Over50's Specialized Turbo Vado SL 5 EQ Chronicles

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Have you tried using the BLEvo app for your SL, @Over50? A lot of energy/distance related information is generated by that app! You'll get instant W/mi consumption figures for different modes instantly. You can even define the extender battery there!
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
Have you tried using the BLEvo app for your SL, @Over50? A lot of energy/distance related information is generated by that app! You'll get instant W/mi consumption figures for different modes instantly. You can even define the extender battery there!
No. I didn't know about it until recently. I feel like Mission Control gives me what I need for the Vado SL. For Bosch/Kiox I'd prefer that the system calculate the WH Consumed and Avg Assist - maybe it does I just haven't found it yet.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
Went on a 25 mile MUP ride today. Surface varied between gravel, dirt, pavement, crushed limestone. Again, I'm impressed at how these tires handle gravel. Best mixed-surface handling tires I've tried:

MarathonEPlus_VadoSL1.jpgMarathonEPlus_VadoSL2.jpg
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
I bought this bike as an alternative to my non-electric for fitness commuting - on those windless Friday's when time is not important and I can get home whenever I get home and not have to worry about getting up at 6am the next day. For that type of riding, on most days, I would not need the range extender for the 35 mile ride - because riding at say 30%-50% assist would get me over 50-100 miles of range on the downtube battery. But now that I've been riding this bike awhile, I realize it would be really good for the overall commuting chores too wherein I need to minimize my commute time and ride faster - while also getting some workout. For that, I think my sweet spot is about 70%-90% average assistance. The diminutive size of the range extender battery makes it really easy to transport and at 70% of assistance will easily give me 20 miles distance. I think my strategy would be to use the range extender for the ride to work which is the shorter leg of my commute. I'd toggle the MC setting to 'use the range extender first', and then just keep it in my pannier for the ride home, relying on the downtube battery for the longer trip home.

I've posted about how bad the service has been at my Specialized dealer. My very friendly Trek LBS, who did the wheels on my Allant, has offered to scope a gravel wheel build for me for the Specialized. Maybe more to come soon on that vanity project.

Just for grins, I put my rides under 10% average assistance on a chart. I couldn't put them on the original chart because they distort the range axis. I have 3 rides around 3-4% average assistance from 15 to 25 miles of distance.

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BEC111

Active Member
I finally was able to ride my Vado SL4 battery almost all the way down a few weeks ago in a couple of rides. Two rides of 13 miles (26 total, leaving about 70% charge) and then another 20 mostly uphill leaving about 26%. I did the 20 miles back with zero assist for the first 8 miles back then back to my usual pattern of Eco on flats, Sport for climbs and passing in traffic and occasional Turbo boosts for topping a hill and avoiding trail traffic risks or road crossings.

That equates to about 60 miles on a charge mostly riding a mixture of Sport and Eco without being afraid to use Turbo for fun or safety.

I sort of want the extender as a late arriving Christmas present - wife orders now, it arrives in March or April? - but I’m not really sure I need it. Most of my riding companions hit their limits at 30 miles and I’m not getting any younger.
;)
 

Nubnub

Member
I finally was able to ride my Vado SL4 battery almost all the way down a few weeks ago in a couple of rides. Two rides of 13 miles (26 total, leaving about 70% charge) and then another 20 mostly uphill leaving about 26%. I did the 20 miles back with zero assist for the first 8 miles back then back to my usual pattern of Eco on flats, Sport for climbs and passing in traffic and occasional Turbo boosts for topping a hill and avoiding trail traffic risks or road crossings.

That equates to about 60 miles on a charge mostly riding a mixture of Sport and Eco without being afraid to use Turbo for fun or safety.

I sort of want the extender as a late arriving Christmas present - wife orders now, it arrives in March or April? - but I’m not really sure I need it. Most of my riding companions hit their limits at 30 miles and I’m not getting any younger.
;)
Likewise my normal rides come nowhere near needing the full 320 Wh of the internal battery. However I've been using a range extender since I've gotten my 4.0 SL. Since I was somewhat concerned about battery wear and somewhat hopeful that someday I might want to ride further than the the 320 Wh would comfortably do, I felt ok getting the range extender when I did. Since the range extender shows 50 cycles of charge I figure it has saved me a few cycles on the internal battery. Both show health of 100% (Mission Control) or 99% (Blevo).

