First Ebike test ride today.

#1
The wife and I took a couple of 2019 Specialized Vado's out for a test run today. She was on the 3 and I was on a 5. We swithched bikes mid way. Beautiful bikes. Strange thing was that we both liked the 3 better. Mostly because it was a more comfortable ride with the front suspension. The Vado 5 is a thousand dollars more and has a straight front end with no suspension. I was worried that the 250 watt motor wouldn't haul my 210 lb butt up a hill but as others have mentioned, Watts aren't everything. We shot right up the steepest hill in town as if it wasn't even there. I was impressed. On the straights I was a little less impressed. In the Eco mode, because it was such a hulking bike (48 LBS), the effort required was about the same as riding my standard road bike (18 LBS). It was fun in Sport and Turbo modes though. It has three modes, Eco, Sport and Turbo. I was told that the Vado 3 would do 25 mph and the Vado 5, 28 mph. Riding the Vado 3, anything over about 21 mph seemed to require a lot of effort on my part. There didn't seem to be any motor assist beyond about 20 mph in any gear or mode. It was just a test ride so maybe I didn't have it set up properly but I was in the top gear and Turbo. Over all I was very impressed with the bike. Very clean lines and features that a life long cyclist could apreciate. I just have to decide if the expense is worth it to me. I love riding my road bike, I'll never get rid of it and will still use it for exercise and the thrill of self propelled speed. The question is, will I use an electric bike enough to justify the $3,200? I still need to test ride a couple other bikes and let this one settle in before I can make a decision. This site had been a great help. Thank you all! The journy continues.
 

Tim859

New Member
#2
I paid about $2,000 for my ebike. It assists to 20 mph which it plenty for me. I often exceed 20 mph going downhill so the the extra assistance isn’t needed. I just needed help climbing. If I lived in a flat area I might have chosen differently. If I wanted a class 3 ebike it would have cost significantly more and had reduced range. They are fun and I’m sure you’ll enjoy either bike.
 
#3
I have had a Vado 3.0 for 9 months and about 1,000 km. The bike should provide noticeable assist up to at least 25 mph. The only significant criticism of these bikes is that the gearing does not quite match the assist. The 3.0 was designed to be a Class 1 pedelec (15 mph or 25 kmh) for European markets. The gear ratios were set with this speed in mind. Once the bikes came to the U.S. market, it seems that Specialized realized that they would sell a lot better with a 28 mph top assist speed. All that this required was reprogramming the electronics...but the gearing did not change. (Note that Specialized had issues in 2017 and early 2018 making sure that all of the U.S. 3.0's had the 28 mph programming rather than the Euro 15 mph programming. Perhaps your test bike did not have the proper programming.). Thus, to travel at 25 mph you have to be on the smallest rear chain ring. In fact, I am almost always somewhere on the smallest three chain rings. This leads to a lot of concentrated wear on the rear hub. The most prevalent mod for these bikes seems to be to go to a larger front chain ring. When I need to replace my chain, I will probably make that change too. Other than the gearing mismatch, I love the 3.0 for my short 3 mile commute and for running errands.
 
#4
Thanks for the info. I love the overall feel and look of the bike. Being a lifelong cyclist I apreciate the touring bike look and feel. Is there any reson you wouldn't but this bike? Can you think of any other similar bikes I should be looking at? I like that it comes in an extra large frame as I am 6'3". I'm sold on it just for looks alone but I need to be careful there. I would be using it alongside of my regular road bike that I use for exercise and the shear joy of self propelled speed. It would be more for commuting to town and errands.
 
#5
Douglas, the other bike that I was considering and which I test rode was a Giant Quick E+. That seemed like a great bike too. For me, I wanted to make sure that I had local support so I stayed away from the online-only bikes. The savings on the parking garage for my car (I use a surface lot on the odd day that I drive) make the high price of the major manufacturer e-bike not that big of a deal. Lot's of others can chime in about their favorite bikes. I live in South Carolina so there are very few days where it is a struggle to ride. If we get snow, the whole county will shut down anyways!
 
#6
I went back for a second ride on the 3.0 and what you said about it being geared for 15 mph seemed correct. I could get it over 20 mph but the cadence was too fast, even in the highest gearing. It would be uncomfortable to maintain it for any distance. I'm looking at a Cannondale Contor-e now at the same, local shop. It's more of an urban assault style bike with wider 26" tires. The ride was very comfortable. It hauled my 200 lb butt over a steep climb. On the flats, at speeds over 22 mph, it had a slower, more comfortable cadence. It isn't as sleek and sexy as the Specialized but it's a handsom rig and looks more capable in varied conditons. It did well in town. With the fatter tires it should be good for some light off roadiing as well. It's also seriously discounted. Aparently that model isn't selling. Works for me.
Cannondale Contro-e
 

