Tongsheng TSDZ2 review and build tips.

76zedfour

Finding my (electric) wheels
Oct 16, 2019
16
15
I have done this as a resource for novices like I am/ was who are attempting their first kit. Someone like me with no relevant tools, who has never even tightened brakes before. You can glean much of the following information on this forum but I wanted to bring it under one thread which would have helped me and saved lots of bother. Terms like bottom bracket, crank puller, chainstay meant nothing to me so I will try to be very basic here.

The TSDZ2 is a crank drive kit meaning it applies the power direct to the spindle which the pedal arms are attached to. This is more efficient than hub (wheel) kits and is better for hills and heavy riders. As its torque based the ride is also smooth and feels more natural akin to having bionic legs.

You are going to have to remove the pedal arms and the spindle (bottom bracket) to fit the new motor so there are several things to consider in finding a suitable donor bike. I fitted to a new Voodoo Agwe (same frame as Marasa) as research showed others had done it with no problems.

a) It must have a 68mm or 73mm bottom bracket. You can measure the width of the casing between the pedal arms which houses the bottom bracket and this is the metal bit at the bottom of the bike that connects the frame tubes together and looks a bit like a toilet roll tube. Alternatively look up the spec sheet of your bike and you should be able to find this size info. Its a pretty standard size so you have a good chance of this being correct specially on an older bike.
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b) The motor is going to secure into this bottom bracket casing with the bulk hanging below hence this "loo roll" needs to be fairly thin to accommodate it. If your bike is carbon then chances are it will be too fat like a toilet roll quarter full. Some bikes have gear and brake wiring going under this bottom bracket casing with a plastic cable aligner placed here. Its possible you may need to dremel this flatter or remove it and redirect the cables through external cable sheath

c) Bikes with fatter tyres such as modern mountain bikes tend to have a flared chainstay which will obstruct the motor from fitting. What this means is the horizontal tubing flares out very quickly from the bottom bracket as it goes to the back axle. Place your eye on the seat and look down to the pedals and observe how far the largest chain ring goes back. If the metal tubing going back towards the rear axle flares out much before this point the motor will probably not fit. See pic below for one that was a little tight.
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d)The fewer gears in the rear cassette the better. The motor is so powerful you tend to forget to change gears and only use the higher half even on big hills

e) The front derailer and chain rings are going and being replaced by a new single chainring (toothed ring which the chain goes on) so dont worry at all about these

f) The motor and battery are heavy so dont worry about your bike being heavy or light in the first place. The motor will negate whatever weight

g) The general advice is older mountain bikes or modern hybrids will make worthy donors.


To remove the pedal arms you will need an 8mm allen key and a crank puller. I bought this below from halfords and followed this video
The allen key was too flimsy for the task and I had to fashion a lever extension to it using sockets etc. One thing with the crank puller that I noted is you have to screw it well on and not just a few turns. The reason being that you are going to apply quite a bit of force and if only on a few turns it could strip the thread so needs to be secure. You then spin the handle and it closes and forces the pedal arms off.

Once the pedal arms are off you need to remove the bottom bracket from its "loo roll" casing. This proved to be an absolute bugger. As this is the only one I have ever done maybe I was unlucky and had the bike that someone had air gunned it on but the effort to remove was extraordinary. I bought a tool from halfords (see below) for use with a 32mm spanner/adjustable spanner and in truth one that connects to a long lever torque wrench would have been much better. In the lockdown I had to make do with what I could find. I had to oil spray the bracket and leave for 10 mins. I then fitted the tool and using a G clamp secured the tool tight to the bracket so the teeth meshed and it didnt slip off whilst I applied force. I then with all my might, feet braced against the bike frame and many attempts managed to get it to loosen and off. Then I had to do it all again on the other side. Beware also that if your bracket isnt the most common British type then it may be reverse thread but chances are you have British thread and basically you loosen both sides in the same direction that the pedals turn to cycle so clockwise from the right side and anticlockwise from the left side.


These tools cost me over £20 for a likely one off use and to be honest if it wasn't during the lockdown I would have gone to a local bike shop and given the lad a drink to remove these bits instead which with professional tools would probably take him just minutes.

I then watched these videos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wThQH5Iy9uQ
I want a pair of those magic white gloves that can dismantle the pedal arms and bottom bracket with no force.

and read whoosh's guide here

Next you slide the motor into the now vacant bottom bracket casing. Mine wouldn't slide in like the YouTube videos show! It stuck half way in. I noticed the cable aligner screw from underneath was protruding slightly into the chamber so i undid it and filed the tip down and then replaced. Motor still wouldn't slide in. I then got some rough sandpaper and using heavy duty cloth duct tape (gorilla tape) stuck it to a very large drill bit. I then curled it round the bit so that it would fit into the bottom bracket casing and when the drill spun up it would flare the paper out and sand the inside.
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After a few minutes I tried the motor again and this time it slid in with a bit of wiggling

My bike did have a gear cable and aligner under the bracket casing but the motor just managed to fit on with a fag paper to spare. You may not be so lucky.

