Field Test: Specialized S-Works Kenevo SL - An eMTB In Disguise

Sep 16, 2021
by Matt Beer  


PINKBIKE FIELD TEST

Specialized S-Works Kenevo SL



Words by Matt Beer, photography by Tom Richards


What do you get when you mix Specialized’s popular Enduro and full powered Turbo Kenevo eMTB together? The Kenevo SL - the first long travel, "Super Light" e-bike from the big S. The sub-20 kg system has a smaller motor and is dripping in carbon weave. At first glance, it’s difficult to tell that this is even an eMTB at all. The appearance is nearly identical to the Enduro, with the same 6-bar Horst Link suspension design and round, traditional-sized downtube, which houses the same motor and battery as the shorter travel Levo SL.

The Kenevo SL is a niche bike for a number of reasons. The S-Works model on test has some of the fanciest components on the market; 170 mm of travel front and rear from Fox Factory suspension, Roval Traverse SL carbon handlebars and 29” wheels, Praxis M30 carbon cranks, wireless SRAM XX1 AXS dropper post and shifting, and is finished with a splash of oil slick bits.

Specialized S-Works Kenevo SL

• Travel: 170 mm front / 170 mm rear
• Wheel size: 29”
• Hub spacing: 148 mm
• Head angle: 63.5° (neutral headset cup, low BB)
• Seat tube angle: 76°
• Reach: 485 mm (S4)
• Chainstay length: 447 mm
• Sizes: S2, S3, S4, S5
• Weight: 20.23 kg / 44.62 lb (w/ control tires
& 1.09 kg / 2.41 lb add-on battery)
• Price: $15,000 USD
specialized.com
A jaw-dropping price tag of $15,000 might make it challenging to find riding partners on an equal platform, mind you. I can hear the comments section exploding again, but you do have to appreciate all the innovations Specialized has packaged into the S-Works Kenevo SL. There are two lower price point models that still hover around 10 large, the Expert and Comp for $11,000 and $9,000, respectively. If you’re looking to try and outdo the S-Works build, you can get the frame, motor, battery, cranks, and a Float X2 for a measly $8,500 USD.

When swinging a leg over this bike, you immediately notice the new Mastermind display molded into the top tube and an absence of dangling cables, another reason why it doesn’t feel like a true eMTB. The mode selector buttons do require a bit firmer press than those found on the Shimano controller and are a touch smaller. I did have to add a single band clamp on the new style AXS shifter. Matchmaker clamps minimize bar clutter, but I couldn't position the buttons far enough inboard to clear my thumb when the brake lever was in the perfect position.

Of all the latest and greatest gizmos featured here, it’s sometimes the simple things that make you most happy. Having that tiny SWAT multi-tool at our fingertips was extremely convenient and can be installed on any bike.

Specialized S-Works Kenevo SL

Ok, but all of those components are found on non-assist bikes - what about that SL motor and battery? It sure is sleek, and the additional battery can suit two different ride plans, but the impressive weight doesn’t deliver the same power as most other e-bikes. The 240-watt unit uses different internals from its bigger sibling, producing a higher pitch when the motor is activated.

While you’ll have no problem keeping up with other riders on non-assist bikes without breaking a sweat, it won’t stay in touch with the power a regular style e-bike will churn out. However, the distances covered can be on par with those more powerful bikes when the Range Extender battery pack is placed in the water bottle cage and connected on the non-drive side. Adding just over 1 kg, the 160 Wh extender adds 50% battery capacity to the integrated 320 Wh battery.

The Kenevo SL gets updates like an adjustable chainstay length and head angle, allowing for an MX wheel configuration and tons of geometry tweaking. There are no individual travel or kinematic mounts to play with, and that’s not really necessary with that Fox Float X2 rear shock. Between the high and low speed rebound and compression adjustments, plus the air volume and pressures to play with, the possibilities are endless.

Specialized does have a user-friendly geometry guide on tap if you visit their website and plug in your riding style and terrain. They also use their S-sizing, but trim the size spectrum from six to four frame dimensions. That leaves the smallest S2 frame with a 435 mm reach and 510 on the largest S5, fitting riders from 158 cm to 193 in height. The reach of the tested S4 size landed at 485 mm in the neutral head angle position of 63.5º and low BB setting, yielding a 447 mm chainstay length. I did find I needed to slide the seat forward more on the rails to compensate for the 76º seat tube angle than some of the other bikes, but it wasn’t a deal breaker.


Specialized S-Works Kenevo SL
Specialized S-Works Kenevo SL

Climbing

Let’s set things straight again. The Kenevo SL uses a 240 W motor with 35 Nm of torque, which is about half the torque on a typical eMTB, so we know it’s not going to rocket up a road climb or tackle moto-trials uphills in the same manner as its full power siblings. What it will do, is help you get up those savage gravel grinds more easily. You know, the ones that require some Wim Hof breathing and mental fortitude? To put things into perspective, pedalling up a typical service road, I was in Turbo mode on the Kenevo SL sweating in the afternoon sun, while Henry was casually spinning the cranks on the Norco Range VLT set to Eco mode and was able to keep blurting out his comical British phrases.

On the trail, the Kenevo resembled a non-motorized bike in a pleasant way. I was able to lunge up and over steps much easier on this bike with less of a raw power approach. The motor assistance engaged more gently than the Shimano, but didn’t drop the power immediately. Maybe this was due to the lower power assist, but either way, finding the right gear to spin optimally at the recommended 75 RPM and hold traction didn't require the same calculations and wasn’t as jumpy as the full powered beasts.

Similarly to the Range VLT, the wheelbase requires some heads up riding to pick through technical terrain, but to a lesser degree due to lower speeds. There is an interesting spec change from the two smaller sizes to the larger S4 and S5 - the crank length bumps up from 165mm to 170. The 25 mm bottom bracket drop bodes well for descending, but even with that lower torque motor, I found the ability to spin more advantageous than quick, ratcheting moves that would kill any traction on climbs. Constant power and short cranks for the win. That climb switch is in a reasonable position to reach through singletrack, but unless you’re on a surfaced climb, you’ll get the most grip with it open.

Specialized S-Works Kenevo SL
Specialized S-Works Kenevo SL
Specialized S-Works Kenevo SL

Descending

Is this the same frame as an Enduro with a tiny motor bolt onto it? Definitely not. Specialized go into detail about how the frame has been tuned to deal with the higher loads and stress points that the motor and hardware create. However, it was hard to pinpoint whether it was the wheels or the rear triangle, but there wasn’t as much forgiveness over off-camber chop or brake bumped corners. Too little flex wasn’t necessarily the culprit. With more time, it would be worth trying a different wheelset to sort out the vibration and feedback.

On the first lap, I was digging the soothing feeling that the motor and battery lent to the handling. The extra weight was so low on the frame, it was easier to tip into corners and kept the bike tracking straight and planted on repetitive square edge impacts.

Timed Testing

Previously featured in a Canadian National Enduro round, our timed section of trail was primarily made up of tight, fast corners with square edges rocks and roots. This offered the longer and heavier bikes a chance to show how their brute stacked up against the more spritely ones in the bunch.

Going fast isn't everyone's number one goal when choosing a bike, but it is one more metric we can use to differentiate the bikes in test.


Matt Beer: "The Kenevo SL was a favourite for descending with its low but maneuverable center of gravity and highly tuned 6-bar suspension. It's terrifying to try and reach this bike's limit, but I couldn't quite open up its full potential on our test track, and was 1.5-seconds off the top time to finish third."
Unlike some other eMTBs, those successive hits were managed more effectively by the Kenevo’s brilliant leverage curve and also the lighter weight powerplant. I never felt like I was riding a rocking horse. With that 6-bar layout comes a rearward axle path at the start of the travel that reminded me somewhat of the effectiveness of a high pivot system, but with more familiar and exciting character. No wonder it felt so calm on the high speed tracks though; a 1298 mm wheelbase is a lot of real estate between the axles, but that can be changed for quicker handling geometry if your local tracks are less intense. Direction changes and braking zones are still easier to manage than a full powered eMTB. On seriously steep and demanding tracks, I think the Kenevo SL could give some downhill bikes a run for their money.

Inside the 6-bar linkage, the heart of the beast, is the Float X2 shock. The initial shock setup was a breeze and I quickly found a sweet spot at 210 psi. Near the pivot of the tension links, connecting the seat and chainstays, lies the high speed rebound adjuster. Access to this red dial does require a small pick, but once set, I didn't find the need to change it as much as the low speed rebound. The two stock air volume spacers worked well, but a third would have alleviated the definitive end of stroke to something a little more subtle on the worst compressions.

