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VEVA Talk on Hub Motors, Wed Dec 21st, 2011, 7:30pm

November 30, 2011 9:23:44 PM PST


Justin will be a guest speaker for the December meeting of the Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association (VEVA). The topic this year is going to be a tell-all tale about everything related to hub motors. Issues will range from the many lessons learned from 7 years of dealing with imported hubs, to technical optimization and modeling details, to glimpses of what may be on the horizon. This should be an exciting talk for those interested to know more about the little engine that makes ebikes move. Location details are here.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Open on Saturdays in December, 2011, 12:00pm - 5pm

November 30, 2011 9:22:00 PM PST


We've extended our store open hours to include Saturdays as well for the past couple weeks and during the rest of December as well. If you're into Christmas shopping for ebike conversion parts or unicycles, we'll be around to make scheduling a trip a little easier. 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore



Margot (17.8K)  
Margot, who has done an amazing job being on the front lines of all of our sales and orders for the past 2 years, is leaving in January for a 6 months volunteer position with a non-profit in Uganda. We would like to collectively thank her for the tireless dedication of making ebikes.ca a friendly place to order from, and to wish her all the best in this next chapter. We'd also like to spread the word that we are looking to hire someone for these difficult to fill shoes.

So if you can vouch for someone in the Vancouver area who has a top notch commitment to customer service, who could learn most of the complexities of ebike parts, and who thrives in the challenging and multi-tasking environment of a startup, then let us know. Job posting on craigslist is here.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Multi Mode Lumenator

October 31, 2011 9:18:46 PM PDT


We've had lots of wonderful feedback about the 1000 lumen Lumenatorlight since releasing it last year. But some occasional complaints arethat it is too bright to use in areas dense with people, and also thatthe button could sometimes be hard to push. We've addressed both ofthese with the new multimode Lumenator, which uses a remote button thatlets you turn the the light on and off without taking your hand of thegrip, and also lets you cycle through multiple brightness modes.

The first production batch is in final assembly stages and should be available on Nov 21st. They are available to buy on the store site and we've reduced the price of the standard Lumenator too!

 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

November 2011 Homepage Update

October 31, 2011 9:18:00 PM PDT




It's November, and we're all hoping that you've all recovered from Hallowe'en shenanigans and are starting to plan your over-winter electric bicycle build projects. There's nothing quite like rainy days to huddle in the garage and start building a rocking bike for next year. And for us, it's a time to buckle down a bit and focus on original R&D projects for next season too.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Make a Vote for Cycling

August 2, 2011 2:56:00 AM PDT

Vote_for_cycling (10.9K)

It's rare that we get involved with anything political, but then again it's rare that a city is blessed to have a visionary mayor who knows how to deliver on a cycling promise and is willing to shake up the infrastructure to accomodate it. Since starting off with the Burrard Bridge experiment in 2009 to the Hornby and Dunsmuir separated bike lanes, bicycle ridership has increased significantly in the city due to the decisive leadership of Gregor Robertson. And this with the planners still largely unaware of how big of a role electric bicycles will play in the near future to take cycling to even greater masses.

We give Gregor Robertson and the Vision slate a big endorsement in the upcoming Nov 19th municipal election, and we hope that those similarly affected will take the time out to vote. The stakes are rather high with the main challenger threatening to undo much of the progress recently made.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Rare Earth Metals get Dear

August 1, 2011 7:56:09 PM PDT


Those following business and economics will be aware that China has restricted export quotas on the materials used to make rare-earth magnets, which has caused price increases of 6 fold on Neodymium since the start of this year. That is great news in that rare earth mines all over the world can now open and produce these materials with much better environmental and health standards. However, it does mean that the magnets used in ebike motors are about 3 times as expensive as they used to be, which causes a 50-70% rise in the cost of direct drive hub motors and a somewhat lower rise in the cost of geared motors.

We still have the old prices listed for our remaining 9C motor stock, but as soon as the next shipment arrives in 2 weeks then expect the price on these and the associated 9C based direct drive kits to go up accordingly. 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

What's Next?

June 2, 2011 7:33:41 PM PDT

We've still been quite busy setting up all of the lab and shop space at our new building, sourcing and laying out the tools and equipment necessary to make this place into a powerhouse for ebike product development. Check the images below to see some of the progress to date.

Power Electronics Lab   Complete Machine Shop
The remaining work is expected to take us until the end of summer. After that, we are finally going to put the same amount of energy into renovating our virtual online space. People sometimes think we're a bit stuck in the 90's with our simple html site that hasn't changed too much since the UBC electric bike club days. Well, we're not incompetent, it's just that our development priorities so far have always been on the nuts and bolts side. We acquired the domain ebikes.com last summer and are excited about setting that up for our more modern and up-to-date web presence later this year.
Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

The venerable 400 and 5300 motor series that got so many enthusiasts started on ebikes has now been formally discontinued by Crystalyte (about time some would say!). The good news is that Crystalyte is now producing a new HS/HT motor series that is based on the same efficient motor construction style as Nine Continent, but with much better mechanical fit for bicycle and disk brake compatibility. For a more complete summary of the improvements see the postings on the Endless Sphere thread here.

We sampled these motors in January and have put them up on our simulator. We expect to receive our stock available for purchase in mid-July, and these will be the first bulk batch of sensored HS/HT 35mm motors delivered in North America, so that they will be fully backwards compatible with all the sensored motor controllers.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Other Stock Updates

June 1, 2011 7:31:00 PM PDT

Infineon Controllers: After our recent shipment vanished in transit, we're still sorting out a situation. Our next batch when it does come will finally have a universal voltage range, so that the same unit can run from 24V to 72V batteries without any need to change resistors on the circuitboard.

eZee batteries: We have had good supply all year of the 3 battery types alluded to above, but the high range 36V 14Ah and standard 36V 9Ah options will be sold out soon, with only the 48V 10Ah battery option remaining. Next shipment from eZee is scheduled to arrive mid-July. 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

June 2011, When No News is Good News!

June 1, 2011 7:31:00 PM PDT


In case people are worried we have fallen off the map with no news updates since February, rest assured this is not the case. Rather things have been so busy setting up our new shop space that there has been little time left for posting on the website. We'll try to summarize all that has gone on with the following updates.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore




We've traditionally been heavily involved activities around June, from the VEVA Electrafest to Car Free Days to Velopalooza and assorted Bike Month events. Unfortunately we've had to bow out of participating in all of these this year. But there is one new event coming to town that we are most excited about and will be a big part of. Vancouver is hosting its very own Maker Faire! We missed traveling down to the San Francisco event in May but will take part in the Vancouver event in a big way. Locals should definitely make a point of coming out to see creative DIY projects of all kinds on display.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Canada Post Strike

June 1, 2011 7:31:00 PM PDT




Just a heads up that since the announcement of potential strikes at Canada Post last week, we have been automatically upgrading all Canada Post / USPS orders to Fedex ground service for shipments in North America. We will still continue to honor the Canada Post price as quoted on our website for these orders. For overseas shipments, it means we can no longer safely send packages via standard airmail, and customers will have to pay for the Fedex International Priority service instead or wait for the strike to wind down.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Logo Contest, We have a Winner (and a Logo!)

June 1, 2011 7:31:00 PM PDT




We're happy to announce Evan Sandercock, a 15 year old ebike enthusiast from Alberta, as the winner of our Grin Tech logo contest from last winter. His idea of a smiling electrical plug was simple and effectively captured the essence of what we do. After several months of additional doodling and consultation with a professional designer we have shaped it into the logo shown here. Congratulations to Evan who gets $1000 in ebikes.ca store credit, we can't wait to see the projects you do with it.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Update on our 2011 Battery Plans

June 1, 2011 7:31:00 PM PDT




Those who've followed us over the past 6 years will remember that at various times we've carried multitudes of batteries from many manufacturers in all different voltages, chemistries, and form factors. This has lead to a wealth of firsthand battery experience, sometimes rewarding but mostly filled with hair pulling frustration.

