Specialized Kenevo – Runaway Truck

180mm emtb takes the Turbo Levo and moves things on

Three features make the Specialized Kenevo a killer bike. Silence, simplicity and the murdered out visual. This bike is deathly silent, indeed the noisiest part of the Kenevo is the person riding it. This is at odds with some ebikes, particularly older ones where the drone of the motor is ever present.

Controlling the motor’s power assist is a button about the size of a usb stick. Quite different then to many ebikes that have an ipad glued to the bar which are pretty sensitive little things. The Kenevo is a brute, it behaves like one and is built like one. The three modes can be accessed quickly and the delivery is fast. It doesn’t need to be complicated and I’m sure many will follow this system. Its about the mountain not the gizmos.

But that silence. Sorry but it was amazing. We were impressed with the Rocky Mountain Powerplay but is prone to getting mud in its motor drive and needs a good eye for maintenance. The Kenevo cuts through the woods with your adrenalin filled heart beat overpowering any sound from the motor. This is quite an advancement from the old Levo which we rode in Moab which huffed and puffed on occasion and didn’t like heat.

The gear shifting issue seems to have been tackled and now you can change up on a bank without as much problem as previous where careful cadence and power delivery had to be managed. There is a good range of gears and crucially the big front chainring is one that doesn’t clog with mud although we’ve seen a few brands tackling the mud issue on Bosch motors with neat chainguides.

So what’s the motor like to use? Eco is pretty mild and we found ourselves riding for much of the time in the middle setting, saving the max power to winch you up the super steep bits. As said many times its pointless having power without any grip and in this case the Butcher Grids are immense, the bike can can be wrestled up some pretty crazy shit. Overall the power use is pretty much as on all bikes where you only save the turbo for out of control situations.

Comparing the motor to others – for example Shimano, Bosch and Rocky – is a very difficult task to do. We’ve found that ebike power delivery depends on such things as cadence, rider weight and power, the technicality and gradient of the track and gear choice. In short it requires the rider to hit the sweet spot in the right place at the right time and can often be a lottery. But if you’re simply looking for the most powerful motor you’re reading the wrong website with the wrong mindset.

The bike is rigged out with all the pertinent kit, wide bar, short stem, Code brakes, 200mm rotors, coil Ohlins damper and …holy shit… I forgot to mention 180mm travel. The Kenevo is a LOT of bike. In many ways it’s a bike for sessioning downhill tracks than an all day adventure bike but have no fear we’ll be doing that as well on this beautiful bike.

In short the Kenevo is one covert bike. If you want to stand apart from the crowd don’t choose this bike because no one will hear you. Or catch you. This shit is getting serious.

PRICE: £5500


When we launched the Turbo Levo, one of the first things we heard was, “That’s cool, do you have one with more travel?” Yes. Yes, we do. The Kenevo came from a want to ride steeper, rougher, and gnarlier trails without loading up your buddy’s truck and spending more time driving up than riding. Based on our Enduro chassis, the Kenevo is meant for the rider who wants to consider shuttling a thing of the past. Equipped with a RockShox Lyrik fork, Öhlins coil suspension, SRAM Code brakes and dedicated 27.5 x 2.6″ tires, this bike takes everything you can throw at it and asks for more.


Shuttling, no matter where you are in the world, was at some point a necessary evil to get to “the goods,” but that’s no longer the case. Kenevo was built with this purpose in mind, steep and deep, with 180mm (front and rear) of bump- and chop-eating travel and a burly aluminum frame. With a slack 65-degree head angle, “steep” becomes a relative term, while the coil rear suspension leaves you grinning as you plow through damn near anything. The new Wu dropper post, meanwhile, makes climbing and descending even better than before. But let’s back up. What is the Wu you ask? It’s a dropper post that changes seat angle incrementally as it drops, giving you a setup more similar to a gravity bike at the bottom of its stroke.

With all this, the Kenevo quickly becomes a true rider’s e-MTB bike. And with no corners cut, the gravity-fed experience is purer than ever, so you can leave that truck in the driveway.


Integration was nearly as important for us as a brand as the ride characteristics. Having a sleek, seamlessly integrated e-mountain bike not only made a pretty package, but building our own ecosystem (not just taking off-the-shelf systems) is what truly allowed us to build a no- compromises trail bike.

New to the integrated motor and battery system is our Trail Remote. Tucked discreetly on your bars to keep a clean cockpit, it provides easily accessible access to change modes (eco, trail, turbo, and new walk-assist) without removing your hands from the bar. Smooth power delivery and silent operation also make the experience truly like you, only faster.

The new Turbo 1.3 motor comes equipped on ALL 2018 Kenevo models, no longer making you pick two or three upgrades. Instead, you get improved efficiency, better heat management, and more power—you get all three. The new motor also packs 15% more power through new magnets and an all-new electronic unit. Improved motor efficiency and better heat management come from two sources—hardware improvements and a new software update (which is retrofit table to current Levo bikes). The software does not only support motor and heat management efficiencies, thought, it balances your own power inputs to guarantee an even smoother assistance. Thermal pads in the motor, meanwhile, help balance heat distribution internally, while the thermal pad between the motor and frame rid the system of excess heat.


