Is Specialized a Good E-bike Brand to Buy? Brand & Models Review

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Photo courtesy of Specialized

A quintessential California bike brand, Specialized’s place in bike and e-bike history is without question. It continues to be a primary driver of innovation in the field, with a deep focus on catering to what riders want and need. This focus serves as the nucleus of the company, and its name only serves to echo that fact. 

It was founded by Mike Sinyard in 1974, and he continues to serve as its CEO up to the present. It took only two years since its founding for the company to start gaining traction. Over time, it developed a reputation for producing one of the best mountain bikes in the world.

Its trajectory may not have been smooth sailing from the time of its launch up to the present, but the unique, largely successful history it has crafted for itself is only punctuated by its solid place in the hierarchy of bike and e-bike brands.  As of this writing, its headquarters is located at Morgan Hill, California. 

E-Bike LineType
Turbo Levo/SLMountain
Turbo Kenevo/SLMountain
Turbo TeroMountain, Commuter
Turbo Creo SLRoad
Turbo ComoCruiser
Turbo VadoCruiser, Commuter

Specialized is known for being a manufacturer of high-end, sporty bikes and e-bikes. Its experience in manufacturing these kinds of bikes has more than likely made it capable of producing a handful of the critically acclaimed e-bikes in the market today. 

The SL (Super Light) varieties are praised for their almost magical way of managing to keep their weights down despite sporting powerful motors and range-abundant batteries. Since they’re high-end, expect them to stand out in the tech and components they incorporate as well.  As of this writing, it has 6 distinct e-bike lines with 3 falling under the eMTB category, 1 under the road, and 2 under the cruiser categories. 

Specialized Turbo Levo eMTB Line

This line, particularly the Turbo Levo SL, is one of the brand’s best eMTB models — if not the best offering in its catalog altogether. It just gives you an outstanding overall because of the combination of its light weight (just right for most riders), above-average range (that goes for up to 70 miles / 110 km with a full charge), mid-mounted motor, and overall geometry that makes mountain biking a truly enjoyable experience for beginners and pros alike. 

Easy E-Biking - Specialized Turbo Levo electric bicycle - real world, real e-bikes, helping to make electric biking practical and fun

We like that the design is not gender-specific, too, and there are multiple frame size options. The air suspension accommodates most of your body weight, making it more terrain responsive. The seat posts and tube are sturdy enough to handle rough rides. It’s got a well-balanced feel overall. 

Read also: Why fat tires are good news for electric bikes? – in this article. And, How to select the best hybrid e-bike? – in this article.

The motor is highly responsive and can be quickly activated. The brakes don’t build up heat easily and the integrated tires are enough to ensure optimal stability and handling while riding. These are but some of the details that make it such an ideal eMTB to ride for any eMTBer out there. 

We invite you to take a closer look at the Specialized Turbo Levo eMTB model line here.

Specialized Turbo Kenevo Product Line

This line’s Kenevo SL, particularly its 2021 incarnation, is another notable model for anyone desiring a solid, lightweight mountain e-bike. It tops at 18.7kg (41 pounds) only and has the same responsive handling that you can expect from the Levo SL. 

Easy E-Biking - Specialized Turbo Kenevo electric bicycle - real world, real e-bikes, helping to make electric biking practical and fun

The latter specifically merits a closer inspection. The overall geometry gives you more freedom to move while riding the e-bike, after all. This is one of the crucial aspects that allows it to perform outstandingly in mountain biking trails, particularly when going downhill. It barely makes any kind of noise while riding, too.

Read also: How to select your first electric mountain bike? – in this article. And, How much does a good eMTB e-bike cost? – in this article

Since it’s one of the lightest eMTBs in the catalog, it also accelerates relatively faster. It’s a perfect ride for rougher tracks that you’ll normally have second thoughts riding without a competent option. We say this e-bike deserves that label. 

We invite you to take a closer look at the Specialized Turbo Kenevo model line here.

Specialized Turbo Tero Model Line

E-bikes like Levo and Kenevo thrive in speed, agility, and handling. The Tero, on the other hand, has a clearer focus on power. The latest Tero 5.0 release boasts of a motor that can provide as much as 90Nm of torque. It’s complemented perfectly by the stellar components and the superb riding range. 

Easy E-Biking - Specialized Turbo Tero electric bicycle - real world, real e-bikes, helping to make electric biking practical and fun

It may be sporty like the rest, but it works just as well as a commuter because of its overall geometry. The classic step-thru frame eases mounting and dismounting. However, it’s a hardtail so don’t expect it to have the same kind of comfort that a pure commuter or cruiser can impart. 

The tech included is state-of-the-art, to say the least. You have the freedom to preset power output levels, for instance, so you can get the right kind of support you want when climbing steep hills. It also monitors your heart rate, includes a range calculator, among other nifty features. 

