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Rise of the e-bike

(Image credit: Specialized)

On the first rest day of the 2019 Tour de France, Deceuninck-QuickStep and Bora-Hansgrohe unveiled the new road e-bike from Specialized, the Turbo Creo SL.

Built from the ground up, the Creo SL features a fully-integrated battery and proprietary motor, which matches your power input up to 240 watts through three different power modes – Eco, Sport and Turbo.

Based around the all-carbon Specialized Diverge frame – albeit with some modifications to accommodate the battery and motor – the Specialized Turbo Creo SL is the most integrated e-bike currently on the market. Weighing around 12 kilograms, it’s also not much heavier than some of the aero bikes available on the market just a few years ago.

Not your standard e-bike

Specialized designed the Creo SL not as something to pootle down to the shops on, but something to be ridden hard and fast – you only have to look at the brand’s other road bike range to see that the company is serious about their road bikes.

While other brands are using OEM motors and batteries on their e-bikes, Specialized have an e-bike-specific research and development headquarters in Cham, Switzerland, focused exclusively on the development of Specialized’s Turbo road and mountain bike ranges.

The technology and R&D that has been applied is truly impressive and by focusing on rider experience when designing the Creo SL, Specialized haven’t just added a motor to one of their existing road bikes, but a newly designed e-bike system, which connects battery, motor and Human Machine Interface – the control unit of the system, which sits on the top tube – and opens up a whole new realm of possibilities when it comes to road cycling.

The three different power modes match your pedalling input, so when riding the Creo SL on Turbo mode, as long as you’re putting in 250 watts, the Creo SL will give you an additional 240 watts – imagine riding up your favourite climb with that additional power. Sounds like a lot of fun to me.

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Julian Alaphilippe on the new Specliazed Creo

Julian Alaphilippe on the new Specliazed Creo
(Image credit: Specialized)
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Specialized Creo SL Expert Evo

Specialized Creo SL Expert Evo
(Image credit: Specialized)


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A look at Specialized's proprietary SL 1.1 motor

A look at Specialized's proprietary SL 1.1 motor
(Image credit: Specialized)
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Specialized Creo SL Expert

Specialized Creo SL Expert
(Image credit: Specialized)
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Specialized S-Works Creo

Specialized S-Works Creo
(Image credit: Specialized)
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(Image credit: Specialized)

Redefining a ‘quick spin’

Mountain e-bikes have been showcasing the benefits of electric motors in otherwise standard bikes for a few years now. The possibility of hitting more trails, quicker ascents, plus no need for uplifts means you get more of the riding you want into your day.

With the new Creo SL, Specialized have replicated this value for road riding. Depending on where you are in the world and what season you’re in, your riding might be limited to a couple of hours after work before you lose the evening light or a weekend morning before family or social commitments take over. Being able to put in the same amount of effort up your normal climbs and along your regular routes but simply go faster results in a ride with potentially more efforts and your favourite post-work loop can get that little bit longer.

Specialized say the range of the new Creo SL is 120 kilometres – although this can be extended with a booster back up to 180 kilometres – meaning that while your shorter rides get longer, the Creo SL doesn’t limit you if you want to get a longer ride in either.

It’s you, only faster

Specialized’s tag-line for the Turbo range – it’s you, only faster – seems like more than just another buzz line. The company has created a bike that breaks the mould of what a traditional e-bike is for, the new possibilities for faster, more fun and exciting riding for riders who can already ride far, fast and hard is adding value and fun to a sport that already has it in spades.

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