An E-Bike is a regular pedal cycle fitted with an electric motor that gives power assistance when the rider pedals. You pedal and use your gears as normal but can use the electric motor to do some of the work for you.
This type of E-Bike, where you have to be pedalling to get assistance, power output is limited to 250W and assistance cuts out above 25kph, can be ridden by anyone over the age of 14 without a license, registration, tax or insurance in the UK.
Are they just road bikes?
No, E-Bikes are now available in all guises from full-on enduro mountain bikes to folding commuters. The Specialized Turbo Creo range includes both road and gravel models.
Is it cheating?
Unless you’re intending to surreptitiously race on it or bag a load of KOM’s on Strava, definitely not. Many top riders now use E-Bikes for training and, at the last UCI Mountain Biking World Championships, there was an E-Bike race.
Why should I ride one?
There are loads of reasons. Maybe you’re not as fit as your partner but will love to be able to ride together. You might have had an injury or illness, have lost some fitness but still want to get out with your usual riding buddies. You might want to simply extend the range of your cycling adventures or just make those climbs a little less painful!
How much help will it give me?
The Specialized Turbo Creo range will give you up to 240W of assistance up to a speed of 26kph. So, if you’re barrelling along the flat in a group at 30kph, it’ll all be you.
It’s when the gradient kicks in that you’ll really notice the help. You can think of a continuous output of 240W as being about 60% of a top World Tour pro helping you out. Add in maybe 150-200W of your own effort and you’ll definitely be able to hang with and probably drop the best climbers in your group.
How long will the battery last?
It depends on how hilly the route is and how much you use the assistance. On the Specialized Turbo Creo range, you’ve got four levels of assistance; Off-Eco-Sports-Turbo. In Eco mode, you’ll get around 130km. However with the Mission Control app you can fully customise the levels and even program in your route details so that you’re guaranteed not to run out of juice.
With the Specialized Turbo Creo range you can also use bottle cage mounted Extenders which will further increase your range by 50%. With these, there’s really no limit to your E-Bike cycling adventures.
How long does it take to charge?
If you do run fully flat, the Specialized Turbo Creo SL will charge in approximately 2hrs 35 mins.
With the motor and battery an E-Bike is always going to be heavier than its unassisted equivalent. However, weighing in around 12kg, the Specialized Turbo Creo SL is hardly a heavyweight. It is important though that you become familiar with features such as Specialized’s Mission Control app and don’t run out of juice mid-ride.
In the past, with large external batteries and little thought to styling, everyone knew you were riding an E-Bike. However the Turbo Creo range has the same aero lines as the rest of Specialized’s bikes and the only give-away will be as your cruise past your ride mates.
Can I join HotChillee events on an E-Bike?
Yes! At HotChillee, we’re fully embracing E-Bikes on all of our group rides and events as a way to make cycling more inclusive and fun for all. On events though E-Bike riders will not be eligible for Leaders’ Jerseys.
Just be sure you’re aware of your bikes range and how that marries with your own ability. You won’t get any assistance in a fast rolling group on the flat so this needs to be considered and, if you’re using full power all the time on big climbs, you’ll be cutting your range significantly.
For more information about E-bike entries in 2021, or to join a local supported ride near you email [email protected].
In the meantime find out more about the Specialized Turbo Creo SL
Lightweight, smooth, capable, and lively—all with the power to flatten mountains, laugh at headwinds, and go farther than you ever thought possible. It’s you, only faster… Find out more here.