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

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
What is your size on the Vado SL? Creo and Vado Sl sizes are not exactly the same. I tried once for some miles a "L" Vado SL and it felt much to small while the Creo in L was accetable for me. But you can't really copy this to size M as Creo comes in six sizes, Vado SL only in four, so the "steps" between each size are different. But less big with the Creo from one size to the next.
My Vado SL is in size M.
 

kahn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
northWET washington
Thank you Allan for clarifying things.

The weak part here is "your bike". If they had Creo both size M and L, they could put either of the bikes (and me) on the trainer and could determine which size would be better for me. Unfortunely, they only have sizes M and XL in the store, so such a test could not be made.

P.S. The Retul app in the website tells me I need Creo size M, and it determined my saddle height very accurately. However, I have already ridden Creo size M with proper saddle height and came back from the demo ride disgusted and sore.
I may be wrong but I really don't think ONE ride on a completely new bike with very different geometry shows much of anything. Posture, pressure points, saddle tilt and height were probably different than you are use to. So coming back with some aches and pains does not seem that unusual. But then again, the bike might have been perfect for you but the ROAD bike is just not for you.

There are so many damned variables in bike setups that solving them all in one or two rides - well, good luck to all of us.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
I may be wrong but I really don't think ONE ride on a completely new bike with very different geometry shows much of anything. Posture, pressure points, saddle tilt and height were probably different than you are use to. So coming back with some aches and pains does not seem that unusual. But then again, the bike might have been perfect for you but the ROAD bike is just not for you.

There are so many damned variables in bike setups that solving them all in one or two rides - well, good luck to all of us.
I get some specific ache when I ride in an uncomfortable position: the pain manifests itself in one of shoulder muscles near to my neck. I was experiencing that ache when I was riding my Vado SL until I increased the reach. Again, riding my Vado in more upright position only affects my backside :) Creo was good for my ass but too much of my weight rested on the bars!
 

Allan47.7339

Well-Known Member
Thank you Allan for clarifying things.

The weak part here is "your bike". If they had Creo both size M and L, they could put either of the bikes (and me) on the trainer and could determine which size would be better for me. Unfortunely, they only have sizes M and XL in the store, so such a test could not be made.

P.S. The Retul app in the website tells me I need Creo size M, and it determined my saddle height very accurately. However, I have already ridden Creo size M with proper saddle height and came back from the demo ride disgusted and sore.
The app is a suggestion of starting point but it's the "Starting with a pre-fit physical assessment, your fitter will take into account your body’s limitations, previous injuries and pains, and what your goals are on the bike." that makes the difference. If one of your existing bikes doesn't work for you it's a way of identifying what the issue is. It could be something like moving the saddle forward or back or one leg longer than the other. A bike fit will not help the "I need a new bike syndrome" but if something is bothering you on the bike it's a way to identify it. I do actually have a box full of expensive saddles that I don't use so I've learned the expensive way.

@jodi2 I do agree the jumps between sizes of the Vado SL is much larger than the Creo. I could probably have ridden an XL Creo with a few resonable adjustments but my XL Vado SL is just too stretched out for longer rides.
 

jodi2

Well-Known Member
Good/bad to hear, as I was thinking of a Vado SL if a really good offer for a used one passes by. L is definitely to small for me, but so XL would be too big (as my XL Creo is already slighty too big).
 

PennyFarthing

New Member
It is an illusion caused by actually huge support the motor gives you, compared to riding unassisted. Please do these experiments:
  • Remove the chain from the chainring and rotate the cranks with your hand: power off, then OFF mode. You should feel no resistance whatsoever.
While doing some maintenance today I wondered how best to quantify 'you should feel no resistance whatsoever'. With the chain off the chainring I noticed that giving the cranks a good spin (with a kind of flick manoeuvre) would result in only about 1 ~ 1.5 full revolutions before coming to rest - so there is clearly some resistance (or friction). Power on/off makes no difference. Anyone else care to try this test and report back...?
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
While doing some maintenance today I wondered how best to quantify 'you should feel no resistance whatsoever'. With the chain off the chainring I noticed that giving the cranks a good spin (with a kind of flick manoeuvre) would result in only about 1 ~ 1.5 full revolutions before coming to rest - so there is clearly some resistance (or friction). Power on/off makes no difference. Anyone else care to try this test and report back...?
Oh, come on. Believe in what you want :)
 

Rider51

Member
Region
USA
I work in an LBS, I can guarantee you the motor 100% disengages when off. That means there is NO resistance, other than what there normally is with parts on an "organic" bike. None. If you read somewhere that some E-bikes do, it's true. Even the Vado (not the SL, the full Vado), and Como have some. But the Vado SL and Creo motors have absolutely zero resistance. Run all the tests you like.
 
