Ride Report for Falco Emotor Bike

MLB

Well-Known Member
I agree, it is not as easy to activate. Brake activators are convenient, but extra wire/weight. I'm torn. More stuff, more issues.

I added my throttle back on yesterday and wow, what a perk. I must be human laziness, but having the option to kick it up makes the riding so much nicer.
Mines still on because it's so nice for scooting through 4 way stops without holding cars up. And it is fun. LOL *but does make you cheat more
 

SQN

Member
Pics of Falco+Gravity set up. These are from last summer.
Question about this previous setup of yours. This is the first setup I've seen of an e-kit on a drop bar bike.

I realize now that the Falco kits do not include brake levers. I've got two different bikes that I could use to setup with a kit. One is a Surly Cross Check with drop bars, and the other an older mountain bike.

So the Falco looks like it would work with my Surly, but now I'm trying to understand how braking works with the Falco kits. Since the kit does not have an auto cut-off when braking, is that ever an issue or concern with you or any others that have a Falco kit installed?

I read through all your previous posts and realize you had quite an accident on your road bike and that you moved the kit over to a Trek hybrid mountain bike. Which setup did you prefer? Any pros or cons with either? I see that you commented about the lack of rear suspension, but I wouldn't have that in either of the two options I am considering.

Thanks!
 

bareyb

Active Member
Really enjoying all the updates guys! My 48V, Falco 500 watt is still going strong. I'm really happy with my setup now that we've got it tweaked the way I want it. It's been rock solid all summer.
 

Bike_On

Well-Known Member
Really enjoying all the updates guys! My 48V, Falco 500 watt is still going strong. I'm really happy with my setup now that we've got it tweaked the way I want it. It's been rock solid all summer.
Barerb-

Please post your constants settings. I like how mine is going too, except I do hit thermal cut back to 500W after 8-10 miles running mostly PAS and a little throttle.
 

Bike_On

Well-Known Member
Question about this previous setup of yours. This is the first setup I've seen of an e-kit on a drop bar bike.

I realize now that the Falco kits do not include brake levers. I've got two different bikes that I could use to setup with a kit. One is a Surly Cross Check with drop bars, and the other an older mountain bike.

So the Falco looks like it would work with my Surly, but now I'm trying to understand how braking works with the Falco kits. Since the kit does not have an auto cut-off when braking, is that ever an issue or concern with you or any others that have a Falco kit installed?

I read through all your previous posts and realize you had quite an accident on your road bike and that you moved the kit over to a Trek hybrid mountain bike. Which setup did you prefer? Any pros or cons with either? I see that you commented about the lack of rear suspension, but I wouldn't have that in either of the two options I am considering.

Thanks!
Hi SQN,

The road bike accident didn't take me down - thanks be to God. It did put the knife into a fairly beat up wheel. My first wheel didn't have good enough spokes, and they kept popping and getting replaced. When I hit the road repair-concrete edge, I dented the rim.... replaced the whole wheel/motor.

Differences: road bike was faster with a 50T ring for higher gearing. I really like and miss the hoods and drop bar. However, the Trek DS, even with a cheap Suntour fork, makes a much more pleasant ride through the industrial back roads with uneven pavement and multiple RR crossings. The disk, hyd brakes are great, but I feel wearing fast. I am riding without regen, and that is a shame. (I want less clutter on bars, so no console or +/- pad) The (-)pad will trigger regen when riding and save brake wear.

Your Surly has a steel frame? The Falco would work nice with that. I considered a Surly steel/disk bike, before I got the Gravity 20.

Brake cut off: Not needed. Auto regen from brake sensors is preferred. Caution: you can tweek the motor constants and get a scary result of motor-stay-on, especially with a fresh battery. the torque is easily overcome with braking and the motor cut off, but if can be alarming if you program as such. I always play/test my new constants with a test ride around the block.

