Frey CC

TomD

Well-Known Member
My Frey CC finally arrived today from the January 2020 US group buy. It was originally scheduled to be here in April but COVID-19 had other ideas. All things considered, impressive that Frey was able to get it here only 2-3 weeks late, hats off to their passionate team. I had awoken to note motion reported at the front door by the ring doorbell. I ran down the stairs to see FedEx driving away and a box at the front door with my name on it that required no signature. 😍 I know I should look more excited in the doorbell image but I was a little groggy after the adrenaline had worn off.

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I slid it inside to unbox and snap a picture (I didn't bother to blur the label, I'm fine not being anonymous on the internet, haha). PS, no need to drop buy and beg for a roll of the Charmin Ultra Soft in the background, Costco had plenty in stock yesterday. Panic buying seems to have subsided for now.

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I was originally thinking of doing an unboxing video but since Simon did such a great job a few days ago (and my video skills could not match his) I'll defer to his outstanding work.


There was no visible damage to the box and the bike was double wrapped with a long sheet of foam which makes for a nice blanket while cutting off zip ties and assembling. I'm still in the process of putting it together but thought I would take a few pictures to show the glossy red color.

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I'm not generally a red person and had originally ordered the CC in matte black but the sample images Frey sent me didn't seem to have much pop so I switced to red because it just looked so good on their website. I am pleasantly surprised at how much it shines and sparkles. It really looks like a high end paint job, and not overdone with loud colors or lettering which suits me.

I've got the battery charging and will post updates and impressions over time which will hopefully be useful to others as there really isn't much out there regarding the CC. When I got my tracking number on Friday the weather forecast was for rain today and tomorrow but it's beautiful outside (and is now forecast to get up into the eighties later this week) so I should get some decent rides in.

Edit: so far only a few minor things. I seem to be missing the zip ties mentioned in Simon's unboxing video to secure the top of the front fender. I improvised with a couple black twist ties. The front fender is wobbly and I'm not sure the zip ties would work any better. The rear fender is much more secure as it's screwed in to the rack.

The front light wouldn't securely click in (spring doesn't seem to be pushing out the plastic locking plate enough so I wedged in a little paper to help it out and now works fine.

They also seem to have forgotten to include the USB programming cable I ordered, but I got a nice fold up hex tool along with a frey shirt (both pictured below).

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Given this is a one size fits all frame, Frey really needs to include a longer seatpost. It looks to be 300 mm and there are no max extension indicators. Fortunately I had this spare 350 mm post from my hardtail that I had swapped out for a suspension seat post. You can see the difference in length in the image below.

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Another suggestion for Frey would be to include some color matched touch up paint. I noticed a small area where it could use some touching up.

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I needed to adjust the front and rear brakes as the rotors were scraping slightly. It's pretty easy to do, just loosen up the outer 2 brake bolts then clamp the brake and tighten the bolts back up.

I also went over all the bolts to make sure everything was tight. There were a few bolts here and there that benefited from a little tightening but for the most part everything was good to go.

Weight including rack and rear fender is 73 pounds!

I took a few pictures in the back yard before the thunderstorms chased me inside. The rhododendrons (Washington State flower) are in full bloom.

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TMH

Well-Known Member
That red looks awesome, and that should be one he!!uva bike, even just based on Micah Toll's short review.

Yeah, my FedEx guy was busy too with a surprise delivery. He was at the house when we got back from the morning ride, leaving this for me. Oh joyful day! And I didn't even have to wait nearly as long as you did.

I want to hear riding impressions too. All I've heard about so far is regarding one seemingly problematic bike.

 

TomD

Well-Known Member
Thanks guys, I updated the original post with a few more observations. One thing I'm confused by is the rebound adjust mechanism underneath the front fork. It has a plastic knob that will come out if I pull it hard enough. Thinking it might be a bad idea to leave it in as I would hate to lose it. Surprised there isn't an outer cap or something to secure it, just in case.

Edit: I think I will just take it out. Seems I wasn't being paranoid about the potential for it to fall out.


