#2   BBSHD   Left side

Bafang BBSHD 1000 Watt Drive-Preview Ride

October 6, 2015


I would have liked to gotten better photos, but like the installer, my time was short, so I ‘got er done’.

Editor note: Submitted by Turbo Bob

I wouldn’t be surprised to find America’s motto “More power” inscribed somewhere deep inside this new mid-drive. Folks have been overtaxing these drive conversions to the point of failure trying to get the power this new unit has to spare, now maybe they will be satisfied. With all new electronics, bigger cooling fins and some other advances, it looks like the tide has be turned for all who wish to power their bikes to those gnarly limits. Expect Eric to give you the inside dirt, I will give you the outside feel to the Bafang BBSHD.

I’ve always been leery of mounting the battery with two small allens to the frame, I guess I’m not the only one. Probably better to use those two allens though.

Adding a mid-drive motor to a bicycle has been just the territory of the insiders for years. Complexity, extra chains and sprockets, and fragile mounting where all solved with the slide-in ease of the Bafang BBS02, yet we wanted more. The ready-to-ride E-bike makers have climbed on the mid-drive wagon as they sensed the desire for them, but they just can’t offer the juice this Bafang pulsates. One nice thing about having more power on tap is that you don’t have to use it, yet you can when you want.

With only 6 of these units in existence, I was blown away that I had one to ride and evaluate. The thrill was only slightly deflated when I found the install was flubbed to the point of what I considered unacceptable. All I can figure is that since it was a Interbike demo bike, someone was under the gun to ‘git er done’, and did just that. It wasn’t running when I got it, so I took care of that and a few of the more serious issues. The first video I posted on it could be called “don’t be this guy’ when it comes to installation.

Before I go on, let’s say that anytime you do any E-bike conversion, attention to detail is important for safety, performance and reliability. When it comes to a high-power unit like the Bafang BBSHD, there really is no room for error. If doing a conversation with this mid-drive (or any kit for that matter) is beyond your scope, please enlist some help. My next thought on the matter is to make sure you have a quality and strong donor bike (more on this in a bit).

Hang on to this end of the bike. Don’t bother looking at the display when you punch out the throttle—you’ll need your eyes on the road.

Onto the ride. Of course as you can imagine this thing is like a rocket ship when you ride it. 1000 watts of propulsion is pretty mind-bending. I could tell right off the speedo wasn’t set right, partly from the fact it was set to kph, and partly because of the cool street tread fat tires. My downhill max of 65 indicated (40 mph by the numbers) was an easy 45+ (and still picking up speed). My uphill climb with mild pedaling was about 30 mph. If these wind-in-the face speeds aren’t enough for you, then maybe an E-bike isn’t for you.

This baby can hit the legal max while still in 1st gear. The motor spins some crazy rpms, in fact really too many. To keep the heat under control during a climb on a mid-drive, you are best to help the motor with your fastest pedaling speed regardless of the gear you are in. At about ⅓ throttle was my fastest, so the motor outpaced me by a ton. Seeing that heat on the Bafang BBSHD is a non-issue, I just let the motor fly, right along with me and the bike.

Like the other Bafang mid-drives, the slim line makes for a good ride.

This kit was programmed much differently than other Bafang drives I have ridden. If it was set at the factory default, I could easily live with it, and possibly even recommend it. My point here is that the throttle gave full juice, even though all the pas ranges only offered maybe ½ of that. That made for a generally (all things considered) mellow ride, with the wild really coming with a solid push on the throttle. If you want just throttle control, that is easily doable. That would also give you better and smoother shifting by defeating the pas.

The bike it was mounted on (check the photos) seemed fairly upscale and strong, yet flexing in the rear end was easily felt under power. I checked it over well, and it wasn’t due to looseness or defects with the bike. I felt the tires could have been the main culprit, yet on the whole it reinforced my feelings that a beefy bike is needed for beefy electric power. Remember too that the drivetrain is going to really get stressed, so make sure your donor bike is one strong beast—to match the beastly power. I did a ride video, yet it was more about the controls, than the bike’s ability to match up to the Bafang BBSHD.

If you are ready to order this drive, expect them to start shipping in November. What your real concern is (other than picking the right bike to convert), is lining up the right battery for this package. The amps will need to flow freely for all to be well. Sure, any 48 volt battery will power it up, yet if you want to flex all the muscles the BBSHD has to give, not any lithium battery will do. There are many distributors for the unit, but not all of them will be in a position to get you the battery it needs. Be pre-warned and do your homework well in this respect.

Fat-tire excitement with power to spare.

