Suede has a mind of its own

Bikerbob

Pedelecer
May 10, 2007
215
0
Isle of Man
It had to happen - just after I've bought a new battery for my Giant Suede the bike seems to have developed a fault. My dealer is contacting Giant but I suspect that there is more expertise on this forum. If anyone (flecc?) can offer advice I'd be very obliged.
With either battery, at any state of charge, and whether I'm riding the bike or if it is standing unattended, the power indicator randomly switches on or off. It delivers power as normal when it is on, but when it switches itself of I lose all power and it won't allow me to switch it back on. It will switch itself on again maybe after 10 seconds, maybe after a few minutes, and will then switch itself off again after a similar period! I guess it is a control/sensor problem but the bike has not been out in the wet for a good while and is stored in a dry place. Any suggestions as to how to go about sorting it out please?
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,479
23,296
I'm afraid I haven't an answer, but it sounds like it could be a controller problem.

I'm sure Giant will come up with an answer, but it could again mean a delay if they have to send test gear or parts out to the dealer.

We've got some other Suede owners, both UK and USA, so maybe one of them will have more information on this.
.
 

Bikerbob

Pedelecer
May 10, 2007
215
0
Isle of Man
Thanks for that anyway Flecc. You're quicker off the mark than Giant! Maybe someone else has had a similar problem. I think Giant make good non-electric bikes but experience has not convinced me that Giant UK have a great deal of expertise with electric ones. I'll see what transpires and report back.
 

Bikerbob

Pedelecer
May 10, 2007
215
0
Isle of Man
Giant say that it will be the controller. They have them in stock, which leads me to believe that this is not the first one to fail. They cost £20 and one is on its way to me - so I hope that's the answer.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,479
23,296
That's good to hear Bob, post willing you should be back in action quite quickly.

Hope that's the end of the Suede troubles.
.
 

fishingpaul

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 24, 2007
871
85
i hope that solves your problem bob,i would have been relieved to hear a new controller costs £20,i did like my suede i feel they are under rated,after trying other bikes at prestigne,(wisper and powacycle salisbury) it felt as good or better, and i have found it a good hill climber. only dislike for me was it is hard to ride without power.i brought mine second hand and never had any problems in nine months of ownership.
 

Bikerbob

Pedelecer
May 10, 2007
215
0
Isle of Man
Thanks fishingpaul. I agree that the Suede is a good hill climber. I got it for fitness riding, only using the motor on the hills, so the poor performance unassisted is a bit of a nuisance. I've had a few problems but given the price I paid I've had lots of pleasure from it. Hopefully that will continue once the new controller arrives.
 

Bikerbob

Pedelecer
May 10, 2007
215
0
Isle of Man
An update for anyone whose bike shows similar symptoms. I've fitted the new controller and been for a trouble-free ride. It seems that the old one was faulty and, as I wrote before, I'd guess it to be a problem known to Giant. If it continues to be OK then I'll be glad to have got away with nothing more expensive.
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,479
23,296
No, it's the circuit that is directed by the throttle to issue power to the motor. Most of today's bikes use Hall effect motors, and the individual power pulses to those are issued by the controller, so it's actually a part of the motor, even though it's mounted separately, usually in a small box, and often close to the battery. If you have a look on the photo below, it's the small black box at the rear of the battery:

 

Bikerbob

Pedelecer
May 10, 2007
215
0
Isle of Man
There is obviously some different terminology in use. What Giant UK referred to as the controller is the little box on the handlebars which you use to switch the power on and off and which shows the charge level. That was what they sent and what I replaced. I had a look inside the old one and there is a quite complicated circuit board in there.
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,479
23,296
Probably no difference Bob, the position of the controller doesn't matter. I only illustrated a typical position and style, but they can be anywhere, even inside the motor in rare examples. The Panasonic unit for example has virtually everything inside the motor casing.

Occasionally they can be very large, those supplied with Crystalite motors often being the size of small batteries!

The function is the important thing, and it's approximately the same on all the Hall effect motors.
.
 
Nov 10, 2006
166
10
Derbyshire
Just to clarify. On the Suede, the motor controller is within the carapace below the battery. The handlebar controller is essentially on/off and eco switch control+underneath is the diagnostic button.

If the cable gland/seal is poor on the handlebar unit, water can drive up the cables and up into the unit.
Andrew
 

Bikerbob

Pedelecer
May 10, 2007
215
0
Isle of Man
The new 'handlebar controller' worked perfectly for almost three months but has now developed the same fault as the first. Its on its way back to Giant UK for replacement. I'm beginning to understand why some people have two or more electric bikes - at least one of them should in working condition!