We like the Specialized Levo SL because:
- it is light and nimble
- it has a configurable, almost unlimited range with modular batteries.
- it is discrete and doesn’t look like an ebike
- power delivery is configurable and smooth
- virtually no drag when motor is off
So in this episode, we modified a Levo SL and did not stop until we arrived at a bike with under 32 lbs with pedals and a dropper post. Mind you, this is a proof of concept project to demonstrate what is achievable today, in 2020 with a lightweight emtb. We rode on three good rides, climbing over 3000 feet each time in about two hours with a single waterbottle battery they call the Range Extender. With a couple extra batteries in our pack, we could go on some big, interesting rides.
We did go light with the tires and lack of remotes but the ride was not compromised for the existing Norcal trail conditions. Of course we could have gone much lighter with no dropper post, ti pedals, single piston brakes, ultralight suspension fork. But we’re happy with how the project turned out as it showcases what is possible today with current technology.
How to make the Levo SL even lighter
In box stock form, the Levo SL, even the S-Works, is not a whittled down ultralight bike with every ounce shaved off at the factory. It is actually a beefy build and there are opportunities to save significant weight. There is a rumor-ed sub 34 lb Levo SL in the Specialized headquarters where they got the weight tuners to shave ounces off the bike. Here are some of the components that might provide the biggest weight savings when replaced.
- Wheels – 1800 gram Roval Traverse wheels
- Burly Butcher Grid Trail Tires. These are around 1200 grams each.
- Brakes 4 piston Sram with big rotors
- Claimed weight is in size large with inner tubes
- Removing multitool and remotes
Specialized Levo SL Highlights
- Much lighter than the standard Levo
- Less power, smaller batteries
- Smaller, more efficient motor
- 150mm of front and rear suspension
- Five models range in price from $6,525 to $16,525
- Available now
Getting the same range from a smaller battery
Early experience so far is the Levo SL’s 460wh battery delivers about the same distance and climbing range as the Levo’s 700wh? Smoke in mirrors or is this actually true? From our six rides on this bike, this is actually true. But of course, the experience is not identical and here is where the extra range comes from, given a smaller battery.
- The Levo SL contributes a max of 240 watts instead of 565 at any given time.
- The bike is up to 8 lbs lighter.
- Less drag on this motor allows more contribution from the rider.
- Motor is more efficient and runs cooler.
- Software expects a lot from the rider.
- Wants around 110 watts before it delivers full power.
- Full torque is not delivered at low RPMs.
- Need to shift and spin at a higher pedaling cadence.
- No shuttle mode.
Comp Carbon ($7,525)
The Founder’s Edition ($16,525)
For a comprehensive FAQ about the Levo SL check here.
For more information, visit: Specialized.com