Specialized Vado Turbo SL 5.0 EQ - please help confirm my choice!

Lancer X

New member
Local time
6:12 AM
Joined
Mar 8, 2023
Messages
6
Location
Western NJ, USA
Hi folks. I'm a lapsed road cyclist. A bout of back problems and iron deficiency anemia had me off the wagon and 40 pounds heavier. With these health problems behind me, I'm ready to get back into shape and out in the big blue room!

I have made the decision to go e-bike, and to use it to commute to work as often as possible. My ride is about 10 miles each way, and hilly - 735ft of climbing home, not too bad. Reason behind e-bike choice is getting to work quicker and perhaps a bit less sweaty, but still staying active.

Typical recreational/training rides in our area are about 500-1000 ft of climbing per 10 miles ridden. At least some of the ride is usually improved but unpaved trails.

I am set on a Specialized Turbo SL bike - I'm convinced that they are the current tech leaders, at least for what I'm looking for.

TL;DR Here, finally is my question: Given the riding I've described, do you agree that the Turbo Vado SL is the best type of bike for me? Or should I maybe stay with a rode bike and chase the Turbo Creo SL road style platform?? I am looking primarily for ride comfort and flexibility. (Also hate that the Creo doesn't have built in lights for safety.)

I have already ordered the Turbo Vado SL 5.0 EQ, but haven't picked it up yet. Just want to be super sure - this is a big investment. Advice welcome!!
 
That is one awesome bike. My eyes did this o_O a little when I saw the $5,250 price, but then I remembered it's your money, not mine. :cool:

To offset the price though, we can tell they put a lot of thought into the design:
93922-30_VADO-SL-50-EQ-BRSYYEL-BLKREFL_HERO

  • Look at how that front fender wraps all the way down low enough to actually protect the feet, and pant cuffs; not just the face like everyone else does?
  • Look at the enormous granny gears on that cassette; well-done! (especially for your hills)
  • Elegant frame shape; looks like a "regular bike"
  • Display is integrated into the cross tube; nice touch.
  • It hasn't got much battery or motor power, but since it's a mid drive, I don't think you need it. (it takes advantage of the mechanical gears) As I see it, you'll mostly use the motor in combination with the low gears to make the hill climbs a lot easier. For the downhill parts, you won't need the motor at all.
  • The lighting can literally be a life-saver; you're right to prefer this model
  • Skip the hunched over road bike. Those years are behind you with back problems. This one has enough of a forward lean to give you some power, but not so much that your neck will be killing you.
  • The rack looks a bit on the light duty side, but most of what we carry on bikes isn't that heavy. Even panniers and a couple bags of groceries wouldn't make it too bad.
  • You may want to add a suspension seatpost to minimize the hits to your spine. Depends on what your roads are like. (mine are lousy)
Bottom Line: If you can afford it, go for it. (y) Invest in a good U-lock and maybe insure it, since it costs as much as a nice used car.

PS - I'm riding an Aventon Level.2, which costs less than half as much, but the design on that Specialized bike pretty much justifies the price hike, especially in a hilly area. In particular, the MicroTune Assist Adjustment is a nice feature. You can dial in just as much assistance as you want. It's something that the Aventon app currently lacks.
 
I noticed they say it is light enough to carry, but the weight doesn't seem to be in the specs...

If it is light enough to go on a regular strap-on bike rack, that is a HUGE advantage. Those of us with 50+ lb. eBikes sometimes have a challenge to find a car rack solution that doesn't cost more than the bike...
 
I noticed they say it is light enough to carry, but the weight doesn't seem to be in the specs...

If it is light enough to go on a regular strap-on bike rack, that is a HUGE advantage. Those of us with 50+ lb. eBikes sometimes have a challenge to find a car rack solution that doesn't cost more than the bike...
The EQ version with the fenders and rack are about 36-37 lbs. The naked version is 33 lbs.

Once I've lost 40 lbs of me, then I can start worrying about how much the bike weighs, hehe. All of the YouTube reviewers commented that it's easily light enough to ride with no assist.
 
That is one awesome bike. My eyes did this o_O a little when I saw the $5,250 price, but then I remembered it's your money, not mine. :cool:

Yeah, I may have gone a little crazy with feature creep... The new Mastermind display and the cool yellow color sucked me in vs the older model. :p

  • You may want to add a suspension seatpost to minimize the hits to your spine. Depends on what your roads are like. (mine are lousy)

I'm wondering about that too. Looking forward to the shock on the handlebar - we'll see how the seat feels after a little riding.

Bottom Line: If you can afford it, go for it. (y) Invest in a good U-lock and maybe insure it, since it costs as much as a nice used car.

PS - I'm riding an Aventon Level.2, which costs less than half as much, but the design on that Specialized bike pretty much justifies the price hike, especially in a hilly area. In particular, the MicroTune Assist Adjustment is a nice feature. You can dial in just as much assistance as you want. It's something that the Aventon app currently lacks.

Yes, you can customize this display, so when riding for fitness I can display my heart rate and cadence say, and MicroTune to keep my HR in the right zone. Pretty cool.

Thanks for your advice and encouragement!
 
By the way, did you check out the Turbo Como? It doesn't look as sporty, but it's more upright, has a handy step-through frame, better-integrated lighting, electronic anti-theft protection, belt drive with IGH instead of the messy chain arrangement. It's also $2k cheaper.
 
I hear you about losing weight. There's no point in counting ounces or pounds on the bike, when the engine is so heavy.

I'm working on losing 40 lbs. too. The trick for me will be cutting out the calories from drinking alcohol...
 
I ordered the same exact bike just prior to Specialized discounting it, but still got the discount from my dealer. Bike arrived last week. I won't be riding it for awhile, since our roads are still ice and snow covered, but that's fine.

I wanted the SL version because I bought the SL version of the Specialized Turbo Levo mtb last summer and loved it. The SL Levo was only a touch heavier and rode just like my other full suspension mtbs, so I ride it most off the time without even bothering to use the motor, but the motor was sure nice to have when I wanted it. As a result, I got a ridiculous amount of miles and rides on a single battery charge.

I wanted a town and pavement bike that would let me do the same and I think this SL Vado will do the trick. Actually prefer this last year's 5.0 version to the new 5.0 SL version because I prefer the SRAM GX on my version to the current Shimano SLX/XT and also prefer the yellow color. :)
 
I actually have the yellow one - also loved the color. And, I made my purchase less than a week before the price dropped by $750, which is sickening.
 
Sorry to hear that. Ouch.

That might have been my fate, too, but my husband did his usual "can we get a discount?" thing with our shop, so they called their Specialized rep to see if there was anything in the pipeline form Specialized and the rep got the go ahead to give us the discount before it hit the website. That was only a couple of days before the discount went online, though. For what it's worth, I would have payed the higher price, anyway, just to get the specs I wanted. The savings, though, will cover my usual charging out of some the stock parts like seat, bars, pedals, tires and so on to better suit me.
 
I actually have the yellow one - also loved the color. And, I made my purchase less than a week before the price dropped by $750, which is sickening.
OUCH!
That is worth reaching out to customer service and throw yourself on their mercy. I've had good luck with that approach.

For example, I bought my Lectric XP Lite, then a week later, they started a promotion in which a nice folding lock & mount were included. I wrote, asked them could they please send me the lock and I would be forever grateful and would spread the word about what a stand-up company they are.

They said: "Sure." and sent it along.
********
Back to you.

If they say no, look into their return policy. You could just return the bike and re-buy it? I'm sure they don't want to deal with THAT. (in fact, if they say no, I would let them know I intend to return the bike and re-buy it, and I bet they will re-consider their position ;-) )
 
Back
Top