FAQ2019-03-18T14:51:33-07:00

Frequently Asked Questions

Regarding all things electric bikes, electric bike motor kits, Bafang mid drive motors, and more.

Is the Bafang mid drive system easy to install?2019-02-22T08:03:00-07:00

 

In a word, “no.” However, consider that you are taking a standard bicycle and attaching a powerful electric motor coupled with a lithium ion power source and doing it in such a way that it will be an absolutely safe to ride finished product. Anyone can throw a motor on a bike and strap a battery to the frame but the end product could be unreliable and unsafe to ride at any speed. To build a eBike correctly takes time, patience, money (do not scrimp on any part that is essential), and a willingness to ask questions from those who are experts in their field. Read everything you can find on eBike installation and maintenance. Join eBike forums and user groups such as Endless Sphere,  All Things eBike on Reditt, Bike Forums/electric bikes, and Battery University. Also, there are many Youtube sources discussing the installation of the Bafang mid drive. It is worth the time to read as much as you can because your first install most certainly not be your last install. Good luck and if you have any questions give us a ring or email.

Special Note: Please be very carful to guard your hands against injury. When loosing bottom brackets and crank arms sometimes the force applied can cause wrench or socket to loose purchase and hand can be injured.

Do I need any special tools to install the Bafang mid drive?2019-02-22T08:03:08-07:00

 

Yes. As a minimum you will need: A bottom bracket removal tool, a crank arm puller, pedal wrench, grease, Bafang spanner wrench to lock down the motor, chain splitter, KMC Missing Link, Thread Locker Blue (NOT RED), Zip Ties, friction tape, Anderson Powerpole connectors (to connect the battery to the motor), Powerpole crimper and a “flush cutter.” A flush cutter is a small cutter that cuts Zipties flush to eliminate sharp edges. In my opinion, a flush cutter is very important to a good finish to a eBike conversion. In addition to these items you may need: Rivnuts, Rivnut install tool, 19/64 drill bit, and wire stripper/cutter. Below are links to some of the tools while others may be purchased from this site.

  1. The best Rivnut installer ever can be found at: https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/topages/rivetnut12-03708.php?clickkey=5366921
  2. Flush cutter: Klein tool number D275-5.
  3. Rivnuts: Aluminum Heavy-Duty Rivet Nut, M5 x .8 Internal Thread, .5-3.3mm Material Thickness $10
    for 25. Supplier McMaster-Carr https://www.mcmaster.com/
  4. Klein Ziptie Pull: Tool number 86571
  5. Kein Katapult Wire stripper/Cutter #11063W

These are some of the tools we use. If you have any tools you use to make a better bike please let us know and we will pass it on!

Are bottom brackets difficult to remove?2019-02-27T08:33:53-07:00

https://islandcityebikes.com/

Bafang BBSHD

The safe answer is yes, they are difficult to remove. First, it takes a special tool called a bottom bracket removal tool. The “Bike Hand Bottom Bracket Removal Tool”# YC-26BB is a good example of an expensive option to use for this purpose. Now that you have the tool, how do you use it? First, remove the crank arms using a crank arm extractor tool (Park Tools CCP-22), then you use the bottom bracket socket and turn towards the front wheel to loosen. Sometimes this requires a lot of force so be careful. One of the hacks we use to keep the large bottom bracket socket from slipping is stack some washers on the top of the socket, thread a long bolt into the axel spindle to hold the socket tight against the threads of the bottom bracket. Then, loosen the bottom bracket, remove bolt and finish removing the bottom bracket. Once the bottom bracket is removed be sure to clean the bottom bracket shell completely. You do not want to get any grease on the threads of the Bafang motor as that will reduce the effectiveness of the Locktite.

What are the three classes of eBikes?2019-02-22T08:05:09-07:00

 

The following is the definition of the three classes of eBikes in the State of California:

VEHICLE CODE – VEH
DIVISION 1. WORDS AND PHRASES DEFINED [100 – 681] ( Division 1 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

312.5.
(a) An “electric bicycle” is a bicycle equipped with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts.

(1) A “class 1 electric bicycle,” or “low-speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle,” is a bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.

(2) A “class 2 electric bicycle,” or “low-speed throttle-assisted electric bicycle,” is a bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle, and that is not capable of providing assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.

(3) A “class 3 electric bicycle,” or “speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle,” is a bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 28 miles per hour, and equipped with a speedometer.

