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Fließende Formen, mehr Federweg und Updates am Motor beim neuen Levo
Fließende Formen, mehr Federweg und Updates am Motor beim neuen Levo
Endlich kommt das Levo mit Bedieneinheit am Lenker
Endlich kommt das Levo mit Bedieneinheit am Lenker - um die verschiedenen Powerlevel einfacher auswählen zu können
Da im Unterrohr kein Platz für die SWAT-Garage ist, findet das Mini-Tool im Steuerrohr Platz
Da im Unterrohr kein Platz für die SWAT-Garage ist, findet das Mini-Tool im Steuerrohr Platz
Schmälere 2,8" Butcher Reifen sollen für mehr Traktion sorgen
Schmälere 2,8" Butcher Reifen sollen für mehr Traktion sorgen
Der Motor ist schön integriert
Der Motor ist schön integriert
Das Topmodell verfügt über ein komplettes Öhlins-Fahrwerk
Das Topmodell verfügt über ein komplettes Öhlins-Fahrwerk
Stolz präsentiert sich das Specialized Levo mit Carbon-Chassis
Stolz präsentiert sich das Specialized Levo mit Carbon-Chassis
Ausstattung S-Works 29/27,5+
Ausstattung S-Works 29/27,5+ - Preis: € 9999.-
Ausstattung Expert Carbon 29/27,5+
Ausstattung Expert Carbon 29/27,5+ - Preis: 7.299,- EURO
Ausstattung Comp Carbon 29/27,5+
Ausstattung Comp Carbon 29/27,5+ - Preis 5.999.- EURO
Ausstattung Comp Alu 29/27,5+
Ausstattung Comp Alu 29/27,5+ - Preis 5.199,- EURO
Ausstattung ShortTravel Comp 29
Ausstattung ShortTravel Comp 29 - Preis 5.199,- EURO
Ausstattung ShortTravel FSR 29
Ausstattung ShortTravel FSR 29 - Preis 5.199,- EURO
Das passt wie der Deckel auf den Topf
Das passt wie der Deckel auf den Topf
Der Brose-Motor besticht mit konstanter Kraftentfaltung und Geräuschlosigkeit
Der Brose-Motor besticht mit konstanter Kraftentfaltung und Geräuschlosigkeit
Das Öhlins-Fahrwerk fühlt sich im ersten Eindruck potent an
Das Öhlins-Fahrwerk fühlt sich im ersten Eindruck potent an
Das Specialized Levo liegt satt auf dem Trail, mag es aber auch gerne luftig
Das Specialized Levo liegt satt auf dem Trail, mag es aber auch gerne luftig
Mit dem neuen Levo Carbon gelingt Specialized ein sehr gutes eMTB weiter zu verbessern
Mit dem neuen Levo Carbon gelingt Specialized ein sehr gutes eMTB weiter zu verbessern

This post is also available in: deDeutsch

We’ve tested the Specialized Turbo Levo Carbon: The sexiest eBike around goes carbon. The Levo features a new carbon frame as well as motor and software updates. Keep reading to find out more about the changes and updates made on the Levo Carbon for 2018. We’ve got all the details as well as our first ride impressions.

Sleek silhouette, more travel and motor updates on the new Specialized Turbo Levo Carbon. Prices start at 5.199 EUR
# Sleek silhouette, more travel and motor updates on the new Specialized Turbo Levo Carbon. Prices start at 5.199 EUR

Specialized Turbo Levo Carbon – In Brief

The Turbo Levo Carbon is firmly aimed at mountain bikers. The motor, high volume tires and 150 mm of travel make this a versatile machine capable of riding everything from your regular loop on the trails to more challenging terrain.

