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Specialized Turbo Levo Range Review

Specialized Turbo Levo Review

Price:

£4,000.00 - £9,999.00

Finance from:

£83.34/month (0% APR)

Average Customer Rating:
  • Quiet motor
  • More power than most
  • Fully integrated design
  • 700Wh battery pack only on top models
  • No dropper post on base model
  • Only two women’s models

Discipline:

Electric MTB

Usage:

The power to ride more trails

Weight:

23.09Kg (51 lbs) *


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.

Updated: 21st November 2018

Continuing to push the boundaries of the electric mountain bike, the Specialized Turbo Levo FSR we review here has been completely redesigned for 2019. The motor, battery, control system and frame are all new and there are tangible performance improvements everywhere.

Specialized’s Turbo Levo range includes hardtail and full suspension e MTBs, with both unisex and women’s specific models available. With the FSR full sus e bikes, you can choose between Carbon fibre composite and aluminium alloy frames. Each model features the same new Brose motor that is more powerful than ever but still much quieter than the competition. The custom battery pack now sits completely enclosed in the downtube.

*Turbo Levo Carbon Comp - Size Large tested, without pedals

Specialized Turbo Levo Carbon Comp

Frame

Neat integration for smoother lines

The Turbo Levo frame now features the same Side Arm 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.

The chainstays of the Turbo Levo are 4mm shorter than the previous models thanks to the smaller motor. This makes the new Levo more manoeuvrable in the tight. 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 remains unchanged.

The battery pack is now 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 now 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 Carbon Comp frame detail

Suspension

Custom tuned 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

Both the unisex and women’s bikes now get 150mm of suspension travel front and rear. 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.

The Comp Carbon and the S-Works are fitted with Fox forks and shocks while the other bikes all get RockShox. While the suspension numbers remain the same, the forks get beefier as you move up through the range offering more hard-hitting performance. The S-Works bikes get a Fox 36 which offers enduro levels of performance. The other bikes have more trail-oriented forks: the Comp Carbon gets a Fox 34 while the Expert has a RockShox Pike and the alloy Comp has a RockShox Revelation.

Specialized Turbo Levo Turbo Connect control button

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 using the Mission Control smart Phone app.

The battery capacity has been increased too. 500Wh is now the smallest option which matches the capacity of most other brands. The Expert and S-Works models now get a much bigger 700Wh battery. This increases your range, 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 Carbon Comp SRAM drivetrain

Groupset

One click levers

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 eleven 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. For an ebike this is all the gears that you need. The 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 Carbon Comp 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 Carbon Comp

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. The dialled angles offer a confident ride on challenging terrain.

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 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 Carbon Comp remote buttons Specialized Turbo Levo Carbon Comp SRAM Guide RE brakes
Specialized Turbo Levo Carbon Comp frame detail Specialized Turbo Levo Carbon Comp dropper post
Specialized Turbo Levo Carbon Comp SWAT trail tool Specialized Turbo Levo Carbon Comp Specialized Butcher tyre

Specialized Turbo Levo range models

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