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 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)

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 Material:

Specialized M4 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Colors:

Dream Silver

Frame Fork Details:

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

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses

Gearing Details:

10 Speed 1x10 SRAM X7, 11-32T

Shifter Details:

SRAM X7 SL Triggers on Right

Cranks:

Aluminum Alloy 175 mm, 48 Tooth Front Chainring

Pedals:

Aluminum Alloy Platform

Headset:

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

Stem:

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

Handlebar:

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

Brake Details:

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

Grips:

Specialized Body Geometry XCT, Dual Compound, Lock-On

Saddle:

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

Seat Post:

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

Seat Post Diameter:

31.8 mm

Rims:

Aluminum Alloy Double-Wall, Pin Joint, 36 Hole

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 2.3/2.0/2.0 mm

Tire Brand:

Electrak, 700 x 45c

Wheel Sizes:

28 in (71.12cm)

Tire Details:

Armadillo Flat Protection

Tube Details:

Presta Valve

Accessories:

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

Other:

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

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Go SwissDrive by Ortlinghaus-Gruppe

Motor Type:

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

Motor Nominal Output:

200 watts

Motor Peak Output:

750 watts

Battery Brand:

Samsung

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

13 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

468 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

3.5 hours (7 Hours with Optional Travel Charger)

Estimated Min Range:

25 miles (40 km)

Estimated Max Range:

55 miles (89 km)

Display Type:

Fixed Backlit LCD on Right

Readouts:

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

Display Accessories:

Rubberized Backlit Joystick

Drive Mode:

Torque Sensing Pedal Assist, Trigger Throttle

Top Speed:

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

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Written Review

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

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

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

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

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

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

Resources:

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Ken
2 years ago

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

Court Rye
2 years ago

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

Dan
2 years ago

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

Court Rye
2 years ago

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

Niklas
2 years ago

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

Court Rye
2 years ago

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

Hudson
11 months ago

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

Court Rye
11 months ago

Great tip Hudson, thanks for chiming in!

Niklas
2 years ago

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

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

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

Court Rye
2 years ago

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

Lyn
2 years ago

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

Court Rye
2 years ago

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

Lyn
2 years ago

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

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

Court Rye
2 years ago

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

Ray
1 year ago

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

Court Rye
1 year ago

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

mike
1 year ago

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

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

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

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

Court Rye
1 year ago

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

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

Al
12 months ago

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

Court Rye
12 months ago

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

GB
12 months ago

Just test rode a Turbo today.

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

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

Court Rye
12 months ago

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

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

Hudson
11 months ago

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

Court Rye
11 months ago

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

DK
11 months ago

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

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

Court Rye
11 months ago

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

Doug
9 months ago

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

Court Rye
9 months ago

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

Doug
7 months ago

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

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

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

Alex
8 months ago

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

Court Rye
8 months ago

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

Jeffrey Baker
7 months ago

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

Court Rye
7 months ago

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

Pedro
3 months ago

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

Court Rye
3 months ago

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

Pedro
3 months ago

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

Court Rye
3 months ago

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

Corey Meyer
4 weeks ago

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

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

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

Court Rye
4 weeks 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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ragtopjoek
5 hours ago

Hi all, On the First Day of Spring I got up at 6 am and while waiting for the temperature to reach 35 degrees F, I installed my Nikon 170 to record parts of my ride. Several people have been commenting on the mid-drive noise, comparing it to the noisy Bosh or other systems. Granted it is not as quiet as the Turbo S I test drove, but from just sitting on the bike it is hard to hear any noise at all. Also, with skillful shifting there is not any mashing of the gears and chain. The more I ride my Turbo Levo FSR, the more I realized I made the right choice for me. If you are interested here is a video to watch, it's not 720p for some reason, but you can hear the bike working well. Enjoy.

Nicolas
1 day ago

All too often with crowd funding, the truth gets stretched way beyond reality. The campaign claims the proposed bike is EU and California (US) compliant, and it isn't.

Text copied from campaign:

The 30C3 has 4 operating modes

1. All compliant: Unpowered road bike max speed rider dependent

2. EU compliant: Motor assisted bicycle mode 20 mph max speed

3. California compliant: Moped mode 28 mph max speed

4. Non compliant: Motorcycle mode 33 mph speed (Turbo Porsche mode)

Design elements.

The design includes many minor items to make easy transportation.

1. Light weight still a road bike.

2. 60T front chain ring.

