Check Out Specialized’s New Como SL

Specialized is coming out with a lot of new bikes this year, and that’s a good thing, considering the pandemic and supply chain issues. We recently wrote up the new generation 3  Turbo Levo, and there will likely be more announcements for more models later this year, perhaps as early as summer 2021. Specialized has also just announced a new super-light commuter, the Como SL.

The 2021 Specialized Como SL 5.0 commuter touring urban e-bike cargo bike
The 2021 Specialized Como SL 5.0, Photo courtesy of Specialized.

It has a Specialized SL 1.1 motor that delivers up to 240W of power that can get you all the way up to 28 mph. They call it, “2x you”, for offering you double your own torque output, plus your own pedal input. It features a 320Wh battery inside the down tube, and you can put an optional extra, range-extending battery outside to give you (Specialized’s claim) of up to 93 miles in Eco, 51 miles in Sport and up to 33 miles in Turbo. Not sure what this translates to in the real world, because you have to factor in things like rider/cargo weight, hills, wind, rider input, etc.

Specialized Como SL e-bike

Speaking of cargo, this is definitely aimed at urban dwellers for running errands. It can hold up to 77 lbs of cargo between the front and rear racks.

Note the integrated lighting under the frame-mounted basket.

There’s a simple control/display on the top tube to turn it on and change modes, and the higher-end 5.0 version has a Turbo Connect Display on the stem, the 4.0 version has this as a $90 optional extra. There are also controls from the Specialized Mission Control app to customize your ride.

The frame and fork are all aluminum, but you will get some damping of bumps in the road from the voluminous 650bx2.3″ Nimbus tires that offer flat protection and reflective side stripes for better visibility.


The drivetrain uses a Gates carbon belt drive and an internal shifting rear hub. The 5.0 version sports a Shimano Alfine hub, and the 4.0 version features a Shimano Nexus hub. Belt drives are nice because there’s virtually no maintenance, they never need to be lubricated like a chain does, and they’re very quiet. There’s a belt guard to keep your clothing out of the belt, which is a great thing because if you’ve ever gotten your clothing stuck in the belt, you know how hard it is to get back out.

Specialized uses the Shimano Alfine internal shifting rear hub for the Como SL 5.0.

Both versions come with integrated lighting, a frame-mounted porteur rack with a basket and a top net, DRYTECH fenders, internal routing, reflective graphics and more.

Interestingly, unlike some of Specialized’s other SL models, which can climb into a 5-figure price category, The Como SL 4.0 is priced at $4000 and the 5.0 version is $4800. From their website, not all models and colors are available right now as this is being published, but they should be, soon.

Fashion designer and author Diana Rikasari offers a video tour of the bike in this video: