bafang bbshd vs shimano vs bosch reliability survey

CrossRoads

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So the real high-end fully-built cargo e-bikes, such as the urban arrow, the extracycle bikes, yuba... all come with either the shimano or the bosch mid-drives. I have been told by every salesperson that they are "the best". Of course i can't help but notice these mid-drives are HALF, (perhaps less than half!!?) the power output of a bafang bbshd. I have ridden on them and found the performance "nice" but hardly a justification for the price-tag.

So my question is, for those of you who have logged many miles on the bbshd, what is it's true reliability track-record? I don't have a mid-drive but have been satisfied with my rear hub bafang kit. Why would i spend $5k on a yuba supercargo when i could buy an off-brand bakfiets and put a bbshd on there for lower cost and DOUBLE the power?
 
KMC the chain maker has a mid drive now, I believe. Might be another player in time to come.
 
So my question is, for those of you who have logged many miles on the bbshd, what is it's true reliability track-record? I don't have a mid-drive but have been satisfied with my rear hub bafang kit. Why would i spend $5k on a yuba supercargo when i could buy an off-brand bakfiets and put a bbshd on there for lower cost and DOUBLE the power?
No reason whatsoever, so long as you are mechanically handy and build the bike smart. BBSxx and DIY mid drive builds in general fall down when the builder doesn't do a good job. Mid drives up the ante on competence when it comes to building smart. There's no question that more i's have to be dotted and t's crossed. But if you do your homework - and your job - you'll have an ebike that is good for many thousands of miles.

Certainly my BBSHD-powered cargo bikes are that and more. I have I think about 4000 miles on my 2021 Bullitt, and my 2023 Bullitt already has close to 2000 miles on it. My two long tails are a couple thousand miles each (I think I have 7 BBSHD builds dating back as far as 2018 so more thousands of miles). I'd have a lot more on individual bikes, but I live in two different towns and have bikes at each location. And I started out riding longtails and then discovered frontloaders, so I semi-retired the longtails and went all-in on Bullitt builds.

All that competence stuff about building mid drive bikes... I tried to distill it in some easily digested (if big) bites.

The short/sweet take that just hits the high points:

Lets not forget another big cause of problems (the idiot riding it):

And the really deep dive:
 
DieselTech, does kmc have a mid drive motor, or just a more durable mid-drive series e-bike chain? I've only seen the latter on their website. Looks interesting, though, especially for one of these new fangled cyc motors. Consesus seems to be that with a 1000 watt bafang mid-drive you wind up replacing the chain often... Does someone want to explain to me how a Cycmotor puts 3500 watts of power into a traditional drive train without instantly vaporizing the chain and cogs?
 
DieselTech, does kmc have a mid drive motor, or just a more durable mid-drive series e-bike chain? I've only seen the latter on their website. Looks interesting, though, especially for one of these new fangled cyc motors. Consesus seems to be that with a 1000 watt bafang mid-drive you wind up replacing the chain often... Does someone want to explain to me how a Cycmotor puts 3500 watts of power into a traditional drive train without instantly vaporizing the chain and cogs?
I will step out on a limb here, with no familiarity with that model. But, many designers have a "ramp up curve for applied power". It does not apply that full 3500 watts below a certain number of RPMs, this helps reduce the shock/stress factor and allows for a smoother application of force. Most hub motors builds do this as well, to preserve those internal gears. This is often why dual-hub bikes seem to get off the line faster than an equivalent wattage single-rear hub motor.

The YouTube personality "TailHappy" does a zero to 20 test on all the bikes he reviews. In the 2Kw range of power, the dual 1Kw hub bikes consistently have faster times than the bikes which have a single 2Kw motor.
 
I have been building trikes, one tadpole and now a couple delta versions from scratch and powering them in a variety of ways. Power for these started with a BionX hub motor, then moved to a BBSO2, a Magic Pie hub motor, and now a front Bafang geared hub motor on one delta and a BBSO2 on the 2nd. The BBSO2 mentioned has been moved a couple times and is now on an old mtn bike. It has more then 4,000 km's on it and several years use. Trouble free.

My BBSHD has been trouble free for over 8 years now on my fat bike. The fattie gets used summer and winter mostly on singletrack rides once a week with some friends. The first chain on it was a dedicated e bike chain from KMC and it was good for the first say 6 years. When my chain gauge showed it was time that chain was swapped out.. As for increased drivetrain wear the freehub broke on one summer ride. And the side plate on the master link broke once on a fast uphill ride trying to keep up with my friend. Since I always carry a couple spare links plus a spare chain, no problem fixing that. The freehub cost me $100 at the local shop
 
So the real high-end fully-built cargo e-bikes, such as the urban arrow, the extracycle bikes, yuba... all come with either the shimano or the bosch mid-drives. I have been told by every salesperson that they are "the best". Of course i can't help but notice these mid-drives are HALF, (perhaps less than half!!?) the power output of a bafang bbshd. I have ridden on them and found the performance "nice" but hardly a justification for the price-tag.

So my question is, for those of you who have logged many miles on the bbshd, what is it's true reliability track-record? I don't have a mid-drive but have been satisfied with my rear hub bafang kit. Why would i spend $5k on a yuba supercargo when i could buy an off-brand bakfiets and put a bbshd on there for lower cost and DOUBLE the power?
I've been riding a BBS02 mid-drive for about a year now, with about 800 miles logged on it. Not quite a BBSHD, but close. It can run a little hot at times, but there have been no operational issues at all. And even though I love it, I just sold the bike. I wanted to move towards torque-sensing mid-drive, not just pedal-assist.
 
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