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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been to the Outerbike three day demo event several times in both Moab and Crested Butte, and had kind of given up on it due to long lines. It just wasn't worth it. A couple of friends convinced me to go to Outerbike in Crested Butte over the weekend. It was an eMTB'ers dream. Attendance was down, and it was easy to get just about any bike you would want, including eMTBs from Bulls, Fezzari, Orbea, Rocky Mountain, Pivot, Felt, Norco and Specialized. The Pivot tent itself did not have Shuttles, but Shimano had a special ebike tent with five BRAND NEW Pivot Shuttles as well as five Felt eMTBs. Bulls had over a dozen eMTBs with motors from Shimano, Bosch and Brose.

eMTBs are not normally allowed on the Crested Butte Resort trails because they are on Forest Service land, but they get a three day special allowance to allow them during Outerbike. You can ride up the front or backside of the ski area, and then ride down on trails ranging from fire roads, to flowy singletrack, to gnarly DH trails. A couple of trails down the back side were gorgeous ungroomed singletrack through towering forest and waist high wildflowers. Awesome riding!

I ran into one of the CB trail managers and he said they are going to try to get the Forest Service to modify their permit to allow Class 1 eMTBs. He said they had zero reason not to allow eMTBs there, other than the Forest Service ban.

Imagine walking down a row of tents, picking out an eMTB you always wanted to try, handing them your pedals, and after they set up the suspension, you are off for a ride on some of the nicest trails anywhere. When you are done with that bike, you hand it back to them and go pick out another.

I was amazed at how good all of the bikes were, but three that stood out were the Fezzari Wire Peak, the Bulls E-Core Evo AM Di2, and the Norco Sight. All were really good, and at a more affordable price point ($5-6k) than the Pivot and the Levo Turbo.

Somewhat surprisingly, my least favorite bike all weekend was the Levo. I hate 29'ers, I hate scrunched cockpits, I really dislike the lack of any kind of a display, and frankly, the bike wandered on the climbs and didn't descend as well as *any* of the other bikes I rode. It was the quietest, and it looked more like a "regular" MTB than any other eMTB, I'll give it that, but it just did nothing for me.


The Fezzari Wire Peak handled well and had a great spec for the price, but the rear end was simply not as plush as the Bulls or the Norco, and it seemed to transmit a lot of vibration as well.

The Bulls E-Core Evo AM Di2 was a beast, and I love their dual battery setup where you can ride with one 375wH battery, or put both in for 750wH. It descended great, but it felt a little dead, no "pop" on the bumps. It was a little weird, it only has 150mm of rear travel, but it felt like the most DH capable bike, the most stable anyway.

The Norco Sight was the most playful bike, and felt much lighter than the others, even though it wasn't. It would easily loft over bumps and small tables, but it still felt pretty glued when you needed it. It was the best all around for the money. According to the Norco rep, they are sold out of 2019's. For 2020 the Sight will be a 29'er and a burlier enduro style e-Range will be added.

Orbea said they will be releasing a new Wild model in a few weeks with the new Bosch motor. Unfortunately, *all* of their bikes will be 29'ers for 2020. I'm sorry, but 29'ers suck in tight switchbacks, and all of the geometry in the world can't fix that. I constantly went wide on tight turns on every 29'er I rode, and I rode six or seven, both eMTB and MTB. The idea that 29'ers are a universal answer for all MTBs is simply stupid. Sorry, but it is.

The Pivot was outstanding. It climbed, it descended, it didn't rattle, and everything worked perfectly. I love Di2, I love four-piston Shimano brakes, I love 27.5" Plus tires on an eMTB. The Shuttle did *not* feel as lively as the Norco, however. It just seemed to plow through everything, which is not a bad thing. Still, $10K is a lot of bread.

I didn't ride the Rocky Mountain eMTB, because they only had two, and one had a blown shock. The other was constantly being ridden. I didn't ride the Orbea because the first people that rode them boosted them for two hours and killed the batteries, and Orbea didn't have a way to charge in their tent. I didn't ride the Felt because I ran out of time.

