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
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.
 

Hob Nob

Active member
Jun 4, 2020
148
141
UK
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.

It’s not really about the amount of travel it’s got, it’s more with how it uses it, which for the average rider at average speeds is probably fine & would be fine in those places.

Personally, I found it almost impossible to get the bike feeling balanced, as when pushing on (or the couple of times I thought I was a good idea to race it) I had to run so little sag, to stop it blowing through its travel
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.

Its not where it’s being used which is the problem, it would be fine pretty much anywhere, but once you start pushing on, it was difficult to make the bike feel balanced.


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 !!

Personally, I think the shock is too small for the bike & could do with running something bigger & keeping the travel the same. The. You wouldn’t have average guys run close to max pressure on shocks & those who like cake/beer a bit too much running 800lb springs on bikes 😆

A 230mm shock is a big thing though, and well, they could put a trunnion shock on there, but given how reliable clevis driven shocks are on Specialized bikes anyway, you could probably measure it’s lifespan in hours…


Suddenly we all need loads of travel to mince down the trail 😂

What do you mean suddenly? It’s been like that forever!
 

Lightme

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Subscriber
Jul 17, 2020
94
87
Sydney
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 !!

Have you ridden one with a long shock kit? I can tell you that mine, with a 180mm fork, unequivocally improves the bike for what I ride. I absolutely love it. And I have owned a Kenevo.
 

Renton

Member
Aug 4, 2021
97
48
Droitwich
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.

The Levo and Kenevo both have 64.5 head angles as standard, battery is same size at 700wh
 

Renton

Member
Aug 4, 2021
97
48
Droitwich
Have you ridden one with a long shock kit? I can tell you that mine, with a 180mm fork, unequivocally improves the bike for what I ride. I absolutely love it. And I have owned a Kenevo.

No I haven't to be honest because I'm happy with with it does as standard. If I ever got brave enough to start jumping or go to the Alps etc then I'd look at a different bike.

The only thing I have done to mine and its more of a personnel ergonomic reason is stick a 170mm fork on the front to raise the front end height for me due to a dodgy back.
 
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SteveRS

New Member
Jun 9, 2022
103
74
British Columbia Canada
The Levo and Kenevo both have 64.5 head angles as standard, battery is same size at 700wh
The Levo‘s HTA is adjustable down to 63 degrees, the Kenevo is not adjustable and remains at a much steeper 64.5 degrees. With the Cascade Link and the slacker geo, the Levo is more enduro oriented than the Kenevo imo. I’ve ridden the Kenevo and prefer my Levo. The geo-adjust is one of the main reasons I bought the Levo over the Kenevo, plus I didn’t want a dual crown fork either.
 

Rob Rides EMTB

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Jan 14, 2018
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The Levo‘s HTA is adjustable down to 63 degrees, the Kenevo is not adjustable and remains at a much steeper 64.5 degrees. With the Cascade Link and the slacker geo, the Levo is more enduro oriented than the Kenevo imo. I’ve ridden the Kenevo and prefer my Levo. The geo-adjust is one of the main reasons I bought the Levo over the Kenevo, plus I didn’t want a dual crown fork either.
The Kenevo is way slacker than quoted. Almost 63 degrees on my 2 measurement tools. Obvs the expert 27.5” with triple clamp has adjustment via the fork which will adjust the head angle (amongst other things) but mine with 29 / 29 and single crown is as slack as Levo is the slack / low position 👍
 

SteveRS

New Member
Jun 9, 2022
103
74
British Columbia Canada
The Kenevo is way slacker than quoted. Almost 63 degrees on my 2 measurement tools. Obvs the expert 27.5” with triple clamp has adjustment via the fork which will adjust the head angle (amongst other things) but mine with 29 / 29 and single crown is as slack as Levo is the slack / low position 👍
Thanks for the clarification Rob. I think the Kenevo will undergo an update soon, until then I believe the Levo beats out the Kenevo. Again, if a downhill bike is the Intention then there are better choices out there.
 

