Washing and lubing Vado 5

Nxkharra

Active Member
Could you please share your washing, cleaning, lubing eBike routine?
Specifically do you take the battery out?
Do you use hose?
how often do you clean and degrease the chain?
How often do you lube?
 

Marci jo

Well-Known Member
My Vado is a fantastic machine and I treat it like a favorite pet 😊😁.

Since I tend to haul my ebikes often, while it’s still on the car rack, I simply wipe it with a wet cloth, then a soft dry cloth. For simplicity I leave the battery on the bike. I hesitate to spray it with a hose. Yes, according to the manufacturers the bike can handle a soaking rain but I’m nervous about water inside the battery housing and also the motor. And to a lesser extent, water inside any exposed cable housings.

As far as lubrications, I set my goal to lube the chain every 200-300 miles. Sometimes it gets to be 500 miles or so but I don’t freak out about this. Not really sure how often to lube it. My riding is hard surface roads & bike paths. I’m using a one step cleaner and lube (forgot the name). The bike is shifting flawlessly but I’m still getting a new chain this Spring. At 2500 miles it’s stretched a bit.

Many great miles to you on your Vado.
 

Amazer98

Member
A good lube for any bike (acoustic or electric) is Tri-Flow. I use a small aerosol spray can with one of those skinny plastic straws. Spray it on the pivot points of your derailleur and those little jockey wheels that guide the chain through the cage. I’d be careful about spraying near the disc brakes (or refrain from doing so) since you don’t want to contaminate the pads.

As for the chain, use a dedicated chain lube like ProLink. I put a drop or two at the end of each link, then hold a rag to the chain and spin it through several times to remove any dirt and excess lube.

I also picked up a tiny tube of dielectric grease, which looks like Vaseline. I dap a tiny bit on the metal battery connections on my bike to protect them against corrosion.

Hope this helps!
 

Nxkharra

Active Member
My Vado is a fantastic machine and I treat it like a favorite pet 😊😁.

Since I tend to haul my ebikes often, while it’s still on the car rack, I simply wipe it with a wet cloth, then a soft dry cloth. For simplicity I leave the battery on the bike. I hesitate to spray it with a hose. Yes, according to the manufacturers the bike can handle a soaking rain but I’m nervous about water inside the battery housing and also the motor. And to a lesser extent, water inside any exposed cable housings.

As far as lubrications, I set my goal to lube the chain every 200-300 miles. Sometimes it gets to be 500 miles or so but I don’t freak out about this. Not really sure how often to lube it. My riding is hard surface roads & bike paths. I’m using a one step cleaner and lube (forgot the name). The bike is shifting flawlessly but I’m still getting a new chain this Spring. At 2500 miles it’s stretched a bit.

Many great miles to you on your Vado.
Could you elaborate on the signs of chain being stretched?
Can you visually inspect and discover this?
Does your gear changing gives you warning that your chain is stretched?
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
Could you elaborate on the signs of chain being stretched?
Can you visually inspect and discover this?
Does your gear changing gives you warning that your chain is stretched?
Chain stretch has to be measured. Either with calipers or a chain stretch gage. If the chain starts skipping a tooth, it's usually too late and you may have also damaged the cassette gears. Chain stretch has a lot to do with riding style. Some people will put on a new chain at 1000 miles. The gage just started to slip in on my Haibike chain at 2,500 miles. Something the dealer will be glad to show you.
 
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Marci jo

Well-Known Member
Could you elaborate on the signs of chain being stretched?
Can you visually inspect and discover this?
Does your gear changing gives you warning that your chain is stretched?

My Vado is at the shop for brake maintenance. At 2500 miles the brakes were a little “mushy “ (that’s a technical term. lol). I asked the mechanic to check the chain for stretching. Using a caliber he show me the difference between my stretched chain and a new chain on a brand new bike. I can’t visually tell what a stretched chain looks like but I didn’t want to wait until gears started slipping.

These are the kind of little things that I don’t do and hence appreciate my lbs.
 

Nxkharra

Active Member
My Vado is a fantastic machine and I treat it like a favorite pet 😊😁.