We've decided for this year to simplify things (cut our losses) and just carry 3 battery choices from eZee that have proven dependable so far. The 36V 9Ah LiFePO4 as a standard option, a 36V 14Ah Samnsung LiMn pack for extra range, and 48V 10Ah Samsung LiMn for extra speed. All of these batteries in the same compact eZee flat pack enclosure casing. It's a tight form factor that we like, and there are several rack mounting options to facility secure attachment to the bicycle.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Straight 13g Sapim spokes

June 1, 2011 7:31:00 PM PDT


We have purchased a new spoke machine and die set specifically for cutting straight 13 gauge spokes, in order to offer better compatibility with existing ebike spokes that are typically 13g (2.3mm). These are now our standard custom spoke offering (instead of the butted 13/14 Phil Wood spokes we sold before), with Belgium made Sapim stainless steel spokes available in either silver of black oxide. These are a serious improvement over the chinese 13g spokes that Nine Continent use in their wheel builds, and for those wanting a rugged wheel we recommend having the hub relaced. 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Cycle Analyst Grows Up

June 1, 2011 7:31:00 PM PDT


The original small screen Cycle Analyst has now been formally discontinued in lieu of exclusively making the Large Screen units. It has been an interesting run for 5 years but the process of machining and retrofitting an off-the-shelf enclosure box to make it hold our circuitry and work on a bike handlebar has run its course. The large screen unit with our custom molded enclosure is better in nearly all regards, and because of the high demand we've been able to drop the price to match what the small screen sold for.

Use your Cycle Analyst with 12V Batteries



We also changed the standard CA board layout in May with a new regulator that allows the standard CA to operate all the way down to 10V. That makes it now compatible with the many 12V battery systems people may want to monitor (marine, solar, backup, etc.)

And use it up to 350V too!

At the other end we have also been listening to the performance electric motorbike crowd that keeps demanding dangerously higher and higher voltages. We have increased the standard upper voltage range to 150V instead of 100V, and now offer a high voltage upgrade option that goes all the way to 350V instead of 200V. The differences between the Revision11 and previous boards are summarized below:



Rev 10 and Earlier PCBs
Minimum Voltage - 15V
Maximum Voltage - 100V
High Voltage Upgrade - 200V

Rev 11 PCB
Minimum Voltage - 10V
Maximum Voltage - 150V
High Voltage Upgrade - 350V (400V survival)

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Dim Red Backlight Option

June 1, 2011 7:31:00 PM PDT


We've had occasional feedback that the backlight on the Cycle Analyst can affect night vision for some people when riding in the dark. In order to accommodate those with this sensitivity, we've had the large screen LCD modules retooled to include two sets of LEDs. The standard white LED is connected by default and produces a nice and brightly backlit display. But if that is too much, then a small solder jumper to the pad labeled 'R' will illuminate a dimmer red backlight instead. This still lights up the screen at night, but with a red light that doesn't dilate the pupils.



Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Cycle Analogger goes Analog

June 1, 2011 7:31:00 PM PDT


The firmware for our data logging device has been updated to include two additional analog input lines (0-5V). This means that in addition to the CA data and GPS data, the CycleAnalogger can also record signals for logging other vehicle parameters, such as throttle voltage or motor temperature. A simple configuration file allows the device to directly record temperature from an inexpensive thermistor probe. Details on installing the firmware and using the voltage input lines are included here. 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

CA Availability Note

June 1, 2011 7:31:00 PM PDT


Since going live with the large screen Cycle Analyst earlier this year we've been overwhelmed with the demand and have had a hard time keeping our production and supply chain up. As a result, we've been frequently run out of stock and dealer orders have faced longer than normal lead times. Please accept our apologies for this as we tool up to handle the higher production volumes.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

144 Hole eZee Hub Motors

June 1, 2011 7:31:00 PM PDT

144_Hole_Hub_TN (4K)

We had an experimental batch of universal front eZee hub motors made up with 144 spoke holes in the flange. Our idea was that they could be laced into 36 hole rims by using every 4th hole, 48 hole rims by using every 3rd hole, or the common 32 hole rims by alternating spokes every 4th and 5th hole. Or if you have LOTS of time on your hands, they could be laced into the 144 hole chopper rims for a real snazzy wheel.In the past we have only sold eZee motors built into wheels as part of complete kits, but these units are an opportunity for those wanting to purchase just the geared hub motor only, ready to be laced into your custom project. They are available on our eZee store page with both the standard (26") and fast (20") winding options.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Straight 13g Sapim spokes

June 1, 2011 7:31:00 PM PDT

We have purchased a new spoke machine and die set specifically for cutting straight 13 gauge spokes, in order to offer better compatibility with existing ebike spokes that are typically 13g (2.3mm). These are now our standard custom spoke offering (instead of the butted 13/14 Phil Wood spokes we sold before), with Belgium made Sapim stainless steel spokes available in either silver of black oxide. These are a serious improvement over the chinese 13g spokes that Nine Continent use in their wheel builds, and for those wanting a rugged wheel we recommend having the hub relaced.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Update on our 2011 Battery Plans

June 1, 2011 7:31:00 PM PDT

Old_Batteries_TN (6K)

Those who've followed us over the past 6 years will remember that at various times we've carried multitudes of batteries from many manufacturers in all different voltages, chemistries, and form factors. This has lead to a wealth of firsthand battery experience, sometimes rewarding but mostly filled with hair pulling frustration.

We've decided for this year to simplify things (cut our losses) and just carry 3 battery choices from eZee that have proven dependable so far. The 36V 9Ah LiFePO4 as a standard option, a 36V 14Ah Samnsung LiMn pack for extra range, and 48V 10Ah Samsung LiMn for extra speed. All of these batteries in the same compact eZee flat pack enclosure casing. It's a tight form factor that we like, and there are several rack mounting options to facility secure attachment to the bicycle.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore
Grin_Logo (4K)

We're happy to announce Evan Sandercock, a 15 year old ebike enthusiast from Alberta, as the winner of our Grin Tech logo contest from last winter. His idea of a smiling electrical plug was simple and effectively captured the essence of what we do. After several months of additional doodling and consultation with a professional designer we have shaped it into the logo shown here. Congratulations to Evan who gets $1000 in ebikes.ca store credit, we can't wait to see the projects you do with it.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

It turns out that moving our operation to a new building is a much larger undertaking than even we had imagined. In spite of everyone working around the clock and over the weekend, we're going to need at least the rest of this week before we can be up and running again and able to carry on with orders, and answer emails and phone calls. We thank everyone for their patience here while we sort through and reorganize 4 years of accumulated stuff and finalize all the systems in our space:

  uHaul_TN (11K)   Moving_Boxes_TN (11K)   Mark_Closing Shop2 (66K)
Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Closing Down our Shop on Main Street Feb 28th

February 2, 2011 7:27:19 PM PST

In early 2007 we took the step of graduating from a garage operation to leasing a commercial property on Main Street to run this business. Starting off with two people and 400 square feet, we gradually took over adjacent rooms to make way for R&D facilities, a manufacturing workshop, storage warehouse, packing and shipping room, and a slew of new people. It's been fun adventure over the past four years, but one that has run its course. We just can't fit our ambitions or run efficiently in this awkward crumbling building.

