Premium, performance, Porto? The Porto cargo bike is a slightly different kind of Specialized. The US bike brand are known for their high-end, high-performance mountain and road bikes, but, Specialized have set off for shores with their long-tail cargo bike. We compared the Porto with 11 other cargo bikes.

Specialized Porto | Specialized 2.2 Cargo/710 Wh
42.58 kg in size One Size | € 6,690 | Manufacturer’s website

Specialized’s goal was to create everybody’s new darling of the cargo bike scene. To this end, they drew on the wealth of experience gained from the development of high-performance analogue bikes and their Turbo ebikes, incorporating it all into the design of their first cargo bike. The result is the Porto: A long-tail cargo bike with a modular transport concept and a wide range of optional accessories, specially tailored to the cargo bike. As everybody’s cargo darling, it should cover a wide range of use cases, from everyday commutes to trekking excursions, and transporting kids.

For this, it rolls on mixed-size wheels, with a 24″ wheel up front and 20″ wheel at the rear, and relies on Specialized’s in-house 2.2 Cargo motor for support, powered by Specialized’s 710 Wh U2 battery. The stylish and high-quality aluminium frame is certified to a gross weight limit of 200 kg. Depending on the cargo carrying accessories fitted, the Porto weighs between 39.9 and just under 44 kg, leaving you with a maximum payload capacity of 160 kg in the best case. The price of the Porto starts at € 6,500. The model on test with the large Porto Cargo Base on the rear rack is priced at € 6,690, which is slightly above the test field average of € 6,536. We put it to the test to find out whether the investment could be worth your while.

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best cargo-bike – The 12 hottest models in our comparison test.

Everybody’s darling – Why is the Specialized Turbo Porto cargo bike so popular?

You don’t become everybody’s darling if you don’t get along with everyone. And the Porto also has something to offer for all types of riders, especially when it comes to transport possibilities. The Specialized Turbo Porto offers six different cargo carrying options, including a front luggage rack with a MIK interface and 20 kg payload, bosses on the rigid fork for lowrider racks, a small frame bag with a zipper behind the seat tube, and mounting points for a trailer hitch, and the obligatory bottle cage bosses. However, as with all longtail cargo bikes, the main focus is on the large rear carrier. It has three MIK-HD mounting profiles for tool-free attachment of child seats, baskets, and so forth.

Port(o)monnaie: the small frame bag with a zipper is to the Porto what a Gucci bag is to Saint-Tropez.
On paper, the Specialized 2.2 motor is the second most powerful in the group test, capable of churning out 90 Nm. It can push the Turbo Porto up every incline, though it also feels very natural when pulling away.
With the large Porto Cargo Base on the rear, the Turbo Porto cargo bike is reminiscent of an aircraft carrier. The platform is certified to carry a maximum load of 60 kg, which isn’t enough for a fighter jet, unfortunately.

Specialized also offer bolt-on accessories, like the large Porto Cargo Base measuring 73 x 46 cm (€ 190 including bungee cords), offering enough space for either two drinks crates, an extra-large party pizza, or very bulky items that wouldn’t fit on most cargo bikes in the test field. If, on the other hand, you want to quickly switch back and forth between transporting your kids and, for example, a 40 x 60 cm Eurobox, you can use the Porto Safety Rail (€ 220), which bolts on and accommodates both kids or crates. To keep the little ones comfortable, there are optional foot boards and cushions available too. There’s no need to worry about your kids getting their precious feet caught in the wheels thanks to the plastic wheel guard. Or you can simply cover the rear wheel with the Porto Side Bags, offering a carrying capacity of 44 litres and 25 kg each (€ 130 per bag). Regardless of your preferred configuration, you may not put more than 60 kg on the rear rack. In the configuration on test with the Porto Cargo Base, the Porto weighs 42.58 kg, allowing a payload of 157 kg, which is comparable to that of the Moustache Lundi and the Riese & Müller Multitinker. Among the longtails, only the Decathlon cargo bike can carry even more with its 170 kg maximum payload.

