Vado SL 4.0 - How much off road?

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Rook, the Specialized TCD wireless display is worth every cent. It is because you can track almost all ride parameters on that display without jeopardizing your iPhone. (Full ride parameters will be available on your iPhone post-ride anyway, even without any display).

I recommend getting a Quadlock with dedicated phone case if you plan to keep your expensive phone on handlebars. I own an expensive Samsung smartphone: I never put it on handlebars but what is actually there is an inexpensive Samsung. The costly one goes to the back pocket of my jersey!

A Specialized e-bike rider will find an inexpensive ($10) BLEvo app the most bang for the buck. Precise tuning of your SL motor, full diagnostic information, a dashboard with all vital ride parameters online on your iPhone, export to Strava, and detailed post-ride analysis. A shiznit.

For GPS route planning and navigation, I really recommend the Mapy.cz app and the https://en.mapy.cz for desktop. Many Americans and Canadians have found that free app priceless.

For ride recording, I use Strava. Note: BLEvo will export your achievements to Strava post ride.

I’ll be running with tubes so I don’t want to go too deflated.
I'm running with tubes, too. I deflated the wheel to the minimum recommended pressure, not less.
 

Rook

Member
Region
USA
Stefan,

Your tires (tyres) are 29x1.75. Can you check to see how far off the frame they are? I may see if it can fit on the Vado SL. Specialized says 42mm max, but that just doesn't seem right as there is more than 2.25" between the seat stays and the chain stays. At least on the back I'd think it might fit: You can run a different size tire on the back for a bit more traction, right?

Went for a ride last night. For most of the trip I rode without any assistance and was able to keep up with my wife in full power on her Townie Go. I only turned on the motor for uphill climbs to save my legs from wearing down. The seat definitely isn't the most comfortable so I'm sure some form of suspension seat post is in the near future.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Rook,

The problem in my Vado are mudguards (fenders) that effectively limit the tyre size to 2.0 inch, so I cannot be of much of help to you.

Make these experiments using a ruler or measuring tape, based on assumption the 1.75" tyre is 47 mm wide and tall (and that you have already got the bike):
  • The actual diameter of 47-622 tyre on a wheel is approximately 730 mm (I have measured it). Radius will be 730 / 2 = 365 mm. Measure the distance between the front wheel axle and the inside of the fork crown. If the distance is greater than 365 mm, that will be fine.
  • The actual width of the 47-622 tyre is greater than 48 mm because of the inner tube inflation. Measure the clearance between the insides of the fork. If it is > 48 mm, you could try that.
  • Now, the rear wheel poses more issues. Measure the distance from the rear axle to the seat tube. Measure all imaginable clearances. If your SL is non-EQ, you stand the chance of fitting the 47 mm tyres. Or not.
 

Rook

Member
Region
USA
Okay, so:

Front wheel is 14 inches from axel to frame, and 2 inches clearance at the top of the frame. Or, 356mm and 50mm.

Back wheel is 15 inches and 2.25 inches. Or, 381 and 57.

Per an email discussion with Schwalbe: the tire is either:

47-622 (700x45c / 28x1.75) - The rep thinks there is a chance those could fit, but there will not be a lot of clearance remaining. It seems to me it should fit on the back but would not fit on the front.
Or
42-622 (700x40c / 28x1.50) - those clearly would fit. Rep said those are actually more of a 42c

Problem is they are not returnable if I place them on a rim to see if they will fit. It seems the 45 should fit the back wheel but maybe not the front. I guess I could get a pair of each and end up with a 40c on the front and 45c on the back. But, I'm not sure that is the best idea if I'm riding mostly on pavement. I may just go with the 40c for now.

Although ... I see others also like the WTB Nanos, which also make a 40c tire.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
These will surely fit:

1620766981868.png


I greatly recommend them: Very good on-road, adequate off-road (I'm riding 47-622).
 

Rook

Member
Region
USA
What about going tubeless? I’ve read that you can convert these wheels to tubeless with tape and a tubeless valve. But you need tubeless tires. Would that be better?
 

jodi2

Active Member
"Better" in what sense? What do you expect from tubeless?

