In this section we will look at finding the right seller of Bafang motors, batteries and parts
First, you will need to order a Bafang kit and a battery. The question is, from whom and where will you find these items? How do you know the source has products that are reliable? Do they offer a warranty? How do you return an item to another country? These are all important questions.
First, the Bafang company does not sell to the general public and they have no outlets in the USA. Unless a retailer is purchasing thousands of motors at a time, they are a re-seller. A re-seller sets their own price and warranty. It does not matter where you buy your motor as they are all the same unless they are selling old stock. A BBSHD 1000w and a BBS02 750w motor is the same regardless who you purchase it from or what it says on the motor housing.
Places you can purchase a Bafang kit that I recommend:
That is a very difficult question to answer. I, along with many others in the bicycle industry commit hundreds of thousand of dollars in overseas purchases and have never lost a cent. On the other hand there are many sellers on domestic selling sites that will swindle you out of all they can. It may only be anecdotal evidence but I have had nothing but positive experiences with overseas purchases.
As a note; Often you will see a fantastic price advertised but when you factor in shipping it turns out the price is not so fantastic after all. Be sure and consider shipping when you are comparing prices.
What is the difference between AliBaba and AliExpress? AliBaba is for large orders while AliExpress is for small orders. If you want to buy one motor you would purchase from AliExpress. To purchase 50 or more motors you would purchase through AliBaba.
AliXpress, like eBay, has a buyer protection program. If, for some reason you do not receive your order, or your order is damaged, you can go through the Buyer Protection Program and request a refund. It is in the best interest of the seller to send you your product. All sellers know that today's consumer makes use of forum's and they do not want to be branded as someone not to purchase from. In addition, if AliXpress has a seller not fulfilling their obligations they will be banned from selling on AliXpress or AliBaba.
Shipping; Upon receipt of your motor or battery and it has been damaged in shipping it is not the fault of the seller. It is regrettable that your order is damaged but the claim should be filed against the shipper and not the seller. I have read so many complaints against sellers because their product arrived damaged. Overseas sellers of batteries and motors go to great lengths to pack their products to insure they arrive without damage. Of course, even the best packing cannot endure rough handling.
Here are some of the things you will need:
*Bafang Mid Drive Motor Kit.
*Lithium Ion downtube battery
*Gear Sensor (optional)
*Bafang motor spanner
*Programming cable (optional)
In addition, you will need a new shift cable, shift cable housing, grease, some way of connecting the power cable to the motor, and plenty of Zip ties.
In fact, buy two shift cables in case you fray the first one. A frayed shift cable will not go through the Gear Sensor. Shift housing is inexpensive and should be replaced to insure smooth shifting.
Before you order your kit you have to determine the width of your bottom bracket shell. Bottom bracket shells are in 68mm, 73mm, 83mm, 86.5mm, 89.5mm, 92mm, 100mm, 120mm. Most bikes will have a 68mm or 73mm bottom bracket shell. Please note: When you order your motor, if you have a 68mm OR a 73mm bottom bracket shell, order the Bafang motor kit with a 68mm axle.
If your bottom bracket shell is over 73mm you will have to order a Bafang BBSHD 1000w or a BBSHD 750w motor because this is the only motor that has a longer axle. There are conversion axle kits available but I do not recommend them. We have used them in the past with unsatisfactory results. Another option is to grind the bottom bracket shell down until it will accommodate the Bafang 68mm motor. This option requires special tools and a experienced mechanic.
The Bafang bottom bracket shaft is 33.5mm and will fit comfortably in many 63-73mm bottom bracket shells. What do you do if the shell diameter is larger than 33.mm? You have three choices:
1. Find an adaptor.
2. Make an adaptor.
3. Find another bike.
Adaptors can be found at Wheels Manufacturing.
Or, you can take your bike to any machine shop and they will make you an adaptor.
Third choice is to take a long, hard look at your bike and see if would not behoove you to find another candidate bike with a standard square tapered spindle, 68mm/73mm bottom bracket.
Before you order your motor kit you need to know what size of chainring you would like to use. The stock chainring comes in sizes 44T (teeth) and 46T. The 46T will give you faster top end speed while the 44T will give you greater torque, is easier on the drive train, less likely to burn up the motor on a climb, and is best for heavier riders. We always use the 44T chainring on our builds.
