Specialized Levo - Why So Popular?

uamvar

New Member
Aug 22, 2023
20
2
Scotland
Hello All

I have just joined - currently trying to choose between a Levo/ Wild/ Whyte as my first eMTB.

I stumbled across this forum, and whilst looking through old posts I couldn't help but notice how many more threads/ posts there are on the Levo than any other bike - like LOADS more.

Is this because the Levo is generally considered the best/ most reliable eMTB out there, or is it because this is the bike most suited to cater for most types of riders, or because it has been consistently up at the top for the longest period and therefore has the most sales/ ownership? Just wondering why people are so attracted to these bikes compared to others really, and if other brands have now 'caught up?' (also might help me make my own mind up about what to buy!)
 

Bummers

Active member
Mar 12, 2022
526
481
UK
I think the warranty is transferable and pretty decent so gives piece of mind. It's a shame though they don't have Bosch motors as an option.
 

Thumper33

New Member
Sep 29, 2022
35
7
Denver, CO
In my case, I looked around a lot, but kept coming back to Spec because I trusted them to do something right. It's becoming less so because the tech is evolving fast, but tuning the feedback loops to make an e-bike feel like a normal bike is an art. I can tell when I'm riding an ebike that puts power on and off too fast or too slow and I feel like spec did a good job with this because they have the budget to figure it all out properly. I'm sure there are others out there that are just as good or better, but for whatever reason I felt like they did a good job with this aspect and therefor the bike felt most like what i wanted, which is to just feel like I have Giant legs and I'm riding a normal bike. The turbo levo did a good job for me on that.

Also, it has a good aftermarket following. I wanted to be able to override the speed limiter and I could with the Levo.
 

EmtbChar

New Member
Apr 22, 2023
37
74
West Sacramento, CA USA
I wanted to be able to test ride the bike I was going to buy.. it came down to giant and specialized. Trek was is the running but my LBS refused to build the bike for me to ride without buying it first. I liked the turbo levo the best and it was the cheapest
 

dobbyhasfriends

🌹Old Bloke 🎸
Subscriber
Sep 19, 2019
3,208
4,568
Llandovery, Wales
I've never had better customer service than from Specialized. I get amazing customer service from Berkshire cycles where I bought one and the same from RaceCo where I bought the other.
I've had mates with 10 year old bikes, the frame breaks and they still have original reciept, spesh replaces with a brand new model of similar position in range etc.. no quibble.
they do no represent value for money when compared with a lot of other brands but most of the kit on the bike is replaceable and you will always have that spesh frame warranty and customer service.
 

JP-NZ

E*POWAH Elite
Feb 17, 2022
1,028
776
Christchurch - New Zealand
The levo was one of the first EMTB's to market, also remember this is originally a UK based forum where specialized is quite popular. I don't think they are better than any other EMTB and as time goes by other brands on here have become just as popular.
 

Mikerb

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
May 16, 2019
6,131
4,660
Weymouth
My first EMTB was a Levo..............both my current EMTBs are Whyte. Both are ( in my opinion) outstanding bikes to ride and both have been very reliable ( 1 bike 1 year old the other 3 years old).

Back in 2018/2019 when I bought a Levo Comp, it was a stand out EMTB in terms of both their motor (quiet and powerful) and the software that determines how power is delivered......very sophisticated. Even their integration ( small mode controller and TCU in the top tube) was way ahead of anyone else...........many have copied since!! It was a good trail bike but I soon became aware of its poor component spec to the extent I had to upgrade the fork, shock and rear hub/freehub,...and tyres. Regardless, it still remained a trail bike and pretty hairy if used for anything more enduro focused. Specialized was, and probably still is the market leader, hence its popularity.

I have no doubt the latest Levos have improved in many respects and it is a good bike to ride, but the market has matured and there are many other brands now with the same or better Geo, better component specs for the same or less price....................and Bosch motors which are arguably now the most popular motor option for riders.

There are a number of brands I would avoid if I was buying again now but the Levo together with Whyte would be on my test ride list.
 

Julie_X1

Member
Jan 22, 2023
109
95
Canada
I don’t have a Levo but the first bike that made me love biking was a Specialized Turbo Vado SL.

It was a gem and ahead of its time (best electronic integration; very light; very smooth & natural feeling motor), and my LBS at the time thought highly of Specialized.

That first positive experience had a lasting impact on me. Specialized is still always on my short list. Even though others have caught up and/or surpassed them, their value-to-price ratio is not great, and my dealer is no longer a big fan of Specialized.
 

brentonb

Member
May 12, 2022
55
29
Aus
The Levo name is on it's 3rd generation and second on the SL version so just length of time brings its name up more.

But they have always just been a great all-round bike that has done everything very well, not always the best at everything but over all very very good making them tick more boxes for more people and therefore selling more.

I did 105kms of single trail on mine the other weekend and the only thing I would have changed on it was the ability to add a range extender easily, they are just great bikes
 

cozzy

Well-known member
Aug 11, 2019
786
848
Hampshire UK
They nailed the integration from day1 whilst everyone else was bolting the bridge of the starship enterprise onto the handlebars with wires everywhere.
In fact a lot of manufacturers still do this.
It's only Bosch that have caught up earlier this year with a tidy display and controller.
 

