Bafang has taken to the China International Bicycle and Motor Fair in Shanghai to launch what it describes as the the first motorised shaft drive system of its kind.
Primarily targeted at public sharing bikes, the “E-shaft”is designed to attract what is increasingly seen as a huge opportunity to provide low maintenance equipment to schemes.
According to Bafang, the leading player – ofo – alone has currently 10 million bikes on order. Mobike and some other operators plan on similar quantities, totaling approximately 20 million bikes for the various rental schemes across China. More than 2 million new share bikes have been added to Chinese city streets in the last year. And Shanghai leads the world with a total of 450,000 shared bicycles, nearly all of which appeared in the past six months.
Sunny He, Chief Engineer, Marketing Director, and one of the founders of Bafang, explains: “Our development strategies for new products are based on a few simple principles. A dedicated, customer focused approach is the main driver of decisions to address a new product, segment, or market, within the ever growing differentiation of the electric bike –or better said: ‘electric vehicle markets’. Speed to market is the other great asset we bring to the table. When trends emerge, our team of 45 engineers can rapidly address matching products, along with our existing complete range of drive train options. Additionally, China has the most prolific and dynamic parts and supplier ecosystem in the world.” He continues; “And to give you a perfect example is our product development for the most dynamic bicycle category currently – Public Bike Sharing Systems (PBSS).”
Opting to go electric over human-powered, Bafang’s integrated drivetrain utilises a 250W motor with up to 50 Nm of torque, and weighing in at around 5 kg for the complete motor and shaft unit (excluding the battery).
Different length shafts for various wheel sizes and reduction ratios will be provided. The system will be compatible with Shimano 3, 7, or 8 speed hubs for various brake options, including coaster brake versions and will be available from March 2018.
Described as the solution to “e-bikes for millenials”, Bafang has also introduced what it believes to be the “lightest and smallest” hub drive.
Delivering 45Nm of torque this geared hub is strategically aimed at the growing number of clean and lean looking standard-shaped e-Bikes for a sophisticated and lifestyle oriented urban target audience.
The Bafang MINI-Hub offers a solution for this growing eBike segment – with a weight of less than 1,400 grams and measuring only 99 mm in diameter. Furthermore, it’s compatible for all brake systems and compatible with 6 to 9 speed cassettes (rear hub only).
Availability is expected to fall during Q4 of 2017.