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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi.
Ive done a lot of research and know my technical stuff, but I haven't found anyone who does a comparison between electric bike systems and a regular similar bike regarding the "feeling", not the technical stuff.

Introduction.
I really like biking and building various bikes is a bit of hobby of mine. But I have never dreamed of a electric bike, since I dont need one. But living on top of a hill, and having a partner that do not enjoy being soaked in sweet everyday bringing the kids to Kindergarten... we stumbled on a sporty electric Hub driven cargo bike (Bullit).

The thing is, I lost the feeling of biking. Its like driving a scooter. All I need to do is peddle slowly and off it goes. Super fast, very efficient but dreadfully boring... And yes, I know its a cargo. But Ive tried non electric ones and they are fast as lightning and quite fun to ride.

The wheel resistance and weight kind of removes the last bit of fun to be had when turning of the engine. I assume this is a normal feeling for a hub engine.

The crank position sensor is also to "ruff", it only measures every full peddle rotation. There is no brake sensor to turn of the engine, and to much power on the lowest setting. It just accelerates like a Tesla.

Some of these thing I can maybe fix by upgrading the components and so forth. But can I get the "feeling" of biking back? Like when every peddle on your race bike kind of propels you forward, and you have full control and so on... Basically the reason why I'm in to bikes.

The question
So my question is should I upgrade to a mid crank system? And how is the Bafang BBS02 compared to shimano, or bosch hubs when it comes to freewheeling, peddling and feeling

I would actually like to be able to ride bike with engine off, without feeling this slow "sirup" kind feeling I get from the Hub engine. Also to be able to bike with just a tiny bit help of the engine, just to make it easier with a heavy load....

Can this be done with a BBS02? I know a lot of spec on the bikes, but no-one talks about the feeling when biking... from a bikers perspective.

Sorry for the somewhat unclear question, but maybe there is someone out there who also thought about this...

:)
 

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If you want an ebike to ride like a "bike", you need to buy an ebike based on a "bike".

Good examples are Specialized Levo, Pivot Shuttle, Fezzari Wire Peak.

A converted bike, a hub powered bike, and all the low end ebikes will ride like shite.
 

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I just got done installing a Bafang 1000w midrive on a new 7 speed Schwinn for my non-biking friend. . I did not detect any pedal drag when motor is off. I could spin the spindle with my fingers. I can say the unit can be lightened a lot..steel chainring and a lot of steel on the unit. I feel in the future weight will come down as there is room for lightning. It has a thumb throttle along with pedal assist and it is somewhat twitchy at slow speeds. I left it off during low speed close quarter operation.


As far as the biking experience goes until the weight comes down ya will need a bike for the biking experience.


I will say after testing my install on his bike...holy crap...38mph with cheap brakes...I can see the issue with them on sensitive trails. Or with populated trails. Going through the bikes tranny seems like the way to go but I question how long the aluminum cassettes hub will last..I am glad he got the 7 speed hub as it is all steel amongst other reasons.

I do worry as he is very accident prone..and his ebike requires some level of self-concern and control which is hard for him..
 

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its called "torque sensing assist". decent mid drives have built-in sensor that measures amount of force applied at pedals and assist that with motor. the more precise its done the more natural feel the ebike have, ultimately giving you the feel of just having stronger legs.

the problem is - torque sensors are expensive and complicated technology (yet). bafang DIY mid drives dont have it. hence these engines aproximate rider input from crank rotations which is not very precise causing unnatural feel.

solution? get the bike with torque sensor drive and natural feel. or just adjust to bafang effort sensing.

personally I would not bother with bafang or similar DIY builds anymore as torque sensing ebikes (bosch, shimano, brose etc) are getting cheaper and cheaper and DIY engines are stuck in stone age technology-wise.
 

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Hi.
Ive done a lot of research and know my technical stuff, but I haven't found anyone who does a comparison between electric bike systems and a regular similar bike regarding the "feeling", not the technical stuff.

Introduction.
I really like biking and building various bikes is a bit of hobby of mine. But I have never dreamed of a electric bike, since I dont need one. But living on top of a hill, and having a partner that do not enjoy being soaked in sweet everyday bringing the kids to Kindergarten... we stumbled on a sporty electric Hub driven cargo bike (Bullit).

