When Specialized's Turbo e-bike launched last year, it was almost too fast for its own good when it couldn't legally be sold in Europe and the US. The American riders, at least, won't be held back now that the Turbo is on sale in their country. The US version costs an eye-watering $5,900, but it can reach the same 27.9MPH peak speed through its combination of pedal power and the 250W of typical output from the electric motor. With that kind of performance, it could almost pay for itself -- who wouldn't want to blow past rush hour traffic in the bike lane?
Specialized Brings "Turbo" Electric Assisted Bicycle To The U.S.
Most Technologically Advanced E-Bike on the Market Combines Speed and Style with Innovative Electric-Assist Motor, Advanced Electronics and Sleek Design
MORGAN HILL, Calif., April 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Specialized Bicycle Components is now offering the Turbo electric-assist bicycle to its dealers in the United States. The combination of pedal power and electric power gives the Turbo a top assisted speed of 27.9 mph. The Turbo delivers superhuman power to anyone who rides it: it's you only faster.
The Turbo creates an entirely new category of eBikes that we've named "Performance Urban." Turbo is a speed-focused, high-tech urban bike that looks and performs like a fast bike should and it just happens to have a motor. With a top speed of 27.9 mph, the Turbo is unquestionably fast. It's even fast standing still as the battery recharges in just two and a half hours. Every aspect of the design exudes speed, efficiency and style. The incredibly burly yet sleek and racy alloy frame has been built with a performance geometry for high-speed riding with a tapered head tube, fully-integrated down tube battery, internal routing, thru-axle dropouts and full fender/rack mounts. At 50lbs (23kgs) the Turbo is not the lightest bike in the Specialized line, but it's arguably the lightest in its speed class.
"We want to ride fast, well-designed eBikes but what was out in the market today wasn't meeting our needs or the needs of our riders," said Marc Faude, Specialized Europe Urban Bikes Product Manager. He added, "We believe Turbo is a major leap forward for the eBike rider and the market overall."
Specialized engineers focused on three critical areas: the battery, motor and electronic interface as integrated components of a complete machine. The Turbo was created by choosing the best and most powerful rear-hub motor available, and then customizing and redesigning it for the bike's precise demands. The battery was built from scratch to specific parameters, providing the motor with efficient, immediate and lasting power. The electronics were engineered to assure the entire package works flawlessly and intuitively, easily allowing for rider customization and interface with current and future technology.
"What is really lacking in eBikes on the market today is emotion," said Ian Hamilton, Specialized City & Road Design Manager. "Turbo is a new kind of eBike that provides a rush of excitement to ride, while looking hot standing still. You can't get off this bike without smiling - it's just not possible."
WHAT Custom alloy frame.
WHY Strength and stiffness in the critical areas of the frame handle the added weight of a battery and motor, and the rigors of riding at up to 27.9 mph, while still steering and braking nimbly and safely. The Turbo frame was designed by the Specialized team from scratch to be as sexy as it is strong.
HOW Custom tube shapes, such as the super-oversized down tube and fork are stiff enough to handle the large forces placed on the front end during steering and braking, while the shaped seat stays, chain stays and a 12mm through-axle beef up stiffness and strength around the motor and rear brake. Attention to detail including internal cable routing and custom formed parts throughout bring clean integration to a whole new level. A 15mm through-axle in the fork combined with a 1-1/2" head tube further bolster stiffness at the front.
WHAT Custom Turbo Li-Ion battery.
WHY Provide maximum power for quicker acceleration and higher torque, with improved battery life and quick charging.
HOW Our engineers found the finest quality Li-Ion cells with the best "C-rates"-this means they allow for maximum power to be pulled out to the motor. They optimized the battery management system specifically to our motor, rather than relying on a generic system like other brands. The Turbo battery has 342 Watt-hours of real capacity, meaning that all of this energy can actually be used by the rider instead of some theoretically possible calculated number. This energy provides the Turbo with one hour of support at top speed though multiple riding modes are possible to get the most out of battery range. Finally, the cells have been carefully placed to facilitate the quickest cooling.
A wireless interface unit with illuminated display shows assist level, battery status, and light on/off switch as well as normal bike computer features like speed, time and distance. A custom illuminated grip remote switch adjusts the Turbo's power level. Integrated LED lights in front and rear provide all the light needed for safe riding anytime, anywhere and internal cables means better durability with no clutter.
WHAT Turbo Direct Drive rear hub motor.
WHY To maximize efficiency in power transfer from motor to forward motion, while minimizing wear on drivetrain.
HOW By putting the motor directly inside the rear hub we assure that all the power generated goes directly into forward motion-nothing is lost or wasted in the process. BB-mounted systems, for instance, drive from the chain rings, meaning potential loss through the rings and chain, while also increasing wear on these components. The Turbo rear hub has 250Watts of nominal power output and is able to function efficiently above this for extended periods; the maximum power output is much higher. This custom system is optimized for reduced heat and top performance, whether you're speeding on the flats or up a hill.
Turbo features regenerative braking – every time you pull the brake levers (even before the discs engage) you are actually recharging the battery by switching your motor into a generator, boosting battery life even more.
Turbo, which retails at $5,900, combines speed and technology to provide the rider with the ultimate riding experience. Visit specialized.com to find a dealer near you and experience the Turbo: the most technologically advanced electric-assist bike on the market. Images for the Turbo can be found here (pin code TBLF4) and videos here (pin code 3NRKB).