2018 Specialized Turbo Levo FSR Carbon - First Look

Jul 20, 2017 at 16:42
by AJ Barlas  



Specialized first introduced the Turbo Levo FSR range of bikes back in 2015, followed by a push in North America early in 2016. The bike was received well by those with an interest in the pedal-assist functionality but creating the bike how they wanted—fully integrated battery and engine—required processes that resulted in it weighing a bit more than others. Add to this that everyone swoons over carbon and it was only a matter of time before Specialized would create a version in the fantastic plastic.

Turbo Levo FSR Carbon Details• Intended use: Trail/All-Mountain
• Carbon front triangle, alloy rear
• Rear wheel travel: 150mm
• Fork travel: 150mm
• Wheel size: 27.5 +
• 504wh integrated battery
• Sizes: S / M / L / XL
• MSRP: 5,999–$9,999 €
www.specialized.com

Now is that time, with the California based brand unleashing a full carbon front triangle for the 2018 Turbo Levo FSR. There are a number of other updates too; software amends, engine tweaks, a different tire size and longer fork to counter the lower BB as a result of the smaller, though more aggressive tyres. It’s the same frame design and all of the parts can be swapped between it and the alloy model that came before (and still available), but Specialized claim that it’s now lighter, stiffer, and more efficient.


Frame Design

As with the alloy Turbo Levo FSR, the carbon frame design draws a lot of the lines and style from the regular Stumpjumper line of bikes, only more overbuilt to take the added weight and abuse that e-MTB’s see on the trail. Producing the carbon Turbo Levo FSR did prove quite tricky for the team though, and they noted that achieving the stiff chassis with the voids needed for engine components required quite a bit of problem-solving and innovation. However, working closely with their team in Taiwan they were able to get the setup they felt was needed. Specialized claim that the carbon front triangle is 20% stiffer than the alloy model.

Another challenge for the team was the mounts for the motor, with the carbon frame requiring the design of new motor mounts that would work with the carbon moulds. The motor mount itself is made of aluminium and this is where the thermal pad and motor connect, transferring heat out of the motor. Combined with the updated software and changes to the motor—which includes thermal pads inside it too—it’s claimed to contain a greater thermal balance, resulting in longer operation times with less chance of losing power thanks to it running a tad too hot.

The carbon mould for the engine was a difficult problem for the team to solve but they re confident in the solution.
The carbon mould for the motor was a difficult problem for the team to solve, but they're confident in the solution.
The internals of the downtube including cable mounts.
The internals of the downtube, including cable mounts.


Geometry

The updated carbon frame still features the same geometry as the alloy bike, with Specialized noting that when they set out to develop a pedal-assist mountain bike, they wanted it to ride like a trail bike and not a bike with a battery and motor strapped to it. Ride quality is important and they are seeking something that riders will enjoy on the trails, both up and down.

The Turbo Levo FSR bikes retain many of the attributes that Specialized are renowned for, including short chainstays and a low bottom bracket and while they claim long top tubes, the numbers here are admittedly pretty average in that regard, at least in today's market.
Specialized Turbo Levo FSR Carbon geometry


Updating the Turbo Levo FSR

Aside from the frame, the largest updates have come in the form of amends to the engine and the software, all of which has been adjusted to provide what Specialized say is a more efficient motor than the previous model. The Turbo 1.3 motor sees what Specialized claim is better heat management in the motor and 15% more power (torque) than the current model, with it turning more of the energy into power as opposed to heat. While strategically placed thermal pads in the motor are also a big part of this, improvements to the software, making the motor more efficient, were also a large component.

The Specialized Turbo Levo engine.
The belt driven, Specialized Turbo Levo motor.
An update over the previous model is the ability to adjust the power level from this thumb trigger. The button on the very top is a sort of walk-assist that makes it a little easier to push the bike up an incline.
The new bar mounted remote to adjust power output.

The previous Turbo Levo FSR featured quite a bit of adjustability to the motor, thanks to buttons accessible on the downtube and more-so via the Mission Control application. While the tune-ability of the Mission Control app. is still available, the access to the most basic adjustments—changing power modes, which were previously only possible by hitting the buttons on the downtube—are now accessible from the bar via a more intuitive remote. Another component to the new software is its ability to read and smoothen out the riders pedal stroke.

Another clever component to Specialized's Mission Control application is the ability for them to see where the bikes are being used. The team hope to be able to use this data in the future for the betterment of riders everywhere, though at the moment it's very clear from the heatmap data shown here (via Specialized's Mission Control app.) that Europe is miles ahead when it comes to acceptance, and use of, the e-MTB's, and specifically Turbo Levo FSR bikes, in this case.
Turbo Levo FSR Heatmap showing use.


The 2018 Turbo Levo FSR models, whether carbon or alloy, have been downsized in the tire department, from the 3.0 treads of old down to a more aggressive, 2.8 Butcher. This change resulted in the bottom bracket height dropping and to combat that, Specialized upped the travel on the front fork to 150mm. Specialized say that the move was market driven, noting that people were looking to run a smaller tire on the 150mm travel bike.

Plenty of tire clearance at the front with the Ohlins RXF 36 and the aggressive 2.8 Butcher tire.
Plenty of tire clearance even with the aggressive 2.8 Specialized Butcher.
Plenty of tire clearance front and rear for the 2.8 Butcher tires fitted to all models.

The two top carbon models will also see more powerful brakes fitted, with SRAM’s updated Code R and Code RSC models. The Comp Turbo Levo Carbon and the aluminium models each come fitted with SRAM’s e-MTB specific brake, the Guide RE. All of the bikes are spec’ed with 200mm rotors front and rear.

For more information on the new Turbo Levo FSR Carbon, visit specialized.com



MENTIONS: @Specialized




245 Comments

  • + 104
 Not a mountain bike . Please don't start reviewing those ugly mopeds .
  • + 4
 It blatantly is a mountain bike though, in every single regard
  • + 60
 @knightey: A mountain bike is a bicycle . That thing has a motor , it's not a bicycle , it's an electric moped .
  • - 1
 @Siclo: all of the points for this comment.
  • + 27
 True, it's not a mountain bike, it's a mountain bike fitted with an electric engine, hence the name, and since speed is limited to 25 km/h the law doesn't see them as motor vehicles.
Any electric bicycle exceeding 25km/h will be seen as a motorcycle, in which case the law on motocycles will be applied.
End of story.
  • + 12
 Actually, I'd like to see a review of the KTM 250 EXC TPI on Pinkbike. It's almost as close to a mountain bike as this is.
  • + 15
 That's why we need a seperate website called epinkbike.com or similar. Like emtb-news.de for mtb-news.de
  • + 15
 @Benito-Camelas: there's no speed limit for e-bikes in NZ. Anything under 300W is considered a power-assisted bike. Anything over is an abomination, or as siclo said, a moped. The Levo is 530W so it's a motor vehicle and not a bike.
  • + 0
 @Siclo: noun

noun: bicycle; plural noun: bicycles

a vehicle consisting of two wheels held in a frame one behind the other, propelled by pedals and steered with handlebars attached to the front wheel.