The thing is, I lost the feeling of biking. Its like driving a scooter. All I need to do is peddle slowly and off it goes. Super fast, very efficient but dreadfully boring... And yes, I know its a cargo. But Ive tried non electric ones and they are fast as lightning and quite fun to ride.

The wheel resistance and weight kind of removes the last bit of fun to be had when turning of the engine. I assume this is a normal feeling for a hub engine.

The crank position sensor is also to "ruff", it only measures every full peddle rotation. There is no brake sensor to turn of the engine, and to much power on the lowest setting. It just accelerates like a Tesla.

Some of these thing I can maybe fix by upgrading the components and so forth. But can I get the "feeling" of biking back? Like when every peddle on your race bike kind of propels you forward, and you have full control and so on... Basically the reason why I'm in to bikes.

The question
So my question is should I upgrade to a mid crank system? And how is the Bafang BBS02 compared to shimano, or bosch hubs when it comes to freewheeling, peddling and feeling

I would actually like to be able to ride bike with engine off, without feeling this slow "sirup" kind feeling I get from the Hub engine. Also to be able to bike with just a tiny bit help of the engine, just to make it easier with a heavy load....

Can this be done with a BBS02? I know a lot of spec on the bikes, but no-one talks about the feeling when biking... from a bikers perspective.

Sorry for the somewhat unclear question, but maybe there is someone out there who also thought about this...

:)
I'm confused, did you get the bullit bike? Not sure how you would upgrade this: https://www.larryvsharry.com/

Or did you just ride one and not like the feel? I think clarifying that would get you better answers to assist with your quest.
 

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The question
So my question is should I upgrade to a mid crank system? And how is the Bafang BBS02 compared to shimano, or bosch hubs when it comes to freewheeling, peddling and feeling

I would actually like to be able to ride bike with engine off, without feeling this slow "sirup" kind feeling I get from the Hub engine. Also to be able to bike with just a tiny bit help of the engine, just to make it easier with a heavy load....

Can this be done with a BBS02? I know a lot of spec on the bikes, but no-one talks about the feeling when biking... from a bikers perspective.

Sorry for the somewhat unclear question, but maybe there is someone out there who also thought about this...

:)
I sell Shimano, Bafang and Tongsheng motors in my store. What you describe as "feeling" will not be had by using the bafang. A better choice would be the Tongsheng. It uses a torque sensor like the shimano and others and it feels very much like a $5,000+ manufactured eBike.

The Bafang is more of a scooter feeling. You can do some tweaks on the Bafang to make it a bit more like a bicycle, but it is based off of your cranks turning, not how hard you are pushing them. With the Bafang, you turn the cranks and it goes as fast as you set the power level with no force needed by you.

That is where the difference lies. With a torque sensor on your motor, it only gives you full power assist if you are pedaling hard. Pedal easy and they give back very little assist.

Additionally the Bafang makes the crank turn very fast if it is a model with above 350w power. To get a workout, you need to pedal faster than 100 rpms to catch up to the motor or you need to let the motor bog down (very serious risk of burning up your motor) and then you can make up the difference.

I personally love the Bafang BBS02 and have sold many of them, but they are best suited to the commuter who doesn't want to work that hard on their ride. If I wanted to go on the cheap and still have the bike ride "feeling", I would go with the Tongsheng hands down.

We sell new complete converted hardtail mt bikes with a Tongsheng or Bafang motor kit for $1500 or do installations to your bike for about $1000.

I hope this helps.
 

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I gathered he was looking for a system that would pedal when motor off just like any other non ebike.

I will let my friend know he can reprogram it for better low speed manors. No distructions came with it and his phone sucked...

There is a power level control on the bar but even at #1 power it was a lot..
 

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I've ridden a lot of mid-drive and hub motor ebikes, all the way back to Lee Iacocca's "eBike" brand (https://california-ebike.com/a-blast-from-the-past-original-ev-global-ebike/) and the Charger (https://www.electric-bikes.com/bikes/charger.html), which I believe was the original torque-sensing pedal assist bike.

