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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

Updates to the Simulator

October 1, 2009 11:24:00 AM PDT




The entire back-end of our online hub motor simulator has been revamped to properly model the effects of motor winding inductance. Although negligible with the low pole count Crystalyte motors, the winding inductance has a significant effect on the performance of geared motors and high pole count direct drive hubs like Nine Continent series, so our simulator now gives a much more accurate portrayal of these. While we were at it, we characterized and added several new motors to the simulator, such as our new 2805 NC hub, the fast 20" eZee hub, as well as the BMC V2 and MAC geared motors.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Audio Amplifier for Ebikes

October 1, 2009 11:24:00 AM PDT




Anyone who has been on a kilowatt-hour or Critical Mass bike ride in Vancouver over the past 8 months has probably heard and appreciated the fine high fidelity music and thumping bass coming from amongst the crowd. That's been the productive output of Bruce Lau, who built a performance 100 watt amp to run off his ebike battery pack. Now you too can turn heads and make people on the streets smile with an ebike sound system that rivals that of pimped cars. Bruce has made a few extras and we have them listed on our store site. They are hand-made in Vancouver, and ready to spread joy all over the world.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Nine Continent Motors

October 1, 2009 11:24:00 AM PDT


Back in 2006 we were the first to bring fast winding 404 and 405 Crystalyte hub motors to the scene; in 2008 we had eZee make a high rpm motor for their 20" kits; last fall we had Nine Continent do a faster 6 turn winding of their 205 hub for us, and now in our most recent shipment we have taken this a step further with a 5 turn winding Nine Continent motor, which we'll call the 2805. This gives us a 20" wheel option that has the capability of doing 25mph or 40kph speeds with a standard 36V battery pack. The advantage of fast motors with a lower winding count is that they provide a path to achieve good speed performance without going to high voltage 72V battery arrangements, which is a frequent source of problems especially when people series connect BMS protected lithium batteries.

As well, the rear motors in this shipment have all been laced with the heads on the left side of the hub flange and are properly dished out of the box, so our earlier caveat about wheel dishing is no longer a problem. 
Posted By Adam Burvill



Our Infineon-based motor controllers now includes all of the changes we sought to make this a great universal controller option. We have an integrated rocker switch for ON/OFF power control, a forwards/reverse connector so that it is compatible with the eZee hub motors, and an ebrake cutoff connector that can enable regenerative braking with a small modification to the circuitboard. The current limit on the 6 mosfet version with the high performance IRFB4030 mosfets has been increased to 25 amps. That of the larger 12 mosfet version is still 35 amps. These items are in stock and are plug in compatible with all of our Crystalyte, eZee, and Nine Continent motors.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Nightime Riding Solutions

October 1, 2009 11:24:00 AM PDT




This is just a reminder as days get shorter that we have a range of lighting accessories designed to run right off your ebike battery pack. These have been getting high acclaim from all who have purchased them. In particular, the Dual Halogen kit provides either 10W or 20W of bright illumination, and with a traditional warm colour spectrum that gets a lot more notice on the road than bluish HID and LED lights. For those who just want power sipping, our 0.5W and 1W bombproof LED front and rear array lights will work up to 100V, can be seen for miles, and have built in waterproof button and memory.



They also work great for lighting up Hallowe'en pumpkins!
Posted By Adam Burvill

Fedex Shipping Solutions

October 1, 2009 11:24:00 AM PDT




We're pleased to offer a Fedex express shipping option for all of our international orders. This means a 2-day delivery time to most places in the world. We are still working on integrating this with our web checkout. That should be sorted soon but in the meantime we are happy to email a quote.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Unicycles?

September 1, 2009 2:15:53 PM PDT




Vancouver is one of the birthplaces of mountain unicycling and has a large unicycle community, yet has always lacked a shop that specializes in them. We want to fix that and are ready to open up a small unicycle corner in our store, the preliminary website for which is here. You might wonder what unicycles have to do with ebikes. Well, not much, yet, though we're equally passionate about both.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Triangular LiFePO4

September 1, 2009 11:24:00 AM PDT






After some development time we are pleased to make available a Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) battery option in a triangular form factor. The layout is similar to that used in our frame mounted 36V NiCad batteries, only it is lighter weight (4.7 kg) and higher in capacity (10 Ah). These particular packs are made with low impedance 'F' size cells rated for 5C discharge in a 12S 2P arrangement. The overall pack has an internal resistance of just 130 mOhm, half the resistance of other 10Ah ebike batteries, which means less voltage sag under load and no problems delivering up to 40 amps of continuous current. Click the graphs at the right to see the complete performance details.

This finally means that we have a battery pack that can be recommended for higher power systems using the 35 and 40A motor controllers.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Store Closure, Aug 28th to Sept 7th

August 28, 2009 11:24:00 AM PDT


A heads up to everyone that we will be closed for a short summer break starting at the at the end of this week right through to the Labour Day weekend. So last day for order shipments to go out will be Friday, August 28th, and they won't resume again until Tuesday, Sept 8th. We will able to respond to emails during this period, but there will be no one at our physical shop and the online store will be temporarily de-activated as well. Hope that everyone is able to get out and enjoy the last weeks of summer.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Freewheel Removal Tool for Hub Motors

August 1, 2009 11:24:00 AM PDT




One common problem with the rear hub motor maintenance is that people can't remove their freewheel, since the rear motor axles are too large to fit through the opening in the removal tool. We've now got a large supply of custom removal tools that were made up with a 14mm bore all the way through so that they will slide right over the large 14mm threads on the rear axles.
Posted By Adam Burvill

August 2009 Product Updates

August 1, 2009 11:24:00 AM PDT


Just a short note that the Nine Continent kit sales are on again with the infineon motor controllers. More product announcements and details by the end of this week.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Torque Arm Take Two

August 1, 2009 11:24:00 AM PDT




We've finished designing and testing an even tidier universal torque arm to offer for front hub motor installations. This model is made to screw into fender eyelets rather than being secured to the fork with a hose clamp. It too uses thick 3/16" stainless steel plate to restrain against axle rotation and can accommodate both 12mm and 14mm axles. We will still continue offering the hose-clamp variety for those with forks that don't have fender eyelets.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Open Spaces - Sunday July 12th, 2009, 12-5pm

July 12, 2009 11:24:00 AM PDT




The Vancouver car-free festivals have been so successful that this year the city has approved recurring Open Space events every Sunday on both Commercial Drive and Main St. The theme this July 12th is "Before there were Cars", and we've been allocated the entire block of Main between 10th and 11th avenue to host a 'Car Free Vehicle Show'. Please any and all people in Vancouver who ride an ebike of some form, show up! We'll have our fleet of unique longtails, cargo trikes, unicylces, and skatboards. But for spreading the word of this grass-roots movement, nothing beats having dozens of people from the community come by to share their own personal ebike stories and experiences with the public.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Movie in the Park

July 11, 2009 11:24:00 AM PDT






On Saturday night there is a chance to view the first ever bicycle-in movie screening featuring a short film "The Cat Returns". This will be hosted by our good friend Bruce Lau who has built a collapsible 14 foot screen that straps to his ebike; and the projector, sound system, and lighting for the show are all powered from circuits Bruce made that run off his ebike battery pack.

