Bafang Ultra + Rohloff combination - User feedback requested

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Halifax
Hello EBR team,
If you have any experience (short or extensive) with Bafang Ultra motor + Rohloff Internal Gear hub, then please share your experience in this thread.
A prospective client here reached out to us to build a fleet of E-bikes with Bafang Ultra + gates belt drive + Rohloff hub. It would be great to hear first-hand experience from folks here.
 
Pushkar might be a good person to talk to about this combo.
At one time he planned on using the Rohloff hub with his Ultra motor (this was the high Watt motor with the Archon X1 controller), but realized that the Roholff hub would not be able to handle the torque (160Nm).
The stock Ultra puts out less torque so it might not be a problem.
 
Have you considered / suggested the Kindernay VII instead, with a more appropriate number of gears for an e-bike, and a bit more torque tolerance (160Nm / 130Nm)?
 
Have you considered / suggested the Kindernay VII instead, with a more appropriate number of gears for an e-bike, and a bit more torque tolerance (160Nm / 130Nm)?
Yes, Kindernay is great but this client wants to be able to see the gear indicator and something that doesn't need as much tactile force to shift.

We are also looking at the 3x3 hub from Germany that can apparently take 250Nm of torque and be completely maintenance free: https://www.3x3.bike/en/nine-gear-hub/
 
I also have plans to do a ultra/rohloff combo. I just got the bike though (frey cc) and am recouping cash via overtime. Hoping to do this project at the beginning of the year. Won't be able to do a gates belt, but can live with it.
 
Yes, Kindernay is great but this client wants to be able to see the gear indicator and something that doesn't need as much tactile force to shift.

We are also looking at the 3x3 hub from Germany that can apparently take 250Nm of torque and be completely maintenance free: https://www.3x3.bike/en/nine-gear-hub/

Have you had a chance to check the revolute Hub1 ?
 
Have you had a chance to check the revolute Hub1 ?

No, I don't know much about them. I will check it out. How is your experience of the Kindernay on the Nicolai bike you built? That seems like a great rig.

I've been contemplating the Ultra/Rohloff combo for a while now.... Only problem is where to get one 🙃
We got you!
 
No, I don't know much about them. I will check it out. How is your experience of the Kindernay on the Nicolai bike you built? That seems like a great rig.
I assume you mean the Boxxbike.

I love the Kindernay on it, I have a much better pedaling Range, much more appropriate number of gears, more compact, no maintenance, great shifter....
 
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Have you had a chance to check the revolute Hub1 ?
Though the 3 x 3 and Revolute look interesting.... I think the wide gear spread isn't appealing to those who are trying to maintain a more natural bike feel. I'm hoping to maintain my input along side the motor for a little while longer...and keep the ability to ride sans motor as well if need be.
I found it interesting that 3x3 states maintenance free, but the video states a more labor intense regrease every 25km compared to oil changes every 5km for other hubs like the Rohloff. Then add the possibility of water contaminion that's not easily flushed... though that is speculation at this point.
 
Hello EBR team,
If you have any experience (short or extensive) with Bafang Ultra motor + Rohloff Internal Gear hub, then please share your experience in this thread.
A prospective client here reached out to us to build a fleet of E-bikes with Bafang Ultra + gates belt drive + Rohloff hub. It would be great to hear first-hand experience from folks here.
I would not recommend a Rohloff with the bafang ultra, the IGH is not rated to handle the NM of torque. I have now installed the 3x3 Nine IGH which is rated at 250 NM torque which will handle the 165 NM of the Bafang Ultra. Remember you need to add the NM of torque of the motor to the NM you pedal. The 3x3 Nine also requires no maintenance vs the Rohloff that requires annual oil changes.
 

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I would not recommend a Rohloff with the bafang ultra, the IGH is not rated to handle the NM of torque. I have now installed the 3x3 Nine IGH which is rated at 250 NM torque which will handle the 165 NM of the Bafang Ultra. Remember you need to add the NM of torque of the motor to the NM you pedal. The 3x3 Nine also requires no maintenance vs the Rohloff that requires annual oil changes.
Do you have any personal experience with the Ultra/Rohloff combo?
 
I have not tried the Rohloff mainly because they report that it has a 150 nm limit on torque. for every motor other than a bafang it would be great. Rohloff is a proven IGH with a fantastic reputation and I would put it on any bike that does not put out more than 150 nm of torque.
 
Realistically, how much torque can a moderately fit rider put into the cranks?

Worst case, an 80 kg rider simply standing with all their weight on a forward-pointing 170 mm crank with the brakes locked produces 133 Nm of static torque at the bottom bracket. If the rider were to pull up on the bars at the same time, the static torque could go higher.

Riders who balance at lights and then stand to get rolling are probably coming close to this scenario. For a 150 Nm Rohloff, not much headroom left for motor assist.
 
Both the Rohloff and Kindernay have been tested at 2,300 Watts, 250Nm by Watt Wagons with no damage. The test was performed with the hubs starting from a standstill in each of their gearts (1-14) at 250Nm with no damage.

The Rohloff hub internal gears cannot be damaged no matter how much torque is applied at the cranks. The Rohloff has nine nylon coupling pins that will shear if too much force is applied to the hub sprocket. If the pins do shear, the hub shell will spin freely, leaving the internal components free of damage. The pins cost about $2.00 each. For tandem bikes, Rohloff installs nine steel sheer pins, which leaves me to believe the hub can withstand much more torque than the the specs indicate, as tandem riders can exceed 160Nm combined. Peter White Cycles, one of the only two Rohloff authorized, factory trained, service centers in the U.S., claims they have never replaced the pins on any hubs.

Remember, torque at the cranks does not translate into the same torque at the rear hub. If you use the Rohloff guidelines and size the chainring/rear cog ratio accordingly, you won't exceed the specifications.

Rohloof pins.jpg



For years, many riders have been enjoying the Rohloff hub combined with the Bafang Ultra (or BBSHD) as it is offered by several bike dealers and e-trike dealers.

Personally speaking, I have been thrashing the hell out of my 1500 Watt (Rohloff/Ultra) Luna Z1 Enduro for 11 months now, riding 80% off road mtb trails. It performs flawlessly, and I could never go back to a derailleur system.
 
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I don’t think any of the 3 watt wagons I bought with 2300 watts and Kindernay really stood up to the force . All of them and their replacement hubs had/have shifting (or not shifting)issues , not just leaks . I don’t believe they were tested for any extended use and in reality we were testing them for both WW and Kinder. They failed ! They were great at 1st but that didn’t even last long before issues started. I also have my doubts that Rohloff was tested any better by WW.

if either of these have issues repair is big problem. How long from issue to riding again is the repair? Especially for those of us who do not work on our bikes and have to take them to local repair to have the unit removed and then we have to RMA to Europe or maybe back to Canada if Zen can do an exchange .
 
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Remember, torque at the cranks does not translate into the same torque at the rear hub. If you use the Rohloff guidelines and size the chainring/rear cog ratio accordingly, you won't exceed the specifications.
Duh, totally forgot to factor in the external gearing and drivetrain efficiency. We recently discussed a Rohloff E-14 hub with a 1:2.5 external overdrive. At 100% external efficiency, Rohloff's nominal 150 Nm torque capacity translates into 375 Nm of total torque at the crank.

With rider torque maxing out at, say, 150 Nm, that leaves room for 225 Nm of motor torque. Pretty big margin of safety.
 
I don’t think any of the 3 watt wagons I bought with 2300 watts and Kindernay really stood up to the force . All of them and their replacement hubs had/have shifting (or not shifting)issues , not just leaks . I don’t believe they were tested for any extended use and in reality we were testing them for both WW and Kinder. They failed ! They were great at 1st but that didn’t even last long before issues started. I also have my doubts that Rohloff was tested any better by WW.

if either of these have issues repair is big problem. How long from issue to riding again is the repair? Especially for those of us who do not work on our bikes and have to take them to local repair to have the unit removed and then we have to RMA to Europe or maybe back to Canada if Zen can do an exchange .
Yeah, I passed on the Kindernay precisely because there was not enough anecdotal or actual data on its long term performance and reliability. Kindernay had no track record in manufacturing, servicing, or inventorying sufficient parts. For those reasons, Kindernay was never a contender for me. I also surmised they were in financial trouble from the beginning. They are now out of business. Nuff said about Kindernay.

Rohloff has been in the bicycle drive train business for 30 years, manufacturing the Rohloff IG Hub for 28 years. Anecdotally I spoke to owners that were running 2,500-3,000 watts with correctly matched Chainring/cog ratios, they did not report any problems.

According to my service center Peter White Cycles in New Hampshire, the turn around time for hub servicing is a about a week right now. Not bad. My local LBS wanted me to wait 7+ days to lace a new Shimano hub on my fat bike wheel.

Yeah, if you are not inclined to work on your own bike, I wouldn't buy anything that cannot be serviced by your local LBS, that would exclude the Rohloff IGH. That is advice that I give to everybody.

The Rohloff is not for everybody, but sure feels sweet married to the Bafang Ultra.

~Ride on.
 
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I would not recommend a Rohloff with the bafang ultra, the IGH is not rated to handle the NM of torque. I have now installed the 3x3 Nine IGH which is rated at 250 NM torque which will handle the 165 NM of the Bafang Ultra. Remember you need to add the NM of torque of the motor to the NM you pedal. The 3x3 Nine also requires no maintenance vs the Rohloff that requires annual oil changes.
i pedal perhaps 10 nm?
 
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