Bikes_Stencil_TN (4K)For_Rent_TN (5K)

The old bicycles and tricycle that we had stenciled into the sidewalk pavers will live on to mark this spot of Vancouver well after the building gets demolished. But we are saying our farewells to Main and taking our next big step

... And Moving to a New Building in False Creek

Starting March 1st, we will be operating from a much larger shop at the corner of 4th and Ontario, not far from the Olympic village, a multitude of bike stores, and a host of light industrial businesses. With over twice the square footage and 22 foot high ceilings we'll be able to pack in more activities and supplies in order to see this electric bicycle movement continue to flourish here and abroad. It's something we are all happy and excited about:

Showcase_TN (18K)Small Celebration

View from inside looking up at the mezannine

What this means for you

With less than 3 weeks to go before we move, things are pretty busy and a little bit hectic here. There is a lot of renovation and prep work to set up the new building to work for us, plus a big effort to move everything over. As far as possible, we will attempt to process all orders during this time period and avoid any shutdown delays during the move, so that things as seamless as possible for you. However, we do ask that people refrain from any RMA return shipping this way until we can post our new address. As well, there is a possibility that our phone system will be out of commission for a few days on either side of the transition, and non-critical emails may be put off for a while too.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

A 3 Speed Geared Unicycle Build

January 8, 2011 7:56:09 PM PST

 

3Speed_Uni_TN (16K)


One of the projects Justin completed in time for the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire was a 3 speed geared unicycle based on the Sturney Archer S3X fix gear internal hub. This was initially done as a proof-of-concept device, but has since proven to be eminently rideable as well. The full build pictures can be seen on the unicyclist forum. The next step in the process is combining this multi-speed pedal gearing with the electric unicycle hub of 2010 and create the ultimate one-wheeled commuter.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Button Throttles

January 8, 2011 7:56:09 PM PST

 

Button_Throttle (11K)


We've also received a new delivery of twist and half-twist throttles that have a built in momentary push button. We have these wired and terminated such that the button leads simply plug into the ebrake input of our Infineon motor controllers, so that people can use the button to engage regen and not need to change over their brake levers. Handy. 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore


It's been a struggle but we have finally succeeded in getting our supply of Infineon based motor controllers modified appropriately to operate with a universal input voltage range. The 20 and 35A models have a 19V cutoff with regen up to 58V, and hence work fine from 24V to 48V packs. Meanwhile the 25 and 40A models with IRFB4110 mosfets work with 36V to 72V batteries, with a 26V cutoff and regen all the way to 88V. No more need to change resistors around to work with different pack voltages. Additional details explained on the controllers page which has recently been revamped. 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore


4 months after ordering them we finally received our shipment of the latest Crystalyte motors, giving more power and proper disk brake compatibility to our Direct Drive motor options. These are described in detail here, along with associated problems people have had to date. We've also received a stock of sensorless Crystalyte controllers modified with proper CA-DP compatibility, allowing power to the hub motor without the need for hall signals. Unlike previous sensorless controllers, these can effectively start from a standstill. Our direct drive kits page has been revamped accordingly to make it easier to build up your ideal customized DIY kit. 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Online Ebike Simulator gets Royal Upgrade

January 8, 2011 7:56:09 PM PST


Simulator_Vehicle (7K)
Simulator3_Graph (11K)Thanks to the tireless work of Michael Vass over the previous month, our

  online simulator has now been fully flushed out as originally intended to model not just hub motors but the complete vehicles as well. Additional upgrades include numeric data readout, vertical cursor bar, range prediction, thermal burn-out time, improved custom parts entry, system compare options, selectable graph lines, and much more.
Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Cycle Analyst for RC Speed Controllers

January 8, 2011 7:56:09 PM PST


RC_CA_Example (12K)
We are in the midst of a beta release of a CA version that has a variable pulse width (PPM) output instead of a voltage output, allowing it to drive ebikes running with R/C equipment. In a nutshell, you can use a conventional ebike throttle to feed into the CA, and the CA will then drive the RC speed controller with the required 1-2mS servo signal, eliminating the need for servo tester boxes and other 3rd party hardware. Additional details on this endless-sphere thread. We will do another run of beta R/C boards in early September, and have a special page here for ordering.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

December 2010 Hours

December 1, 2010 11:24:19 AM PST


It is getting mighty close to Holiday time. We've never experienced much of a Christmas shopping frenzy in the DIY ebike community, but in case there are one-wheeled gifts we are opening at least the Unicycle section of the store on Saturdays this December.

Then from Dec 22nd to Jan 3rd we will stay open but with reduced capacity and minimal staff. We will try to reply to all emails, but any issues that are not urgent will be handled in the first week of January. 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Introducing the Cycle Analogger

December 1, 2010 11:24:19 AM PST




The number geeks are going to love our latest ebike accessory - the Cycle Analogger. This compact device takes the serial data output of the CA and records it as a text file to an SD memory card for detailed post trip analysis.

It also has the facility to simultaneously record data from a GPS device to the memory card at the same time. That opens up the possibility for visual display of a trip in Google Earth, showing your energy usage at each step along the way.



Both the standard ($99) and GPS models ($150) are available now. They have a built in DC-DC converter so that they can run directly from your ebike battery pack (10-100V input range). If purchased at the same time as a CA, we will pre-solder the necessary data and power wires from the Cycle Analyst so that the unit has plug-and-play connectivity. Specification Sheet is available for download here

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Large Screen CA Rollout Increased

December 1, 2010 11:24:19 AM PST

CA_Dims_TN (4K)

After a Beta run that helped us iron out a few minor issues, we are now releasing the Large Screen Cycle Analyst for general sales, both as a Direct Plug-in (or DPS) model for connecting to controllers and as a High Current / High Voltage version for the electric motorbike and scooter community.

As well, we can supply just the box and membrane switches only for those who previously purchased the large screen OEM devices with no enclosure, but who want one in their application.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Logo Follow-up

December 1, 2010 11:24:19 AM PST


Thank you immensely for all the submissions we received (over 90 in all) for the Grin Tech Logo Contest. After going through all of them many times along with our own sketches, we've narrowed things down to several concept ideas that really ring true. At this stage, we are looking to bring in the help of a design professional to assist with the larger picture of figuring how the look and feel will incorporate with the website, product literature etc. So it will be a little while yet before can announce the (likely shared) prize winners. 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Logo Contest, keep them coming until Dec 5th

December 1, 2010 11:24:19 AM PST




Thanks for all of the many submissions we've received as we try to come up with the right logo and look for the new "Grin" name. We are trying to find a clever or fun way of branding "GRIN" that we can use on all the parts that we've been making here (Cycle Analysts, Torque Arms, ebike lights, etc) as well as the many new things that are in our development pipeline.

Some people have asked for additional clarifications on what we are after, so we've put up a small Logo Contest FAQ page here..We're going on a retreat Dec 5th so try to get your ideas in before then.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Rechargeable Battery Talk Video

November 1, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT


We had numerous requests from people to record the talk that Justin gave on his 7 years of firsthand experience with ebike batteries. Unfortunately our video recording skills came through poorly at best, but for those willing to watch 2 hours of grainy footage to understand some of the challenges of dealing with rechargeable batteries, it all begins here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5frJlJiCS34&feature=related

Or you could follow on the endless-sphere thread.

We've also made the original slide images available as a PDF document.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore




Next Wednesday evening, Justin will be delivering a presentation at the monthly VEVA meeting at BCIT, called "Lead Free since 2003". This will be an informative and entertaining summary of all his experiences, lessons, and tribulations with advanced rechargeable batteries since he got involved with electric bikes seven years ago. There is a reason that so many in the EV business groan at the mention of batteries, and this presentation will show you why in all the gory details. The talk is at 7:30pm at the BCIT cafeteria, and is open to both VEVA members and the public.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore




The Vancouver Public Library is hosting an event on Saturday Nov 20th from 12:00 - 3:30pm that features innovating organizations as part their "One Book, One Vancouver" program. This all stems from Vancouverites choosing The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as their favorite book to read. We've been invited to participate and will have a booth and demo vehicles for people to ride and learn what we believe the future has in store. Note, due to some unforeseen circumstances we will no longer be able to host a booth at the innovation expo, though it will still be a great event to check out.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

GRIN Logo Contest - $1000 Prize

November 1, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT


Since renaming our company GRIN in May, we have been struggling a bit to come up with an ideal logo to go along with it. Our little flying ebiker that serves as the ebikes.ca homepage logo (dating back to the UBC electric bike club days) is fun, but too complex. Do you think you have an idea that suits our style and image? A stylized way of writing "GRIN" with a doodle that communicates what we're into?

