Vado 5 IGH problems on steep hill

Gee_Whiz

Active Member
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.

From what I've noticed, this is likely the issue.. the IGH in the lowest gear, you have to pedal HARD to get the gearing to tighten up and bite like you can with the low gear on a standard derailleur.. and the second you let off of the pedals, the gears lose their grip and will loosen right up. This could actually be pretty dangerous on a hill that steep as well..
 

kahn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
northWET washington
From what I've noticed, this is likely the issue.. the IGH in the lowest gear, you have to pedal HARD to get the gearing to tighten up and bite like you can with the low gear on a standard derailleur.. and the second you let off of the pedals, the gears lose their grip and will loosen right up. This could actually be pretty dangerous on a hill that steep as well..
That pause or hesitation on steep uphills can really be dangerous as suddenly the forward momentum is gone. Wobble, wobble, crash!
 

Gee_Whiz

Active Member
^ I think there's a learning curve due to the IGH. It has limited settings and gearing, so you have to make sure you toy with the power settings (too much turbo on a hill probably isnt a good idea). The Enviolo may also need to be calibrated? My LBS had no idea what to do in the settings initially as the display was throwing out an error (can't recall what it was, but wouldnt pedal). They said they hadn't received any info from Specialized on the bike at all. So it seems the community may need to figure out any preferred settings and particulars as it goes along

- App Settings breakdown

https://electricbikereview.com/foru...ith-enviolo-after-a-month-of-daily-use.45312/ -interesting thread on a different bike with the IGH
 

Joshelley

New 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.
^ I think there's a learning curve due to the IGH. It has limited settings and gearing, so you have to make sure you toy with the power settings (too much turbo on a hill probably isnt a good idea). The Enviolo may also need to be calibrated? My LBS had no idea what to do in the settings initially as the display was throwing out an error (can't recall what it was, but wouldnt pedal). They said they hadn't received any info from Specialized on the bike at all. So it seems the community may need to figure out any preferred settings and particulars as it goes along

- App Settings breakdown

https://electricbikereview.com/foru...ith-enviolo-after-a-month-of-daily-use.45312/ -interesting thread on a different bike with the IGH
I also received a suggestion from Specialized Support that I should recalibrate the Enviolo with no instructions as how to do so. I was told that it was an option in the Mastermind control, and cannot find it. I don’t believe that Specialized support knows how to support this bike.
 

Joshelley

New 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.
^ I think there's a learning curve due to the IGH. It has limited settings and gearing, so you have to make sure you toy with the power settings (too much turbo on a hill probably isnt a good idea). The Enviolo may also need to be calibrated? My LBS had no idea what to do in the settings initially as the display was throwing out an error (can't recall what it was, but wouldnt pedal). They said they hadn't received any info from Specialized on the bike at all. So it seems the community may need to figure out any preferred settings and particulars as it goes along

- App Settings breakdown

https://electricbikereview.com/foru...ith-enviolo-after-a-month-of-daily-use.45312/ -interesting thread on a different bike with the IGH
I also received a suggestion from Specialized Support that I should recalibrate the Enviolo with no instructions as how to do so. I was told that it was an option in the Mastermind control, and cannot find it. I don’t believe that support knows how to support this bike.
See the 2022 Vado User Manual, page 22.
There are as many as 53 occurrences of the word "Enviolo" in the manual. I'm sure everything has been explained there. (I wonder why User Manuals are written if nobody reads them...)
I have read the entire manual. There is no indication of calibration after the initial calibration when the bike is first turned on. Please indicate where instructions for recalibrating the bike are in the manual. I am not an expert on the mechanics of bikes, but I do read manuals.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Mazovia, Poland
I have read the entire manual. There is no indication of calibration after the initial calibration when the bike is first turned on. Please indicate where instructions for recalibrating the bike are in the manual. I am not an expert on the mechanics of bikes, but I do read manuals.
Page 46. And I am not an owner of Vado 5.0 IGH.

1649119372586.png
 

Gee_Whiz

Active Member
I also received a suggestion from Specialized Support that I should recalibrate the Enviolo with no instructions as how to do so. I was told that it was an option in the Mastermind control, and cannot find it. I don’t believe that support knows how to support this bike.

I have read the entire manual. There is no indication of calibration after the initial calibration when the bike is first turned on. Please indicate where instructions for recalibrating the bike are in the manual. I am not an expert on the mechanics of bikes, but I do read manuals.
This is a different manual than what came with the bike, but looks like Calibration is on page 46 of 51
 

Marci jo

Well-Known Member
Region
Other
City
Central Mn
Wow, glad I read this entire thread.
I was considering the IGH model but now I’m not so sure.
Keep the comments coming.
 

