It's with a somewhat sad heart that we had to discontinue our popular Lumenator ebike lights earlier this year due to sourcing difficulties on some key parts. While a Lumenator 2.0 is still in the future, we have two new 3rd party front bike lights which we are happy to offer in the meantime. Both the Benex200 and the RoximX4 have StVZ0 compliant optics, which means that they can provide plenty of light on the road without causing blinding glare to oncoming traffic and fellow cyclists. Have a look at the image below to see the firm optical cutoff above the horizon.
The Benex200 has a 12-75V input range and features both light and motion sensors for automatic control. You can leave the light plugged in and it will automatically turn on whenever you are riding in the dark, and shut itself off after it is parked still for a while or the sun comes out.
The larger RoximX4 light works over an impressive 6V-85V range, meaning that you can power it from a 6V dyno hub right up to a 72V nominal ebike pack. We have custom wired our Roxim light to include a handle mounted push switch for easy on/off control.
Both models have been terminated with the DC 5.5x2.1mm barrel jack so that they can plug in directly to a Cycle Analyst or Anderson Tap. While neither option is quite as bright as our Lumenator, they still work great as a primary ebike headlight for almost all road and trail riding during the upcoming winter season.
Our August shipment of Crystalyte hub motors has some nice upgrades, so much so that we're ready to call it the H+ motor series:
- Solid Aluminum Stator Core, rather than pressed steel. Better heat absorption and less likely to bend during disassembly
- 0.35mm Stator Laminations for reduced eddie current drag torque, and best of all
- Injection Hole and fully sealed side plates for Statorade compatibility
That makes our line of Crystalyte direct drive hub motors ripe and ready for high performance applications that can benefit from improved thermal dissipation and efficiency. To select one of these newer motors during checkout, just use the new Statorade Uprade option available on each of the kits.
For the smaller Crysatlyte SAW and NSM motors, as there is no disk brake we've had a small threaded hole put in the side plate that can be closed off with an M3 screw. So those using the brompton and folding bike kits in hilly conditions can also run the motors longer without overheating by adding a small does of Statorade.
More details to come later, but we thought you might like a peak at what Justin and some Grin Staff have been burning the midnight oil on for the past several weeks, a project making full use of current and future Grin products.
Complete build details with pictures of the internal parts and construction are on the unicyclist.com forum
Justin is currently at the 18th International Unicon event in Spain testing this out among the world's elite unicycle riders, but as a result we've slipped behind in our timeliness with technical support emails in the past few weeks and apologize for all who have been let down by that. We'll get caught up again as soon as possible and hope otherwise you continue to have a great summer of ebike building and riding, and a happy BC Day to boot.
We had an agenda this year to tackle product documentation and make it easier for people to find thorough setup guidance and usage notes on their ebike hardware. In fact, we even have a little known section on our website that has a compilation of all the reference docs and user manuals we’ve produced over the years, and should probably call attention to it:
Go to the header LEARN -> DOCUMENTS
There are two significant additions that we completed in the last week. First is our complete user manual for the Grinfineon controller series, which goes into great detail on all the features and limitations of these almost universal motor controllers.
And secondly, we completed a Quickstart guide for the V2.4 Cycle Analyst. This covers all the information and key settings needed to get 95% of users up and running, without delving too much into techno talk. We’re hoping that it strikes the right balance of information vs. intimidation and look forwards to any feedback that you have.
Based on your response, we’ll be doing a series of similar Quickstart guides on setting up the V3 Cycle Analyst for various functions too. And not just print guides but video tutorials as well!
Above is our first stab at that, with a youtube tutorial on how to setup and configure V3 Cycle Analyst to use a magnet ring PAS sensor. If Zuckerberg says that very soon almost all web content will be video, we figure he might be right (again). So it’s time we get with the program. Still no Grin Facebook page though!
Although we are still staunchly a conversion kit / retrofit company, we've been largely perplexed at the lack of shops in Vancouver offering electric cargo bikes and want to address that. So for this summer at least we are offering two ready to roll turn-key cargo ebikes based on open/hackable drive systems that we think are of great quality and value; the eZee Expedir and the Juiced Riders ODK U500.