Since I tend to haul my ebikes often, while it’s still on the car rack, I simply wipe it with a wet cloth, then a soft dry cloth. For simplicity I leave the battery on the bike. I hesitate to spray it with a hose. Yes, according to the manufacturers the bike can handle a soaking rain but I’m nervous about water inside the battery housing and also the motor. And to a lesser extent, water inside any exposed cable housings.

As far as lubrications, I set my goal to lube the chain every 200-300 miles. Sometimes it gets to be 500 miles or so but I don’t freak out about this. Not really sure how often to lube it. My riding is hard surface roads & bike paths. I’m using a one step cleaner and lube (forgot the name). The bike is shifting flawlessly but I’m still getting a new chain this Spring. At 2500 miles it’s stretched a bit.

Many great miles to you on your Vado.
I also haul my bike to get to starting points. I have a Jeep with Thule Apex XT that use to do so. What bike rack do you use?
I used to take the battery off to make the bike few pounds lighter, but don’t do that anymore. I stopped when I had difficulty with my motor not responding properly (different post). It ended up to be the controller/monitor issue. I am not sure taking the battery out and in constantly is good for the connections. I realize that is the purpose of the battery location and placement but just don’t like to add possibility of issues.
also with battery off while traveling there is an exposure to dust and other stuff getting in the housing. I realize I can cover the housing. My travels are short distance 1/2 hour or so. I start most of my rides from home now.
your thoughts?
 

Marci jo

Well-Known Member
Yes I also leave the battery on. It just seems simpler.

For hauling, I found a Saris Freedom to be best for me. My whimpy arms were not able to lift some of the ebike car racks, mostly because many ebike racks have more metal for strength and consequently are heavy. Most trips are less than an hour drive.

However, last June our group went to some trails that were about 4 hours drive away. I chose to wrestle the ebike into my Acura suv, rather the expose it on the back of the vehicle. So very glad! It poured rain and so many semi trucks on the freeway making it worse. And I felt safer from theft. The minor hassle was worth it.
 

Sierratim

New Member
I spend most of my time on drive train cleaning, though I do occasionally wipe down the bike with a soft wet cloth, sometimes using WD40 to help. We always carry some 'dry' chain lube and a clean rag with us. Wiping down the chain with the lube after rack transport and after riding on gravel is a good idea to protect the chain and the other more costly drive components.

Every couple of months I'll check for chain wear and do a drive train cleaning. I use a Park CC-3 tool to check chain wear, though this model is set to measure 0.75% & 1% stretch. I really need to get a CC-3.2 gauge that will check for 0.5% & 0.75% stretch for the Vado's 11-speed setup. Park recommends less than 1% stretch for up to 10 speed chains and less than 0.75% for 11 & 12 speeds. So for the Vado you should replace the chain as soon as the 0.5% gauge can be gently pressed between the links. The drive and shifting may still be working OK but the wear in the chain will start to deteriorate the other more expensive drive components. I've seen older bikes with teeth on the front chainrings shaped like 'sharks teeth', a sure sign the chain hadn't been changed and cleaned often enough. At this point, the bike may shift marginally well with an old chain that has worn into the now worn out chainrings, but you can't improve performance by putting on a new chain. In fact, the shifting may get worse. The only real fix is a new chain, new chainrings and probably a new cassette.

As a rule of thumb, I replace our chains annually each Spring. This is typically ~1,500 miles, more in 'good' years. I've never had a chain fail the 0.75% stretch criteria at this point so our other components get lots of good miles on them. I'll do the same for our Vados this Spring.

For reference, I've attached a pic of the Park CC-3 tool 'in action' along with the cleaning products I use for the drive components. I use a citrus-based degreaser with a chain cleaner like the Park CM-5.2 to take off all the dirt and old lube. I use the same degreaser to clean the idler wheels in the derailleur. After thoroughly wiping down the chain, I liberally apply a 'dry' chain lube like the Finish Line Teflon lube. I'll shift through all the gears several times and then wipe off the excess lube. The pic with the Park CC-3 has a recently cleaned chain.

I then use Tri Flow lube in a drip applicator to lube all the pivot points in the derailleur. I also add a couple of drops of Tri Flow in each of the shifting and brake cables (for our non-hydraulic brakes) each Spring.

As a final step I use Finish Line's Gear Floss to clean between the cogs of the rear cassette. It's surprising how much gunk builds up between the cogs, just waiting to contaminate your new or newly cleaned chain!

