Unlaced Front and Rear eZee HubsWe’ve got a nice update for those like doing things a little bit custom. The high performance V2 eZee hub motors have only traditionally been available as part of a complete built up wheel, laced with a rim, tire and tube, which added a lot of wasted expense for those wanting a different diameter or rim type.  Well we had a recent shipment arrive of pure unlaced eZee motors both front and rear, permitting eZee motor systems in a custom wheel build.

Included in these unlaced motors is a new fast 350 rpm winding, which will help 16” and 20” wheels get up to a decent road speed without the need for a high voltage battery. They’re a bit quicker than the normal 300 rpm motors that are in the 20” eZee kits, and have been added to our simulator page too.    

Custom Builds

Custom Laced Hub MotorTo facilitate the purchase of custom built wheels, we’ve also created a new part on our store site that lets you select any available hub, spokes, and rim option from a dropdown menu. That enables you to specify the best hand-laced motor wheel for your project rather than relying on stock kits.

 

A Suitable Fat Rim

DHL65 Fat RimOne of the rim options you’ll see listed is a 65mm wide Weinmann rim for fat tire bikes. With the recent updates to our spoke calculator it’s much easier to figure out the optimum lacing and dishing strategy for a fat tire build and these particular rims have a close enough left and right hole offset that they can work well with most motors.  

If you are doing a custom fatbike conversion, the best approach is to select a rear hub motor and use this on the front fork of your bike for a front wheel drive. Most fat bike forks have a 135mm dropout width, the same as a standard rear mountain bike hub. 

 
Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Spoke Calculator Phase 2 Enhancements

March 7, 2015 9:45:19 PM PST

Well who would have guessed that the improved spoke calculator we put online last summer has been used to make over 75,000 spoke length calculations! We imagine only a small fraction of those turned into laced up hub motors, but it feels good to see our tools get put to such good use.

Spoke Calculations Performed to Date
We've now wrapped up the the second phase of this project to include a dimensionally correct cutaway edge view of the laced motor so that you can see the effects of dishing, spoke hole offsets, and even of lacing the spokes with the spoke elbows inside or outside of the motor flange. We're trying to turn this into the ultimate wheel lacing resource for ebike enthusiasts and welcome any additional feedback. Have a look and play around!

Ebike Spoke Calculator with Side and Edge View Drawings

Under the calculator results are full descriptions and explanations for the various fields, and we've updated all the hub motors in our database to include the offset from the flanges to the axle center for dishing considerations.

One of the key issues we wanted to illustrate was the importance of having the spoke elbows on either the inside or outside of the hub flange in different scenarios. This can be a significant consideration when lacing hub motors which often have spoke flanges spaced much closer together than a normal bike hub. We also wanted to make it easier to let people do hub lacing into Fat Bike rims which tend to have large offsets between the left and right holes, and included a simple "swap spokes" button to gain better triangulation.

Swapping left and right spoke holes for fat bike rims

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Satiator Charge Simulator

February 11, 2015 2:03:23 AM PST

Hey guys and gals, check it out:

Satiator Charge Simulator Example Graph

We've completed what is surely the first online lithium battery charging simulator, with accurate renditions of the constant power, constant current, and constant voltage charge regimes. With this tool, not only can you see just how long it will take to charge a given battery type using the Cycle Satiator, you can also figure out the exact voltage profile for partial charge levels, and then download the resulting profiles right to your Satiator Charger.

We're hoping that this takes some of the mystery out of designing custom charge profiles for your battery and encourages you to produce partial charge routines to enhance your pack's longevity. With good management you can often make your expensive lithium battery pack give 2-3 times as many discharge cycles as it would with the stock generic chargers, and have the satiator handily pay for itself just on reduced battery replacement costs alone.  

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Smooth Controllers, Stoked Yubas, Happy Holidays

December 19, 2014 2:06:45 AM PST

Hey you'd think with the launch of the Satiator we'd take a little break and relax for the holidays, but not at all.

