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Specialized Turbo Levo SL Comp Carbon

Specialized Turbo Levo SL Review

Price:

£4,999.00- £10,999.00

Finance from:

£104.15/month (0% APR)

Specialized Turbo SL 1.1, 240W, 35Nm
320Wh with 160Wh range extender option
Carbon and alloy frame options
150mm suspension travel front and rear
29” wheels with 2.3” tyres
The lightest weight eMTB

Discipline:

Lightweight electric MTB

Weight:

18.0Kg ( 39.7lbs) *


Want some help up the hills but don’t want to compromise on handling when riding your favourite trails? The Specialized Turbo Levo SL could be the e bike you’ve been waiting for.

Updated: 4th February 2020

Overview

The Turbo Levo SL is a new lightweight electric mountain bike from Specialized. Aiming to make an ebike that has the nimble handling of a regular trail bike Specialized have shrunk the motor and battery. The Levo SLs are 4Kg lighter than the regular Turbo Levos. This takes away many of the negative points of an ebike, like cumbersome handling, while keeping the advantage of the power boost. These e bikes feel like trail bikes but are still nice and easy to pedal up the climbs.

The drive unit is so small and so well integrated that at first glance the Turbo Levo SL doesn’t look like an e bike at all. The same is true when riding one as the SL feels more like a Stumpjumper than a Levo when descending. You only realize you’re riding an ebike when you get that welcome boost as you turn the pedals and the motor kicks in. In this Specialized Turbo Levo SL review, we take a look at the four eMTBs in the range.

*Turbo Levo SL Expert Carbon - Size Large tested, with trail tool, without pedals

Specialized Turbo Levo SL Expert frame detail

Frame

No compromise trail bike geometry

There are two frame options available. The Turbo Levo SL Comp has an aluminium alloy frame while the rest of the bikes in the range have full carbon frames. The geometry of the two frames are almost identical. The M5 alloy bikes do have a slightly lower standover height and are available in an extra small size.

The carbon frames are made from the highest quality FACT 11m carbon fibre which is the same quality that you’ll find on an S-Works bike. Cable routing is internal, and the battery is fully enclosed in the downtube. You can remove the battery if you need to but it’s not as quick and easy as it is on a regular Levo.

The geometry of the Turbo Levo SL is closer to the Stumpjumper than it is to the regular Turbo Levo. In fact, the geometry of the carbon-framed bikes is identical to the Stumpy in every way except for the chainstays that are just 5mm longer. This is what gives the Levo SL its pure trail bike ride feel. Of course, there is no getting away from the fact that having a motor and battery in the frame will make a bike heavier. With the Levo SL this weight penalty is small and the low-slung nature of the extra mass means that it doesn’t compromise handling.

The Specialized Levo SL gets the best of both worlds, combining the agile and playful handling of the Stumpjumper on the way down with the perks of the Levo on the way up.
Enduro-mtb

Specialized Turbo Levo SL Geometry(Click to expand)

Turbo Levo SL – Carbon Frames

S

M

L

XL

Stack (mm)

606

606

633

647

Reach (mm)

415

435

455

480

Head-Tube Length (mm)

95

95

125

140

Head-Tube Angle (degrees)

66

66

66

66

B-B Height (mm)

348

348

348

348

B-B Drop (mm)

27

27

27

27

Trail (mm)

111

111

111

111

Fork Length (full) (mm)

560

560

560

560

Fork Rake/Offset (mm)

51

51

51

51

Front-Center (mm)

729

749

781

812

Chain-Stay Length (mm)

437

437

437

437

Wheelbase (mm)

1165

1185

1217

1248

Top-Tube Length (horizontal) (mm)

574

597

629

663

Bike Stand-Over Height (mm)

787

790

807

814

Seat-Tube Length (mm)

390

410

455

505

Seat-Tube Angle (degrees)

75.3

75

74.6

74.2

Crank Length (mm)

165

165

170

170

Handlebar Width (mm)

780

780

780

780

Stem Length (mm)

40

40

50

50

Saddle Width (mm)

155

143

143

143

Seatpost Length (mm)

375

438

438

478


Turbo Levo SL – Alloy Frames

XS

S

M

L

XL

Head Tube Angle (degrees)

66

66

66

66

66

BB Height (mm)

347

347

347

347

347

BB Drop (mm)

27

27

27

27

27

Trail (mm)

110

110

110

110

100

Fork Length, Full (mm)

560

560

560

560

560

Fork Rake/Offset (mm)

51

51

51

51

51

Front Centre (mm)

709

729

749

781

813

Chainstay Length (mm)

437

437

437

437

437

Wheelbase (mm)

1145

1165

1185

1217

1249

Top Tube Length, Horizontal (mm)

551

573

595

628

664

Bike Standover Height (mm)

767

771

774

789

789

Seat Tube Length (mm)

380

390

410

455

505

Seat Tube Angle (degrees)

75.6

75.4

75.2

74.7

74.2

Crank Length (mm)

165

165

165

170

170

Handlebar Width (mm)

750

780

780

780

780

Stem Length (mm)

45

45

45

45

45

Saddle Width (mm)

143

155

143

143

143

Seatpost Length (mm)

325

375

438

438

478


Specialized Turbo Levo SL Carbon Comp rear shock frame detail

Suspension

Custom Fox Shox

Bikes like the Levo SL will change mountain biking, just like disc brakes and suspension forks did a few years ago.
Enduro-mtb

The Turbo Levo SLs all offer 150mm of suspension travel front and rear. This is the same as the regular turbo Levo’s. As with all Specialized MTBs the FSR rear suspension system gives you confident and efficient performance. This system keeps on working even while you are pedalling and braking.

All the electric bikes in the range get a Fox Float DPS shock to control the rear. Most models have the Performance version. Its 3-position compression damping, for efficient trail riding. As you’d expect the S-Works bike gets the full Fox Factory treatment.

A Fox 34 Float fork takes care of suspension duties up front. This is a great performing fork that balances stiffness and lightweight perfectly for trail riding. The Levo SL is so lightweight it doesn’t need the extra stiffness of the Fox 36 fork that’s found on the regular Levo’s. The quality of the forks improve as you move up though the range. The Comp has a 34 Rhythm, the Expert a Performance Elite and the S-Works has a top-of-the-range Factory version.

Specialized Turbo Levo SL Turbo SL 1.1 motor charging port

Drive Tech

Less is More!

The compact Turbo SL 1.1 motor seems much more powerful than its diminutive size suggests, even though it puts out less than half of the maximum power of the regular Turbo Levo electric bike. This is because you don’t need so much power to move a lighter weight bike. The 240 Watts of power at a maximum 35Nm of torque effectively doubles your natural pedalling power. This is enough of a boost to get you up steep climbs while still holding a conversation. Do you need more power than this on an eMTB?

All the bikes in the range have the same 320Wh battery fitted. As the motor is less powerful and the bike lighter this gives you a much longer range than the same size battery would give you on most other ebikes. The range will depend on things like terrain, power mode and rider weight but you can expect an average of about 3.5-hours riding time. If you want to increase your range, you can use the bottle cage mounted range extender. This is included with the S-Works bike and is available as an accessory for all other models. Offering 160Wh of extra power this will extend your ride for another 2 hours or so.

As with Specialized’s other eMTBs the Turbo Connect unit is mounted on the top tube. This displays the remaining battery charge as well as the current power mode. The three different power modes: Eco, Trail and Turbo can be controlled through the TCU or the handlebar-mounted remote.

Using the Mission Control smartphone app, you can custom tune the Turbo Levo SLs power delivery in each mode. Another nice feature is that you can also control your range. Using the time or distance that you specify, the bike will control the power output to make sure that you’ll have enough battery capacity left to complete your ride.

“Revolutionary” is one of the most overused adjectives in our industry. However, we have to admit that in this case the new Specialized Levo SL probably deserves that description and might be the biggest and most important news of the year in the mountain bike sector.
E-Mountainbike

Specialized Turbo Levo SL

Groupset

SRAM Eagle 12 speed

To be able to ride up the hills with decent power, yet ride down them again on a bike that feels agile enough to be a normally-aspirated bike is incredible.
MBR

As the Turbo SL 1.1 motor delivers about half the power of the Turbo 2.1 motor there is no need for ebike-specific drivetrains. Most eMTBs use single-click shifters which protect the drivetrain from damage while shifting under full power. The Levo SL doesn’t put undue stress through the drivetrain, so you can use normal multi-click shifters.

