front chain ring question for Vado 4

Mr. Max

Active Member
I took my Vado 4 into my LBS this morning. After 2500 miles I had worn out the brake pads. They were very cool and replaced them on the spot while I waited. I had them check the chain too. It was just on the cusp of being too long, so I asked them to replace it. Again, they did right then, which was awesome. The cassette doesn't skip at all, but the front chain ring makes noise with the new chain. They had a 38 tooth narrow/wide chain ring in stock, that was the right size, but not a 40 tooth. Then things got complicated as they can't find another, even through Specialized. It's the weekend, so they'll call Specialized on Monday.

I've got two questions.

Do you think switching down to 38 teeth from 40 will be that noticeable? That switch out can happen immediately since it's in stock.

Second, since I've got to switch out the front chain ring and order a new one, should I pick another number of teeth? I have't been able to figure out why the Vado 3 & 4 have a 40 tooth front chain ring, but the Vado 5 has a 48 tooth chain ring? All three models have the same gearing on the cassette. The LBS said that if I want to switch things up, now's the time. But I'm torn about advantages/disadvantages and what to do, so I turn to my cyber buddies on this forum to help me decide the best path forward!

What would you do?

Thanks in advance!!
 

RTeremi

Member
There’s another thread on this with tables...I’ll find and link. The short answer is: yes 38 will be noticeable. Personally I’d rather go up as I like to ride fast and rarely climbing steep hills with the lower stock gears.
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Nice brake pad life! I got 500 miles on my Vado 5 OEM organic pads, but I ride in a very hilly little town.

The Vado 3 & 4 bikes have less torque than the Vado 5 (50 & 75Nm vs 90Nm). The smaller chainrings allow the 3 & 4 series to climb reasonable hills at the expense of top speed.

If you'd like your Vado to climb at bit better then go with the 38t chainring. If you want more speed switch to a 48t (with a longer chain).

How much difference will these chainrings make? Online calculators can help with this comparison. Looking at the difference in bike speed using the 11t cassette cog at a cadence of 60rpm the 36t chainring is only 0.9mph slower than the 40t while the 48t is 3.6mph faster. In terms of gear inches, the 36t chainring is 5.3% less than the 40t while the 48t is 20% greater. Is this a lot? It's very subjective but a 0.9mph change doesn't seem like a big deal, unless you're already unhappy with your top speed.

BTW - Others riding relatively flat trails report the same results with mileage over 2,000 miles; they need to change the chainring with the chain. I'm sure this is the extra torque added by the mid-drive motor. I'm changing my chain every 1,000 miles to avoid this, with cleanings every couple of hundred miles. So far, so good...😎
 

Quadracer

Member
I took my Vado 4 into my LBS this morning. After 2500 miles I had worn out the brake pads. They were very cool and replaced them on the spot while I waited. I had them check the chain too. It was just on the cusp of being too long, so I asked them to replace it. Again, they did right then, which was awesome. The cassette doesn't skip at all, but the front chain ring makes noise with the new chain. They had a 38 tooth narrow/wide chain ring in stock, that was the right size, but not a 40 tooth. Then things got complicated as they can't find another, even through Specialized. It's the weekend, so they'll call Specialized on Monday.

I've got two questions.

Do you think switching down to 38 teeth from 40 will be that noticeable? That switch out can happen immediately since it's in stock.

Second, since I've got to switch out the front chain ring and order a new one, should I pick another number of teeth? I have't been able to figure out why the Vado 3 & 4 have a 40 tooth front chain ring, but the Vado 5 has a 48 tooth chain ring? All three models have the same gearing on the cassette. The LBS said that if I want to switch things up, now's the time. But I'm torn about advantages/disadvantages and what to do, so I turn to my cyber buddies on this forum to help me decide the best path forward!

What would you do?

Thanks in advance!!
I have found with chain replacements the chainring also needs to be changed. I have reversed the used chainring in the past and has worked well.
 

Mr. Max

Active Member
With my LBS, it kind of depends who you talk to. I actually bought a trailer hitch bike rack from those folks at about the 1500 mile mark on my Vado and brought the bike with me. I talked to the bike shop manager about whether I should leave the Vado for its first service since it was there. I specifically asked him about the chain. He said it would be good until 5000 miles. Today that guy was off and I worked with the store manager who used to be the shop manager. Anyway, it's all good! I'm not sure what I'm going to do, but I know that I'm not going to go with a 38 tooth chain ring now. Thanks for your feedback everyone!
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
With my LBS, it kind of depends who you talk to. I actually bought a trailer hitch bike rack from those folks at about the 1500 mile mark on my Vado and brought the bike with me. I talked to the bike shop manager about whether I should leave the Vado for its first service since it was there. I specifically asked him about the chain. He said it would be good until 5000 miles. Today that guy was off and I worked with the store manager who used to be the shop manager. Anyway, it's all good! I'm not sure what I'm going to do, but I know that I'm not going to go with a 38 tooth chain ring now. Thanks for your feedback everyone!
I'm surprised at the 5,000 mile quote. That's what I get, best case, on our mech bikes. I try to change them at ~2,500 miles, 1,000 for the mid-drive ebikes. Saves the more expensive drive train components! 😎
 

