e-RAD 500 Watt Mid Drive Conversion Kit Review

E Rad 500 Watt Mid Drive Conversion Kit Review 1
E Rad 500 Watt Electric Bike Conversion Kit
E Rad 500 Watt Mid Drive Geared Motor For Ebikes
E Rad 500 Mid Drive Kit 36 Volt Downtube Battery Pack
E Rad 500 Backlit Lcd Display Panel
E Rad 36 Volt Battery Pack Inside View Top
E Rad 36 Volt Lithium Ion Cells Hard Point Soldered
E Rad 36 Volt Panasonic 18650 Lithium Ion Cells
E Rad 500 Display Unit Mounting Bracket
E Rad 500 Electric Bike Conversion
E Rad 500 Mechanical Shift Sensor Unit
E Rad 500 Mid Drive Throttle And Button Pad
E Rad 500 Mid Drive With Race Face Nw Chainring
E Rad 500 Electra Moto 3i Electric Bike Conversion
E Rad 500 Watt Mid Drive Conversion Kit Review 1
E Rad 500 Watt Electric Bike Conversion Kit
E Rad 500 Watt Mid Drive Geared Motor For Ebikes
E Rad 500 Mid Drive Kit 36 Volt Downtube Battery Pack
E Rad 500 Backlit Lcd Display Panel
E Rad 36 Volt Battery Pack Inside View Top
E Rad 36 Volt Lithium Ion Cells Hard Point Soldered
E Rad 36 Volt Panasonic 18650 Lithium Ion Cells
E Rad 500 Display Unit Mounting Bracket
E Rad 500 Electric Bike Conversion
E Rad 500 Mechanical Shift Sensor Unit
E Rad 500 Mid Drive Throttle And Button Pad
E Rad 500 Mid Drive With Race Face Nw Chainring
E Rad 500 Electra Moto 3i Electric Bike Conversion

Summary

  • A solid all-around mid-drive electric bike kit with shift sensing, pedal assist and throttle override offering 500 watts of nominal power output
  • Two battery size options, available in downtube or rear rack styles, optional Race Face performance chainrings for people who encounter lots of hills or enjoy trail riding
  • Compatible with 68 to 73 mm bottom brackets as well as press-fit BB86, BB90, BB92 and BB95 and 100 mm fat bike frames!
  • Because it's a kit, the wires are not internally routed and create some clutter, also the LCD display is not easy to swivel or remove

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Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

e-RAD

Price:

$850 (Up to $1,100 for 100 mm, BB86, BB90, BB92 and BB95 Bottom Bracket Sizes, Batteries $650 to $850 Additional)

Suggested Use:

Cargo, Commuting, Mountain, Neighborhood, Sand and Snow, Trail, Urban

Electric Bike Class:

Throttle on Demand (Class 2), Speed Pedalec (Class 3)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

1 Year Comprehensive (1,000 Charge Cycles)

Availability:

United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, Worldwide

Model Year:

20142015

Bicycle Details

Battery Weight:

6.85 lbs (3.1 kg) (Optional 7 lb for 14.5 Ah Pack)

Motor Weight:

9.2 lbs (4.17 kg)

Cranks:

Aluminum Alloy, Square Tapered

Brake Details:

Mechanical Levers, Integrated Motor Inhibitor

Grips:

Flat Rubber

Accessories:

Race Face NW Chainring with Custom Chainring Adapter, Optional Universal Brake Sensor for Hydraulic Brakes

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

e-RAD (Assembled by Bafang to Custom Specifications)

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Motor Peak Output:

800 watts

Battery Brand:

Panasonic (Optional Samsung)

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

14.5 ah (Optional 11 Ah Samsung ICR18650 22P LiMn2O4)

Battery Watt Hours:

522 wh (Optional 396 Wh)

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium Cobalt Magnesium Oxide (LiNiCOMnO2)

Charge Time:

3 hours

Estimated Min Range:

25 miles (40 km)

Estimated Max Range:

60 miles (97 km)

Display Type:

Fixed Monochrome Backlit LCD, C0965

Readouts:

Speed, Battery Capacity, Assist Level (1-5), Average Speed, Max Speed, Trip Distance, Odometer, Time

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Trigger Throttle, Twist Throttle (Optional Left or Right Trigger Throttle, Optional Left or Right Twist Throttle)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph) (User Configurable ~30 mph)

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Written Review

[UPDATE] I was told by Chris Head from e-RAD that they no longer sell the 500 watt mid-drive, they are focused on the 350, 750 and 1,000 watt models which I have reviewed here.

e-Rad is a line of kits and electric bike conversions created by Lectric Cycles out of Tempe Arizona. These mid-drive kits can be adapted to fit just about any bike frame (road, city, cargo or fat) which is pretty unique. What at first resembles the Bafang 8Fun BBS01 or BBS02 kits (only with a different logo) is actually something quite different… and much better in my opinion. These kits are based on forth generation designs of the BBS02 and are manufactured by Bafang but offer upgraded bearings for extended use, higher quality mosfet resistors for improved durability under heavy load, refined firmware and software for smoother and safer starts and an additional signal cable for use with a physical shift sensor. That means, these motors can sense when you shift gears and respond by dropping power momentarily to reduce mashing. The 500 watt kit is available in range of configurations including the stock adjustable 68 mm to 73 mm bottom bracket, four press-fit sizes (BB86, BB90, BB93 and BB95) that work with Trek and Giant frames as well as an extra wide 100 mm design for use with fat bikes.

