Video: Meta Power 29 vs 160E vs Range VLT vs Kenevo SL - Field Test Roundtable

Sep 17, 2021
by Matt Beer  


PINKBIKE FIELD TEST

eMTB Enduro Round Table



For the first time in our Field Tests, we've added an eMTB category with four exciting bikes, one of which is Yeti's first step in that direction, even though they have been part of the industry for over 30-years. The weight and prices are also hot talking points with varying battery sizes, motors, and frame materials. We used the same test track as the other five enduro bikes and also mounted the identical Maxxis control tires to keep things on a level playing field.

Arguably, the biggest and baddest bike on the chopping block was the Norco Range VLT with its massive 900 Wh battery choice, making it a heavy bike on the scale, but one that surprised us for its capabilities. Progressive geometry, like a 63º head angle and gigantic 462 mm chainstays kept this tractor squarely on line, but required some effort to tuck into corners. The extra 10 mm more travel over its competitors set the Range VLT apart with its seriously comfortable and grippy ride.

Sneaking into the top spot for ultimate traction and suspension performance was undoubtably the was the worst kept secret, the Yeti 160E with a new suspension design, labelled Sixfinity. The 6-bar linkage is a workaround to incorporate a motor into the equation, but stays inline with the Colorado brand's well known Switchfinity system found on their non-assisted bikes. The 160E had the most conservative geometry in test, but was also the lightest full-powered of these eMTB enduro bikes at 23.4 kg, making the handling on the snappier side.

In timed testing, the unassumingly simple single pivot Commencal Meta Power 29 came out on top. Not only was this the single aluminum eMTB under the gun, but one which was spec'd with 220 mm rotors on the reliable SRAM Code RSC brakes. The moderately priced Meta Power 29 had the equivalent Shimano EP8 motor of the two previously mentioned eMTBs, but checks out at $6,999.

More than doubling that figure at $15,000 was the 20.23 kg Specialized Kenevo SL. So, more for less, right? Well, the reason for the slimmer figure number is the smaller motor, which produces about half the torque of full-powered eMTBs, hence the "SL" title. The integrated battery also has less juice at 320-watt-hours, but can house a sleek second power source of 160 Wh in the water bottle cage. With all the fanciest oil slick components, wireless shifting and dropper post, it does win over the showroom floor, but will fall behind on the climbs compared to a traditional eMTB with more power. So, why did we include it in our Field Test? For starters, it was available. Jokes aside though, we wanted to see how the smaller motor and lighter weight stacked up against the rest of the fleet in the real world, both up and downhill.

Some riders prefer the extra weight of a full powered eMTB, trading the playfulness for a more secure and safe ride, while others will plan their routes differently with the emerging SL e-bike type. There were certainly some surprises in the timed testing versus perceived speed. I also think there is something to be said about the price tags on all of these bikes - it's all about smiles per mile and if the most premium bikes aren't in your budget, we showed you can still have a blast and lay down some hot laps with something a little more wallet friendly.

Specialized S-Works Kenevo SL

• Travel: 170 mm front / 170 mm rear
• Wheels: 29”
• Head angle: 63.5° (neutral headset cup, low BB)
• Seat tube angle: 76°
• Reach: 485 mm (S4)
• Motor: Specialized SL 1.1, 240 W
• Battery: 320 Wh & 160 Wh Range Extender
• Weight: 20.23 kg / 44.62 lb (inc/ 1.09 kg / 2.41 lb add-on battery)
• Price: $15,000 USD
specialized.com

Norco Range VLT Details

• Travel: 180 mm front / 170 mm rear
• Wheel size: 29”
• Head angle: 63°
• Seat tube angle: 76.9°
• Reach: 475 mm (L)
• Motor: Shimano EP8
• Battery: 540, 720, or 900 Wh options
• Weight: 25.76 kg / 56.80 lb
• Price: $9,648 USD (as tested)
norco.com

Commencal Meta Power 29 Details

• Travel: 170 mm front / 160 mm rear
• Wheel size: 29"
• Head angle: 63.5°
• Seat tube angle: 78°
• Reach: 475mm (L)
• Sizes: S, M, L (tested), XL
• Motor: Shimano EP8
• Battery: 630 Wh
• Weight: 24.85 kg / 54.80 lb
• Price: $6,999 USD
commencalusa.com

Yeti 160E Details

• Travel: 170 mm front / 160 mm rear
• Wheel size: 29"
• Head angle: 64.5°
• Seat tube angle: 78°
• Reach: 480mm (L)
• Sizes: S, M, L (tested), XL
• Motor: Shimano EP8
• Battery: 630 Wh
• Weight: 23.40 kg / 51.60 lb
• Price: $12,700 USD
yeticycles.com

Which bike would you like to ride the most?





The 2021 Summer Field Test was made possible with support from Dainese apparel and protection, and Sun Peaks Resort. Shout out also to Maxxis, Garmin, Freelap, and Toyota Pacific.





