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Thread: BionX problems

  1. #1
    Live Beautifully Jewel's Avatar
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    BionX problems

    I'm starting to think I'm having problems with my e-assist, BionX and wondered if others have and what did you do to fix it. Whenever I go over speed bumps or my bike hits a gutter or uneven surface, my BionX computer panel (on the "dashboard"), if it's on, will flicker on and off and go a little wonky. If it's off, then it will flicker on and off.

    Sometimes, if I've had the computer on and parked for a minute or two, then get back on, even though it's on "bicycle mode only" (no assist), it's like I can barely pedal it, and it's almost sent me over the bars twice because of the huge drag (and this is on a flat surface). It's like the brakes are on or something.

    Yesterday, as I was pedaling, the whole time (whether I was on assist or not), it had that "revved" sound (similar to a wind-up toy my sons have that you wind and wind and wind and release a knob and a toy car shoots across the room) <--THAT'S the sound my bicycle was making as I was pedaling.

    The guy at the bike shop said that once it hits 100 miles, then I could go in for a tune-up. It's got 75 miles on it now. But before I go in, I'm hoping to have some understanding from any of you as to what the issue(s) may be.
    "If I ride, I will know the way the trees smell after the rain... My breath will fill the air instead of smoke and car exhaust... Road rage will turn into laughter and I won't be a boy or a girl, I will just be a rider...and the planet will cool down and survive and thank me for riding with flowers & glaciers & fireflies & snow days off from school... I will be strong... I will only use oil in my chains and oil tankers will haul chocolate milk" by People for Bikes http://www.peopleforbikes.org/

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    Your computer may not be totally "clipped in" to it's holder thus contact with the connection "buttons" may be lost when going over bumps...

    Sometimes the magnet on the brake lever needs adjustment, your re-gen seems to be coming on...

    Should not be making any revved noise, that certainly needs looking into...

    Go in now and have them check everything out...
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

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    Senior Member Ypedal's Avatar
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    Yeah, i would not wait for the 100 mile mark, i would insist they look at it now as it's dangerous to have the regen kick in at unexpected times......

    Those are all symptoms of loose or bad connections, most likely is the e-brake switches, next is display connector, there are various methods to test these but if it's under warranty and you paid for the kit/bike from a local bike shop, take it back to them, that's part of the reasson why you paid the premium price of this kit.....

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    Live Beautifully Jewel's Avatar
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    Yes, I agree. The system's expensive enough. With the temps as low/cold as they've been here in Oregon, I haven't been riding (too dangerous in a car, let alone on a bike with all the ice and cars sliding about). This, hopefully, should be the best time to take it in since I can't ride right now. I do hope, though, that they won't blame it on the cold weather, because these issues were already present during normal temps.

    Am a pretty decent bicyclist (meaning, many years of riding on my bike), so to feel I was close to going over the bars due to the regen. kicking in gave my heart quite the startle.

    Thanks to everyone for confirming my suspicions and giving me the nudge to get it checked out.
    "If I ride, I will know the way the trees smell after the rain... My breath will fill the air instead of smoke and car exhaust... Road rage will turn into laughter and I won't be a boy or a girl, I will just be a rider...and the planet will cool down and survive and thank me for riding with flowers & glaciers & fireflies & snow days off from school... I will be strong... I will only use oil in my chains and oil tankers will haul chocolate milk" by People for Bikes http://www.peopleforbikes.org/

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    Senior Member G1nko's Avatar
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    I had the same issue with my BionX making that noise. It sounded almost like a playing card in the spokes. I noticed it was worse when the weather was cold vs. warm. Regardless, BionX had my dealer send the motor back to them and they said it needed a complete rebuild, which they did under warranty.

    I've had the issue also with the blanking on the G2 console. I have a rack-mount battery and the issue was related to a brake cable rubbing against the cable connection on the battery mount causing it to come loose. Firmly connecting the cable at the battery and moving the brake cable solved the issue.
    '11 WorkCycles Secret Service | '98 Waterford 1250 | '87 Trek 330 | '75 Peugeot UO-8 | '48 Raleigh Dawn Tourist

  6. #6
    Live Beautifully Jewel's Avatar
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    **Update** I thought some of you may be interested in hearing the outcome of the BionX issues (& maybe this will help somebody else, as well)

    At first the mechanic didn't experience any of the above problems that I had mentioned and so he said he would keep it longer and so he rode it one day for 4 miles and experienced the same thing with the regenerative power kicking in as well as that zooming noise in the back hub. He contacted BionX in Canada and they're able to remotely take a look at the computer and they said it was "incompatible." The mechanic couldn't elaborate what that meant, but he did say that BionX was able to fix the issues I mentioned in my initial posting here and I can pick up my bicycle tomorrow!! Yay!

