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Specialized Turbo Levo Expert Carbon

Specialized Turbo Levo Review

Price:

£2,249.00 - £9,999.00

Finance from:

£93.71/month (0% APR)

Brose 2.1 power
500Wh & 700Wh battery options
150mm of travel front and rear
Carbon and alloy frame options
29” wheels with 2.6” tyres
Powerful SRAM four piston brakes

Discipline:

Electric MTB

Weight:

21.7Kg (48.4lbs)*


In terms of power delivery and quietness, the Levo is hard to beat.

Updated: 17th February 2020

Overview

Lighter, quieter and more powerful than its competitors the 2020 Turbo Levo continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible on an electric mountain bike. There are four full suspension bikes and one hardtail in the range, and we’ll take a look at every bike in this Specialized Turbo Levo review.

Aimed squarely at trail riders the handling strikes a great balance between nimble handling and stability. The pedal assist feels natural despite the masses of power on tap and the low-slung nature of the inevitable extra weight doesn’t take away from the ride feel when gravity takes over. These e bikes fun to ride both uphill and down.

*Specialized Turbo Levo Expert (700Wh battery) - Size Large tested, without pedals

Specialized Turbo Levo Expert Carbon frame detail

Frame

Neat integration for smoother lines

The Turbo Levo features the same Side Arm frame arrangement as the Stumpjumper. This single-sided design joins the top and seat tubes at the point where the shock and pivots join the frame. This makes the bike stiffer, especially when the suspension is compressed. There are both carbon fibre and aluminium alloy frame option available in the range and all bikes share the same dialled geometry.

Compared to the original Turbo Levo the chainstays of the new bikes are 4mm shorter thanks to the smaller motor. This makes these new e bikes more manoeuvrable in the tight (its sibling, the Turbo Levo SL has much shorter chainstays thanks to its much smaller motor). The increased reach - 25mm in size L – give the geometry a more modern feel. The 66° head angle is ideal for a trail MTB and the overall feel is well balanced.

The battery pack is fully enclosed within the downtube of the frame which makes the lines incredibly clean. If you want to charge the battery off-the-bike it is easy to remove. Just remove one allen bolt and slide it out of the bottom of the frame. The Turbo Connect Unit control button is positioned on the top tube where it is easy to see.

The weight saving, updated geometry, new motor, battery, electronics and the smooth integration of how all these parts communicate and work together really have made a bike that feels and rides like a traditional mountain bike which will powerfully assist you back to the top of the hill. Bike Radar

Specialized Turbo Levo Geometry(Click to expand)

 

S

M

L

XL

Crank length

165mm

165mm

165mm

165mm

Stem length

40mm

40mm

50mm

50mm

Seatpost length

369mm

429mm

429mm

429mm

Saddle width

155mm

143mm

143mm

143mm

Handlebar width

780mm

780mm

780mm

780mm

Reach

415mm

435mm

455mm

480mm

Top tube length, horizontal

577mm

600mm

631mm

664mm

Stack

606mm

606mm

634mm

647mm

Wheelbase

1182mm

1202mm

1235mm

1266mm

Chainstay length

455mm

455mm

455mm

455mm

Front center

729mm

749mm

781mm

812mm

Bb drop

27mm

27mm

27mm

27mm

Bb height

347.5mm

347.5mm

347.5mm

347.5mm

Seat tube angle

75.04°

74.79°

74.48°

74.14°

Head tube angle

66°

66°

66°

66°

Seat tube length

380mm

410mm

455mm

505mm

Head tube length

95mm

95mm

125mm

140mm

Bike standover height

760mm

760mm

781mm

787mm

Fork rake/offset

51mm

51mm

51mm

51mm

Fork length, full

560mm

560mm

560mm

560mm

Trail

111mm

111mm

111mm

111mm


Specialized Turbo Levo Expert Carbon Fox 36 fork

Suspension

Hard hitting suspension

This bike takes very little away from the fun of razzing along a sweet section of singletrack, or a technical descent, but lets you feast on lap after lap of the good stuff. It’s pure riding gluttony. MBR

While the 150mm of suspension travel remains the same as the MK2 Levo from last year, each bike now gets a beefier suspension fork up front. This helps to deal with the extra weight of the bike and helps with the confident feel by offering precise steering control. Starting with a 35 Gold on the base model moving up to the great performance of a Lyric on the Comp both the alloy framed bikes have RockShox suspension. Both the carbon framed bikes have a hard-hitting Fox 36 fork.

The FSR suspension system offers confident and efficient performance even while pedalling and braking. The custom tune on the rear shock offers more mid stroke support which makes the bike sit a little higher in its travel and stops you blowing through the travel too quickly. As with the forks the alloy framed bikes have a RockShox Deluxe while the Expert carbon and S-Works Turbo Levos have a Fox FLOAT DPS shock.

The extra weight of the motor actually helps to make the suspension work better than on regular mountain bikes. This makes the Levo’s feel incredibly planted and means that you can plough through rough sections of trail with much more confidence.

Specialized Turbo Levo Expert Carbon motor housing detail

Drive Tech

Quiet and powerful

The custom tuned Brose 2.1 motor fitted to the Turbo Levo is one of the most powerful and quietest on the market. It is now 15% smaller and 11% lighter than the one series motor fitted to the previous models. Engagement is instant and power delivery is smooth. Your natural pedalling power is amplified by up to 410% and you get a maximum torque of 90Nm. Once you hit top speed the double freewheel design disengages the gear box for easier pedalling.

