New Falco Customer Checking In!

bareyb

Active Member
Hi Gang,
Just wanted to stop in a introduce myself. I've been scouring the Internet for a good Conversion Kit and I think the Falco is going to be the way to go for me. I liked the BionX too, but they did not offer an Off Road version without the 20 mph speed limiter so that killed that deal. Have no idea why they don't offer that, I think it probably costs them a lot of sales.... :(

Anyway, as far as Turnkey conversion systems go, the two that seemed to rise to the top were the BionX and the Falco. I found a local Falco dealer and I purchased the 500 watt, 36V, system with the Bottle Battery (11.8 Ah). I HOPE it's enough power. I really went back and forth between that and the 750 watt motor with the 48V battery, but decided to try and keep the weight down. I still want the bike to be a bike and from what I've read, the 500 watt, 36V systems are in the "Sweet Spot" for Power, Weight, and Reliability. I suppose if it's not enough power I can always upgrade the battery to the 48V.

Here's a picture of the bike I want to convert. It's a circa 1990 Bianchi "Crossroads" Hybrid.

Couple of questions:
• Do you guys think this will make a good Donor?
• Will 500 Watts @36V be "enough"? Weight: 170 lbs. Terrain is slightly hilly. Mostly "Rollers" with a couple of fairly steep Hills at times.
• If I want a more power will upgrading to the 48V make much difference in Torque or will it only affect top speed?
• Can I adjust the settings to optimize for more Torque or Top Speed if necessary?
• With a bike with larger wheels (700c) will I lose some Torque but gain some top end speed? Any thoughts on how fast it might be able to go? It's got a 35 Amp Controller (Max).

Thanks! Any advice gratefully taken. Any non advice gratefully taken too. TBH, I'm talking to anyone who will listen. So feel free to chat me up if you wanna talk about e-bikes. I'm obsessed.
:D :D :D


 
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JoePah

Well-Known Member
I like the bike and your choice of kit. Bianchi is a sweet ride... with that rig you should get close to 30 mph, which is all the speed you want on that bike. Depending on the way the motor is built you will either have good torque or high top end.. Did they give you a choice?

Here's an ebike simulator to play with: http://www.ebikes.ca/tools/simulator.html

This is what I would do:
Repack the headset and bottom bracket bearings, and the front wheel bearings if they're not sealed.
I have that adjustable stem on one of my bikes, and it's notorious for slipping.. lock it in place with a set screw.
Ergo grips will soften the ride on your hands.
Suspension seat or Thudbuster will soften the ride on your butt!
May need more gear.. 11t at the freewheel if you want to pedal your way to 30 mph.
Not sure of those center pull brakes, but you will find out soon enough if you're cool with them.
Not a fan of knobby tires for road work, but again you'll find out soon enough if you like them at speed.

Let us know how she looks when the Falco is running! Have fun!
 

bareyb

Active Member
I like the bike and your choice of kit. Bianchi is a sweet ride... with that rig you should get close to 30 mph, which is all the speed you want on that bike. Depending on the way the motor is built you will either have good torque or high top end.. Did they give you a choice?

This is what I would do:
Repack the headset and bottom bracket bearings, and the front wheel bearings if they're not sealed.
I have that adjustable stem on one of my bikes, and it's notorious for slipping.. lock it in place with a set screw.
Ergo grips will soften the ride on your hands.
Suspension seat or Thudbuster will soften the ride on your butt!
May need more gear.. 11t at the freewheel if you want to pedal your way to 30 mph.
Not sure of those center pull brakes, but you will find out soon enough if you're cool with them.
Not a fan of knobby tires for road work, but again you'll find out soon enough if you like them at speed.

Let us know how she looks when the Falco is running! Have fun!

Wow, 30 mph? That's awesome. More than I thought I'd get and you're right, that's plenty fast enough. I'm definitely going to lose the knobbies. The dirt paths I will be on are packed and well used. No deep dirt. Here are the Tires I'm looking at using.... What do you think? Better? They have the hardened sidewalls and all season tread. I'd imagine the rolling resistance on these will be much better.

Bontrager AW1 - Hard Case Tires: http://www.bontrager.com/model/11024

 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
I don't know those tires, but bontrager is pretty well known.... People seem to like Schwalbe tires.. I like Continental and Vrendstein. Also own Maxxis Excel tires which are a little harsh but stone cold reliable.

I may have overestimated your top end.. I'm assuming that 35A controller will allow you to draw around 700W into the motor, and that it has pedal assist...

On my Stromer with 36v11ah battery and 500w DD motor i can hit 25 mph.. Your should easily exceed that.
 

bareyb

Active Member
I don't know those tires, but bontrager is pretty well known.... People seem to like Schwalbe tires.. I like Continental and Vrendstein. Also own Maxxis Excel tires which are a little harsh but stone cold reliable.

I may have overestimated your top end.. I'm assuming that 35A controller will allow you to draw around 700W into the motor, and that it has pedal assist...

