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Bafang Hub Motor Review

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Introduction

In this review of the Bafang Hub motor , I will be looking at the 36v 250w that can be legally used in the UK, EU and Australia and also the 48v 500w version  – I have also compiled a product table of all variants of the Bafang hub motor from 36v 250w to 48v 750w available from Aliexpress and various Amazon locales.

These electric bike conversion kits are available from various suppliers on different websites. The one thing in common is they all use the proven Bafang geared hub motor. This compact electric motor uses planetary gears, which allow the motor to spin at high speeds, making it a lot more efficient than a larger direct drive motor.

250w 36v bafang rear hub motor fitted to a recumbent trike

Are small geared hub motors any good?

Small geared hub motors produce more torque than direct-drive motors, making them excellent for climbing hills. They are also easy to pedal with the power switched off, making them much more suitable for someone who only needs the power on hills.

A couple of negative factors with these motors, is that they produce a little more noise than direct-drive hubs, and the nylon planetary gears can wear over time (especially if you regularly climb very steep hills or carry cargo). The good news is that replacement parts are cheap, easy to source and straightforward to replace.

The LCD display usually provided with these kits can vary, but they are usually clear and easy to use and offer 5 levels of pedal assist with ‘0’ being no assist to ‘5’ being full power.

KTLCD1 display sold with bafang hub motor kits

These kits are usually sold laced into a front or rear wheel available in the most popular sizes of 20″, 26″,  27.5″,  28″ or 26″ Fat bike compatible wheel. There is also the option to buy the motor only, so you can have it laced into a wheel of your choice.

>>CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON<<

Rear cassette or Freewheel?

Thankfully the Bafang hub motor is available in both formats. The CST version will have a standard freehub fitted so you can fit an 8, 9 or 10 speed rear cassette (or possibly 11-speed, but I have yet to fit one).  The other version takes the standard threaded Shimano or Sunrace freewheel.

bafang 48v 750w hub motor kit for fat bike

Compatibility

You will first need to check the wheel size of your bike. If you do not know the size, it can be found on the tyre for example:  26″ / 599 (ISO) 27.5 / 584 (ISO) 28″ / 622 (ISO) – PLEASE NOTE: If you are installing this kit on a 29er mountain bike, then you will require the 28″ (622) wheel size. For more information on tyre and wheel sizes check out this post by the great Sheldon Brown.

These motor kits are only compatible with standard rear drop-outs (135mm wide). They will not fit bikes with thru-axles. Nearly all cheaper bikes have standard quick-release dropouts. But if you are thinking of installing this kit on a higher end mountain bike or road bike, you will need to double check. The fat bike version of these kits will be compatible with the wider dropouts of those bikes.

photo of standard rear bicycle frame drop outs

You will also need to check the kind of bottom bracket your bike has fitted. If it is a standard square-tapered BB, there should not be a problem. If, however you have an Octalink / ISIS or Hollowtech ll type BB then you will need to purchase a separate pedal assist sensor.

Installation (a rough guide)

Hub motors, are, in my opinion the easiest solution for a fairly quick and easy electric bike conversion. It usually takes 2-3 hours to do the job properly (including tidying up the cables).

It should be noted that you will require a basic bicycle maintenance tool kit to do the job properly. Things like a crank puller are essential to remove the right side pedal crank to fit the pedal assist sensor.

The installation process involves removing your existing wheel and swapping over your rim tape, inner tube, tyre and any other components like disc brake rotor and gear cassette / freewheel. You install the motorised wheel and fit the other ancillary components like the pedal assist sensor (and magnetic sensor disc), display and battery. Plug everything in and away you go!

There are several key components in this electric bike conversion kit:

    • The wheel with the hub motor
    • LCD Display
    • Motor controller
    • Wiring loom
    • Throttle (optional to fit)
    • Pedal assist sensor with magnetic disc

bafang hub motor kit ancillary components

Fitting these kits, really couldn’t be easier. The only other essential item you will need to purchase is 36v or 48v battery.

Bafang hub motor specification – 250w 36v


bafang 250w hub motor specification

48v 500w Bafang hub motor

The 48v version of this motor is another beast altogether! The motor is physically larger and can handle considerably more voltage and current than its smaller sibling. I have run one of these motors using a 48v 30A controller, giving peak power output of over 1500w. But I wouldn’t recommend this, as the nylon planetary gears will have a substantially shortened lifespan.


If it’s power you are after the 48v 500w Bafang hub motor provides more than enough for even the steepest of hill climbs. It can’t quite match the BBS02 mid-drive, but for a hub motor it’s pretty good!

bafang 48v 500w front or rear hub motor electric bike kit

Motor specification – 500w 48v

Bafang 48v 500w hub motor specification

 

Conclusion

I decided to review the Bafang hub motor, as I have installed dozens of these kits in the past and they have proven time and time again to be the most reliable. As much as I like mid-drive motors, the simplicity and comparatively easy installation of hub motors wins the day for me. I have had customers use these motors on daily commutes for two years without any reported issues. Even if they go wrong (which they rarely do) repair is usually straightforward, and parts supply is plentiful.

With a 36v14.5ah battery fitted to the 36v 250w variant, you can expect an assisted range of between 25-40 miles, and considerably more if you are frugal with the pedal assist.

Should you fit Throttle?

This is a matter of personal choice. It is legal to fit a throttle to a used bike in the UK and the EU – as long as the bike complies with the 250w / 15.5mph (25km/h) law. If you are using the 48v 500w version the throttle will effortlessly propel you along on the flat without the need for pedalling

If you have dodgy knees, then the throttle can be an invaluable asset in helping you to get moving. But over use or over reliance on the throttle can result in premature wear of the planetary gears and may cause the controller to overheat (especially when climbing a hill).

