Longest Single Ride Yet!

Velome

Member
My best advice....ride the Turbo. Compare it with the Trek. The Turbo is a very smooth, impressive bike to ride with its pure torque sesing system. Further the Turbo has many levels of assist from 10% to 70% in 10% increments as well as full TURBO mode. However, the TURBO is probably harder to service. The rear wheel is difficult to remove and the componentry (except the cluster) is proprietary due to the heavy GOSwissDrive hub. The Trek uses standard (though heavy duty) rims, spokes, hubs, etc. The Bosch mid-drive system is well debugged, understood, and used by a number of manufacturers, though I think the XM700+ comes with a 400 Wh battery, while the Specialized comes with a 468 Wh battery.

Ride them both. Decide which one feels best to you.

Ok, thank you!
 

ROJA

Active Member
I know this is off-topic but if you wouldn't mind offering an opinion I would like to ask you which of these two bikes would you purchase at this point in time ignoring the price?

I plan to purchase either the Specialized Turbo or the Trek XM 700+.

Obviously this is an individual choice, but since you are quite knowledgeable about the Specialized Turbo I thought you might have an opinion.

As I might have mentioned previously I have ridden road bikes for 30 years but I have never purchased an E bike. I have tested the Trek XM 700+ and today I'm going to test the Specialized Turbo. I also mentioned previously that I'm in my late 70s. I would like to ride a little further than I do currently with somewhat less effort. Of course there is my 89 year old friend on his Catrike with the BionX D that I would like to ride with at a reasonable pace.

Any advice you might offer would be appreciated.

Thank you

Hey Velome-

I actually planned to buy the XM 700+. It looked great on paper and I almost put down a deposit sight unseen based on the reviews alone. But I figured I should ride both the XM and the Turbo first. And after those two test rides, the decision was very easy! I was MUCH more impressed with the Turbo X. The XM has the advantage of being lighter, but it didn't ride nearly as well and it just didn't feel like a purpose-built e-bike. I also rode the Turbo S and while it was extremely powerful, it was too harsh for me. The Turbo X was the sweet spot- great power and performance but with a bit of comfort from the suspension seatpost and the suspension fork.

That said, both the XM and the Turbo are now prior-generation bikes (replaced by the Vado and the Supercommuter). Pro is that they should be cheaper but the con is that they aren't state of the art anymore (if that matters to you).

But I agree with the esteemed Mr. Ruby - definitely ride them both!
 

ROJA

Active Member
You should also ride a Stromer or two. They are excellent and have pros and cons.

Also, you should consider if weight is a factor. Are you carrying the bike up stairs or loading it in a car? The XM is lighter than the Turbo. The Stromer is even heavier than the Turbo. Good luck and let us know what you decide!

Where do you live and what kind of riding did you have in mind?
 

Velome

Member
You should also ride a Stromer or two. They are excellent and have pros and cons.

Also, you should consider if weight is a factor. Are you carrying the bike up stairs or loading it in a car? The XM is lighter than the Turbo. The Stromer is even heavier than the Turbo. Good luck and let us know what you decide!

Where do you live and what kind of riding did you have in mind?
I purchased the XM 700+
First I would like to thank Douglas Ruby for his invaluable input this past week.

We like to ride the southeastern sector of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. We have some hills and flats in the country where we usually ride.
As mentioned previously my 89 year old friend rides a Catrike with a Bionx D500. I am in my late 70s and I want to keep up with him on our rides! Since he has a 20 mph limiter and mine is 27 mph I believe that should be no problem! :)

Ride-ability is subjective so I won't comment on that. Here are the factors, in no particular order, that influenced my decision.
Upright position
Unit still in production
Easier to service rear wheel
Better readout on computer
Very easy to change level of assist
7 pounds lighter
Prefer bottom bracket propulsion
Superior freewheeling
Adjustable front suspension unit
Rear gear indicator
Fenders
LBS personal friendlier and more helpful
 

Brian Botts

New Member
I have a Turbo Levo S Works and did 3500~ accent yesterday. VERY steep hills and rode 60% on dirt and the rest tarmac - 18 miles on Eco mode.
 

jwb

Member
Not a "secret power mode", just a pseudo-throttle. Once in Turbo mode, if you hold the littl;e thumb-stick "up" it will accelerate to 12 mph w/o pedalling. This is a feature of all Turbo's (Turbo, Turbo X, Turbo S).

