Comfy alternative to the well-known Vado SL

Also available with comfort frame now: the Turbo Vado SL Step-Through from Specialized


About a year after the introduction of the quite light and sporty e-bike Turbo Vado SL now a second variant with comfort frame follows: Specialized markets this new model as the Turbo Vado SL Step-Through, which is identical in terms of the electric drive. However, the comfortable frame in trapezoidal shape is new, which should allow easy on and off the bike. The fact that the bike still looks quite sporty is also due to the slim design — which is a result of the technical components.

Lightweight mid-motor

So here again the quite compact and lightweight SL 1.1 mid-motor is used, which is only available from Specialized and was developed in cooperation with Mahle. With a peak power of 240 watts and a torque of about 35 Nm, the motor offers less power than comparable mid-motors, but this is quite sufficient for urban use. In return, you get a relatively lightweight bike that visually hides the electric drive visually. The battery, which is fixed installed in the down tube and has a capacity of 320 Wh, also contributes to this. The range can also be extended via an optional range extender – an additional battery in the form of a bottle – which offers another 160 Wh of capacity. The drive system is controlled via a compact switch on the top tube, which displays the battery status and the selected drive mode. To change the mode, there is also a button on the handlebar grip. A display is deliberately omitted here, optionally you can fall back on the own app of Specialized, which offers more functions.

Two equipment versions

As with the regular Turbo Vado SL, the Step-Through is also available in two model ranges: Top model is the Turbo Vado SL Step-Through 5.0 EQ, which comes with a complete Commuter equipment of mudguards, rack and lighting system from Lezyne. Here a Shimano XT derailleur with 12 gears is used, the hydraulic disc brakes are from Tektro type HD-R51. Also worth mentioning on this model is the innovative Future Shock suspension: this is mounted above the head tube and offers up to 20 mm of suspension, which is intended to increase ride comfort. As the only color scheme is the 5.0 EQ the finish Brushed Aluminum to choose from.

Specialized Turbo Vado SL Step Through 5 EQ Brushed Aluminium
Step-Through 5.0 EQ in Brushed Aluminium

A bit simpler and cheaper are the Turbo Vado SL Step-Through 4.0 models equipped. First and foremost, you have to do without the Future Shock suspension here, also the gear shift from Shimano’s Deore series offers only 10 gears. Likewise, the hydraulic disc brakes are somewhat simpler, here the model Tektro HD-R290 is used. In addition to an EQ model, which is also equipped with mudguards, rack and lighting system from Lezyne (with a somewhat simpler headlight), the 4.0 models are also available quite sporty without mudguards and rack, but still with lighting system. Color-wise, you have the choice between White Sage or Raspberry at the 4.0 EQ and Limestone and Cast Umber at the “naked” 4.0.

All bikes of the new Step-Through model series are available in four frame sizes each. The prices correspond to the already available Vado SL models: So the 5.0 EQ costs quite lush 4,599 euros, while the 4.0 EQ for 3,499 euros as well as the simple 4.0 for 3,299 euros are significantly cheaper.

The technically identical Specialized Vado SL 4.0 had already tested in detail. The corresponding article can be read here.




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