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Specialized Turbo Levo comp
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wanted to share this with you.
I started MTB in the 80's. My first MTB was a Raleigh Technium mountain bike (that I don't have anymore). It was the one with the bounded frame and the rigid fork. I then bought a Haro Extreme Comp, that I modified a bit. Later I bought an AMP B-4 directly from Horst Leitner at his factory, during a professional trip in the US. I loved the Horst Link concept, so I naturally evolved to Specialized. Some years ago I had the chance to find a used Specialized FSR-XC in very good condition. Time passes and top of hills become more and more hard to reach. I tried eMTB but wasn't a fan, I found it not very natural. I said I'll never buy one. But this was until I rented a Specialized Levo last year in Lenzerheide (Switzerland). I had so much fun I did the downhill section of the bike park (ok, the blue one, not the world cup one... ;-)) I totally felt in love ! And I bought a Specialized Turbo Levo Comp this year. My wife decided to go for a Trek Rail 9, so we're now ready to hit the trails together !

I thought it may be interesting to put these bikes side to side on the same picture. So here they are. Enjoy !

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Just wanted to share this with you.
I started MTB in the 80's. My first MTB was a Raleigh Technium mountain bike (that I don't have anymore). It was the one with the bounded frame and the rigid fork. I then bought a Haro Extreme Comp, that I modified a bit. Later I bought an AMP B-4 directly from Horst Leitner at his factory, during a professional trip in the US. I loved the Horst Link concept, so I naturally evolved to Specialized. Some years ago I had the chance to find a used Specialized FSR-XC in very good condition. Time passes and top of hills become more and more hard to reach. I tried eMTB but wasn't a fan, I found it not very natural. I said I'll never buy one. But this was until I rented a Specialized Levo last year in Lenzerheide (Switzerland). I had so much fun I did the downhill section of the bike park (ok, the blue one, not the world cup one... ;-)) I totally felt in love ! And I bought a Specialized Turbo Levo Comp this year. My wife decided to go for a Trek Rail 9, so we're now ready to hit the trails together !

I thought it may be interesting to put these bikes side to side on the same picture. So here they are. Enjoy !

View attachment 1928425
Times change and so should we. I am more interested in what will be then what was but that is me. It may not be others.

Like you, I was not interested in a eMTB. I said "maybe when I turn 80 I'll look at one." Then, about a week ago, a couple of guys I ran across who had eMTB's said I could try their bikes and suddenly I am not adverse to them at all. I'm closely following what is available. Today, the Giant Trance X E+ Pro 29 looks more affordable (5800 USD) and attractive for where and how I ride. That will change when I am actually in the market for a new bike.

Having just bought a SC Tallboy six months ago, a new bike is not about to happen anytime soon but I will seriously consider an eMTB the next time I'm ready for a new bike. That should be when I'm 75 (I'll turn 72 in June.)

You and your wife enjoy your rides.
 

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Nice share! I had the HT model/year of the SWorks...one of my fave bikes over the years for sure, but I sold it to fund a new race bike in '03 or '04.
 

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Music & Bikes
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Good idea for an open "Show your bike evolution" thread.

(Over 50 only )
 

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Specialized Turbo Levo comp
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
How are you liking that Turbo Levo?
Well, it's like a reborn :) I love it !

I can climb whatever I want, I ran through trails I never visited before (because they were too steepy) and discovered new pathes in the forests near my house, a whole new playground is now open to me !

On the way down, how to say that... It's a whole new world ! These 160mm up front with the 29 inches tires lets you fly over rocks and boulder. That's really different than what I was used to do on the FSR-XC.

On the Levo (and I think it's almost the same on other moderne eBikes) the wheelbase and head angle are a lot different (longer and more opened) than what I was used to. This makes the bike less "agile" at low speed, but the bike is a lot more stable and can handle a lot lot more at higher speed. Which means you have to ride differently, probably a bit faster. Being confident on the bike is key.

I'll still need some practice before being able to be 100% confident on it. But I don't regret my purchase. It's really a lot lot of fun. I can do 30 miles and 4500 ft up after work without being too tired. That's really cool being able to go where you want without worrying about being able to do it.

I love it ! But it's probably not just the Levo, I would probably also love it on another eBike.
 

