Electric Mountain Bike Full Suspension Review
Commanding the trails with precision and ease requires the right kind of ride and that’s why many biking enthusiasts have tuned their radar towards electric mountain bikes with full suspension. These adrenaline-pumping machines are not your average bikes; they are designed to give riders an edge, enabling them to venture further, climb higher, and ride harder. This primer aims to shed light on everything you need to know about this game-changer in the cycling world, from its groundbreaking technology to its epic performance that set it apart from your traditional bikes. Strap in as we delve into the exciting journey of understanding, choosing, and maintaining your electric mountain bike with full suspension.
Understanding Electric Mountain Bikes Full Suspension: What It Means and Its Importance
Understanding Electric Mountain Bikes Full Suspension: What It Is and Its Importance
An electric mountain bike with full suspension, also referred to as an eMTB, is a bicycle that’s equipped with an electric motor and also features a suspension system on both its front and rear wheels. The electric motor provides an additional boost of power to the rider’s pedal-power, allowing for greater speeds and more comfortable long-distance travels.
The defining aspect of a full suspension bike is its suspension system. A bike with a full suspension system is designed to absorb the shocks and impacts from uneven and rough terrains, providing a smoother and more controlled ride for the cyclist. This is achieved by implementing a system of springs and dampers on both the front and rear wheels, unlike a hardtail bike that only has a suspension in its front fork.
When in use, the full suspension on an electric mountain bike works intelligently by reading the terrain that the bike is on and adjusting accordingly. Larger bumps and dips get absorbed by the suspension, reducing the amount of bounce that directly hits the rider. This means you can ride over rough trails with more comfort and less fatigue.
Benefit of Full Suspension in eMTBs
Full suspension in electric mountain bikes delivers several benefits to the rider. Primarily, it improves control over the bike when going downhill or maneuvering over rough or technical terrain, as the suspension system helps keep the wheels in contact with the ground for better traction. This allows the rider to take on sharp corners, rocky trails, or steep downhill paths with less risk and more precision.
The full suspension also provides bike’s stability and balance, reducing the chances of losing control when navigating unpredictable terrains. It makes the ride more comfortable by absorbing shocks from the ground, hence minimizing strain on the rider’s body. This is particularly useful in long-distance or endurance rides, as the decrease in bumps felt by the rider helps reduce overall fatigue.
In terms of performance, full suspension can make an electric mountain bike agile and capable of taking on any off-road trail, whether it’s smooth and twisty, or rocky and challenging. The additional traction can enhance the power from the electric motor, which not only makes the ride smoother but also faster.
Full Suspension eMTBs Vs. Hardtail eMTBs
One of the first things to note when trying to understand electric mountain bikes (eMTBs) with full suspension, is how they stand out from their counterparts – the hardtails. Full suspension eMTBs excel in providing comfort and delivering top-notch control especially when exploring challenging off-road terrains. On the other hand, hardtail bikes are high-performing on less complex trails and inclines due to their simplistic design and energy-efficient power transfer from pedal to rear wheel.
Despite full suspension bikes having a slight weight disadvantage due to their extra components, this does not pose a significant concern for eMTBs. In fact, eMTBs’ electric motor compensates for this extra weight, enabling riders to effortlessly negotiate inclines and long-distance travels without being weighed down.
In summing up, the appeal of the full suspension eMTB lies in its optimal blend of comfort, control, and performance, making it a top choice for regular off-road adventurers and those who ride on challenging terrains. Each journey becomes a joyous adventure with these bikes.
Key Features to Look for in Electric Full Suspension Mountain Bikes
Understanding the Motor Type and Battery
The functionality of an electric full suspension mountain bike principally rests on two major components – the motor type and the battery. Broadly, two variations of motors are used, the hub motors and mid-drive motors. The former, a more budget-friendly alternative, provides decent power for flat paths. The latter on the other hand, positioned centrally on the bike, offers improved balance and power, making it the optimal choice for uplands.
Alongside the motor, the battery’s importance should not be underestimated as it determines your eMTB’s travel range on one charge. Bike batteries are usually found within the 250Wh to 700Wh range. Batteries having a higher Wh (Watt hours) are expected to offer extended range. However, bear in mind that battery life may vary depending on factors such as the nature of the terrain, weight of the rider, wind conditions, and motor effectiveness.
