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"Oh how eZee it is !"
After having spent alot of time trying out different Ebike kits, the eZee was like a breath of fresh air.
In late 2007, i received an email from Ebikes.ca.
Ebikes: " Hey, would you like one of these ? "
Me : " Hmm.. Ok ! "
What I received :
The motor :
Internally Geared 5:1 reduction
Freewheel clutch ( no resistance when un-powered )
Double Wall Alloy Rim, with 13 Gauge Stainless Steel Spokes
Tire and Tube Included ( Schwalabe Marathon Plus ! )
Disk Brake Rotor ( No caliper )
Lithium 36v 9.6ah battery ( On/Off switch and Charge Port Built In )
Custom Battery Bag ( includes a pocket for the controller )
Full Grip, Twist throttle, with On/Off switch.
36v, 20 amp, Brushless controller.
Wasted no time, bolted the motor to my bike, currently offered in front wheel only, I'm told a rear wheel version may become available in the near future, no muss mo fuss, the axle fit perfectly into the 10mm fork dropouts, the fit and finish on this motor is very good, clean threads, bead of silicone sealing the motor wires.
Above, notice the metal " U " to protect the wires that exit the motor should the bike tip over, or should i say, when the bike tips over, one of those inevitable things.
The battery, in it's own hard shell plastic case, looks like it is the same unit used on the complete " eZee Bikes ", there is a built in fuse, charge port, and on/off switch, unlike a bare battery pack, all the wires except the discharge cables are inside the box, awsome !
Update May 31, 2011
I was asked how to open the eZee battery pack not long ago..
First, REMOVE THE FUSE !!.. then you remove the 2 screws shown by the red arrows
Then you slide the end cover off, as it is slotted, the power cables get in the way but with some elbow grease it will come off once you pull the wires thru.. You may have to remove the Red and Black anderson plastic housings to pull the cables thru the hole, but do it one wire at a time and snap the anderson back on the first wire before working on the 2nd one.. even tho you removed the fuse, this is still a smart thing to do ...
Then remove the 3 phillips screws that hold the halves together.:
Then the halves will come apart by pushing the side with the on/off switch and charge port inwards, even some pressure with your thumbs usually does it.
I've taken one of the Lipo packs apart, and eZee used double sided tape to hold the halves to the shrink wrap holding the lipo cells together, that was a real pain in the butt to seperate i had to split the halves a bit, put something in the slot and wait for the tape to give, spread a bit more, jam object and repeat until it came apart... but the metal prismatic cell packs are easy to split..
(* Back to original review )
Inside the box we find a well made pack, BMS, 10 cell, LiMn chemistry, wires well routed, good soldered connections, i've seen all kinds of things in this industry and I canot complain about how this is assembled.. good job eZee.
Since i installed this kit on my Giant, i have only been out 3 times, total of aprox 40 kms. ( 2007-2008 winter was a harsh season, plenty of snow and ice.. ) Now that the snow is melting, I will be using the bike alot more.. so keep checking for updates.
First thing to notice is the WEIGHT !!! wow, this thing is light, The eZee motor weighs just 3.8kg ( 8.4 lbs ), compared to 6kg ( 13.2 lbs ) for a 4 series crystalyte. The motor " Freewheels " meaning it will spin freely in the forward direction, a gearless motor like the crystalyte or Wilderness Energy etc.. has magnets passing over copper coils at all times, this magnet/copper mass spinning around creates some resistance when the motor is not being powered by the controller, it's not huge, but at lower voltages these non-greaded motors create regen ie: put power back into the battery... Regen Explained
At 36v, the eZee provides legal speeds of 32 km/h, fresh off the charger you get a bit more but all things considered it's a nice comfortable speed to be pedaling . Small inclines and wind are easily overcome, letting go of the throttle gives you a quick reality check of how much leg engergy you need to maintain 30 km/h !!!
Some concerns have been expressed about the eZee lithium battery pack not being able to cope with the bigger hills when operating at 20 amps, this remains to be seen and i'll report back as i keep track of the pack usage, alot of times people do not understand batteries very well and blame the battery for their own lack of knowledge.. or they could be right and the pack is not the best.. time will tell.
Gears = Noise ?
The eZee will whine at low rpm, but once you get up to speed the wind in your ears and the tires rolling on the pavement will drown out the motor quite easily, it's that quiet !
Before i got this kit i kept reading reviews of other users saying that the sound from a geared motor was noticable but not anoying, and i've heard some currie type and canadian-tire " Strong " brand motors pass by on the street.. being Brushed and Geared makes more noise, but even those are not loud in my opinion.. nothing even close to a car, or motorcycle, or gas powered bicycles !!!!!
April 06, 2008
July 24, 2008
Something I noticed a while ago but had not quite figured out, it appears that the internals of the motor are slipping somehow. A few emails to the friendly folks at ebikes.ca and I soon received a new gear cluster with the freewheel section, the logic being that the freewheel must be at fault.
Alot of parts, compared to a crystalyte motor, but honestly I find this very well made..
The gears looked ok, I removed the " C-clip " from the shaft, removed the planetary gear cluster along with the internal freewheel, by hand, I could not make it slip, it spun freely in one direction and locked in the other as expected.. but having the motor apart, I replaced the gears regardless figuring that maybe the force of the motor was enough to make it slip..
Bolted the motor back together, back on the bike, and still slipping..
Took the motor apart again, and noticed something:
The geared ring inside the outer shell of the hub is pressed into place, this should be sufficient to prevent slippage, however, If you look carefully between the steel gear and aluminum hub you can see how the waxy grease has been displaced, when I assembled the hub 1st time, I intentionally smeared the grease to fill this gap. Hense the location of my problem !
Having now spun itself loose, and the wax getting in there, it had to be cleaned out, using some solvent ( WD40 ), I soaked the ring gear and then blew it out with compressed air.
Nice and squeaky clean !
" JB Weld "
Yeah .. this stuff is awsome.. a sort of 2 part epoxy glue, mix equal parts, apply and make sure you want it there because it's staying there !!!!!
Using a 3/32" drill bit, and some Steel pins ( Salvaged from worn out U-joints on my Polaris Quad !! ) I drilled thru the outer hub shell, into the geared ring .
Drilled 3 of these around the hub.
Mixed a bit too much JB and had some left, so I smeared some into the gap between the hub and ring.
I have a tap and die set, and was considering a jam-nut solution, but feared it might deform the geared ring and wear the nylon gears prematurely..
Oct 14, 2008
Happy to report that the repair worked !
After 50 km of stop and go it's running the way it should, since this motor is bolted to the lightest bicycle in my collection, I decided to build the lightest battery pack I could, below is a picture of 36v 3ah worth of "Konion" cells, these are recycled from Makita cordless power tools. !!
Not alot of range on 3 amp/hour but considering how light this ebike is, a bit of leg power goes a long way !
November 19, 2008
Got snow today !
Good time to work on the bikes, with any luck, this will all melt away and I can keep biking for a few more weeks !
Last night I relocated the controller, removed about 3ft of extra wire between the motor and controller ( 3 phase wires and 5 hall wires ) changed the bullet connectors for Anderson Powerpoles, and sealed the deal with plenty of electrical tape.
I built a 2nd 3ah pack ( above ) so now i have 36v, 6ah worth of Konion lithium cells inside the triangle frame bag, nice and stealthy.. !
The eZee controller being " Potted " makes the unit waterproof, since my Chaos tends to quit working in the rain, this bike will be the " wet weather " bike for a while..
Below, a Norco Mountaineer I put together for a customer in St. John ,NB with the front disk brakes !