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Great idea, as far as I can remember these are all my mountain bikes since 1988:

The one that got me hooked, a 1988 Muddy Fox Courier. The u-brake at the back sucked but this bike went through a bunch with me (stock image, no pictures of my bike):
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After that I went to a 1995 Specialized Rockhopper. This one again was a classic steel bike, had this one for a long time (again stock image):
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After that came a 2000 Kona Roast. I was getting more into downhill and urban riding. This bike had virtually everything upgraded by the time I finally broke it in around 2004:
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Then I moved to Canada, started working with a bike shop and flipped through bikes fairly quickly. First after the Kona broke I moved all the parts to an Oryx Desert Dueller frame (it was a beast):
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Sold that, went to a Cannondale Prophet 4x. Loved the bike but bought it one size too small, perfect for "racing...hahaha" but not so good as a bike to use everyday, I was still young and dumb and wanted to be Cedric Gracia:
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Next I believe was a Yeti 575. Another GREAT bike, similar to the Prophet but this one fitted. However the amount of travel was a bit much for where I live so I decided to sell it. With hindsight that was a terrible move:
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Because I bought this: A Cannondale Flash 29-1. I hated this bike, had it six months. It was awful to ride:

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Will continue later.....
 

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Specialized Turbo Levo comp
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Great idea, as far as I can remember these are all my mountain bikes since 1988:

The one that got me hooked, a 1988 Muddy Fox Courier. The u-brake at the back sucked but this bike went through a bunch with me (stock image, no pictures of my bike):
View attachment 1928686

After that I went to a 1995 Specialized Rockhopper. This one again was a classic steel bike, had this one for a long time (again stock image):
View attachment 1928687

After that came a 2000 Kona Roast. I was getting more into downhill and urban riding. This bike had virtually everything upgraded by the time I finally broke it in around 2004:
View attachment 1928688

Then I moved to Canada, started working with a bike shop and flipped through bikes fairly quickly. First after the Kona broke I moved all the parts to an Oryx Desert Dueller frame (it was a beast):
View attachment 1928689

Sold that, went to a Cannondale Prophet 4x. Loved the bike but bought it one size too small, perfect for "racing...hahaha" but not so good as a bike to use everyday, I was still young and dumb and wanted to be Cedric Gracia:
View attachment 1928690

Next I believe was a Yeti 575. Another GREAT bike, similar to the Prophet but this one fitted. However the amount of travel was a bit much for where I live so I decided to sell it. With hindsight that was a terrible move:
View attachment 1928692

Because I bought this: A Cannondale Flash 29-1. I hated this bike, had it six months. It was awful to ride:

View attachment 1928691

Will continue later.....
Nice post 👍Love the Yeti !
 

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Pt 2:

After I got rid of the Cannondale things get a bit messy as I started getting multiple bikes and really became a "nerd":
At some point this GT parts special appeared, working in a shop gets you access to all sorts of weird cast-offs:
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Then I think I started getting into single speeds in a big way, when you're working on bikes all day the last thing you have time for is your own bike:
This Niner One 9 was another fav, so light, so fast and I cut and polished the XTR cranks that were on it.I also had a green one at the same time that my wife used.
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Around this time a Surly Pugsley came and went:
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and I also had a Redline Monocog, which is probably one of the best, most simple best value bikes IMO. I could do anything with a switch of tires and gearing:
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Now my history takes a dark turn. Next is the most special bike I've ever had. It was supremely special, a rolling work of art and I put the best of everything I could into it (more polished XTR cranks, Chris King parts, Avid Juicy Ultimate etc). The Blacksheep Luna Vista with Faith fork:
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And the story turns dark because this beautiful creature as stolen when my garage was broken into, never to be seen again. I fear she was sold for scrap value and melted down.

The guys at my shop pulled out all the stops to build me another bike, and I got given another parts special based around a Merlin frame:
1928764

But it wasn't ever "my bike" so got sold.

At this time I also not able to ride a lot due to a back injury from being hit by a car during a road ride. My back was permanently affected and my physio told me that the only way I could enjoy riding again was to move to suspension bikes, my back just couldnt take the "noise" of a rigid bike.

