Introducing the all-new 2019 Specialized Turbo Levo

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2019 Specialized Turbo Levo

Introducing the all-new 2019 Specialized Turbo Levo

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THE POWER TO RIDE MORE TRAILS

The all-new 2019 Specialized Turbo Levo is a ground-up redesign of a bike that doesn’t just set the bar for e-mountain bikes—it embodies it. And for the record, that’s saying a hell of a lot. Now, it takes everything that Specialized have learned from the latest Stumpjumper development and incorporates it into a slimmer, stiffer, more playful, and incredibly capable chassis.

Specialized cleaved kilos from the chassis and motor. In the process, they made their lightest and best handling full-suspension, e-mountain bike to date. From there, Specialized designed an all-new Technology System for the 2019 Levo that boosts the bike’s range by a staggering 40%, so riders now have the power to ride more trails than ever before.

Finally, Specialized put more control, adjustability, and connectivity at your fingertips with a handlebar-mounted remote control, a sleek top tube display (TCU), and a totally redesigned, intuitive Mission Control app that provides an unrivalled ability to personalise your Levo’s performance.

 

We just raised the bar. Again. – Specialized Bicycles

A DIFFERENT WAY OF DOING THINGS

Specialized built a trail riding brain trust in Cham, Switzerland. And along the way, they created a different way of doing things.

Picture 19 mechanical and software engineers from 6 different countries—a crusty United Nations of dirt addicts that are designing completely unique and innovative components after, and only after, they’ve first dreamed up an amazing frame.  They started with the chassis, because the bike needed to be nimble. It needed to be fun. It needed to inspire you to ditch your responsibilities and go chase the longest, most epic rides possible.

When those are your goals, you don’t buy parts off the shelf and cobble a frame together around them. Instead, you flip the bird to the status quo and design a trail-hugging, corner schralping chassis first. And only then do you engineer the smoothest, most silent, intuitive, and powerful technology system available.

 

This is not the easy path to awesome.

Specialized’s accounting department grumbles a lot. And they get it—it’s hard to reach the engineering staff for Monday morning meetings when they’re, yet again, off conducting “Der Singletrack Research” somewhere in the Swiss alps. But it is how they build the best bikes in the world.

It’s how they built this 2019 Turbo Levo.


THE RIDE COMES FIRST

Specialized spent more than three years designing today’s Stumpjumper, and then we took everything we learned and crafted a new, purpose-built Levo chassis.

The result is a stiffer, lower-slung Levo that’s even easier to manoeuvre in technical terrain.

they’ve also optimised weight distribution for a lower centre of gravity and a nimbler, more planted feel.

Here’s what Specialized themselves have to say:

ROWDY DESCENTS? STEEP CLIMBS? HELL. YES.

Taking nods from the Stumpjumper, the Levo is a fully progressive trail bike. We’ve lengthened the  reach,  kept  the  chainstays  nice and short, and maintained a  low  centre  of  gravity.  Next, we slackened the head angle for more confident descents and steepened the seat angle to improve climbing efficiency. We’ve also added a Flip Chip, so you can adjust your bottom bracket height and head angle in mere minutes. It’s dialled.

STIFFER, MORE PRECISE, AND MUCH LIGHTER

The Levo’s sidearm design directly connects all three mounting points of the rear-end and shock to the frame, and this significantly increases both stiffness and performance over bumps. To be more specific, we’ve minimized frame flex when the rear suspension is active, so you get more precise handling in the  rough. On top of that, we’ve carved away massive chunks of weight with a magnesium-bodied Specialized 2.1 motor that’s 400 grams lighter (and more powerful) and an innovative and direct motor-to-frame mounting system that saves an additional 400 grams.

Put it this way—the new carbon S-Works frame drops 800 grams. Even more impressive, our new alloy Levo frame weighs less than the original, full-carbon S-Works Turbo Levo frame.

