Easy Motion Neo Carbon engine problems.

Allan

New Member
New Member here so I hope I'm posting this properly.

Bought my Easy Motion Neo Carbon several weeks ago. I rode it many times on the same stretch of road and paths to see how it performs. Each time the bike performed differently. I took this information and went back to my dealer who, today, replaced the display panel and it's mount. I left the dealer's shop and at my first attempt to use the throttle it did not engage. After turning off/on the display all seemed fine.

Then went on a spin behind my house where there are steep hills. I again encountered the same problems that led to the display/mount replacement. The display read that all was well but the engine would not engage. No eco, no standard, no sport, no boost, no throttle. Turning off/on the display created a momentary solution. But then the problem returned.

Getting back to flatter areas all seemed well as I tested the sport and boost modes but when I dropped down to eco the engine once again stopped working. No error message on the display, just no engine power.

I know that this bike is not for use in mountains but I'm just going up the hills in my area. Still. I wonder if this bike does kick out like this because it can't take a hill over, say, 15 degrees.

Now the bike did begin to give me some power when I started up a steep hill but then it conked out. Combined with the above mentioned use of sport and boost which led to the engine conking out when I went to eco (or at times even throttle), I wonder if this is indicative of an engine reaching its limit and shutting itself off (without any error messages) as some kind of safety mechanism. That is, you put too much strain on the bike by either going up a steep hill or using boost and the engine responds by cutting out.

Anyone have similar problems with the engine turning off? Is it a mechanical problem? Is it a built-in software feature that the bike turns off after some straining. Would appreciate some feedback as right now I feel I spent a lot of money for a brand new bike that isn't performing up to my expectations, at all. Thanks in advance for your considered responses.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
There are several Neo Carbon owners on this forum. Under Easy Motion thread, you will notice many reviews, pictures like this and experiences. On Neo bikes, there are several silver pin connectors and if one of them is loose, throttle may act up. I am sure someone will chime in and help you troubleshoot.

Also, the dealer should be able to solve it for you :)
 

Allan

New Member
Thanks Ravi.

The silver ones connecting the display and the torque control have been checked many times but the problem persists. But as I'm no longer getting a problem "13" message as I did with my first display, I think the problem lies elsewhere.

As to the dealer, he is not an expert on the bikes he sells and refers questions to others either by phone or email. As a result I cannot get good information from him on how the bike is supposed to perform and what it's limitations are. I'm hoping someone on this forum recognizes my bike's problem and can suggest a solution that I can take to the dealer so he can effect repair.

As first mentioned, however, if this bike simply can't handle hills above a certain gradient then I'd like to know so I can take my road bike when I've hills to climb. And just use the Neo Carbon when I'm just going on flat areas.

I'm hoping other Neo Carbon owners can relate their experiences when climbing hills. E.g., do they find the engine conks out when they come up to a sudden steep hill? Do they find that when they struggle to get up a hill that the engine won't engage? Do they find that the engine works part way up short hills but conks out just before they get to the top?

These are some of the things I've experienced.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Quick check:

Some dealers try to use this trick i.e., put in larger wheel diameter so that you can extract more torque. That is simply not true. If you press both + and - button for few seconds, it shows the wheel diameter.
I hope it's 29.
Also, where did you purchase this?
Ebike dealers should be knowledgeable about what they sell or at least try to troubleshoot problems like this.
 

Rich

New Member
I have no experience with this bike. But for me, the whole point of an e-bike was to get assistance on hills, and mine does just that. From here it sounds like there's something seriously wrong. Have you tried contacting the company directly? It may be that you'll have to just make a lot of noise until someone is responsive. The bike is likely still in warrantee; if it were me, I'd be looking into returning it and making another choice. There are lots of good reliable bikes out there which do just what you want, and it may be that you didn't wind up with one of them. I'm sorry about what you're gong through. These are pretty expensive, and it sounds like your expectations of what you should get for the money are completely reasonable.
 

Allan

New Member
Hi, and thanks to Ravi and Rich for your input.

While getting the new console/mount put on the dealer, Cit-E-Cycles (citecycles.com), was assembling one of six new bikes that just arrived. There was no indication he was putting a larger wheel on the bike. He was just taking the parts from the box and assembling it.

As to the wheel diameter, it's 28 inches and that's what the console reads when I press the + and - button, as directed.

As to the knowledge of the individual I've been dealing with, its in talks with him about the bike that I've come to the conclusion he's more a salesman than a ebike expert.

I will take the bike out on the route that I've been testing it on to see if it performs better with the new mount/console. If not, it does seem to me that the problem may lie with the torque sensor. I read on the net that when heading "up a hill... the torque sensor knows you’re working harder and tells the motor to chip in." My bike doesn't do that. Instead, it seems to think that the more pressure I put on the pedals means it's time to sleep. Trying to keep a sense of humor here.

