Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Specialized Turbo Levo SL, the superlight electric mountain bike

In 2016, when Specialized presented its first Turbo Levo, everyone who rode it was impressed with the bike’s various details. However, whether in appearance or in play, it was clear that you were riding something relatively bigger and heavier than a conventional bike. In the second version of the bike, with a new carbon fiber frame, the model lost a lot of weight, but even so, it remained a relatively large and heavy bike.

Now, the American brand has launched its latest version, the Turbo Levo SL, that is superlight and transmits sensations very close to a conventional mountain bike.

For this new concept of e-MTB, Specialized has opted for something that many would call madness, incorporating a new smaller, and less powerful engine. But with this, they have ensured to be able to build a very balanced mountain bike that leaves this Specialized Turbo Levo SL at 17.35 kg.

The 240-watt Specialized SL 1.1 engine that delivers 35 Nm of torque.
The 240-watt Specialized SL 1.1 engine that delivers 35 Nm of torque.

The maximum assistance speed of the Turbo Levo SL is 32 km/h or 20mph (up to 25 km/h in Europe). In addition to pedaling, this speed is ensured by the 240-watt Specialized SL 1.1 engine that weighs barely 1.9 kg and delivers 35 Nm of torque.

Both the motor and the integrated 320Wh battery system are the same as its road cousin, the Turbo Creo, and Creo SL off-road road bikes. The battery promises a life of five hours on a single charge.

Another important novelty of the Specialized Turbo Levo SL of 2020 is the possibility of including an external 160Wh battery in the bottle cage to connect. You can use the extra battery if your goal is to pedal longer than the three hours of charge promised by the brand in Eco mode – obviously, the duration of the charge depends on factors such as the rider’s weight, altimetry, and power used.

Specialized Turbo Levo SL
Specialized Turbo Levo SL

With 150 mm of front and rear travel, its 29-inches (2.3-inch wide) wheels, its reduced weight, the Turbo Levo SL offers the dynamic qualities of an “all-mountain bike.” Besides, bike management can be handled from the Mission Control application, which displays statistics and information about the bike.

The only (big) downside concerns the price. As always, with Specialized, the entry ticket is high: from $6,500 for the Turbo Levo SL Comp (base model) with aluminum frame. But there will also a special Founder’s Edition, which will cost up to $16,500. The external battery is priced at $400 and is included in some carbon versions.

If currently, the market trend is to present electric mountain bikes with increasing battery capacity and powerful engines, Specialized has completely deviated looking for a balance that allows the user to have the sensations of a normal bike again in terms of driving, but without sacrificing assistance. It seems a master move of the American brand that we will soon see if it creates a trend in the rest of the competitors.