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Follow up about the Vello Bike+ electric folding bike

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Follow up about the Vello Bike+ electric folding bike

Old 07-22-21, 06:35 AM
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Follow up about the Vello Bike+ electric folding bike

Hi,

I was originally one of the participants who was positive about the Vello Bike+ electric folding bike, however with hindsight I now recommend that people avoid this bike.

I have had continuous problems with the bike since I got it three years ago; the biggest previously were (1) when the motor charging terminal fell off because they hadn't glued it on (that took months to get fixed), and (2) when the belt snapped while I was at a junction on a major road (Gates, the belt maker, says the fault is with the bike design, which doesn't allow the wheel to be moved forward so the belt can be removed without twisting it). It has spent months off the road while Vello / Zehus got around to sending replacement parts. The drop-out screws have also snapped twice, which Gates also suggested was a possible reason for the belt snapping.

Now... the entire rear wheel shifts from side to side while I am cycling, which is because part of the folding axle is not connecting. Either it is broken or loose, however I cannot get at it to see because of a bolt that is fixed in place with permanent locktite. Vello spent four weeks of ignoring me - apart from telling me to point a hairdrier at the bolt (which I tried) - and now they tell me that I must arrange a courier and pay for it to be transported to them in Austria, from the UK, in order for them to have a look at it.


That response is despite there supposedly being a 5 year frame & fork warranty on the bike - and this is NOT a cheap bike.
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Old 07-22-21, 06:36 AM
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This is an intentionally blank post so that I can post a video of the play after 10 posts.
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Old 07-22-21, 06:37 AM
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This is another blank post.
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Old 07-22-21, 06:37 AM
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And this is yet another blank post.
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Old 07-22-21, 06:38 AM
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Finally this is my last blank post so I can post a link to a video clip showing the critical fault mentioned above.
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Old 07-22-21, 06:43 AM
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Gosh it sure sounds like a major PITA to deal with Vello Bike. Sorry you have to go through that.

My intial experience with Vello was less than promising so I steered clear of buying Vello bike with Alfine 11 hub that I was interested in. I posted the following in another thread a while back.

"Vello's support absolutely sucks. I've sent multiple emails to them, and a Vello distributor even emailed them for me, but neither he nor I got a response. The bikes might be great, but just ignoring emails, including from one of your distributors, is a big no no in my book."
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Old 07-22-21, 07:20 AM
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I guess you saw that Vello is trying to attract investor to raise funds for their company?
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Old 07-26-21, 01:50 AM
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Originally Posted by StuartB
Hi,

I was originally one of the participants who was positive about the Vello Bike+ electric folding bike, however with hindsight I now recommend that people avoid this bike.

I have had continuous problems with the bike since I got it three years ago; the biggest previously were (1) when the motor charging terminal fell off because they hadn't glued it on (that took months to get fixed), and (2) when the belt snapped while I was at a junction on a major road (Gates, the belt maker, says the fault is with the bike design, which doesn't allow the wheel to be moved forward so the belt can be removed without twisting it). It has spent months off the road while Vello / Zehus got around to sending replacement parts. The drop-out screws have also snapped twice, which Gates also suggested was a possible reason for the belt snapping.

Now... the entire rear wheel shifts from side to side while I am cycling, which is because part of the folding axle is not connecting. Either it is broken or loose, however I cannot get at it to see because of a bolt that is fixed in place with permanent locktite. Vello spent four weeks of ignoring me - apart from telling me to point a hairdrier at the bolt (which I tried) - and now they tell me that I must arrange a courier and pay for it to be transported to them in Austria, from the UK, in order for them to have a look at it.


That response is despite there supposedly being a 5 year frame & fork warranty on the bike - and this is NOT a cheap bike.
Link to video showing the axle movement: -

After telling me I must arrange delivery to them, and me kicking up a fuss, Vello then told me that they didn't meant to cause confusion but that they "cannot" arrange delivery from UK. They mentioned that they would usually have me return it to the retailer, who has since stopped selling bikes.

They suggested that I could find a retailer who could look at the bike. That left me somewhat restricted as (1) the bike is my main mode of transport since the pandemic started, and (2) I only live near to a Halfords store.

