Range anxiety :)

Sunshine2021

New Member
Region
Europe
Hi

being new in the ebike world I want to overcome my range anxiety. I know I can tune the battery usage using support and peak power in the Mission Control app . I read the documentation but still don‘t understand how to figure out the best setting. I am aware that the settings strongly depend on your personal likings but are there any general rule of thumbs ( e.g. lower peak power to < 100%) to get the most out of the battery ?
(Of course I could aways use Smart Control instead If I know my tour beforehand … .:) )

Thanks!
 

JonFox

Member
Hello Sunshine2021, what kind of ebike do you ride? I ride a Creo and it has plenty of range on the Eco level and of course, less range as you increase power. Eco gives you a nice push (akin to being in the draft of a rider) and likely is all you need in most situations. However, when you find yourself on a hill and need a boost, up the power. Fear no hill when you ride this bike. Go out and try some rides. When you get to half of your battery used up, turn around and come back. That will give you an idea of your range. These bikes are fun and you will find yourself taking rides you might pass on otherwise. Don't let range anxiety ruin the fun, that would be a shame. Also, in answer to your question about Mission control, I don't use it to control power. I have the remote buttons on my shifters that you can use to change power up or down and that allows you to adjust as you feel the need. However, Mission Control records each ride, allowing you to know how much of your total battery you used on a ride, and this allows you to estimate how far you could have gone if you used it all.
Congrats and enjoy!
Safe riding!
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
I ride a Como (45#) with the weaker E class motor and battery. Now I run it mostly in level two boost (default) and don't worry about the battery beyond a weekly charge or two b/c my body only has about a 25 mile range, but when I ran it in Eco, I believe I got over 40 miles on a charge in a very hilly area.
 

jodi2

Active Member
I don't understand yet the question...
The best setting is the one that fits to your needs/to your liking. And you get the most out of the battery if you're happy with the motor support. It's like asking "I've got one bottle of delicious lemonade, how far do I get with it and how slow or fast do I have to consume it?" ;-)
Just take your bike out (best with a computer to measure milage and height meters) for the first rides and try the different support levels and observe how much battery each one needs and you will get a feeling how far you can get with each level and if you may have to reduce you favorite level on a longer tour. If you have a superlight/SL bike like Creo or Vado SL, not to much hills and you fitness is normal, you can also ignore that and run out of battery during a tour, as these light bikes do depend less on the motor support.
 

Sunshine2021

New Member
Region
Europe
I have the Vado SL so using the bike without battery support is always an option. ( The weight and possibililty to use it as a „normal“ bike was one of the reasons I have decided for it).

I am just curious to find out what I can get out of the battery realistically . Of course, this depends on the tour and hills so maybe this „knowledge„ won‘t help me much on other tours and will only satisfy my curiosity if the battery will last 100km :)
 

jodi2

Active Member
If you habe a european version with 25km/h limit and you are "normal" fit, you can easily stay many times above 25km/h and reach also 200km.
And in general you one tends to overestimate the needed support. If you ride with others than even with support level 1 of the SL drive you are already faster than riders more than one class better than you. So you can easily stay all day long in level 1 (normally 30% afaik) or even reduce it to 20 or even 15% and will still have a noticable support, so 100km and more are possible.
Of course you can also spend the whole battery in 30 km mostly uphill in level 3...
 
