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Raw Obsession – Levo SL

Check out this stunning build by 73Steff!

For those that don’t know/follow I’ve already built up an alloy Levo (three actually for MB Cyclery in Haslemere) all custom built in a Raw brushed alloy finish so when the SL was released I knew A. I’d have one and B. It would be an alloy one and finished to match the full fat Levo.
Apart from the ‘shiny’ factor and that personally I think alloy when done like this looks better than carbon. I also believe (other than the weight factor) on the trail and from a ‘seat of your pants’ point of view the ride on an alloy frame is in some respect better than carbon.

I’ll freely admit, this is not the cheapest or most cost effective way to build a bike, but without a frame only option it was the only way to get the Levo SL I wanted. It will also be different and unique and more importantly I enjoy the process.

Lets start with 2020 Levo SL alloy comp. Take a perfectly good bike and strip it to bear frame🤷🏻‍♂️

8F5AC60B-3B97-4534-A75A-9A30929F7440.jpeg

Once the frame was fully stripped it was then time to send it out for chemical stripping, I’m fortunate to have some local wheel refurb guys (ACC wheels in Liphook Hampshire – top guys if you need alloy wheel refurb 👍) who for a few beers will stick it in their dip tank over night to remove the paint. You can try other methods ie: paint stripper but this is a much quicker way to get it stripped. Some have asked about sand/media blasting but that is mainly used for harder materials such as steel. When used on aluminium it will leave a much rougher surface than dipping, great as a key for paint but not for the smoother finish I was planning.

6A97F728-86DE-4CA7-8CE7-9BB9B5D24BA6.jpeg

Once back from stripping the real work begins! The finish of this frame was identical my Levo with a fine pitted finish, I believe they must use some form of etch primer prior to factory painting so this needs sanding back before you can start to get an even finish.
I was also planning to finish the SL to a higher level than my other Levo which inevitably would take longer but hopefully the extra time would give a much higher sheen to the frame.

B88F3481-240C-4E76-A093-DD0363929742.jpeg

867E6C50-DB86-49CD-A284-1AB84B1B4CD8.jpeg

Whilst stripping the frame down it was good opportunity to get familiar with the new Battery/Motor/Wiring set ip on the Levo SL.
A great little package. Motor is straight forward to remove or just hinge out of the way if you want to remove the battery. New wiring and connectors look good quality and I particularly like the main battery terminal with its twist lock set up.

3B9C2804-04B4-4C12-AA1F-8B19DD585194.jpeg

278DA780-14E9-404F-893F-0CBFD2DBF329.jpeg

C00710A9-D269-4804-8090-7D0D3A8850E8.jpeg

So onto the sanding process.
I start with sanding all over with higher grade wet and dry to knock back the etch primer marks and get a level surface, this does take a good bit of time but like everything it’s the preparation that usually takes the longest time. Next was another full hit with finer grade and repeat this process through progressively finer grades until I was happy with an even, smooth finish. This did take almost 12 hours on the Levo so I was hoping that the SL being a little smaller wouldn’t take as long. In reality it took about the same but as the finish was going to be to a higher level it did end up adding another 3-4 hours. Final stage on the SL was using a fine (red), then ultra fine (grey) 3M scotch pads and water, brushing in single direction across the entire frame and then polished with a fine polish before degreasing and fitting decals and invisiframe kit to protect. Very happy with the results.

5DBD788D-E644-4E93-8F9F-9DF7ABB7EB5C.jpeg

9F30C3DF-6430-47C4-BEFD-D2486E34EEFF.jpeg

A14C69EA-D105-4B30-8FD2-CC947D0F0212.jpeg

3228F9FF-AA45-493F-BEFF-500C66803704.jpeg

C323D7F7-1323-47BD-B93A-A8A3C5022B08.jpeg

Now onto the build spec and master plan of making an alloy SL compete weight wise with a carbon framed version. Obviously a carbon frame is always going to be lighter with the same components but I wasn’t aiming for ultimate light weight, I wanted the ride quality of alloy and to save weight where possible with high end build kit.
Full spec is below but AXS shift kit is on the cards along with some Chris King hubs, in silver😅

E828351E-440C-4D98-ACF2-0592E3C944F7.jpeg

For now time to refit the motor/battery etc. Pretty straight forward process as such a nice compact package.

