specialized creo 2

Late last week I took delivery of an S-Works Creo 2 in size 56. I'm still getting it dialed in, with the help of our awesome local Specialized-owned dealer (Biker's Edge here in CT.) I'll do a full/proper review after a few more weeks of riding, but thought I'd drop a few initial impressions here -

First, for context, I currently own and regularly ride a Vado 5.0 IGH, temporarily owned a Vado 5 SL for a few weeks (before returning it), and have test-ridden many other e-bikes over the past few years. Otherwise my acoustic bike experience is decades old at this point ;-)

So - after just a few dozen miles on the s-works creo 2 over the last few days, first impressions: this is easily the most amazing bike I have ever personally ridden. Which, of course it should be, at over $15k with accessories! Straight from the store, I was a bit underwhelmed - the ride felt harsh, the derailleur was making strange noises under load, the tires felt soggy, the seat was uncomfortable, and my riding position/comfort was off. Here's what it took to get that all sorted:
  • Swapped OEM seat for s-works power with mirror (my personal favorite saddle)
  • Disassembled, re-greased, re-assembled, and re-calibrated the entire groupset
  • Installed 3 supplied spacers to increase stack height by 15mm
  • Replaced OEM dropper post with a roval terra carbon seatpost with 20mm setback
  • Converted tires to tubeless
  • Installed shimano pd-eh500 pedals
After these adjustments, I am very happy to report that I now feel like I'm getting my money's worth (which is really saying something, given the eye-watering price tag!) Of all the changes listed above, I think the seatpost replacement easily had the most impact. Specialized's decision to install a heavy, stiff/uncomfortable, nearly-useless (drop range) seatpost on this otherwise insanely nice carbon bike is just baffling to me. It's just laughably bad, a ridiculously overweight piece of hardware on an otherwise top-spec, superlight machine. I haven't weighed it yet, but I'd guess that replacing the seatpost easily shed a pound, maybe even two - and the roval carbon is SO much more comfortable, while still maintaining that "crisp-but-compliant" carbon feel that matches the bike perfectly.

Ok - so after these adjustments I was finally able to get a few "this feels right now" rides in today and I'm happy to report: this bike is so, so, so good. Like, it's almost hard to describe how good it is. It is an incredibly smooth, supple, and FAST ride. The closest I've ever come to feeling like a bike just disappears underneath me. Half of my rides today were power OFF and astonishingly (for me at least), I still felt like I was one with the wind - this bike wants to GO. I also really love the more relaxed geometry, personally. My back/neck won't let me ever become a super-aero speed demon anyway, so for me the gravel-inspired geometry (together with the electric assist!) is the perfect compromise between something even more upright (i.e. Vado SL) vs a pure acoustic road bike (i.e. Tarmac).

Regarding the 1.2 motor: Riding in eco (currently set to 35/35) feels like MORE than enough assist on this bike. By way of comparison, during my previous rides on an SL 1.1 motor (Vado SL 5.0) I felt like eco/35/35 was just barely enough to compensate for the weight of the bike, and I only started feeling the "benefit" of assistance (that "wind at my back" feeling) when I set power to sport (50/50) or above. With this new 1.2 motor, a setting of eco/35/35 feels equivalent to what sport/50/50+ felt like on the 1.1 motor (with the obvious caveat that the Vado SL 5.0 was probably ~5 pounds heavier than my current creo 2 setup.)

I have yet to do any range tests/calculations, but my guess is that @Stefan Mikes' assertions are correct: IF you dial the assist level on this bike to output similar wattage (equivalent to a lower assist level on this bike vs the SL 1.1 motor), then range will be the same - otherwise I'd assume that range will be reduced compared to the creo 1 at the same settings (although you'll go faster!) There's no magic here - watts are watts after all :) Still, I really like this setup - it means that I can get the same efficiency when I want to use an even lower assist, but then I also have even more power on demand if/when I decide I need it (to catch up to the group, tackle a hill, etc.) In default sport mode on this bike, I quickly reach 28mph on the flats. Turbo is insane, way overpowered for anything other than a super steep incline (and actually I just realized I still have my turbo set to 80/80... I haven't even tried 100/100 yet 😅)

Oh, also, the motor is extremely quiet. It's basically imperceptible to my ears most of the time, with a very soft whir that I can only really hear when going up-hill, slow, with full assist. It is equivalent or maybe even quieter than the 2.2 motor on the Vado 5, and definitely a LOT quieter than the 1.1 motor at all speeds.

