Took the Creo out for my first group ride

Captain Slow

Well-Known Member
Was quite a windy day. Rode in a group of 7 riders, a couple of not that fast riders but 4 of them quite fast. I was the only one on an electric. Some very nice bikes were along for the trip. A Colnago with SRAM Red AXS was there, along with a Giant Propel with Di2. So even though I was on the Creo I was not on the most expensive bike.

Pace was generally leisurely and the ride was pretty social. Average speed was around 25 km/hr. and I wasn't using a lot of battery. But we did hit some wicked head winds. As we rolled along near Spanish banks we hit quite a head wind and I came to the front feeling like I should because I had the motor. So at this point we're rolling along somewhere between 25 and 30 km/hr. and just enjoying the ride and then we hit the first hill heading towards UBC. I'm in Eco and I'm leading everyone up the climb and feeling good. I thought we were up the climb when the road turned and I saw the climb went quite a bit further and I groaned a bit. Well then 3 of the fast guys took that as their cue and they took off fast. I didn't have the legs to respond so I put the bike in Sport and while that helped me go faster I wasn't catching up because the 3 in front were hammering hard. They later said they wanted to see if the Creo could overtake them. I decided not to chase as I wasn't sure how long we were riding and didn't want to use too much of the battery.

So even though I was on the Creo I got dropped because I didn't want to use turbo but also the 3 in front were fast. The 3 in front were guys who can ride a 160 km Fondo in 4 hours and they were on lightweight machines.

I kept the bike in Sport and the climb up wasn't too painful and my HR didn't go up too much. I estimate that I reached the top of the climb about a minute to two minutes behind the front group. Another rider came in about a minute after me and the two slowest riders probably came in about 4-5 minutes after me.

We stopped for coffee and when we restarted the ride again it was a pretty leisurely pace as we rolled along Marine Drive. Here with no lights the pace picked up slightly and once again I was on the front and we were probably rolling along at about 35 km/hr. Once again after I had been pulling on the front for a while some in the group decided they wanted to hammer and they blew by me. Once again I didn't want to use turbo so they got ahead of me a bit and once again I was mid-pack. We re-grouped and went back to our leisurely pace.

When I finally got home it was a 65 km ride and I used 110 watt hours so my fear of running out of battery was unfounded, but I truly didn't know it the ride would turn out to be 100 km+ so I wanted to be conservative. I also wanted to get a feel for the bike but not push it too much. As I go on more group rides I'll have a better sense of how much battery to use.

But half of the riding companions were so much faster than me that even on the Creo I got dropped twice on the ride. We'll see how things go as we progress through spring and summer.

Although I got dropped twice, the Creo made it such that I could ride with this group. Without the Creo I would have been back with the slowest riders. On this ride there were two other slow riders, but sometimes they don't go with the group and I don't like being the one guy they're always waiting for so I do see value in the Creo allowing me to ride with this group and I'll be riding with them more often. In recent years I've declined rides with these guys because I didn't want to always hold up the group.

Related to the thread about culture, no one gave me a hard time about being on an electric. There were 2 guys I met for the first time ever and I thought they treated me no differently than if I were riding one of my other bikes.
 
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Scott Adams

Active Member
Thanks for the well written account of a ride on a cutting edge ebike in one of the world's greatest cities.

That's an average of 2.7 Wh / mile, did you have support turned off for part of the ride or were you always in eco and just turned it up to sport for part of the climb?

You mention seeing value in the Creo getting you out to ride with this group. Do you feel the Creo is meeting your expectations overall?

Wish I were riding a Creo in Vancouver.
 

Captain Slow

Well-Known Member
Support was on the whole way, just on Eco for the entire ride except half the climb when I was somewhat trying to avoid getting dropped and then on the flats where I suspect that even in turbo mode I would have been dropped because in Canada the support cuts out at 32 km/hr. and the others were probably doing 40+ km/hr.

It's only been a couple of weeks but so far I've been happy with the Creo. It's the bike that I have wanted for years and now someone has built one.

The other reason for getting the Creo is that I have a family history of diabetes - generally type 2 when one gets into their 50s which is exactly what's happened to me. My Juiced CCS provided too much power, even on Eco and riding with power off the bike was just a tank. The Creo makes my work commutes such that I can do it 5 days a week, but riding in Eco on the Creo still gives a good workout and I can get pretty tired. But if I have sore legs then Sport or Turbo at least gets me out and spinning with some exercise. To me that's the biggest value in the Creo and although it's an expensive bike I'm viewing it as an expenditure to assist in my health.