So I took it into the Halfords store over the weekend; two mechanics looked at it. They think that some bearings might have gone in the axle. They are checking the details for the Schlumpf gear before they do anything to the bike. Unfortunately they aren't allowed to talk to the manufacturer directly - company policy.
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Old 07-26-21, 01:52 AM
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I didn't, but I really don't mind either way. As I say, I have had so many problems with this bike, and it has been unridable for so many months due to Vello and/or Zehus taking their time to send replacement parts. Plus, it has been expensive, such as buying a new belt after only two years of use.
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Old 07-26-21, 03:35 AM
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Originally Posted by StuartB
...They are checking the details for the Schlumpf gear before they do anything to the bike...
Personally, I can't believe that the excellent Schlumpf drive could be faulty and I'm curious what they'll check.
Anyway, all documents, including a brilliant workbench manual, are here:
schlumpfdrive.com/technical-documents

Originally Posted by StuartB
...Unfortunately they aren't allowed to talk to the manufacturer directly - company policy.
This sentence correlates to Vello/Zehus, but not Schlumpfdrive/Haberstock-mobility - correct?

Honestly, I feel somewhat ashamed for my countryman's actions...

Last edited by Blackstrida_A_; 07-26-21 at 07:39 AM.
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Old 07-26-21, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Blackstrida_A_
Personally, I can't believe that the excellent Schlumpf drive could be faulty and I'm curious what they'll check.
Anyway, all documents, including a brilliant workbench manual, are here:
schlumpfdrive.com/technical-documents



This sentence correlates to Vello/Zehus, but not Schlumpfdrive/Haberstock-mobility - correct?

Honestly, I feel somewhat ashamed for my countryman's actions...
If you see the video; the side of the joint that is moving is tucked behind the Schlumpfdrive, so is not accessible without removing it. Vello suggested removing the bolt from the other side, but that is fixed in place with permanent locktite. The Halfords mechanics confirmed they have no magic way to remove permanent locktite without damaging the rest of the bike - I already tried holding a soldering iron against the bolt for 30mins. They believe that there may be a bearing that has gone, but they will only be able to verify if that is correct if they can remove the Schlumpfdrive first.
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Old 07-26-21, 07:47 AM
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Sorry, there went something wrong with the link above (which I can't fix?).

They have to be careful while removing the cranks, the rest of the drive should be easy to remove.

Please try this:
hXXp://www.schlumpfdrive.com/index.php/technical-documents.html
(Replace the two "X" with "t".)

Last edited by Blackstrida_A_; 07-27-21 at 02:11 AM. Reason: Tried to fix link
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Old 07-31-21, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by StuartB
the belt snapped while I was at a junction on a major road (Gates, the belt maker, says the fault is with the bike design, which doesn't allow the wheel to be moved forward so the belt can be removed without twisting it).
My belt just snapped. Those things were supposed to last..

I agree the frame design just hasn't been thought through and tested. When I have tried to do maintenance, everything has permanent lock-tite. I've previously posted my experience of the folding mechanism being unsafe unless additional restraints are added.

From your experience, should I replace it or toss the bike? I feel like I'm throwing good money after bad.

Last edited by Vellonaut; 07-31-21 at 06:15 AM.
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Old 07-31-21, 12:49 PM
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Red loctite breaks down with heat, 500F or 250C. Needs a torch.

I never liked Vello's grandiose claims about riding without charging. Figured they couldn't be trusted.
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Old 07-31-21, 02:59 PM
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Actually, its a claim of Zehus.

The Zehus all in one rear wheel is a quick (and probably dirty) solution to transform any bike in an eBike.

Several manufacturers use the Zehus solution.

All those bikes suffer from the same problems.
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Old 08-02-21, 03:48 AM
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Originally Posted by StuartB
If you see the video; the side of the joint that is moving is tucked behind the Schlumpfdrive, so is not accessible without removing it. Vello suggested removing the bolt from the other side, but that is fixed in place with permanent locktite. The Halfords mechanics confirmed they have no magic way to remove permanent locktite without damaging the rest of the bike - I already tried holding a soldering iron against the bolt for 30mins. They believe that there may be a bearing that has gone, but they will only be able to verify if that is correct if they can remove the Schlumpfdrive first.
I'm not sure if this technique is feasible in your case, but this clip shows chlorinated brake cleaner can being used to dissolve red loctite
. I've never tried it, so I can't confirm. If I was going to try it, I would attempt to create a dam or reservoir around the parts to ensure there was a good supply of fluid available to soak into the joint and I would leave it for at least 24 hours before attempting to dismantle. Maybe you can try this before resorting to more heat.
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Old 08-02-21, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Jipe
Actually, its a claim of Zehus.
I think it's fair to say Vello embellished the Zehus claims, for example...

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Old 08-03-21, 12:34 PM
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The bike has been unusable for 1 in 7 days

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Old 08-12-21, 04:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Jipe
Several manufacturers use the Zehus solution.

All those bikes suffer from the same problems.
What are these problems?
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Old 08-12-21, 05:02 AM
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The main problem is the concept: regeneration doesn't produce enough energy for enough electric assist and the full integration of the assist in the rear wheel only allow a small capacity battery.