A lot of people have misconceptions about "ebikes" based on early experiences with the aforementioned brands, or current day hubmotor bikes or cheap bolt on mid-drives.

Find an ebike dealer that sells one of the "Big Four" (Bosch, Yamaha, Brose, Shimano) mid drives (not hubmotors). Take a real test ride, not a spin around a parking lot. You'll understand. None have perfected a totally seamless experience yet, but they are getting darn close. My biggest complaint is noise, and that may never go away, but the Bosch CX system is pretty amazing already.
 

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I finally got my canyon spectral last month and after the first two weeks and ridden it on a few different trails, varying from downhill tracks (Lourdes France) to park to natural rooty, wet, rocky, dry.
I say it has the real bike feeling, all over and around, besides making the climb just as freeking fun as the descends.
The weight of the bike is the only difference, and the feeling i get is just that the bike is 30% more heavy and I am 80% stronger, sweet deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the help so far.

I'm confused, did you get the bullit bike?

Or did you just ride one and not like the feel? I think clarifying that would get you better answers to assist with your quest.
Its a regular one (without the shimano mid drive). It was converted to hub engine a long time ago. But this question is more general towards electric bike systems and how they behave.

A better choice would be the Tongsheng. It uses a torque sensor like the shimano and others and it feels very much like a $5,000+ manufactured eBike.
To me it sounds like a Geared mid drive engine with a really really good torque sensor would be the solution. The question is if they can really deliver a nice consistent feeling of biking. Ive tried a few, a Bosch, a Shimano and they somehow didn't feel quite right. Maybe its more about the programming then anything else. Or I'm just very picky :)

I like the idea of being able to install a mid drive on a regular BB. But maybe they are inferior when it comes to programming, materials and Torque sensor.

Phantomtracer
Try a Rocky Mountain Powerplay.​
They are using there own mid drive "inline toque sensor to seamlessly add assist to whatever effort you put into the pedals that they say makes for an intuitive feel."

Could be fun to try just to compare. Not my kind of bike thou :)

And now...
Question is whats the best alternative for me then. Should be mounted in a regular BB (then I can use my normal steel frames), Needs a good torque sensor, Should not be to strong, maybe 350-500W? Should be 0 drag when freewheeling and biking without the engine.

Or maybe I just have to wait until there is a better option out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Google just answered my own question, kind of.

1. Get a BB Torque sensor and somehow connect it to our XF39 MXUS Hub engine.
2. Fit a aftermarket Mid Drive with Toque sensor...
3. Try to reprogram my controller to make it more smooth and then live with a lesser bike experience.

But according to the internet none of these solutions seems to be the right way to go.

Found a nice little thread, old but informative:

https://electricbike.com/forum/forum/kits/bafang-mid-drives/11882-bbshd-torque-sensor-upgrade
 

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If you want an ebike to ride like a "bike", you need to buy an ebike based on a "bike".

Good examples are Specialized Levo, Pivot Shuttle, Fezzari Wire Peak.

A converted bike, a hub powered bike, and all the low-end ebikes will ride like shite.
This is exactly what I was gonna post for now. You have to get an e-bike system where every part of it is engineered for the e-bike feeling like a normal bike.

The suspension kinematics, shock tune have to support the bike so it feels secure and agile. The brakes have to stop it for that crazy amount of descending you're gonna do.

The front/rear side to side balance and geometry have to be dialed to get a good experience (aside from getting a lift up).

The YT Decoy is very good too.
 

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Yes, you can get a “heavier” bike feel from a Bafang BBS02 add-on mid-drive!

To begin with, a bike with a BBS02 in the BB is simply the same bike with extra weight low and centered on the existing bike without a battery. Add the battery and you have an even heavier bike and sometimes the battery weight isn’t in the most desirable location either (unlike the mid-drive motor location). Thus with the power off, you have a “heavier” bike feel. Plan on about 10-20lbs. extra for the motor and battery.

If you only want assist as needed, simply set the BBS02 to zero assist and use the throttle as a “variable assist control.” That way you have your “heavier” bike feel with assist only in the exact amount you want at any time. It is my experience that torque sensors “feel” like they simply turn on and off the power for the setting you have the power level set to. They “feel” like a simple foot controlled on/off button and feel nothing like a full variable throttle.