If you are up for doing something unique this Saturday then pack your blanket, some popcorn, and come join us. We will be meeting up at our store (4570 Main St.) at 8:30pm, and then riding en masse to an undisclosed public lot where the stage will get setup for an outdoors movie theater.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Connector Standards

July 1, 2009 11:24:00 AM PDT




As of June 2009 we have now standardized all of the hall connectors on our motors and motor controllers to the plastic style (SM series from JST) and pin-out used in the eZee kits. We've discontinued the so called mini-XLR format used on the Crystalyte system because of complications sourcing this connector for other vendors, and we want all the ebike parts we supply to be interchangeable whenever possible. The latest shipment of Crystalyte disk compatible hub motors which we have in stock now uses this flat plastic connector from JST, as does the latest batch of rear Nine Continent motors. We plan to embrace this connector pinout as a standard for all hub motors and controllers that we carry going forwards.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Controller Status

July 1, 2009 11:24:00 AM PDT


Aug 2nd Controller Status Update: We now have the infineon immediate start controllers available in both 20 and 35A models to use with both the Nine Continent and Crystalyte hub motors.

As many people have noticed, we don't currently have any stock of immediate start Crystalyte motor controllers, whether in the 20A or the higher current 35 and 48A models. We have been working on sourcing a higher end replacement of these for quite a while and hoped to have something comparable to offer by now, but several unexpected setbacks including parts shipments getting lost in transit have held things back. If everything goes well at this point we are expecting to have them available before the end of July. Until then, we don't have much to offer for 'complete package' systems other than the eZee kits. 
Posted By Adam Burvill

If you've ever wondered what it's like to be surrounded on all sides by cyclists as far as the eye can see, then show up at the Vancouver Art Gallery on the last Friday of June. This ride caps off June, Bike Month, with a bang. 
Posted By Adam Burvill

Car Free Day - Sunday June 14, 2009 - All Day

June 14, 2009 11:24:00 AM PDT




The annual car-free festival has grown by leaps and bounds since a few visionaries first opened up Commercial drive to the walking public several years ago. Last year we participated with a "Car Free Vehicle Show" on a section of Main Street to good effect, introducing a lot of people to the car free transportation possibilities that exist with electric assist bicycles and tricycles. Our cargo trike was a huge success ferrying people up and down the road all day long. This year we'll be bringing our fleet and also a whole pile of unicycles too, always something new to try. The road closure has expanded to cover Main Street all the way to King Edward. We'll likely be stationed around 18th and Main.
Posted By Adam Burvill



The last three kWhr electric bicycle rides have been great fun, with upwards 14-18 people showing up for longer trips along the water and winding up for drinks and food at the Jericho Sailing Club. This June it's going to be extra special with a bunch of us bringing portable barbeques and finishing the ride with a full fledged summer picnic on the beach. So come all and help make it the largest group ebike ride yet, leaving 6pm on June 12th at the Vancouver Public Library, and bring barbeque food if you got it.
Posted By Adam Burvill

The Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association's annual EV show is happening this coming Saturday at the Burnaby Sports Field. This is a free event for the public to check out all kinds electric cars, scooters, skateboards, and bicycles, ranging from commercial booths to home-made conversions. There is a small track for you to test ride the various contraptions and lots of people to meet.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Finally, last night (June 2nd) was the grand opening of a new exhibit at the Museum of Vancouver called "Velo City, Vancouver and the Bicycle Revolution".. The purpose of the show is to tell the often overlooked stories of the various bicycle cultures here and how they are shaping up to redefine our city life. Among the many items on display, from the land speed record Diablo, to the freak bikes, to courier fixies, BMX's, and trials bikes, is the weathered and dirty but still working semi-recumbent Xtracycle conversion that traveled 7100km across Canada last summer! Thanks to all the people who contributed to purchasing the Big Dummy frame and who by so doing encouraged keeping this bike in tact. Less than a year later it is already in a museum as a piece of history.



The exhibit runs for three months until the end of September and is well worth checking out.
Posted By Adam Burvill

eZee 48V compatibility

June 1, 2009 11:24:00 AM PDT


Although we initially had the eZee controllers modified and advertised as being 48V capable, there have been enough failures at this point that we are going to back down and only suggest them for 36V operation. Under heavy load conditions at 48V, such as going up a long steep hill full throttle, there is a possibility of a mosfet frying. This didn't happen in our original 48V testing as we were using 8AH NiCad packs which would sag to about 43V at 20A currents. But the trend recently has been for "48V" 16 cell LiFePO4 batteries (more properly called 52V packs), and these deliver a higher voltage to the controller under load which can more easily put it over the edge.

For customers currently running their eZee kits at 48V, we recommend using a Cycle Analyst to limit the current draw to 15 amps max. When we receive the new controllers alluded to in the previous paragraph and have validated their robustness at 48V, then we give the option of exchanging these for the eZee controllers so that you have the 48V capability originally implied. 
Posted By Adam Burvill

June Abounds

June 1, 2009 11:24:00 AM PDT


June is bicycle month in Vancouver and this year is off to a rocking start with one of the warmest and sunniest summer weather systems we've had in ages. The bike paths are overflowing with happy riders and new commuters, and tons of bicycle themed events are taking place around town
Posted By Adam Burvill

Cycle Analyst Version 2.1

May 1, 2009 11:24:00 AM PDT


The Cycle Analyst firmware version 2.1 is now officially released through the entire line of CA products. For most users there is little material difference, the trip amp-hours and distance can now go up to 1999 Ah or Km respectively, instead of 199, and the #poles variable for CA-DP devices now goes up to 99 instead of just 14 poles. But for those who like to tinker, there are extra pads now used for datalogging and external control of the speed or current limit, as explained on the first announcement last year. For those who are in and out familiar with microchip programming, the hex code is available for download here.
Posted By Adam Burvill

USB Data Logger Cable

May 1, 2009 11:24:00 AM PDT




On the subject of Cycle Analysts and data logging, we now have a cable assembly prepared that enables you to record the data coming off a CA into your computer or laptop through the standard USB port. This device requires soldering to the Gnd and Tx pads on the Cycle Analyst circuitboard. It includes a built in serial -> USB converter, so it will show up as a COM port on your computer and the data can be viewed and logged with hyperterminal or any other standard terminal program.

Posted By Adam Burvill

High Current Shunts

May 1, 2009 11:24:00 AM PDT




It seems that a lot of people who were purchasing the high current Cycle Analyst models did not already have a shunt on hand, so we are now carrying a large 0.25 mOhm shunt that is suitable for 200-300 amps of continuous current and up to 600 amps peak, which will cover a wide range of large EV applications. This part is listed on our accessories store page.
Posted By Adam Burvill

5W and 10W Halogen Lights

May 1, 2009 11:24:00 AM PDT




We have also sourced a great metal enclosed 12V halogen light series that mates perfectly with our DC-DC converters. So for those who want more brightness than the LED lights, these halogen lights with a 12V DC-DC will command more than just a presence on the road. We have both 5W and 10W bulb options available, and will be releasing a dual light in the near future that will give up to 20W of illumination. 
Posted By Adam Burvill

