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Specialized Hillbilly und Butcher
Specialized Hillbilly und Butcher - beide in fetten 29" x 2,6
Specialized Levo mit schnellen 29"-Laufrädern
Specialized Levo mit schnellen 29"-Laufrädern - vorne Hillbilly und hinten Butcher in stattlichen 2,6
Specialized Levo mit breiten Butcher-Reifen in 27,5" Plus
Specialized Levo mit breiten Butcher-Reifen in 27,5" Plus
Specialized Levo 29er EHF 6676
Specialized Levo 29er EHF 6676
Specialized Levo 29er EHF 6686
Specialized Levo 29er EHF 6686
Specialized Levo 29er EHF 6680
Specialized Levo 29er EHF 6680
Specialized Levo 29er EHF 6679
Specialized Levo 29er EHF 6679
Specialized Levo 29er EHF 6670
Specialized Levo 29er EHF 6670
Specialized Levo 29er EHF 6672
Specialized Levo 29er EHF 6672
Mit den 29"-Laufrädern wird es eng
Mit den 29"-Laufrädern wird es eng - aber der Platz ist noch immer ausreichend
Am Hinterbau bleibt auch für ...
Am Hinterbau bleibt auch für ...
... Matsch noch genug Platz
... Matsch noch genug Platz
Vorne Hillbilly, hinten Butcher
Vorne Hillbilly, hinten Butcher - einfach die perfekte Kombi

This post is also available in: deDeutsch

29” Specialized Turbo Levo on test: get ready guys, dreams are about to come true. 2.6” 29er tyres on the Levo – now that’s crazy! Precise like a Swiss watch movement and able to carve like a Japanese blade. We swapped the 27.5” + tyres for large 29” rubber. We take a look at how that changes things here.

Specialized Hillbilly and Butcher
# Specialized Hillbilly and Butcher - both in 29” x 2.6

Specialized Levo Carbon with 29” Wheels

The Levo transforms into a flying E-Enduro steed

We chose a Specialized Turbo Levo FSR Expert Carbon 6Fattie for our test bike, and equipped this with a new wheelset. For this we chose the Roval Traverse Fattie 29 29 wheels, with boost front and 148mm hub at the back. We know that these wheels are good performers – a suitable choice for our test. The tyres are a particular treat and we couldn’t wait to get out on them. A Specialized Butcher out back and a Hillbilly up front, both 2.6” wide. A match made in heaven?

Specialized Turbo Levo with fast rolling 29” wheels
# Specialized Turbo Levo with fast rolling 29” wheels - Hillbilly up front, Butcher at the back
Specialized Turbo Levo with large 27.5” + Butcher tyres
# Specialized Turbo Levo with large 27.5” + Butcher tyres

29” Wheel Pros

  • Stable handling at high speeds
  • Lower rolling resistance
  • Better able to roll over obstacles

29” Wheel Cons

  • Can be a bit a cumbersome in the corners

27.5” + Wheel Pros

  • Good grip on loose ground
  • Lots of cushioning

27.5” + Wheel Cons

  • Spongy and vague feeling handling

You can find our detailed test of the Turbo Levo Carbon here.

Specialized Hillbilly GRID 2BR – the ideal front tyre

Specialized Levo 29er EHF 6676
# Specialized Levo 29er EHF 6676
Specialized Levo 29er EHF 6686
# Specialized Levo 29er EHF 6686
Specialized Levo 29er EHF 6680
# Specialized Levo 29er EHF 6680
Specialized Levo 29er EHF 6679
# Specialized Levo 29er EHF 6679
  • Dimensions: 29” x 2.6”
  • GRID carcass – stiffer and more stable sidewalls (23% more cut-resistant versus the Control version)
  • Gripton compound – middle tread 50a, outside tread 42a
  • 2Bliss Ready (tubeless ready)
  • Folding bead
  • Improved vibration damping
  • Weight: 1010g (claimed weight)
  • Price: € 49.90

Specialized Butcher GRID 2BR – rear-tyre with grip

Specialized Levo 29er EHF 6670
# Specialized Levo 29er EHF 6670
Specialized Levo 29er EHF 6672
# Specialized Levo 29er EHF 6672
  • Measurement: 29” x 2.6”
  • GRID carcass – stiffer and more stable sidewalls (23% more cut-resistant versus the Control version)
  • Gripton compound – middle tread 50a, outside tread 42a
  • 60 TPI
  • 2Bliss Ready (tubeless ready)
  • Folding bead
  • Improved vibration damping
  • Angled centre tread
  • Weight: 975g (claimed weight)
  • Price: € 49.90

Fat 29” tyres – rolling reality?

