Specialized have done it again! They’ve launched another e-bike. OK it’s not a new model, as the Levo has been around for some time now, but the Levo SL offers a little bit more (or less) depending on how you look at it.
They’ve created a playful and nimble 29er that’s somewhat lighter than the standard Levo (if you can call the Levo standard).
There are five models to consider - the S-Works Levo SL, Levo SL Expert Carbon, Levo SL Comp Carbon, and the Levo SL Comp (there is also a Founder’s Edition but they’re only producing 250 of these worldwide).
All bikes share the same internal 320Wh lithium-ion battery and benefit fromthe newly devleoped, lightweight, Specialized SL 1.1 motor, giving the rider up to 3.5 hours of ride time. If you’re wanting to prolong the fun, you could add the Specialized Range Extender. (the S-Works model comes with one, the Founder’s Edition comes with two). For the other three models the Range Extender is available to purchase as an additional accessory.
So is the SL really super-light? The S-Works model weighs in at just over 17.3kg (for the large size) making it the lightest e-MTB in its class being 4kg lighter than it’s standard S-Works Levo. It’s a bike you can throw around, get airborne and probably forget is an e-bike. The Comp model is a little heavier at 19.4kg for the large size but being an alloy frame, it’s still pretty good.
The motor helps keep the weight down being much smaller than the 2.1. It’s magnesium cased with spanking new internals and weighs only 1.95kg - that’s just over a kilogram lighter than the Levo 2.1 motor. It does, however, still offer 240 watts and 35Nm of power (both peak and sustained) giving you, the rider, double the power you put into the pedals. It’s also incredibly smooth with an unbelivable natural feel.
So, how do the bike models differ? Well, the S-Works, Expert Carbon and Comp Carbon all have carbon frames and offer 150mm of travel front and rear with 29in wheels. The Levo SL Comp, however, is built around the Specialized M5 alloy frame. Forks, shock, drivetrain, brakes, wheelset and general component specification will obviously differ depending on which model you choose.
This new motor offers three levels of power, ECO, TRAIL and TURBO or OFF. ECO matches the riders effort up to 30% of the motor’s power. TRAIL up to 60% and TURBO 100% of the motor’s power. When the motor is not providing support it offers no resistance through the bottom bracket, giving you the feeling of riding a traditional MTB. The rider can choose which level to ride using the top-tube button or by connecting to the Specialized Mission Control App. The Mission Control system not only allows the rider to choose level of assistance but also the ability to customise the motor settings, diagnose the bike and record, save and anaylise rides, track power and handle battery managment giving the rider even greater control over their ride. Specialized call it “Power Personlised”. You will not, however, be able to customise the motor to give assistance over the 16mph (25kmh) that the motor is restricted to. So when you reach 25kmh the motor will disengage but the rider will notice no resistance and no more drag than a traditional bottom bracket.
When it comes to re-charging the batteries, simply plug in the charger provided. There is no need to remove the battery from the bike. The bike is designed with the battery as an integral part of the bike, keeping the weight down. It will take around 2.5 hours to charge from 3% to 100% and if you have the Range Extender this will take approx 3.5 hours to charge from 3% to 100%. If you obtain a “Y” cable both bike and Range Extender can be charged simultaniously in approximately 3.5 hours.
So this is the e-Bike to set the new bench mark in having fun out on the trails - light, nimble, good looking and with very effective yet discreet power assistance. Get out there in the morning, have fun, drain the battery, come home, charge it back up and hit the trails again in the afternoon. Ideal!