Review Bafang BBS01b 250w DIY fitting - traps, pitfalls and review

DodgyTicker

Pedelecer
Dec 29, 2020
26
12
My gear sensor still hasn't been delivered, but from what I've read - installing them up front near the handlebars may or may not be problematic, because small changes in tension as it waves around (if it's left to wave around) can set it off, causing it to cut power to the motor. The seller advised locating the gear sensor near the rear shifter, but if that isn't possible on your bike... There may be a way, I don't know.
Now that you have said that, i'll probably not bother fitting it.

The kill-switch will be fitted when it arrives and used accordingly.
 
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pentiumofborg

Esteemed Pedelecer
Dec 13, 2020
428
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I'd rather have some sort of safety device on the bike rather than none, saying that, there is always the power switch on the battery but I wouldn't fancy fumbling around for that in an emergency.

The gear sensor is a must have for my bike with it having a fragile 10 speed chain, it really clonks when changing gear under load.

That temporary kill-switch might end up as a permenant fixture though.
The motor power is cut, as soon as you lightly squeeze the brake handles on mine - mechanical brakes - might operate similarly on yours. Sort of a temporary kill switch.
 

pentiumofborg

Esteemed Pedelecer
Dec 13, 2020
428
124
Now that you have said that, i'll probably not bother fitting it.

The kill-switch will be fitted when it arrives and used accordingly.
Heck don't listen to my unfounded fears! I know next to nothing about bikes! Have a go, see if it works! New 4mm gear sheathing plus cable is cheap! Save the rear cassette!
 

pentiumofborg

Esteemed Pedelecer
Dec 13, 2020
428
124
breaker bar
That's an excellent tip by the way - I should have used a breaker bar... I had to embed a metal spike (damaged crank extractor - see below) vertically into a piece of wood placed horizontally, set the bottom bracket against it, and hammer at the crank arm, near the bottom bracket like a deranged lunatic until it came off! This was after I stripped the thread of that crank arm using the crank extractor, by applying too much at once. Still, I got there in the end.
 
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DodgyTicker

Pedelecer
Dec 29, 2020
26
12
Crank arms either come off the taper or don't. It is knowing how far to go before you strip the threads. You are either lucky or not. Unlucky, then an automotive three leg puller sometimes gets the job done, but there is always the hacksaw and the dustbin and the bike shop for a new one. I'm sure the proper old fashioned bike shops / mechanics have their ways of doing this without any fuss or hassle.

The breaker bar I use is to remove the bottom bracket itself, not the crank arms. With a breaker bar you have more control to smoothly apply force to the BB ends. With that you risk seriously skinning your knuckles when the tool inevitably slips.

On a few really stubborn bottom brackets I've encountered, I've put the BB socket in the bench vice and rotated the whole bike frame to get them loose. Even more control than the breaker bar and almost no chance at all of tool slip and skinning your knuckles. Again I'm sure experienced bike mechanics have their ways to do this without any hassle.

All that said, modern cartridge BB's are a doddle compared to good old fashioned cup and cone ones. Talking of which, I've got a 1984 Peugeot 12 speed racer that would do very well with a BBS01b on it.
 
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pentiumofborg

Esteemed Pedelecer
Dec 13, 2020
428
124
Crank arms either come off the taper or don't. It is knowing how far to go before you strip the threads. You are either lucky or not. Unlucky, then an automotive three leg puller sometimes gets the job done, but there is always the hacksaw and the dustbin and the bike shop for a new one. I'm sure the proper old fashioned bike shops / mechanics have their ways of doing this without any fuss or hassle.

The breaker bar I use is to remove the bottom bracket itself, not the crank arms. With a breaker bar you have more control to smoothly apply force to the BB ends. With that you risk seriously skinning your knuckles when the tool inevitably slips.

On a few really stubborn bottom brackets I've encountered, I've put the BB socket in the bench vice and rotated the whole bike frame to get them loose. Even more control than the breaker bar and almost no chance at all of tool slip and skinning your knuckles. Again I'm sure experienced bike mechanics have their ways to do this without any hassle.

All that said, modern cartridge BB's are a doddle compared to good old fashioned cup and cone ones. Talking of which, I've got a 1984 Peugeot 12 speed racer that would do very well with a BBS01b on it.
Are you thinking of putting your existing kit on the Peugot instead? One of the reasons why I chose the Bafang, is because it's transferable to other bikes, but it seems to have worked out well enough on the Dahon so far. New rear cassette arrives soon. Next time, I might use a much bigger spanner for crankarm removal (I couldn't locate my megasized adjustable at the time), or put the spanner into a long steel pipe for extra leverage, or as you've mentioned- turn the bike using a vice. The spike in the floor was a wise old bike-shop owner's suggestion - he said they had far too much work on to pull a crank arm off, but that advice was gold.

