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Frey with Innotrace?

Posted: Nov 20 2020 9:53pm
by gfagan
Hello, newbie here, haven't yet ridden an ebike but planning a purchase with tax refund (or stimulus check if it happens).

Question below, but I'll start with background for the benefit of others who might need to ask it in future.

I live in seriously hilly terrain, used to be a strong cyclist but just can't keep it up since I moved here, so an ebike is in order, one with lots of torque. From my research, 1) the bafang ultra is a powerful motor with twice the torque of most other brands' models, 2) Frey is a company that makes great bikes using this motor, and 3) the reputation for bafang's stock controller is not as good as the one for the motor itself. In North America Watt Wagons offers an upgraded controller, made by Innotrace but they brand it Archon X1, which they claim has several benefits: smoother power delivery, more torque, more range efficiency, and optionally more power (for increased speed). Watt Wagons has a service where if you ship the motor from the bike, they'll install and program the controller, then ship it back. Only problem is, this voids the warranty on the motor.

Now I don't need more speed, don't want to break any laws, but the torque and range sound nice: My biweekly shopping trip to the big city is 80 miles round trip, with a total of 4000' climbing, mostly steep, mostly on the return leg. The idea is to carry cargo back up, so I'll need spare batteries, but it'd be nice if I needed one less.

So here's my question, finally, for those who've got some experience with both motor and controller: How big a deal is voiding the warranty, to get improved torque, range, and smoothness?

And a separate question for brake034, should he happen to see this: In past threads on this forum, you said Frey had been looking into the Innotrace controller. If they as OEM offered it as an upgrade, and I didn't have to go through Watt Wagons, it wouldn't void the warranty, right? Do you have an inside scoop on whether that project's likely to be resurrected?



Re: Frey with Innotrace?

Posted: Nov 23 2020 2:51pm
by BDamari
Sounds like the warranty is there mainly because of the hit-or-miss controller, motors themselves can last for years and even decades if you keep them within their limits (not what the manufacturer claims :)). Mid drives do have an additional failure point which is the reduction gears, which eventually wear out, but even then they're cheap to replace.

Re: Frey with Innotrace?

Posted: Dec 07 2020 4:12am
by gfagan
ThanksBDamari, I won't worry about the warranty, then.