Changing gearing on my Vado 5

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
My Vado 5 was equipped with a 11-42t 11-speed cassette and a 48t wide/narrow chain ring. This has worked well on all my rides, with one minor exception. I did a 45 mile loop with over 6,000' of climbing. On the last long climb of the day I was in the granny gear and Turbo assist for several miles being more tired than I realized. No problem getting home, but I don't want to get stranded late in the day on any of these steep back road routes without cell service. So, I saw two options;

1. Don't ride steep back roads where there's no cell service, or
2. Change the ebike's gearing so there's virtually no chance I won't be able to ride home no matter how tired I am.

Obviously #2 wins...🤣

So all the new parts are in. I'll be converting my medium cage XT Shadow Plus derailleur to a long cage, changing out the cassette to a 11-50t, and changing the chain from 120 links to 126 links.

Yesterday I tackled the derailleur;
P1010506.jpg

A new long cage derailleur is something like $120 so I went with the $27 solution, new cage arms and a longer B screw. Obviously my derailleur needdd a good cleaning anyway so as a first step I took it apart...
P1010508.jpg

Lots of parts, even without removing the 3 adjustment screws! I scrubbed most parts in warm soapy water them 'orange' degreaser followed by a rinse in the water and air quick dry with the compressor. My normal practice is to lay the parts out in order of disassembly to help me remember how to put them back together! I did take the silver colored dust cover/spacers off the jockey wheels expecting to find loose bearings that I would clean and grease. They've got sealed bearings! So a quick clean and dry for them was all that was needed. After cleaning all the parts I sparingly added grease where needed using a silicone grease on o-rings and the smallest parts and Park tool's poly grease elsewhere. Time to reassemble...
P1010509.jpg

My almost like new and very clean long cage derailleur is ready to reinstall on the Vado, after I change the cassette. The clutch had me stumped for a bit. Luckily I had my wife's Vado available as a reference. I was assembling the clutch correctly. I just needed more spring tension on the arm. I got this my extending the derailleur's cage for clearance and rotated the arm 360° to preload the tension spring. Worked great! On to the cassette...😎
 

Jeffmc306

New Member
Sierratim, great write-up and photos. Thanks for sharing how you did it. I like your idea to "build your own" long cage and save a bunch of cash. Good that your wife also has a Vado to look at for the clutch too. You should be able to climb a tree with that 50T!
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Oops! Found an assembly mistake this AM when I double checked my work. If you zoom in on the last pic above you can see a directional arrow on the lower jockey wheel. It's pointing the wrong way for the chain feed! At least I got the jockey wheels in their correct positions; there is an upper and a lower wheel with different teeth patterns.

The upper wheel has its directional arrow going the right way...🤣 Go figure.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Will the 50T cog help? I had trouble climbing a steep hill at 48-46 gearing with my Vado... But your 1.3 motor is stronger than my 1.2s.
P.S. The same hill could be cleared at 36-51 easily (Giant e MTB).
 

Akrotiri

Well-Known Member
My Vado 5 was equipped with a 11-42t 11-speed cassette and a 48t wide/narrow chain ring. This has worked well on all my rides, with one minor exception. I did a 45 mile loop with over 6,000' of climbing. On the last long climb of the day I was in the granny gear and Turbo assist for several miles being more tired than I realized. No problem getting home, but I don't want to get stranded late in the day on any of these steep back road routes without cell service. So, I saw two options;

1. Don't ride steep back roads where there's no cell service, or
2. Change the ebike's gearing so there's virtually no chance I won't be able to ride home no matter how tired I am.

Obviously #2 wins...🤣

So all the new parts are in. I'll be converting my medium cage XT Shadow Plus derailleur to a long cage, changing out the cassette to a 11-50t, and changing the chain from 120 links to 126 links.

