Specialized Vado 4.0 - Beware

theemartymac

Well-Known Member
I’ve never before heard of ghost pedaling. Why would anyone design a bike like that? Terrible idea.
It's just a by-product of simple cadence sensors on pretty much any drive. My 750w hub with cadence-only could be accused of this because it's power delivery can sometimes be slightly higher or lower than you would like. That is just as much a condition of a 9-speed or less drivetrain as the gear spacing starts to get wide and cheaper bikes don't allow that many assist levels. My hub bike can be programmed relatively easily so I can adjust the settings enough to minimize it between the 9 gears and 9 assist levels (and I'm a strong enough rider to just live with it anyway). I could see how it would be frustrating for older/weaker rides though, as it can feel like you are often searching for a sweet spot of cadence and assist that never quite lines up.

The fact that torque sensors are slowly becoming commonplace on hub drives is making it more and more moot however...
 

Rincon

Well-Known Member
It's just a by-product of simple cadence sensors on pretty much any drive.
True. I now recall using a Panasonic mid drive ebike on a week long tour through the Japanese countryside. It was beautiful riding in bamboo and pine forests along a coastline reminiscent of Big Sur. The bikes though were cadence sensing. They had a narrow range of power applied to a narrow range of cadence. There was definitely a sweet spot, which we found after a few miles, and sat in for the rest of the trip. The Japanese ebike speed limit was frustrating as well, but you got used to it. Still, we kept up with the pack and rode up hills that the other riders rode up in a bus. I will return to Japan. It is a place of contemplative beauty.
 
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tomjasz

Well-Known Member
Ask @tomjasz. (I've heard of that concept from him).
Please leave me out of this pissing match. A hub drive can, and many users do setup torque sensing. My comments regarding “clown pedaling” referred to BBSHD motors. I’m firmly in the camp that prefers PAS. Being disabled I’m unable to use torque sensing to its best advantages. My PT encourages the pedaling movements as beneficial. You are so very wrong in insisting hub drives are incapable of torque sensing. Google hub drive torque sensing. You’re not to old to learn!
 

minigrrl

Member
A hub-drive e-bike gives you no workout whatsoever. Ask me how I know.
Ha! I haven't had time (and it is warming up here again so my interest in biking outside is ramping up, and I am a fair-weather biker for sure) to drop in on these forums for ages, so late to the argument, I mean debate...

Here is actual data from my Garmin Vector power pedals that are on my hub drive bike:
1B846D1D-14C5-425D-9525-F476418B7CFC.jpeg


When I am riding for exercise I set it on level 3, which ONLY gives assistance when my speed drops below 16 kmph. So the power only kicks in on steeper or longer hills (hardly any on the route in the pic). I am basically riding an unpowered (and heavy) bike the majority of the time. BTW I could push a lot harder than I did on that ride, but have been saving my energy for the Peloton, which finally came to Australia (totally off topic, but as a true cult member, there is always an opportunity to drop it into every conversation).

in fact, I keep thinking I want a new ebike, like yours @Stefan Mikes (the SL one), with all the cool built in metrics (I've never met a gadget I didn't want!), but wonder about getting the same amount of exercise with a mid drive. Like isn't it actually LESS exercise with the mid drive because it is always is assisting you (below 25k/h anyway). Unless you keep turning the assist on and off which would be annoying... So if you put in more you-power you go way faster (which I don't really want to do, i think 20-23 kmph or so is my max on the trails that I ride, mostly).
 
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minigrrl

Member
Basically I like my e-bike because I hate hills. I love riding a regular bike on the flat or slight inclines. So I want my bike to be the same amount of exercise as if I was riding in a nice flat city (like where I grew up, Winnipeg) as opposed to a hilly city (like where I live, Brisbane).

And HR data (my max is around 172 and resting around 52 and I am 53):

6C1ACA0C-FA12-45F8-B5C9-983B833F79F8.jpeg
 

kahn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
northWET washington
Ha! I haven't had time (and it is warming up here again so my interest in biking outside is ramping up, and I am a fair-weather biker for sure) to drop in on these forums for ages, so late to the argument, I mean debate...

Here is actual data from my Garmin Vector power pedals that are on my hub drive bike:
View attachment 101224

When I am riding for exercise I set it on level 3, which ONLY gives assistance when my speed drops below 16 kmph. So the power only kicks in on steeper or longer hills (hardly any on the route in the pic). I am basically riding an unpowered (and heavy) bike the majority of the time. BTW I could push a lot harder than I did on that ride, but have been saving my energy for the Peloton, which finally came to Australia (totally off topic, but as a true cult member, there is always an opportunity to drop it into every conversation).

in fact, I keep thinking I want a new ebike, like yours @Stefan Mikes (but probably the SL one), with all the cool built in metrics (I've never met a gadget I didn't want!), but wonder about getting the same amount of exercise with a mid drive. Like isn't it actually LESS exercise with the mid drive because it is always is assisting you (below 25k/h anyway). Unless you keep turning the assist on and off which would be annoying... So if you put in more you-power you go way faster (which I don't really want to do, i think 20-23 kmph or so is my max on the trails that I ride, mostly).
Actually, I think we settled that "no exercise" debate somewhere in the thread.

