Hello from SoCal USA

chunk

Member
Region
USA
Hi all, new here today. I've been wanting an e-bike for some time now, and have started to do the research necessary to find something that will work for me. Lots to consider. One question I have, and haven't been able to answer is, are parts easily available? I do all my own service and repair on my motorcycles and vehicles and would expect to do the same for an e-bike. In the gear driven hubs the planetary gears seem to be a wear item. Are these gears generic, sort of standard, proprietary, or manufacturer specific? Thanks for any info and for having me as part of the community. Cheers, Scott.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
The only gear I've seen in stock was for a bafang. It wasn't clear which model bafang motor it was for, there are several.
The geared hub motors run from $150 to $800, so it is not a tragedy if one wears out. I wore one out (gears) in ~4500 miles, which cost me $221. The replacement motor had more of a reputation, and cost $740. I hope the second one lasts more than 3 years. That replacement cost included a built wheel, controller, throttle. It only took me 2 afternoons to convert from one hub drive to the next. One afternoon was building a new mount for the incompatible second controller.
The people that can really be hurt are bike owners that had a proprietary battery with patented configuration and connectors. Replacements batteries can be $1000 up. Batteries are a ~1000 charge item. People that live in California Colorado & Ohio can transport their old batteries to a rebuilder. The rest of us have to throw the old battery away or drive 1500 miles, LiIon batteries over a certain size can't be shipped. Only by trained, certified, hazmat shippers.
One certainty for us pedal bike converters is wheel size and fork size. Both are standard. Even other vendors will follow those standards. I used a generic battery with standard 14 ga wires exposed. I cut off the OEM connector and use standard dorman crimp terminals, industrial grade. I've had no power failures in 6500 miles.
Happy shopping, & later maybe riding.
 

chunk

Member
Region
USA
The only gear I've seen in stock was for a bafang. It wasn't clear which model bafang motor it was for, there are several.
The geared hub motors run from $150 to $800, so it is not a tragedy if one wears out. I wore one out (gears) in ~4500 miles, which cost me $221. The replacement motor had more of a reputation, and cost $740. I hope the second one lasts more than 3 years. That replacement cost included a built wheel, controller, throttle. It only took me 2 afternoons to convert from one hub drive to the next. One afternoon was building a new mount for the incompatible second controller.
The people that can really be hurt are bike owners that had a proprietary battery with patented configuration and connectors. Replacements batteries can be $1000 up. Batteries are a ~1000 charge item. People that live in California Colorado & Ohio can transport their old batteries to a rebuilder. The rest of us have to throw the old battery away or drive 1500 miles, LiIon batteries over a certain size can't be shipped. Only by trained, certified, hazmat shippers.
One certainty for us pedal bike converters is wheel size and fork size. Both are standard. Even other vendors will follow those standards. I used a generic battery with standard 14 ga wires exposed. I cut off the OEM connector and use standard dorman crimp terminals, industrial grade. I've had no power failures in 6500 miles.
Happy shopping, & later maybe riding.
Thanks for that. That's what I saw too, Bafang gears were available and I thought maybe they were a standard size possibly. Rad Power Bike has been reluctant to give up much specific info, mostly vague replies and said if a gear goes bad the only remedy was a new wheel / motor combo. I thought that would be a bit silly for just for a nylon (or some kind of plastic) gear or three. I've looked at the direct drive, but like the idea of the gear reduction. Thanks again. Scott.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Scott, I do all of my own service work too. From what I've been able to gather, I think you're going to find there is a LOT of riding from the point you get a new bike to the point there's much concern over gear replacement. The engineering is done right....
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Whether or not you can do your own service versus being forced to have a dealer do work on a proprietary system is really dependent on your choice of bike. In my case, I choose to build my own from the frame up. Cast about the internet and you will see no shortage of ebikes built with duct tape and chain saws, with rust being a core component. DIY gets a reputation as a result but you don't have to be that guy. As I often say in those groups (which makes me even more popular than usual) "DIY does not necessarily mean half-assed".

And I concur with what @AHicks said above. You are going to need to work pretty hard to wear down the internal gears on a quality motor. On my Bafang fat geared hubs, I have one with about 8000 miles on it. I used to re-grease this kind of motor every 3000 miles or 6 months (I have 4 of them). Then I took the time to clean out all of the white lithium grease on one of them, and redid it with Mobilgrease 28. I've never had to re-grease since, and have done two more like that.

