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

RMK!

Active Member
I find it is good policy to respect the Thread subject you are commenting in. I created this thread to discuss a new product that I discovered in a Bolton Ebikes video last spring. As Bolton Ebikes is located near me, I was able to test ride both models (pre-production) at the Bolton location. At the time, I was riding the bejesus out of a little fat tire folder that I purchased just before Covid-19 shut down ebike production. I wanted a larger bike that fit my 6'5" frame and the Bikonit HD 750 and MD 750/1000's seemed like a good fit. My test ride confirmed that the MD 1000 would be a good option for me.

There are lot of "experts" here who's qualifications are based upon many posts and they love sharing their opinions. Like with many hobbies, brand bias is often a strong motivator. That is why I am really happy to finally be getting a totally unbranded ebike direct from the assembly factory in China. I would hope we can keep the discourse friendly and on topic. I removed what some perceived as offensive comments from a post above. I would ask the offended ones to perhaps understand the subjects of this thread and respect that as well.
 

RMK!

Active Member
At long last my MD 1000 is officially shipped. I'm guessing 4-5 weeks for delivery which makes delivery around Thanksgiving. That is 6 months after my initial order. Not to scare anyone off but I'm afraid that will be the new normal for bikes not yet in production. The factory owner was kind enough to send me this photo of my boxed and labeled MD 1000. I think his point was to get me to stop bugging him. Mission accomplished for both of us.
 

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Lou B.

New Member
My apologies if I offended any one?
In keeping with the above thread, imo, couldn't the above be taken back to the mfg., as a product improvement and or upgrade?
I would be willing to pay $250-$500 more in the build from the mfg., than involve a 3rd party (WW) into the equation, void warranty, and incur additional steps, maybe headaches in owning a fined tuned (BU1000 motor)?
Maybe I am missing something?
 

MJinLA

New Member
At long last my MD 1000 is officially shipped. I'm guessing 4-5 weeks for delivery which makes delivery around Thanksgiving. That is 6 months after my initial order. Not to scare anyone off but I'm afraid that will be the new normal for bikes not yet in production. The factory owner was kind enough to send me this photo of my boxed and labeled MD 1000. I think his point was to get me to stop bugging him. Mission accomplished for both of us.
Leili actually has a black model in stock and ready to ship. It is the one with a chain. Only wait would be the slow boat across the ocean
 

RMK!

Active Member
Leili actually has a black model in stock and ready to ship. It is the one with a chain. Only wait would be the slow boat across the ocean
Interesting, it appears that Leili uses a freight forwarding service associated with Alibaba (OneTouch Agency Export) that allocates the products to containers/ships. The tracking info visible to me on Alibaba indicates a 11/16/2020 arrival-unloading in Long Beach. If my understanding of this is correct, that is a very efficient system and reinforces my confidence in direct ordering a product like this.
 

RMK!

Active Member
My apologies if I offended any one?
In keeping with the above thread, imo, couldn't the above be taken back to the mfg., as a product improvement and or upgrade?
I would be willing to pay $250-$500 more in the build from the mfg., than involve a 3rd party (WW) into the equation, void warranty, and incur additional steps, maybe headaches in owning a fined tuned (BU1000 motor)?
Maybe I am missing something?
No apologies needed and I agree with your conclusion. From a manufacturers perspective, giving a customer the ability to tweak the motor controller settings creates a potential customer service nightmare. Trusting someone else to modify a motor controller works as long as the outcome adds sufficient value but doing this across bike brands seems very problematic. My advice is to ride the bike for a while and see if there are performance issues that need improving.

In other words, if it ain't broke, don't fix it ...
 

RMK!

Active Member
One more comment on this motor controller issue. The Bolton podcast I linked above describes how power utilization and riding style will have a big influence on bike battery range. This comports well with my direct experience riding my Specialized Turbo Creo over 100 miles per week. Like the MD 1000, the Turbo Creo is torque sensing but unlike the MD 1000 is uses a small, low power (250W) mid-drive motor and a small 350W battery. It has 3 levels of assist (Eco, Sport and Turbo) and no throttle.

I have several rides I do 3-5 times per week and they are 25, 32 and 45 miles respectively. In Eco mode, I can complete the longest ride with approximately 30% left on the standard battery. In Sport mode, the battery is exhausted by the 45 mile ride. In Turbo mode, I can get only 25 miles from the standard battery. All of these range numbers are based upon an average speed of 17-18mph and a cadence of 70rpm. If I just cruise (hard to do on this bike) at like 14-15 mph average with a slower cadence, I can increase the mileage numbers in each mode more than 15%.

