Just purchased a 2016 Base Turbo

Douglas Ruby

Well-Known Member
Hi all,

I just purchased and took delivery of a 2016 Turbo (base model). I am 64 years old, 50 lbs overweight, and used to race road bikes back in the early 1970's. I hgave primarily been riding my restored 1971 all-Campagnolo road bike and wanted something that would help me keep up with my 35 year old daughter.

After two days, I have put 45 miles on the bike in 32F to 45F weather here in Massachusetts and love the bike. I was able to average 18.1 mph over a 23.1 mile ride today using largely ECO70% with a bit of TURBO mode and still had 28% battery left. In prior times, I was lucky to get 12.5 - 14 mph on my light weight road bike. It was fun blasting past drop bar "roadies" on the bike trail. I find my hill-climbing speed up by a factor of 2 and my speed on the flats increased by 4-5 mph.

I have ordered (back ordered) the fender/rack from Specialized through my dealer. I have also installed my handlebar bag and bar ends from my old 1993 Giant mountain bike I "hybridized". I removed the mirror that showed me a good picture of my left arm and replaced it with a bar end mirror. I also installed Shimano two-way PD-T420 SPD pedals so I can ride either with sneakers or cleated. I also converted to a 11-36 rear cluster to get a lower 1st gear.

I do have several questions regarding this bike and wanted to draw on your experience.
  1. When I try to go into setup mode by holding the joystick to the left and squeezing the right brake lever, I can only get to the Temperature/Version Test screen. I cannot seem to get to the "Set Unit" or "Set Backlight" as described in the manual on page 15. Any suggestions? The manual seems to set new standards for poor or ambiguous directions.
  2. In the version test, my bike says V1.0. Is there a newer firmware for my bike?
  3. My bike is limiting at 26 mph, not 28 mph. Can this be changed via the dealer diagnostic link or a firmware upgrade?
  4. The functionality of the joystick controller is really limited. I was disappointed to learn it only does Trip (no 1/10's), ODO, and Battery charge % in addition to speedo and mode indication. I have installed my old Bontrager TRIP 3 to get clock, temp, trip in 1/10's, avg. speed, timer and cadence. However, if the base model will support the Android APP, this would be really cool. Anyone have any experience using the "Mission Control" Android App for the Turbo and does it work with the base model?
  5. To help with hill climbing, I had the dealer install an XRAM PG-1050 11-36 cluster to replace the stock 11-32. I had to adjust the chain retainer so that it didn't hit the chain with the larger rear gear, but it seems to work well. But 10th gear is still a 122" gear which is 29-33 mph at my comfortable cadence of 80-90 rpm. Given my comfortable cadence, the bike is still overgeared. I'd like to change the from the 48 tooth to a 44 tooth chainring. This would give me a 35" to 112" range. I know the bike is a 104mm BCD Chainway crankset. Anyone have any experience changing crank rings?
Many thanks,
Doug Ruby
 

Ron Bez

Member
Hi all,

I just purchased and took delivery of a 2016 Turbo (base model). I am 64 years old, 50 lbs overweight, and used to race road bikes back in the early 1970's. I hgave primarily been riding my restored 1971 all-Campagnolo road bike and wanted something that would help me keep up with my 35 year old daughter.

After two days, I have put 45 miles on the bike in 32F to 45F weather here in Massachusetts and love the bike. I was able to average 18.1 mph over a 23.1 mile ride today using largely ECO70% with a bit of TURBO mode and still had 28% battery left. In prior times, I was lucky to get 12.5 - 14 mph on my light weight road bike. It was fun blasting past drop bar "roadies" on the bike trail. I find my hill-climbing speed up by a factor of 2 and my speed on the flats increased by 4-5 mph.

I have ordered (back ordered) the fender/rack from Specialized through my dealer. I have also installed my handlebar bag and bar ends from my old 1993 Giant mountain bike I "hybridized". I removed the mirror that showed me a good picture of my left arm and replaced it with a bar end mirror. I also installed Shimano two-way PD-T420 SPD pedals so I can ride either with sneakers or cleated. I also converted to a 11-36 rear cluster to get a lower 1st gear.

