Brought a new Vado 5.0 home today!

Camasonian

Active Member
Region
USA
Hey, you've been offline for a month...must be having fun!
If you have some time, could you update your thoughts on this purchase?
Loving the bike. Mostly using it for commuting. Absolutely zero problems with it so far. I've swapped out the pedals for Shimano SPD pedals and I swapped out the seat for a Brooks Champion flyer that I took off my mountain bike. Otherwise it it is basically stock. This time of year we have plenty of daylight so I haven't tried to bump up the lighting since in this northern latitude I'm only biking in daylight but I did put a rear flasher on the back.

I also haven't tried to mount any mirrors on the bike like upstream. I just have a mirror on the helmet which I prefer to having it on the bike. I've tried a bunch of different bike mirrors on other bikes and never liked any of them.

I have the regular geared bike not the IGH so no issues with that. If I had to make a comment I'd say that I'd probably want to have one higher top end gear because when I get up to 28 mph on the flats I have to use a higher pedal cadence than I'd probably otherwise want to use. But that is a pretty trivial issue. I'm kind of a big guy and prefer a slower pedal cadence.

This is my first e-bike and it is a game changer for commuting as I live in a very hilly area and just don't have the energy to battle the hills every day with a conventional bike. I'm completely glad I bought the regular Vado over the SL. I have other lightweight conventional bikes for regular recreational riding. This one is for commuting and hauling things and the Vado does better at that then the Vado SL.

No buyers remorse. If I had to replace it I'd go out and buy the same bike. It is very well thought out and a joy to ride.
 

RAYDAHS

New Member
Region
USA
Thanks for taking the time to share with us! Sounds like everything worked out for you, I am hoping to swing a leg over one again...next week.
I'm 99% sure this is my next bike.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Mazovia, Poland
@Camasonian: Not your Vado but I'm so glad I took my full power Vado for the full weekend long ride (instead of Vado SL). Yes, I had to haul a heavy spare battery and the charger in my panniers but my 100 km return trip was all against strong headwind! I don't think I would have survived that on the SL :)
 
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mjones5

New Member
Region
USA
Congratulations ! I purchased the Vado 4.0 (I had to have the red color). If you don’t mind sharing what type of panniers and accessories you get for the bike. I am new to commuting and shopping around online to see what is best. And what lock you can use. Thanks so much and I love the color of yours. One question - are you able to see your heart rate on the display on the bike ? I need to set that up if possible, just have quite tried it yet.
 

Camasonian

Active Member
Region
USA
Congratulations ! I purchased the Vado 4.0 (I had to have the red color). If you don’t mind sharing what type of panniers and accessories you get for the bike. I am new to commuting and shopping around online to see what is best. And what lock you can use. Thanks so much and I love the color of yours. One question - are you able to see your heart rate on the display on the bike ? I need to set that up if possible, just have quite tried it yet.

I'm a teacher and I haven't ridden it much at all so far this summer because I'm busy riding my titanium road bike for fitness. The Vado is my commuting bike and I'll be back on it as soon as school starts back up in late August. As for accessories, I have done the following modifications:

1. I swapped out the stock saddle for a Berthoud Aubisque saddle which perfectly suits the more upright position of the Vado. I'm partial to old fashioned leather saddles and have Brooks on all my other mountain and road bikes. I decided to try a Berthoud on the Vado and am very happy with it. Extremely comfortable after only about 50 miles: https://www.renehersecycles.com/shop/components/saddles/berthoud-wide-saddle/ I have noticed that Brooks now sells a cheaper e-bike model that is not leather. https://www.brooksengland.com/en_us/c67.html I went for the traditional leather.

2. I installed an Ortlieb E-Glow handlebar bag in black. This is a very nice waterproof bag that contains LED strips around the exterior that you can power with a small cell phone backup battery for increased nighttime visibility. And it has a cell phone window on the top. But it won't really fit the largest over-size cell phones unless you take a scissors to the entry slot. I have a normal size iPhone and have to take it out of the rubber case to put it in there so I don't bother usually. Just leave it inside the main pouch. I keep my tools, keys, gloves, and spare tube in here and anything else I might want to pull out while riding. https://www.ortlieb.com/en_us/e-glow+F8231

3. I bought two different size Ortlieb backroller panniers. I only ride with one of them that I use mainly as a pouch to hold my work backpack with laptop and papers. The first one ended up a bit tight so I bought the bigger size one and it works better. My work backpack is an older Patagonia model with a laptop sleeve that I no longer see on their web site. It fits nicely into an Ortlieb backroller pannier so I'm not riding with the backpack on my back in the rain and grime of Portland area winters. And if I need to stop for groceries on the way home from work I can pop the backback out of the pannier and wear it on my back the rest of the way home to free up the pannier space for groceries. Ortlieb has a lot of pannier options including some high-vis ones designed for commuting. If you are going to go this route, I suggest filling up your work backpack or briefcase as you usually have it loaded and then take it to your bike shop to test-fit it into various panniers to find the most appropriate one. Ortliebs are good for this because they are basically just a big single dry-back with pannier attachments compared to many other brand panniers that have lots of accessory pockets that you don't want for this purpose. I think I bought this one first: https://www.ortlieb.com/en_us/back-roller-urban+F5508 and then picked up a pair of these larger ones to better fit my work backpack when it is completely stuffed with gear, clothes, and lunch: https://www.ortlieb.com/en_us/back-roller-pro-plus+F5251 I'm not actually sure of the exact models because I bought them from my local e-bike store and didn't mail order.

