Which commuter ebike? Specialized 2022 Como/Vado 5.0 vs 2022 Trek Allant+ 7S

powersquad

New Member
Region
New Zealand
Hello folks,

I am an unfit 36 year old weighing 200lbs looking at my first ebike for commuting to work primarily which is 25KM one way (16 miles) so 50KM return (32 miles). My office location has changed which was quite further out before where I had a free car park but at the new office location location that is 50KM return trip, I will have to find a paid car park and they are around NZD$1800. I figure, this commute is achievable via bicycle specially now that they have interconnected my small town with the major town where my job is via a dedicated cycleway that is mostly concrete path for 70% of the way and remaining is tar seal road.

At my new work building after few recent thefts in the car park where the bike stand is also, they have full fenced off the area with swipe card access apparently as I still have not been to the new office location yet. WFH is great but it will come to and end in a month's time so will have to commute to work atleast 3 days a week and 2 days WFH.

This will be my first ebike. I have been reading various threads here at EBR and watching videos on YouTube as well between different model bikes that has helped atleast narrow down I think between 2 brands Specialized and Trek.

The reason why I have picked these 2 brands is because there is local support for both these brands in my small town and also the major town where my work is. I ruled out Riese and Muller because the closest bike show that supports this brand is 1 hour and 30 mins away one way.

For the Trek, I picked the Allant+ 7S which is available in New Zealand at NZD$5999 incl tax (15%) (USD$4000 incl 15% tax). However my wife's workplace has a scheme with this specific chain of bike retailer that gives 12.5% discount and they happen to sell Trek so I can get the Allant +7S for NZD$5250 incl tax (USD$3500). There is barely any ebike stock available in the country due to big back orders. The retailer has 1 M and 1 L size left. I did a test ride on the M size today being 5'9 in height and the bike was a tight/perfect fit. The L size is brand new and they will have to build it which they can for a 10% deposit and will even return the deposit if I back out of both L or M size. I am thinking L size would fit me better. I am looking at the low step version so my wife who is 5'8 can also use it easily.

Being my first ever ebike ride, the Allant +7S was great experience. I climbed an steep incline which I would have huffed and puffed on a non e-bike but the Trek ploughed through it on low gear on turbo mode and I did not break a sweat. The motor was noticeably noisy.

I will contact the Specialized dealer tomorrow but I think due to being sold out everywhere that I can see online, I would be surprised if they would have any stock. I am interested in the 2022 Como 5.0 more and I like the connectivity and security lock options with motor being disabled. These likely will not be available until April 2022 including the 2022 Vado. These are NZD$8900 incl 15% tax (USD$6000).

1. Is the Specialized 2022 Como 5.0 worth it over Allant+ 7S with an extra price difference of NZD $3650 (USD$2500) for the chain version and $USD900 more on top for the IGH version?
2. Is one of these brands more reliable over the other specially with parts availability down the track as the battery would likely need to be replaced in 5 years time?
3. For commute mostly, if I did go down the path of Specialized, would Como suit better over Vado?

Edit - I just came back from the Specialized dealer and the allocation for 2022 bikes are extremely low. Like 1 unit low for 2022 Turbo Como 5.0 (non SL) which they reckon they will receive in January or Feb 2022 and they will not have anything after that until August 2022. I did a test ride on the 2021 Specialized Como they had on floor which was the M size and it's definitely the size I would want if go with Specialized. The bike rode well,. The motor also had noticeable noise but less than the Allant+ 7S. It did struggle on the hill I took it to even on low gear and I had to pedal hard but I suspected that from the SL being 35nm torque only and I am not fit (yet). The brakes were also not that strong or prompt to action unlike the Allant+ 7S. I suspect it might be 2 piston break unlike 4 piston on the Allant+ 7S.

I think it's between Turbo Como 5.0 vs Allant+ 7S for me. Both have good torque, build quality and 4 piston breaks. Specialized dealer has offered me $500 off which he said no other dealer will offer in the country in current climate and I believe him because I have not been able to find stock of ebikes in general anywhere in NZ. I can get the Specialized 2022 Turbo Como 5.0 for $8400 instead of $8900 incl tax so USD$5650 incl tax. USD$3500 for the Allant+ 7S. I did prefer the handles of Como SL over Allant+ 7S so I imagine the handles of 2022 Como will be similar as well.

