Specialized launches new slimmed-down Levo

Specialized has launched a brand new version of its Turbo Levo trail e-mountain bike.

Pretty much every aspect of the Levo has been redesigned for 2019, with Specialized claiming that the new model is the lightest and best-handling e-mountain bike on the market – and that it’s up to 2kg lighter than its predecessor.

A lot of that weight saving is down to a new frame design, new motor and new battery, with changes to the frame and motor shaving 1.2kg off the total bike weight. The new battery packs a bigger punch in the higher-tier models, too: getting a capacity boost to 700Wh on S-Works and Expert level Levos. Specialized reckons you should be able to get 40% more range out of the larger battery, but exactly how far that will take you depends on a wide range of factors.

The full skinny

Frame: the 2019 Turbo Levo uses an entirely new frame design, modelled on the revised Stumpjumper frame that debuted earlier this year with its distinctive sidearm design. The new frame features all the geometry tweaks that you’d expect: slacker head angle, longer reach, steeper seat tube angle and the ubiquitous flip chip to tweak the geometry.

Specialized has also redesigned the frame so that the motor mounts to it directly, rather than using a motor mount bridge as per the previous model. This saves 400g over the previous frame design, says the Californian company.

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Wheels: Specialized have turned away from the 27.5 plus wheel size, instead going for 29-inch wheels with beefy 2.6 inch rubber. There's no doubt this will make the Levo handle more deftly on the trail, but the new bike will still accept a 27.5 wheel with a tyre size up to 3.0 inches if you prefer a larger tyre size if you prefer more traction in your action.

Motor and battery: The new Levo uses an entirely new magnesium-bodied motor, the Specialized 2.1, which is 400g lighter and 15% smaller than the previous motor. Specialized reckons the new motor amplifies input by up to 410%, with 560 watts of pedal assist and 90Nm of torque.

The new battery, which comes in 500Wh and 700Wh versions, is a completely different design to the first-generation battery, sliding in and out of the (smaller) downtube from the motor area. Neither the new motor nor the new battery can be retrofitted into the original Levo.

Turbo Connect Unit: The new Levo takes the ‘brain of the bike’ out of the battery, instead housing it in a dedicated unit that lives on the top tube of the bike. This is a much more user-friendly solution, as long as you’re not staring at the readout instead of the trail. Specialized have also released a new handlebar display unit that will connect to the TCU: the display unit will also work with older Levos.

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Specialized has also updated its Mission Control e-mtb companion app to make it more user friendly. This iteration of the app also includes a couple of new modes: Stealth, which turns off all indicator lights on the TCU or battery, and Shuttle mode, which provides more power for less pedal force (for when the rider is furiously pedalling up a firetrail to do one more run).

Four new Levo models will be available in Australia:

  • Specialized Turbo Levo FSR: $7,000
  • Specialized Turbo Levo FSR Comp Carbon : $9,500
  • Specialized Turbo Levo FSR Expert Carbon : $11,500
  • S-Works Turbo Levo: $15,000

The Comp and Expert models get a carbon front triangle and alloy rear end; the S-Works is all carbon. Running gear and battery capacity varies depending on the model, but all bikes get the same motor. Alloy models will be available towards the end of September, with carbon models following in October. Get in touch with your local Specialized dealer to find out more.

We’ll be covering the new Turbo Levo in more detail. as well as several other bikes from other manufacturers, in the next issue of Mountain Biking Australia – on shelves next month. For now, just watch the (actually really funny) launch video from the Big Red S.

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