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

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
@Rider51: I have replaced the Vado SL stem with Redshift ShockStop with these dimensions:
  • Length: 100 mm
  • Angle: +6 degrees
Ideas? Flip or not?

(Vibration dampening of Redshift is excellent. Now, let us talk about the riding position).

A leaned over position always gets me in the neck from having to look "up" to look forward. My road bike has become less comfortable for me recently due to this.
Doug, I hate that, too. Yet the Autumn winds and the air drag is what I hate even more...
 
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Be prepared for when the power turns off as the RE approaches "zero" and that the system does not immediately switch to the Internal Battery. At least, that is what happened to me climbing a hill. "What? No POWER!!!?" I've only had that happen the one time. I went back to parallel discharge since it happened at an inconvenient time.
@kahn: Very interesting test!

On my test ride, the assistance significantly dropped below 10% of the Range Extender. When the RE charge went down to 5%, the value changed to 0 on the Wahoo, and the main battery kicked in.

My attempt was spoilt by the fact that electronic gremlins started using the main battery on my "Discharge RE first" ride somewhere, and 5% of that battery was used in addition to 95% of the Range Extender. To keep it simple: Realistic RE range at 66/66% for Vado SL on a windy day has been 30 km. That would be 60 km for the internal battery, all safety factors taken into account. The energy consumption of 5 Wh/km is high as for Vado SL but that allows me riding fast enough to join some group rides. (As I would own two REs, I might even try to increase assistance some more if the trip wouldn't exceed 100 km)
 

Calcoaster

Member
Region
USA
@Rider51: I have replaced the Vado SL stem with Redshift ShockStop with these dimensions:
  • Length: 100 mm
  • Angle: +6 degrees
Ideas? Flip or not?

(Vibration dampening of Redshift is excellent. Now, let us talk about the riding position).


Doug, I hate that, too. Yet the Autumn winds and the air drag is what I hate even more...
If you flip a +6 stem, you will be 20mm lower with a 7mm longer reach. This site gives a good visual comparison:

 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Since my experience with the RedShift is limited, I'd make certain it will work "upside down".
It can work upside down. Please just tell me what changes to my posture I could expect.

Please see also this link. Are these wheels same as you showed at the U.S. page? (There's a small difference in the Part No.) "Mine" are 100x12mm & 142x12mm thru-axle compatible.
 

kahn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
northWET washington
A leaned over position always gets me in the neck from having to look "up" to look forward. My road bike has become less comfortable for me recently due to this.
I had a stem with a higher rise put on my Creo. I would have preferred higher yet but it apparently is not really possible. My custom road bike has an extra long head tube. I am now rarely in the drops on the Creo. Too much head craning and I get vertigo symptoms.
 

Allan47.7339

Well-Known Member
It can work upside down. Please just tell me what changes to my posture I could expect.

Please see also this link. Are these wheels same as you showed at the U.S. page? (There's a small difference in the Part No.) "Mine" are 100x12mm & 142x12mm thru-axle compatible.
They don't make it easy to compare but if you scroll through the pictures the original posted 30021-4400 p/n has the DT Swiss 350 and your version P/N 30021-4500 has the cheaper DT Swiss 370 hubs. You can also see the components on the Roval web page.

Apparently there is an upgrade kit to change the internals of the 370 hub to the newer version if you want to do that later.

 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
They don't make it easy to compare but if you scroll through the pictures the original posted 30021-4400 p/n has the DT Swiss 350 and your version P/N 30021-4500 has the cheaper DT Swiss 370 hubs. You can also see the components on the Roval web page.

Apparently there is an upgrade kit to change the internals of the 370 hub to the newer version if you want to do that later.

Ah. My gravel cycling friend told me that although my idea of converting Vado SL into a gravel e-bike was right (albeit expensive), he wouldn't recommend carbon fibre wheels unless I was planning racing :)
 

Rider51

Member
Region
USA
It can work upside down. Please just tell me what changes to my posture I could expect.

Please see also this link. Are these wheels same as you showed at the U.S. page? (There's a small difference in the Part No.) "Mine" are 100x12mm & 142x12mm thru-axle compatible.
No. Those wheels will not work as is. Any wheels need be Boost spacing. That is, 110mm on the front, and 148mm on the rear. Nearly all road wheels are 100 and 142, including the wheels in your link, but boost is becoming more common by the day on road bikes. You can buy conversion kits, but that kind of defeats the point of buying new wheels for the bike.

I think the real question anyone should ask is, why do I want new wheels? Most people really don't need them. On something like the Vado SL you can just experiment with different tires and tire pressure. The rims can take Contental 5000 700x32 tires, which would definitely be better performing (but a rougher ride on everything!), or even the Pathfinder Pro. But if you're thinking you want to ride faster, make the bike perform better, quality carbon wheels is one of the most important upgrades you can make. But yes, they are more geared towards racing (or just high performance). If you just want better wheels, period, or want to go tubeless, then I'd just have wheels built with quality alloy rims on hubs that are boost, and have your LBS put quality tubeless tires on them. You can do this yourself, but people screw up doing their own rim strip more often than you'd imagine.

In case you are curious, decent carbon wheelset starts around $1,000. High quality alloy wheels are around a third to half that cost.

Seems like I'm babbling. Hopefully that helped.
 

Rider51

Member
Region
USA
Let me see if I can completely shorten my last post...

