Vado 5 IGH problems on steep hill

Joshelley

New Member
Region
USA
I have had my Vado 5 IGH for about 2 weeks. It’s a beautiful red step through!!!. I now have about 85 miles on the bike, flat and hills. It replaces my 2020 Vado 3. I have easily adjusted to the automatic gear changes, in fact, I never want to go back. However, I do have a serious issue with this bike which is supposed to have so much more power than my Vado 3.

I have to regularly ride up a hill on the road I near my house. It has a 20-30% grade and is about a ¼ mile long. One of the reasons I upgraded to my Vado 5 IGH was to have more power to climb the hill. The Vado 5 IGH has me pedaling harder and slower on that hill than the Vado 3. On the Vado 3 I finished the hill in second gear, level iii, speed about 7 mph, pedaling without much effort. Vado 5, I finish the hill in first or second gear (according to the gear graph), Turbo, and about 4 mph….and more effort pedaling. The motor seemed to be struggling. It didn’t purr up the hill, but jerked a little. I have gone up that hill numerous times with the Vado 5 IGH using different cadence levels (slowest, slower, slow, fast). I always use Turbo up the hill. My Turbo is set at 100/100. Nothing seems to help make the climb easier. With the power this bike is supposed to have, it should easily surpass the performance of my Vado 3…..and right now, on that hill, it doesn’t perform as well.

The bike does my driveway, a shorter steep hill, with no problem!!
I called Rider Care and was sent to voice mail. I have heard nothing back.
 

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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Mazovia, Poland
I have had my Vado 5 IGH for about 2 weeks. It’s a beautiful red step through!!!. I now have about 85 miles on the bike, flat and hills. It replaces my 2020 Vado 3. I have easily adjusted to the automatic gear changes, in fact, I never want to go back. However, I do have a serious issue with this bike which is supposed to have so much more power than my Vado 3.

I have to regularly ride up a hill on the road I near my house. It has a 20-30% grade and is about a ¼ mile long. One of the reasons I upgraded to my Vado 5 IGH was to have more power to climb the hill. The Vado 5 IGH has me pedaling harder and slower on that hill than the Vado 3. On the Vado 3 I finished the hill in second gear, level iii, speed about 7 mph, pedaling without much effort. Vado 5, I finish the hill in first or second gear (according to the gear graph), Turbo, and about 4 mph….and more effort pedaling. The motor seemed to be struggling. It didn’t purr up the hill, but jerked a little. I have gone up that hill numerous times with the Vado 5 IGH using different cadence levels (slowest, slower, slow, fast). I always use Turbo up the hill. My Turbo is set at 100/100. Nothing seems to help make the climb easier. With the power this bike is supposed to have, it should easily surpass the performance of my Vado 3…..and right now, on that hill, it doesn’t perform as well.

The bike does my driveway, a shorter steep hill, with no problem!!
I called Rider Care and was sent to voice mail. I have heard nothing back.
Do you realize that the IGH has a far narrower gearing ratio than the derailleur?
20-30% is a terrific climb. I was doing 19% with 38-46T custom gearing on my older Vado 5.0 and it was not easy. Your gearing is even not close to what I was riding in the mountains.
 

Catalyzt

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
We're all thinking the same thing-- 20-30% is really unusual. My bike (and I) can only handle very, very short segments of 26 or 27%, Turbo and the lowest gear are mandatory. This does sound like potentially a gearing issue.

Do you realize that the IGH has a far narrower gearing ratio than the derailleur?
20-30% is a terrific climb. I was doing 19% with 38-46T custom gearing on my older Vado 5.0 and it was not easy. Your gearing is even not close to what I was riding in the mountains.

Stefan, if you are saying that the OP's 2020 Vado 3 has wider gearing than the Vado 5 IGH, that could explain it, IMHO.