After all of those torturous laps, I was sure something would have rattled loose, but every bit of hardware remained securely in place. A simple rubber strap stretched around the Range Extender and bottle cage added a second level of security to keep things in locked down. I was a little unsure about the weight of the extender flexing the Zee Cage, but it didn't budge or show signs of cracking.

There were a couple things that I didn’t expect from the Kenevo. I quickly learned that descending on technical terrain with the motor assist off is a wise choice. Some mobility in your ankles or unsuspected movement from the cranks can result in a short burst of power when you’re least expecting it.

What I originally thought was a quiet bike on the shakedown lap started to wither away. A perceived clunk from the center of the bike had me chasing non-existent loose bolts and possible play in the linkage or shock mounts with no findings. Further into the testing, this knock persisted and I noticed that it only occurred when the motor wasn't engaged. A quick spin of the crank arm emitted that same sound, similar to the Shimano EP8 motor. After a chat with Specialized, I learned that this is unavoidable due to the engagement of the clutch; something common in all the bike we tested this time around.

Specialized S-Works Kenevo SL

Huck to Failure

During our "Huck to Flat" that we all love watching the merciless bikes being put through, we did experience a failure from the Praxis Carbon M30 crank. We reached out to Praxis to find out what might have caused the failure.

bigquotesOur team received the damaged Carbon SL M30 170mm E-Crank back for inspection, but unfortunately due to the damage, it is too difficult to say exactly what the root cause was.

We cross checked with our Global Warranty History on these Carbon SL M30 E-Cranks and of the thousands we've made/delivered to Specialized in the last 19 months, there have been very few warranties reported. This is also reconciled against our "Ultimate Load" strength test (highest load a crank can handle) we built which is above and beyond a typical load that would happen in a Huck. So yes, this leaves us scratching our heads a bit.

Our team here feels that most likely one of two things most likely happened: Either during prior ride testing of the Kenevo SL there was some type of rock-strike or blunt hit that created an internal fracture that didn't show itself until your test... or two, there was some type of unfortunate manufacturing flaw that showed itself at your test. - Praxis

Where does that leave our thoughts about the Kenevo SL then? It's the production hyper-car of the mountain bike world - not totally perfect, but pushing the industry boundaries. Other SL eMTBs are growing the sub-genre. Cost aside, at what point do you still lean towards a non-assisted bike as these SL versions creep down in weight?

In terms of ride impressions, with the right route planning, you’ll be able to tackle those devastating climbs, and more, just faster - “Monster rides'' as Specialized calls them. The Kenevo SL's huge advantages of low weight and descending capabilities could even win over some traditionalist mountain bikers. The retail figures and bike category certainly won't appeal to everyone out there, but for those that have the cash and particular needs, the Kenevo SL ticks all the right boxes.

Specialized S-Works Kenevo SL
Specialized S-Works Kenevo SL

Pros

+ Overall packaging: sleek motor and battery integration, minimal cables,
+ Geometry adjustments to fit multiple rider skill levels and riding zones
+ Suspension performance challenges high pivot designs

Cons

- Motor has whiney pitch, and the clutch rattles when not engaged
- Price and motor type may limit riding friends
- Carbon crank didn't survive the Huck to Flat




The 2021 Summer Field Test was made possible with support from Dainese apparel and protection, and Sun Peaks Resort. Shout out also to Maxxis, Garmin, Freelap, and Toyota Pacific.






301 Comments

  • 370 0
 So I've done the math here, and Specialized is charing you MORE for the S-Works kit than if you bought the Comp model and simply paid full retail for all the upgrade parts.

Parts difference: carbon bars ($120), AXS seatpost ($800), Code RSC's ($490), Praxis Carbon Upgrade ($290), AXS X01 Upgrade Kit ($800), XG1290 Cassette ($449), Roval Traverse SL Wheelset ($1,600), Fox Factory 38 ($1,249), Fox Factory X2 ($699).

This means you can buy the Comp ($9,000) and upgrade every single part at full retail price, and wind up paying the same $15k for the S-work, while keeping all the original parts as spares or for resale. This pricing is insane. If you buy the S-Works, Specialized is capturing the value of all the kit at full retail AND the value of the the parts they didn't have to spec from the lesser build models. Crazy, crazy pricing.
  • 42 0
 I was wondering the same thing, but I didn't want to do the math. That's crazy tho. I don't personally plan on buying either, but I know someone looking at the S-works model. I'll definitely tell him to avoid it.
  • 51 0
 My best guess is that for S-Works target audience a higher price is seen as a feature to distance from the plebs better, so win-win for Specialized.
  • 50 22
 IIRC s-works frames use a different carbon layup. Hence the frame only option is only $500 more than the comp. Not saying it justifies the cost, but your 1:1 comparison is flawed.
  • 106 158
flag hmstuna (Sep 16, 2021 at 9:20) (Below Threshold)
 Not to try and defend Specialized's pricing here, but isn't the S-Works frame a different, lighter, layup than the standard one? At least that's how it is with their other models.
  • 20 0
 @daweil: Yea, for reference, I built up a '20 Enduro last year, and I managed (even with the COVID parts shortage) to build up an "S-Works Equivalent" Enduro for ~$6500 by buying the "comp" model and buying all the upgrade parts. My build includes Code RSC's with 220mm rotors, AXS + XT Shimano Drivetrain (a super sweet setup, btw!), Fox Factory 38 and Float X2, and I-9 Enduro wheelset with hydra.

Aside from an AXS dropper and alu vs. carbon rims, my bike cost $4,000.00 less AND managed to get the new Fox 38, instead of the Fox 36 that was spec'd at the time.

I actually really like the products Specialized designs and delivers - but charging your customers MORE than the full retail value for parts kit is a bonkers strategy. And it's not just a little more - it's thousands of dollars more.
  • 167 1
 @hmstuna: WTF is that tag all about?
  • 51 0
 You forgot the most important upgrade: the "S-works" logo on the downtube.
  • 36 0
 @MikeyMT: are you talking about the outside+ next to his name? are people paying already?
  • 17 0
 The S-Works comes with the range extender and associated cables as well. Not included on the expert and comps, but that would run you another $600-700 I believe.
  • 8 0
 @srsiri23w: Jesus I guess so. @brianpark - if you already pay for trailforks is there a grandfather system or something?
  • 21 1
 @hmstuna: how much did they make you pay? And what are you gaining?
  • 12 0
 it is also crazy that the frame-only option is $8,500 but the comp model is $9,000... so $500 for all the other parts? Deal of the century!
  • 22 2
 @hmstuna: No. They stopped making the S-works frames a different layup/carbon a few years ago. For example, the 2019-2021 Enduros have the exact same carbon frame - only difference is a carbon vs. aluminum link that saves about 100 grams.
  • 4 0
 @MikeyMT: defending specialized and that tag... it's happening... but also I have a 2020 Enduro so I am not a saint here...
  • 7 2
 @byubound: Nope - they stopped doing different carbon and layup for S-Works with the 2019 models. All models now use the same layup and FACT 11m carbon.
  • 183 5
 @MikeyMT: @stormracing: I didn't choose the tag. I had paid for a year of PB plus. Partially because I wanted to support this website and partially to sell more than ten items at a time. Now it's carried over to outside plus and I am not a fan believe me. I wish there was a way to get rid of it.
  • 6 0
 @hmstuna: I didn’t go look at the Kenevo
specs, so I could be wrong here, but I’m pretty sure the carbon is the same across the range. If you look at Spesh’s non-ebike lineup, you’ll see that the higher grade carbon for S-Works only applies to road models and XC bikes. For the trail bikes, the frame layup is the same, but there’ll be a carbon link or carbon yoke or something. I think it’s probably the same for the e-bikes.
  • 5 0
 @MikeyMT: I think they thought we'd all be so enraged by the KSL's price tag that we'd miss that new tag
  • 5 1
 I just came here for the sticker shock. I didn't even read the article. It did not disappoint.
  • 7 0
 You didn't factor in the cost of the S-Works sticker. That alone is worth $2000 so totally worth it to go S-works LOLOL!
  • 10 2
 @twonsarelli: The fact that the frame only option is $1,000 MORE than the top-of-the-line, Signature Edition Commencal MP29 (which has a larger motor and battery - major cost drivers), is bananas.