Below is a selection of Bafang hub motor kits currently available from suppliers on Aliexpress and various Amazon locales in Europe, USA and Canada

Buy the Bafang 500w hub motor kit

bafang 48v 500w front or rear hub motor electric bike kit
Buy on eBay
Buy on Amazon

Buy Bafang hub motor kits 36v 250w - 48v 750w

Bafang 250w front or rear hub motor electric bike kit bafang 250w front rear hub motor electric bike kit
Bafang 48v 500w front or rear wheel hub motor kitbafang 48v 500w front or rear hub motor electric bike kit
Bafang 48v 500w CST rear hub motor kit with 850c or 500c color displaybafang 48v 500w cst rear hub motor kit with color display
Bafang 48v 750w rear hub motor kit for fat bikebafang 48v 750w hub motor kit for fat bike
36v 20ah or 15ah hard case triangle battery36v 20ah or 15ah hard case triangle battery
48v / 52v 20ah Hard case triangle battery52v 20ah hard case triangle battery
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Bafang Hub Motor Review

8.7

Value for Money

9.0/10

Ease of Installation

9.0/10

Efficiency

8.0/10

Pros

  • Punchy motor
  • Long-term reliability
  • Virtually maintenance free

Cons

  • Nylon gears can wear over time
  • A little noisier than direct drive hubs

81 thoughts on “Bafang Hub Motor Review

    • October 26, 2020 at 7:55 am
      Permalink

      Hi,

      Looking at the specification it looks like decent value for money. I notice the battery uses Panasonic cells, which is a good thing, as they are good for longevity and reliability.

      All the best,
      Tony

      Reply
  • October 19, 2020 at 7:52 pm
    Permalink

    Hello Tony,
    Thanks for the help last time. However now I have this KT series display and I wonder what happens if I connect it to a lishui controller, will it work, break, or just do nothing.
    Thanks again!

    Reply
    • October 20, 2020 at 7:20 am
      Permalink

      Hi Joel,

      I’ve never used a Lishui controller with a KT-LCD3 display before. I found a thread on Pedelecs UK that mentions connector incompatibility – here is a link to the forum topic.

      Regards,
      Tony

      Reply
  • October 3, 2020 at 11:51 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Tony,

    I have a Bafang 36v 250w rear hub motor installed on my bike together with a c300s display under the branding of ecobike. However the display does not give you the access to change the speed limit and if I got it right this could be fixed by just changing the display?
    So if the speed limit can be changed by just fitting a new display, which displays will work with the bike.

    Reply
    • October 4, 2020 at 10:50 am
      Permalink

      Hi Joel,

      If your display uses a standard 5-pin higo (circular) or block connector then there should be a few options available depending on the controller – if it is a ‘KT series’ controller then a KT-LCD3 display would be the best option as these can be easily configured for speed limit and other parameters. If you need a manual for the C300s display here is a link to a PDF copy.

      Regards,
      Tony

      Reply
  • October 3, 2020 at 11:15 am
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    Value for Money

    5.5

    Ease of Installation

    5.5

    Efficiency

    5.5

    Hi Tony,

    Great web site. Very helpful for the growing band of electric bikers.

    3 years ago my Trek Tandem was converted by Cyclotricity and fitted with a 500W (restricted) 36V rear drive motor. It has worked well until I got a puncture recently. On putting the rear wheel back together the rear motor occasionally made a graunching noise and vibrations could be felt when sat on the bike. This has been intermittent until recently when it stopped working altogether. I have removed and replaced the wheel, checking torque washers, wheel alignment, cable connections etc and all is well. I also get Error Code 3 on the display but cannot find out what it means. The bike will not drive using the throttle either. I am unable to contact Cyclotricity by email or phone and assume they are no longer operating. Can you give me any advice? Also, if I am forced to buy a new conversion kit, I am considering buying the Bafang H400 250W 36V rear drive system with a 14 AH battery. Is this a suitable choice for a tandem carrying a combined weight of 23 stone?

    Alan

    Reply
    • October 3, 2020 at 12:19 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Alan,

      It sounds as though the hall sensor has failed in the motor – this is not unusual on a 3 year old motor. I’m assuming it’s the direct drive 500w motor (gearless). Hall sensors are very cheap, but require good soldering skills to replace (and a lot of patience!). To access the hall sensor, you will need to remove the motor cover and locate the circuit board within the motor housing. If you are good at precision soldering or know someone who is, then it should be doable. You will need to identify the correct hall sensor and go to RS components – they are usually between 50p – £2 each.

      If you decide to go with a new kit, the Bafang H400 should be more than up to the job. The Bafang is a geared motor so it will be lighter, more efficient and produce more torque than your existing motor. Even though they are rated at 250w, it will still produce around 500w peak power when under load. I’ve installed a lot of Bafang hub motors over the last 4 years and have only had a couple of isolated problems.

      I hope this helps. If you need any more advice, please let me know.

      All the best,
      Tony

      Reply
  • September 21, 2020 at 7:16 pm
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    Thank you for all the information. Very valuable. I have a question: I am about to buy a cargo bike with a Bafang RM G070.250/350/500.D (350 version) which is marked as DC36V.
    It is paired with a Samsung 36V battery, all I know about the controller is that it is 20A and it has a KM-529 LCD (King-Meter).
    It seems very odd to me that I cannot find much about the 350W version of this motor online. Bafang states 65NM Torque. Will I get this Torque out of it with 36V, if anyone has experience with this motor? Or should I and can I upgrade to 48V?

    Reply
    • September 21, 2020 at 10:17 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Martin,

      I personally wouldn’t run a 48v controller and battery on a 36v motor – I’ve tried this in the past and it didn’t end well!

      The torque figures are in my opinion optimistic and probably closer to 35-40Nm. Having said that I’ve installed a couple of 350w Bafang rear hub motors on to heavy hybrid bikes and the performance is decent enough. Peak power should be up around 750w with a 20A controller and 36v battery.

      All the best,
      Tony

      Reply
  • September 16, 2020 at 1:08 pm
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    Hi, thanks for the informative and helpful posts. Please can I ask for some advice about a project I’m kicking off?

