E Bikes Reviewed

Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo SL II eBike review: A trail blazer in its class

The highly anticipated Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo SL II eBike is a trail-focused electric mountain bike that has received a significant update, making it even more appealing to those looking for a versatile and high-performing ride.

Design and Frame: A Lightweight Carbon Masterpiece

The Turbo Levo SL II’s carbon frame is constructed using Specialized’s Fact 11M carbon. The company employed machine learning and Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to influence the frame’s shape, material usage, and overall design. This attention to detail has resulted in a lightweight yet sturdy frame that caters to riders of all sizes.

One of the most notable changes in the frame design is the absence of the sidearm strut, which has been synonymous with Specialized’s trail bikes. This bold move was made to save weight as the frames have grown larger, but the stiffness remains similar to the previous models. The internal cable routing and extensive chain-slap protection features on the chainstay make for a clean and neat appearance.

Suspension: Smooth and Responsive

The Turbo Levo SL II boasts 150mm of rear-wheel travel, achieved through Specialized’s Horst-link FSR suspension system. The redesigned leverage rate works to improve small-bump efficiency and mid-stroke sensitivity. This results in a more comfortable and responsive ride, especially when tackling rough terrain.

The rear shock has been custom-tuned to match the leverage rate, with compression damping that aids in bottom-out resistance while maintaining suppleness for smaller hits. Specialized has also reduced the rebound damping, allowing for quicker shock recovery.

Motor and Battery: More Power, Same Size

With its new Turbo SL 1.2 motor, the Turbo Levo SL II offers an increase in power from its predecessor, boasting 320W and 50Nm of torque. Despite the bump in power, the 320Wh battery capacity remains unchanged. However, the new bike is compatible with a 160Wh range extender, providing additional assistance when needed.

The MasterMind TCU display on the Turbo Levo SL II is customizable via the Mission Control smartphone app. With three standard riding modes (Eco, Trail, Turbo) and the MicroTune feature – which allows for adjustments in 10% increments – you’ll have complete control over your assistance levels.

Geometry: Adaptable and Versatile

The Turbo Levo SL II adopts Specialized’s S-Sizing, offering six sizes ranging from S1 to S6. With reach figures that grow across the sizes, riders of any height can choose a size that suits their riding style. The effective seat tube angle is around 76 degrees across the sizes, while top tubes range from 560mm up to 691mm.

The Levo SL II offers three points of adjustment, including angle-adjusting headset cups, an offset bushing on the shock eyelet, and a flip chip at the Horst-link pivot. This level of adaptability allows riders to fine-tune their eBike’s geometry for trail-focused riding or more aggressive enduro-style terrains.

Specifications: Top-of-the-Line Components

The S-Works Turbo Levo SL II comes decked out in top-spec components, befitting its £13,000 price tag. The bike features a Fox Factory 36 fork matched with a Float X factory rear shock, SRAM’s Code Ultimate Stealth brakes with 200mm rotors, and the latest XX Eagle Transmission and Reverb AXS dropper post with 170mm of travel.

The bike’s carbon fiber rims are supplied by Specialized’s own brand, Roval, and come wrapped in Specialized’s own-brand tires. The bike is also fitted with Roval Traverse SL handlebars, a Specialized Bridge saddle, and a Deity stem and grips. The size-four test bike without pedals weighs 17.69kg.

Riding Impressions: Climbing and Descending Performance

To thoroughly test the Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo SL II, I spent several days riding on a wide variety of terrain types in Scotland’s Tweed Valley, a location known for its challenging enduro and XC trails. I experienced a range of conditions, from wet and muddy to springtime dust, allowing me to gauge the bike’s performance across different terrains.

Climbing Performance: Balanced and Efficient

On climbs, the Turbo Levo SL II’s balanced feel shines through, providing an efficient and comfortable experience. The supportive rear suspension helps maintain traction on steep gradients while the bike’s geometry keeps it agile and responsive.

The Turbo SL 1.2 motor’s increased power and torque make tackling uphill sections a breeze, and I found myself able to climb efficiently even in Eco mode. The battery life was impressive, allowing for hours of riding without needing a recharge.

Descending Performance: Confidence-Boosting Control

When descending, the Turbo Levo SL II’s balanced feel and precise handling instill confidence, allowing for quick and controlled descents. The front and rear suspension systems work together to provide excellent grip and stability while the bike’s geometry keeps it agile and responsive.

The Turbo Levo SL II truly excels when tackling technical sections of trail, offering a level of control that allows riders to push their limits and conquer challenging terrain.

The Verdict: A Trail-Focused eBike Masterpiece

The Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo SL II has undoubtedly raised the bar for trail-focused eBikes. With its lightweight frame, efficient motor, customizable geometry, and top-of-the-line components, this eBike offers a versatile and high-performing ride that can tackle a wide range of terrains.

Whether you’re an experienced rider looking for a new trail companion or someone new to the world of eBikes, the Turbo Levo SL II is an investment worth considering. Its impressive performance, adaptability, and quality components make it a trail-focused eBike that’s hard to beat.

Image by Dieter Stehle from Pixabay

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Richard Alvin

Managing Editor of EV Powered who has a passion for electric converted classic cars - currently converting Lottie the Landy a 1965 Series II ex RAF Land Rover to electric power and the person responsible for two wheel reviews at EV Powered.