171 Comments

  • 57 4
 Wait, with all the KTM comments I would have expected the poll to include a 300 xcw.
  • 21 5
 350 exc-f for me please
  • 11 1
 & cheaper!!!
  • 12 8
 Not sure why I was downvoted for wanting a KTM
  • 8 2
 I’d go beta 300rr…..
  • 5 1
 My Sherco 250SE was cheaper than every bike in this test. But that won't surprise the KTM riders Big Grin
  • 14 0
 @yamaha0249: username does not check out
  • 2 1
 Yea I know, I converted to euro bikes within the last 5 years…@ryan83:
  • 10 2
 @makripper: hopefully they are downvoting all the top DH and Enduro guys they the majority of them ride moto too.....

big pet peeve of mine....moto and MTBers have so much more in common than people think, I do both as do several of my buds....
  • 3 2
 @makripper: awesome bikes, I prefer the KTM 4t to the 2t (personally)....
  • 2 1
 @makripper: awesome bike btw!
  • 1 1
 @gonpalco: and faster
  • 7 1
 @yamaha0249: 2021 300rr owner here along with a newly purchased 2019 YZ250f (just starting riding MX). I've gotten more fit and capable on a MTB since taking up moto in 2017. Ironically, I just sold my YT Decoy to buy the mx bike, which, in a sign of absolute madness was an even swap. Moto is now my favorite thing to do on 2 wheels (less crowded trails, no hikers, more covered mileage). If you can afford to ride moto and MTB...you should give it a whirl.
  • 3 2
 @RadBartTaylor: 350 is 4t me too
  • 9 6
 If more trails for moto existed, you'd have far fewer people here on these overpriced MTBs.
  • 1 2
 @nickfranko: not sure why this is getting downvoted. Trail access, especially here on the east coast was one of the main things that got me into mountain bikes.
  • 1 0
 Rather have an electric motion.
  • 2 1
 @nickfranko: I dont personally ride moto but I completely agree with this
  • 28 2
 I love the concept of a Kenevo SL - enough power to cut your climbs in half while still giving you a fair workout, and handling like a mountain bike on the descents. Presumably, the more fitness a rider gains, the less range would be an issue for this bike, especially given the adjustability in power modes. I think this strikes the right balance of keeping the "MTB" in E-MTB.

Given all the geometry adjustment, it would be very cool to see the Kenevo SL with the cascade components 180mm link (assuming it might work for this bike, despite being designed for the Enduro?), coil shock, and 180mm fork.
  • 2 0
 Sadly the link doesn’t work and cascade currently is not slated to design on. Maybe if demand is higher. I have asked a few times Smile

The linkage is actually a bit different than the enduro when you take a close look
  • 1 0
 @Jcmonty: Major bummer - not that I was looking to purchase a Kenevo SL anyway.
  • 3 1
 The most i'm interested is Levo sl, 17.5kg
  • 8 0
 The Kenevo SL is a great bike if you ride alone. It's in such a weird spot where it's a little too fast for riding with analog friends and a little too slow to ride with other regular e-bikers. The battery extender helps in terms of range, but the motor is just too underpowered. The new Orbea Rise to me seems like a better compromise for someone who wants a lighter weight eBike and wants to ride with friends that have full-powered eBikes. The geo is not ideal for my tastes though...
  • 3 0
 Same for me. The Kenevo SL is the only one remotely interesting. Would make a great backcountry gnarly terrain bike. Descends like an Enduro, but maybe climbs with the effortlessness of a XC bike?
  • 3 0
 @ohbmxer: Agreed. I had one and sold it after a few rides.
  • 2 0
 @SunsPSD: Basically , it's this. My times and feeling confirm. They didn't highlight it too much too, but even without going to the extremes - the geo changes drastically change the feeling of the bike as well. Which could make it more versatile for different types of rides.
  • 13 1
 I have a full powered ebike and the Kenevo SL. The full powered is collecting dust. The Kenevo is so much lighter and exactly what I was looking for—a little assist to help on the climbs that have become so difficult as I’ve moved into my 60’s. It handles jumps, drops and corners better than the heavy AF full power bikes. If you don’t want any kind of workout and just want to pedal as fast as you can uphill, then they are the bike you want.
  • 4 0
 I have an Orbea Rise which is somewhere between the Levo SL and Kenevo SL and that's exactly why I went with it. It's not quite powerful enough to just cruise in anything but full boost. Frankly, it's so much fun you end up pushing yourself either way.

Doesn't hurt I can do a 20+ mile ride without the extender in ~1:30 and the bike is light and playful like my analog bikes. To be honest, I find it as capable as my enduro bike just a bit more active. But I can toss a range extender on it and head out for a long day, loosing a bit of playfulness in the process.

Ignoring the sticker price of all the Specialized eMTBs I'm super curious to get out on a demo of one of these (reminds me to call the local Spec store and reserve on).
  • 2 0
 @ohbmxer: (Rise owner) curious if you are reading the geo specs or have ridden one?

