Realistic mileage for the Turbo Vado SL 5.0 EQ?

Long timer

New Member
I’m getting ready to replace my nine-year old, BH Emotion Off Road 650 (with 19,000 miles). This bike has two, 420 Wh batteries (one sits in my Topeak bag until needed). I love this 60-pound bike because it allowed me to easily ride 60 - 70 miles on a single charge using a 250-watt mid-drive motor.

I’ve narrowed down my choice to two bikes that I hope will continue to allow me this kind of range with medium peddling. My leading choice is the Specialized Turbo Vado SL 5.0 EQ with a single range extender battery. My biggest concern is that the combined 491-watt hours of battery storage will be insufficient to meet my distance expectations. I could get two extenders, but I’m already above my price range with just one.

The estimated 120-mile range (using only eco assist) is not realistic for me. I’m 57 years old, 6’1”, 190 lbs., fit and am ok with peddling a little harder to achieve this range. However, the factory preset for eco mode is barely noticeable when engaged.

I’ve test ridden this bike twice on a somewhat hilly bike path adjacent to the dealer’s location. The 240 hp motor (peak) is anemic in comparison to my current 250 Wh (nominal) motor despite the bike’s lower weight and slimmer tires. Based on my test rides, I estimate on typical rides with normal wind conditions I will use the assist as follows: 15% no assist, 15% eco, 35% sport and 35% turbo. Of course, hillier and more windy rides will require a higher ratio of sport and turbo.

My question is simple. Based on your experience, what kind of range can I realistically expect with this setup? I appreciate your feedback.
 

cleo1943

New Member
I’m getting ready to replace my nine-year old, BH Emotion Off Road 650 (with 19,000 miles). This bike has two, 420 Wh batteries (one sits in my Topeak bag until needed). I love this 60-pound bike because it allowed me to easily ride 60 - 70 miles on a single charge using a 250-watt mid-drive motor.

I’ve narrowed down my choice to two bikes that I hope will continue to allow me this kind of range with medium peddling. My leading choice is the Specialized Turbo Vado SL 5.0 EQ with a single range extender battery. My biggest concern is that the combined 491-watt hours of battery storage will be insufficient to meet my distance expectations. I could get two extenders, but I’m already above my price range with just one.

The estimated 120-mile range (using only eco assist) is not realistic for me. I’m 57 years old, 6’1”, 190 lbs., fit and am ok with peddling a little harder to achieve this range. However, the factory preset for eco mode is barely noticeable when engaged.

I’ve test ridden this bike twice on a somewhat hilly bike path adjacent to the dealer’s location. The 240 hp motor (peak) is anemic in comparison to my current 250 Wh (nominal) motor despite the bike’s lower weight and slimmer tires. Based on my test rides, I estimate on typical rides with normal wind conditions I will use the assist as follows: 15% no assist, 15% eco, 35% sport and 35% turbo. Of course, hillier and more windy rides will require a higher ratio of sport and turbo.

My question is simple. Based on your experience, what kind of range can I realistically expect with this setup? I appreciate your feedback.
I have a Vado 5.0 SL and although the bike has many good qualities, it is gutless compared to my previous regular Vado with a more powerful motor and battery. And,I am 76 years old and 140 pounds. You will be dissatisfied with the SL mountain bike. Of that, I am certain.
 

cleo1943

New Member
I’m getting ready to replace my nine-year old, BH Emotion Off Road 650 (with 19,000 miles). This bike has two, 420 Wh batteries (one sits in my Topeak bag until needed). I love this 60-pound bike because it allowed me to easily ride 60 - 70 miles on a single charge using a 250-watt mid-drive motor.

I’ve narrowed down my choice to two bikes that I hope will continue to allow me this kind of range with medium peddling. My leading choice is the Specialized Turbo Vado SL 5.0 EQ with a single range extender battery. My biggest concern is that the combined 491-watt hours of battery storage will be insufficient to meet my distance expectations. I could get two extenders, but I’m already above my price range with just one.

The estimated 120-mile range (using only eco assist) is not realistic for me. I’m 57 years old, 6’1”, 190 lbs., fit and am ok with peddling a little harder to achieve this range. However, the factory preset for eco mode is barely noticeable when engaged.

