Vado (SL), Gazelle, Oh My..

harr

New Member
Region
USA
Hey all, hoping to get some feedback / experience on an e-bike selection. I’ve read quite a number of threads here and found the discussion very useful, so hoping I could lean on you all for a bit of guidance.

I’m considering a few bikes but primarily

• Turbo Vado 4.0/5.0 SL EQ
• Turbo Vado 3.0 IGH
• Gazelle Ultimate C380+ HMB

I’m not entirely new to e-bikes, I have a Biktrix full suspension carbon fiber 1000W Bafang fat tire bike that I’ve had for about a year. It’s 80 lbs, beastly and completely overkill for what I want. Can’t wait to sell it. I was recently visiting family and got to do a 20 mile ride using an older Trek XM700+ and really enjoyed that quite a bit. It was in the hills near the coast of San Diego, and despite being older tech (63nm motor, 400wh battery) I was really impressed and enjoyed the ride quite a bit, didn’t find the hills terribly difficult. 20 miler was cake, though mostly on Turbo and still had ~30% battery left.

This started my search for a lighter, more “commuter” style bike that I could use for the following.

• Fitness (riding 40-50 miles would be the limit here, typically 20-25 miles or less)
• Landscape photography - riding around various parks / forested areas with panniers / backpack.. just a tripod, some medium format camera gear, extra layers in the colder months, maybe some lunch (<25 lbs extra at the most). Would mount the bike to the car to get out to more remote areas.
• Small errands, trip to the store for bread, milk, etc..

Some more background.. I live in the Midwest. Very flat, the total elevation change I’ll see (over an entire ride is < 1,000 ft). I have a Salsa Warbird Carbon (gravel bike) that I got into riding during Covid and really loved how light it was. I worked my way up to a ~40 mile trip at my longest (including Strava details / screenshot for relevance and maybe insight into fitness level / riding style). What I didn’t enjoy was the forward / aggressive posture, I could never seem to work out a position that didn’t cause some uncomfortable chafing despite a variety of seat / handlebar tweaks, clothing changes, various “buttrs”, etc.. so wanted something a bit more upright but still lightweight-ish, and flexible for a variety of conditions (forest trails, nothing serious).

We do get out to Colorado (Estes Park area) a few times a year, and one small edge case for the bike would be using it in those mountains, but that’s maybe 5% of the total use of this bike.

Some things on my mind that perhaps you all could shed some light on, knowing I’m coming from a carbon gravel bike as well as a 80lb 1000W full suspension beast. I know you can’t answer for me obviously, but for those of you with experience would love some thoughts to help me make my decision.

  • Is the SL powerful enough? If I want to keep up with “Lance” on my local trail and he’s doing 22-24mph, am I going to find that difficult even on Turbo? On the older Trek XM700+ it was no problem.
  • Are the IGH / Hub bikes still a mess (I’ve ready Dynamic’s thread and a few other “problem” threads on them) or is that just on the Automatiq, and the 3.0IGH / Gazelle with the manual Enviolo’s doing OK?
  • Are the non SL bikes just going to be a PITA to move around and get on the bike rack of the car? The 80lb fat bike is barely manageable. Am I going to get annoyed with the weight just like I am the fat bike?
  • For the Gazelle, and I going to miss out on a lot of benefit of the Specialized
  • Computer / Mission Control setup that seems really great (i do have an older Wahoo Roam)?
  • Speaking of.. I see the SL doesn’t come with the handlebar display?! Can I (or LBS) add that one (anyone have a part number so i can evaluate cost?)
  • Gazelle has one LBS, about 15 miles away and much smaller in the US market. Specialized has about 4-5 nearby. Should that play a role in the decision, and how should I weight it..
OK, I think that’s about it for now.. thank’s for reading and for anyone who takes the time to drop a response!! :)
 

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@harr,
Let me only give these answers where I feel competent at.

