Tyre & Tubes | Battery & Charger | Vado SL 4.0

kernpaillard

New Member
Region
United Kingdom
Brand new owner for the Turbo Vado SL 4.0. And I have a few questions, which I can't find answers to on the specialized website.


- I would like to the bike generally in a wide array of terrains (gravel, bit off road - nothing too crazy, some sand on occasion), hybrid, what tyres can I use? the default ones are Specialised pathfinder sport (700 x 38c) and I've been reading up about Specialised pathfinder Pro; would you recommend that? or any other like, Specialized Crossroads 700c Hybrid Tyre or Specialized Infinity Sport Reflect 700c Tyre ? or Schwalbe Marathon Plus ?

- is it possible to use tubeless tyres?

- are there any alternative supported bike chargers? just wanted to have a spare one and the original one is £95 here in the UK. The reason being, from visual inspection, I find the pins inside the charger a bit flimsy and any mistake or hurry in connecting them would result in them breaking (I suspect).

- any recommendations on the pannier to use? the official rear rack for vado sl 4.0 suggests upto 15kg max weight?

- it's my first e-bike, so curious about the battery; I'm aware it should be good for a while and >250 charge cycles, but what happens after? is it easy to have the battery replaced (presumably a few years down the line when you are not in warranty) or are you at the mercy of Specialized to do so?

- How does it work with firmware updates? If I purchased the bike from Retailer X and have now moved bit further from where they are and have another Retailer Y, can they provide the firmware update for me? I would be surprised if I have to pay for it at Retailer Y. It's not fair to the customer to have to negotiate between Retailer for updates.

- does anybody's bike make a noise while riding, when you are not pedalling and going downhill and when I walk the bike, I can hear the cassette noise.

Appreciate any help / advice you can provide.

Thank you.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Brand new owner for the Turbo Vado SL 4.0. And I have a few questions, which I can't find answers to on the specialized website.


- I would like to the bike generally in a wide array of terrains (gravel, bit off road - nothing too crazy, some sand on occasion), hybrid, what tyres can I use? the default ones are Specialised pathfinder sport (700 x 38c) and I've been reading up about Specialised pathfinder Pro; would you recommend that? or any other like, Specialized Crossroads 700c Hybrid Tyre or Specialized Infinity Sport Reflect 700c Tyre ? or Schwalbe Marathon Plus ?
I use Schwalbe Smart Sam 37-622. A perfect marriage between road, gravel, and off-road capabilities.
20210720_131145-01.jpeg

- is it possible to use tubeless tyres?
No. Not on the 4.0. The rims used on 4.0 are not tubeless-ready.
- are there any alternative supported bike chargers? just wanted to have a spare one and the original one is £95 here in the UK. The reason being, from visual inspection, I find the pins inside the charger a bit flimsy and any mistake or hurry in connecting them would result in them breaking (I suspect).
No. You can only use the 48 V Specialized SL charger. No worries, it works perfectly for me (and I am the first to destroy things if they can be destroyed :D)
20210720_131202-01.jpeg

- any recommendations on the pannier to use? the official rear rack for vado sl 4.0 suggests upto 15kg max weight?
I use Ortlieb E-Mate pannier. With this excellent and universal pannier, it is necessary to protect all contact points at rack tubes with a good protective tape. If you can find a pannier compatible with Racktime (TM), you need not to worry about anything.
20210720_131257-01.jpeg

- it's my first e-bike, so curious about the battery; I'm aware it should be good for a while and >250 charge cycles, but what happens after? is it easy to have the battery replaced (presumably a few years down the line when you are not in warranty) or are you at the mercy of Specialized to do so?
Just ride on. Specialized are good with their batteries and it looks they will make them in the long haul. For instance, there are only three Specialized battery form factors:
  • The battery that has been used for full power Vados and Comos since 2017. Spare 600 Wh battery fits any Vado or Como, and Vados/Comos are in the current manufacturing.
  • The battery for full power Levo/Kenevo e-MTBs: longer in production than Vado/Como and still manufactured
  • The SL battery and SL Range Extender. Introduced in 2019, used in Creo, Levo SL, Kenevo SL, Vado SL, Como SL. I can foresee the battery availability for many years.
- How does it work with firmware updates? If I purchased the bike from Retailer X and have now moved bit further from where they are and have another Retailer Y, can they provide the firmware update for me? I would be surprised if I have to pay for it at Retailer Y. It's not fair to the customer to have to negotiate between Retailer for updates.
Any Specialized dealer will do the firmware update for you, especially if you present your warranty card (so the bike is not stolen, for instance).
20210720_131401-01.jpeg

