2020 Turbo Vado - Early Impressions!

PaD

Well-Known Member
Well said. The way I look at it is that the 3.0 is the "value" option - good, solid components at a "reasonable" price (if $2700 is reasonable). The 4.0 and higher take a good bike and turn it into a really good one. As someone just starting out, the 3.0 serves my purpose well - rides great, plenty fast, decent range. I bet if I had been able to test ride a 4.0, I'd have been tempted. As I was only able to ride 3.0, all I know is that I absolutely love it.
I should add that there are differences in max torque and support levels in the motors in Vado 3.0, 4.0 and 5.0.
I also think I can say that I’ve noticed the improved efficiency from the 1.3 motor. My range with Vado 5.0 has increased a little more than what I expected from the bigger battery. I had a 4.0 July - Oct. 2018.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
@PaD has explained almost all differences. I would add that Vado 3.0 has a 40t chainring and 9-gear, 11-36t cassette while 5.0 is equipped with a 48t chainring and 11-speed, 11-42t cassette. The climbing capability of both e-bikes is similar; it is easier to maintain higher speeds with Vado 5, because you can achieve the same speed at somewhat lower cadence. Vado 5 has somewhat stronger brakes. However, the differences between both bikes are not very big. Spending big $$$ for Vado 5.0 makes sense for people who like having top-notch components for better feeling.

I guess the 40t chainring was applied because of the fact the European and Australian Vado 3.0 are restricted to 25 km/h (and Canadian ones are limited to 32 km/h). Vado 5.0 in many European countries is the 45 km/h version. With 40t chainring, the cadence range for lower speeds is more natural. With the Speed version, 48t chainring is more natural at higher speeds. Unluckily, one size does not fit all and all we have to accept compromises.
 

rochrunner

Well-Known Member
Speaking of racks....in early January 2020, I bought a Thule EasyFold XT 2 from an online retailer at 20% off the regular price of $749 U.S., the day before the regular price was hiked by $30. The Thule is heavy at around 45 lbs / 20 kg, but feels extremely sturdy. About the same time, I purchased a Draw-Tite Sportframe hitch tailored to fit my 2018 Mazda 3, which I installed myself. The hitch has a 200 lbs / 90.7 kg max weight capacity. The 2020 Vado 5.0, that I bought in mid-January 2020 and which is my first e-bike, fits securely on the Thule and the Thule into the hitch. I've only hauled the Vado on the Thule a few times and no more than 16 miles / 26 km, one way, to local bike shops and have had no problems, although adding all that additional weight on the back of my Mazda significantly lowers my mpg. I took the attached photo a few weeks ago in late January 2020, prior to making a few modifications to the Vado. The photo shows the Vado almost fully secured to the Thule, minus the Thule securing arm on the seat tube and a cable lock running through the wheels.

View attachment 46141

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That's the rack that I was talking about in an earlier post, which we've been using for my wife's ebike (and my future Vado). By the way, what's holding the bike upright in the photo if the arm isn't clamped to the frame?
 

martee1z

New Member
That's the rack that I was talking about in an earlier post, which we've been using for my wife's ebike (and my future Vado). By the way, what's holding the bike upright in the photo if the arm isn't clamped to the frame?
The bike was leaning against the U-shaped, upright support on the Thule. Plus, I had already attached one of the Thule's wheel securing straps around the Vado's front tire. The wiser way is to first attach the Thule's securing clamp to the bike's seat post. Then secure the bike's front and rear tires with the Thule's wheel straps.
 
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rochrunner

Well-Known Member
The bike was leaning against the U-shaped, upright support on the Thule. Plus, I had already attached one of the Thule's wheel securing straps around the Vado's front tire. The wiser way is to first attach the Thule's securing clamp to the bike's seat post. Then secure the bike's front and rear tires with the Thule's wheel straps.
As an engineer, I always appreciate products that show clever engineering such as Thule products in general and this rack in particular. I've found that in order to mount the 2nd bike on the rack, it's necessary to remove the clamp arm altogether and then pass it thru the frames of the bikes and reattach it, per the photo. Fortunately this is really easy to do. Once I get my Vado, I'll probably rig up some sort of "safety strap" so I can loosely tie the bikes to the upright as extra insurance in case the clamp should fail.
 

