CREO SL by Specialized - Words by Robbie & Teddy from Drift Bikes.
Innovate or die is, as Specialized does.
When travelling down to the Creo SL launch the first question I wanted answered was ‘what did Specialized mean’ when they launched this bike last Tuesday saying 'it’s a whole new sport'.
Sure it’s a road bike with a motor, but do they plan on people racing these? Did they anticipate a new civilisation emerging from the mountains to then ask specifically for a lightweight road frame with a decoupled superlight electric motor with 195km of range?
Truth is, what makes this bike a whole new sport, is the decoupled motor. The frame geometry is a slight tweak away from the diverge along with the future shock technology but the motor is quite literally out of this world. And that’s where the sporting begins. It offers a true “hand of god” effect on the climbs, protecting the rider from going into the red, whilst propelling them at around twice their power input from the 35nm motor. As a comparison, a levo gives approx. four times the rider input back in power with 90nm of torque.
Bear in mind, this is not a levo motor in lycra. This is a completely new motor designed in house at Specialized thanks to a combined effort between their Californian and Swiss based engineering teams. So what’s the difference? In a nutshell, this motor uses a planetary geared motor compared to the belt driven version, with the biggest motivation behind that difference being the ability for the riders input to be decoupled from the motors engagement.
This allows the rider to pedal beyond the 25kph cut off and carry on to their normal average cruising speed, and once beyond the cutoff, no draw on the battery takes place.
So is it cheating? Hell yes its cheating. But both sides of the cheating coin are incredible beneficial. On one hand, you can do your normal rides with considerably less fatigue whilst still getting an incredible amount of cadence through the legs or on the flipside, you can go further than before, knowing that the bike is supporting you where it counts to keep fatigue at bay.
How real is the 195km range claim? Real. On the demo ride that both I and Teddy completed, we nailed 66km with 1300m of climbing. With me at a svelte 93kilos, with the bike in turbo (for almost all of the ride) I returned home with 9% left of the 320wh downtube battery. That experience alone left me feeling confident of the 195km range but it would require the use of the eco and sport modes as opposed to running it flat out in turbo, whilst also bearing in mind that the 195km range claim is coupled with the use of a 160wh range extender battery that clips in to the seat tube mounted bottle cage mount.
You will notice from the photos that we weren’t ripping around on smooth bitumen either. That’s because the Creo SL has been designed with gravel riding in mind with all models coming with boost specific wheels that sport a higher spoke count than conventional road wheels. Evo models landing later in the year are spec’d with gravel in mind, sporting dropper posts, flared drop bars and gravel ready tyres. The frame and fork can take up to a 42mm 700c tyre and for those wanting to go full rogue, the frame will also take up to a 47mm tyre on a 650b boost wheelset.
If you know full well that the Creo SL is your next bike, head instore to pre order with a 5% deposit and be one of the first in the world to climb aboard the industry leading bike that is Creo SL. Plus, be the first to pre order and score a $500 instore voucher!
For those of you seeking an even more unique entry to the world of E-Road why not check out the limited edition Founder model with only 250 worldwide, gold plated axles, ceramic speed pulley wheels, bonus range extender (two in total) and limited edition kit simply click https://www.specialized.com/au/en/s-works-turbo-creo-sl---founders-edition/p/184043 for more info...