2022 Vado 4 Review (after 1000 miles of ownership)

Sefutau2020

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Northern VA
This is my personal opinion of the 2022 Specialized Vado 4, after 1000 miles of ownership. Earlier in 2021, I owned a Vado SL 4.0. That bike was great but didn’t have enough power to really get me up steep hills. Now, on to the Vado 4….what a great bike and a superb piece of engineering. Yes, the Vado 4 is NOT as strong as the Vado 5 (which I would have preferred, but supply chain issues only had one option; Vado 4) but I still love this bike. It’s red color with the contrasting black Schwalbe Super Moto X 2.4 tires, make it look stunning. It rides like a dream, and it pedals effortlessly, to the point you forget it is an electric bike. The motor is quiet and strong, but the power comes on seamlessly….no jerking or noticeable pulling. This might not be the case with the Vado 5 and its 90nm of torque. I ride for distance, not speed, so going further is more important than time stamps. I am 60 years old, so I take life a day at a time, and just enjoy being outdoors. One of the joys of riding ebikes, in my opinion, is the ability to basically ride every day. On my analog bikes, if I rode 35 miles one day, I could only muster maybe 15 to 20 the following day. Ebikes allow me to ride 30 to 40 miles daily, without much trouble. If I get tired on the way home, just boost the assist, and you get more free energy from the motor…lol.

So, back to the bike review. This thing is just well engineered. Specialized paid close attention to detail, from the MasterMind unit, the Mission control app, the ability to tune the motor, connect ANT, turn your lights off and on with the flick of a switch……just everything. The brakes are great too. Yet, beware, this bike is heavy. Pedaling with no assist might be doable, but pedaling up a hill with no power, it might be better to walk. Honestly, of all the ebikes I have owned, this one being number 6, it is my favorite. It might not win a lot of races…..leave that to the Vado 5, but every time you get on it, you will have a smile on your face. Well done Specialized…well done. Would I buy this bike again….yep, and will add a Vado 5 for grins when they become available again. Did I mention “I love this bike?”​

Notables:

Full Battery Charge -

Eco mode: 85 to 90 miles
Sport mode: 45 miles (40/100 setting)
Turbo mode: 35 to 40 miles

Problems to date: ZERO

Specialized Vado 4 (mileage 1173)

Pros:
  • Quick and fast
  • Well engineered frame and components
  • Pedals effortlessly
  • Comfortable
  • Fast charging
  • MasterMind TCU
  • Mission Control app
Cons: Heavy
 

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Alpha Ice

Member
Region
USA
As a Vado 4 owner, who has only done a 100 or so miles, schedule and weather permitting sadly - I agree with all of the above points. I've also read several reviews about the comparable Trek and Giant brands....I don't find them to be appealing at all. The Bosch motors aren't appealing to me, the options and features they have (purion screen, fenders not covering as much, motor not being as smooth/silent...and things like running lower quality components on a similarly priced bike [or even the Class 1 horror]). I find a lot of excellent things about the Specialized Vado. I've been very happy with it, and I love the full color display and ability to make adjustments with the screen/configuration and how it still rides very smooth on broken surfaces and feels very comfortable at speeds.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Mazovia, Poland
@Sefutau2020,
Thank you for the review! As an owner of both Vado SL 4.0 and an older Vado 5.0 (both with great mileage), I can confirm your observations!

I would not even try to take my Vado SL for a mountain trip because of too low power and the gearing that is only good for the flat or delicately rolling hill terrain.

Regarding Vado 5.0 vs 4.0: The riding experience is identical. Only a 5.0 owner might use a little bit less of assistance. The only edge of the higher torque/motor power where you could take advantage of is climbing extreme hills. For instance, to climb 19% grade long hills, I not only needed the power of the 5.0 motor but also had a small 38T chainring and the big 46T granny gear on my big Vado!

Heavy it is. My older Vado 5.0 is slightly less heavyweight (53 lbs) but it came with more lightweight wheels and with a rigid fork. Still, it is heavy. No other option nowadays: Powerful = heavy.
 

Sefutau2020

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Northern VA
@Sefutau2020,
Thank you for the review! As an owner of both Vado SL 4.0 and an older Vado 5.0 (both with great mileage), I can confirm your observations!

I would not even try to take my Vado SL for a mountain trip because of too low power and the gearing that is only good for the flat or delicately rolling hill terrain.

Regarding Vado 5.0 vs 4.0: The riding experience is identical. Only a 5.0 owner might use a little bit less of assistance. The only edge of the higher torque/motor power where you could take advantage of is climbing extreme hills. For instance, to climb 19% grade long hills, I not only needed the power of the 5.0 motor but also had a small 38T chainring and the big 46T granny gear on my big Vado!

Heavy it is. My older Vado 5.0 is slightly less heavyweight (53 lbs) but it came with more lightweight wheels and with a rigid fork. Still, it is heavy. No other option nowadays: Powerful = heavy.
Understood. Folks think there is only hype around how good and well engineered Specialized bikes are. I've owned 3 Giant ebikes (Roam, Explorer E+2, and Fastroad), plus my current Trek 8s.....and the Vado is just superior. The other brands are excellent choices, but when you ride this thing as much as I do...you can tell the difference. Zero regrets with this bike. Thanks....
 

