BMEBIKES BM-Shadow Review

Bmebikes Bm Shadow Electric Bike Review
Bmebikes Bm Shadow
Bmebikes Bm Shadow Bafang Bbs01 Mid Drive
Bmebikes Bm Shadow Locking Downtube Battery
Bmebikes Bm Shadow Bafang C965 Lcd Display
Bmebikes Bm Shadow 8 Speed Shimano Acera
Bmebikes Bm Shadow 26 2 1 Tires
Bmebikes Bm Shadow 160 Mm Zoom Disc Brakes
Bmebikes Bm Shadow Basic Zoom Suspension Fork
Bmebikes Bm Shadow Fpd Plastic Pedals
Bmebikes Bm Shadow Removable Battery Panasonic Cells
Bmebikes Bm Shadow Electric Bike Review
Bmebikes Bm Shadow
Bmebikes Bm Shadow Bafang Bbs01 Mid Drive
Bmebikes Bm Shadow Locking Downtube Battery
Bmebikes Bm Shadow Bafang C965 Lcd Display
Bmebikes Bm Shadow 8 Speed Shimano Acera
Bmebikes Bm Shadow 26 2 1 Tires
Bmebikes Bm Shadow 160 Mm Zoom Disc Brakes
Bmebikes Bm Shadow Basic Zoom Suspension Fork
Bmebikes Bm Shadow Fpd Plastic Pedals
Bmebikes Bm Shadow Removable Battery Panasonic Cells

Summary

  • An affordable mid-level electric bike that's comfortable on trails or commuting, offers a clean tidy look
  • Offers pedal assist and throttle mode, middrive motor is a capable hill climber if you choose an easy gear
  • Battery uses high quality Panasonic cells, is secured well to the frame with extra mounting points, locks to the frame but can also be charged off and is positioned low and center on the bike for great balance
  • Decent six month warranty, comfortable ergonomic grips and basic suspension fork, capable eight speed cassette with Shimano Acera derailleur

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Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

BMEBIKES

Model:

BM-Shadow

Price:

$2,175 USD

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Urban, Trail

Electric Bike Class:

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

Warranty:

6 Month Comprehensive, 1 Year Frame

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2015

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

46 lbs (20.86 kg)

Battery Weight:

5.6 lbs (2.54 kg)

Motor Weight:

9 lbs (4.08 kg)

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Sizes:

17 in (43.18 cm)19 in (48.26 cm)21 in (53.34 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

Small 17" (535 mm Top Tube, 430 mm Seat Tube, 1033.5 mm Wheelbase, 775.5 mm Stand Over Height), Medium 19" (543.8 mm Top Tube, 483 mm Seat Tube, 1047 mm Wheelbase, 806.4 mm Stand Over Height), Large 21" (565 mm Top Tube, 534 Seat Tube, 1079.9 mm Wheelbase, 834.7 mm Stand Over Height)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Colors:

Black

Frame Fork Details:

Basic Zoom Suspension with Rebound Adjustability

Attachment Points:

Fender Bosses, Rear Rack Bosses

Gearing Details:

8 Speed 1x8 Shimano Acera

Shifter Details:

Shimano SL M310 Triggers on Right Bar

Cranks:

1 Piece Resin Body with Steel Axle

Pedals:

FPD Plastic Platform

Headset:

Neco, 1 1/8" Semi-Integrated with Caged Bearings

Stem:

Steel, 25.4 mm, +/- 20 Degrees

Handlebar:

Steel, 30 mm Rise, 6 Degree Sweep, 25.4 mm Clamp

Brake Details:

Zoom Mechanical Disc with 160 mm Rotors, Levers with Motor Inhibitor

Grips:

Kraton, Rubber, Semi-Ergonomic

Seat Post:

Steel

Seat Post Length:

300 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Rims:

Weinmann ZAC 19 32H Double Wall, Brass Nipples, Alloy Formula Hubs, Steel Quick Releases

Spokes:

ED Black

Tire Brand:

Evolution, 27 TPI, 26" x 2.1"

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Other:

Locking Removable Battery Pack, Quick Release on Front and Rear Wheel

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

8Fun

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

350 watts

Motor Peak Output:

680 watts

Motor Torque:

40 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Panasonic

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

8.8 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

316.8 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

3.5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

20 miles (32 km)

Estimated Max Range:

40 miles (64 km)

Display Type:

Bafang C965 Fixed Monochrome Backlit LCD

Readouts:

Speed, Battery Level, Assist Level (1-3), Watt Output, Trip Distance

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad Near Left Grip

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Trigger Throttle

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

The BM-Shadow is the most affordable offering from BMEBIKES, an electric bike company based in North Los Angeles that’s dedicated to off-road electric bikes. Their slogan is “electric mountain bike specialists” but to me, the Shadow is more of a trail bike because it uses the standard (larger) size front chainring that comes stock with the BBS01 mid-drive motor from Bafang (8Fun). That’s not a bad thing, in fact this model performs well on street, trail and even light mountain terrain but may struggle with prolonged climbs and ultimately overheat. That’s why all of the other BMEBIKES models come with an aftermarket Raceface NW sprocket in the front that’s a smaller diameter with fewer teeth. The Shadow 1.5 is an exciting model to me because it looks great, is well balanced, has a premium battery and comes in multiple sizes (17″, 19″ and 21″). You get a lot for your money here and there’s no reason you couldn’t pay a bit more for the smaller chain ring if you intend to climb a lot (these guys do custom orders) and upgrade the fork independently at a later date for improved performance, weight savings and lockout.

Driving this bike is a BBS01 middrive motor that’s mounted to the bottom bracket. It’s a compact, versatile drive system that keeps weight low and centered on the frame while leveraging your rear cassette for efficiency and strength. Even though it’s not as sophisticated as a Bosch or Impulse centerdrive, it’s a big step up from the older EVELO and iGo mid-drives I’ve tested. While it offers throttle on demand and pedal assist modes (using a built in cadence sensor) it does not include shift detection and may strain the rear derailleur, chain and cassette if you don’t shift gears carefully. To minimize this I found myself letting up a bit on the pedals while shifting and occasionally tapping the brakes (which have a built in motor inhibitor switch). The motor itself is compact, quiet and surprisingly strong for a 350 watt design… in practice I regularly topped out at over 600 watts when climbing so perhaps the rating is a bit misleading. I was told the amp output is slightly higher than average at 18 amps which might account for the increased power. For the money, the BBS01 is a solid aftermarket motor and the stock black casing matches the flat black color scheme that BMEBIKES is known for.

The battery powering the BM Shadow electric bike uses premium Panasonic cells that deliver a higher discharge rate (higher C Rating), offer higher energy density (lighter for the same amount of stored energy) and extended life (should age well). To really take care of the pack, store it in a cool dry place when not in use and try to keep it between 20% and 80% charged when not in use. The cells are all 18650 sized and are packed into one of the sleekest aftermarket packs I’ve seen. It slides easily onto a metal rail that’s mounted to the downtube and includes a keyed lock for security. Unlike some other packs, this one does not require you to press an on/off button before activating the display panel and that saves time and avoids confusion when troubleshooting. I really came to appreciate this battery for the price, weight, aesthetic balance it offers and even though it’s about average with 36 volts and an 8.8 amp hour capacity, you actually get a pretty decent range depending on how you ride. For a 170 pound rider on flat pavement I’d estimate 20 miles using throttle only… but if you switch to pedal assist and just tap the throttle occasionally to start or get up a small hill, you could easily double that.

The drive system on this bike offers a lot of modes but really isn’t that complicated to use and the cockpit is clean and intuitive. Once the battery is secured to the frame you press a rubberized power button on the button pad (mounted near the left grip). This activates the backlit Bafang display panel (front and center) and shows your speed, battery level, assist level (preset 1-3 but configurable to 5 or 9 levels), watt output and trip distance. Unfortunately, the display doesn’t swivel easily and is not removable but otherwise it’s sleek and easy to read. When you first turn the system on, assist is actually set to zero and unfortunately you cannot activate the throttle in this mode… that’s one of my gripes because sometimes you don’t want assist to accidentally kick in while navigating difficult terrain. Once you click up to 1, 2 or 3 then pedal assist becomes active and anytime you turn the cranks the motor begins to spin. In any of the assist levels you can also use the trigger throttle for an extra boost as an override but power is somewhat limited by the mode you’re in. This is another area where I feel like the system could be improved, I’d prefer the throttle just go to full power in any assist mode because it’s a variable speed design and I might need the extra power in a pinch. I do like that they chose a trigger throttle here instead of a half-twist design because this keeps the grips more secure feeling. As mentioned earlier, the mid-drive motor helps you pull the chain and therefore benefits from the rear cassette just like you do. If you’re climbing a hill, just switch to a lower gear to help the motor (and you) make it up. With eight gears to choose from the system is very capable and offers a smooth cadence from zero to ~25 mph when pedaling (the motor cuts out around 20).

