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Commuting on a BBSHD: report

Discussion in 'Electric Bike Conversion Kits' started by Hobble, Dec 20, 2017.

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    Hobble

    Hobble Just Joined

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    I converted a 2014 Boardman MX Comp (Avid hydraulic brakes, SRAM Via Centro 2 x 10 speed) using BBSHD back in August and have been commuting on average 4 days a week 13 miles each way since. The bike had 3300 km/2050 M on the clock before the conversion and now another 1800 miles more.

    The full kit I bought from eclipsebikes.com consisted of BBSHD and a Whale 48V 17.5Ah battery and hydraulic brake sensors. After fitting the kit I found out that the motor was moving about quite a bit so after a couple of tightening attempts I finally added a BSB-1 Bafang BBSXX stabilizer bar from california-ebike.com after a few hundred miles which sorted out the issue for good. Another recurring issue has been the brake sensors: I epoxied the sensors on to the top of the brake handle bodies but they kept coming loose following smallest incidents when maneuvering the bike to/from the shed. I eventually cable tied and glued the sensors on front of the handles but had to do add small cable tie sized notches to the levers to get the magnets to stay on at the correct position. Not pretty but fixed that issue for good. I also had to solder the battery to motor leads after the initial connection stopped working following a shower but it's good as it allowed me to trim extra cable for neater installation. Since then no more issues and the bike is being ridden almost daily on muddy and well salted Irish winter.

    Apart from above the bike has been faultless. I suffered from 3 punctures in one week and none before and after. I was initially worried about the drivetrain of the bike but so far it's still running with the original chain and cassette after over 3800 miles of combined pedal and now electric powah. The brake pads are running very thin so will need to be replaced by 4000 miles I reckon.

    Back in August I was able to complete two return trips (52 miles) using the battery but the low power warning appeared during the last hill before home. I also kept the assistance at 4-6 out of 9 and used plenty of pedal power. Since then I have used almost exclusively assistance level 7 and wth the settings I have the top speed of the bike is limited to approx. 26 mph on the closed track using assistance level 9. The assist 7 results in approx. 16 mph, or something, officer. It takes me typically 40-45 minutes per direction, HR averages 135-145 bpm and the full battery very comfortably lasts for the return trip even when it's freezing cold. Yesterday, for example, it was quite mild and not much wind and the battery voltage dropped from 54 V to 47 V by the time I was at home so there is typically plenty of spare capacity for odd short trips to shop etc. without needing to recharge during the day. The bike carries panniers full time too so I reckon the range is excellent.

    I believe that it was the best decision ever to do this conversion. I used to commute mainly on a motorbike and although pedelec adds about 10 minutes of travel time per leg there is no way I'd ever go back to the motorbike for this commute. It's great fun to pedelec and it's great exercise too. The motorbike has only been used once since August and will most likely be sold on come spring. And before the conversion it typically took 55 min - 1:15 per leg to cycle depending on the wind and direction but under electric power the travel time is always consistent within a few minutes even where there is that wet Friday night 20 mph head wind against me.
     
    #1 Hobble, Dec 20, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
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    Hobble

    Hobble Just Joined

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    OK, 4700 km now on the bike since the conversion and the original chain finally ran out after 3300 + 4700 km (= 5000 mi total). The front chainring started to skip like mad on the way home yesterday almost without warning. It looks like the chain just suddenly stretched enough to lift off the visibly worn driven chain wheel teeth.

    I had already planned a big spring maintenance for the bike at 5000 km so this was brought forward a bit and the bike will be off road until my precialps 130 BCD chainring adapter arrives hopefully soon. New cassette, chain, front chainwheel will be fitted and I think I'll take the motor out to check how the nylon pinion gear is doing. There are no signs of any trouble with it just grease it all as preventative maintenance. Had one more puncture and the brake pads were changed sometime earlier this year but no other issues. Oh and two panniers have disintegrated with lock etc. rattling in them.

    I have been pleasantly surprised how reliable the bike has been. Going to keep the gearing the same as it is as I can't see any reason to change from 46T front and 32-11T rear.
     
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    Gilk

    Gilk Just Joined

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    That looks very like what im thinking of doing, mid drive commuter. Have you had any issues with rain or dampness. Asking as my bike's live outside, both at home and work.
     
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    Hobble

    Hobble Just Joined

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    HI Gilk, the only issue I have had was with the Anderson connector between the battery pack and the motor. I soldered the connections and it has been faultless since and used daily in Irish winter. I used red rubber grease on all of the connectors when assembling the bike last year which may or may not have helped. But as I said I have been really pleasantly surprised on the reliability. Probably best to use a bike cover to keep the bike somewhat covered if possible.

    Btw, I took out the "transmission" side cover of the BBSHD and there was no sign of water ingress there and everything looked totally new after 4700 km. A top tip: Replaced the paper gasket that tore upon disassembly with Loctite 518 anaerobic instant gasket sealant I happened to have in the garage. I was a bit worried that it would affect the running clearances but nothing bad happened and all is running sweet as ever. Added some moly grease in the cogs while at it.

