There’s one thing nearly all road cyclists have in common: going fast. Whether that’s smashing local Strava loops, being at the head of the pack on club runs, or just experiencing the exhilaration of speed. Conventional wisdom says that to do this you need a bike that’s lightweight and aerodynamic, and then you need to train your socks off.
Unlike anything that’s come before it, Specialized’s breathtaking new road machine – the Turbo Creo SL (opens in new tab) – takes the hard work out of the going fast equation. Thanks to a performance-enhancing 240 watt electric motor, designed in-house at its California HQ and built in Switzerland, you can shrug off hateful headwinds and lactic acid-inducing climbs, not to mention nail those flats, because the Turbo Creo SL’s motor has zero pedal resistance.
Other road riders will never catch on either – built from the ground-up so that bike and electric system work in perfect harmony, the motor and battery are cleverly integrated within the Creo SL’s lightweight Fact 11r carbon fibre frame, mounted low for better weight distribution and more efficient power delivery. And even if they do find out? Well, they won’t be complaining when you leave them for dust.
Tipping 12.2kg on the scales, the S-Works Creo SL was launched as the lightest in its class, so it can handle corners as well as it does climbs, and the Future Shock 2.0 suspension integrated inside the headtube makes every ride smooth and fast no matter the road surface.
Want to go on an all-day ride, or even a multi-day ride? Then Specialized has you covered with its clever dual battery system. The integrated 320Wh battery gives you around 80 miles of assisted range, while the 160Wh range extender – housed in the upper bottle cage when in use – gives you an additional 40 miles of electric power saddle time.
There are three assisted riding modes to choose from, and you can switch between them as you ride with the tap of a button using the bike’s easy-to-use toptube mounted Turbo Connect Unit – you can even turn the power off altogether, but you probably aren’t going to want to once you get addicted to the rush of speed.
Power users can head to Specialized’s Mission Control app, which allows you to fully tailor the riding experience on your smartphone. You can fine tune the level of power you want as well as how it’s delivered, or for those who want to just get out and ride, you can activate Smart Control and let the app automatically calculate how much power to supply based on how far you want to go or how long you want to ride for.
As with all Specialized bikes, the Turbo Creo SL comes in a variety of guises for different tastes - there’s the race-ready S-Works model which is outfitted with Shimano’s flagship electronic Dura-Ace Di2 groupset and ultra-light 50mm aero wheels from Roval; the Expert model which is less expensive but still features Roval C38 disc wheels and a mix of XT and Ultegra Di2; the more budget-friendly, yet seriously capable Comp model which features DT Swiss wheels and Shimano GRX; and for the off-road crowd the Expert Evo and Comp Evo models feature an adventure-ready setup, with 38mm tyres and flared bars.