Vado 5.0 - 13 months ownership - approximately 8500 miles

2wheels

New Member
I plan to write more here in the near future about my first 6 months of ownership, but until then I need to replace the brake pads and would like know if anyone has any recommendations.
Thanks,
 

2wheels

New Member
There is only one pad for ebikes, and that's Kool Stop Aero Kool. Get them from Amazon. I got over 16,000km from mine.
It's now been 9 months of ownership and about 5000 miles.

When the bike works, it is amazing. The key word in the previous statement is 'when'....
I recently canceled an extended warranty service on a Toyota vehicle I purchased. I determined I would likely not need the extended warranty due to Toyota's quality. I need an extended warranty for the Specialized Vado 5.0! If you are listening Specialized, please consider offering this service.

I ride 600 miles a month, so it's likely been around 5000 miles so far. The ride is mostly on a dedicated bike path along the Pacific Ocean with some street riding through Santa Monica and Redondo Beach.

First about breaks, the Vado 5.0 takes TRP Slate T4, Slate G-Spec, Quadiem, and Quadiem G-Spec Pad. This is a different shape then what Kool Stop Aero Kool offers. At 9 months, I have replaced brakes twice in the rear and once in front.

I've received 2 flat tires due to things like nails on the road. Both times I was able to fix the flat with a patch kit. I use the Lezyne Sport Drive Hp Hand Pump, which is attached to the top tube underside bolts. The pump is awesome and I've used it multiple times on other bikes. I keep the patch kit it seat in a saddle bag.

I've replaced the chain 4 times using the the Shimano XTR/Dura-Ace CN-HG901 11-Speed Chain.
Due to durability concerns of the Dura Ace, I'm now going to try KMC X11e Sport Bicycle Chain, SIlver, 126L. Has anyone tried this chain and had success? Does anyone know how many links are required for the XL Vado 5.0? If you don't know already, the bike requires 1+ chains of the Dura Ace standard chain meaning you have to buy 2 chains.

The cassette I've replaced 4 times. I immediately moved to a steel cassette, first with Sram, then Sunrace and now Ztto. I've determined the cheapest steel cassette services my purposes the best. I wear out the 11t and 13t cog first. Because I use these gears the most, I usually replace the cassette after these cogs stop working. Has anyone found a supplier for Ztto replacement cogs? I'm curious if these will work:
ZTTO 8/9/10/11 Speed 11T/12T/13T Freewheel Flywheel Pinion for Bicycle Bike MTB Cassette Cog in Mountainous Region and Highway

The Brose motor has now been replaced 3 times. Should you buy this bike, buy it from a shop with excellent service. I bought mine from Cynergy. Cynergy has given me bike loaners while my bike is being repaired which has been awesome. I unfortunately anticipate replacing this motor every 3 months. The 2 year warranty has covered the repair each time. The best (and lackluster) advice I got from Specialized is to not mash my gears and to down shift when approaching a stop. I rarely mash my gears and always downshift. I have recently begun downshift 7-9 gears to determine if this make a difference. Any insight to this would be appreciated. Brose are you listening? I would love to hear from you.

The battery housing has been a continuous challenge. Various shims have been used to secure the battery. Without a secure connection the bike cannot access Turbo and the display stops working. Cynergy has installed what they described as a 'Specialized' branded shim which is essentially 1/8" dense foam with a sticky side to secure to the housing. I once made my own from the rubber straps that come with rear bike lights and double sided tape. The specialized shims wear down over time and have had to be replaced 2 or three times. Sometimes the are placed one on top of other. I often take the battery out to reset the connection when the bike cannot access Turbo. This more than often does the trick. All electrical problems I've encountered with this bike are due to the insecure housing of the battery. A durable, correctly sized, well placed shim is required and it needs to be monitored for replacement.

I'm anticipating that the battery will need to be replaced in the next year. At $900, I'm not looking forward to that purchase. Has anyone replaced their battery yet? It would be great to have lower cost alternative to the specialized branded battery.

Other repairs include the fenders having to be tightened after rattling loose.

I recently learned I would need to replace the chain ring. Has anyone had to do this repair? The best source online that could find is in Germany. Let me know if anyone knows of US suppliers.

For a bike rack, I had to spend a chunk of change. This includes two hitches for 2 different cars and the Thule T2 Pro XT 2-bike Hitch Rack. I've only used this once, but it works great. Should anyone want to know how to locate a hitch on a 2004 Accord to carry this bike (52 pounds), look here. I also use the Rack Stash, Hitch Mounted Bike Rack Storage, Ski and Cargo Garage Organizer, Wall Mounted, to store the Thule T2. The rack stash does the job.

