The Dash is the bike for me :)

SpacedCowboy

New Member
So yesterday I bought an izip path plus. I'd taken it on a test ride first, and it all seemed fine. I rode it to work, about 7 miles, this morning and again it was all great. Once I got to work, it got the once over from colleagues, one of them touched the motor and almost burnt himself, but we didn't figure that was unusual... The power was still reading at 4 bars, but I'd taken the charger with me (just in case) so I recharged it until we got a green led again.

Then I tried to ride it home.

After about half a mile, the engine started to make rapid grinding noises, about once per second as I pedaled, and the assist (it was in power-assist 4) dropped away. I stopped and tried to see if the chain was loose or something, but it all seemed ok. So I switched to throttle mode to give me control over the motor and pulled away manually. Wow! It felt like I was riding up a 1:3 gradient. I struggled to get a rhythm and then tried the throttle. Grinding and even more slowdown.

I didn't want to damage anything, so I tried to ride the rest of the way home with the engine off. This proved to be impossible, because the effort required to turn the wheels with an engine that was actively opposing your motion was unreal. I made it another 4 miles or so before I started seeing dark patches in my vision, so I got off the bike and put my head down, which didn't really help so I sat down on the curb, holding the bike.

Then I passed out.

I woke up with the bike on top of me, luckily not in the road - I'd fallen backwards not forwards. I should mention that this is is (very) sunny CA, and basically I'd just been given an object lesson in heat exhaustion. It was 90+ degrees out and I'd just biked the equivalent of Mount Everest because of the recalcitrant engine...

So I call my wife on my cellphone and she comes to pick me up. Her car doesn't really fit the bike in the back, so now there's huge scratches everywhere over the back of the car. Once she'd figured out that it was just exhaustion, and I was going to be ok, I learnt in no uncertain terms that the happy-wife, happy-life saying also applies in reverse...

Tomorrow I'm going back to the dealer. There's going to be some frank words exchanged. To say that I'm not impressed is a quite significant understatement, and whereas I have to shoulder some of the blame for not being adequately prepared for my ride home, if the bike hadn't actively made things more difficult I would have been fine. I've biked more than that distance on a normal bike with relative ease. You live and learn, I guess.

Very unhappy.

Simon
 

SpacedCowboy

New Member
In all fairness I have to post a follow-up.

I took the bike back to the dealer (ELV motors, Santa Clara) today, and he was very helpful. I recounted the events above, and he immediately promised to get me a new bike as a replacement. He also said he'd call in to Currie to see what they had to say.

A little while later the nice lady from Currie called, explained that their CEO was traveling in the Netherlands or he'd be making this call, and asked for more details. She also got the low-down on what happened, and, completely unprompted, promised to ask their CEO about some compensation for the car damage, which I hadn't really expected. She also promised a full bike replacement, and mentioned that the shipment was due to arrive at my dealer by the end of the week.

All told, I think they responded as best they could under the circumstances. The thing is, I really did like the bike, when it was working, so assuming this isn't an inherent problem and the new bike performs well, I'll be a happy chappy once again.

Since AAA don't do cyclist support in northern CA, we've decided to get a bike rack for my wife's car (to prevent scratches in future if I, ahem, need a lift home), and the water bottle and holder arrived today (I had ordered them when I got the bike, I was just unlucky to have the hottest day so far this year be the day that the bike failed)

Hopefully the new bike will perform a lot better when it arrives, and I'll put all this down to a baptism of fire into the e-bike world.

Cheers,
Simon
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hi Simon! Thanks for sharing your experience, this sounds like a real bummer... I rated the bike with top scores based on my limited ride test and feedback from users like you helps to take it to the next level with real world experiences. I'm so glad that Currie is treating you well, I really hope this is an isolated incident. Ebikes are complex and many of the parts are hand made (hand wound copper wires in the motors for example).

It's great that they offered to compensate you for car damage and I thin the rack is a great idea. You could also get bicycle insurance + roadside assistance. This is a relatively new concept but there are two companies that operate in CA that you could work with including Spoke and Velosurance. Once you're back on the road please check in with a follow-up review. In all my time riding ebikes (even rentals that have hundreds of miles on them) I haven't heard of this happening. I'm wondering if the magnets inside the motor somehow got knocked off or overheated and came unglued. Direct drive (gearless) motors have a lot of force going on inside and the heat plus some kind of imperfection in manufacturing could have caused this... though I'm no expert :)

Thanks again for your post, sorry for my delayed response (I'm also traveling right now) and welcome to the EBR forums!
 

SpacedCowboy

New Member
[sigh] Well I was hoping to write something better here this time...

The dealer (excellent service btw) delivered a new bike to me on Sunday. I took it for a quick spin (couple of miles) and it was all ok, so I charged up the battery and left it at that.

