2020 Turbo Vado - Early Impressions!

Marci jo

Well-Known 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". ;)
Congrats on your new ebike Rochrunner!
Many fabulous miles and smiles.
I too am hoping for an early Spring this year.
 

Ricky

Member
Thank you Eric, this was an awesome article. I got my first e-bike in 2017 and went 1750 miles, 2018 was 1828 miles, and in 2019 I went 2050 miles. Like you I am in my later 50s and I feel much better and more fit than ever.


I like to say that an e-bike gets rid of all my excuses to not ride a bike. I rode my regular bike about 400 miles in 2016. Now if its windy, no problem, hotter day than normal, no problem, need to run an errand after work that takes me 7 miles out of my way, no problem.


The one thing that I would suggest though is to be extra careful, especially now with coronavirus. The hospitals can’t take ordinary cases any more and you really don’t want an accident.


By the way, the bike that I REALLY love is my iZip moda with a Brose motor. I have ridden a Specialized like yours and loved it, but it was more expensive than my iZip Moda. The Brose motor is the best one out there (in my opinion) and I have tried them all. The iZip Moda is sort of the same bike as the Vado except I don't have the really nice ability to connect it to a phone app and it doesn't do the shift detect that the Specialized does.

An e-bike changed my life and I use it more like a car now. I would highly recommend getting a rear rack to hold a big trunk bag with panniers. This allows you to go by bike to stores and get quite a bit and still haul it home. With a non e-bike, you would go oh crap now I have to go up the hill with an extra 20 pounds of groceries or other stuff that you picked up at a store.
 

Ricky

Member
I also highly recommend a trailer hitch on the car and a hitch rack for the bikes that holds the bikes by the tires (and maybe also holds the frame). There are many styles, I have a couple of friends that are really happy with the Saris rack (plus as a bonus they make those Saris racks down the end of the same street that my workplace is), that is Madison, Wisconsin.

I also recommend getting a suspension seat post (it is worth its weight in gold). I have the Suntour NCX and I really recommend it.

Finally, they do not tell people this but there are some tips and tricks to making the battery last forever. That is the battery should not be at 100% charge for a long period of time, nor should you ever run the battery all the way down to zero. This is what Tesla does to extend the life of the batteries (which are the same ones used in e-bikes just that there are thousands in a tesla and around 40 in and e-bike). It is okay to charge to 100% if you are going to immediately use the bike and run the battery down. I usually recharge when the battery gets down to 20-30%. If I know that I am not going to be using the bike for a couple of days or a week I do what I can so that bike sits at 50% charge.
 
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manrubia

New Member
What advatage is it to Get A Vado 5 Vs Vado 3 or 4 ?? Mainly the battery ?
I was concerned about the smaller battery on the Vado 3.0 vs. the larger batteries on the Vado 4 and 5, but after owning my Vado 3.0 for the past 3 months, I find the Vado 3.0 battery very adequate for my 5 to 25 mile rides. And with the money I saved I was able to make the following modifications: larger Specialized comfort seat, ShockStop seat post, trunk bag, cell phone holder, larger 48 tooth front sprocket and larger front brake, all less than buying a Vado 4.0 or 5.0. Very happy 78 yr. old male rider.
 

Eheller

Member
I was concerned about the smaller battery on the Vado 3.0 vs. the larger batteries on the Vado 4 and 5, but after owning my Vado 3.0 for the past 3 months, I find the Vado 3.0 battery very adequate for my 5 to 25 mile rides.
I'll second that opinion - so far my longest ride is about 20 miles, and on a full charge there's maybe 55 or 60% battery left. No issues. I feel like 40 miles is doable - although I have not done it yet, to be honest. But 20 miles is a good bike ride for me! For the record, I love my 3.0 - it is a perfect ebike. Tho I have read about some online specials for a 4.0.
 

AdminUC78

New Member
Rick53 - can confirm, 2020 Vado 3.0 in the US is Class 3. Picture attached. Went for a ride today, got it up to 26, working hard to do it though, in the next to highest gear - however, in a strong (and cold!) wind. Might need to tweak some settings in the Mission Control app down the road. For now, having too much fun. It feels very fast to me.
This is interesting. I just picked up my 2020 Vado 3.0 about a week ago and found a Class 1 sticker on the bike. My model is the one with the 50nm 1.2e motor. I was assuming the cut-off would be at 20 mph and I would then be on my own. Today on a one mile straight-away with a tailwind of of about 10-15 mph, I "easily" hit 29.6 mph and probably could've sustained the speed for a little bit longer but pedestrians were coming up. So I am thinking maybe my bike was not labeled correctly and it is actually a class 3? I've read elsewhere in the forum that the 2020 Vado 3.0 is a class 1. Was able to hit 29mph+ due to the tailwind and a good cadence or did the bike assist actually not cut off at 20mph?
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
This is interesting. I just picked up my 2020 Vado 3.0 about a week ago and found a Class 1 sticker on the bike. My model is the one with the 50nm 1.2e motor. I was assuming the cut-off would be at 20 mph and I would then be on my own. Today on a one mile straight-away with a tailwind of of about 10-15 mph, I "easily" hit 29.6 mph and probably could've sustained the speed for a little bit longer but pedestrians were coming up. So I am thinking maybe my bike was not labeled correctly and it is actually a class 3? I've read elsewhere in the forum that the 2020 Vado 3.0 is a class 1. Was able to hit 29mph+ due to the tailwind and a good cadence or did the bike assist actually not cut off at 20mph?
If the motor didn't cut off at 20 mph, it is Class 3. Normally, cutting the motor off is perceived as "banging into a wall". (The only exception is riding a steep descent, when you cannot even notice the motor's not assisting you anymore). The Class stickers in the United States can be misleading. It would never pass in Europe but "The United States is a free country" :)
 

