Bafang and NuVinci?

#1
I'm thinking about a Bafang BBS02 mid-drive kit for my 29er commuter/all arounder (many thanks to Court J. for the helpful info--I definitely thing a mid drive is the way to go). I also had a chance to test ride a Haibike XDuro Trekking earlier today at a dealer, and ... WOW! The Bosch system is just seamless. I was impressed. The Haibike may be an option, but I really like my current bike and if I could get a Bafang dialed in, it might just do the trick and I'd have more bike for the money. A question that's come up during my research on the Bafang is compatibility with the NuVinci n360 CVT hub. Lectric Cycles says on their website that use of the Bafang should be avoided with IGHs, and they don't recommend using the NuVinci, either. Yet, I've seen some really awesome builds that combine the BBS02 and the NuVinci.

What am I missing?
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
#2
I was looking around, wondering about the same thing. The first thing is that the spec sheet says it is a 250 watt limit.

I asked someone on You Tube who did the BBS02 plus the NuVinci 360. The answer is in the comments. To summarize, it works, but you have to baby the Nuvi.


Nuvinci has another hub, but they seem to be partnering with Bosch and it is being offered as an automatic. That's the Sync.

Bafang says in their literature they have 35 engineers on the staff, something like that. You would figure they would be pushing the tech along. This issue seems to stand out. Lectric out there in Tempe seems to be plugged in with Bafang, so maybe they would know if 8Fun might develop the BBS02 to shift smoother in the next version.

I don't know much about any of this but the BBS02 seems to be a very clever kit. There's a lot of stuff on Endless Sphere. The conversions that people have done seem to work very well, if people follow a set of rules shifting.
 
#3
Very cool. Thanks for the YouTube link. It certainly seems like the NuVinci would work if you're careful to disengage the motor with the brake lever before shifting. This seems to be the mode for derailleur shifting with the Bafang, too. I guess it would just require some practice to get used to it.

Your reference to a possible next generation Bafang, maybe with a torque sensor is intriguing. Has anyone else heard anything along those lines, or are they just vague rumors?
 
#4
I'm getting closer to ordering the Bafang BBS-02 kit. I found this good video describing the shifting process with the Bafang. It doesn't seem too difficult.

 
#6
George, thanks so much for the link. Very interesting. Looks like this shift sensor for the Bafang has a lot of promise, though it appears there may be some bugs to work out first. Definitely worth keeping an eye on.

On a related note, I ordered the 500W BBS-02 kit from em3ev, a couple of days ago and I will be modifying a stock Surly Ogre with it. This means, at least at first, I will keep the 11-36 10-speed cassette in the rear and try it with the brake lever shift technique. The plan is to run it with the stock cassette for a while and then, if necessary, build a new rear wheel with an IGH or NuVinci hub down the road. The shift sensor might also be worth trying down the road, too.

Can't wait. ... I'll be sure to share some pics and post my own review of the Bafang on this site when I get it up and running. This community has been very welcoming and a wealth of helpful information.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
#7
George, thanks so much for the link. Very interesting. Looks like this shift sensor for the Bafang has a lot of promise, though it appears there may be some bugs to work out first. Definitely worth keeping an eye on.

On a related note, I ordered the 500W BBS-02 kit from em3ev, a couple of days ago and I will be modifying a stock Surly Ogre with it. This means, at least at first, I will keep the 11-36 10-speed cassette in the rear and try it with the brake lever shift technique. The plan is to run it with the stock cassette for a while and then, if necessary, build a new rear wheel with an IGH or NuVinci hub down the road. The shift sensor might also be worth trying down the road, too.

Can't wait. ... I'll be sure to share some pics and post my own review of the Bafang on this site when I get it up and running. This community has been very welcoming and a wealth of helpful information.
See George's post on a Bafang field trip report.. pretty interesting.
 

Gus

Active Member
#8
George, thanks so much for the link. Very interesting. Looks like this shift sensor for the Bafang has a lot of promise, though it appears there may be some bugs to work out first. Definitely worth keeping an eye on.

