• While sales of electric bikes are good in France and the government renews its purchase subsidies for 2023, the firm Specialized launches its Turbo Como.
  • Dedicated mainly to city use, but very comfortable for a ride in the countryside, this electric bike is robust and very well thought out.
  • Sold from 2,800 euros, it justifies its price by high-flying overall performance.

For many, the temptation is growing to equip themselves with an electric bike (VAE). Since 2017, 2.9 million e-bikes have been purchased by the French. However, it is not always easy to choose your mount when looking for a bike capable of taking us to work by acting as an alternative and clean mode of transport, but also an ideal bicloune for leisure. Among these versatile models, 20 Minutes offers you to ride the Turbo Como 3.0 from the firm Specialized, a new model selected by the editorial staff for its ease of use, but also for its excellent performance.

Comfortable and reassuring

Specialized is an American bicycle brand founded in 1974. The Turbo Como is part of the firm's 2023 novelties and comes in three sizes (S, M and L) and four colors. Several levels of equipment are offered. We tested the Turbo Como 3.0, the manufacturer's base model.

From the outset, it is distinguished by its geometry, with its open frame, quite low, particularly appreciable in the city where one often has to put foot on the ground (its crutch is also very practical!). Our different urban outings reveal a very comfortable seat ensuring us an upright position with the back and head straight. This also seemed very safe thanks to a perfect vision of the road and surrounding vehicles. Also to its credit, a thick saddle and very pleasant wrist rests, as well as a suspended fork (with shock absorber) that offers a travel of 80 mm.

If we add to this equipment large tires, the Turbo Como provides an extremely smooth driving feel. The bike can thus very easily absorb the small defects of the bitumen, climb on the sidewalks without hurting the buttocks, and even swallow the imperfections of a forest road while walking or cycling without this being annoying for the user.

The mudguards supplied as standard fulfilled their mission perfectly during our tests in rainy weather: our clothes came out unscathed from possible splashes. Protected, the chain drive on the Turbo Como 3.0 saves any dirt. Note that the luggage rack of the bike is MIK HD compatible (a fixing system open to different brands) which allows you to simply attach child seats, panniers ..., with a load capacity of up to 27 kg.

A coast, which coast?

But the family side, even a little sad of the mount, does not prevent the Turbo Como 3.0 from being a powerful and enduring bike. Powered by a 250 W in-house motor (with a torque of 50 Nm) housed in its pedals, our "Spe" e-bike transported us without any difficulty during all our journeys. We were also surprised to see how quickly it was possible to reach with him the speed of 25 km / h (beyond which the electric assistance stops), allowing to carve beautiful straight lines by being able, with our momentum, to flirt without real effort with the 30 km / h. A little more enthusiasm at the restart at the traffic lights would have been perfect (the Como Turbo 4.0 and 5.0 offer respectively a torque of 70 Nm and 90 Nm, both more tonic).

With three assistance modes (Eco, Sport and Turbo) and a nine-speed transmission, the Turbo Como even blew us away on the hills where, without necessarily going through the maximum assistance, but skilfully playing with the speeds, the unevenness (even important), was practically child's play to apprehend.

Preferred battery life

The very readable center console offers a display system based on "tiles" in order to privilege this or that data, such as speed, consumption ... The 530 Wh removable (and lockable) battery of the bike that we used in mild temperatures ensured us a range of a good sixty kilometers. Its recharge time is about four hours. Specialized makes every effort to ensure that this autonomy is privileged.

First, by displaying on the console in the center of the handlebar a clever cursor that reflects the simultaneous analysis of our pedaling frequency and the assistance chosen. If the display is green, the ratio is perfect; orange, there may be a better alternative to find; Red, we risk depleting the battery a little too quickly! Then, another tip: the Mission Control application of the bike (which allows you to adapt the power of each level of assistance in 10% increments, map our outings, lock the engine and activate the alarm in case of bike movement, etc.) also offers to preserve the battery life according to our estimated exit time. By indicating the expected pedaling time, the differences in altitude encountered, etc. This can be very handy so you don't run out of energy before the finish line. Taking this information into account, the assistance will be more finely dosed.

With an entry price of 2,800 euros (but we also spotted it at 2,629 euros), the Como Turbo is in the mid/high-end electric bikes. Not cheap, but this rate is consistent with Specialized's proposal. The government, which announced on May 5 its Bike Plan for 2027, renews for 2023 its purchase aid for eligible households: the key, up to several hundred euros in savings.

In the meantime, the Como Turbo has seduced us with its design, its very pleasant use, its robustness, but also its ability to take us far and serenely. It is a bike that inspires confidence in the city and on the ride, with a very fluid ride. But he is not a sportsman. This first family mount has however a flaw: heavy (25 kg), a little massive, it may not mix well with an elevator or stairs if you live in an apartment and do not have a secure bicycle garage to shelter it. A question that weighs with all its weight when buying an e-bike when you live in the city.

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