Loose Motor on Como 2.0 UPDATE: Cracked Frame (Vados too)

This is a timely post from Uburoibob, and others... it's good (kind of) to know I am not alone.

I got my 2019 Turbo Vado 2.0 this spring, and have been enjoying it enormously, hardly using the car since I got it. The only issue I had was with the display, and Specialized swapped out the BLOK for the TCD n/c a couple of months ago, and not a single hitch since. Until a couple of days ago, that is.

I noticed creaking when peddling, and looking into it discovered the crank was somewhat wobbly. I thought that it would be a quick fix at my LBS, tightening the thing up. Turns out there is a big crack (saw a photograph of it) I guess where the motor mounts. Bike is apparently toast. Given that Specialized seems to stand firmly behind their warranty, I anticipate a new bike soon.

Approximately 1500 kilometres on the bike, no accidents / tumbles / rough trails.

Anyway, not just Como. Glad they warranty the frame for life, and hoping this is not a widespread issue.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
With 3 reports so far this sounds more like a design flaw with the Specialized frame... I wonder if this issue is more widespread than initially thought.
 
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Uburoibob

Active Member
This is a timely post from Uburoibob, and others... it's good (kind of) to know I am not alone.

Sorry to hear about your bike, CoastChimes.

One thing KCRider said that has me wondering - is it possible that the motor mounts are loosening, which is causing the frame to crack? Or vice versa?

I don't know, but hope there's a fix from Specialized that will prevent it (some sort of plate or technic for keeping the bolts tight) from happening.

I will say that I rode my bike for a couple of months with the creaking that got progressively louder. LBS thought it was the bottom bracket, but seeing how these are built, the "bottom bracket" IS the motor. So, hopefully, it's something they've already taken care of, affected only a short run of the 2019s, and won't be a problem going forward.

Bob
 
Sorry to hear about your bike, CoastChimes.

One thing KCRider said that has me wondering - is it possible that the motor mounts are loosening, which is causing the frame to crack? Or vice versa?

I don't know, but hope there's a fix from Specialized that will prevent it (some sort of plate or technic for keeping the bolts tight) from happening.

I will say that I rode my bike for a couple of months with the creaking that got progressively louder. LBS thought it was the bottom bracket, but seeing how these are built, the "bottom bracket" IS the motor. So, hopefully, it's something they've already taken care of, affected only a short run of the 2019s, and won't be a problem going forward.

Bob
Thanks Uburoibob, I can't even guess how many of these they sold, and I did not find widespread reports of the issue online... so hopefully this is not a design flaw, and involves just a few bad apples. My LBS had never seen it / heard of it happening. Mine was definitely creeking for only a day or two before I investigated, and then had my shop dig into it. Judging from the picture they showed me and that they sent to Specialized, mine is not a hairline crack-- a really significant fail. Looking forward to my new bike.
 

kcrider

New Member
With 3 reports so far this sounds more like a design flaw with the Specialized frame... I wonder if this issue is more widespread than initially thought.

Well we now know the common theme between these reported issues is that creaking sound and so far only the 2019 models even though the 2019 frame is the same frame used in 2018. Pure speculation but … the reason I doubt it's a design flaw is that there are people putting thousands of miles on these bikes without this particular issue. One thing worth mentioning is that the loose bolt I saw did not appear to have any sort of thread locker on it. My guess is that the top bolt (attached to thicker part of the frame) was coming loose and as it did the pressure was shifting more to the bottom bolt attached to the small flange that hangs down from the frame. The looser the bolt became, the more flex could be applied on the bottom flange on either direction. So every pedal stroke was applying pressure one way on the flange and then back the other way. If you have ever repeatedly bent metal back and forth, you know that eventually it snaps. Again, pure speculation but I think maybe a batch of these bikes may have simply been assembled without that thread locker applied or were just not torqued down to spec. If that is the case, a little preventative maintenance could go a long way.

Going forward I plan to periodically take that bottom cover off and just ensure everything is tight, probably make it part of my deep cleaning routine I do every couple weeks.

The biggest take away from this experience though is that these bikes are not supposed to creak. If you hear any creaking, stop riding and get the bike checked out.
 

fearlessleader4

New Member
Thanks for the heads up to all of you on this potential issue. I just ordered my 2020 Como 5.0 this morning and look forward to riding it soon... and double-checking that those bolts are tight! I'll be watching for Uburoibob on the local prairie path trails of the western Chicago suburbs!
 

kcrider

New Member
I'm sorry @Ebiker01, that's my fault. I just realized I never posted an update. Specialized shipped out a 2020 Como 4.0 (which is virtually identical to the 2019 Como 3.0) on Friday instead of the 2020 Como 3.0.

I don't think everyone has the specs memorized for each model, for each year considering how many bikes they have, so on paper replacing a 2019 Como 3.0 with a 2020 Como 3.0 sounds logical. I mentioned the spec differences to Erik's Bike Shop and then got a call the next day saying that Specialized agreed that a 4.0 would be a more like for like replacement … and that was it. Nothing nefarious and I was worried for no reason.
 

Uburoibob

Active Member
Glad to hear you are getting a bike with the same specs, AND the bonus of fenders! And as I said, the TCD-W system really opens things up.
 

Allan47.7339

Active Member
I'm sorry @Ebiker01, that's my fault. I just realized I never posted an update. Specialized shipped out a 2020 Como 4.0 (which is virtually identical to the 2019 Como 3.0) on Friday instead of the 2020 Como 3.0.

