Specialized Turbo Vado 6.0 Review

Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Electric Bike Review
Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0
Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Vented Motor Protector Plastic Chainring Cover
Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Custom Mid Frame Battery With Bottle Cage Mount
Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Body Geometry Ergonomic Grips Side Mirror
Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Custom 600 Lumen Aspheric Lens Headlight
Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Suntour Ncx Mcd Suspension Fork 50 Mm
Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Flextender Fender Extender
Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Thru Axle 15 Mm Rebound Adjust
Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Canopy Comp Saddle 30 9 Mm Seat Post
Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Elegant Adjustable Length Kickstand
Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Minimalist Rack With Pannier Blocker
Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Rack Integrated Backlight Lightguide Technology
Womens Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0
Womens Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Plastic Motor Protector
Womens Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Airflow Motor Cover Integrated Horn
Womens Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Energy Bus Battery Charging Port With Cover
Womens Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Adjustable Seat Height Mid Step Frame Easy To Mount
Womens Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Display Mount Angles To Reduce Glare
Womens Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Tft Display Panel Micro Usb Port
Womens Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Ergonomic Ladies Grips
Womens Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Led Headlight
Womens Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Tubular Alloy Fenders With Water Dam
Womens Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Gray Black Color
Womens Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Electrak 2 0 Armadillo Tires
Womens Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Nylon Platform Pedals Sandpaper Grip
Womens Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Racktime Compatible 22 Kg Rear Rack
Womens Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Shimano Deore Xt Shadow Plus 11 Speed
Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Electric Bike Review
Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0
Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Vented Motor Protector Plastic Chainring Cover
Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Custom Mid Frame Battery With Bottle Cage Mount
Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Body Geometry Ergonomic Grips Side Mirror
Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Custom 600 Lumen Aspheric Lens Headlight
Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Suntour Ncx Mcd Suspension Fork 50 Mm
Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Flextender Fender Extender
Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Thru Axle 15 Mm Rebound Adjust
Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Canopy Comp Saddle 30 9 Mm Seat Post
Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Elegant Adjustable Length Kickstand
Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Minimalist Rack With Pannier Blocker
Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Rack Integrated Backlight Lightguide Technology
Womens Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0
Womens Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Plastic Motor Protector
Womens Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Airflow Motor Cover Integrated Horn
Womens Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Energy Bus Battery Charging Port With Cover
Womens Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Adjustable Seat Height Mid Step Frame Easy To Mount
Womens Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Display Mount Angles To Reduce Glare
Womens Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Tft Display Panel Micro Usb Port
Womens Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Ergonomic Ladies Grips
Womens Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Led Headlight
Womens Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Tubular Alloy Fenders With Water Dam
Womens Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Gray Black Color
Womens Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Electrak 2 0 Armadillo Tires
Womens Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Nylon Platform Pedals Sandpaper Grip
Womens Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Racktime Compatible 22 Kg Rear Rack
Womens Specialized Turbo Vado 6 0 Shimano Deore Xt Shadow Plus 11 Speed

Summary

  • A high-speed, feature-complete, urban electric bike with unique tubular fenders that have flexible extensions and water routing system to keep your legs, back and face dry, integrated lights and a tight modern rack
  • Available in four sizes including high-step and mid-step frame styles with gender-specific saddle and grips, custom tuned 50 mm suspension fork with lockout, sturdy thru-axles for improved power transfer and handling at high speed
  • Removable TFT touch-screen with integrated Micro-USB for accessory charging, Mission Control smartphone app syncs with display for GPS readouts and battery optimization, powerful 180 mm hydraulic disc brakes
  • High-end Shimano Deore XT Shadow Plus derailleur with one-way clutch to reduce chain bounce, narrow wide chainring delivers extra hold, rear light goes bright when either brake lever is pulled, bottle cage bosses on both frame types

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Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Specialized

Model:

Turbo Vado 6.0

Price:

$4,800

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Urban, Commuting, Touring

Electric Bike Class:

Speed Pedalec (Class 3)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

2 Year Battery and Motor, Lifetime Frame and Fork

Availability:

United States, Europe

Model Year:

2017

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

55.4 lbs (25.12 kg)

Battery Weight:

6.6 lbs (2.99 kg)

Motor Weight:

7.5 lbs (3.4 kg)

Frame Material:

E5 Aluminum Alloy, Smooth Welds

Frame Sizes:

15.75 in (40 cm)17.72 in (45 cm)19.69 in (50.01 cm)21.65 in (54.99 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

Medium 45 cm: 17.72" Seat Tube, 32" Stand Over Height, 44.3" Wheelbase

Frame Types:

High-Step, Mid-Step

Frame Colors:

Satin Lime with Black Accents, Slate with Black Accents

Frame Fork Details:

Suntour NCX with Multi Circuit Damping (MCD), Compression Lockout Clicker, Preload Adjust, 100 mm / 15 mm Thru Axle, Sealed Bearings Hub

Frame Rear Details:

142 mm / 12 mm Thru-Axle, Sealed Bearings Hub

Attachment Points:

Bottle Cage Bosses, Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses

Gearing Details:

11 Speed 1x11, Shimano Deore XT Shadow Plus SGS cage, Shimano SLX M7000 11-42T Cassette

Shifter Details:

Shimano SLX Triggers on Right

Cranks:

Custom Alloy, 48T, Narrow Wide Chainring, 104 mm Bolt Circle Diameter (BCD), Single Xsync Style 10- / 11-Speed

Pedals:

Custom Specialized Fitness, Nylon Platform with Grip Traction

Headset:

FSA 1-1/ 8" Upper and Lower, Cartridge Bearings

Stem:

Alloy, 7-Degree Rise, 31.8 mm Clamp, 60 mm (S) / 70 mm (M) / 80 mm (L) / 90 mm (XL)

Handlebar:

Specialized Alloy, 9-Degree Backsweep, 4-Degree Upsweep, 680 mm Width, 31.8 mm Clamp

Brake Details:

Tektro Zurich Hydraulic Disc with 180 mm Rotors, Tektro Zurich Levers with Tool-Free Adjustable Reach, Four-Piston Calipers, Integrated Read Switch on Both Levers for Rear Light Bright Mode

Grips:

Specialized Body Geometry XC Contour, Ergonomic, Black

Saddle:

Canopy Comp, Hollow Cr-Mo Rails

Seat Post:

Alloy, 2-Bolt Clamp, 12.5 mm Offset, Anti-Corrosion Hardware

Seat Post Length:

350 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

30.9 mm

Rims:

6061 Aluminum Alloy, Double-Wall, 40 mm Width, 28 Hole, Reinforcement Eyelets, Reflective Stickers

Spokes:

XDB Stainless Steel, 15 Gauge, Black

Tire Brand:

Electrak 2.0 Armadillo, 28" x 2" (700 x 51c) (51-622)

Wheel Sizes:

28 in (71.12cm)

Tire Details:

30 to 65 PSI, Armadillo Anti-Flat Technology, Gripton Compound

Tube Details:

Presta Valve

Accessories:

Custom Specialized Rack with Racktime Snap-it System and Integrated Rear Light (22 kg / 48.5 lb Max Load), Tubular Alloy Fenders (Extra-Long Flextender Multi-Plastic Lower Piece), Integrated Specialized Headlight with Aspheric Lens Technology (12 Volt, Two-LED, 600 Lumen, IP67 Rated, Aluminum Die-Cast Body, Stem Mount), Custom Specialized Side Mirror (Alloy and Glass), Rack-Integrated Specialized Backlight with Lightguide Technology (12 Volt, 8 SMD LED, Clear Window, IP67 Rated, Plastic Injected Housing, Aluminum Rack Attachment Studs, Inner Cable Routing in Left Stud), Plastic Chainring Guard, Transparent Slap Guard Sticker, 40 mm Spaced Standard Rear-Mount Kickstand, Electronic Horn (Mounted Below Bottom Bracket), Optional Replacement Battery Pack $800

