Turbo Vado SL5 vs Skitch Flatbar! And the winner is...

Capt Amazing

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Creo 2 !??

OK, so I posted in January that I was looking at the Turbo Vado SL as a hill climbing, city riding, do-it-all ebike. The Vado SL seemed to fit the bill, and Nubnub mentioned the Santa Cruz Skitch flat bar which also looked amazing. I was waiting for both of them to show up in the local shops, and finally the Turbo Vado SL5 arrived at my LBS in my size (but no Skitch). I test rode the SL5 and it was really nice - quality made, handled well, and the 1.1 motor was enough power for my needs. I should have known however that after 45 years on road bikes (including several years of racing), the upright posture of the Vado would feel awkward and a little slow, with my arms spread apart and the wind hitting me in the chest. And I felt like I couldn't generate the full power from my legs. I figured it would just take a little time to get used to it, and decided to wait until I could ride a Skitch.

But lo and behold, the shop also had a Creo 2 Comp in my size, so I took a spin. We set it up similar to my endurance bike and It felt perfect from the start. It was fast with and without the motor, quiet, and felt like home. I was having so much fun racing up and down the nearby hills that I lost track of time and when got back to the store, the salesman said (jokingly I think) that they were preparing a search party to look for me. I briefly considered holding out until I could ride a Skitch, but the Creo 2 felt perfect and who knows when the Skitch is going to show up? So I bought it.

The only mod I made was switching out the handlebars for a carbon road bar (S-works), and I'll put on my favorite saddle (2 mods which will actually shave 200g off the weight). Otherwise I'm going to run it stock for a while and see what I really want to change (though the dropper seatpost, tires, and maybe wheels are likely candidates). I'm going to ride flat pedals too, in keeping with my "city" bike idea, at least for a while. With regards to the gravel capabilities, I'm excited about heading up all those gravel and dirt roads I assiduously avoided with my 25mm tires.

BTW, Nubnub was right in suggesting I should take a look at road bikes too. Thanks
 

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It's always nice to jump on a bike and know it's the one. The Skitch looks interesting but I'm more of fan of the lighter Specialized offerings. I don't know much about the Fazua Ride 60 motor. Heard it's not as smooth as others.

FAZUA RIDE 60

 
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Creo 2 !??

OK, so I posted in January that I was looking at the Turbo Vado SL as a hill climbing, city riding, do-it-all ebike. The Vado SL seemed to fit the bill, and Nubnub mentioned the Santa Cruz Skitch flat bar which also looked amazing. I was waiting for both of them to show up in the local shops, and finally the Turbo Vado SL5 arrived at my LBS in my size (but no Skitch). I test rode the SL5 and it was really nice - quality made, handled well, and the 1.1 motor was enough power for my needs. I should have known however that after 45 years on road bikes (including several years of racing), the upright posture of the Vado would feel awkward and a little slow, with my arms spread apart and the wind hitting me in the chest. And I felt like I couldn't generate the full power from my legs. I figured it would just take a little time to get used to it, and decided to wait until I could ride a Skitch.

But lo and behold, the shop also had a Creo 2 Comp in my size, so I took a spin. We set it up similar to my endurance bike and It felt perfect from the start. It was fast with and without the motor, quiet, and felt like home. I was having so much fun racing up and down the nearby hills that I lost track of time and when got back to the store, the salesman said (jokingly I think) that they were preparing a search party to look for me. I briefly considered holding out until I could ride a Skitch, but the Creo 2 felt perfect and who knows when the Skitch is going to show up? So I bought it.

The only mod I made was switching out the handlebars for a carbon road bar (S-works), and I'll put on my favorite saddle (2 mods which will actually shave 200g off the weight). Otherwise I'm going to run it stock for a while and see what I really want to change (though the dropper seatpost, tires, and maybe wheels are likely candidates). I'm going to ride flat pedals too, in keeping with my "city" bike idea, at least for a while. With regards to the gravel capabilities, I'm excited about heading up all those gravel and dirt roads I assiduously avoided with my 25mm tires.