If so, we'll be giving away $1000 USD of store credit if someone comes up with a design that we like and decide to use. So feel free to send any sketch ideas that you have via email to logo@ebikes.ca 

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

DrainBrain Appreciation Month

November 1, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT


Back in 2005, Justin and his friend Matt Chudleigh spent a summer after university figuring out how to design and build a dedicated display meter for ebikes, with no real idea what they were getting into.











This unit was christened the "DrainBrain", and its eventual success turned our operation into what it is now. It's time to show our appreciation to these early adopters who took a leap of faith in our technology when we were just a couple guys in a garage. So, from now until the end of November, we will be offering the new large display Cycle Analyst at 50% off to anyone who purchased and still owns an original DrainBrain from 2005/2006.



In order to get this, please send a photo of your bike setup with a "DrainBrain" running, or send a copy of your original order details, and we will get you on queue for the new Large Screen unit with enclosure for just $75. It's our way of saying thanks, things would have never happened without you. The world owes a lot to Early Adopters.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Large Screen Cycle Analyst

November 1, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT




It has been well over a year in the making, but we have at last our own custom enclosure molded for the large display screen Cycle Analyst. This means regular ebikers and not just large EVs can make use of the wider screen and font size, while only taking up a bit more real estate on the handlebar than the original CA.

Some other improvements we made:

* Silicone Rubber Keypad. Left and Right push buttons have more responsive tactile feel
* Glued and sealed scratch resistant window, clear visibility to backlight LCD screen without risk of water damage
* Brass inserts in all screw holes - Open and close the CA as many times as you want without worry of stripping plastic threads
* Mounting Options - In addition to a horizontal hold that fits our standard handlebar bracket, there is a 1/4" threaded insert to allow easy customized attachment schemes and compatibility with handlebar camera mounts
* More cable ports - We now have 6 tapered channels in the back plate for feeding wires. So there is no problem adding additional cables for Lumenator lights, data logging circuits, throttle interceptors, DC converters, speedometer sensors and whatnot.



Inserts_TN (6K)



We are currently engaged in a beta-testers release of this device to early DrainBrain users, with full scale production beginning in mid-December.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

14Ah eZee/Samsung Battery Packs

November 1, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT




We now have a new higher capacity battery option for both the eZee and Nine Continent kits. This 36V pack squeezes 14 Ah of capacity into the light and low-profile eZee flat enclosure box, using the same Samsung cells that have been working so well in our 48V packs. These flat packs also have an eZee double-decker carrier rack option which can be selected in lieu of the seat post clamping mountain bike rack, making it easier to carry panniers and additional cargo. We have a limited number of both on hand and coming in during the ensuing weeks, but full stock will not be until Jan 2011.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Geared Schlumpf Unicycle Hub

November 1, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT




2010 has been a summer that was filled with unicycle events in Vancouver; from the popular Wednesday drop-in rides at Science World, to the Muni Weekend that saw over 50 mountain unicycle enthusiasts converge here from all over the continent, to the making and unveiling of a one-wheeled electric assist vehicle. We're committed to fostering the scene and are pleased to now carry the Schlumpf 2-speed uni-hub. This hub takes unicycle commuting to a whole new level (the level of bicycles!), allowing you to gear the unicycle up to go 50% faster at the click of a heel.

The KH model Schlumpf hubs are in stock and can be built into any unicycle frame that uses 42mm ball bearing cups.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

VeloAmp Bump

November 1, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT




Sometimes great products get a little bit buried in the list of parts on our store site. Last month a small group of us with ebikes were on a ferry from Saltspring Island when some other passengers started to inquire about all the wires and gadgets on the bikes. A short demo of Bruce's ebike with the VeloAmp Sound System soon turned into a full fledged dance party on the ferry deck that lasted the entire trip. Click below for footage:



Guys, you can do this too! Bring fine high fidelity music to public spaces with all the energy stored in your ebike battery pack. Bruce has now made a webpage for his VeloAmp project with additional information and specs, and we keep them in good stock on our store accessories page. We are still looking for handlebar mount speakers that can do justice to this amplifier, but in the meantime quality house speakers do the job well.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

CNN at VEVA's ElectraFest, Sept 12th

September 12, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT




In spite of the non-stop rain, there was a great turnout at the annual VEVA electric vehicle show on Sunday. This included a sample "Tango" which is one electric car we can get behind (unlike those Tesla roadsters), a few well converted electric bikes and trikes, and even a vintage 1950's outboard motor converted to electric power. A reporter from CNN happened to show up and took some interest in the electric assist unicycle, which got featured in an iReport here. Looks like Justin set himself up for a bit of a ride next summer!

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

Nine Continent Disk Motors

September 4, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT




After evaluating samples in June, we received our first shipment of disk brake compatible Nine Continent hub motors earlier this summer. The rear motors now have a flat side covers with an integrated 44mm bolt pattern for a disk rotor on the left, and have their spoke flanges shifted to the right as well for a more centered wheel that requires less dishing. They've even squeezed an ISO disk mount on the front motors too, with a flat profile left side cover that leaves just enough room for a disk and a skinny (< 14mm) caliper.

More details can be seen here and we've prepared the front and rear mechanical drawings as well.

We had a large delivery of these disk motors in July, but they have mostly sold out with the exception of front 20" 2805 and 26" 2806 wheels. Next shipment is due to arrive around Sept 18th, including a fresh stock of rear hubs in the 5, 6, and 7 turn windings.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Return of 20A and 35A Controllers

September 4, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT


We now carry in stock two less expensive infineon controller options that use 60V transistors. These units cannot be modified for 72V, but for those sticking to 36V or 48V operation they are good value. We have a small 6 mosfet controller that has a 20A battery current limit and a larger 12 mosfet version with a 35A rating. Both are available independently and as options for the Nine Continent kits. 
Posted By Adam Burvill

UBC Team Crosses Canada in Electric Beetle

September 4, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT




On Sept 6th a small team of UBC engineering students stepped out of a converted Volkswagon bug arrived in Halifax, having just completed the first Canadian coast-to-coast treck in a pure electric car. As with Justin's ebike trip in 2008, they did this in real style with minimal funding and no support vehicle, charging up along the way with existing grid infrastructure, and proving that youthful determination can achieve feats that coorporate giants can only dream of. Congratulations to Ricky and crew. See their blog postings here.

The image on the left shows the LiFePO4 battery pack on the bug when they stopped by our shop briefly before the departure.
Posted By Adam Burvill

VEVA Electra Fest Show

September 4, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT


Many people were a bit surprised that VEVA didn't host their annual REV! electric vehicle show this summer. Well no worries, they are organizing a fall event this weekend called Electra Fest. It will be a full-on show of electric vehicles of all shapes and sizes. So come down for this free show at the Concord Pacific just north of Science World, 10am to 4pm on Sunday. We'll be there.
Posted By Adam Burvill


The electric bike show hosted in conjunction with eatART's Power the VAG event brought together a great collection of people and ebikes, including the famous Luke (liveforphysics) who came up from Washington state with his 14kW RC rocket bike. See his postings on the ES forum. Huge thanks to Melisa who showed up just in time to be our celebrity judge and event photographer. See her Flickr page for photo summary, list of prize winners, and funny commentary.

