Turbo Levo v Hydra

Acme

Well-Known Member
Hydra V Turbo Levo

I’ve been riding my Hydra for the past couple months and very content but I just kept thinking to myself do I need all that power? Would it be nicer to have a bike that was 10 pounds lighter? Everyone else rides the euro spec bikes and they seem happy. Would I get more battery range using less power?

So today I went down and rented a 2019 turbo levo. They said the Brose SMag had the latest update.

First impressions

The Levo is a nice bike, it appeared to have a rockshox RL gold front and a rockshox monarch rear. These however were not even close to the mezzer pro and rockshox super deluxe I have on the hydra The brakes were struggling to stop the bike. My MT 7’s are like years better.

Power.
The levo had three modes. Assist level one was not much assist. Assist 2 was very close to eco 1 on my hydra. Great of flat ground or mild hills.

Turbo or assist three on the Levo was between eco 1 and eco 2 on my hydra.

Considering I spend the majority of my time in Eco 2 on my Hydra this is a big shortcoming.

Difficult but not very steep trail climbing.

I would give the edge to the Turbo Levo here. It is very maneuverable even with the 29s. If bounces it over rocks better than the 27.5s also. The wheelbase is noticeably shorter which adds to the maneuverability. It felt like the bottom bracket was higher with less pedal strikes.

Climbing steep loose utility roads.

We tested it on the the roads I showed my hydra climbing in an earlier video. I really was not any more impressed than the Cannondale with Shimano steps 7000 I had ridden on the same trail. It would manage well up to about 19°. After that I was pushing harder on the pedals to climb. This caused me to either stand and loose traction or turn far more than I would have liked. On my Hydra I feel much more planted and can keep the bike going in a straight line. The Hydra eco 2 is a more powerful assist which allows me to relax.

A lot of my rides involve some riding on the street coming and going

When we were on the way home from the trail the hydra which normally gets put in eco 3 and barrels down the road at 30 miles an hour was stuck waiting for the Turbo Levo to catch up.

Battery
This is by no means conclusive but at the end of the ride the turbo levo had used 4 out of 10 bars (500wh.) and the hydra and used 26%.

Given the type of riding I do which is much more in the easy trail/utility road category the hydra was definitely the right call especially with the Innotrace controller.

Long story short I am no longer seriously wondering if I want a European spec bike. I know I made the right choice buying the Hydra.

Boy am I happy I found out about Pushkar and Wattwagons.
 

Cuz Vinny

Well-Known Member
Hydra V Turbo Levo

I’ve been riding my Hydra for the past couple months and very content but I just kept thinking to myself do I need all that power? Would it be nicer to have a bike that was 10 pounds lighter? Everyone else rides the euro spec bikes and they seem happy. Would I get more battery range using less power?

So today I went down and rented a 2019 turbo levo. They said the Brose SMag had the latest update.

First impressions

The Levo is a nice bike, it appeared to have a rockshox RL gold front and a rockshox monarch rear. These however were not even close to the mezzer pro and rockshox super deluxe I have on the hydra The brakes were struggling to stop the bike. My MT 7’s are like years better.

Power.
The levo had three modes. Assist level one was not much assist. Assist 2 was very close to eco 1 on my hydra. Great of flat ground or mild hills.

Turbo or assist three on the Levo was between eco 1 and eco 2 on my hydra.

Considering I spend the majority of my time in Eco 2 on my Hydra this is a big shortcoming.

Difficult but not very steep trail climbing.

I would give the edge to the Turbo Levo here. It is very maneuverable even with the 29s. If bounces it over rocks better than the 27.5s also. The wheelbase is noticeably shorter which adds to the maneuverability. It felt like the bottom bracket was higher with less pedal strikes.

Climbing steep loose utility roads.

We tested it on the the roads I showed my hydra climbing in an earlier video. I really was not any more impressed than the Cannondale with Shimano steps 7000 I had ridden on the same trail. It would manage well up to about 19°. After that I was pushing harder on the pedals to climb. This caused me to either stand and loose traction or turn far more than I would have liked. On my Hydra I feel much more planted and can keep the bike going in a straight line. The Hydra eco 2 is a more powerful assist which allows me to relax.

A lot of my rides involve some riding on the street coming and going

When we were on the way home from the trail the hydra which normally gets put in eco 3 and barrels down the road at 30 miles an hour was stuck waiting for the Turbo Levo to catch up.

Battery
This is by no means conclusive but at the end of the ride the turbo levo had used 4 out of 10 bars (500wh.) and the hydra and used 26%.

Given the type of riding I do which is much more in the easy trail/utility road category the hydra was definitely the right call especially with the Innotrace controller.

Long story short I am no longer seriously wondering if I want a European spec bike. I know I made the right choice buying the Hydra.

Boy am I happy I found out about Pushkar and Wattwagons.
I have a 2017 Turbo Levo and as much as I love the bike it’s just not even close to the performance of the Hydra. The Hydra just out classes it in every performance category.
 

Merle Nelson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Nice to hear both of your perspectives.

Acme fantastic post to give ,those of us waiting, a lot of information on different facets of the Hydra riding experience.
 

bexamous

New Member
Region
USA
Feel like I’ve seen a few people mentioning pedal strikes with hydra, are the crank arms just long or bottom bracket just like low or something? I kept going back and forth with 27.5 vs 29… I’m pretty happy with my current 29er pedal bike, but kinda been tempted with 27.5 being new hotness. Maybe I shouldn’t overthink stuff too much, likely will be happy either way.

