Vado SL tuning?

rochrunner

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Rochester Hills
Stefan thanks. This is quite interesting. I had a look at another website today that sells it. They had a diagram for a Levo (below). Apparently the normal version uses the “Walk” button to turn on and off. I don’t even know if my new Vado SL has this button, if not it’s the always on version of the chip. They also had another picture of the motor internals I thought was interesting.
Interesting use of a planetary gearset in there. I'll have to take a closer look if I ever have the chance.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Stefan- you’ve made my day. Thanks for the info! And congratulations on getting your new bike! Regardless the PearTune, just discovering my bike will have a walk mode is fantastic. Hopefully some twisted Japanese regulation won’t get in the way of having that. I didn’t realize the value of that feature until now. There’s quite a few places where we have to walk a bike up a long steep bike ramp adjacent to stair steps to cross a river levee (Google says “grobla“ in Polish). Even the fittest roadies with the lightest bikes have a bit of a struggle. Quite a few bicycle parking lots have these ramps too. I’m excited by this!

Can you please ask PearTune if the mod can be detected by the Mission Control App , and is it easy to remove the unit if I need to have the bike serviced? It certainly would void a warranty in Japan because my bike shop is the primary Specialized S-Works shop. Actually I regret somewhat picking that shop because now they’re distracted building Olympics bikes and mine is sitting in a corner waiting to be built 😒.
Sorry for overlooking your post, Voltman!

PearTune is invisible to Mission Control but might be detected by the dealer. Worse: One of servicing actions done by Specialized dealers is temporarily removing the TCU; and the chip has to reside below the TCU (no other place in the bike available. Also, the dealer might want to remove the motor to get access to the internal battery. In either case, you're in serious jam. So don't derestrict unless you have to, or do it after the warranty has expired.

The Walk mode in Vado SL is far better than in any other e-bike I own. The Walk mode implementation in other e-bikes is hampered with:
  • Inconvenient location of the button responsible for activating the Mode. You are always in a difficult situation when you need to walk your bike up an incline; as you are expected to keep the button depressed for the whole time, better to have easy access to Walk mode button
  • Delayed Walk Mode engaging
  • Too strong or too weak or otherwise ill matched amount of assistance.
In Vado SL, the Walk mode button is just under your thumb when you are expected to walk your bike uphill. The engagement is instantaneous. And the amount of assistance is perfect there.
 
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VoltMan99

Well-Known Member
Region
Asia
City
Tokyo
i doubt that the delrin part is anything other than the rider input sensing mechanism.
Not sure of its function, but it’s definitely temperature sensitive. Delrin is banned in aviation components that bear stress because it fails miserably below -40°C. I don’t think it’s worrisome though in a bike, unless you subjected it to extreme subfreezing temperatures. Like Alaska or Northernmost Canada?
 

VoltMan99

Well-Known Member
Region
Asia
City
Tokyo
PearTune is invisible to Mission Control but might be detected by the dealer. Worse: One of servicing actions done by Specialized dealers is temporarily removing the TCU; and the chip has to reside below the TCU (no other place in the bike available. Also, the dealer might want to remove the motor to get access to the internal battery. In either case, you're in serious jam. So don't derestrict unless you have to, or do it after the warranty has expired.
Thanks Stefan!
I think I would remove the unit for any service times with the dealer anyways. As long as Mission Control doesn’t detect it while I’m using it! Nonetheless I will probably wait a year before doing anything like that because I really don’t need to go faster than 25 km an hour at the moment.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
PearTune 3.0 for SL1.1 installed

Installed, working fine!

I won't describe the process or present pictures (If someone is interested, please write a PM to me). Impressions only:

The PearTune setup for SL 1.1 e-bikes is not that complicated as it is for Giant. Yet, you need to be mechanically and electronically inclined to do the job yourself.
  • Dropping the motor is very easy, and the motor chamber is surprisingly "clean" and tidy. (This phase requires removing the chainring to get access to all motor mounting bolts).
  • The chip shall reside inside the top tube under the TCU unit. Routing the PearTune cables from the top tube through the head tube then through the bottom tube (along the battery) and finally to the motor chamber is tricky. There is a folded sheet of plastic inside the head tube that protects the cables inside the frame against being rubbed by the steering tube; this piece makes it hard to route the PT cable through the head tube. Removing the fork may be necessary.
  • PT connects to the TCU unit with two connectors. However, the other cable end is terminated with two flimsy electronic connectors (one connector goes to the speed sensor cable while the other is connected to the motor terminal. The reason for using such flimsy connectors (instead of proper ones) is important: The polarity of PT wires on the motor side is critical, and the wires are colour-coded to avoid making a mistake. These small connectors allow the wire colours to be seen and identified. To ensure that the connectors stay secured in respective sockets, two pieces of heat shrink tube have been provided; so you need to have a heat gun to complete the process.
The unit works very well and as intended. You activate the Normal version of the PT by short depressing the Walk Mode button on the remote. If you own the TCD display, number 9 will briefly show as speed value (but you do not need to own the display anyway). Second short depressing the button deactivates the PT (number 2 appears on the display). If you order Still On version of the PT, your SL e-bike (Levo, Creo or Vado or Como) would be permanently de-restricted.

