What would you do if you free rein to paint a Specialized mountain bike? Over the years, Troy Lee has answered this question several times with a range of trail-blazing bikes. And if you're hungry for his latest creation, here's a Troy Lee Designs Special Edition with some real juice.

Free rein—it’s something designers dream about. To be given a raw canvas with no rules, no boundaries, no more you-can't-do-thats. Troy Lee is no stranger to this raw canvas. Over the years, he’s had a range of clean-skin Specialized bikes arrive on his doorstep with the directive: "Do whatever the hell you want." And he does. This Kenevo is the latest from the barn to get the TLD treatment, and it’s a bit of a jolt to the senses.

"I think this is our 6th or 7th year doing these Special Editions with Specialized," says Troy. "I always love having fun with their bikes because the Specialized canvas is already super cool. The last bike we did was the Levo after a couple of Demos and Stumpys, but I am loving the e-MTBs so much that doing another one was perfect!"

THE LEVO HAS REALLY CHANGED MY LIFE AND MY FRIENDS LIVES. WE ARE HAVING MORE FUN THAN EVER, RIDING MORE TRAILS, AND HEARING ABOUT THE MORE CAPABLE KENEVO, I JUST COULDN’T WAIT TO GET SOME PAINT ON IT.

Troy Lee
When it comes to the inspiration behind the graphics themselves, it started well before the bike even arrived. Troy says, “When the frame showed up, I already was thinking to go super dark blue for the base with some orange highlights. I worked with Jay in our paint shop and my vision was to create a fast-looking, abstract graphic treatment in a flo-orange, followed up with some electric blue pinstripes. It basically combines a chunkier graphic, [like] you’d see on our helmets with the classic thin pinstripe. The end result is a custom look—but not too obscene.”

I THINK THE BEST THING ABOUT THIS RELATIONSHIP WITH SPECIALIZED IS THE FREEDOM, THEY JUST SEND US THE PROTOTYPE FRAMES AND TELL US: ‘MAKE IT LOOK RAD.’ NO BOUNDARIES. NO LIMITS.

Color schemes are one thing, but it’s the little things that really bring a custom paint job to life, and TLD never misses those.

“Final touches were the chrome lettering, the addition of an old cat logo we made years ago, because it looked like he was electrified!” says Troy. “And I drew up a custom ‘CLASS 1’ decal, because I think it’s important we show that, [in order] to educate people a bit that these are pedal-assist bikes, not motorcycles.”

The end result speaks for itself. This Kenevo—already a slick and energetic trail blazer—is juiced up in both the watts and in the graphic power department.

THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITES THAT WE HAVE DONE FOR SURE, BUT ANOTHER SMOOTH AND FUN PROJECT WITH MY SPECIALIZED FRIENDS. THANKS FOR MAKING BITCHIN BIKES FOR ME TO PLAY ON!