I’ve test ridden this bike twice on a somewhat hilly bike path adjacent to the dealer’s location. The 240 hp motor (peak) is anemic in comparison to my current 250 Wh (nominal) motor despite the bike’s lower weight and slimmer tires. Based on my test rides, I estimate on typical rides with normal wind conditions I will use the assist as follows: 15% no assist, 15% eco, 35% sport and 35% turbo. Of course, hillier and more windy rides will require a higher ratio of sport and turbo.

My question is simple. Based on your experience, what kind of range can I realistically expect with this setup? I appreciate your feedback.
This has been a gigantic disappointment to me. My Vado 1.0 which I sold to get more range, got about 40 miles on a charge when riding in my comfort level of least assist (eco). The SL, with a range extender, gets about 60, partly because of needing more battery to ride comfortably. This is about half what they claim. I could have bought a 600 watt battery for the regular Vado and achieved the same 60 mile per charge and save myself $3,500 dollars! Although, there is the benefit of a much lighter bike to pedal if the batteries wear down. I think the regular Vado in the 5.0 comes with the larger capacity battery.
 

GuruUno

Well-Known Member
I’m getting ready to replace my nine-year old, BH Emotion Off Road 650 (with 19,000 miles). This bike has two, 420 Wh batteries (one sits in my Topeak bag until needed). I love this 60-pound bike because it allowed me to easily ride 60 - 70 miles on a single charge using a 250-watt mid-drive motor.

I’ve narrowed down my choice to two bikes that I hope will continue to allow me this kind of range with medium peddling. My leading choice is the Specialized Turbo Vado SL 5.0 EQ with a single range extender battery. My biggest concern is that the combined 491-watt hours of battery storage will be insufficient to meet my distance expectations. I could get two extenders, but I’m already above my price range with just one.

The estimated 120-mile range (using only eco assist) is not realistic for me. I’m 57 years old, 6’1”, 190 lbs., fit and am ok with peddling a little harder to achieve this range. However, the factory preset for eco mode is barely noticeable when engaged.

I’ve test ridden this bike twice on a somewhat hilly bike path adjacent to the dealer’s location. The 240 hp motor (peak) is anemic in comparison to my current 250 Wh (nominal) motor despite the bike’s lower weight and slimmer tires. Based on my test rides, I estimate on typical rides with normal wind conditions I will use the assist as follows: 15% no assist, 15% eco, 35% sport and 35% turbo. Of course, hillier and more windy rides will require a higher ratio of sport and turbo.

My question is simple. Based on your experience, what kind of range can I realistically expect with this setup? I appreciate your feedback.
Very eloquently stated, and without any apologies, I basically stated the same back in July when I took the SL EQ for a test run. However, I used my descriptive words, which were not very well received. Bottom line: You can't go from a powerhouse to a bike of such dismal performance and consider it anything for use. That's why the Vado 5.0 is far superior to any e-bike I personally have owned, bar none.
I'm really, really excited to see what's next, down the road. Can't wait!
 
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Allan47.7339

Active Member
I've only had my Vado SL 5.0 EQ for a couple of weeks but it is performing as I expected. Specialized calls it "2x you" where the other models such as Vado 5.0 are "4X you". The Vado SL does not have the same acceleration and power to reach the maximum assisted speed as my 2014 Turbo S but I didn't want that. I would say it's 60% you and 40% the motor vs the Turbo S where it's up to 70% the motor and only 30% you. The Vado SL is ride-able at the no power setting as I do on the flats but the Turbo S is like riding a fully loaded touring bike into a headwind with the no power setting. I think of the Vado SL as a Class 2 ebike with Class 3 software in that it will keep assisting up to 28 mph for a stronger rider. The range will be dependent on how much of the work you want to do.
 

JeffC57

Member
I have this bike but without the range extender. I can get about 55 miles on a single charge but my assist levels are 75% eco, 20% sport and 5% turbo. With a range extender and the same assist levels, I'd probably get a ride(s) in the low 80s between charges. In both cases I'd have about 10% charge in the batteries as I try not to make a habit of discharging the batteries too far. My guess is your batteries won't last 60-70 miles with the assist level you'd like to use. I think the turbo mode will have to come down to about 20% but again, only my guess. Mission Control has a mode that allows it to manage your assist level based on the length of your ride. You might want to give that a try and see what happens.
 

