Vado SL 5.0 -- reasonable range on hills? (Mt. Diablo, CA)

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
I ride with a group that uses it for group routes and we have often shared routes with friends who are looking for new places to ride locally.
My case, too. My riding buddy who loves to assume the role of the group leader is the one who made me buy the Wahoo bike computer and use RWGPS for route planning.
 

Catalyzt

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Probably a wise move if you want to extend your Creo’s motor longevity. Heat is directly related to the loss of winding efficiency even if the motor is only temporarily overheated. Something like 50% reduction in mean time before failure for every 10°C over rated operating temperature. I don’t think the SLs are really intended for constant hill climbs.
<-- Good point. The SL may be intended for constant hill climbs only if using minimal assistance.

I wish we could quantify the effect of heat on a motor during hill climbs, I don't know that we can put a number on it, but I think you are on to something. I do know that with my little E5000 motor, during the steepest part of my biggest climb (4,000 feet over 32 miles or so) at first I was noticing that my indicated range (not battery bars, which are more accurate) dropped to alarming levels when I was using max assist. and wasn't in the lowest possible gear and focusing on trying to maintain even pressure through ever part of each revolution of the pedals.

When I took the same ride later, I did all those things differently, but another thing I did (because it was so hot) was I stopped to rest more frequently. When I started riding again, voila-- my "range" had jumped back up to 25 miles from 14.

I'd ride two miles, and the range would drop to 12. Stopped to cool off both me and my trusty steed, then start again: Range would indicate 23 miles.

I know the range indicator cannot be relied on, but I wonder: If I had hammered on with a hot motor, maybe my range would have been closer to 12 than 23 miles. All other things being roughly equal, it did seem like I would get home with more electrons in the tank when I rested more, or when it was cooler. And it would make sense that this would be more of a factor with a 40 nm motor when you're pushing it super hard than with a 60 or 70 nm motor.
 

kahn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
northWET washington
<-- Good point. The SL may be intended for constant hill climbs only if using minimal assistance.

I wish we could quantify the effect of heat on a motor during hill climbs, I don't know that we can put a number on it, but I think you are on to something. I do know that with my little E5000 motor, during the steepest part of my biggest climb (4,000 feet over 32 miles or so) at first I was noticing that my indicated range (not battery bars, which are more accurate) dropped to alarming levels when I was using max assist. and wasn't in the lowest possible gear and focusing on trying to maintain even pressure through ever part of each revolution of the pedals.

When I took the same ride later, I did all those things differently, but another thing I did (because it was so hot) was I stopped to rest more frequently. When I started riding again, voila-- my "range" had jumped back up to 25 miles from 14.

I'd ride two miles, and the range would drop to 12. Stopped to cool off both me and my trusty steed, then start again: Range would indicate 23 miles.

I know the range indicator cannot be relied on, but I wonder: If I had hammered on with a hot motor, maybe my range would have been closer to 12 than 23 miles. All other things being roughly equal, it did seem like I would get home with more electrons in the tank when I rested more, or when it was cooler. And it would make sense that this would be more of a factor with a 40 nm motor when you're pushing it super hard than with a 60 or 70 nm motor.
Do you think any of the "range calculators" actually takes into consideration the heating and cooling of the motor as the trip progresses? Or does it merely calculate remaining range based on the current battery state and any potential climbs? Or maybe when calculating climbs it is factoring some power loss to heating?????? I can see this in future iterations but really don't expect those to be factored in, in current technology.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Again: Motor temperature of 50 or 60 C causes no problems someone here tries to raise.
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Again: Motor temperature of 50 or 60 C causes no problems someone here tries to raise.

Do you think any of the "range calculators" actually takes into consideration the heating and cooling of the motor as the trip progresses? Or does it merely calculate remaining range based on the current battery state and any potential climbs? Or maybe when calculating climbs it is factoring some power loss to heating?????? I can see this in future iterations but really don't expect those to be factored in, in current technology.

mmm I doubt the heating and cooling of the motor is a big factor… but the heating and cooling of the BATTERY would definitely be a factor. a good BMS system includes temperature sensors for the battery, and those inputs should be used to adjust the estimated remaining capacity. different temperature, different voltage and impedance, which I believe is the only way the remaining capacity of thesea batteries is measured.

perhaps someday really heavy duty ebikes will include battery temperature control systems like a Tesla has to enable max performance LOL.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
but the heating and cooling of the BATTERY would definitely be a factor
Use BLEvo and tell me what you've found :)

OK, let me do it for you:
A 125 km ride with 1543 m of elevation gain on a Summer day, full power Vado (because it uses and dissipates more power than an SL).
Min battery temperature: 23 C
Max battery temperature: 29 C (Turbo mode)
Min motor temperature: 13 C
Max motor temperature 52 C (Turbo mode)

A 119 km ride with 1400 m of elevation gain, a warm Summer day:
Min battery temperature: 27 C
Max battery temperature: 31 C (Turbo mode)
Min motor temperature: 25 C
Max motor temperature 52 C (Turbo mode)

