Specialized Turbo Creo SL
First Look at Specialized's E-Road Bike
If there wasn't enough of a buzz around the 2019 Tour de France already, the first rest day of the 106th edition of the race coincided with the launch of a new bike from Specialized. New bike launches at the Tour are not an unusual occurrence, having the yellow and green jersey wearers, Julian Alaphilippe and Peter Sagan, alongside their respective team mates riding an electric bike on a rest day is though. The Turbo Creo SL is Specialized's first foray into the e-road bike market so we thought it only right to take a closer look at the latest electric bikes to hit the market.
Keeping things Light
'So light you'll forget it's electric' - As bold claims go Specialized are pulling no punches with this one and rightly so. Wearing the coveted S-Works badge, the S-Works Turbo Creo SL tips the scales at a mere 12.2 kilograms, thanked in no small part by the inclusion of FACT 11r Carbon Fibre used in the frame and fork. This is the same flagship carbon fibre found on the top of the line Tarmac and Venge bikes. Further keeping weight down, the Specialized SL1.1 motor is housed in a Magnesium casing, which sits in the bottom bracket area on the frame.
Adding Power to Proceedings
Designed in California, engineered in Switzerland, ready to eat up the miles with a motor that is not just powerful but is also smooth and silent. The SL 1.1 from Specialized is a motor that delivers 240 watts of power whilst being in sync with your cadence. A drag free ride guaranteed, since the first Turbo model was launched seven years ago, the designers have worked tirelessly to offer a market leading battery range, which now provides up to 130 kilometres of range, just from the internal 320Wh battery.
Increasing how far the Turbo Creo can take you, the Range Extender is a 160Wh battery that adds a further 65 kilometres of power. Coming as standard on the S-Works model, the Range Extender will soon be available as an optional extra for those opting for other models in the range.
Charge time for the internal battery is an impressive 2 hours 35 minutes and the Turbo Creo SL Range Calculator allows you to keep tabs on the amount of battery you have left, and so reduces the chances of getting stranded roadside.
Having power at your fingertips is all well and good and up to now the delivery of power has been like a tap, either on or off. This is where Specialized's Mission Control App comes in. Allowing you to tune each of the motor's three assisting ride modes, you can tailor the peak and sustained power delivery to your exacting requirements. The ability to control your battery's power level is a very handy feature. Simply tell the Smart Control system how far or how long you want to ride for and the app with carefully manage the power distribution to ensure you get there with enough juice to spare.
The final string to the app's bow is the ride recording feature that connects to third party apps. This, as well as the integrated power meter which sends vital data to your ANT+ head unit, makes the Creo a fantastic training tool.
Connecting to the Mission Control app is optional and should you wish to operate the Creo from the Turbo Connect Unit, located on the top tube, this is also possible.
Select Your Mode
The Turbo Creo SL range offers the rider three assist modes; ECO, SPORT and TURBO. ECO is all about battery conservation and matches your effort up to 30% of the motor's power. SPORT bumps assistance up to 60% of the motor's power and TURBO does what it says on the tin and literally propels you forward, matching your effort to 100% of the motor's power. In Layman's terms this equates to 240 watts of extra power, a figure definitely not to be sniffed at.
Get Off the Beaten Track with the EVO
All of the Creos come with the same damping system found on the Roubaix range, Future Shock 2.0 is designed to reduce road buzz and make for a smoother ride. Special attention should also be paid to the Turbo Creo SL Expert Carbon EVO Disc, Specialized's gravel ready rig, set up with Specialized Pathfinder 38mm tyres, a Specialized Adventure Hover Handlebar and a dropper seatpost.
The Founder's Edition
It's not just the Expert Carbon Disc, Expert Carbon EVO Disc and S-Works Disc that make up the Turbo Creo SL range. Available in very limited numbers (a run of just 250 bikes has been promised) the Founder's Edition is at heart an S-Works Creo but has had some significant additions brought on board to bring its weight down to a mere 11.9kg.
This weight shaving has been made possible with the inclusion of a Specialized S-Works Short and Shallow Handlebar, Specialized S-Works Turbo Cotton 28mm Tyres and 11-40T Shimano XTR Cassette and oversized CeramicSpeed pulley wheels. Customisation on other components and highlights added to the frame will not only set this bike apart from the rest of the Creo range, it will also surely turn heads out on the road.
Available from November 2019, watch this space.