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

Reply
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!

Reply
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.

Reply
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

Reply
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 :)

Reply
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.

Reply
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

Reply
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 :)

Reply
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.

Reply
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 ;)

Reply
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.

Reply
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 :)

Reply
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).

Reply
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.

Reply
mike
2 years 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.

Reply
Court Rye
2 years 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.

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Al
1 year ago

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

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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.

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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.

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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 :)

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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!

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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.

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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!!

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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!

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Doug
1 year 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.

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Court Rye
1 year 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?

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Doug
1 year 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
1 year 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.

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Court Rye
1 year 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 :)

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Jeffrey Baker
1 year 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.

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Court Rye
1 year 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.

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Pedro
9 months ago

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

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Court Rye
9 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.

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Pedro
9 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

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Court Rye
9 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 :)

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Corey Meyer
7 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.

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Court Rye
7 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 :)

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Adam
5 months 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!

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Court Rye
5 months 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!

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Doug
5 months 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!

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Court Rye
5 months 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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Kevin Smith
2 months ago

Been a couple of months since anyone posted on this bike but I wonder if anyone can provide any thoughts?

I am considering purchasing this bike at a great discount. Local dealer has one still in stock at 30% off. The technology is a year or two old but the bike looks and rides great and it lets me get into a decent ebike at less that $3k Cdn.

Alternative would be the new Turbo Vada 3.0 for $1400 more. The Vado is equiped better but the older Turbo is much more of a hybrid style which I like. I will be using it for recreational riding a few times a week of 30/40 km on paved and gravel paths. I’m 60 and have arthritis in my hips etc. so the eBike will help me keep riding a few more years.

Will I have any issues with parts or service? Maybe I should hunt down and purchase spare battery while stock is still available?

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Court Rye
2 months ago

Hi Kevin! Based on a lot of comments here and some in-person feedback it does sound like you will struggle with support and parts on these older models. Specialized has moved completely to Brose and even when the the GoSwiss Drive was still the main system, it sounds like people had trouble getting a replacement battery pack, controllers, and the little display with the joystick on some models. Completely good ebikes with just one little issue could not be fixed. Now, the flip side is that this is a beautiful and awesome electric bike! I have known some people who bought it and had it work great for a long time. If you care for it, I think it could last… but if anything goes wrong, you may have to source parts from other people who are dismantling their bikes or try to fix it yourself. I personally would get the Vado because Brose is a bigger company and this is the direction Specialized is going now. It’s a bit of a bummer because the original Turbo models are great when they work :)

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ragtopjoek
2 days ago

I charged my Turbo Levo yesterday after a 22 mile ride and today it is 97%. It's about 54 weeks old and ridden 870.1 miles.

VadoMark
2 days ago

I have a Turbo X and I almost never get a 100% charge. Even when it reads 100, a few strokes of the pedal will send it to 96-98%. I think it has more to do with software tolerances than actual battery performance.
I hope you're right - I guess I'm so used to my handheld devices fully charging I was expecting the same for the bike...

reoutput
2 days ago

I have a Turbo X and I almost never get a 100% charge. Even when it reads 100, a few strokes of the pedal will send it to 96-98%. I think it has more to do with software tolerances than actual battery performance.

Mark Peralta
3 days ago

I put 1500 miles on a Sondors Fat, then wanted a different kind of ride. I bought a Haibike XDURO Full Seven S RX. It is a class 3 bike, 28mph, but no throttle. The Bosch mid drive will actually pull the suspension forks up in Turbo mode, so don't need a throttle as long as you can just move your legs. Large dia. rotors and hydraulic brakes to haul you quickly to a stop from 28mph. Then I bought a second bike, a Haibike XDURO Trekking S RX. Same Bosch mid drive, 28mph. But it has a 500whr battery instead of the 400 on the mtb. It also has smaller gravel type tires, full fenders, a rear rack, and 10 speeds vs 11. I've now put on 2500 miles on the two Haibikes, the Sondors collects dust in the corner until snow flies in the winter. I'm crazy about the quality and precision of Haibike and Bosch.
I'm a little similar to your situation but different brands and different combinations. I have 2 ebikes sharing the same battery, one mid drive and the other hub drive (Raleigh Tekoa and Izip Dash). And a third one with mid drive that does not share battery with the rest (Luna BBSHD) .