SteveRS

New Member
Jun 9, 2022
103
74
British Columbia Canada
Ok, I finally went out for my first ride with the regular cascade link installed. Three things became apparent on this hour and a half ride today. Firstly, more traction. The backend sticks to the ground better than the regular linkage. This may be due to the new kinematics or that I have one less volume reducers installed, which ever it is, it’s quite noticeable. Secondly, it feels more plush throughout the stroke now. Again that could be due to one less volume reducer, not sure. I also have 20 more psi in the shock with the new links installed to have the same sag as before. I ran to 220 psi to achieve 30% sag I now run 240 psi to achieve the same sag setting. And thirdly, it feels more bottomless now. Through the same trails I never bottomed out once and it looks like there’s maybe close to 5 mm of stroke on the shock left. The added 8% progression is noticeable to help prevent bottom outs, and at the same time the shock feels more reactive and smoother throughout the stroke. So the new set up now is two volume reducers, down from three, and 20 more psi with compression and rebound settings left the same. If on big drops, which I haven’t done yet, I find that I’m bottoming out it seems that I could add more air to stiffen the spring, as the stroke now feels much smoother and less rampy. This is strange because the new kinematics now have added more progression to ramp up more, but it feels so much better and less like it’s ramping up compared to the previous set up. Anyways, I’m very happy with this purchase as it’s added that last little bit to the suspension that was needed. I wish the bike came this way stock.
 

Jeff H

Well-known member
May 19, 2019
199
189
San Jose, CA, USA
Ok, I finally went out for my first ride with the regular cascade link installed. Three things became apparent on this hour and a half ride today. Firstly, more traction. The backend sticks to the ground better than the regular linkage. This may be due to the new kinematics or that I have one less volume reducers installed, which ever it is, it’s quite noticeable. Secondly, it feels more plush throughout the stroke now. Again that could be due to one less volume reducer, not sure. I also have 20 more psi in the shock with the new links installed to have the same sag as before. I ran to 220 psi to achieve 30% sag I now run 240 psi to achieve the same sag setting. And thirdly, it feels more bottomless now. Through the same trails I never bottomed out once and it looks like there’s maybe close to 5 mm of stroke on the shock left. The added 8% progression is noticeable to help prevent bottom outs, and at the same time the shock feels more reactive and smoother throughout the stroke. So the new set up now is two volume reducers, down from three, and 20 more psi with compression and rebound settings left the same. If on big drops, which I haven’t done yet, I find that I’m bottoming out it seems that I could add more air to stiffen the spring, as the stroke now feels much smoother and less rampy. This is strange because the new kinematics now have added more progression to ramp up more, but it feels so much better and less like it’s ramping up compared to the previous set up. Anyways, I’m very happy with this purchase as it’s added that last little bit to the suspension that was needed. I wish the bike came this way stock.
Good to hear. Thinking of getting one but not sure I would benefit as much as you do. Reading your other posts you’re hitting much bigger stuff. I bottom out my X2 once in a while with 1 spacer and 215 psi for 170 lbs.
Something of note, with 5 mm shock stroke remaining on those particular trails it would have been close to bottoming with the stock link since you now have 10 mm more suspension travel. 5 mm x 2.6 leverage ratio = 13 mm remaining,
 

SteveRS

New Member
Jun 9, 2022
103
74
British Columbia Canada
Good to hear. Thinking of getting one but not sure I would benefit as much as you do. Reading your other posts you’re hitting much bigger stuff. I bottom out my X2 once in a while with 1 spacer and 215 psi for 170 lbs.
Something of note, with 5 mm shock stroke remaining on those particular trails it would have been close to bottoming with the stock link since you now have 10 mm more suspension travel. 5 mm x 2.6 leverage ratio = 13 mm remaining,

What sag are you running? I’m not much heavier and needed 220 psi with three spacers to get 30% sag with the original linkage. If I went down to one spacer I would’ve needed at least 230 psi for 30% sag. It seems like at 170 lbs and only one spacer you would need much more than 215 psi to achieve 30% sag. Do you have the same bike as I do?

