My Bafang Ultra Mountain Bike! Frey AM1000

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FlyingFinn   100 W

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Re: My Bafang Ultra Mountain Bike! Frey AM1000

Post by FlyingFinn » Feb 25 2020 9:40am

scrambler wrote:
Feb 20 2020 2:00pm
Hi there,
Has anyone attempted to install a Rohloff on a Frey AM1000 or CC?
Thanks
To my understanding installing a Rohloff to the AM1000-frame would require a severe amount of high precision modding of the frame. Given that the value of the frame alone isn’t that high, around $500, I don’t deem it profitable. There is and will be Rohloff-compatible frames on the market that are ready from the box.

barbarossa   1 W

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Re: My Bafang Ultra Mountain Bike! Frey AM1000

Post by barbarossa » Feb 26 2020 6:39am

original 48volts / 13s6p battery teardown

...a while ago I posted that the battery built is ok.
now i made the battery teardown of my original 48 volts 13s6p battery (LG MJ1 cells). i needed the case and to be honest i never used the battery with my higher ampere modded controller and my own built 15s5p battery. also the cells reached end of lifespan (i treated them with no mercy) - that was the original reason i built my own battery.

i am honest: finally i am disappointed about the original built.

some connections were 2 layer strips, some even 3 layer strips, but most of them 1 layer strip. i did not really understand the difference/system when more layers were used or not by the manufacturer - it made no real technically sense - not for example for the parallel connections. but that is ok.

several strips had a little rust:
rust.JPG
rust.JPG (71.7 KiB) Viewed 1938 times
this means this strip is not pure nickel but nickel plated steel.
nickel plated steel is a horrible conductor and for that reason gets really hot.

though the battery was almost only used with 30amps max (original controller setting):
burn.JPG
burn.JPG (41.4 KiB) Viewed 1938 times
yep, the top isolation melted a little. of course it melted at the serial connections because the serial connections i have seen inside the battery were only 2 nickel strips (sometimes more layers per strip connection but not always). 15 amps per strip thats too much for a normal pure nickel strip in that size. but it is dangerous using nickel plated steel (!) :(
i did not check the other strips, but if one strip is nickel plated steel why should the other strips be pure nickel ?
if the plastic isolation melts totally down the white washer can become loose and then there is only the case's negative pole -> short circuit (the washer seems to be more temperature resistent). the temperature seemed to be not high enough to do this. but hey... i am glad i don't use this battery anymore...

but aside from that little danger to life the built is ok :lol:

cheers

speedsix   100 µW

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Re: My Bafang Ultra Mountain Bike! Frey AM1000

Post by speedsix » Feb 26 2020 7:54am

I am really astonished about your post... If you found such bad quality it sounds like really dangerous for our safe..
I just ordered two FREY fat 1000 with four batteries 48v 21ah.
If I had before those information probably I did not buy the second batteries....
I think that FREY must guarantee the clients with a hight and safe standard and quality, not only for bilkes but also for batteries especially because those are sealed and sensitive parts!!

barbarossa   1 W

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Re: My Bafang Ultra Mountain Bike! Frey AM1000

Post by barbarossa » Feb 26 2020 9:15am

speedsix wrote:
Feb 26 2020 7:54am
I am really astonished about your post... If you found such bad quality it sounds like really dangerous for our safe..
I just ordered two FREY fat 1000 with four batteries 48v 21ah.
If I had before those information probably I did not buy the second batteries....
I think that FREY must guarantee the clients with a hight and safe standard and quality, not only for bilkes but also for batteries especially because those are sealed and sensitive parts!!
Hi,
i think it is not Freys fault.
it is a typical "Chinese problem".

there are 2 good products to combine:
- Reention Dorado MaxID battery case for 80 cells, a good case i think. good space between the cells and the cages are perfect. also enough room for a small BMS
- LG 18650 MJ1 cell (or the now used Samsung cell). With a CDR of 10 amps it runs best at 5amps. this cell runs forever if only charged to 90% and running at a normal heat.

lets say we need 30 amps (Bafang Ultra). so 5x6= 30amps, with 78 cells you have a perfect match using 14s6p.
everything is perfect or ?

but what happens: the manufacturer (not Frey i think) builds this battery like any other battery - only difference: specified cells. this manufacturer uses cheaper nickel plated steel strips so he can save $8 per battery. and the manufacturer uses weak/less serial connections that are really needed. so what happens ? last cell before and after each of the 2 strip serial connection gets hot/warmer (all current goes through). these last cells will age faster. and therefore all cells in this cell block will age faster. and therefore the whole battery will age faster.

