2022+ Turbo Levo Suspension and Coil shocks for Gen 3 - Fox 38 vs Zeb

SteveRS

New Member
Jun 9, 2022
103
74
British Columbia Canada
For me, the Zeb is the better fork. Easier to adjust, stand higher, quiet, buttercaps, cheaper and looks better. 🙂
Fair enough. Yeah, the time required to set up the 38 is not for everyone. First you “have to” do a damper service, then it took me weeks to dial it in. Anyways, your bike looks killer.
 

Renton

Member
Aug 4, 2021
99
52
Droitwich
For me, the Zeb is the better fork. Easier to adjust, stand higher, quiet, buttercaps, cheaper and looks better. 🙂

Timo just out of interest what setting are you running on the Zeb. Ive just fitted a 23 Zeb ultimate to my Levo and was struggling with it yesterday on its first ride. It was really beating me up.

What sag do you run too?
 

SteveRS

New Member
Jun 9, 2022
103
74
British Columbia Canada
Timo just out of interest what setting are you running on the Zeb. Ive just fitted a 23 Zeb ultimate to my Levo and was struggling with it yesterday on its first ride. It was really beating me up.

What sag do you run too?
25 - 30% sag is generally best for most riders. Run closer to 30 if you’re more gravity oriented. If the fork is beating you up it probably isn’t the sag, unless you’re running a very high pressure resulting in sag at say 10%. It’s more likely your rebound setting is to slow. This will result in the fork feeling very harsh as it packs down over repetitive hits making it feel rough. First back off the compression settings completely and set rebound to the middle setting. Now go ride a trail that you can session easily. The trail with the train you normally ride. After you’ve ridden the trail once or twice with rebound in the middle setting back it off counter clockwise a couple of turns then go ride the same trail again a couple more times. This will speed up the rebound and make your fork feel a little more plush. See if this feels better than when it was at the middle setting. Then go ride the same trail with the rebound set two clicks clockwise in from the middle setting and see which feels better. Most people ride with the rebound settings too slow. If the middle setting feels pretty good and two clicks in clockwise slowing it down feels more rough or worse, then you know you need to be at or faster than the middle setting. You can then experiment from that point forward moving counterclockwise until it feels right. After you’ve done your rebound adjustment start adding compression only until it feels like you have the support you need. This will enable you to dial in your suspension to where it suits you best. On my fox 38 I don’t run much low speed compression and high speed is set in the middle. I have my rebound set fairly fast, this gives me a very plush feel with a lot of grip over rough terrain without getting beat up.
 

mike172

Member
May 12, 2021
139
78
Surrey
So there are photos of the new 2023 RS Coil on a Levo Pro and a Stumpjumper

Does this mean they are ok to use on this clevis mount now? Want to buy one, have one on my Patrol and its an excellent shock.
 

mike172

Member
May 12, 2021
139
78
Surrey
Taken from Flow Magazine:


And my Patrol

RockShox-2023-ZEB-Ultimate-01069.jpg


p5pb22905413.jpg


its that good I want one for my Levo
 

Cb750stu

Well-known member
Subscriber
Nov 6, 2020
376
368
United Kingdom
So there are photos of the new 2023 RS Coil on a Levo Pro and a Stumpjumper

Does this mean they are ok to use on this clevis mount now? Want to buy one, have one on my Patrol and its an excellent shock.
You can install whatever shock you want on your bike , wether Specialized endorse / recommend these shocks is a different story , I suppose it's up to the individual wether they want to take the risk or not 👍
 

2WheelsNot4

E*POWAH Master
Oct 17, 2021
728
508
Scotland
I need something progressively firmer towards the end of the stroke. Cos im a tad heavier than I was in my early riding career....ahem, i seem to blast through the travel too easily.

Would something with a coil spring be better than air ?. Came stock with a Fox float evol dps.
 

Brianjonesphoto

Active member
Patreon
Oct 8, 2018
155
117
Seattle USA
I need something progressively firmer towards the end of the stroke. Cos im a tad heavier than I was in my early riding career....ahem, i seem to blast through the travel too easily.

Would something with a coil spring be better than air ?. Came stock with a Fox float evol dps.
An air spring by nature is progressive and a coil is linear. Linkage design can help with progression. I’m a heavy lad as well 118kg and I much prefer the over all feel of a coil setup and near complete lack of required maintenance.
With their linear nature you get more early and mid travel support with a coil but give up the progressive bottoming resistance.

