A 10,000 km journey, keeping on pushing to the finish line. First shipments ( batteries only by now).
Successfully reached 10'000 km ( 6,250 miles ) in the endurance test!
The BEST ebike system performed really well on the endurance. The cycle was 2 minutes ON-1 minute OFF at full power. To give you an idea about the length of this trip, you can take a look at the map: it's like pedalling from Anchorage to Los Angeles and then to New York.
Although that's impressive, we expect more. We stopped the testing to perform a ride test on bike tracks. We catch the opportunity to do that while visiting the Riva Bike Festival, held in Riva del Garda at the end of April. That's been a great opportunity because real-case scenario stresses the components in different ways than a lab test and we wanted to know early on whether the final design performed good in real life conditions.
Riva del Garda test : the Ponale trail
Rocks, mud, jumps are a perfect challenge for an ebike system. As testing track we picked one of the most breathtaking tracks of our favourite test area, the Ponale trail.
To face the challenge we installed the kit on two full-suspension bikes. One of them is a Giant Anthem 2. We picked this model because the battery can easily fit into the frame, keeping a good excursion on the rear suspension.
Hope you enjoy the little video we made ( track credits: http://www.bensound.com/ )
Both motors performed very good. They had the new sand casting controller box installed, as show in the next paragraph.
Controller box sand casting tooling is ready
We completed the tooling for the controller box. As you can see from the picture an inlet broke so we have to fix that. It's a quick fix which will require approx 7 days.
It's a resin mould: we picked that because it's easy and quick to modifiy. We ran a small pilot production batch with it, for validation purposes, as you can see in the following picture.
Since we have to re-work the mould for fixing the broken part, we want to catch the opportunity to improve the IP grade. From our testing on Ponale, in fact, that part can be improved. Since it's likely that someone is going to use pressure washer to clean the mud out of that area, we need a very reliable coupling of the wires which come out of the motor and go into the controller box. In fact, even thought the controller will be fully potted, the commercially available connectors are either too bulky, with too low amp rating or with low IP grade to be fitted into that position. For that reason we are designing a custom connector to be hot melted onto commercial contacts.
In terms of strength we are very satisfied. We tested the strength under a press by applying 3 metric tons ( 3000 kg or 6,600 lbs ) and just a fin slightly bent. We made a video of that as well. The controller box is rough because it's not machined and we used a scrap part for the potentially destructive test.
About the final look: the sand casting mould improved a lot the finishing of the surface comparing to the initial samples. By adding an extra sandblasting to the casting and paint we'll see a very pleasant final effect, so we'll keep this solution for the production.
Battery shipmentBatteries are ready and we'll start shipping them next week. We are shipping them separately because Li-Ion batteries need to shipped as standalone item. You'll receive chargers and brackets along with the motors.
Our collaborator Irene contacted those of you who didn't provide a phone number. That's fundamental to receive the goods from the forwarder. For that purpose, please make sure you don't have Irene emails in your spam box, otherwise we cannot ship your products.
As for the motors, we keep aiming to end of May for the first shipments, but that's tough. June is more likely. For sure we want to ship your BEST systems to let you enjoy the summer and we are fully committed to that. The next newsletter should come in approx 10 days with the right timing for the IP67 box modification and we'll give you a more precise shipping date for the motors as well.
Thanks for your support again
Some of you decided to visit us in our factory to bring support and encourage us to keep working hard to make it real. Some offered good insight on how to improve further the product: the IP suggestion came from one of you. Others offered their bikes to test next generations of our motors. What we saw is that all of the people who visited us were amazing people, and we're glad of such a supportive community. Some have very fancy cars. Thank you.