Motors aren't specifically mentioned.
  • + 0
 @matwilliams: the key is ths is pedal assist. Unless mistaken motor wint activate without pedalling
  • + 1
 @matwilliams: "propelled by pedals". Not by an engine. You said it yourself.
  • - 1
 @Extremmist: the engine doesn't propel the bike unless you pedal ;-)
  • + 1
 @matwilliams: When you're driving a car, you need to use pedals too, but that doesn't mean that the car is propelled by them.
  • + 0
 @Extremmist: you're clutching at straws now bro.
  • + 2
 @KiwiXC:
I've owned a Turbo Levo for a year. Got it for my 70 th birthday. I had heart surgery in 2007 and am a cancer survivor. I had a second open heart surgery 20 weeks ago for a valve repair and I'm now back riding the trails I've ridden for the last 35 years. I ride either with a couple buddies, one 21 years younger, or a varied group of up to a dozen riders, mostly intermediate to advanced. I ride in the pack uphill. I ride near the back downhill, because I'm more cautious. I ride at low power and I'm out here for a workout. I have to keep my heart rate under 130. If it's really steep I up my power to mid range, or high at an extreme. Everybody knows I'm on an e bike but we all ride together. I'll having a blast. I'll reply again when I'm 80! Ps. The Turbo Levo has a 250w motor, NOT 530. It has a 504 amp hour battery capacity. The biggest issue we have here are NOT e-bikes, but Cyclo cross riders blasting bast and bumping everyone trying to beat their previous best. Half don't even say excuse me or on your left. They don't seem to show courtesy to hikers and horseback riders. THEY give ALL bike riders a bad name. Thanks for listening, John
  • + 80
 No no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no
  • + 27
 So, you're not in favour then?
  • + 31
 It's that 2unlimited tune again.
  • + 12
 @vinay: Techno Techno Techno Techno!
  • + 7
 When the battery weighs as much as your iphone and can last 3 hours full bore... we'll all have them
  • + 2
 @graeme187: I don't think it is the cellphone battery. More likely to have been XTC. Definitely cocaine too.
  • + 2
 Hey, that was my line last time, you're just latching on to my success.
  • + 3
 @stumpymidget: Oh yeah, that was the "again" bit in my reply. I recall it from the previous e-mtb article. Same discussions, same response (no no no), same joke. I forgot whose joke it was, but all credit goes to you!
  • + 78
 To sum up : Ebikers suck in uphill (need a motor), suck in downhill/technical parts (need plus tyre), are rich (bikes always above 5k€), are willing to be GPS tracked like pets, and are using these e-mtb either in cities, or in places where trail access is a problem (austria, switzerland). Guess what, specialized is 0% interested in trail access in europe, but 100% interested in making fast money here.
  • + 21
 Preach it to your compatriots and KTM. Every fourth bike sold in Austria in 2016 was an Ebike.
  • + 28
 @SiSandro: I'm not Austrian, but yeah the amount of E-bikes is crazy here. Only good thing is that very few Ebikers ride out of fireroads. It's funny to look at, they seat on the saddle 100% of the time, they take blind corners on the inside and nearly crash in hikers going up...

the funniest thing is looking at them at the parking spot, when they (try to) put their Ebikes on their bike racks (i guess bikeshops dont tell them "if you're not fit enough to ride uphill, you're not fit enough to lift a Ebike")
  • + 8
 @zede: Not that funny , almost crashing into hikers at high speed , giving real mountain bikers a bad reputation .
  • + 10
 @zede: It's nuts, all the bike rentals seem to have gone all in on ebikes. As you say, I don't mind regular touring bikes on normal bike paths and actually like seeing seniors that wouldn't touch a bike otherwise back in the saddle.

But in my area at least, I increasingly notice people deeper in the woods that have no business of being there, both in terms of physical shape and riding ability. Trails are getting overcrowded and even worse, getting dumbed down.
  • + 14
 Don't get me wrong, the increased amount of ebikers on fireroads that don't know anything about right behaviour are pissing me off (the same way everyone does who doesn't know how to behave respectfully) but not everything is bad about ebikes.
For example older people, like my grandparents, who couldn't experience the joy of cycling anymore if there weren't any ebikes. In addition, it's a bike advantage for the mountainbike industry, as it attracts more people and therefore more money making standard mountainbikes cheaper and pushes innovation forward. As long as there is a respectfull community (supported by both sides) I don't see a big problem here.
  • + 7
 @Trailmaster12: but I suppose your grandparents most likely are not in need of a full suspension trail bike with "short chainstays and a low bottombracket"? E-Motorbikes for cities is a great thing for older people and those having to cover long distances, although as a MD I can tell you that the risk for severe injuries is not to be underestimated (high velocity, old bones and a Standard bicycle helmet are not the Best mix)
  • + 11
 Jerrys will be Jerrys, no matter if they have an ebike or not. Go to Schladming any weekend and you will see people who have absolutely no business being there on shitty, entry-level hardtails with kick-stands and reflectors attempting to ride the flow trails. Jerry will find a way, ebike or no ebike.
  • + 2
 @Siclo: I know it's sad, and yes it will inevitably lead to a completely ban of mtb. I will send specialized, trek, ghost and so on a bill so that I get a refund for all the money I spent on my bike.
  • + 4
 @ka-brap: jerry getting raaaad with all his friends, looking at the braking bumps saying "oh look, they made some little speed bumps before the corners so that people slow down, how smart !"
  • + 6
 @Costir: you're right, they don't need fs and slack headangles, but I am looking forward to buying a levo when my joints, ligaments and muscles won't let me ride a normal Bike anymore
  • - 4
flag WAKIdesigns (Jul 21, 2017 at 4:26) (Below Threshold)
 "Ebikes suck at uphill". Pinkbike is reaching the top of its paranoia
  • + 10
 @WAKIdesigns: read again. Ebikers not ebikes
  • + 2
 @zede: if I had the money I'd buy one for my wife. She sucks. Jesus how she sucks and gives me sht for it. My friend owns an M sized Turbo Levo, I hope to buy it from him...
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns:
I can relate to your situation, but ebikes would only solve the uphill problem, and honesty stopping every 15s second on the way down would ruin 100% of the fun.
  • - 3
 I'm going to hate on e-bikes until they weigh a lot less and don't look like a moped anymore then I will be in love with them. But until then, pure hate.
  • + 5
 for people who want to do 3 laps instead of 1.
  • - 4
flag SlodownU (Jul 21, 2017 at 7:21) (Below Threshold)
 @kolya: If you suck so bad that you need a plus-sized ebike, just quit find another hobby, this mountain bike thing obviously isn't for you.
  • + 6
 @SlodownU: ebikes are gonna teabag you real soon. you sound like a butthurt 26er 4 life. grow up
  • + 0
 @zede: i dont think so
  • + 2
 What does bike weigh?
  • + 4
 @Boardlife69: What does it weigh, this information does not seem to exist?
  • + 8
 @SlodownU: Curious if you feel the same way about people who use shuttles or chairlifts? In my area, the climbs are straight up the mountain- no rolling hills, no mild traverses, just shitty steep climbs that start at 1000m (3,300 ft) elevation which often have the same amount of vert. If I shuttle them or use a chair lift, is this sport obviously not for me? If you're ok with shuttles or chairlifts, how is this any different?
  • + 3
 there are so many motorized sports, why another one? ffs, just buy a damn mx bike.
  • + 1
 @aljoburr: It will weight about 48lb I had a ride on a trek that wasn't carbon and that was 50lb , It was only good for cleaning impossible techy climbs that you would have little chance of riding on a proper bike , On the flat it was boring and on the DH it was a slow heavy poor handling bike
  • + 22
 Having ridden these bikes (and being young and fit enough to not be forced to use them), they perform like a normal trail bike that admitably weighs a lot, so it does tend to monster truck through rough sections more than standard but by no means is this bike for only people who are incapable of riding a traditional bike setup. It makes you smile while climbing (it doesnt take all the work away from you though) and It is lively and fun to ride downhill, the 2.8 (even the 3) inch tyres, simply do what we look for in aggressive tyres: provide more grip so that we can push the bike harder. If you can't afford or don't wish to buy an e-bike, thats fine mate there's plenty more out there for you to purchase.
Generalising the assumed target audience for e-bikes doesn't make anyone appear more educated, talented or accepting and only makes us all look more ignorant and niche oriented.
From experience: It doesn't matter if you're a 23 year old (healthy) Dirt Jumper or a 35 year old rider who has developed a heart condition that restricts their riding ability or a 60 year old grandparent who wants to ride with their family; a properly designed and built e-bike simply is the future of our industry and they aren't something to fear or hate but simply another platform of bicycle that joy can be derived from.
  • + 2
 @Augs: well said, nice to see something positive in the comment section of ebikes
  • - 4
flag zede (Jul 22, 2017 at 0:19) (Below Threshold)
 @PeteNoble13: you mean nice to see some propaganda...."It is lively and fun to ride downhill" yeah sure a >22kg bike is lively and fun to ride downhill. The only thing that might help this bike to feel nice is the ohlins fork and shock
  • + 3
 @Augs: I couldnt have said it better ....... i remember people slagging down disc brakes back in the day .... ha
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I agree as in the same boat ! My wife would enjoy riding so much more !
  • + 68
 I want to see a review of a Ducati Monster 1200 S next. Thanks PB, you're the best.
  • + 8
 Small, unbelievable short reach and the seatdropper is always stuck in the lowest position.
  • + 0
 It's good that they don't review motorcycles otherwise there would be a thousand of whiny arses butthurt about one size only. Make 10mm too short reach an everyone is loosing their fkng minds. Make a tyre in 2.8 instead of 2.5 and some people can't sleep because there is a new "standard"
  • + 49
 I apologise for Europe.
  • + 0
 Time to move to Ireland. Also, it says a lot about ebikers when you see ebikes on the east coast, in flat regions of France, Germany and so on.
  • + 15
 According too the image, there is only half a world. I've always questioned my own existence, and now I know.
  • + 3
 They didn't dare to show Asia and Antartica though. Could be huge there, who knows?
  • + 3
 @zede: There are not alot of ebikes in Ireland, Ive only saw one on the trails, the guy with the Ebike let me take it for a ride, it opened my mind, the longest DH trail near me is about 3-4 mins of a descent and 35 mins of a ride back up, I could bang out 3x more laps on an ebike, and in the mountains it's a 12-15 min descent with 2hrs to get to the top the most I do is 2 laps where i could do 4 or 5 on the ebike.
  • + 2
 @vinay: don't be silly, nearly all bikes come from Asia...
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: You mean to say they won't have any of them left for themselves?
  • - 1
 @seamus: thats the point. I'd rather use an internal engine to reach the top of the hill than using an external one. Massive advantages in almost every way.
If I want to pedaI I get my lightweight hardtail, impressive machines for that.
Enduro bikes (what a fake!!!) have no room in my world, sold mine two months ago
  • + 3
 @seamus: This is not a DH bike though. Downhill bikes are, as the name suggests, supposed to be ridden downhill. Nobody expects you to ride them uphill, so whether you push it or a motor pushes it or a friend drives you up with a truck or you rent a helicopter that will fly you to the top or whatever makes no difference.
But here we are talking about a trail bike. And trails have both downhill and uphill sections. So you should either be able to ride both, or choose a different sport.
  • - 1
 @Extremmist: So? If someone wants to ride purely for the down, whether that is at a bike park or on a "normal" trail, why not let them (provided the trails allow access)? I fail to see the distinction between using an ebike or shuttling for enduro runs. If anything, the ebike is more environmentally friendly vs. the shuttle.
  • + 2
 @ka-brap: Why? Because it allows them to be rewarded without making any effort, which promotes laziness, encourages entitlement mentality and causes degeneracy.
  • + 1
 @Extremmist: Oh please. Never mind that you're completely wrong since their is more effort involved in riding an ebike than taking a shuttle. Are you therefore anti-shuttle as well? You also perfectly described the argument against using chairlifts too, which I have had hurled at me personally by XC dweebs.

