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Specialized VADO Super light

Old 05-13-20, 03:13 PM
  #1  
Rick53
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Specialized VADO Super light

These Seem to be teh way to Go: Other then Price : It's 33LBS : Goes up to 28 MPH Doubles peddle cadence : Can be ridden without power and handles like a regular bike : Feels just like a regular :


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Old 05-18-20, 08:10 AM
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Check this out

I commented on another member’s Note, but I want to draw attention to this bike. Whether it or the other Specialized SL’s are right for you, these designs change the equation for all makers going forward.



Originally Posted by Rick53 View Post
These Seem to be teh way to Go: Other then Price : It's 33LBS : Goes up to 28 MPH Doubles peddle cadence : Can be ridden without power and handles like a regular bike : Feels just like a regular :


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Old 05-23-20, 03:53 PM
  #3  
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Try them both and see what you feel. The SL line is more for those with decent fitness who want a little extra. A lot of folks want the power and these motors don't give the same power. It is an awesome bike and really nice looking and very light but is not for everyone,

I just had a customer try the Vado SL 5.0 and the Vado 5.0 and they went with the non-SL because of the power and assist it gave them. Certainly if he was more used to riding regular bikes then the SL might have felt better but he had an e-bike prior to this.
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Old 05-25-20, 11:01 AM
  #4  
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I just went to my local shop on Saturday with the intention of buying one after recently being introduced to Ebikes by a coworker with a Stromer. It was super fun on the flats and light inclines but offered very little assistance on steep climbs. I also tried a couple of Gazelles and the Vado 5.0. I found the Gazelles a little twitchy with the extreme upright position and the Bosch motors to be a little on the louder side. Ultimately I ended up ordering a Vado 4.0 that I’ll hopefully be picking up on Wednesday. The primary reason for picking up an ebike was to flatten the hills I face on my daily commute.
I really wanted to like the SL. The idea of being able to easily carry a bike up into my office was so appealing. The power that I want just isn’t there.
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Old 06-08-20, 08:43 PM
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At about the same time, I rode 10 analog miles to a dealer that carries Specialized. Went on a test ride and to my shock bought the Vado 4 sl eq. Picked it up a few days later and have been riding regularly. Did a few 13 miles, tripling my previous analog daily ride. This last weekend my friend and I rode a bit over 30 miles. A bit sore the next day. But I wouldn’t have made it before.

I can see where a more powerful motor could have its uses, the SL does a more than adequate job for the hilly W&OD.
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Old 06-09-20, 09:19 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by BEC111 View Post
At about the same time, I rode 10 analog miles to a dealer that carries Specialized. Went on a test ride and to my shock bought the Vado 4 sl eq. Picked it up a few days later and have been riding regularly. Did a few 13 miles, tripling my previous analog daily ride. This last weekend my friend and I rode a bit over 30 miles. A bit sore the next day. But I wouldn’t have made it before.

I can see where a more powerful motor could have its uses, the SL does a more than adequate job for the hilly W&OD.
Mixed Reviews on The VADO SL vs Original Vado . I am 64 6' 178 lbs : Been Riding a Trek Verve for 1 year : Live in Michigan So depending on Weather We get 6 months tops to Ride : Started last August Riding : This Year My Average Ride is 25 Miles With Rides up to 40 Miles 5 times this Year : A Ton of wind on the way back .

I live around Lake Michigan So it's a combination of Slight inclines and Steep Hills > Very Little Flats : Of course that makes the Ride back easier

How old are you ? I am concerned whether an SL Model will Do the trick : We AVERAGE Speeds between 10-11.5 MPH With Max Speeds of 16 MPH. Not considering Down Hill : I guess I can consider Myself an Average Strength Rider : I know several guys that can't keep up. But just as many that can out do me >

Do you think You are going to be happy over-all With The Vado SL ? What's the difference between teh 4 and 5 ?
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Old 06-09-20, 11:09 AM
  #7  
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Riding Vado SL experience

Originally Posted by Rick53 View Post
Mixed Reviews on The VADO SL vs Original Vado . I am 64 6' 178 lbs : Been Riding a Trek Verve for 1 year : Live in Michigan So depending on Weather We get 6 months tops to Ride : Started last August Riding : This Year My Average Ride is 25 Miles With Rides up to 40 Miles 5 times this Year : A Ton of wind on the way back .

I live around Lake Michigan So it's a combination of Slight inclines and Steep Hills > Very Little Flats : Of course that makes the Ride back easier

How old are you ? I am concerned whether an SL Model will Do the trick : We AVERAGE Speeds between 10-11.5 MPH With Max Speeds of 16 MPH. Not considering Down Hill : I guess I can consider Myself an Average Strength Rider : I know several guys that can't keep up. But just as many that can out do me >

Do you think You are going to be happy over-all With The Vado SL ? What's the difference between teh 4 and 5 ?
Hi,

I’m 72. I stared to ride again after 50+ years a year ago. Last year didn’t go well because of illness. Mine and my wife’s. So it goes.