I followed the instruction to secure the motor and this went without bother.

I then offered up the Hailong downtube battery bracket and noticed the bottle tube eyelets were nowhere near where I needed them. I found this next video and copied what he did and drilled into the metal plate

I am also going to add another couple of eyelets for the battery to mount to as it is so godamn heavy I think its best to. This video explains and these are the rivnuts you need

The lead from the motor to connect to the battery is long to accommodate rear rack mounting. I cut the cable shorter and decided to join the wires to the battery not outside but within the metal box part of the battery that we drilled using the following Wago connectors which I had spare. It now looks a real neat wiring job with the wire cable tied to the frame and going straight into the battery rack.

The rest of the install was straightforward as per instructions. Take care not to overtighten any zip ties as you can damage the thin wiring.

You can get into the hidden menu of the controller using the following vid to disable speed limiter if you so desire

My kit is the 48v 750w with a Hailong 48V 17.5ah battery. Its quite hilly where I live and I didn't want battery anxiety whilst out. I have been out on it all afternoon so this is my early impressions.

The bike with motor and battery is heavy, nearly twice that of my carbon bike and level 1 of assist makes the bike feel like riding my carbon bike, maybe a little easier on hills. I tended to default to level 2 in the end. Level 3 was great for inclines against wind and I could plough on at speed. Level 4 I used for hills and it was a revelation. At first I was tearing up them in really high gear and panting like a dog at the top but later I dropped the gears and took them more leisurely and this is where it really excels. It now feels like you are just cycling a small incline. The last half a dozen miles home I ramped it up to level 4 and it was a pleasure being able to maintain a good constant speed despite the undulating ground. I can imagine for a commuter who just wants to get from A to B quickly this would be very handy

I was pleasantly surprised how quiet the motor was and it only became noticeable when climbing hard. The uptake is very smooth and it has met my expectations, so I cant see me changing the front ring to a bigger one or modding the firmware like others do. I prefer riding with the speed limiter raised by a couple of mph not because I am a speed demon but I found assist coming in and out a lot as I seem to hover around the 15mph mark. It wasn't that it was jerky or anything it just "felt" more pleasant being under slight assist all the time. I really didnt use the gears much at all and stayed in 2nd from top most of the time. Even pulling away in this gear was easy and on the steepest hill I didn't drop below gear 5 of 10. When I returned battery was half depleted. Bike in shed now so not sure how many miles, 35 at a guess

Hope all this helps at least one person take the plunge.
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bagss2

Finding my (electric) wheels
Apr 17, 2020
20
0
Great thread, especially for a complete newbie like me, thank you.

Where didnyou source your kit from and what was the cost?


Cheers, Baggers.
 

76zedfour

Finding my (electric) wheels
Oct 16, 2019
16
15
I bought from pswpower from their EU warehouse and it arrived in 4days. The kit and battery cost me £540 although you can save £125 if you get the 500w battery.

I would have liked to have used Whoosh who is a great help on these forums but the difference in price was substantial.
I bought the bike from Halfords with a 17% discount through work so the finished bike with mudguards and a suspension seat post, tools etc stands me exactly £1000. Hard to compare with a branded shop bought ebike because this is more powerful with a much larger battery.
As an aside I found the riding experience far less juddery with this bike than my carbon specialized hybrid on rough surfaces. I don't know if it's the actual bike or the increased weight of it to attribute this to.
 
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bagss2

Finding my (electric) wheels
Apr 17, 2020
20
0
Many thanks for this additional info.

Indeed sounds like a superb brand-new rig for £1bag.

Health to enjoy!


Cheers, Baggers.
 

76zedfour

Finding my (electric) wheels
Oct 16, 2019
16
15
Further info;
I didn't consider it at the time but this rear cassette is an 11speed 11-42T meaning it has a 42teeth on the largest cog at the rear. Great for going uphill without assistance but with assistance a waste of at least the largest two cogs as they will never be used. I would recommend if you are following this guide and want to save £100 buy the voodoo marasa which has a 9speed 11-34T rear cassette and is the same framed bike. The only thing you will have to do extra is remove the front triple derailer mechanism and handlebar gear lever which would be very easy.
Also watch out for when you are threading pedals onto the crank arms. I made a schoolboy error here and didn't realise that both pedals and crank arms are labelled left and right and ballsed up the thread. The pedals should thread onto the crank arms smoothly with some grease. I should have realised sooner when I had to spanner them on that something was wrong. Had to buy new crank arms in the end.

