Known Issues & Problems with Specialized Products + Help, Solutions & Fixes

DarkIpsum

New Member
Very interesting that Specialized got back to you. Hasn't happened for me. No response from Ridercare, no return phone calls, no acknowledgement of letter to President of company. At least you found someone there that took the initiative to help you. If anyone has an update on the Mission Control app, please let me know. Thanks.
Even before this happened, I emailed ridercare a few times regarding a different questions not related to my current problem and they replied to me on those occasions as well, except when I asked them specifically where the Torque Sensor is (related to this problem now).

Good luck,
 

eagamer80

Active Member
I have a relatively recent problem with a scraping (or slushing) sound coming from the engine. The scraping gets louder as temp goes up (after cycling at high speed for a while). It sounds like some part of the engine is touching the metal casing at each revolution so it is somewhat connected with the speed of the bike. However, it is also related to how much load I put on the engine, so more sound when going uphill. I can also make it stop temporarily by quickly releasing load. I've also noticed that I can initiate this sound if I go over bumpy terrain or make turns and then make it go away for a brief time by releasing load on the engine. My interpretation is that the engine is loose somehow inside the casing and that heat expansion after continuous load makes the engine touch the casing. I have had it looked over by the Specialized store in Hammarbyhamnen in Stockholm, Sweden, but they had no suggestion other than sending it to Switzerland. Anyone experienced the same thing and perhaps a solution to it?? The sound appears to get stronger and stronger and I fear that I will eventually have serious problems with this.
How did you solve this issue? did your dealer change the motor entirely or something like that? I'm starting to experience some motor sounds and roll resistance (odometer = 9200 km) , but I think this is related to something else than just the motor. It sounds like there might be some problems with the bearings inside the motor. When I rolling on more than 10 km/h I start hearing more and more sound.

I removed the back wheel to clean things up, but I haven't found any noticeable sign at least externally. I didn't want to go further in removing the motor bolts and check inside (complicated thing).

When I turn the wheel with my hand I notice a high resistance, like if I were using the breaks, but after the initial struggle, the motor works and rolls (still with resistance).

Very strange.
 

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eagamer80

Active Member
I do reply to the previous post myself. Specialized replaced the whole wheel for a new one. This time, by my surprise, they did upgrade my backwheel to the 250W version (I had the 200W). I can notice the increase of power now even in Eco mode.

They did the job in 1 week (drop the bike, ordered the wheel, mount it, it took from monday to friday). I'm very happy with the service so far the dealer and Specialized had been performing on my bike so far, despite of the few issues I had in the past.

I hope I have a bike for at least 1 year more. Let's see what happens then.
 
My Turbo Vado 3.0 had about 220 miles on it. Early on, it developed a dry creaking noise from the bottom bracket area. It sounded like two pieces of lumber rubbing against each other. The bike was still fully functional, just with an annoying creak. Long story short, Specialized replaced the entire bike which I found very surprising. They gave the local bike shop a couple of things to check on the motor and then immediately threw in the towel, suggesting that this issue has been dealt with before. I was surprised that Specialized did not just ship a new motor. My location is South East U.S. The local bike shop was learning by doing as mine is the first mid-motor Specialized bike that they have dealt with.
 

rede

New Member
Latest update on my 2016 Turbo Levo FSR. This is the second bike, as the first one was replaced under warranty within 6 weeks. Because the selling dealer suddenly went out of business, I was caught in the middle, but found an outstanding dealer that is also not too far away, and who became a Specialized dealer in 2017. I had the software and firmware updated last fall, which made remarkable improvements, but the bike still has some mystery shortcomings wherein the motor seems to cut out after maybe 6-8 miles. I think it has to do with motor temperature, and I suspect if you rode it in turbo for any extended period, it would virtually shut off. Through this forum, I found that the firmware was supposed to be updated again. I took it in and the dealer successfully updated the battery, but couldn't do the motor. Since the update, the Mission Control connects almost instantly, and doesn't shut off any longer, but still has the new screens, which do not allow diagnosis on the ride. The factory expert said it must be the harness preventing the motor update. Back to the shop, a new harness was sent in, and it was indeed discovered that the original harness had a suspect pin connection. This dealer location has Apple computers, and the download wouldn't work. They took it to their other location and using a PC, as recommended by Specialized, still had no luck. I took the bike back home while Specialized did some head scratching, and then was told to bring it back in and they would try a different battery, and also do a "forced" update. Nothing worked. Now I have the bike back home while they wait for receipt of a replacement motor. The saga continues.
 

coffeemaker

Member
I got my Vado 3 couple days ago. Does anyone else notice the motor getting loud at high pedal cadences? If I go over 100RPM the motor starts to squeal. I understand that the Brose motors are rated up to 120RPM, but the sudden noise made me wonder if this is a defect.
 

Rod Jets

New Member
Vado 3 (2017) - 3,200km report.

Last week I noticed the lexan over the bike ON/OFF switch, on the battery, was cracked and the bottom part that flexes was missing. Today my LBS replaced the original battery with a 604Whr version from Specialized NZ. Thanks guys excellent service :).

I've also had to replace the brake pads again (3rd time) and this time I put new rotors on too. They were both down under 1.5mm thick. In the front I've upgraded to a 203mm SLX Deore rotor and a 180mm on the back. Both up 20mm on stock. Still using resin brake pads, but the braking performance is much better over the stock sizes. As a chunk of my commute is off road, through the town belt and it's winter here, the difference is like night and day.

cheers
 
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PaD

Well-Known Member
My six days old Vado 4.0 is back at the shop.
I’ve posted about my experiences concerning resistance when pedalling with 0 support from motor (battery on). Had a talk to the sales guy, also shop owner, on Monday and he choose one of their mechanics to handle this. The mechanic called me up same day and ask me to come in with the bike whenever it was ok for me.

Went there this morning on the bike that now also since last night is squeeking for a short monent when I stop pedalling. The mechanic tried the bike and quickly came back and said he could definitely hear the squeek and took off to try to get a feel for what I had told him about resistance. He soon comes back and says that there is something wrong as the motor is also pulsating. (and that strange discrepancy between odo and trip meter)
He will talk to Specialized and hear how they will try to solve this, new motor or new bike or... I was given the choice to return the bike but I felt I wanted to give a it try to go on with a Vado. I asked if I could get my money back if problems continued and he said the would help me out with that.
So we’ll se what happens next. I left the bike at the shop and went home by bus and subway.
 
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LimboJim

Well-Known Member
I got my Vado 3 couple days ago. Does anyone else notice the motor getting loud at high pedal cadences? If I go over 100RPM the motor starts to squeal. I understand that the Brose motors are rated up to 120RPM, but the sudden noise made me wonder if this is a defect.
My Bulls uses the same belt-driven Brose motor that's in your Vado, and it has always whined at 100+rpm cadence. Closing in on 1000 trail miles with a LOT of elevation gain, and it's holding up well so far...

I really got scared, however, when the chain broke but the motor didn't shut off right away. It made a horrible high-pitch squeal - I wrote about it in this thread last year: https://electricbikereview.com/forums/threads/known-issues-problems-with-bulls-products-help-solutions-fixes.13100/
 

coffeemaker

Member
My Bulls uses the same belt-driven Brose motor that's in your Vado, and it has always whined at 100+rpm cadence. Closing in on 1000 trail miles with a LOT of elevation gain, and it's holding up well so far...

I really got scared, however, when the chain broke but the motor didn't shut off right away. It made a horrible high-pitch squeal - I wrote about it in this thread last year: https://electricbikereview.com/forums/threads/known-issues-problems-with-bulls-products-help-solutions-fixes.13100/
Hey, thanks for stopping by the Specialized forum and chiming in. Glad to know I'm not the only one. How do you feel about shifting? I feel like I have to let off the pedal at least 1s completely for the motor to stop driving the chain to prevent grinding.
 

