Ridden & Rated: 4 of the Best eMTB Motor Systems for 2020 - Bosch vs Brose vs Shimano vs Fazua

May 25, 2020
by Ralf Hauser  



When you dish out a significant amount of money for a modern e-bike, you’d expect a worry-free riding experience delivered by a well-designed product. Sure, the current crop of motors has come a long way, and it’s safe to say that you can enjoy every single one of them, but each system still has its quirks and it helps to be aware of those before making a choice.

As far as reliability goes, and measured by the total amount of all the e-bikes out there, warranty issues are on the lower end of the spectrum. That being said, we’ve heard a lot of different stories with a lot of different issues that obviously go beyond that what you’re used from your regular bike. I personally know of people having to get an engine replaced, and even though they usually had their bike back within two to three weeks, it’s never fun having your bike sidelined. Then again, I know of plenty situations where customers have waited for weeks and even months for specific replacement or warranty parts for their regular bikes, so I don’t really see a big difference there.

Every manufacturer has an existing support network and tries to fix issues as quickly as possible, and depend on each and every dealer to do their part. To figure out the variances in each country would blow our research time out of the water, so it’s not really a part of consideration in this review.

Testing Notes

In order to get some idea of how one system compared to the other in terms of reach I ran each model in the bike’s highest support mode on the same course until fully depleted, with the exception of Shimano’s E8000 drive. Unfortunately, our ordered test bike never made it my way, but since I’ve spent months on a Shimano-equipped bike before, it’s still part of this comparison.

The test lap itself consisted of about 90% fire road climbs of the steeper sort, with some short but challenging trail climbs making up the other ten percent.

That lap test is far from scientifically accurate: bike and wheel weights, tire types and compounds and even outside temperatures, not to forget about rider input, varied. Apart from that, I am a very lightweight rider, only weighing 55kg (121 lb), so the results for other riders will inevitably differ by a more or less significant amount. From experience, I’ve seen that riders with a weight of about 75kg (165 lb) will use about 25% more battery under the same riding conditions – a number that I’ve based my estimated values for the lap results on, since it’s most likely going to apply to more people. The rest of the numbers referred to in these reviews relate to my body weight and are not an indicator of how far your bike with same motors or batteries is going to take you. Consider them more of values to compare one system with the other. The more system weight, the less range, up to a significant amount between lighter and heavier riders.

On a side note: No, I have absolutely no problem handling an e-bike with a weight of 25kg, and, even though my math skills are lacking, the bike still does not weigh more than the rider in my case.




Contents








Shimano STEPS E8000

Shimano’s STEPS E8000 motor is their current mountain bike specific flagship as of spring 2020. Since its introduction in 2016, when it was one of the most compact and lightest motors with a very natural feel to it, its competitors have caught up and even surpassed most of its abilities. However, it is still a widely equipped option for many top manufacturers due to its proven overall package. Featuring 70Nm of torque with a maximum pedaling support of 300%, the E8000’s optimal cadence is located between 70 to 90 revolutions per minute.

Shimano offers external down tube mounted batteries with 418, 504 and brand new 630Wh. There are 504 and 630Wh (also new) options for integrated use, as well as an older bulkier square style of integrated battery with 504Wh. Since their system is open to third-party battery suppliers it’s not uncommon that you see some Shimano-equipped e-bikes with other battery packs as well.

Since components between the E8000 and E7000 series can be mixed, there are various options for displays and remotes. On the left-hand Firebolt SW-E8000-L thumb shifters (resembling the Di2 shifter), two paddles let you shift either up or down in mode. There’s also a compact E7000 Left Switch Unit for Assist that can be mounted next to the grip and doesn’t interfere with most dropper post remotes.

Shimano STEPS E8000
Motor:
Continuous power: 250W
Torque: 70Nm
Weight: 2.8kg/6.16lbs.
Maximum Support: 300%
Sealing: IP56
Q-factor: 177mm
Optimal cadence range: 70 to 90RPM

Batteries:
Capacity: External: 418, 504, 630Wh/Integrated: 504, 630Wh

Displays/Remotes: SC-E8000, SC-E7000, SC-E5000, SW-E8000-L, SW-E7000-L
Modes: (No support)/Eco/Trail/Boost
Walk assist: Yes

More info: www.shimano-steps.com
The SC-E8000 Wireless Cycle Computer display shows basic info like reach or cadence and comes in color, the SC-E7000 version comes with a black and white display. Both come with Bluetooth LE and ANT+ connection. A new SC-E5000 display combines thumb mode buttons next to the grip with a display.

Shimano of course also made sure that their STEPS e-bike components are compatible with Di2’s electronic shifting components, even offering the ability for the shifting to communicate with the motor’s power output for smoother shifts.


BT-E8036 630Wh battery.
BT-E8060 630Wh battery.

SC-E8000 display, SC-E7000 display, SC-E5000 display.

SW-E8000-L remote.
SW-E7000-L remote.



App

If your Shimano display is equipped with Bluetooth, you can connect the E-Tube Project app for iOS or Android (smartphone and tablet) to your bike and install updates (it automatically checks for new firmware every time you open the app) or customize each support mode from presets (Dynamic mode or Explorer mode) or individually (Custom mode). Apart from that there’s an error check function that can identify faulty units.

The E-Tube Ride app lets the smartphone’s screen act as a display to give you real-time readings for speed, distance, range, power-assist levels and more.



DCIM 104GOPRO G0834959.JPG

Performance Notes

Overall, Shimano’s engine concept is still a nice package, but it isn’t shining in any category anymore. It’s not the quietest engine, doesn’t have the most power and its motor management for some modes is getting along in years.
Test bike
Bergamont E-Trailster Expert 2019
Battery: Shimano BT-E8020 504Wh
Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF/DHR II 29 x 2.6”, Dual Compound
Weight: 24.62kg/54.16lbs. (w/o pedals)

Once you get rolling, Shimano’s E8000 harmonious power delivery still applies today, especially in Trail or Eco mode. Especially at lower speeds in Boost mode the engine is more prone to sudden changes in speed, or better said, power input from the pedals, making it somewhat more difficult to control the power output at the rear wheels, with the bike tending to launch forward a bit suddenly.

Trail mode feels the most natural, since the system adapts the power according to pedal torque, cadence and speed, but compared to Boost, the dropoff in pedaling support is significant and nowhere near as entertaining to ride with. Since it’s not exactly viable to run in battery-munching Boost mode on extended rides – especially when you’re limited to a smaller 504Wh battery option – the fun factor is somewhat limited. A mode between Trail and Boost would be nice to have, changing the settings with the app and giving Trail somewhat more power is a welcome option.

Although Shimano’s E8000 version of the display as well as the E7000 model should both come with Bluetooth, I wasn’t able to connect my 2019 Bergamont test bike to the E-Tube app with the connection option now showing up on the display, so unfortunately, I was never able to play around with different settings for support modes.

Although you don’t usually get the feeling that you’re missing out on maximum power in Boost mode, trying to climb trial-type inclines might get the motor to its limit, where others might still push you a bit further. Pushing beyond the 25km/h threshold there’s a slight pedaling resistance from the engine. Re-engagement of the engine dropping below that range is slightly noticeable, and so is the engagement when starting to pedal.

Compared to Bosch’s older Performance CX Gen 3 motor, Shimano’s STEPS proved more efficient in terms of energy consumption. On a ride with comparable factors, I could have climbed another 250 to 350 meters in altitude when the Bosch equipped bike was flat. As already mentioned, unfortunately we didn’t have a Shimano model available for the lap test to see how the numbers compared to the newer motors in this review.

DCIM 104GOPRO G0694529.JPG

Why Shimano’s display design hasn’t been adopted by more players in the market is beyond me. Its integration into a cockpit is one of the cleanest solutions while also arranging it in a position where it’s nicely protected from impacts in case of a crash.

Five steps on the display to indicate the battery level might also be a standard on some other manufacturer’s e-bike systems, but it sure isn’t a really accurate reading. It would just be interesting to know that when there is only one bar left whether your battery level is drained by 80% or more like 95%. And no, the remaining range is not a great indicator, changing with terrain, mode and rider input constantly. I also couldn’t keep the display from jumping back to its start screen after a few minutes, when all I wanted was for it to keep showing me the remaining range.

Shimano’s walk assist mode got me to the point where I didn’t even try to activate it anymore - I'd just drag the bike up those steep sections that I spun out on insetead. First, you have to hold down the lower button of the button remote or in case of the E8000 unit, the left thumb lever to switch into walk mode. Then you have to hold down that same button to get the bike to push.

The system prefers the chain to actually be running in a higher gear for a more powerful support, which doesn’t make a lot of sense since chances are that you were running in one of the lower gears when trying to climb. Having to shift through the range of the cassette at a standstill on an incline is just a pain in the ass. Ergo, Shimano’s walk mode is a pain in the ass, apart from the fact that in reality it doesn’t make a huge difference what gear you’re in, the bike just stutters along without much power or motivation most of the time anyway.

There are also some bugs that unnecessarily make your life a little harder. My personal favorite in particular, error W013. That’s the message you get when the initialization of the torque sensor was not completed successfully. Basically, what it means is that there can’t be any pressure on the pedals while turning the bike on every single time. As a side-effect, the startup process takes a few seconds to complete. After having wasted a lot of time not being able to just ride away with a few different bike models over the first few months of discovering Shimano’s motor mannerisms, I’m going as far as saying: don’t move it an inch while turning it on or try to start your bike while it’s lying on its side. To get the bike to initialize once you get that error, you have to turn it off and on again. At least in theory. I had one instance where I tried to get going for over twenty minutes, being stuck on W013.

Now I just lean it against a wall or tree when starting it or hold my breath when I’m out in the middle of nowhere before hitting the on button. Most of the time it’s not a problem anymore, and I know of some people that never had an issue with it (although more that do). But why Shimano is the only e-bike motor system manufacturer that needs to rely on such an anti-feature is beyond me.

Another thing that caught me off guard once is the fact that by the time your display is telling you that you have around 12 km of range left in the tank it’s imperative that you don’t turn the bike off or take a break long enough where the bike shuts down on its own. I don’t know the exact number, I only know that I made the mistake once at a long climb with that range left on the display, with the bike shutting off during a break and not delivering any motor support after that. I ended up pedalling the last 250 meters of altitude with a bike weighing around 25kg without motor support and won’t make that mistake on a Shimano-driven bike again
.
The same level of attention should be paid to your battery when there’s just one bar left. There’s no real warning to when the display starts blinking and the motor shuts off instantly after. Those might not be deal breakers, but knowing that others can do it better makes me think that someone didn’t do their homework programming the software or designing the system to begin with.

With Shimano’s motor still being one of the most commonly equipped, even though it might not be a class-leader anymore, one can only wonder what’s coming down the pipeline. With rumors of a new motor having been confirmed we’ll probably find out rather sooner than later.

Pros

+ Harmonious power delivery in Trail mode.
+ Well integrated display.
+ Customizable support modes.
Cons

- Rather noisy under heavy load by today’s standards.
- Walk assist almost unusable in real world.
- Power a bit difficult to control In Boost.






Brose Drive S Mag (Specialized 2.1)

Brose has been around for a while, and their latest mountain bike flagship model reflects their know-how. Essentially designed in cooperation with Specialized (resulting in the Specialized 2.1 motor), the Drive S Mag motor has become available to other manufacturers about a year later. The hardware is mostly the same, however Specialized developed their own motherboard and software for the motor management.

Our test session was run with Specialized’s 2.1 motor and system. I have alsp spent a brief amount of time on a BH AtomX Lynx with regular Brose Drive S Mag motor and was just as impressed by its power and overall feel, so I feel safe to say that most of my impressions should be valid for other Brose Drive S setups, even if they shouldn't end up being as sophisticated as Specialized's.

Compared to some other manufacturers, Brose has made it easy for bike companies to customize their motor to their needs with third-party batteries and displays. They also offer a full package of 630Wh in-frame battery and various remotes and displays.

The Brose Drive S Mag is the most powerful motor out of this pack with 90Nm of torque and a maximum support of 410%.
Brose Drive S Mag (Specialized 2.1)
Motor:
Continuous power: 250W (Specialized: 565W peak)
Torque: 90Nm
Weight: 2.9kg/6.38lbs.
Maximum Support: 410%
Sealing: IP56
Q-factor: about 180mm (depending on cranks)
Optimal cadence range: 10 to 110RPM (Specialized 2.1)

Batteries:
Capacity: Brose 630Wh, Specialized M2-series 500Wh or 700Wh
Weight: Brose 630: 3.8kg/8.36lbs., Specialized 700Wh: 3.84kg/8.45lbs.

Displays/Remotes: Brose: Display Allround, Display Central, Display Remote/Specialized: Handlebar Remote, Turbo Connect Display, Turbo Connect Unit
Modes: (No support)/Eco/Trail/Turbo (Specialized)
Walk assist: Yes

More info: www.brose-ebike.com


Brose 630 battery.
Brose Display Remote, Central, Allround.

Specialized M2-700Wh battery.
Specialized Turbo Connect Display.

Specialized Handlebar Remote
Specialized Turbo Connect Unit



App

With Specialized’s Mission Control app you can customize multiple aspects of your motor management for all drive modes. The app is available for iOS and Android, delivering four settings (Support and Peak Power individually, Acceleration Response and Shuttle spanning all modes) to find your personal favorites. For a detailed description, click for the full Specialized Kenevo review.

Full mode customization with Specialized's Mission Control app.
Smart Control can regulate the power output according to the planned ride distance.

On BH’s setup, for example, ride modes can be individualized directly on their own display. Brose’s own components don’t offer custom adjustment possibilities at the moment. However, a certified dealer has the option to individually alter motor settings with the Brose Service Tools.

C DCIM 100GOPRO G0260609.GPR

Performance Notes

The Brose Drive S Mag or Specialized 2.1 motor is without a doubt one of, if not the most well-rounded motors on the market.

It’s considerably quieter than Bosch and Shimano, producing more of a hum than a whine compared to some of its competitors, dropping into the background quickly and nicely hiding the fact that you are sitting on an e-bike.

Test bike
Specialized Kenevo 2020
Battery: Specialized M2-700Wh
Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF MaxxTerra 27.5 x 2.6” front, Specialized Butcher Grid Trail Gripton rear 27.5 x 2.6”
Weight: 22.9kg/50.38lbs. (w/o pedals)
Apart from that, its motor management is also one of the best. Power delivery is incredibly controlled even though it’s got plenty of power, with seamless transitions from start to going beyond the 25 km/h threshold. Without motor support, there’s virtually no resistance from the completely disengaged motor.

Even in its highest support mode it’s rather simple to apply gentle pedal pressure to the system and getting a controlled start, which comes in handy starting at steeper climbs from standstill. With Specialized’s stock settings the pedaling support feels very natural, almost as if it’s continually adapting to your power input.

When engaging the Shuttle mode at a higher setting in Specialized’s customization options it can happen once in a while that when pedaling at a high pace in Turbo there is a slight lag when abruptly reducing pedal pressure before the engine turns down its support. Overall though, being able to tune each mode to your liking in various configurations is quite the treat.

Fully dialing up all the options on the highest setting it’ll be hard to keep up the pace with Bosch’s new Gen 4 motor in a drag race up the hill, at least not without putting more of an effort in. By turning up all settings, your battery life is of course going down a bit.

Specialized only equips its bikes with a handlebar remote and Turbo Connect Unit with LED info for ride modes and battery charge in ten levels on the top tube. Technically, the bike's modes could also be adjusted without the remote, by pressing the button centered within the three circular LED lights that indicate the ride modes. If you want extra info like speed, cadence or rider input you'll have to invest in an extra handlebar display, the Turbo Connect Display.

C DCIM 100GOPRO G0290641.GPR

On my test lap with stock settings I was able to climb for 1,930 meters of altitude with the 700Wh battery on a single charge, when only riding in Turbo mode. The last 50 meters of that, the bike was in emergency mode, only delivering minimum support, then shutting off with a rest power of three percent, like the others. Apart from that, at a charge level of 20%, the bike automatically disables the Turbo support mode to save energy. It’s a nice reminder and gets you further, but it would be cool to have the option to disable that function in Mission Control for those that want to control their own destiny.

Test lap
Turbo mode: 25.5km/1,400m @75kg estimated (34.1km/1,878m @55kg tested)
Emergency mode: + 4km/40m @75kg estimated (+ 0.45km/52m @55kg tested)


On a mellow ride I kept running in Eco mode for most of the time and ended up with a total ascent of 1,400 meters and a distance of about 42km with 50% battery use, so I could probably get somewhere between 2,600 to 2,800 meters and almost 80km in distance with conservative bike support. It’s worth mentioning that support from Specialized’s lowest setting is still delivering more power than many other system’s setups.

Kudos to Specialized for not making a hassle out of engaging the walk assist mode. You simply press and hold the button on the lower side of the handlebar remote and it pushes the bike powerfully up the hill at walking pace, no matter what gear you’re in. Why do some others make it so complicated?

Overall, Brose, or in this specific case, Specialized, are doing great job on every front. Great motor management, low noise level, massive power, a natural feel and a very simple walk assist don’t leave much to wish for.


Pros

+ Very quiet.
+ Very powerful.
+ Great natural feeling motor management.
+ Mode customization possible (depending on bike company)
+ Great walk mode
Cons

- Maybe not as many software customization options from other bike companies than Specialized.
- No end-user motor management customizations at the moment for Brose display components.






Bosch Performance Line CX (Gen4)

Much smaller (48% less volume) and 25% lighter (saving 1kg) than its predecessor, and with new sophisticated sensors and constant power over a wider range of cadences, Bosch have taken steps to ensure their Gen 4 motor remains one of the most commonly spec'd e-bike systems on the market. Also, gone is the painful resistance when pedaling faster than 25km/h. Its eMTB mode has been refined, so has the Turbo mode to lose its choppy character. Its torque remains at 75Nm, but maximum pedaling support has been increase from 300% to 340%.

Added to its wide range of batteries was a 625Wh in-tube battery, next to a version of 400 and 500Wh. Externally mountable batteries end at 500Wh.

Numerous displays can be matched to the new Performance CX. Bosch’s new Kiox display is full of helpful information in color, including exact percentage, power provided from the rider and cadence. There’s the option of an anti-theft function, which disables the motor without using the matching display. Unfortunately, you have to pay extra for that feature. Also, in cooperation with Fox, the Kiox display is compatible with the E-Live Valve technology making it possible to control settings with the unit.

BOSCH Performance Line CX
Motor:
Continuous power: 250W
Torque: 75Nm
Weight: 2.9kg/6.38lbs.
Maximum Support: 340%
Sealing: IP56
Q-factor: 175mm
Maximum cadence support: 120RPM

Batteries:
Capacity: External (PowerPack): 300Wh, 400Wh, 500Wh/Integrated (PowerTube): 400Wh, 500Wh or 625Wh
Weight: PowerTube 625: 3.5kg/7.7lbs.

Displays/Remotes: Purion, Intuvia, Kiox, Nyon, SmartphoneHub, COBI.Bike
Modes: (No support)/Eco/Tour/eMTB/Turbo
Walk assist: Yes

More info: www.bosch-ebike.com/us/
The older Purion display that combines the thumb controls and display is still not forgotten and a more compact version than Kiox. Lapierre’s GLP 2 is using it and apart from Trek’s Rail top model, their lineup is dominated with this setup, to name just a few. Unfortunately, its info is more limited and it only delivers five steps to indicate the battery level, which turns it a bit into a guessing game how much power really is left in the battery. Personally, I would have really liked to see a version with the shape of Purion and info from Kiox.

The old speed sensor was mounted on the side of the left chainstay and used a regular spoke magnet. Luckily there's a new dropout-mounted sensor with hub-mounted magnet that looks a lot cleaner and is less prone to problems.

With Bosch, a bike manufacturer only has the option to pick from their component range. You won’t for example see a Bosch-driven bike with a different battery or display setup than what’s available.



PowerTube 625 battery.
PowerPack 500 battery.

Kiox display.
Purion display.

App

I did look into the eBike Connect app, available for iOS and Android, but didn’t find many features to improve the ride or change any settings. There’s a map function on the app with recording function and an optional connection to a komoot account. There's no support for navigation directly on the Kiox display, only with Nyon.

C DCIM 100GOPRO G0030079.GPR


Performance Notes

Almost everything is better with the new system. By pushing the standby button on the Kiox display, the motor almost immediately comes to life. With the first pedal stroke it becomes crystal clear the new Gen 4 Performance CX motor is quite the evolutionary step over its predecessor. Power transition is smooth, even in its most powerful Turbo mode, making it possible to translate the power to the ground efficiently, even at slow speeds. Especially when starting on steep inclines, that’s a feature not to be underestimated and the latest edition can handle it far better than the older motor.

You do have to apply power to the pedals a bit more gently in that kind of situation though, as power delivery follows pedal input rather quickly.




Test bike
Trek Rail 9.9 AXS
Battery: Bosch PowerTube 625
Tires: Bontrager SE5 Team Issue 29 x 2.6”/Schwalbe Eddy Current SG Addix Soft 29 x 2.6”
Weight: 22.4kg/49.28lbs. (w/o pedals)

That's a character feature that’s also noticeable with the newly adjusted eMTB mode, like it or not. Overall, the progressive eMTB function is dynamically selecting the best support mode between Tour (140%) and Turbo (340%) according to terrain and rider input. It does that job extremely well and on most days you can just ride along happily in that setting, without ever having to think about switching between the different modes yourself.
I very much like the fact that during the last generations it’s been possible to select between four support modes to give you more options. On the downside, it’s not possible to custom-tune the modes to your personal liking.

The Bosch Gen 4 motor's capability of now fully decoupling beyond 25 km/h is another big improvement, putting one of its biggest downfalls compared to other brands to rest.

A motor’s noise, by the way, can be amplified by the structure and material of the frame. Higher pitched sounds seem to be affected by this in carbon frames and the same motor in different bikes might have a different level of noise. Bosch’s Gen 4 isn’t the quietest motor around, as it spins at a rather high frequency under high load, but it’s not to the point where it becomes annoying in the long run.

Talking about noise, the absolutely biggest downside of Bosch’s latest design is a metallic clacking noise when the engine is unloaded and rolling over uneven ground, not unlike that of bad chain slap, coming from the motor itself – something I’ve never experienced with any competitor’s product. On some bikes equipped with the new Performance CX it’s more noticeable than on others. We checked in with Bosch and got the following explanation:

When encountering technical terrain on an eBike or eMTB, a vibration of the chain/chainring can occur. Those vibrations can be transferred to the frame, the drive unit and to the inner gear wheel (inside the drive unit). How much vibration is transferred depends on the type of bike (for example hardtail vs full suspension and aluminum vs carbon). In some cases, when freewheeling a metallic sound can be generated when the inner gear wheel is not under the stress of pedaling.

We have been able to recreate this occurrence with different drive units – both from Bosch and competitors of Bosch. The new Performance Line CX is possibly a little more sensitive and the noise is slightly louder than the noise of the other drive units. The CX has a high power density, a highly efficient gearing mechanism and incredibly smooth-running gears. Paired with reduced weight, lower wall thickness and improved heat release it is easier for mechanical noises to be omitted. But performance, efficiency, heat removal and heat-resistance are more important to us.

Usually this noise is drowned out by the sounds of the bike on the trail when descending. Knowing the occurrence, it is easy to reproduce the noise, but the noise does not have any influence on the performance, functionality or reliability of the motor.

Event though this noise is not at a level that would cause me to not ride a Bosch equipped bike anymore, you simply cannot unhear it. With every development from derailleur to chain protector over the past few years to keep a bike as quiet as possible, hearing the clacking noise when rolling over uneven terrain without the motor being engaged is simply annoying.


On my test lap, Bosch’s Gen 4 showed that its energy consumption can keep up with the best. The system gives you a warning at 20% in form of the battery level on the Kiox display turning orange, but it doesn’t affect the selected mode. You can keep rushing up the hill in Turbo until the bike completely shuts down at three percent battery left, which is reserved for running lights and such, according to some country laws. If I would have shifted down into Tour mode once I hit 20% battery level, comparable to Specialized’s procedure with the Brose motor, I might have extended the ride to similar levels.

Test lap
Turbo mode: 23.3km/1,300m @75kg estimated (31.1km/1,745m @55kg tested)


The integration of the Kiox display on a bike looks a bit awkward. There are two cables emerging from the adapter that holds the display with magnets, one rather voluminous one leading to the motor, the other connecting the handlebar remote with numerous directional controls (up and down control the modes, sideways buttons activate different views for each mode or settings). It’s difficult to hide the larger cable and while the display isn’t giant in dimension, it looks a bit intrusive on the handlebar, no matter if it’s located right on the stem, or in a forward, middle or rearward position on the bar.

Trek’s integration on top of the top tube looks like one of the better solutions out there, even if you have to lower your gaze a bit more than if it was mounted on the handlebar. The cable routing could have been cleaner, even in this case.

The walk assist works fine. You have to push a small button on top of the remote, opening a two-second window in which to push and hold the plus-button on the remote. If you lose contact, the two-second window opens up again, so all you have to do is reengage with the plus button. The push of the bike is powerful and it doesn’t matter what gear you’re in with the speed and start-up behavior automatically adjusting to the gradient.

Bosch’s new motor is delivering on many levels, but to be honest it’s somewhat disappointing that after all their development time for the new motor and eliminating all of its predecessor’s shortcomings, a new problem like its metallic clacking noise from the inner gear wheel is clouding the overall impression.

Pros

+ Very powerful.
+ Progressive EMTB ride mode.
+ Good motor management.
+ Good walk assist.
+ Exact remaining battery percentage with Kiox.
Cons

- Clacking noise from inner gear wheel when unloaded.
- Higher pitch noise under full load.
- No motor management customization options.
- Bosch components only.
- Not the greatest display integration with Kiox.






Fazua evation

Fazua’s evation drive system is not exactly a direct competitor to the other systems in this review but rather an alternative, that does things a little differently. The system is split into three main components: A bottom bracket unit and a Drivepack that holds the motor and battery. The battery is slid into the Drivepack or can be removed separately, the Drivepack itself when holding the battery can also be fully removed from the bike, basically giving you a regular bike with only the 1.3kg bottom bracket unit remaining within. A separately available aluminum downtube cover can fill the empty space in the downtube when running without Drivepack, acting as an optional storage hold.

Fazua offers two different remotes that can control the system. The Remote fX, which is usually installed somewhere on the top tube or the handlebar-mounted Remote b. The Remote b control features eleven LEDs with the lower ten designated to show the battery’s state of charge and the top LED being reserved for system messages.

Three support modes are available – Breeze (green), River (blue) and Rocket (red) –indicated by their different colors in form of LEDs on the display. You can also switch support off, turning the display lights white.

Some of the cable routing coming from the motor seems a bit crude; visually the Remote b isn’t exactly stunning either, but it gets the job done. Routing for the speed sensor seemed a bit jumbled as well, but that’s probably more up to the bike than the motor manufacturer. The spoke magnet, however, seems out of date, especially since the sensor is located near the rear hub.

Fazua evation
Motor:
Continuous power: 250W (400W peak)
Torque: 55Nm
Weight: 1.92kg/4.23lbs.
Maximum Support: 340%
Sealing: IP56
Q-factor: 171mm
Optimum cadence range: 55 to 125RPM

Battery:
Capacity: 252Wh
Weight: 1.38kg/3.04lbs.

Remotes/Displays: Remote b, Remote fX
Modes: (No support)/Breeze/River/Rocket
Walk assist: Yes

Bottom Bracket:
Weight: 1.31kg/2.88lbs.

More info: www.fazua.com


Fazua 252Wh battery.
The bottom bracket unit to connect to the Drivepack always remains within the frame.

Remote b remote.
Remote fX remote.



Software/App

Toolbox Software 2.0

With a recently launched software program that’s available for PCs or Macs, you can fully custom-tune almost every aspect of motor support. By removing the USB port cap and connecting your Drivepack to your PC or Mac, you are able to update your system’s software, read out all kinds of information but, most importantly, change every individual setting of your motor management.

In easy mode it’s possible to select between three pre-established settings – eco, moderate and performance – and adjust support relation and ramp-up separately on top of that. Changing to the advanced mode, you have the option to individually set the support curves for Breeze, Rive and Rocket modes, allowing you to get exactly the feel you’re looking for.

You can choose preset settings from a basic mode …
… or fully customizable advanced mode.

Fazua Rider App

On Remotes past a certain production date, you can connect your iOS or Android phone to the Fazua Rider app via Bluetooth. You can record your rides with a map functionality and get current information about your bike's status, including power, current, cadence, remaining capacity in percent, rider power or battery temperature and much more.

It’s a bummer that the motor management settings cannot be altered via the app, although I’ve heard a rumor that Fazua is working on making that available down the road.

You can choose from every kind of info to customize your screen.
The app also comes with a map function.




Performance Notes

Let’s start out with saying that I always found the concept of Fazua’s drive system intriguing and genius. Two bikes in one? Sign me up. But taking a closer look and learning about the details shows that there is still room for improvement.

Test bike
Bulls Wild Flow Evo RS
Battery: Fazua 252Wh
Tires: Schwalbe Nobby Nic Addix Performance 29 x 2.35”
Weight: 18.94kg/41.67lbs. (w/out pedals)

To get one of the biggest issues out of the way, starting the bike is not as straightforward as it should be. I would have never thought that I’d need an instruction manual on how to start an e-bike, but with Fazua’s system, it helps.

It turns out, pushing the start button on the handlebar remote doesn’t do much for you. Little did I know, the battery shuts into a deep-sleep mode every eight hours from which it only can be awoken by removing it from the bike and pushing a standby button at the top of the battery. That’s similar to needing to pop the hood of your car to push a button on the engine before being able to drive off if you fail to move it within an eight-hour period. Ummmm ...

It gets worse when you lock the battery so it can’t get stolen (if your bike is equipped with that locking feature) and take a trip with your car to a remote location for a bike ride, only to figure out that you left your key at home and can’t start your bike’s motor (something that almost happened to me once, which would have ended up with typing the rant of my life). Basically, it’s the most user-unfriendly piece of engineering I’ve seen in a long time and, in lamest terms, should really, really, really be fixed.

Removing the Drivepack unit from the bike itself is not a super simple task either. The so-called Locker mechanism that holds the Drivepack in place does not represent the most ingenious piece of engineering. Again, without an instruction manual you’ll be hard-pressed to get it open, no matter how strong your fingers are. Cussing profusely doesn’t help at all (I tried), but pushing the release button hard with a broomstick does. A colleague told me of the Drivepack falling on his foot once. Mine dropped onto the ground more than once during that getting-to-know period, so I can relate. But that’s not the correct way to do it.

Looking down at your bike, you have to wrap your fingers around the (usually dirty) Drivepack and pull it towards you. Then you have to push the release button on top of the downtube with your thumbs and at the same time release the Drivepack with your fingers. Right. Once lowered, there’s a secondary catch that can hold the battery halfway released from the frame for loading. I managed to get the battery and mechanism stuck in an angled position more than once when not perfectly aligned, which required some fiddling with the secondary latch to get it unstuck.

By the way, there’s no external loading port on the bike or generally available for the system, so you have to do this procedure every time you want to charge your bike. I ended up leaving the battery hanging in its charging position before my next ride to awake it from its stupid slumber mode and save myself at least one opening and closure procedure before each ride. There’s a Locker pX mechanism available that claims to deliver an improved user experience, and I can only hope it does.

With the Black Pepper Performance update, released in April 2020, a bunch of the motor management system’s flaws have been taken care of. One of the most important improvements was extending the motor’s cadence support range. With the original setting, pedaling at a higher pace often felt like pedaling into a wall – the quicker you spun your pedals and harder you pushed, the less support you got from the bike with the power dropping off outside the optimal cadence of 65 to 85 crank revolutions per minute. It felt even less like that, to be honest. After the update you’re blessed with a constant motor output from 55 to 125 revolutions per minute, which is a major difference out on the trail and almost making it hard to believe that the same motor can be so heavily affected by a software update.

With a completely overhauled motor control, the ridie feel has been revamped, delivering a truly natural assist. It wasn’t bad before, now its transition is buttery smooth over the entire range and abrupt changes in pedal revolutions don’t affect pedaling fluidity anymore.
Depending on the settings, you can now noticeably change the power delivery and motor assist to your liking. Since the process of changing the settings requires a computer and some fiddling with the USB cap of the Drivepack, that process might take a while to find your perfect setting, but it’s worth it.

Of course, the higher the support, the quicker your battery is going to drain. Since I only found the update a week before this review went online I wasn’t able to go through extensive testing again and figure out how each of those modes affected the real-world power usage or performance. From what I could gather, running on the highest possible settings for all motor management setup and running in Rocket mode resulted at about a 12 percent power drain for every 100 meters of altitude, picking the moderate settings throughout only required about 10 percent.

Before the update, the support used to feel more like someone pushing you at walking pace with a hand on your back and the power delivery in River or Rocket mode felt more like the lowest support mode, or something in between the lowest and medium mode on most regular e-bikes, rather than the dazzling punch to the pedals of one of the higher settings from the competitors in this test.

After the update, with the highest motor setup settings with a power output of 300W, it was possible to keep up with someone riding at regular efforts with Specialized’s medium Trail mode next to you (which is already pretty powerful). You still probably had to put more energy in and your battery consumption would suffer, but keeping up wasn’t even an option before. Since there is a note in the Toolbox that warns you that overheating could be more of a problem in this setting, with the bike regulating down the power output in that case, this highest motor setup appears to be better suited for using Rocket mode for shorter but more demanding sections of trail, rather than continuous use. In either motor setup configuration after the update – even riding in lower Breeze and River modes – the bike was simply significantly more fun to pedal around than before.

Fazua’s evation is still less powerful than regular e-bike systems in their highest settings, but that might actually appeal to some riders out there.

Also, accelerating from standstill and when going beyond 25 km/h results in a seamless transition after the update. Only once in a while when you suddenly stop pedaling can you notice a slight clicking noise from the motor, but it’s nothing to fret over. It’s amazing, by the way, how silent the motor is running. With an almost regular look of the bike’s frame, this concept truly is hard to distinguish from a regular design of a bike.

It was a bit weird that the bike’s internal speedometer reading showed 3 to 4km/h less than my Garmin at higher and around 1 to 2 km/h at lower speeds. Usually it’s only off from other e-bike systems by 1km/h at the most, if at all. So essentially, if I trust my Garmin more than the Fazua’s internals, the motor only delivered support up to 21 or 22km/h, rather than the 25km/h that it should.

There’s a bit more play for the motor’s freewheel to engage, which could result in a longer delay until the hub engages, especially if the hub’s internals has a larger engagement angle itself. I only noticed it occasionally and wasn’t bothered by it but it might be a factor for some.

C DCIM 100GOPRO G0070181.GPR

Out of all systems, doing that lap test before the update was by far the least fun and rewarding. With the rather large 38-tooth chainring and only a 46 cog as the lowest gear on the cassette, the bike was struggling on the short, really steep inclines, even in Rocket mode. With the improved cadence range after the Black Pepper firmware update using the moderate preset for motor management on the test lap, the bike fared much better in every aspect, resulting in considerably higher speeds on the uphills, a far more natural riding experience at a higher cadence and ultimately an entertaining ride.

On the downside, I only managed to climb about 250m less in altitude at a shorter overall distance, but I'll take that over the old setup any day of the week. Plus, I’m pretty certain that if the bike was setup on the lowest motor preset you’d probably be able to cover a similar distance as before but you’d still enjoy the performance much more.

Thinking about reach, I never considered carrying an extra battery in my backpack, but at a low weight of about 1.4kg, even I could entertain that thought, not ruling out the Fazua’s capability for epic long rides.

Test lap
Rocket mode (before update): 16.2km/935m @75kg estimated (21.62km/1,246m @55kg tested)
Rocket mode (moderate setting, after update): 12.38km/723m @75kg (16.51km/965m @55kg tested)


At around 50% charge a slight drop in power delivery is noticeable, probably due to the small size of the battery and natural reduction of power output. At around 20% there’s another noticeable drop, but this one is explained by the system deliberately scaling back the support at around 15 to 20% to extend reach. At 3% the motor support shuts down to meet some countries’ requirements.

By talking so much about the engine, you shouldn’Pt forget what the lower weight of the total system does to the handling of the bike. While our test bike with carbon frame and mostly aluminum components still weighed about 19kg, breaking below the 20kg weight barrier does make a difference. Some bike manufacturers can scratch at that mark with a regular e-bike setup, but you’d have to spend an arm and a leg for that sensation.

So, when lifting the bike up in the parking lot it still feels a bit chunky, but already when handling it next to an average e-bike when loading it into or even onto a car for example makes a huge difference. More importantly, when riding the bike it does react more like a regular bike than a hefty e-bike. Without pushing into corners on the downhills and with being able to lift the front end moderately easy, you don’t really have to adapt your riding style to enjoy the ride.

Before the update it seemed to be a bit more difficult to figure out how far you can get with the Fazua drivetrain, compared to other e-bike systems. I had a fit friend with a weight of 70 kg take the bike out on an extended ride, spending about 95% of the time only riding the Breeze mode. We managed to finish the loop covering 1,380 meters of altitude and a distance of 45.9km. He had three bars remaining. A few days later I did the exact same route with the bike, using the same modes at the same areas and weighing 15kg less but I ended up on the last bar of battery power at the end. Since we finished the lap quicker the first time around, I assume that he put more leg power in, pushing the threshold and saving battery in the process. Again, without recording those separate rides with a torque meter and with the cadence range having changed significantly, that’s just a wild guess.

To activate the walk assist you have to first shift into no support mode (white) and then hold the lower button for two seconds to activate the bike’s push, which isn’t immensely powerful but could be a help in some situations. You have to keep resting your thumb on that lower button during the push, if you lose contact you’ll have to start back up with the two-second delay.

I was slightly disappointed that the eleven levels on the Remote b display for battery weren’t designed to crank it up to eleven but that the top one is reserved for system messages. A blinking yellow light tells you if there is a connection error to the speed sensor. Before the update the battery charge indicators seemed to erratically jump levels once in a while. Sometimes it took quite long for even the first three levels to drop, then you lost a bar within a minute, without the terrain or riding giving a real explanation for it. Again, the update seems to have done the trick and the app and display correlates the remaining charge correctly.

By using the app you can see the exact percentage of power used as well as every other detail you might be interested in, including rider input. It would be great if there was a handlebar display available that could show that info. In bright sunlight and depending on the color of the support mode, it’s sometimes a bit harder to figure out the exact charge but overall, I appreciate the more detailed information of ten levels compared to five energy bars from many other systems.