The great thing about a Bafang BBS02 is you are in total control of setting it up how you want it to operate, unlike the prebuilt eBikes. Pre-built eBikes don’t have a “variable assist level (throttle)” or generic batteries giving you total control of the size, quality and weight desired. You can also set the level of power assist by button click to 9 levels, greatly enhancing your control of what the eBike feels like at any given level. You can set the assist at say 2 of 9 and ride your heart out, then hit the throttle for extra boost for a sprint up a hill or simply click the power level button a few times for more power, then click it back down. The point of a BBS02 is YOU ARE IN TOTAL CONTROL OF THE SETTINGS, BIKE FEEL AND (SOMEWHAT) THE WEIGHT ON THE BIKE, albeit a “heavier” bike feel no matter how you slice it.

Unfortunately there is no way around the extra weight. At least a mid-drive puts that weight in the best location and you can always put your battery in a backpack if you don’t mind wearing one to keep the bike weight down, making it feel more nibble and pedal lighter.

Best of all, when you get sick on having electric assist or riding a heavy bike, you can simply remove it and sell it off to the next guy or gal that wants to play the electric bike game.
 

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I guess you know the answer.
Try a bike, if no like = no buy.
My Haibike with Yamaha feels like a bike.
Sometimes i forget to start the system.
Obviously i know the weight is still there but after the start it rolls.
Obviously a user who only use the max assist and only owns an ebike
might (( abuse the assist ))
but i have 2 other bikes and i choose to stretch my 500 not buy a bigger one nor a second one.
 

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It's always going to feel different at least in some situations, but as others have said, you need (at a minimum) to have a torque sensing system and mid-drive.

I know what you mean about hub motor bikes. My Radpower is not fun to ride at all - but it's good for what it is intended to do (haul kids and groceries). A Levo, on the other hand, is really fun, though (IMO) it still doesn't quite feel quite like a normal bike even on lower power settings.

YMMV.

-Walt
 

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Is it really possible to make a e-bike feel like a bike when you have more power available than you would if you were just pedaling? I think that is kind of the point of a e-bike it makes you feel like you're 12 again and have unlimited energy to pedal, which is not a normal feeling for an adult on a bike.
 

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Yes, particularly when you get to choose what "feel" means.
That is true "feel" is a very personal thing.

I know my e-bike commuter does not "feel" like the same bike before I did the mid drive conversion, that was kind of the point for me. 30 miles no longer is a drag it is enjoyable so the "feeling" very much changed.
 

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"Sporty", "Super fast" and "Fast as Lightening" are not the first words that spring to mind for Cargo Class type bikes motorized or not. Especially if not motorized at all. They are utility bikes that suit their purposes motorized or not and perhaps not the best benchmark for rating how eBikes "feel" overall.

As suggested "feel" can mean just about anything to anybody and about the only way to get any bike, motorized or not, to feel like you think a bike should feel is to mess around with the gearing and adjust your cadence to suit. That is given that is how you define "feel". As noted a cadence sensing PAS and torque sensing PAS are two different ways to activate the system and both can be set up to give the rider what they desire.

I have my eBikes, both road and mtb, set up to imitate as closely as possible the fit and feel of what I desire based on my years of saddle time. The fit is no different than on my analog bikes. In order to get the feel at the pedals I use a hub motor on my road bike with no PAS so I can be in the gear ratio I desire and switch up and down according to terrain without any interference from the motor.

I have a torque assist Mid-Drive on my mtb that I use in Eco 99% of the time that at the lower cadences I use for riding trail, especially going up, and choosing the right gear ratio in advance of needing it, which I always have strived to do regardless, feels no different than it ever has with the exception of the fact that the motor does assist in my effort.

Of course the bikes are heavier and so without the assist they don't feel like analogue bikes but they all are able to be ridden without power.
 

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3 years ago i bought a used mountain bike, all top components it felt like a good bike.
3 months later i went from 32 front ring to 28.
It felt like a great bike.
I am talking about a no assit bike.
Just changing the saddle or improving the fit can realy improve the enjoyment, the feel is much improved.
 
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