How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Tour Mode

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Tour Mode

Confessions of a speed demon: for the first few months that I regularly rode our RUSH/CTY SPEED, I rode everywhere in Boost mode, without exception. I might as well have removed the rocker switch from the handlebar controller, as I never once thumbed down to a lower pedal-assist mode. The power and speed were absolutely intoxicating. I marveled at the ability to beat automobile traffic across intersections and I reveled in the satisfaction of outrunning traffic all across my city, smiling at my smug reflection in the windows of the same cars I passed over and over again at every stoplight.

Of course, there is a downside to wringing every last watt of acceleration out of your Serial 1, and that’s range readings that regularly registered at the lower end of our estimated range calculations. Big speed requires big energy, and in the interest of increasing my available range, I decided to actually use that rocker switch and begin to explore what the other three ride modes had to offer.

All Serial 1 eBikes offer four distinct levels of pedal-assist: Eco, Tour, Sport, and Boost. Eco mode, the lowest level of pedal-assist, offers approximately 50% more power than what the rider puts into the pedals; Tour roughly doubles the rider’s pedal input, while Sport triples that figure and Boost offers approximately four times the rider’s input (these multipliers are not exact, but close). Imagine my surprise when, after a few days of experimentation across the modes, I came to prefer Tour mode above all others. Riding in Tour mode compared to Boost mode makes no difference at all in the ability to maintain high speeds—at the same pedaling cadence Tour mode keeps you above 25 mph just as well as Boost mode—the only difference is how fast you get up to that speed. Where Boost provides a dramatic blast of acceleration, Tour delivers gentler, more deliberate acceleration to the same cruising speed. The real difference, however, is in power consumption. If you are willing to forgo a bit of that exhilarating acceleration, you will be rewarded with dramatically reduced energy consumption and a commensurate increase in available range. That’s a win of some kind, right?

I’m not going to lie, I still use Boost mode quite often, when I want to surprise a car off-the-line or especially when I want the giddy delight of summiting a steep climb with unbelievable quickness. For the vast majority of my riding, however, I keep that rocker switch locked in Tour mode and revel in a different sort of thrill, watching the charge status barely move even as the miles pile on. You paid for all four power modes, and it doesn’t cost you anything to switch on-the-fly—make sure you try them all, and you might be surprised what you find. Even if you are a speed demon like me.

- Aaron Frank, Brand Director, Serial 1

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