Written by Nathaniel Snow (Gears Leaside Staff)
Beasty Boy Does the Don
First things first, this isn’t a mountain bike. It’s an electric pedal assist, climb-crushing, downhill-smashing mountain machine. I took the Specialized Levo FSR out for a couple hours in the Toronto Don Valley trails, and every trail felt like I’d never been there before. SO much fun!
It’s. A. Beast.
Instead of being drained from all the punchy climbs in the Don, and trying to catch up with the cardio on the downhills, I found myself loving the technical climbs, making it up lines I hadn’t before and staying fresh and relaxed for the flowy downhill sections. My favourite part about the Levo was its ability to flatten out the whole ride, I was sweating and tired the whole time, but never over threshold heart rate or tired enough to need to stop.
Used as a commuter, The Levo eats up the broken roads of Toronto, and allows you to get your heart rate up, but you’re not sweating for the start of your shift!
Tech wise, the bike is equipped with Sram GXe, the e-Bike specific version of their groupset, limiting downshifts to one at a time. The thought behind this is being more careful with your shifting, the drivetrain of a regular mountain bike has a hard life, dumping gears, soaked in mud, and shifting under load trying to make it up the hidden climb that appears around the corner. This is an awesome step in the direction of a groupset that can handle the stress of the electric motor and the rider beating on it shift after shift. The 3 levels of assist do an amazing job of delivering the extra watts in a smooth, predictable fashion, making tight turns and climbs possible. If the battery ever happens to run out completely, the bike still works and rides well with the system OFF.
As the rider, there is some learning involved, knowing how those extra little kicks will send the bike off. All in all, an amazing day of riding and an amazing bike! The Specialized Levo has been my first impression of the future of bicycle technology, and I’m stoked. #fullsend