Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert first ride review

Specialized’s latest ebike could be its best yet

  The products mentioned in this article are selected or reviewed independently by our journalists. When you buy through links on our site we may earn an affiliate commission, but this never influences our opinion.
GBP £6,999.00 RRP | USD $8,255.00 | AUD $11,400.00
Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert
Skip to view product specifications

The new Turbo Kenevo Expert breaks the ebike mould. With its 180mm of coil-sprung rear travel and dual-crown fork up front, it’s a mini downhill bike in disguise.

Advertisement

Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert frame

Made from Specialized’s M5 alloy, the Kenevo’s frame follows the form of the Stumpjumper EVO, with its ‘Sidearm’ driveside supporting strut.

The four-bar linkage rear-end has a more rearward axle path than on the old bike, for a smoother ride. A 700Wh battery in the down tube powers the brand’s latest Brose-built 2.1 motor, deep within the bike’s belly.

Specialized uses its reach-based S-Sizing format for the Turbo Kenevo. I’m 6ft and rode an S3 bike, with a reach of 470mm, head angle of 64 degrees, seat angle of 77 degrees and a lengthy 1,263mm wheelbase.

Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert kit

The motor drives a SRAM GX 11-speed drivetrain – chosen, according to Specialized, because it’s harder-wearing than a 12-speed set-up.

Alloy DH wheels from in-house brand Roval are wrapped in 2.6in Butcher tyres, and Specialized supplies the finishing kit too.

Powerful SRAM Code R brakes do the stopping. Where things get interesting is with the suspension – you get a RockShox BoXXer Select RC downhill fork, shortened to 180mm of travel, and a Super Deluxe Coil Select shock.

Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert
RockShox’ Super Deluxe shock and BoXXer fork are normally found on DH bikes.
Harookz

Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert first ride impressions

Specialized’s 2.1 motor is one of the market front runners – it’s smooth, quiet, torquey and powerful.

Because the feed-in of power is predictable, you can tackle technical climbs without fear of the motor cutting out while you’re ratcheting the pedals, leaving you lugging a heavy bike up by hand.

The geometry suits tech climbs too, with rider weight nicely centred between the wheels and plenty of room to move around the bike. The steep seat angle is a bonus, putting your hips nicely over the bottom bracket.

This sense of spaciousness has a similar effect on the descents, with the Turbo Kenevo’s long reach, slack head angle and (in the conditions I rode them, at least) grippy tyres all inspiring confidence.

Adding to this is the dual-crown fork, which is stiff and wonderfully well-controlled. This was particularly noticeable in off-camber sections, where the front wheel tracked perfectly in any direction that I pointed it. When things got rough, the steadfast fork prevented the bike from getting knocked off-line.

Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert
Out back, the four-bar Horst link suspension simply gets on with the task at hand.
Harookz

Out back, the four-bar Horst link suspension simply gets on with the task at hand – as you’d expect of a design that hasn’t changed significantly for two decades. The coil shock gives the bike a smooth feel, with less friction than an air spring and more initial suppleness, which boosts grip on loose tracks and over chattery ground, whether accelerating, cornering or braking. There’s enough progression built into the linkage that it doesn’t bottom-out harshly on bigger hits.

While there’s some wallow when pedalling hard, I don’t feel it’s fair to criticise the Kenevo for this because, with the motor’s assistance, it never felt sluggish on climbs. There’s still enough stability from the suspension to be able to pump the bike through rollers and corners.

Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert early verdict

A big-hit-capable chassis is bolstered by one of the best motors on the market.

Advertisement

Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert geometry

  • Seat angle: 77 degrees
  • Head angle: 64 degrees
  • Chainstay: 45.4cm / 17.87in
  • Seat tube: 42cm / 16.54in
  • Top tube: 61.2cm / 24.09in
  • Head tube: 11.5cm / 4.53in
  • Fork offset: 4.3cm / 1.69in
  • Trail: 12.8cm / 5.04in
  • Bottom bracket drop: 1.4cm / 0.55in
  • Wheelbase: 1,263mm / 49.72in
  • Stack: 61.4cm / 24.17in
  • Reach: 47cm / 18.5in

Product Specifications

Product

Price AUD $11400.00GBP £6999.00USD $8255.00
Weight 23.9kg (S3) – without pedals
Brand Specialized

Features

Available sizes S2, S3, S4, S5
Brakes SRAM Code R, 200mm rotors
Fork RockShox BoXXer Select RC, 180mm (7in) travel
Frame M5 aluminium alloy, 180mm (7in) travel
Handlebar Specialized, 800mm
Motor Specialized 2.1 with 700Wh battery
Rear derailleur SRAM GX
Rear shock RockShox Super Deluxe Coil Select
Saddle Specialized Body Geometry Henge Comp
Seatpost Specialized Command Post IRcc, 160mm
Shifter SRAM GX
Stem Specialized DH direct-mount, 45mm
Tyres Specialized Butcher BLCK DMND 27.5x2.6in
Wheels Roval alloy DH rims on DT Swiss 370 hubs