Again, I really like Specialized's products. I love my current Enduro, and I owned an older Enduro 29 years ago that I also loved. That said, they are one of the larger bike brands in the world, and their pricing offers their customers no love or consideration for the scale of their production and buying power. Super disappointing strategy.
  • 2 0
 U forgot the extender ...
  • 1 0
 I checked out a few other bikes and if you forget the little stuff (headset, range ext. battery, chain, nicer saddle, nicer stem etc) this is true for mostly any bike family on the market.
  • 47 0
 @hmstuna: It's ok. Much like an embarrassing cold sore on one's face the outside+ tag will eventually go away (if you don't renew it). You're mark of shame won't last forever.
  • 15 2
 @kcy4130: #commentgold
  • 6 3
 @zachcalton: Sure, but keep in mind that I am comparing to full retail pricing. Very few people are actually paying full retail for bike parts. Even the new Fox Factory stuff can be found at discount online, and most shops will offer you a standard 20% off parts for buying/building a new bike with them. My point is that Specialized is "double dipping" by keeping the margin on the cheaper parts they didn't give you AND charging you full retail on all the parts that they are sourcing in bulk. Pretty sh*t strategy to offer zero savings to you customer for buying high-end and complete bikes.
  • 2 0
 @hmstuna: right on! For sure. I was just curious. Today is the first day I’ve seen that so I was just wonderingz
  • 3 0
 Well.. Ferrari will happily charge you a few thousand quid just to paint your brake calipers a different colour. The business model obviously works perfectly fine.
  • 2 0
 Plus do you really need all that upgraded stuff? If you do, then do some shopping around, sell the old stuff on PB, and find that you can get this bike for a much better price and have fun doing it. You can also customize some of the bits with stuff you may want. Crazy how this bike creeps up to the price of a Kia!
  • 13 3
 @hubertje-ryu: False equivalency: Ferrari is a (relatively) bespoke and ultra-high-end car company that makes just 8,400 cars per year (thats 0.009% of all cars made). Specialized is one of the largest bike brands in the world, with roughly 28% of the revenues of the largest bike brand in the world.

Specialized bikes should be the "Corvette" to your Ferrari based on scale. All the performance of the boutiques, at much less cost due to scale and buying power.
  • 8 0
 @KJP1230: hi dude. I don't know about corvette, I could have just as easily said Porsche (they are insanely popular around here) instead of Ferrari. I don't care about market position (spec's pricing is right there though), I'm just saying that people with money tend to be ok with spending stupid amounts of it on things which have limited added value and are way overpriced, just to show they can.
  • 3 0
 @KJP1230: oh, and they are the best customers you can have. "That 'll be 3400 for a bit of paint, sir."
  • 12 1
 @KJP1230: It's worth noting that the Kenevo SL has SUPER low production numbers (at least right now with the pandemic). We have seen 2 come through our shop since its launch, and looking at the numbers for the rest of the 2022 model year, we will only see 4 more coming between our two stores (and we are a big Specialized dealer). Yes, the Commencal is less money, but it is a consumer-direct company (which cuts out the cost of a shop paying all of its employees and stuff which some people care about and some don't. I personally like having a job), and the integration/ packaging is not on the same level. This Kenevo SL is STUPIDLY expensive, but it is (along with Specialized's other E-MTBs) pushing the envelope of E-bikes and genuinely finding ways to make them better, rather than slapping a mass-produced motor/ display on any frame (don't get me wrong, E-bikes like this get the job done and well too). The product as a whole is "put together" in a much nicer way.

It is hilarious though that you can buy the lower end model and spec it the same as the S-works version for less money.
  • 4 1
 @KJP1230: Yeah but your math is wrong. You forgot the $600 battery, the xx1 not xo1 and the other things i mentioned. You'd be at around 17k retail build not mentioning the perceived value of the s works frame. Its grossly overpriced and expensive but the double dipping narrative is not correct. that my only point
  • 29 77
flag radek Mod (Sep 16, 2021 at 11:23) (Below Threshold)
 @hmstuna: But as a benefit if you had pbplus that turned into outside+, you get free trailforks pro if you login to tf app as your pb user. Wink
  • 11 0
 *This product is intended for those who do not need to do math and/or compare it with other value products. Wink
  • 3 1
 @hubertje-ryu: except specialised is the toyota of the bike world in terms on volume and ubiquity
  • 3 1
 @KJP1230 you actually missed a few component differences that definitely add to the upgraded price of the S-Works: Deity Copperhead 35 stem ($110), Deity Knuckle Duster grips ($24), Bridge Expert saddle ($160), and XX1 Eagle AXS chain ($87). Total additional cost would be $381, not to mention the extra cost for the range extended included with the S-Works model.
  • 24 26
 @radek: Go away old man
  • 3 0
 @KJP1230: Where’s this discounted Fox Factory suspension? Papa needs a new X2 and 38 for his Enduro.
  • 4 0
 Don't forget to add $11.99 for the decal -- www.ebay.com/itm/133516906372
  • 4 0
 And the next model down is in a cool Yellow rather than this boring colour
  • 8 1
 @radek: How about the other way...?
  • 24 0
 @radek: weird that this needs explaining, but it's not "free" if you have to pay money to get access.
  • 6 3
 @seraph: Sure...but remember, the main gripe here is that Specialized is "double dipping". It's not like they are subtracting the retail value of all the parts that already come on the Comp model from the build kit totals. Instead, they are collecting all the money for the full Comp build + the full retail value (since when do bike makers expect full retail value of parts kit?!) of the upgrade parts.

No matter how you slice it, the S-Works Enduro is not priced appropriately, even against Specialized's own models. I would also point out that none of the parts you mentioned are going to make a bit of difference to the performance of the bike, with the exception of the range extender.

TL;DR: want an S-Works Kenevo SL? Don't buy the complete bike - build it yourself from frame only or Comp, especially if your shop offers parts discounts for doing a build (most offer 20% across the board).
  • 2 4
 @bocomtb: I just googled "Fox Factory 38" and came up with mix of full retail to 10% off. I googled "Fox Float X2 Factory" and similarly found them for 14% off in the top results. I guarantee you can find even better deals with some searching and/or talking to a local shop - hell, we'll see them for probably 20% off in a few months during off season.

My local shop gives 20% off across the board if you buy the frame from and build the bike with them. Apparently this is a big savings over completes from Specialized.
  • 2 0
 @KJP1230: Depends on the Model. The 2021 Epic's are FACT 11m for the Pro and under,
12m for S-Works and the Speed of Light Collection.

On the heavier bikes like the Stumpy and up you're right, just FACT 11m.

I'll stick to my mBike. (Muscle Bike)
  • 2 0
 @KJP1230: you mean 2020/2021. 2019 was the old design. I have a 2019
  • 3 3
 @hubertje-ryu: Sure, but in this case Specialized is charging you MORE than the retail value of the parts, based against its own models. They are effectively charging you the retail price of the comp build kit + the retail price of the S-Works build kit, but only giving you the S-Works build. That's crazy.

They are basically counting on the fact that buyers who would pay for a $15k bike will not think to ask their shop, "What if I just buy the Comp model and replace all the parts with the better stuff?"
  • 4 3
 @zachcalton: It's still double dipping because it's not like Specialized is subtracting the retail value of the parts that you'd be replacing (i.e. the parts they AREN'T selling you from the Comp to the S-Works).

If you were to take the $9,000.00 Comp price, and subtract the value of the parts replaced from the value of the new parts, an exact S-Works equivalent could be had for much less than $15,000.00, even factoring in the battery upgrade, even factoring in the extra $200 for the carbon derailleur cage on XX1.

And remember, we are talking about full retail prices. Bike companies should not be charging near the full retail price of parts, when really they are just an "upgrade" from other build kits. That's lunacy.
  • 4 1
 So what? You wanna - buy, do not - skip
  • 3 1
 This is the case on all Specialized bikes and to a somewhat lesser extent all manufacturers. You are almost always better off buying a frame and sourcing your components separately.
  • 2 1
 Are the parts available when we go to buy them separately, and is the shipping cost included if bought online? Is part of the decision the opportunity cost of having to re-build the bike? What about the hassle of selling the take-off parts?
  • 2 1
 @hmstuna: go back Outside
  • 2 0
 @O1D4: Wow! It's more expensive than a Neflix... But it is worth 'over $500 and more!' in things I normally wouldn't be interested in anyways...
  • 1 0
 @mi-bike: I paid with Cancel Reply Coin
  • 3 0
 @byubound: They use the same Fact-11 full carbon across the line. So the 1:1 comparison isn't flawed from that standpoint.
  • 1 0
 @KJP1230 You forgot the price of the coveted “S-Works” sticker!!!
  • 1 0
 @hubertje-ryu: welcome to the concept of Veblen goods - en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veblen_good
  • 5 1
 The price isnt that bad when you consider that you are actually getting 2 frames for 1 once the original cracks.
  • 5 1
 The buyers of this bike probably make $1,000 an hour or more, so if it takes longer than 5 hours to source the upgrades, the math stops working for them.
  • 1 0
 @hmstuna: ouch, thinking you are supporting one brand then getting labeled with another, that hurts.
  • 1 5
flag Ryanrobinson1984 (Sep 16, 2021 at 19:11) (Below Threshold)
 @KJP1230: no, the S-Works do use a different carbon layup still. Doesn’t justify the difference though
  • 2 0
 @radek: doesn’t work like that
  • 1 0
 @daweil: Golf clubs with wheels.
  • 3 0
 @KJP1230: Your math doesn't add up.