I recommend FATTER tires than a road bikes 28mm. Go to 38mm, 45mm, 50mm. Get a quality tire than prevents flats, and good rolling resistance. In the end, a 48V system going 25-30mph will appreciate good brakes, fatter tire, a little suspension, any dampening possible (thudbuster or steel frame) If you get aggressive with the road set up (28mm road tires), try to stay on smooth roads.

I'm getting by ok without rear suspension. Bottom line is you need a good wheel build with bigger spokes because you WILL take a shot to the wheel eventually, and may pop a spoke. I use a Thudbuster, and the Trek has ISo zone elastomer dampening.

Let us all know what you decide.

Peace,
Dan
 

SQN

Member
Thanks so much for your feedback, Dan! That is really helpful.

I think at this point I'm going to focus on the Surly, then. I had a nice chat with Rakesh at Falco today as well. If I move forward with this, I will likely purchase via a local ebike store and have it professionally installed for safe measure.

Still a bit confused which configuration I should go for. Curious to get your feedback on this. Trying to do this as economically as possible.

I've got a 32 mile roundtrip, pretty much flat. No problem recharging battery during my workday.

So, should I get the 500W motor / 48v battery, or bump up to the 750W motor? I plan to pedel most of the time, but intend to go fast. They Surly has a 48 tooth front chain ring, in back 11T.

Thanks!
 

bareyb

Active Member
Thanks so much for your feedback, Dan! That is really helpful.

I think at this point I'm going to focus on the Surly, then. I had a nice chat with Rakesh at Falco today as well. If I move forward with this, I will likely purchase via a local ebike store and have it professionally installed for safe measure.

Still a bit confused which configuration I should go for. Curious to get your feedback on this. Trying to do this as economically as possible.

I've got a 32 mile roundtrip, pretty much flat. No problem recharging battery during my workday.

So, should I get the 500W motor / 48v battery, or bump up to the 750W motor? I plan to pedel most of the time, but intend to go fast. They Surly has a 48 tooth front chain ring, in back 11T.

Thanks!
I'll chime in too if you don't mind another opinion. I have the 500 watt motor and I think it's plenty of help for the kind of riding I do. Which sounds similar to the kind of riding you do. I have the same gearing with an 11/48 setup. My bike can do 35 mph with the 48V easily and I've topped out at 40 mph with the wind at my back. I started out with a 36V battery and upgraded to the 48V and there was a distinct difference. It just performs a better overall (more Torque, higher speed, better on hills, etc.) and I get a little better range out of it. So I'd recommend getting the 48V if you can afford to. I have never tried a 750 watt motor, but keep in mind, you'll be decreasing your range and it may create more internal heat, which is already an issue with Falco Motors. They kick into Thermal Protection mode pretty easily even with the 500 watt motor.
 

SQN

Member
Thanks, Barey, for your input! That is quite helpful! I've read in previous posts, maybe yours, about the issue of heat and thermal protection. Is that an issue somewhat unique to the Falco systems, or is that more par for the course for ebikes in general?

So to get this 500w/48v kit plus installation at my LBS is going to run north of $2,000. Almost half of that is just the battery! Part of me just thinks that is insane. Someone on these boards nearby was selling, and may still have for sale, a 2014 Stromer ST1 Platinum for $2300. No throttle mode on that, but either option is about the same amount of money. I'm impressed that others of you have been able to take that leap of faith in buying a kit not knowing how it will actually perform on your own bike.

I could use some talking into here!

Thanks for all the wonderful advice!
 

Bike_On

Well-Known Member
SQN,

I believe we all have the same chain ratio: 48/11. I find it adequate for my 48V/500W system going PAS. If I tuck on a downhill and go full throttle, like Barerb, and go 35-40+mph, then it is likely unsafe to try and keep up with the pedals.

A couple other points: get a torque arm for the rear hub install. Falco sells them. So does ebikes.ca. Not real expensive, but needed.