I am just coming off basketball season where I didn't commute to work by bike because of coaching duties and my daughter wanting a ride home after practices. So I just started up commuting again 2 weeks ago. So I went from about 10-12 weeks of hardly riding to 400 km's in two weeks. My legs need time to adjust. So maybe in say April after I get more miles in my legs and they aren't as fatigued I'll respond with turbo on a climb and we'll see if I can hang with these guys on climbs. I am hoping so.
 

Trail Cruiser

Well-Known Member
You did the right thing to conserve the battery. Stay in the middle of the pack and adjust your assist level just enough that you don't get dropped.
 

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
So I traded emails with my ride partners from yesterday. To put it in perspective of the 200 or so people on Strava who did that climb yesterday the group ahead of me were 1, 2 and 3 at the top of the leaderboard.
Good stuff Captain Slow and I am looking forward to your future posts! . I go that route frequently and I am often shocked at how many super strong climbers there are on road bikes shooting up that hill to UBC. Last time I barely caught up to a middle aged man on a road bike even though I was in turbo the whole way. I would gladly trade my Ebike for a set of power legs like that. But since that is impossible the Ebike is a wonderful invention.
 

Captain Slow

Well-Known Member
Yes, to be young again ……… One of the new guys I met was very friendly and as we were talking it was evident that I was a lot closer in age to his mom than him. His mom graduated from UBC not that many years before me and he said he was going to be 30 this year. He was the Provincial champion in speed skating so even if I were the same age as him I doubt I could keep up. Throw in the age difference and next time we ride maybe turbo mode will mean the gap is less than a minute.

I think I will bring my charger next time. That way when we take an hour long social coffee break I could get back significant charge and thus be more willing to use turbo on the climbs.
 

Deacon Blues

Well-Known Member
Speaking about being young again....when I attended UBC in the mid 70s (yes, I'm old) I would often run from UBC along Chancellor Blvd., and then down Blanca and make my way to the Spanish Banks. From there I'd head back along NW Marine and UBC for a well deserved show before heading off to my night time taxi job. Oh, to be young again.;)

I've been following your posts with interest, as I'm interested in the same bike.
 

Ebiker01

Well-Known Member
Yes, to be young again ……… One of the new guys I met was very friendly and as we were talking it was evident that I was a lot closer in age to his mom than him. His mom graduated from UBC not that many years before me and he said he was going to be 30 this year. He was the Provincial champion in speed skating so even if I were the same age as him I doubt I could keep up. Throw in the age difference and next time we ride maybe turbo mode will mean the gap is less than a minute.

I think I will bring my charger next time. That way when we take an hour long social coffee break I could get back significant charge and thus be more willing to use turbo on the climbs.

But the Creo had only used 110wh , next time even if it's a 65kmx2= 130km ride you'd still use only around 230wh.
And likely the biggest ride could be a 100km one, so you'r safe to push it to TURBO for probably 35-40% of the ride distance.
That is quite amazing.

What is your bodyweight ? Any avg. speed for the whole 65km ride ?
Your fast riding buddies are likely cat. 2's or have the fitness of a cat. 2 racer but can't get good position in sprints/breaks and therefore have the cat. 3 license for now.
Next time put the Creo in Turbo and overtake them a little bit😉
 

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
Yes, to be young again ……… One of the new guys I met was very friendly and as we were talking it was evident that I was a lot closer in age to his mom than him. His mom graduated from UBC not that many years before me and he said he was going to be 30 this year. He was the Provincial champion in speed skating so even if I were the same age as him I doubt I could keep up. Throw in the age difference and next time we ride maybe turbo mode will mean the gap is less than a minute.

I think I will bring my charger next time. That way when we take an hour long social coffee break I could get back significant charge and thus be more willing to use turbo on the climbs.
They may come to appreciate drafting behind you into headwinds
 

Captain Slow

Well-Known Member
I don't know everyone in the group but I would say with confidence that of the 7 riders in the group that I know for certain that four of us were early 50s, one guy said he was older so I'm guessing late 50s, one guy I don't know but I'll guess he's in his 40s and then the one fellow who is 29 and an elite athlete. The guys who raced Cat 3 have not raced for a couple of seasons and because they're getting older no desire to try and move up to Cat 2. I should have said former Cat 3 racers to be more precise.

My friend said that they normally stick the younger guy up front for most of the ride and draft behind. Yesterday they liked how it was me and the other fellow so no one else really took a turn on the front.

The ride with the group was a lot shorter than 65 km's though. One of the things I prefer about road riding over mountain biking is that I like not having to put my bike on a car and drive to meet riding partners. No one drove to the meeting spot so various guys left at different points in the ride. I had to ride 13 km's to the meeting point and the last 13 km's home had a couple of the riding companions. One guy (the one I'm guessing who is in his 40s) was suffering so the group was slowing down and waiting for him quite a bit. He also lives out my way so the ride home was fairly slow. No one seemed to mind as it was really a social ride. So it's hard to really gauge how long the battery would last.

