Our original 2020 plans had us in Germany this weekend participating in the one-of-a-kind Spezi bike fair. This event showcases all the outcasts and inventive oddities from the bicycle scene: Cargobikes, velomobiles, recumbents, trikes, ellitpical bikes, folders, handcycles... our kind of folks! We were excited to finally attend after hearing about it for so many years. We were going to share an exhibit booth with our friends at ebikes-solutions, show off some fun demo EV projects, and meet many of our European customers and clients.
That's not happening of course, but in the spirit of keeping the event alive the organizers have created a virtual Spezi page and made to make as much of the planned content available this weekend to anyone who wants.
We were scheduled to deliver two presentations, one on the logistics and experiences of solar bike touring, and another on the practical and theoretical understanding of hub motors. Those events are going ahead!
The upcoming talk about hub motors will be a livestream broadcast on YouTube that starts on Sunday at 7am PST, 10am Eastern Time, or 4pm in the afternoon for those on European time, and we'd love you to join us if this is a topic you want to learn more about.
We had plans to show our short Suntrip video at several more film festivals this year, but with all of those gatherings cancelled and many people stuck at home we've decided to do a live streaming release this weekend for everyone to watch. If you are into ebikes, solar bikes, rowing bikes, or random silly adventures, then tune into our Youtube premiere of "3 Wheels Under the Sun" this Sunday evening at 7pm PST.
If you miss it, you'll miss out on the live chat but at you'll be able to stream it any time therafter no problem.
We hope that everyone out there is making the most of their Easter long weekend given the circumstances! Here at Grin we've still been plowing along with our ebike development projects as much as possible,and are glad to announce some nice updates to our Grinspector Battery test station.
This is a device that we developed initially for our in-house battery testing needs but decided to make it available as a tool for other ebike businesses and custom builders. The recent updates include
- Native Operation up to 100V (previously was 60V max for charging)
- Entirely Rewritten Software Suite, now Available for macOS
- Discharge Test Periodically Measures Pack Internal Resistance
We've been using a bank of these for doing our 100% quality control tests on every single battery pack prior to shipping, and we show this setup and the basic operation in the following video:
While we were at it, we also produced a video tutorial on setting up a Grinspector station and using new software suite.
As the situation with COVID-19 unfolds, we are adapting in order to provide high quality ebike conversion components and ebike accessories, while keeping our entire crew safe and employed.
Sales and Support
At the moment our sales and support staff are working exclusively from home and are not at the Grin facility. While we always prefer email communication whenever possible, we have setup a remote system to allow the sales team to call back those of you who are unable to email and leave us a phone message instead.
Although the storefront is fully closed, our shipping department is still allowing local order pickups for the time being. Local orders need to be placed and paid online first, and then we will notify by email when the package is ready for scheduling an appropriate collection time. This is strictly a package pickup service, we will not have the ability to modify the orders or provide any sales assistance you may be used to.
We will continue to do our best at providing all the troubleshooting and warranty support to keep your ebike setups up and running; there is no better way to stay fresh and healthy during this time and the roads have never been less congested. However we cannot process any in-person visits to the shop, and our turn-around time for items that need repair work is currently much longer than normal given the remote work situation. We will address each situation on a case-by-case basis to sort an appropriate resolution given the circumstances.
Needless to say this past week saw a very rapid change in the ground situation for Covid-19 response around the world, and we're in full support of all the preventative measures being taken to reduce the foothold that it gains here.
What we are doing
We are going to try and keep Grin's online business fully operational to continue delivering ebike conversion parts around the world, but many of our staff will be working from home and we will be keeping the number of people at our shop to a minimum. For the time being:
1) No more visit appointments
We will cease doing in-person consultations at our shop. We will only be allowing visits from people who have pre-paid orders that are ready for pickup, and we'll have your items in a box by the front door when you've been notified that the order is ready. Updated to reflect our latest procedures
2) Reduced Phone Availability
We will try to have one person available for phone support down from our normal 3 lines, which means we ask you to leave that phone line open for those who strictly need it and cannot use email due to vision or technical issues. Otherwise all correspondence (sales questions, technical questions, order updates, troubleshooting/support) will be directed over email.
We thank you for your understanding on these two points and hope that people are doing well and staying healthy. All health concerns aside, for those not affected a short-term pause in all the long distance travel, commuting, and big events may end up being good for the soul and for general perspective. Stay positive, go for bike rides, fix things up around the house, our busy lives can use the occasional reset.
