Specialized Turbo Vado SL 5.0 EQ-My 2 cents

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
Indeed, that 100 years of specialization has produced awesome bikes. None of us ride Pennyfarthing bikes any more. But marketing branding is involved as well. No 18 year old hotdog biker wants the same brand as his mom.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
There's a lot of "specialisation" in the cycling industry, Joe, and that is to sell more bikes. What I call an "all rounder" is a hybrid bike, which used to be called a "trekking bike" in the past. Even Vados are not 100% trekking e-bikes because they are rather "commuter bikes". Now, if I want to go off-road, nothing can beat a full-suspension e-bike with thick knobby tyres... Which is a poor commuter (e-MTB are of Class 1 and are noisy on paved surfaces) and is not good for touring purposes (lack of fenders, rack, lighting).
I once had an all rounder Honda motorcycle that wasn't real good on either roads or trails.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
I once had an all rounder Honda motorcycle that wasn't real good on either roads or trails.
In all honesty Joe if I have just had stayed with my Lovelec Diadem, which is the "old school" trekking e-bike with modern frame and components, that could be my only e-bike. I would certainly not ride it in the mountains or on demanding trails but it would do for my touring. However, I was spoilt with the Speed Vado and my e-MTB.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
In all honesty Joe if I have just had stayed with my Lovelec Diadem, which is the "old school" trekking e-bike with modern frame and components, that could be my only e-bike. I would certainly not ride it in the mountains or on demanding trails but it would do for my touring. However, I was spoilt with the Speed Vado and my e-MTB.
/Offtopic
Stefan Please use Art online. I have been ArtDeco online since before Google, Facebook, and the rest of them screwed up the Internet and always tell people that they can find me that way in Forums, Blogs, and such. Doesn't matter on my blog though, of course.
/End Offtopic
 

Copyrider

Active Member
Re: The SL brakes--I think they are a good spec for this bike, as the stopping power is excellent, though I find them a bit "grabby" on a fast downhill run. Perhaps they'll mellow as they wear in.

With my previous "heavy" Vado, I felt a bit under-braked on the same hills. On flats and at speed, the brakes were quite good--quiet and easy to modulate--but the stopping power at the bottom of San Francisco hills in City traffic was not confidence-inspiring. I did switch to some semi-metallic pads and noticed some improvement. On a further positive note, I never worried about flipping over the bars with the big Vado. I'm now retraining myself, because that's a real possibility with the SL's light weight and powerful brakes.

My experience with the build quality of both bikes is different from yours. Both were/are tight as a drum and smooth-shifting.

Mike's Bikes, here in the Bay Area is a great shop (many locations) and even in the midst of our continued lockdown for COVID-19, they offered excellent curbside service and delivery of my bike, despite being very busy. So, no issues there for me.
 

rochrunner

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Rochester Hills
My opinion: For gravel trails and less hilly commutes - the SL would be perfect. It can tackle both with ease. I ride a lot of gravel/single track trails around my area with my mechanical cycle-cross and the SL handled those without a problem. The fact that you also get to experience more effort than the non-SL could (would likely) be a benefit to a lot of riders, me included. I had a blast riding on the trails with the SL (5.0 btw, with the stem shock). For more hilly commutes and almost strictly commuting (non off-road), I would expect the non-SL Vado to be more beneficial. For that reason, with limited funds and really only the ability to get one e-bike, I chose the non-SL. *FOR ME*, it seems to make more sense to commute with little effort and get to work fresher. When I want to exercise, I will get on my mechanical.
This discussion in general has convinced me that I wish I hadn't been so anxious to get my Vado that I bought it just before they announced the SL, which I could see right away was more of what I was looking for. My experience with the 4.0 has made me even more certain as I learn some of the 4.0's shortcomings. But, at the time I didn't know about the SL and had no experience with the Vado 4.0 either.

So I'm stuck for a couple years, but at least I'm now certain that I'll be keeping the Crosstrail around for a while yet, as the Vado is definitely not a suitable replacement like I thought it might be.
 

Copyrider

Active Member
This discussion in general has convinced me that I wish I hadn't been so anxious to get my Vado that I bought it just before they announced the SL, which I could see right away was more of what I was looking for. My experience with the 4.0 has made me even more certain as I learn some of the 4.0's shortcomings. But, at the time I didn't know about the SL and had no experience with the Vado 4.0 either.

So I'm stuck for a couple years, but at least I'm now certain that I'll be keeping the Crosstrail around for a while yet, as the Vado is definitely not a suitable replacement like I thought it might be.

I think the Vado 4.0 will grow on you. You definitely have an awesome bike there. I'd still be riding mine if it hadn't rode off without me a few months ago...
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
With my previous "heavy" Vado, I felt a bit under-braked on the same hills.
Not quite correct. The "heavy" Vado is just heavy so the braking distance is longer than that of the SL. The brakes themselves are excellent on both models. (True, my Vado has even better brakes but it was Specialized in 2017 not in 2020).
 

Copyrider

Active Member
Not quite correct. The "heavy" Vado is just heavy so the braking distance is longer than that of the SL. The brakes themselves are excellent on both models. (True, my Vado has even better brakes but it was Specialized in 2017 not in 2020).
I think you’d probably change your position if you were riding in city traffic (read: necessity of staying relatively fast) while negotiating steep downhills.

As I noted, for the majority of rides and riders, I’m sure the Vado’s brakes are fine.

The small percentage of us who tackle urban hills and traffic regularly may find the bike under-braked. That’s not “incorrect,” it’s merely my observation.

as I also noted, I found switching to metallic pads to be an acceptable fix, but was still considering larger rotors.
 

bellandbottle

Active Member
This discussion in general has convinced me that I wish I hadn't been so anxious to get my Vado that I bought it just before they announced the SL, which I could see right away was more of what I was looking for. My experience with the 4.0 has made me even more certain as I learn some of the 4.0's shortcomings. But, at the time I didn't know about the SL and had no experience with the Vado 4.0 either.

So I'm stuck for a couple years, but at least I'm now certain that I'll be keeping the Crosstrail around for a while yet, as the Vado is definitely not a suitable replacement like I thought it might be.

I think you will be happy with your Vado 4 when you have it tuned to suit you, and the circumstances.

I was a bit reluctant to make changes to my 4, until I cruised this forum, asked for help from members, and talked to Specialized.

I have changed 1) the saddle, 2) the seatpost (to simple Satori, which works for me, 3) the handlebar grips (to Ergon G3), 4) the chainring (to Deckas 44T), 5) the gear levers (to SRAM twist grip), 6) the tyres (to Schwalrbe Marathons), 7) the pedals (to Shimano SPD).

The cumulative impact of those changes has been significant, and it really suits me :).
 

rochrunner

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Rochester Hills
I think you will be happy with your Vado 4 when you have it tuned to suit you, and the circumstances.
You're right, and I will be posting a "report" on the 50-mile all-terrain ride I took today, what I learned, and what I decided. But I am now quite a bit happier with my choice, and with not all that many changes made.
 

Saratoga Dave

Well-Known Member
Good to hear! I was in a very nice Specialized dealer the other day over in New Hampshire and they had some awful nice Vados in that joint. A woman was wheeling a brand new Turbo Levo SL out the door while I was there, a pretty high end one. Ebikes are doing very well in those parts.
 

MAPC

Active Member
Good to hear! I was in a very nice Specialized dealer the other day over in New Hampshire and they had some awful nice Vados in that joint. A woman was wheeling a brand new Turbo Levo SL out the door while I was there, a pretty high end one. Ebikes are doing very well in those parts.
I’m surprised that shops have inventory. All I keep hearing is that everything is sold out