I use a Vado SL EQ because:
  • It is lightweight and easy to carry. I live upstairs; there have been numerous situations where I was happy to be able to lift and carry Vado SL
  • I enabled me to do even a 91+ mile ride (with 4 Range Extenders) at 13.5 mph average speed or a 72 mi ride at 12.7 mph average speed (1 Range Extender)
  • It is ideal for me to do quite large grocery shopping as for a single person; I stopped using the car, and my shopping is 10 mile round trip. Two panniers and a backpack. I'm sure I carry more than 25 lbs on the return trip from the store, and I weigh 212 lbs now.
  • I often (not always) participate in group rides of my gravel cycling club on the Vado SL. Carry multiple Range Extenders for that.
For more advanced needs, I use my Vado 6.0 (an e-bike similar to American Class 3 Vado 5.0).

Is the SL powerful enough? If I want to keep up with “Lance” on my local trail and he’s doing 22-24mph, am I going to find that difficult even on Turbo?
Maximum torque of Vado SL is only 35 Nm, and the maximum power is only 240 W. To ride at 21 mph, I need the Turbo mode, and it eats the main battery and Range Extenders fast. My typical mode of riding in the gravel club is to apply 80/80% SL assistance, and using multiple Range Extenders on long rides.

Are the non SL bikes just going to be a PITA to move around and get on the bike rack of the car?
Hard to say, as I transport my 58 lb Vado 6.0 not on the bike rack but inside a station-wagon. With the battery removed, of course.

Computer / Mission Control setup that seems really great (i do have an older Wahoo Roam)?
If you own a Wahoo ELEMNT Roam v1, it works perfectly with Specialized e-bikes.

Speaking of.. I see the SL doesn’t come with the handlebar display?! Can I (or LBS) add that one (anyone have a part number so i can evaluate cost?)
Connect your Wahoo ELEMNT Roam v1 and use it as the e-bike display. I own the optional Specialized TCD (wireless) display and it is gathering dust. Specialized e-bikes are LEV ANT+ compatible, so bike GPS computers can be used. Besides, Wahoo is the only known e-bike GPS computer that can understand the SL Range Extender is there.

Are the IGH / Hub bikes still a mess (I’ve ready Dynamic’s thread and a few other “problem” threads on them) or is that just on the Automatiq, and the 3.0IGH / Gazelle with the manual Enviolo’s doing OK?
I cannot answer this question. Why not Vado 4.0 if you need more power? Well, some 58 lbs but the motor is twice as powerful as in Vado SL and you could match your buddy easily on the trail (I primarily ride my Vado 6.0 despite its weight on most of the club rides).

Gazelle has one LBS, about 15 miles away and much smaller in the US market. Specialized has about 4-5 nearby. Should that play a role in the decision, and how should I weight it..
The LBS of a good reputation is the most important with any e-bike. Specialized has one of the best warranties in the market.

I rode my Vado SL for 204 times in 2022. I was only on 48 (but long and fast) rides on Vado 6.0 last year.
I have never taken my Vado SL to ride in real mountains.
 
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@harr,
Let me only give these answers where I feel competent at.

I use a Vado SL EQ because:
  • It is lightweight and easy to carry. I live upstairs; there have been numerous situations where I was happy to be able to lift and carry Vado SL
  • I enabled me to do even a 91+ mile ride (with 4 Range Extenders) at 13.5 mph average speed or a 72 mi ride at 12.7 mph average speed (1 Range Extender)
  • It is ideal for me to do quite large grocery shopping as for a single person; I stopped using the car, and my shopping is 10 mile round trip. Two panniers and a backpack. I'm sure I carry more than 25 lbs on the return trip from the store, and I weight 212 lbs now.
  • I often (not always) participate in group rides of my gravel cycling club on the Vado SL. Carry multiple Range Extenders for that.
For more advanced needs, I use my Vado 6.0 (an e-bike similar to American Class 3 Vado 5.0).


Maximum torque of Vado SL is only 35 Nm, and the maximum power is only 240 W. To ride at 21 mph, I need the Turbo mode, and it eats the main battery and Range Extenders fast. My typical mode of riding in the gravel club is to apply 80/80% SL assistance, and using multiple Range Extenders on long rides.


Hard to say, as I transport my 58 lb Vado 6.0 not on the bike rack but inside a station-wagon. With the battery removed, of course.


