Specialized Turbo Vado/Como User Club

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Stefan, remind me, do you have the 1.3 motor?
No, it's the 1.2s with 520 W peak power, 90 Nm, and 3.2x max amplification.

Better yet what my brother did. He was riding Giant Trance E+ with 500 Wh battery. He was aware of the short battery range, so first of all he asked me to tune in the lowest possible assistance for any PAS level except of the POWER one. We made a 4900 ft elevation gain on 50+ mi ride. Jacek rode unpowered except significant climbs (where he used 0.50x leg power amplification), and his assistance was 1.25x on the 12% grade ascent. He covered 91% of the trip having 72% battery left.

Then, he went into the POWER mode. He was climbing 6% grade ascents at 19 mph and was overtaking cars on the flats, riding at 34 mph (while the cars moved at 30 mph) 😃 Jacek is my bike hero!
 
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Kiwimac

New Member
As strange as it seems, it fits the description of my EU 2017 Vado 5.0 (45 km/h). Which, by the way, I perceive as one of the best specified Vados ever. The horn and the stop lights are an indication of a Euro S-Pedelec, and Electrak tyres combined with rigid fork were the 2017 feature.
Since such a Vado was sold to me as new in 2019 (and the battery was never activated before the purchase), I'd say you @Kiwimac can consider yourself very lucky. Only the electronics shall be overhauled to TCD-W.
Well hopefully next week they will manage to work out with Specialized what they need to do.

It is certainly a nicely specced bike and wonderful to ride. I plan on riding it for 3 years, by which time it will be 5 years old. The tech will probably have evolved enough by then to make a replacement noticeably better. I may get a set of wheels built for it and then put the factory wheels in the garage until I sell it because I do not think the rims that are on there now are tubeless ready and many of the tyres seem to be going tubeless here in NZ now.
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Well hopefully next week they will manage to work out with Specialized what they need to do.

It is certainly a nicely specced bike and wonderful to ride. I plan on riding it for 3 years, by which time it will be 5 years old. The tech will probably have evolved enough by then to make a replacement noticeably better. I may get a set of wheels built for it and then put the factory wheels in the garage until I sell it because I do not think the rims that are on there now are tubeless ready and many of the tyres seem to be going tubeless here in NZ now.
Correct, the Vados are not equipped with tubeless ready rims.

One of my sons is an engineer for a bicycle component manufacturer that among other things designs and markets rims and wheels. He tells me that industry standatds require tubeless ready rims to be so labelled by the manufacturers.
 

Charlotte

New Member
Was that the Paint Creek Trail? I live in the Columbus area and rode part of it out of Washington Courthouse about 10 days ago. It was only a 20 mile ride because of trail closeures. Overall, we are blessed with hundreds of miles of paved trails here in Ohio. My wife and I have put close to 1000 miles on our Como's this summer and love them.
Hi there, So impressive all the riding you have done on your Comos! So I've been about to buy an ebike. I love the way the Como test drives. But it's always on concrete/asphalt. So how is the Como on gravel or dirt, like on a bike trail? My husband thinks the Vado is what I should buy...but I really like the position and the way the Como feels...Is the lack of suspension an issue? Thanks for u help!
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
Hi there, So impressive all the riding you have done on your Comos! So I've been about to buy an ebike. I love the way the Como test drives. But it's always on concrete/asphalt. So how is the Como on gravel or dirt, like on a bike trail? My husband thinks the Vado is what I should buy...but I really like the position and the way the Como feels...Is the lack of suspension an issue? Thanks for u help!
Can of worms opened ...Welcome to another
discussion at the Vado/Como thread.
 

Brendon@TBSM

Well-Known Member
Hi there, So impressive all the riding you have done on your Comos! So I've been about to buy an ebike. I love the way the Como test drives. But it's always on concrete/asphalt. So how is the Como on gravel or dirt, like on a bike trail? My husband thinks the Vado is what I should buy...but I really like the position and the way the Como feels...Is the lack of suspension an issue? Thanks for u help!

We've had customers get Vado's and ride them only on road and Como's and use them on lots of trail (mild trail). The Como can run low tire pressure which really smooths things out, especially with a suspended stem and seatpost.

That said I run Como bars on my Vado because I prefer them. It's totally possible to make a Vado fit like a Como with a few mods. Worst case is you have to run longer brake hoses and shift cable/housing. The wiring for the computer is plenty long.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
We've had customers get Vado's and ride them only on road and Como's and use them on lots of trail (mild trail). The Como can run low tire pressure which really smooths things out, especially with a suspended stem and seatpost.

