SpeedBox2 Update

Mtl_Biker

Active Member
(I can’t find the thread where we were talking about this and I promised an update, so...)

I’d wanted to order the “SpeedBox2 for Giant 2019” after they told me that that particular model (very hard to find on their website) would work perfectly with my 2019 Explore E+1 GTS. Well, we got into a bit of an argument about the European VAT tax. (I’ve bought much from the EU and have ALWAYS had the VAT removed because they ship outside the EU.

When you add an item to the shopping cart, it shows two prices... one with and the other without the VAT. But do you think there’s a way to get the non-VAT price? Not from them it seems. Hence the argument. (Why the heck do they even show the two prices if they “ALWAYS” charge the VAT?

Anyway, they finally said I should buy from their Canadian dealer (I’m in Canada) out west.

I sent them an email asking about price and availability and they finally answered me. They said, “We had some issues with the last one we installed and found that it’s not worth the effort to make them work. Probably best to deal with them direct.”

So, for the time being at least, I’m not ordering one.
 

Acadiandad

Member
Sorry to hear of that.

The hack (flip the sensor to face the pedals) or the BadAss box do work well (with the exception of incorrect speed / odom on the RideControl) - but if you use an alternate app like Strava or Wahoo that is less of an issue.

In my case, I was SUPER glad that it was literally only about 2 min to revert to stock as I had to take my bike in for warranty work yesterday. And it will be 2 min tmrw AM to reinstall for my commute !

Cheers
 

AltaShred

Member
I am in Western Canada,
I have a 2018 Road E Pro +1 and a 2019 Explore E+1.
Both of them have dongles on them. The Explore E+1 has a bikespeed RS and it works well.
The Road E Pro has the speedbox 2 on it.

I really like the Explore E for the paved trails we ride on. I have a suspension seat on both the bikes and it helps to take up the frost heaves.
I swapped my rear cassette/chain/derailleur over to an 11 speed on the Explore and it works well.
 
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Mtl_Biker

Active Member
Sorry to hear of that.

The hack (flip the sensor to face the pedals) or the BadAss box do work well (with the exception of incorrect speed / odom on the RideControl) - but if you use an alternate app like Strava or Wahoo that is less of an issue.

In my case, I was SUPER glad that it was literally only about 2 min to revert to stock as I had to take my bike in for warranty work yesterday. And it will be 2 min tmrw AM to reinstall for my commute !

Cheers
I do use Strava, but in a bit of an indirect way... I start the Workouts app on my Apple Watch and once the ride is over, another app called HealthFit automatically shares the data with Strava. I do it this way because I’ve got a lot of activity tracking history in Apple’s Activity app I didn’t want to lose. And I really want the keep what my RideControl EVO displays accurate.

So, flipping the sensor or using a BadAss box isn’t something I want.

But due to a cracked rib from a bike accident I won’t be riding (at any speed) for maybe another week. And I probably don’t really need a lot more speed anyway.
 

Mtl_Biker

Active Member
I am in Western Canada,
I have a 2018 Road E Pro +1 and a 2019 Explore E+1.
Both of them have dongles on them. The Explore E+1 has a bikespeed RS and it works well.
The Road E Pro has the speedbox 2 on it.

I really like the Explore E for the paved trails we ride on. I have a suspension seat on both the bikes and it helps to take up the frost heaves.
I swapped my rear cassette/chain/derailleur over to an 11 speed on the Explore and it works well.
Thanks very much for commenting. How about a review of the BikeSpeed RS? Installation? Use? Where did you buy it?

I’m really enjoying my Explore E+1. But due to a little accident I only have about 200 km on it so far. Two weeks today, since I got it. What advantage do you feel you have with the 11 speed cassette?
 

AltaShred

Member
Mtl Biker,
The installation of the Speedbox and the Bikespeed is exactly the same.
- Remove chain
- remove cranks
- remove front sprocket
- remove skid plate
- remove battery and undo the 4 screws that hold the battery connector in place
- remove plastic cover on the drive side
- remove the (3) or (4) bolts that hold the motor on
- Pull motor down and pull wire harness down.
- Install dongle (plug it in as required)
- Put all the wires back up in the down tube...…...This is the hard part
- Swing motor back into place and put the bolts back in place...…...easier said than done
- Reverse all the above steps to assemble.

One of them is enabled/disabled via the walk button, the other with an assist button sequence of down, up, down, up.
Both work very well although I use it more on the road bike as that is where I need the higher speed assist. As you use more assist at higher speed, the battery gets used faster as would be expected.

I changed to the 11 speed as I went to electric shift to match my road bike. I like only having one lever with a simple up/down and let the electric figure out where to put the front and rear derailleur.
 