You’re looking at, quite possibly, the lightest full-suspension e-mountain bike to ever touch dirt.

MORE CONTROL—UP AND DOWN THE TRAIL

We fine-tuned the new Turbo Levo’s suspension design. The initial travel is supple—perfect for smoothing out small bumps and trail chatter. We also added more mid-stroke support, too, so you can push your feet into the travel during descents and feel consistent support. There’s no wallowing about or blowing through your 150 millimetres of suspension travel on big hits  and drops.

The extra mid-stroke support also helps when you’re climbing  by keeping the bike from sinking into its rear travel when the  trail points skyward and your weight shifts rearward.

And finally, our in-house suspension team custom tunes the shock on every Levo to perfectly match the bike’s kinematics. We call this Rx Tune, and it increases your control on the trail.

THE SMOOTHEST, QUIETEST, AND MOST POWERFUL MOTOR

Our goal was to create the smoothest, quietest, and most powerful motor out there, and to do that, we designed the entire system.  Our  new   magnesium-bodied   Specialized   2.1   motor is directly mounted to the frame, and it’s not only significantly both lighter and 15% smaller than its predecessor, but it’s also more efficient and powerful. This amplifies your input by 410%, while the new motor provides up to 560 watts of  pedal-assist and 90 Nm of torque with absolutely zero awkward surges in power. The 2.1 motor features a proven belt drive design and an integrated speedometer and power meter that measures speed and pedalling effort—all while precisely calculating power output.

What’s more, our engineers in Switzerland spent years coming  up with the Levo’s motor software, which is essentially the brain that powers this 2.1 motor. And the result is something that’s exclusive to the Turbo Levo—a motor that provides an incredibly smooth and natural boost to your own pedalling efforts.

Or to be slightly less geeky about all this: You feel connected…in complete control.

It’s You, Only Faster

 

 

MORE MILES FROM EVERY CHARGE

Using the most advanced lithium-ion technology,  we’ve increased battery capacity by 40% (700 watt-hours on S-Works and Expert Carbon models), while integrating that capacity into a significantly smaller down tube.

Out on the trail, the all-new Levo gives you more miles from every full charge.

We’ve also created a durable housing to protect the battery, and we strategically placed the cells to provide the Levo with an ideal weight distribution for even better handling. Finally, the Battery Management System (BMS)  regulates  battery  health,  protects it from overcharging (or under voltage), and  ensures  that  you get as many miles as possible during the life of your battery and maximum battery lifetime.

NEVER STRANDED

Depending on the mode you’re using, and the nature of the terrain, you can expect the Levo’s new M2-series battery to last between one and five hours. You never have to worry, however, about suddenly getting caught on the trail without enough power to charge your way home. The Smart Control feature, available in our Mission Control App, lets you set the Levo’s power assist to last for either the duration of your ride or until you reach a defined point. What’s more, the Levo’s battery status is always on view with both the new Turbo Connect Unit and the optional handlebar- mounted Turbo Connect Display (available aftermarket).

 

CUSTOMISE YOUR RIDE

This Turbo is even smarter and better connected than before. In the centre of the top tube, you’ll find our Turbo Connect Unit that connects the bike, via ANT+ and Bluetooth®, to both the outside world and our Mission Control App. Speaking of which, we’ve added features and made Mission Control more intuitive. You can easily customise motor characteristics, monitor your power use, control your range, perform basic system diagnoses, record and upload rides—and that’s just for starters. New to the app is our Shuttle Mode feature, which takes the sting out of long, painful climbs by giving you maximum motor support with less effort at the pedals. It’s perfect for the days when you want a fun and fast shuttle to the top.


SUPER-CHARGED FACTS:

 

  1. The new Turbo Levo frame closely resembles the latest Stumpjumper—what makes it different?

The main differences between the Levo’s Sidearm frame and the Stumpjumper’s are the following: The Levo frame has a battery  integrated into the down tube. It also mounts a motor to  the  bottom bracket,  needs to  smartly route  additional cables through the  frame, and it features a big cutout in the top tube to hold the Turbo Connect Unit (Specialized TCU).

