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Specialized Globe Haul LT Review: A Sleek Cargo E-Bike For Hauling Kids and Everything Else

Specialized Globe Haul LT

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updated: June 30, 2024
edited by Amber Katz

I live in a small Southern California beach town where e-bikes are a main mode of transportation for adults, families, and even children. Teenagers zip to school on their e-bikes, much to many residents’ dismay, and most parents I know own one or two e-bikes for schlepping kids to school, sporting events, around town, or down to the sand for beach days. So to say I was excited to finally try an e-bike when Specialized reached out about the Globe Haul LT is an understatement.

This stylish bike has room to haul my three children, plus all their belongings, with the addition of some smart accessories. It’s powerful and easy to use—even for a newbie like me. Despite its size—the brakes are excellent with superior stopping power so I feel very safe with my children on the back. It’s also just fun to ride. I appreciate all the power and speeds up to 28 mph, as it’s much needed for climbing steep hills in my area with nearly 100 pounds of kid on the back.

I’ve had the pleasure of cruising around town on this sleek, class 3 e-bike for a couple of months now, and it’s nearly replaced my car for local commutes.

Unboxing and first impressions

As someone who writes a lot about fashion and generally appreciates good style, I noticed right off the bat how beautiful and sleek this electric cargo bike is. It’s a looker, and the number of times I’ve been asked about it by friends and complete strangers, also admiring its style, is too many to count on two hands. It comes in a gorgeous “gloss white mountain” color, which looks more like an earthy grayish-green, which is very much my vibe.

The e-bike was delivered fully assembled to my house by a local bike shop, and the guy who delivered it spent nearly an hour with me giving me the full rundown on all the features, which are easy to use, from the pedal and walk assist to the integrated lights, brakes, kickstand, and where and how to charge it. Initially, I was intimidated to test it out due to its overall weight and size, but it took me all of 10 seconds to get up and riding and feeling confident on it, which took even me by surprise.

That same day, I felt good enough to test it out with my two oldest kids on the back for a quick bike ride down to the baseball field for my oldest son’s practice. We live on a steep hill, and I was immediately impressed with the braking power, which the rep from the bike shop mentioned was top of the line compared to many of the electric cargo bikes he sees people riding in our area. Unsafe brakes are a common complaint I’ve heard from friends and fellow cargo e-bike owners, with many opting to upgrade from the default brakes to better ones because they simply don’t feel safe cruising around a hilly area, across high-traffic streets, with their kids on the back. So suffice it to say I’m very pleased with the brakes, which give me plenty of peace of mind toting my kids around town.

The bike seat is very comfortable and easy to adjust for riders of all sizes. The ride itself is also smooth, however, you do have to be careful going over bumps and potholes because there’s no suspension—something I quickly discovered after hitting a rough spot on our first ride. For a newbie like me, the interface is intuitive, and I like that the lights automatically turn on when you power the bike up, but if you just hold the pedal assist up arrow down for a few seconds they turn off. Because we live on a hill, I like to walk my bike up to the top on flat ground to load the kids on, which is where the walk assist is super helpful — you just press and hold the pedal assist down button to turn it on and walking the bike is a breeze.

The bike is heavy at 88 pounds so you’ll need some strength to lift this bad boy to engage the kickstand. That said, once engaged, the kickstand is super sturdy and my 50-pound 7-year-old and 45-pound 5-year-old can safely climb on without any fear of it tipping. This electric bike is powerful too, with a 700W rear hub motor and top speeds up to 28 mph so you can work smarter, not harder as you load the kiddos and all their crap, er sports bags and backpacks, for school drop and games.

Specialized Haul LT

Specialized Haul LT

My experience with the Specialized Globe Haul LT

My experience with the Specialized Globe Haul LT has been overwhelmingly positive. This is one of the best electric bikes for families, especially those looking for something with serious style, power (and stopping power), plus lots of extra cargo space. It stops on a dime, cruises at speeds up to 28 mph and has five levels of pedal assist and nine gears so you can put in as little or as much effort as you want to get where you’re going.

A couple of things to note: if you live in a pretty hilly area and plan on putting two or three kids on the back, I recommend adding a throttle, which I have on my bike and love using to climb big hills and not hold up traffic as much when I’m taking the kids to and from school—or just to jet across busy intersections faster.

