2021 Specialized Turbo Levo e-MTB Review | Electric Bike Advisor (2023)

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Why is the Specialized Turbo Levo Full Suspension Electric Mountain Bike One of the Most Popular Entry-Level in 2021?

The Specialized Turbo Levo is an electric mountain bike with a different approach – it offers a full suspension system configuration, so the rider has reasonable control over the trail.

Specialized is a US company with a long history of building top-rated bikes. As they say, “from riders to riders”. I love it.

For the e-mountain bike range, they have the Levo, Levo SL, and Kenevo. From these three (3), I got impressed with what the Turbo Levo offers.

I know that it would be worth checking on the Kenevo model, but I will review the Specialized Turbo Levo model for now.

Specialized Turbo Levo Technical Specs

  • Brose Mid-Drive.
  • Rx Trail-tuned motor (custom), 250 watts Specialized V2.1.
  • 25 km/hr (15.5 mph).
  • 90Nm torque.
  • 500watts/hr, 36v, 13.4Ah
  • Frame embedded (down tube).
  • BMS technology
  • Charging in 4 hrs.
  • Between 50 to 100 km range (depending on assistance mode.)
  • Specialized TCU, ANT+/Bluetooth®.
  • Four (4) riding modes plus a walking-assist option.
  • No LCD Display attached to the handlebar.
  • M5 aluminum with hidden wiring.
  • 29″ max.
  • For riders between 1.65cm and 1.98 cm.
  • SRAM 700.
  • Eleven (11) speed.
  • Front: SRAM four (4) pistons.
  • Rear: SRAM two (2) pistons.
  • 200mm hydraulic system.
  • 29 kg (64 lbs).
  • 29″ x 2.6″.
  • Front and rear Butcher tires.
  • Rims tubeless-ready.
  • Front suspension: RockShox Sektor RL
  • Rear suspension: Air valve RockShox Deluxe RT.
  • Both 150 mm compression travel.

Infinite Tune Mission Control App is available to adjust your riding requirements.

Smooth Frame and Design

One of the strongest points these guys have is how the frame was designed to give good comfort over a long day of riding.

2021 Specialized Turbo Levo e-MTB Review | Electric Bike Advisor (1)

Building material

The Turbo Levo 2021 model e-bike was built with M5-grade aluminum.

I like how the cables were cleanly embedded within the frame.

This approach is the way the cables should be placed for a trail electric bike.

Compared to the Giant Trance E+ Pro 2021 model – another trail e-bike worth checking – I think the wiring is not so smooth at the front.

I reckon this is a move to give you more turning range.

The frame design

The aluminum frame was cleverly designed to reduce the friction and air resistance caused during riding. As a result, the motor is more efficient, translating to a better battery range.

On the other hand, I like how the top tube has a “low step” design, at least lower than other electric bikes in the same category. I would say this is good for short riders. This frame was conceived for people between 165 cm (65″) and 198 cm (78″).

Tires and Rims Quality

The tires and rims were designed to give enough support and traction so that you feel under control.

Butcher tires

So far, this is one of the e-MTB that uses a diameter of 29 inches. I would say it is suitable for tackling more aggressive terrains.

As for the width of the tires, it is 2.6″, which is the standard. Anyway, you can’t have a wider one because of the frame and fork dimensions.

Interestingly enough, both front and rear tires (Butcher) have the same characteristics as in the tread side of things.

Regardless of that, this set of Butcher GRID tires will last and perform well in either dry or wet conditions.

If you know more about tires, you’ll see that the transition channels are really wide, so it may not be as good as the Maxxis ones.

The Roval rims

The alloy rims were explicitly made to be used with high-performance tires.

Maybe the Specialized Turbo Levo electric mountain bike was not fitted with the best ones created by Roval, but the 30 mm tubeless-ready rims ensure you stay safe when landing.

Of course, the spokes are vital for maintaining the rims’ integrity.

Twenty-eight (28) stainless steel spokes are used to support the rims and tires.