    The bike now has a 46T alloy cyclocross front chainwheel with that precialp adaptor. The chain alignment is not great now and only close to perfect on the top gear now. Only gears 4-10 are usable now but the situation is not too bad as I never *need* to use them anyway due to the copious torque of the HD. Would be nice to eventually fix the alignment but it won't be easy as the M10 bolt heads inside the precialp adapter already had to be ground down to create enough clearance between the gearbox and the adapter. When next in a bolt shop will look for high tensile very thin headed bolts which might allow mounting the front chainwheel inside the adapter instead outside where it's currently installed.

    PS: The bike drivetrain is a real mix now: Shimano Deore 10spd cassette, SRAM PC1050 chain and Blackspire front chainwheel work perfectly with SRAM derailleur and shifter.
     
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    Hobble

    Hobble Just Joined

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    anotherkiwi

    anotherkiwi Pedelecer

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    Wow! Those are big bolts, I used chainwheel bolts and it fits fine.
     
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    Steve UKLSRA

    Steve UKLSRA Pedelecer

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    I'm with AK...buy a set of short/single chainwheel bolts and put it inboard (I run Precialps adaptors on all mine and there's plenty of clearance).
     
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    tommie

    tommie Pedelecer

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    I have the exact same setup on a Whyte Hybrid and in my case had to bring the chainring out about a quarter of an inch. I reckon if you changed to an 8-speed cassette you would have no trouble with your chain line, also the slightly thicker chain would also be a plus point.
     
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    daveboy

    daveboy Pedelecer

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    Hobble

    Hobble Just Joined

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    Thank you for feedback all. I'll get some proper bolts for it and hopefully will be able to mount the chainwheel inside the adapter as meant. The M10 ones look very crude anyway. If worst come to worst I might have to space out the adapter a tiny bit to allow the chainwheel to attach inside, will keep you posted.

    The lekkie would be great but I decided to go for standard bike components so that getting a replacement will be easy going forward. The 8 speed might be a good idea in the future to be able to use heavier chain but at the same time I got 5k miles from the original bits of which almost 3k was done electric which I'm quite happy with and I went for slightly more expensive chain this time which I hope helps (PC1050 vs 1025). Would need new shifter and really like the current one. Will decide before the next drivetrain is needed.
     
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    Hobble

    Hobble Just Joined

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    OK, looks muchos better now. The (alloy) bolts were lightly rubbing against the gearbox case for a short while but as the cranks were turning almost without extreme violence (heh) I just ignored it and 10 km later the problem was solved.

    With the sprocket fitted inside the Precialps adaptor the chainline now looks very similar to the original Bafang chainwheel.
     
    #11 Hobble, Apr 11, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
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    Hobble

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    IMG_20180411_095026.jpg
     
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    spanos

    spanos Finding my (electric) wheels

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    Hobble

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    Will be interesting to see how that alloy ring lasts compared to the OE steel one. Who knows, maybe it will run out in a short while and next I find myself going for the bling ring or something else. So far so good though after another 300mi/500km since I did the service.

    The chainline is now pretty much perfect, i.e. aligned on 7th or 8th gear which are the most common ones I use and I can now (probably, as haven't needed to yet) use all ten speeds. The 1-3 are not needed on the road even on the steepest hills I encounter on my travels and even the 4th gear is almost unnecessarily short to use on regular basis unless you need to start from a steep gradient.

    For offroad use things would be different though. The HD is overkill for the type of riding I do and I went for it in a hope for a long service life of the power unit which is a reassuring quality on a daily driver. As mentioned there were absolutely no signs any wear inside the secondary reduction gearset and associated axle bearings when I took a look. There is so much torque on this motor that you'd get away with just three gears I think: Hill starts, cruising, downhills. Trying not to lug the motor though and will therefore give it plenty of 4th combined with as much as possible pedal assistance when setting off and at low speeds.
     
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    anotherkiwi

    anotherkiwi Pedelecer

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    I am surprised you could mount the ring inside the precialps spider. Mine has a different diameter inside and out which corresponds to inner and outer chainwheels, did you machine some material off to get it to fit?
     
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    Hobble

    Hobble Just Joined

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    Hi Anotherkiwi, I just fitted it without machining anything but as mentioned the bolts self machined themselves a bit against the motor. I mounted the adapter with the "precialps" text facing out in case it matters. Maybe your ring is made of a thicker material?
     
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    anotherkiwi

    anotherkiwi Pedelecer

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    Shimano inner 32 tooth 104 BCD and Truvativ 42 outer. I tried mounting the 42 inside the spider but it wouldn't fit you can just about see why on this photo:

    adapter-spider-bafang-bbs01-bbs02.jpg
     
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    Hobble

    Hobble Just Joined

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    Wait a minute, you said 104? My spider and the ring are 130.
     
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    anotherkiwi

    anotherkiwi Pedelecer

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    That explains a lot :)
     
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    Steve UKLSRA

    Steve UKLSRA Pedelecer

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    I manage to fit 32-38t Raceface NW chainrings and outer Hope Lightweight bashrings on my Precialps adaptors...just been out to try a Shimano 44t 104BCD on the outer of a spare adaptor and it fits ok?!?
     

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