    I had no idea that BionX could fix the battery/console from afar like they did. The proof will be in the ride. I'm hoping I'll be able to take it out for a spin (it's been icy/rainy, so we'll see).
    "If I ride, I will know the way the trees smell after the rain... My breath will fill the air instead of smoke and car exhaust... Road rage will turn into laughter and I won't be a boy or a girl, I will just be a rider...and the planet will cool down and survive and thank me for riding with flowers & glaciers & fireflies & snow days off from school... I will be strong... I will only use oil in my chains and oil tankers will haul chocolate milk" by People for Bikes http://www.peopleforbikes.org/

  7. #7
    Live Beautifully Jewel's Avatar
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    Update II: I've put about 40 miles on my bike since picking it up and it's like having a new bike. The BionX computer works beautifully. Oddly enough, the buttons on the console must've initially been installed backwards somehow, because when I first started using it, I had to retrain my brain to push the top right button to start the computer (it used to be the top left side), etc --so THAT alone says that something wrong was done in its initial installation.

    It rides beautifully. I have gone over many bumps and uneven surfaces & even curbs, expecting my computer to pixellate like it used to, but it keeps the numbers in tact. And there's no revving noise in the rear hub either, anymore. I am really happy

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    Senior Member Ypedal's Avatar
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    That's great news !

    Interesting story as well, fixed with a software update. ?!

    curiosity question.. Does your bike have e-brakes ? and if it does, do they still work ?

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    I think all the BionX systems have re-generative braking, at least with the latest G2 controller they do for sure...

    I'm glad to see problems being take care of by BionX, they need to provide service like that to people who spend the extra $ for a plug and play quality system like theirs...
    Last edited by 350htrr; 01-07-14 at 04:24 PM.
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

  10. #10
    Live Beautifully Jewel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ypedal View Post
    curiosity question.. Does your bike have e-brakes ? and if it does, do they still work ?
    I'm not a techie person at all, so I hope I'm answering your question all right: my braking system is a simple caliper one (not tied into the e-system, that I know of). However, to what 350htrr was referring to below your posting, the BionX regenerative system is tied to my pedaling system, so in theory (& practice, once I start using this aspect of the e-assist), I should be able to put power back into my battery system by pedaling once it's in the regenerative mode. At least, that's how I understand this system to work
    "If I ride, I will know the way the trees smell after the rain... My breath will fill the air instead of smoke and car exhaust... Road rage will turn into laughter and I won't be a boy or a girl, I will just be a rider...and the planet will cool down and survive and thank me for riding with flowers & glaciers & fireflies & snow days off from school... I will be strong... I will only use oil in my chains and oil tankers will haul chocolate milk" by People for Bikes http://www.peopleforbikes.org/

  11. #11
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    I don't know which BIONX exactely you have, Jevel. you dont specify.
    But I guess it is BIONX with G2 large battons black colour display. 2011 untill present BIONXs.
    I guess you didnt read your manual carefully.
    On all G2 displays you can change function of left buttons to function of right buttons and reverse.
    You can do it using programming mode - code 2009.
    Last edited by powell; 01-09-14 at 01:32 PM.

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    Jewel, you can almost certainly have re-gen while using the brakes, the dealer should easily be able to set it up using a magnet on off switch set up on the brake lever... So, whenever you pull the brake lever the first bit of braking is done by the re-gen, then if you need more stopping power you just pull the lever more and the braking will increase by the brake, on top of the re-gen braking... It's separate from the pedaling re-gen where you can pick how much effort you can put into the pedals to use it if you want to...