I’m a big proponent of mid-drive ebikes because they keep mass low and center on bicycle frames. They reduce unsprung weight which improves rebound performance if your bike has a rear suspension swing arm and they improve climbing power and efficiency by leveraging a gear cluster or CVT like the NuVinci in the rear. The very similar “8Fun” design became popular in the US in 2013/2014 but many customers struggled to order direct from Bafang China and felt underwhelmed with the lack of support. There really wasn’t a warranty or representatives to work with if you needed parts. Some dealers bought these kits in small bulk orders to install, resell or use for repairs but often ran into liability issues. One huge limitation that everyone faced was the lack of sizing options and shift sensing customization… What Lectric Cycles has done with their custom designed e-RAD kits is deliver a superior design, with shift sensing and chainring options, and back it up with solid customer and dealer support (including manufacturer insurance). Now, whether you buy direct from them or through a shop you get a more complete and lasting product. The eRAD kit is available in three sizes and the 500 watt version covered in this review strikes a balance between weight, power and price. It’s their best selling model and often preferred for e-mountain bikes because it delivers 25 amps vs. the smaller 350 watt kit that only offers 18.

At the heart of this kit is a 500 watt geared e-RAD mid-drive motor unit. It mounts directly to the bottom bracket (that tube where your crank arms come out) and comes with two y-plates for strength, like torque arms for the motor… It’s black, relatively small and surprisingly quiet during operation. During my test rides I found that noise increased as I shifted to lower gears and had the motor spin faster. This is a slower spinning mid-drive than something like the Bosch system which uses smaller chainrings but it offers significantly more torque power. Built right into the motor casing is a controller that has been customized by Lectric Cycles for smooth starts. As mentioned earlier, the bearings inside have been upgraded along with the mosfets which are switches that control electromagnets for acceleration. When compared side by side with a standard 8Fun unit this motor might feel similar in terms of power but the benefits of upgraded hardware should result in longer lifespan and reduced potential for overloads which can kill the motor (if you try to start full throttle while using a high gear and overload the system). This is one of the only mid-drive systems I know of that even offers throttle mode and I love that it overrides pedal assist because that gives you a sense of control and maneuverability that’s perfect for the trail. I often ride in the lower levels assist level of assist and then pull the throttle for extra power when climbing short hills. For those who plan on using this kit for trails or steeper hills there are several chainring options available including the RaceFace NW with a smaller diameter, fewer teeth and better chain retention. The really amazing part of this motor system (if ordered in one of the larger custom widths or the BB press-fit cofigurations) is the combination of longer axles, threaded extenders and shims that Lectric Cycles designs and produces on-site in Arizona. This isn’t something that most people could do themselves and it extends the usefulness of the product in an amazing way.

Powering the kit is your choice of a mid mounted or rack mounted Lithium-ion battery solution offering 36 volts of power. The big question is whether to go with the 11 amp hour standard pack or upgrade for $200 more and get the 14.5 amp hour pack. The more amp hours you get the further you’ll go but it also increases the weight by about half a pound. I’m writing this review at a time when the company is moving towards a new case which is lower profile and sleeker looking but the original “dolphin” case was also pretty nice. They both offer LED power level readouts so you can tell whether the pack is fully charged regardless of if it’s mounted to the frame or not. The packs are both locking and removable which is handy if you commute or need to reduce overall bike weight for transport on a car or bus rack. One big difference between the older and newer pack design is the lack of USB charging port on the new pack, it’s not a deal killer (I rarely use these power ports when riding) but it is a change. Inside the pack, Lectric Cycles uses the highest quality Panasonic cells which are known for being energy dense and very reliable (light and long lasting). I was able to peer inside while taking a tour of their shop and was impressed with the hard point welding used to connect each 18650 cell. Also, with the newer design there’s a plastic grid frame that holds each individual cell in place further reducing the potential for them to rattle loose on rough terrain. There’s a strong emphasis on quality with the e-RAD system and a thoughtful approach from guys who all love ride and want to deliver a product that will endure under rigorous use. Keep in mind, to extend the life of your battery it’s best to store it in a cool dry place, extreme heat and cold can be hard on it. Also, try to keep it above 50% charged when storing for long periods so it doesn’t completely run dry and check in every couple of months for a quick top-off.

Operating this electric bike conversion kit is fairly standard and the display and control systems are very adaptable so they should work on a wide range of handlebars. First, you charge the battery pack up (either on or off the frame). From here, you’ll need to press the power button on the battery before you can actually turn the display on. Not all ebikes require this extra step and I’ve found that it can be easy to forget and leave on after a ride. Once the pack is on, you press the center circular button on the control pad and this powers up the LCD display. I like that the control pad is mounted separately from the display and can be fit snug next to your grips for easy access while riding. If you’re using this e-bike kit for a cruiser (with extra long bars) they offer an extender cable so the button pad will reach… just ask when ordering. So, the LCD display mounts to the center of the handlebars and sits just above the stem. I saw it installed on cruisers, city bikes and mountain bikes without issue but did notice that it’s not designed to swivel or be removed which could be an issue in terms of glare, wear and tear or vandalism if you leave the bike outside a lot. Once on, you’re shown speed, battery level and assist level (default 1-5) which is controlled by pressing up and down on the pad. You can also press left on the pad to view average speed and max speed or right to view trip distance, odometer and time. This is all fairly standard but the really interesting bits are buried deeper in the system, by pressing the power circle two times rapidly in succession you enter into the advanced settings. By using the passcode provided by Lectric Cycles or your dealer you are able to adjust wheel size, top speed and other defaults. Depending on how you adjust the bike it’s possible to reach ~30 mph but this changes how the bike is viewed legally and may put you at risk of violating local laws if used improperly. Overall, the display and control pad are fairly standard but they enable you to do a lot with your bike because they are more open. It’s worth noting that the LCD has a built in light sensor for use at night. If you want to add a headlight and backlight you’ll probably need to get stand alone units like these rechargeable Cygolites (I’ve tested and like them) but that means they can be stolen easier, have to be charged separately and can add to the clutter of wires and displays already present.

