Updated 28 Sep 2017

Specialized

Turbo Vado 3.0

Bottom line: The Specialized Turbo Vado 3.0 is a very good bike with a very good motor system. It is more suited to riding around town or commuting than on cycle trails.

Turbo Vado 3.0
Consumer recommended
85
Avg price

$5500

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Test results

Overall score
Very good
85
Motor system
Very good
8.5/10
Bike style
Very good
8.5/10

Good points

  • Excellent motor responsiveness.
  • Good motor assistance climbing hills.
  • Good motor assistance at speed.
  • Motor assists to 32 km/h.
  • Excellent display and controls.
  • Good battery.
  • Bike is excellent to pedal quickly.
  • Bike has very good slow speed balance.
  • Bike is very good on rough surfaces.
  • Has rear rack, metal mudguards and a rear-mount kickstand.
  • Has built in lights.
  • Has hydraulic disc brakes.
  • Has a suspension fork.
  • Comes in full and mid-step frames.

But

  • Rear rack is narrow.
  • Doesn't have a frame lock.

Extended review

This e-bike had the best motor system we tested. It was smooth to start and ride, and assistance stopped the instant pedalling ceased. All testers appreciated the assistance up to 32km/h and thought the ride position was “just upright enough”. The Turbo Vado was easy to pedal and glided up hills with minimum rider effort. It was stable and balanced coming back down, with smooth and powerful disc brakes and an excellent suspension fork to soak up the bumps. The controller and display are excellent to use. $5500 isn’t cheap – you certainly pay for quality and attention to detail – but we thought it was worth it. The only real negative to note is the small rear rack platform.

How we test

Each e-bike was taken on a test route by two riders. The 5km route in and around Wellington’s CBD included city traffic, fast flat roads, hills, kerbs, wooden bridges and a busy waterfront path shared with pedestrians.

We also put the e-bikes through a gruelling 20km route around Wellington’s Wadestown and Northland suburbs. The main challenge was climbing a 2km-long hill five times at a steady 20km/h (a kilometre of vertical ascent) and descending the same twisty narrow road between climbs. It also included a short, steep section of rough path with a narrow barrier negotiated at walking pace, an undulating 5km of suburban streets, and a steep descent requiring brakes to keep the e-bike to the 50km/h speed limit.

Our riding tests, along with a static assessment of the features and functions of each e-bike, were used to score the performance of the motor system and the bike. Overall score includes:

Motor system (50% of overall score)

  • starting, stopping and responsiveness (30% of motor system score)
  • hill climbing assistance (30%)
  • controller and display (20%)
  • high-speed assistance (10%)
  • battery and charging (10%).

Bike (50% of overall score)

  • uphill and slow riding performance, ease of mounting and dismounting, off-bike handling (50% of bike score)
  • downhill and fast flat riding stability, safety and comfort (30%)
  • comfort and safety on bumpy and rough surfaces (20%).

Key data

Model

Avg price
$5500
Type
Commuter
Frame style (and alternate)
Mid-step (full frame)
Sizes available (tested size in brackets)
SM / (MD) / LG / XL
Wheel size
700mm
Motor
Brose
Motor location
Mid
Power (W)
250
Battery (Wh)
460
Battery location
Down tube - built-in
Removable battery
Key
Max assist speed (km/h)
32
Hand throttle
no
Tyre width (mm)
47

More test results (/10)

Motor - Responsiveness
9.7
Motor - Hill climbing
7.5
Motor - Interface
9.0
Motor - Speed assistance
7.8
Motor - Battery
7.3
Bike - Slow speed
8.3
Bike - Riding fast
9.3
Bike - Rough terrain
8.0

Features

Mudguards
Metal
Kickstand
Rear mount
Rear rack (l x w cm)
40 x 9
Rear wheel (Frame) lock
No
Gears
10 / Trigger
Suspension fork
yes
Suspension seatpost
no
Lights
yes
Brakes
Disc (hydraulic)

More Info

Notes
-

Member reviews