How long does it take to convert a bike?
There is no definite answer on this, because simply it depends on your specific bike. For some bikes, a conversion may take half a day or less, whereas others which have seized components or complex mounting regions, may take longer. This is by no means a downside, however, as the more time you spend upfront, the more durable and hardwearing it shall be. You need to ensure your conversion looks elegant, and the best way to reach that aim is by being patient.
What is the difference between a 250W, 500W, 750W and 1000W motor?
Simply, power and speed. The 250W, 500W, and 750W BBS01B motors are very similar. Side by side, they look the same. The European and UK E-Bike wattage limit is 250W, and anything over this is not deemed road legal. The 250W motor can boost your ride by up to 15mph, the 500W motor can boost your ride by up to 20mph, and the 750W can boost your ride by up to 25mph. The 250W motor we stock can actually be reprogrammed, also known as “Hot Rodding”, however, we provide no information on this, nor recommend it. The 1000W BBSHD motor has a different design than the others, and this is primarily so that the motor can run at higher temperatures. The fins on the BBSHD’s casing are heatsinks which enable the motor to draw more power, creating greater torque capabilities without the motor overheating. The downside to this however, means the motor weighs an extra 2.5kg that the BBS01B’s, and speed wise can only boost your ride by up to 30mph. Other than that, the best motor for you depends on which best fits your riding style.
Will a Mid-Drive Motor break my chain?
A chain will snap at its weakest link, and this may sometimes happen on a normal bike when climbing a hill without pedal assistance. If your chain snaps, it is the fault of the rider and their riding style, and not the chain itself. The same principle can be used with a mid-drive motor in use. The chain will only break under rider error. Rear derailleurs are there to allow the rider to change gear. You shouldn’t be in a high gear going up a steep hill, you must lower the gear appropriately. Never use the motor to get started either, as this shows the gearing is too high, you should always be able to set off under human power.
With 250W mid drive motors, the chances of a chain breaking are low. The higher the wattage of the motor in use, the more power being transmitted through the chain, and so the higher the chances of chain breakage. However, if your riding style is good, the chain should never break unless defective. All chains wear over time, and poor riding style can accelerate this rate of wear. A chain is the most inexpensive part of the drive system and so it is better for the chain to snap than another drivetrain component.
Can I convert my carbon fibre bike?
We believe that generally it is a bad idea to convert a carbon fibre framed bike to electric. This is primarily due to the torque output of the motor, and required holding torque needed to keep the motor firmly in place to insure it cannot move. Tightening the lock ring to the required standard can crack the carbon fibre bottom bracket shell. Also, to make the situation worse, the carbon fibre layering around the bottom bracket is normally irregular and thick to prevent premature flexing and cracking whilst contributing towards a greater transfer of power. This point simplified, means there is insufficient clearance around the bottom bracket shell.
How much does a full kit weigh?
The answer to this question is… It depends. There are a few factors which can alter the kits weight, but expect the additional weight to be somewhere between 7 - 9kg. The 250W mid drive motors approximately weigh 4kg. The battery will add an additional 3kg - 4kg. All other parts including the speed sensor and magnet, EB-Bus cable, brake levers, display, chainring etc. approximately adds an additional 1kg. This total weight once on the bike is almost negligible when in use as of the additional power output from the motor.
What maintenance is required on an Electric Bike?
There is generally little maintenance required from the Bafang range of motors, and there are very few failures as a result of poor maintenance. However, it does depend on your riding style and conditions in which you ride. If your riding mentality is calm, collected and occasional, the motors shall require very little to no maintenance. If you are the complete opposite and push the bike to the limits, you may require higher maintenance levels. As with any components, to properly maintain and prolong the lifespan of the component it needs greasing. If after many miles of usage the motor start to make noise, this may be a sign it needs servicing and re-greasing. At this stage, it’s possible to leave it and keep using the motor with no signs of failure at all. If you believe the motor needs re-greasing, it would be a good idea to remove the old grease first and also replace the nylon gear if there are signs of wear. This is the most common part which is replaced, and is what allows the motor to run so smoothly and quietly. It ensures the motor will continue to operate optimally for many more miles. We have seen these motors pull well over 2000 miles and so reliability is guaranteed.