On a related note, I ordered the 500W BBS-02 kit from em3ev, a couple of days ago and I will be modifying a stock Surly Ogre with it. This means, at least at first, I will keep the 11-36 10-speed cassette in the rear and try it with the brake lever shift technique. The plan is to run it with the stock cassette for a while and then, if necessary, build a new rear wheel with an IGH or NuVinci hub down the road. The shift sensor might also be worth trying down the road, too.

Can't wait. ... I'll be sure to share some pics and post my own review of the Bafang on this site when I get it up and running. This community has been very welcoming and a wealth of helpful information.
Congrats on the purchase! I've got mine installed on a Surly LHT and the Bafang on a steel bike is like butter!

I think you'll find that the shifting thing is really not that bad. I find it annoying but not so bad that I would drop $300+ on an IGH to get something better. You should eventually get used to it.
 
#9
Gus, your e-LHT sounds like a great build! Do you have any pics to share?

I hope that with a little practice the shifting will become easy. The IGH or NuVinci option is mostly a matter of gear range for me. I got the 44-tooth chainring and if the 11-36 cassette gives me enough low-end gearing for hill-climbing with my bad knee, I'll stick with it, for sure. Time will tell. If not, an IGH would enable me to run a smaller chainring (with adapter) and not worry about chain line issues.

I'm excited about the build and looking forward to sharing my experiences when I get it together.
 
#10
I thought the whole point of the NuVinci was that it would be much better suited for a mid-drive than any step-change gearing. In fact the guy with the youtube video you linked to said he chose the NuVinci specifically for that reason, so he wouldn't have to baby the gearing.
 

Paul E.

Active Member
#11
I thought the whole point of the NuVinci was that it would be much better suited for a mid-drive than any step-change gearing. In fact the guy with the youtube video you linked to said he chose the NuVinci specifically for that reason, so he wouldn't have to baby the gearing.
Because NuVinci transmits forces internally using friction, it could have problems handling extra torque.
 
#12
It's really easy to have smooth torque free shift. It just takes a bit of coordination. I give a light tap, not enough to engage, on the brake lever to stop power to the motor. I have been riding with a Sturmey Archer 3speed hub and a Shimano#spd hub. They are taking it just fine. BUT just because it's electric doesn't mean I ride it like a performance motorcycle. I've been testing Gearsensors for 6 months and am as yet not thrilled. The final product is just being introduced. I like the way it works, but the trial versions are inconsistent. Sadly this has taken a long time to sort out, but in the end, a little practice and some finesse and shifting is nice and smooth. I really don't find it any more difficult than the transition I made some 50 years ago going from my SA 3spd Schwinn to my first ten speed. It took a little practice.
 
#13
I'd like to see how the Harmony and H|Sync work out. Having an auto shifting NuVinci might be just the ticket. Pick a cadence and let the computer adjust the gear automatically.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
#14
The last time I looked at the Fallbrook website they were partnering with Bosch, Europe only, to develop the system. That pretty much locks out 8Fun. Given that it will be a Euro deal, expect the announcements maybe at Interbike 2016 and products will be available mid-2018 in the US. All the stuff from the last Interbike is slowly drifting into the US picture. It seems kind of over-promoted, given the delays. I don't know how people can stay excited about this stuff. I think some of these products reach the US when they fall off a freighter and just drift here.

Bosch already has a smooth mid-drive. Whether the Bafang unit is 'good enough' as is doesn't mean there won't be a shift sensor, one way or another. Just the fact it is constantly being discussed suggests it is an issue. How do you send a new rider/buyer out with a system he has to fiddle with to get it to shift cleanly?

With the US power standards, it's harder to justify a mid-drive, given the price. If the two speed hub starts to develop, there is even less justification. There isn't that much need to shift with a full power hub drive. An automatic system would be a total waste. I could see it on a road bike, where you hit a steep up and down and have to shift a lot of gears. But no one wants the weight and the efficiency of the gear system is debatable, up to now.

If you love the technology and the whiz bang gadgetry, that's great. But it's a European kind of deal, and pretty high end. The US is a tertiary market for these products. You have huge volumes of basic stuff in China and Asia. You have the high end market in Europe. And a still uninspired market in the US.
 
