Turbo Como 5.0 2020 - USB Port

pdati

New Member
I was surprised to learn after buying my Como 5.0 that Specialized did away with an auxiliary USB charging port. A charging port is very useful for keeping your phone going while listening g to music and running a mapping application. Has anyone solved this problem by somehow adding a charging port?

Additionally, does anyone know how to add a battery extender to the Como 5.0? I did a 35 mile ride recently and dropped below 25% power reserve. A range extender would be great and a good option to purchasing a second Como 605 W battery. For instance, I already own a new 36v 13aH battery for a 500w motor, it would be a simple matter to adapt a Como magnetic charging plug and plug it in. Does anyone know if this would safely transfer charge to the Como battery?

Thanks for any help - Pdati
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
The Como/Vado users that I'm aware of that want more range report purchasing a 2nd battery and carrying it in a pannier.

I haven't seen any posts adapting another battery through the charging port.

Specialized does offer a range extender battery for a different model bike that does what you want, but not for the Como/Vado series.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
The Como/Vado users that I'm aware of that want more range report purchasing a 2nd battery and carrying it in a pannier.
That's true and it is a practical solution. There are panniers specifically dedicated to carrying a spare battery. Please ask.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
That's true and it is a practical solution. There are panniers specifically dedicated to carrying a spare battery. Please ask.
I'm curious about that. As i asked in another thread why hasn't someone hooked up a "WATER BOTTLE" style 36v 10ah battery to the brose specialized battery charging port like we do with phone battery extenders? Any EEs (electral engineers) around here ?
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
As i asked in another thread why hasn't someone hooked up a "WATER BOTTLE" style 36v 10ah battery to the brose specialized battery charging port like we do with phone battery extenders?
Oh, buy a Creo, Vado SL, or Levo SL and you'll have the "water bottle" Range Extender ;) Homemade powerbank wouldn't work as Specialized batteries are indeed computers. Ever wondered where the battery information comes in Mission Control from? :) Or, why the battery ever needs a software update?

I'm curious about that.
First of all, the Ortlieb E-Mate pannier is almost ideal for the spare Vado battery. It includes a reinforced pocket inside that fits the battery. The Vado battery is a tad too long and the pannier's flap can still be closed with the magnetic lock but with some care. The E-Mate is very popular among the Forum enthusiasts.

Ortlieb Bike-Packer pannier is larger than the E-Mate. The (optional) Ortlieb Commuter Inserts (it is a single piece even if the name suggests otherwise) allows to carry even larger batteries. The "Inserts" is a reinforced nylon organiser to be put at the bottom of the Bike-Packer pannier. There is a plenty of space there. I typically carry the spare battery, two large water bottles, snacks, some clothes such as a windbreaker, a wallet, door/bike keys, an Allen key set, a chain tool and there even is some space for an MTB tyre pump...
 
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Sierratim

Well-Known Member
I'm curious about that. As i asked in another thread why hasn't someone hooked up a "WATER BOTTLE" style 36v 10ah battery to the brose specialized battery charging port like we do with phone battery extenders? Any EEs (electral engineers) around here ?
I am a retired EE, but can't say for sure what all the issues would be in connecting an external battery to a Como/Vado bike. Each major component (motor, display controller, and battery) has its own firmware that may, or may not allow an external power source to be connected while the battery is also providing power to the motor.

If you think of an external battery to be the equivalent of the battery charger I would expect the bike to react to the external battery just as it does to the charger, it goes into charging mode. I haven't tried to ride the bike while charging, but I'm going to guess that it's a no go.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
I need to add to what Tim has just said that carrying a spare battery is painless as long as:
  1. You use an appropriate pannier that wouldn't tear up due to the battery weight (examples above);
  2. You never forget taking the battery lock key with you (it's never happened to me but it happens to many e-riders).
A good pannier feels like it were glued to the rack, creates minimal aerodynamic drag and does not affect the bike balance. The Vado motor is so strong it is virtually unaffected by rather heavy pannier.

1592521116410.png

My Vado with the Ortlieb Bike-Packer pannier/Ortlieb Commuter Inserts, loaded to the max on a long trip (including a spare battery).