The front light is not sufficient for night time riding in Los Angeles. I bought the Outbound Road Light and it offers a drastic improvement.

I'm not missing the non functioning phone app. But I look forward to seeing it soon.
 
Last edited:

PaD

Well-Known Member
It's now been 9 months of ownership.

When the bike works, it is amazing. The key word in the previous statement is 'when'....
I recently canceled an extended warranty service on a Toyota vehicle I purchased. I determined I would likely not need the extended warranty due to Toyota's quality. I need an extended warranty for the Specialized Vado 5.0! If you are listening Specialized, please consider offering this service.

I ride 600 miles a month, so its likely been around 5000 miles so far. The ride is mostly on a dedicated bike path along the Pacific Ocean with some street riding through Santa Monica and Redondo Beach.

First about breaks, the Vado 5.0 takes TRP Slate T4, Slate G-Spec, Quadiem, and Quadiem G-Spec Pad. This is a different shape then what Kool Stop Aero Kool offers.

I've replaced the chain 4 times using the the Shimano XTR/Dura-Ace CN-HG901 11-Speed Chain.
Due to durability concerns of the Dura Ace, I'm now going to try KMC X11e Sport Bicycle Chain, SIlver, 126L. Has anyone tried this chain and had success? Does anyone know how many links are required for the XL Vado 5.0? If you don't know already, the bike requires 1+ chains of the Dura Ace standard chain meaning you have to buy 2 chains.

The cassette I've replaced 4 times. I immediately moved to a steel cassette, first with Sram, then Sunrace and now Ztto. I've determined the cheapest steel cassette services my purposes the best. I wear out the 11t and 13t cog first. Because I use these gears the most, I usually replace the cassette after these cogs stop working. Has anyone found a supplier for Ztto replacement cogs? I'm curious if these will work:
ZTTO 8/9/10/11 Speed 11T/12T/13T Freewheel Flywheel Pinion for Bicycle Bike MTB Cassette Cog in Mountainous Region and Highway

The motor has now been replaced 4 times. Should you buy this bike, buy it from a shop with excellent service. I bought mine from Cynergy. Cynergy has given me bike loaners while my bike is being repaired which has been awesome. I unfortunately anticipate replacing this motor every 3 months. The 2 year warranty has covered the repair each time. The best (and lackluster) advice I got from Specialized is to not mash my gears and to down shift when approaching a stop. I rarely mash my gears and always downshift. I have recently begun downshift 7-9 gears to determine if this make a difference. Any insight to this would be appreciated. Brose are you listening? I would love to hear from you.

The battery housing has been a continuous challenge. Various shims have been used to secure the battery. Without a secure connection the bike cannot access Turbo and the display stops working. I often take the battery out to reset the connection when the bike cannot access Turbo. This more than often does the trick. All electrical problems I've encountered with this bike are due to the insecure housing of the battery. A durable, correctly sized, well placed shim is required.

I'm anticipating that the battery will need to be replaced in the next year. At $900, I'm not looking forward to that purchase. Has anyone replaced their battery yet? It would be great to have lower cost alternative to the specialized branded battery.
Other repairs include the fenders having to be tightened after rattling loose.

I recently learned I would need to replace the chain ring. Has anyone had to do this repair? The best source online that could find is in Germany. Let me know if anyone knows of US suppliers.

For a bike rack, I had to spend a chunk of change. This includes two hitches for 2 different cars and the Thule T2 Pro XT 2-bike Hitch Rack. I've only used this once, but it works great. Should anyone want to know how to locate a hitch on a 2004 Accord to carry this bike (52 pounds), let me know.

The front light is not sufficient for night time riding in Los Angeles. I bought the Outbound Road Light and it offers a drastic improvement.

I'm not missing the non functioning phone app. But I look forward to seeing it soon.
Replace motor every 3 months!
Do you think Brose will do this during the 2 year warranty period?
Why do you think you need a new battery next year? Is it loosing capacity quickly?
 

SirJonathan

Active Member
Four chains, four cassettes and four motors in 9 months! 5000 miles is fair amount of riding but I've had 10,0000 mile years on my Cannondale CAAD bikes with very little wear.

I've always read that mid-drives can be brutal on the drive chain by the sheer nature of their design but this seems excessive. I really appreciate that you wrote this update and look forward to hearing more. I'm glad your shop is taking care of you.
 

Ebiker01

Active Member
Sounds like a complete lemon bike to me. Is definitely specialized in breaking up quite often...
Go with a Bulls, haibike, Easymotion, Tern....
 

e-levity

Member
Hmmm, surprised to hear about all the problems. Mrs levity and I have had our Vado 6 bikes for a year and about 3000 trouble-free miles. (We also have two Specialized Levo mountain ebikes that have been trouble free despite lots of abuse!) We've had to replace the Vado brake pads but only once. I lube the chains every ride, so this may help with chain and cassette wear. We're mostly fair weather riders and we push them fairly hard (lots of hills and mountains), but we're both lighter weight (115 and 160 lb) so the motor doesn't have to work as hard as it would for a heavier rider. I did replace the OEM steel 48t chainrings with 42t or 44t alloy rings (fleabay, ~$20) to give slightly lower gearing, and we tend to maintain higher cadences 90-100rpm on the road - these may help reduce wear on the drive train.

re bike rack - we like our Kuat, very solid, and we often haul four bikes (2 ebikes + 2 regular bikes on an extension) without issue.
 

2wheels

New Member
Thanks for people's responses. I will try to cover a few questions and add a bit more background.

I'm 43, married with two children aged 2, and a newborn. I'm a former all american swimmer, NCAA swimmer and water polo player, biked to class in college and grad school, begun mountain biking in 2003 at the Santa Monica Mountains with move to LA, enjoyed mountain biking in Moab, Southern Utah, Downieville (CA), had my bachelor party at Downieville, rode to work in LA starting for the last 11 of 15 years, currently enjoy swimming, biking, beach volleyball, tennis, High Intensity Training, snowboarding, and wrestling with my 2 year old. I'm 6-4 and 190 pounds. With two young kids, I have very little free time. At this time, I've decided it's better to pay for new chains and cassettes every two months then to spend 10 minutes 2x everyday cleaning my chain.

My time and mental well being are precious. This ultimately led me to look for alternative transportation to Santa Monica for my work. After deciding to purchase an electric bike to commute to work, the reasons I purchased of Vado 5.0 from Cynergy were the following: Class 3 (28 mph), stealthiness, visual design, national brand with good service record (Cynergy is a Specialized flagship store and nearby to my work), most 'bike like' (handling and quiet), 2017 Specialized marketing campaign, and EBR review by Court.

I'm avoiding the sole crushing commute from the South Bay (Redondo Beach) to Santa Monica along the 405 and vice versa. The car ride is 16 miles, 20 minutes between 10 PM and 5 AM. The car ride is 60 min to 75 minutes between 7 AM and 10 AM and 3:30 PM and 7:30 PM. My bike ride takes about 50 minutes. My work has a shower and doesn't mind me showering or storing my bike inside at work. 80% of my riding is with no stops on flat ground along the pacific ocean.

I have not given up my car, but I rent it out via Turo (Car sharing) for a couple hundred dollars a year.

Biking 150 miles a week on the Vado has yielded some surprising benefits. With little training, I ran my best 10k time ever after having run the same 10k the last 6 years. In addition I swam my best time in a two mile ocean swim with little training having competed in the same event for the last 6 years. My awake time and sleep quality is improved.

Though I will likely never join a gym, if i did I'm saving $150/month = $1800 (SoCal prices). At $18/day (0.58 cents per mile, 2019 US tax code), I'm saving $3600 / yr on commuting.

Though there have been headaches with the servicing of this bike, this bike brings me joy multiple times a week. In the morning, I watch the sunrise over Bollona Creek and the city of LA. I watch crew teams from UCLA and LMU practice in the early morning in the Creek and the Marina. I watch surfers catch waves and volleyball players practice. I watch birds stand in formation towards the sun. I watch cranes fly 18" above the surface of the water. When I get to work, I'm energized and ready to start my day. In the evening, I watch some of the activities of the morning, but now with hundreds of people taking pictures of the sun setting. When I get home, I'm energized and ready to play with my 2 year old and help my wife with what needs to get done. I've enjoyed learning about electric bike industry as I'm a firm believer in alternatives to single driver automobile transpiration in cities such as LA.

The local politics about alternative transportation are interesting. Santa Monica charges businesses nominal fee ($100/year) for employees that drive to work (does not impact me, but interesting tidbit). This was likely set up for the recent light rail and extensive bus service and non-motorized bike sharing. More recently Lyft, Uber have become more popular, likely worsening traffic, while electric scooters have flooded the city from Uber and Bird and Lime. Uber recently introduced Jump (electric) bikes. These bikes are convenient but mediocre compared to the Vado. Bike paths have become more crowded with electric scooters. Everyone wears headphones and hardly anyone wears a helmet. There have a been a few incidents involving middle aged men in spandex on non motorized road bikes acting territorial


I have had far too many near accidents. Unique near crashes worth mentioning are passengers exiting ride share car in middle of stand still traffic, swinging the door into the bike lane. Another is a contracted Amazon delivery truck opening bi fold rear doors into bike lane.