Field Oriented BAC500+ Controllers

Many of our custom EV projects over the past few years have made use of an advanced Field Oriented Motor Controller from ASI (Accelerated Systems Inc.) of Toronto, rather than the more generic imported Infineon devices. We've talked about these before, and have now made a small pilot batch generally available to the enterprising public.

Some Evolution of the BAC500+ Field Oriented Controller Enclosure

Made almost 100% in Canada, this BAC500+ controller in a hardcoat anodized CNC'd enclosure can measurably increase your motor efficiency and torque output at low speeds, run sensorless with even the highest RPM motors, use field weakening to increase the top-end speed, and remove the motor buzz from even noisiest of hubs.

Dyno Graph of Improved Low End Torque and Efficiency Dyno Graph at 3 Different Levels of Field Weakening Plot of H3525 Unloaded Motor RPM v Field Weakening Current
     

For more information, have a look the descriptions and test results in the ES forum thread. We are down to single digit quantities remaining for those who who are tech savvy and want to taste the future of ebike control.

Cycle Stoking a Yuba

On another front, we renamed the Right Side Drive Stokemonkey to the Cycle Stoker several months back, and are now pilot testing a new model custom fit for the Yuba Mundo cargo bikes. Mid-drives like the Bafang BBS02 have made the rounds lately but this stands apart:

Cycle Stoker Prototype on a Yuba Mundo

  • Patterson 2-speed crankset, gives the equivalent of a 62T chainring for unprecedented high speed gear ratios even at a comfortable pedal cadence
  • Provides true Proportional Torque Assistance with all the custom settings of a V3 Cycle Analyst to dial in the desired performance
  • Uses of standard bicycle chain and bicycle components for the entire drive transmission, no special proprietary gears in the mix. 
 

If you have a Yuba Mundo bike and like being an early product tester to help work through any early release kinks, then please be in touch as we should have a half dozen kits ready by early January.

Grin Staff wishing you a Merry Christmas, (you won't find us in matching uniform like this too often.)

Finally, we at team Grin want to wish you all a Merry Christmas. We'll generally stay open with reduced staffing during the holiday but should still keep up on all the online orders. And in case you didn't see it, the -20% Satiator Promo for loyal customers will continue until the end of the December if you want to treat yourself to a little gift.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Blazing Speeds but Lost Emails

December 4, 2014 1:23:51 PM PST

We apologize that our webpage was down for maintenance much of yesterday. We were upgrading servers in order to make our site faster and better at handling high traffic. Now that the migration is finished you'll notice quite a dramatic improvement in the page load times when your browse our website.  

Unfortunately there was a time window yesterday evening and night when emails to any ebikes.ca address could have bounced. So if you sent us an message and don't receive the usual timely reply, there is a chance we did not receive it and you might want to forward the email along again.  Otherwise we hope you all enjoy the much snappier ebikes.ca ! 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Satiator Launch

December 1, 2014 3:42:21 PM PST

This is a proud moment for all of us at Grin. After three years of development and 6 months of beta field testing we’re now launching the Cycle Satiator in full capacity. For anyone who’s been fed up with the overall shoddiness of battery chargers available for electric bikes, this should get you salivating.

Please click the link above for more information, and also check out the endless-sphere discussion thread for the most immediate updates on firmware and software enhancements and our development vision.

Toast from the Satiator Engineering Team (Dan, Michael, Justin, Rob, Robbie, Dallas, +Shivan [not shown])

We managed to bring the Satiator into production without any kickstarter campaign or venture financing. Instead, this whole project was made possible by all the loyal customers and enthusiasts who caught the ebike bug and have been patronizing our shop over the years. Your business and your encouraging feedback has kept us motivated to keep developing new ebike technology, and well that's what we've been doing.