There are caveats. This only works if you pedal at least a little bit. For example if you just put the bike on the stand and hold the stick up, it does nothing. Actually it turns the motor off and doesn't work right again until you press the stick down.

Also, the power delivery in this mode is close to useless. It bounces off the speed limiter in a most absurd way.

I find this feature baffling and bordering on useless.
 

Kevin Smith

New Member
Looking for a few opinions about buying last years model Turbo with older tech at a good bargain price or buying current year and technology.

I have a great LBD who has a few 2016 Turbos left - these are the 200W motor and the 384 wh Battery. I can pick one up for ~$2450 CDA + taxes. That's about $1500 USD.

I'm a recreational rider with a few joint issues - I'm looking at the ebike to keep me moving and let me hit 30km rides again.

Would you go for the bargain at the lower spec? Seems like many people are happy with that bike at the ranges I'll be doing...
 

ronin2000

Member
Having ridden both, id opt for the newer lower spec. Simply put, it will easily out climb and out range the previous base model turbo. Aside from personal taste in aesthetics, the new bike is superior in virtually every category. More efficient drive train, superior torque, better pedal sensing, smoother power delivery, and since it's newer, it will have longer support for spare parts and maintenance.
 

Kevin Smith

New Member
Thanks Ronin - I've ridden both the 2016 Turbo and the new Turbo Vado 3 & 4 and your absolutely right, the newer bikes are much more capable and there is only one (of four original) batteries available to order. I asked a similar question in the Turbo review comments and Court also pointed some known issues with the older models.

Big difference in price now though - here in Canada the Vado 3 is $4100 and the Vado 4 is $5400 vs. $2450. Wont be a bargin if it's sitting in garage un-repairable though.

Seems to me the new eBikes only have a shelf life of 4-5 years. Hopefully the more mainstream new motor and battery will see that go longer.
 

ronin2000

Member
Technology is rapidly improving especially in batteries, I'm afraid asking a ebike to last 5 years is about as reasonable as asking a computer to last 5-10 years. Our bikes are outdated less than a year after they are launched.


Thanks Ronin - I've ridden both the 2016 Turbo and the new Turbo Vado 3 & 4 and your absolutely right, the newer bikes are much more capable and there is only one (of four original) batteries available to order. I asked a similar question in the Turbo review comments and Court also pointed some known issues with the older models.

Big difference in price now though - here in Canada the Vado 3 is $4100 and the Vado 4 is $5400 vs. $2450. Wont be a bargin if it's sitting in garage un-repairable though.

Seems to me the new eBikes only have a shelf life of 4-5 years. Hopefully the more mainstream new motor and battery will see that go longer.
 

ronin2000

Member
But is your laptop a workhorse that needs to render graphics, edit videos etc? I doubt that it will stay up to specs very long. I was merely making a point that these things become outdated so fast and will continue to be supplanted quickly, wether in house or by competitors.
 

Cnugget

Active Member
Yes yes.. Not everyone needs the best of the best or computes video or graphics each day... I guess if it's your profession (computer or bikes) then it would be worth it to be at the top of the curve.
For me it's enough of a computer and a workhorse to me... :D or should I say, a workbike? :p
 

ronin2000

Member
Did a 30 mile ride with some steep hills and about 1100 feet of ascent, had 70% juice left on my 691 battery. Averaging 15 mph using the 20% assist mode. Cadence was +-100 rpm
 

ROJA

Active Member
@Douglas Ruby and others, you have inspired me to try a longer ride! My full commute to work is a very flat 44 miles, much of it on beautiful dirt shoreline trails (SF Bay Trail). I'm going to try it at Eco20 or Eco30 to be safe and hope that I can make it the whole way on one charge! (I have the upgraded 691 battery.)

