ED – E-Bikes are a controversial subject. People have strong opinions and concerns about them. I believe that I couldn’t intelligently speak about those concerns without the experience of riding one. I rode this particular e-bike a couple of times and now I know how a pedal assist e-bike rides and how that feels. I’m probably more conflicted now than I was before I rode one.
One aspect of e-bikes that I’ve always supported, is how they helped the author of this review, our amigo Craig, stay in the saddle, when a neurological disease began to rob his muscles of the ability to apply wattage to the pedals. That’s why we felt Craig’s personal story and those experiences, made him the best test pilot for the Levo. We also have plans to test the Levo’s pedal assist for winter grooming. We’re just beginning to scratch the surface of the debate that e-bikes will likely create among cyclists, trail builders and Land Managers. We’re going to dedicate an upcoming episode of The Weekly Dose of Fat Radio show to let our listeners call in and let us know what they think about e-bikes. Here’s an interesting report that Specialized shared with us. It’s a trail impact study created by IMBA. It compares the impact of E-bikes vs. Mountain Bikes and Motorcycles – http://eMTB-Trail-Study_April-2016.pdf –
If you have an opinion about e-bike policy for trails, please share them with IMBA at email@example.com. We were informed by a source inside of IMBA that they are going to be discussing e-bike policy at the IMBA World Summit next month. Let IMBA know where you stand before the summit.
When Fat-Bike.com sent me a message saying they were getting a Specialized eFat-Bike and wanted to know if I would test it I jumped at the chance, I answered “Sure” as quickly as I’ve ever chicken pecked on a keyboard. Because of a degenerative muscle disease that has been slowly shutting down my muscles I made the easy decision to not quit riding and bought a Felt Lebowske eFat-Bike back in December of 2014.
I met Gomez behind the cheese curtain, at a truck stop to pick up the sweet new 2017 Specialized Turbo Levo HT Comp Fat Bike. It was speckled with mud. A huge smile and radiance glowed through his glorious beard as he began to tell me how much fun this thing was. (and share my concerns about user conflict). I was hoping I wouldn’t have to “Indian Leg Wrestle” him to get the bike from him (I would lose). I often hear how much fun ebikes are to ride, but for me, it’s more than that, this is life changing technology that keeps me active, in shape and off the couch, doing what I love the most, riding a Fat-Bike.
I was also very curious to see how 2017 technology had changed since I got my Lebowske. This bike is sleek and gorgeous. The big red “S” designed this to not look like a Fat Boy with a motor attached to the pedals, they designed it to look like a Fat Boy that happens to have electric assist. They nailed it.
Lets look at the specifications of this bike.
Frame Material: M5 Premium Aluminum, Size M (test size)
Wheels: Specialized Stout XC 85 rims. Stout XC 150 & 197 hubs.
Tires: Specialized Ground Control Fat 26 x 4.6, 120TPI
Fork: RockShox Bluto RL (12 x 150 spacing)
Drivetrain: SRAM Gx derailleur & trigger shift, 10 speed.
Cassette: Custom Sunrace 11-40t.
Crankset: Custom Praxis steel 1×10 32t ring.
Brakes: SRAM Guide R. 200mm & 180mm Centerline rotors.
Seatpost: Specialized Command Post IRcc dropper.
Handlebars: Specialized Alloy, 8° backsweep, 6° upsweep, 10mm rise, 31.8, 750mm wide.
Stem: Specialized XC, 3D forged alloy, 4 bolt, 6° rise.
Pedals: Specialized Bennies
Saddle: Henge Comp
Motor: Brose, Custom tuned for Specialized, Trail Tune, 250w (530w max)
User Interface/Remote: Integrated Trail Display, 10 LED battery display, Mission Control iOS or Android app.
All of the controls are on the left side down tube. On/Off. Up/Down for assist level. 10 green LED’s show battery level. There are 3 assist level settings TURBO – TRAIL – ECO. However, if you have a smart phone and the Specialized Mission Control app or a Garmin Edge 1000 you can fine tune the system to suit your riding style and much much more. It can even monitor your tire pressure, in real time.
I’ll be testing this beast for the next 6-8 weeks and be back with a full review.