If you own a Wahoo ELEMNT Roam v1, it works perfectly with Specialized e-bikes.


Connect your Wahoo ELEMNT Roam v1 and use it as the e-bike display. I own the optional Specialized TCD (wireless) display and it is gathering dust. Specialized e-bikes are LEV ANT+ compatible, so bike GPS computers can be used. Besides, Wahoo is the only known e-bike GPS computer that can understand the SL Range Extender is there.


I cannot answer this question. Why not Vado 4.0 if you need more power? Well, some 58 lbs but the motor is twice as powerful as in Vado SL and you could match your buddy easily on the trail (I primarily ride my Vado 6.0 despite its weight on most of the club rides).


The LBS of a good reputation is the most important with any e-bike. Specialized has one of the best warranties in the market.

I rode my Vado SL for 204 times in 2022. I was only on 48 (but long and fast) rides on Vado 6.0 last year.
I have never taken my Vado SL to ride in real mountains.
Thank you Stefan! I have read many posts of yours and was hoping you would share your thoughts. :)

I may see what is new in the Roam V2.. I do not like the slow, sluggish interface on the Roam V1, and had hoped for something a bit more modern.. but I have never seen it integrate with a Specialized bike before. Perhaps I‘ll look for an example on YouTube before washing money on the wireless TCD.

I am considering the Vado 4.0 as well. I would probably purchase the Vado 5.0 if it were obtainable.. but it seems impossible to find outside of the IGH model and after reading the Dynamic thread I will pass on the Automatiq IGH on the 5.0.

I am going to to ride the Gazelle’s tomorrow and hopefully I can find some time to find an Vado SL locally as well to evaluate if the motor is sufficient or if a Vado 4.0 (or 5.0 if available) will be the best approach.

I am curious about the 3.0 IGH, unfortunately I can’t find a ton of long-term, direct feedback / review on that bike other than the YouTube reviewers that have it for 1-2 days and then give it back.

Thanks again for your response!
 
Harr,
If you bought a Vado SL, you would need to maintain the chain anyway. I do not discuss the IGH as it increases the e-bike weight and makes it problematic to remove the rear wheel for repair.
I may see what is new in the Roam V2.. I do not like the slow, sluggish interface on the Roam V1, and had hoped for something a bit more modern.. but I have never seen it integrate with a Specialized bike before.
Roam v2:
  • More memory (good!)
  • USB-C (good!)
  • Better screen (good!)
  • Better features, such as Summit instead of Climbing
  • Dual GPS (it very slowly acquires the GPS fix, bad!)
  • Inaccurate thermometer (bad!)
I owned Roam v1, Bolt v2, and now own Roam v2. Any of them was good with Specialized e-bikes.
 
Thank you Stefan! I have read many posts of yours and was hoping you would share your thoughts. :)

I may see what is new in the Roam V2.. I do not like the slow, sluggish interface on the Roam V1, and had hoped for something a bit more modern.. but I have never seen it integrate with a Specialized bike before. Perhaps I‘ll look for an example on YouTube before washing money on the wireless TCD.

I am considering the Vado 4.0 as well. I would probably purchase the Vado 5.0 if it were obtainable.. but it seems impossible to find outside of the IGH model and after reading the Dynamic thread I will pass on the Automatiq IGH on the 5.0.

I am going to to ride the Gazelle’s tomorrow and hopefully I can find some time to find an Vado SL locally as well to evaluate if the motor is sufficient or if a Vado 4.0 (or 5.0 if available) will be the best approach.

I am curious about the 3.0 IGH, unfortunately I can’t find a ton of long-term, direct feedback / review on that bike other than the YouTube reviewers that have it for 1-2 days and then give it back.

Thanks again for your response!
I am curious on your thoughts of the Gazelle. I do like the internal gear hub, and the advantages of them.
 
Well, test rode the 4.0 SL and the 4.0 EQ as that's what the local Specialized place had in stock. I was really torn. The SL was awesome, so light and nimble.. but lacked the power I wanted, and felt stressed and had to push myself just to keep up with the demo guy I was riding with (and he was not going very fast at all). Then I test drove the Vado 4.0 EQ and there was the power I'd been missing, and I loved the actual display unit on top, but it didn't really feel as "fun" and connected as the SL EQ.

