Hey bluecat...”treadmill vs sports car”...love it, but I have a Stromer ST-2 and the Vado 6, 4K miles on the ST-2 and 800 on the Vado. I was riding the Specialized electric fatty, which I brought for some off-road cycling. I found myself not using the Fatty as planned, so traded it in on the Vado 6. There is no question in my mind that my ST-2 is indeed a sports car and is super fun to drive(ride), but the Vado is no treadmill...sadly, Specialized dropped the ball on their app (Mission Control), so there is no functioning “Omni” on the Vado. That being said, it has the same drive train as the ST-2, 27.5 in. tires, no clogging, brake lights that respond to lever pressure, front shock, better fenders, stronger rear rack smaller battery with about the same range as the ST-2, it is lighter by 4 - 6 lbs. and costs 2K less. I enjoy both for different reasons. Torque on the ST-2 is much better as are the brakes, by a country mile. The front fork is a blessing on longer rides, for sure on the Vado. The riding position seems more like what I am reading and hearing about with respect to the new ST-5, as compared to the more athletic positioning on the ST-2. And by far, the largest difference is service! The folks at Stromer are fantastic, but there is only so much they can do and dealerships in the USA are few and far between. Long run, definitely Stromer. Jury is out on the Vado, but it is a strong competitor at the price point and it has run like a top for me this summer. You are one of my favorite folks on this forum; please keep up the work that you do for all of us...
Years ago, I had the pleasure to ride the Specialized turbo. Exciting, a true competitor to the Stromer. Meanwhile, Specialized ceased this model and came up with a Brose mid drive, the Vado. Impossible the make a bigger difference in the motorizing concept than this change. A Brose engineer stated in a recent interview, the inner T-belt of the motor shall be replaced after 10'000km. This illustrates the difference between a commuter bike and an occasional sparetime bike.
As your experience shows, there is always room for both of it.
I just want to protect people looking out for a commuter bike buying a mid drive just because of the price point. A test ride on your own circuit is always strongly recommended, especially when it comes to the ST3 or ST5.
interesting...I'm still experimenting with the two very different drives (rear hub vs mid-drive). Clearly, the mid-drive puts a lot more pressure on the drive train, particularly if you are not particularly adept at changing gears. I grew up on Campy friction shifters using a Nouvo Record drive train (still wished I 'd hung on to that old Raleigh International), so I don't have much of a problem in that area. I haven't dug into the difference in cost of replacing the Stromer motor vs the Brose motor, but I'm thinking the difference will lean heavily towards the Brose costing a good deal less. Personally, I like driving the rear hub motor more than I do the mid-drive, but that is largely due to the difference in the torque bands on the two. It continues to be an interesting experiment, the likely result being to sell both and get the ST-5...we'll see. I have enjoyed both and will be happy to replace the T-belt yo mentioned above if I can get 10,000km out of it...
I've been down with my Stromer ST2S for about a month now since first calling Stromer. They said they only have 3 people covering all of north America. Does anyone know if maybe they are are going out of business? I've contacted them by phone with many messages and sent the preferred emails but no response. You would think that investing 10,000 plus dollars you could get some help, so I am thinking I made a big mistake. Anyone else or is it just me? Thanks...jim
They're not going out of business, but even on the dealer end we're feeling the effects of their staff losing a few key players. Probably best to try to get support through a local dealer vs calling them directly. I'm sure they're drowning in phone calls and emails and will get to you when they can.