Just twelve short months after unveiling the Turbo Levo FSR, Specialized is back at it again, pulling the covers off its latest e-MTB to wear the Turbo Levo moniker. With over three years of development, Specialized says the all-new Turbo Levo is the company’s lightest and best handling electric mountain bike to date.
Join us as we take a look at ten things to know about the all-new 2019 Specialized Turbo Levo electric mountain bike.
1. Catering to a Growing Market
After initially cutting its teeth in the commuter market, Specialized has made significant inroads to the fast-growing e-MTB market in recent years, co-developing its own drive units and pushing the boundaries of what consumers can expect from a powered-up mountain bike.
It’s no secret that the e-performance market is lapping up this innovation too, after all, much of the e-bike category’s double-digit growth figure for 2017 can be attributed to a sharp increase in both sales and interest in the electrified off-road segment.
2. More Than A Powered Up Stumpy
Take one glance at the all-new Levo and it’s easy to see where the inspiration for the frame design come from. Specialized makes no attempt to hide this face either, stating that they took everything they’d learned during the development of the 2019 Stumpjumper, and transferred it over to the Levo, crafting a purpose-built e-MTB chassis that extends on its pedal-powered sibling.
These enhancements include bolstered stiffness, a more stable geometry, optimised weight distribution and a weight reduction, all of which we’ll cover below.
3. Refined Geometry
Specialized say the all-new Levo is “a fully progressive trail bike”. This means that the reach has been lengthened, the head angle slackened, the chainstays kept short and the centre of gravity kept low. All of this combines to create confidence-inspiring stability and more precise handling when tackling technical trails. Whilst a steeper seat tube is said to improve climbing prowess.
As is the case with the new Stumpjumper, The Turbo Levo now offers the option of either a “High” or “Low” geometry setting. This is achieved with the flip chip located in the swing-arm, which when flipped, effectively changes the bottom bracket height by 6mm and the head tube angle by half-a-degree.
4. Space For Meaty Rubber
The entire Turbo Levo range now ships with 29er wheels shod with meaty 2.6” wide tyres for increased rollover ability, control and traction on the trail. Specialized claim that the Turbo Levo will also swallow 27.5 plus wheel and tyre combinations up to a positively rotund 3” width.
5. Stiffer and Lighter
Whilst transitioning to the new frame that lays at the heart of the Levo, Specialized claim that both the new alloy and carbon frame versions of the Turbo Levo weight less than the outgoing S-Works Turbo Levo Carbon FSR. Comparing the new S-Works Turbo Levo Carbon with the old, there’s a weight saving of over two kilograms (4.4 pounds) from the complete bike. This includes 400 grams from the drive unit, 800 grams from the frame, with the remainder of the weight savings coming through refining the battery, control unit and components.
The new carbon frame is said to save 800g in weight compared to the new alloy version. In both instances, going hand in hand with the weight savings is an all-new side-arm frame design which is claimed to give the Turbo Levo an unrivaled stiffness to weight ratio.
6. Redesigned Drive Unit and Power Source
Arguably the biggest update to the Levo platform is the all-new Specialized 2.1 drive unit. Developed in collaboration with belt-driven e-bike motor specialists Brose, the 2.1 is said to be more powerful and efficient than its predecessor.
Boasting 90Nm of torque and a peak power output of 560 watts, the drive unit is capable of amplifying a riders input by up to 410%, sure to make tackling sharp inclines a breeze.
Working hand in hand with the new weight-relieved drive unit are redesigned and more powerful battery options. Available in either 700Wh (S-Works and Expert Carbon models), or 500Wh, the new battery units boast an impressive increase in capacity of up to 40% over the outgoing Turbo Levo.
Take into account the weight reduction of over two kilograms and Specialized say that the new battery units will provide 40% more range compared to its predecessors, or between one and five hours of usable assistance out on the trail, depending on the assistance level
7. Tuned Suspension
A big part of what makes the new steed so capable is an all-new custom suspension tune. Initial travel is said to be more supple, reducing trail chatter, while additional damping at the mid-stroke has been added to keep the bike from sinking rearward as the rider's weight shifts forward on steep inclines.
All told, the 150mm of travel front and rear is said to be custom tuned on every bike and size in the range, making for a refined ride, whatever the price point.
8. All-New Control unit
Serving as the brains of the Levo, Specialized has redesigned its Turbo Connect Unit (TCU) to provide more control, adjustability, and connectivity at your fingertips with a handlebar-mounted remote control and a sleek top tube display. The TCU also connects to the Specialized Mission Control app via Bluetooth and ANT+, allowing riders to view and adjust their ride stats, motor settings, battery levels and assistance levels on the fly.
9. Customisable Assistance Profiles
Dubbed ”Infinite Tune”, Specialized provides the ability to adjust the peak power output for a given assistance level separately from the motor support, and vice versa. This is claimed to give riders the opportunity to fully customise the three stock modes to their personal preferences.
Fresh from the showroom floor, the Turbo Levo ships with the following assistance options; Turbo: 100% (Support) / 100% (Peak Power), Trail: 35% / 100% , and Eco: 35% / 35%. There’s also a fourth mode dubbed “Shuttle Mode” that provides riders with peak motor output with minimal pedal pressure, allowing riders to quickly shuttle back up the mountain to complete another lap.
10. Pricing and Availability
Both Alloy and Carbon framed versions of the Specialized Turbo Levo are slated to hit local stores with Alloy versions framed available right now over at Specialized.com.au. We expect S-Works and Carbon framed options to be available from October and onwards.
Models and Pricing for the Australian Specialized Turbo Levo range are as follows:
S-Works Turbo Levo Carbon 29: RRP AU$15,000
Specialized Turbo Levo Expert Carbon 29: RRP AU$11,500
Specialized Turbo Levo Comp Carbon 29: RRP AU$9,500
Specialized Turbo Levo 29 (Men’s and Women’s available): RRP AU$7,000
Looking for more information on these powered up steeds? Check out our Ultimate E-Bike Buyers Guide for all you need to know.