    I’ve just ordered a Bafang 250w front hub motor for a 20-inch wheel (product number FM.G020.250.D-20). Link here https://www.atmparts.eu/p24_eu/eshop/en/2W/FM.G020.250.D-20

    I’m planning to run it at 48v, so I’m looking for a 48v battery/controller kit, but I’m a but mystified about which controller to use.

    Can you point me in the right direction please? Apologies if this is a stupid question.

    Reply
    • September 16, 2020 at 7:52 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Michael,

      I would exercise caution using a 48v battery and controller with the 36v Bafang hub motor – You should be okay as long as you keep the current to a minimum. If you have just purchased the motor, you will need a controller, pedal assist sensor and display. Ideally a KT series controller (dual voltage 36/48v) KT-LCD3 or LCD5 display with a PAS sensor. Here is a link to a KT series 48v controller, display and PAS kit from a trusted supplier on Aliexpress. You may also need a motor to controller connector cable (if this isn’t supplied with the motor). It will be a rubberised circular connector on the motor end, with a 5 or 6 pin block connector and 3 phase wires (yellow, green, blue) on the controller end.

      I hope this helps, if you have any more questions let me know.

      Cheers,
      Tony

      Reply
  • August 30, 2020 at 8:43 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Tony,

    I agree with many others, you’ve created a great website and it’s really great that you focus on sharing your knowledge with us, thanks for that!

    I’ve got one question regarding Bafang 48V 500W rear hub motors. Do these systems have a torque sensor to modulate motor support depending on my peddling (like Bionx or OEM mid-motor systems). I’ve never ridden an electric bike without a torque sensor and I believe that it’s not the same natural feeling when you need to switch all the time the engine support level through the display rather than managing motor support naturally through more or less pressure on the pedals.

    So I’ hoping that these Bafang motors have a torque sensor built-in but I’m not sure. Can you help?

    Thanks in advance for your support!
    Walther

    Reply
    • August 31, 2020 at 9:46 am
      Permalink

      Hi Walter,

      Most of the Bafang hub motor kits available online use basic cadence sensors which give more of an on/off assist feel. I’m like you as in I prefer the natural feel of a torque sensor, I prefer the electric motor to be an extension of my own abilities and to be reactive to pedalling input.

      Eunorau e-bike store on Aliexpress do a torque-sensing bottom bracket with controller and 850c colour display – although the maximum current of the controller is only rated to 18A. I’ve fitted these before (with Bafang motors) and they do work very well and provide very smooth and natural assist. The main problem is you need to drill a hole on the underside of the bottom bracket shell in order to pull the lead through. You will need to line the hole with a rubber grommet as the coating on the lead coming from the sensor is very brittle. The first one I did I completely messed up and damaged the wiring. Here is the link to the product on Aliexpress.

      I hope this helps, if you need any more advice, let me know.

      All the best,
      Tony

      Reply
  • August 28, 2020 at 1:09 pm
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    Hi Tony,

    Thanks for great reviews and videos which helped me decide on what kit I should get, much appreciated; keep the info coming. Decided on a Bafang 36v 250w front wheel kit with color display from Power Surround and triangle battery from Unit Pack Power. Have tried a 250w front drive bike up here in undulating County Durham and it did everything I wanted for leisurely touring.
    Do you still reccomend these two vendors for the products ive mentioned. If not any alternatives would be usefull. More interested in reliable service than saving a couple of quid.
    Again great source of unbiased info – many thanks.

    Reply
    • August 28, 2020 at 7:23 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Cliff,

      You should be fine with both of those vendors. I’ve never had any problems with the Power Surround Bafang motors and the UPP batteries have been 99.9% trouble free. Apparently UPP now have a European service centre (in Germany) in the event there are any issues with batteries within the warranty period.

      Glad you’ve found my website useful. Let me know how the build goes and if you have any questions relating to your build, let me know.

      All the best,
      Tony

      Reply
    • August 31, 2020 at 6:16 am
      Permalink

      Value for Money

      8.5

      Ease of Installation

      8.5

      Efficiency

      9

      Hello Tony,

      Please can you give me some advice. I purchased a Aikema 128SX 36V 500W rear hub engine for my GIANT ATX690 HD, I have my battery 36V 12Ah, now I was wondering which controller and display is suitable? For the max speed limited, if there any controller does not have the speed limited setting.

      Thank you,
      Law

      Reply
      • August 31, 2020 at 9:59 am
        Permalink

        Hi Law,

        Assuming your hub motor has the standard connectors, a KT-series controller and display will do the job. They are available on Amazon.com – I’ve had a quick look and there is a 36v 25A KT controller with a KT-LCD8 color display available – that controller should work with your battery as the rated minimum current (continuous output) is 12A and your battery most likely has a 20A BMS. That should give peak power of close to 900w which is within the operating tolerances of most 500w hub motors. You can also limit the maximum speed through the display if required.

        If you have any more question, let me know.

        All the best,
        Tony

        Reply
  • July 16, 2020 at 3:38 am
    Permalink

    Very nice writeup. Thanks for providing the skinny on the Bafang hub drives in a nice, tidy package.

    I’m helping my son to plan a e-kickbike build based on the Kickbike Fat Max: https://www.kickbikeus.com/product/fat-max/

    So, obviously, the PAS will be unnecessary, and I’d like to run it without a display, as well, as its functions would be reduced to a speedo and battery meter. Is it possible to run the motor and controller without a PAS and display?

    You don’t see a lot of e-kickbikes because a) you don’t see a lot of kickbikes in the US, and b) they typically have narrow rear dropout spacing that precludes use of a hub motor. The few factory specimens I’ve seen used front hubs, which just seems wrong to me, although I could be wrong. Life would certainly be easier if front wheel drive were a good option for, say, trails and light offroad use. What do you think?

