Specialized is one of the most recognisable names in the world of cycling. The company is one of the largest cycle brands on earth, with a turnover of half a billion dollars every year.
The US manufacturer has become a stalwart of the cycling world as a result, with riders recording Tour de France stage wins on Specialized bikes and multiple other victories across the world of mountain biking.
The numbers really don’t lie – Specialized sells so many bikes and has such success on the world stage due to its bikes’ quality and reliability.
But it’s taken time to get to this stage – in our Specialized brand review we’ll look at the company’s history, delve deep into its range of e-MTBs and highlight what makes this manufacturer so special.
Let’s get started!
History and Company Overview
Specialized was founded in California in the 1970s. The company has adventure at its heart, with its founder Mike Sinyard selling his campervan to fund a cycling trip across Europe – it was on that trip where he discovered the craftsmanship of Italian bikes.
That sparked the beginning of a journey that has led Specialized to where it is today, with the company initially importing Italian bike parts, before going on to make its own. The company’s popularity blossomed over time, with the reliability of Specialized bikes drawing in many plaudits and loyal fans.
Specialized manufactures its bikes in Taiwan. Merida, the Taiwanese MTB brand, bought a large portion of Specialized in 2001 and it now produces bikes for many brands, including Specialized.
Specialized’s operations and development factory remains based in California, however, where the manufacturer has been at the cutting edge of design for many years. Now, Specialized employs more than 1,500 people.
ℹ️ The company is very highly regarded in the world of elite cycling, providing bikes for 3 teams at the 2022 Tour de France – with only Canyon matching that number.
The current downhill mountain biking World Champion, Loic Bruni, also rides for Specialized’s Gravity Team.
The company boasts many other wins across multiple disciplines over the past 30 years, which just goes to show you the manufacturer’s pedigree and success as a mainstay of the cycling world.
Specialized Turbo Levo and Turbo Levo SL
The Turbo Levo range is one of the best around in the enduro and trail categories of e-MTB. They come with a large battery and punchy motor, but manage to keep the weight down.
It’s a seriously playful range of e-MTBs, with the bikes featuring adjustable geometry and an ease of handling, which lends them to being thrown around.
The SL versions are ultra-light e-MTBs, which have similar features, but offer a stripped back riding experience – with a reduced battery size and reduced motor size.
The Turbo Levo SL bikes are at the forefront of a new wave of mountain bikes, which aim to recreate the feel of a conventional mountain bike, but with a little electrical assistance at hand.
They’re among the top Specialized mountain bikes available, yet despite their immense quality, some of the less high-spec versions are fairly cheap Specialized bikes, especially compared to other top brands.
Price range – $5,099 - $13,999 – depending on spec and version.
Check out our reviews of the Turbo Levo & Turbo Levo SL range:
Specialized Turbo Kenevo and Turbo Kenevo SL
The Turbo Kenevo and Turbo Kenevo SL ranges are the downhill focused versions of the Turbo Levo. They have far more travel and are laid out far more aggressively to take on the gnarliest downhill trails.
They’re seriously robust and prepared for a lot of punishment – capable of taking on anything you throw in their way.
The Turbo Kenevo range offers punchy motors and large batteries, while the Turbo Kenevo SL are the ultra-light versions of the bike – with the same burly suspension, but less punch in the electrics department.
The Turbo Kenevo SL, like the Turbo Levo SL, is at the forefront of this ground-breaking new style of e-MTB, which mimics the feel of a conventional bike, but still has a little juice in the tank.
Price – $6,000 - $12,999 depending on spec and version
Specialized Turbo Tero
The Turbo Tero range of e-MTB is Specialized’s answer to a bike which can bridge the gap between a commuter and a trail bike. The Turbo Tero is an entry level ride for people who want a bike for multiple different locations and terrain.
It’s robust enough to take on some gravel riding and a few trails, yet streamlined so it moves quickly in an urban environment. You have an element of suspension in there to be able to take a few lumps and bumps, and it has a decent sized battery so you can ride out for a decent length of time.
It’s also capable of hitching cargo to and it’s comfortable enough to get some touring done. It’s an entry level e-MTB, which doesn’t offer the bells and whistles of the bikes we mentioned above, but the affordable price reflects that.
Price – $3,250 - $5,000 – depending on spec and version
Specialized Turbo Tero X
The Turbo Tero X is a more adventurous version of the Turbo Tero. It’s made for long distance touring and cargo carrying, with a rear rack capable of carting around 20kg of kit.
It also has more travel at its disposal to take on some bumpier terrain and has a large battery, allowing you to take on some seriously chunky adventures on one charge.
It’s a perfect bike for long distance touring and multi-day excursions in the wild.
Price – $4,500 - $6,500
Other Specialized e-Bikes
Aside from the great Specialized mountain bikes we’ve mentioned, the company also makes e-bikes for many other categories of riding.
The Turbo Vado is Specialized’s urban run-around bike for people who want to move at pace. It has a sleek design, with aerodynamics and speed in mind throughout its design. It also comes in an SL version, which is ultra-light, and made to feel like a traditional, non-motorised commuter.
The more leisurely e-bike commuter in Specialized’s locker is the Turbo Como, which feels more like a powerful version of a Dutch city bike. The Turbo Como also comes in a super light version as well.
The e-road bikes in Specialized’s armoury are the Turbo Creo and Turbo Creo EVO – the Turbo Creo is made for long distance road riding, meanwhile the Turbo Creo EVO can also take on some gravel sections. Both are fantastic e-bikes.
Specialized bikes are, unquestionably, amongst the best in the business. Mountain bikes by Specialized are among the most advanced on the market, with the manufacturer’s SL versions leading the way in a new era of e-MTBing.
The company is steeped in history and you can understand why – its bikes are well crafted and reliable, making them not only popular in our local shops with leisure riders, but they’re also picked out by many top athletes and elite teams to ride, too.
Our reviews tell the same story about the quality of Specialized mountain bikes – we have tested and rated many of them very highly, among some of the best scores we’ve ever given to e-MTBs. Dig into our blogs, give some of the Specialized e-bike reviews a read, then get out and give one a spin.