The Specialized Turbo Levo Comp 2020 is an aggressive eMTB that builds on the advanced eMTB design of the 2019 model — with just a few tweaks. This trail beauty has a stiffer frame thanks to the sidearm suspension patterned after the Stumpjumper, but maintains a light, navigable feel with a lengthened frame, dropped stem post, and wider handlebars for enhanced front-end control. The low center of gravity keeps it nimble during a swift descent. Don’t shy away from those hills because going up — or coming down — the Levo Comp offers an aggressive, heart-pumping ride.
Bike Category: Class 1: Pedal assist to 20mph
Who It’s For: Aggressive (and affluent) eMTB riders looking for all the specs on a firm, supportive bike suited for rocky hills, hasty descents, and all the technical terrain.
- CHAIN KMC X11ET, 11-speed w/ Missing Link™
- CRANKSET Praxis, 2D cold-forged alloy, custom offset, 165mm
- SHIFT LEVERS SRAM S700, single-click lever
- CASSETTE SRAM PG-1130, 11-speed, 11-42t
- CHAINRINGS 32T, custom steel
- REAR DERAILLEUR SRAM GX, long cage, 11-speed
- REAR SHOCK RockShox Deluxe RT w/ custom air valve, 150mm of travel
- FRONT HUB Specialized, sealed cartridge bearings, 15x110mm thru-axle, 28h
- REAR HUB Specialized, sealed cartridge bearings, 12x148mm thru-axle, 28h
- INNER TUBES Standard, Presta valve
- SPOKES DT Swiss Industry
- RIMS Roval Traverse 29, 30mm inner width, tubeless ready
- FRONT TIRE Butcher, GRID casing, GRIPTON® compound, 29×2.6″
- REAR TIRE Butcher, GRID casing, GRIPTON® compound, 29×2.6″
- SADDLE Body Geometry Phenom Comp, hollow Cr-Mo rails, 143mm
- SEATPOST X-Fusion Manic, 34.9mm, 125mm of travel (Small),
150mm of travel (M/XL)
- STEM Specialized Trail, 3D-forged alloy, 4-bolt, 6-degree rise
- HANDLEBARS Specialized Trail, 6061 alloy, 8-degree backsweep,
6-degree upsweep, 27mm rise, 780mm, 31.8mm clamp
- GRIPS Specialized Si p grip, half-waffle
- FRONT BRAKE SRAM Guide RE, 4-piston caliper, hydraulic disc, 200mm
- REAR BRAKE SRAM Guide RE, 4-piston caliper, hydraulic disc, 200mm
- PEDALS Specialized Dirt
- SEAT BINDER Specialized bolt-type, alloy, 38.6mm
- FORK RockShox Revelation Charger RC, 29″ Boost™, 150mm of travel
- FRAME Specialized M5 Premium Aluminum, 29 Trail Geometry, integrated
down tube battery, enclosed internal cable, 148mm spacing, fully
sealed cartridge bearings, 150mm of travel
- UI/REMOTE Specialized TCU, 10-LED state of charge, 3-LED Ride Mode
display, ANT+/Bluetooth®, handlebar remote with walk-assist
- BATTERY Turbo M2-500, fully integrated w/ rock guard, 700Wh
- CHARGER Custom charger, 42V4A w/ Rosenberger plug
- MOTOR Specialized 2.1, custom Rx Trail-tuned motor, 250W nominal
- WIRING HARNESS Custom Specialized wiring harness
- Tight and zippy suspension makes it easy to attack those uphills without getting bogged down in too much slack
- The single chainring and rear derailleur keep the chain in line, so you won’t get any cross-chaining. This drivetrain is simple and clean but still offers plenty of gearage for trails.
- The Levo Comp isn’t shy. Extended reach, lowered center of gravity, tighter suspension, and dropped handlebars provide frame stability while the 2.6” wide, 29” Butcher tires keep the bike aggressive and nimble.
- The upgraded Levo frame with integrated battery and mid-drive Brose motor retains the styling of its non-electric MTB cousins. This bike handles like a traditional mountain bike so you’ll be hard pressed to tell it apart from the Stumpjumper — until you kill it on the uphill.
- The shortened 165mm Praxis crank keeps the chain up away from rock strikes while the motor assist offsets any reduced pedal efficiency.
- A low-profile assist control on the left handlebar makes it easy to toggle through modes at any point on the trail.
- A 700Wh battery offers good range and you can recharge right on the bike, since battery removal is a bit of a chore.
- Single gear shifter is a little slow, but it prevents chain damage from dropping gears too quickly
- Digital display on the top tube is overly simplified and lacks key features (such as a handlebar display), so you have to look at top tube to see your level of assist. Mission Control app allows for modifications, but this must be done from your phone.
- The battery is difficult to remove. You basically have to invert the bike and then slide it out.
- Specialized TCU Display, 10-LED state of charge, 3-LED Ride Mode display
The 2020 model moves the battery/assist display from the side to the top of the top downtube for better visibility, which is a huge improvement.