On my Stromer with 36v11ah battery and 500w DD motor i can hit 25 mph.. Your should easily exceed that.

I've seen those Schwalbe tires recommended before. I'll look into sourcing them. Thanks. How do you like your Stromer? I think those are so cool. If I turn out to really embrace this and use my converted bike a LOT then I'd consider investing in a full on built from scratch e-bike. I figured this would be a cheaper way to get into the game. I really feel like this is going to change my life. SO many times I'd take my bike if I didn't have to ride up that big set of hills to get home... It's not fun at the end of a long ride. :D
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
I've seen those Schwalbe tires recommended before. I'll look into sourcing them. Thanks. How do you like your Stromer? I think those are so cool. If I turn out to really embrace this and use my converted bike a LOT then I'd consider investing in a full on built from scratch e-bike. I figured this would be a cheaper way to get into the game. I really feel like this is going to change my life. SO many times I'd take my bike if I didn't have to ride up that big set of hills to get home... It's not fun at the end of a long ride. :D
Love the Stromer but don't use it much any more.. switched to road bikes.

Will tell you to buy what you really want now, whatever that is.. you won't regret it... ;)
 

bareyb

Active Member
Love the Stromer but don't use it much any more.. switched to road bikes.

Will tell you to buy what you really want now, whatever that is.. you won't regret it... ;)

From all I'm reading, that's very likely. Problem is, I don't really know what I want yet. I've guessed as best I can and now I just have to get it and try it. This is my first e-bike build and I have no idea what to expect. I have never ridden an e-bike in my life. :D

I do feel like I'm a perfect candidate for e-bike riding though, and I expect I'll probably fall in love with it. I was an Avid Motorcyclist before the kids came and this will be a nice alternative. I miss getting out in the Wind.
 
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bareyb

Active Member
Well it's not going well so far. I got the Falco kit installed but it's been having various problems for the last 3 weeks. Finally got it to work, but it's still not working right. I have another email out to Falco... Hopefully they get back to me. :(
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
Well it's not going well so far. I got the Falco kit installed but it's been having various problems for the last 3 weeks. Finally got it to work, but it's still not working right. I have another email out to Falco... Hopefully they get back to me. :(
Hi @bareyb what's the Falco kit doing? It should be pretty much plug 'n' play without too much dialing in. We might be able to help you here.
 

bareyb

Active Member
Hi @bareyb what's the Falco kit doing? It should be pretty much plug 'n' play without too much dialing in. We might be able to help you here.

I'd sure appreciate any help I can get. Good news is, it's working. It goes. Bad news is, it's supposed to be unrestricted (off road version) and the Throttle and Pedelec are both cutting off at 20 mph. It will go faster in "Turbo Mode" but it's my understanding that is supposed to be used sparingly on very steep hills etc. Not all the time...

According to the instructions I've seen on YouTube (there was no user manual or supporting documentation of any kind with the product) you are supposed to hold the +/- buttons at the same time for a couple of seconds and it will toggle "Cruise Mode" on and off. Well unfortunately, it doesn't do that. It is stuck in Cruise Mode and I was told you need to turn it off and on to make it active. So it's just stuck in Cruise mode and won't toggle. I'm wondering if the LCD Console needs to be replaced or if there's some setting somewhere I'm missing.
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
Just on Falco Motors forum and your post @bareyb has a broken link, so the question does not show; try re sending any info there. Also noticed that the link for the programming led to a 404 page :(, so that doesn't help. Ok, just tried to upload the 7 page file for startup, but that's too big to put here, so a link instead:
http://falcoemotors.com

If you have the Falco USB stick, then you can access the speed settings as shown on page 7 of their guide. Also, take a close look at your dropouts and see if the kit's torque sensor needs alignment to be able to power properly. Much like the BionX torque sensor positioning, misalignment can totally kill power. Falco does have a simple set of diagrams to illustrate the necessary dropout alignment:
http://falcoemotors.com

Hope this helps and they respond soon; I test road the kit and was quite impressed--really liked the wireless interface and built in heart rate monitor.
 

bareyb

Active Member
Just on Falco Motors forum and your post @bareyb has a broken link, so the question does not show; try re sending any info there. Also noticed that the link for the programming led to a 404 page :(, so that doesn't help. Ok, just tried to upload the 7 page file for startup, but that's too big to put here, so a link instead:
http://falcoemotors.com

If you have the Falco USB stick, then you can access the speed settings as shown on page 7 of their guide. Also, take a close look at your dropouts and see if the kit's torque sensor needs alignment to be able to power properly. Much like the BionX torque sensor positioning, misalignment can totally kill power. Falco does have a simple set of diagrams to illustrate the necessary dropout alignment:
http://falcoemotors.com

Hope this helps and they respond soon; I test road the kit and was quite impressed--really liked the wireless interface and built in heart rate monitor.
I think if I hang in there and let Rakesh help me set up the parameters the way I want them, I'll end up being very happy with it. Another owner told me that the default settings are optimized for battery not power. Rakesh helped him set it up and he's really happy with it. So thank goodness they have such an accessible feature set.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
I'd sure appreciate any help I can get. Good news is, it's working. It goes. Bad news is, it's supposed to be unrestricted (off road version) and the Throttle and Pedelec are both cutting off at 20 mph. It will go faster in "Turbo Mode" but it's my understanding that is supposed to be used sparingly on very steep hills etc. Not all the time...

