Specialized Turbo Vado 4.0 E-Bike Review. Specialized has designed the Vado range to suit a variety of riders, including urban commuters, those embarking on relaxed all-day rides, and daily utility cyclists. With a geometry that inspires confidence in handling and promotes an upright riding position for improved visibility, the Vado range aims to provide a comfortable and enjoyable experience. The electric motor delivers seamless power to assist riders, while integrated lights and tech features enhanced functionality and ease of use. In this review, we will delve deeper into how the Turbo Vado 4.0 compares to the best electric bikes in the market and determine which types of riders will benefit most from its features and capabilities.
The Specialized Turbo Vado 4.0 features a sturdy and lightweight aluminium frame, with the battery neatly integrated into the downtube. This design choice helps maintain a clean aesthetic while ensuring optimal weight distribution. The Specialized 2.0 custom-tuned motor, providing 70 Nm of torque, is mounted low in the bottom bracket area, further enhancing the bike’s stability and handling.
For added security, the battery can be removed using a key, and the Mission Control app allows riders to disable the bike remotely. This combination of features provides peace of mind, particularly for urban commuters who may need to leave their bike unattended.
The Vado 4.0 comes equipped with a rear rack capable of carrying up to 27 kg (59 lbs), providing ample space for cargo during commutes or errands. For those who need even more storage capacity, a front rack can be added as an additional accessory.
Rider comfort is a priority with the Vado 4.0. The front fork offers 80mm of travel, which, combined with the suspension seat post and large volume tires, ensures a smooth and well-cushioned ride over rough or uneven road surfaces. This attention to comfort makes the Vado 4.0 an excellent choice for riders who frequently encounter varied terrain in their daily travels.
The Specialized Turbo Vado 4.0 features a SRAM NX 11-speed drivetrain, which utilizes a single-gear lever to simplify the riding experience. The ‘one by’ or ‘1x’ system eliminates the need for multiple front chainrings, making gear selection more intuitive and reducing the likelihood of cross-chaining. This streamlined design is particularly beneficial for riders who may be new to cycling or those who prefer a hassle-free experience when it comes to shifting gears.
To ensure reliable stopping power, the Vado 4.0 is equipped with SRAM Level brakes. These hydraulic brakes employ a 2-piston calliper design and are paired with 180mm 6-bolt discs, providing powerful and consistent braking performance in various conditions. This braking system contributes to the overall safety and confidence of the rider, making it easier to navigate urban environments and handle unexpected situations on the road.
Upon first encountering the Specialized Turbo Vado 4.0, its robust construction and size are immediately noticeable. The large downtube houses the removable battery, while the 2.3-inch wide tires emphasize the bike’s sturdy appearance. This chunky design conveys a sense of stability and durability that many riders will appreciate.
However, the solid build does come with a trade-off in terms of weight. At approximately 27 kg (60 lbs), the Vado 4.0 is significantly heavier than many other e-bikes on the market. Manoeuvring the bike at a standstill can be a bit cumbersome, but the built-in kickstand provides reliable support when the bike is stationary.
Starting up the Vado 4.0 is a breeze, with a single press on the handlebar-mounted control panel powering it on. By default, the bike is set to Sport mode with 50% power, which is adjustable using the Micro Tune mode. This feature allows riders to change the support and peak power in 10% increments while on the move, providing a customizable riding experience. Adjustments can be made easily using the remote switch located on the left side of the handlebars. This level of control enables riders to fine-tune their ride to match their preferences and adapt to varying conditions on the road.
The Specialized Turbo Vado 4.0 offers an impressive level of assistance from the moment you start pedalling. The motor provides instant power, making tasks like hill starts and acceleration in higher gears feel effortless. There is no noticeable lag from the motor, and as soon as you stop pedaling, the power assistance ceases, allowing you to coast or brake without any resistance.
The Vado 4.0 handles corners confidently, maintaining a stable and predictable line without the need for mid-corner adjustments. The 2-piston disc brakes provide effective stopping power, even when using just one finger on the brake lever.
