Battle of the E-Bikes – Specialized Turbo Levos

In the world of mountain biking, the electrifying revolution of e-bikes has taken centre stage, transforming the way riders experience the trails. At the forefront of this revolution are Specialized’s Turbo Levo series, with the 2023 Specialized Turbo Levo SL (Comp Carbon) and the 2022 Specialized Turbo Levo (S-Works) standing as prime examples of innovation and performance. Enter Battle of the E-Bikes!

To put these two machines to the test, we enlisted the help of Ian, Cycle 360’s Bikeshop Sales and e-Commerce Associate with a penchant for various cycling disciplines.  He was assisted in reviewing the two levos alongside his dad, Sean, a retired Motorcycle Dealer with a lifelong passion for two-wheeled adventures.

About the Riders


  • Age: 32 years old
  • Occupation: Bikeshop Sales and e-Commerce Associate – Cycle 360
  • 2-Wheeled Experience: Ex Island Schoolboy Motocross champion, 3 x IOM Motocross Team Member. Keen Gravel, Road, MTB rider, and Commuter.
  • Favourite Cycling Disciplines: Gravel, Road, MTB, and Commuting.
  • Favourite Cycling Events: Cycle 360 MTB Series, Dirty Reiver Gravel Sportive, Lighthouse Challenge, and GF IOM


  • Age: 58 years old
  • Occupation: Retired Motorcycle Dealer
  • 2-Wheeled Experience: 50 years riding and racing all forms of off-road motorcycles, MTBs, and e-Bikes. Ex-Island Motorcycle Enduro Champion.
  • Favourite Cycling Disciplines: e-MTB, trail/enduro riding, road, and gravel.
  • Favourite Cycling Events: Cycle 360 2-Day Enduro, Lighthouse Challenge, and GF IOM

About the Bikes

2023 Specialized Turbo Levo SL (Comp Carbon): “The Levo SL delivers unmatched ride quality and capability, amplified. For the trail rider who craves serpentine singletrack, sending it skyward, and lives for advancing your skills and fitness. Meet your new bike, the Levo SL. You’ll be blown away by its unmatched combination of flawless handling, capability, and “2 X You” amplification that gives you the Power to Ride More Trails. Compare it to anything out there, with a motor or without, and we know you’ll agree — Levo SL is THE ULTIMATE TRAIL BIKE.” – Specialized

2022 Specialized Turbo Levo (S-Works): “The Levo delivers the unbelievable power to ride more trails through an unequaled combination of ride quality, usable power, and ride anywhere range. It’s the distillation, application, and amplification of a 40-year obsession with creating the world’s best riding mountain bikes. Since its introduction, Levo has set the bar every other e-MTB aims for, and the new Levo raises that bar again.” – Specialized

About the Ride

Ian’s Turbo Levo SL Ride Review: As an avid rider familiar with traditional mountain bikes and gravel bikes, I embarked on the Levo SL with curiosity and some skepticism. Starting at St. John’s, our journey led us to the challenging Slieau Whallian Plantation, where the Levo SL’s power amazed me, even in Eco mode. Climbing steep grades became a joy, thanks to the bike’s smooth power output.

Midway through our ascent, I adjusted the saddle to counterbalance the bike’s tendency to wheelie on steep sections. The Specialized SL 1.2 motor operated quietly, offering instant power with just a slight crank rotation, making the bike feel like a rocket ship.

Heading to Arrasey Plantation, I followed Sean through unfamiliar terrain, feeling comfortable thanks to the Levo SL’s stability. The bike’s 18.24kg weight, coupled with Fox 36 Rhythm forks and Fox Float X Performance rear shock, provided a comfortable and responsive ride.

One of the e-bike’s highlights was the ability to effortlessly ride back up forest tracks, eliminating the need for an uplift service. As someone experienced in off-road motorcycles, the Levo SL felt akin to a trials bike, allowing me to navigate technical ascents with ease.

Our adventure continued down the Pipeline track, renowned for its rocks and technical sections. The Levo SL powered through these challenges, demonstrating its prowess.

Wrapping up the ride with a quick coffee break, we discussed the bike’s performance.


Turbo Levo (S Works)


  • Specialized 2.2 Custom Rx Trail Tuned Motor with 90NM of torque (very powerful).
  • Specialized M3-700 Integrated battery 700Wh battery.
  • Specialized app allows user to amend the levels of assistance for longevity of battery life.


  • 23kg weight, heavy when lifting over gates.

Turbo Levo SL (Comp Carbon)


  • Incredibly quiet motor.
  • Abundant power (50 nm/43% more torque than previous SL).
  • Impressive battery range for a lightweight e-bike.
  • Enables multiple laps on trails.
  • Mullet wheel system for great responsiveness in downhill corners.
  • Specialized app for personalised motor characteristics.


  • Fatigue sets in when riding alongside traditional e-bikes with larger batteries and motors.
  • Induces a strong desire to own one – but is that really a con?

Who is the Turbo Levo SL for?

In Ian’s opinion, the Levo SL is ideal for those seeking a versatile, fun ride.

It excels on downhill trails that you can effortlessly climb back up for another run. It’s perfect for mid-week rides when time is limited, and its smooth power delivery makes it great for tackling technical trails. Whether you’re an experienced rider or just starting your mountain biking journey, the Specialized Turbo Levo SL will leave you wanting more.

For more information on the Specialized Turbo Levo SL, visit your local bikeshop, which is open seven days a week and chat with our team about taking out our demo bike.

Get ready to experience the future of mountain biking with the Levo SL.

Bikeshop opening hours

Monday – Friday: 8am – 5pm
Saturday: 9am – 4pm
Sunday: 10am – 4pm (we’re back open on Sundays for Summer!)
Bank holidays: 10am – 4pm.

For TT opening hours, please see here.

Cafe opening hours

Monday – Friday: 8am – 5pm
Saturday: 9am – 4pm
Sunday: 10am – 4pm
Bank holidays: 10am – 4pm.

For TT opening hours, please see here.