Yes with the original linkage and only 2 spacers I would be bouncing off the bottom all day long lol unless I go with a much higher psi which would be a very firm ride, that’s why I needed 3 spacers. Three spacers allowed me to run a lower psi of 220 and still achieve 30%sag. This achieved two things, firstly it gave more bottom resistance near the end of the stroke, and secondly allowed for a more supple feel off the top because of the lower psi. This set up still wasn’t ideal though because with three spacers it got to firm feeling about halfway or so through the stroke, and it still wasn’t enough to stop from bottoming out either at that psi. The only solution left to not bottom out with the original linkage is to keep adding more psi to stiffen up the spring, but this provides a rough ride resulting in poor traction. There are some factors to consider regarding all of this. The kinematics have changed by increasing the progression by 8% and as you have mentioned the travel has increased by 10 mm as well. So with the added travel and increased progressivity this has povided a wider range of adjustment and ability to fine-tune the ride for someone that needs either more bottom out resistance or is looking for a more supple suspension that tracks the ground better. I hope that helped you.
 

Jeff H

Well-known member
May 19, 2019
199
189
San Jose, CA, USA
What sag are you running? I’m not much heavier and needed 220 psi with three spacers to get 30% sag with the original linkage. If I went down to one spacer I would’ve needed at least 230 psi for 30% sag. It seems like at 170 lbs and only one spacer you would need much more than 215 psi to achieve 30% sag. Do you have the same bike as I do?

Yes with the original linkage and only 2 spacers I would be bouncing off the bottom all day long lol unless I go with a much higher psi which would be a very firm ride, that’s why I needed 3 spacers. Three spacers allowed me to run a lower psi of 220 and still achieve 30%sag. This achieved two things, firstly it gave more bottom resistance near the end of the stroke, and secondly allowed for a more supple feel off the top because of the lower psi. This set up still wasn’t ideal though because with three spacers it got to firm feeling about halfway or so through the stroke, and it still wasn’t enough to stop from bottoming out either at that psi. The only solution left to not bottom out with the original linkage is to keep adding more psi to stiffen up the spring, but this provides a rough ride resulting in poor traction. There are some factors to consider regarding all of this. The kinematics have changed by increasing the progression by 8% and as you have mentioned the travel has increased by 10 mm as well. So with the added travel and increased progressivity this has povided a wider range of adjustment and ability to fine-tune the ride for someone that needs either more bottom out resistance or is looking for a more supple suspension that tracks the ground better. I hope that helped you.
I have a 2022 Expert with the stock X2 Performance shock. I think you have the same bike from what I recall of another post.

I’m also shooting for 30% sag (16.5 mm). My riding weight is actually closer to 168 lbs fully loaded. The Specialized calculator recommends 209 psi but 215 gets me closer to 30%. 0, 1, or 2 spacers didn’t change sag “appreciably” for the same pressure. For me, 2 spacers felt like I was hitting that harsh “wall of progression”, as the Cascade guru calls it, especially during the last third of travel. For my riding I prefer the more supple feel of 1 spacer and will live with occasional light bottoming vs. the rapid spring rate increase with 2. With the Cascade link 1 or possibly no spacers would be about perfect I think.
 

SteveRS

New Member
Jun 9, 2022
103
74
British Columbia Canada
I have a 2022 Expert with the stock X2 Performance shock. I think you have the same bike from what I recall of another post.

