Specialized Turbo Issue

GeePee

New Member
I have been having a consistent issue with my Specialized Turbo and am wondering if this has happened to anyone else.
My ride often involves dealing with a strong headwind. After 20 minutes of riding into these conditions the Bike drops out of Turbo mode and goes into regen mode. Once this starts it repeats the fault multiple times for the rest of the ride.
I took the bike back for repair, I was told that it was fixed but the issue continued. Specialized then replaced my bike but the problem is still happening on the new bass. Specialized's service has been excellent but I am really frustrated. When you need the assistance the bike fails. I am sure it has something to do with the duress on the bike caused by the headwind but it surely should not happen.

Anyone else experienced this?
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
How strong is the wind? I commuted several times without issues in 15mph wind

how much total weight is the bike carrying?(bike+rider+bags/panniers)
 

GeePee

New Member
Hi, I commute along a path next to a bay so it's windy. 20mph plus headwind.
With the previous bike I knew upon leaving work if the bike would glitch as soon as I felt the wind. No wind.....perfect commute. Good headwind and the bike glitches everytime after about 20 minutes. The replacement bike is doing the same.
Weight on the bass is simply ME, I weigh 98kilos.
 

Marko

Active Member
That is some serious headwind, even with Turbo mode. Could this be some sort of overheating issue. Maybe the sw cuts off power when riding long to such a heavy load, although I dont understand why it would drop it to Regen and not Off. I assume this does not occur in Eco mode. If it doesnt, you could try using Eco mode in 90% and if still occurs lower the percentage to see if it will help.

Here's what Stromer 2 support page says on the issue of temp control: http://www.stromerbike.com

On a side note: I calculated the energy need using some web calculator with the following assumptions: (Head)wind speed: 20 mph, rider speed 20 mph, rider+bike weight 240 lbs, grade 0. The power required to maintain a constant velocity is about 750 W. I guess a typical cyclist can maintain 100-200W and apparently the Turbo motor can sustain an output of about 500W even though specs say 250W. But that wattage could cause heating issues if continued for a longer period. Anyway, at that windspeed trying to maintain already 20 mph would be difficult.
 
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GeePee

New Member
Hi Marko
Thanks for the reply. I can't speak technically but I think you have summed it up. I have thought all along that it's heat related and that either the motor is overheating or possibly the draw on the battery itself is simply too much over 20 minutes of riding.
I understand that the bike is under duress in these conditions but that's the very reason why I bought the bike in the first place. It's disappointing that it can't deal with it for the duration of my commute.....which is 35 minutes. It will be interesting to see how's the day going? The Turbo X goes as it looks like it's geared for more off road use, i can't imagine it's going to like a 30 minute climb.
I will have to learn to live with it. Thanks again for the technical info, I really appreciate it.
G
That is some serious headwind, even with Turbo mode. Could this be some sort of overheating issue. Maybe the sw cuts off power when riding long to such a heavy load, although I dont understand why it would drop it to Regen and not Off. I assume this does not occur in Eco mode. If it doesnt, you could try using Eco mode in 90% and if still occurs lower the percentage to see if it will help.

Here's what Stromer 2 support page says on the issue of temp control: http://www.stromerbike.com

On a side note: I calculated the energy need using some web calculator with the following assumptions: (Head)wind speed: 20 mph, rider speed 20 mph, rider+bike weight 240 lbs, grade 0. The power required to maintain a constant velocity is about 750 W. I guess a typical cyclist can maintain 100-200W and apparently the Turbo motor can sustain an output of about 500W even though specs say 250W. But that wattage could cause heating issues if continued for a longer period. Anyway, at that windspeed trying to maintain already 20 mph would be difficult.
M
 