I’m in Northern Virginia and mostly ride the W&OD trail. It’s a MUP on an old railroad right-of-way. It’s mostly rolling hills ascending from Alexandria to Purcellville. Though there are occasional steep climbs, they’re short.

I averaged about 10 MPH on my Analog bike, cruising at about 14 on flats, hitting about 18 downhill. Up hill could slow me to about 6, 7, or 8. With the Vado SL, I’m cruising at about 16 MPH, slowing to about 14 on the hills. That’s one of the real Vado SL advantages. On the downhill And flat stretches I can get up to about 26. Hard to maintain those speeds due to traffic - pedestrians, walkers, runners, skate boarders, skaters and there are rumors of horses, though I’ve not seen any. Average speeds also influenced by street crossings. stop signs, some of which can require mere slowing, others a full stop. I wait for the traffic lights because there are generally lots of cars and trucks where there are lights.

I often ride with a younger friend who got me into riding. In fact we moved to this location to be near the W&OD. He’s a much more experienced rider than I, and cruises at about 15 mph on his road bike. When we both rode analog, he’d have to slow down for me. Now I have to slow done for him. Ebike acceleration when passing usually leaves him in the dust and the occasional downhills on which I let it all out leaves him far behind.

From your self-description you would do fine with the Vado SL, assuming getting a workout is part of your riding goals. The regular Vado would give you a workout too, but not as significantly.

The SL 5 has a suspension seat post and fork, plus more gears and different tires. I may miss the lack of suspension but I couldn’t justify the extra $1000, especially since the “4” was itself 1500 over my planned budget.
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Old 06-09-20, 12:27 PM
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I think you may be the perfect target market for the SL. Someone that rides an analog bike for recreation but could use the assistance to get a little further or go a little longer.

I was ebike shopping for a city commuter with the intent to have something help flatten the San Francisco hills. My commute is only 6 miles each way but unfortunately I live atop a pretty large hill and have to go over or around a few more to get back and forth from work. Showering at work isn’t an option. I have, and still ride an analog bicycle for recreation.

Again I really liked the SL, it just wasn’t right for me.
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Old 06-10-20, 04:17 PM
  #9  
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You definitely need something more powerful. There are plenty of choices, Specialized alone has multiple Vado, and Como models., let alone Levo and Creo. And that’s just one manufacturer. FWIW, mid mount motors supposedly are better on hills, but if legal SF hills practically scream for a throttle to get you started up a hill.

good luck
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Old 07-01-20, 12:03 AM
  #10  
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I have a couple of questions about these bikes.

First, the specs on the motors of the regular Vado and the SL aren't clear. Both are 240-250W motors, but the Vado is supposed to supply "4xYou" and the SL only "2xYou". The regular Vado does list a higher peak output, though of around 500W. So, is the regular Vado only able to supply the 4x in short bursts? Is it able to supply more power because of the larger battery in the Vado?

The next question is on sizing. I am 5'9" and have ridden in the past a 54cm Cannondale road bike with drop bars, but now I'm looking at a Vado SL to give me a boost to get back into biking more. The salesman at the store looked at me and said that I should get a Large, but the chart on the Specialized site says that a Large is for 5'10" and up and I should be on a Medium. He told me I was crazy and that I was taller than him and he was 6', which I just don't get - as if I don't know my own height. (And, since I've shrunk in the past couple of decades I did check the night before I went in there when I was looking at the chart and, yes, I'm 5'9" down from 5'9.5" when I was younger). His assertion that he could eyeball my height better than every measurement I've ever taken is silly, but perhaps this was more of a case of him thinking I looked like I belong on a Large and the height numbers were just idle banter to back up his assessment. I will have a test ride, hopefully before the weekend when they get done uncrating and building it, so I can double check, but I'm not sure I'm the best expert in knowing if a bike is the right size for me in terms of whether the M or L is better. Are there rules of thumb to help me gauge if the size was assessed correctly when I do my test ride? Any anecdotal evidence of what the right size would be for a 5'9" person? The only other factor is that I'm carrying quite a few extra pounds - around 270 lately - but I don't think that should affect bike sizing...?
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Old 07-01-20, 10:14 AM
  #11  
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From what I've read, the Vado, like most electric bikes can supply "bursts" of more than its rated power, while the SL can't. Those who have tested both attest to this. There's a thread on MTBR which relates.
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Old 07-02-20, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
From what I've read, the Vado, like most electric bikes can supply "bursts" of more than its rated power, while the SL can't. Those who have tested both attest to this. There's a thread on MTBR which relates.
That’s not quite correct. Using the Mission Control App you can customize the three “Preset” levels of assist.

