At last Xtracycle has released the long awaited follow up of their FreeRadical bolt on cargo extenion kit, now called the Xtracycle Leap. It's a full redesign that is cleaner, more rugged, and more versatile than the original, with accomdation for 24" - 29" wheel sizes and a greatly improved frame attachment system.
We've got them in stock both stand alone and as part of a full electric package with a rear geared or direct drive hub motor. And to celebrate their arrival, and cargo ebikes in general, we're having a month long sales event on most of our cargo packages to kick start the season! This includes:
To use the coupon codes, you'll need to be logged into our website with an account and then you will have the opportunity to put in the code during checkout. This sale will last until April 15th.
Plus, for local Vancouver customers are selling our floor model Yuba Mundo and 2014 Edgerunner ebikes, both with Cycle Stoker drive systems installed. So if you've been mulling over a cargo ebike purchase for a while but have been a bit leary of the prices, now is the time to drop by our shop for a visit.
We're used to travelling all around to various trade shows and events but it's been a while since we've had one in our own backyard. This coming weekend Grin will have a booth in the Vancouver Bike Show at the Vancouver Convention Center downtown.
Not only will we be showing off some of the great new Grin products like the LiGo batteries, All Axle hub motor, Tripwire brake cutoffs, Satiators and Phaserunners, and all that, but we're also running a sale on cargo ebikes, including 25% off on brand new eZee Expedirs. There will be floor models to try and both Bike Friday and Brompton folding bike kits built up as well.
If you are into the Bike and/or Outdoor scene in Vancouver, there is a lot going on at the Convention center this weekend so we recommend you register and come for a visit. Our booth is B300 near the Bike Trials Show.
UPDATE: Our first day at the VBS has been really great and we look forwards to meeting many more local Vancouverites on Sunday. There is lots to see and we have some show specials to offer those who visit so it.our little booth.
Our product update and video for this week relates to something close to our hearts, the seemingly timeless Cycle Analyst. While the Version 3.0 CA firmware has been stabilized for some time, our partner Teklektik has been quietly working very hard towards a 3.1 release that fully realizes all of the features we had originally envisioned for this device. One of the best of these is a dual button control input, making on the fly adjustments easier than ever before. Have a look:
Using this requires first updating your Cycle Analyst firmware. The V3.1 beta releases have been published on endless-sphere since last spring, but the latest CA3.1B13 code is getting very close to the final release, and we think it's time fo a wider swath of users to check check it out. You can download it from ES or our CA3 info page, just keep in mind that an upgrade from a 3.0 device will overwrite all of your settings and statistics, so make sure to record those first before reflashing.
We have the inexpensive dual buttons in stock to ship to anyone wanting to get a head start on this upgrade path for their CA devices. Then in March/April we expect to make the 3.1 firmware our new standard that is preloaded on all the CA3 devices, and we will have a number of video tutorials covering the many other new features.
We quietly started carrying Hailong downtube mount battery packs last fall, but didn't announce anything as they lacked UN38.3 certification and so were available for local pickup only. Well, that's all changed and we now have a 52V 13Ah downtube battery with UN38.3 documents that we can ship over the world. These battery packs are using the Panasonic GA cells, nominally 3.5Ah each but we'll rate them more conservatively at 3.3Ah.
These are great low center of gravity batteries for ebikes running 20-25A motor controllers. The BMS circuit is capable of 40A continuous but usage at these levels isn't recommended for cell longevity. For bikes that don't have suitable waterbottle eyelets on the downtube, we also have sourced a nice Banjo Brothers frame bag that holds them neatly from the toptube, and helps your conversion look less like an ebike with the obvious battery exposed.
Not sure how to pick a battery?
We've also recently rewritten our battery kits info page, updating it to reflect our 2017 battery options with summary explanation on choosing the best pack for your setup.
This updated page also includes tips on parallel or series wiring for connecting batteries and other tidbits that you may find useful when considering a new battery purchase.
This time last year we were deep in the throes of converting and renovating a giant warehouse go become a new home for Grin, in preparation for a lengthy business move we didn't really ask for. And now that we're settled in, it's payoff time and are ready to rock like never before. For the foreseeable future we'll have a new product and/or video announcement to share with you every single week.
We'll start things off by announcing the TripWire, a new product for those looking for an ebrake cutoff solution that tacks onto existing brake levers rather than replacing them. We had tried developing devices based on magnets and reed switches, touch sensitive pads, and other technologies over the years, never quite coming up with a scheme we were happy with. Then out of the blue, one of our customers Tim O'Brien approached us with a solution that was truly great. I'll let Tim explain it himself here:
We've been working with Tim to iron out design details and hare happy to have received his first production batch over the holidays. They're available both with a short cable for plugging into a V3 Cycle Analyst device to enable proportional regen, and with a long cable length to go directly to the controller ebrake input if you don't have a CA3 in your setup.
We wish everyone a splendid holiday season and we'll be busy as usual fulfilling orders and answering questions during the next few weeks, being closed just for the statutory holidays on Christmas and New Years.
Plus for any real last minute shoppers we've decided to open our doors on Saturday Dec 24th from 11am to 4pm. We just received a fresh stock of beginner unicycles and have tons of Grin goodies to stuff under the tree.
The 72V Satiators have now passed UL and CSA regulatory testing and are in full production in time for every ebike enthusiast's Christmas wish list. Thank you to all those who participated in the beta/pilot run earlier this year while we sorted out details. We've got them listed not only on our store site but also stocked at amazon.com so that our American friends can get free domestic shipping.
In April we had changes with the Stokemonkey kit including clampset options and a new SAW motor from Crystalyte. Well now we've got two more great updates. The first is a an option now to use a geared rather than direct drive motor. After a lot of testing we settled on the G02 Bafang hub as the perfect candidate, being 33% lighter and yet having 10-15% more torque with the same controller. With these motors, we use a simple fixed cog bolted on the disk mount and take advantage of the motor's intrinsic freewheel rather than using an external freewheel.
That said the geared motor can make a small audible buzz when running, so for those who prefer the silence and intrinsic rugged simplicity of the heavier direct drive motor we continue to offer both choices.
The second update is that we're offering the gearsensor.com shift cutoffs as an option with both the classic Stokemonkey and Cycle Stoker kits. This Czech made device goes inline with your shift cable and senses when you are changing gears to automatically cut motor power for a moment so that you have a smooth transition. We've had them in stock for a while, but only recently have had all of our CA3 devices updated to provide 5V power on the ebrake connector allowing for plug and play compatibility. These make the mid-drive motor operation seamless.
We're calling our Statorade ferrofluid experiment that started last year a wild success. We've had fleet cargo ebike users (like Shift Delivery) see their average motor temperature drop from in the ~100-110°C range to ~70 degrees. It's enabled people to push the continuous power limits of their direct drive motors up a significant margin, and there's been no evidence at all of compatibility problems with glues, varnishes, and enamels inside the motors. Our recently updated Statorade product info page has the details.
In order to make the Statorade easier to inject, we've updated the standard package to a Luer Lock style syringe with both a twist lock cap and a small diameter plastic needle. This allows you to drill just a tiny 2mm hole for precise injection with less risk of mess. And, as a plus for people in the US, we've got it stocked on Amazon for cheap shipping. Have a look.
Finally for those with lots of ebike motors in their garage, we've also started offering larger 50mL and 100mL bulk bottles of Statorade. They are on special price now until mid-December. Our goal was to make all of our direct drive hub motors (Crystalyte, Nine Continent, TDCM, and Grin) statorade compatible in 2016 and we are happy to have succeeded in that.
The custom line of Grinfineon motor controllers has undergone a big update this fall with the switch to a new control chip. It now runs in silent sine wave mode when the hall sensors are plugged in.
So with direct drive motors the assist is almost as silky smooth as the phaserunners, and in sensorless mode it can run motors up to 28,000 eRPM, making it compatible with even high pole count geared motors like the eZee, BMC, and MAC hubs at conventional cruising speeds. We really can call it universally compatible with any ebike motor in the catalog.
On the downside, we did have to drop a few features that were present in the previous Grinfineon controller circuits:
1) The input voltage range is no longer compatible with 24V packs due to the use of a switching rather than linear regulator, so it is only for 36V and higher setups (LVC of 27V).
2) The automatic hall mapping feature is not available with this sine wave mode. So if you are running sensored, it is necessary to ensure you have the correct hall and phase pinout. Our current version is colour for colour matched with eZee and Crystalyte motors, but other hubs (Bafang, MXUS etc.) may require experimenting with the connections.