Specialized Turbo Levo Comp FSR

Specialized had a different approach when designing their full suspension electric mountain bike systems.

You will find that both front and rear suspension are RockShox technology; however, each one of them differs from the other.

2021 Specialized Turbo Levo e-MTB Review | Electric Bike Advisor (2)

RockShox Sektor RL (front)

Thanks to the technology RockShox offers, the Sektor RL front suspension was built to take any harsh terrains and bumps on the go.

I can see from the Sektor RL model the reduced weight of its elements – an aluminum alloy body with high-density plastics to seal the system.

With the DebonAir™ technology used, the coil springs are lightweight and provide enough stiffness, giving the correct compression based on your sag and travel settings (maximum of 150mm).

(Video) 2020 Turbo Levo E-Bike Vs 2020 Santa Cruz Hightower Enduro Bike

In addition to the above, the motion control damper (MCD) is smooth enough to tackle small bumps when the system is in “lock” mode.

I like the indicator measurements that will let you know the travel and sag adjustment.

Having this means that you can control how freely the spring will move when going downhill or climbing.

Similar to the other RockShox models, this system will allow you to add “tokens” to give you extra freedom when adjusting the air settings.

RockShox Deluxe RL Performance (rear)

Now, the middle (rear) suspension was also designed by RockShox.

The Turbo Levo features the Deluxe RL model. I was expecting nothing less from Specialized.

The Deluxe one is not super impressive compared to other high-quality rear suspension devices like the Fox Float DPS Trunnion.

Don’t get me wrong, with its two (2) adjustment settings (lock/unlock), you can still have enough comfort while riding.

Of course, the unlock setting is good when going downhill and the lock one is perfect for climbing up or flat rides.

This one has more travel and sag with 150 mm compression regardless of the above.

Lastly, I want to mention its design and positioning (45-degree angle). Thinking about forces, I see the rear shock was well-positioned and has strong components (e.g., the pivot bolts can hold 180 in-lbf).

2021 Specialized Turbo Levo e-MTB Review | Electric Bike Advisor (3)

You can see from the diagram above how it will work during operation.

Again, if I compare the Gian Trance E+3 Pro configuration, the RockShox Deluxe RL used by the Specialized Turbo Levo will transmit the energy towards the frame rather than the seat post (or your body).

Specialized Belt Driven Motor

Maybe, not as renowned as other motor brands like Yamaha and Bosch, the Specialized Turbo line was fitted with Brose technology.

The experience of the German company comes from the development and manufacturing of mechatronic systems.

Specialized Turbo Levo Drive S

The Turbo Levo motor was built to deliver the power needed for every situation.

I guess the Brose automotive experience helped them to build this Drive S motor using a belt-driven system.

Belt drive motors are particularly good in terms of low vibration and noise.

One of the things that makes this motor pleasant is the compound used to build the casing – magnesium. It basically weighs less than any other e-bike standard motor.

In addition to the above, the non-treated inserts are an excellent advance compared to the previous Brose versions.

For those who love to put things together, this configuration will reduce the possibility of damaging any sensitive connection.

What speed and torque do you get?

As with any other e-MTB, this one is a Class 2 pedal-assisted. On saying that, the maximum speed will be 25 km/hr (15.5 mph).

Of course, you can go faster than that, but the motor won’t be powered at all.

I know that most motors will create resistance when not powered. This is not the case for the nominal 250W Brose motor. It has a double freewheel system to make the ride as smooth as possible.

As for the torque side, I was pretty impressed with what it can deliver. The 90Nm will be more than enough to get you climbing without hassle.

As mentioned before, the tires are acceptable, but having such torque makes me wonder if the rear one should have a more aggressive tread.

Specialized Battery

The Turbo Levo full suspension electric mountain bike was built to perform well regardless of the trail’s complexity.

To power the nominal 250w Bose motor, these guys decided to install the battery in the frame’s down-tube.

It is not surprising that trail e-bikes perform better when the whole system is balanced.

There is more than a simple, balanced system. Its battery stands out in:

– Integration of a Battery Management System (BMS).