I do have several questions regarding this bike and wanted to draw on your experience.
  1. When I try to go into setup mode by holding the joystick to the left and squeezing the right brake lever, I can only get to the Temperature/Version Test screen. I cannot seem to get to the "Set Unit" or "Set Backlight" as described in the manual on page 15. Any suggestions? The manual seems to set new standards for poor or ambiguous directions.
  2. In the version test, my bike says V1.0. Is there a newer firmware for my bike?
  3. My bike is limiting at 26 mph, not 28 mph. Can this be changed via the dealer diagnostic link or a firmware upgrade?
  4. The functionality of the joystick controller is really limited. I was disappointed to learn it only does Trip (no 1/10's), ODO, and Battery charge % in addition to speedo and mode indication. I have installed my old Bontrager TRIP 3 to get clock, temp, trip in 1/10's, avg. speed, timer and cadence. However, if the base model will support the Android APP, this would be really cool. Anyone have any experience using the "Mission Control" Android App for the Turbo and does it work with the base model?
  5. To help with hill climbing, I had the dealer install an XRAM PG-1050 11-36 cluster to replace the stock 11-32. I had to adjust the chain retainer so that it didn't hit the chain with the larger rear gear, but it seems to work well. But 10th gear is still a 122" gear which is 29-33 mph at my comfortable cadence of 80-90 rpm. Given my comfortable cadence, the bike is still overgeared. I'd like to change the from the 48 tooth to a 44 tooth chainring. This would give me a 35" to 112" range. I know the bike is a 104mm BCD Chainway crankset. Anyone have any experience changing crank rings?
Many thanks,
Doug Ruby

Hi Doug,

I can answer a couple of your questions. I too am a new owner of a 2016 base model, I have had it a couple if months.....approaching 1,300 miles. I am also a road biker coming from vintage steel racing bikes all Camy. The Turbo was the only ebike that felt anything like what I was used to and enjoyed riding. I also thought the base model was a really good deal considering the quality.

1. I had the same problem trying to set the computer but found mine was already set to mph, and the backlight was on. You can't see the backlight unless it is dark, and when it is dark it works well for me.

2-3. I am not sure if there is newer firmware, but I did talk to a guy that is supposed to be one of the Turbo expert in the US. He said the base model we have was not designed to go faster than what we are experiencing. The marketing department is misleading us on the 28 mph speed, and shouldn't be promoting that.
After living with the bike a while I decided that I didn't care. I love the ergonomics of the bike, I still want to work out when I ride it, and a couple of miles per hours don't matter to me. I find mine starts easing off power at between 27 and 28 mph. I do often hit higher speeds than 28 on flat ground and I like the way it doesn't seem to just stop at 26, but rather eases off. I really feel ebiker's are way to hung up on top speed. I am much more interested in the experience of riding and don't focus solely on speed. Some days I feel like going like hell, working myself as hard as I can. Others I just want to putt along and enjoy the surroundings. Either way, I like the feel and fluidity of the Turbo.

4. The Mission Control app will not work on our bikes, even with the big bluetooth battery, at least according to the web site. I read a lot before my purchase and knew the computer was very basic. I too like having some additional info sometimes and am considering an additional cycle computer at some point. It's not a priority for me, someday maybe. I use apps on my phone for more info when wanted for now.

5. Can't help you on the chainring questions, though I know chain dropping is a big problem without the guide. Make sure you can position the guide properly if you do change rings.

Couple of other things. I love the mirror with it repositioned downward (see photo). I do catch a little of my leg when scouting way behind me, but it is still by far the best view I have ever had from a bike mirror. I like that it isn't wide angle and I can actually tell how close cars are to me without looking back.
Having come from road bikes like me, you might consider different tires. I had no idea how slow the oversized slicks were until I switched to Schwalbe tires. Even the Heavy Marathon's i tried first are faster, and with the current Energizer Pros on, it as if a ball and chain has been removed. There are also other fender options if you don't wish to spend the big bucks on the factory stuff, just an option. I love the way the SKS's look and work on my bike.

Enjoy the bike and be safe! Keep us posted on your experiences.


Ron 1.jpg
SKS fenders, perfect color, warm super dark gray, not black
7.jpg
Mirror mounted downward.......I'm really thin and catch a little of my leg.
2.jpg
These are 700x38 Marathon's Puncture resistant brutes.........still faster than the fat slicks! 12.jpg
This photo is with the 700x35 Energizer Pros
 
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Douglas Ruby

Well-Known Member
Ron, Many thanks. Some thoughts.

#2-3. I agree wholeheartedly. The bike is plenty fast enough. Yesterday I was in "how fast can I go" mode riding by myself. When I start riding with my daughter, I am certain an ECO mode at a slower pace will be fine. The 26 vs. 28 is a non-issue for me and the EBR review had indicated this was the case so I am not concerned. I would like to make sure I have latest firmware, however. I'll call Specialized to get the scoop. If there is an updated, I will get my dealer to deal with it.

