Long Suspension Travel E-Bikes: Can They Do It All? | Ask EMBN


– How much suspension travel,
how waterproof are e-bikes, and how much weight can an e-bike take? – All these questions answered
in this week’s “Ask EMBN”. (digital sound) – Okay, let’s dial in. Let’s go. – Okay, we’ve got this
one from Brendan A.G. – Let’s go. Sorry. – #AskEMBN, “How much
difference in your opinion is quality of ride and
components between the base model dual suspension e-bike
and the next levels up? E.g. the Trek Powerfly
series. You know when some say that is better value to
get an expensive hardtail rather than base level
dual suspension bike.” Good question. – Good question, but the simple answer is I would certainly not
get, if it’s an option, I’d always go for the
dual suspension bike over a expensive hardtail, but
it’s the age-old question here and what you can’t confuse
is that if you can’t assume that because you’re spending
more on componentry, you’re gonna to get a better bike, because it all depends on the brand. Because some bikes can have
really expensive componentry but because the chassis and the
suspension design is so poor then you’re going to get
a bad ride quality anyway, so you are better to get
a chassis and suspension that works really well with good geometry and less good quality or
less expensive componentry because you could have a bike which is you could have a bike
which is 2000 pounds, which actually performs better than a bike which is 5000 pounds. It
all depends on the brand. And to answer your question
of whether you should get a hardtail over a full
suspension, like I said earlier, I personally think you should
go for the full suspension every day of the week. – Mm-hmm. Yeah. I think
sometimes on those cheap, especially full suspension models, they’re gonna use the
slightly smaller batteries, so bear that in mind, if you’re looking at doing those longer rides. – But the thing is
Chris, with hardtails, is with an e-bike, you need
to maintain that traction on the rear tire as much as possible, and the problem with
hardtails is that the wheel tends to bounce around quite
a lot when it goes off-road. – [Chris] Yeah, I totally agree with that, and to say that the heart of the bike is that frame and
suspension, so that is often shared across the platforms, it’s just those components
that Steve has mentioned that are going to bring
that price point down. – Number 1, is to make sure
that bike fits you correctly, and it is suited for purpose
for the type of trails that you are going to be riding. – Yeah. – Next up from Scott Pratico. Scott, I think we’ve
heard from you previously. “I am trying to decide between
Giant Trance E+1 SX Pro or a Haibike with similar spec. Which Haibike do you feel is most similar and who has the best software
running their Yamaha motor?” I’ve never had problems
with a Yamaha motor or software on the Haibikes. – No the Yamaha – Is very simple – The Yamaha motor is
definitely super capable. If you’re talking about the
app that connects to it, I would say the Giant one
has more features in it compared to the e-bike with the e-connect. That is the app-wise but the
actual software that runs it I’d imagine is quite similar. – Mmmm – What’s your thought Steve? – Which Haibike do you
think is more similar? Well, I think any Haibike,
we’ve recently done, I think we did the Rock feature, and you were on a 150
bike, I was on a 180 bike, that’s both Haibikes and we
both were on Yamaha motors, so you can see both very very capable. Of what you’re talking
about the Giant Trance, that’s a 140mm travel bike, so – [Chris] I’d say the 140mm is purely more sort of a trail kind of bike,
whereas the bigger bikes, the 150 and 180 Haibike
like me and Steve ride is a capable bike up and down the hill. – Yeah. – Rather than just more of a trail sort of – Yeah, and if you want to
see what both are capable of, we did a video on a different brand. We did a video on a Specialized,
back earlier in the year, comparing the 135-150 Levo compared to the 180mm travel Kenevo, and what we found is
that actually the Kenevo can go up hill just as
quickly as the 135 bike. (energetic electronic music) Okay, this question’s in from Bugboy1520005. “When will Santa Cruz get
into the e-bike game?” – Definitely one of the late joiners if they’re ever going to join the party. But I think the biggest thing the manufacturers struggle with is actually that cost and actually enter into the
market with a competitive e-bike like Santa Cruz is quite
a high-end bike brand, so for them to bring an
e-bike to their game, it would have to be a stand-out one, and when you’re competing
against guys like Specialized who have got it quite dialed, I think it’s quite an
investment for that company to try bring a competitive
e-bike to the market. – Do you really think it’s down to money? Don’t you think it’s more
to do with attitude and some people have decided not
to go down the e-bike route, maybe it’s more of a philosophy
rather than a money sense. – Yeah yeah but I’ve not heard anything of a Santa Cruz e-bike recently. So DevelopIT, “As the motors
are sealed I would imagine water is not too much of an
issue but if you are crossing a shallow stream and drop
the bike on its side, would that be a problem, such
as submerging the battery pack and would salt water be a worse problem? In the event, would
catching some air help out?” Do you mean “catching
air” as in doing a jump or how do you mean? – I don’t know. What I
can say is that we’ve got our e-bikes ridiculously
wet, I mean ridiculously wet. And they’ve worked pretty
well, as long as you’re back at the end of the day and
put them in a nice warm room, a nice sort of laundry room
or something like that. We actually, in reference
to your question about salt however, now that is bad news. That is seriously bad news
because we took a boat from the Knoydart peninsular in Scotland back across the mainland on Mallaig and we were literally on
the boat for half an hour yet the amount of salt water,
we were crossing the Atlantic, and for days after
there was par-thrusting, there was bits of salt
getting in everywhere. I’d keep e-bike well away from salt water. – Yeah, when it comes to
fresh water that battery pack is one of the most waterproof
parts of your e-bike. If you’re gonna drop
that bike into the river, you’re probably going to get water damage more on your control
panels, things like that. They’re a lot more prone to
water damage than the battery. – Yeah. This one from Ipotane. “Hi EMBN, can you tell me
if you are going to do a 2018 EMBN Bike Awards or even
some group test for trails and enduro class of e-mountain
bikes? Cheers, Marco.” No, we don’t do test or
reviews here on EMBN. But what we try to do is
give you as much information as you can to make a considered judgement, considered purchase of an e-bike. And you know what, I think,
whatever e-bike you ride, you have a good time
on it, I guarantee you. – We’ve got this one in from Ian Wright. “How can you find a e-bike
specialist local bike shop?” – You know what, I didn’t
know local bike shop was LBS. I was thinking pounds. How do
you find specialist pounds? – You learn something every day Steve. – Yeah yeah yeah. – A good way of how I
like to do it is probably through social media,
keep an eye on those guys, join a few like e-bike groups and stuff, and you always get to
hear about those good guys that do good servicing on e-bikes. – You’re big on social media, aren’t ya? – Yeah, always on social media. – Yeah, so maybe you can
give some information on what local bike shops then. – Depends on where you are. – What if I were to say I were
in Wales, where would you go? – SJ Cycle (laughing). – To be honest, to be
honest with you and I think lots of mountain bike shops
are now selling e-bikes. I don’t know that many who are not. So, I think one call would
probably be all you need to your local bike shop, and
they’ll tell you what you’re actually getting or maybe
go down to Trail Center and – Word on the street – Word on the street, but
like Chris says, social media. – Word of mouth, definitely. – Next up. – James&TheGiantPeach Ask
EMBN, “Given the restrictions on batteries and airlines, how
do you travel all over Europe and worldwide with your
e-bikes? Do you hire batteries?” – Yes, we do. So, recently we went to Italy to do a feature, a two day feature, and what we did was, there’s actually a Specialized shop that
hires batteries out, and I think you’ll find
that more and more, particularly in France and
Italy where there are places where you can hire your batteries. Alternatively, you can
ship them by airmail, but you need to be a
registered battery handler or maybe you can get a
local shop to do it for you. You can actually do it
within individual countries, but as I say, the laws are
different in each country. It is very difficult though.
Definitely very difficult. – We’ve got this one in from Neil Cole. “Hi guys. Now winter is here
should I take my battery off my bike and keep it indoors
where it is a bit warmer? I keep my e-MTB in the garage.” Good tip for batteries.
Batteries like to be us, so no extreme temperatures, hot or cold. If you’re looking at keeping that battery in its best condition, I would
suggest bringing it indoors when you’re charging it,
it’s also going to keep that core temperature up
when you hit the trails and get out there for a ride. But I’ve done a good video on battery care and that’s all down in the details below. If you’re using that battery
winter or below freezing, it is really advisable to
bring that battery inside and actually charge it
up at room temperature. Some batteries won’t actually
even charge below freezing, so just check that you’re
not trying to charge it whilst it’s too cold. Also on these rides, you
might find a battery sleeve or a thermal cover will actually increase and hold that battery’s core temperature, and it should in theory give
you a bit more range too. (techno music) – Matthew Hall. “Hi there.” Hi Matthew. “Just wondered whether you
thought that an electric downhill bike would be capable of
being a ‘do it all bike’? I currently ride a Cube Stereo Hybrid 140. I still ride single track
but lately find myself enjoying downhill/freerides
more so was looking at buying the new Haibike Xduro Downhill 8.0. So I’m wondering now these
downhill bikes are capable of climbing, could they be
used for every aspect of riding or would I be better with
a 160-180mm bike instead as I cannot afford two decent bikes?” I think you need to be very careful with your decision making here. Because, it is down to many things. It is down to the geometry of the bike, it’s down to the gearing. I say geometry because a downhill
bike, the seat tube angle is sometimes quite laid back compared to say a 160-180 bike. Because when you’re gonna
be doing lots of climbing and descending, you need
it to be further forwards. And remember, if you
got a coil downhill bike then the sag on that bike
is quite considerable, so you’re going to be
leaning quite a long way back on the seat, so it all
depends on the bike basically, but you’ll be amazed how much
a 180mm travel bike can do. Clinton Van Zyl. “I’m a big guy. A little over 120 kilos” Chris you take it over from there. – Yeah. “a 120 kilos and
try get out on my non e-bike as much as possible and
I’m wondering if an e-bike would be a good option? I’m
worried that being a big guy the battery might struggle and I’d be confined to short rides. Should I wait till I’ve lost some weight and then get an e-bike?
Thanks for the great content.” – (chuckling) Clinton, just
get on with it. Get on with it. Go buy it. – Get out there. – Go have a good time. Stop struggling. Start enjoying yourself. – Yeah definitely. That
battery won’t struggle at all, you’ll start losing weight. – No wait, it’s not quite
true. It’s not quite true. The battery, well there
will be a difference. Depends on the terrain,
depends on your fitness or if you’re sickly. Will you be riding in eco mode? Will you be riding in turbo mode? If you’re fit, you’ll be riding
in eco and it will be fine. And so, as you say,
you get out quite a lot on your other bike, so – I think you won’t
have trouble whatsoever and it will be a good way,
you gonna lose weight, you’re going to gain fitness,
so yeah, get on with it. – ‘Because what’s gonna happen
is, you’ll get the e-bike, and you’re going to go out way more often than you are on your non e-bike, so yeah, Clinton, please just go on buy the bike. – Get on with it. – And that’s it, from another “Ask EMBN”. Hope we’ve been of some
help, and don’t forget you guys can put your answers
to some of the questions as well. By the way, we’ll
say from this week’s show, don’t go confusing price with performance, because it is simply not the case. And don’t go mixing salt
water with fresh water, and finally don’t forget that
travel is all relative to where the places are
you go ride your e-bike. – Yeah, don’t forget to drop
us any questions you might have in the box below in the comments. #AskEMBN, ask your question,
and we will get back to you in next week’s show. Hope you’ve enjoyed today’s
show, give us a thumbs up if you’ve enjoyed it, drop
us comments in the box below, don’t forget to subscribe to EMBN and we will see you next week. – Bike. Follow. Subscribe. See you later.