BTW, Nubnub was right in suggesting I should take a look at road bikes too. Thanks
@Capt Amazing:
Congratulations on your purchase of the Creo 2! It is indeed a technological marvel and, as you explained, you are used to drop handlebar bikes, so the Creo 2 was the perfect choice for you.

Indeed, Vado SL could be not the best choice for you. Myself, I had to install a longer stem and Innerbarends on my Vado SL 4.0 EQ to make my riding position more forward. However, I don't tolerate drop bars, so Creo has never been a choice for me.

Could you tell me what's wrong with the stock tyres on Creo 2?

It's always nice to jump on a bike and know it's the one. The Skitch looks interesting but I'm more of fan of the lighter Specialized offerings. I don't know much about the Fazua Ride 60 motor. Heard it's not as smooth as others.

FAZUA RIDE 60

Santa Cruz Skitch is not even available in the EU, so it is hard for me to say anything on that e-bike. No idea how reliable or good Fazua 60 motor is but we Specialized riders know how SL motors do work, and the SL 1.2 simply has to be even better than the 1.1. What I like about Specialized is the brand has retained its main SL batteries and SL Range Extenders, which is a good sign for the longevity of the system.
 
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Could you tell me what's wrong with the stock tyres on Creo 2?

Thanks. I suspect the Tracer pros are perfectly fine. As a newcomer to e-bikes and gravel bikes, my only frame of reference is road biking, and when I glance down, it looks like I'm riding on monster truck tires. But it took me a while to adjust to the move from 23mm tires to 25mm, so I'm going to ride the Creo 2 as-is for a while before I decide. They do seem pretty heavy, so a lighter tire might be in the future.
 
Please ride them until they get worn. Don't let the good rubber go to waste. You'll soon discover how well a wide tyre absorbs the gravel vibration, and you have the motor to compensate the rolling resistance and rotating mass of the wheels 😊
 
Gongrats @Capt Amazing welcome to E. bikers,
i was just like you never had an E. bike but now i have gone through several to get to my Turbo SL 5.0 EQ and love it, couldnot be happier, glad that you found the right bike that fits you. I use mine in Eco mod mostley @ 15 to 25% assist but every now and then i do turbo just to have fun with it.
 
Please ride them until they get worn. Don't let the good rubber go to waste. You'll soon discover how well a wide tyre absorbs the gravel vibration, and you have the motor to compensate the rolling resistance and rotating mass of the wheels 😊
Will do Stefan. In fact, I took an "easy" gravel ride today, and really started to appreciate those big fat tires!
 
On topic, I will say that if you can afford both the Skitch is a clear choice for me. Unfortunately it is still not available in my size. So like the OP, I decided to pick up a Creo 2 Comp. The clincher was the LBS said they had already done a couple flat bar conversions for the Creo and it was no big deal other than the cost :).

Got to say the bike is a big improvement over both the 1.1 Vado SL and my Tero 5.0. Quieter and more power than the Vado and way smaller than the Tero - maybe 20 lbs lighter and about 6 inches shorter. So for now I will make room in the garage by getting rid of the Vado. I don't want to ride drop bars off pavement so the Tero gets a reprieve for now. Based on off roading the mid-power Skitch, I think a flat bar Creo 2 would end up being my do all bike.

On the subject of tires/wheels, I like the stock 47 mm Tracers. Still running tubes but eventually will try out my older 38/42 mm Pathfinders on it as well as the 47 mm Rhombus tires I have. Specialized also came out with 47 mm Pathfinders that I'll probably try out. If I keep the drop bars for awhile I'd probably go with the 47 mm Pathfinders as I expect them to roll better than the tracers. Eventually will go tubeless for good. Since the Creo 2 went back to standard hubs, my extra Vado 5.0 SL wheels that I bought for tubeless tires will end up being spares for my Tero and I'll set them up with the old Pathfinders.
 
