Changing gearing on my Vado 5

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Nevada City, CA & Paradise Valley, AZ
Update on the gearing, and new chain; so far, so good after several longer rides! Shifting is smooth and reliable, though the transitions between the last 3 largest cogs is a bit rougher as there are bigger tooth count jumps to get up to the 50t cog. No visible chain damage.

I rode out to the steepest grade I know of (that isn't a crazy MTB trail) to test the new granny gear.

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The County Public Works Dept has this road section signed with a grade of 31% at the top and bottom as a warning to trucks. I can't confirm the grade on our USGS topo maps, but they have a minimum contour interval of 40 feet so they leave a lot to the imagination. My take off these maps is that the max grade is more like 22%, but all I really cared about is a test for the new granny gear. It worked great, shifted into the largest cog smoothly. Didn't need to stand to get to the top, unlike last Spring when I rode this with my 11-42t cassette. This gearing change will do the job for me, i.e. guaranteeing I can get home regardless of how tired I am! 😎

Got home with 27% battery remaining after 26+ miles and 2,600 of climbing on a beautiful fall day.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
They close this road section after the first snow fall as they can't get a snow plow up the grade, even with tire chains on all 4 drive wheels! It may snow tonight so I might have gotten the last 'ascent' of this grade in for the season. 🤣
First snow of the year just started about 10 min. ago here. Many 2 lane roads around here are not cleared in winter b/c too steep and twisty for the plows.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Now, you have inspired me. Next summer, I need to climb up the Kubalonka from Wisła and descend on the way back. I can remember a travel by car... Night, fog, and rain ;) The Wisła - Kubalonka road is also being closed for the winter!

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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Tim, the CNW-2 and Wurth "Loctite Blue" have arrived. I removed the Vado chainring. It looks easy work!
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Specialized chainring (together with the original chainguard) has been replaced. Easy job as for a dilettante :D Replacing the chainring with the Deckas requires:
  • Removing the motor cover (4 bolts)
  • Inserting 4 bolt nuts into the chainring holes and securing the bolts with masking tape until the ring is placed behind the spider; and temporarily fastening the ring with at least two bolts
  • Using the CNW-2, which is cumbersome as there is still quite little clearance between the motor and the chainring
  • Prepare the bolt with threadlocker
  • While holding the nut with the wrench, you need to insert the bolt, then fasten it and take care not to break the thread with excessive wrench torque...
  • Repeat three times more
  • Replace the motor cover
  • If you want to re-use the chainguard, you need start with drilling 4 holes in the Deckas chainring to accomodate the chainguard screws.
I tried that. Before final fastening of bolts I discovered how ugly the Deckas ring looked on my Vado. It was not cool at all!

So I just used the replacement Specialized chainring. Such easy work... No nut needed (the ring has threaded holes). Using a regular hex wrench is enough to properly torque the bolts. You just feel the right moment to stop the fastening.
(The chainguard is secured to the ring from behind with 4 little screws for Phillips screwdriver).


P.S. Needless to say, I paid attention to replace the chain in the proper Narrow-Wide pattern and finally I switched the Shadow clutch on.
 
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TS25

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
Specialized. To mount Deckas, one needs to remove the motor cover to gain clearance for the chainring nut wrench...
Specialized chainring (together with the original chainguard) has been replaced. Easy job as for a dilettante :D Replacing the chainring with the Deckas requires:
  • Removing the motor cover (4 bolts)
  • Inserting 4 bolt nuts into the chainring holes and securing the bolts with masking tape until the ring is placed behind the spider; and temporarily fastening the ring with at least two bolts
  • Using the CNW-2, which is cumbersome as there is still quite little clearance between the motor and the chainring
  • Replace the motor cover

No. Unnecessary. Not if you take the spider off for replacing the chainring with the Deckas. Easy job which can be done within minutes but requires the spider tools.

Threadlocker/Loctite and correct torque using a wrench should be used for Specialized chainringbolts too as Specialized recommends, no difference there.

But I agree replacing Specialized chainring with Specialized is easier due to:
1. no spider tools required
2. easy reuse of the Specialized chainguard (if wanted) as drilling 4 holes not required. (Alternative: no drilling needed if you buy third party bashguard that fits the chainringbolts.)

Bottom line: if waiting time doesn't matter ordering the Deckas chainring together with matching bolts in due time you pay 1/3 - 1/2 in comparison. Your choice, it's fine to have alternatives.
 
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
It is doable to install the Deckas without removing the spider @TS25 if you just rotate the bike upside-down and remove the motor cover. The process is easy for a skilled person, hard for an amateur though. Replacing the old original ring with the Specialized/Praxis one is painless.

Regarding the torque: after I applied 9.8 Nm to the Deckas bolt-set, I broke the thread. Luckily, the parcel contained 5 bolt-sets. All of this made me extremely negative to replacing the Specialized chainring with Deckas.

Of course, I have used the threadlocker on the Specialized bolts as needed.
 

TS25

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
Regarding the torque: after I applied 9.8 Nm to the Deckas bolt-set, I broke the thread.

Of course, I have used the threadlocker on the Specialized bolts as needed.
😖 Too bad. Good to know 9.8 Nm was too much.

So you used less Nm on the Specialized bolts afterwards?
 

TS25

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
I used my hand and feeling :) Could not afford to destroy those bolts.
OK.
Remember my hint then: secure the bolts with zip-belts in the beginning.
As you already know: those Specialized bolts might be difficult to reorder 'cause they are Specialized.

I broke a seatpost clamp bolt right at the beginning because I torqued it too much. My LBS didn't have a spare one, couldn't find an alternative and couldn't order one from Specialized. Specialized help desk didn't dare to answer my request and pointed to the LBS. And the head of that bolt is special!
From that moment it was clear to me that I'd have to rely on my own and would be better off using third party parts you can order in the market.
 
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Marcela

Well-Known Member
When I torque a fastener I always take into consideration the size of the threads and whether aluminum or steel. And most always torque to the low side or a little less than recommended. Building engines and components to go on them, fasteners into aluminum most always are torqued, and very rarely to the recommended value. Consider that some of the recommended values are for stretching the bolt to hold it into place. You can use blue loctite, or most anything as a thread locker, rtv, nail polish, etc. I can never remember a fastener loosening, but after a while you can tell when a thread is starting to pull. Not a good feeling.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
@TS25, @Sierratim: I gave my Vado a test ride (shopping, and carrying 23.1 kg = 50.8 lb of cargo). Vado works flawlessly and silently now. Yes, I temporarily secured the bolts with zip-ties before the ride and will remove them only after any long ride (e.g., on Sunday).