Specialized Turbo Review

2015 Specialized Turbo Electric Bike Review 1
2015 Specialized Turbo
2015 Specialized Turbo Sram X7 10 Speed
2015 Specialized Turbo Lithium Ion Battery
2015 Specialized Turbo Ergonomic Grips And Display
2015 Specialized Turbo Aluminum Bash Guard
2015 Specialized Turbo Backlit Computer Console And Joystick
2015 Specialized Turbo Body Geometry Targa Saddle With Lights
2015 Specialized Turbo Double Leg Kickstand
2015 Specialized Turbo Electric Bike
2015 Specialized Turbo Go Swissdrive Gearless Motor
2015 Specialized Turbo Rear Wheel Above
2015 Specialized Turbo Supernova Headlight
2015 Specialized Turbo Electric Bike Review 1
2015 Specialized Turbo
2015 Specialized Turbo Sram X7 10 Speed
2015 Specialized Turbo Lithium Ion Battery
2015 Specialized Turbo Ergonomic Grips And Display
2015 Specialized Turbo Aluminum Bash Guard
2015 Specialized Turbo Backlit Computer Console And Joystick
2015 Specialized Turbo Body Geometry Targa Saddle With Lights
2015 Specialized Turbo Double Leg Kickstand
2015 Specialized Turbo Electric Bike
2015 Specialized Turbo Go Swissdrive Gearless Motor
2015 Specialized Turbo Rear Wheel Above
2015 Specialized Turbo Supernova Headlight

Summary

  • Completely purpose built with integrated lights, in-frame cabling and downtube mounted battery pack that blends in
  • Available in four frame sizes for improved fit, optional city kit with fenders and rear rack for commuting, ergonomic grips and larger 700x45c tires help to smooth out the ride over long distances at higher speeds ~26 mph
  • Kickstand can feel unstable at times, charger is big and heavy, LCD display is not adjustable or removable, lights stay on all the time (even while charging), rubber joystick can feel a bit delicate

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Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Specialized

Model:

Turbo

Price:

$3,800 USD

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Urban, Commuting

Electric Bike Class:

Speed Pedalec (Class 3)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

2 Year Battery and Motor, Lifetime Frame and Fork

Availability:

United States, Europe

Model Year:

2015

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

49.5 lbs (22.45 kg)

Battery Weight:

8 lbs (3.62 kg)

Frame Material:

Specialized M4 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

16.5 in (41.91 cm)18 in (45.72 cm)19.5 in (49.53 cm)21 in (53.34 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

Small 16.5" (420 mm Seat Tube Length, 746 mm Stand-Over Height, 584 Top Tube Length, 1079 mm Wheelbase, 580 mm Handlebar Width), Medium 18" (460 mm Seat Tube Length, 783 mm Stand-Over Height, 602 Top Tube Length, 1097 mm Wheelbase, 580 mm Handlebar Width), Large 19.5" (500 mm Seat Tube Length, 814 mm Stand-Over Height, 615 Top Tube Length, 1111 mm Wheelbase, 580 mm Handlebar Width), Extra Large 21" (540 mm Seat Tube Length, 847 mm Stand-Over Height, 635 Top Tube Length, 1131 mm Wheelbase, 580 mm Handlebar Width)

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Dream Silver

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid 6061 Aluminum Alloy with Fender and Side Bosses, 1 1/18

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses

Gearing Details:

10 Speed 1x10 SRAM X7, 11-32T

Shifter Details:

SRAM X7 SL Triggers on Right

Cranks:

Aluminum Alloy 175 mm, 48 Tooth Front Chainring

Pedals:

Aluminum Alloy Platform

Headset:

Ahead, Cartridge Bearings, Alloy Top Cap, 8 mm Cone Spacer

Stem:

3D Forged Aluminum Alloy, 4-Bolt, 7-Degree Rise

Handlebar:

Specialized Stout XC, Flat Bar, Double Butted 6061 Alloy, 9-Degree Backsweep, 4-Degree Upsweep, 31.8 mm Length

Brake Details:

Formula C1 Hydraulic Disc with 180 mm Rotors, Dual Piston, Formula C1 Levers with Rubber Knubs

Grips:

Specialized Body Geometry XCT, Dual Compound, Lock-On

Saddle:

Body Geometry Targa, Hollow Cr-Mo Rails, Integrated Backlight

Seat Post:

Specialized, Aluminum Alloy, 2-Bolt, 12.5 mm Offset

Seat Post Diameter:

31.8 mm

Rims:

Aluminum Alloy Double-Wall, Pin Joint, 36 Hole

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 2.3/2.0/2.0 mm

Tire Brand:

Electrak, 700 x 45c

Wheel Sizes:

28 in (71.12cm)

Tire Details:

Armadillo Flat Protection

Tube Details:

Presta Valve

Accessories:

4 Amp Charger (Weighs ~4.5 lbs), Optional 1.6 Amp Charger (Weighs ~1.3 lbs), Replacement Battery Pack $800, Reflective Downtube Graphics, Optional Matching Rear Carry Rack and Fenders, Bell Near Left Grip

Other:

Locking Removable Battery Pack, Self Diagnostic System LED Readout When Powered On, Throttle Mode ~12 mph (Hold Up on Joystick, Once Flashing Hold Up Again, Bike Must Be Moving to Activate), EnergyBus Magnetic Charge Port on Battery, Battery Packed by Simplo (Does Apple's Stuff, High Quality), Battery Stops with 4% at Top and Bottom to Avoid Straining Cells

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Go SwissDrive by Ortlinghaus-Gruppe

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Gearless Direct Drive Hub (Odd Number of Magnets for Smoother Ride)
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

200 watts

Motor Peak Output:

750 watts

Battery Brand:

Samsung

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

13 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

468 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

3.5 hours (7 Hours with Optional Travel Charger)

Estimated Min Range:

25 miles (40 km)

Estimated Max Range:

55 miles (89 km)

Display Type:

Fixed Backlit LCD on Right

Readouts:

Speed, Trip Odometer (Resets When Bike is Charged), Lifetime Odometer, Battery Charge Percentage, Assist Level (Regen, None, Eco, Turbo)

Display Accessories:

Rubberized Backlit Joystick

Drive Mode:

Torque Sensing Pedal Assist, Trigger Throttle

Top Speed:

26 mph (42 kph) (Up to ~12 mph in Throttle Mode)

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Written Review

The Specialized Turbo is the most affordable model in the Specialized electric bicycle lineup (as of 2015 when this review was published) which also includes the Turbo X and Turbo S. With the standard Turbo you get a beautiful purpose built frame in one of four sizes, a powerful but silent gearless rear hub motor with power regeneration, quality safety features including oversized reflectors, a bar-end mirror and integrated LED lights as well as an excellent two year electronics warranty and lifetime frame warranty. Specialized is a leading American bicycle brand launched in 1974 out of Northern California. Their slogan; “to give everyone the best ride of their life” definitely applies here because the ride is great and the price point is more in reach of “everyone” when compared with the Turbo S which is $6,000 vs. $3,800 here… For city riding and mid-range commuting the Turbo, along with the other two models, are some of the most fluid ebikes I’ve tested and the attention to detail is inspiring. It’s not a bike that was pieced together with generic off the shelf parts and it doesn’t feel like they cut any corners. My major complaints feel more like opinions here (the fast charger is heavy and large, the LCD display is built into the brake lever and doesn’t swivel, the lights stay on while charging). In short, I really like the bike but would prefer the Turbo X myself given the inclusion of a locking suspension fork for $200 more. Considering the higher speeds and longer distances that ebikes tend to endure, the suspension is just worth the extra money for me (especially since these two bikes weigh the same).

Driving the bike is a 200 watt nominal, 750 watt peak gearless direct drive motor called the “Go SwissDrive” from Ortlinghaus-Gruppe. It’s heavier and wider than most hub motors I see but the black finish blends well with accents on the frame and it doesn’t seem out of place next to the 10 speed cassette and 180 mm disc brake rotor on either side. What it delivers is smooth, powerful and near silent acceleration that reaches ~26 mph and then gracefully eases off. One of the big differences between the Turbo X and standard Turbo here vs. the more expensive Turbo S is a slightly lower top speed (the S can reach ~28 mph). In my experience, both of these slower ebikes still offer a very satisfying ride and one side benefit of the speed limit is increased range. While servicing the rear wheel, you’ll benefit from a quick disconnect point at the left side of the motor and the sturdy thru-axle which is easier to align and tighten down than a skewer. You don’t get quick release here (just on the front wheel) but the custom Electrak tires feature “Armadillo” flat protection which should help to reduce punctures. The wheelset is 700c which is a larger, more efficient size used by most road and city style bikes. The tires are 700x45c sized and that’s much wider than a road bike which are often 700x23c so you get a nice cushion that compliments the suspension and ergonomic grips at higher speeds. The tires are really unique… almost like race car slicks, they don’t feature any tread.

