Vado 4.0 vs. Vado 4.0 SL EQ (I've owned both)

Recontra

Member
I‘ve shrunk about 1/4“, but used to be 6’2”. I also tested both the SL Large and XL. The step over height was my biggest concern. 32” inseam. I can lift the front wheel a couple of inches standing over the bar on the XL. With the L, I could lift it 3-4”. Website says the stand over height on the XL is 33” vs. 32” for the large. The handle bar stem on the XL is also at least 1” longer, and the top tube on the XL is about 1 1/3“ longer. The wheel base is .6” longer. Loved both, but ultimately liked the more forward posture stretch of the XL more than I was concerned about the step over height. Felt like I could get a little more forward while pedaling hard without leaning harder on the handlebar. Subtle difference. I did stand there for quite awhile staring at both :) . Happy with my decision, but also know I would have been tickled with the Large.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
For me, the motor does not seem to add any drag to pedaling when in the Off mode, and it's pretty much just like pedaling any other 50lb bike (such as a fully loaded touring rig from what I understand).
Isn't some of that "drag" you feel at 28+ just attributable to not having any boost from the motor? I don't know about you, but there's no way I can pedal for more than a few seconds at 28mph on my own power. So yes, I feel a sudden drag when the motor cuts off at the limit, just as switching it to the Off mode results in a sudden feeling of increased drag at any speed. Even when riding in a relaxed way, I'm typically going several mph faster on the e-bike than I would on my other bikes with the same effort, which is not surprising.
I fully concur with @rochrunner. I let my brother ride my "full" Vado unpowered when he was absolutely new to e-bikes and had never ridden an e-bike before. After the test ride he said: "It just feels like a heavy bike, nothing wrong about it". Then I let him turn the power on and he disappeared down the road. When he came back, he was totally excited:

-- "Bro! That's fantastic! I couldn't buy such an e-bike! If I did, I would be commuting to work in the Turbo mode at the maximum speed all the way!" -- so I asked him -- "You of course tried the Turbo mode, didn't you? -- "Of course I did! I easily hit the 45 km/h downwind and with a little effort I could go beyond it. It was slower upwind, though". He has very strong legs.

The "heavy" Vado is a powerful e-bike. You are getting used to it instantly; switching the assistance to Off makes you feel there is a motor drag while there is not any. Of course, the feeling with Vado SL must be different because the bike is so lighweight.

Regarding the 45 km/h (28 mph) speed: It is the speed-limiter setting, not the promise of being able to ride at such speed, especially for prolonged period. It is easy to hit 23-24 mph provided it is windless condition or a downwind ride. Riding faster requires very strong legs or significant tailwind or a down-slope.
 
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BEC111

Well-Known Member
I have the Vado 4 SL And on a few stretches I can ride at about 25. The trail I ride is often too busy and has too many interruptions for street crossings or changes in altitude to maintain that for long and I’ve run out of room for going faster.

Regardless, I can short 13 mile ride without the need for a breather along the way and not be sore or tired when I get home. Before it was about 5 miles and I was often tired.
 

Kivis

Member
I ordered a Vado SL (I was willing to take any variety as which ever came in first). While waiting (I heard rumors, it might be in January), I bought a Charge City Bike. Nice value for $1499. Was lots of fun. Only real complaints were the punishment my arms and shoulder took from the Alum fork and the poor gearing of the rear derailleur. I had to stay in 7th gear just to get any feel from the pedals. Then pop, the LBS called, a Vado SL 5.0EQ came in. Picked it up, sold the Charge City (that was easy) and off I went on the Vado SL. Whole different experience. I love that I can turn off the power and it really rides nice as an analogue bike. I echo, of course, many of the positives others have noted. oh BTW, I am 71, 6' and 195 lbs. Average fitness shape for about a 50 year old, so yes I can and will love riding this rig.