Specialized recently announced the Turbo Levo, an electric pedal-assist trail bike. In the press release, Specialized is sure to mention the pedal-assist thing several times. They are making a clear distinction between the Turbo Levo and electric bikes.
The key difference? There is no throttle on the Levo; the system is only engaged while you’re pedaling, hence the pedal-assist moniker. It will definitely make climbing easier, but you still have to put in a little effort. Specialized also notes that you should be familiar with the rules/laws in your area regarding bikes with batteries on the trail.
Details from the press release were fairly thin — no specific geometry numbers or prices are mentioned — but Specialized says the Turbo Levo will feature its “proven trail geometry.” In other words, low bottom bracket, short chain stays, and a slackish head tube angle.
From the photos, we can see that the bike is rolling on 27.5+ wheels with 3″ tires. That extra tire volume is a good choice, since the motor and battery will add a substantial amount of weight to the bike. If you were running more typical trail tires (2.20″-2.35″), you’d have to pump them up to the point where ride quality and traction would suffer.
The bike appears to have a fairly eclectic build on it with parts from SRAM, Turn, Praxis Works, RockShox, Fox, as well as an assortment of Specialized’s own components. Of course, that spec could all change before the bikes actually hit the showroom floor.
On the tech side of things, you’ll be able to pair your iPhone or Android device with the bike to access a variety of features from navigation to battery management. For instance, Specialized’s “Smart Control” allows you to set your destination and adjust the battery consumption to match your ride time.
The Turbo Levo line will be available beginning Spring 2016. We’ll be sure to share any more details as they become available. For now, bask in the glory of that giant down tube!
(All photos courtesy of Specialized)
I could have used some pedal-assist on a dirt bike trail I was riding a couple of weeks ago.
I ride mtb & dirt bikes. Not lookin for a Frankenstein of the 2.
Although kinda cool in a way, it’s also kinda wussy.
Thanks but no thanks.
Not sure why this product is being touted by a mountain bike website. This is a motorized vehicle. I will assume this is a mistake but if this website continues to cover motorized transportation, I will find my MTB news elsewhere
With the sport going towards enduro and downhill this is one possible scenario. Getting laughed off the mountain should dissuade most riders but for those lazy enough with no idea what mountain biking actually is this will be perfect. Lobby the forest service and state forests now to ban these dopey things before they end up on your trails!
Strava users might wanna say “good buy” to their KOM’s… It could be good alternative to those who push their bikes uphill to shred on the way down
I’ll stick to my ktm when I want to play with power assist.
Is good to buy an oversize tire ( 4.5 to 4.8″ ) to trail in their beach area ? What is the perfect tire width to save energy with minimum effort?
You bet Luis, many beach cruisers now sport 4″+ tires. I don’t think there is a perfect width–it all depends on terrain and personal preference. For me, I like 3-4″.
I like to see innovations that I have no interest in, if these take off, “regular” mountain bikes will drop in price and I will finally be able to afford a decent FS bike.
IMHO there is no place for “motorized” bikes on regular trails shared with hikers.
Horse people & Hikers want bikers banned from trails as it is & this just gives them ammunition!
It is stunning how stupid & short sighted the biking industry can be at times … It all about the money!
You would think a company like Specialized would know better.
I’m with you MDN. This is pathetic. Just another reason to NEVER buy Specialized crap! If I see one of these freaks on the trail I would heckle the lazy ass and report it to a Ranger
I hate these electric bikes! Were a nation with a ridiculously high obesity rate. One of the greatest whole body and mind exercises is mountain biking so why does it need to be ruined by these things. Ride more and climb your own damn hills use your legs not lithium batts. Geez these things suck.
…but they’re not meant for cyclists FH,, they’re for the other 99% of the population!
I’m not a cyclist but I did 7hrs nonstop on an English MTB trail last month on a ROTWILD eMTB, covering 4 times the distance the manual riders did, that equates to 4 times the fun,no? ROTWILD eMTBs will be available in the US next month.
Shameless plug much? If you’re not a cyclist, then stay off the trails is my opinion. Chances are you are not out there helping maintain or develop the trails. eMTB… GTFO.