Other:

Locking Removable Battery Pack with ABUS Locking Core, 1.9 lb 42 Volt 4 Amp Charger with Rosenberger Plug (Magnetic EnergyBus Standard), Optional 1.3 lb Portable 1.6 Amp Travel Charger, IP67 Water and Dust Protection Rating on Battery Pack, Battery Stops with 4% at Top and Bottom to Avoid Straining Cells, Internal Cable Routing, Shimano CN-HG601 Chain

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Brose, Rx Street Tuned, Custom for Specialized

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

250 watts

Motor Peak Output:

530 watts

Motor Torque:

90 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Samsung, LG

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

16.8 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

604.8 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

4.5 hours (7 Hours with Optional Travel Charger)

Estimated Min Range:

30 miles (48 km)

Estimated Max Range:

80 miles (129 km)

Display Type:

BLOKS Removable Adjustable Angle 2.2" Backlit TFT Touch-Screen LCD (Buttons: History / Back, Home, Menu) with 5 Volt Micro-USB Female Plug, 5 LED Charge Indicator / Power Button on Battery

Readouts:

Battery Level (5 Bars or Percentage), Assist Level (Off, Eco, Sport, Turbo), Trip Distance, Odometer, Available Range, Ride Time, Clock, Rider / Motor Power, Watts, Cadence, Elevation Profile, Distance Climb, Slope, Map

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad near Left Grip (Set, +, -, Light / Horn), Hold + for Walk Mode, Long-Press Set Twice for Settings Menu, Mission Control App (Bluetooth, iOS and Android)

Drive Mode:

Advanced Pedal Assist (Speed, Cadence and Torque Sensing, Eco: 20%, Sport: 50%, Turbo: 100%)

Top Speed:

28 mph (45 kph) (15.5 MPH in Europe)

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Written Review

Specialized has introduced four new urban electric bikes and the Vado 6.0 is their top-of-the-line offering. Compared with the original Specialized Turbo models, developed in 2010 and dating back to 2012 in the US, the Vado is more balanced and efficient. It relies on a mid-motor from Brose vs. a gearless hub from Go SwissDrive and is being produced in a mid-step as well as traditional diamond high-step frame style. This is excellent news for men and women alike, despite the gender-specific labeling and Body Geometry touch points that Specialized is highlighting. Those with limited flexibility, shorter legs, or the desire to ride with a loaded rear rack, might opt for the mid-step because it doesn’t sacrifice frame stiffness the way many other ebikes do. Both models feature a bottle cage mount on the downtube but the high-step has another pair of bosses on the underside of the top tube which can be used for a folding lock, mini pump or other accessories. And, since Specialized has used an ABUS locking core to secure the Vado battery, you can get a key-matched ABUS folding lock to reduce the number of keys floating around in your life. Note that the demo models we were riding for this media event / review were pre-production and had Specialized Z-Cage bottle holders and SWAT toolkits added, these are not stock.

I was riding a glossy yellow Men’s size Medium and the ladies were spread across black Medium and Small sized Vado 6.0’s. Even though this ebike looks great, I think the triangle downtube isn’t quite as beautiful as the older straight tube… and you miss out on regenerative braking, but benefit from efficient freewheeling action whereas the hub produced cogging slowdown (magnetic drag). Specialized reps stressed this point during the press event, but I think it’s true of most mid-drive systems using high-end motors like Brose, Bosch, or Yamaha that coasting and pedaling is unimpeded. Indeed, I was able to reach 40+ MPH coasting down a steep section of pavement in the hills of Los Altos, California during our demo ride. The bikes really shine on smooth tarmac but I didn’t suffer as much going over cracks and potholes as I have on some of the earlier Turbo models thanks to a 50 mm suspension fork. You could lock this out for increased stiffness and have access to compression and preload adjust. Suspension aside, the fatter 51c (2-inch) wide tires absorb vibration and shock pretty well on their own. It’s interesting to see the Vado 5.0 with a rigid Aluminum Alloy fork because at higher speeds and longer distances, you really start to feel the jitter and that’s a high-speed model as well. One area to consider upgrading on any of the Vado models is the seat post which is rigid aluminum with a 30.9 mm diameter. There are lots of quality suspension seat posts available now in the $150 range, and they go a long way towards reducing neck and back stiffness (at least for me). The cockpit come setup with 25 mm of riser stacks under the stem, which is fairly short so you don’t have to lean far forward. In summary, this is a high-quality, stable, good looking electric bike from a mainstream manufacturer. Other highlights include 180 mm hydraulic disc brakes with tool-free reach adjust on the levers and read switches that signal bright mode for the rear light when pulled. Many electric bicycles come with bells, but the Vado 5.0 and 6.0 come with an electronic horn that’s quite satisfying to honk… for fun or otherwise. I love the 11-speed Shimano Deore XT Shadow Plus drivetrain because it shifts quickly and has a one-way clutch (a little grey lever on the side) to keep the chain tight on rough terrain. It also has rigid thru-axles front and rear to increase stiffness and stability at high speed, neither these or the seat tube collar have quick release (to prevent theft or tampering). You get reinforced rims, puncture-resistant tires, integrated LED lights (the headlight was designed by a motorcycle maker and is said to evenly distribute light) and a pair of life-changing fenders. Actually, I feel like they could have named this bike the Specialized Turbo Fender because that’s where the real action is happening! Sure, they custom tuned the suspension fork, dialed in the motor controller, opted for high-end batteries from Samsung / LG and got a battery management system from the people who design for Apple… but those fenders! Made from tubular Aluminum alloy, they are stiff, quiet, and supposedly very effective. Unfortunately, there was no rain available for me to confirm, but this video was pretty convincing. Normal tubular alloy fenders work great but usually stop short in the front because they could get in the way of your toes while pedaling or collide with curbs and other low obstacles. So, Specialized developed a bendable plastic extender called the Flextender (cute). And, with a bit of wind-tunnel testing, they realized that water is often deposited towards the back of fenders and then gradually pushed forward during high-speed rides… only to blow back into your face. Did I mention the Vado 5.0 and 6.0 can hit ~28 mph and are classified as Class 3 speed pedelecs? So yeah, you’ll get to work faster but your face might get very wet if it weren’t for those fenders. This is where another little innovation comes in. Two curved strips of plastic were designed into the upper edge of the front fender to chanel water out of the sides vs. straight up and forward. Apparently, in parts of Europe there are fenders with little brushes that perform a similar role. It’s a proven concept but one that Specialized has dialed in. One final callout I’d like to make is the magnetic charging port cover for the battery pack. Specialized uses the EnergyBus Rosenberger Standard which can be connected to the charger on or off the bike and pops out easily if tripped over. The only downside to this standard (as seen with earlier Turbo models) is that the cover for the port can be set down and left behind… only to be vacuumed up or swallowed by small children. So yay! The cover now stays attached thanks to a little rubber leash.

