Long awaited this year, we’ve been anticipating the release of the new Specialized Turbo Levo. The top of the range e-bike has been a best seller from the Specialized brand for a couple of years – so we were all excited to see what updates had been made to keep this bike at the cutting edge of the market.
Specialized claim that whilst you’re out on the all new Turbo Levo Comp Carbon FSR, theres no denying that you’re on a fully-fledged trail bike. They claim that you won’t even notice the bike is electric!
Specialized have tried to include all the features that come with their top end stump jumper – mixed with some clever engineering to deliver a trail bike that gives you a little extra boost through the pedals. And with perfectly tuned kinematics, a true Trail Geometry, and a new custom battery and motor, the power to ride more trails is yours, all yours. Get out, go further, last longer!
One thing that hasn’t changed – Specialized have focused on creating a mountain bike first – and an electric bike second.
Constructed with a FACT 9m carbon fibre chassis and an m5 Premium aluminium rear – the bike is stiff, responsive and lightweight. Short chain stays, a long top tube and a low bottom bracket make up the bikes Trail Geometry. The cables on the bike are all internal and the battery is now fully integrated into the down tube, keeping it safe and out of sight.
The motor is much more minimalist and mounted more securely than the previous editions. 15% smaller and 11% lighter to be exact. Following some phenomenal design and engineering in the Specialized labs, this motor is right at the forefront of the industry. Instant engagement, great heat management and a double freewheel design that disengages the gear box at top speed. The motor delivers all the power you need smoothly and silently, even when performing at the max.
The Levo’s new battery can take you further, faster. Optimized and carefully engineered to feature all of the latest technology, the battery can now provide up to 40% more range than than previous editions. New software will help you access all the data you need.
The new 2019 Levo is designed around 29in wheels with 26in tyres. Though the frame can accommodate 650b wheels with a 2.8in or 3in tyre. Specialized have attempted to give a grippier, more accute feeling out of the wheels through a better connection to the trail.
The levo borrows the new sidearm of the stumpjumper which gives it much more control when the terrain gets rough. When the rear suspension is on you can really feel the reduction in the undamped frame movement.
Controlling the bike has never been easier the the new Specialized TCU (turbo connect unit). This is located at the top of the frame and gives you the data you need. It’ll tell you how long the battery has left and which of the 3 pedal assist modes you’re in. The connectivity is great through Bluetooth or ANT+ to the Specialized Mission Control App.
The new Turbo Levo certainly feels lighter than most e-bikes we’ve tried before. It feels less like you’re hauling a motorbike round, and more like a slightly heavier mtb. This is a great progression from previous editions where the bikes were definitely on the heavy side.
Power through the pedals certainly isn’t an issue on the bike – the motor is definitely on the punchy side. Even in eco mode there’s plenty of power delivered through the pedals – this is the mode we seemed to spend most of the time in. In the more powerful modes there’s a slight under steer from the front wheel – meaning you may have to drop the handlebars slightly to get more weight over the front. This can also be the case on the climbs when the motor can cause you to almost pull a wheelie up the climb.
It can be easy to forget that this bike is an e-bike at all. It’s clear Specialized have designed a thorough bred mountain bike and spent a lot of time locking in the details that make that. The geometry is comfy enough to give you confidence but still responsive and nimble.
If you can see past the price tag to unlock an e-bike with the performance of a top end mountain bike – the turbo levo could be for you. Specialized have left no stone unturned in the design and engineering of this bike, and that really shows. With the improved battery and motor – it’s almost a no brainer!