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A Simple Guide to Converting Your Bicycle with a Bafang Electric Kit
Stepping into the world of electric bikes (e-bikes) can be thrilling but equally daunting. However, with a simple do-it-yourself (DIY) project like converting your traditional bicycle into an e-bike with a Bafang electric kit, you can take control of the process and learn something exciting along the way. This blog post aims to guide you through the process and make the journey a little less intimidating.
Understanding the Basics of Electric Bike Conversion
Before you embark on your electrifying DIY journey, it’s important to grasp the fundamentals of electric bike conversion. Essentially, you’re substitifying your bike’s standard components with electrified counterparts provided within your conversion kit. At the heart of this operation, you’ve got your motor, the power source that’s going to transform your humble bicycle into a speedy e-bike.
Next, you’ve got the battery. This isn’t your regular AA battery, mind you, but a heavyweight power pack that stores all the juice required to propel your two-wheeler. Then, we’ve got the controller, your e-bike’s behind-the-scenes director, quietly managing how power is dished out from the battery to the motor. Lastly, there’s the pedal-assist system, a clever bit of kit that determines when and how much power the motor should kick in, based on how hard you’re pedalling.
As you pedal harder, the system recognises your exertion and directs more power to the motor, giving you a helping hand. Conversely, if you’re leisurely cruising, the system takes it easy, conserving power by limiting the motor’s assistance.
By understanding these basics, you’ll be better equipped to begin your electric bike conversion, enabling you to ride further, faster, and with less effort. Rest assured, though, we’ll delve into each component in more detail later on, ensuring you’re fully equipped to undertake your electrifying transformation!
Benefits of Choosing a Bafang Conversion Kit
Imagine you’re ready to turn your bike into a turbocharged, environmentally friendly e-bike. What conversion kit should you choose? Bafang, my dear reader, is a name that shines like a beacon in the world of e-bike conversion kits, and for good reason too. Their kits are a bit like the crème de la crème of DIY e-bike conversions – quality craftsmanship, easy to install and boasting top-notch performance.
Their easy-to-follow installation process makes it a favourite among e-bike beginners, letting you transform your regular bike into a power-packed ride with ease. But the benefits don’t stop there, oh no. Bafang conversion kits are well known for their superior pedal assist functionality. This means the harder you pedal, the more power your Bafang kit will deliver, creating a smooth, almost seamless cycling experience.
Moreover, Bafang kits promise a better range, allowing you to enjoy longer rides without worrying about the battery going flat halfway. Their components are designed for durability, making sure your e-bike stands the test of time. And to top it all, Bafang kits offer different motor options, giving you the freedom to choose the perfect fit for your cycling style and needs.
Choosing a Bafang conversion kit is like having your cake and eating it too. It’s an e-bike lover’s dream, delivering on performance, ease of installation, range, and durability. So gear up, your exciting journey into the world of e-bikes is just a Bafang conversion kit away!
Components of a Bafang Electric Conversion Kit
Dive into the nitty-gritty of what makes up a Bafang electric conversion kit. The heart of the kit is a mid-drive motor, renowned for providing balance and torque to make your journey smoother, especially on hilly terrains. Attached to this powerful motor is a durable battery, your trusty sidekick on long rides, storing the much-needed energy to keep your wheels turning. The controller, cunningly integrated into the motor, sits discreetly, taking charge of how power flows from the battery to the motor.
Then we have the ingenious pedal-assist sensor, installed on the crank arm, ever watchful of your pedalling effort and smartly managing the power supply from the motor accordingly. Your bike’s new cockpit, an LCD display, sits proudly on the handlebars, keeping you informed about your ride’s vital stats in real-time. And, of course, the all-important wires that link all these components together, forming the central nervous system of your new e-bike. Notably, every Bafang kit comes with all the necessary wiring and installation accessories, saving you the trouble of hunting for bits and bobs. Now that you’re acquainted with the components, you’re one step closer to experiencing the joys of an e-bike, all thanks to your Bafang electric conversion kit!
The Installation Process of a Bafang Conversion Kit
Roll up your sleeves and let’s get started on the real fun – transforming your beloved bike into a nifty e-bike. First, carefully remove the existing bottom bracket, cranks, and chainring from your bicycle. Once done, it’s time to install the mighty heart of your e-bike, the Bafang motor, snugly into the now vacant bottom bracket.