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GBX77

New Member
Tom Great looking Bike see you were always a fan of Red ,WOW that Yard Landscape is Awesome !!!
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
The weather finally cleared enough to take my CC out on its maiden voyage.

First a comparison of the 1000W Ultra to the 250W Yamaha PW motor on my BH Easy Motion Rebel Lite HT.

The Ultra motor is an absolute monster. Night and day vs. my euro spec mid drive. If I gear down and hit throttle it will climb moderate hills at ~15 mph in granny gear. Just crazy. On flats in highest gear it will exceed 35 mph on throttle alone. You feel the weight of the bike, but it's extremely stable at high speed, no concerns here. The power is just so addictive, it begs you to ride fast.

Unfortunately the torque sensing is lacking in comparison. The lag is noticable from a dead stop and it's clunky when the assist finally kicks in. I could also feel the torque sensing fade in and out, it just didn't feel very smooth or consistent relative to my euro spec mid drive. No way I'd want to ride single track on a heavy bike with Ultra motor, although the aftermarket Innotrace controller offered by Watt Wagons / Exess might offer redemption. My Yamaha PW delivers power as soon as I apply pressure to the pedals, night and day vs. the lag on the Ultra. I suspect the pedal lag will make it problematic to start from a dead stop on steep inclines as Frey has reportedly disabled throttle for safety reasons unless you are moving. I haven't tested this yet. I was hoping to do some tuning to the stock torque sensing but Frey forgot to send me the programming cable I ordered.

With that out of the way, here are some stats from my first ride. Other than the steep ride down the 700' hill from the house the ride was mostly flat, with a few moderate grades that normally tax my legs pedaling in Eco mode on my Yamaha PW. For the most part I used throttle only and rode at class 3+ speed (20-35 mph) to torture test minimum range. Total distance was 13 miles including the ride back up the steep 700' hill to get home. I switched to Eco mode PAS 3 on the hill and pedaled to preserve battery. Only had 20% battery remaining by the time I got home. It is important to note the battery hasn't been cycled so range may improve after a few charges as the cells balance. I can appreciate some of the frustration @Mark Tunis has with his CC. Range isn't great if you want to ride fast on throttle alone, although my battery never prevented me from going fast like his batteries apparently do. That said, I'm not sure this is how I would really ride my CC and I hope to compare to some rides I've done with my Rebel Lite to make other comparisons. I barely broke a sweat today on a ride that would normally have given me a decent workout. I have to admit it was a lot of fun, but closer to riding a moped than a bike.

Pre-ride weather:
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byunbee

Well-Known Member
I slid it inside to unbox and snap a picture (I didn't bother to blur the label, I'm fine not being anonymous on the internet, haha). PS, no need to drop buy and beg for a roll of the Charmin Ultra Soft in the background, Costco had plenty in stock yesterday. Panic buying seems to have subsided for now.

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The first thing I noticed was the new pack of toilet paper in the back. 😆
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
Just got back from a 35 mile ride. I did not use throttle. For most of the ride I had it in Eco mode and PAS 1-3. I'd venture to guess I averaged less than PAS 2, increasing it to higher levels as needed, but only very briefly. I did not use Sport mode or throttle. Barely got home with 10% battery. On my Rebel Lite with Yamaha PW I did a similar ride last month with knobby tires and 400wh battery. I'd think a 840wh battery would give twice the range all else equal. Of course, the Frey CC is 25 pounds heavier, but with Moto X instead of MTB tires. I had the tire pressure at 35 PSI, but they felt pretty firm. Should I expect more range than this? Perhaps I'm using more assist than I think but my legs are drained.

Before I purchased, Frey assured me that in Sport mode they got 22 miles on full throttle and said by PAS it should last 25 to 40 miles (presumably in Sport mode at higher PAS). My 2 tests so far indicate these are very optimistic.

