Check out my YouTube channel, click HERE and subscribe to be kept up to date with all the latest EMTB content

The new Specialized Levo gen3 is here!

Last updated:

We’ve had a closer look at the new gen3 Specialized Levo, and we’ve ha a short ride on it. You can watch this video below from EMTB Videos where we share all of our thoughts about the bike. Or you can continue reading.

Specialized Levo S-Works
Specialized Levo S-Works

Battery

The previous Levo model was introduced for 2019 and it was an innovative bike. Specialized had come up with a clever way to implement the battery. Sure, there are bikes where it’s easier to remove and install the battery. But Specialized save quite a bit of weight with their solution. And now, three years later, there still isn’t a more innovative solution out there we think. Specialized have made some changes though. The old “flap” that connected the battery to the motor has been redesigned. Now it’s a more solid looking and waterproof connection. While the 700Wh battery remains unchanged, the mounting hardware has been altered. You can use the previous battery in the new Levo, but you need to swap the plastic kit at the bottom of the battery to make it fit.

Specialized have updated the connection between the battery and the motor.

Motor

There has been speculation that Specialized would abandon the Brose-motor. They had issues with the Specialized 2.1 Rx motor. This was addressed last year. The motor got an updated software and a few new internal components, such as a new belt. Specialized now tells us the issues are solved. The updated motor has proved to be reliable, mainly thanks to the new software. So, the motor lives on in the new Levo. Now it’s called Specialized 2.2.

The Specialized 2.2 is based on a Brose-motor.

Updated and adjustable geometry

Judging by the geometry table, the new Levo seems to be a very different bike to the old one. Head angle is down by 1.5* to 64.5* in the default settings. This can be altered though. The bike comes with an additional head-set cup. Depending on how you install this cup, you will either steepen or slacken the head angle by 1*. Resulting in an angle of 63.5 or 65.5*.

Geo for all settings, we rode default settings (MIDDLE+HIGH). Click to enlarge.

And that’s not all. There is a small adjustable chip on the rear suspension, the “Horst link chip”. The chip is set in the high position from the factory. Setting the chip to “low” will reduce the head angle by 0.5*. Also, the bottom bracket will drop by 7 mm, down to 343 mm. When the bottom bracket is lowered, the chainstays levels out a bit. Chainstay length increases by 6 mm, up from 441 to 447 mm. Setting everything in the lowest position will significantly increase the wheelbase. The wheelbase of the size S4 (L) test bike will increase from 1255 to 1268 mm. And the head angle is 63*. These are figures we usually find on properly burly bikes.

The new Levo comes in what Specialized call “S-Sizing”, just like the 2020 Kenevo. Many riders are used to chosing between bike sizes, to get a bike that suits their preferences. With the S-sizing, we get more sizes to chose between.

Click to enlarge.

Wheels

The new Levo has got properly short chainstays. They achieved this partly by abandoning the 29er rear wheel. The Levo is now a “mullet” bike with a 29er up front and a smaller 27.5” wheel at the back. Some years ago, the 27.5 Plus wheels was dominating in the emtb segment. Specialized were among the first to abandon the wide tyres, they moved to 29er wheels. And only a year ago it seemed the 29ers were taking over. So, it is perhaps a bit surprising that the new Levo is a mullet bike. But it makes sense to us. It seems more and more manufacturers are embracing the mixed wheel sizes. And we think that’s a good thing. I prefer the smaller rear wheel. It gives us more room to move over the bike, most noticeably in the steep descents. And it of course allows for a shorter rear end.

2022 Specialized Levo Pro gen3
Specialized Levo Pro

Builds

Specialized is introducing the new Levo with 3 different build kits. The demo bike is of the unobtainable kind, at least to us. It’s the Specialized Levo S-Works with a £13.000 price tag. Then there’s the Pro model at £10.750 and the Expert at £8.750.

Click to enlarge
The new “Mastermind TCU” with a display looks really good we think.

On the trails

Our time with the bike was limited, so this is just our first impression. We only rode the bike in the default geometry settings. The new Specialized Levo looks like a very different bike to the old one. It looks much burlier, even in the default settings. But it doesn’t necessarily feel that way. Sure, it’s a capable bike that inspires confidence on the descents. Still, it doesn’t feel heavy or slow on the flat sections. It feels at least as nimble as the old Levo. One might think the new Levo isn’t a great climber due to the short chainstays. But no, the bike climbs well. The steep seat angle moves rider weight forward on the bike. Also, the long reach allows us to move far forwards on the climbs.

2022 Specialized Levo S-Works

Conclusion

We’re quite impressed with Specialized and their new Levo. This is a proper upgrade and a very versatile bike. We look forward to spending more time on the bike.

Specialized Levo S-Works gen3
  1. Same model I saw a few months ago in a friend that tests for a bike publication had in his shop. Didn’t ride it because why bother it is way out of my bike$$ comfort zone.

    What I did take away from his feedback was that the TCU was cool to mess with and he had taken it for a few pretty good rides with elevation and it had good power and range and handled the downs ok.

    He has a gen 2 levo and his main ride is the big buck SL which he noted he still prefers but he is youngish and fit and in that sphere of mtb’rs that still subscribes to the no pain no gain theory. Unlike Rob Warner apparently.

  2. So should I buy a new reliable car from Japan, or the new pig ugly Levo knowing that most likely, the motor will brake a couple (if not more) times a year?
  3. So should I buy a new reliable car from Japan, or the new pig ugly Levo knowing that most likely, the motor will brake a couple (if not more) times a year?

    If you need to commute a reasonable distance, you should probably use your money for a car and not buy fun toys and find yourself destitute and unemployed.

    If you find the bike unattractive, why would even consider buying it ?

    That’s like talking to a lady you don’t find attractive in anyway and asking why you should sleep with her and pointing out that you knew someone who slept with her mother and they didn’t like that either. Even though the mother is happily married and the daughter will be snapped up by one of thousands who would love her for what she is ?

  4. if you were to be unkind, you could suggest thier plan to reduce warranty issues is to make it so expensive that they sell fewer of them
  5. I wonder if these ones are waterproof…

    At those price levels I can’t help thinking these will be bought almost exclusively by the "all the gear, no idea" crowd. I have no doubt they’re good to ride, but nearly £9k for the basic one, rising to £13k? For a bicycle? Surely they’re dreaming.

  6. Im a bit dissapointed with the angleset mechanism I was expecting something more “sofisticated” is just … an angleset
  7. Im a bit dissapointed with the angleset mechanism I was expecting something more “sofisticated” is just … an angleset

    So you’re upset that it comes with the pieces you need to adjust your geometry because the solution is simple and reliable rather than complicated, heavy and prone to going wrong ? :unsure: 🤯 🤷‍♂️

    Personally, I thought it would be something which would turn to adjust, but how often would you adjust it once you had it where you wanted it ? So they probably went the right route with simple ??

  8. So you’re upset that it comes with the pieces you need to adjust your geometry because the solution is simple and reliable rather than complicated, heavy and prone to going wrong ? :unsure: 🤯 🤷‍♂️

    Personally, I thought it would be something which would turn to adjust, but how often would you adjust it once you had it where you wanted it ? So they probably went the right route with simple ??

    Have you Zim bought a one or getting paid by Spesh-a-lized or why all this white knighting on one mountainbike all over the forum?

  9. Have you Zim bought a one or getting paid by Spesh-a-lized or why all this white knighting on one mountainbike all over the forum?

    LOL.

    Nope, it just seemed like quite an exciting release where they have pretty much addressed every issue/complaint/problem/doubt/dislike everyone’s ever had, which we’ll hopefully see on the layman’s versions when they’re released, but then people just complain about crazy things.

    In theory, we’re all here because we’re passionate about our stupidly expensive hobby. Some peoples comments surprise me, it’s as if half the people were accidentally we’re re-directed from tweedelbowpadsforum.com

    I guess I’ve been through a dark and negative place over the last few months so maybe I’m just overly sensitive to negativity ? 🤷‍♂️ :oops:

    So if it’s coming over that I’m being a dick – Sorry, I guess I’d better have a few forum off days and re-charge my negativity receptors ! :)

    I need to be ready for the next batch when the Kenevo Prime arrives ! :ROFLMAO:

  10. So you’re upset that it comes with the pieces you need to adjust your geometry because the solution is simple and reliable rather than complicated, heavy and prone to going wrong ? :unsure: 🤯 🤷‍♂️

    Personally, I thought it would be something which would turn to adjust, but how often would you adjust it once you had it where you wanted it ? So they probably went the right route with simple ??