Yesterday I tackled the derailleur;
View attachment 69744
A new long cage derailleur is something like $120 so I went with the $27 solution, new cage arms and a longer B screw. Obviously my derailleur needdd a good cleaning anyway so as a first step I took it apart...
View attachment 69745
Lots of parts, even without removing the 3 adjustment screws! I scrubbed most parts in warm soapy water them 'orange' degreaser followed by a rinse in the water and air quick dry with the compressor. My normal practice is to lay the parts out in order of disassembly to help me remember how to put them back together! I did take the silver colored dust cover/spacers off the jockey wheels expecting to find loose bearings that I would clean and grease. They've got sealed bearings! So a quick clean and dry for them was all that was needed. After cleaning all the parts I sparingly added grease where needed using a silicone grease on o-rings and the smallest parts and Park tool's poly grease elsewhere. Time to reassemble...
View attachment 69746
My almost like new and very clean long cage derailleur is ready to reinstall on the Vado, after I change the cassette. The clutch had me stumped for a bit. Luckily I had my wife's Vado available as a reference. I was assembling the clutch correctly. I just needed more spring tension on the arm. I got this my extending the derailleur's cage for clearance and rotated the arm 360° to preload the tension spring. Worked great! On to the cassette...😎
What was the original climbing gear inches in stock form? Are you looking to get sub-20 inch climbing gear?
 

JRA

Well-Known Member
What was the original climbing gear inches in stock form? Are you looking to get sub-20 inch climbing gear?
His original low gear inch was 32 and now will be 26.88. I recently switched to a 50t on my eMTB from a 46t, 42t front ring, to get a higher cadence on steep terrain and it helped but not as much as I anticipated.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
I might have a question to @Sierratim: Do you think replacement of the 48T to 52T chainring would be practical for Vado 5.0? Enough clearance? Would I need a chainguard?

The intention is to use more of the large cassette cogs (I typically encounter no hills in my area).
 

BarryS

Active Member
His original low gear inch was 32 and now will be 26.88. I recently switched to a 50t on my eMTB from a 46t, 42t front ring, to get a higher cadence on steep terrain and it helped but not as much as I anticipated.
I agree I went from 40T to 48T Front CR on My Vado 4 . I feel some difference But not what I'd anticipated : On the Lighter Side . Changing My Front Ring and Guard was Super Super Simple : N0 Special tools needed : I was anticipating based on Comments , Far more work then it was .

One thing I learned is Torque Specs have to be adhered to religiously. That is if you want your chain to operate as it did from the factory ;}
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Will the 50T cog help? I had trouble climbing a steep hill at 48-46 gearing with my Vado... But your 1.3 motor is stronger than my 1.2s.
P.S. The same hill could be cleared at 36-51 easily (Giant e MTB).
The 50t cog will give me the equivelent of one more low gear. Locally I haven't found a hill the Vado with the 1.3 90Nm motor won't climb with its stock 11-42t cassette. For me It's a matter of insurance for that day when I'm just too tired to help as much as I do now, and the fact that I like to 'putter' on my bikes...🤣

BTW - My son's bike component company just bought a Trek Rail for a test bed for their line of eMTB components. It's got a 52t cog with a 36t (?) Chainring. WOW!
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
His original low gear inch was 32 and now will be 26.88. I recently switched to a 50t on my eMTB from a 46t, 42t front ring, to get a higher cadence on steep terrain and it helped but not as much as I anticipated.
Going from a 46t to a 50t cog gives about a 9% change in gear-inches. My change will give me about a 19% change, not unlike the cog to cog change seen in many cassettes. I'm anticipating that this will feel like an extra full lower gear. I'll know in another day or so! The work would go faster, but the shop is pretty dark during our fire season power outage...😕
 

Jeffmc306

New Member
FlatSix911, that’s a great tool - thanks for sharing. It also calculates gear inches which I like to use when comparing different chainring / cog ratios.

Here’s what it shows for Sierratim’s setup. The 50T = 26.91” while the 46T = 29.15”. That’s using the 700 x 45 tire size (47 wasn’t an option)..
 

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Sierratim

Well-Known Member
I might have a question to @Sierratim: Do you think replacement of the 48T to 52T chainring would be practical for Vado 5.0? Enough clearance? Would I need a chainguard?

The intention is to use more of the large cassette cogs (I typically encounter no hills in my area).
Stefan,

The page you linked specs the 48t ring at a diameter of 200mm, the 52t at 217mm. I placed a thin metal ruler against the back of the 48t ring on my wife's Vado 5. Measuring 1/2 of the ring diameter from the estimated center of the crank shows that there is good clearance to the chain stay for the 48t ring, as you would expect.

This pic shows the measurement at 109mm for the 52t ring;
P1010518.jpg

Unfortunately it looks to me like the 52t ring will just touch the chain stay. This may vary a bit bike to bike, but I'd have to say that the 52t ring does not fit the Vado 5, 2020 frame...😔