Being able to remove the motor Driveunit and battery is smart, essentially giving you two bikes in one. However, it doesn’t seem to make full sense on a bike designed for a certain category of riding and spec. Our test bike, the Bulls Wild Flow EVO RS is part of the trail bike category with 120 mm of travel front and rear and comes to a weight of 18.9kg without pedals. With the unit and battery removed, the bike still weighs about 16kg with the separately available aluminum Downtube Cover installed, weighing 490 grams. I don’t think that anyone would truly enjoy pedaling around a trail bike with 16kg. I gave it a spin and wasn’t highly entertained for that category, although in an emergency situation it would still be better than nothing. The Wild Flow’s top model, the SL, packed with lightweight carbon goodies, is rumored to scratch at the 16kg weight mark with engine, which would change things dramatically.

On an enduro bike like NOX’s Helium Enduro Pro, which also uses Fazua’s evation drive, the removable system also makes a lot of sense, even with the bike weighing more. The 180mm travel ride comes to 19.9 kg complete, so about 17 with the system removed. Taking it out for a day doing shuttle runs or going to the bike park without a motor suddenly becomes a real option. Apart from that, I’ve taken quite a few heavier big-hit bikes on extended rides in the past with the downhill being the true reward, so I wouldn’t even rule out the option of pedaling that kind of bike up the hill if necessary.

A Fazua-equipped bike also seems like the perfect solution for a weaker rider wanting to keep up with strong riders on regular bikes.

All in all, I wasn’t really excited over the performance of Fazua’s evation before the firmware update. But that Black Pepper update made a huge difference for the better, pushing the concept closer to the refined drive systems of established e-bike players while enjoying the more natural weight and handling of the bike on your ride. You even develop a routine with removing the battery excessively even though it always reminds you that the battery’s deep-sleep mode is not a user-friendly solution.

Pros

+ Essentially two bikes in one.
+ Lighter weight compared to higher powered systems.
+ Natural support feel.
+ Full customization of motor management.
+ Less powerful than regular e-bike systems.
Cons

- Deep-sleep battery mode after eight hours and then battery needs to be removed to start up.
- No external charging port possible.
- Sketchy mechanical locking mechanism.
- Less powerful than regular e-bike systems.





Picking a Winner

As far as size and weight goes, the big three don’t differ much from one another anymore. But at the end of the day, Brose’s Drive S Mag – or in our specific case, Specialized’s 2.1 motor with most of Brose’s hardware – is the winner out of this group. Its power, power delivery, noise level and possible motor management customizations and even walk assist functionality edge out its competitors.

If it came down to feel and power management, Bosch’s latest Performance CX Gen 4 motor would be my clear choice for runner-up, but its metallic clacking noise when rolling over obstacles without load left a bad impression. So do Shimano’s annoying little software quirks, but at least those don’t bother you during your ride and can be worked around. While still a good engine concept overall, in terms of smoothness and power delivery Shimano can’t hide the fact that it’s lost a bit of ground to its competitors’ never products.

With Fazua’s evation system offering a somewhat different concept to the big three, it wouldn’t be fully fair to rate it directly against them. Thanks to the Black Pepper firmware update, a lot of the performance issues of the past have become obsolete and given it more support on the climbs. It still doesn’t have the raw power of any of the others but can collect points with a natural pedaling feel and essentially giving you two bikes in one, even if it is still heavier without the Drivepack than your regular bike. In its current state, you’d have to accept its shortcomings like battery deep-sleep every eight hours, from which it can only be resurrected by popping out the battery.








269 Comments

  • 177 4
 Lots of work to write this, good job! That's what we want for derailleur, brakes, tyres, light, etc.
  • 51 3
 I’m pretty sure you missed “water bottle compatibility” in there
  • 35 1
 Please Please Please DH/Enduro tire shootout.
Minion DHF v. Minion DHR2 v. Magic Mary v. Aquila v. Assegai v. Pinner v. Hellkat v. DH22 v. DH34 v. Eddy Current Front v. Der Kaiser v. High roller 2
  • 16 1
 @IsaacWislon82: Pinkbike rarely covers a category that well - it's usually just a smallish selection. It would be, like, DHF vs Pinner vs Magic Mary and billed as an ENDURO TIRE SHOOTOUT.
  • 7 0
 @IsaacWislon82: ...but luckily you'd find a bunch more info in the comments section.
  • 17 1
 Thanks, @fracasnoxteam, Ralf did a great job. We're continuing to expand the number of Ridden and Rated articles that we do, but if you want to check out previous ones they're located here: www.pinkbike.com/news/tags/ridden-and-rated.
  • 4 13
flag duster79 (May 25, 2020 at 9:18) (Below Threshold)
 @IsaacWislon82:
Easy shootout, Maxxis tire . The subject is done
  • 2 8
flag IllestT (May 25, 2020 at 10:45) (Below Threshold)
 @IsaacWislon82: what would a tyre shootout be much use to consumers?
Just try a few and see what you like. Tyres are cheap enough and wear fast enough for everyone to do their own shootout. eBikes are not
  • 2 0
 @IsaacWislon82: Too subjective of a topic to have a meaningful review IMO
  • 1 0
 @IsaacWislon82: and the winner is: eddy current. youtu.be/2LoYNXKK6MM
  • 9 13
flag fssphotography (May 25, 2020 at 23:16) (Below Threshold)
 @mikekazimer: Although there is a lot of work here, the fact of comparing three motors with Fazua is an error.

Missing the Yamaha motor is a huge error considering the massive e-bike market share Giant have. Also they have their own software.

Saying Specialized is "Brose" is an error, the software is totally different. I know the engineers, they would not be happy with this "tagging". It is a Specialized motor not a Brose. For example, heat management design was specified by Specialized, where the circuit board layout, internally in the motor was placed, for example.

Shimano: "I had one instance where I tried to get going for over twenty minutes, being stuck on W013..." this is indicative of a ............ in control of the bike, not an experienced tester. Pop the battery if anything gets blocked and you will be reset in two seconds.

The comparison at this level of detail is flawed and also pointless. In my experience, of riding all systems and testing for years for multiple magazines, only superficial comparisons can be made, nothing can be learned by deeply engaging like this, especially if ignoring all the other systems.

Knowing how magazines work, this is simply a Google search article designed to bolster Pinkbike's Google ebike search function/return rate.


I don't normally comment on other magazines works but in this case, this article should not have been published in this form unless its clearly marked as a random opinionated comparison. It's false information to consumers.
  • 15 1
 @fssphotography: If you read the article, it's mentioned more than once that Fazua is not really going up against the other three in this review.

It's clearly mentioned that Specialized is not just using different software but a different motherboard as well.

Regarding Shimano, that's exactly the point. It was in the first few months with dealing with Shimano. Here's the official remedy solution from Shimano: "With your foot off the pedal, press the battery power button and turn on the power again. If the situation does not improve, contact the place of purchase." Ever tried to remove the battery from a 2019 Bergamont bike? So I think it's relevant for the end consumer to mention that this error can be a bit more pain in the ass than just hitting the on/off switch.

I agree that magazine testing is flawed. Every tester out there is opinionated and rides at a different level. Still, we're trying to help make choices from the product that's out there, based on our experience with many different products out there over the years, with all the limitations that we're facing. It was also mentioned, that some of the comparisons aren't scientifically accurate.

Personally, by the way, I couldn't care less about Google …
  • 1 0
 @IllestT: It would be nice to hear good third-party feedback on all of em. Sure, I've tried a few, but there's probably 15 tires i'd like to try and I don't really want to drop $750 to see what I like best. Most of the feedback on tires I run across are either pros giving glowing endorsements, good mtb reviewers (like Pinkbike) giving a good review but with a lack of direct comparison, or random hearsay by people on trails or in comments sections. Long story short, I think it would be a good starting point for people getting a new set of tires, and probably invaluable for a new privateer just getting into racing who has huge selection and minimal budget (me last year trying to pick a set of racing rubber on the cheap).

@flattire: Point taken, maybe picking a winner per se in that type of review wouldn't make sense. I'd still love to hear different reviewer's thoughts though, and a fastest time down X track in X conditions with the same rider would be really cool.
  • 3 9
flag TimRidesBikes (May 26, 2020 at 7:12) (Below Threshold)
 Pinkbike is a paid advertisement site. Pushing the latest trends is where they get their money. Oh and e-bikes, bleh.
  • 2 6
flag BCDragon (May 26, 2020 at 14:48) (Below Threshold)
 @mikekazimer: When are you planning the review of hardware and software options for jailbreaking these systems..? It's only a matter of time until all these mopeds are doing 50KPH up the trails! In the long-term, mopeds are going to damage mountain biking - sad but true!
  • 2 2
 @BCDragon: you have no idea what youre talking about. Maybe read atleast a little bit before you start spewing the stoopid
  • 2 3
 @won-sean-animal-chin: You make such an eloquent argument don’t you! Here is the link to one of many websites offering the know-how and technology to derestrict your ebike: www.ebiketuning.com
There is no way to control this and human nature means people will always want bigger, better, faster, more. If you wish to dispute my hypothesis, maybe you should do some reading and offer actual evidence.
  • 5 0
 @BCDragon: im hesitant to answer your hyperbolic meltdown but its too ez. It doesnt give you anymore tourque. It just allows the motor to stay engaged past 32km/h. Without more tourque it will only go faster on the flats. Your offroad mtb trail speed will be limited to what the trail dictates, as in corners, rocks, roots, so no different then current bikes except when your commuting. It'd be good for commuters to use on the road but it voids your warrantee(its detectable at warrantee) , uses more battery and will get too hot. Nice try.
As for bikes with more tourque , the current king is the tq motor haibike with 120nm. It will climb slightly steeper and slightly faster. Youll clean a few more climbs and go a couple km/h faster. Its a marginal difference and the bike is really long and weighs 65lbs and your battery wont be lasting long at full power. Itd be nice to have in the quiver but you wont be flying up the hill and itll be cumbersome. Still fun but the whole idea of emtb's is to ride more mtb type trails with a bit of assist. The market wants more battery to go longer range and lighter because mtb traols are tight. To double the tourque on current bikes your bike would have to be crazy long, internal gearing bdcause freehubs and chains wouldnt last a week, heavy wide tires and youd need 3 x 10lb batteries to go longer than an hour and it'd weigh 100lbs. Even in 10 years when batteries are optimistically forecast to be half the current weight, the bike your melting down with fear over will be 90lbs.Thatd suck on mtb trail. The market doesnt want that. Now we're talking, get a moto or small pit bike and ride moto trails not tight mtb trails.
  • 4 11
flag casman86 (May 27, 2020 at 3:09) (Below Threshold)
 A motor comparison on a cycling web site is a sign that maybe pinkbike should call it quits. A new low for pinkbike. Maybe reevaluate and relaunch as a mountain biking site?
  • 1 0
 @BCDragon: dood!?!? Where ya at? I was just start to learn teh evils of the eeb. I need more reading material. More hypothesis. I hope youre not busy building up a new eebzzz!!!
  • 1 0
 @BCDragon: bro!?!? You ok? Im sorry. Im woke. Evil eebs!! You need a tissue?
  • 64 5
 Why no Yamaha? In local testing, Giant ebikes with Yamaha proved to have much better range than Specialized Turbo Levo. Brose motor has a lot of plastic parts and doesn't seem very durable in the long haul.
  • 13 4
 That was my 1st thought too. It would certainly be far more reliable than any of the above motors, that's for sure.
  • 11 2
 I wondered why Giant/Yamaha motor was left out also. I thought Giant was the largest Ebike brand/manufacturer in the world? I was also told the Yamaha/Giant motor was the most reliable unit available today.
  • 4 0
 @OzarkBike: That's quite sad for Yamaha since they were offering 'some kind' of traction control.
  • 4 0
 My dad (who turns 70 next year) is currently riding a Yamaha brand hardtail, the"YDX-Torc" model. The first 500 miles have been a trouble free, positive experience. I'd say the highlights are the triple sensor system (speed, cadence, and torque) which delivers smooth power every time, a motor that provides 80nm of torque to help him up the steepest of fire roads, and a three year warranty on frame/motor/battery that provides peace of mind.
  • 5 0
 @jdeg: 3 year warranty is impressive. If you are a rider who plans on riding alot I would argue that the value of a 3 year warranty on an e bike motor outweighs just about every other consideration because you can change alot of parts for less than the price of replacing a motor. Especially if you have extra batteries and are going to be in turbo mode all day, if you ride in the rain alot, or if you are a big guy.
  • 42 6
 To all the Dipshit's that are ragging on this category. How many of you drive to the trailhead instead of using the Mountain bike as a bicycle and cycling there?

