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  1. #1
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    Bionx 350 vs Bionx 500

    Greetings

    i had a Bionx 350 for over a year now and I am thinking to switch to Bionx 500. The main reason for wanting to do that is that I need a faster commute. I do about 21 km and it takes me about 45 min each way. There are a few hills on on this route, most of them fairly small and having the motor definitely helps. Without the motor I can do one way in about 1hr 10 min. I ride a Devinci Liverpool with Schwalbe Marathon Supreme. I switched from Marathon plus because ther were adding about 5 extra min / trip and the battery consumption was about 20~30 % higher.
    I ride on a bike path, mostly shared with pedestrians.
    Now, I hope to be able to cut down the time to 30-35 min but this means I am going to be racing like a maniac most of the time.

    I was wondering what are your experiences with the 500 motor? Is the speed gain significant when comparing to the 350 motor?
    Is it worth getting a 48v battery instead of the 37 one that I have? Can I burn the motor with tha 48v? Any advice would be highly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Senior Member knurly's Avatar
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    It matters not which Bionx you have, they'll both throttle down the assist @ about 20mph. Unless your hills are significant, you won't go any faster.
    You'll next be asking how to defeat the governor.

  3. #3
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    From what I understand, the 500 goes up to 26 mph - that's the whole point in spending the extra money. Moreover, one of the dealers who is offering it has even declined to ship it outside of California specifically because of the legal implications of the speed limit being over 20 mph.
    And no, I am not going to ask how to defeat the limiter, I know it can be done with the interface and some othe tools. I believe there is a thread on endless sphere on that.

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    The way I've seen it interpreted most, is that an ebike can only go up to 20 mph without pedaling. I suspect this is a legal grey area...

    Anyway, I don't know that the 500 will be much faster than the 350. It depends on what's currently limiting your speed.

    Are you close to overheating your motor? If so, you won't get much more speed.

    Wind resistance is a very big factor in your top speed. You might consider going recumbent (optionally w/ electric assist). You'll get a bigger boost in speed from reducing your air resistance than anything else.

  5. #5
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    You make some good points. That's why I was asking the question.

    When I am pedaling the 350, assistance cuts off at about 20mph on flat with no wind. What I hope to achieve is at least 25 mph by using the 500 motor under the same conditions.

    I thought about going recumbent as well and if the 500 (I already ordered it, btw) doesn't allow me to increase the speed while pedaling that will probably be the next step.

    Quote Originally Posted by dhiltonp View Post
    The way I've seen it interpreted most, is that an ebike can only go up to 20 mph without pedaling. I suspect this is a legal grey area...

    Anyway, I don't know that the 500 will be much faster than the 350. It depends on what's currently limiting your speed.

    Are you close to overheating your motor? If so, you won't get much more speed.

    Wind resistance is a very big factor in your top speed. You might consider going recumbent (optionally w/ electric assist). You'll get a bigger boost in speed from reducing your air resistance than anything else.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ypedal's Avatar
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    would be much better off with a kit on 48v instead of the bionX.. imo.. if you want to go more than 20mph.

    the bionx is programable and hackable, but premium priced..

    an eZee, geared, hub motor is light, no drag ( internal clutch ) when not using power, light and a good choice for commuting with meaningfull pedal input.. if you really want to cook you can get a 9C or clyte HS setup ( Direct drive ) at 48+ volts .. for the money a bionx kit costs with their battery pack you can get more bang for the buck with an alternative kit.

  7. #7
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    First eZee is geared and you want to compare it with gearlees?
    Bionx is computerized light silent and efficient system with real battery meter/ not gadget /
    And you want to compare it with rudimentary China brand noisy analog kit?
    Bionx cost what it cost for the reason
    Even hub gearlees China brand systems are NOT silent because they are primitive controlled

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ypedal's Avatar
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    You can get the ezee kit from ebikes.ca with the cycle analyst for less than a BionX.