Thanks.
 
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
This is a very hard decision @powersquad. As I am a Specialized fan as I can tell you the Como is not for everyone. Como is a comfortable city e-bike while the Trek Allant+ 7S is a sporty ride. Otherwise, these two e-bikes are quite similar in performance.

The pros for Specialized: The 2022 models sport the updated electronics (Mastermind) and new motors. The connectivity of Specialized e-bikes in unparalleled by any other brand. Trek is equipped with the current Bosch motor but Bosch come with a big change to the Smart System, which has not been implemented by Trek yet (so you would buy -- technically speaking -- an obsolete e-bike).

If you only could get a 2022 Vado then I would greatly recommend that to you. Or, a 2022 Specialized Tero EQ.
 

dodgeman

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Macomb, Illinois
The price on the Trek is good, but that is a killer tax.

I own a Trek Verve+3 and the Trek you are looking at is a nicer bike. A lot more punch out of the motor.

Can you charge the bike when you park it at work? If so you should be able to crank up the assist and make the commute in an hour. If you can’t charge it, you might have to watch the battery range a little more carefully.
 

BlackHand

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Western WA
Can you charge the bike when you park it at work? If so you should be able to crank up the assist and make the commute in an hour. If you can’t charge it, you might have to watch the battery range a little more carefully.
This is a good point. With a 500wh battery you won't want to be going in turbo on every hill or trying to go 25mph the whole way. The bigger battery of the Como is the biggest thing it has going for it in my opinion.

Regardless, I think you're better served to get the available Trek now. That gives you a month to get used to the bike and get your gear sorted out before you actually HAVE to commute to work.

Plus you can spend some of the $ saved on things like a helmet, pannier, extra charger for the office, raingear, better grips, etc.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
I have re-read your original post @powersquad (because my first answer was only related to the differences between Como 5.0 and Allant+ 7S).

Range
Like you, I am a 90 kg (or so) person, and my legs cannot improve for health reasons. My Turbo test on an older 45 km/h Vado 5.0 with 604 Wh battery gave me the range of 43 km (loop) when riding on a 14 C morning with moderate wind and totally on the flat. I covered that distance in 1 h 28 min net with the average speed of 29.3 km/h. You are to cover several hills, so your range would be even shorter than that. Having said that: The 2022 Como 5.0 comes with a 710 Wh battery. If you rode in Turbo all the way, the range would be close to 50 km but only on the flat. Additionally, Como is less aerodynamic than Vado, further reducing your speed and increasing battery consumption.

Analysis: To get the average of 25 km/h, you would be using Turbo uphill only, and Sport mode elsewhere. (Slower average speed means more range). You would either be not pedalling on descents or you would put the assistance to OFF there (there is no reason to pedal or be assisted downhill); that helps conserving the battery charge very much.

Conclusion: While you might make the round-trip on a single battery charge of 2022 Como 5.0, you should better consider taking the battery out from the frame and charging it inside at work. (That would be unavoidable with the 500 Wh battery of the Allant+).

Battery Sustainability
With so hard use of the e-bike, you might be forced to get a new battery in 3 (or even 2) years. Bosch promises to make the older batteries for 7 years more but they actually already think of the new Smart System with completely different batteries. The future here is uncertain. Specialized has just started with the new U2-710 batteries so these should be available for many years with no worries.

Specialized SL e-bikes
These are very nice but they are no commuters but leisure/fitness e-bikes. You cannot expect high speed or easy climbing or long battery range at higher speeds. I live in the flatland and am getting maximum average speed of 21 km/h on my Vado SL, using Turbo mode for clearing overpasses only. And you probably could not charge the battery on the bike at work!