Here is my issue & my heartbreak. I have been mountain biking since 1986. I just turned 50. I have a blood condition that has made any sort of exercising put my heart at risk. I get terribly short of breath doing mild exertions. Before this happened I still biked to the trailhead on weekends (50 minutes) My rides were 20 miles on the trail. My whole life I have been a cyclist. Now I can't ride anymore. I am considering this category of bicycle more & more. My main problem is the prejudice against it in my own mind. I have them against young kids and anyone under say 45 out on the trail. But now here I am. Unable to ride my bikes. When I consider buying an e-mtb I think I am over my own prejudice but I still feel so much shame over what I think other mountain bikers will think of me. I don't look 50. I don't act 50. Regardless of that shame I am going to have to go this route if my life outside of my job is to have meaning. I can't rock climb anymore either due to the medical problem or go on strenuous hikes. Anything cardiovascular is difficult for me. Pinkbike. Thank you for this wealth of knowledge. I truly appreciate it.
  • 32 4
 Lose the shame and buy one now. It's so much fun and gets you back out on the trails. F* the haters.
  • 20 2
 You put in your time. In the 80's and early 90's there was no one out there to bitch. Its your sport. Go get one and have fun.
  • 18 1
 Bro, live inside your head don't worry about what other people think. Think about it like this.. every day you are not riding an E Bike is a day you are not getting back. I am 47 had virtually given up riding, had a few crashes had gotten fat. Now I am 8kgs lighter, ride 2 to 3 times a week, riding with my kids, being a good Dad, I love it. Plus I am riding better than ever. There is Zero downside. Well in my head anyway.
  • 21 4
 I'm 37. Good shape. Technically I have never been better. Riding MTBs since I was 10. I own more 2 MTBs and many other bikes. This year I bought eMTB. I couldn't (or could for those in US) care less about what people think when it comes to eBikes. I know that I'm not either a threat to them nor to environment. No more than the same me on my enduro bike. And the fun factor is just bloody amazing. And the fact that I can go and climb my favorite mountains after work (uphill takes minutes not hours Big Grin ) and then do DH which gives me the smiles is awesome. Go ride and have fun
  • 8 1
 If you feel like an eMTB is the only way you can carry on riding, then get one and carry on riding.

I don't believe a single person who says they'll never ride an ebike. Sooner or later, every one of us is going to get to a point where our bodies just can't cut it any more. An ebike could give you an extra.. i dunno... 10 years maybe?... more? of riding. Are these people still going to refuse to ride one when their time comes? Just give up on the sport they say they love so much?No way, if they still love MTB they'll be on an ebike.

As for being judged... Decent folk will surely be pleased for you enjoying yourself. Anyone else... well, who cares. As long as you're not breaking any rules, you shouldn't let anyone tell you you're "not mountain biking right".

I had no real opinion on ebikes personally until last summer. I saw a chap riding up the fire road on one. It was only as he passed me i noticed he had no legs below the knee! Had those blade things.

Dude had significant proportions of his legs missing and he could still mountain bike and hit the trails. Because of an ebike.

After that i fully support them. Don't have one myself. But i don't care how many people who don't need one take it as an easy or lazy route to mountainbiking. If it helps anyone who does need one then it's all worth it.
  • 4 1
 @goroncy: "I couldn't (or could for those in US) care less" thank you!! This has bugged the shit out of me for so long! Ha ha
  • 2 1
 Bought a Specialized Levo this past fall and I have never ridden more or enjoyed the hill as much as I do now. This is one of *those* inventions that simply kicks ass when done right. It took 5 mins on a bike shop's demo to get me sold that this is a very good thing. As said by others, it's so much fun and you get more enjoyment out of the same amount of expended physical energy.

Think back to the early days of iPhone and what the BB users thought and said about it. Push that shit aside... you won't regret it and you won't be wrong!
  • 109 83
 Theres this motor I have on my bike that never needs serviced, just some fuel (porridge) and some water (beer) before you go out for a ride. It gets quicker the more you go out on it too, it's amazing!
What's even better is that there is no waste, battery acid and plastics going into landfill!
  • 18 21
 Yes Sir!
  • 54 107
flag chriskneeland (May 25, 2020 at 4:16) (Below Threshold)
 @toop182: They won't understand. Ebikes are for those who don't have the grit to ride real bikes.
  • 66 3
 Really? My motor needs a f*cktonne of maintenance in stretching, otherwise the links all start to creak and it suffers bad power and range loss.
  • 43 0
 @L0rdTom: Don't forget the constant cleaning, mine started going to shit after 30 years, and I found out there is no warranty or after sales service what so ever!
  • 17 10
 @chriskneeland: 4/10 trolling attempt.
  • 40 16
 @chriskneeland: or maybe, just maybe, they are also for those who have nagging injuries, ailments that affect cardiovascular system, age related decline or disability... Maybe, this is a system that allows more people to get on a bike... Just sayin.
  • 28 55
flag chriskneeland (May 25, 2020 at 5:38) (Below Threshold)
 @bohns1: Funny, of all the ebikers I've come across, I've met one who said they ride it because of age, and he was 62 and still rides his real bike more. All the others are just the same guys who make excuses for walking their bikes up small ascents. They're a different breed.
  • 6 3
 Wait till it fractured its spine. Then we will see if it needs repairs or special fuel...
  • 69 5
 I used to hate a whole lot more until I realized my worst fear isn't coming true (people ripping up descents at 20mph) AND I started being able to ride with friends who aren't nearly as fit as me but can descend. Now that a few of them are on eBikes we can do hard rides together where I get a mega-workout and they can keep up on an eBike. So far all I've seen has been positive.

Like a lot of things...when it was just an idea, a concept, I hated on it. When someone I knew started using one, I warmed to the idea and have seen nothing but positive results.
  • 24 1
 My motor produced a huge amount of pollutants this am after last night's BBQ.
  • 11 8
 @chriskneeland: LOL. grit because you pedal uphill... Please.
  • 26 6
 At the end of the day, not everyone wants a suffer fest every ride... The ebikes remove that suffering. I have a customer who picked up a Giant Reign E+ from me back in November and has dropped 50lbs since.. I like to grab a demo bike for my 12 year old son... I can hit all the climbs with him and he gets to experience the fun on the downhills. And, I don't have to stop every few minutes for him to take a break... Now, if I didn't have to hear him tell me how tired I sound on every climb...
  • 18 29
flag ybsurf (May 25, 2020 at 8:08) (Below Threshold)
 @bohns1: inactivity is number cause aot cardiovascular ailments, dont think a motor on a bike is the solution here. Age yes injury yes but most of them is pure laziness
  • 12 0
 @toop182 Never thought your comment would get so many thumbs down on PB. E-Bike approval has come a long way for PBers. Lol.
  • 6 3
 I take it you don’t own a house , car or anything environmentally unfriendly !
  • 6 2
 @ybsurf: sure inactivity is a huge cause.. But asthma, lung fibrosis and pulmonary disease alomg with copd are other causes.. I no people in these camps and they are now atleast able to ride and be on the bike.. Ill be on one as well when im a very old man.. No shame in it.
  • 16 0
 @rickybobby18: Thanks for the common sense approach. As a rider who is now in his mid 60’s, riding an Ebike has allowed me to ride with much younger guys without them having to wait around at the top of the climbs.
  • 10 1
 Pretty sure battery acids and plastics are a lot less offensive than some of the waste I produce after porridge and beer
  • 6 3
 @endoguru: i’m 74 and can keep up with thirty year old . Oh wait , i mean my motor can keep up with thirty year olds . ????
  • 4 0
 If you’ve never been serviced then your missing out.
  • 12 4
 @chriskneeland:
Yeh and those MX guys with their motors are some of the fittest people in the planet. Your logic is possibly incorrect
  • 2 1
 @Yaan: but most of those guys spend more time pedaling during the week that twisting the throttle... But, ebikes are now being incorporated into Aldon Baker's program...
  • 11 3
 @bohns1: @bohns1: some fit mountain bikers like it because you can do 3 times the ride in the same time on a regular bike. And you are thrashed when you/re done.
  • 8 1
 @fasian: yes! And now that they are getting lighter they are becoming almost as fun as a “real” bike. When they start making them at 33 lbs with 36’s and x2’s it’s going to be rad. To your point though, I’m usually more sore after an ebike ride as I find myself pushing pretty hard up the climbs. On my regular bike which I ride the majority of the time I’m much more happy to cruise up to the top. As a dad with two kids, there are some days where you can bust out 2-3 laps in a short time and that’s the real benefit to an ebike. That, and my wife was able to ride until about 4 days before she delivered our second baby.
  • 4 3
 @bohns1: : Sure maybe, but by far the majority of people I see riding these motorized bikes are young, able-bodied dudes who are typically fitter than I am.
  • 4 7
 @bohns1: absolutely same here in my 70's(hope not too early) I'll be on one too same with actual ailments is fine but seriously most majority of ebike are use by lazy young rider with no health problems.
  • 5 5
 @tacklingdummy: I expected a few nibbles at the bate but this is brilliant. Ebikers are a touchy bunch.... nibble nibble....
  • 2 0
 @fasian: Yes... Another positive benefit of course..
  • 2 0
 @Yetimike2019: 100%. When I get an e bike to will be to enable me to get more laps in of my local trails in the limited time I have to ride.
  • 3 1
 I think we need to start thanking all those people who bought E-MTBs.
They typically spend much more on their hobbies, from outright purchase price to service costs. This is good for the companies building bikes, and the companies that support those companies, it's a positive diversification even if it's not your cup of tea.
More importantly, an EMTB is a far more attractive theft than an analogue bike, so thanks for taking one for the team there.

I still don't enjoy overhearing the following inevitable topics of conversation:

1. Battery longevity
2. Regaining your love of climbing
3. How lightweight all that extra shit on your bike is.

but I think we need to start accepting there are some positives here.
  • 31 4
 It's a bit short-sighted not to include Yamaha
  • 12 5
 I really wanted to see bafang
  • 6 2
 Spot on - Yamaha are much more reliable according to my local dealer, Bosch have been terrible in regards to longevity
  • 2 0
 @sewer-rat: bosch or brose?
  • 5 1
 @sewer-rat: Yep. Yamaha motors are the most reliable around here too.
Bosch aren't too far behind. It's the switchgear and wiring that lets everybody down in the UK. All the manufacturers seem to forget to test their bikes in wet conditions and assume that their customers won't store their bike in a cold damp garage or shed.

Brose are by far the least reliable from my experience. One of our customers went through 6 motors in less than a year (Levo) and he only rides around town and gravel tracks. Every day in all conditions mind.
  • 4 3
 @won-sean-animal-chin: Bosch, I know countless riders who are on their second / third units in regards to Bosch- my and my mates Yamaha had 2k of muddy abuse and never skipped a beat, my Mrs Bosch needed replacing after 500k.

