Priority Current making high pitched whistle?

teaman

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Mar 20, 2023
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Hi, New to this forum. My wife just bought a Priority Current and less than a week later, received it. After assembling it, I took it for a ride to see how it handles and performs. Right off the bat, I noticed a high pitched whistle coming from the motor. It is not the usual electric motor whine but it most closely resembles the whistle you hear from a tea pot as it comes to a boil. It is shrill and very noticeable riding the bike. It only occurs while pedaling so it is not brakes related. It changed frequency with the pedal rotation frequency, the higher the pedal rate, the higher the pitch but still a teapot whistle pitch.

Has anyone noticed this with their Current? Can anyone explain it as I have ridden two other e-bikes and they do not produce this sound, only normal e-bike motor sounds.
 
their support folks seem pretty responsive, have you asked them? Love to hear what they say, since mine is coming in a few weeks :).
 
their support folks seem pretty responsive, have you asked them? Love to hear what they say, since mine is coming in a few weeks :).
Yes I contacted them right away. At first they thought it was related to the brakes and that a quick adjustment would resolve it. But when I sent video and demonstrated it is there when not braking and only when pedaling, they then imply that it is "normal" and even provided me a video of a bike or two they had there that did the same thing.

So just know that if you are ok with it, no problem. If it bothers you, plan to send the bike back with a hefty return fee. They will charge you shipping charges for both directions (the shipping for sending the new bike to you and for shipping it back to them.) For me that is like a $225 fee to have received a bike I couldn't try out first and then change my mind about keeping the bike due to an annoyance they didn't mention anywhere in their specs. I will point out I've been around/ridden several other brands of e-bikes and none make this tea-kettle whistle while pedaling.

Please let me know if yours does not make this sound.
 
I purchased the Priority Current last fall. I have not experienced at all such a sound. Are you sure the sound is coming from the electric motor? Are you able to upload the video to this forum for us to listen to the sound?

I would continue to talk to Priority support. My experience is that they are very responsive.

Did you by any chance purchase the Current via Costco Next? Return shipping in such a case should be free.
 
@teaman, you said it only occurs when pedaling.

Are you fully sure it is coming from the motor? Sometimes sounds can trick the ears.

Do you have a throttle on your bike? If so, does it whistle when on full throttle with no pedaling?

Is your motor mid drive or hub?
 
@Snoop Yes it is from the motor. The Priority Current does not have a throttle. When I stop pedaling, whistle stops but so does the motor as it is torque sensing. Motor is a mid drive bafang motor, 500W.
Given the bike is brand new I wouldn't think it would be a bad bearing. What is interesting is the Priority support staff said their bike on the show room floor used to let people test ride it makes the same sound. So I asked if someone else could check theirs. Someone who works there who has the Current took a video of their bike and it too has that teapot whistle.

@ronniebellie Are your sure yours does not make this sound? I did buy mine from Costco Next online.
 
@Snoop Yes it is from the motor. The Priority Current does not have a throttle. When I stop pedaling, whistle stops but so does the motor as it is torque sensing. Motor is a mid drive bafang motor, 500W.
Given the bike is brand new I wouldn't think it would be a bad bearing. What is interesting is the Priority support staff said their bike on the show room floor used to let people test ride it makes the same sound. So I asked if someone else could check theirs. Someone who works there who has the Current took a video of their bike and it too has that teapot whistle.

@ronniebellie Are your sure yours does not make this sound? I did buy mine from Costco Next online.
Yes, mine has somewhat of a similar sound, but it's definitely, not a "a high pitched whistle" as you are experiencing. It's just the sound of the electric motor wining some, but nothing seemingly out of the ordinary.

Can you try recording the sound and posting the audio file in this thread? If you have an iPhone, Apple provides the app Voice Memos on every iPhone that works well for this. Listing to the audio might help.

Correction on something I said above. I'm looking over again the email I received from the Costco Next buyer. The return shipping if necessary is not covered. I mistakenly said it was. Sorry.
 
My brand new 2-day old Current had the same sound. Priority customer support said it was a clutch slipping after I sent them a video. After filling out three forms and putting down a $100 deposit, Priority shipped me a new motor, sent a PowerPoint with replacement instructions and a link to a video on how to swap it. You need some special tools (bottom bracket tool, crank tool) and a stand. Since there was no local shop that could do the swap without having the bike for 2 weeks, I decided to do the swap myself. I have access to the tools needed and have rebuilt my Trek hybrid from the ground up twice in the past 20 years. They said it would not affect the warranty if I did the repair myself.

Let me tell you, it's not quite as fast as the Priority mechanic shows in the video! Now the very loud whistle/whine has been replaced with just a very noticeable electric motor whine when pedal assist is engaged. What a total disappointment!

The bike is an embarrassment to ride. My wife rides a Trek Verve+3 and it is dead quiet when in pedal assist mode and the derailleur click is the normal light clck you are used to. Along with the new motor whine, the free wheel on the Enviolo hub sounds like a woodpecker banging on a tin roof. You can hear me coasting 50 feet away as other cyclists have commented. I don't even need to use my bell when passing people, they hear me coming! I find myself turning off the motor when passing people on the trail and trying to limit coasting when near people or other cyclists. The noise from the bike really disrupts the quiet of a nice bike trail.

As,@teaman mentioned, here is a bike that I could not test ride first and there is no way to ship it back because the original packaging was recycled a month ago. Priority is insisting on original packaging or packaging similar to how they shipped. That means a double wall box and tons of foam sheets, wrapping everything. For kicks I called a company that specializes in shipping bicycles. They told me thay could box/crate it to Priority standards for around $300. So I would be out $525 to return the bike.

Guess what's going up for sale? At least I bought it from Costco Next so I can offer it up for less than MSRP.
 
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