Remember the behind-the-scenes director, the controller? In Bafang kits, it’s smartly built into the motor, but you still need to position it strategically to limit its exposure to the elements. With that in place, attach the pedal-assist sensor onto the crank arm – your key to an easy, power-assisted ride.
Next up is your handlebar’s new companion, the LCD display, which will keep you updated on your e-bike’s performance. Finally, the exciting bit – connect the battery and bring all these components to life by linking them up with the wires provided.
Although this may initially seem like a complicated task, fear not. By breaking it down into bite-sized steps and following the provided instructions, you’ll find it a breeze. So, keep calm, stay focused, and before you know it, your regular bike will be a lean, mean, e-biking machine!
Maintenance Tips for Your Converted Electric Bike
Caring for your newly transformed e-bike is paramount for its longevity and to keep it purring like a kitten. Start by regularly inspecting your e-bike’s power trio – the battery, motor, and wiring. Keep an eye out for any signs of wear, tear or damage, nipping any issues in the bud before they snowball into bigger problems.
It’s no secret that the battery is the lifeblood of your e-bike. So, ensure it’s well-charged, but take care not to overcharge it as it may reduce its lifespan. Like a fussy pet, your e-bike too needs a good cleaning now and then. Regular dusting and cleaning, focusing particularly on the motor and battery compartment, can keep dirt and grime from hindering its performance.
And let’s not forget the basics. Check the brakes, tyres, and gears to ensure they’re working flawlessly. They may not be part of your new electric components, but they still play a vital role in your e-bike’s overall performance and your safety.
Remember, the secret to a happy e-bike lies in a bit of love and care. So, indulge your e-bike with some regular TLC and watch it reward you with miles of smooth, effortless rides.
Riding Your Electric Bike Responsibly
You’re all set with your newly transformed e-bike, raring to hit the road and enjoy the thrill of that extra power beneath you. But wait! While an e-bike amplifies the joy of cycling, it also brings new responsibilities. You’re no longer just a cyclist, but a super-cyclist, wielding an extra dose of speed and strength. That’s why it’s crucial to take on this superhero role responsibly.
Respect local e-bike laws and regulations, they’re there for a good reason – your safety. Never underestimate the importance of a good helmet, the faithful guardian of your noggin, and other safety gear.
E-bikes have a knack for zipping along at speeds that might catch you and others off guard. It’s important to always maintain control and be aware of your surroundings. Remember, with great power comes great responsibility, so adjust your riding style to accommodate this newfound speed. You’ll need to think further ahead, brake earlier and remember that you’re sharing the road with others.
To put it simply, your e-bike is a ticket to ride faster and farther. But remember, it’s also a passport to a community that values safety, respect, and responsibility. Happy and safe e-biking!
The Right Bafang Motor for Your Bottom Bracket
Bottom Bracket Width:
- 68mm or 73mm: You will need the 68mm Bafang motor (with the option of 73mm BB screws)
- Under 100mm: You will need the 100mm Bafang motor (with the option of BB Spacers)
- Under 120mm: You will need the 120mm Bafang motor (with the option of BB Spacers)
Some bikes have chainstays that block the motor from going all the way into the bottom bracket. If this is the case with your bike, you can order a longer Bafang motor and use a handful of BB Spacers to make it fit snug.
Bottom Bracket Inner Diameter:
- BB inner diameter of 34mm: Stock Bafang Motor
- BB inner diameter of 41mm (BB86 or BB92): Lekkie BB 86/92 Bafang Adapter
- BB inner diameter of 46mm (PF30): Lekkie PF30 Bafang Adapter (Eccentric)
The BBS02 motors only come in the 68-73mm size, but these adapters will extend the motor to fit in 100mm or 120mm bottom brackets: Extension Modification Kits-100mm and 120mm Easy Install Bafang BBS02
Press-Fit Bottom Bracket:
If you have a press-fit bottom bracket, check out this video. The relevant product links can be found in the video description.
Note: Check the exact specifications of each adapter to make sure it is compatible with your bike before purchasing.
One way that the BBS02 middrive unit shines over other competition like the Bosch is the ability to program the controller yourself. Although the process of programming the controller will void any warranty that you got with the unit, to many people the risk of voiding their warranty is outweighed by the possibility of getting more performance or having the PAS settings more to their liking. There are 3 settings that most reputable resellers of the BBS02 will set for you.