#4. My bar bag mount has a little place to mount a trip computer. I travel with a dumb phone, so having the additional information (plus cadence) works fine. I like my TRIP 3 and was able to wire it up nicely without getting in the way of anything.

#5. Thanks for the information on tires. Yesterday when I was riding the bike trail, the slicks concerned me since I was riding on week old wet mushy leaves. Narrower treaded tires sounds like a good idea. I will go with 700 x 35 and look into the Energizer tires you referred to.

Doug
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
From Ron's pics, it looks like you remove the bash guard next to the front chainring which should be just a few bolts. Slip the guard from over the crankarm and remove the chainring. Get a good quality alternate 44T chainring and bolt it along with that bash guard and you should be good to go. The IBD that helped you with the rear block will be able to handle this if you don't want to mess with it.

Your bikes look cool! I'm an old tyme road racer, too and the electric bike option has helped me be able to get more miles and smiles.
 

Douglas Ruby

Well-Known Member
I already ordered a 44 tooth ring from Nashbar. Most of the 44T x 104BCD rings have all kinds of pins becasue they are designed to be outer or middle on Mountain bike triples. The Nashbar ring is a straight cut with no pins that is claimed to be good for 7-10 speed rears. We will give it a try. There definitely is enough room for the chain retainer to adjust to the smaller ring. For me, the gearing with a 44T front and 11-36 rear is ideal. I can still pedal in a comfortable cadence up to 30+mph and will be able to have a "closer" 10 speed gear set that has a 20% lower 1st gear.

I'll let you all know how it turns out.

By the way, as long as it stays dry (no snow on the ground) I will continue to ride. I will not winter ride, however as it isn't worth the hassle. We had over 10' of snow in the greater Boston area last year!

Doug
 

Douglas Ruby

Well-Known Member
20151121_154911.jpg So far I have had good rides on Friday, Saturday, and Monday totaling 65 miles. Typical temps have been pretty cold (35F - 45F). The longest ride was 23.1 miles. Some observations:
  1. My 23.1 mile ride was either full TURBO or ECO70% at an average speed of 18.1 mph. I had 28% battery left at the end.
  2. Yesterday I rode with my daughter for the first time. Usually she smokes me on hills and can pull away gradually on the flats. We rode 18.5 mi with the bike at ECO50% and had 60% left at the end of the ride. We averaged 15.0 mph in temps between 35F and 41F. On the flats, I could ride at her speed comfortably. When climbing, I was pulling away from her easily, even at ECO50%. On one longer hill, I attacked using full TURBO, climbing at 16-18 mph and smoked her! <grin> My top speed on the ride was 31.5 mph and I still never went above 8th gear. More and more, it seems like the 44T is a good idea. Next ride with my daughter, I will try using ECO40%. It would be great to go on a 30+ mile ride with her and still have battery left. Let's see what the "equalization" factor is between a fit 35 yr old on a lightweight road bike vs. a 64 year old, overweight Dad on his e-bike!
  3. The riding position is very comfortable for me, though I am still tweaking the bar/grip/brake lever positions. I have already added my old foam padded bar ends and bar end mirror (see above), but the stock handgrips are too small for me. My hands started getting numb after a 14.5 mile non-stop ride. I am looking at the ERGON GP5-L BioKork grips (http://www.ergon-bike.com/us/en/product/gp5-biokork) as a replacement for the OEM grips and my old bar ends. Anyone have any experience with ERGON?
  4. The stock Specialized 700x45c slicks on the bike scared me when riding over wet leaf litter on the bike trail. I ordered a pair of Michelin 700-37c "Energy" tires. These are treaded tires that are supposed to be optimized for e-bikes, with low rolling resistance, yet good wet weather grip. I will give you an update when I get them in.
Doug
 
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Allan47.7339

Active Member
The fender / rack kit from Specialized is good for the installation convenience but the coverage of the front fender is not really good enough to keep your feet dry in wet conditions without a mud flap. I use and like the Ergon GP-3 grips.
 

Ron Bez

Member
Sounds like you are having a great time riding with your daughter Doug, that's great!
Here is something I said in an earlier post:
I have never liked straight bars, they are not comfortable for me. After a couple of thousand miles on my first e bike with them I ended up with tennis elbow from the unnatural hand position. The physical therapist figured out it was the straight handlebars. You want your hands and wrist at a neutral position, the 40 degree sweep bars give you a much more neutral hand position. It took almost a year to get the tennis elbow cleared up, very disruptive.