Get off your "holier than thou" purist high horse and let people ride the bike they want to ride. Since when is this a sacred thing that cannot be challenged or individually defined? Who are you to tell someone the best way that they should enjoy their mountain bike experience (provided they aren’t out to purposefully ruin yours)? You don’t want to own a bike with an electric motor? Great, neither do I. Don't want to read an article about ebikes? Great, then don't- no one is forcing you to. It's not that hard. This ridiculously elitist attitude in mountain biking is hilariously misplaced. If an ebiker is on a trail that allows access to ebikes, then keep your mouth shut, embrace personal freedom, and let them ride their bike.
  • + 3
 @ka-brap: forget it. This kind of people survive only because there's no consequences to their preventionism. Ten thousands of years ago they wluld be like: bows are for pussies spear hunting is the real th... oh I guess you just got shot
  • - 1
 @ka-brap: I'm not talking about taking a shuttle because you can't take a shuttle up a climb section. I'm talking about the fact that if you're riding a 20kg ebike, there's no point to pretend that you're ever going to pedal it uphill on the trail without using the motor. Which means that you'll lose your climbing skills.

Chairlifts are typically used in bike parks that don't have any uphill trails (and you can't ride the DH trails in the opposite direction for obvious reasons) so that's a completely different scenario and as I said, I don't care how you get to the top.

Also, it's not only mountain biking, it's about the bigger picture. Ebikes are just another thing that's trying to tell people that they have the right to do whatever they want without making any effort or meeting any requirements. Would you agree if people started using helicopters to fly to the top of Mont Blanc just because they want to enjoy the view but they can't be bothered to climb it?

@WAKIdesigns Ten thousands of years ago, hunting was a basic need. Mountain biking is not. Riding a trail ebike is like shooting guided missiles at a deer that's 5 kilometres away and calling it a sport.
  • + 0
 @Extremmist: yes exactly it is not a life or death situation so stop talking as if someone was unlawfully taking your belongings. It's a bike for fks sake and stop saving ebikers from themselves. Who gives a sht if they lose their climbing skills or die? If I meet someone on the trail I say hi, if he gives me attitude I don't care much. Last froday an E-biker kindly asked me to move out of the way on Rychleby, I moved out of the way. Couldn't care less. If he shouted "get out of my way pal" I'd think to myself "dick head". I generally move out of the way of faster people when I hear them behind me - it goes without saying. I enjoy life and meeting people, and dick heads never bring me down. I will buy e-bike at somepoint because it will allow me to ride more trails in one day. When I climb on Kralicky Sneznik on DH tyres I am done for the day, I may climb 500 vertical meters more maybe. with Ebike I could do it 3 times in a day and explore the whole area within a week, finding all the best trails.
  • - 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Sure, and if you bought an exoskeleton you could bench press 200 kg or run a marathon in 2 hours...

(If you explore the whole area within a week and find all the best trails, what are you going to do next? Sit and look around who could sell you a new toy to entertain you for another week?)
  • + 2
 @Extremmist: and how on Earth is it any of your business whether I can bench press 200kg or not and whether I do it with or without assistance? Hey I can bench press 90kg, and you know what, i've ben taking protein supplements and creatine. Then I've been taking hot baths after training and cold baths in the morning. I count calories and macros. I don't know, is any of these steps "too much"? Am I cheating? Or maybe it is you having problems with dealing with being slower? Maybe you feel lesser for most of the time? Maybe you think you are treated unfairly often?
  • + 0
 @Extremmist: Who cares if I or anyone whose primary concern is the descent loses their climbing skills? Again, stop trying to tell people how YOU think they should ride THEIR bike. I bring up shuttling because more often than not, the climb to the top is a fireroad here in Austria. I can safely take a shuttle or ride an ebike to the top. In this ultra common scenario, what is the difference? Again, if anything, the ebike is the better solution- more environmentally friendly and at least I am required to physically pedal the bike.

Re: using a helicopter, people are already doing that, and so long as it is done safely and they aren't preventing me from enjoying the mountains the way I want to, so what? Are you opposed to heli-skiing too? Shouldn't they be required to climb that silly mountain before they ski it?

Ultimately, there is no argument against ebikes in-and-of-themselves. People use multiple ways of getting to the top of the trail via non-human power/means and this is simply another manifestation of that. The only arguments against ebikes involve the problems surrounding ebikes, such as land access disputes. Here, the ebike isn't a problem- the land access legislation is the problem. Solve the land access problem, and ebikes aren't a threat to anyone but the user, which is just how it is with a normal bike.
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I am being treated fairly; I only climb what I'm able to climb. It's as fair as possible. If I want to be able to climb further, I need to improve, which gives me the motivation. Do you think Nairo Quintana would ever be able to attend Tour de France if his parents had bought him an ebike? By making things easier for you you're only cheating yourself.

@ka-brap: As far as I know, there's no way to ski uphill, while uphill climbs on a bike are not only possible but also an inseparable part of trail riding. If your primary concern is the descent, then get a DH bike.
  • + 1
 @Extremmist: Again, you are dead set on telling people how they should ride. Do you also tell people how best they should use their fork and spoon when eating? You want to ride that way? Great, by all means do it. But don't tell others how they should enjoy their mountain biking experience. You do it your way, let others do it theirs. Why is the concept of personal freedom so hard for you to grasp? No one is making the argument that kids should be riding ebikes, so why even bring that up? This is clearly for adults who might have some physical limitation but still want to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, or for people to be able to do more laps than they would normally.

