Published by Andrew on 13 October 2018
E-bikes are getting better year on year. Richard Peace visited the Raleigh's HQ and the Birmingham Cycle Show to preview what's heading your way in 2019.
Haibike’s Flyon and Sduro e-bikes for serious off-roading and trail adventures
Are electric mountain bikes the most fun you can have on two wheels? With the growing popularity of e-MTBs, many riders obviously seem to think so.
The latest motor technology from Haibike promises to push the riding boundaries of what's possible on an e-MTB even more.
Haibike’s Flyon range will be arriving in in 2019 and promises to pack the most powerful ever road-legal motor seen on an electric bike. It has unique technology (a pin drive motor rather than the traditional toothed gears if you like to know that kind of detail), and Raleigh will be making a range of Flyon powered e-MTBs and trekking style bikes available in 2019. Off-road French Alpine passes, anyone?
For those perhaps only ready to dip a toe into the world of e-bikes, the Haibike Sduro range looks to offer some great e-bike technology on great quality bikes at lower price points than the unashamedly premium-priced Flyon range (Sduro bikes still start at £1749 and Flyon at £4399).
The Haibike Sduro range offer hard tail and full-suspension e-MTBs (including a women’s line) plus a trekking line. The latter look good contenders for a French e-bike tour as they come with pannier rack, mudguards, kickstand and lights that are powered from the main battery.
Cytronex – the cleverest kit out there?
If you're looking for a lightweight e-bike for road or non-hardcore trail riding then UK manufacturer Cytronex offer a brilliant system that I got the chance of a test ride.
It features a pretty powerful front hub motor along with a metal-cased bottle battery plus a clever coloured-light coded handlebar button for power level setting and a unique rear wheel sensor that delivers the power smoothly and effectively once you start pedalling.
I tried turning the power off completely and was impressed at how much like a normal non-electric bike it felt to ride. This is a system that lacks the brute power of, say Bosch crank motors, and is not really designed for hardcore off-roading, but makes up for that with its lightweight and speedy, efficient riding characteristics.
The Cytronex C1 retrofit system adds just 3.6kg to the weight of a non-electric bike and brings a level of sophistication lacking on the vast majority of other retrofit systems I’ve seen.
Cytronex say the system’s light weight means a 10kg e-bike is possible. It’s available on a range of off-the-peg bikes offered by Cytronex, including an impressive number of of lightweight Cannondale road and hybrid models. Alternatively you can fit the system yourself to a bike of your choice or get a local bike shop to do it for you. Starting at £995 for the system only (motor ready spoked in to rim) it’s well-priced too, especially considering the advanced tech on offer, and looks easy to fit for a competent home bike mechanic.
Powerful off-roading in comfort
Riese & Muller are undoubtedly in the crème de la crème category of e-bike manufacturers, not only because they produce e-bikes that are full of original engineering, but they are e-bikes that can do everything most other e-bikes can do, but with rider comfort and safety absolutely to the fore.
I picked out the new - model that offers mountain biking ability but with step-thru comfort and plenty of pannier rack carrying capacity allied with a powerful Bosch motor system and the option of 1000 Wh of battery capacity, 14 hub electronically shifting hub gears and belt drive. It's a mouthful but it's impressive.
If you're put off by the sometimes macho-posturing and uncomfortable looking appearance of some off-road machines out there, this is the kind of unique e-bike that just might tempt you out onto more adventurous trails, as well as providing an everyday stead for practical around town biking.
Riese & Muller also do a great range of e-cargo bikes. UK RRP is £4009 for the derailleur model and £5319 for the Rohloff hub gear model with electronic shifting.
Fun kiddie-carrying bikes Dutch-style
There are electric cargo bikes and there are Dutch electric cargo bikes and Babboe are most definitely the latter, with a huge range aimed at transporting multiple kiddies.
They stood out for me not just because of the Dutch style – it’s the large wooden box on many of the bikes that gives it away – but the choice of electric drives (more budget priced hub motors and quality Yamaha crank drives to choose from) and the option of ‘carving’ (i.e. front wheel tilting) on some of the trikes and the keen pricing. Electric options from £2199.
About our contributor
Richard Peace is the author of the official English-language guidebook to the Veloscenie Paris-Mont-Saint Michel bike route and the Sustrans guide to the London-Paris Avenue Verte. He also contributes to A to B magazine, Bike Europe and Eurobike Show Daily.