Turbo Vado 6.0 ?

jeffcrilly

New Member
Am thinking about getting a Turbo Vado 6.0 for my 12 mile commute which has some elevation changes, but is mostly straight bike lane.

https://www.specialized.com/cw/en/mens-turbo-vado-6-0/p/133868?color=216924-133868

Its kinda spendy, but seems well equipped.
I dont mind spending a few extra $$ to eliminate some hassles (and duct tape).
However, all the custom bits (battery, rear "rack", integrated lights) remind me of vehicle accessories that are tough to fix/replace when they fail.

I've seen a couple reviews on youtube which are great (these were Specialized invite-the-journalists events).
The design looks greate... the only thing it doesnt have is a "throttle" option, which would be nice for my application.

But questions are holding me back:

1) Does anyone know for sure which Brose motors are used in which bikes?
My understanding is there is the older Brose T motor, and the new S motor. Afaict, the S is used in the Specialized Levo.

The confusing part is Specialized refers to the motors as :
All the MTBs?: Specialized 1.3, Rx Trail tuned
Vado 6.0: Specialized 1.2 S, Rx Street Tuned
Vado 5.0: Specialized 1.2, Rx Street Tuned
Vado 3.0: Specialized 1.2, Rx Street Tuned

I've read that the vado 6.0 has the same motor as the Levo, but i wouldnt expect that from reading the product listing.
In fact, no where on the Specialized site do i see a mention of Brose.

2) I have seen anecdotal notes about Brose motor issues (something about a crack, another had water entry issues).
Anyone know if these issues are fixed in the new models?

3) Are there any Vado Turbo 6.0 owners here that can comment on the performance, reliability, and support?

Fwiw, I'm just thinking a "more conventional" ebike with serviceable/upgradable motor/battery parts would be nice once that 2 year warranty runs out.
(Possibly even a hub-drive motor. Which, afaict, would also be less $$.)

thx for any info / suggestions.

-jeff
 

bazzapage

Active Member
You can read some of my reviews on ElectricBikesnz.com
The 5.0 and 6.0 have the same motor, a 1.2S. that is more powerful than the 3.0/4.0 motor. The Levo is more torquey, but couldn't handle the stresses of commuting (constant load for an hour). That's why the Vado doesn't use v1.3
 

Peterdan

New Member
would think twice, have a vado 6.0 , ongoing issues.....never functioned as it should.....had to return the bike again this morning....
 

rocketman

New Member
In the past 18 months I’ve owned two Specialized ebikes...the TurboX and the Vado 5.0
I’ll keep it brief but both models gave me so much grief that the dealer refunded my original purchase price.
Btw...my Specialized dealer was incredible to work with and went to bat for me with Specialized over the continuing issues I was having with both bikes. IMO...without a convenient and supporting Specialized dealer, I’d choose another brand. FWIW, I went with a Bafang mid-Drive kit.
 

Toast

New Member
I love my Vado 3 but I too have had a handful of issues and I’m not sure if I’d buy it again or go with a giant/trek. I originally picked it because I wanted to see my power (3 can probably show it I once the app is released but the 6 can show it on the display).

Front fender fell off, cassette that comes with the bike didn’t fit right and had to be replaced, bike shop didn’t update the firmware before selling it to me, they couldn’t find the key and had to drill it out and it’s trickery to get the battery seated so I have consistent power.
 

jeffcrilly

New Member
Thx everyone. I’ve learned a bunch after my initial research and will probably go with an “online” vendor.

Btw I rode a demo karmic Koben S last week (11 miles), and it was pretty good.
 

Massii

New Member
would think twice, have a vado 6.0 , ongoing issues.....never functioned as it should.....had to return the bike again this morning....
Hello from Belgium!

I have a Vado 5 and it has been an absolute nightmare. Had to bring back the bike 3 times and it still wasn’t fixed... until they gave me a new one... went fine.. till today.. the exact same problem occured.
Turbo mode doesn’t work.. the motor doesn’t help and i’m stuck at 33km/h.

This bike is an absolute mess
 

e-levity

Member
Guess we've been lucky. Other than a few minor hiccups our Vado 6 bikes have run really well for the 9 months we've owned them. We've had the motor cut out riding on rough terrain off-road, but this was easily remedied by jostling the battery or unlocking and resetting it. Also, mrs levity's computer has had to be reset (button on the bottom) a couple of times for unknown reasons. We're comfortable with such complex bikes because we're on good terms with our LBS and have had good experiences with support for some of our other Specialized bikes and parts.

We've "customized" our Vados a bit - no fenders or rack, 27.5 wheels with lighter tires, better bars and fork, and a dropper post. They handle much better now! They're so fun that we sold our regular road bikes (Specialized Diverges). The modified Vados have turned us into hooligans at times. :)

Here's a larger version of the pic used for my Avatar.
 