Time to Pay You Back

As a thank you, we’re giving a 20% ($60) discount on the Satiator from now until Boxing Day to anyone who has purchased either 2 or more Cycle Analyst devices from us, or has spent over $2000 in other parts from our shop. If you fit in this camp and like what you see, then simply email us with your order history and make sure you have an account setup on our current website, and we will hook you up.  Your faith in our business always has been and will be much appreciated. 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

We all but gave up on Nine Continent hub motors in recent times for a lot of reasons (inadequate disc clearance, poor paint job, inconsistent wheel lacing, improper connector crimping etc.). But things change, and we were truly blown away when we got samples of their latest 2014 model of rear motor this summer. It was one of several motors we’ve been evaluating that finally uses splined cassette freehubs rather than screw-on freewheels for the rear cog set.

9C Cassette Motor Features

  • Shimano Compatible Cassette Freehub
  • 30mm Wide Stator Core (vs 27mm in older model)
  • 20mm Clearance for Disk Calipers
  • Side Axle Wire Exit
  • 10K Thermistor for Temperature Sensing
  • Paired spoke holes
  • Diecast aluminum stator core
  • Future tech styling

 

We’ve now got a large supply of these available in a very fast (3004), fast (3006), and medium speed (3007) winding, both as bare motors or in a complete kit form.

 

The performances are fully modeled on the motor simulator (as NineCont 300X), on our spoke calculator, and we’ve produced a mechanical diagram of all the key dimensions from our 3D CAD model. That should be sufficient data to have you sold!

 

  9C Cassette Motor Dimensional Diagram  Purchase Nine Continent Cassette Bare Hubs  Purchase Cassette Motor Kit

Motor Dimensional Diagram

Bare Hubs for Sale Complete Conversion Kits

We also made the decision to stock them all unlaced, given you the option of low cost international shipping, or having a quality hand-built wheel custom laced into the rim of your choice with butted Sapim spokes. As part of this process, we’ve increased the range and type of rims we carry, adding a new PR17 series in 20”, 24”, 26”, and 700c. All these goods are in stock and ready to ship for your winter build projects. 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Grin Dealer Locator Tab

There’s a new tab on our website that makes it easier to find our Grin distributed products from a local supplier.  Click on the “Dealers” button above to see our list of businesses around the world who have been great partners in getting electric bike gear into your hands.

Dealer Locator Filtering

We’ve tried to make it easy to filter by general product categories and geographic region so you can see if there is a business in your area that carries the parts you are after. If so, buying local can save on shipping, provide nearby service and support, and connect you to your local ebike community. So have a look today and see if there are dealers in your neighborhood to connect with.

These business partners all play crucial roles in the growth and development of the electric bicycle movement, and we’d like to publicly thank them for the many years of sticking together through good times and bad. It’s been a ride and collectively dealers now account for over 60% of our supplied goods.

G&O Family Cyclery Visit in SeattleVisit with Ecospeed in PortlandVisit with Henry of Liontail Cycles and Haulin' Colin

 

On that note, if you know of a bike shop or ebike business with similar vision that you think should carry GRIN gear like the wonderful folks above, don't hesitate to make a suggestion to get in touch. Check out the summary pamphlet here which outlines our role in the ebike world.

About Grin Dealer Pamphlet

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Crystalyte Updates Aplenty

October 12, 2014 4:08:00 PM PDT

Last month we received what was one of our largest sea shipments of Crystalyte motors to date, large because there were so many new motor models and enhancements to get us excited. Here is the short summary:

Crown motors with Normal Spoke Flange

Previously, the large Crown motors had a pseudo straight-pull spoke design which meant custom wheel builds or even run of the mill spoke replacement was a great inconvenience. Well no more, they’ve now been retooled with a regular flange taking standard spokes, giving freedom to custom lace at will.

Crown motor spokes, straight pull versus regular

Narrower Crown motors

As well, we’ve received a narrower version of the Crown motor with a 30mm wide stator, which allows it to fit in a 135mm bike dropout with a 7-8 speed freewheel (Normal Crown motors are really for 1 or 3 speed freewheels). Although that also means less power and torque than the 40mm Crown hubs, it makes for a much more rideable bike conversion.