I wonder if the OP could override the automatic and force the new bike into first gear for the entire hill-- might be closer to the gear ratio for his old Vado, if I'm guessing right. Maybe the controller, or whatever controls the automatic, just isn't expecting any grade that extreme. (Just wild speculation, I do not know Vados and have never ridden one.)
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Mazovia, Poland
Stefan, if you are saying that the OP's 2020 Vado 3 has wider gearing than the Vado 5 IGH, that could explain it, IMHO.
I'm not sure about that. I'm only saying I would shudder if I had to climb anything more that 20%, and my current gearing of 42-46T would make me struggle.
Vado 5.0 IGH is simply not a climber. It is not a coincidence premium mountain bikes even offer 32-50T gearing (an MTB gearing).
 

Joshelley

New Member
Region
USA
The picture does look like my hill. So the Vado 5 IGH does not gear as low as my Vado 3? I would really like to talk to someone at Specialized who knows the Vado 5 IGH well.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Mazovia, Poland
The picture does look like my hill. So the Vado 5 IGH does not gear as low as my Vado 3? I would really like to talk to someone at Specialized who knows the Vado 5 IGH well.
Jo: there is a compromise in everything. You chose the IGH version to greatly reduce the maintenance. That's OK but the more powerful motor won't compensate for the gearing.
 

GuruUno

Well-Known Member
Having had my IGH for a short time now, I've not been in a situation to experience any difficulty with any terrain. Sometime this week, weather permitting, I'll attempt a challenging terrain. However, regarding the OP, "I called Rider Care and was sent to voice mail. I have heard nothing back". Welcome to the way it is.
Totally is a whacked experience to deal with the level of support from the mothership.
After 2+ weeks, a bunch of pre-sales inquiries, as well as follow-up questions after the purchase I did finally get a human response. Excuses were Covid, a seasonal spike in calls, etc. All double-talking BS, (my opinion). Unacceptable but hey, what are ya to do?
Look, we can all most likely contribute good positive experiences as well as bad. It's just a damn shame that Specialized chooses to operate the way they do.
There is no "formal" review of the bike anywhere (as of today)....yet.
So, the "early adopters" are the beta testers, the guinea pigs, and we share our first-hand experiences here....maybe.
I experienced lots of heartaches and headaches with the early adoption of several Trek bikes. At the end of the day, they at least were responsive to communicating.
Heloooooooooo Specialized?
Moving on, I don't think there is that one, "perfect" does everything bike, so maybe that's why many people choose to have more than one bike. Each one is suited for a different purpose.
Next year, who knows the latest and greatest whatever it may be, but that is what these discussion groups are for, to share our experiences and solve questions.
Hopefully, one-day Specialized may get off the pot and realize they have to step it up a notch unless they are content where they are at and feel they don't need to do anything (which would be a shame).
Just like a car, or a house, or any 'item', each person has specific needs and requirements, hence the various choices made available. However, lack of involvement by the parent company is an unacceptable action that should, in my opinion, be modified to assist existing as well as potential customers.
Think about it.....how can an IGH bike be made, sold, and adopted without pre-sales explanations? (considering this it's the first out the gate).
In my situation, I may be more fortunate than the next guy to be an "early adopter" and then just flip it because it does not meet my expectations, but the average Joe to plunk down $5500 and have no idea of what they are getting into is a little scary.
But again, me, I'm so far happy and content. And as time, weather and ability dictate, I'll compare each ride on the IGH or the Vado 5.0 and the Vado 5.0 SL and try to contribute my differentiation between them all.
 

Onimaru

Active Member
Region
USA
2 things I haven’t seen anyone say yet.

1.) the IGH is roughly 10% less efficient than a derailleur. So you will loose a little power there.

2.) the Vado 5 IGH controls the “gear” by pedal cadence. You are probably spinning much faster on a standard derailleur than on the belt. You midget get better results to hit the F2 button and bump up you target cadence to Faster or Fastest just for the hill.
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
overall, this doesn't seem quite right. the difference in the lowest gear on these two bikes ought not to be enough to explain such a dramatic difference.

the gearing on last year's vado 3, and presumably most of them (?) is a 40t chainring with an 11-42 cassette. specialized website has some wierd info, but this is what every review i've seen said. that means the lower gear is a .95 ratio, which is quite low! tires are 700x47mm, or 28.2" outside diamater.

