My name is Todd Kay and I’m the mechanic at our Papillion location.
I recently spent a week at SBCU (Specialized Bicycles Components University) in Morgan Hill, California, taking the Turbo class where we learn all aspects of the e-bikes. We not only get to work on these bikes, we get to ride them too. During the class we do a group ride each day with our classmates before lunch time. The bikes I rode were the Creo (the road bike) and the Levo (one of the mountain bikes).
Before I give you my review of these bikes, I first need to give you a very brief history of the cycling that I do. I race BMX and still do at 49 years old. I’ve done it since I was 14 years old which has conditioned my body to be a sprinter. Very fast at a high rate of spin over a relatively short distance. I’ve rarely done any long distance road rides and hill climbs which has made me hesitant to jump in on a ride. I currently do have a mountain bike as well but the shorter steep climbs at some of the local trails are not something I look forward to either.
That being said, I absolutely LOVED riding the Creo on our road rides!! Our class did about a 20 mile loop around the Morgan Hill area. I actually did the same loop the first time I went to SBCU in December of 2018. For that ride I rode a traditional road bike called the S-Works Venge. This was a beautiful bike to ride but climbing the hills on this route were extremely difficult for me not being an endurance rider. This time, riding the Creo, I conquered those same hills with ease. At one point during the ride I thought, “yes, this has to be cheating”. But in that same thought I realized that this bike is the perfect bike for me for the type of rider that I am. This bike would give me total confidence to ride with a group that comprised of nothing but experienced road cyclists. Just because it assists you doesn’t mean that you’re not working. All of the e-bikes have three different assist levels to choose from. Trust me, you’ll still get your leg workout. Other than the moments you feel it assisting you as you get up to speed, you easily forget that you’re riding an e-bike. It handles just as well as any traditional bicycle which I felt most on the descents. It cornered beautifully down the winding roads reaching a little over 36mph for my top speed. The Creo is not just for riders like me, it can be for everyone. Especially for riders just getting into road cycling or older riders that want to keep up with (or blast by) the younger riders.
For the mountain bike ride, we rode at Fort Ord National Monument. I rode the Levo which is the full suspension 29’er mountain bike. The loop there was only about 9 miles but the climbs are long and very steep in some sections. THIS is mountain biking!!! Again, the first time I was at SBCU, we rode this same loop. I was only able to do the whole ride only once when I was first there because the climbs were so steep and difficult for me. This time it was a completely different story. For these types of rides I’m a little more in my comfort zone because it requires a bit of bike handling skills. I’m very familiar with this due to my experience with BMX racing. The hills were so much easier to climb even using the lowest level of assistance from the bike. The first descent was relatively small but still very good to get an idea of how the Levo handles. Again, you immediately forget that you’re riding a bike with electric assist because of how well it’s designed. After some more climbs which were easily covered by this bike, we got to the bigger descent which lasted about 6 to 7 minutes. Overall bike handling was amazing from the Levo. It corners really well and easily absorbed everything the trail had to offer. It’s even extremely stable if you’re a rider that’s looking to catch a little air time. This time I was able to do multiple runs on this loop instead of just one like the first time I visited in 2018.
My overall thoughts on the Creo and Levo are that these bikes are a total blast to ride. For me, the electric assist helped in not getting fatigued too quickly so that I could ride longer and still have so much fun during the ride. I wasn’t exhausted at the end of the day and felt great to do another ride the next day. We currently have the Creo (road bike), Evo (gravel bike) Como (comfort bike) and Vado (hybrid bike) in stock. I would highly recommend coming in to take any of these e-bikes for a test ride. They’re too much fun not to!