Never again
  • 2 1
 @timbud: was that a generation 1 LEVO as they were awful?
  • 1 0
 @sewer-rat: k thanks . It can be wet here but not quite UK wet. The true test
  • 2 0
 @sewer-rat: also, i wonder what generation bosch. Gen 3 had a lot of water/mud ingress than they revamped the seals and bearing covers and i thought that had solved it. I really like ths new gen4 so i thought they would carry over the "sealed from the elements" improvement, along with all the other improvements
  • 1 1
 @sewer-rat: Sadly not. They're not much better now.
  • 2 0
 @sewer-rat: just remembered in case your gf still has her bosch bike(you're prob aware). This guy has rebuild parts or will rebuild those older gen3's
youtu.be/KlJ1jRGMpjg
  • 6 0
 Pretty much every Emtb owner and shop dealer have told me that Yamaha is the most durable long lasting motor. Bosch comes second.
  • 3 0
 @timbud: Mt takeaway. Wait two more years to buy any of these.
  • 4 0
 So far, the Yamaha has been my most troublesome system... One motor developed noise after a few months which Giant replaced. Second bike has had head unit issues and we just ended up replacing the motor... Upside, Giant sent an updated motor.. Downside, the motors had different connections. They sent a patch cord to connect them, but there's not much space available for the extra connections.. At least Giant will support the product. Had to replace one Bouch Gen 3 motor.. One of the worst customer service experiences I've ever had.. It was a constant game of waiting for a response from Bouch USA and usually, the only way I got a response was by me following up with them... Then, they finally gave the ok to allow the distributor to sell me a motor, it took them over a week to send the distributor the info to flash the motor for the bike... I like the performance of the gen 4 motor, but I hope I never see an issue with one..
  • 2 0
 @sewer-rat: Ive only seen about 2 in 300 bosch motors have issues. Think they were trying to clear stock on you
  • 1 0
 @Abite: Okeydokey, my friends shop has seen 8 inn10 warranty returns as Bosch ! He sold me the bike, that’s from Yamaha, Brose and Bosch - yeah my mate sold me a dud :eyeroll:
  • 1 0
 comparing fazua with the others is pointless, totally different aim of system.
  • 21 3
 Just a side note: Engines run on combustion (or steam). Motors run on electricity. All eMTBs have motors, none have engines.
  • 4 6
 Ok mr technical. I think Most people get the point
  • 21 1
 Great review!
  • 12 2
 Great review. I’ve killed a steps E8000 motor already at approx 1000km’s which was very premature. To shimano’s credit, from the time I told them it was dead to working bike back in my garage it was 4 working days. I’m told specialized warranty here in Aus is exceptional too. So if you are worried about long wait times etc don’t be, country and motor dependant of course.
  • 15 5
 My misses’s Shimano steps motor on her Saracen Juiced started making horrible noises. Turns out the bottom bracket is not replaceable. Madison tell me that the bike is out of warranty so it’s a write off. Ebikes yay.
  • 3 1
 Not replaceable bottom bracket? That can't be true, can it? There must be some way to change the bearings.
  • 4 1
 @Pedro404: there are but you can't buy spare parts from Shimano
  • 12 1
 So if there is no warranty, you dumb it? How about paying for the repair? Everything is replacable on a shimano system? Weird story bro.
  • 2 0
 @Lasse2000: because a new motor was priced from the distributor at over £1000. Why would anyone spend a £1000 on a bike that’s possibly worth £1200. BB is not replaceable. Read the comment. Shimano don’t sell you the bits...
  • 2 0
 @crispycritter: there is a guy called bearingman in the emtbforums who replaces bearings on shimano-motors. You can replace parts that are not unique to the design of the motor. You just can't order them officially through shimano and get them from other sources.
  • 1 0
 @KalkhoffKiller: thanks bud, I’ll track him down.
  • 15 5
 Considering that Shimano is bound to release a new motor soon enough I am sure PinkBike already knows and probably already rode the thing, so what's the point of testing a 2016 engine against much more recent engines ?
  • 12 0
 Considering how fast this tech is moving and how much work it must have been to write all this down (couldn't even be bothered to read it, went straight to the comment section) I think they just need to draw a line somewhere and get on with it. If they wait a little longer, some other company might have an update on the horizon. There is always something. Once something new gets released it also gets a separate article. But in a grouptests I suppose they just pick what's common at the time and just hope it isn't already outdated by the time the article gets released.
  • 13 0
 It's what you can buy today
  • 9 0
 What this review lacks is the fact that the Brose Motors belt snaps sooner or later especially if the rider is heavy and rides a lot on max power. Some folks have had like 4 motors in 2 years and the warranty runs out. And the Shimano also produces a clunking sound riding over rough terrain as it features the same freewheel technique as the bosch. But you only hear it on rough stuff but it just sounds like chain slap.
  • 1 0
 Also the range of the shimano system is was lower than the competition. Opposite to the reviewers experience paired with the gen3 bosch 500wh battery it woul come 100-200 short of climbing. Other than that the power delivery in trail mode still feels the most natural compared to a normal bike.
  • 3 0
 yep stunned that this isnt mentioned. Im on to my third motor on the kenevo 2020 and everyone I know with a Brose has had problems. Specialized now acknowledges the fault and my new motor has a ‘improved’ 2021 belt
  • 11 0
 12km range- thats about the distance to the trailstart lol
  • 1 4
 You could carry 2 extra batteries in a pack(only 6lbs) still have a lighter system and sub 40lb bike and get 6000ft and 37km and after that still have a normal 32lb bike with 3 batteries in your pack. Thats all in "rocket mode" as well
  • 10 5
 A lot of those distances (both along and up) are less than I'd do on a fairly normal ride. Pretty disappointing. It certainly isn't enough to cover the argument that they can replace shuttling.
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: ii know what you mean. I want another battery to have in a pack. To be fair all the ranges in the review are in boost mode. 2 500w batteries and 10ooo+ ft would be ez. 2 x 630 your at 15oooft with a bit of power management on logging roads. Riding the lift id do minimum 10laps for 20oooft without riding up. I need a few more days in before i run out 2 x 630's. Shuttling the extra battery is in the truck too
  • 11 0
 @won-sean-animal-chin: Yeah or I just take my Stumpjumper (under 14kg) and ride the 30-35km on my own with 3liters of water and some food.

With that small of a range the E-bike just doesnt cut it atm- but the future should be promising.

Havent ridden an Levo etc. and not in the market for one but still want to test it out ;-)
  • 4 3
 @won-sean-animal-chin: don't forget there are plenty of people on here that refuse to carry a pack full stop. Let alone one with several kilos of very hard, "don't want to fall on this" batteries in it.
I'm quite sure you could end eke out more range with lower power modes, but then you're missing the benefit/fun of all that power.
  • 2 0
 Don't forget the PV panel on your helmet. Come on people, wake-up!!!!
  • 1 0
 @NotNamed: nothing against regular mtb's. Ive been riding a regular bike since the early 80's. Sold my frame last year and want to get something to replace it but i keep thinking a fazua equipped bike would cover that, with the motor/battery removed(one of the highlights of a fazua bike its 2 bikes in 1) and also be a lightweight emtb to compliment my shimano motor equipped yt decoy. Once you put a week on the emtb you want to make sure you have a back up. You want to always have that option. Climbing moto trails now and theyre too steep for regular bike and early season it was nice to go everywhere and keep myself at endurance pace gain fitness and be able to go everyday.. more apt to explore around town now too sound i found a bunch of new trails this year .
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: i guess it depends on your use and your trails. Ive just been hitting lower trails close to home as the snow melts. 540w battery has been enough. If i had a fazua bike itd be for the xc trails without the motor/battery (no ebikes allowed there) or for an alpine rig. If im in the alpine id have my pack anyway to have food , jacket , first aid kit, extra water, extra tools etc etc. Packs made for emtb have a battery sleeve and backprotector. Dh trails im on my shimano powered emtb. When i get an extra battery itll be in the truck
  • 1 0
 I actually think fazua are missing out on one market. They should offer a 200w battery. Then you could flh with your bike with a battery in it and have another in your carry on. Be a good travel emtb. You still have a regular mtb when the batteries are charging
  • 7 0
 Durability and warrantee are 2 big things that should be included. Shimano has a 2yr warrantee and great support but its not rebuildable. I wouldnt consider a brose because to many failures(ten many). Bosch has a fraction of either of the others failures, 2 yr warrantee(further 2 yr on a replacement if needed) and its rebuildable. Fazua is just a different category. 170-180 bosch equiped bike and a 140-150 travel fazua equiped bike should cover all yhe bases
  • 3 0
 2 year warranty on the motor should be the minimum if you are going to ride it alot. Anything less than that assures that the manufacturer isn't confident in it and you'll likely have problems if you ride it alot. I've read on the e bike sites about people going through 2 Brose motors a year. The main problem with e bike long term reliability seems to be not sealing the motor from the elements, when people ride in the rain alot they go bad. If you are concerned about it it's a good idea to do some diy sealing on the gaps and at least occasionally get in and clean and dry it after wet rides. Seems like many mountain bikes new to e bikes just pretend the motor is some magic device that never needs preventive maintenance or cleaning because they can't see it.
  • 2 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: great points. I have some moto foam in mine but i should take it apart and cover the bearing with grease. Mine is shinamo. Rumour has it that their new motor has the same mounting pattern. Im hoping one of the kmprovements on the new motor is a dependable and owner replaceable bearing like their mtb bottom brackets. The actual motor last, its the bearing failures and lack of ez replacement thats the problem. Shimano bearings are buried behind the mother board
  • 7 0
 In several years, if my hub or my battery is dying, I could use again this bike or sold it.

Im curious to know where all of these bikes with proprietary motors will end their life... :-/
  • 7 2
 The comment section of PinkBike has taught me one thing, I'm very wrong in thinking most people ride for fun. Everyone (most) seem to take it very seriously and know everything about everything, and are upset if others aren't doing the same. I guess it explains why a lot of people I see on the trails don't look like they're having fun.

I ride for fun, exercise is just an added benefit. If it wasn't fun, I wouldn't ride. I enjoy my acoustic bike rides, but I love my e-bike rides. The less enjoyable parts of the ride (climbs, fire roads) are over quicker, with less effort. They're even fun. The real fun (downhill) comes around more often and my legs are less cooked.
Another plus for the e-bike is that I can do a +40km ride and still function after, then do another one the very next day. Or ride solo on the e-bike in the morning, followed by an afternoon ride with the Mrs on the acoustic bikes.
  • 11 3
 Super looking forward to the comments.
  • 7 3
 Very interesting article!

For me one important limitation of the validity of this article and comparison is the weight and so the power output of the tester.
From my experience the feedback of the characteristics of the motor and its assistance depends a lot on the power generated by the rider.
I explain better why with an example:

Let's suppose to have two riders with very different weight but similar relative performance.
Rider A, weight 55kg and pushes actively 140 watt on average on the pedals.
Rider B, weight 85 kg and pushes actively 216 watt on average on the pedals.
Their level is roughly the same having the same weight/power ratio of 2,54 watt/kg for a hypothetical uphill like the one of the test.

Let's suppose to have a support in turbo of 350% ( 3.5 times is the average of assistance multiplication of the different systems)

In case of rider A he will have a motor output in turbo of 490 Watt corresponding to 140watt * 3.5 times
In case of rider B he will (should) have a motor output in turbo of 756 watt corresponding to 216 watt * 3.5 times

In real life the "problem" in case B is that the peak power of the motor is much less than the theoretical power needed to have the same support experience.
In fact a nominal power output of these motors is 250 watt and the peak power is about 400/565 watt (values taken on from the motor system specification)
Moreover the active power output of the rider B of 216 watts is a low absolute power value being peaks of 300/400 watt very normal for an average rider during a normal MTB ride.
So in case of a very light rider we will have a maximum support and a very dynamic ride even during hard efforts.
In case of heavy and/or powerful rider the assistance of the motor will be much less than declared one because the plateau of the motor would be reached. The support experience will be much less dynamic and a conservative/passive.
In effect an extra 100watt from the rider won't be multiplied by the motor system anymore and so for much more energy expenditure of the rider we will have no extra assistance by the motor.
So the experience of the riders will be very different in my personal experience having tested all the systems.

It would be much more objective to have the same test conducted by two different riders with very different weight and power output.
What do Pink Bike testers think about it. What's your experience?
  • 2 0
 The other problem is a bigger rider needs a bigger battery to get the same range. I suppose it would actually make sense that small frames have small batteries, big frames have big batteries, etc. A 20kg heavier rider should be able to put up with another kg or 2 of battery weight.
  • 1 0
 I’m 81 kilos and get 20 miles or 32km on my turbo SL in turbo. 30 plus miles with the range extender. Have not tried anything but turbo on my rides, as most of the time I’m on an enduro bike and when I do choose to be on an ebike I prefer turbo. Turbo SL is stupid expensive, but super fun. Goes far enough for me.
  • 2 0
 @Oettam20: As I mentioned in the article, those results are not scientific by any means. Components, rider weight, bike weight, system weight, torque, outside temperature and a bunch of other things do matter. So I agree with you, but we'd be looking at an insane amount of work to create a level playing field and in a best-case-scenario, need two exact bikes with the same motor for the lighter and heavier rider to ride next to each other on the test lap to get comparable results between those two. I agree it would be interesting to have exact test results like that, but I'm afraid we just don't have the resources and time to make that happen.
  • 14 7
 Great article plus it upsets the salty peasant haters who are too stupid to turn the ebike filter on. Win win in my book.
  • 4 0
 I regularly ride and own both regular bikes and a pedal assist(shimano) 150mm bike...I absolutely love the ebike, best thing ever for mountain biking .....However manufactures really must focus on Silencing the motors & lowering the overall weight more than anything else...These bikes need NO increase in power what so ever...otherwise just buy & ride a moto...I ride mine in ECO mode 98% of the time and that level of assist is perfect/plenty. No addition power is needed for a bike meant to pedal* ....Great Article
  • 3 0
 Got a bafang hub motor on one of my fatbikes.

Its ugly, but all is replacable and its perfect for trailbuilding, going to the grocery and so. Need a 1000 € budget to build a complete kit with a good battery. Bafang is a good alternative, especially with a bb motor. I choose the hub for an esayest maintenance and capability to go back to a normal bike in 15 minutes. The bb motor is better for serious offroad.

Ive run about 1300 km with, no sign of fatigue...

