|A view of the internals on Specialized's new Turbo Creo SL HPC (Hybrid Powered Cycle)|
Yeah-hum. That's what all the Tweets and stories blared out about this new offering from Specialized. But....let's be real. That screaming bit of info was pretty much click-bait, as that is the price for the special "Founder's Edition", of which only 250 bikes will be produced. The "entry level" Turbo Creo is $9K, is a bit heavier, and doesn't have the range of the top end one.
The mainstream cycling press was all agape at the pricing, but otherwise was singing the praises of this technological marvel of Specialized's design team, who designed the motor system themselves on this bike. Even on social media, all the names in the biz were saying, "It's expensive yes, but if it gets one more person out of a car, it's worth every penny.", or some like statement. But c'mon! Does anyone really believe that anyone that buys one of these race inspired rockets is going to drive less, or give up driving altogether? Pfft! This line of thinking is so lame as to be laughable. It's more likely to be an added toy alongside the six figure sports car and two gas guzzling SUV's in the garage.
It's really interesting that in the mainstream cycling press, it was really hard to find anything negative, or even seriously critical, of this bike. However; non-endemic press wasn't so kind. I stumbled up a site called "electrek", and here is an excerpt from their reporting on this bike:
"So why is the bike so expensive? Well, you’re paying for the California design team to create this custom carbon frame and the Swiss engineering team to develop an entirely new e-bike powertrain. And you’re paying for a wide range of sizes including XS, SM, MD, LG, XL, and XXL. Not to mention the slew of high-end bicycle components that invariably adorn a Specialized bike.
But at the end of the day, you’re largely paying for it to say “Specialized” on the side."
The author also called it "under-powered" and basically a "status symbol". Truth. Definitely a refreshing look at a bicycle that is more design exercise than anything else. And at the end of the day, I have to ask myself, "Where is the critical thinking in the mainstream cycling press?" It's non-existant. And as far as introductions go, most stories I read were deep dives into the marketing "ga-ga" and tech-speak non-sense that no one outside of cycling "nerdom" even gives a rip about. It's no wonder most folks that these companies want to pry out of their interstate roving tanks can't be bothered with cycling as it is presented in the mainstream press.
Give folks a practical bike, reasonably priced, and a two wheeler with attractive features that do not have marketing campaigns that include things having to do with carbon lay-up, watt/hrs, and gold plated jockey wheels. Maybe make it exciting to ride, like the Harley electric motorcycle featured in a video on the same page as the Specialized article at the link above. That's the kind of stuff that is going to reach the folks out of the traditional bounds of cycling today.
But apparently, the cycling media and pundits live in some alternate reality to most folks.