Specialized Poland Warranty Card.
- does anybody's bike make a noise while riding, when you are not pedalling and going downhill and when I walk the bike, I can hear the cassette noise.
This is not the cassette noise. It is freehub noise and it is perfectly normal. I actually like it!
Appreciate any help / advice you can provide.

Thank you.
@kernpaillard: Kern, as a person who has owned four different e-bikes (three of them being premium ones), I can only assure you that you have bought a beautiful, perfectly designed and trouble-free e-bike that feels the closest to a traditional bike. Don't worry, just ride on! Everybody here bought their first e-bike on some day, and every and each of us was nervous. Your luck is your choice was perfect!
 
Last edited:

kernpaillard

New Member
Region
United Kingdom
Czesc Stefan Mikes

Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed response with images. Really appreciate it.

I will take your advice on the tyres and the pannier. I've placed an order for the mudguards and rear rack. I've reached out to Specialized support for the firmware update; let's see what they reply.
wrt tyres, which ones are they,
- Schwalbe Smart Sam Plus DD GreenGuard SnakeSkin Addix Wired 29" Tyre
- Schwalbe Smart Sam Plus DD GreenGuard SnakeSkin Addix Wired 700c Hybrid Tyre

Did you have to buy special tubes for the tyres for above? would you recommend any?

And, can you please explain what you mean by " With this excellent and universal pannier, it is necessary to protect all contact points at rack tubes with a good protective tape. If you can find a pannier compatible with Racktime (TM), you need not to worry about anything." and what is racktime?

thanks
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Czesc Stefan Mikes

Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed response with images. Really appreciate it.

I will take your advice on the tyres and the pannier. I've placed an order for the mudguards and rear rack. I've reached out to Specialized support for the firmware update; let's see what they reply.
wrt tyres, which ones are they,
- Schwalbe Smart Sam Plus DD GreenGuard SnakeSkin Addix Wired 29" Tyre
- Schwalbe Smart Sam Plus DD GreenGuard SnakeSkin Addix Wired 700c Hybrid Tyre
Either of these:
1626790669079.png

Just Smart Sam, size 37-622 or 28x1.40" or 700x35C. These two options only differ with a reflective strip (Black-Reflex). Any other variation of Smart Sam is not what I'm talking about.

Did you have to buy special tubes for the tyres for above? would you recommend any?
Just re-use the inner tubes from your Vado SL. It is not the rocket science :) In case you would like to carry a spare tube, there are two conditions that have to be met during the selection:
  • The inner tube has to be defined for either 28" or 622 mm or 700C wheels, and the allowable tube diameter range has to involve 37-38 mm (inner tubes for given wheel size are made for tyres of different cross-section diameters).
  • The valve type must be Presta.
And, can you please explain what you mean by " With this excellent and universal pannier, it is necessary to protect all contact points at rack tubes with a good protective tape. If you can find a pannier compatible with Racktime (TM), you need not to worry about anything." and what is racktime?
Now, we have totally misunderstood each other Kern. I thought you owned the SL 4.0 EQ but yours is without mudguards or the rack. The things are not easy for you but let me give you some practical advice:

  • Your Vado SL 4.0 non-EQ is a very lightweight e-bike. Adding equipment will to some extent defeat the light weight. Lack of mudguards is nasty in rainy UK but on the other hand it is a perfect thing to ride off-road, and let me tell you why. Whenever you ride onto loose gravel or into the woods, the mudguards would pick up pebbles or little twigs, making your wheels blocked, and eventually leading to the mudguard damage. Especially as Vado SL mudguards have very tight clearance to the wheels. Instead of buying and installing heavy and vulnerable mudguards, ask your Specialized dealer for "Ass Savers" These are lightweight sheets of strong but flexible plastic that are mounted with zip ties under the saddle. There are also plastic "blades" (for example by SKS Germany) that you mount under the fork crown. Both Ass Savers and Blades are widely available online. Using them will save your face and back against staining with rainwater and mud but it would not hamper your riding off-road and won't add weight to your Vado SL.