Power and Range
Electric mountain bikes, also known as e-MTBs, are usually equipped with a motor power ranging between 250W to 750W. While a 250W motor may be sufficient for flatter terrains or light trails, a 750W motor is better for steep terrain or heavily forested trails. The power of the motor directly impacts the speed and effortlessness with which you can conquer tough trails.
The range of an e-MTB refers to the distance it can cover on a single battery charge. While this largely depends on the battery’s capacity and the terrain you ride on, most e-MTBs offer a range of around 20 to 50 miles.
Suspension and Adjustability
As the name suggests, full suspension mountain bikes have shock absorbers installed in both the front (fork) and rear (shock) of the bike. This offers better control, traction, and comfort while riding on rough terrains.
Adjustability in suspension allows you to alter the bike’s performance based on your riding style and the terrain. Look for bikes with adjustable preload settings, which let you decide how hard or soft the suspension is, and rebound adjustments, which control how quickly the suspension returns to its original position after compressing.
Frame Material and Geometry
Frame material greatly affects a bike’s weight, ride quality, and durability. Aluminum is a common choice for its balance of weight, strength, and cost. Carbon fiber, while more expensive, is lighter, stronger, and absorbs vibration better.
As for geometry, trail bikes typically have a relaxed geometry with a slacker head tube for stability, a lower bottom bracket for better handling, and short chainstays for maneuverability. These geometrical aspects make the e-MTB easier to control on challenging terrains.
Comfort, Weight, and Build Quality
When digging into the world of electric mountain bikes, one must consider several factors. Comfort tops this list because, for long treks, a well-cushioned saddle, ergonomic handlebars, and comfortable pedals make the ride bearable.
Equally noteworthy is the weight of the e-MTB. While lighter bikes offer better maneuverability, they might trade-off durability. For most electric mountain bikes, the weight hovers between 40 to 70 lbs.
Finally, inspect the overall build quality. Ensure the welds are smooth and bolts secure, and the operation is noise-free. Better build quality can mean more durability and less maintenance demands.
Top Electric Full Suspension Mountain Bikes in the Market
Trek Powerfly FS 7 Review
Moving forward, let’s take a closer look at a leader in this space, the Trek Powerfly FS 7. This electric full suspension mountain bike stands out for its highly reliable, centrally located Bosch Performance CX motor, which ensures balanced weight distribution. The 500WH battery is neatly integrated into the frame, lending an elegant aesthetic while boosting protection. With 130mm front and rear travel, you can be assured of excellent bump absorption and smooth rides across rocky terrains.
The Trek Powerfly FS 7 further impresses with its versatile 27.5-inch wheels, striking the right balance between stability and agility. Still, if you’re partial towards the added strength brought by 29-inch wheels, a characteristic found in certain top-end models, this bike might not make the cut.
Specialized Turbo Levo
One model that rivals the Trek Powerfly FS 7 is the Specialized Turbo Levo. This full suspension electric mountain bike is equipped with a Brose 2.1 motor, which is 15% smaller and 11% lighter than its predecessor. This makes it one of the most discreet yet powerful e-bikes on the market. The motor delivers up to 90Nm of torque, essentially providing riders with significant power to ride uphill with ease.
The Turbo Levo comes with a significant 150mm front and rear travel, overmatching the Trek Powerfly FS 7 slightly in terms of shock absorption. Furthermore, it is equipped with a specialized M2-series battery with a capacity of 500Wh, again matching the Trek Powerfly FS 7’s offering. The standout downside of the Turbo Levo is its relatively higher price, arguably justified by its superior features and specifications.
Cannondale Moterra Neo 1
The Cannondale Moterra Neo 1 offers a different approach to electric full suspension mountain bikes. Unlike the Trek Powerfly FS 7 and Specialized Turbo Levo which house their motors centrally, the Moterra Neo 1 uses a Bosch Performance Line CX motor fitted at the crank area. This placement aids the bike’s weight distribution, offering agile handling on technical terrains.
