Are E-Bikes Too Heavy? | EMBN Show Ep. 39

Are E-Bikes Too Heavy? | EMBN Show Ep. 39


Welcome to the EMBN show, the power station for everything electric mountain bike. And in a week where Specialized have taken the news with their new Turbo Levo, we turn our attention to
Kona and Graham Agassiz with a new remote control. – Yeah, we’ve also seen a
huge rise in the entries on e-bike racing, and we ask ourselves is e-bike racing the new Enduro. The thing we will be taking a look at on today’s show: Are e-bikes too heavy? (techno music) (digital sounds) – So Graham Agassiz, Agi as
he’s more commonly known. Chris, he’s on a 150 mil travel bike, 154, couple a hundred, say or two in the rear. What do we know about Agi? I know he’s ridden in Rampage.
– Yeah. Long hair, he’s from
British Columbia, right? – Yeah, he’s one of those
guys always been in like of the New World Disorder films, so to say, big segments in those. Known as a big mountain free-rider, he competed in Rampage multiple times.
– And hurt in some Rampage. – Yeah, he got hurt by a
lot this season as well. a couple of big breaks and stuff. – You know, I see Agi on
this kinda remote control, last week we talked about Sam Pilgrim. He won the Audi Nines. He was the– – Yeah What was he? He was the rider?
– Ruler of the week. – Ruler of the week. And he rode his e-bike there. – Yeah – Do you think as a
free rider, we’re going to see a time where people are going to be riding e-bikes at Rampage? Because they’re more stable, you can go further on them. Or will they be banned? – I don’t know… It’s just, the thing is, out there if you come up short on the jumps, I don’t know how the e-bike would sort of take a beating coming up short of big drops and things like that. – They’re not gonna come up short because they’re heavy. – They can probably over jump, yeah, true, but it’s, I don’t know. The obvious advantage would be maybe to ride it about halfway back, but I don’t know if there’re anymore room for any bigger, bigger hits. But it’d be interesting
to see Sam Pilgrim, thrown down on his, but I know Rampage is
a different kind of… – Do you know what? It’s
nice to see Agi out on enjoying Cannaloops Hills–
– Yeah, yeah definitely. – …On that remote control Talking about hills, in North America, Hans Rey has just released TransAngeles, which is a five-day trip which he did with Rage Against the Machine bass guitarist Timmy C. And also with Missy Giove. I know Missy’s been a multiple world cup downhill champion back in the late ’90s. She’s quite a character, so I can imagine a five-day trip with Missy, going from Wilson Mountain on the… east of the city across to an island just off Los Angeles. – Yup – Looks like an incredible trip. This is the first of a five part series which Hans has been doing. – I’m really excited to see
the rest of that series. It does look really good from the first snippets that I’ve seen. It does look amazing, videos have been– – Yeah, it’s like her adventure ride. – Yeah, yeah. – You got all the elements, Chris. – Yeah. That does look amazing. – What would you do if
you did a trip like that? – I don’t know, I’d have to start off in England I think. There’s so many different
cities and places, I think we’ve talked about a few ideas. – What’s the top of your list? – I don’t know. Scotland I think, because it’s just pure up there. Bristol. On our doorstep. There’s loads of stuff. – So this is the first of Hans’ series, so, yeah, keep tuned in for future ones. – Chris, Seems that the Surrey Hills in the southeast of England continues to be a hot bed of e-mountain biking. – Certainly is a whole lot of activity I’ve seen on Instagram recently. Olly Wilkins absolutely
shred and is focused. – [Steve] Active fast. – [Chris] Yeah, yeah. He’s got these lone tracks and getting ready for winter. Him, Brandon, Bernard Kerr, all those guys sure are going to be shredding that. – [Steve] But Chris,
from twenty-somethings to seventy-somethings seems like the Silver Machines
are trending on Instagram. They’ve been causing trouble again, especially with their
latest Love/Hate video, they wanna ride their bikes. They don’t wanna be told by the man! (Chris laughing) And you should check it out.
