Specialized Turbo S-Works Levo SL Review

Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Electric Bike Review
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Motor Protector Plastic Cover With Vents
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Tcu Rubberized Button Pad And Charge Level Indicator
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Carbon Fiber Trail Handlebar
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Ebike Control Pad Plus Minus Power Walk And Remote Dropper Trigger
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Sram G2 Ultimate Brake Levers Adjustable Reach And Contact Point
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Front View
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Rockshox Reverb Axs Electronic Dropper Post
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Body Geometry Bridge Length Saddle
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl 150mm Travel Air Fork Rx Trail Tune By Fox
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Fox Float Dps Factory Air Fork Compression Adjustments
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Butcher And Eliminator Tires 29 By 2 3
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Optional Range Extender Battery Pack Fits In Z Cage Bottle Holder
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Sram X Sync Eagle Narrow Wide 30 Tooth Chainring With Guide
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Fox Factory 34 Float 29 Rear Air Suspension Shock
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Sram Xx1 Eagle Derailleur With Carbon Cage Plate And Roller Clutch
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Sram Xg 10 To 50 Tooth Cassette Roval Traverse Carbon Wheelset
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Lightest Electric Mountain Bike
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl 160 Watt Hour Optional Range Extender Battery Details And Plug
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl 3 Amp Charger With Optional Sly Charging Split Cable
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Stock High Step Black
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Electric Bike Review
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Motor Protector Plastic Cover With Vents
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Tcu Rubberized Button Pad And Charge Level Indicator
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Carbon Fiber Trail Handlebar
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Ebike Control Pad Plus Minus Power Walk And Remote Dropper Trigger
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Sram G2 Ultimate Brake Levers Adjustable Reach And Contact Point
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Front View
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Rockshox Reverb Axs Electronic Dropper Post
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Body Geometry Bridge Length Saddle
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl 150mm Travel Air Fork Rx Trail Tune By Fox
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Fox Float Dps Factory Air Fork Compression Adjustments
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Butcher And Eliminator Tires 29 By 2 3
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Optional Range Extender Battery Pack Fits In Z Cage Bottle Holder
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Sram X Sync Eagle Narrow Wide 30 Tooth Chainring With Guide
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Fox Factory 34 Float 29 Rear Air Suspension Shock
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Sram Xx1 Eagle Derailleur With Carbon Cage Plate And Roller Clutch
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Sram Xg 10 To 50 Tooth Cassette Roval Traverse Carbon Wheelset
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Lightest Electric Mountain Bike
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl 160 Watt Hour Optional Range Extender Battery Details And Plug
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl 3 Amp Charger With Optional Sly Charging Split Cable
Specialized Turbo S Works Levo Sl Stock High Step Black

Summary

  • Extremely lightweight and satisfying. The S-WORKS Levo SL is the most premium offering in the Levo SL lineup, featuring more lightweight carbon fiber and titanium hardware (crank arms, derailleur cage plate, handlebar, saddle rails). It comes with an electronic dropper post, gold colored 12-speed SRAM XX1 Eagle drivetrain, and Fox Factory Kashima coated 150mm suspension. Weighs just ~38lbs, uses a proprietary mid-drive motor and downtube-integrated battery pack that weigh under 8.3lbs combined. Optional range extender bottle-shaped batteries weigh 2.3lbs. You can even remove the downtube battery and rely solely on the range extender packs, which may be eligible for commercial air travel
  • Boost hub spacing for strength, varied front and rear tire for improved handling and traction, impressive SRAM G2 RSC hydraulic disc brakes with quad piston calipers and 200/180mm rotors, tool-free adjustable brake levers with reach and contact point, four frame sizes, stock 29er wheel size with flip chip to enable 27.5 650b, infinitely adjustable dropper seat post
  • Premium Fox air suspension front and rear with 150mm travel for cross country and all mountain riding (designed around the Stumpjumper with slacker head tube angle and longer wheelbase), Intuitive and durable button pad and main control unit with LED lights that can be turned off, optional Mission Control smartphone app offers power setting adjustments, optional TCU LCD display and Ant+ wireless is great for fitness training (watts, cadence, rpm, bpm)
  • Only available in one color, limited motor torque at 35nm vs. 90nm on the Brose motor system (used on non-SL Levo and Kenevo), high pitched whine produced by motor when pedaling at high RPM (comparable to Bosch CX), charging ports on non-driveside of bike can be difficult to reach when laid down, the bikes are expensive and Specialized charges extra for the power cable to connect the optional Range Extender battery... as well as a dual-charging splitter cable

