VADO SL 5.0 EQ

como813

New Member
my take on a short lived ride:

one week and less than 50 miles i had the dealer buy it back..
inconsistent power, no power. final straw pedaling in turbo on a 4 mile level stretch and
couldn't top 22mph felt like it needed a couple more gears yet sometimes
in sport mode in 1st 2nd 3rd gears from a stop it would take off like a
'rocket' and then sometimes no power at all, just free-wheeling crank for 10
sec until it figured out what to do.
i'm not putting up with that for $4500 and dealers around here DO NOT carry spare motors/parts. it all has to go
back to specialized.

i wouldn't put up with defects on a $100 item out of the box let alone what these bikes cost.
putting it in the shop instead of riding it every time it decides not to work correctly doesn't work for me. bad computer or motor who knows? i wouldn't let the shop play with it. i did a factory reset on it, works for a while then acts up soon afterward.
back to my manual sirrus X 5.0
 

BEC111

Active Member
Sounds like the “controller” was defective. Shame. It’s such a good bike, usually.
 

STLABRAT

New Member
Not my experience at all on my new 5.0. Is the mission control app running? Too late I guess but I’m keeping mine. Agree for that much it should be working.
 

Kivis

Member
Got my Vado SL 5.0 EQ (a mouthful)! a few observations: How in the hell do you activate the TCD? What? I have to go back to the dealer to do firmware upgrades?
 

JeffC57

Active Member
Got my Vado SL 5.0 EQ (a mouthful)! a few observations: How in the hell do you activate the TCD? What? I have to go back to the dealer to do firmware upgrades?
Congrats. I love mine. It is unfortunate that the LBS didn't make sure the TCD was paired up properly with the bike. They also should have made sure Mission Control was working on your phone. Once after a motor firmware upgrade (yes, you'll need to go to the LBS for that) my TCD stopped working. It needed to be paired with the bike again. The LBS got the TCD talking to the bike again by removing and reinserting the TCD battery and going through the setup sequence for the TCD. The process is shown in the instructions for the TCD, at the bottom of the page. The instructions are cryptic so you may need to study them for a bit. Hope you get it resolved soon.
 

Kivis

Member
Ok I got that figured out. And it took looking around on You Tube for directions to setup the TDU. Pretty crapping support for $4500!!!
 

Qamera

New Member
Sorry to hear! Sounds like a lemon. Did you consider trading it in for a replacement? We got two SL 4.0’s and love them. I can get up to 22mph pretty easily and sustain 24~26 mph - but find that about 17mph is nice and leisurely. What I Ike most about these is how easy it is to ride them without any power, on the flats. I use power mostly as an assist for hills and when the wind is blowing against me.

Here’s a recent ride with speed and hills:
 

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Rixtory

New Member
Region
USA
I picked up a Turbo Vado 5 SL EQ 2-1/2 weeks ago and have 120 miles on it now in winter riding (even through the snowstorms). I'm sorry to hear of your issues.
As a 61YO road rider for many decades, I am falling back in love with cycling after a number of aortic valve replacements and a pacemaker slowed me down these last 5-10 years. I echo what Qmera states - I want a light bike to do mostly non-assist pedaling to work my stamina back up, but something to get me over these 1-2 mile long god-forsaken Pennsylvania Hills - That I once proudly cruised over on my analog bikes. With that said, I just wonder why the hell I waited so long for an Ebike!!???!
 

SuperLight

New Member
Region
Canada
It's unfortunate that Como813 had such a bad experience. The vast majority of reviews by purchasers of the Vado SL are very positive, ecstatic in some cases. I hope other potential buyers can benefit from what has been shared here and elsewhere by satisfied SL owners and not deterred by that review. Could it be faulty components? The app settings? or maybe lack of knowledge by the dealer.

When I was picking up my Vado SL 5.0 EQ five weeks ago at the dealer, at some point he became concerned and said something wasn't right. It turns out the settings for the Eco, Sport and Turbo had been played with, maybe at the dealer, maybe the factory, but rather than the default power settings it was set at lower support and lower peak power in the Tune part of the Mission Control app. The dealer caught it or I might have left there like Como813 thinking I bought a dud. You can't expect the new buyer to understand the workings of Mission Control at that point, but the dealer should be on top of it.

One thing he wasn't on top of was keeping the bikes at the shop with a good level of charge. When I left the shop that day there were 3 blue bars on the TCU but I figured I should be fine to get home 7 km. As soon as I left the shop it dropped to 2 bars, and on the ride home I was a little disappointed in the amount of effort I had to put in on the hills. As soon as I got home my son showed up and said let's go for a ride, so no chance to put it on the charger. By the time we were coming back about 20 minutes later the battery is showing 1 red bar and I was getting very little help on the hills that I bought this thing to help me out on. Got home, plugged it in and opened the manual which told me to expect reduced support at 15-20% battery level which I was probably at as soon as I left the bike shop. It occurred to me then that all of the bikes I test rode at that shop were at very low battery levels. When I went out the next day with a full battery I was really stoked to feel the strong assist that I was expecting. There's a lot to understand about the bike, the system and the app.