It is really quite funny. We are coming down to
see you guys in Surrey. – [Chris] Definitely.
– [Steve] Sometime soon. Moving on to some more racing news. Chris, Enduro 1 is on the weekend, right? – [Chris] Yeah, Enduro
1 was on the weekend. Four hundred entries to that. So that’s more than any WS surely. – [Steve] It’s close.
– [Chris] It’s getting close, isn’t it? But it’s massive numbers. – [Steve] So do you think any e-mountain bike races are overtaking EWS races? – [Chris] It’s getting
there by the looks of it. – [Steve] Yeah, and I think you’ll find on next week’s show, we will be revealing more about the World E-Bike Series, which is launching in Monaco on Monday. But keep your eye on e-bike racing, and we’re going to be taking part in some races ourselves in the not too distant future. (metallic noises) It’s time for feedback of the week. We launched a video last week about riding in Eco and all about it. So we had some nice feedback from that. Scott Wilson comes to us with “I use Eco a hell of a lot. I find it’s the closest to the
feeling of a normal bike.” Totally agree with Scott? – Well, do you know what, I kind of agree and don’t agree. ‘Cause, I think if you ride a normal bike. And I think actually e-bikes
are normal bikes now. By the way, that’s a different thing now. But when you got you an Eco, there’s a significant increase in your ability to climb in it. – There’s massive differences. I think, Will I get back
on a normal bike now? Just little straight– I spent probably twenty years of my life riding a normal bike. But the last few years,
– Only twenty years? (laughing) – Yeah, but you know that,
the whole pedaling to me seemed a lot smoother on an e-bike. I got on my normal bike the other day, and it just felt so weird and… – Chris, I’m going to put
this out there, alright? – Yep. – I think I’m over riding non e-bikes. – Really? – Well, I went out four hours yesterday. I was just wandering around the woods. Checking the out the open
neat places and stuff. And going through the muddy climbs, puddles, really difficult route sections, and I’d
have been either walking or carrying my mountain bike, which I have done.
– Or cursing. – Which I have done for thirty years. And it’s just you know what, I can ride my bike all that time.
– Yep. – But before we get off the
subject a little bit here, – I don’t know, I quite like it. – Yeah, maybe we’ll revisit
this on another occasion. But, your ride in your 100k challenge. – Yeah, yup. – Which is a 100k challenge,
there’s not a lot of fighting going to reach right?
– Yeah yeah. Basically, we got a bit
of grief about that, by riding it, but some of it switched off. Which, when you think about it, even when I was riding that bike with the motor switched on, if I was above that sixty mile an hour, is that still classed as being switched off? It’s just the motor isn’t assisted and, so, to me, there’s miles where you will do it, and it’s still legit. It doesn’t matter if they’re turned off or above the limit you
still doing those miles? – Chris, I totally a agree with you. Moving on to another Chris. Chris Roberts who, organizer
of E-Bike Race in the UK. He also agrees, he says, “I
use Eco most of the time, trail for longer or steeper
climbs if I start to struggle and turbo for really
steep or technical climbs where it is difficult
to maintain cadence.” – Totally yeah. And this from Stefan De
Graf, “I ride an Eco as well, just gives me the option to
ride a downhill bike as easy as a cross-country bike.” – I think that’s a good
way. I think the good thing about an e-bike, it replaces
all those different bikes. Gone are the days where you
need a cross-country bike, a downhill bike, a four-cross bike, a blah blah blah bike. – Are you telling me that
one type of e-bike is enough? – Yeah, I think.
