Problem with Bafang motor?


New Member
Problems galore:
I have been having problems with the chain coming off the chain ring on my 2016 RadRover I picked up on Wednesday. The tech said to tighten everything up and get back to them. Everything was already tight but I also tuned the derailleur to make sure it wasn't pushing the chain to far inboard on the 1st gear.

Here is what happened this morning:
I planned a ride on some logging roads east of Bellingham, Wa. I am 150 pounds and was only carrying a light pack with water, lunch and tool kit. The first section is an accent on a gravel logging road with coarse gravel, no potholes. As I was climbing in 1st gear, PAS 1, pulling around 170 watts, I heard some metallic rattling coming from the back, similar to a kickstand rattling but I wasn't sure. Then the control unit cut out and gave me an error 21. I checked to make sure the battery was secure by removing it and locking it back in place. I removed the kickstand to make sure that was not the source of the rattle and double checked the tightness of everything. I know my ride is over at this point so I went into diagnostic mode trying to isolate the noise and the problem. I rebooted and started up again. The chain came off the front sprocket. I put it back on, started again. More rattling (I didn't have it figured out yet) and another error 21. Reboot. I checked to make sure the battery was secure, again. Thinking the metallic rattling noise is coming from the Bafang. Start up again, more rattling - error 25 this time. Reboot. Start up again and the chain comes off. Put chain on. Start up and heard another bunch of metallic rattling and error 21. Rebooted. I checked to make sure the battery was secure for a third time. This time I walked the bike on the road and used the throttle to propel the bike while watching and listening. Without me on the bike it seemed like the rattle was coming from the motor. That's when I shut the electric system down and rode back to my car, extremely disappointed.

I got home and tested everything again by riding around my neighborhood and could not reproduce any of those problems, except for the chain, it came off again.


Addendum, I just reproduced the rattle sound from the Bafang and I am quite certain the gears (or something) in the Bafang are at fault.



New Member
Here is a short video of the clunking noise. I am using the throttle and also applying backward resistance to the bike. I have 13 miles on the odometer. :( RPB have been notified, we'll see what they say about the clunk and the chain. I am confident they will make everything right.


New Member
Hi dardas, yes I have an update. I took the bike back to Rad to have them check it out. They did a test ride and an evaluation and determined nothing was wrong with the bike. There was some question as to the slope of the roads I was trying to travel. The Rover best practices says not to attempt any climb greater than 15%. I didn't think the slope was that steep but I didn't know for sure so I agreed to keep the bike and give it another try. I did more research and after talking to several experts on logging roads and mapping site ( ) the slope I was trying to climb was between 6% and 7%.

I went back to that and tried again. It wasn't long until I got another error 21 as I was climbing, PAS 1, 1st gear, pulling less than 200 watts. At that point I pulled out a string and a level and measured the slope at slightly more than 6%. I cold-booted the system (shut it down and started it up again) and tried to climb - another error 21. I then tried to walk the bike up the slope using the throttle because nobody wants to walk up a hill pushing a 60# bike. ;) The bike threw another error 21.

I returned the bike the next day for a refund and haven't heard back about what they determined.

I think I got a lemon. The Rad people were great and wanted me to be happy but I was done driving back and forth to Seattle ( 240 miles round trip) and my third trip in ten days was enough.

If the RadRover had performed for me as expected, I still would have it today and would have been very happy. It is a great entry level ebike at a decent price and a huge smile generator.

I have another donor bike arriving later this week and I will build my own ebike using the Bafang BBSHD mid drive motor.

I want to emphasize the Rad people were a pleasure to deal with even if that particular bike didn't work out for me.


New Member
Wow! ... you are definitely a "the glass is half full" kinda guy, and I really admire that kind of attitude in a person. Can't say I would have had that same outlook. I wish you Super Good Luck in your future ebike adventures, all that good karma has to come back in a positive way!