LimboJim

Well-Known Member
Hey, thanks for stopping by the Specialized forum and chiming in. Glad to know I'm not the only one. How do you feel about shifting? I feel like I have to let off the pedal at least 1s completely for the motor to stop driving the chain to prevent grinding.
Someday I hope to get on a Specialized FS eMTB - for two decades I rode Stumpjumpers and have always been a fan. I just haven't found one on sale for under $4k... yet.

About changing gears while pedaling: some folks really tout the shift-sensing capability of Bosch motors, and it definitely helps a little, but IMHO, it's overrated. I've ridden hundreds of trail miles each on Bosch, Shimano, Brose and Yamaha motors, and feel it's just a matter of getting comfy with them (they're all awesome, BTW).

After enough gear-grinding incidents, easing off the pedals when shifting becomes almost automatic; the real key is downshifting well before starting a climb. It also helps to avoid double-shifting, and when using a two-chainring setup, don't "cross-chain."
 

rede

New Member
Another update on my Turbo Levo FSR. The dealer now installed a new motor (warranty except for labor) and the result is remarkable. The motor firmware level is 5.0.0 now, and I suspect this may also be an updated Brose motor. On the first test ride, about 13 miles, there was never a hesitation during the ride, nor when shifting down or up, nor a feeling of the “brakes” being on occasionally , and no power loss when shifting or on an ascent. I purposely used turbo at 95% on a few hills, which allows higher speed, but, of course, means higher load and motor temperature increase. My home is at the maximum elevation, and so a ride is always initially downhill, and then back up with a gain typically about 5-600 feet elevation. Got home, and the motor temperature was 138F. It’s never been that low after a ride. It’s usually 150-155F, but had been as high as 180F or so, though that was a long time and many updates ago. I had 60% battery left, and I’d say if I did my usual shifting without using trail or turbo too much, it would probably have been 70%, which also seems to be a positive change. The motor is silent in eco and trail, but makes a slight whine in turbo, pretty much the same as before, perhaps a little less. I agree it's best to anticipate the ascent and shift a little earlier. Now the bike performs as it should, and the almost 2 year saga seems to be resolved. Thanks to a great dealer!
 
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PaD

Well-Known Member
Follow up to my post on Wednesday.
I was told Thursday morning that that my new Vado will get a new motor next week. Specialized claim they will check the new motor before sending it to Sweden according to my dealers mechanic.
 

rede

New Member
Follow up to my post on Wednesday.
I was told Thursday morning that that my new Vado will get a new motor next week. Specialized claim they will check the new motor before sending it to Sweden according to my dealers mechanic.
One more interesting improvement was noticed yesterday on the second ride with the new motor. With the required speed limit here of 20mph, the bike motor shuts off the boost when you try to exceed that number. With the first bike in this saga, the motor would start to turn off at 16-18 mph. With the present bike, especially after the firmware updates last year, the motor would turn off at maybe 19.3-19.5 mph, and seem to give resistance. Now with the new motor and updates, it's hard to feel any transition as you get near 20 mph. I will try it again on a different ride where there is a long flat stretch of road. BTW, I bought the Levo FSR for handling, as I have steep downhills, and then ride on both paved and dirt roads as well as trails. The bike handling has always been superb. Perhaps the motor performance is finally matching the handling.
 
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PaD

Well-Known Member
As I wrote in my post on Saturday 28th I would get a new motor for my all new Vado 4.
Specialized and dealer acted pretty quickly and this Thursday I picked up my bike with new motor. Felt ok, no funny noises when I stopped pedalling and also the mechanic thought the difference between odo and trip meter was gone. I was told that the resistance I felt was the same for other Vados and apparently to be expected.
Went home, didn’t check the odo. Motor felt ok.
On Friday evening I went for a ride, 41km/25miles, and the odo showed about 10-12% less than trip meter. A really nice evening ride but sometimes I felt the motor didn’t feel consistant in power delivery! like it was tired for a little while. Difficult to say if there were differences i ascent or perhaps headwind.
Went for a ride this afternoon, 48km/29miles, and today there was not more than 1% difference between odo and tripmeter!? Trip meter seems accurate as I had a Garmin 60cx as well today to check distance.
I don’t get this.
I still feel the motor is not always even in power delivery. It’s mostly noticeable when going just over 10mph and not having much force on pedals. Maybe this is just what can be expected with this type of drive? Is the motor only responding to pedal pressure?

