The pace of innovation has slowed. The bike industry is no longer looking for revolutionary concepts or taking giant leaps forwards, but rather honing and refining things. One area of the sport that's still relatively fresh and evolving is the genre of lightweight eMTBs. These use less punchy motors, smaller batteries and lightweight components to achieve a total weight and ride feel that's not far off some regular mountain bikes.
The latest player in this game is TQ, who entered eMTB from the robotics world with a lightweight and compact motor that works in a cleverly different way from most drive units.
INNOVATION OF THE YEAR
Compact, light, quiet.
Electric motors are incredible. A motor the size of a hockey puck can generate more power than you and do so with over 90% efficiency. The problem is, they generate that power at several thousand RPM, so most of what's inside an e-bike drive unit is called the reduction gearing, which allows the cranks to spin many times slower than the motor. This gearing can take the form of belts and pulleys or a series of gears, usually with the motor to one side of the crank spindle, giving e-bike motors their oblong shape.
TQ does it differently. They place the motor concentrically around the crank spindle and use a patented harmonic pin ring system
to provide the gearing, so the crank spins 17.5 times slower than the motor.
This has a few advantages. Firstly, because the unit is so compact - more like a thick BB than a regular motor - it's easier for frame designers to put batteries, pivots and rear wheels exactly where they want. Plenty of e-bikes have weird suspension designs or lengthy chainstays in every size just to fit around the bulky motor casing. Secondly, with fewer parts, the motor is the lightest on the market, at 1,830 g. Finally, that 17.5 ratio is smaller than most e-bikes, meaning the motor spins more slowly for a given crank speed. That could be seen as a bad thing because output torque is limited to 50 Nm - less than most other systems - but that's just the ticket if you want to maintain a "regular bike feel" on an eMTB. Plus, TQ says the slower motor speeds help them keep the system super quiet.
The motor is now powering a few bikes, including the BMC Fourstroke AMP
and Scott Lumen
, but we got a good feel for it on the Trek Fuel EX-e
. What struck us was the very quiet ride, both on the climbs and descents, and the overall "bike-like" handling package. According to the reviewer, Matt Beer, "That tiny harmonic pin ring drive unit is the golden goose of e-bike motors."
Can’t stop laughing. So the most innovative part for a
BICYCLE is a MOTOR ????
Hahahahaha hahahahaha hahahahaha oh man please
Stop Hahahahaha hahahahaha hahahahaha
Hahahahaha stop, stop please Hahahahaha
This my friend, is what made me laugh the most .
@bonkmasterflex:. The joke will ALWAYS be on snail bikers and their hilariously slow climbing speed. At least that's how I feel when I pass then like they are standing still while sweating like they are in a sauna.
Is riding a bike actually fun when you are going that slow? Yeah whatever, Snails.
@tacklingdummy: Don't expect any logical answer from snail bikers even though you've completely exposed their stupid trolling here. It's as if they've combined all the characteristic of fact denying Trump supporters and combined them with an Amish approach to mountain bike technology.
Well they say this motor is available on a Scott, so you can have your cake and throw up a little in your mouth too.
with an ebike, you do sports !!
You get it. Outside mag, doesn't get it. f*ck Outside mag and f*ck ebikes.
What would you have awarded the winner to (maybe UDH, but it's not very recent)?
Only real difference is that the e-bike will be a bit less lower body, and more upper body/core muscle work, which is probably a good thing.
Using chairlifts is not skiing, skiing is only you against the moutain, up and down.
So few people skiing these days
This anti emtb war on PB is so damn ridiculous i love it !
A bicycle is a cycle with two wheels.
A mountain bike is a bicycle meant to be ridden in mountainous terrain.
A class 1 electric mountain bike is a mountain bike with electric motor assistance that is designed to be ridden on the exact same terrain as mountain bikes, plus up terrain where mountain bikes are typically dismounted and pushed.
Xoxo - a fellow categorizing human being.
Do you have any evidence that they are ruining trails or are you just making that up?
Mullets...no way in hell they will catch on
Small, light, quiet motors in bicycles...WTF?
Might as well call them Led Zeppelins
Pedalling a dh bike uphill is hard. So I got a job where I work hard and earn money to pay for day passes to ride a chairlift to the top. An electric chairlift. I work hard to pay for those chairlift days.
Pedalling multiple laps of my favourite trails takes too long after work, it usually gets dark after one lap. So I use the money I earned while working hard at my job to pay my electricity bill to charge my ebike, now I can do 3 or 4 laps after work before it gets dark, it’s a lot of pedalling and I get tired but I just love getting the laps in.
Sometimes I ride after dark, it’s really hard to see the trail at night so I use an electric light to illuminate the trail, it makes riding much easier.
I’m grateful for all these opportunities to work hard to make riding hard much easier.
That said, to say the most innovative product of the year is one that will not fit into 99.99% of the lifestyles of cyclists is... really inept. Y'all massively missed the mark here.
