Trek Valencia Plus - first impressions
I posted this on bikeforums.net but figured I should also put it here. And I guess the Bionx forum is the appropriate location?
It arrived over the weekend and I rode in to work today. While I like it, I'm not sure it wouldn't have been better to install a Bionx kit on my old Trek 7100 hybrid. The most disappointing feature is the battery. Rather than using the 10 Ah battery that should come with the 350 motor, it comes with a 6.4 Ah battery that normally comes with a PL-250 kit. Slightly different because the 6.4 listed on the Bionx site is 22.2 volt while this one is 6.4 / 40.7 volt.
The bike is heavier than I thought - I guess it would be even heavier with the 10 Ah battery though. It's ok on level surfaces without using the assist at all, but I wouldn't want to do it for too long. Assist level 1 overcomes the extra weight of the system and adds a bit of a boost. I'd like to use level 2 much of the time.
My major concern is that I have a 30 mile r/t commute, and while being pretty conservative (mostly using assist level 1) it's still about 1/2 used after coming in. And that's with using regen modes coming down most hills. I'm guessing that it's going to get a bit better as it breaks in but I understand from the folks on this forum that the battery shouldn't be run down that much. An extra charger is around $70 and I already ordered one. I'll keep one at work and the other at home.
The charger (fan) is very noisy and I don't look forward to having it in my office but I don't really see an option. Maybe I can put a pillow over it or something. Astonishingly, the instructions call for disconnecting the battery from the charger once it's full rather than just leaving it attached until ready to go. I find it hard to believe that a system this sophisticated could actually hurt the battery by leaving it plugged in but that's the implication. I'll review the manual tonight but that's what I recall.
The light that comes with the kit is decent but is really only a "be seen" light. It will not replace my MagicShine. It would be nice it if at least had a blink mode but it doesn't. The rear light (on the battery) is nice. Again, no blink mode though.
The rack doesn't seem too well thought out, or maybe it's just my bag - which is designed for the Topeak rack system. Using the Velcro fasteners, the placement of the bars doesn't allow for much of the velcro to grip and I worry that it won't remain stable. I'm likely to get front panniers anyway, just for the weight distribution. The battery does slide in and out and lock nicely.
When in mode 3 or 4, this baby does fly up the hills. Even being very conservative this morning I got in 10 minutes faster than normal. It will be much quicker when I'm not afraid of killing the battery.
Well, that's the initial report.
Please correct me if I am wrong, but this is the new BionX motor which has 3 internal gears, isn't it? If it is, are the gears automatic or do you change them manually?
Does it come with the throttle lever? in the EU it is not allowed yet in the UK it is. is it possible to add a throttle lever as i am considering buying the Trek T80+
thanks for the reply, i have been talking to the rep in the UK and he maintains that all the + trek bikes have the 250 watt motor even though trek advertises the T80+ as a 250W HT! he also maintains that Trek have made the BionX motor their own and have blocked any de-restriction codes, he also said that the 2011 bikes is due out in the next 3 weeks with a few changes. they are determined to keep to the EU regulations of 15mph even when many importers are advertising bikes with an 'off road option' such as the A2B and oxygen pro s.
Trek have made the BionX motor their own and have blocked any de-restriction codes,
a) I'd also read somewhere the motor on the Ultra Metro is from BionX.
b) BionX also has blocked de-restriction codes. I talked with one of their people at Interbike last fall, asked him about derestriction codes, and he had this grin and said yes they'd blocked the code.
I have this Valncia+ for one week now and I must say it is a real pain that the support speed is limited to 25km/h. For me this is not fast enough. I use it for biking to work for about 36 km and most of the time I ride above 25 km/h to about 30 km/h; so the BionX is of no use! I even have to work out more than on my regular bike because of the double weight.
Moreover, the +/- and power/mode buttons are switched. On my console the +/- buttons are on the left side and power/mode is on the right. The console is on the right side of the steer, so it should be manipulated with the right hand, to easily increase or decrease the power support. Who ever made the decision to switch these buttons in place????
The de-restriction codes are blocked indeed!