Both of these cargo ebikes have high capacity (>700 watt-hour) stock batteries, hydraulic disk brakes, and torquey geared hub motors well adept at moving heavy loads up steep hills. The Juiced ODK has 20" front and rear wheels with a simple 3 speed internal hub and is meant as a lower barrier and simple to use ebike, with battery options going up to 32Ah for phenominal range. We've worked closely with Tora, founder of Juiced, for many years now and have been ever impressed with his energy and accomplishments and building his accessible utility bike vision into reality. Below is a great recent video review of the U500 bike from electricbikereports:
The Expedir meanwhile is eZee's foray into the cargo bike territory and is a complete bicycle running a more sophisticated hardware set: with 9 speed shimano Alvio RD drivechain, Magura disk brakes, and a sturdy center stand. It uses a 26" front wheel and 24" rear, giving a somewhat lower cargo deck height than say the Yuba Mundo, but not so low that adult passengers have to lift their feet off the ground.
Other New Stuff?
We've added a "new items" category to our website to make it easier for people who check in frequently to see view more recently added goods that are new since the last visit. In addition to these cargo ebikes, you'll see many small items that haven't been announced on our blog, like eZee motor extension cables, handlebar mounted potentiometer for the CA3, connector boxes, the gear sensor cutoff for mid-drives and even the BEAMts chain tension torque sensor.
Plus, the observant may have noticed that the Phaserunner controllers and Satiator chargers are available to purchase again with a back order, meaning we are confident of their near term pending availability.
First of all, a big thanks to everyone who came by to meet us at the bay area Maker Faire at the end of last month, and to all the shops and people we visited on the road trip coming back up. It was fun to have a formal booth presence again to educate people about electric bike and skateboard technology, even in a space awash with drones and 3D printers.
We had a pretty mad couple weeks cramming in the projects on exhibit, including a novel take on a mid-drive system and a revival of our first pedalable e-uni. Unfortunately that meant our order queue and email responses got backlogged by up to a week and we apologize to those affected. As of now at least things are all caught up and we are back to snappy order fulfillment and responses.
Although we won't have a booth presence at the local Vancouver Mini Maker Faire on June 11th-12th, we do recommend anyone interested in DIY projects to attend if they can make it.
Things are finally rolling smoothly across the board at our new shop space on Powell St., and that means we can get back to new product engineering, and also properly communicate what is going on with our inventory plans. Some products have run their course, some are due for improvements, and others are getting revamped from scratch.
New eZee Flat Batteries 33% more range
First, we've had our next batch of eZee flat rack batteries updated to use 2.9Ah Panasonic PF cells rather than the 2.2Ah Sony V3 cells. That provides 33% more capacity but at the same size, weight, and cost as the previous packs. The 36V 15Ah battery is now 36V 20Ah, and the 48V 10.5Ah pack is now 14 Ah. We loved the incredible cycle and calendar life of the Sony V3 cells but the improved capacity at the same price from Panasonic is too hard to pass up.
Lumenator Light 1.0 Retired
Secondly, we've fully retired the 1000 Lumen Cycle Lumenator light. For the 6 years we've been producing it, this device has helped many people light up the streets with their ebikes but at the same time has been the source of some consternation to oncoming traffic. We are working to have the original Lumenator re-engineered with a similarly powerful headlight that has purely reflective optics which meet the German StVZO requirement for minimal brightness above the horizon, and should have it ready before the start of summer.
48V and 72V Satiator Models, Limited Supply
A few weeks ago we ran out our last fully QC passed Satiator devices and started listing at a discount those that were perfectly fine but didn't quite pass our 1PSI air leakage test. That means that we can't guarantee against water ingress if used extensively in the rain with water exposure. There are only a handful of these remaining.
Similarly, our pilot launch of 72V Satiator devices is on hold while we re-design some aspects of the power circuit after having several field failures, and we thank the Pilot testers for helping us iron this out.
Both the standard 48V and revised 72V Satiators should be in full supply again in early June. The positive user feedback for Satiators has been awesome and we really look forwards to getting this nailed for 2016 and available to all who want one.
eZee Rear Motor with Cassette Freehub
Finally, eZee is now manufacturing a rear motor with a high-end cassette freehub system which we've got available in standard 250 rpm and fast 350 rpm winding options. They cost a fair bit more than the screw-on freewheel version so for the stock laced kits we are sticking with freewheels. But for those who want a kit using all modern bike hardware standards for 9 or 10 speed cassettes, these make a great choice.