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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
I had an enlightening meeting with my brothers on last Saturday. One of them is a perfectionist. If something is not 100% working properly, he would fix that. Jacek was riding my Vado without the battery and listening to hear any noise. I can't remember all the actions he did to service my Vado but what I can remember was:

1. The thread for one of bolts of the kickstand wore out. He used another bolt, a nut and applied some special glue used for motorbikes. Now the kickstand holds firmly.
2. The front fender turned out to be unscrewed and it was rubbing the tire. Fixed.
3. The front brake pad was not adjusted properly and it was rubbing the rotor. Fixed.
4. My brothers found out the registration plate on my Vado was made of too thin metal sheet and it was bending, especially when the bike was transported in the car's trunk. They made a reinforcement plate. At the same time, it turned out the number plate mount had gone loose. Fixed.

My brother told me many bicycle parts loosen because of the vibration and fixes are necessary. Pity the Specialized LBS does not take so much care for detailed servicing as much as my brother does.

Now, an interesting speed test of my Vado 5 ridden by Jacek. He's an extremely fit person and an MTB rider himself. We had a strong breeze on Saturday. First, he rode the Vado with the battery removed. 2 x 2 km, the ride out downwind, the ride in upwind. The average speed was 24 km/h (14 mph). Next, he made the same test ride in Turbo mode. Ride out, 45 km/h (28 mph) and he could not ride any faster than that. Ride in, top speed 33 km/h (20.5 mph) and he could not ride any faster against the headwind. Average speed: 33+ km/h. He used 7% of the battery, so the extrapolated range would be 57 km for him in Turbo mode. He always takes forward riding position and is 70 kg (154 lbs). We've found the body weight, the riding position and the leg power were critical to the battery range.
 
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Well said. The way I look at it is that the 3.0 is the "value" option - good, solid components at a "reasonable" price (if $2700 is reasonable). The 4.0 and higher take a good bike and turn it into a really good one. As someone just starting out, the 3.0 serves my purpose well - rides great, plenty fast, decent range. I bet if I had been able to test ride a 4.0, I'd have been tempted. As I was only able to ride 3.0, all I know is that I absolutely love it.
It was heartwarming to read your first post on this thread - many thanks. I bought a Vado 4 a couple of weeks ago, but come from a different starting point, being a pretty keen cyclist who is getting older.

As you have indicated, this bike is life- changing and it has re-opened so many possibilties for me.

Because I have a bit of arthritis in my hands, I found the trigger gear shifters a bit tough to handle, but my LBS swapped them out for an SRAM (NX) grip shift set at my request - that has put icing on the cake!

I am in the UK by the way, and the max speed for assistance is set at 15.5mph, but am travelling at 19/20mph where I was doing 11/12mph before - I use the minimum assistance normally.

I am really pleased to have found this forum - it has helped me quite a bit already.
 

DaveHertle

Member
I had an enlightening meeting with my brothers on last Saturday. One of them is a perfectionist. If something is not 100% working properly, he would fix that. Jacek was riding my Vado without the battery and listening to hear any noise. I can't remember all the actions he did to service my Vado but what I can remember was:

1. The thread for one of bolts of the kickstand wore out. He used another bolt, a nut and applied some special glue used for motorbikes. Now the kickstand holds firmly.
2. The front fender turned out to be unscrewed and it was rubbing the tire. Fixed.
3. The front brake pad was not adjusted properly and it was rubbing the rotor. Fixed.
4. My brothers found out the registration plate on my Vado was made of too thin metal sheet and it was bending, especially when the bike was transported in the car's trunk. They made a reinforcement plate. At the same time, it turned out the number plate mount had gone loose. Fixed.

My brother told me many bicycle parts loosen because of the vibration and fixes are necessary. Pity the Specialized LBS does not take so much care for detailed servicing as much as my brother does.

Now, an interesting speed test of my Vado 5 ridden by Jacek. He's an extremely fit person and an MTB rider himself. We had a strong breeze on Saturday. First, he rode the Vado with the battery removed. 2 x 2 km, the ride out downwind, the ride in upwind. The average speed was 24 km/h (14 mph). Next, he made the same test ride in Turbo mode. Ride out, 45 km/h (28 mph) and he could not ride any faster than that. Ride in, top speed 33 km/h (20.5 mph) and he could not ride any faster against the headwind. Average speed: 33+ km/h. He used 7% of the battery, so the extrapolated range would be 57 km for him in Turbo mode. He always takes forward riding position and is 70 kg (154 lbs). We've found the body weight, the riding position and the leg power were critical to the battery range.
I see Loctite in several grades and packagings - A red, a blue and a green. Any advice as to one above the other.
I had a screw come loose on a front fender mount yesterday during a ride, rubbing into the tire, and now know I need to go over the entire bike looking for loose fittings.
I was glad I had a tool I keep in a little bag below my saddle for just such emergencies.
So which version of thread locker do any of you use.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
My brother used a blue liquid... Loctite, eh?
OK, the Blue is removable and that was the point of using that.
 