    To run a hot system ( faster than 20mph ) having the controller external to the motor is a good thing.. the bionX pushed beyond 20mph will warm up and depending on your weight, terrain , etc... can cause controller failure.

    the ezee is not a cheaply made motor, they are well done, water proof, the nylon gears do make some sound but above 10 mph the sound of wind in your face drowns it out and only the most sensitive ears will pick it up..

    the bafang, and similar mini geared motors made for 250w markets, sold by vendors as 500w kits with bigger controllers are not the same animal..

  9. #9
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    When it comes to bikes I am not too much of a DIY-er. I choose Bionx primarily for the bionic feature - you don't really feel like you are riding on a motorized system, it's just a bike that goes faster.
    I sporadically read about failures of the 500 W Bionx but I could not find any evidence that it's a bad design for what it does. The dealer has suggested that I get a 48V battery which may alleviate the heat issue but, again, I heard mixed stories about the the 48V battery+ motor combination. Actually, I am not even sure if the new 48V batteries are designed to work with the 500W motor.

    But regardless, has anybody around here used the 500 Bionx motor?

  10. #10
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    pacific start
    That's right Bionx is system driven by software , you hardly even feel when it kicks in, because sygnal from torque sensor is digitized and processed by computer so also sygnals from other components like throttle.
    While China kits can have just controller software programmable at most.
    All components of Bionx communicate with each other , that is NOT ANALOG system which makes all the difference.
    Battery meter is not analog voltage based toy with LEDs /useless/ but really shows capacity left because it really counts discharge in digital way.
    Because it is sofware driven it is hard to modyfy just like E+ or Tidal Force.
    Again Bionx is closed well designed system , I remember for sure that there is 48V Bionx kit, just Google.
    Just have a look here, will you?
    You cannot get better system in the world if you want to pedal along, Bionx is wonderful exercise machine, exactely because it seemlessly blend with your legs power.
    http://www.nycewheels.com/bionxpl350...-motorkit.html
    Last edited by powell; 06-14-12 at 10:30 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Ypedal's Avatar
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    puhlease....

    Yes, the BionX is indeed a good kit, i'm not trying to imply that it's not.

    However. it is priced higher than most other systems that work as good, or better depending on your needs.

    this analoque vs digital mumbo jumbo.. who convinced you of that lie ?

    all brushless controllers use IC, pwm based controllers, ie : digital..

    the Cycle Analyst is a digital display, programmable, throttle interface capable unit.

    I agree that the led throttle displays are completely useless to determine power level and SOC ( state of charge ) from the battery, but there are units available for 25$ that can do all that too in digital readout ( doc wattson, watt's up , etc meters )

    if you got the money to spend, have at the bionx.

    if you are on a tight budget, you can get all the benefits from a much less expensive kit.

  12. #12
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    Ypedal - maybe you should start a thread outlining the differences between the Bionx and Ezee.

    My question was about the differences between the two Bionx motors...

  13. #13
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    Nobody had to "convince" me of anything,I am tech person
    He is NOT DIY he said already
    If you read more on DSP and signal conditionioning you would understand mambo as you said
    For now the best ebikes and kits use dig communication for a reason
    because it is the best way to control wellknown in the world
    Why to buy ekit and next replace display with another device why not to buy quality kit
    Bionx cost money for the reason

  14. #14
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    I owned both a 250 and the PL500HS model. I rode about 7000 miles on the PL 250. The frustrating thing about it was that even if you removed the speed delimiter, it was really hard to push it past 22-23mph as the motor didn't have more to give at that point. Then I got the PL500HS and it was worth every penny for me. I have about 6600 miles on it now. The no load speed (if you throttle it and just lift the wheel) is 42 mph. That means, it'll provide some sort of assistance all the way to 42 mph. The extra speed with the 500 model is really helpful when you want to bike down a shoulderless street going 25mph+ before any cars catch up to you. Whereas if I didn't have bionx, i would mosey along the sidewalk at a blistering 15mph or less.

    If you're doing 45 minutes with a 350 system, you'll probably get it down to 40 minutes at the most on the 500 system. My 11 miles commute takes me about 42 minutes on a regular bike, 38 minutes on the 250, and 35 minutes on the 500 system. You'd have to really be cooking to cover 21km in 30-35 minutes.

