8Fun BBS01 350w Mid-Drive Kit Review

8fun Bbs01 Electric Bike Kit Review 1
8fun Bbs01 1
8fun Bbs01 350w Mid Drive Kit 1
8fun Bbs01 Lithium Battery Pack 1
8fun Bbs01 Cockpit Lcd Buttons 1
8fun Bbs01 Lcd Display Panel 1
8fun Bbs01 Breakout Buttons 1
8fun Bbs01 Bottom Bracket Chain Ring 1
8fun Bbs01 Panniers Rear Wheel 1
8fun Bbs01 Surly Cargo Bike Kyle 1
8fun Bbs01 Electric Bike Kit Review 1
8fun Bbs01 1
8fun Bbs01 350w Mid Drive Kit 1
8fun Bbs01 Lithium Battery Pack 1
8fun Bbs01 Cockpit Lcd Buttons 1
8fun Bbs01 Lcd Display Panel 1
8fun Bbs01 Breakout Buttons 1
8fun Bbs01 Bottom Bracket Chain Ring 1
8fun Bbs01 Panniers Rear Wheel 1
8fun Bbs01 Surly Cargo Bike Kyle 1

Summary

  • One of the only mid-drive electric bike conversion kits around, 8Fun is an established brand
  • Offers both pedal assist and throttle mode configurations, great LCD screen with lots of options
  • Not sophisticated enough to sense when shifting gears and let up, may wear chain and cassette faster
  • Keeps weight low and center on bike, makes fixing wheels and flats easier than hub motors

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

8Fun

Model:

BBS01

Price:

$650 USD

Suggested Use:

Urban, Trail

Electric Bike Class:

Throttle on Demand (Class 2)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

1 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2014

Bicycle Details

Motor Weight:

8 lbs (3.62 kg)

Cranks:

Integrated with Bottom Bracket Motor

Brake Details:

Wuxing Levers with Electronic Motor Cutoff

Accessories:

Plastic Bash Guard, Speed Sensor (Mounts on Chain Stay with Magnet on Rear Spoke), Quick Connect Wiring

Other:

Fits 68 mm to 73 mm Bottom Brackets, Built in Motor Controller, 46 Tooth Chain Ring, Estimated Charge Cycles for Sealed Lead Acid Batteries ~600, Estimated Charge Cycles for Lithium Polymer ~800, Estimated Charge Cycles for Lithium-ion ~1,000, Battery Used in Review is a 36 Volt 10 Amp Hour Lithium-ion ~$700, Can Update Settings with LCD to Reach Higher Speeds

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

8Fun

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

350 watts

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Chemistry:

Compatible with SLA, LiPo or Lithium-ion

Display Type:

Bafang C961 Backlit LCD

Readouts:

Speed, Odometer, Battery Level, Assist Mode (Programmable 3 to 9 Levels)

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Twist Throttle

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

The 8Fun or “Bafang” BBS01 electric bike kit consists of a 350 watt mid-drive motor, chain ring, cranks and LCD screen with button attachment. It’s designed to mount at the bottom bracket of a bicycle (replacing the standard ring and cranks) and pull the chain to propel the bike and rider forward. Before we get too far here, I realize there may be some confusion about the brand name… The full name is Suzhou Bafang Diandonchi Gongsi and this translates to Suzhou, 8 directions electric motor company (Suzhou is the town name). The “8 directions” part means “every direction” which is roughly equivalent to “Universal Motor” so altogether that’s City of Suzhou Universal Motor Company. Their marketing department came up with 8Fun which is short and catchy in English. In America, the motor is labeled as 8Fun but the LCD display still says Bafang. The company is well known for mass producing mid-level geared hub motors. What I love about this kit is that it’s one of the only mid-drive ebike kits anywhere and can be used on all types of setups including recumbent, cargo, road and mountain bikes (with bottom brackets between 68mm and 73mm). Unfortunately, there are physical constraints that limit its use on fat-tire bikes given the width of their bottom brackets at 100mm.

The BBS01 motor is a 350 watt geared design located in the black canister that sits just below the bottom bracket when attached (see picture below). It’s relatively quiet and fairly powerful, leveraging the rear cassette for improved climbing or speed depending on the gear you’re in. As with other centerdrive electric bike systems (like those from Bosch or Panasonic) this thing is fairly efficient if used properly. For example, if you start from rest and are in a high (hard / fast) gear you’ll strain the motor and eat through your battery quickly but if you start in a low gear and shift up as you gain speed (just like a manual transmission car) you’ll extend your range and get more torque. 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.

The battery setup with these 8Fun middrive kits is variable because they don’t come standard with a battery. You can work with a shop to choose one that will mount easily to your frame (either as a rear rack or downtube design) and get the size you need for power or distance. For the 350 watt motor setup shown here I was using a 36 volt 10 amp hour pack 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 wires. Depending on the shop you work with they may be able to configure the kit for you, my review was done with help from Long Island Electric Bikes that had several kits installed on different bikes by Surly with different packs for testing.