the new vado 5 with IGH supposedly uses the enviolo "heavy duty" IGH with a range from .5 to 1.90. the rear cog is 24, the front is 50. so 50/24*.5 = 1.04. so on the 3.0, one turn of the pedals makes the wheel turn .95 times, and on the 5.0 IGH, it turns 1.04 times. that's really not a huge difference - around 10%. 27.6" outer diameter of the 650b x 2.3" tires shrinks that difference a bit, down to 8%. you'd certainly feel that difference riding but the motor in the 5.0 ought to be able to deal with that no problem at all. it has a ton of torque!

it would be useful to look at what mission control says while you're attempting this hill - are you pedaling hard enough to get the full assist level available? to get the full 560w of power that the vado 5 can provide you need to be providing around 140 yourself ("as much as 4x you" per specialized). perhaps the lower gearing of the old bike had you pedaling a bit faster and harder? again, mission control "rider power" and "motor power" real time statistic would answer the question handily.

that said - a 20% hill is VERY steep. extremely unusual for a paved road, which are typically designed to max out from 6-10 percent in most of the relatively recently built western world. it takes almost 800 watts of power to propel a 260lb object (bike plus rider) up a 20% grade at 7mph.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
that said - a 20% hill is VERY steep. extremely unusual for a paved road, which are typically designed to max out from 6-10 percent in most of the relatively recently built western world. it takes almost 800 watts of power to propel a 260lb object (bike plus rider) up a 20% grade at 7mph.
goo info. I was wondering how much my bosch was putting out I was doing 450 when Climbed it but I could only get 30 rpms so I don't know how much the bosch managed but it did at least the same as mew I guess.
 

Joshelley

New Member
Region
USA
overall, this doesn't seem quite right. the difference in the lowest gear on these two bikes ought not to be enough to explain such a dramatic difference.

the gearing on last year's vado 3, and presumably most of them (?) is a 40t chainring with an 11-42 cassette. specialized website has some wierd info, but this is what every review i've seen said. that means the lower gear is a .95 ratio, which is quite low! tires are 700x47mm, or 28.2" outside diamater.

the new vado 5 with IGH supposedly uses the enviolo "heavy duty" IGH with a range from .5 to 1.90. the rear cog is 24, the front is 50. so 50/24*.5 = 1.04. so on the 3.0, one turn of the pedals makes the wheel turn .95 times, and on the 5.0 IGH, it turns 1.04 times. that's really not a huge difference - around 10%. 27.6" outer diameter of the 650b x 2.3" tires shrinks that difference a bit, down to 8%. you'd certainly feel that difference riding but the motor in the 5.0 ought to be able to deal with that no problem at all. it has a ton of torque!

it would be useful to look at what mission control says while you're attempting this hill - are you pedaling hard enough to get the full assist level available? to get the full 560w of power that the vado 5 can provide you need to be providing around 140 yourself ("as much as 4x you" per specialized). perhaps the lower gearing of the old bike had you pedaling a bit faster and harder? again, mission control "rider power" and "motor power" real time statistic would answer the question handily.

that said - a 20% hill is VERY steep. extremely unusual for a paved road, which are typically designed to max out from 6-10 percent in most of the relatively recently built western world. it takes almost 800 watts of power to propel a 260lb object (bike plus rider) up a 20% grade at 7mph.
Thank you for the excellent info. I live on Whidbey Island, north of Seattle, Wa. We have a lot of paved hills. I will check the stats the next time I ride.
 

Johnny

Well-Known Member
I have had my Vado 5 IGH for about 2 weeks. It’s a beautiful red step through!!!. I now have about 85 miles on the bike, flat and hills. It replaces my 2020 Vado 3. I have easily adjusted to the automatic gear changes, in fact, I never want to go back. However, I do have a serious issue with this bike which is supposed to have so much more power than my Vado 3.

I have to regularly ride up a hill on the road I near my house. It has a 20-30% grade and is about a ¼ mile long. One of the reasons I upgraded to my Vado 5 IGH was to have more power to climb the hill. The Vado 5 IGH has me pedaling harder and slower on that hill than the Vado 3. On the Vado 3 I finished the hill in second gear, level iii, speed about 7 mph, pedaling without much effort. Vado 5, I finish the hill in first or second gear (according to the gear graph), Turbo, and about 4 mph….and more effort pedaling. The motor seemed to be struggling. It didn’t purr up the hill, but jerked a little. I have gone up that hill numerous times with the Vado 5 IGH using different cadence levels (slowest, slower, slow, fast). I always use Turbo up the hill. My Turbo is set at 100/100. Nothing seems to help make the climb easier. With the power this bike is supposed to have, it should easily surpass the performance of my Vado 3…..and right now, on that hill, it doesn’t perform as well.