I'm 6'5" and 205lbs. A smaller, lighter rider would have very different mileage numbers given the same speed and cadence. Riding the Creo is like driving a very good sports car. The handling and performance are superb. It makes you want to go faster and tight turns are great fun. If the Creo is a Porsche, the MD 1000 is a Hummer (a real one) and they each require a certain riding style and purpose.

Bottom line is your size, effort and assist settings are the greatest determinate of performance (speed and range). Tweaking a motor controller seems pretty far down the list of impactful factors. That said, unlocking the controller of the MD 1000 and eating up miles @ 40 mph on long empty country roads is another interest of mine. If controller tweaks could "significantly" improve mileage in that situation, I might be willing to make the investment. Time will tell.
 
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Chomp

New Member
Hello. I have read this thread from the beginning. I was hoping by the last page to find that someone has taken delivery of an MD-1000. Not yet....

I am considering ordering a black unbranded MD-1000 from Alibaba (Changzhou Leili Vehicle Parts Co., Ltd.). I will be moving to my place on the coast and plan to use it on the beach. I will also do some around town and fire road/trail riding. I did a ton of single track riding in my earlier days. My last new bike was 2001 GIANT NRS3 Full Suspension. Those days are over, but I want to get back out in the woods on a bike.

I'm leaning toward the Sturmey/Archer 5 speed hub and belt-drive due to my proximity to the sandy beaches. I'm thinking it would hold up better in that gritty environment. Also, I was thinking of staying with the stock fork. I had a good on-line chat with a rep from Leili and she said the stock fork is made in house and goes on 90% of their fat bikes. She said it and the upgrade are both air forks.

I'm anxiously awaiting some reports when you guys get your new bikes!
 

RMK!

Active Member
Hello. I have read this thread from the beginning. I was hoping by the last page to find that someone has taken delivery of an MD-1000. Not yet....

I am considering ordering a black unbranded MD-1000 from Alibaba (Changzhou Leili Vehicle Parts Co., Ltd.). I will be moving to my place on the coast and plan to use it on the beach. I will also do some around town and fire road/trail riding. I did a ton of single track riding in my earlier days. My last new bike was 2001 GIANT NRS3 Full Suspension. Those days are over, but I want to get back out in the woods on a bike.

I'm leaning toward the Sturmey/Archer 5 speed hub and belt-drive due to my proximity to the sandy beaches. I'm thinking it would hold up better in that gritty environment. Also, I was thinking of staying with the stock fork. I had a good on-line chat with a rep from Leili and she said the stock fork is made in house and goes on 90% of their fat bikes. She said it and the upgrade are both air forks.

I'm anxiously awaiting some reports when you guys get your new bikes!
Hard to ignore the Leili offering price and if they have one available for immediate purchase, you might want to pull the trigger. I'm in Northern CA and will be getting one of bikes currently in route. Mid Nov looks like the earliest it will arrive and who knows about future shipments.

As the photos above show, there are several brands that are very close to the MD 1000 spec wise. The unique feature of the Bikonit and unbranded MD 1000's is the SA IGH and that was the big draw for me. Seems like a good match for your use case with appropriate caveats e.g. no shifting under load.

To get an insiders view of the supply chain issues affecting the entire bike industry, this Bolden eBike POD Cast with Biktrix's Roshan Thomas is both candid and interesting especially if you're in the market for an ebike. They both have ebikes in the Leili Factory photos that were posted here.
 
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TomD

Well-Known Member
Also check out Roshan's comments regarding the five-speed SA IGH paired with the ultra. They had a significant number of failures that they didn't experience with lower powered mid drives. I believe that is why they don't offer this hub with their version of this bike.

Edit: quote from this post on FB:

Roshan said:
A bunch of these guys using unproven rx5 internal hub on a bike with an Ultra motor are all going to see 20+% failure rate with these hubs. We've sold about 6k bikes with this hub paired with a bbs02 motor and have a 2-3% failure rate. Last time we checked, we had over 50% failure rate on our small sample test run of these hubs with Ultra motors. Oh well. You live and learn
 
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RMK!

Active Member
I found this you tube re a DIY Bafang Ultra paired with a Shimano Nexus 3 IGH. The IGH shifting tips are great and the video is worth a look if you are considering the MD1000 with the SA IGH.

There is no question that the use of an IGH with a powerful mid-drive ebike is a bit sketchy for a casual user. I can only hope that my careful use of this combo will yield decent performance over a few thousand miles. For powerful ebikes, IHG's are an intriguing bit of tech and I believe they will be a good solution but implementing one at this stage of ebike evolution is a bit risky. Time will tell ...
 
