Propain Cycles has just announced the new Propain Ekano e-MTB and it’s the first bike to launch with the all-new Shimano BT-E8035 integrated battery!
Well, we didn’t have to wait long for that did we? Just a day or so ago we posted news of Propain’s teaser, and just as we thought, it’s an all-new e-Bike but it’s a little more exciting than that.
The Propain Ekano is Propain’s first ever e-MTB and like many other manufacturers, the designers of the bike have chosen to build the frame around a compact Shimano STEPS drive system. In the case of the Ekano, it’s the upmarket Shimano STEPS E8000 that helps to drive the Ekano across the range, but what’s really exciting is the battery.
Shimano has always offered an integrated battery in the 8020 but due to the monstrous size of the unit manufacturers have either opted to run an external 8010 battery internally, like the Intense Tazer or go ahead and develop their own internal battery system as we saw on the YT Decoy. Obviously, neither solution was ideal for Shimano, so they’ve come out with the new 8035 internal battery that’s more compact and easier to hide in a frame than the old one was. The Shimano BT-E8035 internal battery is so new that even the Shimano website doesn’t have an image of it (at the time of writing) but details confirm it offers the same 504wh capacity as other batteries in the STEPS 8000 range.
The new compact battery, combined with the small STEPS drive system has allowed Propain to design a clean frame that hides it’s e-Bike features pretty well considering it’s made from butted 6061 tubing rather than carbon fibre. Mounting the battery low down in the downtube should also ensure a nice low center of gravity for an agile and playful ride.
Compared to previous Propain bikes, the Propain Ekano is visually different for another reason too, and that’s the suspension system. Non-electric Propain bikes we’ve tested in the past used Propain’s own Pro10 suspension linkage, but a new platform was required for the Ekano. The new linkage has been designed with 130% anti-squat to “counteract the compression of the suspension when ascending steep climbs”.
As for the suspension travel, you can have the Propain Ekano built in either long or short travel builds. The short travel variant boasts 150mm travel front and rear while the long-travel build receives a boulder gobbling 170mm front / 165mm rear. Propain confirms that the progression curve on the Ekano is suitable for both air and coil shocks.
Adding to the versatility of the frame, there’s a flip chip built in for easy geometry changes, and on top of that, the frame is designed to accept 27.5in wheels, 29in wheels or a mixture of the two. With all those options available the geometry is pretty variable. For those numbers take a look at the details below.
Propain Ekano Geometry
Short travel 150 / 150 geometry
Long travel 170 / 165 geometry
Propain Ekano models
Pricing for the Ekano starts at €4100 for the ‘Start’ build option with a RockShox Yari fork, RockShox Super Deluxe R shock, Magura brakes, and an SRAM GX Eagle 1×12 drivetrain. For €4950 you’ll get a ‘Performance’ build with a Lyrik Select+ fork, Super Deluxe Select+ shock, and SRAM X01 drivetrain. The top of the range Ekano costs €5970, quite a jump in price, but this ‘Highend’ build does get SRAM’s electronic AXS drivetrain and Kashima coated Fox Factory suspension throughout.
Each Ekano model is available in sizes S-XL and 3 colour choices Black matte, Lime Gloss (shown) and Oslo-Blue.
Anyone attending the Lake Garda bike festival this week will be able to see the Ekano in the flesh for themselves, those of you who want to purchase one can do so online at the Propain website from 15th May.