Today is the launch of a brand new and updated 2022 Specialized Turbo Levo e-MTB, it gets updated geometry, new motor features and that all new 'S' sizing too, plus it's a mullet only setup. Here are the seven most important updates as we move into the 2022 e-bike model year.
The Levo is Specializeds full fat e-bike, it was first introduced in 2015 where it has grown from being a great e-bike with some of the smoothest power delivery out there from the Specialized Brose motor to an e-bike topping the torque output charts, getting one of the largest batteries out there and now allowing you to alter geometry too, but we’ll get into that....
So, what do you need to know about the brand new Levo? Here are the 7 important updates that look ready to set the 2022 Levo apart from the crowd:
1. There is an updated Turbo Full Power System 2.2 motor
The updated motor gets three key things that new and old Levo owners will be keen to hear about. First there is a new stronger belt to make the motor more reliable and deal with any issues that the motor may have had in the past.
Secondly, the 2.2 motor gets new firmware which gives smoother delivery of power and optimises efficiency. In real-world terms riders will feel an even more natural feeling ride and it’ll reduce wear.
Lastly, there is a better water rated charging plug and cover. Specialized call this the ‘hatch’. It’s been updated to be more water-resistant, preventing water from getting inside with the use of double seals.
2. There is a new Master Mind control unit
Essentially this is a small computer integrated into the top tube of the Levo. As well as displaying your battery and power levels the computer also gives a load of bike ride data from distance to elevations, range and even connect to heart rate monitors. Plus it connects with the Misson Control App to allow you to tune the power and support levels of your bike on the fly.
3. There’s a new way to pick your bike size
The new bike gets that ‘S’ sizing we’ve been going on about on other bikes like the new Status and the Enduro. The S sizing does away with calling bikes small, medium, large and so on and instead allows riders to choose between the size of S1 to S6. This is basically XS to XXL but it aims to stop riders pigeonholing themselves into being a “medium bike rider” and rather choose a bike because they like the way it rides. For example, if you are 5 foot 8 and like a long bike then choose and S4, if you are 5 foot 8 and like something a bit more nimble with a shorter wheelbase and reach, then choose an S3. It probably means you are going to have to take a good long look at the geometry chart you’re your current bike and decide what it is you like to ride, or alternatively get on one of these for a demo ride as soon as COVID allows.
4. 2022 sees new geometry
I’ve ridden the 2021 Levo a fair bit and always thought the geometry was a bit conservative. The 2022 Levo has been totally redesigned giving it a slacker head angle at 64.5 degrees, a steeper seat angle at 76 degrees, shorter chainstays at 442mm and longer reaches across the board. This bike is the S3 and it gets a reach of 452mm, a wheelbase of 1225mm. Take into account the six sizes in the range with reach figures starting at 412mm and heading all the way up to a massive 532mm, there should be a bike to fit literally everyone.
You can alter the geometry too, like the new Stumpjumper EVO, there is a flip chip at the bottom bracket that allows you to alter the height of the bottom bracket and chainstay length and there are cups in the headset which alter the head angle through three different positions. These can be altered independently to give a wider range of options.
5. It's a Mullet setup only
This bike is mullet only and no, you can’t put a 29er rear wheel in it. The bike has been designed around using a 29er front wheel and a 650B rear wheel. I’ve ridden a few mullet set up recently and I think it makes perfect sense on both normal bikes ad e-bikes. The big front wheel rolls over bumps and provides loads of traction whilst the smaller rear wheel allows the rider to pump the bike more easily and also helps the bike lean into corners making it feel more nimble and easier to move around.
6. The new Levo gets a longer fork
The 2022 Levo gets 150mm of rear suspension paired with a 160mm fork on all bikes aside from the smallest S1 bikes, they stay as 150mm up front. Never fear though, head angle stays the same across all sizes.
7. New suspension leverage rate
Based on the Stumpjumper EVO the new Levo gets a more progressive leverage rate. Specialized say they have aimed to give this bike small bump compliance as well as midstroke support and a ramp up at the end of the travel. They say their RX shock tune does this as well as making the bike feel like it has more than its 150mm of travel. I’ve not ridden this bike yet, so it’ll be fun to see what they have achieved!
What are the good things stay the same this year?
We’ve mentioned Mission Control already but it’s still here on this bike and gives riders a great amount of control over how your motor feels, how the battery is used and how you allow the power to be delivered. You can also update the bike through the app rather than having to take it to a retailer.
There is still a 700wh battery – one of the biggest capacity batteries out there – go faster for longer – simple, eh?!
The bike it still just as torquey with 90Nm of torque and 565watts from the motor. 90Nm is high for an e-bike – you’ll feel it on the trail in comparison to other e-bikes you might've demo'd.
New spec and colourway options are all available to be seen on Specialized website as of today. The 2022 Levo will be launched in three specs of SWORKS for £13,000, PRO for £10,750 and EXPERT at £8,500. Plus, interestingly, it comes as frame only for £6,500, something we reckon is going to be super popular.
We’ll have a review of this bike up on the site in the near future, keep an eye out for a video first look too.
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