Trigger warning: here comes the most expensive bike in our big 2024 trail bike group test. If you’re currently trying to save money, you might want to skip this review, because the Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo SL light e-mountainbike retails at an eye-watering € 14,000. In return for a serious chunk of your hard-earned cash, you’ll get 160/150 mm of travel, a mullet wheel setup and an electric motor. Is that enough to win the test?

Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo SL | Specialized Turbo SL 1.2/320 Wh | 160/150 mm (f/r)
17.5 kg in size S4 | € 14,000 | Manufacturer’s website

Would you rather buy a small car and a year’s supply of beer, or the Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo SL? It might seem rather extreme at first, but there’s a very simple explanation: the eye-watering € 14,000 price tag is the result of the Californian brand’s deep involvement in the development of ebikes, which brought them to do most of the design work themselves. For example, the software and display were designed in-house by Specialized, while the motor was tailored to the bike’s requirements in close cooperation with Mahle. This allowed them to build the bike around the motor system, rather than having to rely on third-party solutions and components. The Levo SL has also taken on the “ultimate trail bike” slogan of its analogue role model, the Stumpjumper EVO, so naturally we wanted to put that to the test. Aside from being the most expensive bike in this test, the Levo SL is also the lightest ebike competitor, tipping the scales at 17.5 kg.

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best trail bike 2024 – 15 of the most exciting trail bikes in our 2024 comparison test

The 2023 Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo SL in detail

In typical Specialized fashion, the frame of the Turbo Levo SL is built to the highest manufacturing standards. The elegant paint finish is a harmonious ensemble of matt and glossy accents, while the brushed alloy link perfectly matches the silver brake callipers. The cables are routed internally and disappear into the frame through elaborate cable ports which secure them reliably, ensuring a quiet ride on the trail. A generously sized seat and chainstay protector prevents chain slap and paint chips, while the motor cover doubles as a skid plate. This is secured to the frame with a bolt, which makes it easy to tighten or replace the plate. The Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo SL comes standard with a SWAT tool hidden in the steerer tube, which includes some essential tools for basic trailside repairs. One cool thing is that Specialized have finally standardised the bolt heads of the Levo SL – even down to the lock-on grips – meaning that you could potentially service the whole bike just with the SWAT tool.

The spec of the 2023 Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo SL

The suspension consists of a FOX 36 Factory fork and matching FLOAT X Factory shock, both of which feature the fancy Kashima coating and allow for countless adjustment options, generating 160/150 mm of travel (f/r). The Specialized Turbo SL 1.2 light motor delivers 50 Nm of torque and draws its power from a permanently integrated 320 Wh battery, which was developed in-house by Specialized and provides the smallest capacity in this group test. For longer rides, the battery can be supplemented with an optional 160 Wh range extender, which can be easily stored in the bottle cage. Recessed flush into the top tube, you’ll find the Specialized MasterMind display, which shows you basic riding data such as charge status and current support mode. The electronic RockShox Reverb AXS dropper post ensures lighting fast, butter-smooth action, but only offers 170 mm of travel, which is below average in this test. SRAM Code Ultimate Stealth brakes with 200 mm rotors front and rear do stopping duties. However, with the new Stealth levers, the brake lines run closer to the handlebars, which results in rattling noises on the trail. It’s a real pity that you have to use a zip tie to eliminate the problem on such an expensive bike. A 12 speed SRAM X0 Transmission drivetrain ensures smooth gear shifts even under full load. The cockpit consists of a 50 mm Deity stem and a 780 mm carbon handlebar from in-house brand Roval. Roval also supply the mixed-sized carbon wheelset, which is paired with Specialized’s in-house tires, with a 29” Butcher in the softer T9 rubber compound at the front and 27.5” Eliminator in the slightly harder T7 compound at the rear. Both tires come in the Grid Trail casing, which suits the bike’s character and intended use, and generates excellent traction.

Thanks to Specialized’s S-sizing concept and the countless geometry adjustments, the Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo SL fits like a glove, no matter your height or your handling preferences.

The SWAT mini tool in the steerer tube is quick and easy to access and includes the essential tools needed for basic trail repairs – other manufacturers should take note!
Uphill boost
The motor of the Levo SL is seamlessly integrated into the frame and takes the edge off strenuous climbs. The small 320 Wh battery ensures a slim frame silhouette.
Love for detail
The brushed alloy yoke and carbon rocker arm look extremely good together.
Karma, karma, karma chameleon
The Levo SL features three different geometry adjustments, which together with the S-sizing concept make the Levo SL a true master of versatility.
Clean but mean
The Stealth brakes ensure a clean cockpit but position the cables close to the handlebars, resulting in the brake lines rattling loudly on the trail.

Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo SL

€ 14,000


Motor Specialized Turbo SL 1.2 50 Nm
Battery Specialized 320 Wh
Display Specialized MasterMind TCU
Fork FOX 36 Factory GRIP2 160 mm
Rear Shock FOX FLOAT X Factory 150 mm
Seatpost RockShox Reverb AXS 170 mm
Brakes SRAM CODE Ultimate Stealth 200/200 mm
Drivetrain SRAM X0 Transmission 1x12
Stem DEITY 50 mm
Handlebar Roval Carbon 780 mm
Wheelset Roval Traverse SL Carbon 29"/27.5"
Tires Specialized Butcher, Grid Trail, T9/Specialized Elimiator, Grid Trail, T7 2.3"/2.3"

Technical Data

Size S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6
Weight 17.5 kg

Specific Features

adjustable head set
integrated tool

Tuning tip: Hold the brake hoses together with a clip or cable tie

Helmet Smith Session MIPS | Glasses Oakley Sutro | Jacket Specialized Fjällräven Adventure West
Jersey Specialized Fjällräven Sun Shirt | Pants Specialized Demo Pants
Shoes Fizik Gravita Tensor | Socks Vans

The geometry of the 2023 Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo SL

Like most Specialized mountain bikes, the S-Works Turbo Levo SL relies on the manufacturer’s proprietary S-sizing concept, which includes six sizes, S1 to S6, and employs a short seat tube across the board, allowing you to choose the frame size based on your desired reach. Moreover, the sizing system makes it easy to downsize or upsize if you’re on the fence. The Levo SL also offers the most geometry adjustments in the entire test field, with two flip chips on the frame and interchangeable headset cups allowing you to alter the geometry of the bike. One flip chip is hidden in the shock yoke and lets you change the BB height by +/- 5 mm, while a second flip chip on the chainstay lets you adapt the geometry of the rear end in case you want to run a 29″ rear wheel. It’s possible to change the head tube angle by up to 2.5°. Unfortunately, the chainstay length remains the same across all of the sizes, which is a real pity.

Size S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6
Top tube 560 mm 582 mm 604 mm 631 mm 659 mm 691 mm
Seat tube 385 mm 385 mm 405 mm 425 mm 445 mm 465 mm
Head tube 95 mm 100 mm 110 mm 120 mm 130 mm 140 mm
Head angle 64.6° 64.6° 64.6° 64.6° 64.6° 64.6°
Seat angle 75.8° 75.8° 75.8° 75.8° 75.8° 75.8°
Chainstays 433 mm 432 mm 432 mm 432 mm 432 mm 432 mm
BB Drop 34 mm 29 mm 29 mm 29 mm 29 mm 29 mm
Wheelbase 1,158 mm 1,184 mm 1,208 mm 1,238 mm 1,267 mm 1,301 mm
Reach 405 mm 425 mm 445 mm 470 mm 495 mm 525 mm
Stack 609 mm 617 mm 626 mm 635 mm 645 mm 654 mm

The 2023 Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo SL on the trail

Riding uphill – which can be surprisingly fun with a motor – the SL motor of the Turbo Levo has a similar character to that of the TQ drive system, which can be found on the Mondraker Neat in this group test. It delivers a natural riding experience but also requires a fair amount of input. The front end is relatively high, integrating you nicely with the bike. That said, the Levo’s front wheel tends to lift off the ground slightly on very steep, technical sections. On the other hand, the pedalling position is comfortable and balanced on level ground, making the bike suitable for long days in the saddle.

The suspension always provides enough support and reserves – the Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo SL is just as fast through tight corners as it is through rough rock gardens.

As soon as you point its nose downhill to start the fun part, you’ll quickly realise what the Specialized does best: it makes you feel good from the get-go! The weight is evenly distributed between the front and rear, so you don’t have to actively shift your weight in either direction. Together with the integrated riding position, this inspires huge amounts of confidence right from the start. The small rear wheel enhances the integrated feeling even more. The Levo SL does exactly what it’s supposed to do: put a grin on your face, without feeling like you’re taking unnecessary risks. Only our Best in test, the YT Jeffsy, has more intuitive handling. The geometry of the Specialized comes to life on steeper gradients, with the high front end inspiring confidence and the active rear suspension ensuring excellent control, taking the edge off all but the roughest trails. The suspension generates sufficient traction without swallowing up the rider’s input like a sandbag. On the contrary, the Levo SL is rather playful, allowing you to ride around obstacles and pop off ledges without fighting the bike, and striking a near-perfect balance between traction and support. At the same time, the Specialized generates tons of traction on fast, bumpy sections, gobbling up small hits with its sensitive suspension. The tires never struggle for traction, sticking to the ground, unless you ask them not to. On narrow trails with tight turns, the Levo SL offers a good compromise between composure and agility, making it easy to spontaneously change your line and to negotiate tricky hairpin switchbacks. However, the traction-rich suspension makes it slightly more cumbersome than the Yeti SB 140. The small rear wheel really carves through berms, encouraging you to keep your fingers off the brakes on fast trails. As a result, the Specialized is just as easy and safe to rip down the side of a mountain as the YT and Yeti analogue bikes. Despite being a light eMTB, the Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo SL ranks amongst the three best bikes in the entire group test, only missing out on the coveted Best in Test title by a hair’s breadth.

Who should take a closer look at the 2023 Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo SL?

The Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo SL is a trail bike with a next-level fun factor. The proprietary S-sizing concept and easy handling make it suitable for all sorts of riders, while the many geometry adjustments make it incredibly versatile, allowing you to dial in your ride to suit your own needs and preferences. The sensitive suspension provides tons of feedback, making it the ideal companion for both beginners and sporty riders – provided they have the spare cash! That said, the Levo SL is totally worth its price, and also provides a fantastic platform to improve your riding skills. Needless to say, the motor plays a crucial role too, getting you to the trailhead faster and thus increasing the number of fun downhill laps!



  1. sluggish
  2. efficient


  1. cumbersome
  2. playful


  1. nervous
  2. confident


  1. demanding
  2. balanced


  1. harsh
  2. plush


  1. planted
  2. poppy


  1. terrible
  2. very good


Cross Country




Our conclusions about the 2023 S-Works Turbo Levo SL

The Specialized emerges as the best light e-mountainbike in our 2024 trail bike group test, and only misses out on the Best in Test title by a hair’s breadth. The Levo SL is the perfect choice for riders who can’t do without motor assistance, but also want balanced, smooth-performing suspension – by far the most impressive in this test! Specialized rely on their extraordinary ebike know-how to deliver a belter of a bike with a top tier spec and some clever detail solutions that burst with confidence – and rightly so, because it’s amongst the best performing bikes in the entire test field.


  • Excellent balance between agility and composure
  • Makes you feel at ease right from the start like no other bike in this test
  • Very good motor integration


  • Brake lines rattles against the handlebars
  • Expensive

You can find out more about at

The test field

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best trail bike 2024 – 15 of the most exciting trail bikes in our 2024 comparison test

All bikes in test: Cannondale Habit LT 1 (Click for review) | Cube ONE55 C:62 SLT 29 (Click for review) | Ghost RIOT Trail Full Party (Click for review) | Merida ONE-FORTY 10K (Click for review) | Mondraker Neat RR SL (Click for review) | Nicolai Saturn 14 Swift HRZ (Click for review) | Orbea Occam LT M10 (Click for review) | Santa Cruz Heckler SL XX AXS RSV (Click for review) | Santa Cruz Hightower X0 AXS RSV (Click for review) | Scor 2030 X01 (Click for review) | SCOTT Genius ST 900 Tuned (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo SL | Trek Fuel EX 9.9 X0 AXS T-Type (Click for review) | Yeti SB140 LR T3 X0 (Click for review) | YT JEFFSY CORE 5 CF (Click for review)

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Words: Julian Schwede Photos: Peter Walker

About the author

Julian Schwede

Juli is used to dealing with big rigs. Besides working on his bike, he also tinkered and worked on buses after completing his training as a vehicle mechatronics engineer. Since the development of large-scale electric motors was too slow for him, he went on to study technical business administration while building carbon fibre tables on the side. Though his DJ bike is welded from thick aluminium tubes, his full-susser is made of carbon and it's already taken him to the top of numerous summits. Apart from biking, he likes climbing via ferratas or vertically on the wall. Nowadays, his personal bike gets ridden less as he tests the bikes that get sent to us, pushing them to their limits to see what they're capable of. In addition to bike reviews, Juli also takes care of the daily news and thinks of himself as the Daily Planet reporter Clark Kent.