Specialized Turbo S Review

2016 Specialized Turbo S Electric Bike Review 1
2016 Specialized Turbo S
2016 Specialized Turbo S Gearless Direct Drive Motor
2016 Specialized Turbo S Downtube Battery Bottle Cage
2016 Specialized Turbo S Handlebar Lcd Display
2016 Specialized Turbo S 11 Speed Drivetrain
2016 Specialized Turbo S Chain Guide Bash Guard
2016 Specialized Turbo S Double Legged Kickstand
2016 Specialized Turbo S Ergonomic Grips
2016 Specialized Turbo S Integrated Led Lights Saddle
2016 Specialized Turbo S Rigid Fork Quick Release Wheel
2016 Specialized Turbo S Shimano Xt Hydraulic Disc Brakes
2016 Specialized Turbo S Supernova Adjustable Headlight
2016 Specialized Turbo S Electric Bike Review 1
2016 Specialized Turbo S
2016 Specialized Turbo S Gearless Direct Drive Motor
2016 Specialized Turbo S Downtube Battery Bottle Cage
2016 Specialized Turbo S Handlebar Lcd Display
2016 Specialized Turbo S 11 Speed Drivetrain
2016 Specialized Turbo S Chain Guide Bash Guard
2016 Specialized Turbo S Double Legged Kickstand
2016 Specialized Turbo S Ergonomic Grips
2016 Specialized Turbo S Integrated Led Lights Saddle
2016 Specialized Turbo S Rigid Fork Quick Release Wheel
2016 Specialized Turbo S Shimano Xt Hydraulic Disc Brakes
2016 Specialized Turbo S Supernova Adjustable Headlight

Summary

  • An extremely fast, quiet and stiff electric bike with premium drivetrain and brake components and sleek integrated lights, available in four frame sizes for improved fit
  • Beautifully integrated battery pack, it matches the frame perfectly and even features a bottle cage mounting point
  • Heavier and more expensive than the 2015 version but nominal motor output has been doubled, battery size is ~40% larger, the drivetrain is Shimano Deore XT vs. SRAM and there's a smartphone app
  • Excellent dealer network that can get you fitted properly, solid three year comprehensive warranty

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Specialized

Model:

Turbo S

Price:

$7,000 USD

Body Position:

Forward Aggressive

Suggested Use:

Urban, Commuting, Road

Electric Bike Class:

Speed Pedelec (Class 3)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

Lifetime Frame, 3 Year Motor and Battery

Availability:

United States, Australia

Model Year:

2016

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

54.5 lbs (24.72 kg) (Varying by Frame Size)

Battery Weight:

10 lbs (4.53 kg)

Frame Material:

Aluminum Alloy, Smooth Welding, Internally Routed Cables

Frame Sizes:

15.5 in (39.37 cm)17.5 in (44.45 cm)19 in (48.26 cm)21.5 in (54.61 cm)

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Matte Black with Red Accents

Frame Fork Details:

Custom Turbo Alloy, Tapered Steerer, Q12 Axle Dropout, Fender Eyelets, Low Rider Mounts

Frame Rear Details:

12 mm Thru Axle

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fork Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses

Gearing Details:

11 Speed 1x11 Shimano Deore XT, 42T

Shifter Details:

Shimano Trigger on Right Bar

Pedals:

Specialized Bennies, 6061 Alloy Body, Sealed Cartridge, 4.5 mm Removable Pins

Headset:

1-1/ 8" Campy Style Upper Cartridge Bearing, 1-1/ 2" Lower Integrated

Stem:

Crank Brothers Cobalt 2, Alloy

Handlebar:

Specialized Flat Top, Double Butted Alloy, 12-Degree Backsweep, 31.8 mm

Brake Details:

Shimano Deore XT Hydraulic Disc with 180 mm Rotors, Shimano Deore XT Levers

Grips:

Specialized Body Geometry XCT, Lock-On

Saddle:

Body Geometry Turbo, Hollow Cr-Mo Rails, Integrated LED Light

Seat Post:

Aluminum Alloy

Seat Post Diameter:

30.9 mm

Rims:

Alloy Double-Wall with Eyelets, 36h

Tire Brand:

Specialized Nimbus, 60TPI, Wire Bead, 700 x 45c

Wheel Sizes:

28 in (71.12cm)

Tire Details:

Armadillo Puncture Protection

Tube Details:

Presta Valve

Accessories:

Aluminum Bash Guard on Front Ring, Plastic Chain Guide, Scisoring Double Leg Kickstand, Integrated Supernova E3 LED headlight, Optional City Kit with Fenders and Rack, Bell on Left Bar, Rear View Mirror for Left Bar, Wireless Smartphone App

Other:

Locking Removable Battery Pack, Magnetic EnergyBus Charging Port, LED Power Level Indicator on Battery Pack, KMC X10 Chain with Reusable Missing Link, FSA MegaExo Outer-Style Bottom Bracket