2 good products become a disaster in that way. and finally you have a 10 amps continous/ 20 amps peak battery - which i would rate this battery.
to illustrate it, i think 7mm strips were used (taken from another thread):
efficiency.JPG
efficiency.JPG (131.21 KiB) Viewed 1889 times
but hey you can check it: my new battery (own built) has a voltage drop of around 2 volts running at 30 amps (90% charged = 4.1volts per cell group - i never charge up to 4.2 volts. and 30 amps = which is the original max setting of Bafang Ultra controller). i have higher current cells in 5p. but anyways with 6p the current is only 5 amps per cell instead of 6 amps per cell for my 5p battery. on the other hand internal resistance of the Samsung and LG cells used by Frey is a little higher and also the voltage drop. anyways lets say a voltage drop of 4 volts should be the maximum for the 48 volts 13s6p battery (sport mode, constant engagement, full power= max watts for a longer distance). now i am interested what you will messure with your 48v battery (what your display will show as min voltage) ?

anyways I did not care about it in the past and had a lot fun with my 48 volts battery !
Sometimes it's better not to know everything. :lol:

and perhaps now they build better batteries ! (with better serial connections, my battery was very old, 3 years i think)
perhaps someone with a newer 48v battery can give some information about his voltage drop...

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robocam   10 kW

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Re: My Bafang Ultra Mountain Bike! Frey AM1000

Post by robocam » Feb 26 2020 3:00pm

Just curious. How many miles or kilometers did you get out of the battery?
barbarossa wrote:
Feb 26 2020 9:15am
Hi,
i think it is not Freys fault...

barbarossa   1 W

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Re: My Bafang Ultra Mountain Bike! Frey AM1000

Post by barbarossa » Feb 26 2020 4:00pm

robocam wrote:
Feb 26 2020 3:00pm
Just curious. How many miles or kilometers did you get out of the battery?
hard to say because i changed my display.
but i would say around 2500-3000km and timespan was 2.5-3 years.
this sounds not much but i am the uphill/downhill guy - i like the short punch and power. i never used my AM1000 for long rides in the countryside or something like that. sometimes the battery was empty (around 43-44volts with no load) after one afternoon. first i also used all things "original" which means i charged to 4.2 volts per cell = 54.6 volts - which shortens the life cycles - and i did not wait after charging to discharge or after discharging to charge. all things normally you should not do. i ride the bike the whole year so the battery has seen hot summers and cold winters. in the end the LG cells were not dead or something like that. but i recognized that the battery discharged a little quicker riding my standard uphill/downhill combinations. perhaps i could have lived with that battery additional 1-2 years - if it was my commuter bike i perhaps would not even have noticed the difference. anyways i wanted to tune a little bit so i built 2 brandnew batteries (63v and 80v) - it is a hobby :) - and retired the 48v battery. at the moment i use my 80v battery (19s4p). according to my riding profile i changed from high capacity lower current cells (LG MJ1) to mid capacity higher current cells. interesting: in the end i think that the lower capacity higher current cells deliver the exact same riding duration for me (or even a little more) because these cells are less stressed at higher current.

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Re: My Bafang Ultra Mountain Bike! Frey AM1000

Post by Tjeska » Mar 01 2020 7:38am

robocam wrote:
Feb 26 2020 3:00pm
Just curious. How many miles or kilometers did you get out of the battery?
barbarossa wrote:
Feb 26 2020 9:15am
Hi,
i think it is not Freys fault...
I disagree, they are responsible for quality control on there product, and should be aware of this kind of problems?

Hardcore   100 W

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Re: My Bafang Ultra Mountain Bike! Frey AM1000

Post by Hardcore » Mar 01 2020 7:48am

Over a time span of 2.5 years, I did 3500 km on my Frey am1000 without any problems and I've been using the same battery on my commuter bike for a year (add an easy 1000 km). Same as Barbarossa, no remorse for the battery, and they still perform adequately. I've had way worse Chinese batteries dying within a year of heavy use under these conditions.

