1100 Miles on my 2015/16 base Turbo

Douglas Ruby

Well-Known Member
I took delivery of my 2015/16 base Turbo in mid-November of 2015 at a price of $3,000 (Note from its original price of $3,800 has now dropped to $2,500). Today I turned 1100 miles. I put these miles on in Nov-Dec of 2015 and then in March-April, June, some of July and most of August of 2016. In 9 1/2 months, I have lost 4 months of riding time due to weather, travel, and medical procedures, but have thoroughly enjoyed riding my Turbo for exercise, companionship (with my daughter), and personal pleasure and recreation. Though outfitted so it could be a commuter bike, I am retired so do not use this bike as a daily commuter.

Some thoughts about my experience:
  1. Range: I am comfortable with rides up to 25 miles without worrying about battery management at all. Above 25 miles, I need to avoid use of TURBO. Beyond 35 miles, I need to be very judicious about use of TURBO or ECO70. I believe I can stretch to 50-55 miles (though 45 is as far as I have gone so far) if I am rigorous about staying at ECO40.
  2. Speed: Full TURBO mode allows me to average above 20 miles per hour (as high as 22 on a couple of rides), but the base TURBO is not as fast as a Stromer ST2 or Turbo S. On the other hand, when riding with my daughter (on her unassisted carbon fiber road bike), I really do not need more than ECO40 to average 15-17 mph. If I want to "cruise" along with her and keep my heart-rate down, I can up that to ECO50.
  3. Power: The 200W nominal Go SwissDrive motor in the base Turbo is not a powerhouse, but still is satisfying and allows me to do a pretty good job. For the riding I do and for my own goals (keeping up with younger unassisted riders over longer distances), it is just about perfect. My 65 year old body and legs provides around 50W - 150W over distance while the bike contributes anywhere from around 80W-200W.
  4. Gearing: This is something that needs work. The stock rear cluster of 11-32 is not low enough for serious hill climbing and has too many "high" gears given my weight, age, and the motor power of this bike (see above). The SRAM 11-36 cluster should have been the stock cassette provided by Specialized as it is on the 2016 Turbo X. My recent upgrade to an 11-speed Shimano XT with 11-42 cassette provides a 24% lower 1st gear without giving up anything on the upper end. I now can climb just about any hill while maintaining an aerobic pace. I can cruise at the maximum assisted speed of 42 kph (26.1 mph) in my optimal cadence range and I still have a higher "descent" gear good for up to around 33-35 mph.
  5. Comfort: I find the stock seat and bar position pretty good for me. I have changed over to a Thudbuster ST seat post, switched to a shorter 620 mm carbon fiber handlebar, and replaced the stock grips (not good for me) with ERGON GP5's. I also use Shimano SPD pedals and riding shoes. I find that I can ride 20 mile stretches fairly comfortably before I need to take a rest due to numbness.
  6. Modifications (see pics below):In addition to gearing changes and ride comfort changes noted above, I have upgraded the braking (Kool-Stop pads), added the fender/rack kit from Specialized, purchased a rack bag, swapped out the 700 x 45c tires for lower rolling resistance 700 x 35C treaded Michelins, and added a Garmin 1000 computer with Bontrager Trip 3 backup. I also experimented with a 44T front chainring and bar-end Winglight turn signals, both of which I am not currently using.
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As it stands now, this is really a "near-perfect" e-bike for me. The last change I am contemplating is purchasing a Turbo S 691Wh battery. This would not change performance (which is already just fine for me), but would increase my "full throttle" range to 35 miles, high speed cruise (ECO 60-70) to 50 miles, and my long distance cruise (ECO 40) to 70+ miles. Further, I would hope that between the two batteries (original 468Wh and a second 691Wh), I could increase the useful life of the bike to nearer 10,000 miles.
 
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jimmy

New Member
Cool, since you swapped out the cassette and after you get the 691Wh battery. All you would have to do is swap the Go SwissDrive 250 for the 500W and you made a Turbo S.
 

Douglas Ruby

Well-Known Member
Cool, since you swapped out the cassette and after you get the 691Wh battery. All you would have to do is swap the Go SwissDrive 250 for the 500W and you made a Turbo S.