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Go SwissDrive

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Gearless Direct Drive Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Motor Peak Output:

750 watts

Battery Brand:

Samsung

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

19.5 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

702 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium Manganese Oxide (LMO), High C-Rating

Charge Time:

3.5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

35 miles (56 km)

Estimated Max Range:

60 miles (97 km)

Display Type:

Backlit LCD on Right Bar

Readouts:

Assist Level (Turbo, User Set, Regen), Battery Status, Speed, Time, Distance

Display Accessories:

Joystick on Display Panel Acts as Throttle to ~11 mph, Wireless Smartphone App

Drive Mode:

Advanced Pedal Assist, Trigger Throttle (Torque and Cadence)

Top Speed:

28 mph (45 kph)(~11 in Throttle Mode)

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Written Review

The Specialized Turbo S is the fastest, most powerful electric road bike available from Specialized and for 2016 they’ve improved the drivetrain, doubled nominal motor power and increased battery size by ~40%. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies however, the price has increased from $6k to $7k, weight has gone up from ~50 lbs to ~54.5 lbs and regen mode can now only be activated through the display pad vs. pulling the right brake lever. I love that this latest iteration is launching with a smart phone app that intelligently plots your course and conserves battery power to ensure that you “make it” to your predetermined destination. Also, the integrated display is much easier to appreciate now that it’s independent from the right brake lever (each can be angled to improve ergonomics and reduce glare). All things considered, this is one of the coolest looking, highest performing electric bikes available anywhere. It was the first purpose-built electric bike I saw in the US to legally reach 28 mph in pedal assist mode back in 2012 and it’s still one of the only ebikes I know of that includes a bottle cage mounting point along the downtube. They really focus on the details at Specialized… and the beauty. while the Turbo, Turbo X and Turbo S are only available in high-step designs, you can get them in four frame sizes and dealers are trained to help you with fit during purchase. Also, it comes with an impressive three year comprehensive warranty (lifetime on the frame).

Powering the Turbo S is a near-silent, high torque gearless direct drive hub motor from Go SwissDrive. This thing delivers all of the benefits of gearless hubs (quiet, durable, capable of regeneration) and eliminates some of the cons… primarily the lack of power at low speed. This thing accelerates well and flies at high speed. You can definitely hit and maintain ~28 mph and that’s awesome for people with long commutes or a simple desire to go fast. If you do plan on commuting, definitely check out the fender and rack kit being offered through Specialized and consider the smaller, lighter weight travel charger. the rear wheel connects to the frame with a 12 mm thru-axle for improved stiffness and strength and there’s no quick release but there is a quick-disconnect in the power cable running to the hub. This is super helpful for those moments when wheel or tire maintenance is required. To be clear, in 2014/2015 the Turbo S offered 250 watts nominal on a similar motor and for 2016 it’s putting out 500 watts nominal. Awesome. another big step up is the 11 speed Shimano Deore XT drivetrain (the 2014/2015 bike offered a 10 Speed SRAM drivetrain). You’ve got plenty of gears here for pedaling at a comfortable cadence at a range of speeds and I like the trigger shifters. Also, the front chainring features an aluminum bash guard and plastic chain guide to reduce drops and increase durability while keeping your pant leg clean ;)

Powering the Turbo S is a beautifully integrated Lithium-ion battery pack with premium Samsung cells. These cells are incredibly energy dense and are designed to output power more rapidly (to support the high-power motor and higher top speeds). It has a higher C-Rating than some other packs. Compared with the 2014/2015 Turbo S this one offers ~40% higher capacity and does weigh a couple pounds more but is physically the same size! It looks beautiful and keeps weight low and center on the frame. It locks to the frame for security and can be charged there or off the bike if you prefer. In either case, the charging cable uses a magnetic interface so it won’t knock the bike over if you accidentally trip on the cable. Awesome all the way around… I love that there’s an LED power level indicator and diagnostic readout on the pack and that you can tighten a bolt at the bottom bracket (remove the kickstand then look below) to secure the battery more snugly over time. The icing on the cake is the bottle cage mounting points mentioned earlier.

Operating the Specialized Turbo S is fairly intuitive, once the battery is charged and mounted to the frame you press the circular power button at the top of the pack and the diagnostic lights do a little dance. If anything is wrong with the system the lights will blink and you can interpret them using the manual. It’s a neat touch that empowers you as an owner to keep your bike performing optimally. From here, the backlit LCD display near the right grip also comes to life showing your speed, battery level and assist setting. There are three modes here including Turbo, Custom (you choose 10% to 70% power) and Regen. Even though this is primarily a pedal assist electric bike there is a secret throttle mode built in. Just use the little rubber joystick to arrow up to Turbo mode then press up and hold it there… after a second the bike will accelerate forward to ~11 mph then cut out. It’s a neat little extra that could be handy for zipping through puddles or getting some speed from standstill. I love that the 2016 model display is separate from the right brake lever. This means you get higher quality brake components (Shimano Deore XT) and that you can set the angle of the levers without worrying how it will impact the display (or glare). The only downside here is that with this new setup there is no longer a brake lever motor inhibitor so regen can only be activated by clicking down on the joystick. It’s not nearly as fast or convenient as the old system, I feel like a lot more energy could be recouped (and brake pad wear reduced) if regen was wired into both brake levers. Also, with older versions of the Turbo you could power off the LED lights and that’s no longer the case… If the bike is on, the lights are on and that means increased wear and annoying light pollution indoors if you charge with the battery on the bike.

