Turbo Vado SL 5.0 EQ

Cat Panic

New Member
Hi All!

Hoping for insight/advice from those with more experience...

I bought my (second!) Specialized ebike on March 30th, a Turbo Vado SL 5.0 EQ. After a few days, and having ridden only about 10 miles, I noticed a sound coming from the area of the motor/cranks. It only happens when the bike is rolling backwards, and seems to stop when the bike reaches a certain speed. I’m not sure how to describe it…a clicking/popping sound. Here is a video that I hope will help. My other Vado (4.0) doesn’t make such a sound, and I don’t recall the SL making it the first few days (though perhaps it did and I simply didn't notice), so I made a note of it. It was riding fine. I wondered if they had just rushed through assembly and something wasn't connected properly - they built the bike for me to ride the day I purchased it.

More concerning is that when I next attempted to power the bike on a day or two later, the Specialized logo would briefly appear on the Mastermind TCU, but the motor would turn off almost immediately (before anything else appeared on the display). This happened 2-3 times. I wondered if the sound might be related to something that would have drained the battery so plugged it in to see if I could power the bike on that way. It immediately started charging, but showed the battery to be about what it had been during the last ride, so that wasn't the problem.

I've no idea why it didn't turn on and haven't been able to replicate that, though it's only been a couple days. I've commuted once since (4 miles each way) with no issue.

I'm concerned about this auspicious start and can't afford a dud! How concerned should I be? What would your next steps be? Perhaps worth mentioning is that I bought the bike 1.5 hours away but there are other dealers much closer to my house. I'm not sure if it's better to spend the extra time to go to the purchase location or not. My size wasn't available online and this was the closest location that had one in stock.

I think this may be unexceptional but perhaps worth noting: A few minutes before posting this I turned it on/off to see if perhaps I held the power button for too long, but I couldn't replicate the immediate powering down I'd previously seen. However, I noticed that trying to power on and off in fairly quick succession resulted in the bike requiring two attempts to actually turn on. Just now I went out and tried again and it turned on/off/on fine.

Thanks for reading and your feedback!
Vado SL 4.0 owner here. Unfortunately I have no idea what that sound is...and I did watch/listen to your video.
Don't worry about obtaining service from where you bought your bike. Any Specialized dealer will do...including the closest one.
As far as the power on attempts: I don't have mastermind as mine is a 2022...the power on is a bit finicky and you will learn it. A quick press does little/nothing....you must hold it for a second or two to power on.
I don't immediately suspect that one has anything to do with the other....but more information is needed for sure.
Take the bike to the closest Spesh dealer and get some clarity.
Head to the nearest Specialized dealer. It's near impossible to help trouble shoot the problem over the forum. Let us know what you find out.
The Vado SL is a great bike. Hope you get things sorted out.