My only geo complaint is that the reach feel short (likely actually EFF) which is likely on account of how much time you spend in the saddle compared to an analogue bike. The numbers themselves put it inline with most modern trail bikes though.
  • 6 0
 @ohbmxer: I have had the Levo SL for over a year and just ordered a KSL. I ride with full powered bikes almost every ride. There’s a few SLs in our riding group and it doesn’t hold anyone back. Slap on the range extender and turbo everywhere, not too bad unless your full power buddies are hell bent on turboing up the hill. If that’s the case, yes you’re gonna wait at the top for a minute but doesn’t hold me back from any rides with the full power dudes.

In a perfect world I’d have a full power bike too but the SL platform handles so much better
  • 1 0
 @scferg: I haven't ridden one, so just going by specs. I have a full powered Kenevo, so I am a bit biased on the slackness I prefer. I test rode a regular Levo and immediately preferred the Kenevo, but I come from a BMX background. Blank Stare
  • 1 0
 @endoguru: what is the speed differential when the full power ebike is in eco/low power mode compaired to the SL?
  • 1 0
 @chrisrockh: How long does your Levo SL last in Turbo mode with the extended battery though? We have a guy who rides with us and even with the extended battery for him to be able to last the whole day (roughly 2-2:5 hours with ~3.5K feet of elevation) he cannot use Turbo that much. So, I was going by his experience. If you ride in a place with less elevation change or a shorter ride than yeah, the SL would be fine.
  • 3 0
 I was quite enamoured by the Kenevo SL when it came out and was even more interested when a buddy showed up on one. However two blown motors later (in 2 months) he now has a SC Heckler and my eyes have moved on...
  • 1 0
 @Gibbersticks: yikes! So far mine has been good. 3 months and no problems yet.
  • 1 0
 @ohbmxer: shame we can't get the Orbea till 2023..
  • 1 0
 @Gibbersticks:

Really? Haven’t heard of many issues with the mahle motor system. Way less reports anecdotally than the brose stuff . What happened ?
  • 1 0
 @Jcmonty: The driveshaft from the cranks kept developing play and would rattle back and forth. Still worked but obviously concerning. Same problem both times.
  • 1 0
 @sethius: Shops periodically get stock, that’s how I nabbed mine at the beginning of the year before Orbea had really started shipping direct orders

A handful of the dealers are in the FB owners groups and post when stock is available
  • 24 4
 I wouldn't buy any of them personally. The tech is still to new. I'll wait until the tech plateaus a little before I consider buying a e bike. It's all over the map right now. Power, weight, price, etc. What if I buy a lower power one and all my friends get the higher power one? I'll be left in the dust. Too many what ifs for me.
  • 7 2
 But if you don’t buy one your friends will leave you in the dust for sure. #FOMO
  • 5 1
 Agreed. Wake me up when Honda licenses their internal gearboxes and the motor builders find a way to get both into the cradle at the same time.
  • 18 0
 Pinkbike just spent the last 1/2 decade dumping on any bike without a water bottle

For a decent length ride the Specialized effectively has no bottle mount, surely it should be fired into the sun?
  • 4 0
 If you need the range extender, you need more than 1 bottle anyways. So I don't see an issue.
  • 6 0
 Yup, which is why I made sure to point that out. I like the idea of a range extender, but not that it takes the place of the bottle.
  • 3 2
 @SunsPSD: I'm much more likely to ride past a tap than a power outlet though. One bottle at least gets me to the next tap.
  • 2 1
 @Mike-Jay: never heard of a water tap on a trail.
Do they have a Starbucks too?
  • 2 0
 It's an e bike..as if a hip pack or bib with back bottle pockets is gna weigh u down much.
  • 15 0
 I'd like to ride the Yeti the most, but if buying I'm going with cheapest bike with an EP8. So Commencal, YT, Canyon.

I don't feel the need for having the best of the best on the E-Bike since it would be my trail checker / vacation bike, where as the regular bike would be higher spec'd.
  • 12 2
 Yup, the poll is difficult to answer:

I already own the Meta and love it.
I am most interested in owning the Norco with the huge battery.
I am most interested in testing out the Kenevo for the lowish weight.
I am most likely to ride the Yeti to the buy and sell section for a tidy profit.
  • 12 0
 So weird to see the guys taking cars vs. bikes. Yeah, car like bikes. The future will be battery power, hp, torque, recalls, loaner bikes, Apple Carplay, lights. Look for short term leases, bikes with salvage titles, and shady bike lots. LOL.
  • 2 0
 But... chrome spinners!
  • 9 2
 Great reviews, but I'm having a hard time with your Battery elevation test results. I've owned a SC bullit for a 7 months, and have put about 1200 miles on it. My average until dead, in boost is a 4500ft elevation gain, with about 17miles. 630wh ep8, same as the commencial and Yeti.

Meta power - 5792 ft in 1:57
Yeti - 4569 in 1:20

So these two with the same motor in Boost (were they in boost?) and got totally different results on the same climb? The Heavier meta power got an extra 1200ish feet and 37 minutes more on the same battery? I went out yesterday to see maybe if you were doing it in trail mode, I got 22.5 miles with 4600ft in all in trail in 1:55 and the battery was zapped. I weigh 135lbs too. So how did that happen?