    TIA

    Reply
    • July 16, 2020 at 8:56 am
      Permalink

      Hi Erik,

      Yes, you can use a Bafang hub motor without the pedal assist sensor. There are throttle units available that plug directly into the display connector on the controller – you would need one that had compatible connectors. Most Bafang kits use Higo circular connections with a separate 3-pin connector for the throttle. If you didn’t want to use a display, I’ve heard it’s possible by buying a USB programming lead – these are designed to work with the BBS mid-drive motor, so I can say for sure if it will work with the hub motor controller but it’s worth a try. You plug in the green connector end of the lead and just cable tie the loose end to the handlebar.

      I reckon the front hub motor should work fine on the kick-bike, the only issue you may find is a bit of wheel spin when ascending steeper gravel tracks.

      I hope this helps, if you need any more advice, let me now.

      Cheers,
      Tony

      Reply
      • July 16, 2020 at 6:15 pm
        Permalink

        Thanks Tony,

        What would the USB programming cable accomplish? I supposed I’d have to define the throttle level? But once the unit was programmed I’d no longer need the USB cable attached to the bike?

        I’ll be sure to find a throttle that connects to the display end of the wiring loom, if that’s necessary, but why not just use the throttle connector? Or does the motor controller expect to see a display, and refuse to work if the display isn’t connected?

        Thanks again,
        Erik

        Reply
        • July 17, 2020 at 1:45 pm
          Permalink

          Hi Erik,

          Here is a link to an article that will explain the process in greater detail, and also show you different ways you can use a Bafang motor kit without a display.

          It should be noted this refers specifically to the Bafang BBS series of mid-drive motors and may not be relevant for the hub motor kit. The hub motor kits usually use ‘KT’ series controllers – these are not manufactured by Bafang, although there is a process by where they can be re-configured (using a bluetooth adaptor). If you can let me know the exact motor / controller kit you decide to purchase, I can send you the relevant links on how to use without a display.

          All the best,
          Tony

          Reply
          • August 10, 2020 at 2:19 pm
            Permalink

            Thanks again, Tony,

            So I’ve ordered a front 48v 500w hub motor kit, and I’m on the hunt for a battery. A 48v motor controller ought to be able to handle 52v, right? I imagine the P850c display might not accurately read the battery capacity, but that shouldn’t be a major problem. Am I on the right track? It would be convenient if we could share my existing 52v smart charger.

            -Erik

          • August 10, 2020 at 4:00 pm
            Permalink

            Hi Erik,

            You shouldn’t have any problems using a 52v battery with a 48v controller as most Chinese 48v e-bike controllers will handle up to nearly 60v. I’ve used a 52v battery in conjunction with a 48v Bafang hub motor and 22A controller in the past without any issues.

            The P850c should show the voltage correctly (if you have it set to real-time voltage display), but the indicator bar seems to stay full for ages then suddenly drops off quickly. Low voltage cut-off point on a 52v battery is usually around 40v. If you set the battery voltage (in the settings menu) to UBE, it should work okay.

            I’ve had a look on eBay.com and most of the batteries there are shipped from China, there’s a few on Amazon.com.

            Luna Cycle do some very good 52v batteries – here is a link to their battery page.

            I hope this helps.

            All the best,
            Tony

          • August 30, 2020 at 10:15 pm
            Permalink

            Value for Money

            9

            Ease of Installation

            10

            Efficiency

            8.5

            Hello Tony,

            Just writing back to confirm that a 52v battery works great with the Bafang 500w front hub motor, in case anyone else is wondering. Tossed mine in a backpack with the controller this afternoon and #1 Son tore it up for a solid 45 minutes without issues. We ended up mounting the display, which is a good thing since it appears that the throttle setting is dependent on the PAS setting, so in PAS 1 the throttle was restricted, but in PAS 5 it could reach top speed. Thanks, again, for all of your help and advice!

            Regards,
            Erik

          • August 31, 2020 at 9:26 am
            Permalink

            Hi Erik,

            Thanks for sharing, glad everything is working well.

            Regards,
            Tony

  • July 5, 2020 at 3:04 am
    Permalink

    Tony, can you answer a quick question……..I’ve been running a BF BPM 48v500w 20 (13) front motor on a recumbent. Works great on a 24″ wheel. I bought a 2nd motor, but in a mix up, I got an FM GO20.500.D motor. The FM motor is in a smaller/fatter case. What’s the difference? -Don

    Reply
    • July 7, 2020 at 8:10 am
      Permalink

      Hi Don,

      As far as I know the GO20.500D is the later version also known as the BPM2, it looks like it runs at a higher rpm which should be better for efficiency and longevity.

      I hope this helps.

      All the best,
      Tony

      Reply
      • July 25, 2020 at 8:36 pm
        Permalink

        Thanks Tony. I got a chance to run the GO20.500.D 11 motor today on a 451 20″ front wheel. It runs great. But the 850c display (or controller) doesn’t quite work. The throttle is fine but the PAS does not work and the speedometer reads about 4 times faster. So do I need a new display only, or a new controller and display? Or is the 850c programmable for this different motor? (is this some setting issue with the poles in the motor?).
        Thanks for the help.
        -Don

        Reply
        • July 26, 2020 at 4:11 pm
          Permalink

          Hi Don,

          Does your controller serial number start with ‘KT’ if so it is likely to take the speed measurement from the motor, although some versions of this controller use an external speed sensor (with wheel magnet on spokes). There is an advanced settings menu on the 850c, but I only have experience using this in conjunction with the BBS mid-drive motors. If you do have a KT controller, it might be worth trying one of their displays. The KT-LCD3 display can be configured for the amount of magnets inside the motor and also the number of magnets on the PAS sensor – this might be the source of your issues. They also do a colour version of the display called the KT-LCD8. This thread on endless-sphere goes into more details for programming the KT display.

          I hope this helps.

          All the best,
          Tony

          Reply
  • June 22, 2020 at 4:33 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Tony

    I have a Bafang 36v 250w rear hub motor installed on my bike together Bafang Display DP C10 UART. Both are branded under name “Egoing”. I would like to unlock the speed limit 25km/h to increase it at least to 30km/h. I’ve been looking around, especially on youtube and many are able to do this by entering something called “Password Menu” on the display. When they enter the password “0512” on that page, they are able to change wheel size, speed limit etc.
    However, on my bike, I’m not able to find this menu. I can only see what speed limit is set to but cannot access the “Password Menu” page. Do you have any idea how this page can be accessed on “branded” bafang motors? Can this be done by changeing the display to a “unbranded” bafang display (original with bafang logo)?