My shop also became a full Trek dealer and with that we got access to great deals and great bikes. My affair with the Fuel EX began, four bikes now and I'm currently on the 2019 Fuel EX9.9 P1....though my fav of the four of them if the Volt green EX9 because it just looked legit with the blue accents. The purple P1 gets really really close on looks and does ride better. It is the most capable FEX I've owned (and it should be, it's silly money).
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slow
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First mountain bike: 1985 GT Timberline. Bought brand new through the shop at which I was working at the time. Eventually I upgraded to 3x7 speed SIS Shimano XT, better wheels, 150mm Ritchey Stem, flat Prestige bars, and original Ground Control Kevlar bead tires. Sold it in 1988 when I bought the first of my 4 Bridgestone MB-1s from the shop I was working at by then.

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Fast forward 36 years and over 30 bikes, most of which were riders, but some of which were donors. Though it is not my newest bike, this is my most often ridden bike right now and the closest thing I have to full suspension. 2009 Moots Mooto-X YBB with 15-20mm of travel at the rear axle and over-forked to 120mm up front, 3x10 drivetrain, 100mm dropper, mismatched wheels, mismatched brakes, carbon bars, bar ends, and a saddle older than my 27 year old eldest child.

1928777
 

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noMAD man
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Well, it's like a reborn :) I love it !

I can climb whatever I want, I ran through trails I never visited before (because they were too steepy) and discovered new pathes in the forests near my house, a whole new playground is now open to me !

On the way down, how to say that... It's a whole new world ! These 160mm up front with the 29 inches tires lets you fly over rocks and boulder. That's really different than what I was used to do on the FSR-XC.

On the Levo (and I think it's almost the same on other moderne eBikes) the wheelbase and head angle are a lot different (longer and more opened) than what I was used to. This makes the bike less "agile" at low speed, but the bike is a lot more stable and can handle a lot lot more at higher speed. Which means you have to ride differently, probably a bit faster. Being confident on the bike is key.

I'll still need some practice before being able to be 100% confident on it. But I don't regret my purchase. It's really a lot lot of fun. I can do 30 miles and 4500 ft up after work without being too tired. That's really cool being able to go where you want without worrying about being able to do it.

I love it ! But it's probably not just the Levo, I would probably also love it on another eBike.
Reborn...I truly get that concept. I've always been a motorcycle guy, especially dirt riding, but I got into MTB right about 1998. When I saw more and more mountain bikes with full suspension, I thought I'd give it a try. I had no desire to ride a hardtail after decades of riding dirt motos...didn't get the joy in that at all. Started with a Specialized Ground Control, picked up a Trek Y33, and then really hit full stride with a '99 Bullit that a fellow rider on the site was selling as a new, frame-only setup.

Oh boy...this is when mountain biking really got me. Having that much travel with a great fork really caused me to appreciate mountain bikes. From that point I never owned a mountain bike with less than 6" of travel. It suited a dirt moto guy really well. As many, many trips to Moab and local moto trails satisfied my thrill of bigger hit, cushy, burly mountain bikes, age was slowly creeping up on me. As mid-60's hit, riding these bigger, heavier rigs got harder and harder, taking away some of the yee-haw factor. I've always stayed quite fit for my age, and the dirt moto riding has never slowed down...but the MTB riding got less and less.

I work part time as a mechanic at a friend's bike shop that sells Trek, Specialized, and Santa Cruz since I retired some years ago. When we received a Trek Rail 7 emtb to use as a demo, it was like wow! The old fun feel of mountain biking was fun again without all the suffering on an older body. The price of entry into this arena is fairly steep, however, even with working at a shop...markup not being that huge. With an '03 Bullit and an '08 Santa Cruz Nomad hanging in my shop at home, I heard about these mid-drive motors. I slapped one on the Nomad and optimized some other components for a mere fraction of the cost of an emtb. Now...understand I'm not poo-pooing factory emtb's by any means, but at 70 I didn't want to invest thousands into the level of emtb that I wanted. My Nomad is equipped with top drawer suspension, and now with this mid-drive kit I can ride this bike at about the same level as I used to.

When OP says "reborn", I certainly get it. Dirt moto will always have a place in my life as long as I can manage it, but I didn't realize how much I was missing mountain biking until the emtb movement came along. Both activities are similar, but there's a raw element of mountain biking that only it fulfills.
 

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orthonormal
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I love the idea of seeing MTB history through the lens of personal bike ownership over time. Very cool.