Riders will appreciate the Vado’s upright riding position, which improves visibility when looking forward or behind, particularly in traffic. The wider 155mm saddle enhances comfort, ensuring a pleasant ride even in the upright position.
A suspension seat post helps absorb shocks from uneven surfaces or potholes, though some riders may need to adjust the tension for optimal performance. Similarly, the front suspension fork may require fine-tuning to ensure full utilization of its travel. With some adjustments, the Vado 4.0 can offer a comfortable and smooth ride over various road conditions.
Specialized Turbo Vado 4.0 provides a powerful, stable, and comfortable riding experience. Its instant motor assistance, confident handling, and adjustable suspension system make it a versatile choice for riders seeking a reliable e-bike for urban commutes or leisurely rides.
Specialized Turbo Vado 4.0 offers a comfortable and efficient riding experience, particularly when cruising at around 25 km/h (15.5 mph) in Sport mode. Maintaining a cadence of 70 to 80 RPM ensures smooth and light pedalling, allowing you to take full advantage of the motor assistance. The display’s cadence reading is a valuable feature that helps riders find and maintain their optimal pedalling rhythm.
The 1×11 gearing system simplifies shifting, making it more accessible for novice riders. With only one shifter, it’s easier to keep track of gear changes without the need for a gear indicator. While some riders may prefer a gear indicator, many will find that the straightforward nature of the 1×11 setup eliminates the need for one.
Specialized Turbo Vado 4.0 provides a comfortable and efficient riding experience that can be easily adapted by riders of varying skill levels. Its smooth assistance, intuitive gearing system, and helpful display features make it an excellent choice for both seasoned cyclists and beginners alike.
The Specialized Turbo Vado 4.0 offers several features that enhance the overall riding experience. The integrated lights are a standout feature, providing excellent visibility both day and night. While they may not be as powerful as some dedicated bike lights, they are more than sufficient for riding on dark lanes and ensuring that cars can see you. The convenience of not having to remove the lights when locking up the bike is an added bonus.
The Specialized Mission Control App allows you to lock the bike, disable the motor and activate the motion sensor alarm for added security. Registering your details on the app is required for this function, and the battery can also be removed with a key to deter theft.
Considering the bike’s weight, the ‘walking mode’ is a thoughtful addition. By pressing and holding the ‘+’ button, the bike moves at 4 km/h, making it easier to manoeuvre when walking with a loaded bike.
As for range, factors such as riding style, settings, and temperature can impact battery life. However, based on your experience using the bike around town and on longer rides with undulating terrain, you managed to cover 35 km (22 miles) using only 25% of the battery. This suggests a potential range of 95-130 km (60-80 miles) in similar conditions. Riding in Sport mode at 50% power and maintaining a 70-80 RPM cadence likely contributed to this impressive range.
It’s important to note that using the Turbo mode at 100% power will reduce the battery life while selecting Eco mode and 30% power can extend the range even further. Overall, the Specialized Turbo Vado 4.0 offers a versatile and enjoyable riding experience, complete with useful features and a commendable range that adapts to individual riding preferences and needs.
In summary, the Specialized Turbo Vado 4.0 has its merits and drawbacks. On one hand, it is well-made, features good integration, and offers a pleasant riding experience. However, its weight, cost ($4,000 / £4,300), and functionality can be concerning for some potential buyers.
At 27 kg (60 lbs), the Turbo Vado 4.0 is heavy, which can be an issue when lifting or transporting the bike. When comparing it to other e-bikes, the Benno Bikes – Boost E CX and Van Moof S3 have their unique selling points, such as higher load capacity and better anti-theft systems, respectively, and the Specialized Vado SL 4.0 offers a lighter alternative.
The Turbo Vado 4.0’s weight is a more significant concern in regions with a 25 km/h (15.5 mph) assisted speed limit, like the UK, as the extra power and battery capacity make more sense in areas where higher speeds are allowed. At higher speeds, wind resistance plays a larger role in the bike’s performance, so the extra power and capacity become more relevant.
Specialized Turbo Vado 4.0 offers a fun riding experience, but its weight may be a deal-breaker for some riders. When considering an e-bike purchase, it is essential to weigh the pros and cons of each option and determine which best suits your needs and preferences.
