Vado broken rear spokes

Cyklefanatic

Well-Known Member
At around 4,600 km I broke a rear spoke. LBS repaired it for $50.
No warranty after 1 year.
At 4,900 km I broke another rear spoke and the dealer wants another $50.
I asked if there were other alternatives to improve the life.
I only ride on paved bike paths or on the road, no gravel or dirt.
I weigh 70kg or 155 pounds so weight shouldn’t be an issue.
He said normally they would recommend a rim with more spokes but the Vado rims are not a common size. Worse still he couldn’t find any brand new rims on the Specialized website.
I would appreciate anybody in Canada that could steer me towards a brand new Vado rear wheel.
The real issue though is that the wheel failed so quickly. Between the failed rim and my ongoing battery mount issues my faith in Specialized is fading.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
with two broken spokes I would take it to a shop that builds wheels and get it rebuilt. my first e bike a a mid drive got three broken spokes in 600 miles. had the wheel rebuilt totally. a hand built wheel will hold up for a very long time.
 

Mr. Max

Active Member
Aren't Vado's covered by a two year warranty? That's what I thought and just checked the Specialized website to make sure. Unless I'm missing something, you've got a two year warranty, not one.
 

Cyklefanatic

Well-Known Member
Aren't Vado's covered by a two year warranty? That's what I thought and just checked the Specialized website to make sure. Unless I'm missing something, you've got a two year warranty, not one.
You are correct. The dealer lied to me. The rims are lifetime but spokes are at least two years. Thanks.
 

Mr. Max

Active Member
I gotta run to work and don't have time to dig through the forum, but I got my Vado almost exactly a year ago too. March 31, 2020. I remember there was a thread or two about Vado's breaking spokes while under warranty. I kind of remember in the thread that after 3 broken spokes that Specialized replaced the wheels under warranty. Your LBS should be able to fill out a warranty claim right now. That's what I would be asking for. That way if they don't replace the wheel now, when the 3rd spoke breaks, the history of broken spokes is already documented. Best of luck!!
 

NightRider1

Member
Region
Europe
With two broken spokes I would take it to a shop that builds wheels and get it rebuilt. My first e bike a mid drive got three broken spokes in 600 miles, I had the wheel rebuilt totally. A hand built wheel will hold up for a very long time.
I thought so too, and you can also choose the brand and size, which improves the durability and stability of the wheels. The problem with many brands today is that the machine spoke installation is not always done with the necessary precision and the manufacturer only limits himself to the minimum dimension. The result is always inferior built wheels.
 

Vamos

New Member
Region
USA
A spoke might cost the shop less than$1, a good mechanic can replace the spoke and balance the wheel in less than 10 minutes 🤔, maybe I picked the wrong job.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
I thought so too, and you can also choose the brand and size, which improves the durability and stability of the wheels. The problem with many brands today is that the machine spoke installation is not always done with the necessary precision and the manufacturer only limits himself to the minimum dimension. The result is always inferior built wheels.
Yep the wheel on my bulls bike got 5000 miles after the last tuneups but then only 2000 miles and it had enough warp to feel it riding. the guy at the shop told me the tension on the spokes is uneven and either had to be rebuilt or replaced. I just ordered a new wheel for my birthday. it wil lbe bullet proof with a dt swiss hub that can be converted to through axle with a new bike.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
A spoke might cost the shop less than$1, a good mechanic can replace the spoke and balance the wheel in less than 10 minutes 🤔, maybe I picked the wrong job.
once spokes start breaking the wheel can be problematic without a full rebuild. one maybe but the second and 3rd says there is a problem with the wheel.
 

NightRider1

Member
Region
Europe
I just ordered a new wheel for my birthday. It will be bullet proof with a DT Swiss hub that can be converted to through axle with a new bike.
A good choice, everyone should know as a cyclist that the construction of the wheels is not just a collection of loose components, but a closed construct with a consistent distribution of tensions between hub and rim. That doesn't make a bicycle mechanic in just 10 minutes, it takes certainly much longer!
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
A good choice, everyone should know as a cyclist that the construction of the wheels is not just a collection of loose components, but a closed construct with a consistent distribution of tensions between hub and rim. That doesn't make a bicycle mechanic in just 10 minutes, it takes certainly much longer!
plus a well built wheel does not need re trued after it is broken in.
 