    I have also a question regarding the battery. Can a 48v battery be installed for better performance (on 36v 250w motor?)

    Thank you

    Reply
    • June 22, 2020 at 6:43 pm
      Permalink

      Hi,

      It’s likely the display has been ‘locked out’ to prevent the user from altering the speed limit (to comply with ebike law). You should be able to swap the display out for something like a C965 or DP-C18. You could change to a 48v battery but you would need to purchase a 48v compatible controller (ECU box). You can get the same power with less current (amps) using a 48v battery and as long as you keep the current low, you shouldn’t have any problems.

      Regards,
      Tony

      Reply
      • June 23, 2020 at 7:24 am
        Permalink

        Hello Tony

        Thanks for the quick reply. That’s what I believe too. Do you mean that all the settings are programmed into the display? By changeing display, I would access and change the speed limit?

        “..using a 48v battery and as long as you keep the current low, you shouldn’t have any problems.” Could you explain a bit more in details?

        What I expect/understand from this upgrade is that the battery will feel more “fresh” even if 50% of the battery is discharged comparing to a 36v. And extended range with the same Ah.

        Reply
        • June 23, 2020 at 8:09 am
          Permalink

          Yes, by fitting a new display you should (in theory) have access to all the settings in the advanced settings menu (accessed with the passcode 0512 on the C965 display).

          You are correct regarding the battery – a 48v battery at full charge is 54.4v vs 42.2v for a 36v. The motor will use less current to achieve the same power output.

          All the best,
          Tony

          Reply
  • June 21, 2020 at 9:42 am
    Permalink

    Hi Tony
    My 48v 500w BPM build is coming on. I have been reading your site on BBS 2/HD mid drive motors and you talk about the reduced safety margin with 52v batteries over 48v. I am thinking of getting a 52v battery for my BPM front motor and wonder if this also the case with hub motors.
    I am using a KT36 controller with max of 25 amps if this is important.
    Regards
    Steve

    Reply
    • June 21, 2020 at 10:49 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Steve,

      I have used 52v batteries with Bafang 48v 500w BPM and CST motors in the past (in conjunction with 48v KT controllers) without any long-term issues. The KT series controller seems to handle the extra voltage no problem.

      I hope this helps.

      All the best,
      Tony

      Reply
        • July 16, 2020 at 8:41 am
          Permalink

          You’re welcome👍

          Reply
  • June 16, 2020 at 4:45 am
    Permalink

    Hello, thank you for this post.

    I have this bike https://eu.dahon.com/bikes/eco-c7/ and I was wondering whether I could get your recommendation on a complete kit to purchase in order to convert it to an ebike.

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • June 16, 2020 at 5:53 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Patrick,

      The easiest way to convert your Dahon folding bike would be a 20″ front wheel electric conversion. Here is a link to a seller on eBay I have used many times before. Their motor kits are very reliable and come with a toolkit. They also sell batteries like this one and ship from the Netherlands.

      All the best,
      Tony

      Reply
  • June 7, 2020 at 2:54 pm
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    Hi Tony
    Not sure which way to go, either buy an ebike ready to go or cheaper option, buy a kit to fit my specialized allez sport road bike. It has Shimano Sora combined brake and shifter levers. I see in the items in the kit, you didn’t mention brake levers, yet in the photo of parts, 2 brake levers are shown. Are these supplementary to the operation of the kit. Cannot see any way of installing the kit if I have to change the brake levers, in which case I would have to buy a ready to go ebike?

    Great, informative website

    Reply
    • June 7, 2020 at 4:22 pm
      Permalink

      Hi John,

      The brake cut-offs aren’t compatible with STi shifters, but I very rarely install them. The only time I would see the need for cut-off sensors would be on a high-powered conversion that uses a separate throttle (independent of pedal assist). You will need to get a Hollowtech II compatible pedal sensor though as the one supplied with most kits is only suitable for a square-tapered BB.

      If you have any more questions, let me know.

      Cheers,
      Tony

      Reply
  • June 3, 2020 at 7:59 pm
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    Hi Tony
    I have spent hours on your site and its one of the best. I have got interested in a BPM 48v 500w hub motor for my next build. Its hilly where i live and want to try one. I have read everything on this thread but still have 2 questions. As its a front build I am going to use Surly LHT steel forks with a torque arm or 2 if you think it would be better, do you think that should be a good safe option.
    I have a 15amp controller but should i get something a bit more powerful, i don,t particularly want speed but would like to have hill climbing power but not at the expense of stressing the motor.
    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    Reply
    • June 3, 2020 at 10:59 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Stephen,

      You will be fine with Surly forks. I converted a Long Haul Trucker a while back with a front motor and it worked a treat. My friend has a Bafang 36v500w CST rear motor fitted to an old Giant XTC, and he flies up the 15% climbs in my area. His set-up has a 22A controller – he’s 66 years old with knee problems and I have to work like hell to keep up with him on the hills (riding a regular road bike). I’ve always found one torque arm to be sufficient.

      All the best,
      Tony

      Reply
      • June 4, 2020 at 10:47 am
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        Hi Tony

        Many thanks for your prompt reply. I’m 70 and have knee problems so sounds like it will do me also.
        Great site keep up the good work.
        Regards
        Steve

        Reply
        • June 4, 2020 at 3:35 pm
          Permalink

          Hi Steve,

          Glad to have been of help. If you have any more questions, please ask.

          All the best,
          Tony

          Reply
  • May 25, 2020 at 9:38 am
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    Hey Tony,

    I’ve got an addmotor fat bike, with a bafang rear hub motor, which is 750 watts / 48 volts. It came with a 48 tooth front chainring, and I’m assuming, standard shimano 7 speed derailer (not sure of tooth count). I bumped up the chainring to 52 teeth in an effort to gain higher top speed.

