"I was empowered!"
My name is Bridget Casper and I’m writing a review of my Specialized Como E-Bike. In the spring of 2017 I received a message from Josie at Decorah Bicycles. She shared with me that their bike store had E-Bikes (Electric Pedal Assist bikes) available to rent and purchase.
The first time I tested the Como I was hooked. I explained to Travis (owner of Decorah Bicycles) and Josie that I felt a sense of “freedom”. I was empowered by the confidence this assist bike gave me in actually being able to ride UP the long steep hills surrounding my community.
"So much fun!"
After renting e-bikes last summer, we decided to purchase 2 this spring. We are having so much fun riding the trails. This is a great way to get exercise and spend time together. I am able to ride up the hills, without walking my bike up them. Our average is 40 miles each week riding on the trails. These e-bikes are easy to operate and very comfortable to ride. Very easy to pedal without power also! Thank you Travis and Josie.
Phil and Jackie Rustad
"Brings back the joy of bike riding"
1. As soon as I hopped on the pedal-assist bike I had a smile on my face that lasted the whole trip around the recreational trail.
2. This bike brings back the joy of bike-riding that I hadn't felt since I was a kid.
3. This bike makes the trail do-able for almost everyone.
"We're riding together once more!"
For too many years, Katie and I have not been able to ride bikes together, often due to the inevitable aches and pains of age, or big differences in how fast either of us wanted to ride. We have continued to love biking, but separately. Now, Katie is riding an EBike. And the result is bike life-changing.
She rides the entire Decorah bike trail loop with comfort and with whatever intensity she desires. She cruises past me (on my conventional bike) up the hills and in the face of winds that might otherwise discourage her. In short, we're riding together once more, something that we thought maybe was a thing of the past.
Advancing age, diminishing strength and appetite for the outdoors may be inevitable, even to those of us who do our best to deny it. But Katie's EBike has provided a new chapter to that denial and we're riding that reality for a long time to come!
"They have allowed our family to spend more quality time outdoors enjoying the sport and our time together!"
Discovering the Specialized Como E-bike at Decorah Bicycles allowed me regain the freedom of riding the trail with ease after enduring a nagging knee injury that had greatly reduced my ability to ride. We discovered the Specialized Como bike in wanting to ride the Trout Run Trail in Decorah on a weekend trip. While checking out availability on the Decorah Bicycles webpage, I was surprised to see they rented E-Bikes. Always curious about new technology, and thinking it would be a good fit for my knee and possibly cure the anxiety of how far I could ride on the trail, we dropped by for a couple hours of fun which ended up turning into a bigger venture after that day. Josie and Travis took us right in at Decorah Bicycles and did not hesitate to show us the controls, get our seat height set, and we were educated and ready to ride their set of Specialized Como 2.0 E-bikes within what felt like less than ten minutes. It was evident on the first stretch that the Specialized Como E-bike is a perfect fit for a trek down the Trout Run Trail. We've had fellow Como riders say it's hard to explain how the electric assist feels to ride with. I personally would say it feels like you have a tow rope attached as the battery assist smoothly takes you up hills without having to exert as much effort and energy to get to the top. Although there is a long standing misnomer that Iowa is flat, there are a few hills on the Trout Run Trail, and the assist is more than appreciated in making way less effort to get to the top of many of them!
Old school bike enthusiasts might say E-bikes amount to cheating, but it really allows anyone the ability to enjoy more time in the saddle, so to speak. Anyone can enjoy the ability to bike more easily with a Specialized Como, not just riders like me with a bad knee or two or even without any injury at all. The Specialized Como can be summarized with two words, smooth and easy. Shifting is similar to any bike with Shimano shifting components without electric assist. The internal components are so seamless, you don't feel much shifting difference compared to most non-assisted bike. Although the battery and components add weight over a non-assisted bike, the Turbo Como is quick, nimble, and able to handle multiple road and trail surfaces with ease. Complements and questions come standard with riding an E-bike. I've heard multiple times on the trail, "That's a sweet looking bike." Some don't notice it contains a battery at all. We've answered the question, "Do you have to pedal?" Yes. It provides an assist to pedaling. On our trail conditions, we can ride around 40-45 miles on a charge, and it is easy to plug into the charger for a quick overnight recharge and get right back on the following day. In fact, the battery is removable for those who live in apartments or want to remove the battery for security. Our experience didn't end the day after riding the trail and enjoying our time in Decorah. Josie was more than accommodating and we rented the bikes for a full day, and made the 11 mile trek not only once, but three times in total. After returning home and talking through how much fun we all had, I was fortunate enough to receive one for a gift. It didn't take long for us to decide that no one wanted to be left out of the fun, so Josie and Travis helped fit us with two more Specialized Como bikes for our family of three.
Although we live two hours from Decorah, we've met fellow Specialized E-bike riders on the trail and we were happy to hear them say they had a great experience just like us with both their Specialized Como bike and their experience purchasing it at Decorah Bicycles. The Specialized Como bikes have allowed our family to spend more quality time outdoors enjoying the sport and our time together. The bike provides a seamless assist and makes riding considerably more enjoyable. I have no doubt the quality components of the Specialized bike pairing with the Brose electric motor will give us years of reliable and enjoyable riding time. If you are looking for a few hours to ride the trail with the Specialized Como E-bike, or to own one (or more) to ride at your leisure, this E-bike is very hard to beat!
Kimberly White Cedar Rapids, Iowa
"I'm learning to be a better cyclist because of my e-bike."
Oh, let me count the ways I love my e-bike!!
My husband has been an avid bicyclist and incredibly active person his entire life. I, on the other hand, have not been and am out of shape. When we moved to Decorah, partly due to the great outdoor recreation opportunities, I fully embraced hiking and walking the trails in the area but always found that biking the Trout Run Trail was more than I could manage. Trying to make a loop around the 12-mile loop, with its 600 ft of climbing and wicked switchbacks, always left me feeling defeated and it was never much fun. Anytime I joined my husband, he had to scale down the speed and length of his TRT rides and I soon stopped offering to accompany him when he went out for a loop.
This all changed when he gave me an e-bike, a Specialized Como, for Valentine's Day this year. My e-bike empowers me and reminds me how strong I can be. Because of my e-bike, biking has become a fun and joy-filled activity that I now thoroughly LOVE and I often find that I'm the one suggesting we go for a loop on the TRT. The best thing about the e-bike is that it doesn't take over the work of getting up a steep hill or continuing on a long flat stretch, it just makes it easier for me. Switching between no assist and level 1 of assist (there are up to 3 levels I can choose from while I'm riding) helps me keep pedaling, keep going, keep my heart rate up to make the ride more enjoyable and turn it into a significant workout. I no longer have to get off and walk up hills and I have no problem making it all the way around the loop.
I also find that I'm learning to be a better cyclist because of my e-bike. Since I'm no longer consumed by how much work the ride is, I can focus on using my gears more efficiently. Because I'm going for longer rides, I'm also getting more riding time in, building my overall confidence as a rider and making me feel more comfortable on a bike.
Another bonus is that don't hesitate to grab the e-bike instead of my car to run errands in town, saving on gas and lowering my carbon footprint.
Simply put, I LOVE MY E-BIKE!! It's the best present my husband's ever given me!
-Jenni Brant, Decorah
"It has opened up our world to new adventures"
Owning an EBike has been a game-changer for my husband and I! It has opened up our world to new adventures and we are looking forward to exploring the hidden treasures in our area and beyond. Planning EBike-cations and seeing Mother Nature from a different angle! Whether riding to work, exercising, or just wanting to relax on a casual evening ride, you can adjust the assist to accommodate. I purchased a rear basket for getting groceries! EBikes especially come in handy when pedaling up-hill for that extra boost and it is so much easier on the knees!