Mid drive ?

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
You have some valid points here. One of the things I like riding a quality hub on the road is shifting does not effect the output of the motor since the rpm of the hub only depends on speed. After the shift the hub resumes giving the same amount of power as before. That is probably what you also like.
When you shift on a mid drive, that results in a significant cadence change, this results in changing your point in the powerband significantly. If you lower your cadence too much then the motor, especially at higher support levels, will give less power until you reach a similar cadence again. That is probably what you feel. Of course at lower support levels or with big motors like ultra this effect is minimized. So the advantage of mid drive in climbing becomes a disadvantage when riding on the not too steep roads.

The delay that people experience in cheaper hub systems is a combination of having a low resolution cadence only sensor and low sampling rate at the controller. The lower the resolution the more angular movement it takes to detect speed hence will cause a delay. Also low quality controllers do not have the proper implementation that will create a smooth start for these motors. The forums is full of silly generalizations of these systems by looking at the low end systems.
What I've found with the Ultra, it's much like the 4 stroke ATV/quads and dirt bikes I rode for so many years. At cruise speeds, you really don't need to change cadence or power settings much. You just change gears to adjust your speed! There's SO much torque available, the motor really doesn't care about the load you have on it (within reason).

Re: cadence resolution, that setting is ALL over the ball park depending on what bike you're on, and that's true on both mid drives and gear driven in my experience. The important difference is, whether or not it's adjustable to YOUR 'druthers.... For picking your way through a tight single track/low speed handling, I like it super sensitive, even if it cause me an accidental self start on occasion (shame on me!). Others, in an attempt to avoid something like an accidental self start, will go 1/2 turn on the crank or more. THAT's a delay!

Newest software settings on the newest Ultras cuts assist completely until the wheels are turning. No PAS OR throttle available from a standing stop! No using the throttle to get the bike moving! Right or wrong, people can make a case to support this. To me, that makes an awesome case for the ability to set it the way I prefer.... and thank God, that's possible on these new Ultras.
 

McCorby

Well-Known Member
The delay that people experience in cheaper hub systems is a combination of having a low resolution cadence only sensor and low sampling rate at the controller. The lower the resolution the more angular movement it takes to detect speed hence will cause a delay. Also low quality controllers do not have the proper implementation that will create a smooth start for these motors. The forums is full of silly generalizations of these systems by looking at the low end systems.

Can you maybe provide us “silly generalizers” a list of these unicorns you speak of, and the shops that sell them, so I could give one a spin? I test rode a number of hub drive bikes in southeast and southwest WI and I never had the fortune to experience one of these holy grails of which you speak.

Like I said before, I have no doubt they are out there, but I think they’re more the exception than the rule at this point in time. Just watch Court’s reviews. A large number of the hub drives he has reviewed exhibit these lag and ghost pedaling characteristics.

Also, I find it funny when the hub proponents claim that people who make these “silly generalizations“ haven’t ridden a hub motor bike. But when someone actually has, and shares their thoughts and experiences, they are told that they know not what they speak and are discredited. Good stuff!
 

McCorby

Well-Known Member
Re: cadence resolution, that setting is ALL over the ball park depending on what bike you're on, and that's true on both mid drives and gear driven in my experience. The important difference is, whether or not it's adjustable to YOUR 'druthers.... For picking your way through a tight single track/low speed handling, I like it super sensitive, even if it cause me an accidental self start on occasion (shame on me!). Others, in an attempt to avoid something like an accidental self start, will go 1/2 turn on the crank or more. THAT's a delay!
I have never experienced such lag or this “accidental self start” you speak of, when riding a Shimano, Brose, Bosch, or Yamaha mid-drive. You have? I have experienced start and stop lag with some Bafang mid-drives, but never with one of the big four.
 

Johnny

Well-Known Member
Can you maybe provide us “silly generalizers” a list of these unicorns you speak of, and the shops that sell them, so I could give one a spin? I test rode a number of hub drive bikes in southeast and southwest WI and I never had the fortune to experience one of these holy grails of which you speak.

Like I said before, I have no doubt they are out there, but I think they’re more the exception than the rule at this point in time. Just watch Court’s reviews. A large number of the hub drives he has reviewed exhibit these lag and ghost pedaling characteristics.

Also, I find it funny when the hub proponents claim that people who make these “silly generalizations“ haven’t ridden a hub motor bike. But when someone actually has, and shares their thoughts and experiences, they are told that they know not what they speak and are discredited. Good stuff!

Please stop quoting me.

It seems you don't read or understand what is being written. You are just making absolutely false generalizations by your very limited experience/knowledge.

I ,like several others in this thread, do own a hub and several mid drive ebikes. Some of us also do know how these things work in theory.
 

McCorby

Well-Known Member
Please stop quoting me.

It seems you don't read or understand what is being written. You are just making absolutely false generalizations by your very limited experience/knowledge.

I ,like several others in this thread, do own a hub and several mid drive ebikes. Some of us also do know how these things work in theory.
What, in what you just quoted me, was a false generalization? Do you even know what that means? I simply shared my thoughts and experiences. Isn’t that what this forum is all about? Are you saying my experiences are irrelevant if they don’t align with yours? Please enlighten me Johnny!

Oops, I quoted you again......my bad. Lol
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
I have never experienced such lag or this “accidental self start” you speak of, when riding a Shimano, Brose, Bosch, or Yamaha mid-drive. You have? I have experienced start and stop lag with some Bafang mid-drives, but never with one of the big four.
Nope, I don't ride bikes like those. As I do ALL of my own repair work (bar none), I buy bikes assembled using an absolute minimum of proprietary parts. Further, I MUCH prefer bikes with more power than ANY of those offer....
 

linklemming

Well-Known Member
Can you maybe provide us “silly generalizers” a list of these unicorns you speak of, and the shops that sell them, so I could give one a spin? I test rode a number of hub drive bikes in southeast and southwest WI and I never had the fortune to experience one of these holy grails of which you speak.

Like I said before, I have no doubt they are out there, but I think they’re more the exception than the rule at this point in time. Just watch Court’s reviews. A large number of the hub drives he has reviewed exhibit these lag and ghost pedaling characteristics.

Also, I find it funny when the hub proponents claim that people who make these “silly generalizations“ haven’t ridden a hub motor bike. But when someone actually has, and shares their thoughts and experiences, they are told that they know not what they speak and are discredited. Good stuff!
Indeed good quality hub drive controllers are a unicorn at this point. The fact that all the big 4 are using mid-drives will likely keep them this way.

Want to test drive a quality torque based hub drive, try a stromer. Definately the best I have ever ridden(almost bought one). I put about 5k on a Juiced CCX with torque sensor and while it gave output based on my inputs, it was pretty crude and I never really felt as connected to the bike but it was a great bike for the money and had good range.

Characterizing all hub drives based on bad controllers (mosty cadence based) doesnt tell the whole story.

I have built cadence based mid drives (bbs02) and ridden a few other cadence based mid-drives. IMHO, they are horrible just like any cadence based system.

Before I built my latest DIY GMAC build I actually tried to get a Bosch motor Cube Reaction Hybrid 45 EX 625 Allroad 29 (Class 3) but couldnt find one anywhere. About the same time I discovered that you could now buy bottom bracket torque sensors that didnt require drilling a hole in the frame (erider). I had a new spare 52V battery from a tsdz2 conversion I abandoned so I figured I would try the best of what grin technologies had to offer. I am very happy with the build and it has exceeded all my expectations. Does that make it the holy grail of ebikes, most certainly not but it works for alot of the rides I do.

FWIW, I also played with a DYI tsdz2 mid-driver conversion(with torque sensor) and even put on opensource software. It feels about the same as as my DIY GMAC build as far as responsiveness. I spent a bit of time analyzing the code and trying out how to make it more responsive but in the end, it had bearing issues after less than 1k miles and there was a hardware lowpass filter on the torque sensor signal that added a big delay so I abandoned that project.

All the mid-drives from the big 4 are great(I have 2 brose bikes) and if your budget allows, you wont be disappointed unless you want alot of power. They have done great things with the software to make them almost telepathic.

I will likely get a WattWagons Hydra with Bafang Ultra in the next year to play with and even possibly modify (grin phaserunner and CA). I would actually prefer to get a nice mid-drive like a trance or levo but not enough hard technical offroard trails are open around me to be able to justify the purchase.
 
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McCorby

Well-Known Member
Characterizing all hub drives based on bad controllers (mosty cadence based) doesnt tell the whole story.
Thanks linklemming, nice post!

Just to be clear, I never characterized all hub drive systems as having issues. I have acknowledged multiple times that there are probably very nice ones out there, but I’ve never had the opportunity to ride one.
 
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AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Regarding the "unicorn" cadence controllers. After riding a KT based system featuring "torque simulation" for several years now, I'm spoiled. VERY adjustable, including the cadence sensitivity I spoke of earlier. These are being popularized by Bolton and a couple other companies now, as drop in performance updates for Sondors and Rad bikes. The "torque simulation" amounts to a power based cadence system instead of the more typical speed based system. With the power based system, speeds are irrelevant. You set how much power (boost) you want, and that amount is constant. Doesn't change with speed. If you are set for 80 watts of "boost", that 80w will be there from 4 mph to 40 mph. You want more boost? Turn up the PAS level. Sounds corny until you ride it....

Scuttlebutt has it that the Juiced bikes may be in line for this upgrade as well.

My understanding is that the Ride One Up bikes may also be very adjustable, including adjustable power levels for each PAS as well as adjustable cadence sensing as well. No clue who's making that controller for them, and I haven't ridden one. Just reading the feed back from owners, that sounds pretty encouraging.

IMHO, if you can't get a decent cadence set up with a BBSxx, you aren't trying hard enough. I'll admit though, that controller is bordering on too much adjustability. It's identical to the one used on the Ultras, shy of the torque sensing features found only on the Ultra. -Al
 
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linklemming

Well-Known Member
Regarding the "unicorn" cadence controllers. After riding a KT based system featuring "torque simulation" for several years now, I'm spoiled. VERY adjustable, including the cadence sensitivity I spoke of earlier. These are being popularized by Bolton and a couple other companies now, as drop in performance updates for Sondors and Rad bikes. The "torque simulation" amounts to a power based cadence system instead of the more typical speed based system. With the power based system, speeds are irrelevant. You set how much power (boost) you want, and that amount is constant. Doesn't change with speed. If you are set for 80 watts of "boost", that 80w will be there from 4 mph to 40 mph. You want more boost? Turn up the PAS level. Sounds corny until you ride it....

Scuttlebutt has it that the Juiced bikes may be in line for this upgrade as well.

My understanding is that the Ride One Up bikes may also be very adjustable, including adjustable power levels for each PAS as well as adjustable cadence sensing as well. No clue who's making that controller for them, and I haven't ridden one. Just reading the feed back from owners, that sounds pretty encouraging.

IMHO, if you can't get a decent cadence set up with a BBSxx, you aren't trying hard enough. I'll admit though, that controller is bordering on too much adjustability. It's identical to the one used on the Ultras, shy of the torque sensing features found only on the Ultra. -Al
I personally tried getting a good bbs02 setup and I tried hard/researched alot on endless-sphere and electricbike.com. In the end, I personally just dont like cadence sensing only. I also prefer to spin(nothing extreme, maybe 100rpm max) when I want power and that seemed the opposite of how the bbs02 works (less assist as you spin faster). Many people like it and thats cool...whatever works. Can work well when combined with throttle.

I have thought of trying a BBSHD with a phaserunner and CA specifically to try the ability to have power increase with cadence. In the end though, I think an ultra would be better.

I will likely try cadence only with increasing power based on cadence on my GMAC setup soon.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
I personally tried getting a good bbs02 setup and I tried hard/researched alot on endless-sphere and electricbike.com. In the end, I personally just dont like cadence sensing only. I also prefer to spin(nothing extreme, maybe 100rpm max) when I want power and that seemed the opposite of how the bbs02 works (less assist as you spin faster). Many people like it and thats cool...whatever works. Can work well when combined with throttle.

I have thought of trying a BBSHD with a phaserunner and CA specifically to try the ability to have power increase with cadence. In the end though, I think an ultra would be better.

I will likely try cadence only with increasing power based on cadence on my GMAC setup soon.
Ultra limits you to a frame set up for an Ultra, but other than that I think they're the best of cadence and torque sensing. And it's very capable. Kinda like a MAC powered mid drive. Gobs of torque....
 

theemartymac

Active Member
Ultra limits you to a frame set up for an Ultra, but other than that I think they're the best of cadence and torque sensing. And it's very capable. Kinda like a MAC powered mid drive. Gobs of torque....
Luna sells a "Developers Kit" which includes the motor kit and unlocked controller and a basic mounting plate that you can weld into your frame of choice.


So, if you got a buddy with a tig welder... ;-)
 

ElevenAD

Well-Known Member
The issues you point out regarding shifting are really non-issues if you are proficient riding bicycles. I suppose for someone who is not proficient, a hub may be a better option.

Regarding “shift interruption”, my bike does not have this, nor would I want it. I’m assuming you are referring to what Bafang systems use. An interrupt switch inline with the shifter cable. Bosch’s software solution is much less obtrusive in comparison.
being proficient is a skill, it certainly takes more effort than just jumping on a bike and going like you can with a hub motor, thats why i dont let strangers hop on my mid drives but ill let anyone have a spin on my hub bike because its easier to ride.
 