Considering how integrated this kit looks it’s actually not that difficult to install. You will need a crank puller and spanner wrench and worst case your local bike shop could help. 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. I 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.

This is absolutely one of my favorite electric bike kits because it’s so versatile, well balanced and powerful. The price isn’t bad at all and if you’re willing to screw around a bit with the installation this could transform your bike into something really unique. Compared with purpose built centerdrive systems this one doesn’t have the ability to sense when you shift gears so that could lead to some grinding and wear the chain and cassette down faster… the key is to learn how to work with the system and shift when the bike already has some forward momentum vs. when it’s really pulling the chain. 8Fun has created something special with this kit and opened all kinds of new ebike possibilities that just wouldn’t work with hub motors. I’m thinking pedicab drivers could have a blast with this and as you can see from the review of this and the more powerful the BBS02 it also works great with cargo bikes and recumbents.

Pros:

  • Can be operated above 20 miles 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)
  • 8Fun (Bafang) 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
  • A bit louder than most gearless hub motors I’ve tested, stands out on bike (not very stealth)
  • 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

Resources:

More 8Fun Reviews

8Fun BBS02 750w Mid-Drive Kit Review

  • MSRP: $800
  • MODEL YEAR: 2014

One of the only mid-drive electric bike conversion kits around, 8Fun is an established brand. Offers both pedal assist and throttle mode configurations, great LCD screen with lots of options...

Comments (16) YouTube Comments

Rich
4 years ago

For gear changing give a slight backpedal then shift normally or hit the brake lever lightly then shift. Both cut the power from the motor. Is the 350 watt version comparable in power to the Bosch unit? You can buy a single speed fat tire bike with a 68mm BB and use an internal rear geared hub.

  Reply
Court
4 years ago

Great feedback Rich, I think you’re right about the backpedal and light brake pull (to stop the motor). Even when I shifted under power it worked alright but your tips will save the teeth on the cassette cogs and front chain rings. The 350 watt BBS01 didn’t feel as smooth or powerful as the Bosch system because it uses a larger front chain ring that turns more slowly. That said, it was quieter than the Bosch centerdrive. I like your idea for the internally geared rear hub, depending on what you get it could shift easier and maybe even shift at standstill which is cool. The NuVinci hub works alright but is expensive.

  Reply
Paul
4 years ago

Like the idea of fitting a mid-drive to my wife’s basic MTB ( no suspension). I’m having problems with the video review. I get audio, but screen is totally black!

  Reply
Court
4 years ago

That’s odd Paul… Thanks for the heads up, it is working for me here but maybe if you are having trouble you can watch it directly on YouTube here. You could also try another browser or maybe your smart phone? Hope this helps! Sounds like the BBS01 would make for a great setup on your wife’s bike.

  Reply
Paul
4 years ago

Court, Thanks for response. Was able to watch it fine on PC, problem must have been with I-Pad. That was weird seeing the chain ring turn without the crank arms and pedals! Now if the price of Lithium-Ion batteries would come down the way computers and tv’s have that would be great.

  Reply
F AKerlund
4 years ago

In your review the 1 mode for the bafang is walk assist. Press and hold mode button and motor will help you push bike at about 3 mile per, release button and goes back to where it was. I had 4 of the 8fun 500 20amp kits delivered (plus had them add wire from motor to power lights). Unfortunately I’ve had to hold of testing a lot, do to some surgeries. I did install one on a Surly Disc Trucker and one on a Breezer step through frame with infinity hub both work great. With 48v 20a batteries each. Can’t emagine needing more power. Breezer actually shot out from under me from stand still when I hit the throttle to hard (a little delay), good thing I had a good grip. Impressed the hell out of my neighbor (almost pissed himself laughing) anyways when I get on my feet I’ll send you some pictures if you like. Oh and I can’t remember the name right now, but on the surly I used circuit interrupters for brakes, as I didnt want to change my brake system they work great. I still have 2 of the units in boxes.

  Reply
Court
4 years ago

Sounds like the kits have worked really well for you, thanks for the testimonial. If you do end up snapping some pictures, definitely post them in the 8Fun forum here and I’ll check them out. I’d love to hear more about your circuit interrupters, I’ve seen the brake levers with physical switches built in (or ones that use magnets) but am not familiar with circuit interrupters on their own.

  Reply
Vincent
4 years ago

Thanks for this review, it helped me a lot! I ordered this motor to install on my recumbent, hope to get it done this weekend!

  Reply
Ron
4 years ago

I really like the Panasonic mid-drive on my Merida pedal-assist bike. I’ve never found shifting to be a problem at all. Going uphill, you just have to anticipate and shift before you lose too much momentum, so you can ease up on the pedals for a second. The problem I have is that the bike just doesn’t fit me at all. I wish there was a way to move the Panasonic to another bike, but there doesn’t seem to be a way. So maybe the Bafang is the way to go. That way I can preserve the Merida for someone who fits it better.

  Reply
Court
4 years ago

Thanks for sharing your input on shifting bicycle gears with a mid drive motor system. It seems like the attachment point for the Merida is proprietary so it might be difficult to use with another bike (based on what I’ve seen in pictures online the motor looks like the one used on the iGo Urban).

The 350 watt BBS01 and 750 watt BBS02 are pretty versatile and I’ve had the opportunity to test ride with them on several different frames. I’m always impressed with how strong, smooth and quiet they are. I also like that they offer assist and throttle modes vs. just assist.

  Reply
Sam Powrie
4 years ago

Court, the battery installation on the Surly you tested looks a bit amateurish to me. From a mechanical and safety standpoint it’s upside down – the locking key really should be located towards the top of the frame rather than the bottom as it is now. Currently, if the rather simple retaining latch fails or is incorrectly locked, the battery will fall off the bike at the first bump. I know this from experience! I have 2 of these kits. Contrary it seems to your experience, when operating normally, they are both almost completely silent – quieter indeed than any geared bug drive and even quieter than any direct drive hub motor I’ve used. Sam.

  Reply
Court
4 years ago

Thanks for the feedback Sam! This was a quick setup to test the kit on a new frame. I agree that it looks a little sloppy and I appreciate your tips on how to make it safer. Glad that you’ve enjoyed the kit on your own bike. Which model do you have it mounted to?

  Reply
Thomas Jaszewski
3 years ago

It’s interesting going back and reading this review. We’ve learned a lot in the time since it’s creation. There are a few small but important issues that I feel the need to address. Specifically the cons. I think I’d add and remove a few.

Cons:

“Not smart enough to detect gear changing and therefore does not let off which can mash gears”
Solved. The gear sensor or simply technique development solves this. There is a button available, a tap on the brake lever works, or adding a Gearsensor as Lectric Cycles has, all make for a smooth shift. I’ve managed with a Strumey Archer 3spd on a recreational bike path Trek. It’s no speed demon but with simple technique shifting is easy without tearing things up.
“A bit louder than most gearless hub motors I’ve tested, stands out on bike (not very stealth)”
I’m not sure how Court measured that. The 350W sure is quiet. So quiet it garners complaints on the bike path. I have to watch my speed and not startle walkers.
“Have to install yourself or work with a shop, not the hardest kit I’ve worked with”
An advantage intuit it works on most favorite rides. I couldn’t find an OEM bike that net my needs. Now the bike that fits my body, riding style and needs is motorized!
“Cadence sensing pedal assist isn’t as smooth as torque, batteries are sold separately from kit”
PAS is rather awful but ANY non torque sensing system is rudimentary. Torque sensing is my most wanted feature.
“Gear range limited by single front ring, could increase gears by using a dual drive setup in the rear’
Really affects a small segment of potential users. but for power rangers I can see the disappointment. That said so many riders use so little of their gearing capacity. In my experience no one bike covers all the ranges of activities for an avid bicycle hobbiest.

The display is a major con for me. Cycle Analyst adaptability would really upgrade this motor. Another con relates to the controller construction. It’s poorly executed and difficult or for many, impossible to repair. The heat sink design is sophomoric engineering. There may still be older build dates in the discount pipeline, putting some less than desirable versions still on the market.

The lack of a cohesive, organized, accessible site with FAQS, manuals, and repair information holds this motor back from wider use IMO. I would buy all 4 again. I would also continue to pay the small premium to purchase from one of the USA distributors.

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

This is wonderful feedback Thomas! Thanks for sharing your deeper insights, my electrical and mechanical background is limited and the time I spend with each bike or kit is also usually brief (and lacks guidance in many cases). I agree with each of your points and am excited to see LectricCycles offering the wider bottom bracket option for fat bikes now as well as the Gear Sensor piece. To add to your list about the single front chain ring (which is a bit large and maybe not ideal for trail and frequent climbing applications) I keep seeing the Race Face sprocket being used instead, you can see this on the BME Helio ebike.

  Reply
Randy
2 years ago

Can the chain ring be changed out fairly easily with another manufacturers? Thinking about maintenance, given the added stress on drive train as well as changing gear ratio?

Excellent reviews by the way.

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Thanks Randy! Yes, I believe you can use different chainrings with an adapter. I’ve seen this drive unit used by companies like BMEBIKES that prefer RaceFace chainrings that have narrow-wide teeth that don’t slip as easily. Check out some of their reviews to see what I mean and maybe ask around in the forums here for advice on where to get parts if you need help :)

  Reply

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