Mr. Max

Active Member
Here's one thread about Vado broken spokes, which means it's a known issue. https://electricbikereview.com/forums/threads/do-you-break-spokes.24281/ I'm sticking with what I said. Your bike is only one year old and still under warranty. You take good care of it and you're not abusing it. Specialized owes you a new wheel. Your LBS should submit a warranty claim, back you up and not charge you anything. Instead they've charged you $100 for two broken spokes. That's messed up!
 

NightRider1

Member
Region
Europe
Here's one thread about Vado broken spokes, which means it's a known issue.
I have read a part of it, obviously concerns the first and foremost older Vado-models of the 2nd and 3rd generation, as the thread is already 3 years old. But I assume that Specialized has meanwhile learned from the mistakes of the past. In the 5th generation this should not be repeated anymore. 🔧
I'm sticking with what I said. Your bike is only one year old and still under warranty. You take good care of it and you're not abusing it. Specialized owes you a new wheel. Your LBS should submit a warranty claim, back you up and not charge you anything. Instead they've charged you $100 for two broken spokes. That's messed up!
With regard to the business situation, I consider that completely justified, but you shouldn't ignore the technical aspect when solving the problem. I would prefer the rebuilding to any exchange, as the selection of components plays an important role here (e.g., the spokes dimension and brand, brass nipples instead of cheap aluminum nipples, hubs, etc.). 🚲
 

Cyklefanatic

Well-Known Member
At the moment the dealer is claiming the rim is fine so no warranty. However rebuilding a wheel costs more than installing a new replacement wheel.
The two year warranty only applies to Specialized branded items, the frame, the rims, the battery and the motor. However spokes are DT Swiss and also carry a separate two year warranty. Gotta read that fine print!
At the moment the dealer has agreed to try and find me a better (cheaper) option. I would be happy with a wheel that doesn’t break spokes.
 

Mr. Max

Active Member
Geez. I'm sorry Cyklefanatic! I've read similar stories in this forum. Where the Specialized warranty only covers certain parts of the bike. Seems pretty messed up to me! I had an issue with the display on my Vado. My LBS put in a warranty claim to Specialized to replace it. It took forever. When I asked my LBS, they told me not to worry. They said that my primary warranty is with them, not Specialized. That they'd replace the display for no charge even if Specialized declined to. My point is that I hope your LBS comes through for you! Best of luck! And like NightRider1 says, if you end up with a handmade wheel, it will be an awesome upgrade.
 

NightRider1

Member
Region
Europe
At the moment the dealer is claiming the rim is fine so no warranty. However rebuilding a wheel costs more than installing a new replacement wheel.
That is essentially correct, but it also depends on how the dealer is handling the situation. I know that this doesn't really help you now, but if I were the dealer, then I would come to meet you with a compensation deal and transfer the 100 $ charged so far for a complete rebuild. For the retailer, this would certainly pay off in the long term and in the end you wouldn't have the feeling of just being ripped off. 💵
The two year warranty only applies to Specialized branded items, the frame, the rims, the battery and the motor. However spokes are DT Swiss and also carry a separate two year warranty. Gotta read that fine print!
We are not talking about a possible material defect, but about a manufacturing defect clearly caused by the manufacturer, which has been known for more than five years now. The annoying thing about this is the fact that the bikes are anything but cheap and still don't have the quality that the consumer expects. The bicycles in question are therefore the result of poor quality management, so it doesn't help if good components, such as those from DT Swiss, are installed.

Sometimes I ask myself, how can it be that the Wright brothers have managed to build (in the year 1892) bicycles of unique quality in their workshop while the industry in the 21st century seems to be failing all the time, despite automation and more advanced technology ⁉️
 
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Brendon@TBSM

Well-Known Member
That is essentially correct, but it also depends on how the dealer is handling the situation. I know that this doesn't really help you now, but if I were the dealer, then I would come to meet you with a compensation deal and transfer the 100 $ charged so far for a complete rebuild. For the retailer, this would certainly pay off in the long term and in the end you wouldn't have the feeling of just being ripped off. 💵

We are not talking about a possible material defect, but about a manufacturing defect clearly caused by the manufacturer, which has been known for more than five years now. The annoying thing about this is the fact that the bikes are anything but cheap and still don't have the quality that the consumer expects. The bicycles in question are therefore the result of poor quality management, so it doesn't help if good components, such as those from DT Swiss, are installed.