PS. Rich. Can you give an estimate on the gradient of the hills you've climbed? 10 degrees? 20? 45? I wish to arm myself with knowledge when I talk to Cit-E-Cycles again. If your bike, although different from mine, can do these gradients, then so should mine. Thanks!
 

Allan

New Member
Hi, Ravi.

I did see this video review (which was for a Neo Carbon without a throttle). I took his advice of shifting to a very low gear when I knew a hill was coming. One particular hill involved my having to come to an almost stop as I had to maneuver through a gate to get to it. When then trying to pedal I could get no acceleration, or motor assistance, even though my foot was pressing hard against the pedal. So it doesn't necessarily help to switch to a low gear when approaching a hill, but I understand the reasoning here.

The reviewer emphasizes how the Neo Carbon is designed for flat surfaces and his video does not show his climbing any hill above a 12%/8 degree slope. This is one of the reasons I've asked other riders if they have trouble with hills and what the gradient was. If it's true that this bike will only perform on relatively flat surfaces that do not exceed 12 degrees, then people should know.

At the moment I'm of the opinion that there is something wrong with the bike, not how I ride it. To that end, the dealer spoke with his expert who asked I ride the bike at one console setting without switching to a higher or lower one, and then report the results. Apparently this will tell the expert something. As here in Canada July 1st is a holiday and many people are likely to take June 30th off to get an extra long weekend, I'll likely not get any feedback on this test run until late next week.

(Note: The reviewer on the video said, "you don't want to be pedaling when you're shifting gears." Obviously you can't shift gears unless you're pedaling, so that statement gave me a chuckle.)
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
New Member here so I hope I'm posting this properly.
Hi Allan! Nice to meet you, thanks for the thoughtful and thorough writeup here... I've been traveling a lot so apologies for not chiming in sooner. I also moved this thread to the Easy Motion forum just to keep it focused and maybe attract attention from the company.

I've read through all of your posts and agree that there seems to be an issue with the torque sensor or motor. I have a couple questions for you that might help narrow down to the possible issue:
  • Does the throttle work? How does it perform going up hills? I saw in your opening post that the throttle was not working but it sounded like the first repair may have resolved that. If it does work then the issue is likely your torque sensor or controller... if not see the next bullet.
  • How much do you weigh? If the 350 watt geared motor is straining too much it may automatically shut itself off to avoid overheating. This would happen in both throttle and pedal assist mode.
I weigh ~130 pounds and have ridden the Neo electric bikes up all kinds of hilly and challenging terrain... All of these bikes use the same motor, controller and battery systems (except the newest 2014 models that have a higher capacity 12ah battery vs 9ah). Here's a video demonstrating just how well they can climb. When people tell you that the Carbon is meant for on-road use that has more to do with the narrower tires and wheel selection than anything else. The drive system is the same as what is used on their offroad models like the Neo Xtrem shown in the video and to the best of my knowledge there are no gravity sensors that would tell the system what angle terrain you're on. It's just a basic torque sensor built into the right side of the rear dropout.


I agree with @Rich above that if you cannot fix the problem you should return (or exchange) the bike. These companies produce thousands of units and have them shipped from China or other countries to the US (in this case Southern California) where they are then checked before being sent to a dealer. If the dealer does not assemble and test the bike properly before re-sending to you or selling in person then that could cause an issue. The Carbon has the potential to be a great bike (as you can see from the happy owners in this post) but maybe the one you got has some problem. Consider working with @Chris Nolte from Long Island Electric Bikes as I know his team is skilled and actually assembles and tests their bikes thoroughly before re-shipping or selling on their floor in New York.
 

Allan

New Member
Hi, Court. Thanks for the input.

Before responding to your two bullet's note the following observations I've made after today's ride...

Anyone who’s ridden hills knows that there are times where you just get stuck. Either you’re in too high a gear when you hit the hill, or you’re in a low gear but the hill is still too steep to climb from a dead start. At these times you can feel the stress of applying heavy pressure on the pedals even though you’re at a virtual stand still.

This feeling of applying great pressure to the pedals but going nowhere fast also occurs when you’re in a high gear and try to pedal from a dead start.

What I’ve noticed with my Neo Carbon Easy Motion is that this heavy pressure on the pedals is typically followed by my ebike’s motor zoning out and not working in either of the assist modes or with the throttle.

I kind of noticed this before but as I had a faulty display/mount to contend with this connection wasn’t clear. Now, without the added problem of that faulty bit of equipment, I saw this effect occurring quite consistently on today’s ride.

