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Specialized Globe Haul ST Review: The Speedy Little E-Bike We All Love

The new Specialized Globe Haul ST is fast, practical, and most impressively, relatively affordable. Here's why we think it might be one of the best commuter E-bikes we've tried.

Written by: Bruce Lin

Published on:

Posted in:Bikes

I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect E-bike for commuting, picking my son up from school, getting groceries, and doing other errands around town. For months, I've been using a cargo E-bike — the Benno Boost E — which has made my dreams of living car-free a near reality. There's just one small problem. It’s a bit too big.

I live in a small townhouse with a pretty cramped garage, so there isn't much space for my cargo E-bike and all my regular bikes too. I want an E-bike that can still carry a good amount of cargo but has a smaller footprint to fit better in my home. I think the new Specialized Globe Haul ST might be the answer.

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Why We Love the Specialized Globe Haul ST 

Specialized Globe Haul ST review
  • Super compact - 20” wheels with a very short wheelbase
  • Super practical - 419 lb carrying capacity (including bike and rider)
  • Super adaptable - Fits riders 4'5" - 6'4"
  • Super fast - Class 3, pedal-assist up to 28 mph
  • Super fun - Subjective… but true

Key Specs

  • 700w rear hub motor
  • 772wh battery
  • 60 miles of range
  • 3.5” Carless Whisper tires w/ 3-ply casing for flat protection
  • MIK-compatible rear rack 
  • Full-coverage fenders
  • Integrated lights
  • Center stand
  • Additional accessory mounting points
  • Optional throttle
  • 77 lbs
  • MSRP: $2,800.00

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What is the Specialized Globe Haul ST?

Specialized Globe Haul St rear rack reviewSpecialized’s Globe series of bikes have actually been around for a while — since before E-bikes became mainstream. It was the name given to Specialized’s city and commuter-style bikes. The Globe series faded away a few years ago, but this spring, it returned in the form of the Haul ST E-bike.

The Haul ST is intended to be a super practical and affordable city E-bike and commuter. It uses an 8-speed Microshift drivetrain and a powerful 700w hub motor (named the "Big Motor") .

The Haul St is also equipped with tough, puncture resistant tires that have a slick center for pavement, but side knobs that will allow it to venture onto dirt and gravel surfaces. And it’s designed to carry cargo. The center kick stand makes it super easy to load up, and options for additional racks and bags mean you can set it up to carry anything you need on your daily commute. 

Fast, Compact, and Maneuverable

I got to test ride the Globe Haul ST this spring when Specialized brought one to TPC headquarters for us to try out. I’m not joking when I say nearly every employee in the office that day lined up to give it a rip through the parking lot.

I’ve ridden Class 3 E-bikes before (my Benno is the Class 3 version also), so the top speed was nothing new. But combined with the small 20” wheels, the short wheelbase, and the 700w rear hub motor, the Globe Haul St felt like a rocket ship. The Haul ST is one of the fastest accelerating E-bikes I’ve ever ridden. There are 5 pedal assist modes, with 5 being the fastest and 1 the most economical. When testing the bike, I mostly used 5, which was easily the most fun.

Also, thanks to the small wheels and short wheelbase, the globe is super maneuverable too. I had no problem cruising between workstations and through doorways in the office. Compared to full-size E-bikes, the Haul ST is also much easier to tuck away out of sight behind a desk or in a corner. 

Super Adaptable

Globe Haul ST adjustability

The Haul ST uses a unique threaded headset that allows riders to easily change the handlebar height by extending or lowering the steerer. The seatpost is also telescoping with a quick release. This means the bike fits nearly everyone, and is easy to adjust when shared between riders of differing heights.

The MIK-compatible rear rack is handy because it allows you to attach any MIK-compatible bag or accessory. You’re not stuck with Specialized accessories if you prefer panniers or bags made by another brand.