My gear sensor has finally arrived! I'll need even more zipties...
 
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jimriley

Pedelecer
Jun 17, 2020
182
112
Using the frame with the socket in a vice can be a good idea.
I do the same removing a freewheel block. Saw a halfrauds "mechanic" struggling to do that very job with a spanner. Standing next to the vice. I passed on the tip, nicely.
 
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DodgyTicker

Pedelecer
Dec 29, 2020
26
12
Regarding the Peugeot, maybe but I'd probably just buy another kit. Quite unbelievably I've got a fully functioning MTB 3x8 (11-34t) chainset working on it perfecting with the old Sachs Huret downtube shifters. I think what would stop me would be the brakes, although they are also upgraded to modern side pivot ones, they don't have good enough stopping power.

Back to the Boardman...
 

DodgyTicker

Pedelecer
Dec 29, 2020
26
12
Some more wiring;

Not the gear change sensor and not the kill switch either but a set of, front and rear, lights that run off the main battery / motor outputs at six volts.

Very good and utilise the auto light sensor on the 850c headunit, although you can also manually switch them on and off. The front is nice and bright and actually has a proper beam pattern unlike many bright bike lights. Very pleased with them.
 

DodgyTicker

Pedelecer
Dec 29, 2020
26
12
Fine tuning the controller settings;

The USB programming cable arrived today so as soon as I had fitted the lights, I went about changing the settings.

I used this guide...


... which was very useful explaining things and was easy to follow. The most difficult part of the process was installing the USB driver and getting it to work.

Once it was working though, changing the settings was very straight forward. I won't go into the details as they are far better expained on that site link to above.

I only did a one mile test ride so can't really comment on the changes. It was late, dark and about -2c !
 

DodgyTicker

Pedelecer
Dec 29, 2020
26
12
Review!

I've got some miles on the kit now, just over 100 in fact, since I re-programmed it using the guide linked above.

Absolutely love it, loads of control and it feels quite natural having nine progressively more powerful settings available.

I've not bothered with the brake cut outs or the kill switch or the gear change sensor. If you have any kind of mechanical sympathy and ride sensibly, there is no need for these in my opinion.

Overall the kit was easy to fit and performs perfectly but re-programming is something that needs to be done for it to be its best. The add on lights are also very good with the front having a proper lens and beam pattern.

The only thing I still need to do and report back on is the range.
 
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Raboa

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 12, 2014
387
121
48
I think the kit is very good but I think they can improve it by doing the following
1. Include a gear sensor in the kit
2. Get Shimano to supply them with crank arms and rebadge them Bafang.
2. Get Shimano to provide them with a better quality, lighter chainring.
Even if they marketed this as a pro version I imagine people would pay the extra money.
 

pentiumofborg

Esteemed Pedelecer
Dec 13, 2020
428
124
I haven't been to a supermarket since March of last year, and haven't stepped into a cycle shop in decades - I didn't like the idea of the new South African flavoured Covid, so I ordered inner and outer cables on ebay, to enable installation of my new gear sensor... they'll arrive eventually... but again, I got impatient and tried to adapt the wrong sort of gear cable to fit my SRAM rotary indexed shifter - I sawed off the thicker part (it was the pear shaped ended variety), it did fit but of course the remainder wasn't strong enough... as expected, the head broke off under extreme tension. I couldn't get the old frayed cable back into the gear sheathing, and new cable entry into the bottom half was impeded by gunk or disintegrating cable innards, so I used what I had to temporarily turn my bike into a fixie - on the most used gear. I should have waited.

The cassette is under less stress, because of the slower onset of torque (firmware modification), but despite this, I heard some worrying cracking when changing gears while the motor was on - I'm (eventually) going to install the gear sensor so I can simply ride. I really don't want to be worrying about my gears - I need the max possible focus available to dodge cars, and it seems wise to install the gear sensor to protect my brand new rear cassette and chain...

Post is too slow.
 