Battery Life
A 15 mile ride to work at Turbo took 65% of battery at beginning. It now takes 70-75%, a 15% decrease over 9 months (5000 miles). If this holds, I will think I will likely need to use all my battery juice to get to work at current assist levels by 24 months (14,400 miles). I historically rode in turbo door to door, 26 mph or above on extended portions of the ride. Being mindful of the battery, I'm now using Sport in Urban Grid areas, while reserving Turbo for the dedicated bike lanes along the beach and at steep (very steep) hills. Specialized stated motor performs best with RPMs between 80-90. I'm mostly at 82, sometimes at 96, sometimes at 62. If the decrease in battery capacity is linear, the battery should be completely empty at 36,000 miles.

Specialized via Cynergy has replaced the brose motor each time it has failed. I've been told by Cynergy, that these failures are of great concern to Specialized. The motor has failed at about 2000 miles each time. Though I have not heard anything specific from Brose or Specialized about the motor failures, I will continue to inquire about the nature of the motor failure as I estimate I will be receiving 4 more motors before the warranty is up and would like to avoid this, especially when the warranty is up. This is one reason I'm reaching out to the EBR network and others in the industry.

Accessories I currently use are foldy lock (I wanted a serviceable US company in case I needed an extra key quick). Watch this if you are worried about thieves; I finally took comfort in the saying that if you don't want your bike to get stolen, park it next to a more expensive bike. I use a front satchel (good when I'm wearing board shorts), additional charger at work, pannier (I carry my clothes and lunch to work twice a week), Thule child bike seat (2 year old), iPhone holder (this broke at 9 months), Thule bike rack with hitches on cars (previously mentioned), I am fascinated by reflective clothing and settled on Pactimo leg and arm warmers which are great for warmth and so so for reflectiveness. I use the drop down rear view mirror everyday. I switched out the OEM pedals for pedal with plastic pegs. Has anyone tried the quad lock at 28 mph over bumps on the vado OEM handlebars?

Regarding the reduced chain ring size, did you experience any motor problems? I once inquired about a larger chain ring and was told it could disrupt the motor.
 
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Ebiker01

Active Member
Very Nice read , thank you.
I see that based on the facts of your weight and style of riding , the motor is definitely overheating. You could get a laser temp. and see what temp. Motor has at end of the commute , if you are riding 25mph and up for 15miles , it will be hot !
 

e-levity

Member
Kudos, 2wheels! Making a commute enjoyabe while helping save the planet!

RE battery connection issues: Like you we've experienced occasional power interruptions after riding over rough surfaces. We have not installed shims in the battery housing, but we now use a velcro strap around the frame and battery just above the water bottle cage to help hold it in place. This seems to help even when riding off-road.

RE chainrings: Dropping to 44 or 42 teeth will provide lower gearing. I can spin comfortably at 28mph with 42x11 gearing (and we replaced the 700C wheels with smaller 650b wheels). Any narrow-wide 104BCD ring will work. You can find alloy rings on ebay for under $30 (search SNAIL or DECKAS BCD 104mm narrow wide chainring). The swap is an easy 10 min job if you have a gear puller to remove the drive side crank arm.

RE chain lube: I have time to re-lube every 30-60 miles, but twice that shouldn't be a problem with good lube. I find Maxima spray-on chain wax to hold up well. It's easy to apply, and if you wipe off the excess it stays clean.

RE pedals: Switching from flats to cleated pedals and shoes will efficiency significantly. You don't need especially stiff shoes, just something comfortable.

RE phone mount: I like the Rokform protective case and handlebar mount. Mine has held up to many crashes on the Levo. https://www.rokform.com

RE motor/battery life: It may be that the street-tuned 1.2S motor is not able to run for extended periods at high resistance (steep hills or high speeds) in Turbo mode. Other than the occasional hooligan blast we rarely find it necessary to use Turbo. However, our riding is purely recreational, so we don't have to save our sweat or energy for work. You may have to "dial it back" to Sport mode (50%) if you want the motor to last. It may help if they come out with software that allows you to tune assist levels like on the Levo. You could run at 70 or 80% to save both motor and battery power. Another possibility would be to see if Synergy can get a Brose motor from Specialized that is tuned down a bit, either a different motor (like the trail-tuned 1.3 version?) or different firmware.

At any rate, keep pedaling and keep us updated on how things go. Cheers!
 

