Specialized's Turbo Tero X Has That Can-Do Attitude We Want, but It's Not Cheap

Sure, some bikes are built to bring home gold medals. Others simply take you to work and back home. Specialized, on the other hand, has created a lineup of e-bikes that seem to be something else entirely.
Turbo Tero X 6.0 18 photos
Photo: Specialized Bicycle Components / Edited by autoevolution
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It's called the Turbo Tero X, and this family of e-bikes is something of a Frankenstein in my book, and you'll shortly understand why. Heck, take a good long look at the images and really let the bikes sink in. We can see fenders. We can see a full suspension. There are cargo racks and MTB tires. Is that a dropper post? You bet it is. All the while, the magic of electric power is there to help you ride further, climb easier, and ride faster. So, what the heck are we looking at exactly? That's the purpose of this little piece of literature.

Three machines are available in this crazy style, the Tero X 4.0, the 5.0, and the 6.0. Each is more expensive than the last. So, let's dive deeper into the 4.0, as it's the one selling for $4,500 (€4,250 at current exchange rates). It's also the baseline for the entire lineup. The proverbial flagship.

So, what the hell is going on here? Well, according to Specialized, the Turbo Tero is the sort of bike designed to do everything I mentioned and then a bit more. In short, it's about as versatile a bike as possible, and it all starts with the frame design.

My first impression upon seeing the frame was that of a solid and heavy-duty MTB, and honestly, it's not far from the truth. Not only is the top tube angled downward, giving riders the clearance they need on drops or during more aggressive riding, but the suspension fork and rear shock ensure your ride is as smooth as a baby's bottom. Doubting the level of aggression this bike can handle? The dropper post is another clear sign that it's built to be taken out for a thrashing. Is it, though?

Turbo Tero X
Photo: Specialized Bicycle Components
Here's where things start to get a bit counterintuitive. There are very few riders that would ever stick cargo racks and mounts on a full suspension bike, but now, we can spot name brands building such odd-ball machines. Why? Simply because people are now riding differently than a few years ago. With the recent wave of gravel and bikepacking, riders worldwide have begun to prioritize cargo-carrying abilities.

Well, Specialized seems to be doing the market research because here we are, staring down the barrel of a fully loaded e-MTB with the power and gusto to carry your tent, water bottles, food, even a change of clothes or a spare battery, all in the name of cycling. Not a fan of the solid fenders and racks we see on the Xs? Not a problem, drop them, and what do you have? A clean e-MTB, ready to tame what you throw at it. If you ride in the city, the racks could also be used to carry cargo like groceries or your briefcase. Although a full-suspension bike isn't your best option for city riding because power is lost due to the presence of a rear shock.

Diving deeper into the design, the X also presents riders with another benefit, that of staying in the saddle longer. This is achieved by Specialized's attention to the riding position, and on an X, it's more upright than your typical MTB.

Turbo Tero X 4\.0
Photo: Specialized Bicycle Components
As for the electric power hidden in this trinket, you won't be finding some massive powerhouse, but a mid-mounted and proprietary 2.0E motor that is running under 250 watts and is able to squeeze out a solid 50 Nm (37 ft-lb) of torque. Sure, it won't ride uphill on its own, but it's more than enough to help you climb easily. Couple that with an SRAM 1x12 speed drivetrain running a range of 11-50T, and you're set for climbs, fast straightaways, and solid trail-taming fun.

Powering that fun is a 530 Wh battery, but the range itself is difficult to judge as it depends on a plethora of factors. Tire pressure can affect range. Load affects range. Your terrain does too. Heck, even the type of tire tread you run affects that range. My recommendation is to find one of these in a shop nearby and test it out or talk to those that have ridden one. Luckily, that battery appears to be removable, so grab another if you often experience "range anxiety."

What I found rather nice about the X lineup is that Specialized consciously aimed to make as goofy and as capable a bike as possible. Heck, as an option, you can even order your X with a 29-inch wheel on the front and 27.5 on the back, AKA the "mullet setup." That's something you don't see many manufacturers doing.

Then again, Specialized has been in this industry since 1974, and its first machines were MTB. Fast-forward to today, and that's how much knowledge and know-how has gone into the X lineup. Sounds like a trip to a local dealership is in order.
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Editor's note: Images in the gallery showcase all the e-MTBs from the Turbo Tero X lineup.

About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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