e-bike rollercoaster. What's next?

dynamic

Active Member
Region
USA
My bet is it will be what you make it. If you go off over every tiny thing/inconvenience you can think of/run across, my bet is nothing has changed - it won't be "tough enough".

If you cut the bike, and the dealer, some slack with a realistic attitude, it would be no surprise here if the bike stands up to it's reputation.

Your call....

That's fair. But what is "acceptable"?

I am coming from two bikes where the motor needed replacement or the motor/battery needed replacement within 70 miles on each bike. And on the one where the motor died (and that is definitely a problem with motor control code errors and everything), we were trying to figure out a belt skipping like issue (not super convinced it was that).

In your honest opinion, where is the line between "worth working through" and "just try something else"? Are motor failures in the early days of a bike "acceptable"? Should I just keep the currents and deal with it?

Obviously, having an LBS that is on the front line for the brand will help.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Honestly? Anything is possible of course, but motor failures would be a pretty darn unusual event on today's bikes from what I see. Yours is the first I've heard of on a Current. Because I don't know, I'm wondering if both you and your shop have been through the owner's manuals, and were operating the bikes within those guidelines?

Belt skipping on a Gates belt setup? That's supposed to be a nearly bullet proof design. No claim to be an expert, but that leaves me wondering who set up/checked things like belt deflection and wheel alignment?

You're there and I'm not. You've seen/experienced the problems while I haven't. I'm impressed your LBS guys are/were willing to give you a hand on a line of bikes they don't sell, but I have to wonder about their level of skill, and if they were really working in your best interests with Current's tech people on these issues?

I have to tell you, when it comes to a LBS I am REALLY skeptical. Sure, there are some really good ones out there, but for every one of those, there are 20 more that are pretty scary... IMHO of course!

"Worth working through" is a tough call. If you've lost confidence the bike will ever be able to satisfy the mission it was purchased for, THAT would be a good reason to bail on it while you're able.

I guess my biggest point is, you're lucky enough to have a chance to start with a clean slate. Try to make the best of it. Good luck! -Al
 

dynamic

Active Member
Region
USA
Honestly? Anything is possible of course, but motor failures would be a pretty darn unusual event on today's bikes from what I see. Yours is the first I've heard of on a Current. Because I don't know, I'm wondering if both you and your shop have been through the owner's manuals, and were operating the bikes within those guidelines?

Belt skipping on a Gates belt setup? That's supposed to be a nearly bullet proof design. No claim to be an expert, but that leaves me wondering who set up/checked things like belt deflection and wheel alignment?

You're there and I'm not. You've seen/experienced the problems while I haven't. I'm impressed your LBS guys are/were willing to give you a hand on a line of bikes they don't sell, but I have to wonder about their level of skill, and if they were really working in your best interests with Current's tech people on these issues?

I have to tell you, when it comes to a LBS I am REALLY skeptical. Sure, there are some really good ones out there, but for every one of those, there are 20 more that are pretty scary... IMHO of course!

"Worth working through" is a tough call. If you've lost confidence the bike will ever be able to satisfy the mission it was purchased for, THAT would be a good reason to bail on it while you're able.

I guess my biggest point is, you're lucky enough to have a chance to start with a clean slate. Try to make the best of it. Good luck! -Al

It's not the first current motor failure I am aware of. There are a couple of guys on their facebook group who have had the motor replaced multiple times. These are high mileage users ( like several thousand miles on each motor for one of them). Not 70, like me.
We checked and torqued down basically all the stuff to priority spec. And I used the gates app for belt tension. I actually think something inside the motor was skipping. When it did happen it was like a big crack. And it only happened under high load (pulling the trailer with my kid in it and pushing really hard to climb a hill in a lower gear). Higher tension (more than the official 35-50) seemed to help. After we went above that a bit, I didn't experience it again. That's when the motor died during a ride with control code errors.

I can believe that my LBS does not have the greatest experience with IGH given they don't want to carry them. But they sell lots of e-bikes. I also struggle with the idea that the bike could be built in such a way that the motor could be killed due to what? Even belt tension would hurt the hub more than the motor I would think. (and I know it wasn't off initially since it's the first thing priority had me investigate)

In other news, the LBS just called me and he is not sure specialized will let them sell the bike to me.

I simply said, "I'm sorry you are in the middle of this, but this is my final attempt to give specialized my money. It will not happen again if I am not the owner of this bike." I also asked him to delay packing up my currents until this is resolved. Because, at this point, they are the only bikes I can get. So I will have to live with whatever service priority provides.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
What a rats nest....

Just FYI, in the future, I would be extra careful here:

"And it only happened under high load (pulling the trailer with my kid in it and pushing really hard to climb a hill in a lower gear)."

My bet is you were operating the bike WAY outside it's design limits. It's stuff just like that that will overheat and take out (cook) a motor in just a couple of minutes. Does the bike's display show watts in use? If so, any idea what it was pulling in that climb?
 

dynamic

Active Member
Region
USA
In the future, I would be extra careful here:

"And it only happened under high load (pulling the trailer with my kid in it and pushing really hard to climb a hill in a lower gear)."