Marci jo

Active Member
Hi,
Like you I have Specialized Vado 6.0. Totally love it but thinking of different tires. The stock tires are wide but also have ginormous sidewalls, making the bike a little higher than what I prefer. I noticed you removed your fenders and also have smaller tires. What results did you get? Maybe a slight loss of bike weight? Handling differences? I ride mostly roads and bike path with a rare occasion of mild off road.
Thanks
Marci Jo
Hmmm, surprised to hear about all the problems. Mrs levity and I have had our Vado 6 bikes for a year and about 3000 trouble-free miles. (We also have two Specialized Levo mountain ebikes that have been trouble free despite lots of abuse!) We've had to replace the Vado brake pads but only once. I lube the chains every ride, so this may help with chain and cassette wear. We're mostly fair weather riders and we push them fairly hard (lots of hills and mountains), but we're both lighter weight (115 and 160 lb) so the motor doesn't have to work as hard as it would for a heavier rider. I did replace the OEM steel 48t chainrings with 42t or 44t alloy rings (fleabay, ~$20) to give slightly lower gearing, and we tend to maintain higher cadences 90-100rpm on the road - these may help reduce wear on the drive train.

re bike rack - we like our Kuat, very solid, and we often haul four bikes (2 ebikes + 2 regular bikes on an extension) without issue.
 

e-levity

Member
Marci jo - We built 27.5" wheels for our Vados, and these lower the bikes and improve handling and stability significantly. I run 27.5x2.25 Schwalbe G-ONE ALLROUND tires on mine and mrs levity runs 27.5x2.0 Schwalbe G-ONE SPEED tires on hers. Both tires are light weight, very supple for a smooth ride, and provide good grip. They are also available in 29" sizes for the stock rims and will feel much better than the heavy and harsh riding OEM 29x2.0 Armadillo tires.

Because we just ride recreationally I removed the fenders and rack from our bikes and saved another 3+ lb.
 

Marci jo

Active Member
Thanks for people's responses. I will try to cover a few questions and add a bit more background.

I'm 43, married with two children aged 2, and a newborn. I'm a former all american swimmer, NCAA swimmer and water polo player, biked to class in college and grad school, begun mountain biking in 2003 at the Santa Monica Mountains with move to LA, enjoyed mountain biking in Moab, Southern Utah, Downieville (CA), had my bachelor party at Downieville, rode to work in LA starting for the last 11 of 15 years, currently enjoy swimming, biking, beach volleyball, tennis, High Intensity Training, snowboarding, and wrestling with my 2 year old. I'm 6-4 and 190 pounds. With two young kids, I have very little free time. At this time, I've decided it's better to pay for new chains and cassettes every two months then to spend 10 minutes 2x everyday cleaning my chain.

My time and mental well being are precious. This ultimately led me to look for alternative transportation to Santa Monica for my work. After deciding to purchase an electric bike to commute to work, the reasons I purchased of Vado 5.0 from Cynergy were the following: Class 3 (28 mph), stealthiness, visual design, national brand with good service record (Cynergy is a Specialized flagship store and nearby to my work), most 'bike like' (handling and quiet), 2017 Specialized marketing campaign, and EBR review by Court.

I'm avoiding the sole crushing commute from the South Bay (Redondo Beach) to Santa Monica along the 405 and vice versa. The car ride is 16 miles, 20 minutes between 10 PM and 5 AM. The car ride is 60 min to 75 minutes between 7 AM and 10 PM and 3:30 PM and 7:30 PM. My bike ride takes about 50 minutes. My work has a shower and doesn't mind me showering or storing my bike inside at work. 80% of my riding is with no stops on flat ground along the pacific ocean.

I have not given up my car, but I rent it out via Turo (Car sharing) for a couple hundred dollars a year.

Biking 150 miles a week on the Vado has yielded some surprising benefits. With little training, I ran my best 10k time ever after having run the same 10k the last 6 years. In addition I swam my best time in a two mile ocean swim with little training having competed in the same event for the last 6 years. My awake time and sleep quality is improved.

Though I will likely never join a gym, if i did I'm saving $150/month = $1800 (SoCal prices). At $18/day (0.58 cents per mile, 2019 US tax code), I'm saving $3600 / yr on commuting.

Though there have been headaches with the servicing of this bike, this bike brings me joy multiple times a week. In the morning, I watch the sunrise over Bollona Creek and the city of LA. I watch crew teams from UCLA and LMU practice in the early morning in the Creek and the Marina. I watch surfers catch waves and volleyball players practice. I watch birds stand in formation towards the sun. I watch cranes fly 18" above the surface of the water. When I get to work, I'm energized and ready to start my day. In the evening, I watch some of the activities of the morning, but now with hundreds of people taking pictures of the sun setting. When I get home, I'm energized and ready to play with my 2 year old and help my wife with what needs to get done. I've enjoyed learning about electric bike industry as I'm a firm believer in alternatives to single driver automobile transpiration in cities such as LA.

