Mac Hubs -- The Company

George S.

Well-Known Member
I've run a Mac motor for 18 months. It's a great compromise. The price is low, but it's a geared hub with a clutch. It's more premium than the basic Ebay stuff. I like the 10 pound weight, and it climbs pretty well up to 10% grades with some pedal effort. The composite gears may be the best around and you can buy kits for the gears and the clutch for under $100.

I noticed they have a page on Alibaba. Compared to Bafang, this is a tiny, tiny company, like 30,000 units a year, mostly for export. I got the motor from Paul, EM3ev, but eventually I would expect Mac to try to sell directly off Ali.

It might help if they could integrate a torque sensor, or maybe allow the motor to be programmed with Bluetooth. These hubs are great, DD or geared, because they are simple. You bolt the motor onto the frame, wire it up, and ride. Hubs mean less maintenance on chains and gears. My three hub builds seem to require little or no maintenance.

https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/class-leading-bicycle-electric-motor-ebike_325172247.html?s=p

You can tab over to a company profile. This is why I think Alibaba has a decent future. There must be stuff out there that no one in the US wants to build up as a product line.
 

John46

Member
I've run a Mac motor for 18 months. It's a great compromise. The price is low, but it's a geared hub with a clutch. It's more premium than the basic Ebay stuff. I like the 10 pound weight, and it climbs pretty well up to 10% grades with some pedal effort. The composite gears may be the best around and you can buy kits for the gears and the clutch for under $100.

I noticed they have a page on Alibaba. Compared to Bafang, this is a tiny, tiny company, like 30,000 units a year, mostly for export. I got the motor from Paul, EM3ev, but eventually I would expect Mac to try to sell directly off Ali.

It might help if they could integrate a torque sensor, or maybe allow the motor to be programmed with Bluetooth. These hubs are great, DD or geared, because they are simple. You bolt the motor onto the frame, wire it up, and ride. Hubs mean less maintenance on chains and gears. My three hub builds seem to require little or no maintenance.

https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/class-leading-bicycle-electric-motor-ebike_325172247.html?s=p

You can tab over to a company profile. This is why I think Alibaba has a decent future. There must be stuff out there that no one in the US wants to build up as a product line.
Hi George: I am still on the fence between a Mac (rear wheel) and a bbso2 750 w. I know that in the end I need to make the call but from what I have read, and I have read plenty, I like them both. Maybe you can sway me. For all intents and purposes they are the same price, at least they are from em3ev after you put on a pedal sensor, torque arm, ect. My biggest concern is the effort it takes to fit a flat. I don't need torque because I live in a flat area, I am not commuting only pleasure riding. I don't like the size of the dd hub motors but the geared are more stealth. It is really a tough call but one that I don't want to regret. On another note I am looking for some advice one a bike, but i may need to create a new post to get some opinions. I can get a Trek 820, no disc brakes at my lbs for $369 plus tax or I can get a Motobecane Elite or the Motobecane 400 HT mtn bike for similar price and they have disc brakes. Any thoughts. John
 

Berry78

Active Member
I'm interested in this too. I like the idea of rear hubs, but which ones allow a quick release rear wheel (and with a quick disconnect of the wires too).
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
I put a Magic Pie on the Trek. I wanted a steel frame. The weight of the MP is 20 lbs, and the frame on the Trek is heavy. It works, as an ebike, but it's heavier than most people would want. I don't recall finding a decent steel bike at BD. I bought a cruiser with a CrMo fork, from them, put a front Golden Smart Pie on it.

I believe the Mac is around ten pounds. Half the weight and similar performance (some noise). I'd rather have a Mac back there, but it's a very close call. The MP is silent and the DD means no real wear parts at all. The Mac is very serviceable, and it's a price class where you can start to write it off after a couple of years. The Mac is a great compromise over the Golden DD's because of the weight, plus they are smaller across, but the MP is elegantly slender, which helps with disk brakes and other fitting issues. The Mac has a better throttle, not jumpy or hard to modulate.

I don't think I want a mid-drive, so I am not in the mainstream of DIY. I climb decent hills, maybe 7%, and it's not a problem. I can ride without shifting, just using the throttle to start and get up to speed, then pedaling normally.

The Trek has basic brakes, but I tend to go 18 mph on the flats. Steel bikes tend to be cheap with basic parts. BD will upgrade parts, up to a point. You can find older stuff or find a bike or shop and get disk brakes. I think I have those basic Tektro disks on my Elite. They are OK, nothing special. I had some Avid hydraulics on another bike. I miss them. The Trek front suspension work pretty well for me. It's a bike shop bike so you can test it.

You don't want to push a $400 bike too far. That's a bike designed to be ridden 16mph by a fit rider. A true mountain bike, even a 'value' mountain bike ($1500+) is going to be designed to take more abuse. You don't see reports of problems converting $400 bikes, but I would at least go with ebike speed rated tires and run real brake tests.
 

