Spe­cial­ized Turbo Levo FSR Comp 6Fat­tie

Con­quer tough climbs and dis­cover new trails

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - TRAIL TEST - Re­viewed by

MMatt Stet­son

ore power is some­thing ev­ery cy­clist has wished for at some point dur­ing a ride. Maybe it’s at the end of a long day limp­ing back to the car, or near­ing the top of a steep sandy climb. We’ve all been there. Re­cently, bike com­pa­nies have been ad­dress­ing this need through ebikes. The Spe­cial­ized Levo is one such bike.

Fully ded­i­cated off-road moun­tain ebikes are be­com­ing more and more pop­u­lar. The Spe­cial­ized Turbo Levo fsr Comp 6Fat­tie takes all that makes com­muter-style ebikes pop­u­lar and puts it into a fully ca­pa­ble off-road per­former. The Levo has three ride set­tings for its mo­tor that can be ad­justed by push­ing one of the three con­trol but­tons lo­cated on the bike’s down tube. Turbo mode of­fers the most power and will eas­ily help you get to 30 km/h. It will also pro­vide am­ple power to climb al­most any grade with ease. The trail set­ting is in the mid­dle. If you re­ally want to save the bat­tery or use your own power, there’s eco mode. The mo­tor senses torque in the ped­als and ap­plies an ap­pro­pri­ate amount of as­sis­tance de­pend­ing on the ride mode you’re in. While I found turbo mode too ag­gres­sive for sin­gle­track rid­ing, the trail and eco set­tings were very in­tu­itive and al­lowed me to ride like I nor­mally would, but with less ef­fort.

The bike has 10 leds sur­round­ing the con­trol but­tons to in­di­cate bat­tery level. You can also gain ac­cess to loads of in­for­ma­tion via Spe­cial­ized’s Mis­sion Con­trol app. When you pair the bike to your smart­phone, you can cus­tom­ize how the mo­tor uses power and torque within the three spe­cific modes. If you are go­ing for a short, zippy ride, you can set the sys­tem to get the most out of the bat­tery. If you have a 60-km ride, you can cus­tom­ize bat­tery us­age to max­i­mize its longevity. The Levo has gps ca­pa­bil­i­ties and will track your rides. Strava and Garmin are both work­ing on de­vel­op­ing ebike-spe­cific plat­forms for bat­tery-as­sisted jaunts.

On trail, the Levo acts much like a nor­mal moun­tain bike. Spe­cial­ized has done its home­work to put all of the added weight from the mo­tor and bat­tery in all the right places. While weav­ing through sin­gle­track and flow­ing berms, the steer­ing felt solid. When the trail starts to turn rough, the Levo’s added weight al­most helped to keep the plus-size tires planted and kept the bike from bounc­ing too much through rock gar­dens. Spe­cial­ized has also ad­dressed the added weight in the sus­pen­sion de­sign. A spe­cific shock and fork are sup­plied and can be set up like any other dual-sus­pen­sion moun­tain bike with 25 to 30 per cent sag.

Af­ter log­ging many hours and sev­eral bat­tery charges, the Levo has been a blast to ride. I have taken on longer and harder rides than I nor­mally would have on a tra­di­tional moun­tain bike and dis­cov­ered new trails as a re­sult. Now rid­ing to the trail­head is a plea­sure rather than a chore and that sandy climb that once zapped all of my en­ergy is a golden path to the de­scent that fol­lows. Spe­cial­ized Turbo Levo FSR Comp 6Fat­tie

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