Turbo technology in 2014

Brambor

Well-Known Member
I have to thank the Specialized Turbo for rekindling my attention to EBikes. Sometimes in late January I have come across an article that a previously illegal bicycle will now be available to the US market. The article was, of course, about Specialized Turbo. I do not know whether the article was outdated or not....hence my question:

When was the Turbo first sold on the European Market and when was the Turbo first sold on the US market?

Is the technology behind the Turbo still top notch or is it a 2 year old design fading away, perhaps being overtaken by 2014 models?
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hey Brambor! I first heard about the Specialized Turbo in 2012 but it was only available in Europe, being tested in Spain. It seems that they were working with regulators in the US to allow the higher speed pedelec (up to 28 miles per hour) and then changed their motor specs somewhat before beginning to sell here. Even though the bike has been in produciton for a couple/few years the technology is still very cutting edge for the US. It uses the same motor design by XION that's on the Focus Jarifa Offroad Premium and the Kalkhoff Pro Connect X27 which are two of my favorite hub motor ebikes due to smooth quiet power and regen.

This motor is great! Offering the same kind of torque as a geared design, along with a lighter weight and slimmer profile, but with the benefits of direct drive (fewer parts to rub and wear, regen modes). I love that the Turbo has a sort of throttle mode and that it uses the EnergyBus charger and is built on a Specialized frame (yep, I love me some Specialized red). I have no idea about future designs and would still consider this a great bike and above average compared with most US made ebikes. The Focus and Kalkhoff listed above are mostly available in Europe, just one shop in SF seems to carry them but I've heard Focus will be doing more expanding here soon.

The motor says 250 watts but the peak output is closer to 1,000 so it's very capable. The biggest drawbacks to me are the price tag, weight of the bike and the lack of suspension.
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
Today I put a deposit on the Specialized Turbo. :) Whew.

Other bikes I had considered were Stromer ST1 and ST2, Grace Easy, Motiv Shadow, Haibike Touring

The 2014 Battery is 504WH instead of 342WH - this was the biggest deciding factor to tip me over towards the Turbo.

Other deciding factors:
  • The prices of the Stromer ST2 rumoring to be much higher than the Turbo
  • The ease of repairing a flat tire compared to the Stromer ST1
  • The road bike characteristics of the slick tires
  • The ergonomics of switching modes
  • Two chargers (one travel charger and one regular charger)
  • Integrated Lights Included
  • Rear view mirror included
  • Lighter weight compared to the Stromer ST1
  • Fast Charging times of the battery
  • Top notch components throughout
  • Overall looks and styling
It's still an overpriced bike, I am aware of this, but I sold all the good stuff I owned but no longer used and made money to be able to afford this. So I sold old toys to get a new toy. :) I plan to commute to work on this bike as often as possible.
 

James

Well-Known Member
Way to go Brambor! The Turbo looks awesome, and was I bike I had my eyes on too, but it's no available in Canada and was too much money for me to spend. Specialized is a great company with (I have a Secteur road bike) and love it!
Anyway I wish you well with your NEW toy!
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Brambor,
You are the Big Dude in the league.!!
Big Bramowsky gets a Turbo-2014 :)
Well done my friend. That thing is fast and high-quality, when do you expect to receive it?
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
A couple of weeks supposedly Maybe when I come back from my vacation I'll have a surprise e-mail waiting for me. :)
 

Dave

Active Member
Brambor, you are THE man! That has got to be one heck of a bike. So glad you decided to join the ranks of us road bike warriors!
Can't wait to see some pics, and your thoughts. Excellent!
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
That's awesome! Thanks for sharing the details that tipped you over the edge towards the Turbo Brambor. Glad to hear you got the battery upgrade as a bonus! Did you go for Specialized red or the new black that we saw on the European models?
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
went for the red. Bike will be also used by the other family members and at least the color matches my wifes Fiat. ...nah they only had red in stock. ;-)
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
Yes I did but it was even more expensive and reviews were nonexistent.For the Turbo I read owner reports after 1000miles on the odometer etc... It was mostly in German but very informative.

lastvbut not least the superrace was not available until end of May.
 

TSW

New Member
Brambor, may I ask if you got the 2014 at a lower price? In Europe the 2014 is supposed to be €500 less than the 2013, not sure if the same is the case in the US
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
I first was going to buy the 2013 model, unknown to me was the 2014 model availability. Then I found out about the stronger battery coming out so I asked if the 2013 model could be had with the stronger battery. They said yes and I was happy. Then they said : btw - the 2014 model will be available already do you want it and I said yes. So I paid the same price as for the 2013 model. (Well..actually I think I got it for 200 less than the retail now that I think of it.)

Anyway. The bike is great! Wicked smooth and silent. The brakes don't squeal at all. The new joystick is intuitive and super simple. The display seems even smaller than on the 2013 model. If it wasn't for the green light on the battery the bike could pass as a regular bike to the uninitiated. It also rides great without any assist. I would not hesitate to ride it if I ran out of juice. The rear view mirror is cool. Turning on and off the lights is integrated into the joystick operation (just push the joystick down to turn the light on or off).

If it wasn't so darn cold (10F) I would take pictures. I rode it for 4 miles yesterday before my eyelids froze shut. :)

I think the whole geometry will work very well with me but I will know more after I have ridden the bike much longer. I will take photos when the conditions allow it.
 
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Court

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks for the feedback Brambor! I'm curious about the ride quality when the bike is completely off. The 2013 Turbo used a powerful direct drive motor that relied on strong magnets for torque. I've heard that some gearless motors like this have a drag feeling when riding in off-mode because the magnets repel the copper wiring. I'm sure the ride quality is still great, just curious if you've noticed this feeling at all and could describe it?

Direct drive motors are quiet, smooth and super durable. The three drawbacks I've heard about are higher price, lower torque and this light drag feeling when not in use. I do love that they offer regen mode, have you been using that or noticing it when braking?
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Great news, Brambor...!
one of the few people who own a Turbo, a sort of Elite status eh :) and of course the bike is really nice.
I am looking forward to the pics once the roads are cleared.

Coincidentally, I was also reading about this drag on Xion system and hopefully, you won't experience it.

Anyways, congratulations again and it is the beginning of a new phase in your commuting :)
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
hmm. I rode the bike without the motor uphill and felt that it behaved like a regular bike. Please take this with a grain of salt. The odometer reads 4 miles right now :) and I might have been under euphoria, but honestly my assessment when I lifted the bike it did not feel heavy as when I lifted the Stromer. I know the Turbo is by (spec) definition lighter but I'm merely describing an overall feeling as in - Stromer - $hit that bike is too heavy : Turbo - hmm that isn't too too bad.

I took the bike out of the shop and switched the support off. Rode it straight line and then up a hill to a school parking lot where I switched to ECO mode and then to Turbo mode then rode it down the hill and back up the hill with Eco mode, then again down the hill and back up the hill in Turbo mode. Then at home I rode the bike for 2 miles and my son rode it for a mile too. I can confidently say that on rolling hills I would not hesitate to ride the bike without assist and feel fine about that. The hills on my commute are all pretty mellow. They might go on for a mile but they just don't shoot straight up.