Posted March 30, 2021 in Electric Bikes, Cycling, Product Reviews by eriksbikeshop
First, there was the Turbo, then along came the Vado, the Como, the Levo, and then the Kenevo. All of these bikes were revolutions in their categories with amazingly powerful motors, smooth and natural motor feel, quiet operation, and the range to take you where you want to go. But, that wasn’t enough for many riders. So, the engineers at Specialized set out to create something even more special!
What resulted is the next generation of eBike motor, the Specialized SL motor. This motor, designed in California and built in Switzerland, delivers the assistance that riders want with an amazing battery range. We first saw this motor on the Specialized Turbo Creo SL Electric Road Bike (eRoad) and then the Turbo Levo SL Electric Mountain Bike (eMTB) on the dirt.
This innovation gave us pedal-assist ebikes that rode and handled just like acoustic bikes but still amplified our human power to flatten hills and calm headwinds, virtually, of course. These amazing motors feel very natural when they engage and apply assistance without the herky-jerky power jumps that are experienced on some other pedal-assist systems. The assist is designed to perfectly match your cadence to apply an almost perfectly natural power curve from slow speeds all the way up to the full 28mph. And, when you are riding without the motor engaged there is zero drag on the system!
And now, pavement pounders have a version all their own, the Specialized Turbo Vado SL!
Fun fact, Vado means “I Go” and with a top assisted speed of 28mph and 40% lighter than the Vado with a range of up to 120 miles with the Range Extender Battery, the new Vado SL will have you saying VADO every time you ride!
So, what’s the big deal? Isn’t there already a Turbo Vado in the lineup? YUP! But there are some big differences!
First, the Vado SL is an E-bike with a motor and a battery that is as light as 33 pounds! This opens up e-bikes to so many more riders! Most other e-bikes weigh 50 pounds or more so they aren’t very convenient to own when you aren’t on the ground riding them. If you live above the ground floor and need to bring your bike up and down stairs, the Vado SL will be far more convenient! If you are loading your bike on and off of a bike carrier, the Vado SL will be easier to load and allow it to be compatible with far more bike carriers. And, if you are someone who uses multiple modes of transportation, this lighter package will make loading onto buses or into trains much easier with the Vado SL.
That extra weight and bulk also have a noticeable impact on how the bike rides. Specialized designs all of their e-bikes as an entire unit, not just a bike with a motor and battery bolted on. This is even more noticeable in the Vado SL! By slimming down the motor and the battery and designing everything as a system, the Vado SL rides just like a non-electric bike! As you maneuver this bike around the city and bike trails, you won’t even notice that it is an e-bike (until you look at the speedometer).
The all-new Vado SL is You, X2. I know, that’s kind of corny, but it’s true! The Specialized SL 1.1 drive system takes your input and doubles it! Whatever you put in, you’ll get twice that out of the 240watt motor. This means that you can still achieve 28mph, you just have to work a little harder for it than the Vado, but remember that you save a tremendous amount of weight!
You can be completely confident while you ride your Vado SL. The geometry of the Turbo Vado SL and the high-volume tires will keep you comfortable and in control at all times and in almost any condition that you want to ride in. All Vado SL models feature the stopping power of hydraulic disc brakes and the safety of front and rear lights. You will have even more visibility due to the reflective decals on the frame and reflective strips on the tires.
Speaking of confidence, Vado SL 5.0 comes equipped with a Future Shock 1.5 which suspends the rider, not the bike. This amazing suspension system keeps the front wheel in firm contact with the ground and isolates the rider from all of those vibrations and impacts that take their toll on the rider, all without adding the bulk and added weight of traditional fork suspension systems. Take a deep dive over on our Future Shock Blog.
Vado SL adds confidence, not only in how the bike handles but also in how the bike handles long rides. Right out of the box, Vado SL has a range of up to 80 miles on a full charge due to the 320Wh internal battery. You can add an extra 40 miles to that range by adding the compact, removable, Range Extender Battery. This pushes the range out to up to 120 miles! Add more range extenders for even more range!
The final confidence booster provided by the Vado SL comes from its companion app, Mission Control. Connect your Vado SL to the app on your mobile device and you can fine-tune the settings and set up Smart Control. Smart Control lets you set the length of the ride and how much battery power you want to be left at the end and Mission Control does the rest. You just ride and Mission Control will get you through the ride with plenty of juice to spare!
1x shifting adds simplicity to the Vado SL and Body Geometry grips and saddles provide one more layer of comfort to riders.
So, who is the Vado SL for, and who will be happier on a Vado? Review the chart below to find out.
Vado – So, if you are looking for an e-bike that gets you up to speed quickly and zips you along with less effort from you, then the Vado is a great choice!
Vado SL – If you’re looking for an e-bike that amplifies the hard work that you are putting into the bike to take you from busting your hump at 17mph to busting your hump at 28mph, all while delivering a ride quality that feels like you have no motor or battery underneath you, the Vado SL is perfect for you!
Turbo Vado SL is now available in step-through models! The 5.0 model is available in the Equipped Package which includes front and rear fenders and a rear rack while the 4.0 model is available in both the equipped version and bike only!
Visit your local ERIK’S Location to take one on a test ride today. Experience for yourself what the hype is all about! Or check them out online here. Before you know it you’ll be cruising by bike everywhere because it’s just so much FUN to ride the Specialized Vado SL Electric Bike!