Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Not a role model
Joined
·
1,312 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this is a popular answer to the question about what's best to focus on, when deciding what to direct your budget on when choosing/building a bike, but was wondering if anyone thought differently after experiencing ebikes.
 

·
Mtbr Founder
Joined
·
35,500 Posts
I think this is true. Motor/battery/software/App matters the most on ebikes today. These things define the power delivery, weight, form factor and flexibility and price of the bikes these days.

If you have a Shimano system for example, the great bikes all kind of look alike and act alike. Pivot Shuttle, YT Decoy, Tazer. And they're all constrained by that massive internal battery. BMC, Mondraker, Felt all look like monstrosities with that massive downtube. So once you narrowed it down to these, what really differentiates is geometry and business model. And that $5000 YT Decoy is simply unbelievable.

This is why Specialized has the lead as they have 20 engineers (as of last year) working on the motor, battery and software. And they made Brose create a special motor mount for them. Their bike is special because of this light motor and software.

Bulls Bikes is motor agnostic (they sell 3 brands of motors) so they are more independent. But their quality and geometry is not quite there so this is a case where you still want a top-rate mtb company if you want the best ride.

Forestal Bikes is interesting since they are making their own motor.

Fazua is cool since they're making that 7 lb. modular motor and battery. http://instagr.am/p/BwW5paWAs4e/
In the end, custom motors will have the best performance since OEM manufacturers like Shimano and Bosch will make the most overbuilt, bulletproof motor/battery systems that willhave the minimum problems in ANY application like 300 lb rider, climbing Mt. Haleakala in the heat and rain. Aka, overbuilt and heavy.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,491 Posts
If you look at offroad motorcycles (note, I am NOT saying e-bikes are motorcycles), you'll notice that when they get reviewed, the motor and suspension are the big items discussed (and tuned once you own the bike). The geometry of those bikes are all pretty similar (at least if you're comparing apples to apples).

As much as I hate to say it as someone who geeks out on the fine details of frame geometry for a living, if you want an e-bike, you probably want to look at (and test ride) the power delivery first and foremost. None of the big-brand bikes are *bad* in terms of geometry and for folks who are super concerned with the fine details of steering trail and front center... a 40+ pound e-bike is probably not on the radar anyway.

So IMO, it matters a lot, probably more than anything else about the bike. Now, you still need to pick an appropriate size frame that fits you, of course, and decent suspension/tires/parts matter too. But the motor is going to be doing more work than you are most of the time, so it's arguably the most important part of the bike.

-Walt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,245 Posts
To me a bike that i consider good or great for me must have no big flaw.
If i consider the geo not for me, i will not buy.
If i consider the system(engine, battery, software) not for me, i will not buy.
But small stuff like the front ring or the cassette i will change.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,743 Posts
Our prorities:

#1 Handling, ie Geometry and Suspension design
#2 Weight, also plays a part in handling
#3 Drive System, how it responds to rider input

My wife prefers the Shimano STEPS, to her it is less abrupt in responding, so it's less likely to "buck" when starting off from a standstill, also less likely to wheelie.

I also instal shorter cranks (165mm) and a smaller chainring so the gearing is more similar to a non ebike.

The reasoning for the shorter cranks is to help with pedal clearance since ebikes require pedaling in order to actuate the motor whereas non ebikes can work with "ratcheting".

Gearing is more personal preference, but it makes sense to gear a bike to the terrain and speed traveled, since my wife rides with non ebike riders, her gearing is similar to what we ride.
 

·
Not a role model
Joined
·
1,312 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So it's like any other vehicle...

A 4 cylinder 1.5L 100 hp naturally aspirated gasoline engine might work for a compact 4-door car that weighs under 3000 lbs for basic suburban commuting with maybe 300 lbs of load (passengers), but if you want anything specific, you gotta do research and pick from what's out there?

So if I already have a certain level of fitness from riding over 3500 miles a year, and expect to be exceeding the speed cut-off frequently, and will be riding socially without the motor assisting, sometimes on trails that prohibit ebikes, I'd be best looking at something like the Fazua?

