Cheap E- Bike Vs Super E-MTB | What’s The Difference?


– You might recall a
time when I took Kevin up to a peak in Wales, Mount Snowden. It wasn’t clever and it
certainly wasn’t pretty. But how did this budget,
350 pound bike deal with the conditions coming
down off that mountain? Well, today it’s time to reveal if you do actually get what you pay for. (electronic music) so what is the difference
between a budget bike and a superbike? Well, first of all, what is a superbike? Is it one that costs more money? Definitely not. Is it one that’s got the best paint job? No, but it definitely matters. Is it one that’s got more
travel and more gears? You’re kidding me, right? Is it one that’s made out of
alloy, more carbon, more steel? No. What makes a superbike is it
strikes that great balance between flex and stiffness
with great geometry. A superbike feels good. (electronic music) A super e-bike, on the other
hand, is much, much more. Not only will it feel good, it will deliver excellent performance and have a good battery range. It will also have a very efficient motor and definitely some good software. And maybe offer the option
of giving the output between the rider and
the bike bar display. The frame of the bike will have both excellent and correct sizing for a range of rider heights. And, as I mentioned
earlier, it will deliver superb flex and stiffness balance, matched with a superb suspension design, which, on the trail, will give the rider a fatigue-free ride and also
dynamic geometry will give support, balance, and stability
when you’re on the hoof. The componentry on the bike
will up to the type of riding the bike is designed for. Remember, if you’re
doing some tough climbs, those tires will
definitely have some bite. The shock absorber will
have great parity between it and the suspension design. It’ll certainly have a seat dropper, no doubt it will have a tough wheel set because of the increased
weight of an e-bike. And it’ll definitely have
a hydraulic brake set. Now this bike, on the other hand, has none of the attributes of that bike. Not only does it have inadequate tires, and pitiful geometry, it has a front suspension,
which will probably hurt you more than cushion you
when you’re on the trail. However, a bike like this certainly will not hurt your pocket. Not for 350 pounds, and you know what? On some climbs, that bike
might actually be quicker than some eight thousand
pound boutique mountain bikes. If you look at the offroad performance of even a mid-price mountain bike of two or three thousand pounds, I know it’s gonna cost
you that much more money but its performance is
going to be way superior to this utter hunk of junk. Now if you remember, I had
the extreme displeasure of taking this very bike
up Wale’s highest mountain, Mount Snowden, and do you know what? On the way up we did
actually pass a lot of riders on conventional bikes, carrying
their bikes up Snowden. So, it was a challenge, it was tough, but when I got to the top,
the views were spectacular. Now what we didn’t do on that trip was show the return journey down, which was probably a good thing. So today, then, we’re
going to address that. We’re going to actually go
superbike versus budget bike on a range of challenges,
up, along, across, and down, to see how they stack up. Right, so first test is the weigh-in. Yeah, I don’t even have
to put it on the scales, because this bike is lighter
than the Canyon Spectral. (electronic music) Second up, acceleration
test, and as you can see, Kevin, as this bike is
affectionately known, has got three power motors,
it’s got low, medium, and high so I’m gonna stick it
in high and I’m gonna do this first acceleration test. Three, two, one, go! Well, the power actually
is quite surprising. Oh my god. Stop. It’s actually pretty good. I don’t actually think
this bike is restricted, because it seemed to just keep on going. And, I think this bike,
compared to a conventional bike, because it was on a
little bit of a gradient, would definitely be faster. Now the Canyon Spectral:ON. I’m gonna be riding this in boost mode. Three, two, one, go! Surprise then, was Kevin,
a little bit faster on the first acceleration test. Well, lots of factors, let’s not forget that Kevin is hardtail,
so the power transferred to the rear tire and to the ground, it’s going to be a lot more efficient than the Canyon Sprectral:ON, which has got a 150 mil travel. But not only that, you have
a look at the tires on Kevin. You’ve got skinny, low profile
tires compared to the Canyon, which has not only got
bigger volume 2.8 tires, it’s also got super tacky
rubber on there too. But more than that, I’ve
got a sneaky feeling that Kevin is actually not restricted. (electronic music) Well, for the second test, we’re looking at a gentle hill climb. Gentle, fireroad hill
climb, the kind you’d find in any mountain bike center. And we’re joined by Chris Harris, who’s got his conventional