 

Besides those differences, the Turbo Levo frame resembles the Stumpjumper’s design and concept, and it shares all of  its  related benefits.

 

  1. What’s better on the new Specialized 2.1 motor?

First of all, we made the new Specialized 2.1 motor significantly lighter. By making the motor housing out  of  full-magnesium  and  mounting the motor directly to the frame, we were able to cut a tremendous 800 grams of weight. 400 of those grams come from eliminating the motor mount bridge, while the remaining 400 grams come from weight savings on the actual motor (the new  motor  weight is 3kg).

 

Our new 2.1 motor is also 15% smaller than the previous generation, while still being more efficient and even more powerful. It now amplifies the rider input by 410% (1.3 motor: 380%), providing up to 560 watts and 90 Nm of torque.

 

In short: Our new 2.1 motor is better across the board, while still featuring time-proven technologies like a belt-drive and an integrated speedometer/power meter that measures speed and pedalling effort to precisely calculate power output.

 

  1. How much lighter/smaller is the new 2.1 motor than the 1.3 model on previous Levo’s?

The new 2.1 motor is  400  grams  lighter than  its  predecessor, yet  it’s more  powerful, efficient, and  15%  more  compact. The  majority of the weight savings can be chalked up to the lighter, full-magnesium motor housing and the elimination of the motor mount bridge.

 

  1. How much weight did you cut by going to the new direct motor mount?

Since we eliminated the motor mount bridge and  are  directly attaching the  motor to  the  frame, the  direct motor-to-frame mounting  cuts another 400 grams out of the bike.

 

  1. How were you able to make the new motor mount a reality?

We first designed the Turbo Levo chassis to give riders the best possible trail riding experience, then  we  codesigned  the  motor- mounting system with the manufacturer of our motors, who also helped to shape the motor specifically to  the  Levo’s  chassis design.  This ground-up approach enabled us to entirely remove the motor-to-frame adaptor that was featured on the first-generation Levo  models, while still ensuring the best possible frame geometry.

 

  1. How much lighter is the new Levo chassis compared to its predecessor?

Shaving as much weight as possible was one of our main goals, because a lighter bike feels nimbler on the trail  and  also uses less  battery power. This also helps to give you more range.

 

We shaved weight everywhere on the bike, and this included both the frame and the motor. The  result  is  a  bike  that’s  almost  2  kilograms lighter than the previous generation.

 

The new Sidearm frame delivers an unrivalled stiffness-to-weight ratio, and the frame weight on the S-Works iteration drops by an impressive 800 grams.

 

Even more impressive, our new Levo Alloy frame is lighter than the previous generation’s full-carbon S-Works frame.

 

  1. Which Levo’s get the 700Wh batteries and which get the 500Wh batteries?

S-Works and Expert Levo models come equipped with 700-watt-hour Specialized M2-700 battery, the rest of the line gets the 500Wh version (M2-500). The M2-700 battery will be available aftermarket and can be put on the other Levo models.

 

  1. Can you upgrade the first-generation Levos with the new 700Wh battery?

No. The M2-series batteries have a completely different form factor since they were purposefully built for the all-new Turbo Levo. Therefore, the battery can’t be used on the first generation Levo bikes.

 

  1. How do you remove the battery on the new Turbo Levo?

During the development of the bike and the Technology System, it was important to us that the  battery of  the  Turbo  Levo  remained readily accessible, so riders could have the option to easily remove it. On the new Levo, the battery slides in and out of the down tube         at the motor area. And due to the length of the battery, it’s recommended to put the bike either on its side, upside-down, or in a bike repair stand to remove the battery.

