Soon to be Falco

MLB

Well-Known Member
I just agreed to purchase a very slightly used Falco 500 watt setup. Been looking at e assists and trying to decide and this came up as a really good deal so I jumped.
Not sure if I'm going to use in on my tadpole trike, crank forward or maybe buy a used mountain bike with suspension for the state park trails in my area.
Look forward to learning more about the setup.
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
So what have you discovered @MLB? I test rode the Falco system at Interbike 2013 and was impressed by the torque, their console controls and how quiet the motor was. It was the first system that was shielded so you could use wireless cycle computers and not have it go haywire from the magnetic field of the motor while riding. The Falco guys have a long history designing superior motors, although they're under the radar a bit when it comes to marketing of their ebike systems. They've also designed electric motors for other applications like cars, wind turbines, etc. Cool group.
 

MLB

Well-Known Member
So what have you discovered @MLB? I test rode the Falco system at Interbike 2013 and was impressed by the torque, their console controls and how quiet the motor was. It was the first system that was shielded so you could use wireless cycle computers and not have it go haywire from the magnetic field of the motor while riding. The Falco guys have a long history designing superior motors, although they're under the radar a bit when it comes to marketing of their ebike systems. They've also designed electric motors for other applications like cars, wind turbines, etc. Cool group.
I'm in the process of having a 24" Falco rim and spokes and a 10spd free wheel sent. Going on the rear of my Catrike Epedition for long distance bike path duty. :)
LBS will build the wheel for me and I hope to be testing it out (in the snow) in a couple of weeks.
I really want to do the offroad thing. Bought a sweet Giant Trance MTB but the weight of the motor/wheel hanging off the suspension isn't good at all. So now looking at a Bafong crank drive for that.
The Falco parts are very nice. Quality stuff to the eye.

I might have to stick it in the minivan and head south to say sunny and 50's and have a nice riding weekend.
 

MLB

Well-Known Member
Here's the 24" with the old (200 miles!) 29er and a 20" that I'm swapping onto the front. Trike is a Utah Trikes Annihilator (customized Catrike Expedition).
 

MLB

Well-Known Member
Unfortunately I am missing one of the VERY SPECIFIC axle nuts. As in "can't find locally" (M12 w/1mm thread pitch, very fine).
Ordered McMaster Carr, here Sat
 

MLB

Well-Known Member
And after paying $35 to overnight a package of $7 nuts to be here for the weekend and getting it all together, we realize UT sent my new wheel back with the old 9 speed freewheel that was on the 20" rim of the previous owner. i'd bought a 10spd freewheel from them, but it didn't make it on the wheel....
Now they didn't have the freewheel anymore and had to order one.
Maybe next week..................
 

MLB

Well-Known Member
Got the freewheel and gave it to buddy wrench to install................. but he doesn't have the right tool for the freewheel... so went over tonight and picked it up to take to LBS tomorrow to let them swap the freewheel and maybe get it back for the weekend...........
Getting weary of not finishing the dang thing.
Seriously reconsidering my kit on my full supension mtb in favor of buying something DONE and ready to ride!!!!
 

MLB

Well-Known Member
First ride today! :) Good and bad, though the bad isn't Falco's fault. The system seems to run flawlesslessly, though I still don't know how to change screens around on the display so i don't know how much battery I used, etc.
The trike isn't shifting cleanly on the top 4 gears of the freewheel, so I shifted onto the big ring up front so I could stay in a lower range on the back. Well, apparently I'm not nearly strong enough to activate the torque sensor (at current settings) pushing the big ring, except under very heavy load, THEN I could feel it, and significantly. But under normal riding I never got any more than "maybe" making up for the extra weight of the motor and battery. I wasn't any faster than prior to motor, though to be fair I went 20 miles at my "normal" speed when in fact this was first ride of the year for me (beyond 2-3 miles) AND I'm just coming off 60 days of inactivity to let my back heal. So I would otherwise be VERY weak. LOL
As the miles went on and I didn't feel much if any difference (some slight assist at times, offsetting the extra weight) I got disappointed, though the tuning options are vast with this setup. As I got within a half mile of home I stopped at a 4 way and shifted onto the middle ring up front. Well don't you know it, THEN I got assist early and often! So the last 1/2 mile was quick and fun and very very inspiring! :)
Gotta get the shifting squared away and I think I'm gonna love it.

Downs: It's very heavy.(the trike w/kit is 56+lbs w/0 battery. 62.5 with). Any bump is a rather more of an impact than you'd like, so choose your line and if you must hit, hit with a front wheel. I'll be putting a Big Apple back there pronto and probably running it at reduced air pressure.
Quiet!! Very slight whistling when the motor is running.

I brought the console inside, so another session getting to learn the settings. Maybe I can retrieve my data.
 

MLB

Well-Known Member
135 miles later: Running much better now. I've tuned the settings so it only assists at efforts greater than normal cruising type effort. I'm getting stronger SO quickly this spring because of the motor taking part of the load off and keeping me from over working my legs!! Most springs I'll go back and forth between feeling strong and having dead legs. At 225lbs and liking to go fast, my rides tend to be as much muscle building work as it is cardio. The assist LETS me avoid that if I choose. And the reward is I've ridden every day since the trike was finished, and sometimes 2 or even 3 times a day if I can fit it in, and I've NOT experienced any dead legs or that totally drained and whipped feeling after a 20 mile ride.
I've ridden bikes (mostly recumbents the past 10 years) and trikes for 20+ years and this is the most fun I've had. I don't ever putt putt around, I'm always working to go fast and get fit, and this makes it so much easier and more fun that it's ridiculous. 16-18mph is a whole nuther world compared to 12-14mph.
I bought a Scosch heart rate monitor arm band and I"m working out in my target zone even when it feels like I might not be working hard enough. ;)
More and more often I'm pushing harder and harder as that's the only way to get max assist the way I have it set up. The breeze and rush at 25mph makes it well worth the extra effort that would maybe get you 18-20 unassisted.

It's a beautiful thing. :)
 

MLB

Well-Known Member
I've also swapped the front 24" wheels for a set of stock 20" fronts that handle MUCH better and are stronger to boot.