The new Specialized Turbo Levo mountain bike has one very unique characteristic that sets it apart from most, if not all, that have come before it. That’s right, this bike is fitted with an electric pedal-assist feature to help give you some extra juice on the climbs.
While e-bikes have made some tentative steps into the world of MTB, this new model from Specialized promises to finally establish them as a true competitor to traditional bikes in the eyes of hardcore MTBers. If you’re not into battling your way uphill and would rather spend your rides pelting full tilt down the other side then this could very well be the bike of your dreams!
The Levo is designed to incorporate all the best features of Specialized’s world-leading mountain bikes. It has quick, nimble handling and a low bottom bracket that gives you a secure connection to the trail below. It’s also been cleverly tweaked to allow the incorporation of the electric Turbo technology.
An important thing to note is that while this bike does have a motor, it doesn’t have a throttle like most e-bikes currently on the market. The extra power only kicks in when you’re pedalling, and then you can fine-tune just how much help you want from there. If you’re feeling fresh and simply want to get to the top of a run a bit quicker you can keep it on a low setting to preserve battery, but if you’re absolutely blowing and need to get the ride over quick you can also turn the assistance up.
Which leads us onto one of the coolest parts of the design – that all the features of the bike can be checked and tweaked using Specialized’s free Mission Control app. You can use it to view the amount of power available and receive feedback in the form of battery information, usage and even GPS direction finding.
Of course, an electric-powered mountain bike is going to need to be pretty resilient to dirt and muck – so we’ve made sure the battery is rated IP 67 for resistance to all that horrible stuff you’ll encounter on the trails. It’s also quick to recharge (3.5 hours from empty to full) and is very easy to remove when necessary.
The bike was tested by Bicycling Magazine last year and they were pretty impressed!
“By designing the Turbo Levo as an e-bike from the beginning—rather than slapping a motor on an existing frame design—Specialized has addressed many of my issues with e-mountain bikes—it's the first one I've found genuinely fun to ride.”
The Turbo Levo is coming in March 2016 – so you can hit the trails this spring at full power.