To improve rider safety, Specialized equip the Porto with a rear-view mirror as standard (the only one in the test field). Furthermore, the rear rack comes with a radar to detect traffic approaching from behind (like on the Cannondale Wonderwagen). A standard ABUS frame lock on the front wheel and an electronic immobiliser should help deter thieves. Both of these anti-theft mechanisms are linked to the motor system because the key for the frame lock also unlocks the battery, and the electronic immobiliser gets activated via the Specialized Mission Control app.

Instead of a chain, the Porto relies on a GATES CARBON DRIVE belt, paired with a continuously variable Enviolo HD hub. This combination is particularly low-maintenance, though the gear range is limited.
The substantial MIK front rack could probably also carry Mi(c)k Jagger and Keith’s guitar. However, Specialized have limited its carrying capacity to 20 kg.

For the motor, the Specialized team rely the proven 2.2 motor developed in-house. You can find out how it fares against 12 current motors from the likes of Bosch, Shimano and other manufacturers. in the motor group test conducted by our sister magazine E-MOUNTAINBIKE. It’s got a maximum torque output of 90 Nm, making it the second most powerful motor in the test. At least on paper. Read on to find out how it copes with a fully loaded Porto.

The 710 Wh battery is integrated into the down tube and can be removed from below. This results in a sleeker silhouette and a neatly integrated motor system, though removing the battery is a bit more cumbersome compared to the other cargo bikes on test with external battery packs. The charging port is located on the down tube, right above the motor. There is no dual battery option or range extender available for the Porto.

Specialized Porto

€ 6,690

Specifications

Motor Specialized 2.2 Cargo 90 Nm
Battery Specialized U2-710 710 Wh
Display MasterMind TCD
Fork Alu-Starrgabel mit Tubus Duo Side Rack Mounts
Seatpost Double-Extension-Stütze
Brakes TEKTRO Dorado 203/203 mm
Drivetrain Enviolo Heavy Duty 380 %
Handlebar Specialized Alu 680 mm
Wheelset Specialized Alu 24"/20"
Tires Pathfinder Sport Reflect 2.8"

Technical Data

Size One Size
Weight 42.58 kg
Perm. total weight 200 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 157 kg
Trailer approval yes
Kickstand mount yes

Specific Features

height adjustable cockpit
Abus Ringlock
Lezyne and Spanninga lights

Tuning tip: A suspended seat post for more riding comfort

The Specialized Turbo Porto cargo bike on test

Although the Specialized Turbo Porto cargo bike isn’t the most compact longtail in the group test, measuring 206 cm in length (the compact longtail title goes to the Riese & Müller Multitinker), it’s not exceptionally long either. And it can be stood upright, so it will also fit in a stairwell instead of taking up space in a cramped garage. When doing so, we recommend securing the front wheel with a strap because it’s slightly less stable on the rear rack than the Moustache Lundi, for example.

The Specialized Turbo Porto cargo bike feels stable through the corners and isn’t easily fazed by heavy luggage.
With the Specialized Turbo Porto cargo bike, you’re better off sticking to well-groomed asphalt instead of the cobblestones of Paris. The rigid frame and seat post offer little damping, which comes at the cost of rider comfort.

When loading it up with cargo, the Porto can be safely propped up on the centre stand. However, getting it on and off the stand is significantly harder than with many other cargo bikes in the group test. Hopping aboard is slightly more cumbersome than with some of the more ergonomic competitors, too. The dropped top tube (resulting in the frame’s flowing lines) has a step-through height of 54 cm, so you must lift your leg somewhat higher than you do with the Riese & Müller Multitinker. The saddle and handlebar height can be adjusted without tools thanks to the use of quick-release clamps. The stem angle can also be adjusted with a 5 mm hex key, accommodating riders from 155 to 195 cm tall – the one-size-fits-all size concept works. However, you don’t get a dropper post, so riders with short legs have to get off the saddle to put their feet on the ground.

Chapeau, Porto: the Specialized Turbo Porto cargo bike is full of clever, and neatly integrated details, making for a seamless looking bike.

