In the winter it is a ski resort and in the summer the mountain bikers come. The Nevis Range has been host to world class mountain bike DH events going…
As a bike reviewer in 2023AD I am unsurprisingly asked the same question quite a lot. The question may vary slightly in the words used but essentially it is always: “so, which e-bike is best then?”
And now is the time of year when everything is gearing up for Best Of 2023 lists and stuff, so I am ‘officially’ being asked to come up with what I think the bestest.
My answer varies depending on what side of the bed I’ve got out of. Sometimes I do actually name a specific bike (if I know enough about the person who has asked the question and what they’d get along with). But usually I say something along the lines of: “all of them… and none of them”.
Much like with any type of bicycle, any bicycle is better than no bicycle. The same holds true with e-bikes. I can’t think of a single e-bike that I’ve ridden that wouldn’t be good to ride somewhere/somehow for someone.
But. There’s always a but with e-bikes. But, there’s always something wrong with e-bikes. All of them. Not in the broken or going wrong reliability stakes (although that aspect of them is a real concern) but in the actual operation and performance of them.
Sometimes it’s a motor that is either too jerky or too weary feeling. Sometimes it’s unhelpfully garish displays. Sometimes it’s batteries that are too small, or too big. Whatever. There’s always something.
With this is mind, I thought I’d try to come up with my particular wish list for the Perfect E-Bike. Am talking e-MTBs here by the way. Pedal assist mountain bikes.
Maybe this e-bike already exists and I’ve just not yet to come across it yet. I doubt that though; My Perfect E-Bike is a theoretical mix of different brands’ bits. It could not actually exist in the real world.
Consider this Wish List a (no doubt in vain) request to the ebike designers out there about who they should be taking inspiration from when they next go to put mouse pen to graphics tablet.
My Perfect E-Bike Wishlist
- 60Nm torque.
- 500Wh battery.
- Optional piggyback batteries available in multiple sizes (250Wh and 500Wh, at least).
- 20kg overall weight.
- Three power modes called Eco, Trail and Boost.
- Long-press accessible Limp Mode setting for crawling your way back home with a near-flat battery.
- Battery level displayed as a numerical percentage (‘blobs’ of power remaining are not acceptable).
- Simple 2-plus-1 button remote near the left grip (up, down and a scroll through info button).
- Display that sits next to the stem. Top tube displays are too far down in my line of sight.
- Graphic equalizer-style display that shows you your current instantaneous assist level.
- Genuinely customisable modes inc. things like overrun.
- Current battery level on show when charging up the bike.
- USB charging port for phone/Garmin/lights etc.
- DInky integrated ‘be seen’ LED lights front and rear.
- Some sort of alarm and/or tracking and/or remote disabling feature to help deter/find thieves.
- Motor that can be removed and simply upgraded to the new one.
And… I think that’s it. If I think of any more wish list items, I’ll stick ’em in the comments section.
What would your wish list look like?
I doubt my Perfect E-Bike is going to Your Perfect E-Bike. Comment below wish what your ideal set-up would be. It would be really interesting – and helpful – to hear what you all think about the current state of e-bike design.
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