The Specialized S-Works Levo already claimed our coveted Best in Test badge last year. This year, Specialized have launched a completely redesigned Levo, setting the bar higher once again. Will the S-Works Turbo Levo FSR manage two consecutive wins?

For more information on the group test head to: The best eMTB you can buy

Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo FSR | 20.70 kg | € 11,299

On the day the new Levo was presented, many engineers of the bike industry will no doubt have taken a deep breath: a new, asymmetrically designed carbon frame with an integrated operating concept, a whopping 700 Wh battery capacity, 29″ wheels and a new, even more powerful motor. It was clear from the start – this bike sets new standards. Compared to its predecessor, the new frame and motor have managed to shed a total of 800 g. The newly designed Turbo Connect Unit has been integrated into the top tube of the Levo, allowing you to check the battery level, see the support mode you’re in as well as select a different mode. The bike also features a small remote to activate the push aid and to select the mode. If you want, you have the option of pairing the bike with your Garmin, or Specialized’s own display via Bluetooth.

Next Level – the new Specialized S-Works Levo outclasses the competition!

The price of the S-Works Levo will make some people’s blood run cold: € 11,299 is a lot of money. But you’ll be getting a lot of the very finest in componentry. Carbon wheels? Check! FOX Factory suspension? Check! Since the motor with its 90 Nm of torque is plenty powerful, Specialized relies on a lighter SRAM XX1 11-speed drivetrain with less gear range. Although it is high-end, it seems outdated for 2019.

Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo FSR in Detail

Fork FOX 36 Factory GRIP2 150 mm
Rear shock FOX FLOAT Factory DPS 150 mm
Motor/Battery Specialized 2.1 /Turbo M2-700 700 Wh
Drivetrain SRAM XX1 11-speed
Brakes SRAM CODE RSC 200/200 mm
Seat post Specialized Command Post 160 mm
Stem Deity Copperhead 50 mm
Handlebar Specialized Trail Carbon 780 mm
Wheels Roval Traverse SL
Tires Specialized Butcher GRID 29×2.6″

Very stiff
Thanks to the asymmetric frame design with the extra connecting bridge between the top tube and seat tube, the frame is super stiff and transmits the rider’s input very directly.
Starting to become outdated
Although there is nothing to complain about with the SRAM XX1 11-speed drivetrain, it is starting to look outdated and a bit out of place on the Levo.
Integrated
Specialized know how to please with the details. One of which is the integration of a mini tool in the head tube.
Everything at a glance
Instead of a big colour display, Specialized rely on a simple LED display in the top tube. A quick glance is all it takes to know your battery level and the support mode you’re in

Geometry of the Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo FSR

Size S M L XL
Seat tube 380 mm 410 mm 455 mm 505 mm
Top tube (horizontal) 577 mm 600 mm 631 mm 664 mm
Head tube 95 mm 95 mm 125 mm 140 mm
Head angle 66° 66° 66° 66°
Seat angle 75° 75° 74° 74°
Chainstay 455 mm 455 mm 455 mm 455 mm
BB Drop 27 mm 27 mm 27 mm 27 mm
Wheelsbase 1,182 mm 1,202 mm 1,235 mm 1,266 mm
Reach 415 mm 435 mm 455 mm 480 mm
Stack 606 mm 606 mm 634 mm 647 mm

Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo FSR in Review

Helmet Bell Sixer | Jersey Deus Moto X Knit | Shorts ION Bikeshort Scrub Amp | Schuhe ION Rascal

In the world of bicycles, there is something we call the “Specialized feeling”. Whenever the American brand introduces a new bike, you can be sure that you’ll immediately feel comfortable on it. The seating position is spot on! Neither too stretched, nor too upright. Specialized clearly understand the importance of balance! The motor kicks in almost imperceptibly and it pushes the bike forward with a very natural ride feel. Even the highest mode is exceptionally easy to modulate, providing the most powerful push up the climbs in the test field (excepting the Haibike with its TQ motor, of course). It assists powerfully at slow cadences and doesn’t slack off as you speed up – perfect!

Tuning tip: Keiner!

The Levo lets you master the most technical climbs. However, you should always be aware where your cranks are as the bottom bracket is quite low. However, that does mean you feel super integrated with the bike on the descents. The performance of the suspension is very sensitive and defined, and the handling strikes a perfect compromise between agility and composure. The Levo is composed, but never boring, inevitably putting a big grin on the rider’s face no matter the trail! There are bikes in this group test that perform better on the descents, but none of them have the same level of all-round balance!


Riding Characteristics

5

Agility

  1. sluggish
  2. playful

Stability

  1. nervous
  2. stable

Handling

  1. unbalanced
  2. balanced

Riding fun

  1. boring
  2. lively

Motor feeling

  1. digital
  2. natural

Motor power

  1. weak
  2. strong

Value for money

  1. poor
  2. top

Technical Data

Specialized
S-Works Turbo Levo FSR

Size: S M L XL
Weight: 20.70 kg
Perm. total weight: 130 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment): 109 kg
Motor torque: 90 Nm
Battery Capacity: 700 Wh
Travel (f/r): 150/150 mm
Wheel Size: 29"
Price: € 11,299

Rider type

Beginner 1
Touring Rider 2
Trail rider 3
Extreme rider 4

Conclusion

The Specialized S-Works Levo is currently the best eMTB on the market! It has set new standards once again with its extremely balanced, natural handling, outstanding motor, huge range and unparalleled integration. However, there is one downside: the € 11,299 price tag of the S-Works model is a bitter pill to swallow!

Tops

  • natural ride feel
  • best motor on the market
  • long range
  • beautiful design
  • lightweight
  • different display options possible

Flops

  • hefty price
  • The long, integrated battery is difficult to remove

For more information head to: specialized.com

Editor’s note: In a previous version of the article, a limited maximum rider weight of 88kg was criticized. However, this was due to a communication error. The maximum recommended rider weight capacity of the S-Works Levo is 109 kg. The permissible total system weight meets the industry standard of 130 kg.

For more information on the group test head to: The best eMTB you can buy

All Bikes in Test

Canyon Spectral:ON 9.0 | Focus JAM² 9.8 DRIFTERGHOST HYBRIDE SL AMR X S 7.7+ LCGiant Trance E+ 0 Pro | Haibike XDURO AllMtn 8.0 FLYON | Husqvarna HC 9.0 | Intense TazerLapierre eZesty AM LTD Ultimate | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 900E | Mondraker Level RRScott Genius eRIDE 900 TUNED | Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo FSRThömus Lightrider E1 | Trek Powerfly LT 9.9


This article is from E-MOUNTAINBIKE issue #016

E-MOUNTAINBIKE Magazine is published in a digital app format in both English and German. Download the app for iOS or Android to read all articles on your tablet or smartphone. 100% free!

Words: Christoph Bayer Photos: Trev Worsey

About the author

Christoph Bayer

Christoph loves to be kept on his toes – both on the bike and in his role for the E-MOUNTAINBIKE Magazine. He’s known as the guy in charge of the magazine and masquerades as both its editor and photographer. You’ll usually find him tearing up the mountains on his bike, soaking up the flow or tackling technical, narrow trails.