Old 01-12-21, 01:32 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2013
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 4,365

Bikes: Bianchi Infinito (Celeste, of course)

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 731 Post(s)
Liked 89 Times in 64 Posts
Originally Posted by Pop N Wood View Post
You know once the kit is installed I have to wonder if a DIY kits is really any different maintenance wise than a factory built unit?

The Bafang kits are proving as reliable as anything else being made, xenophobic bias against the Chinese aside. I guess a factory bike gives some possibility of warranty repair, but warranties don't last forever and like you are finding out repair times can be excessive.

If you want to go fast look at something with a Bafang motor. The advantage of them is you can customize the controls the way you like them, including deleting speed limits. Mine easily cruises at 38 mph, for as long as the battery at holds out anyway. Seems like more bike builders are starting to use Bafang drives, you should be able to find a factory complete bike with one of their motors.

Hub drives are easier on drive train components, but if you want to go fast consider a mid drive.

BTW I've read a few posts about torque sensors going out. Maybe a good argument for a pedal assist unit with a back up thumb throttle. Opinions are split about torque vs. pedal assist amongst people who have actually ridden both. I'm really comfortable with my pedal assist. Just means you need to adjust the assist level depending on speed.
Factory designed bikes (especially mid-drives) will be more reliable overall. A mid-drive motor can't be properly integrated into a standard BB shell. With a factory bike, the manufacturer can do a MUCH better job ensuring proper mounting (torque brackets, etc), wire routing and connectors (waterproof & rugged), and ensuring that the whole package is designed to be robust. The individual components are not more reliable but as SYSTEM the package will be more reliable.

The big disadvantage to factory bikes is the amount of proprietary stuff. I'm very skeptical about the ability to find replacement motors and batteries for 5+ year old ebikes. You can't simply replace a Brose motor with a Bosch or Yamaha unit, the mounting is completely different. There really needs to be a standard mechanical interface for mid-drive motors.
gsa103 is offline