Buying an EMTB

IIUC it is the unofficial Imports from the Far East (China, whether or not anywhere else), not complying with UK/EU safety specifications that are at least mainly, I dob’t know if solely, the cause of fires. And of course that is also the origin of many of the e-bikes that can be powered without pedalling and/or faster the 25 km ph limit here, though some people also illegally derestrict their bikes.

A legal pedalo e-bike can of course go a lot faster than 15.5 mph, as I generally do on the level if no headwind, or particularly downhill.

That reminds me of something else: s-bikes also help considerably against a headwind: a couple of years ago in Scotland we rode downhill against a gale force wind, and needed power higher than the bottom eco level to make progress at all! Had we been on ordinary bikes that’s one distillery we’d have missed visiting!

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I don’t have eMTB experience, but those are two rather special bikes, with character. I ride an Orange 4, so might be tempted to look at the range of Orange eMTBs - to maintain a bit of a special/hand built feel? No idea if that’s doable for your budget.

Great to read all the insights here and very grateful to you all for posting your experiences. I’m particularly pleased to hear that e-biking has meant that many of you with arthritis and other physical issues have been able to enjoy cycling again.

I’m certainly seeking a full suspension design having ridden only MTB hardtails for 30 years, I think it’s about time we enjoyed a bit more comfort lol!! I also think full suspension will help us ride more technical stuff without such a high chance of taking a tumble on our elderly bones!

I’m going to visit a different dealer today to see what they have to offer. I think I have decided that I certainly want a full power motor on the bike, I just haven’t decided if I want a large battery or possibly one of the Orbea models with a smaller battery and a range extender option. There’s an awful lot of different models out there that are clearly excellent and it’s surprising that getting to see them in the flesh in the right size is actually quite tricky due to limitations of dealer stock.

As lifelong cyclists who as somebody said earlier in the thread have been fortunate to own a few pretty special bikes, I need to make sure that whatever we buy isn’t a let down due to ending up with lower end brakes, gears and tyres or abnormally heavy construction.

I don’t have pics of my Cotic Soul to hand but here’s a couple of pics of the Missus fully restored Marin Indian Fire Trail. This was a real labour of love, hers didn’t originally have front suspension forks so I sourced a set of the original factory fit Manitou’s from Holland and then had them completely refurbished with new dampers from America. We elected to keep as much of the original componentry as possible (like the XT brakes and gears) but added some Hope bits and some trick pedals and fancy colour coded cables. The original frame was lacquered aluminium finish but to restore that would have been prohibitively expensive so I had the entire frame powder coated to look like polished aluminium. I had the stem and original forks powder coated too in an even more eyecatching purple than the original. As a finishing touch I also managed to source brand new replica decals so it really did look like a brand new bike when it was done! I know the bike shop who did this project said it was incredible how much interest it generated when it was in the store as so many people wanted to buy it over modern day MTB’s!!! They told me people were just walking in and begging them to sell it and they were struggling to sell any of the modern stuff!

To be honest I’m not sure there’s ever been a better looking hardtail MTB than those 1992 Marin’s - they’re just absolutely stunning.


Note when I took this pic we hadn’t dropped the water bottle into the powder coating place but they have since been sprayed too.

Anyway, on with the eMTB quest this afternoon! It’s tough only having my employer’s cycle scheme open until the middle of the month, but at least it’s keeping me focussed!

JonathanG

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Don’t be put off by the lower power and smaller battery of the Rise - it works! No doubt the lower weight helps. But of course the best way is to try. Sadly many suppliers will only let you try around their carpark, whereas you really want to get off-road up some challenging terrain. When I was looking there was a dealer in the Lake District who had tester bikes available, including one of the Rises - IIRC you effectively hire the bike for a day, with that refunded if you buy.

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Thanks Innocent, the dealer I plan to visit this afternoon is an Orbea dealer so will certainly investigate further. I’m also looking at Orange as some of their models just about slide into my budget!

JonathanG

I went from a Whyte G160 to a Vitus E- Sommet which had the Shimano motor. My knees loved the assistance and it just railed anything downhill, but it never felt right on the uphills and the amount of bob was (for me) to much. I tried all sorts of things including shock rebuilds, but eventually it went and I replaced it with an Orange P7 29. I’ve honestly never been happier. I would only consider going back to eMTB if I was much less able and only on a HT or much shorter travel F/S. I like the look for the Specialized Levo SL and there is a nice Scott Lumen, both lightweight machines that should be worth a test ride.

I’ll just pop a pic of my current steed here though as we are having a classic CroMo lovin.

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I thought they just went bust?

Bruce

I gather they were rescued earlier this year. Seems like it’s a bad time to be a cycle manufacturer (which really surprises me because I thought there was a real boom going on!)

Seems to me that Covid created a lot of demand, the e-bike revolution is in full swing with loads of people buying really very expensive bikes (as evidenced on here). So you’d think the dealers and manufacturers would be doing really well just now. Lets face it e-bikes are a heck of a lot more expensive than even the best normal bikes and thus should offer higher margins I would have thought per sale.

Lovely orange hardtail though IanW!!!

JonathanG

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Iain, could you not lock out the suspension? Effectively makes the bike a hard tail.

Slightly off topic but the boom was shortlived and due to supply problems many retailers ended up overstocked after it had passed. Add CoL issues and many online and local shops have closed. Wiggle the biggest.

Bruce

Nothing ever truly locks out and I just kept getting pedal strikes. No issue on the 29er HT though.

Not to mention more expensive than motorbikes and even the cheapest cars!

Not my experience but there you go.

I’ve always ridden HT and just couldn’t get on with the FS, no matter how hard I tried. I do carry a certain mass, which doesn’t help, so weight saving for me is laying off the pies before the titanium and carbon parts are swapped in. As a concession I ride 2.6x29 on 35mm rims, so it’s not a harsh as my old XC race bike. Also some give from the Reynolds tubing which modern Alu and CF bikes lack.

Brompton don’t think so they are building a multi-million, 4,000 job plant in Ashford, Kent.

Well that is what they say.

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My brother is having a bike shop. Until recently he was selling bromptons. His issue wasn’t selling the bromptons, but how to get them. There is way more demand than production apparently.

Oh, he has Naim too and didn’t know the relation between those two!

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What a fabulous British success story!!! Impressive factory too…

JonathanG

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Well good mock-up anyway!

Bruce

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Just received notification that Orbea has launched a new eMTB model, the Urrun. Other than it bring hardtail and billed as a trail bike I know nothing about it as yet

It is on the UK website. Looks like a rather good simple hardtail. Shimano motor. 120mm fork. I couldn’t see the weight but looks light for the type.

The sort of MTB I would buy if I was moving from my OIZ to an e MTB.

Bruce