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– A charging socket is located on the side of the frame, which is very accessible.

– Alternative to remove the battery to reduce the overall e-bike weight (29 kg (64lb)).

– An easy-to-read “charge level display” with ten (10) increment levels so that you know the percentage of power left.

The Chemistry

Like any other battery used in electric bikes, the Levo model uses a 3.2 kg, 36v, 13.4Ah, 504 Wh Li-ion battery.

I know these are just numbers for some of you but knowing the chemistry combination will determine how far you will go on a single charge (discussed below).

Specialized Turbo Levo Range and Charging times

How far can you go with the Specialized Turbo Levo? You should know already that it will depend on the mode selected (discussed further down our review).

Here is where the chemistry comes in handy to know.

Typically, a 13.4Ah battery can get around the 100 km range. This, of course, depends on ideal conditions and riding style.

The Levo battery’s maximum distance is 50 km if using the Turbo mode.

As for the battery charging times, it depends on the charge model included in the package. Based on the Turbo Levo owner’s manual, it could take from 3.5 hrs to almost 8 hrs to be fully charged.

Read More: Learn more about electric batteries in our guide.

Reading the charge level display

Compared to the other manufacturers in the industry, one thing that Specialized standouts is the user experience.

Instead of looking at an e-bike’s controller (no LCD or LED display attached to the handlebar), they decided to place a charge level display on the top tube.

It will indicate how much battery power is left during the ride, with increments of 9 (0-9, 10-19, 20-29, etc.).

An important thing you should know is to understand the led lights positioning when an error in the system has occurred.

This diagram taken from the Turbo Levo User’s Manual explains a bit more about it:

2021 Specialized Turbo Levo e-MTB Review | Electric Bike Advisor (4)

Controlling the Turbo Levo

To understand correctly how to control and get the maximum performance of the Specialized Turbo Levo, there are three (3) things to consider:

– The handlebar remote.

– The TCU display and,

– The Mission Control (App).

It may be many things to think about, but surely you will love it once you understand each one of them.


Familiarize yourself with the TCU display and controlling system before doing your first ride.

The Turbo Levo remote

When you look at the remote (left-hand side of the handlebar), it seems straightforward.

Four (4) buttons to press:

– Top one for the Turbo Boost feature.

– Middle ones to change the settings power of the TCU display.

– Lower one is the walk-assist mode.

Note that the turbo boost button will give you immediate access to the maximum power the motor can provide, no matter your current assistant level.

The supporting modes

To give you as much assistance as possible while riding, the system offers five (5) modes: Eco, Trail, Turbo, Walking, and Smart Control.

2021 Specialized Turbo Levo e-MTB Review | Electric Bike Advisor (5)

The manufacturer indicates that one of the modes is “off”. I don’t know about you, but this is not an assistance mode for me. Simply, there is no motor power whatsoever offered.

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Each mode will give a specific boost (5), depending on your riding style. In other words:

Eco: 35% for cruising along the road.

Trail: 70%.

Turbo: 100%.

Walking: 5%. Great for a heavy e-bike that needs to be pushed.

Smart control: variable.

The smart control mode is actually interesting.

Depending on how you would like to ride, you can adjust each power level so the motor can assist the right way in each supported mode.

For instance, let’s say you set the trail support to be 70% and the peak power at 50%; this means you still have good support from the motor, but the power output will be half of the maximum possible. As a result, the battery range could increase without compromising the support.

About the Infinite Tune – Mission Control App

As mentioned before, with the Infinite Tune app, you can adjust the support, peak power, and torque levels.

What I like the most about the control technology of the Specialized Turbo is the possibility of adjusting the desired distance and time you want to ride.

By doing this, the motor and battery deliver just the right amount of power to achieve your set number. Pretty cool.

Lastly, you can also check other stats like the total distance traveled, the responsiveness of the battery, and the condition of the motor.

SRAM Brake and Drivetrain System

The shifting and braking systems were also manufactured by SRAM, which provides acceptable components.

