Close-up of a cyclist on a mountain bike with mid-drive motor kit installed

Tongsheng TSDZ8 vs. Bafang BBS02B: 750W Mid-Drive Motor Showdown

The world of e-bikes is evolving rapidly, and mid-drive motors are at the forefront of this revolution. These powerful motors, positioned centrally within the bike frame, offer superior performance and handling compared to their hub-motor counterparts. Today, we’re focusing on two leading mid-drive options: the Tongsheng TSDZ8 and the Bafang BBS02B, both packing a 48V 750W punch.

Tongsheng and Bafang are major players in the e-bike motor industry, offering a wide range of conversion kits to electrify your ride. The TSDZ8 and BBS02B are their flagship mid-drive offerings, designed for speed and performance. While both kits share similarities, they also have distinct characteristics that cater to different riding styles and preferences.

Ride Experience & Motor Performance

We recently put the TSDZ8 through its paces on a scenic ride. The first thing we noticed was how incredibly quiet it was, with only the gentle hum of our tires breaking the silence. The bike felt agile and responsive, handling corners and climbs with ease. Even when we dialed the assist level up to the max, the power delivery remained smooth and controlled, only surging forward when we really pushed the pedals.

In contrast, the BBS02B is a beast of a motor, known for its raw power and lightning-fast acceleration. It’s a bit louder than the TSDZ8, but that’s a small price to pay for the adrenaline rush it delivers. However, the BBS02B’s cadence sensor results in a more on-off power delivery, requiring more frequent gear changes to maintain optimal pedaling efficiency.

Tongsheng TSDZ8 & Bafang BBS02B Mid-Drive Motor Kits Specifications

Feature TSDZ8 (48V 750W) BBS02B (48V 750W)
Brand Tongsheng Bafang
Category Speed Pedelec (S-Pedelec) Speed Pedelec (S-Pedelec)
Sensor Torque sensor (more natural and responsive feel) Cadence sensor (on/off feel)
Max Speed 45-55 km/h 50-55 km/h
Max Torque >120 Nm 120 Nm
Size Larger Smaller
Weight 3.6 kg 4.3 kg
Ease of Maintenance Easier to disassemble and repair Less easy to disassemble and repair
Battery Connector XT60 Bullet connector
Structure Aluminum alloy Aluminum alloy
Waterproofing IP54 (protected against water spray) IPX5 (protected against low-pressure water jets)
Noise Quiet Slightly louder
Customization Highly customizable due to active open-source community Limited customization options
Bottom Bracket Size 68/73mm 68/73mm
Price Generally less expensive Generally more expensive

Unboxing & Component Details: Quality with a Few Quirks

Unboxing both the TSDZ8 and BBS02B reveals a commitment to quality, with well-built components and robust construction evident in both kits. The TSDZ8 stands out with its variety of display options, catering to both budget-conscious riders and those seeking premium features. However, it’s worth noting that the TSDZ8’s chain line can be a bit finicky, sometimes requiring a specially designed chainring for optimal performance. Similarly, the BBS02B’s cables may be on the shorter side for some frames, so be sure to double-check compatibility before installation.

Packing Lists Tongsheng TSDZ8 Bafang BBS02B
Motor 750W 750W
Battery Optional Optional
Display Optional Optional
Throttle
Brake lever
Crank
Chain wheel
Speed Sensor
Lock Nut
1T4 cable
Battery cable

Inside The Motors: A Battle Of Brains & Brawn

The TSDZ8’s larger controller and superior heat dissipation could translate to better long-term performance and reliability compared to the BBS02B. On the flip side, the BBS02B’s controller is known for its ruggedness and superior waterproofing, making it a solid choice for riders who frequently encounter wet conditions. When it comes to internal components, the BBS02B generally takes the lead with higher overall quality, but the TSDZ8’s larger bearings and anti-vibration ring are noteworthy features that contribute to a smoother and more durable ride.

Additionally, the TSDZ8 benefits from a thriving open-source community, offering a wealth of knowledge, support, and customization options. While the BBS02B community is also passionate and helpful, it doesn’t quite match the breadth and depth of the TSDZ8’s community-driven resources.

TSDZ8 (48V 750W) BBS02B (48V 750W)
Pros Responsive torque sensor

Smooth power delivery

Quiet operation

Open-source community

Easier maintenance

More affordable

Powerful acceleration

Robust, waterproof controller

High-quality internal components

Established brand

Variety of accessories

Cons Chain line and cable length issues

Internal component quality

Controller waterproofing

On/off power delivery

Louder operation

Less customizable

More expensive

Torque Sensor vs. Cadence Sensor: A Matter of Feel

One of the most significant differences between these two motors is how they sense your input. The TSDZ8 boasts a torque sensor, which measures how hard you’re pushing on the pedals. This results in a more natural and intuitive riding experience, as the motor’s assistance perfectly matches your effort. The harder you pedal, the more power the motor provides.

On the other hand, the BBS02B relies on a cadence sensor, which only detects whether you’re pedaling and how fast. This can lead to a slightly jerky power delivery, as the motor abruptly kicks in and out as you start and stop pedaling.

Software & Usability: Open-Source Flexibility vs. Tried-and-True Reliability

The TSDZ8 we tested was running on older software, but we’re eager to upgrade to the latest Tongsheng firmware, which promises to refine and balance the lower assist levels. Even with the older software, the torque sensor made the TSDZ8 feel more intuitive and responsive compared to the BBS02B’s cadence-based system.

Customization is everything in the e-bike world, and the TSDZ8’s open-source community is a game-changer. With a plethora of custom firmware options available, you can fine-tune your riding experience to perfection. The BBS02B has a solid community as well, but it doesn’t quite match the TSDZ8’s level of flexibility.

TSDZ8 or BBS02B: The Choice is Yours

In the battle of the mid-drives, both the TSDZ8 and BBS02B are worthy contenders. The TSDZ8 excels with its smooth power delivery, responsive torque sensor, and passionate community. The BBS02B is a tried-and-true powerhouse that delivers an adrenaline-fueled ride.

Ultimately, the best motor for you comes down to your individual needs and preferences. If you prioritize smooth power, customization, and community support, the TSDZ8 might be your ideal match. If you crave raw power and a simpler setup, the BBS02B could be your perfect partner.

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