    I am able to hit about 20 – 22 mph, and even though the larger chainring allows me to slow my cadence to achiever higher speeds, the max speed hasn’t changed (with PA or throttle).

    I’ve also set the max speed (with display) to 40 kph with no effect. I tried different wheel sizes, but I’m still unable to really effect max speed. Any ideas on how to program this motor, much like bbs02?

    Thanks,
    Mike

    Reply
    • May 25, 2020 at 9:57 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Mike,

      I’m fairly sure the Addmotor fat bike is limited at the motor controller to comply with federal e-bike law. Unfortunately it isn’t as straightforward as reprogramming a Bafang BBS02. If you open up the controller box (located in a black box at the bottom of the seat tube) and identify the controller – it may be a KT series or similar. If it is a KT series, here is a link to a thread on endless-sphere on how to reprogram that controller.

      If it isn’t a KT controller, then it should be fairly easy to swap out the existing controller for an unrestricted KT controller with the same spec (48v 20/22A) you will also need to purchase a corresponding KT-LCD3 display. It looks like the display supplied with the bike is a re-branded SW900, which may not work with the KT controller.

      If you need any more info, please let me know.

      Cheers,
      Tony

      Reply
  • May 24, 2020 at 11:29 pm
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    Hi Tony,
    I have ordered a Bafang 48v 500w front kit for a light Specialized commuter bike. I’ll mount the battery on the rear rack for balance. The rim size is 700c and I need a tyre and tube. I am looking at the Continental Contact Plus Reflex wire tyre. It comes in 28, 32 and 37 widths. I would like to put the 37 on as it’s a fair bit of torque for a light bike. Will it fit?
    Thanks, Bill

    Reply
    • May 25, 2020 at 9:28 am
      Permalink

      Hi Bill,

      Yes, you should be able to fit a 37mm wide tyre on the rim no problem, you should have plenty of clearance if your bike is a hybrid type. I have used the Continental Contact Plus before and it is a good, durable tyre and very puncture resistant.

      Regards,
      Tony

      Reply
      • May 25, 2020 at 11:28 pm
        Permalink

        Thanks Tony for the super quick reply! The tyre is ordered! Actually, I’m in Canada, so it’s a tire… I have also ordered a UnitPackPower 48v 17.5ah battery pack to,out on the rear rack. My hope is to use the bike for longer trips. It has carbon fibre front forks, and will have a torque arm.
        Your site is fabulous!
        Bill

        Reply
        • May 26, 2020 at 7:38 am
          Permalink

          Hi Bill,

          Thanks for your feedback. Glad you like the site!

          All the best,
          Tony

          Reply
          • July 6, 2020 at 3:09 am
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            Hi there i hsve one of those Chinese moped style e bike comes under uk eapc speed of 15mph ive had it 8 years and is now starting to struggle on hills the wheel size is 20 inch the motor is a 36v 200w can i replace internal motor with a nee higher w like a 250w motor
            Thanks craig

          • July 7, 2020 at 8:02 am
            Permalink

            Hi Craig,

            Depending on the make / model of motor fitted, it might be difficult to find modern internals that are compatible. You would be better off replacing the entire wheel and controller with a new kit – you could still use the existing battery as long as it is a 36v (some of the older ebikes are 24v). Here is a link for a complete 20″ front wheel 250w kit from Amazon UK.

            If you need any more advice, let me know.

            Cheers,
            Tony

  • April 20, 2020 at 11:11 pm
    Permalink

    I feel you offer more e-bike information than any site i have came across! Thank you. I have a ICE Adventure trike with a 20 in rear wheel. I am looking for a dealer who has experience with these trikes and can sell me a good complete rear hub kit. Any suggestion? Thank you,Dave

    Reply
    • April 21, 2020 at 12:20 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Dave,
      Electric Spokes in NJ have a couple of Trike conversion kits listed on their website, although the only one I could see that would be suitable was a direct drive 500w rear hub motor (which would be inefficient) – Here is a link to their website.

      Glen at Mid Island Adventures in Vancouver Island really knows his stuff when it comes to converting recumbent trikes. I’m fairly sure he can recommend and supply the right kit for you as well.

      I’ve converted quite a few Ice Trikes, and ideally you would want a Bafang or MXUS hub motor that has a cassette freehub, you will also need to extend the pedal sensor lead going from the bottom bracket to the motor controller.

      I have written a separate article on converting Recumbent’s here.

      If you need any more advice, let me know.

      Cheers,
      Tony

      Reply
  • April 9, 2020 at 12:15 am
    Permalink

    Hi there?
    Do you by any chance have the owner’s manual for the Bafang G310 Hub motor?
    If you do can you please send it to me through my email?
    Regards,
    Michael

    Reply
    • April 9, 2020 at 11:40 am
      Permalink

      Hi Michael,

      Unfortunately I don’t have a manual for the Bafang G310 motor, but if you need to carry out maintenance, the motor is fairly straightforward to work on. Here is a link to a good YouTube video detailing dismantling and the components. There is also some very good technical information over at endless-sphere.com.

      Regards,
      Tony

      Reply
  • March 16, 2020 at 12:43 pm
    Permalink

    Tony~
    I’m wanting a “cool looking” daily rider that has a rack in the back to haul stuff. I want to spend under $2,000. I almost bought the Super73 oddly enough at Costco, but when I clicked the button, I learned they were out of stock. So I started researching again. I’ve learned almost everybody sources their bikes from China. So I began digging into Alibaba. I found one that looked like the Super73 and asked the sales person to give me the biggest/best motor, battery, controller, etc. Am I being a stupid American getting a 1000 watt rear hub bafang 48v motor, 48V 17.5Ah sumsung / LG Li-ion battery, BAFANG Color LCD48V and BAFANG 48v 25A controller? Or is that a sweet bike for under $2k?
    Thank you in advance!
    ~Jim

    Reply
    • March 17, 2020 at 12:39 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Jim,
      That sounds like a pretty good deal to me. A 48v Bafang hub motor with that controller and battery should be peaking at over 1300 watts (on a freshly charged battery. Should be a fun ride, and good for 30mph.

