This last couple of weeks I’ve really been enjoying riding the Specialized Turbo Levo SL, a lighter weight ebike.
Although I can usually keep up with my riding buddy, who rides a Full power Turbo Levo, in dry conditions my XC bike struggles to compete on the steepest climbs. However, since the weather has turned and the local trails have become extremely muddy, it has been impossible to keep up or even ride alongside him in the thick mud.
The Levo SL is light at 17kg and generates less power (torque 35nm) in comparison to the standard Levo which is approximately 22kg and puts out 90nm of torque. Still, this lightweight bike has definitely given me an advantage in certain situations.
Whipping through a single track the SL feels incredibly manageable and actually feels very similar to a regular Stumpjumper. My buddy said that he actually struggled to keep up when riding behind on the heavier but more powerful bike!
The Levo SL also came into its own when we cut a new line into one of our trails. The usual route was across an adverse camber with a large tree root midway through. If you made it passed the root you had a 90 degree berm followed by a short steep climb. This would only be rideable during the summer so we made a new route to the top of the 40 metre climb by trampling down brambles and removing any dead wood. The trampled brambles actually provided some much needed grip.
On my first attempt on the Levo SL using a short run up and a low gear I managed to climb to the top and complete the lap. It was more difficult however, on the full power Levo, as the increased power meant the wheels began to spin, causing a loss of grip and forcing my buddy back down for a second attempt.
I was very sceptical of the Levo SL initially, thinking that a less powerful motor and a smaller battery capacity would put me at a disadvantage, but having now ridden the SL a few times it has completely won me over and I cannot wait to get out on it again. Even when riding for a couple of hours I use less than half of the battery. I think I could get a four hour ride time out of the 320 W/hrs battery at least!
From my positive experiences riding this fantastic ebike, I would highly recommend going with the lighter weight 17kg Turbo Levo, rather than the standard 22kg. The Specialized Turbo Levo SL is powerful enough for muddy trails, steep climbs and gives you an extremely enjoyable ride.