Just got a Specialized Turbo Vado SL 5.0 and am quite surprised

GAJ

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Region
USA
City
Santa Rosa, CA
that I will actually be getting MORE exercise on the e'bike than on my other bikes.

Not something I expected at all but hills here in Sonoma County, CA that once just taunted me, (ie. any hill whatsoever), are now attainable as are longer distances/sights.

Zero range anxiety as at 33lbs it is actually easier to pedal unassisted than my Hybrid Tired Kona Nunu MB which also weight around 33lbs.

Higher grade of components must be the reason for that.

Feels lighter and more nimble than the MB due to the aluminum frame and carbon fork I suspect.

I thought that age 66 getting an e'bike was a sign of resignation dooming me to couch potato status on 2 wheels.

Not so; quite the opposite.

Took four months to realize that the fork harshness over larger bumps was due to none of the three helper springs included were actually installed on the bike by the LBS which is odd.

Took a little over five minutes to install the helper spring.

Loosen pinch bolts on steering stem.

Use your fingers to unscrew the finger tight cover on top of the stem.

Remove stem and attached handlebar and place carefully on front wheel, (used a bungee cord to keep it there).

Use an adjustable wrench to remove the cover for the spring compartment.

Drop in the spring, (I attached it to the cover for proper placement), and tighten the spring cover with adjustable wrench to "tight" but not overly so.

Replace stem/handlebar and align.

Replace stem cover with fingers.

Tighten pinch bolt on steering stem.

I used the medium spring (black) as the soft spring didn't seem to offer any resistance to even a finger squeeze while the hard spring only offered resistance.

I think that will take care of the harshness/bottoming out when going over such things as railroad tracks.
 

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Specialized has that special sauce that makes really good feeling ebikes where you're still engaged in the process of pedaling.
If money isn't an option they make some of the best ebikes on the planet.
 
Thanks.

Bought it new in 1994 and it slept outside until 2020 when I gave a friend a motorcycle and am now down to just one so the Miata got the garage rather than motos.

190k miles, bulletproof. R model.

Collector item , actually a classic car already.
 
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Collector item , actually a classic car already.
Photo after I got the cloth seats recovered earlier this year.

It isn't a collector car in the sense it has high miles, non standard cloth seats, mirror, wheels, tires, suspension and sound system.

It will be my last personal car, (my wife has had more cars than I), which means at age 66 I've had 3 personal cars in all that time.

Lucky to live in Sonoma County where driving a convertible, riding a motorcycle and a bicycle are pretty much year round affairs.

Miata at Jim's house (2).JPG
 
that I will actually be getting MORE exercise on the e'bike than on my other bikes.

Not something I expected at all but hills here in Sonoma County, CA that once just taunted me, (ie. any hill whatsoever), are now attainable as are longer distances/sights.

Zero range anxiety as at 33lbs it is actually easier to pedal unassisted than my Hybrid Tired Kona Nunu MB which also weight around 33lbs.

Higher grade of components must be the reason for that.

Feels lighter and more nimble than the MB due to the aluminum frame and carbon fork I suspect.

I thought that age 66 getting an e'bike was a sign of resignation dooming me to couch potato status on 2 wheels.

Not so; quite the opposite.

glad you’re loving the SL! this is in fact the secret
sauce of these bikes … they’re good enough as regular bikes to ride without the power, and the lower is there to encourage you to tackle rides you never would have before. i’m in the city, but range north far enough just to reach the southern end of sonoma county on a long ride. amazing riding all around 😇
 
So took the bike in yesterday for a free first month service, the only issue was a noisy front brake and the tech cleaned/straightened the disc and pads and told me it was due to finicky bed in for the pads and to take it easy in bedding in the front though I've had zero issues with the rear brake disc/pads.

As I'd seen a possible firmware update for the Turbo Vado SL here on EBR I asked him to check and he thought it was so new that it would not need one but he plugged it in anyway and sure enough, even though I bought the bike less than a month ago it took over 10 minutes for the update to load.

Have no idea what the update was addressing but EBR indicates something along the lines of battery charging protocols and perhaps motor transitions, we'll see later today.

The build date/serial number sticker under the top tube says it was built in Vietnam on 10/23/21 so that explains it.

It would be nice if Specialized would let customers know when firmware updates are available and what they address.
 
Hi @GAJ, I am Rick down in Petaluma. Contact Eris Weaver over at the County Bicycle Coalition for information on things such as group rides and events. Nice bike. I'll bet you were very close to the fires with your exposure shown in the photo. Welcome.
 
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Hi @GAJ, I am Rick down in Petaluma. Contact Eris Weaver over at the County Bicycle Coalition for information on things such as group rides and events. Nice bike. I'll bet you were very close to the fires with your exposure shown in the photo. Welcome.

Thanks.

That photo of my car is in the driveway of an ex friend's home who lived near Fountaingrove on Alta Vista way.

I used to drive up there to care for his cat while they were away.

I called him to notify him of the fire and that his home from my vantage point below what silhouetted by fire glow and to GTFO.

His wife rules him, (explains the ex friend part), and it took them 5 hours before she deemed it was ok to evacuate and stay with us.

There is one hill leading up there that even on an e'bike I doubt any of us could climb it as it is a 49 percent grade for 0.2 miles.

Happy Valley Road.