Haveland

Active member
Apr 21, 2022
200
137
New Brunswick, Canada
I ended up going Turbo Levo with my current bike -- I Previously had a Giant emtb and still have a Norco emtb.

Why did I pick the specialize two reasons: this past winter it seamed like they were the only ones with spare motors and secondly there is just nothing really wrong with them. Nothing super exciting but also just a plain good bike.

So far I love mine
I still like my Norco BigFoot VLT better but only because it is such a beast and different.
 

Sparkydave

Member
Aug 7, 2018
73
155
Derbyshire, UK
I was the first in my riding group to get an ebike in 2018, but I went down the Kenevo route. At the time it was the better option for an Enduro bike as the Levo seemed a bit too trail orientated.

Both have evolved, but I feel the Kenevo is now stuck in a bit of a no man's land unless they do a significant refresh.

If I were to choose a spesh now, I'd probably go Levo

Albeit that could probably do with a bit of a shake up this year too tbf
 

Anssi

New Member
Jul 1, 2023
27
26
Helsinki
I'll add my opinion to the list. It is simply a very good bike. The geo resulting in good rideability and I like the Brose most out of the e-bike motors. Then there's the after sales / warranty. We have a good Specialized dealer. Part of the popularity is brand recognition. The price hike has also not been as steep as with other brands, so the premium is no longer insane. That said, I don't have a Specialized e-bike. For reasons that have nothing to do with actual riding, I wanted a Bafang motor so I got an e-Mythique.
 

Kingerz

Active member
Jul 11, 2021
198
171
Australia
It has first mover advantage in terms of name recognition, much like Bitcoin in crypto.
The big issue is how often the sketchy motors break. Lots of people boast about their high mileage Levos and then it turns out they are on the third motor and a few months it was off the road.
Other brands have caught up and overtaken it by now, especially in terms of value.
(I have a Specialized kenevo 2018)
 

Hicksy 92

Member
Nov 23, 2018
85
117
Stonesfield Oxfordshire
They are just brilliant to ride , from what I hear great back up from dealers , my best mate is on his 3rd and has had issues with them all , but got them sorted out the same day at raceco cycles , Ive had a gen 1 now a gen 3 , and I’m saying this touching wood , no issues on either of mine , currently my new is on 1300 miles and loving it .
 
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Rusty762

Member
Apr 7, 2022
86
58
Monterey, CA
When I decided to buy my first EMTB a couple years ago I test rode a bunch of bikes and bought a Santa Cruz Heckler from my old shop, the owner a close friend tried to talk me into a Levo but I bought the Heckler and rode it for two years. It was a good bike but did have several issues with the Shimano motor and reliability. I test rode a 2022 Turbo Levo Expert recently and loved it, took it home and sold my Heckler. I have been riding it about 4 months now and its an incredible bike out of the box and super adjustable. There is so much support for the Spec's and I just installed the Cascade Components LT links with an EXT E Storia coil shock, now the bike is 170mm front and back and perfect for my style of riding. I think the flexibility of the Levo platform is what makes it such a popular platform.
 

JayGoodrich

New Member
Aug 11, 2023
24
29
Alpine, Wyoming
Hello All

I have just joined - currently trying to choose between a Levo/ Wild/ Whyte as my first eMTB.

I stumbled across this forum, and whilst looking through old posts I couldn't help but notice how many more threads/ posts there are on the Levo than any other bike - like LOADS more.

Is this because the Levo is generally considered the best/ most reliable eMTB out there, or is it because this is the bike most suited to cater for most types of riders, or because it has been consistently up at the top for the longest period and therefore has the most sales/ ownership? Just wondering why people are so attracted to these bikes compared to others really, and if other brands have now 'caught up?' (also might help me make my own mind up about what to buy!)
My first e-bike was the Levo SL. I still love that bike even though I no longer own it. I think at the time Specialized was leading the trend of working with a manufacturer to integrate the e-system pretty amazingly into the traditional MTB.

A LOT of bike companies have since followed and I think our e-bikes and us as end users are only going to benefit for the foreseeable future.

I loved the ride of the Levo, but hated this proprietary bike shop thing that Specialized adheres to. Things like major firmware updates have to be performed by an “authorized” dealer. The dealer in my neck of the woods here in rural Wyoming is a no-nothing shop whose staff believe they know it all. They also would charge $65 to update my new $10k bike. Seriously???

In the end, I also wanted more power. It’s just a reality. E-biking quickly becomes an adrenaline fueled junky game. You do ride further and definitely faster up hill. “So what do men with power want? More power.”

I now ride an Orbea Rise and a Trek EX-e. They are BOTH amazing machines with positives and negatives on both sides of the feature set. Now it’s time to see how companies progress from here. We will win even more.
 

uamvar

New Member
Aug 22, 2023
20
2
Scotland
Thank you so much all for the replies, I feel like I've learnt a fair bit.