23167BCD-6A64-4907-8DDE-173081F80E33.jpeg

2BC71973-747C-4C23-8321-13D5E05E0818.jpeg

Build wise, some of the kit I already had such as Roval wheels and Sram XX1, other parts were a no brainer such as Rockshox Pike and Guide Ultimate brakes as they’re available in silver of course. Bars & stem kindly provided by Deity components, they do these with awesome polished silver decals and their new lockjaw grips in grey👌

BUILD SPEC:
2020 Levo SL Alloy Raw frame
Rockshox Pike Ultimate 150 travel
Rockshox Air shock
Roval SL carbon wheelset w/ Maxxis Ardent exo tyres – tubeless
Sram Guide Ultimate brakes & Disc w/ Ti bolts throughout
Sram XX1 Eagle drive train – AXS soon
Rockshox AXS dropper & ti railed carbon saddle
Deity Carbon bars
Deity stem
Deity grips
Crankbrothers Mallet E pedals

4B51600A-DACE-42F5-AF0E-AAB3ACF1B3D4.jpeg

859C91C7-D759-4BEE-A1DE-FAAABBD9962C.jpeg

73766CF1-C31A-41E9-91E9-40E7C4F376AF.jpeg

All in the weight was bang on what I was aiming for and more than happy at 17.66kg.

2DC914D5-3848-49E0-A228-429FDF35F9F2.jpeg

Decal wise I toyed with all sorts of ideas but in the end decided the original location and Specialized font in fine line but in chrome silver finished off with an invisiframe kit to protect the decals and also frame from handling marks. Works really well and use these kits on all my bikes, cannot recommend them enough👍

2997F0CF-AB29-44FF-82A3-CFC94F028809.jpeg

Big thanks to MB Cyclery for their ongoing help, the boys are huge ebike fans so get yourself down there. Also Deity components for their continuing supply of kit for my builds and Ben Briffett for taking time on the final build shots👊

0A319F48-1DE9-40E9-A999-6C343F796C54.jpeg

0F2F215C-C595-4549-A211-F0F977844BAE.jpeg

92DE99CE-F8A6-4F6F-9190-FECABEE5EAD9.jpeg

22352BD6-8C50-42EA-9BA4-00D9D9B7FA01.jpeg

  1. Totally one of, beautiful bike! Enjoy riding, great read and a load of work clearly gone into this. Well done!
  2. You have great taste and the build is stunning! I’m sure if Spesh had a spec like this it would be super popular!
  3. Such a nice looking bike Stef, well done you must be chuffed to bits with the end result 👏👊
  4. Thanks for taking the time to do the write up, I too love the aesthetic of a raw frame, great to see the time and effort that has gone into this
  5. opted not to use the handlbar remote eh? Sure makes it look cleaner, and makes me really wish there could be an update from S or aftermarket to make that bit bluetooth.
  6. Been asked to put up a start to finish build thread on my Raw finished Levo SL.

    For those that don’t know/follow I’ve already built up an alloy Levo (three actually for MB Cyclery in Haslemere) all custom built in a Raw brushed alloy finish so when the SL was released I knew A. I’d have one and B. It would be an alloy one and finished to match the full fat Levo.
    Apart from the ‘shiny’ factor and that personally I think alloy when done like this looks better than carbon. I also believe (other than the weight factor) on the trail and from a ‘seat of your pants’ point of view the ride on an alloy frame is in some respect better than carbon.

    I’ll freely admit, this is not the cheapest or most cost effective way to build a bike, but without a frame only option it was the only way to get the Levo SL I wanted. It will also be different and unique and more importantly I enjoy the process.

    Lets start with 2020 Levo SL alloy comp. Take a perfectly good bike and strip it to bear frame🤷🏻‍♂️

    View attachment 30899

    Once the frame was fully stripped it was then time to send it out for chemical stripping, I’m fortunate to have some local wheel refurb guys (ACC wheels in Liphook Hampshire – top guys if you need alloy wheel refurb 👍) who for a few beers will stick it in their dip tank over night to remove the paint. You can try other methods ie: paint stripper but this is a much quicker way to get it stripped. Some have asked about sand/media blasting but that is mainly used for harder materials such as steel. When used on aluminium it will leave a much rougher surface than dipping, great as a key for paint but not for the smoother finish I was planning.

    View attachment 30900

    Once back from stripping the real work begins! The finish of this frame was identical my Levo with a fine pitted finish, I believe they must use some form of etch primer prior to factory painting so this needs sanding back before you can start to get an even finish.
    I was also planning to finish the SL to a higher level than my other Levo which inevitably would take longer but hopefully the extra time would give a much higher sheen to the frame.

    View attachment 30904

    View attachment 30905

    Whilst stripping the frame down it was good opportunity to get familiar with the new Battery/Motor/Wiring set ip on the Levo SL.
    A great little package. Motor is straight forward to remove or just hinge out of the way if you want to remove the battery. New wiring and connectors look good quality and I particularly like the main battery terminal with its twist lock set up.

    View attachment 30906

    View attachment 30908

    View attachment 30907

    So onto the sanding process.
    I start with sanding all over with higher grade wet and dry to knock back the etch primer marks and get a level surface, this does take a good bit of time but like everything it’s the preparation that usually takes the longest time. Next was another full hit with finer grade and repeat this process through progressively finer grades until I was happy with an even, smooth finish. This did take almost 12 hours on the Levo so I was hoping that the SL being a little smaller wouldn’t take as long. In reality it took about the same but as the finish was going to be to a higher level it did end up adding another 3-4 hours. Final stage on the SL was using a fine (red), then ultra fine (grey) 3M scotch pads and water, brushing in single direction across the entire frame and then polished with a fine polish before degreasing and fitting decals and invisiframe kit to protect. Very happy with the results.

    View attachment 30911

    View attachment 30910

    View attachment 30912

    View attachment 30914

    View attachment 30913

    Now onto the build spec and master plan of making an alloy SL compete weight wise with a carbon framed version. Obviously a carbon frame is always going to be lighter with the same components but I wasn’t aiming for ultimate light weight, I wanted the ride quality of alloy and to save weight where possible with high end build kit.
    Full spec is below but AXS shift kit is on the cards along with some Chris King hubs, in silver😅

    View attachment 30919

    For now time to refit the motor/battery etc. Pretty straight forward process as such a nice compact package.

    View attachment 30920

    View attachment 30921

    Build wise, some of the kit I already had such as Roval wheels and Sram XX1, other parts were a no brainer such as Rockshox Pike and Guide Ultimate brakes as they’re available in silver of course. Bars & stem kindly provided by Deity components, they do these with awesome polished silver decals and their new lockjaw grips in grey👌

    BUILD SPEC:
    2020 Levo SL Alloy Raw frame
    Rockshox Pike Ultimate 150 travel
    Rockshox Air shock
    Roval SL carbon wheelset w/ Maxxis Ardent exo tyres – tubeless
    Sram Guide Ultimate brakes & Disc w/ Ti bolts throughout
    Sram XX1 Eagle drive train – AXS soon
    Rockshox AXS dropper & ti railed carbon saddle
    Deity Carbon bars
    Deity stem
    Deity grips
    Crankbrothers Mallet E pedals

    View attachment 30922

    View attachment 30924

    View attachment 30925

    All in the weight was bang on what I was aiming for and more than happy at 17.66kg.

    View attachment 30918

    Decal wise I toyed with all sorts of ideas but in the end decided the original location and Specialized font in fine line but in chrome silver finished off with an invisiframe kit to protect the decals and also frame from handling marks. Works really well and use these kits on all my bikes, cannot recommend them enough👍

    View attachment 30931

    Big thanks to MB Cyclery for their ongoing help, the boys are huge ebike fans so get yourself down there. Also Deity components for their continuing supply of kit for my builds and Ben Briffett for taking time on the final build shots👊

    View attachment 30929

    View attachment 30928

    View attachment 30939

    View attachment 30930

    there is a guy here who did this with his Stumpy , but had the logo and branding laser etched onto the frame..looks fantastic

  7. Been asked to put up a start to finish build thread on my Raw finished Levo SL.

    For those that don’t know/follow I’ve already built up an alloy Levo (three actually for MB Cyclery in Haslemere) all custom built in a Raw brushed alloy finish so when the SL was released I knew A. I’d have one and B. It would be an alloy one and finished to match the full fat Levo.
    Apart from the ‘shiny’ factor and that personally I think alloy when done like this looks better than carbon. I also believe (other than the weight factor) on the trail and from a ‘seat of your pants’ point of view the ride on an alloy frame is in some respect better than carbon.

    I’ll freely admit, this is not the cheapest or most cost effective way to build a bike, but without a frame only option it was the only way to get the Levo SL I wanted. It will also be different and unique and more importantly I enjoy the process.

    Lets start with 2020 Levo SL alloy comp. Take a perfectly good bike and strip it to bear frame🤷🏻‍♂️

    View attachment 30899

    Once the frame was fully stripped it was then time to send it out for chemical stripping, I’m fortunate to have some local wheel refurb guys (ACC wheels in Liphook Hampshire – top guys if you need alloy wheel refurb 👍) who for a few beers will stick it in their dip tank over night to remove the paint. You can try other methods ie: paint stripper but this is a much quicker way to get it stripped. Some have asked about sand/media blasting but that is mainly used for harder materials such as steel. When used on aluminium it will leave a much rougher surface than dipping, great as a key for paint but not for the smoother finish I was planning.

