My VEB Cafe thread. (1st Year Recap: post #83)

christob

Well-Known Member
Glad you made it through without flood damage.
N+1
NCTE make the Thun X-Cell torque sensor and Justin's page on the NCTE sensor he sells mentions something you might need to consider when you begin riding your ebike again: "When you pedal with the left crank it registers a full torque signal, but when you are pushing with the right pedal the force goes straight to the chainring, it doesn't couple through the spindle...for most riders it means a delay in power assistance coming in if you start pedaling with the right leg." Source: https://www.ebikes.ca/product-info/advanced-pas-kits.html#torque-sensors Let us know if this is accurate when you get your bike back.
Yes, N+1... I figured I'd sit contentedly at "1 bike" and not feel the pull of N+1 for a long time... now I feel slightly ahead of the game. (Though, suspension bikes and carbon always call to me in the shops, so -- who knows.... ;)

Does that Grin write-up refer to every Thun BB? (It starts out "the original sensor...") I'll be curious to see (if it applies to the Thun model shipped) whether I can detect that left-vs.-right starting-up difference...
 

drewberz

Active Member
just wanted to say congrats on the progress on all fronts! it was entertaining to read everything and see a complete turnaround. unfortunately parts fail at this stage of the game but it sounds like Vintage is taking care of that.

oh also, scars are badges of honors!
 

christob

Well-Known Member
just wanted to say congrats on the progress on all fronts! it was entertaining to read everything and see a complete turnaround. unfortunately parts fail at this stage of the game but it sounds like Vintage is taking care of that.
oh also, scars are badges of honors!
Thanks, @drewberz! Yes, VEB has done right by me all along.
And I didn't really end up with a scar anywhere from the fall in December -- but I do still have a small patch of discoloration on my leg, where the impact/swelling was. I'll count that as a badge ;)
 

christob

Well-Known Member
Another update and a surprise…
Finally, after 25 days without a bike ride, I took the Café out for a 24 mile trek Saturday; first time since the new bottom bracket and new controller was just recently installed.
The guys at VEB had told me that the new controller had revised programming in it that smooths out the differences between the five assist levels… It does indeed; my old level four and five felt like a superhero was pushing the bike, and they were quite a noticeable “bolt“ up from level 3… Now, each change in levels continues to add more power, but there’s not the sort of colossal jump from 3 to 4 to 5.

But more surprisingly, level one now contributes more assist than it used to…
I’m not crazy about this, because I had come to the point after a year of riding where I stayed almost exclusively in level one and was happy with the amount of effort I had to put in on my regular rides, and the heart rates that I would hit in level one when I wanted to exercise. (Basically, I considered level one as just enough power output to negate much of the bikes extra weight, but not overcome all of it, and bring the riding experience to something like a traditional, moderate weight pedal bike…) Now with the added boost in level one, it’s far more effortless on my rides than before…

I will probably be their first-ever customer to call and ask, “How do I turn down the power output of level one?”
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
How is the new BB? You mentioned your new controller had Bluetooth, can you change power settings using a phone app or laptop/notebook?
 

christob

Well-Known Member
Yeah, they mentioned there was bluetooth (I assume it is in the new controller) -- I've written to them to ask if there's a way to lower the power output on Level 1; should hear back in a few days -- but I suspect/fear that they won't want to do it "remotely" (such as tell me how to use the LCD screen to get into config menus, or give me an app they use (I'm speculating) for shop-floor configuration, etc... The LCD screen is super basic - has no menu option of any kind... but I accidentally hit some magic combination of the 3 operation buttons once, and a set of configuration-type numbers came up...
We'll see. I really hope they'll help me lower the power output -- A) I want to return to my accustomed / predictable level of exercise / heart rate from before, and B) I don't want to burn through battery charges that much faster (as this new beefed-up Level 1 does, compared to before!)
 

christob

Well-Known Member
Update - The guys at VEB confirmed that my new controller came with programming that gave Level 1 a higher power output than before... Old Level 1 was 12% and the new controller Level 1 was preset to 20%.
If I were riding solely for leisure, I'd probably love that 20% setting! It really was seductive -- but I just couldn't get my heart rate up where I wanted, on my 'exercise-focused' rides...