    Is not a dealbreaker at all. But yes when they announced this “feature“ wich at the end is something you can fit in most of the bikes, yes, for me is disappoint. I was expecting other mechanical trick such you can play without remove nothing.

    And people complain because is a forum! you know, people say what they think, that’s what is for, share, discuss etc. And for a brand complains are as important or more than props, because they learn from both.

    Aside to that: it was a very good ebike and is now even better. Good news. Maybe not the great all rounder it was but people seeks more enduro geo these days. It’s the natural route.

  11. I suppose the concern here is that in their haste to grab the big ££s for new gear (which does look and sound great btw), its upping the cost for entry level emtb’s at a time when it seems to be taking off. Ive just sh!t me pants at forking out over £5k for what is a middling model at best. Levo’s Gen 7 will be a £20k+ at this rate.

    If folk are paying it, I suppose you cant argue with that but its still fantasy land money for a modern ‘push’ bike.

  12. Gotta laugh when they say "a new bike is here". Where exactly. Not available online. Not available at any local dealers. Probably an outrageous wait time to get one. Just the pandemic times I know, but frustrating none the less. I still have my deposit down on a Bullit. The Turbo Levo still has the edge on range and power, but probably either way I will need a spare battery for long rides and the Shimano battery is not so long. Great bike though. Dropped a note to my dealer to see if he has any idea when my Bullit will arrive. Hope soon.
  13. One wonders if specialized are just testing the price elasticity of demand in the market. We are seeing quite a lot of constraint on supply right now thanks to covid, brexit, latterly suez, China trade wars etc, shortages in components and semi conductors but surely when things normalise spesh will really stick out as being shockingly over priced. Don’t get me wrong I’d love one, and actually I can afford one but I think my current cycling peer group might consider it a ridiculous extravagance and I’d be laughed off the mountain (not that I’d give a shit) but it does seem OTT really.
  14. normalise spesh will really stick out as being shockingly over priced.

    The S-works is only marginally more expensive than the top of the range Bullit, Pivot & Trek Rail . The PRO version’s actually cheaper than those.

    I think it has a roll on effect that we find it far easier to justify spending £7k on some other bike we like which only weeks ago we felt was too expensive ! :D :ROFLMAO:

  15. The S-works is only marginally more expensive than the top of the range Bullit, Pivot & Trek Rail . The PRO version’s actually cheaper than those.

    I think it has a roll on effect that we find it far easier to justify spending £7k on some other bike we like which only weeks ago we felt was too expensive ! :D :ROFLMAO:

    Haha true all of a sudden splashing £4-7k on a bike is the norm. Don’t really want in any arguments around pricing and all that r&d has to be paid for I suppose but in a few years time there are going to be some pretty sexy used bikes around.

  16. Now my Bullit arrival is pushed back to July. Tried to jump ship for a new Levo but the Gen3 date is next fall/winter!!!! Also I just checked and you can buy a new KTM 890r enduro motorcycle for less than a Specialized Turbo Levo S-Works! I had a KTM 790r enduro and that is a high end motorcycle with tons of electronics and tech and works great. I am getting the X01 coil shock Bullit and both the S-Works and Pro are more expensive than the best Bullit. Remember when Santa Cruz had the rep for the most outrageously expensive bikes? I will repeat again how frustrating it is for the manufacturers to seed the latest and greatest to reviewers to get everyone excited, but then no availability for months and months. How is a rider supposed to make an irrational spur of the moment purchase if there are no bikes to buy:)
  17. In USA the Bullit X01 coil is listed for 11499
    Levo3 Pro is 13,000 =1501 more than the Bullit
    Levo S-Works is 15,000=3501 more than the Bullit

    I sure hope Santa Cruz does not raise their prices this year!

  18. A rattling bike for over 11000€ is a lot. The Shimano EP8 sound going down is a „no go“ for some. And battery in the levo is bigger, software is better.
More Stories
A Ride Remembered