Posted By Justin Lemire-Elmore

kWhr Ride

September 1, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT


Not to forget, this Friday, Sept 10th, is the monthly kilowatt hour ebike ride. Meeting at the Vancouver Central Library at 6pm as usual.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Final Cycle Analyst Giveaways

September 1, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT


We're going to wrap up the great Cycle Analyst giveaway contest with four more submissions for the last two months of summer. The winners are: Pete Chaloner in Ottawa who built a converted an EZ-3 trike for his wife who can't ride a regular bike due to with a degenerative lower back problems, but who has now happily clocked over 6000 km on the electric. Scott Bellinger, who has built a minimal assist tadpole running just an 85 watt motor through a Rholoff hub. Michael Elliott of Phoenix AZ who built his Crazybike2 submission submission entirely from Junk and recycled parts. And finally Sharangan Vithiyatharan and his engineering team at the University of Melbourne for their Urban Transporter project.


Pete Chaloner (err Cindy)


Redboy by Scott Bellinger


Crazybike by Michael Elliott


Urban Transporter
Posted By Adam Burvill

We're excited about the homemade electric bike show coming up this Sunday, including some people coming in from way out of town to show their system. Setup at the Vancouver Art Gallery happens at 11am, with the prizes awarded at 2 o'clock, and plenty of time to hang out with neat people right until the event ends at 7pm.

For those who want to bring a bike to show, don't be intimidated! Anything that you have made which you are proud of we would love to have on display, and there are lots of prizes to give out. The registration details are here.
Posted By Adam Burvill

We have additional details for the electric bike show we are hosting in partnership with the event eatART Powers the VAG 2010. We'll be awarding prizes for 6 different categories, so if you have an interesting electric bike you've built then please indicate your intent to come by registering online.
Posted By Adam Burvill



Our good friends at eatART have their 2nd annual fundraiser and energy awareness event taking place at the Vancouver Art Gallery on June 27th "eatART Powers the VAG 2010" (or here for the facebook page). This will include bicycle powered sound systems and numerous other projects that highlight energy awareness and consumption through creative and interactive engineering art projects.

To add to the fun, we thought it is a great occasion to bring together all of the handy ebike project builders in the region and throw the first homemade ebike design contest. This will be a chance to showcase to the public just how accessible, practical, and awesome an electric bike can be for reducing your overall energy footprint. We will have the exact contest categories, judging criteria, and a submission form prepared at the start of June. However, we are putting the word out now so that if you've had some pet project underway or on the to-do list, there is now a little extra incentive to get it rolling with a firm deadline on the calendar. Entering the competition will be free, and prizes will be plentiful.
Posted By Adam Burvill

48V Lithium Batteries

June 15, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT






EARLIER this year we worked with eZee to produce a 48V option of their convenient flat rack mounted lithium pack, and are glad to now have a large quantity available and in stock now. The 48V 8Ah lithium battery is made from 3C rated Samsung cells and is a mere 3.3kg in weight, with a 25A output current capability. Sourcing reliable 48V packs has been an unexpected challenge for us over the past several years, but our testing on this one so far gives a lot of confidence. Discharge profile is shown in the graph on the right.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Electric Bike Perspective - Article

June 15, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT




Momentum Magazine asked us to do a small piece about the electric bicycle community for their online content related to different bicycle sub-cultures. We decided to explore where the North American side of this movement has come from with a bit of historic perspective that may be overlooked. A big thank you to Felicio Sadalla, Joshua Goldberg, Morgan Giddings, Barrie Wilkinson, Stéphane Melançon, and Coffee Luke for taking considerable time to share their stories.









(7K)

Unfortunately there were issues getting all of the images to a standard for the published piece, so we put all the intended pictures that were to accompany the text in the table above.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Local Customers: 1 Week before HST

June 15, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT


At the start of July, we will be required to charge the full 12% HST tax on our ebike kits as opposed the the 5% GST only that was charged before, as electric bicycles were exempted from provincial tax. Local residents considering a purchase soon may want to factor this into consideration.

Although the tax break on electric bikes was nice, we understand that it's simpler and more fair to just have the same sales tax apply to everything rather than a complex set of exceptions. Our only real beef is that gasoline for vehicles was one of the very few things made exempt from the extra 7%, of all items that deserve to have a consumption tax gas should be first on the list.
Posted By Adam Burvill

The winner of our June 15th Cycle Analyst Giveaway prize goes to Kristin Rule of Australia. She is about to leave on a solo promotional tour of her new album, with her Cello strapped to a Yuba Mundo cargo bike and a little help from an electric assist "Watt-Bot" trailer made by her partner Andy. The rig and the ride are both genius and a perfect example of how electric assist, cargo bikes, and a bit of inspired craziness can fuse into fascinating pursuits that wouldn't have previously been possible. Read Kristin's full description of her setup and her ambitions here.





The only thing missing on her bike is a Cycle Analyst to replace the analog voltage and amp meters strapped to the frame, and that Kristin is on its way. It's hard to imagine a more deserving case. Congratulations and safe travels.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Main Street Car-Free Day Wrap-Up

June 1, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT


Finally, we wanted to say what a great time we had with the Car-Free festival this past weekend. We had no idea that one railing installed in the middle of the road to practice unicycling could be so popular. Thanks to everyone who showed up with their ebikes and unicycles and helped to make a fun, interactive, and educational event, and to all the Car-Free Vancouver volunteers who work hard to make this happen over the full 17 block stretch.







Posted By Adam Burvill

Other Events in June 2010

June 1, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT


There is always a lot of bike and ebike activity happening in Vancouver come June. Many have already taken place but here is just a short list of some other coming events to check out:

* kWhr ebike Ride, Sat June 11th: Electric bicycle riders meet up at 5:30 by the central library for this monthly ride around town. June will be a beach and barbecue event, so bring food, drinks, and charcoal if you got it.

* Central Valley Greenway, Sat June 12th: The Greenway is celebrating its one year anniversary since opening as the longest east-west bicycle path in greater Vancouver. Join the group ride in New Westminster or come for just for the lunch and entertainment near Sterling Station.

* Velopalooza, June 4-13th: The 10 days of Velopalooza 2010 is packed with activity, including street festivals, themed rides, performances, workshops, and much more.

* Car Free Day, Sun June 20t:h This year, Car Free Day on Main street extends all the way up to 33rd avenue. That includes our shop! We couldn't be happier, with the party going right past our front door. The event takes place all day on June 20th and we will have electric bikes, trikes, skateboards, and unicycles of all types for people to ride.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Single Sided Crystalyte Motors

June 1, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT




We've had numerous customers use our Crystalyte 400 series project motor axles to build unique and innovative vehicles. Most of the time these involved supporting the hub from one side only, so we decided to have Crystalyte make us a batch of motors explicitly for this very purpose. We now have a stock of ready to go 405 and 406 hubs with a solid 3/4" thick axle and disk brake mount for the range of homebrew electric Trike, Quad, and Trailer projects. As well, we've replenished our supply of the powerful and disk compatible 5303 and 5304 hub motors for those looking for high-power setups.

