Conventional Road Bike to Vado SL. Thoughts?

DJRib

Member
Region
USA
City
Columbus OH
Glad to discover this great forum! Looking at picking up a Vado SL to replace my 2006 carbon Roubaix. Even before hearing the phrase "2X You" I was telling some long-time riding friends that sometimes I want to ride 50-60 miles but only do 25-30 miles of work. I'm 58 and do mostly road riding with people of a similar age - we typically will do 16-18 mph. I also have an older Charge Mixer upright with 8sp internal hub I use for errands and casual riding. The Vado SL seems like a great way to bridge the two. I recently test rode both the 4.0 and the 5.0 (non-EQs) in size L. I believe I need a M, which is the size Roubaix I have. Creo looks awesome, but is more than I want to spend. I was amazed at how well the Vado SL handled and did part of both test rides unassisted. The Future Shock sealed the deal for me on the 5.0. Wow.

So now I'm wondering about EQ vs non-EQ. For me the EQ has better gearing and comes with more road-friendly tires. I'm not sure how I feel about the fenders, especially on a road bike ride. Should I even care? And, when available, it comes with a better paint job (bike snob?). Not sure I should if I should worry about the rack either. Seems a little limited, but I'm not carrying stuff consistently on my Mixer (although I did pick up beer and some groceries with it yesterday).

If I want non-EQ, it looks like the tires are more versatile. I generally don't ride unpaved roads, but maybe I should start! Maybe I take the price difference and apply it to a different seat post and add a rack. However I'm not a fan of the brushed aluminum. Seems so 2005, like the Specialized Sequoia I gave my daughter.

I'm prepared to jump in with my road bike friends and accept the trash talking that will almost certainly follow. Part of me says I'm overthinking it. I'd appreciate any other considerations or perspective that anyone wishes to share. Thanks!
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Don't pay attention to tyres. Vado SL e-bikes come with city tyres that you would either like or swap for something more suiting your needs soon.

Gearing? As far as I can see gearing is the same for 5.0 EQ or non-EQ.

All the difference between these two are fenders (with different tail-light location) and the rack (and the kickstand). Quick checklist:
  • Need the most lightweight e-bike? Go for the non-EQ
  • Do you often ride in the rain or off-road? Not? Go for the non-EQ
  • Want to save some money to invest in the Range Extender? Non-EQ
  • Happy to be completely free with the choice of seatpost and saddle? Go for the EQ.
  • Need to carry a bag or pannier on the rack? EQ.
In case of doubt, toss a coin 🙂

P.S. The non-EQ has more sporty looks and fits riding with your roadie buddies better.
 
Last edited:

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
@DJRib, an afterthought. Yes, Future Shock and Carbon Fibre fork are good for comfort. You see, I'm an extremely picky person yet I say I would have chosen the 4.0 were I you. Spending big bucks just to get the Future Shock and CF fork seems absurd to me. So my choice was 4.0 EQ. I could be happy with the 4.0 non-EQ, just for light weight, but the EQ had a nicer colour 🙂
 

jodi2

Active Member
I will spoil your way to the Vado SL a little bit. If you want Vado and can use of it's features and parts (no matter if EQ or not), great! But if you say you want to "replace" a Roubaix/a road bike and you are already on your way to a Vado 5.0, the alloy Creo is only $100 more. Not really much more to spend and most people who are used to race bar wouldn't prefer to stay with it.
 

kahn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
northWET washington
I will spoil your way to the Vado SL a little bit. If you want Vado and can use of it's features and parts (no matter if EQ or not), great! But if you say you want to "replace" a Roubaix/a road bike and you are already on your way to a Vado 5.0, the alloy Creo is only $100 more. Not really much more to spend and most people who are used to race bar wouldn't prefer to stay with it.
I have the Aluminum Creo which is mentioned. I don't know the Vado prices but the Aluminum Creo is quite nice if you opt for the Creo line's less powerful motor and want to keep costs down somewhat. I do like the Future Shock. I also used the spacers to raise the handlebars to accommodate my neck. I am still not sure how much rack weight the Creo carbon's can handle and for that reason and not wanting to spend a huge amount, I went with the aluminum frame.
 

VoltMan99

Well-Known Member
Region
Asia
City
Tokyo
However I'm not a fan of the brushed aluminum. Seems so 2005, like the Specialized Sequoia I gave my daughter.
Brushed AL is heavenly if you ask me. After a year’s time I will break down and acid etch it with a really beautiful psychedelic paisley pattern. Meanwhile ppl with painted bikes will be fretting with wraps and touch up paints.
 

DJRib

Member
Region
USA
City
Columbus OH
Don't pay attention to tyres. Vado SL e-bikes come with city tyres that you would either like or swap for something more suiting your needs soon.

Gearing? As far as I can see gearing is the same for 5.0 EQ or non-EQ.

