motor, new battery system and a new LCD display - which may explain the higher price.  But the biggest rip off in my mind is not the more expensive motor or battery system, but having to pay an additional 120 for a chainring, spider and crank. 

I'm about 40 miles from Cambridge and Whoosh bikes have a store there so I can check out the BBS as well as the Sunstar. 

I still have a lot to learn - batteries are the next thing to get my head round.

Dan - (hi there) - I don't want to hijack this thread with my own interests which are off topic, as I have a Sherpa and not a Rohloff (sob).  Perhaps a separate thread?  This is an exciting time in the e-bike world - lots of innovation (bit like mirror-less cameras - which is my other big passion) and may become of interest to Thorn owners as we get older.