Comparison of the 30 and 40mm Crown Hubs

NSM and narrow SAW motors for folding bikes

We’re also introducing two new motor series designed for the special requirements of folding bikes with 75mm fork dropouts and small diameter wheels.  The Crystalyte NSM motor is the smallest direct drive hub we have seen, and is ideal for Brompton and Tikit conversions with 200-300 watt assist levels. The 20mm SAW motor is larger in diameter for better torque, power, and efficiency, at the expense of a bit more weight. Both come with 75mm axles that are machined with 8mm axle flats for a drop-in fit on Brompton forks.  

Crystalyte SAW20 and NSM Motors

The SAW motor we also have stocked in a larger 20” wheel suitable for the range of Dahon folders. We will be building more dedicated kit packages around these smaller wheels for easy installation with Brompton, Bike Friday Tikit, and Dahon bikes, but for now have the motors themselves available for those doing a DIY build.

Folded Electric Brompton with NSM Motor Folded Electric Tikit with NSM Motor

Unlaced with Options

Finally we’ve increased the availability of motors stocked unlaced, including front and rear H series motors and the Crown hubs as well. This simplifies those doing custom wheel builds for fat tire bikes or rim matching, and reduces shipping cost significantly for overseas orders.  

For all of these new hubs, we’ve created full 3-D CAD models and also characterized their performance behavior and put them on the motor simulator page accordingly.

NSM Motor CAD Drawings
SAW20 Motor CAD Drawings TC30 Motor CAD Drawings TC40 Motor CAD Drawings
NSM CAD  SAW20 CAD  TC30 CAD  TC40 CAD

Battery Bags

RB3 Battery BagWe’ve also got a good stock of the Crystalyte rear trunk bag as a battery enclosure option for the Naked Allcell battery packs. This as a built-in wiring harness with an on/off switch, so that you don’t need to rely on unplugging and plugging connectors, and has sufficient ground and side padding to keep the heat-shrunk packs protected.  

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Return to Vancouver and Thanks to our Global Friends

September 22, 2014 1:54:01 AM PDT

At the start of August, Justin and Anne-Sophie packed up a pair of electric Brompton bikes, some competition unicycles, and a small stash of clothes for what was nearly a 7 week world tour. This included joining the 17th international unicycle convention in Montreal, touring through France, Germany, and Switzerland to meet many of our European dealers face to face, attending the Eurobike show in Friedrichshaven, the Interbike show in Vegas, and finally spending a good week in the UK with some of our English comrades in crime. 

electric bromptons in france Pulling the trailerVisit to Swiss ebike OEM

So we’d like to publicly thank all those who made this such a great adventure. From Martin and Bobby for taming the beast at Unicon, to Philippe, Jean-Pascal, Andreas, Florian, and Reinhard for the accommodation through Europe. To Guillaume, Jules, and Tristan for such good company at Eurobike, and Stefan + the Radkutsche crew for the t-shirts and making our day. Miles you were a kind host with mind-blowing knowledge, and Steve it’s great to meet early pioneers. And finally to Ron, Tora, Paul, Ching, Wake, and everyone else at Interbike. We’ll hopefully see you next year.

Bobby on nuvinci geared electric unicycle Meeting with Andreas in Berne With Jules and his CNC'd Ebike at Eurobike Satiator vs Power Supply at Steve Labib's
The Product Showcase at Interbike Miles and AnSo on eMoulton Transverse Flux Motor With Stefan and Radkutsche

A lot of other progress has been taking place at Grin in the past 2 months too, and if you’ve browsed around our store site lately you may have some clues to what is coming. So stay tuned as we’ll be filling this blog site with a number of announcements in the coming weeks.. 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Trip Analyzer Released

July 28, 2014 2:22:30 AM PDT

Our Ebike Trip Analysis Software is now posted live on our main website in the online tools section. We've included a number of new features since the last announcement, including the ability to label different segments of your trip then upload the results so you can share a link to the graphs and energy usage data.  Take part in the full discussion here.