The battery proved to be ridiculously over specced and also very heavy. I rode a 40mile circuit quite a few times and the last outing used exclusively level 4 for the last third with not even half the battery used. On my next build I will try to get a 500w bottle type battery and fit to the downpost of the seat to get the weight more away from the front, and to give it a less ebike look.

The weight of the bike with motor and battery and the wide handlebars proved a bit of a handful manipulating down my garden path and gate. I see some ebikes around that look substantially heavier than mine and pity the owner when they have to manhaldle them. I see the boardman hyb 8.8 (no stock at moment) is quite a bit lighter than the voodoo and with a much smaller battery that may be a good donor bike in the future.

One other thing I felt the frame size at 20" was quite a bit too small. I am 6foot1 and the handlebars were very low for my saddle height. I ended up selling the bike on as it was hurting my back reaching. The guy who bought it was I would guess 6" shorter than me and with the saddle right down it looked right for him so bear this in mind .
 
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Electric Dream

Finding my (electric) wheels
May 16, 2020
10
8
Devon
Thanks for this excellent resource which I referred to during my own build.

I too chose a bike with an 11-42 cassette for my first Ebike project but in my case I do use all the gears. There are some trail sections I can ride up now that I can’t on my whyte carbon hardtail.

I’m so impressed with the Tongsheng kit and the pedal assist type drives, I’m already planning my next project.

That will be adding the CYC X1 Pro Generation 2 drive to my 10kg Whyte C20 hardtail.

First build link below

 

Woosh

Trade Member
May 19, 2012
16,268
13,964
Southend on Sea
wooshbikes.co.uk
@ Electric Dream: such a pleasure to watch the master at work.
you should run Woosh Bikes Technical instead of me!
Thank you for sharing.
 
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76zedfour

Finding my (electric) wheels
Oct 16, 2019
16
15
Nice vid electric dream. I should think with my novice guide complete with mistakes and lack of tools, knowledge nor skill and your pro like vid with correct gear it will really encourage loads more to have a go. I didn't even think to change the handlebar for a much taller one like you did which may have made the bike feel bigger.
 

Electric Dream

Finding my (electric) wheels
May 16, 2020
10
8
Devon
Thanks 76zedfour hopefully loads more will have a go, the only trouble may be getting hold of the kits, which seem to be in short supply.

The build, video filming and editing were a great distraction during the lockdown.

The bars are surly sunrise and do give a more upright riding position, and the near 15 degree back sweep makes them comfortable for long rides but I fitted them as much for their cowhorn/ bmx retro look as much as anything
 

Peddlin' Pedro

Pedelecer
Jan 22, 2017
135
59
West Sussex, UK
Brilliant review @76zedfour , thank you. And great video @Electric Dream . I'm looking at precisely this pairing to fit to a long-tail cargo bike, hence need for the big battery. Do either of you happen to know which LG cells they've used in this pack?

EDIT: PSWPower responded to my email and advise the cells as being: 'INR18650 MJ1 3500mAh'

Also, besides the battery capacity, is there anything you'd do or specify differently if you were to do it again?

And final question, did your kit come with a take-off for lights from the speed sensor?

Thanks for sharing your builds and providing a really solid guide for people like me to follow suit.
 
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Pedant peddler

Pedelecer
Jun 1, 2020
28
22
My recently purchased PSW Tsdz2 arrived with lightning cables and the twin socket speed sensor.
Edit : lighting cables, I don't use an iPhone.
 
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Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
14,164
5,484
58
West Sx RH
Lightning cables sounded better, then you could have ridden in very stormy weather :cool: :p.
 

Convert-e-Bike

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jun 21, 2020
15
0
Very impressed with this guide it helps a lot, the tip about the chainstay flare is especially important and one that we could easily miss when buying our first kit.
Thanks for posting.
 

JohnDaBike

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jun 6, 2020
23
20
Thanks to @Gavin , @76zedfour ,@Electric Dream & the other contributors on here for their guidance on my recent conversion. I converted my 25 year old Specialized Hard rock 18 spd using a Tsdz2 48v and a 48v 13Ah LG Halion battery. Conversion went well, had to do some fettling of the cable guide under the crank, and added 3 screw rivets as the bottle fixings did not align. Having NEVER EVER had a ride on an ebike my first experience was very satisfying and enjoyable. Please could someone provide some guidance on the merits of increasing the power output setting "A" (Assist ratio setting) on the VLCD-5? Default is 16 ? Pictures to follow.
 
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Gavin

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 11, 2020
316
176
John, well done for saving another nineties "classic" from the scrap bin! However now you've teased us with your description, you really ought to show us some photos....

The cable guide is a pretty common pain with mid-drive conversions. Some people (me included) just re-route the cable and use an inner and outer cable. Mine runs along the crossbar (down the old back brake cable guide). Others have (with varying degrees of difficulty) modded/ relocated the inner cable guide.

