Specialized Turbo Customer Review by Rene Braun

I have been commuting to work on my 2014 Specialized Turbo since the beginning of April. It is approximately 22 Miles round trip way give and take a few miles for lunch or other errands. Initially I purchased a second battery to aid me with range anxiety but over time found out the battery in ECO mode will last just fine for the entire commute with plenty of miles left over.

I believe, since 2014 every Turbo bike comes with a larger capacity battery than originally introduced in 2013. The battery weights are the same. The amount of time before your battery is depleted depends on your body weight, the weight of the items you carry, the amount of starting and stopping, the strength of the headwind you may encounter and the amount of uphill biking. I tip the scales on the heavy side. My body weight is 260 lbs which is slowly approaching the upper carrying capacity of the bicycle. On average, with my weight I could bike in ECO mode for 35 miles, Turbo mode for about 16 miles and there are of course unlimited miles when biking without the assistance of the battery.

The bike comes with front and rear lights integrated with the battery system. The lights can be turned on conveniently by pressing down the joystick or by manual button press on the front light.

The Turbo comes in 4 sizes (S,M,L,XL) to ensure you are fitted properly. The seat is sporty. I wasn't sure I would like it as I'm used to leather saddles but I adjusted and over time grown to like the saddle.

The ride is thrilling. The battery only assists if you pedal. When biking uphill or against a headwind the endeavor is no longer a hassle. The motor is completely silent. This is an important differentiator between electric bikes that could ride without pedaling with the aid of a throttle. The Specialized Turbo is a meant to be pedaled. During riding the components feel top notch, solid and satisfying. My Turbo feels and rides like a regular bike.My pedaling cadence is way up compared to riding of my regular bike. If I had to differentiate my commute comparison between a Turbo and a regular bicycle I would say that Turbo gives you greater aerobic workout while regular bicycle will give you more endurance workout.

One can choose to bike without the aid of the battery (no assist) or in ECO mode (recommended for bike paths with pedestrians or for greater distances) or in TURBO mode for fast riding, commuting in fast bike lanes or for your dreaded uphill battles. There is also a REGEN mode for perhaps if you chose to go down a really long hill like Mt.Washington or Cadillac Mountain. The REGEN mode slows down your bike further aiding in saving your brake pads. If you depress your brake lever a tiny bit the REGEN mode turns on automatically. This helps during approaches at red light intersections etc... and it aids overall in recharging your battery and extending your effective riding range.

The weight of the bicycle is under 50lbs. This is considered light in the electric bicycle world. It feels solid and sturdy.

The tires are wider slicks compared regular road bicycle tires. This aids in improved stability at higher speeds. The ride is sporty. Not cushy. Some riders prefer this type of ride while others opt for bikes with suspension. Keep this in mind when you shop around. There is an eBike out there for everyone. The electric assist cuts off if the bike reaches 28MPH. It is not hard to reach 28MPH but you have to be in your fastest gear and pedal pretty fast. I am not sure I have the skill to pedal much faster. The experience is even better for riders weighing less than 200lbs. However, going 28MPH is very fast! Stay safe out there.

There is an option to purchase a city kit (fenders, rear rack and an additional rear light). I did not feel the need yet to add these to my bike.

This is a specialty item bicycle. The purchase price is steep, but the bike is outfitted with top notch components, the motor is smooth and silent and the integration of the battery into the bicycle frame is stealthy. I justified my purchase by calculating my 22 miles round trip commute, 3 times per week, discounting winter months, price of gasoline, average maintenance cost of a car and my calculations arrived that the bike will pay for itself in less than 2 years not to mention the benefit of improved health from the daily aerobic exercise you get.

Rene Braun | May 2014