Review Tong Sheng TSDZ2 Owner Survey

Bikes4two

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 21, 2020
325
136
Havant
Apologies to those who may have read this survey on the Cycling UK forum but as there's no response so far (03May22), I'm posting here as I'm sure there will be greater interest.

Intro

• A bit of a long-ish read, but bear with me if you will – this is all about dispelling urban myth in favour of more factual experiences.
• I am a TSDZ2 user (of around 5 months now and almost 3,000Km) as is my wife and two friends (and I installed all their kits).
• Prior to buying the TSDZ2 I read and watched a lot of comment on the motor and took careful note of the problems that people had had with it.
• Reports of overheating, blue gear failure, sprag clutch problems and axle breakages are numerous but of course forums rarely attract reports of ‘I’ve had a great day/year/experience’ but rather along the lines of ‘something is wrong/broken, how do I fix it’.
• Further, it is often not possible to deduce what type of usage a motor has had e.g. was it a lower powered 36v 250w version taken to the High Street a couple of times a week, or one of the higher powered options with a 52v battery powering along at 750w+ in sub tropical conditions, to say nothing of the rider weight, riding style and terrain.
• Anyway, at a price point of under £300 I didn’t expect precision engineering and in any case, most problems seemed to be fixable by a competent person plus a good level of availability of spares, and forums such as this and Youtube for guidance.

The Survey
My own TSDZ2 experience has been very positive but I am keen to hear of other’s direct (not here-say) experiences with this motor. So to kick off, here’s my input:
• I have had no problems with the motor and neither have the other 3 TSDZ2 users. I’ve done 2,900Km at the time of writing (May 2022) whilst the other users have done, 1,600Km, 1,000Km and 400Km respectively – so no great mileages here and during the winter months of 2021/22!
• I am the only one running Open Source Firmware (OSF) and I’ve only experienced one peculiarity with it in that occasionally the motor ‘drives itself’ i.e. the motor keeps turning without any crank rotation, albeit very slowly and with little power behind it. As I have not fitted ebrakes to my bike (or to any of the others), applying the brakes lightly is enough to stop bike movement and a power on/off resolves the issue. Interestingly, two of the other ‘fits’ occasionally experience the same thing and they are running stock firmware.
• Mechanicals – I like many others, experienced the cranks loosening. I resolved this by buying a torque wrench and properly tightening (as opposed to guessing) to 40Nm. I do re-check for tightness on all motor fixing points and the cranks around every 1000Km – sometimes a bit of tightening is required but not to a degree that you’d say something has coming loose.
• And a comment on chain wear as some owners have commented that mid-drive motors lead to excessive chain wear. After 2,900Km my KMC chain has of course some wear but well within acceptable tolerance and not requiring changing as yet. However, on the 1,600Km bike, I had to change the ‘no name’ chain at around 1,400Km and whilst our riding styles and terrain are similar, I generally use assist level ECO whilst my freind generally uses the next level up - draw your own conclusions?

NB. For chain wear I use a simple 2-wear level go/no-go gauge (0.7% and 1.0%) which from experience is as accurate as measurement with a steel rule and far more convenient.

Phantom Problems
• What are these you might ask? Well, these are problems that I may have initially thought were down to the motor but turned out not to be so, e.g. the loose crank issue as mentioned above.
• Another one was the motor suddenly and randomly powering down. This took a while to resolve and it turned out to be a dodgy BMS in the bottle battery.
• And yet another one was an annoying creak that despite my prolonged efforts, persisted, until that was, I re-greased the headset bearings and peace reigned again.

Over to You
It would be really useful to know of other’s direct experiences with their TSDZ2 (or those of a friend to which they can testify to credible accuracy). So if you’ve had any problems, what were they, how were they resolved and most importantly, what motor spec, type of riding (style and terrain) was the motor used for.
And of course if you’ve had a positive experience, then please share that on here too.

Thanks for sharing and happy e-biking
 
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matthewslack

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 26, 2021
669
399
Apologies to those who may have read this survey on the Cycling UK forum but as there's no response so far (03May22), I'm posting here as I'm sure there will be greater interest.

Intro

• A bit of a long-ish read, but bear with me if you will – this is all about dispelling urban myth in favour of more factual experiences.
• I am a TSDZ2 user (of around 5 months now and almost 3,000Km) as is my wife and two friends (and I installed all their kits).
• Prior to buying the TSDZ2 I read and watched a lot of comment on the motor and took careful note of the problems that people had had with it.
• Reports of overheating, blue gear failure, sprag clutch problems and axle breakages are numerous but of course forums rarely attract reports of ‘I’ve had a great day/year/experience’ but rather along the lines of ‘something is wrong/broken, how do I fix it’.
• Further, it is often not possible to deduce what type of usage a motor has had e.g. was it a lower powered 36v 250w version taken to the High Street a couple of times a week, or one of the higher powered options with a 52v battery powering along at 750w+ in sub tropical conditions, to say nothing of the rider weight, riding style and terrain.
• Anyway, at a price point of under £300 I didn’t expect precision engineering and in any case, most problems seemed to be fixable by a competent person plus a good level of availability of spares, and forums such as this and Youtube for guidance.

