Test ride on a Bikonit MD1000 (Mid-Drive) and HD 750 (Hub-Drive)

RMK!

Active Member
Had the opportunity to test ride both of these at a somewhat local (50 mile drive) bike shop. It was the Bolton Ebikes shop in Grass Valley CA (check out his Youtube channel). They had "prototype" versions of the two mentioned in the Thread title. I went there planning on ordering the MD1000 based upon the Bafang G510 1000W Ultra Mid Motor and the belt drive STURMEY ARCHER Inner 5 Speed Gear setup. After riding them, I think I prefered riding the HD 750 with its Sram X-5 9 speed chain drive and the Bafang 750W Geared Hub Motor. The main issue for me was the taller gearing (9 vs 5) gave the HD 750 an unexpected performance boost as opposed to the mid-drive. The downside is I would be leaving torque and better componentry on the table. I'm sure my opinion was also influenced by over 1000 miles of cadence sensor riding.

I'm going to have to chew on this a little bit. It may be that the best option for me is the 3rd model, the MD750 which is also a mid-drive but has the Sram X-5 9 speed gearing. Bottom line, these Bikonit fat tires are the coolest, biggest, baddest and nicest riding Ebikes I have ever experienced. The photos do not do them justice, they are so much more when seeing one up close and personal. For me, owning one is a foregone conclusion.
 
Last edited:

RMK!

Active Member
They really did a great job on the geometry because it feels tight and very nimble for such a large machine. I'm 6'5" 210 lbs and this bike is definitely size and power appropriate.
Small persons would look and probably feel odd riding it. ;-).

The 4.8" X 26" fat tires plus nice front air suspension makes for an amazingly smooth and comfortable ride. You just glide over rough, uneven surfaces in a manner that I have never experienced on any other bike. Even the limited single track dirt trail riding I did during the test ride was smooth as silk and I always felt in complete control of this big and heavy machine. I had thought I might need to add a suspension seat post but after the test rides, I don't think that will be necessary.

Again, the only disappointment was the one of the main features that drew me to this unique ebike. The STURMEY ARCHER 5 Speed gearing was to narrow for my taste and anticipated use. This ebike was designed as a backcountry hunting/fishing vehicle (an ATV alternative) and in that specific use case, the belt drive and limited gear range would be acceptable if not preferable. My intended use of the Bikonit is commuting and recreational riding for exercise. One consistent ride is a 60 mile round trip on mostly paved country roads. For that type of recreational commute, the dual battery, tall geared version of this ebike will be perfect.
 
Last edited:

Sonder

New Member
RMK awesome bikes!

Can you tell us more?
I also use bike mostly on the road and some hard sand trails.
Most of the time I want
- go fast
- pedalling but with very light effort
- slow to normal cadence on top speed
I am not a biker with good stamina and already 52 pffff but I like to go fast

Was the gearing on the 750 sufficient?
The front blade (crank?) seems bit small?

Did you pedal on the 1000 faster?

Thanks!
 

RMK!

Active Member
I agree, they are awesome and go fast is one of the things these do very well but the comfort and effortless control of these LARGE machines was really surprising. That said, my 1 hour test riding the 2 models didn't give me much objective performance data.

The best way to check that out is on the Bolton Ebikes YouTube channel. He does a speed test with the HD750 and the MD1000. There were some issues with the gear shifters on both bikes when I test rode (to many test rides by novices?) and I felt the MD1000 was a little short on the top end gearing. Actually, and as you would expect, the MD1000 5 speed sealed rear gear set is much faster than the standard 9 speed of the HD750 in top gear with throttle only or in pedal assist mode.

As to age/stamina, my current ebike is a 20" fat tire (Eahora X7+) that I received in late Feb and I have over 1200 miles on it in less than 4 months. I pedal 99.5% of the time and the cadence sensor on my current bike is OK, but the lag in pedal assist when braking or coasting can be annoying. I'm going to be 69 this week so pedal assist is essential and the main driver behind my ebike obsession (we will have a total of 5 ebikes in the family soon).

After much second guessing, I'm getting the Std MD1000 with the STURMEY ARCHER Inner 5 Speed and belt drive. The Torque sensor on the MD is better for smooth and continuous pedal assist all the way up to the 40 mph+ top speed although it does pause during shifting to protect the gearing.

The waiting is truly the hardest part and can be very frustrating but I try and keep my eye on the prize.

RMK awesome bikes!

Can you tell us more?
I also use bike mostly on the road and some hard sand trails.
Most of the time I want
- go fast
- pedalling but with very light effort
- slow to normal cadence on top speed
I am not a biker with good stamina and already 52 pffff but I like to go fast

Was the gearing on the 750 sufficient?
The front blade (crank?) seems bit small?

Did you pedal on the 1000 faster?

Thanks!
 
Last edited:

Sonder

New Member
Thanks!

Short on gearing on top speed is a concern for me.
How could you fix that on the 1000 watt?

I myself (52 years) would go for the HD 750, price and gearing adjust easier.

Too bad transport and taxes to europe will be $650.
Thinking about it, but want to know how fast pedalling is when going fast cruise speed 28 miles ph.

Beautiful bikes!
 

RMK!

Active Member
Thanks!

Short on gearing on top speed is a concern for me.
How could you fix that on the 1000 watt?

I myself (52 years) would go for the HD 750, price and gearing adjust easier.

Too bad transport and taxes to europe will be $650.
Thinking about it, but want to know how fast pedalling is when going fast cruise speed 28 miles ph.

Beautiful bikes!
My problem with the gearing on the MD1000 was due to it being incorrectly adjusted which I reported after the test ride. It was essentially locked in one gear and there was no display of the gear setting on the prototype test bike. After attending to the shifting issue, Kyle at Bolton Ebikes was able to pedal at 42mph (67kh) in high gear as opposed to 32mph on the 750 (both unlocked). Considering that, and the no maintenance sealed gearbox with 20k + mile belt drive, the MD 1000 is my choice.

SInce your in europe, you might want to check them out on Alibaba. Factory direct for half the price. Thats a lot of bike for the buck ...
 
Last edited:

Sonder

New Member
Thanks RMK.

I chatted with the factory and these are the prices

- bikonit HD 750 $1300
- with 2 battery $1500
- front + rear rack $30
- front light $20
- mud fenders $50

For me HD 750 with 2 batteries, fenders, rack and light would be $1600
That would be a great price for me, but shipping and tax is $650 or $750 and that is pretty much for a bike I never seen or ridden on.
In your case you seen them at Bolton and you have a great store with warranty.

Other prices at alibaba

- MD 1000 $2550 (chat reply, on ali app it says $2058
- front fork upgrade to RST fat front fork $150 (dont know what that means)
-rear trailer $150
- GPS tracker $70

I think Im gonna wait for reviews etcetera when you and others got the bike.
 
Last edited:

camdon44

Member
My problem with the gearing on the MD1000 was due to it being incorrectly adjusted which I reported after the test ride. It was essentially locked in one gear and there was no display of the gear setting on the prototype test bike. After attending to the shifting issue, Kyle at Bolton Ebikes was able to pedal at 42mph (67kh) in high gear as opposed to 32mph on the 750 (both unlocked). Considering that, and the no maintenance sealed gearbox with 20k + mile belt drive, the MD 1000 is my choice.

SInce your in europe, you might want to check them out on Alibaba. Factory direct for half the price. Thats a lot of bike for the buck ...
What is your anticipated delivery date? Since Alibaba is half price, would it be possible to get one in Seattle? I've never dealt with Alibaba. Is it an trustworthy option?
 

RMK!

Active Member
This is my first time dealing with Alibaba so I have no idea about them. The communication has been excellent and they give you a ship from China date when ordering. You actually have a contract and seems legit to me. I paid an extra $50 for the production monitoring and quality review by Alibaba.

I'm in CA and my direct from the factory MD1000 is supposed to ship in a couple of weeks. Probably another month to clear customs and arrive at my address. I would assume 45 days for build and another month for shipping. I was told only one color for factory direct (black). I wanted camo but I'm fine with the black.
 

RMK!

Active Member
Just what the site says. I did not check on the MD750 as the after adding the 2nd battery the price delta was insignificant and I believe this single purchase, factory direct thing will be short lived.

Honestly, I feel bad not ordering from the BM business where I was able to test ride the bikes but the price delta was significant so I caved. It's a risk reward calculation any time you buy in this manner but the truth is, virtually all ebikes are made in China regardless of branding.
 
Last edited:

Sonder

New Member
What are your shipping costs?
What will your bike cost including all shipping /tax

Again, by me there was an additional cost of $700 but maybe extra expensive cuz it will come by train to europe.
To you by boat I think and perhaps that is cheaper?
 

RMK!

Active Member
Shipping is $550 and total spend is $3100. They do come by sea as trains (even the bullet ones) don't run across the Pacific yet. ;-)
 

Chris C

New Member
Very exciting! I am also going back and forth regarding the HD750 vs the MD1000. Here are my concerns/questions:

1) I am 6'-5" and weigh 260lbs, age 61 but still in semi athletic shape (ex- football/basketball). I carry about 30lbs of gear typically so I will be
using it more or less as a hunting bike in sometimes very steep terrain. The concern is putting all that force through the belt on the MD1000 and then always having to pedal to make it go (?).

2) I am always in very remote areas mostly by myself. The concern is reliability. If the belt breaks it would not be good and a long hike out pushing a dead heavy bike.

3) For best control on steep rugged trails it seems like it would be best to have the thumb wrapped around the throttle instead of pressing on a trigger.

4) I ride mostly on BLM land or Forest Service. Not sure the MD1000 can be electronically set at 750watts by the controller to conform to their requirements although that issue is likely a
moving target as regulations constantly change.

All of these things seems to point towards the HD750 with extra battery and rear rack. Do you have any insight regarding these concerns based on your test drives? Did the HD750 seem like it
would do steep trail climbs well if one were to not pedal? Does the hub alone have any range of settings/gears?

I have attempted to contact BM but you can only email and no return email in three days, no phone number, phone call waiting list into mid July for a phone appointment. Good videos but from a
customer contact standpoint very frustrating and not sure what to do so likely to go with Alibaba also if I can find the right supplier.

Looking forward to getting on the trail soon and having some fun! Thanks for any insight that may help.
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
If reliability is a concern run as far as you can. The issue with the MD1000 isn't the belt it's the weak internally geared hub. If you can't get a hold of Bolton now imagine how it's going to be when all of these hubs get shredded by the Ultra. Or likewise if you buy direct. Good luck either way.