The final video I shot was of a small group ride when the actual owner of the bike came to pick it up. I have to give great thanks to him for giving me the chance to ride the future and be able to tell you about it. I’m sure I will have many more chances to experience it (24 hours just wasn’t enough), in fact you will see (and get to ride) a bike with the Bafang BBSHD at my twice-a-year E-bike seminar next week. This is one unit that will be heavily seen on roads worldwide in the coming months and years. Make sure to look quick, as just a glimpse might be all you get.

I feel that mid-drive electric bikes aren’t for everyone (a story for a different day), and one with so much power thins that crowd. I got a kick out of it and found that an easy cruise is fully possible. The whine of the motor was on par with other Bafang mid-drives I have ridden, noticeable, but not objectionable. The controls and refinement were welcome. Not my cup of tea, but maybe yours.

Stay tuned for more on this soon to be overly popular unit, Turbo Bob.

“Riding a race bike is an art—a thing that you do because you feel something inside.”—Valentino Rossi.

In case you missed the video links—here we go again.

The walkaround.

The ride.

A small group E-bike ride with the Bafang BBSHD.


  • eric12325

    The battery mount is just wrong !!! for frames that are too small use just one screw with washer on lower mount hole this way you can swivel the mount to attach the battery then use the upper mounts belt braces to wire tie it ,as I never need to remove the battery this works fine for me.

  • Zachary E. Mohrmann

    I have seen this video on another website that I subscribe to, but it is none the less well worth hearing some of the things over again.. In this video it teaches us things that are just not to be done with an e-bike, and the proper care for an e-bike and I for one believe are very important to our safety and the safety of others.. A couple of topics in which I ‘m sure others would like to hear, and agree for it’s value as an aid to owning a e-bike, and or, just that unsuspecting buyer of an e-bike, making the mistake of buying a substandard e-bike… All in my book, which are important, And makes this a very useful and helpful tool..!

  • Mitchell Waite

    Great review. Only bummer was the ride video is of the asphalt going by :-). I guess the camera was not adjusted before you took off. Can you tell us where this test was done and when and where your clinic will be next week?

    I also wonder if you have any idea of the round trip range of this engine under typical commuting usage in miles before the battery goes down to near zero watts left?

    But overall I love your tests.


    • Turbo Bob

      Mitchell, yes, the belt cam has its issues—normally works great though—plus I just didn’t have time to do it the way I wanted to. I live in San Diego—that’s were the ride took place. I did some bigger hills, not in the video though.
      My E-bike seminar is in its 4th year—I do it every spring and fall. I will get up a post about it in a day or two. It is on October 13th in the evening—at the SDG&E Energy Innovation Center. You need to register on their website in the ‘attend a seminar’ section in order to have a place saved for you.
      It draws about 200 people and 60+ E-bikes—all free—no sales or pressure. You can check my Facebook page for the list of shops, companies and E-bikes that will be there. It reads like the who’s who in the So Cal bike world. I will have companies from out of the state and the country there too—and the new ST2S Stromer will be on hand to try out. Hope to see you there. Thanks the thumbs up.

  • zeev kirsh

    nice. i’m waiting for a review of bafangs max drive as well. prodeco is the first company i know to have it installed on one of their bikes with the custom BB.

    i’m not really a big fan of torque sensing as it currently stands ( needing a custom frame or needing to weight for the bionx patent to run out , or finally relying on the really shitty BB bracket pas installs on a hub motor design.

    ultimately i think bafang made a huge mistake not finding a way to get effective torque sensing for the new 1000 watt mhd drive rather than just coping the bosch style into a max drive.

    there’s gotta be a way to integrate this into the mh1000. once they do that. bosch will be effectively bankrupted. bosch’s days are numbered.

    as far as the mh 1000. i think people aren’t talking enough about using oversized chains and just abandoning multiple gearing on the back.

    the right way to do this is using an oversized chain and oversized gear teeth on the front and back gear. if you want multiple gears use an internal gear hub. eventually the companies like lectric emr that offer the gear sensing switches for the bosch will be coped by the chinese .

    one day you will be able to buy an mh 1000 with torque sensing and shift sensing built in for a 3 or 8 speed internal gear hub.

    that’s the endgame for all of this. and then when that is perfected, to make it smaller and lighter.

    eventually you are talking about technology that will put an end to the 50cc motor because that kind of package power in a small sub 70 pound footprint is just waiting for faster charging batteries to come out. eventually you’ll be able to charge 600 watt hours in 6 minutes off a 6kilowatt level 2 charger ( typical of charging stations off a 220 volt outlet) and you will see that people just won’t even bother wasting time going to gas up at gas stations.

    until, then, the question is how does bafang ( the collective aggregate of chinese manufacturers. ) beat the pants off bosch. the beauty is the bafang borg don’t need a game plan, they stick by simple rules. produce in quantityt, inexpensively and FAST and charge less than the europeans, and copy their best tech. those 5 rules are why the chinese have and will continue to dominate the ebike space until it is conquered.