They agreed to walk me through the process to revise my Level 1 -- I took it down to about 12.5%, and now my legs feel like I remember, back on my familiar hills under the "old level 1"!
 

christob

Well-Known Member
Took the day off for my birthday today, not knowing what I’d do... at a weekly coffee gathering with some other cyclists, they suggested I ride my age. I opted for km, but then realized I could probably just squeak out miles, too... a tick over 4 hrs of riding, spread out between 6:30am and 4pm, but I got it done!
 

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christob

Well-Known Member
A belated update to my Cafe thread (I missed posting here for a year-end 2019 recap, and also missed posting here last week, to celebrate my 2-year-anniversary of purchasing the ebike, March 2)...

After my birthday post (above) -- I managed to ride another 841 miles to close out 2019... Not too stellar, mid-August to Dec. 31!
But I began dating in early November, and wow, I really let that new development slash my biking time... Nov + Dec combined produced a paltry 83 miles! -- my monthly average for Jan - Oct was 321 miles/month for comparison. Amazing what you can (more easily) do with your own free time when you are single! ;)

I suppose the one silver lining from such a big drop in riding, is reduced wear and tear on the bike... Nonetheless, I did have a maintenance item arise after August's posting, finally replacing the original chain in Oct. 2019. It had accumulated 6,343 miles and was just starting to show some signs of stretch.

I ended 2019 with 3,296 miles biked on the Cafe for that year. In comparison, my 9 months of bike ownership during 2018 racked up 4,032 miles.
(A very minor contributor to accumulating fewer Cafe miles during 2019, was the reintroduction of a pedal bike in August -- I managed about 170 miles on that bike by year's end.)
From purchase 3/2/18 to 12/31/19, I hit 7,328 miles on the Cafe. From purchase to my 2-year-anniversary; 7,495 Cafe miles.

Counting the pedal bike (which I pull out for rides a couple times a month) I appear to be on track this month to hit 8,000 total biked miles since the ebike purchase 3/2/18.
 

christob

Well-Known Member
Well... I missed hitting 8,000 total biked miles as of 3/31, by 21 miles. (That measure is both the ebike + Bianchi pedal bike miles -- tracked since the March 2, 2018 delivery of my ebike; the Bianchi came into play a year+ later, July 31, 2019.) Fortunately, I cleared 8,000 in the first week of April, so now I'm tracking for the 10,000 mile mark. Only now for the first time, do I wish I'd had Strava that whole time -- so I could see my elevation gain ;)

My recent rides however, are shorter distance overall compared to a year ago -- my riding partner isn't on a great bike to begin with, and is only gradually building up stamina and comfort for distance. So we average about 14 miles on each outing, whereas I was probably averaging about 20 alone, a year ago... All of which means the 10,000 mile mark will take longer than anticipated... (Going into last summer, I felt reasonably sure I could just hit 10k by my ebike's 2nd anniversary.) I may need to start working in more solo rides to boost my numbers... But then again -- this is a purely arbitrary milestone I'm tracking against, so -- there's no real rush!

Speaking of purely arbitrary milestones -- I'm also in the midst of a silly miles-per-charge experiment... seeing how far I can ebike on a single battery charge. I've made 14 rides since my last full charge (March 15th) and those rides total 190 miles; the battery gauge still shows 3 bars remaining, with bike at rest (out of 5 on the gauge) -- though I think finally, during my ride yesterday it dipped briefly to 2 bars remaining, while using L1...
This ridiculous figure is only because I'm choosing to ride the ebike in Level 0 (no assist) as much as possible, only calling on assist (and largely Level 1 of 5, whenever I do) for the inclines I don't want to tackle under leg power alone. Probably when the gauge gets to 2 bars remaining (with bike at at a stop) and 1 bar remaining (when assist is in active use) -- I'll do a recharge. So I suspect I'll total between 250 - 300 total miles this way, on the single full charge from March.