So bad? We're riding excellent e-bikes, mschwett.
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Use BLEvo and tell me what you've found :)

OK, let me do it for you:
A 125 km ride with 1543 m of elevation gain on a Summer day, full power Vado (because it uses and dissipates more power than an SL).
Min battery temperature: 23 C
Max battery temperature: 29 C (Turbo mode)
Min motor temperature: 13 C
Max motor temperature 52 C (Turbo mode)

A 119 km ride with 1400 m of elevation gain, a warm Summer day:
Min battery temperature: 27 C
Max battery temperature: 31 C (Turbo mode)
Min motor temperature: 25 C
Max motor temperature 52 C (Turbo mode)

So bad? We're riding excellent e-bikes, mschwett.
those numbers tell me that specialized has been very conservative / careful about their battery specs, selection, and system design. 31C is presumably barely above ambient on a warm summer day in poland!
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
those numbers tell me that specialized has been very conservative / careful about their battery specs, selection, and system design. 31C is presumably barely above ambient on a warm summer day in poland!
31-32 C in Poland means a very warm day :)

I just want to point out it is all the matter of a good design. You can ride on a very warm day and you're not really suffering: It is the air flow around you. Over 10,000 km of my Vado rides, there was no single situation the BMS or motor temp sensor cut the power because of overheating.
 

Catalyzt

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
mmm I doubt the heating and cooling of the motor is a big factor… but the heating and cooling of the BATTERY would definitely be a factor. a good BMS system includes temperature sensors for the battery, and those inputs should be used to adjust the estimated remaining capacity. different temperature, different voltage and impedance, which I believe is the only way the remaining capacity of thesea batteries is measured.

perhaps someday really heavy duty ebikes will include battery temperature control systems like a Tesla has to enable max performance LOL.
This could explain the behavior of the range estimate. E-bikes are kind of like dogs or horses-- limited vocabulary! When I see that range drop so sharply, I interpret that as 'soft whimpering.'

Conversely, it seems like the range estimate bounces way up not immediately after a descent, but after a long flat stretch where I'm using Eco or turning off the motor entirely for a quarter mile here, a quarter mile there. (My rolling resistance seems to be so low that if it's dead flat, I can do without it sometimes.)

Maybe the battery has cooled off, and that's factoring into the range estimate. Or maybe it just takes a while for the computer to say, "Oh, okay, maybe you'll be using less assistance for a while, let me recalculate your range.


What do you mean by hot? 50-60 C (120-140 F)?
Possibly at the lower end of that range. When it's 85 degrees out, that isn't the temperature in the sun, and my big ascent has a direct Western exposure. It wouldn't surprise me if you hung a thermometer in front of the rock walls, it was about 100-110.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Possibly at the lower end of that range. When it's 85 degrees out, that isn't the temperature in the sun, and my big ascent has a direct Western exposure. It wouldn't surprise me if you hung a thermometer in front of the rock walls, it was about 100-110.
If it were really so hot on an e-bike that is cooled by air flow, you would die from overheating yourself...

Now, some interesting observation. Gentlemen here all agree it is hard to outrun the main battery + RE (because all we ride reasonably, with battery range in mind). On Tuesday, I rode very quickly to a cafe that is 20 km far away from the place I live. For various reasons I made over 50 km (30 mi) on the round trip. I was riding in a mix of Sport and Turbo, with average assistance of 78.5%. Moreover, the headwind on the return leg was 30 km/h (18.9 mph). I returned on 20% of both batteries combined that translates to 13/13%.

Just use a lot of assistance and the magical big range of SL bikes is gone for good!
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Nevada City, CA & Paradise Valley, AZ
Now, some interesting observation. Gentlemen here all agree it is hard to outrun the main battery + RE (because all we ride reasonably, with battery range in mind). On Tuesday, I rode very quickly to a cafe that is 20 km far away from the place I live. For various reasons I made over 50 km (30 mi) on the round trip. I was riding in a mix of Sport and Turbo, with average assistance of 78.5%. Moreover, the headwind on the return leg was 30 km/h (18.9 mph). I returned on 20% of both batteries combined that translates to 13/13%.

Just use a lot of assistance and the magical big range of SL bikes is gone for good!
Yep, the biggest variables I've seen in my riding the same route is 1) My speed. The fatser I want to go the more motor assistance I need and the less efficiency I get (higher KWh/mile), and 2) Head winds. The stiffer the head wind the more power I use to go the same speed with again the less efficiency I get.

The lesson I've learned is to ride conservatively to get the max range.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Yep, the biggest variables I've seen in my riding the same route is 1) My speed. The fatser I want to go the more motor assistance I need and the less efficiency I get (higher KWh/mile), and 2) Head winds. The stiffer the head wind the more power I use to go the same speed with again the less efficiency I get.

The lesson I've learned is to ride conservatively to get the max range.
3) elevation gain :)