Video: Specialized Turbo, the 'world's fastest' electric bike
Specialized launched a new bike today – but it won’t be available in the US, and perhaps the UK too, because it’s too fast!
Three years in development, the €5,499 Turbo, which is Specialized’s first production electric bike, has been designed specifically to be “the fastest and best e-bike ever”. However, its top assisted speed of 45km/h (28mph) is 13km/h faster than is allowed under US federal law and 20km/h more than is permitted in the EU*, including Britain.
In a letter to press and dealers, product manager Marc Faude admitted: “Due to regulatory requirements, there are many markets, including the USA, where the Turbo is simply too fast to be legal.”
Key features of the new bike include a 250 watt rear hub motor, a 342Wh lithium-ion battery that’s integrated into the down tube and is said to recharge in just two hours, and carbon fibre Magura MT series disc brakes with a regenerative charging feature. “You can get an hour on full speed,” Ben Delaney, Specialized’s global marketing manager told BikeRadar via email. “The engineering team has done several 40km rides at top speed on mostly flat terrain.”
There’s also a wireless handlebar unit that shows power level and battery status, lets you operate the bike’s integrated LED lights, and also includes normal bike computer features like speed, time and distance. Check out our image gallery and the spec at the bottom of the page for more details.
Pricing is set at €5,499 and the bike is due to go on sale in limited numbers in May, with further shipments due to arrive throughout the autumn. Specialized tell us availability will be limited to “just Europe for now”. The first 50 Turbos will be sent to select dealers in April for use as demo bikes.
In his letter, Faude said: “The Specialized Turbo is a powered performance urban bike, with an integrated electric motor and battery that offers a top assisted speed of 45km/h. Whatever you do, don’t call it a pedelec – this is a new category of urban bike that looks, feels and rides unlike any other.
“The most important feature of the new Turbo is its speed – everything about its design, and every engineering decision made during the three years of development, was centred on making this bike the fastest and best e-bike ever. We’re confident that we’ve succeeded. Once you ride one, we think you’ll agree.”
User Interface: Illuminated display, wireless remote thumb control, integrated grip mount
Battery: Specialized Turbo Integrated down tube battery, self-locking key release, on-board or outside bike charge capable, LED power indicators, start-up diagnostic feature, magnetic connectors, 432Wh capacity
Charger: Specialized Turbo quick-charge, magnetic connectors, top-view LED indicator, custom fanless design for total silence, two hours for full charge
* Under a 2004 European Directive, electric bikes are allowed a maximum assisted speed of 25km/h (15.6mph). However, some European nations have got around this by introducing a ‘superbike’ class of e-bike that slots in between bicycles and mopeds. For example, Germany’s ‘leichtmofa’ class includes electric bikes capable of assistance up to 45km/h (28mph) and with up to 500 watt motors. A licence and insurance is required but not a helmet and the bikes are not allowed on bike paths.