Specialized, a leading manufacturer of high-end bicycles and e-bikes, has launched its first-ever budget segment of e-bikes under the Globe line. The company’s launch model is an electric cargo bike known as the Globe Haul ST.
While Specialized calls it a cargo bike, the shorter wheelbase that keeps it in “normal bike” proportions helps put it in a class we often call utility e-bikes. They are e-bikes with extra cargo capacity to carry extra cargo or passengers, but without the extra bulk and length often associated with oversized e-cargo bikes.
The Globe Haul ST is priced at US$2,700, which might seem a bit higher than most budget e-bikes, but it’s positively inexpensive for a premium brand like Specialized.
The company pitches the Globe Haul ST as an affordable electric bike that replaces a car and can handle many daily tasks that many people do with a much larger vehicle.
As the company explains:
The Globe Haul ST represents a new category of e-bikes for Specialized, bridging the gap between a commuter e-bike and a car. The Globe line is designed with increased load capacity and a versatile accessory mounting system allowing riders to travel comfortably through the suburbs and suburbs as well as the off-road trails of their outdoor adventures.
Compared to many of Specialized’s e-bikes that lean more towards European-style e-bike designs, the Globe Haul ST is quite Americanized.
That means a powerful 700W hub motor, a massive 772Wh battery that delivers 60 miles (96km) of range, big 20×3.5″ size tires and a massive weight capacity of up to 419 lbs (190 kg).
Oh yes, and the Class 3 top speed of 28 mph (45 km/h).
That being said, there is one major piece of kit that is loved by the majority of North American riders that is missing: a throttle option. When we first took a look at the teaser photos, I called a thin wire tracing its way to the right end of the handlebar. Since it didn’t end in the brakes and therefore couldn’t be a common brake sensor, I suggested it might be a giveaway for a throttle. Unfortunately, I was a bit too optimistic, as it turns out to be the switch for the ultra-bright 1,500 lumen headlight.
However, one of the many accessory options includes a plug-in throttle, so it looks like the company is ready to offer that option for those who prefer the ability to put their legs on autopilot for a while.
In true Specialized fashion, the bike is equipped with some really nice parts compared to today’s mid-level e-bikes. Microshift’s 9-speed transmission makes an appearance, as do hydraulic disc brakes on massive 203mm brake rotors, and there’s even a torque sensor for ultra-smooth and responsive pedal assist.
There is a dropper post that drops super low for riders as short as 4’5″ (135cm) or as tall as 6’4″ (193cm). The rear rack is two-tiered to create enough space for panniers to hook onto while potentially leaving the top bars free for additional cargo.
This rack appears to be a central part of several accessory options, as the company explained:
To further separate itself from the pack, the bike comes with a versatile mounting system and a purpose-built ecosystem of accessories that allow riders to customize with the storage and seating configuration best suited to their needs. The Globe Haul ST is launched with a range of accessories that includes front and rear pannier adapters, rear passenger seat, handlebars and footpegs, MIK compatible front rack, rear wheel cover and plug-in accelerator. A rack customization kit also provides various hardware for bolting just about anything to the front.
Even less critical parts like the included brass bell appear to be of higher quality than the typical accessories slapped on many direct-to-consumer e-bikes.
Priced at US$2,700, the Specialized Globe Haul ST is available in dark and light colors of Satin Obsidian and Gloss White Mountains. The bike is currently only available in the United States, but specialist representatives have said Electrek that there are still plans to expand international distribution “in the future”.
I’m pretty darn impressed with the Globe Haul ST, and glad to see a throttle option, even if it’s an extra charge. I can already tell you that the absence of a throttle would have greatly reduced the bike’s potential sales in the United States. It’s not that all e-bikes should have a throttle – I like the pedal assist too. But there are so many American e-bikers who just won’t look at an e-bike that doesn’t at least give them the ability to throttle when they get tired.
I think it’s hard to talk about these stepper utility bikes without mentioning the RadRunner, especially since they borrow heavily from the setup popularized by Rad Power Bikes a few years ago. Even the nicest $2,500 RadRunner 3 Plus is still a bit more affordable than the Globe Haul ST, though I doubt Rad can match the quality of a brand like Specialized.
I love the loading here. And I like that you’re essentially getting specialized quality and attention to detail at a more direct-to-consumer price. In fact, the packaging and owner’s manual say a lot about this e-bike and the company behind it. Most direct-to-consumer e-bikes expect you to say thank you for including a few Ikea-quality hex keys made from a steel-butter alloy. But the Globe Haul ST comes with a full tool kit including a torque wrench to ensure you not only assemble the bike correctly, but also tighten all the bolts to specification. Mmmmm, I love this.
Although for those who don’t want the hassle of self-assembly, Specialized also offers the option of having the bike shipped to their local dealer for professional assembly.
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