Vado SL 4.0 - riding in the rain?


New Member
I recently purchased a Vado SL 4.0 and use it primarily for touring New England country roads. It rains a lot here (especially this summer). My LBS told me not to ride the bike in the rain if I can avoid it. And if I do, to cover up the TCU display on the top tube as well as the handlebar remote +- buttons with plastic bags. My question is do I really need to do this or is just CYA? And if I must, are there any companies that make custom rain shields for when riding ... or do I need to fabricate these myself? It just seems unbelievable that an e-bike cannot handle rain. BTW, the Specialized manual doesn't mention covering up these components.

Two related questions:
  1. Do you know what the IP rating is for the Vado SL?
  2. And when you transport your Vado SL on a bike rack, do you cover it with a bike cover?
Thanks in advance --
If my Tero X can't handle rain I'm not sure why they put such huge fenders on it.

The guidance I've heard is not to pressure wash the bikes (there's enough force to drive water past seals) but I've hosed mine off with no issues.

I see a claim that the batteries are IP67 but I don't see claims about other parts of the bike and I'm not finding the claim on Specialized's own website.
This is patently absurd.

I am a new Vado SL 4.0 owner and I'm not too worried about the rain because I am a sissy, not a commuter, and don't plan on riding in the rain much.
That said....I just watched a video from Specialized as to how to properly wash my Turbo bicycle.....and really the only warnings are obvious warnings....make sure that the charger port is closed/sealed and do not use a high pressure hose or high pressure washer. Despite my lack of desire for wet riding.....I would 100% assume that my bicycle is capable or riding no matter how wet or dry. It damn well better be!

You need to have a talk with your LBS and determine WHY he is telling you that you should try to avoid riding in the rain/wet. He/she is going to give you an anxiety complex and I see no reason for it.
Thanks all - just needed to hear from owners and not the bike shop.
Just saw this thread. Bonkers. I live on Dartmoor in the UK famous for rain. I ride my Vado SL 4 throughout the winter in all conditions. I am careful when cycling through muddy floods to check the water doesn't come up to the motor! And I never power wash the bike. Was told by bike shop that's a big no no.

However halfway through my first winter on the bike (Feb 21) the TCU ceased to work and I got a water ingress message on mission control. It was a head scratcher as it hadn't been that wet recently. Anyway the bike shop & Specialized replaced it under warranty with no problems. They couldn't shed any light on why the message came up, said it seemed bone dry inside the frame. Just one of those things and I've had no similar problems since despite many many rainy days. You should have mudguards if you are intending to ride a lot in the wet.
I just did a three day ride of 171 miles on my 2022 Turbo Vado SL 5.0 EQ, Day 2 of which was 52 miles and 1500 ft elevation in pouring rain. Rain was so heavy that the raindrops would sting on descents. I had a rain cover for my rack bag and another for my leather Selle Anatomica saddle. Other than that, I ran the bike as it comes from Specialized. I even changed range extender batteries in pouring rain.

My screaming yellow (aka the "Flying Banana") Vado SL 5.0 came through like a champ.
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I don't generally ride in the rain but sometimes, it can't be avoided. I do carry my bikes in the bed of an open pickup though and they often get thoroughly soaked during transport. In the 5 years I've been riding. I've never had a water related problem with any of my bikes.

I can't speak for the Vado but most e-bikes I'm familiar with are reasonably weather resistant. Aside from complete submersion, most will handle an occasional soaking without issue. I think your LBS is being overly cautious and I would trust any recommendations made by the bike maker instead.

While none of these suggestions will help while riding the bike, I do take the following precautions during transport:

I cover the brake levers, shifter and throttle with these arm protector sleeves to keep out moisture & debris which can foul the cables:


I also cover other sensitive areas with these stretch silicone bowl lids:

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For my bikes with down tube batteries, I remove the battery and wrap the opening with plastic cling wrap. I then cover with an ace bandage to keep it in place.

These precautions may or may not be necessary on every bike but I use them out of an abundance of caution.