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I've seen the future and I'm ready

Old 01-23-21, 03:13 PM
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Barrettscv 
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I've seen the future and I'm ready

Well, after more than 20 months of lurking on the sidelines, I've purchased my first E-Bike: The Specialized Vado SL 5.0.

It comes along at a time when I'm eager to rebuild my cycling fitness. I sharply stopped my healthy cycling habit in 2019. I was in very good cycling shape during the winter of 2017/2018 and was cycling 300-500 miles per month. 2019 started strong, but I stopped cycling during the summer.

My search for an E-Bike has been very specific. The combination of features I was seeking really didn't exist in the spring of 2019. This included;

28 mph Class 3 performance

Low to moderate pedal assist power, something to improve climbing but that required significant effort from the cyclist.

Light weight, 35 lbs or less total bike weight

Long cruising range.

Well integrated controls, displays and systems with a hidden battery

700x38 tire size.

Moderate price point

I really didn't expect to find this combination of features on a production bike. However, a few weeks ago I noticed a listing for a near new Specilaized Vado SL 5.0 featured on Facebook. Not only did the bike fit my criteria, it was my size and a 75 minute drive from home. The bike had less than 750 miles and is as-new. I saved $1640 from Retail.

See: https://www.specialized.com/us/en/turbo-vado-sl

Pictures below. I’ve added a Brooks C17 saddle, Ergon GP5 grips, Shimano pedals, Vittoria Hyper tires and some aerobars I already owned.







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Old 01-23-21, 08:20 PM
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Anything that gets you out riding is a good thing in my book. I like the aero bars add on , been thinking of adding aero bars to my vintage trek 930, turned into commuter/ gravel /tourer.
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Old 01-23-21, 08:31 PM
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What ever you need to get out and riding is good. Nice looking bike.
Be safe, Frank.
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Old 01-23-21, 08:41 PM
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Any vintage bikes for sale?
Like a crappy Frenchie?



My next new bike purchase may be 'e'.

The cockpit does look unusual, but waiting for the ride reports, that's the measure of how a mule can kick.

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Old 01-23-21, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
Any vintage bikes for sale?
Like a crappy Frenchie?



My next new bike purchase may be 'e'.

The cockpit does look unusual, but waiting for the ride reports, that's the measure of how a mule can kick.
Yes, the cockpit is a work in progress, the OEM flat bar is insufficient. However, the add-on grips and aero bars I'm now trying might not stay. What would be ideal is e-bike brifters with the 12 speed rear derailleur controlled by the right brake lever and the power assist shifts built into the left lever.

