how the mission control assist settings work (creo SL, maybe all the SL bikes)

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
there has been a lot of confusion about this, rightfully so since specialized's language is not clear. the current language around the SL motor on the creo states "the smooth 240 watt SL 1.1. motor doubles your effort..." and then states "rider amplification: 2x you."

the mission control documentation says "The Support level defines the proportion of motor assist against your own pedaling input," and about peak power, says "This feature refers to the power output by the motor for each Support Mode. ... If Peak Power is set at less than 100%, you'll limit the amount of power that the motor delivers and this will create an artificial ceiling that cannot be compensated for with leg power."

i originally believed (many posts here and elsewhere state!) that the support level was a simple percentage of your output - rider does 300w, support is at 50%, motor does 150w. as pointed out by @Stefan Mikes, not so. in fact, it's 50% of the maximum "2x" amplification factor for the motor. if the rider was doing 100w, and the support level was set to 100%, the motor would add 100% of 2X the rider power (aka 2x), which would mean a motor OUTPUT of 200w. the motor is not 100% efficient, so the input would be around 240w. if the rider was doing 200w, and the support level was set to 40%, the motor would add 40% of the 2x of the rider power (aka .8x), which would mean a motor output of 160w, and a motor input of approximately 200w.

the maximum motor output is 240w, and the maximum motor input (the figure displayed by mission control) is 300w. specialized has stated that for the SL motors, the peak and sustained power are basically the same.

i experimented today with a wide range of mission control settings to confirm this, and it's pretty much correct, although there's one big caveat - the motor power is surely in large part determined by the torque sensor, and we really have no way of knowing torque without backing out cadence and power, introducing a lot of error into the equation. we're making our comparison based on the creo's firmware having already converted the torque * cadence value into a power estimate, and there definitely seems to be a bit of lag, a bit of smoothing, and probably all kinds of other mathematical wizardry going on. the data i got (1 second sampling of rider and motor power) is a bit spiky, and there are some clear anomalies introduced by rapid changes of cadence, speed, etc. nonetheless, it pretty much works the way i've described above.

this chart shows motor power in blue, rider power in red, and a smoothed "support percentage" value in orange. the mission control setting is above. for this experiment, i set the max at 100% so the only determinant here is how much work the rider is doing, up to the motor's maximum power. at a mission control value of 10% assist, the actual motor output (assuming the 80% efficiency we mention above!) is 20.46%. it's fairly smooth, but at this low setting not particularly reactive to big increases in rider power, as you can see where i pedaled up to 300w and the assist... stayed the same. at the mission control value of 20% assist, the average support level is 43%. i pedal with 250w, motor outputs 108w. you can see things are drifting up a bit - at 25% assist, the average actual output is almost 55%, and at 30% it's 65.5%. this pretty clearly proves that the mission control "support" value is not the percentage of 100% rider power, it's actually the percentage of 200% rider power (2x you... but really, it's 3x you ;) ) incidentally, this is all confirmed by a specialized rep directly at emtbforums - https://www.emtbforums.com/communit...r-in-mission-control-app-v2-0.4038/post-56053

assistComparison-f.jpg

having pretty much found the assist percentage behaving as expected, i did another experiment, the other way around. 100% assist (so it's going to always try and be "2x me" plus the original me) but stepping the max support from 10 to 90 in 10% increments. this behaves exactly as expected, with some spikes in the data and the big caveat that it seems around 10% ahead of itself - at 40% max power, it's actually at 50%, at 90, it's pretty much at 100, etc.

gold line is percent of maximum possible motor output (240w, 300w battery draw), thick blue line is battery draw in watts. dashed red line is rider power, not very relevant here since we're at 100% assist level and i'm basically always pedaling hard enough to make the determining factor the "max" power.

maxAssist-f.jpg


there is one final thing i need to explore a bit. when i set eco to 10% assist and 10% max, i got ... zero motor output regardless of speed or rider power. not sure what that's about. will have to experiment a bit more.
 
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kahn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
northWET washington
Too bad I only have a BS in Biology and a JD in Law or I might understand your results! :eek: And both of those degrees are decades in the past. o_O

I will go over your stats a bit later.

I settled on values Stefan posted a while ago. I seem to like the results. I still could use a kick-ash button for a burst of oomph.

I know that planning bike rides with my friend whose bike weighs 20 pounds more than mine can be an issue if transport were involved. Her rack is definitely out and mine (Kuat) is probably out or just on the edge. And last week when I needed help getting the rear wheel (clutch issue probably) back on, she said she would need help getting her bike up the seven steps to my yard since she can't lift it. So, the SL is and remains important to me for lifting purposes. I've got those seven steps and then some more into the house. Trade offs. Definitely trade offs.

edited to add Mission Control values:

Screenshot_20210829-132820.png
 
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
It is 1.8x max assist. The 2x is the marketing figure.