    View attachment 30900

    Once back from stripping the real work begins! The finish of this frame was identical my Levo with a fine pitted finish, I believe they must use some form of etch primer prior to factory painting so this needs sanding back before you can start to get an even finish.
    I was also planning to finish the SL to a higher level than my other Levo which inevitably would take longer but hopefully the extra time would give a much higher sheen to the frame.

    View attachment 30904

    View attachment 30905

    Whilst stripping the frame down it was good opportunity to get familiar with the new Battery/Motor/Wiring set ip on the Levo SL.
    A great little package. Motor is straight forward to remove or just hinge out of the way if you want to remove the battery. New wiring and connectors look good quality and I particularly like the main battery terminal with its twist lock set up.

    View attachment 30906

    View attachment 30908

    View attachment 30907

    So onto the sanding process.
    I start with sanding all over with higher grade wet and dry to knock back the etch primer marks and get a level surface, this does take a good bit of time but like everything it’s the preparation that usually takes the longest time. Next was another full hit with finer grade and repeat this process through progressively finer grades until I was happy with an even, smooth finish. This did take almost 12 hours on the Levo so I was hoping that the SL being a little smaller wouldn’t take as long. In reality it took about the same but as the finish was going to be to a higher level it did end up adding another 3-4 hours. Final stage on the SL was using a fine (red), then ultra fine (grey) 3M scotch pads and water, brushing in single direction across the entire frame and then polished with a fine polish before degreasing and fitting decals and invisiframe kit to protect. Very happy with the results.

    View attachment 30911

    View attachment 30910

    View attachment 30912

    View attachment 30914

    View attachment 30913

    Now onto the build spec and master plan of making an alloy SL compete weight wise with a carbon framed version. Obviously a carbon frame is always going to be lighter with the same components but I wasn’t aiming for ultimate light weight, I wanted the ride quality of alloy and to save weight where possible with high end build kit.
    Full spec is below but AXS shift kit is on the cards along with some Chris King hubs, in silver😅

    View attachment 30919

    For now time to refit the motor/battery etc. Pretty straight forward process as such a nice compact package.

    View attachment 30920

    View attachment 30921

    Build wise, some of the kit I already had such as Roval wheels and Sram XX1, other parts were a no brainer such as Rockshox Pike and Guide Ultimate brakes as they’re available in silver of course. Bars & stem kindly provided by Deity components, they do these with awesome polished silver decals and their new lockjaw grips in grey👌

    BUILD SPEC:
    2020 Levo SL Alloy Raw frame
    Rockshox Pike Ultimate 150 travel
    Rockshox Air shock
    Roval SL carbon wheelset w/ Maxxis Ardent exo tyres – tubeless
    Sram Guide Ultimate brakes & Disc w/ Ti bolts throughout
    Sram XX1 Eagle drive train – AXS soon
    Rockshox AXS dropper & ti railed carbon saddle
    Deity Carbon bars
    Deity stem
    Deity grips
    Crankbrothers Mallet E pedals

    View attachment 30922

    View attachment 30924

    View attachment 30925

    All in the weight was bang on what I was aiming for and more than happy at 17.66kg.

    View attachment 30918

    Decal wise I toyed with all sorts of ideas but in the end decided the original location and Specialized font in fine line but in chrome silver finished off with an invisiframe kit to protect the decals and also frame from handling marks. Works really well and use these kits on all my bikes, cannot recommend them enough👍

    View attachment 30931

    Big thanks to MB Cyclery for their ongoing help, the boys are huge ebike fans so get yourself down there. Also Deity components for their continuing supply of kit for my builds and Ben Briffett for taking time on the final build shots👊

    View attachment 30929

    View attachment 30928

    View attachment 30939

    View attachment 30930

    Greatest post I’ve ever seen. 👍

  8. Been asked to put up a start to finish build thread on my Raw finished Levo SL.

    For those that don’t know/follow I’ve already built up an alloy Levo (three actually for MB Cyclery in Haslemere) all custom built in a Raw brushed alloy finish so when the SL was released I knew A. I’d have one and B. It would be an alloy one and finished to match the full fat Levo.
    Apart from the ‘shiny’ factor and that personally I think alloy when done like this looks better than carbon. I also believe (other than the weight factor) on the trail and from a ‘seat of your pants’ point of view the ride on an alloy frame is in some respect better than carbon.