Then I test drove the Gazelle CM 380+ and wow.. felt great and I loved the enviolo manual hub, and it had a ton of power just like the Vado 4.0 EQ. The Vado 4.0 EQ is out and now it's SL vs CM 380+.

I am heavily leaning towards the CM 380+, as I already have a carbon Salsa road bike that I can use for lightweight, nimble feeling once I'm back in a bit better shape. Or I could always sell the Salsa and the behemoth Bixtrix fat tire e-bike and buy the SL at a later time and have the best of both worlds. I think I now very clearly understand why you have the SL and the Vado, @Stefan Mikes !
 
I tried all 3 of those bikes. It really depends on your needs. I was looking for a bike that had a little juice to help me on hills, because of years of injuries and getting older.

I just liked how light the SL was, with a little help.
 
I tried all 3 of those bikes. It really depends on your needs. I was looking for a bike that had a little juice to help me on hills, because of years of injuries and getting older.

I just liked how light the SL was, with a little help.
I loved the SL for that very reason. I have a feeling I'll end up with both.. perhaps make getting the SL a reward for X number of miles on the C380+..
 
I loved the SL for that very reason. I have a feeling I'll end up with both.. perhaps make getting the SL a reward for X number of miles on the C380+..
A brilliant idea! It is very important you loved what you would be riding! In my case, Vado was my second e-bike, and Vado SL the fourth (bought one and half year later). Nowadays, I only keep these two e-bikes.

A good example from yesterday: I wanted to do a 45 mile ride with several planned attractions on the trip, and it was guaranteed it would be raining. Even with good rainproof clothes, riding in the rain is no fun. It was clear to me I would select the Vado for less pedalling effort and higher cruising speed. However, I was controlling myself and decided I would do the whole ride in true ECO mode. Guess what. I could complete the ride on a single battery. The battery consumption per km and the average speed were similar to what I usually achieve on Vado SL with higher assistance! Only the ride felt a pleasure, and I returned from the ride fresh. Were it a sunny, dry and warmer day, it could be a Vado SL ride!
 
I used to own a Specialized Turbo Como 3.0 (2018 Version) with the older Bloks display. I now own and ride a Gazelle Ultimate C380. The following are some of my comparisons:

1. Overall, I find the Gazelle slightly more comfortable to ride (can be adjusted to a more upright position).
2. Range in Eco and Tour is much better on the Gazelle. Using Turbo mode on both bikes uses battery fairly fast.
3. The Gazelle feels heavier to move about than the Turbo Como, but once riding, you don't really notice the weight of the bike.
4. The motor on the Turbo Como added significant resistance to pedalling over the max speed of 32 KMH, or if trying to ride with assist off. The Gazelle motor doesn't add resistance and it is possible pedal faster than 32 KMH going down a slight incline or to ride with no assist even though it is a heavy bike.
5. The Turbo Como required much more maintenance. In the 13,000 KM's that I rode, I replaced the chain twice, the cassette and chainring once, the brake pads every 2000 KM, and the rotors twice. I now have almost 2000 KM on my Gazelle, and the brake pads still have plenty of wear.
6. The Enviolo Hub and Gates Carbon Belt are a dream to ride. Very quiet and no lubrication or maintenance required. I have been told that the belts can last more than 30,000 KM. I like the simplicity of the manual shifter.
7. I had a number of problems with the Turbo Como; however, Specialized was excellent to deal with on Warranty issues.

Overall, I would say that I like the Gazelle better, but they both are good bikes.

Can't comment on the SL models as I have never ridden one.
 