Riding the bike is surprisingly normal. I've set the adjustable eco mode to 25%. This adds 25% to my wattage, just enough to overcome the added weight. The power adjustment can go from eco to full power at the press of a button. The top power level can double my output. With max power it's possible to take 15% grades at 10 mph or more. I still have to make an effort, but now the speed doesn't drop like it would on my non-assist bike. The change in cycling is primarily psychological. I feel I can take any double digit grade at 10 to 15mph. I now can enjoy a hilly ride without ever going anaerobic. I'll have a more detailed ride report when the weather allows.
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Old 01-23-21, 10:06 PM
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Haters gonna hate. I can think of a couple of good uses I would have for a bike like this. For instance, my commute, back when we all went into the office, is 26 miles each way by bike. It's just a little too far to show up nice and fresh for work. This would be great. It's pretty flat out here but I have a friend that lives in Kona, HI. He's a good bit up the hill from the shoreline. He rides a scooter most days. If I lived where he lived, I'd be all over something like this.
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Old 01-23-21, 10:27 PM
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I've seen the future too, and while I don't have to like it, it's still there. Good to know there will be nice bikes. I won't be able to train myself out of a hole forever. My guess is that 80 is the outside limit for riding in the hills. On RAMROD the oldest rider is almost always about 80. Never seen anyone over 81. Thing is, the 80 guys mostly look like the guys who whupped my butt years ago. I doubt I'm one of them. At Stevens Pass, where I ski, there's an over 80 club, complete with patches. They do OK. I saw one 94 y.o. guy who could barely walk, but skied beautifully on smooth slopes. I think he was French, though. They're not like ordinary humans.
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Old 01-24-21, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I've seen the future too, and while I don't have to like it, it's still there. Good to know there will be nice bikes. I won't be able to train myself out of a hole forever. My guess is that 80 is the outside limit for riding in the hills. On RAMROD the oldest rider is almost always about 80. Never seen anyone over 81. Thing is, the 80 guys mostly look like the guys who whupped my butt years ago. I doubt I'm one of them. At Stevens Pass, where I ski, there's an over 80 club, complete with patches. They do OK. I saw one 94 y.o. guy who could barely walk, but skied beautifully on smooth slopes. I think he was French, though. They're not like ordinary humans.
Yes, I love cycling and alpine skiing and I plan to enjoy both with moderation for the next 15 years. However, I've always been a larger than average person without any special anaerobic gift. I've always struggled on climbs compared to other cyclists in the A group. But then I've noticed most of the sprinters and time trial specialist in the pro peloton also get spit out the back on the long alpine climbs. It's all about power to weight ratio and anaerobic capacity. Either you won the genetic lottery or you didn't. No amount of training can turn a typical recreational cyclist into Peter Sagan.
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When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.

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Old 01-24-21, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
Yes, I love cycling and alpine skiing and I plan to enjoy both with moderation for the next 15 years. However, I've always been a larger than average person without any special anaerobic gift. I've always struggled on climbs compared to other cyclists in the A group. But then I've noticed most of the sprinters and time trial specialist in the pro peloton also get spit out the back on the long alpine climbs. It's all about power to weight ratio and anaerobic capacity. Either you won the genetic lottery or you didn't. No amount of training can turn a typical recreational cyclist into Peter Sagan.
My own view, ride what you like, when you like, so I like the idea of your new e bike and riding plan. Have fun!

Iím a big, older rider, too. No Sagan, either. While genetics plays a roll for elite racers, for me, I find controlling my weight by eating less and pushing myself harder on the bike, helps not getting dropped.

íCourse, itís pretty flat around here....
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Old 01-24-21, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by BCAC View Post
’Course, it’s pretty flat around here....
...and you have a longer cycling season than many. I have to tolerate losing some fitness every winter and then work hard to rebuild my fitness from March to June every year.
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When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.

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Old 01-24-21, 07:49 AM
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A lot to like about the bike. You certainly did your homework. The bars would be the only thing I’d have to change but it sounds like you’re working on that. Climbing double digit grades at 10 mph would be a dream come true for me!!!
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Old 01-24-21, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by jppe View Post
A lot to like about the bike. You certainly did your homework. The bars would be the only thing I’d have to change but it sounds like you’re working on that. Climbing double digit grades at 10 mph would be a dream come true for me!!!
Thanks' jppe, it's always good to read your posts and opinions.
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When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.

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Old 01-24-21, 09:52 AM
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Nice score on the bike. You will find yourself riding it more than planned! They are a ton of fun, especially on the flat sections as the speed is easily obtained. At some point in time, perhaps when I am nearing the end of cycling as a viable recreational activity, an ebike will be in the stable. One thing to note, Specialized only extends warranty to original owners. Although we have only seen a few battery failures and controller failures with Specialized ebikes, it does happen, and these parts are not cheap. Just take really good care of the bike, read the owners manual, especially the sections on battery care.
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Old 01-24-21, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
...and you have a longer cycling season than many. I have to tolerate losing some fitness every winter and then work hard to rebuild my fitness from March to June every year.
I started in doing moderate rides on my resistance rollers in late September and that has really paid off. I did nothing but put in the time (and the kj) on the rollers, gradually increasing the ride length but always staying below my aerobic threshold, IOW able to breathe through my nose. I'm somewhat amazed at the results. I once took a winter off, years ago, and took a vow to never do that again.

