Specialized's Turbo Levo Launch Video Has Aliens & eMTBs

Mar 23, 2021
by I Am Specialized  

The unbelievable power to ride more trails.


More information: bit.ly/unbelievable-levo


141 Comments

  • 225 7
 Yes.

Here's my thesis: brands are stories.

I mean, sure, there are differences between bikes. But pretty much any $6K+ bike you're going to buy today is going to be a great bike. And unless your Levy, you're probably only ever riding one or two of them.

So we pick the bikes we buy, at least in part, because of stories.

We like Transition because they're a company made up of rippers from Bellingham. Or Guerilla Gravity because they handmake their frames in Colorado. Or Santa Cruz because they were our dream bikes when we were kids. Or Yeti because we filled 3 extra cavities this month and gosh darn it we deserve something special.

But what's Specialized's story? Big boring bike brand? Corporate takeovers of independent dealers? Being like 5-years late to the "Modern MTB Geometry" party?

So, they're fighting that story. On two fronts. Frist, (and most importantly) by releasing objectively great bikes at really competitive price points. Second, with marketing that reminds us that they're not just boring suits in a corporate office somewhere.

They want to have fun. To poke a little fun at themselves. To give us the opportunity to believe that Specialized isn't just a boring-old bike brand with a huge dealer network. That they're people who make fun bikes, and have fun, and isn't that what we're all after?