I used to own a Specialized Turbo Como 3.0 (2018 Version) with the older Bloks display. I now own and ride a Gazelle Ultimate C380. The following are some of my comparisons:

1. Overall, I find the Gazelle slightly more comfortable to ride (can be adjusted to a more upright position).
2. Range in Eco and Tour is much better on the Gazelle. Using Turbo mode on both bikes uses battery fairly fast.
3. The Gazelle feels heavier to move about than the Turbo Como, but once riding, you don't really notice the weight of the bike.
4. The motor on the Turbo Como added significant resistance to pedalling over the max speed of 32 KMH, or if trying to ride with assist off. The Gazelle motor doesn't add resistance and it is possible pedal faster than 32 KMH going down a slight incline or to ride with no assist even though it is a heavy bike.
5. The Turbo Como required much more maintenance. In the 13,000 KM's that I rode, I replaced the chain twice, the cassette and chainring once, the brake pads every 2000 KM, and the rotors twice. I now have almost 2000 KM on my Gazelle, and the brake pads still have plenty of wear.
6. The Enviolo Hub and Gates Carbon Belt are a dream to ride. Very quiet and no lubrication or maintenance required. I have been told that the belts can last more than 30,000 KM. I like the simplicity of the manual shifter.
7. I had a number of problems with the Turbo Como; however, Specialized was excellent to deal with on Warranty issues.

Overall, I would say that I like the Gazelle better, but they both are good bikes.

Can't comment on the SL models as I have never ridden one.
Thanks for sharing that info!

Having done a number of test rides, including the Turbo Como this afternoon, I agree with everything you've said. The Gazelle is more comfortable (subjective for sure) out of the gate, though the seat they have on it (Selle Royal) is a dream compared to whatever is on the Sepcialized. Comfort in a test ride vs longer ride may provide different results, but from my ~2 mile test ride, the C380+ was a notch above the Specialized (both Vado and Como).

Again, I agree on the Enviolo / Gates combination, it was wonderful.. and quiet! The LBS is a Gazelle dealer and I asked specifically if they were trained and would support the Enviolo and what the warranty on that hub was specifically, etc.. and they struck me as very competent. They did say that they've heard more issues with the Enviolo + Specialized motors as opposed to the Enviolo + Bosch, but that could've just been salesmanship.

Where I feel I miss out is Specialized's Mission Control, so I've asked them about upgrading the Prion to the Nyon before pickup. That would start to provide similar functionality as the Mission Control with app integration and motor "tweaking".

I am really glad to hear about the resistance over the top limit speed. The Trek I had rode (XM700+) that sent me down this path in the first place was the same way, full support up until 28MPH then it cut out and left it up to the rider to put in the work to go faster. The later Trek's I tried (Avant+ 7/8) seemed to have a fall-off curve as you approached 28MPH that provided less assist, rather than full assist and complete drop-off of assist that I preferred. Sadly my test ride on the C380+ was in a small city center and though having some open stretches of road, I didn't get up to 28MPH, so I appreciate that feedback!

Just to make sure, I did go test ride an 4.0 SL EQ again today (and left it in Turbo). It was a very windy day, and I think it finally struck me that it was too much like a regular bike. I didn't feel like I had an e-bike, and that shifts my mentality a bit about using the bike.. Now instead of exploring and enjoying the ride regardless of weather or wind, the SL presents itself as exercise / workout with a lot of factors to consider before riding. Certainly there are appropriate times for both activities, but I already have multiple non e-bikes I can use if I want dedicated exercise. And perhaps once my fitness level improves I'll find that aspect of the SL changes a bit, and its value will increase for me. I still love the portability of it and what it represents, I just don't think I'm ready for it.

LBS is closed until Tuesday, but should be an official Gazelle owner by then, assuming they can do the Prion to Nyon upgrade and help me out with some hard panniers / trunk bag.

Wonder if I can use the Specialized Coolcave hard panniers on the Gazelle..
 
@harr forgive me for not reading all the details of every post, but I did skim and noticed your mention of having a Carbon road bike.

if you are someone who likes data - uses a Garmin or wahoo or something - and wants data from your e-bike such as rider power input and cadence and such, verify you can get that from the Gazelle. Last I looked they used the Bosch motors, which are good… but they’re rather a closed system and don’t broadcast any data over ANT+ or BLE. Reportedly you can upgrade the Purion control unit to one which connects to an app on your phone and uploads data to Bosch’s website and potentially on to Strava from there. Not sure of cost or how well/easily it works.