- Low Voltage Shutoff (in Volts)
- Limited Current (in Amps)
- Speed Limit
Update: The BBSHD is programmed the exact same way as the BBS02 with the exception of the Limited Current (Amps) which should be set to 30 not 25.
Many US vendors will be resistant to remove the 20mph speed limit as that may make them liable for any accident you are in with their motor. The BBS02 at 750Watts is really only powerful enough for about 25mph or so on level ground, although with a 52T chainring on a downhill stretch I have reached 40mph. At higher speeds your batteries get used up very fast.
It can be somewhat confusing as many of the settings on the drive controller have a setting of ‘By Display’s Command‘ which means the controller on the drive until will defer that setting to whatever the display is set to. There are 3 different displays which all have different settings on them and ways to set different variables like wheel diameter, speed limit and PAS levels. For instruction manuals for all three display types look here. The C965 and C963 are generally set to 5 PAS levels, although the C961 is easily set to 9. You can also adjust the C965 PAS levels up to 9. The last page after the Password has been entered is the PAS page, it can be adjusted up to setting “0-9”.
Before you start programming your controller, here are some important quotes from Paul at em3ev.
- “The PAS functions like a switch, it either assists at a certain speed and current percentage or it doesn’t. It is on or off. The motor does not know how hard or how soft you are pedaling, it is not assisting you, it is not reacting to your behavior. It only knows that you are pedaling or you are not. The only change in the so-called assistance, is because the motor has been moved to a different point on the motors power curve and that is not a programmable parameter, it is just a case of pedaling that bit closer to the no load speed of the motor/controller combination, where the motor will deliver less torque and therefore less power. That is why the PAS settings are best left pretty much like they come from the factory, with gradually increasing speed and corresponding increases in current values too, as you go from steps 1 through to 9”
- “Users can change the LVC, change the current level (reduce it preferably)”
- “Users can also change the speed limit to be controlled by the display (but that does leave the kit more liable to blow).”
- “Setting the throttle to 100% and without speed limit is what everyone wants, but is also a good way to blow the controller.”
- “Once anything is increased, or the response is made faster, the controller is more liable to blow. Setting every PAS level to 100% is a terrible idea.”
The biggest problem with the BBS02 is when it is turning under too much load at too low of a speed. The best way to keep the motor spinning fast is to get a smaller chain-ring and to make sure you are in the right gear for any hills you want to climb. The surest way to blow your controller is to use full throttle in too high of a gear on a hill where the pedals are turning too slowly. If you use a large chain-ring on your commuter (mine is a 52T because I like to go fast) make sure you shift down into a lower gear before coming to a stop even on level ground so you are not repeatedly trying to start moving in too low of a gear. Your pedaling cadence should always feel normal to fast, especially on hills.
Another strong recommendation for not frying your controller is to install a temperature probe. Instructions on how to do this are here and it takes about 7 minutes to do and costs $2 shipped.
Clicking READ FLASH or WRITE FLASH buttons changes or reads values from all 3 tabs at the same time. You should always click READ FLASH, then FILE->SAVE as a .el to make a back up copy before making any changes to your current settings.
There are 3 pages of programming variables. You can click READ for each page but it will only load the current settings on the controller on that page before you change them. Sometimes the serial connection is unreliable and a variable will have a totally wrong setting or garbage in it. I suggest clicking the READ button twice before you start changing the settings to make sure it read the controller settings correctly. I’ve never had garbage persist through 2 READ clicks, it always seems to get it right on the 2nd try. When you edit the variables you want you will then need to click the WRITE button for each page you change or WRITE FLASH for all pages. I would click the READ button again on each page after waiting a few seconds to make sure that the settings you changed were actually written to the controller firmware when you clicked WRITE.
Variables are color coded based on how safe they are to modify
- Green variables are safe to change
- Orange variables can be changed but there is some risk
- Red variables should never be changed unless you know something that I don’t
The color of the variables are what defaults from various drive units as well as the .el configuration file for each vendor. You must save the file to your drive then rename it from .doc to .el then FILE->LOAD it directly into the Bafang program. All variables will be automatically set on all three pages and you need only to WRITE FLASH to write it to the controller.
- Black is for em3ev settings. .el File is here
- Blue is for Lectric Cycles e-RAD settings.
