Vado 5.0 - 21 months ownership - approximately 14,000 miles

2wheels

Member
I have had one eKMC chain snap, but the mechanic who installed it implied it was his fault as the quick link may have not been installed correctly. The motors that failed on my bike did not occur with a chain snap.

The first failure occurred at only 350 miles. I suppose this was not a total failure, but there was a tremendous loud clicking sound when any stress was put on the chain. It felt and sounded as through it was coming from where the motor was located. The clicking noise was so loud, it disturbed nearby pedestrians. This was new bike to me and I think a new bike to the store that sold it to me. No one knew what to do and so the motor was sent back.

The second and third failure was a complete disengagement of the motor from the drive train and a loud rotating grinding sound when the bike was pedaled. My guess is a belt snapped within the motor. These were total failures. When the bike was turned off and pedaled, there was no grinding sound. I think I recorded these with my Iphone. I will try to upload the sounds here.

Let me know what you learn. I started this thread to share my experience and to learn from others.
 

lloydt

Member
Let me know what you learn. I started this thread to share my experience and to learn from others.
So it turns out that it was that the Shimano E-Bike chain CN-E8000-11 doesn't work very well with my Vado chain ring. I had a SRAM chain that snapped. I put the SRAM chain back on the bike and the noise went away. The SRAM chain snapped at the master link, so I went ahead and put it back on the bike. The SRAM chain isn't that stretched yet. I used a KMC missing link master link. Hopefully, I'll be ok. I've ordered a KMC ebike chain and I'll replace it as soon as it gets here.

Thanks for your help.
 

MarktheC

New Member
So it turns out that it was that the Shimano E-Bike chain CN-E8000-11 doesn't work very well with my Vado chain ring. I had a SRAM chain that snapped. I put the SRAM chain back on the bike and the noise went away. The SRAM chain snapped at the master link, so I went ahead and put it back on the bike. The SRAM chain isn't that stretched yet. I used a KMC missing link master link. Hopefully, I'll be ok. I've ordered a KMC ebike chain and I'll replace it as soon as it gets here.

Thanks for your help.
I'm perhaps too late to say: my new Shimano chain also had a gentle grinding sound, which went away with lubrication and a little wear-in.
 

2wheels

Member
You should replace your cassette system with a Rohloff and your drivetrain would last a long time. Someone did that on their Levo and has had very good experience.


@Ravi Kempaiah,

Thanks for introducing to me to the world of IGH. The Rohloff A12 may be the appropriate product, but it costs $1731. With the motor and the mostly flat ground around me, I probably use just 8 gears. Is there another IGU with less gears that can service a Class 3 bike (28mph) that you can recommend that costs less money?

Or based upon durability and performance, is the Rohloff A12 all that should be considered?

Thanks again
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
You may able to use Enviolo 380-SE or the new Shimano Nexus Inter - 5, both are designed for ebikes, cost less than the Rohloff and have fewer gears.
Enviolo offers drag that reduces the drive train efficiency.
Looking at the mileage you do,
Just go with Rohloff - A12 setup.
You'll end up replacing the chain twice a year and may be the rear cog once a year. The reduced parts cost, maintenance will offset the initial cost and your motor may last long too.
 

Dunbar

Well-Known Member
I live in Santa Monica and ride in the same area. I don’t commute but I do ride my bike daily. If you continue to have issues you might look into a hub motor e-bike. I’ve heard that they are simpler and generally better suited for high speed commuting. You won’t run through chains and cassettes nearly so fast. It sounds like some of your problems are related to you being a strong rider pushing a bunch of power through the mid-drive. That becomes a non-issue with a hub motor. I own a Juiced Bikes Cross Current that is 3 years old with 11-12k miles. I have upgraded it with a Cross Current S controller so it’s similar in performance. Something like a Stromer ST2 or Cross Current X would make an excellent commuter. You could make your commute on an 80% charge to extend the battery life. While I had some initial problems with my early run Cross Current bike but is has been largely trouble-free for the past two years and 8-10k miles. I use Bike Attack Electric for any service needs I can’t or don’t want to deal with myself and they have been excellent. When I popped my second rear spoke they replaced it in about 20 minutes while I waited. In my first year of ownership they actually did a complete controller change in a day for me and they are pretty generous with loaner bikes.
 

2wheels

Member
The ride continues.

In May of this year (2019), the 4th motor failed on my 2018 Vado 5.0. Again a loaner was provided by by Cynergy while Specialized decided what to do.

