Cycle Analyst - still solid choice?

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windtrader   1 kW

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Cycle Analyst - still solid choice?

Post by windtrader » May 21 2021 10:13pm

Looking for something like this and the CA device has been around for some time without any updated models. With tech, stuff changes so quick, do you feel it is still a solid choice for the functions it offers? If other products are out there sure love to hear. thanks

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NCC1941   10 W

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Re: Cycle Analyst - still solid choice?

Post by NCC1941 » May 21 2021 11:00pm

One thing I've noticed about Grin hardware is that they don't seem to bother all that much with keeping up with the latest tech.

The CA3 hardware may be divisive, but it remains competent at everything it's designed to do. So if the features it offers are the features you need and you can stomach the retro display aesthetic, I feel it's still a very solid choice.

And, while it hasn't received any major hardware updates in a while, the firmware is still receiving attention and updates, even all these years later. It's still very much a supported product.
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Re: Cycle Analyst - still solid choice?

Post by TDB » May 22 2021 3:34am

It is more than just a dash.

Are there alternatives?

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Re: Cycle Analyst - still solid choice?

Post by qwerkus » May 22 2021 4:13am

TDB wrote:
May 22 2021 3:34am
It is more than just a dash.

Are there alternatives?
If you have a classic hub motor, you can go for the open source KT firmware, but it's quite limited unless you have some programming skills, and many things can go wrong. Also there is is the nifty eggrider, which is a bit cheaper than a CA and looks a lot better.

I agree that the CA looks and software are outdated. This thing should be greatly reduced in size with an oled screen, and maybe a smartphone interface for easier configuration. Cycling through the endless menu is a huge time waster - better use the computer interface.

The great strength of the CA though, is it's capacity to run almost any chinese hardware. It basically takes over the whole ebike specific part, which is to centralize sensor/input data, and sends one signal to whatever controller you have. Note that this requires some basic electronics skills, as you'll have to solder stuff yourself.
Last edited by qwerkus on May 22 2021 4:30am, edited 1 time in total.

TDB   100 W

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Re: Cycle Analyst - still solid choice?

Post by TDB » May 22 2021 4:21am

If I have it right Eggrider is only a dash... None of the control functions of CA. Not remotely an alternative.

Eventually I'll put CA in a box somewhere else on the bike and go headless.

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Re: Cycle Analyst - still solid choice?

Post by john61ct » May 22 2021 7:26am

Yes, the display is almost irrelevant from my POV. Someone has proposed a bluetooth connector to a phone app, that would be a nice add-on.

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Re: Cycle Analyst - still solid choice?

Post by neptronix » May 22 2021 9:21am

I love my cycle analyst v2's and never really liked the idea of the v3 and had some negative experiences with them inducing latency into the throttle response.. which bugged the **** out of me.

I think an update to the aesthetics of both is warranted... an oled screen with a smaller outer border would be way nicer.

I think they're a solid choice if functionality and reliability is most important to you. It is to me.
Eggrider has a nice looking unit but it's not easily adapted to most controllers.
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Re: Cycle Analyst - still solid choice?

Post by john61ct » May 22 2021 11:11am

Interesting, I assumed v2 was made obsolete by v3

Is there a summary page somewhere listing the differences in features set?

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E-HP   10 MW

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Re: Cycle Analyst - still solid choice?

Post by E-HP » May 22 2021 11:31am

The CA does something a lot of newbies expect, by working across different manufacturers/controllers, and offer something more than displaying statistics. That's unique and although it can be made to work with any controller, it's established enough that major manufacturers include a dedicated plug to work with it. I don't think there's competition.

That said, the features you can use can be limited by the controller's abilities (e.g. variable regen), and there are other features that would be nice for particular situations or setups, that one could hope for in a CA version 3.X, that the hardware could support.

Although it's somewhat big a clunky, it doesn't necessarily scream "ebike", if you mount it low and out of the way, which is nice.

I think the biggest downside of the CA is that you can't use it to program your programable controller, so you need to do something separate for changing the controller settings.

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NCC1941   10 W

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Re: Cycle Analyst - still solid choice?

Post by NCC1941 » May 22 2021 12:06pm

john61ct wrote:
May 22 2021 11:11am
Is there a summary page somewhere listing the differences in features set?
It's not explicitly a list of differences, but the CA2 and CA3 each have detailed info pages on ebikes.ca
https://ebikes.ca/product-info/grin-pro ... alyst.html
https://ebikes.ca/product-info/grin-pro ... yst-3.html

Basically, the CA2 is much closer to being 'just an ebike display', while the CA3 has the full set of control and configuration functionality.
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Re: Cycle Analyst - still solid choice?

