Specialized have put the technology from their proprietary Super Light motor onto a commuter ebike for the first time, unveiling the Specialized Como SL. A 240W motor amplifies your power up to 2x on an aluminium frame that can carry up to 35kg of groceries. It has everything a modern commuter ebike ought to, and it is low maintenance with an internal gear hub and a Gates Carbon Belt Drive. Definitely worth a second look.
Update: We were originally sent incorrect pricing information. Please see the now correct pricing at the foot of the article.
Specialized Como SL
The Como SL is Specialized’s latest and greatest commuter ebike offering, set to be a serious competitor of the recently launched Cannondale Adventure Neo. As the name suggests, this is their Super Light version of the Turbo Como, weighing in at a claimed 22kg.
The Como SL gets a 240W motor paired with a 320Wh battery integrated into the downtube. That equals an output of 2x You, with a claimed range of up to 93 miles with the optional range extender. That compares to the 4x You output of the Turbo Como with a claimed range of up to 80 miles.
How on earth does the Como SL with its smaller motor and battery give a longer range than the Turbo SL? It’s all to do with that Super Light motor technology we see on the Specialized Turbo Levo SL eMTB. Of course, the power output in any given setting is half the power output of the Turbo Como, but the motor is also a lot more efficient. You can read more about how that works here.
The Como SL motor is one of the cool features that sets this ebike apart from its competitors. But, it’s certainly not the only one. Let’s take a look at what else makes this a serious contender for the title of Ultimate Commuter Ebike.
Low Maintenance EBike
The Specialized Como SL is a low maintenance commuter ebike. That’s thanks to the internal gear hub that houses the gears, sealed away inside the hub of the rear wheel. These contraptions are well known for their longevity, outlasting traditional derailleur mechanisms by many thousands of miles. It also means your gears are protected from other, less careful, bike owners at the busy train station bike rack.
There are two models of the Como SL. The entry-level Como SL 4.0 gets the internal gear hub running a regular chain and chainring. Meanwhile the more expensive Como SL 5.0 is upgraded with a Gates Carbon Belt Drive, which doesn’t require the regular upkeep of cleaning and lubrication required by a regular chain drivetrain.
In addition to that, you’ll notice a lack of cables on show. That’s because their routing is completely integrated throughout the bike, from the handlebar down to the brake calipers and gearing. Another reason this bike can be considered low maintenance. That said, we don’t know whether that internal cable routing is guided. For your mechanic’s sake, we very much hope it is.
Ultimate Commuter EBike?
Specialized have put a lot of thought into the Como SL design, giving it some neat rider-friendly features that will encourage regular use of the ebike. For example, like most modern commuters, it gets integrated front and rear lights. What’s cool is that, when the battery life gets down to 5%, the system shuts down power to the motor to preserve it for continued running of the lights. So, you can still see and be seen by other road users for the final stint of your journey.
The Specialized Como SL is built to carry up to 35kg of luggage; 15kg in the (included) front porteur rack with (removable) basket at the front, and 20kg on pannier racks at the rear. For when you’re not actually riding it, the frame tubes form a very handy handle at the top tube-seat tube interface to help you lug it up steps.
A very comprehensive sent of Drytech fenders will help keep the rider dry as they ride through unavoidable puddles. Those cover some pretty high-volume 650b x 2.3” Nimbus Sport tires with a thin reflective strip running the whole way around the sidewall.
A set of bosses on the top-side of the downtube can accommodate a water bottle cage, or a folding lock. There is also a second set of bosses on the underside of the seat stays that can hold a wheel lock for extra security.
Pricing & Availability
Pricing for the Specialized Como SL starts at $4000 for the entry-level 4.0 model. The high-end 5.0 model with the Gates Carbon Belt Drive will set you back a little more, priced at $4,800. Importantly, both models get integrated lights, fenders, racks, front basket and the option of running a range extender battery.
For full details on sizing and spec, head to the Specialized website.