1592521531959.png

My Vado with the Ortlieb E-Mate pannier (holding the spare battery).
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
I am a retired EE, but can't say for sure what all the issues would be in connecting an external battery to a Como/Vado bike. Each major component (motor, display controller, and battery) has its own firmware that may, or may not allow an external power source to be connected while the battery is also providing power to the motor.

If you think of an external battery to be the equivalent of the battery charger I would expect the bike to react to the external battery just as it does to the charger, it goes into charging mode. I haven't tried to ride the bike while charging, but I'm going to guess that it's a no go.
Yeah. But.
This BMs already does an add on battery mode... a range extender ...it's looking for present or not and it just adds the available electric power. Should work ...
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
The BMS on the SL Levo and Creo bikes apparently has an add-on battery mode since these bikes accept range extender batteries. The Como/Vado battery BMS may, or may not be the same BMS used in the SL Levo and Creo bikes. I can't find a source that specifies the BMS for any of the Specialized bikes so I can't say. Have you found a reference for this?

Recognizing an add-on battery vs a charger could be as simple as pin configurations in their plugs or it could be firmware. Again, I find nothing that Specialized is sharing in this regard.

Should work... Seems like a gamble without more info from Specialized.

Could it work? If Specialized shared enough info, yes, with a bit tech wizardry or just a rewired plug. Can't say which without more info (I know, typical engineer hedge).
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Do you think the Range Extender comes without its own BMS that is specialized? Hahaha!
 

pdati

New Member
I've written to Specialized on two occasions about possibility of rewiring my spare battery with their charge plug in order to charge their integrated battery and to question where the USB port has been put on the 2020 Como 5.0 No response from Specialized and phones are not being answered. Very disappointed, as I thought Specialized provided exceptional customer support. My LBR, similarly, haven't responded as I'm sure they have no clue and can't get a response from Specialized.

What will happen if, or when, I have a real bike problem? What's everyone else's experience with Specialized support been like?
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
The BMS on the SL Levo and Creo bikes apparently has an add-on battery mode since these bikes accept range extender batteries. The Como/Vado battery BMS may, or may not be the same BMS used in the SL Levo and Creo bikes. I can't find a source that specifies the BMS for any of the Specialized bikes so I can't say. Have you found a reference for this?

Recognizing an add-on battery vs a charger could be as simple as pin configurations in their plugs or it could be firmware. Again, I find nothing that Specialized is sharing in this regard.

Should work... Seems like a gamble without more info from Specialized.

Could it work? If Specialized shared enough info, yes, with a bit tech wizardry or just a rewired plug. Can't say which without more info (I know, typical engineer hedge).
If it matters I am thinking turn motor off, plug in external battery for a couple hours. Avoid charging while riding , overheating and such.
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
I've written to Specialized on two occasions about possibility of rewiring my spare battery with their charge plug in order to charge their integrated battery and to question where the USB port has been put on the 2020 Como 5.0 No response from Specialized and phones are not being answered. Very disappointed, as I thought Specialized provided exceptional customer support. My LBR, similarly, haven't responded as I'm sure they have no clue and can't get a response from Specialized.

What will happen if, or when, I have a real bike problem? What's everyone else's experience with Specialized support been like?
Our N. California LBS is very responsive with a dedicated Specialized ebike tech. They seem to be able to get responses from Specialized within hours. Very happy we bought a brand with local support.
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
If it matters I am thinking turn motor off, plug in external battery for a couple hours. Avoid charging while riding , overheating and such.
Probably has the best chance of working with the current unknows, unless Stefan is on to something and there's a bit of firmware in the charger and the extender battery to say 'hi'.

I say go for it. Let me know if anything goes 'pop'...😆
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
Thinking about this whole electric system ... motor default failure = overheat , lithium ion default failure = explode , both between my legs. Maybe a better use of the
20200619_103203.jpg
water battle cage is a fire extinguisher...
 

pdati

New Member
The major benefit of extending battery power I'd be seeking is not to shut off the motor, but to keep riding with motor assistance (while recharging from a spare battery). Otherwise, I'd simply pull over for several hours and charge up with the provided charger.

The simplest solution for me would have been to purchase a different bike, one with 2nd battery integrated or one that is suited for a battery pack (extender). However, I really like the ride, geometry, and other aesthetics that the Como delivers over everything else; even over several of the higher-priced Riese & Muller suspension models.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
The major benefit of extending battery power I'd be seeking is not to shut off the motor, but to keep riding with motor assistance (while recharging from a spare battery). Otherwise, I'd simply pull over for several hours and charge up with the provided charger.

