Integrated controllers in hub motors...

Thingamajig

Finding my (electric) wheels
Nov 7, 2020
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..are they programmable?

I recently noticed the USB programming cables for BAFANG motors (mid drive) and it got me wondering...

Alot of the generic branded hub motors ive seen with integrated controllers have an identical green connector used on the bafang motors, as well as near identical options in their bundled LCD screens.

surely these too would be programmable in the same way?

Has anyone here tried it at all on any hub motors to see if they're programmable in any way?
 

WheezyRider

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 20, 2020
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Seems like a fundamentally bad idea to have the controller in a hub. How is the controller supposed to stay cool? Also, you lose flexibility if you want a different controller, or your controller fails and you need to replace it.
 

Woosh

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May 19, 2012
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I don't like the idea of putting the controller inside the motor but would like to see both pedal and speed sensors integrated inside the hub.
 

Thingamajig

Finding my (electric) wheels
Nov 7, 2020
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Seems like a fundamentally bad idea to have the controller in a hub. How is the controller supposed to stay cool? Also, you lose flexibility if you want a different controller, or your controller fails and you need to replace it.
a good bulk that ive seen have integrated heatspreaders that are attached to the side of the hubs so heat dissipation seems adequate enough.

No idea on their reliability, though, but seem to be increasingly more common. Not going to lie, but i prefer having no box/controller loosely bolted to the frame. a far cleaner look.
 

WheezyRider

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 20, 2020
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a good bulk that ive seen have integrated heatspreaders that are attached to the side of the hubs so heat dissipation seems adequate enough.

No idea on their reliability, though, but seem to be increasingly more common. Not going to lie, but i prefer having no box/controller loosely bolted to the frame. a far cleaner look.
Hmmm for how long? :)

If you 3D print your own mounts you can make a clean looking yet flexible set set up.
 

vfr400

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a good bulk that ive seen have integrated heatspreaders that are attached to the side of the hubs so heat dissipation seems adequate enough.
A good bulk? How many have you seen in? Can you give us some examples? The only ones I know are the Magic Pie, All in One, Bionx, Copenhagen Wheel, iMortor, Keyde, Flykly and a few others. None of them have special cooling fins and all are problematic apart from the Bionx.
 
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mike killay

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I simply do not understand this demand for an ebike to look like an ordinary bike.
What exactly is wrong with it obviously being an ebike. And apparently far more easily repaired when the inevitable something or other goes wrong.
 

vfr400

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I simply do not understand this demand for an ebike to look like an ordinary bike.
What exactly is wrong with it obviously being an ebike. And apparently far more easily repaired when the inevitable something or other goes wrong.
Vanity, mainly!
 

mike killay

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Probably in about 10 years time, there will be lots of ebikes about and the boot will be on the other foot.
It will be that if your bike does not look like an ebike, it will be assumed that you are too poor to afford one!
 
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montwo

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Feb 11, 2019
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Probably in about 10 years time, there will be lots of ebikes about and the boot will be on the other foot.
It will be that if your bike does not look like an ebike, it will be assumed that you are too poor to afford one!
Have you looked at the price of road bikes recently?
 

Thingamajig

Finding my (electric) wheels
Nov 7, 2020
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Ok, i can clearly see this community has an elitist attitude in some capacity which is pretty pathetic. Probably from some sour experience in the past with hub motors i'm presuming?

Thats fine, but it'll hold you back in the long run. This industry is changing, whether you like it or not. Not all integrated hub controllers are "bad". Enjoy being left behind as the rest of the world experiments and adopts ebikes and the new market emerging.

Vanity, mainly!
No, because it's a bicycle first and foremost, from a legal perspective thats significant (In some countries, moreso then others).

It's asthetically cleaner, therefore less wires, there's less weight, because of - surprise - less cabling (Significant too, because it's a BICYCLE) It's safer, because the wires all share the same cabling so less likely to snag or catch on clothing, branches or other objects...isn't this all obvious?

There's significantly more pro's than cons - unless, as many keep reiterating, reliability is the issue. Of which i'd expect that to improve as time progresses.

If you're seeking your ebike to be a "Ebike" with a specific asthetic (Wires everywhere??) expect legislation made specifically for that and tax, insurance and a annual vehicle test to be made. Enjoy your new normal.

Also, some of us dont like wires and boxes attached to a frame being left open to the elements and vulernable to damage. I dont want my clothes to snag on wires and risk being electrocuted.

It's a bicycle first, on a minimal steel/aluminium frame that can easily get damaged, bend, buckle. It's not a motorcycle no matter how much cabling and wires you throw on it.

This is the second time i've made a post here regarding integrated controllers on hub motors for the thread to descend into rants about how bad they are with no real evidence to support othewise. Some of you guys really need to get out of this bubble you're in.

It's unfortunate that rather then get any constructive discorse and infomation there's this silly elitist behavior that is so prevalent in the cycling industry.


