commuting with turbo levo

deanlute

New Member
hi all

I live in johannesburg, south africa and we have limited choices what is available. In June next year, I will be going overseas to work for a year and I am looking to get an ebike to commute - around 20km either way every day. I want to buy the bike here. I have spent some time reading the reviews. I am not overly impressed with the Trek or Giant presence in South Africa, but this may reflect ignorance more than anything else. There is a better Specialized presence and I am happy with the local specialized shop. The turbo vado 5.0 or 6.0 are not currently available. It may be possible to order one. The turbo vado 3.0 is potentially available but I don't think it is enough bike for me.

I have seen and tested the turbo levo comp carbon and really like it. I could always add fenders and a rear post mounted rack if needed. I like the idea of a 700wh battery and the strong motor but I would have preferred a throttle. I don't want to arrive at work hot and sweaty and think that the turbo levo might be enough as a commuter bike.

So, my question is - could a turbo levo comp carbon function as a good daily commuter? Or should I try push the dealer to get a turbo vado for me? Budget wise, I can make a plan for any of these options. Also, should I explore giant or trek more aggressively?

In summary:
20km each way
I weigh 100kg
commuting rather than exercising ( I have a regular MTB that I ride to sweat on)

Legal restrictions where I will be:
  1. The maximum power of the electric engine isn't higher than 250W.
  2. The electric motor is activated by the rider's pedalling effort and it has to cut out completely when the rider stops pedalling.
  3. The electric motor power decreases with the advance of the bicycle speed and it must cut out completely whenever the bicycle reaches a speed of 25 km/h.
  4. The electric bicycle has to comply with the European standard — BSEN 15194.


Thanks in advance! Any other advise would be appreciated.
 

Laura Healy

New Member
Hi Deanlute,
I really like my Tubo Levo! The suspension could be better for mountain biking (I have a 2018 Comp Carbon), but for commuting, it won't matter. Get smooth tires and you'll love it! I tried a Giant E-road bike and the vibration was awful. The motor on the Levo is quiet and smooth. Plus, you can use it for trails if you want to! I've considered getting a 2nd set of wheels to use on the road instead of getting a Turbo Vado. The battery will last for your commute (I've gone much further on a charge with lots of MTB climbing, but I do weigh less). Without hills, it rides fine the motor turned off. Good luck!
 

deanlute

New Member
Hey Laura

Thanks for your reply!
Good advice on the tires. That's been my impression as well from what I have read.
how long is your commute? do you get there with the feeling that you've had a workout, or just a gentle ride?

dean
 

Laura Healy

New Member
Hi Dean,
At times, the power shut-down when max speed is reached on the road is a little annoying- I think it would be more noticeable with lower European settings. I've never gone fast enough on the trail to experience that. It's an easy ride on the road- even with the knobby tires, but would be sweet with road tires. I have only ridden on roads to get to trails, but it's an easy ride on the road. Better than a hard tail! :) Even in "eco" it's an easy ride. You can make it a workout if you want to. Three levels of power are enough for me, and I've never messed with the mission control app.

Laura
 

Brendon@TBSM

Well-Known Member
hi all

I live in johannesburg, south africa and we have limited choices what is available. In June next year, I will be going overseas to work for a year and I am looking to get an ebike to commute - around 20km either way every day. I want to buy the bike here. I have spent some time reading the reviews. I am not overly impressed with the Trek or Giant presence in South Africa, but this may reflect ignorance more than anything else. There is a better Specialized presence and I am happy with the local specialized shop. The turbo vado 5.0 or 6.0 are not currently available. It may be possible to order one. The turbo vado 3.0 is potentially available but I don't think it is enough bike for me.

I have seen and tested the turbo levo comp carbon and really like it. I could always add fenders and a rear post mounted rack if needed. I like the idea of a 700wh battery and the strong motor but I would have preferred a throttle. I don't want to arrive at work hot and sweaty and think that the turbo levo might be enough as a commuter bike.

So, my question is - could a turbo levo comp carbon function as a good daily commuter? Or should I try push the dealer to get a turbo vado for me? Budget wise, I can make a plan for any of these options. Also, should I explore giant or trek more aggressively?

In summary:
20km each way
I weigh 100kg
commuting rather than exercising ( I have a regular MTB that I ride to sweat on)

Legal restrictions where I will be:
  1. The maximum power of the electric engine isn't higher than 250W.
  2. The electric motor is activated by the rider's pedalling effort and it has to cut out completely when the rider stops pedalling.
  3. The electric motor power decreases with the advance of the bicycle speed and it must cut out completely whenever the bicycle reaches a speed of 25 km/h.
  4. The electric bicycle has to comply with the European standard — BSEN 15194.


Thanks in advance! Any other advise would be appreciated.

Interesting question!

Looks like the only Vado available in SA is the 3.0 with the 460wh battery. That's plenty to do a 20km commute on turbo mode. My commute to my shop is 25kms and I ride my Vado 5.0 (45kph bike) in turbo the entire way working as little possible as I don't want to sweat since I'm going to run my shop all day. Battery level left is between 45-65% after the commute. I have an extra charger at my shop and top it off so I don't have to worry about it. You could do the same but the 460wh battery should be more than plenty. Keep in mind you can order the larger 600wh battery separate too.