    You don't want to be going 25+ all the time since it gets a little dangerous at certain spots. You want to make enough braking room and time to react to blind driveways and so forth. And you have to be careful on the bike paths since you'll be passing everyone there at a higher passing speed.

  15. #15
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    Adamtki - thanks for replying! - that's exactly the kind of feedback I was looking for
    I should be able to post my observations soon. My 500 should be here next week.

  16. #16
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    So I got my Bionx 500 motor and did 5 commutes with it ( 5x~20 km).

    Short review:
    - Top speed averages 45-47 km/h
    - Definitely much faster on flats than the 350. With the red button I can do 40-42 km/h with no pedalling. That's a 10 km/h increase from the 350.
    - Significantly less motor drag on down hills - I didn't even realize the 350 has drag until now!
    - For any long up hills (over 100 m let's say) the assistance provided will result in half the speed vs the speed obtained with the 350.
    - If you live in a hilly area and need to pull a trailer the 350 beats the 500 hands down. I don't believe I will even try to pull the trailer on hills with the 500.
    - Riding on bike paths requires much more attention. Very good and responsive brakes + undivided attention to the road is an absolute must.
    - On my commute I am now able to about 5-7 minutes vs the 350.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacificstart View Post
    So I got my Bionx 500 motor and did 5 commutes with it ( 5x~20 km).

    Short review:
    - Top speed averages 45-47 km/h
    - Definitely much faster on flats than the 350. With the red button I can do 40-42 km/h with no pedalling. That's a 10 km/h increase from the 350.
    - Significantly less motor drag on down hills - I didn't even realize the 350 has drag until now!
    - For any long up hills (over 100 m let's say) the assistance provided will result in half the speed vs the speed obtained with the 350.
    - If you live in a hilly area and need to pull a trailer the 350 beats the 500 hands down. I don't believe I will even try to pull the trailer on hills with the 500.
    - Riding on bike paths requires much more attention. Very good and responsive brakes + undivided attention to the road is an absolute must.
    - On my commute I am now able to about 5-7 minutes vs the 350.
    Great to hear you got a 500. Just wondering where you got it from. I don't even see the PL500HS on the Bionx site anymore. I wonder if they stopped making it. Also, the 500 model before looked like (from the feature description) that it only tops out at around 28mph.

    You definitely need to upgrade the front brakes. I changed my front wheel to disc brakes for better braking. My rear brakes are pads but I rarely change them because I try to slow down using regen braking without engaging the rear brake pads as much as possible. I use the front brakes to stop quicker or when coming to a complete stop.

    You'll find that with a mirror, you can ride the middle of a lane for a longer time because less cars will need to pass you. That means it's a safer ride for many reasons (less cars pass, they pass slower and less frustrated, you don't get squeezed, turning cars are more likely to see you, less blind driveways, etc) and you also avoid flats since the road has less glass and junk vs the shoulders and bike lanes.

    On the paths, I do everything I can to pass safely - stay as far left as possible, slow down to jogging speeds for kids, pets, etc, and use a bell. I only go above 20 if there's no one on the path.

    I find the hill assistance sufficient but I've never ridden a PL350 to compare it to. It's at least better than the PL250. You can also get more assistance if you drop into the smaller cogs in the front.

  18. #18
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    I got the 500 from Paul @ www.EbikesofNE.com
    Not sure if they can still get those but it's worth a try.

    Still waiting for someone to post a jailbreak for the 350 so I don't have to mess around with two wheels
    Last edited by pacificstart; 08-14-12 at 05:05 PM. Reason: typo

  19. #19
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    I bought the top of the line BionX a couple months ago and love it. It's an SL350 HT DT XL. It is a 48v system. There is nothing called a '500' in any of their literature in Canada. Performance wise, you can't go any faster (legally) on the bike paths and lanes anyways, so I don't see the point in anything more powerful. I don't want to P...O.. the cycling community (too much) or they will organize to keep ebikes off bicycling routes altogether. Are you guys south of the 49th parallel?

  20. #20
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    I am North of the border but the 500 is no longer produced. I got lucky to get one of the very last ones.

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