Specialized Turbo Vado 3.0 electric bike review

Specialized Turbo Vado 3.0 electric bike review

For example, the Turbo System Lock allows you to disable your bike’s motor and implement a motion detection alarm. It doesn’t stop the bike from being able to be ridden, however, so it’s not a replacement for a physical lock, but the alarm might be enough to deter would-be thieves. 

From the Connect Display, you can also control the integrated lights, which along with the rear MIK rack, mudguards, chain cover and kickstand are the main included accessories that really help make this bike worth the money. Additionally, Specialized has pledged to keep parts available for this bike and others in the Turbo range for 10 years, which is great to see in an industry where model after model is often churned out year on year without much thought to maintenance or repair. 

The Vado 3.0 has a mid-range Shimano Alivio 9-speed drivetrain which is reliable and robust enough for a heavy use bike. The hydraulic disc brakes come with 180mm rotors which help to provide excellent stopping power – even in the wet. 

This bike didn’t skip a beat, even with loaded pannier bags. The battery range was great too, even with the incessant wind. I managed to get just under 55 miles out of one charge on the Sport and Turbo settings (second-highest and highest) on rolling terrain. 

Of course, I can understand some trepidation about the cost – and this is the cheaper model in the range – but you do get a lot of value for your money. If you spend a bit more you can get a higher spec groupset and motor on the 4.0 and 5.0 models, but I think the components on the 3.0 are well suited to its designed purpose. 

Where can I buy it?

You can buy the Turbo Vado 3.0 from Specialized Concept Stores online and across the country and in other bike shops. 

How does it arrive?

Mostly built, simply adjust the saddle height and handlebars and fit the pedals to get riding.


Comfortable, versatile and with everything you want from an electric bike. Using it purely as a short trip vehicle almost seems like it’s a waste on such an enjoyable bike, but whatever you use it for, you’ll have fun.