Again: talk with the LBS if you could get a 2022 Vado 5.0. That e-bike would be a better commuter than the Como. And... NZ does not have any speed limit for e-bikes but the imported Specialized models could by chance be limited to 25 km/h (like for Australia or Europe), Double check with the dealer whether the offered model conforms to the U.S. Class 3, that is, it assists you to 28 mph. (Allant+ S is a 28 mph e-bike by definition).
 
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dodgeman

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Macomb, Illinois
The Trek you are looking at has the same battery as my Trek and you should have no problem with the range without charging it while you are at work. I’ve ridden 32 miles and probably had another 10 to 15 miles left in the battery. What you probably won’t have is the ability to ride on maximum assist without charging the battery at work. Like Stefan Mikes says, that will hit the battery pretty hard. Just a wild guess on my part, the original battery should last a year and maybe 2 to 3 years.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
An interesting observation, disregarding the e-bike make/model as all modern. upright riding position, mid-drive motor e-bikes face the same phenomena of physics:
I needed to visit my daughter today (there is white Winter here now) so I was in hurry. I was riding a loop in flat terrain. I used 409 Wh from the battery to cover 50 km. Yet, the average speed was only 20.2 km/h (and no hills)! The assistance level in terms of the full power Vado/Como was 41%.

Increasing the assistance and getting higher average speed is very heavy on the battery range as the power demand is a cubic function of air drag (or, the e-bike velocity relative to air, also related to the riding position).
 

dodgeman

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Macomb, Illinois
Stefan, I know you have disagreed on the range I suspect people will get with their e bikes. I’m not sure why, I’m not saying your wrong, it’s just different from what I experience.

I have 990 miles on my Trek Verve+3 with a 500wh battery. My controller just shows bars so it’s hard to compare but the ride you just described I would expect about 40% left on my battery. I would probably ride with a little more assistance and about 3 km/h faster. It’s almost always windy here and some hills, I probably average 1000 feet of elevation gain.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
You're probably far stronger than I am dodgeman. The point is powersquad would like to arrive to work fresh. And at the average speed of 25 km/h. That means a lot of assistance.
 

dodgeman

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Macomb, Illinois
Stronger? I’m not sure about that. It maybe just where I ride, how I ride, wind, hills etc. Knowing how my Trek works compared to the one he is looking at, I’d say if he takes his battery inside and charges it, he will be fine for range running the maximum assist.
 

BlackHand

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Western WA
Stefan, I know you have disagreed on the range I suspect people will get with their e bikes. I’m not sure why, I’m not saying your wrong, it’s just different from what I experience.
Verve+ has the Active Line Plus drive which is more efficient. There are lots of variables obviously, but the Bosch range calculator is pretty good. The first 2 pics are with all variables the same except showing the range difference on a 500wh battery from the Active Line Plus to the PL Speed both at 25 kph
Screenshot_20211221-130149.png
Screenshot_20211221-130235.png

If you go to 32kph on the Speed motor then range drops considerably:
Screenshot_20211221-132221.png
 

powersquad

New Member
Region
New Zealand
Thanks, guys, for your tips and recommendations so far. I have managed to find some progress photos of parts of the shared cycleway/walkway last night on the Government website. As per the latest update, it looks it will only complete and open around the end of March 2022 due to COVID lockdown delays. It is a 60KM long shared track linking the major city with two small cities that are neighboring along the river. They have already opened the first small city's path earlier this year linking it to the major city, but our small city got delayed due to COVID. This delay does gives me a good month or two with the bike to get practice on it and get an idea about battery life etc. I have attached some photos of the shared cycleway/walkway. It does include longboards as well now that I see them in the photos which I imagine, the ebike should have no issues with anyway? compared to concrete and tar seal road that I thought the cycleway would compromise of. Hopefully, the front suspension and tyre quality would be comfortable ride with both the Allant+ 7S or Turbo Como 5.0.