The Vado is the way to go versus make the Levo your commuter. The Vado is built and intended for it and will pay dividends as you use it. A full suspension mountain bike is great but not the right tool for the job, my opinion.

Pair the Vado with a Cane Creek Thud Buster seatpost to smooth out the ride and I think you'll be much happier. Especially since you can have some panniers on the bike and carry things should the need arise.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Dean,
It all depends on if you will ride in a hilly area or not. You don't need the carbon bike as their frames do break and are not covered by the warranty. I greatly recommend the Turbo Levo Comp (the aluminium version). You can put MTB fenders and, for instance, the Topeak Tetra Rack M2 on the bike. The ride comfort will be unbelievable, the 2.1 (Brose S Mag) motor is one of the best. You will need to change tyres to slick ones if you plan commuting on roads.

Turbo Vado 4.0 comes with a smaller battery. Yes you could order the 604 Wh battery + extra cover for equivalent of US$925 or so. The Vado 4.0 comes with somewhat less torquey motor, too.

Although the Vado 4.0 has been designed as a commuter bike and you wouldn't regret the purchase, the Levo Comp (after replacing the tyres, adding mudguards, the 12-kg-rated "full MTB" rack and external lights) would make an excellent commuter bike for even very much hilly terrain. The 700 W battery is a great bonus.

Bear in mind that the 25 km/h limited e-bikes are not about the speed; riding the flatland does not require so much torque, for instance. Climbing is always better handled by a proper e-MTB, and the ride comfort with the full suspension is beyond what the words can describe. Unless you're planning to carry as much as 20 kg of cargo, go for Levo Comp!

@Brendon@TBSM: Dean will not buy the e-bike in SA; he moves to another country.

@deanlute: It is important what country that would be.
 

deanlute

New Member
Stefan
Great advice. Thanks!
It's gonna be fairly flat.
I like your recommendation against carbon. I could only get the vado 3.0, not 4.0. I will be buying the bike here in SA and taking it to Israel.
Somehow a modified Levo still seems a better bet for me.
 

deanlute

New Member
Interesting question!

Looks like the only Vado available in SA is the 3.0 with the 460wh battery. That's plenty to do a 20km commute on turbo mode. My commute to my shop is 25kms and I ride my Vado 5.0 (45kph bike) in turbo the entire way working as little possible as I don't want to sweat since I'm going to run my shop all day. Battery level left is between 45-65% after the commute. I have an extra charger at my shop and top it off so I don't have to worry about it. You could do the same but the 460wh battery should be more than plenty. Keep in mind you can order the larger 600wh battery separate too.

The Vado is the way to go versus make the Levo your commuter. The Vado is built and intended for it and will pay dividends as you use it. A full suspension mountain bike is great but not the right tool for the job, my opinion.

Pair the Vado with a Cane Creek Thud Buster seatpost to smooth out the ride and I think you'll be much happier. Especially since you can have some panniers on the bike and carry things should the need arise.
Thanks Brendon
I am inclined towards a levo but your post has made me keen on waiting until one is available at my LBS to test out before making a final decision.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Stefan
Great advice. Thanks!
It's gonna be fairly flat.
I like your recommendation against carbon. I could only get the vado 3.0, not 4.0. I will be buying the bike here in SA and taking it to Israel.
Somehow a modified Levo still seems a better bet for me.
Dean,

Turbo Levo Comp is several tiers above the Vado 3.0...
How do you think you would be allowed to transport the battery by air from SA to IL? It is hardly doable! Why not buy the bike in IL? I would start checking the Israeli availability now. They seem to offer Turbo Levo Comp there, here's a dealer page:


The price is 25,000 New Israeli Shekel. You would have the LBS behind your back and that's very very important.

Besides, if you think Israel is flat than you're very, very wrong unless you plan your rides in Tel-Aviv or Acre :) All other parts of Israel are dramatically hilly: Haifa, Jerusalem, Nazareth etc.
 

deanlute

New Member
Hi Stefan
Thanks for being so helpful
I agree that the levo comp is above the vado. And I'm more than OK with that.
I'll be going to IL for a year for work. I will be shipping stuff so it does not need to go by air. I will be coming back here thereafter so I am interested in getting it here. You are right about the hills. And I will be around Tel Aviv only.
And... to be honest, the idea of doing trails with an eMTB does have some appeal - even though I really enjoy the trails with my acoustic MTB!
 

deanlute

New Member
Hi all
Just to follow up.

I bought a 2021 turbo levo comp.
I am very happy with the bike.
I am happy that I got an eMTB (rather than a vado) for commuting. Jumping on and off our pavements etc is a lot easier with the full suspension etc. Whilst I am going overseas only next year, I have enjoyed commuting with it here in South Africa. Our roads are terrible and the knobbly tires are a feature and not a liability.
I am a little put out by the 25kph speed limit, but it is not a train smash.
I think that I need mudguards - I have gotten a little dirty on some roads post rain. That's going to be my next purchase.
For longer term community, I think that a softer saddle would be kinder to my butt.

The bike is a work of art.