Spe­cial­ized’s lat­est e-bike has enough travel to keep dare­dev­ils happy

Mountain Biking UK - - UPLIFT -

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

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