#15
http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=60963

This thread has been running for 6 months. It might be a solution.
Sadly, not yet.

I'm curious. I have ridden the Bosch Mid and it was sadly lacking in power. Have you ridden the BBS01 or 02 to have a comparison? Bosch is certainly slicker and the noise about 8Fun is obvious, but given the number of them in use it seems much adieu about nothing to many, including myself. Baffang has a new version it introduced. Very much like the Bosch in that it's developed for OEM use. Baffang and Bosch are also very different markets. Frankly, given my experience with Bosch appliances and support, I'd run not walk from their product. I rode dozens of OEM Bikes and found nothing I really liked or that was a good fit. Kits mean adapting to your favorite. I think conversions will remain a bigger market in the US since it seems we want more speed than the EU is willing to allow. At least for now. BUT, like the scooter market bikes will likely remain a niche and hobby market anyway. At least until we are backed into a corner and gas goes back to a rational pricing and sustainability becomes popular. I expected to see that change by now, but 50 years later bikes are still toys here.

There's another interesting kit that seems to get overlooked because of it's simplicity and somewhat unattractive design.
The BEWO mid drive. Quite inexpensive as quality kits go.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
#17
Utah has gradually become a Top Ten kind of state for cycling. There are some very intense people here, and they work very hard with UDOT to get bike infrastructure. I guess the bad news is that ebikes don't play much of a role in this. There are great bike paths in the St. George area, with more in the works. I ride a road bike on the paths, because the paths aren't designed for much speed and they are level.

Bikes and ebikes need to work together. It has to be a transportation vision. I don't really know who will have access to bike paths. Technically, motors are not allowed (on bike paths) in Utah, and there is no exemption for ebikes in the state law that I can find. Owning a couple of bikes (or more) can be fun.

I can't find much to complain about with my Prodeco X3. I rode it 20 miles yesterday. The battery seems strong. It's a nice combination of parts with a pretty wide dirt/road tire. I was trying to figure out what I might build that would be better. I could see a fat tire bike, just because there are bad dirt roads around here, plus snow. But that's about it. I don't need any more power. I don't climb hills steep enough to require a mid drive. The 500w hub and throttle means I don't shift much, mostly just to be able to pedal going up or down real hills.

There are nice 500w hub ebikes out there for reasonable prices. I looked at the Haibike that won Bike of the Year last September, a couple of days after the award was presented. It's OK, but I can understand why Prodeco and Pedego (wow, that's confusing) makes "American Bikes" that have a pretty different look, and use our higher legal power levels. In my youth, people knew what an "American Car" was. Maybe there should be American ebikes. If nothing else, a kit makes an ebike look like a bike, since that is what you started with.
 

biknut

Active Member
#19
Utah has gradually become a Top Ten kind of state for cycling. There are some very intense people here, and they work very hard with UDOT to get bike infrastructure. I guess the bad news is that ebikes don't play much of a role in this. There are great bike paths in the St. George area, with more in the works. I ride a road bike on the paths, because the paths aren't designed for much speed and they are level.

Bikes and ebikes need to work together. It has to be a transportation vision. I don't really know who will have access to bike paths. Technically, motors are not allowed (on bike paths) in Utah, and there is no exemption for ebikes in the state law that I can find. Owning a couple of bikes (or more) can be fun.
Federal law specifically states that eBikes are not considered motor vehicles. When a trail is posted "no motor vehicles" then it's perfectly fine for eBikes. In order to exclude eBikes state law would need to specifically mention that eBikes are banned, however that's not going to happen in most cases, because federal law also demands access for eBikes on any trail made all, or in part with federal money.

Most state laws regarding eBikes are basically just a copy of the federal statutes.
 
#20
There so many points being missed in the views of mid drives. The balance that comes from having the motor and battery center and low makes for a very different ride. I didn't at all enjoy the rack mounted battery mounts especially after riding a mid with a bottle battery. I really wish the detractors and reviewers had experience rather than just read what others have written. Making observations based on forum negatives just doesn't make sense to me. We typically don't get on and post our succeses. For every whine about shifting issues ther are scores who have adapted and shift just find.