I see the updated Pivot has a BBH over 360mm, but a Levo has one around 345. It's like choosing a vehicle based on ground clearance--one with a lower CoG would feel more stable when cornering and on cambers. I recall Ibis being interviewed about why they went 27.5/27.5+ on the Mojo 3, and remember it being explained that it didn't require a geo change solution like 29/27.5+ designs did, since a plus tire bottoms out like a 27.5, and when normally sagged it's closer to a 27.5's ride height.

I see the Fezzari and YT use the new Shimano battery form factor. I am turned off by unnatural looking bulges, like on the Tazer, but the Thok Mig looks good (Ducati seemingly thought so too). Pivot seemingly hid it well with the colors. I don't mind how Canyon chose to add it. Seems Merida is updating theirs from external to internal with the new battery case, based on their teasers. Wonder why they don't sell in the US.

I see Pivot has 157 rear spacing, and most others have 148. It bothers me that ebikes are being made to make use of the supply of weight conscious stuff, when heavier duty ebike optimized parts are being released. I'd opt for 157 since I figure it's more future proof.

I wish more brands made their bikes 200mm dropper post compatible, like a 375mm (14.75") seat tube length on M for my 30" inseam. This is probably my biggest wish, but realize that a saddle can only go so low with telescopic droppers, before it touches the tire on bottom out, unless the STA is steep, rear wheel is downsized, or the CS lengthened.

Figure that there's way more innovation to be had, and only really seeing it focused on certain parts, as if bikes were still seen as hot rods, rather than complete vehicles. Motors keep coming out, with Revonte, Forestal, Sachs, new Bosch (using a standard chainring), TQ, Panasonic, Mubea, Continental, and what else...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,245 Posts
So it's like any other vehicle... So if I already have a certain level of fitness from riding over 3500 miles a year, and expect to be exceeding the speed cut-off frequently, and will be riding socially without the motor assisting, sometimes on trails that prohibit ebikes, I'd be best looking at something like the Fazua?
How can an Ebike use trails where they are not accepted?
Will your system simply be off?
Will you leave your battery home or in a car?
Be carefull some manufacturers are now using batteries to only be removed by a dealer.
 

·
10,000,000 Watts
Joined
·
3,327 Posts
If you’re riding your ebike casually not turned on with other riders, you gotta be in the flats! I’ve ridden mine out of the woods a few hilly miles in granny gear, but it cooked me. I’d just ride a mtb, be way more fun, IMO.
 

·
10,000,000 Watts
Joined
·
3,327 Posts
I agree with Nurse Ben, the motor isn’t my top priority choice when considering buying an emtb. They are all pretty good, probably some better than others obviously. I’ve ridden brose (older models) and prefer the shimano. Maybe personal preference? Handling, weight, and geometry would be my first decisions. I just really like Shimano. Bad Azz reels also!
 

·
Mtbr Founder
Joined
·
35,500 Posts
So it's like any other vehicle...

A 4 cylinder 1.5L 100 hp naturally aspirated gasoline engine might work for a compact 4-door car that weighs under 3000 lbs for basic suburban commuting with maybe 300 lbs of load (passengers), but if you want anything specific, you gotta do research and pick from what's out there?

So if I already have a certain level of fitness from riding over 3500 miles a year, and expect to be exceeding the speed cut-off frequently, and will be riding socially without the motor assisting, sometimes on trails that prohibit ebikes, I'd be best looking at something like the Fazua?

I see the updated Pivot has a BBH over 360mm, but a Levo has one around 345. It's like choosing a vehicle based on ground clearance--one with a lower CoG would feel more stable when cornering and on cambers. I recall Ibis being interviewed about why they went 27.5/27.5+ on the Mojo 3, and remember it being explained that it didn't require a geo change solution like 29/27.5+ designs did, since a plus tire bottoms out like a 27.5, and when normally sagged it's closer to a 27.5's ride height.