As a result, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is something about heavy pressure being applied to the pedals that “confuses” the ebike. What exactly is being confused in not clear. Could be the computer, the motor, some sensor; I don’t know. But heavy pedal pressure confuses some part of the bike, so the motor ceases to engage. And even though the display says all is well, the motor will no longer give me any assistance.

After noticing this I had to turn the display on and off about four or five times before the ebike started to properly work again. This may have been the result of the computer needing time to reset itself, but I'm just guessing.

One other thing I noticed on today’s ride is that when I got off the bike with it in “standard” mode, it appeared the bike tried to accelerate on its own when I tried to mount it again. This effect was subtle but noticeable. It may, however, have been my imagination so I’ll have to look to see if this happens again in the future as I've never noticed it before.

And, my display turned itself off after several moments had elapsed as I talked to another ebike owner I met. I figured there was some sort of automatic turn off if the bike wasn’t ridden for a while but this is the first time it happened.

*****
So, Court. The above was written before I read your input. I hope you can see from this that answering your first bullet question of whether the throttle works is not straightforward. The answer is, "Yes. It works when it's working." I've used it to climb hills effectively but after periods of heavy pedal pressure when the ebike no longer functions I have to turn the display off and then on again before the throttle starts working again.

This leads to the second of your bullets which speaks of the motor automatically shutting off when it is straining. This comment of yours seems consistent with what I wrote before seeing your post. If we assume there is no problem with the torque sensor or controller because the turbo does work (when the motor hasn't turned itself off, that is), then we might conclude the motor turns itself off when it senses heavy pressure on the pedals. So the motor would be turning itself off regardless of whether I'm 200 pounds of solid muscle :) or 130 lbs, of solid muscle.

Does this make sense to you? If so, then it seems my ebike is performing as it was built to do and I'll just have to keep it's limitations in mind when I ride. Those limitations being that I must expect the ebike motor to turn off when I inadvertently apply heavy pressure on the pedals.

(FYI: after the hills the ebike performed well with only one hiccup when I had to make an abrupt stop while in a high gear. Even then, the motor came on after I had ridden three hundred feet, or so.)
 

Allan

New Member
I read "Flymeaway's" "One month post Neo Carbon purchase" and can now add more to this posting.

Flymeaway wrote that he gets good assist in “eco” and “standard” mode but, “from Standard to Sport it's almost imperceptible and from Sport to Boost I can't tell any change.” This is interesting as my experience is the exact opposite. “Eco” and “standard” give very little, if any, assistance while “Sport” and “Boost” give me terrific performance. This made me wonder if there isn’t something about both his and my ebikes that need a bit of fine-tuning so each higher assist mode will give significantly better speed than the lower?

Flymeaway also said he needed a lot of pedal power in Eco mode for the motor to continue working. With that in mind, I tested a new hypothesis in today’s ebike ride and discovered that “sport” and “boost” mode engages very well if I use the ebike’s gears in a specific way. I discovered that “sport” and “boost” require the highest gears possible to function properly, so I have to shift to the highest gears almost immediately after the motor kicks in, otherwise the assistance will stop (giving the appearance the motor has lost all power).

This is best explained with my experience of coming to a stop, but first note that by high gear I mean the highest setting on the gear to the left side of the handle bar related to the three cogs at the pedals.

If I have to stop in the highest gear while in “sport” or “boost” mode, and then start pedaling again, the motor will momentarily engage but will then cut out. At this point it seems the motor has turned itself off. However, if I lower the gear to the middle setting/cog before stopping, then start pedaling from a dead stop, the motor will continue to give power if I immediately put the gear back to it’s highest setting once I feel the motor start. It is as if the ebike needs some extra signal that is supplied by going into a higher gear to continue to work. But if I'm already in the highest gear, that signal doesn't come and the motor ceases any assistance. (In a few circumstances I've noticed the motor will give assistance later down the road, so this would rule out the motor turning off altogether.)

I don’t know if my need to switch to a higher gear fits with Flymeaway's observation that he must put “fairly consistent pressure on the cranks to maintain power” in Eco mode. However, there is some parallel, don’t you think, in that both bikes require some type of continued pressure on the pedals that I can only get by switching to higher gears, and Flymeaway can only get by putting fairly consistent pressure on the pedals.

I am going to take these observations to my dealer to see what his mechanic has to say. I'll report on it later.
 

steve

New Member
with my carbon the motor never cuts out.i usually always leave it in eco mode.on the streets i usually just use the front top ring and the 2 smaller rear gears.from stop lights i can easily stay with cars up to 20 mph.actually it cuts out 22 to 24 mph.ive climb really steep grassy gravel trails.spinning etc and it never cut out.with my bike if your going top speed and you change from eco to sport boost etc you dont notice much of a difference cause it only goes so fast.if your going slower you notice a difference.i love the bike.hope you get yours sorted out.
 

flymeaway

Well-Known Member
"I don’t know if my need to switch to a higher gear fits with Flymeaway's observation that he must put “fairly consistent pressure on the cranks to maintain power” in Eco mode. However, there is some parallel, don’t you think, in that both bikes require some type of continued pressure on the pedals that I can only get by switching to higher gears, and Flymeaway can only get by putting fairly consistent pressure on the pedals.One month post Neo Carbon purchase" and can now add more to this posting."

The torque sensor is converting chain tension at the rear hub into a voltage or milliamp proportional signal to the controller, so pushing hard on the cranks in a high gear going relatively slowly should translate into a signal to the controller to turn the motor on. From a stop greater crank pressure is usually required to get the bike moving and the controller sees the torque sensor requesting a lot of power out.
 

Mtnm

Active Member
Suggest the dealer try swapping out the torque sensor (that silvery plate on the rear drop out).
You should be getting power on the hills. I'm a Neo Jumper owner which has the same motor/sensor/controller; the bikes have the power to climb.
It wouldn't hurt to also have used chain lube on your chain and clean the area around the sensor by simply squirting water on the area.
Torque settings on the M3 bolts (the small ones on the sensor) are 1 N-m, and on the M6 bolts 10 N-m. A setting of 1 N-m requires a quality torque wrench.
Link for sensor on a Jumper.
Link for theory and details on the TMM4 sensor.

Mike
Colorado
 
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Allan

New Member
After much tribulation, and through a process of trial an error, I have finally figured out how my Neo Carbon ebike works.

If I have a hill to climb, I need to start out with turbo to gain speed. Then, at a certain velocity, the ebike can be switched to Sport or Boost. The gears must be set to medium levels or higher when doing this and it works best if I’m already pedaling as I switch from turbo to a higher assist mode.

If the gears are too low the motor will start but then immediately quit. If I apply too much pressure on the pedals the motor will quit. And, when in either Sport or Boost and I need to make a turn, the motor will quit if my speed drops to less than 10 kph. (Quit means no assist mode kicks in and turbo is dead.)

Using the above approach, today I climbed hills and went over the Golden Ears Bridge with ease.

Interestingly, on flat surfaces I can use Eco and Standard relatively successfully if I keep pedaling with no strain put on the pedals and the ebike is in higher gears. However, I often take my time on flat areas to look around for eagles and to take in the sites. As this requires very little pedaling neither Eco nor Standard activates. This inactivity seems to be responsible for the motor going to sleep and not engaging when I do start pedaling. Further, turbo won’t come on so I have to turn the display off and restart it. Then I must again use turbo to ensure the ebike will work properly. In other words, it seems I must be actively pedaling to keep the motor working otherwise power to the motor stops, even though the display says everything is fine. And I must be at a certain velocity, too.

Now I gather other Neo Carbs do not function the way mine does, so maybe there is some problem with my particular ebike that puts it to “sleep” when it shouldn’t, but the good news is I now know how to operate the ebike so it will work and so I can climb hill and dale with confidence. And, now that I have the exact information on what the ebike is doing I can go back to the dealer to see what his mechanic thinks this all means.

Thanks Steve, Flymeaway and Mtnm for your recent input. I will put it all to good use.
 

eDean

Active Member
I experienced something similar today on my neo jet 2014. Around 18 miles into a 25 mile ride the bikes assist suddenly halfed. At the time it went out I was in Eco mode on the crescent path in dc which has a slight assent. I could still get assist, just needed to use sport since eco became near useless.

I problem went away after stopping to get a coffee.

To me the problem felt algorithmic. As if the controller hit a bug that made it half the torque input. Or perhaps the torque sensor failed. Speed was reported correctly so that can be ruled out.

I just hit 500 miles and this is the first time to have this particular problem. On a bike that is about 45 days out of the box.

Allen You should not have to jump through all the hoops you are to get assist. It is certainly a failure of some sort on your bike. I wonder if we are experiencing the same issue as when the problem surfaced today Eco became near impossible to get assist since the assist cut out nearly instantly.

I'll be calling bh on this one.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
EDean. Your bike may be performing as designed. What was the state of charge when the power halved? I think some of these bikes reduce their assist when battery levels crosses below a certain %. All based on voltage
 

eDean

Active Member
It was transitioning from full to one bar minus full. I remember it it clearly dropping and going back to full then staying at full -1.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
My Stromer gradually reduces power assist once it drops below 50%.. I think all Ebikes batteries pretty much do the same.