motor-mounted bike here. I kind of got a sneaky feeling, this bike is actually pretty quick. Chris, thanks for joining us. – You’re welcome. – You ready to go? – Absolutely. – [Doddy] Three, two, one, go! (electronic music) You okay? This bike is ridiculous. Three, two, one, go! Well, you can speed up
to 30 kilometer an hour, so this is basically on me. Well, it was really kind
of Chris to put himself head-to-head for that
little fireroad climb there. Kevin did outstandingly
well, as you can see, between myself and a
conventional mountain bike. Now, when I moved on to the Canyon, it was notably different. I could feel the drag on the tires, but not only that, I was instantly up to
25 kilometers an hour, on this type of gradient, which meant that I was actually pedaling beyond the assistance of the bike. So I’m trying to keep it
at 30 kilometers an hour up that hill, it was
actually quite difficult, so I’m interested to
know what the times are, because my gut feeling is that
Kevin was marginally quicker. (electronic music) – Well, after such an
extraordinary start by Kevin, I think he needs to take a breather. Now, in as much as those
first two challenges were a good test, they
were the kind of terrain which you’d ride on a
conventional mountain bike and, as I pointed out, you
probably wouldn’t be sprinting up little gradients like that. However, let’s move things on to something all more e-mountain bike. And, a serious hill climb challenge, which you’d probably push or carry your conventional bike up. So, again, head to head, you
can see the camera up there. Let’s put these bikes to the test. Okay, for this test, it’s a
static start up a gradient, which I would say is about
between 20 to 30 percent. So, as I said, this is
proper e-bike territory. Three, two, one, go! Wow, okay, technique is also
important on a hill like this. Pretty steep, but the old
Canyon is straight up. Okay, next up we’ve got Kevin and Kevin is in high power mode. Easiest gear. You can count me in, Brandon. – [Brandon] Three, two, one, go! – Oh my god. Oh my god. That is… That is pretty much all my own effort. Well, I guess that is what differentiates an e-mountain bike from
a budget hunk of junk. – [Brandon] Bike’s still going. – Brandon, honestly, can’t be bothered. I mean, those days are gone, long ago, have I really got to push
that bike up the hill? Really? (electronic music) So one gigantic step ahead
there for the Canyon, but one step too far,
maybe, for poor old Kevin, who simply could not get anywhere near the break of slope on that challenge. So what are the reasons,
then, why this bike was so bad on that particular challenge? Well, one reason could be because, as you can see on the Canyon, it’s got a far lower range
of gears than this bike has, but there’s more to it than that. And that’s simply because mid-drive bikes are way more effective and
efficient on hill climbs than a hub drive bike, which
has only got one ratio. (upbeat music) – So obviously you’re going
to be riding these e-bikes in mountains, and some of the times, you’re going to be encountering
super steep descents, so good brakes are key
when it comes to this. So this test is a braking test, free wheel from here to that
tree and then anchors on. I’m going to measure, the
shortest distance wins. Ooh. Bit of skidding, I probably
wouldn’t have passed my car test but never the less, as you can
see, pretty short distance. Okay, so we’re gonna
measure from the front axle. Should we measure in yards,
or feet, or meters, Brandon? Yards, let’s call it yards. Okay, one, two, three, four,
five, six and a bit yards from start to finish. I hit the brakes bang on,
because the back wheel engages the minute that I hit that marker. So it’s a totally fair test there. Next up, I’m gonna get on Kevin. Oh (bleep), ready? I’m not. Okay, here we go, slightly
apprehensive I will say. Oh (bleep). There goes the holiday. Wow. So there you go. I don’t think we even need
to measure that, do we? (laughing) Twice the distance, three
times the distance, yep. Probably almost four times the distance. I will measure it, just in case. So we had six yards, so we got one, two,
three, four, five, six… 24. Four times less efficient
than the Canyon bike. Obviously, the Canyon’s
got super tacky tires, really aggressive tires, whereas this bike has got really low profile, skinny tires, but it’s not just that. It’s the fact that there’s
simply no power in these brakes. Not only are they not non-hydraulic, they got smaller rotors on there, I think it probably got 120
mil rotors front and rear. And it all comes to show why a superbike really is a superbike,
it’s all about fine detail that goes into making it so
efficient at riding off road. (upbeat music) Time, then, to move away from
the lame, fireroad challenges and onto some proper mountain biking. We’re talking roots, rocks, mud, corners. Everything that a true mountain
superbike will excel at because of such things as
geometry, suspension, tires, and all those components which makes these bikes
faster across the ground. But maybe let’s not believe the hype. Let’s get the clock out
to see what it says. Go! Kevin, oh my god. Oh, no brakes, (bleep). (laughing) oh (bleep) comedy. Well, that didn’t go so good. First thing, no brakes