 

 

  1. What’s the range difference between the 700- and 500-watt batteries?

The 700Wh battery provides 40% more range, but ultimately, the range depends many factors, such as mode selection, riding profile, rider input, rider weight, etc.

 

  1. How can you get the most range out of each battery charge?

There are several options to get more range out of your bike, one being that you adjust the settings of your assist modes (the support & peak power). You  can do this under “Tune” in our Mission Control App. Another option is to generally ride in a lower assist mode. Also,  you can use the Smart Control feature of the Mission Control App to determine how long or far you want to go? The app then ensures that you’re getting the right amount of assistance to bring you there with the given battery charge.

 

The range can also be increased by changing the way of riding: Being in a small gear when starting from zero and riding in a cadence range of 80 RPM or above will also drastically improve the range.

 

  1. You say the new batteries offer 40% more range than the previous battery, but what does that amount to in actual kilometres/miles?

As mentioned earlier, the actual range in km/miles depends on a wide range of variables and can’t be answered with a single estimate of kilometres or miles. But we also understand why people ask that question—they usually want to know, “How am I going to make sure  that I don’t actually run out of battery power and motor support in  the  middle of  my  ride?”  That’s  an  excellent question, to  which we have an excellent answer: The all-new Levo is equipped with our  Smart Control feature, which eliminates the  risk of  you  ever  running out of power in the middle of a ride.

 

With Smart Control, you can set a duration or distance you’d like to ride and your Levo will automatically regulate the power output for you through a smart algorithm that’s seamlessly operating at all times. Simply relax, enjoy your trails, and don’t worry about remaining battery capacity. You won’t run out.

 

  1. You list the available runtime on the battery as being between 1 and 5 hours. That’s an exceptionally broad range, so what’s the story there?

There’s no single answer to this particular question, as the total hours of pedalling assistance that you’ll get out a single battery charge will naturally vary based on the steepness of your terrain and the amount of “assist,” or motor support that you choose to use.

 

For instance, let’s say that you’re using the maximum amount of pedal-assist on  the  steepest possible trail—that kind  of  motor support will draw more heavily on the battery’s cells than a medium amount of pedal assistance on rolling terrain and that, in turn, will give you more hours of riding from a single charge.

 

The good news is that the new Turbo  Levo  is  equipped with our  Smart Control feature, which eliminates the  risk of  you  ever  running out of power in the middle of a ride.

 

With Smart Control, you can set a duration or distance you’d like to ride and your Levo will automatically regulate the power output for    you through a smart algorithm that’s seamlessly operating at all times. Simply relax, enjoy your trails, and don’t worry about remaining battery capacity. You won’t run out.

 

  1. How do you charge the battery?

You can charge the battery either on or off of the bike. If you want to charge the battery on the bike, there’s a charge port at the bottom bracket area of the frame where you simply plug-in the charger cable. The battery is easily removable, though, so you can take it with       you and charge it off the bike from wherever you want.

 

  1. Can you also charge the battery when it’s removed from the bike?

Yes. The new M2-series battery is completely integrated into the frame, and it’s easily removed should you want to swap batteries or charge the battery off of the bike.

 

  1. Can you swap batteries out on the trail?

The new M2-series battery is completely integrated into the frame, but it’s easily removable if you want to swap batteries. So, yep—it’s possible. That said, this battery doesn’t exactly fit in the palm of  your  hand, so  you’re  going to  need a  pretty  large  hydration  pack  to  tote a spare around with you.

 

When  people usually ask  this question, they’re  asking because they’re  concerned about running out  of  battery power  during a  ride. We understand, and that’s why the new  Levo  is  equipped with our  Smart Control feature that  eliminates the  risk of  you  ever  running out of power in the middle of a ride.

 

With Smart Control, you can set a duration or distance you’d like to ride and your Levo will automatically regulate the power output for you through a smart algorithm that’s seamlessly operating at all times. Simply relax, enjoy your trails, and don’t worry about remaining battery capacity. You won’t run out.