Another thing to note is this bike is really heavy (88 pounds) and long so you’ll want to make sure you’re comfortable maneuvering it, with kids in tow especially. That said, I’m brand new to e-bikes, about 5’6” and 130 pounds and I can handle it with 95 pounds of kid on the back combined. The only time I’ve had any problem is when I stopped on a fairly steep hill at a busy intersection taking the kids to school. It was tough for me to regain my balance and get going again (not being on flat ground) with my older kids on the back without tipping the bike over. I’ve also taken this route with one kid on the back and had no problems but the extra weight with a second kid was too much for me on a big hill, and I’m too scared to add a third on the back for this reason—my husband can handle it though. The bike is also pretty big so you’ll want to make sure you have a good place to store it and don’t need to take it up steps to do so.

I’ve been testing a class 2 cargo e-bike alongside this one and I love the extra power the Globe Haul LT offers, particularly since there’s no shortage of hills where I live. It’s also nice to just get to the park or the beach quicker since this bike can cruise up to 28 mph, though I often don’t go over 21 or 22 mph since I’m carrying precious cargo.

As much as I love it, my older children (ages 5 and 7) are even more thrilled to hop on to ride to school, dance class, or the baseball field for games. My husband can handle our two oldest on the back plus a friend, but at 88 pounds the bike is already heavy for me with two on the back so I’m hesitant to test it with three just from a safety perspective, though I know it’s quite capable.

My passengers (AKA my kids) would rate this bike a 10 out of 10. They have been begging us to get electric bikes since riding on one of their friend’s, and they’re obsessed. They’d rather hop on the back of the Haul LT any day over taking the car, and as their mom, I feel safe transporting them. I used to pack all of our beach stuff up in a wagon to walk down to the water, but now we’ve gotten in the habit of taking the e-bike and it’s motivated us to hit the beach more.

I’m particularly wowed with all the accessory add-on options, including the Globe Pannier Adapters and Coolcave Panniers, which can hold up to 22 pounds to carry backpacks, beach towels, baseball bats, soccer balls, water bottles, snacks, and sand toys. We have the running boards, adjustable cargo rail, passenger seats, front rack, turbo basket, elastic cargo net with hooks, and the Globe + Kryptonite Evolution 1010 Chain Lock too, which I’ll detail more below but overall very pleased.

The range on this bike is impressive, up to 60 miles, though ours definitely died before this thanks to my husband forgetting to turn it off on stops or parked in our garage a few different times. I’d say you’re likely to get closer to 30 to 40 miles though, and maybe less if you’re using pedal assist 4 or 5 and constantly carrying a couple of kids on the back and all their stuff, as the heavier the weight the shorter the range.

Specialized Globe Haul LT pros and cons

Pros

  • Powerful hub motor makes for an overall pleasant riding experience, especially up hills and with multiple kids and cargo on the back
  • Torque sensor pedal assist feels very natural
  • Top speeds up to 28 mph so you can get where you want to go faster
  • Strong, quiet brakes with serious stopping power
  • Super sleek, stylish design in an attractive color makes for the coolest ride around town
  • Pretty smooth stable ride even without suspension
  • A decent selection of accessories, lots of flexibility to customize your ride, and ability to haul up to 441 pounds of cargo (yourself included)
  • Room for three kids on the back
  • Lifetime warranty on the frame and two-year e-system warranty
  • Seat is easy to adjust to fit riders from 4’5” all the way up to 6’4”
  • Sturdy kickstand
  • Incredible quality bike overall that you’ll feel safe with your kids on the back

Cons

  • It’s a class 3 cargo e-bike so it doesn’t come standard with a throttle (only $50 to add), which I’d highly recommend if you live somewhere with a lot of hills and are toting two kids+
  • All of the accessories can add up on an already expensive electric bike
  • The bike is heavy, so you may not feel comfortable taking more than one or two kids on the back if you live somewhere with a lot of hills or have to stop frequently while riding
  • It can be hard to lock up with the running boards and panniers attached especially

Specialized Haul LT price

Electric bikes aren’t cheap, and while the Specialized Haul LT is on the pricier side at $3500 before accessories, I’d say it’s worth it for the high quality and reliability, which is critical when you’ll be carrying kids on the back. You can find long-tail e-cargo bikes for cheaper, and you can also find them for far more expensive, so this feels like a good sweet spot at a mid-range price that will offer tons of flexibility in terms of setup. It’s important to note if you’ll be carrying kids, you’ll have to add running boards, a cargo rail, and passenger seats, which will bring the cost up more than $500, which is the case for a lot of electric cargo bikes.