I've found drain both batteries in parallel works for me. Then when they get to 30% or so I'll charge just the range extender. I can usually get in a couple of rides while the re-charged range extender drains to match the internal battery. Ride a bit more and I charge them both.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
The science experiment is all set. WTB carbon gravel rims, Aerothan tubes, Onyx Vesper hub and the Marathon E-Plus tires. I haven't ridden it yet but will do so today. I say science experiment because I'm justifying this expense by saying I need to contribute to the forum community by proving whether a reduction in rotational weight and a hub upgrade can affect range. I think I've collected enough range data to get some good comparisons. Most of my range data was with the Marathon E-Plus tires but stock rims and hub. The only problem for comparison though is my collected data is all in the upper 40s and 50s as far as the coldest days. Today's ride will be at 35F. It might be March until I can get some comparable weather. I've also swapped the Thudbuster ST for the Redshift. My inclination was to use double springs for a firm ride but the body weight recommendation for that starts at 198 pounds. So I'll start with a single spring and see if it is too bouncy or soft.

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Vado_WheelbuildA.jpgVado_WheelbuildB.jpgVado_WheelbuildC.jpgVado_WheelbuildD.jpgVado_WheelbuildE.jpgVado_WheelbuildF.jpgVado_WheelbuildG.jpgVado_WheelbuildI.jpg
 

como813

New Member
i had vadoSL 5.0 for 2 weeks. nice bike but just never felt comfortable on it plus motor/software issues. didn't like the reach didn't like the seat after a dozen miles or so. my size puts me in the can fit small or med frames just depends on the geometry. the future shock to me is a gimmick and they make an upgraded one on their higher end bikes. range extender is a nice add-on but unless your going to be riding over 70 miles its just dead weight IMO. i rarely do 40 miles at a time. i liked the gravel tires and light weight tho. tried the como and it was amazingly comfy and such a power difference. better fit for me all around. power is more than anyone would need but an advantage over the SLs except heavier. i rather have the power and not need than not have it.
i thought all that weight would be a hindrance but specialized took care of that. its only heavy if you have to lift it up stairs or put on a bike rack. took the front rack off i don't need it. seemed rather large, awkward (unless you bike out for takeaway pizza). turning with a lot of weight up front seems dangerous, but i've never tried it. i was leary of brose motors but turns out OK and from what i've read performs better than most others at the time.
i'm not one for upgrading of extras except lights, i'll find a bike with what i want factory made even if it costs a bit more. como had it. good luck with your Vado these are fun bikes!
now only if they made the 'hotwalk carbon' electric and for adults...
 
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Over50

Well-Known Member
.... didn't like the reach didn't like the seat after a dozen miles or so ... the future shock to me is a gimmick and they make an upgraded one on their higher end bikes. range extender is a nice add-on but unless your going to be riding over 70 miles its just dead weight IMO. i rarely do 40 miles at a time. i liked the gravel tires and light weight tho. tried the como and it was amazingly comfy and such a power difference. better fit for me all around. power is more than anyone would need but an advantage over the SLs except heavier. i rather have the power and not need than not have it.
i thought all that weight would be a hindrance but specialized took care of that. its only heavy if you have to lift it up stairs or put on a bike rack....
Reach is a bit short I agree. I like the future shock mainly because I don't feel it. If I'm standing and put my weight into it pushing down I can feel it. But riding not so much. That combined with the carbon bar I added and the it feels pretty comfortable on the hands. Range extender dead weight? Well, if you are not planning a longer ride can't it be left at home? Not sure how that is dead weight (it weighs as much as a good lock) if you leave it sitting at home for shorter distance rides. And if you check my chart, riding at high assist levels you won't get 70 miles on the single battery. I ride at low assist levels mostly so yes, for me, the range extender is often left at home.