Tubeless ist great for wider tires&offroad, where it offers the posibility for less pressure without more punctures and low rolling resistance and also less (tiny) punctures from thornes/stones/snake bites.
It goes along with more work&a little bit of mess when installing and in case of a real/big puncture whne repairing. It also looses air quite fast and needs some pumps worst case already after one day (especially if someone changes wheels for the first time to tubeless), best case after a week. Worse with higher pressures/smaller tires, where it has less advantages and looses air even faster (but already some pure race bikes use it today).
It does not help much against "city punctures" from nails/screws/glass and the advantages are less an apshalt&with higher pressure.
My rough advice:
offroad: MTB: yes, nothing else! Gravel: Yes you can
road/asphalt/city: no, just more work and mess after punctures, without real advantages
 

linklemming

Well-Known Member
"Better" in what sense? What do you expect from tubeless?

Tubeless ist great for wider tires&offroad, where it offers the posibility for less pressure without more punctures and low rolling resistance and also less (tiny) punctures from thornes/stones/snake bites.
It goes along with more work&a little bit of mess when installing and in case of a real/big puncture whne repairing. It also looses air quite fast and needs some pumps worst case already after one day (especially if someone changes wheels for the first time to tubeless), best case after a week. Worse with higher pressures/smaller tires, where it has less advantages and looses air even faster (but already some pure race bikes use it today).
It does not help much against "city punctures" from nails/screws/glass and the advantages are less an apshalt&with higher pressure.
My rough advice:
offroad: MTB: yes, nothing else! Gravel: Yes you can
road/asphalt/city: no, just more work and mess after punctures, without real advantages
Another option is to use a sealant like stans inside tubes. You will need to get tubes that have removable cores like continentals.

Advantages: Dont loose much tire pressure, probably a month before I loose 5psi
Easy to do
Minimal mess during installation
No sealant weeping
Easy to replace tube (I initally add sealant to anew tube, then again after 6 month and replace tubes after a year)


I have used tubeless for years but these days only do it on certain acoustic bikes, the mess and constant hassle is only
outweighed by the lighter weight.

While the less pressure claim may work for some, I found that when I lower pressures after going tubeless, I just dont like how the tire
handles(too squirmy) so I pump it back up. I do notice the better ride.

Food for thought
 

jodi2

Active Member
While the less pressure claim may work for some, I found that when I lower pressures after going tubeless, I just dont like how the tire
handles(too squirmy) so I pump it back up. I do notice the better ride.
I guess this depends on tire, surface and (maybe) rider weight. For me it's the opposite, the recommended minimum pressure of most of my gravel tires is to high offorad (even with my actual weight of 100kg). The tires don't offer good grip and feel "bouncy". Much better with lower pressure, what would cause many snake bites with tubes.
Of course with to low pressure it feels shaky as well for me.

Maybe I also wrote this in another thread here (than sorry!): Last summer we did the 70 miles/6500ft gravel tour with more than 80 riders. Afaik almost all of the 10-15 punctures that day happend on bikes which where riding with tubes, almost none on tubeless.
But I also have several friends which tried tubeless on their normal bikes for the city and to ride to work (mainly asphalt). And most of them switched back to tubeless after 1-2 punctures and repairing it with tube, with sealant on their hands and clothes...

You alternative sounds interesting. But tubes AND sealant, doesn't this kill many of the TL advantages, like weight and possible low pressure?
Isn't the only advantage is an even higher safety against punctures. So you can add sealant to your normal tubes if you still suffer under to many punctures. (Also you could user a tire with higher puncuture resistance)
But it's nothing I would recommend from the start when you don't already have special problems with punctures.
 
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linklemming

Well-Known Member
I guess this depends on tire, surface and (maybe) rider weight. For me it's the opposite, the recommended minimum pressure of most of my gravel tires is to high offorad (even with my actual weight of 100kg). The tires don't offer good grip and feel "bouncy". Much better with lower pressure, what would cause many snake bites with tubes.
Of course with to low pressure it feels shaky as well for me.

Maybe I also wrote this in another thread here (than sorry!): Last summer we did the 70 miles/6500ft gravel tour with more than 80 riders. Afaik almost all of the 10-15 punctures that day happend on bikes which where riding with tubes, almost none on tubeless.
But I also have several friends which tried tubeless on their normal bikes for the city and to ride to work (mainly asphalt). And most of them switched back to tubeless after 1-2 punctures and repairing it with tube, with sealant on their hands and clothes...

