Vado SL 5.0 -- It's Here!

Camasonian

Active Member
Region
USA
I agree that the full-power Vado would probably be best for you if the purpose is commuting and utility usage. Since you have a couple of great recreational bikes, you won't have to be concerned about the Vado's weight, off-road handling, etc. If you test ride both back-to-back, you will definitely feel the difference!
Especially since all my recreational riding with friends and family are with people who don't have e-bikes. For example, I'm planning to ride the Seattle to Portland double century this summer with my daughter. That will be on our analog bikes. And I do recreational riding with my wife and daughter on occasion but they just have analog bikes. So I can hardly pull out an e-bike for that sort of thing. I think this e-bike will almost entirely be an urban/suburban solo commuting/combat riding machine. Every time I want to get out for rides in the country for fitness on the weekends I'll just take my road bike since fitness is part of the whole point of it.
 

Nubnub

Active Member
Especially since all my recreational riding with friends and family are with people who don't have e-bikes. For example, I'm planning to ride the Seattle to Portland double century this summer with my daughter. That will be on our analog bikes. And I do recreational riding with my wife and daughter on occasion but they just have analog bikes. So I can hardly pull out an e-bike for that sort of thing. I think this e-bike will almost entirely be an urban/suburban solo commuting/combat riding machine. Every time I want to get out for rides in the country for fitness on the weekends I'll just take my road bike since fitness is part of the whole point of it.
I'd also go with the full Vado if the main use is car replacement. In a straight line, the full Vado's power will negate the weight disadvantage. Try to anticipate what conditions your commute and errand routes will have. Will there be any extremely tight turns or carrying up stairs needed? Unless the extra maneuverability or carry weight of the SL is important, the Vado is the better choice imo. Even if the bike were dual purpose commute/fitness, I would go with the full Vado. You can always set the Vado to reduced power levels but the SL motor max is limited to what it is.

Also if you have the chance to compare the front tire/fender clearances, ride over leaves/twigs/small branches etc. These tend to get hung up on the fender struts of my SL EQ. In the test ride I did on the full Vado this was not an issue. Tho not the exact same conditions I see on my SL, a good portion of it was off road over the small stuff that tends to get picked up by the front tires.
 

Holland-Tim-Allant+8S

Active Member
Region
USA
City
HOLLAND
Cam, I’ve already put in my opinion. I will add that when i tested Vado SL to full power Vado, I remember commenting to the salesperson, “If I was twenty years younger I would get the SL.” I was 53 at that time. Tim
 

rochrunner

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Rochester Hills MI
The good thing about buying a top ebike today is that they are so developed that there is little risk of obsolescence
I beg to disagree on that point. About a month after I got my Vado 4.0 in 2020, they announced the SL series and, for me at least, it obsoleted the bike I'd just bought and I've been waiting two years to justify replacing it. Then of course my new SL has the new Mastermind TCU and OTA updates vs the original generation, and for some people the automatic shifter available in the big Vados is a game changer. And that's just in the Specialized range.

In the future, if nothing else, developments in battery technology will lead to batteries that carry more charge with lighter weight and who knows what. From my standpoint, I wish that development would slow down since I have a habit if "having to have" the latest technology and changing e-bikes is a bit more expensive than getting a new smartphone! ;)
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
I do not disagree with you rochrunner. I just want to say Specialized won't make a better 45 km/h Euro S-Pedelec than the Vado 6.0 for a long time. The Vado 6.0 that is in the Euro market is still at the 2020 version. The reason being, there is a small demand for S-Pedelecs in Europe, and the certification is expensive and takes a long time.

As new Specialized e-bikes are very hard to derestrict, you won't see my buying any new e-bikes for years. I have bought new spare batteries and am secure for several more years. I do not need a Mastermind or an IGH. Except of the SL line, the new full power Vados appear too little "sporty" as for my taste :)

1648471503890.png

I hit the speed limiter (it's 28 mph) yesterday. The tailwind helped as I was only in 75/100% Turbo. On new, super fast rolling Electrak tyres.
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
View attachment 118095
I hit the speed limiter (it's 28 mph) yesterday. The tailwind helped as I was only in 75/100% Turbo. On new, super fast rolling Electrak tyres.

yesterday there was a vicious wind from the south, and while testing out some new tires on the creo i figured i’d fight it for a few miles on a local road which is closed to car traffic on the weekends in order to enjoy it on the return.