I’ve become a huge fan of hydraulic bottom out control. It allows me to run a spring rate that is comfortably plush and let the HBO soften and adjust the bottoming resistance. To my knowledge EXT is the only shock offering this feature. The E-Storia has it. I want one bad but my super delux coil need to die first to justify. I run a smashpot in my fork which introduced be the the HBO concept and it’s the bees knees for coils springs.
 

Zed

Active member
Feb 26, 2019
318
291
Brisbane, Australia
I need something progressively firmer towards the end of the stroke. Cos im a tad heavier than I was in my early riding career....ahem, i seem to blast through the travel too easily.

Would something with a coil spring be better than air ?. Came stock with a Fox float evol dps.
IME your problem is mainly just the DPS. I think it's a totally under-gunned shock for an ebike or anything more than light trail - it's a technical XC shock. I can't fathom why manufacturers insist on putting on them on ebikes even as a base spec. If you get an air shock with good bottom out/bump stop like the X2, you'll be able to fix the bottom out problem. That shock had a quite a magically soft bottom out for me.

If you haven't put volume reducers in the DPS you can do that and it will help a lot - possibly fix the bottom out completely - but I'd be changing the shock for something better.

In general air is more progressive than coil, so if progression is the main concern the general advice will be go air. But if your frame is coil compatible (check it) a decent coil will be fine, they have a bump stop in them and you likely will not have any bottom out issues or even sense it once the spring rate is good.

NB: Always check your bike will work with coil before fitting, they do need some progression built into the kinematic.
 
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zorro77

Active member
Apr 13, 2021
224
404
Italy
NB: Always check your bike will work with coil before fitting, they do need some progression built into the kinematic.

how can i check if a frame is suitable for the spring? Is Gen 3 okay with the spring? I have read that it is more progressive than Gen 2 but official technical data where can I find them?
 

Zed

Active member
Feb 26, 2019
318
291
Brisbane, Australia
how can i check if a frame is suitable for the spring? Is Gen 3 okay with the spring? I have read that it is more progressive than Gen 2 but official technical data where can I find them?
I'm sorry - I was speaking generally rather than talking specifically about the Gen 3, in a Gen 3 thread :)

Given all the success people are having here with coils, and the general talk about how it's progressive and "the poppiest ebike" that you get in reviews, I'm reasonably sure it'd be a good bike for a coil. Why not 100%? Because it's not inconceivable to me that someone spends a gazillion on a shock and then touts about how great it is even though it's not actually any better :). Sorry, nothing personal, not saying that is the case, but spending bias is a real affliction :)

If you want to be more sure than that - I think if you ask Specialized they probably won't answer for a given shock they haven't tested. You could though ask the suspension manufacturer of the shock you're looking at. They should know. I would ask my local suspension dealer, I have a good one locally dedicated to MTB suspension, who have probably dealt with shock upgrades on countless Levos.

When I upgrade my Gen 3 (that I don't have yet) it'll very likely be to an X2, for its' coil-like traction with the advantages (and disadvantages) of air, so I haven't really thought/read deeply about coil on this bike. So that's why I hesitate to just say "it'll be fine"...

It might be telling that none of the Levos Specialized produces have a coil on them. Or any of the Kenevos, actually.
 
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Brianjonesphoto

Active member
Patreon
Oct 8, 2018
155
117
Seattle USA
It might be telling that none of the Levos Specialized produces have a coil on them. Or any of the Kenevos, actually.
Maybe but I have a feeling it is a market preference and cost/profit decision. Air is easy and infinitely adjustable to a wide spectrum of riders vs stocking 8 spring rates and explaining to customers they they need to pay for (an extremely over inflated) new spring that still might not be the preferred weight.
 

mike172

Member
May 12, 2021
139
78
Surrey
When I upgrade my Gen 3 (that I don't have yet) it'll very likely be to an X2, for its' coil-like traction

It doesn't get close to coil like feel. The LSR can be opened up to keep the traction high (for an air shock) but it just doesn't get close to the feel of a coil. It's just an air shock with a big negative chamber.

It also gets hot and ends up choppy on longer runs and after a couple of hours of use.

And it sinks into its stroke making the bike a little slacker than it needs to to be. Easy to rectify just add more air. But then it ends up harsh....

Garbage shock. I've had 3. All have had issues and had to be rebuilt too, the QC from Fox is poor.

Few hours on mine tonight. It's as good as it is on the Patrol. Utterly Smitten with its performance the traction you get with it incredible. The HBO works as well as it does on the Patrol, feels bottomless where the X2 just felt like it bottomed out. Few drops and small jumps and there's no harsh impacts

Just hope it's compatible with this clevis mount with the flex it has and after a couple of months still works smoothly

20220818_182200.jpg
 

Zed

Active member
Feb 26, 2019
318
291
Brisbane, Australia
It doesn't get close to coil like feel
I disagree. Relative to other air shocks, it felt coil-like, in my limited experience.