- Brown variables and text is EMPowered Cycles settings & quotes. .el File is here
- Purple variables and text is Kepler from Endless-sphere’s settings & quotes. .el File is here
- Aqua variables and text is Karl’s special sauce, which are pretty much the only settings I ever use. The .el file for the BBS02 is located here and the BBSHD is located here.
These .el files are designed for the BBS02 but work just as well for the BBSHD. If you use them with a BBSHD make sure to change the Limited Current(A) on the first page to 30 amps. You do not need to lower the amps on the BBSHD, it can do 30 amps all day long without breaking a sweat.
Listed below are the settings and what little we’ve learned about them. This article will be updates as we experiment more.
Low Battery Protect(Volts): 41/41/41/41 to 43/41 – This number will change based on the pack size and configuration. Most likely your battery will have a BMS that will shut off power when it gets too low. This setting is mostly useful when you are running a battery setup without a BMS which is not advised. Kepler notes,
“I use 43V on my 14S 4P 18650 pack setup”
If you are running a 48v nominal pack you’ll want to set this a lot lower (like 38v) to keep the drive from shutting off when the pack still has a little juice in it.
Limited Current(Amps): 25/25/18/18 to 20/25 This sets the power level that the drive unit will pull from the battery pack. Be aware that just because it is set lower, does not mean that it will not draw more amps for brief periods. If you don’t want to stress the BMS you may want to set this number lower than you think it should be by 2-3 amps then slowly increase it over time if your $15 watt meter shows that it is not pulling too much power on a regular basis. This variable will be set lower than 25 if you have a BBS01 or a BBS02 with a lower power level rating than 750W. If this is set lower than 25 from the factory you CANNOT RAISE it safely unless you are sure it is a 750 Watt unit & controller and your battery can handle the draw (it should say on the bottom of the unit). Matt from Empowered Cycles has this to say:
“I recommend 18 amps in most cases. You still get amazing performance, prolonged controller life, more charge cycles from your pack, more range on your rides. If you have an internally geared hub, I recommend 15 amps and changing the “start current” on pedal assist and throttle all the way down to the lowest setting of 1. Even at 18 amps the 750 watt motor keeps up with an 8T geared MAC hub motor that is pulling 1500 watts. You do not need 25 amps for this motor to perform.”
Kepler has this to say
“ I agree that 18 amps is a good all-round setting. I then rely on the Limit Current Assist level to fine tune the max power best suited to bike.”
If you have a BBSHD make sure that this is set to 30 and no lower.
Asst0 Limit Current(%): 1/0/0/100/1 – This is the setting for the PAS at level 0. The throttle might not work in PAS 0 unless this is set to 1 on more recent controllers. You must set limit speed to 1 as well as well as setting the Designated Assist to 9 on the throttle page.
Asst0 Limit Spd(%): 1/0/0/1/1 – At power level 0 causes the controller to lower current gently to maintain motor rpm when 44% of speed limit is hit. Speed limiting is done based on motor RPMs not road speed. The throttle might not work in PAS 0 unless this is set to at least 1, it is really nice to have a hand throttle setting without any PAS intervention.
Asst1 Limit Current(%): 52/20/52/10/52 – Power cut based on road speed at power level 1.
Asst1 Limit Spd(%): 44/44/36/100/44 – Power cut based on motor RPM speed at power level 1.
Asst2 Limit Current(%): 58/20/58/20/58 – Power cut based on road speed at power level 2 if set to 9 power levels.
Asst2 Limit Spd(%): 51/51/44/100/51 – Power cut based on motor RPM speed at power level 2 if set to 9 power levels.
Asst3 Limit Current(%): 64/30/64/30/64 – Power cut based on road speed at power level 3 if set to 9 power levels.
Asst3 Limit Spd(%): 58/58/52/100/58 -Power cut based on motor RPM speed at power level 3 if set to 9 power levels.
Asst4 Limit Current(%): 70/40/70/40/70 – Power cut based on road speed at power level 4 if set to 9 power levels.
Asst4 Limit Spd(%): 65/65/60/100/65 -Power cut based on motor RPM speed at power level 4 if set to 9 power levels.
Asst5 Limit Current(%): 76/50/76/50/76 – Power cut based on road speed at power level 5 if set to 9 power levels.
Asst5 Limit Spd(%): 72/72/68/100/72 -Power cut based on motor RPM speed at power level 5 if set to 9 power levels.
