2022 Turbo Vado 4.0 Test Drive

mata2maui

Active Member
Region
USA
Yesterday I had a chance to visit one of the best bike shops on Maui, West Maui Cycles in Lahaina for a test ride of a Turbo Vado 4.0. This bike was fun to ride with a comfortable, semi-up right frame geometry and an excellent SCRAM 11-speed drive train. I found the mid-drive 250w specialized motor (70Nm) and the 36V battery combo a little wanting in terms of power as compared to the Bosch CX motor. This bike offers 725Wh of range but I was not able to test that on my 2-mile ride. The one issue I found was a lack of shift sensing. With a normal cadence sufficient to shift, this bike was banging into gear every time. Since they use a torque sensor it was difficult to try to back off on the assist (peddling) long enough to shift smoothly. Anyone had the same problem with their Vado 4.0?
 

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I still pause on my bosch. I dont find it enough what the bike does on ts own as I am usually working at peddling. but I am so used to doing it after riding a recumbent its second nature. I cant shift as fast as I do on a non powered bike because there is that little lag for the drive to stop. but you get used to it.
 
West Maui Cycles in Lahaina
There's something in Lahaina besides Ululani's?
I found the mid-drive 250w specialized motor (70Nm) and the 36V battery combo a little wanting in terms of power as compared to the Bosch CX motor.
To go up hills or to go fast? With a mid drive, matching the drive train to your use case has a pretty big impact. Hard to judge motors if you don't equalize that. I rode a Tero 3 (even weaker motor, but lower gears) and it drug me up a hill just fine.
Anyone had the same problem with their Vado 4.0?
When I test rode the Tero 3 I made a lot of very clunky shifts. I think the issue is that you can't pause and shift at the same time. You really have to shift and then pause a beat later as the chain starts to move. I got it a few times but missed more than not. I ended up ordering a Tero X so I'll have to learn!

There are bikes (I know for sure the R&M Delite w/Roloff hub) that coordinate the motor and the shift. Maybe that also works on Trek bikes with the SRAM AXS system? The FS9 EQ has AXS but I haven't ridden one. The derailleur does connect via wire to the system, but I don't know if it's only for power or also coordination.
 
There's something in Lahaina besides Ululani's?

To go up hills or to go fast? With a mid drive, matching the drive train to your use case has a pretty big impact. Hard to judge motors if you don't equalize that. I rode a Tero 3 (even weaker motor, but lower gears) and it drug me up a hill just fine.

When I test rode the Tero 3 I made a lot of very clunky shifts. I think the issue is that you can't pause and shift at the same time. You really have to shift and then pause a beat later as the chain starts to move. I got it a few times but missed more than not. I ended up ordering a Tero X so I'll have to learn!

There are bikes (I know for sure the R&M Delite w/Roloff hub) that coordinate the motor and the shift. Maybe that also works on Trek bikes with the SRAM AXS system? The FS9 EQ has AXS but I haven't ridden one. The derailleur does connect via wire to the system, but I don't know if it's only for power or also coordination.
On Maui there are two kinds of terrain; mostly flat with moderate short hills, or world class mountain climbs up the volcano (other than off-road). I am looking for speed to keep up in traffic but also to face the trade winds.
 
On Maui there are two kinds of terrain; mostly flat with moderate short hills, or world class mountain climbs up the volcano (other than off-road). I am looking for speed to keep up in traffic but also to face the trade winds.
I'm pretty sure all mid-drive ebikes are 1x so the most gears you get are 12. The the widest cassettes are about 500% (like 10-50). City bikes will have bigger chainrings (and often cassettes with less range) and mountain bikes will have smaller chainrings, making the 50t rear gear a real granny gear. The Turbo Tero X 6.0 has a real granny gear, but at the top end, 28MPH is pedaling full out at max gear. Some of the commuters are geared much faster, but don't have the granny end.

You could just get a bike you like with the widest range in the back (the cassette is more expensive so you don't want to have to replace it immediately) and pay attention to the range of allowed chainrings in the front to see how much adjustment you'll have between high/low.
 
I'm pretty sure all mid-drive ebikes are 1x so the most gears you get are 12. The the widest cassettes are about 500% (like 10-50). City bikes will have bigger chainrings (and often cassettes with less range) and mountain bikes will have smaller chainrings, making the 50t rear gear a real granny gear. The Turbo Tero X 6.0 has a real granny gear, but at the top end, 28MPH is pedaling full out at max gear. Some of the commuters are geared much faster, but don't have the granny end.

You could just get a bike you like with the widest range in the back (the cassette is more expensive so you don't want to have to replace it immediately) and pay attention to the range of allowed chainrings in the front to see how much adjustment you'll have between high/low.

there are actually 2x mid drives now, thanks to newer narrower motors. Scott solace, trek domame+, etc. really nice - but they’re generally set up road style to allow very small steps rather than a bigger range,
 
Glad to hear about your experiences, @mata2maui! Just three remarks:
  • If you need a motor stronger than the Bosch CX, try a Vado 5.0 :)
  • The shifting pause is extremely rare on derailleur e-bikes equipped with mid-drives from leading brands. Learn momentarily pause pedalling before the shift. It is also valid for non-powered derailleur bikes
  • Big range cassette? If you need a climber, that would be a Tero 5.0 or Tero X 6.0 (either is equipped with the 90 Nm 2.2 motor, same as in Vado 5.0; Bosch CX is 85 Nm).
 
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