Sunday, September 29, 2019

Lighthouse Century 2019

Let me start by saying that the ICE Sprint FS E8000 was an absolute joy to ride in the e-friendly/recumbent friendly SLOBC Lighthouse Century. I rode the half century (50 miles) with 2,156 feet of gain. I'm was more than happy to let others proof their physical prowess and do the century with it's 6,331 feet of gain while I enjoyed the ride along the coast keeping up other DF riders who were doing the same. On the climbs I could easily go 9 mph at half energy while the DF riders were slogging up at 4 to 5 mph. Wanting not to be obnoxious I usually scaled back, only passing the slowest riders early in a climb.  For the ride I took along an extra battery. I probably could have squeaked out the 53 total miles on one battery but why stress. I changed out the battery at the halfway rest stop. During the last 10 or so miles I used more assist than normal as my right calf was starting  to get tight. Yet another reason for having e-assist.

Since I no longer live in Cambria, on the Central Coast, I decided to check back in with the beauty of the Central Coast and join in the Lighthouse Century ride sponsored by the San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club. SLOBC's Lighthouse Century has always been a recumbent friendly ride. Many of it's members ride recumbents. Now the Lighthouse Century is an e-bike friendly ride. So I packed up the ICE Sprint FS E8000 in the car and Carrie and I headed to Morro Bay for the ride. Me to ride and Carrie to visit the beach and antique stores.

HWY 1 from Morro Bay up through Cambria has been repaved with plenty of good shoulder as the rumble strip is along the white line leaving plenty of room to ride and pass.

Conclusion...I would not have done the ride without the e-assist. I was able to enjoy the ride without the worry of physical limitations.

 First long climb of the ride on the new pavement. Although overall less climbing than I usually do on local rides.

First rest stop at Harmony

Climbing the hill through Cambria

Riding back to Morro Bay and the end of the ride

Helmet off and end of the ride. Time for lunch with Carrie.

To finish the day a dinner with Carrie overlooking Morro Bay and Morro Rock

Monday, September 16, 2019

E6100 Display Problem...Solved?

Updated 10/13/2019 - After 260 miles the display started again going on and off on rough roads. I added a plastic shim (a plastic toothpick from my Swedish Survival Knife) between the side of the holder and the display. Problem solved again...for now. I've been sending ICE updates on this little problem to get their input.

Note; The ICE Sprint FS E8000 uses the Shimano E6100 display with the E8000 motor.

While riding the other day the display would turn off and then right back on. I contacted ICE and they told me to check the display by wobbling it in the cradle as shown in the ICE video below. I was ready to turn a minor problem into a big production by checking all the wiring for a loose connection. A bit embarrassing that I didn't think about checking the display connections. Oh well...I'll still admit by lack of clear thinking and pass on what I learned to other Shimano Steps users.

Video from ICE Customer Service

If the above video looks like a problem you're having then the fix may be easy. On the back of the cradle is a screw that's used for security. If tighten enough the display will not come off the cradle. It also seems to make the display more snug in the cradle and keeping it in contact with the contact points.

I'll note here that my display problem looked like the one in the video but it didn't turn on and off while testing it in the comfort of my garage. My problem occurred while riding in 95 degree heat and generally when hitting a rough patch on the road. By tightening the cradle screw the display problem hasn't reoccured. Hopefully it stays that way. 70 miles with the adjustment and all is well.

Back of the E6100 display used with the  E8000 motor.

If the display does loose contact with the cradle for a brief moment chances are contact will immediately be reestablished but you'll be without assist for a couple of seconds and you'll have to reset the assist level on the display. Luckily for me the battery stayed on and I didn't have to reboot the assist by stepping off the pedals to allow the torque sensor to set. Also the electronic Di2 shifter on my trike kept working while the display booted back up.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Steps Error Code E043

After getting the error code E043 twice in last few days I decided to take my ICE Sprint 26 FS E8000  for a firmware reinstall and a download of two new firmware updates using Shimano's ETube.

I'm told the error code E043 is the most common. Shimano says simply restore the firmware. While riding the assist stops assisting and the error code flashes. I turned the system off and then back on again and the system rebooted and I was off and cycling again with assist. 

 The trike plugged into Shimano's E Tube program on Dana's computer at Bent Up Cycles for restoring and updating the firmware.

Dana's computer updating the firmware.

Plugged in

I believe this is the first time in 10 years that I had to take a trike in for maintenance. I've always done my owner maintenance. Shimano's ETube program for use with the Steps is available to be downloaded on Windows. I have Mac. It's also available as an app for a Bluetooth connection to the assist system if your Steps has Bluetooth. No Bluetooth on the Steps assist I have. So I'm kinda stuck for now and will have to take the trike in for updates and system analysis. Oh well, I'm not use to relying on others for trike maintenance. But it's good to check in with Dana at Bent Up Cycles for something other than buying a new trike. Hopefully in time this will be worked out so I can at least install updates on my own.