 

  1. Isn’t the Specialized 2.1 motor the same thing as the new Brose S Mag that other brands are also planning to use? How is it different?

Yes and no. While we developed the new 2.1 motor hardware together with Brose, we develop the motor software on our own, which is what actually shapes how the motor behaves on the trail. We spent years figuring out how a motor should feel in an actual trail setting,  and the result is that the 2.1 motor has a uniquely smooth and natural ride quality to it. There are no awkward lags or surges in power.

 

Think of it this way: The motor is like the legs of an e-mountain bike, but how those legs work is a function of your brain. We’ve built a better, smarter brain. On top of that, we also allow riders to fully customize their motor and its behaviour through our unique tuning opportunities (Infinite Tune) in the Mission Control App.

 

  1. Can I retrofit the new motor or battery to an earlier Levo model?

The new motor and battery are specifically designed to work together and  fit  precisely into the  new  Sidearm frame  and  down  tube of the new-generation Turbo Levo. Consequently, they are incompatible with previous Turbo Levo generations.

 

  1. On first-generation Turbo Levos, the battery was the “brain” of the bike. What’s the brain of the all-new Levo?

The Specialized Turbo Connect Unit (TCU) is the brain of the all-new Levo. The TCU is always in view, right there at the center of your        top tube. The TCU gives you an overview on your battery level (each LED represents 10% of your battery charge), shows you the motor-assist level you’re pedaling with, allows you to change modes, and it also turns your bike on or off.

 

The TCU also connects your Turbo Levo to our Mission Control App via Bluetooth® or  ANT+ and  links you  to  any  third-party ANT+  device. And finally, the TCU can also connect you to our  new  Turbo  Connect (TCD)  handlebar display,  providing you  with all  of  your  ride and bike data at a glance from your handlebars.

 

  1. What’s so great about the Specialized Mission Control App?

Our Mission Control App provides riders with full control over their Turbo Levo. It allows you to fully customize the motor settings to the personal needs & preferences, diagnose the bike and extract a report, record/save/analyze rides, upload rides to  third-party platforms, and even get control over your range via our Smart Control feature.

 

  1. Which operating systems does the Mission Control App support?

Our updated Mission Control App is still supporting iOS and Android operating systems.

 

You simply have to go to either the Google Play or Apple App Store, search for Specialized Mission Control, download the app, and  register yourself. Once you’ve done that, you’re set to get more out of your Turbo Levo.

 

  1. What kind of improvements have been made to the Mission Control App?

We developed our Mission Control App completely from scratch, and it now comes with a bunch of exciting improvements. First and foremost, we designed a completely new user interface for  the  app,  which is  more  intuitive to  navigate through. We’ve  also added  new features into the app, like the “Stealth Mode” that allows you to turn off the LED lights on the TCU (if preferred), or the “Shuttle    Mode” that lets you access maximum power output with less pedalling force (if desired). And last but not least, we made the app more  stable and reliable.

 

  1. What’s so great about the “Shuttle Mode” feature and how does it work?

One of the key new features of our Mission Control App is the new Shuttle Mode. This feature gives you maximum power output with less required pedalling force. It’s perfect for those days when you’re looking for a fast shuttle to the top of the mountain.

 

The higher the setting for Shuttle Mode is, the easier it is to get full motor power  in  your  selected mode. The  settings for  the  Shuttle Mode can be adjusted within the Mission Control App, and the default setting is zero.

 

  1. How does Infinite Tune work?

Our  Infinite Tune  feature allows you  to  adjust motor peak power  separately from  the  motor support, and  vice versa. This  gives you  the opportunity to fully customize the three modes to your personal preferences since they can now determine all variables-per-mode individually. We also allow you to basically adjust those settings on-the-fly: Infinite Tune is embedded in the “Tune”  section of  our  Mission Control App and can be easily adjusted via sliders.