At this time I began to explore Internal Gear Hubs and belt drives as a possible solution and test rode a few bikes with them including Riese & Muller Electric Bikes from Propel in Long Beach. The R&M bikes are nice and super cushy with the full suspension. I did not get a chance to really test the Rohloff E-14 hub but the short rides left me convinced it was nice option. I worked with Cycle Monkey quite a bit to spec and coordinate the installation of a Rohloff Hub into my Vado and came pretty close to going that route (and may still).

Then Specialized offered to swap my 2018 Vado 5.0 with a new 2020 Vado 5.0 and shared the following:

" - last motor we replaced was from order# XXXXXX in Dec./Jan. I did open a Quality investigation (QPR) about the belt issues and there was apparently an issue with some of the belts that Brose was using. They have fixed this issue. However, we have likely seen this issue again with this customer because we only ever got one initial shipment of the correct replacement motor (the 1.2S motor / S176800005) for this customer from Brose and that was a pretty early on shipment from quite a while ago.

As for the warranty, any replacement part, example being the motor sent out in Dec./Jan., comes with a new warranty. So, the last replacement warranty ships out with a new 2-year warranty on the motor. "


This was helpful information. It was also nice to hear that the replacement motors would have a rolling warranty of 2 years.

And then, while waiting for that new bike and riding the loaner, I was hit by a Lyft Driver on Main St. in Santa Monica. The bike was totaled and I somehow just ended up with a scratch on my finger. I quickly learned about the world of insurance negotiation and managed get a couple g's.

For the last 5 months I have been riding the 2020 Vado 5.0. So far I'm 3,100 miles in on this bike with no motor failure, 3 chain replacements and only one cassette replacement. That is an improvement compared to the earlier model which required a new motor every 2000 miles and a new chain / cassette every 700 miles. The bike feels more snappy and responsive than the previous versions. I can accelerate and hold high speeds more easily.

As for the specialized mission control, I've used it once, maybe twice. I spend 8+ hours on my bike a week, I don't like using GPS (data) on my phone more than I need into. For those who are concerned about not having it, I recommend you stop worrying about it and just ride your bike. Although I did adjust the settings of the assist levels such that I can reach 28 mph with some mild effort in the mid speed assist. I now reserve the fastest setting for high traffic areas where accelerating faster feels safer.

I missed the mirror and horn on the 2018 vado. They should bring the horn and mirror back. I bought the Toptrek Bicycle Bell 100 db Cycling Electric Bike Bell which works fairly well. I use the horn everyday. I retained the mirror from my 2018 Vado and have it installed.

For brake pads, I've started using SHIMANO J02A Resin Disc Brake Pad Pair which work great and last about 2000 miles. A bike mechanic told me that they should be more durable than the OEM brake pads.

The bike still has some electrical connection concerns where the assist is lost. This can sometimes occur after going over a bump. It now manifests this disconnect by displaying 'no battery' on the display which does not mean it needs a new battery. My fix includes restarting the bike, taking out and reinstalling the battery, and cleaning the magnet on the rear rotor. If all that fails, I have Cynergy install a new shim in the battery housing which usually does the job.

The Trigger Sport tires on the 2020 Vado wore out a lot faster than the Electrak 2.0 Armadillo tires I had on the 2018 Vado. My 2018 tires went 8000+ miles with no replacements. This 2020 bike looks as though it will need a tire replacement at 3500 miles. Anyone ever switch their front and rear tire (rotate tires)? After having a hard time finding correctly sized replacement tubes. I recently bought Duro Bicycle tubes which appear to be working well.

I now have a 3 year old boy and 1 year old boy. Both are great and all-consuming. This bike provides me 100 minutes of head space everyday.
 
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DanInStPete

Active Member
I'm really happy to see this update, thanks for putting it up. I was really on the fence for months between street/mountain, Trek/Specialized (my only real choices if I want local warranty service).

I finally ordered the 2020 Vado 5.0 last week and should have it in a couple of days.
 

Johnny

Well-Known Member
The ride continues.

In May of this year (2019), the 4th motor failed on my 2018 Vado 5.0. Again a loaner was provided by by Cynergy while Specialized decided what to do.

At this time I began to explore Internal Gear Hubs and belt drives as a possible solution and test rode a few bikes with them including Riese & Muller Electric Bikes from Propel in Long Beach. The R&M bikes are nice and super cushy with the full suspension. I did not get a chance to really test the Rohloff E-14 hub but the short rides left me convinced it was nice option. I worked with Cycle Monkey quite a bit to spec and coordinate the installation of a Rohloff Hub into my Vado and came pretty close to going that route (and may still).