9 Speed Freewheels

May 1, 2009 11:24:00 AM PDT




There is finally an answer to those who have been turned off the rear conversion kits because it meant downgrading from a 9 speed shifter system to 7 or 8 speeds in order to accommodate a screw-on freewheel. The company which produces our 11 tooth 7 and 8 speed freewheels now makes a 9 speed version as well, which we have in stock with an 11-32 tooth gear range. It is of course a bit wider than the 7 speed freewheels, so most installations will require spacers on the axle and some spreading of the dropouts.
Posted By Adam Burvill

eZee e-brake Levers

May 1, 2009 11:24:00 AM PDT




The e-brake lever is a device designed to cut power from the motor controller as soon as someone squeezes on the brakes. It's a sensible safety idea, but we stopped carrying them several years ago because the quality of the actual brake levers was so poor that in several cases the lever arm itself failed, leaving the rider without an operable hand brake. Well we now have a decent quality all-aluminum e-brake lever for the eZee kits. It plugs into the 4-pin PAS connector and effectively disables the throttle power when you are squeezing the brakes. It could be easily adapted to other controller systems as well. The switch mechanism is a magnetic reed device mounted outside the housing, normally open, which closes contact and the levers are pulled.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Button Lights are Back

May 1, 2009 11:24:00 AM PDT



It turns out that trying to include a waterproof on/off button in our fully epoxy potted bike lights posed some interesting challenges. But few thing will phase us, and after a lot of work we've managed to sort through all the challenges and are re-introducing the button LED lights by the end of this week. The rear light is now slightly larger and brighter with 8 LEDs, and both the front and rear lights feature onboard memory as well. When the light is powered off, it remembers what mode it was in (on, off, or flashing) and returns to that state when power is re-applied. Pressing the button then cycles through each of the modes.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Rear Nine Continent Motors

May 1, 2009 11:24:00 AM PDT


Our spring 2009 shipment of Nine Continent motors was unpacked this week and includes a few new items. In addition to replenishing the stock of front 20" wheels, we have also added to the mix:

  • 26" hub motors with the higher-rpm 6-turn winding (what we call the 2806 hub)
  • 20" rear hub motor with 6-turn winding
  • 700c rear motors with the 7 turn winding



The 2806 front motor in a 26" rim is a good combination for people who want to go faster while still sticking to a 36V battery system. The rear motors are here by popular request. The axle spacing is 135mm and works fine with a 5 or 6 speed freewheel. 7 speed or higher requires additional spacers on the right and slight spreading of your dropouts. They have a threaded side cover on the left to accommodate a screw-on disc rotor. The rims are centered on the hub rather than dished, so the wheel is offset about 1cm to the left as supplied. They'll be available through our website some time next week.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Heads up with Crystalyte Offerings

May 1, 2009 11:24:00 AM PDT


Our stock of Crystalyte products is generally low and the next shipment will not be arriving until late June. This shipment and all future ones will contain exclusively the Crystalyte disk compatible hub motors, so front and rear 5300 series, and rear 400 series wheels. The non-disk motors will be discontinued. As well, we will no longer be carrying the Crystalyte immediate start controllers, in either 20A or the higher power 35 and 48A devices. The Crysatlyte DC hub motor has also been discontinued, but we will continue offering the DC motor controller since it finds many applications with other motors.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Cross-Canada by E-bike, Presentation on Mar 18th

March 18, 2009 11:24:00 AM PDT


This coming Wednesday at 7:30pm, Justin will be giving the first full length talk about the coast to coast electric bicycle trip he completed last summer. The format will be a mix of video and slide show, compiled from the 23,000 pictures that were taken once a minute from the handlebar camera on his bike. It will cover the trials of touring by electric bicycle and the fascinating people encountered and places explored. Anyone interested to hear more should check it out and learn about VEVA as well. The event is held at the SE1 cafeteria building at BCIT in Burnaby. Be sure to print the map or make good notes because the exact building can be confusing to find on the BCIT campus.



Also, the March kilowatt-hour ebike ride was another blast, with a turnout of 14 riders who all biked out together for drinks on Granville Island.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Large Screen CA's

February 20, 2009 11:24:00 AM PST


The remaining bugs in the V2.1 Cycle Analyst code appear to have all been fixed, so we are now releasing this in a special form for electric vehicle enthusiasts. CycleAnalyst 2.1, with datalogging serial output, is available OEM style in a 200V high current board with an extra large display screen and no enclosure. It is ideal for installing behind the dashboard of electric cars, scooters, motorcycles, and other larger EV's that can benefit from a much bigger display size. More information will be coming soon but check out the CA page for preliminary details.
Posted By Adam Burvill

DC-DC Converters are Live

February 20, 2009 11:24:00 AM PST




We have 5V 10 watt, 6V 10 watt, and 12V 20 watt DC-DC converters in production now. These devices allow you to run powerful 3rd party headlamps, sound systems, and other electronic gadgets from your main electric bicycle battery. Like our ebike LED lights, these DC-DC converter units are simple, rugged, compact, and waterproof. They are engineered around the specific needs of electric bicycles, are made in Canada, and we guarantee them for life. More information will be posted in the coming week on our Lighting page.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Spacer 'C' Washers and Thicker Torque Arms

February 20, 2009 11:24:00 AM PST




The eZee kits are well thought out and include a spacer washer, which helps the hub motor fit in bicycle dropouts fit for quick release. We now have an open 'C' spacer washer made up from 3/16" stainless that can provide this same functionality to our other hub motors that are installed on front forks which have a recessed cavity and 'lawyer lip' for quick release nuts. With the open 'C' shape, it is possible to slide this over axles that have wires and connectors coming out the end. As well, we have redesigned the torque arm plate slightly, increasing the thickness to 3/16" for greater strength.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Garage Sale Items

February 20, 2009 11:24:00 AM PST




There is a shelving unit in our hallway with an increasing amount of ebike stuff accumulating on it as a result of our activities. This includes sample parts from companies that we decided not to follow through with, battery packs that didn't meet our QC needs or which were used by our demo bikes, various used ebike components that have been returned to us but are still functional, and a number of connectors and cable assemblies that we don't really have use for. These could be perfect for the DIY project person and they are all listed at take 'em away prices for customers coming by to visit our shop.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Stokemonkeys and Xtracycles

February 20, 2009 11:24:00 AM PST




Although we've been pretty sold on hub motors for the vast majority of conversions, there is a case to be made for mid-drive systems especially in the application of load and cargo hauling applications. That is where the Stokemonkey system from Clevercycles has been a natural match. It is designed to install around the Xtracycle attachment which adds a whole new realm of utility to your bicycle. And unlike most other mid-drives which have a loud and whining gear noise to put up with, the Stokemonkey using the familiar low-rpm Crystalyte motors is completely silent. We have a limited number of Stokemonkey setups that will be listed on our kits page, and will be offering the Xtracycle and accessories in the near future too.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Crystalyte makes some improvements

February 20, 2009 11:24:00 AM PST


Our latest shipment from Crystalyte included a few goodies to make note of. First is that we received a number of 72V pedal first controllers with a 30 amp current limit using the IRFB4110 mosfets. For the first time this means that we have a sensorless controller option for people wanting to run the large 5300 series hub motors, and for those who want to drive the Nine Continent and 400 series motors to higher power levels than is possible with 20 amps.


Secondly is that Crystalyte has sorted out both disk brake compatibility and waterproofing issues in the latest samples of motors. The rear disk motors are now available with an side cover that has an integrated 44mm bolt pattern for attaching disc rotors, the days of screw-on non standard discs are over. As well, there is a rubber sealing ring surrounding the axle entry to the side cover, and the wire entry slot is filled with a sealant. We have a small number of front and rear disk 5304 Crystalyte hub motors available, as well as spare 5300 series side cover plates for those who want to adapt a regular rear to the disc version.



Finally, the Project Motors which we had Crystalyte make a couple years ago ended up getting used in several interesting vehicles that required single sided axle support. Rather than ordering separate project motors for each winding type, this time we had a custom set of project motor axles manufactured, and with our press we can swap the axle out of any 400 series hub motor we have stock and replace it with one of these.
Posted By Adam Burvill

New Store Site

February 20, 2009 11:24:00 AM PST


Our online store site has evolved quite a bit from when it was just an html table of a dozen items and prices a few years ago. We have been hard at work on the latest revision, which includes a more browse-able layout for all our parts, a search field, a full featured cart system with no pop-ups, and best of all an automatic shipping calculator that gives instant freight quotes to most destinations in the world. We are trying to make purchasing conversion parts as straightforward as possible, so check it out and give us your feedback.

Posted By Adam Burvill

Kilowatt Hour Ride and Local Events

February 20, 2009 11:24:00 AM PST


The summer season seems to be just around the corner here in Vancouver. The decent turn-out at the last Kilowatt Hour ebike ride organized by Steven Luscher is sure sign that people are packing in their winter projects and are ready to head outdoors on their bicycles. So come out to the next ride on Friday, March 13th, we'll make it a big one to bring on 2009. As well, the Wednesday following the ride, March 18th, Justin will be giving a full length video/slide show presentation of his cross-Canada trip at the VEVA meeting. More details on both these events will be posted as the dates approach.
Posted By Adam Burvill

We're Hiring

February 20, 2009 11:24:00 AM PST


But don't get too excited, a job is just a job right? We are looking for someone with excellent customer skills, some sales experience, and an understanding of administrative duties. See our posting on posting on Craigslist.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Christmas Break, Dec 20. 2008

January 2, 2009 11:24:00 AM PST


We hope that everyone has a fine holiday season. It may be cold outside, but with a heated garage and good supply of parts, there is no better time than the winter holidays to start working on your next ebike project. Thanks to everyone for a great year.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Rear Wheel eZee Kits

December 14, 2008 11:24:00 AM PST




Fresh and shiny and right off the boat, we now have a rear version of the eZee conversion kit in stock and ready to ship. This has all the great features of the front eZee: light weight, high torque, internal gears, and disk brake, but comes in a rear wheel with a standard 135mm dropout spacing and room for a 7 or 8 speed freewheel. Other improvements include a thick 14mm axle that is more resistant to spinout, a polished metal finish, and stainless steel axle nuts for extra resilience. 
Posted By Adam Burvill

Special for Canadians

December 14, 2008 11:24:00 AM PST


The Canadian dollar has lost nearly 1/4 of its value since the start of the year. We've held off adjusting the CAD prices for quite some time in hopes that this would normalize again, but it hasn't and we can't hold off any longer, so be forewarned that when we re-open in 2009 the Canadian prices on some of our inventory will go up by approximately 12-15%. In the spirit of good times though, we'll let the low Canadian dollar prices continue to apply for this last week so anyone who has been considering a purchase before the prices rise can do so. whether you are running a 24V, 36V, or even 72V system. 
Posted By Adam Burvill

Electric Bicycle Lights

December 10, 2008 11:24:00 AM PST




In development for over a year and thoroughly field tested on the cross-canada ebike ride, the waterproof LED bicycle lights with wide ranging input voltage are now in early production and are available from our shop. These rugged and bright LED lights were designed from the ground up for the requirements of electric bicycles. The efficient DC-DC input will work directly with any ebike battery voltage, whether you are running a 24V, 36V, or even 72V system.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Torque Arms

December 10, 2008 11:24:00 AM PST




We have designed a universal stainless steel torque arm which we are having manufactured by a local metal shop here in Vancouver. These will slide over both 12mm and 14mm axles, and the two piece design will adapt to virtually any fork style or dropout angle. Although not strictly required, a torque arm does reduce the likelihood of an axle spinout and is particularly useful with higher torque motors that use small 12mm axles such as the Nine Continent hubs.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Scrapit Program

November 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT


We are pleased to be part of the BC Scrapit program, which encourages people to retire old and fuel inefficient vehicles in exchange for a greener transportation choice. As an incentive to get rid of your old car, you'll be rewarded with a credit of $1300 CAD to go toward the purchase of an an ebike from participating stores. This is almost exactly the price of an eZee kit, a Crysatlyte 500 series setup, or (almost) a pair of Nine Continent kits to convert two bicycles. Please check the Scrapit Program Website for details.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Cycle Analyst Manual

November 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT




It is more than a few months late, but the full fledged Cycle Analyst V2.0 User Manual has been recently completed and is now included as a booklet with all Cycle Analyst shipments. Many of the advanced setup features are explained for the first time, so even seasoned Cycle Analyst users may glean something useful from reading it. The document is available for download here.

Posted By Adam Burvill

Battery Chargers CPU Update

November 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT


We have received and tested the updated CPU chips for the aluminum Nexcell NiMH/NiCad chargers. These chips have a higher upper voltage threshold that allows the cells to properly come into balance at the end of the charging cycle. If you have one of the chargers from us with 3-LEDs, then we recommend upgrading to the newer microchip, especially if you are using it with a NiCad battery pack. There is a socket on the circuitboard for this part so no soldering or special tools are required for the replacement.
Posted By Adam Burvill

New Plastic NiCad Chargers

November 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT


We are pleased to introduce a line of econonimcal 1.8 amp NiCad/NiMH chargers. For people who don't need the fast charge
time of the 3A aluminum units, these plastic units offer a lighter weight and more affordable charging option.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Online Store Update

November 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT


In order to simplify the ordering process for more common items, we have now made several conversion kits and accessories available through a paypal checkout system with a buy-it-now button. There is no need to wait for email confirmations and shipping quotes, and you'll get the instant gratification of sending us money right away. This option is available for eZee kits, Nine Continent Kits and Crystalyte DC motor kit, as well as our whole line of Cycle Analyst devices.