Powering the motor and both lights, is a super high quality 36 volt 13 amp hour battery pack. This thing is one of the major highlights on the bike because it integrates so perfectly into the downtube, creating a seamless look. The battery contains Samsung cells which are packed by Simplo (this company does Apple stuff and are recognized as a quality leader in the space). You get fifty individual 18650 cells containing a Lithium-ion chemistry that’s warrantied for two years… or 300 full cycles. I was initially put off by the seemingly low number of cycles in the guarantee but those are “full cycles” and a year contains 365 days, so if you were riding the bike from full to empty every single day 25+ miles (based on my range tests) that would be more than 9,000 miles which seems pretty solid. In short, the battery looks great, is well made, uses excellent cells and comes with solid support. If you do need a replacement or decide to get a second battery pack it will cost $800 so do take care of it! You can do this by storing it in a cool dry place and keeping it above half full when not in use over long periods (check it every few months and top it off). Now here’s a bit of an issue I noticed, the battery charger that comes with the bike is huge and weighs ~4.5 pounds. It’s not exactly backpack friendly and while you could get the optional city kit with fenders and rear rack (or add your own stuff) it would take up a lot of room and I just wasn’t stoked on the whole thing. The upside to the stock charger is that it delivers 4 Amps of energy which will charge the 468 watt hour battery in ~3.5 hours. For an additional $120 you can grab a travel charger which is slower (1.6 Amps) but much slimmer and lighter at ~1.3 pounds. I think I’d buy the travel charger for use at home (charging overnight) and then leave the larger quick charger at work for top-offs during my daily commute. Of course, the battery can be charged on or off the frame but I noticed that the lights come on whenever it is being charged on the frame (they do shut off when it’s full). This is one of my gripes about the Turbo, the lights are always on! When you charge and when you ride… They are really nice looking, especially the metal Supernova in the front, and I guess it keeps you safer and reduces complexity in the LCD menu system but it does get annoying. The original Turbo that I reviewed in 2013 seemed to let you turn the lights off by pressing in on the joystick but the new models do not. I found myself tossing a couple of shirts over the bike while charging because my room is small and the LED’s were distracting me.

Speaking of the display… it’s one of the smallest and stealthiest I’ve seen but it does have a few issues. Once the pack is charged and mounted to the frame, you press the metallic circular button at the top of the battery for a second and four LEDs flash on in sequence. If you see one of them flash multiple times it means that something is wrong in the system and each dot relates to a different component such as the motor, battery, display and lights. At this point, the sleek LCD unit near the right grip lights up and shows your speed, assist setting and one of three other readouts (odometer, trip odometer and battery charge percentage). The trip odometer resets when you plug the bike in or if you hold the little rubber joystick to the right for three seconds while in trip odometer mode (make sure you just switched into trip mode or holding to the right won’t work). The menu is really easy to navigate with the joystick thing and fairly simple to understand as long as you don’t need to do advanced stuff like disable the backlight or change from miles to kilometers… it’s all in the attached manual and involves clicking down or holding it in one direction or another. Basically you’ve got four drive modes to choose from including Turbo (which is the highest and offers full power and the 26 mph top speed), Eco mode (which is programmable between 10% and 70% output), No Assist and Regen (which turns the motor into a generator to fill the battery slowly). I really enjoyed the Eco mode and experimented with 40% and 50% output to create a slightly lighter, faster feeling “bicycle”. The Turbo is more bike-like than any other electric bike I’ve tried to date and the torque sensing motor is consistent, smooth and rarely surprising. I found myself holding the brakes while pushing down on the pedals at a stop light and unlike some other electric bikes, it didn’t try to go (even though it does not have motor inhibitors in the brake levers). I think the bike has to get going just a bit before the motor will kick in but it’s not 2 mph or anything, it’s just a little bit and it feels natural. There is a basic throttle mode built into the menus as well and you can access this by going up into Turbo mode, holding the joystick up for a few seconds until the icon flashes and then pressing and holding it up to accelerate. Note that the bike does have to be moving slightly for the throttle to kick in. Note also that I haven’t used the joystick for more than a week with a brand new demo bike and cannot comment on how well it will hold up over time. It looks well protected against water but may be delicate compared to more basic buttons used on other ebikes. One final grip about the display is that it’s not removable and cannot be swiveled to reduce glare because it’s built into the right brake lever. It’s not a huge deal because the display is small but it’s just not as convenient as some other bikes.

At the end of the day the Specialized Turbo is a $3,800 electric bike that’s priced on par with other premium offerings with the Bosch or Impulse mid-drive system but it goes faster, operates much quieter and looks more normal and “stealth”. During my ride tests it attracted more positive interest and excitement from bystanders than other ebikes I’ve tested and I think that’s because it truly blends in and is made by a company they recognize and trust. I took it to a picnic with family members in their 50’s and many of them wanted to test it out and were very impressed after a short ride. That hasn’t been the case with other electric bikes I’ve brought home. With four frame sizes to choose from (even though they are all high-step) and the vast network of Specialized dealers across the US it feels like an excellent choice, a true car replacer. In the video review you can see me racing cars from light to light and the extra speed seems to generate respect on the road which is great. While I did not install the mirror it did look nice and the locking grips and body geometry saddle worked flawlessly. This isn’t a “do everything” electric bike (I’d recommend it primarily for smooth paved riding) but it is an exciting electric bike. The weight of the motor and battery are perfectly balanced across the frame (I weighted it using a luggage scale connected near the middle of the top tube) and the pedals, cranks and 10 speed cassette perform well at low and high speed. with the bike in Eco 30% it almost feels like an ultra light road bike, until you put your foot down and remember that there are 50 pounds there instead of 20. If you want to go further, climb easier, avoid sweating or just have some fun keeping up with your friends then this could be a great choice.

Pros:

  • Mounting points for a bottle cage, lock or other accessory built directly into the top of the in-frame battery pack
  • Excellent weight distribution! While the bike is somewhat heavy given the large battery and motor, the mass is kept low to the ground and balanced front to rear
  • Sturdy, beautifully integrated LED lights by Supernova, the battery is designed to maintain enough capacity to run them at all times and even if it empties completely, the motor generates enough power through cogging to keep them going
  • Well positioned mounting points for adding fenders at the front and rear as well as a four-point carry rack, great for commuting (optional commuter package from Specialized to match perfectly)
  • Ergonomic grips and active saddle by Body Geometry from Specialized help to reduce hand and butt fatigue over long distances and higher speeds
  • All-black frame, components and accessories make this a beautiful ride and it truly blends in… less pronounced as an “electric” bike than many others
  • Includes a side mirror for safer street and city riding, this is a requirement for speed pedelecs in Europe (along with the rubber brake nubs and lights)
  • Quick disconnect motor cable and thru-axle makes service easier, the quick release front wheel makes transporting more convenient
  • Optional quick charger is slim, light weight at ~1.3 lbs and costs $120, it could be useful for commuters

Cons:

  • The little rubber joystick used to navigate the display may be more delicate than clicky buttons used on more traditional displays I’ve tested
  • LCD display panel is built into the right brake lever and cannot be swiveled front to back for improved view or reduced glare
  • Center mounted kickstand makes changing the front tire easy and keeps the bike straight but feels tippy side to side, overall less stable than some other stands
  • The included battery charger is very fast but also large and heavy which makes it much more difficult to take along in your pack to charge at work etc. however, there is a small light weight travel charger available for ~$120
  • When charging the battery pack on the bike the headlight and taillight come on and seem to stay lit which can be annoying if you don’t want the extra light
  • No way to turn off the headlight and tail light while the bike is turned on (I think the Turbo S let’s you toggle them by pressing the joystick in), sometimes it’s nice to cruise without blinding friends or try to blend in more in my opinion so this would be a nice feature
  • It would be nice if in addition to the regen mode (which requires you to click down two or three times using the joystick) the Turbo X and standard Turbo offered regenerative braking so you could capture electricity and save the brake pads more seamlessly by pulling the brake levers
  • It seems like anyone could press the power button on the battery pack and tamper with the display, you don’t need the key or any kind of special fob or password to activate the bike… still, the motor won’t start without the bike rolling a little bit so if it’s chained up maybe that’s not a huge deal (aside from lights being on)

Resources:

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Ken
2 years ago

Hey, I just got this bike and love it. The one thing I don’t particularly like is that I can’t seem to figure out how to turn off the lights during the day. Do you know how to do this. I see in the 2014 model the instruction manual just says to hold the joystick down but the 2015 model it doesn’t have this option. Thanks

Court Rye
2 years ago

Hi Ken! This was one of my big complaints with the Turbo X and it sounds like maybe all newer models… You cannot turn off the lights (at least from what I could tell and I think I also asked Specialized). Even when charging the bike, the lights stay on and that’s annoying if you’re trying to sleep :/ just put a rag over it with a rubber band or something I guess. If you figure it out, let me know for sure!

Dan
2 years ago

Hey Ken, I just bought the bike too. Rides great. However my buying experience was horrible. I was told by the dealer (Fresh Bikes) that the bike doesn’t come with the magnetic rubber plug cover. I pointed to the pictures in the manuals. They just tried to send me on my way. I called Specialized directly while in the store and was told that it should have come with a plug. I was forwarded to someone who was away at lunch. Hopefully when he returns, he will send me a plug cover. (Hours later and still no call back by Specialized.) This is not how my “special” and expensive bike experience should be starting. I am saddened and worried. Dealer was sure nice when they getting me to pay. Not so much after they got the money. To make matters worse, after I got my bike home I researched the plug issue and learned that the list price for the bike is $3000 instead of the $3800 price.