As many people are well aware the spread of Covid19 has disrupted the supply chain of goods originating in China. Fortunately most of our inventory and stock was well secured before this but we have had setbacks in 3 product lines:
The PCB assemblies for the Phaserunner devices are not expected now until the end of this month, and we will not be taking back-orders until those parts are on hand. For many users the newer Baserunner_L10 model is an excellent substitute for those who do not require 72V operation, and we have that in good supply
2) Inexpensive Chargers:
Our inexpensive chargers are back in stock, so this deal is done! (04/13/2020)
Our cheaper 2A and 3A charger models with the ST3 port are entirely out of stock leaving us without a budget charger option to pair with our downtube batteries. Until these are back in stock (eta mid-march), we are offering the Satiator Upgrade on a kit or battery at 50% off the normal price to split the difference. Please note that this discount only applies with a battery or ready-to-roll kit purchase that includes a Satiator, and not on the charger by itself.
3) Standard LiGo Batteries:
The assembly of our next batch of LiGo BMS circuitboards got seriously delayed as well, and full production might not be possible until early April. We have a limited supply of LiGo's available for backorder purchase being made from rework of existing inventory, while the new higher power LiGo+ modules are available in good supply.
This is a reminder that we are once again attending the BC Bike Show with a full booth showcasing many of our kit and conversion products. If you want an opportunity to talk about retrofit options that would suite your needs and see the systems firsthand then please come by. It's a great event with many players in the local cycling and outdoors scene all under one roof. We're at location B207.
At the show we'll be giving two presentations on solar bicycle touring and screening the short film of our 2018 Suntrip ride. The premier showing at the Mountain Film Festival was very well received and we're glad to have another opportunity to present this to a public audience, and to answer any questions about solar powered ebikes. Check us out at the Cycle Stage.
- Saturday Feb 29th at 12:30pm
- Sunday March 1st at 3:00pm
We are happy to introduce four new people who joined Grin recently to help us out in our sales and customer support department. Bob, Laurel, and Nicole all started at the beginning of the month and have been doing an amazing job learning all the ins and outs of this operation, while our good friend Eliza's been guiding the process since coming on board last fall.
This expanded sales team will help us deliver fast response and excellent customer service as this business keeps getting busier and busier, and we appreciate your support and occasional patience as the new staff get fully trained up.
You can see that our front of shop renovations have been moving along as we accommodate this larger team and prepare ourselves for what is sure to be a busy summer. For now however, we will continue to be a by-appointment operation. If you do need to visit Grin in person, please remember to call or email in advance to book a time slot, Tue-Fri 11am - 6pm, instead of showing up unannounced.
Our Grin battery lineup keeps growing and the latest shipment includes high capacity downtube batteries in the new Reention DP-9C 84 cell enclosure. These large packs provide over a kilowatt-hour of capacity in convenient frame mounted casing, ideal for long distance trekkers.
We have both a 36V 26.5Ah and a 52V 20Ah model in stock and ready to ship. We've also got a smaller 48V 16.5Ah Reention battery model for smaller range requirements. These 3 new models are all Baserunner compatible for slick conversions and are available with our Ready-to-Roll kit bundles
72V are Shipping
Last year we expanded our 72V pack offerings to include a 9.5Ah model using Panasonic 21700A cell, but they were for local customers only as we lacked the paperwork and certification to ship them. Well that has been sorted out and these 72V downtube battery packs are now available to be delivered around the world. These packs provide a very convenient approach to doing high speed EV builds without the complications of series connecting 36V batteries or dealing with sketchy pack construction.
LiGo+, Higher Power
We're also putting on the final touches for a new LiGo+ battery module that uses the high power Samsung 30Q cells. These new LiGo+ packs can sustain higher continuous discharge currents (15A vs 10A) and charge currents than our standard LiGo, making them ideal for very lightweight EV builds that are running just 2 or 3 of these modules. For large packs (4 or more in parallel) the standard LiGo batteries are still perfectly suited and the most economical, but for more ultra light systems the LiGo+ packs are just the ticket. .
VIMFF - Feb 26th
We're thrilled to report that the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival (VIMFF) has selected our short film "3 Wheels Under the Sun" for their upcoming show. This tells the full story of our 2018 Suntrip race and will hit the big screens on Feb 26th at the Rio Theater along with presentations from other long distance bike tours . We welcome anyone in Vancouver with an interest in bike adventures to get tickets now. If you're into the outdoors be sure to check out the many other great shows during the 10 day festival.
BC Bike Show - Feb 29th / Mar 1st
We'll also have a screening the following weekend at the BC Bike Show on Feb 29th at 12:30pm, and March 1st at 3pm. This will be a more intimate environment that will allow discussions about the logistics of solar ebike touring and a Q&A session afterwords. If you are interested to hear more details about solar powered ebikes or have some burning questions then please come out. There are plenty of reasons already to check out the BC Bike Show and hopefully this adds one more to your list!