  • Hardware and software updates
  • Lighter frameset
  • Four sizes available
  • Aluminium and carbon versions available
  • ST Version with 120 mm travel
  • Rolls on both 29”/27.5″ + wheels
  • Travel: 150 mm (+10 mm)

Specialized Turbo Levo Carbo – Product Profile

  • 27.5”+ wheel size
  • 150 mm travel front and rear
  • 30.9 mm seatpost
  • Boost wheels
  • Brose Turbo 1.3 motor
  • Brose battery
  • Post Mount brakes
  • Carbon or aluminium frame
  • Tapered steerer
  • Prices from € 5199,-

Frame Details

The biggest update for the Levo is the frame, with carbon the material of choice. Specialized are proud about their design, with the open downtube (for the battery) having caused some engineering headaches. Nonetheless the updated frame is both lighter and stiffer than the previous model. Specialized have managed to save half a kilo in the main triangle and 150g in the rear triangle. Aside from the S-Works bike, the carbon frame will be used for two other models in the range.

The full-build weight difference versus the older model is not quite so pronounced. Instead Specialized have decided to spec more robust components in key areas: for example, using heavier tires to improve overall performance.

The new Levo is finally fitted with a motor control unit on the handlebars
# The new Levo is finally fitted with a motor control unit on the handlebars - this lets you choose the different power levels more easily
There’s no space in the downtube for the SWAT Technology, so there’s space in the steerer tube instead
# There’s no space in the downtube for the SWAT Technology, so there’s space in the steerer tube instead
Narrower 2.8” Butcher tires should provide more traction
# Narrower 2.8” Butcher tires should provide more traction
The motor is nicely integrated into the frame
# The motor is nicely integrated into the frame
The S-Works model has a full complement of Öhlins suspension
# The S-Works model has a full complement of Öhlins suspension

The interface between motor and frame has been further optimised. To improve thermal performance, Specialized have used “Thermal Pads” for better heat-transfer from the motor to the aluminium motor mounts. These will also be used on the aluminium frames for thermal management. Software updates also aim to improve performance here. As a result, the motor should run more efficiently, also extending the range you can get from the batteries. With the higher efficiency less heat generation in the motor should reduce instances where it overheats (at 85 degrees) and cuts-out. The control software also modifies power delivery, meaning uneven pedalling will result in a smoother output from the motor.

The bike is fitted with the new Turbo 1.3 motor, which is updated with more powerful magnets and new electronics, giving a 15% boost in power. Above 25 km/h the motor should disengage completely, meaning you’re not fighting any inherent motor resistance. Finally, because the system measures your power input anyway, it can also function as a power meter and in turn can be used for training.

The Specialized Levo carbon presents itself very well
# The Specialized Levo carbon presents itself very well

Turbo Levo now with power remote on handlebar

With the original models you could only change the power mode on the display by the battery. Now a handlebar-mounted unit makes changes significantly easier. A minimal, display-less unit with three buttons lets you easily change power mode. The buttons are comfortably positioned and fans of uncluttered cockpits will breathe a sigh of relief. Because the device runs on the ANT+ protocol, it’s possible to pair with a Garmin or similar device and display all the information as you need.

Geometry

LEVO FSR MEN
Seat Tube Length, Center to Top (mm)396435468520
Top Tube Length (Horizontal) (mm)554581611644
BB Drop (mm)18181818
BB Height (mm)340340340340
Chainstay Length (mm)459459459459
Seat Tube Angle - Actual (deg)69696969
Seat Tube Angle - Effective (deg)74.273.973.673.3
Head Tube Angle (deg)66.166.166.166.1
Wheelbase (mm)1157118512151250
Standover Height (mm)753762772780
Head Tube Length (mm)95100130150
Stack (mm)598603630649
Reach (mm)386411430456
Handlebar Width (mm)780780780780
Stem Length (mm)50606060
Saddle Width (mm)143143143143
Seatpost Length (mm)380420420420
Crank Length (mm)165165165165