Driving the Vado models, all of them, is a Brose mid-drive that physically the same as what’s used for the Specialized Levo mountain line of ebikes. I was told that the software has been optimized for each product line and speed class (the slower Vado 2.0 and 3.0 vs. the Class 3 Vado 5.0 and 6.0). You’ll get increased range riding slower on the Class 1 models (up to 20 mph) but the battery packs are lower capacity and don’t reduce weight because the cells aren’t as energy dense. It really comes down to price and desire for speed. Anyway, the confusing thing for me is that the motor systems are rated at 250 watts nominal for the 20 mph bikes and 350 watts nominal for the 28 mph bikes. And to me, this just seems like marketing because I believe they can all reach 90 Nm of torque output (which is more than Bosch or Yamaha) and they peak out above 500 watts. I’m telling you this because there are many other Brose powered electric bikes on the market these days and I think the real difference is not so much in the hardware or watt rating but in how the controllers are setup, how the batteries are integrated into the frame, and possibly how the motor is cooled. And Specialized is a leader in all of those arenas. A plastic skid plate is mounted along the base of the bottom bracket motor area with channels for air to pass through and passively cool the drive system (allowing it to operate more consistently and for longer periods at high-power). That sounds pretty neat but my first thought was “won’t dust or mud get in there?” and that’s where those magical fenders come in again. Note that the electronics on this ebike are all rated against water and dust ingress at IP67 so you can probably hose it down (with low pressure) without risk of damaging the electronics. The final points to share about the motor are that it uses an internal belt system to transfer power from planetary gears to the chainring which makes it feel smooth and operate quietly, and that it relies on rear wheel speed, pedal cadence and pedal torque to activate. Unlike many of the other systems on the market, which use spoke-mounted magnets to measure rear wheel speed, the Vado uses a disc-rotor mounted magnet that is less likely to be bumped out of alignment… or hacked, for those who try to change how motor performance is handled using after market dongles.

Powering the bike is a massive 36 volt 16.8 amp hour battery pack with some of the highest grade of energy-dense Lithium-ion cells available on the market today. Unfortunately, I got to the press event late and was not able to take the pack off to weigh it independently… so the Swiss product manager told me it’s ~6.6 lbs. I’ll be sure to weigh one in the future and update this. Assuming he’s correct, that weight is pretty good for 604.8 watt-hours of capacity. Unfortunately, I didn’t see a handle on the pack and was not able to take it off and really hold it myself. This is one of the most sensitive, expensive parts of the bike. So be careful with it and consider leaving it on-frame to charge. If you live upstairs, you can use walk-assist (hold the plus button on the control pad) to help you push the bike vs. lifting it as I did towards the end of the review. It’s a bit of a trade-off unfortunately, because with walk-assist the pedals can bang on the steps or hit your shins. At 55.4 lbs, this is not the lightest electric bike out there by any means. I did weight it independently and think that the bottle cage and tiny SWAT toolset might have added a half pound or so but this is still slightly more than the Specialized reps said. The Turbo line has always been a little heavy, but that gives the bike a solid stable feel… and the weight is positioned very low and spread naturally across the Vado frame vs. the rear-heavy Turbo X and S models. The largest battery should take you from 30 to 80+ miles depending on how you ride, how much you weigh, how old the pack is and even what temperature it is outside. Store it in a cool, dry place and always avoid high heat. I wasn’t able to test this, but I’d guess a full charge would take 4.6 hours from empty with the stock 4 Amp charger. Specialized sells a smaller, lighter weight 2 Amp charger for travel or if you’ve got limited space in your bags and want to take it along.

Operating the Vado e-bikes is a one-step process that starts with a button near the top end of the battery pack. Once mounted, press this power button for a full second and look for the five green LED lights below the button to flicker on. Then, look up at the TFT display panel and wait… The system isn’t as quick or intuitive to turn on and off as some others, the most intuitive being Bosch, and I found myself a little confused at times, especially when turning it off. I felt like I had held the off button and should see some feedback about the system shutting down but then the display would just stay on. It’s like those automobile lights that stay on for a few minutes even after you’ve shut the car off, locked it, and walked away. I was told by another rep that the display times off on its own after a bit longer, perhaps this is meant to keep the lights active for safety if you’re parking on the street? The fact that the display can be removed from the bike is very handy because it can reduce tampering and weather wear (or vandalism), so maybe I should have just twisted and taken the display to ensure the bike was shut off? I’ve been trained by other ebike brands not to do this until products have been fully shut down so as not to disrupt the system. Anyway, it’s a cute little screen and features touch controls for quick intuitive navigation of settings. Despite being small in size, the readouts are large and clear. Because it’s transflective, the display is easy to see in bright settings but is also backlit for the dark. I mostly like it and feel that the remote button pad (used to navigate the three levels of assist, change readouts and honk the horn) is easy to reach and understand without being distracting or attention grabbing. The display mounts to a special adapter on the stem along with the headlight and can be pivoted up or down to reduce glare if not over-tightened. And of course, there’s the Micro-USB port at the base of the display panel which is perfect for charging your phone or additional portable electronic devices. The Turbo Levo electric mountain bike models did not have USB charging ports and this meant that using the Bluetooth Mission Control app would drain your phone. With the Vado, there’s plenty of space on the handlebar to mount your phone and keep it charged… And you can use the app to plan rides and tell the bike to arrive with a set percentage of battery remaining. Or, you can send GPS data to the TFT display on the bike and leave your phone in your backpack… This is a cool feature because it saves phone battery (since I believe it’s able to receive data from your phone without the phone screen being on). It keeps the dash area of the bike clear and doesn’t require such a fancy ebike system that might require a phone plan of its own to operate and download map data. In short, the display is a big step up from the Levo (which didn’t have a display at all) and prior Specialized Turbo models which used rubberized joystick navigation (that would often wear thin or break) but I wish it turned on and off a bit quicker or more intuitively.

It’s clear that Specialized has put a lot of thought into this new city line of electric bikes. And depending on how you intend to ride, you could swap the tires for some hybrid designs up to 52 mm in width and still manage to use the fenders. The rear rack is sleek and capable with Racktime mounting points compatible with baskets and other branded accessories and the lights are bright and sleek so you don’t have to add your own later, charge them separately, or deal with extra wires. Just like most of the other Specialized e-bikes, the Vado feels clean. The big upgrade for me was in frame balance, climbing power, and operational efficiency if you shift appropriately. Even though it’s not super light, it’s easier to lift and carry. Shifting gears is one area to be careful with, especially if you find yourself climbing a hill from rest Be patient and slow, practice shifting down as you approach stops so that you can accelerate more efficiently and reduce hard shifts. If you do start off in a high gear, gather some momentum then ease back on your pedal force and THEN shift. If you handle the bike carefully like this and learn to shift thoughtfully, the chain, sprockets and drivetrain will last a lot longer between tuneups and not break as often. My Uncle has owned a mid-drive powered electric bike with built in shift sensing and he has gone through several chains and two high-end derailleurs over the course of a couple years. Now, he ride every day and uses the bike off-road… but that’s the big opportunity with a bike like the Vado that could help you commute every day. It’s very capable, blends in, can go far while keeping you dry and safe, and there’s a range of models to fit your body size and budget. Big thanks to Specialized for offering to fly me out to their event (I drove) and putting me up in a super fancy hotel for a night. They provided locks and schwag for members of the press (along with a nice dinner) but I got there too late and missed out on some of the goodies. Dang! Events like this are fun but I’ve been extra detailed and transparent here in the review and am trying to scrutinize the bike so you can decide if it fits your needs. I imagine that for many people, this could be the first ebike they’ve come across, which is ironic considering how perfectly it blends in. I love that Specialized is sold through a wide network of shops around the world, that they offer a solid warranty, and are committed to developing integrated solutions with custom work vs. a bolt-on kit. For those with limited budgets but a love for speed and beauty, check out the older Specialized Turbo ebike models that have been on sale in recent months to make way for the Vado.

