Smart Control, yes or no?

mogulman

Active Member
Region
USA
So just got my Turbo Vado SL 5.0 yesterday. Hoping to go out for a ride today (if weather and work cooperate). This is my first specialized ebike.

Does anyone use Smart Control? I saw some posts about it last year and it seems like most people gave up on it, because it's algorithms don't help as much on steeper hills and it tends to conserve battery when you might need assistance at the beginning of a ride. Also, you can't adjust manually while in that mode. Is that still the case? Any point in my using it?

Also, with a Garmin tracking my ride and the display on the TCU, is there any reason for me to mount my phone somewhere accessible? I was just going to throw it in my seat bag. I'm assuming there is no point to track on Garmin and Mission Control app at the same time. This is assuming I have my tuning setup the way I want ahead of time.
 
So just got my Turbo Vado SL 5.0 yesterday. Hoping to go out for a ride today (if weather and work cooperate). This is my first specialized ebike.

Does anyone use Smart Control? I saw some posts about it last year and it seems like most people gave up on it, because it's algorithms don't help as much on steeper hills and it tends to conserve battery when you might need assistance at the beginning of a ride. Also, you can't adjust manually while in that mode. Is that still the case? Any point in my using it?

Also, with a Garmin tracking my ride and the display on the TCU, is there any reason for me to mount my phone somewhere accessible? I was just going to throw it in my seat bag. I'm assuming there is no point to track on Garmin and Mission Control app at the same time. This is assuming I have my tuning setup the way I want ahead of time.
Color me OLD and old fashioned. I'm not quite ready to defer to some algorithms (whoever came up with that spelling!!!) to determine my ride. I just constantly monitor what I need and change the power settings up/down as necessary. Now what happens on a long, hilly ride????? My longest was last year at about 53 miles (Creo) and 3,000 feet of gain and I had the Range Extender. I was probably running on fumes when I got home. I've since added a second RE to my arsenal but have not been on a long ride yet this season.

My phone is in a small handlebar bag (Burrito) so that I can take it out for pictures. But it runs both Gaia and Mission Control and I have the Garmin 1030+ on the handlebar. The only time I really wanted Mission Control OUT was the time I changed battery discharge order from use both to "first deplete" Range Extender. On a long hill the RE ran out of juice and the bike became manual power. I had expected the Main battery to kick in and maybe it eventually would have but my friend was pulling away. I wanted to change the battery order but mission control was packed away. I pulled the plug on the range extender, powered off/on the bike and was on my way with the Main battery up the hill.

I'm sure others will have other tales and suggestions.
 
My phone is in a small handlebar bag (Burrito) so that I can take it out for pictures.
How do you like the Burrito bag? I worry about it interfering with the Future Shock?

I had a top tube bag, but unfortunately that will cover the TCU. I thought about getting a top tube/frame bag that mounts to the bolts/braze ons underneath my top tube. I have 3 sets of water bottle bolts (regular placement and one set underneath the top tube). All of them have a zipper on the opposite side of mounting though, so when I open it, my phone could go splat on the ground.
 
I'm always reminded of videos like this when thinking about letting Mission Control adjust assist levels. Besides elevation profile, Mission Control has no way of knowing wind speeds/changes or how many stops/starts you will have (I believe accelerations can cause higher battery usage). I tried it a couple times and found that is provided too much assistance at the beginning - so I stopped using it.

 
How do you like the Burrito bag? I worry about it interfering with the Future Shock?

I had a top tube bag, but unfortunately that will cover the TCU. I thought about getting a top tube/frame bag that mounts to the bolts/braze ons underneath my top tube. I have 3 sets of water bottle bolts (regular placement and one set underneath the top tube). All of them have a zipper on the opposite side of mounting though, so when I open it, my phone could go splat on the ground.
I'm on a Creo. I've got the smallest bag (Roadrunner) and there's nothing to interfere with the Future Shock. It is only attached by velcro straps. I will admit that having just gotten a new Pixel 6 Pro, it is now a slightly tighter fit and I might remove the foam filler I put in there to protect the phone.
 
I had a top tube bag, but unfortunately that will cover the TCU. I thought about getting a top tube/frame bag that mounts to the bolts/braze ons underneath my top tube. I have 3 sets of water bottle bolts (regular placement and one set underneath the top tube). All of them have a zipper on the opposite side of mounting though, so when I open it, my phone could go splat on the ground.
I'm with you: I always used a small top tube bag to keep my phone handy and will miss having it there. It made it easy to take out to snap a photo or return a call, etc.

As far as the original subject, it seems like Smart Control is intended to give you the max boost possible without fully discharging the battery, and that's not really the way I ride. I'd much rather just keep it on low assistance with the option -- at my discretion -- to kick it up a notch or two if I'm in a hurry or getting tired.
 
I only use Smart Control in two situations:
  • I'm on a demo ride with a Specialized e-bike I am unfamiliar with. Guarantees the return to the LBS on the battery; or,
  • I am in the middle of the ride with partly depleted batteries, and it suddenly turns out I need to dramatically extend my ride. Smart Control can save one's life without guessing what the current assistance level should be.
In the case of 2022 Vado SL (the one with Mastermind TCU), the phone running Mission Control can safely be tucked inside a pocket or baggage. Especially with Garmin/Wahoo onboard. This is what I do when riding my 2020 Vado SL.

In case of my older full power Vado, I intensively use the BLEvo app (for Range calculation among other things), so I carry the smartphone with BLEvo (and the Wahoo companion app) on the bars.
 
I use a top tube bag with a Garmin 1030 and remote buttons. I need to loosen the strap to turn on the bike, but beyond that I don’t look at or touch the TCU. All of the info I need (assist level, remaining battery) is displayed on the Garmin. I have the front on the bag loose so as to avoid tearing the gaiter around the Future Shock.
 
I use a top tube bag with a Garmin 1030 and remote buttons. I need to loosen the strap to turn on the bike, but beyond that I don’t look at or touch the TCU. All of the info I need (assist level, remaining battery) is displayed on the Garmin. I have the front on the bag loose so as to avoid tearing the gaiter around the Future Shock.
I may end up doing exactly that!
 
Not sure if this helps anyone out ....but here ya go

Not sure if this helps anyone out ....but here ya go
Interesting. I'm still having trouble getting riding time, but after I get a better understanding of range using the standard (modified) modes, I'm anxious to give Microtune mode a try. Definitely makes sense since sometimes I've gone into Sport for a reason but then leave it there longer than I need it. If I can get in the habit of just tapping the assist up and down by feel, it might pay off.
 
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