C6DAAB8F-4B60-42FF-8C09-2EB0D9DF5D90.png


i averaged 30MPH with the motor/assist completely off and without even pedaling all that hard! crazy!!!! all i could think was “there are people on EBR who want to derestrict their bikes and/or build custom bikes that go this fast all the time.”

best not to discuss how it felt going the other direction.
 

Holland-Tim-Allant+8S

Active Member
Region
USA
City
HOLLAND
rock, if you don't mind, i want to clarify. i was speaking about the core technology: battery, power, interface, control logic, etc. i wasn't referring to fundamentally different classes of bikes like the SL, which have their fans but overall most buyers are still picking full power by a large measure. we aren't going to see substantially better batteries anytime soon, and we don't need them. i can go 100 plus miles on my 625 Wh Allant. way more than i can handle. the power is plenty at 90 ft-lbs. the torque assist firmware are great. and i think the reliability is great. even Tesla is downgrading batteries from a performance and quality perspective. going down not up. funny. cost is the driver and nickel.

so i'm thrilled with the Treks i have and don't see big improvements in the next few years. thanks, tim
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
yesterday there was a vicious wind from the south, and while testing out some new tires on the creo i figured i’d fight it for a few miles on a local road which is closed to car traffic on the weekends in order to enjoy it on the return.

View attachment 118105

i averaged 30MPH with the motor/assist completely off and without even pedaling all that hard! crazy!!!! all i could think was “there are people on EBR who want to derestrict their bikes and/or build custom bikes that go this fast all the time.”

best not to discuss how it felt going the other direction.
Stunning! You should define a Strava E-Bike Segment there! Or, just a Bike Segment :)
 

rochrunner

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Rochester Hills MI
so i'm thrilled with the Treks i have and don't see big improvements in the next few years. thanks, tim
I hope your taking this as a discussion, not an argument :). There are as many differences between e-bike riders and what they're looking for as there are between analog bike users (e.g. roadie vs MTB); we can't lump everyone together. I test rode an Allant before buying my first Vado and it had some drawbacks from my point of view. My wife has a Verve+ and loves it, and I was actually looking at the DualSport+ as my first e-bike except that when I was ready to buy, Trek stopped offering them in the U.S. (they were still in the catalog on the UK site)! The best thing about owning the Trek has been the excellent dealer store chain in this area.

Are you in Holland, MI by any chance?
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
there is virtually no road in the bay area which isn’t already part of multiple strava segments 😂😂
If you were using the motor, and defined your trip as "E-Bike Ride" then a subscriber could define an "E-Bike Segment". An easy way to win a KOM! (I'm the King on several E-Bike Segments, and my brother owns some improbable records in Warsaw) :) There is a segment where...

1648475647644.png

...my brother is an E-Bike KOM, and see my personal best there :D
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
If you were using the motor, and defined your trip as "E-Bike Ride" then a subscriber can define an "E-Bike Segment". An easy way to win a KOM! (I'm the King on several E-Bike Segments, and my brother owns some improbable records in Warsaw) :) There is a segment where...

View attachment 118112
...my brother is an E-Bike KOM, and see my personal best there :D
yes! when i use the motor on a ride, i define it as e-bike which then applies the e-bike segments, of which there are fewer, but still a lot. sometimes i’ll flip one back and forth to be able to compare segments i typically track on “regular” bike…
 

rochrunner

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Rochester Hills MI
If you were using the motor, and defined your trip as "E-Bike Ride" then a subscriber can define an "E-Bike Segment". An easy way to win a KOM! (I'm the King on several E-Bike Segments, and my brother owns some improbable records in Warsaw) :) There is a segment where...
I'm always careful about setting the correct ride type since it's meaningless and unfair to get a KOM -- or even a PR -- on a regular segment where everyone's supposed to be going on their own power (although I'm sure it happens a lot, even intentionally!). Seems like segment times on an e-bike segment are just an indication of who can buy the fastest equipment, bordering on e-motorcycles. When I ride my analog bikes, I do like to compete against my own PRs as well as my standing in my AG (now the oldest Strava AG at 75+).

