HomeBuying GuideBikesHigh-Performance​ ​eBikes​ ​Explained

High-Performance​ ​eBikes​ ​Explained

eBikes​ ​boost​ ​your​ ​efforts​ ​with​ ​hi-torque​ ​electric​ ​motors,​ ​letting​ ​you​ ​pedal​ ​further,​ ​higher​ ​and  harder​ ​than​ ​ever​ ​before.​ ​The​ ​benefits​ ​for​ ​commuters​ are​ ​obvious​ ​–​ ​but​ ​eBikes  aren’t​ ​just​ ​about​ ​getting​ ​to​ ​the​ ​office​ ​fresh,​ ​fast​ ​and​ ​fragrant!​ ​The​ ​ramifications​ ​for  cutting-edge​ ​mountain​ ​bikes​ ​are​ ​truly​ ​exciting.​ ​This​ ​is​ ​one​ ​area​ ​of​ ​cycling​ ​that​ ​we​ ​at  Hargroves​ ​Cycles​ ​get​ ​more​ ​and​ ​more​ ​questions​ ​about,​ ​so​ ​we’ve​ ​outlined​ ​some​ ​of​ ​the​ ​key  issues,​ ​features​ ​and​ ​examples​ ​here​ ​in​ ​our​ ​Performance​ ​eBikes​ ​Buyer’s​ ​Guide.

The​ ​climbing​ ​assistance​ ​eBikes​ ​generate​ ​is​ ​useful​ ​to​ ​everyone.​ ​Fit​ ​riders​ ​can​ ​go​ ​further​ ​and  faster​ ​than​ ​they​ ​ever​ ​could​ ​on​ ​a​ ​regular​ ​bike,​ ​while​ ​those​ ​with​ ​health​ ​or​ ​fitness​ ​issues​ ​can​ ​find  a​ ​whole​ ​new​ ​lease​ ​of​ ​life.​ ​In​ ​fact,​ ​they’re​ ​as​ ​ideal​ ​as​ ​a​ ​first​ ​mountain​ ​bike​ as  they​ ​are​ ​for​ ​veterans​ ​looking​ ​to​ ​discover​ ​the​ ​next​ ​level.​ ​Whoever​ ​you​ ​are,​ ​you​ ​find​ ​a​ ​bigger,  broader​ ​new​ ​network​ ​of​ ​trails​ ​opens​ ​up​ ​with​ ​an​ ​eBike. 

Obviously,​ ​there’s​ ​no​ ​point​ ​gaining​ ​access​ ​to​ ​miles​ ​of​ ​challenging​ ​new​ ​trails​ ​if​ ​the​ ​bike’s​ ​no  fun​ ​once​ ​you’re​ ​there.​ ​Happily,​ ​progress​ ​has​ ​been​ ​extremely​ ​rapid​ ​in​ ​the​ ​performance​ ​area:  today’s​ ​eBikes​ ​represent​ ​some​ ​of​ ​the​ ​most​ ​forward-thinking​ ​design​ ​in​ ​the​ ​sport,​ ​using​ ​highly  advanced​ ​materials,​ ​layouts,​ ​geometry​ ​and​ ​components.​ ​High-performance​ ​eBikes​ ​offer​ ​the  very​ ​latest​ ​in​ ​electrical​ ​systems,​ ​app-based​ ​tuning,​ ​wheel​ ​and​ ​tyre​ ​versatility,​ ​suspension  design​ ​and​ ​sheer​ ​rugged​ ​toughness.​ ​Add​ ​in​ ​increasingly​ ​fast​ ​charging,​ ​integrated  frame/motor​ ​design​ ​and​ ​highly​ ​progressive​ ​geometries​ ​and​ ​you​ ​get​ ​some​ ​astonishingly  capable​ ​bikes,​ ​with​ ​performance​ ​that’s​ ​more​ ​accessible​ ​than​ ​ever​ ​before.

