Orbea Gain spare battery DIY?

CLHall

New Member
Anyone tried this? My handy electrician husband thinks there has to be a better and easier way than the interminable wait and ridiculously expensive aux battery issue I’m facing with my Orbea Gain. Knowing, of course, it voids the warranty.
I ride the Gain in pure eco (level 1) mode, but the point was to be able to get a century out of it, which I cannot. Frustrating!
Anyone altered a Chinese 36w to accommodate the Gain? Any advice?
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
100 miles from a 250wh battery was a very optimistic goal. I'm no fan of trying to hack in a spare battery. I don't really know how the controller, display, motor and battery communicate on that bike. There is more to the battery pack than batteries. There is a battery management system and I believe communication with the bike. If you get a factory battery, you get more years from them as you rotate them around on shorter rides. To me, batteries are just the cost of enjoyment.
 

CLHall

New Member
100 miles from a 250wh battery was a very optimistic goal. I'm no fan of trying to hack in a spare battery. I don't really know how the controller, display, motor and battery communicate on that bike. There is more to the battery pack than batteries. There is a battery management system and I believe communication with the bike. If you get a factory battery, you get more years from them as you rotate them around on shorter rides. To me, batteries are just the cost of enjoyment.
From what I understand, the “range extender” which is in production but has not been distributed yet is a water bottle type aux battery (the battery itself on the gain is in the down tube, not easily replaced or swapped). As such, the aux battery is supposed to extend the mileage, not power it on its own, serving as a power source to the battery, not an independent battery on its own. No, I don’t love the idea of jacking an aux power source myself, but the purpose of my particular bike was to be able to get a 100mile ride in with the peal assist, and it was sold as being able to do so with the aux battery which was to be released in April. It’s now July and I am stuck at 40 or 50 miles, which is not really something I wanted to do via ebike. It’s an expensive bike and I am a bit nervous about attempting to engineer my own (even with my extremely savvy husband at the helm, with his knowledge of electricity), but if the year goes by and I get no resolution to this issue, I have wasted a lot of miles just waiting.
 

ewnash

New Member
I don't have any wisdom to offer on the DIY front but I can tell you that I've gotten up to 85 miles on the factory battery in my Gain D30, riding about 90% of the time in Eco with occasional very short forays into the mid (orange) boost. I came in from my last ride of that length with what the app reported as 9% of my battery remaining. The trick for me (aside from modest climbs, average 2,200 feet over 80-ish miles) was to use the Ebikemotion app on my phone to adjust the engine maps. I set Eco mode to 80% of standard, and the mid and turbo boost modes to 70% of standard.

That's not necessarily a full century solution but I dramatically improved my battery life with that adjustment and I still get all the boost I need as a 60 year old dude in so-so riding shape. I already have the (yes, expensive) aux battery on preorder because I want to be able to do steeper long rides without killing myself but for now I think that I could nurse my bike through a flattish century in Eco mode on the factory battery. Hope that helps.
 

Martin romford

New Member
I built one and it works.
I purchased a 6.2Ah 36v bottle battery from Alibaba, it turned out to be 4Ah but still increases the range.
I used xt60 connectors, cut the lead from the charger to the bike and spliced in the connectors.
These connectors need to be soldered to stop vibration.
It allows me to connect the original charger when charging and i can carry the bottle battery when extra range or altitude required.
Went to the french Alps and increased my climbing to over 4000ft whilst at full power from the motor.
I found the Canbus system did not interfere with the battery.
Certain precautions need to be taken.
Both batteries must be at maximum voltage of 41.2.
The spare must be turned on first and then after the bike wakes up, select the power setting required.
If the power between the batteries is different then the spare battery cannot be used from this point.
Do not stop long enough to allow the bike to go into standby mode, if it does then power everything down and start again.
I did the Prudential 46 and rode to the start and all the way back with an additional 25 miles. So even though the bike and i could have completed it on eco i was on medium power for nearly all the route except for the steepest hills.
My friend borrowed it for the TDB and she completed the 76 mile route.
Total cost under 180 pounds.
Get a bigger battery say a 7Ah or higher and 100 will be very easy.
Hope that helps and i accept no liability if it goes wrong.
I have photos if that helps to anyone wishing to build one.
 

Solom01

Active Member
Hi CL. Do you think there will be a much longer wait? I think I read somewhere that they were already shipping in the EU. If that's true it shouldn't be much longer for them to be available in the US. Yes $645 seems really high for a smallish water bottle battery, but in the world of brand-name eBikes it's not so much. People who ride Bosch powered tanks can easily spend up to $1000 for a spare battery. Since you said you didn't care about voiding the warranty I guess it's not an issue, but it's amazing how much info the dealer app can access, so if there was a problem with a non-oem battery it's very likely Orbea would know that one had been used. I guess my biggest fear would be the consequences if something went wrong. Lithium battery fires are rare but can be really dangerous when they occur. It would be pretty horrible to get hurt or burn down a house. It's not an absolute guarantee that it can't happen even with an OEM battery, but if it does you'l at least be able to make a claim against a long established company which no doubt has liability insurance for this type of thing.
 
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ewnash

New Member
For a super easy DIY - has anyone tried just strapping a power bank with a built-in inverter on a bike rack and plugging in the stock charger while riding around? It's going to be a bit worse in terms of weight (~5-6lb including the OEM charger, vs 3.6lb bottle battery), but way cheaper (<$200 vs ~$700 for the range extender).

Thinking of trying something like this unit: https://www.amazon.com/Rockpals-Portable-Station-Generator-Outdoors/dp/B07MDZ8K99/
Really clever idea Lev, not sure whether you can charge off of the AC brick while the battery is under load but it's probably worth trying if you don't mind the weight penalty.
 

Lev

New Member
Just tested this - it definitely works. I.e. the motor assist does kick in while the wall charger is plugged and the battery is being charged.
 

Martin romford

New Member
Lev, i tested mine before buying the battery and it works well.
If you run the powerbank through the supplied charger then it will work as well as the range extender.
You will lose some of the total power stored due to conversion losses.
Run the cable down the back of your bottle cage and make sure to twist the lockring to avoid the charger lead jumping out whilst riding.