Specialized Turbo Vado SL 5.0 review 1 week review

STLABRAT

New Member
I picked up my SL 5.0 last week and thought I’d post a quick review and comment on some features.


Short review: This thing is awesome. It basically allows me to have a great bike ride around my hilly neighborhood without exhausting myself after the first hill. This lets me enjoy my ride in a way I really underestimated. Don’t get me wrong, I’m working to get up the hills just not pushing myself above 90% of my max heart rate so after the top I have energy for the next hill.


Features:

  1. Heart Rate Monitors and Mission Control. Sorry but my Apple Watch does not pair with mission control. I did get my Scosche Rhythm to pair with no problem.
  2. Smart connect. I used the heart rate feature to control the amount of support. It was not useful for mixed hills. There was a lag between effort and the change when going up hills and then when getting over the top it provided too much support. Works best for flats or consistent riding.
  3. Power. The motor is far more powerful most of the time. In Eco mode at 20% boost I can easily get up short hills. I used the turbo only going up a really steep dirt track where even my wife walks her bike. I can’t see a need for more power.
  4. External battery. The battery came with a bottle cage and no rubber band as seen in some online reviews.
  5. No kickstand was included.
  6. Range. Only had time for some short rides but in Eco at 20% only used 10% over 7 hilly miles and I’m a big guy.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Unusable seat acording the the Vado crowd on here IIRC? Not my style of bike ... I'm not skilled or skinny enough... but very cool bike.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Yes, lots of that around. Anyway they only complained about the seat on long hard rides, so they had to complain about something, I guess.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Yes, lots of that around. Anyway they only complained about the seat on long hard rides, so they had to complain about something, I guess.
A really comfortable saddle has not been invented yet :) OTH, I had to temporarily re-use the stock Specialized seat for the Vado and my gf started complaining as soon as after an 8 km ride :)

Glad to hear about the positive experiences of the OP. I can only regret my legs need far more assistance than the SL could provide. I like the SL light weight and can recommend the bike to more healthy people than I am!
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
A really comfortable saddle has not been invented yet :) OTH, I had to temporarily re-use the stock Specialized seat for the Vado and my gf started complaining as soon as after an 8 km ride :)

Glad to hear about the positive experiences of the OP. I can only regret my legs need far more assistance than the SL could provide. I like the SL light weight and can recommend the bike to more healthy people than I am!
Don't regret the strength of your legs rejoice in having a motor ;)
 

BEC111

Active Member
I think one comes with the EQ according to one review. The full details were a bit confusing to me but I bought what they had in stock.
Yes, the EQ comes with a rack, fenders and a kickstand. Since the kickstand has been on backorder for a while, I’m glad I bought the EQ. I don’t really need the fenders, but I wanted the rack and kickstand and didn’t mind the fenders.
I wish MC worked with my Apple Watch since the HBM data is very useful especially since I have some coronary issues. Guess I’ll have to buy a separate monitor.

But, I love mine. I too am able to go much further than I could with my non-e bike. Before a 5-8 mile quick morning ride was too tiring to repeat every day. Now I can easily go 10-15 every day. This weekend, weather permitting, I’ll be ble to do a 33 plus mile ride knowing I’ll have more trouble finding the group starting point than doing the ride. I’m getting lots of exercise, both me and my heart are as healthy as it was when I was 40 (I’m now 72) and I’m definitely stronger.

Best thing I’ve done for my health since Medicare.
 

Kivis

Member
Waiting for the 5.0 EQ to come in at LBS. One poster wrote, " I can only regret my legs need far more assistance than the SL could provide." I am 71, been biking for ever. I have slowed down a bit because of gimpy knees (but, damn, they still work). Should I be concerned? Yechs, do I need a throttle e bike? Or am I being just poopy paranoid?
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Waiting for the 5.0 EQ to come in at LBS. One poster wrote, " I can only regret my legs need far more assistance than the SL could provide." I am 71, been biking for ever. I have slowed down a bit because of gimpy knees (but, damn, they still work). Should I be concerned? Yechs, do I need a throttle e bike? Or am I being just poopy paranoid?
See posr number 8 above.
 

Qamera

New Member
Unusable seat acording the the Vado crowd on here IIRC? Not my style of bike ... I'm not skilled or skinny enough... but very cool bike.
I don't like skinny seats, but don't ride much either. Was sore after the first ride, fine after that. I actually like the seat and the hollowed-out contour down the middle. Pleasantly surprised (SL 4.0, here)
 

Kivis

Member
Living Large

 

cleo1943

New Member
I picked up my SL 5.0 last week and thought I’d post a quick review and comment on some features.


Short review: This thing is awesome. It basically allows me to have a great bike ride around my hilly neighborhood without exhausting myself after the first hill. This lets me enjoy my ride in a way I really underestimated. Don’t get me wrong, I’m working to get up the hills just not pushing myself above 90% of my max heart rate so after the top I have energy for the next hill.


Features:

  1. Heart Rate Monitors and Mission Control. Sorry but my Apple Watch does not pair with mission control. I did get my Scosche Rhythm to pair with no problem.
  2. Smart connect. I used the heart rate feature to control the amount of support. It was not useful for mixed hills. There was a lag between effort and the change when going up hills and then when getting over the top it provided too much support. Works best for flats or consistent riding.
  3. Power. The motor is far more powerful most of the time. In Eco mode at 20% boost I can easily get up short hills. I used the turbo only going up a really steep dirt track where even my wife walks her bike. I can’t see a need for more power.
  4. External battery. The battery came with a bottle cage and no rubber band as seen in some online reviews.
  5. No kickstand was included.
  6. Range. Only had time for some short rides but in Eco at 20% only used 10% over 7 hilly miles and I’m a big guy.
I just got a Wahoo heart monitor and paired it with my Vado SL. It works great. I got instructions from LBS. One problem with this bike is lighting the display when it is dark. I can push a button on the TCD to light it momentarily. Is there a way that anyone knows to keep it lit? I like reading my speed and heartbeat.