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Specialized

Model:

Turbo S-Works Levo SL

Price:

$13,525

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Trail, Mountain

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

2 Year Comprehensive, Lifetime Frame and Fork

Availability:

Canada, Europe, United States

Model Year:

2020

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

38 lbs (17.23 kg)

Battery Weight:

3.96 lbs (1.79 kg)

Motor Weight:

4.29 lbs (1.94 kg)

Frame Material:

Specialized FACT 11m Carbon Fiber

Frame Sizes:

15.35 in (38.98 cm)16.14 in (40.99 cm)17.91 in (45.49 cm)19.88 in (50.49 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

Medium 410mm Measurements: 16.25" Seat Tube Length, 21.5" Reach, 28.5" Stand Over, 33" Minimum Saddle Height, 31.5" Width, 76.5" Length

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Carbon with Black and Chrome Accents

Frame Fork Details:

Fox Factory 34 Float 29 Air Suspension, FIT4 Damper, 51mm Offset, 150mm Travel, 3-Position Compression Adjust and Open Mode Adjust, Rebound Adjust, 34mm Stanchions with Kashima Coating, Boost 110mm Hub Spacing, 15mm Thru-Axle with 6mm Bolt

Frame Rear Details:

Fox Float DPS Factory Air Suspension, Rx Trail Tune, 52.5x210, 150mm Travel, 3-Position Compression Adjust, Rebound Adjust, EVOL Air Sleeve, Dual Piston, Kashima Coating Stanchion, Boost 148mm Hub Spacing, 12mm Thru-Axle with 6mm Hex Bolt

Attachment Points:

Bottle Cage Mount

Gearing Details:

12 Speed 1x12 SRAM XX1 Eagle Derailleur with Carbon Fiber Cage Plate and Roller Clutch, SRAM XG-1299 Eagle 10-50 Tooth Cassette

Shifter Details:

SRAM XX1 Eagle Triggers on Right (One-Way High, Five-Shift Low)

Cranks:

Praxis, Carbon Fiber M30, Custom Offset, 165mm or 170mm Length, SRAM X-SYNC Eagle Aluminum Alloy 30 Tooth Narrow-Wide Chainring, 94 BCD Spider, Plastic Guide (Tool Free), 181mm Q-Factor

Pedals:

Specialized Dirt Nylon Platform Pedals with Fixed Nubs

Headset:

FSA Hella Flush, Threadless, Cartridge Bearings, Tapered 1-1/ 8" to 1-1/ 2"

Stem:

Syntace MegaForce 2, Forged Alloy, 4-Bolt, 6° Rise, 40mm or 50mm Length, Three 5mm Carbon Fiber Spacers, 31.8mm Clamp Diameter

Handlebar:

Specialized Trail, Carbon Fiber, 8° Backsweep, 6° Upsweep, 27mm Rise, 780mm Length

Brake Details:

SRAM G2 ULTIMATE Hydraulic Disc with 200mm Front Rotor and 180mm Back Rotor, SRAM G2 ULTIMATE Quad-Piston Calipers, SRAM G2 ULTIMATE Two-Finger Levers with Tool-Free Adjustable Reach and Tool-Free Contact Point Adjust

Grips:

Specialized Trail Grip, Light Lock-On

Saddle:

Specialized Body Geometry Bridge Length, Hollow Titanium Rails, 155mm or 143mm Width

Seat Post:

RockShox Reverb AXS Electronic Dropper, Infinite Adjustable, 2 Bolt Head with Tilt Adjust, Remote RockShox Reverb AXS Lever, 125mm to 170mm Travel

Seat Post Length:

