MasterMind TCU for 2022 Vado SL?

rochrunner

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Rochester Hills
There's an indication that Specialized's new MasterMind TCU will replace the current TCU as well as the TCD on the 2022 Vado SLs. There is some information on the display and videos showing some of its features on the Specialized pages for the Turbo Levo, which is apparently now getting it. It really looks like a full-feature device with loads of display customizability, pairing with HR monitors and (apparently) Varia radar units, etc. There's even a way to set the assistance/power level on the fly while you're riding! It pairs and interfaces with Mission Control as usual, and MC is where you can customize the displays (see the videos on the above linked page).

And now the bad news, especially for @Stefan Mikes : they have changed their communications protocols and implemented data encryption so that 3d party apps can no longer modify or control anything on the bike. In other words, it's the end of the line for using BLEvo if you have the new MasterMind TCU! Apps and devices that simply monitor data using ANT+ and BLE -- such as a Garmin or Wahoo -- will continue to work OK; it's only the control functions that can no longer be accessed.

I've been told that my Vado SL 5.0, when it shows up, will be a 2022 model, so I guess I'll get to experience this all firsthand (hopefully) in a few months.

(Information here came from the above Specialized web site and from discussions on EMTB Forums where a Specialized rep responded and explained the changes to the protocols.)
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
It's not any bad news for me. I have the old good TCU in my Vado SL and intend to continue using it.

It is rather a bad news for Specialized. They seem to have gone the "Bosch way" and chosen the "display-centric" approach. Which is indeed not that smart, especially with the display located on the top tube, making the rider look down instead of inspecting the situation in the front of the e-bike. Good that the ANT+ and BLE devices and apps will still be able to read the data from the Mastermind TCU. I also like the possibility of tuning the assistance levels on the fly, although it is again disputable, taking into account the device location.

We'll see how it really works when you get it. And Paolo Dozzio will certainly have to re-write BLEvo.
 

kahn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
northWET washington
There's an indication that Specialized's new MasterMind TCU will replace the current TCU as well as the TCD on the 2022 Vado SLs. There is some information on the display and videos showing some of its features on the Specialized pages for the Turbo Levo, which is apparently now getting it. It really looks like a full-feature device with loads of display customizability, pairing with HR monitors and (apparently) Varia radar units, etc. There's even a way to set the assistance/power level on the fly while you're riding! It pairs and interfaces with Mission Control as usual, and MC is where you can customize the displays (see the videos on the above linked page).

And now the bad news, especially for @Stefan Mikes : they have changed their communications protocols and implemented data encryption so that 3d party apps can no longer modify or control anything on the bike. In other words, it's the end of the line for using BLEvo if you have the new MasterMind TCU! Apps and devices that simply monitor data using ANT+ and BLE -- such as a Garmin or Wahoo -- will continue to work OK; it's only the control functions that can no longer be accessed.

I've been told that my Vado SL 5.0, when it shows up, will be a 2022 model, so I guess I'll get to experience this all firsthand (hopefully) in a few months.

(Information here came from the above Specialized web site and from discussions on EMTB Forums where a Specialized rep responded and explained the changes to the protocols.)
Does our "OLD" fashioned TCU have a battery? If so, I never knew that. Oh, is the new one going to have an altimeter? Now that interests me.
 

rochrunner

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Rochester Hills
Does our "OLD" fashioned TCU have a battery? If so, I never knew that. Oh, is the new one going to have an altimeter? Now that interests me.
Yes, the current TCU has a battery, and the MasterMind TCU has a barometric altimeter (although it requires an initial calibration).

@Stefan Mikes I don't think that BLEvo can be modified to work as it currently does since the new protocols are proprietary and intentionally encrypted. However, it might still be able to monitor the battery usage as usual since the read-only data is still available and open.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Yes, the current TCU has a battery, and the MasterMind TCU has a barometric altimeter (although it requires an initial calibration).

@Stefan Mikes I don't think that BLEvo can be modified to work as it currently does since the new protocols are proprietary and intentionally encrypted. However, it might still be able to monitor the battery usage as usual since the read-only data is still available and open.
I understand that. It would be enough if BLEvo could still read the data. Because no Mastermind can give you this in a single screen:
Screenshot_20210801-163509_BLEvo.jpg

BLEvo can even show more parameters if so desired.

Screenshot_20210801-163427_BLEvo.jpg

The single great feature of Mastermind I can see is the Micro Tune. (Now, I wonder how the Mastermind will work with derestrictor chips...)

Will the Mastermind be able to record your rides and publish them to Strava?
 

rochrunner

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Rochester Hills
Will the Mastermind be able to record your rides and publish them to Strava?
That's one thing I'm curious about. It seems capable of collecting a lot of data, but then what are you supposed to do for saving it, etc.? Does it save ride data, or is it just for displaying it and it goes away when you zero it out? It seems like the only way it could sync with Strava is if it did it through Mission Control, which does have Strava upload capability.

Browsing the EMTB forums might supply some answers since the eMTBs are getting the display now as far as I know.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
That's one thing I'm curious about. It seems capable of collecting a lot of data, but then what are you supposed to do for saving it, etc.? Does it save ride data, or is it just for displaying it and it goes away when you zero it out? It seems like the only way it could sync with Strava is if it did it through Mission Control, which does have Strava upload capability.

