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Specialized has presented the brand new Turbo Levo and we had the chance to take it out for a first test in Croatia. What can the updated E-Mountainbike with a Brose Drive S Mag motor, large 700 Wh battery, beautiful carbon frame and the 150mm suspension do? We find out.
On Test: Specialized Turbo Levo Expert FSR
Vive la revolution!
Specialized has presented its new products or 2019 and as part of the launch we had the opportunity to test the new Turbo Levo out in the wild. A first glance confirmed that the new bike is more than just some updated components and a bigger battery. If you know the team around Specialized’s Jan Talavasek, then you’ll know they don’t do things by half measures! That’s also the case with the new Turbo Levo. The most noticeable change is the suspension design, especially around the shock mount and seat tube. Similar to the Specialized Stumpjumper, the rear end is constructed asymmetrically and is intended to provide the rear with an extra measure of performance and capability.
The carbon frame is light — on the scale our test bike weighed in at just over 21kg — and incredibly well finished. The paint job is as high quality as you would expect. The suspension for this model comes from RockShox. There’s a Pike RC fork up front and a Deluxe RT3 shock at the back, both furnishing the E-Bike with 150 mm travel. The 11-speed drivetrain is managed with SRAM X01 gearing and a single-click shifter. The advantage of limiting shifts to one gear at a time is reduced wear and tear on the chain and cassette. That’s why all Turbo Levos in the range are now equipped with such a shifter. Braking is taken care of by the capable SRAM Code R with 200 mm rotors. The updated 34.9 mm Command Post dropper now has 160 mm of travel available to use.
The motor — designated “Specialized Custom 2.1” ‚ is actually the new Brose Drive S Mag which was presented in July 2018. This offers higher peak performance and can also output that when riding at higher cadences. That’s of particular use to the more performance oriented riders out there.
It’s interesting to see that the Turbo Levo is equipped with 29” wheels. The wide rims are shod in 2.6” Specialized Butcher tyres with sturdy GRID casing.
For more information about the Turbo Levo range you can visit the Specialized website here.
This model will cost € 7.999 | Bikemarkt: Specialized Turbo Levo Expert FSR kaufen
Available sizes: S, M, L, XL
Measured standover: 785 mm (Size L)
Weight: 21,1 kg (Size L)
You can find the geometry below
|Gabellänge, gesamt (mm)||560||560||560||560|
|Gabelbiegung / Offset (mm)||51||51||51||51|
|Mitte Tretlager - Mitte V.-achse (mm)||729||749||781||812|
|Oberrohrlänge horizontal (mm)||577||600||631||664|
|Länge Sattelstütze (mm)||130||160||160||160|
|Frame||Rahmen||FACT 9m Carbon w/ M5 alloy rear triangle, 29 Trail Geometry, Integrated down tube battery, enclosed internal cable, Command
Post routing, 148 mm spacing, fully sealed cartridge bearings, 150 mm of travel
|Fork||Gabel||RockShox Pike RC29, 150 mm of travel|
|Shock||Dämpfer||RockShox Deluxe RT3 w/ custom valve, 150 mm of travel|
|Shifter||Schalthebel||SRAM S700, single-click lever|
|Derailleur||Schaltwerk||SRAM X1, 11-speed|
|Cassette||Kassette||SRAM XG-1175, 11-speed, 10-42t|
|Cranks||Kurbel||Praxis, 2D cold-forged alloy, custom offset, 165 mm|
|Brakes||Bremse||SRAM Code R, 4-piston caliper, hydraulic disc, 200mm|
|Rims||Felgen||Roval Traverse 29, hookless alloy, 29 mm inner width, tubeless ready, 28h|
|Tires||Reifen||Butcher, GRID casing, GRIPTON® compound, 2Bliss Ready, 29x2.6"|
|Hub front||Nabe vorne||Specialized, sealed cartridge bearings, 15 x 110mm spacing, 28h|
|Hub rear||Nabe hinten||DT Swiss 360, 3-pawl design, SRAM XD driver body, 12 mm thru-axle, 148mm spacing, 28h|
|Seat||Sattel||Body Geometry Phenom Comp, hollow Cr-Mo rails, 143 mm|
|Seatpost||Sattelstütze||Specialized Command Post 34,9 mm, 130 mm of travel (Size: S), 160 mm of travel (Sizes: M, L, XL)|
|Bar||Lenker||Specialized Trail, 7050 alloy, 8-degree backsweep, 6-degree upsweep, 27 mm rise, 780 mm, 31,8 mm clamp|
|Stem||Vorbau||Specialized Trail, forged alloy, 4-bolt, 6-degree, S/M 40 mm / L/XL 50 mm|
|Motor||Motor||Specialized 2.1, custom Rx Trail-tuned|
|Battery||Akku||Turbo M2-700, fully integrated w/ rock guard, 700 Wh|
|Price (RRP)||Preis (UVP)||7.999 € (UVP)|
Motor & Battery
Wow, now there’s a party!