Pros:

  • Interactive TFT touch-screen display panel allows you to navigate menus quickly, can sync with the Mission Control smartphone app to display GPS, track routes, and record elevation, you can also engage with it using the handlebar remote to adjust assist level or cycle through standard trip stats like odometer, trip distance, ride time and range estimator
  • The display panel interface has a Micro-USB port offering 5 Volts and 700+ milliamps of power so you can charge a phone and use the Bluetooth Mission Control app from Specialized while riding without draining your battery too much, the app allows you to plan trips and adjust motor performance characteristics at a deeper level
  • Sturdy tubular fenders hug the tires to keep you dry and clean, the front fender is extra-long featuring a multi-plastic (sort of rubberized) Flextender to keep your feet and shins dry, if this portion of the fender is kicked or collides with a curb it bends naturally, Specialized calls their new fenders “drytech” and has tested them in a wind tunnel to simulate how water responds at ~20 mph, the top portion of the front fender features a plastic wall to spread water to the sides vs. out to the front and up into your face… this can happen when air is pushed quickly forward at high speed
  • The fenders and rack were very quiet, even though the Flextender portion vibrated and bounced around a bit, it didn’t produce much noise at all and the custom cargo rack felt sturdy but didn’t add much width or length to the bike, I like how it’s minimalist and integrates the brake light
  • Integrated lights help you see and be seen in dark riding conditions, the headlight is mounted underneath the stem keeping the cockpit clean and points where you steer, the rear light is at the very end of the rack so it won’t get blocked by panniers or trunk bags and it goes extra-bright when either brake lever is pulled
  • In addition to integrated LED lights, there are several reflective stickers on the fenders and rims to increase your visual footprint in dark riding conditions, this is especially important given the optional black / grey color scheme
  • The Brose mid-drive motor is extremely compact and quiet, it has a carbon belt inside that transfers power from the planetary gear, it feels smooth and is very responsive… the base of the bottom bracket has vents to allow air to pass directly across the motor casing and cool it
  • Excellent weight distribution with both the motor and battery mounted low and center,
    the frame is totally custom so the electronics blend in and wires are internally routed, the battery doesn’t stand out thanks to a paint-matched shell
  • I like how the battery tips out towards the left side vs. going up and down because this allows the mid-step frame to have a lower top tube and will reduce frame bumps when mounting and dismounting the battery
  • Available in four frame sizes for improved fit, I was riding the Medium for this review ant it handled very well in a default “upright” position but the stem can be flipped and spacers put on top vs. below if you want a more aggressive aerodynamic body position
  • The Men’s high-step Vado frame has two sets of bottle cage bosses (in the traditional spot on top of the downtube and below the top tube) This is especially useful if you want to mount a folding lock, mini-pump or other accessories without adding panniers or a trunk bag
  • Specialized offers a solid two-year comprehensive warranty with lifetime on the frame and has a vast network of dealers who can provide expert fitting and maintenance
  • The bike frame was designed to feel stable and I was able to pedal down a hill at 40+ mph comfortably, Specialized uses Body Geometry fit data from over a decade of research and includes gender-specific Body Geometry saddle and grips for improved comfort
  • The battery pack and display are removable so you can store them safely and charge them conveniently, I’d suggest removing the battery when carrying the bike or using walk mode to help climb stairs, the locking core is made by Abus and they can match folding locks to the same key for convenience and reduced clutter if you want
  • The charger has a magnetic interface so it won’t knock your bike over as easily if the cord gets tripped over,
    the cover for this plug on the bike is also magnetic and has a little rubber leash so it won’t get lost so easy
  • High-end 11-speed drivetrain makes it easy to start and climb or maintain the ~28 mph top speed, The Shimano Deore XT Shadow+ derailleur keeps the chain tight on bumps to reduce bouncing and slipping with a one-way adjustable clutch (this drivetrain has traditionally been reserved for mountain bikes), the same clutch can make removing the rear wheel easier if locked so the derailleur doesn’t spring back
  • Unlike the Specialized Turbo Levo e-mountain bikes that also use the Brose drive system, for the Vado models the battery actually locks to the frame (the mountain models just have a 15 mm thru-axle holding it in place) and the charging port has been elevated to the top of the pack to stay clear of the cranks vs. the Vado where it’s very low, basically under the bottom bracket
  • The battery mounts from the top left side so putting it on and taking it off is less likely to bang the top tube and has allowed for a lower top tube on the Women’s model
  • The drive system uses freewheels to decouple when pedaling unpowered (or above the top assisted speed) which is likely what other Brose ebikes do as I did not notice a difference… but Specialized was emphasizing this
  • Unlike most other bikes with kickstands, the Vado put a 40 mm mounting bracket on the inside of the left chainstay to make it look sleeker… even the stand looks tight and sleek
  • With great power and speed come great responsibility! and for that you get Tektro Zurich hydraulic disc brakes with 180 mm rotors and quad pistons that reduce overheating
  • In addition to having a plastic chainring guard (that keeps your pants or dress clear of the front sprocket and oily chain), the sprocket itself uses a narrow wide tooth pattern that grabs the chain better to reduce drops and noise

Cons:

  • I love that the Vado 6.0 has wider tires and includes a suspension fork (vs. the 5.0 that has a rigid Aluminum fork) but would still consider the use of a 30.9 mm suspension seat post for longer rides on bumpy terrain, consider the BodyFloat Kinekt or Specialized CG-R Carbon Seatpost
  • The rear rack looks sleek (with fewer support arms) but doesn’t support as much weight as most standard racks I see on other ebikes, you get 48.5 lbs (22 kg) vs. 55 lbs (25 kg) capacity
  • You pay a premium for what amounts to a larger battery and higher speed on this model verses the Vado 3.0 which aslo has suspension, fenders, a rear rack and LED lights (though the headlight is brighter here)
  • This doesn’t seem to be an issue for most riders who reduce pedal pressure as they shift gears (because the motor controller measures torque) but you don’t get shift sensing like Bosch and some Impulse motors which could result in more mashing if you’re not careful, I saw this happening a lot on our media ride… people would slow down for stop signs and lights just before hills (or on hills) and then clunk the gears hard shifting down as they started from zero which is bad for the chain, sprockets and derailleur
  • Unfortunately, the tires on the Vado models do not have reflective tape on the sides, this reduces your visual footprint which is a bummer (apparently it’s a requirement in the EU) but at least they put reflective stickers on the rims
  • I don’t think the battery has an integrated handle, so be careful taking it off the bike and carrying it around, it’s sensitive and should be handled with care
  • The bike takes a moment to power on after pressing the on/off button at the top of the battery pack, I feel like you have to press that button for a full second and the display isn’t immediate to light up or turn off… it just feels annoying compared to some others like Bosch

Resources:

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PacApp
22 hours ago

I purchased my Vado 3.0 a week ago and can confirm the pedal assist will go up to 28mph. The sales agent at my LBS said this was a "last minute" change by Specialized. That said, it requires an firmware update to the battery and bike I believe.

ron more
6 days ago

Had a chance to try out my new Vado 4.0 a couple of times now, pretty amazing to be honest. Eco mode seems to be fine for most things and seems to be giving a decent rage so far. About 10 miles per 10% battery.

Only annoying thing so far is having to set it to MPH every time you use it, why can't it remember it ?

I had the same issue with my vado 3.0. Lbs called Specialized tech help and they told him what to do. Your dealer needs to have a sign in program from Specialized. I think its part of their computer access with Specialized. Windows computer. Also need a micro usb DATA CABLE. He connects to his computer and the plug on bottom of display. Turns out the dealer should have done this as part of delivery setup. Apparently specialized has not made this well known to dealers . The program interface is menu driven and fairly easy to deal with. A cable made for charging will NOT work. Once lbs got the right cable it was easy. If your lbs is not into computers, call specialized tech help your self and ask what you can do. Does your Vado 4.0 have bluetooth? Have you connected with it. If not, when you first power up the display goes into a self test mode and check if you have icon for bluetooth? See your user manual for what it looks like and where it should show up. I have been told it won't be available till November.
I love my Vado 3.0 even more than my 2015 Turbo X.