Performance
To keep the matter short: You just get a full blown bike with no artificial and annoying motor cut-off. Yet the chip won't turn the bike into a motorcycle because only the speed restriction is lifted but the motor wouldn't become any stronger. With 25 km/h Euro SL e-bikes, using the chip is beneficial: the motor cut-off at that speed is infuriating, and de-restricting means that you can ride at somewhat higher speed very naturally. But that won't make an SL e-bike a speed demon (which is totally different to full-power e-bikes).

To ride really faster on a derestricted SL e-bike requires at least one of these conditions met:
  • The rider can really pedal strongly (which eliminates ailing people), or
  • You use far more juice from the battery, which will significantly reduce the impressive battery range of SL e-bikes.
Example:
I can input the FTP of 100 W into the cranks (FTP is continuous rider's leg power delivered for 1 hour); I can produce around 160 W when I try harder, and 411 W is my peak power.
  • 25 km/h restricted SL ridden for 33 km (around 20 mi), partly upwind, and partly off-road: Average speed 18.6 km/h (11.6 mph), battery consumption 31%
  • As above, a 72.6 km (45.1 mi) loop. Average speed of 20.6 km/h (12.8 mph), battery consumption 86%
  • Derestricted, sidewind, 160 W leg input, 45/70% assistance: Cruising speed of 25 km/h (15.5 mph)
  • As above, 65/85% assistance, cruising speed of 30 km/h (18.6 mph)
  • As above, 100/100% assistance, peak leg power applied for a while: max speed of 34 km/h (21.1 mph)
  • Derestricted, riding mostly in 65/85% assistance, 29 km (18 mi), sidewind, average speed of 24.6 km/h (15.3 mph), battery consumption 51%.
Verdict: Installing PT on an SL e-bike only makes sense when you frequently hit the speed limiter set to your country's law. For instance, I see no reason to do anything to U.S. Class 3 SL e-bikes; and derestricting a Canadian 32 km/h SL makes little sense too. While European, Australian or Japanese rider would love to derestrict, especially when we are talking on Creo SL, the road e-bike.

The bottom line
Derestricting Vado SL is bad for the battery/range, and it diminishes the fitness value of that e-bike. I intend to continue riding in low power assistance modes except an urgent need to ride faster from time to time. Still, derestricting has made my SL become a completely normal bike, and now the Vado SL meets all my expectations.
 
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Mitch8

New Member
Region
Europe
If you want to remove and reattach the tuning in 5 seconds, i use that speedbox. Without range extender and a middle of 29 km/h i can go up to 100km (300hm) . Is around 149€ , made in germany. For Creo and LEVO / VADO SL. But you will lose your warrenty ....

 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
If you want to remove and reattach the tuning in 5 seconds, i use that speedbox. Without range extender and a middle of 29 km/h i can go up to 100km (300hm) . Is around 149€ , made in germany. For Creo and LEVO / VADO SL. But you will lose your warrenty ....

Everybody will in case of tampering with the speed limiter.

What I don't like about SpeedBox is it seems to divide the real speed, reporting half (?) of the speed and of distance ridden. The chip such as Peartune reports true speed and distance. I agree that removing a chip is very complicated compared to SpeedBox.
 

Mitch8

New Member
Region
Europe
But most "integrated" Speedboxes will be seen by the system . For Bosch for example there ist the Error-Code 504. The clip-on system is only located external on the speed-Sensor.
 

Rider51

Member
Region
USA
Sorry for overlooking your post, Voltman!

PearTune is invisible to Mission Control but might be detected by the dealer. Worse: One of servicing actions done by Specialized dealers is temporarily removing the TCU; and the chip has to reside below the TCU (no other place in the bike available. Also, the dealer might want to remove the motor to get access to the internal battery. In either case, you're in serious jam. So don't derestrict unless you have to, or do it after the warranty has expired.

The Walk mode in Vado SL is far better than in any other e-bike I own. The Walk mode implementation in other e-bikes is hampered with:
  • Inconvenient location of the button responsible for activating the Mode. You are always in a difficult situation when you need to walk your bike up an incline; as you are expected to keep the button depressed for the whole time, better to have easy access to Walk mode button
  • Delayed Walk Mode engaging
  • Too strong or too weak or otherwise ill matched amount of assistance.
In Vado SL, the Walk mode button is just under your thumb when you are expected to walk your bike uphill. The engagement is instantaneous. And the amount of assistance is perfect there.
I work in an LBS / SZ dealer, and I can say with near certainty any mechanic that opens up your SL won’t care one way or another about the Pear. I would however warm them beforehand if you take it in for service, so they know to look for it, and not damage it on accident not knowing it’s there.

We’ve seen all sorts of hacks, and are too damned busy to “report” anyone for anything, let alone really care. It’s your bike. We’re riders too, not the bike industry nannies.

The only thing we have done is caution people about the Planet3 magnet system, as you can burn your motor out and shorten the life of your battery with it. This will be potentially obvious when the thing dies, and using the, “I was just riding along when…” line isn’t likely to cut it under scrutiny from Specialized when looking into the dead bike on a warranty claim.

If you do get a mechanic to change your wheel circumference to 2000 using the diagnostic app (pizza? beer?), the bike will have a little more zip, but not as much as you may think. It also won’t burn anything out or void a warranty, no matter what, but if you do have the TCD, it will throw the numbers off. It’s also very likely when any local shop later runs diagnostics they won’t even blink at seeing this setting, and not want to waste mouse clicks to change it. Again, it’s your bike. If you’re already de-restricted, this is the absolute most tuning I’d do to get the most out of your bike.
 
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