Monday morning arrives... Left to ride to work, and this time the (new) bike only managed to get about a mile before a familiar grinding sound started coming from the engine. This time it wasn't too far from home, so I turned the engine off and rode home as if it were a normal bike. I don't think this one is as "far gone" as the original, but it's still not working... So instead of being at work, I'm typing this from home. The dealer opens at 10:00 am...

I'm the common factor here and Currie say they've never heard of this happening before... *cough* http://electricbikereview.com/community/threads/izip-e3-path-plus-trouble.273/ *cough*... However, giving them the benefit of the doubt ... I'm at a bit of a loss to understand what I'm doing wrong here. The route I take is mainly flat, some (gradual) inclines, I'm 6'1 and 220 lbs (so at the top end of what the bike ought to be able to handle, and part of the reason to get a bike in the first place) but I'm still within spec as far as I can tell.

The only thing I can think of that might be putting some stress on the engine is something the dealer recommended - to leave the bike in a high-ish gear (I usually use 6) and use the throttle to pull away from a standing start. In fact I usually have it in pedal-assist mode, turn the throttle anyway (since I'm under 10 mph) and cycle off. Being able to do that is one of the appealing things about the bike, but perhaps I'm stressing the engine too much...

I wonder if a stronger engine would be needed - perhaps I ought to try the dash vs. the path plus since it seems to get more mph out of the same battery...

Disappointed.
Simon.
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
It Is disappointing when you finally get through voice operated phone maze only to hear someone say they never heard of it before. I had a similar experience when I made a call (not Currie) about an issue with stuck battery door and possible incorrect key for the lock (as indicated by locksmith) only to hear a condescending denial that such scenario could ever happen because 'every bike is inspected before they leave facility'... Well could there have been a mistake during an inspection or are you calling me a liar?

sorry for the rant. :)
 

SpacedCowboy

New Member
Continuing the saga...

I waited in until 10 AM to take the bike back to the dealer, explained that I'd seen exactly the same problem... His solution was to suggest I get a dash instead. It's a different motor, apparently, and maybe that would help.

So, I put the dash into the back of the convertible (it's amazing what you can transport with a convertible when the top is down), and drove it home. It only had 3 bars left on the power meter, so I was a bit concerned it might not make it all the way to work - I'd read that the dash takes a lot of juice when, ahem, someone of a larger stature is using high-assist levels. This was (somewhat) justified, as it got down to 1 bar by the time I got to work, and I'd switched down to assist-3 about halfway through the trip. We made it, though, which is the important part.

Work's bike-lockers don't *quite* fit the dash easily. I had to re-angle the LCD lower, and play with the angles for the handlebars, but eventually I got it in. Charged it up to 100% through the day and rode it home without incident. Here's to crossing fingers that I have many more days like this :)

When I got home, I checked the percentage of battery, 64% left even though I'd stuck to assist-4 on purpose, so now I know I don't need to take the charger with me every day.

Assuming it holds up, I'm going to keep the Dash. My dealer made noises about getting Currie to do a straight swap. We'll see, to be honest I'd rather they paid for the damage to my wife's car, I've no objection to paying the extra $400 to upgrade to the Dash, and if Currie paid for both, I can't see how they'd make a profit. All companies (apart from Amazon, perhaps) need to make *some* profit.

So hopefully all's well that ends well. All I need to do now is hook up some lights, mudguards (fenders in US-speak I guess), and a pannier and I'll be happy :)
 

SpacedCowboy

New Member
Another update - a good one this time :)

I've been commuting to work with the Dash since getting it as a replacement. Currie were good enough to consider it a straight-swap for the Path+ instead of me paying the difference, so that was nice of them.

It takes about 40-45% of the battery to get to work, depending on how hard I ride - and all in assist-4. Once I've got a bit more muscle on my legs I'll start reducing that to assist-3,... but for now it's just too much fun to be coasting along at ~25 + mph :) Most of my route is flat (some small inclines, but nothing to shout home about).

So, I've ordered a second charger (so I can ride elsewhere if I have to that day), some new puncture-resistant tyres, some fenders and a pannier. All looking good :) I've also got velosurance, but that reminds me, I need to update it to state that it's now a Dash not a Path+ that's insured...

Thought it was worth dropping a line to show that even things that start out "not so good" can turn out well in the end :)
 

Kyle hamor

Member
How far away in miles is you're work. I'm curious as to what range you are getting on you're dash, and glad things worked out well for you.
 

Kyle hamor

Member
Oh, my bad dude. I didn't know that you were the same guy. My apologies I guess if I'm going to be on here I should make a point to remember names. :p
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Oh, my bad dude. I didn't know that you were the same guy. My apologies I guess if I'm going to be on here I should make a point to remember names. :p
It happens to the best of us... I've met some of the people from here in real life and still struggle with names from time to time...

I'm so glad the Dash is working for you SpacedCowboy, thanks for sharing your saga of electric bike fortitude with us! Glad Currie was there for you, fingers crossed on the car thing. Sorry I haven't been around responding as much, on the road headed to Canada with limited Internet access.