Sometimes I ask myself, how can it be that the Wright brothers have managed to build (in the year 1892) bicycles of unique quality in their workshop while the industry in the 21st century seems to be failing all the time, despite automation and more advanced technology ⁉️

Sorry for the busted spokes! As previously stated, once one spoke goes it's wheel build time. No manufacture will reimburse a shop to build a wheel or replace a spoke because there are just too many variables which can contribute to breaking spokes, frustrating I know. We will take care of our clients as a service we offer, but that's just our shop and is a shop by shop case.

I'd look at it as a time for a sweet upgrade! I'm a huge fan of DT Swiss and Velocity, they make some great rims and offer awesome custom colors you can get the rims in, here's my Vado for reference! I hear you on not wanting to spend the money on something that seems like a manufacture defect, but wheels, especially on e bikes, are subject to so many different forces that it's nearly impossible to say it's a manufacture defect. Keep in mind I'm not defending anything, just saying that it's pretty hard to say there's one smoking gun. I've had wheels I've build pop spokes after hitting a particular bump/hole at the wrong angle or maybe my panniers had stuff in them. It's nothing to focus on and look at it from a point of, now you get to justify getting something super cool and personalize your bike!
 

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NightRider1

Member
Region
Europe
I hear you on not wanting to spend the money on something that seems like a manufacture defect, but wheels, especially on e bikes, are subject to so many different forces that it's nearly impossible to say it's a manufacture defect.
I'm sorry to say this, but you are definitely wrong here! The manufacturers, and by that I mean all of them, know exactly what forces act on the wheels, but the wheels must then be dimensioned accordingly. Experience has shown that savings are made in practically everything, in terms of the number of spokes, their dimensions, the electric motor and the gearbox, the battery cells, and so on and so forth. In this way, the wheels are literally driven to the edge of their stability, which logically leads to increased defects. We're not talking about rocket science, we are talking about simple physics and the manufacturers should know by means of extensive tests which loads the wheels absolutely have to withstand. 🔬

The price that the customer ultimately has to pay for the product justifies a corresponding reserve in the load capacity of the wheels. Passing the problem on to the end user is completely absurd and unfair! 👎
 

Cyklefanatic

Well-Known Member
Sorry for the busted spokes! As previously stated, once one spoke goes it's wheel build time. No manufacture will reimburse a shop to build a wheel or replace a spoke because there are just too many variables which can contribute to breaking spokes, frustrating I know. We will take care of our clients as a service we offer, but that's just our shop and is a shop by shop case.

I'd look at it as a time for a sweet upgrade! I'm a huge fan of DT Swiss and Velocity, they make some great rims and offer awesome custom colors you can get the rims in, here's my Vado for reference! I hear you on not wanting to spend the money on something that seems like a manufacture defect, but wheels, especially on e bikes, are subject to so many different forces that it's nearly impossible to say it's a manufacture defect. Keep in mind I'm not defending anything, just saying that it's pretty hard to say there's one smoking gun. I've had wheels I've build pop spokes after hitting a particular bump/hole at the wrong angle or maybe my panniers had stuff in them. It's nothing to focus on and look at it from a point of, now you get to justify getting something super cool and personalize your bike!
I must disagree. I believe it’s problem that goes back to the mentality of road bike weight weenies. They focus on every gram added and manufacturers know this so they concentrate on weight at the expense of both cost and reliability. That’s why bike components are so expensive compared to similar motorcycle parts. I have owned 3 motorcycles. One dirt bike and two road bikes yet not one broken spoke even after what I would call extreme abuse on my part. Jumps off hills with hard landings no problem.
The bike industry is to focused on light weight and it needs to change for ebikes because people want to put a lot of miles on them and not have to do a lot of maintenance. Because of the motor we can live with a few extra pounds.
 

Brendon@TBSM

Well-Known Member
I must disagree. I believe it’s problem that goes back to the mentality of road bike weight weenies. They focus on every gram added and manufacturers know this so they concentrate on weight at the expense of both cost and reliability. That’s why bike components are so expensive compared to similar motorcycle parts. I have owned 3 motorcycles. One dirt bike and two road bikes yet not one broken spoke even after what I would call extreme abuse on my part. Jumps off hills with hard landings no problem.
The bike industry is to focused on light weight and it needs to change for ebikes because people want to put a lot of miles on them and not have to do a lot of maintenance. Because of the motor we can live with a few extra pounds.

Whatever you guys say! In my tenure as GM of a 7 line motorcycle dealership, comparing e-bikes to motorcycles is a stretch to say the least. Granted your point is make the stuff more robust, I hear you there, but e-bikes are bicycle first, not motorcycles. There's always a learning curve both on the manufacture side as well as how the product is used by the end client.