BBS01B - Whyte Portobello V3

Shawnobi

Finding my (electric) wheels
Sep 9, 2022
21
4
Whyte Portobello V3
BBS01B 250W 36V (44T)
Speed restriction removed.
Display: 500C
Throttle: No
Brake Switches: No
Gear Sensor: No
Supplier: Accolmile EU via Amazon (2 day delivery).
Use: Commuter

Installation:
Really straight forward for the motor. My BB was 68mm with screw in bearings and a 16 notch nut which matched the type the BBS01 uses. I opted not to use the throttle and I couldn’t get the brake sensors to work with my brakes so I modified the harness so only the Display connector was left. This also allowed me to run it through the internal cable route through the downtube rather than clipping it to the outside and also reduce the amount of excess cable you have to somehow tidy around the bottom bracket. I reckon I probably had half a metre spare there before chopping it out. I also cut the length of the battery cable down. I left all the cables exiting the motor housing as they were. If I strip the motor I may shorten them if it looks feasible. But for now I only wanted to chop up cables I knew I could replace if need be. Mounting the speed pickup was a pain. My chain-stays are so close to the spokes there wasn’t enough room to mount the bracket inside the stay, so I had to modify it to mount on the outside. This got me the perfect distance in the end (thanks to those who chipped in on that thread). The battery was the next pain. The mount only lined up with 1 bottle holder bolt. I ended up making an aluminium bracket that used all the bolts plus an extra I drilled on the battery mount, this then could screw to the bottle mounts and I extended it up to the secondary bottle mounts on the seat tube to reduce wobble. Feels absolutely solid now.

Experience:
I’d not ridden an ebike before so I had no idea what to expect. The best way to explain the BBS01 is that if you have driven and old diesel car where you have an initial surge and then the power feels like it tails off, it’s like that. I'd expected something more akin to a rev happy petrol engine where I'd need to pedal fast. If you are used to spinning the pedals out before changing up you’ll want to change your style. You need to short shift and ride the torque rather than try to spin out the motor with high cadence. Initially it made me feel like I was going slower, but soon becomes apparent that whilst you feel a relaxed pace, the bike is whipping along as you are cruising in a higher gear. To put it in context my commute is 9 miles each way. I knocked ~10mins off the ride in, got to work and realised I’d forgotten my laptop so had to immediately ride back and knocked ~15 minutes off my return time! Got home and whilst feeling like I had had some exercise I don’t think I even broke a sweat. 18 miles, 25 minutes quicker and felt fine. I couldn’t do the commute faster in my car. I’ve heard that the BBS02 likes a higher cadence if you want to spin faster, but honestly, for a commuter and looking at the times I don’t feel I need that.

Annoyances:
CRUNCH! Down-changes are a thing. I don’t have the brake switches or the gear sensor so I really need to think about changing down. I’m going to change the 'motor off' time when my tuning cable arrives, but I’m used to slow pedalling as I change down approaching a stop, but of course this now has a motor putting torque on so I need to change my habit. Hoping the re-tune should help a bit with that whilst I re-tune my brain.

Conclusion:
I’d had to rule out hub motors as I have thru-axles. So had to go the mid-drive route for a commuter. I wanted to keep it theoretically legal but was a bit apprehensive going with the lowest power motor. Especially when the whole internet sounds like Jeremy Clarkson telling you need more SPEED & POWER on your pedelec. I think you’ll see from my numbers that this isn’t always the case, it’s very much a use/ route based decision. Around 70% of my route is cycle track with most of the remaining roads having 20mph limits. On a few occasions I had to check myself, such as riding between bollards or coming up to tight corners, where I felt like I wasn’t putting as much effort in as usual, but in reality going twice as fast as usual!
In summary whilst I want to make a few tweaks still, I’m really happy with my conversion. Once I’ve had the chance to play with the controller settings and got a few more miles under my belt I’ll report back.


489084890948910
 

jimriley

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 17, 2020
570
387
Re the power tailing off, have you played with the programming? Could be the Keep current. I set mine to 100%, as have some other owners.
 