All the difference between these two are fenders (with different tail-light location) and the rack (and the kickstand). Quick checklist:
  • Need the most lightweight e-bike? Go for the non-EQ
  • Do you often ride in the rain or off-road? Not? Go for the non-EQ
  • Want to save some money to invest in the Range Extender? Non-EQ
  • Happy to be completely free with the choice of seatpost and saddle? Go for the EQ.
  • Need to carry a bag or pannier on the rack? EQ.
In case of doubt, toss a coin 🙂

P.S. The non-EQ has more sporty looks and fits riding with your roadie buddies better.
You're correct on the drive train! I must have been thinking VSL 4.0. The rest are good items to think about!
 

DJRib

Member
Region
USA
City
Columbus OH
@DJRib, an afterthought. Yes, Future Shock and Carbon Fibre fork are good for comfort. You see, I'm an extremely picky person yet I say I would have chosen the 4.0 were I you. Spending big bucks just to get the Future Shock and CF fork seems absurd to me. So my choice was 4.0 EQ. I could be happy with the 4.0 non-EQ, just for light weight, but the EQ had a nicer colour 🙂
After I test rode the VSL 4.0 I had very sore wrists and shoulders, which surprised me. I do use Ergon grips on my upright bike and I thought I would do something similar to help. However I rode the 5.0 at different bike shop in the city (Columbus Ohio USA) and part of that ride was on older brick streets I was blown away with how little I felt from the bumps.
 

DJRib

Member
Region
USA
City
Columbus OH
I will spoil your way to the Vado SL a little bit. If you want Vado and can use of it's features and parts (no matter if EQ or not), great! But if you say you want to "replace" a Roubaix/a road bike and you are already on your way to a Vado 5.0, the alloy Creo is only $100 more. Not really much more to spend and most people who are used to race bar wouldn't prefer to stay with it.
Really? (BTW thanks for challenging me!). The one they had in the bike shop they told me was most comparable to my old Roubaix was $7000. I'll need to check how they had they had that spec'd and maybe there is a different model. And while I loved the idea, I'm still in negotiations with my spouse on this - I'm sure many of us have been there. :)

Also, I'm struggling with whether my best road days are behind me. I've never been "aero" (even less that I used to be) and almost never ride in the drops anyway. So I thought maybe the VSL would be a great all around bike that could still go a long distance when asked. I've always done some of my best thinking on my bike so that is still an appeal!
 

DJRib

Member
Region
USA
City
Columbus OH
Brushed AL is heavenly if you ask me. After a year’s time I will break down and acid etch it with a really beautiful psychedelic paisley pattern. Meanwhile ppl with painted bikes will be fretting with wraps and touch up paints.
Yeah personal preference. I may have overstated my objection, but I like a cool paint job! Of course I've also see a perfectly good bike fall on the ground and hit something :(

Seems like these are in such short supply that I may have to wait quite some time, so that may help with forcing the decision too.
 

VoltMan99

Well-Known Member
Region
Asia
City
Tokyo
Seems like these are in such short supply that I may have to wait quite some time, so that may help with forcing the decision too.
I stumbled into brushed aluminum due to supply actually - didn’t know it was an option until it was the only option. And I was very lucky to click on L size because I live in Japan and 1 remained in stock.
 

DJRib

Member
Region
USA
City
Columbus OH
I stumbled into brushed aluminum due to supply actually - didn’t know it was an option until it was the only option. And I was very lucky to click on L size because I live in Japan and 1 remained in stock.
It occurred to me that I'm asking questions about bikes that are not available in my size and local dealers aren't even sure when they may get them :)
 

VoltMan99

Well-Known Member
Region
Asia
City
Tokyo
It occurred to me that I'm asking questions about bikes that are not available in my size and local dealers aren't even sure when they may get them :)
I like the system here in Japan where you can order online directly from Specialized and then pick your bike shop for final build and support. Not sure if that’s offered where are you are though.
 

kahn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
northWET washington
I like the system here in Japan where you can order online directly from Specialized and then pick your bike shop for final build and support. Not sure if that’s offered where are you are though.
I believe it is offered in the US. But if you check availability - NONE! Well, there might be an oddball size in one or the other models.
 

DJRib

Member
Region
USA
City
Columbus OH
I believe it is offered in the US. But if you check availability - NONE! Well, there might be an oddball size in one or the other models.
Yeah one dealer said that "official" supply was Zero, but there might be one in Denver and it would be another $200 shipping. Kind of ticked me off since they said they continued to expect supply to improve.. I'm not desperate at this point.
 

mountain-bluebird

New Member
Region
USA
I bought the Vado 4.0 medium three weeks ago (Oregon) but also had my head-turned by the Creo as a road-biker. But, price was a factor - particularly as there is no track record (yet) of how long the battery lasts and Speciailized long-time support etc. I am happy with the bike. It is a little less comfortable: straight handlebars, more upright, harder 'feel'. I may change the grips going forward. I rationalised buying it because I borrowed an aluminium bike for a 10 day cycle-trip of circa 450 miles once. The first day it was tough but by day 3, I forgot it was aluminium and did not find the bike uncomfortable. I bought the mudguards separately and will not install a rack. I will add either a large seat-post bag or a handlebar bag for my commute. I am actually glad it is different than my road bike as I want to keep road biking with a club. This is for commuting, when I am on my own, going up steep hills, maybe touring. It is nice to take the intimidation away.