Giant SyncDrive Pro 2020 "tuning"

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Many options exist to de-restrict Yamaha or SyncDrive motors. The problem is not only the SyncDrive Pro (Yamaha PW-X2) is customised for Giant but also the 2020 Giant e-bikes use the speed-sensor magnet on the rear brake rotor (it was on a spoke before), and the speed sensor is now on the inside of the chain-stay. That makes many "tuning" solutions such as the Badass 4 probably useless.

There is an electronic solution called VOLspeed V2 for Giant Syncdrive Sport / Pro:

Since my Trance E+ 2 Pro is now equipped with the older EVO display (instead of the newer RideControl One remote), I might be tempted to try the VolSpeed. Of course for use of the bike on the private property only!

I asked ebiketuning for more information, and especially for the setup instruction PDF. Will see.

Thoughts?
 

Mtl_Biker

Active Member
Many options exist to de-restrict Yamaha or SyncDrive motors. The problem is not only the SyncDrive Pro (Yamaha PW-X2) is customised for Giant but also the 2020 Giant e-bikes use the speed-sensor magnet on the rear brake rotor (it was on a spoke before), and the speed sensor is now on the inside of the chain-stay. That makes many "tuning" solutions such as the Badass 4 probably useless.

There is an electronic solution called VOLspeed V2 for Giant Syncdrive Sport / Pro:

Since my Trance E+ 2 Pro is now equipped with the older EVO display (instead of the newer RideControl One remote), I might be tempted to try the VolSpeed. Of course for use of the bike on the private property only!

I asked ebiketuning for more information, and especially for the setup instruction PDF. Will see.

Thoughts?
From the photo on their site, it looks just about exactly like the BikeSpeed RS. Hard to tell, but I bet it's the same unit, perhaps just rebranded.

I tried for several months (during our winter when I couldn't ride anyway) to install it on my 2019 Explore E+1 GTS and finally gave up. I just couldn't get the device and all the wires and connectors to fit back into the tubes without pinching when pivoting the motor back in place. Believe me, I really really tried. I had the bike upside down (hanging on ropes from the 2nd floor mezzanine above my dining room) and there was just no way. I'm of the opinion that because my bike was a "small" frame size, there was less room in the tubes than on larger frame sizes.

And when I finally gave up and tried to get only the stock wiring and connections back in place I also failed. SIGH And then finally also gave up. I ended up bringing the bike to my dealer and he had the bike for a week before being able to start work on it, and then the job took over 2 hours for him!

So I never actually got to try it and my bike is back to stock form now.

I wish you the best of luck if you go ahead and try this.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
From the photo on their site, it looks just about exactly like the BikeSpeed RS. Hard to tell, but I bet it's the same unit, perhaps just rebranded.

I tried for several months (during our winter when I couldn't ride anyway) to install it on my 2019 Explore E+1 GTS and finally gave up. I just couldn't get the device and all the wires and connectors to fit back into the tubes without pinching when pivoting the motor back in place. Believe me, I really really tried. I had the bike upside down (hanging on ropes from the 2nd floor mezzanine above my dining room) and there was just no way. I'm of the opinion that because my bike was a "small" frame size, there was less room in the tubes than on larger frame sizes.

And when I finally gave up and tried to get only the stock wiring and connections back in place I also failed. SIGH And then finally also gave up. I ended up bringing the bike to my dealer and he had the bike for a week before being able to start work on it, and then the job took over 2 hours for him!

So I never actually got to try it and my bike is back to stock form now.

I wish you the best of luck if you go ahead and try this.
It's not encouraging. Thank you for the honest information!
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Many options exist to de-restrict Yamaha or SyncDrive motors. The problem is not only the SyncDrive Pro (Yamaha PW-X2) is customised for Giant but also the 2020 Giant e-bikes use the speed-sensor magnet on the rear brake rotor (it was on a spoke before), and the speed sensor is now on the inside of the chain-stay. That makes many "tuning" solutions such as the Badass 4 probably useless.

