Is there something wrong with my Specialized Levo Hardtail ebike?


New member
Local time
2:16 PM
Sep 23, 2020
Im a total newbie to ebikes, long time road and mountain biker though... I just bought a new 2020 Specialized Levo Hardtail and ive noticed something unusual, wanted to ask if this is what ebikes ride like.

Battery kicks in feels great, rode up a really steep hill no problem at all.

The problem comes when you are riding downhill or along the flat.. Ive noticed that i get to a certain speed (could be the 15mph the motor is supposed to max out at?) and then it suddenly feels like the motor is dragging or the brake is on. Really sticky and almost commical!

I had a bus behind me on a narrow bit of road and im trying to speed up to get to a clear bit and its just like peddaling against the front brake being on, or riding through thick mud.

As soon i stop peddaling and the speed comes down a bit the hold is released and it goes back to feeling like a normal bike and the motor kicks in as and when it should.

Is this how all ebikes feel if you speed past the motor top end? or is there something up with my motor?

The diagnostics say there is nothing wrong and the firmware is up to date!

Any help greatfully received!
Top speed is 20mph on the Levo unless you put a Planet3 on it.
So is that 20mph with the motor working with you?

Or do these bikes have a top out speed where you can't pedal past it? Seems a bit odd?

I would have thought the motor would have taken you up to the speed that it can and if the road allows it releases itself to allow you to pedal faster? Mine seems to want to hold me back.

Is this normal?
1st off, in USA cut off speed for a class 1 ebike is 20mph. If you live somewhere else then it’s most likely 15 mph.

Sometimes USA bike are sent with the wrong software loaded with the 15mph cut off. Then you’ll need to take it back to get the correct software loaded.

2nd when you do hit that cut off speed, it does feel like a boat anchor dropped. Some motors do not completely disconnect. Also when you’ve been cruising with assist and it’s suddenly gone, mentally it can also feel like a boat anchor just dropped. A lot of people have this sensation when the motor cuts out.

At least the Specialized drive system maintains boost right up until 20 MPH (or slightly higher since it seems most owners hack the wheel circumference) - the Shimano drive system starts cutting out at 17-18 mph more gradually, but it sucks that it does that.
Once you hit 20mph the motor stops assisting and it feel like it drags. The Brose and Bosch Gen 4 have the least resistance after 20mph but its still there. If you don't like it you will need something to fool the computer. I think the Planet3 or LS are the best and cheapest options. Make sure you take it off before you take the bike in to the bike shop as it could void your warranty. It all depends on the shop.
I would be very wary of modding that bike if u want warranty service. If u need a commuter build a diy ebike and you can hit 30 pretty easily and save the levo for trails. Or get a vado
I think the manufacturers have software built into their systems that can detect "dongles" (or whatever they're called), so you might wait until the bike is out of warranty. It's possible that some of the newer devices can defeat the software but I haven't heard of any with that feature.