The e Rad mid-drive electric bike kits are some of the best I’ve reviewed to date and the 500 watt option is my personal favorite. The 350, 500 and 750 watt kits look similar but you can tell which one you’ve got by looking at the bottom of the unit (in case you’re buying this second hand). The more powerful options include more copper wiring inside to handle increased current and if you go all the way up to 750 watts the voltage switches to 48 vs. 36 which can hit nearly 40 mph when unlocked and haul extra large loads on cargo bikes etc. Whether you get this as a DIY, purchase through a shop who can help you install it or choose one of the pre-built Electra or Origin 8 models from e-RAD, you’re getting a nice drive system. There’s a lot of value being offered here in my opinion and they’ve clearly focused on building a better product over hyping their brand. I often hear forum users discussing the system components offered by Lectric Cycles, excited by the opportunity to convert a fat bike, use a continuously variable transmission like the NuVinci or upgrade a full suspension bike. For those who already have a Bafang 8Fun kit, Lectric Cycles does sell many of their accessories and upgrades independently and this can be a great way to improve performance or fit. Given the warranty, solid customer support and dealer network being built by this company I feel like it’s a great way to go if you don’t mind the extra cable clutter and a bit of time and energy spent converting. If you’ve already got a bike you love and don’t mind getting your hands dirty (or paying a shop) this could be a great option.

Pros:

  • For the base $850 motor price the eRAD mid drive motor kit is compatible with 68 and 73 mm bottom brackets and for $1,100 you can get it custom built for BB86, BB90, BB92, BB95 with press-fit (Trek and Giant) or 100 mm for fat bike frames
  • Optional left or right mounting trigger throttles and twist throttles, this is great for people with crowded handlebars or those who are left handed and prefer a different layout
  • While the motor is assembled by Bafang and resembles the other 8Fun kits I’ve reviewed, it uses higher quality bearings, mosfet transistors and chainring designs as well as an integrated shift-sensor wire and firmware to control it
  • Mid-drive designs usually reduce unsprung weight and offer improved balance because they are low and center on the frame, they are also more efficient with paired with a gear cluster or CVT because they provide mechanical advantage for the drive system
  • Two battery size options are available for the 500 watt motor size including 36 volt 11 amp hour and 36 14.5 amp hour for improved range, the stock option is downtube mounting but rear rack designs are also available
  • Solid one year comprehensive warranty with a 1,000 cycle guarantee on the battery pack, quality Panasonic Lithium-ion cells are light weight and durable
  • Available direct online either as a customized kit or pre-built into an Electra Fast 5, Moto 3, Townie or Origin 8 Fat Bike
  • Great dealer selection with over 50 shops in the United States who can install this or receive and build your bike
  • Quiet and relatively smooth to operate, extra firmware and software optimization has been done to delay the throttle when starting from rest for safety and reduced wear

Cons:

  • The cables for this kit have to be arranged and connected to the frame using zip-ties which can look a bit cluttered, many times they are a bit too long (one size fits all) and this leads to some jumbling, looks best on black frames because they blend in
  • The stock brake levers are mechanical so if you have hydraulic brakes on your bike you will have to ask for the universal brake sensor and then glue or zip tie in the sensor and magnet
  • The older “dolphin” style battery packs had an integrated USB charger for your phone or other portable electronics but the new ones (while slimmer and sturdier) do not
  • The battery pack has to be powered on independently from the main LCD display panel, this takes a few extra seconds and could be confusing if you forget and then wonder why the system isn’t turning on
  • If you want to add lights to your ebike they cannot easily be wired into the battery pack here (though it has been done by some hobbyists), you’ll need to buy aftermarket self-powered lights like the Cygolite Metro 400 combo

Resources:

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Geon
2 years ago

I enjoy your efforts. I’m 62 y/o 6’5″ 350lbs man willing to spend around $700 +/- for an ebike to do errands within 2 miles a few times a week and weekend exploration around my town and into the nearby hills. I want it to be as powerful and quiet as possible.