Contrast to the Specialized bikes which do broadcast data and you can use your Garmin or whatever, or use the Specialized Mission Control app on your phone and it can sync to Strava.
 
I've read the latest posts from @Kless, @harr and @gpburdell with great interest. Let me make some comments.
  • Kless refers to the Como equipped with the obsolete BLOKS system; that system was a disaster and it was replaced to TCD-w by Specialized also for legacy e-bikes. Now, we have TCD-w2 (Mastermind). The TCD-w system is like a day vs night compared to the BLOKS
  • With a current Specialized e-bike, the user can freely adjust the assistance and the max motor power; you cannot do it for the Gazelle. For instance, I rode at 55/55% assistance upwind to switch to 35/35% assistance to ride with the tailwind on my Vado 6.0 yesterday. Discussing "battery charge consumption" is pointless with a Mission Control e-bike, where the motor is fully tuneable
  • The 3.0 versions are equipped with the least powerful motor until today
  • The matter of the "motor resistance unpowered" is highly subjective and it was busted long time ago. It is not the motor resistance, it is the air resistance, in the third power as the function of relative speed against the air. The e-bike rider is assisted with the power of a professional racer by the motor. Cut the motor off and you have an impression the motor offers the resistance...
  • The chain/derailleur system requires maintenance. It is efficient and easy to repair. The IGH/carbon belt theoretically need no maintenance. I only wonder how easy it is to remove and replace the rear wheel on the need to repair the flat :)
@harr it is clear to me you are looking for comfort (nothing wrong with that). Only let me defend the Specialized saddles. Any new user (you, me, Kless) is looking for ride comfort. All we new users think the comfort means a relaxed or upright riding position and a big soft saddle. While it is fine on short rides... The upright riding position means almost whole rider's body weight rests on their butt and spine. The rider notices on any longer ride the butt becomes sore, the hands get numb, the neck and the back ache. The rider is looking for more and more "more comfortable" saddles. Then, your thighs get chafed by the seat, leading to boils in the groin and other unpleasantries. I have gone through all of this :) Nowadays, I ride my bikes in more sporty forward position on narrow & firm Specialized saddles and you guess what? I'm riding Metric Centuries, Gran Fondos and Imperial Centuries without the pain. Not something the new user would notice for short rides! (I do not intend to convince anyone. It has been a 3-year long learning curve in my case, and my drawers are full of "comfortable" saddles! ;)).

Regarding what @gpburdell said: The Purion display on the Gazelle is a disgrace. I can see in my crystal ball @harr you swapping the Purion for the Nyon as soon as possible, cursing the GPS navigation features of the latter and dreaming you could connect your Wahoo to the Bosch E-Bike :)

I agree with you Harr Vado SL might not be the right e-bike for you. It is very "bikeish"! If a Vado SL were my first e-bike, I would be greatly disappointed. However, it is the last of my e-bikes, and now I fully appreciate the workout it gives me. When I switch to my full power Vado 6.0, the ride is too easy for me!

I think Harr you will end up with the Gazelle. If you do so, I will congratulate your choice as it indeed might be the e-bike to tick almost all the boxes for you!

1680499808211.png

From my Vado 6.0 ride of yesterday. 34 F, icy rainfall all the way, strong headwind on the outbound leg of the trip, 27.7 miles. Notice numerous improvements for a proper distribution of my body weight between the butt and arms, more aero position, and especially a narrow sporty Specialized saddle I bought on purpose ;) (I rode for 45 miles the day before on the same e-bike, a single battery ride).
 
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@harr forgive me for not reading all the details of every post, but I did skim and noticed your mention of having a Carbon road bike.

if you are someone who likes data - uses a Garmin or wahoo or something - and wants data from your e-bike such as rider power input and cadence and such, verify you can get that from the Gazelle. Last I looked they used the Bosch motors, which are good… but they’re rather a closed system and don’t broadcast any data over ANT+ or BLE. Reportedly you can upgrade the Purion control unit to one which connects to an app on your phone and uploads data to Bosch’s website and potentially on to Strava from there. Not sure of cost or how well/easily it works.

Contrast to the Specialized bikes which do broadcast data and you can use your Garmin or whatever, or use the Specialized Mission Control app on your phone and it can sync to Strava.