Skiing uphill = ski touring. It's the oldest form of skiing, still very popular today, and the exact analog to your definition of trail biking. The reason it doesn't seem normal to you is because using a chairlift has become the established norm of getting to the top of the trail. Hmmm... sounds like something else we are talking about, doesn't it? What seems unrecognizable to you, might be super normal for someone else and as long as that other person isn't infringing upon your way of doing things, so what? Stop trying to save ebikers from themselves or tell them how a real mountain biking experience is supposed to be.
  • + 2
 @Extremmist: "Why? Because it allows them to be rewarded without making any effort, which promotes laziness, "

This is only true if you are taking soft climb at very low pace. Which means that statement is wrong most of the time. I tested 3 of them last week. A 250W e-bike offer assistance, it doesn't climb by itself. It just allows to climb faster or clear sections that would force you to dismount because of the gradient. When your heart rate is at 180rpm, you do more or less the same workout except you are getting some free speed in the process.
  • + 0
 @opignonlibre: I don't know what kind of terrible upbringing he was subjected to, in order to have problem with someone "being rewarded without any effort". Smells like typical Slavic meaniness, I've been put through this sht but it didn't break me. I wonder if he feels guilt if he has too much good time on the bike.
  • - 1
 @WAKIdesigns: To me e-bikes smell like typical western degeneracy aka "I'm entitled to having fun!"
  • + 0
 @Extremmist: no, I can have lots of fun and I won't go to hell for it. Slavic countries have this idea that if you are too happy you will have to pay for it. What's more, many of us believe that If someone Looks genuinely happy, he is surely hiding something, he surely goes home and cries, his happiness is a game of appearance. Well, you can have all the fun in the world and just have more. Most people though just keep getting in their own way.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I'd like to reassure you that when I climb a hill myself, I'm much happier than I'd be if a motorized bike got me there. It's a process that psychology calls "effort driven reward" and to experience it you need to... well, make an effort.
  • + 30
 Make a seperate pinkbike section for E-bikes like dirt have done, many have no interest whatsoever in E-bikes and I for one do not want to see them put in the same clasification as normal bikes - give them their own space where they belong.
  • + 17
 Vital has it too, it's vital mx
  • + 0
 is it a problem for you to simply ignore e-bike related articles?
  • + 4
 @Asmodai: Nah, not at all - but this is a website for mountainbiking, and an e-bike isnt a mountainbike it is an electric-bicycle - We dont include tour de france news on this website, do we?

If I wanted to read about e-bike tosh I could go somewhere like bikerumour or dirts e-bike section.

I just dont want e-bikes to erode into the norms of mountainbiking, they are not.
  • + 29
 Just move this advertorial to a "geriatric equipments" site.
  • + 23
 I propose a new name for those things : GOREM , geriatric off-road electric moped .
  • + 10
 'e' bike? its got a motor, right? so why leave out the 'm' ..oh that's right, divert our attention away from what it 'really' is. ..an electric MOTOR BIKE! ...move this to 'pinkembike'
  • + 28
 Kill it, kill it before it breeds!
  • + 3
 It already did Frown
  • + 24
 with all this help from the motor, is there really a need for bottle cage? Big Grin
  • + 3
 Well, you need to be fully equipped and prepared!

(read as: buy all the shit you see at the bike store, because if that guy on a shop floor was able to talk you into e-"bike" that cost as much as a small car (sic!) he may as well sell you a toolkit, bottle, all the lights, windproof jacket and energy bar)
  • + 1
 That's not a bottle, it's a fuel tank.
  • + 1
 @Extremmist: I did wonder as the article talks of an engine and then goes on about a motor. So I can only assume this is some sort of gasoline / electric hybrid.
  • + 14
 Who cares if it's carbon when 80% of the vehicles performance are determined by the motor? In practical terms, this article lacks data like torque, acceleration, top speed (without limitation). But then you would realize it's just a slow motorcycle.
  • + 16
 Well PB, here's the dilemma.
Your viewers hate ebikes, but if you ignore them you lose a big share of the market.

What's it going to be?
  • + 3
 New viewers/readers population
  • + 1
 I think that Specialized is thrilled with a public response to this model. They will always come back and advertise. Pinkbike is always first. America second. Wonderful!
  • + 14
 Donald Trump rides e-bikes, as does Kim Jong-un, Jong-il, Chaiman Mao, Hitler, Stalin etc. not for me
  • + 11
 I use an ebike to commute to work, 31km each way, so 310km every week. (Then ride or race mtb on the weekend). I don't think I could be arsed to do that on a normal road bike, so I'd be back to paying £485 a month for my train ticket. They certainly have their advantages.
  • + 12
 The answer's simple; N+1.
E-roadie for the commute to work and a 'proper' mtb for the weekend shredding ;D
  • + 1
 I read somewhere a couple of months ago that if no one in the city of Utrecht (a large city in my country, The Netherlands) would commute by bicycle but instead would rely on car or public transport, it'd cost the city billions to cater for that. The economy would be on it's arse and not only because of the associated industry (including but not limited to Pon and Accell). People need to get to work, to the shops, the infrastructure is not up to that if it weren't for bicycles. Thing is of course that for some the distance could be prohibitive depending on fitness and time constraints. And that's where I'm happy that there is pedal assist now. Instead of forcing these people into their cars or towards public transport, they're getting on these bikes. Of course this actually leads to more crowded cycle paths but the government sees this too and actually invests in a better infrastructure for cyclists. And even though I don't ride with pedal assist, it benefits me too. My commute to work is only 11km so I'm good with a regular bike and a 7s or 8s gear hub (I have two bikes for commutes). But my girlfriend had to ride 75 minutes to work on a regular bike with all her stuff. So she got one of these faster e-bikes, it now takes her about 45 minutes. E-bikers lazy? She could also go by car and take the tunnel (which unfortunately doesn't allow cyclists). That'd take her 15 minutes. See, people just like to ride their bikes.

In your case, it seems like pedal assist is the way to go. Actually, it would make sense for me too. A few days a week I try to get a mountainbike ride in after work. So after work, racing my bike home, put it away, change clothes, get on the bike (often with lights) and then try to get an effective mountainbike ride in. I'm nowhere as sharp and strong as I should be. And any coach will probably tell me that a daily grind to and from work isn't the best preparation for an effective training. But yeah, these bikes are expensive and a battery is an expensive wear part too. I won't get one, but I can see them make a lot of sense.
  • + 17
 So? Who cares if you commute or not. This is not an commuter website (AFAIK). The whole point of this discussion is if riding trails MTB is a good idea. I am sure an ebike is super for commuting, but it is bad for trail access.
  • + 2
 @IluvRIDING: Yeah, but everything about mountainbikes with pedal assist has already been said. I was responding to what @andymakulu wrote. So do you.
  • + 3
 @vinay: and andymakulu have the answer, keep them on the roads. I've tried to accept the concept of e bikes as a mtb, and initially couldn"t see why people disliked them, but the more I encounter them the more I hate them.
  • + 3
 Now that is a fantastic use of an e-bike and exactly the way they should be marketed - I think communting / touring on them is also what a lot of mainland europe is doing with them.

Just keep them away from the singletrack!
  • + 4
 @Racer951: To be honest I haven't looked into mountainbike marketing in The Netherlands. My sources are Dirt mag (now online, unfortunately), Cranked (paper magazine) and Pinkbike. Occasionally Ride.io but even though their articles are nice, they mostly regurgitate third party videos which I'm not interested in.

As for e-bike marketing here, this is exactly the way they are marketed, sold and used here. This is probably why the impression by PB editors is skewed that there'd be more e-bikes on the trails than normal mountainbikes. They look at the stats through their own coloured glasses. Nearly all e-bikes sold here are for commuter use. Regular commuter bikes are durable so they just keep being ridden, there was just not such a huge demand for such bikes new (because we already have about three or four bikes on average, I think).