3. 1000 watt 3 kg motor.

4. 52v10 520 watt hour battery.
_____

The EU has a 250 watt limit on power and 15.5 mph max assisted speed. California allows 750 watts and max throttle speed of 20 mph and PAS to 28 mph. Adding a UI control to turn the speed or power on, off or down doesn't legalize the bike for any public right of way. As far as I'm aware (good or bad), the only place this bike is legal is private property, off road.

Thanks JR, I was wondering where he was quoting this stuff and it didn't fit with my limited understanding of the e-bike legalities.

eagamer80
3 days ago

Thanks for the replies, I purchased the bike second hand and the original owner replaced the battery under warranty shortly after they purchased new in 2015. When i got thr bike 6 months ago
, it had done 1500km. I've been speaking with the dealer and because I'm not the original owner they won't entertain a warranty claim. Looks like I need to save up to buy a new battery at £700/£800 :-( The dealer updated the firmware but no joy.

One last question, what limits the bike? Is it the battery or the bike? Would a UK battery work fine on an unrestricted Turbo S?
The limitation is on the battery (if you mean the speed limitation). Make sure you get the 691 Wh battery that is the one of Turbo S (the one with highest capacity), that's the only one that will be almost 100% sure that won't come with any kind of limitation, though I do not know what kind of batteries do they sell in the UK. Usually the dealer orders parts from Specialized USA and they ship it to your location. Not sure if anything comes from Europe.

Larry Ganz
3 days ago

So we did a 30 mile ride today in ECO mode, on a gravel bike trail - mostly hard packed but some spots very loose and soft. I didn't need any pedal assist for a good part of the ride, but I purposefully turned it on to ECO mode for the entire ride in order to use up more of the battery, and to let it get a better estimate of usage and range over a longer distance. It can't estimate battery remaining if you aren't using any power.

On flat areas TOUR was just too much for this mild 800 foot climb over 14 miles (EDIT - the ride had some ups and downs, and so my Apple Watch gave me a total of 1200 feet climbed, but the turn-around point in Monument CO is about 800 feet higher in altitude than the starting point in northern CO SPGS).

I started with the full battery and the estimate of 29 miles (see previous posts), and by 5 miles into the ride it was estimating 32 remaining in addition to the 5 that I had ridden. By 12 miles I went down to 4 bars on the battery with an estimate of 35 more miles remaining on the battery. Using the bike estimates after 12 miles of riding with 35 remaining miles, I figured at least 47 miles range with this type of a mild climb (12+35=47).

At the top of the ride at 14 miles I still had 35 miles left on the estimate with 4 bars showing (14+35=49 miles). We rode the 14 miles down back to the car and I still had 4 bars left with 45 miles estimated left, because battery use was less on the way down. The 14 miles used + 45 miles remaining = 59 miles total range on a similar type ride with a mix of uphill and downhill riding.

So we went back up the trail and rode around (an even mix of climb and downhill) in order to get it down to 3 bars of battery. After another 3 miles, with 31 miles on the tripmeter it dropped to 3 bars, with 39 miles left on the estimate. That would give me about 70 miles total on mixed mild hills. This ride was similar to what we'd be doing on the other 32 mile ride in Glenwood Springs CO, and I could go on two of these rides and still have a little battery left over without charging.

In summary, after 31 miles the estimates were 12/15/21/39 miles of battery left with 3 bars = 70 miles range estimate. Total climbing was 1200 feet during the trip, after some ups and downs, but the destination was only 800 feet higher. I was not stingy with the pedal assist and several times I needed to go to TOUR or SPORT mode to climb a pretty steep but short section, especially on the last 50 yards uphill to the parking lot at the end when I used TURBO.

I'm charging the batteries now, even though I planned to run them down to zero with my next ride. While it was down to 3 bars on the display, I saw the 3rd bar blinking for only 2 minutes while taking a charge - then it became steady after just 2 minutes and the 4th bar started to blink while taking a charge. So I think I may have been very slightly under 60% battery after the 31 mile ride (at 12-18 miles per bar on the battery, depending on terrain).

My wife's Neko+ was estimating 42-57 miles remaining after this ride, with a combination of OFF and ECO. So maybe she could go 90+ miles on a charge with a similar trip, or 50% farther than me. She rarely used pedal assist on the way up, but used ECO on the way back for speed, so we could get to the car before dark. She used HIGH for two very short but steep climbs on the way back, but she did have some difficulty in the loose spots with her 1.5" knobby tires, which my fatter tires still got unstable pushing through. I think she kicked it up to high to power through those spots as well.