I’m also shooting for 30% sag (16.5 mm). My riding weight is actually closer to 168 lbs fully loaded. The Specialized calculator recommends 209 psi but 215 gets me closer to 30%. 0, 1, or 2 spacers didn’t change sag “appreciably” for the same pressure. For me, 2 spacers felt like I was hitting that harsh “wall of progression”, as the Cascade guru calls it, especially during the last third of travel. For my riding I prefer the more supple feel of 1 spacer and will live with occasional light bottoming vs. the rapid spring rate increase with 2. With the Cascade link 1 or possibly no spacers would be about perfect I think.
I think you’re right, the cascade link with no spacers sounds like it might be perfect for you. That should provide an even more supple ride with the added progression and 10 mm of extra travel as well to protect against bottom outs. That was odd when you were mentioning the spacers not changing your sag settings. Whenever I added or took out a spacer it affected how much pressure was required to keep it at 30% sag.
 

Jeff H

Well-known member
May 19, 2019
199
189
San Jose, CA, USA
I think you’re right, the cascade link with no spacers sounds like it might be perfect for you. That should provide an even more supple ride with the added progression and 10 mm of extra travel as well to protect against bottom outs. That was odd when you were mentioning the spacers not changing your sag settings. Whenever I added or took out a spacer it affected how much pressure was required to keep it at 30% sag.
“That was odd when you were mentioning the spacers not changing your sag settings.”
Maybe it changed by up to a millimeter either way and I wasn’t too concerned. That’s about +/- 2%. Btw Fox’s sag chart rounds up to 17 mm for what it’s worth (31% sag).
 
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SteveRS

New Member
Jun 9, 2022
103
74
British Columbia Canada
“That was odd when you were mentioning the spacers not changing your sag settings.”
Maybe it changed by up to a millimeter either way and I wasn’t too concerned. That’s about +/- 2%. Btw Fox’s sag chart rounds up to 17 mm for what it’s worth (31% sag).
Yeah I noticed the round up as well, 17mm is where I’ve set mine. Man it feels so good now 😀 with the Cascade link. I don’t know about you but tuning the suspension took a considerable amount of time, but was worth it. Have you performed a service on the air spring yet? Mine and my brothers were full of grease which hindered the performance significantly.
 

Jeff H

Well-known member
May 19, 2019
199
189
San Jose, CA, USA
Yeah I noticed the round up as well, 17mm is where I’ve set mine. Man it feels so good now 😀 with the Cascade link. I don’t know about you but tuning the suspension took a considerable amount of time, but was worth it. Have you performed a service on the air spring yet? Mine and my brothers were full of grease which hindered the performance significantly.
Regarding tuning I honestly haven’t done any bracketing to dial it in. I set the shock rebound and compression per the Spesh calculator which closely matches the Fox guide.

For the Fox 38 fork I’ve settled on 90 psi, 2 spacers, both rebounds per Spesh, HSC 1 click slower from open, and LSC 4 clicks from open.

As for excess grease, we had a convo on another thread where I posted a photo of it looking down at the piston with the top cap removed. I plan to send it in this winter and work them over as a warranty issue. I might send in the shock too. It’s making aeration/cavitation noises. Hopefully the local techs will do a better job than the production drones slapping these things together at warp speed 😝
 

SteveRS

New Member
Jun 9, 2022
103
74
British Columbia Canada
Regarding tuning I honestly haven’t done any bracketing to dial it in. I set the shock rebound and compression per the Spesh calculator which closely matches the Fox guide.

For the Fox 38 fork I’ve settled on 90 psi, 2 spacers, both rebounds per Spesh, HSC 1 click slower from open, and LSC 4 clicks from open.

