Single Sided All-Axle and the Spezi Show

April 20, 2019 12:41:38 AM PDT

A trade show we've been dying to attend one of these days is the Spezi bike show happening next weekend (April 27-28) in Germany. This is where all the oddball, unusual, and otherwise special bikes get showcased, and if anyone's been keen on electrifying wheeled oddities it's us!. 

While we won't be there in person, a number of vehicles will be at the show featuring the new Grin products like the GMAC Hub Motors, RH212 direct drive motors, All Axle hubs, and the Baserunner and Phaserunner_L10 controllers.  If you're lucky enough to attend then check out Booth A.18 and Booth 3.12 for some velomobiles and cargo vehicles running this gear.  

The timing is also great for us to formally announce an updated 2019 version of the Grin All Axle motor suitable for these single side applications, as explained in this new video below.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

First off we want to apologize for the longer than normal response time and email backlog as much of our team was busy both in the preparation and attendance at the Taipei Cycle Show this past week. We'll be working hard to catch up on that in the coming days and thank your patience and understanding. To all the dealers, vendors, manufacturers, component partners, and general industry friends we met at the show, what a great time and we look forward to exciting pursuits ahead. 

 Grin Booth at 2019 Taipei Cycle ShowStatorade Motor Demo at Booth

GMAC Motors

GMAC locked clutch geared hub motorOne of the items we demonstrated at the show is the new GMAC motor series. This is a powerful clutchless geared hub motor developed over the past 2 years in partnership with MAC motors, using a custom axle with an integrated splined torque arm. Imagine a MAC motor with perfect frame fit for modern bicycles, zero torque transmission on the dropouts, and phenomenal regenerative braking control.

You can learn more about the development and axle testing process on this endless-sphere thread. Our ambition is to make this splined axle design into a new standard that we deploy across our entire higher power motor lines to replace axle flats. If you're as excited as us and want to jump right into ordering, we have the first production shipment on hand available in bare motors and complete kits.

 

L10 Connector

L1019 Connector with PinoutOne thing you'll notice about this GMAC motor is that we are using the 10 pin waterproof locking motor plug. Over the course of the year we will be switching to this connector standard for all of our medium and high power hub motors, replacing the Anderson and JST-SM's that we had standardized on previously.

Our hope is that this plug will become to motors in the 500-1500 watt power range what the 9pin Z910 became for the low power geared motors, with all motor manufacturers agreeing to the same pinout standard for easy swapping and interchangeability . We have an L10 version of the Phaserunner motor controller available now and will soon be expanding this to a Grinfineon offering as well.

 

More L10 Motors

There are two additional motors in our lineup already using this locking connector. The first is a new rear cassette motor from Nine Continent, which has better disk rotor clearance and axle alignment than the MXUS hubs. Our first batch of these has sold out but the larger sea order is expected later in April.

The second is an updated variant of our Grin All Axle motor where we've got the cable exiting on the disk side of the motor for single side applications. If you've got a catrike and are looking for powerful dual motor drive like the one here, please give us a shout.

Catrike electrified with dual Grin All Axle Hub MotorsCatrike electrified with dual Grin All Axle Hub Motors

72V Batteries and 21700 Cells

72V Downtube Battery with Samsung 40T 21700 Cells We've also released our first native 72V battery pack in a conventional downtube battery casing, assembled using the high power Samsung 27100 40T cells so that even with the small 8Ah capacity it is able to deliver 40-50A continuous currents. This is an ideal battery for fast and sporty offroad ebike builds, allowing powerful performance without the weight or complexity of most 72V setups (either two 36V packs in series or a large triangle frame battery).

At the moment this battery is in stock but for local pickup orders only as we are going through the certification testing required for shipping. We've been keeping the 21700 cell offerings on our radar as they start to catch up with the performance specs of the more mature 18650 series and this year it looks like they are finally making the grade. Expect more from us as the year goes on. 

Inbound Shipments

Boxes of Crystalyte on Shop FloorOur multiple-delayed Crystalyte sea shipment has also arrived this last week after being held up by customs inspections, and all the Crystalte 'H'motors are back in stock again. A lot of you have been waiting for some time for these and the wait is finally over. 