Mr. Max

Active Member
Based on feedback within this thread, yesterday I had the LBS order a 42 tooth front chain ring to replace the used 40 tooth for that wasn't working with my new chain on my Vado 4. A tiny bit of a bump up for flat terrain, but will still be good for going up steep hills.

Thanks again to all!
 

scottishchris

New Member
Just adding my very recent experience here in case it is helpful to others. I took my Vado 4 (2019) in a couple of weeks back for its first full service. c1300km only in the past year as C-19 has reduced my commuting distances. New chain required - fine. New brake pads - a little bit surprising as I'd had them replaced a few months back when they got contaminated, I guess that Edinburgh hills have been hammering them. Anyway, picked it up after the service and cycled off. Something definitely not right - a major 'chatter' in the chainring which almost sounded like something very worrying in the motor hub. Took it back immediately and it sat with the workshop for a week before they got to the bottom of the issue - I had ground 'ridges' into the chainring and the new chain wasn't sitting cleanly, producing the awful noise. They placed an order for a replacement chainring and all is good now.
I'm slightly concerned that the mechanic wasn't able to pinpoint this straightaway but more worryingly, I'm surprised that I put so much wear on my chainring in a year of less than serious cycling. I suspect it is a combination of needing to learn to shift better (this is my first ebike), having a child seat on the back adding extra weight and potentially not being careful enough with my cleaning regime last winter when I cycled through all weather on Edinburgh's gritty treated roads and cycle tracks.
Anyway, chain measurement tool purchased and I will be paying far more attention to all of the above! Any further thoughts very welcome!!
 
I took my Vado 4 into my LBS this morning. After 2500 miles I had worn out the brake pads. They were very cool and replaced them on the spot while I waited. I had them check the chain too. It was just on the cusp of being too long, so I asked them to replace it. Again, they did right then, which was awesome. The cassette doesn't skip at all, but the front chain ring makes noise with the new chain. They had a 38 tooth narrow/wide chain ring in stock, that was the right size, but not a 40 tooth. Then things got complicated as they can't find another, even through Specialized. It's the weekend, so they'll call Specialized on Monday.

I've got two questions.

Do you think switching down to 38 teeth from 40 will be that noticeable? That switch out can happen immediately since it's in stock.

Second, since I've got to switch out the front chain ring and order a new one, should I pick another number of teeth? I have't been able to figure out why the Vado 3 & 4 have a 40 tooth front chain ring, but the Vado 5 has a 48 tooth chain ring? All three models have the same gearing on the cassette. The LBS said that if I want to switch things up, now's the time. But I'm torn about advantages/disadvantages and what to do, so I turn to my cyber buddies on this forum to help me decide the best path forward!

What would you do?

Thanks in advance!!
I took my Vado 4 into my LBS this morning. After 2500 miles I had worn out the brake pads. They were very cool and replaced them on the spot while I waited. I had them check the chain too. It was just on the cusp of being too long, so I asked them to replace it. Again, they did right then, which was awesome. The cassette doesn't skip at all, but the front chain ring makes noise with the new chain. They had a 38 tooth narrow/wide chain ring in stock, that was the right size, but not a 40 tooth. Then things got complicated as they can't find another, even through Specialized. It's the weekend, so they'll call Specialized on Monday.

I've got two questions.

Do you think switching down to 38 teeth from 40 will be that noticeable? That switch out can happen immediately since it's in stock.

Second, since I've got to switch out the front chain ring and order a new one, should I pick another number of teeth? I have't been able to figure out why the Vado 3 & 4 have a 40 tooth front chain ring, but the Vado 5 has a 48 tooth chain ring? All three models have the same gearing on the cassette. The LBS said that if I want to switch things up, now's the time. But I'm torn about advantages/disadvantages and what to do, so I turn to my cyber buddies on this forum to help me decide the best path forward!

What would you do?

Thanks in advance!!
My advice is if it ain't broke, don't fix it. What I mean is if it's not skipping, slipping, making noise etc, let it go until it does. Then check the derailleure settings and chain length and make the change then.