4. Bought a big rear view mirror which I find useful for city street commuting. The Vado does tell you when cars are approaching, but it is nice to have a rear view mirror to look back when moving out into turn lanes to make a left turn. This is the one I bought on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074T612KL/ but there are lots of other similar products out there.

5. Bought Shimano SPD pedals so I can use my regular bike shoes for commuting. I bought the Shimano model that has cleats on one side and flat surface on the other so the bike can be used with regular street shoes if I want. https://bike.shimano.com/en-EU/product/component/deorext-t8000/PD-T8000.html

6. I have a Kryptonite style u-bolt lock (it is a different brand, I forget which) and also a cable to loop around the wheels. But I almost never lock the bike. It is hanging in my suburban garage when home and I store it the back stockroom of my classroom when at work, which is a room only I have access too. On the rare occasions when I lock it I am usually stopping at the local suburban grocery store and they have big tubular u-racks right in front in full view of the self-checkout line through the window. It isn't a bike theft area because so few people actually lock bikes up there compared to urban areas like college campuses and downtown. So I assume it is relatively safe. But I'm also only doing a quick in-and-out and the bike is out of my view for minutes at best. I don't really ride anywhere where secure locking is a concern. I'm not sure what I would do if I did. I certainly wouldn't leave this bike locked all day in downtown Portland regardless of the lock.

As for heart-rate monitors? I didn't know the Vado had one. I have an apple watch which I use to check my heart rate, mostly just on a weekly basis to see what it has been when I have been working out and riding my road bike. I don't obsessively check it. I haven't ever tried to use the Vado display for that purpose and didn't know it was a feature. I mostly or entirely just use the Vado display in its generic stock setting except that I changed the "stop" screen to show current time and total distance when I am stopped at red lights and want to look down and see that information. But when I'm riding I just have the stock speed and cadence display.
 
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geysir

Member
Here is my review of my new Vado 5.0 after a couple weeks and 200 miles.
Pros:
-The front shocks are very nice. Makes me wish I had rear suspension too.
-Speed is fine. I am able to go 20+ mph even at 60% power assist.
-Being able to program the 3 power assist levels is a great feature.
-I find the bike to be comfortable. In stock form the handlebars are a bit higher than my seat height.
Cons:
-I strike the ground with my pedal on some turns. I have never had this happen on other bikes.
-After turning on the bike, the motor gave zero power assist one time. I seemed to lose some power for a while during a ride another time. This is scary on a new bike and scary because of stories about Vado issues from the past two years.
-Weight is more than expected. My medium Vado is 57.4 pounds. Compare this to my Yamaha CrossCore ebike that weighs 44.0 pounds.
-The Vado beats my Yamaha on flat roads but not going up hills. This could be due to the extra weight.
-There is not instant, zero-cadence torque like on my Yamaha. The Vado is slower starting from a stop sign than the Yamaha. This is a factor when trying to cross a busy street.
-The suspension seatpost provides no extra comfort. The heavy steel spring inside may be too stiff for my 170 pounds. I switched to a carbon fiber seatpost.
 

Camasonian

Active Member
Region
USA
Here is my review of my new Vado 5.0 after a couple weeks and 200 miles.
Pros:
-The front shocks are very nice. Makes me wish I had rear suspension too.
-Speed is fine. I am able to go 20+ mph even at 60% power assist.
-Being able to program the 3 power assist levels is a great feature.
-I find the bike to be comfortable. In stock form the handlebars are a bit higher than my seat height.
Cons:
-I strike the ground with my pedal on some turns. I have never had this happen on other bikes.
-After turning on the bike, the motor gave zero power assist one time. I seemed to lose some power for a while during a ride another time. This is scary on a new bike and scary because of stories about Vado issues from the past two years.
-Weight is more than expected. My medium Vado is 57.4 pounds. Compare this to my Yamaha CrossCore ebike that weighs 44.0 pounds.
-The Vado beats my Yamaha on flat roads but not going up hills. This could be due to the extra weight.
-There is not instant, zero-cadence torque like on my Yamaha. The Vado is slower starting from a stop sign than the Yamaha. This is a factor when trying to cross a busy street.
-The suspension seatpost provides no extra comfort. The heavy steel spring inside may be too stiff for my 170 pounds. I switched to a carbon fiber seatpost.
Yes, I have had the same issue with pedal strike while cornering. I suspect there are design compromises involved. You either use shorter crank arms or raise the height of the bottom bracket which will raise the center of gravity of the bike and perhaps make it more unwieldly in urban settings for smaller individuals. But you have to be careful about pedaling around tight corners.

