5 Common Problems With Specialized Bikes (Honest Review)

Every piece of technology comes with its own set of problems, especially when there are new releases.

Every time an Android or iOS update rolls around there are usually problems. Specialized Bikes are no exception to the rule. They’re outstanding bikes but they do have the occasional issue. 

Most of Specialized Bikes’ recent problems stem from some of their e-bikes, notably the 1st Gen Turbo Levo and the Kenevo e-MTBs. These two models have undergone a recent recall. Outside of that, known issues are bike model specific and wide-ranging. 

Specialized manufactures a wide range of bikes, including road bikes, mountain bikes (MTB), gravel bikes, and an assortment of categorized e-bikes.

As a company, they’ve been around since the mid-1970s, which means they must be doing something right. 

1. Specialized Bikes Turbo Family

This stuff runs the gauntlet through a range of issues, so it’s difficult to compile a list, and separate it numerically because we will end up filling pages and pages with numbered issues between models. 

No, that doesn’t mean that Specialized is releasing bike models that are absolute garbage. As we mentioned above, every new line comes with its own, associated problems, many of which end up being on an individual basis.

Within the Turbo family of Specialized Bike models, there are a number of recurring issues.

  • The Turbo SC has a bug that keeps resetting the odometer
  • Any Turbos with handlebar joysticks suffer from loose, fragile manufacturing
  • Turbos as a whole seem to have trouble maintaining rear wheel spokes due to the heavy rear tire
  • Battery failures in the Turbo and Turbo S models
  • Specialized doesn’t release firmware updates often enough to address ongoing issues

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2. The Brose Drive S Mag Motor

Some might be curious as to what Brose has to do with Specialized. Well, Specialized is currently using the Brose Drive S Mag motor in some of its Levo and Kenevo models.

The problem is, though this particular motor is considered to be one of the best on the market, the motor is quirky. 

The Brose Drive S Mag Motor is known for breaking belts. As far as Specialized is concerned, its 2019 and 2020 Levo releases are equipped with this particular motor, as well as the 2020 Kenevo. 

Fortunately, Brose has recently released a firmware update for this motor, as it would appear that the overall quirkiness is the direct result of software, not hardware.

On the flip side, you will have to get your bike to a dealership if you want the new firmware installed. 

Specialized has responded by extending the warranty coverage on these bikes from two years to four years. If you have to send it in, even if you have to ship the bike in, you should be able to do so free of charge. 

3. Recalls for Levo and Kenevo eMTBs

These bikes were manufactured from the year 2016 to 2020, so 2021 is included, even though the model was made at the end of the 2020 quarter. 

  • Levo FSR 2016 to 2018
  • Levo HT 2018 to 2021
  • Kenevo FSR 2018 to 2019
  • Specialized M1 Battery 2016 to 2021

According to Specialized, this issue only affects about 15% of all the Levo and Kenevo MTBs produced in that time frame. The problem is with the battery, which is why we went ahead and listed the battery in the above list. 

The recall is a voluntary one and, whether it’s truly the case or not, Specialized claims that water is able to get down into the battery, compromising the circuit board, and creating a “runaway thermal event.” This thermal event may cause burns from hot metal or catch on fire. 

Specialized is only recalling the battery, however, not the entire bike. You can remove the battery yourself using a 6mm Allen wrench.

Of course, you should contact Specialized Bikes Customer Support first and determine how they want the battery returned and you will get a free replacement. 

4. Bike Registration

This isn’t so much a problem specifically with the bikes manufactured by Specialized as much as it is a website and app problem. The problem comes with registering the bike. This is a step that you have to take if you ever want to file a warranty claim. 

If something goes wrong and you never registered your bike, you may miss out on warranty coverage for the issue. 

5. App Issues

This is a two-fold issue when using the app. Specialized has an app that is a companion app for your bike rides, whether you are on an e-bike or a standard bike. The first issue is with the app crashing. 

Specialized spent some time digging into the issue and their only response, after a few weeks, was that the app crashes people are experiencing are due to low free memory on their devices. 

In other words, until Specialized updates the app, you need to ensure that you have plenty of free memory available on your iOS or Android device if you want to use the app without crashing. 

The other issue extends to iOS devices. On the Specialized app, there is a feature that brings up alerts when you shake the phone.

It’s a pop-up feature that is a part of the software, working off the gyroscope in iOS devices. 

Specialized has released a solution:

  • Open your iPhone or iOs Device and go to the Settings (Gear icon) Menu
  • Select “General”
  • Select “Accessibility”
  • Select “Touch”
  • Scroll down to “Shake and Undo”
  • Toggle the “off” switch in the “Shake and Undo” menu

That should resolve the phone from giving you problems whenever you are using the Specialized app on your bike. Fortunately, the same issue doesn’t seem to be a problem on Android devices. 

All Things Considered

There you have it—five of the most common problems with Specialized Bikes. Fortunately, these problems aren’t extremely widespread, with the possible exception of the recall issue.

However, Specialized has addressed the issue and offered to replace the batteries for free.

For the most part, the remaining issues that crop up from time to time have available fixes. If you are having a problem with any of Specialized Bikes’ products, be sure to contact their customer support as soon as possible and they’ll help you resolve the issue.




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John Muranko

John is Founder and Senior Bike Editor at ProBikeCorner. John is a bike and travel addict who has cycled through 17+ countries and doesn't really have any plans of stopping. He´s passionate about helping others by creating technical resources, in-depth reviews and more…

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