Turbo Levo v Hydra

Acme

Well-Known Member
Thanks for this review. I have a 2020 Turbo Levo and placed my deposit for the Hydra Black. Very excited to compare them.
I would love to hear your feelings of the difference when you get your Hydra.
 

rivets

New Member
I would love to hear your feelings of the difference when you get your Hydra.
Will do.

I've owned several ebikes (Luna X1, Sur Ron XX, Haibike xDuro nDuro 2.0, NCM Moscow plus, Juiced Scrambler) and the Turbo Levo feels most natural based on my riding style (trails, climbs). What it lacks in brute power it compensates with its precision and nimbleness. The E10 frame/Archon X1 combo appears to be a fantastic all-around ebike. Stoked.
 

mmcarm

Member
Region
USA
Rivets, enjoyed reading the path you list to the Hydra Black. I've paralleled much of yours going through Scrambler, Sur Ron X, Demo 8 (gave up on BBSHD conversion) and was shopping for a Luna X1 and test riding a friend's Trek Rail till I saw and ordered the Hydra Black. Favorite riding areas are steep and rough loose, rocky trails, some sections are 1 mile at 15% grade and others even steeper with the need to push the bike up. Only thing I'd want to improve on the Hydra would be bulletproof drive train like the Sur Ron (beefy single speed chain with 5-7 gear hub would seem like the solution, Kindernay 7 looks promising), solidly mounted parallel battery for long 50+ mile bike enduro adventures (10ah would probably be fine, 15ah would be amazing).

Also seems to me the consensus is mullet 29F/27.5R is on average preferable (with much religious debate). Would be great to have that as the stock config.

Interested to hear what others might want for the Hydra/Hydra Black, Pushkar seems to listen and we can be the best market research for him.
 

mmcarm

Member
Region
USA
The Demo 8 rear has 3 arms that run back to the axle. The middle arm really limits chain path. Can get a smaller chainring to drop the chain below but then smaller rings don't have great offset to provide a nice chain line. Really pushes you to use a Shimano/Sturmey 3 speed IGH. After all that the frame the battery mount options aren't great. Would rather start with Hydra Black and work from there.

One other challenge in the areas I ride are steep descents on loose/rocky surfaces with limited speed control. Tempted to put a beefy dual crown fork on the Hydra. When you're zipping down a steep section and can't avoid a big rock/root or other hit it's nice to have lots of travel and less bend on the front end to track close to where you're aiming while you pray.
 

Acme

Well-Known Member
One of the drawbacks to the Hydra Black is there is not much you can customize. I’m not sure if you can get it in a mullet. I thought the only thing you could customize would be adding the Innotrace controller. That said deal for the money. I’m actually getting a third Hydra and was considering the black but I have been so spoiled by the Mezzer pro and rockshox super deluxe suspension I don’t think I ever wanna go back to anything less. The Mezzerpro is a terrific front fork, I don’t think you would need to go with a triple crown unless you are doing serious downhill
 

mmcarm

Member
Region
USA
Agree with you the bespoke Hydra option opportunities are great. Have a Fox 40 I can reuse from another bike and going to try it but I expect you're right the Mezzer Pro is as good as anything for the Hydra.

Thanks for sharing your experiences all around, looks like your area is a lot like the Big Sur and Carmel trails I ride. Not encountering scary stuff too often but every now and then dropping down over a rise into the unknown leads to code brown:)
 

Nomad

Well-Known Member
Sure, just tune it to 750W and remove throttle if that's not allowed.
So just to clarify tuning it 750w will make so it meets the federal standards here in the U.S. which would mean maximum assisted speed of 28 mph as a speed pedalac. So than my next question would be how would it compare to something like the levo then as you bring a levo right to the feds and they would have no issue with it. Please understand that is not a dig at the hydra just clarification as far as legal use on roadway and such as a bicycle.
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
Technically you would also need to restrict the power to cutoff at 28mph. Bigger issue is probably liability if you injure someone. I rarely ride my Ultra at more than 750W nominal and have considered tuning it to be 100% class 3 legal, but getting OT, the whole liablity / legal issue is better suited to numerous other threads. As long as you ride responsibly I doubt the feds care all that much. Nobody has ever questioned my bike other than in a favorable way.
 