Posted By Adam Burvill



Our end of May Cycle Analyst Giveaway goes to a local guy this time, Richard Johns in Vancouver. We've seen Richard come in to our shop several times over the years with his ever evolving concept of an all around utility bike. It started initially from a Cyclone conversion with a custom battery and motor mount setup, and has grown to include a full fiberglass fairing with child seat, waterproof trunk bins, removable rain shield and even a towable trailer for the kids. Richard's blog details his experience and philosophies on the project and does a good job of highlighting the many features that electric assist makes possible.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Electric Unicycle Sign-Up List

May 31, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT




Justin's experiments with an electric assist unicycle first shown at the Maker Faire in May have been pretty successful. For those curious about this project, you can see a build description on the endless-sphere forum and some of the ride experience on unicyclist.com. At this point, we are toying with doing a small manufacturing run of a couple dozen units if there is enough interest out there for early adopters of a hubmotor based electric uni conversion kit. If this gets you excited, then please fill out our form to sign up for the electric uni email notification list.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Closure for Maker Faire, May 21-24th, 2010

May 21, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT


Coming up is the Victoria Day long weekend, and Justin and some crew will be heading down to the Maker Faire just south of San Francisco, with a few home-made gadgets for people to ride. As a result, the shop will be closed Saturday, May 22nd, but will be open again as usual the following Tuesday. Any ebike enthusiasts in or around the area should check it out, as there are lots of inspiring DIY projects being showcased and a number of characters from the endless-sphere forum will be there too.







Two years ago our side-by-side sociable tandem ebike took off all around the fairgrounds with a mind of its own. Unfortunately it's too big to take on the train down this time around, so we'll be bringing mostly single-wheeled vehicles which are more compact.
Posted By Adam Burvill

As of May 4th, we formally changed our business identity from "The Renaissance Bicycle Company" to "Grin Technologies Ltd."

This was in part because we were frequently mistaken for a bicycle shop, but mostly because we wanted a name that better reflects the increasing amount of Electric Vehicle technology development in which we are actively involved. Our goal is to spread the EVGrin far and wide through the design, manufacture, and distribution of cutting edge ebike components.

You can still refer to us as ebikes.ca too, but the things that we make (Cycle Analysts, Torque Arms, DC-DC Converters, Lighting Systems and no doubt more to come) will be sold under the Grin brand. Our Vancouver store front will be called the "Grin Cyclery", so if we ever do get a sign, that's what you'd be on the look out for.

Name changes are always a little weird, at first, but hopefully this is something you can all embrace with us. 
Posted By Adam Burvill

New Phone Numbers Too

May 15, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT


We have new phone numbers too in order to better manage the increasing call volume to our shop. The primary phone line has changed to (604) 569-0902, while the old number (604) 288-7316 will continue to be active for shipping & receiving. In addition, our engineering and manufacturing wing has its own line (604) 569-0903.
Posted By Adam Burvill

The Cycle Lumenator is Here

May 15, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT




As hinted at last month, we are now in production with our Cycle Lumenator ebike light, taking our integrated DC-DC lighting systems to a new level. With four of the best Cree XPG-R4 LEDs driven at 750 mA, we're up in the 1000 Lumen brightness levels, shining more light on your path than most of the premium $300-600 systems sold at bike shops. The wide input voltage range is compatible with any power source from 15V to 100V, AC or DC, to run directly off your ebike battery pack with no separate voltage converter required.

The price is $185 USD for a single unit, or $299 for a Dual lamp (giving 2000 Lumens total). We also offer this as an Upgrade to the Cycle Analyst if you purchase the two together. In that case, we will attach a short DC power cable that comes out of the CA and plugs directly into your Cycle Lumenator light, so it gets powered from the CA with no additional wiring down the frame. Clean and tidy with minimal cable clutter.






Posted By Adam Burvill

CA Winner, Enclosed Trike Project

May 15, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT


The recipient of the great Cycle Analyst giveaway for May 15th goes out to Adam Mercier, an 18 year old student in Western France. Adam has been scheming to build an electric vehicle that is rain and weather proof so it can be more useful as a car alternative in the wet city of Brest. He started off with concept sketches of a somewhat futuristic trike, formalized this through 3-D computer modeling in Solidworks, and then got in touch with an communal workshop run by retired naval yard workers to learn all the welding and machining skills to build it.








Says Adam "I have a cheap watt-meter, but it miss a lot of the features of the CA, like avg watts or speedometer. It would be the perfect tool for me to gather data about my trike, and find the best set-up for my drivetrain for max efficiency. But as a student I'm not as rich as I want to be!"

Well, at the rate you are going you will be rich soon. The build thread for his project is posted here, with the frame already mostly complete. Good luck finishing this by summer time, congratulations, and we're always happy to see a CA getting put to good use. Next prize will be given away May 31st, send your submissions to ca.giveaway@ebikes.ca

Posted By Adam Burvill

Pretty Bicycle

May 1, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT




This is just a simple photograph to show you that homemade ebikes don't have to be techy or weird looking in any way. Mark Stephens, our trusty electrical guy, recently put this conversion together over the span of several weeks for his girlfriend Natalie's birthday. It's a vintage Raleigh ladies bike with an original 3-speed Sturmey Archer hub in the back. Mark painted a front Nine Continent motor for a perfect colour match, rebuilt both hubs into aluminum rims, added white side-wall tires, and even installed switches inside the original brake levers to activate regen and assist the old side pull brakes for stopping. Fenders are original. The controller is tucked into the eZee battery bag and out of sight. And Natalie, "she loves it". No kidding!
Posted By Adam Burvill



Being well lit and seeing the road is especially important with the higher speeds on an ebike. Every now and then we get customers sending us pictures of crazy lit up contraptions, that not only keep them safe on the road, they also make us and I'm sure everyone on the streets smile a little too. We've decided to have a small promotional contest, with the best looking nighttime bicycle shot winning the first production unit of our next series of super bright ebike lights.

What's that super bright ebike light? It's been some time that we've been working on a new lighting series using the very best CREE XP-G high power LEDs. Our current prototypes have cracked over 1000 lumens of output, consume just 9.5 Watts of power and run off any input from 18V up to 100V, AC or DC. We are just gearing up for production and have the target release date for May 15th, and would like to give away the first one off the production line, to you perhaps. So send us your creatively lit-up bike pictures to info@ebikes.ca and you may end up with one very bright beacon to add to your lighting mix.
Posted By Adam Burvill

The submissions for our Cycle Analyst giveaway contest keep getting more and more interesting. For our April 30th winner, we decided to give the prize to Pascal Chollet for his BikeProof.ch solar bike adventure project, which he plans to ride from Switzerland all the way to Tibet. This is a fully engineered tricycle that uses 3 of our eZee hub motor kits and has a roof canopy containing a 220 watt solar panel. It can climb mountains and run off its own steam, and goes a long way to showing just what is possible in the realm of sustainable transportation. Pascal has a well documented website for his project, with many images and videosof the build. Bravo Pascal!









The next CA giveaway Prize will be decided on May 15th. Previous submissions will continue to carry forward, and any one with an ebike project that they'd like to enter the contest with, please send your conversion details and a bit of background to: ca.giveaway@ebikes.ca
Posted By Adam Burvill

Battery Discharge Curves

May 1, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT


There is tons and tons of stuff that goes on behind the scenes here which is pretty slow to percolate onto the webpage, but every now and then we get to something. We have just added our own battery discharge test data for all of the 36V packs that we offer on our site, from data collected over the past year with our own in-house computer controlled automated testing apparatus. This should help people better understand the differences in discharge profile and behaviour from the various chemistry and 'C' rate options. The specs for the individual packs can be seen below:


8AH NiCad



eZee LiFe



9Ah LiMn



10Ah LiPoly



14Ah LiPoly



Triang. LiFe



10A Curves Compared


We have also combined all of the 10A curves from each of the different chemistries and super imposed them on a single plot in the graph on the left. In this way, you can see side by side how they all stack up at different points in the discharge.
Posted By Adam Burvill

April 15th Cycle Analyst Winner

April 15, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT




Our next Cycle Analyst prize goes out to Peter Wagner in Switzerland for his cruiser bike that demonstrates a remarkable level of craftsmanship. Fitting a battery nicely in the triangular frame area of a regular diamond frame bike is challenging enough, so it takes a special kind of dedication to fit this around the curved tubes of a classic beach cruiser, with a shaped sheet metal enclosure and quick release mounting mechanism. In addition to the superbly clean build, he also modified weak elements of a cruiser bike to better suit a fast electric assist, including thru-axle front suspension forks with disk brakes. You can read a full documentation of his project construction here.
Posted By Adam Burvill

New Nine Continent Motors

April 1, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT




At the end of last week we received and unpacked our spring 2010 sea shipment from Nine Continent. We decided in this order to try out their larger 273mm diameter motor series, hoping to find something comparable to the beefy and robust Crystalyte 5300 hubs for those needing maximum torque. What we received is a motor that has almost exactly the same performance specs as the Crystalyte 5304, but with 1/3rd less weight. This motor series uses narrower 16mm magnets, but this is offset by a much larger internal rotor diameter, producing a hub that's about 10% heavier and 10% more powerful than our Nine Continent 2800 series. We have named this the 1606 hub (16mm magnets, 6 turn winding) and have both a front and a single speed rear option available on our motors store page. We have modeled it for the simulator too.