3) While we still have proportional / variable regen from a 0.0 to 0.7V throttle signal for use with a V3 Cycle Analyst, the regen from an external ebrake input is fixed at 50% of max. It does not change with application of the throttle voltage.
Very few people these days are using 24V setups and most customers using proportional regen feature have a V3 CA device, so the only real loss here was the automatic hall mapping. However, we found that this feature was causing complications with the trend to higher eRPM motors and decided in the interest of working with fast geared hubs it was best to stick with a fixed hall map. On the whole though, a very nice upgrade that we think you will like. We have remaining inventory of our trapezoidal Grinfineon 40A Devices (for 36-72V setups) with automatic hall mapping available at a special discount for those looking for a great controller deal.
There are some new items in the rear hub motor department in stock here at Grin. First is a fast (395rpm) version of the 5 speed Internal Gear Hub (IGH) motor from TDCM. This high speed winding choice is perfect for folding and recumbent bikes with 20" wheels which can benefit from the internal hub gears, and is also great for people who want a fast ebike setup in a normal 26" wheel without resorting to high voltage batteries.
In something of a Grin exclusive we've also had both the standard (300rpm) and fast (395rpm) motors in our latest batch made with 0.35mm laminations for reduced core loss, and using our custom high-flex 12 gauge phase cable for the motor lead wires. These Taiwanese made motors are in a different quality league than any of the direct drive hubs we're used to seeing from china and make for very clean derailleur-free ebike builds. The performance details of this new hub are already live on our simulator.
The second update is that we've now got a rear version of the 9C+ motor series in 3 different windings. Like the front 9C+ motors from Grin, this one features 0.35mm laminations for minimal drag when pedaling, and has a thermistor and fully sealed side covers with a statorade injection port in the disk holes. At just $185 it's a great value motor with impressive performance for those who don't mind if the mechanical details like disk rotor alignment, flange wobble etc. are at Chinese standards.
It's with a somewhat sad heart that we had to discontinue our popular Lumenator ebike lights earlier this year due to sourcing difficulties on some key parts. While a Lumenator 2.0 is still in the future, we have two new 3rd party front bike lights which we are happy to offer in the meantime. Both the Benex200 and the RoximX4 have StVZ0 compliant optics, which means that they can provide plenty of light on the road without causing blinding glare to oncoming traffic and fellow cyclists. Have a look at the image below to see the firm optical cutoff above the horizon.
The Benex200 has a 12-75V input range and features both light and motion sensors for automatic control. You can leave the light plugged in and it will automatically turn on whenever you are riding in the dark, and shut itself off after it is parked still for a while or the sun comes out.
The larger RoximX4 light works over an impressive 6V-85V range, meaning that you can power it from a 6V dyno hub right up to a 72V nominal ebike pack. We have custom wired our Roxim light to include a handle mounted push switch for easy on/off control.
Both models have been terminated with the DC 5.5x2.1mm barrel jack so that they can plug in directly to a Cycle Analyst or Anderson Tap. While neither option is quite as bright as our Lumenator, they still work great as a primary ebike headlight for almost all road and trail riding during the upcoming winter season.
Our August shipment of Crystalyte hub motors has some nice upgrades, so much so that we're ready to call it the H+ motor series:
Solid Aluminum Stator Core, rather than pressed steel. Better heat absorption and less likely to bend during disassembly
0.35mm Stator Laminations for reduced eddie current drag torque, and best of all
Injection Hole and fully sealed side plates for Statorade compatibility
That makes our line of Crystalyte direct drive hub motors ripe and ready for high performance applications that can benefit from improved thermal dissipation and efficiency. To select one of these newer motors during checkout, just use the new Statorade Uprade option available on each of the kits.
For the smaller Crysatlyte SAW and NSM motors, as there is no disk brake we've had a small threaded hole put in the side plate that can be closed off with an M3 screw. So those using the brompton and folding bike kits in hilly conditions can also run the motors longer without overheating by adding a small does of Statorade.
More details to come later, but we thought you might like a peak at what Justin and some Grin Staff have been burning the midnight oil on for the past several weeks, a project making full use of current and future Grin products.
Justin is currently at the 18th International Unicon event in Spain testing this out among the world's elite unicycle riders, but as a result we've slipped behind in our timeliness with technical support emails in the past few weeks and apologize for all who have been let down by that. We'll get caught up again as soon as possible and hope otherwise you continue to have a great summer of ebike building and riding, and a happy BC Day to boot.
We had an agenda this year to tackle product documentation and make it easier for people to find thorough setup guidance and usage notes on their ebike hardware. In fact, we even have a little known section on our website that has a compilation of all the reference docs and user manuals we’ve produced over the years, and should probably call attention to it:
And secondly, we completed a Quickstart guide for the V2.4 Cycle Analyst. This covers all the information and key settings needed to get 95% of users up and running, without delving too much into techno talk. We’re hoping that it strikes the right balance of information vs. intimidation and look forwards to any feedback that you have.
Based on your response, we’ll be doing a series of similar Quickstart guides on setting up the V3 Cycle Analyst for various functions too. And not just print guides but video tutorials as well!
Above is our first stab at that, with a youtube tutorial on how to setup and configure V3 Cycle Analyst to use a magnet ring PAS sensor. If Zuckerberg says that very soon almost all web content will be video, we figure he might be right (again). So it’s time we get with the program. Still no Grin Facebook page though!
Although we are still staunchly a conversion kit / retrofit company, we've been largely perplexed at the lack of shops in Vancouver offering electric cargo bikes and want to address that. So for this summer at least we are offering two ready to roll turn-key cargo ebikes based on open/hackable drive systems that we think are of great quality and value; the eZee Expedir and the Juiced Riders ODK U500.
Both of these cargo ebikes have high capacity (>700 watt-hour) stock batteries, hydraulic disk brakes, and torquey geared hub motors well adept at moving heavy loads up steep hills. The Juiced ODK has 20" front and rear wheels with a simple 3 speed internal hub and is meant as a lower barrier and simple to use ebike, with battery options going up to 32Ah for phenominal range. We've worked closely with Tora, founder of Juiced, for many years now and have been ever impressed with his energy and accomplishments and building his accessible utility bike vision into reality. Below is a great recent video review of the U500 bike from electricbikereports:
The Expedir meanwhile is eZee's foray into the cargo bike territory and is a complete bicycle running a more sophisticated hardware set: with 9 speed shimano Alvio RD drivechain, Magura disk brakes, and a sturdy center stand. It uses a 26" front wheel and 24" rear, giving a somewhat lower cargo deck height than say the Yuba Mundo, but not so low that adult passengers have to lift their feet off the ground.
We have the Yepp Maxi child seat and several other accessories available for these bikes. Neither come stock with cargo bags though, and for that we recommend the cargo slings from Carsick Designs.
Plus, the observant may have noticed that the Phaserunner controllers and Satiator chargers are available to purchase again with a back order, meaning we are confident of their near term pending availability.
First of all, a big thanks to everyone who came by to meet us at the bay area Maker Faire at the end of last month, and to all the shops and people we visited on the road trip coming back up. It was fun to have a formal booth presence again to educate people about electric bike and skateboard technology, even in a space awash with drones and 3D printers.
We had a pretty mad couple weeks cramming in the projects on exhibit, including a novel take on a mid-drive system and a revival of our first pedalable e-uni. Unfortunately that meant our order queue and email responses got backlogged by up to a week and we apologize to those affected. As of now at least things are all caught up and we are back to snappy order fulfillment and responses.
Although we won't have a booth presence at the local Vancouver Mini Maker Faire on June 11th-12th, we do recommend anyone interested in DIY projects to attend if they can make it.
Things are finally rolling smoothly across the board at our new shop space on Powell St., and that means we can get back to new product engineering, and also properly communicate what is going on with our inventory plans. Some products have run their course, some are due for improvements, and others are getting revamped from scratch.
New eZee Flat Batteries 33% more range
First, we've had our next batch of eZee flat rack batteries updated to use 2.9Ah Panasonic PF cells rather than the 2.2Ah Sony V3 cells. That provides 33% more capacity but at the same size, weight, and cost as the previous packs. The 36V 15Ah battery is now 36V 20Ah, and the 48V 10.5Ah pack is now 14 Ah. We loved the incredible cycle and calendar life of the Sony V3 cells but the improved capacity at the same price from Panasonic is too hard to pass up.
