2018 Levo vs 2019 Levo


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8:18 AM
Aug 30, 2020
So, looking for my first eMTB, and Specialized has really good dealer support locally, so they’re looking like the best option. I ride a Salsa Bucksaw w 4” Jumbo Jim’s, and also have an Ibis Ripley with 29”x2.6 tires. Honestly, I like the Bucksaw better, even with less travel, it’s more stable, and more inspiring to ride.

Knowing that, I would prefer 27.5 x 2.8 (the 2018 Levo specs) tires. But for those who have both year Levos, or have ridden both, is the 2019 with 29x2.6 a better ride? I know that’s a loaded question, but would I be nuts to get a 2018 with the improvements they’ve made in 2019?

Thanks in advance.
Haven’t ridden either but shopped them. The new motor just has a little more torque at high RPM. For me, with bike fit problems because I’m long legged and short upper body, the 2018 would be slightly better because of the shorter reach.

If you like the fit of the 2018 buy it; if it feels cramped wait for the 2019 because of the longer reach.
I was able to negotiate with my dealer to swap out the 29" for 27.5 X 3.0" wheels and tires, plus change to a sorter stem at no additional cost when I put an order in for a 2019. I did it all over the phone when ordering a base model. Call around and see if you can't negotiate your own deal.

I actually ended up cancelling the order two months later an bought a Commencal Meta Power that was specd a lot better and had no wait time. To my surprise I was able to get my deposit fully refunded when I asked nicely.
Thanks, good info. I’ll check with my LBS and see if they even know the lead times.
Bingo! I’ve owned both 2018 and 2019 Levos, a 2017 Salsa Bucksaw with 4” Jumbo Jims, and a couple of bikes that I’ve run with 29x2.6 tires. All great bikes! Here’s my take:

Bucksaw - a fun bike, perfect on desert sand and great fun on Utah slickrock, but a bit slow and cumbersome on dirt or rocky trails. Loved exploring on it but missed the playfulness of longer travel bikes with faster wheels.

Pivot 429 Trail and Stumpjumper with 29x2.6 tires - close to ideal for my riding on dirt and rocky trails but not enough float for sand.

2018 & 2019 Levos - There are small differences between the two model years, but I don’t find anything that would make me choose one over the other apart from the ability to use a larger battery on the 2019 model (700Wh vs. 500Wh). I only switched to the 2019 to extend my range.

The ‘18 & ‘19 Levos both accept 27.5x3 tires giving great cushion and traction, and both fit a 29x3 tire in front. The 2018 will take up to a 29x2.45 tire in back, whereas the 2019 will take a 29” rear tire up to 2.65”. I like cushion, float and traction so I ran a 27.5x3 tire in back on my 2018 and on my current 2019 as well. Up front I settled in on a 29” wheel and 3.0 tire for both bikes. The mixed wheel size “B9” or “79” plus bike setup is my fav - I find that it gives the best cushion, traction, roll-over, and handling on the Levo. (I even have my Stumpjumper set up similarly with 29x3 in front and 27.5x3 in back.)

The 2019 Levo is sweet and provides the opportunity to run a larger battery, but if you can find a 2018 at a good price you can use the savings for other upgrades.

2017 Bucksaw

2017 Salsa Bucksaw with 4” Jumbo Jims.jpg
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Do you notice a significant difference in feel between the two motors? I demoed a '19 Levo and '19 Kenevo at the Demo center in Boulder recently. I thought the newer motor on the Levo felt significantly more refined.
I’m sure the 2019 motor (and bike) is “more refined”, but I don’t find the difference between the ‘18 and ’19 Levo motors to be that “significant” in real world performance. The ’19 Brose motor may be a bit more efficient, but some of that and a lot of the feel and power delivery of both year motors depends on battery firmware and the tuning options used.

I don’t know which firmware versions were installed on the the Kenevo and Levo you tested or how the tuning (power levels, acceleration response) was set. My 2018 Levo had firmware v. 2.22 and allowed acceleration control using the Mission Control App, but it required BLEvo to fully tune power delivery for optimal performance. Later 2018 bikes with firmware v. 2.23 had the so-called Mission Control “Infinite Tune” but lost the ability to adjust acceleration to faster response rates. The 2019 firmware gets more complicated: v. 2.019, 2.025 and 2.026 provide nice power and acceleration tuning but BLEvo is not yet fully implemented on v. 2.025 and 2.026

Bottom line - As an average-Joe rider I don’t feel much difference between a well tuned 2018 Levo and a 2019 model. The 2019 bike would be the obvious choice if you an afford it, but the 2018 is pretty similar and is also a great bike.
Hey all, I'm looking to buy a Turbo Levo and were wondering what kind of discounts you all are seeing on the 2018's. I actually prefer the 2018 to the 2019 since I've got an old neck injury (with an artificial disc c5/c6) and like the shorter reach of the '18.

I've seen discounts of about 25% on the '18's, so definitely it seems like the value play.

One more question: given the discounts out there, should I go with the Comp Carbon or the Comp Expert? (noting the Carbons seem to be more readily available and also noting that the aluminum ones seem to be already snagged up).

Thanks all, I really appreciate your input.
I am new to Ebikes. I enjoy my fat with 90 mm rims and 4.8 studded tires our 4 winter months.I am in Montreal, Quebec. I also enjoy my HT 29x2.3 21 pounds 100 mm with tiny rims. To fill the middle i enjoy a 120mm HT Haibike with 40 mm rims and 27.5 x 3.0 tires. I suggest we need more traction and my rims and tires offer me that and some extra cush. To add range i switched my 10 S cassette from 11-36 to 11-42. To ride 4 hours or more on my 500 Wh i just need to keep my cadence up so a tiny gear avoids draining a battery climbing. Being on Yamaha i cannot offer you specifics but i would buy again some 27.5 x 3 on rims wide enough.