THE​ ​FUTURE​ ​IS​ ​HERE!
The​ ​addition​ ​of​ ​a​ ​power​ ​source​ ​has​ ​some​ ​exciting​ ​knock-on​ ​effects.​ ​Electronic​ ​shifting​ ​has  already​ ​made​ ​the​ ​jump​ ​from​ ​road​ ​to​ ​mountain​ ​bikes,​ ​bringing​ ​with​ ​it​ ​wires​ ​that​ ​are​ ​unaffected  by​ ​mud​ ​and​ ​water,​ ​and​ ​mechs​ ​that​ ​constantly​ ​‘trim’​ ​themselves​ ​into​ ​perfect​ ​alignment.​ ​These  usually​ ​standalone​ ​systems​ ​are​ ​easily​ ​integrated​ ​with​ ​eBike​ ​drivetrains,​ ​along​ ​with  computer-style​ ​head​ ​units,​ ​power​ ​meters​ ​and​ ​even​ ​suspension​ ​travel​ ​adjustment.

Other​ ​electronic​ ​tweaks​ ​–​ ​such​ ​as​ ​suspension​ ​damping,​ ​dropper​ ​posts​ ​or​ ​even​ ​ABS​ ​braking​ ​–  will​ ​rapidly​ ​find​ ​ways​ ​into​ ​these​ ​new​ ​systems.​ ​Electronics​ ​are​ ​how​ ​today’s​ ​technology​ ​makes  its​ ​most​ ​amazing​ ​advances.​ ​eBikes,​ ​in​ ​short,​ ​are​ ​where​ ​it’s​ ​at!

WHAT​ ​ARE​ ​MY​ ​OPTIONS?
Money​ ​no​ ​object?​ ​The​Scott​ ​E-Genius​ ​700​ ​Tuned​ ​(£6,799)​ ​is​ ​a​ ​perfect  example​ ​of​ ​what’s​ ​possible​ ​when​ ​a​ ​manufacturer​ ​goes​ ​all-out.​ ​It’s​ ​a​ ​150mm-travel​ ​trail​ ​bike  with​ ​top-drawer​ ​Fox​ ​suspension​ ​and​ ​dropper​ ​post,​ ​Shimano’s​ ​electronic-shift​ ​Di2​ ​gearing,​ ​and  Shimano’s​ ​super-powerful​ ​twin-piston​ ​Zee​ ​brakes.

Scott’s​ ​switch​ ​to​ ​a​ ​Shimano​ ​motor​ ​kicked​ ​off​ ​a​ ​huge​ ​redesign​ ​for​ ​2018,​ ​with​ ​a​ ​shorter​ ​back  end​ ​for​ ​greater​ ​agility,​ ​massive​ ​tyre​ ​clearance,​ ​and​ ​geometry​ ​that​ ​embraces​ ​slacker​ ​head​ ​and  steeper​ ​seat​ ​angles.​ ​These​ ​combine​ ​to​ ​give​ ​greater​ ​descending​ ​stability,​ ​and​ ​more​ ​precise  climbing​ ​too.

Tyre​ ​clearance​ ​is​ ​good​ ​enough​ ​not​ ​just​ ​for​ ​the​ ​standard​ ​27.5​ ​Plus​ ​wheels​ ​with​ ​their​ ​2.8in​ ​wide  tyres,​ ​but​ ​29in​ ​wheels​ ​running​ ​the​ ​latest​ ​2.6in​ ​rubber.​ ​Flipping​ ​a​ ​chip​ ​in​ ​the​ ​shock​ ​mount  corrects​ ​the​ ​bottom​ ​bracket​ ​height​ ​for​ ​the​ ​bigger​ ​wheels​ ​–​ ​clever.

Shimano’s​ ​STEPS​ ​E8000​ ​motor​ ​kicks​ ​out​ ​70Nm​ ​of​ ​torque​ ​and​ ​250W​ ​of​ ​power,​ ​and​ ​is​ ​coupled  to​ ​a​ ​higher-capacity​ ​500Wh​ ​battery​ ​for​ ​maximum​ ​range.​ ​Three​ ​switchable​ ​modes​ ​(Eco,​ ​Trail  and​ ​Boost)​ ​let​ ​you​ ​manage​ ​power​ ​use,​ ​while​ ​Trail​ ​and​ ​Boost​ ​performance​ ​can​ ​even​ ​be  customised​ ​via​ ​smartphone​ ​–​ ​as​ ​can​ ​the​ ​shifter​ ​button​ ​functions​ ​–​ ​it’s​ ​all​ ​integrated!​ ​There’s  even​ ​a​ ​Walk​ ​mode​ ​for​ ​when​ ​you’re​ ​pushing​ ​somewhere​ ​too​ ​steep​ ​to​ ​ride.

