When it comes to picking the right bike, there’s lots to consider…
That one electric bike you can buy that’ll satisfy all of your mountain bike needs? No, is the short answer. You can get close, and while finding that one bike that does everything outstandingly well is arguably what everyone wants, but no matter how hard you look you’re never going to find it. Why? Because mountain biking is hugely diverse – what we all love about mountain biking, what we like to do on our bikes, where we like to ride, is different. In the same way that no two pieces of your favorite trail are identical, bikes are different too. And for good reason.
Ever heard the age-old saying ‘horses for courses’? It means you always have to select the right animal (or in our case, the right bike) for any given activity. There are bikes designed for speed and performance. Bikes that excel uphill or downhill. And between these two ends of the mountain bike spectrum are bikes that are really good, but not the absolute best, at doing both. It’s a question of compromise. To find your ultimate electric mountain bike, you first need to decide what kind of riding it is you love doing and start from there…
Does the thought of charging down the gnarliest, toughest hillside set your heart racing? Or, do you love to crank those pedals, at your own pace, and spend hours exploring the mountain? Where you ride, more so than how well you ride, plays a huge factor in choosing the bike that’s right bike.
At either ends of the mountain bike spectrum you’ll find our Extreme Cross - a purpose-built, full suspension downhill beast - and the Light Cross - a gazelle-like machine that’s designed and built to cover distance fast. The two bikes couldn’t be more different, designed specifically to excel in different ways. Sat alongside them (in between if you will) are our Mountain Cross and Hard Cross bikes, each offering the best of climbing and descending, but suited to different courses.
If you dream of bike parks and gondola uplifts that will allow you to tear back down a mountain like your World Cup idols, the Extreme Cross is for you. If that’s not your thing then you’re heading into Light Cross terrain. A hardtail platform - no rear suspension - and a short-travel fork make it lighter, more responsive and easier to attack that mellower terrain. With no rear shock, the Light Cross is not going to be to everyone’s taste when it comes to the comfort department, especially when the going gets choppy.
That’s where the Mountain Cross and Hard Cross begin to come into their own. A step up from the Light Cross, the Mountain Cross - with slightly longer travel and full suspension - comes to the fore on those more punishing all-mountain rides and flowy singletrack trails. Heck, it will even hold its own on a gnarly trail too.
A step down from the Extreme Cross is our Hard Cross. An enduro ride, it will easily handle bike parks and all but the most terrifying of descents thanks to longer suspension travel than the Mountain Cross. Great you’re thinking, but what’s the trade off? It won’t match its all-mountain sibling when it comes to mastering those technical natural climbs with superior efficiency. In the same way the Mountain Cross requires a bit of muscle when things get proper rowdy downhill, the Hard Cross asks you to roll up your sleeves when the climbs get extra punchy.
So remember, where you spend the majority of your time riding should always be the key factor when deciding which bike is right for you, regardless of your ability.
For us, what would we go for? Well, we subscribe to the N+1 theory - because just one bike in your garage is never enough…there’s always room for more!
Fast rolling, short-travel hardtail eMTB. Focused on covering distance fast across mellow terrain.
Medium-travel full suspension eMTB. Likes to climb technical trails as well it descends them. Partial to a gnarly trail or two and perfect for big, open-mountain adventures.
A long-travel, gravity-fed descent loving bike. Happiest punching out gnarly trails all day long either at the bike park or out on the mountain.
Where fast is fun. For the days you want to live life by the seat of your pants, this is a bike that will make you feel like your DH World Cup idols.