 

General Kits Intro

Here is the other presentation from the BC Bike Show earlier this month. It was a basic primer for people to learn about ebike conversion options before we went on to do a live install of a conversion kit. 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Show Presentations

March 11, 2019 5:04:15 AM PDT

This is a virtual hello to all the people who came by our booth last weekend at the BC Bike Show and are just now visiting our webpage for the first time. We had a great time and were delighted to see how much this event has grown recently. (And to those who lament that the bike show is now totally taken over by ebikes, well it's been over 15 years now that we've been trying to tell you all this day was coming!)

For those who missed seeing it live, we've also uploaded a youtube video of our live demonstration of a regular bike being converted over to electric assist. We hope that this helps demystify the process for some considering their first kit purchase. It was a fun opportunity as the owner of the bike was at the show and could ride it away the next day.

The video of our earlier presentation on how to navigate various ebike conversion options should be ready to upload later this week.

Kit vs TurnKey ebikeWith so many turn-key ebikes on display at shows like this, it's pretty common for people to ask why would they bother to retrofit a normal bike when they can just buy an electric bike that is ready to roll? It's a fair question and we decided to answer that with an in depth pamphlet that we also made available on our webpage here.

Active Transportation Survey

Unrelated to the show but also of local interest. The BC government is soliciting input on what is meant by "active transportation" which could hopefully help to direct policy and regulation governing not just ebikes but all kinds of human scaled transport. If you think electric skateboards should be on their radar or faster S-Pedalec class ebikes then this is a chance to have your voice heard. Electric bicycles have been an entirely grass roots phenomenon for most of their trajectory and it's encouraging to see the entire scope of personal mobility finally being acknowledged and discussed at this level.

See

https://engage.gov.bc.ca/activetransportation/

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

BC Bike Show, March 2-3

February 22, 2019 3:26:04 AM PST

The BC Bike Show is the premier cycling and outdoors event in Western Canada and is happening in just 2 weeks on March 2nd and 3rd. We'll be there of course, and in addition to our exhibitor booth we'll also be hosting Cycle Stage to give more public presentations. On Saturday at 11:45 am we'll talk on how to navigate the various motor and battery options available for ebike retrofits, and on Sunday at 2pm we'll be doing a live demonstration of a regular bicycle being converted over to electric assist.

This is an opportunity to get your questions answered and to demystefy some of the uncertainty regarding aftermarket and DIY ebike options. 

If you're thinking of coming out to the show to visit us, then let us know as we may be able to help with the tickets too. 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

CA3.1 Missing Manual

February 4, 2019 7:42:51 AM PST

CA3.1 User ManualIt's been found!  After five years being AWOL the first official V3 Cycle Analyst user manual is now hot off the presses. We're hoping that this document strikes the right balance at explaining the key setup options and features of the latest CA3.1 firmware in a way that's informative but not too deep in every possible technical detail. 

For anyone who has had to struggle finding concise setup information on their CA3 in the past, we're sorry and plan to make amends. One way we'll be doing that is through the continued production of CA3 video tutorials. We've got two released just right now on setting up both basic PAS sensors and also torque sensors with the CA3.1 firmware. 

 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Tribute to Two Local Industry Icons

January 31, 2019 6:12:02 AM PST

While 2018 had its share of excitement and new pursuits for us, it also saw the doors close on two iconic and long serving bicycle businesses here in Vancouver who we think deserve a shout-out. The first of these is Brock Davis of Cambie Cycles who kicked off their final day with a new years party at their vacated premise on Dec 31st. 

Brock (center) in the cleared out cambie cycles shop. After the party and before an epic ping-pong showdown.

Brock had been running his esoteric shop on Cambie St. for over 30 years, pioneering the sale and production of recumbent bikes, tricycles, velomobiles, unicycles, and of course electric bicycles well before any of these things were popular. He was dabbling with early ebike conversions in the 1990's when we were still in grade school and has been for many years one of the few shops always willing to say yes to electric retrofits. We hope to still see him riding around streets of Vancouver in a white velomobile. 

