Vado 3.0: Worn out cassette after 450 miles

coffeemaker

Member
Hey all,

This week, I noticed that my Vado on its highest gear, 10th sprocket, has been skipping more and more frequently, up to a point where I was uncomfortable using the highest gear in fear of wearing it out by skipping too often.

I went to my LBS and they told me that the smallest cassette was worn out. At first, they couldn't figure out why it was skipping, but after disassembly, it became clear.

I was surprised that the sprocket was worn out after 450 miles, and they told me that I'm pedaling too slow with too much torque. With the smallest sprocket, I generally cover speeds between 20 and 27mph.

cadence.PNG


To me, it seemed perfectly reasonable cadence, but combined with the electric assist, it's apparently too much torque for the cogs.

The LBS told me that this was technically not covered under warranty (which I would disagree) but they would replace the cassette free of charge.

Here's the worn out sprocket. Quite disappointed about the longevity of the drivetrain.

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What speed ranges do you use your smallest gear in, and has anyone experienced any sprocket or chain wear?
 

Nova Haibike

Well-Known Member
The shop is correct in that it is not a warranty issue; it is wear, which is not covered. If you are riding almost exclusively in the small cog, I would recommend that you replace the front chainring with a 48T; then you will use more of the middle range cogs in the rear which will wear slower because they are larger.
 

coffeemaker

Member
The shop is correct in that it is not a warranty issue; it is wear, which is not covered. If you are riding almost exclusively in the small cog, I would recommend that you replace the front chainring with a 48T; then you will use more of the middle range cogs in the rear which will wear slower because they are larger.

True, it's wear and tear, but to be worn out after 450 miles? I think it's unreasonable to replace the cassette every month.

But yes, I'm planning to replace the chainring with a 48T. With the current 40T chainring, I haven't been using the first three gears at all.
 

batmick1

Active Member
By the way, you can get the smallest 1-3 cogs individually for many cassettes. I did so for my XT 11spd cassette when the same thing happened.
 

coffeemaker

Member
I'm having a very hard time finding a replacement 11T cog for the cassette that is used in the Vado 3. It has a Shimano HG500 11-42T with 11-13-15-18-21-24-28-32-37-42T arrangement.

Even my LBS had trouble finding a replacement cog, so the store waiting for the entire cassette to be delivered. Anyone know where I can find individual cogs?
 

coffeemaker

Member
You can use any Shimano 10 speed 11T cog, such as the Shimano XT.

From what I've been told, there is a difference between cogs that are made for 11-13- steps and 11-12- steps especially when shifting between the two. Is that the case?

Also, are various models of Shimano 10 speed 11T cogs identical or compatible? Are there any adverse effects if they're compatible but shaped differently? Sorry, I don't know much about bikes.
 

Professorai

New Member
I complained to my LBS that I was only riding my TV3 in the top 3 gears and could not spin fast enough to hit the 28MPH limit and asked for a 48T chainwheel upgrade. They said a firmware upgrade would fix it.
 

coffeemaker

Member
They said a firmware upgrade would fix it.

I don't think that's how it works.

The Vado 3 has a 40T chainring and 11-42T cassette. Distance wise, I'm using the 11T cog 90% of the time since the overall gearing is very low. I'm in the process of getting hold of a 48T chainring and chain guard that's used in the Vado 6.
 

jwb

Member
This is the inherent problem with mid-drive electrics. Bike chains and gears are designed for people, and these new bikes are tripling the force. Hub drive forever!
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
This is the inherent problem with mid-drive electrics. Bike chains and gears are designed for people, and these new bikes are tripling the force. Hub drive forever!

Spoken like a true flatlander. I have yet to meet someone in our hilly town who is happy with the hill climbing ability their hub motor or the range unless they have a very high capacity battery.

I have almost 2,000 miles on my Cube with Bosch CX and a Diore 8000 xt 11 speed - 17 tooth front 11-46 cassette. The chain measures out at less than 25% wear/stretch and there is no visible or functional issues with the drive train.
 

Nova Haibike

Well-Known Member
I don't think that's how it works.

The Vado 3 has a 40T chainring and 11-42T cassette. Distance wise, I'm using the 11T cog 90% of the time since the overall gearing is very low. I'm in the process of getting hold of a 48T chainring and chain guard that's used in the Vado 6.

It is poor product design on Specialized' part. They wrongly assume that the Vado 3 is for the more leisurely e-bike rider, so they gave it lower gearing compared to the Vado 5 and 6.
 

jwb

Member
Spoken like a true flatlander. I have yet to meet someone in our hilly town who is happy with the hill climbing ability their hub motor or the range unless they have a very high capacity battery.

I have almost 2,000 miles on my Cube with Bosch CX and a Diore 8000 xt 11 speed - 17 tooth front 11-46 cassette. The chain measures out at less than 25% wear/stretch and there is no visible or functional issues with the drive train.

You've met one now. I live at about 250m above sea level and I climb that on the way home every time. No worries at all with the base model Turbo hub motor and the smallest battery.
 

coffeemaker

Member
My plan is to upgrade the chainring to a 52T (Deckas 104BCD 52T). Figured it might be better than Vado 6's 48T. Any experience with Deckas chainrings?

The long chainstay length requires a longer chain than chains out of the box(114/116 links). With a 52T front, 42T rear, and 478mm chainstay length, I'm estimating 126 links.

Vado 3 Chain length.PNG


The stock KMC X10e chain comes in 136 links, but it's a bit pricey ($50) so I'm looking into getting two of Sram's PC-1051 chains and linking them together.

My LBS said they didn't keep any spares after breaking the chains unfortunately.
 

Douglas Ruby

Well-Known Member
I upgraded my Turbo (original) from 11-32T rear to 11-42T using the stock 48T front ring. I did exactly as you describe. I bopught two PC-1051 chains and spliced them together (originally with two masterlinks then using a pin tool) to form a 122 link chain.

By the way, when using a 40T front chain ring on my Turbo, I found that I was spending a LOT of time in top gear (40T-11T) and that 40-13 was too low (spinning above 95rpm). Going back to the 48T was just right. I spend most of the cruising time (around 20-25mph) in10th gear (48-13).
 

coffeemaker

Member
originally with two masterlinks then using a pin tool

Any reason for the change?

The original Turbo has a hub motor, so the torque at the chain would be similar to that of a regular bike, but the Vado has a mid drive motor, so the chain and drive train see a lot of torque. I wonder how the PC-1051 chain will hold up.

Are ebike specific chains like the KMC E series worth the price compared to regular chains?
 

MrBritton

New Member
On my Vado 3.0, I quickly wore out the smallest sprocket, which the shop replaced under warranty. I then wore out the same sprocket plus the next to smallest. The shop then replaced the whole cassette with a different one, under warranty. The original cassette was probably under-spec'ed, and the shop and Specialized did the right thing.
My Vado 3.0 came with a Sunrace, 10-speed, 11-40t cassette. I see that it now comes with a Shimano HG500, 10-speed, 11-42t. I'm assuming that's to address to issue.
I'm thinking Specialized originally did not intend for the Vado 3.0 to be a 28mph bike.
 

MrBritton

New Member
Yeah, that was me. Notice how long it took me and the shop to figure it out - maybe we were stupid...
I wasn't happy with the cadence when in the highest gear on the Vado 3.0 either, so I got a different front chain ring, which probably made matters worse.
After the cassette swap, other issues surfaced with my Vado 3.0, enough such that the bike shop told Specialized I needed a new bike. Instead of another 3.0, I elected to upgrade to the Vado 6.0 (paying the difference). I'm happier now, but maybe the current Vado 3.0 is fine.