In Europe we have the power cut off at 25km/h / 15.5mph and to me the resistance I feel from motor after cut off is really annoying. It would be so much easier to pedal over 25km/h without that resistance.

Range has been good I think these last two days. I have been going slow for several miles but I got 86km/53miles using up 4 bars from battery indicator. Eco mode all the time with a few short uphill passages in Sport mode.

Dealer will contact Specialized on Monday about odo etc.

S..t what a long boring post. Will try to post some pics later from my nice rides the last days.

PS
For two days now the elevator in our house has broken down and I have to carry the bike up to my apartment where it sleeps and eats electrons. It’s ok, I’m only 67 and it’s just one floor up:)
 
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coffeemaker

Member
On Friday evening I went for a ride, 41km/25miles, and the odo showed about 10-12% less than trip meter. A really nice evening ride but sometimes I felt the motor didn’t feel consistant in power delivery! like it was tired for a little while. Difficult to say if there were differences i ascent or perhaps headwind.
Went for a ride this afternoon, 48km/29miles, and today there was not more than 1% difference between odo and tripmeter!? Trip meter seems accurate as I had a Garmin 60cx as well today to check distance.
I don’t get this.
That is really weird. I don't think it would be hard to keep the odo and trip meter in sync. After all, it's simple math.

I still feel the motor is not always even in power delivery. It’s mostly noticeable when going just over 10mph and not having much force on pedals. Maybe this is just what can be expected with this type of drive? Is the motor only responding to pedal pressure?
If your pedal pressure is very light, the motor might be cutting off. When it cuts off and comes back on, the transition might not be smooth. There is a slight jerk on my Vado 3, but it's completely manageable. However, I haven't pedaled with so little pressure that this becomes an issue. I'd suggest letting your dealer check the cadence sensor.

In Europe we have the power cut off at 25km/h / 15.5mph and to me the resistance I feel from motor after cut off is really annoying. It would be so much easier to pedal over 25km/h without that resistance.
Is there no way to get a firmware upgrade to 28mph? There is very strong pedal resistance when the motor shuts off, and it feels like pedaling on the beach. If you're good with electronics, you can try halving the signal frequency from the hall effect sensor.
 

PaD

Well-Known Member
That is really weird. I don't think it would be hard to keep the odo and trip meter in sync. After all, it's simple math.

If your pedal pressure is very light, the motor might be cutting off. When it cuts off and comes back on, the transition might not be smooth. There is a slight jerk on my Vado 3, but it's completely manageable. However, I haven't pedaled with so little pressure that this becomes an issue. I'd suggest letting your dealer check the cadence sensor.

Is there no way to get a firmware upgrade to 28mph? There is very strong pedal resistance when the motor shuts off, and it feels like pedaling on the beach. If you're good with electronics, you can try halving the signal frequency from the hall effect sensor.
Thanks for commenting.
Yes the odo and trip meter thing is really strange. Will be interesting to hear from Specialized. Is it possible that the odo reads somwhere in the motor and not from the sensor at rear disc?

About the uneven power when pedal pressure is light.
It’s not a big problem in Eco mode, which I run almost all the time, but it’s noticeable and much more so in Sport. I’m more concerned about what I feel is a power reduction sometimes but as I said it’s hard to verify and be 100% sure about what’s actually happening.