Note: There are aftermarket chainrings such as the Lekkie that are much better made and come in sizes from 28T to 52T. We use Lekkie chainrings on about 30% of our builds. They are lightweight, great looking, and have the narrow-wide tooth pattern that hold the chain firmly against the chainring in order to help prevent chain drop.
When you order your kit the seller wants to know why type of display you would like. The most common display is the C965, pictured above. There are several different choices of displays and some come with full color. However, the displays with full color cost a bit more. We like the C965 because it seems to be the most durable and trouble free. The picture above is a three button model. It also comes in a four button model. Rarely do we see a display fail but when we have it has been a color model. A display is required with a Bafang equipped bike. In fact, if your display fails the motor will stops functioning.
Of course you will have to decide which motor you would like. You have two choices. The most common motor is the Bafang BBS02b 750 watt motor. The "02," as it is called, is sufficient for 90% of all riders. It has plenty of power, lightweight, and is a lot less expensive than the BBSHD. When the Bafang BBS02 is installed on a bike, that bike will meet the definition, under Federal law, of an electric bike and it can be ridden wherever a bicycle can be used. Federal law stipulates that the motor on a electric bike can be no greater than 750 watts. If a electric motor on a electric bike is greater than 750 watts it is not an electric bike but instead is an unlicensed motor vehicle.
This is the Bafang BBSHD 1000 watt motor. This is a heavy mtor and it outweighs the 750 watt motor by almost four pounds. This motor is classified by both State and Federal law as for off road use only. While we have built hundreds of bikes with this motor we feel, for the most part, it is not necessary for 90% of riders. Important; If you do order the "HD" do not use it with a 52 volt battery. This motor does not work well with 52 volt batteries and sometimes will not work at all with a 52v battery.
When you kit arrives it will contain the following: Motor, chainring, plastic cover for chainring (if BBS02, HD has no cover for the chainring), L/R crank arms, crank arm bolts (2), display, two small bolts with small lock nuts for display, rubber adapters for display (4), throttle (thumb), one small bolt and lock nut for throttle, cable harness with four leads, two brake levers with motor cut off leads, speed sensor, small black screw for speed sensor, spoke magnet, five small silver screws for plastic chainring cover, five 5mm bolts for chainring, fixing plate, two 6mm bolts for fixing plate, 33mm axle nut, and fixing cap.
Again, anecdotal evidence, but our experience from purchasing thousands of Bafang motor kits we have not had a single motor fail or ever had a single missing part! That is quite amazing. We have not seen a single missing screw, bolt, or any other item in a Bafang motor kit. It is this same attention to detail that makes the Bafang motor the most reliable motor anywhere on the market.
Yes, if you bought the motor from a reliable source they would accept a return in order to continue to build and maintain a positive business relationship with you. That said, the chances of getting a defective motor is very slim. In fact, if you installed a new Bafang motor and it is not working then bring it to our shop for analysis at no cost. I am certain it is not the motor but somewhere in the wiring. Of the thousands of Bafang motors we have purchased overseas there has yet to have been a single failure. Remember, what makes the Bafang mid drive unique is the simplicity of design.
This is a programming cable that will allow you to program your motor to your own standards. With a little research you will be able to change the settings of the motor to run smoother, increase range, and even run faster. These cables can be found on Amazon and eBay and cost around $25. The instruction on how to use this cable can be found at "The Hacker's Guide to Programming the BBS02 nd the BBSHD."
Some setting you can change at the display. See our section on displays for instructions on how to change the settings on your motor via the display.
“For the want of a nail the shoe was lost,
For the want of a shoe the horse was lost,
For the want of a horse the rider was lost,
For the want of a rider the battle was lost,
For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of a horseshoe-nail.”
Benjamin Franklin 1758, Poor Richard's Almanack
For lack of a single axle spacer the job cannot be finished. Axle spacers allow you to move the motor to establish the correct chainline, or to keep the crank arm from hitting the chainstay.
