two minute review
The Specialized Levo SL Expert Carbon electric mountain bike will make a lot of sense if you’re serious about getting off the trail. As you’ll see when looking at any of the other best e-bike models on the market, there’s something to suit any kind of cycling interest.
But if you’re determined to get out on the sticks, the Specialized Levo SL Expert Carbon ticks all the right boxes.
This is an electric mountain bike that is light yet strong. It has great gearing and is suitable for all types of terrain, but there is also a battery and an electric motor. The design is impressive but practical.
Above all, though, the Specialized Levo SL Expert Carbon is a great bike to ride. While it was primarily designed for trail mountain biking and all that comes with off-road fun, this is a bike that works for the road too.
Specialized Levo SL Expert Carbon: Price and release date
The Specialized Levo SL Expert Carbon is now available and is just one of several variations of the theme available directly from Specialized. The company has been quite smart in designing a range of electric mountain bikes that can be adapted to different types of riders as well as specific budgets.
At the time of this writing, the Specialized Levo SL Expert Carbon is also on offer, and this bike manufacturer regularly offers similar discount offers for different markets. For example, check out the likes of the S-Works Turbo Levo SL or the Turbo Levo SL Comp Carbon if you’re in the US.
Specialized Levo SL Expert Carbon: Design
- Take in 18kgs
- comfortable to ride
- Great frame and wheel engineering
Project score: 4/5
Specialized considers the Specialized Levo SL Expert Carbon to be a new lightweight generation of e-MTB and it is certainly distinctive. It’s also very light at just under 18kg/40lbs, as you’ll soon find out if you need to lift it. Much of that is down to the full carbon frame, which is mated to many quality components, including suspension from racing specialists Fox and a superior SRAM Eagle X01 drivetrain.
In fact, SRAM components appear elsewhere as well, with the hydraulic brake discs not only looking fantastic, but working to great effect, just as you’d expect. The wheels are another highlight, which has clearly been beautifully assembled and feels sturdy enough to survive the rigors of everyday ruts, potholes, tree trunks or rocks. The Butcher front tire and Eliminator rubber at the rear provide good grip on loose terrain, although less well on hard, wet surfaces.
The Specialized Levo SL Expert Carbon is designed for performance, but it’s also comfortable to ride, especially for long days out. These Specialized Trail aluminum handlebars feature an 8 degree backsweep with a 6 degree upsweep. The handles feel fabulous in your hands, while the Bridge Comp saddle is deceptively comfortable, even if you don’t spend a lot of time sitting in it.
Specialized Levo SL Expert Carbon: Performance
- Low weight makes a real difference
- Excellent gear shifting thanks to the transmission system
- Engine well incorporated into the experience
Performance Score: 4/5
The Specialized Levo SL Expert Carbon is a bike that is more than ready to be tested. Central to the appeal for many will be the ability of the 150mm front and rear suspension, which is made even more effective thanks to Fox’s 36 Performance Elite fork and DPX2 shock combination. Specialized considers the bike to be easily comparable to Stumpjumper models and is incredibly agile.
This brings us back to the lightweight aspect as well. Even if you have the SL 1.1 engine and a battery on board, the e-MTB doesn’t feel heavy at all. It’s actually better off-road than on the Tarmac. As you’d expect, the knobby tires perform brilliantly on trails and in mud. They inspire less confidence on hard surfaces, particularly cornering. Better stay in the mud then!
We also got along well with the 12-speed SRAM Eagle X01 powertrain. The setup is excellent and offers a full range of gear options, especially when the going gets tough. Perhaps the most appealing aspect of this, and the bike as a whole, is that purists who aren’t immediately drawn to using electric power can enjoy their time on this bike by riding it unassisted.
Tap into what the battery and motor have to offer and you’ll find it’s seamless, pretty quiet and wonderfully useful when the day is done and you just want to get back to base. Offers assistance up to 20 mph.
Specialized Levo SL Expert Carbon: Battery Life
- Offers a full day of riding
- Battery life can be extended via economical driving information in the app
- Range extender option available
Battery life score: 4/5
The battery on the bike we tested featured the Specialized SL1-320, 320Wh power pack, which proved more than capable of handling the chaos of a full day on the stick. You turn it on as you would most other bikes in the range, simply by pressing a button on the frame.
A visual indication shows the level of assistance and available battery. Heavy use causes the indicator to go down over time, but leave the house on a full charge and you’ll still have energy at the end of an average cycling day.
Specialized also offers a range extender option for the Specialized Levo SL Expert Carbon, which is worth considering if you’re a hardcore rider who will likely be gone for more days than a few. However, Specialized’s Mission Control App is also worth delving into, which can be used to effectively manage battery power and get the best out of this rugged motor.
Specialized Levo SL Expert Carbon: value for money
- High price represents performance
- Built with first-rate parts
Value for money score: 4/5
When it comes to the best e-bikes, premium models like the Specialized Levo SL Expert Carbon model will always be pricey items. However, this is a well-respected brand, and for good reason. Choose your way around the e-bike and you will find many examples of quality components.
Beyond that is the design, which is clearly the end product of an experienced team that has been developing bikes for a long time. Even if you’re not a fan of premium price tags, it’s hard not to admit that the Specialized Levo SL Expert Carbon model represents good value for money. It should deliver many years of service as well.
Don’t buy if…
First review in July 2022