Thank you! I'm looking at upgrading to the Nyon display for that reason (among others), but this is not a deal-breaker for me. I have a dedicated cadence sensor, etc.. on the road bike, and that would be the primary "fitness" bike when I want it. The gazelle is more about enjoying the ride, exploration, transporting some camera gear and (re)-building some fitness that I unfortunately let get away from me once Covid hit.
 
I've read the latest posts from @Kless, @harr and @gpburdell with great interest. Let me make some comments.
  • Kless refers to the Como equipped with the obsolete BLOKS system; that system was a disaster and it was replaced to TCD-w by Specialized also for legacy e-bikes. Now, we have TCD-w2 (Mastermind). The TCD-w system is like a day vs night compared to the BLOKS
  • With a current Specialized e-bike, the user can freely adjust the assistance and the max motor power; you cannot do it for the Gazelle. For instance, I rode at 55/55% assistance upwind to switch to 35/35% assistance to ride with the tailwind on my Vado 6.0 yesterday. Discussing "battery charge consumption" is pointless with a Mission Control e-bike, where the motor is fully tuneable
  • The 3.0 versions are equipped with the least powerful motor until today
  • The matter of the "motor resistance unpowered" is highly subjective and it was busted long time ago. It is not the motor resistance, it is the air resistance, in the third power as the function of relative speed against the air. The e-bike rider is assisted with the power of a professional racer by the motor. Cut the motor off and you have an impression the motor offers the resistance...
  • The chain/derailleur system requires maintenance. It is efficient and easy to repair. The IGH/carbon belt theoretically need no maintenance. I only wonder how easy it is to remove and replace the rear wheel on the need to repair the flat :)
@harr it is clear to me you are looking for comfort (nothing wrong with that). Only let me defend the Specialized saddles. Any new user (you, me, Kless) is looking for ride comfort. All we new users think the comfort means a relaxed or upright riding position and a big soft saddle. While it is fine on short rides... The upright riding position means almost whole rider's body weight rests on their butt and spine. The rider notices on any longer ride the butt becomes sore, the hands get numb, the neck and the back ache. The rider is looking for more and more "more comfortable" saddles. Then, your thighs get chafed by the seat, leading to boils in the groin and other unpleasantries. I have gone through all of this :) Nowadays, I ride my bikes in more sporty forward position on narrow & firm Specialized saddles and you guess what? I'm riding Metric Centuries, Gran Fondos and Imperial Centuries without the pain. Not something the new user would notice for short rides! (I do not intend to convince anyone. It has been a 3-year long learning curve in my case, and my drawers are full of "comfortable" saddles! ;)).

Regarding what @gpburdell said: The Purion display on the Gazelle is a disgrace. I can see in my crystal ball @harr you swapping the Purion for the Nyon as soon as possible, cursing the GPS navigation features of the latter and dreaming you could connect your Wahoo to the Bosch E-Bike :)

I agree with you Harr Vado SL might not be the right e-bike for you. It is very "bikeish"! If a Vado SL were my first e-bike, I would be greatly disappointed. However, it is the last of my e-bikes, and now I fully appreciate the workout it gives me. When I switch to my full power Vado 6.0, the ride is too easy for me!

I think Harr you will end up with the Gazelle. If you do so, I will congratulate your choice as it indeed might be the e-bike to tick almost all the boxes for you!

View attachment 150871
From my Vado 6.0 ride of yesterday. 34 F, icy rainfall all the way, strong headwind on the outbound leg of the trip, 27.7 miles. Notice numerous improvements for a proper distribution of my body weight between the butt and arms, more aero position, and especially a narrow sporty Specialized saddle I bought on purpose ;) (I rode for 45 miles the day before on the same e-bike, a single battery ride).

Thank you for all of the thoughts and feedback! Had this been my first exposure to bike data, I think you probably would be right with respect to the Mastermind TCD/U vs Purion display. However, I spent a good 5-6 months using only the Wahoo Roam (V1), a heart monitor strap and cadence sensor (and Varia radar) on the Salsa road bike. Sure, I would love more data, but that level of detail is sufficient for what I do, and by the time I'm ready for more, I can always add a power meter to the road bike or pick up the SL EQ.