The Turbo S is an amazing electric bike, it’s fast and solid with high quality parts all around. I personally like the Turbo X because it has a suspension fork (and a suspension seat post for 2016) and costs quite a bit less but offers lower power and top speeds. Considering that motor power and battery size has been nearly doubled for 2016 on the Turbo S and that it’s still available in four sizes and with such a generous warranty I remain impressed and excited. Riding at higher top speeds can drain your battery faster due to drag and I really feel like the larger pack is going to be appreciated by users… especially those who get the commuter pack with fenders and rack. Even the tires have been upgraded for 2016 and I like the red accents on the frame. This is a cool ebike… if you can afford it ;)

Pros:

  • For a gearless direct drive motor the Go SwissDrive offers a lot of torque at low speed and is even more powerful on the 2016 model (it used to be 250 watt nominal and is now 500 watt)
  • The motor is extremely quiet, offers power regeneration and features a quick disconnect point in the power cable making maintenance much easier
  • Custom double legged kickstand stays out of the way while riding but offers great stability when parked (as long as you’re on a flat surface) and is useful for stabilizing the bike when doing front wheel maintenance, I love that the front wheel offers quick release
  • Built in diagnostic system checks the motor, battery, lights and display each time you power on the bike, the LED’s on the battery pack blink to alert you to any issues
  • This is one of the few electric bikes I’ve seen with an integrated downtube battery that also features a bottle cage mounting point! Awesome feature for those of use who want to stay hydrated or add a mini pump or lock accessory without adding a rack
  • Awesome matching fenders and rear rack available through Specialized, perfect for people who live where it rains or plan on carrying gear to work and back, the rack repositions the rear light so it isn’t blocked by gear
  • Upgraded Shimano Deore XT 11 speed drivetrain and Shimano Deore XT disc brakes with heat sinks built in, premium performance and durability
  • The display panel and button pad are now a separate piece (not integrated with the brake lever) this means you can position and angle them independently for more comfortable viewing and braking
  • Integrated LED lights add an element of safety, they are sleek (the tail light is integrated into the saddle or rack if you get that option) and they seem very sturdy
  • Extra large battery capacity with ~702 watt hours for extended range, this is especially important given the higher top speed of the bike where drag is increased
  • Battery pack can be charged on or of the bike for convenient fill-ups at the office, the included charger is super fast but also larger and fairly heavy, they sell an optional travel charger that might be worth grabbing if you plan to bring one along to top the pack off along the way
  • Excellent three year limited warranty that covers the motor, control systems and battery (though the battery coverage decreases with the life of the bike), you also get lifetime warranty on the frame

Cons:

  • Regen mode can only be activated by clicking down on the joystick (two or three clicks depending on which power mode you’re riding in), there are no motor inhibitors built into the brake levers (in part because they are very high quality levers)… it’s too bad though because that would be a faster and more intuitive way to activate regeneration while riding
  • If you’re wearing a long jacket while riding the Turbo S it may hang down and block the saddle LED light and if you want to change the seat or post it may interfere with the wiring for the light and require some custom ajustments
  • The lights are awesome to have but I wish they could be turned off… either to ride more stealthily at night or during the day or for when it’s parked inside charging, you can take the battery off to charge separately and this will keep the lights from activating but if you charge on-frame they will light up which might wear them out faster and can be annoying if you want to reduce indoor light pollution
  • The bike has a solid feel and the frame is stiff which equates to power and speed when pedaling but can also be jarring at high speeds, especially because there is no suspension, consider a 30.9 mm Thudbuster or other seat post suspension
  • Throttle mode cuts out at ~11 miles per hour (better than no throttle but less than 20mph legal limit)
  • The 2016 Specialized Turbo S costs ~$1,000 more than the 2014/2015 model but features a battery that is nearly 40% larger and delivers upgraded drivetrain (with an extra gear 11 vs. 10) and the smartphone app

Resources:

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Comments (56) YouTube Comments

Ron
4 years ago

Would definitely consider this if I had a regular, lengthy commute.

  Reply
todd
4 years ago

Great review. I just took delivery of my 2016 turbo S. Was looking for any information on how to enable bluetooth on the turbo s or when the app is availabe?

  Reply
Court
4 years ago

Great question Todd! I have no idea, they didn’t have the app available when I saw t his bike (or the turbo Levo) just a few weeks ago. I wonder if there will be a firmware update or something that you’ll need to get from your local dealer? I’ll ask around for you…

  Reply
marek
4 years ago

I found app: MissionControl, and there I found, that bluetooth is always on in my bicycle. I can just a little Tune, and diagnose problem.

