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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking of getting my first ebike to be able to get more rides in and make climbing less boring.
I'm quite fit but relatively big at 190cm and 95kg.
Looking to get lightly used Levo or Levo SL comp (carbon).
I know the theoretical differences between the models and while I probably wouldn't use higher assistance modes much, I'm bit worried about SL's range for my size.

Generally, I'd use it to take the sting out of climbing a local hill 10x and get more downhill time for the same ride time. I was looking at 30-50km rides with about 1000-1500m of elevation and while I can do them now, it's exhausting doing it several times a week in succession.

I'm not sure how additional weight from Levo would translate to handling on the trails and I wonder how much heavier regular Levo really is frame and battery wise if components were equal? I doubt it's more than 2kg.
 

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pinkbike just did a vid or podcast (?) on this. A whole lot of nuance and there is a correct answer. Basic answer is what do your buddies ride, do they ride detuned ebikes or other "normal" ebikes or are you going solo. If solo, the SL is the way if you want a lively bike feel and don't mind pedaling. If your buddies have full powers might be more fun for you if you have one too.
 

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I work in an LBS that sells both as a Spesh tier 1 dealer, and agree with Ratt and Pinkbike.

If you're mostly riding solo, the only real need for the full power of the Levo is if you've got a lot of really hard, tough, techy uphill sections or climbs to get through, and really want and need that extra power to do it.

We're also seeing older riders purchase the Levo more than the SL. The two reasons seem to be many of them still possess a lot of technical skill, they just don't have the wattage output they did 20 years ago. Also, I live in New England where there's rocks, roots, and lumpy terrain in every trail system, on most trails and the power of the Levo really helps on that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone.
I'm riding solo most of the time or with friends on normal bikes (but I'm the one who has to slow down for them to keep up). I'm mostly interested in getting as many laps as possible while taking the edge off so I can be fresh tomorrow and not feel too exhausted.
 

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Unless you are set on Specialized, I'd also consider a Santa Cruz Heckler MX-S. At about 45lbs it's in between the Levo and Levo SL weight wise and one of the lightest full power ebikes out there.

I recently demoed the Levo SL again and it's doesn't feel all that light. While I do like the SL, I would rather go for something like the Orbea Rise, it has a similar weight and a far more capable (torquey) motor.

Don’t get me wrong, I would definitely consider an ebike with a 35nm motor but I would expect the weight to be under 35lbs
 

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I don't get why a de-fanged ebike is of any interest. IMO, having a full load of power on tap when wanted/needed is the whole point. If you want to work harder, dial it back. When you need the power, dial it up. An "SL" type of bike is still pig-like compared to a non-e bike. So to me, lots of compromises and no real advantages. Pretty much ice milk of ice creams.
 

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I don't get why a de-fanged ebike is of any interest. IMO, having a full load of power on tap when wanted/needed is the whole point. If you want to work harder, dial it back. When you need the power, dial it up. An "SL" type of bike is still pig-like compared to a non-e bike. So to me, lots of compromises and no real advantages. Pretty much ice milk of ice creams.
Theoretically, I agree with much of what you are saying. But I do think there is a balance. The slightly detuned EP8 in the Rise along with a 10lb weight savings over many full power ebikes should prove a happy medium to some.
 

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So far, I have ridden only a Levo (friends) and an Orbea Wild (mine) and would not want to pedal either of them without assist for any distance. The weight is actually a help going down, and having gobs of power going up is incredibly fun. Rode with a friend who has a Rise, and while it is a cool bike, it lags behind going up and down. The idea of riding a 40 lb non-e mtb is pretty much unthinkable to any xc/all mountain rider, and pedaling an SL without power cannot be very fun either, so not sure what makes an underpowered 40lb ebike more attractive than a fully powered 50 pounder. When they get a reasonably powerful ebike into the low 30s - and if it really rides like an regular mtb (but with power) - that might be worth trying. Plus, there are epic rides to be done, so having limited battery size and power would just limit you to mini-epics.

On the other hand, the big players would not be making them unless they thought there was a market for them, so I am probably missing something . . .
 

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levo really does feel like cheating, kind of cool though like a mercedes with the v8, smooth
levo sl more like a lightweight 70s sports car, more involving, quick but not fast , rips around tight corners
rise ftw
 

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...pedaling an SL without power cannot be very fun either, so not sure what makes an underpowered 40lb ebike more attractive than a fully powered 50 pounder.
It's not bad at all. It feels like pedaling a Stumpy Comp. I did a ride on my Levo SL the other day in which I purposefully kept it off, just to see how I would fare should I lose power mid-ride. It's a 24-mile loop with 3,400ft of climbing. It's a loop I usually do on my 2021 SW Epic EVO.

Yes, it sucked compared to my EVO. But it was about the same as a 2017 Stumpjumper Comp alloy I owned. Going up was a lot of work, but not as soul-sapping as climbing on an unpowered Levo, which I did a few years ago when I borrowed one and power went out halfway up a gnarly climb; going down the SL felt like a normal, albeit heavier, downmodel Stumpy.

I got the Levo SL to replace rides I have normally shuttled in my buddy's gas-guzzling F150. It also has increased my weekly riding; low-energy days that I usually skipped since I didn't want to pedal a regular bike are now enhanced by a nice, leisurely e-bike ride. And I can now add an ebike ride to my kettlebell workout days without killing myself.
 

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Levo has a quiet motor and SL is known to be a bit noisy. For me, going solo, peace and quiet would be nice, especially on an epic day out.
1000x this.

I hate the weight and would LOVE an SL. But I can't handle that loud motor of the SL. it sounds like I'm grinding through sand going up steeps.

My only gripe is the FF Levo motor is louder in ECO than trail. So I keep it in trail to maximize the quiet. To the detriment of my ride. Sure wish ECO was quiet. And turbo is IDGAF mode, so that can be as loud as it wants to.
 

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neither would be my choice, and I would never buy either of those used. TBH, I wouldn't buy any ebikes used as they all have pretty significant reliability issues at the moment. That being said, my wife has an orbea rise and there isn't a single other ebike on the market, that I consider in the same league as the rise. The rest of them are pretty good for ebikes... but they still aren't in my list of top 10 bikes. The Rise is just a great bike that happens to have assist baked in.

My suggestion, save up money, don't buy used, have a warranty backing you... and get an orbea rise with the range extender. Ride with whomever you want, pedal it just fine with the motor off or on.
 
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