The local politics about alternative transportation are interesting. Santa Monica charges businesses nominal fee ($100/year) for employees that drive to work (does not impact me, but interesting tidbit). This was likely set up for the recent light rail and extensive bus service and non-motorized bike sharing. More recently Lyft, Uber have become more popular, likely worsening traffic, while electric scooters have flooded the city from Uber and Bird and Lime. Uber recently introduced Jump (electric) bikes. These bikes are convenient but mediocre compared to the Vado. Bike paths have become more crowded with electric scooters. Everyone wears headphones and hardly anyone wears a helmet. There have a been a few incidents involving middle aged men in spandex on non motorized road bikes acting territorial


I have had far too many near accidents. Unique near crashes worth mentioning are passengers exiting ride share car in middle of stand still traffic, swinging the door into the bike lane. Another is a contracted Amazon delivery truck opening bi fold rear doors into bike lane.

Battery Life
A 15 mile ride to work at Turbo took 65% of battery at beginning. It now takes 70-75%, a 15% decrease over 9 months (5000 miles). If this holds, I will think I will likely need to use all my battery juice to get to work at current assist levels by 24 months (14,400 miles). I historically rode in turbo door to door, 26 mph or above on extended portions of the ride. Being mindful of the battery, I'm now using Sport in Urban Grid areas, while reserving Turbo for the dedicated bike lanes along the beach and at steep (very steep) hills. Specialized stated motor performs best with RPMs between 80-90. I'm mostly at 82, sometimes at 96, sometimes at 62. If the decrease in battery capacity is linear, the battery should be completely empty at 36,000 miles.

Specialized via Cynergy has replaced the brose motor each time it has failed. I've been told by Cynergy, that these failures are of great concern to Specialized. The motor has failed at about 2000 miles each time. Though I have not heard anything specific from Brose or Specialized about the motor failures, I will continue to inquire about the nature of the motor failure as I estimate I will be receiving 4 more motors before the warranty is up and would like to avoid this, especially when the warranty is up. This is one reason I'm reaching out to the EBR network and others in the industry.

Accessories I currently use are foldy lock (I wanted a serviceable US company in case I needed an extra key quick). Watch this if you are worried about thieves; I finally took comfort in the saying that if you don't want your bike to get stolen, park it next to a more expensive bike. I use a front satchel (good when I'm wearing board shorts), additional charger at work, pannier (I carry my clothes and lunch to work twice a week), Thule child bike seat (2 year old), iPhone holder (this broke at 9 months), Thule bike rack with hitches on cars (previously mentioned), I am fascinated by reflective clothing and settled on Pactimo leg and arm warmers which are great for warmth and so so for reflectiveness. I use the drop down rear view mirror everyday. I switched out the OEM pedals for pedal with plastic pegs. Has anyone tried the quad lock at 28 mph over bumps on the vado OEM handlebars?

Regarding the reduced chain ring size, did you experience any motor problems? I once inquired about a larger chain ring and was told it could disrupt the motor.
Love your commuting story, a one hour drive for only 16 miles; yuck! Now an exhilarating ride along spectacular views.
I don’t have 2000 miles; yet. I live outside Minneapolis and am NOT a cold weather cyclist (although I’m seeing more & more fat bikes out there) When I first got the Vado I tended to ride it in turbo all the time, mostly for the pure excitement and thrills. But I have backed off a bit and now save turbo mode for nasty headwinds or killer hills. I’m in a cycling club and have received mixed feedback, but that’s another thread. Also I love that riding ebikes helps saves more energy for other life tasks and responsibilities.
I’ll be watching for your comments as you get more miles on your Vado. Marci Jo
 

Johnny

Active Member
Interesting story. What exactly is wrong/failing in the motor ? Electrical or mechanical components?

I don't think you can/should be able to break the motor by just riding. However you are a very fit rider who is always using Turbo and pushing it hard. Maybe you are simply running the motor at its peak power everyday.

My real concern from what I read is the number of cassettes you are replacing which means that you are not maintaining your chain properly. The way you ride , you should relube often. I have around 1300miles on my KMC10E chain and it still shows slight to no wear. I am cleaning relubing it every 2-3 weeks or around 50-100 miles depending on the weather.
 

Bobiam

New Member
It's now been 9 months of ownership and about 5000 miles.

When the bike works, it is amazing. The key word in the previous statement is 'when'....
I recently canceled an extended warranty service on a Toyota vehicle I purchased. I determined I would likely not need the extended warranty due to Toyota's quality. I need an extended warranty for the Specialized Vado 5.0! If you are listening Specialized, please consider offering this service.

I ride 600 miles a month, so it's likely been around 5000 miles so far. The ride is mostly on a dedicated bike path along the Pacific Ocean with some street riding through Santa Monica and Redondo Beach.