Lumenator Light 1.0 Retired
Secondly, we've fully retired the 1000 Lumen Cycle Lumenator light. For the 6 years we've been producing it, this device has helped many people light up the streets with their ebikes but at the same time has been the source of some consternation to oncoming traffic. We are working to have the original Lumenator re-engineered with a similarly powerful headlight that has purely reflective optics which meet the German StVZO requirement for minimal brightness above the horizon, and should have it ready before the start of summer.
48V and 72V Satiator Models, Limited Supply
A few weeks ago we ran out our last fully QC passed Satiator devices and started listing at a discount those that were perfectly fine but didn't quite pass our 1PSI air leakage test. That means that we can't guarantee against water ingress if used extensively in the rain with water exposure. There are only a handful of these remaining.
Similarly, our pilot launch of 72V Satiator devices is on hold while we re-design some aspects of the power circuit after having several field failures, and we thank the Pilot testers for helping us iron this out.
Both the standard 48V and revised 72V Satiators should be in full supply again in early June. The positive user feedback for Satiators has been awesome and we really look forwards to getting this nailed for 2016 and available to all who want one.
eZee Rear Motor with Cassette Freehub
Finally, eZee is now manufacturing a rear motor with a high-end cassette freehub system which we've got available in standard 250 rpm and fast 350 rpm winding options. They cost a fair bit more than the screw-on freewheel version so for the stock laced kits we are sticking with freewheels. But for those who want a kit using all modern bike hardware standards for 9 or 10 speed cassettes, these make a great choice.
What about the Phaserunner, LiGo Batteries, and Thru-Axle Grin Motors?
Stay tuned for our next homepage updates for all of those exciting things coming out of Grin, as well as new documentation, video tutorials, torque sensor options, and a serious overhaul of the CycleStoker system.
We're often in the midst of evaluating and revising our product offerings and figured it was a good idea to shed some light on our plans for 2016. In addition to the Thru-Axle motor discussed in the last blog post, we’ve got some other items that are actually available now.
9C+ Front Motors with Statorade:
Our plan for 2016 is to have Statorade and 0.35mm laminations by default in all of our direct drive hub motors, reducing the rolling drag and increasing the heat dissipation capabilities across the board. We're starting this off by introducing what we call the 9C+ hub motor series which we quietly slipped on our website last month.
Outwardly this looks like a generic 205mm DD hub. But internally it has the 0.35mm core, a drilled through disk hole for injecting fluid, a thorough silicone sealant on the side plate to prevent fluid leakage, an embedded thermistor for temperature sensing, and is already pre-loaded with 5mL of Statorade. And at just $175 for the hub it's probably the best value drive option we've ever offered.
We've stopped carrying the small geared motors from Outrider, and are replacing these with a similar sized G01 series hub from Bafang. This particular motor is much easier to service, has cables exiting from the side plate rather the end of the axle, has better disk brake compatibility, and is customized for us with an internal thermistor for motor temperature sensing.
It should be a dandy option for the light weight lower power (250-500 watt) conversion systems, and we've got both fast (10rpm/V) and standard (8rpm/V) winding options for to suit different wheel diameters and pack voltages. The hub is already on our simulator, spoke calculator, and is available either as a bare hub, laced into a rim, or as part of a complete conversion kit.
Stokemonkeys Back with Options
And finally, we've largely finished setting up our CNC machine center and welding stations in our new space, allowing us to resume fabricating the stokemonkey kit hardware which was out of stock for a little while. We're now now offering the stokemonkey clampset with specific ID's to match several common tube diameter for an ideal clamping fit, and even have a custom option where we will CNC it to your specific tube size.
We've also switched the motor source back to Crystalyte just like the very original SM motors were based, but using their newer SAW40X motor line instead of the 400 series.
Well that was quite the whirlwind tour through Taiwan and China, Justin and Robbie would like to thank all of those we met up with at the Taipei Bike Show and tour visits afterwords. Benjamin, Tora, Ching, Britt, Harry, Paul, and all the AU and NZ folks it was great to hang out and share our interests and visions for the ebike movement.
There are a lot of good things that will be coming from this trip, and we're looking forwards to closer relationships and some joint endeavors this year with Juiced Riders, EM3EV, TDCM and other companies doing innovative product developments. We feel strongly that some collaborative efforts can help bring signifcant ebike tech advances to a larger audience. And on that front, we also brought along 3 of our own projects that are at the end of their long development cycle and are ready to show:
The Thru-Axle Motor, 2nd Gen Phaserunner Controller, and Potted LiGo battery packs have all sub-components in place and are ready for production, if only we hadn't just lost our production facility when we moved shop this past month! So we are still busy doing all the electrical wiring, machine installation, and related manufacturing infrastructure at the Powell St. address before we can make these available. We should be ready well in time for the 2016 bike season so please stay tuned to our homepage or newsletter if you want to be first in line during the rollout.
Well this is it. Our last outgoing shipments from 4th Ave have been picked up and the big tear-down is taking place in earnest. We’ll be fully closed on Friday as we peel back the 5 years spent making this place into our home and pack everything over to the new digs. It’s an exciting expansion and we’ve really appreciated all the words of encouragement that many of you have sent our way.
Business as usual should be able to resume after the weekend on Tuesday, but do expect delays before all normal operations are up to speed. As well, Justin and others from the engineering team will be the Taipei bike show next week and so technical inquires and conversations may be deferred until their return in mid-march.
After running out of stock of the first production run of Satiators earlier this year we've now got our next batch on hand which includes the same hardware updates as the 72V devices, with the AC inlet cable on the back side. The other awesome electrical specs for rapid charging of 24-48V batteries all remain identical, but this modification does mean that the original UL/CSA regulatory approval is no longer valid.
For now we are shipping with the regulatory markings covered up as shown in the image above until we have the test approval completed. In the meantime, if you do have a requirement for UL listing on the device then the chargers remaining at Amazon.com all are all from the original run.
Once again we have a "For Lease" sign on our building, and once again fear not because we are simply moving our business to an even bigger and better location. While we've enjoyed the False Creek neighborhood for the last 5 years, it's clear that this vestigial industrial area in the heart of Vancouver is rapidly changing in character to serve the nearby condo developments, rather than the historic manufacturing industries it once spawned.
On March 1st we'll be fully moved to a new location in Strathcona at 950 Powell Street, with nearly 3 times the space, great neighbors like EatART and Maker Labs, and room to grow for years to come. This is a big and exciting next step for Grin, and the team here has been hard at work the past few weeks getting this space renovated, setup, and ready to serve as our new home well into the next decade.
We will try to continue with business as usual during the entire transition process next month with a minimal amount of order disruption. However, it's a significant job and much of our staffing manpower will be redirected to the move, especially towards the 2nd half of February. So please be patient if there are delays in communication as lower priority jobs are put on hold.
In the meantime, in order to lighten our load on moving day we are having a significant sale on our entire inventory of the large Crystalyte H35 and Crown motors and kits, ranging between 25 to 30% off. There isn't a better time to start a winter build project than this. You can get a great deal on a direct-drive motor package and simultaneously help us out with the moving process!
The sale will go on from now until Feb 25th, and we’re hoping that you can help us clear a good number of these boxes from our rack shelving before we need to move out.
We do also have a slight ulterior motive in that we want all of our direct drive motors in 2016 to be compatible with Statorade coolant, but the stock Crystalyte side covers aren't always sealed well enough to prevent leakage at high RPM's. Our next Crystalyte motor batch will be certified Statorade-ready, but these ones require reworking the side cover seal with silicone before adding a fluid coolant inside.
Our tidy wiring kit has been a popular way to get clean cable runs and covered connectors on your ebike project. And being all black it does a reasonable stealthy job of it. But what if you’ve got a colourful bike and want a bit more zing?
We love seeing ebike conversions where people pay extra attention to the look and details of their installation. So we’re starting a little contest for people who order one of the coloured wiring kits between now and Mar 1st. Send us a picture of your finished ebike project featuring one of these routing kits and we’ll award our favorite 2 conversions with a 20% off coupon for your next order.
The company TDCM from Taiwan has been among the more innovative players in the electric bicycle space. We’ve been carrying their bottom bracket torque sensors for a while but last year one of their motors really caught our eye. This was a direct drive motor surrounding an internal 5 speed Sturmey Archer hub. You get the benefits of a derailleur-free 5 speed transmission with a 243% gear ratio plus a ~500-1000 watt hub motor all in one tidy package.