 

We recommend that riders start with the following settings and then adjust their settings based on their individual needs  and  preferences:

Turbo: 100% (Support) / 100% (Peak Power) Trail: 35% / 100%

Eco: 35% / 35%.

 

 

  1. Is the Specialized Turbo Connect Display (TCD) also retrofittable to older Turbo bikes?

Yes. The Specialized TCD handlebar display is retrofittable to all existing Turbo bikes in the field and will be available aftermarket.

 

  1. How can I synch my Specialized TCD to my Turbo Levo?

That’s super easy and intuitive. You simply turn on the bike, keep the left button pressed for five seconds, and then go through a short pairing process. When the display is connected to a bike, it always  automatically reconnects to  your  bike  until it  is  proactively paired with a different bike.

 

  1. Your website says the bike will come with 29×2.6” tires. Can I also fit 27.5+ wheel/tire combos on the new Turbo Levo? We’ve built the Turbo Levo around 29-inch wheels, since this delivers the best combination of speed, precision, and flotation over obstacles. But if you want, 27.5-inch wheels with 2.8-inch-wide tires will fit without adversely affecting the bike’s geometry.

 

  1. What is the maximum 27.5+ tyre size that will fit on the new Turbo Levo?

We recommend a maximum 27.5+ tyre size of 27.5 x 2.8”, but theoretically, the bike is capable to even fit 3.0” tyres.

 

  1. Why did you choose to only offer this with 29er wheels when, in the past, you offered “6Fattie” versions of the Turbo Levo?

The Levo plays nice with 27.5+ wheels and tyres, but after years of test-riding various tyre and wheel combinations on or second-

generation Levo mules, we simply preferred the ride quality (the speed, precision, and floatation) created by the 29×2.6” wheel/tire combination. Simple as that, really.

 

  1. Which rear shocks can I run on the Turbo Levo?

The Levo comes equipped with metric-sized FOX shocks, so any 52.5×210 metric shock will fit the new Turbo Levo. Naturally, sticking with the same eye-to-eye length is critical to performance and safety but, as is the  case anytime you  decide to  try  on  a  new  shock,  you’ll also want to match the same basic rebound and compression damping tune listed on the shock body of your original shock.

 

  1. What is the maximum speed that you can reach on the Levo?

Different nations have different laws in place regulating the use of e-mountain bikes on trails. Many nations require that the  electric  motors on e-mountain bikes effectively “shut off” once you’ve reached a maximum speed limit.  That  maximum  speed  varies  from country to country. In Europe, for instance, the maximum speed is 25 kilometres-per-hour, and  in  the  United  States,  motors  are  required to stop assisting your pedalling effort once you’ve reached a speed of 20 miles-per-hour.

 

As with any bike, your top speed is ultimately limited by how fast and hard you can pedal under your own steam. Naturally, we strongly encourage all riders to ride responsibly and to be  courteous to,  and  cognizant of,  other trail  users. Share  the  trails. The  beauty about our motor is that it completely decouples above top-speed, so you don’t have  to  work  against the  motor but  are  still able to  ride  the Levo like a normal (just a bit heavier) bike.

 

  1. Why are you not using 12-speed drivetrains on the new Turbo Levos?

We decided to continue with 11-speed drivetrains for a couple of reasons. When you factor in the  added support (levels) of  the  motor, they  already provide an  ample gear ratio for  the  steepest climbs out  there. Additionally, SRAM only allows the  NX  12-speed cassette   to be spec’d on  e-bikes, and  this would have  forced us  to  only use  the  NX  cassette across the  entire Levo  range. This  also would  have passed on a massive weight penalty, on the S-works model for instance, that we aren’t prepared to take on. For context, we’re talking about an additional 350 grams or so. And last, but not least, this added weight would be at a location on the bike where you’d definitely feel it, so the pros of 12-speed didn’t outweigh the cons.

Source: Specialized Bicycles



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