Specialized Turbo Creo SL Review & First Impressions
We will get this out of the way. We were simply blown away. After over 35 years in business, we are accustomed to regular product launches which feature marginal improvements in weight, aerodynamics, and stiffness. The Specialized Turbo Creo SL is truly a game changer in every sense of the word.
The first thing that you notice when you see the Specialized Turbo Creo SL, is that it “looks” like a high-end road bike. The lines are sleek and the integration is top notch and the paint job is exactly what you would expect from an S-works road bike. The battery and motor are seamless integrated into the overall design of the bike and do not feel tacked on. This is truly a bike built from the ground up. The second thing you notice is the weight, not only is the bike light (our S-Works Turbo Creo SL came in at under 27 lbs in a medium) but the weight feels balanced. Specialized has truly emphasized the importance of a neutral center of gravity in relation to the handling of the bike. This is often a second thought as manufacturers slap on motors to existing designs not taking into account the extra weight and speed that this bike will be taking into corners.
Riding the Turbo Creo SL Evo
First up was the Turbo Creo SL EVO Expert. Our tester was equipped range extender water bottle, Roval CL38 wheels, 38C gravel tires (the frame will take up to 42c) and a dropper post. Our ride took us through the Town of Aptos and through the gravel trails of Nisene Marks State Park. These were trails we knew well as we rode the same trails the day before on our way home from Demo Forrest, albeit on Stumpjumper Long travel 29ers! The Creo was balanced, stable and never lost traction in the trail. On the 10km gravel road to the top, we switched between sport and turbo modes never feeling the bike kick out our want to do something we did not want. We truly felt that we were in full control. The bike truly lived up to the “You only faster” mantra. The Future Shock did a great job smoothing out the trail in front of us as we climbed and got silly on the descents! Although we see the need that many riders have for the dropper seat post, we couldn’t help but wonder how smooth the bicycle would feel if we were to install our shop favourite Kinect Body Float seat post. The most impressive part of the ride was after about a 40km test on gravel with at quite a bit of climbing we were left with 94% battery!
Riding the S-Works Turbo Creo SL
After a quick lunch, we had a chance to ride the S-Works Turbo Creo SL. The bike is gorgeous! Pictures do not do this frame justice. The chameleon paint on this bike is stunning in person. This bike looks like a beefy version of the 2020 S-works Roubaix. The geometry of the Turbo Creo SL frame is the same as the Evo with a standard seat post and 28c tires. We were also running Roval CLX 50 wheels and decided to leave the range extender battery at home. After pairing the bike to the updated Mission Control app we were off. Right away the group was pretty much at full throttle. (This is what happens when you get a bunch of riders from around North America and put them on light, stiff and fast e-bikes) most of the riders switched between sport and turbo mode to get a full feel for the bike and its capabilities. The torque of the motor rewarded riders in the 90-100 range making it feel so natural to ride. The climbs in the area were steep and came up quick. The motor was silent and efficient. Again compared to other e-bikes we have ridden there was never the sense that the bike wanted to shoot out from you. The rider is truly in control of the experience. Our only gripe was the placement of the mode control button on the top tube. We had wished for a hood mounted remote to be to quickly switch between the Eco Sport and Turbo modes. Perhaps a future accessory will be available, to give riders that option.
When can riders get a Turbo Creo SL in Canada?
The Turbo Creo SL will be launching at Bike Depot on July 16th and will be available for pre-order.