We wind tunnel and dyno tested this motor last summer and liked almost everything about it, and are happy to have this in stock in a fast winding both as the bare hub and also as part of a complete kit. The motor includes an internal 10K thermistor for temperature sensing with a V3 Cycle Analyst, and is the first hub that we are offering pre-filled with Statorade for improved thermal performance.
Great news to kick off the New Year. We are now dropping the price of all our V2 and V3 Cycle Analyst devices, to just $95 for a V2.4 CA-DP and $125 for a V3.0 unit. Having served as our flagship product for a decade and financed most of Grin’s R&D activities, we owe a lot to the Cycle Analyst, but we feel it’s time for other products to move in as our main breadwinners and pass the CA savings back to you.
The V3.0 Cycle Analyst firmware is now officially at 3.0, no more Prelim6, p12, p13 etc. as the latest tweaks have made it as rock stable as we could hope. Anyone with an existing CA3 can update to this firmware via the software download page. On new CA orders the USB->TTL programming cable for updating firmware is now no longer included in the package, but can easily be added as an accessory if desired.
Thank you all for the many well wishes for our 10 year anniversary celebrations, it’s been a joy having so many customers who have been around for huge chunks of the ride.
Extended Range Satiator Family
While the 10% sale is over, there are other great things to be excited about. First and foremost? We’ve started our beta sales program for high voltage Satiator chargers. Now rather than being limited to 63V or 15s packs, the 72V 5A model can work all the way up to 103V for 24s lithium batteries for those hot rod ebike applications.
There are a limited number of 24V 15A and 72V 5A units from our pilot production run available for early adopters who don’t require UL/CSA certification, and if you order by this weekend with Fedex shipping it should make it in time for the Christmas Tree.
Flexible Power Cables
Secondly, after years of wondering why there were no great heavy gauge cable sources for ebike battery and motor wiring, we decided to bite the bullet and have thousands of meters of our custom cable manufactured.
The 3 phase motor cable has high flexibility 413 strand 12 gauge phase wire with Teflon insulation, and also includes 7 signal wires too, for your motor hall sensors and thermistors. All of this is bundled in a round 9mm diameter flexible jacket and it stays flexible all the way to -30oC.
For our custom battery cable, instead of going with 2 conductors, we went for a 4 conductor instead. A pair of heavy 13g wires and a set of thinner 18g wires also with high strand count and flexibility. That allows one cable to have say both the charging and discharging ports on a battery, or an additional tap point for powering accessories. Or, you can just parallel connect the thin and thick wires together to have 12 gauge equivalent.
2015 Housecleaning Garage Sale
And finally, we’re clearing out a bunch of used ebike stuff that has been allowed to accumulate over the past year. So if you are looking for some bargain priced garage sale items, John’s got everything posted up on an endless-sphere buy/sell thread.
Nov 30th, 2005 marks the day that the Renaissance Bicycle Company Ltd. was formally recognized as a registered company here in BC.
Back then, we were being somewhat cutting edge offering custom layout NiMH battery packs when almost everything was lead acid. Early hub motors and mid-drive systems were battling it out. Rechargeable lithium batteries were a promise of the future but still exceedingly unreliable, motor controllers were analog and didn't even have a microchip; the DrainBrain was being hand soldered in batches of a dozen at a time in a basement; and scarcely anyone on the streets had heard of an electric bicycle. Oh the world seemed ripe with possibility.
And now here we are, 10 years on to the day. The lithium ebike packs are ubiquitous with power, energy, and reliability specs that could only be dreamed of back then. Motor controllers run sophisticated DSP's that do vector alignment of the 3 phase drive; the DrainBrain evolved several generations of Cycle Analyst and has sold over 25,000 pieces; hub motors and mid-drives are still battling it out; and you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who hasn't heard of an ebike or knows someone who rides one.
Throughout this we've managed to survive and grow year after year, leading the field in some areas while lagging in others, but always staying focused on the unique needs DIY entrepreneurs and enthusiasts who want to make their own 2-3 wheeled electric vehicle creations.
We're not much for cyber-Monday type blowout sales but as a small token we're celebrating the occasion with a blanket 10% discount on all items in our store, which will last until Dec 10th, to honor these 10 years. Simply log-in with your customer account (or create one if you haven’t done so), and you'll see the prices reduced by 10%.
Since March of this year we’ve quietly rolled out numerous minute improvements in the V3 Cycle Analyst firmware. Now the latest CA3P13 code includes support for Proportional Regenerative Braking with any Grinfineon or Phaserunner motor controller. Simply squeeze the ebrakes for a base regen and use your throttle to dial it in! Have a read of the cumulative release notes for all the details or see the video below for a quick summary.
There’s no need to upgrade if you are happy with how everything is running. But if you use the auxiliary input potentiometer, torque or PAS control, or have a system that supports proportional regen via a 0.0-0.8V throttle signal, then an update for these new features could be worthwhile.
We're looking for people who want to participate in one of the biggest recent breakthroughs in the thermal management and hence power handling capability of direct drive hub motors. If you've got an ebike setup with motor temperature monitoring and routinely see core temperatures in the 100+ oC range, then please read on because this post is for you!
See, earlier this year we built a wind tunnel in our lab for doing full testing of hub motors in conditions that mimic riding in the road. Our motivation was to better understand and model how hot motors get in heavy use at different vehicle speeds, both for predictive reasons and see what techniques can push that working envelope further.
Well, in addition to the usual suspects of ventilation holes, vanes, and oil cooling, we also experimented with magnetically active ferrofluids. The theory was that the magnetic fluid would stay put in the air-gap and not leak out everywhere as is common with conventional oil cooling. What we didn't anticipate was just how TINY an amount was required to achieve remarkable effects. With just 4-5 mL, you could have almost as much cooling benefit as a full cup of messy ATF, with almost no perceptible increase in the rolling drag of the wheel.
The net effect is that you can run a given motor at about 40% higher continuous torque and power outputs without overheating. Or correspondingly, a motor that used to run at like ~110-120 degrees in a given situation would now be sitting at a much more comfortable 70-80 degrees. Have a look here at our own GRIN designed prototype hub motor when dissipating just under 100 watts of power. The steady state core temperature drops from 68 °C down to 43 °C.
You get this without exposing the motor core to the outside environment like air cooling, and without the impossible sealing complications and additional rolling drag from oil fills.
What we are still looking to understand are the long term stability and maintenance concerns; whether it lasts for years and years or will need frequent or occasional replenishment, and also what if any compatibility issues might exist with magnet bonding adhesives in the motors. If you want to be part of this endeavor, then we've got 10mL syringes of Statorade packaged and bundled and ready for you.
One thing for sure about the electric bicycle scene is that things don't sit static, incremental improvements are happening year after year.
First and foremost is that the 18650 battery cell standard has evolved to specifications that were previously only dreamed of. Without changing anything to the weight or price of their packs, Allcell recently switched to a newer LG MG1 cell model. This turns the 15Ah pack into a 17Ah pack, and the 20Ah pack into 23Ah, and simultaneously cuts the internal resistance and voltage sag almost in half compared the 15 and 20Ah packs.
All our Allcell packs are of this 2015 model with MG1 cells, and we've added them to the charge simulator and hub motor simulator to see the difference.
It's not just LG that has been releasing cells with both high capacities (>2700mAh) and high current handling capabilities. Sony, Samsung, Panasonic etc. have all been updating their lineups of 18650 cells making this an exciting time for ebike battery capabilities. We've now refreshed the ebikes.ca charge simulator to include dozens of new and old cell models, so anyone using the Satiator charger will be able to set their full charge voltage thresholds more precisely for a specific target battery capacity. Just select the cell type in your pack from the drop-down menu along with the correct series/parallel layout and you'll have a full charge simulation at your fingertips.
Charging, Satiator 1.0 Firmware
And did we mention charging batteries? For those with a Satiator charging doesn't get much better. We've now released the 1.0 satiator firmware and software suite which has two major new features along with numerous small improvement tweaks to the user interface and charge behavior.
The first of these is graphing! You can now see a real time plot of your charging voltage and current every time you plug in and charge a battery pack. The graph autoscales sensibly, and looking at the charge graph rather than just the final amp-hours can tell you interesting things, like how much time was spent in constant voltage mode versus bulk charging, and whether the current from the Satiator was reduced due to thermal rollback etc.
