Specialized Turbo Como 5.0 Review

Specialized Turbo Como 5 0 Electric Bike Review
Specialized Turbo Como 5 0
Specialized Turbo Como 5 0 Chain Ring Guide Sand Paper Grip Pedals
Specialized Turbo Como 5 0 604 Watt Hour Battery Bottle Cage Bosses
Specialized Turbo Como 5 0 Cockpit View
Specialized Turbo Como 5 0 Front View Integrated Rack
Specialized Turbo Como 5 0 Specialized Rubber Grips
Specialized Turbo Como 5 0 Rigid Fork Front Fender Rack
Specialized Turbo Como 5 0 Integrated Rack Hydraulic Brakes
Specialized Turbo Como 5 0 The Cup Saddle Rear Fender
Specialized Turbo Como 5 0 Shimano Deore Derailleur
Specialized Turbo Como 5 0 Rear View Integrated Rear Light
Specialized Turbo Como 5 0 Charlie Custom Como
Specialized Turbo Como 5 0 Portable Battery Charger
Specialized Turbo Como 5 0 Stock High Step Blue
Specialized Turbo Como 5 0 Electric Bike Review
Specialized Turbo Como 5 0
Specialized Turbo Como 5 0 Chain Ring Guide Sand Paper Grip Pedals
Specialized Turbo Como 5 0 604 Watt Hour Battery Bottle Cage Bosses
Specialized Turbo Como 5 0 Cockpit View
Specialized Turbo Como 5 0 Front View Integrated Rack
Specialized Turbo Como 5 0 Specialized Rubber Grips
Specialized Turbo Como 5 0 Rigid Fork Front Fender Rack
Specialized Turbo Como 5 0 Integrated Rack Hydraulic Brakes
Specialized Turbo Como 5 0 The Cup Saddle Rear Fender
Specialized Turbo Como 5 0 Shimano Deore Derailleur
Specialized Turbo Como 5 0 Rear View Integrated Rear Light
Specialized Turbo Como 5 0 Charlie Custom Como
Specialized Turbo Como 5 0 Portable Battery Charger
Specialized Turbo Como 5 0 Stock High Step Blue

Summary

  • A great top of the line model for Specialized, starts at $4,150 and has relaxed cruiser riding position, hydraulic brakes, front rack, a smooth mid-drive motor, 28mph top speed, and a lot of great little features
  • Features a custom Brose S ALU mid-drive motor that was tuned just for Specialized, high capacity 36v 16.8ah frame integrated battery, TCD display, 11 speed Shimano Deore derailleur, and Shimano 180mm front 160mm rear hydraulic brakes
  • Included fenders with great mounting points, plush saddle with elastomer bumpers, Nimbus Sport high volume tires with reflective sidewall and puncture protection, custom kickstand, and bottle cage bosses
  • No suspension, rear light could easily be blocked by a jacket or coat, and the lower set of bottle cage bosses on the step-through frame don’t have much clearance, so your options in what would fit there accessory wise would be limited

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Specialized

Model:

Turbo Como 5.0

Price:

$4,150

Body Position:

Upright

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Cruising, Urban, Commuting

Electric Bike Class:

Speed Pedelec (Class 3)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

2 Year Comprehensive, Lifetime Frame and Fork

Availability:

United States, Europe

Model Year:

2020

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

51.5 lbs (23.35 kg)

Battery Weight:

7.7 lbs (3.49 kg)

Motor Weight:

7.5 lbs (3.4 kg)

Frame Material:

E5 Aluminum Alloy, Hydroformed with Smooth Welds

Frame Sizes:

14.96 in (37.99 cm)16.53 in (41.98 cm)17.75 in (45.08 cm)18.89 in (47.98 cm)19.68 in (49.98 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

Large Step-Thru 50cm Measurements: 19" Seat Tube Length, 24.25" Reach, 19" Stand Over Height, 32.5" Minimum Saddle Height, 27.5" Width, 73.75" Length

Frame Types:

Step-Thru, High-Step

Frame Colors:

Navy with Black and White Mountains Accents

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid Aluminum Alloy, 100mm Hub Spacing, 15mm Thru-Axle with 5mm Hex Key

Frame Rear Details:

148mm Hub Spacing, 12mm Thru-Axle with 5mm Hex Key

Attachment Points:

Fender Bosses, Front Rack Bosses, Rear Rack Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses

Gearing Details:

11 Speed 1x11, Shimano Deore XT Derailleur with Shadow Plus, Shimano SLX 11-42 Tooth Cassette

Shifter Details:

Shimano SLX Triggers on Right (Two-Way High, Three-Shift Low)

Cranks:

Praxis Works, Custom Aluminum Alloy, 170mm to 175mm Length, 48 Tooth Narrow Wide Aluminum Alloy Chainring with Plastic Guard, 104mm Bolt Circle Diameter (BCD)

Pedals:

Custom Specialized Fitness, Nylon Platform with Grip Traction

Headset:

FSA Cartridge Bearings, Internal Cups, Tapered 1-1/8" to 1-1/2", 68° Head Tube Angle

Stem:

Specialized Flowset, Aluminum Alloy, 20° Rise, 60mm Length, Two 5mm Spacers, One 10mm Spacer, 31.8mm Clamp Diameter

Handlebar:

Aluminum Alloy, 680mm Length, 30° Backsweep, 26mm Rise

Brake Details:

Shimano Deore XT BRM8000 Hydraulic Disc with 180mm ICE-Tech Rotor Front and 160mm ICE-Tech Rotor Rear, Dual-Piston Calipers, Shimano Two-Finger Levers with Tool-Free Adjustable Reach

Grips:

Gender Specific, Specialized Body Geometry Contour, Ergonomic, Rubber, Locking

Saddle:

Specialized The Cup, Comfort Wide, Elastomer Bumpers, Cr-Mo Rails, SWAT Accessory Compatible

Seat Post:

Forged Aluminum Alloy, 12.5mm Offset, Punched Out Base for Weight Savings

Seat Post Length:

400 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

30.9 mm

Rims:

Aluminum Alloy, Double-Wall, 36mm Outer Width, 32 Hole, Reflective Stickers

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 14 Gauge, Black with Nipples

Tire Brand:

Specialized Nimbus Sport, 27.5" x 2.3" (58-584)

Wheel Sizes:

27.5 in (69.85cm)

Tire Details:

25 to 50 PSI, 1.5 to 3.5 BAR, Reflective Sidewall Stripes, Blackbelt Puncture Protection

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Custom Pizza Rack Alloy Bolt-On Front Rack, Custom Plastic Fenders (65mm Width), Supernova V521s Integrated Headlight with Alloy Housing (205 Lumens), Custom Specialized Saddle-Mounted Integrated Rear Light (6 LED, SWAT Mounted), Transparent Slap Guard Sticker, Adjustable Rear-Mount Kickstand (40mm Bolt Spacing), Optional Replacement Battery Pack 604 Watt Hour ($900)

Other:

Locking Removable Downtube-Integrated Battery Pack with ABUS Locking Core (Plus Code Card), 1.9lb 42 Volt 4 Amp Charger with Rosenberger Plug (Magnetic EnergyBus Standard), Optional 1.3lb Portable 2 Amp Travel Charger, IP67 Water and Dust Protection Rating on Battery Pack, IP56 Water and Dust Protection Rating on Motor, Battery Stops with 4% at Top and Bottom to Avoid Straining Cells, Internal Cable Routing, Shimano HG601 Chain

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Brose S ALU, (Specialized Turbo 1.3), 120 RPM Max Support

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

250 watts

Motor Peak Output:

550 watts

Motor Torque:

90 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Sony, LG, Samsung, 20700 Cells

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

16.8 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

604.8 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

5 hours (7 Hours with Optional Travel Charger)

Estimated Min Range:

30 miles (48 km)

Estimated Max Range:

75 miles (121 km)

Display Type:

Turbo Connect Display Wired (TCD-W), Fixed 2.2" Backlit LCD, Buttons: Left, Right, (Press Left or Right to Navigate Readouts, Hold Left for Settings: [Time & Date, Units, Pairing to Heart Rate Monitor], Press Left and Right to Select a Setting to Adjust)

Readouts:

Assist Level (3 Bars), Clock, Battery Infographic (10 Bars), Page 1: Current Speed, Trip Distance, Battery Percentage, Page 2: Average Speed, Timer, Cadence, Page 3: Heart Rate, Power Watts, Page 4: KCAL, Page 5: Max Speed

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad on Left, Buttons: Set, +, -, Lights, (Press Set to Cycle Menus [Trip Distance, State of Charge, Ride Time, Odometer], Hold + for Walk Mode, Hold - for Trip Reset), Mission Control App (Bluetooth, iOS and Android), ANT+ Wireless (For Heart Rate Monitors)

Drive Mode:

Advanced Pedal Assist (Measures Rear Wheel Speed, Pedal Cadence, and Pedal Torque, 380% Peak Multiplication Force of Rider Input)

Top Speed:

28 mph (45 kph)

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Written Review

To run the forums, host the website, and travel, I charge a universal service fee for my reviews. This review was sponsored by Specialized. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased, this video and written review are not meant to be an endorsement of Specialized products.

Today we are taking a closer look at the Specialized Turbo Como 5.0. The Como comes in a few variations and the 5.0 is the top of the line point this year for Specialized electric bike products. If you have read my other Como reviews, you will see a lot of parallel information since the bikes are similarly equipped. The Turbo Como 5.0 here is equipped with a Brose mid-drive, Shimano Deore XT hydraulic brakes, and a bunch of other neat features that set it apart. It is higher priced than its lower spec’ed siblings; the 5.0 comes in at $4,150. A lot of benefits are here though, you see, the 5.0 is equipped with a pedelec motor which allows the top speed to go up to 28mph, quite a bit more than the average 20mph. The Turbo Como 5.0 comes in just 1 color (this bushed navy), 2 frame styles, and a total of 5 sizes within the frame styles. The one I am checking out today is this approachable Medium/Large size high-step that weighs 51.5lbs. It’s almost a bit of a mid-step, but I would still say just high enough to classify it as a high-step. The frame has a sloping toptube, so really the bike overall is almost made for comfort. It is a bit of a cruiser with the seat tube angled back and you get this saddle with elastomer bumpers called “The Cup” with is one of my favorite bike saddles out there, it really gives you some cushioning, yet you don’t get the thigh rub when pedaling which is common on comfort saddles. This is good, because there is really no suspension anywhere on the bike and there are some rigid parts like the seat post and fork. Comfort comes in other areas like this short stem with an upward angle and these septs back handlebars, really adding to a relaxed riding position. Along with the saddle and geometry, the tires also help to add some absorption. These are Nimbus Sport tires with both reflective sidewalls and Black Belt puncture protection, so smooth, thick, durable, and extra volume is the result. These are rated 25-50psi and dropping that pressure really can add to the comfort. The 36 hole rims here continue the safety with a reflective sticker to it. I also see these ergonomic locking grips and a 30.9mm seat post, so you could even add a suspension seat post if you want to keep complimenting the setup. I would be careful however, if you do swap out that seat post, then do mind the internally routed cable for the rear light, it does run through the seat post and getting it back on there with a new setup could be tricky. So yeah, I should mention that there is a battery integrated light system here. The front is a beautiful Super Nova alloy encased light that is mounted and points where you steer. Really a high-end headlight, however the Como 3.0 and 4.0 get a Hermans light that has windows on the side for visibility, so I like that setup too. The rear light is attached to the bottom of the saddle and is a little small, but still pretty cool and raised nice and high. However, if you are wearing a jacket or install a rack and put a high trunk bag back there, it could cover it, so do be mindful of that. A lot of the parts on the bike are branded by Specialized which is a nice touch and when you really start paying attention, there is a lot of top notch mountain bike tech that carried over to this bike that you will notice when we dive into the motor and mechanicals. I even notice the front has a 15mm through axle which is almost like mountain bike componentry. In the rear there is a 12mm through axle also thicker than usual, so really a good upgrade. But for now, I’m still looking at these commuter friendly features like these awesome plastic fenders. These are mounted very well into the axle and frame to reduce bouncing… it gives off a great look however, I do wish it had reflective accents like the Specialized Vado fenders. For bottle cage bosses, there are two sets here, one on the toptube, and one on the downtube battery casing. The one on the battery on the step-through frame can’t really fit much since it wedged so close to the sloping top tube, but I suppose you could fit a Boomerang anti-theft device or something. The bike has this nice black plastic shield, kind of a chain ring guard, that is really designed well to keep your pants or dress free and clean. The custom kickstand, bell, and nylon platform pedals with sandpaper grips are all black too, so a lot of nice matching accents to compliment the cool paint colors. There is also a slap guard sticker to protect that paint from the chain, so a lot of thoughtful touches here. A big difference from the 3.0 and 4.0 is this integrated front rack. Its got great pannier hangers, but I should mention that it is only rated for 15kg which is not as heavy duty as a rear rack would have been, plus you could dump the load on a tight turn if it is unsecured. At $4,150, this is really great cause you get a mid-drive, fully integrated battery, fenders, rack, and bosses. Overall the bike weighs 51.5lbs so about 3lbs heavier than the mid level 4.0, probably due to the bigger battery here. Also, there are many upgradable sections, if you get a chance to check out the review video, I recommend it since there is an example of a more custom setup if you are curious.

