Specialized Turbo Vado SL: An Incredible E-Bike (User Club)

I'd consider changing the rack at some point if I'd be sure one could welcome an adult's ass (and thus weight XD). Not sure the stock wheels can handle two people though. But having the possibility to add a removable seat and bring someone (not for adventures but for commuting/city wandering) would be awesome. I've seen some racks that are claimed to support up to 100kg, but maybe the weak points are the Vado's frame and wheels. I'm not a big guy myself, weighing around 62kg. What would you consider a limit to the vado's general load capacity? (Mine is L sized).
 
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I'd consider changing the rack at some point if I'd be sure one could welcome an adult's ass (and thus weight XD). Not sure the stock wheels can handle two people though. But having the possibility to add a removable seat and bring someone (not for adventures but for commuting/city wandering) would be awesome. I've seen some racks that are claimed to support up to 100kg, but maybe the weak points are the Vado's frame and wheels. I'm not a big guy myself, weighing around 62kg. What would you consider a limit to the vado's general load capacity? (Mine is L sized).
The EBR video review of the Specialized Vado SL 4.0 EQ (Size Large) says its original Racktime rack is “rated up to 33 lbs. or 15 kg.” It’s about the only thing the reviewer didn’t like about the e-bike.
 
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I have changed out the race time rack with a Topeak one so I am able to carry my four-year-old on a Thule seat. The bigger issue I believe is the strength of the frame and the mounting positions but most importantly, the total cargo weight of you, Plus, the rack and anything it is carrying.

I spoke to specialised about this directly, and they were very evasive and not so helpful. My LBS and I managed to design a solution to make this work. This video is not exactly what was done, but what I am planning to change the additional mounts that are sold via the manufacturer Topeak for various mounting needs.

 
I've been loving my TV SL 5.0, but felt bad going on rides with my wife with her riding a 30 year old Specialized Crossroads. She does well until the hills, but then she sometimes has to get off and hike. She's stubborn, and didn't want to pay out for another expensive bike (after mine) since we just bought a house. She finally relented after getting a PTO pay-out (she had too many banked hours), but then we found that there weren't any step-through small frames available (she's small). The waiting game is tough, and we started thinking about 4.0 models or other compromises. However, we stopped by a local dealer this weekend and the saw that they have the exact model due for delivery within a month. Xmas comes early!!! I can't wait for the two of us to take our Vado SL's out together!!!
My wife got to ride her new Vado SL on Xmas eve day and it was glorious here on the Monterey Peninsula. In retrospect I should have included her step-through bike in the picture, but I was in awe of the view (including her! ;^)). I'll get pictures of our bikes together another time. If I knew she was going to get a brushed silver one (only option in the Vado SL ST), I probably would have gone with the yellow so we wouldn't be twins, but the brushed silver is good looking. I also want to confirm that she wears a helmet, but took it off for the photo.

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Anyone upgrading/upgraded their Sram GX derailleur to AXS? Seems like they are on sale at a few places right now for $420. Ordered it and should be getting next week. Also ordered an upgraded paddle shifter for $20.

Wondering if there is any way of powering the derailleur off the main battery?

I emailed Sram to ask if the derailleur would work, and they said yes, AXS eagle GX is a direct replacement for regular eagle GX. They also said it was unusual that Specialized used an 11 speed front chainring with a 12-speed rear derailleur. (Gave them specs from the Specialized website)
@mogulman I’m converting my SL to AXS right now. I did the same with my Orbea Rise two weeks ago and love it. I have painful basal thumb arthritis and it really helps. Plus it’s cool and I love the way it shifts.

Anyway did you end up resizing the chain? Thats where I am right now and the video says add 4 links to a hardtail. On the rise I removed 2.
 
My wife got to ride her new Vado SL on Xmas eve day and it was glorious here on the Monterey Peninsula. In retrospect I should have included her step-through bike in the picture, but I was in awe of the view (including her! ;^)). I'll get pictures of our bikes together another time. If I knew she was going to get a brushed silver one (only option in the Vado SL ST), I probably would have gone with the yellow so we wouldn't be twins, but the brushed silver is good looking. I also want to confirm that she wears a helmet, but took it off for the photo.

View attachment 143265
Enjoy your bikes. I have the same bike in silver and love it.
 
Experiences Riding Vado SL on Gravel Group Rides

Here's a bunch...

Forgetting to go from "Discharge The Range Extender First"...
I ride using only Range Extender during the weekdays. Since I own as many as three Range Extenders, I rotate them with the objective to equalize the Number of Recharge Cycles with the main battery one day. When setting off for a gravel group ride, I need to make a commute to the starting line (the total commute distance might be half of the main ride); therefore I use one of the Range Extenders solely for the commute. Before the start of the main group ride, I fetch a fresh RE and instruct my Vado SL to discharge both the main battery and the RE equally. Fine. What if I have forgotten to restart the e-bike to make the option work? Around 20 km into the ride I need to stop and replace the RE again as the main battery was not used at all!

A stop during a group ride typically means I have lost the group!