Either, there is a very weak assist or the assist is very limited in time/distance.

And this is a major problem on a single speed bike because the pedaling on a single speed is less efficient than with a 9, 19, 11s speed bike and the assist is more used on a single speed than on a multiple speed bike. The single speed issue could have been improved now because i read there will be a Zehus wheel with a 4s cassette but the limited amount of energy produced by regeneration and the small battery capacity remain.

The two speed of the Schlumpf doesn't replace a cassette or an internal gear hub.

Then there are (or at least were, I have no very recent information about this) problems with the Zehus web server that is needed to control the hub. With the original Zehus rear wheel, the control of the hub was not with a direct wireless link (BTLE or similar) from the smartphone to the wheel but was going over internet to the Zehus server and then back to the wheel -> no internet (or server down) = no hub control.
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Old 08-13-21, 03:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Jipe
Then there are (or at least were, I have no very recent information about this) problems with the Zehus web server that is needed to control the hub. With the original Zehus rear wheel, the control of the hub was not with a direct wireless link (BTLE or similar) from the smartphone to the wheel but was going over internet to the Zehus server and then back to the wheel -> no internet (or server down) = no hub control.
It couldn't be dumber, could it?
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Old 09-09-21, 01:56 AM
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So, Vello fixed the fault. They haven't told me what it was, but I am assuming it was the bearing as everyone else said. They returned the bike to me on 23rd August 2021 and I was able to reassemble the parts on 28th August.

So, as a round trip it took Vello 8 weeks to fix a broken bearing. And the bike has been unusable for 180 days out of 1178 = 2 in 13 days.
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Old 06-21-22, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by StuartB
So, Vello fixed the fault. They haven't told me what it was, but I am assuming it was the bearing as everyone else said. They returned the bike to me on 23rd August 2021 and I was able to reassemble the parts on 28th August.

So, as a round trip it took Vello 8 weeks to fix a broken bearing. And the bike has been unusable for 180 days out of 1178 = 2 in 13 days.
Hey StuartB, could you tell me how your experience with Vello has been so far after they fixed the bike?

I was really considering buying the Vello bike+, but after reading this thread, I'm not so sure any more.

I did test the GoCycle G4, the Carbo, the Bromptons ebike and the Vello bike+. The GoCycle G4 and the Vello bike+ were the best ones in my opinion.
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Old 08-08-22, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by rafalima
Hey StuartB, could you tell me how your experience with Vello has been so far after they fixed the bike?

I was really considering buying the Vello bike+, but after reading this thread, I'm not so sure any more.

I did test the GoCycle G4, the Carbo, the Bromptons ebike and the Vello bike+. The GoCycle G4 and the Vello bike+ were the best ones in my opinion.
Thought I'd post my experience of Vello + since purchase just before Brexit. Apart from hassle with customs the bike arrived with a broken spoke and puncture Vello were not interested in rectifying. After a few short rides and while out on a ride the Schlumph drive fell apart - I managed to sort this by direct contact with the drive manufacturers, Hello support were very slow to respond. Most recently set out on a 28mile ride with fully charged batteries - used hybrid setting only. Batteries went flat after 15miles ended up having to pedal hard with the occasional push up hills. We chose Vello+ over other options to use with camper van trips - folding and potential for some self charging. Initially seemed fit for purpose. I would not recommend these bikes - until support is more widely available and accessible to wherever you live !
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Old 08-08-22, 02:52 PM
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Seems to be two problems with Vello+.

The lack of after sale support of the seller VelloBike (can't really call VolloBile the manufacturer since they only assemble the Bike, all parts including the frame come from several places in Asia).

About this, I discussed with a couple of resselers in Belgium who were selling the Vellobike folding bikes and they all stop selling it due to many problems with Vellobike.

And the Zehus all integrated ebike wheel.

The problem with this wheel is that the concept is wrong.

Its not possible to have enough energy generated by regeneration to provide a real ebike assist and the battery has a very small capacity resulting in either in very limited ebike assist level or higher ebike assist level but during a very short distance.

Moreover, the Zehus wheel of the Vellobike is single speed, so the bike absolutely need quite a lot of ebike assist to be usable which is in contradiction with the very limited amount of ebike power available in the small battery and from regeneration. Without ebike assist its a kind of inefficient single speed bike.

Developing a good folding ebike is difficult because being a folding bike, weight must remain low to allow a normal user to carry the bike folded and a good ebike assist add at least 4 to 5kg with a big enough battery (if you look at the announced weight of Ahooga for instance, its low because the announced weight is with the smallest, actually too small battery, they have a bigger battery but then the weight isn't so low anymore).
The Brompton solution has a limited added weight with a 300Wh battery not as big as on full size ebike but big enough for commuting.
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