The Moterra Neo 1 boasts of ample battery capacity, housing a 625Wh battery, which surpasses both the Trek Powerfly FS 7 and Specialized Turbo Levo in terms of ride range. This bike also stands out with its wide, 29-inch wheels, offering the sturdiness and stability sought by many skilled riders. Nonetheless, being a top-tier model, the Moterra Neo 1 also comes with a price tag that can be daunting for budget-constrained enthusiasts.
Cube Stereo Hybrid 140 HPC Race 625 Review
Leading the pack of electric full suspension mountain bikes is none other than the Cube Stereo Hybrid 140 HPC Race 625. Equipped with the advanced Bosch Performance CX Generation 4 motor, it boasts improved software promising a smoother and more efficient electric boost.
Distinctive to the Cube Stereo Hybrid 140 HPC Race 625 is its generous 150mm front and rear travel, on par with the specs of the well-known Specialized Turbo Levo. Moreover, it features a substantial 625Wh battery capacity, offering riders increased range for their long-haul bike trips. However, the bike’s substantial weight is often a point of critique amongst users, as it can limit the agility during uphill climbs or intricately technical terrains.
Maintaining Your Electric Full Suspension Mountain Bike
Tips for Regular Maintenance of Your Electric Full Suspension Mountain Bike
If you want to ensure the longevity and consistent high performance of your electric full suspension mountain bike such as the Cube Stereo Hybrid 140 HPC Race 625, then routine check-ups cannot be overlooked. Start with close scrutiny of the frame, check for any signs of damage or cracks. Don’t miss out on inspecting the wheels for any loose spokes and also verify their alignment. Lastly, don’t forget to look over the tyres. Check for wear signs and ensure they are inflated to the correct pressure.
Cleaning Your Full Suspension E-Bike
Cleaning your full suspension e-bike is critical for its upkeep. Start by removing any loose dirt or mud clumps using a soft-bristled brush. Then, use a specific bike cleaner and a soft cloth to clean the surfaces. It’s important to avoid getting water into any electrical components, such as the motor or battery. After rinsing, wipe down your bike to prevent water spots and rusting. Lubricating your bike’s chain after every clean will help maintain smooth and efficient performance.
Suspension Setup and Adjustment
Investing time in setting up and adjusting your bike’s suspension to your riding style and weight will reap rewards in handling and performance. Your bike’s suspension sag— the amount your bike sinks under your weight when you’re on it—should generally be set to around 30% of its total travel. Rebound damping, which controls how quickly your suspension recovers after absorbing an impact, should be adjusted to ensure your bike rides smoothly over uneven ground and doesn’t bounce excessively after bumps.
Your battery is a vital component of your electric mountain bike. Therefore, it’s crucial to take care of it. After rides, ensure the battery is recharged as soon as possible. Avoid exposure to extreme temperatures as it harms battery lifespan. When storing the bike for an extended period, ensure the battery is charged at least 40% to avoid damage.
Troubleshooting Your E-Mountain Bike
Familiarize yourself with common issues that can arise with e-mountain bikes to avoid potential issues. If you are facing power issues, inspect the battery’s condition and connections. When faced with inconsistent performance or response, check the control settings and calibrate if needed. Always refer to your bike’s manual or consult with professionals for complex problems.
Reviewing Full Suspension E-Mountain Bikes
When reviewing full suspension electric mountain bikes, look beyond just the price and brand. Consider the bike’s weight, its battery life, motor power, control features, and the responsiveness of the suspension system. Compare these aspects with your biking needs and preferences to make an informed decision.
Remember, the best way to know if a bike is right for you is to take it for a test ride. Feel the bike’s suspension system, assess the electric assistance, and get a sense of its overall comfort and functionality. This hands-on approach is ultimately the best way to review the worthiness of a full suspension e-mountain bike.
Whether you’re an experienced rider, a newbie, or somewhere in between, mastering the art of electric mountain biking coupled with the full suspension system can enrich your riding experience beyond compare. Understanding the intricacies of these revolutionary machines and the wealth of benefits they provide, taking the time to consider the critical attributes before investment, reviewing the best models in the market and fostering maintenance routines sit at the heart of making the most out of your e-biking venture. So, get ready to shift gears, elevate your adventure, and explore the unexplored with your high-performing electric full suspension mountain bike.