Specialized Turbo Vado SL 5.0 EQ 1st Ride Review

Johnny

Well-Known Member
Well that only took 4 days! I definitely took the Matrix red pill this evening, I’ve freed my mind, and I’m now an e-biker. The epiphany happened on my 21.0 mile ride today. I was riding into the wind with a storm coming in on a gentle uphill stretch riding on ECO level 1. I realized I could maintain the same body energy output and cadence and ride in Level 2—and go faster...

Took me two years to take the red pill, even Eco felt so powerful so had to use nyon to dial it down.

Then switched to 2... I am still pedalling the same intensity, just significantly faster (both in speed and the rate I drain the battery).

Vado 5 sl is surely a beautiful bike for the right rider. Enjoy.
 

Recontra

Member
24 miles today on Day 7. Makes me realize what a nube I was 7 days ago (and still am). Same general hilly route I did last Monday that seemed long at 15 miles, but added 2 miles of uphill before turning down into the valley, plus 7 more miles of rolling river flats. Very easy now to maintain 20-22 mph on rolling flats in ECO 1. Butt hurts much less too, which is nice. Went ahead and ordered a seemingly better Selle TRK saddle which will hopefully be easier on my perineum tissues, as well as some bar ends for more hand positions. I keep this up, and I might be dodging bullets by the end of the summer. 30-40 miles seems doable in my fairly near future. Wouldn’t even have thought that a conceivable possibility just one week ago.

I’ve also discovered that an ice cold pilsner tastes especially good out of the garage fridge as I pull in.
 

BEC111

Active Member
24 miles today on Day 7. Makes me realize what a nube I was 7 days ago (and still am). Same general hilly route I did last Monday that seemed long at 15 miles, but added 2 miles of uphill before turning down into the valley, plus 7 more miles of rolling river flats. Very easy now to maintain 20-22 mph on rolling flats in ECO 1. Butt hurts much less too, which is nice. Went ahead and ordered a seemingly better Selle TRK saddle which will hopefully be easier on my perineum tissues, as well as some bar ends for more hand positions. I keep this up, and I might be dodging bullets by the end of the summer. 30-40 miles seems doable in my fairly near future. Wouldn’t even have thought that a conceivable possibility just one week ago.

I’ve also discovered that an ice cold pilsner tastes especially good out of the garage fridge as I pull in.
I did 30 Sunday. Furthest I’ve ever ridden on single ride. I felt great too. I may look into a suspension seat post though. The bumps hurt.

I‘ve been doing 12-13 mile rides a couple of times a week, which is way more than my previous analog bike 5 milers.

The Vado SL is great. Plenty of assist without taking over.
 

Recontra

Member
Nice! I also have recently watched Court's and others' reviews of the Kinect and Thudbuster. Kind of spendy, and the Thudbuster at least seems like it might have too much horizontal movement and maybe too squishy for the type of riding I like to do, but the Kinect might be in the "upgrade accessories" future if/when I could justify it economically, and if the new saddle isn't remarkably better. All eyes and hope on my new saddle for now.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
30-40 miles seems doable in my fairly near future. Wouldn’t even have thought that a conceivable possibility just one week ago.
Toldya :) When I bought the first (but not the last) e-bike in August last year, I couldn't even fancy making 70 miles... Of course, the battery is of limited charge and you might need range extenders in the future but that's another thing.

I’ve also discovered that an ice cold pilsner tastes especially good out of the garage fridge as I pull in.
Craft beer tastes even better!

the Kinect might be in the "upgrade accessories" future if/when I could justify it economically
Kinekt 2.1 is just fantastic. This, and the Ergon ST Core Prime saddle make it possible for me to ride 70 miles.
 

Johnny

Well-Known Member
Nice! I also have recently watched Court's and others' reviews of the Kinect and Thudbuster. Kind of spendy, and the Thudbuster at least seems like it might have too much horizontal movement and maybe too squishy for the type of riding I like to do, but the Kinect might be in the "upgrade accessories" future if/when I could justify it economically, and if the new saddle isn't remarkably better. All eyes and hope on my new saddle for now.

Start with a comfortable saddle first, suspension can not make up for a saddle fit problem. Saddle is a very personal thing so you may need to try several saddles until your find the right one. Make sure that you adjust the saddle properly before coming to a conclusion. Core prime is a good saddle and because of the foam it has a lot of built in suspension to it so it will soften up the ride significantly, but the main feature is that it racks side to side which gives you a very floaty feeling. For potholes, cracks you will still need something more though. However by no means it is perfect and I would not use it for an aggressive riding position, I find it a little too wide in the front.

If you want to keep your ride firm(which you should for pedaling efficiency) yet prevent back related pain because of cracks, potholes etc. don't waste your money and just get something like animaris or ncx 12. All these suspensions are just as functional yet cost a fraction of the price. Never tried thudbuster but it should also be fine. I wouldn't worry about the "horizontal movement" since the seatpost suspension should be quite firm when pedaling only engage on bumps otherwise it will be bouncy and inefficient.

If what you want to avoid is the small vibrations you can slightly decrease pressure on the tires however if you are heavy and tires are narrow you won't be able to decrease it too much.
 

Recontra

Member
Thanks for the in put, Stephan and Johnny!! I will check out those accessories.

Craft beer tastes even better!

Can't disagree there! We've got a craft brewery in Eastern Oregon just outside the Eagle Cap Wilderness that makes a really clean Czech style Pilsner out of glacier melt water that I discovered after a really long back country hike with my sons. I actually like it better than Pils Urquel (which is also frequently in my garage fridge and has always been my measuring stick for pilsner style lagers)! And this one might just taste better to me, principally because it hasn't been on a boat crossing the ocean for the past 4 months. And I'm not hijacking my own thread, because the cold refreshment at the end is often a material part of any proper "ride review."