Browsing the EMTB forums might supply some answers since the eMTBs are getting the display now as far as I know.
I think that if I had to ride with the Mastermind TCU, I would have just bought a Garmin Edge... :)
 

rochrunner

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Rochester Hills
I think that if I had to ride with the Mastermind TCU, I would have just bought a Garmin Edge... :)
I do have an Edge and as a result even the regular TCD on my Vado is not of much use to me since I can easily display rider power, riding mode, and battery level on my Edge's display, plus I get all of the other advanced Edge features. I also agree that the readout for the new TCU is not in a convenient place if someone is trying to use it to monitor their speed or other data.

One other approach that I'm glad Specialized did not take is Trek's Allant+ where you're basically expected to mount your smartphone on the bars to use as a controller for the bike. I generally always carry my phone, but in a safer (and dryer!) place. I'd really be reluctant to mount a $1K phone out in the open like that!
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
I do have an Edge and as a result even the regular TCD on my Vado is not of much use to me since I can easily display rider power, riding mode, and battery level on my Edge's display, plus I get all of the other advanced Edge features. I also agree that the readout for the new TCU is not in a convenient place if someone is trying to use it to monitor their speed or other data.

One other approach that I'm glad Specialized did not take is Trek's Allant+ where you're basically expected to mount your smartphone on the bars to use as a controller for the bike. I generally always carry my phone, but in a safer (and dryer!) place. I'd really be reluctant to mount a $1K phone out in the open like that!
Try the E-Bike Edge Multifield data field for Garmin.
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
One other approach that I'm glad Specialized did not take is Trek's Allant+ where you're basically expected to mount your smartphone on the bars to use as a controller for the bike. I generally always carry my phone, but in a safer (and dryer!) place. I'd really be reluctant to mount a $1K phone out in the open like that!

it’s interesting, i hear this a lot, but don’t quite understand it. is the concern crashing and damaging the phone? modern smartphones are of course completely waterproof, 30 minutes at 10 meters or whatnot. i would certainly never leave it on the bike when i wasn’t riding, if theft is the issue. as for cost, one already has the phone, so it’s the cheapest alternative - unless the concern is that a bad crash would damage it and it would not be covered by the usual phone care policies etc.

the way i have mine mounted, it’s hard to imagine exactly the type of crash that would result in a phone impact. somehow the middle front of the bars would have to hit the ground or a pointy tree/rock between the horns/drops. i suppose it’s possible, but i’m guessing that in such a crash the phone would be the least of my worries! it doesn’t even contact the ground when the bike is inverted on the horns and seat for a roadside chain tweak, although of course one would remove it in such a case.

9A2E4107-5DBB-4DD6-A441-5B9A314189B9.jpeg
 

rochrunner

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Rochester Hills
modern smartphones are of course completely waterproof, 30 minutes at 10 meters or whatnot.
Higher-end smartphones, which mine happens not to be. It's also the fact that they are essentially requiring you to supply your own piece of equipment in order to get full functionality from the bike.

This might be somewhat of a generational thing: I'm 74yo and my smartphone is not as much of an automatic extension of myself as it is for most younger people. If I'd rather have it in a pocket or stowed in my pack (or just leave it at home), that's where I'd like to keep it. :rolleyes:
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Higher-end smartphones, which mine happens not to be. It's also the fact that they are essentially requiring you to supply your own piece of equipment in order to get full functionality from the bike.

This might be somewhat of a generational thing: I'm 74yo and my smartphone is not as much of an automatic extension of myself as it is for most younger people. If I'd rather have it in a pocket or stowed in my pack (or just leave it at home), that's where I'd like to keep it. :rolleyes:
those are fair points - and of course to each their own… to which the market will respond. the corollary is that including a display and controls is duplicative of something most people already have and use, so perhaps the best approach would be to reduce the price by whatever that costs ($50?) and offer it as an option. i have two e-bikes, neither came with any sort of interactive display, and pretty much everyone i know always has their phone handy. most likely a generational thing!

i would *definitely* be irritated if a paired phone was required for basic operation of the bike. but i’m not aware of that being the case with any mainstream bike, both mine can be turned on, power level chosen, battery level seen, and ridden with no devices at all.
 

rochrunner

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Rochester Hills
i would *definitely* be irritated if a paired phone was required for basic operation of the bike. but i’m not aware of that being the case with any mainstream bike, both mine can be turned on, power level chosen, battery level seen, and ridden with no devices at all.
My current Vado 4.0 has the TCD display but I also always ride with my Edge 1030 Plus mounted and never look at the TCD. One nice thing about the SL is that it won't have the TCD and I can go back to only having one device on the bars! ;)
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
My current Vado 4.0 has the TCD display but I also always ride with my Edge 1030 Plus mounted and never look at the TCD. One nice thing about the SL is that it won't have the TCD and I can go back to only having one device on the bars! ;)

nice, i'm all for a clean cockpit! i don't even like having lights and stuff up there. that's part of my objection to bike computers, control displays, etc. visual clutter!
 

Sheepz33

New Member
Region
USA
Has anyone seen info regarding if the new wireless firmware download capability for. Vado/Como will be available for 2021 and older bikes? Not having to haul my bikes into a LBS for updates would be a huge upgrade for existing bikes!