Ken M

Active Member
#7
I went back for a second ride on the 3.0 and what you said about it being geared for 15 mph seemed correct. I could get it over 20 mph but the cadence was too fast, even in the highest gearing. It would be uncomfortable to maintain it for any distance. I'm looking at a Cannondale Contor-e now at the same, local shop. It's more of an urban assault style bike with wider 26" tires. The ride was very comfortable. It hauled my 200 lb butt over a steep climb. On the flats, at speeds over 22 mph, it had a slower, more comfortable cadence. It isn't as sleek and sexy as the Specialized but it's a handsom rig and looks more capable in varied conditons. It did well in town. With the fatter tires it should be good for some light off roadiing as well. It's also seriously discounted. Aparently that model isn't selling. Works for me.
Cannondale Contro-e
I tend to be the anti-establishment guy on EBR as I tend to not only drink the mid-drive koolaid. They are wonderful for climbing and the mid and low center of gravity (mainly benefiting mtn bikers) but have a major gearing issue when riding at higher speeds. When say on a 44T front chain ring and an 11T rear 75% of the torque is lost thru mechanical inefficiency. For this reason consider trying a high powered direct drive hub motor bike like the Power In Motion Archer (actually a very good deal at below $1,800 - get back to me if you are interested as I can help a bit on a deal maybe). At higher speeds a direct drive hub drive become very efficient and all the torque is directly applied at the rear wheel so does not suffer mechanical inefficiencies at high speeds like mid drives. They should also prove to be very reliable long term as the only moving wear is the bearings (no internal gears). There is also reduced wear on the bike drive system parts. The hub drive bikes may not be as cosmetically cool as the mid drives but they are great for urban mobility.
 

Jerry LM

Active Member
#8
If mid drive is less efficient and wear is an issue why can they offer a 20,000 mile warranty or four years on the mid drive with CVT and electronic shifting? I don't think it's KoolAid at all because it sure works well on the road.
 
#9
Douglas, the other bike that I was considering and which I test rode was a Giant Quick E+. That seemed like a great bike too. For me, I wanted to make sure that I had local support so I stayed away from the online-only bikes. The savings on the parking garage for my car (I use a surface lot on the odd day that I drive) make the high price of the major manufacturer e-bike not that big of a deal. Lot's of others can chime in about their favorite bikes. I live in South Carolina so there are very few days where it is a struggle to ride. If we get snow, the whole county will shut down anyways!
I own the 2018/2019 Easy motion Nitro City and is one of the best S pedelecs out there. Over all, it has it all, 28mph speed, great accessories , 3.5k prixe, 600watts batery. I see a lot of issues with Specialized, Treks, Juiced . Other great option is a S pedelec from Bulls - they are a little better quality but higher price 4-5k.
Then , there are the Riese&Muller+Stromer e bikes but those i would only leave unattended if I have a Seecret Service bodyguard 😉, or until better bike anti theft security comes along.
 
#10
We ended up getting Two Cannondale Contro-e Speed bikes and are very tickled. For one they are down in price from $4,500 to $2,700. Not exactly sure why but they have a 500 watt battery and Bosch motor. I've seen a Riese & Muller set up similarly for three times the money. We purchased them to do town trips and some fun rides. We will still use our road bikes for exercise and recreation. So far we have ridden them about 100 miles over some demanding routes and found them to be very satisfactory. I did twenty miles today, with hills and still had three of five bars left. I wil be changing out the seat and grips though. Just added a Mirrycle mirror and love it. Ordered the Ortlieb Sport-Roller City panniers and Ergon grips yesterday.
 
#11
Perhaps your test bike did not have the proper programming.). Thus, to travel at 25 mph you have to be on the smallest rear chain ring. In fact, I am almost always somewhere on the smallest three chain rings. This leads to a lot of concentrated wear on the rear hub. The most prevalent mod for these bikes seems to be to go to a larger front chain ring.

It had the upgraded programming, it's just that to get it over 20 mph you had to peddal like an SOB. We really wanted to get that bike but the high cadence at speeds over 20 was a deal breaker. I didn't know about changing out the front sprocket for a larger one but wouldn't have felt comfortable doing it on a new bike anyway. The Contro-e was set up for higher speeds from the get go and is proving to be a very capable bike.
 
#12
We ended up getting Two Cannondale Contro-e Speed bikes and are very tickled. For one they are down in price from $4,500 to $2,700. Not exactly sure why but they have a 500 watt battery and Bosch motor. I've seen a Riese & Muller set up similarly for three times the money. We purchased them to do town trips and some fun rides. We will still use our road bikes for exercise and recreation. So far we have ridden them about 100 miles over some demanding routes and found them to be very satisfactory. I did twenty miles today, with hills and still had three of five bars left. I wil be changing out the seat and grips though. Just added a Mirrycle mirror and love it. Ordered the Ortlieb Sport-Roller City panniers and Ergon grips yesterday.
WOW ! What great bikes and at a great price. Excellent choice...Congratulations. The Bosch power train is tops in my book. Consider the Body Float seat post. https://cirruscycles.com/
I have two and love 'em
 
#13
With the Body Float seat post it looks like my wallet would be what was sore. Suntour and Satori look a bit more modest in price. Any comments on those? I'm still changing out the seat but I like the idea of having a bit of shock absorption in the post.
 

indianajo

Active Member
#14
See under parts forum below, there was a discussion of that from someone that owned both. there was also a copy seatpost for $99 that somebody bought.