Help me pick which Specialized Turbo to get -- thanks!

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Seems like it functionally competes with the Vado 4.0 (less like the Como) but with but is a tad more expensive. Why do you like it more?

One major plus for Specialized for me has been the extensive dealer network. There's a crazy number of LBS's around here that sell them, and the Specialized site has been super helpful with giving real-time accurate inventory of which shops have which bikes physically in-stock. That's been invaluable for test riding without needing to try and get someone on the phone for every possible shop in the region. Trek doesn't seem to do that at all. The two shops I contacted only had one in-stock testable e-bike and it was a Verve that wasn't that interesting to me.
Just throwing that out there because I own one and I’ve seen some folks comparing them. Seems like I’ve been seeing more reliability issues with Specialized ebikes here on this forum. BTW, I wasn’t impressed with the Verve+3 I looked at either. The Allant+7 is a much better bike IMHO.
 

john peck

Well-Known Member
If this is your first ebike I´d advise tread lightly & memorize the manual, no matter what you choose. Be prepared
for any maintenance issues that might arise & stay on top of them. Hopefully, cycling has given you a good general knowledge
of how things work, An ebike can get you in great shape, take you farther faster while training to ´assist´ the bike, but it
requires a heightened situational awareness. The only time I´m not pedaling is when I´m coasting. Often now I look down
at the power use bar & discover i am not using any juice.
 

rdowns

Well-Known Member
My final two contenders were the Vado 4.0 and the Allant+ 7s. I rode them both several times. I do consider them fairly equivalent. If your lbs is better with Specialized then I think you will be happy with the Vado. My local shop that sold specialized had a worker that loved the Como. He said it was his favorite bike right now.
I really liked the Allant frame and I can say now that I am nearing 300 miles in my first month that it has been a real joy to own. It is very stable. I ride on a lot of rough gravel roads and I feel very stable. No doubt the Vado would be that way as well.
If comfort is the most important the Como is definitely the best choice.
I tend to overanalyze everything. It is very annoying. In the end , I just picked one (both shops were excellent) and started riding. The more I ride the happier I am with my choice. I hope it is the same for you.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
In an older post you seemed equivocal about these handlebars. What’s your current view. How do you assess merits of Baramind and Kinekt stem suspension? Curious! 🤔
With so many kilometres ridden on three very different e-bikes, I gained experience and started liking the Baramind bars. Now, I know it is any of the front suspension systems (fork or bars/stem) that dampen slow ride vibrations (e.g., potholes, curb, speed bump), while it is the tyre to dampen fast vibration (e.g., gravel). With a rigid fork, proper combination of suspension handlebars (or suspension stem) with large volume, underinflated front tyre makes miracles.

I have found the Kinekt 2.1 for the the rear suspension almost as good as the rear damper in dual-suspension provided the springs are properly selected and pre-tightened. Why full suspension, then? For real, harsh off-road, where the FS is really finding its application. City or suburbs are the places where the full suspension is an overkill.
 

reed scott

Well-Known Member
I've had a Specialized MTB for 10 years. It's a solid bike. But given recent info on reliability of Specialized ebikes ....... Specialized is about the last bike I would consider.

 
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Captain Slow

Well-Known Member
How far are you transporting your bike to rides? It sounds like the only merit to the Vado SL is the ease of transporting it to your ride location. When you're actually riding the bike it sounds like your prefer the Como or regular Vado more. If that's the case, then consider just riding to your ride location. Having said that I don't know if that's 5 or 50 km's away.

Ironically I have a Creo which I ride to meet up with my ride group. I never transport my Creo.
 

citivas

Member
How far are you transporting your bike to rides? It sounds like the only merit to the Vado SL is the ease of transporting it to your ride location. When you're actually riding the bike it sounds like your prefer the Como or regular Vado more. If that's the case, then consider just riding to your ride location. Having said that I don't know if that's 5 or 50 km's away.

Ironically I have a Creo which I ride to meet up with my ride group. I never transport my Creo.

Yep. I decided I was placing too much importance on the weight of the SL which was it's only (albeit major) "pro" on my personal list, both for transport and ability to ride without battery. Everything else is cons compared to the other models -- thinner tires, harsher ride, smaller, non-removable battery, less powerful motor, lack of included digital controller (on the 4.0), inability to turn the LED lights off, etc.
 