EDIT: This was supposed to be a reply to @kcy4130 who asked if this kind of marketing actually works - but I somehow messed it up.
  • 118 96
 Dude I am not going to read this entire comment
  • 19 0
 @nskerb: spez r gud @ marketing?
  • 38 0
 I read it.
  • 12 11
 I’m gonna stick to geometry and suspension design for my decisions
  • 50 1
 Dude, that was actually pretty spot on and I think Specialized advertising has been pretty great the last couple of years, along with their bikes. They're just pretty dialed in right now, and people running out of reasons to bash.
  • 22 0
 @onlyDH: you like to think that, but I guarantee marketing plays a much larger role in your decision-making than you are aware of.
  • 10 0
 "really competitive price points." not in the UK.......
  • 2 5
 @goldfly: that seems a little presumptuous. I will likely continue to have custom frames made by Nicolai that are made to fit my exact needs. I guess there’s some marketing that draws me in like pretty welds and raw aluminum that they feature in their ads
  • 1 1
 @nskerb: me neither. Less is more / more is less.
  • 7 1
 @nskerb: mee naut lik reed. It hurt hed to much.
  • 11 1
 Yeah, this is pretty spot on. Companies like Specialized are not so much bike companies as they are marketing and logistic machines. Sure, their engineers design the bikes, but they are manufactured in a factory in China. The question I find interesting is what happens when Chinese companies start to enter the western markets for themselves (this is already happening, but on a very small scale). The tech is already there and Chinese production standards are infinitley higher than what they used to be. If you want to look into the future of the bike industry, first look to what is happening in bigger sectors like electric cars at this moment. The domestic Chinese EVs are nearly on par with Tesla. The West's technological advantages are negligable at this point, the only reason we pay these companies 13k for a bike that a Chinese company could sell at half that price is because of marketing and peace of mind. I predict that we are going to see a huge disruption in the market when Chinese domestic brands start offering top of line bikes at a fraction of the cost, especially in emerging markets like South America, where brand loyalties are not as well established and consumers are less likely to pay top dollar for an "American" product.
  • 7 3
 Yeah, I understand that specialized is trying to change our perception of them as a company with marketing like this. I just meant that it's not working on me (just feels like they're trying too hard), and was curious if it was working for others. Also, the fact that they're trying to change their brand story, brand image, whatever you want to call it, seems a bit big boring corporationy to me.
  • 2 0
 @gossman: My head hurts for other reasons.
  • 5 0
 @scottrap: Couldn't you say that for literally any consumer good that's manufactured in China? Sneakers, electronics, etc? And aren't most high-end bikes mostly manufactured in Taiwan anyway? I mean, I'm sure there will be some Chinese companies that come along and develop competencies in certain areas. We already see Giant and Polygon in the mix for bikes. But I don't think western companies are going away any time soon. Specialized developed their knowledge base, not just in engineering but in the western markets, over decades. It's not going anywhere. And if anything, it's been the western direct to consumer companies like YT, Canyon and Commencal that have shaken up the market from the bottom up.
  • 1 1
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: True. I wasn't making the point that western companies are going away, just that we will see a lot more competion out of China.
  • 5 0
 @scottrap: Taiwan
  • 6 1
 @scottrap: honestly, I'm not so sure. There is a reason why autocratic societies like China and Russia are not great at creating desirable consumer goods. Ofcourse part of the problem is their home markets are relatively poor compared to the west, but I also think this is what happens when you crack down on the freedoms in one area of your society, it's hard to then flip the switch in other areas and say- hey innovate away, free reign over here. Doesn't work that way.
  • 4 0
 @nskerb: Pro tip: If you use chapstick, your lips won't get so dry when you're readingSmile lol j/k
  • 8 0
 Mike Sinyard sold his VW van to buy a plane ticket to Italy back in the 80s before MTB was really a thing. He created a partnership with Cinnelli bringing high quality components to bike shops in Cali. They were pretty much the first ones to the party with the Stumpjumper. I have a 1984 original steel bike, and it actually rips on the white rim or dead horse trails. Wide bars, short stem, raked fork.
I know, they are super corporate now, and like to "imitate or die", but if you go to their SBCU in Morgan Hill you'll see that the people working there are just as passionate as any rider owned company. Sick pump track in the back lot, and plenty of rides to do from the facility.
  • 3 0
 1974.
  • 4 1
 Specialized has found the right spot now in a big modern company... Being Big, and handle all departments in harmony I guess without losing vision or touch with consumer... Not many achieve this, so I guess to have a bunch of passionate professionals/riders and modern approach for companies made it possible..
  • 2 8
flag SlodownU (Mar 23, 2021 at 17:07) (Below Threshold)
 I didn’t watch the video, came straight to the comments. If you’ve been riding long enough, you know exactly what you want and why, no need to watch an advertisement. If I want to be entertained, I wait for Friday and watch the fails, or Remi and Yoann on YouTube. If advertising is informing your decision making, you have done something wrong.
  • 1 0
 @GT-CORRADO: so much under rated comment
  • 4 0
 Thesis and MTB, ummm..... that’s awesome. You are dedicated bro. Love it. And that video freaking rocked!
  • 1 0
 @BigFerg: you voted for that
  • 1 0
 @nskerb: so funny ????????
  • 6 1
 Lmao their story is excellence bro...

And e bikes aside, looking at the builds on the stumpy evo....spesh has the best bang for your buck. It’s criminal how much brands like yeti and Santa Cruz charge for trash tier drivetrains etc.

I don’t currently own any specialized bikes, but they make quality and thoughtful products. I’ll take that over some bs granola story.
  • 5 0
 @onlyDH: it's fun how people still mess up "product management" and "marketing". Wink
don't you think, this german/raw/aluminum/we're so tech/no marketing BS is kind of marketing as well? creating a trustworthy and authentic image around a brand is the best marketing you could do. and nicolai did very well on this part!! if you create the image and the product will not hold up, you obviously messed up.

yes some people still think they're imune to marketing by stiking to numbers, thinking in cogs and tech.but the majority loves storys. they love an image. they love a deeper value than just numbers.
rider owned and small company building ripper machines is marketing as well. Wink

storys are built in your mind
products are built in a factory

same goes for apple vs. android back a couple of years. apple was like: we built the exact thing you need to feel great. android was like: we're so tech, our chips are faster, we have a lot more of....
glad this android thinking is over. Wink
  • 4 0
 @onlyDH:

And you’ve been drawn in to the fact that they can make that bike custom to you. If they didn't market that you wouldn’t know.
  • 2 0
 @nvranka: There's also the Status, which if you can get one, crushes most DtC brands in terms of value.
  • 3 2
 But what's Specialized's story? Big boring bike brand? Corporate takeovers of independent dealers? Being like 5-years late to the "Modern MTB Geometry" party?


www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmvOwYbugag

2010... compare a Medium Demo 8ii to a 2020 medium Mega!!!!
11 years and whats really changed.