Here are the data before Specialized started hiding it:
1630281905189.png


1630281961184.png


1630282021697.png


1630282075871.png


It is interesting how the 1.8x assistance can "double your effort" :) The same marketing lingo is about the "4x you". The strongest Specialized motor provides 3.6x assistance, the typical figure is 3.2x (I have that printed in the EU Certificate of Compliance for the 1.2s), and the weakest of the 1.2 motors (the 1.2e) has 2.8x assistance.
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
It is 1.8x max assist. The 2x is the marketing figure.

Here are the data before Specialized started hiding it:
View attachment 98262

View attachment 98263

View attachment 98264

View attachment 98265

It is interesting how the 1.8x assistance can "double your effort" :) The same marketing lingo is about the "4x you". The strongest Specialized motor provides 3.6x assistance, the typical figure is 3.2x (I have that printed in the EU Certificate of Compliance for the 1.2s), and the weakest of the 1.2 motors (the 1.2e) has 2.8x assistance.
perhaps they’ve changed the firmware, or perhaps the models sold in the US are different? this was posted by specialized in 2019: (of course they do not mention the SL)

In terms of support, each e-Bike motor is slightly different. 100% on the slider means 4.1x rider power for 2019 Levo (2.1 motor), 3.8x for 2018 Levo (1.3 motor) and 3.2x for older Levo (1.2)

the figures on the certificates could also be output power, rather than input power which is what the 3.2-4.1 refer to above. in any case, the actual power consumed by the SL motor on my creo is more than “2x” the assist percentage by 5-10%, and quite a bit more than 1.8x.
 
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Nubnub

Member
For me, 1.8x or 2x doesn't really make as much difference as the 240 W max rating. At 100/100 Turbo settings, the difference is rider power of 120 W vs 133 W to max out the motor assist. Below 240 W max assist, the peak power and support levels can be tuned to provide whatever assist is desired. E.g., at 33%/100% settings, @ 100 W rider input --> 67 W assist if it is 2x, whereas 100 W --> 60 W assist if it is 1.8x. In the unlikely event I thought this was a significant difference and I really wanted 67 W assist when I am at 100 W, I'd just bump up the 33% a few points.

I haven't tried to see what happens @ 10/10 settings - may try that as well. I do know that at 100/100 settings Blevo/Mission Control both report motor inputs power of 300 W even when rider power is much less than 120 or even 100 W. So there seems to be something else beyond a flat 1.8 or 2x assist at different levels of rider input.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
perhaps they’ve changed the firmware

Actually, you could be right @mschwett!

See these figures from my BLEvo:
1630302217964.png

As you can see, the maximum power drawn from the battery never exceeds 304 W. If we take the SL 1.1 Peak Power 240 W for granted, it makes the motor efficiency equal to 0.7894 (circa 79%). Although the data above don't need to be absolutely accurate, it looks that (roughly speaking) 120 W of rider's power can max the motor out at 240 W. Therefore, the amplification factor of 2x makes sense.

I wanted to see what the EU certified 1.2s motor (3.2x amplification factor) could produce. Unfortunately, the data have turned out to be non-conclusive there. The problem is that the motor efficiency is not constant and could greatly vary, making it impossible to determine the actual amplification factor. (Also, my pedalling uphill was not consistent on that ride).

Torque? The values of high torque as given by BLEvo for the 1.2s motor varied between 79 and 135 Nm. Certainly, these data are not conclusive, either. (The nominal max torque for that motor is 90 Nm). For the SL 1.1 motor, the top torque on my selected ride was 32 Nm, and the torque values were pretty consistent. I trust the max torque is 35 Nm there.

I'm afraid we are missing a laboratory environment to draw conclusions.

(Your analysis @mschett is very interesting!)
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
I will go over your stats a bit later.

I settled on values Stefan posted a while ago. I seem to like the results. I still could use a kick-ash button for a burst of oomph.
@kahn: I am still looking for the optimal motor settings to give me great range without making me really tired. I need to find time for several long test rides. The most interesting for me would be solving this dilemma: "What is the best motor setting to let me ride for 100 km on the main battery and still be properly assisted?". The next one: "What would be the setting to ride for 100 km with maximum assistance I could get from main battery + the Range Extender?"

I can see many rides ahead! :)

(I'm tempted to test the range with the 70/100%, no Range Extender, first. Comparable to 35/45% setting of the big Vado, which is pleasantly rideable).
 

kahn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
northWET washington
@kahn: I am still looking for the optimal motor settings to give me great range without making me really tired. I need to find time for several long test rides. The most interesting for me would be solving this dilemma: "What is the best motor setting to let me ride for 100 km on the main battery and still be properly assisted?". The next one: "What would be the setting to ride for 100 km with maximum assistance I could get from main battery + the Range Extender?"

