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Hub Motor Reliability Question

Old 09-17-13, 03:20 PM
  #1  
3wheels1life
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Hub Motor Reliability Question

Hi everyone,

Do you have any real world experience with the reliability of hub motors?
How many miles can I reasonably expect to get out of a Goldenmotor dot com MagicPie or any of the chinese geared brushless hub motors?
Any other recommendations for usage/brands/etc.?
I'm planning to use it daily for touring.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 09-17-13, 05:10 PM
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Golden Motor and Magic Pie are China brand , NOT a Western Brand made in China and if you saw in what terrible condition they are assembled you would....
Chinese assemblers are paid for unit made , do they care?
QC is a hit and miss and ofen not existent.
So you you can make 1000 miles on such hub if you are lucky or you can make 10 miles if you are not lucky.
Bearings not sited right /result-wobble/, shoddy windings rubbing against covers, cheap counterfeit hall sensors which fail, breaking axles /made of shoddy steel/, melting cheap wires /non-rated, just no rating on them/ , and so on.
Mine are not empty words - I have pictures if you want to see.
Do not be fooled by fancy graphics, you would not ride n them, they are just sell gimmick.
Again you can meet people who has 1000miles on one but you can also meet a lot of ones who "enjoy" them for very short.
If you can live with this turbine kind of whine on acceleration, grunting and vibration....
for me virtue of electric drive is a silence, but to have this you need technology.
EXAMPLE:
Example of electric drive made to WESTERN standards and available right now is FALCO ebike kit designed in USA by US engineers and manufactured in India.

Last edited by powell; 09-17-13 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 09-17-13, 06:56 PM
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Thanks powell. I appreciate your input.
I knew Golden Motor was made in China, but I thought they were better quality (integrated controller in Magic Pie and all). Could you post the pics of the problems?
Where can I buy FALCO hub motor? Is it gearless/brushless? Do you own one yourself? If so, I'd like to know your opinion on it.
Also, are Heinzmann as good as Falco? What is the best brand/type in your opinion.

I look forward to hearing back.

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Old 09-18-13, 04:58 PM
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Just enter FALCO into Google. Very efficient , complete system, completely silent, smooth and
with FIVE YEAR WARRANTY in USA!!!
Attached Images
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shoddy not rated wires.jpg (25.5 KB, 62 views)
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NC%20Winding.jpg (94.8 KB, 65 views)
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imag0071fs.jpg (55.2 KB, 63 views)
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f_bve8_c5d_u77ts.jpg (46.4 KB, 62 views)
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Damaged%20Winding.JPG (96.3 KB, 66 views)
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crystalyte%20cut-wires.jpg (38.8 KB, 64 views)

Last edited by powell; 09-18-13 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 09-18-13, 09:48 PM
  #5  
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Since you asked also on ES forum full of China brand users quite a few with burned down motors......
You must realize that tipically CHINA BRAND edrive does not have any protections buld into the system like overtemperature, overcurrent, etc.
With such drives user must monitor temp by touching motor, especially be careful uphill, limit throttle on long runs, shortly living in costant fear of burning motor.
Using USA designed drives EPLUS and Tidal Force myself with 1000s of kms for many years I dont even think about limiting throttle or touching motors, simply such well designed to Western standards drives cannot be electrically destroyed, they will not allow user to destroy them!!
Example FALCO drive contains as many as 5 sensors build into hub.
Shortly intelligent system protects itself, is fail safe system, does NOT depends on user to protect . NOT so CHina primitive electronics.
that is way you pay more for Western designed system.

Last edited by powell; 09-18-13 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 09-18-13, 09:58 PM
  #6  
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You might research the endless-sphere forum for a good answer for that question. The type of motor your asking about (internal gear reduction hub motor) is the type I have the least experience with. I can tell you that I have had good luck with a Crystalite direct drive big brute hub motor and have many thousands of miles on it but you weren't asking about direct drive hub motors.

I can also tell you that I personally have had very bad luck with brush-less motors that have the controller built into the motor. A very bad design in opinion frustrating maintenance, adding weight to a wheel where it is least needed or wanted, and considerably reducing reliability. Give me an external controller any day, I'll always pick it over a built in controller. I've already had to bypass a couple of them and re-wire to use an external controller.

As to china made = trash. Yes, that can certainly be the case but not always, if you pick and choose carefully you can end up with a decent system.

Personally I really wish a good company out of one of the East-European former iron curtain nations would start making a good line of e-bike components for internet/mail order to the U.S. I have several machine tools and other high quality merchandise I purchased internet/mail order from such sources and they are some of the best quality I've ever had the opportunity to own at very reasonable prices with KISS type engineering that is simple solid and reliable. I dare say that most of the quality merchandise I have purchased from those kind of sources puts "Made in U.S.A." stuff to shame.