    I’ll freely admit, this is not the cheapest or most cost effective way to build a bike, but without a frame only option it was the only way to get the Levo SL I wanted. It will also be different and unique and more importantly I enjoy the process.

    Lets start with 2020 Levo SL alloy comp. Take a perfectly good bike and strip it to bear frame🤷🏻‍♂️

    View attachment 30899

    Once the frame was fully stripped it was then time to send it out for chemical stripping, I’m fortunate to have some local wheel refurb guys (ACC wheels in Liphook Hampshire – top guys if you need alloy wheel refurb 👍) who for a few beers will stick it in their dip tank over night to remove the paint. You can try other methods ie: paint stripper but this is a much quicker way to get it stripped. Some have asked about sand/media blasting but that is mainly used for harder materials such as steel. When used on aluminium it will leave a much rougher surface than dipping, great as a key for paint but not for the smoother finish I was planning.

    View attachment 30900

    Once back from stripping the real work begins! The finish of this frame was identical my Levo with a fine pitted finish, I believe they must use some form of etch primer prior to factory painting so this needs sanding back before you can start to get an even finish.
    I was also planning to finish the SL to a higher level than my other Levo which inevitably would take longer but hopefully the extra time would give a much higher sheen to the frame.

    View attachment 30904

    View attachment 30905

    Whilst stripping the frame down it was good opportunity to get familiar with the new Battery/Motor/Wiring set ip on the Levo SL.
    A great little package. Motor is straight forward to remove or just hinge out of the way if you want to remove the battery. New wiring and connectors look good quality and I particularly like the main battery terminal with its twist lock set up.

    View attachment 30906

    View attachment 30908

    View attachment 30907

    So onto the sanding process.
    I start with sanding all over with higher grade wet and dry to knock back the etch primer marks and get a level surface, this does take a good bit of time but like everything it’s the preparation that usually takes the longest time. Next was another full hit with finer grade and repeat this process through progressively finer grades until I was happy with an even, smooth finish. This did take almost 12 hours on the Levo so I was hoping that the SL being a little smaller wouldn’t take as long. In reality it took about the same but as the finish was going to be to a higher level it did end up adding another 3-4 hours. Final stage on the SL was using a fine (red), then ultra fine (grey) 3M scotch pads and water, brushing in single direction across the entire frame and then polished with a fine polish before degreasing and fitting decals and invisiframe kit to protect. Very happy with the results.

    View attachment 30911

    View attachment 30910

    View attachment 30912

    View attachment 30914

    View attachment 30913

    Now onto the build spec and master plan of making an alloy SL compete weight wise with a carbon framed version. Obviously a carbon frame is always going to be lighter with the same components but I wasn’t aiming for ultimate light weight, I wanted the ride quality of alloy and to save weight where possible with high end build kit.
    Full spec is below but AXS shift kit is on the cards along with some Chris King hubs, in silver😅

    View attachment 30919

    For now time to refit the motor/battery etc. Pretty straight forward process as such a nice compact package.

    View attachment 30920

    View attachment 30921

    Build wise, some of the kit I already had such as Roval wheels and Sram XX1, other parts were a no brainer such as Rockshox Pike and Guide Ultimate brakes as they’re available in silver of course. Bars & stem kindly provided by Deity components, they do these with awesome polished silver decals and their new lockjaw grips in grey👌

    BUILD SPEC:
    2020 Levo SL Alloy Raw frame
    Rockshox Pike Ultimate 150 travel
    Rockshox Air shock
    Roval SL carbon wheelset w/ Maxxis Ardent exo tyres – tubeless
    Sram Guide Ultimate brakes & Disc w/ Ti bolts throughout
    Sram XX1 Eagle drive train – AXS soon
    Rockshox AXS dropper & ti railed carbon saddle
    Deity Carbon bars
    Deity stem
    Deity grips
    Crankbrothers Mallet E pedals

    View attachment 30922

    View attachment 30924

    View attachment 30925

    All in the weight was bang on what I was aiming for and more than happy at 17.66kg.

    View attachment 30918

    Decal wise I toyed with all sorts of ideas but in the end decided the original location and Specialized font in fine line but in chrome silver finished off with an invisiframe kit to protect the decals and also frame from handling marks. Works really well and use these kits on all my bikes, cannot recommend them enough👍

    View attachment 30931

    Big thanks to MB Cyclery for their ongoing help, the boys are huge ebike fans so get yourself down there. Also Deity components for their continuing supply of kit for my builds and Ben Briffett for taking time on the final build shots👊

    View attachment 30929

    View attachment 30928

    View attachment 30939

    View attachment 30930

    thanks for all that

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