Electric mountain bikes sometimes cost more than most mopeds, b with combustion engines or electric motors. And they are very trendy. No wonder they were recently exhibited in large numbers at the International Motor Show, the IAA in Munich. The ÖAMTC and its partner organizations have now tested eight current models.
The good news: All candidates can be recommended, says ÖAMTC technician Steffan Kerbl. The bad: It depends on the detail, so you really have to deal with the matter. “Six of the bikes were rated ‘good’, two ‘satisfactory’. However, the differences have little to do with the riding characteristics, but can be explained more by nuances in the design and the electric drive.” Only full-suspension e-mountain bikes that were available for less than 5000 euros at the time of the test purchases (in November 2022) were examined The most important findings from the testThe test winner is an all-rounder and comes from Cube: The Stereo Hybrid impresses with very good brakes, a large number of useful displays and a seating position that makes it comfortable to drive even on level roads. Criticisms: The limited turning of the handlebars and the battery removal, which is relatively complicated. The other five bikes rated “good” are also recommended and have different strengths and weaknesses. Two bikes were rated “satisfactory”: The Scott Strike eRide 940 has pleasant ergonomics and a well-responsive engine. “Unfortunately, the seat post is not optimal to use and the battery capacity is relatively limited at only 500 Wh,” explains Kerbl. A safety-relevant problem that other models in the test also have: the installation of brake levers that require two fingers to operate. Kerbl: “When going downhill, it is essential that you can grip the handlebars as stably as possible, even when braking.” Also only “satisfactory”: the Canyon Neuron:On 8, which scores with agile handling and very good brakes. Unfortunately, the motor is not only a bit too weak, but also very loud. And: the charging time – an adapter for charging the removed battery has to be purchased separately – is extremely long at nine hours.Battery and drive – it depends on the terrainAn important part of the test was the properties and performance of the battery and drive. “On less demanding forest, field and cycle paths, the differences were still small. This is different on the sometimes steep trail: Here, advantages for the bikes equipped with Bosch drives emerged, with which difficult passages could be overcome much more easily,” summarizes Kerbl. The range depends on both the battery size and the efficiency of the drive: Depending on the model, 70 to 110 kilometers are possible – but on the flat. With an average gradient of ten percent, 1,370 to 2,180 meters in altitude were possible. Tips for the purchase Regardless of which model you ultimately choose: a test drive before you buy is a must. And: Anyone considering purchasing an e-mountain bike should be aware that their area of use requires a minimum level of fitness and riding ability. “The electric support certainly makes it easier to conquer steeper and impassable terrain uphill – but the descent at the latest is and often remains extremely challenging,” clarifies Kerbl. “Without the appropriate practice, you shouldn’t underestimate the tracks and, if in doubt, switch to easier terrain.” Basically, you should know in advance where you want to go with the bike – e-mountain bikes are suitable for city rides or the way to work due to their construction only to a very limited extent – the test also showed that. The right frame size and optimal adjustment of the damping elements are essential for driving pleasure – but both should and must be done by professionals. Some dealers even offer a “bike fitting” for coordination. The handlebars are also crucial for driving pleasure: the brakes, seat post and gears should be easily accessible. When it comes to the brake lever, a “single-finger brake” is definitely to be preferred in order to be safe on the descents. Take your time during the test drive and also pay attention to ergonomics and handling – in the best case, check whether the display elements are sufficient and understandable. If you don’t already have it, it’s best to invest in the appropriate safety equipment when you buy the bike – a helmet, preferably with a chin guard, is essential, and knee and elbow pads should also be worn.
Leave a Reply