New Creo Owner, first impressions

Saratoga Dave

Well-Known Member
So here we have a somewhat shortish first impression dissertation on my new Creo (aluminum) after it’s first real ride, 32 miles with about 1300 feet of elevation gain, on a very windy morning here in upstate NY (Saratoga County). The tailwind I expected for the last third never happened, though the headwind sure did earlier!

For some weird reason, I felt compelled to try and minimize the assist usage and just ride it acoustic style (no range extender yet, and this ride is a big oval that once committed to, you are going to complete). I was astounded to get back home with 71% still in the battery. Turns out this is really easy and pleasant to ride without the assist, far more so than the Yamaha Civante it replaces. Even with the headwind, almost the only times I had the assist going was on some of the bigger and steeper hills.

Playing with assist levels with Mission Control is a great thing to have. None of my ebikes before had this ability. I found that if I set Eco to 25/35 it was just perfect to get a short respite once in a while if my legs were tired.

My standard rides are all plus or minus 30 miles, so I will be getting a range extender once I can find one. I do like to do the occasional 50 miler, but at least I now know I can ride it by itself if I need or want to.

It doesn’t climb anything like the Civante - that was a real mountain goat - but I knew and expected that. Steeper hills - one of 11% for a bit - were a hell of a lot more work than any other ebike I’ve owned, and I don’t even want to think about a 15% or greater, but part of the reason I bought this was to toughen up a bit. I want to come home somewhat stiff and sore. I still have my gravel ebike for days when I will want a break or just a change, going out in the rougher stuff. The Creo I intend to be more of a genteel experience.

Feels like Quality through and through. Just a pleasure to climb on to. It’s so light! I’ve coveted one of these since they first hit, and now I’ve got one. At 70 years old I don’t seem to be getting any younger, so it was Go Get It. I’ll report back once I get a thousand or so miles on it.

I will be swapping out the 46 tooth chainring for the 44 of the Evo version, though, for a little relief on the climbing. My other current bike low gear is a 42/42, so that will feel a little more familiar.
 
Last edited:

e-levity

Active Member
. . . I found that if I set Eco to 25/35 it was just perfect to get a short respite once in a while if my legs were tired.

. . . I will be swapping out the 46 tooth chainring for the 44 of the Evo version, though, for a little relief on the climbing.
You might try setting Eco and Trail Peak Power to 100% and see how you like it. That way you'll be rewarded proportionally for your effort.

If you go to the trouble to swap chainrings you might go lower - even a 42t ring is a bit less than 10% lower gearing.
I run a 40t chainring and can easily spin at 28mph where the motor cuts out. I tend to just freewheel at speeds over 30mph.

40t chainring.jpg
 

Marci jo

Well-Known Member
Region
Other
City
Central Mn
So here we have a somewhat shortish first impression dissertation on my new Creo (aluminum) after it’s first real ride, 32 miles with about 1300 feet of elevation gain, on a very windy morning here in upstate NY (Saratoga County). The tailwind I expected for the last third never happened, though the headwind sure did earlier!
Congrats on the new wheels! Nice description.
Those darn tailwinds can be so unreliable. Just when you expect them to show up, they lay down and take a nap. Headwinds, on the other hand always show up, especially when they are not wanted.
 

Saratoga Dave

Well-Known Member
I’ll try those numbers in the Eco and Sport (non Evo version). Little bit of a learning curve with the Peak power thing here. I’m also intrigued with the idea of the 40 tooth chainring, or at least maybe the 42. Got a little learning to do here!

I do very much like the 1X GRX shifting over my last bike’s 2X.

Marci, our wind here always comes straight out of the west, and this time there’s plenty of it… except when I am heading east and anticipating it like Christmas morning. A No Show yet again.
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA

For some weird reason, I felt compelled to try and minimize the assist usage and just ride it acoustic style (no range extender yet, and this ride is a big oval that once committed to, you are going to complete). I was astounded to get back home with 71% still in the battery. Turns out this is really easy and pleasant to ride without the assist, far more so than the Yamaha Civante it replaces. Even with the headwind, almost the only times I had the assist going was on some of the bigger and steeper hills.

not weird, this is exactly why you get a creo! because it rides so well without the motor - people go on and on about the range of their eBikes, but the range is actually infinite, limited only by you. I strongly recommend a “assist off except when needed” approach to the creo because it rides so well with the assistance off. leave mission control on at all times, on your phone on the bars, and keep an eye on your speed and power, you’ll see that except for headwinds, climbs, and very high speeds the motor contribution doesn’t do much except shave a few minutes off your ride.

if you’re going to change the chainring, the wolftooth models are highly recommended. less chain drops, lighter, maybe cheaper, Snd more sizes available!
 

jlubeck

Member
Region
USA
Not sure you will use a range extender Dave. I tend to use assist in a similar manner. My bonk or steep climb setting is Sport 30/60 which probably involves less than 10% of the ride. At this level of usage I can probably get >100 miles. I haven't done any rides >65 miles yet with the Creo, but at the distance, I arrived home with 40% remaining battery. If your rides are capped at 50 miles, the only reason to have an RE is for full-time Turbo.
 

Saratoga Dave

Well-Known Member
It would be nice to be able to get away without the RE, and I think normally I can. I do a couple of longer rides with friends each year - the Tour de Cure is a hilly 50 miler that a group of us do, and there’s a couple of others up around Lake Placid that involve a teeny bit of climbing 😎. I think for peace of mind’s sake I’ll need to keep a range extender around, but most of the time I’d be happy if it sat in the garage and I had the second water bottle.