1. Cost
2. Power
3. Loudness

And ease of assembly must be figured into it. I have no tools but will invest a few bucks if needed. Or should I have the kit sent to a professional bike shop? Hey, maybe that’s what I should do. Give the nearby bike shop $750 and instruct them to call me when they have it ready for me? Hahaha. So, I’m thinking 1000 Watt and 48 volts 26″ mostly city but occasional off road. What are your thoughts. I dig the videos you do! Thanks. Geon

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Hi Geon! Some local shops might be able to help you with a custom build but there are others that only deal with unpowered bicycles and just wouldn’t have the experience or tools to do this for you. e-RAD has a bunch of dealers out there, it might be worth contacting one of them by first reaching out to e-RAD through their website. I do enjoy the efficiency and power of the 500 or 750 watt kit they sell, it’s priced well and can be adapted to almost any frame so you can choose a bicycle that fits your body type and ride style. I hope this helps to point you in the right direction. Alternatively, you could try to order a fully-built ebike online, something like the RadRover could be fun if you like the fat bike style. It fits the cost and loudness requirements and had good power but probably not quite as good as the e-RAD kits since they pull the chain and leverage your gears for extra power at different speeds.

Reply
Jovo
2 years ago

Hi Court, I really appreciate your knowledge in the field of electric bicycle and your readiness to help others, like me, who is just an amateur and beginner. I am planning to get an electric bicycle kit but have not yet made decision which one. So, I need your help. I am thinking of 8 fun Bafang mid-drive kit (Aliexpress) 500 w but I don’t know what is better – 36 or 48v. I am not sure which battery is the best for this motor. So could you be kind and give me some more information and your advice.

1. What is the difference between the motor 36V and 48V in terms of using this bike?
2.What is difference between battery 9 A, 11A ,15A or more – in terms of using?
3 Which motor and battery you recommend for the moderate use of bicycles through the city and its surroundings?
4. What is BBS 01,BBS 02 etc?
5. What form(shape) of battery is the most practical?
6.What is PAS?

Thank you and all the best, Jovo

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Hi Jovo, great questions… I’ll try to help you out a bit. First off, the BBS02 is a solid electric bike kit with good power and both pedal assist and throttle mode. It does not include shift sensing unless you buy the e-RAD modified version which is offered in many power sizes including 500 watt.

1. The 48 volt battery may offer more power than 36 volt, it will support the flow of more Amps (but that depends on the controller) and basically let your 500 watt motor perform better for climbing and accelerating. It will tend to discharge more quickly than a 36 volt pack because you will likely be accelerating and riding faster and experiencing more drag. If you want power for climbing and are a heavy person (or carry heavy loads) then get the 48 volt pack. If you are like me and only 135 lbs then the 36 might be cheaper and take you further as well as being lighter.
2. Amp hours are the measure of how much capacity a battery has… sort of. The true capacity is “Watt hours” which you calculate by multiplying Voltage by Amp hours (for example a 48 V 9 Ah pack = 432 Wh and a 36 V 15 Ah pack = 540 Ah which is “larger” but maybe not as powerful).
3. For a fit rider who is pedaling around town you can get a basic internally geared hub motor with 350 watts and a 36 Volt 10 Amp hour battery and be just fine for 15 to 20 miles on throttle alone, if you pedal along you can go much further. Now if you want a mid-drive kit like the e-RAD here you will get even greater range because it can benefit from using your gears. You don’t need to overdo it with a super powerful motor, the 500 watt kit would be very powerful for someone like me at ~135 lbs.
4. BBS01 and BBS02 are labels for the “Bottom Bracket System” 01 and 02 are the design spec so 01 is for 350 watt and 02 is for 500 and 750 watt. The 02 kits are heavier because they have more Copper winding inside to produce more power. There is a new kit being manufactured by Bafang that offers 1,000 watts and is called the BBSHD. Note that Lectric Cycles and their company e-RAD have motors custom made by Bafang. Most of the other BBS01/BBS02 units you see are made by 8Fun and use a more basic design. They are all manufactured by Bafang but not all units have the same designs, components and control software. The e-RAD systems are some of the best because they are sold in many physical sizes (bottom bracket widths) and offer shift-sensing so they don’t break your chain and wear out your sprockets and derailleurs as quickly.
5. I prefer Lithium-ion cells because they are light weight and long lasting. These days you can get really nice cells from Samsung and Panasonic or more generic ones that might be heavier. Just like cell phone batteries are getting smaller in size and weight and larger in power you can get nicer batteries for ebikes and this comes down to “energy density” how much energy can be packed into a smaller size. As far as shape, I prefer the downtube mounted packs so that I can use the rear portion of the bike for a rack or fenders. The mid-mounted packs tend to be lower for improved balance and they also stay out of the way and are protected by the frame if you crash (more so than a rear rack).
6. PAS stands for Pedal Assist and was used a lot by Currie Technologies with their IZIP and eZIP brands in years past. They had TAG (Twist and Go) as well as PAS (Pedal Assist) to tell people what modes the bikes supported. Pedal assist is a type of riding mode where you simply pedal and the motor activates itself based on pedal speed and sometimes pedal torque (how hard you’re pushing). Most basic PAS systems just measure your pedal speed and let you choose from 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 power levels. The higher the level the more power you get when pedaling. I tend to ride in 1 or 2 to save energy and then when I really need it I will go up to 5 or maybe I will just override pedal assist with the throttle! Not all ebikes offer this override but most of the Pedego bikes do and these e-RAD kits also do ;)

Reply
Jovo
2 years ago

Thank you Court! Very kind of you. Jovo

Reply
Jack
2 years ago

Court, I know we are 6+ months beyond your posting of this review…but I have to say your two videos which have taught me the most are your ‘racing’ around Lectric Cycles’ shop, a bit like a kid at recess, doing a long ‘show & tell’ about eRAD choices & mods and your interview with your Uncle on actually using a mid-drive ebike for 4,000 miles over one full year. (Mid-drive bikes have their benefits…but they don’t come without their ‘costs’. Which is why eRAD’s shift sensor is sooo cool). For those reading this review, don’t miss the ‘Court wanders around Lectric Cycles shop’ (it’s mentioned above but the URL is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBe_OLUBuCY&feature=youtu.be ) and Court’s interview with Greg after one year & 4,000 miles (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuSKCSFuxdY). I am VERY impressed with what Lectric Cycles is doing down there in Tempe! Thanks again, Court.