Then Specialized offered to swap my 2018 Vado 5.0 with a new 2020 Vado 5.0 and shared the following:

" - last motor we replaced was from order# XXXXXX in Dec./Jan. I did open a Quality investigation (QPR) about the belt issues and there was apparently an issue with some of the belts that Brose was using. They have fixed this issue. However, we have likely seen this issue again with this customer because we only ever got one initial shipment of the correct replacement motor (the 1.2S motor / S176800005) for this customer from Brose and that was a pretty early on shipment from quite a while ago.

As for the warranty, any replacement part, example being the motor sent out in Dec./Jan., comes with a new warranty. So, the last replacement warranty ships out with a new 2-year warranty on the motor. "


This was helpful information. It was also nice to hear that the replacement motors would have a rolling warranty of 2 years.

And then, while waiting for that new bike and riding the loaner, I was hit by a Lyft Driver on Main St. in Santa Monica. The bike was totaled and I somehow just ended up with a scratch on my finger. I quickly learned about the world of insurance negotiation and managed get a couple g's.

For the last 5 months I have been riding the 2020 Vado 5.0. So far I'm 3,100 miles in on this bike with no motor failure, 3 chain replacements and only one cassette replacement. That is an improvement compared to the earlier model which required a new motor every 2000 miles and a new chain / cassette every 700 miles. The bike feels more snappy and responsive than the previous versions. I can accelerate and hold high speeds more easily.

As for the specialized mission control, I've used it once, maybe twice. I spend 8+ hours on my bike a week, I don't like using GPS (data) on my phone more than I need into. For those who are concerned about not having it, I recommend you stop worrying about it and just ride your bike. Although I did adjust the settings of the assist levels such that I can reach 28 mph with some mild effort in the mid speed assist. I now reserve the fastest setting for high traffic areas where accelerating faster feels safer.

I missed the mirror and horn on the 2018 vado. They should bring the horn and mirror back. I bought the Toptrek Bicycle Bell 100 db Cycling Electric Bike Bell which works fairly well. I use the horn everyday. I retained the mirror from my 2018 Vado and have it installed.

For brake pads, I've started using SHIMANO J02A Resin Disc Brake Pad Pair which work great and last about 2000 miles. A bike mechanic told me that they should be more durable than the OEM brake pads.

The bike still has some electrical connection concerns where the assist is lost. This can sometimes occur after going over a bump. It now manifests this disconnect by displaying 'no battery' on the display which does not mean it needs a new battery. My fix includes restarting the bike, taking out and reinstalling the battery, and cleaning the magnet on the rear rotor. If all that fails, I have Cynergy install a new shim in the battery housing which usually does the job.

The Trigger Sport tires on the 2020 Vado wore out a lot faster than the Electrak 2.0 Armadillo tires I had on the 2018 Vado. My 2018 tires went 8000+ miles with no replacements. This 2020 bike looks as though it will need a tire replacement at 3500 miles. Anyone ever switch their front and rear tire (rotate tires)?

I now have a 3 year old boy and 1 year old boy. Both are great and all-consuming. This bike provides me 100 minutes of head space everyday.

Great to hear this, Brose is a great motor and I hope this means that they have addressed the issue causing it to fail.
 

2wheels

Member
I'm really happy to see this update, thanks for putting it up. I was really on the fence for months between street/mountain, Trek/Specialized (my only real choices if I want local warranty service).

I finally ordered the 2020 Vado 5.0 last week and should have it in a couple of days.
Danln St Pete,

Thanks for your message. Local warranty service has been critical to my enjoyment of the Specialized Vado. Cynergy gave me a loaner every time I brought the bike in for a motor replacement. Cynergy often got responses from Specialized in 1-3 days in regards to next steps after a motor failure, which I appreciated as well. The rolling 2 year warranty on the Brose motor was assuring as well.

I recommend people treat their LBS with respect and patience. Relationships are a two way street and to get great service from anyone or anything requires some effort on the customer as well. Don't go to social media or the internet in general with your problems, just go talk to the manager or the local decision maker.

I'm sure you will love your Vado. Its a great bike.
 

2wheels

Member
Great to hear this, Brose is a great motor and I hope this means that they have addressed the issue causing it to fail.
Johnny,
Thank you for your message. I too was relieved to hear Brose's admission of belt failures, and Specialized's 2 year warranty on the brose motor (are all brose motors on a 2 year rolling warranty or just Specialized?). When I test rode bosche and brose bikes/motors in 2018, I loved the quietness and bike like feel of the motor.
 

e-levity

Member
Yes, thank you for posting the update, 2wheels. Good info for folks considering the Vado.
You put a LOT more miles on a Vado than anyone I know, so your input is especially valuable and is greatly appreciated.
Glad to hear things are working out for you.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
The ride continues.