What about the Phaserunner, LiGo Batteries, and Thru-Axle Grin Motors?
Stay tuned for our next homepage updates for all of those exciting things coming out of Grin, as well as new documentation, video tutorials, torque sensor options, and a serious overhaul of the CycleStoker system.
We're often in the midst of evaluating and revising our product offerings and figured it was a good idea to shed some light on our plans for 2016. In addition to the Thru-Axle motor discussed in the last blog post, we’ve got some other items that are actually available now.
9C+ Front Motors with Statorade:
Our plan for 2016 is to have Statorade and 0.35mm laminations by default in all of our direct drive hub motors, reducing the rolling drag and increasing the heat dissipation capabilities across the board. We're starting this off by introducing what we call the 9C+ hub motor series which we quietly slipped on our website last month.
Outwardly this looks like a generic 205mm DD hub. But internally it has the 0.35mm core, a drilled through disk hole for injecting fluid, a thorough silicone sealant on the side plate to prevent fluid leakage, an embedded thermistor for temperature sensing, and is already pre-loaded with 5mL of Statorade. And at just $175 for the hub it's probably the best value drive option we've ever offered.
The 9C+ motors are available in front drives in a 5,6, and 7 turn winding, either as a bare hub, hand-built into a wheel, or as part of a complete conversion kit. They are also modeled on our simulator as the 9C+ 27XX option.
Mini Geared Hubs, from Outrider to Bafang:
We've stopped carrying the small geared motors from Outrider, and are replacing these with a similar sized G01 series hub from Bafang. This particular motor is much easier to service, has cables exiting from the side plate rather the end of the axle, has better disk brake compatibility, and is customized for us with an internal thermistor for motor temperature sensing.
It should be a dandy option for the light weight lower power (250-500 watt) conversion systems, and we've got both fast (10rpm/V) and standard (8rpm/V) winding options for to suit different wheel diameters and pack voltages. The hub is already on our simulator, spoke calculator, and is available either as a bare hub, laced into a rim, or as part of a complete conversion kit.
Stokemonkeys Back with Options
And finally, we've largely finished setting up our CNC machine center and welding stations in our new space, allowing us to resume fabricating the stokemonkey kit hardware which was out of stock for a little while. We're now now offering the stokemonkey clampset with specific ID's to match several common tube diameter for an ideal clamping fit, and even have a custom option where we will CNC it to your specific tube size.
We've also switched the motor source back to Crystalyte just like the very original SM motors were based, but using their newer SAW40X motor line instead of the 400 series.
Well that was quite the whirlwind tour through Taiwan and China, Justin and Robbie would like to thank all of those we met up with at the Taipei Bike Show and tour visits afterwords. Benjamin, Tora, Ching, Britt, Harry, Paul, and all the AU and NZ folks it was great to hang out and share our interests and visions for the ebike movement.
There are a lot of good things that will be coming from this trip, and we're looking forwards to closer relationships and some joint endeavors this year with Juiced Riders, EM3EV, TDCM and other companies doing innovative product developments. We feel strongly that some collaborative efforts can help bring signifcant ebike tech advances to a larger audience. And on that front, we also brought along 3 of our own projects that are at the end of their long development cycle and are ready to show:
The Thru-Axle Motor, 2nd Gen Phaserunner Controller, and Potted LiGo battery packs have all sub-components in place and are ready for production, if only we hadn't just lost our production facility when we moved shop this past month! So we are still busy doing all the electrical wiring, machine installation, and related manufacturing infrastructure at the Powell St. address before we can make these available. We should be ready well in time for the 2016 bike season so please stay tuned to our homepage or newsletter if you want to be first in line during the rollout.
Well this is it. Our last outgoing shipments from 4th Ave have been picked up and the big tear-down is taking place in earnest. We’ll be fully closed on Friday as we peel back the 5 years spent making this place into our home and pack everything over to the new digs. It’s an exciting expansion and we’ve really appreciated all the words of encouragement that many of you have sent our way.
Business as usual should be able to resume after the weekend on Tuesday, but do expect delays before all normal operations are up to speed. As well, Justin and others from the engineering team will be the Taipei bike show next week and so technical inquires and conversations may be deferred until their return in mid-march.