There is an electronic solution called VOLspeed V2 for Giant Syncdrive Sport / Pro:

Since my Trance E+ 2 Pro is now equipped with the older EVO display (instead of the newer RideControl One remote), I might be tempted to try the VolSpeed. Of course for use of the bike on the private property only!

I asked ebiketuning for more information, and especially for the setup instruction PDF. Will see.

Thoughts?

There is another option for the 2020 bikes with the integrated speed sensor.

Some owners have changed back to the original sensor and wheel magnet to use the original Badass box tuner.

1592504862681.png
 
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
I'm more afraid of such major change than dismantling the motor ;)
Thank you FlatSix for the suggestion!
P.S. The technical principle of the VolSpeed is even more obscure to me. What speed will the display show, for instance?
 

Mtl_Biker

Active Member
I'm more afraid of such major change than dismantling the motor ;)
Thank you FlatSix for the suggestion!
P.S. The technical principle of the VolSpeed is even more obscure to me. What speed will the display show, for instance?
I don't think that would be any more difficult than installing the VolSpeed (or BikeSpeed RS). That connector is down at the motor but installing the original sensor should be quite easy. But... is there any guarantee that doing so would actually work with those new bikes? Maybe, maybe not. Personally I wouldn't take the chance.

The speed display (and distance) with the VolSpeed (and BikeSpeed RS, and SpeedBox 2) would correctly show the speed. And that's one of the selling points of those devices. Unlike the other method of fooling with the magnets, etc.
 

iskjone

Active Member
I don't give a twit what my exact speed is at any time. I have cruise, wow, yahooo and "I better get on the binders." I use the wind in my face to measure fun. Life is complicated only because we choose to make it that way.
 

Mtl_Biker

Active Member
I don't give a twit what my exact speed is at any time. I have cruise, wow, yahooo and "I better get on the binders." I use the wind in my face to measure fun. Life is complicated only because we choose to make it that way.
Unfortunately, speed and distance are tied together in the computer. So if your speed is off, so is your distance. So the odometer reading could be way off which might be an issue when it comes to needed service or resale of the bike. I think it's important to keep this accurate. But like you, I rarely look at the actual speed on the bike computer, or the distance. The only thing I care about seeing while riding is my cadence. I get my speed and distance from my Apple Watch and record it all through Strava.

Cheers!
 

Mtl_Biker

Active Member
The first vital tool needed for the electronic tuning has just arrived!

View attachment 56568
It looks the tuning will be an expensive process ;)
I don't quite understand... is that a puller? If so, that only means you'll be able to remove the crank. What am I missing? How will you "tune" the bike? Are you going to try installing one of those devices we talked about? If that's what you will do, I strongly recommend you document (photograph) very very carefully how the existing wires and connectors are routed. I failed to do that, and then was unable to figure out how to re-seat them properly so that they don't pinch when pivoting the motor back in place.

Best of luck!
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
That's the "Lockring bottom bracket extractor" for Yamaha Giant motors. First, you remove the crank with the ISIS puller but then you need to remove the chainring lockring; the special tool as described is necessary. Then, my brother will install the VOLspeed V2 inside the motor chamber. He is an apt mechanic and he loved the User Manual for VOLspeed V2 when he saw it, so accurate and detailed it was.

My intention is to shift the restriction to 32 km/h because these are speeds I and my brother normally ride on-road. Even if we often ride slower than that, the higher speed is needed for escaping dangerous situations on roads. 25 km/h is really too slow a speed. On the trail, the ride speed is much lower and the derestrictor will be off. VOLSpeed V2 always starts in the restricted mode and you have to press a combination of buttons on the remote to derestrict the bike. Which is very smart.

