2016 Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo FSR 6Fattie Review


Technical Specs & Ratings



S-Works Turbo Levo FSR 6Fattie


Class 1


Full Suspension



Hydraulic Disc



504 Wh

504 Wh

48.5 lbs / 22.02 kgs



Frame Details

Specialized M5 Aluminum Alloy, Forged and Braced Motor Mount


Full Suspension


Custom FOX FLOAT Factory DPS, AUTOSAG, Rx Trail Tune, Boost Valve, Kashima coating, 197 mm x 47.6 mm

RockShox Pike RCT3, 140 mm Travel, Tapered Aluminum Steerer, 15 mm x 110 mm Maxle Ultimate Thru-Axle

Roval Traverse SL 38 650b, Carbon Disc, 38 mm Wide, 24/28 Hole | Spokes: DT Swiss Revolution

Specialized 6Fattie Purgatory Control Front, Specialized 6Fattie Ground Control Rear, 27.5" x 3", 60TPI, 2Bliss Ready, Folding Bead


Hella Flush, 1-1/ 8" and 1-1/ 2" Threadless, Campy Style Upper with 1-1/ 2" Lower, Cartridge Bearings

Syntace F109, 6-Degree Rise

Specialized FACT Carbon, 8-Degree Backsweep, 6-Degree Upsweep, 10 mm Rise, 750 mm, 31.8 mm Diameter

Specialized Sip Grip, Light Lock-On, Half-Waffle, S/M: Regular Thickness, L/XL: XL Thickness

Command Post IRcc, Cruiser Control Technology, Micro-Adjust Height Adjustable, Alien Head Design, Bottom Mount Cable Routing, Remote Adjust SRL Lever, Small: 100 mm Travel, M/L/XL: 125 mm Travel


Body Geometry Henge Expert, Hollow Ti Rails, 143 mm

Aluminum Alloy Platform with Adjustable Set Screws

Hydraulic Disc

SRAM Guide RS Carbon Hydraulic Disc, Metallic Pads, 200 mm Front Rotor, 180 mm Rear Rotor, Centerline Rotors, SRAM Guide RS Carbon, Carbon Lever, Reach Adjust, Cartridge Bearing Lever Pivot

Ebike Systems

Class 1


Brose, Trail Tune


Integrated 10 LED on Downtube

Mission Control App (Bluetooth) iOS and Android, ANT+ Wireless

504 Wh

504 Wh

Samsung 36 Volt, Lithium-ion, 14 Amp Hrs, 8 lbs

4 Amp Charger (Weighs ~4.5 lbs), Optional 1.6 Amp Charger (Weighs ~1.3 lbs)


More Details


2 Year Battery and Motor, Lifetime Frame and Fork

United States, Europe

15.5 in (39.37 cm), 17.5 in (44.45 cm), 19 in (48.26 cm), 21.5

Metallic Gloss Gray with Blue Accents

SRAM Guide RS Carbon Hydraulic Disc, Metallic Pads, 200 mm Front Rotor, 180 mm Rear Rotor, Centerline Rotors, SRAM Guide RS Carbon, Carbon Lever, Reach Adjust, Cartridge Bearing Lever Pivot

Video Reviews

Written Reviews

This review was for a pre-production Specialized Turbo Levo. I was told by reps at the company that it was an S-Works level but that does not appear to be the case. I am leaving it here for historical purposes but a more accurate and updated review of the Specialized Turbo LEVO FSR Expert 6Fattie can be found here, sorry for the confusion and inconvenience :)

The Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo FSR 6Fattie offers a level of performance that I honestly cannot appreciate as a recreational rider. From Autosag self-adjust rear suspension pressure to SRAM Guide hydraulic disc brakes with integrated heat sink fins and Roval Traverse carbon rims this thing is truly loaded… And of course, you should probably be loaded too if you want to buy one. While Specialized is offering two lower-level FSR (full suspension electric) models for 2016 that bring the price down a bit, the S-Works build shown here is ~$9k. For those who might be shocked, keep in mind that many other non-electric bikes from Specialized are also priced in this range.

I enjoyed testing this full suspension trail oriented e-mountain bike and admittedly only had a short time to do so. One of the highlights is how clean the frame looks, the motor is so well integrated into the bottom bracket that it almost disappears. The battery is also really well positioned fitting up into the downtube vs. mounting on top of it like many competing designs. It felt sturdy with the large locking pin and is rated for water, dirt and mud exposure. I love that you’re given a wide range of gears here and the SRAM XX1 component group is top of the line but I did not love the jerky shifting under power… A common experience for me was: start from rest in a low gear, quickly accelerate with the help of the motor and begin shifting up then “crunch, crunch, crunch”. The bike relies on a combination of speed and torque sensors for fluid output but it does not take into account gear changing.

It’s difficult to overlook this mashing tendency because many other premium electric mountain bikes (all of the Bosch Powered Haibikes and Impulse Powered Focus bikes) offer shift sensing technology that significantly reduces or completely eliminate this kind of experience. With a little practice you can adapt your ride style to suite the powered drivetrain and of course, it offers excellent torque and efficiency by leveraging your cassette, but the mashing still crops up occasionally. I heard it again and again as demo riders mounted the bike and headed out for a demo lap (and these were bicycle shop owners who presumably know how to shift correctly). Since the motor kicks in based on your pedaling torque, you can back off a bit prior to shifting but there’s a slight delay in motor operation and this leads to longer gaps in pedaling when you want to shift smoothly under power.