I decided to pick up a Creo 2 Comp
Congratulations!
The clincher was the LBS said they had already done a couple flat bar conversions for the Creo and it was no big deal other than the cost :).
Don't castrate this marvel, PLEASE! Flat bars will change the geometry of the bike. With a flat bar gravel bike, it has to be substantially longer than a drop bar one!
47 mm Rhombus
I have found my 38 mm Pathfinder Pro tyres almost excellent, only they do not hold well in the mud. I'd be very interested with your opinion on both Tracers and Rhombus as I have eventually decided to get rid of fenders (and the rear rack) from my Vado SL, so I might invest in wider tyres. My objective is better traction in mud at low rotation resistance; I expect these tyres to be as supple as Pathfinders are!
 
Congrats! I rode the Skitch twice and hate to say that the second time I really didn't feel it at all, let alone for $6k. Creo 2 is just the far more exciting bike for me, and it's clear that they're taking a more holistic approach to building e-bikes with in-house software, future-shock, etc. C2 is a more mature product. Would love to try a Skitch with the Rudy fork, as well as their highly regarded mountain bikes.

he only mod I made was switching out the handlebars for a carbon road bar (S-works)
Been considering this myself. Does the carbon bar make a big difference in terms of vibration reduction?
I'm going to ride flat pedals too, in keeping with my "city" bike idea, at least for a while.
I'm running it as a city bike too. Full clip-in would never work for me, but these hybrid PD-T8000 have been fantastic. Got them on two bikes.
The dropper is a little stiff, but it's been great for traffic lights and gravel trails. I thought I'd pull it off but... it's not been an issue. Tubeless really helps, as did a bike fit.

Please update if you swap for carbon wheels!
 
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Been considering this myself. Does the carbon bar make a big difference in terms of vibration reduction?
Don't know if the carbon bars reduce vibration, though I would guess they do. In my case, I needed to reduce the H-bar width to 40 cm, and drop the bars a centimeter lower (than the hover bars), so switching them out made sense, since the shop wasn't going to charge labor. Vibration and weight reduction were nice side benfits.
I'm running it as a city bike too. Full clip-in would never work for me, but these hybrid PD-T8000 have been fantastic. Got them on two bikes.
Still undecided about the flat pedals. Sometimes I really miss the cleated pedals and have to pay close attention to where I place my feet. It sure is nice though to just hop on and off the bike in regular shoes and go walking. I might try those hybrid pedals if I don't fully adjust to the flat ones.

The dropper is a little stiff, but it's been great for traffic lights and gravel trails. I thought I'd pull it off but... it's not been an issue. Tubeless really helps, as did a bike fit. Since I'm unlikely to do much "technical" descending and given the dropper's weight of well over a pound,

Yeah, I noticed that too. In my case the seatpost feels really stiff. Uncomfortably so. I know it's not the saddle - I'm using my old one off my endurance bike. And I'm sure it can't be those giant tires with half the pressure of my road bikes. Since I'm unlikely to do much "technical" descending and since that dropper weighs well over a pound I think I might change it out sooner rather than later.
 

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Still undecided about the flat pedals. Sometimes I really miss the cleated pedals and have to pay close attention to where I place my feet. It sure is nice though to just hop on and off the bike in regular shoes and go walking. I might try those hybrid pedals if I don't fully adjust to the flat ones.
Caveat is I used pedal cages for a long time, so I'm used to feeling for the right side of the pedal. Downsides are clipping in when you don't want to. I hear you though, and might actually throw flats on the Creo for fun someday.
Yah, I noticed that too. In my case the seatpost feels really stiff. Uncomfortably so. I know it's not the saddle - I'm using my old one off my endurance bike. And I'm sure it can't be those giant tires with half the pressure of my road bikes. Since I'm unlikely to do much "technical" descending and since that dropper weighs well over a pound I think I might change it out sooner rather than later.
The Roval Terra seatpost is MUCH more compliant than the dropper, and the Ergon/Canyon split is said to be a sizable improvement over the Terra.