Court Rye
2 years ago

Sorry they weren’t more attentive with the magnetic plug… yeah, that should definitely come with. Regarding price, I was told $3,800 but there might be adjustments as seasons change. I hope you enjoy riding the bike and service improves in the future, it’s a great design but yeah… quite a bit of money and you’d expect friendly service. Which Specialized dealer was this?

Niklas
2 years ago

Hi Court. Thanks for a brilliant review! Any idea if its possible to attach a child carrier hitch to this bike? Its usually no problem with a quick release system but this one seems to have a thru axle

Court Rye
2 years ago

Hi Niklas! Great question… I believe the Turbo models use a 12 mm thru-axle which could possibly be modified (along with your hitch) but might require extra work and time (and tools). Some other bicycle trailers and carriers attach to the seat and chain stays on the left side (but there’s a disc brake on the Turbo here which might collide) and still others attach to the seat post, this might be the best option to pursue but I cannot guarantee it will work. Depending on the age and balance of the child you could explore a trailer more like this or try to make your own adapter. I wish I could offer more help but this is a new area for me, I’d love to hear what you end up doing and how it works, feel free to post pictures in the Specialized forum here :)

Hudson
1 year ago

I bought Specialized Turbo X and it was missing the battery cap. My dealer took a week to get a replacement. I found out the battery cap is hiding inside the battery transport box. I hope that answers your searching question.

Court Rye
1 year ago

Great tip Hudson, thanks for chiming in!

Niklas
2 years ago

Hi again. A solution found here http://www.thule.com/en-us/us/products/active-with-kids/multifunctional-child-carriers/accessories/thule-syntace-x-12-axle-adapter-_-1684669

Couldn’t be easier:-). Turbo purchased today here in Oslo Norway. Cant wait to pick it up tomorrow:-) thanks again for a brilliant review(s) of all kind of ebikes!

Product Description: Thule Syntace X-12 Axle Adapter. This thru axle adapter allows Thule child carriers to be compatible with bikes with 12 mm Syntace X-12 rear axle and costs $59.95

Court Rye
2 years ago

This is awesome Niklas! Thanks for sharing, that looks like the perfect part for adding a trailer. I hope you and your family enjoy the bike, thanks for the compliment, I do my best to help people find a good product and I believe Specialized has created something special and high performing with the Turbo. Ride safe :)

Lyn
2 years ago

Just bought one here in New Zealand for my birthday. I have a hilly commute for about 6k, then another 6k on a flat bike path. Can’t wait! I’ll report back once I’ve broken it in. And thanks for the review; most helpful.

Court Rye
2 years ago

Awesome Lyn! I hope you love it and have a great time riding around, would love to hear your thoughts after a bit of use ;)

Lyn
2 years ago

I just had my first real test ride, and it was absolutely amazing. I’ve been bike-commuting with my Trek by driving to a bike path about 6km from work and then cycling the rest of the way. Our main road is narrow and clogged with logging trucks, just way too scary. The Turbo allowed me to use the hilly back roads just parallel to the main road. It was so fast and easy, yet still a good workout. Once I add in the time to mount my rack and fiddle getting the bike on and off, it’s only going to add about 15 minutes to the commute to bike the whole way!

I love how responsive and natural the bike feels. I used to bike quite bit back in the day, so I appreciate a bike that feels like a ‘real’ bike. I think the review is spot on – I do wish that display was easier to read. It’s a great bike for us older riders (I’m 57), and it’s not easy to read whilst riding. If I had had an option for a suspension fork I would have taken it, but there are limited models available in NZ.

Court Rye
2 years ago

Hi Lyn! Great testimonial, thanks for taking the time to share… sounds like the Turbo has enabled you to go all-bike and skip the short drive. I really enjoy backroads but they can add a strain without assist, do ride safe out there! Bummer that there weren’t any Turbo X models with the suspension fork where you’re at but at least you’ve got the larger tires and a solid platform. I really enjoyed testing the Turbo, it’s a beautiful bike and I hope it works well for you ongoing :)

Ray
2 years ago

Does anyone know what the main differences are between the 2015 and 2016 standard Turbo models (not Turbo X or S)? Far as I can tell, it seems the only difference is they dropped the price a whopping $800 from $3,800 to $3,000. If they dropped the price without changing any of the components, this is fantastic, but how are they doing this? Excess supply of the older 200w motors? It would make sense since the Turbo X and S are now being outfitted with bigger motors for 2016 (250w and 500w, respectively).

Court Rye
2 years ago

Hi Ray, I think you’ve got it… The primary difference seems to be the lower price and availability of more powerful or richly outfitted options.

mike
1 year ago

Having been looking at reviews off/on past year. Happened so see Specialized Turbo avail on sale locally. Was looking for 2016 models Evo or Nitro as more powerful batteries, and more efficient frames. Some Q I hope you can answer, if you have not reviewed the 2016 models perhaps sending a link whenever will do. ( not urgent).

What is your view in comparing these models? Use for a day vs weeks, what do you find important. How important is range, if less than say 40k/day is range important. Comfort, noise, squeaky breaks/rattles, viewable displays, easy display use, shocks, treaded tires… Many items not really identifiable from your reviews No product vs product comparison.

My kids have grown up and are into cars, not bikes, so if I buy a new bike they won’t destroy it. See use as mainly road (but roads have pot holes), sidewalks and perhaps dirt paths. I liked the Evo offerings but the new Nitro look even better. Never looked at Specialized before today and a quick compare would be appreciated (ride-ability not features). Like the Evo price and features but the Specialized with numerous options for things like fenders, racks, bottle holders…

How do these bikes compare in terms of ride ability, reliability, battery life(long-term), battery replacement (future), are there any features that you would say would make one more favorable? As an “urban” resident have Q about extras you would recommend are needed on an e-bike vs a pedal bike. Is a something like a removable display a preferred requirement? Are you better off taking your battery with you? Not an avid biker (anymore), but perhaps an e-bike will start me up again.

Court Rye
1 year ago

Hi Mike, I believe both the Specialized and Easy Motion models could be outfitted with racks, fenders and lights to suit your needs and I definitely recommend taking your battery inside when parking the bike at a rack or even in a cold/hot garage. Keep the battery in a cool dry environment and store at ~60% for long periods or charge before each ride. You can get great range on the Turbo or Nitro but the higher speed swill limit you as drag increases significantly above 20 mph as the square of air resistance.

I prefer an electric bike with suspension for longer rides and I usually take my charger with me so either bike could work for this (the Specialized Turbo X is my favorite because it has a suspension fork). Both companies offer good warranties and have a network of capable dealers. Specialized Turbo models are quieter because they use gearless direct drive hubs and this also potentially makes them more durable. The price of the new base model Turbo for 2016 is ~$3k which is awesome but still, I’d pay a bit more for the Turbo X myself. I love that it comes in several sizes for a good fit and that it has lights for safety. I hope this helps, the site will have a compare feature soon but I am fixing some bugs right now so it’s disabled.

Al
1 year ago

Is it possible to swap out the rear wheel with a more powerful motor?

Court Rye
1 year ago

I’m sure it’s possible but probably not something officially offered or supported by Specialized… In my experience these Go SwissDrive motors are pretty zippy and you could choose the Turbo S if you want the most powerful version vs. buying the bike and swapping out the rear wheel and motor.

GB
1 year ago

Just test rode a Turbo today.

  • Nice – smooth, natural & quick.
  • Close to a Stromer st1, at a lower price point.
  • Make sure to include the Turbo on your “short list” of possible options when you head out for your test-rides.

Also Court, please consider getting a helmet mount for your camera, as I’d hate to see a bad Wipe-out while you’re speeding along one-handed!
Safety first and keep up the great work.

Court Rye
1 year ago

Nice! Thanks for the feedback GB, sounds like you really enjoyed the Turbo. It’s a sweet bike for sure, I love the Specialized designs and am stoked to see them offering more Turbo models in 2016 :D

Also, thanks for the safety tips GB, I’ve got some new equipment that helps to get nice angles and improve safety but really appreciate your care and feedback :)

Hudson
1 year ago

I just purchased 2015 Specialized Turbo X in California! Does anyone know how to charge Specialized Turbo on public electric automobile charging station? Is there an adapter? Who do I need to contact in order to purchase a public charging adapter!

Court Rye
1 year ago

I remember visiting the ChargePoint guys in the Bay Area a while back and it seemed like their paid stations had standard wall outlets built in (at least some of them). You might be better off bringing the battery inside with you and plugging into a normal wall socket :/ ps. maybe this site can help, I built it a number of years ago and now a friend runs it.

