Firmware… Keep it up to date

Firmware up-grades for your eBike?

Yes… this is a thing. Today’s eBike feature very hi-tech batteries, motor drives and onboard computers that keep everything running and operating to maximum efficiency. And like any other computer… from your smartphone to desktop, every once in a while, it needs a firmware upgrade.

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Most eBikes brands that are utilizing Bosch or Shimano drives have a regular updates that comes out every 6 months or so.

Why is this important…?

To answer this, lets look at the Bosch system. It has a 32 bit processor onboard that learns how you have been riding. As this data is collected, the system adjusts to save your battery power and makes the system more efficient. Regular updates allow the onboard processor to be fresh and current. Information collected from the processor is also of great value should your eBike have issues that can only be resolved via the shop’s diagnostic tools.


Other systems have similar technology and requirements.

The Yamaha system (currently available on Giant eBikes) has a 16 bit processor inside the motor. This too needs regular updates to remain current. Utilizing the Yamaha BluePed app (Android and Apple compatible) allows you to monitor the performance and functionality of your Yamaha equipped eBike. EBike service shops (such as Gears) will have the more sophisticated GreenPed utility, which allows for deeper diagnostic and processor maintenance.

Most Specialized eBikes work with the Specialized Mission Control app (Android and Apple). This app allows the consumer to do their own updates and monitor the bike’s performance, but the bike’s history still needs shop-level diagnostics should something go wrong with the drive unit.

Emotion (Easy Motion) also has an awesome App (Android and Apple compatible). With the addition of a Bluetooth module, this app can give you electrical assist when your heart rate reaches a preset value. Like all other eBikes, Emotion firmware should be updated every 6 months to year.

Regardless of your eBike, just like regular mechanical service, firmware updates will make your bike happier and more efficiant. Next time you’re at the shop for regular service, be sure to ask the technician to check the version of software your bike is currently running. Chances are…, it could use an update.

Editors Note: Special thanks to Greg Celovsky, Lead Service Technician (and eBike Guru) at Gears Bike Shop Mississauga, for accumulating this information on eBike Firmware. 


Test Ride: Specialized Turbo Vado

The Specialized Turbo Vado (recently previewed in Wired) is a beautiful thing. Once again I have the opportunity to try another in the awesome line up of e-bike brands and models at Gears Bike Shops and the Vado is certainly a pleasure to ride.


My day off started with a short trip to get a brief treat, aroma espresso bar in Forest Hill Village. Taking a meandering route through the surrounding neighbourhood, I eventually found my intended destination, parked the Vado beside the patio and brought my coffee out along with my laptop.

One of the greatest attributes of the Vado is its belt-drive motor – it is very quiet! The low hum of the tires overpowers whatever sound may be coming from the motor itself. The Brose motor and Shimano drive-train provides an easy shifting and very responsive assist to help achieve any cycling challenge.

Looking for an interesting backdrop in a nearby neighbourhood to take a pic of the Vado, I went to Wychwood Barns in Hillsdale. After achieving my mission I started on my trip back home when I saw a woman standing with a folding e-bike (quite a popular model). She was speaking with a friend and when I noticed the conversation turn to the bike and its features, I went over to join the session.

My observation from this little ‘everyday story’ is that e-bike owners come in all shapes, sizes and walks-of-life, and each one of them becomes an advocate for this new wave of transportation and fun.

To understand what all the Vado buzz is about and why e-bikes are creating such a stir in cycling circles, drop by any of our Gears stores to try one, just for the fun of it. The guys and gals at Gears will welcome you and chat about your e-bike interests even if it’s just to learn why e-bikes are becoming so popular.