I have had a shot on a Levo in S5 (I'm 6ft2) and felt a bit cramped, then tried an S6 and it felt much better. It's weird, most other eMTBs I tried in XL I felt like I could quite easily have an over the bars moment on them.

Quite a few of the reviews of the Levo I have read state that they are really 'trail' bikes and are less capable downhill, but I am wondering if the adjustable geometry they now have and possible future upgrades to suspension and links may make this bike more 'gnar' friendly?
 

Kevjob51

Member
May 22, 2022
91
67
Colorado
I watched alot of reviews prior to buying my 22 reign e+. I wanted a quiet motor and bike and Gian was the quietest that I watched and read. I also wanted a local LBS in case of bricking the motor or electronics.

I like the look of levo and specialized has shops everywhere, ity came down to motor quietness and enduro ish bike and reign was available last summer.
 

Binhill1

🍊 Tango Man 🍊
Mar 7, 2019
2,646
3,867
Scotland
Tried a lapiere on holiday 2018 my 1st ebike experience . Levo was voted best bike so I went for that a year later . I never fell in to the try as much as you can before you buy bracket . EG ,Skis, Kayaks,bikes ,women. Seen good riders on pretty crap bikes and they knock the socks off everyone. Rest my case.
 

jgusta

Member
Mar 21, 2021
118
47
USA
Hello All

I have just joined - currently trying to choose between a Levo/ Wild/ Whyte as my first eMTB.

I stumbled across this forum, and whilst looking through old posts I couldn't help but notice how many more threads/ posts there are on the Levo than any other bike - like LOADS more.

Is this because the Levo is generally considered the best/ most reliable eMTB out there, or is it because this is the bike most suited to cater for most types of riders, or because it has been consistently up at the top for the longest period and therefore has the most sales/ ownership? Just wondering why people are so attracted to these bikes compared to others really, and if other brands have now 'caught up?' (also might help me make my own mind up about what to buy!)
Cause it is that good!

Versatile….can hit pretty much any trail/jump on it regardless of pitch, challenge.

Dependable…over 1500 miles over past 6 months and zero issues and all pivots and motor going strong. (not case with Bosch within 3-4 months)

Range….can pretty much do as much riding as I care to do on one full charge.

Price….got my Carbon Comp for a steal new and happy with most all parts for blasting everything that comes it way.

Other ebikes was a Fuel EXe and have a Rail as well and they just don’t compare on most things above, despite being fun to ride as well. Levo 3 just does it all with a smile on my face whenever I take it out!
 
Last edited:

randycpu

Member
Nov 15, 2018
86
39
Silicon Valley, USA
In my case, I looked around a lot, but kept coming back to Spec because I trusted them to do something right. It's becoming less so because the tech is evolving fast, but tuning the feedback loops to make an e-bike feel like a normal bike is an art. I can tell when I'm riding an ebike that puts power on and off too fast or too slow and I feel like spec did a good job with this because they have the budget to figure it all out properly. I'm sure there are others out there that are just as good or better, but for whatever reason I felt like they did a good job with this aspect and therefor the bike felt most like what i wanted, which is to just feel like I have Giant legs and I'm riding a normal bike. The turbo levo did a good job for me on that.

Also, it has a good aftermarket following. I wanted to be able to override the speed limiter and I could with the Levo.
This.
I bought my Levo in 2018, and at that time Spec had the BEST control loop / torque sensor / motor controller integration by far. Very smooth, natural application of power on startup and stopping.
I have no idea what the current competition is doing, but I suspect they have caught up over time.
Perception and current collective wisdom is that Specialized has the best warranty and the worst reliability, especially for those that get their bikes wet.
 

Christurbo

Well-known member
Subscriber
Jul 11, 2023
376
706
North Wales
I'm a devoted Specialized fan from 1998. FSR's, Stumpjumpers, and now Levo. Their warranty is second to none.
Same here
FSRs
Stumpjumpers
Enduros
Levo
Kenevo
Tarmac
Shiv
Venge
Transition

Got to love a Spesh. Quality and innovation is second to none.
 

CraigR

Member
Aug 10, 2020
46
47
Livermore, Ca
Mordor Intelligence is a very respected market research company. We buy their reports for our industry (Not bicycles). Here is a summary of their E-MTB bike research report: Electric Mountain Bike Market - Size, Analysis & Growth

The interesting part is the section on the key players. Specialized is not even listed. However, this report is based on market size/revenue/etc... and does not take into account quality, customer service, rideability, etc....

Key players: Giant Manufacturing Co. Ltd, Trek Bicycle Corporation, Yamaha Motor, Pedego Electric Bikes and Scott Bicycles are the major companies operating in the E-Mountain Bike Market.
 

Binhill1

🍊 Tango Man 🍊
Mar 7, 2019
2,646
3,867
Scotland
Only tried a lapiere in Finale Ligure on holiday so can't judge on anything really. Bought levo four years ago fantastic for me and the remote hill places I love to go . Warranty great but not much fun riding any bike for ten miles with no motor. Only one out of three broken motors gave me any sign something was amiss , got another six rides before it went. Be interesting to know in what decade Ebike reliability is going to happen.
 

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