The other shout-out goes to Paul Bogaert who decided to close the Bike Doctor after 27 years and instead cycle tour the world with his wife. Paul had an early role in Vancouver bicycle advocacy and at bringing cycle riding to a less elitist/athletic and more everyday commuter crowd through their shop.  They were among the early shops to embrace family friendly cargo bikes and  appreciated the role that electric would play in making cycling more broadly appealing.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

New Things for a New Year

January 1, 2019 5:23:00 AM PST

We're hoping that everyone has had great holiday season and are excited as we are for the 2019 year ahead. There are a few things we pulled off in December worth sharing.

Powerful Rear Motor Options

We have added two new direct drive hub motors to our offerings. One is a Thru-Axle version of the Crystalyte Crown TC3080 motor. This is the first 142x12 rear thru-axle motor that's been available for aftermarket conversions and is well suited for modern mountain bikes shooting for 1-3kW power levels.

 New Large Direct Drive Motor OptionsIllustration of Axle Lengths

The other is our first foray into the larger 45mm wide motor series, similar to those sold by MXUS, QS, Leafbike etc. as 3KW or 5kW hubs. We got these made up to properly fit either a standard 135mm dropout with a single speed freewheel, or a 150mm dropout with a 7-8 speed freewheel and some spacers. As expected from Grin they are sealed, include a 10K thermistor for temperature sensing, and have a disk hole injection port for Statorade, and are hubsink compatible. Check out the performance on our simulator both with and without statorade. Unlike so many other direct drive motors, both of these have the proper alignment for disk rotor position and room for disk calipers without shimming things out.


3D CAD Models

We get asked on occasion for 3D models of the hub motors we offer from people doing full CAD mockups of their ebike project. And what better time than Christmas to make this all available to you.

Example of 3D CAD models we've made for various hub motors

The 3D IGS files for most of the motors that we've mechanically modeled are now available in the "additional information" tab on our store site and in a list on our documents page.


CA3.13 Firmware Family

The 3.1 Cycle Analyst firmware has fully solidified with the recent 3.13 release, and in doing this we're also making publicly available a number of customized firmware branches full of special features. These are loosely explained in the CA3 Firmware page, but are worth highlighting here:

  1. Solar Shunt firmware: With this firmware the Cycle Analyst can use the auxilliary input as a second current sensor for measuring and showing the solar amps and watts. You can not only see in realtime how much solar power is coming into the pack, you also get combined statistics such as the %solar recharge and the net wh/km mileage taking into account the solar input for the day. This is the ideal instrument for looking at solar ebike performance, consolodating all measurements in a single device.
  2. GPS Firmware: This net update will be much appreciated by people who have a GPS Analogger device with their CA3. With a simple hardware modification to the Analogger circuit, the GPS data will be transmitted from your existing TRS cable back to the Cycle Analyst. You can then see the time of day, your elevation, position, and direction all on the CA3 screen. The firmware also features additional custom views on the main screen, allowing you to replace or toggle the battery voltage with any of these new parameters to get just the display you are after.
  3. Solar GPS Firmware: Theres even a -SG firmware that combines both the solar current sensor and the GPS code. This firmware produces a log file just like that of our suntrip databox project, and will be invaluable to for those doing performance analysis on solar EV trips.
  4. Fast Log Rate: And to wrap things off, we have a slight version of the standard 3.13 release that includes a much higher 55Hz data logging rate. This has come up when people have wanted to use the Cycle Analyst for looking at rapid transient behavior, from off the line accelleration numbers to current spikes that cause their BMS circuit to trip.

Piloting the Baserunner

Baserunner Controller in Hand

And the last product update to kick off the year is the pilot release of our new Baserunner motor controller. We spent much of last summer and fall trying to cram an even more miniature version of the Phaserunner into compact profile that could fit inside the controller cavity of the popular Hailong downtube battery cradles, and by golly we did it. While not as powerful as the Phaserunner (just 55A max phase current, and 60V max battery voltage), the Baserunner is perfectly suited to the smaller geared and direct drive hub motors using the Higo Z910 plug. This allows for a very tidy installation with no separate controller to mount.