Driving the bike is a compact mid-motor from Brose called the S ALU for aluminum. This is quite an upgrade for the motors in the 3.0 and 4.0. However, it didn’t get the lighter-weight S MAG (magnesium motor) which would have had the weight dropped from 7.5lbs to 6.39lbs. But you still get a very narrow Q Factor, optimal spindle placement (to reduce chain stay length for snappier turns and a shorter overall frame length), and excellent ground clearance. This motor is compact and the weight that is there is fully balanced to the bike. There’s a sturdy plastic skid plate below, in case you do take a rock or log strike with the suspension fully compressed on a drop. Note that the crank arms are 165mm vs. 170mm to reduce pedal strikes. So, the motor unit is small, but it really packs a punch. You get 250 to 560 watts of power output with up to 90 newton meters of torque! That’s extremely high for a mid-drive unit. Power is delivered based on your rear wheel speed, pedal cadence, and pedal pressure. These signals can be adjusted in the optional smartphone app called Mission Control. If you do want to spin, the Brose motors all support 120+ pedal RPM. This means it won’t drop out on you while downshifting on approach to a big hill. Moreso than many other competing products, the Brose motor really hangs in there at high pedal speeds. The S ALU is still light, powerful, and quiet and smooth because it contains a Gates Carbon belt drive that transitions from gears to spindle output. This reduces vibration and provides an organic feeling to the pedal experience that I can vouch for. The older Drive S was my favorite between Bosch, Shimano, and Yamaha for this reason, and Brose is expanding its support and presence in North America. There’s no pedal drag if you do choose to pedal unassisted (no reduction gearing) and the motor is decoupled from pedal strokes beyond the maximum supported speed of 32km/h (20mph). It’s an outstanding drive system and it really rounds off this high end bike well. Mechanically, they went for Shimano Deore 11-speed cassette here (with great 11-42 tooth spread) and a 42 tooth chain ring with a narrow wide pattern. For stopping power, the 4.0 gets hydraulic brakes with 180mm rotors in the front and 160mm rotor in the rear, both with dual pistons.

Powering the bike is a 36v 16.8ah battery, so about 604 watt hours total. This is the highest battery available for the Como lineup. You could use the other Como batteries here, however, the batteries are so integrated into the frame that you really need to make sure you get the one that is color matched to your bike if you want it to keep that streamlined look. This one weighs about 7.5lbs and a replacement is $900, so make sure to take proper care of the one you have. Luckily, the bike comes with an Abus card so you can get your locks “key to like”, meaning that your battery key can be the same key that you might use for an Abus lock or a cafe lock, so really a great way to keep it protected. Charging is done through a 1.9lb compact 4amp charger with a magnetic Rosenburg EnergyBus charger. 4amps means the charging will happen a little quicker here than some other bikes out there. The battery can be charged on or off the bike and has this neat little magnetic door with a leash and I love that its nice and high away from the crank arm when locked onto the bike. Careful when clicking the battery into place, one of my grips about this bike is that it can be tricky getting the battery in just right, especially on a model not worn-in yet. Sometimes you will get a click and it will still be a bit loose. They call this a ‘phantom click’ so make sure to give it a good wiggle to make sure its secure. To really care for this and other lithium-ion packs, I have heard that storing in a cool dry location vs. extreme heat or cold will extend the life and try to keep it about 50% full when not using for long periods so you won’t stress the cells. Try not to let it run down to zero, because that’s really hard on the cell chemistry.

The display panel on the Turbo Como is the TCD (Turbo Connect Display). I like it because it’s large, is backlit, has integration with the Specialized Mission Control app, and has a dedicated light button. Hold down left and right to enter settings, while + and – allow you to go up and down. Unfortunately, it appears that you must turn the bike on by pressing a power button on top of the battery pack vs. a button on this control ring… and that requires some reaching or planning. It’s a minor gripe, but made a little worse from the slow startup of the display. The display is not removable, but can be tilted a bit. I do like how the battery readout is in percentages here as well as a 10 bar infographic. The two buttons on the display can be cycle through pages and so can the controls on the side. You can cycle through distance, average speed, timer, pedal cadence, heart rate monitor, power levels, k-calorie, and more. There is also integration with Mission Control. This app allows you to further customize power output from the motor in each level of assist or plan rides in a way that the battery will not run out (the bike will automatically provide power based on how far you have yet to travel). It’s one of the cooler apps, but it’s completely unnecessary to just get on and ride. The setup allows for 3 levels of pedal assist as well as a 0 mode where the system is completely off.