They've been selling $15k e-bikes using the most basic engineering for the longest time. This is like a step up into mediocrity.
I guess I can call old 70/80s moped g-bikes bikes now. Or maybe p-bikes for our friends in the British isles.
You yourself are even a marketer by advertising that you enjoy them and are passionate enough about them to deem them a user name.
All good - have fun out there!
But don't kid yourself, you are susceptible to marketing, Hook, Line, and Sinker.
I'd be thankful for marketing....without it your B,B,n J world would not be as much fun.
Also, ICE Mopeds of the 70's had throttles as do Electric Mopeds do now.. They have not come a long way by any means. They just use electricity now instead of gasoline. I owned a Motobecane....to thrash on a very small dirt track oval...
No Throttle, No Moped. Simple as that.
The Fillmores are probably double the cost of what is reasonable, but they are innovative and work mint.
bi·cy·cle ˈbī-si-kəl -ˌsi-, also -ˌsī-
: a vehicle with two wheels tandem, handlebars for steering, a saddle seat, and pedals by which it is propelled
also : a stationary exercise machine that resembles such a vehicle
: a lightweight, low-powered motorbike that can be pedaled
That seems pretty cut and dry to me. "E-bikes" are mopeds, not bicycles, Honestly the lamest thing about "e-bikers" is that they call it mountain biking instead of just owning it... you love your new electric moped, and sometimes you like to take it on mountain bike trails... it's ok to say it out loud... I think we'd all appreciate the honesty.
A motocross is 40 kW (250 x 160 !!) But it is rape and very difficult.
All 3 are fun. All 3 are different.
Now imagine the escalator guy plonking on about how he got a better workout at the top lol.
Imagine how the chairlift guy and the shuttle guy saying they got a better workout than the ebike guy.
Ebikes do burn a lot of calories like walking and much more depending on the power level used and duration of the ride.
Why do think people in Japan are all so slim? Most walk a lot because they don't own cars. The US would be less obese if they walked as much as Japanese.
If you know Squamish, you know its a major if not the biggest mtb mecca on the planet…and guess what, the vast majority ebikers I see around town are overweight riders.The other portion are usually young generation lazy Iphone who grew up playing with a acreen rather than exercising… also out of shape but not yet fat.( call me boomers if you, im not.Im in my 40s and see the benefits of my childhood more and more everyday especially when I look at millennials and gen z)
Ebikers: call it what you will and good for you if you are stoked on your motorcycle…but that thing jas a motor cause you are LAZY.The end, stop trying to argue otherwise.Enjoy your bike for what it is AND ADMIT IT.Just look at your demographics: MOSTLY FAT PEOPLE.The proof is in the pudding.Ebikes have been out long enough now that if they were anything other than a bike for lazy people , everyone would have jumped on them by now.
@pinkbike : this is one of the dvmbest post you’ve made.Your credibility is fading rapidly.
Oh, one last thing I want to address.The bike park analogy is also dvmb as fvck.Most dudes on dh bikes also have trail bikes and aren’t afraid to pedal up.At the pace Im riding the park (like most locals around here) I get a killer workout…meanwhile my ebikers friends are trying to catch their breath on their dh bikes..cause guess what, they dont have the stamina to go all out for 10-15 minutes…The bike park analogy is stupid, cut it out, you all sound stupid when you’re using it…if we shouldn’t ride chairlifts I guess ebikers shouldn’t drives their fvcking cars to trail heads.
Also, their is no war between bikers and ebikers.Whats really annoying is how ebikers are desperately trying to prove their bike is just the same, they arent lazy and we should all get one ===> dvmb as fvck
Word of advice, if you dont want people with at least half a brain to think youre a complete imbecile, stop parroting main stream medias buzz words…
Were the riders already lazy or did the ebike make them lazy.
Just let folks enjoy what they like and have fun. I’ve both and the emtb is twice the fun. Fun UP and down. I’m not lazy, I ride hard, I ride a lot.
Spandex XC riders can have their “earn your turn’s for themselves and stop preaching! Mountain biking is about the experience, the challenges, the speed, technique, adrenaline, the FUN. The experience is VERY similar or even better on a light weight emtb.
I don’t think the grumpy Karen’s get out in the mountains too often, only hammering the keyboard. Or road biking chasing COM’s…
I currently don't own an ebike. I had one, rode it for 75 miles, and sold it, because it was not the right bike for me.
The fact that the ebike critics cannot wrap their heads around that the fact riders that use ebikes are not all lazy just shows their ignorance.
Mark my words, all the ebike critics will be buying ebikes when they get older because they would rather be riding rather than sitting on the computer typing how much they hate ebikes.
Pinkbike is right to award it with innovation of the year.
You should add to the list of bikes with TQ the Simplon Rapcon Pmax TQ, a 170mm/165mm enduro bike
(Goes for both sides)
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