I will need to pay attention once a year or so to the Vado's Shadow derailleur clutch tension. The last pic shows the clutch tension adjustment port with the cover in the open position (be sure the cover is in the closed position when you ride!). This adjustment is needed when the derailleur gets a bit sluggish in returning. When an adjustment won't do it, opening up the clutch and lubricating with a light grease is necessary. Expect to do this, or have your LBS do this, every couple of years.

Other than that I believe the Vado uses sealed bearings everywhere else. No service is needed until you notice roughness then a bearing replacement is needed.

BTW - I do like Amazer98's use of dielectric grease on the battery terminals. I transport our Vados with the batteries out. I'm going to start applying the grease to the frame's battery terminals to protect them.
 

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Sierratim

New Member
The Park CC-3.2 chain checker came in a few days ago. It checks for 0.5% & 0.75% chain stretch. An 11-speed chain, like the Vados', should be replaced when the 0.5% gauge can be gently pressed between the links. The chain in this pic has plenty of life left before the 0.5% gauge will fit between the links.

I usually check chain wear every time I clean the chain, typically every couple of months.
 

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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
I committed a sin yesterday. On my last trip with Vado, I went off-road making wheels, fenders and whole lower part of my bike covered with nasty mud. Now, in the wintertime and the bike garage in the cellar, it is hard for me to wash the bike manually. Having had some spare time before the sunset and at temperature +6 C, I rode very fast to the touch free car wash that is located less than 10 km from my place.

Yes, it is a sin to wash a bike with the high pressure hose. Luckily, there is a low-pressure spray unless you pull the high-pressure handle. I was able to wash off most of the debris without the need to apply the hot HP water. Yet some nasty mud remained in places above the drive-train. I closed my eyes and gave the bike several stronger spurts, avoiding hitting any axle or any part of the drive-train.

Interestingly, one of the spurts hit the battery cover. When I removed the battery for charging at home, it turned out the interior of the battery chamber was completely dry. The sealing must be indeed waterproof!

Then I rode home only using good tarmac roads in Turbo mode downwind, enjoying the speed. I could keep 40 km/h for couple of kilometres, hitting 43 at some short segment. When I arrived home, the rims were already dirty :D Now, it is easy to do the final cleanup with a piece of rag. I treated the drive-train of Vado with WD-40 Bike, the one with Teflon.
 

Marci jo

Well-Known Member
I committed a sin yesterday. On my last trip with Vado, I went off-road making wheels, fenders and whole lower part of my bike covered with nasty mud. Now, in the wintertime and the bike garage in the cellar, it is hard for me to wash the bike manually. Having had some spare time before the sunset and at temperature +6 C, I rode very fast to the touch free car wash that is located less than 10 km from my place.

Yes, it is a sin to wash a bike with the high pressure hose. Luckily, there is a low-pressure spray unless you pull the high-pressure handle. I was able to wash off most of the debris without the need to apply the hot HP water. Yet some nasty mud remained in places above the drive-train. I closed my eyes and gave the bike several stronger spurts, avoiding hitting any axle or any part of the drive-train.

Interestingly, one of the spurts hit the battery cover. When I removed the battery for charging at home, it turned out the interior of the battery chamber was completely dry. The sealing must be indeed waterproof!

Then I rode home only using good tarmac roads in Turbo mode downwind, enjoying the speed. I could keep 40 km/h for couple of kilometres, hitting 43 at some short segment. When I arrived home, the rims were already dirty :D Now, it is easy to do the final cleanup with a piece of rag. I treated the drive-train of Vado with WD-40 Bike, the one with Teflon.
Great story 😊
Had to laugh while reading it. Knowing how you feel about your ebikes, Stefan, I had an image of you at the car so very very carefully cleaning your bike, then gingerly wiping away any left over mud.
Lol, I would probably do the same thing, as would others. 🚴🏾‍♂️😆
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Great story 😊
Had to laugh while reading it. Knowing how you feel about your ebikes, Stefan, I had an image of you at the car so very very carefully cleaning your bike, then gingerly wiping away any left over mud.
Lol, I would probably do the same thing, as would others. 🚴🏾‍♂️😆
The funniest part was when I put my bike in the queue of cars waiting to the car wash. There was another car behind me and the driver though I was perhaps just hanging around there. When the line moved up, I looked in the guy's eye and lined up my Vado after the preceding car. Then the driver could see the number plate of my bike 😂

I have to admit no driver made funny faces at my sight 😊 Some lady was even helpful to leave her box earlier so I could walk my Vado in.
 

