I've been running EX1 for a few weeks. Just getting it was a challenge as SRAM aren't bringing it in to Australia at the moment. Combine that with Sram geo-blocking it's sale every where else online... a very frustrating experience. I eventually found an online bike store in Spain willing to ship it to me.
First impressions are not anything exciting. I don't find the shifting much crisper than the standard Shimano XT 11 speed I was running... still get the occasional gear crunch. The spread of ratios is certainly bigger with 1 or 2 shifts feeling a little too big... but not too much of an issue with the ebike's torque. I'm hoping it's main advantage will be durability and chain strength.
I'm not sure if it's related, but since installing the EX1 system, I've had an annoying creak somewhere in my drive train. I suspect it has something to do with chainline or derailleur tuning... but not 100% sure. Adjusting derailleur cable tension (at the shifter) seems to fluctuate it's severity but I can't get rid of it completely.
My purchase was based soley on "durability" purposes only. Gonna have to buy an 8spd missing link! Been ages it seems since seeing 8spd. The biggest problem is when moving too many gears at once. I was seriously contemplating the Di2 which only always one shift at a time, but still too skinny chain. Matter of time before shimano hits the 8spd Di2.
Surprised that anyone would have difficulty with 8 speeds on an e-bike since my system has worked fine off road with just three speeds in the rear (11-17-28) for the last 18 months, first with a 44 chainring, now with a 30 (since 24 mph is fast enough for me on the road portions of my rides).
The difficulty I have is with the 11spd drivetrain on the Levo. It's very spindly for the excessive torque. I unloaded the torque on shifts and still broke the chain 3 times on my first ride. Ironically, the Levo Expert I owned before this Levo Comp, never broke a chain.
G, very strange about your bike since I tested one pretty vigorously (for an old guy) and a friend had another at the same time and the drivetrains performed admirably in pretty nasty conditions (one ride was through a lot of ice and streams at altitude in socal).
My Levo has about 730 miles on it. The KMC chain is pretty tough. I put the Park tool chain gauge on the chain and it is not to the .75 wear mark yet. My rear derailleur comes out of alignment every now and then. It is critical on the Levo with an 11 sp that the derailleur is true to the cassette or there will be problems. If you broke the chain multiple times on one ride it is because you can not put that type of chain back together without a master link. You can not just push the pins back in like a traditional chain. I carry a spare master link just in case the chain breaks. If you try to reassemble the broken chain by pushing the pins back in you will be lucky to make it a mile.