- Turbo M2-500 Battery, fully integrated w/ rock guard, 500Wh
Also upgraded in 2020, the 700Wh battery has a longer range and sits snugly tucked in the downtube for protection.
- Custom charger, 42V4A w/ Rosenberger plug
A port at the base of the downtube pops open and shut for charging. The port location is not super convenient, may be susceptible to debris and impact, and suffers a little pedal encroachment when open, but charging is quick and quiet.
- MOTOR: Specialized 2.1, custom Rx Trail-tuned motor, 250W nominal
Another upgrade, this Brose motor is smaller, lighter, but more powerful than last year’s model.
- KMC X11ET Chain, 11-speed w/ Missing Link, Rubber Slap Guard on the chain stay
Missing link chain tech keeps the chain tight and adjustable to prevent slapping or rock strikes. A textured rubber slap guard on the chainstay protects both the chain and guard from inevitable impact.
- SRAM cassette 11-speed, 11-42t and SRAM GX rear derailleur, long cage, 11-speed
The 1×11 drivetrain keeps things simple and clean with plenty of gears for uphill terrain and downhill speed.
- RockShox rear shock w/ custom air valve, and Revelation front fork both offer 150mm of travel
Customize the travel per your riding and weight with adjustable air shocks on front and rear.
- SRAM Guide RE brakes, 4-piston caliper, hydraulic disc, 200mm
The SRAM discs are respectable, although this is one area we could use a bit more responsiveness
- Specialized M5 Aluminum Frame is sturdy and features a sidearm suspension similar to the Stumpjumper
The sidearm design keeps the frame stiffer for more power and control, with 150mm of suspension in the front triangle.
Our Video Review
As outlined above, the 2020 frame has been tweaked for enhanced handling and agility. The lengthened reach and dropped stem post enhance rider control, so there’s no heaviness in the downstroke or softness underfoot. The frame is stiff enough to be supportive, but nimble enough to climb and descend with confidence. Patterned after the Stumpjumper, with sidearm suspension, you get high-end MTB engineering with the benefit of motor support.
Motor & Battery
The Specialized Levo Comp is a Class 1 bike with up to 20mph pedal assist.
Specialized upgraded the 2020 motor to a 2.1, Brose S MAG (magnesium); with 90Nm of torque, 700W power output, and up to 120rpm cadence support. This mid-drive motor is lighter and more powerful than the 2019 model which translates into noticeably more power and additional assist settings (shuttle). The 700Wh battery adds 40% more range to the 2020 model for approximately 30-80 miles (depending on level of assist). The battery is snugly housed inside the downtube which is very inconspicuous — you can barely tell it’s there. However, the charging port is under the frame, at the bottom of the downtube — which is not our favorite location. Plugging in is a little awkward and the pedal strikes the cover when it’s open. The port does have a rubber cover for protection, but this is still a pretty precarious location on a mountain bike. It is also difficult to remove the battery. In order to do so you have to either lift the bike up and slide the battery out of the downtube — or invert the bike and work it out upside down. While it’s snug and low-profile, the battery is difficult to get in and out.
Class 2 Bike: Throttle on Demand to 20mph
The TCU display is a Turbo Connect Unit mounted on the top of the top tube. The display is one element we don’t really love; it is a bit primitive with only lights to indicate battery power and assist level. A round light lets you know if you are in: Eco, Trail or Turbo mode and 10 light-bars indicated battery life. All other modifications must be made in the Mission Control app.
Power assist levels include:
- Walk-assist mode (<3.7mph)
- Eco mode (25%)
- Trail mode (50%)
- Turbo mode (Strong assist 100%; high cadence)
- Shuttle mode (More torque at lower RPM; 100% assist drains battery fast)
- Stealth mode (Turns off the display lights)
Both Shuttle and Stealth modes must be accessed in Specialized’s Mission Control app via a personal cell phone. Shuttle mode increases torque at a lower rpm for maximum climbing power — but it will quickly drain the battery. Stealth mode turns off the display lights so you can blend in with your non-ebike compadres and not have the blue lights betray you. The three basic Assist modes (Eco, Trail, Turbo) can be adjusted by touching the TCU display or controls on the left handlebar. Whenever you power your bike, it begins in Trail mode.
The low-profile handlebar control is just a +/- button, but it doesn’t tell you what assist you are using (you have to look at the top tube for that). While it is an easy reach and the quick up/down assist is helpful when riding a rocky ascent, we would like to see a better display set up on the Levo.
The Levo Comp is spry and rugged. It takes hills easily and has a nice feel on descent. You do feel the extra weight from the battery/motor in the frame a bit when rock hopping, since it’s harder to lift the bike via body strength alone. However, the 29” tires lower the attack angle for better traction and the elongated reach enhances stability.
- Downhill – The Levo Comp utilizes Specialized’s 29 Trail geometry with a slightly longer reach and dropped head tube. The lowered center of gravity and mid-drive motor/battery weight keep the Levo stable with plenty of reach so you can drop your hips back for maximum leverage. Downhills come quick and fast and the Levo responds well with responsive front end suspension and easy pivoting. You can confidently navigate rugged downhill terrain with turns and jumps throughout. Specialized has fine-tuned the Levo for excellent downhill performance.