      If you go ahead and buy one, let me know how it goes.

      Cheers,
      Tony

      Reply
    • May 9, 2020 at 1:01 pm
      Permalink

      I have learnt alot about ebikes over the past month or2 since covid. I was given a 200w bafang front hub geared ebike. Heard a clicking in motor and pulled motor apart to find 1 of the planetry gears missing 2 teeth. Its going to take 6 weeks to get new ones. So I bought a 350w hub motor unbranded only id DWB36V350W on the axle hub.I connected this to the original wiring for the bafang and it worked. Put the wheel on and went for a ride could only pedal twice and the motor cut out,pedal twice again motor cut out,and kept doing this.Only went about 50m to test. Can you maybe advise me whether using the bafang wiring maybe the problem. But worked well when the bike was upside down. Only played up when put back on 2 wheels with a bit of load. Thank you Charmaine.

      Reply
      • May 9, 2020 at 9:18 pm
        Permalink

        Hi,
        If you’re using it with a 36v battery I can’t see where the problem would be. Most hub motors (including Bafang) have a multi-plug connector that has 3 phase wires (blue, yellow, green) positive / negative and hall sensors wires (usually a 5 or 6-pin connector block. If you have a Higo connector (circular waterproof type) it might be worth checking that none of the connector pins are bent. I could also possibly be a fault with the pedal assist sensor.

        Let me know how things go.

        Regards,
        Tony

        Reply
  • February 13, 2020 at 11:45 am
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    Hi Tony

    Excellent website, possibly the most comprehensive and informative I’ve come across! Well done 🙂 I have a question that you may be able to answer from your wide experience of different systems.

    I have quite a number of home-made recumbents, two MTBs and a cargo bike, and for some time I’ve been thinking of adding some electric assist for the steep hills where I live. I’d be looking primarily for torque rather than speed, so I’m hesitating between a 500Wish mid-drive or a heftier 750+W geared rear hub motor. Since I have so many bikes – but not a corresponding amount of spare cash – I would really like to be able to swap the electric assist across them. I seem to spend half my life swapping wheels, bottom brackets, chainsets etc etc between my bikes, so the prospect of regularly swapping out a mid-drive or a rear wheel plus all the controller bits isn’t a problem for me. The mid-drives might be the better overall choice, especially for the weight distribution on my mountain bikes on very rough trails. But realistically would a mid-drive like the TSDZ2 or BBS02 stand up to repeated removal and refitting?

    Any comments appreciated. Thanks. Nick

    Reply
    • February 13, 2020 at 9:02 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Nick,

      Thank you for your comments, very much appreciated!

      In answer to your question, mid-drive vs hub motor would really depend on the configuration of your recumbents. The good thing about mid-drive motors like the Tongsheng and Bafang is the controller and pedal sensor is integrated into the motor unit. The only other things you would need to move is the speed sensor,wheel magnet and display / keypad. If you had your battery inside a pannier bag, then that would be easy enough to move from bike to bike.

      The Tongsheng is easier to mount on a regular recumbent as you can use a steel collar to secure the motor on the boom, whereas the Bafang can have a tendency to move in the BB shell, regardless of how much you tighten the lock-ring.

      A hub motor would probably be easier. You could buy several pedal sensors and have them in situ (on each bike), and then have the controller in a box or bag, then it would just be a case of swapping the wheel and display over.

      I don’t see any problem with repeatedly swapping over the mid-drive units, but I would say the Bafang is probably the more robust of the two units particularly if you are riding off-road a lot. You may need to purchase some spare lock-rings for the Bafang as they do tend to deteriorate a little when removed regularly.

      If you need any more advice, please let me know.

      All the best,
      Tony

      Reply
  • January 9, 2020 at 8:19 am
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    Hi Tony

    I am from New Zealand and this is my first letter to your very good website.

    In September 2019 I bought a purpose built fold up bike that came with a 48v 500w Bafang. The bike has 20inch wheels with large 20 x 4.0 tyres. To-date I have done just on 900km.

    The bike has 5 power bands and 7 gears on the chain.

    I have 2 questions, which I would be grateful if you can answer.

    1. If I am in the 3rd power band and 7th gear I need to peddle nearly as fast as I can to keep up with the motor. In other words it needs a higher gear or 2 so that if I want to (on the flat) I can use the 4th & 5th power bands. I have thought about fitting a smaller sprocket at the pedals, which would raise all 7 gears. (I have never had to use 1st & 2nd gears even though I live up a steep hill so that wouldn’t be a problem) Also, as it is 85% of my riding is in either 6th or 7th gear, which is going to wear the 2 smallest sprockets very quickly.

    Question 1: Would fitting a smaller sprocket at the pedals upset the relationship with the controller? or is there a better way of achieving higher gearing?

    2. When on the flat in the 3rd power band & 7th gear the motor makes this loud wha wha wha noise. It sounds a bit like a worn differential in a car. It makes the same noise in 4th & 5th power band but faster. The noise is such that people turn around to see what sort of alien machine is coming up behind them. I guess it saves me ringing the bell! It is much quieter & doesn’t seem to make this noise in 1st & 2nd. As my bike has a 12 month warranty I took it back to the supplier who simply said it was fine but it doesn’t sound fine to me. May-be I should invest in some ear muffs!

    Question 2: Is this noise normal for these motors?

    Many thanks
    Gary

    Reply
    • January 9, 2020 at 9:48 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Gary,

      Regarding gearing, you would need a larger chainring on the front to raise the gearing, something like a 48T or 50T sprocket. If your bike has a standard Shimano 7-speed rear gear freewheel the gear ratios are probably 14-28t, ideally you would need an 11-28t freewheel for higher gearing. A 50t front ring combined with an 11t rear would equate to 32mph at a pedalling cadence of 90rpm. A local bike shop should be able to supply and install the necessary parts for you. Changing the gearing won’t effect the electric assist or controller in any way.