You should do a separate series of test on all the motors. Fire road test and single track test. Your test seems to be on different modes or different roads, cause there's no way there that far off. And make a grim-Edonut with some crazy Chinese motor, like rob rides ebikes.

Matt - Yes Shimano is reputable with more service dealers. But their warranty service is far from perfect. My ep8 went out at 518miles. The motor would spin, but not give any power. That was in March. Shimano told me I'd have a new motor in mid-September. I'm not the only one with the problem, two other local shops had the same issue, along with countless others on the mtbr forum. So keep that in mind as you buy a $5000-12000k e-bike, it might be a garage ornament for a few months. Luckily the local bike shop had a demo with a defective battery with a similar eta for a replacement.

Moto lovers- Yes you can buy xcw's sometimes two for the same price, hell you can buy 4 surrons for the price of the sworks. But having a 200xcw, segway x60, and an e-bike, I'll take the ebike out every time. It's a different kind of fun you need to try if you're a hater like I was.
  • 2 2
 I have that Chinese motor cyc stealth bolted onto my transition double, no throttle just Pas, I spin out at 35mph, tows my mate uphill at 10mph. All for £1100..
  • 1 0
 @bat-fastard: the CYC stealth looks really interesting. whilst retrofits cop a lot of flack, the CYC should perform much the same as all of these motors with torque and cadence sensing.... just where to put the battery?
  • 1 0
 @professed: their smaller 52v battery when taken out of case is tiny, gives me 2hrs without any pedal effort. Best buy i've made in years, actually enjoy going out now when theres no uplifts.
  • 8 1
 The Kenevo SL is such a rad concept for me- take the best enduro bike, add just enough assist to take the sting out of the climbs, neatly integrate all the electric stuff, go shred. Oh and make it look almost indistinguishable from the enduro.
  • 9 1
 Love the new presenters paired with Levy but honestly none of yall seem that excited about E-bikes vs the tests last week.
  • 3 0
 Correct.
  • 5 0
 PB you have again slightly tested apples vs pears. The Kenovo SL should be compared with the Orbea Rise, not other heavier, higher power, longer range beasts. Or it should have a Con for short range (which wasn't tested..) and less power, since it got all the Pro words for being lighter, no?

Also allowing top end top dollar S-works with weight savings everywhere to line Up vs some half price competitors in a group test will of course also bias the results. Lighter wheels and rotating mass alone transform a bike. Look at the results of your downcountry field test, where a lot of the comments about the Epic Evo S-works performance could actually be referred to its 1200g wheelset, not the frame. (Yes, I have tested both the Spur and the Epic Evo and without lower weight the Epic Evo isn't the faster or better bike)

Too uneven choice of bikes for a group test makes it tricky to compare Don't let the manufacturer choose which model you test.
  • 9 0
 Aluminum cranks.
  • 7 0
 Those carbon cranks breaking in slow motion will haunt my dreams
  • 2 0
 Aluminum everything. 31.8 al bars and aluminum frame is quieter and keeps the motor/battery cooler
  • 6 0
 Carbon fibre is a great material for building many things, but crank arms aren't one of those things. Seen far too many carbon crank failures to ever consider running them. I never even think about my aluminum cranks, and have never wondered if I could have more fun if only I they were carbon!
  • 4 0
 There still hasn't been an e-bike that hits everything I want, I don't think I would get any of these. I would want the Kenovo frame but with a regular EP8 motor, or the Norco Range with the new HP Range frame.

The perfect ebike in my mind would be a 180/170 high pivot with an EP8 motor and midsize battery. Until something like that comes along I think I'll save my money.
  • 6 0
 Amazing job with these reviews guys! Videos AND full written articles with all the details. I greatly appreciate all the hard work that you all are putting in to these!
  • 5 1
 Spesh for sure, I do not need huge battery or super torque motor, however low weight, agility and nice look and feel much more preferable;

Test rode S in alu version - top notch for 7k
  • 3 0
 i was very surprised that the shallow 150mm max dropper post insertion for the Kenevo SL size S3 was not mentioned. It was literally the only reason I didn't buy the Kenevo SL. 150mm max dropper will not be enough to even install a 150mm dropper post without getting the seat out the way.
  • 1 0
 I am 5-11 and run a 210mm OneUp dropper on my S3 Kenevo SL. It is slammed as low as it can go but fits with no issues. I would think if you were short legged you could still run a 180.
  • 3 0
 Until eMTB's are legal in my area, I won't even consider owning one.

If/When that happens, then I'll evaluate things. If the price differential between bikes and ebikes has come down considerably, I may consider it.