The cart system is still in place for more complicated and customized orders involving the many Crystalyte components and battery options.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Free Shipping of eZee Kits

November 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT


These are rough financial times for many people, so we felt like making life a little easier for those who are contemplating an electric bicycle conversion project this winter. We are now offering free shipping anywhere in North America for the eZee conversion kits. This promotion will be last until the end of November, so treat yourself to an early Christmas present.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Crystalyte Restocked

November 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT


The November 2008 Crystalyte Shipment has been unpacked and the new items added to our store site. This includes a large number of 5300 series hub motors as well as rear 400 series motors. The inventory listings are all up to date and current.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Switched Capacitor Balancing BMS Circuits are In

November 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT




Well it has been quite a long wait but we have finally received the proper cell balancing battery management circuits for the Iron Phosphate battery packs. For any customers who purchased a 24V, 36V, or 48V LiFePO4 battery from us, please send us an email and we will ship you a new BMS circuit that will bring all the cells back into balance, restoring the full capacity from the pack. These BMS circuits are also less prone to tripping from the capacitor inrush current when plugged into the larger motor controllers.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Nine Continent Kits are Available

November 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT


After a decent beta run, we are now shipping the conversion kits based around the Nine Continent hub motor and a Crystalyte sensorless 20A controller. The main lesson we have learned is that because of the higher torque output and the lack of an extended keyway on the axle, these hub motors are more prone to axle spinout than the Crystalyte 400 series. So extra precaution during installation is required, and we will have matching torque arms to offer with the kits in the near future.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Kilowatt Hour Ebike Ride - Oct 10th at 6pm

October 10, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT


Come join us to make the October Kilowatt-Hour bike ride the largest one yet! This monthly event has been going on for over a year now and offers electric bike riders in Vancouver a chance to meet up together and go for a social group ride around the city. The meetup starts at 6pm at the downtown library, details are here:

http://ev.meetup.com/1/

And if you haven't seen it yet, this will be your chance to see and maybe even ride the trans-continental ebike that is now reassembled and rolling again.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Welcome Back Gathering - Oct 7th 2008

October 7, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT


Justin's train is scheduled to arrive back in Vancouver sometime during the day on Oct 7th. There has been considerable interest in having a bit of a welcome back gathering and we would like to book a reservation at the Foundation on Main St. and 7th ave to celebrate. If you would like to join us, please help by sending an RSVP to rsvp@ebikes.ca so we can plan accordingly. The party would likely start around 8.30pm.
Posted By Adam Burvill

The kilowatt hour, what a ride

October 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT


Since the summer of 2007, Steven Luscher has been organizing a monthly meetup for electric bicycle riders at the Vancouver Central Library. This last ride in October was by far the largest to date, and we hope to see this event continue to flourish as the electric bicycle community expands as well. The video below shows a time-lapse journey of this trip from us leaving our store on Main Street to the final photoshoot just after dark.



The next meetup will be on November 14th, and word is out that it may be more of a social and culinary gathering than a large ebike ride. We'll see, and we hope to see many of you there too. 
Posted By Adam Burvill

Repeat of the Conversion Workshop

October 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT

Repeat of the Conversion Workshop

Our ebike conversion workshop earlier this summer was a great success, with approximately a dozen people attending, two ebikes fully converted, and a lot of knowledge spread around. We would like to repeat this workshop in November and are sending out feelers to gauge the amount of interest there would be at this time of year. The only difference is that last time we were able to offer the workshop for free, while this time we would have to collect a small participation fee to account for the rental of the shop space from the Pedal Depot. If you think you would participate, please send us an email to workshop@ebikes.ca
Posted By Adam Burvill

Interesting Issues with Nexcell Battery Chargers

October 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT



We have found a bit of a flaw with all the newer 3-LED Nexcell NiMH/NiCad battery chargers. These chargers use a programmable mircochip for controlling the charging process, but the overvoltage cutoff point was set too low to fully top up and balance Nickle Cadmium battery packs. The image from our testing station below clearly shows the difference between using the old and the new chargers:


The newer chargers terminate early at 61V rather than waiting for either a significant temperature rise or voltage drop that occures when the cells are allowed to overcharge slightly. This means the cells don't get a chance to balance out and causes a greater likelyhood of cell reversals developing over time. It's not a critically serious issue, but we have had more than the regular percentage of batteries coming back to us for which this was identified as the source of the problem. If you have a 3-LED charger and NiCad battery, we should have replacement microchips available soon for upgrading the charger parameters.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Thanksgiving Weekend Store Closure

August 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT


This coming Tuesday, Oct 14th, is the end of Canadian thanksgiving as well as voting day in our federal elections, and for us to fulfill these national responsibilities the store will be closed from regular resale activity. We'll be open again as usual on Wednesday from 12-6pm. 
Posted By Adam Burvill

Cross-Canada Ebike Journey Complete

August 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT


Well he did it. 59 days, 7100 km, and 2700 amp-hours later, Justin finally arrived in the city of Halifax on the east coast of Canada on sunday night, to the wet and windy welcome of Hurricane Kyle. Total electricity bill: $8.57

He has been keeping up to date stories from the adventure on the endless-sphere thread, where some final thoughts on the trip and many photos are posted.
Posted By Adam Burvill

New Hub Motor Series

August 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT


We are now carrying a new '2800 series' of ebike hub motor from Nine Continent. These hubs are of the recent generation of motor design coming out of China, and have noticeably greater power and efficiency for a similar weight and lower cost than the 400 series from Crystalyte. There is a fast 2806 winding for 20" motors, and a 2807 winding for 26" and 700c wheels. At the moment, these are only available for local pickup, in a kit that includes the Crystalyte sensorless motor controller, throttle, and Cycle Analyst.

For a performance comparisons, have a look at these motors with our online simulator.
Posted By Adam Burvill

No luck on Universal Chargers

August 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT


Unfortunately, after several weeks of testing we have decided to return the batch of auto-ranging 24V-48V NiCad/NiMH chargers to the manufacturer due to several vulnerabilities that can cause them to fail. In order to meet the shortage of suitable chargers to go with our NiCad battery packs, we have a new batch of the High Power brand 3 amp charging units available. 
Posted By Adam Burvill

Latest Trek Update, Now in Ontario

August 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT


Route and Stats from Vancouver, BC to Thunder Bay, ON



Justin has crossed into the Eastern Time Zone on his trans-canadian electric bicycle trip. He's in Thunderbay, Ontario, having had his first real setback. He still doesn't have his act together to get a real blog for this journey yet, but you can read about the exploits from the Endless Sphere's thread where he'll be continuing to make regular updates.



If there are people on the path between here and Sudbury who are up for meeting a friendly ebiker, please drop us a line.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Farewell Alberta

August 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT




Justin crossed the border into Saskatchewan on Thursday night. Two provinces down, a tad over $2.00 consumed from the energy budget, and another 4800 km remaining. He will be in Regina on Sunday and is keen to find out if there are any electric bicycle enthusiasts in that area. If you are one or know one, send us an email to info@ebikes.ca.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Store Closure Details and Stock Arrival Updates

August 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT


To clarify the situation, this Sunday Aug 16th at midnight will be the last day this summer that we will accept new orders from our store, shipping all of the existing orders and clearing up any outstanding business. After that we will do some long overdue housekeeping and reorganization.

There are many things you'll be able to look forwards to when the shop re-opens on Sept 3rd:

-High Capacity NiMH battery packs: We should have in stock again both 13Ah and the large 20Ah NiMH battery packs, as well as high current chargers to match them.

-Universal 24-48V NiCad Chargers: It's been over 8 months that we've been waiting for delivery on a new charger option for our NiCad battery packs. These units will be smaller and less expensive than the High Power brand, and are auto-ranging. The same charger will work for 24V, 36V, and 48V batteries.

-Improvements to our Online Store: Our shop website will be made more navigable, with an easier checkout process, more clarity on what parts go with what, a wider kit selection, and automatic shipping quotes.

-Motor Stock: We will have new shipments in from Crystalyte, a fresh supply of eZee motor kits, and possibly some other surprises.

Q. What if something breaks down, I need a new part ASAP...

A. We will continue and try to give over the top email support, so relax, no one is off vacationing on a beach in Bermuda. However, our telephone lines will not be monitored during this period, so please direct everything to our email.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Summer Closure

July 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT


A massive thank you needs to go out to Zev and Alison who have been shouldering the demanding task of running our shop during the busiest season of the year. At some point later this August the shop will be closing down for a 2 week period to give everyone a chance to take time off and recover. We will post the actual dates shortly.

