The stunning town of Santa Cruz was the venue as the local trail, Wilder State Park was recently opened for ebikes. This article is written by Travis Bertelsen
The Speedfox AMP (for "Amplified") is the Swiss bike manufacturer BMC's 29" 130mm travel trail bike powered by Shimano's 250W electric motor and 500Wh battery. The easily removable battery is hidden within the frame and the result in a great looking bike, unlike other E-bikes that look like someone just bolted a car battery onto the downtube. It's a Class 3 E-bike which means the motor limited to 20mph and only works when the rider is pedaling.
The ride to from the wharf to the trail network more than five miles away is usually a chore but not this time.
The AMP also sports E-bike specific components such as stronger wheels with beefier spokes and a stronger freehub to handle the added torque of the electric assist. Four-piston brakes with massive 200mm rotors bring this 45lb+ bike to a stop with room to spare.
The stunning town of Santa Cruz was the venue as the local trail, Wilder State Park was recently opened for e-bikes.
I'm a larger rider at 6'2" 200lbs and I tend to prefer challenging technical downhills but am not averse to climbing. For my test ride, I picked Wilder Ranch in Santa Cruz for its variety of terrain from rutted fire roads to steep and technical singletrack. On the climbs, the Shimano motor delivered plenty of smooth power with 3 levels of assist; Eco, Trail, and Boost.
I rode a majority of the time in Eco mode which had plenty of assistance to keep me smiling. On the steeper climbs, I would briefly switch to Trail or Boost modes. Strangely, you actually start looking forward to steep, rooted, and rutted climbs that you used to dread. At the end of the 30-mile ride, I still had about 20% left in the battery and fairly fresh legs.
The RockShox Revelation 130mm fork up front and Fox Float DPS shock in the rear work well to smooth out a majority of the trail chop, and even soaked up some unexpected medium sized rock drops without causing any drama. The 29" wheels blast over the smaller roots and rocks and allow you to carry a ton of speed. If you regularly tackle extreme terrain or are a larger more aggressive rider, the longer travel Trailfox AMP with 650b+ wheels may be a better option for you.
The handling is very neutral; in fact, the added weight made the bike feel more planted on the ground and less twitchy on the jumps. The front tire tracked well and the rear end with its oversized bearings handles hard cornering and berms without any chatter or flex. You often forget you are on an E-bike until you come to the next uphill and start grinning again. Bunnyhops, wheelies, and other sorts of mischief are possible on this bike; they just take more rider input due to the added weight. The compact Shimano motor allows for the shortest possible chainstays making this a playful and lively trail bike despite its weight.
Who's it for
The Speedfox AMP is labeled as a "Trail Bike" and the 29" wheels and power assist are great for covering a lot of ground quickly allowing for more riding in a shorter period of time. Racers will enjoy riding this in their recovery days, and weekend warriors with limited time can get a great ride in and still be back in time for the other weekend activities. For me, E-bikes are just a blast to ride and the AMP is a very well executed example of how capable these bikes have become.
BMC's AMP e-MTBs are currently available at participating dealers and starting on April 19, 2018, customers in the USA will be able to order AMP e-MTBs online and receive the bikes at their local BMC retailer.
USA AMP Pricing
- Trailfox AMP TWO - MSRP $7499
- Speedfox AMP TWO - MSRP $7499
- Speedfox AMP THREE - MSRP $5799