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Mtbr Founder
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Most of the folks around here in Norcal are getting Specialized Levo bikes when getting into ebikes.

But I'm seeing a lot of motor problems on Version 1 and 2.

Anyone have any experience good or bad on the motor/electronics?

fc
 

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bipedal
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Seven Specialized ebikes including five Levos (2018 and 2019 models) in the extended family with no issues.

This may have something to do with the set up and service quality at our LBS.
 

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Mtbr Founder
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Seven Specialized ebikes including five Levos (2018 and 2019 models) in the extended family with no issues.

This may have something to do with the set up and service quality at our LBS.
Seven? Do tell. What's the story?

I heard it's typical for ebike buyers to come back to the store and buy more.

I had a friend I used to ride with 20 years ago try an ebike in my garage, a Mondraker. He then went and bought a Kenevo. Then a month later he bought two more for family members. Loves them. Two of the motors had issues but bike shop took care of them.
 

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bipedal
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Seven? Do tell. What's the story?...
Mrs levity and I wanted to give them a try and went all in the Fall of '17 buying two 2018 Levos and two Vados. Loved them. Also enjoy our regular mtbs, but sold our road bikes. I bought a 2019 Levo to accept a 700Wh battery and passed the '18 on to my son. My brother and his wife rode our Levos and had to get their own! So that's 7 in all.

Yes, we were apprehensive at the outset, but it turns out that they're easier to work on than first anticipated. Problems will likely occur, but serviceability and warranty support should take care of things. Even a new motor out of warranty would cost less than a nice wheel set. We're happy, they add a new dimension to our regular mtbs.
 

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Dirt Huffer
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You might see lots of Levo issues online, but it might be due to way more people having them than any other ebike. Like, there must be 100 Levos sold for every 1 of another brand eBike
 

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2 Levo owner here. 2017 and 2018. The 2017 has been rock solid, been ridden mostly by my riding buddies and family, and regularly abused on the trails. The 2018 has had it's share of issues recently, including a new motor and cassette. But everything was changed under warranty at no cost to me. I love both bikes but my third Ebike is a 2017 Haibike with the Yamaha motor and it is just a beautiful, strong, reliable piece of equipment. I will most likely keep this one but renew the levos in the next 12-18 month.
 

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The biggest issue I’ve seen is having a dealer that’s not up to speed on the Levo’s. If the shop guys don’t take an interest in learning about them, or are borderline against ebikes, your just not going to get good service. I try to support my local shops, but keep getting let down. My view could be skewed though, from working in auto repair shops for the past 20 years and working with talented, customer service oriented guys.
I don’t want to be “that guy”, telling them how to to their job. But after 2 times of trying to get the newest firmware updates and getting blank stares or waiting 2 days to find out they didn’t do it, I’m ready to go out of the area for good service.
 

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loopy counter
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Most of the folks around here in Norcal are getting Specialized Levo bikes when getting into ebikes.

But I'm seeing a lot of motor problems on Version 1 and 2.

Anyone have any experience good or bad on the motor/electronics?

fc
I've had an expert 2019 since Feb with 535 miles so far. Here are my issues:

1) One of the battery charging LED lights does not illuminate. When charging, it does not blink in the 50-75% range. When full charge, only 3 of four lights show up. This has not been a problem for use.

2) Occasionally on a long ride I take a break and turn it off. On four occasions, restarting has resulted in an alternating blue/red LED on the TCU, and motor does not engage. Cycling off/on fixes the problem (thankfully).

3) Once after charging to 100% and reattaching the Rosenberger plug, the power would not come on - TCU did not illuminate. Let it sit and somehow it started working after a few hours.

4) I can't figure out the walk mode. This might be my fault, I haven't really looked at it much.

I've mentioned 1, 2, and 3 to the bikeshop mechanics (THC). They don't seem to motivated to do much about it. 2 and 3 were not reproducible, and 1 is not causing a significant problem.
 

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I've had an expert 2019 since Feb with 535 miles so far. Here are my issues:

1) One of the battery charging LED lights does not illuminate. When charging, it does not blink in the 50-75% range. When full charge, only 3 of four lights show up. This has not been a problem for use.

2) Occasionally on a long ride I take a break and turn it off. On four occasions, restarting has resulted in an alternating blue/red LED on the TCU, and motor does not engage. Cycling off/on fixes the problem (thankfully).

3) Once after charging to 100% and reattaching the Rosenberger plug, the power would not come on - TCU did not illuminate. Let it sit and somehow it started working after a few hours.

4) I can't figure out the walk mode. This might be my fault, I haven't really looked at it much.

I've mentioned 1, 2, and 3 to the bikeshop mechanics (THC). They don't seem to motivated to do much about it. 2 and 3 were not reproducible, and 1 is not causing a significant problem.
This all sounds pretty bad; like a circuit board that went through a misbehaving wave solder machine and is full of intermittent connections or it was made in Germany on Friday afternoon. Since the bike shop won't help you escalate and go directly to Specialized; they'll want to get this fixed and have you post a glowing report about your great experience.
 