    Note: Just explain the salesman you need the Ass Savers and similar front wheel mudguard and he will help you.

  • As long as practical, ride with a backpack without the rack. You will see how delightful it really is, and your Vado SL will remain Super Lightweight.
Doing so will keep your Vado SL 4.0 non-EQ a true lightweight fitness e-bike as designed. However, you might insist on having your e-bike "equipped". There are not too many options. The most easy is to just order Specialized DryTech fenders and integrated RackTime (TM) rack (of course, ordering from your Specialized store). Doing that will convert your Vado SL 4.0 to the "equipped" version. Note: RackTime is the trademark of the company Tubus (Germany). It is a system rack, meaning it is the best to use RackTime compatible panniers with it. (However, you are not limited to RackTime-compatible panniers).

Adding other mudguards or rack is tricky. Use the Search tool in this Forum and look up "Vado SL rack".
 
Last edited:

kernpaillard

New Member
Region
United Kingdom
Either of these:
View attachment 93822
Just Smart Sam, size 37-622 or 28x1.40" or 700x35C. These two options only differ with a reflective strip (Black-Reflex). Any other variation of Smart Sam is not what I'm talking about.


Just re-use the inner tubes from your Vado SL. It is not the rocket science :) In case you would like to carry a spare tube, there are two conditions that have to be met during the selection:
  • The inner tube has to be defined for either 28" or 622 mm or 700C wheels, and the allowable tube diameter range has to involve 37-38 mm (inner tubes for given wheel size are made for tyres of different cross-section diameters).
  • The valve type must be Presta.

Now, we have totally misunderstood each other Kern. I thought you owned the SL 4.0 EQ but yours is without mudguards or the rack. The things are not easy for you but let me give you some practical advice:

  • Your Vado SL 4.0 non-EQ is a very lightweight e-bike. Adding equipment will to some extent defeat the light weight. Lack of mudguards is nasty in rainy UK but on the other hand it is a perfect thing to ride off-road, and let me tell you why. Whenever you ride onto loose gravel or into the woods, the mudguards would pick up pebbles or little twigs, making your wheels blocked, and eventually leading to the mudguard damage. Especially as Vado SL mudguards have very tight clearance to the wheels. Instead of buying and installing heavy and vulnerable mudguards, ask your Specialized dealer for "Ass Savers" These are lightweight sheets of strong but flexible plastic that are mounted with zip ties under the saddle. There are also plastic "blades" (for example by SKS Germany) that you mount under the fork crown. Both Ass Savers and Blades are widely available online. Using them will save your face and back against staining with rainwater and mud but it would not hamper your riding off-road and won't add weight to your Vado SL.

    Note: Just explain the salesman you need the Ass Savers and similar front wheel mudguard and he will help you.

  • As long as practical, ride with a backpack without the rack. You will see how delightful it really is, and your Vado SL will remain Super Lightweight.
Doing so will keep your Vado SL 4.0 non-EQ a true lightweight fitness e-bike as designed. However, you might insist on having your e-bike "equipped". There are not too many options. The most easy is to just order Specialized DryTech fenders and integrated RackTime (TM) rack (of course, ordering from your Specialized store). Doing that will convert your Vado SL 4.0 to the "equipped" version. Note: RackTime is the trademark of the company Tubus (Germany). It is a system rack, meaning it is the best to use RackTime compatible panniers with it. (However, you are not limited to RackTime-compatible panniers).

Adding other mudguards or rack is tricky. Use the Search tool in this Forum and look up "Vado SL rack".
appreciate your response. Thanks