That said I run Como bars on my Vado because I prefer them. It's totally possible to make a Vado fit like a Como with a few mods. Worst case is you have to run longer brake hoses and shift cable/housing. The wiring for the computer is plenty long.
More here https://electricbikereview.com/forums/threads/como-vs-vado-help.33169/
Even more https://electricbikereview.com/forums/threads/reason-s-for-the-harsh-vado-ride.34590/
 
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45srbest

New Member
Easy question for the knowledgeable folks on this forum. Which bike would be better at climbing fairly steep hills on pavement?
Vado 5.0
11-42 11 speed
48 chainring
10 more nm torque
Or
Vado 4.0 11-42 10 speed
40 chainring
10 less nm of torque

It seems like it’s a question of gearing vs torque. I’m a 69 year old guy and will bow to your expertise in this area!
Thank you in advance for your help!
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Easy question for the knowledgeable folks on this forum. Which bike would be better at climbing fairly steep hills on pavement?
Vado 5.0
11-42 11 speed
48 chainring
10 more nm torque
Or
Vado 4.0 11-42 10 speed
40 chainring
10 less nm of torque

It seems like it’s a question of gearing vs torque. I’m a 69 year old guy and will bow to your expertise in this area!
Thank you in advance for your help!
The Vado 4 granny gear ratio is 42/40 = 1.05. Assuming 80Nm peak motor torque this equates to 1.05 x 80 = 84Nm at the hub. For the Vado 5 the granny gear ratio is 42/48 = 0.875 yielding 0.875 x 90Nm = 79Nm at the hub. From this perspective, the Vado 4 has an edge on climbing. You also need to look at peak motor power as torque, power and motor rpm are all ineterelated. Here the Vado 5 has an edge of ~5%. Hard to say if one ends up being a better climber than the other with all things considered.

With that said I can tell you that I have yet to find a hill my Vado 5 can't climb. I live in a very hilly little town and typically get 2,000' of climbing on every ride. My SAT ride had over 3,800'. I'm in my 70's so a young fella like yourself may get different results...😎

Screenshot_2020-08-08-13-59-21.png

Vado 5 ride last Saturday.

Ride On!
 

45srbest

New Member
Great breakdown! Thank you. I think I was off, according to what I was looking at the Vado actually has 15nm more torque than the Vado 4.0. But even if it has it would seem the climbing ability is essentially the same between them.
So if this is true it would seem that what the 5.0 gets you over the 4.0 is the larger battery and an upgraded shifter, derailleur and brakes.
Tomorrow I have to make my decision!
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
Great breakdown! Thank you. I think I was off, according to what I was looking at the Vado actually has 15nm more torque than the Vado 4.0. But even if it has it would seem the climbing ability is essentially the same between them.
So if this is true it would seem that what the 5.0 gets you over the 4.0 is the larger battery and an upgraded shifter, derailleur and brakes.
Tomorrow I have to make my decision!
You have to mention the color 😃
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Great breakdown! Thank you. I think I was off, according to what I was looking at the Vado actually has 15nm more torque than the Vado 4.0. But even if it has it would seem the climbing ability is essentially the same between them.
So if this is true it would seem that what the 5.0 gets you over the 4.0 is the larger battery and an upgraded shifter, derailleur and brakes.
Tomorrow I have to make my decision!
The Vado 4 motor torque is quoted in different sources ranging from 72-80Nm. Feel free to adjust my calcs for a comparison with the Vado 5, but the wheel torques will still be close.

With similar wheel torques, what are the differences? They are both Class 3 bikes, though Vado 4 owners have posted that getting to the 28mph assist limit is difficult with the smaller chainring. Some have changed to a larger chainring with better top-end speed, but now less hill climbing ability.

There is a 20% difference in battery capacity which can be important, depending on your planned use. I often get home with 10% or less capacity remaining. The Vado 4 is a 10-spd drivetrain, the 5 is 11-spd with upgraded components. The 4 has Shimano BR MT200 hydraulic brakes, the 5 Shimano Deore XT MT8000.

Do the differences justify the $ difference? They did to us, I bought 2. Neither one of us has said, gee, I wish I had a smaller battery...YRMV

BTW - It has been 'well established' that the Vado 4 Rocket Red color is the fasterest color available, so plan accordingly.
 

Papa G

Member
The Vado 4 motor torque is quoted in different sources ranging from 72-80Nm. Feel free to adjust my calcs for a comparison with the Vado 5, but the wheel torques will still be close.

With similar wheel torques, what are the differences? They are both Class 3 bikes, though Vado 4 owners have posted that getting to the 28mph assist limit is difficult with the smaller chainring. Some have changed to a larger chainring with better top-end speed, but now less hill climbing ability.

There is a 20% difference in battery capacity which can be important, depending on your planned use. I often get home with 10% or less capacity remaining. The Vado 4 is a 10-spd drivetrain, the 5 is 11-spd with upgraded components. The 4 has Shimano BR MT200 hydraulic brakes, the 5 Shimano Deore XT MT8000.