Maybe someone with a newer version of the battery can give insight if they changed the production but in the end, the batteries have outperformed my expectations.

wiRider   100 µW

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Re: My Bafang Ultra Mountain Bike! Frey AM1000

Post by wiRider » Mar 01 2020 9:53am

FlyingFinn wrote:
Feb 25 2020 9:40am
scrambler wrote:
Feb 20 2020 2:00pm
Hi there,
Has anyone attempted to install a Rohloff on a Frey AM1000 or CC?
Thanks
To my understanding installing a Rohloff to the AM1000-frame would require a severe amount of high precision modding of the frame. Given that the value of the frame alone isn’t that high, around $500, I don’t deem it profitable. There is and will be Rohloff-compatible frames on the market that are ready from the box.
I think the “high precision modding of the frame” is only the case when pairing with a belt drive. You should be able to do a Rohloff with a standard chain. Since it is full suspension they can use a derailleur to take up the slack.

FlyingFinn   100 W

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Re: My Bafang Ultra Mountain Bike! Frey AM1000

Post by FlyingFinn » Mar 01 2020 10:09am

wiRider wrote:
Mar 01 2020 9:53am
FlyingFinn wrote:
Feb 25 2020 9:40am
scrambler wrote:
Feb 20 2020 2:00pm
Hi there,
Has anyone attempted to install a Rohloff on a Frey AM1000 or CC?
Thanks
To my understanding installing a Rohloff to the AM1000-frame would require a severe amount of high precision modding of the frame. Given that the value of the frame alone isn’t that high, around $500, I don’t deem it profitable. There is and will be Rohloff-compatible frames on the market that are ready from the box.
I think the “high precision modding of the frame” is only the case when pairing with a belt drive. You should be able to do a Rohloff with a standard chain. Since it is full suspension they can use a derailleur to take up the slack.
I didn’t know Rohloff makes those as well. I’ve only worked with belt driven Rohloffs. Thx for clarification!

mwesleyroper   1 mW

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Re: My Bafang Ultra Mountain Bike! Frey AM1000

Post by mwesleyroper » Mar 02 2020 11:51am

FlyingFinn wrote:
Feb 25 2020 9:40am
scrambler wrote:
Feb 20 2020 2:00pm
Hi there,
Has anyone attempted to install a Rohloff on a Frey AM1000 or CC?
Thanks
To my understanding installing a Rohloff to the AM1000-frame would require a severe amount of high precision modding of the frame. Given that the value of the frame alone isn’t that high, around $500, I don’t deem it profitable. There is and will be Rohloff-compatible frames on the market that are ready from the box.
A Kindernay hub can be installed. It is a close copy of the Rohloff.

mewanderinghome   1 mW

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Re: My Bafang Ultra Mountain Bike! Frey AM1000

Post by mewanderinghome » Mar 05 2020 11:37pm

barbarossa wrote:
Feb 26 2020 6:39am
i made the battery teardown of my original 48 volts 13s6p battery (LG MJ1 cells).
i am disappointed about the original built.
several strips had a little rust:
rust.JPG
this means this strip is not pure nickel but nickel plated steel.
nickel plated steel is a horrible conductor and for that reason gets really hot.
yep, the top isolation melted a little. of course it melted at the serial connections because the serial connections i have seen inside the battery were only 2 nickel strips (sometimes more layers per strip connection but not always). 15 amps per strip thats too much for a normal pure nickel strip in that size. but it is dangerous using nickel plated steel (!) :(
Thanks Barbarossa as always for your detailed findings regarding this bike. I bought one in the group buy in early January, and so I'm still waiting for it (production has been delayed by production slowdowns due to covid-19). It doesn't seem like Ivy or Grace monitor this thread as closely as Ivy used to, so I brought this potentially dangerous finding to Grace's attention. I asked Grace if Frey builds their own battery, and if so would they fix this inexpensively resolved issue for the bikes to be delivered in the group buy. Her response:

"we build the battery. Well, after check with our Tech Department, the issue you mentioned don't have now, that is our old AM1000 version 2.0 or 3.0, now we already updated the frame and battery case in 5.0 version, the compatibility and the precision are very good, so don't worry about it."