Probably in about 10 years time, there will be lots of ebikes about and the boot will be on the other foot.
It will be that if your bike does not look like an ebike, it will be assumed that you are too poor to afford one!
And yet it's vain to want no cabling on a bicycle frame?

what a ridiculous attiude you all have. Enjoy being taxed to **** for wanting to look "non poor" and on a specific "ebike". Absolutely idiotic.
 
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vfr400

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Ok, i can clearly see this community has an elitist attitude in some capacity which is pretty pathetic. Probably from some sour experience in the past with hub motors i'm presuming?
I asked you for examples that you think are OK so that we can try them out. Where's the elitism?

Your're right about sour experience though. When anybody puts their money down in the hope of having a long and pleasant ebiking experience and the thing packs up after a few weeks, it leaves a very sour taste.
 
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Nealh

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Mike I think it's the brigade who say they won't ever be caught on an ebike (roadies)as it is cheating, but they don't mind so much if it doesn't shout ebike.

Much in the same line as those who think TS drive is like riding a push bike when it is totally the opposite and has some 300% more power input, all by electronics.
 

Pedaluma

Pedelecer
Sep 28, 2020
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I simply do not understand this demand for an ebike to look like an ordinary bike.
What exactly is wrong with it obviously being an ebike. And apparently far more easily repaired when the inevitable something or other goes wrong.
Some eBikes look electric some do not. Just like some guitars. An amplified instrument that does not feel or look overt has an aesthetic appeal to some riders. Service is a bit more involved but not by much. https://pedaluma.com/. Obviously I repair bikes, I am a bike mechanic and this is a hands-on service that cannot be shipped or sold over the internet, just like dog walking or babysitting. I think it is subversive fun to take a British 1940's style steel 3-speed with a coaster brake that does not look electric and have it outperform one of these monsters on a hill: https://www.stromerbike.com/en/models/st3
 

mike killay

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Mike I think it's the brigade who say they won't ever be caught on an ebike (roadies)as it is cheating, but they don't mind so much if it doesn't shout ebike.

Much in the same line as those who think TS drive is like riding a push bike when it is totally the opposite and has some 300% more power input, all by electronics.
Frankly, I find the lines of both my full size ebike and my folding ebike to be aesthetically very pleasing, wires, boxes and all.
After all, as a teenager I rode about on a cyclemaster attachment.
What with the noise, smoke and vibration, together with number plates, there was no hope of trying to be an ordinary bike.
If thingamajig is upset because many of us have valid doubts as to whether integrating the controller inside a hub motor is a good idea, all I can say is 'tough'
But we have seen too many bright ideas come and go.
Remember that chap who wanted to motors in the pedals?
To claim that the latest idea is always the way forward is a bit premature.
.
 

vfr400

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Jun 12, 2011
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Frankly, I find the lines of both my full size ebike and my folding ebike to be aesthetically very pleasing, wires, boxes and all.
After all, as a teenager I rode about on a cyclemaster attachment.
What with the noise, smoke and vibration, together with number plates, there was no hope of trying to be an ordinary bike.
If thingamajig is upset because many of us have valid doubts as to whether integrating the controller inside a hub motor is a good idea, all I can say is 'tough'
But we have seen too many bright ideas come and go.
Remember that chap who wanted to motors in the pedals?
To claim that the latest idea is always the way forward is a bit premature.
.
I must admit that I find the Spin Cycle very aesthetically pleasing, and I'd be proud to ride it. I think I'd change the brakes first, though!


It's a development of the cramk-drive bike that i built before kits were available:
40656
 
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snafu

Pedelecer
Dec 15, 2020
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Ok, i can clearly see this community has an elitist attitude in some capacity which is pretty pathetic. Probably from some sour experience in the past with hub motors i'm presuming?

Thats fine, but it'll hold you back in the long run. This industry is changing, whether you like it or not. Not all integrated hub controllers are "bad". Enjoy being left behind as the rest of the world experiments and adopts ebikes and the new market emerging.
As a layman the problem I have with combining parts into a single housing is the that most people will have to replace perfectly serviceable (and working) components due to the failure of a single part. Most don't have the knowledge and are at the mercy of retailers.

I remember the Amstrad HiFi tower systems of the 70's, Looked great. Nice clean installation and appearance but they were nothing more than a "Radiogram" in new clothes. For most owners if a part broke the whole lot was scrap. I went down the separate component route so I could repair/upgrade as needed and even today my Garrard SP25, Toshiba ST-U20L, Toshiba SU-V5, Aiwa AD-WX717 and Phillips CD624 Gives a great sound (Although probably no longer easy to replace). ;)

I'm sure Integrated components in hub motors are the way to go but we aren't there yet IMHO and for me being able to replace the motor, controller or battery individually far outweighs the sleek lines of "No Wires, Controller boxes" etc.

But each to his own, it's not a case of being "held back in the long run". It's being comfortable with what you ride, in the case of integrated controllers in hub motors to me it's just more unsprung weight and as it's physically part of the wheel not an ideal place for a controller.

Integrated into Mid Drive systems though is a different kettle of fish

But just my 2p's worth

TTFN
John.