Comp: $4700
Fox 38: $1200
I9 Hydra wheels: $1300-1400
AXS post: $800

With those alone you're at $8000 (excluding shipping, taxes, and labor).
  • 1 1
 But however Specialized sells more S-works versions than the other models. Their dentist customers don’t care at all about this. As much as specialized doesn’t care about passionate riders that could do this calculation , they only want to sell expensive bikes to rich people , end of the story
  • 1 0
 @jpnbrider: there are probably a lot of people out there without the time, skills, tools, space, etc to buy it all separately, put it together and then sell the other bits. I love building a bike from scratch, but with a few kids taking up all of my time I know that my next bike will most likely be a complete (although nowhere near as expensive as a S-Works) unless I save up and treat myself to a hand built Curtis Hardtail (it’s the dream)
  • 2 0
 @CustardCountry: I think there are many people who are not mechanically inclined, yes. These are the same people that pay others to perform routine home and auto repairs and maintenance.

However, if you are an avid bike rider, there is no way you are not learning how to adjust and repair your bike. If you are taking it to a LBS every time you need an adjustment, you’re going to pay more in repair costs than the cost of the bike.

There are just a few specialty tools required to complete a bike build, and every person should have a set of basic tools. Save on the total build price, and save on the routine maintenance, repairs and adjustments!

Secondly… in my opinion, these $8000-$12000 bikes are not going to casual bike owners, instead they are going to hard core bike enthusiasts… many or most of which are not dentists.
  • 1 0
 @streetfighter848: Couple of points regarding my build: Firstly, I didn't get an AXS post, I got an AXS shifter kit - doesn't really matter, they are both $800. Second, I bought the I-9 Enduro S Hyrdra wheelset - I think those came in at about $900.00. Third, my shop gave me 20% off all parts for doing a custom bike build with them, and I mention this repeatedly in comments. In my experience, most shops do this (I've gotten this offer three times at two different shops in my area). Lastly, my shop was willing to give me a discount on the Comp model, based on parts that they kept and resold, and I was able to easily resell a few of the parts (Lyrik Fork, Select+ rear shock, etc.) and apply that to my purchase.

All I can tell you is that I built up an Enduro Comp frame with Diety Stem/Bar, I9 Hydra wheelset, Fox Factory 38 & X2, Code RSC brakes, AXS-XT drivetrain for ~$6,500.00 by working with my local shop and reselling a few of the parts I didn't keep.
  • 1 0
 You didn't count the costs of the S-Works decals ;-)
  • 1 0
 @leon-forfar: oh. Interesting. I wonder why
  • 1 0
 @KJP1230:

Well, 20% discount is HUGE! If you're talking about a $10k bike that's $2k.

That makes more sense. However, in these COVID times, you're lucky of the LBS has every part for a custom build. As far as I've seen, even my local Specialized dealer, whom I have bought numerous bikes from, is unwilling to provide any sort of discount, as his inventory is completely gone. Anything that comes in already has a waitlist. So you're lucky that you can still score such a discount. I doubt most folks would be able to get such a deal for the next year or so.
  • 2 0
 @streetfighter848: It did require some patience - for example, we knew that Fox 38's and the new Float X2 were about to be released, but they were not out yet, so we had a pre-order.

Frankly, I've purchased 4 custom bikes from this shop, so its fair to guess that I get a healthy amount of consideration. I seem to be addicted to giving them lumps of cash every couple of years.
  • 1 0
 @KJP1230:

Haha, yeah. I'm totally with you on that one. This MTB thing is an incredibly expensive addiction.
  • 1 0
 it might also have other parts, like bolts, a finish touches. i think that hardware and work makes a bit more of coin for sure. But still your assesment is on point
  • 2 0
 @zachcalton: but he's shown how clever and frugal he is, even if the business math is incorrect. I'm still looking for +$500 for carbon links
  • 151 6
 My bike has a range extender in the water bottle mount too. Mine is a water bottle, and it extends my range by keeping me hydrated.
  • 76 0
 when I saw the price I spat out my coffee, then when I thought that this is 57,241,500 colombian peso, I sucked it back in, through my anus
  • 58 0
 When I saw that the weight is 20.23 kg I nearly had a heart attack, but then I realised it's equivalent to just shy of 92 Big Macs, so I put them all in my anus.
  • 10 0
 @the-mountainbart-experience: did you take photos?
  • 7 0
 Sorry i have a stutter…
  • 2 0
 This is gold!
  • 14 1
 Lmfao spit out my lunch from this comment, then sucked it back in through my anus.
  • 5 1
 @the-mountainbart-experience: You, sir, win today’s internet. In my anus.
  • 10 0
 Username checks out
  • 2 0
 @the-mountainbart-experience: that escalated quickly
  • 45 1
 You know the old aphorism of “light weight, strong, inexpensive: pick two”…. I guess nowadays it’s just pick one!
  • 30 0
 Also be a dick about it!
  • 12 0
 You can choose any combination, as long as inexpensive isn't one of them
  • 2 0
 @daweil: No with this bike it's only one It's light weight, but expensive and weak (it broke on a quite small huck to flat)... Or maybe I didn't understand your joke?
  • 2 0
 @kcy4130: I'm just saying inexpensive doesn't count as even base model is thousands of dollars. And while we're at it even being expensive and weak it's not light weight though unless comparing with standard e-bikes which are always very heavy.. So basically choose none, what a deal!
  • 6 0
 Holy fk that was fking terrifying. Worse than a scene from a horror movie. Glad Jason is okay. The dramatic music helped set the mood too. It's waaaaay too easy for any of us to imagine ourselves in that situation landing a drop on a real trail (and the outcome being even worse). Yup keeping my $100 slx cranks which are only 100g more than most carbon ones thank you very much. Fk that. Just absolutely fk it.
  • 2 0
 Mode of failure: crank brand I’ve never heard of. Praxis skis on the other hand…
  • 2 0
 eewings... give me METAL anyday.
  • 45 0
 Insert comment about a KTM costing less
  • 80 1
 A KTM costs less.
  • 9 0
 Here is a comment, it is about KTM costing less
  • 11 0
 Ktm, Husky, Beta, Yammyha, Honda. Yep pretty much all cost less.
  • 22 1
 Two, not one, but two brand new YZ125s cost less, with cash left over for a trailer and gear
  • 8 1
 @daweil: not only it cost less, it will be more fun and go!
And besides all that, will depreciate a lot less than a shitty emtb, with engines that make funny noises and above all, won't break the footpegs!
  • 9 2
 @gonpalco: Ya, the part no one likes to talk about is that Specialized's Creo powertrain sucks. The motor is too weak, inefficient, and has a huge number of warranty claims. Everyone should go read Vital's review of the Orbea Rise, with a detuned EP8, 360wh battery, and nearly double the range & power for the same weight penalty. I wish Orbea would make a long travel enduro frame on that platform.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: thing with all this ebike thing, is that under warranty (2years in EU), it's "all" ok, but afterwards.....
And the major problem, is that I don't see too many mechanics/electricians, fixing this things
Orbea using a detuned engine, seems like it will save the motor longer, nevertheless the problem is still there...

Meaning: you pay 5k/10k/15k whatever, but as soon as you hit the "oh shit button", you'll be without your bike (warranty), or even worse, without a bike and a heavy repair bill!
  • 2 1
 @gonpalco:good luck finding spare parts for a 5 year old e bike let alone software support
  • 2 0
 @NotNamed: so, beside prices, ebikes are just for a hand full of persons that have plenty of money or no other priorities.............
  • 2 0
 @gonpalco: yeah- looking here at the Speckgürtel (somewhat like suburbs) in Vienna: People riding their Kenevos dont give a damn about a lot of things "true" bikers care.