on the first corner. And then the front suspension
was pretty much a spring rather than any damping. That was a truly sketchy experience. Are you ready? Are you steady? Go! Much more grip, much more comfort. Much more control in those corners. Remember, this is just a
bit of flat singletrack. Interesting. I know what I’d prefer to ride, but what do the times tell us, Brandon? (upbeat music) Okay, so the Canyon is
faster by four seconds over a 15 second Kevin time track, so you can imagine how
much that will multiply when you’ve got not only a
four to five minute track but also a descent off a mountain. And that is why these bikes are superbikes and not budget bikes. However, let’s get on to the true test, the downhill. (upbeat music) We’re just doing a long transfer
across the downhill stage and what’s really quite struck me is how good this bike is on flatter terrain, so on this smoother singletrack, old Kevin is doing really
well, so I wouldn’t knock it. If you ride on this type of terrain, it’s a good bike to get. And so to the final test,
the downhill section. And the piece that I’ve been dreading and fearing most of all day because I know that every
impact of that front tire and fork will have it’ll be transferred all
the way through my body. Not only that, there will
probably be very little grip, very little stability, and the time, well, let’s just go and find out. Probably goggles on because it’s going to
be so fast down here. Okay, let’s go then, you ready? Three, two, one, go! Oh god, oh my god, oh my god. (screeching of tires) The battery’s gone. (laughing) So, that bike… Did you hear the rattling
all the way down there? The battery actually fell out. Oh cor. Well, that’s probably
saved me, if anything. Will it go back in, though,
that’s the question. Oh, it does go back in. Right, should we do that run again? (laughing) one, two. Come on, Kevin, you can
do better than this. Right, three, two , one, go! Oh god, it’s so rough, it’s so rough. Oh, battery’s out. (laughing) What the hell. I can only go 20 yards before
the (bleep) battery comes out. What a hunk of (bleep). (funky electronic music) Why’re you making me do this? There’s no control. Oh my god. All the way down the hill,
I’ve got no stability, no grip, no suspension, and you expect
me to go down that bank there? You’ve gotta be joking, I
mean, listen to this bike. This bike is one and a half
days old, listen to it. Listen to it, it’s absolutely hideous. You know what? I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna do it, aren’t I? Right. You gotta be kidding me. Look at how (bleep) steep it is. That’s it, that’s it. Get me out of here. Just get me out of here, I don’t want to go through that again. That was pathetic. – [Brandon] You gotta go do
it now on the Canyon now. – I can do it on the Canyon, but I’m not going down
hill on that bike again. I don’t want to be constantly
worried about my well-being every meter, foot. Time, then, for some proper merchandise, a proper mountain bike. It’s coming in three,
two, one, I’m rolling. (funky electronic music) Do you know what? It’s just a joy to ride. I just want to finish this shoot. Let’s go back up into the woods for another five hours
of riding those trails. It’s such a good feeling, honestly. However, let’s not get carried away. Let’s go and analyze the
times over the last run. Well, we finally managed
to get down off the hill on Kevin after numerous battery failures. Well, they weren’t battery failures, the battery simply fell out of the bike. And we managed to get down
the hill in a time of… It was seven minutes plus. However, to give the poor
little thing a chance, we might have taped the
battery on the frame and put another time in and the time came in at three minutes 31. So , not bad for a 350 pound bike. Moving onto the Canyon. Two minutes and four seconds. A totally different time
zone to this poor old bike and it really does hammer home
why this bike is a superbike and this bike is a budget bike. Now, I’ve got to be fair to this bike. If you were riding smooth
fireroads or singletrack, that bike is a little gem at 350 quid. However, if you are going mountain biking and you were riding
really rough singletrack and you want to get up into the mountains and really get offroad,
then there is simply nothing to substitute a proper mountain bike. A proper e-bike. So, does it deserve the superbike tag? A hundred percent yes, it does. Now I’ve taken Kevin into
some pretty spicy situations, you can check out the video
I took up at Mount Snowden, have a look at the video there. If you want to know more
about the Canyon Spectral:ON then there’s this video
here to have a look at. Let’s know your thoughts on this video, not just about budget versus superbike but also such this as hub
drive versus mid drive about geometry, about sizing. Just let us know in the comments below. Give us a thumbs up if you like this video and don’t forget you can like,
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