My Year with my Vado


Well-Known Member
It’s been an interesting first year with my Vado 4.0 that probably would have been different but for a combination of personal issues and the pandemic, so I thought I’d summarize how my first e-bike ownership experience has gone. I made my final decision on what to get early in the year and went ahead and make my purchase in early March, at a time of great uncertainty.

Right away, I was hit with “buyer’s remorse” three times over. First, within a couple weeks of my purchase, Specialized ran a sale on this model with a price reduction of some $500. Next, they announced the Vado SL, which in the long run would have been a better product for me. Finally, my bike developed a problem that was only resolved after multiple returns to the dealer and eventually a motor replacement under warranty. But all of this faded into the background once I was able to consistently get out the door and ride!

As much as I was liking the bike for what it was, it soon became clear that what I had envisioned for the bike was not going to happen. I had originally thought that I could use it to replace my old Specialized Crosstrail hybrid that I use for on and off-pavement trails and general casual riding. But the combination of the weight, the geometry, and the tires on the Vado made it a handful to handle in the frequent loose stuff that we deal with around here and I found myself having to ride too slowly and cautiously to have much fun on some of my rides. Secondly, I was hoping to use it for casual riding around town, running errands, going to the coffee shop in the morning, to lunch etc. But the pandemic and ensuing lockdown did away with that idea as I found myself not having anywhere to go locally (although I was always free to ride anywhere I wanted to). Likewise, my wife and I had planned to take our e-bikes on a few overnight getaways to ride trails elsewhere in the state, and travel was shut down as well.

Where the bike thankfully came to my rescue was after my back injury in May, which put me out of commission for most of my usual outdoor activities. But biking was generally OK as long as I took it easy, and the Vado was perfect for filling that role. I wasn’t able to comfortably get back on my conventional bikes until August and would not have gotten outside much at all if not for the e-bike. That period was when I put most of my miles on the bike.

When I was finally cleared to ride, I found that in many cases I really preferred to ride the analog bikes, if only for the feeling of having something lightweight that I could maneuver more easily and tackle rougher terrain with. So from that point until now, the Vado hasn’t seen as much use except that my wife and I did enjoy taking rides in the cool of the evenings to explore streets and neighborhoods around the area when it was more about enjoying the ride than getting a workout.

So that’s where I stand after my first riding season on an e-bike. Someday I’ll probably have an e-bike as my primary if not only bike, but for now it’s going to just fill a particular niche in the type of riding that I typically do. And there’s nothing wrong with that!

Blog article with details about the bike


New Member
Rochrunner, thanks for sharing your first year with your Vado. I think everyone has some buyer’s remorse moments with a expensive purchase especially when they drop the price right after you buy it. It sounds like you’re recovering from your back injury; good for you! I hope your Vado continues and exceed your future needs.