So, yeah, I did some parking lot laps on the new Specialized Turbo Levo FSR Comp e-bike while stopping in at my local bike shop (Timpanogos Cyclery). I know… blasphemous, right? Well, before you cast stones, let me take a step back and set the table a little bit. So, the plan was to zip in, get a few things and head out, but the manager twisted my arm.

“You want to ride it? Just head out on it… give it a go,” he said.

I hadn’t ridden an e-bike in years and the last one nearly dropped me off the back with its off-the-line torque. This one is different. For starters, there’s no throttle — nope (the Levo is not a moto). More accurate would be to call this one “pedal-assist” since you still have to pedal to get things going and you have to keep pedaling to keep it going. No pedaling equals no power. “Interesting,” I thought.

After some hot laps around the parking lot, I was impressed and found myself pedaling harder and harder to max it out. The harder you pedal, the more the assist kicks in — it’s addicting.

Yeah, non-drive-side photo, but you get the idea.

Yeah, non-drive-side photo, but you get the idea.

While I’m not going to advocate ditching your traditional bike and Strava is going to have to categorize e-bikes differently, but this bike has some merits:

  • You still have to pedal it (albeit, it does significantly augment that)
  • You still need some bike handling skills
  • I could see this as a great route scouting machine
  • Wives/significant others may appreciate a little extra boost
  • Slower guys can keep up with their faster friends

I didn’t have a scale, but I’d peg this thing at around 50 lbs., so after powering it down it becomes a bit of a slug. The moral of the story is not to run out of battery on this one or you’ll get more than you bargained for.

Again, this was admittedly a couple of hot laps in the parking lot, but hopefully I can get some real dirt time to give it a full go.

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About Author

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 --sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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