This Turbo Levo FSR is a Stumpjumper plain and simple, and as such carries with it the excellent geometry, suspension and detail that make the non-electric version such an iconic bike.

Of all the e-bikes we’ve tested over the last year the Specialized Turbo Levo FSR Expert 6 Fattie is the cleanest and slickest looking. It’s the e-bike that upsets fewer people both through its looks and, as we were to find out, its silence. On a training run on the flat we found one rider’s free hub noisier than the Levo, until the ground rises steeply at which point the Levo begins to wheeze.

With a shorter chainstay length than most e-mtb’s, the Levo is already in a unique position – although some get close. We feel the aluminium version of the Levo may be the way to go for some, as its clean lines are so similar to the carbon bike and the weight difference is marginal.

Our test bike had 10-42T Sram GX gearing and we’d like to get it clad with the EX1 gearing that the 10-48T equipped Trek Powerfly has. The Brose motor is a custom version for Specialized and is said to knock out a bit more torque than the Bosch and Yamaha units but as we found out its not simply a case of numbers but how the power is transferred into the ride. This bike has a 504Wh battery compared to the smaller 460Wh version on the less expensive bikes.

‘With a low down, low speed grunt the Levo can rock climb you out of trouble’

A big difference on the Levo is the lack of bar mounted displays, which, as we’ve found out can be expensive and vulnerable to damage. This bike is clean, simple and fuss free .We like this method although switching between power modes on the side of the battery isn’t as straightforward as the bar mounted system, which Specialized now offer as an option. The Mission control app allows for mapping but also lets you to plan and deliver the right amount of power for the mix of descending and climbing that you’ll be doing during the ride.

How does it ride? With a low down, low speed grunt the Levo can rock climb you out of trouble, it’ll hold the wheel aloft even when you’ve mounted a big slab of rock. Where the Bosch drops the front end the Brose keeps you high. On the slower arm wrestling climbs the Brose requires less momentum to get you upwards but the rider weighting and position becomes more critical. The Levo power can often surge after you stop spinning the cranks but where the motor has been alerted, which can take getting used to. Ultimately the Brose begins to wheeze on tougher, longer climbs, and the heart rate often climbs into higher zones than the Bosch. The Levo FSR is a better bike for slow speed trials style obstacles but a lesser one for extended technical climbs. It can take a different approach after riding a Bosch equipped bike but you soon adapt.

The Plus size tyres have a slightly stronger sidewall than the Bontrager rubber on the Trek Powerfly but we’re quite certain there’s more to come in terms of tyre development for e-mtb’s. Faultless Specialized damping, a silent ride in anything up to steep, trials like terrain and a bike that people don’t even look twice at, simply believing you are a super fit rider.


The Turbo Levo FSR has a few quirks but we love it nonetheless, and its shortcomings will surely be updated. It’s a case of learning how to ride it, for the geometry and silence is superb.

[monetizer101 search=’Specialized Turbo Levo FSR Expert 6Fattie’]


Selected for Dirt 100 2017

View the full 100
Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.