I still like the idea of a "class 0" ebike though (more like the Orbea Rise, Levo SL, and Kenovo SL). Not sure if I'd want to ride a ~60lb full class 1.
  • 3 0
 I don't really get the point about that Commençal's seat tube length.
Is it too long visually (aesthetically ugly indeed) or in action? Because on the several footages we saw, it didn't seem to be that disturbing in the descents...
  • 3 0
 It's a non issue on my 2021 and I don't really get the negative review because of it. The vast majority of people riding the Meta Power 29's love them, me included.
  • 4 1
 I have a KSL expert. kenevo sl with range extender is 480 Watt Hours. compared to several other ebikes (like yt decoy) which have 525 watt hour batteries it can ouput very close to the total power. therefore combined with being in slightly better shape than your buddies, the KSL totally keeps up on missions where you are all draining your batteries and attempting to go far...hell with the gear based motor (more efficient) and a lighter bike, you might be better off than someone on a full heavy ebike. where the KSL suffers is turboing up a fireroad to get vert in as quick as possible. you'll get to the top slower, but will have more battery (and more range) in those scenarios.
  • 2 0
 You get to the top slightly slower, but will have a much shreddier time on the way down.
  • 3 1
 As an owner of a KSL Expert I find the same to be true. I own a YT Decoy and I’m getting just as much range out of my Kenevo. I’m just going slower uphill but getting a better workout, which is a good thing.
  • 3 0
 My wife has a Levo SL and it's perfect for us as we ride together a lot. I ride a Stumpy and she can actually keep up now. No waiting for ages at the top of a climb to descend. The SL paired with the app allows you to tune the performance to get maximum battery life and tune the assistance so we can ride the same speed and both get a good work out on the hills. Plus with the SL she can actually load it on the truck herself which is something she really struggled to do with her old full fat e-bike.
  • 5 0
 Kenevo is sweet but range and torque are lacking compared to the others. More similar to bikes like Levo SL and Orbea rise.
  • 6 5
 Too many classes of ebikes. Companies are throwing shit at a wall to see what sticks.
  • 9 0
 @makripper: People want different things. Some want full ebike power, some want something conservative and lighter weight that they can throw around and reason with the ebike haters. More and more companies will be making these smaller/less powerful ebikes for those that want something conservative.
  • 1 2
 @stumphumper92: yeah that's true for sure. But I just worry that I'll have to buy until I find something that works, spending 10's of thousands of dollars in the process.
  • 4 1
 I don't get the range complaints. Are people taking these bikes out on 40 mile epics? In which case with Kenevo you can just pop on the range extender. And take it off for shorter rides. A pretty elegant solution, honestly.
  • 4 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: I have the 900w Range and i can tell you i absolutely do not need that much range. It was just the only option my shop had. I don't think most people are draining that battery on their daily/weekly ride. I'm more concerned about the torque. If I am buying an ebike, I want the power. My Range is 85 nm compared to the Kenevo's 35 nm. That's a huge difference in power.
  • 2 0
 @stumphumper92: I think it just depends on what you're looking for. I see it as a training tool and an opportunity to get more miles/laps in within my time constraints. So the "regular" bike feel is an attraction. Also here on the east coast, we have log-overs and ledges to get up and over which is significantly harder (if not impossible) on a 55 pound bike with a 460 mm chainstay.

But that's what makes variety good, we all have our use cases. I thought it was interesting how Matt saw the Kenevo as a tool to get more downhill laps on a manageable bike, while henry saw the Range as something basic to braap around in in cold weather. Different strokes and all that.
  • 2 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: Big back country rides here in CO can require batteries larger than 625wh for sure. Some of the ebike guys I know of say that 1000+ is what's needed. They are using range extenders from people like Trail Watts or carrying full size spare batteries, which to me seems a bit crazy but I guess it beats pedaling a 50lb+ bike with a dead battery for the last part of a big back country ride.
  • 2 0
 @bicycle019: these watts aren't created equal though. The SL motor is smaller and is moving a lighter bike, it's not going to consume as much energy as the bigger bikes. My guess is that the range is quite close.
  • 2 1
 @stumphumper92: I think they need to figure out the motors and get them tiny and silent. Then give you 4680's for batteries and size choices, 330w, 660, 1kw packs.
  • 2 1
 @stumphumper92: come visit us in squamish we easily go through 750-900 on our every day morning rides, 5-550 vertical feet up and then down Smile
  • 1 1
 @norona: isnt half nelson a 600m climb from the dirt parking lot above Quest? I talked with a guy who did 9 laps if it one day on his eBike.
  • 6 4
 Its disappointing that PB is giving airtime to bikes that cost 12K, 15K (hell even the Norco at 10K is insane). I have an ebike and I really like ebikes; but the price of several of these models are simply out of touch with my reality as a consumer, and I'm sure I'm not alone.
  • 2 0
 Yup, theres a lot of great bikes at half that price. Shimano, bosch and yamaha options
  • 9 2
 Eeesh, disappointing? We also do value-minded Field Tests every year. Here are the last two:
www.pinkbike.com/news/welcome-to-the-2021-pinkbike-value-bikes-field-trip.html
www.pinkbike.com/news/welcome-to-the-2020-pinkbike-field-trip.html

While you and I aren't going to spend that much money on one of these bikes, many other people are. There will also be many more value-minded Field Tests in the future Smile
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: I like how you also mentioned all of the options for each model and different pricing.
  • 2 0
 Commencal makes some great bikes. How else did the get fasted DH time? Smile Check out the Meta Power TR. A little less travel, but overcomes what the reviewers complained about. If you really want to spice it up go with the "Signature" model. That's what I have. So awesome right out of the box.

