Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert 6Fattie 2018
We managed to get hold of a Turbo Kenevo Expert from Specialized for a few days. It certainly didn’t disappoint.
After doing a little running around and trying to secure the Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert 6Fattie 2018 from Head Office, (Seems everyone is wanting to test this bike) it finally arrived in a well packaged, HUGE bike box. Needless to say, I was psyched to get out on it.
After much deliberation, I decided Beamish Woods would be the venue of choice. Anyone who knows Beamish, would know it would be a proving ground for an eMTB. Short sharp runs, turn tail and head back up to the top track. The morning couldn’t have started better. I parked up in the little lay by up from the gate, stepped out of the van and slipped on sheet ice. This is going to be entertaining.
Out comes the Specialized Kenevo Expert 6Fattie 2018, and down the hill a roll to the gates. The track leading into the forest was a complete wash out. Straight away the Kenevo came into its own. Being a Plus Bike, it was digging in hard and making mince meat of the soaked track, not a bother. With assistance helping me plough into the wood, I was instantly grinning.
After a little reccy along the bottom track to the far end of the woods, I put the Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert through its paces. A short steep climb turned into nothing but a mole hill. With the motor in the highest setting, the Kenevo just climbed and climbed. Popping out onto the top track I was amazed, it was a breeze.
27.5 Plus tyres, Specialized’s new 1.3 motor, I could tell I was going to enjoy this ride.
For all the eBike fans, lets have a little geek out. It may come as a surprise to some to find out that Specialized Turbo’s are powered by Brose. And to further that, the new Specialized Turbo 1.3 motor is simply the new Brose S motor. Specialized say they have tuned and optimized the BROSE motor to specifically suit their bikes, and what they expect from an eBike, calling it Rx Trail Tune.
Though it’s hard to find official figures, the previous Brose model T, is said to put out upto 90Nm of torque, putting it in the number one spot of the top three motor manufacturers. Again the official figure hasn’t been released on torque output for the Brose S, but they have kindly told us that it is 15% more powerful.
For those who havn’t used the Specialized Turbo System, their MTB range doesn’t use a display unit. Everything can be controlled from your smart phone via bluetooth using their own app called Mission Control. Meaning the cockpit of the Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert 6Fattie is ultra neat. If your not a fan of carrying your smart phone around while out on the trail, not to worry, Specialized have fitted their in-tube battery with a LED display to tell you remaining battery life and what mode your riding in. A big part of the eBike revolution is making the bike as traditional looking and feeling as possible. The Kenevo Expert is definitely a front runner in this way.
So back to the riding. Once on the top path of Beamish Woods I started picking my way down some of the easier sections. One thing to get used to when riding any eMTB, not just the Kenevo is the weight of the bike. As you can imagine its a change from market leading carbon weapons. Gravity grabs you and you start rolling quick, fast. I took a couple runs to get used to throwing the Specialized Kenevo Expert 6Fattie around in berms and quick changes of direction, but soon it felt natural and super comfortable.
As soon as I was confident with the bike, it was time to really start pushing the boundaries. And in complete honesty, it wasn’t the bikes limits I was pushing, but my own. The Kenevo Expert took everything in it’s stride, with total ease. with the RockShox Lyric 180mm forks and the Ohlins TTX22M coil shock at the rear. Nothing at Beamish could truly test them. The Ohlins TTX22M coil shock was remarkable, 180mm travel was more than enough for the venue, but proved excellent. Absorbing every big hit I could give it. I will honestly say that faster, even more confident riders could really test this beast at Beamish with the HUGE road gap.
The RockShox Lyrik RCT3 180mm travel forks, as you can imagine handles brilliantly in the woods. Again more then enough travel for Beamish unless your hitting the BIG gaps at break neck speeds. Not necessarily the Lyrik’s issue, but I did notice a significant different in weight from front to rear on the Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert 6Fattie. Though the BB is low, the Kenevo felt a little short in the reach, possibly just down to my ape arms, but thus forced me to sit back often and effected the centre of balance of the bike, causing the front end to lift slightly.
After a two hour ride in the woods, I had used minimal battery life. I lost only 1 single block of charge on the display. Rather impressive for the amount of climbing, given the challenging wet conditions, the Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert 6Fattie worked hard and lost very little charge.
Overall i was extremely pleased with the bike. Its was a superb long travel eMTB, probably way more travel then required for most trail centres in the UK, but if its available, why wouldn’t you want more. The only down side of the Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert 6Fattie was the reach. It felt short, sometimes causing the sensation of being a little twitchy, and like previously mentioned, front end lift caused by shifting my weight too far back. I suppose I could have done a little more research prior and opted for the XL over the Large.
I can 100% say that testing this eMTB has really opened up the possibilities of what long travel eMTB’s have to offer. The Kenevo Expert is brilliantly designed and engineered. Every material was of excellent quality. Two hours proved plenty of time to have a boat full of fun, and plenty of runs. For me the eMTB could prove to be the way to go when you have limited time.
These guys are hard to come by and Specialized don’t expect to see availability until February 2018. I can 100% see why the first drop of the Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert 6Fattie’s sold out QUICK!