I ran one on a Giant Reign. At the time I had a coil equipped eMTB. When I put it on the Reigns' back end suddenly felt very coil-like. Stuck to the ground, oodles of traction. I set the settings as per the recommendations from Fox as a starting point, and it was immediately excellent.

My experience was different than yours. But maybe what I'm looking for is different.

Garbage shock. I've had 3. All have had issues and had to be rebuilt too, the QC from Fox is poor.

Mine didn't inside a year, but then I sold the bike. I really liked it. Guess I'm a dumpster diver!

Few hours on mine tonight. It's as good as it is on the Patrol. Utterly Smitten with its performance the traction you get with it incredible. The HBO works as well as it does on the Patrol, feels bottomless where the X2 just felt like it bottomed out. Few drops and small jumps and there's no harsh impacts

Set up right the X2 should feel bottomless. Mine certainly did.

I worry about the bike being significantly less poppy with coil. If I get the bike and it's stuck to the ground like my Orbea Wild was, then maybe I'd just go coil because that thing had zero pop (was super fast and stuck to the ground though) and so might as well go coil for less servicing. I'm hoping that's not the case with the Levo and it's one of the reasons why I'm going with it.

With air there's so much more option to change how it rides, to make it more progressive. I'm sure the traction is excellent with coil. For racing, I would probably choose a coil. Not my cuppa for my local trails though.
 
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jbrown15

Active member
May 27, 2020
595
483
Chilliwack, Canada
I need something progressively firmer towards the end of the stroke. Cos im a tad heavier than I was in my early riding career....ahem, i seem to blast through the travel too easily.

Would something with a coil spring be better than air ?. Came stock with a Fox float evol dps.

EXT e-Storia has a hydraulic bottom out that you can adjust, which is a great feature. You tune it up so that it ramps out closer to bottom out.
 

SteveRS

New Member
Jun 9, 2022
103
74
British Columbia Canada
I’ve had coil shocks on my bikes going back to the 90’s, cuz that’s all there was back then lol. After weeks of adjusting, from tokens to rebound and compression, the X2 is impressive. I find it very coil like but also has some pop to it as well. It’s much more coil like compared to the super deluxe I had on my Remedy. Would I prefer a coil on this bike, maybe if given the opportunity to try it out but I’m certainly loving the X2. I have ordered a Cascade link to increase Progressivity up to 28% from the 20% stock. It also ads 10mm of travel with a more supple off the top feel supposedly. This maybe all that’s needed for the Levo to make it an enduro bike. I also agree that the quality control from Fox is terrible. The fox 38 Fork was plugged full of grease and the X2 shock aerated within the first three rides, not good. Now that all has been rectified they both are excellent suspension products, just too bad about their quality control.
 

Hob Nob

Active member
Jun 4, 2020
148
142
UK
I'm sorry - I was speaking generally rather than talking specifically about the Gen 3, in a Gen 3 thread :)

Given all the success people are having here with coils, and the general talk about how it's progressive and "the poppiest ebike" that you get in reviews, I'm reasonably sure it'd be a good bike for a coil. Why not 100%? Because it's not inconceivable to me that someone spends a gazillion on a shock and then touts about how great it is even though it's not actually any better :). Sorry, nothing personal, not saying that is the case, but spending bias is a real affliction :)

Spending bias certainly is real.

IMO the Gen3 Levo is absolutely not progressive enough for anyone riding at pace, or hard to run a coil. I posted before it was even a thing with Cascade developing a ‘long shock’ kit for it, to address some of the issues (namely there isn’t enough progression & the shock is too small).

I don’t have any purchase justification, as my Gen3 is long gone.
 

SteveRS

New Member
Jun 9, 2022
103
74
British Columbia Canada
Spending bias certainly is real.

IMO the Gen3 Levo is absolutely not progressive enough for anyone riding at pace, or hard to run a coil. I posted before it was even a thing with Cascade developing a ‘long shock’ kit for it, to address some of the issues (namely there isn’t enough progression & the shock is too small).

I don’t have any purchase justification, as my Gen3 is long gone.
I have my X2 setup with three volume reducers and the bike can certainly run at pace on rough trails. I get bottom outs on bigger drops (8 feet or more depending on the landing) but other than that it’s good for most riding. I have my SAG set at 30% front and back. I put the cascade link on for that extra bit of progression as well as supposedly more supple off the top.
 

mike172

Member
May 12, 2021
139
78
Surrey
IMO the Gen3 Levo is absolutely not progressive enough for anyone riding at pace, or hard to run a coil. I posted before it was even a thing with Cascade developing a ‘long shock’ kit for it, to address some of the issues (namely there isn’t enough progression & the shock is too small).

