Bosch & Bafang Review – The Bafang vs Bosch Showdown [2019]

When you are looking for a new electric bike there is nothing more important than the motor, right?

After you have looked around a bit you usually end up between two powerhouses, Bafang vs Bosch.

We will take a closer look and find out which is the best ebike motor for you.

Bafang vs Bosch Reviews

Bafang vs Bosch, girl on an ebike riding in the sunrise.In the left corner we have Bafang, a leading manufacturer of electric motors. Bafang is a multinational company based in China with offices in both Europe and America.

They have for produced electrical motors for over 10 years. The past few years they have started to manufacture control units as well as batteries and sensors too.

They now offer the whole portfolio of products to build a complete ebike. Many large Ebike producers now exclusively use Bafang products in their builds.

What they are most famous for though is that they unlike most others sell their motors separately as conversion kits. That means you can install your new motor on almost any standard bicycle to get your custom build ebike.

In the right corner we have Bosch, a “German Giant” that has been around since 1886. Bosch produces almost everything in home electronics, transportation and industry equipment.

The last few years Bosch began producing ebike motors with the same German quality people are used to seeing from them.

With their already established industry connections they got many large ebike brands to use their products. And I can tell you, costumers have not been disappointed.

Bosch & Bafang Review – Bafang vs Bosch The Ultimate Showdown

Bafang Review (BBSHD, BBS02, 8fun)

Bafang review. Bafang BBSHD, Bafang 8fun motor with battery.I have built two electric bikes with Bafang motors before writing this bafang review. The first was an ebike I built for commuting to and from work. Since I still like some power I decided on the 750 W Bafang BBSHD motor for that build.

The second one was when I helped a friend build an electric mountain bike. He wanted a super powerful bike so we went with the 1000 W Bafang BBSHD to be able to get up those steep mountain bike tracks.

To be totaly truthful in my bafang review it was a little bit tricky building my first bike, but after a few hours I got the motor working properly. If i had a bike-stand it would probably have been easier and a lot faster.

The second time around we bought a cheap bike-stand and it was so much easier having space to work on without breaking my back. And as you can imagine it took a lot less time. We finished the build in about 2 hours.

So how was the performance?

It was great, it felt incredibly powerful compared to other ebikes with hub motors I have tried. And it also felt like you had access to a higher percentage of the available power.

These motors power is rated in nominal wattage, this means that it can put out more power for a short amount of time.

For example the BBSHD 1000 W motor can actually peak at 1500 Watts. This function kicks in when it feels you need that extra kick, like in a quick start or a steep hill. This is one of the strongest features in this bafang review.

The thing is that true power does not always work to your advantage which my good friend unfortunately found out. When riding on asphalt his bike performed like a beast. On the dirty and muddy mountain bike tracks however he experienced how difficult it was to maintain traction.

You can’t get up a hill if your tires are spinning in the same place.

My ebike on the other hand was working great. I felt like it hade a powerful punch when taking off and a really good responsiveness when I was riding in a busy bike lane.

A rather funny thing is that when we were riding together my bike actually handled the dirt roads better than his bike. When we were riding in the streets he beat me on accelerating and speed.

So the lesson of the story was that power isn’t always the way to go in contrary to what many believe. We should both have bought the other motor.

At a later time we fixed this by simply switching motors so we both became really happy with our ebikes.

Anyways, if you are not a speed maniac like me anywhere between 500 and 1000 watts will work just fine as long as you don’t ride in extreme conditions.

I am super satisfied with my 1000 W BBSHD and strongly recommend it to anyone who want to build a quality electric bike.

So don’t deprive yourself of your dream bike, it is readily available here on Amazon.

Pros:

  • Powerful
  • Durable
  • Waterproof
  • Removable speed limit
  • Super quiet
  • Really affordable

Cons:

  • Can be some what tricky to install
  • Could have “anti-spinn” system (smart power distribution)
  • Don’t fit on fat-bikes (without special solutions)

Bosch & Bafang Review – Bafang vs Bosch The Ultimate Showdown

Bosch Review (Active Line, Performance Line)

Bosch Performance CX Motor on a Haibike. Bosch review.I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to test ride the Haibike Xduro Fullife 5.0 electric mountain bike before writing this Bosch vs Bafang review.

This is one of the more reasonably priced bikes from Haibike. Although staying under $3000 it has the best available Bosch motor, the Bosch Performance CX integrated in the frame.

The bike itself is an outstanding mountain bike with both front and mid suspension to smooth out the ride as much as possible.

As for the motor, just as you would expect from their powerhouse model it takes off with power and responsiveness like I haven’t experienced before.

It is not strange that Bosch motors are often called the Rolls-Royce of electric motors. But you certainly have to pay to get this kind of German quality.

Riding this bike on the streets is everything you would expect from an ebike in this price range. It was smooth with great acceleration. Unfortunately (in my opinion) the bike was street legal so I couldn’t go above 25 mph.

If that is what you are looking for and you have that kind of money waiting to be spent there is no question about it, go for it. It is a great bike!

I also got to try it out on a short dirt trail on a small hill. That, however, was not just great it was absolutely incredible.

Apparently the more high-end Bosch motors have an MTB-mode where the motor senses how much power you need to get better traction on dirt roads.

This feature actually works amazingly well. It is only a matter of time until most ebike motors have similar features.

And as if that wasn’t enough it has a walk-mode to help you get the bike up steep hills in heavy terrain to get to that downhill track you want to conquer.

This motor is great, and many people might consider it quite expensive to put that much money on an ebike. That is why it is only on rather pricey mid to high-tier bikes.