I've asked her about 1 bazillion questions since placing my order, so don't really want to bug her any further about it, but I do wish I knew for sure she fully understood the question and specifically addressed whether the strips are now solid nickel or still the inadequate nickel-plated steel. If anyone else wants to call her attention to it too (and ask that specific question), it might help make sure Frey addresses this potentially dangerous but inexpensively resolved issue, since they do build their own batteries.

PS- since they build their own batteries I also asked Grace if I could get the smaller 48v 17.4ah battery in the slimmer-profile Reention Dorado Plus case instead of the bulbous Dorado Max, and Grace said they're now using the Dorado Plus case for the smaller battery. So I'm hopeful I won't have that unnecessarily-wide Dorado Max case that sticks out from the frame on the left side. I'll let you know when I get the bike (end of May probably :( ) so that mystery can finally be resolved :)

barbarossa   1 W

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Re: My Bafang Ultra Mountain Bike! Frey AM1000

Post by barbarossa » Mar 06 2020 2:05am

mewanderinghome wrote:
Mar 05 2020 11:37pm
barbarossa wrote:
Feb 26 2020 6:39am
i made the battery teardown of my original 48 volts 13s6p battery (LG MJ1 cells).
i am disappointed about the original built.
several strips had a little rust:
rust.JPG
this means this strip is not pure nickel but nickel plated steel.
nickel plated steel is a horrible conductor and for that reason gets really hot.
yep, the top isolation melted a little. of course it melted at the serial connections because the serial connections i have seen inside the battery were only 2 nickel strips (sometimes more layers per strip connection but not always). 15 amps per strip thats too much for a normal pure nickel strip in that size. but it is dangerous using nickel plated steel (!) :(
Thanks Barbarossa as always for your detailed findings regarding this bike. I bought one in the group buy in early January, and so I'm still waiting for it (production has been delayed by production slowdowns due to covid-19). It doesn't seem like Ivy or Grace monitor this thread as closely as Ivy used to, so I brought this potentially dangerous finding to Grace's attention. I asked Grace if Frey builds their own battery, and if so would they fix this inexpensively resolved issue for the bikes to be delivered in the group buy. Her response:

"we build the battery. Well, after check with our Tech Department, the issue you mentioned don't have now, that is our old AM1000 version 2.0 or 3.0, now we already updated the frame and battery case in 5.0 version, the compatibility and the precision are very good, so don't worry about it."

I've asked her about 1 bazillion questions since placing my order, so don't really want to bug her any further about it, but I do wish I knew for sure she fully understood the question and specifically addressed whether the strips are now solid nickel or still the inadequate nickel-plated steel. If anyone else wants to call her attention to it too (and ask that specific question), it might help make sure Frey addresses this potentially dangerous but inexpensively resolved issue, since they do build their own batteries.

PS- since they build their own batteries I also asked Grace if I could get the smaller 48v 17.4ah battery in the slimmer-profile Reention Dorado Plus case instead of the bulbous Dorado Max, and Grace said they're now using the Dorado Plus case for the smaller battery. So I'm hopeful I won't have that unnecessarily-wide Dorado Max case that sticks out from the frame on the left side. I'll let you know when I get the bike (end of May probably :( ) so that mystery can finally be resolved :)
hi again, mewanderinghome !

mmmhhhh... i know what you mean: is this problem really addressed ? Or it is even considered as a problem ?
design of the battery case did not really change since years - meaning my old battery is identical to my new battery case that i bought a few months ago. except some minor changes concerning the upper plastic end.
but hey it is not a rocket science.
i would say 3 inexpensive things are important:

1) of course only pure nickel strips should be used.
2) serial connections should be 3 layers of pure nickel for each cell group instead of one. here 2 original serial connections - connecting 2 battery blocks with each other:
serial.JPG
serial.JPG (117.94 KiB) Viewed 1874 times
3) negative and positive pole should be 3 or 4 layers. have a look at my negative and positive pole of my original 48v battery, the negative pole's PVC melted a little, too hot for all current going through :
positive_negative_pole.JPG
positive_negative_pole.JPG (242.63 KiB) Viewed 1874 times
after all it is a solid handmade battery - no obvious risks of short circuits or something like that - only the weak connections are not really nice. i can forgive many problems but these little cells are not toys. maybe the risk is not really high but doing things a little better is never the wrong way. and that is the advantage of Frey i think - Frey communicates and is willing to learn - nobody is perfect.