John46

Member
I put a Magic Pie on the Trek. I wanted a steel frame. The weight of the MP is 20 lbs, and the frame on the Trek is heavy. It works, as an ebike, but it's heavier than most people would want. I don't recall finding a decent steel bike at BD. I bought a cruiser with a CrMo fork, from them, put a front Golden Smart Pie on it.

I believe the Mac is around ten pounds. Half the weight and similar performance (some noise). I'd rather have a Mac back there, but it's a very close call. The MP is silent and the DD means no real wear parts at all. The Mac is very serviceable, and it's a price class where you can start to write it off after a couple of years. The Mac is a great compromise over the Golden DD's because of the weight, plus they are smaller across, but the MP is elegantly slender, which helps with disk brakes and other fitting issues. The Mac has a better throttle, not jumpy or hard to modulate.

I don't think I want a mid-drive, so I am not in the mainstream of DIY. I climb decent hills, maybe 7%, and it's not a problem. I can ride without shifting, just using the throttle to start and get up to speed, then pedaling normally.

The Trek has basic brakes, but I tend to go 18 mph on the flats. Steel bikes tend to be cheap with basic parts. BD will upgrade parts, up to a point. You can find older stuff or find a bike or shop and get disk brakes. I think I have those basic Tektro disks on my Elite. They are OK, nothing special. I had some Avid hydraulics on another bike. I miss them. The Trek front suspension work pretty well for me. It's a bike shop bike so you can test it.

You don't want to push a $400 bike too far. That's a bike designed to be ridden 16mph by a fit rider. A true mountain bike, even a 'value' mountain bike ($1500+) is going to be designed to take more abuse. You don't see reports of problems converting $400 bikes, but I would at least go with ebike speed rated tires and run real brake tests.
George thank you for your comments. What is it you do not like about mid-drive? This is this the question I am wrestling with.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
The only DIY mid-drive was BBS02 until recently. There were throttle issues, programming issues, so a throttle was the easy way to burn up the controller. When they put the better FET's in the controller, it made it less of an issue, but the BBSHD is still the safest way to go. The HD can get expensive with parts people tend to add.

I'm an advocate for hubs. No one listens to me. Hubs are a tiny part of DIY and the BBS stuff is the mainstream. People should test mid-drives. It's a more refined drive train, but it means shifting quite a bit more.

There are a lot of issues with almost any mid-drive, wear issues and shifting issues. When they have an automatic shifting system that is fully integrated and fully automatic, the mid-drives will be pretty killer, but you'll pay for it.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
What is it you do not like about mid-drive? This is this the question I am wrestling with.
Hi John...For me, the main trade off on the BBS02 was the higher cost at $499-549 as opposed to my $199 hub wheel kits. I now have 290 miles on my mid drive and nothing has broken, although I have a new chain, freewheel, and derailleur in preparation. If I commuted at 25 mph (bike can do 28+). maybe I would be complaining. Maybe I would have crashed before I broke it. Who knows. At my pace, 12-14 mph, nothing is stressed. No programming issues because I didn't buy the cable. I didn't need a shift sensor and I shift all my bikes. The little imps that spin the motors like it when we use what Archimedes wrote down about levers and gears so long ago. I did benefit from Bafang's upgraded drive transistors, so I could whip them imps if I wanted to. The days when I would miss a shift and grab 2nd gear at 80 mph on the dragstrip are long gone for me.

I've put together two hubs and the BBS02. The BBS02 was the easiest.I didn't have chain line issues. I didn't have to spread or squash a frame to get the hub axles to fit, and I've done both. No torque arms. No thinking about the controller. The Bafang wire harness is a pleasure. Why can't they standardize on the connectors and make them all plug/play like that.

On the other hand, the $300 saved over a mid drive kit can go toward the battery on a hub motor, but you almost have to buy the same BB tools to install the PAS for a hub motor. A small hub motor is more stealthy too, although why we want stealth is another topic. Finally, I have put on 400 miles on my first hub motor, and it has really been all I needed.

The MAC is a bit more expensive and higher powered for my needs on a hub motor, but I am sure it's reliable and robust.
 
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John46

Member
HarryS, There is no cost advantage to the hub drive vs the bbs02, at least not if you get the mac and I don't want dd. Round numbers the bbs02 is $525 shipped. The mac is $600 by the time you get the torque arms and pas display (not even digital) so price is not a consideration. I want ease of use and the ability to go up to 30 mph if I want to, not that I should nor do I really need to. This is why this decision has been so difficult for me. It is nice to hear from people that have had both and it is also interesting to see that no so far has gone from a bbso2 to a geared hub motor, at least that I know of. I am hoping for those, like you, who have or had both to tell me what they like and don't like about both in terms of performance and ease of use. If I understand you correctly so are saying that shifting down and up is not an issue. On my non-motorized bike I tend to not shift much, leave in a lower gear most of the time. I don't care about stealth since where i live i cannot ride an ebike on the 15 mile paved trail that cost us tax payers $30 million and counting. You can ride a segway, go figure. Makes me think.