The drive-train system was designed to give eleven (11) speeds with a gear ratio of 11 to 42 teeth in the cassette.

As for the braking performance, you won’t be disappointed. This electric mountain bike was fitted with 200mm hydraulic disks.

I’m not sure why Specialized placed a two (2) piston Caliper for the rear tire, but it would’ve been better to be consistent with the four (4) piston configuration at the front.

It is most likely to give you a more gentle and smooth braking action when taking corners. Still, getting you to a full stop without issues should be good.

Is it Worth Buying the Specialized Turbo Levo?

The Turbo Levo full suspension electric mountain bike has outstanding technology that will impress some users.

Specialized Turbo Levo benefits

Compared to other very competitive e-bike manufacturers, it has good enough components to take a trail without concerns.

As per usual, the motor and battery offer the minimum power to climb any ground without hassle.

The rear suspension system positioning is very interesting. Usually, your body would experience the force created when landing, but the frame will receive most of it in this case.

I really like what they have done with the controlling system interface for additional benefits.

Most of us worry about how much battery is left to complete a trail, but they solve it by adding the smart control system.

Setting the distance and desired riding time into the interface will take away the hassle of not completing the trail.

Not sure why I would want to set up a riding time; I think the distance is excellent.

Some potential limitations

As mentioned before, the suspension system is good. The front one has enough travel (150mm) to absorb descent landings.

The rear one is good too, but if I were to be complicated, the models offering a three (3) locking system maybe be more beneficial, especially when going uphill.

The tires are reasonable; however, the rear one could have had a more aggressive tread to increase the traction.

I think the smart control technology is not super old and possibly will require some adjustment in the future.

Will the set distance be affected if you, at some point, demand more power? I guess here is where the peak power comes to play.

(Video) The Best MTB Tire Combos! Taking a Look at our Favorite Front and Rear Mountain Bike Tires!

At this point, I think you have enough information to decide whether the Specialized Turbo Levo full suspension electric mountain bike is worth the investment.

Images courtesy of Specialized.

Specialized Turbo Levo

2021 Specialized Turbo Levo e-MTB Review | Electric Bike Advisor (6)


Frame & Components Quality


Braking Performance


Speed & Torque (motor)


Controller & Assistance


Battery Range


Overall Weight


Portability & Maneuverability


What we like

  • ✅ Good entry level full suspension electric mountain bike.
  • ✅ Smart control technology to pre-set motor and battery performance.
  • ✅ Lighweight compared to other e-MTB in the same category.

What we do not like

  • Front fork may not be as strong as expected.
  • Rear suspension only offers two (2) adjustment settings.
  • Rear braking system only has two (2) piston configuration.


How long does a specialized turbo Levo last? ›

Since all Turbo Levo SL models share the same motor and internal battery, the bikes' potential range are nearly identical. Range varies with how you ride, where you ride, and which mode you ride in, but you can expect up to 3.5 hours of ride time using ECO mode from the internal battery alone.

What size Turbo Levo do I need? ›

S-Sizing system: the new Levo comes in six frame sizes, S1–S6 and, thanks to the short seat tube, lets you choose between 2 or 3 sizes. That should let your preferred riding style rather than your height decide over the frame size you go with. Sizes should suit everyone between 1.49 and 1.98 m tall.

What is the difference between Turbo Levo and Levo SL? ›

The Levo weighs about ten pounds more than the Levo SL coming it at around 48 lb. (again give or take depending on the build), so it was a little harder to turn in the tight stuff and didn't have quite the same snappy feel as the Levo SL.

What is the weight of a specialized turbo Levo Comp 2021? ›

2021 Specialized Levo Pro actual weight

Our size S5 (equivalent to XL) test bike with tubeless setup weighed in at 48.92lb (22.19kg) without pedals. This is with a SRAM XO1 Eagle mechanical group, Roval carbon trail wheels, Fox Factory suspension and dropper seatpost, and Specialized/Diety cockpit.

