Fresh off the press from the Specialized Turbo crew, the Levo Pro now comes with the latest and greatest SRAM Transmission. Since we first gave the 2022 Levo Pro a whirl on the cracking trails of Mount Buller, it’s become a solid part of our long-term test team, hanging out with Mick and acting as a trusty mule for any new parts that roll into Flow. After clocking up a fair few k’s, the Levo Pro has kept on trucking without a hitch.
Next-Level SRAM XX Eagle AXS T-Type Transmission
The standout upgrade in the 2023 Levo Pro is the new SRAM Eagle Transmission. You can read our full review here. When we gave this new Transmission a go, we found the perks of the new SRAM system to be even more noticeable on an e-MTB. We reckon a heap of new bikes will jump on this Transmission, and the fact that it doesn’t need e-MTB-specific parts is a real winner. The SRAM XX Eagle AXS T-Type transmission, a big step up from the first-gen AXS drivetrain, comes with a 10-52T cassette with 12 gears and an XD interface. The build has been tweaked, the ratios have been updated, and it now features a full X-Sync (narrow-wide) profile throughout. The derailleur has no adjustments, and its construction is incredibly strong.
The new Eagle AXS T-Type Transmission offers a significant advantage when it comes to shifting under power. This is particularly important for e-MTBs, where the electric assist can strain the drivetrain more. The AXS T-Type transmission is designed to handle this load efficiently. It uses a motor instead of a spring for the derailleur, which provides consistent and precise shifting regardless of the power being put through the pedals. This means riders can shift gears while pedalling hard, such as during a steep climb, without worrying about damaging the drivetrain or experiencing a drop in performance. The wireless electronic shifting system also adds to the ease of use and overall performance of the e-MTB.
Watch our review of the SRAM Transmission here:
Power-Packed and Steady as She Goes
The Specialized Turbo Levo Pro is a top-notch electric mountain bike made for those who want a long-range, full-power, and a steady ride. It retains the huge 700Wh internal battery and a Brose-manufactured motor that delivers 90Nm of torque. It uses a mixed wheel size, and an extensive range of adjustability via adjustable headset cups and a high/low flip chip.
Our past reviews of the Specialized Levo in 2021 and 2022 highlight the bike’s top-notch performance, especially its powerful motor, smooth power delivery, and excellent battery life. The Levo’s geometry and suspension also got a thumbs up for providing a balanced and confident ride on all sorts of trails.
Smooth Handling and Quick Response
The Levo Pro has proven its versatility and toughness, lugging body and camera gear around Derby for four days, shooting the World Cup Enduro. The Levo’s geometry offers a balanced riding position, making shifting weight and keeping traction on steep climbs easy. The bike’s handling is predictable, allowing precise control of flow trails and technical descents. The suspension does a bang-up job, especially for an e-MTB, providing comfort on rough trails and supporting big hits and jumps.
One change we made straight away was downsizing the tyres from 2.6 to 2.35in, resulting in better precision, less bouncing, and floating. A personal preference that boosts the bike’s responsiveness, with a bit of a trade-off to comfort and traction at slower speeds.
The supple suspension generates a bucketload of grip, and the tyres put plenty of rubber onto the trail surface. Special mention goes to the Butcher’s sticky T9 rubber compound that keeps the front wheel glued to the terrain, even across loose rocks, soaking-wet granite and slick hardpack berms. This is a bloody good tyre combo.
Motor, Still Got It.
The Levo has a Brose motor known for its quiet operation and smooth power delivery. However, it does introduce a noticeable drag over the 25km/h cutoff point due to its belt-driven internals. Even though it’s been around the block a few times, the Brose motor still holds its own against the latest from Bosch and Shimano.
It’s super smooth in its power delivery. You can barely feel the motor engaging or disengaging, and unlike the Bosch and Shimano equivalents, there’s no clacking noise either. The support is strong across a wide cadence band, something we noticed when pedalling at a higher RPM when building speed to crest a technical climbing feature.
Tweaks to Mission Control and a Better Charge Port
The Levo Pro comes with a MasterMind Turbo Connect Unit, allowing riders to customise the motor output and monitor system metrics while riding. Updates also include a locking system and an alarm, fancy!
Plus, the bike has a new trapdoor for the charger that springs fully out of the way of any crank attacks while in work stand, fixing the previous model’s tendency to break.
Price, Specs and Value
It’s worth noting that the Levo Pro, kitted out with the SRAM XO Eagle Transmission, comes with a hefty price tag of AUD 21,000. While this might be a bit steep for some, it’s a solid investment for serious riders who put performance, durability, and the latest e-MTB tech at the top of their list. The spec is top-tier, no doubt about it. While not entirely necessary, the high-level parts also help keep the weight down.
2023/4 Specialized Levo Pro
- Frame | FACT 11m Carbon Fibre, FSR Suspension Design, 150mm Travel
- Fork | Fox 38, Factory Series, GRIP2 Damper, 44mm Offset, 160mm Travel
- Shock | Fox Float X2, Factory Series, 210×55 mm
- Drive Unit | Specialized 2.2, 90Nm
- Battery | Specialized Turbo M3-700, 700Wh
- Wheels | Roval Traverse, Carbon Rims, 30mm Inner Rim Width
- Tyres | Specialized Butcher T9 GRID Trail 2.6in Front & Eliminator T7 GRID Trail 2.6in Rear
- Drivetrain | SRAM XX Eagle T-Type Transmission 1×12 w/Praxis Carbon 32T Crankset & 10-52T Cassette
- Brakes | SRAM Code Silver Stealth 4-Piston w/220 & 200mm Rotors
- Handlebar | Specialized Trail, FACT Carbon, 35mm Diameter, 27mm Rise, 780mm Wide
- Stem | Deity Copperhead, 35mm Diameter
- Seatpost | Bike Yoke Revive dropper Post, 34.9mm diameter, S2/S3: 160mm, S4/S5: 185mm, S6: 213mm
- Saddle | Specialized Bridge, Hollow Ti Rails, Width: 155mm (S1-S2), 143mm (S3-S6)
- RRP | AUD 21,000
Levo vs Levo SL?
Ahhh, the ‘new’ age-old question, SL or full-power e-MTB, what’s for you? While we can’t answer that for you today, we’ll try and sum it up. If you ride bigger terrain, longer rides, or self-shuttling, the full-power Levo will always beat a lower-power e-MTB with a smaller battery. Though the latest generation of light e-MTBs like the Levo SL, Trek Fuel EX e and Orbea Rise show a riding character that rivals the best enduro bike, with a strong tailwind on your back.
Test Mule for New Parts and Adventures
The 2023 Levo Pro will take over from the outgoing Levo as our dedicated test mule for new parts and big adventures. We’re keen to see how it performs under these conditions and how the new SRAM XO Eagle Transmission boosts its performance. Join us as we embark on this journey, sharing our experiences and adventures with you.
We’re stoked to have the 2023 Specialized Levo Pro in our hands and can’t wait to put it through its paces as our new test mule. Join us as we share our experiences, adventures, and discoveries with this cracking e-MTB.