Giant Suede batteries arrive

Bikerbob

Pedelecer
May 10, 2007
215
0
Isle of Man
Just in case any other Giant Suede owner is thinking of buying a new battery. The one I ordered in July has arrived today. I was told that they were expecting two batches and that mine was scheduled to come from the first, so now might be a good time to order.
 

chuck

Finding my (electric) wheels
Oct 25, 2007
11
0
From France, several users with me, we got problems with our Suede NiMh batteries within first year of use; for me, it was after 1200km and 8 months, and the dealers offered one new battery.
I'm still using my first battery (now 1500km) which still assist up to 10km (some hilly portions in my commute).
I recharged it after each 32km (each 2 days), but some told me I'ld have donebetter recharging it more often (each 16km, each day), in order to get the battery lasting longer.
Some questions:
- Which should be the best way to get it recharged: after using the battery down to 50%, or 20%? Will you refresh it after each one or two months?
- Do you think our battery "failures" (before one year using them) are due to:
. hub motor draining too much current (hilly roads)?
. bad quality?
. bad charger, or else?
- How much is one NiMh 36v Suede battery in UK?
Thank you for your answers,
Chuck, (south of France).
 

Bikerbob

Pedelecer
May 10, 2007
215
0
Isle of Man
Hello Chuck. Our forum expert, Flecc, will probably give you better answers than I can. My first battery is two years old and lasts about one third of the distance it did when new.

In answer to your questions, 1. I believe that with the NiMh battery it is best to use as much of the charge as possible before you recharge as this cuts down on the total number of charges. Giant recommend a refresh every 15 charges or 3 months whichever comes first. I believe Flecc recommends a refresh after every 10 charges. 2. We believe that the failures are probably due to poor quality cells, though this is just an opinion. The Suede was an inexpensive bike and they may have cut costs on the battery. 3. When I ordered my battery in July the cost was £200 but I have since read that someone has recently been quoted £250 so the price may have gone up. Giant reduced the cost of mine to £175 because I had to wait so long.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,479
23,296
I concur with Bob, The Suede battery doesn't seem to have had the benefit of the very high quality Panasonic cells that were used in Giant's Lafree series, perhaps not surprising, since both batteries were on our market at the same £250 price, the Lafree's 24 volt 6.5 Ah with 20 cells, the Suede's 36 volt with 30 cells and higher capacity.

Therefore it's probable that Giant made a budget bike decision on the type to use in order to keep the battery price low.

That could still be a good decision though. Using the high quality cells the Suede battery replacement would have been about £360, and that raises the question, would it last that 44% longer? Possibly not.
.
 

chuck

Finding my (electric) wheels
Oct 25, 2007
11
0
Hello Bob and Flecc,
That's much interesting to receive your answers and advices, these will help to go on with the Suede battery!
Some Suede and Lafree owners think important not to wait until the battery is empty but they prefer to charge when the battery is 50% (up to 80%) discharged; they add that 500 cycles mean 500 total ones from empty to 100% (two charges from 50%=one total charge cycle?).
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,479
23,296
It's perfectly true that part charges are ok Chuck, so long as from time to time the battery is discharged to around 1.1 volts per cell. There's no fixed interval for that, anything from once in ten charges to once a month seems acceptable to prevent any capacity loss due to memory effect.
.
 

Bikerbob

Pedelecer
May 10, 2007
215
0
Isle of Man
It's perfectly true that part charges are ok Chuck, so long as from time to time the battery is discharged to around 1.1 volts per cell. There's no fixed interval for that, anything from once in ten charges to once a month seems acceptable to prevent any capacity loss due to memory effect.
.
I've learned something as well Chuck!
 

prState

Pedelecer
Jun 14, 2007
244
0
Las Vegas, Nevada
I notice with my 4 year 4 month old (panasonic giant lafree) Nimh battery, that when I do several partial charges (5-6 or more, I'd guess) it gets a bit sketchy with how long it holds its charge.

My first 255 charges + 17 refreshes (I kept records) had almost no partial discharges. I ran it all the way down -- sometimes to 1%.

When I dropped the battery and the outside LED meter stopped working, I stopped keeping records. I do partial recharges now, but I often don't know at what capactiy the battery is and can no longer estimate whether I should have planned a full recharge or not. So, just so it doesn't die on me on halfway through a trip, I recharge more often if I guess it might be low.