My bet is you were operating the bike WAY outside it's design limits. It's stuff just like that that will overheat and take out (cook) a motor in just a couple of minutes. Does the bike's display show watts in use? If so, any idea what it was pulling in that climb?

Let me clarify, the bike "skipped" with the trailer weight + me on it going up a mild gradient in low gears where I am pedaling hard. But, priority does not have official guidance on this. It was within the guidance of "similar" bikes. So they were gathering data about it as well. There is no readout beyond mph, distance, battery level and what pedal assist you are in. That is it.

The motor died with only me on it. 250 lbs. I had about 15 lbs in the pannier bag on the bike as well (that's a guess, but I could figure it out, I know exactly what was in that bag at the time). This is well within priorities guidance in that respect.

Obviously, I could have stressed the motor to the point of breaking pulling the 100 lb trailer around (75lb kid + 25lb trailer). And then it just broke later. But, if that *is* the case, it is not the bike for me. ( assuming this was not otherwise simply a faulty motor from the factory ). It could also be the weight + the way I pedal. Which, pedaling slow and hard very well may be challenging for some motors. But I don't know that for sure.

Ironically, due to the bike accident, I won't be pulling anyone around anymore. That very well make the bike fine for me if it was the problem. Although, I was hoping to get the burley cargo trailer and do my grocery shopping with it. And I have no idea what my grocery weight is. But that trailer has a 100lb capacity, so the max load should be less than 120lbs pulled from the axle on the wheel.

Anywho, priority is amazing. Their support is stellar. And, as said previously, if I enjoyed working on bikes, and liked doing stuff like building my own and doing my own maintenance, there is no question that I would keep the currents. But me? I don't even want to grease chains. Hence the belt drive.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
I get it! It's something I enjoy, but I'm not expecting it's for everyone!

Do be careful with the loads, especially when there's a hill involved. Stuff can be fine when lightly loaded, but when you double that weight, stuff starts getting hot in a hurry. At 315lbs, that's a lesson I learned a long time ago. I need WAY WAY more bike than the wife does, because she weighs less than half of what I do.... -Al
 

dynamic

Active Member
Region
USA
I get it! It's something I enjoy, but I'm not expecting it's for everyone!

Do be careful with the loads, especially when there's a hill involved. Stuff can be fine when lightly loaded, but when you double that weight, stuff starts getting hot in a hurry. At 315lbs, that's a lesson I learned a long time ago. I need WAY WAY more bike than the wife does, because she weighs less than half of what I do.... -Al
Then the question is: Is a vado 5.0 igh that bike?
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Then the question is: Is a vado 5.0 igh that bike?
I have absolutely no knowledge of that bike, but I would imagine that's going to be about your expectations.

I have a rather expensive new bike on the way that should be here next week. There's SO MUCH new to me going on with it, all I can do is hope! I know the specs look good, but the bike's personality? We'll need to ride it for a bit to see if it's going to be a good fit....
 

dynamic

Active Member
Region
USA
Well, I decided to document and share my experience as an open letter to specialized. I started another thread. But since a lot of that is here, I figured I would like you here as well.


I hope it is clear.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
It looks to me like the finance company needs part of the blame as well. Have you spoken with anyone there?

I don't know. Looks like a big mess to me. I would either buckles down and fix it communicating with people that are in a position to do something about it (preferably by phone, as it's harder to say no).

-OR-

I'd walk away from it .
 

dynamic

Active Member
Region
USA
It looks to me like the finance company needs part of the blame as well. Have you spoken with anyone there?

I don't know. Looks like a big mess to me. I would either buckles down and fix it communicating with people that are in a position to do something about it (preferably by phone, as it's harder to say no).

-OR-

I'd walk away from it .
So, there is only one company that has had less useful support than Specialized. And that is Klarna. The irony here is they were down when I first ordered this bike, and the support people couldn't even explain that. I found the status page and finally understood why the financing wasn't going through. After a day, everything corrected itself. So, I am trying periodically to buy the non step through model that is currently available. I have decided I can accept that *if* klarna let's me buy it. But, to get real support from Klarna, specialized would have to contact their business side and say "Why can't our customer buy a bike from us?".

I have no intention of buying the bike at my bike shop under those conditions. I even halted their work on re-packaging my bikes to send back. I am talking to priority to see what the warranty process actually is. It seems like life has forced this decision on me. I like the current. I really do. I am thinking about buying some higher quality torque wrenches and just becoming my own mechanic. Not my first choice.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
just becoming my own mechanic. Not my first choice.
IMHO, you'll never regret a move like that. Takes a little bit to gain some confidence, but you will NEVER be at the mercy of a hobby shop again. Then there's the satisfaction of a job well done....

No expensive torque wrenches necessary. Harbor freight can probably set you up with a torque wrench VERY reasonably IF/WHEN you need one.
 

dynamic

Active Member
Region
USA
IMHO, you'll never regret a move like that. Takes a little bit to gain some confidence, but you will NEVER be at the mercy of a hobby shop again. Then there's the satisfaction of a job well done....