My longest so far on my SL 5.0 was 38 miles/1500 ft climbing and I used 198 Watt/hr, meaning I believe that the battery still had about 122 Watt/hr or 38% remaining. I use ECO most of the time and weigh about 165 LB. I have been amazed by the bikes efficiency and am really don't think I will ever need the range extender. The app gives you great options that I wish I had on my other e-bike to tune the motor and manage battery consumption and assist more specifically.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
@Sunshine2021:
Your general question can be answered. The battery range depends on both Assistance and Peak Power, and it also depends on the rider's leg input power.
-------------
(too long, didn't read)
Examples for Vado SL with Specialized 1.1 motor (1.6x max leg input amplification -- or Assistance -- and 240 W of Max Power). Let us analyse a rider who can input 100 W into the cranks:
  1. 100% Assist, 100% Peak Power. Meaning, the rider's 100 W leg power input would be multiplied by 1.6, so the motor response would be 160 W. The maximum peak power is 240 W and that would never be produced by the motor unless the rider inputs himself 240/1.6 = 150 W.
  2. 20% Assist, 100% Peak Power. Now, the rider's 100 W leg power is amplified to 0.2 * 1.6 * 100 = 32 W (the motor is still capable to deliver more power but the rider is too weak to ask the motor for more). 32 W of power will be delivered by the motor.
  3. 100% Assist, 20% Peak Power. As in Example 1, the expected motor assistance should be 160 W. However, the motor peak power is now capped at 0.2 * 240 W = 48 W, and the rider has maxed out the possible motor assistance. (Only 48 W will be delivered by the motor).
  4. 20% Assist, 20% Peak Power: Combine Examples 2 & 3: The rider can expect 32 W of assistance, and the motor is capped at 48 W. The motor will deliver 32 W of assistance.
  5. 50% Assist, 50% Peak Power. The assistance request is 0.5 * 1.6 * 100 = 80 W. The motor is capped at 0.5 * 240 = 120 W. 80 W of assistance would be delivered.
-------------
Practical conclusions:
The battery range directly depends on the power delivered by the motor, or, more precisely, on the electric current drawn from the battery. Less motor power = longer range.
  • For weak riders, the battery range gain will mostly depend on the Assistance % (the less of Assistance the longer the range)
  • For strong riders, longer range can be achieved by dramatically limiting the Peak Power %
  • For average riders, the rule of thumb is same Assistance % as Peak Power % (e.g., 20/20, 50/50, etc).
And there exists a cure for range anxiety. It is a smartphone application called BLEvo (it costs EUR10 and works with any modern Specialized e-bike). BLEvo will display actual (trustworthy) remaining battery range during the ride. Why to worry at all, then? :)
1620107155915.png

BLEvo dashboard (configurable by user).
 
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jodi2

Active Member
but it's not bad to compare with other bikes. the funny thing is, people mostly worry more about range with assist drives (at the beginning) where it's less necessary.
I've never had an ebike with less energy than my Creo SL and at the same time never one where I get a higher range. My Stromer battery is three times bigger, but the average consumption 5 times higher. of course also the power 3-4 times higher and the average speed about 4mph higher. which is very little compared to the needed extra energy.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
but it's not bad to compare with other bikes. the funny thing is, people mostly worry more about range with assist drives (at the beginning) where it's less necessary.
I've never had an ebike with less energy than my Creo SL and at the same time never one where I get a higher range. My Stromer battery is three times bigger, but the average consumption 5 times higher. of course also the power 3-4 times higher and the average speed about 4mph higher. which is very little compared to the needed extra energy.
You are right Jodi. My point was the Assistance/Peak Power vs Range considerations hold true for all current Specialized e-bikes, disregarding of the model, version, or battery size. There are other considerations as well. Many of them.

As you might know, I ride a 45 km/h Vado (not that my ill legs allow me riding that fast!). No doubt, achieving higher speeds eats far more of battery than a 25 km/h e-bike requires. I have found that riding with traditional cyclists (at average speed 18-20 km/h) increases the range of my S-Pedelec very much (the assistance could be as low as 20/20%). Moreover, my friend rides a 25 km/h Como 5.0 and I can see her battery range appears just great!

I'm very much attracted to the thought of buying a Vado SL but I simply know my ill legs make the dream never come true. Just need more assistance!
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Rincon, I think the bike weight is irrelevant when you are already in motion. Heavy bike just requires a lot of energy to accelerate (gain momentum). Now, given the rider is 200 lbs, does the bike weight of 26 lbs vs 53 lbs make so much difference? Just asking.
 

