Any Winter Turbo Riders?

James Kohls

Active Member
I have a 2015 Turbo X and wondering if any Turbo owners use their bikes in the winter. This will be my first time owning an electric bike in the winter (Minnesota). It seems like the Turbos have a nice smooth power-up which I'm hoping will help get moving on slippery surfaces. I do plan on purchasing studded tires and the fender kit before then.

Being heavier may be nice in terms of planting the bike firmly in the snow, but I'm guessing it will also make stopping and turning (avoiding slips) worse. Anyone wiped out on their Turbo yet? ~50lb bike falling on you better/worse than you expected?

I'm also planning to try out eco modes to help limit top speed as higher speeds on snow aren't very safe regardless of what types of tires you have. Would also be interesting to see if regen mode is good for going down snowy hills as braking can lead to skidding.
 
Last edited:

Nutella

Active Member
I don't have a Turbo, but I do have studded tires and they are fantastic and I would think required for your winters. Don't skimp, they'll last a long time and ER visits are expensive.
 

James Kohls

Active Member
Thanks Nutella. I've used studded tires on my non-electric bike and the benefits are great. Hopefully they will be just as effective on an e-bike. My plan is to get Schwalbe Marathon Winter tires.

Minnesota in the Twin Cities metro is usually plowed pretty well for cars, but they don't always do a very good job at plowing to the curb, so bike lanes tend to have patches of snow and ice to navigate over.
 

Senseiwai

Member
Hi

I have tried couple of time riding in winter with my Turbo with stud tires. Is not so enjoyable. Is ok if t's not more then 10mm unplowed snow more then that is too slippery even you have studd tires the bike is to heavy even with 35mm wide tires you digg in into the snow and slipp a lot. You have to make more effort on your paddling to able to getting up into speed like 30km/h. For me it lost the point to ride on winter with Turbo when you have to put effort to keep up to 30km/h on snowy condition. But is ok to ride on plowed roads, icy or slushy condition works well you can still get up to speed. Maybe even more wider tires will works 50mm or so.
 

James Kohls

Active Member
Thanks Senseiwai. Snow seems the be the hardest part for any road/hybrid bike. I doubt I would be going through any deep snow. Our roads get plowed pretty darn quick here, with the exception of some side streets. But I only live about 100 feet from a major roadway. The biggest winter obstacle would probably be just slush, ice, and debris on the shoulder from plowing. Most of it fairly wet or hard packed due to the plows pushing it. I did fine last winter (albeit fairly tame) on my non-electric bike with studded tires. So my biggest concerns are the added torque from a powered bike with significantly greater weight.
 

Senseiwai

Member
You feel slightly heavier with studs on your Turbo not much just little. You can still cruise 35-40km/h with not much efforts. It's little effort to reach top speed and little more resistance when motor fades off with studs.

We have similar climate here in Sweden like you describe on hard packed plowed roads, ice and slush is no problem it is only when new deep powder snow I'm not feeling confident to ride with. It's just too risky and slippery and ride very slow. Theirs is no fun if you can't ride fast with your Turbo :D
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
I ride in the winter, sort of. Usually until middle of December here in Maine and then start around mid March. I don't choose to ride when there is a snowstorm and/or when the roads are messed up with lots of snow. I usually wait for the snowtrucks to take care of that. That means not riding on storm days (if I can help it) . This still translates to about 3 days per work week of riding. I use studded tires and I would not go without them. On my 14 mile route there are many icy spots. I ride in Eco most of the time and switch to Turbo on some hills.
 

Richard Spensley

New Member
I've been riding all winter here in Auckland, NZ - which is now - and the stock, slick tyres are great in all conditions on the road so far. I sometimes feel like there's a little drift going round a corner downhill at 50-60km/h when it's wet so I just use the brakes and temper my speed down to less than 40km/h and ride to the conditions.

Edit - I guess I should have added that winter in Auckland is not icy, snowy or that cold, just very wet and windy.
 

jamesthewright

New Member
I ride in the winter in Colorado, but never in deep snow and have had no issues with the turbo. In general if its below 20 it feels a little less peppy and the battery drains slight faster but that is about it. So much fun.

In winter I switch to a snowboard helmet for its nice ear warmers and goggles, plus some head brand light gloves. Its a great combination for the winter elements

Never tried studded tires as I only ride after its been plowed or while its first snowing, but I definitely should give them a try.
Cheers!
 

James Kohls

Active Member
Thanks Richard and James. There is definitely a lot of ice on the shoulders where I live. Also, most sidewalks are cleared by individuals, not municipalities, so finding patches of slick sidewalk is also a concern when people don't use salt.
 

Marko

Active Member
I rode a Turbo S all through the year (I am at 60 deg north). When the temps got down to -10C or lower the motor started to malfunction. I mean, the assist would be there even when not wanted. I had Schwalbe Marathon winters (240 studs) and they are ok especially if you want to have low rolling resistance. If you have the fender set, 42-45 mm tire is the max you can fit - you also have to account for the snow which packs between the tire and the fender.
 

jamesthewright

New Member
I rode a Turbo S all through the year (I am at 60 deg north). When the temps got down to -10C or lower the motor started to malfunction. I mean, the assist would be there even when not wanted. I had Schwalbe Marathon winters (240 studs) and they are ok especially if you want to have low rolling resistance. If you have the fender set, 42-45 mm tire is the max you can fit - you also have to account for the snow which packs between the tire and the fender.

Its likely not the motor, but the battery that is malfunctioning.

Do you keep your bike/battery outside or in the garage? My bike is warm inside until I leave, both at work and home. If the battery gets cold it will malfunction for sure, that is a definitely necessity in the winter (remove and keep the a battery warm while not riding). Its likely if my commute was long enough I may have seen more issues as the battery froze while riding.
 

Marko

Active Member
A slight correction: in freezing temps it is not the motor that malfunctions but the elastomer stops of the torque sensor. At -10C (or maybe even higher) or below the bike will assist you even when not pedaling.
My bike was stole recently, but before that I kept it in warm temp storage mostly. However, even if I had it in freezing temps all working day, the battery did not really suffer - maybe dropped a couple of percentages more than in warm. The battery will not charge before it has has warmed up sufficiently.
 
Last edited:

James Kohls

Active Member
Thanks Marko. Interesting to hear about the torque sensor, charger and the battery temp. I guess that's why EasyMotion has battery wraps for their bikes. Good stuff to be aware of.