Turbo LEVO puts fun back into climbs!
The recently launched 2017 Specialized LEVO takes on the South African market and boasts an aggressive design that attracts the eyes of many.
The LEVO’s main competition here in South Africa is Giant’s E-bike. Having tested both of these E-Bikes, we were quick to see what set the LEVO apart from the rest…
E-Bike with a twist…
Riding the LEVO feels very similar to riding a StumpJumper. Specialized used their Trail geometry; similar geometry used on the StumpJumper. As you can imagine then, your position on the bike is trail orientated. Very comfortable, upright and stable, were our first thoughts on geometry.
When you see the LEVO you immediately notice the 3.0 inch 650b wheel setup. Specialized kind-of combined a fat bike with an electric-bike, – nice thinking! The Giant Full-E that we tested a while back, didn’t have 3 inch tyres. With an extra +\- 10 kg from the motor and battery, you appreciate that extra width of the wheels, that being said; the Giant did feel slightly imbalanced. This was not the case on the LEVO though. Those fat wheels put the bike into proper balance.
Another unique innovation on the LEVO, is the integrated battery on the lower frame tube. Also, the manipulated aluminium design around the motor is a real nice touch. The battery is still easy to remove from the frame for charging, but Specialized also included the feature of keeping the battery on the frame and still have access to the charging port.
While the LEVO doesn’t come with a handle bar mounted screen, it does have its own app that connects to the bike with Bluetooth. This app gives you all the info about your LEVO, and tracks your ride while at it. Plus, battery life is indicated by the green LEDs around the on/off button; in case you’re wondering. The LEVO also has its own optional, wireless, handle bar, mounted remote for changing motor modes.
Our favourite component on the LEVO Comp 6 Fattie, was FOX’s 2017 Float Performance (rear shock) with AUTOSAG technology. It performed brilliantly; really plush on absorbing sharp bumps. RockShox’s YARI fork took care of things up front. The 140mm travel setup was something not to be overlooked. When you have an extra +/- 10 kg on the bike; you need a fork that can take the weight and still do its job in absorption without bottoming out too soon. The YARI did this like a boss!
The Sram GX drivetrain is one of the cheapest x11 on the market. The snappy reactions of the derailleurs and perfectly setup gear ratio worked well with the motor.
Sram’s GX brake system was also a prized component. Specialized had it setup with 200mm discs in the front and back, which gave us supreme stopping power. – Very powerful.
To add more of a trail-bike feel, Specialized added their Command Dropper post. And just for interest’s sake the rims and tyres were all Specialized as well.
Ride of your life…
We don’t want to say that the LEVO doesn’t handle well at all; because it does to some extent. The 3.0 inch wheels are the main set back on manoeuvrability. However, the head tube angle is significantly steeper than the StumpJumper’s head tube. We could feel this angle coming into play on switch-backs. So, in the end the handling balances out – 3.0 inch tyres – steeper head angle – kind-of cancel each other out.
On the motor side; it has 3 modes. Eco, trail and fast mode. Essentially Eco mode gives you 30% extra watt power on your pedalling power, trail mode 60%, and fast mode up to 100% of your watt output. We really enjoyed the torque of the motor. It was more than enough to get us up absolutely any hill!
Battery wise; we did about a 2-3hour charge before the LED’s on the battery indicated it was full. Then we got about 2 hours riding time on 50% of battery life. Taking into account we didn’t just use eco-mode or trail mode constantly. We kept the motor in eco-mode for the downhill sessions but switched to fast mode for the steep up hills. That’s really the only time you need fast mode, for climbs.
On downhill sections, you’ve got an extra +/- 10 kg behind you and the bike. This did make us rub the brakes a little more than usual. But other than that, we were fast all the way!
Then, last but not least, the eye attracting colours. With that nice glossy red, we’re pretty sure we weren’t the only ones staring!
Specialized Turbo LEVO FSR Comp 6FATTIE:
R 80 999.00