As for excess grease, we had a convo on another thread where I posted a photo of it looking down at the piston with the top cap removed. I plan to send it in this winter and work them over as a warranty issue. I might send in the shock too. It’s making aeration/cavitation noises. Hopefully the local techs will do a better job than the production drones slapping these things together at warp speed 😝
If your shock is aerated you need to fix it ASAP. Don’t wait as you could damage something inside. I took mine into the local bike shop and it was covered by Fox warranty, so please don’t wait. As far as the fork it should be done as well you’ll have much better performance out of it once the service is completed. I found fox and specialized suspension settings to be out a fair amount. I guess it all depends on how you ride. With their settings the suspension was not very reactive and didn’t feel very plush either. I used bracketing to dial it in as you should. I found that I use very little compression and have rebound fairly open so it reacts quickly to fast rough riding. Otherwise things start getting firm feeling and uncomfortable. The fork didn’t start feeling good until the service was complete and then it was a completely different fork entirely as was The case with my brothers fork.
 

Jeff H

Well-known member
May 19, 2019
199
189
San Jose, CA, USA
If your shock is aerated you need to fix it ASAP. Don’t wait as you could damage something inside. I took mine into the local bike shop and it was covered by Fox warranty, so please don’t wait. As far as the fork it should be done as well you’ll have much better performance out of it once the service is completed. I found fox and specialized suspension settings to be out a fair amount. I guess it all depends on how you ride. With their settings the suspension was not very reactive and didn’t feel very plush either. I used bracketing to dial it in as you should. I found that I use very little compression and have rebound fairly open so it reacts quickly to fast rough riding. Otherwise things start getting firm feeling and uncomfortable. The fork didn’t start feeling good until the service was complete and then it was a completely different fork entirely as was The case with my brothers fork.
Thanks for the advice on everything. Yep, I really need to test/tune over relying on ball park recommendations. That should even take precedence over firing the parts canon at it loaded with new links and such 😜
 

SteveRS

New Member
Jun 9, 2022
103
74
British Columbia Canada
Thanks for the advice on everything. Yep, I really need to test/tune over relying on ball park recommendations. That should even take precedence over firing the parts canon at it loaded with new links and such 😜
Anytime. Seriously though get that shock repaired. The problem with an aerated shock is that it will blow through its travel much easier and possibly damage internal parts of your shock.
 

Ebike3rr

New Member
Apr 1, 2022
4
0
USA
Has anyone tried the new Rock Shox super deluxe coil on the gen 3 levo? I just put the new Zeb on and it’s amazing, thinking of getting the coil as well.
 

SteveRS

New Member
Jun 9, 2022
103
74
British Columbia Canada
I think a lot of people are still riding around on a fox 38 without doing a air spring service. Most of what comes out of the Fox factory is plugged up full of grease so your suspension is not gonna be very good. After I did my own air spring service it transformed that fork, it’s now the best fork ever used. Otherwise people wouldn’t want to be switching to another company if they’re fox 38 is performing as it should because it’s an incredible Fork. Also, I understand it’s a little harder to set up, so some people may not want to be bothered, but in the end it’s gonna have better performance because of it.
 

Ou812

Member
Jun 26, 2022
198
144
Fort William
I think a lot of people are still riding around on a fox 38 without doing a air spring service. Most of what comes out of the Fox factory is plugged up full of grease so your suspension is not gonna be very good. After I did my own air spring service it transformed that fork, it’s now the best fork ever used. Otherwise people wouldn’t want to be switching to another company if they’re fox 38 is performing as it should because it’s an incredible Fork. Also, I understand it’s a little harder to set up, so some people may not want to be bothered, but in the end it’s gonna have better performance because of it.
I probably need to service mine, bike is a week old. The fork is either too harsh and rattles my teeth out or too soft and I blow through the travel. I’m a lighter rider at 155lbs geared up, I’ve always struggled with Fox forks for some reason. The Zeb on my SB130 was super easy to set up so I’m considering selling the 38 and picking up another Zeb, or going coil on the 38.
 

SteveRS

New Member
Jun 9, 2022
103
74
British Columbia Canada
I probably need to service mine, bike is a week old. The fork is either too harsh and rattles my teeth out or too soft and I blow through the travel. I’m a lighter rider at 155lbs geared up, I’ve always struggled with Fox forks for some reason. The Zeb on my SB130 was super easy to set up so I’m considering selling the 38 and picking up another Zeb, or going coil on the 38.
After a service it’s night and day. My fork would also blow through the travel very easily. My brothers was way worse than mine. His was extremely harsh and wouldn’t track the ground well at all. After the service it was super plush and progressive. It’s because of all the grease inside. It’s literally plugging up the fork so it can’t equalize properly and is reducing the negative chamber and sometimes the positive chamber as well. Service it before you discard it.
 

mike172

Member
May 12, 2021
139
78
Surrey
Fitted the regular cascade today. Added a heavier coil spring while I was at it. Sits about 30% sag but I'm a bit heavier than normal currently (3kg above my normal 90). 550 spring.

Noticed even more flex and slop now from the clevis design is that something others have experienced?

Yet to ride properly but that seals the deal for me. Going to sell the bike as I've had enough of the flex in the suspension design its not for me
 

SteveRS

New Member
Jun 9, 2022
103
74
British Columbia Canada
Fitted the regular cascade today. Added a heavier coil spring while I was at it. Sits about 30% sag but I'm a bit heavier than normal currently (3kg above my normal 90). 550 spring.

Noticed even more flex and slop now from the clevis design is that something others have experienced?

Yet to ride properly but that seals the deal for me. Going to sell the bike as I've had enough of the flex in the suspension design its not for me
I’m not familiar with this flex you’re talking about. Where exactly is the suspension flexing? Be specific please as I don’t know what this is referring to.
 

ebikerider

Active member
Oct 1, 2019
537
345
Australia
Fitted the regular cascade today. Added a heavier coil spring while I was at it. Sits about 30% sag but I'm a bit heavier than normal currently (3kg above my normal 90). 550 spring.

Noticed even more flex and slop now from the clevis design is that something others have experienced?

Yet to ride properly but that seals the deal for me. Going to sell the bike as I've had enough of the flex in the suspension design its not for me
You say you haven't ridden it properly so I'm assuming you are talking about the flex when you grab the top of the rear wheel when it is moved from side to side?

Can you be more specific to what you are talking about?

At your weight the long shock option from cascade would have been a better choice. Cascade even state the max rider weight is 200lbs.
 

mike172

Member
May 12, 2021
139
78
Surrey
200lbs with an air shock due to max pressure limits is it not? I am normally a bit lighter and should drop some weight in the coming months

Its the general feeling of slop in the rear end of the bike. Lateral movement/flex caused by the clevis. I think its noticeable to me since I bought a Transition Patrol which is stiff as you like so the Levo just feels sloppy in comparison.

Rode it last night for a couple of hours. Had it in low and slack by accident so the bike didn't feel great too long and too slack to deal with what I was riding.

Reluctant to say much about the link yet but the extra 10mm is notable, gives a more bottomless feel. More supple off the top.

I'm expecting the bike to ramp up even more in the high setting and maybe gain back a bit more sag too.

20220903_170855.jpg
 

ebikerider

Active member
Oct 1, 2019
537
345
Australia
200lbs with an air shock due to max pressure limits is it not? I am normally a bit lighter and should drop some weight in the coming months

Its the general feeling of slop in the rear end of the bike. Lateral movement/flex caused by the clevis. I think its noticeable to me since I bought a Transition Patrol which is stiff as you like so the Levo just feels sloppy in comparison.

Rode it last night for a couple of hours. Had it in low and slack by accident so the bike didn't feel great too long and too slack to deal with what I was riding.

Reluctant to say much about the link yet but the extra 10mm is notable, gives a more bottomless feel. More supple off the top.

I'm expecting the bike to ramp up even more in the high setting and maybe gain back a bit more sag too.

View attachment 96353
They actually state they don't recommend a coil at all for the bike with this link which I was surprised about. What LB spring are you running?
 

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