rich c
4 days ago

I put 1500 miles on a Sondors Fat, then wanted a different kind of ride. I bought a Haibike XDURO Full Seven S RX. It is a class 3 bike, 28mph, but no throttle. The Bosch mid drive will actually pull the suspension forks up in Turbo mode, so don't need a throttle as long as you can just move your legs. Large dia. rotors and hydraulic brakes to haul you quickly to a stop from 28mph. Then I bought a second bike, a Haibike XDURO Trekking S RX. Same Bosch mid drive, 28mph. But it has a 500whr battery instead of the 400 on the mtb. It also has smaller gravel type tires, full fenders, a rear rack, and 10 speeds vs 11. I've now put on 2500 miles on the two Haibikes, the Sondors collects dust in the corner until snow flies in the winter. I'm crazy about the quality and precision of Haibike and Bosch.

Striker
4 days ago

I don't think the speed limit is in the wheel, but in the battery firmware since that is where it gets set by diagnostics (setting 25 km/h vs. 45 km/h). I have a Turbo S battery in my base Turbo and found a bit of difference by setting the wheel diameter smaller at the 2000 mm limit. But it is very minor.

I did the same as you and all it did was alter the accuracy of my speedometer. I also had a chance to plug my Turbo S into the dealers specialized diagnostic software where I thought I could increase the speed limiter. But that also was futile. Its frustrating as the LEVO is easily hackable and this is not.

Douglas Ruby
4 days ago

I never got an answer and I dont think the turbo S is hackable. Certainly not in the same way as the LEVO. I believe the speed for the turbo S is in the Firmware on the rear wheel motor. I tried using the Liteblue app with no success. If anyone has a solution, I'd love to hear it.
I don't think the speed limit is in the wheel, but in the battery firmware since that is where it gets set by diagnostics (setting 25 km/h vs. 45 km/h). I have a Turbo S battery in my base Turbo and found a bit of difference by setting the wheel diameter smaller at the 2000 mm limit. But it is very minor.

Striker
4 days ago

Hi Striker,

did you get an answer of your quest.

I am interested in that also.

Regards
Dimi

I never got an answer and I dont think the turbo S is hackable. Certainly not in the same way as the LEVO. I believe the speed for the turbo S is in the Firmware on the rear wheel motor. I tried using the Liteblue app with no success. If anyone has a solution, I'd love to hear it.

Chris Nolte
4 days ago

About 8 days ago, the dealer was finally able to upgrade the software, which remedied the trouble charging both batteries fully. Although the dealer has certainly had growing pains, they seem to be staffing up, bought a computer, and are striving to figure out what they're doing... Hardly praise, but they are headed in the right direction. ;)

Now I have a question for those who might have some insider knowledge of the Bosch programming, since I am sure my dealer isn't going to know what I'm talking about. I have made some comparisons between riding my Felt NINEe 20 and the Charger. On the Felt, I can cover my commute consistently at exactly 1h30m in turbo mode, including a stop to swap batteries. On the Charger, it takes me 1h35m. The distance reported is also about 1.5 mi less on the Charger. My conclusion based on this was that the wheel circumference was set slightly higher on the Charger, resulting in a shorter trip distance, and slightly lower cruising speed, since the power begins to clips out at about 27.5 mph. Naturally, I began setting the wheel circumference down in increments of about 20 to see if I could normalize the distance and times between the two bikes...

However, on the Charger, as I dialed the wheel circumference down, my trip times stayed *exactly* the same, and the speed at which the assist begins to clip began to decrease, so that power was starting clip under 26 mph! One explanation of this would be if the Bosch controller has a hard coded minimum wheel circumference, or some other factory or dealer set limit. This would make sense to prevent people from reducing the wheel circumference to some arbitrary value (like half actual, to effectively double the speed of the bike, for example.) However, I cannot make the speed of the bike accurate without reducing the assist at the higher speeds because I seem to be hitting some sort of hard-coded limit. Should the dealer be able to adjust this? What should I ask them to adjust? (please be specific because they are likely going to have to call for tech support) Can anyone confirm if what I'm seeing makes sense, or am I just doing something wrong?
What is your tire inflation set to? The dealer won't be able to change the wheel circumference any more than you, you can only go + or - 5% from the factory set circumference. Regarding the speed change, unfortunately it's not possible to change it. The idea is that you can offset the change associated with tire swaps, but the bike maintains effectively the same top speed.

Also - Does the Felt have the original tires on it? Maybe the Felt is off?

elyhim
4 days ago

Depends on weight, speed, elevation. I get about 25 miles on Turbo and 60 miles on economy (bosch CX Trek Powerfly 8). There is a new backpack that is built to hold a battery, I forget the name it was in the recent Europe mountain bike show.

BurbManDan
4 days ago

About 8 days ago, the dealer was finally able to upgrade the software, which remedied the trouble charging both batteries fully. Although the dealer has certainly had growing pains, they seem to be staffing up, bought a computer, and are striving to figure out what they're doing... Hardly praise, but they are headed in the right direction. ;)

Now I have a question for those who might have some insider knowledge of the Bosch programming, since I am sure my dealer isn't going to know what I'm talking about. I have made some comparisons between riding my Felt NINEe 20 and the Charger. On the Felt, I can cover my commute consistently at exactly 1h30m in turbo mode, including a stop to swap batteries. On the Charger, it takes me 1h35m. The distance reported is also about 1.5 mi less on the Charger. My conclusion based on this was that the wheel circumference was set slightly higher on the Charger, resulting in a shorter trip distance, and slightly lower cruising speed, since the power begins to clips out at about 27.5 mph. Naturally, I began setting the wheel circumference down in increments of about 20 to see if I could normalize the distance and times between the two bikes...

However, on the Charger, as I dialed the wheel circumference down, my trip times stayed *exactly* the same, and the speed at which the assist begins to clip began to decrease, so that power was starting clip under 26 mph! One explanation of this would be if the Bosch controller has a hard coded minimum wheel circumference, or some other factory or dealer set limit. This would make sense to prevent people from reducing the wheel circumference to some arbitrary value (like half actual, to effectively double the speed of the bike, for example.) However, I cannot make the speed of the bike accurate without reducing the assist at the higher speeds because I seem to be hitting some sort of hard-coded limit. Should the dealer be able to adjust this? What should I ask them to adjust? (please be specific because they are likely going to have to call for tech support) Can anyone confirm if what I'm seeing makes sense, or am I just doing something wrong?

ronin2000
5 days ago

Had my Turbo S for 6 months, I've had my display replaced 3 times and my new displays backlite just died again.

It still works but now I'm just sticking to using mission control app. Most of the time I'm happy at 30% eco and only use full 100% if it's a big grade or I wanna get somewhere really fast with little regard for battery life.

So far over 3500 KMs on the road.

Craig Crowder
5 days ago

Just returned from 10 days mountain biking in NC with new MTBE upgrade. I really like it. I put it in mtbe mode and leave it there. It is much smoother than manually shifting the boost level. It also reduces the need to shift gears as the torque changes via mtbe accomplish the same result. I have a Bulls Monster EFS and still don't have walk assist capability. I see from an earlier post from a Bulls owner that it works, so wonder what I am doing wrong. Suggestions?

How to enable walk assist; 1) Select a speed (Eco,tour,sport/emtb,turbo). 2) press the walk assist button. 3) within 2 seconds of pressing the walk button press the + button and the bike will start walking. Let me know if that works for you :)

Tim Reilly
5 days ago

I was in accident on my St1 so ended up buying the ST1-x as a replacement out of the insurance money. I must say, I was a little underwhelmed by everyone always comparing the ST1-x with the ST2... I realise those 2 bikes are "similar", but price points, they are world's apart, and I would imagine a lot of people entertaining purchasing an ST1x are coming from an ST1 not an ST2! I personally find it very hard to justify buying a bike like the ST2 that costs $3,000 more and the ST1-x is already twice as expensive as the first e-bike I bought 5 years ago.... So, I'd prefer more reviews comparing the St1 to the ST1-x!

On that front, I use my bike for commuting and I was probably most concerned about the ST1x having Aluminum forks - particularly as they ST1 had originally been sold to me as a bike that absorbs the road bumps more because of the carbon-fiber forks! So, I personally do not understand why Stromer regressed on the forks for the ST1-x. My commute is typically urban and feels half way to off road owing to the utilities workers utter inability to rip up a road to check the gas/water/sewer/cable etc and then reseal it perfectly flat and inline with the original road. Add in a few winters and freezing temps and you've got one pot-holed bumpy ride on bitumen!That said, at the end of the day, I didn't notice much difference. I guess on either bike, the bumps are absorbed for the most part with the Big Ben tires, and the harder those are pumped up, the more bumpy the front end ride is.

With respect to the back wheel and bounce... I originally had a fully sprung Brooks saddle which absorbed most of the road shock. My Stromer dealer talked me into getting a thudbuster seatpost and all I can say is... no difference. Unless you are heavily invested in racing cycle seats, I'd recommend getting a decent seat with springs as its cheaper than the seatposts, and much more portable across different bikes! But, no doubt as everyone with Stomer notes, something is needed on the back end because that is one harsh ride without springs there somehow. Seatposts do transport across from ST1 to ST1-x.

As to the ride of the ST1-x vs the ST1 - now in that regard, they are UTTERLY different beasts! The ST1 rides like the older models... Its slow to start, picks up speed like crazy by the third crank of the peddles and just zips along! I had no problems going up hills, adding more power to never break speed on the uphills bits of my ride (unless it started to get steep...). The St1-x... Seems to be MUCH more dependent on your cadence (which I suck at). If you are peddling strongly, the ST1-x is punchy! No other word for it - you feel that power helping you along! But woe betide you if you slow down your cadence - then it suddenly seems to lurch and slows down (particularly when going up hills). I am gathering from the forums (mainly having to read the ST2 forums as the ST1 forums are useless for understanding the mechanics of this bike), it is to do with the torque sensor and settings. I have just noticed on the app I can adjust the torque/speed/agility of the bike to a variety of setting (e.g. urban, snow, tour) and am hoping that by tinkering with these, I can stop the bike lurching on the hills as my cadence wanes. I just haven't done a ride yet with the my phone with me... You can adjust on the screen in the cross bar as well, but the fine tuning is easier from the app.
[Update - I have added comments later in this thread revising the ride - once customised it is better!]

The ST1-x also only has 3 levels of power. I am finding in Level 1, it is actually much more like riding an ordinary bike. Whereas in the ST1, the eco mode felt like you were getting a decent workout with a bit of boost, Level 1 on the ST1-x seems to literally just cancel out the weight of the bike so you feel like you are on an ordinary cycle ride. You are still going faster... but it takes more effort to sustain speed (yes, you actually use more than the 3 smallest rear cogs!). Level 2 (which seems to be where most people end up) feels more like half way between eco and city mode on the ST1. Level 3 is like a turbo boost - ZOOM! But, I have got to get the torque thing sorted out because at the moment, I am lurching up hills when in Level 3... It might be a miscalibrated torque sensor or it might be I just haven't got the torque in the right mode for my type of erratic cadence - but I look forward to getting that sorted out because Level 2 and 3 are very nice when its not lurching! Overall, I suspect I might end up getting a bit more of a workout on the ST1-x, but its nice to know that I have the power when I need it!

The St1-x does have some nice additional features - the regen is MUCH better when going downhill! I go down a couple of steep hills and on the ST1, the regen would cut out once I got past 40km/hr which led to me riding the brakes hard. In addition, you had to keep tapping it into regen, and then when at the bottom of the hill, tap it back to a boost mode. On the ST1-x, when you apply the brakes, the regen automatically cuts out and goes back to whatever level you were in - nice!!! And the highest level of regen is slowing me down a lot on even very steep hills. The ST1-x also has a boost mode. I haven't got that sorted out yet - its lurching like when I am in Level 3... when it works, its fine, but its erratic application right now is not impressing me. Again, I am hoping this just a torque sensor issue. However, I wouldn't say the boost was a lot... Maybe half way betweeen whatever modes you are in. Maybe its the cadence/torque thing again...

The light is good - I was told the front light made me look like a motor bike coming head on in the day, but wasn't quite so visible from the side. The panier rack is as pathetic as it was on the ST1. Anti-theft all looks interesting... I do know the bike rolls when you have it lock mode... I read somewhere that it rolls for about 60ft before the back wheel seizes up. Would be nice if it seized up earlier - 60ft is enough to get my bike from a bike rack to a car... That said, as long as there is a GSM signal, it is nice to know I can lock and arm the anti-theft from my phone - and see where the bike is! Nice add-ons...

Those are my first impressions!
I agree with your comparing the torque between the ST1 and X. I have tried different setting on my X to add more torque to the "top of the cadence",when the pedal/crank is at 6 and 12.Stromer advertises the X has more torque than the ST1,but when riding the X on any type of road it does not have the torque the ST1 has!

Rgrtitan
5 days ago

All right! I got the bicycle today!

I usually make my purchases online. After visiting several LBS in Seattle, they didn't seem to know much about their Stromer, Specialized and Trek e-bikes, which is very disconcerting since your spending several $k.

After stopping by Seattle Electric Bicycles, I met the owner, Stefan and his store staff. Stefan and the staff were extremely polite, knowledgeable and not pushy. I took a lot of their time w/ questions and test rides. After my experience there, I knew I was going to purchase my e-bike there and not online. They also happened to have a lot of great sales going on.

I decided on the Bulls Six50 E2 Street in 51 with a 20 cog (from 15) chainring upgraded on the front and a Body Float. The bike wasn't in stock and was special ordered.

The bicycle handles and rides great, especially with the Body Float. It's pretty zippy, even in the "tour mode", which is #2 of the 4 modes (eco, tour, sport, turbo). I'll have a better idea of the range later this week. As far as handling, it was great.

I'd strongly recommend anyone in the Seattle and surrounding areas check out Seattle Electric Bikes. They have really good selection of mid-drive and rear-drive bicycles.

Douglas Ruby
6 days ago

Has anyone had success with hacking a 2016 turbo S and increasing the limiter past 45km.. The hack for the LEVO does not work on the Turbo S.

Using the diagnostics or Mission Control, you can adjust the wheel size only down to 2000 mm from the actual of around 2200 mm on a Turbo S using its 700x45c tires. (Note the Specialized Nimbus tires on the Turbo S are a bit larger than the Specialized Electrak on the base Turbo). This might buy you up to 10% in actual assist speed over 45km/h at the expense of the odometer and speedometer reading 10% slow. At best I would expect you could get an assist increase from 28 mph to maybe 30 mph.

I did this on my base Turbo and got the assist up to around 27.5-28 mph from 26.2 mph. I used a separate Garmin and old style bike computer to calibrate against the built in system. Since the base Turbo doesn't really have enough power to drive at the upper reaches of the limits, except on descents or with a tailwind, I tend to err on the side of an accurate speedometer and odometer, and not really bother. Further, I am running 700x35C tires with a smaller diameter of 2150 mm, so the 2000 mm hack doesn't help much.

Net, Net - Since the limit on the Turbo S is already 28 mph (45 kph) and the best case is a 10% net gain, the effect is MUCH smaller than the Turbo Levo hack.

eagamer80
1 week ago

Couldn't you just have your measures using the Diagnosis tool? I think that Levo bike still uses the same port as older Turbo bikes.

Haroon Khan
1 week ago

toss up between specialized turbo Vado 4.0, trek super commuter +8s and trek conduit +. How do they each compare in terms of power, comfort on and off road (light trails only) range and charge time. Also how bright are lights on each and can you plug USB into battery packs? Thanks

Court
1 week ago

Here's another press release update that Bosch sent out the other day in preparation for Interbike. The summary is: the new Active Line Plus, Active Line and eMTB mode. With zero resistance, Active Line Plus will produce new eBikes that finally feel like riding a natural bicycle. Plus, the motors are much smaller, lighter, quieter and smoother than before. The eMTB Mode is also like an iOS update for your bike – riders unlock it just by updating their bike’s software. Active Line is similar to Active Line Plus, but smaller and lighter. You’ll find all the details in the attached, and here’s a few accompanying photos.

Bosch introducing two new systems and eMTB mode at Interbike
Reutlingen, Germany / Irvine, CA – Bosch eBike Systems North America (www.bosch-ebike.us) is highlighting two new systems and the new eMTB mode for the North American market for Model Year 2018. These innovations and more will be on display at Bosch’s Interbike 2017 booth (#17177) and available for experiencing first hand at the Interbike indoor test track “The Circuit” (#C11).

Active Line Plus: Quieter with zero resistance

From the days of launching our very first eBike system in Europe in 2010, Bosch’s goal has always been to make an eBike retain the natural feel of a traditional bicycle. The earliest generation of our product came close and quickly jump-started the “pedal-assist” eBike market in Europe. Our 2nd generation system came even closer and has been a big factor in the rise of pedal-assist eBikes in the US since 2014. Through non-stop innovation at our Stuttgart headquarters, our latest drive unit generation, dubbed Active Line Plus (ALP), closes the gap even further between an eBike and bicycle.

Key improvements:

Smaller: the drive unit is 20% smaller (volumetric) which enables bike designs with a cleaner / integrated look, to more closely resemble traditional bikes. With the ALP, the drive unit is one step closer to disappearing within the frame of the bike.

Lighter: the ALP drive unit weighs approximately 7.1 lbs, a weight reduction of 19% compared with last year’s Active and Performance Line drive units. Lighter eBikes handle better during the ride and are easier to transport after the ride – both key enablers to eBike market growth.

Whisper-quiet: the completely re-designed drive unit features a new quieter gear concept and electric motor. As you pedal on a quiet road, now you just hear the wind in your face.

Zero pedalling resistance: due to this new gear concept, when the motor is in “off” mode or the rider surpasses the drive’s cut-off speed, the rider feels no more resistance in the pedals than on a traditional bicycle.

Multiple front chain ring possible: previously, all Bosch drive units allowed only one chain ring. ALP now features the ability to offer multiple front chain rings, for bikes that need a wider range of gears.

Superior range: the ALP combined with the 500Wh battery achieves 51 miles range (mixed-modes, favorable conditions), and a max of 130 miles-plus range (Eco mode, ideal conditions). This is achieved through key features such as high motor efficiency and lower max torque (50 Nm), which is set deliberately lower than Performance Line to cater to commuters & more casual cyclists.

“The New Active Line Plus is our proudest achievement thus far for pavement-style eBikes,” said Claudia Wasko, General Manager of Bosch eBike Systems Americas. “Active Line Plus gives riders the fun of an eBike with the feel of a bicycle.”

Active Line: Lighter and smaller

The new Active Line has all the same key features as Active Line Plus with three key differences:

40 Nm of torque rather than 50 Nm.
Weight is even less at 6.4 lbs.
5% percent smaller than ALP.

eMTB Mode for Performance Line CX

A mode for eMountain bikers: eMTB mode replaces the previous Sport mode of the Performance Line CX and switches between the Tour and Turbo riding modes. Depending on the pedal pressure, the progressive motor support automatically adapts to the individual’s riding style. Without changing gear, the motor always provides support at the ideal power level, even at low cadences. eMTB mode is available to dealers in the form of a software update.

“Our new eMTB mode is going to be a game changer for the e-mountain biker,” said Claudia Wasko, General Manager of Bosch eBike Systems Americas. “It takes trail riding to another level.”

Demo the future

Interbike 2017 show attendees will be able to demo many eBikes from Bosch’s new and existing brands at Outdoor Demo Day on Sept 18th and 19th and at the Bosch-sponsored indoor test track (“The Circuit”) on Sept 20th – 21st to try out Bosch’s new MY18 innovations. Dealers are also invited to attend seminars on eBike market trends, policy, technology, and more at the Bosch-sponsored “Electric Theatre”, located close to “The Circuit” Test Track, open Sept 20th and 21st 10AM – 5PM.

Photo 1: Active Line Plus

Photo 2: eMTB mode

About Bosch eBike Systems

A new generation of bikes is taking town and country by storm and is already a part of everyday life. eBikes are a modern means of transport for modern people: people in a hurry and people who prefer to take it easy, the fit and the comfort lovers, commuters and pleasure cyclists and, of course, young and old. The tailwind of technology-leading eBikes made by what are already more than 60 leading brands in Europe is powered by components that Bosch is developing to perfection. The Bosch portfolio ranges from the highly efficient drive unit (motor and gearbox) and high-quality batteries to a smart on-board and cycle computer that can be used intuitively. Perfect coordination of components holds the key to typical Bosch performance in terms of both comfort and efficiency.

Like other Bosch products, the eBike systems benefit from the Bosch Group’s technology and production know-how. From conception and engineering to manufacturing, marketing and after-sales service, Bosch eBike Systems constantly set new standards for the eBike industry. The Bosch Group’s experience in the areas of electric motors, sensor technology, displays and lithium-ion batteries ensures that Bosch eBike systems use technology that is invented for life and that eBike users have their fun.

For more information please visit www.bosch-ebike.com

About Bosch

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 390,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2016). According to preliminary figures, the company generated sales of 73.1 billion euros in 2016. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT company, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, smart cities, connected mobility, and connected industry. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.” The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 450 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. At 120 locations across the globe, Bosch employs 59,000 associates in research and development.

Additional information is available online at www.bosch.com , www.iot.bosch.com , www.bosch-press.com , www.twitter.com/BoschPresse .

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rede
1 week ago

My 2016 Turbo Levo FSR Mission Control has gone bonkers. Bluetooth sometimes doesn't hook up, but always says "pairing rejected by Specialized". Yesterday, the screen spontaneously showed a new format with Let's Ride only, and none of the other options. It can be scrolled to the right for various options, but no diagnostics, etc., and it was metric, not my imperial setting. It also showed, after a 17 km ride, an elevation gain of 647 meters. I live on the top of a hill, but that figure has to be wrong buy a factor of three. If it means elevation change, plus and minus, it's still off by a factor of two. Today, the app simply won't connect, or shuts down after a few seconds. Sometimes it displays this new format, and sometimes the traditional one. Also, if you now go to the Google Playstore on my Google Pixel smartphone, there is no app shown. So..how did I get it last year when I bought the bike. Perhaps it came through the ether. The rep told me that he thinks most customers use an IPhone interface. Since Android has an 88% world market share, you'd think that Specialized would pay attention?? Well, they are located in California. The MissionControl-service@specialized.com email, which used to respond to issues, no longer does. Probably overwhelmed with problems. The Specialized telephone service contact says you need to go to your dealer. My dealer, a locally owned sporting goods store, in business for 100 years, suddenly closed 2 months after I got my bike. I was directed there because they had bikes in stock. I learned from the forum, not Specialized, that battery and motor firmware updates are suggested, or required. They are not covered under warranty, and so....a $5500 e-bike and no warranty and no service. All the other nearby dealers have no special knowledge on e-bikes, and none have sold a Turbo Levo FSR. I did find a dealer, an hour's drive away that has the right parts for the firmware download, but no experience with a Turbo Levo FSR. No choice but to give it a try, and am wondering what the charge will be, and then I wonder if Mission Control will work. I wish I'd never heard of Specialized. That said, mechanically, and ride-wise, the bike is quite nice.

MrBritton
2 weeks ago

No way! I live in Superior! We got my wife's bike at BikeSource down on Colorado Blvd.
Well, we do live in a bike-crazy area...
The "Vado guy" at Louisville Cyclery is Chris. He has a Turbo of some sort and has been working with me.

MarkH
2 weeks ago

I’m curious to know how far people have travelled on the e-bikes that they currently own and what the bike is typically used for. If you have several e-bikes, provide the total mileage of all the e-bikes that you currently own.

I own a Haibike Sduro S 6.0 with a Yamaha drive. It's a Speed Pedelec with a 500Wh battery, so range is a bit limited. I’ve covered roughly 3000 miles in 5 months. My roundtrip commute is 10 miles, and I make short rides to the mall 2-3 times a week (it's only 4 miles roundtrip). I frequently go for evening rides that are typically around 20 to 25 miles long.

I got a Felt Outfitter in April (justified by the fact that my orthopedic surgeon had prescribed lots of low resistance stationary biking to rehab my after meniscus surgery in January). I have put 1284 miles on it, a combination of my work commute, other local transportation for which I would have used a car, and pleasure riding on local trails. I started out using Turbo mode exclusively, but have now gotten to the point where I use Tour for road riding and Eco for trails.

RRAPTRR
2 weeks ago

That's the interesting part! I consistently hit 680-watts peak power during our testing (only one jumped to almost 700 momentarily)... but the app always shows about 525-watts peak power output! Sandbagging? lol

The only reason that we tested the power output with the meter, is because Eric flat out did NOT BELIEVE it was only 530-watts, after seeing it outperform a 1500-watt mid-drive bike on our hill climbs tests. Erik was SUPER IMPRESSED with the Levo and has an entirely new found respect for them after our day of testing. The fact he was convinced it had to be way more power than stated, says a lot. In fact, he was theorizing that it was more like 1000+ watts, because of the way it was climbing the hills against his other bikes.

As for the flats, I had no issue keeping up with the other guys with the 1500/2500 watt bikes on the streets... and on the trails, they'd likely be chasing ME! The biggest limitation is the battery capacity for these bikes, and the overall range when using Turbo mode aggressively. That being said, we're looking into reverse-engineering these packs and possibly even offering a higher capacity USA-made pack from LUNA, at half the price of a OEM spare. Some complications to work through, but we're going to be working on it!

On a side note, check out Erik's full (and a bit long) review and impressions of the Levo:

tallpaul
2 weeks ago

On my FullSeven with 400watt battery, my weight at 185lbs, 30lbs tire pressures, and just a few hills, but usually some 10mph headwinds, I usually get around 35 miles, averaging 15-18mph, using mostly tour, some eco, some sport and occasionally turbo. I don't ever drain the battery either, but go down to 2 bars verging on one bar. Want a second battery to take along, but cost is so high so will wait and see if I really need it. An alternative is that a local eBike dealer will rent me a battery for $35 a day for a 500 watt Bosch. Worth considering.

Thomas Neece
4 weeks ago

Can you get a front shock for this model?

Christopher Railwah
3 months ago

i bought this bike in 2017 and have been absolutly having a blast commuting to work. thanks for tall the vid court

Eric Gruntfuttock
4 months ago

I'm in the UK with this bike....can i de-limit its speed...?

William Edwards
6 months ago

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

Shawn McGuire
6 months ago

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

Pacific Chief
11 months ago

Can you switch out the forks for suspensions?

Tesla. Paris
11 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
11 months ago

It's the brakes.

Tcho Tcho
12 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
1 year 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
10 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
10 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
2 years 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
2 years 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
7 months ago

That's helpful. Thanks!

harringtonb2
2 years 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
2 years 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 :)