Specialized's all-new Creo 2 is a battery-powered, gravel-devouring beast

Smoother, lighter and more powerful, the Specialized Creo 2 looks like the electric gravel bike to beat

Specialized Creo 2
(Image credit: Specialized)

Specialized has unveiled an electric bike in the Creo 2 that seemingly takes all of the brand's learnings and ramps them up a notch.

Its precursor, the Specialized Turbo Creo SL, was an innovative machine. An all-electric, road-biased bike with a beautifully integrated electric propulsion system and the ability to venture off the beaten path thanks to a dropper seat post and huge tyre clearance.

However, Specialized has built on its winning formula, surfing the surge in popularity of gravel riding to create an electric machine that is faster, more capable and more stable on the rough stuff. More importantly, it is confident enough in the gravel genre to drop the road-going elements of the previous machine in favour of a more off-road focused bike.

That means the Specialized Creo 2 now benefits from the marque’s latest SL 1.2 System, which offers a staggering 120-miles of range (although this will depend on rider weight and terrain) and 320 Watts of electric assistance up to 28mph where the region permits it.

Specialized Creo 2

(Image credit: Specialized)

Bottom line is, the SL 1.2 System is more efficient than anything that has come before. This means Specialized engineers could run smaller and lighter batteries, while still extracting the same or improved performance figures.

It also means the brand could incorporate its popular Turbo Operating System, including the implementation of a new digital head unit that sits on the crossbar and gives vital read-outs on the assistance mode selected and range remaining.

What’s more, the system pairs with a a smartphone, so the rider can fine tune the electric motor output to their tastes, or plan a ride so the bike knows exactly how much electrical assistance to offer in order to ensure there’s enough battery to cover the trip.

The accompanying app is also a coach, suggesting more efficient cadence and pedalling styles, while it can also diagnose problems and act as a security system, disabling the bike unless the digital key is present.

Specialized Creo 2

(Image credit: Specialized)

However, it is the changes to the overall geometry that make the Creo 2 a more accomplished gravel machine, as the more relaxed angles, wider tyre clearance and the addition of a Future Shock 3.0 suspension system in the headstock makes this a much easier bike to ride over tough terrain.

There’s still the option of a dropper seat post at the rear, but Specialized has also seen fit to throw in a plethora of new mounting points for mudguards and panniers, meaning owners can happily load it up with luggage and embark on an epic bike-packing adventure with ease.

The Creo 2 is available in a number of finishes, with the range-topping S-Works model costing £12,000 / $14,000 / €13,000 / AU$20,500. This includes a SRAM Red eTap AXS-Eagle XX drivetrain and the Future Shock 3.3 system at the front, which allows for quick adjustments to the damping on the fly.

The Creo 2 Expert and Comp models are priced at £7,500 / $9,000 / €8,500 / AU$14,000 and £5,000 / $6,500 / €6,000 / AU$10,500. These pack either SRAM Rival eTap or analogue SRAM Apex drivetrains a non-adjustable 3.2 version of that Future shock suspension system.

Leon Poultney

Leon has been writing about automotive and consumer tech for longer than he cares to divulge. When he’s not testing the latest fitness wearable and action camera, he’s out in a shed fawning over his motorcycles or trying not to kill himself on a mountain bike/surfboard/other extreme thing. He's also a man who knows his tools, and he's provided much of T3's drills coverage over the years, all without injuring himself.