I don't think everyone has the specs memorized for each model, for each year considering how many bikes they have, so on paper replacing a 2019 Como 3.0 with a 2020 Como 3.0 sounds logical. I mentioned the spec differences to Erik's Bike Shop and then got a call the next day saying that Specialized agreed that a 4.0 would be a more like for like replacement … and that was it. Nothing nefarious and I was worried for no reason.
An example of why having a good dealer is important with e-bikes. They heard you and took it up with Specialized.
 

Uburoibob

Active Member
An example of why having a good dealer is important with e-bikes. They heard you and took it up with Specialized.
My dealer, The Wheel Thing in La Grange, IL, took it up with Specialized as well. Initially they wanted to ship him a 2019 2.0, but because he'd already installed a TCD-W display, he convinced them that the 3.0 was more along the lines of what I had already, and they agreed. I gotta say, Kevin there is great. I picked my bike up on Sunday, even though he'd not been able to update the software for the display, motor, and battery. I learned that these come configured for the European market, as my bike only hits about 15.5 mph. Once the software is updated, I should get it to 20. That will be Thursday morning. The other difference is the 48 tooth chain ring sprocket vs the 40 tooth on the 2.0. The 48 takes a little more effort off the line, and I am getting used to the cadence difference. Once I have the software updated, I think I'll find my cadence sweet spot which, right now, seems to be just past where pedal assist kicks out.
 
An example of why having a good dealer is important with e-bikes. They heard you and took it up with Specialized.


That's right. I'm waiting to see what they offer for my 2019 Turbo Vado 2.0, since they don't seem to make a 2.0 now. The line up is quite confusing, at least to me. The base 3.0 seems to have a less powerful motor than my 2.0, and maybe downgraded brakes / gears. A different model of the 3.0 seems closer, but has the BLOK display, which was swapped out on my 2.0, and I can't go back to the BLOK. That means the 4.0, but that is more expensive with the slightly bigger battery and 10 gears instead of 9. This is a tough one, since the 2 models of 3.0 are not quite right, but doubt they will hand over a 4.0.
 
Specialized is going to replace my 2019 Turbo Vado 2.0. There is no exact equivalent bike in their 2020 lineup. I think they will offer a 2020 Vado 3.0, which is great, but I have some concern about the 1.2 E motor, since it specs at 50 Nm of torque, 420 peak watts, vs. my 2.0, 72 Nm of torque 520 peak watts. I live in a very hilly area, and worry I will miss the power. Thoughts?

I am considering asking for a 4.0, and paying the difference, about $1000 CAD. I’d get the more powerful motor, a slightly larger battery, better lights, 10 speeds (I did find 9 not quite enough), and I think upgraded shifters, gears, brakes.

But perhaps I should just be content Specialize stands behind their bikes, and gratefully accept the 3.0. I’m mostly concerned about the reduced torque. What would you do?
 

Uburoibob

Active Member
Specialized is going to replace my 2019 Turbo Vado 2.0. There is no exact equivalent bike in their 2020 lineup. I think they will offer a 2020 Vado 3.0, which is great, but I have some concern about the 1.2 E motor, since it specs at 50 Nm of torque, 420 peak watts, vs. my 2.0, 72 Nm of torque 520 peak watts. I live in a very hilly area, and worry I will miss the power. Thoughts?

I am considering asking for a 4.0, and paying the difference, about $1000 CAD. I’d get the more powerful motor, a slightly larger battery, better lights, 10 speeds (I did find 9 not quite enough), and I think upgraded shifters, gears, brakes.

But perhaps I should just be content Specialize stands behind their bikes, and gratefully accept the 3.0. I’m mostly concerned about the reduced torque. What would you do?
I’d make my case up front with your LBD as that is who will be making your case with Specialized. Mine went the distance to get me a Como 3.0 despite the fact that they had a Como 2.0 in stock, but they would have to install the TCD-W display.
 
I’d make my case up front with your LBD as that is who will be making your case with Specialized. Mine went the distance to get me a Como 3.0 despite the fact that they had a Como 2.0 in stock, but they would have to install the TCD-W display.
Thanks. Yes, I have a great LBS. They are the ones dealing directly with Specialized. They think the 3.0 is a good deal, since it comes with racks, fenders, lights, TCD display-- but I already have all that on my 2.0. I mainly wonder how much I will notice the reduced motor output.
 
Are both Class 3 bikes?
In Canada, they are all limited to 32 kilometres per hour. I don't think they even list a class for them. I guess I will ask and see exactly how much they would charge to upgrade to the 4.0, and go from there. It would be nice to hear from anyone with the 2020 3.0, how they find them on really steep hills.
 

Uburoibob

Active Member
I can talk to the Como 3.0 on steep hills with the same motor, and say “piece of cake”. The 48 tooth chainring makes a bit of a difference, making me work a tiny bit harder than the 2.0. But I can’t comparethe Vados, so hopefully someone will hop in.
 
I can talk to the Como 3.0 on steep hills with the same motor, and say “piece of cake”. The 48 tooth chainring makes a bit of a difference, making me work a tiny bit harder than the 2.0. But I can’t comparethe Vados, so hopefully someone will hop in.
Cool. That's great to hear. I suspect they have it set up, so I won't even notice a difference. Maybe I can try one out at the shop tomorrow.
 

TS25

Active Member
... Turns out there is a big crack (saw a photograph of it) I guess where the motor mounts.

Approximately 1500 kilometres on the bike, no accidents / tumbles / rough trails.

Anyway, not just Como. Glad they warranty the frame for life, and hoping this is not a widespread issue.

Actually there are reports of three more cases in Germany, two with 2017 Vado and the third with 2019 Vado:


Low milage, normal use before, frame broken close to the motor.

Issue? Time to start counting together.