Vado SL Availability

rochrunner

Well-Known Member
It's been just about a year to the day since I picked up my Vado 4.0. I remember it well because it was just about two weeks before everything was shut down (and much still hasn't reopened). Although I'm really glad that I was able to get this bike when I did and it has been very useful over the last year, I'm already looking ahead to my next e-bike, and am seriously considering the Vado SL. The problem is that I have yet to lay eyes on one, let alone be able to take a test ride.

Does anyone have a feel for the availability of these bikes in the U.S. at the current time? I'm not looking to buy until probably the end of this season or possibly a year from now, but there's no way I can see myself paying what they're asking for a Vado SL 5.0 unless I have a chance to at least take a short ride on one to get an idea if it will work for me. The main attraction is the considerably less weight to have to lug around, and I rarely put my Vado into Sport mode let alone Turbo so the lower boost is not a factor. But I want to check the riding position and ride quality before I lay my money on the table.

Once I'm fully vaccinated in a couple weeks I plan on visiting the local dealers and at least leave my name so they can give me a call if they happen to get an SL in stock. When shopping for the Vado I was able to ride one a couple of times when Specialized's demo fleet came around with a variety of bikes to try out, but of course there's no telling when they'll start that operation up again. Anyone have any comments or suggestions?
 

Asher

Well-Known Member
Considering the bike has been sold out for ages, there's little incentive for Specialized to even have floor/demo models, until supply is reasonably steady. the bike is somewhat peerless, so little need to worry about bleeding customers to rivals either.

Not much sense in testing long before you're ready to buy anyway, unless weather is an issue.
 

jimk

New Member
Region
USA
I purchased my SL 5.0 in mid January after test riding a 4.0 EQ. Your best bet is to check out the Specialized website and look for anything nearby in your size or even a size that kind of works for a test ride. Once you are sure the SL is for you broaden your search and be prepared for a road trip.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
@rochrunner: When the first Spring days come, I make a promise to you I will drive to Specialized Warsaw Brand Store, pay PLN125 and make a day-long test ride. You know my shape, my health state. If I tell you "don't buy it", you'll know I'm telling the truth. If I say "I buy it as soon as I get some money", you could consider the purchase :) I will be totally honest!
 

rochrunner

Well-Known Member
@rochrunner: When the first Spring days come, I make a promise to you I will drive to Specialized Warsaw Brand Store, pay PLN125 and make a day-long test ride. You know my shape, my health state. If I tell you "don't buy it", you'll know I'm telling the truth. If I say "I buy it as soon as I get some money", you could consider the purchase :) I will be totally honest!

I would appreciate your opinion, Stefan. My interest would be in the 5.0 with the FutureShock front "suspension". But remember that I have some different parameters too. For example, I have a slender build and weigh about 71Kg. I also spent much of last year unable to ride due to back issues and am hoping to find out this year how much biking I'm able to do. I have actually put several hundred miles in on my road bike mounted to an indoor trainer over the winter with no back problems at all. Of course that is a 100% smooth ride and my main concern riding outdoors is whether a rougher ride could cause problems. That's also why I've been trying out various suspension post options and have following those threads on here closely.

One disadvantage of the SL is that there is no low-step option. I've never had a low-step bike, but in some ways I wish I had gone that route with my Vado and would consider it for any future bike -- especially e-bike -- purchases.

In any case, I'd really be interested in what you have to say.
 

JeffC57

Active Member
I would appreciate your opinion, Stefan. My interest would be in the 5.0 with the FutureShock front "suspension". But remember that I have some different parameters too. For example, I have a slender build and weigh about 71Kg. I also spent much of last year unable to ride due to back issues and am hoping to find out this year how much biking I'm able to do. I have actually put several hundred miles in on my road bike mounted to an indoor trainer over the winter with no back problems at all. Of course that is a 100% smooth ride and my main concern riding outdoors is whether a rougher ride could cause problems. That's also why I've been trying out various suspension post options and have following those threads on here closely.

One disadvantage of the SL is that there is no low-step option. I've never had a low-step bike, but in some ways I wish I had gone that route with my Vado and would consider it for any future bike -- especially e-bike -- purchases.

In any case, I'd really be interested in what you have to say.
I saw a Vado SL 5 in white at my LBS (Kansas City area) yesterday. I have a blue Vado SL 5 EQ and wish the white one was available when I got mine. Here in KC there seems to be a few Vado SL's in the shops. The Specialized dealers here (Erik's) is a Midwest chain and seems to have a decent supply of SLs and heavies. Even if the local shop doesn't have one, sometimes they can get one from their main warehouse. That's how they got me a Creo.
I'm about 25 lbs. heavier than you and use the softest spring for the Vado 5 SL FutureShock. Hopefully, you'll find one to try and I suggest you ask them to install the soft spring for your test ride. I hope you find one to test ride soon.
 

rochrunner

Well-Known Member
I saw a Vado SL 5 in white at my LBS (Kansas City area) yesterday. I have a blue Vado SL 5 EQ and wish the white one was available when I got mine. Here in KC there seems to be a few Vado SL's in the shops. The Specialized dealers here (Erik's) is a Midwest chain and seems to have a decent supply of SLs and heavies. Even if the local shop doesn't have one, sometimes they can get one from their main warehouse. That's how they got me a Creo.
I'm about 25 lbs. heavier than you and use the softest spring for the Vado 5 SL FutureShock. Hopefully, you'll find one to try and I suggest you ask them to install the soft spring for your test ride. I hope you find one to test ride soon.
Thanks for the info. My dealer may be able to order one, but not just so I can demo it. I'll have to check and find out if anyone's going to actually stock a few. I'd like to know early on if I should keep the SL on my radar or start looking elsewhere.
 

Mr. Max

Active Member
rochrunner. Where do you live? My small town LBS in New Hampshire has a number of 2021 Vado SL's in stock. I already helped someone from this forum get a one. He said, that he drove 3 hours to test ride a Vado SL and buy one. Reach out to me separately, if this can help you and I'll tell you how to find our LBS. From what people are saying in this forum, big cities are totally sold out of acoustic and ebikes, but there are "pockets" of smaller bike shops throughout rural America that still have them in stock.
 

rochrunner

Well-Known Member
rochrunner. Where do you live? My small town LBS in New Hampshire has a number of 2021 Vado SL's in stock. I already helped someone from this forum get a one. He said, that he drove 3 hours to test ride a Vado SL and buy one. Reach out to me separately, if this can help you and I'll tell you how to find our LBS. From what people are saying in this forum, big cities are totally sold out of acoustic and ebikes, but there are "pockets" of smaller bike shops throughout rural America that still have them in stock.
I'm in a northern suburb of Detroit so not exactly close ;). But maybe I'm wrong about local stock and will have to do some checking as soon as things thaw out around here, which is coming soon. In fact, I might get out for a short ride tomorrow afternoon, although it will be on my trusty old Crosstrail -- our e-bikes are stored elsewhere for the winter to save garage space.
 

Allan47.7339

Active Member
If you are switching from a Vado to a Vado SL I would recommend a test ride to make sure it's what you expect. I have a Turbo S that I used for commuting and the Vado SL does not have the same power. The Vado SL rides well with the power off and it's been my choice for recent safe group rides to keep up while pushing the c'vid sofa I've acquired over the last year in quarantine. I think their advertising is correct with the Vado as 4x you and the Vado SL is 2x you.
 

rochrunner

Well-Known Member
If you are switching from a Vado to a Vado SL I would recommend a test ride to make sure it's what you expect. I have a Turbo S that I used for commuting and the Vado SL does not have the same power. The Vado SL rides well with the power off and it's been my choice for recent safe group rides to keep up while pushing the c'vid sofa I've acquired over the last year in quarantine. I think their advertising is correct with the Vado as 4x you and the Vado SL is 2x you.
Thanks for the tip, but I typically ride my Vado with Eco mode tuned down to 20% or less and even with it off, so the relative lack of power shouldn't be a problem.
 

kemilyon

New Member
It's been just about a year to the day since I picked up my Vado 4.0. I remember it well because it was just about two weeks before everything was shut down (and much still hasn't reopened). Although I'm really glad that I was able to get this bike when I did and it has been very useful over the last year, I'm already looking ahead to my next e-bike, and am seriously considering the Vado SL. The problem is that I have yet to lay eyes on one, let alone be able to take a test ride.

Does anyone have a feel for the availability of these bikes in the U.S. at the current time? I'm not looking to buy until probably the end of this season or possibly a year from now, but there's no way I can see myself paying what they're asking for a Vado SL 5.0 unless I have a chance to at least take a short ride on one to get an idea if it will work for me. The main attraction is the considerably less weight to have to lug around, and I rarely put my Vado into Sport mode let alone Turbo so the lower boost is not a factor. But I want to check the riding position and ride quality before I lay my money on the table.

Once I'm fully vaccinated in a couple weeks I plan on visiting the local dealers and at least leave my name so they can give me a call if they happen to get an SL in stock. When shopping for the Vado I was able to ride one a couple of times when Specialized's demo fleet came around with a variety of bikes to try out, but of course there's no telling when they'll start that operation up again. Anyone have any comments or suggestions?
My LBS in Tulsa has the 4.0 SL EQ in 3 sizes and the 5.0 SL EQ in L all in stock today. They say it's harder for them to keep Vado's in stock here....
 

rochrunner

Well-Known Member
I was wrong about SL rarity. I parked at my LBS, which is right along a favorite trail, and took my Crosstrail hybrid for my first outside ride of the year. When I got back I walked into the shop and there was a Vado SL 4.0 right on the floor, which they gladly let me take out for a short spin. Say no more -- this is the one for me! At the default Eco setting it is about the same as where I have my 4.0 set, and the bike is hardly more difficult to ride with the power Off than my Crosstrail is. It's not much heavier either. The Vado 4.0 was supposed to replace the Crosstrail, but I found it to be too different to give up the CT. The SL appears to be much more of what I hoped: very similar to the Crosstrail but with an e-bike boost for the tough parts.