It does seem astounding how much distance you can apparently get out of this if you want or need to. Of course, this is based on only a couple of rides in cool weather so far. 90 degrees and humid may cause me to drop my lofty goals a bit, even though I like riding in the heat.
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Not sure you will use a range extender Dave. I tend to use assist in a similar manner. My bonk or steep climb setting is Sport 30/60 which probably involves less than 10% of the ride. At this level of usage I can probably get >100 miles. I haven't done any rides >65 miles yet with the Creo, but at the distance, I arrived home with 40% remaining battery. If your rides are capped at 50 miles, the only reason to have an RE is for full-time Turbo.

i ride similarly, although for a True Bonk i reserve a 100/100 turbo setting. i use eco for big climbs until i start feeling it too much, then bump it into sport. turbo is for commuting, short dicey traffic situations (e.g. going up a windy hill where cars are going 30+, it's a lot safer to be going 24mph than 12mph), and a really big bonk.

here's an example i shared a while back of my longest creo ride. not my harder ride by any stretch - you'll note there are no climbs over about 500 feet, which is unusual for this part of the world - but i barely made a dent in the battery, using a bit under 30 percent. here's an interesting thought experiment: my average "flat ground" speed on most of this ride was around 18mph. to increase that by just 4mph to 22 would require 120watts from the motor, or 150 watts from the battery. the ride would be something over an hour shorter, call it 6.5 hours, requiring a massive 1kw battery, all for an hour and a half less riding to cover the same distance a bit faster. i would never have attempted this ride without an eBike, but i truly believe that the vast majority of riders on well designed eBikes don't need as much assist as the range nazis would have you believe.

lighthouse.jpg


here's the motor power graph from the specialized ride app:

lighthouseMotor.jpg


one could pretty easily write an equation, motor power is a factor of grade/slope and time since start of ride 😅
 
Last edited:

jlubeck

Member
Region
USA
I should add that I have found brief bursts of Turbo to be a massive safety benefit in dense traffic situations, ie, accelerating to make a left hand turn, pulling out from a dead stop on a incline and reducing the amount of time I need to spend on a high trafficked climb. Added up however, no significant effect on battery range.
 

John in CA

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Berkeley, CA
Balancing with a Mountain Dew bottle shoved into the pedal may possibly not be the best solution. Time to order a Clickstand, I guess.
Here's a kickstand to consider. I suggested this on another thread, and the person ordered it and liked it.

I bought a Range Extender here and was pleased by their excellent service:

Note: RE cable sold separately because there are two versions.
 
Last edited:

JoshPDX

New Member
@Saratoga Dave - I'm going to accept that I'm your stalker and also made the journey from Yamaha Civante to Turbo Creo. Lol. In all truth I *wanted* a carbon creo at the time I bought the Civante, I just wasn't read to pay 2x the price. Specialized sale on XL at $5200 and a mid life crisis later I've got a stealthy looking black beauty in the stable.

The Civante was a V8 mustang. Torque for days, felt heavy but you could beat the hell out of it and it made a lot of creaks and rattles but it would go like hell. The cadence sensor in it is nice, one the best I've used. But everything about that bike felt like all the money went into the motor and the rest was...built to a budget.

The Creo on the other hand... woah. It's like a fully tricked out BMW M3. Feels light, nimble, wants to be wound up a bit. But it's not going to rip stumps out of the ground for you. And...I think I much prefer that? It's so light, when I climb out of the saddle it really does feel just like a regular bike. The drive train is absolutely silent*. Well except when I'm running right in the mid gears of the cassette. I've got a lot of gear hunting that I need to take it back to the shop for. At the extremes it runs great, and once it settles into a spot it's silent. But it hops gears a bit and gets a lot of chatter without some fidgeting of the shift lever. I think that's correctable.

Future shock is amazing. The battery seems to run forever. And it's just exactly what I wanted in terms of the motor staying out of the way. I think I'm averaging around 31% assist on most of my rides and that's with some decent hill climbing (1000ft in 10 miles). I'm a Covid long hauler and I blew out a hip from a running injury I've never been able to mend since Covid and this is just what the doctor ordered. My XL had a 110mm stem and I swapped it for an 80mm with a bit of rise and that fixed my reach issues. Now it's a lot more nimble feeling and my seating position feels great. I just want nothing more than to get out and ride now :)

This is an incredible piece of modern technology.

My wife took over the Civante and now that's her daily commute mule. The battery life is still great, it's a lovely bike to ride and the aluminum frame can stand up to her oopsies. But I'm itching for summer to finally arrive in the PNW so this beauty can get out and stretch it's legs more.

1654902016841.png
 

Saratoga Dave

Well-Known Member
Well, we don’t have a dog so I guess a stalker will be fine. I think you’ve nailed the Civante thing completely. It was a terrific, powerful device, but it did have those creaks and rattles. You could put in Standard and just fly across the cornfields across the river. But I had a tough time with the 2X drivetrain as well, though on balance I have nothing negative to say about that bike.

But every time I come in from a ride on that Creo, I spend five minutes telling my wife how fantastic and well crafted and just pure quality it is. Like you, I coveted that thing since the first time I saw one, and finally the spring sale pushed me over the edge.

I had the bike shop swap out the 46 chainring for a 42 last week, and while they were at it they played a little with the indexing. Cleaned a little bit of vagueness right out of the middle range of the cassette.