The others systems are better almost everywhere but I dont like the proprietary tools and parts. And its way more expansive.
  • 1 0
 Bafangs are nice. So are 1000W Cyclones
  • 5 0
 I was curious to ride about how the Rocky Mountain motor compares to the big guys. Any chance it might be included in a future version of this test?
  • 1 0
 @guylovesbike: I'd like to test that as well. So hopefully it comes our way one day.
  • 9 4
 If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all !!! Go ride your fucking bikes, ebikes, scooters, motos, anything with 2 wheels is the shit!
  • 3 0
 I would like to share a comment on reliability of Shimano Motor. After just one year of riding a Merida E-One Sixty with Shimano Steps 8000 motor (3500Km - 2174mils), the bottom bracket bearings are weared and the axle has noticeable play. The battery has lost almost 20% of capacity in contrast with the gaurateed 80% remaining in 500 charge cycles, not to mention all the extrange problems with Errors 10, system reboot, assist cuts etc. Bike is in warraty period but Shimano refuses to replace the motor. Please check this video to understand what Shimano considers a "nomal wear" of bottom bracket bearings. Bearings are no serviceable, no spares, no nothing, just buy a new motor paying 1000Euros.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekRHuq3oPsc
  • 8 6
 Ok team this is what I believe.
I have levo. That I have modified the hell out of. It is stupid fun. I worry I have offended the MTB Gods as it is just to good.
170mm front and rear, mullet, 500watt, XTR di2, carbon wheels.
Brose motor eats everything for power and intuitive delivery and ability to modify modes. Bosch is the most efficient, my mates on them seem to last longer, E Mtb mode is very good, that clack is a problem though and new display is wack.
Shimano steps is the best concept with Di2 plugin and the better Q factor and it seems quieter to me. Plus you can bolt on Xtr cranks.
The new XTR Di2 sounds interesting and if a new Shimano moto comes out that could be interesting.
You don't need a 50 tooth cassette on a E Bike.
The same stuff that has existed since forever applies, weight still matters and where it is. Voliouz/Lapierre are on the right track.
Rolling resistance matters HEAPS! I swapped to a Rekon and got 15% more battery life...but lost 2 rear wheels.
High Roller 2 2.8 and Cushcore is awesome.
The only thing that needs work with the levo is the battery concept is wrong. They are WAY to long if they brought out stubby 500watt batteries that would fix everything.
Get a E Bike ride more have more fun and get stronger and lose weight and tow your kids up hills so they ride more and have more fun and create up hill berms and ride more and get bigger rotors and burn more pads and ride more....just don't have bad trail etiquette cause then people start to fear and fear lead to hate and hate leads to suffering.... and restricted trail access.
  • 4 9
flag NotNamed (May 25, 2020 at 5:54) (Below Threshold)
 Why install carbon wheels on an e-bike?

You def. wont get stronger with an E-bike as the engine still assists you more than a normal bike.
  • 3 2
 @NotNamed: I’m pretty sure you fell for the worlds most obvious troll comment.
  • 1 0
 @NotNamed:


Lifetime replacement warranty is worth it if you're riding moto trails and are concerned about giant baby heads ruining your wheels. If you never ride that style of trail on your E-bike you're doing it wrong.
  • 3 1
 I am not sure about this noise they are talking about in the Bosch motor. I have never heard it.
And I am running a Bosch engined EMTB for 4 years now in the most crazy conditions you can put a bike in. I trust my Bosch engine 100%.
  • 1 0
 Its only on the new Gen4. The old one doesnt have the problem.
  • 2 0
 @Lasse2000: I also have the new Rail with the Gen4 and deny the noise.
  • 1 0
 @TGGKathi: It's only noticeable if you ride really rough stuff like big continuous hits over big roots, braking bumps or rocks with a lot of speed.
  • 1 0
 @KalkhoffKiller: Kathi Kuypers seem like the kind of rider who'd ride really rough stuff like big continuous hits over big roots, braking bumps or rocks with a lot of speed.
  • 1 2
 @vinay: It's not about bike skill more about the trail itself. It nets to be a section we're you basically just plough trough with speed. Not much skill needed for that. And she's also sponsored by Bosch...
  • 1 0
 @KalkhoffKiller: wait. So Kathi is a self made pro, rides more than any of us, some of the most excellent places to ride, and because she is sponsored her opinion is muted. Show yourself out please.
  • 2 2
 @wakiisapuddinghead:

When did a pro ever admit that his sponsored bike makes an annoying noise? It just doesn't make sense. There are various reasons why the noise isn't as pronounced or wasn't yet heard.
  • 2 0
 @KalkhoffKiller: It wasn't like Kathi was asked whether the motor made noise and replied that it didn't even though it did. Instead she stepped in without being asked a question. Sure if she had been part of some ugly Bosch propaganda machine she may have spread some fake news but I honestly doubt that. Sure if her motor would have been noisy she, as a sponsored rider, probably wouldn't have come here to confirm that. Instead she probably would have remained silent. But as she came here to tell she didn't hear it, I trust she indeed didn't hear it.
  • 2 0
 @vinay: Her initial post reads like she wants to defend her sponsor which is fair but if you're just scrolling through the comments you don't know that she is a sponsored athlete. It's also weird that she mentions that she didn't notice it for 4 years because the old design didn't have the issue. The thing is that the shimano motor has the same issue but you never read about it in the reviews only some reviewers wrote about it for the new bosch but in most reviews you won't read stuff like that.
  • 2 0
 Me and my friends went all with Bosch because of the replaceable parts (we live in Europe, so its easier to get them). Other reason was that we wanted to ride Race Face cranks rather then Shimano (with whose we had really bad experience). Works great, no big problems.
  • 2 0
 Thanks for the excellent review. That said i would have really llike to see a comparison between a fazua equipped bike and specialized´s levo sl in a similar configuration Trail/enduro. Beeing an enthusiatic analog bike rider, I see benefits regarding the "two in one" and the "mixed rider pack (e an d non-ebike riders within the same group)" application.
  • 2 0
 I've blown 3 Brose motors in under 900 miles. They are great when they work but as soon as the next good option comes out I'll jump ship. I prefer riding in Turbo so I want more range than just 700wh. I want the 700 plus a 200wh extra water bottle battery.
  • 2 0
 The Specialized SL motor should've been thrown in the mix too. Riding that setup was really a game changer for me. Very close to regular bike handling with enough assist to keep the suck out of terrible climbs....now if only I could get back to work so that I can afford one.
  • 2 0
 It's a completely different class and more of a niche. Most riders want to put in serious distance at higher speeds.
  • 8 6
 Ride an ebike if you want/have to. Don't ride where you are prohibited and have fun. There is no law against having fun. Just don't make any false claims: "I did this steep hill climb" - no, YOU did not. "I did so many laps/miles/kms" - no YOU did not. Do not ride an Ebike and fake a MOUNTAINbike ride.
  • 3 1
 Awesome. I was waiting quite a while for this.
A real PB ebike review without a bunch of negative comments.
I think we have turned a corner today.

Turbo levo FTW!

Me and my 2 buddies have 2018 models and mine has had electrical connector problem but that is it.
I really thought we would have had more trouble by now. The thing is great for getting trail work done.
I like 2.8 tires too. i think its perfect on the heavier bike. why use the exact same tires as on a light bike?

Thanks Pinkbike keep the comparisons coming.
  • 2 0
 I was going to chime in about obviously missing Yamaha! See there's been other comments above, but seriously, I've got a Reign E+1 and the Yamaha motor is excellent. More power than I need. Don't forget about the biggest bike company in the world and a huge company like Yamaha when you draft up your articles. Razz
  • 2 0
 I just got my Turbo Levo with the Brose motor last Thursday. I've ridden it 4 of the last 5 days. So much fun! But on Saturday's with 3 buddies, 2 of their Levo motors died. Sometimes they go fast, if you're lucky you might get 800 miles. Speshy is great about replacing them, but c'mon...
  • 2 0
 I am not an Ebike hater by any means. Totally neutral on the access issue(they're fine). But if I'm honest with myself I would love to own one. Aside from the cost being similar to my KTM 300EXC , I ride my MTB bike (Banshee Titan 2020) to gain fitness and keep my knees functional at my advanced age. I rode a new 2020 Spec Levo (turbo) that a guy was riding on a trail I was on. I weigh #250lb and that motor could pull me up a decent hill with low battery and zero pedaling effort. Shocking really. My fear if I got one is the whole fitness benefit I would get would require rides that were 4X the time and length which if I'm making that commitment , I'm riding my Moto bike even farther and faster.
In summary, I will leave the Ebiking to the cripples(more than I) and guys who MUST have the latest , coolest stuff. Knowing my cheap $6K Banshee is perfect for it's intended use.
  • 1 2
 Either you dont understand the difference between a cardio workout and a strength workout, or you have not tried an e-mtb. A regualr bike is a strength workout first and a cardio workout second, this is why the 85% of the sport slowly climb up a hill in a low cadence with the wrong gearing. This makes it a strength workout and they are breathing hard because they are at their threshold and then their cardio is maxed. An e-mtb offers a cardio workout, with a way less strength workout. Because of this if you go hard you will experience a better cardio workout than a regular mtb. You also recover from cardio a few minutes after you are maxed up a climb over a regualur bike since your legs dont recover as fast as your lungs. I moto and trials which are both stength workouts, if you want to improve for moto etc an e-mtb is way better as you are getting the cardio workout without wasting your strength for moto and trials, a reason the top guys are now training on those over regular bikes.
  • 2 0
 @norona: You make some valid points. However I gear down to try and keep the climbing more in the cardio category as well as I can. But you are right I do push hard on some of those climbs which blow me up way beyond cardio targets. But how do I explain to my wife that the E-bike costs the same as my far more substantial machine (KTM) . That one simply doesn't make sense.
  • 1 1
 @chasejj: you ride way more on an e-bike than a regular bike. i do 100km 700 miles a month of only single track, 7500km a season, way more than a regular bike and more of those km or miles are spent on climbing trails and roads to get up on a reg bike. Way better bang for your buck. I ride moto and trials and a devinci dc gx top of the line 29r shimano motor e-mtb is 8299. so about 9 grand tax, a new ktm 250 xc or 300 xc tpi is 11 grand canadian so they are not the same price,
  • 1 1
 @norona: Any ride you do on electric moped is not an accomplishment, can't compare mileage. There's a point in riding a bicycle, and a point in riding a motorcycle without pedals. The in-between makes no sense in any scenario. Worst of both worlds.
  • 2 0
 @casman86: how many miles do you have on one? I mean you sound very informed and experienced.
  • 1 0
 @norona: I don't doubt your added miles, but I measure my exercise in time not distance. I have no idea my mileage but know it equals about 10 hrs a week. An e-bike wouldn't change that figure much.
  • 11 6
 My popcorn is ready, let the show start!
  • 8 3
 Cracking a beer, ready for the crazy to unfold.
  • 1 1
 Got a nice Hazy to enjoy the show with.
  • 5 0
 Where’s Rocky Mountain and their Dyname motor?
  • 2 0
 I have a Bosch Gen4 Trek Rail, and haven't noticed any clanking noises while going over rock gardens and the like without pedaling. So I don't know what to say about that. Maybe it really is limited to certain frames?
  • 2 0
 It depends on chain growth/kinematics because the sound is because of pedal kickback while coasting. Could be that it is less noisy on a Trek? On a Cannondale and Mondraker i tested, it was very strong. Like chainslap without protector tape.
  • 2 0
 @Lasse2000: Mondraker is VPP. Big pedal kickback. Trek's pedal kickback is most definitely smaller.
  • 2 0
 Excellent article! I did have the same thoughts about why Yamaha and Giant were left out of the testing?
Keen to see the long term reviews on how the drive trains keep up with power delivery from a motor to it, under load.
  • 1 0
 If anyone is trying to be thieve proof, they should be testing in Brazil. Guys stole a freaking camera from the Mercenaries! Also, a dedicated battery to a GPS tracker in a very very hard to remove area of the bike, because it's just normal to point a gun and take the bike from the owner.
  • 1 0
 These are all really super motors and very close in performance .
This being the case , i would go for the one that proves to be the most reliable over time .
I have a bosch third generation CX for the last three years and so far so good. But that’s not enough time to really say which motor will last the longest. So ?
  • 1 0
 It would be cool if they made innovations that start to match these E-Bike motors up with internal gearing (either in the rear hub or motor). It would be nice to get rid of rear derailleurs and metal chains. It would be such a cleaner system, no dropped chains, breaking derailleurs, oiling chains, quieter, etc.
  • 1 0
 I think the biggest issue has been and will be support. For this reason, Shimano and Specialized are king. I can see this will all progress rather fast and seeking today's best motor is rather a small percentage of performance and while it acts up or stops then "how quickly can I be riding again?" Think of it this way, Youtube is filled with so many great channels that have owners spending countless hours and money fine tuning their Ferrari's while other channels promote the easy and reliability of a Honda. Get a Great Ferrari, Landrover, BMW mechanic mindset cause they'll need it. Yes, one is SUPERIOR as for performance and handling while the Acura while not quite up to exact performance par is so darn reliable that you soon forget the small percentage of gain while working quite reliably then when you're out of town say at Downeyville in CA or somewhere in Western Canada broken down wondering, I need this fixed now!
  • 1 0
 Didn't include Yamaha in the comparison. What gives? However, you did put in the Brose (Bros.) and that motor has been a total disaster and piece of shiite in the past, so one would hope that Specialiized has figured out how to improve on that motor for the latest batch.
  • 1 0
 Bravo Ralf! A very informative, well researched and written article, which reflects many points we also experienced with our Bosch/Shimano/Brose equipped bikes. Also nice that we have met again on our mole hill after such a long time.
  • 9 5
 Timed perfectly with my ebike purchase and pics uploaded.
  • 4 0
 "Less powerful than regular e-bike systems" is a pro?
  • 10 5
 Pink E-Bike.
  • 7 6
 And i love it!
  • 3 1
 With bar end streamers?
  • 3 1
 From what I understand these are not called Ebikes, kook mobiles or lazy phucktard machines. They are “pedal assist” bikes
  • 9 7
 bring on the haters. all the haters, hah a pinkbike land must be stewing. ride your bike and quit bitching. Bunchaarmchair bike riders. BTW E-bikes for the win
  • 6 5
 And yet you hate on all the “haters” and come on here to bit h about it.
  • 4 0
 These are motors damn it not engines.
  • 2 1
 I'm very impressed with technical knowledge for the testers. There's a lot more components to be tested and evaluated compare to a tire, derailleur, shifter or fork. I'm just shocked to know that Shimano stands to #4.
  • 1 0
 @ralf-hauser writing all this and then pointing out this as a Fazua con

