2021 Vado SL 4.0 (1st Impressions)

Sefutau2020

New Member
Region
USA
I purchased an XL frame, but added 700 x 45c tires from Specialized to improve comfort. The seat on the Vado SL 4.0, is one of the best I have ever ridden as a stock saddle. It is extremely comfortable on long rides. The grips are fine, but I upgraded them to a thicker set, as my hands are rather large. This bike as advertised, rides just like a normal bike, even with the power completely off, you can still pedal easily, and there is zero drag from the motor. Truly, Specialized engineered something really special with the SL. It is also fast, very fast, and getting up to 20mph or so, is not difficult. The 35nm of power are fine too, since the bike is not that heavy, although, if you are looking for a strong push from a motor, this might not be the ideal e-bike for you. The power seems to come on smoothly. I ride mostly in Eco mode, which yields an average of 70 miles per full charge, which in my estimation is pretty great. Occasionally, just for fun, I will ride in Sport mode, which gives me about 35 miles on a full charge. On my 40 mile normal round trip jaunts, I sparingly will use Sport mode, just to get up a steep hill, but never ever use Turbo. I am also a large frame guy, 6’3 and weighing north of 250 lbs. The SL seems to want to ride fast all the time and handles very well. After 2 months of ownership, this is probably one of the best bikes I have ever purchased. A quick word on the aluminum front fork. I was very hesitant to purchase a bicycle without a suspension fork or carbon fork, as I had a very bad experience with a 2002 Trek road bike, which had an aluminum fork. Technology has improved, and in addition, the 45c tires certainly help with comfort. Yet on long rides, my hands and wrists are fine, no pain or numbness. I do ride with cycling gloves all the time. So for the money, I would choose the 4.0 over the 5.0.
 

BioWheel

Active Member
Region
USA
Exactly! Happy you now own 'one of the best bikes I've ever purchased'. I have kept my 4SL stock but understand your changes. And I agree - it's an awesome machine. One with E capabilities but the feel of a 'regular' bike. Enjoy and I can tell you it only gets better. :)




I purchased an XL frame, but added 700 x 45c tires from Specialized to improve comfort. The seat on the Vado SL 4.0, is one of the best I have ever ridden as a stock saddle. It is extremely comfortable on long rides. The grips are fine, but I upgraded them to a thicker set, as my hands are rather large. This bike as advertised, rides just like a normal bike, even with the power completely off, you can still pedal easily, and there is zero drag from the motor. Truly, Specialized engineered something really special with the SL. It is also fast, very fast, and getting up to 20mph or so, is not difficult. The 35nm of power are fine too, since the bike is not that heavy, although, if you are looking for a strong push from a motor, this might not be the ideal e-bike for you. The power seems to come on smoothly. I ride mostly in Eco mode, which yields an average of 70 miles per full charge, which in my estimation is pretty great. Occasionally, just for fun, I will ride in Sport mode, which gives me about 35 miles on a full charge. On my 40 mile normal round trip jaunts, I sparingly will use Sport mode, just to get up a steep hill, but never ever use Turbo. I am also a large frame guy, 6’3 and weighing north of 250 lbs. The SL seems to want to ride fast all the time and handles very well. After 2 months of ownership, this is probably one of the best bikes I have ever purchased. A quick word on the aluminum front fork. I was very hesitant to purchase a bicycle without a suspension fork or carbon fork, as I had a very bad experience with a 2002 Trek road bike, which had an aluminum fork. Technology has improved, and in addition, the 45c tires certainly help with comfort. Yet on long rides, my hands and wrists are fine, no pain or numbness. I do ride with cycling gloves all the time. So for the money, I would choose the 4.0 over the 5.0.
 

