Vado Handlebar modifications solutions/suggestion please

BikeOn

Member
Hi All, Need some help please! I had my heart set on a Vado SL 5.0 EQ 2021, or the 4.0 SL 2021. Drove aways to a shop yesterday to ride it, and loved everything except the handlebar position, it's just too low and maybe about an inch to far out. I am a short woman. I was riding the small and the seat was already lowered. I am a very experienced rider and have ridden all kinds of bikes. My road bike is a specialized Amira. I had the drop bars removed and put on a narrow u shapped bar many years ago so I ride in a more upward position, (it is not cruiser upward, just a bit). I understand modifications would cost money, but can they be made?, and what have people done or what do you suggest? I do NOT want a como, I rode it - nice, very nice... but not what I want. I didn't check to see if the seat was center on the rails, but suspect even if I moved it up a bit, may still need to change handlebars. It may be ok with just a neck extension, but the salesperson could only raise problems and no solutions. I probably should have talked to the mechanic but didn't. I thought I read something on here where someone did raise them, or made changes.... anyone have ideas? Would really like to get this bike but due to back issues, if I can't make a few, what I consider minor changes, then I am bike less. I appreciate your ideas. Thanks much
 

David C

New Member
My LBS suggested a stem extender for me for the Vado SL when it comes in later this month. They said the Vado SL is the electric version of my 10+ year old Sirrus Sport in geometry. Planning to have one put on my Sirrus next week to see if that works. Recently rode a Como 4.0 this spring for 1300 miles and the best position for me is somewhere between the Sirrus and Como and hoping the extender does that.
 

BikeOn

Member
Thanks David.... I read some other posts on here.... On the Jones handlebar changes. Terry - is in the process of doing it. Running into Cable issues.... I thought of asking my shop if they could make the change. Have you see that post? Search Vado handlebars and you will find it.
 

David C

New Member
Thanks, just searched it. There are a lot of really brilliant people posting on this issue. What a resource, and I’m lucky to have some really smart folks at my LBS.
 

lewes5

Member
Three years ago when I moved from my Trek road bike to a Vado 3.0, i felt like my arm were flapping in the wind with the wide bars. I removed all the hardware from the handlebars, cut an inch and a half from each end reinstalled the hardware. Perfect! My arms were tight against my body. Almost felt like I was riding on the top of the drops, except of course the angle of my wrists is different.
 

Pete 6016

New Member
Hi All, Need some help please! I had my heart set on a Vado SL 5.0 EQ 2021, or the 4.0 SL 2021. Drove aways to a shop yesterday to ride it, and loved everything except the handlebar position, it's just too low and maybe about an inch to far out. I am a short woman. I was riding the small and the seat was already lowered. I am a very experienced rider and have ridden all kinds of bikes. My road bike is a specialized Amira. I had the drop bars removed and put on a narrow u shapped bar many years ago so I ride in a more upward position, (it is not cruiser upward, just a bit). I understand modifications would cost money, but can they be made?, and what have people done or what do you suggest? I do NOT want a como, I rode it - nice, very nice... but not what I want. I didn't check to see if the seat was center on the rails, but suspect even if I moved it up a bit, may still need to change handlebars. It may be ok with just a neck extension, but the salesperson could only raise problems and no solutions. I probably should have talked to the mechanic but didn't. I thought I read something on here where someone did raise them, or made changes.... anyone have ideas? Would really like to get this bike but due to back issues, if I can't make a few, what I consider minor changes, then I am bike less. I appreciate your ideas. Thanks much
 

Pete 6016

New Member
Since buying my Vado 4.0 SL I’ve been tweaking a few things to get a better fit. For me the handlebars were also too low and too much of a reach. I had the same issue on my Trek FX Sport. The fix was really pretty easy. I had an adjustable stem installed on the Vado SL. This allowed me to move the handlebar up an inch and also an inch closer. The adjustable stem costs $30. One downside though is that on my unequipped SL both the computer mount and the headlight mount are part of the stem. The TCD I ordered came with a handlebar mount so that was an easy fix. As for the headlight. I had mine removed. But your LBS can come up with a solution if you want to keep the light. I also felt that at 680 mm the handlebar was just too wide. So I had 20mm cut off each end of the handle bar. Feels much more comfortable.
 

Terry317

Member
Thanks David.... I read some other posts on here.... On the Jones handlebar changes. Terry - is in the process of doing it. Running into Cable issues.... I thought of asking my shop if they could make the change. Have you see that post? Search Vado handlebars and you will find it.
Haven't been watching the forum too much so just saw this. I installed the Jones bars and I really like them; they added 2.5 inches of height and the sweepback got them a bit closer. Much more enjoyable ride. Most likely the rear brake hydraulic line and shift cable will need to be changed as they will be too short. It wasn't hard just more a pain plus extra cost. I'm glad I went with the Jones bars. If you go to there site there are a lot of reviews. If you have additional questions let me know.
 

