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Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert

Specialized Turbo Kenevo Review

Price:

£4,999.00 - £6,999.00

Finance from:

£104.15/month (0% APR)

Brose 2.1 power
500Wh & 700Wh battery options
180mm of travel front and rear
27.5” wheels with 2.6” tyres
11 speed, ebike gear shifting
Powerful SRAM Code brakes

Discipline:

Electric mountain bike

Weight:

24.4Kg (54.6lbs) *


Whether it’s sessioning the black runs at the bike park or seeking out hand-cut enduro tracks the Turbo Kenevo is an e bike for those who like to push their limits

Updated: 23rd January 2020

Overview

With the descending capabilities of a DH bike and the climbing prowess of a mountain goat, the Turbo Kenevo is one of the most capable e bikes out there. Offering 180mm of suspension travel, with a triple clamp fork option, this is a big rig with a built-in uplift.

This downhill oriented e bike is built for riding the gnarliest trails you can handle. In this Specialized Turbo Kenevo review, we look at both electric mountain bikes in the range.


* Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert - Size S3 tested, without pedals

Specialized Turbo Kenevo Exper frame detail

Frame

Progressive enduro geometry

This second-generation Turbo Kenevo has been completely redesigned for 2020. Taking cues from the Turbo Levo eMTB the sidearm frame design adds stiffness. Less obvious is the redesigned motor mount. This combined with the smaller motor housing shaves a significant amount of weight off the frame compared to the Mk1 Kenevo. Also, like the Levo the battery is now fully enclosed in the downtube.

Both bikes share the same frame which is made from Specialized’s premium M5 aluminium alloy as there is no carbon option yet. The updated geometry gives the Kenevo a dynamic ride feel with the bike being longer and lower in all sizes. This makes it easier to pick lines, so you can hit those steep rough trails with more confidence. The steeper seat tube angle puts you in a better pedalling position too especially when climbing. A rock guard on the lower downtube protects the motor housing and it’s great to see that both Turbo Kenevo models are supplied with a bottle cage.

Specialized have developed the frame from the ground up, revising the geometry and making it a whole kilogram lighter than its predecessor.
E-Mountainbike

Specialized Turbo Kenevo Geometry(Click to expand)

 

S2

S3

S4

S5

Crank length

165mm

165mm

165mm

165mm

Stem length

45mm

45mm

45mm

45mm

Seatpost length

369mm

429mm

429mm

429mm

Saddle width

143mm

143mm

143mm

143mm

Handlebar width

800mm

800mm

800mm

800mm

Reach

445mm

470mm

495mm

520mm

Top tube length, horizontal

585mm

612mm

639mm

666mm

Stack

605mm

614mm

623mm

632mm

Wheelbase

1234mm

1263mm

1293mm

1322mm

Chainstay length

454mm

454mm

454mm

454mm

Front centre

780mm

809mm

839mm

868mm

Bb drop

14mm

14mm

14mm

14mm

Bb height

345mm

345mm

345mm

345mm

Seat tube angle

77°

77°

77°

77°

Head tube angle

64°

64°

64°

64°

Seat tube length

400mm

420mm

440mm

465mm

Head tube length

105mm

115mm

125mm

135mm

Bike standover height

794mm

794mm

794mm

794mm

Fork rake/offset

42mm

42mm

42mm

42mm

Fork length, full

572mm

572mm

572mm

572mm

Trail

128mm

128mm

128mm

128mm


Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert coil shock

Suspension

Hard-hitting fork and shock

Riders have been running triple clamp forks on the old Kenevo, so Specialized decided to offer it as standard on the latest version, and for good reason.
MBR

The Kenevo offers 180mm of suspension travel front and rear. As with all Specialized full suspension bikes you get fully active FSR rear suspension. The rear end looks much like the Turbo Levo and Stumpjumper. But the Suspension kinematics have been tweaked to offer a more rearward axle path. Like the new Enduro, this means that the bike rolls over big hits more efficiently making it easier to go faster over the rough.

Both bikes have coil rear shocks. These give a better feel than most air shocks. Coil shocks deal with heat much better too, so you get consistent performance on those long hard descents. The Turbo Kenevo Comp has a Marzocchi Bomber CR shock with Z1 Bomber fork upfront. The Marzocchi Z1 is a standout performer combining Fox performance with classic MTB style.

The Kenevo Expert has RockShox Suspension with a Boxxer Select RC triple clamp fork. The Boxxer adds a little weight but the performance improvements make it a worthwhile trade-off. The stiffer front-end gives you more control on challenging terrain. This is especially noticeable under hard braking as well as in those hard-charging turns.

