Blogs about Road Bikes

Specialized Turbo Creo – first look

Specialized recently launched the all-new Turbo Creo e-road bike. With a 480WH battery and the new lightweight SL 1.1 motor designed specifically for the Creo putting out a maximum of 240W, the Turbo Creo is a revolutionary new breed of machine.

The new Specialized Turbo Creo is a sleek looking machine

What is it for??

Let’s address the elephant in the room first. Who and what is it for? Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 3 or 4 years, you’ll know that e-bikes are getting more and more popular. There are two main use cases for modern e-bikes – utilitarian (commuting, cargo bikes etc.) and pleasure (e-mtbs). The Turbo Creo falls squarely into the latter ‘pleasure’ category. Though it could easily be used as a commuter, that isn’t it’s primary intention.

Until recently, mountain bikes were the only e-bikes to really fall into the pleasure category, but why? Road cycling is fun too, right? Well, as it turns out, designing an e-road bike that’s actually still fun to ride like a regular road bike is no mean feat. E-road bikes have been around for a couple of seasons now, but haven’t gained a whole lot of traction. Meanwhile, Specialized have been taking their time to perfect the design of the Turbo Creo so that they get it right the first time around. And boy did they get it right!

Specialized’s tag-line is “you, only faster”, and I get it. Without the assist, it isn’t hard to ride at all – it feels like a planted road bike, with no drag from the motor when turned off. It’s also not like an e-mtb that gives you buckets of power. It’s smooth and organic feeling; it gives just a slight assist when you need it, giving you that extra push to conquer a steep climb, or to keep up with your buddies on the bigger rides.

The TCU controller is smart, simple and easy to use.

Features

All the current Creo models have Specialized’s FACT 11R carbon frame – the same that they use in all of their high-end S-Works bikes. Coupled with the lightweight motor and battery, this means that our SL Expert model in store weighs in at 27.7lbs without pedals. Now that’s light! Built in is the Future Shock 2.0 damper for comfort. The spec on the SL Expert model includes Ultegra DI2 drivetrain with XT derailleur and a wide range 1x drivetrain running an 11-42t cassette. Ultegra hydraulic disc brakes take the stopping duties, and Roval C38 carbon wheels keep you rolling. It’s a sweet build with everything you need, and nothing you don’t.

The FACT 11R frame has ample clearance for wider tires!

This build is road specific, however the bike shares the same frame with the Creo SL Expert Evo – their gravel specific build. All it would really take is a change of tires to set the regular SL Expert up for gravel, as the rims are plenty wide, and the frame has clearance for massive gravel tires and is dropper-post compatible.

All of Specialized’s Turbo models are compatible with Mission Control – their bluetooth app. The app is super useful and really unlocks the potential to these bikes in a way that you can’t with many other e-bikes. You can tune the power delivery and modes and much more in a way that suits you, putting you in control of the way the bike rides. You can also monitor things like cadence, battery level, assist etc. so you can get the most out of the bike every ride, and use it for mapping, diagnosing errors etc.

The Turbo Creo rides and handles much like a regular road bike.

Riding the Turbo Creo

While we haven’t spent a ton of time aboard the Creo, it didn’t take long to get to grips with it. It’s a comfortable bike with a nicely compliant yet snappy frame, and the Future Shock helps to take any road buzz out. The Geometry is based on that of the Tarmac – it’s designed to feel like a fast, racy bike, not a lazy e-bike, and that it does. The low, central weight of the motor and battery and legitimately aggressive geometry make the bike feel quick and reactive. When you consider what this bike really is – not just a road bike but an e-road bike, it really puts this bike head and shoulders above the competitors.

While 1x drivetrains are still not exactly commonplace on road bikes, the range offered by the 11-42t cassette felt adequate for the majority of situations. While the bike is a little heavier than your standard road bike, the brakes were plenty powerful enough to slow it down with no trouble.

While the Turbo Creo certainly makes climbing easier, it doesn’t feel like it’s doing all the work for you.

The real killer feature of this bike is of course the motor. The fact that it doesn’t put out tons of power and torque is a big part of what has enabled Specialized to keep the weight low – it doesn’t need a huge battery to power the motor, which helps with the handling, but the power delivery is truly spectacular. Often you can barely feel the motor kicking in, giving the bike a much smoother, more natural feel to it. The biggest problem (I feel) with many e-bikes is that the massive boost in power means that once you hit the top speed limit, the bike actually feels like it’s slowing you down. On the Creo it turns the power down gradually so that you don’t actually feel it dropping out, and rather than feeling like you’re being held back, the low weight and rolling resistance mean that you can just keep on riding through and above it.

The Turbo Creo makes a lot of sense as a gravel bike and comes in their “EVO” gravel spec.

Summary

E-bikes are a divisive topic still, and it’s clear that they’re not for everyone, and that’s perfectly okay. The Turbo Creo at first seems to blur the lines between a commuter style e-bike and a road bike and at first glance it might appear difficult to define it’s purpose. Take a closer look though and it quickly becomes clear that Specialized were extremely purposeful in the way that they designed the Creo. It’s designed for fun, to help cyclists enjoy their ride and to make the most of every time they get out. It doesn’t get a whole lot clearer than that!

Come and see us in store if you’d like to take the Turbo Creo out for a test ride or to speak to our sales staff why it might be the bike for you. You can see our range of stock here.

 

2019 Season Round-Up

The summer has come to an end here in the northern hemisphere and we’re headed into fall. The temperatures are dropping and the nights are getting longer. Summer of 2019 was an amazing season here at Steed Cycles, and we’d like to take a moment to reflect on some of the best bits.

We had an incredible year for Ride Club in 2019!

2019 Ride Club

Ride Club is a social road cycling club, with 5 different ability groups. 2019 was our biggest and best year yet for Ride Club. With a massive 270 members, we kicked it off in style back in April with monthly BBQs (thanks to Bridge Brewing for the refreshments!) for all members and a brand new jersey for everyone.

Amazing weather this summer meant conditions were great and barely any rides got rained out. We saw a bunch of old faces and new ones too with an incredible average turn-out of 100 riders. For those newbies, it was great to meet you and we hope you come back next year!

Notable moments include monthly tech-nights, the introduction of gravel rides for this year, and an expedition to Mt Baker  back on the 24th August . The photos from this ride alone speak volumes!

Massive thanks to all of our 36 Ride Club leaders for 2019 for the grand total of 324 groups led! You all did an amazing job and we can’t thank you enough.

Click here to find out more about the benefits of joining Ride Club and to join for 2020.

NSMBA Fiver #4 presented by Steed Cycles and Patagonia. Photo by Scott Robarts

NSMBA Fiver #4

This year’s fiver was an absolute blast! For those unfamiliar with the fiver’s, it’s a casual evening race series held by the NSMBA throughout summer between Seymour and Fromme with an enduro format. Each round is sponsored by a different local business (usually bike-related) with Steed and Patagonia headed up rd.4 on Fromme.

The route for rd.4 was absolutely killer, taking in some classic trails. Stage 1 was a real thigh burner  – 7th Secret into Leppard. Stage 2 changed things up with a climb back up mountain highway to drop into Lower Oilcan. Stage 3 was a quick blast down the very end of Dreamweaver. All in all, a great mix of trails and a sweet race!

The race was wrapped up back here at the shop with live music from The Tanglers and a serious spread of food and drinks provided by the kind folks at Patagonia. The BBQ and bar were expertly handled by our pair of Australians Jarrad and Michael.

Follow this link to find out more about the Fiver series and all that the NSMBA does.

We helped put down some fresh dirt on Pennzoil this year!

Dig days

We do our best here at Steed to give back to the trails, and for the 2019 season, we adopted Pennzoil near the bottom of Fromme. This trail was getting pretty beaten up and rutted out, so we chose to give it our loving attention. This meant a financial donation and regular dig days with members of staff and customers turning up to lend a hand in giving the trail a new lease of life.

We re-sculpted some really rough trail before the wooden roller so that the right hand line around the rock feature was more easily rideable. Currently we are working on building a new exit that better utilises the available terrain and elevation so that mountain bikers needn’t ride the hiking path at the very end and can instead ride something with better flow.

To find out more about the NSMBA’s trail adoption program, click here. You can read more about what we do on our Community Involvement page.

Thanks Phil, for just being you!

Killer staff

For summer of 2019 we had an amazing crew on board. We work hard to make sure that we have the best staff around and this year was no exception. Everyone was motivated, keen to ride bikes and help customers ride their bikes!

We’d like to thank each and every one of you for making the 2019 summer what it was and for just being you!

If you want to put a name to a face, you can see our staff page here!

Massive thanks to all of our racers, ambassadors and everyone else this year!

Ambassadors

A huge thank you to all of the ambassadors and race team!

Ambassadors are a huge building block of the community, volunteering at trail days, group mountain and road rides, and races. We couldn’t do it without them!

John Ramsden, who has been racing for us as well as an ambassador for 15 years, gets an honourable mention for convincing Phil, Branden and Kim to enter the Trans-Cascadia 4 day Enduro down in Washington. From all reports it was an amazing and epic event with killer singletrack, and views that will never be forgotten.

Check out our Race Team page to see who is racing for us this year.

And a massive thank you to all of our customers!

Customers

A bike shop couldn’t be what it is without the customers, and here at Steed, we think we have the best customers around! 2019 was an incredible year for all of us. We got some great rides in, met some amazing people, and the shop had it’s biggest and best year ever.

We truly have you guys, our friends and customers, to thank for this. From those that have been shopping with us from the very start way back in 1997, to first-time customers. We couldn’t do it without you! Thank you for being a part of the Steed community.

 

Sorry if we’ve missed anyone out on here, we appreciate every single person that’s been a part of our journey so far, and we can’t wait for summer 2020!

Ride Club BBQ @ Eydt

On June 20th we partnered with The Eydt Wealth Advisory Group to host a special rooftop edition of the monthly Steed Ride Club BBQ.

After a few fun laps of Stanley Park, Cypress lookout or out and back to Horseshoe Bay, we all headed back to Edgemont to enjoy the summer evening on a private patio.

The views, food, beer and friends were incredible! Thank you to Windsor Meats, Beere Brewing and The Eydt Wealth Advisory Group for this event. We look forward to making this a yearly event.

Thank you to everyone who came out to ride with friends. We are already planning another unique event with The Eydt Group and our July/August/September BBQ’s. Stay tuned on our socials for more details.

Thank you to Chris Mallinson for all the great photos. View more of his photos of the event on the Steed Ride Club Facebook Page

Join the Steed Ride Club Today!

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Cali Trip 2015

This years traditional spring road bike trip to California had us land in the small town of Guerneville, nestled between Santa Rosa and the rugged coastline. This was our base for sleep, big pre ride breakfasts and post ride burrito comas. We had four full days to ride and we were going to make the most of it!

Breakfast

Gotta start off the day right! Scrambled eggs and…is that actually bacon? Not real bacon this time, it’s a veggie alternative. Adam is a veggie so we had to eat it.

 

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Getting close to nature on the Kings Ridge. The road flows through open farm land.

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Riding along the Coast Highway.

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We went full on tourist and rode over the Golden Gate Bridge. The weather was perfect on the day.

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Fighting the headwinds along the coast.

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Most days seemed to see us stop at this great Cafe. Adam is feeling the days in his legs.

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Riding over the bridge in Guerneville at the end of each day.

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Riding up a gravel road. This is the right way guys?

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Amazing views along the coast.

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Returning to reality after a gravel slog. Only two punctures along this section.

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Some of the roads got really steep.

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