E-mountain bikes have had a rocky introduction to the woods of Britain but slowly, surely, people are starting to accept them.
As with any early technology, a lot of them are not quite there yet. We can envisage a day when they are almost indistinguishable from the push bikes we’e been riding for thirty years. For now though, they’re an imperfect science and we won’t shy away from saying we’ve found some that simply aren’t up to par.
However, it seems like every three months we find a new favourite as brands continue to experiment and innovate in this new area of tech. For the Dirt 100 this year, we decided to include e-bikes for the first time and in the end we plumped for six of them.
Here are our favourite e-bike from the Dirt 100 2017.
Merida EONE SIXTY 900E
A late entry to our e-bike testing but it arrived at a time when we’d ridden enough bikes and technology to know what makes a great machine. Geometry is excellent, the detailing of short stem, inboard disc mounts and a super silent ride means this bike already sits close to the top of our pecking order.
The Merida was the only ebike in the Dirt 100 to be fitted with the Shimano Steps motor. We really like the advances they’ve made on the current systems with a durable display and double lever system. We like it a lot. All in all, we’ve been impressed with the Merida EONE Sixty 900E, one of this season’s star performers
t’s always been about innovation with Cannondale. From their Lefty forks and BB30 bottom bracket standard to dipping their toes into the world of off-road motorcycles, this American company has scratched below the surface and pushed forward with their way of thinking.
It’s a quiet bike; agile, yet at the same time giving an incredibly stable ride. It wasn’t that long into the test period of the Moterra LT when we had to re-evaluate our Dirt 100 selection and find room for this e-bike – it had earned a place, no question. Good sizing, great innovation, a serious nature to the cockpit, and a sorted spec left us without the need to change anything. It got us thinking though… what would the Moterra offer if built round the larger volume ‘Plus’ sized tyres?
Cube Stereo Hybrid HPA 160 Action Team 500
Cube were the first brand to introduce us to e-bikes and they instantly grabbed our attention. Fast forward four years and the current generation Stereo Hybrid is far more refined. Cube has certainly worked the numbers well on this flagship bike with four sizes, and is loaded with purposeful and high end components. At 160mm travel front and rear we feel this is where the e-mtb is best placed to have the most fun uphill as well as downhill. This is an evolved beast and as such hits a spot in the 2017 Dirt 100.
The wheelset, tyres and brakes in particular are of note and are areas that are often looked on many e-bikes, even on the higher priced models. With a few tweaks the damper tune this bike could be near the top of our e-mtb rankings as the travel on offer and geometry here make for a great all-action bike.
Price: Price: £4199 (2016) // £4999 (2017)
Moustache Samedi Down
The impressive angles and styling caught our eye as much as the amount of travel on offer and the serious fork up front. From the outset, the Moustache Samedi 7 looked ready for business. Adjustable from 170mm through to 190mm travel, this Bosch equipped bike weighs in at 52lb and offering some serious attacking potential.
Overall, this is a quiet bike, an exciting bike and one that can tackle pretty much anything. The shape of the Moustache inspires an all-guns approach to the descents particularly with strong rubber and the supportive dampers.
Trek Powerfly LT
This is some sophisticated bike and it took very little riding time before we were left wondering whther Trek fully realise the beast they have created here. The Powerfly LT is all-action, with superb detailing and at a price that leaves you with the horrible decision of whether to opt for this 27+ e-bike or for a few thousand pounds more the new Slash 29er. Yeah, we know what you’re thinking but just take one of these for a spin, the Trek Powerfly LT is simply so much fun it’s unreal.
A low bottom bracket, correct head angle and a good front/rear centre balance means the Powerfly LT is very confident when descending. The Trek’s geometry is inspired, the shock tune correct and the bike always feels planted. This bike is fully brilliant. It makes everyone who has ridden it very, very happy.
Specialized Turbo Levo FSR Expert 6Fattie
A Stumpjumper with a motor, if that doesn’t get you excited about this bike then not much will. This Turbo Levo FSR carries with it the excellent geometry, suspension and detail that make the non-electric version such an iconic bike. It’s clean, slick and well thought out perhaps the most “complete package” of all the bikes here.
The Turbo Levo FSR has a few quirks but we love it nonetheless, and its shortcomings will surely be updated. It’s a case of learning how to ride it, for the geometry and silence is superb.