Specialized Turbo Kenevo Brose Turbo 2.1 motor

Drive Tech

Smooth, quiet power delivery

Like the Levo, the Turbo Kenevo is fitted with the latest custom-tuned Brose 2.1 motor. This is one of the most powerful and quietest on the market. It's now 15% smaller and 11% lighter than the series 1 motors fitted to the previous models. This boosts your natural pedalling power by up to 410% giving you a massive maximum torque of 90Nm making it easy shuttle up to the trailhead for the nest run. Once you hit top speed the double freewheel design disengages the gearbox for easier pedalling.

Rather than a display screen, the Kenevo uses a subtle button display that sits on the top tube. The Turbo Connect Unit (TCU) shows the remaining battery capacity as well as the current power mode. Changing the power mode is easy, either use the TCU or the neat remote switch that sits neatly on the handlebar. The remote allows you to change modes without taking your hands off the bars and is small enough to work next to the under-bar dropper post lever. As well as the Eco, Trail and Turbo power modes there is also a new Shuttle mode. This gives you full power with minimal effort, so you can spin up to the top of the hill with ease. Motor performance is customizable using the Mission Control smart Phone app.

The Kenevo Expert gets a massive 700Wh battery pack for taking on longer rides or getting in more bike park laps. The Comp model has a smaller, lighter 500Wh battery. This is the same as the biggest battery on the old model and is still plenty for most rides.

Power is nothing without control, and Specialized has mastered the art of squeezing the best possible performance out of the motor hardware.
Pinkbike

Specialized Turbo Kenevo SRAM GX drivetrain

Groupset

e bike specific gear shifters

However you want to classify it, the Turbo Kenevo wants you to skip the shuttle to ride to the top on your own, and is happiest in bike parks or on rowdy trails with lots of man-made jumps and drops.
Pinkbike

Rather than 12-speed Specialized have decided to go with the more robust 11-speed drivetrains. Combined with a single click shifter 11 speed copes better with the increased power that the electric motor delivers. The downside is that you don’t get such a wide range of gears, but with an extra 500 Watts of power on tap you really don’t need that 50t climbing gear. The Kenevo Comp gets SRAM NX while the Expert get slicker shifting GX.

Brakes are important on an e bike, especially when riding steep trails, so it’s great to see that both models have powerful stoppers. The four-piston SRAM Code brakes on both bikes are combined with 200mm rotors front and rear and are about as powerful as any brakes out there. Both bikes get the Specialized Command post dropper with a 160mm drop on every size except the S2. Being a Specialized you also get neat touches like the multi-tool attached to the bottle cage and a chain splitter hidden in the steerer tube.

Turbo Kenevo Componet Specifications(Click to expand)

 

Comp

Expert

Frame

M5 Premium Alloy

Motor

Brose Custom 2.1

Battery

500Wh

700Wh

Fork

Marzocchi Bomber Z1

RockShox Boxxer Select RC

Rear Shock

Marzocchi Bomber CR

RockShox Super Deluxe Coil Select

Handlebars

Specialized 800mm

Brakes

SRAM Code R

Drivetrain

SRAM NX 11-speed

SRAM GX 11-speed

Wheels

Roval 27.5" Alloy DH

Tyres

Specialized Butcher, BLCK DMND

Seatpost

Specialized Command Post

Price

£4,999.00

£6,999.00


Specialized Turbo Kenevo Roval DH 27.5 Wheels with Butcher tyres

Wheels

2.8” Butcher Tyres for more grip and float

Unlike the Turbo Levo, Specialized have decided to stick with 27.5” wheels on the Kenevo. As well as offering nimble handling his helps to avoid any unwanted tyre buzz on the steeps, especially if you’re not the tallest of riders. Both bikes get a Roval DH wheelset with 28mm wide rims. The DT Swiss internals ensure reliable running.

The 2.6” Specialized Butcher tyres have downhill tough sidewalls. These aggressive tyres will take all the punishment that you can throw at them and offer plenty of grip in all but the muddiest of conditions.

The Butcher corner knobs hold nicely in turns to rail with minimal drift and hold off-cambers with a solid locked on feel.
MBR

Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert

Best for

Bike park laps and gnarly trail riding

A seriously capable electric mountain bike the Turbo Kenevo is ideal for those who want more. While most eMTBs are aimed at standard trail riding this bike is happiest on more challenging trails. Whether it’s sessioning the black runs at the bike park or seeking out hand-cut enduro tracks the Kenevo is for those who like to push their limits. Push it on the descents without using up all your energy climbing back to the top of the hill.

Building on the success of the original Kenevo, Specialized have improved the performance of this hard-hitting ebike in almost every way. More powerful and more capable than before the Turbo Kenevo takes e biking to another level.

Specialized Turbo Kenevo frame detail Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert rear shock
Specialized Turbo Kenevo power TCU control display Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert front view with Boxxer forks
Specialized Turbo Kenevo SRAM Code brakes Specialized Turbo Kenevo battery charging point

Specialized Turbo Kenevo range models

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