Yeah, the lack of other company's ebikes is a thing. Would love to see a comparison of the SantaCruz, Orbea, Canyon, etc. So many to choose from!
  • 5 3
 Strange way to have an emtb shootout/review. Get 3 testers that don't care for emtb's , so don't use them how an actual emtber would, and review them begrudgingly in a mtb frame of reference. The anti bias was quite showing. Cringe worthy review overall. Got the clicks though
  • 3 2
 I thought they did a pretty good job of hiding their distain for motorized bikes.
  • 3 1
 ^^case and point
  • 3 1
 After 26,000km plus here is my take on e-mtb and devinci

youtu.be/WKMFVdyYaZU
  • 2 0
 @norona: well done. PB reviewers need to actually ride emtb like an emtber would day in and day out. Like you said, cram 7 days in on one and people will get the bike into situations that bring the capabilities to light
  • 2 0
 @norona: Great piece, appreciated that!
  • 2 2
 Idk… about the reviewers distain for e-bikes, but I do think it’s clear e-bikes are not mainstream yet, so probably a lot of work for the reviewers for such a small MTB segment.

It’s just way too early in the tech and the cost is just way too high for most people to consider e-bikes. Then there is the unknown issue of reliability, and closely related to that… the resale market. I feel comfortable building a $6000 bike because I know what I can get on resale. I think spending $10k on an e-bike now will result in a tremendous value loss in a very short time… either due to reliability concerns, cost to repair, or advances in tech and design.
  • 2 1
 ^^^case and point
  • 3 1
 @Baller7756: I have been on them exclusively for 4 years, I ride devinci so those bikes retail are 7400 and 8200 with scram gx / shimano deore/xt and fox suspension. In 26,000km plus i had one fox coil over fail and replaced under warranty, and I agree anything over 10,000 grand is kind over priced but guys spend more as they feel they need it or want it, but you dont have to. You wont lose any more than a regular bike however here is the difference your cost per ride on an e-bike is way less as you will ride it double or triple what you do on a regular bike.
  • 3 1
 @won-sean-animal-chin: agree my fav in one of those videos is mike kasmir saying he can out climb guys in trail over boost because boost is uncontrolable. This is why i tell anyone who starts on an e-mtb to ride boost for the first month, because it teaches you faster how e-mtb's work. I do a ton or moto enduro and trials and e-mtb are very similar to trials in that you go up something very steep but then have to chop the power use the brakes and change directions while still going up steep, it is a skill that is learned. I ride up all the very steep single track as that is the incredible things about e-mtb, if you climb a climbing trail on them yes all you are doing is going faster, hit hard steep stuff and see where the magic is.
  • 4 2
 @norona: fully agree. A lot of days im milking my one 540w battery so im using the lower modes to get longer rides in. A lot of days im out linking steep climbs together , especially spring and fall, and thats a lot of boost and dragging the rear brake to moderate the boost on slow tech climbs, like a moto trials. Great fun when trails are just opening up in the spring. Its raining and im heading for the wet rooty trails. I have them all to my self. Low consequence tech riding after ski season when its raining and before the steep dh trails open. Really gets you dialed back in on the bike. You mess up all you do is put a foot down. In the fall when the trails start to get covered with snow its just us eebs out there because you just spin out on an "acoustic"(lol) bike. Now the blue trails are tech. Takes bike season right into ski season.no downtime. Had the trails all to ourselves for atleast the last month. I like it for getting laps, exploring the alpine, getting into the alpine off the bike park , doing the out off bounds trails off the bottom of the bike park on weekends to get away from the crowds, or just blasting up the highway in boost for a couple laps on a day that would otherwise be a rest day. Its criminal for those pinkbike emtb hacks to ignore steep tech climbing in this review though. Thats the funnest shit and probably 30-40% of my riding. They cant test emtb climbing with the seat up. That proof theyre doing it wrong. If youre climbing emtb level steepness you loop out with your seat up My yt decoy is $1500 more than my commencal enduro bike and i get twice the vert per day and ride more days. An extra steel cassette and derailleur and chain and an extra rear shock build is all its cost beside that $1500. Coil shock, dh tires w liners, 180f/165r and its the best xc bike that ive ever had and i can throw it down any dh trail.
All thise whining anti eebers shooting themselves in the foot because one day, and that could be tomorrow, theyre going to want one guaranteed
  • 2 1
 @norona: i cant ride double or triple. There are only 30 days in a month.
  • 4 1
 @norona: Thanks for the insight @norona and @won-sean-animal-chin. That does help describe the “e-bike culture”. What I gather from your perspectives is that we may not have the trails that e-bikes will ultimately thrive on. It seems you either need 30 miles of trails, or extremely steep trails to justify the addition of motor assist (assuming not for personal physical limitations).