ElevenAD

Well-Known Member
I have thought of trying a BBSHD with a phaserunner and CA specifically to try the ability to have power increase with cadence. In the end though, I think an ultra would be better.
The Ultra is amazing but a BBSHD/Phaserunner/CA set up could also be awesome, it would be really quiet and smooth and still pack a punch for around the same price plus your not limited to Ultra Specific frames.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
The Ultra is amazing but a BBSHD/Phaserunner/CA set up could also be awesome, it would be really quiet and smooth and still pack a punch for around the same price plus your not limited to Ultra Specific frames.
Geez, I couldn't agree more. Get back with me when that clunky display is updated.....
If there were more display options available, I would very likely have a GMAC in my stable.....
 

Kayakguy

Active Member
Bike: 2016 model year Haibike Full FatSix. Commissioned in April, 2017. Yamaha PW drive. FSA front double chain ring. Shimano HG chain. 10 speed Shimano Rear Cassette.

Current miles on odometer: Approx 12,200. At around 11,000 miles, I finally stretched the chain beyond it's usable limits to the point where in starting to pedal, the chain would skip right off the front chain ring from the excessive slack.

I pedal in mainly water level riding, just local steep gradients coming out of a creek shed.

I religously keep the chain clean and lubricated with DuPont Chain Saver Spray Lube. How religious? Every other ride.

I pedal "lightly", shifting all the time to stay in or around 78 rpm. I do not "mash the pedals", instead.....I shift gears. Lots and lots of times on each ride. Prior to each shift, I ease up pressure on the pedals to avoid shock loading the chain, motor, chain ring, cassette. The Yamaha does NOT have shift detection like the Bosch does. YOU are the shift detection. OR....maybe you are not the shift detection! :)
This is the first time I've seen religion invoked in regard to bike maintenance. I'm wondering if there are special incantations you use, or ordinary standard issue prayers. Has the religious approach paid dividends in any other way, such as enhanced peace of mind or better marital relations? I had a neighbor whose transmission went out. He prayed mightily, out loud, and was burning candles, etc. After a few days, his transmission still was toast, so he gave it up and became an atheist. When he went to sell the car as salvage, it turned out that the transmission had been stolen.

TLDR.....but I wanted to set that all up to say that no matter how religous you are in lubing the chain, lightly spinning the pedals and the rest that sooner or later, wear is wear is wear. And so it was when my chain finally became unrideable. I figured if I'm gonna replace the chain, well, the front chain ring was shot too and since I was doing the front chain ring, chain too, that I'd treat the Full FatSix to a new rear cassette and rear derailleur too......

The below is what a new front chain ring looks like as compared to a worn chain ring at 11 thousand miles......

View attachment 75992


I hope this info is of help to you and other people as well. With all of this accumulated wear, mid-drives are still the best way to go, imo.
Bike: 2016 model year Haibike Full FatSix. Commissioned in April, 2017. Yamaha PW drive. FSA front double chain ring. Shimano HG chain. 10 speed Shimano Rear Cassette.

Current miles on odometer: Approx 12,200. At around 11,000 miles, I finally stretched the chain beyond it's usable limits to the point where in starting to pedal, the chain would skip right off the front chain ring from the excessive slack.

I pedal in mainly water level riding, just local steep gradients coming out of a creek shed.

I religously keep the chain clean and lubricated with DuPont Chain Saver Spray Lube. How religious? Every other ride.

I pedal "lightly", shifting all the time to stay in or around 78 rpm. I do not "mash the pedals", instead.....I shift gears. Lots and lots of times on each ride. Prior to each shift, I ease up pressure on the pedals to avoid shock loading the chain, motor, chain ring, cassette. The Yamaha does NOT have shift detection like the Bosch does. YOU are the shift detection. OR....maybe you are not the shift detection! :)

TLDR.....but I wanted to set that all up to say that no matter how religous you are in lubing the chain, lightly spinning the pedals and the rest that sooner or later, wear is wear is wear. And so it was when my chain finally became unrideable. I figured if I'm gonna replace the chain, well, the front chain ring was shot too and since I was doing the front chain ring, chain too, that I'd treat the Full FatSix to a new rear cassette and rear derailleur too......

The below is what a new front chain ring looks like as compared to a worn chain ring at 11 thousand miles......

View attachment 75992


I hope this info is of help to you and other people as well. With all of this accumulated wear, mid-drives are still the best way to go, imo.