but hey, you will get your desired smaller battery :bigthumb:

only downside, with Reention Dorado plus the Speedict Neptune 15 BMS might not fit - as most (even small) BMS won't. it would be interesting to see which BMS Frey uses with that smaller Reention Dorado plus. there is not much room inside. Neptune 15 has the same dimensions as the original BMS of my 48v battery had - only difference it is a little thicker. and even with Dorado Max battery it is a tight fit.
bms.JPG
bms.JPG (105.43 KiB) Viewed 1865 times

db5304   1 µW

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Re: My Bafang Ultra Mountain Bike! Frey AM1000

Post by db5304 » Mar 07 2020 11:14am

I've been anxious on my group buy and have not seen any updates in this thread. I reached out to Frey and figured I would give my update. Grace mentioned they have been affected by the Crona Virus outbreak and are delayed by about 3 weeks. They hope to have all of the group buy bikes finished around mid-march. Unfortunate but I assumed the virus had something to do with the delay. Understandable given the circumstances.

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Re: My Bafang Ultra Mountain Bike! Frey AM1000

Post by TroySmith80 » Mar 10 2020 10:55pm

Wow, the Frey seems like a very interesting bike, but this is such a long thread. Is there any summary or synopsis? or a few particular sections to be sure to read?

There are so many good threads and good info on this (and other) forums, but i can't read it all and I don't know how to efficiently find the most helpful or relevant content. I guess that's just how it is...

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Re: My Bafang Ultra Mountain Bike! Frey AM1000

Post by Hardcore » Mar 11 2020 6:29pm

TroySmith80 wrote:
Mar 10 2020 10:55pm
Wow, the Frey seems like a very interesting bike, but this is such a long thread. Is there any summary or synopsis? or a few particular sections to be sure to read?

There are so many good threads and good info on this (and other) forums, but i can't read it all and I don't know how to efficiently find the most helpful or relevant content. I guess that's just how it is...
It's simply an amazing bike for the best price/quality. If you have any questions you want to be answered before buying, please go ahead.

speedsix   100 µW

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Re: My Bafang Ultra Mountain Bike! Frey AM1000

Post by speedsix » Mar 12 2020 3:30pm

Does anyone know how long is the Frey bike warranty? 12 or 24 months?
Because I read in different posts two years... But Grace says me 12 months

Skankhuntr   1 µW

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Re: My Bafang Ultra Mountain Bike! Frey AM1000

Post by Skankhuntr » Mar 12 2020 4:43pm

Did you guys pay full price up front?

Or half upon order and half upon shipment?

Tom   100 W

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Re: My Bafang Ultra Mountain Bike! Frey AM1000

Post by Tom » Mar 12 2020 5:57pm

Full price up front. If you pay with CC you go thru Alibaba's payment processing which includes an extra % fee (in my case pretty much a wash against my credit card rewards). With other methods I wouldn't want to pay twice as you'd get zinged with flat fees for wire or money transfer twice.

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Re: My Bafang Ultra Mountain Bike! Frey AM1000

Post by Skankhuntr » Mar 12 2020 6:31pm

Tom wrote:
Mar 12 2020 5:57pm
Full price up front. If you pay with CC you go thru Alibaba's payment processing which includes an extra % fee (in my case pretty much a wash against my credit card rewards). With other methods I wouldn't want to pay twice as you'd get zinged with flat fees for wire or money transfer twice.
Thanks Tom!

I'm debating on whether to get this in large or XL. I'm 1.87 cm (~6.2 ft). Anyone here around the same height that can give me an idea which size would fit best? Someone said the Frey bikes ran fairly large.

FlyingFinn   100 W

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Re: My Bafang Ultra Mountain Bike! Frey AM1000

Post by FlyingFinn » Mar 12 2020 7:15pm

Skankhuntr wrote:
Mar 12 2020 6:31pm
Thanks Tom!

