We quietly started carrying Hailong downtube mount battery packs last fall, but didn't announce anything as they lacked UN38.3 certification and so were available for local pickup only. Well, that's all changed and we now have a 52V 13Ah downtube battery with UN38.3 documents that we can ship over the world. These battery packs are using the Panasonic GA cells, nominally 3.5Ah each but we'll rate them more conservatively at 3.3Ah.
These are great low center of gravity batteries for ebikes running 20-25A motor controllers. The BMS circuit is capable of 40A continuous but usage at these levels isn't recommended for cell longevity. For bikes that don't have suitable waterbottle eyelets on the downtube, we also have sourced a nice Banjo Brothers frame bag that holds them neatly from the toptube, and helps your conversion look less like an ebike with the obvious battery exposed.
Not sure how to pick a battery?
We've also recently rewritten our battery kits info page, updating it to reflect our 2017 battery options with summary explanation on choosing the best pack for your setup.
This updated page also includes tips on parallel or series wiring for connecting batteries and other tidbits that you may find useful when considering a new battery purchase.
This time last year we were deep in the throes of converting and renovating a giant warehouse go become a new home for Grin, in preparation for a lengthy business move we didn't really ask for. And now that we're settled in, it's payoff time and are ready to rock like never before. For the foreseeable future we'll have a new product and/or video announcement to share with you every single week.
We'll start things off by announcing the TripWire, a new product for those looking for an ebrake cutoff solution that tacks onto existing brake levers rather than replacing them. We had tried developing devices based on magnets and reed switches, touch sensitive pads, and other technologies over the years, never quite coming up with a scheme we were happy with. Then out of the blue, one of our customers Tim O'Brien approached us with a solution that was truly great. I'll let Tim explain it himself here:
We've been working with Tim to iron out design details and hare happy to have received his first production batch over the holidays. They're available both with a short cable for plugging into a V3 Cycle Analyst device to enable proportional regen, and with a long cable length to go directly to the controller ebrake input if you don't have a CA3 in your setup.
We wish everyone a splendid holiday season and we'll be busy as usual fulfilling orders and answering questions during the next few weeks, being closed just for the statutory holidays on Christmas and New Years.
Plus for any real last minute shoppers we've decided to open our doors on Saturday Dec 24th from 11am to 4pm. We just received a fresh stock of beginner unicycles and have tons of Grin goodies to stuff under the tree.
The 72V Satiators have now passed UL and CSA regulatory testing and are in full production in time for every ebike enthusiast's Christmas wish list. Thank you to all those who participated in the beta/pilot run earlier this year while we sorted out details. We've got them listed not only on our store site but also stocked at amazon.com so that our American friends can get free domestic shipping.
As well, we've greatly increased the number of adapter cables available for making the Satiator more plug and play compatible with 3rd party batteries and ebikes. This includes XT60 connectors used RC batteries, 5.5 x 2.5mm DC Barrel connectors used in most frame batteries, Rosenberger plugs on high-end European setups, and 4-pin XLR plugs for the Juiced bikes, along with our previous Anderson and RCA adapters.
All of these cables are available from the drop-down selector on the Satiator store pages and they all include the TRS jack for computer communications with the USB->TTL cable.
In April we had changes with the Stokemonkey kit including clampset options and a new SAW motor from Crystalyte. Well now we've got two more great updates. The first is a an option now to use a geared rather than direct drive motor. After a lot of testing we settled on the G02 Bafang hub as the perfect candidate, being 33% lighter and yet having 10-15% more torque with the same controller. With these motors, we use a simple fixed cog bolted on the disk mount and take advantage of the motor's intrinsic freewheel rather than using an external freewheel.
That said the geared motor can make a small audible buzz when running, so for those who prefer the silence and intrinsic rugged simplicity of the heavier direct drive motor we continue to offer both choices.
The second update is that we're offering the gearsensor.com shift cutoffs as an option with both the classic Stokemonkey and Cycle Stoker kits. This Czech made device goes inline with your shift cable and senses when you are changing gears to automatically cut motor power for a moment so that you have a smooth transition. We've had them in stock for a while, but only recently have had all of our CA3 devices updated to provide 5V power on the ebrake connector allowing for plug and play compatibility. These make the mid-drive motor operation seamless.
