Range maybe just a teensy bit short

jwb

Member
Third week with my Turbo. It seems that I am regularly running out of battery (where "out" means less than 20%) before I get home, which is a 26-29 mile trip depending on my route. The shorter routes are straight up a very steep hill, while the longer ones are gentler slopes, but of course the same net elevation. About 15 miles of my route is on a flat path out in the middle of the San Francisco Bay where I regularly encounter strong and steady headwinds or quartering winds, but sometimes also a strong tailwind which is nice!

Anyway I need to figure out a riding style that taxes the battery less and gets me home with > 20% on the meter. What I've been doing so far is putting in my usual effort and adjusting the boost level to keep me going 25 MPH or more. I think maybe I could knock this down to 22 MPH or 20 MPH on some sections, costing me some time but only a few minutes in all. I really want to have the full boost at the end of my ride, because if I choose to go straight up the face of my hill it's a huge problem to get knocked down to "eco" at just the wrong moment and have to hump up a serious grade using the Turbo's absurd gearing.

Options other than slowing down include: replacing the battery with the Turbo S battery, which should have plenty of capacity for my trip (+35% over the base battery) but also adds another several pounds to the weight of the bike; or changing the gearing to be a bit less ridiculous (I'm thinking a 44T chainring and maybe an 11-speed 11-36 cassette could suit me ... the last thing I need for my situation is 48x11 going 31MPH, that's just useless).
 

Douglas Ruby

Well-Known Member
Jwb, what level are you riding? If full TURBO, your ride of 26-29 miles is right at the limit. Try backing off to ECO 60 or ECO70 and see how things go. But if you want to maintain 25 mph at that distance, your only real choice is the bigger battery. Gearing can help with hills or help you maintain a cadence at the 42kmh limit, but only lowering the assist level will make a real range difference unless you get the bigger battery. The range with the SC battery should be closer to 37-39 miles at full TURBO on a 2015/16 base Turbo or 2015 Turbo X.
Doug
 
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reoutput

Member
What I seemed to find out is that by doing lower RPM's and hammering on the pedals more seemed to give me a bit more battery at the end of each commute. I don't know if this can be replicated with everyone though. I will say when running in eco30 I had 40% left after a 16 mile ride versus the usual 32%-34%...but it was not a fun ride. :(
 

James Kohls

Active Member
Wind Resistance/Drag is probably one of the biggest range killers--especially at higher speeds. Obviously, the faster you go, the more drag you create, requiring more power. Strong headwinds like you describe make things even worse. If you're trying to make a small difference in efficiency, reducing your drag may be a good route if slowing down isn't desirable. Changing your body position to a more aerodynamic one will probably have the biggest change. To make this more comfortable, changing your handlebars, handlebar stem length, or grips with different hand position options may help.

Changing the way you dress and rearranging any cargo on your bike can also help. If you notice your clothing is flapping around a lot during a ride, try tighter fitting clothes. If you use panniers, try changing to a trunk bag that is behind your body.

The faster you go and the stronger the winds blow against you, the greater benefit aerodynamics will have on your range.
 

bazzapage

Active Member
I'd suggest trying to manage battery by using Eco70 or Eco60 as suggested above until the new Turbo Vados with the Brose mid-drive come out, rather than splashing out on a bigger battery. I reckon their range will be better and the steep hills on your shorter ride will also be less of an issue - our dear Turbos are not the best on steep hills - as their spread of torque vs speed will be extended through gearing. Downside is that they won't be silent like the direct drive rear hub motor.
 

jwb

Member
OK, in typical wind conditions it seems like I can hold 22-25MPH in eco70, and hit the turbo for the last run up the hills. reoutput, full-time eco30 doesn't sound like a lot of fun. I wonder what the break-even boost level is, just to account for dragging around a 50lb bicycle.
 

Douglas Ruby

Well-Known Member
For me, the break even is eco30. At that level, I perform similarly to my much lighter road bike. At eco40, i can get max range and ride with my more fit daughter at distances over 50 miles. Average of around 16+ mph.

If I want to average 20 mph, I have to use ECO 70.
 

reoutput

Member
@jwb, yah eco30 sucks. I did the commute for two days and said forget it after that. The bike was stuck in that mode for some reason until I had the firmware upgraded and the settings reset to the USA standard.

Via the Strava app, I can usually average 19-22mph(depending on wind speed and my enthusiasm) but in Eco 50 but that didn't net much more than a 6% difference at the end of the ride than going full turbo. I will update if the new wheel nets any difference if any.