Wheel base. 1950 v 1190
Head angle 64 v 64.5
Stack 600 v 590
Reach 429 v 435
BB 343 v 344
Chainstay 421 v 435 (this is the big change, but Specialized was always pushing the short rear end)

The wheels are bigger, but when you look at what someone like Sam Hill rode 11 years ago and last year, there is not that much different.
Yes the leverage, travel is different on the Mega, but it doesnt look like his key numbers have moved that far. 6mm extra reach.

I would bet his bars are the same sweep etc now, cranks the same length too.

5 years late but the modern Enduro bike is basically a Dh bike from 10 years ago with some bigger wheels, just specialized liked the short rear end back in the day.
  • 1 0
 @inonyme: ha! Thanks!....apparently not everyone got itSmile
  • 3 0
 I actually wrote my dissertation on this exact thing (using Specialized, Transition etc. as examples) of how brands use creativity in advertising to form and develop their personalities, especially recently when product offerings are essentially the same and more often than not it's the 'lifestyle' attributes associated that are the main selling point rather than the actual physical product. It's pretty cool to see other people picking up on it and knowing I didn't just waste hours writing pure waffle (ok most of it was waffle)
  • 2 0
 @SlodownU: This only shows how unaware you are about how marketing is affecting your decisions. You think just because it's not in a 30 second commercial spot it's not an advertisement? You think Remi and Yoann are just two random riders posting videos for their own enjoyment? No, they are both fully sponsored riders whose content is carefully curated to meet their sponsors' requirements. This includes what they post, when they post, what brands they wear and use, and how much it is shown onscreen. You may think you're immune to marketing and you're making decisions out of your own "free will", but repeated exposure to carefully designed marketing permeates your consciousness and impacts you more than you believe. Argue if you want, but there are countless studies to back it up.
  • 1 2
 @goldfly: Please, I work in the industry, I know exactly how it works. As far as the new bike I'm riding, the choice was based on countless demo rides. As for Remy and Yoann, I watch because their videos are entertaining. I've already made my choice as to what bike I'm riding and which components I'm running, which incidentally are not what either of them have on their bikes. Are others influenced by what they are running, I'm sure that they are (look at all the sheeple on this site alone), otherwise they wouldn't have a vehicle with which to make their videos, but I personally am not because I live this every day.
  • 1 0
 @SlodownU:

So tell us why you chose the brands you demod and the components?
  • 41 1
 You know these things are going to be as available as hanging out with actual aliens...
  • 12 7
 At least the Turbo Levo Protection kits are available, so you can wrap it before you take it to the moon. Say hi to the aliens for us.
  • 40 6
 Beginners watching this video and buying one of those E-Things will be disappointed once they realize that the motor does not help in the descents...
  • 41 2
 You can buy the climbs, you can't buy the skills.
  • 33 2
 @learningcycles: To play devil's advocate, you can buy MORE descents, which will help you get better faster if that's your goal.
  • 19 1
 As others have said, more descents equals faster skill development. I’ve witnessed it over the past 2 years with friends I’ve introduced to the sport. Used to take years to develop the same skills you can get in months. Also, if you aren’t absolutely exhausted by the time you reach the top, the way many beginners are, at least here in the Bay Area, you can descend better and focus better on technique. Win-win.
  • 9 9
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: You can also ride downhills a lot and just make marginal improvements. You're going faster, yes, but you're lacking all the skills with the bike masking skill development. For the fastest improvement, I would argue, ride a pumptrack, and learn to ride it really well.
  • 7 2
 @learningcycles: yes, there are many ways to get better. One of those ways is getting as many reps as possible on your descents. This assumes you're actually practicing good technique and consciously trying to improve. But it's also the reason why pros love their ebikes, it gets them more downhill reps.
  • 12 5
 Also humping that 50 pound fucker down the trail just... isn't as fun as a 30 to 35lb bike. I've demo'd a few... and while the climbs felt like cheating, I did not enjoy the descents as much as on a normal bike. Big turn-off for me. Once they find a way to drop 15 to 20 lbs, then it's game on... maybe.
  • 4 4
 It would require more skill to get down the hill on a 50 pound bike compared to a 25 pound bike. Why get mad when people buy stuff you don't like.
  • 5 2
 @islandforlife: Yeah it's called the Turbo Levo SL coming in at 38lbs
  • 7 8
 @Stephenpaul3: Lets cut the bullshit here, don’t be such a puppet, have you ever even ridden one of these? How does it make you better on the descents? You have an extra 20lbs of bike plus electric assist that give you so much more momentum to just smash through the tech. No picking lines or moving the bike around, just let the weight and momentum take you through. I demoed the first generation of this bike to see what the hype was about. One particular rock garden that’s normally a challenge, I sessioned for about 30min riding one ridiculous line after another just trying to see how stupid I could get before I got hung up. This skills thing is about as much crap as the “you get the same workout” and “I don’t have enough time to ride because I’m busy and have 7 kids” line. If you want one of these fine, it’s a free country, but don’t think your going to get more skills and fitness than riding a real bike.
  • 3 0
 @dragonsback79: better but still heavy... and doesn’t that one have not much assist or battery life? Kind of defeats the purpose.
  • 2 4
 well they will cause they're fucking heavy and gravity happens here on earth. if you put 50 pounds in one sled and 32 in the other and pushed em down a hill the 50 pounder would reach the bottom first
  • 1 0
 @learningcycles: I bought my daughter drivers training so she could be our new shuttle driver. Worked mint.
  • 23 1
 Video almost makes me think the bike could be worth $15k..
  • 10 4
 $15k with proprietary battery pack...so in five years when the battery is toast, you'll be cracking it apart to solder in new cells.
  • 33 1
 @Jamminator: Something tells me that the same person that buys a $15k bike is not the same person that would solder in new cells lol.
  • 4 1
 @Jamminator: what ebike doesn't have a proprietary battery? Every battery is specific to the motor system or bike, you're buying your replacement from speci, shimano, or bosch one way or the other
  • 23 1
 New guy!!!
  • 21 0
 Straight to the comments...
  • 4 0
 Didn't even watch the video.
  • 13 0
 I love bikes and aliens. You lost me 45 secs in though.
  • 12 0
 Kenevo Prime!? I've been wanting them to make an Enduro SL type model. Hope this is something like that when it drops.
  • 9 0
 Very soon it will be announced...
  • 4 0
 Rumor mills have been swirling on this for over half a year. I really hope they weren't trolling us with that little easter egg. Given the patents, the rumors, and details people have apparently seen - I am optimistic this will be next or at least sometime this year.
  • 1 0
 @Jcmonty: if the local dealer already knows about the bike it is around the corner...
  • 1 0
 @ukli: interesting. I hope that’s the case!
  • 1 0