rochrunner

Well-Known Member
This is interesting. I just picked up my 2020 Vado 3.0 about a week ago and found a Class 1 sticker on the bike. My model is the one with the 50nm 1.2e motor. I was assuming the cut-off would be at 20 mph and I would then be on my own. Today on a one mile straight-away with a tailwind of of about 10-15 mph, I "easily" hit 29.6 mph and probably could've sustained the speed for a little bit longer but pedestrians were coming up. So I am thinking maybe my bike was not labeled correctly and it is actually a class 3? I've read elsewhere in the forum that the 2020 Vado 3.0 is a class 1. Was able to hit 29mph+ due to the tailwind and a good cadence or did the bike assist actually not cut off at 20mph?
My 2020 4.0 is a class 3 bike, but interestingly the accessory packet that came with it included a Class 1 sticker! I suppose I could use this to cheat if they ever actually enforced the class restrictions here. I wonder if your LBS applied this sticker? As Stephan said, you should definitely be able to feel the motor cut out at its limit.
 

AdminUC78

New Member
If the motor didn't cut off at 20 mph, it is Class 3. Normally, cutting the motor off is perceived as "banging into a wall". (The only exception is riding a steep descent, when you cannot even notice the motor's not assisting you anymore). The Class stickers in the United States can be misleading. It would never pass in Europe but "The United States is a free country" :)
Wow. Thanks Stefan, this is good knowledge. It did not seem to cut off and I am maybe on a good day, probably just very mildy above average in terms of my sustained spinning output. I suppose the firmware updates pushed the Vado 3.0 to Class 3? The Specialized ads are very confusing re: "Class". I think even the LBS staff can get confused on which bikes amongst the Specialized line are which class. Maybe at the end of the day it may not matter, but if you are spending $$ for a bike, maybe it does. Oh well, the forum is a great resource. Keep on writing/riding!
 
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AdminUC78

New Member
My 2020 4.0 is a class 3 bike, but interestingly the accessory packet that came with it included a Class 1 sticker! I suppose I could use this to cheat if they ever actually enforced the class restrictions here. I wonder if your LBS applied this sticker? As Stephan said, you should definitely be able to feel the motor cut out at its limit.
Yes, odd isn't it? Like you, I ended up sticking the Class 1 sticker onto my bike under the unlikely assumption my bike would be checked while riding. Enforcement in NorCalifornia is lax unless e-bike riders start riding like hooligans. Unlikely since so many of us are boomers trying to stay fit and healthy! Thanks for the feedback on this. It seems based upon what I am reading, the opinions around the 1.2e and 1.2 and categories under which class is which is very confusing to me. Stefan and you makes sense when y'all indicated I would have felt the cut-off at 20mph when I did my speed run. I did not feel a cut-off at all on the way up to 29.6, I am a slightly above average rider but no way can I reach or much less sustain 29 mph. I did a speed run on my analog road bike a few weeks ago before my Vado was delivered, and on the same straight away I managed to hit 20mph for about 20 seconds until I couldn't take it anymore. Good insight and knowledge. I find your posts very helpful. Keep on riding!
 
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Friends,

The Class-rules for the United States are vague, and as Admin pointed out, even the Californian law enforcement is lax. There are no special requirements on safety equipment for Class 3 e-bikes, and as we all see, it is easy to get a sticker to disguise the Class 3 e-bike as Class 1. It is very easy to make a Class 1 bike to be Class 3: all you need as the manufacturer is to change the speed restriction figure by software. The 250 W Specialized motors are strong, are they 1.2e, 1.2, 1.2s or 1.3. Nobody would guarantee a Vado would actually ride at 28 mph: there is no restriction at 20 mph, however. Specialized are smart not to advertise the Class on their Web site, for legal reasons.

That would not pass in Europe. The EU L1e-B vehicle is equivalent to a 50 cc motorcycle, holds a Vehicle Identification Number, has safety equipment, needs to carry a plate number and be insured against potential damage it can create (same as for motorcycle or car), and comes with the Certificate of Conformity. For that reason, only Vado 6.0 is offered as a "speed e-bike" in Europe now and even not in all EU countries! And guess what? Even in Europe, Specialized don't advertise the 6.0 as the 45 km/h e-bike... The only clear information is given by this specific item:

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Number plate support in Vado 6.0...

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...in Riese & Muller HS bikes...

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...in Bulls "45" models...

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...and in Haibike "S" models.
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Yes, odd isn't it? Like you, I ended up sticking the Class 1 sticker onto my bike under the unlikely assumption my bike would be checked while riding. Enforcement in NorCalifornia is lax unless e-bike riders start riding like hooligans. Unlikely since so many of us are boomers trying to stay fit and healthy! Thanks for the feedback on this. It seems based upon what I am reading, the opinions around the 1.2e and 1.2 and categories under which class is which is very confusing to me. Stefan and you makes sense when y'all indicated I would have felt the cut-off at 20mph when I did my speed run. I did not feel a cut-off at all on the way up to 29.6, I am a slightly above average rider but no way can I reach or much less sustain 29 mph. I did a speed run on my analog road bike a few weeks ago before my Vado was delivered, and on the same straight away I managed to hit 20mph for about 20 seconds until I couldn't take it anymore. Good insight and knowledge. I find your posts very helpful. Keep on riding!
Our Class 3 Vado 5s came with Class 1 & 3 stickers. I put the Class 1's on them.😎.