Swapping My Levo for a Kenevo

Salespunk

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Decided to swap out my Levo since I don't like the older geo relative to my new Enduro and SJ Evo. To hard to go from conservative traditional to cutting edge new school setups. Does anyone else struggle with changing back and forth? The only other issue is 275 vs 29, but I may try a mullet setup.
 

Salespunk

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First ride on the Kenevo yesterday and f*&k me gently with a chainsaw, it is so good. First off everyone talks about new school geo being good for descending, but I find it even better for climbing. We like to climb some really steep and rough trails and the comparison back to back with the Levo is not even close. In sections where I was fighting to stay on the Levo the Kenevo just motored right through. It was not an isolated event either, felt the same on every climb.

On the descents the results are pretty self obvious. Big travel and aggressive geo makes for a really fun ride. One last comment, I would love to see them build this geo on a shorter travel eBike like the Levo. Essentially and Evo version of the Levo (Levo Evo?) would be a category killer.

Some pics of the two setups

My Levo was not close to stock. X2 rear shock, Fox 36, Saint brakes, etc

[/URL]IMG_20200308_205630_576 by Sales Punk, on Flickr

Kenevo as it sits now. PNW 170 dropper, X2 rear shock arrives today, installed a full XT drivetrain now and will be pulling the Saints off my Levo

[/URL]20200404_094911 by Sales Punk, on Flickr

[/URL]20200404_080419 by Sales Punk, on Flickr
 

Crit Rat

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Nice Salespunk. I switched bikes to try and have both bikes be more similar. I'm on a '20 Commencal Meta Power 29 and a '20 Banshee Titan. Pretty similar except the Commencal has 51mm offset 170 Lyrik compared to 44mm offset 170 Fox36 on my Titan. I find that the greater offset is pretty good on the ebike as it adds a bit of agility to the heavy ebike but am considering switching forks or CSU so that both bikes will be the same.
 

rod9301

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Yeah, i have a 180 mm haibike. Same geometry as the kenevo.
Don't really understand why someone would buy a short travel e bike. There is no downside to slack, big travel bikes.

 

Salespunk

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I can understand why they would want something that is a little more snappy. Personally the geo of the Kenevo climbs tight tech better, but that could be a result of me riding this geo for so long.
 

highroad 2

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Seems like just a few years ago that those in the know said that the slack front end tends to wander on steep technical climbs as the front end gets lighter in comparison to the less slack Levo.
Several Kenevo riders have said lately that the Kenevo climbs great and the front ended is planted and steers well.
With the 700 wh battery whats not to like? Weight?

Highroad 2
 
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Sure there is. On twisty trails, you really do notice the difference of a heavy, slack eMTB vs a lighter, steeper geometry. The weight and "push" from the motor exaggerate the difference a bit too. I had my Shuttle slacked out for a while, then went back to my 160mm Fox 36 and wow - I'm far happier with the original setup. It's not quite as good for bashing through technical sections but it holds pace through the twisties much better. So net faster I think for the kinda stuff I ride.
 

Salespunk

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I the next week or so I will throw down my test climb on the Kenevo. I smashed myself on the Levo last week and set a <acronym title="Google Page Ranking">PR of 8 minutes flat. This is an all singletrack climb with several very tight slow switchbacks that should, if the short/steep theory is true, give the Levo a big advantage.

My experience is that the longer/slacker bikes actually excel in these situations. People get hung up HA numbers, but you have to view all of the numbers as a system. The slack HA in conjunction with the steep SA, long front and rear centers puts more weight on the front wheel and allows a rider to charge through those tight corners even harder. I also have much more control when lofting the front wheel over obstacles or moving the front end side to side (think of a stalled wheelie moving the front wheel to one side or the other). Either way it will be an interesting experience.
 
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I wasn't really referring to climbs. And it's not just slack, it's also how "tall", wheelbase, and so on. I was referring more to a broad mix of technical trails where you're constantly getting on and off the binders and working the bike hard through turns. There's also a point on *really* steep climbs that it becomes hard to keep the front end down with too tall a bike.

Whatever works best for you is what's best! Enjoy your Kenevo - it's an awesome rig.
 

MX9799

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I like that Kenevo. I was going to get that exact model, but couldn't get my hands on one so went with the Reign E+. How do you like the Bomber fork that comes on that bike?
 

roughster

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Honestly, I’m willing to give it a go, but I just went with a 2020 Levo Comp (700 wh battery) and I can’t believe how ****in amazing it is! My local trail has some pretty large technical and jump features including a few spot of steep rowdiness, like -38% ave...

I’m 6’1” all torso and upsized to an XL. I am not joking, it rides exactly like my 2019 Strive in clack mode (enduro). Yeah it’s “only” 150mm travel but I am blasting 6’ high x 20 foot air drops on it and I am running 235 lbs trail weight. How much bigger are people going?

I don’t see giving up the 700 wh and state of the art motor worth the opportunity to ride even bigger (?) stuff.
 

Salespunk

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I have ridden my Levo on similar trails and it gets through everything fine, but the margin for error is much smaller and the bike is not as much fun. My daily driver is a 2020 Enduro and am not a fan of the old school geo on the Levo. I also have an SWorks SJ that has less than 100 miles in a year of ownership. I just don't find any advantages on any of the trails that I ride with the legacy setups.
 

jcmonty

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Since they probably both count for "old school" geo in the scheme of things it may not be the exact comparison for the OT, but I have been riding my 2019 (old style) Kenevo Large the last few rides, while I am waiting some parts on my Levo SL size XL.

Context : I am a tad under 6'1". My previous bike before these two was a medium Evil Insurgent (which in retrospect was WAYYY small)

Kenevo climbs faster due to the motor and traction of the coil, but the SL gets the nod on switchback even though it's longer and has bigger wheels and longer reach. Kenevo feels like has a steeper STA and more over the cranks pedal position.

On the downs - the Kenevo doesn't like to change direction as easily and is a plow machine through the rough. The smaller/lighter wheels (SC carbon on 2.5s) accelerate out of turns faster, but the SL feels faster overall. SL is miles more nimble, flickable, and poppable -while still being confident at speed. I am close on most of my DH PRs that I can ride right now with the SL.

The SL benefited from an offset bushing to get slacker, pushing the seat fwd in the rails, and progressive linkage from Cascade components. I am still looking at a 160mm fork and more DH oriented rear shock as well as dropping rotating weight on the wheels/cassette/tires. Overall - it's more akin to a trail bike feel that still feels confident on gnarlier the trails I ride. For areas with more XC type terrain (SP - thinking DMM/PQ, Greer, etc) - the SL is way more fun.

I would be curious if they made an Evo SL or Enduro SL to bring the geo up to speed, but I don't feel undergunned at all.
 

Salespunk

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I have found it is much more about geo than travel with the SJ Evo. I have ridden a lot of steep/rough trails on it including Whistler, Double Peak and some off map stuff and never felt under gunned. The Enduro doesn't get pushed around as much as the Evo, but the Evo nearly as quick even on the roughest of trails in my experience.
 

jcmonty

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I do think that I get a bike with "modern geo" (~ 64 hta, 480+ reach, 76+ STA) - I am sure that I would fall in love with it. All the same trails (minus Whistler right now) as you I believe, but probably a bit slower. I do have a few ideas to get my SL to ~64.5 or 65 HTA and maybe retain a decent eff. STA equivalent. I tend to agree on the travel. I don't feel suspension travel is a limiter with 150mm+, but quality definitely comes into play. Your kenevo seems to have better kinematics now, which is cool too!

In the end though, bikes are fun :)
 
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