Baserunner with Included Controller HeatsinkBaserunner in Hailong Battery CradleBaserunner with Full Battery

But unlike other battery mounted controllers, the Baserunner also stands on its own too. If you upgrade to a different battery model in the future that doesn't fit the cradle, simply remove the Baserunner from the base and use it as a miniature stand alone controller with your new battery pack. That's Grin thinking about your future options for you.

We are currently producing them in a limited volume for pilot sales to early adopters to purchase either alone or with a G31X kit, and expect to have them in full production in 2-3 months. 


Video Tutorials

The following 5 video tutorials didn't get a formal blog post last month but are worth a watch if you missed them and have a particular interest in taking apart an eZee motor, replacing an OLED screen, tuning a Phaserunner, repairing a blown controller, or converting your CA to an orange backlight.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Profiles, Tig Cross and Aaron Brown

December 15, 2018 1:07:16 PM PST

Our December / Christmas treat for all of our fans is going to be LOT of new video releases on our youtube channel, for both enjoyment and education. Our main videographer Aaron Evenoldsen has been on a retreat editing footage from throughout the year and it's all coming together now.

We'll start this off with the latest two Customer Profile videos. In the first one we follow up from the well received Leigh Cross video with a look at his son, Tig Cross. Tig's been refining an original bike concept combining the best parts of an ebike, scooter, and velomobile, and showcases the merits of an electric generator for the human drivertrain.

And for our most recent release we look at the Landyachtz engineer Aaron Brown, who has turned his daily commute from the suburbs from a a soul sucking traffic slog into an offroad adventure.

If only we had a hard core ebike-commuter-of-the-year award to hand out!

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Leigh Cross Customer Profile

October 18, 2018 1:59:42 AM PDT

With things settling down since the busy summer we're now getting many things back on track again, and that includes our regular customer profile video series. We recently finished one on one of our all time favorite customers, the 89 year old Leigh Cross. 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

G31X, Our Favorite Little Motors

September 30, 2018 3:38:52 AM PDT

We've been pretty smitten about how well the small G311 front and G310 rear motors have been working out this year. A short video we first filmed back in May explains why!

Based on the enthusiastic response we've had from customers, we're now stocking these motors prelaced into rims rather than just as bare hubs, which means even faster turn-around time for getting a kit. The front G311's are already on hand in 16", 20" 26" and 700c wheels, and we'll expect prebuilt rear wheels later in the year.

We've also just flushed out a fairly detailed product info page on this motor series which you should look at if you want to learn more, and even filmed a detailed disassembly video in case you ever wanted to take one apart!.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Additional Torque Sensor Options

September 7, 2018 4:50:20 PM PDT

The torque sensor options at Grin have been getting better and better. We now have a cup adapter for the popular Sempu sensors which extends the flanges out so that they fit bike frames with 73mm bottom bracket shells. For the longest time people with 73mm BB's have been out of luck for aftermarket torque sensors, but no more.

Sempu 73mm BB Adapters

Sempu and NCTE FeaturesIn addition, we have a new lineup of torque sensors from NCTE to replace the long out-of-stock THUN devices. This restores the option for a true transducer that measures the actual spindle torsion. They provide an accurate human watts readout, and unlike other sensors they can be used in mid-drive setups where the motor is driving the right side chain.

To help this DIY mid-drive use case we've brought in stock the extra long 136mm spindle option, providing additional clearance for motors and extra chainrings on the right side.

To learn more about these different sensor types and how to choose the best one for your ebike, have a read of our newly completed Advanced PAS Kit article. It should help demystify things.

And finally, Robbie made a nice video this summer showing the installation process for the Sempu sensors. We hope this provides a clear idea of what is involved in adding one of these torque sensors to your ebike build.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

What a summer

August 30, 2018 9:26:32 PM PDT

This title says it all. This has been an epic summer and an epic year by any measure. After completing their planned leg of the 2018 Suntrip last month, Justin and Anne-Sophie got married in August with a boat and water themed ceremony, and had the tandem trike safely returned to Vancouver last week.

