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)