Look, I'm not necessarily against emtb but I'm starting to hate the way PB handles the matter. First they fire up the hate and question whether they should feature them. People respond. Then they simply ignore that and continue to publish articles without getting the first issue out of the way. Which means that people regurgitate the same old arguments which isn't good for anyone except for PB traffic. I think PB should adapt its pace. First decide whether they want e-bike content on here or not. And then we'll just have to accept whatever they choose, but be consistent. If they accept e-bike content then we should as well. That is, either read the article and be on point or, if you don't like it, just don't click it. Or they could choose not to accept it. That means don't publish articles, no sponsored content, no ads. What we have now is that the triggered the hate with the first few articles and then keep that going until we need Vernon Felton or Danielle Baker to call us back to order. It is not good for the vibe. I don't hate these bikes, I don't love them either. But I hate the halfhearted way they handle it.
  • + 11
 @PinkBike: You can't have a wheelsize debate and a e-mtb debate at the same time. The internet is going to explode and there will be no more electricity to fuel the e-bikes or run the compressor to set a tubeless plus size tire. Now let me explain what to do.

1. Do an Abi instruction to allow us to calm down and recover from repetitively throwing chairs at computer screens.
2. Do a Calvin instruction on how to remove rust from our bike we have negelected because we didn't get time to actually ride our bikes.
3. Redirect us to that Deathgrip comp reminding us that we're supposed to throw some roost and document it.
4. Turn down the site. While you're busy judging the roost pictures and vids, we'll be busy fixing our trails.

Cheers.
  • + 10
 ...... but is has a motor, oh wait, assisted. so it must be ok then,, no, not really. NOT EVEN CLOSE. As others have mentioned, people who exclusively ride a eLECTRIC MOTOR bike dont understand how difficult it is to get access rights in National Parks, or what is involved in building environmentally sound trails. I just hope they realise that trails built for descending are not fair game for riding ebikes up.
These bikes are heavy, and do cause more damage to trails . Its anecdotal but logical. Please PINKBIKE, stop pandering to Specialized and remove this ADVERT. Why do you even think its acceptable to show this? Leave it to EMTBR to advertise these monstrosities.
  • + 10
 I recently sold an e-mtb to a guy who'd had a heart attack and simply didn't have the strength and stamina to pedal his bike uphill any more. He was only young and was big into mountain biking. His choice was either give up mountain biking or get an e-bike. Having ridden them myself, I must admit they're pretty fun. would I buy one, no, not at all, but if its good to know that there are some top bikes out there if I was ever in a position where I needed to.
  • + 11
 Recently in Poland a guy died from a heart attack on an e-bike ...
  • + 4
 @lkubica: Well then its evident, e-bikes cause heart attacks. Ban them all!
  • + 1
 By not pedaling uphill he already gave up half of mountain biking.
Why didn't he get a DH bike if he only wants to ride downhill?
And what if you come across a former mountain biker who ended up on a wheelchair, will you sell him a quad?
  • + 2
 @rcollins: they simply allow people feel they are in better shape than they actually are. This happened on a top of the highest mountain in the neighborhood, not really sure what happened, maybe he has run out of power? Anyway, I was trying to say that if someone had a heart attack, it may not be wise to ride a bike, even an e-bike.
  • + 9
 In Germany the majority of trails is only tolerated and a lot of them, having a half legal status, could be shut down in an instant. I am afraid this will happen more likely if trail use increases as more people can ride these trails more often (which is what the bike you are reviewing here will allow people to do). Futhermore Motorbikes are prohibited in german forrests, so riders trying to sneak around this law could damage the whole mtb scenes image. So please stop giving these motorbikes a platform, thank you!
  • + 6
 Funny, yesterday an E-Biker wanted to race me in the way home from the Beach. He passed me full throttle several times, and then stopped to wait for me again...finally I accepted the challenge but at 45km/h had to give him a go Big Grin ...
  • + 4
 Get back at him and report him to the cops then, eu regulations state that an unregistered vehicle with a motor assist can only give power assistance up to 25km/h. If an ebike assists you at higher speeds than that, it needs to be registered and have a normal license plate on the back, like a motorcycle would. I won a couple of races against ebikes even on my enduro, on flat terrain these guys aren't able to go any faster than the 25km/h limiter Razz
  • + 2
 @KondziuNS:
Over here there are e-bikes that go up to 45km/h. They are indeed registered and have a license plate, so fully legal.
  • + 0
 @cvoc: Might have been one of those then, I don't know why I had assumed an unregistered one.
  • + 1
 @KondziuNS: It was unregistered, but it had a brake light.
  • + 3
 @cvoc: So this is ridiculous. Limit the top speed and fail to put a numberplate on it, and it's allowed up a mountain as if it's a bicycle. Crank up the top speed and register it, now it's a motorbike. It's just blurring the lines to suit the specific market they're selling to.
  • + 0
 @gkeele: Next thing is, from what I know the limiter is all in the software of the ebike, so in theory changing the category of your "bicycle" to "motorbike" is just changing the code so that it allows the motor to assist at speeds higher than 25km/h. I wonder if the limiter could be hacked more easily, like changing the wheel diameter on the computer so that it shows lower than actual speed, thus assisting up to virtual 25km/h, which could be actual 40 or even more, implying that it measures speed like a normal bike computer does(by the wheel's rotational speed), I actually don't know that but it's hard to imagine it uses another system.
  • + 6
 My only experience of ebikes out on the trail so far, is a guy flying up behind me and pretty much forcing me off the trail so he could get past, and another guy crossing a fireroad blind at full speed and nearly knocking down a child that was walking his dog with his mum. Both times the riders had this ridiculous kamikaze fighter pilot look on their faces, and were completely unapologetic! Proper d*ck head stuff...
  • + 2
 replace the word "ebikes" from your comment with any other form of wheeled transport and it is still jut as plausible. Dicks will be dicks no matter how they get about.

Dick.
  • + 3
 @Obidog: Why am I a dick? All I did was tell a story... I think you've misunderstood, I'm not saying that ebikes are only for dickheads. I'd quite like to have a blast on one, particularly after Guy Kesteven's video review of the Merida. I was calling the guys causing the issues that I experienced dickheads. Which they were.
  • + 1
 @hamplanet: just couldn't resist sticking in the dick.
  • + 4
 Oddly enough, I've had the same experience the day specialized had a eBike demo day on our local trails. The dick head test riders flying up behind us on the up hills and then when we came across them later doing down hill runs they were skidding the shit out of the corners and berms.. Should be banned unless you have a health condition
  • + 1
 @Obidog: Well said!
  • + 5
 Not really concerned with trail usage...yet.That is until skilled ebikers pop up and start going uphill on trails that you wouldn't expect anyone going uphill.
I've already seen people going up some serious steep shit on these with "turbo modes".
  • + 7
 Don t have one.. Yet.. but if an ebike gets me up an ascent quicker and allows me to descend multiple times more.. I'm all for it..
  • + 8
 I rode one buddy, after 27kmh it just was stupid bike after wards! its not fun bike down the hill. but sure it does make it easier to ascent, but where is the challange in that come on Smile
  • + 6
 I wonder If that heat map is for eMTB's only or for eBikes in general. Because here in Holland every old tart is riding an e(city)Bike. It could have something to do that in europe bikes are more used and accepted?
  • + 1
 Those are only turbo Levos Europe is miles ahead when it comes to acceptance, and use of, the e-MTB's, and specifically Turbo Levo FSR bikes, in this case. It's crazy, i'm starting to see alot of e-Mtbs beeing ridden by fit and young people...
  • + 4
 What does the heat map actually represent? What is the scale. I live in one of the isolated bright spots in Scandinavia and I have seen a single eMTB in the past 2 years. I see him regularly in the mornings going to work on the road. I am twice a week out in the woods and never encountered an eMTB. Bikes going to work? Yes, many, but not eMTBs. Reading other readers' comments suggests that other places may have many more eMTBs on their trails.

My biggest problem with eMTBs is that the industry will start targeting the 25km/h limit on their machines. In the end, what will the human input need to be to keep calling them eBikes and not motor bikes? Is twiddling my thumb going to be a good enough input, or a rotational wrist movement the handlebar? You know, like a throttle? ... Oh!?
  • + 5
 There is only one thing that whines louder than an E Bike, an E Bike hater. I don't have one and doubt i ever will but fuck me, the complaining is comical, just ride ya bike instead of the keyboard, each to their own.
  • + 7
 E-bikes will probably get keyboards at some point, then you can do both
  • + 2
 Brilliant posts from both of you! :-)
  • + 4
 Ain't technology amazing. That bike looks unreal and I bet it would be great for racking up runs on tracks usually reserved for shuttles. I'll probably never buy one because I also ride motorbikes, but, damn I'd love a go on one.
  • + 8
 If Specialized make a f*cking car are you going to review it?
  • + 3
 I saw a top dog turbo Levo on trade me (like ebay) for sale with street tires on it a few months back. What a waste if youre only going to use it on the street. I imagine most of these ebikes will never see dirt because the people typically buying them aren't mountain bikers.
  • - 5
flag eFat (Jul 21, 2017 at 3:40) (Below Threshold)
 You're wrong, most are used by fit mountain bikers that just want to go further, higher and have more fun.
  • + 2
 @eFat: You are wrong, most are used by lardy non-mountainbikers in their midlife-crisis, seeking for their second youth, and thereby destroying trails for everyone who has put hard work in digging because they go feckless in places they don't belong with the attitude that the trails have to be shaped to their incompetence, destroying jumps and flattening out gaps.

No prejudice, just empiricism on my hometrails.
  • + 6
 Please Pinkbike, I do not want to read about e-bikes
  • + 2
 So, I'm interested to try one out on my local hill as I hate the climb - however, I've spent well over $10k on my current bike so there is no way I'd buy one, I'll just put in the extra leg muscle too the top.

But I'm still interested to see how it would fair on the climb
  • + 2
 I don't understand the hate some people have towards E-bikes, I've tested a few, and they are fractionally quicker up, but with very little effort and are as fast if not slower down hill. With longer travel (160mm) e-bikes there great fun as you can forget about uplift days (£50 to ride your DH bike every weekend!! now that's expensive!!!)
IT'S ALL ABOUT PEOPLE HAVING FUN!!! If you like to suffer on the hills, that's fine, if you don't but love riding down hill, then you SHOULD buy an ebike.

(PS, i don't own an ebike, or plan to anytime soon as I enjoy the climbs as much as the descents, but come on, stop keyboard bashing over ebikes. It's like the whole 29er thing from ten years ago. E bikes are here to stay and in ten year most of you will be on one!!)
  • + 2
 Jeez, always so closed minded. I think there's absolutely a legitimate market here and if it gets more people into our sport then great. It will be more people advocating for trails. It's not for me... yet, but who knows when I'm 65-70 and I want to keep riding trails. Just let people decide for themselves. Nobody is making you buy one. Just relax.
  • + 0
 I think it was a good move for the industry to put a motor on a MTB instead of making an electric motorcycle pedalable.
So everyone can believe that an E-MTB is a bicycle and as an E-MTBiker believe he/she is part of our community.

I dont mind E-MTBs to be fast, efficient and light. I would buy one, if I could use one. As long as I can carry or shift my MTB up a steep Hill and an E-MTB is to heavy for this, I wont.
  • + 5
 "the added weight and abuse that e-MTB’s see on the trail. "... in the hands of sponsored riders...
  • + 1
 only more overbuilt to take the abuse of the added overweight of the rider that e-MTB’s see on the trail
  • + 2
 30 years of mtb's rigid, frt shock ,v brakes, dual suspension, disc brakes, 29ers, 27.5, ebikes, it is all good and all fun, you folks need to lighten up and just respect each other and the fun everyone is having, please no need for drama.
  • + 2
 "Another clever component to Specialized's Mission Control application is the ability for them to see where the bikes are being used. The team hope to be able to use this data in the future for the betterment of riders everywhere, though at the moment it's very clear from the heatmap data shown here (via Specialized's Mission Control app.) that".....if you ride with these bikes the former trail network will be mapped and fingerprinted against the user on a propriety data base beyond your control or ability to disengage.

If you have a mate whom insists on bringing this monstrosity on your casual backcountry fave ride locations, stop them, smash the bike and ditch that looser.

#powertof*ckupmoretrails
  • + 5
 2 wheeled mobility scooter for chip/pie gobbling, beer swilling lard-arses, to ride along Skeggie seafront.....
  • + 3
 This is a guess, but you're not from where your flag is of, am I right?
  • + 1
 @BenPea: you are mate, Englishman living in the mountains of Bulgaria, been here over ten years...
  • + 1
 @Steve-skidvd: you can take the man out of Lincolnshire, but...
And I'm guessing, like me, too long out of the uk to consider going back, especially now...
  • + 1
 @BenPea: I'm actually Devonian, but i get your point... My girlfriend had a house near to Skegness, and i visited only the once, i have never seen so many mobility scooters being driven by people in their mid-twenties... massively overweight, with a *ag in one hand, and a bag of chips in the other.... 'it's my glands' would be the common retort.... These e-bikes just remind me of this..... Today i was with a group of riders of whom many could not be described as fit, but they gave it their best, some pushed up climbs, others took 10 minutes to get their breath.. but to a man (and woman) they finished, proud of their achievement, glowing from the exertion, and deserving of a beer... Return to the UK ? nah mate, to much to do here :-)
  • + 2
 I feel there's a little bit too much hate on this page. Where I go biking, there are 2 guys in their 70ies who go every week-end, come rain or sun. Both have e-bikes. Without, there's no chance they could enjoy the trails. I have a friend who's had a pretty bad illness and is struggling with the uphills. He is considering ditching his Nomad so he can go back to fully enjoying the trails. Haters gonna hate. If I get to the point where I'm not capable to paddle up any more for whatever reason, I'll be happy to grab an E-bike and enjoy whatever time on the bike I can get. I'll ride my Knolly Warden for now. You guys can all just sit on your couch, not if but when time catches up.
  • + 1
 Occasionally I ride an ebike.
It has its place. I recently found a whole load of unmarked trails all over the hills. On a "normal" bike, you could really only ride one loop. The climb to the top was far too long and steep to slog up more than once. It meant some trails couldn't be ridden in that trip.

On the ebike, we could hit that climb 4 or 5 times!
It trumps the uplift.
So many DH tracks without uplifts here in the UK. And if you want a session with a good few runs, an ebike is definitely the answer.

(but just riding it on the trail, no. The bikes become so heavy with the motor and battery, you actually have to use assistance to ride along side a normal bike!)
  • + 4
 Allows you to ride your bike for longer and thus have fun for longer. Haters gonna hate tho Frown
  • + 2
 There quiete a few reasons why I don't like personality and for mountain biking in general. First off I don't really understand who they are for, I mean I always hear they are perfect for either new riders and older riders that are struggling to keep up with quicker riders. Maybe they are slow because they have not got the skills or understand the correct techniques that should be used. Adding extra speed of a motor won't change that, in fact I think it will make it worse, no skill but you can go fast. Secondly, all that speed in a heavier bike that won't handle like a normal bike. The geomorphology the frames are now where near the bikes that are at the forefront of speed machines and good riders want and need. The tyres are an interesting one, plus size tyres don't work on normal bikes, weigh too much so have to be thinner and then more puncture prone, on ebikes you can get away with more rugged tyres. I have tried a few ebikes, the only times I have actually agreed with an owner on his was a super fit guy that uses it was scoping out trails in Spain for his guiding business
  • + 7
 Don't have an e-bike...yet... However, been test riding a few and it's true. Come back from rides with the biggest grin and absolutely knackered having done 3 times the distance as on an mtb. Wouldn't get rid of my standard bike, but I do love the emtb's as well. You get people going 'Oi, that's cheating!" But who exactly am I cheating? We're not in a race, just out to have fun.
Aaaaaaaand..... welcome to the world of negative props, but much like riding an e-bike, I don't give a crap what everyone else thinks!
  • + 4
 I'm on the fence about them.

At the moment they aren't for me but I can see the benefits of getting more trail for your time and I could ride to my fav ride spot in the evenings (8 miles away) rather than taking the car.

Also if they are limited to 15mph there is no benefit on DH trails anyway.

I think the "they are for lazy people" argument doesn't hold. Lazy people are gonna be lazy. If I had one I would still be sweating like a pig just going a lot faster doing it.