375mm, 478 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

30.9 mm

Rims:

ROVAL Traverse SL 29, Hookless Carbon, 622x30, 30mm Inner Wide, 28 Hole, Tubeless Ready, Hand Built

Spokes:

DT Competition Race, Stainless Steel, 15 Gauge, Black with Nipples

Tire Brand:

Specialized Butcher Front, Specialized Eliminator Rear, 29" x 2.3" (58x622)

Wheel Sizes:

29 in (73.66cm)

Tire Details:

25 to 50 PSI, 1.5 to 3.5 BAR, Grid Trail Casing, GRIPTON Compound, 2BLIS Ready

Tube Details:

Presta Valve

Accessories:

Zee Cage II Right Bottle Holder, SWAT CC Multitool Stem-Integrated (With Chain Tool), Full-Wrap Rubberized Chain Stay Slap Guard, Rubberized Seat Stay Slap Guard, Clear Rubberized Sticker on Downtube, Optional Range Extender Battery Pack ($450, 46.8 Volts, 3.35 Amp Hours, 160 Watt Hours, 2.3lbs 1.04kg) Range Extender Cable ($45) SLY Charging Split Cable ($65), Replacement Charger ($200), Optional Replacement Battery ($700), Optional TCD LCD Display ($90, Battery Percentage, Pedal Cadence, Speed, Distance, Trip Time, Odometer, Calories, Pedal Watts, Time)

Other:

Downtube-Integrated Battery Pack (Removable with Tools, 3.96lb), 1.9lb 54.6 Volt 3.0 Amp Charger, 181mm Q-Factor, SRAM GX Eagle Chain, Maximum Motor RPM Support 120, IP67 Rated Against Water and Dust (Main Battery, Range Extender Battery, SL 1.1 Motor, TCU Display), DT Swiss 370 3-PAWL System SRAM XD Driver Body Rear Hub

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Specialized SL 1.1 (MAHLE GmbH German Manufacturer)

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

240 watts

Motor Peak Output:

240 watts

Motor Torque:

35 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Panasonic, LG, or Samsung, 5,000 mAh 2,170 Cells

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

6.9 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

331.2 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

2.5 hours (7 Hours with Optional Travel Charger)

Estimated Min Range:

30 miles (48 km)

Estimated Max Range:

70 miles (113 km)

Display Type:

Turbo Connect Unit (TCU), Rubberized LED Console on Top Tube (Blue and Green LEDs), Buttons: Power, S Button (Hold S for No Assist)

Readouts:

Battery Charge Level (10 Bars Total, 5 Bars for Range Extender Battery), Assist Level (0-3)

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad Near Left Grip, Buttons: S, +, -, Walk Mode, (Pressing S Jumps to Highest Assist Level), Mission Control App (Bluetooth, iOS and Android, Can Turn Off LEDs), ANT+ Wireless (For Heart Rate Monitors)

Drive Mode:

Advanced Pedal Assist (Measures Rear Wheel Speed, Pedal Cadence, and Pedal Torque over 1,000 Times per Second, Offers 180% Peak Multiplication Force of Rider Input)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

To run the forums, host the website, and travel, I charge a universal service fee for my reviews. This in-depth review was sponsored by Specialized Bicycle Components. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased with you, this video and writeup are not meant to be an endorsement of Specialized products. I welcome your corrections, additions, and feedback in the comments below and the Specialized electric bike forums.

Observations:

  • The new Specialized SL (Super Light) 1.1 motor system is very impressive… not only is it compact and lightweight at just 4.3lbs, it actually provides good torque and satisfying power. It can operate above 120 RPM so you can pedal fast in low gears without losing support, and it functions as a Class 3 motor supporting top speeds of 28mph very capably. It fades out smoothly and does not introduce drag if the bike is pedaled in zero mode or above 28mph (45km/h)
  • The main battery can be removed with help from your local shop, so the bike can be ridden non-electric at ~34.84lbs. With the main battery removed, you can ship the bicycle on airplanes, and since the optional 2.3lb Range Extender battery packs are just 160 watt hours, most airlines will let you carry them onto the plane. The bike can then run solely off of a range-extender when you arrive at your destination
  • The Levo SL Expert comes in four frame sizes, and there’s some variation in the crank arms, stem, handlebar, and dropper posts to further improve rider fit and handling
  • Specialized has dropped the magnetic Rosenberger charging port standard used on their Brose powered Turbo models on the new SL motor models, the plug works well but might not pop out if tripped over… which could pull the bike over or crack the connector. The new connector inserts snugly and then has a twist lock to really secure it. I actually saw some little chips in the demo connectors used for our rides (mainly on the range extender cable end connectors) which might have been due to people trying to pull out a locked connector
  • All of the current-generation Specialized Turbo models are designed with a longer wheelbase than the non-electric Stumpjumper (which is the design inspiration for the bikes). This is due to the need for a longer bottom bracket because of the mid-drive motor position. The bikes also have a slacker head tube angle.
  • The new Turbo Levo SL design is not gender specific, which we did see on some of the original Levo models using the Brose drive system. However, the smallest frame size may come with a wider shorter saddle which tends to be optimized for female body geometry. When you pair that with the highly adjustable brake levers, the bike can still work very well for petite riders and for women… note also the size-matched handlebar, crank arms, and dropper post lengths. If you want to make the bike as light as possible, consider swapping the tires and running tubeless
  • There’s a yellow sticker that comes on the frame with a code that allows you to sync with the Mission Control smartphone app… but if you lose that sticker, you can always unscrew and remove the TCU display (the rubberized thing on the top tube) and the code is written below that as well ;)

Pros:

  • No compromises here, I love that the frame has provisions for a bottle cage on the downtube and the stem has a pop-up multi-tool with missing link that’s easier to access than below the bottle cage like some older models
  • The S-WORKS model is 1lb lighter than the Levo SL Expert and features carbon fiber crank arms, derailleur cage plate, rims, and handlebar. This model also comes with titanium saddle rails, gold coloration on the steel cassette (9 cogs are CNC together vs. being bolted), and it offers a electronic dropper post. These are the primary differences that I noticed between the two, aside from the coloration and markings
  • All Levo models are now 29ers, the effective diameter of the wheel is very similar to the 650b 2.8″ plus sized tires but the 29″ x 2.6″ is more efficient and nimble, the lower attack angle allowed me to climb a set of stairs while testing.
  • The bike frame was designed to accommodate 27.5″ 650b wheel size if you prefer that to the 29″ and there’s a flip switch on the rear swing arm that changes the geometry to fit correctly
  • Significantly improved slap guard design protects the paint and alloy tubing on the top and bottom of the chain stay as well as the lower edge of the right seat stay, this is what all of the Levo models now use (SL and Brose motor)
  • Premium, lightweight air suspension from Fox offers compression and rebound adjust. You can sag the bike for your body weight, then quickly respond to terrain using built-in dials without the need for tools
  • The SRAM GX Eagle derailleur is lightweight, rated for E-MTB use, and includes a roller clutch that locks in for easier drivetrain maintenance (the little circular button with a lock icon on it, extend the derailleur and then press it in)
  • Impressive 12-speed SRAM drivetrain with massive 10 to 50 tooth cassette. This allows the bike to perform well in a range of conditions (climbing and descending). I especially like the new trigger shifters which still only offer a one-direction high lever but now offers five-shift low lever to dump gears quickly when approaching steep terrain (the high shifter is only a one-way design vs. Shimano two-way so you can push or pull… and to me, that’s a negative trade-off)
  • The narrow-wide tooth chainring locks tightly to reduce sloppy pedaling power transmission and also reduces the possibility of drops. Specialize has also included a plastic chain guide with a quick-open design for easy trail maintenance
  • Extra thick 34.9mm seat post fits into a wider, stronger seat tube and allows for longer dropper travel, it just felt sturdy and reliable on the Expert’s carbon frame, I appreciate the “infinite position” setup on this dropper
  • Incredibly stealthy design… this thing genuinely looks like an analog bicycle because the motor casing is so compact and the battery is completely internalized. There are no big LCD displays to distract or cause glare (unless you add the optional TCD LCD for $65), and the LED readouts on the TCU interface can be disabled using the Mission Control app
  • I appreciate how durable and water tight the TCU LED display panel thing is, and that they kept ten bars vs. just five, because this allows you to get a much more precise read on the battery charge level while riding, without needing the app… note that all of the electronics, battery, and motor are IP67 water-resistant rated
  • Specialized has designed their electric bikes to utilize Ant+ wireless for heart rate monitors, they also track your pedal cadence and torque for feedback about calories burned… this is genuine exercise equipment with support for athletic training, and it will work best with the optional TCD computer display that is sold for $90
  • Unlike the Brose powered Levo models, the SL main battery pack is not designed for quick removal, so it’s less of a concern when locking the bike up… there isn’t a locking system on the other Levo bikes, so that always concerned me
  • Motor activation is fairly smooth and fluid (both powering up and cutting out), it’s a zippy noticeable feeling that beats all of the other lightweight eMTB models I’ve tested including 250 watt hub motors and the Fazua mid-drive system, it’s similar to a Bosch Gen 4 GX, just a lot smaller, lighter, and less powerful for steep climbs
  • There’s no reduction gearing or drag here, when riding completely unassisted or pedaling beyond the supported 28mph (45km/h) top speed, the bikes feel really smooth and natural vs. having a big “wall” cutout feeling. I tested several models without assist and still enjoyed riding
  • Tight tolerance on the optional Range Extender battery pack, it doesn’t rattle around or feel vulnerable because of the Z-Cage design that grabs into the ridge of the battery and the rubber strap that goes over and around the bottle holder. I appreciate that both the main ebike battery and range extender battery can be charged while mounted to the bike
  • It’s awesome that Specialized has allowed you to choose which battery is drawn down first (if you’re using the optional Range Extender pack). You can drain them both in tandem, using the Mission Control app, or prioritize the Range Extender which is then removable for independent charging at work etc. Alternatively, if you choose to run off of both packs simultaneously, you won’t be cycling one battery constantly, which wears through its cycles faster
  • The Mission Control App works with iOS and Android, it offers GPS, trip planning (to arrive with a set power level remaining), troubleshooting diagnostics, and tuning options
  • Available in two distinct frame colors (carbon with white accents, or oak green with aqua accents), and Specialized has a whole lineup of the bikes now in aluminum, or carbon fiber so you can optimize for weight, ride feel, and price
  • The bike is extremely well balanced, we weighed it using a hook connected to the nose of the saddle and it stayed fairly straight… the ebike system weight is kept extremely low on the frame, for improved stability and balance
  • Extremely responsive motor, since it measures rear wheel speed, cadence, and torque over 1,000 times per second, I noticed that the chainring wasn’t spinning long after I stopped pedaling, and this is very important for technical terrain… on the flip side, the motor can support up to 120 pedal strokes per minute, so you don’t lose out when dumping gears for a big climb
  • Very low top-tube makes the bike easier to mount and less dangerous if you have to hop forward and put your feet down, this is especially nice given the higher weight of Levo vs. a traditional unpowered Stumpjumper platform
  • Boost hub spacing with 15mm front axle and 12mm rear axle provide a sturdy bracing angle for the spokes and stiffer, stronger performance overall
  • The brake levers have tool-free adjustable reach so you can dial things in on the trail as you need more control or switch from bare hands to gloves, they also have tool-free adjustable contact point (which is rare!) so you can determine how far you actually pull the levers before the brake calipers bite the rotors
  • Vast network of dealers makes it easier to see, touch, and get fitted on the bike, excellent two year comprehensive warranty with lifetime frame and wheelset… Specialized is very committed to the ebike space as one of the first big players to introduce a bike way back in 2012
  • The frame geometry of the SL models no longer requires the large oversteer bumpers to protect the downtube. The crown of the suspension fork does not make contact if you turn 90-degrees, but this does mean your cables could get stretched and broke in the event of a very hard fall
  • I like how the magnet for the rear wheel speed sensor is concealed and well protected, it’s built into the disc brake rotor and the sensor is just below the brake calipers… very clean, and more reliable than a spoke-mounted magnet system that can easily twist or slide around if bumped
  • The front and rear tires are different, Specialized went with a Butcher up front (with spaced out knobs to dig in for steering) and Eliminator in the rear (with closely spaced knobs for traction and stability)
  • Both brake calipers are quad piston with longer brake pads that dissipate heat quickly, and they chose an extra large 200mm rotor up front to further improve cooling while also increasing the mechanical advantage over the large 29er wheel
  • This is a minor thing, but Specialized uses lots of clear protective stickers on the bike to maintain the carbon fiber frame… they are positioned on the steer tube, below the downtube, on the suspension swing arms and rear arch area, and even on the crank arms near the pedals
  • Not only does this ebike have walk mode, with a dedicated button on the control ring near the left grip, but it engages super fast! It’s very convenient if you have to get off and push up a steep or technical section, or if you get a flat tire and have to limp home