In May of this year (2019), the 4th motor failed on my 2018 Vado 5.0. Again a loaner was provided by by Cynergy while Specialized decided what to do.

At this time I began to explore Internal Gear Hubs and belt drives as a possible solution and test rode a few bikes with them including Riese & Muller Electric Bikes from Propel in Long Beach. The R&M bikes are nice and super cushy with the full suspension. I did not get a chance to really test the Rohloff E-14 hub but the short rides left me convinced it was nice option. I worked with Cycle Monkey quite a bit to spec and coordinate the installation of a Rohloff Hub into my Vado and came pretty close to going that route (and may still).

Then Specialized offered to swap my 2018 Vado 5.0 with a new 2020 Vado 5.0 and shared the following:

" - last motor we replaced was from order# XXXXXX in Dec./Jan. I did open a Quality investigation (QPR) about the belt issues and there was apparently an issue with some of the belts that Brose was using. They have fixed this issue. However, we have likely seen this issue again with this customer because we only ever got one initial shipment of the correct replacement motor (the 1.2S motor / S176800005) for this customer from Brose and that was a pretty early on shipment from quite a while ago.

As for the warranty, any replacement part, example being the motor sent out in Dec./Jan., comes with a new warranty. So, the last replacement warranty ships out with a new 2-year warranty on the motor. "


This was helpful information. It was also nice to hear that the replacement motors would have a rolling warranty of 2 years.

And then, while waiting for that new bike and riding the loaner, I was hit by a Lyft Driver on Main St. in Santa Monica. The bike was totaled and I somehow just ended up with a scratch on my finger. I quickly learned about the world of insurance negotiation and managed get a couple g's.

For the last 5 months I have been riding the 2020 Vado 5.0. So far I'm 3,100 miles in on this bike with no motor failure, 3 chain replacements and only one cassette replacement. That is an improvement compared to the earlier model which required a new motor every 2000 miles and a new chain / cassette every 700 miles. The bike feels more snappy and responsive than the previous versions. I can accelerate and hold high speeds more easily.

As for the specialized mission control, I've used it once, maybe twice. I spend 8+ hours on my bike a week, I don't like using GPS (data) on my phone more than I need into. For those who are concerned about not having it, I recommend you stop worrying about it and just ride your bike. Although I did adjust the settings of the assist levels such that I can reach 28 mph with some mild effort in the mid speed assist. I now reserve the fastest setting for high traffic areas where accelerating faster feels safer.

I missed the mirror and horn on the 2018 vado. They should bring the horn and mirror back. I bought the Toptrek Bicycle Bell 100 db Cycling Electric Bike Bell which works fairly well. I use the horn everyday. I retained the mirror from my 2018 Vado and have it installed.

For brake pads, I've started using SHIMANO J02A Resin Disc Brake Pad Pair which work great and last about 2000 miles. A bike mechanic told me that they should be more durable than the OEM brake pads.

The bike still has some electrical connection concerns where the assist is lost. This can sometimes occur after going over a bump. It now manifests this disconnect by displaying 'no battery' on the display which does not mean it needs a new battery. My fix includes restarting the bike, taking out and reinstalling the battery, and cleaning the magnet on the rear rotor. If all that fails, I have Cynergy install a new shim in the battery housing which usually does the job.

The Trigger Sport tires on the 2020 Vado wore out a lot faster than the Electrak 2.0 Armadillo tires I had on the 2018 Vado. My 2018 tires went 8000+ miles with no replacements. This 2020 bike looks as though it will need a tire replacement at 3500 miles. Anyone ever switch their front and rear tire (rotate tires)? After having a hard time finding correctly sized replacement tubes. I recently bought Duro Bicycle tubes which appear to be working well.

I now have a 3 year old boy and 1 year old boy. Both are great and all-consuming. This bike provides me 100 minutes of head space everyday.
Really amazing that Specialized has treated you so well!
Glad to hear that the new batch of Vado's are working out well.

Why not switch back to the Electrak Armadillo's?
 