They dont even know, what the Rebound does or thst you can adjust the air pressure in your shock
  • 1 0
 @NotNamed: true to be told... many high end biked, have owners that are afraid to mess with the "clikerz" ehehhe
  • 37 8
 imagine dropping 15k on a bike and then the cranks break. what a L
  • 52 21
 Imagine thinking expensive things are exempt from getting damaged.
  • 34 4
 @sherbet: Imagine people having common sense on Pinkbike
  • 9 8
 Thought never crossed my mind man.

I'm impressed about how little on these bikes breaks, considering the conditions they see. People crash, people strike cranks and pedals. People wash berms. Shit happens. The fact that there's so few reports of parts breaking is pretty awesome, if anything.

Meanwhile, entitled pinkbike: I PAID 12K FOR THIS BIKE WHY ISN'T IT INDESTRUCTIBLE?!
  • 16 6
 @sherbet: spending what would be nearly a mortgage downpayment on a bicycle and expecting it to not break isn't reallly how I'd use the dirty word 'entitlement'

But you do you. Keep simping for the bike industry that constantly over promises, overcharges, and under-delivers.
  • 11 16
flag sherbet (Sep 16, 2021 at 11:37) (Below Threshold)
 Again, everything breaks, that includes multi-million dollar cars. Can't pay for replacements on parts you may break? Don't spend the money then.

Welcome to reality. Money does not make something invulnerable to damage. You thinking otherwise is the definition of entitlement.
  • 7 0
 @Obeh: lmao I just spit my Red Bull out and than sucked it back up through my anus. Dude. This is the one place I can come to and leave my common sense at the door...and not be judged.
  • 4 1
 @sherbet: You are surely taking the piss. The alu insert literally flies out of the crankarm and I have personally seen around 10 carbon cranksets do this.
  • 9 6
 @AlanMck: No piss being taken, and neither of us were working with this bike, so it's speculation. If it's a known defect, yep, that needs to be addressed.

My beef isn't if this crank is or isn't a decent crank. If it's a pisser, it needs to be dealt with. My annoyance is the idea that something costing more means it shouldn't ever break. I have customer that have asked for 5 year old drivetrains on 8k bikes to be warrantied as "the bike is 8k this should never be an issue." That's what I feel the comment chain started with. Everything breaks, regardless of price.
  • 2 1
 @sherbet: Specialized has one job; to design and manufacture a frame that doesn't break.
  • 5 0
 @sherbet: yeah but this is a mint bike that has barely seen the abuse it was literally designed for, I doubt it was even crashed on once.
  • 2 0
 @sherbet: I see your point, all things do indeed break. I guess carbon cranks trigger me. Especially ones with inserts bonded into hollow arms.
  • 4 0
 @boozed: And spec components that work properly within the frames design parameters.
  • 27 0
 Price aside, I really dig how they've managed to make the downtube not look like a gigantic tree trunk relative to the rest of the bike.
  • 10 3
 Thats because this thing has a fischer price battery in it, as compared to normal ebikes. Pretty much half the size, but twice the price.
  • 4 0
 Yep, they've just stuck and extra battery where the water bottle normally goes. So now it looks even uglier and you can't take a water bottle.
  • 27 5
 This is the kind of ebike I’m interested in when prices drop in a few years. Close enough to older DH bike weights to feel like a bike while still climbing with about twice my normal power.
  • 64 3
 When the pricing drops?! When has bike pricing ever dropped?
  • 6 0
 @whitebirdfeathers: in a few years, apparently! Smile We should all be on the lookout for first signs of the big migration south
  • 5 5
 My neighbor got one of these and absolutely loves it, says he barely rides his ibis mojo anymore. When prices come down, I'll definitely be considering one too. Battery technology will probably also increase in that time and weight can go down even further. The future looks very promising!
  • 5 1
 @whitebirdfeathers:

Look at where commencal and YT are at with their bike pricing. As battery tech and motor tech gets better brands like that will bring this kind of lightweight bike to market. Look at the way massive tech improvements have brought great affordable bikes to market. A $2500 full squish today is way more rideable than a $2500 bike from 10 years ago.
  • 2 0
 @zmums: Prices won't go down overall, but features will go up. Might be 5 years might be 10, but getting these smaller motors and batteries into the price range of a current mid/high end mtb isn't unrealistic (let's say 4-6k).
  • 1 0
 @zmums: no you are partially wrong , these brands only used low prices to enter the market , but get now more and more expensive as well
From my point of view , I have never ever put more than 4000$ for a bike
What you can get for this price today is not as good as 5 years ago
  • 18 0
 Funny. I just went through my secon Praxis crank arm on my Specialized Levo SL. Took me some weeks/month to crack them, but both failed the same way and similar to the one in the video. I will switch to the aluminium version now.
  • 5 6
 At least the company is honest with their response
  • 3 0
 Fucking sketchy man. That's not cool.
  • 3 2
 @Noeserd: Really!? It was quite the word salad IMO
  • 5 0
 @Stickman1029: I should have said "somewhat". Better than pole anyway
  • 2 0
 @Noeserd: They seem not to know what they are doing. So I will stick to my AL cranks.
  • 1 0
 @Noeserd: True, but “We don’t know, shit happens,” isn’t exactly comforting or confidence-inspiring.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: I mean yes you are right but the company isn't very wrong either. Carbon is always risky because you can't know if there is any damage happened when you hit a rock or something, i saw lots of broken carbon sram cranks in the past broken the same way. It could be a manufacturing defect too but if it happens so rarely then you can't blame them, if it happens very often then they deserve all the blame
  • 20 2
 Cranks breaking on a huck to flat is just embarrassing, especially on a bike with 170mm of travel. These things should shatter your ankles on a huck before ANY components come close to failure. And don't give me that rock strike BS. Guess what, when you ride bikes on mountains, there's usually rocks that get flung and hit the bike at speed. It's kinda what mountain biking is.
  • 13 0
 Interesting review but it is missing the climbing test data for comparison. How far, how high, how long? I'm very curious to know how it compares in range and time vs. the full power e-bikes.
  • 3 0
 Guessing the crank broke before they had the chance to perform this test.
  • 20 0
 @rckwng - Unfortunately, I didn't get to do the battery test on the Kenevo, which is a bummer because it's probably the most interesting one given its range extender. There were a few forest fires quite close to us and the smoke was SUPER thick and nasty; I didn't feel like spending another three hours in it.
  • 4 0
 I'd love to know this too.

The Commencal climbed at 2.8 vertical metres per battery Wh. If the Spesh was this efficient, it'd climb 1344m on its batteries.
The Yeti climbed at 2.2 vertical metres per battery Wh. If the Spesh was this inefficient, it'd climb 1056m on its batteries.
(The Norco achieved 2.6m per Wh)

This equates to somewhere between 61 to 89 minutes ride time on the climb.
  • 3 0
 @CyclingAbout: let’s pick a nice round 69 minutes of ride time, to play it safe
  • 18 1
 @mikelevy: This smells like a conspiracy. Did the big S start these fires in order to prevent Mike Levy from testing the battery range in the field test? What are they trying to hide?! Is this Waterbottlegate? Where there is smoke, there is also fire!
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy: protip. If you do a bit of math and your planned ride will accommodate, take the time and effort to drop the main battery and just use the extender. Suddenly the bike is a featherweight comparably.
  • 3 1
 @SimbaandHiggins: #commentgold for sure
  • 15 3
 Look, I understand that stuff can break. Crank arms are often the getting some good abuse as well. But, this is the most expensive bike by over $2,000! While money does not buy durability, if I was Specialized and Praxis, I'd be sweating. This bike is outrageously expensive and is the only bike in the test to have a failure. A failure that could cause serious injury. Not a good look.

I'll say that if I had $15k to spend, I'd not be looking at specialized after this review.
  • 7 0
 We had a guy whose steerer snapped on ancient Spec Tarmac road bike on a club ride. He had a nasty crash and broke his collarbone (if memory serves me right). He had a fleet of top-end Spec bikes shortly afterwards, so based on my experience of exactly one Spec failure it seemed like they really looked after him. Sure, he could have sued, but the bike was long out of warranty.

My point is anyone can have failures, and it's Praxis's failure not Spec's really, but it's all about how you handle that too.
  • 1 1
 To be fair, it's not really Specialized's fault. If you like the engineering and design of this bike, you could simply swap the crank arms for $150ish.
  • 5 2
 @KJP1230: it is 100% Specialized’s fault because they’ve partnered with Praxis for thei ebike cranks. They chose to put this particular lightweight crankset on a long travel ebike when they should have used the aluminum version.
  • 2 0
 @bogey: I've seen multiple broken alloy praxis bike crankarms as well!
  • 1 0
 @kmag76: Yikes! Were they broken or bent?
  • 1 0
 @bogey: broken clean off! I have a set on one of my bikes, and wish I could change to something else
  • 20 9
 Cue the “$15k!?!? No thank you! I’ll keep my KTM (Why is it always a KTM?)/bass boat/Rolex/tit job/Range Rover/Pinerello road bike/Calloway driver/scuba gear/Justin Bieber tickets” comment on every bike that wasn’t welded together by apes. I love my Commencal, btw.
  • 36 0
 That's quite the odd list of materials there, partner. Assume you're a motorbike drivin', bass fishin', watch-wearin, big-titty-havin', range rover ridin', weight weenie rollin', country club golfin', scuba divin', Justin Bieber fan?
  • 2 1
 @snowwcold55: Great comment right here
  • 15 1
 "What the Specialized lacks in power, it certainly makes up in price"
  • 3 1
 "Half the power, twice the price!"
  • 11 1
 Right, that's the one I was waiting for and I'm completely sold on the concept, I think this is what e-bikes should have been all along.

However, I'm going to have a very hard time justifying £9k for the Expert, so direct-to-consumer manufacturers it's over to you - money waiting!
  • 10 1
 Agreed. This is the weight/power of ebike that would have me interested. Effectively doubles the miles I can cover in a 2 hour ride (as a new dad, this is a major plus!), while still leaving me with a healthy workout and the feeling of a normal bike on the descents. Love the concept - hate the price of the whole lineup.
  • 10 0
 I personally have bent 3 pairs of the aluminum Praxis cranks, 1 pair of the HD Praxis cranks, and will not pull the trigger on carbon cranks by Praxis. Every time I ask them if they have seen this before I get the same answer "We have not heard of anyone else bending these cranks here is 15% off". Please take this with a grain of salt, i am not a pro rider or weigh over 180lbs, but Praxis cranks bend like butter and have been problematic for me.
  • 9 1
 "Due to the damage it is too difficult to say" next time send in the failed part with no damage so the experts can figure out why it failed.

Spoiler alert: everyone knows why it failed.
  • 11 2
 Id rather put a down payment on a condo, thanks anyways Specialized!
  • 1 0
 Nice! Where will you be purchasing said condo? Maui?
  • 8 0
 @jasonlucas hey man, got any spare ankles kicking around? I could use one that can take that kind of a beating..
  • 5 0
 I've had an expert in the S4 size for about a month with the range extender. I came off a full power 2019 Kenevo that I enjoyed as a first emtb. I originally thought the lower power lighter emtb's didn't make sense until I rode the levo sl for a few days. It's pretty eye opening to have the agility back from being used to a 55 lb emtb. Being able to hop off roots and change direction quickly is a big part of the fun, and these lighter bikes give that back. I ride mostly alone or with friends with analog bikes and it works out great. It's taken me awhile to get it dialed in but just yesterday had a breakthrough and it just came alive. So stable yet still playful. One of the other things with this lighter bike is if you do backcountry rides where you may have to push or carry over a log. Over the length of the ride the bigger e mtb gets to be an anchor. My only complaint so for is really the motor noise. It takes some getting used to but not terrible. Yes, the price is high. I hesitated swiping the card but I knew it would be a great bike. It's is a fantastic bike that rides exactly like your normal MTB with a little help. I also made the conscience decision that putting in more work (because of the lower power) would keep me much fitter than the full power. Buy one if you can.
  • 2 0
 I was with you for most of your response... but then I thought to myself that there is a price premium for the electric assist. In the case of the lower powered bikes, I believe it would make since to price them between an "analog" bike and a full powered assisted bike.
  • 4 0
 If I had 15K at my disposable for an E Bike (One can dream!), I'd still hold out for a few more years when they can get these motor and other sensor/battery issues sorted. So far, New England rocks and mud have chewed up too many motor mounts and internals along with other electrical issues requiring warranty for some of my wealthier friends.

That said, if I had the choice of a free E bike to use out of the test, the kenevo SL would be it.
  • 6 0
 So the moral of this story is that carbon is not the right material to make MTB cranks from.
  • 3 0
 Or rims according to Thibaut Daprela!
  • 4 0
 The craziest thing is that all these complaints don't matter to specialized as these bikes sold out within the first few days. The reason its so overpriced is because they still manage to sell.
  • 3 0
 PB you are again slightly tested apples vs pears. Kenovo SL should be compared with Orbea Rise, not other high power, long range beasts. Or it should have a Con for short range (which wasn't tested..), no?

Again allowing top end top dollar S-works with weight savings everywhere to line Up vs half price competitors will of course also bias the results. Lighter wheels alone transform a bike. Look at the results of your downcountry field test, with a lot of the comments about the Epic Evo S-works could actually be referred to its 1200g wheelset, not the frame. (Yes, I have tested both the Spur and the Epic Evo)

This uneven choice of bikes for a group test bugs me. Don't let the manufacturer choose the model you test.
  • 2 0
 I was starting to think I wanted one, but then I realised that at £7.5k more than my SJ Evo, I could pay for an uplift at one of many trail centres 190 times before I closed that gap. And I'd be fresher on the downs. I don't ride day epics (no terrain near me that would support it), so understand the appeal for that crowd, but for a casual mtber the price seems nuts.
  • 4 0
 Pinkbike - "The Mastermind control screen is really cool" Also Pinkbike "don't show any pictures of the Mastermind control screen"
  • 2 0
 It's not a 6 bar. It is a 4 - bar linkage with a 2 - bar linkage to drive the shock. For the Prime kinematics of how the bike will perform it is a 4 bar. the extra linkage will make a difference in the progressivity, but not in the anti squat or anti rise behavior. If Specialized is promoting the 6 - bar thing shame on them. If the MTB press is pushing the 6 - bar it might be forgivable one time but please consult some of your staff like Dan Roberts to get the physics right.
  • 5 0
 15,000USD...shit! For whom should the test be?
  • 5 0
 $19k bike with a Praxis crankset. Nice.
  • 9 8
 First, the Kenevo comes in less expensive models but I guess it's more sensational to just list the $15k USD price tag. The comp is $9k. I know some people just can't resist the "dentist" and "KTM" comments, but maybe we could talk about the actual bike?!?!...

This is my first eBike and up until now just wasn't interested in a 50lb sled so the SL appealed to me. FWIW - The KSL is about 8-10 pounds heavier than my trail bike. I've had about 10 rides on my Kenevo SL and will say it's an amazing bike! The low center of gravity keeps the bike incredibly planted while the 6 bar suspension and Fox 38 make for one of the best descending bikes I've ridden. The electronics and overall "digital user experience" is better than any other eBike I've seen. The power delivery is super smooth and the amount of customization/tuning available is fantastic. For example, the ability to have simple micro adjustments in addition to the 3 set ride modes is quite helpful.

Personally, I've loved the ability to get more laps in on every ride. In this case more laps = more downhills = more fun!. But what I love most is that the bike feels like a "normal" bike when I'm descending. Sure it's a bit heavier, but once you get used to that, the thing is amazing. I actually don't see the need for more power or a bigger motor to be honest.

Lastly, don't think Specialized actually recommends this, but there's enough room in the downtube to store a spare tube! The plastic guard on the bottom is removable using only your fingers to twist the small locking screw revealing open space. So while the bike isn't marketed as having "SWAT", it kind of does.
  • 9 1
 I'm not totally sure that having a 9k version with Fox Rhythm suspension and a GX drivetrain (with an NX chain) is really that great of a defense against people fixating on the pricing.
  • 5 0
 I'd prefer a 5k dh bike and a personal shuttle driver...
  • 5 4
 $15K....are we all being groomed to think this is normal? Its a dam bike...dirt bike...errr...moped....I don't know anymore. Weren't bikes for fun, exercise, easy transportation and freedom from motors/fuel?

