Riding the Turbo Creo SL


- Bobby Ketchum

We had the opportunity to ride the new Turbo Creo SL, the latest e-bike from Specialized. It's a performance road bike that's lively, lightweight and capable. It's a proper road bike first, with just the right amount of power to help you up the hills.

First, a quick overview of the bike. It's a new carbon electric road bike with disc brakes and the Future Shock 2.0. It's basically an electric version of the Specialized Roubaix. The Creo uses Specialized's new SL 1.1 motor, which they designed themselves, that has 35 newton-metres of torque, is compact and only weighs 1.95kg. The battery is internal with 320 Wh. A range extender that fits in a bottle cage is available and adds another 160 Wh.

The demo bikes we rode were the Expert Evo, which are the gravel version of the Creo with a dropper post, wider bars and off-road tyres. The Evo isn't a bike the NZ market will get, they were just the first ones available from Specialized Global as demo bikes. NZ will have the S-Works and Expert models.

Okay, time to ride. Starting in Sumner, we went up Rapaki.

A few of the guys went up the Mt Vernon singletrack. With chunky tyres and a 50mm dropper post, the Creo looked really confident through that rock garden for a road bike!

We continued along Summit Road to Sign of the Kiwi and dropped down the backside of the hill towards Governor's Bay. This is a steep and fast descent but the Turbo Creo felt great. The new Future Shock 2.0, first seen on the all-new Roubaix, was awesome downhill. The new hydraulic damper it has is really smooth and soaks up bumps well. And, with the motors weight low in the frame, the Creo feels stabile at speed. I'm a mountain biker and going 70 kmh down a road sounds terrifying, but it felt relatively safe on the Creo. I was really impressed there.

We headed to Lyttelton for a coffee. The weather was beautiful that day.

Time to ride. We climbed out of Lyttelton on Sumner Road, which re-opened in March, 8 years after the February 2011 earthquakes. We all had about 30% battery left, so we decided to continue climbing up Summit Road to Mt Pleasant before descending Mt Pleasant and riding the flats back to Sumner.

53km, 1129m of climbing and 1 flat white took 3 hours (2h 12m of riding time). That's a pretty solid ride! The 320 Wh battery just about showed empty by the time we were back in Sumner where we started. I used Sport mode most of the time, which is the middle setting. I only used Turbo up that last steep part of Rapaki and also towards the end of the ride up Sumner Rd and up Mt Pleasant because I knew I had some battery to use up.

The Turbo Creo doesn't just let you sit there and kick your legs while the motor does all the work. It's still a road bike. It's just 2x you. It flattens out the big climbs just enough to make it more fun and let you ride further in less time. What a great bike.

Click here for Turbo Creo SL info, models and pricing.


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