Juan
4 years ago

Awesome review. I am an owner of the turbo x 2015 model and realize that the 200 watt motor was not as strong up hills during my leghthy commute. Would it be possible to buy the 500watt motor this one offers seperatly? I Have confirmed that it would fit (just like the battery also does). Do you believe in this idea? And think they would? Or ‘you gotta know somebody that gotta know somebody?’

  Reply
Court
4 years ago

Hi Juan, that’s an interesting idea! My initial reaction was “probably not” but it might be worth checking with your local dealer. This is probably a rare request and I’m just not sure the company is setup to sell one off parts like motors… but then again, you never know! They might have something laying around meant for warranty service and be able to sell that with a bit of work. I’d love to hear what your dealer has to say, if they aren’t able to help you maybe I can poke around with some of the marketing folks I’ve been in touch with at the company :)

  Reply
Stephan
4 years ago

Hi, are you sure that the engine has nominal 500 watt? if you look above to your close up picture of the engine, (https://electricbikereview.com/wp-content/uploads/2016-specialized-turbo-s-gearless-direct-drive-motor.jpg) you can read nominal 250-300 watt on the Go SwissDrive sticker…

  Reply
Court
4 years ago

Great question Stephan! I asked the same question during the review and the Specialized representative told me it is 500 watt nominal… this is definitely not the first time I have questioned feedback from reps and this is one of the reasons I try to get closeups and add photos. It’s possible we were looking at a pre-production build or that the person informing me was simply wrong. I cannot say for sure but it definitely rode well (and fast) and this is something you could be on the lookout for at your local shop or in the official specs. I try to present my own observations but also honor what companies report. Hope this helps :/

  Reply
Nic
4 years ago

The sticker says: 0,50KW nominal; 250-300W something (spoke got in the way). So yeah, it’s 500W nominal ;-)

  Reply
Court
4 years ago

I’ve noticed some inconsistencies in labels and what companies report. I take closeup pictures and do video so people can come to their own conclusions and indeed… sometimes I’m looking at pre-production bikes with lower specs. I try to give the company and each rep the benefit of the doubt while also being diligent. Not sure what to say here :)

  Reply
Nic
4 years ago

I will experience it soon what it’s like to ride it every day. I have ordered one last week. Delivery January 1st, maybe sooner. Home-work-home. 76km’s in total. (47 miles). The testride was amazing!

  Reply
Court
4 years ago

Awesome! I’m excited for you Nic, the Turbo S is an amazing electric bike (super fast, solid and refined). Riding every day gets you in good shape and is just refreshing… I recently spoke to my Uncle about commuting via electric bike (he has had one for a year and rode over 4,000 miles!) check out the video here for more info, it’s not a Turbo but it’s still really high quality and he loves it. Check in once your bike arrives, I’d love to hear how it’s working for you :)

  Reply
Shom
4 years ago

It’s been 2 weeks since I purchased the turbo S. My battery has been slowly failing from the get-go, from not holding charge to now not fully charging getting a max of less than 90% and taking almost 10 hours to reach that. I took it to my local dealer I purchased it from and they ran a diagnostics and said the battery has not reached close to 100% in over several months. Then shrugged his shoulders and said that is all I can tell you. I now have a $7000+ bike that can’t even get me 25 miles on a “full” charge even with me pedaling hard. My round trip is 65 miles. I’m not getting any help from the dealer at this point and even called Specialized waiting for a response. I was really excited about riding this bike but so far I’ve been letdown by customer service.

  Reply
Court
4 years ago

Wow, thanks for the feedback Shom… That’s a bummer. Are you in the US or somewhere else? I have heard a couple complaints about Specialized support in parts of Europe and I really appreciate the feedback because I can add it to future reviews and take this into consideration when choosing advertisers here :/

  Reply
Nic
4 years ago

So… The wait is almost over. Just recieved a phone call from my local dealer (Belgium!!!) to say the bike has arrived. But now it has to be registerd by the governement, has to get an assurance and even a licence plate. European rules involving speed pedelecs, pushed by the big car companies because they see these SP’s as a real threat when it comes to home-work travelling. Which in my case it will be used for. So it will take another week or so (maybe two) before I can ride it. Still: it’s in my reach!

I guess SHOM has one with a production flaw. Shouldn’t be the issue in this price range, but you can get these sort of problems with new cars too. However it’s strange to me Specialized doesn’t come to get rid of these issues. This is my sixth Specialized and even wear the BG shoes. Had some flaws under warranty and they handled it professionally and without arguing. Every single time. What I understand from all this is that it’s on the dealer’s hands whether you get any serious help or not. Looks like I’m blessed with a superb one! Has a Specialized store for 26 years now… He can get things moving.

In a few days I’m back in to leave any impressions from my first rides. And a technical review too… Later!

  Reply
Court
4 years ago

Awesome! I’m excited for you Nic, thanks for the update about your journey so far. I can’t wait to hear your review and the more technical bits. Who is your dealer? Maybe you can share and I’ll link to them to help others in your area find a good place to buy since you’ve had such a great experience :)

  Reply
Nic
4 years ago

It’s here! What can I say? I’m familiar with Specialized since it’s my sixth in twelve years… But now I’m not just impressed. More like blown away. Almost literally… I did a test run at the store’s neighbourhood in full blown wind. Obviously when tailwind the 45kph were pretty easy. But when I turned the bike the opposite way, it took me almost the same lack of effort. There I was… Gone! Overall impression?

  1. Construction: this is a very robust built bike that handles the power effortless. Pretty straight forward and very stable when fast cornering. Everything is very neat executed. The finish is top notch.
  2. Hardware: the 11-speed disc XT-group is fantastic. The wheels are strong and built to last.
  3. Electronics and motor: this is new to me, since it’s my first electric bike. i’m pretty impressed by the way everything is working together. And with the app on my iPhone I can tune the characteristics “on the fly”… It’s the newest technology, but at the same time I realize this is just the beginning and it may be old already.

Anyway: first impression is AWESOME!!! For a long term review you’ll just have to wait a few thousand k’s. Cheers!

  Reply
Court
4 years ago

Hey Nic! Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm and experience with the new Turbo. I’m glad you’re loving it, my experience was very positive as well and I hope you’ll post any updates over time if you learn any tips or have any challenges :)

  Reply
Brooke
3 years ago

Hi Nic! It’s been a year since you got the bike. How is it so far? Are you happy with your purchase?

Runnermann
4 years ago

I looked at one of these the other day and I am hooked. They are elegant, very well designed. It’s everything I would expect from a company like Specialized. I admire the engineering work that went into these bikes. The electric components are seemlessly integrated with the bars on the bike. No copper or random wire is exposed to the elements like on may other e-bikes. Although, the manual has a lot of warnings about water, the battery, wheel, and electronics appear to be sealed and waterproof. The bike rides very well. It rides better than any other e-bike that I’ve tried with exception to a home built bike with a 500 watt motor and a good sized Li-Ion battery. It was far less expensive but wasn’t waterproof and let’s face it, how may houses have burned down because of the battery issue with the hover-boards? Li-Ion batteries are volatile so a home built bike or even the Mom and Pop shop bike with a Li-Ion battery is begging for trouble. A close look at these bikes and you can see Specialized put a lot of thought into their e-bikes. If theres a Specialized engineer that reads this entry. I thank you for your work!

My scenario, I hope, is to remove the encumbrances and expenses of gas vehicles. I’ve had all of the bmw’s, sports cars, jeeps etc.. and I’m over it. I live in an area where I can get away without using one. If I need one I can either rent it, or click on Lyft. I commute 20 miles each way with a 2 hour break between commutes. I plan to alternate between road bike on one day and e-bike the next, or maybe for a few days if I need the rest. I like to run between 15 – 20 miles every couple of days so being able to rest the day after would be great. I ride along a coastal highway so it’s pretty flat until the big hill at the end.

I like the idea of being free from the expenses of gas vehicles and this bike has potential to do just that without compromising on my exercise norms and desire to reduce the costs of operating gas vehicles. I ran the figures and it costs me roughly $650 a month for gas, insurance, and car payments. That’s not counting the increasing armed tax collector/cops who apologetically issue tickets and parking tickets in order to meet their quotas for their promotions or retirement. So, even with a few flaws, the Specialized Turbo looks very attractive. I’d rather spend $650 a month on a ski trip and ride an e-bike than get fat driving an Audi or another X5.

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Court
4 years ago

Awesome post, thanks for sharing your thoughts about this ebike and commuting by bicycle in general. Sounds like you’ve got a good attitude and outlook :)

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Andrew
4 years ago

Great review ( as always :-) ), This looks like a great bike! But i have a few questions:

1. In the review, you say the bike is ‘fast’. Could you elaborate? I’m also considering a Kalkhoff S10 Integrale, which also top out at 28mph. When saying the bike is ‘fast’, are you talking about top speed or acceleration? Are you referring to Turbo S feeling quite torquey (if that makes sense :-/)

2. I’m considering this bike primarily for my commute (30miles/48km total), but definitely for my main mode of transport as well. I really like the fact that Spesh have whacked a 19.5 Ah battery in there. I don’t drive and I’ve had a couple of e-bikes and have also ‘tried’ quite a few and in all cases the range is affected , not only by the way you use it, but by weather. I’m based in the UK, so we don’t get ‘really’ extreme temperatures, occasionally -5C (23F) in the winter and was wondering if anyone had any experience of what the range would be in these conditions? The review mentions an abilitly (via the app) to calculate the power % that could be set to carry out the journey. (i.e. could I be in turbo all the way? or will I be limping home / rationing myself for the whole journey?)