That's it for now. I'll report back after a few hundred more miles! Also of course please feel free to hit me up with any questions and I'll do my best to answer. Next big milestone for me is achieving my first century, which I'm planning with some family and friends at next year's Marin Century ride in CA. Hoping this bike can help me get it done!

Best,
Paul
Hello Paul, I'm nearing a decision to pull the trigger on a Creo 2 Comp, and your review is very informative. Can you divulge your weight and hieght? I'm 6', 32" inseam (or PBH as Rivendell would say), 175lbs. The 56 seems to fit me well.
 
Hello Paul, I'm nearing a decision to pull the trigger on a Creo 2 Comp, and your review is very informative. Can you divulge your weight and hieght? I'm 6', 32" inseam (or PBH as Rivendell would say), 175lbs. The 56 seems to fit me well.
I am 6' 2, 32" inseam and 240lbs. I have a 58cm. I have shortened the stem to 80mm, but I do have a layback on my seatpost. The 56 should come with 172.5mm cranks and the 58 with 175. If I was any smaller, I would have the 56
 
I am 6' 2, 32" inseam and 240lbs. I have a 58cm. I have shortened the stem to 80mm, but I do have a layback on my seatpost. The 56 should come with 172.5mm cranks and the 58 with 175. If I was any smaller, I would have the 56
I bailed on the 58 for a 56 with the advice of a fitter. Despite similar geometries suggesting it would work (just under 6’1” with shorter wingspan), and their sizing chart putting me smack in the middle of a 58, the reach was going to be an issue requiring a 60-70 mm stem.
 
Hello Paul, I'm nearing a decision to pull the trigger on a Creo 2 Comp, and your review is very informative. Can you divulge your weight and hieght? I'm 6', 32" inseam (or PBH as Rivendell would say), 175lbs. The 56 seems to fit me well.
We are very similar! I am same height/inseam, just a bit heavier (190). 56 fits me VERY well!
 
My wife and I just ordered Creo 2 comps, will pick them up in April. These bikes, although Gravel oriented, tick almost all of the boxes:
- Upright fit. We weren't looking for road geometry or position. The LBS will install the 3, 5mm spacers under the stem to raise the bars. For me flipping the stem over for a 6deg rise provides the perfect fit. My wife also will have the 3 spacers installed, along with a 10mm shorter stem flipped over for a 6deg rise. The riding position is perfect for both of us with the bars maybe 1/2" above seat level.

- Mounting points for fenders and racks, fore and aft. We'll be doing a lot of credit card touring with these, so the ability to add racks was a must.
- A motor controller that allows fine tuning of the assist level. Without using the app I can change the assist level in 10% increments, from 0 to 100%. With the app I can define how much battery I want left following my ride over a know route.
- Unobtrusive motor engagement and disengagement.
- Easy to peddle with no assist
- The ability to use on gravel roads and hardpack. The 47mm tires that come with the bike will be fine for now, maybe swap them out for 38's or 42's after some experience.

So we found a comfortable, fairly light ebike (mine weighed in at 33lbs with peddles) with a smooth, quiet motor that is easy to fine tune.

I think the only downside for us is that the battery can only supply about 320Wh; a range extender battery (and cable) adds 160Wh for $660.

Spring can't come soon enough!!
 