Is the turbo Levo worth the money? ›

Indeed the Levo offers some of the best handling and suspension we've experienced on an e-MTB, with a motor that is ludicrously smooth, quiet and intuitive on the trail. And no brand can touch Specialized when it comes to the slick MasterMind TCU display and the usability of its Mission Control app.

How fast can a specialized turbo Levo go? ›

They're capable of achieving top speeds of 45 Km/h while you pedal, so they'll deliver near superhuman power to any rider.

How far can you ride a turbo Levo? ›

The new Levo gets a big 700Wh battery which, Specialized claims, offers up to 5.5 hours of ride time, 43 miles of range, or 2,500 meters of elevation gain.

What size mountain bike do I need 6 2? ›

A 19” bike frame is typically rated as a large frame, appropriate for riders between 5'10 and 6'2”.

Where is specialized turbo Levo made? ›

We're located 9,400 km east of Specialized's headquarters in California to take an in-depth look at the development of the best eMTBs of 2018 and 2019. Welcome to Switzerland! More specifically, tranquil Cham where Specialized's ebike development centre is located and the birthplace of the Turbo Levo.

What's the difference between a Levo and an Kenevo? ›

While the Levo will essentially tow you up very steep climbs if you want it to, the Kenevo SL will not. You have to try harder than you would on a full-power ebike, but there's still more than enough power to motivate riders to attack climbs they'd typically avoid.

What motor is in a specialized Levo? ›

Specialized's 2.2 motor co-developed with Brose and 700Wh capacity provide the assistance and power, boasting 90Nm of torque and 565 peak watts.

How much torque does Turbo Levo have? ›

Levo delivers an unmatched combination of usable power and refined delivery, with 565 watts of peak power and 90 Nm of torque. This is the most powerful bike in its class.

Does Turbo Levo have walk mode? ›

Specialized's Turbo system in its Levo, Levo SL and Kenevo models offers four modes: Walk, Eco, Trail and Turbo. These modes are highly tunable via Specialized's Mission Control app. Within that app you can tune the percentage of support (assist), peak power output and acceleration response.

How long does it take to charge a turbo Levo? ›

How long will it take to charge? A full charge on any of our batteries will take anywhere from 3 to 5 hours.

How long does it take to charge a specialized ebike? ›

Depending on the battery's capacity and charger type, it can take 8-12 hours to charge a battery fully.

Is specialized ebike worth it? ›

One of the best ebikes I've ever reviewed. Relatively light weight at 36.9lbs including integrated lights, a rear rack, and custom designed tubular fenders with extra long rubberized flaps to keep your feet dry. Reasonably priced for outstanding motor and battery technology.

Is the specialized turbo Levo a trail bike? ›

We designed the Turbo Levo Comp to be a proper trail bike, first and foremost. It takes geo, kinematics, and design cues from our newest trail bikes, like the Stumpjumper, and adds industry-leading tech that gives you the power to ride more trails.

How much does a Levo cost? ›

About Levo-T

Generic levothyroxine is covered by most Medicare and insurance plans, but some pharmacy coupons or cash prices may be lower. The lowest GoodRx price for the most common version of generic Levo-T is around $1.76, 89% off the average retail price of $16.10. Compare thyroxines.

How do you remove the speed limiter on a electric bike? ›

It is usually found at the controller and normally comes as a single wire. Then, since it is attached to the connector, you can simply take it off. After removing the wire, your bicycle now lacks the e bike speed limit, and you are free to enjoy its full speed.

What is the fastest specialized electric bike? ›

The Specialized Turbo combines speed and style through an innovative electric-assist motor, advanced electronics, and sleek design. Capable of a top speed of 28 mph, the Turbo delivers superhuman power to anyone who rides it.

Is specialized a good bike brand? ›

Specialized is a respected bike company. You can find their bikes in outlets around the world. They're known for high build quality, as well as innovation, carbon frames, and state-of-the-art suspension technology. In short, Specialized has a reputation for quality within the biking community.

How long does it take to charge a specialized ebike? ›

How long will it take to charge? A full charge on any of our batteries will take anywhere from 3 to 5 hours.