Post by RunForTheHills » May 22 2021 12:14pm

I don't think it is that ugly, and I prefer function over form if I have to choose. I don't know how Justin feels about crowdfunding, but maybe an improved CA would be a good candidate for a Kickstarter campaign.

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Re: Cycle Analyst - still solid choice?

Post by sleepy_tired » May 23 2021 9:41am

Hardware-wise that processor architecture is obsolete and a dead-end and is probably why they haven't upgraded the hardware. They would need to, basically, rewrite all the software from scratch.

I suspect that somebody with a arduino or similar thing could create a board to interface with ebike components and ultimately end up with something superior, but it would require a tremendous amount of work and testing.

Despite all that it continues to work and they have improved the firmware and introduced more features. Like the "virtual electronic freewheeling" feature, which provides enough power to just overcome the cogging forces of hub motors. The nature and requirements for ebike haven't changed much since years ago. So functionality-wise it's not obsolete in the least.

Open source controllers like Vsec or the KT firmware probably have more potential then CAv3, but in terms of something that "just works" (in conjunction with a CA-ready controller) I think it offers tremendous value and is really a significant upgrade over normal kits and most affordable pre-built ebikes out there.

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Re: Cycle Analyst - still solid choice?

Post by windtrader » May 23 2021 11:19am

Wonderful discussion and perspective. Let me add a couple requirements in my specific case which makes a strong case that the CA is the best choice. 1) generic Chinese hub motor" 2) function over looks (DIY conversion hauls ass but looks a mess) 3) no time to mess with a DIY solution 4) low drama - just install and it works.

What I gather here is most agree it is aging out but still a good performer and a good fit for a basic hub motor.

Typically, V3 follows a V2 but it seems the version for CA appears more signifies a different product rather than the typical upgrade to an existing product. I'll read up on the differences and get one ordered. Any preferred suppliers, friends of ES?

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Re: Cycle Analyst - still solid choice?

Post by john61ct » May 23 2021 12:22pm

Grin direct

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Re: Cycle Analyst - still solid choice?

Post by NCC1941 » May 23 2021 12:49pm

sleepy_tired wrote:
May 23 2021 9:41am
Despite all that it continues to work and they have improved the firmware and introduced more features. Like the "virtual electronic freewheeling" feature, which provides enough power to just overcome the cogging forces of hub motors. The nature and requirements for ebike haven't changed much since years ago. So functionality-wise it's not obsolete in the least.
Slight correction here - "Virtual Electronic Freewheeling" is a feature that was added to Grin's Phaserunner motor controller, but it is not a feature of the CA3. I recall some talk about adding it to the CA3 at one point, but if I recall correctly, Grin found that they get better 'freewheeling' behavior by controlling phase amps rather than battery amps, which is something the CA3 doesn't have the ability to do.
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Re: Cycle Analyst - still solid choice?

Post by sleepy_tired » May 23 2021 9:32pm

Oh, thanks for the correction.

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Re: Cycle Analyst - still solid choice?

Post by qwerkus » May 24 2021 5:32am

sleepy_tired wrote:
May 23 2021 9:41am
Hardware-wise that processor architecture is obsolete and a dead-end and is probably why they haven't upgraded the hardware. They would need to, basically, rewrite all the software from scratch.

I suspect that somebody with a arduino or similar thing could create a board to interface with ebike components and ultimately end up with something superior, but it would require a tremendous amount of work and testing.

Despite all that it continues to work and they have improved the firmware and introduced more features. Like the "virtual electronic freewheeling" feature, which provides enough power to just overcome the cogging forces of hub motors. The nature and requirements for ebike haven't changed much since years ago. So functionality-wise it's not obsolete in the least.

Open source controllers like Vsec or the KT firmware probably have more potential then CAv3, but in terms of something that "just works" (in conjunction with a CA-ready controller) I think it offers tremendous value and is really a significant upgrade over normal kits and most affordable pre-built ebikes out there.
There are actually solution on the german ebike forum; they call it forumscontroller and it does exactly that: use and arduino to compute sensor input into one single motor output. I also agree the the ca needs a revamp if it want to stay competitive. And I don't think its installation is without hassle. I you use a simple throttle input, it's quite immediate - but why buy an expensive CA just to do that ? As soon as pas and torque sensor get involved, its an entire different story. The big different is that you get invaluable support from grintech to correctly set it up, which kind of justifies the price.

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Re: Cycle Analyst - still solid choice?

Post by DogDipstick » May 24 2021 9:27am

I like mine. You need the data from somewhere. Braggin rights, man.