BikeOn

Member
Thanks. I did install the Jones 2.5 bars. Very lightweight and nice bars. Had my shop do it and rerun the cables. The cable re-do was about $100 and I asked them to keep them long, in case more changes are needed. We also installed a couple of the stem rings. I went for a 15 mile ride and came home with a very sore back and butt. The seat change will be easy.... just a matter of finding a better ride. The bars are still way to low. Hit me at exactly the wrong bend spot in my back. So bike has been idle for a week, while I researched. I ordered and arrived yesterday, a stem riser ('Dimension' : 31.8mm 35 degree, 70mm long). and new handlebars (Box one 5.5" height, sweep 7" back and 2" up weight 685 grams), and will try these out. This will get me to a height similar to my Specialized road bike. The new handlebars are heavier, but hopefully they will give me what I need. Also ordered new grips, (Odi soft) as stock were not comfortable for my hands. The bike itself is really sweet.... so am hoping to get these other things resolved to make it a great ride for my body. The suspension seat post was too long, so that went back and I ordered a very lightweight women's spring seat "most comfortable bike seat for women" - saw it at a bike shop and was surprised it was lightweight. And lastly new SPD pedals: FUNN Mamba. When I get the fit right- having the tires changed to 42 tubeless. Really trying to have it set up for gravel and bumpy rides as well as street. If I can master the fit without adding too much weight, I will love this bike.
 

Terry317

Member
Sounds like your getting there; sorry you didn't like the Jones bars. I wondered at first if 45 degrees would be too much back sweep but it seems like a more natural hand position at least for me. Hopefully your new ones will work better for you; getting the right bars that are comfortable can be tricky. Can you return the Jones bars? I also left the right side replacement cable and brake line long and saved the old brake line. If I raise the bars in the future I will need to replace the left side brake line. Need to get more miles on before I make any additional changes. I've thought about a suspension seat, but again want to ride more before deciding. I assume when you said yours was too long it put you up too high. Was it a suspension post or something like the Kinekt?
 

BikeOn

Member
I liked the Jones bar sweep angle but they were not high enough. Don't think I can return - will keep for Levo or to re-sell... or give to a helpful bike enthusiast. Yes, like the Kinekt. Very nice, but they can not be shortened as there are threaded things at the bottom and the post was too high for me. Just a touch, and too expensive to not send back. I'm short and even the small frame is challenging, but I am getting there! I think for me the 42 tires will help some with suspension some too.
 

BikeOn

Member
Yes, According to the LBS guy the 42s will fit, I pointed out the width of the fender and he did concede they are likely to not be completely covered by the fenders on the sides. For that reason I decided against them, but after a long ride on a bumpy surface I do think the fly off debris/water is worth a smoother ride. May just do the front.... and leave rear at 38 -- have not decided, getting it done tomorrow. Keeping old parts and can always go back to the way it was.
 

BEC111

Active Member
A stem extender (A-HEAD stem riser) seems the only working solution for me. A 7.5 - 8.8 cm one would do.
I just had a stem extender with about 70mm extension put on. I had my dealer do it in case the brake hoses were too short and would need to be changed. I got lucky - there was enough slack, barely. They needed two people to mount the handlebars on the stem while keeping the fork inserted, the cables out of the way - I’m sure you can picture it.

I’ve only taken a very short test ride to make sure the initial fit was Ok. It’s raining way too hard to do a real ride today and probably tomorrow.

I’ll try and post an update when I’ve gotten a chance to do a real ride.
 

BikeOn

Member
Good luck with your 70mm stem extender. I found with the stem extender and the 5.5 high 'box one' handlebars previously mentioned plus the three stem inserts, my bars are finally at a great height. Lot's of mods - handlebars, stem extender/s, pedals, seat, grips, tubeless tires (pathfinder 38's) water bottle cage that dials in a size, and reroute of the cables... it has added up and been a lot of work - but I do really feel at this point that I'm done and have things where it will make this a great bike for me, for a long time. I hope the same for all of you.
 

BEC111

Active Member
Good luck with your 70mm stem extender. I found with the stem extender and the 5.5 high 'box one' handlebars previously mentioned plus the three stem inserts, my bars are finally at a great height. Lot's of mods - handlebars, stem extender/s, pedals, seat, grips, tubeless tires (pathfinder 38's) water bottle cage that dials in a size, and reroute of the cables... it has added up and been a lot of work - but I do really feel at this point that I'm done and have things where it will make this a great bike for me, for a long time. I hope the same for all of you.
Just curious. With all the changes was there another bike on the market that would have fit without the mods? Disregarding other features that may have driven the decision.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Can spacers be added to the Vado Stem? I'm considering a bar with more rise, but adding a spacer or two would help as well.
All you need is to add a standard A-HEAD stem riser/extender. It includes provided spacers. Because of the necessary cable slack, the stem can be raised with about 7 cm.
 

GuruUno

Well-Known Member
Stefan, can you post a photo of your A-HEAD stem riser/extender with spacers? I'm consider this also to bring to a more comfortable height and would like to see the visual. Thanks.
 

BikeOn

Member
Let me clarify - my bike is a 2021 Vado SL. I believe there are differences between it and the 2019, so my information may not work for everyone, but I gave all the product information in my former posts. I raised my handlebars a substantial amount. Paying the extra $100 or so dollars to have cables rerun is nothing for a $5000 bike and all the comfortable rides I will have. Yes, I was without the bike for a few days, but well worth it. I forgot to add in my last post where I listed all the upgrades that I also found an older Specialized suspension seat post that worked. It's the kind with a spring in the tube, so it wasn't as tall as newer models. BEC111, no I was not able to find any other bike that was as lightweight, quiet, well made, components, etc. I rode several other bikes that sounded like an electric bike, had drag when off battery use, were not 12 speeds, looked clunky, etc, I also like the feature of the SL battery system with the range extender. The extra battery was $450 (more or less with cords). The battery is only 2+/- pounds, I can carry more than one, and change between bikes so can also use on my levo. There is only one thing I don't like and that is the color. I HATE black bikes and this looks black. I would just encourage folks to keep trying to get the fit right, it's worth it.