The Levo SL Alloy makes mid-power e-bike performance affordable to more riders


Specialized has a new e-bike out, it’s called the Specialized Levo SL Alloy and this time you don’t need to be rich to afford it. With an alloy frame, budget-friendly components like SRAM NX, and a price tag of just over £5,000 it’s the bike designed to bring mid-power e-bikes to the masses.

OK so £5,250 to give it its full price is still a lot of money, but it’s comparatively cheap compared to the lightweight e-bikes from Specialized that came before it, which all feature full-carbon frames and start from £7,000. And on price, power and weight it fares pretty well against some of the best electric mountain bikes around.

Remember the Specialized Status 160? The Levo SL Alloy is built in the same vein, bringing performance for less cash

Specialized Levo SL Alloy need to know

  • New alloy version of the Levo SL e-bike, with 150mm travel with 150mm fork
  • Weight measured at 20.14kg, in size S4, while the bike costs £5,250
  • Specialized SL 1.2 motor generates 50Nm and 320W peak power
  • Mullet setup, or switch to 29er using the bike’s geo adjust
  • Six sizes from S1-S6, and three colours: green, black or purple
  • 320Wh internal battery, 160Wh range extender compatible (sold separately for £340)

Ditching the carbon frame has shaved a good £1,750 off the cost of joining the Specialized mid-power revolution then, but what about the cost to the ride performance? We rode the bike for a day around the Surrey Hills, which wasn’t exactly enough time to form a firm view on the bike, but it did give us a chance to get it onto the scales.

The headline figure is 20.14kg in size S4 on our scales, which has a reach measurement of 470mm, meaning the Levo SL Alloy is actually reasonably lightweight… but at least a kilo heavier than the Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo SL Gen 2 we tested last year, at 17.65g, allowing some leeway for the latter’s lighter components.

Get up close on the new Levo SL Alloy and theres no disguising the welds for carbon lamination

Alloy frame

It goes without saying that the M5 alloy frame is all-new, but it’s almost perfectly closely matched in looks, geometry and sizing to the carbon bikes. That means there’s less than a millimetre difference between the carbon bike we ran a tape measure over and the claimed sizing of the new alloy bike, demonstrating some impressively small tolerances from Specialized.

The bike comes as a mullet setup, but it’s designed to be swapped over to a 29er as keep the same geometry thanks BB height adjustment, you can also change the head angle.

There are some neat touches to the bike too, the cable ports are wide and clamp hoses and cables, and there’s internal sleeving to keep things quiet. Specialized has also added generous chainstay protection, a mini chainguide and a SWAT multitool in the fork steerer.

The Levo SL gets a Fox Float Performance piggyback shock, while the kinematics have been tweaked… proably for a more linear feel


We don’t know much about the new bike’s suspension kinematics, except that it has a “flatter leverage curve which provides more support and playfulness off the top, but plenty of control in rougher conditions,” Specialized says. Presumably that means it’s more linear than the carbon bike. If that is the case, and it’s a big if, that could provide the alloy bike with the more sensitive, pitter-patter suspension of the original Levo SL, something that was lost ever so slightly with the more progressive second generation bike in 2023.

The Fox Rhythm fork is still a great performer, and without indexed dials for low and high speed compression damping is dead easy to set up

Specialized Levo SL Alloy components

There’s only one build available in the new alloy range, it comes with a Fox Float Performance piggyback shock, and 36 Rhythm fork, both of which we’ve found to work really well before. The drivetrain is exclusively SRAM NX, which is noisy and heavy but workmanlike, and the SRAM Code R brakes have big 220/200mm rotors front to back.

The seatpost is an X-Fusion Manic and it ranges from 100mm in S1 right up to 190mm in S6. There’s a decent Specialized alloy bar, stem and saddle, and the wheels are bog standard Specialized. There’ll be no need to upgrade the front tyre here, it’s the Butcher with Gripton T9 rubber and a GRID TRAIL casing. But we noticed a bit of a disconnect on the back, with the Eliminator T7 tyre not grippy enough.

The Specialized Turbo Levo Comp 2023 electric mountain bike

Last year the full power Turbo Levo was our shop-bought e-bike of the year, and you can buy it on sale for less than the Levo SL

Alloy alternatives to the Levo SL Alloy

Top of the pile as an alternative is the Specialized Turbo Levo Comp Carbon eMTB, it weighs 22.43kg on our scales, which is two more than the SL Alloy here. But it’s a full-power e-bike, complete with 90Nm of torque, 565W of peak power and a 700Wh battery, so it’s in a different league in terms of power. The price is good though, the bike usually costs £7,000 but you can find some deals out there for £4,499

If it really is a medium power bike you want, the Pivot Shuttle SL 29 Team XTR was our lightweight e-bike of the year in 2023. It has less travel than the Levo SL at 132mm, but the Fazua Ride 60 packs more of a punch – 60Nm torque and 450W peak power – and the 430Wh battery is bigger too, while it weighs just 18.47kg. That kind of tech doesn’t come cheap though, this bike is £12,800, which makes the Levo SL Alloy look like a bargain.

Trek’s Fuel EXe 5 is the closest match though, it too sports an alloy frame, and the £5,175 price is very comparable. The Fuel EXe runs on a TQ motor with 50Nm torque and 300W peak power, and uses a 360Wh battery too, so they’re very close on power. And if our latest e-bike power test is anything to go by, that’s represented in the real world too, with the Specialized and TQ motors evenly matched.