You alternative sounds interesting. But tubes AND sealant, doesn't this kill many of the TL advantages, like weight and possible low pressure?
I most certainly noticed that the tire conformed to the road better and was more comfortable tubeless (which would have increased traction) but steering response felt like a wet noodle unless
I pumped the tires back up to similar pressures. Perhaps the reduced sidewall stiffness due to removing the tube was the factor in my case.

I have never had pinch flats running tubes unless I already had a leaking tire due to a previous puncture.

I dont consider weight much for my ebikes and the pressure I run with tubes has worked for along time without issues. I usually go +1 on the tires and fit the largest tires I can stuff in the frame with a bigger tire in the front usually to get the comfort I need.

I do run tubeless on my acoustic Santa Cruz Tallboy FS MTB for the weight savings.

I have heard many people mention stans was originally developed for use in tubes but have not been able to confirm that.

The constant maintenance with tubeless drives me crazy. The tires seem to always seep (bad if you store you ebike inside) and loose pressure requiring me to check the tires every time I ride. This becomes a major hassle when you have alot of bikes (I have 6 running at the moment), The SC Tallboy with tubeless lives in the garage and looses all the air in the tires every week or so and when the garage gets cold, the rear tire decides to weep like crazy (it currently is covered on sealant and sealant is on the floor as well).
 
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Rook

Member
Region
USA
The Smart Sams will be here by Wednesday, which is also the day I get the hitch mounted on my car for the new rack sitting in the garage. We did 4 miles yesterday on a dirt forest track and the bike handled it well. There was a bit of lose gravel on a bit of a downhill slope. It went fine but it could have felt a bit more secure. Hoping the Smart Sams make a big difference without reducing too much speed on the pavement.

Now to decide on what I want to do with the seat and possibly the pedals. I've not riding much before, do pedals with the small lug nuts really make a big difference?
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
do pedals with the small lug nuts really make a big difference?
They do for me, especially with proper shoes (although the latter is not necessary). A good platform pedals equipped with pins keep your feet so firm on pedals as you were clipped in, regardless of weather or surface type ridden. Unlike the clipless pedals, platform pedals with pins allow occasionally changing the feet position, which is very comfortable.

I just love riding rough terrain (especially downhill) standing on such pedals -- with absolute confidence my feet wouldn't slip, even during raining or in mud.

1621188736358.png
 

jodi2

Active Member
The constant maintenance with tubeless drives me crazy. The tires seem to always seep (bad if you store you ebike inside) and loose pressure requiring me to check the tires every time I ride. This becomes a major hassle when you have alot of bikes (I have 6 running at the moment), The SC Tallboy with tubeless lives in the garage and looses all the air in the tires every week or so and when the garage gets cold, the rear tire decides to weep like crazy (it currently is covered on sealant and sealant is on the floor as well).
If it is like this, I can understand anyone prefering tubes.
My experiences are almost the opposite in about 2 1/4 years tubeless on two gravel bikes and four wheelsets and altogether maybe 4500km tubeless (not sooo much experience of course). On the first one (normal gravel bike) the tires&sealant are now two years on the bike and still working fine (only maybe once a week a few pumps of air) for soft rides once in a while. I guess the sealant will show it's age when I start again to use the bike more often and more offroad.
On the second bike (Creo SL) tires&sealant since 9 months and this bike I use quite often/2-3 times every week and on quite rough paths. So far only need of some pumps of air every two weeks.
In these 2 1/4 years and 4500km tubeless I've had no punctures/flats yet and not seen any sealant outside the tires (but a few smaller stitches (is this the right epression?) from thorns). Knock an wood...
My experience is, that the loss of air/pressure over a longer time is equivalent to the amount of care you put on the installation and the suitabilty of the equipment (rims&tires). My first TL installation was terrible and lost maybe 1 bar / 14.5 psi in 15 minutes, my second one in three hours, my third one (finally with suited rim tape and well mounted) in three days. My actual two wheel sets with good rims, rime tape mounted from a good bike shop and moving wheels&sealant after the installation some minutes in the different directions need about a mounth to loose 1 bar /14,5 psi.
Of course you can also have bad luck with the tires, I read about some terrible models, which I did not order therefore.