While the BM-Shadow probably wouldn’t be my first choice for true mountain biking given the basic suspension fork and speed-geared sprocket, it’s no slouch on the trail and performed quite well for the video review. I love that the battery mount was designed with extra rivet nuts for strength and that the brake levers offer a motor cutoff switch because the BBSO1 is known for a slight lag in cutoff (the motor keeps going for a moment even after you’ve stopped pedaling). Some of the components here are basic but they get the job done and were chosen carefully to match the look and perform well. These include the rubber semi-ergonomic grips and entry level Zoom mechanical disc brakes. With this electric bike you’re basically getting a solid drive system mated to a traditional mountain bike frame and that means the wires aren’t integrated as nicely as something like an Easy Motion EVO Cross. I love that you get a six month warranty on the batter and motor here (the frame is warrantied for a year). And I love that the frame is available in three standard sizes for those shorter or taller riders. This could be an excellent first electric bike that doesn’t cost so much and is capable of double-duty as a commuter given the mounting points at the rear (for adding a rack).

Pros:

  • Excellent weight distribution with the motor and battery low and centered on the frame, also relatively light weight at ~46 pounds
  • High quality battery made with Panasonic Lithium-ion cells, they should last longer and have a higher discharge rate than cheaper packs, I also like the the pack doesn’t require its own on/off switch
  • Sturdy reinforced battery bracket, in addition to using the standard braze-ons BMEBIKES also adds rivnuts which create more mounting points on the downtube for strength
  • Fairly affordable given the solid performance and true off-road capabilities, it also looks nice in all-black and isn’t busy or cheap looking
  • Available in three frame sizes including 17 inch, 19 inch and 21 inch for improved rider fit
  • Decent components ranging from an 8 speed cassette with Shimano Acera derailleur, 160 millimeter mechanical disc brakes and a backlit lCD display panel
  • Independent button pad is mounted close enough to reach without taking your hand off the grip, the trigger throttle is also nearby and doesn’t compromise the grip the way a twist throttle might which is a good solution for off-road use
  • Quick release wheels, front and rear, thanks to the mid-drive motor… this makes servicing and trail maintenance easier as well as transporting the bike if you have to stuff it in your car
  • Battery is locking and removable for convenient charging and reduced weight during transport
  • Mounting points for fenders at the front and rear as well as seat stay braze ons at the back for adding a carry rack if you want to use it for commuting
  • Six month warranty is better than nothing and the company has been around since 2010 and has a retail shop where you can see the bikes or pick up locally

Cons:

  • Standard BBS01 chainring is a bit large for off-road riding and the motor may overheat and shut down if you aren’t pedaling while ascending large hills
  • Bottle cage bosses are not accessible on the seat tube and the battery pack takes the space where they might otherwise mount, get a Camelbak
  • Because this isn’t a purpose-built (specifically to be used for an electric bike) the wires aren’t integrated and create a bit more clutter… the black frame helps them to blend in
  • Many of the extras are basic including plastic FPD pedals, non-locking rubber ergonomic grips and Zoom suspension fork
  • The BBS01 mid-drive motor does not offer shift sensing and may mash gears as a result, ease off the pedals or tap the brake to cut power while shifting to reduce wear on the chain and sprockets
  • Display panel can be adjusted to swivel but may require a tool and the LCD screen is not removable for safe storage

Resources:

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Annie
1 year ago

Hi, I'm shopping for an ebike and need to buy online without ever riding one. I am going with a mountain bike, but will mostly be using it for a mountain road commute. I am curious about power because there's a long hill on the way home. Elevation gain for ride is 1,106 feet. I'm looking at the Freway VR-01 or BME Shadow. Would these have enough power to help me up the hill? Any thoughts appreciated.

Court Rye
1 year ago

Hi Annie! I'd definitely go with the BME Shadow in this case because its mid-drive motor will perform better when climbing. BME is a smallish company but one that has been around for several years now and seems to be doing well. The advantage with them vs. Freway is that they are small enough to answer the phone and help you out (and they speak English well). You might pay a bit more but the bike will have better range, more power and probably better support. One downside is that it's a bit heavier than the Freway but that weight is in the motor and battery... it's a decent bike in my opinion and I hope it works out great for you :)

Steven
9 months ago

Hi, would you recommend this bike or the md5 as a casual all around bike? It seem to be a hard choice for me!

Court Rye
9 months ago

Hi Steven! They're very similar and the Leisger MD5 would probably work fine but costs more, doesn't use a mid-drive motor which is going to improve balance and be nice for doing wheel maintenance or going off-road and might be trickier to find vs. BMEBIKES which are now sold online... It's a smaller company that has a sort of DELL "pick your parts" model now with their website. You can customize it, call them, have it shipped and be involved with the process. I think they do a good job so if this is the one you're leaning towards already I'd say go for it :)

Post a Comment

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Dunbar
1 week ago

The Shadow Plus derailleurs have a clutch to help prevent this too. If your chain length is way off it may be an easy fix.

David Olandersson
11 months ago

9:27 A bit to close for my taste.

ilvelocipede
2 years ago

chemtrails in the sky

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 years ago

+ilvelocipede Can you please explain this a bit more for me? What are chemtrails, what do they mean, where in the video did you see them? This was shot in Northridge, CA on February 21st.

ilvelocipede
2 years ago

CHEMTRAIL

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 years ago

+ilvelocipede Can you please explain this a bit more for me? What are chemtrails, what do they mean, where in the video did you see them? This was shot in Northridge, CA on February 21st.

ForbinColossus
2 years ago

@11:54 pls make a shot of how long the motor stay after you brake. If you could hear when the motor stops on camera, that'd be great for showing motor response times.

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 years ago

+ForbinColossus Great input, I tried to get shots of the motor turning after I stopped pedaling but did not brake. Will review other BMEBIKES soon which might show more closely.

3dkiller
2 years ago

Yes those 8fun bbs motors are great especially the bbs02 750w, with 48V battery :-)

nerdexproject
2 years ago

Great review!

Do you expect e bikes becoming even more powerful in like 5 years? Or did they reach their climax already? How much more power is possible?

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 years ago

I would guess that ebikes will get lighter and slightly more powerful but there are legal limits capping low speed electric bikes. If you want more power, check out these: http://electricridereview.com/category/stealth/

Terry Brightwater
2 years ago

Nice bike, nice review ;0)

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 years ago

Thanks Terry! More of these on the way, I try to stagger reviews so that they aren't just al the same brand over and over ;)

Trevor Lee
2 years ago

And I love the look of the bike

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 years ago

It's pretty great looking considering it's basically a professional conversion and not purpose built. I think all-black look is nice.

Trevor Lee
2 years ago

hi again please keep the great bicycle videos coming thank you for replying to my video comment

Whiskey Leaks
1 year ago

+ElectricBikeReview.com looking at the 2016 offerings from yamaha mid drives what would be your take on these and the 8fun bbs02 for longevity and power assuming you could almost get two of these at those price points?

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 years ago

Sure thing, about to publish a new review this afternoon. So many ebikes coming out this year... very busy :P

duwaine blake
2 years ago

this is just a freaking regular bike with a middrive kit on it, you can now purchase a 1000w hub on ebay for $140, a decent battery for $200...SERIOULY!! why are the factory prices still so high??? I mean they import 80% of the material from china anyway for little of nothing. do there profit margins need to be so much???? 

duwaine blake
2 years ago

I built my bike 1000w hub for around 600$ and it's pretty damn good to me!!

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 years ago

+Kyle Niedermeier Thanks, I'm not trying to be hurtful at all here. I studied business at the University of Colorado and Stanford and I think a lot of people who haven't tried to sell and really be professional don't have an understanding for what it takes. It may feel like a company is trying to rip you off because you see cheaper alternatives but there's usually a reason for price variability, you get what you pay for either in terms of quality, performance, price or other factors like style.

Kyle Niedermeier
2 years ago

+ElectricBikeReview.com the perfect reply!! You really know how to review an electric bike! I'm so glad that you use proper grammar!... That is becoming less and less common!!

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 years ago

I don't think they're making as much as we think... Renting a shop space, hiring employees, servicing warranties, paying import duties, dealing with taxes and creating a website (I'm sure there's more as well). To run a business sustainably there has to be profit, reward for your risk vs. working on something else (opportunity cost). It's not easy, but you're correct about building your own and saving some money. Just depends on what you want and whether you have the time, skills and interest vs. buying something that's setup like this :)

Chino Maiden
2 years ago

I have a very important question!  if you dont know , pleas ask one of your contacts who is an specialist!   I have a rather heavy ebike!  (very powerfull too)   So it uses A LOT of energy to start from deadstop!  I wanna know wich is more eficient A)  To push hard the throtle?  this uses a lot of energy but for a very short amount of time .   B)  Push softly the throtle, this uses a little bit less of energy but for a longer time it struggles to reach cruising speed.    So wich one will save me more energy?