On the positive side it was a fun ride, much more comfy with full suspension.
 

byunbee

Well-Known Member
Just got back from a 35 mile ride. I did not use throttle. For most of the ride I had it in Eco mode and PAS 1-3. I'd venture to guess I averaged less than PAS 2, increasing it to higher levels as needed, but only very briefly. I did not use Sport mode or throttle. Barely got home with 10% battery. On my Rebel Lite with Yamaha PW I did a similar ride last month with knobby tires and 400wh battery. I'd think a 840wh battery would give twice the range all else equal. Of course, the Frey CC is 25 pounds heavier, but with Moto X instead of MTB tires. I had the tire pressure at 35 PSI, but they felt pretty firm. Should I expect more range than this? Perhaps I'm using more assist than I think but my legs are drained.

Before I purchased, Frey assured me that in Sport mode they got 22 miles on full throttle and said by PAS it should last 25 to 40 miles (presumably in Sport mode at higher PAS). My 2 tests so far indicate these are very optimistic.

On the positive side it was a fun ride, much more comfy with full suspension.
Was there a lot of stop start points or was it mostly nonstop ride? I would think that each time you start from dead stop it'll drain more battery as more toque is required to get the heavy bike moving,
 

byunbee

Well-Known Member
I read through @pushkar's range test on the travalanche and it sounds like CC is performing as expected. What was your average speed?
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
Plenty of stops. I was not stressing the battery whatsoever. Typical speed was 15 to 20 mph. Elevation gain looks to be roughly 700' each way. I think I could buy the range as normal if I was in Sport mode or higher PAS than Eco 2 (of 5). Will see if it range improves as the cells balance. Kicking myself somewhat for not getting a spare battery but I figured 840wh would be plenty.
 

byunbee

Well-Known Member
@pushkar's range test was going 26-28 mph average, so it's definitely performing better than the cc. The difference can also be attributed to the new Archon X1 controller compared to the standard Bafang controller Frey uses.
 

smorgasbord

Well-Known Member
I'm guessing the Travalanche range test and its results were on a private thread, because I can't find them.

As an owner of a Luna Apollo, I'd be interested in trying something similar - at least if it can be done in NorCal, not Boston. Finding flat roads for many miles is a challenge, however. The best bicycling routes have hills! Better yet, if any Travalanche owner is in NorCal, let's get together *.

I'm also EggRider-equipped, so I can report average wh/mile for segments or whole rides. Can't do much about my weight, though.


* - That's a "Covid world together" meaning we'd be six feet apart when not moving and more like 25 feet if one is following the other. I don't like riding with a mask on.
 

byunbee

Well-Known Member
You may also want to adjust your PAS if you got the USB cable. I'm sure they didn't tune it at all.

Here's a video on how to configure the Bafang setting. It's for the AM1000, but I'm sure it's very similar settings.
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
Range concerns aside, I warmed up more to the CC today. Torque sensing wasn't so bad. At lower PAS in higher gears it doesn't fade so much and feels natural. I mostly notice the inconsistency at higher PAS in lower gear. A few other notes:

1) One of the kickstand bolts fell off. I had it really tight, not sure how it loosened up. The other bolt was loose as well.

2) The lowest 2 gears started to skip on the ride up the last big hill. Granny gear was unusable. This was super frustrating given my battery was almost dead. I adjusted the chain catcher mid ride since it was rubbing in highest gear, and I think I threw something off for the lower gears. It was not skipping yesterday.

3) My front light stopped working.
 

JCofMN

New Member
Range concerns aside, I warmed up more to the CC today. Torque sensing wasn't so bad. At lower PAS in higher gears it doesn't fade so much and feels natural. I mostly notice the inconsistency at higher PAS in lower gear. A few other notes:

1) One of the kickstand bolts fell off. I had it really tight, not sure how it loosened up. The other bolt was loose as well.

2) The lowest 2 gears started to skip on the ride up the last big hill. Granny gear was unusable. This was super frustrating given my battery was almost dead. I adjusted the chain catcher mid ride since it was rubbing in highest gear, and I think I threw something off for the lower gears. It was not skipping yesterday.

3) My front light stopped working.

Regarding #1 --- must be a common occurrence. My bike's kickstand mounting hardware had extra long bolts, washers, star locking washers, and finally jam nut nylon insert nuts for the other side. Only some peculiar resonance would cause all this to come loose. Then there's always loctite blue or orange.

Regarding range: the AM1000 probably has the largest number of samples in the wild. Is there some consensus on whether its range performance is on par with expectations from its nominal specs? The idea mentioned above of using some sort of more direct measurement of mpGe or kwh/m seems good.
 

byunbee

Well-Known Member
Here are the results from Travalanche range testing that @pushkar did.

My test rig on the Travlanche, with new Archon X1 controller, has a 14AH battery. We restrict the throttle to 600W / 90Nm.
  1. 3000W version,
    1. PAS (Pedal Assist) only, maintaining 26-28mph, I get ~ 25Wh / mile - so right around 29/30 miles.
    2. With Throttle only, I am getting right around 17/19 miles
  2. The 1000W / 1600W peak version,
    1. PAS only, maintaining 26-28mph, I get ~18Wh/mile - so right around 40 miles .
    2. Throttle only is ~21/ 22 miles
  3. The 750W / 1100W peak version,
    1. PAS only, maintaining 26-28mph, I get ~16Wh/mile - so right around 45 miles .
    2. Throttle only is ~24/25 miles

Scaling to the 1600Wh battery, I can extrapolate the numbers to something like this
  1. 3000W version,
    1. PAS (Pedal Assist) only, maintaining 26-28mph, I get ~ 25Wh / mile - so right around 65 miles.
    2. With Throttle only, I am getting right around 35 miles
  2. The 1000W / 1600W peak version,
    1. PAS only, maintaining 26-28mph, I get ~18Wh/mile - so right around 85 miles .
    2. Throttle only is ~45 miles
  3. The 750W / 1100W peak version,
    1. PAS only, maintaining 26-28mph, I get ~16Wh/mile - so right around 100 miles .
    2. Throttle only is ~50 miles
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
Those are impressive numbers for the 728wh battery. The CC has a 15% larger battery but getting a lot less range (so far). Looking forward to my Watt Wagons superbike with dual battery and the new controller. I love to get exercise, but I didn't exactly buy the CC to constrain myself to pedaling in Eco Mode PAS 1-3 and no throttle to get slightly more range than my euro spec MTB with 400Wh battery. 😅 Yesterday it dawned on me I was using my Ultra like it was a 350W Bafang Max. 🤡

As far as my front light, the black wire had broken off due to stress on the cord from the light not snapping in securely and hanging by the cord one to many times. Edit: my solder skills aren't so good but it was a simple repair task. The cord can't easily be disconnected so had to solder in close proximity to the bike. The second pic shows my makeshift solder station with the bike leaning on the counter and tape to secure the board / keep the wire from moving while soldering.

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Also, in terms of CC off road capability, these switch backs were problematic yesterday. The turns were too sharp to ride, and on the way up I found it unsafe to re-start on the incline due to the torque sensing lag and the stock tires which just spun on the gravel by the time power kicked in as I was teetering off the bike. I can also confirm throttle is disabled from standstill, not that it would have helped get me started on the incline without knobby tires. Also, throttle is not PAS dependent so it would probably be too much anyway. I used walk mode to push the bike up.

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A few other random thoughts.

1) I really enjoy the ease of getting on and off the bike. I generally have no problem swinging my leg over a saddle, but it's nice to have the step thru option. The bike is super stable at high speed with no wobble.

2) Love the water bottle placement - makes it easy and convenient to stay hydrated.

3) My butt seems to like the stock Selle Royal Nebula seat. I can't find any information on it but it's quite squishy, which I thought wouldn't bode well, but after my 35 mile ride I had no lingering perineum pain. Hopefully this continues. I've been experimenting with different saddles on my Rebel Lite HT without much success.

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4) The geometry seems fine for me at 6'. The saddle is level with the handlebar grips which feels good to me, not too high, not too low. For shorter riders with the seat lower it would be more of an upright / comfort riding position.

5) I requested ergonomic grips. There was no extra cost and I am really happy with what Frey provided - they feel super comfortable and help with wrist fatigue. I'd recommend them over the standard grips.

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