Outerbike always has great food, and free good beer at 4:00. Crested Butte is the perfect venue for a demo event such as this, because there is an infinite variety of trails available. You were not allowed to take eMTBs out of the resort area, but you could take MTBs to local trails and some people did all day epic rides on their checked out bikes. There *are* some great eMTB-legal singletracks around CB, but you would have to drive the Outerbike ebike to the trailheads and that was not allowed. But none of that really mattered if you were there to demo bikes. The resort has awesome trails and beautiful views. You get a three day lift pass so you can just ride lifts up all day if you want. The weather was perfect as well.

The next Outerbike is in October in Moab. Unfortunately, the Outerbike venue in Moab sucks for eMTBs. You are only allowed on the lame jeep trails around the Bar-M area where the event takes place. After that, there is an Outerbike in Bentonville, and I know eMTBs are welcomed around there. I don't know if it will be as lightly attended as CB though. Not having huge lines made all the difference.
 

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Great write up, thanks.

A ski area in my area, also on forest service ground, has recently opened up to summer time bike riding. I don't know if they allow e-bikes, other ski areas in Idaho do not. All because of the blanket Forest Service "no motorized" rule.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the reviews! Out of curiosity, any bike you tried had the new Bosch motor?

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There were no bikes with the new Bosch. Both Orbea and Bulls said they will be shipping them this Fall.

All of the bikes except for the Rocky Mountain, the Specialized, and a few of the Bulls models, had Shimano motors. No Yamahas at all. Giant and Haibike were not there, unfortunately. It would have been cool to ride Bosch, Brose, Shimano, Yamaha, and the Rocky Mountain all back to back.
 

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Heads up on Moab ebike demos: There are trails that allow ebikes in Moab, so don't despair, you just need to map it out in advance. Any multiuse trail, ie ORV, is ebikable, there are a lot of these trails and some are pretty durn good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Heads up on Moab ebike demos: There are trails that allow ebikes in Moab, so don't despair, you just need to map it out in advance. Any multiuse trail, ie ORV, is ebikable, there are a lot of these trails and some are pretty durn good.
The problem is, at Outerbike, they don't allow people to put bikes in a private vehicle to take them offsite. You could theoretically pedal up to Sovereign and ride that, or ride up past Gooney Bird to Bull Canyon/Gold Bar/Poison Spider, or maybe a few others, but you'll be doing a lot of pedaling. Of course it will be on an ebike. At Crested Butte, the bikes from the Shimano e-bike tent (Pivot Shuttle, Felt) were only allowed out for 60-90 minutes. The others were not limited AFAIK.

Still fun, but not the variety that there was at CB.
 

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I've been to the Outerbike three day demo event several times in both Moab and Crested Butte, and had kind of given up on it due to long lines. It just wasn't worth it. A couple of friends convinced me to go to Outerbike in Crested Butte over the weekend. It was an eMTB'ers dream. Attendance was down, and it was easy to get just about any bike you would want, including eMTBs from Bulls, Fezzari, Orbea, Rocky Mountain, Pivot, Felt, Norco and Specialized. The Pivot tent itself did not have Shuttles, but Shimano had a special ebike tent with five BRAND NEW Pivot Shuttles as well as five Felt eMTBs. Bulls had over a dozen eMTBs with motors from Shimano, Bosch and Brose.

eMTBs are not normally allowed on the Crested Butte Resort trails because they are on Forest Service land, but they get a three day special allowance to allow them during Outerbike. You can ride up the front or backside of the ski area, and then ride down on trails ranging from fire roads, to flowy singletrack, to gnarly DH trails. A couple of trails down the back side were gorgeous ungroomed singletrack through towering forest and waist high wildflowers. Awesome riding!

I ran into one of the CB trail managers and he said they are going to try to get the Forest Service to modify their permit to allow Class 1 eMTBs. He said they had zero reason not to allow eMTBs there, other than the Forest Service ban.