Ravi Kempaiah
6 days ago

Wow!!!! Thank you for the prompt reply and all the information! I was really impressed by Court's video of the Specialized Turbo Vado 6.0 and thought it would be the one . . . for some reason, I keep coming back to the Stromer ST2. I don't foresee myself doing century rides with it but it would be nice for commuting (@5am) as well as running errands/shopping. The Haibikes (Trekking S Rx and the SDURO Trekking 5) look like great options. The Bulls LACUBA EVO E45 intrigues me even more than the Dail-E Grinder; as for lighting, I have the DesignShine DS-500 tail light and DS-1300 headlight ( http://store.designshinelighting.com ) - phenomenal lighting!

I really appreciate your genuine passion for e-bikes and sharing your knowledge with others to be a better consumer. I'd like to bend your ear some more but I'd be happy to repay you with your favorite beverage (coffee/beer - whatever your drink of choice is!) or meal. I'd like to make the pilgrimage to Madison to visit Crazy Lenny's and compare some of these before a final purchase.

I'm hesitant to try another Trek e-bike since my Trek FX+ was a disappointment. It did get me back into bicycling after a +15 yr hiatus, putting in 3500mi/yr commuting and casual biking. I have lost interest the past few years and hope that this next step will re-ignite the passion. I still plan to ride my Domane 5.9 and I also have a Madone 4.7 that spends most of it's life attached to a Wahoo Kickr Snap or on my Kreitler rollers.

Thanks again for all you do! I look forward to hearing more from you . . .

Pleasure is mine!
Many people have been very kind to me and have helped immensely. I am happy to help in anyway I can.
Trek FX+ is a pretty old model and the tech has moved on quite a bit. The latest bikes are in a league of its own.
I live close to the UIC campus. Let me know if you want to try out my ST2 or Trekking S Rx or both for a day or two and see if it suits your commute.
Whatever you choose, I am pretty certain that these new crop of ebikes will re-ignite your passion for biking.

McSpiffy
6 days ago

Funny you ask that.
I live in Chicago myself and given the terrible road conditions here, I switched from Stromer ST2 to Haibike Trekking S Rx. While I absolutely enjoy the smoothness and quiet power delivery of ST2, hitting bumps and pot holes every 10m was not a nice feeling. I still use that for long distance travel.
I got my Trekking from Lenny's in Madison. Lenny has been like a father figure in my life and he even sponsored by Guinness Record ride last summer. So, mentioning him might be a conflict of interest here. But, I am happy to give you my honest answer.

Among your list, Trek Super Commuter 8+ would be a great choice. You could run those Super Moto X at low PSI and with the Body Float, you would have no problem on the Chicago roads.
Looks like you are a pretty seasoned cyclist (not everyone rides a Trek Domane 5.9 wth Di2). You should also consider the BULLS Dail-E Grinder. It does come with Di2, Bosch speed motor and the Supernova M99 lighting that you see on the Trek Super commuter. The geometry is more relaxed compared to the Trek but it's so much lighter than the ST2 and the trekking S Rx. At 48lbs, it really handles very well. 2" Marathon Supereme + RockShox paragon does a great job of mitigating bumps.
http://www.bullsebikes.com/product/dail-e-grinder/

The rack on the Dail-E grinder is rated for 60lbs. So, I don't see any problem carrying stuff like groceries or laptop/lunch.

I recently did a weekend ride to Milwaukee and back on my Haibike Trekking S Rx: https://www.strava.com/activities/1118854733. While I was able to do the trip on 2 batteries, I also came to realize that upright riding positions just doesn't cut it for long rides like that. I am looking to switch back to the Dail-E grinder myself and retire the Trekking S Rx. It has been a great bike. I rode it throughout the winter and it has performed flawlessly. If you have the opportunity to pick up a Trekking S Rx, I would recommend it because it's an older year model and most shops offer some sale on those. You could also switch out the batteries to the newer 500Whr ones.

I am hesitant to recommend the Vado 6.0. I rode that bike at the Chicago Bike Expo and it rode great. In theory, that would be a terrific bike for the Chicago roads but there are some glitches with the Specialized firmware, their mission control app but if you have a dealer near you who is willing to back you up, it is worth a shot.
If you already have a pretty good relationship with your Trek dealer, then Super Commuter 8+ would be a great choice as well. My thinking may be different from yours. I am not going to own any system that has super proprietary battery geometry and related hardware. If I get another Bosch powered bike (whether it is Tern GSD or Yuba Spicy cargo bike or even Mountain bike), I could switch out batteries and chargers. Also, if two or more family members have similar kind of bikes, then you gain additional battery for occasional rides and stuff like that. With Bosch, you have more flexibility. There are more spares and accessories available for Bosch than the Specialized. I am not trying to downplay specialized here but their mountain bike battery is different from road bike and both of these are very different from their Turbo bikes. Now, I could use Trekking S Rx batteries on Yuba Cargo or any eMTB and eliminate redundancy.

Wow!!!! Thank you for the prompt reply and all the information! I was really impressed by Court's video of the Specialized Turbo Vado 6.0 and thought it would be the one . . . for some reason, I keep coming back to the Stromer ST2. I don't foresee myself doing century rides with it but it would be nice for commuting (@5am) as well as running errands/shopping. The Haibikes (Trekking S Rx and the SDURO Trekking 5) look like great options. The Bulls LACUBA EVO E45 intrigues me even more than the Dail-E Grinder; as for lighting, I have the DesignShine DS-500 tail light and DS-1300 headlight ( http://store.designshinelighting.com ) - phenomenal lighting!

I really appreciate your genuine passion for e-bikes and sharing your knowledge with others to be a better consumer. I'd like to bend your ear some more but I'd be happy to repay you with your favorite beverage (coffee/beer - whatever your drink of choice is!) or meal. I'd like to make the pilgrimage to Madison to visit Crazy Lenny's and compare some of these before a final purchase.

I'm hesitant to try another Trek e-bike since my Trek FX+ was a disappointment. It did get me back into bicycling after a +15 yr hiatus, putting in 3500mi/yr commuting and casual biking. I have lost interest the past few years and hope that this next step will re-ignite the passion. I still plan to ride my Domane 5.9 and I also have a Madone 4.7 that spends most of it's life attached to a Wahoo Kickr Snap or on my Kreitler rollers.

Thanks again for all you do! I look forward to hearing more from you . . .

Ravi Kempaiah
6 days ago

Hi Ravi!

I hope you don't mind if I interject into this post but I've been following most of your posts, hoping to glean some information to make an informed decision on which bike to purchase. Have you separated yourself from Stromer? I originally narrowed my options to the yet available Specialized Turbo Vado 6, Trek Super Commuter+ 8s, Stromer ST2 and the Haibike XDURO Trekking S RX. I'm looking for a commuter bike that I can also use for carrying misc. gear (~30 lbs). I originally had a Trek FX+ but it was plagued with issues and I traded it in towards a Trek Domane 5.9 Di2. I was riding the Domane into December in the western suburbs (Naperville) but the narrow tires doesn't bode well for Chicagoland weather. I'd appreciate your feedback and also where you purchased your Haibike from. Is it worth jumping to the new Haibike SDURO Trekking 5?