BTW it's not that sprinters lack anaerobic ability. They have that, which is what distinguishes them. They lack aerobic ability. A great deal of that is choice. Most of them would make fine domestiques. It's that slight tilt one way or the other to an enormous talent and then training toward that tilt. I'm actually a talented sprinter for a club level rider and my age, but what I like to do is climb. I love to see the valley drop away. Oh well.
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Old 01-24-21, 06:42 PM
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I like how the e-bikes are designed to hide the battery and make them look more like a regular bike. Hey, I'm not ready for pedal assist yet but never say never, and I'll ride one of those adult trikes if that's my only choice in 10 or 20 years!

I do adjust my rides as I get older and make sure I'm comfortable with the pace I'm going. I'm not out to prove anything to anyone and happy to be moving my body and enjoying what I'm doing.
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Old 01-24-21, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
My guess is we'll be lucky to make it to 80 w/o going to a 'bent or ebike! Two of my oldest riding friends have just gone to ebikes at about 78. There are a bunch of us, early to mid 70s, who can still ride but I expect we'll be dropping like flies in the next couple of years. When the time comes I have my eye on the Honda Super Cub. Less expensive than lots of ebikes!
You're right of course but I'm determined not to let myself know that.
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Old 01-25-21, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
Yes, I love cycling and alpine skiing and I plan to enjoy both with moderation for the next 15 years. However, I've always been a larger than average person without any special anaerobic gift. I've always struggled on climbs compared to other cyclists in the A group. But then I've noticed most of the sprinters and time trial specialist in the pro peloton also get spit out the back on the long alpine climbs. It's all about power to weight ratio and anaerobic capacity. Either you won the genetic lottery or you didn't. No amount of training can turn a typical recreational cyclist into Peter Sagan.

No ebike for me yet either, but that day may come if I don't kill myself first.

On the issue of training, you would be surprised ... I was. I know a guy who could barely finish double centuries before getting a good trainer. It's now pretty tough keeping up with him on a fixie. Ditto the three other clients I know of. They are MUCH stronger than they used to be.
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Old 01-25-21, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
No ebike for me yet either, but that day may come if I don't kill myself first.
I actually toyed with the idea of an e-bike while I was still working and my fitness had declined to the point I couldn't even enjoy the rides I like to do. You know I've never been a great climber but that's what I like. Since retirement and having more time to ride I am climbing better most of the time. An e-bike with the range to carry my 200 pounds on a 8000 foot 80 mile ride might be a tough ask.
I also thought about an electric mtb for exploring but a motorcycle seems like a better option, and cheaper, too.
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Old 01-25-21, 12:10 PM
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I too am of the opinion "whatever it takes to allow someone to enjoy cycling". That said, I'm seeing way to many e-assist bikes ridden by what appear to be inexperienced cyclists at much too fast a speed.

My dad is 91 and still riding his 50 year old CCM bike. I bought him a new bike two years ago with step thru frame, larger tires for a softer ride and a suspension seat post. He tried it and said he liked his old bike better. Go figure. I've suggested an e-assist to which he replied "the day I can't ride my bike is the day I stop riding". So much for trying.
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Old 01-25-21, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
I actually toyed with the idea of an e-bike while I was still working and my fitness had declined to the point I couldn't even enjoy the rides I like to do. You know I've never been a great climber but that's what I like. Since retirement and having more time to ride I am climbing better most of the time. An e-bike with the range to carry my 200 pounds on a 8000 foot 80 mile ride might be a tough ask.
I also thought about an electric mtb for exploring but a motorcycle seems like a better option, and cheaper, too.
Truth is ... I'll probably reach the point where I should go for an ebike before I actually will. I was telling a non-cycling friend about the odd mentality involved last weekend driving around in the Santa Monicas.