Cons:

  • I like the little SWAT tool that’s built into the stem of the bike, under a little twist cap, but noticed that it does not include a missing link to repair a broken chain… and yet, the even more expensive S-WORKS model does have this. To me, this ebike is already very expensive and I feel like they should have included the missing link here because it could really come in handy on a long remote ride, which is much easier to achieve on an ebike for a less-prepared and experienced rider
  • Neither wheel offers quick release, this isn’t a big deal however, because the SWAT tool under the stem cap has a 6mm hex tool (which is what you need to do wheel maintenance), it just takes longer if you have a fork-mount roof style car rack or have to take a wheel off to put the bike into the back of a car
  • Be sure that you purchase a left-entry Specialized Z-Cage bottle holder if you buy the Range Extender battery pack, because the cable comes out of the left side of the battery and the security notch will then be aligned with the front of the battery… we had a right-entry Z-Cage on one of the demo bikes and as a result, the battery didn’t seat quite right
  • The Range Extender battery pack does not come with the cable required to connect to the main frame of the bike when riding, this costs $45 extra. Also, the Y splitter charging cable, that fills the main battery and an optional Range Extender simultaneously, costs $65 extra
  • The TCU LED console is pretty decent, but it doesn’t show your current speed, max speed, trip distance, range, or any other interesting stats. So, it’s nice that Specialized has an optional TCD (LCD display) for $90 and a free smartphone app offering more feedback. It would be useful to somehow charge your phone off of the main ebike battery using a USB charging port or wireless charging mount
  • There’s no shift sensing built into the Specialized motor controllers, and this can lead to increased chain and sprocket wear if you don’t back off a bit on your pedaling while shifting… though it wasn’t a big issue for me during the test rides, the lower powered 35 newton meter torque rating of the motor and multi-sensing controller means you shouldn’t cause as much drivetrain damage from poor shifts
  • The primary battery pack is not designed to be removed, you’ll need to remove the motor and bottom bracket with help from your shop. If you attempt this yourself, be very careful with the level of bolt and clamp tightness given the carbon fiber frame elements. In short, the non-removable battery means you can’t charge or store separately from the frame. This could be an inconvenience for commuters who cannot bring their bikes inside and don’t have a charging port near the bike rack. In those situations, buy a Range Extender battery which can be charged independently
  • The charge port on the bike frame is very low, so you have to bend way over, and it’s positioned in the path of the left crank arm which could snag and pop the plug out… ideally it would be located on the drivetrain side of the bike vs. the brake side because the proper way to lean and lay a bike down (that doesn’t have a kickstand) is to do so on the non-drive side
  • No provisions for a kickstand, this is a minor gripe considering the use case of these lightweight performance road style ebikes… at least they included bottle cage bosses, and rack and fender mounts. Consider an aftermarket crank arm kickstand or downtube kickstand from Topeak
  • Minor consideration here, I’ve seen Specialized launch really custom hardware before and then change it up within a year or two, dropping support for replacement parts. Their IP67 rated motor, battery, and display all seem solid, I just hope they stock up on replacement bits so people who make the big purchase can keep their bikes on the road as their technology advances forward… they’re just a lot more custom and less modular than Bosch, for example, which supports their motor and battery designs for 10+ years
  • This ebike does utilize a brand new motor system from an unproven German manufacturer. I was told by a shop owner that he’s been testing the motor for nearly two years (at the time of this review) and really put it through its paces without issue, but it’s still new and somewhat unknown to me
  • Take extra care when unplugging the range extender cable from the bike, because there’s a twist lock feature that might be engaged and you could crack the plastic if you don’t check for it. I saw several charge cable ends with chips and cracks in the port plug, though it did not seem to affect their ability to function properly
  • Minor consideration here, the older Turbo electric bike products from Specialized used a magnetic Rosenberger plug that would easily disconnect if you tripped over the cable, but the new cables are more plastic friction-stick that could pull the bike over. And, be careful with the pedals and cranks once the bike is plugged in, because the charging port is located very close to the left crank arm
  • At one point, a pebble bounced up off the trail and landed perfectly in the plastic chain guide… and stayed there. It wouldn’t be good to ride that way, so I feel like a cover or different design that’s less prone to filling up with debris could be in order
  • The electronic dropper post uses two independent batteries, there’s a coin battery in the lever housing and a rechargeable battery behind the saddle clamp, they don’t just run off of the main ebike battery and as a result will require a bit of extra attention and time to keep charged

