Reporting from Crankworx
ElectricMeg, ElectricBazza and AcousticRobin were all at Crankworx Rotorua. Most of the manufacturers had ebikes on display. Notably Specialized didn’t have any bikes on display at all, and Giant didn’t bring any ebikes. Electrify.nz had an ebike display and so did Bosch. In fact it was Bosch who did a media ride attended by AcousticRobin and had a range of manufacturers bikes for trial rides. They had a course set up with their slogan “Flow Uphill”.
I took a Bosch CX-powered Mondraker up to the top of Skyline. Normally a gondola ride, I was surprised how quickly the eMTB flowed uphill. In ‘Turbo’ I was upat the top of Skyline without much fuss at all. Of course the fun is supposed to be downhill, and it is. The Mondraker however felt a bit harsh under me; I don’t think the suspension had been set up right for my weight.
The Bosch people told me that their new Active Line and Active Line Plus motors have better internals now, are lighter than before and offer no internal resistance when pedalling. This is a feature Bosch have been a bit slow to adopt. He also told me that the CX motor is undergoing a redesign to make it shorter in the rear to allow for shorter chainstays (like the Shimano E8000 in that respect).
Excitingly, they are going to support 32kph speed motors in NZ. However, it’s up to
manufacturers to bring those spec motors in; and don’t expect a firmware upgrade for your 25kph motor.
Then they gave me a hat and a free beer. Cheers Bosch!
I also took a Scott e-Genius 720 for a spin. This has a Shimano Steps E8000 motor. It is shorter in the dimension behind the cranks allowing the bike designers to have shorter chainstays like their regular non-electric (acoustic) bikes. The Shimano motor is a bit noisier than the Bosch but seemed to have a bit more grunt, but not by much. Bottom line is that both will get you up the hill or off to your epic adventure. I also liked the Shimano interface and button layout – more like trigger shifters than thumb buttons. Scott have gone crazy with the levers and knobs, also adding a dropper-post lever and two shock lockout levers. The latter were not that useful on an ebike. XC bike maybe.
The Scott was setup just right for me and I had a blast in the berms and little jumps.
There was also a Rocky Mountain. They have designed their own motor. And a hot looking Lapierre Overvolt and another very cool looking Mondraker.
The message was coming through loud-and-clear. eMTBs are the hottest thing right now.