According to the instructions I've seen on YouTube (there was no user manual or supporting documentation of any kind with the product) you are supposed to hold the +/- buttons at the same time for a couple of seconds and it will toggle "Cruise Mode" on and off. Well unfortunately, it doesn't do that. It is stuck in Cruise Mode and I was told you need to turn it off and on to make it active. So it's just stuck in Cruise mode and won't toggle. I'm wondering if the LCD Console needs to be replaced or if there's some setting somewhere I'm missing.

Barey, I cannot tell if you're making comments on Endless Sphere or not.. They've been commenting on those kits for a few years, and probably have a lot of experience..

You migh try them: http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=49849&hilit=falco+kit

The not so good new is that the UK agent has given up on Falco motors and is selling his inventory on Ebay... Will tell you this is not unusual in the eBike buisiness.. The two bikes that i've owned have gone Chapter 11 or were bought out before they went bankrupt... You have to have a sense of humor about this stuff!

http://www.ebay.co.uk
 
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Mike leroy

Active Member
Barey, I cannot tell if you're making comments on Endless Sphere or not.. They've been commenting on those kits for a few years, and probably have a lot of experience..

You migh try them: http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=49849&hilit=falco+kit

The not so good new is that the UK agent has given up on Falco motors and is selling his inventory on Ebay... Will tell you this is not unusual in the eBike buisiness.. The two bikes that i've owned have gone Chapter 11 or were bought out before they went bankrupt... You have to have a sense of humor about this stuff!

http://www.ebay.co.uk
Is Falco financially sound? I am considering the 1kW motor.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
The problem people have with Falco, from what i have read, is their 4 or 5 phase motors, which require their proprietary controller, that i think is integral to the motor... And they are not too rugged. Not sure what you do if you need a new controller. Would try to buy an extra one now.

They were trying to maxiize efficiency with these motors.
 

Mike leroy

Active Member
The problem people have with Falco, from what i have read, is their 4 or 5 phase motors, which require their proprietary controller, that i think is integral to the motor... And they are not too rugged. Not sure what you do if you need a new controller. Would try to buy an extra one now.

They were trying to maxiize efficiency with these motors.
Is that because the controller is inside the motor? Would an external controller resolve the issue ?
 

bareyb

Active Member
Update: Rakesh called and they are sending me the Dongle so we can tweak my settings. I wanted to post the user manual for the console in case anyone else is looking for it:
 

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Ann M.

Well-Known Member
Update: Rakesh called and they are sending me the Dongle so we can tweak my settings. I wanted to post the user manual for the console in case anyone else is looking for it:
Rakesh is the designer/engineer of this system so it's one of the pluses of a smaller company that he is able to be more hands on with the owners of these kits.
 

bareyb

Active Member
Spent the better part of my afternoon with Cameron at Falco and we made some changes to the settings ,but it's not really any better than it was before. I'm beginning to think they have changed the software to cut off EVERYTHING at 20 mph. The motor simply stops helping after that. The only way I can get more power is to go to Turbo Mode. :(

Rakesh is the true expert so I'm going to have to wait until tomorrow night to speak with him. Maybe he can figure something out. I don't know what's going on but this isn't what I thought it would be at all. It was supposed to be a Pedelec that can do 28 mph. It is not. Well not without invoking a super high power Turbo mode. I wonder if there's a return policy for these kits? I'm guessing probably not since it's been installed already. This thing is not working right and I'm beginning to lose faith it ever will.
 

Mike leroy

Active Member
Spent the better part of my afternoon with Cameron at Falco and we made some changes to the settings ,but it's not really any better than it was before. I'm beginning to think they have changed the software to cut off EVERYTHING at 20 mph. The motor simply stops helping after that. The only way I can get more power is to go to Turbo Mode. :(

Rakesh is the true expert so I'm going to have to wait until tomorrow night to speak with him. Maybe he can figure something out. I don't know what's going on but this isn't what I thought it would be at all. It was supposed to be a Pedelec that can do 28 mph. It is not. Well not without invoking a super high power Turbo mode. I wonder if there's a return policy for these kits? I'm guessing probably not since it's been installed already. This thing is not working right and I'm beginning to lose faith it ever will.
I am sure they can make it work for you. The controller is key. You just need to get the update or hack the software.

You might want to exchange it. I would only consider the 1.5kW motor. It requires a wide dropout, about 175mm. I am not sure how many gears it would take, either. So I would need something like a pinion gearbox on the crank.

That motor can reach 30mph on my 10% grade. I would love to race cars up the hill the speed limit is 35. I think I could 40+ mph. I run up the hill about 10mph.
 
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