DK
1 year ago

These comments are to inform potential purchasers so they can be well informed, as I have found very little real user feedback online. Take it all with a ‘grain of salt’. I’ve been commuting (20+ miles each way with hills) on my Turbo now for well over a month and overall I like it a lot. Because I’ve been commuting with it for a while now and gotten over the initial novelty, I feel confident commenting about the bike. The integration is undeniable, it is oh so clean, I get positive comments all the time. The first question I get is; how long does the battery last. With a topped off battery and a commute of 20 miles of which I have a solid 3/4 mile climb and several tiny ones, I still have 40% when I get to the office. I weigh ~200lbs with all my gear. For my very first ride into the office, I only had 14% left when I got into the office and was really concerned I didn’t make the right choice. Don’t be alarmed, the battery takes a couple of charges to get to full capacity. Now, I’ve got plenty of juice and never suffered range anxiety since.

I feel a little duped because all the advertising and on Specialized’s website says 28mph, it’s only assisted to 26mph. I know 2mph difference seems trivial, but I want it to go 28mph with assist, especially if they advertise it as such. Only the S, and now the X is 28mph capable with assist. 200 watts is barely sufficient if you have any real climbs during your ride, especially given the poor choice of the stock 32t low gear, save yourself and get a 34t at minimum or a 36t for the real world if you have climbs in your ride. Buy a second charger, I have one at the office and one at home. I don’t regret my purchase, but in retrospect, the X model might not have been a bad way to go given the suspension, a slightly more powerful motor, and slightly greater capacity battery. If your riding is more flat, then the Turbo’s 200 watts will be enough. There are a few other short comings that you will discover, but will overlook because the bike is so darn fun to ride. Now, I’m saving for a Turbo S!!

Court Rye
1 year ago

Excellent feedback DK, I agree with each of your points and appreciate the background on how range was more limited when it was brand new and how the second charger has made a difference in addressing range anxiety. I love the Turbo X due to its suspension and would like to see a greater range of sprockets for climbing just like you’ve pointed out. Thanks again!

Doug
11 months ago

I have been riding my 2016 Specialized Turbo since mid-November, 2015. A couple of additional observations…The “2016” model is, in fact, identical to the 2015. I have seen several supposed 2016 models which were manufactured in October – November of 2014 as mine was. Notwithstanding, I was glad to get the $800 discount by buying it as a 2016 model. I had it delivered with an 11-36 SRAM cluster instead o the 11-32, and I then found a 44T chainring and bash guard to replace the stock 48T. This allows me to ride at a cadence of 85-90 rpm at or slightly above the 42kph limit in 9th or 10th gear while getting a 21% lower first gear. I have had no issues powering up hills and save the “Turbo” button for this use. Riding at ECO40 I can get a 50 mile range. At full Turbo, I plan rides no more than 25 miles. I have added the fender/rack kit, changed to treaded 700 x 37C tires, a Thudbuster ST seatpost, and Kool Stop organic brake pads (work MUCH better than stock metallic). The stock handgrips are not very comfortable, so I also changed to a set of Ergon GP5’s.

Court Rye
11 months ago

Wow! You sound very experienced with bikes Doug, thanks for sharing the details of your upgrades and also how the bike performs on rides for you. Would you mind sharing what frame size you got and also your weight? I think that could be useful for others considering the bike and trying to determine how far they might go per charge. Also, what fender + rack setup did you buy for your Turbo?

Doug
10 months ago

Court, This is a much delayed reply. I have a Large frame. I am 5’11” and 235 lbs, 65 years old, and recovered from a heart attack 16 years ago, so I am not terribly athletic. I now have around 1000 miles on my Turbo and still really like it. I went on a 30 mile ride yesterday at ECO70 (or full Turbo) and still had 30% battery left, suggesting a comfortable range of around 40 miles at ECO70. I am quite certain my range at ECO40 is over 50 miles in warm weather.My longest ride to date is 45 miles in cold weather with around 16-20% battery left.

Also, I am using the factory fenders/rack kit with the built in tailight. I wired the tailights so both the seat light AND the rack light work simultaneously. I also have a Serfas flashing tailight mounted over the reflector in the rack so that I now have three BRIGHT tailights, one of which flashes.

Another tip based on experience. When riding on bike trails here in New England, full Turbo is too much. These paved, but somewhat narrow and rough trails are not safe at 25 mph when other bicyclists, pedestrians, skaters, kids, and horses are sharing the trail. I only use the higher speeds when riding by myself on regular roads.

Alex
10 months ago

I did not agre with most of this review the riding quality of this turbo it’s not smooth at all not due to the 700x 45c tires but the frame construction I can say is more inclined to a super stiff than smooth if you happen to atach a sport camera like gopro on the handlebar the video will be ending shaking a lot due to the stiffness of the ride. The electric motor is 250 watts not 200 watts this version of the specialized turbo it’s limited to 25/mph. Since this is pedalec assistance bicycle a better bottom bracket is essential, surprisingly not the case of this specialized turbo. A good example of this will be climbing a little hill (2 miles long) at 9% inclination you will feel the need of stiffness in the bottom braket, also prolonged climbing at this inclination will get the electric motor hot regardless how fast or slow you can pedal. The regenerative option works only when you go downhills if you try to pedal in this option on the flat you ending tired of moving 50 lbs bicycle plus the generator force distance varies depending on how much you stop, hills, windy days and ovbiosly how much you pedal it will take couple of days to learn the basics like not to extra pedal at certain speed reached when the motor cuts because you get tire sooner again pushing 50 lbs bicycle, people asking haw fast you can go! This specialized turbo is designed to go 25/mph you can go faster but again if you are on a flat road and you use the economy mode at 40% anything faster than 25/mph is useless.

Court Rye
10 months ago

Thanks for the feedback Alex, I do my best to get the specs right and always ask reps at the shop and study the websites but sometimes I’m looking at a brand new bike and just don’t have all of the details. I agree that this is a stiffer bike and it can feel abrasive at high speed. For me, the best Turbo right now for street riding is the X model because it has a suspension fork :)

Jeffrey Baker
9 months ago

I recently got one of these and I wanted to write down a few surprising things, so that people can find this information online. I have a 29-mile round trip commute that starts with a 2-mile, 750-foot descent, followed by 12.5 miles of flats, then the reverse. The bike can just barely do this on 80% of its battery, if I use Eco mode for most of the flat part and keep the speed to 25 miles/hour or less. When the battery gets to 20% the bike will not use Turbo mode, only Eco. This is a bit of a nuisance if it hits 20% and you still have a climb home, because in Eco this bike is like riding a cargo bike with totally inappropriate gearing. Speaking of gearing, what were they thinking? The 32T first gear isn’t low enough to get up a mountain, and the 9th and 10th gears are useless because you can’t reach those speeds on this bike with these tires. Last thing is the regeneration mode is useless. I can put it in Regen mode and ride 2 miles and 750 feet down at 25 m/h and the battery doesn’t gain even 1% charge. In the other direction it loses 15-20% battery charge depending on speed! I think you would have to descend quite a distance (i.e. down Mt Whitney) to noticeably charge the battery.

Court Rye
9 months ago

Great feedback, thanks for taking the time to share Jeffrey! Hope you’re enjoying the bike overall, sounds like the range is a bit disappointing.

Pedro
6 months ago

If you had choice between the turbo or izip e3 dash mid drive which is a better buy for warranty and drivetrain

Court Rye
5 months ago

Hmm… are both bikes available at your local dealer? Even if warranty says it’s going to cover you for an extended period, there’s a lot to be said for convenience of a local dealer who can support you vs. sending emails and potentially mailing a bike or parts for repair. The Dash is an awesome bike and I like mid-drive systems for efficiency but the Turbo is quieter, smoother and better looking. With the Dash, your drivetrain (chain and sprockets) will take more wear and your top speed will be dependent on which gear you’re in vs. on the Turbo where the motor is separate.

Pedro
5 months ago

Thanks the bike shop here in Salt Lake City is a big specialized dealer and I also think one of their big warehouses is here as well the guys tell me they can get parts and bikes like in a day that’s good know for sevices

Court Rye
5 months ago

Sounds like a good fit, especially if they are excited about the bike and willing to help you out. I have owned several Specialized ebikes and love their designs, the support is usually solid… they just cost a bit more :)

Corey Meyer
3 months ago

I’ve had a Specialized Turbo since 7/2016 or so. I bought it b/c I moved somewhere about 10 miles from where I work (used to live about 5 miles easy biking from work) and started off driving – which I hated. I researched and discovered the electric bikes and found that the shop around the corner carried the Specialized Turbo. The test ride was great, reviews were great, so I bought it. After this many months, if I could again – I probably wouldn’t.

So, basically I bike 10 miles each way, most of the time at 40% boost, only really using 100% for hills. If I’m in a hurry, I demolish the trip on 100%, which I quite enjoy. So I don’t push it very hard and rarely use it at full go. I bought the bike during the summer (I live in New England w solid winters) and for the first couple months had no issues – was great. However, the bike has been in/out of the shop since then. Mostly electronics issues – lot of troubles w the connection between the battery and control panel. And while the warranty covers parts, it doesn’t cover labor. And so I’m paying my bike guys (who are GREAT) to try to figure out electronics issues – which isn’t their strength. I’ve had a number of things replaced (including the entire battery, the control panel – which they tried to say wasn’t covered b/c it gets used, and non-electronics like a spoke). At this point, I honestly feel like I’m being punished for trying to do a good thing.