I see the Fezzari and YT use the new Shimano battery form factor. I am turned off by unnatural looking bulges, like on the Tazer, but the Thok Mig looks good (Ducati seemingly thought so too). Pivot seemingly hid it well with the colors. I don't mind how Canyon chose to add it. Seems Merida is updating theirs from external to internal with the new battery case, based on their teasers. Wonder why they don't sell in the US.

I see Pivot has 157 rear spacing, and most others have 148. It bothers me that ebikes are being made to make use of the supply of weight conscious stuff, when heavier duty ebike optimized parts are being released. I'd opt for 157 since I figure it's more future proof.

I wish more brands made their bikes 200mm dropper post compatible, like a 375mm (14.75") seat tube length on M for my 30" inseam. This is probably my biggest wish, but realize that a saddle can only go so low with telescopic droppers, before it touches the tire on bottom out, unless the STA is steep, rear wheel is downsized, or the CS lengthened.

Figure that there's way more innovation to be had, and only really seeing it focused on certain parts, as if bikes were still seen as hot rods, rather than complete vehicles. Motors keep coming out, with Revonte, Forestal, Sachs, new Bosch (using a standard chainring), TQ, Panasonic, Mubea, Continental, and what else...
Brilliant analysis
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,286 Posts
I agree with Nurse Ben, the motor isn't my top priority choice when considering buying an emtb. They are all pretty good, probably some better than others obviously. I've ridden brose (older models) and prefer the shimano. Maybe personal preference? Handling, weight, and geometry would be my first decisions. I just really like Shimano. Bad Azz reels also!
Yes. Bike first; motor second. The current Bosch, Brose, Shimano, and Yamaha motors are good enough. Probably Shimano is best simply because its dimensions allow for shorter chainstays.

I'm considering another bike because the geometry of my eBike, which I bought for commuting but also use for trail riding, isn't very good. The head angle is too steep, taking away stability and trail feel. Head angle can't be changed with an angleset because of the Haibike cassette headset.

The chainstays are long, which makes the bike climb well but with the trade-off that it is pretty difficult to fly off of things and land well.

Another thing missing from most eBikes with the exception of Pivot and Giant is really good rear suspension.

The bike, a Haibike SDURO, is excellent for its designed purpose, fire roads and mild trails ridden in comfort, but now I want more.
 

·
Mtbr Founder
Joined
·
35,500 Posts
One thing to note is the motor doesn’t just determine the power and delivery. It will usually dictate bike weight, appearance, q-factor, chain stay, range, display.

The old Bosch systems added about 20 lbs of weight. The new Fazua ones, 7 lbs.
 

·
Not a role model
Joined
·
1,312 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've been eyeing that Fazua system for a while. 4.9 kg system weight is claimed (10.8 lbs) - https://forums.mtbr.com/e-bikes/sub-36-lb-fs-emtb-1083804.html

One source said that the complete eZesty (AM) is 41.2 lbs (real world measurement), and that the space in the downtube was usable for storage without the drive pack (motor+battery).

Fazua:
- BB-Sensor Unit 1.31 kg
- Motor/drivepack 1.92 kg
- Battery (250 Wh) 1.38 kg
- Display/switch, mounting hardware, wires ? (4.61 kg already, without considering these)

Shimano E8000:
- BB+Motor 2.88 kg (2.78 for E7000)
- Battery (504 Wh) 2.59 kg (source)
- Sensors, display, switch, mounting hardware, battery lock ?

The new 2020 Bosch motor is 2.9 kg, down from 4.09 kg (Bosch Performance Line CX).

The old Bosch was certainly a turn-off, but everything seems on par weight wise, for me to not shop according to weight. I'd rather have weight down low and centralized on the bike, than higher up, and rather not be carrying it in a pack.

 

Attachments

·
E-Moderator
Joined
·
1,021 Posts
Our prorities:

#1 Handling, ie Geometry and Suspension design
#2 Weight, also plays a part in handling
#3 Drive System, how it responds to rider input

My wife prefers the Shimano STEPS, to her it is less abrupt in responding, so it's less likely to "buck" when starting off from a standstill, also less likely to wheelie.