I just hope they don't F up trail access for the rest of us.
  • + 2
 @fartymarty: but because you are not lazy that's how you would use an ebike - to push yourself - lazy people would use them to climb at pace beyond their fitness / skill level though potentially coming up behind faster riders out on their own steam - For big mountains or an alternative to uplift, maybe. For using on trail centres etc though - no way, many are clogged up with riders of all abilities enough as it is.
  • - 1
 I'm a mountain biker through & through. I race DH, I race enduro, I trail ride, XC, etc, I ride off road to work a decent distance a few times a week, but i'm all over this.

Having ridden an E-Bike (Turbo levo) it was an absolute riot to ride. Flat out up, fast as hell down. Big, sh*t eating grin when I got back & absolutely knackered.

I don't get the hate - it's all bikes to me. But then I ride a 29er too.

I guess its cool to hate.
  • + 3
 But how long does a battery last? What if I'm out and I ride for 6hrs or even 8? I can't believe that this allows me to ride longer
  • + 1
 @HobNob: This is the reason I am on the fence. I think ebikes are just another N+1. They don't replace other bikes just give you something different.

@Racer951 I get the issues with trail centres. It's also why I am on the fence. People riding them need to give way to other under their own steam.
  • + 1
 @emptybox: it still has pedals.
  • + 1
 Other thing, if a gear cable breaks on you can fix it or bodge it on the trail side. Same with so many other mechanical parts of a normal bike (brakes being the only thing that you can't but you do have two of them at least). Don't think you could repair with an electric motor and battery. How on earth could a person that's not fit enough to ride a normal bike push one that's almost twice as heavy back (or even twice as far away as before)?
  • + 3
 @mattvanders: An ebike is great to "skip" the comute to the nice riding place. If you have 5 or 10 km of "boring ride" to reach the nice place, the ebike makes it feel like it's nothing, particularly if it's not flat which is often the case when mountain biking, while you'll already be sweating when reaching it if you do it on a regular bike.

It's also pretty cool to explore a place. See a new track you don't know ? With the ebike you try it, if it ends up being uninteresting, going in a wrong direction, the motor will help you come back.

Want to take a quick ride at the end of a work day but don't want to put yourself in the red cuz' you still have to cook and do the dishes ? The ebike helps quite a bit.

Can't ride 3, 2 or even once a week to keep the pace of your riding buddies who may live closer to the mountains ? The ebike helps again.

But you may also send it and ride at full speed and come back pretty tired, even with the motor.
  • - 3
 @bigtim: you must suck big cock, you ebike loving, mountainbike HATING spawn of the DEVIL. You and your kind are going to ruin it for everyone!! I cannot just ignore these eBike articles, for some reason I just have to read a little bit of them (just the headlines mostly) and then scroll through the hater comments getting myself all wound up and hatey. Then I have to share my hate with others to make myself feel better. I can't believe that you have actually ridden one of these chariots of evil, I never will, I will just pass judgment on them while you are outside enjoying yourself not caring one bit what I think. Oh, wait, hang on... maybe I should try one just to be sure of why I hate them so much. Nope, too much risk I'll like it. Far better to base my opinion on what my hatey brethrin are saying.
I bet you are a noob and have not ridden bikes for very long, I bet you haven't got a log cabin at the bottom of your garden filled with bicycles of all kinds showing that you are open minded to trying new things... I've been into mountain biking for over 6 years, way back dude, I know what I'm on about.
  • + 1
 @Obidog: quality, my sarc-o-meter went well into the red.
  • + 2
 If bike manufacturers are happy to make frames which accommodate motors, why don't they just stop wasting their time developing the derailleur, and invest in gearboxes instead.
  • + 5
 I'll just e-gnore this article.
  • + 4
 As soon as bike reviews start to talk about software updates and engine tweaks, something has gone wrong in my opinion...
  • + 4
 I'm just going to grab me some popcorn and beer and take a seat on the lounge and wait for the comments section to erupt.
  • + 1
 I was of the opinion that Mountain E-Bikes handled worse and didn't ride like normal bikes.
I recently rode Orange's new Alpine 6E and have to say that although weighty (about the same as a mid 2000's DH bike) it rode really well, hitting jumps was real stable and the Shimano Steps E8000 motor was real good.
The only gripe was that you have to run slightly more psi in your suspension to allow for the extra weight and when you stopped pedalling the motor cuts out and it's almost as if you have the brakes on.

My new view is that you have to treat these as an alternative option to ride, we rode normal bikes first and I was shattered then in the afternoon we switched to the E-bikes and we did the same climbs and run but 4 times over!

I had the same amount of fun but for longer. For smashing places like bike parks then no (unless you don't uplift) but for all day riding you can get more done in the same space of time they are great and can handle just as well.
Just watch out putting the power down out of berms as the assist can catch you out!
  • + 1
 Hilarious arguing about progress, I too am not a fan of change, but it's one thing we can rely on in life, get used too it.
No one it seems saw the deliberate?
Mistake at the start of the review!!!

@pinkbike get the facts correct the Levo is 135mm rear travel NOT 150mm as you stated!
@specialized when are you going to release a 160/160 Levo, I want one now!!
  • + 4
 I sound like a pedant I know but always bothers me a bit when people say front fork. As opposed to...?
  • + 6
 Cake fork to shovel Chocolate Fudge cake into your face whilst riding an e-bike.
  • + 1
 @bigtim: sounds like heaven, sign me up
  • + 3
 How the hell does a Carbon well spec'd bike from SPECIALIZED that includes a motor STILL cost less to than a decent specced pedal version?
  • + 2
 The same way a Liv can cost the same as a Giant but have much better spec at the same price point... Companies subsidise their new launch products to make them more saleable, they offset the profit lost against the rest of their line-up, notice how bikes have increased in price massively lately!?
  • + 3
 I wish there were this many haters over on rotorburn when I posted my Banshee Spit-e project. You guys got nothing. Whinge whinge fucking whinge.
  • + 2
 Ha ha well said, hey, i Reckon ya SPIT E rules.
  • + 1
 I happen to have two Specialized at home, but I'll probably won't buy another one though I like these... I can't support a bicycle brand that helps destroying our reputation on the trails so fast we might be banned in a very short period of time. In France, MTBs are already only tolerated on most (natural) trails. I don't wanna end up riding autobahns only. The point of riding an MTB is to go on my own power in natural places, not on dedicated touristic trails, because this is what will happen if things keep going the way they are.
  • + 3
 Now they don't even bother to say how much do they weight... Before it was everything about weight, but nothing to say there?
  • + 1
 I was anti-ebike until I talked to a guy in our club that had one. He has a heart condition so had to keep his BPM below 150 so it worked really well for him. This guy is super good on a bike, so I don't see any downside for people like that having an ebike.
  • + 1
 This guy is an exception...most ebike-users are middle-to-old-aged dorks who are so used o being "successful" in life, that they destroy anything on a trail hindering their "success" there. Meaning tearing down jumps, filling up gaps, smoothening out rough stuff.
Around here it used to be mtb'ers defending their trails against the forest workers, now it's against forest workers and ebikers.
  • + 0
 Im 42 and ride a capra, when I'm perhaps nearer 60 an e-capra sounds very appealing! Also vans with trailers doing shuttles damages the environment so doing your own shuttle on an e-bike and having fun at the same time has merit....maybe i will review my position at 50 or 45!
  • + 5
 I'm 59, still peddling up hills.. maybe not the fastest, but i'll give it my all... and the down ? the reward for the effort... E-bikes? cover them with big rocks after burning them with fire !!!
  • + 4
 But WHAT FORK OFFSET does it have?
  • + 2
 Having had a spin on a 2017 levo on a demo day this is interesting to me. I hope we can have a discussion on the bike without going too far off track
  • + 7
 Good luck with that.
  • + 0
 I tested a 2017 version yesterday and I must say I wasn't impressed by the software management of the Brose engine on the Levo compared to the shimano steps bikes (BMC trailfox amp, Focus Jam2) I also tested. It needed to be very precise in the moment you were switching gears otherwise the assistance would stall for something like 2 seconds (which is horrendously long when you are trying to climb a 35% gradient on a 20kg bike) if the gear shift induced too big of a cadence change. The bike being equipped with a 10-42 wide range cassette the gaps between the cogs really made it difficult.