3. UK don’t sell this version of the bike on their website. probably road legislation etc. reasons (Ignoring that for the sake of this question.) US sell this bike at $7000 (£4900.95 GBP / 6301.20 Euro) , then if you navigate to the german version of Specialized’s site, you see that the Turbo S “CE” is $5000 ($5555.62 USD / £3890.23 GBP). Is this the same bike? If so, why the price descrepency? I’m assuming tax, duties , etc. So, based in the UK, how do i get my hands on this bike? Take a trip to Belgium/France/Germany and bring it back on the ferry? Anyone with any experience with a helpful dealer in EU ( preferably easy to get to from the UK :-) )

Many thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts!? :-)

Andrew

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Court
4 years ago

Hi Andrew, great questions! The Turbo S is their top of the line model with the best acceleration and highest top speed of ~28 mph. It’s comparable to the Kalkhoff S10 Integrale but may operate with less noise because it uses a gearless direct drive motor vs. geared mid-drive. As far as temperature and battery/range impact I’d say that extreme cold (and even just “very cold” will cut your range significantly up to 50%. Since the battery is removable you’d do well to bring it inside at your house while charging and then again at your destination if possible. I don’t have direct experience with the new app but my understanding is that it should adjust the acceleration and possibly top speed (because ebikes become much less efficient due to drag forces above 35 km/h) but I can’t say for sure. If the battery is warm on the way to your destination it may have you going faster but then slow things down or reduce power on the way home given a cold half-depleted pack. As far as the price question, maybe it has to do with exchange rates or the more saturated market in these European geographies vs. the US? Specialized is headquartered in Northern California USA. Hope this helps to clear up some of the questions and I hope you enjoy the bike! It and the Kalkhoff are both awesome high-quality products :)

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Anonymous
4 years ago

Thanks for your great and detailed reply. I’ve not ordered the bike yet, this hilarious video is putting me off :-)…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6C1ogEAw1c

Suhail
4 years ago

Hi what is the weight limit on these bikes? I look at reviews on performance, hill climbing abilities etc but being a heavier guy, I want to know if this bike will perform well with additional weight. Thanks.

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Erik A
4 years ago

I’m choosing between this bike (6000dollar) and the Stromer St2 (8400dollar). I live in Sweden and have 26km (16miles) one way from my house to work. Its possible to charge the battery at my workplace. I guess I will not commute with the bike on really cold days, but it have to work around -15C (5F). The ST2 has a bigger battery, but is it worth almost 1500dollars more, thats the price difference in Sweden. Best Regards Erik

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Court
4 years ago

Hi Erik! I’d get the Specialized Turbo in this case because the battery is easier to get off (it just pops off vs. having to open the side of the frame and slide out). The ST2 is an amazing bike but both of these bikes will get you the distance and both are speed pedelecs so they will go fast. I also really like the Specialized Turbo X because it has a suspension fork and that can be nice at high speed and long distance (but the motor is less powerful). If I were you I would charge the bike at half way each day because 16 miles is a long ride :)

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Erik A
4 years ago

Thank you for the answer, I believe I will choose the Turbo S. I don’t see the use of any suspension on a commuter bike, its only heavier. If you have the right tire pressure, seat and body position and ride active with some core tension you dont need it. I always use the lockout while ridning on asphalt with my mtb. Thank you once again for the answer and for all the work you do to bring really useful and interesting reviews!

Chris
4 years ago

Thanks for your great reviews, Court. They’ve been really helpful in my research on electric bikes. I just went down to my local Specialized dealer today and had a chance to ride both the 2016 Turbo and the Turbo S. All I can say is… WOW. I came back in after the test ride with a huge smile on my face, and the staff just nodded their heads knowingly as if to say “Yeah, that guy just took the Turbo out for a spin.” I have never had this much fun on a bike before.

I used to live in a flat area and had a fixed gear bike that I rode everywhere. We had a car, but I could go weeks without driving it. Then we moved way up into the hills, and my bike riding days were over. I just didn’t have the energy after a long day at work to slog up several miles of very steep hill. Well, on my test ride I took the bike and made it halfway up to my house and back in about 8 minutes — a ride which would typically take at least 25 minutes or more—and I didn’t even break a sweat (though I was breathing pretty hard, maybe in part from excitement!). I’m very close to pulling the trigger. It’s not cheap, but I think this could almost entirely replace my car. I just have a couple of questions:

  1. Occasionally I go out for leisurely family rides with my wife and 5 year old daughter on the weekends. Is that a situation where I could put the bike in Eco mode at 50% of full power? Obviously Turbo will be overkill for these rides. I’m a little worried that this bike won’t work well in those situations, and I don’t want to buy another bike just for those rides.
  2. I’m torn between this and the X. We live next to a regional park with some fantastic dirt fire trails. It would be nice to be able to ride on those, which it seems the X would be a better choice for. On the other hand, I like the extra power and speed of the S, and it seems like a better road bike, which is probably 80% of what I’ll be doing. Any thoughts?