Asst6 Limit Current(%): 82/60/82/60/82 – Power cut based on road speed at power level 6 if set to 9 power levels.
Asst6 Limit Spd(%): 79/79/76/100/79– Power cut based on motor RPM speed at power level 6 if set to 9 power levels.
Asst7 Limit Current(%): 88/70/88/70/88 – Power cut based on road speed at power level 7 if set to 9 power levels.
Asst7 Limit Spd(%): 86/86/84/100/86 – Power cut based on motor RPM speed at power level 7 if set to 9 power levels.
Asst8 Limit Current(%): 94/80/94/85/94 – Power cut based on road speed at power level 8 if set to 9 power levels.
Asst8 Limit Spd(%): 93/93/92/100/93– Power cut based on motor RPM speed at power level 8 if set to 9 power levels.
Asst9 Limit Current(%): 100/100/100/100/100– Power cut based on road speed at power level 9 if set to 9 power levels.
Asst9 Limit Spd(%): 100/100/100/100/100– Power cut based on motor RPM speed at power level 9 if set to 9 power levels.
A quick note on power levels. If your display is set to only use 3 power levels then the controller uses settings for Asst1, Asst5 and Asst9 and ignores all the rest. If it is set to 5 levels than it ignores every other power level setting (but uses Asst1\3\5\7\9). On the C963 display I have still not figured out how to set the display to 9 power levels, so you may be stuck with only 5 PAS power levels with that unit.
Wheel Diamter(Inch): 26/26/26/26/18 – Set this to whatever your wheel diameter is. I always set this number so that if the display is set to show kph that it really shows mph instead. For a 26″ fatbike tire that is about 18″.
Speed Meter Model: ExternalWheelMeter / ExternalWheelMeter / ExternalWheelMeter / ExternalWheelMeter / ExternalWheelMeter – As far as I know this is the only speed sensor that is set up for the BBS02
SpdMeter Signal: 1/1/1/1/1
PEDAL ASSIST TAB
This page is for the Pedal Assist Settings. Change conservatively, make small incremental changes and test rather than large ones.
Pedal Type: DoubleSignal-24 \ DoubleSignal-24 \ DoubleSignal-24 \ DoubleSignal-24 \ DoubleSignal-24 – Unknown
Disignated Assist: By Display’s Command \ By Display’s Command \ By Display’s Command \ By Display’s Command \ By Display’s Command – This setting if set will override the Limit Speed setting on the Basic Tab and also overrides the speed limited on the Basic Tab.
Speed Limited: By Display’s Command \ By Display’s Command \ By Display’s Command \ By Display’s Command \ By Display’s Command – Cuts power when the road speed from the mag sensor hits the number set here. If set to By Display’s Command then it uses the Display’s set speed limit.
Start Current (%): 10\50\40\30\10 -This variable is vital for not killing the controller. The lower the Start Current is set the less power is directed to the PAS system upon startup, this will create less strain on the controller when starting from a standstill, especially if you are in a gear that is too high. 100% Start Current will peak at well over 1kW draw. With Kepler’s settings this should be set to 30% or less. This can be set all the way down to 1, very useful for IGH bikes and for people wanting a more gentle start
Slow-Start Mode(1-8): 3\4\5\6\4 -Controls how quickly the power ramps and how much it overshoots. If this variable is set too high the PAS start will be jerky, if set too low you risk blowing the controller as with Start Current above. If you are in too low of a gear to start and this variable is set too low it can blow the controller.
Startup Dgree(Signal No.): 4\4\4\4\2 – The number of sensor steps before the start up commences. The maximum accepted is 20. 24 is a full pedal revolution. Too few makes start-up occur with too slight a pedal movement. Lower number is less pedal movement to start the motor. Does not work properly with 1 or 0.
Work Mode (angular Speed of Pedal/wheel*10): Undeterminated \ Undeterminated \10\10 \ Undeterminated — Adjusts the amount of power that can be applied to each pedal rotation. The higher the number the greater the power applied to each rotation. This might affect at what rpm peak power sits in PAS operation, changing it doesn’t seem to be noticeable so we advise to leave it alone.
