Specialized Levo Turbo S-Works Mountain Bikes
Specialized mountain bikes are some of the best bikes on the market. Designed for mountain trails, they are perfect for avid riders.
The S-Works Levo Turbo is a $15,000 flagship mountain bike for those who want the best. These MTB’s are constructed using a carbon fiber frame, and ultra-lightweight, ultra-responsive Levo Turbo motors.
The Specialized S-Works Levo Turbo comes in two main varieties:
- The base model Specialized S-Works Levo Turbo and
- The Specialized S-Works Levo Turbo SL [A little less expensive at $13,525]
- Drivetrain – SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS derailleur with SRAM XG-1299, 12-Speed, 10-52 tooth cassette
- Brakes – Magura MT7, 4-piston caliper, hydraulic discs, front and rear on 200mm rotors,
- Front Suspension – Fox Float 38 factory 29, Grip 2 damper, performance shocks with 160mm travel.
- Rear Suspension – Fox Float X2 Factory, 2 piston lever, with 150mm travel.
Specialized has taken their award-winning mountain bike, the Stumpjumper EVO, and transformed it into a full-fledged eMTB. There are no better Mountain bikes on the market and the Stumpjumper EVO forms the foundation of all S-Works Levo Turbo Mountain bikes.
The S-Works is the top of the Specialized eMTB range, and they offer options, within options, to capture every rider’s preference.
Where the Specialized Levo Turbo S-Works targets the eMTB performance space, the Levo Turbo S-Works SL model takes it up a notch. The Levo Turbo S-Works SL provides a unique market advantage aimed to capture purist competition mountain bike riders.
The mass of options in the Specialized mountain bike range can confuse the uninitiated. We compare the two major options of the Levo Turbo S-Works to clarify the differences between the models.
Comparing the Specialized Levo Turbo S-Works and Levo Turbo S-Works SL
Specialized Levo Turbo SL S-Works
Specialized Levo Turbo SL eMTBs have done it again by introducing the second generation of their powerful and lightweight motors to more models. Specialized is taking its technology to the next level. The Super Light SL1.1 motor and lightweight battery are now fitted on their Levo SL mountain bikes.
Specialized Levo Turbo SL S-Works e-bikes are super lightweight e-MTBs with the same range as similar e-bikes. They have a light, powerful motor that requires less energy to operate. The Specialized Levo Turbo SL S-Works focuses on the top level of competitive electric mountain biking.
The SL 1.1 motor weighs a minuscule 1.95Kg and produces up to 35Nm of torque. The energy efficient motor of the Specialized Levo Turbo SL S-Works also allows a lighter, weight saving battery to be fitted. Reduced weight gives this Specialized Mountain bike a sharper, more nimble ride. The lighter front end made this bike the wheelie master.
The low weight and subtle design appeal to a lot of riders. Many athletes prefer lightweight, top performing mountain bikes with the power assistance of an electric bike. The low weight provides an incredible riding feel, which is unlike any other eMTB I’ve tested. At just 36.5 pounds, it’s perfect for all levels of cycling experience.
When operating their “Mission Control” smart ride management software, the Levo Turbo SL can provide a similar range to other e-bikes.
I can’t say enough about the Levo Turbo SL. It is simply the most competition focused Specialized mountain bike you can buy. The bike exudes the quality you expect from a flagship brand name.
The 1:1 ratio provides very natural power assistance to the Levo Turbo SL and there are delicate touches everywhere on the S-Works bikes. For instance, the SWAT multi-tool hides in a special compartment built into the steering tube so that it is always available if you need it.
The Specialized Levo Turbo SL will appeal to purist mountain bikers looking for the most agile, turner burner that they can get their hands on.
Be aware, however, that the Specialized Levo Turbo SL S-Works is not for everyone.
As a competition mountain bike, the Levo Turbo SL is sensational. The S-Works is, however, compromised as a daily use e-bike.
The drawback comes when using the bike as a daily ride. Where most eMTBs deliver a 4:1 power ratio, the motor on the Levo Turbo SL delivers power in a 1:1 ratio. This means that the motor matches the effort put in by the rider rather than 4 times the pedal effort on other e-bikes.
For trails, the motor is great, and the reduced torque output does not affect rock hopping. After all, when you are pumping uphill, or stump jumping, the rider will receive the industry standard 250 Watt engine limit of other competition eMTBs. If you are “on” the pedals, you will put in a lot more than 250W of effort. This means you get maximum power from the engine regardless of whether it can provide a 4:1 or 1:1 power ratio.
[We note here that the base Levo Turbo S-Works has an industry leading power booster providing up to 565 Watts peak output]
On the road, or if you just want an easy ride to the trailhead, the 1:1 power ratio is limiting. The power delivery of the SL 1:1 motor of the Levo Turbo SL conserves energy to help to extend the range of the lightweight battery.
The 4:1 power delivery of other competition bikes makes life a lot easier when cruising. Most electric mountain bike owners will happily accept a few extra pounds in weight for a more powerful battery. The small battery is the limiting factor of the Specialized Levo Turbo S-Works SL.
Lower cost models in the Specialized range deliver 4x the pedal power and have a higher capacity battery that can provide better range.