    EDIT; Oh, If you don't use the bike for more than a month or two, you MUST make sure the battery hasn't depleted itself and re-charge the battery a MINIMUM of every 3 months to avoid battery problems, as the system will use up some power even when off, to self check... The manual doesn't cover the downsides of battery "neglect" say after 6 months of it sitting not used and not charged up every 3 months it dies and refuses to take a normal charge, needing some professional assistance to revive it...
    Last edited by 350htrr; 01-08-14 at 08:45 AM.
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

  13. #13
    Live Beautifully Jewel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by powell View Post
    I don't know which BIONX exactely you have, Jevel. you dont specify.
    But I guess it is BIONX with G2 large battons black colour display. 2011 untill present BIONXs.
    Right?
    I guess you didnt read your manual carefully.
    On all G2 displays you can change function of left buttons to function of right buttons and reverse.
    You can do it using programming mode - code 2009.
    just read manual..
    hmm, not sure how to take this posting as it appears & sounds harsh.

    I did not receive a manual for either my bicycle nor the battery when I purchased them. The shop said they didn't have them and that they would be online. I did search online for both (Yuba & BionX) and did read through both. I don't remember the battery system's manual stating if it was for a "G2" system, but this could've been an oversight on my part. As I said before in an earlier posting, I am not a techie person. Since my battery is covered under warranty, I would prefer having a qualified mechanic/e-assist dealer handle issues that arise. Since I had read the manual & was having issues (which were not covered in the online manual that I read), I came to BF to get some advice, of which I did from the kind folks above.
    "If I ride, I will know the way the trees smell after the rain... My breath will fill the air instead of smoke and car exhaust... Road rage will turn into laughter and I won't be a boy or a girl, I will just be a rider...and the planet will cool down and survive and thank me for riding with flowers & glaciers & fireflies & snow days off from school... I will be strong... I will only use oil in my chains and oil tankers will haul chocolate milk" by People for Bikes http://www.peopleforbikes.org/

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    sorry if I came across harsh, didnt mean to,
    good that you back in the seat
    I love your message in signature.

  15. #15
    Live Beautifully Jewel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
    Jewel, you can almost certainly have re-gen while using the brakes, the dealer should easily be able to set it up using a magnet on off switch set up on the brake lever... So, whenever you pull the brake lever the first bit of braking is done by the re-gen, then if you need more stopping power you just pull the lever more and the braking will increase by the brake, on top of the re-gen braking... It's separate from the pedaling re-gen where you can pick how much effort you can put into the pedals to use it if you want to...

    EDIT; Oh, If you don't use the bike for more than a month or two, you MUST make sure the battery hasn't depleted itself and re-charge the battery a MINIMUM of every 3 months to avoid battery problems, as the system will use up some power even when off, to self check... The manual doesn't cover the downsides of battery "neglect" say after 6 months of it sitting not used and not charged up every 3 months it dies and refuses to take a normal charge, needing some professional assistance to revive it...
    Very good advice. Thank you! I didn't know about the regen brakes and I definitely know that my brakes are not set up for that as I've wanted more braking power (even have a posting on BF, somewhere, asking what I should do for more braking power), so I invested in a better set of pads (Tectonic High Performance Brake Pads) & someone had mentioned that the anodizing needed to wear off, which I think it has by now.

    A regret I have is that the shop that I bought my bike/e-assist from is very lackadaisical, and since this was a HUGE expense for me (van proceeds pay for it), I'm stuck with them until my warranty runs out (meaning tune-ups & tweakings they will pay for in the first year).

    I did know about the battery and its upkeep (mostly due to another posting I asked on another BF thread) and the shop did mention this, too. Thanks again.
    "If I ride, I will know the way the trees smell after the rain... My breath will fill the air instead of smoke and car exhaust... Road rage will turn into laughter and I won't be a boy or a girl, I will just be a rider...and the planet will cool down and survive and thank me for riding with flowers & glaciers & fireflies & snow days off from school... I will be strong... I will only use oil in my chains and oil tankers will haul chocolate milk" by People for Bikes http://www.peopleforbikes.org/

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    Live Beautifully Jewel's Avatar
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    Thank you, Powell. I appreciate it.

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    I would have thought that all the newer BionX kits came with a throttle & a magnetic brake switch for re-gen, if it doesn't have them, then you should go back and ask for them since they are part of the kit, ( I think ) at least they were on mine...
    Last edited by 350htrr; 01-08-14 at 12:19 PM.
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

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    Senior Member G1nko's Avatar
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    All the BionX systems come with a magnet and a small reed switch to set up regen braking. If your bike shop didn't install it, they should've. I couldn't use the stock reed switch on my bike because it's set to activate when you pull the brake lever and move the magnet out of contact with the switch. I have fancy reverse levers on my bike and needed a reversed reed switch that activates when you bring the magnet into contact with the switch, for which BionX charged me a handy $25.