 Thats exactly what it is. There is a patent design document showing the frame on the net Just google Kenevo SL 2022 and its the first image that comes up. Dealer has told me same spec as the current Levo SL. Willl be dropping in a few weeks or months Smile
  • 1 0
 @Rabbuit: seen that. Specialized can be tricky with those, but I believe the reports that it’s coming. Curious if it will be full 29er, 170mm (enduro) or more, and if the SL motor will be bumped up torque wise. That was the rumor from folks in the know mid last year at least . We will see!
  • 9 0
 yeah that isn't poking fun of themselves, that is a marketing budget flex. California actors must be desperate for commercials these days.
  • 15 0
 This is a filmed in Canada flex.
  • 3 1
 @ischiller: Ah an even better way to save money by Big S. Is it still $1 US gets you $3.50 CA? Wink
  • 5 0
 @Sycip69er: I would call it being creative with the budget you have.
  • 9 0
 Levo is such a bad name though. If it’s based on a Stumpy why not just call it a StumpE
  • 8 0
 I couldn't care less about E-bikes either way. But that was a great advertisement, well done Specialized!
  • 17 9
 Can't believe I wasted 30 seconds watching that
  • 3 0
 Advert just seems a massive waist of money because they could literally just put out some pictures send the bike off to reviewers and it would still sell out..... Id rather companies drop the over produced adverts for a product that will already sell out and maybe drop the price of the bike even if only by a few quid.
  • 7 1
 would love to throw my leg over one for the day
  • 6 0
 Coast Gravity Park for the night filming?
  • 6 0
 Didn't open the video with The Sword, so, nah.
  • 2 0
 Thank god for the YT brand ,cause brands are waking up on adverts for their bikes ,I like to watch them and finding them very good ,but I just love a simple advert like show me the bike and what it is ,this new EBIKE from specialized with the new ala forestal one ,what does it does new ,apart from letting know the mode your on or the percentage of the battery ,by the way I love specialized mode switch and their battery indicator ,SIMPLE ,and please lower your fucking prices for almost all brands ,give the customers a good frame and suspension,brakes,tires,the rest is just disposable items ,
  • 3 1
 I'm lucky to have a Mondraker Foxy Carbon XR, and I got a deal on a Specialized Stumpjumper Carbon for my wife, honestly the Stumpy is so well put together and finished that it makes the Foxy look terrible.
Thank you for going to S sizing Specialized! SL model update please?
  • 3 0
 This one and the Evo video are cool-Save the shreddits for later, tech info can be found on company website. Cheers to fun and creative video projects.
  • 2 1
 I never thought a bicycle would one day be eligible for financing by a bank. 15 grand for a f*cking bicycles. Let that sink in. No windshield, stereo, wipers, only 2 tires wheels brakes, no heat or AC. Etc etc etc. I mean if these bikes were being manufactured in a western country I’d understand slightest more but they’re not. They make most of the components in near third world Asia paying very low wages. it’s a crazy time.
  • 4 3
 I do think they are trying too hard with this video....in terms of behaviour change or to adopt a nudge technique to make me think i need this bike in my life, it did not quite hit the mark. keep it real i say....
  • 4 0
 Is this why there bikes are more expensive
  • 2 0
 I was initially pretty blown away by the production quality/cost...but then I remembered a couple bike sales probably paid for it.
  • 3 0
 These are rad, but there are much fewer trails you can ride the dirtbikes than you can ride the eMTBs, for better or worse.
  • 3 0
 You live in San Francisco. So you’ll need a truck and a five hour round trip drive to ride the KTM
  • 1 0
 @chrisclifford: Carnegie and Hollister are two world-class OHV parks inside the Bay Area. I thought the same, but was pleasantly surprised.
  • 1 0
 @ultimatist: I know, I grew up in Marin and owned a Moto for some of those years. But both of those places are two hours one way with traffic and definitely not "world class." There's fun riding there though, my only point was a mountain bike is much easier to ride vs the Moto which is an all day thing for most. A lot of people who work full time and have families rely on after work rides, short time windows, etc. That's why you see so many people with dirt bikes who only ride them a handful of times a year
  • 2 0
 Seeing an ebike on a trainer really cracked me up. Yet, I would be surprised if that really was a thing among this video's target audience.
  • 4 0
 in before sticker shock
  • 3 0
 I’m pretty sure Ive seen this episode of X-files before.
  • 4 0
 what is keneval prime?
  • 2 0
 it is so fun to see a launch video to a bike that will only be available for purchase for about 15minutes. YAY!
  • 3 0
 Slow clap. Spesh leading the launch video charge.
  • 1 0
 they are trying to give us some fun advertising - the good thing: they are taking themselves not too serious.

