Specialized Levo Electric Mountain Bike Complete Guide – Setup, Comparisons & History

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Specialized Levo Electric Mountain Bike Complete Guide - Setup, Comparisons & History

Specialized launched two full suspension electric mountain bikes in 2016 and I was given an overview and comparison by Erik from Peloton Cycles in Fort Collins Colorado. We talked about the differences between the Specialized Levo FSR Comp and Expert models, the Expert has a higher battery capacity but is actually lighter due to nicer components and suspension. The Levo is actually designed from a Stumpjumper frame, it builds from the same geometry and is a sort of “do everything” bike. We compared a non electric Stumpjumper to the Levo Comp and found that they were 31 lbs to 50 lbs respectively with a 19 lb difference. Some of that difference is the 6Fatty tires (27.5” diameter by 3” width), other manufacturers call it 27.5+ for plus sizing. This tire size allows you to make more mistakes or go over rougher terrain without sliding or getting bucked so much. Erik dug deep into tubeless with me and he is of the opinion that everyone should run tubeless… which is lighter weight and allows for lower PSI. Another area we covered was the men’s vs. women’s specialized mountain bikes and how reach and chain stay length is shorter for the ladies design. Erik said that sometimes they put petite men or kids on those bikes because the fit is better. Apparently the Stumpjumper frame has been in development and iterative improvement cycles for over 10 years and all of that learning and experience has been applied to the Turbo Levo. These bikes are made with M5 Aluminum which stands for m “mountain” 5 “highest level” alloy. I asked Erik why he thought Specialized went with Aluminum on the frame vs. Carbon and he explained that you can’t thread Carbon without inserts and that the Aluminum actually didn’t end up weighing that much more and is just generally tougher for this type of application. Alloy can actually be stronger in smaller applications as well. The bike also comes with SWAT (storage, water, air and tools) to help you deal with any trail maintenance that comes up. I learned about cleaning shocks and that you should wipe away from the slider and basically keep the stanchions from getting any kind of nicks because that will wear them over time and the sliding motion won’t be as smooth. I was amazed to learn that you can even change the chainring size on this bike and that the plastic guide adjusts up and down to fit these different sizes! The brakes are a DOT 4 and DOT 5.1 system (department of transportation rated) for the extra weight and power which compliments the 15 mm and 12 mm thru-axles. I was impressed with the warranty for the frame and suspension componentry which both get 5 years. Peloton also offers a sizing when you buy one of their bikes (which includes help choosing the proper bike and then dialing it in to ride properly). Their Body Geometry fit takes several hours and includes an advanced flexibility fit and optimization for riding which is $200 and includes motion capture to help align your knees properly. At the very end of the video, Erik schools me on how to lock the Specialized Turbo Levo FSR models so that the battery is actually secured to the frame as well… I had initially thought the battery wasn’t secured due to the thru-axle vs. locking core. Erik is SBU (Specialized Bicycle University) Certified level 2 and level 1 for fitting and is on his way to becoming fully certified. I also took a deep dive into the app at the end with my own Levo to see how it all works including route planning.

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