E-Bike Conversion Project

After being away for almost a year, Lois has just returned to New Zealand from her world trip. Thanks to our lovely teammates, our LBNZ workshop was well managed all the time and gave our best service to our customers as always.

While biking in Europe, influenced by the Copenhagen and Amsterdam City, Lois has brought back more ideas and thoughts.

It's been almost 4 years now since LBNZ was founded back in early 2013. Our first concept was to provide beautiful, reliable and affordable urban commuter solutions for the city and for everyone. During the past few years, we've been trying to collect thoughts and feedback from our customers and the wider community about how to provide the best commuter solutions in the city.

The best solution needs to meet our three criteria which are:

  • 1. Beautiful, i.e. good looking

  • 2. Reliable, i.e. good quality

  • 3. Affordable, i.e. reasonable price

In 2015, Lois came across the E-Bike conversion kits when she was visiting the Asia Bike Expo in Shanghai, China. These kits are simply designed, easily installed and light weight, which has drawn our great interest. After a year of further exploration of the E-Bike industry and market, we're now planning to create a new product range of E-Bikes in the coming year 2017.

This article is about an E-Bike conversion collaboration project with Ivan, who we recently got introduced by a friend. Ivan has also shown great interest on electric bicycles and has brought two of those kits from a local supplier.

LBNZ E-Bike Conversion

The kit we used in this article is the Bafang (also known as "8Fun") BBS01, and the bike we used is our standard single speed model LB Schlüter SS.

LBNZ E-Bike Conversion

The Bafang company is well known for mass producing mid-level geared hub motors.

The BBS01 model consists of a 300 watt mid-drive motor, chain ring, cranks and LCD screen with button attachment. It’s designed to be mounted at the bottom bracket of a bicycle (replacing the standard ring and cranks) and pulls the chain to propel the bike and rider forward. What we love about this kit is that it’s one of the only mid-drive e-bike kits in the market and can be used on all types of bike setups including recumbent, cargo, road and mountain bikes (with bottom brackets between 68mm and 73mm).

LBNZ E-Bike Conversion

LBNZ E-Bike Conversion

The BBS01 motor is a 300-watt geared design located in the black canister that sits just below the bottom bracket when attached. It’s relatively quiet and fairly powerful, leveraging the rear cassette for improved climbing or speed depending on the gear you’re in. Because the BBS01 completely replaces the bottom bracket, cranks and chain ring you will only have one gear in the front after installing this kit. This means if you had a 21 speed before with 7 cogs in the rear cassette and 3 rings on the front you will now only have a 7 speed bike.

LBNZ E-Bike Conversion

The Bafang company doesn't supply the battery so that means the battery setup with these BBS01 mid-drive kits can be variable. Most places where you can buy these kits from also sell batteries as a combo. For today's project we used a 36 Volt 7.8Ah bottle battery with longer lasting Lithium-ion cells. Just make sure the pack you choose is compatible with the system so you don’t have to manually cut and adapt any wires.

LBNZ E-Bike Conversion
LBNZ E-Bike Conversion
LBNZ E-Bike Conversion
LBNZ E-Bike Conversion

We'll say it’s actually not that difficult to install the kits. However you do need some basic mechanic skills and tools. We can provide the installation services here in our workshop. Just contact us and bring you bike here.

One of the nice parts about a mid-drive is that it leaves the front and rear wheels, cassette and derailleur alone. This reduces unsprung weight, keeps the bike balanced and make truing wheels and fixing flats much easier. We love that the kit works with pedal assist as well as throttle and the LCD display and break-out button interface is beautiful, backlit and intuitive. There’s a power button, a plus and a minus symbol that let you choose different levels of Assist or Navigate menus. You can see your speed, trip distance, battery level and get into wheel size settings, readout preferences, levels of assist and more. The display isn’t easily removable but it does swivel if you take one of the screws out on the back which is useful if you’re mounting this on a vertical bar (like on a recumbent) vs. a standard straight bar.

LBNZ E-Bike Conversion
LBNZ E-Bike Conversion
LBNZ E-Bike Conversion

To be honest, this is by far our favorite E-Bike conversion kit because it’s so versatile, well balanced and powerful. It's also a good price and if you’re willing to screw around a bit with the installation this could transform your bike into something really unique. The Bafang company has created something special with this kit and opened all kinds of new E-Bike possibilities that just wouldn’t work with hub motors.

LBNZ E-Bike Conversion
LBNZ E-Bike Conversion
Pros:
  • Can be operated above 30km per hour depending on wheel size and bike setup

  • Offers both pedal assist and throttle mode for different styles of riding

  • Leverages rear cassette for improved climbing or high speed riding, more efficient than a hub motor

  • Keeps weight low and center on bike, reduces unsprung weight as compared with a hub motor

  • Mid-drive electric bikes are easier to service (wheels and tires are easier to get at)

  • Bafang(8Fun) is a well established, trusted hardware supplier in China with solid track record

  • Kit is compatible with a range of bottom bracket sizes (68mm to 73mm) but unfortunately not super wide 100mm fat-tire bikes

  • Display is back lit, has a nice break out button console and lets you change lots of settings like number of pedal assist levels, speed readout and wheel size

Cons:
  • Not smart enough to detect gear changing and therefore does not let off which can mash gears

  • Have to install yourself or work with a shop, not the hardest kit I’ve worked with

  • Cadence sensing pedal assist isn’t as smooth as torque, batteries are sold separately from kit

  • Gear range limited by single front ring, could increase gears by using a dual drive setup in the rear

Feel free to ask any questions about the kits or installation, and don't forget to follow our instagram and subscribe to our email list for more useful articles and seasonal discount.

Resource:

Official Site: www.8fun-motor.com

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