Specialized Haul LT

Specialized Haul LT

Specifications

  • Frame: Single size comfortably accommodating riders 4’5” to 6’4”
  • Weight: 88 pounds
  • Class: 3
  • Rear rack: 31-inch long, MIK-compatible
  • Colors: Gloss white mountains
  • Motor: 700W rear hub
  • Wheels and tire size: 20'' x 3.5”
  • Drivetrain: 9 speeds
  • Torque sensor: Bottom bracket
  • Brakes: Hydraulic disc
  • Carrying capacity: 441 pounds
  • Top speed: 28 mph
  • Range: 60 miles
  • Battery size: 772Wh

Key features

Powerful hub motor

If you’re wondering how fast electric bikes go, the Globe Haul LT tops out at 28 mph, which is pretty darn fast. The 700W rear hub motor is extra powerful, allowing me to zip down streets and zoom up hills faster and with far less effort than any of our friends’ cargo e-bikes.

Throttle

While the throttle doesn’t come standard on the Haul LT (or any class 3 e-bike), it’s only $50 to add on, which is worth it in my opinion if you’re hauling children and groceries and backpacks and all the other things up hills. I think it’s less of a must if you live in a relatively flat area, but for the price, you may as well add it on to give your legs a rest on hot days or after long distances. Mine is mounted on the left-hand side and is easy to press down for a little boost when I need it up hills.

Rear rack

The rear rack is long, 31-inches to be exact, and MIK-compatible so it’s easy to switch up your accessories for whatever the day has in store, whether that’s hitting the beach, hauling the kids to school, or getting groceries. The rack can hold up to 176 pounds, so you can fit a couple of kids and cargo or three kids on the back. As I mentioned above though, for someone smaller like me, I wouldn’t feel comfortable loading the back up with more than two kids, especially if you’ll be making stops on hills at stop signs or stop lights.

Rear rack

LED screen

The LED screen on the Haul LT does the job, but it’s on the smaller side, dimly lit in black/white/gray colors and the power-on button can be a little hard to click. The buttons for the power assist are big though and easy to push up or down while you’re riding. I also appreciate that you can see how much range your bike has based on the pedal assist mode you’re in (lower for higher assist modes and higher for lower assist modes).

Battery

While the range on this electric cargo bike is up to 60 miles, that’s almost never going to be the case if you’re consistently hauling kids on the back or any cargo. I tend to stay in a pedal assist level of 3, which gives me closer to a 30-ish mile range. The city I live in is only 1.4 square miles though so we’re never commuting far and this hasn’t been an issue for me yet. Charging the bike is super quick and easy, too.

Hydraulic disc brakes and stopping

The hydraulic disk brakes on the Globe Haul LT are worth raving about, especially if you’re a parent like me and ultra concerned about safety. They’re reasonably quiet (no loud squeaking) and stop on a dime, even when you’re carrying several kiddos and cargo down a steep hill, which we live on, so this is an absolute must for me. I feel very confident with my kids on the back, mainly because of the strong front and rear brakes and serious stopping power.

hydraulic disk brakes

Saddle and telescoping seat post

Overall, I really like the saddle on the Haul LT. It’s made of specialized body geometry comfort gel and is quite comfortable to ride — I have no complaints so far. The telescoping seatpost offers over 13 inches of adjustability, and the quill stem can extend nearly 6 inches. My 5’9” husband and I (5’6”) have no issue adjusting the seat between rides to suit our respective comfort levels.

Wheels and tires

The 20” diameter wheels are stable, while the extra wide 3.5” Carless Whisper tires provide great traction for a smooth, safe ride.