I swapped out the stock seat for a high-end leather seat and it was a huge improvement in comfort. But then I'm a retro-grouch when it comes to bike saddles and I have Brooks leather saddles on all my bikes except for the Vado where I experimented with the French-Made Berthoud Aubisque and found it to be perfect and a great upgrade to the stock Specialized saddle, although expensive. https://www.renehersecycles.com/shop/components/saddles/berthoud-wide-saddle/

I haven't had any issues or problems with the power system. It has worked perfectly for me except once when starting out from the house it seemed to glitch and not engage. I just stopped and rebooted (turned the bike off and on) and the issue disappeared and hasn't returned since. But then this is my first e-bike so I don't have anything else to compare to.
 
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GuruUno

Well-Known Member
Here is my review of my new Vado 5.0 after a couple weeks and 200 miles.
Pros:
-The front shocks are very nice. Makes me wish I had rear suspension too.
-Speed is fine. I am able to go 20+ mph even at 60% power assist.
-Being able to program the 3 power assist levels is a great feature.
-I find the bike to be comfortable. In stock form the handlebars are a bit higher than my seat height.
Cons:
-I strike the ground with my pedal on some turns. I have never had this happen on other bikes.
-After turning on the bike, the motor gave zero power assist one time. I seemed to lose some power for a while during a ride another time. This is scary on a new bike and scary because of stories about Vado issues from the past two years.
-Weight is more than expected. My medium Vado is 57.4 pounds. Compare this to my Yamaha CrossCore ebike that weighs 44.0 pounds.
-The Vado beats my Yamaha on flat roads but not going up hills. This could be due to the extra weight.
-There is not instant, zero-cadence torque like on my Yamaha. The Vado is slower starting from a stop sign than the Yamaha. This is a factor when trying to cross a busy street.
-The suspension seatpost provides no extra comfort. The heavy steel spring inside may be too stiff for my 170 pounds. I switched to a carbon fiber seatpost.
-I strike the ground with my pedal on some turns. I have never had this happen on other bikes.
I too experienced the exact same thing, and I was lectured by those here in this forum that I should learn how to ride, and it was me and not the bike.
GLAD to hear it's not only me.
I wound up getting shorter crank arms (160mm) solved MY issues.
Additionally, this was the exact experience I had on my Vado 5.0 and my Como 5.0 (both LARGE), however, getting my OTHER new Vado 5.0, I got a MEDIUM.
ZERO issue with pedal strike with the MEDIUM size.
Just sharing, super glad to feel vindicated.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Mazovia, Poland
This is scary on a new bike and scary because of stories about Vado issues from the past two years.
You are riding a 2022 model which is improved and different from earlier models (which by the way serve well most of users). The issues you mention might be intermediate or shall be resolved by the service.

Pedal strikes? Apply proper pedalling technique. Don't pedal on cornering. Keep the inward pedal up.

If you need better acceleration and do not plan riding, say 25 mph, you are free to install a smaller chainring. Whenever I plan a mountain vacation, I swap my Vado chainring for a 38T one (from the original 48T or current 42T). A smaller ring will improve climbing and acceleration.
 

Camasonian

Active Member
Region
USA
You are riding a 2022 model which is improved and different from earlier models (which by the way serve well most of users). The issues you mention might be intermediate or shall be resolved by the service.

Pedal strikes? Apply proper pedalling technique. Don't pedal on cornering. Keep the inward pedal up.

If you need better acceleration and do not plan riding, say 25 mph, you are free to install a smaller chainring. Whenever I plan a mountain vacation, I swap my Vado chainring for a 38T one (from the original 48T or current 42T). A smaller ring will improve climbing and acceleration.
Is the Vado computer tied in any way to the chainring size or gearing? Will swapping out chainrings affect any of the readings?
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Mazovia, Poland
Is the Vado computer tied in any way to the chainring size or gearing? Will swapping out chainrings affect any of the readings?
It is totally unrelated and not controlled.
Note: The high acceleration requires that the rider can pedal at higher cadence (with upshifting) until the desired speed has been achieved.
 

Zekeer

Active Member
Region
USA
It is totally unrelated and not controlled.
Note: The high acceleration requires that the rider can pedal at higher cadence (with upshifting) until the desired speed has been achieved.
Different subject : According to my LBS the Vado 600 W battery is not going to be available . They are progressing toward getting the 700 W available by fall. I tried to confirm this with Specialized themselves and haven't heard a thing back.
 

MacCrackin

Member
Region
USA
City
Minnesota, Central
I had OJT real quick riding bike in outback villages of 400 yr old streets
in Germany, where up against the curb, cars go by so close, that their side mirrors and door knobs barely miss hitting your bars. Slightest move wrong looking back would be very painful event. I had mirrors on the next day. Cheers