Time of Stop(x10ms): 25\25\25\25\10– This affects how quickly the drive stops after you stop pedaling. Some people report that setting this lower (as low as 5) may affect the startup delay on the throttle. If you set it to 0 the PAS system ceases to work. 25 is probably too high. This setting disables the PAS if it is set less than 5. I strongly recommend setting this to 5, especially if you want to use the PAS system without using ebrakes. If you set this less than 10 on the v2 of the BBS02 controllers then your PAS will not work properly at all. On the older BBS02v1 controllers and the BBSHD controllers you can set this as low as 5 before you start having issues with the PAS.
Current Decay(1-8): 4\8\6\8\8 – Determines how high up the pedal cadence rpm range it starts to reduce power, 8 being the highest. There is no detail on actual rpm speeds for the Current Decay setting. The lower this setting is the sooner the drive unit will start cutting back on the power as you pedal faster.
Stop Decay(x10ms): 0\0\0\20\0 – The amount of time the system takes to cut after pedaling stops. Lower is faster. Kepler says,
“I prefer a smooth stop transition. It is still quite quick to shut the drive down when you stop pedaling”
Keep Current(%): 60\60\60\60\80– What this setting does when set at 60% is ramp the current down to 60% of the PAS level selected based on pedal cadence rpm, so at low pedal cadence you get 100% of the level selected but as your pedal cadence increases the power is reduced down to 60%. As you pedal faster the motor does less work down to whatever this number is set to (60% of max current or 15 amps on 25 Amp system).
THROTTLE HANDLE TAB
Start Voltage(x100mv): 11\11\11\11\11 – The is the throttle input starting voltage, the point at which the controller responds to input is at 1.1 volts, so set value to 11 which = 1.1 volts. As you begin to roll on the throttle the voltage moves up from zero and when it reaches 1.1v the motor begins to turn. Best to leave between 10 and 15. Too low and the display will throw an error as the motor will want to run continuously. If you change the throttle you will need to find the new lowest setting.
End Voltage(x100mV): 35\35\42\35\35 – You can set the max range to 42 which is the max input the controller accepts from throttle input 4.2v. If you set lower than this value your throttle response is not as linear or smooth as it could be. Matt suggests you set start voltage to 11 and end voltage to 4.2 for a wider range of throttle response and smoother control of motor output. If you use an aftermarket throttle you will need to test to see what voltage the hall sensor throttle is giving off at full throttle and set this number slightly lower than that voltage shown on the meter (times 10).
Mode: Current\Speed\Speed\Current\Speed – Switching this to Current Mode (instead of Speed mode) has an improvement in the throttle response smoothness. If you change this then set the Start Current % on this page to 10 or less. Personally I prefer the intensity of the speed setting, although setting this to Current will be much easier on your controller. Some users of the newer BBS02’s say that the CURRENT setting can cause jerkyness with the throttle, in which case you should set it to SPEED mode.
Designated Assist: 9\9\9\9\9 – If you disable the PAS system (step 5 here) then this will give you the same number of levels of throttle power as PAS settings. If you don’t disable the PAS system then you should probably set this to 9. If your bike is in a rental fleet and don’t want to deal with fried controllers then you should set it to something much lower like 6. This setting if set will override the Limit Speed setting on the Basic Tab and also overrides the speed limited on the Basic Tab. If you set this to 9 be aware that you can and will fry your controller if you are in too high of a gear on too steep of a hill and you peg the throttle.
Speed Limited: By Display’s Command\40KmH\40KmH\40KmH\40KmH – Cuts power when the road speed from the mag sensor hits the number set here. If set to By Display’s Command then it uses the Display’s set speed limit. However this setting can sometimes cause severe Throttle lag in PAS0 so if you set it to 40km/hr the 2-3 second throttle lag should disappear.
The speed limit only applies to the PAS and in ignored by throttle input, so in other words, if you want to go past the speed limit, just use the throttle. This is a setting that allows the rider to set a pace or cadence when using pedal assist for a comfortable steady pace. Almost like cruise control, when you begin to go past the speed, the motor cuts out to maintain a lower speed. It is a useful way to extend range. The max speed limit of the display is 45 mph.
Start Current(%) : 10\10\10\10 to 20\10 – Percentage current of available when throttle initially applied. Unwise to raise beyond 20, but fine to lower, however motor will give less power when the throttle is engaged. If you set the throttle Mode to Current (which I think you should) you will want to lower this number substantially or it will be very jerky on startup. 5-10 gives a much smoother startup. This can be set all the way down to 1, great for IGH bikes and smoothing out power delivery.
