BionX P-350 Review

Bionx P 350 Electric Bike Kit Review 1
Surley Pugsley Bionx Pl 350
Surley Pugsley Bionx Pl 350 Dd Motor
Surley Pugsley Bionx Pl 350 48v Battery
Surley Pugsley Bionx Pl 350 Display Panel
Surley Pugsley Bionx Pl 350 Throttle Control
Surley Pugsley Bionx Pl 350 Disc Brake
Surley Pugsley Bionx Pl 350 Cassette
Bionx P 350 Electric Bike Kit Review 1
Surley Pugsley Bionx Pl 350
Surley Pugsley Bionx Pl 350 Dd Motor
Surley Pugsley Bionx Pl 350 48v Battery
Surley Pugsley Bionx Pl 350 Display Panel
Surley Pugsley Bionx Pl 350 Throttle Control
Surley Pugsley Bionx Pl 350 Disc Brake
Surley Pugsley Bionx Pl 350 Cassette

Summary

  • A more affordable, less powerful electric drive kit from BionX with rear-mount battery design only
  • G2 console offers four levels of assist, four levels of regen and throttle mode with break-out button pad
  • 36 volt system is less powerful than the S 350 series which uses 48 volts but still capable and reliable

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

BionX

Model:

P-350

Price:

$1,799 USD

Suggested Use:

Urban

Electric Bike Class:

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

Warranty:

2 Year Covering Manufacturer Defects (1,000 Charge Cycles)

Availability:

United States, Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Australia, UAE, India, Columbia, Mexico, South Korea

Model Year:

20142015

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

14 lbs (6.35 kg)

Gearing Details:

10 Compatible with 8, 9 and 10 Speed Cassettes

Brake Details:

Magnetic Sensor to Cut Power and Activate Regenerative Braking (Attaches to Stock Brake Levers)

Wheel Sizes:

20 in (50.8cm)24 in (60.96cm)26 in (66.04cm)28 in (71.12cm)

Other:

Comes Spoked Into Multiple Wheel Sizes (700c, 26", 24" and 20"), Removable Battery Charges on or off Frame, Rear Rack Battery Option has a Built in Light, Motor Locks for Security when Display is Removed, Deep Sleep Protects Battery from Discharge Damage After Two Months (Or Two Weeks at < 10%) of Inactivity

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

BionX

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Gearless Direct Drive Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

350 watts

Motor Torque:

40 Newton meters (10 Nm Nominal)

Battery Brand:

Panasonic

Battery Voltage:

37 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

6.4 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

237 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium Manganese Cobalt

Charge Time:

4.5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

25 miles (40 km)

Estimated Max Range:

35 miles (56 km)

Display Type:

Backlit LCD (Removable, Symmetrical Integrated Buttons for Right or Left Handed Users)

Readouts:

4 Proportional Assist and Generate Modes, Lighting Controls, Battery Voltage, Trip Distance, Odometer, Chronometer, Average Speed, Clock

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad (With Variable Speed Trigger Throttle)

Drive Mode:

Torque Sensing Pedal Assist, Trigger Throttle

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph) (Unless Otherwise Specified in Specific Jurisdictions)

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Written Review

The P 350 electric bike kit is the only system with a ~36 volt configuration being offered by BionX for the 2015 model year. All other kits are running at 48 volts which offers more power, efficiency and range. The P designation is a shorter version of PL which was used on the PL 350 and PL 250 in earlier years. In short, what you’re getting is basically the new motor design (which is 2.5 pounds lighter than the old ones) running at a lower voltage. All in all, it’s an excellent system but you’ll be limited to the rear-rack battery style which doesn’t keep weight as low and balanced on the frame. If you can’t afford one of the newer S 350 BionX kits or just don’t need the power then this could be an excellent option.

