Undoubtedly one of the biggest drawbacks of electric-assist bicycles is their immense weight, and while it does make for a more stable ride, it makes boarding trains, climbing stairs in office or apartment buildings, and other aspects of commuter life generally more difficult. Specialized aims to change that via the introduction of a new e-bike range — the Turbo Vado SL 4.0 and 5.0 — that’s reportedly 40% lighter than the average model, tipping the scales at just 33lbs.
Both models are built around Specialized’s E5 aluminum frame and feature the company’s SL 1.1 custom lightweight motor that offers 180% assistance and 28mph speeds, and a fully-integrated 320Wh downtube battery with an optional Range Extender that’s good for 120 miles — more than enough to commute back and forth from San Francisco to Oakland, every day of the workweek. Both also sport integrated lighting and internally-routed cables. The Vado SL is also available in an EQ spec, that comes with several commuter-friendly accessories like a luggage rack and fenders. The higher-specced 5.0 also gets a Future Shock 1.5, a carbon fiber fork with a Boost thru-axle, 12-speed Shimano SLX shifter, and an integrated Turbo Connect display. Pricing starts at $3,350 for the SL 4.0 and goes up to $4,500 for the SL 5.0 EQ.
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