      Regarding the motor noise. The Bafang hub motor has internal planetary gears, so it is noisier than a direct drive hub motor. Having said that, I’ve installed a lot of these motors and the noise shouldn’t be much more than an audible whine. If there is some play in the bearings in the planetary gear system, this may be causing the extra noise. It may also be simply a case of the gears needing a bit more grease – the motors are quite straightforward to work on, so maybe you should see if the supplier is willing to have a look at it.

      If you have any more questions, please let me know.

      Cheers,
      Tony

      Reply
    • February 18, 2020 at 11:26 am
      Permalink

      Hi Gary,

      I just got a foldable ebike with the 36V 250W Bafang and I have the same “loud wha wha wha noise”. For me it’s 5th power band 7th gear and starts when the bike is a 27km/h speed (motor runs until 30km/h).
      Did you find out where this came from by any chance?
      Definitely doesn’t sound fine to me either…
      Thanks!
      Bob

      Reply
  • November 13, 2019 at 4:50 pm
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    Tony – thanks for your excellent website. After much study I thought I had reached a decision – a Bafang 250w rear hub but am having trouble finding a full kit to fit my old hybrid bike. My particular specs are – 26 inch, 130mm between dropouts, cassette and centre pull rim brakes. The brakes were a problem for one ebay supplier – greenergia – who seemed to otherwise offer a wide choice of options – ‘discs only except for the 20 inch wheel’ was his response.

    I am not keen on lacing my old rim to a new hub as I haven’t got the kit needed. Is there some reason why the Bafangs only go with disc brakes or could you point me towards someone who can do a kit to fit my needs?

    Many thanks
    Colin

    Reply
    • November 13, 2019 at 5:51 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Colin,
      Thanks for your feedback, glad you like my website.

      In answer to your question, it sounds as though your bike has cantilever brakes fitted. I have checked the listing on eBay and it looks like they only offer the kit in a disc specific rim (as in the rim doesn’t have a braking surface for rim brakes).

      Bafang motors will fit disc or non-disc bikes. There is a kit available on eBay from a seller I have used many times before. It is a 26″ rear wheel Bafang 250w kit, with the correct rim. The only issue is you will need a 7 or 8 speed freewheel, as it is not cassette compatible. Here is the link for that kit.

      Personally, I would stick with the freewheel variant, as I have had a couple of freehubs prematurely fail in the past, and replacing them on one of these motors is a right pain!

      If you need any more advice, let me know.

      Regards,
      Tony

      Reply
      • November 13, 2019 at 6:04 pm
        Permalink

        Many thanks for the instant reply Tony. I’ll go for that one – I’ll give up on the cassette as you suggest.

        There seemed to be so many choices on offer I felt as though my options had to be out there somewhere…but could not find the needle in that, very big haystack. It was driving me nuts.

        All the best

        Colin

        Reply
  • October 16, 2019 at 7:10 pm
    Permalink

    Hello Tony,
    Thanx for your nice post.
    In the specifications of the bafang hub 250w, what means the different values of rpm ?
    Best regards,
    Remy

    Reply
    • October 17, 2019 at 12:36 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Remy

      As I understand it, the different RPM Values may refer to the windings in the motor. I believe the Bafang CST hub motor is available with 3 winding configurations. Voltage would also effect motor RPM.

      All the best,
      Tony

      Reply
  • September 21, 2019 at 8:02 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Tony,

    I want to use a bike frame bag to house the controller, do you have some recommandations on small bags for the controller? And do you have some aliexpress links, so I can order them, thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • September 22, 2019 at 8:07 am
      Permalink

      Hi Giel,

      There are a few different options available you can use a standard frame bag like this one or you can use one specifically made for ebike controllers. The RockBros one is well-made, but you will need to make a slit in the underside of the bag in order to thread the leads through.

      Both bags are big enough to house a 36v22A controller. If you need a larger bag suitable for a 48v-60v controller – This one would be more suitable.

      I hope this helps.

      All the best,
      Tony

      Reply
  • September 20, 2019 at 2:37 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Tony.
    I have a 250w hubmotor 36 V and I need more power do you think that I could change it to a 500w and it would increase torque?
    Thanks for your answer

    Reply
    • September 20, 2019 at 3:48 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Filip,

      In theory, you could just change the motor controller to one that can handle a higher current – e.g 36v 20A. The 36v 250w Bafang hub motor should be able to comfortably run at 500w all day, without compromising reliability. You would need a controller with compatible connectors. Most Bafang hub motors use circular ‘Higo’ type connectors.

      You should see a marginal increase in torque, by either doing the above, or fitting a completely new 500w motor kit.

      Regards,
      Tony

      Reply
  • September 16, 2019 at 4:58 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Tony

    Is it possible to fit a colour display such as the 850c or DPC 18 to a hub motor (and controller) or are these displays purely for a mid drive unit?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • September 16, 2019 at 5:37 pm
      Permalink

      Hi John,

      It is possible, there are some sellers on Aliexpress that sell Bafang hub motors with the 850c display. I think for this to work you need to purchase the controller with display. Here is a link to one of the suppliers I use. If you browse their store, i’m fairly sure they do the 850c display / controller combo.

      If you need any more advice, let me know.

      Cheers,
      Tony

      Reply
  • September 12, 2019 at 11:36 am
    Permalink

    Hi Tony,

    Do you use a torque arm with the 48V 500 watt hub motor on let’s a Rockrider 520? Do you never use torque arms below 500W? Or only in aluminium frames? Or do you use them? And do you use 2 or just 1?

    Reply
    • September 12, 2019 at 1:22 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Giel,

      I recommended using torque arms, just to be on the safe side. I usually only use one torque arm. I think its wise to fit them on all hub motor conversions. In the early days I didn’t always fit them, and I never had any issues. But nowadays I always fit them.

      Reply

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