- Climbing – The bane of many eMTB riders’ experience is climbing a steep uphill on a heavy e-bike. Even with motor assist, sometimes uphill climbs can be daunting on a 50lb bike. The Levo makes good use of its weight and the upgraded Brose motor is not only powerful, it is smooth and quiet. Specialized eliminated the motor cut-out feature, so you don’t suddenly feel it cut-out mid-stroke. The upgraded motor makes a big difference and the 11-speed drivetrain gives riders plenty of gearage for steep ascents. Here again the extended reach makes a difference, holding the center of gravity stable so riders can position forward or aft along the top tube without toppling forward or lifting the front end. The grippy front Butcher 2.6” tire eats up the trail and the convenient low-profile assist control on the left handlebar is quick to add or lower motor power as needed. The 2.3” wide rear Eliminator keeps the Levo nimble. Suddenly, uphills are a fun challenge on the Levo.
- Terrain – The Levo tackles all different kinds of terrain with ease — in fact, this is what makes it such a great all-around bike. Whether you are doing some easy rolling hills, climbing up and over slick boulders, or dodging sharp technical corners and rugged rocks, the Levo is confident and responsive. The bike absorbs much of the impact from small to mid-size rocks and boulders. You can feel the Levo bounce and adjust underneath you while the side-arm suspension holds the frame stable and widened handlebars add more side-to-side control. The Levo attacks most terrain with enthusiasm so you can confidently tackle more technical track.
Like other MTB bikes, the Levo uses a single chainring in the front with an 11-speed, 42t cassette in the rear. Crank size has been trimmed to 165mm rather than the typical 170mm so you reduce the chance of rock strikes. This is still plenty of gearage for most trail terrain and the motor supports any reduced pedal efficiency. The SRAM GX rear derailleur and Missing Link chain keeps things tight and in line through the drivetrain. A SRAM S700 single-click lever on the right handlebar takes a minute to get used to, but it does keep the chain in line and reduces shifting tension.
Brakes are SRAM 4-piston hydraulic 200mm discs on both front and rear. This braking system was adequate on the Levo. Since it is powered, the extra rotor circumference helps a lot here. Many users have reported upgrading the braking system as needed, but we found the Guide RE system to be responsive and provided ample stopping power.
150mm suspension on both side-arm shock and front fork provides needed travel for impact absorption. The Levo Comp is designed to take hills and descents with vigor, so the suspension helps mitigate how much of that rattles the rider. We love the combination of the side-arm rear suspension with a stiffer frame. The bike feels sturdy beneath while the suspension and wide tires help you move forward with comfort. The Manic dropper post has an easy-reach trigger on the left handlebar to quickly drop or lift the saddle.
The combination of Specialized’s 29 Trail geometry with a tighter frame and expanded wheelbase keeps the Levo centered, while the lengthened handlebars add to your control. These features help you easily navigate any type of terrain so both rider and bike are ready for whatever comes.
Specialized must assume most riders will swap these pedals out with whatever pedal/cleat each prefers. Stock pedals are flat dirt pedals that will nicely accommodate any athletic shoe, but aren’t going to hold your foot in position for any amount of time.
Grips and Saddle
Specialized Sip-Grip half-waffle grips are good sized and span the extended handlebars comfortably. The saddle is a Body Geometry Phenom Comp which is surprisingly comfortable for an MTB bike.
Wheels and Tires
The Levo Comp features 29″ Roval Traverse wheels with a 30mm internal rim width. The Levo Comp has a 2.6″ wide Specialized Butcher on the front and 2.3” Eliminator rear tire with the Grid and BLCK DMND casing. Both tires give you more clearance between small crevices and boulders. The grippy front tires claw at the trail and the back tires follow stealthily behind without feeling sluggish or heavy on the back end.
The Levo Comp makes room for a side-loading water bottle cage in between the downtube and side-arm post. This is a great feature on a mountain bike especially if you’re just going for a quick ride. You could also add a tool kit or bike pump mount here for convenience as well.
The Specialized Turbo Levo Comp is a top-of-the-line eMTB with upgrades throughout. We could use slightly more powerful brakes and we’re not in love with the TCU display, but functionally, the Levo Comp can’t be outplayed. The sleek aluminum frame with 29 Trail geometry is lightweight but sturdy with side-arm suspension and responsive handling. Just like it’s non motorized cousin, the Stumpjumper, this bike has rugged geometry and matching components that eat up the trails. There are several frame sizes (S,M,L,XL) and models for the Levo, with multiple color combinations for each configuration. The base Turbo Levo model comes in around $5000, while the Turbo Levo Comp is $6000 and Turbo Levo Carbon hovers around $8300. The S-Works version peaks at just over $12,000. Regardless of which Levo you choose, this is a high-end eMTB with premier engineering and upgraded specs.