First about breaks, the Vado 5.0 takes TRP Slate T4, Slate G-Spec, Quadiem, and Quadiem G-Spec Pad. This is a different shape then what Kool Stop Aero Kool offers. At 9 months, I have replaced brakes twice in the rear and once in front.

I've received 2 flat tires due to things like nails on the road. Both times I was able to fix the flat with a patch kit. I use the Lezyne Sport Drive Hp Hand Pump, which is attached to the top tube underside bolts. The pump is awesome and I've used it multiple times on other bikes. I keep the patch kit it seat in a saddle bag.

I've replaced the chain 4 times using the the Shimano XTR/Dura-Ace CN-HG901 11-Speed Chain.
Due to durability concerns of the Dura Ace, I'm now going to try KMC X11e Sport Bicycle Chain, SIlver, 126L. Has anyone tried this chain and had success? Does anyone know how many links are required for the XL Vado 5.0? If you don't know already, the bike requires 1+ chains of the Dura Ace standard chain meaning you have to buy 2 chains.

The cassette I've replaced 4 times. I immediately moved to a steel cassette, first with Sram, then Sunrace and now Ztto. I've determined the cheapest steel cassette services my purposes the best. I wear out the 11t and 13t cog first. Because I use these gears the most, I usually replace the cassette after these cogs stop working. Has anyone found a supplier for Ztto replacement cogs? I'm curious if these will work:
ZTTO 8/9/10/11 Speed 11T/12T/13T Freewheel Flywheel Pinion for Bicycle Bike MTB Cassette Cog in Mountainous Region and Highway

The Brose motor has now been replaced 3 times. Should you buy this bike, buy it from a shop with excellent service. I bought mine from Cynergy. Cynergy has given me bike loaners while my bike is being repaired which has been awesome. I unfortunately anticipate replacing this motor every 3 months. The 2 year warranty has covered the repair each time. The best (and lackluster) advice I got from Specialized is to not mash my gears and to down shift when approaching a stop. I rarely mash my gears and always downshift. I have recently begun downshift 7-9 gears to determine if this make a difference. Any insight to this would be appreciated. Brose are you listening? I would love to hear from you.

The battery housing has been a continuous challenge. Various shims have been used to secure the battery. Without a secure connection the bike cannot access Turbo and the display stops working. Cynergy has installed what they described as a 'Specialized' branded shim which is essentially 1/8" dense foam with a sticky side to secure to the housing. I once made my own from the rubber straps that come with rear bike lights and double sided tape. The specialized shims wear down over time and have had to be replaced 2 or three times. Sometimes the are placed one on top of other. I often take the battery out to reset the connection when the bike cannot access Turbo. This more than often does the trick. All electrical problems I've encountered with this bike are due to the insecure housing of the battery. A durable, correctly sized, well placed shim is required and it needs to be monitored for replacement.

I'm anticipating that the battery will need to be replaced in the next year. At $900, I'm not looking forward to that purchase. Has anyone replaced their battery yet? It would be great to have lower cost alternative to the specialized branded battery.

Other repairs include the fenders having to be tightened after rattling loose.

I recently learned I would need to replace the chain ring. Has anyone had to do this repair? The best source online that could find is in Germany. Let me know if anyone knows of US suppliers.

For a bike rack, I had to spend a chunk of change. This includes two hitches for 2 different cars and the Thule T2 Pro XT 2-bike Hitch Rack. I've only used this once, but it works great. Should anyone want to know how to locate a hitch on a 2004 Accord to carry this bike (52 pounds), look here. I also use the Rack Stash, Hitch Mounted Bike Rack Storage, Ski and Cargo Garage Organizer, Wall Mounted, to store the Thule T2. The rack stash does the job.

The front light is not sufficient for night time riding in Los Angeles. I bought the Outbound Road Light and it offers a drastic improvement.

I'm not missing the non functioning phone app. But I look forward to seeing it soon.
Thanks for al this info. I thought about your cassette problem...Considering that you have a motor helping you you are able to ride faster and peddle slower than if you were doing all the work. Therefore, your use of the 11t and 13t is above average. Since they have few teeth, each tooth works hard to do the job and the cogs feel that an Olympian is pedaling! If you have a 40t chain-ring, try changing it to a 48t. Then you will be riding more in larger cassette sprockets that will likely last longer. Good luck.
Considering all of those repairs you have a pretty good attitude towards your bike.
 

2wheels

New Member
This is an update since the last motor install in January 2019. Brose never got back to me about why 3 motors failed, though in my own observation it sounded like mechanical failure each time, as though a belt had snapped and teeth on motorized gears were grinding. I've checked the motor temp with my hand on the housing when I complete my ride and I feel no heat.

