In an exclusive to Edinburgh Bicycle, Andy Butler, our head buyer, visits Specialized and gets a sneak peak at the future.
Specialized bikes are all about going fast! With Mark Cavendish’s exceptional World Championship win, another Cobbled Classics double and the other 11 World Championships, they certainly appear to be keeping to their mission.
Bike people have always said that “a bike is only as fast as the rider“. The clever people at Specialized have ignored that truism. So say hello to Turbo.
Specialized launched Turbo in Valencia, so it wasn’t difficult for them to convince me I needed to be there. Normally, launches are about bikes that are lighter or stiffer – for once, however, a manufacturer spent 30 minutes telling me about a bike that had been designed for and about me.
Turbo is the E-bike I have wanted to buy for nearly 4 years. I like the functional Giant E-Bikes and really have a thing for the Storck Multi-task, but Turbo is a cut above. Are Electric Bikes Any Good? Yes, yes they are!
The bike itself has everything I want from an electric bike – rear propulsion, smooth operation, integrated downtube battery combined with a fast urban orientated bike.
Specialized managed to do all this and keep the weight to 23kg (impressive for an E-bike). They have applied the usual killer Specialized styling – cool and attractive. They also saved the last detail until the end – it only goes 45km/hr.
Ok, so they managed to capture my attention – but it’s all about testing! Well Specialized rose spectacularly to the challenge. I’ve met Mike Sinyard (SBC CEO – essentially the bike industries’ Steve Jobs), but I never expected that I’d be riding around the streets of Valencia with him, wearing a super hero cape, and speeding along at 45km/hr.
Anyhow, I kept my unique, custom designed “ride it like you stole it” testing method and the Turbo didn’t disappoint. “Flying” through the Valencia post-siesta traffic, up curbs, down steps, through a muddy park, it was like a Cannondale Bad Boy crossed with an energizer bunny and piloted by Superman.
Specialized claimed that this is the bike to bring a smile back to the face of the most jaded cyclist. I can tell you they weren’t wrong. On the 6am flight the next morning I was still smiling.
Back on firm ground I realised the catch. Firstly, early indications are that the Turbo will retail for around £4000 (worth every penny in my view). Secondly, at 45km/hr it is a little too fast for the UK regulations. Hopefully the Transport Minister will get a chance to don his cape and try one. Something this fun should be legal!
Edit: Specialized Turbos are now available (and limited to 25.5kmh so they are perfectly legal)!!!
Great footage of the Specialized Turbo in action:
Specialized team discuss the Turbo: