Specialized Turbo Vado SL: An Incredible E-Bike (User Club)

kahn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
northWET washington
In WA State/Seattle we are now over 10% but Oregon has no sales tax. They do have a state income tax whereas WA has no income tax. Tradeoffs.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
It varies from state to state. There is no national VAT in the USA. Some states have zero sales tax. Others may be around 10%. People who live near state borders often decide to shop next door.
I asked what you Rincon paid in sales tax ;)
 

aj1

Member
Picking up my 4.0 EQ today. Very excited.
57AF6EA5-D8E6-4816-BDD7-52B26FC758D5.jpeg


Got it! No good photos yet since I’m still in the process of taking it home. But it looks great and rode exactly how I had hoped it would ride on the few miles I rode it here. A bike that’s electric instead of a 50+ lb electric bike. Swapped out the awful stock pedals and added a bottle cage. I also did not get the LCD computer because I own a Karoo 2, which is far nicer and should hook up to the stock mount without issue.

Very excited. Thanks for everyone’s posts here that helped me make the decision.
 

fetegrete

New Member
Region
Europe
Hello from Sweden!
Im just about to make an order for a Specialized Vado SL 4.0.
In Sweden it takes very long time before you get your bike, like in 2022, so im thinking of buying it instead from a bikeshop in Germany.
My questions for you is: If there some problems with the bike, can I go to my local shop here in Sweden to get it fixed? Do you think there will be any service problems?
Does the warranty/guarantee works in a Sweden even if the bike was bought in Germany?

Another questions is about derestrict the bike. I have found a module levociraptor gen2 which shall work with the Vado. https://www.levociraptor.com/
When i saw the video it looked very easy to install.
What is your opinion about that derestrict module?
Many thanks!
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Hello from Sweden!
Im just about to make an order for a Specialized Vado SL 4.0.
In Sweden it takes very long time before you get your bike, like in 2022, so im thinking of buying it instead from a bikeshop in Germany.
My questions for you is: If there some problems with the bike, can I go to my local shop here in Sweden to get it fixed? Do you think there will be any service problems?
Does the warranty/guarantee works in a Sweden even if the bike was bought in Germany?
I wonder whether Specialized dealer in another country would sell you an e-bike. If so (and that might be possible as the things stay inside the UE), then – as long as you have received a valid warranty from the German store, registered your Vado SL in the Specialized website, and finally visited your local Specialized dealer for warranty service (paid, after 200 km or 3 months - whichever happens earlier) – any Specialized dealer in your country is obliged to service your ebike and honor warranty claims.

The only difference is, you will pay more for some repairs because your local dealer owes you no special attention.
Another questions is about derestrict the bike. I have found a module levociraptor gen2 which shall work with the Vado. https://www.levociraptor.com/
When i saw the video it looked very easy to install.
What is your opinion about that derestrict module?
Many thanks
Please contact Ms Katerina Hruškova at info@pear-control.com for PearTune 3.0 for Specialized SL e-bikes. My Vado SL has one installed and it works perfectly.

The setup is promised as very easy for any chip. It is not easy because Vado SL is not a Levo SL. Write a Private Message to me and I will tell you why.
 

fetegrete

New Member
Region
Europe
Thanks Stefan for your quick response!
Im not so technichal so i think i have to see a video of the installation of PearTune 3.0 before i make an order. But i will consider it.

When you look at this video, the installation of Levociraptor gen2, it seems to be a lot easier.
Also when its time for service you can remove it very fast.
Maybe there is someone in this forum who has bought the levociraptor gen2 and know something more?
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
When you look at this video, the installation of Levociraptor gen2, it seems to be a lot easier.
Also when its time for service you can remove it very fast.
True. The setup is very easy. It is easy to remove the chip, too.
The downside is your speed and distance ridden will be reported as 2.5 times lower than they are. That will defeat:
  • Mission Control's Smart Control feature. Let us say you want to ask your Vado SL to take you for a 100 km trip and automatically manipulate the assistance so you can return with, say, 20% of battery. I gladly doubt setting 40 km there would give the same outcome (but could be wrong).
  • If you opt for a display, the speed and distance will be wrong
  • If you would like to use a Garmin Edge bike GPS computer, anything related to your e-bike would be wrong
  • Same with a sports watch
  • You will practically be limited to BLEvo (which is an excellent app!) on your smartphone.
I cannot deny the setup and the device removal are super-easy though. (Other chips such as PearTune are much more complex but are totally transparent to the SL e-bike).
My questions are:
  • How fit person are you?
  • At what cruising speed can you ride a traditional bike?
  • Any idea of your leg power (FTP)?
(My answers would be: a. Bad legs that won't improve b. 14-15 km/h c. FTP 80 W).

There is a fundamental difference between a full-power Vado and the SL. The former has a tremendous power reserve and a large battery; derestrict it and you make it flying. It is not so with Vado SL. The latter has only 240 W max power (Vado 5.0 sports the peak power of 550 W). To ride at, say, 40 km/h on the flat in windless conditions, you need to input 150 W yourself, and the "big" Vado will add 550 W to it, making the total of 700 W. While your 150 W of leg power will only add 240 W of motor power (390 W total), and you can expect riding at 34 km/h with the battery getting dry at an alarming rate with Vado SL.

The whole idea of SL e-bikes is their fitness quality. In case your legs are good, just accelerate easily to 25 km/h, and then the motor will totally disconnect from the drivetrain: you easily pedal above the speed limit yourself, no assistance. Ride uphill and/or upwind, and the motor will assist you. The only reason I derestricted my Vado SL was to be able to ride faster in emergency situation (escaping a large truck; overtaking a slow cyclist fast; being on time on a short commute when I'm late). With my bad legs, going past the limiter requires at least 50% of assistance. To ride at 32-34 km/h needs 100% Turbo and some effort (in my case). That is hard on the battery.

Do you really need to derestrict? Buy your Vado SL and learn riding it. You might find out you don't need to derestrict it at all!

Examples:
  • A strong 38 yo female who can cruise a traditional bike at 30 km/h for 130 km. She rode my Vado SL for 133 km with 937 m elevation gain virtually without any assistance. (She used 20% of the battery to counter steep inclines and headwind). The average speed was 22.9 km/h.
  • A healthy and fit 54 yo female who can cruise a trad bike at 28 km/h over 40 km. She used 35% assistance and rode derestricted at some segments and restricted on others. Part of the route involved sandy gravel roads. She rode for 118 km with 319 m of elevation gain at 21.6 km/h average speed. Use of the battery was 113% (Range Extender was used).
Really need to derestrict?
 
Last edited:

BEC111

Well-Known Member
Yeah,you probably right that i should wait to derestrict it. Im 51 by the way and my fitness could be way better. Thanks for your answer.
True. The setup is very easy. It is easy to remove the chip, too.
The downside is your speed and distance ridden will be reported as 2.5 times lower than they are. That will defeat:
  • Mission Control's Smart Control feature. Let us say you want to ask your Vado SL to take you for a 100 km trip and automatically manipulate the assistance so you can return with, say, 20% of battery. I gladly doubt setting 40 km there would give the same outcome (but could be wrong).
  • If you opt for a display, the speed and distance will be wrong
  • If you would like to use a Garmin Edge bike GPS computer, anything related to your e-bike would be wrong
  • Same with a sports watch
  • You will practically be limited to BLEvo (which is an excellent app!) on your smartphone.
I cannot deny the setup and the device removal are super-easy though. (Other chips such as PearTune are much more complex but are totally transparent to the SL e-bike).
My questions are:
  • How fit person are you?
  • At what cruising speed can you ride a traditional bike?
  • Any idea of your leg power (FTP)?
(My answers would be: a. Bad legs that won't improve b. 14-15 km/h c. FTP 80 W).

There is a fundamental difference between a full-power Vado and the SL. The former has a tremendous power reserve and a large battery; derestrict it and you make it flying. It is not so with Vado SL. The latter has only 240 W max power (Vado 5.0 sports the peak power of 550 W). To ride at, say, 40 km/h on the flat in windless conditions, you need to input 150 W yourself, and the "big" Vado will add 550 W to it, making the total of 700 W. While your 150 W of leg power will only add 240 W of motor power (390 W total), and you can expect riding at 34 km/h with the battery getting dry at an alarming rate with Vado SL.

The whole idea of SL e-bikes is their fitness quality. In case your legs are good, just accelerate easily to 25 km/h, and then the motor will totally disconnect from the drivetrain: you easily pedal above the speed limit yourself, no assistance. Ride uphill and/or upwind, and the motor will assist you. The only reason I derestricted my Vado SL was to be able to ride faster in emergency situation (escaping a large truck; overtaking a slow cyclist fast; being on time on a short commute when I'm late). With my bad legs, going past the limiter requires at least 50% of assistance. To ride at 32-34 km/h needs 100% Turbo and some effort (in my case). That is hard on the battery.

Do you really need to derestrict? Buy your Vado SL and learn riding it. You might find out you don't need to derestrict it at all!