Nxkharra

Active Member
I spend most of my time on drive train cleaning, though I do occasionally wipe down the bike with a soft wet cloth, sometimes using WD40 to help. We always carry some 'dry' chain lube and a clean rag with us. Wiping down the chain with the lube after rack transport and after riding on gravel is a good idea to protect the chain and the other more costly drive components.

Every couple of months I'll check for chain wear and do a drive train cleaning. I use a Park CC-3 tool to check chain wear, though this model is set to measure 0.75% & 1% stretch. I really need to get a CC-3.2 gauge that will check for 0.5% & 0.75% stretch for the Vado's 11-speed setup. Park recommends less than 1% stretch for up to 10 speed chains and less than 0.75% for 11 & 12 speeds. So for the Vado you should replace the chain as soon as the 0.5% gauge can be gently pressed between the links. The drive and shifting may still be working OK but the wear in the chain will start to deteriorate the other more expensive drive components. I've seen older bikes with teeth on the front chainrings shaped like 'sharks teeth', a sure sign the chain hadn't been changed and cleaned often enough. At this point, the bike may shift marginally well with an old chain that has worn into the now worn out chainrings, but you can't improve performance by putting on a new chain. In fact, the shifting may get worse. The only real fix is a new chain, new chainrings and probably a new cassette.

As a rule of thumb, I replace our chains annually each Spring. This is typically ~1,500 miles, more in 'good' years. I've never had a chain fail the 0.75% stretch criteria at this point so our other components get lots of good miles on them. I'll do the same for our Vados this Spring.

For reference, I've attached a pic of the Park CC-3 tool 'in action' along with the cleaning products I use for the drive components. I use a citrus-based degreaser with a chain cleaner like the Park CM-5.2 to take off all the dirt and old lube. I use the same degreaser to clean the idler wheels in the derailleur. After thoroughly wiping down the chain, I liberally apply a 'dry' chain lube like the Finish Line Teflon lube. I'll shift through all the gears several times and then wipe off the excess lube. The pic with the Park CC-3 has a recently cleaned chain.

I then use Tri Flow lube in a drip applicator to lube all the pivot points in the derailleur. I also add a couple of drops of Tri Flow in each of the shifting and brake cables (for our non-hydraulic brakes) each Spring.

As a final step I use Finish Line's Gear Floss to clean between the cogs of the rear cassette. It's surprising how much gunk builds up between the cogs, just waiting to contaminate your new or newly cleaned chain!

I will need to pay attention once a year or so to the Vado's Shadow derailleur clutch tension. The last pic shows the clutch tension adjustment port with the cover in the open position (be sure the cover is in the closed position when you ride!). This adjustment is needed when the derailleur gets a bit sluggish in returning. When an adjustment won't do it, opening up the clutch and lubricating with a light grease is necessary. Expect to do this, or have your LBS do this, every couple of years.

Other than that I believe the Vado uses sealed bearings everywhere else. No service is needed until you notice roughness then a bearing replacement is needed.

BTW - I do like Amazer98's use of dielectric grease on the battery terminals. I transport our Vados with the batteries out. I'm going to start applying the grease to the frame's battery terminals to protect them.
I ordered and received the Part CC3 tool and measures my chain stretch. It is good for .5 after 1,400 miles.
Thanks for your recommendation.
 

Nxkharra

Active Member
The funniest part was when I put my bike in the queue of cars waiting to the car wash. There was another car behind me and the driver though I was perhaps just hanging around there. When the line moved up, I looked in the guy's eye and lined up my Vado after the preceding car. Then the driver could see the number plate of my bike 😂

I have to admit no driver made funny faces at my sight 😊 Some lady was even helpful to leave her box earlier so I could walk my Vado in.
Great story Stefan. I would do the same thing to keep the bike clean. Recently U had to go through a trail that was fully flooded. The bike was in the water up to the pedal base. No issues.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
The only thing I don't like is the brakes that squeal now. Probably, the dirt is still between the brake pads. I will clean the brakes with compressed air in the morning.