I also instal shorter cranks (165mm) and a smaller chainring so the gearing is more similar to a non ebike.

The reasoning for the shorter cranks is to help with pedal clearance since ebikes require pedaling in order to actuate the motor whereas non ebikes can work with "ratcheting".

Gearing is more personal preference, but it makes sense to gear a bike to the terrain and speed traveled, since my wife rides with non ebike riders, her gearing is similar to what we ride.
+1 I'm with Nurse Ben here. In my opinion, when looking at all the top motors, you have very similar performance. One of the quietest I've heard has got to be Brose. The bike I have uses Shimano and it works amazing, but does hum! I'd say about as loud as people talking softly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
215 Posts
+1 I'm with Nurse Ben here. In my opinion, when looking at all the top motors, you have very similar performance. One of the quietest I've heard has got to be Brose. The bike I have uses Shimano and it works amazing, but does hum! I'd say about as loud as people talking softly.
By the same token if a motor system is popular enough you will be able to find a bike with your preferred geometry using that motor. So for me it would be motor first followed by looking for the right geo setup.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,075 Posts
Here is the cover: https://fazua.com/en/tools/downtube-cover/

Separate Fazua thread?
Fazua hold a lot of promise definitely worth more discussion. But are they gaining traction? Popular in EU? Still too early? Haven't seen many new bikes using their system yet.

The latest gen of ebikes are good - but much more room for innovation. I'm still holding off on eMTB for my 115lb wife, exactly for the matter of fact that all the current bikes and systems are overbuilt for her. Her biggest frustration with current gen ebikes is getting stuck on technical uphill sections and having to push the bike.
 

·
Mtbr Founder
Joined
·
35,500 Posts
Fazua hold a lot of promise definitely worth more discussion. But are they gaining traction? Popular in EU? Still too early? Haven't seen many new bikes using their system yet.

The latest gen of ebikes are good - but much more room for innovation. I'm still holding off on eMTB for my 115lb wife, exactly for the matter of fact that all the current bikes and systems are overbuilt for her. Her biggest frustration with current gen ebikes is getting stuck on technical uphill sections and having to push the bike.
Yep, for most average riders, lifting a 55 lb bike over downed trees is no joke. No joke.

Walk mode is very cool. But anything that requires a lift is tough.

I should get this Fazua gravel bike soon. 20 lbs no motor, 27 lbs with motor. http://instagr.am/p/BwW5paWAs4e/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,075 Posts
Yep, for most average riders, lifting a 55 lb bike over downed trees is no joke. No joke.

Walk mode is very cool. But anything that requires a lift is tough.

I should get this Fazua gravel bike soon. 20 lbs no motor, 27 lbs with motor. http://instagr.am/p/BwW5paWAs4e/
That's going be an awesome commute to work and go anywhere do anything after work bike! I've been riding my gravel bike a lot since getting it - but won't be able to keep up with you on that rig.

We'll see if bike manufacturers would consider the Fazua beyond road, gravel, and XC. I fear for the trail/enduro category they will stick with the burlier drive systems.
 

·
XC iconoclast
Church of Real Metal
Joined
·
2,198 Posts
I know this is a popular answer to the question about what's best to focus on, when deciding what to direct your budget on when choosing/building a bike, but was wondering if anyone thought differently after experiencing ebikes.
The traction matters most. If the tire being driven by e-power loses traction, it's over. That's why I'm considering a lower-end plus bike to convert later either to a mid-drive or rear hub drive. Because the plus tire in back will have the traction needed for steeper stuff that has more obstacles, usually larger rocks and water erosion ruts. And I've really been waiting to see a video where an e-bike can climb something that has a ton of obstacles in its path. Not concrete stairs, I mean a real trail or fire road, 12-20% incline, that has all kinds of rocks and ruts all over the place, that the bike is forced to go over. That's what I want to climb w/o getting off the ebike. I can do that slow to a certain point, maybe 50-100 feet up but that's it, cannot do it 1000 feet straight up. Seen dozens of videos, zero like that so far.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top