Specialized Turbo Vado/Como User Club

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Majority of EBR Forum owners of Specialized e-bikes ride either a Turbo Vado or a Como. This is natural, as these two major models have been designed for an average cyclist. Turbo Levo and Kenevo are technical ride stuff, discussed on e-MTB fora. Creo is for road cycling fanatics :)

It is quite interesting American versions of Vado are in the majority Class 3 bikes, while the only speed Vado model for Europe is Vado 6.0. Does anybody own the 6.0? Canadians have to be content with the 32 km/h versions, unluckily.

I'd like you friends to talk more about your experiences with your Specialized e-bikes, for good and for bad. Please post pictures if you like.

I fell in love with my 2017 Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0, which I bought in Autumn 2019. I think buying a 2019 or 2020 model would stretch my budget too far. There are four components and a feature I am extremely happy with in my 2017 model:
  1. Rigid fork
  2. 29x2" Elektrak tyres
  3. TRP Zurich brakes
  4. 600 lm headlight and very strong rear light, illuminating the number plate as well
The feature is the beautiful grey colour.
1580773658740.png


When I first mounted the Vado, I was positively shocked with the bike's geometry. So sporty! What I love about my Vado is the agility and the acceleration, both being fantastic, especially in the Sport mode. It is a lot of fun to ride fast!

Now, it is your turn to brag about your Specialized e-bikes!
 
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Eheller

Member
After a reallyyyyyy long search, much of it on this site, I’m a couple days from ordering the Vado 3.0. I thought about going the online route, with Juiced for example, but if I’m going to spend almost 3 grand on a bike I really want to be able to try one first, and also have some local support because I’m something of a novice. So for me, that came down to Giant, Trek and Specialized. Over the weekend I was able to try a 2020 Vado 3.0, and it was a beautiful ride. Felt like a bicycle rather than a scooter, smooth and almost silent engine, surprisingly light and nimble for the weight. I don’t know, it was just really sweet. Took it on some light paths too, seems fine there, tho it’s not a mountain bike. I also tried a Como, and it’s a bit more comfortable, in the sense of being more like a beach cruiser or something, more upright, but I like the more forward-feel of the Vado and also being able to go beyond 20 mph (I’m in the US) and the Como is a class 1. It’s possible that if I hadn’t tried both, I might have gone for the Como. But I think the Vado 3.0 is one of the better values out there, in terms of a bike that’s a lot of fun, is well-supported with local bike shops and somewhat affordable. I’m a little concerned about the battery in terms of distance on a charge, which makes it a trade off from the 4.0, which has a bigger battery and better components, and is really tempting. But it busts my budget. I mean the 3.0 busts it already. The Giant (I think it was a Fast E?) had a lot more torque from the start, which was compelling, but it was over three grand and I didn’t feel that it was necessarily a better ride. This is a total personal thing - it was a nice bike too. Any case, I’ll be watching this thread, and I’ll post more as I take the plunge.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
@Eheller, don't hesitate! Giant FastRoad certainly is an excellent bike, yet it has even smaller battery than Vado 3.0 (375 vs 460 Wh). The torque perception could have been subjective as the Yamaha SyncDrive Pro sports the torque of 80 Nm and the Specialized Brose offers 90 Nm.

Regarding the battery it is good if you ask the dealer if the 460 and 604 Wh batteries are interchangeable (I can bet they are). All in all, you might need a spare (and a bigger) battery in the future, when your next budget allows it.

Note: The temperature in your area is now in some 40's. Bear in mind to charge the battery at the room temperature and expect far lower battery range than you will be able to get when temperature becomes higher than 55 F.

There was a point I forgot to discuss before: The motor. It is completely silent in Turbo Vado. I haven't ridden e-bikes with different make of the mid motor but I was watching YT videos and it is clear to me other brand motors are audible: they seem to whine. I will have to hear the Specialized Brose motor yet 🤣

You compared the riding positions Vado vs Como. Of course, the forward riding position helps faster riding. However, my tummy is rather large and I initially felt discomfort while riding my Vado. I got the steering tube extended by some 3" riser and spacers. Now, I ride more upright and more comfortable.