Catalyzt

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
A few random, almost-off-topic observations on motor cut-out and calculating grade:

That pause or hesitation on steep uphills can really be dangerous as suddenly the forward momentum is gone. Wobble, wobble, crash!
I can only imagine, because so far, I have had little difficulty crashing trying to make it up Hell Hill even with a perfectly functioning motor!

What you describe would be far worse. When I have crashed due to traction loss and sliding backwards, I usually have several seconds of warning because I know I'm on a trick stretch of trail, and something bad will probably happen. That makes it much easier to jump off or lay the bike down somewhat gently. (And I am also on dirt.) If the motor cut out unexpectedly and completely on pavement, particularly at high boost, that seems potentially way more dangerous.

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.
Indeed, it is-- and 7mph sounds about right. Just for the hell of it, I took a route today that had a short segment of 15% on pavement and a much longer segment of 12-14.5% on pavement.

On a 46 pound bike with a 40 nm 250 Watt motor, bike + rider = 200 pounds, the motor did not seem to struggle at all. But it was very steep. Not like, I'm gonna die steep, but steep like I'm definitely stopping and hitting the water bottle (for the longer section, anyway.) Got home with compression long-sleeve undershirt, flannel shirt, and jacket lining drenched with sweat.
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.
Great tool, thanks so much for that! I will be using this a LOT.

However, I was confused at first, because this is giving me WAY lower grade readings than MTB project.

But I'm so glad you posted this, because it helped me finally figure out why different tools appear to give such different estimates of grade-- and this might explain why Jo could be seeing numbers close to 30% for this hill if he/she/they used an online tool to check. If the tool calculates based on 100 or 200 foot segments, you could get values that were twice as high. MTB project breaks trails down into teeny, tiny segments, so you can get some really high readings depending on where your cursor is placed on the map.

For example, Brand Park Motorway is the intermediate/advanced, and-- as a Senior Special Needs Extreme Athlete (😜)-- the hairiest trail I've ever taken. RideWithGPS puts the max grade at about 14%-- but MTB project lists the max grade as 29% because it's looking at shorter segments-- 1/100th of a mile. So for about 52 feet, this particular trail does appear to be 29%. You can do a lot of crazy things for 50 feet that you couldn't do for 100, 200, or 500.


Brand Park Max Grade - 1.jpeg
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
...

But I'm so glad you posted this, because it helped me finally figure out why different tools appear to give such different estimates of grade-- and this might explain why Jo could be seeing numbers close to 30% for this hill if he/she/they used an online tool to check. If the tool calculates based on 100 or 200 foot segments, you could get values that were twice as high. MTB project breaks trails down into teeny, tiny segments, so you can get some really high readings depending on where your cursor is placed on the map.

For example, Brand Park Motorway is the intermediate/advanced, and-- as a Senior Special Needs Extreme Athlete (😜)-- the hairiest trail I've ever taken. RideWithGPS puts the max grade at about 14%-- but MTB project lists the max grade as 29% because it's looking at shorter segments-- 1/100th of a mile. So for about 52 feet, this particular trail does appear to be 29%. You can do a lot of crazy things for 50 feet that you couldn't do for 100, 200, or 500.

yep! grade is definitely a bit complicated. however, for the case of paved roads, they tend not to undulate as wildly in cross section as trails do. i'd take any online reporting of the grades of trails with an even huger grain of salt, unless you have access to the underlying topo data that's being used. i'd bet in many cases it's USGS DEM models from a decade back, which are pretty low "resolution" and certainly not the same as a topographic survey. for reasonably sized paved roads though, pretty good data.

i had pretty much gotten to a point where i didn't i needed the motor on my creo, and then i hit some gravel. AHAHAHAAAHHAHAHAHA.

here's a fun video of a guy riding a non electric bike up a PAVED 35%+ grade. respect.

 

kahn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
northWET washington
I would wear a helmet were I him. "Wobble, wobble, crash!" :)
I have to wonder what impact this exertion has on the knees? I mean one time is probably not injurious but that kind of force has to affect the knee (and possibly other) joints.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Mazovia, Poland
I have to wonder what impact this exertion has on the knees? I mean one time is probably not injurious but that kind of force has to affect the knee (and possibly other) joints.
Young people think they are indestructible.
 

Joshelley

New Member
Region
USA
Thank you!!! I will.
After recalibrating the bike, the hill was a little better. I was able to get up the hill at 7mph and the motor did not waver. However, that equals the power of a regular 2020 Vado 3. I still am hoping for more support from the Vado 5 even if it is an IGH. The rest of my 13 mile ride was definitely better after the recalibration. My new Vado 5 IGH handled the smaller hills like a dream. I do love the bike.
 
Last edited: