Vado SL or a more powerful bike?

DanInStPete

Well-Known Member
I'm ready to buy a new street bike and it's down to the Vado SL 4.0 ($3,750) or the Bulls Urban Evo 10 Diamond ($4,000). I am having a really hard time with the decision. I can't test ride either bike before buying, but this is my 6th eBike purchase and I've never been able to ride any of them first.

The SL would cost around $430 more considering I have to add the range extender and suspension seat post (I have one to fit the 31.8 diameter on the Bulls). And almost $900 if I buy two range extenders which I probably would do. I would add a ShockStop stem to either.

I really like the idea of the light weight SL. I carry my bikes on the car a lot and it would just be easier to deal with, especially along side a new, lighter, single hitch rack. My Thule XT-2 is a beast, but necessary for my Haibike FullSeven and GFs Liv Tempt E+ 3. At the same time, $4K for a high quality Performance Line Speed bike with a 625 Wh battery is hard to pass up.

Vado SL advantages:
- weight
- service (this doesn't concern me too much as I can do most things, but I've never had a motor problem)
- mission control
- I prefer SRAM NX to Deore M6000
- quieter?

Urban Evo 10 advantages:
- cheaper in the end
- power (I'm 6'4" and 235 lbs)
- range
- wider tires
- more comfortable?

The weight difference between the bikes is around 14 lbs. with the range extender installed.

Any thoughts are appreciated.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Dan:
As you already own a Vado 5.0, buying the Bulls won't bring any new riding experience to you. You'd only get (a little obsolete now) Bosch Gen 4 system. And you would shudder to see the Purion display that is so primitive (compared to the TCD-w) that it feels like an abomination :)

With Vado SL, your experience would be totally different. An e-bike so lightweight you could carry it in one hand. The riding experience is Vado SL is "just-a-bike". However, nothing comes free in this best of the worlds. Vado SL Assist and Motor Power are half of the "heavy" Vado. Meaning, you would certainly be riding slower but at twice as much contribution from your side, which is good if you go for fitness. For instance, the 100/100% SL Turbo is (approximately) 50/50% full-power Sport of the big Vado.

Vado SL is very economical on the battery (because it delivers less motor power). For instance, the main battery + 1 Range Extender gave me practical range of more than 116 km (72 mi) for 55/55% Vado SL assistance. My healthy brother rode for 50+ miles on a Range Extender only at 45/45% assistance/max motor power.

However, my need for somewhat higher speed combined with my bad legs often force me to ride in 70/70% assistance. In such a case, having two range extenders is a good idea. (Note: You cannot charge two Range Extenders at the same time, and they do charge rather slowly; you can charge the main battery + a Range Extender at the same time though).

My experience:
As I ride my Vado SL at least five times a week, I got used to the low power of that e-bike. Now, getting on my big Vado makes me ashamed: I feel as if I were riding a lightweight motorcycle! I'm "cheating"! :)

Downsides:
Vado SL 4.0 is a stiff e-bike. I could have bought the SL 5.0 (with the FutureShock stem and carbon fork) but the price gap was too big. The thing I had to do was replacing the original stem with the Redshift ShockStop, and relocating the headlight to a GoPro mount. Now: Vado SL 4.0 EQ also allows installing Redshift ShockStop seat-post. You cannot do the latter on the SL 4.0 non-EQ (the only option is to order a 27.2 mm Kinekt 2.1 with a hole drilled per order by Cirrus Cycles, and relocating the taillight wiring).
 

DanInStPete

Well-Known Member
Great information Stefan, much appreciated. I actually sold the Vado 5 more than a year ago.

You are right about the Purion, I already have it on my FullSeven and don't really want it on my new bike. It works great for the mountain bike, big display and everything I need. All things considered if I bought the Urban Evo it would pretty much be a direct replacement of the Vado, and I do want a different experience.

I think your info, in both threads, along with all the other discussion I have been reading has swayed me to the SL. I really want to try the convenience and agility of the lower weight. My main concern was whether the SL has enough power for me. I think it will. I rarely used half the power of the Vado 5. And if I want more power for a particular ride I can just take the FullSeven. I have 27.5 2.8" Smart Sams on it and they do okay on the street with that consistent center line.

I will def add the ShockStop. I had one before on a gravel bike and it worked great. Better than the Future Shock I had on my Sirrus X, the unpowered predecessor to the Vado SL. I like the Thudbuster ST and will be adding that as well (I have an extra 31.8, wish that tube was a little bigger!).

Heading to the bike shop today to order it. XL is in stock in Smoke color so I should have it in less than a week :D
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
I will def add the ShockStop. I had one before on a gravel bike and it worked great. Better than the Future Shock I had on my Sirrus X, the unpowered predecessor to the Vado SL. I like the Thudbuster ST and will be adding that as well (I have an extra 31.8, wish that tube was a little bigger!).

Heading to the bike shop today to order it. XL is in stock in Smoke color so I should have it in less than a week :D
Dan: Just bear in mind the non-EQ is not easy as to install a suspension seat-post because of the wire routing for the tail-light.

I was on a ride with two very slow traditional cyclists. Despite of my legs' ailment, I rode with them either unassisted or with symbolic assistance of 20/20% SL... :)
 

BEC111

Well-Known Member
Dan: Just bear in mind the non-EQ is not easy as to install a suspension seat-post because of the wire routing for the tail-light.

I was on a ride with two very slow traditional cyclists. Despite of my legs' ailment, I rode with them either unassisted or with symbolic assistance of 20/20% SL... :)
Unassisted!
I hadn’t thought of that, when I ride with my analog only friend. He’s a slow rider except when he want to prove he faster on his analog bike than I am on my ebike. (He is.) Instead, I’ve learned how to ride slowly in a low gear at 75 RPM. No assistance seems like a much better plan.
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Unassisted!
I hadn’t thought of that, when I ride with my analog only friend. He’s a slow rider except when he want to prove he faster on his analog bike than I am on my ebike. (He is.) Instead, I’ve learned how to ride slowly in a low gear at 75 RPM. No assistance seems like a much better plan.

i rode my creo for quite a long time before realizing you can just turn the assist off completely without turning the bike off 😅

now i ride it that way very often, knowing the assist is a button push away if needed!
 

DanInStPete

Well-Known Member
Dan: Just bear in mind the non-EQ is not easy as to install a suspension seat-post because of the wire routing for the tail-light.

I was on a ride with two very slow traditional cyclists. Despite of my legs' ailment, I rode with them either unassisted or with symbolic assistance of 20/20% SL... :)
Thanks for the tip Stefan. Since I almost never ride at night I will remove the tail light and replace the saddle along with the suspension post. I have a rechargeable light for the back if I need it.