Funny you ask that.
I live in Chicago myself and given the terrible road conditions here, I switched from Stromer ST2 to Haibike Trekking S Rx. While I absolutely enjoy the smoothness and quiet power delivery of ST2, hitting bumps and pot holes every 10m was not a nice feeling. I still use that for long distance travel.
I got my Trekking from Lenny's in Madison. Lenny has been like a father figure in my life and he even sponsored by Guinness Record ride last summer. So, mentioning him might be a conflict of interest here. But, I am happy to give you my honest answer.

Among your list, Trek Super Commuter 8+ would be a great choice. You could run those Super Moto X at low PSI and with the Body Float, you would have no problem on the Chicago roads.
Looks like you are a pretty seasoned cyclist (not everyone rides a Trek Domane 5.9 wth Di2). You should also consider the BULLS Dail-E Grinder. It does come with Di2, Bosch speed motor and the Supernova M99 lighting that you see on the Trek Super commuter. The geometry is more relaxed compared to the Trek but it's so much lighter than the ST2 and the trekking S Rx. At 48lbs, it really handles very well. 2" Marathon Supereme + RockShox paragon does a great job of mitigating bumps.
http://www.bullsebikes.com/product/dail-e-grinder/

The rack on the Dail-E grinder is rated for 60lbs. So, I don't see any problem carrying stuff like groceries or laptop/lunch.

I recently did a weekend ride to Milwaukee and back on my Haibike Trekking S Rx: https://www.strava.com/activities/1118854733. While I was able to do the trip on 2 batteries, I also came to realize that upright riding positions just doesn't cut it for long rides like that. I am looking to switch back to the Dail-E grinder myself and retire the Trekking S Rx. It has been a great bike. I rode it throughout the winter and it has performed flawlessly. If you have the opportunity to pick up a Trekking S Rx, I would recommend it because it's an older year model and most shops offer some sale on those. You could also switch out the batteries to the newer 500Whr ones.

I am hesitant to recommend the Vado 6.0. I rode that bike at the Chicago Bike Expo and it rode great. In theory, that would be a terrific bike for the Chicago roads but there are some glitches with the Specialized firmware, their mission control app but if you have a dealer near you who is willing to back you up, it is worth a shot.
If you already have a pretty good relationship with your Trek dealer, then Super Commuter 8+ would be a great choice as well. My thinking may be different from yours. I am not going to own any system that has super proprietary battery geometry and related hardware. If I get another Bosch powered bike (whether it is Tern GSD or Yuba Spicy cargo bike or even Mountain bike), I could switch out batteries and chargers. Also, if two or more family members have similar kind of bikes, then you gain additional battery for occasional rides and stuff like that. With Bosch, you have more flexibility. There are more spares and accessories available for Bosch than the Specialized. I am not trying to downplay specialized here but their mountain bike battery is different from road bike and both of these are very different from their Turbo bikes. Now, I could use Trekking S Rx batteries on Yuba Cargo or any eMTB and eliminate redundancy.

1/2
McSpiffy
1 week ago

I rode the Super Race for over 500 miles and just switched Trekking S Rx (heavier but has rack, fenders, wider tires, riser handlebar etc). Our store tech uses the SuperRace tight now.
I really enjoyed the Super Race and for summer time, it's a great bike to have. 28c skinny tires on icy roads can be troublesome, for now I am using the Trekking S Rx.

Race is not very different from the SuperRace in terms of performance. Both weigh around 40lbs and have great agility. TRP Zurich cable actuated hydraulic ones on the Race are quite good but I felt the Magura MT4's on the SuperRace to be tiny bit better.

There are mounting points for rack and fenders. 37 miles each way is going to be a lot of saddle time. Feel free to ask me any questions.

Hi Ravi!

I hope you don't mind if I interject into this post but I've been following most of your posts, hoping to glean some information to make an informed decision on which bike to purchase. Have you separated yourself from Stromer? I originally narrowed my options to the yet available Specialized Turbo Vado 6, Trek Super Commuter+ 8s, Stromer ST2 and the Haibike XDURO Trekking S RX. I'm looking for a commuter bike that I can also use for carrying misc. gear (~30 lbs). I originally had a Trek FX+ but it was plagued with issues and I traded it in towards a Trek Domane 5.9 Di2. I was riding the Domane into December in the western suburbs (Naperville) but the narrow tires doesn't bode well for Chicagoland weather. I'd appreciate your feedback and also where you purchased your Haibike from. Is it worth jumping to the new Haibike SDURO Trekking 5?

Ike582
1 week ago

Thanks for the prompt reply, Ike!

What LBS did you purchase from? I'm also in the Chicagoland area (Oswego/Naperville) and would like to get my hands on one to try out. I'm also considering the Trek Super Commuter+ 8s and the Stromer ST2. Village Cycle Center has the Trek Super Commuter+ 8s listed $1000 under MSRP but by the time you factor in Chicago taxes its closer to $4500.

What other brands were on your radar before choosing the Vado 6.0?

Thanks again!
Paul

Paul,
I test rode both at Cozy's on Milwaukee in Chicago, but ordered the Vado from Erick's in Deerfield. Both were offering the same price and delivery times but Erick's is closer to my house.

I rode the Specialized Turbo Levo FSR Comp 6Fattie for three days this Summer on serious mountain bike trails in Telluride, Colorado. I was blown away by the design, ride and quality of that bike. The guys in Colorado at the rental shop confirmed the quality and reliability of the bike, and they tend to be a tough crowd to please. When I came back to Chicago, I was determined to get an e-bike for home. Given the flat terrain of the Chicago area trails, I decided not to go with the 6Fattie and instead focus on a bike more suited for the local bike trails. The 6Fattie made me really want to stick with Specialized, so while I rode the Stromer, I was already heavily leaning towards the Vado 6.0.

Ike

ron more
1 week ago

Ref VADO 5.0; Is there any way to turn the headlamp OFF? Not referenced in manual (page 25). (Without using the missing Mission Control App) Thanks.

Adding to my previous response, my vado 3.0 20mph has an on off for light. My 2015 turbo X, 26 mph has no off switch.

Ron Friedman
2 weeks ago

Vado 5.0 - I've had the Turbo Vado 5.0 on order for months now. It's now ready to be picked. I understand the Mission Control App is not available until Nov 2017, and that it is required for the user to adjust many of the promised features.

Reaching out for current owners of the Vado 5.0: Do you have any suggestions for customizing the settings that LBS should proactively set/adjust before I leave the store? Thanks.

ron more
2 weeks ago

My lbs man says the salesman needs some tool. I am GUESSING they change the parameters in the motor program. The rep is going to do it by himself. He has not done many. Wants some hours and no one around or I would be there. The important thing is the bike will do at least 20 mph when is finished.

I like the Vado 3.0 more than my Turbo X. Even though the Turbo X is a 26 mph bike.

I will post the results when I get it back and ride it.

RESULTS UPDATE: salesman fixed my Vado 3.0 today! It does 20 mph assisted no problem. Also the feeling of being governed or held back is gone also. Now when I pedal beyond the 20 mph it goes well. I managed on the level to get 26 mph by pedaling. The way it should be. I AM VERY PLEASED WITH THIS FIX. Specialized did the right thing for me.

reoutput
2 weeks ago

My vado is scheduled for next week with the factory rep. I will let you know how I make out. The firmware update is not what is needed to fix the speed. Firmware fixed the not remembering mph vs kph. Also set the light to on automatically and assist at 2 bars. No bluetooth. That is still in progress. Due in the fall. I imagine it will require another firmware update. My display was freezing up and the update seems to have fixed that.

I hope Specialized fixes the trip odometer on the Vado, So it does not reset every time you power down, my turbo x resets when you charge the battery or choose to restet it.

