Frey M600 V2, Purchase, Pre, and Post-assembly tips


100 W
Aug 23, 2007
Rocky Mountains, Alberta, Canada
On Oct 3 of 2019, I contacted Frey about ordering a Frey M600 V2 and some extra parts direct from Frey in China (the higher spec version). The order process was painless, and my sales rep at Frey, 'Grace', kept me up to date as the order went through the various fulfilment stages. From the time I made my payment on Oct 14, to delivery to my door by UPS on Nov 19, was roughly 5 weeks. As I experienced some issues pre and post delivery that may affect some other future users, I thought I should share them here in case anyone else takes delivery of a Frey product in future. Eventually, when I get time, I'll try to do a Youtube video that is more comprehensive with respect to the problems and possible mitigation's, but in the meantime, I thought it would be advisable for me to be timely and post a head's up here in case anyone else is just on the cusp of ordering.

- Frey wanted to collect an extra $100.00 for delivery of the bike frame and motor (no battery) to a 'non-business' address although I kept insisting my address was for my business address. The problem seemed to relate to the fact that I am located in a tourist town in a National Park were all the businesses and residential areas are intertwined.
Resolution: I insisted that I was at a business address and that Frey should get a new freight forwarding provider if the one they currently use could not figure that out. I sent them waybills for recent shipments from both Fed Ex and UPS. They did not accept this at first, but changed their mind when I told them if they could not ship to my address, they could cancel the order, as I would not under any circumstances pay an additional $100.00 because their fulfillment company was apparently unwilling to make the effort to substantiate my claim. They eventually shipped via UPS instead of FedEx (and told me that UPS was going to cost more, but they would cover it), but I'm not sure if that was related to the above issue or something else. I'm also not sure if perhaps the request for the additional $100.00 might be related to finding out post-payment that they were going to have to use a more expensive shipping method notwithstanding my location being commercial or not.

- The bike parts were well packed and in good condition. I only noticed one small dent in the bike frame top tube that is barely noticeable. All the spare parts I had ordered were packed into the box, and nothing was missing from the additional standard assembly parts required to finish the assembly.
- The first problem I encountered was with respect to getting the front wheel mounted. When I inserted the spacers into the recesses of the axel tube, is was 3mm too long to get the wheel between the fork dropouts. I contacted Frey and sent them pictures on Nov 19. Their response was quick. From my pictures, they were unable to identify what the problem was, but sent me pictures of what it should look like. They were assuming I was simply trying to insert the spacers wrong. However, my spouse was comparing their pictures to my setup, and pointed out to me that the axel tube on my wheel was different than theirs. Someone on their end in assembly had evidently inserted the axel tube wrong, and all I had to do was make up a DIY axel press and press the axel tube through so it was in the correct position to allow the spacers into the recesses (I made a separate post about this with pictures in this forum). Unfortunately it took me about 6 hours to figure out this simple solution, so on Nov 20, I sent the following note to Grace to express my angst at this:
Hi Grace,

Just some friendly advice for your production or testing team. It took me 6 hours to get my front wheel on. I did not have a bearing press tool so I had to make one from nuts, bolts and washers. The axel tube was not sticking out far enough on the left side. I had to push the axel tube from the right side to the left side. Then, with another assortment to make up a DIY bearing press, I had to press the bearing in on the right side so that the spacer would seat.

6 hours is a long time to try and figure out what the problem is just to get a front wheel on the bike, and I'm lucky I did not damage it. I had the impression that this bike was tested before shipment, but it could not have been tested because the front wheel could not be placed on the bike. For the sake of your business and reputation, I'd suggest that you might want to look at your assembly procedures to try and prevent this sort of mistake from happening in the future.

Thanks for looking into the battery for me. If you could find out what guage of wire leads from the charger connection on the frame to the battery bay contacts, that would be helpful.

- Grace did not address my concerns about the inspection and QC process, but did answer my request for a wiring diagram and on Nov 20 she wrote:
Thank you for your appreciation.
We don't have the wiring diagram for this battery and battery compartment.
About your question for the charger port which is on the frame, can you take some pictures or video for our check? I can back to our Tech.Department, and answer you what the situation it is.
Have a nice day.

- Previously (On Oct 29), I had received this email:
"The latest status is: Your order has been produced, sent to QC department, waiting for inspection and test."
On reflection, this perplexed me because if there was no-way they could have mounted the wheel, how could they have done a proper test, let alone a proper inspection?
- Now that I had the wheel on, and made up a battery nothing happened on my initial attempts to power up. So I suspected my new battery pack. That was confusing because all my tests indicated it was working properly. Another note to Grace and a quick response to check the connections to my display panel. I tried wiggling them in tighter, and that did not work. After playing with the battery some more doing load tests, etc., I pulled the connectors out of the panel, and re-inserted them, and then the bike powered on.
- As soon as I had a display, I noticed the Trip Meter showed 464.2km. As it is only about 10 meters across my living room floor, which is as far as I had gone, this seemed odd. I took the grainy picture below picture and sent it to Grace, and she quickly responded that that would be down to the parts they get from Bafang, and she'd look into it and get back to me. As of this writing (Dec 16), I have not heard back. I did have a close look at the motor and display panel, and it seemed to be brand new to me.

- As it is winter, I removed both the tires that come with the bike and mounted studded tires on the schrader valve rims that Frey supplies, using new schrader valve tubes for the smaller width studded tires.
- A quick run through the gears while the bike was on the stand, and tweaking the positions of the lever's etc., and ready for a test ride.
- Rode about 150km's without issues until I just ran out of power on the last hill home and I needed to ride up the hill unassisted, and tried to select the big gear. The chain skipped over the big gear and into the spokes. The sense magnet caught the proximal surface edge of the rear derailluer cage plate, twisting the magnet 180 degrees, bending 2 spokes, and bending the cage plate into the spokes. I walked it home, and on inspection, found that the derailluer hanger bolt was quite loose, something I had not noticed when I had removed the rear axel and wheel, and reassembled it. I replaced the bolt using loctite and torqued it to 75lbs, then tried to straighten the bent cage as best I could. Using trial and error with bending the cage plate and different settings of the barrel, Hi, Low, and B screws, after about 3 hours I was able to get it set so that I could get a shift range of gears 1-10, or 2-11, but not 1-11. I settled on 2-11 as how I will ride for the winter.
- I noticed that the spoke mounted sense magnet, which was responsible for catching the cage plate and bending the derailluer was perilously close to the cage plate when you are on your big gear, so I moved it to the spoke array on the other side of the wheel. This resulted in the error 21 until I then added 3 magnets to the top of it to extend it, and that seems to have worked, and keeps the magnet away from the derailluer cage.
- On Nov 27, once again I could not power the bike on. So I sent Grace the following note:
Hi Grace,

When riding the bike last night we stopped to get groceries and the bike powered down automatically. When I came back it would not power up. Today I tested the battery output at the contact points has full power at a full 48V charge (I could conform there is 48V there by also testing the charger connection on the frame and it has 48V power as well), but the bike will not power up when I press the switch. Last time you had me check the two cables that go to the display, so I checked those but they are OK. Is there something else I can do to troubleshoot the bike not powering on?

- Again I removed the plugs to the display, and reinserted them a couple of times, and again the power came back and the bike display activated. However, since Nov 27 (it is now Dec 16), Grace is not longer replying to my emails. The question about how the 465kms on the trip meter remains an unsolved mystery, and I am enjoying riding my bike in spite of not being able to use gear #11, and having a new but bent derailleur. Any suggestions as to the best way to address this would be appreciated.

Footnote: - It is worth noting that the Shimano lights are adequate and worth the upgrade. For those that also ride with a headlamp on their helmet, or under street lights, it is worth noting that there is a light sensor at the edge of the display panel, and when it senses ambient light, it will deactivate your headlight, causing it to blink on and off. You can probably remedy that by placing a small dot of tape over the sensor.
I was under the impression frey build and test the bikes before shipping. After reading this it does t seem to be the case