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Buffet

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  1. The question at hand here is not whether e-bikes can be fun or faster. They can be. The Turbo Levo SL in question is a new 'lightweight' e-bike. It's light because the motor is about half as powerful as other full blown e-bikes and the battery is also smaller with less Watt hour. That's how they could make it lighter. So you have less range and less assistance compared to full blown e-bikes just to save weight. On paper it looks good, but as I found out in the real world, it leaves much to be desired in my view. The question here is whether or not it makes sense to buy this over a more powerful and heavier e-bike. Is the compromise in power and range worth the weight saving?
  2. ‘What!!?’ I hear you say. ‘You can’t compare an e-bike to a normal bike!’ Let me elaborate. I had the opportunity to ride a demo Specialized Turbo Levo SL Expert Carbon for a few days (the model just below the s-works, yours for R165 000) thanks to the good people at Revolution cycles. I picked up the bike and with great excitement headed off to my local Tygerberg trails for a blast. I set off and after about 20km of riding I realised that I was not having as much of a blast as I was expecting. Strange. I had read a lot of online reviews where the testers said it’s impossible not to have a goofy grin riding this bike. I didn’t have a goofy grin on. The assistance from the motor does make you climb faster but everywhere else it just didn’t feel any faster or more fun than my normal bike, a Pyga Stage set up as an allrounder light trail bike. After my usual 30km loop that I have ridden countless times my average speed turned out only about 2km/hr faster than on the Pyga. It didn’t feel like 2x You as claimed by Specialised. The eco mode gives you enough power to offset the extra weight of the bike. If you gonna ride all day in eco mode you might as well be on a normal bike. Trail mode gives you noticeable assistance and full power just a bit more, though not as big a jump as from eco to trail. You never feel like a superhero though. I thought more testing was needed. So I roped in my long time riding partner and we set off to do the Welvanpas white route with the Levo and the Stage. We are very equally matched fitness wise and my initial impressions where confirmed, on anything but the climbs you are better off on the Stage. One problem with the Levo is that the motor assistance stops at 25km/hr. With reasonable fitness on flat terrain it is easy to go faster than that. So on the Levo you are then left to pedal a 20kg bike with no assistance. Not fun. So we both felt that the 25km/hr limit is too slow. We also both agreed that the Pyga was faster and just more fun on the descents. It felt like something was holding the Levo back a bit on the downs which is counterintuitive. You would expect the heavier bike to be faster. The other issue is the noise from the motor, its rather loud and leave you in no doubt that you are riding something with a motor in it. The pedalling feel and sound felt a bit like an exercise bike at the gym. The non SL version of the Levo is very quiet in comparison, almost silent. Don’t get me wrong, the Levo SL is a beautiful piece of kit, it handles well and eats up the trails with ease and comfort. The assistance is fairly modest and so you do work just as hard as on a normal bike. But since you are working just as hard you would expect to feel a lot faster on an e-bike. The performance is a bit underwhelming. During the ride, given the choice, we both would have picked the normal bike to continue with. We are both fit and we both didn’t enjoy it. So I think it depends on where you are in the fitness ladder as to whether or not you will want this bike. So who is this bike for? I would say that if you are a very fit guy, don’t bother. The modest extra speed you will get out of this bike is not worth the high cost and mechanical complication. You can buy 2x Pyga stage’s for the price of this bike… I would say that if you want an e-bike to feel like superman on the trails then get the Turbo Levo, not the SL version. If you are not very fit and have lots of cash then maybe this is for you. It will enable you to keep up with your fitter mates whilst still giving you a proper work out. It’s relatively light and so easier to handle than the heavier e-bikes. It looks awesome and handles well. If it goes flat on you, you can still ride it without killing yourself. You will be able to enjoy mountain biking as much as your fitter mates whilst sweating as much as them. I got 60kms of riding from a full charge with the range extender. There was still one bar showing on the extender, so perhaps a bit more k’s could’ve been squeezed out. Without the extender you are looking at about 40-50kms. Bike was ridden 75% of the time in trail mode, rest of the time on full power. I'm keen to hear what others that have ridden this bike think. Ok, I got my flak vest on. Shoot away.