Speed above 25km/h
28mph pedelecs require registration and brake lights and horn etc. and are not allowed in bike lanes. I don’t want that and don’t really think I need that speed.
I would love to have the US version of the software and have 20mph as max assist speed. Not much chance Specialiez will supply that i Europe. I was of course aware of the speed limit for this class of e-bikes when I bought my Vado but I didn’t realize how the Brose motor would ”work against” me above 15.5mph.
I’m not impressed by the way the motor system works in this respect.
 

e-levity

Member
...
In Europe we have the power cut off at 25km/h / 15.5mph and to me the resistance I feel from motor after cut off is really annoying. It would be so much easier to pedal over 25km/h without that resistance...

...I didn’t realize how the Brose motor would ”work against” me above 15.5mph...
Although it's possible that there is something wrong with your Vado's motor I think this is most likely a psychosomatic issue. You're not alone, we all experience this. When pedaling with assist you get used to a given effort required to go a given speed. When the assistance decreases or stops due to reducing the assist level or exceeding the max assist speed limit you sense this as "resistance". In fact, you're just having to put in more effort to maintain or increase your speed. There is no added resistance or drag from the motor, just a reduction or lack of the assistance you'd become used to. Switch from Turbo down to Sport and "Whoa, who threw out the parachute!" Switch down from Sport to Eco or Eco to Off and it feels like someone started dragging the brakes. Same thing when the motor cuts out as you exceed the set speed limit.

Fortunately, here in the U.S. my Vado 6 is limited at 45 km/hr so I just keep it around 25-28mph unless going down hill. :)
My Levo is limited to 20mph which is OK most of the time since the riding is off-road on trails.
I can sympathize with those riding on the street who are limited to 20mph let alone 15mph! :mad:
 

PaD

Well-Known Member
Although it's possible that there is something wrong with your Vado's motor I think this is most likely a psychosomatic issue. You're not alone, we all experience this. When pedaling with assist you get used to a given effort required to go a given speed. When the assistance decreases or stops due to reducing the assist level or exceeding the max assist speed limit you sense this as "resistance". In fact, you're just having to put in more effort to maintain or increase your speed. There is no added resistance or drag from the motor, just a reduction or lack of the assistance you'd become used to. Switch from Turbo down to Sport and "Whoa, who threw out the parachute!" Switch down from Sport to Eco or Eco to Off and it feels like someone started dragging the brakes. Same thing when the motor cuts out as you exceed the set speed limit.

Fortunately, here in the U.S. my Vado 6 is limited at 45 km/hr so I just keep it around 25-28mph unless going down hill. :)
My Levo is limited to 20mph which is OK most of the time since the riding is off-road on trails.
I can sympathize with those riding on the street who are limited to 20mph let alone 15mph! :mad:
Thanks for your reply e-levity.
I agree with the psychosomatic explanation in some occasions.
However I have tried pedalling with the battery/motor off and compared that to Assist off (battery on of course). There was a most noticeable difference in pedal resistance.
I’ve written about this in a separate thread
https://electricbikereview.com/forums/threads/vado-4-0-motor-resistance-at-no-motor-support.24447/
I apologise for messing around in messing around with the same subject in multiple threads.
There were problems with strange sounds and motor pulsating so I have had a new motor installed.
I was told there is a resistance with motor assist off.
I’ll test it again with battery off.
Probably better if I continue writing about this in my ”resistance thread”. Brought it up here as I wanted to also ask about the strange behavior of the odo vs trip.
Last evening I did a reset of trip meter and the odo went from 122.2km to 121.9km!?
 

PaD

Well-Known Member
Although it's possible that there is something wrong with your Vado's motor I think this is most likely a psychosomatic issue.
e-levity, I think you’re right. Have been trying with and without motor on a bit more today. I have miscalculated or underestimated the effect of the heavy bike and maintaining speed above 16mph.
I think I had better check wether it’s a windmill or a dragon I’m fighting or I may be given the new nick Don Quijote.
Since Thursday I have a new motor so maybe my initial impression had some relevance but I’m not sure.
 
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