Hey everyone we have now finished started the planned Aug 22nd - 29th store shutdown. Thank you for your patience and understanding while we got caught up. Please note that while our store is now open again - we are still not serving walk-in customers due to ongoing CoVID-19 restrictions. During this week we will get caught with all aging orders and communication backlogs, and also deploy new internal systems to smooth out our operations. Our sales and support staff will still be available by email but new orders are now on hold. If you have things in your cart you'll be able to check out on Aug 30th.
Ebike activity has really been through the roof this summer and we wanted to thank both the team here and our customers for their patience as we adjust to this new reality. We've managed to step up our manufacturing throughput so that most of our key items (Phaserunners, Baserunners, All Axle motors, CA3-WP's, LiGo Batteries..) have been in good supply again; our sales and support team have been responding to over 1500 emails and countless phone calls each week; and our packing and shipping team of been getting record throughput out the door.
One downside of this unprecedented activity is that other items (new video releases, web content updates, R&D, user manuals, new product development etc.) have taken a backseat as we try to stay on top of top order volumes. We're hoping to make headway on a number of those fronts next week too.
Introducing our new Operations Manager - Guy Thorburn
We're pleased to have brought an experienced fellow like Guy onboard as our first full-time operations manager. Guy has previously been involved with successful tech businesses in BC like Carmanah (https://carmanah.com/), and helped Grin during our first move away from the small shop on Main St. 10 years ago. We're looking forward to have him as part of our core team as we scale things to the next phase in this exciting industry.
More Job Hirings
Thanks to everyone that sent in an application for our recent job postings - we're currently finished with hiring for now and have a few exciting new team members here at Grin...
That said if you're an eBike repair and support expert, we'd love to hear from you - send over an email with a resume and cover letter as well as anything else you think we should know.
We've had a half dozen new staff join Grin this summer but we are still looking for even more! There are two roles in particular that we could use filled like yesterday:
1) Remote Technical Support: We're still looking for people with a technical background in order to help with troubleshooting and support. This is a position that can be done remotely so no need to be in Vancouver, but we are after someone who already has deep familiarity and understanding of Grin's entire product lineup and superb typing and writing skills. This could be a great side hustle for an ebike guru out of work due to the Covid situation, and we're open to both part time or full time possibilities.
2) Packing / Shipping Assistant: We're also after another pair of hands to work full time in the packing and shipping side of our business. This job can't be done remote, so if you know someone in Vancouver looking for a manual job with a good crew of people then feel free to spread the word.
If you are interested in either of these then please send us an email with a resume, cover letter, and any other details about yourself you think we should know.
This summer hasn't slowed down one bit and we're still firing away on all phases to keep up. However the excess activity has resulted in some organizational chaos across our shop. We will be closing both our online store and phyiscal shop for from Aug 22nd to Aug 30th for some deep cleaning and restructuring to better serve people and to fully catch up on any backlogs. It will also allow us to sort through tons of old stock and prepare an epic end-of-summer garage sale of ebike parts!
During this period we will still be answering support emails, but we won't be able to take in new orders or process any orders placed after August 14th.
Thanks in advance for your understanding and happy riding.
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.