The dead weight argument can be made for a motor and battery that you don't fully use either. If you read the design-intent behind the Vado SL, Specialized observed that many Vado/Como riders didn't use the upper assist levels. Or that is what I recall reading or hearing in their videos. So why not offer a 200% support motor at lighter weight on a lighter bike vs a 400% support motor that is heavier? So you characterized the Como's power as an advantage over the Vado SL but I don't think they are really comparable in that respect. Your "typical" Vado SL owner is probably not looking for the heavy bike with 400% assist. Just to make the point another way: I just did a software update on one of my Bosch bikes. It showed that over 2,000 miles, I've ridden 75% in Eco and 25% in Tour (0% in Sport or Turbo). So in 2 years of ownership and 2,000 miles, I've relied 0% on the 2 upper assist levels. So why not turn to a lighter motor that provides lighter assist? I wouldn't characterize it as a disadvantage if the purchaser/rider isn't looking for a heavy powerful motor and heavy larger battery. One could argue that that unused power and unused battery on the Como or Vado is dead weight. But yes, that Como looks like a nice ride - I do agree with that.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
The science experiment is all set. WTB carbon gravel rims, Aerothan tubes, Onyx Vesper hub and the Marathon E-Plus tire ... I've also swapped the Thudbuster ST for the Redshift ...
I did a 20 mile ride in mid-30s temperatures. Yes, the bike feels like it accelerates faster. But what I noticed more was greater comfort. I rode at a higher PSI and it felt more comfortable - as felt both in the hands and the hind quarters. The Onyx Vesper hub is silent

The Redshift is a winner. The single spring with a pre-load of 4 at my body weight is still quite firm. I could probably ease off that preload a bit and still have it firm enough for my tastes. I can't say I feel much difference versus the Thudbuster ST so given the Redshift has a slimmer profile and similar weight, I would say it is a good product. I think the Thudbuster ST is a bit less expensive.
 
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Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
The science experiment is all set. WTB carbon gravel rims, Aerothan tubes, Onyx Vesper hub and the Marathon E-Plus tires. I haven't ridden it yet but will do so today. I say science experiment because I'm justifying this expense by saying I need to contribute to the forum community by proving whether a reduction in rotational weight and a hub upgrade can affect range. I think I've collected enough range data to get some good comparisons. Most of my range data was with the Marathon E-Plus tires but stock rims and hub. The only problem for comparison though is my collected data is all in the upper 40s and 50s as far as the coldest days. Today's ride will be at 35F. It might be March until I can get some comparable weather. I've also swapped the Thudbuster ST for the Redshift. My inclination was to use double springs for a firm ride but the body weight recommendation for that starts at 198 pounds. So I'll start with a single spring and see if it is too bouncy or soft.

This is very cool!
What a pity that COVID has ruined your commute plans. Otherwise, we would have a lot more data to analyze.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
As I posted earlier, I gathered up this data from Mission Control and Weather Underground with the intent to 1). Show my range relative to average assist and 2). Really find out if a lighter wheelset and better hub provides any range benefits.

To summarize the prior posts, I upgraded the bike with with carbon WTB gravel rims, Schwalbe Aerothan tubes and the Onyx Vesper hub. I only have about 7 rides with the new wheelset vs about 25 rides on the old wheelset. Eventually, I hope to compare comparable rides (average assist, wind speed, temperature) to see if the new wheelset and hub has provided any range benefits. But I still lack the data as all of my rides on the new wheelset are mostly in the 30s with two in the 40s. On the old wheels, I only had a couple in the 40s and the 20+ other rides range from the 80s to the 50s. Out of the total 30+ rides, I only have one example that is somewhat comparable (temp mid 40s, wind light, avg assist in the 60% range). So just based on this one comparison - the new wheels don't seem to impact range that much:
Old wheels: Mid 40's temp, 60% average assist, range on 320 WH 56 miles
New wheels: Mid 40's temp, 65% average assist, range on 320 WH 50 miles

That type of data is what I will rely on in the future as I get some more rides on the new wheelset in higher temperatures. But I did attempt is a linear multiple regression based on the few rides I do have and this is what I came up with:
Independent variables are Average Assist, Wind Speed and Temperature. My dependent variable is Range on 320 WH.
Old wheels:
Range 320 = (-1.06*Wind)+(.85*Temp)+(-108.27*Avg Assist) + 95.56
New wheels:
Range 320 = (.74*Wind)+(-.32*Temp)+(-123.42*Avg Assist) + 134.76

Then plugging some made-up values in I get:
Wind 10 mph, Temp 40F, Average Assist 45%
Old wheels = 70 miles
New wheels = 74 miles

Of course there are combinations where the old wheels come out on top - particularly when I input values that are outside of my actual experience on the new wheels. I really need a comparable dataset that will come later this spring. At which point I can group rides into comparable temperature and wind speed and then only have to worry about average assist relative to range.
Updated but has both old and new wheels:1610240452867.png