We've created a single page with all the videos, media links, and a new image gallery from the trip so that you can see access all the info from one place. :

Meanwhile our video editor Aaron has been compiling our varied footage from the trip into short clips. The first day video showing most of the other riders was published a few weeks ago:

And we just completed the 2nd in the series showing highlights from Switzerland through to Serbia:

In the meantime, this has been our busiest summer in the store ever in terms of sales and new product developments. We want to thank Phil and Christoph who both joined the Grin team for the summer months keeping the shop under control and wish them the best in their continued studies.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Grin Customer Profile, Mark Havran

July 6, 2018 5:06:21 PM PDT

For our 2nd ever customer profile we're going to feature Mark Havran.

 

While we're still fairly new to the solar ebike game, Mark is among the (suprisingly numerous) Grin customers who've been thinking about and experimenting with solar bikes for many years. After he shared pictures of his latest project and mentioned his round the world touring ambitions, we thought we had to do a small feature on this guy. A quick last minute trip to Maker Faire was arranged to meet up, and here we present, Mark Havran:

For additional technical details and insights on his build and plans, have a read of his recently started endless-sphere thread

You can also follow Mark's adventures via Instagram at @SolarEbike.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

After quite a long testing and verification period we're finally ready to release our 3.11 firmware update for the CA3! It is highly recommended to update your CA3 to this software, especially if you're on 3.1, for some important bug fixes and much improved PAS response.

You can grab the latest firmware using the CA software utility by clicking the  "Get New Firmware" button - happy flashing!

Firmware Update Please

We are also happy to let everyone know that the Crystalyte motor shipment has finally arrived after some delays at the port!. As you can see, we're very excited to have these back in stock to help you all out with your projects.

Crystalyte Shipment! 

Included in this shipment are the much awaited 3540 motors with their slick "UFO" design. These are the replacements for the older square style "H" motors, you may have noticed that this change was implemented last year with the 3525 front and rear motors. As always, we have the motors customized with a 10K NTC thermistor for thermal rollback using the CA3.

UFO H3540 

 

We also have restocked the classic Stokemonkey direct-drive motor, and Brompton NSM and SAW20 motors.

Posted By Robbie

Suntrip Update

June 25, 2018 2:51:37 PM PDT

We're about 65km out of Zagreb in Croatia now, cloudy weather, stopped for a brief rest on the side of the road... JLE

You can follow Justin's most recent updates on the Endless-Sphere forums - here's his latest post. If you're curious how this whole tandem-solar-pedal-rowing-trike came about, you can start reading at the beginning, here!

Justin and Anne-Sophie have been on the road in Europe for about a week now, catching as much sun as they can on the Suntrip. Since the start of the trip in Lyon and the official start of the race in Chamonix, they have been trending on a more southerly route towards Turkey and Iran. As they get used to the style of travel and the nuances of riding a three-wheeled solar vehicle all day they have had their ups...

Solar Charging after Camping

and downs...

Tipped over trike 

That said, I think their level of stoke so far can be summarized by Justin in this picture...

Exhaustion with a Grin.

Totally destroyed!

Find some lovely photo updates via Instagram when Justin and An'so have WiFi: Grin Tech SunTrip Instagram

The official Suntrip website can be accessed here: https://www.thesuntrip.com/

Happy riding and sunny weather to you both!

Posted By Robbie

Rowing Bikes and the Suntrip, VLog on YouTube

May 14, 2018 3:48:14 AM PDT

The clock is fast approaching with just 3 weeks left before Justin and Anne-Sophie head to France for the Suntrip solar ebike race. We've recently made great progress in adapting a craigslist trike purchase into the back-to-back-tandem-solar-electric-rowbike of our dreams. What started off as this:

Is now looking more like this!

Actually, that's from last weekend. The current iteration has a solar roof installed with electric power and turned plenty of heads on it's maiden solar powered trip to the town of Gibsons and back.

If you want to see all the latest build updates, design challenges, and test rides, then now would be a great time to check out our Youtube channel. We've been doing regular VLog posts in preparation for this trip and will be releasing several videos a week during the upcoming crunch.

And while we are talking about videos and rowing bikes, we wanted to share the conversion project from this winter that partly solidified our decision to do the Suntrip tour with a rowing bike component in the first place.

If you've got a rowing bike of any kind that you've been looking to electrify, we'd love to hear from you too to see if the new rowbike mode PAS feature in the CA3.1 would fit the application. 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Customer Profiles, could you be next?

May 4, 2018 1:36:26 PM PDT

One of our favorite aspects of this business is the numerous amazing and creative people that we get to interact with on a daily basis. Ebike technology has a way of attracting people from all walks of life who see an opportunity to solve problems around mobility and transport, often in ways we would have never imagined.

We have a goal this year to release a monthly video profile on someone with a story to tell. That includes those whose lives has been dramatically affected in some way by ebikes, fellow entrepreneurs pursuing ideas that can positively impact the lives of others, and also those who just relish in their own DIY ebike builds.

We are kicking off this series with a quick look at Keith Forbes. Keith showed up unannounced at our shop a year and a half ago, asking if there may be any work opportunities as he was considering a move to Vancouver from Trinidad and had something of a personal interest in transportation technology. We'll let the video show what he's been up to since then!

 

If you want to stay tuned in to updates like this, now would probably be a good time to subscribe to our youtube channel  We have dozens of videos in our editing pipeline that you won't want to miss. 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

In the last month we introduced two new geared motor options in our lineup.

G60 Fatbike Motor PictureThe first of these is the Bafang G60 fatbike motor. It's got a 175mm axle that can fit fatbikes with up to 190mm dropouts using spacers, it uses a cassette freehub for broadest gear compatibility, and it has an impressive power and torque output that approaches the eZee hub motors.

We've got this hub fully modeled on our simulator and available to purchase as either a bare hub or part of a full kit. Combined with the 140mm Sempu torque sensor it's now possible to do proportional torque assist electric fatbike conversion.

 

Front G311 MotorThe other motor is the G311, a front equivalent to the wonderfully silent G310 rear motors we introduced late last year. This motor will be replacing the G01 hub for our front mini geared kits. It's a tad lighter (2.3kg), much quieter (spiral gears!), but still has the features from the G01 that we loved. That means a side cable exit, ISO disk rotor compatibility, and 10mm round axle.

We have a limited quantity of these new hubs stocked in 3 different winding speeds, from 8.4 to 12 rpm/V for various wheel sizes, and have a large sea shipment due to arrive in early June.

Our remaining fast and standard wind G01 motors are now on sale too.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

2018 Statorade Bump

March 30, 2018 2:08:49 PM PDT

The last 8 months we've been wrapping up some long duration testing of Statorade across different hub motor lines and performing experiments confirming its long term stability. These results have us pumped to introduce this motor cooling solution beyond DIY'ers and into wider markets. As an example, have a look at the video we below showing the effect this has on a small direct drive folding bike motor.

This was filmed last summer when we had a customer requesting a 72V SAW20 Brompton electric conversion. Normally that would be a recipe for motor overheating problems, but as you can see, Statorade is the magic bullet that makes it work.

We've updated our Statorade page to include all the latest test info, and also publicly posted on the forums results on the longevity testing, performance with skateboard hubs, characterization of fill quantity vs RPM, and even wrote a detailed study on the potential benefits of Statorade use in BionX motors.

Hubsinks Installed on Powerful EbikeFor people wanting to push the effects of Statorade to the max, the Australian made Hubsinks can clamp on to your motor shell and provide additional cooling fins to shed heat to ambient air. These fit our new MXUS Cassette motors, and the 9C, Crystalyte H, and many others. These are listed on our new store category for motor cooling mods. And like other small products, we try to  keep a stock of 10mL Statorade syringes on Amazon for easy shipping to US customers. They are sold out now but another shipment is inbound. 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Email Back Up

March 21, 2018 11:07:14 AM PDT

Update: Our email was fully restored by 4:30pm in the afternoon. If you sent us an email that bounced during this time period, please send it again and we should receive it fine this time. 

**********

At the moment our ebikes.ca email accounts are down as we have been pushing through a set of security updates to our server and hit some glitches. We are working hard to resolve this as soon as possible. For anything urgent please reach us by phone.

1-(604) 569-0902

Our web-store, shipping, and operations are still all up and running and there should be no order delays as a result of this, but if you have comments or additions for an order in progress it would be best to communicate that over the landline.  Sorry for any inconveniences. 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore
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