Proprietary systems? You get to pay more and be locked into a dealer service network. Up to the buyer to decide if they want the security blanket and the price that comes with it.
 

chunk

Member
Region
USA
Scott, I do all of my own service work too. From what I've been able to gather, I think you're going to find there is a LOT of riding from the point you get a new bike to the point there's much concern over gear replacement. The engineering is done right....
I'm sure I agree with you, and they are quite well engineered. I just like to know there is an after sales supply chain and I'm not buying a throw away bike, sometimes parts fail. I just couldn't throw the motor and wheel in the bin because it needed a plastic planetary gear. Thanks for the response, Scott.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Scott, RAD offers some of the best customer care available on line anywhere, but the idea of tossing a motor/wheel assy would come from a culture whare it's easier to do that than explain the why's and how to questions it would take to replace the gears. It's NOT something somebody used to doing their own work would even consider. Especially when they are using Bafang geared hubs for the most part, which use some of the easiest to get parts.

To illustrate my case-
https://www.amazon.com/chuancheng-3...=1&keywords=bafang+gear&qid=1618879018&sr=8-2
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Whether or not you can do your own service versus being forced to have a dealer do work on a proprietary system is really dependent on your choice of bike. In my case, I choose to build my own from the frame up. Cast about the internet and you will see no shortage of ebikes built with duct tape and chain saws, with rust being a core component. DIY gets a reputation as a result but you don't have to be that guy. As I often say in those groups (which makes me even more popular than usual) "DIY does not necessarily mean half-assed".

And I concur with what @AHicks said above. You are going to need to work pretty hard to wear down the internal gears on a quality motor. On my Bafang fat geared hubs, I have one with about 8000 miles on it. I used to re-grease this kind of motor every 3000 miles or 6 months (I have 4 of them). Then I took the time to clean out all of the white lithium grease on one of them, and redid it with Mobilgrease 28. I've never had to re-grease since, and have done two more like that.

Proprietary systems? You get to pay more and be locked into a dealer service network. Up to the buyer to decide if they want the security blanket and the price that comes with it.
Sounds like something I would say/have said on numerous occasions.

Agree on the building quality as well. I built my first 2 bikes, and modified the daylights out of the next one. All look like production bikes, or in some cases maybe better, as the cables are all the correct length and not installed like a rat's nest just ahead of the handlebars. -Al
 

tomjasz

Well-Known Member
Didn't mean to slight Greenbikekit in any way. My point was regarding how easy the parts were to find... -Al
They are easy? I keep running into buyers struggling to sort which replacement sets are correct. I missed reading your comments regarding GBK.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
I suppose it would depend on exactly what you were looking for, but the OP had mentioned gears for a hub drive. Those are EASY!
 

tomjasz

Well-Known Member
Those are EASY!
I beg to differ. Not intending any insult or criticism, how many different gear sets have you tried to source? I’m pretty OK at providing support but I’ve hit walls looking for several. Now if your strictly saying “easy to find” OK. But sourcing, buying, and getting the right set can be very frustrating and very difficult. But hey, I’m open to anyone sharing their sources.;)
 

john peck

Well-Known Member
"DIY does not necessarily mean half-assed".
Yur obviously not talking about some of my early DIYs. My 1st attempt at electric was the heater fan motor
from a bus, a clock radio rheostat for a controller, & 2 12volt lead acid motorcycle batteries. It worked great for
half a mile before bursting into flames. Before that I built a number of weedwhackers in a variety of configurations
 
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AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
I beg to differ. Not intending any insult or criticism, how many different gear sets have you tried to source? I’m pretty OK at providing support but I’ve hit walls looking for several. Now if your strictly saying “easy to find” OK. But sourcing, buying, and getting the right set can be very frustrating and very difficult. But hey, I’m open to anyone sharing their sources.;)
Did you bother clicking on the Amazon link I posted above? If gears are available from Amazon, I have to beleive they're easy to get.

And to keep things in proper context, that was regarding the comment where our OP mentioned RAD was encouraging entire wheel motor replacement. RAD uses Bafang for the most part, and THOSE gears are relatively easy to find.

I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be real hard to come up with a list that were not available, but how many would there be if we were searching only for gears used in CURRENT production bikes?
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
I have no idea even who made the motor that I wore out the gears on. It says "ebikeling zc21616165". He hasn't sold 48 v motors for 2 years. I don't know even why I haven't thrown it out yet. Maybe to salvage the cover screws. Dimensions are really hard to come by on amazon ebay modernbike or niagaracycle any of them.
 

tomjasz

Well-Known Member
Did you bother clicking on the Amazon link I posted above?
One version does not cover all versions. You’re giving me Timpo argument. Based on a search without the experience of trying to support customers. You have all my respect, but I’m afraid we haven’t the same experience and perspective. I say that with all respect for the incredibly helpful poster you are here.:)
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
One version does not cover all versions. You’re giving me Timpo argument. Based on a search without the experience of trying to support customers. You have all my respect, but I’m afraid we haven’t the same experience and perspective. I say that with all respect for the incredibly helpful poster you are here.:)
Please school me? Those gears are advertised as fitting a Bafang 8Fun. I know these as being one of the more popular 500 watt motors currently in use - including those by RAD. You say no? Why? Please expand just a bit?