We made giant steps forward in January, here's the list of what we'll be covering in this update:
Before going ahead, please note that the 25% off promotion is about to end: only 20 kits available yet ( here: online shop ) . After that the price will switch to the full price.
Motor Die casting toolings
As you can see in the pictures below, the first casting test arrived to our factory. Those are not yet machined and are just meant to assess the overall quality of the mould. They look very good and the no additional modification to the moulds should be required. We'll go ahead with the machining process to verify that everything works. After this step, we'll receive the machind castings to go ahead with the production.
After some assembling testing we saw that the riveting of the lamination wasn't good enough. For that reason, our supplier modified the riveting fixture to improve the strength of the bond. That's now completed.
Endurance Test for the new controller
Our custom controller is based on an already existing controller. We wanted to go this way to exploit its current reliability. On top of that we plan to run a 1000-hour endurance test on it to double check reliability and performance over time.
The design of the torque arm is completed.
After that we received the final version of the custom controller we had to re-design it's aluminum case: some dimensions were changed from the intial project and that required minor modifications.
In this box both the motor controller and Smartbox are fitted into. We prefer to keep the controller outside the motor unit because high-performance motors generate electromagnetic noise and heat, and you want to keep electronics away from that. We managed to fit everything in a very compact box: it fits inside the motor outline shape, except for a little angle on the front, as you can see in the first picture above. Most important, the box won't affect the ground clearance. In the above pics, we highlighted the box with orange color, but the production will have satin aluminum finish.
The torque arm is the part which anchors the motor to the frame and gives a reaction point to the motor so that it won't spin inside the bottom bracket. This part is critical in many ways: from one side it has to be resistent and, on the other side, it needs to be adaptable to any bike. Its design comes as a consequence of the control box design, that's why we completed that only now. The good news is that in the meanwhile we tested the design against more and more bike model, perfecting the mating interface.
This design is now completed and we're ready to go ahead with the aluminum die casting tooling opening for the box. This process usually takes 30 to 45 days and that's what's currently slacking the product shipment. As a corrective action we are looking to get the first batch done with sand casting instead of die casting. That would cut the wait time in half. The challenge of sand casting is that the thickness of the part is too small: we'll verify that next week.
If everything goes smooth, we'll be able to ship in the second half of March.
Beta testing for the final version of the app
The app is now working, we need just to fix some minor bugs ( for example the power reading which is not correct in the video). That will take approx two weeks. The look and feel is very positive. The raw footage below shows the main screens and displayed values. I did that with the smartphone during the project review, so please bear with me for the quality. In the next update you'll see the full explanation of all operating modes and features.
We plan to release the next update between Feb, the 15th and the 25th.
All the Best,
Matteo, Luca and Bikee Bike team.