Forgetting to derestrict the e-bike...
My Vado SL is restricted to 25 km/h. My mates typically ride faster than that. Fancy the feeling when the group slowly disappears at a distance and you have no idea why just to realize you have forgotten to push the derestriction button! Or, fancy a sprint in Turbo mode but the e-bike will not ride faster than 27 km/h and you realize you have ridden on the leg power only!

The chain dropped inside...
That should have never happened on a modern, well adjusted e-bike. I was negotiating a difficult cross-country forest segment and was doing everything to maintain the momentum. I was dowshifting dramatically towards the lowest gear (still pedalling) to hear a rattle. My ride finished. The chain dropped between the cassette and the rear wheel and between the chainring and the frame. While it was fairly easy for my mates to remove the chain from the rear wheel, the chain got badly stuck at the bottom bracket (destroying some paintwork, too). I produced my tools...

"Stefan, remove the crank! It looks like a self-extracting one!" -- I almost did it to realize the crank was not connected to the chainring on the mid-drive motor!
"Make the chainring loose but don't remove it" -- and I made the chainring loose not to avail much...
Eventually, an experienced mate pulled the chain out from the slit the proper way, and I could continue the ride.

It has turned out my derailleur got totally out of indexing! If it is not a bent derailleur hanger, I will need to work with the H and L limit screws properly.

1672679308077.png

Repairing my Vado SL off-road, one hour to the sunset, 22 km to go.

General

Vado SL is an excellent e-bike for gravel rides because of its low weight and maneuverability. However, its low motor power forces me to ride in the "slow group" even if I use multiple Range Extenders!
 
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Greetings to the community.
As the time to replace the chain is approaching, I would like someone to tell me which original chain goes with the Vado SL 5.0 (how many links). The group of parts is Shimano.
Thank you.
 
Greetings to the community.
As the time to replace the chain is approaching, I would like someone to tell me which original chain goes with the Vado SL 5.0 (how many links). The group of parts is Shimano.
Thank you.

You need 120 chain links for the 44T chainring and 42T cassette for Vado SL
 
You need 120 chain links for the 44T chainring and 42T cassette for Vado SL
THX
So this one will be great.

 
Experiences Riding Vado SL on Gravel Group Rides

Here's a bunch...

Forgetting to go from "Discharge The Range Extender First"...
I ride using only Range Extender during the weekdays. Since I own as many as three Range Extenders, I rotate them with the objective to equalize the Number of Recharge Cycles with the main battery one day. When setting off for a gravel group ride, I need to make a commute to the starting line (the total commute distance might be half of the main ride); therefore I use one of the Range Extenders solely for the commute. Before the start of the main group ride, I fetch a fresh RE and instruct my Vado SL to discharge both the main battery and the RE equally. Fine. What if I have forgotten to restart the e-bike to make the option work? Around 20 km into the ride I need to stop and replace the RE again as the main battery was not used at all!

A stop during a group ride typically means I have lost the group!

Forgetting to derestrict the e-bike...
My Vado SL is restricted to 25 km/h. My mates typically ride faster than that. Fancy the feeling when the group slowly disappears at a distance and you have no idea why just to realize you have forgotten to push the derestriction button! Or, fancy a sprint in Turbo mode but the e-bike will not ride faster than 27 km/h and you realize you have ridden on the leg power only!

The chain dropped inside...
That should have never happened on a modern, well adjusted e-bike. I was negotiating a difficult cross-country forest segment and was doing everything to maintain the momentum. I was dowshifting dramatically towards the lowest gear (still pedalling) to hear a rattle. My ride finished. The chain dropped between the cassette and the rear wheel and between the chainring and the frame. While it was fairly easy for my mates to remove the chain from the rear wheel, the chain got badly stuck at the bottom bracket (destroying some paintwork, too). I produced my tools...

"Stefan, remove the crank! It looks like a self-extracting one!" -- I almost did it to realize the crank was not connected to the chainring on the mid-drive motor!
"Make the chainring loose but don't remove it" -- and I made the chainring loose not to avail much...
Eventually, an experienced mate pulled the chain out from the slit the proper way, and I could continue the ride.

It has turned out my derailleur got totally out of indexing! If it is not a bent derailleur hanger, I will need to work with the H and L limit screws properly.

View attachment 143800
Repairing my Vado SL off-road, one hour to the sunset, 22 km to go.

General

Vado SL is an excellent e-bike for gravel rides because of its low weight and maneuverability. However, its low motor power forces me to ride in the "slow group" even if I use multiple Range Extenders!
Sorry to hear of that, Stefan, but understand. At the end of one of my first city rides my Vado 4.0 SL EQ chain dropped and got stuck between cassette and frame. Ouch. A very nice neighbor I had never even met grabbed some tools and valiantly tried to free chain, but failed. So I rolled it to my local LBS (River City Bicycles) and a few minutes later I was back on top riding “El Greco”.
Not sure why chain drop happened, it seemed to happen during a shift as I was entering a corner, but it hasn’t happened again. Thank Jah.
 
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