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ZsViczian

New Member
My experience with the Vado 6 has been, to say the least, mixed. When it works, the ride feels like flying. BUT I've become a regular at the bike shop since December, visiting with an issue on average once a month. The bike computer does not remember settings, always resets to default. Connecting to the phone app still does not work after a year of promises. I’ve had multiple cases when the software froze during the ride leaving me without pedal assist in traffic - this can be dangerous when you ride fast and suddenly the support is gone. I'm on my second cassette, I have had the chain changed. The rear rack was fixed as the bolt fixing it under the seat broke. After 3100 km the motor broke and was replaced - lucky that the one year guarantee is still valid. The newest issue is a broken spoke.

While I am pushing the bike and myself hard, I am not reckless. I've been regularly riding a bike for the past 30+ years and never had so many problems with a bike in my life. I take extreme care of ensuring I do not strain the chain.

In summary, based on this experience I'll never buy a Specialized bike again.
 

ROJA

Active Member
I would take these forums with a grain of salt - it's rare to see people log in and post to say "bike worked great; nothing broke today." It's the same thing with car forums, etc.

Check out the mileage thread and you'll see people with 10,000+ km/mi on Turbo bikes. I'm over 3000 miles on my Turbo X (prior gen with GoSwiss hub drive) and I've been very happy (with the key being that my dealer has solved issues that have come up and even replaced the battery under warranty).
 

smitty

Active Member
I have ridden my Vado 6 a bit over 800 miles this summer, some city riding, but mostly out on country roads. To this point, the only problem I have encountered is reseating the battery. My dealer (and some of my friends) can do it instantly, but I seem not to have the "touch". My solution has been to simply leave the battery on the bike and charge it while it is on the bike. Aside from that small inconvenience, the bike has ridden like the proverbial top all summer. I regularly degrease and lube the chain and cassette and wipe the bike down once in a while. I ride in some pretty hilly countryside and the bike has been superb in every instance and I have not had to take it to the dealer all summer. I use a torque wrench if I remove the tires to clean the fenders or for tightening up loose connections simply to keep up the specs outlined in the manual. Sadly, Specialized has apparently dropped the ball on their Mission Control app which was to be such a large part of customizing the bikes power. That by itself is a huge disappointment in regard to the Vado 6, but I use a Garmin 1000 bike computer to keep track of mileage and all of the other parameters it is capable of, along with navigation. It would have been really great if the app could have been made to work with the Blok's controller unit. Hopefully, i haven't jinxed myself with this report on my positive experience with the Vado 6!!
 

Bud in Denver

New Member
I have ridden my Vado 6 a bit over 800 miles this summer, some city riding, but mostly out on country roads. To this point, the only problem I have encountered is reseating the battery. My dealer (and some of my friends) can do it instantly, but I seem not to have the "touch". My solution has been to simply leave the battery on the bike and charge it while it is on the bike. Aside from that small inconvenience, the bike has ridden like the proverbial top all summer. I regularly degrease and lube the chain and cassette and wipe the bike down once in a while. I ride in some pretty hilly countryside and the bike has been superb in every instance and I have not had to take it to the dealer all summer. I use a torque wrench if I remove the tires to clean the fenders or for tightening up loose connections simply to keep up the specs outlined in the manual. Sadly, Specialized has apparently dropped the ball on their Mission Control app which was to be such a large part of customizing the bikes power. That by itself is a huge disappointment in regard to the Vado 6, but I use a Garmin 1000 bike computer to keep track of mileage and all of the other parameters it is capable of, along with navigation. It would have been really great if the app could have been made to work with the Blok's controller unit. Hopefully, i haven't jinxed myself with this report on my positive experience with the Vado 6!!

Great to hear! Probably the one thing you need to occasionally check and clean is the speed sensor magnet located on rear disc. Specialized published a tech bulletin in August recommending this be cleaned periodically. Too much grime on this sensor will cause power to pedals to be inconsistent.
 

FancyPants

New Member
You can read some of my reviews on ElectricBikesnz.com
The 5.0 and 6.0 have the same motor, a 1.2S. that is more powerful than the 3.0/4.0 motor. The Levo is more torquey, but couldn't handle the stresses of commuting (constant load for an hour). That's why the Vado doesn't use v1.3
my vado 6 has the 1.3 motor.
 

Marci jo

Well-Known Member
Hi
Curious about the 1.3 motor.
What is your average speed and what range do get from a fully charged battery.
Love my Vado 6.0.
Best part is the Brose motor. Unbelievably quiet. Can only hear it at low speeds and only if I really listen. Cyclists riding next to me say they cannot hear it.
It’s got great torque. The micro second I start pedaling from a stop the motor assists instantly. Power rocks.
As far as range I have yet to run out of battery. I believe I could easily get 100 miles on eco (flat, no wind). Haven’t tested it on Turbo for a range test. 35 maybe?
When I first got it I tended to ride in turbo, mostly because it’s so freaking fun. Now I kinda back off and tend to ride in Sport mode and can go easily 50 - 60 miles. With all my stuff on I’m around 135 lbs. And very very easily maintain 17-20 mph.
Very pleased with this machine.
 