I'm not anti-E bike, they do have their place and benefits, but where is this going? Is it just going to be a motorcycle where you cant see the motor anymore and $20K to have the best one is acceptable? Plus they aren't allowed in a lot of trail systems.
Thieves are going to love taking these instead of the risk stealing new Ford Mavericks (Starting price $19,995). Lol.
  • 2 0
 This is going to 11--planetary collapse. I need a bigger hybrid to carry my bigger ebike. Quantity > quality. Mars is wide open to trailbuilding. Level up
  • 2 1
 Oh specialized and your wacky wacky pricing. I've got an enduro that would cost about 10k full price, that came with alloy traverse wheels, performance rear shock, gx cassette and cranks, x fusion dropper, alloy bars, code rs and low end headset, saddle, etc. It was only a few years ago that if you where spending 10k on a bike you should be expecting the very best, now 10k gets you 2 levels down from s works. Not too long ago that price would have got you an s-works.
  • 3 0
 This is an ebike though so...
  • 1 0
 @RushCentrale: still applies doesn't it?
  • 1 0
 I'd would have like to have seen the numbers for how long to deplete the battery and how much vertical. Just to compare small motor/lighter bike vs. big motor/heavier bike. Or did I miss it. My guess is - Levy was too annoyed by the motor noise to stay on it long enough to wear out the batteries.
  • 1 0
 @mattbeer @mikelevy @henryquinney.
I haven’t had time to watch the video (only read the article) but had a question. With ebikes lots of people (including the PBPodcast) have said that due to the extra weight and how they ride it’s often not necessary to buy better suspension, how does that apply to these lighter bikes? Should be manage with lower spec forks/shocks or do these benefit more from better squishy bits as they’re significantly lighter?
  • 2 0
 @CustardCountry There is something to be said for the sprung to unsprung weight ratio of a full powered eMTB that can sometimes mute suspension feedback. I think what people are actually noticing when they make a statement like that, is how weight shifts affect the whole system less than a lighter bike. The biggest factor I noticed with a full size eMTB was that some budget fork dampers can dive more than the same damper on a regular MTB, but that wasn't the case with any of the bikes in test here. It's an interesting perspective but, like any bike, will depend on the rider's skills and demands.

@shredb4dead Don't forget the Kenevo SL was weighed with our control tires and Range Extender, plus it has a 29" rear wheel.
  • 2 0
 if you are in better shape than your other full size ebike friends then you can keep up with a kenevo sl. also on rides where you are pushing the full range of the battery, you should be able to keep up as well.
  • 1 0
 Had a Ff and levo SL. Both pros and cons, motor noise on the SL s is dam annoying. Ksl no good if no mates have lightweight eeb and to slow for racing on compared to a FF. awesome bike but if your going to pedal around in evo you may as well just ride ya normal bike..
  • 2 1
 This bike is getting closer to what I am looking to get for the wife...but still far off. I need an E-bike that has a battery life of no more than 1.5 hours, with 250 watts of power tops. Bike companies need to make a category specifically for people who just want to keep up with their fit friends on normal bikes.
  • 3 1
 Orbea Rise
  • 2 0
 Yep. I suspect that sort of bike might be hard to market, but would actually make a lot of sense once you owned it.

I think Henry Quinney hit the nail on the head about ebikes generally with his comment to the effect of this bike suits the sort of rider whose friends have the same bike.

The extension of that line of thinking is a bike with just enough assistance to keep up with fitter/more talented regular riding partners.

I just bought my partner an Orbea Rise commuter bike, which I test rode back to back with a Specialized Vado SL and a couple of ‘full power’ ebikes.

It might have only half the power and range of other options, but it’s enough that we can ride together at a reasonable cruising speed, she still only needs to charge it once a week, and it’s light enough that she can easily manoeuvre it around town and hang it on a hook in garage.

In a similar vein I regularly ride my trail bike with a couple of younger guys who are 10–20% faster than me up hills. I’m close enough that they’re happy to ride with me, but an SL-style MTB might make a lot of sense for me in the future (or even now if I’m honest).
  • 2 0
 So at 44.5lbs for this bike why not go with a large size Santa Cruz Bullit like I just did at 50lbs?
Get all the power and range at 5.5 lbs more and laugh up/down the mountain all day long.
Less money too.
  • 1 0
 And 44 lb heckler.
  • 4 0
 If I'm remembering correctly, not a single huck to flat issue with the value bikes test...
  • 1 0
 It would be nice to see companies that are making more $ per bike than ever put some of that back into emtb access . If you're going to charge people these amounts at least be the leaders in your region for class 1 access (California, Colorado, more)
  • 1 0
 Well sh*t. The bike that I just managed to snag four weeks ago has Praxis carbon cranks on it. I was already disappointed because of the limited chainring options with the Shimano drivetrain, but now I think I’m going crank shopping this weekend.
  • 1 0
 I wonder how Praxis does the load test on their cranks? What I've experienced from having to get a stuck pedal loose is that a good hit with a hammer could loosen it when my full weight on a wrench (even with an extender) didn't. The huck to flat would be similar to that I think.

I'd much rather have alu cranks (and handlebars) on a mtb.
  • 6 3
 my filter seems to be broken

...but since I'm here **spits coffee on screen** $15K?!
  • 5 0
 Alloy cranks or bust.
  • 11 7
 Underpowered and overpriced. Why would you only want that tiny motor?
  • 12 1
 To make it feel more like a normal bike?
  • 5 0
 Yep the lapierre overvolt glp is just at 21.5 kg with a full motor 500wh and 170/160mm
  • 8 3
 Cause then you’re buying a motorbike. E bikes aren’t suppose to do all the work for you
  • 3 0
 @pablo-b: The Orbea Rise has nearly twice the power and significantly more range, although its more of a Levo SL competitor
  • 1 0
 Underpowered and overpriced is the story of your life.......
  • 7 6
 So with the range extender, it still weighs around 47 lbs. That's barely any lighter than plenty of full power ebikes that make more power, have more range, and cost a lot less.
  • 8 1
 No, 42.2lbs without a range extender, 44.4 with
  • 7 2
 and it only has half the power, if you buy this and ride with regular e-mtb's your bye bye
  • 5 6
 @norona: and if you ride with other guys on KTM's you're bye bye... so don't do that!
  • 1 0
 @vanillarice19: ah, that makes more sense.
  • 4 4
 Just out of curiosity what does everyone here think of all these fancy ebikes compared to something like a sur ron or segway x-260? I like to think i'd want an ebike but if I could get a sur ron for less than 5k it is hard not to consider.
  • 1 0
 Depends on where you're trying to ride. If you're somewhere where ebikes are legal on non-motorized mountain bike trails, you're better off with one of them. But, if you, like me, live somewhere where ebikes are relegated to motorized trails, well, it makes a lot more sense to me to grab the Sur-Ron and go twist some throttle!
  • 4 0
 Damn hard to watch that crank arm fail at 3.05. OUCH!!
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy did you do measure the steady-state climb for this one too? Interested to know how long the climbing took and how it compared to the bike bikes?
  • 4 0
 Unfortunately, I didn't get to do the battery test on the Kenevo, which is a bummer because it's probably the most interesting one given its range extender. There were a few forest fires quite close to us and the smoke was SUPER thick and nasty; I didn't feel like spending another three hours in it Smile
  • 4 0
 Missed out by not testing the Orbea Rise
  • 2 0
 Really not aimed at the enduro market, which this test was about. I bet they release an LT or bigger travel version at some point givne the popularity. A lot of folks are long stroking a shock, mulleting, and making this a 170/160 mm beast
  • 2 0
 Specialized initially had (~5yrs ago) and still have the best looking e MTB's.

Whiny motor and stratospheric price would be cons for me.
  • 1 1
 The Kenevo SL (in any build) is the kind of bike you'd get to replace a heavy hitter enduro bike (winch and plunge style) or even a DH bike. The few people I know that have or are considering one are doing just that. Then they can keep a light weight trail or XC bike for whatever. The Kenevo SL and especially the Levo SL (with a 27.5 rear wheel and 170 fork is the shiz) are light enough to be pedaled around with the motor off.
  • 9 9
 "I can hear the comments section exploding again, but you do have to appreciate all the innovations Specialized has packaged into the S-Works Kenevo SL."

Actually Matt, no I don't. There is nothing innovative about a $15k bicycle.
  • 6 1
 One thing they seem to be doing better than other e-bike makers right now is motor/display integration. Yeah, the bike is expensive.
  • 8 2
 @mikelevy: That's part of what I mean - when you just throw money at something, of course the screen (for example) can be nicer. A screen on an iPhone is better then a screen on a Garmin cause it costs over twice as much (and there's economies of scale). I don't see that necessarily as innovation. I'm in industrial design and believe me its not hard to innovate features when you can spend virtually whatever you want.
  • 4 2
 @jared716: I understand your general point, but the last sentence of your reply serves as a complete rebuttal of your original comment.
  • 2 0
 @bykeco: I hear you. My wording was clunky. Maybe a better way to say it is there’s nothing “impressively innovative” about super expensive things/bikes. Throwing features at something cause you have unlimited budget may be innovative, but isn’t particularly hard.
  • 1 0
 Ideas can't be new or better if they cost lots of money?

