Specialized Turbo

Specialized has a long history of making some pretty sweet bikes. We remember drooling over the early Stumpjumpers. One GF staffer even claims to have won a few state road championships on a Specialized M2 Pro, although we keep saying “Pics or it never happened.” So far.. no pics. [Ed:]And now, back to your regularly scheduled gadget article.[/Ed] Keeping up their tradition of bringing high-tech to the masses, the Specialized Turbo E-bike is an electric motor assisted bicycle. With a 250 watt motor built in to the rear hub, and a 432Wh battery integrated into the down tube, the Turbo is capable of 28mph (which sounds way cooler as 48Kph) for several hours.

Now, there is one bizarre hitch in it’s rise to world domination. Drug tests. No, sorry, that’s someone else we’re thinking of. In the case of the Specialized Turbo, the problem is still performance enhancement though. Apparently, there’s a little-known speed limit in the US of 15mph for electric-assisted bicycles. True story. So right now, despite Specialized being an American company, they can’t sell the Turbo in the states. They will have to put a speed limiter on it first, which won’t actually limit the bicycle’s speed, but it will cut out the motor assistance above that speed. We remain confident that by the time it comes to market, Youtube will have a hack ready to re-enable full speed.

Downsides? Well, there is the $5,000 estimated price. But in areas with appropriate weather, or riders with appropriate rain gear, the savings of both gas and insurance could make this a nice urban commuting vehicle.

See more at the Specialized Turbo mini-site.