So what do you recommend?
For smooth throttle control and less delay the Current Mode on the Throttle Handle Tab is the way to go, but you should keep the Start Current % low (below 10 is safe) otherwise the throttle is far too jerky and wheelie prone. If you want max power and torque then set the Throttle Handle to Speed Mode.
I have 8 BBS02 controllers from various manufacturers and I’ve only had one controller failure from the first one I bought from elifebike. The two I have bought from Lectric Cycles and all the ones I have bought from Paul and Doug at California-Ebikes (which both use em3ev’s settings) have given my absolutely no problems. The Lectric Cycles settings has a jumpy throttle and a little throttle delay which could be corrected by switching the Throttle Mode to Current. I have hundreds of hours beating the living piss out of my drive units with em3ev’s and Lectric Cycles settings with no complaints and no controller failures. At this point I’ve set all my drive units to the “Karl’s Special Sauce” settings which is the only way to fly if you want max throttle power without blowing your controller and PAS that actually is usable.
There are plenty of people who say Kelper’s settings are very reliable, but I have not tried them yet so I cannot say. I would not advise using Kepler’s settings at a full 25 Amps, as you are asking for trouble. 100% Limit Speed at every PAS level at is going to put a serious load on the cheap-ass controller mosfets.
In some ways it’s great that we can get into the software and change so many of the settings for the BBS02. Along with this flexibility comes taking responsibility for the controllers and drive units we end up destroying by tweaking the settings. This guide is a way to share information that others have discovered the hard way, but by no means is definitive. All the information here could be wildly inaccurate as no one that I know of has gotten any real technical guidance from Bafang on how to program these units at all.
Program at your own risk. Don’t program your controller, fry it, then try to get it replaced under warranty pleading innocence. If you fry your own controller then have the common decency to spend the time and energy to fix it yourself or just suck it up and buy another one. Paul has had so many problems with people ripping him off by custom programming and frying their controllers and then trying to get free warranty replacements that he no longer warranties the individual controllers. Can you really blame him?
This article is the culmination of many hours of work and was contributed to by Paul(cellman) from em3ev, Matt from Empowered Cycles, kepler and drprox from Endless-Sphere and this insanely long 37+ page thread on ES. Many thanks to everyone who contributed. I could have done it without you but the results would have been really laughable.
UPDATE: A hacker from Norway named Penoff used the source code and completely rewrote the Bafang programming software. All the settings are the same but the software that Penoff has written fixes a lot of the annoying bugs (like the com ports not showing up properly) and works the way the original Bafang software SHOULD have worked. I’ve tested it pretty extensively and emailed back and forth with Penoff who seems to be a stand up guy. If you want to download his application you can do it through his website here. You won’t be disappointed.
Top tips in maintaing your ebike battery to its full potential
E-bikes have made daily commuting, recreational cycling, and even long-distance travelling significantly more accessible and enjoyable. However, one crucial aspect that often goes unnoticed is the maintenance of the electric bike battery cells. Here, we’ll delve into the top tips for keeping your e-bike battery in optimum condition, to ensure that your e-bike rides are never cut short.
Understanding the Basics of E-bike Battery Cells
The beating heart of any electric bike is undoubtedly its battery cells, most commonly lithium-ion variants. These are chosen for their stellar energy densities, their absence of memory effect and their slow loss of charge when idle. However, over time, and without due care, they can wear down. Thus, it is pivotal to understand the foundational elements of your e-bike battery. This means familiarising yourself with your battery’s capacity, knowing the type of cells it employs and adhering to the manufacturer’s guidelines for both charging and storing. By gaining a good grasp of these fundamentals, you’re already on the path to effectively maintaining the lifespan and performance of your battery.
Regular Charging is the Key
Charging your e-bike battery regularly is a fantastic habit that can drastically extend its lifespan. It’s a common misconception that lithium-ion batteries, which are the heart of most e-bikes, need to be completely drained before recharging. However, this isn’t the case. Unlike their lead-acid counterparts, these modern batteries appreciate frequent top-ups. It’s good practice to plug in your e-bike for a recharge when its battery dips down to around 20% to 30% of its full capacity.