The second major feature is charge statistics. The V1.0 Satiator firmware not only keeps track of how many charging amp-hours and watt hours it itself has delivered over its life, it also keeps track of the total cycle statistics on each individual profile too. So now you will have an automatic record of how many cycles and kWhrs of energy you've put into your battery pack, and if you use multiple profiles on the same pack you'll have a breakdown of how often you've charged it to 80% vs 100%, fast charge vs slow charge etc.
This information is invaluable in understanding the life cycle costs of a battery pack under different charge scenarios, and can compliment the data from a Cycle Analyst or similar device that records the discharge statistics. The more people we have collecting real world performance data like this instead of just contrived lab test data, then the better the community as a whole can know what to expect for battery longevity.
Small tweaks include a new "About Satiator" section of the setup menu that shows current info on the device, the ability to see the previous charge cycle amp-hours even after you have disconnected the pack, the ability to display battery temperature on any pack (not just NiMH/NiCad) by hooking up a thermistor, and a better fault handling behavior when dealing with packs that have problematic BMS circuits and whatnot.
This new 1.0 version of Satiator firmware does require a new software suite in order to display all the new information, and the software and firmware are available for download right now. Please click the appropriate link to embark on the best charging experience ever.
Field Oriented Controller
And back to the subject of things getting better. The pilot run of BAC500+ field oriented motor controllers that we launched late last year was a good success, but what follows is even better. The PhaseRunner is based on ASI's BAC800 controller units with a special heatsink, potted enclosure, and cable harness all made here at Grin. It can run at higher voltages (95V instead of just 60V max), higher phase currents (80A rather than 60A), and has a smaller and narrower footprint, all at the same price. Many more details are available by reading through the endless-sphere thread starting here.
We're hoping to make this a standard and stock cornerstone of our controller and kit offerings by fall of 2015, but in the meantime we're still producing a couple of these a day for advanced technical users.
Alex DM24 Rims with 3D Drilling
Anyone who has laced a large diameter hub motor into a small diameter rim will be more than familiar with the problem of spoke angle. Just a single cross pattern will produce an angle that puts large stresses on the nipple and bends the spoke, something we've modeled on the hub motor spoke calculator for people to anticipate. Alex Rims has been offering 3D drilling of their spoke nipple holes in the rim to allow the nipple to exit at an angle rather than radially inwards, and we got a large number of these in a 20" rims size drilled out to 14 degrees which should allow you to do single cross lacing jobs when previously only radial would make sense.
Unfortunately, the 3D drilling is not compatible with their rim eyelets at the moment, so for the 24", 26" and 700c DM24 rims we opted to go for stainless eyelets instead.
Shop Video Tour
Last week we also had an unexpected visit from Court, who runs the excellent electric bicycle review site electricbikereview.com. What was supposed to be just a short quick shop tour ended up taking a good chunk of the afternoon, which Court kindly recorded and uploaded to youtube. If anyone is curious to see the inner workings here at Grin and has time to spare, enjoy the video.
Sometimes we do a lot of work on a project and totally forget to announce it anywhere. That happened a few months ago when we finished a large round of enhancements to the online CA Trip Analyzer software, courtesy of the hard work of our UBC co-op students Mila and Shivan. Then moved onto our next endeavors and forgot to make a peep.
The latest enhancements apply most specifically to the V3 Cycle Analyst devices, since the software now shows all the extended data such as human torque, motor temperature, pedal cadence etc. This extended data is shown on a second graph allowing you to customize not only which items to display, but also whether they scale on the left or right axis and how or if numeric stats on the right should be computed.
We've also made it so that named trip sections are highlighted in different colours and shown on the slider bar, allowing for easier visualization of the trip regions when communicating or sharing adventures. All of these capabilities are now summarized in the FAQ section. As always we appreciate feedback from people using these web tools. If you've got an interesting trip upload to share, please send the URL our way.
This February we quietly added a newsletter signup to our homepage for people wanting an active update on new stuff at Grin. Many hundreds have subscribed we're glad to have gotten the first newsletter out the door this weekend. It's a long one but worth a look, future updates are expected to be shorter and sent out every few couple months to keep you abreast of our undertakings:
If you're interested in having Grin updates sent to your inbox instead of sending your browser back to our website blog all the time then consider signing up. There is no need to have an account on our store site, simply enter your email address in the box to the right. However, if you do have an accont then you can easily enable newsletter subscription from inside your account settings too.
As part of our effort to be a tad more proactive in sharing the good word on our products, our resident dealer rep and sales guy Danial Sgzatti has produced an excellent little intro video on the Cycle Satiator charger. This short clip is meant to help highlight the Satiator benefits without having to read tons of text on our site, and we'd welcome you to have a look.
We wanted to publicly congratulate the two winners of prizes sponsored by Grin. Philip Marciniak got a V3 Cycle Analyst and LED light kit for the best custom built ebike for his scratch build longjohn style bike used for his appliance repair business.
And Fabrizio Cross got a $200 gift certificate for setting the electric speed record for the fastest lap on full scratch-built semi recumbent bike, with room for both children on the back. This is one of those builds that blurs the lines a bit between ebikes and higher powered 2-wheelers, but the wide scooter wheels and full suspension do wonders to smooth travel on the bumpy roads of his hometown on Hornby Island.
Also a shout out to Stuart and the Lecicle, who showed up with the best family bike designed by kids that we’ve ever seen!
Yuba Cycle Stokers
After a very successful pilot run, we’ve now done a full production and release of the Cycle Stoker kit for Yuba Mundo cargo bikes. Thanks to all those who’ve participated to resolve any kinks as we expanded this kit to the popular Yuba platform. We’ve updated the Cycle Stoker info page has recently to include a lot more details about this mid-drive option to answer questions for anyone else who is considering it
For those still awaiting a Cycle Stoker kit for Big Dummy cargo bikes, that will be next inline on this project.
This has been an awesome time for alternative transportation in Vancouver. Not only did we learn that non-car trips (biking, walking, transit) outnumbered private vehicle trips for the first time ever; cycling use in the city jumped another 20% last year, the hopelessly archaic Business Improvement Association has finally acknowledged that bike lanes are good for business, and the weather and turn-out for Bike to Work Week has been amazing. We’d love to know exactly how much of a role electric assist is playing in that, but it’s no doubt a very large factor for some.
Let’s not forget to celebrate all this at the wrap-up BBQ on Friday at Creekside Park besides Science World. The full details of the Cargo Bike Championship have been posted to the participants. It includes a race where you pick up more cargo on each lap and a host of prize categories, and should be good fun with nearly two dozen cargo bikes of all types in the mix.
For the categories of “Best Custom Built Cargo Bike”, and “Fastest Time with Electric Assist” we’ll be awarding winners with their choice of:
A) A Cycle Satiator universal battery charger.
B) A Cycle Analyst and front/rear ebike lighting system
C) A $300 Grin Credit towards the purchase of an eZee conversion kit, or
D) A $200 gift certificate for anything at Grin
For all the other categories we’ll be giving away gourmet popsicles from our friend Johnny, who’s been making and selling unbelievably tasty cold treats from his mobile trike: http://johnnys-pops.com/
Because of this event, we will be closing our shop early on Friday at 4pm so that all our staff can participate. To our local customers and friends, we hope to see you there too!
The classic V2 Cycle Analyst series hasn’t seen a firmware update in several years, and it’s time we fix that. For anyone with a V2.3 Cycle Analyst, we’ve now got two more firmware options that you might like, both featuring the battery state-of-charge (SOC) icon previously only available with the V3 devices.
The first is a special Marine Firmware that we developed for a Dutch dealer. This trimmed down code is ideal for anyone using the V2 CA as a power monitoring device in applications where there is no need for speed and distance tracking, just watts, amp-hours, volts etc. The Auxiliary Potentiometer Input has been re-purposed as a temperature input for thermal monitoring if desired too.
Main Screen showing Amp Hours and Battery SOC Icon
Amp-hours toggles to temperature readout if enabled
Display of recharge percentage and recharging Ah
The second firmware update is a general purpose V2.4 release for vehicle usage. To a first order, this is very much like the V2.3 CA code with the addition of a battery icon, but there are many changes in the back-end and setup menus too which should be appreciated, including better rejection of spurious speed readings if the spoke magnet and pickup sensor become misaligned.
You can update any of the V2.3 Cycle Analyst devices (But not V2.25 and earlier) using the same software tool and programming cable as a V3 CA, as explained here. This update will reset your total life cycle statistics, so before reflashing be sure to write down your total Amp-hours, Distance, Battery Cycles, and other custom settings so that you can re-enter those values later.
