The success of Specialized electric mountain bikes has made the Levo almost like the Hoover of e-MTBs. A Spesh Levo is what people think of when someone’s talking about e-bikes. They are e-biquitous, you could say.
Some would say that they deserve to be. Specialized has arguably done more than any brand to make e-bikes more acceptable in the mountain bike world. Its Levo bikes were (are) much more of a cohesive looking package. Much more built-in than bolt-on.
Anyhoo, some new Specialized Levo models have been revealed. They aren’t silly-money vanity projects. Nor are they half-fat, low-power, range-paranoic e-bikes. The new bikes are full-power, proper e-MTBs. There are three new models in total: Levo Alloy (£5,250), Levo Comp Alloy (£6,750) and Levo Comp Carbon (£7,750).
Oh, and they’re 160/150mm travel mullet bikes (29in front, 27.5in rear). E-bikes were at the vanguard of the mixed wheel wave and it’s not hard to see why. E-bikes can be hard to move around. Smaller rear wheels (with shorter chain stays) help de-anchor the bike from terra firma. Small rear wheels are also good for arse-clearance for average-to-small riders.
Sizing-wise, Specialized is offering the Levos in a whopping six different sizes. They’re bringing in their S sizing, found on their regular mountain bikes. S sizing basically does away with S, M, L, XL etc and replaces them with S1, S2 etc. It’s a good system. Mainly because it makes customers look again at the frame size they should be using, as opposed to going off “oh, I’ve always ridden a Medium” so I’ll go with that again. With S sized Specialized bikes you will probably technically fit on to two or three of the size options. It’s up to you to work out which suits you best, and is another reason to go into an actual bike shop and talk to someone who can help.
There have been Levo aluminium models available for similar price tags before but the introduction of a Comp-level carbon frame Levo will be of interest to a lot of potential pedal-assist punters. Comparing previous pre-pandemic price points is a tricky game to play when evaluating 2022 mountain bikes.
With this in mind we’ve listed the full spec details below and you can see for yourself where things have changed for the better/worse.
What else do you need to know about these new Levos?
They all use Specialized 2.2 motor. So that’s 90Nm of torque or up to 565 watts if you prefer bigger numbers. In layman’s terms, the motor is capable of quadrupling your effort. The 2.2 motor also offers one of the more natural and less-disruptive feeling pedalling experiences out there, albeit one that’s one of more audible engines out there.
The 2.2 motor features a more robust belt for improved reliability and the motor also gets new firmware that “optimises efficiency and power output”, it says here.
500Wh on the Levo Alloy. 700Wh on the Levo Comp Alloy and Levo Comp Carbon. The 700Wh batteried bikes come with a claim of “up to five hours ride time”, but as any e-biker will tell you, range varies hugely depending on so many factors that any sort of marketing claim is best not taken as gospel. Don’t find yourself with a flat battery in the middle of the Cairngorm because the spec sheet said your battery would last five hours.
Regardless, 700Wh is right up there with the most capacious batteries currently available from anyone. Specialized have always been good at the control-tweakery of their ebikes and the new Levos offer their Smart Control setting that is pretty impressive at managing your battery/assist levels to improve your range.
Seat angles have got a little steeper. And are different in the smaller frame sizes. Reach numbers have increased. Head angles have slackened. The latter is also paired up with shorter offset forks (something Specialized has offered on all its 29ers for longer than almost any other brand out there) with a view to bringing the front tyre contact back in a bit to improve cornering traction.
But hang on. Look at this…
Much like the Specialized Stumpjumper Evo, the Comp Alloy and Comp Carbon Levo bikes offer fairly comprehensive geometry adjustment. The head angle has three settings (63-65.5°). The BB height can be adjusted by 7mm on all these new Levos, even the Levo Alloy, by chain stay flip-chip.
Specialized’s bespoke suspension tuning. Frame kinematics, leverage curves, damping and spring rates developed together.
When can you buy one?
Availability is stated as “today”. So, don’t say you haven’t been warned. They aren’t going to hang around for long.
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Enlightening first comment PeteB
Spec sheets seem truncated on my browser – what’s fork/shock specs (I can’t see them)?
It is a bit meh, £5250 starting price, but that’s a really basic 500wh version, at a pricepoint where you’re getting a lot more bang for buck, nearly 7k for the Comp which does comes with the 700wh battery, but it’s got low to mid range kit throughout, amazing to think that you have to spend over 8k to get a half decent set of wheels and finishing kit!
@Vincent Gregory I’ve just reinserted those images – hopefully you can read them now?
Welcome back Ben
@Hannah Dobson – thanks – all good now
A Spesh Levo is what people think of when someone’s talking about broken e-bikes.
How does the claim of 565W fit in with the legal limit of 250W?
Anyone else underwhelmed by a Rhythm fork, cheap own brand wheelset and GX at just under 8k……
At least 90% of riders I see on Specialized* E-MTBs tell me that they have had to have significant warranty work on the motors – I know some who have had multiple replacements, yet no website or magazine ever seems to mention this in reviews etc.
Is it fear of losing advertising, no long-term reviews, or just a dirty secret of the bike industry?
*May apply to other brands too, but I see a lot more Specialized E-MTBs out than any other manufacturer.
So you buy your Ebike on a cycle to work scheme then load it onto the back of your Vw
Van and drive to the trailhead.. #nobodyscyclingtowork…
@gribs That’s peak power, continuous is limited to 250w. Apparently it’s the average measured over a 30minute period! Don’t ask me how that works..
Overall I’m struggling with these prices & not at least including the tcu2 on all the new models. Having tried an expert quickly, I’d like one, but it’s going to need to be seriously discounted for that to happen
“Anyone else underwhelmed by a Rhythm fork, cheap own brand wheelset and GX at just under 8k……”
Came to the comments to say exactly this. £8k for an alloy frame and low-rent components. Insane.
We cannot continue to normalise these prices, it’s not OK that a few years ago we thought £5k was silly money for a carbon bike with decent kit – and now we’re normalising £8k for aluminium and budget kit.
For comparison, the 2018 Specialized Enduro Elite (the hot pink, FACT 9m carbon frame one), with Ohlins RXF 36 Fork, SRAM GX throughout was £4250.
Accounting for inflation, it should be £4600 today.