We're calling our Statorade ferrofluid experiment that started last year a wild success. We've had fleet cargo ebike users (like Shift Delivery) see their average motor temperature drop from in the ~100-110°C range to ~70 degrees. It's enabled people to push the continuous power limits of their direct drive motors up a significant margin, and there's been no evidence at all of compatibility problems with glues, varnishes, and enamels inside the motors. Our recently updated Statorade product info page has the details.
In order to make the Statorade easier to inject, we've updated the standard package to a Luer Lock style syringe with both a twist lock cap and a small diameter plastic needle. This allows you to drill just a tiny 2mm hole for precise injection with less risk of mess. And, as a plus for people in the US, we've got it stocked on Amazon for cheap shipping. Have a look.
Finally for those with lots of ebike motors in their garage, we've also started offering larger 50mL and 100mL bulk bottles of Statorade. They are on special price now until mid-December. Our goal was to make all of our direct drive hub motors (Crystalyte, Nine Continent, TDCM, and Grin) statorade compatible in 2016 and we are happy to have succeeded in that.
The custom line of Grinfineon motor controllers has undergone a big update this fall with the switch to a new control chip. It now runs in silent sine wave mode when the hall sensors are plugged in.
So with direct drive motors the assist is almost as silky smooth as the phaserunners, and in sensorless mode it can run motors up to 28,000 eRPM, making it compatible with even high pole count geared motors like the eZee, BMC, and MAC hubs at conventional cruising speeds. We really can call it universally compatible with any ebike motor in the catalog.
These controllers are all in stock in the 20A, 25A, 35A, and 40A models, and available with the purchase of most of our conversion kits too. We have completed a draft of an updated Grinfineon 2.0 user manual that details this new feature set.
On the downside, we did have to drop a few features that were present in the previous Grinfineon controller circuits:
- 1) The input voltage range is no longer compatible with 24V packs due to the use of a switching rather than linear regulator, so it is only for 36V and higher setups (LVC of 27V).
- 2) The automatic hall mapping feature is not available with this sine wave mode. So if you are running sensored, it is necessary to ensure you have the correct hall and phase pinout. Our current version is colour for colour matched with eZee and Crystalyte motors, but other hubs (Bafang, MXUS etc.) may require experimenting with the connections.
- 3) While we still have proportional / variable regen from a 0.0 to 0.7V throttle signal for use with a V3 Cycle Analyst, the regen from an external ebrake input is fixed at 50% of max. It does not change with application of the throttle voltage.
Very few people these days are using 24V setups and most customers using proportional regen feature have a V3 CA device, so the only real loss here was the automatic hall mapping. However, we found that this feature was causing complications with the trend to higher eRPM motors and decided in the interest of working with fast geared hubs it was best to stick with a fixed hall map. On the whole though, a very nice upgrade that we think you will like. We have remaining inventory of our trapezoidal Grinfineon 40A Devices (for 36-72V setups) with automatic hall mapping available at a special discount for those looking for a great controller deal.
There are some new items in the rear hub motor department in stock here at Grin. First is a fast (395rpm) version of the 5 speed Internal Gear Hub (IGH) motor from TDCM. This high speed winding choice is perfect for folding and recumbent bikes with 20" wheels which can benefit from the internal hub gears, and is also great for people who want a fast ebike setup in a normal 26" wheel without resorting to high voltage batteries.
In something of a Grin exclusive we've also had both the standard (300rpm) and fast (395rpm) motors in our latest batch made with 0.35mm laminations for reduced core loss, and using our custom high-flex 12 gauge phase cable for the motor lead wires. These Taiwanese made motors are in a different quality league than any of the direct drive hubs we're used to seeing from china and make for very clean derailleur-free ebike builds. The performance details of this new hub are already live on our simulator.
The second update is that we've now got a rear version of the 9C+ motor series in 3 different windings. Like the front 9C+ motors from Grin, this one features 0.35mm laminations for minimal drag when pedaling, and has a thermistor and fully sealed side covers with a statorade injection port in the disk holes. At just $185 it's a great value motor with impressive performance for those who don't mind if the mechanical details like disk rotor alignment, flange wobble etc. are at Chinese standards.
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.