You have an e-bike, but are thirsty for more? Perhaps you seek additional range from the battery, increased power, higher top speed, more smoothness, or all of the above? Well you're in the right place. From complete e-drive systems, to hydraulic brakes, to solar recharging systems, and everything in between, we've got you covered. We can turn your e-bike's weakest link into it's best feature, or turn a weak e-bike into your favorite vehicle.
The first performance upgrade that comes to mind is a motor swap. Often, people end up upgrading from a small, lightweight geared hub motor to a more powerful one, or a larger direct drive motor. All direct drive motors can be injected with Statorade, a motor cooling fluid that dramatically increases the heat dissipation capacity of the motor. In many use cases, a motor equipped with Statorade is impossible to overheat. Further cooling ability, which allows for higher power use, can be achieved by installing the Hubsink, a heatsink designed for hub motors.
Besides hub motors, which are generally the most reliable, there are several mid drive motors out there that offer very good power to weight ratio & reliability. Mid drives generally have more torque than hub motors, and since the motor power runs through the chain, it's easier to change the gearing & top speed. Mid drives need to be designed and setup very carefully, otherwise the bike's derailleur system will get eaten to shreds due to the forces coming from the motor AND the pedals. To prevent damage, it's especially important for mid drives to have a smooth power delivery curve from the controller. and to protect the derailleur by employing the Gearsensor, which automatically cuts motor power when shifting.
The motor is the most robust part of the whole e-drive system, and can take more punishment than is usually programmed at the factory, but the controller is where the magic happens. The controller is what dictates the power output & overall feel of the e-drive system, and any minor change in the controller or it's programming can yield wildly differing results. Swapping out an old regular sauce controller for a modern FOC based, programmable motor controller like the Phaserunner or Baserunner is the single most rewarding and cost effective upgrade you can do to an e-bike. The Grin controllers we carry at Sol Mobil can be mated to any brushless DC motor (virtually all modern E-Bike motors), and have a lot of advanced features, including:
- advanced programming parameters
- thermal rollback
- field weakening (boosts top speed)
- accepts a wide range of battery voltages
- powerful & controllable regenerative braking
- higher efficiency at low speeds
- torque throttle (prevents jerky acceleration & aids in smoothness)
- potted in epoxy for extreme waterproofing
This is the one item most people plan on replacing every 4-6 years. If your battery lasted less than that, it's either really low quality, has been abused in normal operation, or there's a mismatch between the cell's capabilities and the BMS's cutoff limits. A quality lithium battery pack will slightly degrade in capacity over time, but should provide 4-8 years of service, with some LiFePO4 packs giving up to 10+ years of use.
More batteries can obviously offer better range, but they can impact other areas too. A higher voltage battery pack means a higher top speed, since the motor's max RPM is related to the voltage. A higher aH capacity battery can give more amps, which means more watts & power with no change in top speed. Simply making sure the C rating is far above what's necessary plays a huge role in battery lifespan & real world capacity.
Many people like to own two battery packs so they can swap them instead of waiting for a charge. Some prefer custom sized triangle or other odd shaped packs so they fit onto a specific frame. We carry a few drop-in replacement batteries, and do custom battery builds as well. But perhaps our favorite battery pack is the LiGo battery module from Grin, because it allows the user to take their e-bike along with them on an airplane. Due to the battery capacity limit of 100wh imposed by the TSA on airline passengers, most ebikes are forever excluded from this type of adventure. But with the LiGo battery, you simply disconnect the different modules that make up the pack, which are each 98wh, and put them in your carry on bag. When you arrive at the destination, you can simply reconnect the modules together, and put them back in the e-bike. In this way, people can now bike tour with no restrictions with a decent size e-bike battery pack of ~400-800+ wh, depending on how many modules you brought!