Cuz Vinny

Well-Known Member
So just to clarify tuning it 750w will make so it meets the federal standards here in the U.S. which would mean maximum assisted speed of 28 mph as a speed pedalac. So than my next question would be how would it compare to something like the levo then as you bring a levo right to the feds and they would have no issue with it. Please understand that is not a dig at the hydra just clarification as far as legal use on roadway and such as a bicycle.
No one has ever stopped me and asked what the bike wattage is. I have however been asked if the bike has a throttle. The parks I ride won’t allow bike with throttles on the trails. They consider them to be motorized vehicles. For this reason I remove the throttle from my bikes if equipped with one.
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
Also, while class 3 without throttle would be still be illegal on a class 1 trail, limiting assist to 20 mph to make it class 1 wouldn't make any practical difference on that terrrain. More form over substance in the class definitions and rules, but if you want to be technically complaint there's no reason you couldn't do so as long as you can tune the motor. Given that Bafang is changing to CANBUS protocol which is more problematic to tune, to guarantee ability to tune be sure to pony up for the Archon X1 upgrade for those and other benefits.
 

Nomad

Well-Known Member
No one has ever stopped me and asked what the bike wattage is. I have however been asked if the bike has a throttle. The parks I ride won’t allow bike with throttles on the trails. They consider them to be motorized vehicles. For this reason I remove the throttle from my bikes if equipped with one.
I wasn't asking if anybody got stopped I was asking if was legal big difference. One could ride a bike that's illegal and never get question about it. As far bike parks it's what ever that private park has for rules. The point is about weather the bike can be run legally as there several bikes that claim to be ebikes that are for private land use as they don't meet legal requirements for non private land. So then it's question weather it's legal not can I get away with it.
 

Acme

Well-Known Member
I wasn't asking if anybody got stopped I was asking if was legal big difference. One could ride a bike that's illegal and never get question about it. As far bike parks it's what ever that private park has for rules. The point is about weather the bike can be run legally as there several bikes that claim to be ebikes that are for private land use as they don't meet legal requirements for non private land. So then it's question weather it's legal not can I get away with it.
Nomad,
If you want to be 100% legal then buy a euro style Bosch, Shimano, Brose, Rocky Mountain etc. They are lighter, amazing torque sensing and support at a local bike shop. Hydra is for people that want a little bit more. They are 10 pounds heavier than a turbo levo and are not as nimble on tight trails.
If you’re not super fit anymore but you still want to have fun riding the easier trails, fire roads etc. then the Hydra looks like a better choice at least that’s what I think. I arrive at least twice a week for several hours and my skill level is definitely improving.
The truth is you will be happy with whatever bike you get. They’re all loads of fun. I had great times on my Frey cc until I got the Hydra. If I hadn’t bought the Hydra I would still have a smile on my face.
 

Cuz Vinny

Well-Known Member
I wasn't asking if anybody got stopped I was asking if was legal big difference. One could ride a bike that's illegal and never get question about it. As far bike parks it's what ever that private park has for rules. The point is about weather the bike can be run legally as there several bikes that claim to be ebikes that are for private land use as they don't meet legal requirements for non private land. So then it's question weather it's legal not can I get away with it.
Why the concern whether the Hydra is legal or not?
 

ElevenAD

Well-Known Member
I wasn't asking if anybody got stopped I was asking if was legal big difference. One could ride a bike that's illegal and never get question about it. As far bike parks it's what ever that private park has for rules. The point is about weather the bike can be run legally as there several bikes that claim to be ebikes that are for private land use as they don't meet legal requirements for non private land. So then it's question weather it's legal not can I get away with it.
Dude the answer is no it aint legal and if your seriously that scared just go to a LBS and buy a 350watt Euro spec middrive and you will be legal wherever you want to ride and you can even "bring it to the feds" lol.
 

bexamous

Active Member
Region
USA
Just request your bike be legal, its just got to limit watts and mph. Makes motor a bit overkill but whatever.