Electric road bikes?
E-bikes are part of the furniture of the cycling scene and have been for a while. They’ve transformed the way people think of cycling, from an obsessive hobby to a fun way to get around. The added assistance from the electric motor means you can ride further, faster, and with less effort than ever before. And people who had previously thought cycling was a chore or too difficult, can now crank up the steepest of hills.
Tested on set
We were lucky enough to check out the 2021 Specialized Creo SL Expert whilst on set for our very own advert on Eurosport. You might have already spotted this whilst watching this year’s Tour de France coverage. If you haven’t seen it, have a watch below.
The sleek, trademark Specialized frameset looks like any other modern road bike boasting chunkier tubes and a capable geometry. The angles of the Creo are resemblant of the non-electric Roubaix and Diverge models, so if you’ve ridden one of those you’ll feel completely at home on this electric machine. Coming in at a hefty £7,500 this bike has all the top specs and features of the best bicycle engineering. Once you look a little closer you can spot those smaller details and technical improvements that make this bike tick.
The single-ring Praxis chainring coupled with an expansive 11-42 cassette means you have enough range to climb the hills with the simplified one shifter. The big cassette also means this runs the more sturdy XT Di2 rather than the Ultegra, with each shift being impeccably smooth.
Sitting on a pair of Specialized’s own Roval C 38 wheels with 28mm tyres, the Creo feels supple and able to handle anything the road throws at you.
The battery is a fully integrated SL1-320wh, which is exclusive to Specialized. Lightweight and powerful, this motor is designed to increase your pedalling power with a natural feel. The motor’s responsive torque curve delivers power perfectly in-tune with your normal riding cadence and leaves no resistance when riding unassisted.
Partnering the bike with the Mission Control App, you’re able to tune the motor to your riding style, record rides and monitor the battery. The app can handle battery management automatically too, ensuring the battery will last as long as you need it to.
E-bikes aren't known for being lightweight. However the Creo comes in at around the 12kg mark which is remarkably light for an electric bike.
Taking the bike through a town centre is also where I noticed this bike's awesome capabilities. From setting off at lights to managing rough roads and traffic furniture, this bike can cope with the tough demands of urban riding. Whilst the drop bars give it a racey fit, the Creo is able to conquer any terrain you ride it on.
If you’re looking to 1-up your commute, ride to work in style and arrive marvellously fresh then the Creo Sl has a lot to offer.
Riding over rough country lanes is where this bike truly comes into its own. The frame is compliant enough to absorb any bumps with the Future Shock’s 20mm of suspension taking up any additional hits. With such a smooth ride this bike feels super fast and amazingly comfortable for a drop-bar machine.
The extra assistance from the motor is subtle on the flat, but once the road goes uphill you immediately notice that extra kick. When the roads are rolling a few pedal strokes here and there are all that’s needed to keep moving along at speed. Over hilly terrain, this bike is in its element.
|FRAME||FACT 11r carbon, Open Road Geometry, front/rear thru-axles, fully integrated down tube battery, internal cable routing, fender/rack mounts, Boost™ 12x148mm|
|FORK||Future Shock 2.0 w/ Smooth Boot, Boost™ 12x110mm thru-axle, flat-mount disc|
|BARS||Specialized Hover Expert, Alloy, 125mm Drop, 75mm Reach w/Di2 Hole|
|STEM||Future Stem, Pro|
|TAPE||Supacaz Super Sticky Kush|
|BRAKES||Shimano 105, Hydraulic disc|
|REAR MECH||Shimano Deore XT Di2, Shadow Plus, 11-speed|
|SHIFT LEVERS||Shimano Ultegra Di2 Disc R8070|
|CASSETTE||Shimano XT, 11-speed, 11-42t|
|CHAIN||Shimano Ultegra, 11-speed|
|CRANKSET||Praxis Alloy Cranks|
|WHEELS||Roval C 38 Disc, carbon, tubeless-ready, 38mm depth, 24h|
|TYRES||Specialized Turbo Pro, 700x30|
|SADDLE||Body Geometry Power Expert|
|SEAT POST||Roval Terra Carbon Seat Post, 20mm Offset|
|Motor||Specialized SL 1.1, custom lightweight motor|
|UI/Remote||Specialized TCU, 10-LED State of charge, 3-LED Ride Mode display, ANT+/Bluetooth®, Road Remote|
|Battery||Specialized SL1-320, fully integrated, 320Wh|
|Charger Custom charger||48V System w/ SL system charger plug|
|Wiring Harness||Custom Specialized wiring harness w/ chargeport|
|Weight||Custom Specialized wiring harness w/ chargeport|