Rás Cnoic

Well-Known Member
I purchased an XL frame, but added 700 x 45c tires from Specialized to improve comfort. The seat on the Vado SL 4.0, is one of the best I have ever ridden as a stock saddle. It is extremely comfortable on long rides. The grips are fine, but I upgraded them to a thicker set, as my hands are rather large. This bike as advertised, rides just like a normal bike, even with the power completely off, you can still pedal easily, and there is zero drag from the motor. Truly, Specialized engineered something really special with the SL. It is also fast, very fast, and getting up to 20mph or so, is not difficult. The 35nm of power are fine too, since the bike is not that heavy, although, if you are looking for a strong push from a motor, this might not be the ideal e-bike for you. The power seems to come on smoothly. I ride mostly in Eco mode, which yields an average of 70 miles per full charge, which in my estimation is pretty great. Occasionally, just for fun, I will ride in Sport mode, which gives me about 35 miles on a full charge. On my 40 mile normal round trip jaunts, I sparingly will use Sport mode, just to get up a steep hill, but never ever use Turbo. I am also a large frame guy, 6’3 and weighing north of 250 lbs. The SL seems to want to ride fast all the time and handles very well. After 2 months of ownership, this is probably one of the best bikes I have ever purchased. A quick word on the aluminum front fork. I was very hesitant to purchase a bicycle without a suspension fork or carbon fork, as I had a very bad experience with a 2002 Trek road bike, which had an aluminum fork. Technology has improved, and in addition, the 45c tires certainly help with comfort. Yet on long rides, my hands and wrists are fine, no pain or numbness. I do ride with cycling gloves all the time. So for the money, I would choose the 4.0 over the 5.0.
Congrats Sefutau! curious about which 45c tires you fitted as I didn't think 45c would fit? I've got WTB nanos 40c on mine and thought thats as wide as I'd get, especially because the seat stay bridge is so low!
 

Sefutau2020

New Member
Region
USA
Exactly! Happy you now own 'one of the best bikes I've ever purchased'. I have kept my 4SL stock but understand your changes. And I agree - it's an awesome machine. One with E capabilities but the feel of a 'regular' bike. Enjoy and I can tell you it only gets better. :)
Will do....thanks so much.
I agree BioWheel...feels just like a normal bike, with a little extra push. Well engineered machine. Take care.
 

Sefutau2020

New Member
Region
USA
Congrats Sefutau! curious about which 45c tires you fitted as I didn't think 45c would fit? I've got WTB nanos 40c on mine and thought thats as wide as I'd get, especially because the seat stay bridge is so low!
No problem. These 45c tires are not as large as others I have seen, but fit perfectly on the Vado SL 4.0. The roll fast, and are comfortable. Sharing the link below. Hope this helps:

Take care.....
 

kahn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
northWET washington
I purchased an XL frame, but added 700 x 45c tires from Specialized to improve comfort. The seat on the Vado SL 4.0, is one of the best I have ever ridden as a stock saddle. It is extremely comfortable on long rides. The grips are fine, but I upgraded them to a thicker set, as my hands are rather large. This bike as advertised, rides just like a normal bike, even with the power completely off, you can still pedal easily, and there is zero drag from the motor. Truly, Specialized engineered something really special with the SL. It is also fast, very fast, and getting up to 20mph or so, is not difficult. The 35nm of power are fine too, since the bike is not that heavy, although, if you are looking for a strong push from a motor, this might not be the ideal e-bike for you. The power seems to come on smoothly. I ride mostly in Eco mode, which yields an average of 70 miles per full charge, which in my estimation is pretty great. Occasionally, just for fun, I will ride in Sport mode, which gives me about 35 miles on a full charge. On my 40 mile normal round trip jaunts, I sparingly will use Sport mode, just to get up a steep hill, but never ever use Turbo. I am also a large frame guy, 6’3 and weighing north of 250 lbs. The SL seems to want to ride fast all the time and handles very well. After 2 months of ownership, this is probably one of the best bikes I have ever purchased. A quick word on the aluminum front fork. I was very hesitant to purchase a bicycle without a suspension fork or carbon fork, as I had a very bad experience with a 2002 Trek road bike, which had an aluminum fork. Technology has improved, and in addition, the 45c tires certainly help with comfort. Yet on long rides, my hands and wrists are fine, no pain or numbness. I do ride with cycling gloves all the time. So for the money, I would choose the 4.0 over the 5.0.
I hope you don't mind my asking a personal question but since you posted your height/weight, maybe you won't mind giving a close approximation of your age?? Or your general fitness?