Do the differences justify the $ difference? They did to us, I bought 2. Neither one of us has said, gee, I wish I had a smaller battery...YRMV

BTW - It has been 'well established' that the Vado 4 Rocket Red color is the fasterest color available, so plan accordingly.
The price difference is now +$850 for the 5.0 ($4,350 vs $3,500). When I bought a 4.0 it was on sale for ~$2,500 and at that time the 5.0 was $5,150, more than 2x the price of the 4.0. We then also got a 5.0 step thru for my wife when the price dropped to $4,350. Owning both, I can definitely say I would spend an extra $850 to get the better spec’d 5.0. My wife is lighter but gets about 30% more range out of the 604w battery on the 5.0 than the 500w battery on my 4.0. This has caused me to consider buying a 604w battery for my 4.0. The 604w battery, if you can find one, used to cost about $1,000 and now shows $1,300 on specialized website. That alone justifies paying an extra $850 for the 5.0.
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Somewhat off topic... even for this thread...but an article from Bicycling Magazine.... it's just a puff article for boomers wondering about ebikes ...But it's in Bicycling Magazine.
Fun article, but where are the hills in Florida? The bridges to Key West were the closest thing to hills I've ridden in the Sunshine State...🤣
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
Fun article, but where are the hills in Florida? The bridges to Key West were the closest thing to hills I've ridden in the Sunshine State...🤣
Yep. When I think of Florida I think everglades flat , horse country flat, etc. I guess the coastal hills would count as rolling hills, but I doubt you would notice them @Sierratim .. none over a half mile high.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Friends,

Turbo Vado As A Climber

It seems a lot of posts missed me here. I need to tell you several observations I made on our 85 km / 1500 m elevation gain (53 mi / 4900 ft) ride on last Saturday.

I rode the 2017 Vado 5.0 (a 2020 Vado 6.0 equivalent). The gearing ratio there is 46/48 = 0.958. The 1.2s motor has 90 Nm @ 520 W. Therefore, the torque at wheel is 90 * 0.958 = 86 Nm.

Now, I have measured the grade at the worst uphill ride segment: It was 12% sharp. The Vado, ridden at the granny gear and under full Turbo (and my weak legs) hardly overcame that incline but it did. While a traditional roadie almost fell with his bike, and needed to walk the bike up there! (The guy told us later he had inadequate gearing and I believed him).

At the same time, my Giant Trance E+2 Pro delivers as much as 120 Nm at the rear wheel in POWER mode in granny gear! My strong brother just switched the assistance to weakened PAS 2 "BASIC" there... (That tuned mode was just 1.25x leg torque amplification that translates to 35% Assist in 2020 Vado 5.0). That's how strong my brother was and how the Trance gearing (1.42x in granny gear) helped, too.

The choice between Vado 4 and 5 is how Sierratim said: Both are equal climbers. Expect 12% grade incline to be maximum achievable on Vado unless you are a strong person.

Another observation: On fast uphill ride in Turbo mode with average grade of 6%, I was easily overtaking a young competing roadie with my Vado :D He was just faster downhill.

The High Speed Riding on Vado

We are talking U.S. Class 3 or Euro L1e-B Vado. I and brother were riding our e-bikes on a slight downhill slope (almost flat) trying to get max from the bikes. I confirm the Vado 5.0 motor cuts off precisely at 45 km/h (28 mph), and taking into account the subtle descent, I could pedal at 46-47 km/h with slight "wall effect" when the motor stops assisting you. Unlike Bosch high-speed motors that cut off much earlier (see a separate thread in the Bosch forum).

The Vado Brakes

I'm lucky to own the Vado with 180/180 mm TRP Zurich hydraulic brakes. We were riding through very steep and very long descent over hairpin bends. I didn't want to ride faster than 45 km/h there and had to reduce speed at turns. The brakes were performing fantastically. Quiet, effective, capable to be modulated. I hope the 4-piston 180/160 Shimano brakes on the current Vados are equally good.

We also descended on a very steep but almost straight long road. There, I allowed the speed to be well over 50 km/h (30 mph) and noticed slight instability issues, probably related to the fact my Vado is equipped with a rigid fork. Or, it were the 2" Electrak slick tyres. Not sure.

General Impressions

My Vado 5.0 proved to be a very capable mountain road e-bike, only next to a FS e-MTB.

Vado and Como on gravel roads

That subject was discussed in another thread but I will add my 2 Grosze here :) The major issue when riding gravel roads is the "washboard". That can only be controlled by pretty fat, low-pressure tyres. The type of the fork is irrelevant as even a FS e-MTB makes you suffer on "washboard" if the tyres are inflated too much. Como has 2.3" tyres and that's a lot. Riding it close to the minimum allowed inflation pressure will dampen the rapid vibration. I can only tell you the Vado is capable of using 2" slick tyres (knobby tyres wouldn't fit the DryTech fenders), and these tyres inflated to 3.9 bar (57 psi) dampen the vibrations perfectly. With 2.3" tyres, Como will be even better on gravel roads. Period.

The Color

I will differ from Sierratim. The fasterestest Vado color is Satin Gray, and the climberestest color is Blue-Magenta Cameleon !
:)

1597222965244.png

Our proven mountain road bikes :) Vado & Trance E+
 
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