I'm going to try to use less battery by running a low assist (I'm thinking Eco30), ditching the pannier and just wearing a backpack, and trying to keep my cadence up (spinning versus mashing). I'll let you know how it goes!
 

reoutput

Member
Douglas, did you notice a difference after hitting 20% left on the battery? I know bike goes into full cripple mode and is probably doing something like eco 10, not totally sure because the display does not give any information that I remember. Anyway, nice info...
 

ROJA

Active Member
I've hit 20% before and there was no apparent change other than something showing on the display (I forget exactly what) and locking out Turbo mode (presumably you can still adjust Eco to whatever % you what up to 90%).
 

Douglas Ruby

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Groton
Douglas, did you notice a difference after hitting 20% left on the battery? I know bike goes into full cripple mode and is probably doing something like eco 10, not totally sure because the display does not give any information that I remember. Anyway, nice info...
When you go under 20%, you are locked out of Turbo but can be in any Eco level from 10% to 70%. So this is not full cripple, just conservation. Full cripple happens when you get below 5% (or 2%?). Then assist stops and only the lights work.
 

ROJA

Active Member
I just completed my longest ride ever (by a good margin). 44 miles! Thanks to @Douglas Ruby and others for the tips and encouragement!

Bike is a 2016 Turbo X (250W) with the 691 Watt hour battery. I was trying to do the full commute from home to work for the first time ever. 44 miles, only about 600 ft of climbing, 15+ miles of dirt/gravel along the way, tons of beautiful and remote shoreline, and at least 8 bridges to cross!

My previous (shorter) rides indicated (using simple math) that Eco40 would not yield sufficient range to make it. I hadn't tried Eco30 and didn't know how much difference that would make.

I started off fully charged in Eco30 and watched the battery consumption and range carefully. At about mile 3, I was at about 96% but I shut the bike off for a train crossing. When I turned it back on, it read 100% again. Weird!

Around mile 9, I was at about 90% or high 80s so I was very happy with the forecasted range. Around miles 16-20, I was tracking somewhere in the expected total range of 70 miles, so I knew I was in great shape. By mile 30, I was still tracking well with 56% left (estimated range of 60 miles with a margin for safety). I wanted to improve my speed a little, so I kicked it up to Eco40 for the last 14 miles. I ticked along at roughly 2% per mile for that last 14 miles, which means that I *might* have been able to make it the whole way in Eco40, but it would have been closer than I'd like for my first attempt. Crossover point where Eco# = trip mileage # was about 38 (i.e., 38% left at 38 miles in). Final battery charge at the end = 28%.

A few things that might have helped with the range:
- used Eco30 for the first 30 miles
- temps were above 50F the entire time (started at about 51 and got a bit warmer as I went)
- much of the ride is open trail with no stops/lights
- I did not bring my usual pannier and instead put everything (incl. laptop) in my Osprey backpack (I did miss the pannier and would like to try it next time)
- I tried to spin more by using one gear lower (easier/larger sprocket) than usual, which also reduced my cruising speed (as did the lower assist level)

A few things that probably used more battery than a perfect scenario:
- I rode a good portion of the way on dirt/gravel paths, which means more friction/rolling resistance than pavement
- There were still some lights/stops
- On the trail sections, I had to slow down for a number of 90-degree turns, bridge access, etc.
- A few small hills but very flat overall (only about 600' total climbing)

Final Stats:
43.92 miles
2:22 moving time
2:29 total time
18.5 mph average speed

For comparison, I did a very similar route on my gravel (non-e) bike last summer and it took me 20 minutes longer and my average speed was 16.5 mph.
 
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Douglas Ruby

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Groton
Great job. I would agree you should do at 70 miles at Eco30. That suggests at least 50 miles at Eco40. By the way, this suggests your Eco30 is similar to my Eco40 in terms of consumption.