Regarding the assist ratio, I'm still not convinced it actually does anything. I've done back-to-back testing on mine with the ratio set at 1 and 32, and I'm not convinced I can feel any difference beyond the "placebo effect". Maybe a more scientific approach is needed- anyone got a rolling-road dyno?!

Apparently the best way to get more out of the motor is to do the firmware upgrade, documented here:


There's a few people on here with TSDZ's but I've yet to hear from someone on here who's done the upgrade and documented it, so can't comment on how easy it is....

Obviously don't forget that this motor will never give the hard kick that you get with the bigger Bafangs so you're always gonna have to work for the power...

Hope you have fun with it....
 

JohnDaBike

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jun 6, 2020
23
20
Here are a few photos.
20200623_154030.jpg20200623_154041.jpg20200623_154049.jpg

The plan was to start with a low cost entry into an E-Bike using the Bike I had and then if all went well to upgrade the bike to add some of the posh kit!
So I would appreciate recommendations for the following planned up grades
  1. Wheels with disk brakes
  2. Tyres with puncture proof tubes (currently 26ins X 1.95)
  3. Mud guards
  4. Front & rear lights
  5. Rear view mirror
  6. Kick stay
  7. 9 speed rear chain set & derailleur
  8. Urban style helmet for an F-BOB ( local term for a Fat Bloke On Bike)
Thanks
 

sjpt

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2018
2,669
2,097
I've never had disk brakes. I find V-brakes much better than the cantilever brakes it looks as if that has, and a very cheap upgrade. They can probably use the same bosses. (We had some fitted recently a part of a 20 year service on our solo non-e bike and makes a big difference.)

Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres if you are going to use it for commuting and want reliability from punctures. But may well not suit your off-road needs.

Mud guards again if commuting. Can be a pain if you do lots of muddy off-road riding as they can get jammed with mud.

Lights depends when you ride it;do you want them for safety/legality riding in town at night, or back roads at night, or offroad at night?

I've still not found a rear view mirror that suits me, but I'd love if if I could.

Kick stay very helpful. One that fits on the rear seat stay is much better if you have loaded panniers at the back. (but you haven't even put rack and panniers on your list, so maybe you aren't in to utility cycling). One near the crank may not be possible anyway with a crank drive unit.

As long as you have the range of gears you need and it's all working well I wouldn't be too fussed with 9 speed ... but of course you will get wider range or closer gears ... and more wear.

Helmet probably worth it.
 
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Gavin

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 11, 2020
316
176
Looks good John. Nice one.

Regarding your questions, I'll pick a few off based on my experience.

Wheels- you need to decide what the bike's gonna be used for. You can spend some serious wedge on some serious kit (Hope hubs, Mavic DH rims etc), but if you're only going to use it on the canal towpath then there's not much point. Most mid-range wheels will be fine for 90% of users. One thing to be wary of is the size of the rear dropout- most modern wheels require 135mm so you may need to give your rear chainstays a bit of a tickle.

Brakes- these present a challenge (assuming you want discs) on these older bikes. If you want to keep your original forks then you're gonna need to get the welder/ grinder out and fab up a caliper mount. This is what I did on the rear of mine. On the front I just swapped the forks out to a newer set with disc mounts. If you do this, make sure that the diameter of the headstock is compatible with the new forks.
The age-old debate about cable versus hydraulic endures, but personally I'd recommend hydraulics from Shimano or SRAM.
Disc size again depends on intended use, weight etc. A 203mm hydraulic on the front is a serious stopper, but use it with caution in the wet/ mud or you'll end up on your arse. My 160 rear/ 180 front is the perfect compromise in my opinion. I'm debating upgrading to a four-pot caliper on the front but that's 'coz I'm a spec tart.

Mudguards - definitely on the rear. I still haven't fitted one but it's on my list. The amount of crap that gets packed around the motor when you ride off road is unbelievable. Whatever you do, don't wash it with a pressure washer....

9 speed rear mech/ chain- personally I'm not convinced that more gears are better with e-bikes. I've got an 8 speed (11-36) on mine and I don't use them all because of the motor's torque. I reckon an 11-36 5 speed would be perfect but I've yet to find one so I just go through the gears two at a time.
Another thing to consider here is that mid-drives give the whole drive-train a hard time. The more gears you have the thinner (and weaker) the chain is, so an old-skool 7 speed isn't necessarily a bad thing for longevity. Buy good quality kit here. Also, make sure you match your manufacturers, i.e. a Shimano shifter is (broadly speaking) only compatible with Shimano rear mechs.

So in summary, you've got some planning to do! But it's great fun, and when you're finished you'll have a bike that's perfectly suited to you and totally unique....