Update: Dates of closure are August 17th - September 3rd.
Shipping will be completed before full shutdown so if you are waiting for your ebike parts, the shutdown will not impact their arrival. We won't be able to accept new orders during the closure by email or through our online store and will reopen on September 4th.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Hello Calgary

July 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT


Trip to Calgary
On Friday Justin crossed his first provincial border to enter Alberta on his cross-Canada electric bike journey. The trip statistics to date are shown in the image above, and things are looking more-or-less on track to make it to Halifax within the $10 energy budget.

He is currently staying in Calgary for a few days to catch up on a several things, and is planning to leave on Tuesday at 5:30 from the Power-In-Motion store at the Eau-Claire Market. Anyone wanting to participate in a small group ebike ride out of the city is welcome to join in. 
Posted By Adam Burvill

There is still space available to participate in our first ever electric bicycle conversion course, happening this Wednesday, June 25th at 6pm. This will be a great opportunity for people who want to convert their bike to electric assist but aren't entirely confident about doing the installation all alone. We will step you through the process of fitting all the conversion components on the bicycle, from the hub motor to the battery pack to the controller and throttle wiring. You will end up with properly installed and dependable setup that has a tidy wiring job. Best of all, this first course is free. For more details, see our upcoming events page.
Posted By Adam Burvill

VEVA Talk, Wednesday June 18th, 7:30 pm

June 18, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT


Justin will be giving a presentation on various aspects of ebike technlogy at the monthly VEVA meeting. Topics will include regen motor controllers, ebike lighting systems, and lithium battery management circuits. For more information including directions and a map please see the VEVA homepage.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Come Join Us for Car Free Day, Sunday June 15th

June 15, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT


We had a great time at the 2008 VEVA REV! show last weekend and were glad to see many familiar names and faces. For those who missed it and those who want more, we are going to be hosting a Car Free Vehicle Show this coming Sunday on June 15th. The event will take place from 4pm onwards and we will have the whole block of Main St. between 15th and 16th for people to demonstrate and test ride all kinds of electric and pedal powered vehicles. This is an opportunity for us in the ebike community to show to the rest of Vancouver what a getting around in a less car-dependent future might look like. We'll be bringing a nice fleet of electric rides including the recently built cargo trike, side-by-side tandem, and self balancing skateboards shown below.



In addition though, we want any and everyone in the area who was built their own ebike contraption to come out as well and demonstrate to the public what these things can do. There are so many innovative and unique vehicles that we've seen our customers build and this will be a perfect opportunity for us to get together and showcase this technology. You can come by any time in the afternoon and stay as long as you like. However, there is also a need for formal volunteers who will help out to man the barricades on all the side streets and explain to oncoming traffic what is going on, so if you have interest in helping out at this level then please drop us a line as soon as possible.
Posted By Adam Burvill

eZee Controller Issues

June 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT


There was an unfortunate issue that affected a number of the motor controllers that came with the recent batch of eZee conversion kits. Due to a low tolerance thermistor, some of the controllers were prone to entering an erroneous thermal shutdown after a short while of use even when the controllers were not actually overheating. This problem would be especially acute for people running at 48V. It has been fully resolved with the controller manufacturer. If you purchased an eZee kit and had a controller that shut down and entered a state of flashing 2 times, then 3 times, please let us know. We will have a replacement controller shipped out right away.
Posted By Adam Burvill

LiFePO4 Battery Packs

June 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT


At the time we decided to sell the 12Ah LiFePO4 battery packs this spring we made mention that there was a possibility that even though there were balanced and delivering capacity when we shipped them, that there was a chance that over time the packs would come unbalanced. Well it turns out that even though a number of the packs have been performing well, there are indeed quite a few that are gradually going down in available capacity because of inadequate cell balancing from the BMS circuit. We have been working very hard to try and get an improved replacement BMS circuit for these packs, and it looks like that will finally be coming toward the end of August.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Cross-Canada by ebike!

June 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT


How much energy does it take to get transported from one side of Canada to the other? We'll find out soon enough. Justin is currently in Victoria and is about to set off on a trans-Canada trip by electric bicycle. With over a kilowatt hour of lithium batteries, some fast chargers, and an Xtracycle-come-semi-recumbent bike, he's leaving equipped to do it fast and in comfort. The plan is to make it to Halifax, in about 6 week's time, monitoring the electric power consumed along the way with a goal doing the whole trip with less than ten dollars worth of electricity.

Not only will this be a great opportunity to showcase the energy efficiency of electric bikes compared to almost all other modes, it will also be a chance to meet up with you, the ebike enthusiasts all over this country. There are just so many interesting people to see and stories to hear about these very early stages of electric bicycle adoption, and Justin hopes to meet up with as many of you as he can along the way, (especially if you'll spare an outlet for a few hours!).

For more information, see the following discussion thread on the endless-sphere forum:

Posted By Adam Burvill

Many people are forever cynical about politics, but this past year the provincial government of BC has taken three actions which are enormously positive to our cause. Firstly, they have instituted the first carbon tax of its kind in North America, putting a long overdue price on CO2 emissions. Secondly, in April they eliminated sales tax on electric bicycles and ebike parts to encourage their sale as a viable green transportation choice. And thirdly, just this past week, they handed out $100 cheques to every citizen in BC to encourage us to make investments that will reduce our environmental footprint. Well, for most people who commute by car or diesel transit there is no single better way to slash your CO2 emissions than to travel by ebike. From now until the end of June, we will match Gordon Campbell's $100 green cheque for anyone in BC who purchases a complete (motor + controller + battery) electric bicycle setup from us. That's $200 total savings for your first ebike conversion.

Note, we were delighted by the amount of interest that our local customers had in this promotion, but the offer has now expired.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Parts Pickup This Week

June 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT


The store is open again and we are picking up the shipments of eZee kits, NiCad batteries, and rear Crystalyte motors over the next couple days. But because of our heavy involvement in preparing and organizing the event this Sunday we will probably not start taking online orders and shipping these goods until after the weekend. When they are showing up as available in our store site then that is the cue that we are ready for orders.

June 12th Update - Both the eZee kits and the Crysalyte parts are online and available now. The NiCad batteries won't get listed until after our discharge testing is underway next week.
Posted By Adam Burvill

General Note about our Stock Situation

June 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT


We know it may have been frustrating for customers trying to order complete ebike systems from us over the past few months. Things are available then suddenly sold out, and there might be the right motor but no controller, or the right controller but no suitable battery, can't these guys just get it right and keep things in stock? Well, the answer is yes and no. With some items like battery packs it can often take up to 6 months from when we place an order to when it is received and fully tested, and it is hard to know just where things will stand so far in the future with all the recent advances in battery chemistries and the volatile pricing of raw materials. We will do our best with dependable standby's like the venerable NiCad batteries to keep them in stock from now on, though newer stuff like the lithium iron phosphates packs may come and go on a case by case basis until the technology is sound.

