The S-Works Turbo 2BR is Specialized’s premium all-season road racing tyre.
Available in both tubeless-ready and clincher form, the S-Works Turbo 2BR put in a solid performance in our rolling resistance lab test and offers good ride feel, too.
At £55/$80/€85, it’s also competitively priced, making it ideal for those who want a tough road racing tyre without sacrificing too much speed.
Specialized S-Works Turbo 2BR details and specifications
After initially leading the charge for tubeless tyres in the pro peloton, Specialized rowed back on this in 2020 due to compatibility issues with the original Roval Rapide Alpinist CLX and Rapide CLX wheelsets (Roval is Specialized’s in-house wheel and component brand).
With those issues now resolved (the second-generation wheelsets are tubeless-compatible), Specialized is firmly back on the tubeless bandwagon.
As already mentioned, the S-Works Turbo 2BR is designed to offer speed worthy of the WorldTour peloton, but also the durability to stand up to rough roads.
It uses a two-ply, 120 TPI (Threads Per Inch) casing with a new dual-compound tread.
In the slick central portion, Specialized uses ‘Gripton T2’, which prioritises speed and durability.
The file-treaded shoulders, meanwhile, get ‘Gripton T5’, which prioritises grip (at the expense of some speed and durability) for improved cornering.
It’s worth noting that Specialized also makes a lighter version called the S-Works Turbo RapidAir 2BR.
This is claimed to be a little faster but less durable, and is only available in the relatively narrow (by modern standards) 700x26c size.
In contrast, the S-Works Turbo 2BR is available in 700x26c, 700x28c and 700x30c sizes, and with a choice of black or tan sidewalls.
At £55/$80/€85, the S-Works Turbo 2BR is keenly priced compared to many of its peers, such as the Continental GP5000 S TR (£79.99/$97.99/€79.90) and Vittoria Corsa Pro TLR (£89.99/$99.99/€94.95).
On the scales, our 700x28c tan-wall test samples weigh an average of 285g per tyre, which is also competitive within its class.
If you prefer black sidewalls, those are an option too.
Specialized S-Works Turbo 2BR installation and tubeless setup
Installing the Specialized S-Works Turbo 2BR tyres was a simple affair.
The fit was tight on the Hunt 54 Aerodynamicist Carbon Disc rims used for testing, but I was nevertheless able to mount both tyres without resorting to tools.
Once installed, my set of 700x28c tyres measured exactly 28mm wide at 65psi/4.5 BAR.
Specialized S-Works Turbo 2BR rolling resistance
At the Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub rolling resistance lab, the Specialized S-Works Turbo 2BR put in a solid, if unspectacular, performance.
It produced 14.32 watts of rolling resistance for a single tyre at 30kph. This put it second last of the tyres tested, but only by a very small amount.
The next closest tyre on test was the highly rated Continental GP5000 S TR, at 14.02 watts.
You’d have to double the deficit to get the full picture for a pair of tyres, but even so, it works out at less than a single watt.
Of course, for some riders, every watt counts and the deficit to the fastest tyre on test – the new Pirelli P Zero Race TLR (11.86 watts) – is a little more substantial.
However, given the S-Works Turbo 2BR is designed specifically to be slightly tougher and more durable than a pure racing tyre, this is still an impressive performance.
Specialized S-Works Turbo 2BR ride impressions
Out on the road, the Specialized S-Works Turbo 2BR put in a solid all-round performance.
Ride feel isn’t up there with the most supple tubeless tyres available, such as the Corsa Pro TLR, but it’s still very good.
It may just be a trick of how the tyre looks (the biscuity tan-wall casings seem very similar at a glance), but the ride feel reminded me a lot of the GP5000 S TR – which is no bad thing.
There’s plenty of speed and grip available, and the extra degree of toughness on offer here meant I had no worries about straying onto broken farm roads or gravel tracks.
In contrast, most lightweight road racing tyres have you picking your line carefully to avoid punctures.
As expected of a slightly thicker, vulcanised tyre, air retention is also good, especially once the sealant has coated the inside of the tyre properly.
Specialized S-Works Turbo 2BR bottom line
Overall, I was impressed by the Specialized S-Works Turbo 2BR tyre.
Though it’s technically one of the slowest tyres of the group we tested, it’s only by a tiny margin and it’s important to view that result in the correct context. The S-Works Turbo 2BR is more of an all-season tyre than the rest.
With its easy setup and competitive pricing, it’s ideal for those who want a reliable tyre for fast road riding but aren’t chasing every last watt.
Performance tyres | How we tested
We put eight of the latest high-end tubeless road tyres to the test to find out which are worth your hard-earned cash.
To evaluate each tyre, we performed a combination of lab-based and real-world testing.
Our lab testing took place at the Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub, where we used its bicycle-specific rolling resistance rig to determine how efficient each tyre is. All else being equal, a tyre which produces less rolling resistance will enable you to ride faster for the same effort.
We then assessed how easy (or difficult) it was to mount a set of each tyre to rims and set them up tubeless.
Finally, we subjected the tyres to a series of test rides in the real world, to judge their subjective ride quality, grip levels and comfort.
Tyres on test
- Challenge Criterium RS review
- Continental GP5000 S TR review
- Goodyear Eagle F1 R review
- Michelin Power Cup TLR review
- Pirelli P Zero Race TLR review
- Schwalbe Pro One TLE review
- Specialized S-Works Turbo 2BR review
- Vittoria Corsa Pro TLR review