Customer service experience has also been great to incredible. Seems to me that people who know what oppression is and have at least in part overcome it and are eager to make their own way seem to make the very best stuff and know how to make good solid simple quality at a reasonable price without a bunch of unnecessary frills and whistles. Something that we seem to have forgotten even when we still manage to get around to make some stuff ourselves.
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Old 09-18-13, 10:29 PM
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I dream about the day when I can pick up quality motors both direct drive hubs, internally gear reduction hubs, and chain drive frame mount e-bike motors that are made from quality well machined stock with replaceable commonly available standard size press in cartridge bearings and beautifully cut wishbone-helix gears cut from quality metal instead of just junk molded plastic with good magnets and thin silicon sheet iron cores for reasonable prices that are good simple quality that just works and works reliably.

I think the best bet for that dream every being realized will probably come from an importer from one of the East-Europe former iron-curtain nations. Could be wrong but if some of the quality machine tools I've bought are any indication that's where I would place my bets.

Not so sure about the electronics but for the actual physical motors themselves with their windings if I were a typical billionaire CEO just chasing more dollars to line my pockets with selling e-bike motors to a customer base that demanded actually quality and I couldn't just trick them with shiny junk but was looking to offshore production to make as much profit margin as possible that's where I'd start looking first for people who could do the job right while still keeping wholesale price very reasonable so I could apply a thick margin and still have a retail price low enough to sell quantity.

If on the other hand I could trick them with fancy shiny junk ~ yup, mainland china.

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Old 09-19-13, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by powell View Post

Just enter FALCO into Google. Very efficient , complete system, completely silent, smooth and
with FIVE YEAR WARRANTY in USA!!!
Falco is the one that I am sold on. Tomorrow I will head to the interbike show for the last day and check it out and take it out for a demo ride. Really excited about putting a Falco on the front rim and the Rohlof speedhub for the rear.
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Old 09-20-13, 02:37 AM
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FALCO announced just couple of months ago 5 year warranty on its DD hub kits. I think they know what they are doing.
It is the best warranty for any ebike drive I ever heard about.
Not that FALCO is without any glitches. I heard, read that wireless interface console-controller can pick up interference.
FALCO is not closed , propertiary system like for example BIONX , you can use your own battery if it meets criteria like max continous current. Or some problems with compability of dropouts on frame.
But I would go for complete kit.
At least FALCO IS made from real Western-standards steel /look at the picture above/ and Western-standard electronic assembly.
Method of DD motor control /FOC - complex software/ and mech. construction of motor rotor and stator ensure complete silent operation.
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Old 09-24-13, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by 3wheels1life View Post
Hi everyone,

Do you have any real world experience with the reliability of hub motors?
How many miles can I reasonably expect to get out of a Goldenmotor dot com MagicPie or any of the chinese geared brushless hub motors?
Any other recommendations for usage/brands/etc.?
I'm planning to use it daily for touring.

Thanks in advance.

-3wheels1life

I have experience with cyclone (non hub motor) and with a no-name Chinese hub motor system. The cyclone system did not last long due to failure of the controller. First time was my fault since I let rainwater get in. Second time their fault since I didn't let it get wet. My Chinese hub motor system, the battery charger failed. I am awaiting a replacement. So with parts of unknown quality... Buyer beware
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Old 09-24-13, 08:11 PM
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I've had reasonable success with all of the following motors: Crystalyte, Nine Continent, Conhis, Ananda Cute (geared brushless), and Fusinmotors geared brushless motors. Nothing wrong with the Chinese stuff - it is what it is and works pretty good in general. I live north of Seattle on Vancouver Island, so moisture is always an issue. Mostly run all the motors sensorless these days.
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Old 09-25-13, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by cerewa View Post
I have experience with cyclone (non hub motor) and with a no-name Chinese hub motor system. The cyclone system did not last long due to failure of the controller. First time was my fault since I let rainwater get in. Second time their fault since I didn't let it get wet. My Chinese hub motor system, the battery charger failed. I am awaiting a replacement. So with parts of unknown quality... Buyer beware
Yup, internal controllers on the smaller cyclone chain drive motors are especially prone to failure, so are many of the hub-motors that use an internal controller as well. Just not a very good design to try to build the controller into the motor.
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Old 09-25-13, 05:26 PM
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nothing wrong with Chinese /brand/ stuff?? far from truth.
These are badly cheaply designed edrives with no protections buit in.

"Many of the hub motors..." ????,
which ones, give example do not generalize like that, it's useless, empty words.