No expensive torque wrenches necessary. Harbor freight can probably set you up with a torque wrench VERY reasonably IF/WHEN you need one.
For the lower standard torque stuff, I bought a cheap one that goes to 24nm ish. Some of the parts on the current required a higher torque wrench. I just wasn't willing to go there at the time.

I do agree, it would be nice to do my own maintenance. The problem isn't just not really *wanting* to do it, it's even if I did, the time to do it is just not available.

I could also save a fair amount of money if I dropped belt drive and went with chain. I could look at cheaper e-bikes that are more "beaters" to have fun riding and learn to maintain.

But, then I have to spend a fair amount of potential ride time, working on the bikes for standard maintenance.

And honestly? Bleeding hydraulic brakes just sounds like a pain to me.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
I would suggest you start with doing the stuff you CAN do first. Take the brake bleed job to the LBS. Then maybe look further into what is required next time (if there is a next time), and give it a try. WORST case, it's back to the LBS to let them do it/fix up your mess....
 

dynamic

Active Member
Region
USA
I would suggest you start with doing the stuff you CAN do first. Take the brake bleed job to the LBS. Then maybe look further into what is required next time (if there is a next time), and give it a try. WORST case, it's back to the LBS to let them do it/fix up your mess....
*snickers*. I am kind of too frustrated for the voice of reason. ;)

I am thinking about asking the community bike shop to simply guide me in what to do (still paying them as if they did it). I don't know if this would get around their ability to work on e-bikes or not.

I have one very practical problem though: I still have no way to transport e-bikes. Even taking the front wheel off, I can't get them in the trunk or back seat with two kid seats (and maybe not without them). Trunk racks don't support 60 lb bikes. And my leased vehicles have no official hitch option (meaning I will pay at the lease end if I get a 3rd party hitch). Etc.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Velofix comes to mind here. They're a nationally franchised mobile bike repair. They come to you.

And yes, you can have them assemble your mail order bike. Most will even allow you to have the bike shipped to them, where they assemble it and bring it to your door.

And yes, most are approved to do warranty work....

Maybe it's time to rethink what your lease vehicles look like?
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Thinking about that scenario a second, your local Velofix office may be able to provide you with some pretty solid references for what works/doesn't work in your area....
 

dynamic

Active Member
Region
USA
Velofix comes to mind here. They're a nationally franchised mobile bike repair. They come to you.

And yes, you can have them assemble your mail order bike. Most will even allow you to have the bike shipped to them, where they assemble it and bring it to your door.

And yes, most are approved to do warranty work....

Maybe it's time to rethink what your lease vehicles look like?
Velofix doesn't service my area. Tried that early on and that is how I ended up at the bike shop.
Tried to trade-in my cars. Have you tried that during covid? Lease companies have stopped allowing 3rd party brands to buy their vehicles from leases. Meaning, if I don't want to stay in my brand, my options are very limited.

There are ways around this, which basically involve buying out the lease, and then turning around and trading the cars in. But this *may* require me to pay taxes on the purchase. No one I have talked to can say I won't get slammed by the state later. And I don't have the cash on hand to simply buy out the cars, I have to get a temporary loan. I qualify, it's just much more work, risk and complication. That is the last thing I need in my life right now.

Supply/demand of cars right now: If I leased these exact two cars I lease again today, the lease prices would be uncomfortably close to double what I paid for these cars. That's how much pricing has shifted. Honda and Toyota both have me on waiting lists for various SUV/Truck shaped vehicles. Honda has something coming in to show me in a couple of weeks. So, yes, I am exploring this. But I can't absorb a multi-thousand dollar car change for making bikes easier. Nor can I accept a larger car payment at this time. I may simply need to wait until the natural end of the leases (a year). Not to mention that it is a lot of time and energy on my part as compared to when I have previously walked into a dealership with my car and walked out with a new one.

This is the first time I have ever owned sedans. And, the last time.

I am pretty thorough in exploring my options. I wish I had missed something.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Maybe you've seen this already, but I read recently that some people are making out like bandits during this used car price bubble by purchasing their leased cars at the end of the lease, as the pre-agreed on price to do that makes them an absolute steal.
 

dynamic

Active Member
Region
USA
Maybe you've seen this already, but I read recently that some people are making out like bandits during this used car price bubble by purchasing their leased cars at the end of the lease, as the pre-agreed on price to do that makes them an absolute steal.
One of my cars will break even at most. The other I will likely get some value out of it, but not a lot, and only if I don't get hit with paying taxes on both. In which case, I will likely be underwater in the collective transaction.

so, yes, I have gone down that path, gotten offers for trade-in from multiple dealerships (I won't do a private sale, too much work and risk based on experience), and know exactly what I could get out of them based on firm trade-in offers.

All of that went on hold when the bike thing blew up. I don't need to do any of that if I won't end up with bikes. Today's problem is "will I even have bike's to move?". Tomorrow's problem might be "Ok, I have bikes, now how do I move them?"

I wish it were different.