So if you have an inkling to try out the latest, please load the code above and send us your feedback.
There are few things we love more than riding around Vancouver hauling stuff on electric cargo bikes; turning heads and getting high fives and thumbs up while shuttling goods back to our shop at Grin. So we were smitten to see that Vancouver will be hosting it’s first every Cargo Bike Championship on May 29th, right at the end of Bike to Work Week, courtesy of Modacity and HUB. Read about it right here.
What’s a Cargo Bike Championship exactly? We don’t really know, but we figure it’s going to involve some kind of informal cargo hauling contest, some kind of vehicle rally, some kind of judging, and of course prizes! On that front we’re going to be sponsoring some very big awards, like Satiators and Lumenators and perhaps even a full conversion kit. We’ll update on the details as they materialize.
In the meantime though, if you ride a cargo bike of any kind here in Vancouver, whether for transporting kids or your full suite of work tools, then come help us to showcase this other side of utility cycling. Modacity is looking for participants to register their bikes by May 18th, so get your details in and lets make this a great little rally. It's timed to coincide with the wrap-up BBQ at creekside park from 4-7pm, where there will be tons of cyclists gathered and free foodstuff too.
In our first community event of 2015, we’ll be participating in the BC Sustainable Energy Association’s (BCSEA) electric vehicle faire, taking place this Friday evening at Science World from 5:30-9:30pm. This is being promoted as an opportunity to learn about EV’s, meet local EV businesses, and test ride any number of electric vehicles. Additional information is here:
So come on out, it’s not free but it should be worth it. We’ll be there to balance out the heavy presence of commercial electric cars with a full suite of electric cargo bikes, trikes, folders, and longboards, all available to test riding.
And if you do have a nice homemade electric bike or other PEV that you’d like to show off, it’s not too late to sign up as an exhibitor. Please either contact us or BCSEA directly to be a part. You can help bring awareness to the massive impact that ebikes can have as a viable transportation option. After all, you don’t need 4 wheels, a roof, a trunk, and 2000lb of steel and batteries to get around town and have fun doing so.
We’ve recently changed how ebike conversion kits are presented on our website in a way that hopefully makes it easier to find the best option for your bike. At the center of this is a new conversion kit summary page that highlights the key features of every Grin kit and the applications and bicycle types where they shine.
Our mission is always to create conversion kits that use universal standards and interchangeable components, and address interesting niche applications that aren’t well serviced by other “one size fits all” systems.
On the new kit front, you’ll now see two dedicated Brompton specific packages based around the Crystalyte NSM and SAW20 hub motors. We’ve customized the cable lengths and controller / Cycle Analyst mounting brackets to fit neatly on these unusual bike frames, had the motor axles machined with a 8mm axle flats and a 75mm length to be a drop in fit with the Brompton forks, and even made custom 8mm mini torque arms too. No fork spreading or dropout filing required, these kits are ready for primetime, and feature the same upgrade options of PAS and Torque sensing pedalec control as our other systems.
Have a look at the Brompton Kit info page where we’ve explained the options and compiled a detailed installation guide with plenty of photographs and pointers on how to put things together right. This is our first time preparing a kit install guide in many years, and we’d welcome any feedback as this will become a template for other conversion kit installation pages soon to come.
We’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.
To 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
One 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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 !
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We’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.
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.
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.
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..
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We’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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
All 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.
We’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.
The Right Side Drive (RSD) StokemonkeyCycle 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.
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.
Those wanting to purchase a complete Edgerunner with the RSD StokemonkeyCycle 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.
Among many website improvement tweaks, we’ve added an additional “performance as configured” data at the bottom of each conversion kit checkout page, which updates automatically as you choose different motors, controllers,and wheel size options in the kit builder:
This provides a glimpse of the expected kit performance with both 36V and 48V batteries without having to separately build your setup on the simulator. So you can at a glance see the unloaded speeds along with the motor thrust, and have this update in real time depending on your motor and/or controller choice.
Well our first real blog post on the new website should interest many people here. After a year in development we're ready to launch a new DC-DC converter series with USB outputs to help accessorize your ebike. The first of these is a 15 watt Dual converter, which runs off 24V-72V packs and has full 2A and 1A output ports. These DC-DC adapters will enable you to turn your ebike battery into a rapid charge station for your phone/tablet/gps/bike light or other gadget.
The power adapters are rugged, waterproof, made in Canada, and easily plug in to a Cycle Analyst's power port or Anderson tap. There is an embedded LED current gauge that shows how many amps are flowing on each USB port so you can be sure when a device is charging or fully charged. And the output is fully isolated from your ebike battery so there is no risk of shock, ground loops, or electrical interference.
The first production batch is in our curing oven and will be available from the DC-DC converter section of our website.
After a few false starts over the past several years we’re finally going live with an updated web layout and back-end for ebikes.ca, ( in case you didn’t notice!)
We hope with this new organization that it is faster and easier to find relevant information from the maze that was our website. Our goal was not to lose any info in the migration, and more importantly make it much easier to keep publishing new and interesting stuff.
The online store site in particular should be more convenient to navigate. You’ll notice that we’ve added a “specifications” tab with key technical details on the different parts. So for instance you can sort the list of hub motors by their motor kV constant, by their rim size, or by their weight, to hone in on the most suitable one for your project.
Other things to note:
Account and Logins: It is now possible to register an account with us so that you don’t need to re-input address and other info each time you need to get something. You can of course checkout as a guest, but with an account you will be able to look at what you got on previous orders, check shipment status and tracking numbers etc.
Credit Card Payments: We can take credit card payments directly by secure checkout now without needing a Paypal account or a phone-in of the details.
Online Tools: The popular ebike simulator and spoke calculator are in the “tools” tab on the top, and we hope add a few more useful ebike related tools to this list over the course of the year.
Kit Bundles: Most of the conversion kits we’ve now made available in two types, a) a basic option with throttle control and a V2 CA, or b) an advanced PAS kit with a V3 Cycle Analyst and your choice of torque or PAS sensors for pedalec control. We hope that this simplifies the process of getting comprehensive set of compatible parts for your build.
While a lot of the written content has been updated and made fresh, there are still some info sections that are still circa. 2006-ish and works in progress. So naturally, we’re working on them. In the meantime please let us know about any issues/glitches by email.
After giving radio interviews this week on CBC's radio Canada and On the Coast, our Anne-Sophie is gearing up for a full slide-show presentation of her 4600km unicycle journey across south America this Saturday evening at the Rio Theater. It's part of the Vancouver Mountain Film Festival and seats are still available for this and many other tales of adventure if you're looking for something to do on this first-ever family day long weekend.
Some Web Maintenance
Several people have noticed that our website has been occasionally unavailable in the past 24-48 hours. We are making a number of changes to the back-end with some updates resulting in a bit of downtime. So rest assured that everything is OK here and we are looking forwards to having some nice improvements to show for all this work fairly soon.
For those who've been waiting, the remaining production batch of 72V capable 40A infineon controllers arrived last week and is in great supply. We hope everyone had a good holiday and have just a few small things to mention to start the year:
More PAS Sensor Mount Options
The split-disk PAS magnet rings have been a great convenience for those installing pedal assist systems on DIY ebikes without needing to take the crank off, but they only work with square taper bottom bracket spindles. For those with external bearing bottom brackets using ISIS or other splined standard, we now have a magnet ring option from King Meter that attaches directly to your small chainring instead. This works with 64mm 4-bolt and 74mm 5 bolt inner spiders, and comes with the universal CA3 compatible PAS pickup.
LED Rear Lights
We're now making the popular 8LED rear ebike lights available preterminated with a DC power jack, so that they are plug-and-play compatible with our Anderson Powerpole Tap. This makes wiring up your rear lights almost as easy as the front lights (which just plug into the Cycle Analyst). We will continue to offer the non-terminated version for those who want their lights hard-wired and/or who want to take advantage of the 3rd signal wire to control the flash mode.
Stokemonkey Install Tools
This isn't much, but we have both crank puller and chain breaker tools available for those installing a Stokemonkey drive on their cargo bike. We'll soon have large gear pullers for opening hub motors, and some other ebike specific repair and install hardware available.