Micael

New Member
It is likely mandatory to show prices with and without vat, as it is common practice pretty much in every website across the European Union I can remember, also there are cases where it is required by law to sell without VAT, like if they are selling to a business client in another country of the European Union, most websites are made to handle this by automatically deducting the vat, however some aren't, when they don't and I can't find it anywhere else for reasonably the same price I usually contact them and a lot of times the store in question will have ways of doing the transaction vat free, it is usually more work and many times more limiting in the available payment options but stores tend to accommodate for it.

Anyway don't know about shipping to the US but you can look into bikespeed-RS (EDITED: Just saw you already did), they also have bikespeed-key which is an unlocked more targeted towards the European market since you can easily remove it on the fly in case you get stopped by the police, however unlike bikespeed-RS, bikespeed-Key will not show the correct speed in ridecontrol evo so since you are in the US I would advice bikespeed-RS.

Sorry to hear of that.

The hack (flip the sensor to face the pedals) or the BadAss box do work well (with the exception of incorrect speed / odom on the RideControl) - but if you use an alternate app like Strava or Wahoo that is less of an issue.

In my case, I was SUPER glad that it was literally only about 2 min to revert to stock as I had to take my bike in for warranty work yesterday. And it will be 2 min tmrw AM to reinstall for my commute !

Cheers
There are unlocking devices without this problem, like bikespeed-RS, although their bikespeed-key does have it.
 

Acadiandad

Member
There are unlocking devices without this problem, like bikespeed-RS, although their bikespeed-key does have it.
Yes - there are 2 classes of devices like this that I have seen (other than the simple hack of flipping the sensor).

One is a simple item that snaps over the wheel speed sensor (eg. BadAss Box and, I assume, the Bikespeed-key) which intercepts the magnetic pulses from the wheel. One can imagine various ways it could modify the pulses but the simplest is to provide a pulse to the sensor for every 2nd pulse seen from the wheel (based on comparing GPS to bike readout, this is what BadAss box does). This unlocks the upper limit (effectively) but means the bike's speed and odometer will be off (fixed error of 2x for the BadAss). Install is super simple and takes only seconds.

advantages - simple, very easy to install and uninstall
disadvantage - odometer and speedometer readouts are incorrect

The Bikespeed-RS and the Speedbox-2 are more involved. They are microcontroller based circuits that intercept a number of the signals to/from the controller embedded in the drive. Install is not trivial and requires opening access to the internals of the drive unit. Its not technically difficult but may need special tools to remove crank arms, etc. The big advantage of these is that you can enable or disable the unlock feature via the bike controller inputs (up-down-up-down or lights) and that the odometer and speedometer on the bike remain correct.

advantages - hidden, can disable the feature, speedo and odometer are correct
disadvantages - more involved installation / removal, since I don't know exactly what they are doing, I am a little more concerned about possibility of damage of the motor controller

For me, at the cost of the bike, I don't want any hassle to obtain warranty service (like I just did), so the "simple" option works best. Once bike is out of warranty, I personally would lean towards the more involved modules.

Its all tradeoffs.
 

Mtl_Biker

Active Member
Yes - there are 2 classes of devices like this that I have seen (other than the simple hack of flipping the sensor).

One is a simple item that snaps over the wheel speed sensor (eg. BadAss Box and, I assume, the Bikespeed-key) which intercepts the magnetic pulses from the wheel. One can imagine various ways it could modify the pulses but the simplest is to provide a pulse to the sensor for every 2nd pulse seen from the wheel (based on comparing GPS to bike readout, this is what BadAss box does). This unlocks the upper limit (effectively) but means the bike's speed and odometer will be off (fixed error of 2x for the BadAss). Install is super simple and takes only seconds.

advantages - simple, very easy to install and uninstall
disadvantage - odometer and speedometer readouts are incorrect

The Bikespeed-RS and the Speedbox-2 are more involved. They are microcontroller based circuits that intercept a number of the signals to/from the controller embedded in the drive. Install is not trivial and requires opening access to the internals of the drive unit. Its not technically difficult but may need special tools to remove crank arms, etc. The big advantage of these is that you can enable or disable the unlock feature via the bike controller inputs (up-down-up-down or lights) and that the odometer and speedometer on the bike remain correct.

advantages - hidden, can disable the feature, speedo and odometer are correct
disadvantages - more involved installation / removal, since I don't know exactly what they are doing, I am a little more concerned about possibility of damage of the motor controller

For me, at the cost of the bike, I don't want any hassle to obtain warranty service (like I just did), so the "simple" option works best. Once bike is out of warranty, I personally would lean towards the more involved modules.

Its all tradeoffs.
Just curious about what warranty service you needed performed. Was it noise from the motor?
 

Acadiandad

Member
Just curious about what warranty service you needed performed. Was it noise from the motor?
Yes - it was a creaking on hard pedal downstroke. They ended up having to disassemble the drive down to the mounts, then retorque everything and button it up again. They claimed it was fine on test ride afterwards, but I haven't had the chance to check it out myself yet.