Known Issues & Problems with Specialized Products + Help, Solutions & Fixes

Ann M.

Moderator
No ebike is perfect, this is a thread dedicated to sharing known issues or problems with electric bikes from Specialized as well as any help and solutions you know of. Sometimes that means a DIY fix and other times it can mean a recall, software update or part replacement by a dealer.

Please be respectful and constructive with feedback, this is not a space for hate speech. In many cases, representatives from the company will see feedback and use it to improve their product. In the end, the goal is to enjoy riding and help each other go further and be safer.
 

jwb

Member
So, what do you want to know that isn't already covered in the threads of this forum? Are you trying to build up an FAQ or something?

The main things that seem like outright defects are that the smaller charger doesn't work correctly with the battery on the base Turbo (I'm not sure about the others), and that the brakes are all noisy and can only be fixed by changing the brand of the pads. There also seems to be a fairly high rate of having to replace the controllers, according to reports. I had to replace mine once already in 6 months of ownership.
 

Douglas Ruby

Well-Known Member
General issues for the Turbo family that seem common after 4 years:
  1. Handlebar Controller with thumb joystick is fragile and not easy to use.
  2. Formula C1 brakes on base Turbo and pre-2016 Turbo X are noisy.
  3. Firmware updates for all models are infrequent and difficult for dealers to do.
  4. Still some bugs in the Turbo SC (691Wh) battery (odometer reset).
  5. Base Turbo and pre-2016 Turbo X w/200W motor are not true 28 mph S-pedelec (top speed around 42 kmh)
  6. Intermittent battery failures are not infrequent. Is this an issue due to the very stiff frame on the base Turbo and Turbo-S?
  7. Battery replacement requires reprogramming the odometer settings, top speed (in US), wheel size (at minimum).
  8. Rear wheel spoke failures on all models of Turbo. The wheel is VERY heavy and the spokes tend to fail fairly frequently.
 

Ann M.

Moderator
@jwb, it's a way to corral some of this knowledge in one place when a brand has been around for a while or has a lot of models. It can be challenging to search for the info. Take a look at Douglas' post and thank you for what you shared, it helps :)
 
One major concern is news that Specialized will not continue manufacturing batteries for the Turbo S series (691Wh). As Specialized has put all smartness into the battery (and it is a sealed box) it is not obvious that it can be rebuilt by a 3rd party, essentially rendering a completely useless bike once the original battery is exhausted.
 

eagamer80

Active Member
In my experience I suffered these problems after the bike was less than 1000km (620 miles). Base Turbo FLR.
1- Spokes starting to pop out 1 by 1 in the rear wheel. After the 4th came out I sent it to the dealer and they sent me a whole new wheel (no problems so far with the new wheel after 300km (180miles), but I am waiting for it.
2- The LCD panel back light died after 200 miles of use (was replaced, so far so good).
3- I am pretty concerned about the battery. What will happen when this one is depleted next year? Will I be able to buy a new one from Specialized or I have to trow away the bike into the metal container?
4- The bike is tremendously stiff and heavy. I see no future to this kind of e-bikes unless they use double suspension frames.
5- The bike diagnosis should be able to be performed also by the users. Usually the bike stores have no interest in doing this kind of software thing. Diagnosing a bike is not complicated (if you're allowed to update your phone's firmware, why not your bike?). You should apply the concept of IoT to your e-bike products. Let the users have more freedom to choose what to do with the stuff we buy.
 

Douglas Ruby

Well-Known Member
5- The bike diagnosis should be able to be performed also by the users. Usually the bike stores have no interest in doing this kind of software thing. Diagnosing a bike is not complicated (if you're allowed to update your phone's firmware, why not your bike?). You should apply the concept of IoT to your e-bike products. Let the users have more freedom to choose what to do with the stuff we buy.
My experience parallels your except my LBS was willing to spend the time to learn how to maintain the bike. The underlying issue is that the Turbo firmware was not designed to be user maintainable. IMO, the support tools were just a bunch of development tools designed to be used in the lab, thrown together for the dealers because end users were likely to bork their bikes without the same training afforded dealers.

I worked in embedded microprocessor networking for a living. The diagnostic cable, sw tools, and support system offered to the dealers looked like the kind of system we used for switches and routers in the early 1990s...over 20 years ago. There should be a nice web based interface so that a PC, Mac, or smartphone could connect through a USB interface and update from an aporopriate set of files directly from the net.
 

eagamer80

Active Member
[QUOTE="...The diagnostic cable, sw tools, and support system offered to the dealers looked like the kind of system we used for switches and routers in the early 1990s...over 20 years ago. There should be a nice web based interface so that a PC, Mac, or smartphone could connect through a USB interface and update from an aporopriate set of files directly from the net.[/QUOTE]

I don't know what software your dealer was using, but I managed to get the tool and the software and it was easier to use than iTunes. You just connect the tool USB cable to the laptop, the other extreme is the cable that goes to the battery (you need the battery be on the bike, not standalone). You wait until windows (Vista or 7) recognize the COM port and voilá!, the hard part is over. Then you open the tool software and it has a GUI which is very dumb to use with only a few options that you could change.

I would totally agree with you if the procedure is as you've described it was in your case, but is strange that you mention that had no easy to use interface, may be the older versions of the diagnosis tool were less user friendly.

But as others said, as Specialized is concentrating all the intelligence of the bike in the battery without LCD screen or user interface (except the app for iOS), then is logical that they don't want you to get hands on the "old" diagnosing tool. Basically they don't want to support it.
 

Douglas Ruby

Well-Known Member
What I saw at the dealer when he was using the diagnostics to try and get a report on the various health and firmware versions of the original 468 Wh non blue tooth battery, motor, and controller was not an easy to use GUI. He had to reboot and try to reconnect numerous times before it would work. Later, the dealer himself managed to have my first TURBO S battery turn itself into a paperweight during the update process. His experience with other vendors bikes (I think the iZIP family) was that they were easier to diagnose and support. Stromer's ST2 (a direct competitor with the Turbo S) was designed from the beginning to be able to be diagnosed and updated in the field by the user rather than the dealer.

Having said all of this, I have to keep in mind that the Turbo introduction dates back to 2012/13 and the original bikes had batteries without bluetooth and with a different handlebar control system. Just as the digital interfaces on automobiles have become part of their competitive landscape, the requirements for digital integration for e-bikes has evolved GREATLY. With the kind of smarts built in to new bikes like Vado, one would hope that the support tools and update process will be more robust.
 

James Kohls

Active Member
Never forget, the Rosenberger interface is magnetic! Stuffed my battery in my backpack while taking the Turbo X on the bus today. Got to my destination and eBike wouldn't turn on. Did the recommended remove battery and power on/off removed from the bike, but nothing worked. What happened? A small washer in the bottom of my backpack had stuck to the top of the Rosenberger plug. Then, upon installing the battery, the washer connected itself to the inside connector in the down tube. Luckily, this didn't create a short of some type. But it was enough to cause the system to fail powering up. Removed washer, bike works. Good luck.
 

Senseiwai

Member
One major concern is news that Specialized will not continue manufacturing batteries for the Turbo S series (691Wh). As Specialized has put all smartness into the battery (and it is a sealed box) it is not obvious that it can be rebuilt by a 3rd party, essentially rendering a completely useless bike once the original battery is exhausted.
Hej Jan!

Where did you get that news from? My battery died last week after full charge from daily commute. I went to the shop this weekend and they said they will take a look today if they can get it to start, otherwise they will send new battery from HQ i Netherland. I hope they still have some 691Wh battery in stock.
 
Hej Jan!

Where did you get that news from? My battery died last week after full charge from daily commute. I went to the shop this weekend and they said they will take a look today if they can get it to start, otherwise they will send new battery from HQ i Netherland. I hope they still have some 691Wh battery in stock.
It appears that my fears were incorrect. Specialized seems committed to deliver batteries at least until 2021: https://electricbikereview.com/forum/threads/turbo-batteries-2013-and-beyond.3478/

Sounds worrying that your battery died. Where did you go to get it fixed? Specialized Concept Store in Hammarby sjöstad?
 

Senseiwai

Member
It appears that my fears were incorrect. Specialized seems committed to deliver batteries at least until 2021: https://electricbikereview.com/forum/threads/turbo-batteries-2013-and-beyond.3478/

Sounds worrying that your battery died. Where did you go to get it fixed? Specialized Concept Store in Hammarby sjöstad?
Thanks! Yes, Sjöstaden! They have couple of Vado 25 version and they told me 45 higher end comming in jul-aug. ;). They called me yesterday they are going to lend me a 500w ish battery meanwhile they send my battery to HQ in Holland for replacement.
 

ronin2000

Member
Spoke with a rep yesterday, she assured me warranty batteries will have a different supply vs retail. They will maintain parts for 5 years as they do for all bikes they sell even one model year runs. But then again I’m in the US so YMMV.
 

jccfeng

New Member
I purchased a new Turbo Levo Expert May 4, 2017 and received it May 10. I've been enjoying my rides. However, when climbing or when there is some tension, there is an intermittent click noise coming from within the motor casing. It sounds like something is making contact with the plastic casing although the motor seems to be running fine. I took the bike in to the dealer, but the technician there was not able to fix the problem after adjusting and tightening any of the screws on the bike. He did indicate that there is a tool needed to open up the motor casing which the shop does not have. Although the bike is running well, the click noise is both concerning and intolerable. Has anyone run into this type of symptom before? Any solutions?
 

Ann M.

Moderator
@jccfeng, sounds like your dealer needs to invest in all the tools to work on your mid drive motor or contact their Rep for help. I suggest you be proactive and contact Specialized USA directly at 877-808-8154. The regional rep may be able to help out at that shop with diagnostics and tools. Don't delay, what might be a simple repair now could become more complicated if you wait.
 

eagamer80

Active Member
I purchased a new Turbo Levo Expert May 4, 2017 and received it May 10. I've been enjoying my rides. However, when climbing or when there is some tension, there is an intermittent click noise coming from within the motor casing. It sounds like something is making contact with the plastic casing although the motor seems to be running fine. I took the bike in to the dealer, but the technician there was not able to fix the problem after adjusting and tightening any of the screws on the bike. He did indicate that there is a tool needed to open up the motor casing which the shop does not have. Although the bike is running well, the click noise is both concerning and intolerable. Has anyone run into this type of symptom before? Any solutions?
Are you sure the sound comes from the motor? Did you try puting the bike in a bike holder and move the pedals? or, did you try pedaling being stand up for example and not on the seat?
 

eagamer80

Active Member
LCD panel just died on my turbo S, less than 2 months old :(
My LCD background light died after 2 months of use too. It has been replaced before for the same issue. I am tired of going back to the dealer for this kind of minor things. In your case, try to unplug-replug the LCD connector to see if comes back to life.