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Awesome! Thanks for your feedback and support Jack, those were two of my favorite shoots as well and I’m often torn between educational vs. one-off ebike reviews because I feel like that’s how people find the site and with so much money on the line I want to review as many bikes as possible. I’m always open to feedback and suggestions for new reviews to do as well :)

Reply
Michael
2 years ago

Hello Court, Thanks so much for the awesome reviews. I would be completely lost without them. I am deciding between the e-rad mid-drive 500 and the bionx d500. The e-rad’s mid-drive system works well with my riding style and still looks like a bike from the road, but I was wondering if there was a solution to all the cables the clutter the bike. The more I research the e-rad 500, the less I care about the bionx, the rear wheel motor really stands out, although I like the regenerative charge for down hill and breaking, I also like my free wheel, and not a fan of the hub motor on the bionx either. However it seems like the bionx has less cable mess to deal with. So, I guess I am seeking your opinion on aesthetics of wiring, I am converting a surly karate monkey, which is a beautiful bike, and I just don’t want to muck it too badly. Any suggestion on all those wires?

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Hey Michael, I feel you on the wire clutter… and the Karate Monkey is a great platform to build on! Installing a mid-drive can be a bit more complicated but I’m not convinced that it means more wires. I don’t have an obvious solution for hiding them either… but some engineering type modders have run them through the frame. One member of the e-RAD team in fact has done this for a living for competitive cyclists in the past on custom frames (normal pedal powered bikes mind you). I love the BionX system for being so quiet, smooth and advanced but I also love the balance of a mid-drive and appreciate the shift sensing with e-RAD. Call their shop and ask about the cables and how the kit would work on the Surly. It sounds like you’re leaning that direction and the company has been really responsive with me. BionX systems come pre-installed on lots of bikes like those from OHM but you can also work with shops to get and install kits. That direction might depend on whether there are supporting shops nearby.

Reply
Jovo
2 years ago

Hello again Court, I have some more questions:

  1. I am more than 90 kg (200 lbs) and I wonder whether bafang mid drive motor kit 500W would be enough powerful for me to go on the flats but up hills too?
  2. Do you recommend me 36 or 48V concerning my weight?
  3. What is more important to follow when driving to be sure that motor will have longevity?
  4. How long I can drive bicycle in throttle only mode (on the flats or up hills) to avoid overheating or any other damage?

Thank you,
Jovo

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Hi Jovo! Great questions… I’d say the 500 watt or 750 watt would be good sizes and would definitely recommend the 48 volt battery pack to provide plenty of power to the motor for hill climbing. If you get a 35 volt it will probably work fine but possibly struggle and use the battery less efficiently. I have been told by some bicycle manufacturers that when an ebike is carrying over 180 lbs (82 kg) it is best to go to 48 volts. As far as ways to increase efficiency and get good range or “longevity” as you put it, I’d say use pedal assist in the second or third level and then override with the throttle only when you need it. This will offer good exercise for you but also reduce knee pain and struggling when climbing. This is one of the reasons I really like the e-RAD and other BBS02 kits from 8Fun because they provide pedal assist using a cadence sensor so the motor goes even if you aren’t pushing super hard and there is a throttle for even more power immediately. One way you can estimate range using throttle mode is to take the watt hours of the battery pack (voltage multiplied by amp hours) and divide by 20. This is an estimate that people use in the industry but it is dependent on how heavy the bike is, what type of tires it uses (efficient, mountain or fat tires) as well as the rider weight. I think they usually assume the rider will be ~160 lbs (73 kg) so you might want to drop your estimate a little bit given the extra weight. Hope this helps! I’d love to hear about your experience once you decide on a product and test it out :D

Reply
Jovo
1 year ago

Hi Court, I have one more question. I have bought Bafang 750 Watt Mid Drive Conversion Kit but my bike has hydraulic brakes. How to put brake levers on my bicycle?

Jovo

Reply
Court Rye
1 year ago

Hi Jovo, I believe that if your frame supports disc brakes and you’re able to install them the motor should work fine… but may not be able to use the brake inhibitors. So you could just leave those disconnected and ride as safely as possible knowing that you didn’t have an override. One alternative approach would be to purchase ebike specific brake levers like those offered by Tektro so the motor inhibitors would still function as designed.

Reply
Jovo
1 year ago

Thanks Court! Is this the part I need to get my hydraulic brakes to work with the electric drive system for brake cutoff?

