Known Issues & Problems with Ariel Rider Products + Help, Solutions & Fixes

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
No ebike is perfect, this is a thread dedicated to sharing known issues or problems with electric bikes from Ariel Rider as well as any help and solutions you know of. Sometimes that means a DIY fix and other times it can mean a recall, software update or part replacement by a dealer.

Please be respectful and constructive with feedback, this is not a space for hate speech. In many cases, representatives from the company will see feedback and use it to improve their product. In the end, the goal is to enjoy riding and help each other go further and be safer.
 

Andy_Austria

New Member
TAIL LIGHT / BRAKE LIGHT FAIL

Hi there,
owning my N-Class for some weeks I can report an issue to maybe save you some hassle there.

The N-Class comes with fat tires and very low mounted fenders, which looks great. Also the cables for the tail light are routed neatly inside the fender.
But - and this is a big BUT - while the cables live in their own little tube on the side of the fender for most of the time, they cross to the middle fully exposed before they penetrate the fender to connect to the light unit.

And this is where seemingly a small rock picked up by the tire thread was cutting the wires and shorting them out.

Result was a completely dead tail light unit which did not come to life even after the wires were fixed. Doing my homework I tested the tail light/brake light unit on a 6V battery, as the connectors are clearly labelled "positive" and "negative" stating they expect 6V AC/DC. The light fired up, so the problem was elsewhere.

As the light cable only has two wires, but can produce a permanent tail light as well as a brake light, I assumed this is done by different voltages, say 6V or 7V being sent to the same positive terminal on the light. The 2 light wires connect to a little black box under the "tank" cover, which is connected to the main controller by 3 wires and fed with 36V. So that little black box (light controller?) may do the conversion from 36V down and produce different voltages for brake/tail light, depending on the controller wire input.
And it was definitely shot.

To prevent that I recommend moving the fender further away from the tire where the tail light lives, and maybe protect the wires with some extra heat shrink tube.

As the damage was already done and I did not have spare light controller, I found the following fix:
The front LED headlight has 4 connectors of which 2 still were free (unused). Knowing from other bicycle contraptions these two were for connecting a standard tail light. So I just routed a new 2 wire cable from the headlight to the tail light unit and connected it there. Tail light now works as expected, I only lost the brake light (which I did not like anyway). This was a cheap fix. The main work was to get that new cable into the frame and back out, at least to down where the cranks live. From there I chose to route the cable along the rear frame and fender struts, so it is not exposed to wear inside the fender.

For removing that old cable from inside the fender I had to take the wheel out. I then removed the little stainless steel brackets holding the cable, noting that one rivet was already loose and one clip was gone, so the rivets seem to eat through the plastic fenders over time. I drilled them out and closed up the holes with some black tape.

FRONT CABLE ROUTING

While I was at connecting that new light cable I also corrected one major design flaw (IMHO): the front cable routing ist just plain awful, as all the cables come down on one side of the light and right beside it as seen here: https://electricbikereview.com/ariel-rider/n-class/
I had to temporarily undo one of the switch/lever units from the handlebar and cut the harness a bit wider open to correct that. Only some black cable ties were used to bring the cables closer to the handlebar.
The cables are now routed motorcycle style left AND right BEHIND that light. Which complements the motorbikish look of it :)

This was a lot of text - I try upload some pictures later on.

Andy
 

Andy_Austria

New Member
I started having issues with the power not kicking in.
I sent an e-mail from the arielrider.com website:
"Hello,
( ... ). The bike behaved well for a few weeks so I know how it should ride. Today the power started cutting out. On an uphill section, while pedalling with pedal assist, the power (pedal assist level) switched between medium and nought every some seconds, so effectively I was sometimes pedalling just with muscle power, and then assisted, while ascent and speed stayed the same and I was pedalling to maintain that. While that, the controller did not flicker, no brake indicator was shown, and the battery level stayed at a constant 4 bars. So I assume the controller does not read the torque input correctly. It was abit better but still dodgy when selcted a higher pedal assist level, but even with level 6 I had to pedal really hard in some parts.
What is a good start to look for? I already disconnected, lubed and reconnected the rear hub plug as this was the only accessible plug, but it seemed corrosion free and that did not change anything.
Sometimes the bike will accellerate as usually (assisted), sometimes not at all. As I am always going the same way to work I would exclude a terrain/rider problem. Also I am not in any way near the programmed limit for pedal assist (30 km/h) but about 15 to 20 km/h.
Two other indicators for a diagnosis: while the speed seems to be measured correctly, the distance is way off. The tripmeter states 1,4 km after a ride of 2,6 km.
The controller however is set to wheel diameter 26 inch which is correct.
Sometimes during riding, the speed display shows 0.00 for a second before going back to the correct speed display. So i am suspecting a bad contact or a defective controller.
How should I proceed to get normal behaviour back?

Thanks, Andy"
 

Andy_Austria

New Member
Hi again, after contacting the arielrider support guys (or ladies in this case) I was sent a new controller and a bottom bracket/torque sensor. Swapping over both components fixed all problems. Total cost was 130 US$ including shipping to mainland Europe.

- pedal assist works fine
- walk mode (hold down "minus" button) now works
- Tripmeter shows the correct numbers

Overall I am quite happy.
I use the Arielrider in a city environment with quite a bit of stop and go, and some hills, for commuting and running daily errands including shopping groceries for a family of three.
Towing a kids trailer for half of the distance I usually get 35 km out of a fully charged battery before the bars of the battery indicator start to vanish one by one over another 10-15 km or so - I never run the battery empty completely, only down to one bar.
My usual pedal assist level is 2 (no trailer) or 3 (trailer) of the available 6, with occasional higher numbers for a really steep hill or head start requirements.

35 km would equal 22 miles on 5 bars, then another 3-5 km for every following bar.
I notice a power cut to exactly half of the assist indication when the battery indicator gets down to 2-3 bars, not sure if that is standard behaviour or the battery starts to get worn out?

I would be interested in numbers of other Arielrider users.

Thanks, Andy
 

rannyv

Active Member
Was the bike outside the warranty period when this occurred? Spares cost was reasonable, but if in warranty, it should have been covered.
 

Andy_Austria

New Member
Hello,
I bought it used, and had no original receipt. So no warranty claims there.
I was told it was imported to Europe via a wholesaler in the Netherlands, so I would have needed to claim a warranty repair there according to European law, which is quite a pain living in Austria anyway. First st3ep would have been to send the bike over to them to have a look, which one-way would cost more than the actual repair cost was.

Andy