Before stepping on the pedals, the continuously variable Enviolo Heavy Duty hub allows you to select an appropriate gear from a standstill. The first few metres can be a bit shaky with a fully-loaded Porto cargo bike, until you find your balance. Once you’ve got the almost 40 kg bike in motion, however, it’s very stable and tracks true. Due to the small rear wheel, the low rear carrier, and the low centre of gravity, the Porto remains largely unaffected by heavy payloads. This instils cargo bike beginners with confidence. The slightly knobby 2.8″ wide Pathfinder tires don’t just provide lots of grip in the city, but also perform well on woodland paths covered with loose gravel. Together with the powerful TEKTRO Dorado brakes, you can quickly come to a halt. The wide tires must also provide damping, because the Porto has to make do without any other form of suspension. As such, you and the kids, or cargo, will get quite shaken up on unpaved forest paths to a picnic, or when encountering curbs and potholes in the city. The Porto can’t match the high ride comfort of the full-suspension Riese & Müller Packster2.

The Specialized Turbo Porto cargo bike wants to be everybody’s darling, and accommodates all cargo tasks thanks to a wide range of different transport accessories.

Helmet Dashel Ocaean Edition | Glasses Oakley Sutro Lite Sweep | Jacket Canada Goose Freestyle Crew Vest | Hoodie Balenciaga Back Hoodie | Pants Adidas Firebird | Shoes Reebok Classic CLUB C 85 Leather | Watch Rolex Oyster

If your route meanders through hilly vineyards, the Porto has no problems coping with steep climbs thanks to the easy gearing and powerful motor. On the flip-side, the gear range isn’t wide enough for fast descents, which is why you will usually just coast when exceeding 25 km/h instead of pedalling along. You’ll also best keep your hands on the handlebar because the Porto cargo bike wobbles at high speeds with heavy loads. The Porto comes equipped with lights to help you make your way back home in the late evening, though you’ll have to find the way yourself because it doesn’t provide any form of navigation. Thanks to the rear-facing radar, you can at least keep an eye on approaching traffic because using the rear-view mirror takes some getting used to due to its low position. Once at home, there’s no need to clean and lubricate the chain because the Porto relies on a low-maintenance belt drive instead.

Who is the Specialized Turbo Porto for?

The Specialized Turbo Porto cargo bike is a true all-rounder. Features like the rear-view mirror, radar, and anti-theft protection are great for everyday commuters, trekking riders will enjoy the handling stability and powerful motor, and heavy haulers will find all the cargo carrying accessories they need from Specialized – so it’s everybody’s darling after all. The Porto Cargo Base on the rear will make those looking to transport bulky items particularly happy. However, if you’re looking for a cargo bike with a variable battery concept, a comfortable ride, or an integrated navigation solution, you best look elsewhere.

Our conclusion on the Specialized Turbo Porto cargo bike

Were it not for the somewhat cumbersome bike stand, the inflexible battery concept, or the limited ride comfort, the Specialized Turbo Porto would have what it takes to beat the competition. Thanks to its stable handling, convenient features, and well-thought-out sizing and cargo concept, it ticks almost all remaining boxes of things you can expect from a versatile cargo bike. The design looks great, and the high-quality workmanship and choice of components justify the somewhat hefty price.

Tops

  • safe ride feel instils cargo bike beginners with confidence
  • cleverly designed cargo concept
  • anti-theft protection as standard
  • stylish looks and neatly integrated motor

Flops

  • unergonomic centre stand that requires a lot of effort to prop up
  • a lack of damping and comfort
  • battery concept isn’t flexible

For more information, visit specialized.com


The test field

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best cargo-bike – The 12 hottest models in our comparison test.

All bikes in test: Moustache Lundi 20 Cargo 3 (Click for review) | Specialized Porto | Ultima Ultima Multipath Cargo Compact (Click for review) | i:SY Cargo P12 ZR (Click for review) | Riese & Müller Packster2 70 Touring (Click for review) | Riese & Müller Multitinker Vario (Click for review) | BTWIN Cargo R500E Longtail V2 (Click for review) | WINORA F.U.B. 2W (Click for review) | Cannondale Wonderwagen Neo1 (Click for review) | VEOLO Cargo Trailer (Click for review) | Benno RemiDemi XL (Click for review) | Momentum PakYak E+ (Click for review)

Words: Rudolf Fischer Photos: Antonia feder, Robin Schmitt