Reply
Court Rye
1 year ago

Hi Jovo! Good find… from what I can tell that part could interface with your existing levers and lever housings to then send a signal to the system. It looks like you’ll have to glue or sticker it to the levers but the interface where it would plug into the system looks promising. Go for it, pretty affordable part… I’d love to hear if it works and what installation is like :D

Reply
Igor
1 year ago

Hi Court, I have a bike I use for commuting to work and back. It has Shimano Alfine 11 IGH, and uses Gate’s carbon belt drive, instead of chain. Would this kit be compatible with my bike? Thanks for your help. Igor

Reply
Court Rye
1 year ago

Hmmm… That’s a great question (and it sounds like you have an awesome bike!) my only concern would be mounting the beltring (the chainring for the belt drive) to the mid-drive motor and making it work with the cranks. I’m not an expert at this but have seen some companies making a wide range of chainrings to adapt… just not beltrings. I’d ask Lectric Cycles and see what they think and also just look close at your drivetrain an see if there are holes there which could be used to mount to the e-Rad motor? I’d love to hear what you come up with. Feel free to share pictures and repost this question in the e-RAD forums here.

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petpie
3 days ago

Break -- I'm looking to do something similar. Have you gone through with the conversion? Was it difficult to install? Any thoughts on difficulties?

Thanks!

Hi all,

I'm going to be getting an Azub Fat trike: http://azub.eu/recumbent-bikes-and-trikes/trikes/26-wheels/fat/ and I'll need an electric conversion kit with both a throttle and pedal-assist.

It seems like the best motor option for me is a 750 watt Bafang mid-drive motor. I'd like to have a torque-sensing motor, but I understand that Bafang is behind on releasing theirs, and they only have a cadence-sensing system at the moment.

I'm wondering what the difference in practice would be between a 48v and 52v battery. I also want at least a 17 amp hour battery, and if it's not too heavy, something around 20 amp hours or more would be nice.

I'm looking for suggestions on where the best place is to get the kit. And how hard would it be to install it? Should I have a shop do it, or is it easy enough to do it by one's self?

Here are the stores I know of for electric conversion kits:

https://www.eradkits.com

https://lunacycle.com

http://www.ebikeco.com

http://www.rosecityrecumbentcycles.com

Let me know what you think, thanks!

Bike moose
3 days ago

I have https://electricbikereview.com/e-rad/350-watt-mid-drive-conversion-kit/ in an Origin 8 Crawler. For the last few weeks, I've had problems with the PAS. It will cut out then spike to near max output. It will do this several times with little to no delay in between. After a while, it would start working properly. I noticed it today throughout my ride and I think it may have something to do with the cold. Monitor claims it was -2c even though the water on the ground was liquid, so it was probably more like 3-5C. Anyone know if cold temps can affect the PAS sensor. This is my first winter with an eBike.
--I'm having a similar problem with my Pedago Commuter. It seemed to start at around 40 f when stored in shed. I then put it in a semi heated shed and it was better until the temperature dropped some more. Does anyone have any ideas?

Mark Peralta
1 day ago

I came across the internet about "ebike efficiency" from endless sphere
https://endless-sphere.com/w/index.php/EBike_Efficiency
and I thought it is worth sharing. The beauty of ebikes is there is a second source of motive power and that is your pedal power. It talks about the very basic principle about ebike motors. Here , it relates to a hub motor but the principle is still the same for the mid drives. The road speed on the chart is just changed to cadence on mid drives.

First, the power (watts) that comes out from the battery does not completely translates to actual watts to the wheels. There is a certain speed at which the conversion to mechanical power (motor efficiency) is highest.

In this example, the motor efficiency is highest at speeds somewhere between 25-31 mph. The lower the speed, the less efficient is the motor. However, if we consider the power requirement at these speeds (as we will find out later), the actual window of efficiency is a very narrow 23-26 mph only since the motor is only strong enough up to 25-26 mph. The power curve slightly goes down to 600w at that speed while the power requirement quickly goes up to 600w at 25 mph and continue to go up above that speed.

Those watt meters on some ebike displays do not always represent the watts to the wheels but these are the wattage that came out from the battery. And if you are on the wrong speed, most of those watts are wasted as heat. Or if you are in the wrong cadence in the case of mid drives. Basing on the efficiency curve of the hub motor above, it appears that it is ideal for high speed commuting.

To minimize energy waste at lower speed, a controller is used to limit the max current.

In the old days, simple resistors were used to control the current but these are very inefficient and obsolete and are now replaced by pulse width modulation controllers (PWM) with the use of metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFET). The electrical current is then controlled to different levels. Example of this simple controller with different current settings at different assist levels is from a chart from Bafang mid drive (cadence is used at the x axis instead of road speed). The orange curve represents 100% (current decay is another user adjustable parameter in the Bafang controller)

https://electricbike-blog.com/2015/06/26/a-hackers-guide-to-programming-the-bbs02/

However, it is also important to know the power demand of an ebike at different speeds brought about by many factors and most especially the air resistance (aerodynamic drag), in order to further minimize power wastage when it is not needed and only apply power to when it is really needed.

You don't really need a lot of power at low speed but a simple controller's output is opposite (Cheap Chinese controllers). No wonder the cheap ebikes and ebike kits cannot reliably provide good battery mileage since you thought you are saving battery by going slower but you actually wasted a lot of power there. Most of the time, I notice that simple controllers feel "punchy" and tend to lurch ahead from a dead stop (great for showing off to friends) but once the ebike is already moving and you needed more assist, sometimes the power isn't there anymore, when you needed it the most.