I have owned, used, bought, sold, about 9 of them, about 3/year for the last few years. They all work great until they dont... but you usually get the value out of them . I have blown up two from user mistakes.

I am buying the 4th this year soon for a customers build. Nothing is really as turnkey easy ad complete IMO, with such options.

Datalogging, switching, lights, power, limits, multi color display, adjustable amps/power on the fly... I dont know any other that does all those things.
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Re: Cycle Analyst - still solid choice?

Post by sleepy_tired » May 25 2021 8:33am

And I don't think its installation is without hassle.
If you buy a kit that has the intention of using a CAv3 then it's not a hassle. Plug the CAv3 into the controller, plug the throttle into the CAv3. The only hassle, at that point, is programming your desired settings into it.

Retrofitting one to existing installation is much more of a hassle, though.

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Re: Cycle Analyst - still solid choice?

Post by windtrader » May 26 2021 1:49am

Retrofitting one to existing installation is much more of a hassle, though.
Such as having to snip plug off the CA3, read some specs to learn the wiring from the existing controller what needs to pair up and manually wire together?

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Re: Cycle Analyst - still solid choice?

Post by qwerkus » May 26 2021 4:48am

It's actually more complicated than that. I found that my cav3 doesn t work well with all controllers. On one of my 12fet kt controllers for an instance, there are weird current spikes resulting in short acceleration boosts. I've been tinkering the config every since without better results. In the german forum, there are reports of compatibility issues between kt controllers and heavy dd hub motor, and I think my problem is related.
So definitely yes: retrofitting is not without hassle. A ca coupled with grin controllers should be plug and play though. That's why I would recommend to any beginner.

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Re: Cycle Analyst - still solid choice?

Post by TDB » May 31 2021 12:37am

john61ct wrote:
May 22 2021 7:26am
Yes, the display is almost irrelevant from my POV. Someone has proposed a bluetooth connector to a phone app, that would be a nice add-on.
That would be nice, but I'd be more interested in ANT+/BLE sensor addon so I can use my fancy wireless sensors and power meter hub and turn it into a true pedelec with no wires between bike and push trailer.
Then I'd want greater customisation of assist power profiles and limits. Cadence limits are also on my wish list.
qwerkus wrote:
May 24 2021 5:32am
There are actually solution on the german ebike forum; they call it forumscontroller and it does exactly that: use and arduino to compute sensor input into one single motor output. I also agree the the ca needs a revamp if it want to stay competitive. And I don't think its installation is without hassle. I you use a simple throttle input, it's quite immediate - but why buy an expensive CA just to do that ? As soon as pas and torque sensor get involved, its an entire different story. The big different is that you get invaluable support from grintech to correctly set it up, which kind of justifies the price.
Forumscontroller may be easy for the technically savvy hobbyist who spends more time fiddling than riding. Not so easy for the rest.
I've spent a few evenings wading through FC and code. It is not the route I wanted to pursue, but it looks doable for what I want it to do with modification. I ordered a box of parts on the weekend.
These things take time and a lot of testing and troubleshooting. I started cutting and bending tube for a new trailer and will make it part of that project and leave the current working setup alone. Plan is headless with nothing on the bike.

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Re: Cycle Analyst - still solid choice?

Post by stancecoke » Jun 02 2021 3:58am

we had a similar discusson here:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=111201#p1630803

Image

you can decide if you want to have a big colour display, a small one, or a cell phone app.

Image

regards
stancecoke

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Re: Cycle Analyst - still solid choice?

Post by ZeroEm » Jun 06 2021 6:43am

There is something to say for tried and true. So the biggest complaint is that "you don't need to buy a new one every few years" to stay current! Just a guess but real E-bikers own at least one. It may not be requirement, has been stated as so. Take a vote.

I would have a different display if my bikes were kits and came with a display, just to save money. Building an e-bike from parts, it is top of the list just above the leafmotor. I use pas and thumb throttle and like to track various things. I agree that the CA has a lot of settings, what is wrong with that? Must resist playing with them. Change one thing at a time and test.
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Re: Cycle Analyst - still solid choice?

Post by TDB » Jun 09 2021 10:47pm

I've had a couple of weeks off and on my own. I didn't want to do this, but I did... I put together wireless interface for Garmin sensors and Powertap power meter (fancy torque sensor) plus throttle, aux pot and ebrake to CA (now mounted on the trailer) so I can clean up my bike with no wires to push trailer. Nothing fancy.
I'll use it as is with my current setup.

Parts have arrived for forums controller to go on new build..

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