I can see many rides ahead! :)

(I'm tempted to test the range with the 70/100%, no Range Extender, first. Comparable to 35/45% setting of the big Vado, which is pleasantly rideable).
I do like those questions and then, of course, the answers. I'd like to be able to handle 50-70 mile rides but doubt it will happen very often and now as our weather starts it slow downhill trend and daylight follows (or leads) the downward trend. But I just rode two days in a row (or three out of four days) and I can tell, my stamina on day two needed more help from the bike/battery. That would have to be factored in for me.

I do know for me, that if the planned ride is over 30 miles then I need the Range Extender just in case. In my case, I know my weight is definitely a factor and our local hills add to battery drain as I use bursts of Turbo. One of our rides is about 10 miles of relatively level terrain (old rail line converted to trail) and I can watch the battery hang on nicely. But then the hills begin.

It may be me or may be my bike/motor, but if there's a grade, even slight, I seem to need Eco help. Now maybe I have Eco set to high but I found the response smoother with the settings shown above. With the default settings the response was not as helpful.

But what I do know is that I still don't want a heavier bike. I have inventoried what I have in my pannier. I might be able to drop it a bit but not much if I want to be prepared for a flat. Generally on local 20-30 mile rides I have one water bottle. On longer rides I add a small bottle to the pannier (Range Extender in second water cage).

But I look forward to what you folks discover and can add to our knowledge base.
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
@kahn: … The most interesting for me would be solving this dilemma: "What is the best motor setting to let me ride for 100 km on the main battery and still be properly assisted?". The next one: "What would be the setting to ride for 100 km with maximum assistance I could get from main battery + the Range Extender?"

that’s an interesting question, which of course varies person to person and ride to ride. for me the secret is only using the motor at all on a climb. for a 5-10% climb i use an eco setting which maxes the power at around 100w (25 assist / 35 max). for a sustained 10-15% climb i use a sport setting which maxes the power at around 150w (50 assist / 50 max), and i keep turbo at 100/100 as a “bail me out!” setting in case of bonk or other sudden issues.

i think there’s a tendency to simply ride eBikes faster than one would ride a normal bike, which is, of course, a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of fun to go very far and see new places without lugging a very heavy load of bike and batteries. keeping average powered speeds in the 15mph range if one is using the battery on flat ground goes a long way.

and the bike makes a big difference. the difference in rolling resistance between a state of the art road tire and a more comfortable all-weather tire like a big ben or marathon with lots of tread is easily 20-30w by itself, before air drag is taken into account. conserving speeds on the downhill, to be used as free energy into the flats and uphill, is also key. another 20-30w can probably be had by shifting from an upright position to an aero position on drop bars, but all these moves are compromises in one way or another of comfort, power, safety, flexibility, etc. on my creo i have armor tires with very high rolling resistance … but in 2,500 miles i’ve not gotten a flat 😂😂
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Well... I am in two different Vado SL riding situations, actually. Role #1 is a fitness ride. There, my main assistance is 30/50% (and I'm riding on the flat here). See these data:

Main battery + Range Extender
Percentage of average assistance: 44%
Distance: 93 km (57.8 mi)
Average speed: 18.2 km/h (11.3 mph)
Estimated actual range (10% of the total batteries' capacity subtracted): 194 km (118 miles)

Role #2 is touring. There, I need somewhat faster rides.
Main battery + Range Extender
Percentage of average assistance: 55%
Distance: 116 km (72 mi)
Elevation gain: 244 m (800 ft)
Average speed: 20.4 km/h (12.7 mph)
Estimated actual range (10% of the total batteries' capacity subtracted): 145 km (90 miles).
Estimated actual range on the main battery: 97 km.

Therefore: I think I could be riding on the main battery for some 100 km on the flat if I set the ECO to 50/60% and used Turbo only for overpass climbing. It is easy to test if I find time for a ride.
----------------

mschwett and kahn: you're not only people of fitness/weight different to me but you also ride Creos, where the air drag should be lower, especially when you ride in the drops.
 