Useful Resources:

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  • MSRP: $3,350
  • MODEL YEAR: 2020

A great mid point for Specialized, starts at $3,350 and has relaxed cruiser riding position, hydraulic brakes, a smooth mid-drive motor, 28mph top speed, and a lot of great little features. Features a custom Brose T mid-drive motor that was tuned just for Specialized, 36v 14ah…...

April 26, 2019

Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert Review

  • MSRP: $7,550
  • MODEL YEAR: 2019

A purpose built, strong and sturdy, full suspension, all mountain with some enduro, agile and balanced with it’s 50/50 weight distribution, smooth and powerful mid-drive electric mountain bike. This is an extremely sturdy and overbuilt setup, thanks to points of interest like this…...

April 26, 2019

Specialized Turbo Vado 4.0 Review

  • MSRP: $3,550
  • MODEL YEAR: 2020

A high-speed, feature-complete, urban electric bike with unique tubular fenders that have flexible extensions and water routing system to keep your legs, back and face dry, integrated lights and a tight modern rack. Available in 6 sizes including high-step and mid-step frame styles with gender-specific saddle and grips,…...

April 1, 2019

Specialized Turbo Como 3.0 Review

  • MSRP: $2,950
  • MODEL YEAR: 2020

A great entry point for Specialized, starts at $2,949 and has relaxed cruiser riding position, hydraulic brakes, a smooth mid-drive motor, and a lot of great little features. Features a custom Brose CB mid-drive motor that was tuned just for Specialized, 36v 12.8ah…...

March 22, 2019

Specialized Turbo Levo Expert Review

  • MSRP: $8,250
  • MODEL YEAR: 2019

A lighter, stiffer, even more powerful second generation Turbo Levo platform, custom side-arm rear suspension design improves cable routing, tubeless ready rims and tires, unique hidden SWAT multi-tool under stem cap. 29er wheel size with narrower 2.6" tires reduce friction and improve steering precision, new battery…...

December 27, 2017

Specialized Turbo Levo Comp Fat Review

  • MSRP: $5,000
  • MODEL YEAR: 2017

A hardtail, fat tire electric bike with high-volume 4.6" tires, four frame size choices, and an extensive network of dealers in the United States. Sturdy thru-axles provide stiffness and strength, the RockShox Bluto air fork provides comfort with lots…...

November 16, 2017

Specialized Turbo Como 2.0 Low-Entry 650b Review

  • MSRP: $2,600
  • MODEL YEAR: 2018

A comfortable, stable, quiet, and efficient electric bike made in two frame sizes and colors, well-suited to neighborhood riding and cruising. Relatively lightweight at ~48 lbs, in part because it comes without lights or fenders, you…...

