Globe, the utility e-bike brand from Specialized, finally revealed its first model today, and I’m low-key obsessed with it.
Back in May, Specialized announced it was creating a new e-bike sub-brand to liberate people from the scourge of car culture. The idea was to create a lineup of practical, affordable e-bikes that can “that will focus on bringing more fun to local living while reducing the number of car, truck, and SUV trips needed for everyday transportation,” the company said.
The teaser image showed a bike hidden from view by bushels of cacti loaded into dual front and rear panniers. I was intrigued because it seemed like Specialized, one of the top legacy bike brands in the US, was positioning Globe to compete with the growing number of direct-to-consumer e-bike companies that have risen in recent years. Specialized saw the popularity of brands like Rad Power Bikes, Aventon, and Super73 and said, “Hey, we can do that, too.”
Now we’re getting a closer look at the first model, the Haul ST. Specialized hasn’t released any specs yet, but from the image, we can see that it’s a short-tail (thus the “ST”) cargo bike with a low-step frame, an external battery, rear-hub motor, and chunky tires — in other words, very similar to the RadRunner and other similarly designed utility e-bikes.
But while the RadRunner sports cruiser-style handlebars, Specialized went with flat bars, which is an interesting choice. Other amenities, like fenders, integrated lighting, and a built-in rear rack, are sure to make the Haul ST compatible with all types of riding styles.
I just noticed that the tires, in addition to sporting reflective rims for added safety, also feature the phrase “Carless Whispers,” which is just so good. Who doesn’t love a George Michael reference?
The inclusion of “value and affordability” in Globe’s credo is interesting, especially considering Specialized’s prices. The company makes fantastic e-bikes with top-of-the-line components — and, as such, they can be really expensive. That’s certainly the case with the new Turbo bikes, which range from $3,250 up to $5,500. Rad Power Bikes, by comparison, typically sells its bikes for $2,000 or less.
It’ll be interesting to see where exactly Globe found its cost savings. My guess is the motor and the battery, which are typically the most expensive components.
I still have so many questions! What kind of motor does this run on? What are the nominal and peak power ratings? How much weight is it rated to carry? Will you be able to carry an adult passenger? Why is Globe’s logo sticking its tongue out? Specialized said it will reveal more details later this month, and my appetite is thoroughly whetted.