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First Rides: Blinding Speeds and MTB Trails with Specialized Turbo Creo SL

First Ride Review: Specialized Turbo Creo SL E-Bike

Introduction

Specialized has recently entered the E-road and E-gravel market with their all-new Turbo Creo SL. This technologically advanced e-bike features a lightweight motor, an internal battery, and the option for Range Extenders. We had the opportunity to Review ride the Turbo Creo SL in Santa Cruz, California for two days, experiencing a variety of terrains.

Road Riding

On the first day, we rode the S-Works Turbo Creo SL, the high-end model priced at $14,000. After installing pedals and adjusting our fit, we used the Mission Control app to control the motor system and record ride data. The motor operated quietly, similar to other systems like Bosch and Shimano. Our Review bikes were equipped with the Range Extender battery pack, which provided extended battery life. The motor offered assistance based on our pedaling cadence, providing maximum output at higher RPMs. The Turbo Creo SL delivered an outstanding ride quality, especially with the Future Shock 2.0 and S-Works Turbo tires. The bike handled exceptionally well on downhill sections and maintained stability during high-speed riding. However, we noticed a limitation in the top-end gear range, where we would spin out on certain occasions.

Gravel Riding

On the second day, we rode the Turbo Creo SL Expert EVO, a gravel-specific model with added features like a dropper seat post, flared bars, and 38mm Pathfinder Pro tires. We adjusted our pedals and shoes accordingly for the rougher terrain. The Future Shock 2.0 once again provided a smooth ride, allowing us to focus on the trail ahead. As we ventured deeper into the woods, the trails became rougher, requiring us to let some air out of our tires for better traction. The Turbo Creo SL performed well on double-track trails but struggled on singletrack mountain bike trails. The motor’s high-cadence design posed some challenges off-road, especially in low RPM situations. We also experienced some issues with the motor’s quick on-off cycles in technical sections. As we returned to asphalt, we encountered sandy farm roads, highlighting the need for wider tires to handle the increased speed and maintain control.

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