Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0 SL vs Turbo Vado 6.0 vs Trek Allant+ 8S vs Giant Explore E+ 0 PRO GTS

psyho

New Member
Hi everyone,

I'm thinking about buying an e-bike, but I'm having some trouble choosing the right one for me.

Here are the bikes on my shortlist:

- Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0 SL EQ
- Trek Allant+ 8S
- Specialized Turbo Vado 6.0
- Giant Explore E+ 0 PRO GTS 625Wh

I used to use a bike for my daily commute and all kinds of errands around town for years, but a couple of years ago, I moved, and now I live on top of a hill that rises quite a bit over the city. Going downhill is nice, but when I'm going back home, I have to climb about 100 meters of elevation over about a kilometer or two for basically every single bike trip that I take. I'm not in bad shape or anything like that, and I can manage to make the climb without an engine, but it is a pretty intensive workout, after which I arrive home sweaty and have to rest for a while. Basically, ever since I moved to this new house, I have found that I'm using my car for pretty much all of my commuting instead of a bike and I'd like to change that.

TLDR is: I need a bike that can enable me to climb a pretty steep incline without arriving at the top out of breath and sweating like a pig. Bonus points for the same, but with a 10kg child strapped to a seat behind me :)

Other stuff:
- I don't care about range too much because I'm mostly planning on using the bike for short trips to the shop, gym, office, etc. (probably no longer than 10-15 km one way, most 2-3 km).
- I can charge the bike in my garage, which doesn't get too cold or too hot, so it doesn't have to have a removable battery
- It would be nice to be able to carry the bike up a flight of stairs or two
- I don't have many bike paths in my area, so I'd be going mostly on the street.
- I'd prefer to limit my choices to bikes made by established companies. If something breaks, I'd like to have some confidence that the manufacturer is still there, and my $5k bike can be fixed.
- I'm located in Poland, so we don't get all of the brands here. I think the major ones that are available are Trek, Specialized, Cannondale, Giant, Merida.
- I'm considering getting a child trailer for bike trips with my family. With two kids and a dog, I'd be looking at hauling something like 30-40kg behind the bike occasionally.

I've been looking at electric bike reviews, and I think I like the Turbo Vado SL the most of all of the bikes I looked at. What I like about it the most is that looks and weights like a regular bike (my current, non-electric bike is about 15kg as well), so it wouldn't be too much of a hassle to carry upstairs or to lift it overhead to put on a bike rack on my car.

The thing is that my number one priority is to have a bike that would take most of the effort out of climbing the steep hill that I live on, and this bike is specified as having "2 times you" amplification vs. the regular Vado, which is 4X. Do you think that this bike will be powerful enough? If so, what if I have to make the same climb with a child on a child seat behind me (10-12 kg more)?

Another thing I'm concerned about is the top speed of 25km/h. It's not exactly slow, but when riding on a street, it feels like it would be limiting. Can the bike be unlocked without voiding the warranty? Are there any problems that I would face if I did decide to unlock the bike?

Is any of the bikes on my list better/worse than the other ones? How's reliability for these? Are there any bikes that you think I should consider that aren't on the list?

Cheers,
Adam
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Cześć Adam,

Vado 6.0 is a Ferrari e-bike. If you can afford it, go for it! Be aware the 6.0 is a Speed Pedelec and you need to register it as a moped and insure it (OC) if you want to be street legal. You cannot ride the bike paths either. If you want to know more, send me a message.

Allant+ 8S is an equal bike. Same story with registration and insurance as with the Vado. I simply dislike Trek bikes.

Giant Explore E+ 0 Pro 625 Wh is the most advanced of Giant trekking e-bikes. It is legally a normal bike, and it is limited to 25 km/h. Wife of our forum member @Archie in Warsaw rides that bike but 500 Wh version. Very, very nice bike.

P.S. It is always good to have a good Local Bike Shop behind your back to handle the service, solve issues and honour the warranty. Giant is reliable and has excellent dealer network in Poland. Not sure who is the Specialized dealer in Kraków and how good they are. I own Vado 5.0 45 km/h that is almost identical to 6.0, and the Giant Trance E+ 2 Pro, so I'm quite experienced.
 
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
I need to add I had a ride to Ojców and back to Kraków on my Giant. I'll come back to Kraków soon for a 100 km ride on my Vado (with two batteries).
 

jim6b

Active Member
Might consider these ebikes have a "walk asist" button for motor help walking up a step hill, which might just be the ticket for going up stairs (if wide enough). Could be helpful.
 

psyho

New Member
Cześć Stefan :)

Do you know what the difference is between Vado 5.0 and 6.0? Looking at the website, it seems mostly superfluous stuff like different lights (stoplight?), tires, and breaks (or are the 6.0 4-piston ones a significant upgrade?) and the only thing that I see which looks to be different is the engine (1.2 S vs. 1.3 on the 5.0), and that seems to be a downgrade in terms of torque.

If these are the only differences, then I might save some money and get a 5.0. I like gadgets as much as the next guy, but even I'm not prepared to pay $1k for a set of fancy lights :D
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
EU 5.0 is the 25 km/h e-bike and the 6.0 is the EU L1e-B "moped" (45 km/h). For this reason, the 6.0 has got:
  • All day lights (automatic) with the powerful Supernova M99 Pro headlight (it is mighty!)
  • Horn
  • STOP rear light
  • TRP Zurich brakes, the top of the class. Really helpful in the Galician hills ;)
  • Support for the registration number plate
  • 48-teeth chain-ring to get on 40+ km/h speeds fast and easy
  • 11-46t cassette for easier climbing
  • The 1.2s motor is completely silent. No slightest noise heard
  • Electrak 2.0 Armadillo tyres are unique. They have been designed for speed e-bikes. These are slick with a fantastic grip (the tyres are soft even in the wintertime). These are unbreakable... Because of the 2" size, they act as a perfect damper for rapid vibrations (gravel, etc)
The 6.0 actually is the "Ferrari" and if you want to go for what the Americans call "Class 3", that is "speed e-bike", you won't lose with 6.0.
  • The 1.2s motor is the Brose TF. It has 72 Nm of torque and 520 W peak power. This motor has been designed for speed. Therefore, part of torque was sacrificed for higher speed.
  • The 1.3 motor is the Brose S Alu, which is an e-MTB one. 90 Nm of torque, 520 W peak power. Higher torque, poorer on high speeds. Note: My Giant e-MTB's Syncdrive Pro (Yamaha PW-X2) has 510 W peak power and 80 Nm. It is a hill-eater. Same in the Giant Explore+ 0 Pro. But the Giant is a 25 km/h e-bike.
If you can spend the money and want the best of the best (and you don't mind riding an S-Pedelec), go for the 6.0.

Besides, I plan to be in Kraków on next weekend with my Vado (it is equivalent to the 6.0 but it has a rigid fork) to make a group (or alone) loop Kraków - Niepołomice - Bochnia - Kraków (a metric century, 100 km ride). We could meet together if you like.
-------------------------
There are Bulls Bikes. Please go carefully through their Web pages. They offer among others 45 km/h legal e-bikes including a 45 km/h e-MTB. They have a dealer in Poland. It could be an interesting alternative for you, Adam.
 
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Might consider these ebikes have a "walk asist" button for motor help walking up a step hill, which might just be the ticket for going up stairs (if wide enough). Could be helpful.
As reputable brand e-bikes I could find in Poland have the Walk Assist :)