Thank you for wishing us luck! We need good luck ;)
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
It is frame M Trance E+. According to the user manual, you mount this small dongle inside the motor chamber. We'll see...
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
VOLspeed V2 Installation & Setup

As @Mtl_Biker truly said, the installation and setup of an internal tuning module for Giant is the task for bravehearts. Fortunately, my brother Jacek is not only an apt mechanic but he also has a good visual memory, can understand how and why something was made, learns quickly and never gives up. The setup of the VOLspeed V2 in the Giant Trance E+2 Pro was an ordeal and struggle but it ended up well.

1593152270524.png

Jacek making a 16 mm hex wrench that turned out to be not needed after all.

1593152371497.png

None of us was familiar with the modern "self-extracting" cranks. The secret is you don't need the ISIS crank puller at all in this e-bike. You just insert a 6 mm hex wrench into the bolt socket and just slowly unscrew it with big torque. The process is slow but the crank gradually extracts itself. Here: The drive-side crank pulled out.


1593152622903.png

You need to remove the chainguard first, the chain next before the chainring is to be removed. To remove the chainring lockring, you need the "lockring bottom bracket extractor for Yamaha Giant motors", here the one from Cyclus Tools, US$75. The lockring unscrews clockwise.

1593152815395.png

Here, the chainring was already removed. The next step is to remove the battery and also remove the bottom, right and left motor covers.

1593153031026.png

You also need to remove the wiring harness. Here, the doggie Uzi is trying to help us.

1593153128825.png

Any part removed and it screws was meticulously placed on a large piece of cardboard.

1593153244105.png

The motor exposed. Following @Mtl_Biker advice, I was taking photos to recollect how the cables were originally routed and where the connectors were placed.

1593153348435.png

Here, the bike was upside down. Another photo to memorise the cable and connector locations.

1593153441632.png

The bike on its wheels again. The electronics fully exposed. You can see the VOLspeed V2 connected to the bike's system. Electronically, it is a very easy work. You never disconnect the red connectors! The tuning module is connected in series: between the speed sensor cable and the controller; and between the controller and the display. Nothing can go wrong here.


At this stage, you do the electronic setup. The battery has to be reinserted and the power is to be turned on with the remote. The monitoring of the setup is done either on the EVO (or Charge) display or in the RideControl App on a smartphone in case of the RideControl One remote. You press a sequence using Up and Down Arrow buttons and the display will show 11.1 km/h, which means the tuning module is active. The next button press sequence allows you to set the restriction speed (from 25 to 99 km/h; the default is 32 km/h or 20 mph) and enter the proper wheel circumference (it was set properly by factory). After the setup has been done, you switch the power off and remove the battery again to reassemble the bike.

1593154054451.png

Now, the hard part was ahead. Putting the things back, especially to reroute cables and fit connectors was a true ordeal, which took Jacek several hours. The only place where you can fit the tuning module dongle is inside the downtube under the rear-brake cable. Jacek spent hours of frustration, consulting the photos and patiently fitting the cables and connectors. He succeded. After he was able to replace the bottom motor cover, it meant the hardest part was over. Yet he also had to replace the wiring harness, which was not an easy task either. The final assembly of the bike was the easiest part. To fasten the cranks back, he eventually used an automotive torque wrench set to 40 Nm. The bike instructions reads "50 Nm" but Jacek didn't want to overdo it. All in all, the cranks were in the place, the chain properly placed on the chainring for the "narrow-wide" pattern, and Jacek even remembered to turn the Shadow+ clutch in the derailleur on.

After midnight, I test-rode my Trance in my place. With increased pedalling assistance and at pretty high cadence, the Trance reached 33.2 km/h max.The motor cut-off was soft. The tuning module worked very nicely! I also noticed the higher speed meant significant load on the battery.

P.S. @RabH, your e-bike still 15 mph? ;)
 
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Mtl_Biker

Active Member
VOLspeed V2 Installation & Setup

As @Mtl_Biker truly said, the installation and setup of an internal tuning module for Giant is the task for bravehearts. Fortunately, my brother Jacek is not only an apt mechanic but he also has a good visual memory, can understand how and why something was made, learns quickly and never gives up. The setup of the VOLspeed V2 in the Giant Trance E+2 Pro was an ordeal and struggle but it ended up well.