:)


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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
I respect your taste! I can only tell you Pilsner Urquell is a crap nowadays. It really depends on where you live. My religion doesn't let me drink any of International Pale Lager, Czech or German Pilsner, etc. I am into American IPA and Imperial Stout (and Barley Wine as well!) :D The only exception for beers made with lager yeast is the Baltic Porter, which we have in abundance in Poland.
 

Allan47.7339

Active Member
Get a good bike fit first before trying a bunch of saddles. A poor bike fit can cause saddle sores, back and shoulder pain, and knee pain even over relatively short distances. I was riding for many years with a saddle that was about an inch and a half too high. A twenty mile commute could cause saddle sores, a century would be when the fun ended and a double century was just trying to finish. I finally got a fitting and the limit is no longer the seat. A lot of pain is blamed on the seat when it's really the fit. The shop where you got the bike should be able to do that.
 

Recontra

Member
Thanks for that suggestion on fitting. My local shop offers a fairly comprehensive fitting service, and I intend to schedule once they are able to open. Right now they are just offering curbside service, and no customers in the store. I was wondering if it would be worth it, and it sounds like it would. Thanks.
 

Marci jo

Well-Known Member
.

Still stoked! Filled out an application to join my local bike club. We’ll see if they’ll have us :) .


Recontra,
glad that you’re interested in joining the bike club. Each club is different. My mistake with my new ebike was passing the “hot shots “ on a hill. They were polite & respectful but I could tell they did NOT like it.

Love that you refer to you & your Vado as “us”.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
@Marci jo, i've got some news on my brother Jacek and group riding in general. He was able to ride 150+ km on a single 576 Wh battery on my Lovelec e-bike (but he admitted he made some 10 km with the power off). Yet, when we ride together downwind (which should be easier for him!), he complains my pedalling-assistance level is too high and he cannot keep up with me. Therefore, I keep another assistance level that does not allow me riding faster than 20 mph downwind on the flat on my Vado.

Even more interesting was my ride with Jacek's little brother Piotr off-road (I rode the Giant Trance E+). The PAS level 2 was too much for Piotr. I will need to stick to the PAS 1 for the future ride or he wouldn't like to ride with me anymore! :D
 

Cyklefanatic

Well-Known Member
I didn't notice any resistance with power off, and I also noticed no resistance or change when I exceeded 28 mph several times on the downhills and the motor shut down. It was smooth. One thing I did notice that is kind of like resistance was that sometimes while not peddling and then lowering the power or turning it off (say I were coasting after cresting a hill and turning off Turbo), there is a resistance while initially pedaling. It's like the motor is still engaged, but no power is going to it, but after a couple of peddle strokes, the resistance is gone. It's kind of like switching out of 4 wheel drive on a truck while stopped. When you initially start back up, it's kind of like the 4 wheel drive is still engaged when it really isn't, but that resistance quickly goes away. Whenever I lowered the power or even turned it off completely while pedaling, I didn't feel that "resistance" if that's what it is. I'm thinking maybe I need to increase/decrease power while pedaling, and not while coasting. But I'm just guessing on that. Whatever that feeling is, it only lasted a stroke or two. Is there a clutch like thing in there? I don't know.
As far as the delay in the motor kicking in don’t forget that you can tune the motor in the mission control app.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
More force into the pedals? I thought this was a really good video to explain the behavior of the SL 1.1 motor and differences to Bosch CX. Particularly relevant to this discussion on motor delay is about 3 minutes and 5:40:

 

Allan47.7339

Active Member
Recontra,
glad that you’re interested in joining the bike club. Each club is different. My mistake with my new ebike was passing the “hot shots “ on a hill. They were polite & respectful but I could tell they did NOT like it.

Love that you refer to you & your Vado as “us”.

Recreational group riding is a lot of fun and a great way to build riding skills. You will meet people and ride routes you may not otherwise know about. Some routes are safer with a group than solo. These are not "paceline" rides but with a recommended spacing of at least a bike length or two to allow reaction time for road hazzards, braking and etc. Even though you may be able to go faster, it's unlikely you really have the skills to with the speed at full gas. One inept rider can bring down a group of riders with injuries which is probably what the "hot shots" were worried about. If it was just their ego's they probably would not be polite. Our club allows and welcomes ebikes on the moderate and slower ride groups.
 

Recontra

Member
Recreational group riding is a lot of fun and a great way to build riding skills. You will meet people and ride routes you may not otherwise know about. . . . . Even though you may be able to go faster, it's unlikely you really have the skills to with the speed at full gas. One inept rider can bring down a group of riders with injuries which is probably what the "hot shots" were worried about. . . .

Roger that!
 

Marci jo

Well-Known Member
@Marci jo, i've got some news on my brother Jacek and group riding in general. He was able to ride 150+ km on a single 576 Wh battery on my Lovelec e-bike (but he admitted he made some 10 km with the power off). Yet, when we ride together downwind (which should be easier for him!), he complains my pedalling-assistance level is too high and he cannot keep up with me. Therefore, I keep another assistance level that does not allow me riding faster than 20 mph downwind on the flat on my Vado.

Even more interesting was my ride with Jacek's little brother Piotr off-road (I rode the Giant Trance E+). The PAS level 2 was too much for Piotr. I will need to stick to the PAS 1 for the future ride or he wouldn't like to ride with me anymore! :D

Ha Ha! May Jacek now wants to borrow the Vado? Don't let him, you may not get it back---just joking, I'm sure he would return it. :)😆

What did Piotr think of your Giant Trance? Maybe he might get one?