May 19, 2017

Specialized Turbo Vado 6.0 Review

  • MSRP: $4,800
  • MODEL YEAR: 2017

A high-speed, feature-complete, urban electric bike with unique tubular fenders that have flexible extensions and water routing system to keep your legs, back and face dry, integrated lights and a tight modern rack. Available in four sizes including high-step and mid-step frame styles with gender-specific saddle and grips,…...

April 23, 2017

2017 Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0 Review

  • MSRP: $4,600
  • MODEL YEAR: 2017

A high-speed urban electric bike with premium tubular fenders, minimalist rack with integrated light, 600 Lumen headlight, reflective stickers on fenders and rims. Available in four frame sizes but only one style (high-step), rigid alloy fork and thru-axles…...

April 23, 2017

Specialized Turbo Vado 3.0 Review

  • MSRP: $3,200
  • MODEL YEAR: 2017

A feature-complete urban electric bike with premium tubular-alloy fenders, integrated rack and lights, rims and tires as well as a suspension fork with 50 mm travel. Available in four frame sizes and two styles (high-step or mid-step), rigid thru-axles improve handling,…...

January 22, 2017

Specialized Turbo Levo FSR Expert 6Fattie Review

  • MSRP: $7,500
  • MODEL YEAR: 2016, 2017

One of the stealthiest electric mountain bikes around with integrated battery and motor technology from Brose, available to demo and buy from a wide network of shops. Responsive and zippy without producing a lot of noise, you don't get shift detection here…...

December 2, 2016

Specialized Turbo Levo Hardtail Comp 6Fattie Review

  • MSRP: $4,000
  • MODEL YEAR: 2016, 2017

The lowest priced Turbo Levo eMountain bike model from Specialized, it's a hardtail with 10 gears, an air fork and the Brose drive system. You get a slightly smaller battery capacity here but the same beautiful integration into the…...

May 12, 2016

Specialized Turbo Levo FSR Comp 6Fattie Review

  • MSRP: $5,500
  • MODEL YEAR: 2016

A full suspension electric mountain bike with 650b plus "six fatty" tires for improved traction, handling and comfort. Seamlessly integrated Brose motor and downtube battery pack, completely purpose built frame available in two…...

September 6, 2015

Specialized Turbo S Review

  • MSRP: $7,000
  • MODEL YEAR: 2016

An extremely fast, quiet and stiff electric bike with premium drivetrain and brake components and sleek integrated lights, available in four frame sizes for improved fit. Beautifully integrated battery pack, it matches the frame perfectly and even features a bottle cage…...

August 21, 2015

Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo FSR 6Fattie Review

  • MSRP: $9,000
  • MODEL YEAR: 2016

The highest level full suspension e-mountain bike from Specialized, purpose built frame incorporates battery and motor seamlessly. Premium suspension from RockShox Pike RCT3 and Fox Float with Autosag, 11 speed SRAM XX1…...

May 14, 2015

Specialized Turbo Review

  • MSRP: $3,800
  • MODEL YEAR: 2015

Completely purpose built with integrated lights, in-frame cabling and downtube mounted battery pack that blends in. Available in four frame sizes for improved fit, optional city kit with fenders and rear…...

April 12, 2015

Specialized Turbo X Review

  • MSRP: $4,000
  • MODEL YEAR: 2015, 2016

Stealth appearance with integrated battery pack and near-silent motor helps it blend in like a "normal bike". Excellent weight distribution, responsive hydraulic disc brakes, integrated LED lights, rack and fender mounts, nice…...

June 5, 2014

2014 Specialized Turbo S Review

  • MSRP: $6,000
  • MODEL YEAR: 2014, 2015

One of the fastest, quietest and sturdiest road-style electric bikes around, extremely refined. Solid 15mm thru-axles, tapered head tube and alloy frame for efficient power transfer and high…...

December 26, 2012

2013 Specialized Turbo Review

  • MSRP: $5,900
  • MODEL YEAR: 2013

One of the fastest and priciest electric bikes around, Top speed 45kph (27.96mph) at $5,900 USD. Clean aesthetic with internally routed cables, integrated lithium ion battery pack and built in LED…...


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