Nubnub

Member
Therefore: I think I could be riding on the main battery for some 100 km on the flat if I set the ECO to 50/60% and used Turbo only for overpass climbing. It is easy to test if I find time for a ride.
----------------
You might also consider limiting peak power if your goal is to maximize range. Depending on the range of rider power provided, increasing peak power can drastically increase battery usage. Initially I changed from the default Eco 35/35 settings to 30/100 and found it much more fun to ride. But it also consumed more battery. Because all my routes include accelerations, uphill and variable headwinds, it was fairly common to be drawing the full 240 W motor power even when not really necessary. Setting peak power settings to 33, 67 and 100 limit electrical motor usage to approx 100 W, 200 W and 300 W. For a 60 km ride, xx/33 settings will limit battery usage to 100 Wh/hr. So 60 km in 3hrs @ 20 km/hr. xx/66 settings is 200 Wh/hr with 60 km in 1-1/2 hr @ 40 km/hr. Your fitness ride is very close to 60 km/3 hrs. If your peak power is set > 33 it is possible that you are burning battery for minor changes in smaller changes in elevation/windspeed as well as stop/starts. The support xx can be anything you like as your overall battery draw is limited by the peak power limits. I tried 100/33 settings for awhile but did not like it because it did not feel as smooth or natural - the quick boost of 100 W was too bursty for my taste. Maybe try 50/33 for flats, higher/33 for sport and keep 100/100 for last resort.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
You might also consider limiting peak power if your goal is to maximize range. Depending on the range of rider power provided, increasing peak power can drastically increase battery usage. Initially I changed from the default Eco 35/35 settings to 30/100 and found it much more fun to ride. But it also consumed more battery. Because all my routes include accelerations, uphill and variable headwinds, it was fairly common to be drawing the full 240 W motor power even when not really necessary. Setting peak power settings to 33, 67 and 100 limit electrical motor usage to approx 100 W, 200 W and 300 W. For a 60 km ride, xx/33 settings will limit battery usage to 100 Wh/hr. So 60 km in 3hrs @ 20 km/hr. xx/66 settings is 200 Wh/hr with 60 km in 1-1/2 hr @ 40 km/hr. Your fitness ride is very close to 60 km/3 hrs. If your peak power is set > 33 it is possible that you are burning battery for minor changes in smaller changes in elevation/windspeed as well as stop/starts. The support xx can be anything you like as your overall battery draw is limited by the peak power limits. I tried 100/33 settings for awhile but did not like it because it did not feel as smooth or natural - the quick boost of 100 W was too bursty for my taste. Maybe try 50/33 for flats, higher/33 for sport and keep 100/100 for last resort.
It is quite interesting reasoning!
 

kahn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
northWET washington
Well... I am in two different Vado SL riding situations, actually. Role #1 is a fitness ride. There, my main assistance is 30/50% (and I'm riding on the flat here). See these data:

Main battery + Range Extender
Percentage of average assistance: 44%
Distance: 93 km (57.8 mi)
Average speed: 18.2 km/h (11.3 mph)
Estimated actual range (10% of the total batteries' capacity subtracted): 194 km (118 miles)

Role #2 is touring. There, I need somewhat faster rides.
Main battery + Range Extender
Percentage of average assistance: 55%
Distance: 116 km (72 mi)
Elevation gain: 244 m (800 ft)
Average speed: 20.4 km/h (12.7 mph)
Estimated actual range (10% of the total batteries' capacity subtracted): 145 km (90 miles).
Estimated actual range on the main battery: 97 km.

Therefore: I think I could be riding on the main battery for some 100 km on the flat if I set the ECO to 50/60% and used Turbo only for overpass climbing. It is easy to test if I find time for a ride.
----------------

mschwett and kahn: you're not only people of fitness/weight different to me but you also ride Creos, where the air drag should be lower, especially when you ride in the drops.
I am old and creaky and almost never seem to be in the drops anymore - I have vertigo (this last week again) and drops means too much craning the neck upward - a real no-no! I alternate between hoods and top. And my body type is anything but aero these days! In less than a month I will be closer to a century than a half century!!! :eek:

I don't get those kinds of stats. Although yesterday I noticed that gpx-see which can read FIT files did show extra info.
 

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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
I don't get those kinds of stats.
The charts are good for nothing. BLEvo makes nice integrated ride stats and sends them to Strava (but elevation gain data have to be adjusted in Strava). For instance, low average Rider's Power only means you had descents on the trip and were coasting. Same with Average Cadence.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
@mschwett: If I'm not wrong, you are the person who understands the cruising speed vs. necessary wattage. I'm interested to see a chart or a table of that kind for an upright bike. Are you the proper person to ask for it?
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
@mschwett: If I'm not wrong, you are the person who understands the cruising speed vs. necessary wattage. I'm interested to see a chart or a table of that kind for an upright bike. Are you the proper person to ask for it?
there are a number of good web based calculators that use the well-vetted and understood model for bike velocity
74CCF46E-E853-4365-9E3A-9743254B018F.jpeg

but the greatest uncertainty comes from the estimation of frontal area and coefficient of drag of the rider. that said, even without lycra and shaved legs i must be a fairly “average” person in terms of aerodynamics because my real world power meter results tend to be pretty close to what the calculators predict. the real pain starts around 30kph!


877E4A5C-4DA3-421A-8FEF-87CDEBD879F7.jpeg
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Thank you so much mschwett! It seems you gain from more aero position on your Creo. I can see I really need to use a lot of power to go past 25 km/h on my Vado SL. I weigh 90 kg, and Vado SL is not aero at all! (It is different with the big Vado, as that e-bike is twice as powerful).