If I could sum up the Turbo Como 5.0, I would say it feels quiet and tight, really a streamlined concept and will likely be a great consideration if you are looking into it. However, there are some tradeoffs to recap, so let’s go over those real quick. Although there are comfort points, there is no suspension anywhere on the bike so keep that in mind. If you did want to replace that rigid seat post, there are integrated wires for that rear light back there so be careful of that too. Speaking of the rear light, I noticed that the placement of it means it could be blocked if you are wearing a jacket or coat and it drapes over it, or if you install a rear rack and put a trunk bag there. However, when you consider some of the mountain bike tech on here and that customization options present (like the other version in the video), the bike really starts coming together. Adding the dealer support network and Specialized reputation to it, it becomes a more solid offer than many other entry point Ebikes. I would like to thank Specialized for letting me do some real world riding on the Turbo Como 5.0.

As always, I welcome questions and feedback in the comment section below. Whether you own a previous version of the bike, have taken a test ride, or are brand new to the space, my goal is to provide an objective and honest resource. You can also join the Specialized Ebike forums and share your own photos, videos, and review updates to help others! Have fun out there, and ride safe :)

Pros:

  • A great top of the line model for Specialized, starts at $4,150 and has relaxed cruiser riding position, hydraulic brakes, and a smooth mid-drive motor
  • Features a saddle with elastomer bumpers called “The Cup” with is one of my favorite bike saddles out there, it really gives you some nice cushioning
  • Nimbus Sport tires with both reflective sidewalls and Black Belt puncture protection, so smooth, thick, durable, and extra volume are all great benefits here
  • I love the battery integrated lights here, the front is a Super Nova that points where you steer, and the rear light is beautifully integrated into the saddle
  • There is a lot of top notch mountain bike tech that was carried over here, like the 15mm through axle in the front, or the 11 speed Shimano Deore setup
  • I love the included plastic fenders, they are mounted very well into the axle and frame to reduce bouncing, it gives off a great look
  • Both frame versions of the bike come with two sets of bottle cage bosses, one on the toptube, and one on the downtube battery casing
  • I love the included front rack here, it is a nice upgrade and even has pannier hangers
  • Uses the Brose S ALU, this is a high tuned motor with a rating of 250-520 watts and a super impressive 90nm of torque!
  • The motor measures rear wheel speed, pedal cadence, and pedal torque, has 3 levels of pedal assist, even the magnet sensor isn’t something that just sticks out on the spokes, but is rather tucked in and integrated into the rear disc brake
  • I love the set of Shimano hydraulic brakes with 180mm rotor disc in the front and 160mm in the rear, it’s a great compliment to have such capable stopping power on a fast bike like this
  • Like the motor, the battery pack has been customized by Specialized and is paint-matched to blend in, rather than seating in from the top, they designed a pack that sort of slides in from the left side of the frame, this allows the top tube to be lower, making the bike easier to mount and stand over
  • I really like this pack design because they are using the magnetic Rosenberg charging standard and have a little cover that keeps it clean on the side of the bike with a plastic leash so you won’t misplace the cover, really a neat feature
  • Overall the ride is very quiet and tight while being peppy, zippy, and smooth all at the same time, quite a premium feel for an entry level bike

Cons:

  • The kickstand has more pointed end that can punch into grass vs. holding the bike up, it looks cool but doesn’t work as well on soft surfaces
  • Although the riding position is relaxed and there are some comfort points, it should be noted there is no suspension on the bike as it uses a rigid seat post and front fork
  • The rear light can be blocked if you are wearing a jacket or coat and it drapes over it, or if you install a rear rack and put a trunk bag there
  • If you wanted to replace that rigid seat post, there are integrated wires for the rear light back there so do be mindful of that
  • This is only for the step-through that I tested, but keep in mind the lower bosses on the battery are limited in what they can fit due to the close proximity to the sloping toptube
  • Mounting the battery into the bike can be a little tricky, as shown in the video, you really gotta line it up right and make sure you have a nice good secure click into place, rather than a phantom click which could confuse you
  • The display has good capabilities, but it is not removable, something I worry about when parking the bike both for thieves or the elements
  • The Super Nova headlight is a great upgrade, but it does miss out on the side windows that the Hermans light found on the 3.0 and 4.0 have
  • The front rack is really cool, but do be careful and make sure the load is secure so you don’t dump it when taking a tight turn

Resources:

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  • MODEL YEAR: 2013

One of the fastest and priciest electric bikes around, Top speed 45kph (27.96mph) at $5,900 USD. Clean aesthetic with internally routed cables, integrated lithium ion battery pack and built in LED…...


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