- Less powerful than regular e-bike systems.

you guys clearly did not get what a Fazua assist system is and why it´s designed like it is
  • 1 0
 @listeryu: And that's why it's also listed as a pro. There are different views out there in this world and I respect most of them. It depends on what you are looking for.
  • 1 0
 As a moron, I'm a 'lil in the darks on these electrical bikes.
Specifically, can one frame support any/all of these motors? Or, does one's frame choice dictate motor options?
  • 1 0
 The frame is specifically designed for a particular motor. They're as well integrated as they can make them and you buy the whole bike. I don't know if any manufacturers even do a frame+motor option, they just sell complete bikes.
  • 2 0
 My phone had a mechanical keyboard and one day I was forced to start taping on the screen, now my life is ruined and I just fight keyboard wars -
  • 1 0
 For those of us with e-bikes with the current Shimano motor, I wonder if when they release a new motor if it will be able to just swap directly out to replace the old one without having to get an entirely new bike?
  • 4 1
 It's a bold strategy Cotton, let's see if it pays off for them.
  • 3 4
 It always baffles me why the focus of reviews is always on power. Power only gives top speed and its always irrelevant because all e-bikes have their top speed restricted. The measure of torque has got to be the most important factor because that is what gives acceleration. Not just how quickly a bike can accelerate but also the manner in which it accelerates. High power is pointless if you have no torque. 2nd to torque is battery tech.
  • 7 1
 Power is torque x revs. With the correct gearing a more powerful motor will have more torque at the wheel (which is what matters) than a motor with more torque but less power.
  • 3 1
 Torque is quite meaningless for acceleration, only power matters in this context.
Torque is how much work you can do, power is how fast you can do that work.
P=W/t
  • 1 0
 @threehats: that still doesn’t explain why almost all reviewers barely mention torque.
Most high torque motors also have a high power, so they get the best of both. But there are significant number of ebikes (remember we’re not talking about cars/motorbikes here) with motors that have very low torque output.
  • 2 2
 @timbud: No really, acceleration is directly caused by the force that the tyre exerts on the ground, which is a function of power and gearing. The torque at the motor/engine is a factor only in calculating the power.
  • 2 1
 @timbud: torque alone is meaningless.
You can have 5000 Nm @ 1 rpm, that is 0,5 kW, it doesn't really do much.
500Nm @ 100 rpm on the other hand is 5,2 kW
100 Nm @ 500 rpm is also 5,2 kW

From this you can quite easily understand that torque alone is meaninless in the real world.
You can have 10 000 Nm axle torque from a 1 watt motor, but it would take years to get you up a small hill.
  • 1 2
 @Losvar: thats kind of my point. And talking about power alone is equally as meaningless. But yet we look at almost every review and torque is rarely mentioned

PS, i’m not talking about cars here.

@boozed, ok take away the torque what happens with all that power?
  • 3 0
 @timbud: You can't have power without torque though.
You can gear it to get whatever torque you want.
500 watts are 500 watts, doesn't matter if it's got 20 or 200 Nm, that's only a function of it's operating speed.
If you have 500 watts with high torque, that just means it's operating at a lower rpm, which can be useful or not, really depends on application and goal.
  • 1 1
 @Losvar: i haven’t said that you can Rolleyes
  • 1 0
 @timbud: No, but you did write a factually incorrect opening post.
I just pointed out that torque is a component of power for a motor, and how the two relate to eachother.
  • 1 1
 @Losvar: meh, not totally incorrect though... you’ve just spent your time here telling me that power and torque can’t be separated when that wasn’t what i was saying in the first place. tup Smile
  • 2 0
 @timbud: It was 100% totally incorrect.
How much torque you have in relation to power, only tells us the operating rpm of the motor, that's it.

You said: "Power only gives top speed and its always irrelevant because all e-bikes have their top speed restricted. The measure of torque has got to be the most important factor because that is what gives acceleration."

Only power matters at the end of the day (to a certain degree of course, you don't want the motor to spin at 50k rpm)
The torque you get as output is regulated by gearing, any motor with the same power can output the same torque at the same speed.
  • 1 2
 @Losvar: Ok maybe I wasn't clear enough (I can see you've interpreted my post not as I'd intended). I was talking in terms of how the bikes are reviewed and marketed.
Most companies and reviewers focus their time only talking about power... hence the opening of my post. You've separated them out and removed the context of what I'm trying to say.
Talking only about power is irrelevant because there are more factors involved.

But I'll ask again because you didn't answer last time.
What happens to all that power (from an ebike motor!!!) if you don't allow it to have any torque? Remember that I know it's not actually possible to separate them both, but just answer the question.
  • 1 1
 @timbud: Bud, power is directly related to torque. No torque = no power.... idk how this is difficult.
  • 1 1
 @jambarbeast: lol dude, do you not read? Just scroll up to see how many times i’ve said that.

The question i asked is clearly rhetorical... no one here seems to have the balls to answer. Its not tricky
  • 3 1
 @timbud: @Losvar actually did answer your question: "You can't have power without torque though."
Nobody else wants to answer it again because it's a dumb question. I'll give it a go beacuse I guess I have the 'balls':
less torque @ same rpm = less power.

this is meaningless though, as the power is spec'd on these motors, so:

less torque @ same power = faster rpm
more torque @ same power = slower rpm
In both cases the motor output is fed into a gearbox to output a similar usable range.
Hence bikes with the similar power will feel similar, regardless of the torque specs.
Power is a useful metric to ebike consumers, motor torque is not. Output torque @ certain rpm might be useful to the complete ebike nerds out there, but power already gives you that information.

now please, for sanity's sake, let the thread die.
  • 1 0
 @timbud: If you really want to know the truth regarding these motors then you need to see the power and/or torque curves at the chainring (after the gearbox). The last time I looked into electric motors the torque was at max at zero rpm, stayed near that way up into the rev range and then tailed off. Nothing like internal combustion engines.
  • 1 1
 @arden0: Rolleyes lol Never!
Again, you can see several times that I’ve already said just that. So i’ll answer it for you.
“What happens to the power IF you have no torque?”
Nothing at all! Thats the answer. Which leads back to my original point- Knowing that you can’t seperate power and torque why do all reviews almost completely ignore torque.
  • 1 1
 @timbud: nothing happens to the power? as in it stays the same? that's completely wrong.
nothing happens as in you don't get any output... sure... A motor with 0 torque would be rated at 0 Watts.
It's like asking what happens to all that power if you have no power. it's a stupid question and it shows how little you understand the simple concepts here.
  • 1 1
 @arden0: yeah exactly. thats my point. It is a stupid question. And in the same light its stupid for reviews to talk only about power with little mention of torque.
I’ve never questioned the physics of torque and power.
  • 1 1
 Power is the derivative of torque relative to time (motor speed), or the rate at which one can produce torque. A simple analogy would be Power is to Torque what Acceleration is to Speed.
  • 1 2
 I would have loved to put these little plastic beasts on a test rig in my last job, get the hysteresis brake out, stick some hall effect balanced current sensors on the phases and see how they really perform. Maybe stick them in the environmental chamber. Compare them to our military and oil and gas motor drives.
  • 10 8
 Wow, my bike is simple I like simple, to charge it I usually carry a cliff bar or two.
  • 2 0
 Holy crap, your extra batteries are way too heavy. Mine runs on Honey Stinger waffles.
  • 1 0
 @hangdogr: Just googled Stingers they look super light weight, but as long as they have calories I'm there.
  • 1 1
 55 kgs? how old are you and what is your height?
I don't recall the age I would see such low figures in the scale.

Presently with 85Kg and 1,81m btw, means that I would be using +41%, than a slim 55kg rider?
  • 1 0
 @TDMAN: I'm 42 at a height of 168cm. It's a genetic thing, my brother looks the same. I consider myself lucky.

Unfortunately, it's hard to say how much higher the percentage is going to be. I was riding with an 85kg rider at a launch on the same bikes and he was using between 30 to 35% more than I was, depending on the terrain of that day. So I'd assume it would be within that range.
  • 1 0
 @ralf-hauser:FYI - I wasn't bad-mouthing Ralf, ok.
I was really supprised with your weight.
Thanks!
  • 1 0
 @TDMAN: No worries, I'm used to people being surprised. My weight-to-strength ratio is probably not the average, so questions are understandable. All good.
  • 3 0
 Thanks for a very thorough writeup, great job!
  • 3 0
 Electronic motor bikes suck
  • 9 8
 Would have preferred a Yamaha vs Honda vs KTM/Husqvarna comparison. More torque an usability...
  • 2 0
 It would be great to have Power Figures/Graphs
  • 2 0
 I’ve ridden the big 3. I’d put them in the same order
  • 1 0
 The Shimano walk assist is very powerful if set up with Di2 shifting, but I agree that its woeful with mechanical gears.
  • 1 0
 It would be great to see an addition to this article on how each motor effects frame design.
  • 1 0
 Great read guys, well done. Have you any comments on after sale service and availability?
  • 2 0
 2020: Pinkbike, a site once for cycling, now posts motor reviews.
  • 1 0
 Question: Why +300% of support?
I would be keen on a smaller motor that gives me +50% boost on the ups.
  • 19 18
 Ebikes suck! Where's my prize?
  • 15 6
 Doing 3 to 4 times less downhills is your prize. ????
  • 2 5
 @DestructorNZ: with 12 km range?
  • 4 0
 @DestructorNZ: I thought suffering was my prize?
  • 21 20
 Please do pinkEbike for this content.
  • 11 8
 It wouldn't survive on the 13 visitors who actually ride ebikes.
  • 12 15
 Get a life, get an ebike, get to the top of my local trail in 5mins now instead of 15mins and I have more stamina left for the best bit, going down. Plenty of hypocrites out there that will happily stick their bike on the back of a chairlift or do an uplift day, then come on here and moan about ebikes. Nuff said.
  • 4 5
 @Gus916: Woah... dont get too offended Gus Wink , I was damn serious - with separating the content you can sort the audience more precisely and avoid silly debates like this.

To be fair i've tested and Ebikes (mainly Specialized) plenty of times - not my thing,but i can clearly see why some people are enjoying it and there is nothing wrong with it.
  • 8 12
flag chriskneeland (May 25, 2020 at 5:33) (Below Threshold)
 @Gus916: Noone's faulting you for riding an ebike. It's just not mountain biking, and needs it's own site.
  • 9 8
 @Gus916: your climbs are 15 minutes and you need an ebike??
  • 4 8
flag CircusMaximus (May 25, 2020 at 8:35) (Below Threshold)
 @chriskneeland: stop talking sense man!
  • 5 7
 @Gus916: lazy
  • 2 4
 @chriskneeland: Have you ever done an uplift day, or stuck your bike on the back of a chairlift?
  • 2 5
 @CircusMaximus: with a typical elevation gain of 2,500ft per ride it certainly helps me on the bit I hate most, pedalling up. I get no satisfaction from it, it just has to be done so I can enjoy the DH.
  • 1 2
 Some comparative tests (like the e-bike of the year 2019 by Velo Vert) chose Rocky Mountain as the best e-bike.
Without it, this article has not the same value.
  • 3 5
 I’d like to see some more petro powered ebikes. Whatever happened to transitions clicker 2 stroke? We need some gas bikes with electric starter motors - no pedals ideally, what’s point anyways.
  • 1 1
 @trollhunter, look in the mirror.
  • 21 21
 HmMmmM, I DiDn'T kNoW tHeY rEvIeWEd mOtORcYCLeS oN pInKbiKe
  • 2 1
 StIlL gOnNa SeNd It
  • 6 8
 Well. We lost the battle. I guess I am too conservative for this... We will all end riding electric Vespino's like in 1968. Fashion is always cyclic.
  • 3 5
 Wtf? dipped headlights on my MTB? Two weeks ago, I was watching the Grundigs and Pearl Jam were at Number 1. Stop the world I want to get off now.
  • 1 1
 It can be seen that Brose has an overwhelming advantage.
  • 4 4
 So are you going to now start reviewing Honda, KTM, Yamaha motors etc.?
  • 7 10
 The only way these would be useful is if I could attach a chain saw to them when I go up and do some trail work....
  • 7 0
 I have an e bike and an e saw. Great combination because I can get up fast to do trail work and the e saw is quiet and simple.
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