48V/500 vs 36V/500 vs 48v/750:
All I can say is I recently splurged and got the 48V battery for my 500W hub. Riding the same commute routes, my overall average speed is about the same. I can push it a bit, and the 48V may be a bit overall faster, but not much. The issue is that 48V produces more power and more heat. Thus, if I go level 5 PAS, hard, adding throttle to keep speed on upgrades, I draw 900-1200W on my CA. It's a 500W motor. It heats up and after 8-12 miles, drops to 500W. Now 500W is not bad. On the flats, it comfortably keeps me going 20-22mph, but I was going 28-30mph! Note, the first 6 miles of my commute, I have seen averages of 26-29mph, with a lot of downhill. The motor does draw a lot of power at those higher speeds for the ddhub. I think they call it a phase forward effect to keep the high rpms/speed at low torque outputs (downhill or flat, low resistance)

Solution: Per Rakesh, is to limit the peak current via the GUI. Well, I did that and it kind of works. Instead of 30A, it limits around 25-26A. I does not seem to want to go less, to 20-22A. The current limit is about the only way to extend the thermal time response. If I can get it to limit at 22mph, then the 48V may be more satisfying with good power output (900-1000W) range and hopefully less/no cutback for the whole commute. Then I/d say the 48V/500W combo is the ticket. The alternate is go 750W motor, which can handle the heat from the higher power. It weighs more, more mass, better for higher power.

Sooo, going to what Rakesh told me.... 500W is good if you want to pedal.... ALL THE TIME. You can still go fast and hard, get in shape, but can't use the throttle to maintain high speeds without eventual cutback. The 750W is for less pedaling, Hspeed cruising using more throttle with PAS. The 750W motor allows you to go FASt all the time, and needs the 48V battery. I was hoping to "cheat" the physics, and get away with that on a lighter hub (500W). I'm finding that the only way to do that is more effort on my part pedaling! Then I can keep the higher speed averages.

Note: The cutback is GOOD in that it protects the motor and electronics. I think it is conservative, because the motor case is never hot. But the sensor is closer to the power electronics... I'd like to bump up that thermal limit, but can't!

Finally, when I cruise easy on the pedals, I have had no issue with the 48V system. That allows me to maintain 20-25mph across the ride, kicking up the power on hills, and easy PAS downhill. That can get me 19-21mph averages.

Let us know what you decide!
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
Good information @Bike_On; thanks for the performance tweaks and details! Have been a fan of Rakesh's designs for a long time, so the kit is a good value for high performance. Remember, the BionX kits are around $2400, so the Falco pricing seems in line.
 

Bike_On

Well-Known Member
Commuting Woes this week....

Last Friday, a beautiful sunny day, I get my first puncture. Two sharp constrction staples. It took over an hour to get the wheel off, patchthe tube, back on and aligned. Bummer.

If was suppose to be really super nice, low humidity, 80's all week , but somehow a strong storm emerged Monday evening. I waited it out at work, 6:30-7:30, and then bolted for home. After 10 miles, I was doing great with light showers on occasion. Then a big boomer hit from the south. I didn't make it home and ducked into a school overhang. Drenched, Dark, getting late, I pushed out... sometimes nothing seems to go right... prayer and a survival attitude is all you have.

Bike On!
 

Bike_On

Well-Known Member
PS. Downpour effects on equipment:

Falco Motor - no issue.
Falco Dolphin 48V battery - no issue
Cycle Analyst - took in some moisture, panel a little cloudy, left button stopped working.
Falco Throttle - started to stick when fully pressed. Needs some lube.
Lights - no effect.
 

