Gain Range Extender

adanadawn

New Member
I'm going to make a bold move and suggest this device deserves its own thread, so people curious about it don't have to sift through the "main Gain" thread to find info. There's already a bunch of helpful posts in that other thread, but I don't think it would be a huge effort to import them here.

I got my Extender a few days ago, ordered through Mike's Bikes. For me, it works as advertised, which is great. However, I don't plan on riding with it much. My plan is to keep mine at work so I can add charge there. I can lock up in a secure inside room, but there's nowhere to plug in. By allowing me to charge up while the bike sits, it solves a major problem for me.

My commute from Marin to San Francisco is 17 miles each way, with some moderate hills and often a strong headwind coming home as I cross SF from Bay to Bridge. I've been managing it fine with a full charge, but it requires staying on course with judicious employment of the assist. Adding a 50%-ish charge at work will mean I can relax and not worry about whether I'll have juice enough for the last few hills going home. It also means I can run errands or take different routes.

The extender works just as I'd hoped it would. Plug it in with the bike stopped, turn on both bike and extender, and the extender will dump its charge into the main battery.
For my purposes, riding with the extender would just add weight and I'd have to think about taking it with me when I make stops.

It's a pretty cool, elegant device, making a great bike even better!
 

Solom01

Well-Known Member
Hi adanadawn. I'm thinking of getting the extender from Mike's bike. Now that you've had it for a while if it still working out well for you?
 

adanadawn

New Member
As other folks on this forum who have it have said, it works just as advertised. For me, it's been a perfect addendum to my commuting situation. I keep it at work and use it to add charge while my bike is parked during the day, which I couldn't otherwise do since I can't access a plug near my bike. When I've actually ridden with it, the extra weight has been noticeable. The nice thing about this sort of add-on system is that you have options depending on what you need for a given ride. I'd recommend the extender to anyone with a Gain.
 

Roninsteel

New Member
I’ve made two extenders with twenty batteries each plus a charge controller mounted in a 750ml water bottle (elite). This doubles the range and charges the on board battery when cycling over 15.5mph . Have just got a M20. To replace my D40 should get more range with the lighter bike
 

Solom01

Well-Known Member
Happy New Year folks. I've had my extender for about a month now and have used it a few times. Works just as expected and just about doubles my range, but I wonder if the way it works will end up putting premature wear on the batteries. It basically works by charging the internal battery whenever it's on, so the internal battery ends up staying 100% charged unless you go on a very long ride. At the same time, the external battery gives up its charge, so if you go on a long ride it basically gets to 0% charge, after which the main battery starts being used. I've always been told that if possible you shouldn't charge a lithium battery over 90% or so and that you should never run it down past 10% or so since fully discharging the battery is so hard on the cell chemistry. It's not possible to follow this advice easily with this system based on how it works. I'm not going to worry too much about it, after all I'm assuming ebikemotion knows what it's doing, but it's hard to reconcile this with the advice they themselves give about how to treat their battery.
 

adanadawn

New Member
. It basically works by charging the internal battery whenever it's on, so the internal battery ends up staying 100% charged unless you go on a very long ride. At the same time, the external battery gives up its charge, so if you go on a long ride it basically gets to 0% charge, after which the main battery starts being used..

Are you sure that's completely correct? The little picture book instruction manual that came with it seems to indicate that although the external battery is discharging much faster, the internal battery is discharging too. I think I notice it working that way, though it's hard to tell just by looking at the lights. I think Orbea claims this is the most efficient approach, for whatever reason.

Your basic point is still valid though. The extender works by recharging the battery when it's near the top of it's charge.

I do try to pay heed to the "don't unnecessarily charge all the way" advice. The extender is helping me in that regard because it allows me to charge up at work. That means I can start the day with a 75% charge, get to work at 25%, then add another 50% before riding home.
 

Solom01

Well-Known Member
Hi adanadawn. No, I was over simplifying. The external battery has an output of about 2amps, while the internal battery can output up to about 9amps to the motor, so if you have the power level set up high and are not pedaling very much it is possible to drain the internal battery faster than the external battery can recharge it, but the external battery is always trying to recharge the internal battery, so if that were to happen you would just have to stop for a while and let it recharge the internal battery. In my use, however, I have found that if I ride normally (in level 1 and with a fair amount of human power) the end result is that the external battery discharges and the internal battery stays up in the 89-97% range up to the point where the external battery is depleted. Part of it may be that in the US with a 20mph cut-off the battery tends to discharge more quickly since you're being assisted up to about 21mph . I guess I could keep an eye on the external battery level and disconnect it when it got too low, but that would be a bit of a pain and would kind of kill the extended range one is supposed to get, so my real concern is what it does to the lifespan of the external battery if it is consistently drained to a very low level. Oh well, although it's not cheap it's easily replaceable so I guess it's just something one has to look at as being a consumable.
 

Solom01

Well-Known Member
After having used the extender for a while here's how it works for me (this is in the US with a 20mph cut off, I'm sure it would be different in countries with the 15.5 mph cut off):

1. When using level 1 mode at 100%, the extender keeps the main battery fully charged so the drain comes from the extender until it is exhausted at which point the internal battery starts to be used.

2. When using level 2 mode at 100% the main battery and extender are both used, although the main battery use is only a fraction of the normal drain. You could probably ride without worrying about fully draining the internal battery.

3. When using level 3 mode at 100% the main battery and extender are used, but the internal battery is used enough that it would probably require one to stop every hour and a half or so to give the extender battery time to recharge the internal battery, or else you could lower the main battery to the point where it would drain while the external battery still had charge.

It works great for me and it makes sense, since you can use up to 9amps when working the internal battery to the max, while the extender has a maximum output of about 2.
 

Jaxx

Well-Known Member
After having used the extender for a while here's how it works for me (this is in the US with a 20mph cut off, I'm sure it would be different in countries with the 15.5 mph cut off):

1. When using level 1 mode at 100%, the extender keeps the main battery fully charged so the drain comes from the extender until it is exhausted at which point the internal battery starts to be used.

2. When using level 2 mode at 100% the main battery and extender are both used, although the main battery use is only a fraction of the normal drain. You could probably ride without worrying about fully draining the internal battery.

3. When using level 3 mode at 100% the main battery and extender are used, but the internal battery is used enough that it would probably require one to stop every hour and a half or so to give the extender battery time to recharge the internal battery, or else you could lower the main battery to the point where it would drain while the external battery still had charge.

It works great for me and it makes sense, since you can use up to 9amps when working the internal battery to the max, while the extender has a maximum output of about 2.

Sol, having the extender, has it altered the type of rides you now do?
 

Solom01

Well-Known Member
To be honest Jaxx, no, not really. Since I'm still working until I retire in March I have a limited amount of time to ride so most of my rides are from 15-40 miles, which were no problem just using the internal battery. Even if I had more time the trails in SW Florida are flat and although very well kept up and interesting at first, they tend to be pretty much the same - and you need to have a death wish to ride on the roads around here. The people using cars seem to hate bikes; Florida has the highest rate of cyclist/pedestrian fatalities in the country. Hopefully this summer I'll take the bike to other places with hills, so maybe at that point the extra range/power will come in handy. Since the whole point for me of getting a Gain was the exercise, I have to remind myself to not be lazy and not switch to higher levels of assist since I never come close to emptying both batteries. Basically I was just curious about it and when I called an on-line dealer they had no problem discounting the price from $645 to $535, so I figured why not. I'm glad I got it, but if you don't have a real need for it because you need more range or want to user higher levels of power I wouldn't bother.
 

Jaxx

Well-Known Member
To be honest Jaxx, no, not really. Since I'm still working until I retire in March I have a limited amount of time to ride so most of my rides are from 15-40 miles, which were no problem just using the internal battery. Even if I had more time the trails in SW Florida are flat and although very well kept up and interesting at first, they tend to be pretty much the same - and you need to have a death wish to ride on the roads around here. The people using cars seem to hate bikes; Florida has the highest rate of cyclist/pedestrian fatalities in the country. Hopefully this summer I'll take the bike to other places with hills, so maybe at that point the extra range/power will come in handy. Since the whole point for me of getting a Gain was the exercise, I have to remind myself to not be lazy and not switch to higher levels of assist since I never come close to emptying both batteries. Basically I was just curious about it and when I called an on-line dealer they had no problem discounting the price from $645 to $535, so I figured why not. I'm glad I got it, but if you don't have a real need for it because you need more range or want to user higher levels of power I wouldn't bother.