Marko

Active Member
I hear your frustration because I had exactly the same reason for getting my bike, to help in heavy wind and snow.
With regard to the problem itself, I would be surprised if the current draw on the battery would be the problem. At least that would be a pretty bad design flaw if the battery could not keep up with the "normal" power requirements of the motor. However, it seems that the motor potentially overheating is an issue that could happen in direct drive electronic bikes and that the manufacturers try to limit that by control software, as can be read in the support page by Stromer. I am sure the Turbo uses similar software routines, but I am disappointed how badly things (not just this one) are documented in the user manual or anywhere for that matter. This is exactly the kind of situation I was talking about in the Tweaking-thread where I was saying that users should have more direct contact with the developer team to be able to report and sort out this kind of situations. The manual needs to document well enough how the bike should behave, e.g, automatic drop in support under heavy and long lasting load (I suspect dropping to Regen is a bug in your case), and if it doesn't the user should be able to report this information to somewhere other than the general helpdesk blackhole, at least to get a confirmation that the right people have received the information and can/cannot confirm this is a bug (and are hopefully working on a solution/firmware update).
 
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Marko

Active Member
I can share a similar issue I had yesterday. After turning on the bike the computer went straight to Eco mode which it never does when turned on (Turbo normally). When I put it on regen I felt no drag, i.e., even if it was in that mode it really wasn't. When I tried to put it on Turbo, the display "bounced" right down to Eco. I tried turning the main battery off and on several times, resetting the bike computer, pairing, but nothing helped (I did not remove the main battery, though). In the end, I just let it be and went on riding in Eco and after a while things started working again. Ultimately I have had quite frequently issues, mostly loss of bike pairing; It could be that the computer battery is dying, although the display doesn't look as if it was low on power. I can't explain it otherwise. Yesterday the temperature was at 28F and the bike had stayed outside all day, so it could of course have affected the computer battery but then again that is not so cold.

First light layer of snow today, maybe it is time to change the tires soon.
 
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Brambor

Well-Known Member
now that it could be freezing at night I always take the battery inside.

I am also ready to put on my winter tires although I might have to wait a while longer .
 

Marko

Active Member
I have noticed that at around 32F the battery % is about 3% lower after 8h. In colder weathers the drop will probably be steeper. I have understood that leaving the battery in high temp (>30C, 86F) speeds up the capacity loss drastically, but cold would not hurt other than the drop in charge level.
 
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PowerMe

Well-Known Member
Have any of you contacted Specialized directly about the various power or battery issues you are experiencing with your Turbo eBikes? I wouldn't leave it up to any dealer to report it; go straight to the source. You've paid a lot of $$$ and should have a trouble-free ride that meets the specs promised. Squeaky wheel gets the grease (pun intended).
 

OldGuy

Member
If your bikes are the gen2 2013 Turbo with the joystick integrated into the brake lever, it sounds like the joystick control has gone bad and needs replacement.
On mine, the bike would occasionally drop into Regen while climbing steep hills, and only then. The joystick also felt loose and floppy as a second symptom of the problem.
Dealer replacement solved the problem, but I wouldn't bet against it happening again some day, as the joysticks seem to be fragile. There's a thread on the forum on this.
 

Marko

Active Member
Have any of you contacted Specialized directly about the various power or battery issues you are experiencing with your Turbo eBikes? I wouldn't leave it up to any dealer to report it; go straight to the source. You've paid a lot of $$$ and should have a trouble-free ride that meets the specs promised. Squeaky wheel gets the grease (pun intended).
Did that. With regard to the loss of pairing -issue they said they don't know and suggested I should contact dealer (I was not surprised).
I also asked about the issue discussed in this thread. They did confirm that the bike has a feature which turns it off if the motor overheats. I dont think this is mentioned in the manual.
 
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GeePee

New Member
Yes, I contacted Specialized. They took my original bike back and checked it, told me they had fixed the issue and gave the bike back but it continued to fault. When I told them that the bike was no different I was given a new bike as a replacement but again, the new bike did exactly the same.
The fact is that these bikes can not handle much more than cruising along, if you face a headwind or gradients for any period of time and you want to ride the bike fast.....remember, it's meant to go fast, hence it's name....it simply can not sustain it for anymore than 15-20 minutes.
Basically I feel like a Beta tester who has paid an amazing amount of cash for the privelidge of riding a bike that Specialized have failed to design and test thoroughly.
 