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rochrunner

Well-Known Member
I see Loctite in several grades and packagings - A red, a blue and a green. Any advice as to one above the other.
I had a screw come loose on a front fender mount yesterday during a ride, rubbing into the tire, and now know I need to go over the entire bike looking for loose fittings.
I was glad I had a tool I keep in a little bag below my saddle for just such emergencies.
So which version of thread locker do any of you use.
Definitely not the red! That'll lock 'em so tight you can twist the head of a small screw off trying to get it loose again. Blue is what I've used for years going back to my race cars, and I can't remember now where the green falls.
 

DaveHertle

Member
Definitely not the red! That'll lock 'em so tight you can twist the head of a small screw off trying to get it loose again. Blue is what I've used for years going back to my race cars, and I can't remember now where the green falls.
Blue 242 seems to be the medium strength choice. Red and Green are high strength. Good Advice.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Going back to the question why it is so hard to maintain 28 mph on a Class 3 e-bike: Theoretically, the motor assistance at 28 mph shall be zero and the riders must rely on their leg power. The support is reduced gradually on approaching the 28 mph. As many of us really rely on the motor assistance, it explains why it is fairly easy to ride at 23 mph but even not close to 28 mph.
 

rochrunner

Well-Known Member
Going back to the question why it is so hard to maintain 28 mph on a Class 3 e-bike: Theoretically, the motor assistance at 28 mph shall be zero and the riders must rely on their leg power. The support is reduced gradually on approaching the 28 mph. As many of us really rely on the motor assistance, it explains why it is fairly easy to ride at 23 mph but even not close to 28 mph.
Good analysis, Stefan. Of course, the same goes for Class 1 bikes at 20mph, but most decent cyclists can actually attain 20mph even without assist, so doing it on an e-bike is not so much of a challenge. 28mph, on the other hand, is beyond anything I can do on the flats, so once the assist is exhausted, so am I!
 

Eheller

Member
Hey guys - well, it's been about two weeks since I started this thread, and the only issue I've run into so far is the NJ winter - it has been COLD. Every time the temp gets above 45F, I am on this bike.

I love, love, love this thing. Ridden sixty miles total so far, and if it would just freakin' warm up, it'd be three times that. Maybe ten. No issues with the bike at all.

I have been so energized at having found an exercise I actually enjoy, I wrote an article about how great e-bikes are, which you might like. It's here: https://medium.com/better-humans/ho...h-and-back-in-love-with-exercise-bc76535bdb51.

As for accessories and stuff, the big purchase was the Thule EasyFold XT 2. I looked at a lot of different hitch mounts, including the 1up-USA (which I liked), but the limit on the 1up (for my class 1 hitch) is 50 lbs, and that would have meant taking the Vado's battery off every time, and I did not like that option. (The 2020 Vado 3.0 is 54 lbs with the battery on, by the way - I called Specialized to confirm. The battery is 7.5 lbs).

Took the Thule out for a test run last weekend, and I really do love it (though I did not love the price, it was crazy expensive, I am done spending for a while).

Hoping the weather changes soon....thanks to all of you for the great information here and across this site. Happy trails...
 

rochrunner

Well-Known Member
Hey guys - well, it's been about two weeks since I started this thread, and the only issue I've run into so far is the NJ winter - it has been COLD. Every time the temp gets above 45F, I am on this bike.

I love, love, love this thing. Ridden sixty miles total so far, and if it would just freakin' warm up, it'd be three times that. Maybe ten. No issues with the bike at all.
Thanks for the update. I just pulled the trigger this afternoon and have a 50% deposit on a Vado 4.0 that they ordered for me. It should be in by late next week, but like you I have this Michigan weather to contend with. I had hoped it might be warm enough for me to ride it home, but it's a bit of a ride and it would not only have to be warm enough but also dry enough. So it's more likely I'll be picking it up on my Easyfold, which fortunately I bought last year so it's not in this year's "bike budget". ;)
 

Eheller

Member
Thanks for the update. I just pulled the trigger this afternoon and have a 50% deposit on a Vado 4.0 that they ordered for me. It should be in by late next week, but like you I have this Michigan weather to contend with. I had hoped it might be warm enough for me to ride it home, but it's a bit of a ride and it would not only have to be warm enough but also dry enough. So it's more likely I'll be picking it up on my Easyfold, which fortunately I bought last year so it's not in this year's "bike budget". ;)
Contrats, RR!! Many happy rides await.