It is well suited for scooter and cruiser bike projects, but is not as good a compatibility fit for mountain bikes as the Crystalyte 530X hubs which have an integrated disk rotor attachment and can accommodate a 7 speed freewheel.



As well, we have stocked up substantially in the faster wind 2806 and 2805 hub motors, and have now listed these as _FAST options for our Nine Continent kits. With the 2806 in a 26" rim, or the 2805 in a 20" rim, it is possible to reach 40 kph (25 mph) cruising speeds when using the standard and readily available 36V battery packs. There is no need to run at 48V just to achieve this performance.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Infineon Controllers back on Sale

April 1, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT




It's not a fun job, but at least we now have solution to the regen overvoltage issue with our Infineon motor controllers. We have several hundred replacement Infineon chips that are programmed correctly, and now have to open up each controller and them remove and resolder a new Infineon chip to the PCB. We have now resumed sales of the controllers and Nine Continent kits as we carry on with this process, but it will probably be another 2 weeks until we have sufficient stockpile of fixed controllers to send out replacements for all those in the field.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Velo Amp is Getting Slim and Trim

April 1, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT




Bruce Lau has brought out the first revision of the ebike audio amplifier (VeloAMP) originally released last fall. It has now been slimmed down to half the original enclosure thickness, while still maintaining the full 100 watts of stereo output power, 24-72V input voltage, a volume knob, speaker terminals, and an indicator LED. It looks slick, and delivers volumes. These units are in stock again for those wanting to play with loud and high quality sound systems on their ebikes.
Posted By Adam Burvill

We've just become aware of a firmware problem that exists in all of our current stock of Infineon motor controllers which can present a safety risk. Normally there is a high voltage regen cutout that prevents any regenerative current from flowing as soon as the pack reaches 58V. This is incredibly important, not so much to prevent overcharging of batteries, but to protect the controller and electronics against voltage spikes that can occur when the battery pack is disconnected. With no battery attached, the regen current has no place to flow and rapidly charges up the controller capacitors until something gives. Unfortunately, somewhere in the communication efforts to try and make a more easily 72V compliant controller, this protection was eliminated from our recent batch with 100V components. As a result, if you ride the bike without the battery, or your pack becomes disconnected while riding, then there is a risk of frying the controller mosfets.



At the moment, we have suspended sales of the controllers and the Nine Continent kits until we get this sorted and have the controller boards reprogrammed. For those that already have our Infineon in the field, this issue only applies if you received it in the last 2 months, and the Low Voltage Cutoff on your controller label shows 27V. If it shows 20V, then you are OK. We will be contacting those who have the newer controllers in order to work out getting replacements delivered. In the meantime, keep your battery attached!
Posted By Adam Burvill

Dual Lithium Battery Sale

April 1, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT




We have numerous Phylion lithium manganese batteries from 2009 that are delivering on our test station more like 8-8.5 Ah instead of the 9-9.5 Ah that we normally expect. In some cases it is just a small cell balancing issue, while in other instances it is more of an intrinsic cell capacity problem. However, with so much we want to do this year, we don't have the time to go through and try and tweak all of these batteries. So instead we are offering these packs in pairs at a great combo price of $795 CAD or $750 USD for those who want an extra range kit at a good deal. You'll get two lithium battery packs and bags that can hang on either side of your rear rack, a 2A battery charger, and a 'Y' splitter cable that will let you combine the two batteries into a single controller. The combined capacity is about 17 Ah, good for a solid 60+km range, and with the current shared between the pair of packs, it is OK to run this battery combo with high current 35A or 40A controllers.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Next Cycle Analyst Winner

April 1, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT


We had lots of interesting submissions for the Cycle Analyst giveaway prize, so thanks to all those who gave it a shot. Picking a winner was not easy, but in the end we chose an electric tadpole trike project by Andrew Thomas in Toronto. He built this almost entirely from scratch using industrial aluminum railing parts and spare bicycle components. The setup is fully suspended, and features a pedal trailer that hitches on the back for his son ride as a converted tandem. It's powered from a DC hub motor on the rear and has a full fairing for winter riding.







Next prize will be decided on April 15th, so please keep the submissions coming to ca.giveaway@ebikes.ca . We will carry forwards previous entries that didn't win.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Job Opening

April 1, 2010 11:24:00 AM PDT


We are looking to hire someone full-time to join our 7-person team at the sales and reception end of our operation. Ideally this is a person who shares our passion about ebikes, and is familiar enough with the technology that they can help guide and support people to choosing the right components to work for them. Before getting TOO excited, it is a tough job that will require working Saturdays and being great at managing a deluge of phone calls, email orders, and walk-in visitors, sometimes all at once. Computer skills, good work ethic, and likability are a must. Lots of other skills are an asset too, as working in small business means wearing many hats. If this sounds like you, or someone you know, then spread the word and feel free to send a resume and cover letter our way at resume@ebikes.ca.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Job Opening

March 1, 2010 11:24:00 AM PST


We are looking to hire someone full-time to join our 7-person team at the sales and reception end of our operation. Ideally this is a person who shares our passion about ebikes, and is familiar enough with the technology that they can help guide and support people to choosing the right components to work for them. Before getting TOO excited, it is a tough job that will require working Saturdays and being great at managing a deluge of phone calls, email orders, and walk-in visitors, sometimes all at once. Computer skills, good work ethic, and likability are a must. Lots of other skills are an asset too, as working in small business means wearing many hats. If this sounds like you, or someone you know, then spread the word and feel free to send a resume and cover letter our way at resume@ebikes.ca.
Posted By Adam Burvill

The Great Cycle Analyst Giveaway

March 1, 2010 11:24:00 AM PST




We receive many emails from people sharing us photos of their ebike projects, and quite often these are exceptional pieces of craftsmanship or creative ingenuity, or just humorous pieces that make us all laugh. We'd like to give our support to those out there in the community who are helping reshape how we think about getting around in the 21st century, those who are taking ebike parts and exploring outside the box.

So starting this month, we will be giving away a free Cycle Analyst every 2 weeks to the most interesting and unique ebike contraption that is submitted to us. It must be an original project that is mostly built up (so no concept drawings), and we'd like to hear your story behind it as well. Send your submissions by email to ca.giveaway@ebikes.ca, including photos of you and your homemade electric ride, and a little info about why you think you deserve the prize.



We're going to kick things off with Art Burns, from Seaforth Ontario who has been riding ebikes for several years since suffering an vision impairment in an accident. He had two scooter ebikes, but neither had the range for his planned Ontario to BC trip this summer. So the solution, he had Golectric hack one in half, convert it to a trailer, and load it high and low with batteries!

Posted By Adam Burvill

More Unicycles

March 1, 2010 11:24:00 AM PST




We're steadily ramping up an official "uni-shop" in the corner of our store. Our hope is to be the first shop in Vancouver to carry all the specialized gear for one-wheelers, and give the local unicycle community a chance to see, feel, and try out the equipment before they buy it. Anne-Sophie is around most days of the week to share her expertise.


On a similar note, we will be resuming the Wednesday evening unicycle gatherings down at Science World on March 31st, starting at 6:30pm then moving it to 7pm when the days get longer. We had a blast doing this all of last summer, and will continue to bring our fleet of spare unis for people to try out and practice on.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Small Controller Upgrades

March 1, 2010 11:24:00 AM PST




Two little updates here, both mosfet related. First is that we have a new 12 mosfet 40 amp Infineon based controller that uses IRFB4110 mosfets and 100V capacitors, making it relatively easy to modify for 72V operation. They also come with regen already enabled. Secondly, we now have our eZee kit controllers available with the same IRFB4110 mosfets. So now it is possible to get an eZee kit with a controller that will run cooler and have no compatibility issues with 48V packs.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Spring / Summer Hours

March 1, 2010 11:24:00 AM PST


Starting on April 1st, we will expand our shop drop-in hours to 11am - 6pm, Tuesday to Friday, and 11am - 4pm on Saturdays. The Saturday opening especially should help with the many locals who difficulty getting out here to pick up parts. Just do keep in mind that we are mostly an engineering / manufacturing operation and online shop, rather than a retail outlet, so things are setup accordingly. 
Posted By Adam Burvill

Cycle Analyst Graduates to 2.2

February 1, 2010 11:24:00 AM PST




Time to introduce version 2.2 of the Cycle Analyst, with a few improvements. Though many commented that the 1 button interface was intuitive and clever, it did have limitations as we added more and more features to scroll through. So now there is a second 'back' button which takes you to the previous screen or down a digit, and holding this second button can get you to the setup menu at any point without restarting the device.



The version 2.2 CA also uses a membrane overlay for the buttons and the window, which is better suited to withstanding rain and elements than the previous model with a glued window and a metal push button. As well, we've now moved the wires to exit holes in the back of the box instead of grommets on the side. This permits a tidier wiring job on the bicycle. We've also included extra vent holes in the back plate that serve a) to provide ventilation so that the display window never fogs up, and b) to provide an easy means of feeding wires in and out of the device for those using advanced features such as datalogging, throttle control, etc.
Posted By Adam Burvill

eZee Rack for Flat Packs

February 1, 2010 11:24:00 AM PST




We now have available the custom rear carrier for the 37V 8Ah eZee LiFePO4 battery packs. This is a seat post mounted rack, so it can be installed on full suspension mountain bikes and bikes that don't have mounting eyelets. The rack has a rail system that allows the flat battery to slide on and lock into place. And the clamping mechanism features double bolts for a really tight bind to the seat post tube, to prevent the side to side swaying that often happens when seat post carriers are used with a heavy load. This carrier is now included with the eZee LiFePO4 upgrade kit.
Posted By Adam Burvill

February Festivities

February 1, 2010 9:11:28 AM PST


Both the Chinese New Year and the 2010 Olympics got underway on the same day this month. Justin was in Shanghai visiting Mr. Ching at the eZee Bike factory during the start of Spring Festival, and kicked off celebrations there with his two favorite hobbies in one, pyrotechnics and ebikes!









Meanwhile, here in Vancouver the winter Olympic games and festivities are well underway. We're doing our best to keep the shop open and running all the while, but keep in mind that during some events we may be quite short-staffed or have our attention elsewhere. Things will be normal again starting March 2nd.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Hub Motor Spoke Calculator

January 1, 2010 11:24:00 AM PST


We've just gone live with a convenient web page to facilitate the process of building hub motor wheels. Our online spoke calculator has all the pertinent details for lacing common hub motors in a single place, so that you don't have to hunt down manufacturer spec sheets or make accurate measurements and deal with overly complicated programs to figure out a spoke length. Just choose your hub, choose your rim (or enter the ERD directly), and out comes the spoke size for your wheel.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Front Torque Arm, revision 3

January 1, 2010 11:24:00 AM PST




We first got involved with torque arm manufacturing a little over a year ago, pioneering a 2-piece design that causes the motor torque to further seat the axle into the dropout. The designs have evolved based on testing and failure analysis, with thicker plate metal and improved geometries. In our original Universal Hose Clamp design it got to the point that the hose clamp itself would be the weak link to give way in the event of a spinout incident, so our latest version has now been released which includes double hose clamps and an elongated slot in the thick axle plate to fit a range of fork types.
Posted By Adam Burvill

NiCad Battery Bargain

January 1, 2010 11:24:00 AM PST


NiCad_Example_TN (10K)

We are offering a great deal on the 36V 8Ah triangular NiCad packs if you get them as the battery option with either an eZee or Nine Continent kit. For just $180 USD (or $200 CAD) you'll get a reliable battery that mounts discretely in your frame, gives 20-30 km of range, and comes with both a charger and MEC frame bag! This special will last until the end of January.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Holiday Hours

December 1, 2009 11:24:00 AM PST


Our store this year will be open throughout the holidays, so you can continue to count on us for parts, service, and support. However, from Dec 20th to Jan 3rd, the staffing levels will be much reduced, so we'll ask that any walk-in customers let schedule with us ahead of time before dropping by.
Posted By Adam Burvill

More Mid-Drive Options

December 1, 2009 11:24:00 AM PST




We're pleased to have EcoSpeed's new Mountain Drive conversion package available and in stock for riders in Vancouver and the rest of Canada. Although our specialty has been with hub motor conversions, there are strong cases to be made for mid-drive units that assist through the bicycle gearing in some applications. EcoSpeed in Portland, Oregon, makes one of the most powerful and professionally engineered packages available, and so we were excited when they recently released a model that was compatible with upright mountain bikes and not just recumbents. It may be a while yet before we have them properly explained and listed on our store site, so for now email if interested.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Axle Spinout and Torque Arm Tests

December 1, 2009 11:24:00 AM PST




We've begun a series of experiments to help us fully understand the nature of bicycle fork failures where the hub motor axle spins out inside the dropouts. This can be a disconcerting failure mode with conversion ebikes that is all the more relevant with the rise of both aluminum forks and more powerful hub motors in recent years. Those interested in following these tests have a look at this thread on the endless-sphere forum, where we will be posting the methods and results.

We'll be learning the bounds of what regular bicycle forks with and without torque arms can handle, and hopefully from these tests we'll be able to engineer even better torque arm designs.
Posted By Adam Burvill

The Testing of Hub Motors Too

December 1, 2009 11:24:00 AM PST

And the Testing of Hub Motors Too


Ever wanted to know how far you can push these hub motors? How accurate is the simulator when you are putting thousands rather than hundreds of watts into a hub? How long can they put out that kind of power before burning up? Well we sure did, and have recently begun posting the result of some tests to see where exactly these limits are. An interesting read for the technically inclined.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Version 2.1 Cycle Analyst Manual

November 1, 2009 11:24:00 AM PST




We've finally finished the complete Cycle Analyst Version 2.1 User Manual. It includes a thorough explanation of the many more advanced features that were added in this firmware update, such as serial data logging, on-the-fly current and speed limiting, using the CA as a 'current throttle', and additional details on the wiring and circuitry. 
Posted By Adam Burvill

New 36V Lithium Battery Options

November 1, 2009 11:24:00 AM PST




There are two new battery options for our eZee and Nine Continent kit offerings. The first is a high capacity 14Ah lithium polymer battery that is exactly the same size and even less mass than the original 10Ah eZee pack. This should be a handy upgrade option for those needing an extended 50-60km range without any weight penalty. The second is a slick 8.5Ah lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery in a flat plastic enclosure for those wanting the iron phosphate chemistry. Both come with rapid 4A aluminum chargers which can top up a pack in short order.
Posted By Adam Burvill

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