Two summers ago, I was suffering big time climbing Little-T to Bear Divide. It was super hot and I started cramping. It got so bad about 50 yards from the top, I had to get off the bike.

So I stood there and tried stretching and doing what I could so I could hop back on the bike and ride to the top. Rick suggested (and it made more sense) to simply WALK to the top, as that would have gotten me there and stretched things out at the same time. But there was a part of me that said ... I've never walked up a hill, and there is no effin way I am going to start now. And yea ... I never did. No matter how much I had to stop, I made sure I rode to the top of that and Dillon Divide too.

Yea ... bull headed stubbornness sometimes.
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Old 01-25-21, 01:06 PM
  #21  
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A local rider's wife got a Trek road e-bike. Now she can come on our 40-70 mile rides. She usually keeps the boost level at 1 or 2 out of 4 levels, so it's still a workout. Still had two bars out of four on the charge level after a hilly 50 mile ride!

There's a lot of reserve power. She can climb way faster than I can.
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Old 01-25-21, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
No ebike for me yet either, but that day may come if I don't kill myself first.

On the issue of training, you would be surprised ... I was. I know a guy who could barely finish double centuries before getting a good trainer. It's now pretty tough keeping up with him on a fixie. Ditto the three other clients I know of. They are MUCH stronger than they used to be.
Yes, I expect that for the next 10-15 years I'll be splitting my miles between the e-bike and the regular road bikes I own. I'm lucky to know several high mileage cyclists who are almost 10 years older than me. These cyclists ride 400-500 miles per month on regular bikes year around. So I know it can be done. If I was a better climber, I'd hold off on the e-bike. First because I wouldn't want one and second because I expect the technology to improve and prices to drop. It will probably be possible to get a 30 lb e-bike with a 90 mile range for $3500.

I fully expect to ride the regular bike 60 miles a week and ride the e-bike on alternative days providing me with 400-500 miles a month from March to November. The e-bike will help me stay in the tempo range and help build base miles.
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When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.

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Old 01-25-21, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
Truth is ... I'll probably reach the point where I should go for an ebike before I actually will. I was telling a non-cycling friend about the odd mentality involved last weekend driving around in the Santa Monicas.

Two summers ago, I was suffering big time climbing Little-T to Bear Divide. It was super hot and I started cramping. It got so bad about 50 yards from the top, I had to get off the bike.

So I stood there and tried stretching and doing what I could so I could hop back on the bike and ride to the top. Rick suggested (and it made more sense) to simply WALK to the top, as that would have gotten me there and stretched things out at the same time. But there was a part of me that said ... I've never walked up a hill, and there is no effin way I am going to start now. And yea ... I never did. No matter how much I had to stop, I made sure I rode to the top of that and Dillon Divide too.

Yea ... bull headed stubbornness sometimes.
I know exactly what you are talking about. I like being able to say I have never walked the bike or called for a ride, except the time I destroyed a wheel in T.O. I've told people I won't consider am e-bike until I am 70. It's only a little over 3 years now.
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Old 01-25-21, 01:46 PM
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Biker395 
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
I've told people I won't consider am e-bike until I am 70. It's only a little over 3 years now.


I'm only laughing because I am not far behind you. I get it!
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Old 01-25-21, 02:49 PM
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There can be, and is, a place for an E-Bike that a bicyclists can use and still not be riding a moped.... IMO

1; It should be less than 500 watts.
2; It should have to be pedaled to go anywhere, no throttle.
3; It should have a torque sensor, not a rotation sensor.
4; It should be able to be ridden like a normal bike without any assist if one wanted to.
5; It should be restricted to a max speed of 32Kms/Hr. for assistance where it cuts out.

Having one like the one above, allows me to keep fit and ride my E-Assist bike for a 2,400Km per year average, instead of maybe just using it like I used to... 400Kms a year...
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