Its all about storytelling.....

Please fire your agency.
  • 1 0
 E-bike wars will be good for the consumer in the long run.
Right now, it’s just really interesting.
At least if :
If you don’t take the marketing trope personally.
  • 4 1
 Wow. Marketing eh!
  • 3 1
 Sweet. My debit card is twitching just watching this.
  • 3 0
 Sorry, I'm on credit for this one ... 15 K?
  • 2 0
 That's a pretty nice piece of cinematography here, well done!
  • 2 0
 With everything going on - a nice, humorous distraction.
  • 3 2
 Well done, @Specialized! Entertaining ad and not taking yourself too serious.
  • 1 0
 No wonder Specialized prices are so high! They are run by aliens with no clue what competition prices are.
  • 2 0
 completely weak advertising and to tie covid into it is pretty bad
  • 1 0
 High production value but really poor writing, just a bunch of disjoint vignettes with no punch, no point or story.
  • 1 0
 I'd rather have no marketing videos and the price of bikes be much less money.
  • 3 0
 Great Spez!
  • 3 0
 That must be epic!
  • 2 4
 'More like the power to destroy more trails'

Im not anti emtb, I'll probably get one in future, but its more how they are being used and the lack of responsibility around them that concerns me.

Ebikes are increasing trail wear in my local area dramatically and nothing is being given back to the trail builders. Families turning up on ebikes (who can afford to drop 20k for 3 ebikes?) and then tearing up the trails not riding them properly. 50 year old guys with no skills skidding round every corner with wheels locked. Huge braking holes after jumps and tech sections etc

The fact the bikes are heavier, generally (and it is a generalistion) ridden by people with limited or zero skillset and do far more runs with bigger tyres is a real problem. Factor in that more riding is being done in the winter now because these people can pedal through the slop easier and you have high levels of trail damage. Ive seen more damage done to my local trails this winter than in the previous 5 years....

The hidden (and growing) story of e-bikes is environmental damage (and Im not just talking about the batteries).

And 13k for a top of the range model.....
  • 2 0
 Joy Bericht - LoL, clever Specialized.
  • 2 0
 should call it the ET
  • 2 1
 i'd never buy one, regardless. what a presentation vid!
  • 1 0
 Two models $13k and $15k oughta be able to make some rad videos.
  • 2 1
 How much moneys did that video cost @specialized?
  • 1 0
 I hope the shock is molded into the frame.
  • 1 0
 I was waiting for cameo of 80 year old matty miles!
  • 1 0
 Haha maybe Warner’s video was an audition to this ad!
  • 2 3
 I want to go back to the way things were before e-bikes came along. I know this is fanciful and deluded thinking but... e-bikes make me feel sad ???? I have issues, I know.
  • 1 0
 I'm with you, SoddenDeath. Unless you are unable to ride with out pedal assist, I think we would all be better off riding normal bikes. Turns well earned.
  • 1 0
 The power craving does not cut out at 15 mph?
  • 1 0
 Thanks Spesch. This is the only thing from you I can afford.
  • 1 1
 good advert but dsamn i can buy decent gsx-r 1000 for that money
  • 1 2
 E-bike riders don't need aliens probing them, they already do it to each other.
  • 2 2
 poor us .....
  • 3 3
 no riding in the vid?
  • 2 1
 I was told PB won't post videos without riding.
  • 3 4
 All of this production for an e-bike? Wow!! Still don`t buy it.
  • 3 3
 Cringe
  • 2 4
 Specialized or not that video was boring and not funny. Terrible marketing.
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