If you want to turn your Vado SL into something along the lines if an e-Diverge EVO I would:

1. Put an inverted, or longer/lower angled stem on it.
2. Put on Pathfinder Pro tires, or something similar. 700x42 or thereabouts.
3. If you're on a Vado SL 5.0, go tubeless.
4. If you have more money, buy higher quality wheels, be they alloy, or carbon.
5. If you are on a 4.0, consider a RedShift stem to smooth out the bumps.

I'm out! Whew!
 
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
The first step in the right direction:

1634811220981.png

Redshift stem flipped, elastomer moved to the correct chamber inside the stem.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Not wanting to be concerned about wind or air drag is a big reason why I bought an ebike! 😏
Yes. Bear in mind the SL is a low power e-bike, though. Anything that might make it faster with the existing motor would be greatly welcome!
Riding against 27 km/h headwind slows the thing down to 17 km/h at 66% assistance!

One could asked why I didn't buy a Creo (Alu). The answer is very simple: the top tube in Creo (even in size S) is crazily tall! Who has invented a road bike with the minimum standover height of 791 mm?! There are many people who are far shorter than I am...
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
If that's not aero/slammed enough, try moving a few of the spacers (putting them on top of the stem). 1`
Thank you! I will indeed do it, just out of curiosity.

@Rider51: I slowly begin to think "creoizing" Vado SL might be harder than it appears. (Let us put all cost considerations aside: a lot of components should be replaced, I know). There is one fundamental thing that might make replacing the flat bars with drop bars impractical: the bar grip area diameter.

The standard flat handlebar grip area diameter is 22.2 mm (7/8"), while that parameter for drop handlebar is 23.8 mm (15/16"). What if the Vado handlebar remote wouldn't fit the road bar? (Creo has no remote whatsoever!)

P.S. I have lowered the bars even more. The riding position is more aggressive but still not painful now.
1634824783219.png
 
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rochrunner

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Rochester Hills
Yes. Bear in mind the SL is a low power e-bike, though. Anything that might make it faster with the existing motor would be greatly welcome!
Riding against 27 km/h headwind slows the thing down to 17 km/h at 66% assistance!
Stefan, are you trying to talk me out of getting an SL? Actually I can (or used to) ride my analog bike into that type of headwind (it's windy around here) at more than that speed. That said, I wish there were a way to get a better test ride, but the supply is so short that it's hard to find an SL let alone take a short test ride, and definitely no way to rent one for a weekend like I did before buying the Vado 4.
 

kahn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
northWET washington
Yes. Bear in mind the SL is a low power e-bike, though. Anything that might make it faster with the existing motor would be greatly welcome!
Riding against 27 km/h headwind slows the thing down to 17 km/h at 66% assistance!

One could asked why I didn't buy a Creo (Alu). The answer is very simple: the top tube in Creo (even in size S) is crazily tall! Who has invented a road bike with the minimum standover height of 791 mm?! There are many people who are far shorter than I am...
I am far from taller and getting shorter each day. I went with medium aluminum Creo rather than small (Spec's site recommended small for me) after testing it. But I don't use your leg over top tube mounting method. I "wildly" swing my right leg (the one that had its hip replaced twice) over the saddle!!!! Hoping to remain standing when I complete the swing. :eek:

But that is also the reason I replaced my rear trunk bag with panniers. I would hit the top of the trunk bag with my foot - by the way, this was on my custom titanium road bike - well, custom six years ago! My custom body has changed since then.

I might have been better off with the small since I would have been less stretched out and been more upright - my neck does not like craning upward from the drop position any longer. This CUSTOM BODY keeps recustomizing itself.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Stefan, are you trying to talk me out of getting an SL? Actually I can (or used to) ride my analog bike into that type of headwind (it's windy around here) at more than that speed. That said, I wish there were a way to get a better test ride, but the supply is so short that it's hard to find an SL let alone take a short test ride, and definitely no way to rent one for a weekend like I did before buying the Vado 4.
Doug,
I would like you to make an aware choice. You're a lightweight person. Combined with a lightweight e-bike, you'll gain on acceleration and climbing but not on speed. Vado SL is half boost and power of Vado 4.0. My average pedalling power is only 80 W; Vado SL is not an aerodynamically perfect bike. Is perchance your traditional ride a road bike? If yes, that explains a lot.

Depending on your fitness, you might be happy or disappointed with Vado SL, Doug. I am not disappointed: I own both a full power and a low power e-bike, and I choose them depending on the purpose (fitness or travel), weather, route to be ridden, and average speed I intend to achieve. Let me put it simply: Full power Vado appears to be a monster compared to Vado SL in power terms.

Several users here can ride fast with their SL e-bikes: the name is Creo... It is because of its aerodynamic properties. (Under average conditions, Turbo mode of Vado SL allows me getting at 34 km/h max; I'm not talking tailwind or downhill rides, and such speed is something I cannot hit against headwind).
 
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Additional information:
There is a rule of thumb telling you riding into headwind of speed x slows you down by x/2.
Headwind speed: 27 km/h (16.8 mph). Half of that makes 13.5 km/h or 8.4 mph
Bike speed into that headwind: 17 km/h (10.6 mph)
Bike speed attainable with no headwind: 30.5 km/h or 19 mph.
And the latter is what I can achieve with Vado SL at 66/66% assistance on a calm day.