The asking price of novel e bicycles make the MSRP of traditional ebikes seem cheap by comparison. This price difference is largely attributed to new electric bikes being equipped with the latest technological advancements. Taking this into consideration, ebicycle enthusiasts may be wondering if high tech ebikes are worth buying.
In this article, we explore the aforementioned topic by reviewing the e bikes from Specialized.
Turbo E Bicycles
Specialized, an ebike manufacturer, produces high tech e bikes known as Turbos. This electric bike series refers to three very different e bike models which are designed to meet the various needs of cyclists, as outlined below.
- Vado: great for the daily commute, workout regimes, errand running, or joy riding
- Como: features swept-back handlebars as well as a low-step frame that promotes upright posture alignment and laid-back riding
- Tero: works best on trails, uneven terrain, or in any other activity suitable for e mountain bikes
Clearly, Specialized covers almost every e bike category used to describe cycling related activities. But since these ebike descriptors do not reflect the quality an electric bicycle, let’s take a look at what the Turbo models offer.
- Three different speed classes
- Class 1 has a top speed of 20 mph
- Turbo Vados are typically class three, which indicates they are able to go up to 28 mph
- 250W engine
- 90Nm torque
- Fully integrated or removable 710Wh battery is lockable in both styles
- Clean, easy to maintain carbon belt drives
- Automatic, enclosed, 11-gear, electric shifter is maintenance-free
When compared to cheap electric bicycles that are equipped with a powerful engine, Turbo e bikes pales in comparison. Knowing this, Specialized decided to enhance the electric bicycles by adding the following technological advancements to each e bike model.
- Rear-facing radar detects vehicles within a 459 foot range
- Detector displays automobiles as white dots on a display screen as well as a rider dot that changes color based on vehicle proximity and speed
- Haptic alerts, also known as touch or vibration alarms, can be turned on to promote safety and reduce some of the anxiety associated with driving in traffic
- Software updates automatically install as they are launched by Specialized
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Pedal assist modes
- Anti-theft technology, such as ebike motor deactivation and motion alarm
That said, certain features, such as the pedal assist modes and the anti-theft technology, appear to only be accessible via the Mission Control app. Although this may seem harmless, requiring cyclists to use their smartphone to ride the e bike is a major drawback. To add insult to injury, the application keeps track of invasive metrics, such as the following.
- Location of the ebike and possibly the smartphone itself
- How fast the ebike goes
- When the pedal assist feature is used
Needless to say, between the negative elements outlined above and a price range of $3,300 – $6,000 it is safe to say that some high tech e bikes are not be worth buying.
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