JeffC57

Member
Thank you, Jeff! This is helpful.
Sure. No problem. I'd like to hear how it works out for you. I'm thinking about bucking up for a range extender in the future. At this point however, this 63 year old body doesn't have the range to require the extender :0 For completeness I should tell you that my assist levels are the factory defaults and I have about 1500' of elevation rise in a 55 mile ride.
 

SKent

Member
I have a Vado SL 5. I bought it knowing it didn't have the power of the previous Vados. But what I wanted was a road bike with a little extra boost and not a full on powerhouse. I was looking for something more discrete and that handled like a road bike. I tested the Specialized Creo and liked it, but it was out of my price range. A year later the Vado SL came along. Carbon fork, aluminum frame and same motor as the Creo but way, way less expensive. Overall, I am very happy with the bike as it fits my needs, and it is what I wanted. It looks, acts and rides like a road bike but the tires I have on it are a bit bigger, so it can also be used as a gravel bike, which I love. Additionally I have the Turbo Levo emtb with the bigger motor. I have taken each bike out on the same route numerous times. While the Vado SL has less power, it is also lighter than the Levo, so the amount of effort to do the same route isn't that much more despite having less torque and a less powerful motor. My only criticism of both the Creo and the Vado SL is that on the highest power, you have to make sure that your cadence is correct for that higher power level. If you go too slow, it tends to hesitate sometimes. Oddly it doesn't do that on the Eco and Sport modes. If you are looking for a road bike with just a little more power, that can also work as a gravel bike, this is the bike for you. If you are looking for something with a lot more power and less effort, than you need something else.

As for range, I have gone about 40 miles with a lot of climbing, and the battery had less than 5 percent left. I think 120 miles is only possible with the range extender on almost flat ground in Eco mode. In my opinion the range is over hype. It depends on what level power you use for how long, and how much climbing you do. I'd say without the range extender, 40 + miles is reasonable on varied terrain with not a lot of steep climbs. Good luck.
 

BikeOn

Member
My experience is very similar to SKent. I bought it because of the weight, quality and lack of apparent ebike look. The motor is very quiet and it rides like a regular bike. I rode their whole line up before deciding. I also bought a Levo SL. I need to be able to lift it on the car rack and this bike, after my mods with a Kyptonite lock is about my limit. In addition I was not looking for a bike that had the power of a throttle bike; but rather something to give assist for hills, distance (help me up my ave MPH) and wind. I also got 38 tubeless all terrain type tires and ride on gravel and road. Road both directions on the Route of the Hiawatha - Battery was off for down hill, but on sport/turbo mostly 15 miles all uphill with plenty of battery to spare. I've ridden over 1000 miles. Around town without the RE I can ride about 25 miles and only use 2-3 bars of the battery. (35%+/-) I rode about 45 miles in 100+ degree weather with mild constant elevation gain. I used mostly turbo as I was overheated and wanted to be done. With the battery extender I had some battery left when I finished but not a lot. I think the ultimate test would be to ride the battery down on each level separately to get a true idea of distance potential. The turbo mode sucks power the eco sips. You might be able to go 120 miles with the RE on eco mode if you contribute the pedal power. It really does depend on how much energy, you, the rider contribute. Sometimes I ride with the assist off just to stay in shape. With this bike I feel that I can go for long exploratory rides and always be able to get home, even if I hit wind, hills and detours. It's tons of fun, nimble and quiet. Exactly what I wanted. If you are concerned about distance you can always buy another battery, for those few times you will want it and with time I expect the RE's to be more powerful. I also like that my RE can be used on the my Levo. My two criticisms are color - the black and blue model - get's very dirty looking, bad for safety and nicks pretty easy and tail light cover - fell off 2x, as others have reported. I finally found a good seat on the 3rd try. (not the one in the photo's) Otherwise a great buy! (Handlebars are Box one, also have a stem lengther, seat post specialized suspension (it's a small frame so many seat posts won't work). First time doing photo's so hope this works... here's from three different rides: Redwoods NP, CA, Coeur'd Lane Trail, ID and Route of the Hiawatha, MT.


