RadRover pedal assist levels

BVC

Active Member
So I got my new controller in from Rad Power Bikes. Sadly I don't think it's working correctly.

Pretty much easiest way to describe this issue..

PAS 1 = 70 watts. No matter what speed I travel at, 8mph or 20mph, it will always show around 70 watts.

PAS 2 = 175 watts. Again - no matter what speed I travel at it will constantly show around 175 watts.


Anyone else with a rad rover have the same setup?

My previous controller would kick whatever power was needed to get me up to 10 mph. If I was pedaling enough to travel at say, 12 mph, the display would show no power being used- "000 watts".


My concern is what will the new controller do regarding battery performance?

Please see my video below for what I'm dealing with.

 
Hi BVC,

That's the same behavior as my Sondors Thin, PAS 1 = 50w constant in addition to whatever meek wattage I produce (broke-ish knee), so it'll be my wattage + 50w
  • Sondors Thin
    • PAS = watts added to human effort (also a single speed, so no gearing to help effort)
    • PAS 1 = 50w
    • PAS 2 = 100w
    • PAS 3 = 150w
    • PAS 4 = 250w
    • PAS 5 = 350w

My 2016 RadRover and 2016 RadMini, both use the older 'faster' controller, where PAS = speed setting, so PAS 1 = 10mph, no matter what effort I put in and the wattage will change up or down to keep me at that speed.
  • Kind of like Cruise Control on a car, set the speed and the car will accelerate or brake to keep the speed constant.
Frankly, I'm not sure which I prefer, but the Sondors (& sounds like the new Rad controller) feels more like being helped ride the bike, where the older Cruise Control controller seems more... vehicular? I'm not sure how to describe it, maybe that it can feel like it takes no effort, more scooter-ish? Oh, like my legs are activating a throttle. I think that's the best way I can describe it.

Oh, there was another discussion on it:

Sang
 
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mrgold35

Well-Known Member
Rad is sending me a new controller in the next few days. I can install and report back on how it is behaving compared to my other controller on my second bike.

Does your new controller still gives you up to full 750w of power as you apply the throttle at any PAS level or does it only deliver the power at the selected PAS level?

I really love the full watts with the throttle at any PAS level. I rather keep the old controller settings than this newer one if this a programming change.:(
 
Hi All,

You have pretty much hit the nail on the head, there is no one-size-fits-all controller program. Here are answers to each question:

1) Does your new controller still gives you up to full 750w of power as you apply the throttle at any PAS level or does it only deliver the power at the selected PAS level?

The throttle is still full power on demand, regardless of which PAS mode you are in (0-5)!

2) My concern is what will the new controller do regarding battery performance?

It should improve range for most users. Before where I would need to jump between pas mode 2 and 3 when out riding and pedaling, I can now just leave it in PAS mode 2 for similar assistance without needing to switch back and forth. I like both methods of assistance for different reasons, but we made the choice to go with no speed limiting and stepped wattage limits in each level. After spending the last few months with the new settings I am happy with them. I miss the speed limits for some uses, but the ride experience is simpler and more intuitive with the latest programming. Our tech team has been instructed to do a more thorough of communicating that new controllers will have these updated settings! :)

3) Frankly, I'm not sure which I prefer, but the Sondors (& sounds like the new Rad controller) feels more like being helped ride the bike, where the older Cruise Control controller seems more... vehicular?

That is an interesting way to look at it, and I think the best way to describe the difference between the two in real world terms. Here are the approximate PAS wattage limits in each PAS mode on current production bikes::
PAS 1: 50W
PAS 2: 150W
PAS 3: 350W
PAS 4: 500W
PAS 5: 750W
no speed limiting in any level as before.
 

BVC

Active Member
Hmmm intersting. Thanks for the reply, Mike.

While I'm not initially excited about the change of power management - I am willing to give the new controller a try. I'll need more ride time to actually get a feel for the new setup.

..we could just come to a compromise and just toss in a SPORT mode into the controller for some awesome/instant torque in any PAS level :p


Also I think I have convinced my father to buy a Rad power bike - either the Rover or City. I'm hoping he pulls the trigger on one soon - I could use a riding buddy!



Thanks,
 

SuperGoop

Active Member
A side benefit of having another (same) bike for a family member is that you can borrow their battery when they are not riding so that you have the option to double your range for a really long ride.
 

BVC

Active Member
Exactly!! My father lives 3 miles away and he wants to get this bike to ride to my home to hang out (we are starting a business and have a lot of 3D prototype printing to do) as well as ride to the local brewery down the street.

But more importantly this gives me another bike to take with me to the beach while camping!!

We do this often with our drone batteries and other things.
 

mrgold35

Well-Known Member
I got my replacement controller installed with the new programming on my bike. The wife's bike has the older programming. I rode with the new controller about 60 miles last week work commuting, paved bike trails, and single/double track dirt bike trails (55-62 degrees in the afternoons all last week). The new programming feels less jerky in the power application since the wattage is limited in the PAS levels. Not too much of a difference at PAS 4-5 with old or new programming when you are trying to accelerate ASAP for commuting. For me, the benefits of the new programming are at the lower PAS levels when you need lower power output for a smoother (and predictable) power application. Two examples of this:

- commuting and needing to slow down and downshift gears to creep up to the intersection. No power surge at 750w when I'm just trying to shift from 7th to 2nd gear creeping up to the intersection in the lower PAS levels.