Please expand for short travel version geometry

SIZESMLXL
Seat Tube Length, Center to Top (mm)396435468520
Top Tube Length (Horizontal) (mm)552.6577612647
BB Drop (mm)28282828
BB Height (mm)345345345345
Chainstay Length (mm)459459459459
Seat Tube Angle - Actual (deg)70.970.270.270.2
Seat Tube Angle - Effective (deg)75.47574.874.4
Head Tube Angle (deg)67.467.467.467.4
Wheelbase (mm)1146117412041238
Standover Height (mm)757767775781
Head Tube Length (mm)95100130150
Stack (mm)589594621639
Reach (mm)399424443469
Handlebar Width (mm)780780780780
Stem Length (mm)45606060
Saddle Width (mm)143143143143
Seatpost Length (mm)350350400400
Crank Length (mm)165165165165

Components

Specialized are using both ebike specific and non-specific components on their builds. The brakes are a heavy duty 4-pot numbers with 200 mm rotors and sintered pads, whilst the drivetrain uses fairly standard mountain bike components. The only exception here is a new gear shifter from SRAM, which only allows one gear shift at a time. This aims to reduce excessive crosschaining and large gear jumps and should help prolong the life of the chain

Tires have also changed for this year. The 2.8” tires are 0.2” narrower and therefore lower volume. However, they should offer more traction. To keep the same geometry travel has increased by 10mm to 150mm.

For the S-Works and Expert models, Specialized will be using a Öhlins fork with updated damping. The air spring remains the same. The Comp models will be fitted with Revelation forks and Monarch RT shock.

One further interesting feature is the integration of SWAT technology in the 2018 Levo. On the S-Works, the steerer conceals a multi-tool, whilst on the Comp models, a chaintool and spare links sit below the top cap.

Please expand for full details on the different models
Specs S-Works 29/27,5+
# Specs S-Works 29/27,5+ - Price: € 9999
Specs Expert Carbon 29/27,5+
# Specs Expert Carbon 29/27,5+ - Price: € 7299
Specs Comp Carbon 29/27,5+
# Specs Comp Carbon 29/27,5+ - Price: € 5999
Specs Comp Alu 29/27,5+
# Specs Comp Alu 29/27,5+ - Price: € 5199
Specs ShortTravel Comp 29
# Specs ShortTravel Comp 29 - Price: € 5199
Ausstattung ShortTravel FSR 29
# Ausstattung ShortTravel FSR 29 - Preis 5.199,- EURO

tSpecialized Turbo Levo Carbon – Hands On

During our first encounter, the Levo had already convinced us that it deserves the title of “Sexiest eBike alive”. Just like its predecessor it is well finished, nicely put together and looks very attractive. The neatly integrated cables, lack of an intrusive display and the familiar looks of a Camber/Stumpjumper create a very positive impression.

Specialized Turbo Levo Carbon – On the Trail

Just like our tests with the non-power assisted Specialized Epic 2018, we gave this bike a proper thrashing in the bikepark. Along with these usual trails, we also be tested on a technical XC loop. How will the motor deal with technical ascents and has the handling really been improved over the last model?

The Levo in its element
# The Levo in its element

We spent some time setting up the bikes before heading off. This was quick on the rear using the autosag feature on the Öhlins shock and I just had to spend some extra time matching the setup on the forks. I also moved the saddle back slightly to give myself some more cockpit space. The position on the Levo is not particularly stretched out – instead you sit centrally and upright.

Uphill

Our day begins on Trail 11 – Greenhorn. However, it’s a slightly unusual situation – instead of warming-up on the way down the easiest trail in the bike park, we’re pedalling up it. The first few steep sections pose no problems for the motor and we blast our way uphill. Because of the speed I’m carrying I have a play on the banks of the trail – the bike maintains its traction very well. It’s slightly weird railing corners on the way up, but no problems so far! The first real challenge comes up; a steep, loose and gravelly ramp – the bike just soldiers on, only really trying to lift the front once on a particularly steep section. There’s nothing quite as challenging left on the rest of the way up and we have the chance to test the power modes of the motor and how it reacts to different pedalling cadences. The Specialized motor is much improved in comparison to the series Brose motor. On stock models the motor can often feel a little bit temperamental. On the Levo Carbon the assistance is predictable and consistent throughout.