Thanks again!

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Court
4 years ago

Hi Chris, sounds like you had a great experience! My firs time on a high quality electric bike was similar, the technology is awesome and the feeling of power and speed and grin worth :D

Regarding your questions, yes with the Turbo I believe you can even set a custom assist level so you won’t be struggling to “slow down” to hang with your family. You can even turn assist off and the bike works very well as a heavy traditional bike. Imagine if you just gained ~20 lbs… you could still ride a bike, it wouldn’t be much different except for the hills. Regarding the Turbo X, that’s my favorite model in the line because it’s more affordable and has a suspension fork. I got into ebikes because my knees are sensitive but my back and neck have also suffered some injuries and I can’t ride for long periods on any type of road bike… let alone a non-stop high speed bike :P

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Chris
4 years ago

Thanks Court! Do you know what the main differences are between the X and the S, other than the suspension fork? I’m having a hard time finding that online. There must be some significant improvements with the S, since it’s $2,500 more.

Chris
4 years ago

Thanks again. This is a tough choice. I live at the top of a very long, steep hill, and I plan to put racks and paniers on it to carry groceries/supplies. The extra power might be really helpful on those long hill climbs. On the other hand, I live on the edge of a regional park and would love to take the bike out on the fire trails every now and then. No serious mountain biking; the trails are pretty wide and well-maintained, hard dirt. But without any suspension it seems like it might be pretty uncomfortable. Guess I need to go back to my LBS and try riding the X up the hill to my house, and compare it to the S.

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Court
4 years ago

I’d go with the Turbo X myself but I only weigh ~135 and am price sensitive. This is something you’ll have for a long time so the extra money could be worth it and I think you could swap the rigid fork for suspension down the line if you really wanted to. I believe the S is the more popular model and the larger battery helps for riding at high speeds so you still get decent range :)

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Stelios
4 years ago

Hello I’m from Greece and I watch yor reviews and videos long time,they are perfect!I want to buy a Specialized turbo s 2016 but I don’t like that the lights don’t turn off.i saw a video that you can switch off them with your mobile from a specialized mission app. Do you know if that is a true? Sorry for my English ,I’m waiting your answer !!that is the link of the video http://youtu.be/FtFWHCdvouA

thank you !!!

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Court
4 years ago

Neat video… Your English is actually very good! I cannot confirm this action as I am not near a Specialized Turbo ebike right now but it appears to work, at least for the rear light. I didn’t see them show the headlight? I have heard about the smart phone app but have not seen it in person. Maybe Specialized can answer this directly if you reach out? I may check with them too…

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Andrew
4 years ago

Does anyone know when the annual release cycle is for these bikes? ie. is the 2017 getting announced this month?

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Court
4 years ago

Hi Andrew, Specialized has a bunch of new models for 2016 and I’m hoping to check a few more out as the year unfolds. Here’s a video I shot at their headquarters in Morgan Hill where we look at all of the new stuff (skip towards the end for ebike specific footage).

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Andrew
4 years ago

Thanks for the nice video, I found that entire specialized video fascinating – thank you, I *think* all those ebikes at the end of your video are all available now on the market.( ?) I’ve heard numerous good reviews about the turbo (in general) , not least from my own mother!, who randomly used a turbo x on a bike tour around Las Vegas, and hasn’t stopped singing the bike’s praises since :-) she has a gazelle at home, which had put her off ebikes (it really struggles to go up hills) – until now. Anyway, I’m looking at the turbo S ( I know you *overall prefer the X ). My only concern is range, does anyone know if there are anymore turbos in pipeline for this year? Or updates to models? There seemed to be a quite significant jump from 2015 to 2016 for turbo s in terms of power and range (at a price jump cost), given your specialized peak into 2016 video was published august 2015, would it be reasonable to assume that we’ll hear stuff around the same time this year? My only concern is range – feel as though theres enough reasonable power, but if they bumped up battery again for next year , I think I’d have to pass on 2016 turbo s and wait for the next.

Todd
3 years ago

I’ve had my 2016 Turbo S for seven months now, and I can tell any of you future buyers that this is the most fun on 2 wheels ever. I use it to commute to and from work with just an average of 12 miles a day. I live in Venice and it takes me about 25 minutes in the car and with the Turbo it’s just about 12 minutes.

I’ve had only one problem where the battery completely died after just 4 months but Specialized was awesome and swapped it out for new one within a week. I almost bought the 2015 but couldnt find stock at the time and had to wait for the 2016.. It was well worth the wait with the improved battery and components. I have the floor battery charger as well and it charges in about 4 hours.

Specialized needs to take another crack at the APP, as it really isn’t very good or functional. You can’t search a location or punch in an address and the data Screens are to small.

But to sum it up…This bike is so much fun and to pass the seasoned city riders on there expensive road bikes make you feels like you’re bionic. If you can stomach the $7,000 it’s well worth it.