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pentiumofborg

Esteemed Pedelecer
Dec 13, 2020
428
124
The gear sensor works great! There is no sign of it being set off by minute movements of the gear cable - even when bumping through deep potholes, it doesn't cut power to the motor in error. It's situated near the rear axle and secured using a ziptie - I may use a 3M sticky pad underneath, but the thin sponge might introduce additional movement, so I might not. I've very pleased indeed with this gear sensor! It's so nice not hearing grinding of the rear cassette when powered changing gears. When the gear sensor does cut power, it does so momentarily, after which the motor resumes power at the same rate as before - the slower onset of power as set in my firmware seems to be ignored, but this doesn't seem to be a problem. It all took rather a long time for me to install because of the slowness of the post... I could have simply walked to the bike shop to get inner and outer cables, but I refuse to leave my house! So it took rather a long time for everything to be delivered. People may have experienced problems with the gear sensor cutting power because they left too much play in the gear cable - getting very clean cuts and snug, solid, ferrule end connections is key, I think. I had to wait rather a long time before I got clean outer cable cuts because the heavy duty cable cutter took so long to arrive - long enough for me how to work out how to make (very untidy) cuts using two pliers: pinch the cable extremely hard in one spot with one set of piers, then bend the cable back and forth as fast and as hard as possible with another set of piers to fatigue and break the cable, then cut any remaining individual strands; this makes for very untidy cable cuts indeed, which are very hard to fit into ferrules (plus you end up with a lot of very hard cable steel strands all over the place - I found one sticking into my foot through my trainers). I think that clean straight cuts avoids gear sensor problems.

The gear sensor is well worth installing. Kits would be more complete with one included. I wasn't looking forward to the onerous task of recalibrating my gears again, but after a rather lengthy gear tuning session, all of my gears now work perfectly. I might use pre-stretched gear cables next time, to save time.
 
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Raboa

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 12, 2014
387
121
48
I do wonder if Bafang take any notice of users comments as I feel the kit is not complete in its present form. This could be seen as fine tuning, it also could be seen as having to spend extra money to get it to work in sync with other components.
 

pentiumofborg

Esteemed Pedelecer
Dec 13, 2020
428
124
I do wonder if Bafang take any notice of users comments as I feel the kit is not complete in its present form. This could be seen as fine tuning, it also could be seen as having to spend extra money to get it to work in sync with other components.
There's a perception advantage in keeping the buy-in as small as possible: Keeping the price low makes it look more appealing to people shopping for those useless ultra cheap £500-ish complete ebikes... what might be happening, is that the sellers create packages to make sales more likely, omitting the gear sensor to keep the price low - the Bafang system has a connector for it, which shows that it's intended to be part of the kit. Plus if people are more likely to install the gear sensor wrongly and go on to have issues, it marrs the overall image of the kit unjustly. Who knows?
 

egroover

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 12, 2016
549
285
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UK
I think the kit is very good but I think they can improve it by doing the following
1. Include a gear sensor in the kit
2. Get Shimano to supply them with crank arms and rebadge them Bafang.
2. Get Shimano to provide them with a better quality, lighter chainring.
Even if they marketed this as a pro version I imagine people would pay the extra money.
All of that costs money, which would be added to the cost of the kit, I'd rather have the choice and pay less for the kit (I bought the gear sensor separately and took it off as I didn't like how it affected the power delivery)
 
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pentiumofborg

Esteemed Pedelecer
Dec 13, 2020
428
124
All of that costs money, which would be added to the cost of the kit, I'd rather have the choice and pay less for the kit (I bought the gear sensor separately and took it off as I didn't like how it affected the power delivery)
What happened exactly? How did it affect power delivery on your system? What sort of gear system do you have on your bike? Mine seems to cut out only when I change gears, it's fast and accurate - I've use a SRAM rotary handlebar shifter which I suppose is quite clear to respond to, being short burst gear cable changes. After it cuts out, power goes back on rather rapidly, at the level as strong as the PAS level, after a very brief time period. It'd be good if there was a firmware setting for that, because it stresses the drivechain. I concentrated on reducing gear cable friction at every point - using a panel pin at the ends of the outer cables to open them out a little, before inserting into the ferrules and running the inner cable through, testing for resistance. The outer cable was extremely strong, with kevlar lining:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Promax-Reinforced-Bike-Gear-Outer-Cable-Housing-Black-4mm-Diameter-SP-Ferrules/261262148436?hash=item3cd4700354:g:uugAAOxyIj5SBVim&LH_BIN=1

It's the toughest gear cable I've ever tried to cut!
 
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Raboa

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 12, 2014
387
121
48
I think Bafang should offer a standard and pro kit, the pro would have:
Gear sensor
Better quality crank arms
Better quality chainring
Programming cable
I am sure they do a deal with Shimano, SRAM, Sunrace etc.
 
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