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Shawnobi

Finding my (electric) wheels
Sep 9, 2022
21
4
Currently waiting for my programming cable to arrive but that setting was on my radar.
 

guerney

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 7, 2021
10,697
3,079
Annoyances:
CRUNCH! Down-changes are a thing. I don’t have the brake switches or the gear sensor so I really need to think about changing down.
It's well worth fitting the gear sensor imho. The only crunch I now hear, is on the very rare occasion when the mechanical gear change happens a bit too slowly (very occasionally when changing to lowest gear while powering uphill) - there are no settings for the gear sensor in the firmware, so timing for how long power is switched off for gear changes to take place, cannot be altered. Other than that very minor niggle about very rare crunches, it's a brilliant addition and well worth buying.
 
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guerney

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 7, 2021
10,697
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Brake Switches: No
It'd be safer if brakes switched off the motor - otherwise your brakes will sometimes be fighting the motor, when you need to stop quickly. Also, you can change gear without crunching, if you momentarily touch the brakes to temporarily switch the motor off... which is what I used to do, before I installed the gear sensor, which makes gear changes a no-brainer.
 
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egroover

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 12, 2016
998
588
57
UK
one of the tidiest bafang mid drive conversions I've seen, nice one.
Reprogramming will transform the power delivery when you get the cable.
I tried the gear sensor, I couldn't get on with the power lag when changing gear so ditched it. I can get a new cassette and chain for 30 quid so ain't bothered if it crunches a bit, and in lower power settings it's hardly noticeable
 
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guerney

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 7, 2021
10,697
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I wonder if pedalling cadence makes a difference? I simply keep pedalling and don't worry about it, the gear sensor just works. I timed my cadence the other night, and it's 138 pedal pushes per minute, or 69 complete revolutions... which is higher than I was used to on my racer in the late 80s, when I was cycling last prior to resumption in 2020. I can't work out how power is re-applied after gear sensor activated pauses - I don't think it's any of the available firmware settings.
 

egroover

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 12, 2016
998
588
57
UK
I wonder if pedalling cadence makes a difference? I simply keep pedalling and don't worry about it, the gear sensor just works. I timed my cadence the other night, and it's 138 pedal pushes per minute, or 69 complete revolutions... which is higher than I was used to on my racer in the late 80s, when I was cycling last prior to resumption in 2020. I can't work out how power is re-applied after gear sensor activated pauses - I don't think it's any of the available firmware settings.
I found it most noticeable (power lag when gear sensor installed) on hills when the assistance is or feels greater. I think there is a delay (start delay setting?) which determines at what point in the pedal revolution or time the motor kicks in. Setting this too low can result in a twitchy power delivery when pulling away from standstill, so I think I left it on factory default
 

guerney

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 7, 2021
10,697
3,079
I found it most noticeable (power lag when gear sensor installed) on hills when the assistance is or feels greater. I think there is a delay (start delay setting?) which determines at what point in the pedal revolution or time the motor kicks in. Setting this too low can result in a twitchy power delivery when pulling away from standstill, so I think I left it on factory default
Mine is set for slow onset of power, which enables me to make safe U-turns... therefore I'm wondering if it's to do with stop decay, which I've set to "0" ie as short as possible - can't start again after the pause caused by the gear sensor, until power has stopped being delivered? On the other hand, maybe none of the firmware setting apply to how the controller is programmed to respond to the gear sensor? Anyway, here are my PAS settings:

48911
 

egroover

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 12, 2016
998
588
57
UK
Mine is set for slow onset of power, which enables me to make safe U-turns... therefore I'm wondering if it's to do with stop decay, which I've set to "0" ie as short as possible - can't start again after the pause caused by the gear sensor, until power has stopped being delivered? On the other hand, maybe none of the firmware setting apply to how the controller is programmed to respond to the gear sensor? Anyway, here are my PAS settings:

View attachment 48911
Thanks guerney, I will look to reinstate the gear sensor and try again with your settings. I don't remember changing any settings for this from default, so as you have, that could be the difference.
Cheers
 

guerney

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 7, 2021
10,697
3,079
Thanks guerney, I will look to reinstate the gear sensor and try again with your settings. I don't remember changing any settings for this from default, so as you have, that could be the difference.
Cheers
I really don't know if it'll work any better on your bike with those settings. There are no firmware settings for the eBrake either - it might even be that upon detection of a gear shift, the gear sensor sends something similar to the eBrake signal to the controller, the difference being power being stopped for a set interval of time for the gear sensor, instead of a user defined time interval restarting upon release of eBrake? Perhaps Bafang simply set the same time interval for gear sensor pauses, hoping to suit every type of bike? What kind of gear shifter do you use? I've got one of these clicky SRAM shifters - I wonder if the controller stops power quicker, with rapidly detected gear shifts? I imagine my gear cable jerks quite a bit, when shifting gears. On the other hand, maybe it's a pause of the same time interval regardless?