I don’t have any purchase justification, as my Gen3 is long gone.

Interesting comment

What do you define as pace? Dyfi Bike Park, Whistler, Fort William? I'd not even consider taking the Levo to these places, I hope I wont get scorned for writing this but I don't think its a suitable bike for grown up riding.

I think its a bike defined for average trail riding with some 'enduro' chucked in and it does it well. No issues taking it to anywhere in the surrey hills. It has 150mm of rear travel at the end of the day.

Still think the new RS coil is perfect for it. That HBO feature makes it like an air shock with tokens. Its so tuneable you can have the bike dead and coil like through the first 3/4 of its stroke or 'poppy' and lively. Progression, or lack of, isn't an issue at least with the Levo. Just hope it doesn't snap.

Still, I do think it needs an extra 10mm of travel out back but I like longer travel bikes to deal with worn out trails.
 

Renton

Member
Aug 4, 2021
99
52
Droitwich
Interesting comment

What do you define as pace? Dyfi Bike Park, Whistler, Fort William? I'd not even consider taking the Levo to these places, I hope I wont get scorned for writing this but I don't think its a suitable bike for grown up riding.

I think its a bike defined for average trail riding with some 'enduro' chucked in and it does it well. No issues taking it to anywhere in the surrey hills. It has 150mm of rear travel at the end of the day.

Still think the new RS coil is perfect for it. That HBO feature makes it like an air shock with tokens. Its so tuneable you can have the bike dead and coil like through the first 3/4 of its stroke or 'poppy' and lively. Progression, or lack of, isn't an issue at least with the Levo. Just hope it doesn't snap.

Still, I do think it needs an extra 10mm of travel out back but I like longer travel bikes to deal with worn out trails.

And therin lies the problem, youve hit the nail on the head..... its a 150mm trail bike which is more than capable with this style of riding. The problem is is that people want to turn it into something it isnt.... an enduro bike. long shock kits etc etc. Buy a kenevo for this !!
 

j.e.

Active member
Jun 29, 2020
77
34
Germany
I can not comprehend that. i think the levo is an absolute enduro bike and capable of a lot. I ride relatively rocky trails at a reasonable speed and the levo does everything. I would take it to whistler without hesitation.... however, the suspension setup is crucial and requires precise adjustment. the size of the bike also plays a big role. I switched from the S3 to the S4 and it made a huge difference in terms of smoothness on the trails.
 

Cb750stu

Well-known member
Subscriber
Nov 6, 2020
376
368
United Kingdom
I can not comprehend that. i think the levo is an absolute enduro bike and capable of a lot. I ride relatively rocky trails at a reasonable speed and the levo does everything. I would take it to whistler without hesitation.... however, the suspension setup is crucial and requires precise adjustment. the size of the bike also plays a big role. I switched from the S3 to the S4 and it made a huge difference in terms of smoothness on the trails.
Totally agree, the Levo is more than capable on any kind of enduro terrain, 160/150 is ample 👍
I ride really rocky rooty trails here in Scotland and it's a very capable bike , I've got a smashpot and a TTX22 set up and it's amazing 🤟 took me a bit to get it dialled but I got there in the end , I see folk writing about going to 170mm on the front but to me I can't see that 10mm would make a difference especially when you see 10mm on a tape measure 😳
 

Shjay

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2019
607
334
Kent
Suddenly we all need loads of travel to mince down the trail 😂 2/3yrs ago the Sentinel was Transitions Enduro bike & the Ripmo Ibis’s both less than 150mm rear travel & both very capable along with the Hightower, then they bring out the Spire & the Megatower as we all need so much more travel
 

SteveRS

New Member
Jun 9, 2022
103
74
British Columbia Canada
And therin lies the problem, youve hit the nail on the head..... its a 150mm trail bike which is more than capable with this style of riding. The problem is is that people want to turn it into something it isnt.... an enduro bike. long shock kits etc etc. Buy a kenevo for this !!
The new Levo is slacker than the Kenevo, corners better , has a much larger battery for longer rides, mullet wheel set and is a much better all around bike. if the intent is just enduro or down hill riding then yes buy something else, and it wouldn’t be a Kenevo for that, but if you want a bike that is capable in most conditions, then there’s no better than the Levo imho.
 

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