Front and rear lights

I haven’t taken the Haul for a spin past dark mainly because bedtime routine starts before it’s dark out during the summer, and we just use the bike for taking the kids places. However, the headlights and tail lights automatically turn on when you power the bike up. To turn off you simply hold the pedal assist up button down for a few seconds and they turn off. It does appear to put off a pretty good beam though so I’d feel comfortable riding at night if needed and when it starts to get dark out earlier.

Kickstand

The extra-wide kickstand is sturdy and stable. My 7 and 5-year-old easily climb on, and the bike stays put — I don’t worry about it tipping over. Because the bike is pretty heavy, it can take some muscle to lift it up to deploy the kickstand though.

Fenders

It’s worth pointing out the fenders on the Haul LT are excellent, keeping your bike’s components well-protected and protecting you from spray on wet roads.

Locking battery

This great feature helps protect against theft. The bike comes with two keys and a locking battery compartment to ensure your battery stays where it’s supposed to. You can also remove the battery and charge it more easily inside if you don’t have an accessible power outlet in your garage or where you park your bike.

Globe app

I’ve heard horror stories about e-bike apps but the Globe app is so simple and easy to use — I really like it. From here, you can turn on and off the lights and lock the battery on the bike when it’s not in use. You can also view speed, battery charge, and mileage left until the battery dies.

Specialized Haul LT

Specialized Haul LT

Accessories

Globe pannier adapters and coolcave panniers

The adapters and panniers are attached to the front of my bike, making it easy to pop the kids on the back and their backpacks and gear in the front. You’ll want to try to balance the weight on both sides though so you stay on balance when riding. Going anywhere with kids means bringing lots of stuff so I appreciate the ability to haul it all. Plus, the panniers clip on and off so easily that it’s no hassle to add or remove them as needed.

Adjustable cargo rail

While I do think it’s a bit expensive, I appreciate the ability to completely customize the cargo rail to suit your family’s needs. It can serve as a handlebar for the kids to hold on safely as you ride, which is our main purpose, or a place to strap on your cargo bags. There are three width options and four height settings so you can figure out what works best for your setup and adapt and adjust it as your kids grow.

Globe LT running boards

Whether you have kiddos or just plan on carrying cargo on the back, running boards are a must for security and kid’s comfort. The Haul running boards offer solid support, are easy for my kiddos to use to climb on and off the bike, and provide a good resting spot for feet during transport. They also look really nice and high-end.

Passenger seats

At $60 a piece, the Globe passenger seats can add up (the rear rack fits three) but they’re necessary for safely hauling kids. So far, no complaints from my children. The seats are made of soft foam pads, and from the sheer joy on my kids' faces riding (and constantly asking to ride), I can assure you they are comfortable.

Globe front rack

The Globe Front Rack mounts directly to the bike so you can carry heavy loads with less effort and without affecting the stability of the bike. It offers lots of flexibility in terms of use too, as it’s compatible with the front and rear pannier adapters so you can carry 5+ full grocery bags or bolt on additional accessories to the side to further customize your ride. It accepts MIK accessories too, like the Turbo Basket that’s currently on ours.

Turbo basket and elastic cargo net with hooks

I love the turbo basket for carrying my kids' snacks, a cell phone, water bottles, and even a backpack or two (we’ve done it) that isn’t fully loaded up. It’s great for essentials and can fit quite a bit with the addition of the elastic cargo net, which is a must to keep your stuff from flying out on rides.

Globe + Kryptonite Evolution 1010 chain lock

Electric bike theft is big where we live, so I wanted to be sure I had a highly secure lock for when I take the bike to the beach, brunch, or baseball. The Globe + Kryptonite chain lock has an 8/10 rating for security and is backed by Kryptonite's lifetime warranty and Anti-theft Protection offer. It’s a little over 39 inches in length, but with the sheer size of the Haul LT and with running boards and panniers attached it can still be a struggle to get the bike close enough to a rack to lock it. It can be done though, and I feel really at ease leaving the bike out of my site using this lock.

Specialized Globe Haul LT — Is it for you?