Legendary TIDAL FORCE /USA designed and made/ has controller build into hub, it is legend for the reason - durability.
Provide me here one link from wherever, whenever which says about TIDAL FORCE hub failure.
Hundreds TF were made.
Another example of controller build into hub - EPLUS edrive, also designed and made in USA.
here is the link testyfying about EPLUS durability: 10,000 miles made not enough?
imagine Golden Motor after such millage?
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ghlight=Epluse

Last edited by powell; 09-25-13 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 09-26-13, 08:07 AM
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Tidal force went out of business didn't they?
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Old 09-26-13, 07:34 PM
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Wavecrest , manufacturer of TForce went out of business years ago but it has nothing to do with quality of TF edrives and ebikes.
Simply bad business decissions , competition
my TF reached over 25,000 km and going strong, on second Lithium battery, nobody uses original NMH battery but it is not the subject of this thread.
TIDAL FORCE proofed that motor/controller build in can very reliable,

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Old 09-26-13, 07:38 PM
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,,,
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Old 10-06-13, 04:11 PM
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Thanks everyone.
Is this hub motor any good? It's $110 on ebay.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/36V-350W-Bru...-/360667761614

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Old 10-06-13, 10:29 PM
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I've got 9000 miles on my Actionbent E-trike with a single direct drive Nine Continent motor in the last three years. Never had a single problem. Same controller, same Cycleanalyst and same throttle. I think you could expect thousands of miles on a Goldenmotor or Crystalyte motor. The truth is there isn't much to a hub motor, magnets and wires. And my Ping and Headway packs are both excellent.
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Old 10-07-13, 02:09 AM
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" ..you can expect thousands of miles on Goldenmotors..."
expect ? that is the key word "expect"
here is the real experience with GM Magic pie3 motor:

https://endless-sphere.com/forums/vie...47068&start=25

misareable attempt of China brand Golden Motor to design and bulid MagicPie 3 hub motor...
their "internal controller" inside of MP3 is a joke.
no one but two broken MP3 motors you can read about.
but seriously - what can you expect for that radiculous low price
or
you are not technical person

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Old 10-07-13, 02:10 AM
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I think 8FUN hub motor is good at torsion and the quality is also accepted by worldwide consumers.
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Old 10-07-13, 08:50 AM
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I didn't say the internal controller Magic Pie was any good did I? I never even mentioned the Magic Pies, because I haven't used one. I was referring to the Golden Motor with the black and white circular rings, the same as the Conhis. As a matter of fact I have built nine ebikes with different Chinese motors and I love riding all of them. I've even taken a few apart to upgrade their bearings. But I'm not TECHNICAL at all, unlike you apparently who seems to have an elitest attitude - preferring to spend thousands of extra dollars on proprietary "American" parts assembled in India. What part of a 200 dollar hub motor that runs for thousands of trouble free miles don't you understand? I guess it takes the genius of American engineering to assemble some magnets and wire into a brushless motor these days. You must be SO TECHNICAL. The Magic Pies are actually excellent motors, if you use the external controller versions. You can expect thousands of miles on those motors, unless you are TECHNICAL, or you have shares in some American company that builds simple motors for a thousand bucks. Not everyone on the planet can afford that, including a billion people in China that go to work every day on those same cheap hub motors. Those little Bafang 8Fun motors for 100 dollars that Ivy is showing are very good - lots of torque, great build quality, lightweight, freewheeling, easy to assemble in the kits, and inexpensive - around 150 dollars. Nice on fast road bikes - very discreet. I'm running several Ananda Cute 100s as well.

Last edited by chvid; 10-07-13 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 10-13-13, 01:14 PM
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Not technical person replacing bearings on motor?
You must be kidding!!!
WHY did you replace those bearings BTW, can you tell us?
Who started this thread is asking about complete READY TO BE USED - DDRIVE hubs and I am posting about them, not about products to be modified /bearing replaced/.
It tells me those your hub motors lasted so long /maybe not/ , because constant patching them up, that's for sure, that is what you read on ES forums.
yOU BUY example vacuum and what , it is good vacuum but you replace parts inside that vacuum?
Get real.
I am not writing here about affordability. That is another topic.
It cost what it cost for the reason, again look at the pictures, they tell it all.
they do not lie - crap is cheap.
Yes, I work with electrical and mech. tools everyday at work and in my hobby I can modify/remake stuff but there is limit to it - cheap China crap steel example the axle is made off, you expect me go to machine shop to order new one and install?
Shoddy hub rotor stack with gaps, falling apart made from shoddy magnetic material, to replace also?
China brand is cheap for the reason, right.
With cheap China brand product thing work like that -
one person buy and ride for 1000kms /with constant tweaking and "upgrading" which never ends/, but for another two who buy the same product it fails after couple of miles.
You really cannot imagine that somebody want to ride having his/her hands clean without "upgrading" , replacing., modifying, etc. what is so much described on ES forums?
Again he is asking about MagicPie in particular. MagicPie3 thread I provided link to shows that internal controller broke in them with 2 different users.
The bottom line is that he in first post of this thread is asking about ready to use product.
miro13car