PS: My front white safety reflector must have vibrated off these bike during the ride - I didn't check to see if it was still tight and it's now gone. i did air up the tires before the ride - mine at the max 50 psi (30-50), and my wife in the middle at 65psi (50-80).

PPS: I popped my battery pack back on, and the current estimates on a full charge are now up to 23/28/37/73 for TURBO/SPORT/TOUR/ECO (when I received the PF7 it was estimating 29/36/48/94 after the shop mechanic set it up and test rode it). I'm pretty happy with my new numbers, as this ride is representative of the type of long rides we'll often go on, and the more challenging rides will be the shorter ones at higher pedal assist levels where the range wont be as important (like at Garden of the Gods or our neighborhood).

Strangely, my wife's Neko+ with Shimano Steps still shows 42-57 miles, even though it said that's what was left after the 31 miles.

John E
4 days ago

Thanks for the replies, I purchased the bike second hand and the original owner replaced the battery under warranty shortly after they purchased new in 2015. When i got thr bike 6 months ago
, it had done 1500km. I've been speaking with the dealer and because I'm not the original owner they won't entertain a warranty claim. Looks like I need to save up to buy a new battery at £700/£800 :-( The dealer updated the firmware but no joy.

One last question, what limits the bike? Is it the battery or the bike? Would a UK battery work fine on an unrestricted Turbo S?

Larry Ganz
5 days ago

I think there is definitely a sophisticated algorithm in the computer to determine range. It's not just a simple "how much time is left at the current draw" kinda thing. Right now I'm showing 15/18/24/47 on the range and that is with 4 of 5 bars on the battery. Like you said, we only get bars so you can only see so deep into what it's telling you, other systems that give a percentage may or may not be accurate but you can project out a bit better than the 20% chunks allow.

How do you like the 29 inch wheels? They are taking a bit of time for me to get used to--I'm old school and had only ridden the 26 inch wheels in my older bikes. I'm not mountain biking with this yet so I'm not getting much of the benefit, just the occasional drag across the pant leg/shin at stoplights.

One cool thing: the more I ride the bike the less I notice the noise of the motor. It was never really loud but now I have to pay attention to it to notice when it's operating. Of course, I can certainly feel it.

It's really been fun taking this to work. I get in and am in a better mood than with the car ride, and the same thing when I get home. While the bike was an expensive buy for me, I have to say it's really living up to the hype. One of the rare times that seems to occur today with the constant marketing everywhere you look.

-Sam

Thanks for the info. My bike shop has a meeting with the Trek representative on Monday, and they'll ask him about the 600WH battery. Some guys did a youtube video of a rented PowerFly 8FS+ and a Specialized Turbo Levo eBike in Salida Colorado, and they did some hard riding, and pausing the video shows BKXC was getting twice the range that I'm getting - and he still had juice when the Specialized was empty (he pushed his friend, The Singletrack Sampler, up the highway for a ways to get back to the bike shop and return them).

I went for a another ride in our hilly neighborhood with my wife today - we went up and down our streets for 7.65 miles, and afterwards my trip estimate said I still had enough juice for another 7/8/11/21 miles in addition to this ride. But it was still showing 4 bars, and on the charger only one green LED was blinking, so I must have been at 80% or more battery left. That and the remaining range estimate confuses me, because I should have been at 3 bars if the remaining estimate was correct. At 4 bars I have half the range that you have.

This time I did more pedaling in OFF and ECO than on previous rides, and spent less time in TOUR and SPORT than before (no turbo), so this is the first time that I'm now quite sore after riding my new eBike. Too much lactic acidosis since I didn't use an oxygen tank and I pushed myself too hard. But I was trying to stretch the battery farther, and was disappointed that I could have only ridden a total of 15/16/19/29 today before running totally dry, if the estimate was correct.

We'll see how it looks after a long ride on fairly flat terrain with mild hills this Sunday, which I should be able to do in OFF and ECO only. But in our neighborhood I could not manage the hills without at least getting into TOUR mode part of the time (going slower if I avoid SPORT/TURBO). So the way I see it my real life range right now is about 20 miles avg with all the hills using OFF, ECO and TOUR.