I have not been able to connect my 2015 Turbo X to Specialized Mission Control app. Has anyone else had any luck? Pointers would be appreciated! I start the app and search but nothing. Have restarted bike and app but the app does not find Turbo x. The bluetooth signal does not show up in my settings with my other devices?
2015 Turbo X does not have the Bluetooth function built in...the 2016 does. The Bluetooth functionality comes from the battery so if you are able to buy a battery with Bluetooth option on the battery you can do some of the Mission Control app stuff.

ron more
2 weeks ago

So what needs to be done to get the speed up to 20mph if not the firmware? Sometime my display freeze up but it's a easy fix with power it off and back on. The demo unit at the shop went pass 20mph and I can change it to kph. But on mine it's only mph, not a big deal breaker or the mission control app. Just need mine to go 20mph.

My lbs man says the salesman needs some tool. I am GUESSING they change the parameters in the motor program. The rep is going to do it by himself. He has not done many. Wants some hours and no one around or I would be there. The important thing is the bike will do at least 20 mph when is finished.

I like the Vado 3.0 more than my Turbo X. Even though the Turbo X is a 26 mph bike.

I will post the results when I get it back and ride it.

MacVado3.0
2 weeks ago

My vado is scheduled for next week with the factory rep. I will let you know how I make out. The firmware update is not what is needed to fix the speed. Firmware fixed the not remembering mph vs kph. Also set the light to on automatically and assist at 2 bars. No bluetooth. That is still in progress. Due in the fall. I imagine it will require another firmware update. My display was freezing up and the update seems to have fixed that.

I hope Specialized fixes the trip odometer on the Vado, So it does not reset every time you power down, my turbo x resets when you charge the battery or choose to restet it.

I have not been able to connect my 2015 Turbo X to Specialized Mission Control app. Has anyone else had any luck? Pointers would be appreciated! I start the app and search but nothing. Have restarted bike and app but the app does not find Turbo x. The bluetooth signal does not show up in my settings with my other devices?

So what needs to be done to get the speed up to 20mph if not the firmware? Sometime my display freeze up but it's a easy fix with power it off and back on. The demo unit at the shop went pass 20mph and I can change it to kph. But on mine it's only mph, not a big deal breaker or the mission control app. Just need mine to go 20mph.

ron more
3 weeks ago

Did your LBS get your Vado 3.0 to go 20mph?

Just took mine to another bike shop and they say they updated the firmware but it's still only do 16mph.

My vado is scheduled for next week with the factory rep. I will let you know how I make out. The firmware update is not what is needed to fix the speed. Firmware fixed the not remembering mph vs kph. Also set the light to on automatically and assist at 2 bars. No bluetooth. That is still in progress. Due in the fall. I imagine it will require another firmware update. My display was freezing up and the update seems to have fixed that.

I hope Specialized fixes the trip odometer on the Vado, So it does not reset every time you power down, my turbo x resets when you charge the battery or choose to restet it.

I have not been able to connect my 2015 Turbo X to Specialized Mission Control app. Has anyone else had any luck? Pointers would be appreciated! I start the app and search but nothing. Have restarted bike and app but the app does not find Turbo x. The bluetooth signal does not show up in my settings with my other devices?

Rich N
3 weeks ago

All,
I bought my Vado 3.0 a few weeks ago after buying and returning a Turbo S a week before that. The Turbo S was disappointing (turned out it was actually a 2014 model and had no Bluetooth and was way overpriced) mostly because of the dealer (which I won't mention and will never shop at again).

However, I couldn't be happier with the Vado or the shop I bought it from (Dirty Harry's in Verona, PA). The Turbo Vado is light years better. The pedal crank motor makes the bike much more balanced - I had trouble lifting the Turbo S onto my bike rack due to the weight of the hub motor way in back. The push button controls are more solid than the flimsy rubber joystick of the Turbo S. Also, with the Vado you get the all weather fenders, standard bike rack with taillight, and front lockable suspension! I guess appearance is a personal preference, but I think the Vado looks awesome and I get compliments on it from other riders a lot.

Mine came with the proper software updates (it has a 20mph limit on the electric boost) but also does not seem to have bluetooth enabled. I was trying to get some information from Specialized, but I think we need an update to the Mission Control App for Vado, and probably another firmware upgrade on the bike to enable Bluetooth. I don't really need the extra functions of Mission Control right now anyway. I have only ridden about 100 miles so far - I keep the boost on minimum - and it seems like on moderately hilly terrain I will probably get about 30-40 miles of range. I guess that will vary greatly depending on speed and climb.

So far, so good - looking forward to lots more miles!

bazzapage
3 weeks ago

Just got my Vado 3.0 a couple of days ago. Mission control App or Bluetooth app do not "see" the Vado. Is there a special incantation to make the battery turn on a bluetooth signal?
They are incompatible - that app only works for Levo and older Turbo S/X. The new one is promised for November only :-(
I wouldn't be surprised if the Bluetooth requires a firmware update to activate it - I couldn't detect any bluetooth signals at all from the bike.

Zak Kohane
3 weeks ago

For the Turbo Levos, I'm quite certain the bluetooth interface is within the battery itself, which also has the battery level indicator LEDs, the on/off button and the up/down buttons to set the level of support built into it's case.

Do you know what the warranty terms are for Specialized ebikes? I believe the batteries and motor are not covered by the "lifetime" warranty for the frame.

There are laws/regulations regarding how long a manufacturer must maintain parts and service in the case of some products, like cars- but does that apply to ebikes?

Just got my Vado 3.0 a couple of days ago. Mission control App or Bluetooth app do not "see" the Vado. Is there a special incantation to make the battery turn on a bluetooth signal?

Jim Dove
3 weeks ago

I'd appreciate any advice. We're in the market for two electric bikes. As background, we live in a very hilly town in the NE and are about 9 miles from the beach. We would like something that takes the edge off the hills generally makes biking 'more fun'. We will probably do 80% road and 20% gravel/trails -- but, nothing that should require a pure mountain bike.

Other requirements (for me):

Needs to be class 3 28 MPH
Emphasis on quality but don't want to spend needlessly
Would like to be able to go at least 40 miles without having to worry about it (I'm 6' / 220)
Would like to get something with a good dealer network
Would like to feel like I'm really riding a bike

Considering the two as-yet unreleased 2018 GIANT trekking bikes (I get it would be hard to comment there, other than any general opinions on the Yamaha set-up), a Specialized Turbo Vado x.0, or a Stromer.

It's odd how little coverage Giant gets? I rode a Full E+ MTB on vacation in the mountains and that's what turned me on to this in the first place. It was in Europe and there, they used the Bosch mid-drive rather than Yamaha.

My wife rented a Pedego City Bike and seems set on that. She is a bit of a lazy rider, wants a comfy seat and upright position. Please let me know if that's a horrible choice.

Much appreciated.

Michael Hennessey
3 weeks ago

With this post I just want to help people who have these bikes and are currently experiencing problems, to decide if diagnosing the bike will make any difference for what they pretend to solve.

I strongly recommend to have this done by a dealer. My current location and dealer's lack of support/interest in the matter left me with little choice and I had to do this by myself. I do still believe that anyone that has purchased this bike, has the right of deciding to do this themselves (in the same way you can upgrade and configure your mobile phone's software, right? Is yours in the end). The software has a GUI, quite intuitive. It's easier to operate the software, than changing the lights settings of your LCD screen, for example. You don't need to be a programmer or a nuclear physicist to do this (don't even understand about bikes).

The process of diagnosing the bike, does not necessarily has to affect the bike's operation, you could diagnose your bike, just for getting useful information, for example, the battery's current cycles or firwmare's version among others.