– Really? – A hundred percent. A 150-mil e-bike will check all those boxes. – Two big hidden statements on the EMBN show this week. I think we have to revisit
these ones, Christopher. (Chris laughs) (metallic sounds) – On “In Depth” this week, we’re going to be talking about weight. Weight of e-bikes. Chris, your thoughts on
the subject of weights? Are e-bikes too heavy
or are they too light? – Depends what you’re
doing on the day, I think. For a down-hilly sort of
free ridey bike, I prefer a heavy bike. I feel that bike’s way more planted, carries more
speed, gives you more grip, suspension works better. – Jumps? – Yeah, jumping more stable platform. Plows through the rocks and roots. Just holds the line a hell of a lot better. But then I think if I was
going out cross-country trails of adventure-style riding, I would like that lighter bike. But obviously, because, you know, you’re lifting that around, you don’t want to be so
worn out pedaling that big, heavy bike up and down the hill. Lifting over gates and
things, so I’d prefer a lightweight bike but
without bigger battery, but obviously those things… – I think that’s an interesting
point you say there. You look at modern-day
world cup downhill bikes, they’re around 32 pounds.
Sorry about the imperial measurements there. And, you know, Enduro world series bikes, they’re probably around 25, 26 pounds. There’s actually not
that much of difference if you’re a world cup downhill bike and – Yeah – an EWS race bike. – Definitely, yeah. – But if we’re talking E-bikes here, so what weight are we thinking? – I like, that is to say, one of my favorite, sort of, downhilly free-ride bikes is obviously my Kenevo, and that is, what is it, 23, something like that? – A 180-mil travel – Yeah, a 180-mil travel is about 23 kilos or something like that. – But the high bike
Austere is about the same weight as well. – Yeah, yeah, exactly.
– That 180-mil travel. – Well, my canyon is 20-point-five, 21, something like that. It’s quite a bit lighter as well, so, it’s the difference in all those bike, you know, I try and pick which one… – And that of course, you have the Specialized S Works Levo, which is 19-and-a-half kilos, which is a 150-mil travel bike.
– Yeah, yeah. – I shoulda bring in
batteries into the equation. Now here is a battery out
of the new Server Levo. This is a 700 watt-hour battery. We’ve put the scales on this, and it’s 3.84 kilos for that 700 watt-hour battery. At the same time, I’ve got a dinky, little Shimano battery, 504 watt hours.
– Yep. – It’s so cute, isn’t it? – Yeah, core, it’s lightweight. – You can tuck it in your back pocket almost, couldn’t ya, if you chose ’em baggy enough
– (Chris laughs) – So 2.57 kilos for a
504 watt hour battery, so pound for pound, or kilo for kilo, you could carry two of those, get a thousand watt hours,
– Yup. – For 5 kilos. So 5 kilos for a thousand watt hours, 3.8 kilos for 700 watt hours, So it all balances out
for the same, right? – Definitely. Yeah, yeah. – But I actually spoke to Specialized Turbo Levo Product Manager Marco Sonderegger about the whole subject of E-bike weight and where it’s actually going to go to in the future. So this is what we chatted about. – [Steve] Marco, the mountain bike industry loves the work optimum. Is 19-and-a-half kilos the optimum weight? – It’s getting to the optimum. (laughing) I like it a lot. I mean, we came all the way from 23 kilograms all the way to 19-and-a-half, which is great. Loving it. Gives me less arm pump. My legs hold up longer. Like, just making me less tired. – I love the grip on
a heavier bike, right? – Well, I like grip too, but at one point, it’s too heavy, you
know? So you cannot move, you stick to a line
instead of changing lines. The lighter you get, the more nimble the ride becomes. – That’s not just the weight of the bike. That comes off of lots of things, like the volume of the tire,
the suspension tune. Those things come into it as well, right? – Of course, of course. But when you try it back to back, lighter versus heavier bikes on a lighter bike, you feel more nimble, more life-full, more active in a way. – [Steve] Would you like to go after a different figure, you
know. Get lighter again? – Of course, but that’s the, I would say, the most difficult part
of the next generation bikes is “Do we need
to make them lighter?” First question to be answer. Then, “How do we make them lighter?” – So what’s the answer to the first one? Do we need to make them lighter? – I think so.
– Right. – But! It’s not going to be easy. It will be quite difficult.