The unfortunate part of it is that I never got to test a Vado 5.0 (your 6.0 equivalent). There was no stock around, only Vado 4.0. Even here in late winter / early spring in the very cold Midwest, I could not find a 5.0. I very much expect the Vado 5.0 to perform as well as the Gazelle with the additional benefit of the Mastermind computer, but I'm not ready to make that investment sight unseen. :(
 
With Gazelle see if you can upgrade battery to 625wh. Not sure if frame supports it as its 1-2" longer. If not you can always buy extra 400Wh or 500wh battery later on special if you think you need extra range. Alternatively for long rides add cafe break in middle at topup battery then.
Would recommend 4A charger over 2A for this particular use.

Flats should be very rare with tires its running in saying that practice removing rear wheel at home at least once. I found with my wife's IGH nexus needed a couple additional tools.

In regards to simple Purion display I really like it as I prefer looking at scenery when riding than monitoring computer display. Have smart phone for that which I spend to much time as it is.
 
With Gazelle see if you can upgrade battery to 625wh. Not sure if frame supports it as its 1-2" longer. If not you can always buy extra 400Wh or 500wh battery later on special if you think you need extra range. Alternatively for long rides add cafe break in middle at topup battery then.
Would recommend 4A charger over 2A for this particular use.

Flats should be very rare with tires its running in saying that practice removing rear wheel at home at least once. I found with my wife's IGH nexus needed a couple additional tools.

In regards to simple Purion display I really like it as I prefer looking at scenery when riding than monitoring computer display. Have smart phone for that which I spend to much time as it is.
Thanks for the info!

I had planned on buying an extra 500Wh battery, but will wait until I have some longer rides in to evaluate how often that is needed. Will keep an eye out for specials on the battery! I believe this model comes with the 4A charger.
 
In regards to simple Purion display I really like it as I prefer looking at scenery when riding than monitoring computer display.
It is about the post-ride analysis...
Nice to have the Battery Range calculated during the ride though, especially if one cannot get the 710 Wh battery :D
 
I have been following this thread with interest, although just as an observer, at least up until now. I have a 2019 Vado 3.0, which is the equivalent of today's 4.0, with the exception being that mine came with the smaller 460wh battery. Most of my rides are less than 10 miles, but I enjoy going on longer organized rides and want to do more of those in the future. However, I found that my smaller battery can only handle 35 to 40 miles, and that is riding in Eco all the time except to climb hills. I recently found a brand-new 604wh battery at a great price so I now expect to be able to use the larger battery for longer rides up to 50 miles, while keeping the smaller battery as my main battery. I even ordered another battery cover in my bike's light blue color (Specialized calls it Storm Grey) so the batteries swap in and out seamlessly. My two cents is that adding the extra battery is a great idea and, even though they are not cheap, if you expect to do any longer rides, or you will be away from a power source and unable to recharge, it becomes a necessity.
 
I have been following this thread with interest, although just as an observer, at least up until now. I have a 2019 Vado 3.0, which is the equivalent of today's 4.0, with the exception being that mine came with the smaller 460wh battery. Most of my rides are less than 10 miles, but I enjoy going on longer organized rides and want to do more of those in the future. However, I found that my smaller battery can only handle 35 to 40 miles, and that is riding in Eco all the time except to climb hills. I recently found a brand-new 604wh battery at a great price so I now expect to be able to use the larger battery for longer rides up to 50 miles, while keeping the smaller battery as my main battery. I even ordered another battery cover in my bike's light blue color (Specialized calls it Storm Grey) so the batteries swap in and out seamlessly. My two cents is that adding the extra battery is a great idea and, even though they are not cheap, if you expect to do any longer rides, or you will be away from a power source and unable to recharge, it becomes a necessity.

Glad to hear that! I had been going back and forth on the extra battery.. I feel like I'll need it eventually, but was going to delay the purchase a while. Perhaps it makes sense to just get it now and have it, rather than wait it out and get into scenarios where I might run out of battery or have to stress about range.
 
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