New Vado 5

DanInStPete

Active Member
So I decided to put the Deity Highside 50mm riser bars on today. I cut 30mm off each side to make the width the same as the stock Vado bars.

The difference with that extra 35mm rise was immediately VERY noticeable, and it really took the strain off my palms and wrists.

The bike handles slightly differently now, not as quick in the turns, so that'll take a minute to get used too.



 

kiwi chris

New Member
Checking over my new vado 5 and counted the teeth on the front chain ring and there are 40. Some Vado specs have the chain ring at 48. My bike feels a bit low geared but I havent ridden hilly roads yet. Does anyone have a 48 on their bike?
 

Sierratim

Member
Specialized does spec a 48t chain ring on the Vado 5 site with the ubiquitous "Specifications are subject to change without notice" message.

I'll verify in the AM, but I'm pretty sure my early 2019 2020 model year Vado 5 has the 48t ring. I was concerned with adequate hill climbing torque with this, but the LBS loaned be a Vado for a few hours. It climbed everything around town with no problem. The larger ring is nice to get to and beyond 28mph.

The
 

kiwi chris

New Member
Could the position of the front light depend on the amount of vibration from road on fork, fender, and handlebar?
to me handlebar would have least amount of vibration hence more stable light.
please correct me if wrong.
In New Zealand the law states a cycle headlamp must be mounted on the handle bar and angled down. ( I guess to avoid dazzling people)
 

Sierratim

Member
In New Zealand the law states a cycle headlamp must be mounted on the handle bar and angled down. ( I guess to avoid dazzling people)
kiwi chris,

Didn't know that. Are Euro rules the same? Either way, these laws may be why the initial USA release of the 2020 Vado had the handlebar height light. I assume yours is handlebar height?

BTW - I did check our chain rings this AM. The teeth are awkward to count but both bikes have rings stamped "48t" so 48 tooth rings on both bikes. These are classified as "Class III" ebikes here in the US having assistance available up to 28mph. Is this the same in NZ?
 

kiwi chris

New Member
kiwi chris,

Didn't know that. Are Euro rules the same? Either way, these laws may be why the initial USA release of the 2020 Vado had the handlebar height light. I assume yours is handlebar height?

BTW - I did check our chain rings this AM. The teeth are awkward to count but both bikes have rings stamped "48t" so 48 tooth rings on both bikes. These are classified as "Class III" ebikes here in the US having assistance available up to 28mph. Is this the same in NZ?
I don't know Euro rules . The 2020 NZ specs are 40t and the battery assist is to 45kms hr . (28mph)
My local agent says the larger chain ring can put more load on the chain and rear sprockets. He stressed the importance of coming down through the gears when stopping so starting is then in a lower gear.
I have been in the bad habit of starting about middle of the gears. The battery assist allows for easy starting in the higher gears which puts a big load on everything.
 

Nxkharra

Active Member
I don't know Euro rules . The 2020 NZ specs are 40t and the battery assist is to 45kms hr . (28mph)
My local agent says the larger chain ring can put more load on the chain and rear sprockets. He stressed the importance of coming down through the gears when stopping so starting is then in a lower gear.
I have been in the bad habit of starting about middle of the gears. The battery assist allows for easy starting in the higher gears which puts a big load on everything.
I have the same habit of starting on higher gear. Need to change also.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Good morning! (Funny to think we all are in so different time zones: Pacific, Central European and NZ Daylight).

Regarding the chain-ring, I cannot find out how many teeth are there in my 2017 Vado 5 but comparing the cadence to speed I am sure it is 48t. You guys are right to say about the drive-train loads, let me only tell you why, at least originally, Specialized put the 48t chain-ring. To achieve 45 km/h (28 mph) with 48-11 gear ratio you only need to pedal at 76 rpm which is doable for most riders (as long as you are in Turbo mode, flat, no wind or with tailwind). To achieve the same speed with the 40t ring, you need to be at 91 rpm, which is not easy. I wonder why it would be 40t then in NZ, as the NZ web page of Specialized still reads 48t for model 2020.

For myself, my habit is to start in the middle gear and upshift as the speed increases. My natural cadence is 77 rpm but I tend to spin the cranks faster if I can, to increase the motor support. Nice thing with all Vado displays is the Cadence read-out. I would say the same as the car has its preferable rpm range and you are in proper gear for given speed, the same is with rider's cadence, speed and gears in a bike. That is also easy on the drive-train.