I also think maybe the 29x2.2" tires are why I can hop up curbs without a lot of trouble despite the weight, and I haven't noticed any sense that they are taller than the 26x2.1" on my lighter Kona Nunu mountain bike. I did fail to notice that my rear tire pressure seemed down until near the end of the ride, but I couldn't get my pressure gauge with adapter to give me a reading. I removed the valve adapter and it removed the presta core and I lost all air pressure, so I'll never know how low it had gotten during the ride.

I was able to use a CO2 cartridge to put air back in to what felt like enough pressure, but then my big pump at home said I only had 20lbs. So, hopefully with the tires at max pressure this Sunday's ride will have better range. NOTE - I have aftermarket innertubes with green slime added to prevent flats, and my stock tubes are now my spares.

I also haven't been mountain biking with this yet. We plan to go up Gold Camp Road in the Colorado Springs area and ride back down soon - there's limited traffic on that road, and none in some places on that route. It's a spot where local bike tour shops shuttle riders up the mountain access road and then customers ride the rental bikes back down to the shop in Manitou Springs (I bought my used Kona from one tour shop 5 years ago). We're also planning to try some of the single track trails in the Cheyenne Mountain State Park soon.

My wife thinks that she'll be fine off-road on her Neko+ thinner 27.5x1.5" tires (700x38) since that's wider than what she rode on the for the past 30 years. It would have been nice to get her the Powerfly 5 mountain bike, rather than a trail hybrid, but the smallest women's Powerfly at 15.5" would have been too tall for her 5-1 height. She's on a 14" Neko+ and the standover height of the PF5 Women's was almost as tall as the 18" Neko+ that fit me!

[edit - a 700x38 is really a 27.5" wheel]

J.R.
6 days ago

All too often with crowd funding, the truth gets stretched way beyond reality. The campaign claims the proposed bike is EU and California (US) compliant, and it isn't.

Text copied from campaign:

The 30C3 has 4 operating modes

1. All compliant: Unpowered road bike max speed rider dependent

2. EU compliant: Motor assisted bicycle mode 20 mph max speed

3. California compliant: Moped mode 28 mph max speed

4. Non compliant: Motorcycle mode 33 mph speed (Turbo Porsche mode)

Design elements.

The design includes many minor items to make easy transportation.

1. Light weight still a road bike.

2. 60T front chain ring.

3. 1000 watt 3 kg motor.

4. 52v10 520 watt hour battery.
_____

The EU has a 250 watt limit on power and 15.5 mph max assisted speed. California allows 750 watts and max throttle speed of 20 mph and PAS to 28 mph. Adding a UI control to turn the speed or power on, off or down doesn't legalize the bike for any public right of way. As far as I'm aware (good or bad), the only place this bike is legal is private property, off road.

Nicolas
7 days ago

I wanted to know what anyone thought of this Indiegogo campaign for what seems like a well specced e-bike.

https://www.indiegogo.com/project/preview/75e7e3dd#/

The fellow calls his bike a 30c3 because it weighs 30 lb, does 30 MPH and has a 30-mile range, thus 30 cubed. The price is not bad for a street e-bike, $1250 with shipping.

Specs:
Motor assisted bicycle mode 20 mph max speed
Moped mode 28 mph max speed
Motorcycle mode 33 mph speed (Turbo Porsche mode)
1000 watt 3 kg motor.
52v10, 520 watt hour battery.

He seems like an interesting character. I'm not sure what he means by "60T front chain ring."

Any thoughts, pros and cons? Thanks, Nicolas

Eddy Rush
7 days ago

Congratulations! Be interested to read your impressions of the bike climbing hills.

It's better than I expected, really impressed with it.

Sport mode was more than enough to help get me up my local hills but with Turbo mode it was like going along a flat road. I switched assist off mid-way up and really noticed the difference.

Larry Ganz
1 week ago

quite the review! I share some of your thoughts, in particular the no gear indicator on the XT shifter and the external cable routing. The no shift indicator is actually okay IMO as the handlebars are already pretty cluttered with stuff. More of a nice to have as I see it. The external cable routing is a bit surprising, and the use of zip ties is pretty cheeseball in my view, esp in this price range.

I haven't had a chance to take the bike off road, and it may be a few weeks before I can get around to that. My commute is fairly flat and the bike has been pretty comfortable on that ride. I've taken it to work a few times, mostly keeping in the eco mode and occasionally in the tour mode. Sometimes I shut off the assist altogether, but these bikes are heavy and with no assist launching from a dead stop is tough and not advised if cars are around. I've played with the other modes but on flat ground they aren't that interesting to me just yet. I'm sure things will change when I get it off road though.