jodi2

Active Member
The (e)bike's weight is not thast important for range/power consumption (especially with a heavy rider or if it's flat...). But it's important if you cycle without motor support or with very little. And with or without motor, a light bike feels much more agile and like a bike and not like am motorcycle. But Rincon is right:
What a beast, in the kindest sense. Nothing cruises at high speed like a Stromer.
Here I almost prefer the higher weight and stiff frame of the Stromer at full speed and would feel less comfortable with a Creo/it's weight with such an unnatural/superhuman motor force (if a Creo with 13-14kg and such a motor force would be possible).
And yes, if you have the need for speed (like allday to get to work and maybe to replace a car) a Stromer ist still ohne of the best coices.
I'm very much attracted to the thought of buying a Vado SL but I simply know my ill legs make the dream never come true. Just need more assistance!
Did you try yet a Vado SL for a longer time Stefan? I think the SL drive would be enough also for your legs.
But I guess antother problem is, there's no 45km/h SL drive in Europe, so any SL drive there means motor support only up to 25km/h. If you normally don't pass 25km/h without motor, this almost doesn't matter.
 

JonFox

Member
Regarding bike weight, I ride a Creo SL with two full water bottles and 170lb me. I was in a group ride for 30 miles/1000 feet of hills without using any power, just to see what it would be like and rode the rest of the ride in sport/turbo. Without power, it was like a normal bike that rode well and was comfortable, but heavier, and so slower up the hills. You could ride the advertised 80 miles with support on Eco, in my opinion and more than that if you self powered when on the flats. Range is a very flexible thing. I used up 3/4 of the internal battery on a hard ride, taking advantage of sport and turbo modes - that was a 24 mile ride that took 1:12 with 1300 feet of climbing and going as fast as I could on the flats (just for fun). By the way, that was a very hard workout to get an average of 19.7 mph over that course, so anybody who says these bikes are cheating hasn't ridden one.
The ride pictured below was 45 miles and 2,500 feet of climbing and used 124 w/hrs (just over 1/3 of the internal battery- most of that being in a hurry to get home and riding at the end in sport/turbo. Enjoy!
Happy riding, all!
 

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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Did you try yet a Vado SL for a longer time Stefan? I think the SL drive would be enough also for your legs.
But I guess antother problem is, there's no 45km/h SL drive in Europe, so any SL drive there means motor support only up to 25km/h. If you normally don't pass 25km/h without motor, this almost doesn't matter.
I'm waiting for real Spring here to rent a demo Vado SL for a day, Jodi. No conclusions without the test of course.

Regarding the speed restriction: It takes me 4:00 hours net to make 100 km on my S-Vado with 56% avg assistance (avg speed 24.9 km/h). Now, with a 25 km/h Giant e-MTB and mixed terrain it becomes 5 h 30 min (avg speed 19 km/h). We are talking about e-bikes that offer twice of assistance of Vado SL and with double large batteries.

The Vado/BLEvo information tells me I only input about 25% of energy necessary to make a long trip (and am afraid SL is not for me).

I believe that once you’re underway, a heavier bike does have an advantage with inertia maintaining speed. At least that’s how it works in Zwift! Newton’s first law of motion. It takes greater force to slow down a heavier bike, whether wind or road. Maybe that’s one reason why the Stromer is such an incredible cruiser. On flats and downhills weight has advantages. It pretty much evens out though where I live, on the first uphill. Unfortunately there are a lot of uphills around here.
No doubt a lightweight e-bike accelerates far easier from standstill in urban environment; and the lighter the better for hills.
 

jodi2

Active Member
Regarding the speed restriction: It takes me 4:00 hours net to make 100 km on my S-Vado with 56% avg assistance (avg speed 24.9 km/h). Now, with a 25 km/h Giant e-MTB and mixed terrain it becomes 5 h 30 min (avg speed 19 km/h). We are talking about e-bikes that offer twice of assistance of Vado SL and with double large batteries.
Hmm, looks like you take quite some advantage from the 45km/h ebike.
I guess on that 100km tour you will not come near the average speed or time of the S-Vado with an Vado SL. But I think you will also not be slower than with the Giant, despite less motor power and smaller battery. I fit/healthy rider would be even faster with the Vado SL than with the Giant, as she/he passes 25km/h more easily and more often and longer.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
fit/healthy rider would be even faster with the Vado SL than with the Giant, as she/he passes 25km/h more easily and more often and longer.
That would be my brother Jacek. He regularly rides past the 25 km/h restriction to switch the motor off (on my slower e-bikes) and conserve the battery :) On the other hand, he just loves the power and speed of the S-Vado! :D
 

Rás Cnoic

Active Member
I have the Vado SL so using the bike without battery support is always an option. ( The weight and possibililty to use it as a „normal“ bike was one of the reasons I have decided for it).

I am just curious to find out what I can get out of the battery realistically . Of course, this depends on the tour and hills so maybe this „knowledge„ won‘t help me much on other tours and will only satisfy my curiosity if the battery will last 100km :)
I have a Vado SL and this range question was always on my mind before I got it. But now 6 months later I don't worry about it. Anywhere under 30 miles I know I'll get home ok with plenty of battery left and that's most of my rides. I live in an extremely hilly area but even here there are roads and routes I go where I'll have assist off or on eco for large stretches as the bike feels enjoyable to ride without assist - anywhere flat or downhill that is! That way battery is saved for the hills or unexpected head winds. No matter how many hills I climb I've discovered if the journey is under 30 miles I'll be fine. If I'm going on a longer ride the most important thing is for me to check the weather forecast. I have a number of longer routes where I deliberately pick long flat cycle paths (for instance) because too hilly + long mileage and the 320Wh battery will drain. That way I've gone 50/55 mile loops and got home with battery remaining, usually +25% or so. But if I hit a headwind and am forced to use more assist then planned on flat roads then the battery will drain much quicker then I anticipated. Of course if I go further then this I'll need to be fitter and the knock on effect will be if fitter I'll need less assist so can go further.

But I think this is why range discussions are so difficult - I come from ordinary bikes and my purpose in getting an e bike was primarily help in conquering my local & very steep hills (20%+ gradients). I wasn't interested in going faster on the flat with the motor assisting me. In fact that never dawned on me as a reason to have an e bike until I started reading EBR. You & others might buy an e bike for just that purpose, to speed up the commute for example so your use of assist and battery will be much more then mine. Put it this way - I wanted an e bike where I could hit the assist button only when I hit a hill or got tired and go back to having no assist once over the hill. I think other riders who come from much heavier/powerful e bikes are used to always having assist on & maybe having no assist on would feel weird.

Final word - headwinds are a bitch and should be banned under the Geneva Convention as a crime against humanity...
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
I have a Vado SL and this range question was always on my mind before I got it. But now 6 months later I don't worry about it. Anywhere under 30 miles I know I'll get home ok with plenty of battery left and that's most of my rides. I live in an extremely hilly area but even here there are roads and routes I go where I'll have assist off or on eco for large stretches as the bike feels enjoyable to ride without assist - anywhere flat or downhill that is! That way battery is saved for the hills or unexpected head winds. No matter how many hills I climb I've discovered if the journey is under 30 miles I'll be fine. If I'm going on a longer ride the most important thing is for me to check the weather forecast. I have a number of longer routes where I deliberately pick long flat cycle paths (for instance) because too hilly + long mileage and the 320Wh battery will drain. That way I've gone 50/55 mile loops and got home with battery remaining, usually +25% or so. But if I hit a headwind and am forced to use more assist then planned on flat roads then the battery will drain much quicker then I anticipated. Of course if I go further then this I'll need to be fitter and the knock on effect will be if fitter I'll need less assist so can go further.

But I think this is why range discussions are so difficult - I come from ordinary bikes and my purpose in getting an e bike was primarily help in conquering my local & very steep hills (20%+ gradients). I wasn't interested in going faster on the flat with the motor assisting me. In fact that never dawned on me as a reason to have an e bike until I started reading EBR. You & others might buy an e bike for just that purpose, to speed up the commute for example so your use of assist and battery will be much more then mine. Put it this way - I wanted an e bike where I could hit the assist button only when I hit a hill or got tired and go back to having no assist once over the hill. I think other riders who come from much heavier/powerful e bikes are used to always having assist on & maybe having no assist on would feel weird.

Final word - headwinds are a bitch and should be banned under the Geneva Convention as a crime against humanity...
I’ve never thought about range anxiety with my Allant+7 but then I haven’t pushed any distance limits yet either. I too, hate headwinds!😬