@Stefan Mikes That is a very good observation you made regarding checking the 25KM/h restriction that they have in some parts of the world. I know Australia also has the 25KM/h restriction for ebikes while NZ does not. The Allant+7S is specifically advertised as Class 3 ebike in NZ with 28mph advertising and during my test ride, I did get it up to 37KM/h on turbo so can confirm it's all good in NZ. I checked Specialized NZ page after your speed restriction comment for Turbo Como 5.0 and it advertises 28mph speeds as well and then checked Australian page and it lists it specifically on their website at 25KM/h. NZ is metric so both Trek and Specialized did not bother converting from mph to km/h when advertising their speeds Hehe. I just rang Specialized NZ HQ in NZ and they confirmed that in NZ, it will be indeed 28mph (45KM/h) for their bikes as well unlike Australia and Eruope so that is great news as well.

To answer some of the questions, yes at work I can charge my battery on my desk. There is no external power point AFAIK around the bike stand where I can leave the charger plugged in there and connect to bike directly so I would have to remove the battery if required and charge at my work desk which is no problem. I do have a question though below.

1. With both Trek and Specialized, the battery comes out. If it starts to rain outside and now the battery slot on bike is exposed to the rain, can the rain go inside the battery contact pins or any other place via that big battery hole and damage the electronics/motor/battery or are the battery pins fully sealed and all I need to do before putting the battery back in after rain has stopped is to wipe dry the battery pins contact area to avoid any shortening?

2. When you want to change gears (low or high) when riding either the Trek or Specialized, should I always be pedaling prior to changing the gear or can I stop pedaling and then change gear and start pedaling again? Can I also lower or up multiple gears quickly in succession?

3. When you mention that when going downhill, to not use assist mode and turn it off for that duration, can I just stop pedaling but leave assist mode on to conserve battery and then as soon the hill comes again or flat ground, I don't have to worry turn the assist mode back on and I can just continue to pedal then?

4. @dodgeman The Trek LBS mentioned that with the Allant+ 7S 500Wh battery, that I can most certainly even in turbo mode all the way arrive at work without running out of juice but yeah, more I will need to charge the battery at work. If I did ride conservatively, I may be able to make a return trip back home without charging but that is a hard push whereas with the Como 5.0 710Wh, I will be fine for a return trip too without worrying about running out of juice atleast on sports mode. I read somewhere that Specialized app has a way to predefine your route information and it can then base on that activate/deactivate pedal assist based around the battery that is available to use too which sounds cool so takes a lot of guess work out. Without a doubt, once I do a full run of this new cycleway when it opens and go to work and come back home, I will have a much clear picture of how many steep paths etc I will have to work with.

5. The reason I like Como over the Vado is for 2 reasons. First is that it is low step so my wife can enjoy riding it as well compared to the Vado. It will not be impossible for my wife to get on the Vado but it will not be as easy as Como. I like the handle and sitting position of upright style of the Como. When I rode the Como SL the handlebar and my sitting position felts very natural and comfortable compared to the Allant +7S which is same handle/sitting position style like the Vado.

I still have not fully decided yet if I am honest between the Como 5.0 and Allan+ 7S. If I am honest, currently the Como 5.0 is more in my mind of being the bike due to bigger battery, connectivity options, quieter motor and garmin radar sensor at back. I am hoping for the battery to last me atleast 5 years with which ever bike I go with. I am expecting that once my stamina rate increases and I start to get fitter, I rely much less on Turbo mode and run on either Sports or Eco so the battery charge/discharge cycles should reduce once Turbo mode use will be reduced with either of the bike brands.

From a resale point of view, do both Trek and Specialized hold their value well?

Thanks
 

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dodgeman

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Macomb, Illinois
Nice looking bike path, either bike should do fine. We hauled our Treks from Illinois to Utah on the back of my pickup about two months ago. We took the batteries out for transport and they make a little plug to cover the contacts left open in the bike. I think it’s more for peace of mind as everything is sealed up pretty good.

For speed, I find with mine running in full turbo, I could probably average a little less than 18 mph for a distance of your commute. The Trek you are looking at has a stronger motor so I think you can expect the commute to take an hour or a little less assuming you don’t have to stop a lot or have traffic. I don’t know how busy that path will be on a work day, it may slow you down.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
1. With both Trek and Specialized, the battery comes out. If it starts to rain outside and now the battery slot on bike is exposed to the rain, can the rain go inside the battery contact pins or any other place via that big battery hole and damage the electronics/motor/battery or are the battery pins fully sealed and all I need to do before putting the battery back in after rain has stopped is to wipe dry the battery pins contact area to avoid any shortening?
The 2022 Como 5.0 has its battery loaded from the bottom: covering the battery cavity needs to be just symbolic. Just use a sheet of plastic film or whatever.