- no power surge in low speed tight turns

- easier to ride the single track trails with a lot of twists and turns at the lower PAS levels. I rather get my speed from pedal power and have a little less PAS wattage because I feel I can control the bike better. I end up using my brakes less on the trails with the lower power output. The full power throttle is the bonus if I need a little extra speed in a tight turn I can't pedal in/out.

I would be willing to pay the shipping cost if Rad Power Bike offered to reflash my older controller with the new programming.

Question?
The owner's manual suggested a PAS level of 1-2 on steep hills to keep the wattage under 500w. Does that still apply with the new controller? Looks like power is automatically limited to 500w or less at PAS 4 with the new programming.
 
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Trail Cruiser

Well-Known Member
Question?
The owner's manual suggested a PAS level of 1-2 on steep hills to keep the wattage under 500w. Does that still apply with the new controller? Looks like power is automatically limited to 500w or less at PAS 4 with the new programming.
I would answer your answer. Yes, levels 1-3 are below 500 watts (70, 170, 370 watts ion the video). The new controller is modulated by wattage. The old controller is modulated by speed, so level 1 has 10 mph cut off speed, below 10 mph it supplied close to 500 watts until 10 mph is reach and then power fades away.

In the new controller, the low assist levels can also significantly increase range of the battery.
 
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RonDog1957

New Member
I am following this thread with interest. I purchased my Radrover last year for the Berkshire hills here in western MA - lots of ups/downs and not a lot of flat terrain. While I thought it may benefit from more speed choices on the lower end (especially when riding with my wife on her non-power mountain bike), I thought the concept worked great. As I start to hit an incline (and naturally slow down), the controller starts to pitch in and help me out. I always ride in PAS1 so it will max out at 500 W - no worries about over exerting the hub motor and enough assist to get me up almost any hill without over tiring my 59 year old legs. It would seem with the new arrangement hilly riding would require continual changing of PAS levels - to get the boost I want on those steep hills and to take it away as I crest the top, when I want the assist to diminish and then go away as I hit a downhill stretch. I realize there is no perfect system. I hope to hear from others that have compared the two systems to see what they prefer - particularly in this up/down terrain I am describing.
 

mrgold35

Well-Known Member
I rode the north/south paved bike paths that have steep declines and inclines that duck under several east/west major roads. I did the ride with the new controller with the wattage limited to PAS level. I had no issues maintaining 16-16.5 mph in PAS 2 in 6th gear on level ground. I would change to 7th gear on the declines to pick up speed and have to lower the gears to 6-5-4 on the other side because the reduced wattage motor assist didn't help as much back up the incline. I just ended up just adding some throttle in PAS 2 on the inclines and staying in 6th gear on the next several underpasses to maintain my speed. Overall, it was a much smoother ride with steady power application because the motor wasn't always kicking on/off/on with sometimes full power if my mph dropped a little bit (head wind, slowing down for pedestrians, turns, etc...).

The good thing about the new controller is you can almost ride at almost any PAS level to add the assist level wanted to maintain your desired speed you are comfortable cruising around at. I could set the PAS to 3 and ride all day at 8-12 mph since the motor is limited to 350w. The old controller would try to apply full power until I reached 12 mph. I almost ran off an 5 foot slopping embankment into a full irrigation ditch along side the bike trail making a slow U-turn on a narrow bike path in PAS 3 with the old controller. The bike surge forward more than I expected and I was lucky I had my hands on the brakes to kill the motor.

I can see the benefits of the the new controller on battery range, motor wear/tear, and battery longevity. Having a steady power output in PAS 1-3 should be better for all the electronic and moving parts compared to the sometimes jerky full on/off/on again power with the old controller.
 

Mdh01

New Member
I'm interested in the new controller configuration for my Rad Rover...how do we update the firmware?
 

RonDog1957

New Member
I saw in one of the other posts you can return your controller to Rad and they will update it for a $25 fee. You pay shipping to them and they cover return handling. Pretty reasonable if you ask me.

mrgold35 - I very much appreciate your comments. I certainly understand the benefits you have stated - especially the unexpected/unwanted sudden boost situations. My concern for my style of riding and terrain is that on a typical ride I will hit multiple long/steep hills that require fairly strenuous 1st gear pedaling and continuous 500 W of assist to make the ascent. I really appreciate with my current controller I can just leave it in PAS1 for the whole ride and the assist will ramp up as need....and then back off as I crest the hill - and never overtax the motor in the whole process. All I do is pedal and shift. With the new setup I can't see how I wouldn't have to be constantly playing with the PAS level in addition to shifting gears to get the same kind of effect. For me overall speed is secondary - I'm usually just out for a fun ride to get some exercise and I'm just looking for the motor to take the edge off the ascents. I guess I need to try it and see. It just sounds like a different style of ride - worse/better depending on your ride style and objectives. Or I'm just being pigheaded. Maybe some day we'll have the option of selecting between both methods and fine-tuning the ride via the display/controller Thanks again for your comments.
 

mrgold35

Well-Known Member
I've noticed I have to be in PAS 4 to maintain around the same mph and level of effort on my other Radrover with the old controller compared to only being at PAS 2 with the new controller. I need to take each on a 20-30 mile endurance run to see which controller will give me the best battery life (leaning towards the new controller for that).

I added the GOTD motorcycle E-Bike throttle assist, Amazon, $5 for 2 pack. I had to trim it down a bit to fit the RR throttle a little better because the GOTD was too wide (and added a cool looking carbon fiber looking sticker on the end). Much more comfortable and easy to apply the throttle with only my thumb compared to having to twist, steer, change gears, and possibly brake with my right hand without having it.

(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LCPFQNM/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1