Another component many think about is the chain and it's ability to transfer the added power. The chain is going to last a long time, and needs no more maintenance than a standard bike, it just needs to be kept clean and oiled. Just because your chain becomes rusty, this doesn’t mean it needs changing it just needs oil and should be fine. Keep going until it snaps, which will be longer than it may seem. If your standard bike drive system has really cheap components, if and when they brake, ensure quality Shimano or SRAM components are installed and you will have no problems.
Can I still use the bike without electric assistance?
Absolutely, you are capable of using the bike without any assistance. To do this, you can either leave the battery off the bike to reduce weight, or turn the pedal assistance setting to zero which prohibits power being delivered to the motor.
Mid-Drive Motor or Hub Motor?
Both motors are good, but we strongly believe the mid-drive systems are the way to go. Although they are slightly more expensive upfront, they reap many advantages. The mid drive systems are massively superior off-road whereas hub drives lack strength and performance. Both are great for on-road/flat terrain use though. The mid-drive offers much smoother power transmission as power is directed through the drivetrain, and so aids the way a human would manually power the bike. On the other hand, a hub drive motor directly powers the front or rear wheel and so the response isn’t quite there. Although the provided boost you receive is good, there is nothing quite like the feel of a mid-drive unit. These type of kits resemble the top spec e-bikes on the market reaching prices of £6000, and compete exquisitely.
Ultimately it depends on your riding style and the look you want to go for. Hub drive motors can hide within the wheel and are typically a kilogram lighter, however, this choice compromises torque capabilities, off-road use and an off balance centre of gravity. This is important as a lower and more centralised centre of gravity makes riding more comfortable, stable and controlled. Although the mid drive e-drive systems are heavier, this weight is negligible when comparing the two. A mid drive comes into its own on rocky terrain and uphill off-road use.
What is “Hot Rod” Programming?
It is possible to reconfigure the controller settings within the motor housing by manipulating and overriding the recommended settings. We do not recommend changing these settings and by doing so, will invalidate any warranty we provide if re-programmed. Hot Rod programming shortens the lifespan of the motor, controller and battery as the mileage range per charge significantly reduces.
What is the legality surrounding the use of E-Bikes?
We have published a separate page to highlight all areas of E-Bike legislation. Please click here to be redirected to our page about Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPC) Legislation.
How far can I cycle on a full charge?
The answer to this question varies on which battery you purchase, the wattage of the motor and the assistance levels used. The motors we sell are all 250W so this is constant, and the batteries that match these motors are 36V batteries. This can change if you have a more powerful motor though, e.g. a 500W and 750W will need a 48V or 52V battery, and a lower voltage battery with a higher wattage motor will reduce the batteries range further.
The batteries capacity and therefore range will be shown in terms of Ampere Hours (Ah) and the larger the rating, the longer the range per battery cycle. Our batteries which are all 36V can be either chosen with a 10.5Ah or 14Ah rating. We say that these two battery capacities will give approximate ranges of 30 miles and 45 miles respectively. This range though as mentioned previously fluctuates on other variants including things such as hill inclination, flight elevation, rider weight, and assistance level used. If a particular ride has greater hill inclinations, the pedal assistance will most probably be higher, and therefore the motor will have to output a greater torque. Range will therefore reduce. The reduction won’t be huge though and will only vary slightly.
Is there any resistance when cycling with the motor off?
There will always be “some” resistance when pedalling with the motor off, however, with a 250W motor this resistance is so small and depending on the gradient can become negligible. As the motor wattage increases, this resistance can increase, but nonetheless it doesn’t make riding uncomfortable and is completely manageable.
The resistance though scientifically is completely natural in a setup like this, and is essentially because the motor has now become a generator as it is being spun in reverse. Because the motor is not providing power to the cranks, and instead is being rotated in reverse by the manual crank rotation, this turns the motors stator core the other way which produces a magnetic field about the windings causing the resistance sometimes felt.
Do E-Bikes require licensing?
Generally, no. There may be exceptions, however, depending on the specific motor you have and its wattage rating. A 250W motor only has the capability to boost a riders speed by up to 15mph and this is deemed suitable for road-use. If you own a motor with a higher wattage rating, which is able to reach speeds of over 20 mph, for correct legal proceedings the E-Bike will need registering with the DVLA. In most cases you’ll find that you don’t need a license to use your E-Bike, but please check your specific bikes details and compare against relevant regulations.