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John Benford

New Member
I also love the Vado 6 which I’ve had for about 9 months. I really haven’t had any issues with it, except for having to power cycle twice after turning on, but that was when I was moving and that may have confused it. When still rolling the second power on worked. I ride about 100 miles/week, still on original cassette and chain, but I take great care to ease off while shifting so as not to “mash the gears.” I also remove the chain to sonic clean and wax every month at least. I carry wax lube on trips. I spend most of my time in ECO mode and pump hard. This bike is good for aerobics, so if you want lazy I wouldn’t recommend it. Although it would work in Sport or Turbo for commuting, I think this bike is designed for exercise. The only things I’ve added are new tires, suspension seat post, Ergo grips, and Cyclic6/12 cameras.
 
I've had the Vado 6 for almost 2 years now. I've had most of the problems described in this thread and basically all the problems described by ZsViczian. However, I would still buy and recommend the bike. I expect there will always be some problems on a bike such as this with so many cutting edge technical features. Main problems have been 1) the bolts breaking or coming loose and falling out from the rear rack, which collapses the rack on the rear wheel. This happened 3-4 time for me, and for each one of the bolts taking turns. I put in different replacement screws and just don't use a bag any more on the side of the rack. I use a trunk bag only, so the weight is equal and only on the top, along with a backpack and haven't had problems since. Problem 2) is the computer not turning on. It took me a long time to figure out the first time how to reset it, because it isn't described anywhere in the manual. It's a small silver dot on the back lower left of the display that you press with a pin. Then it works again. This happens every few weeks but is not a big deal once you know what to do. Problem 3) is the lack of Firmware upgrade for the Bloks computer which means it resets every day and you can't use the Mission Control app or any of the other smartphone Bluetooth type features that are described in the manual. This is not a big deal to me as I use a Garmin watch and I'm not interested in tweaking the power settings much as it will likely only decrease the life of the lithium batteries. Someday they will offer the free upgrade to the new display computer but the early Vado 6 is not yet certified to receive the upgrade. Problem 4) is the intermittent power cutting out, seemingly from a bad reading of the torque and speed sensor. For me this has happened on windy days, which is annoying because this is when I need the max power most of all. I will try cleaning the sensor on the rear disc as suggested above and hopefully this does the trick. When the problem occurs, I have to turn off the bike, then turn it back on and then avoid using Turbo mode. I have not had any problems with excessive chain or cassette wear. I don't know my mileage because of the computer reset problems but I would guess I have over 3000 miles over hilly terrain. I pause pedaling for a full second with each shift, up or down. I'm on my second chain and it's still tight.
 

e-levity

Member
Just thought I'd check in after another year of ownership. As described in post #8 above from Aug. 2018 mrs levity and I both have modified Vado 6 bikes. They continue to be great fun and trouble free. We've had to replace wear items (tires and chains), but basically we just keep 'em clean and charged and ride. Sure, we'd like to have Mission Control motor tunability like our Levo mountain bikes, but the default acceleration ("Race") and power settings (20, 50, 100%) are fine for road riding. As Marci jo said in post #15 above that Brose motor is sweet! Here's a pic of mrs levity on her Vado 6 on the 20 Mule Team dirt road in Death Valley Natl Park:

40332
 

Rick53

Member
Just thought I'd check in after another year of ownership. As described in post #8 above from Aug. 2018 mrs levity and I both have modified Vado 6 bikes. They continue to be great fun and trouble free. We've had to replace wear items (tires and chains), but basically we just keep 'em clean and charged and ride. Sure, we'd like to have Mission Control motor tunability like our Levo mountain bikes, but the default acceleration ("Race") and power settings (20, 50, 100%) are fine for road riding. As Marci jo said in post #15 above that Brose motor is sweet! Here's a pic of mrs levity on her Vado 6 on the 20 Mule Team dirt road in Death Valley Natl Park:

View attachment 40332
So did you purchase New wheels as the OEM say 28 inches : 700C Or did you just put on smaller (narrower) Tires:
 

e-levity

Member
So did you purchase New wheels as the OEM say 28 inches : 700C Or did you just put on smaller (narrower) Tires:
We built new wheels using DT Swiss 350 hubs and DT Swiss XM421 27.5/650b rims. Mrs levity likes the Schwalbe G-One Speed 27.5x2.0 tire shown in the photo below. I prefer Schwalbe G-one Allround 27.5x2.25 (Snakeskin, TL easy) tires for a little more grip and cushion.

40361

A major benefit of going to smaller wheels is that it quickens the steering and lowers the bottom bracket and center of gravity for improved handling.
We felt that the stock bike handling was slow and "truck-like" and that the OEM tires rode harsh. Smaller wheels and more supple tires fix this.