The Brose motor provides consistent power delivery and noiseless operation
# The Brose motor provides consistent power delivery and noiseless operation
The Öhlins suspension feels very composed
# The Öhlins suspension feels very composed

Hitting the natural trails of the XC-Loop the bike is given some further challenges. This terrain demands that you think ahead and anticipate your gear changes. As long as you keep moving and have assistance from the motor most sections are easily surmountable. However, if you misjudge it and get stuck it takes a bit of effort to get the heavy bike moving again before the motor assistance kicks in. The technical sections with rocks conveniently placed at pedal-height require concentration, good line choice and fast thinking on gear selection. However, if you don’t make it through, the walk mode is a boon, though compared with the strong walk assist on Shimano motors, the Levo can’t quite keep up. It does make the job a bit easier on gentler inclines though.

We do further test runs using the lowest assistance setting and pedalling at a low cadence to stain the motor and push the new heat management system. It didn’t cut out once during all of our testing. The motor also remains pleasantly quiet in all modes. The suspension is on the stiff side – our initial setup with 20 % sag was not hugely comfortable. This is much improved by increasing the sag by 5 %. However, keep in mind that with the higher average speed of an e-bike, you need to be careful not to run too much sag to avoid bottoming out the suspension too frequently.

Downhill

On the natural trails of the XC-loop, the Levo feels like you could ride it in your sleep. The new Gripton tyre compound gives good grip whilst the sturdier casing gives a stable and planted feel on the trail. The Levo takes edges, roots and the rough stuff in its stride, though techniques like manuals are a bit more difficult to pull off. The centre of gravity of the bike is a lot further forward than usual due to the added weight of the battery. Trying to get the front wheel off the ground means you’re always fighting against that weight to some extent.

However, this shift in weight means there’s a decent amount of traction in the front. Long and low isn’t absolutely essential, meaning the bike lets you adopt a comfortable riding position. The chainstays are the same as the previous model at 459mm which helps with the overall balance of the bike. When things get loose the neutral steering means things stay under control.

On the Comp Carbon model whilst we like the slightly stiffer suspension, it does loose some of its small bump sensitivity. This is noticeably improved on the S-Works with Öhlins suspension. It is very active and plush but still provides enough support on the big hits meaning it soaks up more of the trail and you end up less tired at the end of the day.

The Specialized Levo feels planted on the trail, is happy to get some air as well though
# The Specialized Levo feels planted on the trail, is happy to get some air as well though

As mentioned during the Epic test: riding an XC bike in a bike park is a thorough test of its capabilities. How would the eBike fare though? After spending some time on the natural trails it was time to test the Levo at higher speeds on varying surfaces. The stable feeling Levo really encourages you to stay off the brakes. This is also helped by the plus-tires – the high traction and way they conform to the trail means they’re forgiving of mistakes. Letting it rip on easier trails the Levo really shines. On rougher terrain it gets a bit more challenging. The weight of the bike means a bit more effort is needed to lift the front wheel over ruts and holes to keep your line. The weight of the battery and motor mean the bike is noticeably less chuckable.

The tires also reach their limits in the bike park. Whilst the grip remains very good even over hard ground, at high speeds and low air pressures the tires start to collapse and lead to vague feeling steering.

Tuning

If you’re planning to ride on hard ground or in the bike park it would be sensible to fit different tires. The plus-tires were quite obviously the limiting factor for me. Downhill tires would improve the handling and lead to more precise steering.

Durability

Whilst we spent a limited amount of time on the bike, we didn’t notice any issues in our time on it.