I'm debating on whether to get this in large or XL. I'm 1.87 cm (~6.2 ft). Anyone here around the same height that can give me an idea which size would fit best? Someone said the Frey bikes ran fairly large.
I’m 197 cm and have XL. The frame is already bigger than with most mountain bikes. XL suits me fine. If I would be you I would take large. It’s more nimble and your feet will reach ground while sitting on the saddle.

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Re: My Bafang Ultra Mountain Bike! Frey AM1000

Post by Tom » Mar 13 2020 6:47pm

It's unfortunate Frey is not yet offering the Innotrace GmbH controller as an option. Word is they have a version of the controller but is low priority. Some very interesting comments regarding improvements in power delivery and efficiency in the following article. I never understood why Bafang or companies like Luna or Frey couldn't tune the Ultra to be as smooth / responsive as modern euro spec mid drives but now it makes more sense. I was also surprised to see how much it might impact efficiency.

https://wattwagons.com/blogs/news/archon-x1-controller

I am somewhat regretting my Frey CC purchase (in production) at this point. I am told it's not so simple to swap out the controller and wold likely require purchasing the motor with controller or sending the motor in for controller upgrade at substantial cost.

Also, the distributor of the controller in North America is looking into offering a crowd sourced stromer esque belt / rohloff for under $6K. This may be appealing to the commuter crowd:

https://electricbikereview.com/forums/threads/any-interest-in-committing-to-pre-launch-price-for-a-limited-run-hard-tail-superbike.32547/

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Re: My Bafang Ultra Mountain Bike! Frey AM1000

Post by barbarossa » Mar 14 2020 6:37am

Tom wrote:
Mar 13 2020 6:47pm
It's unfortunate Frey is not yet offering the Innotrace GmbH controller as an option. Word is they have a version of the controller but is low priority. Some very interesting comments regarding improvements in power delivery and efficiency in the following article. I never understood why Bafang or companies like Luna or Frey couldn't tune the Ultra to be as smooth / responsive as modern euro spec mid drives but now it makes more sense. I was also surprised to see how much it might impact efficiency.

https://wattwagons.com/blogs/news/archon-x1-controller

I am somewhat regretting my Frey CC purchase (in production) at this point. I am told it's not so simple to swap out the controller and wold likely require purchasing the motor with controller or sending the motor in for controller upgrade at substantial cost.

Also, the distributor of the controller in North America is looking into offering a crowd sourced stromer esque belt / rohloff for under $6K. This may be appealing to the commuter crowd:

https://electricbikereview.com/forums/threads/any-interest-in-committing-to-pre-launch-price-for-a-limited-run-hard-tail-superbike.32547/
this might be this controller - here a photo in comparison to the original bafang controller (i hope this photo is public :D ):
controller.jpg
controller.jpg (315.36 KiB) Viewed 1343 times
i think it was developped by some nice guys from southern Germany.
i also thought about replacing my original controller. but finally i decided against. new controller has to be adapted individually to your motor. and as far as i know you wont get the software to change anything afterwards. 3000 watts - the original controller will also give. so far i tried to kill the original controller - but I can't do it - it rocks and rocks. original controller is not as bad as most people write or think. and the smoothness is way better than eg a phaserunner. but of course it takes a while to adapt the settings for your own purposes. only the efficency might be a little worse. it is interesting that 45 amps are chosen for this new controller in the article - exact the amps the original controller will normally do without any problems (my experience).

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Re: My Bafang Ultra Mountain Bike! Frey AM1000

Post by Tom » Mar 14 2020 2:58pm

Yes, it needs to be adapted individually. Personally more interested in the other benefits of the controller, specifically the smooth/instantaneous power delivery and improved efficiency (up to 25% more range).

Edit: it's actually 2300w nominal (3000w is peak). The firmware currently allows a single config (1000w or 2300w). However as they develop an app, you can use that to de-tune it. You cannot increase it but you can detune it (if you bought 1000w version, you can do 750 and 1000w. If you bought 2300w version, you can do 750/1000/2300w).
Last edited by Tom on Mar 14 2020 4:56pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: My Bafang Ultra Mountain Bike! Frey AM1000

Post by Hardcore » Mar 14 2020 3:11pm

I'm curious, where does the efficiency increase come from?

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