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citivas

Member
I've done about 400 miles so far with my Como using the 604wh battery. If I use only the ECO mode I can get 40-60 miles out of a full charge. That's mostly on flat roads with minor inclines, and occasional gravel paths for short distances. For example, my last right two days ago used 144wh for 15 miles. Eco-only, all road, no hills (124 ft elevation overall but over long distance), and with me being active in maintaining optimal gear. A week ago I did 19.5 miles all in on mostly same roads and consumed 288wh. In general, it would take about 3 hours of staying in Eco to use up the 604wh battery.
 

Sammy M

New Member
I have a Vado 5.0 SL and although the bike has many good qualities, it is gutless compared to my previous regular Vado with a more powerful motor and battery. And,I am 76 years old and 140 pounds. You will be dissatisfied with the SL mountain bike. Of that, I am certain.
I’m only 73 so sold my Vado 5.0 to buy SL 5.0. On turbo I’m good for about 10%grade. Love this bike
 

JohnR43

New Member
Region
USA
Topic seems a bit "beat to death", but my overly simplistic 2 cents as follows:
Two types of riders:
Recreation/Transportation - perhaps this definition fits the folks that have been on VADO or similar
Recreation/Fitness - Riders that are coming from traditional road bikes, who for whatever reason need a bit of boost (like me)
I have ridden road bikes (steel, aluminum, carbon fiber) for many years, but the years are beginning to tell on me (just turned 77). Had my right shoulder replaced in 2013 and the riding position of a traditional road bike just grinds away on the shoulder. Two of the things that drew me to the VADO SL are the flat handlebars, and the height of the handlebars. Much more comfortable for my aging body. Also, I just do not have the old "get up and go" that I had in the past, so the motor more than compensates for my riding style.
I still like the fitness aspect of riding bikes, so I do not rely on the motor much. I typically ride: 35% no power, 40% eco, 20% Trail, and 5% Turbo. I let the slope/grade of the road determine my setting. Up to 6% short distances no power. above 6% to 10% eco, 10% to 15% trail, and above 15% Turbo, I have these levels adjusted to: 30/30, 60/60, and 100/100.
So, I really like the VADO 5.0 SL. I understand if you are looking for transportation it might not be the right bike for you. But if you are coming from traditional road bikes, and are looking for a bit more comfort, and a bit of a boost to get over the hard spots, it works great. I see it as a Creo in sheep's clothing. Same motor, different riding position. I like for a Creo to pass me, then follow them until we encounter a hill, then cruise past. Love it!
Riding at these setting can yield as much as 1%/mile, so I might get 100 miles out of one charge. Doubt the bike software would let the battery go to zero, so more likely something like 90 miles.
Stats from last ride as follows:
Distance: 19.07 miles
Elapsed Time: 1:32:36
Average Speed: 12.4
Elevation gain: 1683'
This ride had more climbing that usual, so burned a bit more battery. Perhaps 25%?
 