2. When you want to change gears (low or high) when riding either the Trek or Specialized, should I always be pedaling prior to changing the gear or can I stop pedaling and then change gear and start pedaling again? Can I also lower or up multiple gears quickly in succession?
You are the best doing that if you briefly stop pedalling on the shifting. It has always worked for me, and the indication of the proper shifting in no "clunk" of the derailleur. Regarding the shifting: The 2022 Como 5.0 is equipped with SRAM "single-click" shifter. Meaning, you can only shift by one gear per click. SRAM explains it is better for the chain and the drive-train on an e-bike. (Bullshit: Shimano can do triple downshift with a single click).

3. When you mention that when going downhill, to not use assist mode and turn it off for that duration, can I just stop pedaling but leave assist mode on to conserve battery and then as soon the hill comes again or flat ground, I don't have to worry turn the assist mode back on and I can just continue to pedal then?
If you do not pedal, the motor is cut off instantly. You can safely leave your assistance on during descents.

From a resale point of view, do both Trek and Specialized hold their value well?
As much as a smartphone, I am afraid :) Still, several EBR members managed to sell their e-bikes successfully. Do not expect a high return yet.

@powersquad: Please try the RideWithGPS app on your computer. Go to Route Planner. Enter your start address and make it the ride start point. Then enter your destination address. RideWithGPS will not only calculate the distance but also the Elevation Gain. Please tell me both figures.
 

Mulezen

Well-Known Member
As it happens I picked up a Trek Allant 7s just today as a smaller guest rider to compliment my Allant 9s. I had this order in for a full year. Actually months ago I expanded my choice to an Allant 8s or Specialized Turbo Vado 3.…whatever they could get first.
My resale of my first bike a Trek Super Commuter 7 to the Pro’s Closet got me over two thousand $US which was more than I expected. Used prices are high at present dur to the kinks in the supply chain. Get whatever you can get your hands on.
 

powersquad

New Member
Region
New Zealand
@Stefan Mikes Wow. RidewithGPS is cool. I signed up to the trial for now to get the route planner functionality. The red line on map is what RidewithGPS has drawn. That whole marked route I can tell is the exciting cycle route from my small town to the big town where my office is. It currently goes through 80% tar seal road shared with cars and is not the new shared walkway/cycleway that will open by March 2022 that I have hand drawn in green colour which runs along the river. It's only a part map from screenshot but as you can see my office is in direction and more in line with the green marked line so when that dedicated cycleway open, I should save a lot of time. Is there a way to find out in this website, what time it will take for the existing route that has been calculated as I cannot seem to find that info on their web app atleast.
 

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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Hey, you just needed to create an account and you need to "try" nothing. You can also set km and m :) Now:
27 km and 163 m elevation gain. The round-trip on the 710 Wh Como battery should be doable at 25 km/h. You just need a little practice :)
P.S. While you need to hurry to your work, you can ride slower home :)
 

powersquad

New Member
Region
New Zealand
Thanks. I left it on imperial units, but I just saw in your profile that you are from Europe hehe so metric like NZ.

Pardon my ignorance but yourself and posters have mentioned average 25 km/h speed. Is that the general average speed of a trip that ebikes end up taking hills/elevations, turns, traffic into account? I am hoping that with the new cycleway, I power my way through at max speed as possible on Turbo and if I must charge battery at work then be it just so that I can cut down on commute time. Google maps shows cycling commute of 1 hour and 20 minutes from home to office using current tar seal road shared with cars which I am guessing is with a pedal bicycle averaging 15km/h ~ 20 km/h? If I can average at least 35KM/h on the new cycleway which is shorter route than current tar seal route at 35KM/h, I can cut this down to 45-minute commute max? Hopefully not wishful thinking.