However, for other items like the Crystalyte motors and controllers, we have reached a point where if we sold any more we would not be able to offer the same level of support and troubleshooting service to our customers that we are committed to providing. Rather than getting stretched thin, we are only ordering as many of these parts per month as we are comfortable selling. The troubleshooting section of our website was recently updated to include a list of all the more common problems we've encountered with the Crystalyte product line, and it should help explain why we aren't planning to increase our volume even though the demand for these is quite strong.
Posted By Adam Burvill

All Kinds of June Events

June 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT


June is Bike Month here in Vancouver, a time where we can celebrate that cycling is catching on in ways that few people would have imagined 10 years ago. We are participitating in many events throughout the city and would love to see some of you in the ebike community take part as well. These include the VEVA REV! show on June 7th, the Car Free Day on June 15th which has now expanded to include Main Street. We'll be giving the monthly VEVA talk on the 22nd and holding the first electric bicycle conversion workshop in at the new Pedal Depot facility in the last week of June. More information on all of these activities has been put on the events page.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Store Closure

May 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT


We will be shutting down the online store site from May 26th to June 6th, until our new shipments of battery packs and hub motors arrive in early June and we have a full inventory of parts again. There are exceptions if you want a motor type that we have in stock (e.g. 20" 405, 20" 5203, 16"404) or for the purchase of CycleAnalysts. Otherwise though, it will be best to just hold tight. We don't take advanced payments or pre-orders on parts until we actually have them on hand and ready to ship.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Parts Arrival Updates

May 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT

Parts Arrival Updates

For your information, here is the current estimated arrival time for most of the sold out items, but be aware that unexpected delays can be expected. We will make an announcement and list them on our store page again once they are available.

NiCad Batteries: We had a very large batch of 24V, 36V, and 48V NiCad batteries shipped out on May 16th that is expected to arrive around the 1st week of June.

NiMH Battery Packs: The next Nexcell battery shipment containing both 13Ah 'F' cell packs, and 18Ah '2D' packs, is expected to arrive around the middle/end of July.

LiFePO4 Batteries: There will be no further orders of lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries until we have fully resolved the balancing and BMS issues with the manufacturer. There are a handful of packs left that still require our reworking to pass QC, and these will be made available on our website only when they are ready.

Crystalyte Parts: Our next shipment of Crystalyte gear (mostly rear 400 series and 5304 motors) is due to arrive early in June, and the following shipment (a whole slate of motors, as well as more 72V 48A controllers) will be 3-4 weeks after that.

eZee Kits: The eZee kits were held up for over 2 months in account of delays with the new Sanyo lithium battery pack. So rather than waiting any longer, we have decided to proceed with the order using the original Phylion LiMn batteries. These are somewhat heavier and we will reduce the kit price accordingly, but we will nonetheless offer the full 1 year warranty. ETA is the 2nd week of June.

Posted By Adam Burvill

More Information on the eZee kits

May 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT


Our eZee kits have now been modified with basically every small improvement that we sought. The major changes:

CycleAnalyst Connector:
The eZee motor controller now has the 6-pin connector on it for attaching a direct plug-in CycleAnalyst. Using the CA-DPS model, you can now take advantage of the speed, voltage, and current limiting features with the straight forward connectivity of the direct plug-in version, just like our Crystalyte controllers.

Wider Voltage Range:
We have had both the lower and upper voltage controller cutouts removed, so now you can use the stock eZee controller with 24V and 48V battery packs without trouble, greatly increasing the flexibility and choice of battery options suitable for this kit.

Pedal Assist Option:
There is also an additional 4-pin pedal assist connector that can be combined with an optional PAS system. When the PAS sensor is plugged into this connector, the motor will only engage when the pedals are being rotated. It is possible to use this system and replace the throttle with a variable potentiometer, and then have a pedal activated ebike. It also makes the kit legally compliant with regulations in many jurisdictions (such as the EU).

Standard Disc Rotor:
The bolt hole pattern in the hub motor is now the standard 44mm diameter, so the rotors are interchangeable with most off the shelf disc products.

20" Wheel Size:
There is now a 20" wheel option which has been wound for a higher RPM in order to compensate for the smaller wheel diameter.

Interchangeable Throttle:
The throttle pinout is now exactly the same standard as our stock throttles, so you have the option of using our thumb or left hand throttles if the included full twist throttle is not ideal for your handlebars.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Crystalyte Shipment Arrived

April 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT


After some paperwork adventures we were able to get the first Crystalyte shipment of the season at the end of March and have updated inventory on the store page accordingly. The missing product photos and details will get filled in when we have time. Some points of note:

Pedal First Controllers:
We are now replenishing the supply of sensorless motor controllers, and have a new model on hand with IRFB4110 mosfets for operation up to 72V as well. These controllers without the hall sensor dependency are much more robust in wet or high exposure environments, where the Crystalyte Immediate Start systems have proven somewhat vulnerable. Highly recommended if you don't absolutely need assistance from zero speed.

Lower Cutoff Voltage:
For maximum flexibility we are gradually standardizing all of our motor controllers to have the built-in low voltage cutoff set to 20V, to enable operation with 24V battery packs. Anyone wanting a higher cutoff voltage can readily program in a custom value of their choosing with the CycleAnalyst. The only controllers we have on stock that still have a 30V cutoff are the 36V 20A and the 72V 48A start immediate controllers.

More CycleAnalyst Compatibility:
Both the DC and the sensorless pedal-first controllers have the connector port for Direct Plug-in CycleAnalysts. The sensorless controllers can still pick up the speed readings from the hub, even without the hall sensors. However, the DC motor controller has no information about the wheel speed. For these units, we have made a new model of the CycleAnalyst, CA-DPS, which has the 6-pin port for direct attachment to a motor controller, but which also uses a speedometer sensor and spoke magnet for conventional speed detection from a wheel. This model is also useful for people using brushless controllers with geared or mid-drive motor arrangements.

Rear DC Motors:
There is now a rear DC motor option that fits iin a conventional 135mm dropout spacing and is dished appropriately to accommodate a 7 speed freewheel. We've long felt that the he brushed DC motor systems are of great value and are pleased to have a more complete line to offer. Although the torque is a bit less than the 400 series brushless hubs, they have minimal cogging drag and excellent reliability.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Renovations and Expansion

April 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT


Those who come by and visit our shop space in Vancouver will certainly notice a lot of changes lately. We've managed to expand into one of the adjacent rooms and have taken the opportunity to do some wholesale renovations of area. New flooring, new paint, and when we are done there will be a whole new electronics development lab as well.

Posted By Adam Burvill

Lithium Iron Phosphate Situation

April 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT


As mentioned in the last web update, we did receive the shipment of 4C rated LiFePO4 battery packs. However, we have not put them up for sale yet because our testing has shown a few issues that we wanted to resolve. For those who don't care about juicy battery details, feel free to skip the next few paragraphs

--------------Lots of Tech Content Below----------------

Last year we sampled a number of LiFePO4 battery manufacturers looking to find one that delivered appreciable discharge currents yet also came in a finished looking and robust package. The one that we settled with not only met these requirements, it also came with a fairly advanced switched capacitor cell-balancing battery management system (BMS). This BMS did cell balancing splendidly, but it had the defect that it would continue to bleed a small amount of current from the cells even after the pack was flat and the BMS had cutout. If the battery was drained flat and then stored for several months, the BMS itself could actually end up discharging the cells all the way to zero volts and causing permanent damage.