There are many types of electric bike batteries to choose from. For example, there are cube batteries, triangle batteries, downtube batteries, rack batteries, side load batteries, and integrated frame batteries. Also, there are the different types of cell groups: Generic cells, Panasonic, Samsung, LG, and Sony. With each cell there are different variations such as Samsung 35E, or Samsung 30Q. Each variation makes a difference in performance and range. Then there is the size of the battery in terms of volts and amps, For example, downtube batteries come in sizes of; 36v 10.5, 35v 13, 36v 14.5, 48v 10.5, 48v 13, 48v 14.5, 48v 175, 52v 14.5, and 52v 17.5. A lot of choices to consider. If your motor is a Bafang 750w then you have to use a 48v battery. If it is a Bafang 500w motor then you can use a 36v battery. If your motor is the Bafang 1000w motor then your battery has to have a 30 amp BMS card. Note: do not use a 52v battery with a Bafang 1000 watt motor.
Measuring the dimensions of a battery and the area of the bike where the battery will be installed is a very difficult task. For example, a downtube battery has a number of different angles. Also, the triangle area on the bike frame has has set angles that cannot be adjusted. Also, on some bikes, (full suspension bikes) there will be obstructions to the battery that have to be taken into consideration. Many times we have been ask to determine if a type and size battery will fit their bike and we always answer, "Bring you bike to the shop and we will see if it fits." Remember, just because the battery fits according to your measurements it still might not fit when the battery arrives. The reason for this is downtube batteries must have enough room to move forward and up in order to remove the battery. Complicated? Yep.
Be careful when you order your battery as they cannot be returned without the services of a Hazardous Materials Shipper. If one is caught shipping a lithium ion battery with any carrier the fine is over $75,000. There are those who say they will send you the correct labels to return your battery but labels do not qualify you as a Hazardous Materials shipper. Federal law clearly stipulates the one that will be held responsible is the one shipping the battery, not the one that sent the labels. Shipping batteries is extremely complicated and requires training, certification, and special packaging and labeling requirements. We are a licensed Hazmat shipper and know the the incredible labyrinth of rules and regulations involved. It is best to never attempt trying to return a lithium battery through any carrier illegally.
This is a downtube battery. It is the most common of all electric bike batteries. It is easy to install (sometimes), sits low in the frame, and has a hard shell case for protecting the battery cells. Typically, this battery can be installed using the existing water bottle inserts. However, if these inserts do not fall in proper line with the mounting plate connection points then additional work will be required. Sometimes one can alter the mounting plate while other times one will need to install new inserts in the frame. The installation of inserts should only be undertaken by a skilled bicycle mechanic.
This is a battery made by Unit Power Pak and is our favorite battery. The downtube battery can only be used on bikes with a large triangle whereas the side release battery can fit in tight spaces. A downtube battery needs to go forward and up in order to remove from the bike. That movement requires a fair bit of space. A side release battery releases in a side swing motion. Therefore, the side load battery is the battery of choice when working on full suspension bikes or bikes with small frames. Because this battery only weighs less than six pounds it is perfect for carbon framed bikes or when we need to mount a battery on top of the top tube.
This battery is a 52v 20Ah triangle battery and it is very heavy. We rarely use this battery due to its weight and size. The few times we have used this battery we were not pleased with the end results. It is far too heavy, unatractive, difficulte to secure firmly to the bike frame, and expensive. Some choose this battery in order to enjoy greater range but all the negatives of this battery do not compensate for any benefits it might it might afford. The weight of the battery sits high and makes the bike unbalanced. Batteries should weigh no more than nine pounds and be mounted as low as possible on the downtube.
A battery like this can solve a lot of problems when working with a bike where there is no place to put the battery. These rack batteries can pack a lot of power due to their size. However, they are not very popular. For one thing, it puts a lot of weight up high behind the rider. Also, people do not like that fact they have to swing their leg over the battery rack in order to mount the bike.
A block battery can be made to just about any size within reason. You can find a 72v 50Ah block battery online for around a $1,000. The downside of the block battery is somehow finding a way to attach it to the bike. Also, there is no hard plastic case to protect the battery. On occasion we use small block batteries on road bakes. When we use block batteries we build a protective case and surround it with protective cushioning material.
Bottle batteries are typically 36v batteries but can be found in 48v configurations. Some people do not like the looks of the larger downtube batteries and prefer the sleek appearance of the bottle battery. It is possible to fit the battery into tight spaces because it is a side release battery. If you have a 500 watt motor then this battery might be right for you. Remember, it may be smaller and look cleaner on your bike but you will be giving up a fair amount of range.