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You can also purchase a small passenger seat and handlebar to put on the back for carrying a passenger. The optional front rack (sold separately) can carry 44 lbs of cargo, plus 18 lbs per pannier adapter if you add those as well, which is enough for most of my grocery trips. 

The Throttle

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The Globe Haul St has the option to fit a throttle. This plug-in throttle hit 20 mph without pedaling. You can still go faster, up to the 28 mph limit, but only with pedal-assist. This makes the Haul ST a sort of hybrid between Class 2 and Class 3 E-bikes. As a pedal-assist bike, it is still legal on many bike paths and trails (check your local laws!). But the throttle’s extra burst of torque can make situations like entering and exiting traffic safer and faster. Using pedal-assist will provide the best efficiency and range.

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What Are the Downsides? 

Despite its compact size, the Globe is quite heavy at 77 pounds. I was actually stunned when I tried to pick it up. To me the weight is the biggest downside. The Globe Haul ST is not a bike that you can easily carry up a set of stairs or load on a bike rack (it also exceeds the weight limit of many car bike racks).

A lot of this weight is due to the massive battery. At 772wh, it’s the biggest E-bike battery I’ve seen and it fills the entire frame. Despite this, the Globe Haul ST’s range is fairly average. Specialized Suggests around 60 miles, but if you’re riding around in the fastest drive mode, climbing steep hills, or carrying heavy cargo, it will be a lot less. Cruising around (with no cargo) in mode 1, however, you can potentially get over 70 miles.

If you want to carry a passenger like I do, the short rear end is a bit cramped for full-grown adults. My 4-year-old fits perfectly, and likely will for several years, but my 5’4 wife is not super comfortable on rides over a few miles.

Also, note that the 419 pound carrying capacity includes the bike and rider. At 180 pounds, my total carrying capacity on the Globe Haul ST is actually closer to 162 pounds. That’s still pretty substantial, but a far cry from the 400 pound capacity of my bigger Benno Boost E cargo E-bike. 

What TPC Riders Think

A couple of employees at TPC have purchased the Globe Haul ST for their personal use. Let’s hear what they think:

Specialized Globe Haul ST e-bike review"Since we took delivery of a Globe Haul ST, both [my wife] and I have drastically cut down on our car use. We now do all our errands–grocery shopping, hardware store, USPS drop offs, even the plant nursery runs–everything is done on the Globe. People are so into the Globe, too. I get constant questions every time I park it outside of the grocery store. If Americans cut down on 1-mile to 3-mile trips in their cars and supplemented e-bike use for errands, it would drastically reshape cities and our environment." - John Watson, Founder of The Radavist/Director of Content and Special Projects

Specialized Globe Haul ST ride review“I am really enjoying my new Specialized Globe Haul ST. It gives me the ability to move faster than I do on my analog bikes and still get a good zone 2 or 3 workout. I also love the available accessories and their uses. I have recently installed the rear seat, pegs, and handle to have the option of carrying passengers. I also installed the front rack they offer and mounted a crate to it. I found the benefit of having all that cargo storage this weekend while grabbing supplies for the 4th of July. My local grocery store had a sale on Soda and I was able to carry five 12-packs and a case of beer home with ease. I also have to mention the reduction in my gasoline usage as I am now finding myself opting to ride the Globe to places where I would normally just drive my car. Overall, I love the Globe Haul ST!” - Nick Leng, External Compliance Specialist

Who’s the Globe Haul ST For? 

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I have limited space and budget for a full-size cargo E-bike, but I still want an E-bike that will reduce my car use and be practical enough for my daily commute and errands. The Globe Haul St fits the bill perfectly. It fits neatly inside my small garage and office, and it can carry my kid plus a week’s worth of groceries.

The biggest benefit is that it’s seriously fun. I mean it when I say it’s one of the fastest and most enjoyable E-bikes I’ve ever ridden. This makes using it for daily errands a blast. Riding the Globe Haul ST instead of driving is often an easy choice.

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