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 years ago

+Trabber Shir Awesome answer. You win the Internets for today :D to be a little more crude and direct, I believe that accelerating slowly is usually the most efficient way to go +Chino Maiden. In addition to producing less friction and spending less time at higher speeds you also produce less heat in the battery because it is draining more slowly. Heat is hard on batteries and wears them out more quickly. To really maximize your range, I'd suggest pedaling and accelerating slowly.

Trabber Shir
2 years ago

That depends on a variety of factors. Is this a hub motor or a mid drive? Is the motor geared? What is the optimal RPM for the Motor?

If you ignore motor inefficiencies and friction, the answer is that they are equivalent. All that matters is the mass, velocity, and altitude before and after.

When you add in ground and air friction then the slow acceleration is more energy efficient simply because you generate less friction and drag at lower speeds and lower acceleration means a lower average speed.

However, some motors generate a lot of extra waste heat at low RPM but are very efficient at high RPMs. If you use a gearless hub motor then the rotational speed of the motor is directly proportional to the speed of your bike and your most efficient riding style will be whatever style reduces the average deviation between your speed and your motor's most efficient speed, so generally accelerating as fast as possible. For geared motors or mid drives that take advantage of external gearing, the math gets harder.

Your best bet to answer this question is to just run some fairly simple tests with your bike. If your motor controller provides a power meter like the one in this video, just pick a stretch of road and use a video camera to record the display as you go down that stretch of road a few times in different styles. then sit down with your spreadsheet program of choice and calculate the approximate power use for each run.

Gdsamplify
2 years ago

Oh man... It hurts to look when you put the bike down on the derailleur side.

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 years ago

Ahhh, thanks for noticing that. I was distracted trying not to fall off the cliff and memorizing the specs for these bikes. I'll try to lay her down the other way next time ;)

Mister Evergreen
2 years ago

Your Reviews are very on Point ! no Hate 4 that.. but all those batterys look so outdated big..wish they would release tiny batterys with the same power like these giant ones

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 years ago

+Ian Mangham Thanks Ian!

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 years ago

I'm excited for smaller batteries as well... energy density is increasing and that lets companies offer more power and range without increasing weight. We saw that with the Easy Motion Evo vs. last year's Neo. I like the pack they used on the Shadow here, it's sleek and mounts really well... but it is rather large on the frame. Have you seen the Faraday Porteur? The batteries are actually inside the bicycle frame tubing: http://electricbikereview.com/faraday/porteur/

Agent0004
2 years ago

great review !

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 years ago

Thank you so much! Lots of random comments on this one, negativity about price and battery pack size. I really liked the bike, decent price and a nice look for a professional conversion :)

zwarst
2 years ago

Another happy result for mid drive!

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 years ago

Yeah, these things work pretty well. I'm starting to really like the 8Fun/Bafang BBS0 systems :D

Edd Dee
2 years ago

Get a go pro.

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 years ago

+Edd Dee Interesting, I saw a lot of interest for the Specialized Turbo from Australians last year and heard that it would be introduced before 2015 at select shops. Ebikes are still relatively new in America and I think Australia is in a similar place.

I like your idea bout learning to program. Have you heard of WordPress? That can be a good platform for developing websites and adding ecommerce functionality. If you just want a simple online store, Squarespace offers $8/mo websites with shopping carts. Do you want the site for yourself or do you want to become a programmer and earn money that way?

Here's a video about how I got started with EBR: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5BY_ko3sI4

Edd Dee
2 years ago

I live in Australia. I'm trying to fix my pc so I can teach myself to develop ecommerce sites. I want to save up for an e bike as an primary transport. Here I visited couple of bike shops and to them the concept of e bikes doesn't exist.

That's my life right now. How are things for you. And how did you get introduced to e bikes and ended with ElectricBikeReviews.com

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 years ago

+Edd Dee Yes! I am so sorry my response took a week. I clearly need to spend more time with friends because I'm working nonstop right now. What did you today and what's going on this weekend for you that's fun?

Edd Dee
2 years ago

Haha. Okay I agree with you and find new friends. Would you like to be my friend.

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 years ago

+Edd Dee Well, I used three GoPro cameras for this review as well as a motorized gimbal to reduce shake along with a frame mount and mouth mount. Specific models were two GoPro 4 Silver cams and one GoPro 3+ Black. If you wish others harm... maybe people in your own life aren't treating you very well, get some new friends who are nice :)

Trevor Lee
2 years ago

Hi

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 years ago

Hello Trevor, what's up?!