Frequently Asked Questions
Regarding all things electric bikes, electric bike motor kits, Bafang mid drive motors, and more.
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.
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.
- The best Rivnut installer ever can be found here Rivnut Installer
- Flush cutter: Klein tool number D275-5.
- Rivnuts: Aluminum Heavy-Duty Rivet Nut, M5 x .8 Internal Thread, .5-3.3mm Material Thickness $10
for 25. For Rivnuts click here
- Klein Ziptie Pull: Tool number 86571
- 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! Shop now
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.
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. )
(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 identifying 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.”
Is the Bafang BBSHD 1000 watt electric bike motor street legal? The Bafang BBSHD is for off road or private property only.
The obvious difference is that the Bafang BBSHD 1000 watt motor is more powerful than the Bafang BBS02 750 watt motor. It is also larger, heavier, and more expensive. It has become industry standard to promote the BBSHD as a better motor than the BBS02. Better for whom? The seller of the BBSHD benefits because the profit margin is higher and there are less warranty issues to deal with. However, does the buyer benefit?
The BBS02 750 watt motor is a very powerful and durable motor that will last for years if one does not abuse the motor. The BBS02 will accommodate the riding style of 90% of the population when used properly. Any motor, including the BBSHD, can be destroyed by improper use.
The greatest benefit of the Bafang BBS02 750 watt motor over the BBSHD 1000 watt motor is that the BBS02 is legal for road use, and the BBSHD can only be ridden off road or on private property. Federal Law, identifies an electric bike as being limited to 750 watts. Anything over 750 watts cannot be identified as an electric bike and thus enjoy its privileges. Is it possible to reprogram the BBSHD to make it a street legal? There is no provision in Federal Law that provides for the reprogramming of motors not rated for road use.