The Turbo Connect Unit on the top tube shows the remaining battery capacity as well as the current power mode. You can change the power modes using the TCU or the neat remote switch that sits neatly on the handlebar. This is easy to use 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. You can customise the performance of the motor in each of the modes using the Mission Control smart Phone app.

The battery capacity is bigger than most of the competitions on most models. 500Wh is the smallest option which matches the capacity of most other brands. This is only fitted to the base level full sus bike. The Comp, Expert and S-Works models all now get the much bigger 700Wh battery. This increases your range by about 40%, so you can ride even more trails.

[the Brose motor] responds as naturally and smoothly as the Shimano STEPS unit, but packs the torque punch of the Bosch system, and is quieter than either. MBR

Specialized Turbo Levo Expert Carbon SRAM X1 drivetrain

Groupset

Single click e bike shifters

The one-click gear shifting worked well, and there was never any crunching of the gears even under hard pedalling with the motor throwing out more power than my legs. Bike Radar

All the Turbo Levos have a one-by 11-speed SRAM drivetrain, starting with NX and moving up through GX on the Comp to X1 on the Expert and XX1 on the S-Works. Most mountain bikes now have 12-speed drivetrains but Specialized has decided to stick with more durable 11-speed. With the extra power of the electric motor this is all the gears that you need. The e bike specific shifters are all limited to one click at a time which helps keep the drivetrain running sweetly when shifting under power.

Brakes are important on an ebike, so each Turbo Levo has SRAM brakes with four piston callipers and large 200mm rotors. The Specialized finishing kit is all good quality and you get an integrated trail tool that is hidden in the steerer tube of the fork on most models.

Specialized Turbo Levo Component Specifications(Click to expand)

 

Levo Hardtail

Levo

Levo Comp

Expert Carbon

S-Works

Frame

M5 Alloy

FACT 9m Carbon

FACT 11m Carbon

Motor

Brose 1.2

Specialized / Brose 2.1

Battery

400Wh

500Wh

700Wh

Fork

Suntour XCM 32

RockShox 35

RockShox Lyric Select RC

Fox 36 Performance

Fox 36 Factory

Rear Shock

NA

RockShox Deluxe Select

RockShox Deluxe Select

Fox Float DPS

Fox Float DPS Factory

Handlebars

Specialized Trail

Specialized Carbon

Brakes

Shimano MT200

SRAM Level T

SRAM Guide RE

SRAM Code R

SRAM Code RSC

Drivetrain

Shimano Alivio 9-speed

SRAM NX 11-speed

SRAM GX 11-speed

SRAM X1 11-speed

SRAM XX1 11-speed

Wheels

Specialized XC 29

Roval Traverse 29

Roval Traverse SL Carbon 29

Tyres

Specialized Ground Control

Specialized Butcher (front) / Eliminator (rear)

Seatpost

Rigid

Tranz X Dropper

X Fusion Manic dropper

Command Post IRcc

RockShox Reverb AXS

Price

£2,249.00

£4,249.00

£5,499.00

£7,249.00

£9,999.00


Specialized Turbo Levo Expert Carbon 29er wheels

Wheels

29" Wheels

All the Turbo Levos now roll on 29” wheels, with wide 2.6” Butcher tyres. This gives you plenty of grip while still being fast rolling on rough terrain. You can still fit 650b+ wheels with 2.8” or 3” tyres, but the 29” hoops with wide tyres offer similar levels of grip without that vague feeling that plus size tyres sometimes offer.

All the bikes are fitted with Roval Traverse wheels with wide 30mm rims. These give plenty of support for the wide 2.6” tyres especially when running low tyre pressures. The S-Works bike has carbon rims while the others have alloy. All the wheels are ready taped and are supplied with valves which makes tubeless setup nice and easy.

With 29″ wheels, a powerful but smoothly operating motor and more battery capacity, the Specialized Levo takes a leap ahead of the competition. E-MountainBike

Specialized Turbo Levo Expert Carbon in the forest

Best for

Riding more trails

The original Turbo Levo changed the way that we think about electric mountain bikes, and these new e bikes take things to the next level. In terms of power delivery and quietness the Levo is hard to beat. The extra weight of the drive unit is positioned low down on the bike which makes the bike very stable. Combined with the dialled angles this gives you a confident ride on challenging terrain. The Turbo Levo is incredibly fun to ride and will encourage you to do more.

Specialized have their own competitor for the Turbo Levo in its lightweight sibling the Turbo Levo SL. This bike offers the same amount of suspension travel with similar geometry but features a much lighter weight drive unit. This means you get a bike that handles more like a regular trail bike but gives you less of a boost up the hills. This is an ebike for those who think that genuine trail bike handling is more important than having the most powerful motor.

While the Specialized Turbo Levo, especially the S-Works model, is arguably the best trail eMTB currently on the market, it does come with quite a price tag. More affordable options include the new Giant Trance E+ Pro that also features a nice integrated drive design, or a staff favourite, the Merida EOne sixty with the very compact Shimano motor. If you like riding more challenging downhill and enduro trails then take a look at the Specialized Turbo Kenevo.

Specialized Turbo Levo Expert Carbon Fox 36 fork detail Specialized Turbo Levo Expert Carbon Fox shock and side arm detail
Specialized Turbo Levo Expert Carbon TCU and swat Specialized Turbo Levo Expert Carbon side arm frame detail
Specialized Turbo Levo Expert Carbon SRAM X1 mech adn casette Specialized Turbo Levo Expert Carbon SRAM Code brakes

Specialized Turbo Levo range models

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