Tuesday, August 20, 2019

A Couple Program Changes on My ICE

The original programing on the E8000 speed sensor on the front tires was set up for a 40/406 tire. I now have 35/406 tires on the front causing a 2% error in bike computer reading my speed. It says I'm going 2% (1.9% to be exact) faster then I'm actually going. Only dealers are suppose to have the program to recalibrate the speed sensor so customers can't cheat the system. In addition dealers can only just the sensor 5% one way or another in . 5% increments.  

In addition I had Dana and Jim adjust the TRAIL assist level to provide more assist when in that setting. For me the level of assist between the ECO and TRAIL settings is too close. By lengthening the gap between ECO and TRAIL and closing the gap between TRAIL and BOOST I feel I can use the TRAIL assist more efficiently when climbing and delay going to the BOOST level as the climb gets steeper. Since help with climbing, not speed, is my priority I hope to increase my battery range this way. 

Lastly the integrated light that I ordered with the E8000 was disconnected and the program adjusted accordingly. It turns out the light is given priority over the assist when the battery is running low. I feel this is the reason I lost assist a short time back when I thought I had 20% more range on my battery. There are 5 bars to monitor the battery level. On a recent ride I lost assist immediately after the level indictor went to one bar. The E8000 program is designed to make sure that when a front light is connected to the E8000 system it has at least two hours of shine time. I'm back to using a DiNotte light totally independent of the E8000.

I'll update this post after few rides to talk about the changes I've made and how they're working for me.

Dana and Jim at Bent Up Cycles checking the dialogue 
between computer and trike

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Climbing with the E8000 Re-Visited

Hopefully this post will give current and future E8000 trike riders some idea on what to expect when climbs are part of their route.

First the Stats

As of August 3rd I now have 514 miles on my ICE Sprint FS E8000 and 36,509 feet of gain. I picked up the trike on May 18th from Bent Up Cycles. My average per mile gain is 71 feet.



How I Use the Assist

The E8000 has three levels of assist; 1) ECO seems to compensate for the extra weight of the trike, panniers and the heavy Marathon Plus tires I now use on the trike. 2) TRAIL provides some extra boost but nothing that blows your socks off. 3) BOOST is assist on steroids and it gets me over hills with ease. When you go to Boost you feel it and it feels good on a climb.

On flats and descents I don't use assist. As the terrain starts to rise I'll kick it into ECO. The trike now feels like a normal lighter trike. I'll use the ECO mode on grades between 1% to about 3%. The TRAIL mode is brought into play on grades between 3% to 6%. There's no appreciable speed advantage over my unassisted trike using either ECO or TRAIL modes as I use them but it does save my Piriformis. At 6% grade or more (or for longer climbs of 4% to 5% grades) with a click I'm in BOOST mode and the hills feel flat. On a hill at a 8% to 9% grade I use to grind up at 3-4 mph on my Catrike 700 while working up a sweat. Now I can go up at 7-8 mph barely breaking a sweat. I can easily get up to 12mph with a little extra effort and a bit of a sweat but this really drains the battery. Also I've concluded that a steep climb drains the battery faster than a moderate climb even though the average gain per mile may be the same. On occasion I'll bomb uphill just to mess with the minds of other properly contoured younger riders on their carbon fiber DF bikes. Once I pass them with a smile and a wave they figure out I have an assist and in my mirror I see them sit back down on their saddle and continue their grind up the hill. It's usually all in good fun but occasionally I'll come up on a rider with an attitude but I still give a friendly wave cause I know they'll be passing me later... but not on the downhill.

And yes, I get plenty of exercise riding with assist. No one can tell me otherwise. Probably more than before with all the extra miles and riding days I can now enjoy. That's all I'm going to say about that!

What to Expect from the Battery when Climbing

Having put over 500 miles on my ICE Sprint FS E8000 and given my average per mile gain of 71 and my compulsive log keeping I can say that with the E8014 418wh battery my range is between 30 and 36 miles per battery charge. I use 32 miles per charge as a benchmark as it was at 32 miles I ran out of power. It was right before an extended 10% climb that if I had made it to the top it would all be downhill to get back home. Given that the lowest gear inch is 24 with the 44t chainring and the weight of the trike I wussed out and called for backup knowing that the climb would fry my Piriformis. I parked in the shade of a tree and waited for Carrie to pick me up knowing I saved my old bones for another ride the next day.

While riding I'm constently changing the assist mode to maximize battery use. It's not much different than shifting between chainrings to maximize human output. But now I'm changing assist modes instead.

Having E-Assist has made it possible for me to ride multiple days in a row without ill effects on my Pirifomis or partially atrophied calf. I ordered another battery so I can extend my range. Battery range is now my consideration for the routes I ride, not how many hills lie ahead. That's a trade I can easily accept. For the first I'm exploring options for overnighters. As long as I have a place to plug in at the end of the day all is good.

Final thought; If you have used E-Assist for awhile now you've probably heard the comment "it's cheating". With a smile I say "how can it be cheating? I'm not trying to win anything". With that comment and a smile I usually get back an acknowledgement along the line of "yah, you're right". Sometimes even a short conversation takes place before triking on.