Captain Slow

Well-Known Member
Sounds like you're well on your way to figuring out the best choice for you.

Your comment about thinner tires made me smile. I generally rode 23 and 25 mm tires before. Now riding the 28 mm tires on the Creo feels like it's so cushy and takes so much of the harshness out of the ride for me. We sometimes cross gravel paths on our rides and it's great having that little bit of extra traction so I don't have to slow down to a crawl.

Because I've got a motor on the Creo, I'm thinking of switching to 32 mm tires since the extra weight isn't an issue with the motor. I'm thinking 32 mm tires will be really comfortable :)
 

Captain Slow

Well-Known Member
Yep. I decided I was placing too much importance on the weight of the SL which was it's only (albeit major) "pro" on my personal list, both for transport and ability to ride without battery. Everything else is cons compared to the other models -- thinner tires, harsher ride, smaller, non-removable battery, less powerful motor, lack of included digital controller (on the 4.0), inability to turn the LED lights off, etc.
btw - as far as the size of battery goes, I would not say that is a con at all. Before I bought the Creo I thought I wasn't interested due to the small 320 wh battery. But then I read reviews of the bike on Road Bike Action and in other magazines. They said the motor in the Creo was the most efficient in an ebike to date. I put blind faith in Road Bike Action and they rewarded my faith.

I have two ebikes, the Creo and a Juiced CCS. The battery on the CCS is 614 wh so it's not quite double the battery in the Creo, but close. I consistently use around 2 wh per km on the Creo giving me a notional range of about 160 km's on the internal battery. Often on 70 and 80 km rides I come back having only used 35% to 40% of the battery. So the small size is actually a bit of a pro in my view as I rarely do rides over 120 km's so I have enough range and now the battery is smaller and lighter making for a better ride experience.

Recently a friend joined us on a ride and he rode my Juiced CCS. It was an 86 km ride with 950 of elevation gain. When we got back he had almost no battery left and had to nurse the bike back to ensure he made it all the way because if he ran out of battery it was going to be quite unpleasant riding without power. The whole ride he had to keep it in Eco and we were wondering if he would make it. On my Creo the thought of not having enough battery never entered my mind. I had lots of battery when we got back and even if I ran out it would be no problem riding with the motor off.

I think we figured that on my Juiced my friend used about 6-7 wh/km, or triple what I used on the Creo.
 

citivas

Member
For the record, as of this evening I am a Como 4.0 owner.

It's interesting -- I visited several shops test riding different model Turbos and the shop owners/employees all like the Comos and in at least one case that that's their personal bike. Seems similar to Charlie from ElectriCityBikes in Court's video reviews.

The last shop, which had the 4.0 in stock, was a perfect place to test ride because it had a major hilly neighborhood right behind it and I got to really appreciate the climbing assist.

Next project is suspension seatpost and stem.

Thanks for everyone's help.
 

bentdoc

New Member
Only choice was grey for that model.

Same as mine - you will love it.

As far as transporting it is concerned, if you can't accommodate the Como in your vehicle (kudos to Stefan Mikes' great tutorial) you can get a good hitch rack for a lot less than the $1000 you mentioned earlier. I have a DrawTite hitch, with installation, and a Hollywood SportRider rack for about $500, total.
 

STLABRAT

New Member
Hi. Sorry for the long first post.

I'm about to buy a Turbo e-bike. I've been reading this forum – very helpful, thank you. And I've now had the chance to do short test rides on a Vado 3.0, a Como 3.0 and a Vado SL EQ 4.0. Unfortunately – but understandably so – the dealers have no wanted me test riding off asphalt roads, so no gravel paths, and the terrain had only minor inclines, so nto ideal conditions for testing, but given general availability I still count myself lucky.

That said, I'm absolutely torturing myself over which model to get, both in terms of which Turbo line and which level within the line. Researching and the test drives have only muddied the water rather than clarifying – the Como wasn't even in the running until I tested it because it happened to be in the shop after I tried the SL.

Here's my criteria:

-- Male, 6.1, ~220lbs, 50 yo; okay shape but some joint issues

-- I currently bike for exercise about once a week (and do other exercises the other days) and want to do so more, but inclines wear me out too quickly (even in lower gears)

-- I'll probably mostly ride it on roads around my house, but I do want to ability to transport the bike to bike paths (mostly gravel, some dirt roads (but not hardcore mountain bike paths); we have some amazing paths in my greater area

-- I won't be using this for commuting – purely recreationally and exercise

-- I don't want road bike handle bars. My neck and back get uncomfortable after about 45 minutes on my current old hybrid bike, and my hands sometimes get numb

Here's all the things tripping me up:

-- I like the idea of the SL because I think it's the one Turbo I could transport on my existing bike racks or even just put in the back of the inside of my SUV (on its side) or minivan. I also have a little range (or motor problem) anxiety and like the idea that if I have no assist the SL doesn't drag more than a normal bike.

-- That said, I found the ride on the SL 4.0 ridiculously harsh in my test drive. My wife tried it too and had an even stronger reaction saying I was crazy to even consider it because it was the most uncomfortable ride she's ever had on any bike ever. This was all on city streets. She'd get the Como in a heartbeat. I know in theory I can change the seat/saddle, seat post to a suspension post and add a suspension handlebar stem (though with various complications for the lights and display), all of which should help the harsh ride. But without being able to test it, I have no idea if they will make a profound enough difference if I currently hate the ride. I also know the 5.0 has the suspension handlebars but I have no easy way to test that model and I wasn't clear if it made enough difference either for an extra $1K. Is it crazy to get the SL and throw a big springy saddle seat on it? Will the sum total of these mods be a night-and-day difference or only minor and incremental?

-- I also worry the real issue on the SL is the thinner tires. I'm used to tires at least as wide as the regular Vado and think I am spoiled by the bigger tires absorbing more of the road for me. I see on paper you can change the SL tires, but it seems like to do so you either had to sacrifice all the things that are in the EQ – fenders, rack and the fender taillight – or get the non-EQ but then have the seat-mounted taillight that won't work with any of the after-market seat post suspension systems.

-- My only issue with the Vado or Como really is weight making it harder to transport and really unpleasant if you have to finish a ride without assist. I tried both without assist on my test rides, and they were fine flat or downhill but awful up an incline.

-- Between the regular Vado and Como I thought I was a Vado guy going in, which more closely resembles my current bike. But after riding the Como, I wonder if I have been missing the advantages of sitting straight up and having a huge cushy seat all this time. Could help that back/neck problem. Is there ever a type of riding where I will regret the Como orientation versus the Vado half-leaning orientation? I don't care about high speed per se, I'm more interested in stamina – what gets me to keep riding longer and to be able to handle long inclines and regular off-road paths (but not single track downhill stuff).

-- The 3.0's are the easiest to get locally right now and I was generally fine with the power level of the assist (though I didn't get to try it on a major incline). But I am worried about the range on the 460 batteries. Should I be? Also, is the range really any better on the 4.0's or does the more efficient motor of the 3.0's combined with the relatively modest battery difference means the 3's and 4's effectively have similar ranges?

Any help sorting this out is appreciated. I'm committed to getting an e-bike and a Turbo and am ready to pull the trigger, just not sure which one I should be aiming at given my particular issues…

Thanks.
Sounds like you found what you wanted. For the lurkers still pondering, I'm 6'2" 250# and have a Turbo Vado SL 5 and love it. It works great on paved and the fire roads and trails in the hills around my house. Every time I get on the bike I end up going farther and climbing more and getting in quite a workout. I'm not taking it on technical mountain trails but have used the turbo to get up a couple steep dirt paths. The bike is easy to get into my bike rack if I'm driving for a ride as after a couple of weeks I have literally run out of hills and paths around me. The bike rides exactly like my Specialized fitness bike but having the gravel bike tires is quite an improvement.
 

Kivis

Member
A week now on the Vado SL 5.0 EQ. Could have gotten the 5.0 only but took what arrived at the LBS. )I like to pimp with my own stuff). This thing just glides through the air (not really). No throttle here, you must engage, i.e. pedal. But you go faster. Well like the ad: It's you but faster. I am sounding like the little puppy boy for Specialized. But I can't deny.