 
I recently made a bike with a 42-50t for SF. I do Sonoma Mtn. with a 42-36 on my Specialized. Have you been to N. Sonoma Mountain Regional Park? It is beautiful and links to Jack London on the ridge. There is also the one lane road to Glen Ellen. The Northern Exposure gives more moisture to the micro climates.
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I recently made a bike with a 42-50t for SF. I do Sonoma Mtn. with a 42-36 on my Specialized. Have you been to N. Sonoma Mountain Regional Park? It is beautiful and links to Jack London on the ridge. There is also the one lane road to Glen Ellen. The Northern Exposure gives more moisture to the micro climates.
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My in laws built and lived at 4933 Hillsborough Drive which you get up to off Old Adobe via Hardin Lane or Lynch Road.

I could make it up there on my SL if I was willing to ride on Old Adobe which I'm not.

I avoid roads where cars are going 50+ miles an hour.

The idea of putting a bike carrier on my Miata doesn't appeal to me!
 
My in laws built and lived at 4933 Hillsborough Drive which you get up to off Old Adobe via Hardin Lane or Lynch Road.

I could make it up there on my SL if I was willing to ride on Old Adobe which I'm not.

I avoid roads where cars are going 50+ miles an hour.

The idea of putting a bike carrier on my Miata doesn't appeal to me!
Take SMART. There will be an E. Petaluma station in about 18 months. Close to the Downtown station is Grand Central, a place where riders meet up before heading to W. Marin. It also has the best view in town. B St to Helen Putnam to Chileno Valley and newly paved Spring Hill back is popular. The Lynch Ck. trail avoids all cars from Downtown out to the JC. Just take Corona and you are on the way to Hillsborough. I like that ride for the Wildflowers.
 

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@GAJ, I made this one electric minutes ago. The battery is charging. It looks like a water bottle. The idea was to make a non-propritary, open source Como 5 that is more powerful and costs less to maintain. It is a 750W torque sensor mid-drive. The wires are thru frame. Before conversion it was a $759 bike at Mike's in Petaluma.
1669153356405.jpeg
 
Photo after I got the cloth seats recovered earlier this year.

It isn't a collector car in the sense it has high miles, non standard cloth seats, mirror, wheels, tires, suspension and sound system.

It will be my last personal car, (my wife has had more cars than I), which means at age 66 I've had 3 personal cars in all that time.

Lucky to live in Sonoma County where driving a convertible, riding a motorcycle and a bicycle are pretty much year round affairs.

View attachment 140434
My female neighbor has a first year manual Miata that is still her daily driver.
 
My in laws built and lived at 4933 Hillsborough Drive which you get up to off Old Adobe via Hardin Lane or Lynch Road.

I could make it up there on my SL if I was willing to ride on Old Adobe which I'm not.

I avoid roads where cars are going 50+ miles an hour.

The idea of putting a bike carrier on my Miata doesn't appeal to me!
I looked into this, and if there is any rack that fits an MX5-- of any vintage-- I have not found it, and I looked hard. There *might* be a couple that work with a trailer hitch, but most Miata owners are not gonna be adding one!

Seems like there should be some crazy device that's good for at least 50 pounds which would attach to the hard top mount on earlier models-- the hard tops are up to 50 pounds-- or that attach to the roll bars on the NDs or something. Very frustrating-- If this existed, I would probably only use it a half dozen times a year, but I could get to some really cool places.

Currently on my second MX5, a 2016 ND Sport with 40K trouble-free miles (except for one mysterious high pressure fuel pump failure.) I have gotten 38 MPG with it, though I rarely have the patience to do that... I do believe 40 MPH is possible, and will try to prove it someday. The story I tell, and I'm sticking to it, as that the ND saved my dog's life-- the little guy collapsed on the dog walk, we raced to the vet, and my pal lost control over all bodily functions and stopped breathing when we were still a couple of miles away and facing a series of yellow lights. Pretty sure Road and Track is right, it really can do 0-60 in about 5.8 seconds-- had the hazards flashing, all the other drivers stayed well out of my way, and got there in time for the vet to bring him back.

This is what my car did for my dog even after getting shat on. I know machines don't have souls, but that experience made me fiercely loyal-- and both dogs loved that car, too. Out older pup lived over 10 great months after that, playing, running up and down stairs, and took three road trips with us, two of them in that car. Ever since then? Whatever the car wants, it gets.

The first was a '99 who stole my heart and my money as well-- bought her used, she ran like a top for about... ooh, 10 or 15K and then started blowing spark plugs out of the cylinder head, which is truly an alarming experience at 85 MPH on the freeway. Sounds like a Harley collided mounted the trunk and is sitting next to your ear, and the cabin fills with the sweet smell of gasoline. I think I'd JUST quit smoking when that happened. My mechanic, who has skills that normally would lead one to a career in surgery, suspected that in her childhood, she had some terrible overheating event. Anyway, she went about 10 or 15K after that before she wouldn't stop overheating... and we spent a lot of money trying to fix that.

The 1999 did have a hard top from my friends 1989 NA-- my car was red and his was black, and with the hardtop, it didn't even look like an MX5, it was a real head-turner. The other problem was the electric window switches in the center console, which my dog-- yeah, the same one the 2016 saved-- used to love to stand on. If I turned my head to use my car key at the office parking lot, Z would have the window down and be halfway out in about three seconds.

Also, the car was really difficult to control. If there was a single raindrop or a single leaf or a few grains of sand on the road, sometimes when you hit the gas at a stoplight, the wheels would just spin and the rear end of the car would fishtail back and forth, but the car wouldn't go forward. Happened on two different sets of tires. We never did figure it out-- someone redid the suspension and got something wrong, I guess. I finally got my mechanic to buy it-- he offered me a better price than anyone else-- who gave it to his son, who promptly returned it. He loved the car, but absolutely couldn't control it. And it was true, she was very unforgiving-- eventually, I learned when the rear end was gonna break away, but very, very little warning. VERY unusual for an MX5. She was pretty, but mean, mean, mean.
 
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