The bike does my driveway, a shorter steep hill, with no problem!!
I called Rider Care and was sent to voice mail. I have heard nothing back.

What is the exact gear ratio that you use while climbing? I would manually set it to the largest possible and try it that way.
According to the website igh has 50T chainring, 24T on the igh and 1.9 as the max ratio for igh which translates into 50/(24x1.9) = 1.096.
Vado 3.0 seems 40t chainring 36T largest cog hence 40/36 = 1.11 so they are very close (unless you have a different cassette chainring)
Nuvinci is not efficient hence you are losing an additional %10 as drivetrain loss.

goo info. I was wondering how much my bosch was putting out I was doing 450 when Climbed it but I could only get 30 rpms so I don't know how much the bosch managed but it did at least the same as mew I guess.

If it is the new one then at 30 rpm expect at most 270W. Also the built in power meter is not accurate especially at your reported power levels.
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Thank you for the excellent info. I live on Whidbey Island, north of Seattle, Wa. We have a lot of paved hills. I will check the stats the next time I ride.
nice spot.

for a quick confirmation of a route, the rideWithGPS route planner shows a nice cross section of the terrain and you can see % slope along the ride.

 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
If it is the new one then at 30 rpm expect at most 270W. Also the built in power meter is not accurate especially at your reported power levels.
Ya I need to try the hill slow with a good spin see if I can keep it up. its hard to te=ll if the watts were accurate I was peddling so slow it felt like more.
 

Marcela

Well-Known Member
What is the size difference of the front sprockets? I would guess the 5 is going to have a larger sprocket, the 3 would be smaller. This will effect the power. I guess Spec measures the power at the crank somehow, they don't take into account the size of the chainring. So two motors may have different power ratings at the output shaft, but a smaller chainring can feel more powerful.
 

kahn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
northWET washington
I hope this is not an inappropriate question in this thread.

Do these bikes (any models) have some kind of fuse or thermal or overload protection. I had my non-Specialized "front hub conversion" turn off on a very steep hill. I had previously done this hill twice and it took quite a bit of pedaling and force and full power to get up it. The third time, about a block or two from the top, the motor just cut off leaving me barely able to safely dismount. I, of course, felt an initial panic thinking I had burned (or whatever) out the motor. I walked it up the rest of the hill. With some trepidation, I pushed the power button and the bike responded. All was well although, I don't know if I did any kind of hidden damage. I never did that hill again, waiting at the top as my friend descended and ascended - it's merely a mile long dead-end down to the beach.

I have now steadfastly refused to even attempt it on my Creo. While I would not be very happy pushing it up the hill, I also don't want to damage the motor/system on the Creo. In addition, pedaling up that hill took quite an effort and I'm not sure my knees/hips respond well to that kind of pressure/force. Hence the question - does this model or others have some kind of protection if there's an overload?

Oh, I know that the converted bike has a more powerful/stronger engine as that was one of the things I determined during my two test rides of the Creo. I accepted the better handling and somewhat lighter weigh for the reduced power.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Mazovia, Poland
Do these bikes (any models) have some kind of fuse or thermal or overload protection.
They do. The temperature of the battery and of the motor is constantly monitored by the system. For your information, the motor reaching 60 C (140 F) only gets into the "yellow" (but not "red") zone. Also, the power distribution in a mid-drive motor e-bike is excellent (unlike in a hub motor). I was doing very long and steep climbs in full Turbo and never got the motor into the "red" zone. Besides, the battery temperature is more critical (30 C or 86 F is the beginning of the "yellow zone") but I have never got my batteries overheated.
P.S. I am talking about my Vado 5.0 (1.2s motor), which delivers up to 520 W of mechanical power (666 W electrical). The SL motor is on even safer side.
 
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