Waiting for your experiences, hopefully soon!
 
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Ebiker01

Well-Known Member
Turbo Vado 5.0,

- Also a user of the awesome Electrek tires. Those are probably the best ebike tires. If you switch F\R , they last 9-10k miles or 15.000km !

Nice stealthy color.

Q- Can you change fork and put suspension fork ? How's riding it through bad roads w/o suspension ?
Put some xtra pics.
 

Rick53

Active Member
Thank you!
There's also Ritchey Adjustable > $50 less and adjusts to 60 Degrees > Quality as Well. Do you already have a Vado ? You know Trek has a Speed Pedalec Coming in 30 days . That's Upright I can send you a Picture : I don't want to post it in this Thread for obvious Reasons : *I am considering a Como as well.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
@Eheller, these are named "Stem riser for A-HEAD stem". Not exactly mine, but that is a pretty standard bicycle part.


P.S. If it is taller than 3", it will stretch the existing cables too much. The spacers there are to be able to precisely adjust the amount of handlebars' rise.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Q- Can you change fork and put suspension fork ? How's riding it through bad roads w/o suspension ?
Put some xtra pics.
The rigid fork is the best thing that might have happened to that very model. Combined with the 2" tyres and proper geometry, the ride is super-smooth even on very bad roads. There is a direct comparison. My other e-bike is a classic hybrid e-bike with 1.6" tyres and a cheap suspension fork. I ride both bikes on the same roads. Vado handles damaged road surface or off-road terrain far more smoothly than the other, front-suspended bike. Trust my word.

Some pictures:
1580839135029.png

It is the status of my Vado now. Note the risen handlebars.

1580839332244.png

On a ride

1580839494430.png

On a damaged road

1580839662621.png

On a commuter train

1580839833613.png

In the city


1580840063842.png

Just after the purchase and the first ride from Warsaw to my place
 

rochrunner

Well-Known Member
I'm planning on getting a U.S. Vado 4.0 as soon as the winter weather is done here in about April. The bike will be used mostly on paved and unpaved bike trails ("rail-trails" as most are around here) as well as local unpaved and sometimes rough dirt/gravel roads. For this usage I'm sure I'll be glad for the suspension fork, even though the travel and features are not the best. Right now I do this type of riding on my 2013 Specialized Crosstrail, and have been told by several dealers that the Vado was based on the same geometry as developed for the Crosstrail, so the riding position should be nothing new.

IMG_1178.JPG

Not the best picture of the bike, but you get the idea...

I was able to get a free two-day rental of an older Vado last summer and tried it out on all of the type of riding I'm likely to do, even including a bit of easy single-track. It did great. And at this point in the winter season, I'm already getting excited about getting my new toy in a couple of months!
 
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Nxkharra

Well-Known Member
I test ride the Vado 6 around July 2019. Fell in love but the price prevented me to pull the trigger (my wife was totally against spending that much in a bike).
I needed an ebike as I live in a hilly part of San Diego and couldn’t complete the rides coming home and climbing due to knee injury.
I proceeded to purchase another ebike from a company located in San Francisco (around $2500). Loved the ebike ride in general but my heart was with Vado 6. Finally I couldn’t wait and put the ebike for sale and was lucky to be able to sell it after 2 months without loosing too much money (not easy to sell ebikes I learned).
I quickly ran to the dealer where I had tried Vado 6 in Sept 2019. By then they were offering 2020 Vado 5. I pulled the trigger this time and I have never been this happy.
it really is like ridding a bike but stronger.
My other ebike was like operating a machine. The power, noise level, battery, look, and .....
I love everything about this bike. I have about 1,400 miles since Sept 2019.
I had an issue where the motor would stop assisting for a split second periodically and had to take it to the LBS. they changed the control unit (monitor) and I have been problem free since.
Recently I replaced the seat post to a Kinekt aluminum and after getting used to the new feel the rides are even smoother ❤❤
 