Jimmy, this thought occurred to me. But to be honest, I would rather have the range I get with the 691Wh battery at 200W and full Turbo operation than the extra power of the Turbo S. Also, If I had been 100% efficient in spending of funds, I have around $4,000 in the bike now and the battery would take me to $5,000. Still somewhat less than $7,000 for the Turbo S. OTOH, I have spent money on things I am not using, so the total is at least another $200+.
 

grench

Well-Known Member
Jimmy, this thought occurred to me. But to be honest, I would rather have the range I get with the 691Wh battery at 200W and full Turbo operation than the extra power of the Turbo S. Also, If I had been 100% efficient in spending of funds, I have around $4,000 in the bike now and the battery would take me to $5,000. Still somewhat less than $7,000 for the Turbo S. OTOH, I have spent money on things I am not using, so the total is at least another $200+.
And you had a lot of fun tinkering along the way...Priceless!
 

jimmy

New Member
Doug, all is good as long as you have fun doing it. I have a similar problem. I need to stay away from going into bike shops.
 

Douglas Ruby

Well-Known Member
And you had a lot of fun tinkering along the way...Priceless!

I certainly have had a lot of fun. I have been working on bicycles off and on for 50+ years. While I do have the LBS do warranty support and anything that requires a factory connection (such as firmware updates, getting Turbo specific repair parts, etc.) I do all of my own work otherwise.

This has been an especially good learning experience for me. In addition to the experience of riding an e-bike, I have learned how to work with modern disc brakes, modern bottom brackets and cranksets, mountain bike style cassettes, shifters, derailleurs, and modern bicycle mapping and tracking tools (Garmin Connect, MapMyRide, and Strava). It is a fun learning experience and a chance to buy some more special tools.

I also ended up restoring and selling 7 vintage bikes last summer to help pay for the Turbo! Now instead of a total of 6 bikes in the garage and basement, none of which were being ridden, I am down to just two bikes for me and one for my wife. And both of mine are being ridden!

Doug, all is good as long as you have fun doing it. I have a similar problem. I need to stay away from going into bike shops.

So true! Right now, I have no reason to go to the bike shop so I will stay away!
 

bazzapage

Active Member
8 weeks, 2100km. I have ridden mine almost every day since I got it. I have replaced brakepads (@Douglas Ruby tells me I should get the Kool Stops which I will do if I can find any), the travel charger died (Specialized replaced it with a new gen fast charger), I replaced the tyres with Schwalbe Energizer Plus (recommended), and I have broken 3 spokes, which is a bit annoying since I only weigh 80kg (180lb) and don't carry much on the back.

Does anyone have a remedy for the avoidance of breaking spokes?
 

Douglas Ruby

Well-Known Member
Best thing to do for broken spokes is to check them frequently. I assume the problem was the rear wheel. Spokes that are too loose are as bad as too tight. I finger-check frequently by "plucking" the spokes kind of like playing a harp. The feel and pitch of the sound should be the same for each spoke. If you feel any looseness or significant variation, you should either have your LBS service the wheel or do it yourself.

This a bit of an issue on the rear wheel since the weight is pretty extreme and the spoke angle is fairly steep. Since the spokes are short and the wheel is stiff, you will not notice wheel misalignment like you would on a normal wheel due to uneven spoke tension. Also, the weight, stiffness, and short spoke length exacerbates the tendency of spokes to break the the thread/nipple junction.

Doug
 

bazzapage

Active Member
Thanks for the reply Doug. The LBS did a full check and retension last time (3 weeks ago). I think the problem is likely short stiff spokes that then lack the springiness and hence put all the load on the weaker threaded section.
btw, I have ordered some Kool Stop pads like yours with the flashy-looking wings from Bike24 (Germany). Amazon supplier doesn't ship to New Zealand and I can't be bothered using a shipping intermediary.
 

Douglas Ruby

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the reply Doug. The LBS did a full check and retension last time (3 weeks ago). I think the problem is likely short stiff spokes that then lack the springiness and hence put all the load on the weaker threaded section.
btw, I have ordered some Kool Stop pads like yours with the flashy-looking wings from Bike24 (Germany). Amazon supplier doesn't ship to New Zealand and I can't be bothered using a shipping intermediary.
If you read my post on installing these, here are some tips...

1. I used a pair of diagonal cutters to clip the first row of pins. This is necessary to clear the caliper.
2. I also had to round the bottom of the aluminum plate a bit and grind off the clipped ends of the pins.
3. I did not bother to try to reinstall the c-clip that is on the end of the retaining screw that holds the pads in. I just cinched the screw in tight.

Let me know if you need pictures when you get your set.

Doug