There are two settings for each level. One is the amount of assist your start out with and the second is the peak assist available based upon cadence and torque. The default for the third, Turbo, level is 100% for both settings. If you’re riding in either of the first two levels, pedaling faster or harder and changing gears will the amount of assist will rise automatically, up to the maximum preset level. This is a subtle, but real boost to your human energy.

There is also a button on the remote that immediately changes to Turbo mode. Assuming it remains at the defaults you will immediately get a “burst” of assist. It’s not as extreme as on other Vado’s or most other ebikes, but it is definitely welcome. I climbed a hill today that I ran out of gears and legs and had to dismount to reach the top on my analog a week ago. On my Vado 4 SL I was able to reach the top with a gear or two left and no expressed anger from the guy driving the really large dump truck following me up the hill. He courteously continued downshifting along with me, (I moved off to the side at the summit and he went by and then pulled off to his destination.) The difference was profound. I couldn’t have done that safely without the e-assist.

Last edited by BEC111; 07-02-20 at 06:54 PM. Reason: Typos
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Old 07-03-20, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by BEC111 View Post
That’s not quite correct. Using the Mission Control App you can customize the three “Preset” levels of assist.

There are two settings for each level. One is the amount of assist your start out with and the second is the peak assist available based upon cadence and torque. The default for the third, Turbo, level is 100% for both settings. If you’re riding in either of the first two levels, pedaling faster or harder and changing gears will the amount of assist will rise automatically, up to the maximum preset level. This is a subtle, but real boost to your human energy.

There is also a button on the remote that immediately changes to Turbo mode. Assuming it remains at the defaults you will immediately get a “burst” of assist. It’s not as extreme as on other Vado’s or most other ebikes, but it is definitely welcome. I climbed a hill today that I ran out of gears and legs and had to dismount to reach the top on my analog a week ago. On my Vado 4 SL I was able to reach the top with a gear or two left and no expressed anger from the guy driving the really large dump truck following me up the hill. He courteously continued downshifting along with me, (I moved off to the side at the summit and he went by and then pulled off to his destination.) The difference was profound. I couldn’t have done that safely without the e-assist.
My point was that although both are rated the same, the SL has less "top end". Everyone who has ridden both made the same comment. Not to detract from the SL; it's a different animal.
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Old 07-04-20, 06:00 PM
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for what its worth, I'm about 5'9" (maybe down to 5'8-ish now with age) and I'm often between the frames sizes M and L on nearly all manufacturer's bikes, not on what they recommend but when I ride both I can actually 'fit' either depending on what sort of bike it is.
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Old 07-04-20, 06:04 PM
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I'm also considering either the Vado or the Vado SL. I've ridden the Turbo Vado and it is smooth, powerful, comfortable etc. I'm likely fit enough to go with the Vado SL (I think) but there aren't any in stock around here for me to compare the feel to the Turbo Vado. The fact that its lighter and supposedly behaves more like a standard flat bar bicycle is intriguing to me.
My question is about the range. I know range estimates are tricky due to rider weight, riding conditions, wind, hills and so forth but I don't think the lighter one (the SL) has nearly the range the other one does. When you first get on a fully charged Turbo Vado the miles remaining says 90, and thats if you stay in eco mode, which most people won't, but even eco+ is pretty zippy on that bike. Curious how many miles one gets out of a charge on the Vado SL.
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Old 07-04-20, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Catsharp View Post
I'm also considering either the Vado or the Vado SL. I've ridden the Turbo Vado and it is smooth, powerful, comfortable etc. I'm likely fit enough to go with the Vado SL (I think) but there aren't any in stock around here for me to compare the feel to the Turbo Vado. The fact that its lighter and supposedly behaves more like a standard flat bar bicycle is intriguing to me.
My question is about the range. I know range estimates are tricky due to rider weight, riding conditions, wind, hills and so forth but I don't think the lighter one (the SL) has nearly the range the other one does. When you first get on a fully charged Turbo Vado the miles remaining says 90, and thats if you stay in eco mode, which most people won't, but even eco+ is pretty zippy on that bike. Curious how many miles one gets out of a charge on the Vado SL.
If you are a fit cyclist, you will just need the SL. Although more power for those long steep climbs would be nice. The battery drains fast in sport and turbo modes. I drive close to where I will bike for the day. Lots of times I start out and the battery is not fully charged. When getting low on power, I bike back to the car and then juice up from my portable battery station and take a coffee/food break.