Last edited by powell; 10-13-13 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 10-14-13, 01:03 PM
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I replaced the bearings because after nine thousand miles (as indicated on my CycleAnalyst), with an etrike application carrying two large packs on the bike, the bearing needed replacement as it had developed a little play. I didn't need to have to get a warranty replacement on my bike, because I built it from scratch with cheap non-proprietary parts. Two hours of work to get the old bearing out and I'm good to go, with a new ten dollar bearing. That's the beauty of disposable parts. I understand this forum is all about stupidly expensive bikes with fancy marketing, but just about anybody with a Grade 12 education, at least in Canada, can make their own ebike and save tons of money - and then they are not helpless when it comes to routine issues that can crop up on any ebike. Oh well, time to put another sixty miles on my cheap hub motor - the sun is shining. Maybe another bearing will wear out next year some time. Oh no! I'd better buy a whole new ebike! Any I've never had a single axle failure on any of my bikes, even carrying loads up to sixty or seventy pounds. Why the hate on for Chinese parts? BMC, GOLDEN, CRYSTALYTE, NINECONTINENT, BAFANG, ANANDACUTE, FUSIN or whatever. I've had no problems with any of these brands.

Last edited by chvid; 10-14-13 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 10-14-13, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by chvid View Post
I replaced the bearings because after nine thousand miles (as indicated on my CycleAnalyst), with an etrike application carrying two large packs on the bike, the bearing needed replacement as it had developed a little play. I didn't need to have to get a warranty replacement on my bike, because I built it from scratch with cheap non-proprietary parts. Two hours of work to get the old bearing out and I'm good to go, with a new ten dollar bearing. That's the beauty of disposable parts. I understand this forum is all about stupidly expensive bikes with fancy marketing, but just about anybody with a Grade 12 education, at least in Canada, can make their own ebike and save tons of money - and then they are not helpless when it comes to routine issues that can crop up on any ebike. Oh well, time to put another sixty miles on my cheap hub motor - the sun is shining. Maybe another bearing will wear out next year some time. Oh no! I'd better buy a whole new ebike! Any I've never had a single axle failure on any of my bikes, even carrying loads up to sixty or seventy pounds. Why the hate on for Chinese parts? BMC, GOLDEN, CRYSTALYTE, NINECONTINENT, BAFANG, ANANDACUTE, FUSIN or whatever. I've had no problems with any of these brands.
I couldn't have said it better, chvid.
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Old 10-14-13, 04:00 PM
  #25  
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Yup, I'm certainly more in the same camp with what chvid just said rather then what powell is pushing.

That said, I do personally appreciate better quality components and I'm pretty choosy about exactly which Asian components I use. I've also had very bad luck with units that have the controller built into the motor and I find this usually concentrates too much heat in too small of an area and tends to fry controllers. Separate controller simplifies maintenance and allows greater choice on my end since I don't necessarily have to use the same brand of motor and controller and the controller can be mounted to a separate heat-sink to keep it running far cooler then it ever would buried inside the motor.

There are indeed times when I'd gladly pay double for double the level of quality. But I'm not paying x10 for only double quality and I'm not going to run around with my nose in the air looking down at anyone who dares to try to build an e-bike with components that are in the low triple digit range rather then breaking into the low to mid four digit range. But if I personally know there is a particular problem with a particular component I'm going to say so as a warning.

For example I would strongly caution against going with any of the smaller Cyclone chain drive frame mount motors or other brand name clones of same that use a built in internal controller, I've burned up several of those and every time it was the controller that went and not the motor itself and its a ^$^$@#^ ^@$^@$ RT%&@%$6 to tear them open and either replace the built in controller with an OME replacement or pull the motor field wires and hall sensor wires off the built in controller circuit and route them outside the case and install plugs on them to use an external controller and leave the dead built in controller as it is. I've also burned up the internal controller on one Magic-Pie hub motor although it took quite a bit more abuse before it gave up the ghost but it was the same thing, too much concentrated heat that fried the built in electronics and the motor itself was still good. I could also tell you to not put too much weight on some of those hollow axles on some of the lighter duty hub-motors that don't have a very beefy axle, some of them can't handle cargo bike weight levels.
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