Three 250 watt hub motors; Cute, Bafang, and Bionx

August 9, 2012
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250 watt hub motor are so cool and nifty looking, they made it on our  top 10 list of electric bike porn. Here we will look at  three of the better known types of mini 250 watt hub motors, although most electric bike builders and kit providers do not specify which motors they are using.   Most hub motors are made in China, including the 3 main types listed below. For more information regarding 250 watt hub motor, read our article 250 watt hub motors; Is it enough?

 

Bafang 250w Hub Motor

– a standard that has been made in the millions and sold all over china. Sometimes the motor has 8fun engraved on it making it easy to identify. As you can see this one weighs 6 pounds.

Find more photos and info about this motor here.
Bafang disassembled

 

Cute 250 watt hub motor

The Cute 250 watt motor is distinguishable by its ultra polished case. It is very similiar to the Bafang in construction. Both the Bafang and Cute are excellent and affordable geared 250 watt motors.

 

 

Bionx Pl-250 Hub Motor (kit)

The Bionx rear drive hub motor is different than the Bafang and the cute in that it is a direct drive motor and therefore larger and heavier at the same wattage. This motor has the unique quality of having the controller built into the motor.  If you have to buy this motor you have to buy the complete kit which comes with motor, controller, throttle, battery and dash board. This kit is extremely expensive…about  $1500.  Despite its ridiculous price and lackluster features, the Bionx 250 is one of the more popular hub motor kits available, and is the motor used on the new $3500 German made Smart Bike. (read our story on the Smart Bike). We are shocked that Smart not only chose a wimpy 250 watt motor, but also chose this Bionx. Maybe Bionx has a geared hub trick up their sleeve, but it looks like the Smart bike will come equipped with a big and heavy direct drive 250 watt motor.

The Bionx kit is all proprietary and expensive. Check out inside the Bionx motor you can see that the controller is built into the hub along with the motor:

 

Examples of 250 watt Electric Bikes

The finest examples of 250 watt hub bikes I have seen were built from a builder in Germany named Nader. You can see all his 250 watt hub powered mountain bikes in our story here. He uses 250 watt motor in all configurations: front wheel drive, rear wheel drive, all wheel drive, and mid drive.

Other Manufacturers

Other makers of 250 watt motors include Tongxin and Ezee. Both are geared hub  motors very similar in appearance and performance to the Cute and the Bafang.  The Tongxin is known for being ultra affordable ($100 for the entire kit!), quieter than any of the other 250 watt motors, but not as reliable as the other  hub motors in this article  especially when overvolting. The Ezee motor also  comes in a kit but is fairly expensive compared to other geared hub motors.

 Conclusion

The mini Cute and Bafang hub motors are almost a perfect piece of electric bike technology. They are affordable, reliable,  light weight, quiet and compact. The only question is…..is 250 watts enough?

Eric has been involved in the electric bike industry since 2002 when he started a 6000 square foot brick and mortar Electric Bike store in downtown San Francisco. He is a true believer that small electric vehicles can change the way we operate and the way we think.


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