#### The BBSHD is the Best: Value per Dollar

4 min read **|** September 3 2023

Sort of an easy comparison category to start with here, but let’s go beyond simple cost. How much *value* do you get per dollar with the BBSHD? And let’s break down ‘value’ in a few ways. Let’s also assume that a brand new BBSHD (motor only) is around $680 from most retailers as of September 2023.

First, let’s consider value to be dollars-per-watt the motor is capable of outputting. The BBSHD is often marketed as 1000 watts nominal and 1500-1600 watts peak. Given those values, that means **we’re paying 68 cents-per-watt of nominal power** and about 43 cents-per-watt of peak power. Hold that thought.

Second, let’s consider value to be dollars-per-newton-meter (torque). The BBSHD can *crank*… and this is quantified as a reported maximum torque value of 160 Nm. That means **we’re paying $4.25 per newton-meter of torque ability**.

But of course, these numbers mean nothing in isolation. What’s the value of other motor systems? How does the BBSHD *compare* to these? It’s a tricky question since Bosch and Shimano primarily sell to bike manufacturers and make OEM-oriented motors (which require special frames to mate to) — neither releases pricing information to consumers! We have no idea how much of a retail e-bike’s cost is born by the electric components. *But* we can get clever with bike makers that make electric and acoustic versions of the same bike.

For instance, Yuba makes the Mundo long-tail cargo bike as both electric with a Shimano EP8 250-watt motor that peaks at 85 newton-meters of torque and a 36V 14Ah battery for $4,800 and acoustic for $2,500. It’s a fair assessment then, that the EP8 motor and battery cost $2,300. And if we subtract out the market cost for a 36V 14Ah battery, which I’ll estimate at a generous $300, that means the motor system itself is $2,000. Two thousand dollars. Ouch. Doing the same math here, **we’d be paying 8 dollars per watt and 235 dollars per newton-meter of torque ability**! That’s a rate over *ten times* higher than the BBSHD’s and that comes in *far* shorter in delivery.

Jumping to another side of the market, Trek’s Domane series has been a staple in road touring / endurance bikes for years. The Domane SLR 7 (acoustic) is $8,000. The Domane+ SLR 7 (electric) is $10,000. And for that $2,000 difference you get a 300-watt motor that peaks at 50 newton-meters of torque and a 36V 10Ah battery. Subtracting $250 for market value of a 36V 10Ah battery, that gives us a motor system cost of $1750. Again, doing the math here, **that gives us a dollars-per-watt of 5.8 and a dollars-per-newton-meter of 35**. Both still over ten times higher than the BBSHD’s and overall far less capable.

Even down-market, Trek’s FX-2, an entry level contender in their city/urban-focused FX lineup faces similar costs. The acoustic version for $700, the electric for $2,500. That $1,800 grants you a 250-watt hub motor with 40Nm peak torque and a 36 volt 7 Ah battery 😮💨. Subtract $200 for battery value (generously) and that’s $1,600 of electric motor — **6.4 dollars per watt, 40 dollars per newton-meter**. This is terrible, value-wise.

Yuba also has a down-market option, the Kombi (acoustic, electric) but out the door, its numbers are similarly poor: **7.4 dollars per watt, 46 dollars per newton-meter**.

Any difference in the mountain bike world? Looking at Trek’s Fuel EX 5, it’s not looking so good. The acoustic sells for $2,700. The electric is $5,500. That’s a $2,800 difference! You can buy *two* of the acoustic version for less than the price of the electric! And what do we get for that massive up-charge? The same exact motor system that’s in the Domane+ SLR 7 we noted above… just at an *even higher* up-charge for reasons unknown. This now makes the values: **8.5 dollars per watt, 51 dollars per newton-meter**.

I need not continue. OEM e-bike values are *really bad* compared to the BBSHD. The BBSHD simply gives us a *way* better unit price on the value it delivers. Its dollars-per-watt and dollars-per-newton-meter costs are unmatched and so affordable it’s hard to believe.

Side-note: these bike manufacturers must be making a *killing* on electric bike profit margins though. Two to three *thousand* dollar up-charges for motor systems that shouldn’t cost more than a couple hundred dollars. It really is the Wild West of e-bike times.