Specialized Electric Bikes: A Detailed Review and Comparison

man changing e-bike battery

Specialized Bicycle Components was founded in the mid-1970s in Morgan Hill, California. The company went from a relatively small distributor of European bicycle parts to one of the largest bike and e-bike manufacturers in the United States. Today, Specialized electric bikes are extremely popular among e-bike enthusiasts, with a robust catalog of models for riders of all kinds.

Upway is proud to carry a large selection of Specialized e-bikes for sale. Like Specialized, we believe the future of transportation is electric. Join the e-bike revolution with Upway and find the Specialized e-bike you need.

The History of Specialized Bicycle Components

The company known as Specialized Bicycle Components or Specialized, was officially founded by biking enthusiast Mike Sinyard in 1974. At the time, the founder had just returned to his home in Morgan Hill, California, from a trip to Europe, where he met personnel at the Italian bicycle factories Campagnolo and Cinelli.

In Italy, an artisan in charge of manufacturing critical bike parts such as lugs, frames or tubing is referred to as an operaio specializzato, Italian for “skilled worker.” According to Sinyard, the brand name Specialized comes from this term. He described it as an intentional reference to the European passion for producing quality bicycles.

During its early years, Specialized primarily focused on importing bike parts from Italy and selling them to enthusiasts, knowing how rare these components were. But by 1976, Specialized started producing its own bike parts. Their first in-house product was the Specialized Touring Tire, a 27” tire for road bikes with a raised center and fishbone treads.

In 1981, the Morgan Hill company became a bicycle manufacturer and introduced its first complete models, the Specialized Sequoia touring bike and the Specialized Allez road bike. Later the same year, Specialized released the first mass-produced mountain bike, the Stumpjumper.

The latter model became one of the company’s most important milestones, solidifying its position in the biking market and contributing to the increasing popularity of mountain biking in the United States.

Major company milestones after 1981 include:

1989: Introduction of the Specialized Epic, the company’s first carbon-fiber frame bicycle. This bike came out the same year as its competing equivalent, the Trek 5000. Molded carbon fiber frames are now an industry standard for standard bicycles and electric bikes due to their low weight and durability. Many Specialized e-bikes today use the same materials, such as the Turbo Levo Comp Carbon.

1993: Specialized produces its first suspension bicycle, the S-Works Stumpjumper FSR. The technologies used in this bike laid the groundwork for all subsequent Specialized full-suspension models. Current Specialized e-bikes using full-suspension systems include the Turbo Levo, Turbo Levo SL and Turbo Kenevo.

Early 2000s: Specialized expanded globally and diversified its product line. The company introduced the Enduro line of competition mountain bikes and the Tarmac family of racing-inspired performance road bikes.

2009: The first Specialized e-bike family, the Turbo line, hit the market. It became the precursor to all Specialized electric bikes. Today, the “Turbo” name now indicates an electric model in the company’s catalog. It has been streamlined into numerous product lines, including the Turbo Vado, Turbo Tero, Turbo Como, Turbo Levo, Turbo Creo, Turbo Kenevo and more.

Specialized Electric Bikes at Upway

With nearly 50 years of experience in bicycle making and over a decade of making electric bikes, Specialized is a popular choice in the United States and abroad. The company produces some of the most popular e-bikes on the market, with a rich catalog of models for all applications and rider levels. 

Upway carries Specialized e-bikes from all current product families, from easy-riding city e-bikes like the Turbo Creo to long-range electric mountain bikes like the Turbo Tero. If you are asking yourself, “Which is the best electric bike for me?” Browse our selection of the best models and find the Specialized e-bike of your dreams.

Specialized Turbo Tero 5.0

The Turbo Tero line of electric mountain bikes (eMTBs) was designed for dedicated off-roading enthusiasts who need maximum versatility. The Turbo Tero 5.0 is the fifth-generation model in the family and, as of December 2023, the latest.

While it is first and foremost an eMTB, it incorporates many features intended to improve everyday comfort and practicality over traditional eMTBs. Its frame geometry, aluminum construction, seat position and RockShox suspension fork system are designed to give you maximum comfort and confidence on all surfaces, from asphalt to rugged mountain trails. 

The Turbo Tero 5.0 features a pair of large SRAM G2 disc brakes with different sizes: 200mm in front and 180mm in the rear. This arrangement is designed to provide extra front braking force, giving riders a high degree of control over the Tero’s stopping power.

The Turbo Tero 5.0 comes with an 11-speed SRAM GX gearbox and is fitted with 29” Ground Control T5 tires, a set of off-road tires designed in-house at Specialized. Both complement the frame and braking system, keeping the rider in total control.

Riders don’t need to worry about range, distance or hill-climbing capability with the Turbo Tero 5.0. Its integrated 710 Wh battery pack powers the custom-tuned Specialized electric motor developing 250 W and a brisk 90 Nm of torque, making it a true ride-anywhere model. 

Electric assistance is available at speeds up to 28 mph, categorizing this e-bike as a Class 3. 

And Specialized rates the Tero 5.0’s maximum range at up to 75 miles or 5.5 hours of continuous riding on a single charge in Eco mode.

Specialized Turbo Como 3.0 IGH with Step-Thru Frame

Are you a rider looking for a laid-back electric bike with a clean design, a comfortable riding position and plenty of torque for zipping through city streets? The Specialized Turbo Como was made for you.