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Chomp

New Member
All of the MD-1000 frames are set up for a belt drive, correct? In other words, if you order one with a chain and derailleur it will still have an opening in the rear triangle.

From cyclingabout.com:

You Need A Belt Compatible Frame
As belts are one-piece, your frame will need to be designed with ‘belt splitter’ in the rear triangle. The frame will also need to be ‘stiffness test approved’ to ensure the belt cannot wander off the rear cog. When the rear triangle is particularly stiff you can actually run less preload tension on the belt, which results in less drivetrain resistance.


If this is true then you could convert to a belt-drive down the road when there is an affordable solid IGH designed to handle the big torque Bafang M620.

1603985408395.png
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
FYI, I asked someone at Sunrace Sturmey-Archer about using the RX-RK5 hub in an e-bike and here is what he said:


This has been stated before but one of the members here thinks he can remedy it by adjusting the shifter.
I will look forward to reading reports of members who have put in 3000 miles on such a setup (Bafang ultra + SRAM RX5 setup)
 

RMK!

Active Member
I do appreciate all of the guidance offered here. David Prosser seems to have had a change of heart since he wrote me in July (see attached). If you read the PDF, I was very clear about the MD 1000 specs and my use. In any case, this IGH may self destruct in a month or two or, it may give me a couple of thousand miles of acceptable service. I have a couple of options for replacement and at the price I'm paying, I have a nice $ cushion to allow for some changes. Time will tell.

Oh and did I mention, I test rode it?
 

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AHicks

Well-Known Member
If this is too far off topic, I'll be happy to delete it, just holler.
Guys need to know that the stock Bafang Ultra controller setting are pretty aggressive as they come from Bafang. Fine for aggressive riders, maybe not so much if you aren't. I recently bought an Ultra equipped bike, and rode it for 50 or 60 miles to see what it was about. I found the throttle started with too much power, and that the torque sensing was way too much (neither exactly battery friendly). For example, at lower speeds, all you could do was ghost pedal even in PAS1. Anyway, I just wanted to share that the controller programming was easier than I could have imagined. I made the necessary changes to suit me, increasing low speed handling big time, increasing battery mileage, and all without affecting mid and high speed performance.

Get a programming cable on order, they're the same that are used for the BBSxx series of motors (even Amazon has them), and ride the bike for a bit noting what you don't care for. Then look into taking care of just those issues. Don't plan on using all of somebody else's settings. They're ALL over the ball park as they deal with THAT particular rider's 'druthers. Settings for road, hybrid use, mtn biking, etc are all going to be different. If you take your time and mess with one issue at a time, you can customize it into something that going to put a smile on your face every time you swing a leg over it. For me, this ability to be customized is one of the new bike's best attributes......
 

RMK!

Active Member
Hi AHicks, not a bit off topic and thanks for the info. Do you have links for the cable and software?
 

RMK!

Active Member
All of the MD-1000 frames are set up for a belt drive, correct? In other words, if you order one with a chain and derailleur it will still have an opening in the rear triangle.

From cyclingabout.com:

You Need A Belt Compatible Frame
As belts are one-piece, your frame will need to be designed with ‘belt splitter’ in the rear triangle. The frame will also need to be ‘stiffness test approved’ to ensure the belt cannot wander off the rear cog. When the rear triangle is particularly stiff you can actually run less preload tension on the belt, which results in less drivetrain resistance.


If this is true then you could convert to a belt-drive down the road when there is an affordable solid IGH designed to handle the big torque Bafang M620.

View attachment 69993
I believe you are correct about the rear triangle frame opening on the belt drive MD's. This allows for changes to the belt and or IGH. Of course you could also switch to a compatible hub and chain groupset.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
H
Hi AHicks, not a bit off topic and thanks for the info. Do you have links for the cable and software?
I just started a more centralized Ultra string with that info in the first post. While answering your question it occurred to me good Ultra information was being scattered all over the place in EBR, in each of the user strings for every bike manf using the Ultras. Please go here for that info, and feel free to join in the conversation I hope this new string will generate. -Al

 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
I believe you are correct about the rear triangle frame opening on the belt drive MD's. This allows for changes to the belt and or IGH. Of course you could also switch to a compatible hub and chain groupset.
Note that the frame for a belt drive must also allow for the belt to be tensioned properly. The axle will need to mount in a horizontal slot vs. the more typical short vertical slot.