All models in the Turbo Levo SL range use SRAM Eagle 12 speed drivetrains that offer reliable shifting with a wide range of gears. Both the comp models have NX Eagle moving up to GX Eagle on the Expert and slick-shifting XX1 Eagle on the S-Works bike.

Four-piston SRAM brakes take care of stopping duties. The Comp bikes have Guides while the Expert and S-Works have the new G2 brakes. A reliable X-fusion dropper post is fitted to most bikes with a size-specific drop. The XS bike has just 100mm drop which then moves up to 125mm on the Small, 150mm on the Medium & Large then 170mm on the XL bike. The S-Works bikes offer the same drop through a RockShox Reverb AXS wireless post.

Specialized Turbo Levo SL Component Specifications(Click to expand)

Turbo Levo SL

Comp

Comp Carbon

Expert

S-Works

Frame

M5 Alloy

FACT 11m Carbon

Motor

Turbo SL 1.1

Battery

320Wh

Fork

Fox 34 Rhythm

Fox 34 Performance Elite

Fox Factory 34

Rear Shock

Fox Performance DPS

Fox DPS Factory

Handlebars

Specialized Alloy 780mm

Specialized Carbon 780mm

Brakes

SRAM Guide R

SRAM G2 RSC

SRAM G2 Eagle Ultimate

Drivetrain

SRAM NX Eagle

SRAM GX Eagle

SRAM XX1 Eagle

Wheels

Roval Traverse 29

Roval Traverse Carbon

Roval Traverse SL Carbon

Tyres

Specialized GRID TRAIL -Butcher, front / Eliminator, rear

Seatpost

X-Fusion Manic

RockShox Reverb AXS

Price

£4,999.00

£5,999.00

£7,499.00

£10,999.00


Specialized Turbo Levo SL Comp Carbon 29 wheels with butcher and eliminator tyres

Wheels

29” wheels

All the Turbo Levo SL electric bikes roll on 29” Roval Traverse wheels with 30mm rims. These wheels are fast-rolling over all types of terrain and offer more grip than smaller wheels. The Comp bikes both have alloy rims with Specialized Hubs. The Expert and S-Works bikes have carbon rims with a DT Swiss rear hub.

The wheels are shod with fast-rolling 2.3” tyres. The Specialized Butcher on the front is combined with an Eliminator on the rear. This combination offers plenty of grip on hardpack trails also they also work alright on loose and even muddy tracks. While it is possible to fit a wider front tyre there is limited clearance on the rear for anything much wider than a 2.3”. The tyres feature GRID TRAIL casing which offers good sidewall protection. The wheels come with airtight rim tape ready fitted, so you just need a little sealant to set them up for tubeless running.

The best wheelsets are the ones that you don't notice, and the Traverse wheels fall squarely into that category. They're stiff and precise, but without going overboard
Pinkbike

Specialized Turbo Levo SL Expert Carbon

Best for

Lightweight and nimble e biking

Life is full of compromises and e biking is no exception. While most ebikes sacrifice nimble handling for raw power the Turbo Levo SL goes a long way towards redressing this imbalance. On fast, straight trails the extra weight and longer wheelbase of an e bike isn’t an issue, but this changes as soon as you introduce tight turns. Steep tech trails can be especially challenging on a regular ebike.

This is where the Levo SL comes into its own, direction changes are natural, and you don’t feel like you have a lot of weight on the brakes when the gradient drops. Descending on the Specialized Turbo Levo SL is much the same as it is on a normal trail bike.

If you want some help up the hills but don’t want to compromise on handling when riding your favourite trails, then the Specialized Turbo Levo SL is for you. The battery is small, but it promises enough capacity to get you round most trail loops easily. And there is the range extender option for those all-day-long adventures.

Specialized Turbo Levo SL Specialized Turbo Levo SL
Specialized Turbo Levo SL Specialized Turbo Levo SL
Specialized Turbo Levo SL Specialized Turbo Levo SL

Specialized Turbo Levo SL range models

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