Is there a range extender for Turbo Levo? ›

Our compact and discreet SL Range-Extender Battery provides up to 40 additional miles of mountain-flattening power to complement the up to 80 miles of range from the Turbo Levo SL's internal battery. More range, more riding. 160Wh capacity delivers up to one additional hour of riding.

Does Turbo Levo have walk mode? ›

Specialized's Turbo system in its Levo, Levo SL and Kenevo models offers four modes: Walk, Eco, Trail and Turbo. These modes are highly tunable via Specialized's Mission Control app. Within that app you can tune the percentage of support (assist), peak power output and acceleration response.

What is the range of the specialized Levo SL? ›

This Product
This Product Specialized Turbo Levo SL CompCommencal Meta Power TR Ride
Motor SystemSpecialized SL 1.1 (240W)Shimano EP8
Motor Power (torque)35Nm85Nm
Measured Weight (w/o pedals)41 lbs 10 oz (Large)(2lbs 6 oz - range extender battery)53 lbs 8 oz (Large)
Measured Effective Range13 miles26.1 miles
41 more rows
29 Jul 2022

Should I charge my ebike after every ride? ›


It is good practice to recharge as soon as is reasonably possible after the battery goes flat. We recommend charging after every ride, that way your electric bike is always ready for your next outing. Switch off the battery before charging. (If the battery has a switch on it).

Can I leave my ebike on charge overnight? ›

Yes, you can leave your electric bike battery charging overnight. There's no need to worry about overcharging or over-draining your e-bike battery.

How long do specialized e bikes last? ›

The bikes are built to last a lifetime, but the batteries typically run out of power after four and six years, said Chris Yu, chief product officer at Specialized.

Can you upgrade the turbo Levo battery? ›

Can you upgrade the first-generation Levo's with the new 700WH battery? No. The M2-series batteries have a completely different form factor since they were purposefully built for the all-new Turbo Levo. Therefore, the battery can't be used on the first generation Levo bikes.

How do I connect my specialized Range Extender to my bike? ›

How to Use the Range Extender
  1. First, power off your bicycle and the Range Extender (RE).
  2. Insert the end of the power cable with the rounded cover into the port on the RE.
  3. Insert the RE into the Zee bottle cage and secure it with the battery retainer band.
  4. Open the charge port and insert the RE plug.

How much does a specialized Levo SL weight? ›

At just 17.4 kg, the elegant carbon, top-of-the-range S-Works Turbo Levo SL is the lightest bike in our test. But the Levo SL isn't just light.
Cookie Expiry1 year
6 more rows
27 Apr 2021

How do you lock a specialized Levo? ›

To lock your bike:

Turn the bike on and connect to Mission Control, then tap the lock icon in the app. Tap "Lock" in the pop up menu. You have the option to enable the beeper alarm if you wish.

How much does a Levo cost? ›

About Levo-T

Generic levothyroxine is covered by most Medicare and insurance plans, but some pharmacy coupons or cash prices may be lower. The lowest GoodRx price for the most common version of generic Levo-T is around $1.76, 89% off the average retail price of $16.10. Compare thyroxines.

How much does a turbo Levo battery weigh? ›

Specialized Turbo Levo SL Expert Carbon Review

Uses a proprietary mid-drive motor and downtube-integrated battery pack that weigh under 8.3lbs combined.

What does SL mean specialized? ›

Specialized just released one of its most interesting electric bikes to date, the Como SL. The SL stands for “Super Light,” and Specialized is marketing it as an everyday commuter, perfect for zipping over to a friend's house, picking up some groceries, or, if you really need to, carrying up a few flights of stairs.

What's the difference between a Levo and an Kenevo? ›

While the Levo will essentially tow you up very steep climbs if you want it to, the Kenevo SL will not. You have to try harder than you would on a full-power ebike, but there's still more than enough power to motivate riders to attack climbs they'd typically avoid.

What motor is in a specialized Levo SL? ›

The Turbo Levo SL's 240-watt Specialized SL 1.1 motor doubles your effort with a smooth and natural feel at the pedals.


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