However, given my other issues, I want to see how this year of riding goes in general before investing more money in another e-bike.
 

BEC111

Active Member
It's been just about a year to the day since I picked up my Vado 4.0. I remember it well because it was just about two weeks before everything was shut down (and much still hasn't reopened). Although I'm really glad that I was able to get this bike when I did and it has been very useful over the last year, I'm already looking ahead to my next e-bike, and am seriously considering the Vado SL. The problem is that I have yet to lay eyes on one, let alone be able to take a test ride.

Does anyone have a feel for the availability of these bikes in the U.S. at the current time? I'm not looking to buy until probably the end of this season or possibly a year from now, but there's no way I can see myself paying what they're asking for a Vado SL 5.0 unless I have a chance to at least take a short ride on one to get an idea if it will work for me. The main attraction is the considerably less weight to have to lug around, and I rarely put my Vado into Sport mode let alone Turbo so the lower boost is not a factor. But I want to check the riding position and ride quality before I lay my money on the table.

Once I'm fully vaccinated in a couple weeks I plan on visiting the local dealers and at least leave my name so they can give me a call if they happen to get an SL in stock. When shopping for the Vado I was able to ride one a couple of times when Specialized's demo fleet came around with a variety of bikes to try out, but of course there's no telling when they'll start that operation up again. Anyone have any comments or suggestions?
They have been in stock and on display here in Northern Virginia at Spokes. Can’t say about elsewhere, but it seems that specialized shipped a bunch of bikes in December and January.

Since it’s been almost a year since the SL debuted - May - I suspect that the next batches will be for an updated model, even if those updates are slight. Updates that may be driven by the supply chain as much as new technology.
 

rochrunner

Well-Known Member
Since it’s been almost a year since the SL debuted - May - I suspect that the next batches will be for an updated model, even if those updates are slight. Updates that may be driven by the supply chain as much as new technology.
I think you're right on that. When I mentioned that I was interested in a 5.0 vs the 4.0 that they had, the guy checked their inventory and noted that they didn't have any 5.0s in stock and it didn't look like any were on the way. I told him that if I were to buy one it would probably be late in the season or next year and he said that would probably be a good idea regarding availability at that time.
 
I'm in a northern suburb of Detroit so not exactly close ;). But maybe I'm wrong about local stock and will have to do some checking as soon as things thaw out around here, which is coming soon. In fact, I might get out for a short ride tomorrow afternoon, although it will be on my trusty old Crosstrail -- our e-bikes are stored elsewhere for the winter to save garage space.
Road Trip! Yahoooo :D👍
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
However, given my other issues, I want to see how this year of riding goes in general before investing more money in another e-bike.
It's turned out my income wouldn't allow me buying yet another e-bike this year. Which has good sides: Perhaps Specialized would release Step-Through Vado SL for 2020? :) Still, I intend to make a demo ride, perhaps in April this year.

Roch, what does attract you to SL 5.0? I personally wouldn't touch anything involving carbon fibre :) SL 4.0 EQ would be good for me.
 

rochrunner

Well-Known Member
It's turned out my income wouldn't allow me buying yet another e-bike this year. Which has good sides: Perhaps Specialized would release Step-Through Vado SL for 2020? :) Still, I intend to make a demo ride, perhaps in April this year.

Roch, what does attract you to SL 5.0? I personally wouldn't touch anything involving carbon fibre :) SL 4.0 EQ would be good for me.
Seeing as how my current Felt road bike is all carbon and my previous aluminum Specialized road bike had a carbon fork, I have no aversion to the material and appreciate its ride qualities. Anyway, the 5.0 has the carbon fork with FutureShock; 12-speed cassette with wide 10-45 range (vs 10-speed with 11-42); upgraded brakes with ceramic pads; TCD display. There may be other differences, but those are what make it worth it to me.
 

BEC111

Active Member
Interesting comment, Stefan. I don’t have an opinion on carbon fibre beyond it being expensive. I‘m sort of sad that I couldn’t afford the five when I bought my 4 last year. Not because of the carbon fork, but because I’m realizing a bit of front suspension would have been nice. Fixing that with a suspension stem would definitely be cheaper than the $1000 bike price difference. Or so I tell myself.