MLB

Well-Known Member
Barerb-

Please post your constants settings. I like how mine is going too, except I do hit thermal cut back to 500W after 8-10 miles running mostly PAS and a little throttle.
I hit the thermal cut back about the same point, and I'm peddling all the time and in a lower power setting for most of it.
I like my Falco, but it's fair to say its' the most sensitive to heat that I've heard about or tried. I think having the contoller inside the motor just isn't a good idea and I bet they change that at some point.
If you ever read the post by the shop that bought all the damaged Falco motors, there were a hell of a lot of them returned/replaced for heat related shut down problems.... I think some of us just use them more lightly, and live with the same motors. ;)
Turning the motor completely off for 5-10 minutes "cures" it, but I dont' turn on the motor until I'm tired, so 10 miles later if I have to shut it off completely, I'm grinding. LOL 36v 500w

Stromer or Haibike never shut down power, even at highest power settings and 20 miles of fast riding.
Since I love to ride and need the fitness, I don't mind. But guessing power hungry types will be happier elsewhere. JMO
 
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SQN

Member
All very interesting information. Thanks everyone for helping me understand some of these nuances better.

I continue to evaluate options, and continue to be as confused as ever. I'm having a tough time considering spending $2K plus on a kit in the name of saving money on my commute. The ROI on that isn't all that quick.

So I started to evaluate what is the cheapest, lowest cost, lowest power option out there that still might help make a 32 mile rount-trip commute a bit quicker, easier and more enjoyable. I took a look at all of Courts kit reviews, and became intrigued with the Dillinger kits. And then on their site, I came to know of the Arc kits.

Anyone familiar with the Arc kits? https://arcelectricbikekits.com/arc-offroad-electric-bike-kit-560wh.html

This looks pretty slick, is substantially less than the Falco or BionX kits, still gets me the power I'm looking for, has an external controller, etc. These must be really new. I've emailed with the company, and they told me to check back next week for a user manual!

I'm also questioning the need to go 28mph. Maybe peddeling along at a nice steady 20mph is good enough.

And lastly, I'm trying to understand what it's like to ride an ebike without a PAS system. So if I can peddle on my own at a 15mph clip, and just throttle the motor occassionally, does that help to propel the bike faster? Could a sub-$1,000 kit from ebike kit, Dillenger, etc. be enough I wonder?
 

Bike_On

Well-Known Member
All very interesting information. Thanks everyone for helping me understand some of these nuances better.

I continue to evaluate options, and continue to be as confused as ever. I'm having a tough time considering spending $2K plus on a kit in the name of saving money on my commute. The ROI on that isn't all that quick.

So I started to evaluate what is the cheapest, lowest cost, lowest power option out there that still might help make a 32 mile rount-trip commute a bit quicker, easier and more enjoyable. I took a look at all of Courts kit reviews, and became intrigued with the Dillinger kits. And then on their site, I came to know of the Arc kits.

Anyone familiar with the Arc kits? https://arcelectricbikekits.com/arc-offroad-electric-bike-kit-560wh.html

This looks pretty slick, is substantially less than the Falco or BionX kits, still gets me the power I'm looking for, has an external controller, etc. These must be really new. I've emailed with the company, and they told me to check back next week for a user manual!

I'm also questioning the need to go 28mph. Maybe peddeling along at a nice steady 20mph is good enough.

And lastly, I'm trying to understand what it's like to ride an ebike without a PAS system. So if I can peddle on my own at a 15mph clip, and just throttle the motor occassionally, does that help to propel the bike faster? Could a sub-$1,000 kit from ebike kit, Dillenger, etc. be enough I wonder?
SQN,
You may not ride at 28mph, but it is VERY nice to have the ability to get there IF you want to. There will always be situations and opportunities where more speed is wanted and appropriate. Cruising 20-25mph is more relaxed, gets more range, still allows human assist via gears, and is a lot faster than 15mph, human only.

PAS + Throttle is so very nice. Court mentions this often. If you feel strong, go PAS all the way. Get tired? Feather in the throttle and pedal lighter. This is where the cadence sensor PAS system allow the OP to change levels and not need a throttle for PAS. A torque sensed system is expecting force to the chain. If you pedal easier, you get less response and don't get the power. Thus, you have to use throttle to maintain a certain power output and speed. A cadence system, just bump up the level if tied.

32 mile RT on one charge or two? Makes a difference. I have not heard of ARC kits. Get a bike with Air shocks - Fox /Rockshock. I have the spring type from Suntour, and they are great at lower speeds (15-20mph). Above that, they help with very light offroad terrain.

Best.

DR
 

MLB

Well-Known Member
SQN,
You may not ride at 28mph, but it is VERY nice to have the ability to get there IF you want to. There will always be situations and opportunities where more speed is wanted and appropriate. Cruising 20-25mph is more relaxed, gets more range, still allows human assist via gears, and is a lot faster than 15mph, human only.

PAS + Throttle is so very nice. Court mentions this often. If you feel strong, go PAS all the way. Get tired? Feather in the throttle and pedal lighter. This is where the cadence sensor PAS system allow the OP to change levels and not need a throttle for PAS. A torque sensed system is expecting force to the chain. If you pedal easier, you get less response and don't get the power. Thus, you have to use throttle to maintain a certain power output and speed. A cadence system, just bump up the level if tied.

32 mile RT on one charge or two? Makes a difference. I have not heard of ARC kits. Get a bike with Air shocks - Fox /Rockshock. I have the spring type from Suntour, and they are great at lower speeds (15-20mph). Above that, they help with very light offroad terrain.

Best.

DR
Torque sensor setups have adjustable power levels just like a cadence sensor only setup. Want more response, go up a level or two.
How hard you have to peddle to get the motor to kick in is adjustable via the torque sensor sensitivity settings.
 

Bike_On

Well-Known Member
Torque sensor setups have adjustable power levels just like a cadence sensor only setup. Want more response, go up a level or two.
How hard you have to peddle to get the motor to kick in is adjustable via the torque sensor sensitivity settings.
<How hard you have to peddle to get the motor to kick in is adjustable via the torque sensor sensitivity settings>
If you make the torque response highly sensitive (responds to light forces), then the torque sensor becomes like a cadence sensor and you just change levels to get more power. If it is less sensitive, you won't be able to/want to reach peak power (when tired), and you will need to use the throttle, even in top level.
 

SQN

Member
SQN,
You may not ride at 28mph, but it is VERY nice to have the ability to get there IF you want to. There will always be situations and opportunities where more speed is wanted and appropriate. Cruising 20-25mph is more relaxed, gets more range, still allows human assist via gears, and is a lot faster than 15mph, human only.

PAS + Throttle is so very nice. Court mentions this often. If you feel strong, go PAS all the way. Get tired? Feather in the throttle and pedal lighter. This is where the cadence sensor PAS system allow the OP to change levels and not need a throttle for PAS. A torque sensed system is expecting force to the chain. If you pedal easier, you get less response and don't get the power. Thus, you have to use throttle to maintain a certain power output and speed. A cadence system, just bump up the level if tied.

32 mile RT on one charge or two? Makes a difference. I have not heard of ARC kits. Get a bike with Air shocks - Fox /Rockshock. I have the spring type from Suntour, and they are great at lower speeds (15-20mph). Above that, they help with very light offroad terrain.

Best.

DR
Thanks, DR! That was kind of my thinking exactly. I didn't want to limit myself unnecessarily. While I may choose to ride slower most of the time, I want the option of being able to go faster if desired.

So in the end, I did in fact decide to take the plunge and purchase the Dillenger/Arc 1000w direct drive kit. It's in transit right now, scheduled for delivery next week on Monday.

I'll be starting a new thread in the Dillenger forum to offer my feedback on the kit.

Thanks to you and everyone else for your feedback and guidance!

SQN
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
We'll be looking forward to hearing all about the kit, since not much is known here. Please include pics! and talk a bit about where you're riding, we all are curious.
 

elektrikflo

New Member
I have a few questions about the System. I bought my Falco Motor from a small Dealer and he has purchased the Motors from England. (Remainders)

The dealer said that´s a 42V motor. Even the sign on the motor shows a maximum dc voltage of 42V. Now I have saw in this post a picture with the max. voltage of 42V on the label but he is powerd up the system with a 48V Battery. Can I also do that?

Thank you,
Flo