The Specialized Turbo Vado 4.0 e-bike comes with an impressive list of specifications, as detailed below:
- Sizes: S, M, L, XL
- Colours: Black, Cream, or Red
- Weight: approx. 27kg/60lbs
- Frame: E5 Aluminium, bottom bracket motor mount, fully integrated & lockable downtube battery, internal cable routing, lock and front rack mount
- Fork: SR Suntour MobieA32, 80mm travel, lockout, fender mounts, integrated light mount
- Seat Binder: Alloy, bolt-type, 34.9mm
- Stem: Specialized Flowset, 3D-forged alloy, 20-degree rise, 31.8mm clamp
- Handlebars: Specialized, alloy, 15-degree back sweep, 46mm rise, 31.8mm
- Saddle: Rivo Sport, steel rails, 155mm
- Seatpost: Spring suspension, alloy, 40mm travel, 30.9mm, 2-bolt clamp, 34.9mm sleeve
- Grips: Specialized Body Geometry Contour, lock-on
- Front & Rear Brake: SRAM Level, 2-piston calliper, hydraulic disc, 180mm 6-bolt rotors
- Rear Derailleur: SRAM NX, 11-speed
- Shift Levers: SRAM NX, 11-speed
- Cassette: SRAM PG-1130, 11-speed, 11-42t
- Chain: KMC e11S, 11-speed w/ Missing Link™
- Crankset: Custom alloy forged crankarms
- Chainrings: Praxis, 48T, 104BCD
- Pedals: Specialized Commuter w/ grip tape & reflectors
- Headlight: Lezyne Ebike Hecto E65, 210 Lumen, 12V
- Taillight: Spanninga Commuter Glow XE, 12V
- Kickstand: Specialized, 40mm mount
- Rack: Specialized, MIK HD interface, built-in pannier mounts, 27kg max load
- Fenders: Specialized DRYTECH, 65mm width, aluminium fender stays
- Rims: 650b disc, double-wall alloy, pinned, 32h
- Front Hub: Specialized alloy front hub disc, sealed cartridge bearings, 6-bolt, 15x100mm thru-axle, 32h
- Rear Hub: Specialized alloy front hub disc, sealed cartridge bearings, 6-bolt, 12x148mm thru-axle, 32h
- Spokes: DT Swiss Industry
- Tires: Pathfinder Sport Reflect, 650Bx2.3
- Inner Tubes: Schrader, 40mm valve
- Motor: Specialized 2.0, 70Nm torque, custom-tuned motor, 250W nominal
- UI/Remote: MasterMind TCD, w/handlebar remote, built-in anti-theft feature, Bluetooth® connectivity, customizable display pages
- Battery: Specialized U2-710, alloy casing, state of charge display, 710Wh
- Charger: Custom, 42V4A w/ Rosenberger plug, 100-240V
These specifications contribute to the Turbo Vado 4.0’s overall performance, providing a comfortable and enjoyable riding experience. However, as mentioned previously, potential buyers should consider the bike’s weight and cost when making a decision.
Specialized Turbo Vado 4.0 offers several advantages and some drawbacks for potential buyers to consider:
Reasons to Buy:
- Seamless power delivery: The bike’s motor provides smooth and immediate assistance, making it easy to ride up hills or maintain a consistent speed.
- Commanding riding position: The upright position allows riders to have good visibility and control, making it ideal for urban commuting or leisurely rides.
- Integration: The Turbo Vado 4.0 has a well-integrated design, including a lockable downtube battery, built-in lights, and anti-theft features.
- Built-in lights: The front and rear lights are integrated into the bike, providing safety and visibility without needing to add separate accessories.
Reasons to Avoid:
- Weight: At 27kg/60lbs, the Turbo Vado 4.0 is relatively heavy, which could make it difficult to lift or maneuver, especially when compared to other e-bikes.
- Cost: With a price of $4,000 / £4,300, the bike is a significant investment, and there are other options available with similar features at lower price points.
Taking these factors into account can help you make an informed decision about whether the Specialized Turbo Vado 4.0 is the right e-bike for your needs.
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