Like them or not, electric mountain bikes are now a reality. Battery and motor technology have moved on at such a pace that a reasonably compact-looking, full suspension, electric mountain bike can weigh in at less than 40lbs and yet ride like a spirited enduro machine on the climbs. We’ve seen carbon e-bike hardtails tip under 20lbs.
The subject of e-bikes on the trails is a hot topic (and one we’ll have on its own here some day) but you’re currently allowed to ride a ‘road legal’ e-mountain bike on the trails (where the motor assist is limited to 15mph) where you can ride a ‘normal’ mountain bike.
It’s not just the realm of the old and the infirm either. Bionicon has touted its prototype system as a way of earning bigger descents under (mostly) your own steam and list battery power in terms of metres of assistance. Other companies are keen to point out that an e-bike lets you get more of the climbing out of the way while keeping you fresh and alert for the descent. It’s controversial enough, though, that it’s a topic at the next IMBA world summit (where their use will be debated alongside allowing fat bikes on ski trails and more sensitive winter areas.)
Love them or hate them they are here to stay and if you’re looking into electric bikes then here are a few we found on our travels.
Looking not unlike a bikepacker’s bike, this is Conway’s EMR 827 with a Bosch Performance drivetrain. Hydroformed frame and 27.5in wheels.
This Caribou has 130mm travel front and rear. The weight of the frame only is 3.4kg/7.4lbs. The bike on display is 19.34kg/42.2lbs. It too features the Bosch system that contains all the electrical and drive gubbins in the bottom bracket area to keep the weight centred between the wheels.
Giant’s full suspension frame is rocking Pikes, Guide brakes and then well that big thing in the middle, which is the removable battery.
German frame magician Nicolai is showing its full enduro machine with some added power. It keeps the weight still centred, but allows a virtually unaffected suspension system.
Lapierre Overvolt 500FS, Suspended alloy supreme 6 140mm rear travel. BOSCH ACTIV 25km/h – Standard Battery Pack 400Wh – Intuvia Display.
The popular Bosch Active e-bike system is used on the overvolt. With five different modes ranging from 0% assist to 100% the active system is designed for all e-bike uses and riders.
A lot of E bikes were floating around demo day on Tuesday, here’s Lapierre’s after a quick mud run. See the video below to catch Nico riding one to its limit.
The Wheeler E-Protron on display is more what most riders think of when talking about electric mountain bikes, but with some clever engineering, lighter batteries and motors, we’re going to start seeing some seriously fun trail bikes coming out soon.
So there’s a few of many E-bikes on display at Eurobike14. There are electronic bikes for everyone (or are they motorised?) Ugly or engineering genius? Pointless or necessary?
Think they’re not cool enough for the cool kids? Here’s Nico Vouilloz using the Lapierre Overvolt as part of his injury recuperation.
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