For families living in e-bike-friendly communities with young kids, I’d absolutely recommend the Specialized Globe Haul LT for errands, school drop off, or just to zip to the local playground. It’s big and long so you’ll want to consider where you’ll store it before purchasing, and ensure you have enough space for it to fit comfortably. This e-bike has a ton of power to tackle hills without moving at a snail's pace with a couple of kids on the back. That said, despite the extra power, I’ve never once not felt safe zooming down the street with my 5 and 7-year-old in tow.

The ability to easily swap accessories on and off is unparalleled and so convenient for parents like me who are always in a rush. I will say I would be careful purchasing this bike if you want to tote three kids on the back and aren’t super strong or confident. I can handle two, and my husband can manage three, but I’d only feel safe doing so navigating mostly flat roads in areas without much traffic.

Specialized Globe Haul LT ride and comfort

This electric cargo bike is really fun to ride! I did some digging around the internet and on Reddit for more reviews too, and it seems like I’m not the only one who agrees that it’s honestly such a blast to cruise on this thing, so much so that you’ll likely find yourself making excuses to use it in place of your car — and so will your kids. The ride is super comfortable, smooth, stable, and the torque sensor makes the pedal assist feel natural, sensing how hard you’re pedaling so the motor’s power adjusts to match. Overall, it’s a joy to hop on the Haul LT, and my kids are safely contained, happy, and comfortable on the back, too.

Specialized Haul LT

Specialized Haul LT

Specialized Globe Haul LT performance

Ease of use/user friendliness

As someone new to electric bikes, having only hopped on friends’ bikes a handful of times to ride prior, I can say that this electric cargo bike is incredibly user-friendly. The LED display is straightforward, with a power-on button and up and down arrows to set your preferred pedal assist. These arrows can also be held down to turn off the bike’s lights (up arrow) or to put the bike into walk mode (down arrow) so walking it up a hill or into your garage is a bit easier, since it’s pretty heavy.

Switching between gears can take a little getting used to, but that’s mainly because I’m used to my regular beach cruiser’s twist-grip gear shifters, so this may be a personal thing. The throttle, which I’d highly recommend, is located on the left side and is super easy to push down with your thumb for a boost on hills or when your legs are just done.

Maintenance

The maintenance is minimal for the Globe Haul LT. The brand recommends regularly checking tire pressure and tire wear, cleaning and lubing the chain regularly with high-quality bike lube, and to be on the lookout for faster wear and tear on certain parts like the drivetrain, tires, and brake pads.

As for washing, they suggest always using a low-pressure hose “to clean sensitive parts like bearings, headset, and wheel hubs, etc.” and to maintain a safe distance from the bike when cleaning. For stubborn dirt, they suggest using a “soft brush and a bucket of high-quality bike cleaner to wash it off.”

Specialized Globe Haul LT design and build quality

Specialized has a reputation for high-quality, well-designed, and engineered electric bikes, and the Globe Haul LT lives up to this reputation. Nothing about this bike looks or feels cheap, and the quality is quite obvious after taking it for a spin. The brakes are excellent, the pedal assist and torque sensor feel very natural, and at no point do you feel unsafe or wobbly while cruising, even at top speeds. The fenders are great and built to handle any kind of weather. Use a soft cloth to dry off after washing. Regular inspections and service by an Authorized Specialized Retailer will keep your Specialized bike in top condition.

Final verdict

After a couple of months of dashing to baseball practices and games, cruising down to the strand for impromptu beach play dates, and surprising the kids at school pickup on the Specialized Globe Haul LT, I can confidently say I love this e-bike. It’s fashionable, functional, flexible (in terms of what you can haul!), and incredibly reliable and safe thanks to superior brakes and a rock-solid rear rack and adjustable cargo rail to contain the kiddos.

We’ve all had a blast riding, my husband and kids included. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this electric cargo bike to families with multiple children looking for a safe and fun way to schlep the kids around town and all their stuff. While it may be higher-priced than other cargo e-bikes, you get what you pay for with the Globe Haul LT, which will give you the peace of mind you need to put your kids on the back and go and feel good about it.

All in all, this is an excellent electric cargo bike from a highly-trusted brand. I’d highly recommend it to busy families who live in an e-bike-friendly area and are looking for a solid, well-built bike with all the bells and whistles—not to mention the capability to haul (hence the name) multiple children and all of their things safely and swiftly.

Specialized Haul LT

Specialized Haul LT

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