The motor included with this kit offers 350 watts of power in a high torque configuration. It delivers up to 29.5 lb.-ft (40.0 Nm) of torque with nominal output of 6.6 lb.-ft (9.0 Nm) which is pretty good. I like the new wavy design on the hub casing and have long been a fan of the near-silent operation of these gearless kits. This motor activates very smoothly, relying on a torque sensor built right into the hub. In order to make it go you just choose an assist level and begin pedaling. Alternatively, you can use the variable-speed trigger throttle but the bike must be going at least two miles per hour in order for it to activate. Being gearless, the P 350 motor relies on powerful magnets inside that tend to last longer than plastic gears. These magnets enable regeneration riding modes which slow you down when descending hills or provide an added challenge when pedaling on flats. There is also a standard regenerative braking trigger that activates when you pull the right brake lever. The downsides of gearless direct drive are increased weight and some cogging when the system is not actively assisting.

There is only battery pack option for the BionX p350 which is a 37 volt 6.4 amp hour rear-rack design. Please note that the images shown here and in the video portray a mid-mount pack which is incorrect. The kit I was testing used a prototype P 350 motor and DX battery from another kit, sorry for the confusion. Just look at the main image at the top of this review for a more accurate protrayal. My preference is for the downtube mounted packs because they keep weight low and center to the bike but given the lower price and reduced weight of the P 350 the rear rack design is fine and it even includes an LED tail light. The battery itself locks to the frame but is removable for convenient storage and charging. The cells use Lithium-ion chemistry that is light weight and durable for 1,000+ charge cycles and BionX offers a 2 year warranty standard.

The second generation (G2) display panel used on this and other BionX kits is quite good. It’s large and easy to read, backlit for use at night and symmetrical for easier use by left and right handed riders. There are two buttons on each side of the display which activate the unit and allow you to choose from one of four regen modes, zero mode or four levels of assist. You can operate the system just fine from this main panel but BionX also includes a stand alone button pad that can be mounted extremely close to grips and brake levers for even easier access when riding. This pad includes a + and – button (for navigating assist levels) as well as a red variable-speed trigger throttle mentioned above which can activate the motor without pedaling. It’s a beautiful design and so thoughtfully constructed that it works with all kinds of bicycle cockpit setups, not just standard flat bars. In addition to being easy to use, the display panel is also removable so you can keep it safe from weather, tampering and vandalism.

BionX was started in 2000 as EPS (Electric Propulsion Systems) and was acquired by Magna (a Canadian automotive company) around 2008. Since then it has grown into one of the largest, most trusted high-end manufacturers of drive systems for electric bicycles in the world. The P 350 is a unique model because it basically uses the S 350 motor and runs it at a lower voltage. Sure, you get a limited sized battery that can only be mounted to the rear end of a bike but it still works great. It kind of reminds me of video game consoles that play the same games but get new updated hardware that is smaller and lighter after every couple of years… You get the same PL 350 performance but it’s lighter and better looking this time around. The kit is available in a wide range of wheel sizes including 20″, 26″ and 700C and can also be configured to power third party lighting systems. To get it installed on your bike you’ll need to work with a local shop who can order direct from BionX.

Pros:

  • Lightweight, redesigned hub motor is 2.5 lbs lighter and more stylish than older PL 350 models
  • Works with most standard bicycle, including those with smaller wheel diameters like folding bikes and recumbents
  • The battery pack locks to the frame for security and can be charged on or off of the bike
  • Gearless hub motor runs smooth and quiet, has built in torque sensing and regenerative braking
  • Rear-wheel hub motor exerts force onto the part of the frame that is designed to handle it vs. front hub designs, great if used on bicycles that have front suspension forks
  • Works with disc brake setups as well as v-brakes and isn’t too wide to accommodate a cassette
  • This is one of the most affordable BionX kits available, you still benefit from a high quality system just operating at lower power with decreased range

Cons:

  • Installation is a bit complicated, BionX sells directly through shops who will handle it for you or as a built in option on OEM electric bikes
  • If purchased as an add-on kit the wires and cables won’t be integrated into the frame which might not look as nice as a purpose-built ebike
  • Trade offs in how you mount the battery: rear rack is heavier and unbalanced than a downtube design
  • Throttle and computer may not mount as easily to road bikes with drop handle bars due to shape and size of tubes and grip tape
  • This kit is only compatible with 135 mm axle size so check your mountain bikes carefully or bikes with thru axles

Resources:

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