Sefutau2020

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Northern VA
As a Vado 4 owner, who has only done a 100 or so miles, schedule and weather permitting sadly - I agree with all of the above points. I've also read several reviews about the comparable Trek and Giant brands....I don't find them to be appealing at all. The Bosch motors aren't appealing to me, the options and features they have (purion screen, fenders not covering as much, motor not being as smooth/silent...and things like running lower quality components on a similarly priced bike [or even the Class 1 horror]). I find a lot of excellent things about the Specialized Vado. I've been very happy with it, and I love the full color display and ability to make adjustments with the screen/configuration and how it still rides very smooth on broken surfaces and feels very comfortable at speeds.
Yes. I owned 3 Giants and they were good bikes, and I loved the Fastroad initially, but after about 400 miles, the motor would just cut out, so I had to return it. After a month of chasing down a Giant rep, to no avail, the LBS offered the Trek 8s, which I took. The other 2 Giant ebikes were trouble free, but not in the same class as the Vado 4. Trek missed the boat with the rack and the Cobi app/phone mount...it is just not a polished look or offering for such an expensive bike. Even Giant had a better head unit offering (Rider Dash Evo). Mission Control and Mastermind are unsurpassed in the industry, in my opinion. Thanks for the response.
 

BigJ

New Member
Region
USA
This is my personal opinion of the 2022 Specialized Vado 4, after 1000 miles of ownership. Earlier in 2021, I owned a Vado SL 4.0. That bike was great but didn’t have enough power to really get me up steep hills. Now, on to the Vado 4….what a great bike and a superb piece of engineering. Yes, the Vado 4 is NOT as strong as the Vado 5 (which I would have preferred, but supply chain issues only had one option; Vado 4) but I still love this bike. It’s red color with the contrasting black Schwalbe Super Moto X 2.4 tires, make it look stunning. It rides like a dream, and it pedals effortlessly, to the point you forget it is an electric bike. The motor is quiet and strong, but the power comes on seamlessly….no jerking or noticeable pulling. This might not be the case with the Vado 5 and its 90nm of torque. I ride for distance, not speed, so going further is more important than time stamps. I am 60 years old, so I take life a day at a time, and just enjoy being outdoors. One of the joys of riding ebikes, in my opinion, is the ability to basically ride every day. On my analog bikes, if I rode 35 miles one day, I could only muster maybe 15 to 20 the following day. Ebikes allow me to ride 30 to 40 miles daily, without much trouble. If I get tired on the way home, just boost the assist, and you get more free energy from the motor…lol.

So, back to the bike review. This thing is just well engineered. Specialized paid close attention to detail, from the MasterMind unit, the Mission control app, the ability to tune the motor, connect ANT, turn your lights off and on with the flick of a switch……just everything. The brakes are great too. Yet, beware, this bike is heavy. Pedaling with no assist might be doable, but pedaling up a hill with no power, it might be better to walk. Honestly, of all the ebikes I have owned, this one being number 6, it is my favorite. It might not win a lot of races…..leave that to the Vado 5, but every time you get on it, you will have a smile on your face. Well done Specialized…well done. Would I buy this bike again….yep, and will add a Vado 5 for grins when they become available again. Did I mention “I love this bike?”​

Notables:

Full Battery Charge -

Eco mode: 85 to 90 miles
Sport mode: 45 miles (40/100 setting)
Turbo mode: 35 to 40 miles

Problems to date: ZERO

Specialized Vado 4 (mileage 1173)

Pros:
  • Quick and fast
  • Well engineered frame and components
  • Pedals effortlessly
  • Comfortable
  • Fast charging
  • MasterMind TCU
  • Mission Control app
Cons: Heavy
Thanks for the review. I too am a stoked Turbo Vado owner. So much so that I have purchased the 4.0 for my spouse for Christmas. It will be awaiting her under the tree this year. I ride a 5.0 and love the power. I am 6'6" and 180lbs. She is 5'3" and well.....she weighs considerably less than I do. Hearing that the 4.0 motor "pedals effortlessly" and is "quick and fast" just puts a smile on my face.
 

Sefutau2020

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Northern VA
Thanks for the review. I too am a stoked Turbo Vado owner. So much so that I have purchased the 4.0 for my spouse for Christmas. It will be awaiting her under the tree this year. I ride a 5.0 and love the power. I am 6'6" and 180lbs. She is 5'3" and well.....she weighs considerably less than I do. Hearing that the 4.0 motor "pedals effortlessly" and is "quick and fast" just puts a smile on my face.
No problem. A lot of people shun Specialized, including me, prior to actually riding one. The "hype" around these bikes is real. Everything about this bike was well though out, and it is a superbly engineered machine. Well done again to the team at Specialized.
 

Marcela

Well-Known Member
It's a competitive market. With the internet most everybody is informed. If you can't provide something or an experience at a decent price it won't sell.

I saw diesel at the highest price I've ever seen it. I don't feel bad hauling groceries or running errands on the ebike anymore. If anyone is on the fence about buying an ebike, the current economy might help with the decision.
 

Riley

New Member
Region
Canada
Thanks for write up. I am wanting to get my first e-bike after recently getting back into biking.
I have always been just a casual biker so this is all new to me.

At first I was keen on the Giant Explore E+2 but wanted to check out Specialized and Trek. In my mind I got comfortable with spending that much for a bike.

Walking into the dealer I was thinking the Vado 3.0 (in similar price range as the E+2) but they suggested the 4.0 due to motor size given my plans to maybe commute with it. I rode both and agreed... the 4.0 was clearly a better bike. I am just trying to get my head around the addition cost.
It doesn't matter right now because they can't find a 4.0 in a Large so I get to think about this for awhile.

It's nice to hear people thrilled with the 4.0. It makes me more comfortable to spend (what is to me), big bucks.