My MTB story began in 1985 when I bought a Mongoose ATB with my HS graduation money. It was too big for me but I had a blast exploring the back roads and hills surrounding my house that summer. Once I was off to college, it was relegated to commuter duties and I didn't do any more trail riding for a while.

In '87, some friends started riding and I discovered singletrack. Quickly realized just how big that bike could feel in technical situations so I started saving, sold the Mongoose, and bought a Bridgestone MB-3 that fit better and helped me step up my riding. I rode the hell out of that thing until '91 when it was stolen.

I've had far too many bikes since then to list them all but some highlights for me were:

1994 Dean Colonel Ti. Bro deal through my XC race team. For some reason, I decided to go with a Manitou 3 fork on it instead of a RockShox Mag21. The lack of a damper was annoying so I bought one of those Arlo Englund damper cartridges that were thinner than a pencil and ran the length of the fork. They kept blowing up and the company kept replacing them. Worked great while they lasted.

1996 Ellsworth FS2/XC. My first FS bike, the aluminum front triangle was made by Ventana and the rear was made from rectangular carbon tubes bonded to aluminum dropouts, yoke, etc. by Battle Bikes. White Bros. 90mm fork, the longest travel single crown I could find at the time. An extravagant purchase for a grad student for sure but I was still racing and got a great deal on the parts even though I had to pay retail for the frame.

2001 Ventana La Bruja. My first big travel bike. 150mm rear and I went through a few forks before settling on a Marzocchi Super T. I rode that as my trail bike in Tucson all over Mt. Lemmon until I was hit by a car commuting to work. Once I was able to get back on the bike, I found the kind of fitness needed to pedal a bike like that up big climbs hard to recover. On top of that, the L5-S1 lumbar surgery I went through left me shy about the kind of riding I was doing previously.

2005 Ventana El Commandante. My first 29er but not my first singlespeed. White Industries ENO cranks, Phil Wood BB, King HS, Hadley SS hubs. Many other bikes came and went while that remained my main ride. My daughter has it with her at college now.
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2019 Knolly Fugitive LT. My first low low slack trail bike. Such a terrific bike but I didn't keep it long. I had it and a steel HT and all was well. Then I took a 2020 Specialized Enduro out for a demo ride and ended up expandng my quiver to three. Sadly, there just wasn't enough difference between the Fugitive and the Enduro and the Enduro inevitably won out when I wanted to ride a big bike. I tried toning the Fugitive down with a set of Maxxis Rekons but that's just sad. The bike deserved better so I sold it and the HT to purchase a 2021 Specialized Epic Evo.
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I'm currently splitting time between that Enduro and Epic Evo. Both set up with my favorite touch point components: Deity TMAC pedals, OneUp bars with Sensus Swayze push-on grips, Magura MT7 brakes, and WTB Volt saddles. Drastically different bikes. I mostly ride them on the same trails, depending on mood, although one or the other is definitely much better for certain rides.
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Nice post OP! I got started around the same time as you and have owned just as many bikes. Funny thing is, my second bike was also an AMP B-4 and my third bike was also a Specialized, both bought around the same time! However the AMP was my only FS bike, my Specialized was a Rockhopper hard tail. My first bike was a '90 Bridgestone MB-2, I'd still have it if it didn't get stolen. I'm currently riding a '13 Salsa El Mariachi steel hardtail which has been perfect for me, but since that time so much has advanced in MTB I'm thinking it may be time to get that fifth bike soon. BTW, I'm only counting true MTB in this tally (I also have a fat bike, an e-bike and have owned road bikes and other types of bikes).
 

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orthonormal
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Nice post OP! I got started around the same time as you and have owned just as many bikes. Funny thing is, my second bike was also an AMP B-4 and my third bike was also a Specialized, both bought around the same time! However the AMP was my only FS bike, my Specialized was a Rockhopper hard tail. My first bike was a '90 Bridgestone MB-2, I'd still have it if it didn't get stolen. I'm currently riding a '13 Salsa El Mariachi steel hardtail which has been perfect for me, but since that time so much has advanced in MTB I'm thinking it may be time to get that fifth bike soon. BTW, I'm only counting true MTB in this tally (I also have a fat bike, an e-bike and have owned road bikes and other types of bikes).
What is it with classic Bridgestones and theft? Every original Bridgestone owner I’ve met had the bike stolen.
 
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