The Specialized Turbo Como SL proves practical bikes don’t have to be boring

New electric load-lugger looks fresh, fun and so very capable

Specialized Turbo Como SL 5.0

06/04/2021: This article has been amended after Specialized published revised information on the claimed weight, capacity and range of the Turbo Como SL.

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Specialized has announced the Turbo Como SL (super light), a new version of its practical Como ebike that promises to be as fun as it is useful.

The Turbo Como SL adopts the same lightweight design ethos that the company has used to great success with its Turbo Vado SL  electric hybrid and Turbo Creo SL e-road bikes. It’s a direct attack on the same market segment targeted by Canyon with its practical yet stylish Precede:ON.

The aluminium framed Como SL weighs around 22kg and can carry a 35kg payload.

Specialized Turbo Como SL 5.0 back
Full-length mudguards, front and rear racks and integrated lights are all standard kit.
Specialized

At the heart of the frame is Specialized’s own SL 1.1 lightweight motor and a smaller than usual 320Wh battery that’s concealed in the frame’s down tube.

The 240w motor is claimed to provide 62 miles (100km) of assistance in its least powerful eco mode, according to Specialized, and a typical battery charge will take just over two and a half hours.

For those looking to travel further or a lot faster, a neat bottle-shaped range extending battery pack is sold separately, which extends the Como SL’s battery range up to a claimed 93 miles (150km).

Because the Como is designed to be ridden with assistance its rider doesn’t have to be positioned in a way that maximises efficiency. Instead, this is a bike designed to offer a ride full of confidence and comfort. The low-entry frame maximises standover clearance and encourages a low saddle height, while a tall handlebar with plenty of sweep provides an upright position.

Specialized has chosen to equip the Como SL with durable 650b wheels and its own Nimbus Sport high-volume 2.3in tyres, to once again prioritise comfort.

The SL 1.1 motor is controlled by the same top tube interface as seen on the Turbo Vado SL, which neatly integrates power and battery information.

Riders will be able to gain a wealth of extra features and ride information as well as customisation options via Specialized’s Misson Control app, too.

Specialized is also keen to demonstrate that the Como SL is an easy bike to own. Both of the models sold will use an internal hub gear, reducing maintenance and increasing durability over a derailleur setup.

Hub gears are also simple to use and can switch ratios without the need to rotate the crank, making them ideal for stop/start traffic. The range-topping SL 5.0 requires even less maintenance thanks to the use of a belt drive.

Both are also specced with front and rear racks, mudguards and integrated lights. The front porteur rack and basket are rated to carry up to 15kg (33lb) and include a top net to secure loads. The pannier compatible rear rack is rated to take 20kg of load (44lb) and forms an integral part of the bike’s full coverage mudguard.

Integrated LED lights are included front and rear, while reflective highlights on the frame and tyres will also help with nighttime visibility. A kickstand is fitted standard, too.

The frame is sold in three sizes; small, medium and large, to cover riders from 4ft 11in/150cm to 6ft 3in/190cm in height.

Specialized Turbo Como SL 2021 model range and pricing

Specialized Turbo Como SL 5.0

Specialized Turbo Como SL 5.0
The range topping Turbo Como SL 5.0 features a belt-driven Shimano Alfine 8-speed hub gear transmission.
Specialized
  • Frame: Aluminium with SL 1.1 240w motor and 320Wh down tube battery
  • Gears: Shimano Alfine 8-speed hub gear with Gates belt drive
  • Features: Front and rear rack, full-length mudguards and integrated lights
  • Brakes: TRP Flow hydraulic disc brakes
  • Wheels and tyres: 650b wheels with Specialized 650b x 2.3in Nimbus 2 tyres
  • Handlebar: Specialized comfort integrated alloy
  • Price: £4,250 (international pricing TBC)
  • Weight: 48.5lbs/22kg

Specialized Turbo Como SL 4.0

Specialized Turbo Como SL 4.0
The Turbo Como SL 4.0 is largely similar to the flagship model but features a less expensive chain-driven drivetrain and lower spec brakes.
Specialized
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  • Frame: Aluminium with SL 1.1 240w motor and 320Wh down tube battery
  • Gears: Shimano Nexus 5-speed hub gear
  • Features: Front and rear rack, full-length mudguards and integrated lights
  • Brakes: Tektro RKD123 hydraulic disc brakes
  • Wheels and tyres: 650b wheels with Specialized 650b x 2.3in Nimbus 2 tyres
  • Handlebar: Specialized comfort integrated alloy
  • Price: £3,500 (international pricing TBC)
  • Weight: 47.5lbs/21.5kg