In the end, the bike is great when it works, but it’s been a VERY expensive pain in the butt that I lose for 1-3 weeks at a time every couple months due to issues that my bike guys struggle to figure out b/c it’s not their expertise, and that Specialized seems to be difficult about (from my end). If I had it to do again, I’m honestly not sure I would do it again.

Court Rye
3 months ago

Hey Corey, I think you delivered that perfectly and empathize with your situation… I have heard similar statements from ebike shops about specific brands of bikes and there has been some migration to brands like Bosch which tend to be more reliable. Perhaps that is the direction Specialized themselves are going with the new Vado that uses a Brose motor system. In any case, I appreciate you trying to do something good by riding your bike and I only wish your first experience had been a bit less painful. I hope this resource has served you well but recognize my own shortcomings as a “reviewer” who really just does good overviews. As a sort of early adopter, there are painful moments to deal with. Thanks for taking them in stride and sharing so constructively :)

Adam
1 month ago

Hey Court,

I just purchased the $2500.00 turbo. I have the FSR Levo at home for 2 weeks as a demo and demo’d the first Turbo when it came out. I like the speed and feel as a commuter bike which is why this was my purchase and the other side is I do want to buy again when more options come out. Anyway, they do not carry the fenders any longer “sold out” and for my commute I really do want/need them. I’ve ordered the panniers and looking to see if you have or know of any way to get the factory fenders used or elsewhere?

Thanks!

Court Rye
1 month ago

Hi Adam! Thanks for the update about fender stock… sounds like they are preparing for the upcoming Vado model and offering a big discount on the Turbo and thinning out parts. I feel like there would be aftermarket fenders you could buy and attach. The best approach might be to ask for advice in the Specialized Forums or work with a shop that carries the Turbo and has one in stock they could measure. One ebike shop that I believe carries Specialized among many other brands is Propel Bikes in Brooklyn. I hope this helps!

Doug
1 month ago

I have commented above a few months ago, but wanted to add comments.

Just got back on the bike after a pretty long winter. My bike now has about 1400 miles. Since my last comment, I have made some other mods. I changed the shifting over to 11-speed Shimano XT from the SRAM. I now have an 11-42T rear with 48T front (same as the Turbo S). Lots better on hills and better choice of the right gear for a 85-90 rpm cadence at high speed.

My original battery developed an intermittent failure where the entire bike would cut out. Rather than diagnose and repair, Specialized offered to replace the battery. I offered to pay for a Turbo SC (691Wh with Bluetooth) battery and got it for the difference in price ($200). So now, with upgrades to shifting, battery, and other mods, my base Turbo is functionally equivalent to a Turbo S EXCEPT for motor power. The big bonus is range. I now get a solid 40 miles at full TURBO setting and 100 miles at ECO40. No more range anxiety at all!

A last comment on speed, etc. At full TURBO, I can average between 19 – 21 mph over distance on rolling rural New England roads. Tops assisted speed is 42 kmh (26,2 mph). If I had a Turbo S rear wheel, I could probably average 25+ mph with a top assist speed of 28 mph as Ravi did on his Stromer ST-2S on his marathon ride last summer. The speed up hills would also be GREATLY increased. OTOH, the range would be back to about what my Turbo was when I got it (20-25 mi at full Turbo and 40-50 mi at cruise) I need the range much more than I need the speed….but power is corrupting!

Court Rye
1 month ago

What a great update Doug! I’m glad to hear that Specialized took care of you and even offered the flexibility of a battery upgrade. Excellent choice, very cool that you can now get the range you need. What a great time of year Spring is, I’ve been getting back out and riding my bikes in Colorado since the snow has melted :D

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bfly
14 hours ago

EddieJ, whatever your point was, you failed to address the most glaring problem of the Purion, and that is its unresponsive, zero tactile feedback, finicky response. After riding for a month there is still no positive way to hit the plus or minus buttons and get the change you wanted overtime. This is really bad because when you are wanting a different setting you usually need it right then and there, and don't want to be looking off to the side to see what is going on with the control.
On the parts thread I offered to exchange the Purion with anyone for an Intuvia. Zero response. Says something?

My experience with the Purion isn't quite the same as yours. I have no issues with the feedback of the Purion. It works as expected and is no different, in that regard, than the Intuvia.

I wonder why one needs to change modes so often in the first place. Around town I use Tour unless it is a long climb then I'll go with Sport or Turbo. When riding technical MTB trails (ie. something like Porcupine Rim, Moab) I use Eco almost exclusively and Tour for longer, non-technical, slogs.

Too bad you didn't post your offer back in the Fall. I bought a Purion from Germany and sold my Intuvia on the forum.

Matt A
15 hours ago

@JayVee thanks for that info. As far as Sport-mode and Turbo-mode go, I'm not noticing much of a difference between the two. Other than a very steep hill (that is a rough gravel feed path to a plateau) the only other climbs I have are when crossing Rhine River bridges or climbing river dykes. At most I need sustained climbing power for only a few minutes. I'll be checking on the update you mentioned asap.

FYI. I just finished a 65km tour that lasted almost 3 hrs with a 30min break. Half the ride was with headwinds. I mostly used Tour mode but fiddled with Sport and Turbo here and there. By the time I got home I was still at 2 bars (out of five).

Sport and Turbo really have no noticeable difference for my bike. That's why if my range in Turbo says 50, my range in Sport only says like 54. But Tour would say more like 90 miles range, and then Eco jumps it to 140 miles. The slim difference between Sport and Turbo can be seen in the range on Bosch bikes.

Good point! I had totally forgotten about that. And it might help Tbone as well. Yet another option for him to consider to get around his Tour mode problem. The Nyon was so buggy when it first came out that most of us totally forgot about it. But Bosch has probably had the time to iron out the issues. How's the navigation in the US?

I heard all about the issues with the Nyon but took the chance and bought the newer version anyway. Everything actually works great. There are only 2 negatives I see in a world of positives from the Intuvia. 1. It takes longer to boot up (maybe 10 seconds) but this does not matter at all because as soon as you hit the power button you will get any assistance level even though it is still on the loading screen. 2. It does crash mid-ride once in a while, it did this to me maybe 5 times since I got it (600 miles). This also can barely count as a negative because even if it 'crashes' mid ride (which is just the Nyon going back to the loading screen and rebooting) the assistance never stops, you still keep getting the motor even though the Nyon momentarily needed to reset. This also had no effect on the ride calculations and route that the bike tracks.

The Navigation works identical to how it does in the EU, the only thing I don't like about it is that there are no street names EVER while navigating. This wouldn't bother me in suburban or rural areas, but in the city when there's so many streets packed so closely, it can be confusing. If the Nyon lags even a little bit (which all navigations do) then you have very little reference as to where to turn. Even with it working perfectly, in the city there are often 2 streets that are barely 20 feet apart, so it can be hard to decipher which one to turn down. I am a younger rider, and spoiled by Google Maps ever since I owned a car or needed to navigate, so my perspective is different and more needy lol. The Nyon will just show you arrows to say Turn in 500 feet or whatever, but doesnt say what street to turn onto or anything. Because of this, I do not use the Navigation much, however if I was forced to, I would be able to get around just fine. When I do some touring and leisurely rides, the Nyon navigation would be fine, but with all the hustle and bustle in the city, Google maps is much more refined. One more thing to note, you cannot just type a name of a convenience store or anything, you have to know the physical address. I haven't tried it for landmarks like a specific State Park or other trail location, hopefully that would work!

Tbone
15 hours ago

@JayVee thanks for that info. As far as Sport-mode and Turbo-mode go, I'm not noticing much of a difference between the two. Other than a very steep hill (that is a rough gravel feed path to a plateau) the only other climbs I have are when crossing Rhine River bridges or climbing river dykes. At most I need sustained climbing power for only a few minutes. I'll be checking on the update you mentioned asap.

FYI. I just finished a 65km tour that lasted almost 3 hrs with a 30min break. Half the ride was with headwinds. I mostly used Tour mode but fiddled with Sport and Turbo here and there. By the time I got home I was still at 2 bars (out of five).

Matt A
16 hours ago

I hear what you're saying about Tour mode not being able to climb a fairly steep hill, but us Yamaha owners have it even worse when it comes to climbing hills. The Yamaha PW series drives come with 4 modes ECO+, ECO, Standard, and High. ECO+ is the lowest mode and is practically useless as it's basically equivalent to having no assistance. ECO provides a little more assist, but I have trouble climbing grades over 3% with it. Standard level of assist does everything fairly well, but is a 'gas guzzler'. High assist level is roughly equivalent to Standard and eats up even more juice. I've demoed the Bosch version of my bike, and I can tell you that I would probably pick that drive if I had to start over again. The gap between the assist levels is much more evenly distributed on the Bosch drive than on the Yamaha. I have a lot of 3-5% grade hills and I can tackle them in Tour mode with the Bosch drive. With the Yamaha, I've resorted to a 'trick' to simulate Bosch's Tour mode: when I'm climbing a long moderate hill, I cycle between ECO and Standard mode every 4 seconds. This allows me to rest for 4 seconds, and puts some momentum back into my cycling. It also saves a ton of battery life. I'm going to ask the dealer if he has tools to increase the level of assistance of both ECO+ and ECO. Because, given my topology, I essentially have a one assist level e-bike.