Back when I was a runner, I remember getting upset about someone beating my age group PR on a local segment with a time that was basically "elite" if not world-class (a 70yo guy running a 5-minute mile?), especially since I know most of the competitive runners in the area. Turns out that he set that time riding on his bike and had mistakenly recorded it as a run.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
There are motorbikers and also passengers of trains to record their rides as "E-Bike Ride". Reporting such "records" is sorted out by Strava immediately. E-Bike KOMs make little sense, I do agree. However...

Fancy extremely steep mountain climbs. Even a rider of an illegal e-bike typically gives up there. My brother and I keep the KOM and the second place on a Category 4 climb in Poland. On the other hand, my other KOM was taken away from me by a Dutch e-biker. As he rode slower than 25 km/h uphill, I give that he was a honest, strong e-biker. (His overall stats were impressive!)

I also Follow a nice guy from our steep Beskidy Mts. He rides a Turbo Levo, and he is E-Bike KOM everywhere there! I talk with him sometimes. His (translated) display name is "It rides itself, e-bike" :D
 

Holland-Tim-Allant+8S

Active Member
Region
USA
City
HOLLAND
I hope your taking this as a discussion, not an argument :). There are as many differences between e-bike riders and what they're looking for as there are between analog bike users (e.g. roadie vs MTB); we can't lump everyone together. I test rode an Allant before buying my first Vado and it had some drawbacks from my point of view. My wife has a Verve+ and loves it, and I was actually looking at the DualSport+ as my first e-bike except that when I was ready to buy, Trek stopped offering them in the U.S. (they were still in the catalog on the UK site)! The best thing about owning the Trek has been the excellent dealer store chain in this area.

Are you in Holland, MI by any chance?
yes, Holland, Michigan. north side of Lake Macatawa, about 3/4 mile from Lake Michigan. wide paved bike paths everywhere. you can go 20 miles north to Grand Haven the whole way on dedicated bike paths. or south to Saugatuk about 15 miles same thing. Or 25 miles east to Grand Rapids. it is really amazing how great it is for bike friendly riding in this area after a lifetime in Maryland where you take your life in your hands on every ride. tim
 

Nubnub

Active Member
I beg to disagree on that point. About a month after I got my Vado 4.0 in 2020, they announced the SL series and, for me at least, it obsoleted the bike I'd just bought and I've been waiting two years to justify replacing it. Then of course my new SL has the new Mastermind TCU and OTA updates vs the original generation, and for some people the automatic shifter available in the big Vados is a game changer. And that's just in the Specialized range.

In the future, if nothing else, developments in battery technology will lead to batteries that carry more charge with lighter weight and who knows what. From my standpoint, I wish that development would slow down since I have a habit if "having to have" the latest technology and changing e-bikes is a bit more expensive than getting a new smartphone! ;)
Kind of agree with this as well. Already the Vado has a new removable battery design. How long will replacement batteries for the older Vado's be available? I'm not confident that if I keep a bike for a long time that Specialized will continue to provide parts/support once a Model has been upgraded/refreshed/discontinued. They barely able to provide support/parts for the current models ;).
 

Holland-Tim-Allant+8S

Active Member
Region
USA
City
HOLLAND
maybe battery replacement is a reason to consider Trek? although they have some 2 x's power non-bosch ebikes (similar to Spec.), Trek uses the same RIB batteries on their full power road, urban, and mountain bikes in 500 Wh and 625 Wh. these are interchangeable among all the different frames and motors. it looks like the new 750 Wh RIB might be backward compatible with the 500 and 625's. Trek upgraded the higher cost 2022 Rails with the 750 Wh and it looks to me like they are putting it in the same frame used on the equivalent 2021 Rails. hopefully this means lots of support in the future. it sure would be nice if mfr's made this a practice in today's disposable world. it will allow older chassis to live on.

this is a major reason we picked the Treks. the RIB is big and chunky but so is a full power ebike. tim