European rules only say the following for "Class 3" (L1e-B) e-bikes:
  • Limited to 45 km/h and to 4 kW of assistance
  • Registration plate must be visible at all times (so Specialized rear light also illuminates the registration plate with strong white light)
  • Two independent, effective brakes
  • A bell or a horn
  • Rear-sight mirror
There are also rules how many and what lights and reflectors should be used. The rule for Poland related to the headlight is: Not lower than 500 mm and not higher than 1200 mm, covering the road for at least 30 metres in front of the bike. The headlight and rear light shall be on at all times. (Note: my version of Vado even sports the STOP light activated by either brake lever).

As you said before, Specialized change specification with or with no notice. The 2017 model has a 600 lumen headlight mounted on the stem and made the way you can regulate the angle. Interesting, there is a blind window making the top of the light circle evenly cut the way you do not dazzle drivers, and the lamp angle can be precisely set. As I hear, that headlamp has been replaced with a 205 lm Supernova light (true?)
 

darlingbastard

New Member
As I hear, that headlamp has been replaced with a 205 lm Supernova light (true?)
You are correct. In the US the Vado 5.0 has the Supernova V521s (205 lm) light. Interestingly the lower spec Vado 4.0 has a 300 lm light. 205 lm seems too low for a speed commuter to me honestly.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
As long as I am happy with my Vado lights (I am not only seen but also can see even in complete darkness), I was dissatisfied with light in my other e-bike. So I spend good money for the strongest CatEye headlight available and Knog Road Blinder R70 for the rear.
 

Jimbo08

Member
My 2020 Vado 5.0 came with 48T ring. The headlight is the new Supernova and is lower mounted. I always keep a second accessory light on the bar for those times you need extra visibility. I think it is a Light and Motion TAZ 1500 (a bit overkill :)). Also changed my grips to Ergon's and building a 27.5 wheelset and fitting Schwalbe SuperMoto 27.5x 2.4 tires. Plan on doing some overnight touring so bought Ortlieb E-Mate bags to carry spare battery on mine and my wife's bikes. I have installed a Planet3 speed device, yet to be tried. Not sure if I will keep it on - if an accident occurs the lawyers would have a hay-day. I work in a shop and am certified on many motors for service, and have owned 3 other bikes all with different motors. And I have ridden many different bikes with various setups, including some highly illegal home-made ones that are cool for a one time try, but unless your really adept at electronics, are not for me or I would guess about 95% of the current market. A lot of riders are challenged enough with lubing the chain and keeping the tires pumped up. The Vado/Como I feel is THE nicest bike out of the box and look forward to may happy rides when our snow finally disappears.
Stefan - your so right in having a strong light in the back end, maybe even more important than the headlights.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
@Jimbo08, very interesting post of yours! Tell us more about your change to smaller but thicker wheels: do you think the 2.4" tires would fit into the existing frame?

I can see everybody has found Ortlieb E-mate as the valuable addition to their Vados ;)

Regarding the headlight, I bought two FlexTight brackets for my CatEye Volt 1700 and they are mounted on my both e-bikes. However, as I found the original (older) Specialized headlight was indeed strong enough (600 lm), I mostly use CatEye in low to middle beam on the Lovelec bike. The rear light is advisable, yet again, I use the Knog in half power mode. The full power appears too strong.

The Planet 3... Not sure if that would help with the Class 3 e-bike. Or, is your Vado 5.0 the Class 3 as Class 3 is generally not allowed in Canada?
1579516000173.png

Lights on the Lovelec e-bike: Low beam at the front and low setting at the rear. The photos were taken at the dusk.
 
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
So I decided to put the Deity Highside 50mm riser bars on today.
I missed your post, Dan. Did you get rid of the rear-view mirror? Although I personally feel strain on wrists and arms, I always ride with my fingers near to the brake levers, so that's not for me.
 

Jimbo08

Member
Not sure if the Class 3 is legal or not in my area. I tend to ride very conservatively and respectfully, so I expect no hassle from the authorities. I just want to occasionally keep up with traffic for safety reasons, not race past them.

The reason for the wider tires - I commute daily on this bike in the spring-summer-fall and sometimes hit loose gravel pathways. The extra width should give me some confidence. And the bigger air capacity might give me some smoothness too, particulary with heavy loads if we try touring. I am building the wheels with DT 350 hubs, DT Alpine III spokes, and EX471 rims. A bit lighter and a whole bunch stronger than the stock wheels. I checked the fit with some other similar sized wheels we have on hand and the fit seems to be perfect.

Really looking forward to better weather here to give it a try.
 

DanInStPete

Active Member
I missed your post, Dan. Did you get rid of the rear-view mirror? Although I personally feel strain on wrists and arms, I always ride with my fingers near to the brake levers, so that's not for me.
Stefan, I ride with two fingers on the brake levers most of the time. The sidebars of the Ergon grips give me another hand position I use occasionally on straights to give my palms a rest. The only thing the bars did was raise my hand position by 35mm, which eased the pressure on my palms and wrists.

I didn’t have a mirror, though I do have one from another bike I may put on.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Thank you for your nice answer @Jimbo08! You don't need the Planet 3 really. Vado 5.0 is limited to 45 km/h and you typically need Turbo mode and hard pedalling to reach that limit. Derestricting Vado 5 will not improve performance. Planet 3 is meant for regular ("low speed") e-bikes and is specifically good for strongly restricted European releases of e-bikes.

Now I can understand your point @DanInStPete. I use to ride with fingers on brake levers, too. I found rear mirrors on my e-bikes extremely useful (I use Mirrycle that is probably the best bike rear-view mirror, available on Amazon for chicken money). My both e-bikes have Mirrycles on both sides of their handlebars. The right-hand mirror is useful when I am about to ride up the axis of the road to make the left turn; or, when the traffic is merging the road from the right-hand side.
 

kiwi chris

New Member
Off topic but there was no tool kit with my Vado and wondering if others carry tools and puncture repair kits .if so what tools?
 

Nxkharra

Active Member
I carry:
Critical items - hand pump, spare inter tube, multi wrench, small first aide kit, tire levers, break pad separator tool.
Non critical items - very tiny foldable backpack in case I buy an unplanned item or food to take home (I carry my Racktime pannier when going on planned shopping), tire air gage, phone charger, trail mix, small towel.
I put all these in my Racktime Talis System Bag at all times.
recently I watched a program discussing the anxiety riders have to take Vado wheel off to repair a flat. They recommended to carry patch kit (in addition to spare inter tube) which enables one to repair flat quickly without the need to take the wheels off as a temporary (or permanent) solution. This will buy time to take the bike to a bike shop for proper changing inter tube. Off course if you have a blow up (less possibility) then you are forced to take the wheel off and change the inter tube. I have added Parks patch kit to my bag also.
These items, in addition to make me feel prepared on the road, are means for my biker son (who only carries only a tiny bag) to make fun of me for carrying too much stuff to which I answer it is not a beauty contest out there...haha. The final laugh is mine when he asks me to borrow something from my bag.
 
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Sierratim

Member
I always carry a flat kit that includes a spare tube, steel-reinforced tire levers, patch kit (sandpaper, glue and multiple patches), hand pump, a CO2 inflator, and 2 or more 16-gram CO2 cartridges. Note that the Vado tires are large enough that they really need 25-gram cartridges to fill them up, but the 16's are so much cheaper and work for our other bikes as is. This kit is all in a seat bag that has side pouches for misc tools, snacks or more water.

I like the CO2 inflators; they take a lot of work out of getting back on the road, esp on a hot Summer day. With that said bike tubes are made to hold the mix of gases we call 'air' pretty well. However, they lose a fair amount of pressure overnight when filled with just CO2. You'll need to top off your pressure with a hand pump before taking off in the AM.

Note: A hex wrench that will remove the Vado's thru-axles is a must for flat repairs! I had 2 flats on my Vado's rear tire this past Summer. Sure glad I had tools with me!

My standard day ride tool kit is a Topeak Alien II secured to the seat post. I carry this tool on my mechanical bike as well using the Topeak mounting bracket to move it from bike to bike. The mount for this tool is just below the lower seat bag post strap.

On multi-day trips, I'll also bring a tune-up/repair kit that includes chain lube, chain master link, clean rag, tire "boots" (to patch tire slashes), zip ties, thin stainless steel wire, a 2nd spare tube, more CO2 cartridges, brake pad separator, a minimalist first aid kit, and of course the battery charger. These are in the car or room if we're doing day rides from an inn. For inn to inn rides, like the Willamette Valley ride we're planning this Summer, this 'stuff' will all go with us. The tune-up kit straps to the seat post. The 2nd tube, CO2 cartridges, etc, straps to the top tube. The repair kit and charger go in a rack-mounted bag.

I do recommend becoming familiar with your tools, esp for flat repair. It's almost guaranteed you're going to need them. I help out with local youth groups that are getting into cycling. We're always sure they can dismount their wheels and tires, repair a tube with a leak and then reassemble. Then we move on to basic tune-ups and adjustments. All good skills to have, even if you plan on having most of your work done by your LBS.
 

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