Enter the Smart Controllers from the big players where more brain capacity is added to the controller's program in order to determine and match power requirement with the power output of the motor. And added measures are incorporated to cut the assist if the motor speed is at the inefficient range. This is made possible with the use of torque sensors and sophisticated program algorithms. An example of this is the "dynamic assist" from Juicedbikes.

http://juicedbikes.com.au/bikes/2017-crosscurrent/

I cannot find the controller charts of other big players but that is understandable (trade secret). It only goes to show that it's not only the motor efficiency that is important but how sophisticated the controllers are made. Not all controllers are created equal.

On mid drives, the gear reduction ratio is also set up so that the motor is most efficient at a cadence rate preferred by most cyclists (normal cadence range) .

https://www.electricbike.com/bosch-cannondale/

This principle in actual application made it possible for a small motor (mid drive) to achieve a very very impressive efficiency of 100 miles in 1 charge of the 500wh battery or 5 wh/mile!
https://electricbikereview.com/forum/threads/range-100-miles-giant-road-e.14617/#post-121767

This highest mileage potential is demonstrated by the small mid drive, but at a slower average speed (~15mph). The mid drives also has an advantage for the ability to climb very steep hills, as long as the gear ratio in the drive train is appropriate, but at the expense of even much slower, snail paced, speed (sometimes it feels like being pulled up by a winch!).

However, hub drives are not far behind in efficiency. Especially with increasing sophistication of the controllers and more efficient motor designs like the Maxon.
http://partir-en-vtt.com/fsb2/index.php?p=search&mode=author&id=52

https://electricbikereview.com/forum/threads/hub-vs-mid-drive-how-can-i-compare.14635/page-5

Hub drives are also more appropriate for high speed commuting, such as riding regularly at higher average speeds (above 23 mph) since the bicycle drive train at that higher crank output will wear out prematurely in less than a couple thousand miles. Or for transporting heavy loads such as the delivery ebikes.

There is still a bright future for efficient hub drives since, aside from the above mentioned strengths, hub drives are also very user friendly, easy gear shifting, durability, and is superior on stop and go city streets.

1/1
BrockD
2 weeks ago

I have https://electricbikereview.com/e-rad/350-watt-mid-drive-conversion-kit/ in an Origin 8 Crawler. For the last few weeks, I've had problems with the PAS. It will cut out then spike to near max output. It will do this several times with little to no delay in between. After a while, it would start working properly. I noticed it today throughout my ride and I think it may have something to do with the cold. Monitor claims it was -2c even though the water on the ground was liquid, so it was probably more like 3-5C. Anyone know if cold temps can affect the PAS sensor. This is my first winter with an eBike.

Mark Peralta
2 months ago

Does anyone know what percentage of electrical energy input actually gets converted into forward motion?

At, say, 500W power consumption, how much energy remains to turn the wheel as opposed to heating the motor?

I presume the conversion efficiency varies a great deal with speed and load?
All electric motors has a bell curve of the efficiency range (albeit skewed) when plotted against RPM. That is the efficiency of converting electrical energy from the battery to mechanical energy in the motor. The peak is usually in the low to mid 80's %. A 500 watt hub drive's peak efficiency will depend on how it is wound and geared. In the US there are the 20 mph and the 28 mph hubs. The peak efficiency will be somewhere below 20 mph (15-18 mph) or for the speed pedelec it will be proportionally at higher speed, maybe from 19-26 mph.

http://www.ebikes.ca/tools/simulator.html
When it comes to the load. The new controllers now use MOSFETS that feed optimum load all the time for maximum efficiency (gone are the inefficient variable resistors of the past), but the optimum current is produced in pulses and the pulses are controlled or modulated by there width, pulse width modulation or PWM. So the load is always near optimum with the new controllers.

Small mid drives has the potential to have the highest overall efficiency by taking advantage of the gear ratios and keeping the RPM within the optimum range.

BreakAes
3 months ago

Hi all,

I'm going to be getting an Azub Fat trike: http://azub.eu/recumbent-bikes-and-trikes/trikes/26-wheels/fat/ and I'll need an electric conversion kit with both a throttle and pedal-assist.

It seems like the best motor option for me is a 750 watt Bafang mid-drive motor. I'd like to have a torque-sensing motor, but I understand that Bafang is behind on releasing theirs, and they only have a cadence-sensing system at the moment.

I'm wondering what the difference in practice would be between a 48v and 52v battery. I also want at least a 17 amp hour battery, and if it's not too heavy, something around 20 amp hours or more would be nice.

I'm looking for suggestions on where the best place is to get the kit. And how hard would it be to install it? Should I have a shop do it, or is it easy enough to do it by one's self?

Here are the stores I know of for electric conversion kits:

https://www.eradkits.com

https://lunacycle.com

http://www.ebikeco.com

http://www.rosecityrecumbentcycles.com

Let me know what you think, thanks!

BreakAes
4 months ago

I need some help finding the best electric conversion kit for my needs.

I'm probably going to end up buying a Sun Seeker Fat Tad trike, since it seems to offer the best bang for the buck when it comes to fat tire trikes for off-roading.

My questions are, what's the best electric conversion kit for this trike? And should I have it done professionally, or attempt to do it myself to save money?