I also had the numbness all the time. That is completely gone now, along the the tennis elbow.....thank god.

The Ergon grips are great, make sure you get your desired circumference when you order them.

I think you are going to like the narrower tires given your background. The bike will handle quicker, I like it that way.

7.jpg
17.jpg
Origin 8 Space Bar 40 degree back sweep Much more natural arm and wrist position of me. Numbness gone completely.

16a.jpg
Just a shot on my ride home today.
 
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Douglas Ruby

Well-Known Member
Regarding my questions #1 and #2 above:

I called Specialized and figured out how to set Backlight and Units. The trick is to NOT use the information on the top of page 15. That is for an older version of the bike. For the 2016 bikes, Start with the first pictogram. From an battery off mode, you push the joystick in its center position for 10 seconds while holding the power button for 3 seconds (I had to count to make it work). This puts you in Units setup. You then can set units as described in the manual. Hit the joystick in the center position and you go into Backlight setup. This is changed as documented. Hit the joystick again and you go to normal run mode.

The procedure documented at the top of page 15 in text puts you in the Battery Temp/SW Version Number screen. Important to know is that the SW Version Number (Ver 01 on mine) is the version of the handlebar controller, NOT the battery. Battery firmware can only be read and/or updated through the dealer diagnostic cable.

Doug
 

Douglas Ruby

Well-Known Member
Sounds like you are having a great time riding with your daughter Doug, that's great!
Here is something I said in an earlier post:
I have never liked straight bars, they are not comfortable for me. After a couple of thousand miles on my first e bike with them I ended up with tennis elbow from the unnatural hand position. The physical therapist figured out it was the straight handlebars. You want your hands and wrist at a neutral position, the 40 degree sweep bars give you a much more neutral hand position. It took almost a year to get the tennis elbow cleared up, very disruptive.

Ron, I hear you. I like straight bars as long as I have the extra bar ends to allow me to change hand positions. I like your bars. On my old road bike, I changed the vintage Cinelli drops over to Nitto moustache bars. See pic. below
20150623_103816.jpg
 
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Douglas Ruby

Well-Known Member
P.S. Sorry to take my own thread of track...but thought I'd throw in a pic of my other bike. 1974 Caylor custom 59cm frame w/pat.1971 Campagnolo and Phil Wood bottom bracket. Currently running gen. 1 Rallye rear derailleur w/14-32 freewheel and 42/52 front gears. Wheels are 700x23c on Phil Wood rear and Ultegra front hubs. I have the original Campy tubular wheels, Cinelli bars, frame mount shifters, Nuovo Record rear, and about 8 different 5 and 6 speed rear freewheels. Fully restorable to 1974 form.
20150623_103806.jpg 20150624_113806.jpg
 
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Douglas Ruby

Well-Known Member
Great ride yesterday. 25 miles at 17 mph average. The first 10 mi. by myself were at full TURBO averaging 20 mph. I found that riding with my daughter is an ECO50 thing for now. Perhaps as I get in better shape and get some more efficient tires, it will drop to ECO40. I had 34% battery left at the end. Temps never got above 40F....brrr!

Also, I thought that I would mention that the rear disk brake has gone "soft". Perhaps needs to be bled? Has anyone else had this issue with the Formula C1 brakes? Too soon for significant pad wear.
 
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Douglas Ruby

Well-Known Member
Hi Doug,
.....Having come from road bikes like me, you might consider different tires. I had no idea how slow the oversized slicks were until I switched to Schwalbe tires. Even the Heavy Marathon's i tried first are faster, and with the current Energizer Pros on, it as if a ball and chain has been removed. These are 700x38 Marathon's Puncture resistant brutes.........still faster than the fat slicks! This photo is with the 700x35 Energizer Pros....

Ron, I particularly like the 700x23 Michelin Pro4 tires on my other bike, so I looked in their catalog. I purchased a pair of 700x35 Michelin Energy tires and installed them at 120 miles. They have a unidirectional tread designed for water resistance. They are Michelin's "e-bike" tire. We will see how they do when the weather gets a bit better (pouring rain and low 40F right now).

Also, another update...I took the bike in for service. The rear brake needed to be bled. It had gone soggy. Other than that, bike works beatifully. My first 120 miles took one week.