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Topic seems a bit "beat to death", but my overly simplistic 2 cents as follows:
Two types of riders:
Recreation/Transportation - perhaps this definition fits the folks that have been on VADO or similar
Recreation/Fitness - Riders that are coming from traditional road bikes, who for whatever reason need a bit of boost (like me)
I have ridden road bikes (steel, aluminum, carbon fiber) for many years, but the years are beginning to tell on me (just turned 77). Had my right shoulder replaced in 2013 and the riding position of a traditional road bike just grinds away on the shoulder. Two of the things that drew me to the VADO SL are the flat handlebars, and the height of the handlebars. Much more comfortable for my aging body. Also, I just do not have the old "get up and go" that I had in the past, so the motor more than compensates for my riding style.
I still like the fitness aspect of riding bikes, so I do not rely on the motor much. I typically ride: 35% no power, 40% eco, 20% Trail, and 5% Turbo. I let the slope/grade of the road determine my setting. Up to 6% short distances no power. above 6% to 10% eco, 10% to 15% trail, and above 15% Turbo, I have these levels adjusted to: 30/30, 60/60, and 100/100.
So, I really like the VADO 5.0 SL. I understand if you are looking for transportation it might not be the right bike for you. But if you are coming from traditional road bikes, and are looking for a bit more comfort, and a bit of a boost to get over the hard spots, it works great. I see it as a Creo in sheep's clothing. Same motor, different riding position. I like for a Creo to pass me, then follow them until we encounter a hill, then cruise past. Love it!
Riding at these setting can yield as much as 1%/mile, so I might get 100 miles out of one charge. Doubt the bike software would let the battery go to zero, so more likely something like 90 miles.
Stats from last ride as follows:
Distance: 19.07 miles
Elapsed Time: 1:32:36
Average Speed: 12.4
Elevation gain: 1683'
This ride had more climbing that usual, so burned a bit more battery. Perhaps 25%?
Agree with all this John. I’m not fit enough to ride 100 miles - yet! 56 miles my longest since I got the Vado SL- but my range anxiety has mostly disappeared as I realised my fitness level meant I was unlikely to go further then battery range. For 40+ mile rides I do monitor it a bit more carefully and on all rides I tend to be frugal in the first half of the ride but this is also to push myself a bit to increase fitness. So for example I have a lot of hills nearby & have set Eco to 30/45 but this extra umph gets me over the hills whereas previously with factory settings I needed to go to Sport at 60/60 and thus used more battery. This way I save more battery for second half of rides where I explore or if headwind or jelly legs(!) hit I have plenty to get home. Because of all the hills and my current weight I’d say even if fit enough 90/100 miles would be unrealistic. I have a 96 mile route planned that is about 2/3rds flat cycle paths and am building up to attempt this- if the wind isn’t an issue I should be able to do a lot of the flat part unassisted and so save battery. Just need longer days & more fitness to give it a go! If/when I do, if I get close to home and trip computer is telling me I’ve done 96 miles I will damn well cycle around the house until I hit the century!!
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
I’m not fit enough to ride 100 miles - yet!
Neither I. I made two 75 and two 70 mile rides so far. As I'm an ailing person, I need the power of "full" Vado, and a spare 604 Wh battery for more than 50 mile summer ride. I regret very much that the beautiful Vado SL is not for me... (My average leg power is 70-80 W only!)
 
Neither I. I made two 75 and two 70 mile rides so far. As I'm an ailing person, I need the power of "full" Vado, and a spare 604 Wh battery for more than 50 mile summer ride. I regret very much that the beautiful Vado SL is not for me... (My average leg power is 70-80 W only!)
The longer I do this (ebikes) the more I realise it’s not really about just going far but all about the frequency of just getting out there; an hour, two, three all that matters is doing it frequently. Today it’s raining and though I have great all weather gear (so no excuses) I’m tired and going to skip it. Did 25 miles yesterday so as long as I go out tomorrow even for an hour and keep it fun then all is good. Other sports like say running, I’ve always found personally daunting because it’s painful but not fun- cycling you get to stay seated(!) and occasionally zoom downhill at giddy speeds all the while getting/staying fit. Fun is really very important to me! Trying to do 4 or 5 rides a week in these dark short days and just getting out there.
 

como813

New Member
SL wasn't for me either. tried it and got rid of it. i have como 5.0. power and comfort for old people like me. better seat and a swept back bar. good fit. i ride more and longer. no matter what the power is, you still have to pedal. probably 60-70 miles at best per full charge. so the century rides are out unless you have a place to charge it but it takes quite a while. surprised they don't have an extender. whats another 5 pounds?

i brag about como but it really is the most comfy specialized bike i've had in 15 yrs...also the heaviest
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
SL wasn't for me either. tried it and got rid of it. i have como 5.0. power and comfort for old people like me. better seat and a swept back bar. good fit. i ride more and longer. no matter what the power is, you still have to pedal. probably 60-70 miles at best per full charge. so the century rides are out unless you have a place to charge it but it takes quite a while. surprised they don't have an extender. whats another 5 pounds?

i brag about como but it really is the most comfy specialized bike i've had in 15 yrs...also the heaviest
Some of us carry a 2nd battery for our Como/Vado ebikes on extended rides. I 'borrow' my wife's battery on these longer rides and carry it in a pannier with foam packing/support. @Stefan Mikes also carriers a 2nd battery on some rides.