The way I'm using the bike, the range on the battery is more than sufficient. Looks like I'll be able to ride to work for at least two full weeks before recharging.

So far I've only been on hilly streets around Cheyenne Mountain (former home of NORAD). What kind of range estimate is your bike giving you in all 4 modes?

After todays ride and then a full charge, for my next ride it's estimating 12/15/20/40 (from Turbo/Sport/Tour/Eco). Every time I ride in my neighborhood this estimate for range on the next ride gets smaller, because there's so many hills.

But I still believe that I'll have enough juice for that 32 mile ride I mentioned above, for which I will only use OFF, ECO, and TOUR on the 16 mile ride out out, and then on the way back I'll only need some pedal assist on two small hills. On previous rides we'd just get off and walk the bikes for those two small hills, but I'd have my oxygen with me (while getting a shuttle ride for the 16 miles uphill to the mid-point, skipping the uphill bike ride).

In any case, it would be easier for me to put a 5lb spare 500WH battery in my Camelback than a 10lb oxygen tank. So it looks like a spare battery may be in the cards for me.

Nicolas
1 week ago

1. Mountain bike (not fat tire) with suspension on the front forks at least but better with full suspension.
2. Preferably a mid-drive motor (as I understand they are more efficient) with 500watts or better.
3. Enough power to get my unfit self up a lot of hills (like 8-10 miles of them) with not a lot of effort.
4. A battery option (thinking 14aH or better)that could cover my unfit self using the max setting on PAS (turbo, sport...) through most of my ride.
5. Class 2 or better class 3.
6. Here is the unicorn of the list... something $3000 or less.

Hi John, have a look at http://www.lectriccycles.com/product/e-rad-mid-drive-2015-khs-sixfifty-2500/ That might be a good bet. Let me know if you have questions. Thanks. P.S. I'm Long Beach. Wish we had more mountains closer by.

piper109
1 week ago

My Turbo S will be here Friday and I can't wait! 40 years of riding, racing, crashing, rehabbing,shoulder replacement, recumbent riding while healing and finally being able to ride a diamond frame again, along comes the Turbo S. And at 70, I have superman legs. Like, I can't wait to start passing again. I can't imagine not riding with clip-ins, so I'll put eggbeaters on with MTB shoes. Anyone who will be riding in the NW mountains of NC, may see a Turbo S go flying by with a white bearded guy smiling for all he's worth. That'd be me.

John B
1 week ago

I am looking to get my first electric bike. Been doing a bit of research but the permutations and options coupled with the wide range in price seem to be many. I have gone to test ride a handful of bikes but haven't gotten hooked on anything. I am not a bike rider, in fact I'm not a person who does much in the world any exercise. I am looking to potentially use this bike to commute to work 1 or 2 times a month and ride on weekends. My work commute would be 18-21 miles with a big mountain in between. For anyone familiar with Los Angeles, this is the valley to west side. The commute would be half fire roads (dirt roads) and half pavement (through city) so a mountain bike seems to be best option. So, here are the specs I'm looking for in this bike...

1. Mountain bike (not fat tire) with suspension on the front forks at least but better with full suspension.
2. Preferably a mid-drive motor (as I understand they are more efficient) with 500watts or better.
3. Enough power to get my unfit self up a lot of hills (like 8-10 miles of them) with not a lot of effort.
4. A battery option (thinking 14aH or better)that could cover my unfit self using the max setting on PAS (turbo, sport...) through most of my ride.
5. Class 2 or better class 3.
6. Here is the unicorn of the list... something $3000 or less.

Overall I need a lot of power, torque and battery life to get me over a pretty big hill without running out of power. I'm OK with just hearing thoughts on the best option with most of my dream list. I'm not opposed to getting earlier year models if they do what I need. I am also good with taking a good base and adding to it.

Larry Ganz
1 week ago

hey Larry, how are you liking your PF7? I recently got one too--and was deciding among the xm700+ and other options. Like you I went with the PF7 since I'm a mountain biker. Even though this bike will be used for commuting I felt way more comfortable on it vs. the commuter style bike.

BTW, for the U-lock you could consider going to a rack and pannier setup. That's what I'll be doing since I needed the rack for commuting.

Thanks. I'm trying to avoid a rack if possible - I wear a camelback for my gear, but don't want the added weight of a u-lock inside that, as sometimes I'll have an oxygen C-tank in there if I'm riding above 7500-8000 feet elevation (one working lung, so without eBike I needed the tank for every ride around here).

