The Specialized Turbo is a bicycle with "a battery and motor that turn your efforts into Superman’s," writes Rich Karlgaard in Forbes (10/7/13). "The Turbo," he continues, "is a battery-assisted bike unlike any other. The majority of ‘others’ consist of a brick-shaped battery slapped onto the back of the bike. They’re ugly and wildly out of balance. The Turbo uses a cellphone-battery technology in a 2-foot-long cylindrical package that snaps onto the frame’s downtube … The 250-watt motor sits in the rear wheel hub, next to the disc brakes."
So, it’s balanced. It does weigh almost 50 pounds, but this, says Rich, is a minor concern once you "press the ‘on’ button … and start pedaling … You’ll take off like a rocket. Without much effort you’ll be going 15 mph, and 20 mph to 25 mph … At 28 mph the motor will stop giving you assistance. This limit was put on for legal reasons, not for any technology limits." When it comes to hills, the Specialized Turbo enables its rider "to blow away the best cyclists in the world."
Rich describes riding the Specialized Turbo a hill on Old La Honda Road, near his home, in Silicon Valley. "It’s 3 miles long and ascends 1,295 feet at an average gradient of 8.1%. Around some of the hairpin turns the slope is 15% or more. All serious cyclists in Silicon Valley have climbed it … The best recorded time … is 14:42. This year’s Tour de France winner … Chris Froome, has never climbed Old La Honda. But if he did, he could do it in about 13 minutes." On the Specialized Turbo, Rich did it in 11:42. The Specialized Turbo comes in candy-apple red, and retails for $5,900.