Examples:
  • A strong 38 yo female who can cruise a traditional bike at 30 km/h for 130 km. She rode my Vado SL for 133 km with 937 m elevation gain virtually without any assistance. (She used 20% of the battery to counter steep inclines and headwind). The average speed was 22.9 km/h.
  • A healthy and fit 54 yo female who can cruise a trad bike at 28 km/h over 40 km. She used 35% assistance and rode derestricted at some segments and restricted on others. Part of the route involved sandy gravel roads. She rode for 118 km with 319 m of elevation gain at 21.6 km/h average speed. Use of the battery was 113% (Range Extender was used).
Really need to derestrict?
I’ll add that I was 72 when I bought my SL. At the time I was riding my Cannondale Adventure 1 at about 12 mph average for rides maxing out at 20 miles. After those rides I usually needed a nap.

Now, I ride my SL at about 14 MPH and can easily go 30 or 40 miles and not need a nap. I’m in the US so assist is good to 28 mph, but going that fast takes quite a lot of my effort and I can’t hit those speeds unless I’m on a flat or slightly downhill. A tailwind helps.

Stefan is great at explaining how our bikes work. Without his help, I’d never have figured out how to make my rides better. I’m just adding my two cents.
 

Rás Cnoic

Well-Known Member
So...

bit of a blow. Happened Tuesday evening.

I had a great 24 mile ride on the Vado SL in the afternoon. 2,500ft of climbing, 54% of battery remaining. Later that evening went to charge the battery/bike.

Nothing.

Usually the bike’s lights come on and the blue indicator lights ramp up to 10 before settling on the percentage of battery remaining.

Nothing happened at all.

The green light on the charger remained green and didn’t change to red.

I unplugged the charger and turned on the bike. Again, nothing happened. dead. Pressed and held the button. Pressed it several times.

Nothing. Dead. Bricked as they say about phones.

Yesterday, Wednesday, I drove it an hour to the bike shop. They’ll do diagnostics and send to Specialized. There is a back log of warranty repairs with Specialized they said, though this was the first completely dead bike the guy had seen. He reckoned a week at least. Damn.

Some of you may remember that back in Feb/March I reported about a problem with my TCU; then the issue was the battery blue lights were on but I was getting no assist when I pressed the button. Because of Lockdown it took me 2 weeks before I could drop off the bike. Specialized replaced the TCU, though it took 3 weeks to arrive - in fairness Speccy UK HQ had just burnt down and it was mid lockdown.

Maybe because Speccy were so good that time and came through with no quibbles, I’m not that concerned this time. Just irritated as the UK is undergoing a very rare heat wave and after a several very busy weeks with work and few rides, recently I’ve been out every day on the SL having a lot of fun. I have another year and a half of warranty to go so I’m sure whatever failed will be replaced... fingers crossed.

Question is when, and I’m curious to know what the problem is. Wondering if it’s as simple as a wire disconnecting between motor and TCU/Battery? If I jolted it over a bump or pothole and an internal cable disconnected I expect it would have cut out then not later, we'll see I guess. They say lightening doesn't strike twice.:(

I’ll keep y’all informed.

Glad I bought my ebike from a bricks and mortar bike shop with real people to talk to, and with (what seems) a solid warranty with good back up.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
So...

bit of a blow. Happened Tuesday evening.

I had a great 24 mile ride on the Vado SL in the afternoon. 2,500ft of climbing, 54% of battery remaining. Later that evening went to charge the battery/bike.

Nothing.

Usually the bike’s lights come on and the blue indicator lights ramp up to 10 before settling on the percentage of battery remaining.

Nothing happened at all.

The green light on the charger remained green and didn’t change to red.

I unplugged the charger and turned on the bike. Again, nothing happened. dead. Pressed and held the button. Pressed it several times.

Nothing. Dead. Bricked as they say about phones.

Yesterday, Wednesday, I drove it an hour to the bike shop. They’ll do diagnostics and send to Specialized. There is a back log of warranty repairs with Specialized they said, though this was the first completely dead bike the guy had seen. He reckoned a week at least. Damn.


Glad I bought my ebike from a bricks and mortar bike shop with real people to talk to, and with (what seems) a solid warranty with good back up.
This indeed! Best of luck!
 

Rás Cnoic

Well-Known Member
Update

so just rang the bike shop. They put a new TCU in today and all is working fine again. They suspect however it's the cable from Motor to TCU so have requested Speccy send one over. Think it's something intermittent as they then replaced the old TCU to check... and that also worked. So situation is I can collect bike (with new TCU installed) tomorrow and they'll call me when Specialized send the new cable to them, could be a week or two. I'm guessing there is a chance it might not power up at some point after I get it back, until old dodgy cable is replaced, but I'll take the risk to get back on the road. Good service!
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Poor Specialized... One of the reason I chose the 4.0 over 5.0. A lot of money left for upgrades :)

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:)