– Yeah. What kind of number have you got in your mind then? – You know my downhill
bike back in the day, when we pimped it all out was 16, 16-and-a-half kilograms. – Well, that’s the demo, right? – That was the demo bike.
– The asymmetric demo. – Yes. Yes.
– Right. – Which was nice, you know?
– Yeah. – It was really nice, coming from a 20 kilogram downhill bike to 16-and-a-half. – I mean, if you think about it, it’s not so long ago. I think it was 2, when Gee Atherton
won the World Cup Series in 2010? His common sal was 42 pounds, I don’t know what that
converts to in kilos, but that’s, you know, that’s the weight of this Levos. – That’s right.
– That’s not so long ago. So then you can get too light with some downhill bikes, right? When you get down to,
like, 30 pounds, that’s– – I guess it depends on your riding style. – Yeah – Some people like it light, some prefer a little weight. – Yeah. So are you saying 16 kilos then? – [Marco] Yeah, but, like I said, it’s not easy. – [Steve] How many years away is that? – [Marco] Five? Maybe less. I hope less. – [Steve] I guess, the things is, Marco, there’s probably a handful of maybe 10, 20 pro riders that could actually get the most out of a super-light bike. That means being absolutely precise with the aligns, and being able to generate speed out
of the ground, right? – Yeah, I don’t know.
I think– to be honest, like you said at the beginning, right, the bike people are crazy about weight. I’m crazy about weight. Always been. It makes the bike more efficient, lighter, you need less energy… It’s, to me, it makes a lot of sense. And I don’t think you need to be pro to benefit from a lighter bike. I think for everybody,
just trying to bunny hop a couple routes and be light over rocks, it helps. – [Steve] Yeah. But I was speaking to you colleague, John Televasic, he thinks, 16 kilos, you don’t even lighten that, because you get to that point between grip and bike that’s
skipping around too much. Right? That’s where you’re trying to balance it out. Is that correct? – Sort of. You know, I just like bikes which are playful, and with a lighter bike, in that fast rebound, you pop it and you fly, right?
– Yeah, yeah. – And you see some routes, and you pop, you fly straight over it. Instead of just– with a heavy bike, you hold on to the handlebar, you just go. – Yeah.
– Hope for the best, right? Lighter bikes, you point and shoot. – So it’s style of ride then, right? – I think so, yeah. (metallic sound) – It’s time to talk about tech. This week we’re looking at batteries and extending range on your E-bike. Chris, over to you on this subject. – Yeah, I been checking out a little bit on social media. I’m seeing these big battery packs that basically are add-ons. This comes
in different forms. You get water bottle
ones, which are slightly less watt hours. Or the big cube ones that you can add maybe a thousand watts to these Specialized bikes. – I had this one in here from Italy, a tech from Italy. Now
this is a Samson battery. Which has been added.
And it’s a custom-made, what do you call it, cabinet?
– [Steve] Yeah. – It’s a cover which has
been added to that bike. And that makes the range up to a thousand watt hours. – Yeah. It certainly gets some big range on that battery.
– But, Chris, what’s the dangers of
doing something like this? – Danger’s obviously,
you got that exposed, not-so-factory-fit battery pack as well as and if it gets pierced, you know, if you crash and it hits a rock, that could be…
– I’m thinking warranty. – Warranty. – You’re totally going
to void your warranty. But if that’s what you want… – If it’s out of warranty, someone might consider it, but definitely, I wouldn’t be sticking a bike that is still, you know, had warranty–
– But people want, people want this range. And that’s why Specialized has come out with these 700 watt hour batteries. (metallic sounds) – It’s time for our Where in the World! What’ve we got this week, Steve? – On the plastic globe? We’re in Portugal! – Portugal. One of the hottest places I’ve ever been to. I was there last month. Sweat-fest. – Alright for some, isn’t it? This is from a good friend of ours, Carlos Bruno. And he’s riding the Mansanto Trail near Lisbon in Portugal.
