Fly Rides is back with another electric bike review. Today we’ve got our Specialized Turbo Como review. We’ve had plenty of upright, cruiser style electric bikes come in and out of our shops throughout the years. They tend to be comfortable, lower-price options that allow casual riders to hop in to the electric bike world without spending an arm and a leg. The problem becomes the long-term performance of the bike. Let’s take a look at the Turbo Como and see if it might out perform some of its predecessors. Keep reading for our Specialized Turbo Como review.
Options available within the Como line
The Turbo Como is not just a stand alone electric bike. Much like the Turbo Levo and Vado lines, there are a variety of bikes that can fit the desires of any customer interested in these beach cruiser style commuters. As with any good comfort bike, there are low-step and step-over options.
If you men out there can get over the tradition of low-step bikes being for women, I’d recommend the low-step option before the step over. It’s incredibly easy to mount, fits a wider variety of riders if you want to share with the family, and still has all the same features as the step over. Of course, you get a variety of colors, all of which can be seen at this link.
The other very cool feature within the Turbo Como line is that you can choose between a 28 mph bike with the Turbo Como 3.0 or a 20 mph bike with the Turbo Como 2.0. This feature is very rare for electric bikes in this style. Traditionally, most electric cruisers are set to 20 mph because of the assumption that people will be doing just that: cruising. With the Turbo Como 3.0, riders actually have the ability to commute on a cruiser bike.
You may have seen our review of the Turbo Levo electric mountain bikes, but the motor on the Turbo Como is different. Specialized has named their commuter motor the Specialized 1.2. It comes standard with a nominal 250 watts of power and is specifically tuned for street usage. As with the Turbo Levo line, the motor is remarkably quiet and low profile while still retaining enough power to take on hills and then some. The motor reacts incredibly well to the amount of power you’re putting into the bike. The more power you put in, the more power it’s going to give you.
The low-profile motor allows for a q-factor that is true to a regular bike. The motor is also not overpowered. It feels very intuitive and integrated. Specialized has provided riders with a natural feeling ride that offers the perfect amount of assistance. As mentioned before, you can choose between a motor that offers 20mph or 28 mph. Both motors feel about the same in terms of power, it’s just that one is taking you a bit faster.
The build on this bike is what really makes it a home run. A lot of people tend to be deterred by comfort bikes without some sort of suspension, but it really is not necessary on the Specialized Turbo Como. That’s because of the way Specialized built the bike. For starters, you really are almost completely upright while riding this bike. It’s a bike that forces you to have good posture, so it’s great for riders or all ages. It also positions your weight further back than on most commuter bikes. This makes the suspension fork typical on many commuters unnecessary. They also compensate for the extra weight that the seat will be bearing by adding a bit of cush to your tush with a Body Geometry The Cup saddle, which is basically the perfect cruiser saddle.
I mentioned before that I really dig the low step model, but both models offer a very comfortable geometry. One thing the step over has over the low step model is that it offers two sets of usable water bottle bosses. This comes in handy if you decide to mount a water bottle cage and a lock holster or frame pump. The internal routing of the cables is very well done, and the centrally mounted display is visible but small enough not to be in the way.
The Specialized backsweep handlebars give you the support necessary to keep you in that comfortable, upright position while still providing easy steering to negotiate your way around potholes and pedestrians. Shimano BR-M315 hydraulic disc brakes and Tektro T285’s provide plenty of stopping power on 180/160mm rotors. On the 3.0, you’ll get a Shimano Deore 10-speed derailleur and on the 2.0 you get a Shimano Alivio 9-speed.
I’ve covered a lot of this previously, but the ride is pretty outstanding on this bike. You will be very upright on this bike, so if you prefer a more aggressive riding position then the Turbo Vado line might suit you better. It took me a bit to really enjoy the Specialized Turbo Como 3.0 when riding at max speed. I’m used to having my body in more of a racing position when traveling at those speeds, but eventually I got used to the new body positioning while crushing it at 28. It really is a very comfortable bike, and I did not miss having suspension at all. Admittedly, I am partial to rigid bikes in the first place. I never find suspension necessary in a commuter, but the Specialized Como just feels different. It is the first time I felt 100% comfort while commuting on a bike.