  3. Stolen: Silverback Oakland 2006 When: 6 April 2019 Where: Cape Town, Western Cape Stolen from my garage in Loevenstein Cape Town around April 6th. Get further details about the incident in the Stolen Bikes section
  4. Stolen: Silverback Oakland 2006 When: 6 April 2019 Where: Cape Town, Western Cape Stolen around April 6th from my garage in Lovenstein Cape Town. Get further details about the incident in the Stolen Bikes section
  5. Why can you not fit a Pike shock on to it? The Stage I test rode had 110mm rear travel with a 140mm trail fork up front. That bike was awesome. Can't say it felt unbalanced in any way.
  6. I test rode the Pyga again today. What an awesome bike. Its just so efficient. The suspension is so composed and it turns and handles in a way that gives you so much confidence. Probably a bit too much confidence for my skill level! It just begs you to go faster and jump higher. Granted, the Pyga had a better front fork with more travel than the Camber I was comparing it too. It also sits in a higher price bracket. Would be interesting to try the more expensive versions of the carbon Camber with a better fork. The carbon Camber is also a great bike, it just needs a top quality fork on. However, in my humble opinion, the rear suspension design on the stage is superior. It manages to feel plush and compliant over rough terrain but very stiff with what seems like no pedal bob when you pedal hard. Even when standing on the pedals. And by the way, I rode both bikes with their rear shock in the middle 'pedal' setting. So, the Pyga stage mini Max takes it for me. Looking forward to putting it together!
  7. Lots of good advice. Had my heart set on the pyga but the camber really does handle a bit better, less stable but more fun in chucking it around on tight single track. Its feels like a 26 inch bike during manoevers, only better. The pyga however gives a feeling of sure footedness and confidence with no energy wastage. Its got a great rear suspension design. The two water bottles in the front triangle is a big plus as well. Camber only has one bottle and its an absolute pain to get it in and out, very little space where it sits under the shock. Its amazing how well and effecient these bikes ride. My current bike is a 2010 giant anthem 26inch, the difference is staggering!
  8. They from the same dealer! ???? If I start considering more bikes I'm gonna lose my marbles and my wife will probably end up leaving...
  9. Type of riding would be just having a blast around the trails of Cape Town and doing the odd race a few time a year just for the fun of it.
  10. Its like choosing between a Porche and a Ferrari. Finding it damn near impossible! Both bikes would come in with GX 12 speed and Rock shox Revelation. Similar alloy wheels. Stage mini max is 110mm rear and 130mm front travel. Camber is 120mm all round. Stage is full carbon & Camber front triangle carbon, rear alloy. Would come in at very similar price, Stage around 5 grand more... Test rode both. Stage feels a bit faster, very stable and sure footed. Very efficient. Climbs like a beast. Camber is more nimble, very flickable and perhaps a bit more fun in the twisties. Climbs like a demon eventhough its heavier but not as stable on jumps and decents. They are both great fun and awesome bikes. Loved them both. What other factors should I consider? This is a very stressfull first world problem. ????
  11. Guys, an afternoon lunch at a coffee shop will set you back a 100 bucks. Skip your afternoon lunch tomorrow and donate that 100 bucks to this cause. You have now helped making cycling safer in SA. It's worth skipping lunch tomorrow and packing a few sammies instead. Don't you think? My 100 bucks is in.
  12. Engine garage on R21S. Watch out in that area, today as I was leaving the garage going to the sand road behind it some guy ran ahead of me through the gap in the prefab wall, didn't think much of it. As I rode through the gap I saw him and gave myself some space between him and me. As I rode next to him he suddendly started sprinting towards me shouting "****you man!" I put foot and luckily managed to speed away. He didn't look like he intended to just shake my hand had he caught me.
  13. Looking at buying a Merida 120 TFS800D. Mostly XT and SLX components. Manitou Minute fork with X Fusion O2rc shock. Anthem X3 also a great ride but with lesser components for the same money. Both around R16 000. Cant make up my mind, test rode both and they both feel great. Any helpful comments?
  14. Any comments on this bike, about to buy one. Seems like very good value for money for around R16 000. Mostly XT and SLX components. Manitou Minute fork and X-Fusion O2RC shock. Was also looking at Giant Anthem X3 for the same money and still cant make up my mind.
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