2016 Levo FSR

rede

Member
Have had motor issues, and my 2016 Turbo Levo is on its third motor, but has been great for 2000 miles. Yesterday, after 25 miles, it suddenly became harder to pedal, like a resistance to pedaling. The battery was down to 20%. This morning I turned it on to 100% boost and tried it. It was like pedaling against a resistance. I then charged it, and it worked fine. But, when I turned off the battery and rode without any boost, the pedal cranking resistance was very noticeable. I have never ridden without the power on, and I'm thinking this not correct. My test was very short on totally flat ground, but I had to downshift in order to pedal a normal cadence. I'm thinking the Brose motor failed again, and I know it has a planetary transmission that broke on the second motor, totally jamming the crank. The battery drain was higher than in the past, and I'm thinking I'm cranking against some internal resistance which adds to the load from the boost. Would appreciate comments and experience. I'm told that pedal assisted e-bikes can be ridden without power on, and the only noticeable change should be the fact that it's heavier bike requiring going to lower gears.

Thanks,

Harold
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
This behaviour looks reasonable for me. The Specialized e-bikes decrease support at 10% battery level but it could be different for the older Levo, and that might be 20%.
But, when I turned off the battery and rode without any boost, the pedal cranking resistance was very noticeable.
It is a well known phenomenon. You are used to huge assistance of your motor, and the resistance when the e-bike is unpowered is an illusion. You are pedalling a heavy e-bike without assistance of "Lance Armstrong" (your motor).

I don't want to repeat myself (I have written that in numerous posts) but just remove the chain from the chainring and rotate the cranks in an unpowered Levo. You will find no resistance, rest assured.
 

rede

Member
Stefan, thank you. I didn't think this old man, me that is, had any illusions, but clearly I do. I took off the chain, and the crank is free as a bird, no resistance at all. I knew about the Smart Control, but have it turned off. So if the "limp home" mode kicks in at 20% battery, is there a way to change that? Also, the battery, now 5 years old and somewhere north of 6000 miles or so, shows 90% healthy. I seem to recall a discussion about this. Does that mean that the battery is at 90% capacity at best, and so if it charges to 95%, the charge is really .90 X .95 or 85.5% total? That would mean a shorter range than original. Harold
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Does that mean that the battery is at 90% capacity at best, and so if it charges to 95%, the charge is really .90 X .95 or 85.5% total? That would mean a shorter range than original.
Precisely!

Now, the 20% "limp home mode". I don't think that could be changed. The battery charge percentage when assistance is reduced and later cut off certainly depends on the generation of the motor and its control system, and on firmware. The 20% is at least good for the battery. 5 years and 90% healthy is an excellent result: my Vado batteries went down to 90% health in two years, only I'm riding a lot.
 

rede

Member
Stefan, thanks again. I checked and the battery firmware is 4.17.1 and motor is 7.1.1. Also the odometer shows 2853 miles, which would be the present (third) motor, not the total for the bike or battery. This bike also had the harness replaced once, and the charger replaced once. It's also on its third cassette and chain set. It has quite a history, and I think is a very early model. The firmware had been updated a number of times, and the improvements in performance and smoothness each time were remarkable. Will check with my LBS to see if firmware is the latest version. Harold
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Stefan, thanks again. I checked and the battery firmware is 4.17.1 and motor is 7.1.1. Also the odometer shows 2853 miles, which would be the present (third) motor, not the total for the bike or battery. This bike also had the harness replaced once, and the charger replaced once. It's also on its third cassette and chain set. It has quite a history, and I think is a very early model. The firmware had been updated a number of times, and the improvements in performance and smoothness each time were remarkable. Will check with my LBS to see if firmware is the latest version. Harold
Harold,

It looks your Levo might be of Gen 1, while (I think) the 2022 Levos are at Gen 4. With the complicated history of your e-bike, it is a real mystery how your Levo is expected to operate. For me, nothing is broken there, so there is nothing to be fixed. Please report what the diagnosis of your LBS has been!
 

rede

Member
Stefan,
Just detailed the bike, cleaned up all the sprockets and chain, etc. Took it for a short ride. Runs very well in boost, and also smoothly with battery off in lower gears. When I first got the Levo, it was a disaster, and Specialized actually replaced the whole bike after one month, so this is actually the second one. Yes, it's a very early bike. The battery date is July, 2016, for example. Initially, the drive was not very smooth, but was told it was normal, and I think it was at that time. Then the bike shop went out of business, and I had no support for about 4-5 months, and then Specialized put me in contact with a new LBS. They checked it out, and found there was a firmware update, and that made quite an improvement in performance. Later updates made it even better, to where today it's really smooth, and can't imagine it could be any better. I haven't been able to get to the LBS yet because they have actually merged with Specialized and are in the middle of the transition with phones, email, etc. I'll let you know what I find out.
Harold
 

rede

Member
The LBS expert is not aware of any "limp home mode" on my Levo. The only thing he can think of is the harness connection was suddenly lost. However, that does really explain what happened. I need to go for a few test rides to see if it happens again. I have never used Smart Control, but I see that you can set it to 0% remaining battery, which I guess also suggests no "limp mode".
 

rede

Member
Stefan,
I noted your comment about "it is a real mystery how your Levo is expected to operate". I have been concerned considering the age of my Levo, including Gen 1 electronics, that it suddenly shut off, and the fact that there is no explanation for the failure, and therefore no resolution. I decided to sell it, and have purchased a Levo SL comp carbon. It's definitely different as it has less boost, smaller battery, and is also about 12 pounds lighter. In my first ride yesterday, it took a few miles to get used to the lighter handling, but it's a great bike. I need to optimize my tuning, but rode 24 miles on a trail, and had enough battery reserve at the end. There is an auxiliary battery option, and so if I get any range angst, I'll just go for it.
Harold