I should point out in mission control on sport mode I have it at 50/50 and turbo mode 100.
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Old 07-05-20, 05:34 PM
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To my original question about size, they built my L and I went for a test ride. It seemed fine in terms of reach, but whenever I had to stand down, I resorted to tilting the bike because I would touch the top bar and that just seemed like a very uncomfortable accident waiting to happen. I tried a 4.0 M they had on hand and it fit fine in terms of reach and while I didn't touch the top bar, it was very close. Still, given the rider position was pretty much a wash for me, I wanted to go for the M instead.

The guy who was doing my bike adjustments and preparation (and test ride consulting) said the same thing as the original salesman - thinking I was 5-11 or 6-0, but no, I'm 5-9. I must "look tall".

We started talking about switching to a M and one of the other salesman said there was one over by the corner. Sure enough, they already had one built (5.0 SL EQ M). In the end, I went with that and am happy with the fit.

With regard to the SL being enough power for me... On my test ride I did try out a hill and I was getting pretty huffy and puffy, but I wasn't in the best gear as it turns out, so I didn't really see how much it could do. Still, I was managing. When I tried the 4.0 briefly I just went up and down their (rooftop parking) car ramp and it was clear that it had plenty of extra power if I chose a lower gear, at least as far as a car ramp went. That was enough for me - I'm getting this to enable me to deal with an occasional hill as I get back into biking, not as a either a taxi service or a fitness machine. I'm not intending to do long imposing climbs on it, nor am I wanting it to save me from all effort.

Test riding at home, I have some really steep hills right outside my house as I live on a large hill overlooking a valley. I wasn't able to deal with the really big hill right outside my house, but that is only about 100 feet long. I did better on the fairly steep hill around the corner from me, but by the time I got back I was really breathing hard and had to walk it all off. That may have also contributed to not being able to do the last really bad hill. It feels like I could work up to that and instead take the bike to a trail which won't have nearly as steep a section on it, for starters.

I took it down to the bay-front trail which has a few relatively short slopes of less than 1/4 mile in length. I was able to do them with my road bike a few years back when I was going to a gym regularly and I felt like I was doing better on them with no power than I would have imagined, but I definitely needed to turn the motor on before getting even to the top of the first one of them. I also discovered that assist level 2 is just about enough to erase the really strong bay-side winds you can get on that trail. I'd say the winds are around 15 MPH based on the fact that I was going about that speed on the downwind parts and feeling no air movement. On the return trip I was slowing down for a family with kids and dogs and another cyclist rode by on a regular road bike and looking like he was a fairly avid cyclist. I then decided to go out of "sunday/holiday" ride mode and try his pace. I pretty much kept up with him for the next 5 or 6 miles feeling only a bit winded when I got back to the car. That sounds about the right level of assist for me.
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Old 07-05-20, 05:49 PM
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My only issue with the bike is how to best put my SL EQ, with its fancy fenders, on my 1UpUsa rack. The rack secures the bikes by pushing down on both tires.

The front arm reaches the tire before it gets to the front of the front fender, so that is fine.

The rear fender is very long and goes right down to the vertical part of the wheel so there is no way to get down-force from the rear arm without pushing on the fender.

1UpUsa sells a couple of accessories to help with fenders, but none of them are perfect. The first accessory is a foam cushion that goes around the tire holders so they apply force softly to the fender. You still need to wedge it in pretty strongly, though, because that resistance agains the front clamp pushing the bike backwards is what keeps the bike stable. The front clamp does push partially downward, so you don't need as much force, but the bike can get wobbly about its steering head if you don't have some force on the rear. I ordered one anyway as it can't hurt and right now I'm doing the same thing with a microfiber cloth that offers little padding.

The second accessory is a stop for the front wheel. The clamp arm comes from the front of the bike and pushes down on the top front of the wheel. The wheel stop goes behind the front wheel and restricts the bike from moving towards the rear. Using that wheel stop means that the front wheel will be clamped solidly independently of the rear wheel and then you just need the rear clamp arm to keep the bike from sliding off of the track. This sounds like a great solution except that eyeing the pictures of the wheel stop and the fenders on the bike, it looks like the stop will touch the wheel at the lower part of the extremely long front fender. That part is made of a stiff rubber or plastic, though, so I will likely be able to slide the stop between the tire and the fender, but time will tell.

In the end, I'm wishing I had waited for a non EQ version. The brushed aluminum color looks better in person than it does on the web page and the opposite is true with the EQ paint job. I may end up having the shop remove the fenders and essentially down-grading my bike to the non-EQ version (honestly I am not really looking to ride much in the rain anyway) which will involve ordering a different rear light...
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Old 07-09-20, 03:17 PM
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I just treat myself to the Vado SL 5.0 EQ , now that I am fifty and my knee is not what used to be, I figured little help going up hill will keep me on the road.
What can I say about the Vado, I love it now, after few weeks to relearn how to ride a bicycle because I am a masher trying not to be now, For me the ebike works better
with a higher cadence and little finest, now my 12 mile one way commute is easier.
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