48v or 52v battery for current BBSHD builds

Jz1276

Member
Hi all! It's been awhile since I've written anything, but I've recently had some orders to build some bikes for some friends and people who live nearby.
The last bike I built for someone who found me online was built on a Cannondale Trail 5 with hydraulic brakes and some decent other parts.
I'm not really a fan of the whole triangle bag right in the middle of the frame because it's not necessarily what I like my style builds to reflect, but that's what the client wanted. Anyway, to make a long story short I used a 52 volt 20ah naked pack to power the BBSHD.
I'm just wondering if a 48 volt is sufficient because he keeps telling me that he has issues with the motor and is on his third HD. I think that hes riding it really hard and not shifting the way he should be, but he says he's doing everything properly so who am I to say . I'm not sure if it's connected or just bad luck.
Any feedback or Pros/cons that anyone can throw my way would be much appreciated. Thanks, Jay
 

Adrian

Active Member
I'm in this process now - my BBSHD is on the way and I'm in two minds about the 52/48V battery issue.

52V will give an extra boost, some say it's very noticeable. The problem is that none of the current BBS stock displays, including the new colour one that Lunacycle has, can give an accurate battery reading with a 52V battery. And, although 52V is within the BBSHD's tolerance threshold, it will be harder on the electronics and those with borderline components may see higher failure rates.

The advice I've seen is that for longevity and reliability, go 48V. For performance, go 52V.

I starting to lean towards the 48V - that's what I currently run with my BBS02 and it's good enough and at least the battery info on the display will be somewhat more in line with reality, if not as good as it could be.
 

GMS

Member
Luna Cycles seems to be a fan of 52V (but I would curious to hear their answer to the specific question).

I run 52V batteries, but only charge them as if they were 48V batteries - doesn't fix the electronics display inaccuracies, but should help with over-voltage issues (although I haven't seen any signs of that either on the occasion when I do fully charge).

The benefit I see to charging to a lower voltage is longevity, common wisdom suggests charging to less that 100% helps the batteries last longer.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Hi all! It's been awhile since I've written anything, but I've recently had some orders to build some bikes for some friends and people who live nearby.
The last bike I built for someone who found me online was built on a Cannondale Trail 5 with hydraulic brakes and some decent other parts.
I'm not really a fan of the whole triangle bag right in the middle of the frame because it's not necessarily what I like my style builds to reflect, but that's what the client wanted. Anyway, to make a long story short I used a 52 volt 20ah naked pack to power the BBSHD.
I'm just wondering if a 48 volt is sufficient because he keeps telling me that he has issues with the motor and is on his third HD. I think that hes riding it really hard and not shifting the way he should be, but he says he's doing everything properly so who am I to say . I'm not sure if it's connected or just bad luck.
Any feedback or Pros/cons that anyone can throw my way would be much appreciated. Thanks, Jay
I spent some time asking this to Paul from EM3ev last Interbike.
He has been building 52V packs for almost 3 years now. He quotes 50V nominal and he always goes for the conservative number to be safe. He mentioned few things... higher torque, speed and you won't feel the sluggish effect as you near the LVC.
From what I have learnt, pack chemistry whether it is PF or GA or NCRB or whatever... and controller makes a big difference and could potentially become a bottleneck.

If I were you, I would go with 52V. If you do find something negative about the 52V, do share it with us.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
Comes down to personality.. A 36 volt pack will be the most reliable imo, unless you want high power... I'd stick with a 48v GA pack if that was available
 

Adrian

Active Member
FWIW, The answer I gave about longevity/performance is a paraphrased quote from Lunacycle's forum.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
If you buy a BBSHD and want to run it, you'd go with a big pack, Hi C-rate cells, and 52V. With a 20 AH pack you'll get good performance for at least half the battery. After that, better cells would deliver more power. I suggest everyone have a voltmeter and amp hour meter. You will see how much your cells sag as the battery goes down, under hard loads.

Assuming the physical dimensions of the case allow it, adding another set of batteries, 14s versus 13s, bumps the capacity 7% for a small amount of money. A 20 AH battery is about the limit, anyway.

I don't see any brands, like Accell or BH, that have 52v systems, just DIY.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
like Accell or BH, that have 52v systems, just DIY
George,
It's not because they are incapable of designing such a pack.
The UL approval for factory bikes with Li-ion battery has to go through several levels of testing.
One of the reasons Bosch couldn't bring the 500Whr battery US market this year is because they couldn't get all the certifications done. It will be here next year. None of the DIY vendors go that route of certifications. Basically, they are just selling a pack and it's YOU and ME who are building bikes using such packs. So, the liability is on us. In the case of Accell or BH, they have to have liability insurance on their product.

However, there is one bike that uses 14s packs. M1 Spitzing.
Here is a 14s-6p pack from M1.

 

Green Machine

New Member
The BBSHD is more ideally powered at 52v because it is widely known that the bbshd is not even close to its "burn out point" even at 1500 watts.

52v is just a way to get maximum wattage out of the same 48v controller. Its true your battery guage wont be very accurate at 52v (they are made for 48v) but the stock battery meters are never very accurate. They always read high ...and then drop all at once...whether your running 48 or 52v.

Read our article we wrote on the benefits of 52v here: https://www.electricbike.com/52v-battery-3077-fet/

Also Karls article on 48 or 52v here: https://electricbike-blog.com/2016/03/18/is-it-wise-to-power-my-48-volt-mid-drive-system-with-a-52-volt-battery-master-yoda/

Regarding the Bosch and BH not offering a 52 pack......no its not about some certification issue........ those are low power batteries made for low power systems made for the european market ... and they are not even trying to compete at the powerlevels a bbshd can put out.

Bosch would need to redesign their entire system to handle more wattage reliably...and why should they do that when both Bosch and BH are selling a small number of units to the USA. They already have a problem with service centers with bikes they sale in the USA...what if they run more wattage through motors that were designed for the 250 watt europe market and make them less reliable?

And they are stonch believers in the 20mph limits etc.....

The higher power the system the higher the cost and the less reliable...... that is why some companies dont want to touch it..... its harder and more expensive to do...

The M1 Spitking is doing a 52v pack becuase it is a high power bike with a $8000 price tag...... and it would still be trounced by the BBSHD.....

Luna Cycle is now selling complete ebikes so we are not just for DIY . ;)
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
those are low power batteries made for low power systems made for the European market
Bosch or Yamaha has proper engineering resources and capital to build 10,000 W motors and 10Kwhr battery packs.
They don't do it because of the legal ramifications.

It doesn't take much engineering to bring BBSHD from China and sell it the Market.

They already have a problem with service centers with bikes
I'm not sure where you heard these?!

Luna Cycle is now selling complete ebikes so we are not just for DIY
All Bosch bikes or BH bikes come with 2 yr warranty. You don't have to pay $800 to get 2yr warranty unlike Luna.
Luna warranty.JPG
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
@Chris Head mentioned there is voltage conditioning on their new line of manufactured bikes. Somewhere in the long interview with Court.

You see these modules on Ebay that can convert any voltage to another voltage. You need two elements to reduce up and down to a voltage, I guess. Switching power modules.

The sags in the high capacity cells are way too much. Can you just use these power modules to cut the top of the pack down to 50v, and then raise the last half of the battery to 50v? Just always have the pack at 50v. I've used these modules, built some in the early 90's. I have a converter that sends my 52 volt pack down to 12 volts. I can run my travel trailer off my ebike battery.

Buck and boost, I think, is the technical name. They are a class of DC-DC converter. They get complicated if you want to handle huge currents, heat and efficiency issues, but Lectric is apparently doing something like this, I speculate.

IMG_20161202_091208.jpg
 

Green Machine

New Member
Yeah thats right...even with the extra warranty the Luna bikes are a bargain compared to anything your mentioning.

Yamaha and Bosch have chosen to make 250 watt motors for the European market where they can sale 10,000 units. So the bikes made it to america...great.

If you ride one it is no comparison to the BBSHD..... or any bike that Luna Sales..... they are low power pedelecs.... not even half the power of what you are allowed by american law...and they cost a lot.

There is no established market in the USA yet for ebikes...everyone knows that. IF yamaha and bosch cared at all about the usa they would make 750 watt systems.... only a few euro companies have done that...but why bother ... the market in germany alone is 20 times what the market is in usa for ebikes. Same with Japan...yamaha sales a hundred thousand low power bikes a year in japan...why bother with the usa market of a couple thousand bikes a year..... also jpapan has a service center on every corner in japan that can service a yamaha drive....good luck getting service in usa....

by the way who is the vender selling and repairing yamaha ebike motors in usa? i didnt think their was anyone...... service centers are the problem.

what is funny is vendors trying to sale a 250 watt system on the american public..... who would over pay huge $$$ for something like that? I guess Luna is now offering a great alternative.