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Court
3 years ago

Thanks for the great feedback Todd, especially about the app! I haven’t used it much and I think your feedback is important (for both customers and Specialized when they come read the comments). Have fun out there, Venice California is a beautiful place, perfect for ebikes :D

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Shirley
3 years ago

I purchased the Specialised Turbo several months ago and I love the bike except the read out display and the joy stick. I wish the display was bigger so easier to read whilst riding. I bought the bike because I have a lung disease and I needed assistance to get up hills but when I use the joystick I sometimes find it difficult to get it exactly on the accelerate mode. I would prefer a big button that was easy to push. Do you know if it is possible to change the display / joystick?

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Court
3 years ago

Hi Shirley! I don’t think it’s possible to change the display or button layout as it’s all proprietary to Specialized (I haven’t seen anything like it from other brands). I think they made it small and streamlined to help the bike blend in but have heard some people complain that the joystick can break if you’re rough with it. I’m glad that overall the bike is working, if the display actually fails I bet your Specialized dealer can help you get a replacement… but it still might require a bit of extra finesse to operate with.

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Bob R.
3 years ago

Specialized sales rep dropped off his personal 2015 Turbo S for me to try. Been riding it back and forth to work at the shop, just 2 miles each way but it’s so much fun. Motor vehicles don’t like being dropped, they stomp on it after I fly by on the right in the empty parking lane. Very stealth, most people don’t know it’s an e-bike. It makes you feel like you’re 3 years old again and you just got your training wheels off. Stock 2015 headlight light is too narrow of a beam for a twisty bike path, have to turn on my Bontrager Ion 700 to keep from going off the trail.

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Court
3 years ago

Nice! Glad you’re enjoying it Bob, thanks for the update and recommendation on lights ;)

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Young Kim
3 years ago

If you had choose between ST2 vs Tourbo S, for street city commute, which would you pick?

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Court
3 years ago

Probably the Turbo S because it’s lighter, the motor is still gearless but the casing isn’t as large or thick seeming. I like both bikes, appreciate the multiple sizes and think they perform well but another consideration might be which dealer is closer? I tend to buy locally when possible to get free tuneups and just to support their business. It’s easier to get support down the line as well if you’ve got a shop to work with :)

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Young
3 years ago

Dealership isn’t even in my consideration. Purchased my ST1 from Crazy Len’s in OH, and even the nearby NYCewheels dealership I went to was a big disappointment. Had multiple issues; one I can mentioned is battery charger not charging bike anymore. NYCewheel response was: you go contact Stromer. I asked: can I buy a charger; we do not carry any spare charger! Are you kidding me; self-proclaimed biggest Stromer dealer in the country does not have one single charger to spare? They said, they just have one in their repair dept.

I reached out to Crazy Len’s and they told me ship out the charger for them inspect. Once received it was indeed deemed defective and they tried for over week and half to contact Stromer with no avail. Thus CL’s store manager just ordered new chargers for me; and they will work out RMA of the defective charger later. Another note: MT2 brake lever/blade. I was told that Magura no longer makes these anymore and that’s really interesting that Stromer keeps putting parts that are discontinued from manufacturer. My brake blade broke and Magura was nice enough to replace it for another part that works. I purchased ST1 less than 1 yr ago; and already parts is discontinued? Go figure~

Comparing ST2 vs Turbo S; ST2 has higher motor peak output, bigger battery and longer rang right? Also their wireless app interface, and auto lock feature seems more attractive to me. How about other folks? One more thing to add; how about the ride position for long rides? Is Turbo S more leaning forwarded than ST2?

Vijay Judge
3 years ago

Hi Court, great fan of EBR. I noticed that the torque is not listed. What is the torque rating for the Turbo S? I found that when I test ride a bike 60nM or higher carries me better than 40nM. This is how I filter for the right fit. Is it possible to have the torque rating listed for all the bikes you test?

I have a very competent Pedego Ridge Rider an I am already looking for a second e-bike. Thanks

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Court
3 years ago

Hey Vijay! Yeah, I always try to add torque rating but sometimes ebike companies don’t provide it and it isn’t listed in the specs. I think that’s the case here… Rather than approximate or guess wrong I’ve left it blank, but perhaps you could ask around in the Specialized Ebike Forums and see if anyone who actually owns the bike knows? I’d love to hear and update the review here if you do find out.

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Elder
3 years ago

Is there any truth to Specialized producing a mid-drive electric street bike in the near future? Any info on it will be appreciated. I have held off buying an electric bike hoping to review a Specialized street model with a mid-drive. There are a couple of other mid-drive street bikes that I am considering.

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Court
3 years ago

Yeah, I’ve seen some pictures of it and hear it’s called the Turbo Vado and is a 2017 model. I’m excited to check it out but am mixed on the look of it. I like the silence of the older hub motors and how they offered regen too. Mid-drive is more efficient and the Brose motor is awesome so I’m sure the bike will be cool for what it is :)

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