Oh other question.. does everyone just use eco 2 or 3 or something? Isn’t there like 10 levels? Is there just that much power that level 2 is enough? — Or should assist levels be spaced better? I didn’t order the programming cable, but maybe I should.
 

Acme

Well-Known Member
The stock levels Pushkar sent me are just more power than I need and use too much battery after eco 3. I would definitely get the programming cable as an option. I will be reprogramming mine soon where
eco1 = 75% of stock eco1.
eco2 = eco1 stock
eco3 = eco 1.5
eco4= eco 2
eco5 =eco2.5
i really want as much battery life as possible
 

pushkar

Well-Known Member
Feel like I’ve seen a few people mentioning pedal strikes with hydra, are the crank arms just long or bottom bracket just like low or something? I kept going back and forth with 27.5 vs 29… I’m pretty happy with my current 29er pedal bike, but kinda been tempted with 27.5 being new hotness. Maybe I shouldn’t overthink stuff too much, likely will be happy either way.
Some riders are reporting that. We have ordered both 160 and 165mm cranks. For current hydra owners, we can ship replacements for the length they need (just pay $8 in shipping). Eta end of September.
 

Johnny

Well-Known Member
This is very good information and comparison. While your experience is what we expected from the given specs vs mainstream like brose smag/ bosch cx etc. , it is nice to see that this is true in practice.
 

Acme

Well-Known Member
I still keep wondering if they detuned that particular Levo. I questioned them when I returned it and they even put it on the computer and said it was the most up-to-date software and at full power.
I am still waiting to see what Pushkar comes up with for his M 600 full suspension bike. I think 1000 W will be enough with a 55lb bike but after this I’m not sure because I think the Levo it’s supposed to be putting out nearly 750 W. at peak
 

Cuz Vinny

Well-Known Member
I still keep wondering if they detuned that particular Levo. I questioned them when I returned it and they even put it on the computer and said it was the most up-to-date software and at full power.
I am still waiting to see what Pushkar comes up with for his M 600 full suspension bike. I think 1000 W will be enough with a 55lb bike but after this I’m not sure because I think the Levo it’s supposed to be putting out nearly 750 W. at peak
I’d rather have more power than necessary than not enough. That’s why I went with the 2300w on both my bikes.
 

Johnny

Well-Known Member
I still keep wondering if they detuned that particular Levo. I questioned them when I returned it and they even put it on the computer and said it was the most up-to-date software and at full power.
I am still waiting to see what Pushkar comes up with for his M 600 full suspension bike. I think 1000 W will be enough with a 55lb bike but after this I’m not sure because I think the Levo it’s supposed to be putting out nearly 750 W. at peak


Mainstream mid drives are simply not powerful, your bafang ultra is way more powerful than these motors(it is also much heavier) as you have observed. Peak power is not the same as continuous power, (it is a burst of power that is not sustained longer periods). Your mistake is comparing peak on levo to nominal on Ultra. Levo reaches 750w for a brief period then dials back to a fraction of that power while Ultra sustains it indefinitely.
 

Acme

Well-Known Member
It’s really all about the controller. I have a frey CC with the standard Bafang controller. The power and efficiency are much different with the innotrace controller on my hydra. When you ride them both and realize it’s pretty much night and day. The standard controller is Surgy and power-hungry while the Innotrace is much smoother more powerful as well as efficient. I don’t think I would even consider buying a Bafang Ultra with the stock controller After have my Hydra.with the Innotrace
 

Merle Nelson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Suspecting I will feel very much the same way is what had me want a Hydra.....and, cancel an order for another bike with the Ultra.
 

Merle Nelson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
That is the same controller Rome. I believe Innotrace is the overall company and Archon X1 is the name of the controller, or at least WW name for it.
 

Acme

Well-Known Member
Not sure where that came from about the 29” tires. I actually prefer the 27 5“ x 2.8” although I have not ridden very many bikes with the 29” I feel the 27.5” are much more nimble. The only real advantage is hitting ruts and things like that when you can’t lift the front wheel the 29‘s will have a better ability to roll over them.
 

Merle Nelson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
:) My wife wants me to have my Hydra Cerakoted Burnt Bronze. Because black or Porcsha Grey are too plain looking. I think, "Top of the line plain, if you please."
 

Cuz Vinny

Well-Known Member
AE1ECFB5-8799-45AC-AA5A-7FD1EDFC6F10.jpeg

Midnight Bronze for the win!!!
 

Acme

Well-Known Member
The Levo you rode what sizes were the wheels?
I went to the Bike Shop.
I saw some bikes 29" wheels.
I messaged WW soon after.
Put 29"wheels front and rear for my bike.
Someone commented my bike is plain Jane.
The Levo was 29”
 

Merle Nelson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I was called by one of my local bike shops yesterday. They just got a Scott FS ebike in in my size. I called back and said no, let it go to someone else. But then today I ran into town to see it.

So tempting. I previously rode that model in a smaller size and it is graceful on flat ground. Not exactly sure what it would be like at the climbing I do most of the time. I'm pretty sure I would feel it underpowered.

Can't wait till my Hydra gets here.

Rivets, welcome to posting on EBR. And looking forward to hearing how you use your Hydra too.

What type of riding/experiences are you most interested in?