At the heart of the new Specialized Turbo Levo is the motor, dubbed “Specialized 2.1”. It’s actually the new Brose Drive S Mag, which features a lightweight magnesium housing and assistance up to 410%. Thanks to the new material and a reconfiguring of the structure the new motor saves 500 g compared with the Brose Drive S Alu, improves heat management and so can offer more power. On steep sections of trail, where the old motor used to struggle, the new motor pushes stoically onwards. Cadences between 90 and 110 rpm aren’t any problem at all, making the motor especially suited to sportier riders. The motor is a little louder than the previous generation, but doesn’t really cause any annoyance whilst out riding.
The slim battery offers a 700 Wh capacity and has been completely integrated into the down tube. It can be removed from the bottom of the down tube, by pulling it towards the bottom bracket. The narrow dimensions coupled with the multiple cells result in a very long battery — if you’re used to carrying a spare with you then you may be disappointed as it won’t fit in any E-Bike rucksack that we know of.
Specialized sticks with its smart remote which is mounted on the left of the bars. The four buttons are ergonomically placed and intuitive to use — there’s no need for anything else! We particularly like the “Turbo button”, marked with an S. One press and you’ll have all the power of the motor at your disposal, which a direct switch into Turbo mode.
The optional display shows you all the information you might need during your ride. Power, assistance mode, battery level, distance covered and with an ANT+ heart rate monitor you’ll be able to monitor your heart rate too.
- Motor: Specialized Custom 2.1 / Brose Drive S Mag
- Battery: 700 Wh
- Power: max. 250 Watt
- Torque: max. 90 Nm
- Display: Specialized
On the Trail
This motor really wants to get going!
Huge amounts of power plus a perfect position makes for a climbing champion. The new Specialized Turbo Levo powers up the hills like there’s no tomorrow. Steep ramps — easy! Tight, technical switchback — boring! On this eMTB we manage the hardest uphill challenges without any problems at all. Shift your weight a little and it’s no problem to lift the front wheel over obstacles. The 2.6” Butcher tyres offer plenty of traction on loose ground and should be perfect for riding most of the year.
Specialized decided — against the current trend — to fit an 11-speed SRAM drivetrain. The advantage is less weight and well spaced gears. Thank to the one-click trigger shifter ,the gears are easy to change even when under load, all without significantly reducing the lifespan of chain or cassette.
A push assist is also available and can be very useful on steep and challenging terrain, if you ever end up needing to lug the E-Bike up the hill.
Wow! It just stays stuck to the trail
On steep and fast downhills it immediately becomes clear that the new geometry (reach 455 mm, stack 634 mm in a Size L) has improved the ride characteristics of the new E-Bike. The new Turbo Levo is longer, slacker and can be ridden a lot faster. The RockShox Pike RC and RockShox Deluxe RT3 shock offer 150 mm travel front and rear and keep the Levo stuck to the trail. The suspension offers a lot of pop and results in an agile E-Mountainbike that will appeal to dynamic and engaged riders.
SRAM Code brakes with 200 mm rotors offer reliable braking power and even in the most taxing moments offer good modulation, preventing any unintended forays into the bushes.
The large 29” wheels roll easily and with a lot of composure over bumps and obstacles, but do require a little more steering input. The tidy cockpit is a little lower than the previous model and the wide bars offer a lot of control.