This bike has performed beyond my expectations for the 400 km that I done since and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone who wants to ride with a natural feeling, mostly under the own power, but have assist when required. I can't wait to go out again.
 
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BEC111

Active Member
Well 1200 miles later my Vado SL 5.0 EQ is flawless and going strong. Only big change I did was replace the tires with Maxxis Rambler's tubeless. I lot more traction off road and still smooth on pavement.
RamblerSkinwall_3Q_1200x.jpg
I know it was your intention, but I’ve been thinking about tires for use on gravel this summer. Your recommendation was helpful.
Did you have to change your rims to go tubeless?
 

JeffC57

Active Member
I know it was your intention, but I’ve been thinking about tires for use on gravel this summer. Your recommendation was helpful.
Did you have to change your rims to go tubeless?
I use the Specialized Hemisphere Armadillo on my Vado 5 SL and they work fine on gravel.
1614526894468.png
 

Rás Cnoic

Active Member
I got WTB Nanos 40s for my SL 4.0 for gravel to replace the pathfinder 38s. At first when I put them on I was a bit disappointed as they looked narrower on the bike! But I totally missed/ didn't understand that they are much taller with a greater volume of air. They've been great, the extra 'bounce' on rocks and holes has been very welcome and the grip in winter both on gravel and on muddy roads is very good. Rolling resistance on road should be greater then the pathfinders with that central thread on the pathfinders, but I haven't noticed it and if anything the extra suspension makes the bike feel more responsive, but then the lanes and roads around here mid winter are practically gravel/mud/swamps take your pick! I got the cheaper nanos without puncture protection as a quick buy for winter - we're in full lockdown here so I figured I might spend more time riding and exploring local forestry roads and trails rather then going miles from home and so if I punctured it would be no big deal. Was concerned with doing long miles away from home in lockdown, if I got a mechanical or a bad crash say 20 miles from home I'd have to call someone to pick me up and that would be awkward! Anyway so far so good. My plan was to go back to the pathfinders around Easter or when lockdown ends, to do more straight & long road trips but now I'm not sure. These nanos seem like a good all round exploring tire for where I ride.
 

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I got WTB Nanos 40s for my SL 4.0 for gravel to replace the pathfinder 38s. At first when I put them on I was a bit disappointed as they looked narrower on the bike! But I totally missed/ didn't understand that they are much taller with a greater volume of air. They've been great, the extra 'bounce' on rocks and holes has been very welcome and the grip in winter both on gravel and on muddy roads is very good. Rolling resistance on road should be greater then the pathfinders with that central thread on the pathfinders, but I haven't noticed it and if anything the extra suspension makes the bike feel more responsive, but then the lanes and roads around here mid winter are practically gravel/mud/swamps take your pick! I got the cheaper nanos without puncture protection as a quick buy for winter - we're in full lockdown here so I figured I might spend more time riding and exploring local forestry roads and trails rather then going miles from home and so if I punctured it would be no big deal. Was concerned with doing long miles away from home in lockdown, if I got a mechanical or a bad crash say 20 miles from home I'd have to call someone to pick me up and that would be awkward! Anyway so far so good. My plan was to go back to the pathfinders around Easter or when lockdown ends, to do more straight & long road trips but now I'm not sure. These nanos seem like a good all round exploring tire for where I ride.
Hey Was, did you change out the handlebars?
 

Rás Cnoic

Active Member
Yes. few months back. Got a pair of On One 'Mike" bars. On One/Planet X is a UK online shop & these are cheap and cheerful swept back bars. I always use swept back bars on my bikes now, just like the relaxed position. I did put some home made 'horns' on it - bought a couple of old racing bike brake levers off ebay for a fiver, pinged off the levers and they work as a kind of cheap bar end/aero bars for hill climbing. This was something I used do back in the 80s when mountain biking, as traditional bar ends had a nasty habit of catching on branches etc plus the inner position seemed more useful. Some MTB bike magazine back then had an article about these crazy french mountain bikers running a Paris Daker mtb version! In the photos they were there mid-Sahara with their peugeot mtbs and (very 80s) pink and yellow gear, aviator shades and they all had these racing campagnolo bar hoods as extra grips, so me and my friends just copied them.

Here's a clearer shot of the bars:
 

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Thank you, I have used Jones H-Bars here in the US and they are a bit different but the swept angle is similar and I really liked them, they made it possible to continue riding my older Hiabike.
 

Rás Cnoic

Active Member
On my analogue bikes I have more swept back bars and high rise stems, but was cautious with the Vado SL as the front light is attached to the stem so I didn't want to change that. I'd like to try the various Jones bars. I saw a very interesting you tube video about how when working for GT years ago he was based in Taiwan for a year and bought a local old fashioned bike with swept bars just to get around and fell in love with the long wheelbase & upright relaxed position. My moment of surprise was a rental Dutch bike in Amsterdam a few years back and just how comfortable it was.

I find this handlebar comparison site very handy:

 

Deacon Blues

Well-Known Member
I recently installed a Koga Denham handlebar on my ebike and I'm very glad I did. It comes with a 34 degree sweep, which is near perfect for me, and horns, which I use when I want to get a bit more aero.

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