My wife and I just ordered Creo 2 comps, will pick them up in April. These bikes, although Gravel oriented, tick almost all of the boxes:
- Upright fit. We weren't looking for road geometry or position. The LBS will install the 3, 5mm spacers under the stem to raise the bars. For me flipping the stem over for a 6deg rise provides the perfect fit. My wife also will have the 3 spacers installed, along with a 10mm shorter stem flipped over for a 6deg rise. The riding position is perfect for both of us with the bars maybe 1/2" above seat level.

- Mounting points for fenders and racks, fore and aft. We'll be doing a lot of credit card touring with these, so the ability to add racks was a must.
- A motor controller that allows fine tuning of the assist level. Without using the app I can change the assist level in 10% increments, from 0 to 100%. With the app I can define how much battery I want left following my ride over a know route.
- Unobtrusive motor engagement and disengagement.
- Easy to peddle with no assist
- The ability to use on gravel roads and hardpack. The 47mm tires that come with the bike will be fine for now, maybe swap them out for 38's or 42's after some experience.

So we found a comfortable, fairly light ebike (mine weighed in at 33lbs with peddles) with a smooth, quiet motor that is easy to fine tune.

I think the only downside for us is that the battery can only supply about 320Wh; a range extender battery (and cable) adds 160Wh for $660.

Spring can't come soon enough!!
Congratulations! My wife and I acquired our Creo 2 Experts (our first ebikes ever!) in October and fled rainy Oregon for sunny Tucson, AZ this winter. So far we've put about 700 miles on the bikes (mostly dirt roads) and I assure you that you both will have a most excellent experience riding them.

Although there is no resistance when pedaling with no assist, it will not feel easy. Going from assist to no assist feels like you have two flat tires riding through deep sand.

We're planning some light credit card touring too but we have a lot of backpacking bags from past excursions negating the need for racks. I'm not so keen on carrying the battery charger and hoping we can get away with just carrying one and be super diligent about charging both bikes and REs by the next morning. We've pushed the limits of range on these bikes with the RE to the point assist shuts down. I would advise experimenting with how far you can go with a full touring load especially if there's climbing on the route. Once the battery gets down below 20%, assist drops dramatically so plan on only having about 130% of the 150% battery available with the RE.

April must feel like waiting for Santa Claus in December to deliver presents.
 
Congratulations! My wife and I acquired our Creo 2 Experts (our first ebikes ever!) in October and fled rainy Oregon for sunny Tucson, AZ this winter. So far we've put about 700 miles on the bikes (mostly dirt roads) and I assure you that you both will have a most excellent experience riding them.

Although there is no resistance when pedaling with no assist, it will not feel easy. Going from assist to no assist feels like you have two flat tires riding through deep sand.

We're planning some light credit card touring too but we have a lot of backpacking bags from past excursions negating the need for racks. I'm not so keen on carrying the battery charger and hoping we can get away with just carrying one and be super diligent about charging both bikes and REs by the next morning. We've pushed the limits of range on these bikes with the RE to the point assist shuts down. I would advise experimenting with how far you can go with a full touring load especially if there's climbing on the route. Once the battery gets down below 20%, assist drops dramatically so plan on only having about 130% of the 150% battery available with the RE.

April must feel like waiting for Santa Claus in December to deliver presents.
Thanks, Charleyt.
We've been bike touring for years with our Surly Disc Truckers, so we're all set up. Our first rides will be over some uplands in Eastern Ontario, then through the high hills of the Eastern Townships of Quebec - maybe that's where we'll ride first. We won't be touring at first, just day rides to get a feel for the bikes range, but we'll quickly start touring. I'm hoping to get 80-90km with light touring bags. We shall see. The road surfaces here in Quebec can really suck, so the wider tires and lower pressure should help with that. Right now there's too much salt and ice and muck on the roads to bring home our new bikes. It'll be a tough wait.
 
Thanks, Charleyt.
We've been bike touring for years with our Surly Disc Truckers, so we're all set up. Our first rides will be over some uplands in Eastern Ontario, then through the high hills of the Eastern Townships of Quebec - maybe that's where we'll ride first. We won't be touring at first, just day rides to get a feel for the bikes range, but we'll quickly start touring. I'm hoping to get 80-90km with light touring bags. We shall see. The road surfaces here in Quebec can really suck, so the wider tires and lower pressure should help with that. Right now there's too much salt and ice and muck on the roads to bring home our new bikes. It'll be a tough wait.
How’d you order for April since they’re sold out? I did hear that’s when the next shipment becomes available. My LBS said to order online and ship to them.
 
The store I purchased from was about 2 hours from me, not exactly local but close enough...they had my size and color in stock (56), my wife's size (54) but not her color, so we have to wait for hers to come in from another store. We could take delivery of them next week, but don't want to bring them home on our wintery roads. So we'll wait for mid April before putting them on the back of our car. Maybe we'll visit from time to time to polish them and make certain they're being fed, watered and well taken care of.😬
 
Thanks, Charleyt.
We've been bike touring for years with our Surly Disc Truckers, so we're all set up. Our first rides will be over some uplands in Eastern Ontario, then through the high hills of the Eastern Townships of Quebec - maybe that's where we'll ride first. We won't be touring at first, just day rides to get a feel for the bikes range, but we'll quickly start touring. I'm hoping to get 80-90km with light touring bags. We shall see. The road surfaces here in Quebec can really suck, so the wider tires and lower pressure should help with that. Right now there's too much salt and ice and muck on the roads to bring home our new bikes. It'll be a tough wait.
80-90km should be doable if you keep the load light and the climbing under 750 meters. Of course that all depends on the level of assist you use. We did a remote backcountry day ride carrying all our own water and snacks, 80% rough gravel road, 72km with 1000m of climbing and ended with less than 15% battery. The last mile or so with minimal assist was tough at the end of a long day. We've also done a 85km paved ride with 640m of climbing and had battery to spare.

Surly Disc Trucker is a pretty hefty bike so the Creo will only be about 5 pounds heavier. Do you run low rider front racks? I love that setup keeping the weight over front axle.

I assume you'll be running tubeless. We set up the stock tires tubeless and we've been happy. Not the most supple tire, but very durable. We both swapped out the handlebars for what we're most comfortable on.

Brake pads wear out quick with the extra weight of the bike and chains stretch fast under all the torque. I've also heard cassettes can get chewed through. I already replaced the rear brake pads. Bringing the bike in next week after 800+ miles so I'm interested to hear the bike shop assessment of my wear an tear which I'll start to track closely.

This is the only pic I have so far of our bikes together. When using the RE, you have to find other ways to carry water especially when no services are available on a remote ride. I've very happy Spesh was smart enough to put mounts on the fork.
P1056414.JPG
 
80-90km should be doable if you keep the load light and the climbing under 750 meters. Of course that all depends on the level of assist you use. We did a remote backcountry day ride carrying all our own water and snacks, 80% rough gravel road, 72km with 1000m of climbing and ended with less than 15% battery. The last mile or so with minimal assist was tough at the end of a long day. We've also done a 85km paved ride with 640m of climbing and had battery to spare.

Surly Disc Trucker is a pretty hefty bike so the Creo will only be about 5 pounds heavier. Do you run low rider front racks? I love that setup keeping the weight over front axle.

I assume you'll be running tubeless. We set up the stock tires tubeless and we've been happy. Not the most supple tire, but very durable. We both swapped out the handlebars for what we're most comfortable on.

Brake pads wear out quick with the extra weight of the bike and chains stretch fast under all the torque. I've also heard cassettes can get chewed through. I already replaced the rear brake pads. Bringing the bike in next week after 800+ miles so I'm interested to hear the bike shop assessment of my wear an tear which I'll start to track closely.

This is the only pic I have so far of our bikes together. When using the RE, you have to find other ways to carry water especially when no services are available on a remote ride. I've very happy Spesh was smart enough to put mounts on the fork.
View attachment 171953
Thanks Charleyt, that range is about right...in any case we'll find out for ourselves sometime in April. Depending on the tour length we do use fork mounted bags when touring with the Disc Trucker. Lynn's weighs in at under 31lbs with rear rack, seat and handlebar bags, and steel fenders.
 
80-90km should be doable if you keep the load light and the climbing under 750 meters. Of course that all depends on the level of assist you use. We did a remote backcountry day ride carrying all our own water and snacks, 80% rough gravel road, 72km with 1000m of climbing and ended with less than 15% battery. The last mile or so with minimal assist was tough at the end of a long day. We've also done a 85km paved ride with 640m of climbing and had battery to spare.

Surly Disc Trucker is a pretty hefty bike so the Creo will only be about 5 pounds heavier. Do you run low rider front racks? I love that setup keeping the weight over front axle.

I assume you'll be running tubeless. We set up the stock tires tubeless and we've been happy. Not the most supple tire, but very durable. We both swapped out the handlebars for what we're most comfortable on.

Brake pads wear out quick with the extra weight of the bike and chains stretch fast under all the torque. I've also heard cassettes can get chewed through. I already replaced the rear brake pads. Bringing the bike in next week after 800+ miles so I'm interested to hear the bike shop assessment of my wear an tear which I'll start to track closely.

This is the only pic I have so far of our bikes together. When using the RE, you have to find other ways to carry water especially when no services are available on a remote ride. I've very happy Spesh was smart enough to put mounts on the fork.
View attachment 171953
GREAT info and review!

Makes me also want to mention an obvious thing, that wasn't super obvious to me personally until I started riding ebikes more frequently (in case it's useful to anyone else on this thread):

As the post above mentions, range is SO dependent on your personal use of the motor/battery, meaning what level of assist you use and how you have your assist settings configured.

When I first started riding ebikes, I was pretty out of shape, and I used the assist WAY more than I do these days. For that reason, my average range back then was less than HALF what it is today. With the specialized bikes in particular, because of how much configurability there is in the 3 available modes (eco, sport, turbo) and because my own use of those modes is unique to me, the range I get from my bike is likely to be wildly different than what you might get on your own version of the same bike.

By way of example, I'd guess that my average range on a bike like the Creo a few years ago would have been maybe 40-50 miles tops. These days I bet I could easily get 100+ miles out of it if I tried, because I now ride with assist turned OFF a lot of the time, only going to eco or sport when facing a gnarly hill or nasty headwind (and my eco/sport settings are turned down relative to what the bike ships with by default.)

These are all things that are second nature to me now, but weren't obvious when I was first getting into ebikes a few years ago. Hope that's helpful!
 
as of yesterday, Officially in the owners club. if there is such a thing.

Came from a 2023 Diverge and fits great, no changes needed to the setup regarding fit
Parts changes made at shop before taking receipt:
*removed the G540 wheels w/Tracer tires put on wheels(Boyd) and tires(Panaracer SS 43mm/tubeless) from Diverge and saved 1.6lbs (0.725748kg)
*removed bars it came with, put on Redshift Kitchen sink bars (love these things!)
*removed dropper post, added Roval Terra carbon post from old bike
the harvest gold color is better in person I think
there is a review that says 'love at first ride' - i see why now.
this thing is going to be so much fun on some hilly gravel rides. including a few pics for evidence
 

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When it rains, it pours! I also joined the Creo 2 New Owners Club today with the arrival of a new Expert with the white-flecked finish. I live just north of Portland, Maine, and--wouldn't you know it-- the one LBS in town that handled Specialized dropped the line last year and now is a Trek store. There are a couple of small shops about 20 miles away that do handle Spesh, but they defininly are geared to the lower-end casual riders and kids, and I didn't feel they had the expertise to really support a Creo sales and service.

So I called the LL Bean bike store, just a six-minute drive away. I knew they handled brands like Santa Cruz and Felt, but was surprised the Specialized website listed them as an authorized dealer. The LL Bean bike outlet is unusual in that they don't have any of the bike brand signs or decals on their windows or doors-- it's a very low-key operation from the exterior. Turns out they do stock and sell a lot of mid- and upper-end Spesh bikes like Roubaix's, and the saleswoman there knew all about the Creo 2 (she had owned and ridden a Creo 1 herself) and was gung-ho on bringing in a couple of the new models.

I asked her if they were versed in the bike technology, and she assured me that their staff had been trained and knew how to service the SL1.2 motors.

Plus-- the icing on the cake-- if you open up an LL Bean MasterCard, you save 15% off the bike and anything else you buy that day at the store. I ordered an Expert in size 58, following her advice. Now, a 58cm frame would normally be too large for me (I'm a smidge over 5'10, 200 lbs), but she pointed out that the 58 has 31mm more stack than the 56, but only 9mm more reach. I'm a 'Stack Seeker' because I get muscle aches if the bars are two low-- that's my 70 year old neck crying out.

I hopped on the bike at the store today-- it wasn't quite finished (no bar tape for example), but they swapped the 110mm, 6-degree stem for a 90mm,17 degree one, and the fit was pretty comfortable. The bars are pretty much at seat level, so I won't have to crane the old neck too much and the reach is also reduced to be more ergonomic. The saleswoman even said that if, after riding the bike for a month, I felt it was too large for me, she would switch it out for a 56-- that's what I call good service!

Plus, with the RE battery, charging cables, and some tubeless supplies, I saved $1,444 off retail with the MasterCard deal. If you live in Maine-- or near it-- you might want to check out this option. By the way, I've had their mechanics work on several of our bikes over the past few years, and they really know their stuff-- I've been pleased with the quality and prices there, compared to some other shops I've been to.

I'm heading out for town for a few weeks, so I'll pick up the bike later. In the meantime, I asked her to have the blips mounted on the lower insides of the hoods, which someone recommended on the FB Creo group thread. Can't wait to get riding!
 
As the post above mentions, range is SO dependent on your personal use of the motor/battery, meaning what level of assist you use and how you have your assist settings configured.
I absolutely do agree with you Paul! With the weaker SL 1.1 motor, riding light on the main battery (degraded to 302 Wh) in 30/30% assistance in a flat area indicates the range of 100 miles. However, ride heavy loaded, hills, higher assistance, headwind, etc, and the range drops off the cliff.
 
I absolutely do agree with you Paul! With the weaker SL 1.1 motor, riding light on the main battery (degraded to 302 Wh) in 30/30% assistance in a flat area indicates the range of 100 miles. However, ride heavy loaded, hills, higher assistance, headwind, etc, and the range drops off the cliff.
Leave it turbo and you will lucky to see 20 miles
 
Brand new to the forum here. If I might ask a question....I have a 2018 Diverge Expert and am looking at getting the same frame size now in the Turbo Creo 2 Comp. Near as I tell, with a site called "99 Spokes", the frame dimensions between the two are almost identical, except for the front forks laying out a bit more (longer wheelbase with Creo). I depend on getting my saddle level with the top of the stem, and I believe that Specialized has incorrectly drawn the stack height attached. Shouldn't it be from the center of the bottom bracket to top of head tube; not to middle of stem mount? Thank you.
 

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Brand new to the forum here. If I might ask a question....I have a 2018 Diverge Expert and am looking at getting the same frame size now in the Turbo Creo 2 Comp. Near as I tell, with a site called "99 Spokes", the frame dimensions between the two are almost identical, except for the front forks laying out a bit more (longer wheelbase with Creo). I depend on getting my saddle level with the top of the stem, and I believe that Specialized has incorrectly drawn the stack height attached. Shouldn't it be from the center of the bottom bracket to top of head tube; not to middle of stem mount? Thank you.
Specialized seems to measure stack height the vertical distance between the bottom bracket and the point on the future shock that the stem sits, without spacers, which would go below the future shock. This is the minimum stack height measurement, equivalent to the stack of a non-futureshock bike with the stem seated right on top of the head tube.
 
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