The Survey
My own TSDZ2 experience has been very positive but I am keen to hear of other’s direct (not here-say) experiences with this motor. So to kick off, here’s my input:
• I have had no problems with the motor and neither have the other 3 TSDZ2 users. I’ve done 2,900Km at the time of writing (May 2022) whilst the other users have done, 1,600Km, 1,000Km and 400Km respectively – so no great mileages here and during the winter months of 2021/22!
• I am the only one running Open Source Firmware (OSF) and I’ve only experienced one peculiarity with it in that occasionally the motor ‘drives itself’ i.e. the motor keeps turning without any crank rotation, albeit very slowly and with little power behind it. As I have not fitted ebrakes to my bike (or to any of the others), applying the brakes lightly is enough to stop bike movement and a power on/off resolves the issue. Interestingly, two of the other ‘fits’ occasionally experience the same thing and they are running stock firmware.
• Mechanicals – I like many others, experienced the cranks loosening. I resolved this by buying a torque wrench and properly tightening (as opposed to guessing) to 40Nm. I do re-check for tightness on all motor fixing points and the cranks around every 1000Km – sometimes a bit of tightening is required but not to a degree that you’d say something has coming loose.
• And a comment on chain wear as some owners have commented that mid-drive motors lead to excessive chain wear. After 2,900Km my KMC chain has of course some wear but well within acceptable tolerance and not requiring changing as yet. However, on the 1,600Km bike, I had to change the ‘no name’ chain at around 1,400Km and whilst our riding styles and terrain are similar, I generally use assist level ECO whilst my freind generally uses the next level up - draw your own conclusions?

NB. For chain wear I use a simple 2-wear level go/no-go gauge (0.7% and 1.0%) which from experience is as accurate as measurement with a steel rule and far more convenient.

Phantom Problems
• What are these you might ask? Well, these are problems that I may have initially thought were down to the motor but turned out not to be so, e.g. the loose crank issue as mentioned above.
• Another one was the motor suddenly and randomly powering down. This took a while to resolve and it turned out to be a dodgy BMS in the bottle battery.
• And yet another one was an annoying creak that despite my prolonged efforts, persisted, until that was, I re-greased the headset bearings and peace reigned again.

Over to You
It would be really useful to know of other’s direct experiences with their TSDZ2 (or those of a friend to which they can testify to credible accuracy). So if you’ve had any problems, what were they, how were they resolved and most importantly, what motor spec, type of riding (style and terrain) was the motor used for.
And of course if you’ve had a positive experience, then please share that on here too.

Thanks for sharing and happy e-biking
Due to nothing going wrong with my Shimano equipped bike, and the solar system working well with it, my TSDZ2 still languishes in a box! Great to hear your recent real world experiences.
 
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guerney

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 7, 2021
4,091
1,441
After reading posts about the TDZ2 problems on this forum for the past year or so, I'm significantly less TS curious to try one... I'll stick with cadence sensored bbs01b for now. CS sounds less hard work pedalling anyway, which suits my knees.
 
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soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
12,789
5,248
After reading posts about the TDZ2 problems on this forum for the past year or so, I'm significantly less TS curious to try one... I'll stick with cadence sensored bbs01b for now. CS sounds less hard work pedalling anyway, which suits my knees.
you not got a throttle lol
 
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Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
16,985
6,641
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West Sx RH
My only experience is how ultra small the actual motor unit is in real life, having removed the cover on mine. I haven't measured it yet but it appears to be no much larger then 6cm in dia and depth.
 

soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
12,789
5,248
plod not interested if you want one get one dont even bother to think about it but it will hammer the batt tho.if you turn it up with the programming cable and software if the batt can handle the amps.
 

guerney

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 7, 2021
4,091
1,441
plod not interested if you want one get one dont even bother to think about it but it will hammer the batt tho.if you turn it up with the programming cable and software if the batt can handle the amps.
My battery can handle 20A continuous, contains LG MH-1 cells which can cope - the pack still charges to 42V after a year's use, voltage now drops quicker though... I've still got to install the breadboard and Kapton tape Nealh suggested, to mitigate an over-heating wire issue, which arrived some time ago. Then I'll decide whether to risk shortening the lifespan of the only battery I currently have - I'd only up the amps from 15A to 20A temporarily out of curiosity, I don't need the extra power because my bike is light(ish) and I'm managing to continue shedding body lard form my overlardy formerly fatarse body.
 

guerney

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 7, 2021
4,091
1,441
My only experience is how ultra small the actual motor unit is in real life, having removed the cover on mine. I haven't measured it yet but it appears to be no much larger then 6cm in dia and depth.
That is tiny! So the rest is steel and air? Sounds like they could have made the casing smaller and lighter, using some other metal such as aluminium, unless it's already aluminium. How goes the Kona cargo conversion project? Have you installed the OSF yet?
 

soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
12,789
5,248
m8 has bbs with a 17ah batt fkn huge lump on a gt frame old school and with the throttle can drop me 20 meters from a standing start but after 2 years of using it for work 4 miles each way can only get 13 miles now if he nukes it all the way.

both our bikes are about the same waight at 24kg but the main difference is id obliterate it down the forest it would just fall to bits down a black trail.
 