Conclusion – Specialized Turbo Levo Carbon

With the new Specialized Levo Carbon 2018 the Californian brand has created a well thought out and impressive package. The Levo Carbon feels most at home on moderate natural trails, where it really shows it strengths. It won us over with its stable handling and forgiving ride. The motor update has also moved the bike a step forward – we never felt it was out of its depth and it didn’t run out of power or ever overheat. Bonus point: the Levo motor is extremely quiet in use.

Pros

  • Confident and consistent motor
  • Stable ride and handling
  • Öhlins S-Works suspension

Cons

  • Not completely comfortable on high-speed, rough trails
  • Stock tires on hard ground
With the new Levo, Specialized have taken a good eMTB and made it better
# With the new Levo, Specialized have taken a good eMTB and made it better

About The Test

We had chance to test both the S-Works model as well as the cheaper Comp Carbon.
We tested the Specialized Turbo Levo Carbon here:

  • Mountain Creek: rocky, technical XC-loop, bike-park trails

Testerprofile

Expand for tester profile

Christoph Spath

  • Name: Christoph Spath
  • Height: 190 cm
  • Weight: 65 kg
  • Weight (with riding-gear): 70 kg
  • Inside leg: 94 cm
  • Arm length: 60 cm
  • Torso: 49 cm
  • Riding style:Fast both up- and downhill, smooth, rarely over the limit
  • Preferred riding:From dirt jumps, trail and enduro to downhill, preferably fast and on rough terrain.
  • Preferred suspension:A lot of low speed compression damping, front stiffer than the rear, the rear with more progression
  • Preferred geometry: long and slack, short stays,

To give you the best possible reviews of the bikes we test, we have various testers ride them. Along with the named testers, we also get opinions from riders with varying abilities, weight, size and riding preferences. By gathering all this information, we make sure that we are able to get a detailed and unbiased impression of our test-bikes

What do you think of the Specialied Levo Carbon? Do you think it looks as good as we do?

 


More Information on the Specialized Turbo Levo Carbon

Website: www.specialized.com
Text & Edit: Christoph Spath | Benedict Pfender – MTB-News.de 2017
Photos: Colin Belisle, Alex Quesada

Turbo Levo FSR Carbon – Steckbrief

Einsatzbereich
XC: 5/10 – Trail: 8/10 – All-Mountain: 9/10 – Enduro: 5/10 – Downhill: 3/10
Motor + Akku
Brose
Akkukapazität
504 Wh
Uphill
9/10
schlecht
super
Downhill
7/10
schlecht
super
Temperament
5/10
verspielt
laufruhig
Erklärung der Einsatzbereiche
XC:
0 bis 120 mm Federweg (Hardtails und Full-Suspension)
Trail:
100 bis 150 mm Federweg (Hardtails und Full-Suspension)
All-Mountain:
120 bis 150 mm Federweg (Full-Suspension)
Enduro:
150 bis 180 mm Federweg (Full-Suspension)
Downhill:
über 180 mm Federweg (Full-Suspension)
Version:
2018

Autor:
Wertung:
5
Datum: 4. August 2017
Aktualisiert: 11. August 2017

Fazit:

With the new Specialized Levo Carbon 2018 the Californian brand has created a well thought out and impressive package. The Levo Carbon feels most at home on moderate natural trails, where it really shows it strengths. It won us over with its stable handling and forgiving ride. The motor update has also moved the bike a step forward – we never felt it was out of its depth and it didn’t run out of power or ever overheat. Bonus point: the Levo motor is extremely quiet in use.

This post is also available in: deDeutsch

About The Author

Chris Spath

Christoph Spath, Baujahr 1994, Vollblut-Fahrradfahrer. Vom Bahn- bis zum Downhillrad – Chris nutzt das komplette Spektrum, was es an Fahrrädern so gibt und ergründet bei MTB-News unter anderem Zusammenhänge aus Fahrwerk und Geometrie. Wenn es dabei einige Meter Luft unter den Reifen hat, ist ihm das umso lieber.

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