Specialized have overhauled their line-up of Full Turbo eBikes for 2022, introducing the new Turbo Como, Turbo Vado and Turbo Tero. Brimming with new smart technology, these comfort commuters and all-terrain eBikes are able to improve as they age, thanks to their new ability to receive over-the-air updates via an App on the owner’s smart phone. The top-end 5.0 models of each bike pair a 710Wh battery with the newly refined Specialized Full Power 2.2 Motor to deliver a range of up to 90 miles of smooth and silent power-assisted pedaling. Here’s everything you need to know.
2022 Specialized Turbo Como, Vado & Tero eBikes
For 2022, Specialized bring three new Turbo eBikes to market. The Turbo Vado is what Specialized describe as their “vehicle for life”. This one is something of a comfort commuter, designed to get the rider from A to B as swiftly, safely and smoothly as possible.
To measure that “smoothness”, Specialized actually used a custom test mechanism previously used on their XC race bikes. The data pushed them to spec larger volume tires, an updated suspension fork and a suspended seat post, all of which work together to isolate road vibrations from the rider, giving them the most comfortable journey possible. Why go to all that trouble? Because less vibration equals reduced rider fatigue, and more comfort, obviously. You can read more about the science behind that here.
Next up is the Turbo Como with the ultra-low step-thru frame designed for more versatility and to accommodate a wider range of abilities; Specialized actually claim it’s the lowest step-thru frame on the market. This one gets more upright seated position, giving the rider a “heads-up” riding position, taking pressure off the hands. The step-thru frame is said to be more manageable for riders who want to load the bike up, whether that’s with groceries or a child. This one also gets a “walk mode”, technology carried over from the line of Specialized eMTBs.
Finally, the Turbo Tero is Specialized hardtail eMTB. This one’s pretty versatile too, designed for working out and exploring the countryside. It’s also pitched as a bit of a sub urban commuter too, for those whose commutes involve gravel roads and bits of natural singletrack, in addition to the asphalt.
What’s the actual usability of these eBikes?
With eBikes set to become the most popular form of electric transport over the coming years, Specialized have sweated over every detail, investing in technology to breakdown the technical barriers to uptake. There are many practical considerations to be made if you’re seriously considering swapping your car for an eBike to do your daily journeys like commuting to work, grocery shopping, dropping the kids at nursery… the list goes on. For the new Turbo Como, Turbo Vado and Turbo Tero, Specialized have considered them all.
Safety, bike security, and carrying stuff are some of the top priorities.
The top-end 5.0 models of the new Specialized Turbo eBikes get a Garmin Radar. This device sits on the back of the bike, rearward facing, and alerts the rider to vehicles approaching from behind. These can be retrofitted to any bike, of course, but Specialized have gone the extra mile, integrating the Garmin Radar into the bikes’ Mastermind control and display unit. The display will actually show the rider how many cars are approaching from behind, as well as the relative distances between them in real-time. You can even set up haptic feedback for this; the handlebar grips will vibrate when a car approaches from behind, so you don’t ever have to divert your eyes away from the road.
Theft is another major consideration. These eBikes aren’t cheap, with pricing starting at $3,250 USD for the lowest spec 3.0 models. The Specialized Mastermind Control unit can lock the bike’s motor, unlockable via the Mission Control App on the rider’s smart phone. This doesn’t render the bike immovable (it doesn’t lock the drivetrain) but it does prevent the motor being used. The technology isn’t designed to replace an actual physical lock, but it is a theft deterrent nevertheless, especially if you set up the motion sensor alarm which will wail loudly as the thief makes their escape.
How about carrying stuff? The rear rack has a very healthy weight capacity of 27kg. That means it can accommodate a child seat and child, or heaps of groceries. Specialized actually designed it in conjunction with brand MIK-Click, so it works seamlessly with their range of child seats and accessories. Alternatively, Specialized are also offering their purpose built Tailwind pannier bags, built with aerodynamics in mind to reduce battery consumption.
Specialized are offering the Turbo Como and Vado eBikes in three distinct builds; the 3.0, 4.0 and top-end 5.0, each with traditional derailleur gearing and Internal Gear Hub options. The Tero hardtail eMTB is available with a regular drivetrain only.
The Internal Gear Hub options will set you back an extra $500 USD, but offer massively improved long term durability with the added benefit that they are effectively maintenance free. That said, they do tend to have a smaller gear range than traditional derailleur group sets, so if your journeys have a wide variety of gradients, including some very steep hills, you might want to opt for the cheaper drivetrain option.
Specialized Mode Helmet
In conjunction with the launch of the 2022 Specialized Turbo eBikes, the brand are releasing the new Mode Helmet, designed with an urban appropriate aesthetic. At first glance, it looks as though it lacks any sort of ventilation but if you look more closely, you’ll see a ridge right the way around the helmet, under which there’s a heap of internal venting to keep the rider’s head cool.
The design isn’t all about urban aesthetics. The Specialized Mode helmet also gets MIPS rotational impact protection technology, designed to prevent concussion injuries arising from rotational impact. It generally makes helmets around 10% safer than those without MIPS.
Pricing & Availability
The starting price for the 2022 Specialized Turbo Como, Tero and Vado eBikes is $3,250 USD (for the 3.0 model with a traditional drivetrain). An extra $500 USD gets you the low maintenance option with an Internal Gear Hub from Enviolo. Pricing tops out at $5,500 USD for the all-singing all-dancing 5.0 models with the IGH.
The Turbo Vado and Turbo Tero eBikes launch today with stock available globally. The Turbo Como won’t be available until Fall, but you should be able to to pre-order one from today.