We thought May was a record busy month here but June has even stepped that up a notch! Normally this should be a good news item as we all want ebikes to take off. However, it also means that in spite of careful inventory planning and increased staffing levels earlier this year, we're still having a difficult time keeping up with this activity. We're currently receiving 250-300 emails a day which is more than our capacity to answer, and many items that we thought would be in good supply are fast running out of stock.
We're doing what we can to stay caught up, to bring on more staff, and to expedite stop-gap inventory supplies. And in the meantime, we appreciate your patience as our email response time is slower than usual, and orders are sometimes taking a week or more to ship out as we work through the queue.
We would also like to remind our local customers that we are still committed to contact-less order pick-ups and are not accepting unscheduled visits. Please continue to place your orders online and we will contact you when the order is ready to collect.
Efficiency Presentation - Sun Jun 21st
In spite of all this busyness, we will still be going ahead with the next installment in our live seminars to spread in-depth knowledge of different aspects of ebike technology. But we will be dropping the frequency of these from every 2 weeks to once a month. The focus of our upcoming presentation will be all about motor and system efficiency, and will start this Sunday at 10am PDT. Tune in if you feel like geeking out! This talk will get a little nerdy.
Our Phaserunner Motor Controllers are back in stock with an updated V3 design that uses the new waterproof WP8 Cycle Analyst plug standard. This brings the Phaserunner into the same connector realm as the Baserunner controllers and simplifies the hookup of motor temperature sensors and handlebar on/off power switches. See our short Phaserunner V3 Updates List for a detailed explanation.
Actually, we've been making them like mad for the past couple weeks since the parts came in just trying to keep up with the order volumes during this record breaking busy month of May! By the end of this week we expect to be fully caught up on the back-orders and we thank everyone for their patience if you've had an order in the queue that hasn't shipped yet.
After the great feedback from our SPEZI show presentation on hub motor theory we're pumped to make this into a recurring event. At least once or twice a month until the end of summer we'll do a thorough live-stream seminar on some aspect of ebike technology for those people after a deeper understanding of the topic.
Our next talk is going to be this coming Sunday, May 17th, and we've decided to cover multi-motor drive systems. That could be dual front and rear hub motors, one hub motor and a mid-drive motor, dual front motors on a tadpole trike, dual rear motors on a delta trike, and even 3 wheel drive setups.
We plan to explain when and why you'd consider a multi-motor setup, and then into great detail on the optimal component selectoin and wiring techniques to properly control multiple motors on a single vehicle. If this is an area of interest, check in Sunday at 9am PDT on the video link above and join the stream!
Update - Server Migration Complete, Browse Away!
Hey everyone, this Saturday at 5pm Pacific Time our website will be down.
Yes, we know our webpage has gone down a number of times lately; what's different is that this time it is planned in advance! We are migrating to a new server that should result in faster page loads and better browsing experience for all those who come visit ebikes.ca to learn things, play with our tools, or shop for ebike parts.
If all goes well this should last for 1-2 hours and then the site will operate normally again, with the same old look but nice and overdue speed injection. We recommend not being in the process of creating any orders on Saturday afternoon/evening until after the migration has completed, and for some period of time the order page will be locked. All core online orderi functionality seems to be up and running fine.
It is quite possible that there will be additional hiccups or aspects of our web page that end up breaking in this process, but we have a team on hand who will be on the front lines to resolve any issues. We're looking forward to this upgrade and having our next check-in from the other side.
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.