Falco eBike Wheel Technology


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1.0 Review of all Components

In this section, we learn about various components of the Falco eBike wheel technology as per the list below.

  1. Wheel Technology
  1. Hx Motor;
  2. Motor Hardware;
  3. Torque Arms;
  4. Rims;
  5. Spokes;
  6. Wireless Module;

1.1 Wheel Technology

1.1.1 Hx Motor

Falco has streamlined the product line in the recent years to manufacture a single motor platform rated at 750W power. All other models of lower and higher power levels were obsoleted in 2017. The motor has been upgraded with new manufacturing technology, new electronics, firmware, new torque sensor and new free hub attachment. Let us have a quick look at the Hx Motor (2017 and 2018 Models).

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Figure 1: View of the Hx Motor from the drive side

Figure 1 above shows the Hx motor from the drive side or the free hub side. Figure 2 below shows the motor’s connectors which come out of the disc brake side.

Figure 2: Hx Motor Connectors

Hx motor has three cables coming out of the disc brake side. 2-pin cable is connected to the battery, 4-pin is meant to connect to a throttle or a regenerative brake sensor or a junction box and the 6-pin cable is meant for the wireless module or a wired plus minus interface. Wired plus minus interface can also be connected through the wireless module as well. Connecting a wired plus minus through the wireless module allows use of wireless devices with the motor.

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It is easy to confuse between the 6-pin and 4-pin connectors. Also, the connectors are polarized and require careful attention when connecting and disconnecting. Because the connectors are water-proof, their connection and disconnection require more force than usual.

Figure 3: Standard Hx Motor has 32 spoke holes and a 135mm O.L.D (over the locknut Dimension)

Figure 3 above can be used to build a wheel. Falco spoke length calculator can be used to calculate spoke lengths. The calculator is meant to be used as a guide. At times, it may require a few attempts at wheel building to determine more accurate spoke lengths for your rim. Spoke Holes

Hx Motor is available in different number of spoke holes. Spoke holes are CNC machined and hence can be machined for any number of holes. Standard configuration in stock has 32 spoke holes. Falco can provide any number of spoke holes. The non-standard spoke holes require extra lead time for delivery. O.L.D (Over the Locknut Dimension)

Standard in stock motor has 135mm as O.L.D. However, additional non-standard O.L.D configurations are also available. For example, 160mm O.L.D for Santana Tandems is available. Other custom O.L.Ds can also be made available. Any O.L.D other than 135mm requires extra time for delivery. Frame Dropouts

Hx Motors are available for vertical as well as horizontal dropouts. However, motors suitable for vertical dropouts are stocked. Horizontal drop-out motors require additional lead time for delivery. Dropout angle is critical for the functioning of the torque sensor or the pedal assist functionality. Adjustments for dropout variations can be done through the use of Falco Flash or eBike lab software available for mobile as well as Windows and Mac platforms. What are Dropouts?

If your wheel can be removed from the bottom of the frame then you have a vertical drop-out. If your wheel can be removed from the back of the frame, then you have a horizontal dropout. Drop-outs at various angles are also available in the market.

Figure 4: Vertical Dropout in a bicycle frame. The wheel is removed vertically from the frame.

Figure 5: Horizontal Dropout in a bicycle frame. The wheel is removed horizontally from the frame.

Figure 6: An example of a Non-Standard (-22o) Dropout in a bicycle frame. This dropout will require a Hx motor with horizontal dropouts and use of Falco Flash or eBike lab software for torque sensor adjustments.

Figure 7: Another example of a Non-Standard (+15o) Dropout in a bicycle frame. This dropout will require a Hx motor with vertical dropouts and use of Falco Flash or eBike lab software for torque sensor adjustments.

Additional information on dropouts is provided below.

Reference: Sheldonbrown.com

Rear dropouts come in two styles:

Horizontal dropouts have a longish slot for the rear axle to fit into, which runs more-or-less horizontally along the dropout. They permit the wheel to be placed in various positions front to rear. Horizontal dropouts are necessary for bicycles which don't have derailers, because the axle must be moveable to adjust the chain tension. With horizontal dropouts, it is possible to misalign the wheel in the frame if it is installed carelessly. The axle nuts or quick-release must be tightened quite securely, or the chain tension may pull the axle askew.

Vertical dropouts have a vertical notch for the axle to go up into, and the axle's position is not adjustable. With vertical dropouts, the axle cannot be pulled out of position, even if it is not properly secured. Vertical dropouts are generally intended for use with derailleur gearing, and do not permit any adjustment of the position of the rear wheel, so there's no way to regulate chain tension if you don't have a derailer or pulley type chain tensioner. Motor Hardware

The following hardware is installed on the shaft of the motor when shipped from the factory.

  1. Torque Bars (2 Quantities - One on each side of the axle);
  2. Axle Nuts M12X1 (2 Quantities - One on each side of the axle);
  3. Axle Washers (4 Quantities - Two on each side of the axle).

Hardware picture is shown below:

Figure 8: Each motor is shipped with two torque bars and nuts and four washers. Torque Arms

One set of torque arms is included with every motor shipment. Torque arms are not necessary for every installation. However, many bike and trike frames can have shallow drop-outs. With shallow drop-outs, the motor axle can spin out causing damage or injury. Use of torque arms prevents such an event. A careful evaluation should be done for non-use of torque arms. Falco highly recommends the use of torque arms to prevent any damage or injury. See the installation section of the manual for how to use them.

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Torque arm though optional is highly recommended for all installations. Non-use of torque arms should be carefully evaluated.

Figure 9: A set of torque arms consists of three components - a base, Arm 1 and Arm 2. 

1.1.2 Rims

Falco uses two types of rims in building the wheels in the US. Velocity and Rhynolite rims from Sun Ringle. All rims are disc brake as well as rim brake compatible. Rim pictures are shown below:

Figure 10: Velocity Dyad is one of the rims used for building the wheels in the US

Figure 11: Sunringle’s Rhyno Lite rim is one of the rims used for building the wheels in the US

1.1.3 Spokes

All wheels are built using SAPIM strong spokes.

Figure 12: SAPIM strong spokes are used for all wheel builds in the US

This is the strongest spoke in Sapim’s product range, the Strong has been developed for specific and heavy usage such as tandem, e-bikes or heavy load use.  Spokes have a diameter of 2.3mm at the neck and 2.0mm near the threads.

1.1.4 Wireless Module

A wireless module is included with every motor shipment. This wireless module has built in ANT+ and BLE technology allowing the motor to communicate wirelessly with PCs, Macs, iPhones and Android devices.

Figure 13: ANT+/BLE Wireless Module

The module is shown in fig. 13. It comes with two connectors on each of its side and it has a green LED on the top. The green LED serves two purposes. It indicates that the motor is receiving power from the battery and when the LED is flashing, it indicates that the motor is ready for a ride and can be controlled wirelessly.

The two connectors on each side of the wireless module serve to connect one side to the motor and the other side to a Wired plus minus controls. The wired plus minus controls allow control of assist and regeneration levels, throttle, and brake on a compact module.