He’s shredding down this trail, Chris, isn’t he? – [Chris] Yeah. (Mumbles) The downhill trail looks
a hell of a lot of fun. – [Steve] Do you know when we were talking a bit earlier, if he was not on an E-bike, would he be riding like that? – [Chris] I don’t think so, no. The flow and the speed of that guy, is just shredding that trail. – [Steve] Yeah. He’s on his Cube Stereo Hybrid 160 SL, 2018 version. That’s from Carlos. Thanks for sending and videoing, looking forward to coming over to Portugal. on a non-holiday trip sometime soon. (metallic sounds) – Just time for Climb of the Week. And this week we’ve got 7-year-old Isaac smashing this climb.
He’s got a Reset Bikes E-Bike conversion kit
added to a Santa Cruz. Climbed up this EWS
stage. Seven years old, smashing this climb. Check him out. – [Steve] This is in the Pyrenees, right? – [Chris] Yeah, that’s right. But look at him just going up there. – [Steve] Wow.
– [Chris] Seven years old. Imagine having that sort of power available, if you were 7 years old imagine how man Welsh mountains you’d discover.
– [Steve] Love it. I think we going to see a lot more kids E-bikes over the next few months, so keep tuned to EMBN for all the latest on that front. (metallic sounds) And finally it’s time for the bike vault. Chris, fire ‘er up. – [Chris] I think–
(gear noises) what we’ve got here, the E-bike Shuttle. – In black.
– Stealth black. I want it in black as well. This is from Gary from Marin
County, Bon Tempe Lake. “After shredding the rocky ridge, this is what you’re rewarded with.” Look at that view. – That’s a nice background, isn’t it? California, Marin County? Says it all. Super-nice!
– Straight in. Look at this, you got John Lewis here, Specialized Levo, Helderberg mountains, Somerset West Cape– off in South Africa. – Crikey, we gone global
tonight haven’t we? – We are, aren’t we? Digging deep. – Yeah. – [Chris] (reading) “Look at the fantastic sunset over table mountains of the cape.” – Super-nice every day of the week. – Yeah, straight in. Woah, action shot. – Is this you? – (laughs) It’s not me,
it’s an action shot, but I like this. – Crikey! – Steve here on his high bike, Nashville, Tennessee. Photo shoot for Swift Shot Shocks. – High bike Tem-pi 5
factory German edition. Location Nashville, Tennessee.
– This guy’s over– – Nashville, Tennessee.
– Yeah, yeah. Fifty-three years old. – The guy in the air or
the guy on the ground? – (laughs) The guy in the air. – I will leave this over to you. – I think it’s pretty good. Some nice shape there, good style. – Chris, get to the
point, nice or super-nice? – Lovin’ it. Super-nice. – What’ve we got next? Ooh, a bulls. – Bulls bike? Nice. – So, yeah, in Moab, Utah. Few E-bikes on the trails in Moab– – Spent a lot time in
that rock mine, Chris, it’s a beautiful location, that is. – Do you like that as well? It’s nice, bikes looking good. – Intrepid bike trail
of Dead Horse Plains. Dead Horse Plains, super-nice! – Whoa! Got a bit of a
mixture coming on here. Look at this. – Need to do a bit of
work in the background. Nice Oak Tree. – Yeah, but look at the pads, you’ve got lefty four. – Chris, can you give us
the description, please? – This is from Allen,
Planet X Carbon Frame Mountain with (mumbles) and a (mumbles) Panasonic battery – Panasonic battery. (mumbles) – Gonna give points for effort, right? – (mumbles) Heavy carbon frame. And a Buff-ang 500 Watt. A motor on it. (reading) “Been riding this thing pretty hard. No
problems, just a fun ride.” – I’m on the fence. I’m
on the fence, Chris. – I like it. Total weight, 42 pound. – I’m on the fence. Next,
next. Give it a nice. – Gonna give it a nice. – I know it’s tight. – Tim here is sending this–
– Montana. Glacier Lake, Montana. I want to go there. – A good gravel climb
of about 2-and-a-half thousand feet over
eight miles to the lake. – I want to go there,
Tim. I want to go there. Like the color of that Lever.
– Nice, nice. – Australia, right? Portugal! Oh god, crikey, all around the world today, aren’t they? – Yeah. (laughs) – Is that Keveno or Levo? – Kenevo. – Right. – 4k ride, very steep hill is now finally possible on the E-bike. Fun uphill, fun downhill. Couldn’t agree more. – Look at the color of that water. – I did a cruise around
there recently in a boat. – I don’t care – Portugal.
– What about the bike? – Mm. It’s a little bit–
(talking over each other) – It’s a BH, right? – Atom X Licks Six. – Location: Cerro Blanco near Ecuador. Wow. – Sixty-nine and still riding the trails. Very steep–
– I’ve not seen one of those bikes on EMBN vault for a league. – Yeah, I like it.
– It’s gonna be super-nice. – I like that, super-nice as well. – Throwing them away tonight. – Ooh. High bike.
– Can it pedal in water? – Kevin sent this in. High Bike, (mumbles) Seven, eight– – Santa Clarita! That’s the second week running we’ve had E-bikes
from Santa Clarita. – Must be a big scene down there. And it’s not salt water, before everyone chimes in saying what’re you doing? – Did he say that? – Yeah. – Wow. And it’s called Custaic Lake recreation area. – Like it! Do you like it? – Looks like it’s nice. Next! Oooh! Ghosts! – You got Florian and his Ghost Hybrid 5.7 near the Fins Ounce in Bavaria
– Bavaria? Oh my god, I can’t believe the countries the E-bikes have got to tonight. – He says, “Me mountain
bike since the ’80s, (mumbles) Marin Fire Trail with (mumbles) but this Ghost is just the best bike he’s ever had. – Chris, your call. – I call that super-nice as well. Bike’s nice. Drop looks nice. Picture is nice. – Sorry, gotta be landscape
for the bike vault. Is that out a Focus? – No, a Mondraker.
– Sorry, Mondraker. – Yeah, E-crafty XR from Stuart. Tollymore Forest Park, Newcastle, Northern Ireland. – It’s far in the hills. – Do you know what, if
you’d had that landscape, and (mumbles) it would’ve
been a super-nice. Next. – Moving on. A trio of these three. – Have I seen these e-bikes before? Where is this? – Matthias in Hammerberg, Germany. – Right. – (mumbles) wife, younger brother, and me, so we brought the same bikes to share the same tech and (mumbles) tips. Quite a good idea. – It’s a great idea. I think I need to see more space between the bikes. I want to see all the bikes there. It’s verging on super-nice. – Just a nice. – [Steve] That’s it. We’re
out of the Bike Vault! (mubmles) Bike Vault. – Remember, keep sending those– – Cosmopolitan bike vault. – Keep sending them in
via the upload service or the details in the description below. – Josh, can you stop texting. – (laughs) Love seeing your E-bikes. Yeah, keep sending them, and we will get them on the show. Got a bit of a backlog going on, but they are going to be coming. (buzzer noise) – So what’ve we got coming up on the channel this week? Well, this week is a big, big week. We’re going to be taking things to the next level on EMBN.
– Definitely. (music) – Oh my gods! Is it doable? – [Chris] I genuinely (beep noise) it. I’m a little bit scared actually. – [Steve] Has anyone actually been up here on a bike before? Go Chris! This is it. This is a world first! (electronic sounds) – That’s coming up this Sunday on the EMBN channel. So until then, there’s a behind-the-scenes on the Specialized Levo that can have the birth of an E-bike, which is on the channel right now. – Yep. We hope you’ve
enjoyed this week’s show. Don’t forget to give us a “thumb’s up,” give us a “like,” drop us any comments in the box below, and just make sure you subscribe to the channel for more awesome E-bike content! – But whatever you do,
don’t forget Sunday.