Imagine walking down a row of tents, picking out an eMTB you always wanted to try, handing them your pedals, and after they set up the suspension, you are off for a ride on some of the nicest trails anywhere. When you are done with that bike, you hand it back to them and go pick out another.

I was amazed at how good all of the bikes were, but three that stood out were the Fezzari Wire Peak, the Bulls E-Core Evo AM Di2, and the Norco Sight. All were really good, and at a more affordable price point ($5-6k) than the Pivot and the Levo Turbo.

Somewhat surprisingly, my least favorite bike all weekend was the Levo. I hate 29'ers, I hate scrunched cockpits, I really dislike the lack of any kind of a display, and frankly, the bike wandered on the climbs and didn't descend as well as *any* of the other bikes I rode. It was the quietest, and it looked more like a "regular" MTB than any other eMTB, I'll give it that, but it just did nothing for me.

The Fezzari Wire Peak handled well and had a great spec for the price, but the rear end was simply not as plush as the Bulls or the Norco, and it seemed to transmit a lot of vibration as well.

The Bulls E-Core Evo AM Di2 was a beast, and I love their dual battery setup where you can ride with one 375wH battery, or put both in for 750wH. It descended great, but it felt a little dead, no "pop" on the bumps. It was a little weird, it only has 150mm of rear travel, but it felt like the most DH capable bike, the most stable anyway.

The Norco Sight was the most playful bike, and felt much lighter than the others, even though it wasn't. It would easily loft over bumps and small tables, but it still felt pretty glued when you needed it. It was the best all around for the money. According to the Norco rep, they are sold out of 2019's. For 2020 the Sight will be a 29'er and a burlier enduro style e-Range will be added.

Orbea said they will be releasing a new Wild model in a few weeks with the new Bosch motor. Unfortunately, *all* of their bikes will be 29'ers for 2020. I'm sorry, but 29'ers suck in tight switchbacks, and all of the geometry in the world can't fix that. I constantly went wide on tight turns on every 29'er I rode, and I rode six or seven, both eMTB and MTB. The idea that 29'ers are a universal answer for all MTBs is simply stupid. Sorry, but it is.

The Pivot was outstanding. It climbed, it descended, it didn't rattle, and everything worked perfectly. I love Di2, I love four-piston Shimano brakes, I love 27.5" Plus tires on an eMTB. The Shuttle did *not* feel as lively as the Norco, however. It just seemed to plow through everything, which is not a bad thing. Still, $10K is a lot of bread.

I didn't ride the Rocky Mountain eMTB, because they only had two, and one had a blown shock. The other was constantly being ridden. I didn't ride the Orbea because the first people that rode them boosted them for two hours and killed the batteries, and Orbea didn't have a way to charge in their tent. I didn't ride the Felt because I ran out of time.

Outerbike always has great food, and free good beer at 4:00. Crested Butte is the perfect venue for a demo event such as this, because there is an infinite variety of trails available. You were not allowed to take eMTBs out of the resort area, but you could take MTBs to local trails and some people did all day epic rides on their checked out bikes. There *are* some great eMTB-legal singletracks around CB, but you would have to drive the Outerbike ebike to the trailheads and that was not allowed. But none of that really mattered if you were there to demo bikes. The resort has awesome trails and beautiful views. You get a three day lift pass so you can just ride lifts up all day if you want. The weather was perfect as well.

The next Outerbike is in October in Moab. Unfortunately, the Outerbike venue in Moab sucks for eMTBs. You are only allowed on the lame jeep trails around the Bar-M area where the event takes place. After that, there is an Outerbike in Bentonville, and I know eMTBs are welcomed around there. I don't know if it will be as lightly attended as CB though. Not having huge lines made all the difference.
Thanks a bunch for all that input. Off course 4 motors comparaison will be very interesting when available.
I guess your comment on Norco was about the 2019?
*** The Norco Sight was the most playful bike ***
Some weeks ago i demoed one for 2 hours and that was my feeling, very playfull, suspension to my liking.
 
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