MONEY​ ​​SOME ​ ​ ​OBJECT?
You​ ​can​ ​get​ ​most​ ​of​ ​these​ ​benefits​ ​for​ ​less​ ​with​ ​the​ ​full​ ​suspension​ Scott​ ​E-Genius​ ​720  (£4,499).​ ​​It’s​ ​the​ ​same​ ​as​ ​the​ ​700​ ​Tuned,​ ​but​ ​with​ ​suspension​ ​from​ ​RockShox  and​ ​X-Fusion,​ ​mechanical​ ​SRAM​ ​NX1​ ​shifters​ ​on​ ​a​ ​1×11​ ​drivetrain,​ ​and​ ​a​ ​Synchros​ ​dropper  post.​ ​Overall​ ​fork​ ​travel​ ​is​ ​10mm​ ​lower​ ​at​ ​140mm,​ ​but​ ​you​ ​still​ ​get​ ​the​ ​remotely-adjustable  suspension​ ​system​ ​of​ ​the​ ​flagship​ ​model.​ ​Travel​ ​and​ ​Lockout​ ​settings​ ​are​ ​altered​ ​via​ ​a  TwinLoc​ ​bar​ ​lever.

Cheaper​ ​still​ ​is​ ​the​ ​Cube​ ​Stereo​ ​Hybrid​ ​140​ ​SL​ ​500​27.5​ ​(£3,899),​ another  incredible​ ​trail​ ​bike​ ​that’s​ ​been​ ​completely​ ​redesigned​ ​for​ ​2018.​ ​Its​ ​140mm​ ​travel​ ​frame​ ​uses  highly-manipulated​ ​aluminium​ ​for​ ​very​ ​low​ ​weight,​ ​and​ ​features​ ​Bosch​ ​power,​ ​Fox  suspension,​ ​and​ ​high-end​ ​Shimano​ ​XT​ ​gears​ ​and​ ​brakes.​ ​The​ ​27.5in​ ​wheels​ ​and​ ​2.6in​ ​wide  Schwalbe​ ​tyres​ ​use​ ​the​ ​extra-wide​ ​Boost​ ​standard​ ​for​ ​increased​ ​strength​ ​and​ ​stiffness.​ ​Vital  when​ ​the​ ​Performance​ ​CX​ ​motor​ ​kicks​ ​out​ ​75Nm​ ​and​ ​250W!

At​ ​Hargroves​ ​we​ ​still​ ​love​ ​a​ ​good​ ​hardtail,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​latest​ ​advances​ ​in​ ​eBiking​ ​hasn’t​ ​ignored  them.​ ​The​ ​Specialized​ ​Turbo​ ​Levo​ ​Hardtail​ ​Comp​ ​6Fattie​ ​(£3,250)​ ​​is​ ​a​ ​great  example,​ ​offering​ ​trail-ready​ ​geometry,​ ​a​ ​120mm​ ​RockShox​ ​fork,​ ​huge​ ​3in-wide​ ​tyres​ ​on  27.5in​ ​rims,​ ​and​ ​a​ ​1×11​ ​Shimano​ ​SLX​ ​drivetrain.​ ​Power​ ​comes​ ​from​ ​a​ ​250W​ ​motor​ ​and​ ​a  504Wh​ ​battery,​ ​and​ ​is​ ​accessible​ ​via​ ​a​ ​smartphone​ ​app.​ ​There’s​ ​a​ ​women’s​ ​specific​ ​Turbo  Levo​ ​too​ ​​with​ ​different​ ​geometry​ ​and​ ​women-specific​ ​saddle​ ​and​ ​grips  amongst​ ​other​ ​tailorings.

Whatever​ ​your​ ​preference​ ​and​ ​your​ ​budget,​ ​there’s​ ​a​ ​massive​ ​world​ ​to​ ​explore​ ​out​ ​there,​ ​and  you​ ​can​ ​see,​ ​and​ ​tame,​ ​more​ ​of​ ​it​ ​with​ ​a​ ​high​ ​performance​ ​eBike.

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