Specialized Turbo Como 4.0 e-bike review


Can the upright step-through e-bike cope with both city streets and country lanes?

Move Electric rating: four stars out of five

What does it cost? £4,300

What is it?The Specialized Turbo Como is an upright step-through electric bike designed with ease of use in mind, whether that be in the city or along country lanes nipping to the shops. I tested the Como 4.0, which is the mid-range option, slotting in between the cheaper 3.0 and the more expensive 5.0. 

Each model comes with the choice of an internal belt driven transmission or an external chain driven transmission. Mine came with the latter, a SRAM NX 11-speed 1X groupset, which I found to provide more than enough range, even if it’s a little clunky at times.

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What is it like?  Rather than having the bike delivered to my house and having a giant box to contend with for a few weeks, the kind staff at the Harrogate Specialized Concept Store agreed to set the bike up so I could pick it up and ride it home, thank you. The route between Harrogate and Bradford is filled with rural lanes, steep hills and the occasional very busy area – the perfect test of all this bike’s capabilities. 

It’s advertised as an urban bike, and it’s easy to see why. It’s big without being cumbersome, but gives you a sort of confidence on the roads because of the sheer mass of the bike. I did, anecdotally, find that drivers were giving me enough room and only felt the need to question someone’s driving ability once the entire ride. 

As a commuter or urban bike it’s excellent. It comes equipped with all the accessories you might need to weather the colder seasons (think, mudguards and built-in lights). The rear rack (MIK HD rack system) can hold up to 27kg of luggage, removing the need for a backpack, and the sit up and beg position is really quite comfortable – luxurious, even. 

The motor (Specialized 2.0) provides up to 70 Nm of torque, and is one of the most natural feeling electric bike motors I’ve had the pleasure of testing. It’s like a gentle push, but not weak by any stretch of the imagination, in fact I climbed West Chevin in Otley with ease, and some 16% inclines nearby without having to put too much power down. 

If you’re careful with your motor and gear selection you can get up most things. This doesn’t mean you should abuse it though – although it’s tempting to thrash a powerful bike like this up mountains, that’s not what it’s designed for and doing so repeatedly can shorten the lifespan of the motor. 

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The range is also pretty good. 23 miles and 2,300ft of climbing left me with just under 70 per cent battery, and I continued to ride it for a few days afterwards without feeling the need to panic about the battery level. 

Comfort wise, the ride quality is great. The wide tyres (650b x 2.3in) were well suited to the now autumnul road conditions as the ‘mud on road’ signs made themselves known, and I found the suspension forks to be set up nicely and absorbing most of the bumps, although I found the rear part of the frame to be a little harsh at times when you have some weight on the rear rack. 

The handlebars are very Moustache inspired, and I think the shape and width gives you a bit of confidence on the road, you feel like you’re taking up more space than a normal sized road bike so you can mix with traffic a bit better.

In the cockpit you’ll find the MasterMind display, which, is excellent. It provides plenty of ride metrics and pairs seamlessly with the Mission Control app, from which you can update your bike over the air, and lock the motor. 

Overall, the Como is an excellent bike with only the price being a slight drawback – but I do think the solid construction and brilliant motor system somewhat justifies it. 

Where can I buy it?From one of the Specialized Concept Stores, a distributing retailer, or online.

How does it arrive?I was lucky enough to collect mine ready built and charged from the Specialized Concept Store in Harrogate, but if collection isn’t a possibility, then the bike arrives mostly assembled in a box. Adjustment of the handlebars and saddle height will be required. 

VerdictAn excellent bike for all types of rider – commuting, urban, countryside, it’s got everything you need to get going and is a practical option for those who prioritise comfort but don’t want to sacrifice on performance. 

Specialized Turbo Como 4.0

Cost: £4300

Frame size tested: Medium p

Weight: 28kg

Groupset: SRAM NX 11-speed 1X groupsets, SRAM Level hydraulic disc brakes, 180mm rotors

Wheels/tyres: 650b wheels, Pathfinder Sport Reflect, 650bx2.3” tyres

Motor: Specialized 2.0 (70 Nm of torque)

Battery: Specialized U2-710, 710Wh

Mileage range: More of than 62 miles

Assistance levels: Eco, Sport, Turbo

Charge time: 3-5 hours

Included extras: Mudguards, Headlight (Lezyne Ebike Hecto E65, 210 Lumen, 12V), Built-in tail light on rear rack (Spanninga Commuter Glow XE, 12V), Rear rack (MIK HD), Bell, Kickstand


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Source: Autocar

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