 Sample of ebike trip analysis software

We're really happy to see where this is going. If you’ve been logging Cycle Analyst data from your ebike/EV trips and have interesting observations to share, then please let us know and send a link of the results. 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

ISIS Torque Sensing Bottom Bracket

July 27, 2014 3:02:45 AM PDT

A number of people with modern bikes have been hesitant to add a torque sensing bottom bracket to their ebikes because it meant changing over their cranksets to a square taper model as well.

Torque Sensing BB with ISIS Spindle

Well, at least there is one choice for a splined interface. The company NCTE has produced a torque sensor that has the same electrical specifications as the THUN devices, but which uses an ISIS spindle. We've got a 128mm spindle length model in stock for those with ISIS cranks keen to try it out. 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Needless to say we had a pretty fun booth display and demo ebike fleet at the Vancouver Maker Faire last month. Thanks to all who came out to pay a visit and support the creative DIY and maker scene in town.

 

Heading out to Maker Faire by ebike caravan  Ebikes at 2014 Vancouver Maker Faire Departing from 2014 Maker Fair, John with Cargo Trike

This coming weekend is the annual VEVA Electrafest Show, featuring nothing but local electric vehicles, from little DIY e-scooters up to full sized commercial electric cars. We're not going to have a full booth presence, but Justin will certainly be there with the latest version of our weight sensing inline-motor electric longboard, and perhaps some other projects up his sleeve.

If you are in the Vancouverarea and have an ebike or EV project you want to show off, it's free and not too late to register for the show and include your vehicle in the mix! The event is at the Concord Pacific, just by science world, and conveniently not too far from our shop either. 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Map of Vancouver Mini Maker Faire Layout


Our commute to Maker Faire this year won’t be nearly as epic as the 1800km journey last spring, but we hope the excitement is just as strong. This year we are proud to be not just an exhibitor but also a sponsor at the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire, happening at the PNE fairegrounds next weekend, June 7 & 8. We’ll have an outdoor “ebike eplayground” in the North West corner of the event and as always look forward to sharing grins with locals.  

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Spoke Calculator with Paired Holes

May 31, 2014 3:18:00 AM PDT

Enhanced Spoke CalculatorWe’ve finished a significant round of enhancements to our online ebike spoke calculator application to better serve the needs of people lacing hub motor wheels.

  • Dimensionally accurate real time drawing of the motor, rim, and selected lacing pattern, so you have confidence to see that the hub/rim choices are correct
  • Measurement of the spoke angle at the rim to indicate possible stresses at the nipple and threads.
  • Allowance of paired spoke holes. Many large diameter hub motors have spoke holes grouped in two rather than uniformly distributed, but there are few tools out there to help calculate the appropriate length.

 

Check it out. We've added a number of new motor sizes (like the Magic Pie3, Crysatlyte Crown, Heinzmann PRA etc.), and are open to add additional suggestions via the related endless-sphere thread

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Trip Analyzer for Cycle Analogger Data

May 31, 2014 3:14:00 AM PDT

Also on the web software front, we’re making progress on a web application to take information saved from the Cycle Analogger device and view both your route and energy usage statistics through interactive graphs and maps, all within your browser window.

 Cycle Analyst Analogger Trip Analysis Program

There is still a long way to go to hit all our desired features, but it’s worth having a look now if you’ve got logs of CA and GPS data and have been stumped on how best make use of it. Additional discussion is here

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Faster Small Parts Shipping through Amazon

May 31, 2014 3:07:00 AM PDT

Amazon Torque Arm Purchase

Shipping small parts from our shop in Canada to American destinations has always been a tad expensive, so we’re experimenting with using Amazon as a fulfillment warehouse better serve US customers. Currently all three of our torque arms are available now, with free shipping for amazon prime subscribers:

And if it works out well we’re start hosting other small Grin Tech items like our ebike lights and DC-DC converters too. 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

The last few weeks we’ve been in the midst of a full inventory transition with some of our product lines, and we apologize to those who’ve had difficulty getting all their kit parts together. This is all wrapping up and there is good news to speak of for those who have been patient.

Grinfineon Controller: Proportional Regenerative Braking.