Kam1936

Active Member
I live in Santa Monica and ride in the same area. I don’t commute but I do ride my bike daily. If you continue to have issues you might look into a hub motor e-bike. I’ve heard that they are simpler and generally better suited for high speed commuting. You won’t run through chains and cassettes nearly so fast. It sounds like some of your problems are related to you being a strong rider pushing a bunch of power through the mid-drive. That becomes a non-issue with a hub motor. I own a Juiced Bikes Cross Current that is 3 years old with 11-12k miles. I have upgraded it with a Cross Current S controller so it’s similar in performance. Something like a Stromer ST2 or Cross Current X would make an excellent commuter. You could make your commute on an 80% charge to extend the battery life. While I had some initial problems with my early run Cross Current bike but is has been largely trouble-free for the past two years and 8-10k miles. I use Bike Attack Electric for any service needs I can’t or don’t want to deal with myself and they have been excellent. When I popped my second rear spoke they replaced it in about 20 minutes while I waited. In my first year of ownership they actually did a complete controller change in a day for me and they are pretty generous with loaner bikes.
The Juiced bikes are cheaply made. They have terrible welds. The waves of the welds are visible. I have a friend with one. He's already had the throttle replaced and issues with electrical climbing up hills. The 52V 19.2 Ah battery is overrated. I get better range because I can often use no assist to ride like a regular bike where he couldn't because the bike with motor and battery + fat tires 4inch = to heavy. Riding up steep hills the battery depletes quickly. They're are not high end bikes. Also, they don't fall into any ebike legal class because the bike has a throttle yet is capable of speeds of over 28mph. The Turbo Vado 5.0 is far more polished with respect to components and features. Also, it's a true Class 3 legal in U.S. I rode the bike it felt like I was on a tank. I was happy to get back on my own bike which feels like a regular bike although it isn't. You get what you pay for. Also, they don't have the type of warranty and support that Specialize has. No comparison.
 

Attachments

Kam1936

Active Member
Also, I have the 2019 Turbo Vado 5.0. I received word today from my LBS (after complaining) that they ordered the TCD-w display/kit for my bike and will upgrade it at no additional cost to me. The Blok display is okay it just has limited features unlike the upgrade.
 

rochrunner

Well-Known Member
The Juiced bikes are cheaply made. They have terrible welds. The waves of the welds are visible. I have a friend with one. He's already had the throttle replaced and issues with electrical climbing up hills. The 52V 19.2 Ah battery is overrated. I get better range because I can often use no assist to ride like a regular bike where he couldn't because the bike with motor and battery + fat tires 4inch = to heavy. Riding up steep hills the battery depletes quickly. They're are not high end bikes. Also, they don't fall into any ebike legal class because the bike has a throttle yet is capable of speeds of over 28mph. The Turbo Vado 5.0 is far more polished with respect to components and features. Also, it's a true Class 3 legal in U.S. I rode the bike it felt like I was on a tank. I was happy to get back on my own bike which feels like a regular bike although it isn't. You get what you pay for. Also, they don't have the type of warranty and support that Specialize has. No comparison.
I know what you mean. There's a shop in my area that went to e-bikes early and carries mostly bikes like you describe. The owner is a bit of a "character", a self-taught guy who knows a lot but thinks that he knows everything. For example, he won't sell a mid-motor bike and claims that a hub motor with throttle is "the only way to go". I rented such a bike in Tucson last year and would never own one that acted like that! And, as you point out, he's selling bikes that will probably hit 40mph which is not even close to legal anywhere around here while being ridden as a "bicycle" and should probably be classified as "motor scooters" that have strict registration and safety requirements.
 

DanInStPete

Active Member
I have to chime in on a positive note for Juiced. My first electric was a CCS, and it's what got me addicted. I rode the hell out of it 100-150 miles per week for 3,000 miles and never had a problem.

Sure, it's not bike shop/big brand quality, but it's also not $5,150 like my Vado. I paid $1799 delivered I believe.

It was a great first bike and makes for an awesome inexpensive commuter.

Electrics one, two and three.



 
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bobheddle

New Member
Can the Electrak Armadillo replace the Trigger Sports that my 2018 Vado 3.0 came with, or do i need different rims to put them on? I've been having a lot of flats with the Trigger Sports, 7 or 8 in 2000 miles, so I'm thinking to switch tires & tubes. Would love some recommendations!
 

rochrunner

Well-Known Member
Can the Electrak Armadillo replace the Trigger Sports that my 2018 Vado 3.0 came with, or do i need different rims to put them on? I've been having a lot of flats with the Trigger Sports, 7 or 8 in 2000 miles, so I'm thinking to switch tires & tubes. Would love some recommendations!
Seems like any tire of equivalent size would work. And by the way, I've had Trigger Sport tires on my Specialized Crosstrail for almost 10 years and never had a flat (on my 2nd set just from wear). You must ride in a hazardous area for tires!