In your case, you seem to be getting extremely good range. This gives you the luxury of being able switch into Turbo mode at will without having any 'range anxiety'. However there may be a solution to your problems. Bosch is releasing a software update for the CX drive which might help. The update replaces Sport mode with a 'dynamic assist level' that automatically adapts the power output to the terrain. It was discussed here at EBR:

https://electricbikereview.com/forum/threads/bosch-cx-motor-software-upgrade.13367/

As you're an EU customer, I think the update should be available to you soon (if it's not already the case).
I have the Nyon on my bike, and I suggest you get one when you get your new bike since you are in the EU. With the Nyon, they let you change how the assistance level works. You get a line graph of Motor Assist % and Speed, you can make 4 custom modes with specific power outputs at specific speeds. Pretty cool in my opinion, but I didn't play with it too much yet. I figure a cool custom mode would give a lot of assistance in the beginning, less around your average speed, and more at top speed for wind

JayVee
21 hours ago

I hear what you're saying about Tour mode not being able to climb a fairly steep hill, but us Yamaha owners have it even worse when it comes to climbing hills. The Yamaha PW series drives come with 4 modes ECO+, ECO, Standard, and High. ECO+ is the lowest mode and is practically useless as it's basically equivalent to having no assistance. ECO provides a little more assist, but I have trouble climbing grades over 3% with it. Standard level of assist does everything fairly well, but is a 'gas guzzler'. High assist level is roughly equivalent to Standard and eats up even more juice. I've demoed the Bosch version of my bike, and I can tell you that I would probably pick that drive if I had to start over again. The gap between the assist levels is much more evenly distributed on the Bosch drive than on the Yamaha. I have a lot of 3-5% grade hills and I can tackle them in Tour mode with the Bosch drive. With the Yamaha, I've resorted to a 'trick' to simulate Bosch's Tour mode: when I'm climbing a long moderate hill, I cycle between ECO and Standard mode every 4 seconds. This allows me to rest for 4 seconds, and puts some momentum back into my cycling. It also saves a ton of battery life. I'm going to ask the dealer if he has tools to increase the level of assistance of both ECO+ and ECO. Because, given my topology, I essentially have a one assist level e-bike.

In your case, you seem to be getting extremely good range. This gives you the luxury of being able switch into Turbo mode at will without having any 'range anxiety'. However there may be a solution to your problems. Bosch is releasing a software update for the CX drive which might help. The update replaces Sport mode with a 'dynamic assist level' that automatically adapts the power output to the terrain. It was discussed here at EBR:

https://electricbikereview.com/forum/threads/bosch-cx-motor-software-upgrade.13367/

As you're an EU customer, I think the update should be available to you soon (if it's not already the case).

Tbone
22 hours ago

Good tip with the motor setting. I actually thought that the Bosch's sensors would compensate for that. In fact, I'm not quite sure I understand the "marketing" of those sensors. (Or could the marketing be bullshit!) I thought that the sensors would also know if I'm getting on the bike while pushing it along and then using one peddle step on and then swinging my leg over the bike to get in the saddle. I have to be careful that the bike doesn't just take off. I'm also confused that although Turbo will take me up any hill sitting down, Tour mode won't take me up even a fairly steep hill without having to stand on the peddles to push. Perhaps more off-road and hill riding will help me get used to it.

JayVee
23 hours ago

Riding in traffic with a mid-drive means a lot of shifting. I too am not a big fan of the incessant shifting, and that's the reason I was interested in the Rohlhoff version. You still have to shift, but the IGH allows you to downshift when the bike is stopped with no penalty. This means that when you stop for a red light, you don't have to anticipate by downshifting beforehand. You just downshift into the lower gears while you're stopped.

I'll give you my favorite tip for riding in traffic, but it requires some mental and manual dexterity (practice helps). Instead of shifting all the way down into a granny gear at a red light, only shift 1 or 2 gears and switch the assist level to Turbo mode instead. When you get going, Turbo mode will have sufficient torque and power to get the bike going from a standstill (especially with the CX drive). Once you've reached cruising speed, switch back into ECO mode (or whatever mode you were in). As your range seems to be excellent, I think you have the liberty of trading a little battery life for the convenience of not having to shift gears in traffic as much.

As for the pannier scratches on the rack, it's to be expected. Don't worry, I have the same thing on mine. :)

Tbone
1 day ago

Update:

Pushing 500km on my new Charger GX Touring.

Summary: Bike is great.

It's a bit of a challenge getting used to how the Bosh motor works and which mode to use, but I think I'm figuring it out. For example, since I've got 11 gears w/ derailleur, making sure the bike is in the right gear ALL THE TIME is very important. I'm constantly shifting, which is kind of a pain when in city traffic.

Surprised at the convenience of the walk-mode. In order to take advantage of the walk mode, bike has to be in low gear. I actually didn't think I'd use the walk mode much but since the bike is parked in an underground garage, using it to sometimes walk up to street level really helps--it even works when going up stairs!

I've already scratched the hell out of the rear rack due to my Ortlieb bags but I think that's to be expected.

Although I was skeptical of the heavy and fat knobby tires, after use on and off road, I love them. The bike handles and turns with such ease. I can take sharp turns at high speeds and never feel the squarness of the tires. I didn't expect that.

The power/torque of the Bosh CX motor is great. Recently climbed a rather large and steep hill (40+% grade) with loose ground. I put the Charger in low gear, used "Turbo" mode and was able to climb it while remaining seated. Pretty impressive. (Btw, I'm 100kg.)

It's also taken me till now to get used to the wide handlebars and I'm still not sure I like them.

The brakes are nothing less than phenomenal.

As far as range is concerned: I average 40-70 km a trip. I mostly use the "Tour" mode and have yet to wear the battery down below two (out of five) bars. Planning a longer trip soon of over 100km. I suspect I'll be using "Eco" mode for that.

The 25km/h limitation is only an issue on long, straight bike paths. Off-road I can't ride it much above 18-20km/h anyway. The bike accelerates quickly to its speed limit. It is only during acceleration that the derailleur, i.e. shifting is slow. My wife's Charger with Nuvinci hub has faster and more comfortable shifting.

I love the way the bike allows me to ride at its speed limit even when in heavy headwinds. That's really cool.

As far as the dealer experience goes... I have to wait extra long because of "the season" to get first inspection. R&M recommends first inspection at 400km and the dealer at 250. My inspection appointment is at the end of June. My bike will probably have a 1000km on it by then. If you recall, they delivered the bike with a substantial knick in the paint on the top tube. They have already recieved a replacement frame from R&M but cannot install it until late fall. (?????)

That's it for now.

Rant and ride safe,

-T

Douglas Ruby
1 day ago

Do you have a real world mileage log from a one fully charged battery? That's what most people want to know here. How far did your battery go before it needs another recharge?

On 9/3/16 I went 53.2 miles at ECO40 ending with 12% of battery left. This is with my older 468 Wh battery. Average 15.6 mph with 2845 ft of ascent. All logged on Strava at https://www.strava.com/activities/699305192. I now have a 691 Wh battery so the range would be proportionally longer, on the order of 78+ miles under the same conditions.

BTW, I reported this ride on 9/3/16 at: https://electricbikereview.com/forum/threads/longest-ride-yet-53-2-miles-base-2016-16-turbo.8165/

What I was trying to say to you is that after a year and a half, I have confidence in my ability to estimate range using the "% battery left" and ECO setting. The granularity and accuracy of data and power settings provided by Specialized on the Turbo supports that.

jamesthewright
1 day ago

The bike Douglas rides is the same as mine and the battery tracks the trip distance since the last charge as well as your overall distance, no assumptions necessary.

For example today I left with 100% and now have 82% battery left and went 21 miles. I used ECO 30% for most of the ride generally traveling between 19 - 27 mph and used Turbo (full assist) occasionally for a few hills, fast roads and choke points.

In general I can get anywhere between 45 - 85 miles a charge in ECO30 depending on wind direction and air temperature. That is with 20% battery left, since I try to never go below that.

I am approaching 5k miles on mine over the last year and half and man has it been blast!

Cheers!

Mark Peralta
1 day ago

Mark,

Based on your terminology, I assume you ride a bike with a Bafang mid-drive. The Specialized Turbo doesn't use charging bars or PAS levels like some others so your terminology is not completely applicable.
Doug

Do you have a real world mileage log from a one fully charged battery? That's what most people want to know here. How far did your battery go before it needs another recharge?

You are stating assumptions on your range and then you are making assumptions of me. I am on my 5th ebike, disposed 2 and keeping 3 of them. Different systems, cadence, torque sensing, throttle only, blah, blah... I already had an electric bike even before it became popular more than 10 years ago.

Douglas Ruby
1 day ago

Those are nice figures but those information are extrapolated via the bike's computer algorithm.

How about real world range from fully charged to full discharge or 1 flashing bar? How many miles does your bike goes with combined usage (both high and low PAS)?