Tidy Wiring Kit
There are a few tricks to making a DIY ebike looks as neat and professional as a turn-key ebike, and most of them center around wire and cable management. With proper use of spiral wrap (to bundle cables together), Velcro sleeves (to cover and protect connectors), and zip ties to secure it all to the frame, you can turn a rats nest frankenproject into a pretty clean machine. We've put together a 'WireRouteKit' to help people straighten their mess.
These items are listed on the Wiring Accessories section of our store site, and we will have them listed with the conversion kits shortly.
We're currently running the first small-scale production run of EdgeRunner cargo bikes featuring a freewheeling right side drive Stokemonkey setup (Renamed Cycle Stoker in 2014and are open to sales to early adopters. Priority will be to customers local in BC, although keen technically minded folks elsewhere are free to apply too.
This bike has all the benefits of the original Stokemonkey for cargo and passenger hauling, with the further bonuses of:
1) Integrated torque sensing proportional pedal assist, via strain sensors and a V3 Cycle Analyst
2) Single right side chain with freewheeling crankset, so the motor can run independent of the pedals.
Combined with the Nuvini CVT hub on the back, the result is a seamless mid-drive system that can change gears on the fly and under load. The introductory price of the complete bike without battery is $3295, with any of the 36V and 48V battery options being well suitable.
On a related note, our development platform Edgerunner bike got stolen a few weeks ago from downtown Vancouver. Portable angle grinders, what can ya do. So if any folks see this blue cargo bikearound town, notable for the wooden deck (most others would have the black FlightDecks), then let us know.
The Twist Battery Rail we made for the electric EdgeRunner bikes has been updated to work both with the original ER frames, the new 2014 frames, and the Big Dummy frames as well. With this rail you can fit the flat eZee battery on the seatstays and for a tidy look under the deck, and we're making them available as a stand alone item on our site.
We sold out of the original eZee hub motor EdgeRunner bikes some time ago with the exception of the Mocha colour of which there are 4 remaining. The geared hub motor option is simple with plenty of torque, but we need the floor space and are offering a special on these last Mocha coloured ebikes at 20% off.
Want to integrate all the advanced V3 Cycle Analyst features with an older controller that only has a V2 CA style plug? We're now making a simple CA V3 Adapter Module that splits out the 6-pin CA3 plug into separate throttle, ebrake and CA connectors. This not only enables the Cycle Analyst to run your throttle directly, it also allows the CA control regenerative braking whenever the CA's throttle output drops below 0.5V.
Those after torque proportional pedal assist systems now have a new plug-and-play option available. The bottom bracket sensor from TDCM uses novel geometry to measure the backwards chain force on the cranks rather than the spindle torque in order to sense your pedaling force.
This enables it to sense both the left and right pedal effort, giving a more immediately responsive PAS system at a much lower cost than magnetostrictive torque sensors. On the other hand, it is not as accurate at measuring human watts as the THUN sensor, and the installation is a bit more complicated as well.
We have the TDCM units custom made to run directly off the 5-pin V3 Cycle Analyst plug just like the THUN sensors, and have these new pedal sensor options available in the CA Parts page in 114, 120, and 128mm spindle lengths. The TDCM is a better option if the main goal is proportional pedalec assist, while the THUN unit is best if accurate human power output is needed, or if the chainline is not perpendicular to the legs (e.g. recumbent bikes)
We have been working for some time with AllCell to produce a custom frame-bag mounted battery pack using their unique PCM material both as a structural support for the cells, and as a means to keep the pack temperature under check. This is still progressing, surely, but in the meantime we're happy to offer their standard rectangular 36V 20Ah and 48V 20Ah batteries as an option for all of our kits. With a full 20Ah in the tank, these offer a nice high capacity choice for cases where the 10 and 14Ah eZee packs won't go the distance.
While these packs don't have a rigid enclosure or mounting hardware, they can fit inside regular trunk bags OK and offer a great long range battery choice with USA warranty and support.
And while we were skeptical of the claimed benefits of the PCM material, there is no doubt in our testing that it does effectively keep the pack temperature rise clamped at about 40 degrees Celcius. The graphs below show a direct comparison of the eZee flat pack and an Allcell pack we had assembled in the same geometry, under a steady high current (28A) discharge test.
To everyone who didn't go bargain hunting and online shopping this Black Friday / Cyber Monday, and honoured buy nothing day instead, we respect that. We're offering you a 15% discount on all locally Grin manufactured items, which includes Torque Arms, ebike Lights, Cycle Analysts, Stokemonkey kits, Battery Rails, and DC-DC converters. Just indicate during the checkout that for whatever reason don't indulge in any consumer shopping over the long weekend, and we'll apply the appropriate discount. This will be valid until Dec 15th.
The FTDI USB->TTL cables we'd been offering for programming the Cycle Analyst have been superbly reliable, but also a bit pricey. So we designed our own USB communication circuit based on the same chip family, and made them with an extra long (3m) cable so that it's easier to reach from your computer/laptop to the CA on your bike for reflashing. And as a plus, they now come included as standard with each V3 Cycle Analyst device.
All of the 20,25, 35, and 40A controllers are in stock and have the same universal sensored/sensorless behaviour with automatic hall mapping and dual levels of regen. The controller store page info has been updated with complete details of the new specifications.
We also have some miniature 15A controllers suitable for the small geared Tongxin/Outrider hubs, and are releasing a set of kit packages based around these motors and controllers in a new 'mini geared kits' section of the store site. Next in the works on this front are narrow 80mm wide motors with roller gears for folding bicycles.
We have a few additions on the Crystalyte motor front. The popular H3540 and H3548 we have now available unlaced for those planning to do custom wheel builds. This also reduces the shipping cost substantially for orders going overseas. And the powerful Crown motors are in stock again, including in a 24" rim size which plays nice with fat tire bikes.
After some supply difficulties at the end of fall we're now in a rare space of having almost everything we offer on hand and ready to ship. From Crystalyte HS and Crown motors, to front and rear eZee kits, to a whole new updated controller supply. We finished building a custom enclosure for our CNC machine and it is busy churning out battery rails and related hardware.
There have been a few updates to note in our line of eZee conversion kits.
Better Gears: After dealing with occasional random failures of the injection molded nylon gears in the eZee motors, these are now all being machined from a higher grade of gear stock. Depending on the batch we would sometimes see upwards of 2-3% failure rates on the molded gears, while so far there hasn't been a single tooth failure on the machined units.
Thinner Laminations: Another update was made to the motor core itself. Instead of using 0.5mm thick laminations, they are now produced with thin 0.35mm material. This results in lower eddie current losses, lower unloaded currents(~1.8A vs. 3.2A) better efficiency (82% vs. 78%), and less motor heating. The simulator has been updated to reflect the new performance.
Black: The rear motors are now all powdercoated black as standard. The front hubs are still a machined aluminum finish.
Every few months there are a few new items that have made it through the long journey from idea to production and are ready for announcement:
The Stand Alone Anderson Powertap
We are now offering a stand-alone version of the Anderson Powerpole tap that used to be a termination option for our LED lights. This handy cable plugs inline between your battery and controller and brings out a fused link to the battery voltage for running lights, DC-DC converters, audio amps, or what have you.
Cycle Analyst Security Screws
Some people have expressed concern about the Cycle Analyst or Lumenator lights getting stolen from their handlebars. Although we haven't heard many instances of this happening, we've sourced a set of security screws that can replace the Allen and Hand Turn bolts on the bracket so that these can't easily be undone.
Mini Geared Motor Kits
After a successful testing phase we're now offering for general sale a small geared hub motor for those for whom the powerful eZee kits are overkill. We settled on a 2.4 kg motor from Outrider, and have it stocked unlaced in both a standard (7.8 RPM/V) and fast (10.8 RPM/V) winding. These motors are available independently, or as part of an unlaced kit with 20A controller, CA, and spoke set.
Rolling Jackass Stand
Those who ride cargo bikes very quickly appreciate the value of a rugged centerstand for holding the bike stable while loading and unloading. The Rolling Jackass, invented by Val Kleitz and manufactured in Seattle by Haulin Colin, takes the cake for being the best of the best. This clever stand deploys with a handlebar lever so you can stabilize without getting of the bike, and fits the Edgerunner bikes just perfectly. We picked one up from Colin while riding down the coast and were so pleased that we had to stock them.
Dual Sensored/Sensorless Infineons, with Dual Levels of Regen Too
Our stock of 20, 25, and 40A Infineon Controllers has now been updated to run in both sensored AND sensorless configurations. So if the hall cable is not connected, they will automatically engage in a self starting sensorless mode, and if the halls are later plugged in the controller will automatically map the hall table and run sensored so that you don't have to play around with hall/phase pinout combinations.