Read also: How to select the best city e-bike? – in this article, or this article, or this article. And, How much does a good city e-bike cost? – in this article

On the whole, we like the dynamic performance that this e-bike can give, thanks to the high-end components. It makes it well worth the fairly high price tag. 

We invite you to take a closer look at the Specialized Turbo Tero model line here.

Specialized Turbo Creo Product Line

The Creo SL is one of the more light weight, high-end road e-bike options available in the market. Much like its other lighter cousins, it accelerates relatively quickly, reaching its 28mph (45 km/h) top speed in no time in most rides. We like how it easily fades out and doesn’t drag once it goes beyond that speed limit. 

Easy E-Biking - Specialized Turbo Creo electric bicycle - real world, real e-bikes, helping to make electric biking practical and fun

It gives you more control and handling over your ride, through components and factors like the hydraulic disc brakes and the general outstanding geometry and even weight distribution of the e-bike. Definitely a model endurance e-bike. It also doesn’t disappoint range-wise, as it can give you up to 75 miles (120 km). 

Read also: How to select the best road e-bike? – in this article and this article. And, How much does a good road e-bike cost? – in this article.

Since it’s SL, it’s a given that it manages to keep its weight down. It provides a balance between that and the decent torque and superb power to provide a solid road e-bike that you won’t mind doing lengthy rides with. 

We invite you to take a closer look at the Specialized Turbo Creo model line here.

Specialized Turbo Como Product Line

This one’s definitely a sporty cruiser. We love that it’s lighter than most cruiser options out there and can guarantee an impressive riding range. Much like other Specialized models, you can boost the 75-mile (120 km) range further with the Range Extender batteries (assuming you’re willing to balloon its already considerable cost further).

Easy E-Biking - Specialized Turbo Como electric bicycle - real world, real e-bikes, helping to make electric biking practical and fun

You’ll be paying for quality, though. We rarely get to enjoy the privilege of riding a cruiser that can top at 28mph (45 km/h), after all. Nor do we frequently come across models that weigh as minimally as this. You can swap between 3 frame options, so expect it to accommodate most riders’ size and comfort preferences. 

Read also: How to select the best cruiser e-bike? – in this article. And, How much does a good cruiser e-bike cost? – in this article.

It doesn’t disappoint in its extra accessories as well. You get an extra bright headlight and rear light, reflective stickers attached to the tires, rims, and fenders, as well as a kickstand. And who can go wrong with Tektro hydraulic disc brakes?

The motor, with its 35Nm of support, may not be as torquey as its other eMTB counterparts, but it’s still powerful compared to most. It activates smoothly, too. 

We invite you to take a closer look at the Specialized Turbo Como model line here.

Specialized Turbo Vado Model Line

A more commuter-oriented cruiser option, the Vado 4.0 is perfect for anyone who’s looking for more power in the everyday ride. It doesn’t compromise on making the ride feel as natural as possible, which is pretty much a trademark quality of anything by Specialized. 

Easy E-Biking - Specialized Turbo Vado electric bicycle - real world, real e-bikes, helping to make electric biking practical and fun

It doesn’t go overboard with the power, as evidenced by the 470-watt motor, but you’ll definitely feel the difference it makes compared to other commuter options. Unlike the Como, this comes with a rear rack. It’s essentially more complete in this regard because of the front and rear lights, kickstand, topped off by a nifty bell. It even comes with SRAM hydraulic brakes. 

Read also: How to select the best commuter e-bike? – in this article or this article. And, how much does a commuter e-bike cost? – in this article.

Summed up, it’s a feature-packed commuter that’s equally generous in the power and comfort it provides. 

We invite you to take a closer look at the Specialized Turbo Vado model line here.

What Do Most Riders Think of Specialized?

Specialized, as a whole, undoubtedly belongs to the category of premier brand, especially if we’re going to look at the reputation of their mountain bike offerings. Many of its models more than deserve the “best” label based on the price-to-value ratio alone. 

Again, we have the top-notch components and excellent, tried-and-tested designs to thank for the kind of value that Specialized e-bikes are almost always sure to deliver. Most may not be a fan of the superbike price tags, but that certainly doesn’t stop the company from building up a substantial following over the years and even up to the present. 

As far as most riders are concerned, Specialized is a safe, go-to brand because of these very qualities. 

What Countries Does Specialized Ship To?

The main branch of Specialized only delivers to customers with a physical address located within the US. However, there are Specialized distributors worldwide and online shopping platforms in various other countries that also sell Specialized models.

Read also: Check out the most popular e-bike brands via this overview article.

Take a look at the Specialized Turbo Vado model with this video:

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