Again… I think it’s cool and look forward to advancements in the tech, but right now you guys are bravely taking on that initial risk which is to say that you will not be able to recover much of your e-bike expense on resale.
  • 1 2
 ^^^woosh, 2 with no clue trying to create a narrative from their suposed gotcha moment. Fools will believe what they want
  • 1 1
 @Baller7756: I would not say this all, like regular bikes the limitations is the rider, so for not very fit people they will have fun on regular climb trails or roads and what ever level they enjoy descending at. I personally can ride up hard blue and easier black trails as I came from racing where my strength was tech uphill hard and steep climbing, so on an e-bike i seek those out as climbing trails are designed to be gentle so a regular bike rider at all levels can ride those, however on an e-bike for me they are the long way there and not very efficient, so it eats battery life without gaining elevation that I want to gain. This morning I did 3000 vertical feet up in 34 minutes and that puts me at the top of squamish from my house, then I descend, depending on the day that will depend on what i do, it has been very wet over the last few days so I just descended back home on flow trails in 20 minutes. There is no justifying, it is just, for me , a better way to get more in, in less time and at a higher cardio, and only provides me with less strength workout which I don't care about since I go e-foiling right after for an hour and then do something later in the day. For me E-MTB is better in every way, its why I ride them, they don't limit a rider in any way.
  • 3 2
 @won-sean-animal-chin: Did you just say “narrative”? Any more buzz words in the arsenal?
  • 2 1
 @Baller7756: listen Baller: stick with supporting his narrative or he will accuse you of creating your own! Ha ha
  • 2 2
 @Jvisscher: neither of you have any experience with emtb's . Youre just making shit up. Between norrona and i we have probably 80+ yrs experience on a mtb, 20 yrs of pro/elite racing xc,dh,endurance and 7yrs of emtb and its sounds like our emtb experience somehow parallels. Gee i wonder why?Then its you 2 morans with little experience on a mtb, zero on a emtb trying to tell everyone whats an emtb for and why its bad and how they won't sell despite supply bicycle supply issues , red hot market, and a rapidly growing segment. You sound like anti vax, anti science morans that saw a good rant on youtube. ^^there's my flex bud, lets hear yours because thats what its all about for the anti eebers. "I dont need know stinkin moped, i climb everest in the big ring daily! I might get one when im 95!! Probably not because the wimpy little motors wouldnt haul my massive satchel up my ez day climbs!!"
Maybe you can elaborate? Lets hear it. I'll remind that its much easier to flex if youre right not making stoopid shit up that is ez to see through
  • 3 2
 @won-sean-animal-chin: Wow, didn’t see that eruption coming…not. You got me all figured out bro… you get the mic drop award.
  • 1 0
 I am interested in those that have rode the Turbo Levo SL and the Turbo Levo. I rode the Turbo Levo in level 1 only and it was plenty and a lot of fun climbing. I like the idea of a lighter bike. My concern with the SL would be distance. Is the SL version level 1 power same as normal Levo mode 1? We have a trail put in by dirt bikes that is a super steep switch backs out. I was able to clean it in a Levo in level 2 power, otherwise it's a good hike a bike.
  • 2 0
 You can tune your settings but overall the smaller motor is less powerful. I like it because it is close to a non e bike with enough power to assist saving energy for decents. You can ride quite a while on the battery without the range extender. Easily 3 hours with using the power settings smartly.
  • 1 0
 I've ridden both and the Trail mode (level 2) in the SL is slightly more than the Eco (level 1) on the regular Levo. You would need to be in Turbo on the SL to get about Trail mode (level 2) in the regular Levo.
  • 2 1
 It would be good to know what the lifecycles of the batteries are and what support these companies offer for battery replacement 3 years down the road. I've done a few mid-drive conversions for commuters, going this route because there is so much uncertainty with what may be done about an off-the-shelf model that's reached the end of its lifecycle. On the conversions I can just grab whatever 48v battery is available after I've blown through 1k recharge cycles. Are there going to be services for battery refurbishment? Also, hard to tell if there are currently 3rd party companies that could send you a new pack.
  • 1 0
 Great suggestion. A deep dive into sll that would be interesting
  • 4 0
 Really should of had a Bosch Gen4 bike in the mix too. Better and doesn't rattle like the EP8.
  • 4 0
 I was also surprised that no Bosch engine was involved.
  • 4 0
 Yep, we tried, but availability issues meant that we ended up with mainly Shimano motors for this round. We'll definitely get one in for next time.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: shame. My trek rail with gen4 has smoked anything else I have ridden to date.
  • 2 0
 @drmantistobogganmd: Yeah my rail is a great. There is no doubt the bosch gen 4 is one of the best and definitely most reliable motors out there.
  • 2 0
 having ridden alot of ebikes recently, I will happily take the Marin alpine e2, playful, powerful, plowable. PPP Wink
close 2nd would easily be the new giant e+2, looks a bit gianty but man its an absolute weapon
  • 1 0
 I would love to see on next year's E-Bike Field Test the "oh oh, I ran out of battery and I still have to climb to get home" test where Levy has to do the efficiency test climb on the E-Bikes with the motors turned off...
This will be totally relevant if you like long rides to determine whether you suffer hike or can actually pedal if you ever run out of battery.
  • 3 1
 Thank god for channels like the loamwolf and robs rides who are actually interested in ebikes and do decent reviews. Having said that I would show little enthusiasm if I had to ride and review an analogue bike.
  • 7 7
 Thanks for all the hard work put into field test! Next year, can you just focus your time / energy on non-Ebikes? I liked hearing/ learning about them but frankly I'm pretty turned off them; E-bikes just aren't my jam. **cue the Outside comments**

It seemed like a ton of energy for you guys to do reviews, videos, timed laps, impossible climbs, etc. I'd rather that time and energy being put into the enduro / trail / downcountry bike field tests and reviews. Maybe you can do a vote: do viewers want to see an e-bike field test next year?
  • 6 0
 There will likely be three to four Field Tests next year, and at least one of them will include e-bikes. But there will be MORE normal bike content, not less of it, plus the e-bike stuff Smile
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: would be good to compare other motors too. Bosch > Shimnao
  • 3 0
 I am thinking of getting the Marin Alpine Trail E2 for the money and geo. Am I crazy?
  • 1 0
 Nice pick. If you can find one you might want to look at a husqvarna mt cross as well. Another nice shinano bike with a really good pice. Cant discount the yt decoy if tgere is stock as well
  • 2 0
 either that or the new giant eplus2 - as much as im anti giant , they made a good 2022 ebike.
  • 2 0
 Moped showdown! Dark secret: I want one. Not as bad as I want my account to have 15k more in it, but they look like fun. Green with envy.
  • 1 0
 I'm on a 2021 Meta Power and at 6'2 the seat post length on a large is 100% a non issue. It seems like with the size of the testers they could have been better off with a medium.
  • 2 0
 Same here at 6’ even. Not sure why they were having such a conniption about it. A lot of the other stuff they said it was true though. Mine definitely benefits from a coil.
  • 3 0
 Is it just me or does Levy have a Kermit the Frog vibe in these videos?
  • 1 0
 Lol. I see it now but wouldn’t have otherwise
  • 3 1
 The Kenevo SL sounds great, but how can the second slowest bike deserve so much praise?
  • 5 0
 Sometimes it's not about the time.
  • 3 0
 None of it makes sense though. eBikes 8 sec slower than manual, presumably due to extra weight, yet the halfway house lightweight solution, a bike based closely on last year's test winner is near the back of them all. I guess I just expected it to be hallway between e and manual. It's really got me thinking.
  • 2 0
 Could the problem with the Commencal's long seat tube be remedied with a shorter stack dropper, like the OneUp?
  • 2 0
 What a useless test. Why even test the SL against any other ebike? Just fluffer for the yeti drop.
  • 1 0
 Please can you review the Orbea Rise as a somewhere in between eBike, it would be interesting to see how that changes the overall impressions?
  • 3 0
 Norco missed the boat by not calling it the Power RangeR.
  • 1 1
 I'd be going Turbo Levo... Yeti doesn't have a reasonable answer to how much their new one costs, other than that yeti turqoise is getting more and more expensive.
  • 1 3
 I've seen live the Meta in grey satin color at my local shop and he has a great design... best buy surely for this cash. I can buy surely a bmw motorbike for 25k that can drive me to northkapp with easy.... but 15k for a ebike is pure crazyness... no way
  • 1 0
 If a Focus Sam2 was on test I feel it would have overall bested this group..
  • 2 0
 I wish they could have had reviewed the SC Bullit in this. Frown
  • 1 0
 Within the first 10 secs I knew the guy on the left was going to pick the Spesh!
  • 14 17
 I went for a short ride yesterday afternoon, mellow ish blue trail, with very little elevation. Mid ride, a pack of nine Ebikes, piloted by fit 28 year olds went skittering by me full gas. They said they like to have "fun". Idk the whole thing pissed me off. If you are older, trying to keep up with someone stronger, looking to shuttle downhill runs, fine. But healthy kids raging in packs through blue xc trails? I just don't understand. I hate it! Bla
  • 7 0
 Sucks being old and screaming at clouds, doesn't it?
  • 6 0
 Fun should be outlawed with some sort of aggressive minimum sentencing.
  • 2 2
 If you voted for the kenevo u have no clue and are an mtber still flexing/fact
  • 1 0
 Checked my lottery ticket this morning... won $20. No E-bike forthcoming.
  • 1 2
 {Fart noise}
  • 1 3
 Three hours of enjoy, go any longer and it's a pain in the ass.
  • 2 4
 Levy: Can we have a mountain bike specific version of PinkBike.com please?
  • 3 6
 Almost 45k in E bikes. Barf.
  • 1 4
 E Bikes are the WORST
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