Specialized’s latest e-bike has enough travel to keep daredevils happy
Drawing inspiration from the highlyacclaimed Specialized Enduro, the Turbo Kenevo is the US brand’s new heavyhitting e-MTB, with a whopping 180mm of travel and geometry to match.
The ‘X-Wing’ frame design is the first obvious similarity, although here the front triangle neatly houses Spesh’s latest M1-504 battery and Brosebuilt Turbo 1.3 Rx Trail Tuned motor. Power has been boosted by 15 per cent compared to older Turbo Levos (Specialized’s original e-MTB) and heat build-up is managed better. Alongside other hardware and software updates, the new ‘Trail’ remote lets you toggle easily between the three power modes (eco, trail and turbo).
While we’re used to seeing some serious compromises on e-bikes, Specialized look to have done a great job of delivering a bike that should feel familiar on the trail. In fact, the geometry isn’t a million miles off the Enduro’s. The medium Kenevo offers 431mm of reach and short (for an e-bike) 443mm chainstays. A relatively steep 74.8-degree seat angle and a slack 65-degree head angle should help ensure it can hold its own whether pointed up or down the hill.
An Öhlins TTX coil shock is paired with a RockShox Lyrik up front to control the 180mm of travel. Interestingly, Specialized have decided to spec all of their e-MTBs with narrower 2.8in plus tyres for 2018 (compared to 3.0in this year), because they feel they’re better supported when pushed hard. In the Kenevo’s case, these come in the shape of own-brand Butchers with the tougher ‘GRID’ carcass. The bike also comes with Specialized’s new Command WU post, which tilts the saddle as it’s dropped through its travel.
Only one Kenevo model is being offered (the Expert 6Fattie), but it’s available in four sizes, from small to XL. At £5,000 it’s not cheap though.
Right, top Specialized’s new Trail remote makes it easier to switch between the ‘eco’, ‘trail’ and ‘turbo’ power modes Right, bottom The Turbo 1.3 motor is more powerful, manages heat better and is claimed to be far more efficient