I like your honest assessment Sol. Ain't long now til March. You may not have any hills, but just seen on BBC weather you have 24c tomorrow, so getting out on the bike, isn't a weather issue. For me, my riding at the moment is on a smart trainer in front on a 50" flat screen. At least I have the choice of choosing a course in many countries, "flat, rolling or in the mountains. Tomorrow morning there's a group ride up the Stelvio in the Italian Alps. So that's my morning sorted.
 

OrbeaScotland

New Member
Hi all, hope you’re well. I recently bought a range extender for my Orbea Gain from Cycle Republic. They fitted it to my bike, but I’ve only just realised they didn’t include the rubber bands for lock 3 and the neck lock. This means the battery isn’t secure when I’m riding. They are closed at the moment. Does anyone have any spares or know where to get them? Thanks !
 

Solom01

Well-Known Member
Hi OrbeaScotland. The rubber band part can be ordered from Orbea, but honestly there's not much to it, I'm sure a right sized rubber band would work jusr as well. I've forgotten to put it on a few times, and it maxe no difference (although I was riding on paved trails). I'm nit sure what you mean by the neck lock, maybe I'm missing something? I use one band to secure it to the water bottle holder that came with it. There was what I thought was a spare that came with it, but is that other band supposed to be used elsewhere?
 

OrbeaScotland

New Member
Thanks for replying! Do you know how I would order it from Orbea? Can’t see anything in their website. I’ve attached a picture showing the neck lock.
It’s my own fault, I’ve ridden it once (home from the bike shop) and the battery did pop out at low speed. I never got round to investigating it though as only riding 20-30 miles at the moment and now Cycle Republic have closed all their stores 😭😭
 

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Solom01

Well-Known Member
Hi. You're right, I looked all over the Orbea site and no luck, but since you have the water bottle holder the only thing you're really missing is the rubber band. The other locks are just part if the water bottle. So long as you make sure the battery is seated onto the bottom of the water bottle holder the other "locks" are just the built-in plastic arms that grasp the battery. Honestly the rubber band is nothing special, try a band that will firmly stretch from one of the hooks on the upper left of the holder (about 1/3 of the way down) to the other hook and it will be doing exactly what the supplied band does.
 

OrbeaScotland

New Member
Hi. You're right, I looked all over the Orbea site and no luck, but since you have the water bottle holder the only thing you're really missing is the rubber band. The other locks are just part if the water bottle. So long as you make sure the battery is seated onto the bottom of the water bottle holder the other "locks" are just the built-in plastic arms that grasp the battery. Honestly the rubber band is nothing special, try a band that will firmly stretch from one of the hooks on the upper left of the holder (about 1/3 of the way down) to the other hook and it will be doing exactly what the supplied band does.
Thanks for checking anyway! I’m just being fussy.
 

dickp

Member
I have been using the range extender battery since last Oct. with out any issue. On my last three rides I have started getting a flashing purple light on the iWoc one button on the bike frame. Disconnecting the extender battery seems to correct the issue. The issue does not happen at first, only after having ridden 15 or 20 miles. I have tried without success to contact Orbea. Spoke with the selling dealer yesterday and they said they will contact Orbea. Has anyone else had any such issues?
 

MikeDee

Active Member
I have been using the range extender battery since last Oct. with out any issue. On my last three rides I have started getting a flashing purple light on the iWoc one button on the bike frame. Disconnecting the extender battery seems to correct the issue. The issue does not happen at first, only after having ridden 15 or 20 miles. I have tried without success to contact Orbea. Spoke with the selling dealer yesterday and they said they will contact Orbea. Has anyone else had any such issues?
A blue light means you have a notification on your phone while connected via Bluetooth. Do you have your phone connected to the bike?
 

dickp

Member
A blue light means you have a notification on your phone while connected via Bluetooth. Do you have your phone connected to the bike?
It is not a blue light, it is a flashing purple light and the button and the bike are not responsive.
 

MikeDee

Active Member
It is not a blue light, it is a flashing purple light and the button and the bike are not responsive.
I don't see a purple light described in the manual. There's a pink light, which indicates there is a fault. Have you tried connecting the phone app to the bike? Maybe it will tell what the problem is. Otherwise, I think you're going to have to go to the dealer.