Among the few leading the e-bike game is Specialized, a cycling team born out of a passion for doing the whole thing (cycling) differently. Around since 1974, initially, this crew saw their starts as a component manufacturer but quickly turned to create their own bikes, a common business model among some of the larger and successful cycling manufacturers.
Since the early beginnings, this team’s ability to keep up with and even set new trends has proven to be key in making sure their products are displayed on podiums on a regular basis. One trend they seem to be smashing without any issues is that of adopting e-bike technology, in some cases, creating bikes and tech that show the peak of what’s currently possible.
One fresh wonder Specialized has recently announced is the Turbo Tero 5.0, a hardtail e-MTB that’s meant to handle everything from tarmac to trails, one-tracks, and possibly even a drop or two. Although, I recommend checking with Specialized on the limits of that last scenario.
Now, taking a look at the bike, one of the first features that pop into view is that fat downtube and offset seat stay. Bu, like most other e-bikes, hidden in the down tube is a battery pack, one that’s actually built by Specialized, the U2-710 with 710 Wh of available juice.
As for the motor that will be shooting you around desert landscapes, again, Specialized is bringing their mid-mounted 2.2 motor with a max output of 90 Nm (66.4 lb-ft) of torque and running under a 250 W nominal rating. All that’s kept an eye on via a UI/Remote inclusive of MasterMind TCD, built-in anti-theft, and Bluetooth connectivity.
For the frame construction itself, Specialized offers riders an E5 aluminum frame with internal cable routing and the possibility of turning this sucker into a cargo hauling, bike-packing machine. With the option to add pannier racks and fenders to the Tero, Specialized seems to be aiming for as much market coverage as possible. What, it’s one way to do business.
On the other hand, the Tero does include a bit of XC heritage and the ability to ride through just about anything. Take the front fork, a RockShox Recon Silver RL with 110-mm of travel as the perfect example of how ready the e-bike may be (haven’t ridden it yet).
The drivetrain, on the other hand, is loaded with a brand that is not Shimano, but SRAM. Running the Tero’s ability to move you up, down, and all-around, an SRAM PG-1130 cassette with eleven speeds and 11-42T offers a good range for easy climbs. Sure, you won’t be bombing hills, but with the weight of the bike and the assisted motor coverage, you should enjoy the ride down just as much as going up.
SRAM GX derailleur and S700 levers move a KMC e11T chain with Missing Link through your speeds. Brakes are covered by SRAM as well and feature G2 RS 4-piston hydraulic discs with 200 mm (7.87 in) rotors on the front and 180 mm (7.1 in) on the back. Yeah, that forward stopping power will be needed. To help keep things stable, Ground Control, 29-inch tires sport a 2.35-inch diameter and should offer a plush ride as well.