All of our motor controllers are now running a newer control chip with a customized firmware for proportional regen. We’ve done this in a way that requires no extra hardware. If you have a V3 Cycle Analyst, the regen control is mapped to the otherwise unused 0.0 to 0.8V throttle signal range, giving you full control of the braking force and regen current through the Cycle Analyst. Without a V3 CA, you can use a regular ebrake lever to activate regen, and then use the throttle to modulate the intensity.

Grinfineon Controller, Full Throttle Sweep showing Regen and Fwds RecgionsProportional Regen Curve with Ebrake and Throttle Modulation

We’ve also improved the LED behavior so that you can tell if the controller is operating in sensored or sensorless modes while running, and tidied up the total connector bundle. At the moment, the 20A and 25A controllers are all available with this firmware. The larger 35A and 40A controllers are still in the midst of firmware testing and revisions, but should be available shortly.

eZee 5 LED Console

The latest shipment of eZee kits also includes a simpler 5-LED console for those who don’t require the full details of a Cycle Analyst. This device has been customized for full compatibility with any controller that has a CA plug, whether from an eZee kit or not, and it includes a DC power plug for running front headlights too.

 eZee LED ebike consoleLED Console Panel

The top row of LEDs show the approximate battery voltage, while the bottom row of LEDs is controlled via the up/down buttons to set the ebike power level via current limiting, much like with a V2 Cycle Analyst.  With the 25A eZee controllers, 1 LED = 5 amps, 2 LEDs = 10 amps, etc.

 

Batteries

18650 Cells in eZee BatteriesAll our recent stock of higher capacity eZee batteries are using Japanese Sony V3 cells as standard. While the Samsungs have worked reliably, their cycle life at higher discharge currents left a little to be desired and we’re hoping the highly regarded Sony cells yield better longevity. 

For those who found 10Ah wasn't quite enough, but 20Ah excessive, we've also got the Allcell batteries stocked in a 48V 13Ah pack with power cells, and in 35V 15Ah with regular energy cells. 

 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Cycle Analyst Setup Software

May 16, 2014 4:24:00 AM PDT

Screen Shot of CA3 Setup UtilityWe’ve got our first software releases completed for the V3 Cycle Analyst, allowing you to set, load, and save all of the advanced CA settings through a computer connection, rather than working via the 2 button interface. This makes it easier to share preconfigured setup configurations and restore defaults just as easily. It also provides acess to OEM features such as masking out certain setup menu screens.

Windows and Linux Versions are available to download from our CA3 Information Page.  This requires you are updated to the V3 Prelim6 firmware. 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

The Right Side Drive (RSD) Stokemonkey Cycle Stoker system has been refined after months of pilot testing, retooled for the new 2014 Edgerunner frames, and is now available as an independent conversion kit

Right Side Drive Stokemonkey Kit Contents

Some of the great features include:

  • V3 CA with built in pedal torque sensing through the clampset, for proportional torque assistance and human power readout
  • Patterson 2 speed crank with custom 39T chainring, both freewheels and provides a 62T equivalent front gear letting you pedal along at high speeds even with the small 20" rear wheel.
  • All cables lengths sized for a perfect fit on both the large and small 2014 Edgerunner frames, with all wires routed on the downtube for a clean install.
  • Works both with rugged internal hubs (like the Nuvinci) and regular derailleur gear systems.

The installation of this kit is a bit more involved than hub motor setups since it requires bottom bracket tools for the Patterson Crankset, but shouldn’t intimidate the mechanically inclined.  At the moment the kit is only sized for the Xtracycle Edgerunner frame, adapting to other bikes could be tricky but we are working next on a Yuba Mundo package.

Edgerunner Bike with RSD Stokemonkey Installed

Those wanting to purchase a complete Edgerunner with the RSD Stokemonkey Cycle Stoker installed can do so from Clever Cycles in Portland, and the G&O Family Cyclery in Seattle.  We also have a limited number of Black and Mocha Edgerunners with the Nuvinci hub available with this freewheeling conversion on our Edgerunner store site

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore