How an e-bike is making Josh Carlson faster for Enduro racing | Giant Factory Off-Road Team

Before I wanted to really give this project a crack, I was like, I’ve always been pro E-bike from the gun. Now that I’ve ridden one it’s like – it just brings the fun back. The whole goal of it was to try and get more descending time in and less pedaling. The final picture, I wanted it to replicate my race bike as much as possible. So we’ve got 160 / 140mils of travel which is a little bit smaller than my Reign’s 180 /160mil. But the length, the size, the top tube, the reach, the geometry of it is pretty similar. I think the extra weight of the E-bike is definitely helping my riding on my normal bike. You know, my normal Reign in race setup weighs about 15 kilos— So big tires, big suspension, it’s got a 180 fork, coil shock. But this thing weighs about 10 kilos more. And when I get back onto my Reign after riding this it makes it feel so light and nimble and you can just slap it into turns and it dances underneath you through rough sections and stuff like that. Now you get to go twice as fast up climbs and twice as fast through stuff with all this extra weight. So when you get back on your normal race bike your mind is used to going that little bit quicker. You just feel like a super hero. So I’m riding on one of the little training zones that I train on here in Wollongong. It’s about a 15 to 20 minute climb back up the hill. Pretty, pretty solid. Like I’m usually in a granny gear or a couple of gears down. Usually in, like, an hour and a half, two hours, I’ll do maybe six laps. Maybe five, six laps. That’s a pretty solid day on my Reign. This bike, I can easily bust out eight to ten, sometimes twelve, but just get way more downhill time in It’s a way less effort so I’ll pedal back up the hill at 100 beats a minute easy. So I’m not sweaty… pretty much roll straight in because I’m already rested and recovered. Do the exact same downhill, just as aggressive, if not harder. Because the bike’s heavier, it’s hard to slow down and get to the bottom, put the power on full gas, just burn straight back up the hill in, like, seven minutes, eight minutes… straight back into the top and do it again. So I’m not getting your fatigue climbing up the hill. I’m getting the fatigue from descending so much and doing so many downhill runs. So for me that training is ideal. It’s a training tool for an EWS rider, enduro rider that eventually will become probably more beneficial than a road bike. You know? I think so. Hopefully [my competitors] don’t work that out
sooner rather than later! We’ve been, like, I can just keep it to myself for a little while!