Btw, the blue paint looks absolutely amazing in your photos!
 
Caveat is I used pedal cages for a long time, so I'm used to feeling for the right side of the pedal. Downsides are clipping in when you don't want to. I hear you though, and might actually throw flats on the Creo for fun someday.

The Roval Terra seatpost is MUCH more compliant than the dropper, and the Ergon/Canyon split is said to be a sizable improvement over the Terra.

Btw, the blue paint looks absolutely amazing in your photos!
Thanks! I was surprised and pleased to find that the deep dark blue in the store turns bright blue in the sun. I'm looking at both those seatposts, as I need a centimeter or two offset anyway. Do you know if there's any trick to removing the dropper? Can you just disconnect the cable and pull it out from the front?
 
Been considering this myself. Does the carbon bar make a big difference in terms of vibration reduction?

i wouldn’t say it’s a “big” difference but going to a one piece carbon cockpit - royal alpinist is the best fit for the bike - makes a noticeable difference, more so than carbon bars with a separate stem because they can engineer the flex at both junctions in addition to the length of the bar itself.

probably in order of impact :

1. big tires
2. tubeless at low pressure
3. light carbon rims (terra or alpinist)
4. alpinist cockpit
5. terra or similar carbon post
6. carbon bars with separate stem

i settled on 2,3,4,5 on my creo when riding road, and 1,2,4,5 when riding gravel or hard packed single track. once properly set up, vibration or numbness were never an issue up to 8 hour rides.
 
Thanks, good info. Actually with the big tires, carbon bars, and future shock, my hands have been just fine. It's my butt that's complaining. Maybe it's just because I'm not use to gravel, though the biggest pain seems to come from big cracks or bumps on pavement..
 
Thanks, good info. Actually with the big tires, carbon bars, and future shock, my hands have been just fine. It's my butt that's complaining. Maybe it's just because I'm not use to gravel, though the biggest pain seems to come from big cracks or bumps on pavement..
more weight on your legs!! you and your bottom will get used to it :)
 
more weight on your legs!! you and your bottom will get used to it :)
Yeah, I have the opposite issue (more hand issues than butt). Always have to remember to engage the core, bend at the elbow and life off of the seat over bumps, switch hand positions, etc. It's becoming second nature and really helping.
Maybe it's just because I'm not use to gravel, though the biggest pain seems to come from big cracks or bumps on pavement..
I agree, oddly! I've done a ton of gravel trail and riding, and over bumpy fields, but it's the big cracks on pavement that hit hardest. The gravel trails have actually been totally fine.
Thanks! I was surprised and pleased to find that the deep dark blue in the store turns bright blue in the sun. I'm looking at both those seatposts, as I need a centimeter or two offset anyway. Do you know if there's any trick to removing the dropper? Can you just disconnect the cable and pull it out from the front?
Haven't gotten that far yet. But definitely change out the seatpost. Should make a huge difference. My fitter helped to adapt the bike to my specific hand issues too by making me a little more upright.
 
Yeah, I have the opposite issue (more hand issues than butt). Always have to remember to engage the core, bend at the elbow and life off of the seat over bumps, switch hand positions, etc. It's becoming second nature and really helping…

yes! eventually it becomes second nature (like having your inside pedal up on a sharp turn) unless you’re really tired. that’s where i’d have problems, pushing it to a too-long ride and for the last hour or two being really worn out and sloppy. that’s when you sit on the seat like it’s a recliner 😂
 
Flat bars will change the geometry of the bike. With a flat bar gravel bike, it has to be substantially longer than a drop bar one!
No doubt there are cases where converting drop bars to flat might create a sizing issue. But every frame size is already expected to have a range of rider heights/proportions. Santa Cruz use the same frame for both flat and drop bar versions. The general sizing guidelines show that for a given frame size a higher range for rider height for drop bar versions. This supports the notion that swapping drop bar to flat bar might result in too short a reach if at the extreme end of height for a given frame size. But if not in the edge case, swapping the bars shouldn't be a major issue.
 
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