If you feel like you have $3000 or more to spare, then you should go for it!

The Haibike Xduro Fullife 5.0 is one of the more affordable bikes equipped with the Bosch Performance motor. If you want a great pre-built ebike it is available from Amazon, check it out here.

Pros:

  • Powerful
  • Durable
  • Waterproof
  • integrated in the frame
  • Great responsiveness
  • MTB and Walk-mode

Cons:

  • Difficult to remove speed limit
  • Difficult to repair yourself
  • Expensive

Bosch & Bafang Review – Bafang vs Bosch The Ultimate Showdown

Conclusion

After reading both the Bosch and Bafang review you realize both motors are great.

In the clash between Bafang vs Bosch, Bosch edged the winning round with features like the MTB-mode and the Walk-mode.

It all comes down to money, convert your bike with a Bafang motor or buy a completely new bike. The choice is up to your wallet.

I truly hope this review was helpful and if you are wondering about something please leave a comment below.

No matter which option you choose I believe you will be really satisfied with your new electric bike.

Bosch & Bafang Review – Bafang vs Bosch The Ultimate Showdown

13 thoughts on “Bosch & Bafang Review – The Bafang vs Bosch Showdown [2019]”

  1. Peter McCaffery

    You said that the speed limit was hard to remove on the Bosch. It’s actually very easy. There’s a number of dongles you can attach to the wheel speed sensor , one of them made by a German company. All it takes is a Philips screwdriver and 5 minutes. Also, there are other options out there; what about Yamaha and Panasonic and, oh yes, the Shimano STEP system which has received accolades for its user friendliness. A review of your two selections plus the Shimano STEP would be great.

    1. I believe I wrote difficult to remove the speed limit, and by that I meant that you had to buy a device and install it. I thought that you had to have special tools to install them as well but maybe not with all their models, if you have done it with a screwdriver than great! The easier the better. I will look in to the shimano STEP and see if I can do a review on that one too, thanks for your comment!

  2. Raynell Theotis Holmes

    I was realy hoping you’d choose for me by the end of this review. I have been reading about ebikes for two years now and have jumped back on forth on which bike I wanted everytime I learn a new piece of information. I like touring and speed as well as a comfy ride so I had my sights set on either the reise and muller delight or supercharger for the rohloff, dual 700 watt hour batteries, and build quality. I was hesitant because I find spending upwards of 9000 on a bike that wont allow me to travel at at least 35 mph while so many other bikes on the market could match their 28mph limit or exceed it; made me hesitant. Then I discovered the Biktrix Juggernaut ultra 1000 fs. Should I just saying paying off some debt as we speak so I can purchase one.

    1. Hi, sorry for a late reply. I’ve been on vacation and have not had time to look at the website. If you are willing to spend that amount of money on an ebike why not put it on a real beast and a record breaker? Check out this ebike, https://amzn.to/313Guqu . Have you considered a fatbike? They are great when equipped with a motor. At least consider it, you can read more about it in the article linked at the top of the page. Anyhow, please let me know what you ended up buying. Ride safe out there!

  3. To “adjust” the speed limit on the Bafang (and maybe the Bosch as well) it is really very simple. You make an adjustment in the software concerning the wheel diameter. You set the wheel diameter LOWER than your actual wheel size. This causes the bike to “sense” that it needs to spin the wheel faster to achieve the max speed because the wheel diameter is set smaller. Your mileage and speed will not read accurately, but you can easily overcome this by using the GPS on your phone. If you don’t like the changes after trying it, simply reset them to original.

    1. This sometimes work, more often with hubmotors that are purely driven by electrical current. As for a Bafang or Bosch it is also dependent on the size of the gears. So there are always ways of changing the top speed, just easier or harder ones. If you can do it just by changing the settings than it is the easiest way for sure.

  4. I installed a Bafang 36v 250 watt motor with a 500 WH (15amp) Samsung battery some months a go. And I love it. On pedal assist I reckon it will go from a full charge to nil in 80 miles. I have kept it programmed to a max level 5 (it will go to nine) but it usually at default 3.
    Any faster and it can be dangerous. Any faster get a moped!

  5. I really wish these reviews would address the issue of pedaling the bike with the motor turned off. (as in – having a dead battery) Most of the first gen mid drive motors fail horribly in this aspect. They feel as if one is pedaling through mud, not enjoyable in the least.

    1. The reason most of the reviews don’t bring up that issue is that most people consider it a non-issue. Sure, you are right, but all the newer models have improved a lot in regards to that. Also, I would think that with a proper battery you get a range that lets you travel far enough on a charge that you won’t be left with an empty battery. That is the case on my part at least. I get about 35 miles on a charge and have never completely drained the battery. If that is a deal breaker for you, why not get a hub-motor instead?

      Regards Mark

  6. I have Bafang BBSHD and new model M600 motor. If you are looking to economically convert your bike into electric then BBSHD is the way to go. Bottom bracket differences have been worked out for almost all setups. Space for the battery on the down tube may be an issue on full suspension bikes. $700 for motor and $400-500 for battery and you are set. Additional costs come in if you want better chainring and quality ebrake. I have been riding BBSHD for several years without any problems. Programming controller is not too hard and it really can change how bike feels and responds. It took some time to get used to how and when power comes on and it did wake me up several times. Bosh shimano specialized are much better at programming their motors to make it easier to ride than Bafang but the cost is very high and programming for Bosh and Shimano motors cannot be changed by end user.
    Regarding Walk mode, BBSHD and M600 both have walk mode that is super handy when I walked the bike uphill.

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