Luna could also over charge by $2000 for each bike and provide a 2 year warranty and some other gizmos...that would be no problem. Not all our customers need warranty service so we dont factor in warranty when we do our pricing and let our customers choose how much warranty they want. Its 800 for a 2 year warranty.... most customers of ours dont want it or need it.

Before i was a vendor i was a consumer....and although i tried to make a lot of ebike warranty claims i never got one honoroed.

So who is qualified in the USA to take apart a BOSCH drive and service it? can your shop actually repair a broken Bosch motor? Or repair a broken Bosch battery? Or do you send somewhere? What shop do you own or work at by the way? Can you guys split apart a bosch motor and repair it..... how about split apart a bosch battery and repair it?

who absorbs all the shipping costs when it comes to a bosch warranty repair?

Where are the service centers for Bosch in the USA? .who pays for the shipping when your $5000 Bosch bikes motor or controller fails to get it to a service center qualified to repair it?

I can say this...i would never buy a bosch bike or any expensive commercial bike unless i lived close to a dealer that would support that warranty. There is no way you are going to be able to ship that bike to anywhere to get it repaired at any economic rate so that long warranty is gonna be bogus unless you live close to the shop you bought it from.

I am sure i am not alone in trying to get an ebike company to live up to its warranty .....

But anyway.... there is nothing intersting about a 250 watt bike anyway.... especially one that costs 5 grand. In a few months you will see a bike that Luna offers for 5k that will really shake your perception of how good an ebike can be.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
Bosch or Yamaha has proper engineering resources and capital to build 10,000 W motors and 10Kwhr battery packs.
They don't do it because of the legal ramifications.

It doesn't take much engineering to bring BBSHD from China and sell it the Market.


I'm not sure where you heard these?!


All Bosch bikes or BH bikes come with 2 yr warranty. You don't have to pay $800 to get 2yr warranty unlike Luna.
View attachment 12521
Any discussion is impossible. The shop here finally got a half dozen Bosch and Yamaha. Gone in a couple of weeks. Lots of people are happy at 20MPH and brand recognition does work. The biggest hole in marketing these great builds are the batteries specific to the bike. $1000 for $500 11-13Ah with proprietary systems. Ouch. But the two owners I visited with are happy with $250-300 in annual fuel costs. Every adult rider on my 350w loaners is happy. These goofs doing donuts in the parks and running bikes beyond their capacity to stop and maneuver will not save us, they'll gut us with more regulation.
 

JRA

Well-Known Member
While I am not interested in what is coming from across the pond for my needs, I see no need for the e bike community at large to draw lines in the sand. It is not the bike but the rider who is responsible for their own behavior and you can be just as goofy on a 250w bike as a 5000w one if you choose to.

Some will choose the manufacturers offerings because that is the way the industry vibrates and always has. There is a lot of work ahead for the industry to support their products here that will fill in in time. In the meantime the "kit" offerings that have been available for years here are being upgraded via the input from those that support more of an open source model and non proprietary components that can change easily as technology advances. There are upsides and downsides to both but the choice is ours to make and that is a good thing. It is only going to get better if we all work together to make it so.
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
Folks, getting service on Bosch or Yamaha powered ebikes is not hard. Find a local shop with techs or owners that have completed the training offered by Magura USA. Training sessions have also been offered for dealers at Interbike the last couple of years and at other scheduled events like the Ebike Expo. There was chatter about 3 years ago that Magura was going to set up specific repair centers in the US but that didn't really materialize; there's not enough product here for that model to be sustainable.

These motors are build to be modular, so repairs are fairly simple. What becomes challenging is making sure owners understand shifting and proper maintenance for the gears and chain, particularly with hard riding or challenging wet or muddy conditions. That's where a lot of the damage or failures happen.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
"What becomes challenging is making sure owners understand shifting and proper maintenance for the gears and chain, particularly with hard riding or challenging wet or muddy conditions. That's where a lot of the damage or failures happen." SPOT ON! This applies to the BBS02 as well. There's still a hole in the parts pipeline with Bafang. Dealers tell us the parts are available...until you try to buy them.
 

JRA

Well-Known Member
"What becomes challenging is making sure owners understand shifting and proper maintenance for the gears and chain, particularly with hard riding or challenging wet or muddy conditions. That's where a lot of the damage or failures happen."

That's why I settled on a hub motor, it not only preserves my drivetrain but allows me to have the range of gearing aboard I need to stay with/on top of the motor with no change in the Q factor I am accustomed to nor the amount of stress on it.

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Usually it is not PC to ride in the mud but I went to the SSCXWC today as it was 6 miles from my house. It was held in a farmers fields that didn't care if it got tilled up a bit! The front wheel drive feature of this bike worked well to compensate.

I would think that it would benefit the manufacturers to get the information out to the gen pop about who is qualified to work on their products? Sure there have been courses and more ongoing but the US is a big place and they are still few and far between, not to mention costly to attend. As I said they will fill in eventually but until then it is up to the individual to make sure they have their repair bases covered, even under warranty, and should be aware of that before purchase as well as seeking proper support after POS by the manufacturer/dealer so that they understand just what they are buying a little better.
 
In response to some of the above discussion, Green Machine from Luna asked "who would be interested in purchasing a $5k 250/350 w ebike?" I would for one. I know the BBSHD will kick my butt but fit and finish mean something to me. I love the integrated look of the Haibikes, I love the smooth predictable power delivery of the bosch systems I have ridden. I like that the battery doesn't rattle. I also like that its legal. (I know- boo hiss) I also know that that my 500w ebike hub kit will smoke my friends nice EVO 29r, and the two bbshd's I have ridden will smoke my hubbie. but sometimes a rat bike just won't get it!

So Mr Ravi, or Mr Chris from Ny, what happens if I buy a Bosch drive unit and it fails? I'm 4 hrs from NY and Mr Luna has a point there's no service center on the corner. There are other dealers around but not many units in stock.

And Mr Luna, I have a nice $2k bike just waiting for a BBSHD but I'm very skeptical about the reliability of these kits, although I have no personal ownership experience.
Its not personal, but I like the Germans better then the Chinese.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
In response to some of the above discussion, Green Machine from Luna asked "who would be interested in purchasing a $5k 250/350 w ebike?" I would for one. I know the BBSHD will kick my butt but fit and finish mean something to me. I love the integrated look of the Haibikes, I love the smooth predictable power delivery of the bosch systems I have ridden. I like that the battery doesn't rattle. I also like that its legal. (I know- boo hiss) I also know that that my 500w ebike hub kit will smoke my friends nice EVO 29r, and the two bbshd's I have ridden will smoke my hubbie. but sometimes a rat bike just won't get it!

So Mr Ravi, or Mr Chris from Ny, what happens if I buy a Bosch drive unit and it fails? I'm 4 hrs from NY and Mr Luna has a point there's no service center on the corner. There are other dealers around but not many units in stock.

And Mr Luna, I have a nice $2k bike just waiting for a BBSHD but I'm very skeptical about the reliability of these kits, although I have no personal ownership experience.
Its not personal, but I like the Germans better then the Chinese.
@Shoestring
Bosch and Yamaha drive systems have less than 1% failure.
We purchased 200+ Haibikes this year and the failure rate is so low we are completely re-strategizing the purchase for 2017.

All service/warranty claims are handled by Magura (Bosch's service partner).
Let's say the motor stopped working, you call the dealer who is 4hrs away from you. They will try to troubleshoot it and solve the problem.
If that doesn't yield any results, Magura will completely replace the motor. In one case, we just sent a replacement bike and asked the customer to return the defective bike/motor but that's one in 200 bikes.
The engineering within the Bosch or Yamaha is far more sophisticated than the BBS-HD. Take a look at this video.


I am very much aware of the BBS-HD, in fact I had a long discussion at Interbike with the Bafang rep.
They even had a torque sensing BBS-HD designed to compete against the likes of Yamaha and Bosch. Here is a pic.

BBS-HD Torque sensor.JPG

I spent 30 mins test riding this thing. It's very powerful but it lacks the finesse. It was so powerful that I completed jammed the chain.
If you're just looking to get to Pt B from Pt A, BBS-HD is a great choice. If you're after certain refinement then Yamaha or Bosch is the way to go. This is very important for technical riding where you need precise control.
On the BBS-HD, once you hit certain RPM, the motor spins so fast that you're just freewheeling... for anyone who has ridden a Yamaha or Bosch, that's a very different experience.

Also, once you start using motors that are beyond let's say ~750W, it leans more towards motorbike than an e-"Bicycle".
Lot's of people like Stealth Bomber kind of bikes... more power to them.. I really enjoy torque sensing bikes that really handle like a bicycle.
I wish Bosch motors had slightly more oomph to them. But then you run into drivetrain problems etc.
 
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