So far I'm aware of the E-Bike Kit company from the EBR video on the Fat Tad e-trike. They sell a completed, ready to ride out of the box e-trike here: https://www.electrictrike.com/collections/electric-trikes/products/fat-tad-cxs-tadpole-electric-trike

And I called Utah Trikes earlier and got their pricing: Fat Tad CXS: $1,899, with 500 watt Bafang mid-drive motor: http://www.utahtrikes.com/PROD-11619645.html - $795, and 36v 13.5 amp hour Panasonic battery (I believe it's this one: https://lunacycle.com/36v-panasonic-bottle-battery-sondors-compatible-upgrade-replacement/ but I'll need to confirm on Monday): $389 - Total: $3,083. And I'll need to get installation charge, and shipping pricing.

There's also a somewhat local company that could do it. I'd need to call them for specifics.

I want to get the absolute best products for the best prices that I can, so are there other recommendations for converting the Fat Tad trike to an e-trike?

Let me know, thanks!

ZEROUKI ABDELKADER
2 weeks ago

thnx bro

Bobby Swidarski
2 months ago

500W is no longer available from e-Rad.

bsklasika
2 months ago

how does this motor looks inside?

Sungwook Kim
2 months ago

Does this kit fit in BMX with 20" wheels?

Abraham Abuul
4 months ago

Am a little confused about how the mid drive works. Looking at how its installed, am not sure if it has a throttle to enable you ride without pedalling. Can someone kindly clarify pls?

Joni English
4 months ago

looks like a bafeng

Marco Nelissen
5 months ago

I like your video's. A little extra information about the "Custom Made" sensor..? This is not custom made but an aftermarket addition you can buy for this kit. It's called Gear Sensor. And I advise to install it always because the 500W and up motor produces different powers on each pedal assist level and will damage your rear derailleur and sprockets if you don't use this gear sensor. And I advise also to use a Narrow-Wide Chain wheel instead of the standard chain wheel that comes with the kit. If you don't want any chain derailment you have to use the Narrow-Wide. Most Narrow-Wide Chain Wheels have 42 tooth or less, so you wil loose some top speed. About the batteries, you can buy and use any 36 Volts battery and use it with this specific kit. You don't need to buy the battery from the reseller. Today you can buy 36 Volts 20Ah batteries for less dan $400. It gives you enough range for any trip. Last tip, this mid drive kit will fit on most bikes, be sure to measure the BB, most bikes have 73mm. But I have seen bikes also with wider BB. This said, it is not a guarantee that if your BB is 73 that the kit will fit. I found many Mountainbikes with 73mm BB but not accept this motor kit because of frame design. Then you have to engineer around this.

2 2
7 months ago

will it fit bmx

Danny Fubar
11 months ago

Outstanding Review, I'm still in the ebike research stage, and your post added more fuel for thought. I did recon Erad site and didn't see the 500 watt listed?
Until That Day.

Carl Zorro
12 months ago

what are the chances of this battery burning while you drive? lol

Joshua Maune
1 year ago

can i put this on a unicycle?

june park
1 year ago

can I put a e-rad to recumbent trike?

Bsmith
1 year ago

how fast can you really push that thing over 30mph?

Iain Simpson
2 years ago

Is this not just the BBS02 in a different box ?

TheeJoeyLee
2 years ago

DAMN $$$$$! How about a review on a budget commuter kit build for us broke folks with like a 15-20AH battery

allthe same
2 years ago

Review and advertising not same thing

NFS HOT PURSUIT VIDEOS
2 years ago

Can you get a mid-drive shaft drive conversion kit?

benzoesan sodu
2 years ago

This mid drive is BAFANG BBS02. This e-Rad is a fake rebrand Bafang. LOL

benzoesan sodu
2 years ago

Thanks for explaination.

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 years ago

+Michał Giczalec I thought this as well before visiting the shop, they do have Bafang assemble the motor but they spec different parts and have custom firmware. The e-RAD BBS02 is built on a 4th generation design (the most current) and has higher quality bearings and mosfets. It also has an extra cable installed for use with their shift sensor hardware (something that normal 8Fun branded BBS02 systems don't have). Here's a video interview I did with them that might explain it a bit more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBe_OLUBuCY

nerdexproject
2 years ago

This is certainly phenomenal! Could be just what I need! But is it hard to do it on your own? I have some mechanical skills but I'm not an expert... Also would you say they can ship it to Europe? (I doubt that these specs are quite legal here though... haha)

nerdexproject
2 years ago

Thank you man!

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 years ago

+nerdexproject Hey! Yeah, I think they can ship to Europe and it probably isn't too difficult to do... but also not super fast or easy. You'll need some special tools to work with your bottom bracket and possibly some more tools and parts to extend or shorten your chain (depending on the size of chainring you get). I haven't installed one of these myself but I think maybe some people in the forums have if you ask for help: http://electricbikereview.com/community/forums/e-rad/

Ajemo Haltom
2 years ago

Yeah, really nice video. From the battery pack tear down to the demo of the effect of the gearing on top speed with a mid drive system. The educational value here goes beyond the products. One of your best videos in my opinion.

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 years ago

+Ajemo Haltom Hey Ajemo, thanks! I'm doing my best to find interesting new products and learn a lot about them before shooting. It's a lot of work and sometimes it feels repetitive (because I try to review every version and highlight the differences) but with something like this it's a neat learning experience and comments like yours make it worth while! Here's another video I shot while visiting e-RAD that includes some interviews and a deeper look at the bottom bracket sizes and the modifications they do on site: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBe_OLUBuCY