Specialized Turbo Como SL 5.0 review

This run-around has an awful lot going for it and is practically perfect.

What we love

  • Practical for those trips to town
  • Super smooth ride
  • Decent range
  • Eye-catching design

What we don’t

  • It’s not cheap
  • Size makes storing tricky 
  • Getting top range means spending more

The Specialized Como SL 5.0 is an eye-catching e-bike that features a bold design, decent range and super smooth ride. It’s also incredibly practical thanks to its built-in basket – which can carry up to 35Kg of weight – making it ideal for whizzing around town and nipping to the local shops.

There’s an 8-speed gear hub – so pedalling is simple – but the bike is also light enough to get around without using that power assistance.

The Como has belt drive instead of a traditional chain, which makes road trips feel super smooth and hassle-free.

Specialized has created a typically excellent bike in terms of comfort, components and design. This is the kind of everyday e-bike that should encourage anyone to ditch the car for those short trips into town.

The more style-conscious riders may be wary of the striking frame and bright colour and some will definitely find the £4,250 price tag hugely off-putting.

That said, this run-around has an awful lot going for it and is practically perfect.

Specialized Turbo Como SL 5.0 Review.

The Como SL is one striking bike that definitely stands out from the crowd. Its chunky frame and the option to buy it in a pretty guady ‘Brassy Yellow’ colour scheme make sure that everyone will see you coming as you peddle down your local high street.

If that all sounds a little too much for your tastes, you can also opt for the more muted Brush Silver which tones things down a little.

The whole design manages to combine modern and traditional. The step-through aluminium frame is all angles and corners. Specialized’s team have also managed to create an integrated handle where the seat tube meets the sloping cross bar which is handy because this is a bulky piece of work.

Not that it feels it when you’re on the road.

Specialized has created a clever optical illusion. Although it looks substantial, the Como SL 5.0 is actually 40 percent lighter than the average e-bike at 47lb (21Kg ). It is slightly lighter than the Como SL 4.0. and nearly 2kg less than the rugged Volt Alpine’s 22.5kg.

Along with a lightweight feel, the Como SL is littered with quality components. This is where the money goes.

They have added three more gears giving it an 8-speed Alfine Internal Gear Hub, a custom lightweight motor – Specialized’s own SL 1.1, and, integrated into the downtube is Specialized’s 320Wh battery which should give around 60 miles riding, depending on usage, or 120 miles with the optional Range Extender.

If you do want to go further expect to pay more with that useful range boost costing around £350 extra.

Another feature you can’t fail to miss is the built-in front basket

The front and rear brakes are both hydraulic and give the ride a sense of safety. The belt-drive is another change from the Como 4.0. It cuts down on the need for maintenance, gives a super smooth feel and allows you to shift gears when stationary.

Another feature you can’t fail to miss is the built-in front basket which holds up to 15kg/33lb.

If you fit panniers to the rear-mounted carrier rack, the weight allowance rises by another 20kg/44lb taking the total load to a staggering 77lbs – almost twice the weight of the bike itself. The front basket is fixed so the weight won’t shift around with the handlebars and become unsteady for the rider. Integrated lights, mudguards and a bell, all come as standard as well.

The power button is on the frame tube and the charger port is down by the bottom bracket.

All the bike’s functions can also be monitored wirelessly through Specialized’s Mission Control app. That means owners can fine-tune the settings, check battery life, and see if the bike has any maintenance issues right from their phones. There’s even an option to view previous rides to see how well you are performing.

Those that want a bump-free ride around town will also be pleased to hear that the Como SL 5.0 has 650b (about 27.5in) wheels fitted with Nimbus tires which are big enough to cushion the lumps and endless potholes.

Its sheer bulk as the size can make it difficult to pop into bike racks

There’s plenty to like about this e-bike we do have a couple of niggles.

One of the biggest downsides is its sheer bulk as the size can make it difficult to pop into bike racks – smaller locks will also struggle to reach around its frame and onto the locking rail. Owners will also need a space to store it as this is not one to sit in the hallway unless you habitually walk sideways around the house.

Then there’s the price as it’s not exactly cheap. The starting price is £4,250 but this will be pushed to over £4,500 if you add that range booster.

Specialized Turbo Como SL 5.0 Final Verdict

Specialized’s Turbo Como SL 5.0 is a practical, low-maintenance, easy-riding bike for cruising around town and nipping to the shops.

Although its brash colour scheme won’t everyone we like the ‘Brassy Yellow’ finish and it certainly doesn’t look dull.

This e-bike also has a decent range, is comfy to ride and the connected app makes it easy to check the charge and see previous adventures.

With prices starting at £4,250 it’s pretty expensive and its bulky build can make it tricky to lock up and store.

That said, this is Specialized – a trusted bike manufacturer from whom you get top design and quality components.

If you’re after a practical e-bike that won’t let you down the Turbo Como SL 5.0 is worth a look.

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