The Turbo Como series is a family of electric city commuters meant for the work commute, weekend fun or any other riding adventure in the city. While the Turbo Como 3.0 IGH is a previous-generation model, it offers numerous features that any rider can appreciate. Its affordable pricing also makes it one of the best value bikes for the money, particularly if you are looking for an approachable and easy-to-use e-bike.

This version of the Turbo Como 3.0 features a step-thru frame, making it almost effortless to climb on and off, regardless of your attire or level of experience. Unlike standard frame designs, the bike doesn’t snag or get in the way, even when wearing dresses, long skirts, long coats or other loose-fitting garments. The frame’s shape is also designed to facilitate quick mounting and dismounting, allowing you to react quickly to fast-changing street conditions. 

While the Turbo Como is comfortable, Specialized did not compromise on its performance. The in-house designed 250 W electric motor produces up to 70 Nm of torque, putting it on par with hill-climbing eMTB motors. It provides you with snappy acceleration and will bring you up to its top electric assist speed of 20 mph in an instant, keeping daily rides fast and exciting. 

This model can also double as an excellent grocery hauler thanks to its standard, rear-mounted metal rack capable of transporting two side panniers and a top basket. Range is also not something owners of the Turbo Como 3.0 IGH should be worried about. The generously sized 530 Wh battery pack is rated at the factory to provide electric assistance for up to 56 miles or 4 hours in Eco mode.

Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0

The Turbo Vado is a family of premium city and commuter e-bikes intended to be the fastest, most comfortable and most enjoyable daily riding electric bike possible. Turbo Vado e-bikes accomplish this objective by offering a complete range of features, from high-capacity battery packs to front suspension forks and unique accessories.

The Turbo Vado 5.0 is the latest iteration of this product family. One of the most unique features exclusive to this model is the integrated Garmin radar, a safety system mounted to the e-bike’s rear. The Garmin radar scans for approaching objects behind the e-bike, feeding information to the integrated screen and indicating the object’s distance to the rider. It can detect approaching cars and estimate their distance, encouraging riders to check behind them and stay safe while riding in traffic.

In addition to the radar system, the Turbo Vado 5.0 features a battery pack that gives the e-bike a satisfyingly long range for a city rider. It offers a capacity of 604 watt-hours and an estimated maximum range of 75 miles in Eco mode. If you need a quick speed boost, the Turbo Vado 5.0’s electric assist system will remain active until you hit 28 mph, making it a zippy and convenient Class 3 e-bike. 

This model comes standard with a pair of Specialized Trigger Sport 28” tires featuring progressive, diamond-shaped tread knobs: thin and fast-rolling near the center and slightly wider near the shoulders. These tires can handle almost any conditions on asphalt, sidewalks, gravel, sand and dry dirt.

Specialized Turbo Levo Comp Carbon

The Turbo Levo Comp Carbon is part of Specialized’s Turbo Levo line of high-performance electric mountain bikes. Described by the manufacturer as its pinnacle of electric mountain biking, e-bikes in this product family are designed to offer maximum trail and off-road performance. 

The Turbo Levo Comp Carbon is a competition-oriented version of the Turbo Levo that features a full-carbon frame, maximizing weight reduction compared to an aluminum-frame model. The complete e-bike weighs no more than 53 lbs. with a battery inserted, making it lightweight and agile around tight corners.

One of the most unique features of the Turbo Levo Comp Carbon is its tire selection. While both tires are designed and manufactured by Specialized, they are different models at the front and rear. The front tire is a Specialized Butcher Gridtrail T9, whereas the rear is a Specialized Eliminator Gridtrail T7. While they seem similar at first glance, they have distinctive profiles and treading, chosen specifically to emphasize the Turbo Levo Comp Carbon’s performance. 

- Front tire: The Butcher front tire features aggressive, forward-angled square treads designed to cut through dirt, mud, gravel and other difficult terrain. It is designed to maximize road feel even when riding in the dirt, maximizing grip and keeping you in control.

- Rear tire: Rather than use another Butcher, Specialized opted for an Eliminator in the rear. These feature slightly softer, rear-angled tread knobs that are more closely spaced than the Butcher’s. The result is an offroad tire that can roll as quickly as a racing tire for the asphalt, letting you easily reach high speeds and providing maximum stability.

Like most other Specialized e-bikes, the Turbo Levo Comp Carbon features a powerful electric motor and a high-capacity, long-distance battery pack for day-long trail trips. With 700 Wh of battery capacity powering a 90 Nm motor, the Turbo Levo Comp Carbon gives you access to lightning-quick acceleration whenever you desire it, all day long. 

The factory’s estimated range is 5.5+ hours of continuous electric assistance, thanks to MicroTune, the battery’s integrated power management optimization system.

Buy New and Pre-Owned Specialized E-Bikes at Upway Today

Specialized has a long history of producing premium-grade e-bikes with every feature biking enthusiasts need for an exciting ride. Whether you are an e-bike novice or a seasoned riding expert, Specialized makes an e-bike you can enjoy and you can find it right here at Upway.

Besides carrying a wide selection of new and certified pre-owned electric bikes, shopping at Upway also gives you several advantages, including up to 60% off the recommended retail price on all our models. 

Do you need a little extra to buy the Specialized e-bike of your dreams or want to trade an older model for a newer one? You can also sell your e-bike to us. Get a quote for your used e-bike in under two minutes. If you accept our offer, we’ll pick it up for free! Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any additional questions or requests regarding Specialized e-bikes, our inventory or our services.

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