I suspect that if we go riding and the mix is a bit different and the speed is higher that the battery will drain a lot quicker. We were really crawling along for most of the ride and socializing. It wasn't a lot different than say playing golf and just walking the course and talking to each other. It was really only the bit on the road along Spanish Banks where the pace picked up and the climb. Then after the coffee stop it was the bit along Marine Drive where the pace picked up. I would say that out of the 65 km's guys were only really pushing it for maybe 10 km's at the most, and it could have been even less.

What I would say is that clearly in Sport I did not have the fitness to keep up with some seasoned riders who are the sort who I'd estimate have ridden about 30,000 km's in the last 4 to 6 years.

Who knows what will happen next ride. Maybe I'll make some of the others go to the front more and if we ride at a faster pace for longer then maybe I'll use more of my battery but maybe their fitness will give out first. I plan to carry my charger in a backpack so when we stop for coffee I'll try to recharge. We were stopped for an hour as it was quite a social ride. I think in an hour I can put about 100 wh back into the battery which would make a really big difference. So I'll definitely be more willing to use turbo next time.

My closest friend in the group is the same age as me and he's one of the strongest riders in the group. In May we are planning on riding with another friend in his 40s who is a pretty good rider as well. We're going to do a longer gravel ride in memory of a close friend of ours who was killed in a motorcycle accident last May. The guy was a very conservative rider and was sitting on his bike in Eastern Washington while a construction crew was working on the road. He and his friend were waiting for the crew to wave them through and there were 3 cars stopped behind them waiting as well. Then a semi came down the road and didn't stop. He hit the cars in front and there was a chain reaction of cars hitting who was in front of them. My friend was hit and we think pushed into oncoming traffic the other way and killed.

In any event that ride will be more telling as there won't be any slower riders. But it will also have a lot more road resistance as it will be off road so an added dynamic. I should be in better shape then so we'll see what happens.
 

Jimbo08

Member
We visited a nephew out there in September. Beautiful weather and what a place to ride. We did an ebike guided tour in and around Vancouver one day, and rented a beautiful house in Kits area. Noticed some very dedicated roadies. Should have brought my Colnago, though I would be bringing up the rear. Way rear:)
 

Captain Slow

Well-Known Member
We visited a nephew out there in September. Beautiful weather and what a place to ride. We did an ebike guided tour in and around Vancouver one day, and rented a beautiful house in Kits area. Noticed some very dedicated roadies. Should have brought my Colnago, though I would be bringing up the rear. Way rear:)
If you come again bring your bike and I'll bring up the rear with you.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Getting out there and making it happen on a super cool bike. Looking forward to following your progress and learning how the bike changes you.
 

Scott Adams

Active Member
Did any of your friends ask if they could try the Creo?

Even if they are diehard roadies, they must be a bit curious about it...
 

Captain Slow

Well-Known Member
I know it probably looks odd to a hard core roadie but I use Crankbros eggbeaters for my bikes. I like that it's easy to walk in the shoes because the cleat doesn't go beyond the shoe. No one else had eggbeater cleats on their shoes so they couldn't try it out. The close friend who I'm doing a gravel ride with uses Crank Bros on his gravel set up so when we do that we're going to swap bikes for a bit so he can try it out. I'm maybe 1" taller than him so the position should be close, though he's got longer legs and a shorter torso compared to an average male.
 

StmbtDave

Active Member
Are you using the stock boost settings (35/60/100)? I found the Eco 35 added a bit too much assist so I created a custom profile at 25/50/100. The Eco 25 still feels like it adds a bit too much boost so I may drop it back to 20. I'm trying to find the point where the bike feels natural.
 

Captain Slow

Well-Known Member
Yesterday I rode to work and then took the afternoon off and took the long way home. Rode a total of 70 km's and had 55% battery left when I got home. I have come to the realization that a primary reason the range on the Creo is so good for me is that I'm a slow rider. I strongly suspect that if one of my racing friends swapped bikes with me and rode it they would see a greatly reduced range because they'd be putting a lot more power into the bike and would be getting more assist. Now they would be going a lot faster and that would mean greatly reduced range.

So I've kind of gone from being happy about the range to being sad about how slow I am. Well I suppose my user name alludes to that .............

Oh well, the bike is better suited to what I want than what I've had in the past. Although I was happy to get the Juiced CCS, it was too big, heavy and ponderous for my liking. The Creo feels like I'm riding a regular bike. I also found that even on Eco the Juiced provided too much assist and I wasn't getting the workout I wanted. The Creo resolved those issues, but it just has underscored that my best days are behind me and that even though I'm still only mid 50's that I'm pretty slow compared to some others my age.