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jodi2

Well-Known Member
I read somewhere in a bike test, that they measured about 1watt more resistance at the pedals/cranks of a SL bike than a normal bike with a good bottom bracket has.
I will sell my Creo! Today!
 
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Guys,
During my latest visit to Specialized Brand Store in Warsaw, I had a plenty of time to talk with the LBS personnel. I learned Specialized could do a lot for you if you just wanted to share some of your money with them ;)

Fancy that: You want a carbon fork for your Vado SL together with the FutureShock 2.0? Just ask (and pay for that). Vado SL 5.0 comes with FutureShock 1.5 on a carbon fibre fork. Nothing but money stops you to get the 2.0!
 

EscapedApe

New Member
Region
USA
I just got a Turbo Vado SL 4.0 and I'm excited about it. Can't wait to absorb all the knowledge of the other users here, this seems like a very active community.

Question: has anyone ever upgraded an older model Vado with newer Vado features? For example, an older model frame with the newer model motor? Is something like this possible via an authorized Specialized dealer, or via the factory?
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
I just got a Turbo Vado SL 4.0 and I'm excited about it. Can't wait to absorb all the knowledge of the other users here, this seems like a very active community.

Question: has anyone ever upgraded an older model Vado with newer Vado features? For example, an older model frame with the newer model motor? Is something like this possible via an authorized Specialized dealer, or via the factory?
Hi,

First of all: Congratulations! Please post your Vado SL photo, and be sharing your riding experiences with other Club members!

So far, there is nothing like a new SL 1.1 motor so no worries. If you, however, wanted to have the new Mastermind TCU installed on your frame then I am afraid that would not be possible. It is similar to a newest iPhone; you cannot upgrade your older phone to the latest one by just swapping the parts. In case your motor breaks, it will be replaced by the authorized Specialized LBS either by warranty or as a paid part/service post-warranty.

Range Extender battery with a 220 mm SL Cable, and SL Y-Cable for charging the internal and RE battery at the same time is a popular upgrade. All these parts can be ordered at the Specialized LBS.

You are allowed to upgrade your Vado SL with parts of the 5.0, and that should be done via LBS. For instance, you could pay for swapping your existing fork with the carbon fibre one including the FutureShock 1.5 or even 2.0 suspension stem. And you can upgrade your e-bike with aftermarket parts (for instance, alternative suspension stem, suspension seat-post, tyres, and many other items, too).
 

EscapedApe

New Member
Region
USA
Hi,

First of all: Congratulations! Please post your Vado SL photo, and be sharing your riding experiences with other Club members!

So far, there is nothing like a new SL 1.1 motor so no worries. If you, however, wanted to have the new Mastermind TCU installed on your frame then I am afraid that would not be possible. It is similar to a newest iPhone; you cannot upgrade your older phone to the latest one by just swapping the parts. In case your motor breaks, it will be replaced by the authorized Specialized LBS either by warranty or as a paid part/service post-warranty.

Range Extender battery with a 220 mm SL Cable, and SL Y-Cable for charging the internal and RE battery at the same time is a popular upgrade. All these parts can be ordered at the Specialized LBS.

You are allowed to upgrade your Vado SL with parts of the 5.0, and that should be done via LBS. For instance, you could pay for swapping your existing fork with the carbon fibre one including the FutureShock 1.5 or even 2.0 suspension stem. And you can upgrade your e-bike with aftermarket parts (for instance, alternative suspension stem, suspension seat-post, tyres, and many other items, too).
Thanks for the reply Stefan!

That sounds really cool. One thing I was looking at was upgrading my stem with a suspension stem. But if it's possible to upgrade the entire fork to the new carbon fiber version and bring the overall weight down, I might explore that option. Any idea how much that would cost? Has anyone on this forum done that?

I'm already awaiting an email from the folks at Cirrus Cycles about drilling a hole in a Kinekt 2.1 to allow passage of the integrated tail light power wire. I'll also be throwing a Brooks Cambium C19 saddle onto my Vado for additional comfort.

My mouth is watering at all the possibilities.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
But if it's possible to upgrade the entire fork to the new carbon fiber version and bring the overall weight down, I might explore that option. Any idea how much that would cost? Has anyone on this forum done that?
Yes, it is enough to ask your LBS for the upgrade. The FutureShock 1.5 must be used together with a carbon fibre fork of Vado 5.0 SL. The only drawback is these forks are all black (but black matches most of frame colours). I've got a quote of approximately US$800 for the upgrade but the price really depends on the region (we have to pay VAT in Europe).

The Specialized Brand Store manager told me one of his customers had asked for a carbon fibre fork with the more superior FutureShock 2.0 for his Vado 4.0 SL and the LBS did the upgrade with pleasure; I didn't ask for the cost though.

As you have decided on the Kinekt 2.1, I can only praise you on your decision (and hope Cirrus Cycles will be able to drill the hole for you). Regarding the suspension stem, I decided to go on with a Redshift ShockStop stem. It required a little of fiddling from my side. For instance, I had to find a good GoPro mount to relocate my headlight off the original stem.