View attachment 56749
Jacek making a 16 mm hex wrench that turned out to be not needed after all.

View attachment 56750
None of us was familiar with the modern "self-extracting" cranks. The secret is you don't need the ISIS crank puller at all in this e-bike. You just insert a 6 mm hex wrench into the bolt socket and just slowly unscrew it with big torque. The process is slow but the crank gradually extracts itself. Here: The drive-side crank pulled out.


View attachment 56751
You need to remove the chainguard first, the chain next before the chainring is to be removed. To remove the chainring lockring, you need the "lockring bottom bracket extractor for Yamaha Giant motors", here the one from Cyclus Tools, US$75. The lockring unscrews clockwise.

View attachment 56752
Here, the chainring was already removed. The next step is to remove the battery and also remove the bottom, right and left motor covers.

View attachment 56753
You also need to remove the wiring harness. Here, the doggie Uzi is trying to help us.

View attachment 56754
Any part removed and it screws was meticulously placed on a large piece of cardboard.

View attachment 56755
The motor exposed. Following @Mtl_Biker advice, I was taking photos to recollect how the cables were originally routed and where the connectors were placed.

View attachment 56756
Here, the bike was upside down. Another photo to memorise the cable and connector locations.

View attachment 56757
The bike on its wheels again. The electronics fully exposed. You can see the VOLspeed V2 connected to the bike's system. Electronically, it is a very easy work. You never disconnect the red connectors! The tuning module is connected in series: between the speed sensor cable and the controller; and between the controller and the display. Nothing can go wrong here.


At this stage, you do the electronic setup. The battery has to be reinserted and the power is to be turned on with the remote. The monitoring of the setup is done either on the EVO (or Charge) display or in the RideControl App on a smartphone in case of the RideControl One remote. You press a sequence using Up and Down Arrow buttons and the display will show 11.1 km/h, which means the tuning module is active. The next button press sequence allows you to set the restriction speed (from 25 to 99 km/h; the default is 32 km/h or 20 mph) and enter the proper wheel circumference (it was set properly by factory). After the setup has been done, you switch the power off and remove the battery again to reassemble the bike.

View attachment 56758
Now, the hard part was ahead. Putting the things back, especially to reroute cables and fit connectors was a true ordeal, which took Jacek several hours. The only place where you can fit the tuning module dongle is inside the downtube under the rear-brake cable. Jacek spent hours of frustration, consulting the photos and patiently fitting the cables and connectors. He succeded. After he was able to replace the bottom motor cover, it meant the hardest part was over. Yet he also had to replace the wiring harness, which was not an easy task either. The final assembly of the bike was the easiest part. To fasten the cranks back, he eventually used an automotive torque wrench set to 40 Nm. The bike instructions reads "50 Nm" but Jacek didn't want to overdo it. All in all, the cranks were in the place, the chain properly placed on the chainring for the "narrow-wide" pattern, and Jacek even remembered to turn the Shadow+ clutch in the derailleur on.

After midnight, I test-rode my Trance in my place. With increased pedalling assistance and at pretty high cadence, the Trance reached 33.2 km/h max.The motor cut-off was soft. The tuning module worked very nicely! I also noticed the higher speed meant significant load on the battery.

P.S. @RabH, your e-bike still 15 mph? ;)
Congratulations on the successful install! Beautifully documented too! I'm sure it will be a help to others in the future.

"Jacek spent hours of frustration..." He is a better man than I am, that's for sure! I tried and tried and finally had to give up my own installation. I may be wrong, but I really think my failure was due to the small frame size of my Explore E+1, with less space in the tubes to put the device, connectors and wires. And there were several obstructions (reinforcements?) in the ends of the tubes, making it extremely difficult and for me, impossible to complete.

Good for you!

Ride in good health!