(b) A person riding an electric bicycle, as defined in this section, is subject to Article 4 (commencing with Section 21200) of Chapter 1 of Division 11.

(c) On and after January 1, 2017, manufacturers and distributors of electric bicycles shall apply a label that is permanently affixed, in a prominent location, to each electric bicycle. The label shall contain the classification number, top assisted speed, and motor wattage of the electric bicycle, and shall be printed in Arial font in at least 9-point type.

Note that the only eBike that can have a throttle is the Class II eBike. The Class II is limited to 20MPH. If you increase the speed of your bike to run over 20MPH then you have to remove the throttle and place a new sticker on the bike identiting it as a Class III eBike. See: “A person shall not tamper with or modify an electric bicycle described in subdivision (a) of Section 312.5 so as to change the speed capability of the bicycle, unless he or she appropriately replaces the label indicating the classification required in subdivision (c) of Section 312.5.”

What is the difference between the BBSHD and the BBS02 and is it worth the extra cost?2019-02-27T08:28:44-07:00

 

Eric Hicks of LunaCycle says this about the 1000w BBSHD:

The BBSHD was completely redesigned, almost every part is different.
The BBSHD uses much beefier components, and a beefier controller.
The BBSHD is overbuilt to put up with the 35 amp amperage.
The BBSHD is 10 percent more efficient which means more range and power. (Note: I am not sure about this claim).
The BBSHD is 3 pounds heavier than the BBS02.
The BBSHD is considerably larger than the BBS02.
However, all the external connected accessories are the same (display, throttle, ebrake, wiring harness etc)
Both mount in the same way to your bottom bracket

However, there are some certain negatives about the BBSHD.

First, and maybe the most important is that all 50 States ban the use of any motor rated over 750w on any road or bike lane. that means it is a crime to ride any bike over 750w on any road. This is a Federal law. Since a 1000w (or above) eBike on the road is illegal your insurance will not cover you in the event of an accident. Every eBike sold has to come with a disclosure to conform with the California Vehicle Code Section 406 that reads:

“Every manufacturer of a motorized bicycle or moped, as defined in this section, shall provide a disclosure to buyers that advises buyers that their existing insurance policies may not provide coverage for these bicycles and that they should contact their insurance company or insurance agent to determine if coverage is provided. The disclosure shall meet both of the following requirements:

(1) The disclosure shall be printed in not less than 14-point boldface type on a single sheet of paper that contains no information other than the disclosure.

(2) The disclosure shall include the following language in capital letters:

“YOUR INSURANCE POLICIES MAY NOT PROVIDE COVERAGE FOR ACCIDENTS INVOLVING THE USE OF THIS BICYCLE. TO DETERMINE IF COVERAGE IS PROVIDED YOU SHOULD CONTACT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY OR AGENT.”

Again, according to the California Vehicle Code, Section 312.5 we see the following; On and after January 1, 2017, manufacturers and distributors of electric bicycles shall apply a label that is permanently affixed, in a prominent location, to each electric bicycle. The label shall contain the classification number, top assisted speed, and motor wattage of the electric bicycle, and shall be printed in Arial font in at least 9-point type. 

The following is very important: Can the BBSHD be reprogramed for road use? The answer is “NO!.” It is illegal in all 50 States to ride any electric bike on any public road with a motor rated over 750 watts. Some confuse the following provision in the California Vehicle code to all ow use of the BBSHD on the road by reprogramming the controller. You can reprogram the speed limit on an eBike but not the rated power.

Division 12. Equipment of Vehicles Chapter 1. General Provisions 24016 (d) reads as follows.. “A person shall not tamper with or modify an electric bicycle described in subdivision (a) of Section 312.5 so as to change the speed capability of the bicycle, unless he or she appropriately replaces the label indicating the classification required in subdivision (c) of Section 312.5.”

If you reprogram your BBSHD to run at 750w instead of 1000w and place a sticker stating the above mentioned information you should be fine. That said, call your insurance company to insure that you are in compliance with their policies.

Sources:

Consumer Product Safety Act Section 38; https://www.cpsc.gov/PageFiles/105435/cpsa.pdf?epslanguage=en

California Vehicle Code:

1.Division 1. Word and Phrases Defined: See words/phrases 312.5, 406

2. Division 11, Chapter 1, Article 4 (Very important)

3. Division 12. Equipment of Vehicles Chapter 1. General Provisions 24016

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