Power and big batteries are great and all, but you can still be caught out on the trail with a dead battery, right? Wrong. Our exclusive Mission Control App with its new Infinite Tune feature makes for a completely customizable tuning process. Downloadable from any app store (iOS and Android), the app gives you full control of your Turbo Levo. Each mode can be endlessly tuned in its assistance level and max motor current output, completely independent of one another. This is something that’s unrivaled in this space. But wait, there’s more: Inside the Mission Control app is the Smart Control feature, this monitors and adjusts battery and motor output based on rider and ride input parameters. Every 10 seconds it will adjust accordingly to make sure dead batteries only happen in your Walkman®. Now, more than ever, you can control every aspect of your e-MTB experience.

How about the battery? That trick integrated and easily removable battery is more than just a power source, it’s also the brains of the bike. It’s ANT+ and Bluetooth® compatible, and this means that the Trail Display on the battery isn’t the only place to get your information. We call this a modular handlebar concept, and it makes for a system that’s compatible with any ANT+ device on the market. So, whether your CPU is on your body or on your bike, it’s ready to display the level of information you’re looking for. Now, riders can choose what type of display they want, or if they even want one at all.



Kenevo was designed around 27.5″ x 2.6″ tires, but because of some generous frame clearance you can clear up to a 2.8″ (Specialized) tire. You can run smaller, of course, but you’ll have to be really aware of the ultra-low BB.


Yeah, Wu. It’s a name that some of the product team internally used to use jokingly about seat angles on DH bikes. It stuck when we developed this post.

So what does it actually do? As the Command Post Wu goes through its travel it incrementally changes seat angle (maxing out at 12°) to get out of the way of the rider (and their clothing) making getting off the back of the bike a bit easier.

How much drop does it have? The Wu Post has 150mm of drop (when measured off shoulders of the saddle)

Will it fit on other bikes? The Wu post won’t be available aftermarket until the fall of 2017 and it will only fit on bikes with a 34.9 seat tube.


More Power? The 15% increase in power comes from new neodymium magnets, new electronics, and a new dynamic river control unit. All of this increases current, which increases power.

Thermal Balance/Heat management? Let’s be honest, the previous motor could heat up and de-rate, which resulted in power loss. Aside from the entire system producing less overall heat, the new thermal pads, paired with the new motor software, ensure improved thermal balance within the motor. The pads inside the motor evenly distribute heat throughout the system, while the external pad simultaneously removes additional heat from the system.

More Efficient? Those hardware updates on the motor go along with an improved motor efficiency. The second, less obvious part of the efficiency equation is the software. The software update marries the hardware updates and optimizes the battery energy into motor power instead of heat production.

What about the rest of the bikes? The hardtail models of Turbo Levo also get a new motor, the Turbo 1.2. This motor features most (but not all) of the updates of the Turbo 1.3 motor, and it’s focused on efficiency, while still being more powerful than its predecessor.

It’s really quiet and smooth—how did you do that?

A key to the success of the motor is a belt-drive system that damps vibration and noise while transferring maximum power. No rattling or clacking here. The new software also played a huge part in power delivery, taking out the inefficiencies of riders (unequal power distribution through choppy pedal strokes) to deliver smooth, seamless power.


Tuning—you have a unique opportunity to tune all aspects of the motor output. You’re no longer limited to a max motor current that blankets all settings. It can be independently tuned using the Infinite Tune feature. You want a specific power output that adapts to your own output (no max current caps)? Easy. It’s not all about power and range, you can also tune how quickly the power comes on to work for your riding style.

Tracking—you can track your rides and upload immediately to 3rd party app suppliers. Riders have tracked nearly 3 million kilometers through the app so far, with 133,000 rides and counting.

Diagnostics—Mission Control can also help you to diagnose issues within the system. Turn the app and the bike on and get full visibility of system health. You can also download a system report and send it to your retailer to streamline the service process.

Smart Control—If you’re riding for 3 hours, 30 miles, or maybe both, the system will monitor and control the motor and battery based on your progress. It does this by adjusting outputs based on percentage of ride completed and rider inputs (power). It also works from a smart algorithm that came from thousands of testing hours and a consultation with two Swiss universities (so you know it’s good) that determined when and how to manage power.

Power Meter—All Turbo Levo bikes include a built-in power meter—how cool is that? You can either check your rider input live on your app, or on any paired ANT+ device, or you can geek out on all the stats after your ride on your 3rd party software.


The Turbo is compatible with ANT+ and Bluetooth® devices to make your cockpit customizable, and it can provide you with all the information you’d like to see, in a format you like. You can use just the trail remote to adjust modes and have a clean “traditional” mountain bike cockpit—you don’t need to add a thing. If you’re the type of rider who wants to analyze modes, current battery life, speed, distance, and rider input (wattage—remember that Turbo Levo bikes includes a power meter), you have that ability utilizing a display you may already own. There are no specific displays needed for this bike, so you’re not painted into a corner with a big and clunky display.

The variety of display options continues to grow, and companies like Garmin have partnered up for Levo-specific Connect IQ apps that easily display the fields on *existing displays, and now, even some wearable devices.

  • Garmin wearables – Fenix 5, Forerunner 935, and Vivosmart3
  • Garmin Edge 520, 820, and 1000
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