1638217724970.png

My ultimate modification for the Vado SL front.

If you want to use a display, the original (optional) TCD-W one is OK but you can use a Garmin or Wahoo for more functionality.
 

EscapedApe

New Member
Region
USA
Thanks for that dose of pure information.

I like your cockpit setup there. Are you running the default Vado head light? And what about your grips? Got any mirrors?

My plan for my cockpit is to replace the TCD mount with a Rokform stem mount, stick my phone in a Rokform case, and use my phone as my navigation computer. Then I'll either replace the stock stem with a suspension stem, or go ahead with your suggestion and find a LBS that will upgrade the fork and suspension to the new Specialized Futureshock system. I'm already running some Ergon GP-4L grips.
 

Marci jo

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the reply Stefan!

That sounds really cool. One thing I was looking at was upgrading my stem with a suspension stem. But if it's possible to upgrade the entire fork to the new carbon fiber version and bring the overall weight down, I might explore that option. Any idea how much that would cost? Has anyone on this forum done that?

I'm already awaiting an email from the folks at Cirrus Cycles about drilling a hole in a Kinekt 2.1 to allow passage of the integrated tail light power wire. I'll also be throwing a Brooks Cambium C19 saddle onto my Vado for additional comfort.

My mouth is watering at all the possibilities.

E.Ape,
I’m pretty sure Cirrus will be able to drill the hole in the Kinekt seat post. I had a similar situation a couple years ago. My Trek class one has the red light mounted on the seat. I want to keep the light but switch out the seat post. Cirrus does this all the time, even with a small fee.
You’re gonna love the Kinekt, makes a huge difference in ride comfort.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
I like your cockpit setup there. Are you running the default Vado head light? And what about your grips? Got any mirrors?
Mirror: A Mirrycle. I have standardized on Mirrycles (for all my e-bikes) as these are inexpensive, unbreakable, and ensure good viewing angle. The only thing that might break are the internals you slide into the handlebar. Therefore, the rule is: Never remove your Mirrycle after you have installed it. Still, these are very inexpensive... As you can see in the picture, my Mirrycles are installed inwards and below the grip, making the bars as short as they originally have been and protecting the mirror from breaking in the case of a crash (I call it "@tomjasz setup" as it was Tom who recommended that way of setting the Mirrycle up).

1638244758603.png

Here's my Vado SL cockpit in "flat bar gravel setup". The bars are mounted on -6 deg, 100 mm Redshift ShockStop stem, and I placed them as low as possible. I have used Ergon GP2 here as the grips look slim (optically matching the slim Vado SL), and later complemented them with SQlab Innerbarends 411. Originally, I was very negative towards the Innerbarends. Later, these grips turned out to be excellent for headwind or rough terrain rides! (Only these are hard, so I ride them in gloves).

The Lezyne Hecto 65 StVZO as the stock headlight is excellent for urban riding as long as the angle is properly set (the beam can reach quite far!) For winter night (and especially forest) rides, I complement the stock lamp with external CatEye headlights (AMPP 1100 or Volt 1700). As you can see in the picture, the Lezyne is attached to a GoPro mount, making it extend past the cables!

1638245793924.png

The detailed view of SQlab Innerbarend 411 mounted on a shortened Ergon GP2 in combination with the brake lever, Vado SL handlebar remote, and the bell. The great feature of the Innerbarend is it allows easy braking without removing the hand from the grip. (@Calcoaster -- thank you again for the idea!)

Mounting the smartphone... Hmm... Have you thought about Quadlock that is acclaimed the best bike smartphone mount? That would make your other mods easier perhaps?
 

EscapedApe

New Member
Region
USA
That's quite a set up, I like it. You've obviously put a lot of thought and work into getting it just the way you like. Great idea setting the headlight on a GoPro mount, I'll have to try that.

I had heard about Quadlock and looked into it briefly. But I had some hands-on time with Rokform products at a LBS, so I have a good notion of how it works, and their stem mount fits in a way that frees maximum handlebar space for other accessories. I'l give Quadlok another look, see if I can get my hands on one prior to buying.

Can't wait until Cirrus writes me back with news on tapping the seatpost for the tail light. I'm ready to start pimping this beast. Thanks for all the feedback, @Stefan Mikes . You're my kind of bike nerd.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
If you like the RokForm, and especially can order a dedicated phone case for it -- there are no two ways about it! I'm only sceptical about any "Universal Mounts" as these tend to fall off (I have used Plastic Weld kind of glue for universal phone mounts since I broke a smartphone...)

Meanwhile: Swapping tyres for spiked winter ones!

1638264997864.png

Schwalbe Marathon Winter Plus 35-622. I deeply hate the part involving replacing a tyre on the rim...
 
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