I recently traveled to a Specialized dealer event to check out and demo the Specialized Creo - the first-ever Turbo Road Bike.
We had the opportunity to find out the back story, the design and research that takes place in a Specialized headquarters in Switzerland, and the opportunity to ride the Specialized Creo for ourselves.
I was a little sceptical leading into the event, the idea of a pedal assist road bike - I mean I knew it would be a good, industry leading product for the big S - but who would ride this bike, why would they ride this bike and where would they ride this bike?
The bikes we demo'd come with more of an adventure road / gravel set-up. Fitted with bigger volume semi-slick tyres and a dropper seatpost. The Specialized Creo Experts that you will see in Mackay Cycles in September will be fitted with 28c Turbo tyres and a carbon seatpost - but tyres, handle bars and seatpost can be easily fitted to suit the ride experience you are after.
Along with a small group of other Specialized retailers, we took on a loop just shy of 80km loop around Noosa and the surrounding hills. The terrain was hilly, mixed with dirt roads, fire road, sealed roads and may be a section of single track. Smoothness of transition from assisted to non was incredible. At around the 27km/h mark the assistance from the motor would fade out and Creo would hold speed or increase when you stepped on the pedals.
Why would you ride this bike? You would ride this bike, like a normal bike, for fun and fitness. But it is more fun and still just as much fitness. It allows you to take on climbs that you usually won't dare or leave you legless for the rest of the ride. Taken on a 120km ride off the back of no training without hesitation. Go explore new road and routs, with the peace of mind if you travel too far or bit off more than you can chew, you can make it home.
Who would ride this bike? I see this as an awesome training tool for a full blown road race, adding fun to training days, opening up more loops, keeping power spikes down on a long endurance training ride. I see this as prefect bike for a road rider who for one or a multitude of reasons can't be at the level they once were or want to be, making it possible to be a weekend warrior and tackle that bunch ride or do that loop or make that 120km ride. I see this as a prefect bike for someone who wants to explore and do adventure rides. I see this as a perfect commuting bike. I see the bike being used to help people enjoy and open up opportunities in cycling.
Where would you ride this bike? Opportunity. I could instantly think of loops and rides to explore in Mackay on the Creo. Habana dirt, Old Seaforth road, Mt Ossa loop road, Seaforth - Pleystowe road and many more.
There is lots of other things to talk about, ie the mission control app, in build ant+ power meter, tyre sizes, tyre style, turbo mode, eco mode, sports mode, extender pack - but the biggest thing, the ride is like none other.
I would sum the Specialzed Creo up as still a road ride experience - fun and fitness - with the brutal and unachievable bits taken out.