These were at our request replaced with a new BMS circuit that would have virtually no quiescent current, causing some of the original delays to the shipment. As a downside though, it turns out that the rate of cell balancing with this new BMS is many orders of magnitude less than with the prior circuit. When we began testing the packs from this shipment we were typically only getting between 10 to 11.5 amp-hours out of them, due to the cells not being balanced. By opening up the packs and individually discharging those cells that are more charged than the rest of the pack, and topping up those cells that are running low, we've been able in almost every case to restore a full 12 amp-hours of available capacity. The images below shows a case in point.

The original pack as we received it was only delivering 8 amp-hours. You can see that there is not a very pronounced roll-off in the cell voltage before it shuts off, indicating that it was just 1 or 2 cells at a low state of charge causing the BMS to cutout. After opening the pack up we identified a single cell that was low, charged it up independently from the others in the pack, and afterwards it tested out perfectly. Most of the time it isn't so simple, and there are several cells both low and high that need to be adjusted and a few testing iterations before the capacity to reaches 12Ah.

So what next?

We have been going through all the batteries one by one in this manner and ensuring that each pack is balanced and delivers its rated capacity, and then re-sealing them. However, we still have some reservation about selling these until we are confident that the cells won't gradually go out of balance again in your hands. Ideally the amount of cell balancing by the BMS at the end of the charge cycle is sufficient to counter any natural deviations in cell leakage currents and BMS sense currents, and then this will be so. There are naturally a lot of tests going on at our end and a lot of back and forth with the manufacturer to get to the bottom of it, and we may decide in the end to replace the BMS circuits across the board

--------------- End of Heavy Tech Content ----------------------

Can I buy one?
The answer is yes, but only if you read the above paragraphs and fully understand and accept the implications. There is a small but finite possibility that the battery over time might go out of balance resulting in a reduced usable capacity, and you may have to open up and either service individual cells or replace the BMS circuit down the road if this is the case. We have a slow but steady stream of 24V, 36V, and 48V packs that are coming off the end of the testing/balancing cycle.

Update Apr 14th - Our final testing of the BMS shows that it does do cell balancing at an acceptable rate at the end of the charge cycle, and packs that are out of balance do slowly get better each time the packs is used and then recharged. The only situation we can forsee where the batteries could drift out of balance again is if they are stored for prolonged periods of time without use.
Posted By Adam Burvill

eZee kit Situation

April 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PDT


We were hoping to have received fairly large batch of eZee kits by now. At the time we placed the order we decided to pay extra for an upgraded and lighter weight Sanyo brand battery pack that would have a 12 month warranty. Unfortunately, there have been mistakes made on the ratings of the BMS circuits that came with these packs from Sanyo as well, and so eZee has had to return them to be fixed. The latest date for shipping is Apr 22nd, which would put the order here in the middle of May. Given that everything is ready except for the batteries, we are looking at the feasibility of having a small number of kits air-shipped this without batteries to at least provide an option for those who have been waiting, or who were counting on using a different type of battery pack anyway.
Posted By Adam Burvill

It's Mid-March, Where are the Goods?!?

March 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PST


We try to give an honest forecast on when we expect new items to show up, sometimes we get it right but usually there are wrenches thrown in our plans!
Posted By Adam Burvill

Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries

March 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PST




Our long-awaited shipment of 12Ah LiFePO4 batteries has arrived and was unpacked this last week. These include 24V, 36V, and 48V configurations all in a tidy and well packaged rectangular layout. We will need another week to rewire all the charging and discharge connector leads, as well as to begin the discharge testing of each pack before sale. Expect them to be posted to our online store around March 26th.
Posted By Adam Burvill

cA Winner, Enclosed Trike Project

March 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PST


Most of the "Sold Out" signs on our store site will disappear once the next boatload of goods from Crystalyte comes in. There are going to be some new additions with this order as well, including 72V pedal first controllers, spare axles to convert between front and rear hubs, and more of the famous 4110 mosfet 50A motor controllers. Although the ship is scheduled to arrive any day, due to logistical reasons we won't be able to pick it up until March 25th.
Posted By Adam Burvill

eZee Kit Shipment

March 1, 2008 11:24:00 AM PST


The first large batch of eZee conversion kits is completed but still sitting at the manufacturing warehouse, awaiting for a final inspection that all of the customizations and small changes were done correctly. We will have an accurate arrival time estimate when they have shipped, but at this stage it is looking like a few weeks into April.
Posted By Adam Burvill

February Update

February 14, 2008 11:24:00 AM PST


Who would have guessed that this January 2008 would be our busiest month to date! We certainly didn't, and are running out of stock in a lot of categories. Either ebikers are an active winter riding crowd, or most of our customers come from California, or a bit of both. We are basically out of rear hub motors and 72V motor controllers. Unfortunately for reasons largely out of our control, the next shipment of Crystalyte parts has faced delays and won't get here until around the second week of March.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Cycle Analyst V2.1 in Beta

February 14, 2008 11:24:00 AM PST





After a few weeks of fast paced development the next version of the Cycle Analyst code has been released for beta testers. This brings out features such as a serial output stream for data logging and on-the-fly adjustment of the current or speed limits via a potentiometer or other signal source. For more details, see this thread on the endless-sphere forum.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Successful Run of eZee Kits

February 14, 2008 11:24:00 AM PST


We are now completely sold out of the trial shipment of eZee hub motor kits. The response from those early adopters has been resoundingly positive and we appreciate all the feedback that has come back this way. Our next shipment with several changes and improvements is scheduled to arrive in mid-March. So hold tight all those who were slow on the draw, mid-March isn't that far away and we will ensure to maintain steady stock of these kits throughout the 2008 cycling season
Posted By Adam Burvill

High Capacity NiMH Batteries

February 14, 2008 11:24:00 AM PST


We have received and already quality control tested the new batch of NiMH batteries from Nexcell, including '2D' cell 24V and 36V packs, and 'F' cell 36V and 48V batteries. For the first time in our testing history, every single battery in this shipment passed QC. The '2D' packs discharged to at least 19Ah with no cell reversals, and every 'F' cell battery put out a solid 12.5-13Ah without a single early reversal. The 2D packs have doubled up fuse holders in parallel to better handle 40-50A currents. These are available for purchase now.
Posted By Adam Burvill

Some New Store Items

February 14, 2008 11:24:00 AM PST


There are a few other new items added to our store site. We've got two new sizes of black heatshrink, including 20cm wide which fits snugly on smaller 8Ah NiMH batteries, and a large 28cm tube that can even stretch over our triangular layout packs. There are 70oC thermal switches useful for overcharge protection for people building or repairing battery packs, and rolls of self-adhesive silicone tape for effective sealing and waterproofing of exposed electrical connections. 
Posted By Adam Burvill

Mourning of a Kindred Spirit

February 14, 2008 11:24:00 AM PST




It was sad news that we heard Sheldon Brown had passed away on Feb 3rd of this year. For anyone who has even casually searched the internet for technical information on bicycle systems, from seemingly obvious compatibility questions that no one seems to answer (like "can you use an 8 speed shifter with a 7 speed freewheel") to obscure details on internally geared hubs, Sheldon Brown's website would turn up like a resource beacon in a World Wide Web that is increasingly dominated by marketing and commercialism.
Posted By Adam Burvill

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