I hope for them they have addressed that issue because it was really frustrating while I didn't have any issue on the shimano steps bike (didn't try any Bosch one).
  • + 3
 I think what you are describing there is a pretty sad reality of e-bikes, no longer can you just get the bike out, swing your leg over and go for a ride, oh no. Worry about if it is charged and how well the software management works first.
  • + 1
 @Racer951: Well I wouldnt say that since e-mtb aren't exactly replacing regular MTBs and e-bikes are still pretty much work in progress. Derailleurs were invented a century ago yet lots of people still prefer riding single-speed bikes.

Just another niche. Although I may repeat the experience once in a while in no way would I want to sell my regular MTB for an e-bike.
  • + 5
 Dorkped
  • + 1
 What's the idea behind the long chain stays and short reach? Seems counter intuitive for a bike you don't need to bust a lung trying to climb.
  • + 1
 This is claimed to have 27.5+ wheels but now has 2.8" tyres, "standard" 27.5 tyres now go to 2.6" so at which point is the crossover from standard to plus size. 2.7"?
  • + 2
 Welcome to mountain biking under the rise of western Facism. Trump, Tories and E-bikes.
  • + 3
 Short chainstay? 459mm? My 29er has a long chainstay and it's 452mm.
  • + 3
 PLEASE MAKE A NEW WEBSITE FOR THESE THINGS: www.pinkebike.com
  • + 3
 ... looks like a motor-cycle......
  • + 2
 nice!
nsmb.com/articles/specialized-turbo-levo-man
ebike are the best uphill fun!
  • + 1
 Look at those reach measurements! Specialized bikes just don't fit me. Until they add reach, or shorten the seat tube length, Specialized bikes are just a no go.
  • + 3
 just make a fucking parallel site with tons of e-shit
  • + 0
 So true
  • + 2
 i had a shot on one.....its fast the software options are great max power don't diss it before you ride it
  • + 1
 Want want want... Want to win the lottery then I can buy this. And pay for a respray 'cause I hate black bikes.
  • + 0
 What is e bike weight?
What is wrong with e bikes is the extra weight,
Funny thing is weight of bikes like this is not avalable?
  • + 1
 specialized man please work on a Demo levo i want a electricDH/dirt bike. please.
  • + 1
 went directli to comments ????
  • + 1
 A good read this forum and some hilarious comments :-)
  • + 1
 Waiting for Makita or Hitachi to make an "ebike"....
  • + 1
 Dewalt already have. Look it up. You put a drill in this mini bike thing. And I'm pretty sure makita have one also.
  • + 1
 2018 Specialized Turbo Abomination
  • + 2
 HATE!!!!!! '
  • + 0
 At least it gets the hate off 29er dh bikes,
  • + 1
 WTF???
  • + 0
 This is the end. E Moto on a mountainbike site.
  • - 2
 Having tested 3 ebikes (including the 2017 turbo levo FSR) yesterday I can say these aren't e-motos. As XC racers we just used them to climb hills whose gradients would have forced us to push regular bike and just climbed faster but the 250W available were in no way able to propel the bike on its own without us pushing some decent amount of power. In other words riding isn't much easier (if you push as much as on a standard bike), you just go faster and climb higher gradients.

I wouldn't buy one but I could see myself renting one 2 - 3 times a year. I would even say that it is much less lame than taking a lift to the top of a hill. At least you learned the right to descend by sweating while a regular DH rider/Freerider is just too lazy to do that.
  • + 2
 @opignonlibre: But a 'regular' DH/FR bike rides really well when going downhill, and an e-bike rides like a peice of shit in comparison.
  • + 0
 @opignonlibre: following your logic, I guess you also consider that 99% of the skiers are lazy, right?
  • + 0
 @Racer951: Yes and no.

Most people aren't interested in taking a lift and go on a dedicated DH / bike park. They want to leave the door of their house, climb the nearest hill and bomb in the descent. E-MTB can certainly be very fun in that regards. It really just depends how you put the cursor between fun on the descent and time spent grinding that bike up that climb.

Besides while an e-bike "rides like a piece of shit" for an experienced DH rider, the added weight and most importantly much lower overall (while counting the rider) center of gravity means the ride can feel less sketchy to the less experienced rider. The bike catch less air, the braking is more stable, etc.
  • + 4
 @zede: Pretty much yes. And I'm one of them. Still most ski-mountaineer in my area feel the same about us lift assisted alpine skiers and I think I agree. I just feel more comfortable being a lazy skier than a lazy mtber, most probably because I didn't always lived in the swiss mountains and was cyclist before I was a skier.
  • + 2
 @opignonlibre: I am not sure about that "majority" thing. Everyone lives in his/her own perception. It might just be a bubble. Freeriders carry their bikes uphill for hours....

There are some fundamental propositions before buying an E-MTB (a real one):
- enough cash to spare
- a place where you can ride it
- a place to recharge after the ride
- a car rack that is strong enough (if you dont live near a mountain with trails)
This limits the possible range of buyers. Most of us live in a place, where you ride a normal MTB near our home on quite boring trails, with no steep hills and no place to show off your new bike.
I think most E-MTB are rented.
  • - 1
 @opignonlibre: "At least you earned the right to descend by sweating while a regular DH rider/Freerider is just too lazy to do that"
I hope you never carried you bike in your car, because if so, you definitly don't earn the right to ride your bike. And i'm pretty sure the hardcore ski-mountaineer you're refering to also drive their car with their skis until the place where they start skinning up. And when they get caught in a storm in their ridiculous light gears, they call the rescue to go down. Does it mean they didn't deserve to survive? Do you even deserve your food since you didn't kill the animal/culture the plants ? it's a ridiculous logic.
  • + 1
 @opignonlibre: Most people? You are seriously telling me 'most' people are within riding distance from the door of their house to 'hill to bomb down'?

That is complete rubbish, sorry - something of fairytail for most people being close enough to the trail to just ride out of their garage - I barely know of a person that rides their mtb to the trail, and those I do are XC riders who are certainly not riding heavy DH/FR bikes!

If you are that nervous that you find a modern dh bike 'sketchy' strapping 15lbs of battery to your bike probably wont help!
  • + 2
 @zede: By taking that remark personnaly you miss the point. It is at best hypocritical to dismiss/critic e-mtb and people riding hem when you are willing to get help from a lift. That's all.

@Racer951 "
If you are that nervous that you find a modern dh bike 'sketchy' strapping 15lbs of battery to your bike probably wont help!"

It is not about me. That said I tested an e-bike last week and the lower CG and heavier bike really tames the bike in the bumpy/braking areas compared to an all mountainbike with otherwise comparable geometry/tires/suspension travel.

"and those I do are XC riders who are certainly not riding heavy DH/FR bikes! "

That's the whole point. An e-mtb allows you to ride that heavy "all-mountain" (they aren't DH/FR bikes) bike at the top of nearby hills/mountains whatever their level of fitness is.
  • + 0
 @cxfahrer: Exactly! My main reasons for not buying an ebike at present are the first two and also how long can you ride it before the battery goes flat.

I ride over 30 miles easily on my MTB around the Lake District in the UK with lots of hard climbing. If I can only ride 20 miles max. in a much faster time, then it's a bit of a wasted 150 mile round trip.

I have an estate car so can sling(?) it in the back.
  • + 0
 Please Pinkbike, do not do this thing...no e-bikes on this site...
  • + 0
 It's kinda like PB jumped the shark just now.
  • - 1
 What do they try to subime tell us with this cover photo? Leave your old girl, and Get married with me?
  • - 1
 if YOU want to get fit- it is NOT for you!!!
  • + 1
 My mate has had a Levo since April and ridden over 350 miles. He's lost weight and is much fitter than before. The Levo has given him the enthusiasm to ride that he needed.
  • - 1
 Better than watch the paint dry. So happy I don't need one at the moment.
  • - 1
 Give it more power, foot pegs and a throttle and I'd buy it
  • - 2
 Instead grow musty behind a keyboard GET OUT AND RIDE !!
(an e-mtb as well) SILLY PC ADDICTED !
  • - 3
 We need bigger more gay wheels! (Europe on the wire)
  • - 2
 Spec are really getting into the whole "woman" specific models lol Wink
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