As one who has both types of motors, front wheel motor in one, and the Specialized Creo mid-drive, I can assure you that I get work with both bikes and I did use them both this past week and both on hilly rides. Specialized allows you to "tune" how much power in its three (Creo, I don't know if those non-SL's have more power positions) settings and you can actually turn it off and use without power.

So, yes, you will get exercise but they will help you climb those hills you don't like.
 

minigrrl

Member
Actually, I think we settled that "no exercise" debate somewhere in the thread.

As one who has both types of motors, front wheel motor in one, and the Specialized Creo mid-drive, I can assure you that I get work with both bikes and I did use them both this past week and both on hilly rides. Specialized allows you to "tune" how much power in its three (Creo, I don't know if those non-SL's have more power positions) settings and you can actually turn it off and use without power.

So, yes, you will get exercise but they will help you climb those hills you don't like.
Yeah probably, I just wanted to answer with some actual data. And the whole exercise on a mid drive is a question I keep asking myself every time I am out for a ride... I keep looking at the pretty (and light, but mostly pretty) turbo vado sl but keep talking myself out of buying one.
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
...

When I am riding for exercise I set it on level 3, which ONLY gives assistance when my speed drops below 16 kmph. So the power only kicks in on steeper or longer hills (hardly any on the route in the pic). I am basically riding an unpowered (and heavy) bike the majority of the time. BTW I could push a lot harder than I did on that ride, but have been saving my energy for the Peloton, which finally came to Australia (totally off topic, but as a true cult member, there is always an opportunity to drop it into every conversation).

in fact, I keep thinking I want a new ebike, like yours @Stefan Mikes (but probably the SL one), with all the cool built in metrics (I've never met a gadget I didn't want!), but wonder about getting the same amount of exercise with a mid drive. Like isn't it actually LESS exercise with the mid drive because it is always is assisting you (below 25k/h anyway). Unless you keep turning the assist on and off which would be annoying... So if you put in more you-power you go way faster (which I don't really want to do, i think 20-23 kmph or so is my max on the trails that I ride, mostly).

very cool that you have power pedals on your e-bike!

i too have both a hub drive and a mid-drive, and the hub drive behaves similarly to yours with power levels that actually correspond to "power cut off" levels, since there's no torque sensor to modulate power by anything other than speed. it's absolutely possible to get a workout and burn a lot of calories... but the experience is as you describe, "riding an unpowered and heavy" bike much of the time. this won't be good for your wallet, but it's WAY more fun to ride a light mid-drive that has a finely adjustable range of assist based on how hard you're pedaling, what mode you're in, your heart rate, etc. you can choose whether you want much less exercise, or much more! i leave mine turned off except for big climbs, and crank up the mode only when i really run out of energy or get in over my head. like going down a 1000M descent 3/4 of the way through a ride and then realizing i have to go back up to get home...
 

minigrrl

Member
very cool that you have power pedals on your e-bike!

i too have both a hub drive and a mid-drive, and the hub drive behaves similarly to yours with power levels that actually correspond to "power cut off" levels, since there's no torque sensor to modulate power by anything other than speed. it's absolutely possible to get a workout and burn a lot of calories... but the experience is as you describe, "riding an unpowered and heavy" bike much of the time. this won't be good for your wallet, but it's WAY more fun to ride a light mid-drive that has a finely adjustable range of assist based on how hard you're pedaling, what mode you're in, your heart rate, etc. you can choose whether you want much less exercise, or much more! i leave mine turned off except for big climbs, and crank up the mode only when i really run out of energy or get in over my head. like going down a 1000M descent 3/4 of the way through a ride and then realizing i have to go back up to get home...
Aggghhhhh.... Shhhhh.... I don't actually notice that it's heavy when riding. I just think of it as making me stronger!

The lightness would be the most awesome when I am taking it on the back of the car (4wd Jeep with stupidly large tyres) by myself. Right now I have to muscle it up there (which I suppose is good for me, just hard). The SL is about half the weight of the one I have now...

Next year I will get one. Must be strong!! Or maybe at Xmas when I get my bonus... Need to think of a good argument/justification for partner, we are even right now, I got the $4k Peloton, he got a $4k guitar....
 

kahn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
northWET washington
Aggghhhhh.... Shhhhh.... I don't actually notice that it's heavy when riding. I just think of it as making me stronger!

The lightness would be the most awesome when I am taking it on the back of the car (4wd Jeep with stupidly large tyres) by myself. Right now I have to muscle it up there (which I suppose is good for me, just hard). The SL is about half the weight of the one I have now...

Next year I will get one. Must be strong!! Or maybe at Xmas when I get my bonus... Need to think of a good argument/justification for partner, we are even right now, I got the $4k Peloton, he got a $4k guitar....
You get the bike and he gets to keep you - even steven!
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Sarah: You cannot compare rides of two different people to determine the difference or similarities between two e-bikes 🙂
 

minigrrl

Member
Agree! I was just making the point that you can indeed get exercise on a hub drive bike and backing it up with data... I agree that the data from your ride is irrelevant.... :-D
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Let me tell you something Sarah. SL e-bikes (Vado, Creo...) are actually made to be pedalled unassisted. You are expected to turn the assistance on when you really need it. And you are free to adjust assistance levels as you please.

A female friend is an extremely strong person. On one long trip, I suggested she rode my Vado SL. My brother was riding a full power (and heavy) Giant Trance E+ 2 Pro, and I was riding my full power (and heavy) Vado 5.0.

My brother rode most of the trip unassisted but that's him: a healthy and very strong male. The female friend Justyna shocked both of us totally: She used only 14% of the Vado SL battery, and she used that assistance against strong headwind and uphill only. She rode the rest of the trip unassisted!

1632723960659.png


1632724543630.png

Justyna on Vado SL with the power in OFF mode.

Now: when Justyna just bought a true "gravel bike" (one that weighs less than 11 kg), she went on a well known Strava segment, and beat the QOM on her first ride! Her average speed was 31.5 km/h while the KOM avg speed for that segment was 34.9 km/h. And guess what? I derestricted my Vado SL, switched the Turbo on, achieved avg speed of 34.7 km/h and became the E-Bike KOM there :D
 
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minigrrl

Member
Let me tell you something Sarah. SL e-bikes (Vado, Creo...) are actually made to be pedalled unassisted. You are expected to turn the assistance on when you really need it. And you are free to adjust assistance levels as you please.

A female friend is an extremely strong person. On one long trip, I suggested she rode my Vado SL. My brother was riding a full power (and heavy) Giant Trance E+ 2 Pro, and I was riding my full power (and heavy) Vado 5.0.

My brother rode most of the trip unassisted but that's him: a healthy and very strong male. The female friend Justyna shocked both of us totally: She used only 14% of the Vado SL battery, and she used that assistance against strong headwind and uphill only. She rode the rest of the trip unassisted!

View attachment 101259

View attachment 101260
Justyna on Vado SL with the power in OFF mode.

Now: when Justyna just bought a true "gravel bike" (one that weighs less than 11 kg), she went on a well known Strava segment, and beat the QOM on her first ride! Her average speed was 31.5 km/h while the KOM avg speed for that segment was 34.9 km/h. And guess what? I derestricted my Vado SL, switched the Turbo on, achieved avg speed of 34.7 km/h and became the E-Bike KOM there :D
Ha!

That does sound like the bike for me for sure! I have already been talking about it/laying the groundwork with my partner. He thinks I should get the one with more power "in case I need it"... This is coming from the guy who really doesn't get any exercise on his hub drive (i.e. puts it on highest level and moves his legs around)... I'm going have to agree to a lot of music equipment to get this bike!

Nothing better than a QOM/KOM. I think I have one or two (if someone hasn't stolen them). I even used to have one unassisted QOM but that is long gone!
 

rochrunner

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Rochester Hills
Nothing better than a QOM/KOM. I think I have one or two (if someone hasn't stolen them). I even used to have one unassisted QOM but that is long gone!
Unfortunately, all I can hope to do is an age-group "KOM" these days, and tomorrow I move into the highest Strava AG (75+). But do KOM/QOMs make sense for e-bikes? We all enjoy our e-bikes here but it's hardly an athletic achievement if you're motor-assisted to a fast time (more of a bike achievement than rider). Also, I noticed that segments are defined for particular activity types, and at least around here I haven't seen any segments defined for the "Ebike Ride" category.

The only time I've been notified of a segment time is when one of my rides has been uploaded to the regular "Ride" category, which I quickly make sure to fix since that truly is cheating! ;)
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
I haven't seen any segments defined for the "Ebike Ride" category.
If you create a public segment based on your ride recorded as "E-Bike" (you need to be a subscriber!) then E-Bike Segment will appear. Very soon, you'll find many e-bikers on your segment. In my opinion, E-Bike KOM/QOM makes little sense unless that is a steep downhill segment.

My valuable mountain Category 2 Climb E-Bike KOM was honestly "stolen" by some Dutch guy who apparently rode a legal e-bike but pumped a lot of power with his own legs! (I checked on his overall performance: the guy deserves to be the King of Mountain!)
 

rochrunner

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Rochester Hills
@Stefan Mikes Yes, I'm aware that I could define public segments, but I'm too lazy and as you said it makes little sense. I actually had a couple of AG best times for a while (on analog bikes) and might have another chance when I get into the new AG.
 
Region
United Kingdom
AS most have already said- it is a machine- it has parts that wear out and it needs to be looked after/ maintained. It is unreasonable to expect consumables to be replaced due to user error, although if there is a manufacturing issue yes- warranty covers it.
In my opinion Specialized look after their customers- frame in my Vado cracked, Specialized gave me a new bike under warranty.
Clean it, lube it, use and enjoy it. And be prepared to replace parts from time to time, as they wear out. Also, read small print...