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guerney

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 7, 2021
4,091
1,441
Yep, I don't want to kill off my battery too early - with loads of lights, bottle cage, Hornit 140dbhorn, bbs01b kit, bigger 1.75" tyres, wider wheels for those tyres, wide rear relectors, phone holder, rear rack, mudguards etc. plus a 19.2am battery, my bike weighs 22.41kg, 18.27kg without battery. There is no way to add shocks, so I stick to road cycling... I won't be jumping this bike off a mountain, maybe the next one ;)
 

Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
16,985
6,641
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West Sx RH
tdsz is smaller and lighter then BBS, casing is all ali and a bit of plastic.
Quite a lot of air gaps in side the motor, hence the need to transfer the heat to the outer case better for cooling. Air is pants at heat transfer in an enclosed space so heat sinks & pads needed to contact the outer ali shell.
Not done anything yet still waiting for 3 pin heat sensor then I can start mods and then the programming (I hope), if I don't get it wrong.
 
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guerney

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 7, 2021
4,091
1,441
tdsz is smaller and lighter then BBS, casing is all ali and a bit of plastic.
Quite a lot of air gaps in side the motor, hence the need to transfer the heat to the outer case better for cooling. Air is pants at heat transfer in an enclosed space so heat sinks & pads needed to contact the outer ali shell.
Not done anything yet still waiting for 3 pin heat sensor then I can start mods and then the programming (I hope), if I don't get it wrong.

Is this the one? £4.99 - free "3 day" UK postage:


Looks interesting

 
Last edited:

soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
12,789
5,248
this was my bike stock and 21.1kg when new but got it 2nd hand.


my super gravity tyres are about 1.1kg each so if i used normal tyres half the waight it would be lighter than the bike you have or be pretty close with mavic cat4 dmax pro wheels.

the wheels i have are 12x142 rear axle since 2019 mavic only make boost 12x148 so my wheels and frame are now obsolete.


46833
 
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guerney

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 7, 2021
4,091
1,441
this was my bike stock and 21.1kg when new but got it 2nd hand.


my super gravity tyres are about 1.1kg each so if i used normal tyres half the waight it would be lighter than the bike you have or be pretty close with mavic cat4 dmax pro wheels.

the wheels i have are 12x142 rear axle since 2019 mavic only make boost 12x148 so my wheels and frame are now obsolete.


View attachment 46833

Cool bike! Looks a very capable MTB. I could knock off several kgs, but mine's set to get heavier with more stuff bolted on I expect - probably another 0.35kg headlight, another action camera holder, 12V beer cooler, fan on handlebar for hot days, mosquito zapper, telescope and helicopter rotor blades, oil slick projectors and tasers to deal with troublesome cops...
 
Last edited:

guerney

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 7, 2021
4,091
1,441
tdsz is smaller and lighter then BBS, casing is all ali and a bit of plastic.
Quite a lot of air gaps in side the motor, hence the need to transfer the heat to the outer case better for cooling. Air is pants at heat transfer in an enclosed space so heat sinks & pads needed to contact the outer ali shell.
Not done anything yet still waiting for 3 pin heat sensor then I can start mods and then the programming (I hope), if I don't get it wrong.
It's nice that the TDZ2 circuitboard is covered with clear silicone, instead of that dark grey stuff you can't see through on the bbs01b controller board :rolleyes:
 
Last edited:

guerney

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 7, 2021
4,091
1,441
tdsz is smaller and lighter then BBS, casing is all ali and a bit of plastic.
Quite a lot of air gaps in side the motor, hence the need to transfer the heat to the outer case better for cooling. Air is pants at heat transfer in an enclosed space so heat sinks & pads needed to contact the outer ali shell.
Not done anything yet still waiting for 3 pin heat sensor then I can start mods and then the programming (I hope), if I don't get it wrong.

I have no idea if this guy's videos are correct or still relevant - four part seies from 2018. Looks a long and fiddly process! :eek:






 

Bikes4two

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 21, 2020
325
136
Havant
This thread was intended as a review of those using a TSDZ2 so that the urban myths/genuine problems that surround this motor could be discovered in order to better inform potential users.

And whilst it shouldn't be unexpected for a thread to be high-jacked, I am disappointed at the extent of this so early on - oh well, I tried :confused: .
 
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mr_ed

Pedelecer
Feb 15, 2022
60
10
I contacted the manufacturer of the TDSZ2 in March to ask for engineering drawings and they told me there is a replacement/new model ready to launch. It was due for launch in April but has been delayed due to covid.