Attachments

Nxkharra

Well-Known Member
The rigid fork is the best thing that might have happened to that very model. Combined with the 2" tyres and proper geometry, the ride is super-smooth even on very bad roads. There is a direct comparison. My other e-bike is a classic hybrid e-bike with 1.6" tyres and a cheap suspension fork. I ride both bikes on the same roads. Vado handles damaged road surface or off-road terrain far more smoothly than the other, front-suspended bike. Trust my word.

Some pictures:
View attachment 45158
It is the status of my Vado now. Note the risen handlebars.

View attachment 45159
On a ride

View attachment 45160
On a damaged road

View attachment 45161
On a commuter train

View attachment 45162
In the city


View attachment 45163
Just after the purchase and the first ride from Warsaw to my place
Stefan Mikes, does your mirror sticking out passed the handlebar length cause any issues when/if you ride through a narrow path?
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
I test ride the Vado 6 around July 2019. Fell in love but the price prevented me to pull the trigger (my wife was totally against spending that much in a bike).
I needed an ebike as I live in a hilly part of San Diego and couldn’t complete the rides coming home and climbing due to knee injury.
I proceeded to purchase another ebike from a company located in San Francisco (around $2500). Loved the ebike ride in general but my heart was with Vado 6. Finally I couldn’t wait and put the ebike for sale and was lucky to be able to sell it after 2 months without loosing too much money (not easy to sell ebikes I learned).
I quickly ran to the dealer where I had tried Vado 6 in Sept 2019. By then they were offering 2020 Vado 5. I pulled the trigger this time and I have never been this happy.
it really is like ridding a bike but stronger.
My other ebike was like operating a machine. The power, noise level, battery, look, and .....
I love everything about this bike. I have about 1,400 miles since Sept 2019.
I had an issue where the motor would stop assisting for a split second periodically and had to take it to the LBS. they changed the control unit (monitor) and I have been problem free since.
Recently I replaced the seat post to a Kinekt aluminum and after getting used to the new feel the rides are even smoother ❤❤
You are the second user of the Forum who has got the 6.0 (the other one is @Marci jo). I was almost ready to buy the 2020 Vado 6.0 last year. It would have been possible but...

I have already spent an equivalent of US$1900 on another bike. I could have sold that one to a friend (but doing so, you lose friends soon) and finally I kept my Lovelec that has different purposes from the Vado (it is good to have two different e-bikes if both are good). If I (as you) have sold the other e-bike, I could afford the 2020 Vado 6.0 easily.

Now, new Vado 6 is 20% more expensive than a new Vado 5. I chose a sell-out 2017 Vado 5.0. The new Vado 6 would be 40% more expensive than the New Old Stock Vado 5.0. The 2017 Vado 5 has the same specs as 2020 Vado 6, only it has a rigid fork and the older display. I think I made a good choice.

I'm sure you are very happy with your Vado 6, @Nxkharra! Can you feel that "touch of luxury" while riding your Vado? I do. It is so swift and agile!
 
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Stefan Mikes, does your mirror sticking out passed the handlebar length cause any issues when/if you ride through a narrow path?
It might. Luckily, the Mirrycle is a foldable mirror. In case you hit a tree branch or whatever, it will fold. As the threads are made of brass, these feel "sticky". After the mirror has folded, you just straighten it with one hand. The only thing I hate is to pass through a narrow gate. Two mirrors make the handlebars stretch quite wide.

Mirrycle is a miracle. My Vado was hit by a squall on a stop and fell. The Mirrycle just folded.
 