The current motor has held now, so far for 4 months. Specialized has assured me the bike is designed to accommodate my riding style, but stated the brose motor performs best when performing between 80 and 90 rpms. Specialized also stated to always shift to the lowest gears when approaching a stop. I now pay more attention to both.

As result of my experience and this update from Specialized, my riding style has changed. I now make certain I keep the bike above 80 rpm and I now use Sport for 90% of my ride and Turbo for 10% of my ride. I use Turbo mostly when I'm sharing the road with cars going 35+ mph and the acceleration feels necessary. On long straight a ways (beach path), I find I can ride 26-28 mph in Sport.

Regarding the chainring, my OEM chainring already is 48t. When I was first experiencing the frequency of the cassette and chain wearing out, I inquired about increasing the chainring size with one of my Cynergy (Specialized Flagship Store) mechanics. He stated he thought this would void the warranty. But when I look at the manual (on pg 9), it states the cranks need to replaced with OEM parts, but not the chain ring. Has anyone experimented with a larger chainring (larger than 48T)?

Other discussions on this site describe the wearing out of cassettes with no obvious answers. There is a similar but different discussion about 11 speed bikes being overkill for eMTB, which I've often wondered about, as I never use all 11 gears. There I found out about Sram's effort to increase component durability by moving to 8 gears. Unfortunately, this cassette costs $348. In my experience, no cassette is worth paying more than $35, but I was interested in the idea behind the 8 speed cassette. I researched a low cost alternative and found a 9 speed cassette from Ztto ($33) that is similar in range (11-42) to the OEM cassette.

A 9 speed cassette, cheaper chains ($20 cheaper), more durability? What do you think?

Other portions of my drivetrain would need to be swapped.
KMC sells 9 speed E bike chain for $36.50
Shimano Deore 9 speed shifter - $29
I'm not certain about a 9 speed derailleur, but the Shimano Deore RD-M592 Derailleur costs $48.

Since receiving a motor, rear brake pad, chain, and cassette in December 2018, I've replaced the chain and and cassette 2 times, about every 6 weeks or 1100 miles. Ztto cassettes cost me $35. While 11 speed KMC E chains cost me $53. I've had the front fender tightened twice, the last time with lock compound. I also replaced the rear brake pads which had lasted me about 2200 miles.

Has anyone swapped out their Bloks display to the TCD-W display in the USA? This appears to be a free swap from Specialized to get app on phones operational. I like the Bloks Display but I'm curious about additional features on the TCD-W display.
 
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Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Other discussions on this site describe the wearing out of cassettes with no obvious answers. There is a similar but different discussion about 11 speed bikes being overkill for eMTB, which I've often wondered about, as I never use all 11 gears. There I found out about Sram's effort to increase component durability by moving to 8 gears. Unfortunately, this cassette costs $348. In my experience, no cassette is worth paying more than $35, but I was interested in the idea behind the 8 speed cassette. I researched a low cost alternative and found a 9 speed cassette from Ztto ($33) that is similar in range (11-42) to the OEM cassette.

A 9 speed cassette, cheaper chains ($20 cheaper), more durability? What do you think?

Other portions of my drivetrain would need to be swapped.
KMC sells 9 speed E bike chain for $36.50
Shimano Deore 9 speed shifter - $29
I'm not certain about a 9 speed derailleur, but the Shimano Deore RD-M592 Derailleur costs $48.

Since receiving a motor, rear brake pad, chain, and cassette in December 2018, I've replaced the chain and and cassette 2 times, about every 6 weeks or 1100 miles. Ztto cassettes cost me $35. While 11 speed KMC E chains cost me $53. I've had the front fender tightened twice, the last time with lock compound. I also replaced the rear brake pads which had lasted me about 2200 miles.

You should replace your cassette system with a Rohloff and your drivetrain would last a long time. Someone did that on their Levo and has had very good experience.

 

lloydt

New Member
This is an update since the last motor install in January 2019. Brose never got back to me about why 3 motors failed, though in my own observation it sounded like mechanical failure each time, as though a belt had snapped and teeth on motorized gears were grinding. I've checked the motor temp with my hand on the housing when I complete my ride and I feel no heat.
I broke a chain a couple of days ago and replaced the chain and the derailleur (the derailleur got destroyed when the chain got caught on the cassette, the cassette is new). I'm now getting a weird grinding sound when the chain is under stress. The noise is the same in any gear so I'm pretty sure it is coming from either the motor or the front chain ring. I replaced the chain with the original Shimano E-Bike chain.

2wheels: When your motors failed, were they complete failures or did they get noisy or something? I have 750miles on my bike.

Anyone else have chain failures or does this sound familiar?