The more powerful Specialized Levo Turbo S-Works (non SL version) can also provide 1:1 power delivery. Engine management software can be engaged to reduce the power output to match the SL electric mountain bikes.
If you feel you need more ride time from the SL, there is an option. There is a sweet, 160 Wh battery extender for the mountain bike. This battery extender fits neatly into the bottle cage of the Specialized Levo Turbo SL S-Works.
This begs the questions:
- Why would you pay for an additional battery extender when you can have a more powerful battery of the non-SL model?
- Why would you limit yourself to 1:1 power assistance when you can curtail the power of the base Turbo Levo S-Works?
Specialized Levo Turbo S-Works
The Specialized Levo Turbo S-Works offers an unbeatable combination of ride quality, usable power, and range. It’s the refinement of dedication to mountain biking for over four decades that has seen Specialized produce some of the world’s best mountain bikes. This is the Specialized mountain bike that has set the benchmark for other manufacturers.
New Gen 3, full power, Specialized Levo Turbo 2.2 motors provide a smooth and seamless amplification of rider effort.
The motor adds 4 x the rider pedal input, and it has a power boost ability providing 565 Watts for short bursts. The Levo Turbo 2.2 electric motor can provide more than 2 x the maximum power output of the Levo Turbo SL models.
The 700 Wh battery can take you for miles without a charge. Specialize position the battery low in the frame to improve weight distribution. This preserves the agility of the bike although the battery is not convenient to remove, requiring the bike to be turned over.
The large battery, combined with Specialized’s MasterMind Turbo Control Unit, gives you options. Now you can choose where you go and how hard you want to work to get there. MasterMind ride management software offers more features than the SL system. This is simply because the more powerful motor and battery allow more software functionality.
The Specialized Levo Turbo S-Works delivers a lot of power and the weight is perfectly distributed. You can effortlessly pick the front wheel to twist around those tight turns on the steepest trails. The bike is light and well-balanced, allowing the rider to glide over obstacles and hop the back end over rocks.
On downhill tracks the bike is stable. Where the lighter SL was a little twitchy, the heavier frame and motor on the S-Works Levo Turbo absorb impact. The Levo Turbo S-Works makes full use of the 160mm / 150mm shocks front and rear.
The S-Works e-bike gives the rider the confidence to change direction quickly at speed. I had a blast pushing the Levo Turbo on a variety of unfamiliar terrain. On super-fast tracks I found that the 150mm rear suspension maxed out, and the bike became a little edgy.
I suspect that both models would have handled perfectly on super fast tracks if I had adjusted the suspension. I was having too much fun to refer to the online suspension setup guide for the Specialized Levo Turbo S-Works. The S-Works was still more than capable of doing the job. The e-bike really impressed me with how well it handled more conventional downhill tracks.
- The Specialized Levo Turbo S-Works is the pinnacle of performance. Every component on the bike is sleek and refined and the engine is quiet. There are no cheap suspension rattles and the engine does not whine. On downhill stages, the complete absence of noise adds to the quality feel of this marvelous electric mountain bike.
This e-bike provides athletes with an ultimate performer combined with unsurpassed quality.
The Specialized Levo Turbo SL S-Works eMTB stands out from others as a competition focused machine. Power delivery from the motor is very natural and competition centric. The motor is accomplished on steep uphill inclines.
The SL models strive to reduce weight at all costs. At 38.3 lbs (17.4 Kg), this bike is lighter than any other eMTB that we know of. The SL variant is a full 9 lbs lighter than its twin, the Levo Turbo S-Works.
The outcome is a sharp, agile, well-balanced, maneuverable, fun to ride, bike that is the king of tight, twisting, downhill trails. The Levo Turbo SL eMTB is also good fun on fast downhill tracks.
The S-works Levo Turbo SL is not, however, designed for cruising. Riders have to put in far more effort to keep pace with other eMTBs on the ride to the trailhead. The obsession with weight reduction means that the battery is only rated at 320Wh.
By contrast, the slightly heavier Specialized Levo Turbo S-Works has the full power, Levo Turbo 2.2 motor. This engine provides smooth and seamless 4 x amplification of rider effort and a peak boost of 565W. The motor has a peak power output of more than double the SL model.!
The 700 Wh battery can take you for miles without a charge. The bike is still a low 47 lbs (21.3Kg), and well-balanced, allowing the rider to glide over obstacles and hop the back end over rocks.
The geometry did, however, make the Levo Turbo a little nervous at speed despite the 160mm/150mm travel on the suspension. There are so many options to adjust the Specialized Levo Turbo SL S-Works that I believe that a trained tech. would have been able to dial the bike in for faster tracks.
The MasterMind Turbo Control Unit on Specialized Mountain bikes is a step ahead of the competition. The MasterMind system allows the rider to select engine power saving modes or workout regimes. Riders can also replicate the motor characteristics of the SL 1.1 motor on the Levo Turbo SL model if they choose.
The base model Specialized Levo Turbo S-Works was the bike for me, and I believe most would agree with my choice. The Levo Turbo S-Works SL would appeal to purist Mountain bikers.