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My motor just went out at 3400 miles on my 17' Levo. The electric part of the motor was still fine but the gear and belt are slipping. This bike has been ridden hard and put away wet many times. My wife has the same bike and it is at about 1000 miles. I put a fair amount of miles on her bike. My wife doesn't ride in the winter so I kept studded tires mounted on her bike for my use. That way I was always ready to ride anywhere no matter what the weather or where I went. I've noticed that some people reported poor range and performance in the winter on other ebike brands. I didn't have that problem with the Levo. I keep the battery in the car when driving to the trail head during freezing temps. The battery is tucked inside the bike frame and generates heat as does the motor during use and stays warm the entire ride. That is contrary to what you would think from battery usage in the cold.

Anyway I was told that no motors were available by my LBS and I am waiting on the Specialized bike rep to tell me what to do. It is out of warranty. The new Levos have a more skinny 29" tire. I think I like the older 27.5 plus tires better. It's nice to have some extra rubber and volume when you come blasting through a rock garden.
 

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My motor just went out at 3400 miles on my 17' Levo.

Anyway I was told that no motors were available by my LBS and I am waiting on the Specialized bike rep to tell me what to do. It is out of warranty.
Bummer. I hope you get it fixed. Is there a secondary market of those bikes yet? Folks parting out bikes that were killed in action. Maybe you can get a used motor that way.

I assume these are proprietary parts otherwise there would be an aftermarket option for a new motor.
 

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middle ring single track
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My buddy Larry from Henry W Coe State Park has this to say about his high-mileage Levo:

"I have 5,500 miles on my Levo, all in Coe Park. About a month or so after buying it, I purchased a second battery and always ride with two - two batteries = twice the fun. I really love the bike.

I haven't kept a detailed maintenance log, but here's what I recall off the top of my head:

The cable that connects the motor to the battery has been replaced twice. The first time, it was not seating properly on the battery connector. Next time, the connection became intermittent.

The motor failed and was replaced under warranty at about 5,000 miles.

The freehub failed at about 2,500 miles and was replaced with a non-OEM part. Specialized reimbursed my bike shop for time and materials.

I have terrible luck with Rovals, and the Levo has been no exception. After multiple spoke breakages, front and back, I replaced both wheels with DT Swiss rims and more robust spokes.

I've replaced all of the wear items, probably more frequently than most. That's due in part to where I ride, I think, and my size - 6'6" and 230lb

One curious anomaly - the motor sometimes engages without turning the pedals. That can be a little disconcerting, particularly when it happens in a precarious location.

Performance-wise, since I have two batteries, I always run in Turbo mode. When the batteries were new, I would average 10 to 12 miles and around 2,600 feet of climbing per battery. That's dropped a bit over time. Now, it's around 9 or 10 miles and perhaps 2,200 feet of elevation. I guess that's to be expected with the lithium ion batteries.

Someone up above mentioned struggling to get the walk-along feature working. Pro-tip: while pressing the button, roll the bike backwards a foot or two until the pedals engage. They will turn slowly for about two spins and then kick in at about 1.9 miles an hour. This is a real life-saver with such a heavy bike.

My LBS, Bike Therapy in Morgan Hill, CA, has been great, and Specialized has generally been responsive and reasonable."


Tire Bicycle tire Wheel Bicycle wheel Bicycle wheel rim


Larry is a fellow member of the park's Mountain Bike Patrol.

PS; he just messaged me that he broke a seat rail this afternoon and is heading to the bike shop as I write this.
 

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Bummer. I hope you get it fixed. Is there a secondary market of those bikes yet? Folks parting out bikes that were killed in action. Maybe you can get a used motor that way.

I assume these are proprietary parts otherwise there would be an aftermarket option for a new motor.
I would assume that when it they say no motor is available they are talking about the original motor. Don't quote me but I'm pretty sure it is mandatory to update to the newer motor.

I've only had one broken spoke but that could happen to any bike and the replacement took mere minutes to install. I've beat the hell out of my Roval rims and I think they are satisfactory. I also perform maintenance on the hubs, which if not done, can cause problems on any bike. 6'6 and 230 pounds? Sounds like that Levo is quite the bike to hold up to that kind of beating at over 5000 miles.

I looked up my elevation gain on my 3400 mile motor failure and it was around 320,000 ft. The electrical part of the motor is sound, my failure was one of the plastic gears or belt. Completely satisfied with the bike sans problems with Avid. Even the dropper post has held up great despite massive usage and no maintenance.
 

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loopy counter
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Larry is an outlier, don’t ya think? Recently I was way out there, hadn’t seen a sole in 6 hours, and Larry zips up, says hi. A second later he was gone in a flash. He’s putting down the benchmark limits for bike reliability and should be on Specialized payroll.
 

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middle ring single track
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Larry is an outlier, don't ya think? Recently I was way out there, hadn't seen a sole in 6 hours, and Larry zips up, says hi. A second later he was gone in a flash. He's putting down the benchmark limits for bike reliability and should be on Specialized payroll.
Larry probably had 2 soles that day; I'm not sure about his soul. The Coe Mountain Bike Patrol has had more than it's share of outliers.
 

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bipedal
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Giant Warp - you can just put a 2018 motor in your ‘17 Levo. It has slightly better performance and comes with the nice handlebar remote. They are available, and your lbs should be able to get one for $650 as a “crash replacement “.
 
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