I LOVE THE POWEFLY 7 - MINI REVIEW:

It's quite well built, with nice welds and workmanship - everything is perfect except the following. I was surprised that the rear axel is not a 15mm thru axel like the front, but is a 9mm mountain bike quick release with slots instead (didn't know if this was typical). The seat padding is nonexistent, but if you get your butt back far enough it's livable, although I replaced it with a slim foam seat that's a little thicker. They also didn't run the derailleur cable inside the frame like with their other eBikes, so it runs along the right side of the lower frame while the rear brake line still runs along the left side. Lastly, I was surprised that the Deore XT shift lever doesn't display which gear I'm in for reference, while the feature is on the other 3 bikes.

It FITS me much better than the 50mm XM700+ that they originally ordered for me, or the 18" Neko+ and 17.5" Dual Sport+ that they had in stock. They did put a 17 degree riser on the handlebar stem (I think a 17x90), after having seen the issues I had on the other 3 bikes. With the riser the riding position is perfect - I've been able to ride down the 1140 foot hill from my house to the shopping center and back up to my home twice (6 mile trip each time), and my hands never went to sleep like with the Dual Sport+ and Neko+. I can lift the front wheel about 1" off the ground when straddling the bar, and I can just get my toes on both feet down to the ground when sitting on the seat.

VS the DUAL SPORT+: Despite the higher weight I still can hop up curbs fairly easily, and the fatter tires absorb the bumps better. At high speeds downhill on the road the PF7 is more stable and not as scary as the Dual Sport+ which put too much weight on my hands and seemed absolutely twitchy. I also have more confidence in the PF7's larger brakes and it's fatter tires which have a tight enough knobby pattern to work well on pavement and dirt. With the PF7 I could lean the bike farther in turns with more confidence, due to the larger contact patch.

BATTERY RANGE: My only concern is that the battery clearly isn't going to last as long as the Dual Sport+. After the ride on hilly roads yesterday and then giving it a full charge, it was estimating the battery will give me 16-48 miles on my next ride (in high vs low power). That's vs 30-55 miles estimated by the Dual Sport+ after the same ride and re-charging procedure. This includes my going to ECO or OFF whenever the ride is flat but requires pedaling, or downhill without pedaling. Before my riding it hard yesterday, the PF7 was estimating 29-94 miles, after only 1/4 mile of an easy flat-ground test ride by the shop after they assembled it.

After a quick 4 mile ride today (with only a 600 foot climb) and before I put it back on the charger, the PF7 estimated that I still had 13-42 miles of battery left to keep riding (13 miles in TURBO, 16 miles in SPORT, 21 in TOUR, and 42 in ECO mode). I would have been able to complete todays ride in only ECO and TOUR mode in the low gears, but I really needed SPORT and TURBO to finish it with decent double digit speed.

So, with a mix of all 4 power levels I believe that I could go an additional 18-21 miles on this hilly terrain; however, I'd prefer to have 30 to last a weekend before charging. But the 32 mile round-trip ride that we have planned this summer is fairly flat with only a slight climb of 300-400 feet over the first 16 miles, and slightly downhill on the way back, with two short hills both directions. So I should be able to make that particular 30+ mile trip just fine.

POWER: I'm not convinced that TURBO (300%) feels stronger than SPORT (200%) when I'm pulling a hill while seated in higher gears with a slower cadence. However, in the lower gears with a higher cadence I can really feel the increase in power on the hills. Unfortunately I poop out with a cadence rate about 65+, and tend to cruise at 50-60 rpm in higher gears, so I wont get as much benefit from TURBO except on a really hard steep hill at low speeds.

Henry Hester
1 week ago

There are times we want to ride lift assist ski area downhills. If I took out the Turbo Levo battery pack, is there a plastic cover available to purchase?

bazzapage
2 weeks ago

Good buying @Embra - I am sure you will be pleased. I reckon a better bike at $3k run-out pricing than the entry-level new model. The 250W motor is a good one, quite a bit nicer than the base Turbo.

ROJA
2 weeks ago

I could have sworn I posted this last week, but it seems to have disappeared...

MY BOLD HYPOTHESIS: It seems like riding hard at 25-28 mph (steady speed on flat routes) really kills your range, even more so than hills. This makes sense because the motor is working hard all the time (especially due to the increased wind resistance), versus on hilly routes where the overall speeds are lower and the motor can "rest" on the downhill sections.

My longest ride was one with around 3,000 feet of climbing, where I managed to get 32 miles of range. On flat rides where I'm going 25+, my battery goes down at the rate of roughly 3.5 - 4% per mile (Eco70), which would give you a range of 25-28 miles. Full Turbo mode (100) seems like it increases the draw to closer to 5% per mile.

I think that much longer ranges would be possible at lower speeds (say 17-21 mph). I just seldom have an occasion to go that slowly (if so, I'd take my non-e road bike).

Has anyone thought or played around with this? I think I need to experiment a little more...

(Note: This is with a 2016 Turbo X, but I'll bet the results would be relatively similar with the other Turbo models.)

bob armani
2 weeks ago

Nope, but my bikes are kind of low key. I've ridden the North Branch Trail, but I have to tote my bikes up there and park. My area is the western burbs. Along the Fox river is nice.

I used the fpddc contacts page and just put in a inquiry. Maybe I'll get an answer.

It probably would have been better to be blissfuly unaware. Still, low powered electric bikes are defined in Illinois as being excluded from the motor vehicle class. As long as we stay off the sidewalks that adjoin the paths, and below 20 mph, I think we're legal until we're told otherwise.

Hi Harry-Thanks for you reply. The NBT is one of my absolute favorites. I am in Sauganash on the far northwest side and the trail starts there. I am happy that nobody has approached you. You say you have a stealthier bike? I like the Bulls and the Turbo Levo! Enjoy! o_O

I posted this on another thread for a FYI from cook county codes:

Motorized Bicycles: Persons may not use or ride within the District any electric or electric assisted bicycle capable of exceeding a speed of fifteen (15) miles per hour. Any violation of this Section 4-3-1.B. shall be fined not less than seventy-five dollars ($75.00) or more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each offense. This section is not intended to prohibit any person with mobility impairment(s) from using an electronic personal assistive mobility device.

from: https://www.municode.com/library/il/cook_county/codes/forest_preserve?nodeId=TIT4MOVETR

EddieJ
2 weeks ago

I just had to post this picture of a Turbo I saw on the street in Auckland New Zealand. Apologies if this is your bike, but I've never seen a beautiful bike so uglified - look at that saddle! You can't properly see the mess on the handlebars. I'm sure it's all very practical, but ... this should be illegal.
Judging by the lock used perhaps the owner is hoping it will be stolen.

Not wishing to comment on the bike that you have shown, I do have to agree in very general terms.

I can't believe the amount of people over here in the UK, that buy an eMTB, then instantly add an array of pointless accessories that render the bike even heavier and not fit to use off road.

With more electrical devices that a whole sale merchant, you could be forgiven for thinking that they would rather be indoors playing with gadgets, than out enjoying the simplicities of just riding a bike.

The less clutter on a bike the better for me.

Embra
2 weeks ago

The Turbos seem to be moving out to make room for the Vados (trying to justify Turbo information in a Vado thread). I just went in an ordered a Turbo X. Last Friday my dealer said they had 10 Turbo X's in the warehouse (East coast); today they were down to 5. Well, 4 now. Delivery is slated for Thursday.

Grateful thanks to those who commented in any reference to my shopping. Especially when the common interest is yet uncommon, I value a community that shares experiences and knowledge.

Larry Ganz
2 weeks ago

So, would most of that apply to the Powefly 7 that I'm considering (has 500WH batt)?

I think in the Powerfly 7 that I'm considering that the cables to the rear for shifter and brakes runs next to the frame, but that's the least important issue. The XM700+ has been ruled out before the weekend, and I've been evaluating the Dual Sport+ on Sat and Sunday, as the don't have a Powerfly in stock.

I'm reading above that you can go almost 20 miles in turbo with Powerfly 8FS+ and still have enough juice left for your wife to finish the ride with your battery if you swap to hers. Unfortunately my wife is on a Neko+ with Shimano Steps. That's why I'm testing out a Dual Sport+ that I have to return tonight, or keep it and get it sized for me.

The Shimano has three power levels, or off, and I spent most of my time in OFF, ECO, or NORM and only needed HIGH for a few of the harder hills. We are on hilly roads but not off-road trying to climb a trail. I imagine off-road climbing a trail that I'd be in HIGH/SPORT or TURBO mode more often, but that will be rare vs more civil bike trails and paths that we'll ride. So, I believe that my range will be a bit higher, and I have been estimating 30 miles with a mix of power levels.

The Dual Spor+t Riding position is more aggressive than I'd like, leaving me angled more forward like with a street touring bike. Will the Powerfly 7 seating position be more upright as I'm guessing from the bike's geometry numbers?

Thanks!

Larry

Jeff Backes
2 weeks ago

Sorry for the delayed reply, I am on a road trip across the US from CA to FL..

I own three Trek e-bikes, XM700+, XM700+ Woman's, and a Powerfly FS 8.

They all have different strengths.

I'll try to answer all of your questions:

There are times when I bump into the 20 MPH limit on the PowerFly, it can be chipped, but not my style.
The powerfly in a low gear on loose surfaces can leave a rooster tail in 1st gear.
I am able to take off in all but the top two gears.
It climbs hills like crazy in 1st, 2nd, 3rd.
I have never had an issue shifting on hills, the Bosch system does a great job of making sure the motor eases up when I shift.
I normally move the 500 battery to whatever bike I'm riding. My wife is half my weight so she uses a 400 and I use a 500. We still have to swap batteries at the end of a 20 mile ride so I have enough to finish. I spend most of my time in TURBO she in tour.
When I am riding on hard surfaces I air up to 35/40 lbs and the rolling resistance seems to be a non issue
All of the cables on the PowerFly are in the frame.
KickStand mount is there, but stand is not included. I use the same stand as came with the XM700
The PowerFly has through axels which are much stronger than quick release but let you take off the wheels quickly

Look at it this way. You can use the PowerFly on street and dirt, the same can't be said for the 700

Buy the PowerFly, it's much more flexible on/off road, the FS makes it a more comfortable ride.

Jeff

ragtopjoek
2 weeks ago

Possibly, I would suggest that you store the battery inside your home until you go to ride to help keep it a bit warmer. Some cold weather riders here use a neoprene cover or other type of insulator wrapped around the battery during winter rides. In any case, the lower power setting will consume less energy no matter what the temperature.
I do keep the Turbo Levo in my living room always. It is like a piece of art it is so beautiful. I did read once about someone wrapping the battery in neoprene in cold weather. It sounds like a good idea, I'll put it on my To Do List. Thanks for reminding me.

jamesthewright
2 weeks ago

I too am a huge fan of my Turbo X with over 3500 miles on it and really no issues aside from one broken spoke a while back. The brakes are really the only issue with this bike, but if your getting the 2016 Turbo X I think they fixed those. Mine is a 2015.

I personally like the hub drive gearless motor as it is completely silent. The point about the chain is pertinent and also mid-drives generally have some noise to them, not sure about the vado, but I cannot imagine it does not. With the hub motor on the Turbo X you also have regen which I use all the time. Often I even go on what I call charge rides where I only use non assist or regen and try to pump the battery back up. It is lots of fun in my opinion, like a game. With a indoor trainer you could even charge your bike with your own effort on cold or snowy days!

Not to mention, the silent motor means the zombies won't hear you if there ever was a zombie apocalypse.

Cheers!

Shawn McGuire
2 days ago

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

Pacific Chief
5 months ago

Can you switch out the forks for suspensions?

Tesla. Paris
5 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
5 months ago

It's the brakes.

Tcho Tcho
6 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
9 months ago

will you be doing the FLR variant review at some point

Eric Leblanc
11 months 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
4 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
4 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
11 months ago

+Eric Leblanc 2016 base turbo

Sita van Waarde
12 months ago

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

Mike Ferrell
1 year ago

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

James Jacocks
1 year ago

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

Evik James
1 month ago

That's helpful. Thanks!

harringtonb2
1 year ago

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

Byron Sutton
1 year ago

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

Byron Sutton
11 months ago

thanks for the follow up

Eric Leblanc
11 months ago

+Byron Sutton 2 years on battery here in Canada.

Lawrence Yan
1 year ago

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

bsgnine
1 year ago

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

wazzucoug69
2 years ago
David Macdonald
2 years ago

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

Baronial10
2 years ago

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

Seb K
2 years ago

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

JEFF4LIFE
2 years ago

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

JEFF4LIFE
2 years ago

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

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 years ago

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

Tom Stack
2 years ago

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

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 years ago

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

ForbinColossus
2 years ago

Cort, for the ride portion, were you holding the camera in your mouth? What a stud!

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 years ago

+ForbinColossus Haha... yeah, I bought a mouth-mount for surfing and have been using that for speed shots where I want both hands on the bars :P