unless you are As a road racer to save weight, your bike should probably have a dropper post. You run a cable from the bike’s seatpost to a small lever on the handlebar. With just a quick flick of your thumb, you can change the saddle height of your bike without getting off the bike or even stopping to pedal.
A few years ago, every mountain bike came with one of these, and it was a game changer. Sometimes you want your legs to be fully extended so you can efficiently transfer as much power as possible to the pedals. Other times you want your saddle lower, like when you’re navigating rocks, the alternative to being able to put your feet down is to repeatedly slam the rest of your body (and the bike) into Mother Earth.
These are just a few of the reasons I’m excited to see a dropper post added to Specialized’s Turbo Terro X 4.0 e-bike. Why develop a whole new frame geometry (as companies like Electra have been testing) when you can just add a dropper seatpost? This and many other smart tweaks make this all-around electric mountain bike your chatter killer.
The easiest way to describe the Turbo Tero X is that it’s one of Specialized’s signature mountain bikes, equipped with an engine and tuned for use as both a commuter bike and a gravel bike. It rides like a mountain bike—it has straight handlebars, you steer while sitting upright, and the medium and large versions have huge 29-inch front wheels. This particular configuration, with a large front wheel and slightly smaller rear wheel, is known as a mullet style bike and is considered better for rough terrain, although I have to admit I ride a small frame that can’t accommodate the large front wheel, so only two 27.5 inch wheels.
Probably the most obvious thing about mountain biking is the suspension system. While many cheaper e-bikes now include front and rear shock absorbers, Specialized has manufactured and patented full-suspension systems for more than 20 years.
When I picked up the Turbo Tero X, the crew calibrated the suspension for my weight—obviously, a 115-pound rider doesn’t need as much cushioning as a 200-pound rider. As with mountain bikes, you can lock the front shock so it doesn’t wobble too much and waste energy as you climb steep hills. A knob on the single-pivot rear suspension lets you tweak it further, depending on where and how you ride.
Like most good things in life, it’s hard to explain how much better it feels to ride a bike that fits you and has drive components with purpose, rather than one that’s included on a checklist to tick the specs. If you’re evaluating a bike purely by power, the Turbo Tero X probably won’t look as good as it has Europe’s largest 250W motor and 730Wh battery.
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