As well, we now have them made with two levels of regen intensity to accommodate those who want maximum stopping power, as well as those who want regen current but want to keep it low to prevent damage to the battery or tripping a BMS circuit. There is an extra wire loop that can be snipped to double the electrical braking force if desired.
After a long backorder wait time the THUN torque sensing bottom brackets are available again. Unfortunately the costs on these went up substantially on this order so all the pricing has increased somewhat, but combined with a CA3 this is still the least expensive package for accurately measuring your direct human power output. Not to mention having proportional pedal assistance and everything else.
Crown Motors on Simulator
In addition to the small geared Outrider motors, we also have the Crystalyte Crown TC-80 and TC-100 motors fully modeled and put on our simulator. There are only a handful of Crown motors left so if you've been eyeing one of these for a summer build it would be good to get onboard soon. Our next shipment won't be until late September
Through a partnership with King Meter, we've produced a modified version of their Pedal Assist Sensor (PAS) device to better integrate with the V3 Cycle Analyst. This device now has TWO quadrature output signals just like the THUN sensor, rather than a single output that responds in one direction only. This enables you to choose between installing on the left or right of the bottom bracket, and then indicate the forwards direction with the CA.
The input voltage range was increased to work from 5 up to 12V, so that it can run from the same CA connector designed for 12V THUN torque sensing bottom brackets, or normal 5V PAS sensors. As well, it still uses the split ring magnet sensor which can install without removing your cranks, and the sensor pickup is on a pivot assembly so that you can position it near the magnets regardless of frame geometry. All told, this is universal and easy to install PAS system for conversion kits that we've always wanted.
We've managed a work-around strategy for dealing with controller mosfets and now have the 25A and 30A controllers in stock again, and the 20 and 40A coming shortly. All of our controllers now work both sensored and sensorless, and have a jumper cable to select between two levels of regen intensity depending on what you or your batteries want. Not only that, they will automatically map the hall sensors so that there is no need to mess around via trial and error to figure out the correct pinout with a given motor. The full details will soon be explained on the controller store page.
With all the hardware on hand, we're pleased to offer a re-release of the classic left-side-drive Stokemonkey system for cargo bikes. For all you Big Dummy, Xtracycle, Edgerunner, and Yuba riders who've been emailing for updates, well it has finally come. Full details are on the Stokemonkey Page.
The mounting hardware for the freewheeling right side drive Stokemonkey is still going through design refinements, and we don't expect this to be in production until December.
We believe that every piece of gear on an electric bicycle should handle the rain. In practice, that hasn't always been the case, and we've seen a few expensive eZee lithium batteries meet an early demise from water saturation corroding the BMS ciruit and leading to cell self-discharge. So it's been fun to partner with Feathercraft, a local collapsible kayak company that knows a think or two about waterproof fabric, to make a cover. The Battery Bootie has a velcro flap for key access, and can still allow the battery to slide on and off both the eZee rear racks and our CNC Twist Rail products.
Thanks to all those who turned up and packed the Hub Community Bike Shop in Nanaimo for the intro workshop on ebike conversions. We were happy to see so many in the community keen about electric assist, and hopefully you learned a thing or two as well.
We also had a good time at the 2013 REV electric vehicle show, and want to thank VEVA for promoting this technology year after year and providing this platform. And it was nice to see the annual kWhr ebike ride and BBQ happen once again at Jericho beach. Some traditions are timeless.
Finally, Anne-Sophie successfully made it to Santiago, Chile, concluding her 4600 km solo unicycle ride up South America with only a few bumps and bruises. We've been happy to have her back and overseeing the active unicycle corner of our shop and many other behind the scenes operations.
One final project that Adam finished just before his departure is a cute but thorough introductory guide to ebike conversions. Our website generally assumes some level of technical background or previous familiarity with electric bicycle hardware, so this guide offers a non-intimedating way to get acquainted with the very basics. We hope that people appreciate this nice parting gift from Adam.
In part because of the stock situation, we've decided this will be a good time to do some serious renovation work at the shop, starting this coming labour day long weekend until Sept 8th. During this time both the online and physical stores will be closed, and our phone line may be disconnected. We will try our best to handle any urgent issues over email, and thank you in advance for your patience.
As a result of supply shortages and customs difficulties with performance mosfets, our summer production batch of infineon motor controllers was unfortunately set back by almost 2 months. That leaves us now out of stock on all the controller models, and until the new batch arrives sometime in September we won't be able to supply Nine Continent or Crystalyte conversion kits either. Sorry about that. We're also only down to only front 26" eZee kits, and front Crystalyte kits. New sea shipments from both eZee and Crystalyte are expected in late Sept / early Oct.
We promise this will be the last Stokemonkey update until we actually announce universal availability,,, the last 10% always takes the longest time. BUT, for those who have been waiting patiently the news is good. Our updated bracket design works with the right side freewheeling drives as well as the classic stokemonkey configuration for driving the cranks. And, for those classic style stokemonkey builds, we’ve produced an updated clampset that fits tubes from 3/4" up to 1.75" in diameter, accommodating a wider range of frame types without shims or adapters.
Both are in their final stages of volume production and should be ready in early September.
Then the following weekend is Electra Fest event hosted by the Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association. This is an open show for people to showcase their electric vehicles, large and small, from cars and trucks to skateboards and boats. It's a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon checking out what the local EV scene is up to, and we'll be there with our own wacky collection of stuff to ride.
This coming Friday is the annual summer BBQ for the Kilowatt-Hour ebike ride. It also happens to be Adam's last day on the job before heading to the vibrant city of Montreal, and will be our sending off farewell party too. The ride starts from the Central Library at 6pm and will meander to Locarno Beach for cooking festivities.
There is usually an awesome turnout of ebike enthusiasts from all over Vancouver who come out for this summer ride, so if you fancy a Friday evening picnic on the beach then prepare some edible treats and meet up at the library.
Then on Wednesday evening Justin and Robbie will be travelling to Hub City Cycles in Nanaimo to give an introductory workshop on electric bicycle conversions. This could be fun for islanders who are curious about what's involved in retrofitting a bicycle, or who have a bunch of burning questions for two aficionados. Details and address are on the Hub City website.
There is still some good new stock on our clearance shelves for those doing bargain builds:
Crystalyte Sensorless 40A and 25A controllers - 50% Off
Now that we have our standard Infineon controllers working both sensored and sensorless, there is little need for the Crystalyte sensorless only controllers anymore and we are liquidating our remaining stock of these at half price. For someone with a direct drive hub motor setup with damaged or no halls, this is a great deal.
Slow Winding 20" Front Hub Motors - $95
There was an inadvertent mixup that had us with a large number of 20" front hub motor wheels that don't fit with our existing lineup too well and are on a firesale to clear space. These are a 10 turn winding motors with a power and speed similar to the Crysatlyte 409 motor. Great deal for projects can use a lower KV motor in a 20" rim.
All 9C Hubs and Kits
And finally, we are continuing with our sale of Nine Continent direct drive motors and kits. All the 20" units are out of stock, but we have the 26" and 700c in various front and rear, 2806, 2807, and 2808 windings still available.
We're hoping it's not too late, but a research team at the Portland State University is doing an widespread survey of electric bike users in the USA, but they said Canadians are welcome to participate too. So if you have 10 minutes to spare and want to share your experience with electrics, fill it out here.
We have all of our Nine Continent motors and related kits marked down in order to free up some precious shelf space. These are good value direct drive hub motors, but going forwards we are planning to stock just the higher-end Crystalyte and eZee motors and are clearing out the 9C for that reason. If you were considering a budget kit and don't require proper disk brake compatibility, this could be your chance to get a bargain.
We have a new supply of 12 pole PAS sensors for the V3 CA devices. These units have a split magnet disk and adjustable position pickup so there is no need to remove your cranks or bottom bracket to install them on a bike, and have been wired up for plug and play compatibility with the CA3 harness.
1800km later Justin and Robbie have completed their electric cargo bike ride from Vancouver into San Francisco and had a fabulous time meeting up with everyone at the San Mateo Maker Faire over the weekend. All prototype gear under test held up to the task. A big thanks to Frank, Ken, Will, Wake, Otmar, Pete, Bill, Michael, Eric, Patrick, and the many others who took them in and helped along the way make this a trip to remember.