Our impression on the Levo – precise and fast!

We all know that bigger tyres roll better and in our testing we’ve found the E-Bikes climb better with them. However, the ramps and sections we’ve managed to get up still surprises us. The steepest slopes stop being scary and suddenly even the hardest trails become possible uphill. We love it!

Clearance are a little tighter with the 29” wheels
# Clearance are a little tighter with the 29” wheels - but there’s still enough space left
At the back…
# At the back…
…there’s still adequate mud clearance
# …there’s still adequate mud clearance

Hillbilly front and Butcher rear
# Hillbilly front and Butcher rear - a perfect combination

And how does the eMTB handle on tight downhill trails with the 29er wheels? We have only positive things to say. Yes, the wheels are a little more sluggish, but with a little practice you can overcome this and take corners at higher speeds. On rough trails the large wheels can’t be stopped. They just keep on rolling, holding their line and crushing all the obstacles in their path.

Wheel Size Comparison

Turbo Levo with 29” Wheels: Weight: 22.1kg / Pedal height: 17cm / Ground clearance (motor height): 28cm

Turbo Levo with 27.5” Wheels: Weight: 22.7kg / Pedal height: 14cm / Ground clearance (motor height): 25cm

The ground clearance with the larger wheels grows by about 3cm. In practice this means that the 29” wheels don’t only roll over the trails more smoothly, but that the obstacles can also be a little higher. It’s when you’re pedalling that the 3cm additional clearance may make the difference of striking that nasty, concealed rock or not.

Opinion @eMTB-News.de

This is how it should be! Large wheels roll better and faster. As far as we are concerned the combination of 29” x 2.6” Specialized Hillbilly and Butcher, front and rear, is currently the ideal combination to make your Levo faster and more precise. The large wheels make the Levo feel more secure on the trail, they roll better over obstacles, feel calmer, steer easily around the tightest corners and stay planted for longer on steep slopes.

Of course there are a few considerations to make sure 29” wheels will be manageable. Smaller riders may be better served by 27.5” wheels, and on tight trails you will require a bit more strength to steer the 29” wheels exactly where you want to go.

If you like your Specialized Turbo Levo with 275” Plus tyres, then try it with 29” wheels and you might just fall in love.

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 E-Bike capabilities:

  • Tight uphill trails with roots, rocks and loam
  • Flat trails with small climbing sections
  • Fast and flowing downhills
  • Long, loose trails downhill

E-Bikes are subjected to our route multiple times to allow us to draw our conclusions.

We tested the Specialized Turbo Levo 29″ here:

  • LOCATION: Trail-riding around Bamberg in Germany. The riding provides narrow and tight trails with rooty, rocky sections, switchbacks, bikepark runs, rough rockgardens, steep technical uphills as well as flowing downhill sections.

Tester profile Rico Haase

Expand tester profile

  • Name: Rico Haase
  • Height: 183 cm
  • Weight (with riding-gear): 90 kg
  • Inside leg: 86 cm
  • Arm length: 61 cm
  • Torso: 62 cm
  • Riding style: flowing and playful
  • Preferred riding: E-Enduro, E-Trailbike, but also XC, DH and Road
  • Preferred suspensions: firm and reactive – I like feedback from the trail
  • Preferred geometry: long reach, short stem, wide bars

What do you think? Do you ride 27.5” Plus or 29” on your E-Bike?


More Information

Website: www.specialized.com
Text & Edit: Rico Haase, Benedict Pfender | eMTB-News.de
Images: Rico Haase

This post is also available in: deDeutsch

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