Product Review ..........

  • Thread starter Deleted member FN2187
  • Start date

kten

Likes Dirt
Have you considered running cushcore so you can drop the pressure to get some grip and a little more compliance? (I'm a massive fan of cushcore)

The Levo is high on my list of next bikes due to injuries caused by motorbikes (or should that be caused by me riding motorbikes:p). Initially I saw the ebike as a tool to help get bike time/fitness up again but after riding a few of them now believe they are an excellent addition to the stable (if you can afford the big $$ entry fee). Nothing like sessioning your favourite downhill 10 times without getting flogged riding back up lol
 

Isaakk

Likes Dirt
Level T's on an eBike? Oof. I find myself wanting more power from them on a 11kg XC hardtail, let alone a 21kg behemoth.

Great review, interesting to hear the insight on the different assist modes.
 
D

Deleted member FN2187

Guest
Have you considered running cushcore so you can drop the pressure to get some grip and a little more compliance? (I'm a massive fan of cushcore)
With the Schwalbe eddy current E bike tyres you shouldn't need cushcore. The pressures I run is correct for the combined weight of me and the bike, which is equal to that of a small galaxy. I may let more out of the front but the rear burps a bit under heavy cornering loads at lower pressures.
 
D

Deleted member FN2187

Guest
Level T's on an eBike? Oof. I find myself wanting more power from them on a 11kg XC hardtail, let alone a 21kg behemoth.
The front brake is a Level T lever mated to a 4 piston caliper from the old SRAM XO trail brakes. Yes it is a 4 piston brake and it does the job, but I am left wanting. Not to mention the rear brake fades like a bastard on long steep descents.

I have ordered some Shimano Zee brakes. I have had them on 2 DH bikes previously. Bang for your buck and Saint pad compatible, they can't be beat.
 
D

Deleted member FN2187

Guest
It has now been 6 months since taking ownership of my specialized levo. I figured it was time to offer an update on the progress of the bike, what's broken, whats replaced and how the experience has changed over time.
View attachment 358228

First things first. I have repainted the main triange of the bike with a black metal flake. The original Specialized Hyper Green colour was never my first choice, but was the only colour available to me at the time for an XL frame. I have also ordered some very special custom matching frame and fork Decals from the UK which should be arriving in the new year. I will update the photos when they do. This was my first time experimenting with a metal flake paint job and all things considdered it turned out quite well. The only thing that gave me greif was the drying time of the clear coat. I wanted 3 coats of clear so this took me quite a while to complete.

View attachment 358234
The original 'Hyper Green' paint colour for reference. Not my first choice

The eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed barely any original parts remain on the bike. As I stated in my original review, some of the component spec was not suitable for a 150mm travel bike. Primary of which being the suspension, wheels and brakes. I was quick to replace the 150mm Rockshox Sektor with a 160mm Rockshox Yari fork as I didn't fancy reconstructive facial surgery any time in the near future. These have been faultless. The Yari is the ultimate E bike fork. My only catastrophic failure was the rear shock. The stock Rockshox Monarch objected to the abuse I had be dealing one day by emptying ther contents of it's damper all over my left leg. Sram Australia just earned some favor with me by replacing the shock under warranty with a new Rockshox Super Delux Ultimate. I asked for the upgrade and to pay the difference in value but they were able to do it at no cost to me. Thanks Sram. The only downside is water bottle access is now comprimised. A minor inconvenience.

The wheels held up surprisingly well for only 28 spoke items. I honestly thought I'd be straightening them every other week. However they only required straightening once after a particularly abusive ride. I have replaced them recently though. My new wheels are Sun Ringle Duroc 37SD enduro spec items. These feature eyeleted and reinforced spoke beds, 32mm internal width and straight pull spokes. My reasoning for this was more for confidence and stiffness when riding punishing terrain. The original Sram Level T brakes were never powerfull enough and were replaced with ever reliable shimano Zee 4 piston brakes and 200mm XT ice tec rotors.

View attachment 358230
You ain't getting a bottle in there.