    Consequently, I have an extra stock reed switch. If your bike shop tries to charge you for the switch or tells you it didn't come with the kit, PM me and I can pass mine along.
    '11 WorkCycles Secret Service | '98 Waterford 1250 | '87 Trek 330 | '75 Peugeot UO-8 | '48 Raleigh Dawn Tourist

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    Quote Originally Posted by G1nko View Post
    All the BionX systems come with a magnet and a small reed switch to set up regen braking. If your bike shop didn't install it, they should've. I couldn't use the stock reed switch on my bike because it's set to activate when you pull the brake lever and move the magnet out of contact with the switch. I have fancy reverse levers on my bike and needed a reversed reed switch that activates when you bring the magnet into contact with the switch, for which BionX charged me a handy $25.

    Consequently, I have an extra stock reed switch. If your bike shop tries to charge you for the switch or tells you it didn't come with the kit, PM me and I can pass mine along.
    My mountain bike has hydraulic disc brakes, so it took some creativity on the part of the installer to make it work to get the regen. I suggest sitting down with your owners manual and reading up on how it all works. I know on the mountain bike with regen I can ride all day and not really eat that much into the battery. This is my 2nd BIONX bike.

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    Senior Member G1nko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nipperdawg View Post
    I suggest sitting down with your owners manual and reading up on how it all works
    Golly mister! That's swell! I certainly never would have thought to sit down and read the manual to figger out how all this complicated 'lectrical stuff works. So I took yer advice 'n' tart myself ter read the manual and ya know what it says?

    It it says there's two kinds of reed switches: one that activates when the magnet leaves proximity of the switch and one that closes when the magnet is brought into proximity with the switch. The one you need depends on what kind of brake levers you have. Which is what I said in the first place.

    I suggest sitting down and RTFP before going all sanctimonious.
    '11 WorkCycles Secret Service | '98 Waterford 1250 | '87 Trek 330 | '75 Peugeot UO-8 | '48 Raleigh Dawn Tourist

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    I did not mean to come across so "Sanctimonious", just speaking from experience. There have been many times when i talke to people about issues they are having where they never even cracked open the owners manual.

    Also what may work on paper may or may not work in a real application. The shop had to fiddle with settings and different switches to finally get something to work and work well. I decided not to try to make it work as I did not want to reinvent the wheel, as they have installed 1000's of these kits and I installed one.

    One of the first things you learn as a diagnostician (engineering here) is to ask if someone has cracked open the manual first (be it a sound system, a car, a heavy industrial machine, or a BIONX system). If you are insulted by that I am sorry you have a thin skin, but I was responding to the original poster piggybacking on your post explaining my experience. I did manage to get a good 8000 miles of my first BIONX system till Sandy killed it. The 2nd one was tricky with the hydraulic brakes. The original poster did not go into they type bike nor if cable brakes or not.

    As far as the first post "I'm starting to think I'm having problems with my e-assist, BionX and wondered if others have and what did you do to fix it. " And yes i read about the computer flickering which mine also did then cleared up. Also reading further down the OP wasn't aware that she had regen or how it worked.

    " I didn't know about the regen brakes and I definitely know that my brakes are not set up for that as I've wanted more braking power (even have a posting on BF, somewhere, asking what I should do for more braking power), so I invested in a better set of pads (Tectonic High Performance Brake Pads) & someone had mentioned that the anodizing needed to wear off, which I think it has by now."

    So I did read more then the first post.

    I always find it informative to read others posts and learn from what they or their shops have done to find a solution to a problem. Learning never stops.

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    Re: "Whenever I go over speed bumps or my bike hits a gutter or uneven surface, my BionX computer panel (on the "dashboard"), if it's on, will flicker on and off and go a little wonky. If it's off, then it will flicker on and off.

    Sometimes, if I've had the computer on and parked for a minute or two, then get back on, even though it's on "bicycle mode only" (no assist), it's like I can barely pedal it, and it's almost sent me over the bars twice because of the huge drag (and this is on a flat surface). It's like the brakes are on or something."

    I have exactly the same problems & issues with my brand-new (July 2014) NeoVolt Sport. So it's apparently not just a BionX issue.

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