Why do you think that iPhone screen is nicer? Because Innovation costs money! As a result, yes it's also very expensive.
  • 1 0
 @L0rdTom: to some degree, yes that’s exactly what I’m saying. It’s like they said on the pod today. Sure it’s great that Ferrari puts out a million dollar car w space age technology. But it’s not particularly impressive. At least not to me.
  • 1 0
 @jared716: Fair enough I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. Whilst I love it when some person comes out of their shed having not been seen for years with some radical invention, I also applaud the very expensive but world changing innovations of Henry Ford, the Wright brothers, Tesla, NASA, SpaceX etc. (Granted the major effects of any of Elon's ventures are yet to be felt, for good or bad.)
  • 6 6
 I spent 3 hours riding a Kenevo SL Expert last weekend. I'm gonna be honest, climbing felt no less difficult or faster than a lightweight s-works Enduro. Extra moving parts and weight for no reason. Noticeably slower uphill than the Levo SL, and obviously night&day when switching to a full-power Levo or Kenevo.

Frankly, this bike feels like a monster truck with the 29" rear wheel, and found the rear tire biting my ass on any big drop. Also, with the flip chip in the low position on this one, the bike becomes basically unrideable with pedal strikes. The mullet gen3 levo is much more comfortable.

Save your money and just buy an Enduro, or get a full-power if you want a real ebike.
  • 4 0
 Really? No faster than an enduro? What type of climb?

On techy climbs, I have found my KSL is much quicker than the SL. Probably due to the geo being a bit more climb friendly IMO with the steeper STA. Granted my old SL was a mullet with 170mm fork but with the seat slammed fwd more than recommend.

Haven't had issues with the rear wheel, but I definitely have had the seat hit me in the steeps. I think it needs a 200mm+ dropper for my proportions.

No issues with pedals strikes either, but I have adjusted my pedaling technique over my past few bikes which were all low BB.

I do agree it's the not the bike for everyone though (even not considering the price)
  • 4 0
 Um....you're trying to suggest that the Kenevo SL is no better climber than the Enduro? It's a 240 watt motor. If I combine that with my normal output on extended technical climbs, this thing would give me the equivalent of a Tour de France champion's 20-minute FTP.

I'd be a bit shocked if I didn't notice a big difference with an extra 100-240 watts at the pedals. In fact, I'd guess that this would pretty easily cut my climbing times by at least 50%.
  • 3 0
 @KJP1230: That's my experience. It's definitely more of a "average fitness rider can now ride up with a super-fit guy on XC bike" more than "I am a superhero" advantage, but it's noticeable. Unless, all of your climbs are at 20mph+ then it won't help Smile
  • 3 0
 I wonder when Specialized is going to stop claiming this is a six bar suspension system
  • 1 0
 the most exciting ebike ever with a ludicrous price tag and stunner looks PLUS a broken crank for like zero reason makes it through the ebike filter...I'll allow it.
  • 2 0
 $15,000 USD.....................................................................
  • 3 0
 Ya, seems like Yeti missed the mark on their ebike. Their could have been more. So disappointed
  • 2 0
 I didn't hear any comment about if it was so good how it got 3rd on the downhill?
  • 1 2
 "Cost aside, at what point do you still lean towards a non-assisted bike as these SL versions creep down in weight?"
This makes no sense. I'm certain people aren't buying e-bikes because they're heavy. If anything the lighter weight should be a draw, all else being equal.
  • 2 0
 The most KTM part of this bike is the pricetag, and the parts breaking off it. hahahahaha
  • 3 0
 Saw $15k and went right to the comments
  • 3 0
 So how fast does the Wifi hotspot drain the battery.
  • 2 0
 When I first saw the price, my jaw fell to the floor. Then I realized I'm a dentist and it all makes sense. Wink
  • 2 2
 “This” is the direction that e-bikes were destined for! It’s finally your time to shine! Soon they will be throwing up a roost that any self respecting dirt biker would be proud of!
  • 2 0
 Orbea Rise M-Ltd is $18K AUS!! It has a 34 fork and a DPS! Kenevo SL @ $16KAUS Fox 38, X2.....what's the issue?
  • 2 0
 Equivalent spec Spec is 24.2k AUD which is not even close.
  • 1 0
 As a package, this is the sort of thing that would get me onto an e-bike. Loads of travel, heading in the right direction weight-wise etc. The price though is laughable.
  • 1 0
 I'm really disturbed by how this bike looks EXACTLY like the Enduro SWORKS warranty replacement frame i just received Specialized..
  • 1 1
 What's funny to me is that these bikes end up being owned by people that barely know how to use it to its full potential. Its a massive waste of technology s far as I'm concerned...
  • 3 1
 the only electric I'm interested in.
  • 3 1
 This is my favorite bike.
  • 2 0
 i like it, and the concept, its just way outta my price range
  • 1 0
 This is the one. I expect a stellar Orbea version for a little less money in about a year or so.
  • 1 0
 Make an alu one with cheap non-suspension components and you'll have a buyer.
  • 2 0
 Yeti seems cheaper.... What?
  • 2 1
 Yeti skimped on the spec to get there.
  • 7 7
 PB are pushing e-bikes super hard lately. Given their price tags no wonder these companies are paying them to do all these "advertorials".
  • 1 1
 My thought exactly. Also 7 ebike owners saw this comment lol
  • 2 1
 For 15k this better come with a 5G hotspot so I can stream with my Hero 10 in 4k while shredding party laps with the boys
  • 3 0
 RIP Praxis
  • 1 0
 Levi complaining about being out for 7 hours w/o a singular water bottle, bro how much water do you drink?
  • 4 0
 More than that, sorry.
  • 1 0
 Is it somewhat disconcerting training your replacements? @mikelevy @mikekazimer
  • 12 0
 No, I'm only telling them the wrong stuff so it's all good.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: brilliant job security strategy!
  • 1 0
 Who’s going to pay full price on this doesn’t have an Pinkbike account.
  • 1 0
 Did I miss it, or was there no elevation number given from the battery drain/climbing test?
  • 3 0
 You didn't miss it - there was a gnarly forest fire close by and it got way too smokey.
  • 2 0
 Expert build seems like the model to buy. Fox PE 38, X2, X01... 11k.
  • 3 5
 Mtb is hard..it's supposed to be if u can't handle it do something else ..take up golf..and use a cart cause you want the easy way..ebikes can suck it .. especially specialized ..why isn't pinkbike covering what they did with Mike's bikes in NorCal.. absolutely asinine.. specialized sucks ..now this story should be front page news ..but outside won't touch it ..kooks..
  • 1 0
 HOLY QFACTOR. also cant be sorta pregnant and this thing is still pregnant.
  • 2 0
 Hahahahha. $15 G’s. Specialized….. your so silly!!
  • 1 0
 Sorry. For $15,000.00 this bike should have twice the power and half the weight of my Levo. Pricing is just stupid.
  • 1 0
 I was about to comment how long the cranks stayed on the bike in the begging....ouch same happened to me with Praxis
  • 1 0
 Ain’t no disguising that price tag!
  • 1 0
 I'll take 'Bikes I can't afford for $15,000' Alex.
  • 1 1
 It's so expensive, bears and mountain lions wouldn't even go near it. So that's a plus.
  • 1 0
 Crank was a result of over mining and insufficient safety precautions.
  • 1 0
 first it was the wrists, now its the ankles, come on @mikelevy
  • 1 0
 "Wim Hof breathing and mental fortitude"

Underrated joke
  • 1 0
 what a rig! if i could i would.
  • 2 0
 Rip ankle.
  • 1 0
 You can huck them all to flat!
  • 2 1
 I’m just here to scroll through and downvote outside+ users.
  • 1 0
 Kenevo sl - it’s you, but poorer!
  • 2 1
 I'm going to go back to school to become a dentist !!
  • 1 0
 Price is fucking INSANE...
  • 1 0
 Only a few cranks broke....Please define a few
  • 3 2
 I WANT ONE.
  • 1 1
 Glad no ankles were permanently harmed in this production.
  • 1 0
 15K lol.
  • 1 2
 If this is analogous to a hypercar, it's the most flaccid hypercar to ever exist.
  • 2 3
 For the money, just buy this:

ridecake.com/en/shop/bikes/kalk/kalk-or-race

Done and FU*KING done.
  • 2 3
 Man, am I ever glad I hate e bikes
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