E-bike or regular - An E-asy Choice
Electric bikes have been subject to ambivalence for about as long as they’ve existed. They came onto the scene in the 1990s as city bikes with wacky designs that were far removed from traditional bikes. Diehard cyclists left them to it for a while, content for city slickers and recreational riders to carry on with their faux-Dutch motorised bicycles, meanwhile continuing to bomb around the countryside on regular mountain and road bikes.
However, the first E-bike successfully impregnated the cycling industry and their powerful genes have led to surprising outcomes. On mainland Europe, the acceleration of E-bike sales has exceeded all other cycling products in recent years. While the bikes in question have largely been considered commuter fare, the technology is making its way steadily onto the MTB trails and weekend club rides. At first a huge hit with the older and less fit riders while enthusiasts passed them off as cheating, we’re starting to see an interest in E-bikes even in the higher echelons of our sport. Now, there’s really no reason to choose a regular bike over an E-bike.
E-bikes have been identified as a tool which can help even the most expert rider to cover more ground with each ride. If you are an amateur mountain biker who wants to enjoy everything that the trails have to offer with a sense of adventure and no desire to race, you should consider the Turbo Levo in place of any more traditional trail bike.
The Specialized Turbo Levo FSR range feature Premium M5 aluminium frames and the same motor units across all models, although the S-Works model has an upgraded battery. They are all equipped with SRAM 1x11 drivetrains and Guide 4-piston brakes. The Turbo Levo range offers three assist settings, controlled by LED-stripped buttons on the down tube: Turbo, Trail and Eco. Clicking through the options allow the rider to tailor the power assist depending on the sort of ride you’re after. If you want a heavy workout with limited power assist, the Eco setting is the one you’re after. If you need the help up short climbs on a shot and intense ride, go for Turbo for an unparalleled ride experience.
Even the most vehement opponents of E-bikes could not deny that the addition of an e-assist motor aboard a MTB has the very real advantage of making more obstacles ridable for longer. Specilized’s own Sean Estes says of riding an eMTB, especially on your familiar local trails, is “like fast forwarding through the commercials.” Gone are the days of tedious uplifts and fatigued calves. A Turbo Levo extends your riding potential, the terrain accessible and provides endless fun (within battery life).
Contrary to popular belief, riding an E-bike is still a workout for enthusiasts and a skills-lesson for beginners. The guys over at Bikeradar say that “While many scoff at the idea of an e-bike, it is worth noting that you still get a killer workout and one that you can adjust the level of electronic assist to your liking.” Experienced mountain bikers can cover more ground and conquer bigger ledges and climbs than before and beginners can focus on skills rather than worrying about fitness. The Turbo Levo is one of a kind in its versatility across an unprecedented spectrum of riders.
Check out some of our models:
Women’s specific models:
The key difference in the women’s models are the frame geometry and suspension. The geometry is more suited to the female physique and the shorter travel suspension with 120mm at the front instead of the standard 140mm.
(Main image credit: Szymon Nieborak)
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