Find the right e-bike to get you zooming from A to B.
“This is the best e-bike I've ridden,” said one of our test riders.
The Turbo Vado is more of a commuter than a city bike – it’s better suited for riding further and faster. The weight-forward rider position is set up for efficient pedalling, assisted by a very capable motor that pushes to 40km/h. Despite the ride position and high top-tube that hinders mounting and dismounting, our testers thought the Vado handled well when travelling through congested city streets, it was confident and assured at slower speeds.
The motor was a favourite: powerful with smooth, consistent assistance, which made stop-start riding a breeze. There was also plenty of grunt for steep hills.
The Vado comes well-equipped with mudguards, chainring guard and built-in lights. It has a rear rack, though it’s a little narrow and not the easiest on which to mount bags. The motor controls are simple and very easy to use. You can even pair the bike to your phone and use an app to adjust assistance settings and record rides. If you mix city cruising with longer distance riding, the Vado is an excellent choice.
Note: the less expensive but similar Vado 3.0 model ($4800) comes with the lower torque (51Nm) 1.2 E motor. While we expect the bike to ride very similarly to the 4.0, its hill-climbing performance will be lower.
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No obvious bad points.
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)
Bike (50% of overall score)
S / M / L / XL
11 / Trigger
I ride this bike to work daily and have done for 8 months. This is my second e-bike. This bike is a joy to ride. I like its responsiveness, the ability to adjust the settings on the app, the wide tyres that navigate bumpy paths well, the light and the mid drive hub which provides good balance to the bike.
It is a bit clunky changing gears when going up hill.
Yes, I recommend this product.