If I can't find a way to make it go faster, I will have to sell my bike because now it is really useless for me.
Okay! I can't wait to see my dealer and try to fix the problem.
I only hope this goes also for Europe. Because I asked the same question to BionX, Canada, and they gave me this answer: "All systems delivered in Europe need to have the maximum speed governed to 25 km/h , this is the rule we have to obey to do business in Europe . Sorry but nothing can be done to overcome that limit , both the motor and the control console are locked."
I'll keep you informed.
I just come in from the bike dealer.
As I expected, even in sport mode, the max. pedal assist stays at 25kph.
But I will keep searching to speed it up, I'm sure there must be a way (legal or not!)
Electric bikes have a reputation that it is meant for older people.
If Trek wants to promote the Electric bike to younger people, they will have to do something about the speed limits!
If you want to get the 25kph limit of, buy a console from a dealer in the states, or in Switzerland either trek or a Bionx, should work.
I tried it with another branded locked Bionx and it works great, I mean you get up to 32kmh assist and a nice smooth decreasing fashion instead of the abrupt break when you reach 25kmh. Keep the old console so you can take it back for warranty issues.
Unfortunately Pedalc regulations in Europe are written by people that ride on Mercedes, and have scarce knowledge of what are they talking about.
Are you really sure this will work? Reading other forums, I'm beginning to have my doubts. I really would like to try it out, but a new console costs about 200 USD. If it does not work, I will have spent money for a useless console. Rules are different in the US vs. Europe, I guess.
I'm sure there must be a simple way by (de)coding the software. But BionX nor Trek would like to give this solution, I'm afraid.
I purchased the Trek Valencia+ about a month and a half ago. It did not come with a throttle on the console. I wanted a throttle for the occasions when I have doctors appointment after work, or other times when I am in dress clothes on a hot day and I don't want to break into a sweat, etc.
I ordered a new console with a throttle from JVBikes.ca. It came in the mail two days later. Just make sure whereever you order from for the Ride+ bikes you get the "CanBus" console and not the "I2C" version. I didn't realize it when I ordered, but I found out when I brought my bike in for a firmware update to the latest (5.6) that I could have ordered a G2 console for my bike. So if you are ordering a new console to get a throttle, you may as well order the G2 version ... looks real good!
Anyway, my bike now has a throttle. It has come in handy once already in the last few days ... I was on the way home from work and my chain came off (not a usual occurrence). So I just throttled until I got home and fixed it there instead of getting my hands (and possibly my clothes) greasy.
I have done some informal test rides with the throttle. It sure chews up the battery if you use it constantly, but I find in general use, it is quite handy. For instance, while travelling in cycle mode, or assistance level 1 or 2, and I hit a small hill or need a temporary boost, it is more convenient just to hit the throttle with my thumb for a second instead of having to press the A+ button once or twice and then the G- button to get back down to my desired assisstance level when hitting these humps.
Often, I don't travel at the max 32 km/h for whatever reason, I might be happily travelling at 20-25 km/h, and for a quick little speed boost in traffic to change lanes, get through an intersection before the light turns red, or even some extra power when starting from a stop while in traffic without having to press the buttons is very handy.
So even though I don't plan on many throttle only rides, the throttle sure is handy. I would miss it if suddenly it disappeared from my bike.
As for my Valencia+, the only issues I have had with it were loose spokes (no broken spokes yet). My wifes Trek 7200+ has been having troubles left and right and is currently in the shop because it suddenly will not power on. Hers is two weeks newer than mine.
The first thing I did when I put my new throttle console on is upgrade my firmware. I am now sitting at version 5.6. I did this at a non-Trek dealer as it is the only place within two hours where I live that I found that does firmware upgrades. So I am not using any Trek firmware now, if they even customize firmware at all.
Anyway, I am sure that since I upgraded, I am getting better battery performance than I was before. I can now make it to and back from work with two less notches used up on my battery meter. I make it home with a little more than half a charge left whereas before I got home with just under a half a battery left.
This is peddling using assist levels, not using the throttle.