I set the firmware as above before I got the gear sensor, because the bike was pretty much unridable with the kit as delivered, and I was thinking of sending it back. Fiddling about with the firmware made it a joy to ride. The gear sensor made it even better. Hope you can tame your gear sensor, I suppose it'd be less of a chore refitting it, if you haven't thrown away the old cable sheaths.
 
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egroover

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 12, 2016
998
588
57
UK
I really don't know if it'll work any better on your bike with those settings. There are no firmware settings for the eBrake either - it might even be that upon detection of a gear shift, the gear sensor sends something similar to the eBrake signal to the controller, the difference being power being stopped for a set interval of time for the gear sensor, instead of a user defined time interval restarting upon release of eBrake? Perhaps Bafang simply set the same time interval for gear sensor pauses, hoping to suit every type of bike? What kind of gear shifter do you use? I've got one of these clicky SRAM shifters - I wonder if the controller stops power quicker, with rapidly detected gear shifts? I imagine my gear cable jerks quite a bit, when shifting gears. On the other hand, maybe it's a pause of the same time interval regardless?



I set the firmware as above before I got the gear sensor, because the bike was pretty much unridable with the kit as delivered, and I was thinking of sending it back. Fiddling about with the firmware made it a joy to ride. The gear sensor made it even better. Hope you can tame your gear sensor, I suppose it'd be less of a chore refitting it, if you haven't thrown away the old cable sheaths.
I've just remembered, when I previously tried this it was on my original older BBS01b which didn't have the dedicated gear sensor lead in the motor, so therefore I had the gear sensor plugged into one of the brake cutoff connectors... I wonder if I try this on my newer motor that has the gear sensor connector it'll be better..?
I'll set aside some man-time for myself in the next few weeks and have another play
 

guerney

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 7, 2021
10,697
3,079
I've just remembered, when I previously tried this it was on my original older BBS01b which didn't have the dedicated gear sensor lead in the motor, so therefore I had the gear sensor plugged into one of the brake cutoff connectors... I wonder if I try this on my newer motor that has the gear sensor connector it'll be better..?
I'll set aside some man-time for myself in the next few weeks and have another play
That's interesting. Maybe the pause could turn out to be of a different duration, when the gear sensor is plugged into the gear sensor lead? My brain measured the time interval last night while towing home heavy veg, and the power seemed to cut off for about 0.7 seconds-ish - my brain's time perception can't be trusted. Aside from the added cost, perhaps sellers also choose to leave out gear sensors from kits, because they get complaints? Refitting it to find out if it's any different, could further knowleldge for all Bagangkind. But annoying if it's the same.
 
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guerney

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 7, 2021
10,697
3,079
Brake Switches: No
You don't have a throttle but: eBrakes are also useful if the throttle sticks - before I removed it, mine stuck on full till I applied the brake, after which it operated normally for a time.
 

mimran91

Finding my (electric) wheels
Sep 4, 2022
6
1
Im buying a BBS02B kit from ebay and want to know if they include a gear sensor or if I will need to buy it separately? The listings all have a brake sensor (or brake lever) included as well as a speed sensor but none say anything about a gear sensor specifically. I am therefore assuming I will need to buy it separately? Here is the kit I am considering:

 

egroover

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 12, 2016
998
588
57
UK
Im buying a BBS02B kit from ebay and want to know if they include a gear sensor or if I will need to buy it separately? The listings all have a brake sensor (or brake lever) included as well as a speed sensor but none say anything about a gear sensor specifically. I am therefore assuming I will need to buy it separately? Here is the kit I am considering:

The kit doesn't come with a gear (shift) sensor, it's a seperately purchased item
 
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Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
20,468
8,348
61
West Sx RH
Gear sensors are non supplied additional option.
 
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mimran91

Finding my (electric) wheels
Sep 4, 2022
6
1
Thanks for your reply. Will there be a spare cable to attach the gear sensor to? Or will I need to replace one of the existing sensors with it?
 

egroover

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 12, 2016
998
588
57
UK
photo no.3 in the ebay listing shows there is a dedicated gear sensor connector to the motor
 

guerney

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 7, 2021
10,697
3,079
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