The simplest solution for me would have been to purchase a different bike, one with 2nd battery integrated or one that is suited for a battery pack (extender). However, I really like the ride, geometry, and other aesthetics that the Como delivers over everything else; even over several of the higher-priced Riese & Muller suspension models.
I don't need the additional range yet, and could carry a big spare battery if needed, but it's annoying that Specialized doesn't make a small extender with a real usb port available. Two Cents.
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Thinking about this whole electric system ... motor default failure = overheat , lithium ion default failure = explode , both between my legs. Maybe a better use of the View attachment 56085water battle cage is a fire extinguisher...
These thoughts had crossed my mind thinking about adding a range extender to a Como/Vado. I thought I'd let you go first....
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Guys. Why do you need to make life complicated? Yes, Riese & Mueller e-bikes come with (optional) dual battery and it is 1000 Wh total but the bike is extremely heavy. I own two 600 Wh batteries making my range superior to the R&M (1200 Wh) while the Vado with a single battery and no cargo weighs 23 kg (50.7 lb); we weighted it. Just a ride? Ride a relatively lightweight e-bike. Need to transport your Vado? Remove the battery and it weighs 19 kg (42 lb) or so. Now, fancy the monster with the dual battery...

Need a long ride? Put your spare battery into a pannier and just hang the pannier on the bike's rack, then off you ride. If I -- a lazy person -- can do it, anyone can. Never forget taking the battery key with you though ;)

More power to your smartphone? Put the smartphone into your cycling jersey pocket together with a powerbank.

There are some ideas that my first manager in the scientific institute used to call: "It's a triumph of technology against the common sense" :D Don't follow that way!

1592825622554.png

My relatively lightweight, sleek Vado fully loaded on a 70 mile ride. The drive side pannier holds the spare battery, two water bottles, tools, wallet, keys. The pannier on the opposite side is for food, more water and more clothes. My brother pictured here uses an iPhone (a battery hungry device), so he keeps the phone in the pocket of his shorts together with a powerbank.
 
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Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Guys. Why do you need to make life complicated? Yes, Riese & Mueller e-bikes come with (optional) dual battery and it is 1000 Wh total but the bike is extremely heavy. I own two 600 Wh batteries making my range superior to the R&M (1200 Wh) while the Vado with a single battery and no cargo weighs 23 kg (50.7 lb); we weighted it. Just a ride? Ride a relatively lightweight e-bike. Need to transport your Vado? Remove the battery and it weighs 19 kg (42 lb) or so. Now, fancy the monster with the dual battery...

Need a long ride? Put your spare battery into a pannier and just hang the pannier on the bike's rack, then off you ride. If I -- a lazy person -- can do it, anyone can. Never forget taking the battery key with you though ;)

More power to your smartphone? Put the smartphone into your cycling jersey pocket together with a powerbank.

There are some ideas that my first manager in the scientific institute used to call: "It's a triumph of technology against the common sense" :D Don't follow that way!

View attachment 56353
My relatively lightweight, sleek Vado fully loaded on a 70 mile ride. The drive side pannier holds the spare battery, two water bottles, tools, wallet, keys. The pannier on the opposite side is for food, more water and more clothes. My brother pictured here uses an iPhone (a battery hungry device), so he keeps the phone in the pocket of his shorts together with a powerbank.
I have to admit that since my wife doesn't care for the longer rides, I 'borrow' her Vado battery for my 2nd battery when I go out for >30 miles. I've custom cut some stiff packing foam to cushion the battery when it's in my pannier. I use 2-20 inch velcro straps to keep the foam in place. Simple enough. I always bring my battery key, but have never remembered my wife's. So I can swap batteries, but then my wife's is in place until I get home!

At almost $1,000 each, I do see the appeal of being able to plug-in a cheaper after market battery. Off brand 500Wh batteries are available for as little as $250 in a rack mount case. Add a Racktime adapter to the case and you can clip it onto the Vado whenever you need to bring it along. Leave it home when you don't. Just need to figure out how to avoid blowing something up...🤣