Specialized Turbo Review

2015 Specialized Turbo Electric Bike Review
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
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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National eBike Shops

Electric Cyclery
900 N Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach,  CA  92651
Propel Bikes
134 Flushing Ave
Brooklyn,  NY  11205

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Specialized

Model:

Turbo

Price:

$ 3800.00 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 Types:

High-Step

Frame Sizes:

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

Frame Material:

Specialized M4 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Colors:

Dream Silver

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 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 ( 71.12 cm )

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 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

Motor Brand:

Go SwissDrive by Ortlinghaus-Gruppe

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

13 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

468 wh

Battery Brand:

Samsung

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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32 Comments

Ken
August 1, 2015

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
August 2, 2015

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
August 10, 2015

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
August 11, 2015

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
August 16, 2015

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
August 19, 2015

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
April 15, 2016

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
April 16, 2016

Great tip Hudson, thanks for chiming in!

Niklas
August 19, 2015

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
August 19, 2015

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
August 20, 2015

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
August 21, 2015

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
August 22, 2015

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
August 22, 2015

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
September 23, 2015

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
September 28, 2015

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
February 22, 2016

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
February 23, 2016

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
April 3, 2016

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

Court Rye
April 4, 2016

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
April 4, 2016

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
April 4, 2016

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
April 15, 2016

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
April 16, 2016

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
April 22, 2016

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
April 24, 2016

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
June 28, 2016

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
June 29, 2016

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
August 14, 2016

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.

Court Rye
August 16, 2016

Love the light setup Doug! Awesome that you were able to integrate the rack light :D thanks for the tips about speed and safety where you ride. Hope the bike continues to hold up well for you, ride safe!

Alex
August 3, 2016

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
August 3, 2016

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 :)

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