Marci jo

Well-Known Member
I test ride the Vado 6 around July 2019. Fell in love but the price prevented me to pull the trigger (my wife was totally against spending that much in a bike).
I needed an ebike as I live in a hilly part of San Diego and couldn’t complete the rides coming home and climbing due to knee injury.
I proceeded to purchase another ebike from a company located in San Francisco (around $2500). Loved the ebike ride in general but my heart was with Vado 6. Finally I couldn’t wait and put the ebike for sale and was lucky to be able to sell it after 2 months without loosing too much money (not easy to sell ebikes I learned).
I quickly ran to the dealer where I had tried Vado 6 in Sept 2019. By then they were offering 2020 Vado 5. I pulled the trigger this time and I have never been this happy.
it really is like ridding a bike but stronger.
My other ebike was like operating a machine. The power, noise level, battery, look, and .....
I love everything about this bike. I have about 1,400 miles since Sept 2019.
I had an issue where the motor would stop assisting for a split second periodically and had to take it to the LBS. they changed the control unit (monitor) and I have been problem free since.
Recently I replaced the seat post to a Kinekt aluminum and after getting used to the new feel the rides are even smoother ❤❤
Nxkharra, congrats on your new ebike! May you have many great miles and smiles.

My 2018 Vado 6.0 was purchased Fall 2017, delivered Dec 2017, one day before a big snow storm. ☹😢.
I noticed the Specialized website in USA hasn’t listed the 6.0 for over a year, just the 5.0 as their top of the line. Seems like these manufacturers change their line ups every year or two. Don’t know the difference, maybe just the name.

I agree, the suspension seat post makes a huge difference in ride comfort. But my favorite part is the Brose motor. If it died tomorrow I’d get another one right away.

Looking forward to seeing some of your adventures.
 

Nxkharra

Well-Known Member
You are the second user of the Forum who has got the 6.0 (the other one is @Marci jo). I was almost ready to buy the 2020 Vado 6.0 last year. It would have been possible but...

I have already spent an equivalent of US$1900 on another bike. I could have sold that one to a friend (but doing so, you lose friends soon) and finally I kept my Lovelec that has different purposes from the Vado (it is good to have two different e-bikes if both are good). If I (as you) have sold the other e-bike, I could afford the 2020 Vado 6.0 easily.

Now, new Vado 6 is 20% more expensive than a new Vado 5. I chose a sell-out 2017 Vado 5.0. The new Vado 6 would be 40% more expensive than the New Old Stock Vado 5.0. The 2017 Vado 5 has the same specs as 2020 Vado 6, only it has a rigid fork and the older display. I think I made a good choice.

I'm sure you are very happy with your Vado 6, @Nxkharra! Can you feel that "touch of luxury" while riding your Vado? I do. It is so swift and agile!
Stefan. I did try Vado 6 but when I was ready to purchase the latest (2020) bike available was Vado 5.
not sure if the even make Vado 6 model year 2020.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
I noticed the Specialized website in USA hasn’t listed the 6.0 for over a year, just the 5.0 as their top of the line.
Specialized appear an international organisation nowadays. The engineering being done in Switzerland, the frames being made in Taiwan. The EU Certificate of Conformity for my Vado is signed by a person of Chinese name. It seems that Specialized (as Giant) supply different markets with different models, especially as bike laws are so different on different continents. For example, the only Speed models of Turbo Vado in Europe are the 5.0 and 6.0. These are equipped with all-day lighting, a horn, a number plate support integrated with the tail-light, and a rear-view mirror, all per Euro law requirements.

not sure if the even make Vado 6 model year 2020.
The 2020 Vado 6.0 is available in Europe. For you better understanding, the price is US$5455.
1581406957433.png


But my favorite part is the Brose motor. If it died tomorrow I’d get another one right away.
My own words! What a feeling to ride at 40 km/h on a good tarmac and no noise! All you hear is the tyres hum on the blacktop. The other bike with the hub motor is almost as silent but there is a quiet whistling from the motor when it is spinning up (it is silent later), which is irritating a little. The other bike also feels somewhat heavy on riding it. Not the case with the Vado in the Sport mode.
 
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