Shea N Encinitas

Active Member
I wonder if there are 'lemon laws' that would justify a full refund. You may have heard I had total power loss on two demo bikes yesterday, really disappointing that this problem continues into the 2015 product lineup. I basically paraphrased your beta tester comment, although I've used that vernacular in other industries, when they still thought they had a chance of selling me one.

One, especially one who owns one of these bikes, has to wonder if the thing can be fixed, a firmware update seems unlikely unless I missed the USB port. Maybe someone will hack the motor heat sensors, or solder a jumper on the controller. It would also be interesting to look at the heat of the motor with a FLIR camera, see if these cutoffs are due to a real heating issue or just a fumble in engineering. The motors are supposed to be advanced swiss designs, but when spec'd at 200 watts nominal, 700 peak one can't help but think that sounds low, unable to handle the current VS 350 & 500 watt systems that are so common today.

I guess I don't really have a dog in this fight, but I was sure close to getting one. -S
 

Marko

Active Member
Firmware updates are possible, but you need the Turbo diagnostic tool to do them. The tool's RoPD plug (same as charger plug) attaches to the battery power socket (either will do, I guess), the other end going to the computer via std USB. I actually did a firmware update myself because my bike had an odometer reset issue (odometer kept resetting itself). I borrowed the tool from my dealer and he provided me with the necessary update software and the firmware available from the Specialized server, open only to dealers, of course. The sw is windows only but I ran it on a Mac laptop running Parallels. You might wonder why did I do this myself and not let the dealer worry about it. Well, the dealer said he wouldnt know how.
So, in theory, if someone would just document this bug and present the evidence to Specialized, I am pretty sure they would at some point wake up fix bug, if it is not a feature, that is.

With regard to the motors, my guess is that they used a 250W nominal specd motor because of its lower weight, and possibly also due to legal limits in the EU, but to achieve the S-pedelec speeds it needs to be driven at currents for which it is not designed and thus overheating occurs. Stromers use 500W motors but they are also about 10 lbs heavier bikes than the Turbo.
 
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opimax

Well-Known Member
I am curious as to why you use such a small font. Hard for me to read your posts especially in the morning

thx for fixing , I reread my post too harsh sounding wasn't meant to be, but thx much :)
 
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Shea N Encinitas

Active Member
So, in theory, if someone would just document this bug and present the evidence to Specialized, I am pretty sure they would at some point wake up fix bug, if it is not a feature, that is.
Funny because I was thinking I would like to document the problem, mount a GoPro to record the display, and second rider to show the complete loss of power, which is pretty obvious. This particular shop probably does not care for me, having called out the issue on two bikes and taking my pot of gold home. Thanks for your thoughts, pointing out the firmware port and increasing your fonts. -S
 

jwdkhan

New Member
The computer back light stopped working over the weekend. Everything else seems to work fine except for the back light. I tried resetting the feature via the setup mode, removed battery, disconnected power cable to computer and connected back again but nothing seems to work. It definitely is an issue especially since it gets dark early these days and I have no idea on what my remaining battery life is if riding in the evening. Wondering if anyone else has had a similar issue? I've already emailed my dealer to see if he can get a replacement computer unit in-case this cannot be fixed.
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
I was never really able to read the display at night. Maybe I need to set a backlight... When I touch the joystic at night the red lights it up but I still can't really read the LCD.
 

biknut

Active Member
Yes, I contacted Specialized. They took my original bike back and checked it, told me they had fixed the issue and gave the bike back but it continued to fault. When I told them that the bike was no different I was given a new bike as a replacement but again, the new bike did exactly the same.
The fact is that these bikes can not handle much more than cruising along, if you face a headwind or gradients for any period of time and you want to ride the bike fast.....remember, it's meant to go fast, hence it's name....it simply can not sustain it for anymore than 15-20 minutes.
Basically I feel like a Beta tester who has paid an amazing amount of cash for the privelidge of riding a bike that Specialized have failed to design and test thoroughly.
Sounds like what you're dealing with is an expensive over priced piece of junk. Two new bikes that do the same thing? That definitely sounds like a design issue.