One option I’ve explored on other mid-drives to reduce this sort of experience is on the fly power adjustment (the less power, the less mashing). Unfortunately, on the Turbo Levo the control pad for adjusting power directly is not within reach of the grips, which keeps the cockpit clean, but this means you’re basically limited to one level for an entire stretch of ride. While I was not able to test the Bluetooth enabled Mission Control App, it does not sound like this feature offers power control over motor output either (and of course you’ll need to mount your smart phone to the handlebars or use a carrying strap or pouch and this might make it inconvenient to reach and use on the fly as well). My preference would be that the system protect itself and recognize the ~90 Newton meters of force being delivered by the motor as both a strength for climbing but a liability for the chain, sprockets and derailleur.

Overall, the Turbo Levo seems like a premium mountain bike with electric assist added on instead of fully integrated optimized. The way it’s mounted to the frame is beautiful and it feels sturdy but I cannot deny the possibility for operational improvement. I trust Specialized as a company because they’ve been around since 1974 and offer an amazing warranty with a full (and ever expanding) line of bikes. They know their stuff and custom engineer everything from frames to saddles and grips, lights and helmets. The original Turbo is well done and enduring and gets refined with each passing year.

I enjoyed the 27.5″ x 3″ tires which cushion the ride and improve traction, suspension was great and the overall weight of the bike was decent. There’s something awesome about “just riding” and not having to use any extra buttons or displays and I think they could maintain this simplicity by improving how systems respond to the rider. I especially liked the integrated bottle cage mount on the downtube… it screams quality and thoughtfulness just like the suspension seat post with dropper adjust, internally routed cables and Autosag suspension adjust. Maybe if they brought a very minimalist power level button pad up to the handlebars (allowing the rider to go from no assist through 1, 2 and 3) it would improve how people interact with the bike without adding too much clutter. I enjoyed riding the S-Works Levo in unpowered mode as much as any other high end traditional mountain bike and it almost looks like one with the slim battery and motor profile. Powered operation produces a bit of whirring (especially at high RPM) but otherwise the bike is quit, stiff and stable. The model I tested for this review was brought over from Europe and reprogrammed from the ~15.5 mph limit to 20 mph but I’m told it’s very close to the final production build. I’d love to hear from people who have tried the bike internationally and am excited to see how the drive systems are refined in future iterations.


  • Completely purpose built, designed with battery and motor weight in mind, one of the sleekest and drive system implementations I’ve seen on any ebike to date
  • Proprietary M5 Aluminum alloy is sturdy and light, sloped top tube lowers standover height, motor and battery weight are low and center for excellent balance
  • Battery is bolted into the downtube for improved strength and reduced rattling, it’s still removable for off-bike charging and reduced overall weight during transport
  • The battery casing was designed to be very rugged and well sealed against dirt and water, it’s rated at IP 67 (this international protection marking standard aims to provide users more detailed information than vague marketing terms such as waterproof)
  • Premium components including carbon Roval Traverse SL 38 650b wheels, a 140 mm RockShox Pike RCT3 fork, SRAM Guide RS Carbon brakes, and a SRAM XX1 groupset for shift and drivetrain functions
  • Unique “6Fattie” 650b wheelset with 3″ diameter tires offers increased traction, reduced deflection (flex in the fork) and improved rolling momentum, floatation and gap spanning
  • Fully enclosed cable routing, everything from shift wires, brake cables, electrical and the seat post dropper wires are hidden and protected from snags
  • Autosag feature on the Fox Float rear suspension makes setup easy… pump it up with air then sit on the bike and let the pressure equalize using Autosag
  • While many electric bikes forgo bottle cage bosses (and nearly every full suspension ebike) this one offers them! Specialized managed to work in bottle cage bosses right where you’d expect them on the downtube
  • Ergonomic grips and active saddle by Body Geometry from Specialized help to reduce hand and butt fatigue over long distances and higher speeds
  • Quick release on the front wheels makes tuneups, trail flats and transport super fast and easy, thru-axle systems keep discs aligned and wheels stiff
  • Optional quick charger is slim, light weight at ~1.3 lbs and costs $120, it could be useful for commuters


  • The motor produces a noticeable whining noise that increases with RPM and lacks shift sensing which means you can really mash your gears when shifting up (straining the chain, sprockets and derailleur)
  • Extremely expensive… one of the highest priced electric bikes I’ve ever tested, thankfully there are two other FSR LEVO models from Specialized that are more affordable if you’re willing to take cheaper components
  • Considering that this is the top of the line full suspension model from Specialized I was surprised that it wasn’t lighter weight, some other full suspension electric bikes I’ve tested are lighter and cost less
  • Limited top speed of 20 mph, no throttle mode, no display on the handlebars or control pad for changing assist levels easily… you have to reach down to the left part of the downtube and arrow up or down
  • The included battery charger is very fast but also large and heavy which makes it much more difficult to take along in your pack to charge at work etc. however, there is a small light weight travel charger available for ~$120

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