I won't go into too much detail as to why but all the control points were replaced from new. This is not an indictment on the quality of the specialized components, more a reflection of the ape swinging off them. Taller wider bars, stiffer stem, flanged grips and a personal favorite saddle were all necessary for comfort. The x fusion seatpost I bought to replace the non dropper(angry face) is by far and away the best value and most reliable post on the market. The only thing left is the Tyres. As I said in my original review, these Schwalbe 'Eddy Current's are excelent and almost necessary on an e bike. The super stiff sidewalls help negate the weight of the bike. The grip is next level to the point I have considered buying the 2.3" version for my normal bike.

View attachment 358231
Some personal touches on the cockpit.

Finally the good bit, actually owning the bike. For anyone still thinking these cheater bikes don't do anything for you here is a shortlist of things Ive noticed since owning my Levo.

1: I am proud to say that In the last 2 months I have lost 12kg's thanks in part to riding my e bike. Obviously diet and my normal MTB have been involved also, but simply getting out and riding as much as possible has made a big difference. This is because I am still averaging a heart rate of 160bpm and peaking around 180bpm every ride. The same heart rates I hit on my normal bike.
2: I can get in on average 2-3 more laps of Mt stromlo in an afternoon compared with my normal bike. It knocks off between 5 and 10 minutes off every climb. More time decending is better in every way.
3: My riding in general has improved greatly. This is clearly due to the amount of riding I'm doing but also because I can repeat sections faster on the Levo. I am learning more through repetition easier and faster on an e bike. This translates 2 fold when I get back on my regular bike and have less weight to move around.
4: This is subjective, but I enjoy riding more because the E bike encourages you to explore and chalenge yourself more. I've ridden more new trails in the last 6 months than I have in the last 4 years. I enjoy the climbs more, not because they're easier but because they're faster. +1 for entertainment factor.
5: I've learned to carry a lot more speed. Because the bike is heavy and rolls slow on chunky/soft tyres, carrying speed is critical. This has made me a faster rider, period!

However, nothing in this world can be all sunshine and roses. For every positive there is an inevitable negative. Although minor heres a list of the few things that have irritated me over the last few months.

1: Chain durability. Not surprising here but I snapped 3 links before replacing the original KMC chain. These breakages were due in part to my own stupidity and getting used to the bike. 11 speed chains are narrow and don't like twisting, I had to learn to not shift under load. You need to get all of your shifting done before loading up the cranks. This is especially important in trail and turbo modes. I accedentally bumped the S button on the bar controller when I got out of the saddle for a climb. This jumped the bike straight into turbo mode and the chain exploded. I have since moved the controller further inboard to avoid this happening again. Chain maintenance is critical. I've not had an issue since installing the shimano chain.
2: Creaks and groans. It is a heavy, aluminium bike so it is inevitable that something is going to make noise. I have since completely dismantled the bike and reassembled with high quality water proof grease and locktite. I've been able to eliminate all frame noise.
3: Cable routing. Internal cable routing is almost always a bitch, but add a motor into the mix and you'll be swearing for hours on end every time you need to replace something. The seat post cable route in particular is a nightmare. It is easier to remove the motor than try suffer through working around it. It gets easier the more you do it though. On the plus side removing the top tube control unit does make this junction very easy to access.
4: Weight. You don't really notice on the bike, but just moving the bike around can be a handfull. Especially if you have to carry it up stairs. This added weight is also harder on parts. Call it mechanical sympathy, but I think E-mtb's should all come with Enduro or Downhill spec componentry. Standard trail bike components simply cannot handle the added loads.

View attachment 358232

Buying an E-MTB is an expensive exercise and is not for everyone. I've spent an additional $1500 on top of the $7k of the original bike just to bring the spec into line with what I'd expect for a bike of this level. But would I have done it differently? Nope. I think the positives far outweigh the negatives. But that is in my specific use case. For me it is motivating to ride more and has made me a far better rider than I have ever been. If you are already an elite level rider I doubt you'll get as much out of owning one as I have. But If like me you don't get to ride as much as you used to and progression has started to regress. You will find great benefit. It's like progression doping.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

hellmansam

Likes Dirt
I tried out a Turbo Levo Comp a couple months ago and discovered much the same riding experience as you, it was a shitload of fun. I was conscious of backing off the pedals when shifting but still had a few moments where I was wincing at the noise of shifting under more load than is OK.
The most significant thing I took away from my demo ride was how much more fun was packed into the ride, the flat and uphill bits were nearly as fun as the descents. I didn't get to do any but self shuttling has some appeal for me.
 
Top