See, I have an aluminum Creo and do not get anywhere near 70 miles but also don't spend tons of time in on Eco mode. I'm shorter but definitely overweight and mid-70's. And I'm not as fit as I use to be!! Of course "steep hill" is kind of relative. Yesterday's ride was 15 miles and about 900 feet of climbing on short hills crossing glacially carved Seattle. So up, down, up, down some ridges and the final climb home. Yesterday, there was also a really "nice" south wind. I tend to be using 2-3% battery per mile on most of my rides.

With a range extender battery I eked out 53 miles and almost 3,000 feet of climbing a few months ago. Lots of long hills and some really short steep pitches. I WANT more range!!!

Wondering if my Creo, with a too heavy pannier and rider might be suffering some battery fatigue already or is it just the old man!!!

And feel free to ignore my questions.

And definitely keep enjoying that bike.
 

Rás Cnoic

Well-Known Member
No problem. These 45c tires are not as large as others I have seen, but fit perfectly on the Vado SL 4.0. The roll fast, and are comfortable. Sharing the link below. Hope this helps:

Take care.....
Thanks for that! Hadn’t heard of those tires. When my nanos show some wear n tear I might check them out.
 

Rás Cnoic

Well-Known Member
I hope you don't mind my asking a personal question but since you posted your height/weight, maybe you won't mind giving a close approximation of your age?? Or your general fitness?

See, I have an aluminum Creo and do not get anywhere near 70 miles but also don't spend tons of time in on Eco mode. I'm shorter but definitely overweight and mid-70's. And I'm not as fit as I use to be!! Of course "steep hill" is kind of relative. Yesterday's ride was 15 miles and about 900 feet of climbing on short hills crossing glacially carved Seattle. So up, down, up, down some ridges and the final climb home. Yesterday, there was also a really "nice" south wind. I tend to be using 2-3% battery per mile on most of my rides.

With a range extender battery I eked out 53 miles and almost 3,000 feet of climbing a few months ago. Lots of long hills and some really short steep pitches. I WANT more range!!!

Wondering if my Creo, with a too heavy pannier and rider might be suffering some battery fatigue already or is it just the old man!!!

And feel free to ignore my questions.

And definitely keep enjoying that bike.
I suspect it’s not battery wear but hills! I get around 30 miles from my Vado SL on the hilly roads around here, up down up down as you describe- that leaves about 15% or thereabouts which I always try and leave to get home safely. But there is one fairly flat route mostly on a cycle path (railway bed) that is so gentle gradient I don’t use much battery at all so can do 40 miles plus, easily. Hills use a lot of battery.
 

Sefutau2020

New Member
Region
USA
I hope you don't mind my asking a personal question but since you posted your height/weight, maybe you won't mind giving a close approximation of your age?? Or your general fitness?

See, I have an aluminum Creo and do not get anywhere near 70 miles but also don't spend tons of time in on Eco mode. I'm shorter but definitely overweight and mid-70's. And I'm not as fit as I use to be!! Of course "steep hill" is kind of relative. Yesterday's ride was 15 miles and about 900 feet of climbing on short hills crossing glacially carved Seattle. So up, down, up, down some ridges and the final climb home. Yesterday, there was also a really "nice" south wind. I tend to be using 2-3% battery per mile on most of my rides.

With a range extender battery I eked out 53 miles and almost 3,000 feet of climbing a few months ago. Lots of long hills and some really short steep pitches. I WANT more range!!!

Wondering if my Creo, with a too heavy pannier and rider might be suffering some battery fatigue already or is it just the old man!!!

And feel free to ignore my questions.

And definitely keep enjoying that bike.
No problem at all. I am 59, and extremely active. I ride almost daily, and on top of that, in the gym 3 or 4 times a week. I have been on that pace for several years now, and I suspect that my legs really help extend the battery. There are hills in my neck of the woods, but again, I squeeze out 70 plus miles in Eco mode. For grins, I rode around in Sport mode just to test things, and that cut the battery down to 33 miles per charge. A full charge in Turbo, yielded 18 miles. I just don't need Sport or Turbo, and would prefer riding in Eco, and getting the mileage. Hope this helps....take care.
 

kahn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
northWET washington
Use BLEVo -> Bike Setup -> Battery Monitor.
I will have to give Blevo another look. It was erratic. Recording some trips and not others. I'm clearly not doing something correctly. If the weather forecast is correct, I won't get a chance for a few days.