But here’s an important word of caution – avoid leaving the charger plugged in for longer than necessary. Sure, most e-bike batteries come equipped with protective circuits designed to guard against overcharging. However, you can’t always bank on technology to do the right thing at all times. It’s far better to play it safe and unplug your charger once your battery reaches its full capacity. Regular charging is indeed the key to a healthier battery, but remember to always balance this with vigilance to prevent overcharging. Your e-bike battery will thank you in the long run.
Consider the Storage Conditions for Your E-bike Battery
The location where you store your e-bike battery is no trivial matter and plays a vital role in the battery’s overall performance and longevity. Your battery is happiest in a cool and dry environment, well away from direct sunlight and the potential hazards of extreme temperatures. Summer’s sizzling heat can accelerate the degradation of your battery, while winter’s biting cold can temporarily decrease its capacity.
If your e-bike is going into hibernation and won’t be in use for a while, a good practice to follow is to charge your battery up to around 60% before you put it away. This helps to avoid capacity loss during storage and ensures that your e-bike is ready to roll as soon as you are. Remember, it’s not just about how you use your battery, but also about how you store it. Treat it with care and respect, and it will reciprocate with miles and miles of effortless, electric-powered journeys.
Keep an Eye on Battery Cleaning and Maintenance
Keeping your e-bike battery clean and well-maintained is not just a tip – it’s a necessity. It’s similar to having a thorough health check-up – but for your e-bike’s battery. Get into the habit of regularly wiping your battery and its connectors with a clean, dry cloth to remove any specks of dust, dirt, or moisture. This seemingly simple task can work wonders in preserving the battery’s performance and longevity.
However, don’t fall into the trap of using harsh cleaning products. These can be counterproductive and end up causing damage. Opt instead for gentle cleaning materials that won’t harm the battery.
It’s not just the exterior of the battery you need to worry about. The battery compartment also deserves your attention. Keep it free from dust and debris that can potentially interfere with the battery connections, disrupting the smooth transfer of power to your e-bike.
So, make battery cleaning and maintenance a regular feature in your e-bike care routine. This proactive approach can often save you from bigger battery issues down the line.
Routine Inspections for Early Detection of Problems
In the same way a car needs its MOT, your e-bike battery can greatly benefit from regular checks. Keeping an eagle eye out for any visible damage, such as bulging or leaks, can alert you to issues that need immediate attention. These physical signs of battery distress shouldn’t be ignored as they indicate a fault within the battery.
Take the time to regularly examine the voltage of your battery, ensuring it aligns with the manufacturer’s recommended range. If it’s falling short or exceeding these guidelines, it might be time to enlist the help of a professional.
Also, keep tabs on the rate at which your battery discharges. If you find your e-bike is running out of juice much faster than usual, it could be signalling a decline in battery capacity. This may not be a call for immediate concern, but it’s definitely a symptom to monitor.
Remember, early detection is vital in preventing small problems from snowballing into major issues. Stay alert, remain proactive, and you’ll keep your battery – and your e-bike – in top gear for many adventures to come.
Understanding the Importance of Battery Capacity
The power-pack of your electric ride, the battery capacity, is a vital component that’s worth understanding. It’s this capacity that determines just how far your e-bike can carry you on a single charge. Over the passing of time and continuous use, there could be a decline in this capacity, particularly if maintenance practices have been somewhat neglected. The good news is, monitoring your battery’s capacity isn’t rocket science. Many e-bikes come with a handy display or even support a smartphone app, making it quite straightforward to keep an eye on your battery’s health. If you notice a significant decrease in the capacity, it might be an indication that your battery is calling for a replacement. Remember, a robust battery capacity isn’t just about longer, uninterrupted rides. It also translates to better efficiency, performance, and the overall lifespan of your e-bike. After all, a well-functioning battery is the heart and soul of your electric two-wheeler.
Seeking Professional Help for Battery Problems
If your e-bike battery continues to pose challenges, it’s critical not to disregard the expertise of a professional. Qualified technicians possess the required know-how to pinpoint and resolve issues, averting further damage to your e-bike battery. It’s key to note that trying to repair a lithium-ion battery without the right expertise can lead to hazardous consequences owing to the reactive chemicals enclosed within. Don’t let an attempt to save a few pounds compromise your safety and the wellbeing of your beloved e-bike. Remember, when it comes to handling complex battery issues, it’s always wise to let the professionals take the reins. They’ll ensure your electric steed is back on the road, powering your adventures for many more miles to come.