Mark,

Based on your terminology, I assume you ride a bike with a Bafang mid-drive. The Specialized Turbo doesn't use charging bars or PAS levels like some others so your terminology is not completely applicable.

It is a torque sensing, DD hub, pedal assist that is very smooth unlike the granular cadence sensing assist that some bikes use. It reports battery levels in actual percent left that is quite accurate. It has either TURBO mode (100% assist) or ECO levels of assist. The ECO levels can be set to anywhere from 10% to 70% of full assist in 10% increments. I typically use ECO30%, ECO40%, ECO50%, or occasionally ECO70%. The real world range of the bike is very linear with respect to the ECO level. If I can go 40 miles at TURBO, then I can probably push 80 miles at ECO50%.

I have put almost 1500 miles (2400 km) on my Specialized Turbo over the last year and a half and am very comfortable with my range estimates. I can assure you that while there is some extrapolation above, the real world range I have gotten from this bike is very consistent with what I discussed. I am very comfortable planning a 50-70 mile ride now with mixed usage at ECO50% with occasional full TURBO for steeper or longer climbs. I would average 16-18 mph on that kind of ride. I have taken rides of up to 36-38 miles at full TURBO averaging near 20 mph with 15-20% reserve and gone well over 50 miles in a mixed ECO50%/TURBO settings. My body generally doesn't like to go too much over 50 miles on rides with significant climbing involved. After all, I am 66 years old and a recovered heart attack patient!

Doug

Larry Ganz
1 day ago

Still helpful information, but few of us have the opportunity or desire to run the battery to empty on a long ride unless we are very fit, or have a chase car to help us get back uphill to our home, or a charger to tank back up when we have no juice left.

I'm not physically capable of doing a long ride that fully drains my Powerfly battery. On hills steep enough to require me to use turbo mode I use up about 1 bar per 5-8 miles, and after 15-18 miles of a challenging ride I'm all used up before the battery.

If I use Turbo mode on flat ground so that I don't have to put in much effort to move, when I tried that the bike tries to accelerate away or surge ahead because the assist is too high for level ground. This is only a problem when I ride with my wife who is afraid to go faster than 10-12mph. On my solo ride yesterday I went with the flow in turbo on easy terrain, and I found that cruising in turbo raises my average speed from 10mph to 15mph avg, and uses about 1 bar/8 miles, including about 3 of the 17 mile ride having an 800 foot climb.

On less difficult terrain in ECO mode with my wife at at 10mph, I'd have to ride for almost 8 hours to kill the battery, and my saddle is sore by the 30 mile mark.

I previously noted that on my easiest ride I used 2/5 bars to go 30 miles in ECO mode, and if extrapolated at 15 miles/bar average that would give me a 75 mile range; while my Trek Powerfly 7 trip computer was giving me an estimate of 39 miles remaining (or 69 miles total estimated). The two estimates were pretty close. But on the ride uphill I was getting about 11 miles/bar, and about 20 miles/bar downhill on the way back.

My most difficult ride used 3 bars in 22 miles, giving me an estimate of 35 miles total on a similar hilly ride (on that ride I got anywhere from 5miles/bar off-road to 17 miles/bar on the easy flat pavement). When I arrived home from that ride at the 25 mile mark (3 miles after I dropped my 3rd bar), my trip computer on that ride said I'd only get another 7 miles in turbo before my battery was dead, which would estimate total range at 32 miles. Still pretty close.

I know that the battery provides less volts as you get to the bottom of the bucket of electrons, and each time I ride my bike it was estimating about 10% less range than my own estimates based on how far I went on the first 2-3 bars. So it may be taking that into account while I'm not.

Mark Peralta
1 day ago

Here is some data from a ride today. Distance was 9.95 miles each way. All data was collected using a Garmin Edge 1000 and Garmin Connect. At the end of each leg, data was uploaded to Strava. There was a positive elevation change of 200-250 feet on each leg.

On the outbound leg I rode with my daughter's unassisted bike using ECO50% on my Specialized base Turbo (200W nominal motor). I averaged 16.1 mph using 11% of my 691 Wh battery. This suggests a total range of around 90 miles, a consumption of 7.7 Wh/mile, and battery consumption of 124 watts/ hour. Strava estimated I was averaging 137 W power output (me and the bike). Average heart rate was 91 bpm with a max of 116 bpm. Average cadence was 74 rpm. At this speed and heart rate, I felt like I could ride all day.

On the return leg, I rode by myself in full TURBO mode as fast as I practically could. I averaged 21.1 mph using 23% of the battery. This suggests a total range of around 43 miles and a consumption of 16 Wh/mile and a motor consumption of 338 watts/hour. Strava estimated I was averaging 271 W average power output. Average heart rate was 118 bpm with a max of 132 bpm. Average cadence was 84 rpm. Note that due to an MI in 2000, I take beta blockers, so the average and peak heart rates in this regime are flirting with my aerobic/anerobic threshold. I doubt I could ride at this level for the entire 40+ mile range. I would need to back off and cruise to bring heart rates down every 5-10 miles or so.

Conclusions:

The 200W Specialized Turbo is a pedal assist, but clearly I am working and contributing a lot of my own "watts".
The system is very efficient to be able to run at well under 7.7 Wh/mi at ECO50%.
With the large Turbo S battery, this bike has a LOT of range.
Unlike the Stromer ST-2 or Specialized Turbo S, even though the bike is a speed pedelec, it is not an "average 25+ mph" type of bike. I would consider the base Turbo an "average 18-20 mph" type of bike at ECO70% to full TURBO settings.
Motor output (nominal 200W) and motor power consumption are two different things. At full TURBO, my bike was consuming 338 Watts per hour, while it would not have averaged much over 200 W of actual power output.
Increasing speed from 16.1 mph to 21.1 mph increased the electrical demand per mile by a factor of 2.08 (Wh/mile) and increased battery usage per unit time by a factor 2.72 (Watts per hour).

Those are nice figures but those information are extrapolated via the bike's computer algorithm.

How about real world range from fully charged to full discharge or 1 flashing bar? How many miles does your bike goes with combined usage (both high and low PAS)?

Douglas Ruby
1 day ago

Here is some data from a ride today. Distance was 9.95 miles each way. All data was collected using a Garmin Edge 1000 and Garmin Connect. At the end of each leg, data was uploaded to Strava. There was a positive elevation change of 200-250 feet on each leg.

On the outbound leg I rode with my daughter's unassisted bike using ECO50% on my Specialized base Turbo (200W nominal motor). I averaged 16.1 mph using 11% of my 691 Wh battery. This suggests a total range of around 90 miles, a consumption of 7.7 Wh/mile, and battery consumption of 124 watts/ hour. Strava estimated I was averaging 137 W power output (me and the bike). Average heart rate was 91 bpm with a max of 116 bpm. Average cadence was 74 rpm. At this speed and heart rate, I felt like I could ride all day.

On the return leg, I rode by myself in full TURBO mode as fast as I practically could. I averaged 21.1 mph using 23% of the battery. This suggests a total range of around 43 miles and a consumption of 16 Wh/mile and a motor consumption of 338 watts/hour. Strava estimated I was averaging 271 W average power output. Average heart rate was 118 bpm with a max of 132 bpm. Average cadence was 84 rpm. Note that due to an MI in 2000, I take beta blockers, so the average and peak heart rates in this regime are flirting with my aerobic/anerobic threshold. I doubt I could ride at this level for the entire 40+ mile range. I would need to back off and cruise to bring heart rates down every 5-10 miles or so.

Conclusions:

The 200W Specialized Turbo is a pedal assist, but clearly I am working and contributing a lot of my own "watts".
The system is very efficient to be able to run at well under 7.7 Wh/mi at ECO50%.
With the large Turbo S battery, this bike has a LOT of range.
Unlike the Stromer ST-2 or Specialized Turbo S, even though the bike is a speed pedelec, it is not an "average 25+ mph" type of bike. I would consider the base Turbo an "average 18-20 mph" type of bike at ECO70% to full TURBO settings.
Motor output (nominal 200W) and motor power consumption are two different things. At full TURBO, my bike was consuming 338 Watts per hour, while it would not have averaged much over 200 W of actual power output.
Increasing speed from 16.1 mph to 21.1 mph increased the electrical demand per mile by a factor of 2.08 (Wh/mile) and increased battery usage per unit time by a factor 2.72 (Watts per hour).

Larry Ganz
2 days ago

The old Bosche software has 4 modes not three - ECO 55%, TOUR 120%, SPORT 210%, and TURBO 300%. Now they have ECO, SPORT, MTN, & TURBO for the four levels.

The new MTN replaces the 210% setting offers a variable boost rate from anywhere between 120% - 300% (including 210% but variable to go as low as 120% or as high as 300%).

Since this isn't fixed at 210% like before, and drains more power than the old Sport mode, maybe it's not a new level as much as a new mode. That allows you to save battery vs turbo and not have to touch the assist level switch while you're too busy focusing on riding off road hard.

Mark Peralta
2 days ago

I agree that the Powerfly's Bosche Drive feels much more powerful in the lower gears, or at a higher cadence, than it does when lugging the motor at a lower cadence in a higher gear (especially on hills).

If I'm cruising flat ground at 18-19mph in ECO mode and I see even a slight incline or a hill coming up ahead, I'll crank it up to Turbo preemptively, but if it gets steep enough then I can't maintain that speed without also downshifting by 1-2 gears.

The new Motor in Giant, with Syncdrive Pro, competes with Bosch's performance. It also has more assist levels (5 instead of 3)
https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/showcase/syncdrive-pro

Larry Ganz
2 days ago

I agree that the Powerfly's Bosche Drive feels much more powerful in the lower gears, or at a higher cadence, than it does when lugging the motor at a lower cadence in a higher gear (especially on hills).

If I'm cruising flat ground at 18-19mph in ECO mode and I see even a slight incline or a hill coming up ahead, I'll crank it up to Turbo preemptively, but if it gets steep enough then I can't maintain that speed without also downshifting by 1-2 gears.

On a ride today I was going pretty fast on a hill that starts off easy and gets progressively tougher over the first half mile. By getting my momentum and speed up on the flatter part, and cranking it up to turbo and dropping it down 2-3 gears as the grade increased, I was able to maintain double digit speeds (12-16mph). I passed another biker struggling to maintain even 4-5 mph while I was going about 15 mph. Then it got steeper and I was stuck at 11-12mph. (On the street, not trails).

Pier
2 days ago

SO even the the Non LEvo Turbos can benefit from down sizing the tires?... Interesting ...
what do you mean??? I am a Turbo Levo user

Dewey
3 days ago

Stromer is one the biggest names out there...Is a Stromer...good for my requirements?

Stromer e-bikes are in a category called Speed Pedelecs (California Class 3) because they are capable of reaching 28mph. They have a diamond frame, rear hub motor, and a forward leaning control position. They are imported from Switzerland and expensive so I wouldn't call them a 'bigger' brand but are well regarded for the quality of their product.

Advantages of going with one of the big 3 US bicycle retailers include:
- their purchasing power means they fit name-brand components,
- their e-bikes are available in several sizes,
- they are expanding their shop support network as e-bikes become a more profitable part of their business. In recent years Trek has bought up reputable independent local bike shops and rebranded them as Trek shops.

This last point might be important if/when you decide to sell your ebike. The motors are bicycle brand independent - any Bosch certified bike shop can diagnose and service a Bosch motor for example. As the first owner you will take the bike back to where you bought it from for warranty issues, but it could make the difference to a prospective buyer if their nearest service facility is miles away and they might prefer to buy a used Trek, Giant or Specialized ebike over a Stromer for that reason. Personally speaking I wouldn't let that put me off buying a European bicycle brand using a quality motor with a wide support network like Bosch, Shimano or Yamaha.

Another point to consider is E-bike batteries are rated for only a certain number of recharging cycles and will need replacing every few years - where this becomes a problem is when bicycle brands make the decision to use proprietary batteries designed to only fit into their frame or only work with their current preferred motors rather than using a design that bolts onto the bike or one that uses an open electronics architecture. For example the 1st generation Specialized Turbo ebikes using Go SwissDrive hub motors are now out of production after their decision to switch to using Brose mid-drive motors - it remains to be seen for how long Specialized will provide replacement proprietary batteries designed to fit the older frames that will work with their previous motor supplier. To tackle this problem some battery packs can be rebuilt with new battery cells. Another approach was used by Bosch who make converter cables enabling their newer batteries and chargers to plug into their older motors. These are questions to ask the shop before buying but are considerations if you decide to keep the e-bike or sell it on after a few years.

From Giant or Trek the following are Speed Pedelecs you might like to test-ride :

Trek XM700 Lowstep - Bosch Performance motor. Despite the name this uses a mid-step frame, but there aren't many step-through Speed Pedelecs because frame flex becomes a handling issue at higher speeds. Mono-shock front suspension fork, ergonomic grips, chain-guard, front light and fenders.

Giant Quick-E - Yamaha motor. Diamond frame comes in 4 sizes. Lights and fenders.

Jan Hermanson
3 days ago

I'm waiting for the new mission control app for the new Turbo bikes, i can't pair my bike with the old one. . My dealer told me that the app will be out this week. Have You heard anything about this
Bengt, where are you located? Stockholm? Would be great to see your Vado IRL and hear about your experiences.

Senseiwai
3 days ago

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.

Jan Hermanson
3 days ago

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?

William Edwards
2 months ago

Could you tell me how i could remove the chip / restricter to allow the bike to go faster

Shawn McGuire
2 months ago

Anyone know where the "secret throttle" that he speaks about is?

Pacific Chief
7 months ago

Can you switch out the forks for suspensions?

Tesla. Paris
7 months ago

Hej Court !
What is this strange sound we hear when you deccelerate every time, like a weird whistling ?
"Working as intended" or a setup/tuning issue ?
Cheers from Stockholm, Sweden.

Pacific Chief
7 months ago

It's the brakes.

Tcho Tcho
8 months ago

I am thinking about purchasing this bike. What is the distance range? I think you did not talk about the range. Or I missed it.
Thank you

George Lawther
11 months ago

will you be doing the FLR variant review at some point

Eric Leblanc
1 year ago

Just got my Turbo today, Canadian version and top speed is 32KM, anyone know how to unlock it to 45KM or 30 Miles ?

Eric Leblanc
6 months ago

Hey Jesse, really like my turbo, top speed is 45KM or 32Miles, average cruising is around 20 miles per hour, battery is good for about 50 miles or 3 hours of usage, no issue so far.

Jesse McDougall
6 months ago

How about an update on your experience so far. What's the cruising speed, battery life expectations? Any issues so far? Thanks.

Eric Leblanc
1 year ago

+Eric Leblanc 2016 base turbo

Sita van Waarde
1 year ago

Cheap ?? No ! Butt iTS Supergood stuff I hope They keep fabricate Nice bikes in THE future !

Mike Ferrell
1 year ago

Good review - why the big cost multi-thousand dollar difference among the 3 versions? Are they really that different from recreational rider perspective?

James Jacocks
1 year ago

Hi Court. I thought some viewers might be interested in some info on the Turbo X, a similar bike (2015 vintage). Had mine since August 2015 and have put on a several hundred miles, closer to a thousand actually. I get almost exactly 100 miles/charge in 30% boost mode and maybe 45 to 50 miles in 300% boost. That is a lot more than Specialized suggests in their specs. I weigh about 155 lbs. and ride on only moderately sloped terrains. The bike rides fine with power off as well. The guys I ride with are neos and sometimes I just power off entirely to feel like I am doing some work. I have ridden most of the fabulous C & O Canal towpath and the super stealthy bike has given me some great experiences. I do load my bike down with photo equipment generally and often lock out the front suspension so I ride differently than a lot of folks. These are superior electric bikes from my point of view. No equipment issues so far. I bought the bike after testing it but found out about it on EBR, so, thanks!

Evik James
3 months ago

That's helpful. Thanks!

harringtonb2
1 year ago

Does anyone know if this bike the Specialized Turbo base model can hill climb? I am 6 feet and a 190lbs looking for a bike to commute on. My commute has some hills that make me sweat on my normal bike. This looks like an awesome bike but I am worried the smaller wattage motor will not pull me up the hills adequately and I will arrive to work drenched. I appreciate anyone's input.

Byron Sutton
1 year ago

Is the battery and motor warranty for 2 or 3 years?

Byron Sutton
1 year ago

thanks for the follow up

Eric Leblanc
1 year ago

+Byron Sutton 2 years on battery here in Canada.

Lawrence Yan
2 years ago

Is there an updated 2016 Specialized Turbo like how the Turbo S was updated?

bsgnine
2 years ago

did someone say these are coming with stronger motors for 2016?

wazzucoug69
2 years ago
David Macdonald
2 years ago

I think there cost is just getting a bit much . And 800 for a battery . .

Baronial10
2 years ago

Man... I have been watching all of your videos. Love all the videos and your style of reviews! Keep them coming! Subscribed :)

Seb K
2 years ago

A rack or Iraq - oh a bike rack !!!

JEFF4LIFE
2 years ago

Hello Court, I have a question for you. Besides a Haibike, what is a great full suspension bike that is 6k or under, and goes at least 25mph?

JEFF4LIFE
2 years ago

Thank you so much!! But what about the Easy Go neo jumper, or, the new easy go Bosch jumper 27.5? Are rose any good, and please do a review of that Bosch jumper 27.5 I am think between the neo jumper and Bosch jumper, what do you think?

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 years ago

+Kandykiller maniac There are only a couple of speed pedelecs I know of with full suspension and my favorite is the Focus Thron Impulse Speed http://electricbikereview.com/focus/thron-impulse-speed/ but you can also get the IZIP E3 Peak DS past 20mph http://electricbikereview.com/izip/e3-peak-ds/

Tom Stack
2 years ago

You are right in my "neck of the woods" in Irvine... I go that shopping center a few times a week and also ride those groomed dirt trails as well...... small world !!!

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 years ago

+Tom Stack That's awesome! Maybe we should go for a ride sometime Tom, I don't know many people in the area. Just reach out on the contact form back at the site if you're up for it. What bike do you have?