--- REQUISITES ---

- Diagnosis Toool for Turbo S bikes (as this tool has the Quick Release interface, it should work with any Turbo bike). I do not know if this tool will work on future models. Even though 2017 models have the same connector as the older Turbo bikes, I have never had the chance to test in on a Turbo Vado bike, for example.

- Diagnosis software (Battery Management System (BMS)). Good luck in finding this one unless you have access to this site: http://service.specialized.com

- Windows PC with Windows Vista or 7. I never had the chance to test it on Windows 10 or even MacOS.

--- THE INTERFACE ---

PERFORMANCE

Among others, the most important ones here are the maximun speed assistance, and current odometer reading.

Here the screen after changing some of the settings

STATUS

Useful information of your current's bike situation. As most important, here you can tell your current firmware and charge cycles, among other current settings of your bike.

FIRMWARE

This screen is not much of a use if you're not upgrading the firmware yourself. Take into account that for upgrading current firmware, you will need extra codes given by specialized. These codes act as a sort of password before doing the upgrade as a measure of security. You will need the right password for the right version of software and firmware you want to upgrade.

--- RECOMMENDATIONS ---

- Take screenshots of all the readings you see on screen (and/or export the data to a CSV file) when the tool starts reading information from the battery/bike. This will save you some problems if by any chance you loose your previous settings (it will happen if you dare to upgrade your firmware) or you did something wrong. You can put some values back, as the odometer, wheel circumference, etc.

- Save the logs before and after doing the unlock or changing anything. This could give you extra info of your bike readings and could be useful to diagnose problems.

- Upgrading the firmware by yourself is not recommended at all. If something goes wrong, you risk yourself to brick the battery in the process and get it out of the warranty.

1/4
Observation Drive
4 weeks ago

Thanks, I'm looking in the $3-5,000 range. I'd like to get a pedelec, 28MPH bike. Rich C, the Habike you have looks sweet!

The Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0 and 6.0 look like great bikes, but not available yet. Not sure how well they'd be on light off road.

ron more
4 weeks ago

It took a while, but I did a lot of playing around with my Specialized Turbo and went from 11-32T 10 sp cassette to an 11-36T 10 sp cassette. I also swapped the 48T to 44T on the front. This gave me a lower 1st gear and pretty decent cruising at 26 mph (top assist speed) at my normal cadence of 80-85 rpm. However, I found that I had nothing left for descents. I then changed from SRAM X7 10 speed to Deore XT 11 speed 11-42T rear and went back to the 48T front. This gave me an even lower 1st gear and about thje same 10th gear. But now I have a higher 11th gear for descents up to around 34-35 mph. In the end, I have a much lower 1st gear (42T instead of 32T) and the same top gear 11T with 11 speeds instead of 10.
I have a 2015 turbo x, like it very much. It was a demo. Have also purchased a Vado 3.0. The Vado seems to need less effort when just crusing along. If I change gearing on turbo, can I get it to require less effort? Also a lower first gear would help on climbing a serious hill. The Vado 3.0 is better at climbing serious hills. Just wish it had a higher speed for riding in traffic.

Paul Marin
4 weeks ago

I've tried to follow instructions for my Vado to set units from the default kilometers to miles. The instructions say hold the set button which does nothing. When I do set it the it reverts back to kilos every time? Any advice? Thanks!

ronin2000
1 month ago

Technology is rapidly improving especially in batteries, I'm afraid asking a ebike to last 5 years is about as reasonable as asking a computer to last 5-10 years. Our bikes are outdated less than a year after they are launched.

Thanks Ronin - I've ridden both the 2016 Turbo and the new Turbo Vado 3 & 4 and your absolutely right, the newer bikes are much more capable and there is only one (of four original) batteries available to order. I asked a similar question in the Turbo review comments and Court also pointed some known issues with the older models.

Big difference in price now though - here in Canada the Vado 3 is $4100 and the Vado 4 is $5400 vs. $2450. Wont be a bargin if it's sitting in garage un-repairable though.

Seems to me the new eBikes only have a shelf life of 4-5 years. Hopefully the more mainstream new motor and battery will see that go longer.

Kevin Smith
1 month ago

Thanks Ronin - I've ridden both the 2016 Turbo and the new Turbo Vado 3 & 4 and your absolutely right, the newer bikes are much more capable and there is only one (of four original) batteries available to order. I asked a similar question in the Turbo review comments and Court also pointed some known issues with the older models.

Big difference in price now though - here in Canada the Vado 3 is $4100 and the Vado 4 is $5400 vs. $2450. Wont be a bargin if it's sitting in garage un-repairable though.

Seems to me the new eBikes only have a shelf life of 4-5 years. Hopefully the more mainstream new motor and battery will see that go longer.

Dennis Gilmore
2 weeks ago

Great review! I am especially stoked with the ride through Stanford campus. Your one-handed cinematography, combined with your insightful commentary, make it a joy to ride along.

Paintbrush 1962
2 weeks ago

This will be direct competition for Stromer?

Aayush Parmar
3 weeks ago

Sir my Ebike has silver color wheels. Should I paint them to black or stay as it is?

Jaime Arturo Olvera
3 weeks ago

need got one!

Jobe B
4 weeks ago

Absolutely great review! Very informative and very interesting. Keep up the great work! 👍🏻

Christopher Wain
4 weeks ago

Hi do you find being invited to corporate promotions etc. or what ever manufacturers lay on makes you a little less objective than if you could independently buy the bike? Think you would have to be financially independent to truly be in partial do you think ?

Clearanceman2
4 weeks ago

It's a nice bicycle but why not just get a motorcycle and cut right to the chase? I just got a used one and the insurance is $75 a year. They get great mileage too. It's not like either one of those things add up to anything.

Jedi the Knight
1 month ago

I used to live in palo alto 17 years ago till the rent scared us off! live in sac town, got the 3.0 model and loving it!.

CHARLES GARY
1 month ago

would this be a good bike for me I'm 68 year old and would ride predominately on the road but occassionally off road?

MarvFIT
1 month ago

so much fun

Joe Dexter
2 months ago

I have a huffy duty road, and it still ride perfect, but this will be my next bike.

Jay G.
2 months ago

Why isn't the 6.0 on the Specialized website?

Zepto Sextillion
2 months ago

12:12 Oh, I'm "feeling kush" alright buddy. Definitely feelin kush. Keep up the great work!

rs parker
2 months ago

Is there a weight limit for this bike?

rs parker
2 months ago

Is there a regen option?

Jason Hoo
2 months ago

Expensive Ebike for downhill ride? Every conventional bike can do that without any issue. The video should show more on climbing Steep Hill capabilities. An expensive Ebike should have Magura MT5E with 202mm disc plus Sram EX1 group sets.

Zayd Hawas
2 months ago

Great Review and Great bike :)

Patrick Carmans
2 months ago

Hi Court, This model really caught my eye. I've tested the Stromer ST1X and the Vado 4=15mph (Vado 6 available in Belgium september). Given a choice between this bike and the Stromer ST1X which you also reviewed, which would you recommend.
(pro's according to me for the Vado 6 = Comfort, less effort obtaining 28mph, cheaper, weight, better Shimano parts, breaking light in the rear, electric horn ....) For me the range with the battery is also important and here i have no idea for the Vado 6. Thxx for your feedback.

question mark
2 months ago

What happened to the regen mode from the older Turbo is the Eco mode adjustable and what is the Sport mode?

Aaron ___
2 months ago

$5k, come on. for that you can buy a$1.5k all carbon road bike, the nicest kit, a home gym and eventually go as fast as this bike. only thing you're saving is sweat.