It doesn’t matter where you are on the trail, be it narrow, technical sections or wide flowing motorways, it’s easy to feel the improvements made to the Turbo Levo. The new carbon frame transmits your pedalling input straight into moving you forwards. The agile handling is a result of well thought-out geometry and the light weight of the E-Bike. It doesn’t take long to feel at home and you’ll be able to dispatch technical sections smoothly and with a lot of enjoyment. This E-Mountainbike is a trail-rider of the highest calibre. Yes, tight corners require a little more attention due to the 29” wheels, but it remains an incredibly capable E-Bike. The smart motor also allows for pedalling at higher speeds above 25 km/h with pleasure. In all honesty, this motor is stunning. And regarding the question of whether the new Specialized Turbo Levo is an E-Trailbike or E-Enduro we can answer quite easily: it’s both!
- Motor bolts get very hot on warm days – after the first long uphill section on this E-Bike we had noticed that the area around the motor gets quite warm – on that day we had up to 40°C/104°F. When we then brushed our calf against the motor bolts by accident there was a momentary cry of pain. Heat management is crucial for a motor, but perhaps not like this. We would recommend that Specialized protects the bolt heads with plastic covers to prevent anyone getting burnt.
eMTB-News Summary: Specialized Turbo Levo Expert FSR
Vive la revolution! The new Specialized Turbo Levo is a veritable revolution. The new Levo is longer and sportier, the position requires you to ride the bike rather than sit on top of it, the reach has grown, the cockpit is lower and you’ve got 150 mm travel available that will see you through anything you encounter. Product design, battery integration and looks are absolutely class leading.
The new Brose motor has plenty of power but remains true to the original natural feeling of its predecessor — smooth, predictable, quiet and powerful. This makes this eMTB an absolute climbing king, even in the steepest uphill sections.
If you’re looking for a lightweight E-Mountainbike and want to ride it aggressively along your trails you’ll find the perfect partner with the Specialized Turbo Levo. Thumbs up for this sensational E-Trailbike. P.S. it’s quite a beaut, isn’t it?
- Light and agile
- Brillian suspension
- Visionary design
- Powerful motor
- Long charging times
- Motor bolts get very hot in use
Well, which Levo do you prefer? Generation 1 or Generation 2?
About the test
On our test runs we usually stay in the highest assistance mode and drain the battery completely at least once. We then publish our results on our Strava account.
Our loop has everything we need to test what our E-bikes are capable of:
- Tight uphill trails with roots, rocks and loam
- Flat trails with small climbing sections
- Fast and flowing downhills
- Long gravel trails up- and downhill
E-bikes are subjected to our route multiple times to allow us to draw our conclusions.
We tested the Specialized Turbo Levo Expert FSR here:
- On the trails around Rabac and Grožnjan in Croatia. The riding provides narrow, tight and unpredictable trails with technical rooty, rocky sections, steep and technical uphills as well as flowing downhills.
This post is also available in: Deutsch
I ride everything: E-Enduro, E-Trailbikes, hardtails, downhill, road – I enjoy it all, whether it’s E-assisted or not. I’ll admit that I do quite like having a motor on the uphills though. There’s lots to love about flowing trails; natural or built. The only thing I hate – switchbacks.
- Fahrstil / Riding style
- Verspielt und flowig / Flowing and playful
- Ich fahre hauptsächlich / I mainly ride
- E-Enduro, E-Trailbike, aber auch XCO, DH und Road / E-Enduro, E-Trailbike but also XCO, DH and road
- Vorlieben beim Fahrwerk / Preferred suspension setup
- Straff und schnell – ich möchte wissen, was unter mir passiert / Firm and reactive – I like feedback from the trail
- Vorlieben bei der Geometrie / Preferred geometry
- Langer Reach, kurzer Vorbau, breiter Lenker / Long reach, short stem, wide bars
This post is also available in: Deutsch
Specialized Turbo Levo Expert FSR summary
Specialized Turbo Levo Expert FSR
- 0 to 120 mm Travel (Hardtails and Full-Suspension)
- 100 to 150 mm Travel (Hardtails and Full-Suspension)
- 120 to 150 mm Travel (Full-Suspension)
- 150 to 180 mm Travel (Full-Suspension)
- more than 180 mm Travel (Full-Suspension)
- Das hier angegebene Gewicht ist die Summe aus den Einzelgewichten (E-Bike, Fahrer, Rucksack usw.), welches bei unserem Reichweitentest zum Einsatz kam.
This post is also available in: Deutsch