Specialized Vado Turbo vs Riese & Muller Roadster (vs?)?

billfrog

New Member
Region
USA
Hi all,
Sometimes I like my bike ride to be exercise, other times, I'm biking to/from exercise.
I thought I wanted a bike just like my road bike, but when I tried the Vado SL it felt underpowered, and I realized I should go for an e-bike that checks different boxes than my road bike.

My commute is urban - potholes, light rail tracks. I live in a hilly city with a good amount of bike theft (I'll have pretty reasonably safe places to lock up when at work/home). Most riding I currently do is to/from work, but that's because I'm tired at the end of my commute, I could imagine more weekend freedom with the ebike.

The Trek store is out of the Allants until 2022, the Bulls dealer is out of the everything.
The Gazelle didn't feel that great - a little lumbering, and the cafe key seems annoying (like something I'd forget).
So it seems like I was headed towards the Vado (4 or 5) when on my way to work today, I saw someone on a Roadster and it looked fun - bikelike, versus mopedlike.
I have a test ride appointment tomorrow for the Vado and that same dealer also carries the R&M. Suddenly I'm not sure where I'm headed.

Anyone have thoughts/advice?
Thanks for your attention!
 

jtooley

New Member
I have 2 bikes. A Vado SL for exercise, gravel trails, and road riding. But I have a Bulls LACUBA EVO E45 for commuting and running errands. The Bulls is like driving a SUV — smooth over the bumps/holes, very quick acceleration, and it’s easy to go very fast (30 mph). The Vado SL is great for exercise, takes the pain out of hills, but takes some real effort to go 30mph. So I think you figure out primary purpose of the bike and get one that excels at the task. The Vado 4/5 is a lot like my Bulls bike.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Bill:
Vado and Roadster are equal e-bikes when we look at the bike side of both. The matter is completely different when it comes to three things:
  • Electronics
  • Freedom of choice of components
  • Local support
  1. The biggest weakness of e-bikes based on Bosch system is their connectivity. Displays such as Purion or Smartphone Hub are very poor, while Nyon '21 is expensive and still far from being perfect. At the same time, Specialized have created their unified "TCU" system used in all current Turbo e-bikes that has excellent connectivity with smartphones, bike computers (such as Garmin Edge or Wahoo), sports wearables; and at least two excellent apps are available to control and record any aspect of a Specialized e-bike performance. (I doubt you could be able to tune the assistance levels with the Bosch Speed motor).
  2. Bosch Bikes restrict the choice of the user to modify the e-bike components. For instance, you might find out that the chainring in your e-bike is too small or too large. You are free to replace it in Vado. You are not allowed to do this for a Bosch e-bike unless both Bosch Bike and Riese & Muller agree to that!
  3. Your local bike store carries both R&M and Specialized. The point is, Specialized have a huge network of LBS in the United States. Should you choose another LBS for handling your e-bike maintenance, service, warranty claims then you are free to do that. With R&M, you might need to find another Bosch Bike dealer to handle the electronic/motor side of your e-bike but there are few R&M dealers to handle your Roadster as a bike. In other words, buying the R&M will make you hostage of a specific LBS.
There are minor things, too. For instance, Specialized 1.2 and 1.3 motors (Vado 4 or 5) are virtually silent, while Bosch motors are audible. That doesn't need to be a deal breaker for you though.

As I said, Vado and Roadster are equal as bikes. Their e-bike performance is similar to each other. The difference is as I described above.

To be clear: I ride both Vado 5.0 and Vado SL 4.0 EQ. Different bikes for different purposes.
 
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