The German brand STEVENS claim to be “cosmopolitan and down-to-earth” on their website, and that’s exactly the impression that the new E-Sledge+ ES creates. Void of frilly aesthetic trimmings and decals, this bike is all about its timeless frame design and aura of understated class. But will it hit the trails like its name promises?

STEVENS E-Sledge+ ES | € 5,599 | 21.12 kg | Shimano

As STEVENS were one of the earliest to advocate the benefits of the Shimano STEPS E8000 MTB system, we weren’t surprised that our first test bike with the system would come from STEVENS. Alongside a 500 Wh battery, the German brand have gone all-in for Shimano XT, with super-precise electronic shifting and formidable 203 mm disc brake rotors. They’ve also begun well with the Oxygen cockpit, giving it 760 mm-wide bars, but its 70 mm stem is unfortunately too long.

As soon as you’re riding the STEVENS there’s a real sense of being at home, and it’s clearly destined for long days in the saddle with this amount of comfort. The Shimano motor is as powerful as ever, and there’s a sufficiently steep 75.6° seat tube angle that is well suited to steep climbs. Tilt the STEVENS downhill, and it’s the turn of those snappy 436 mm chainstays and low 21.12 kg weight that are to thank for its agility and handling, which are very reminiscent of a conventional mountain bike. When the drops get bigger, the long stem does little to relieve that fear of going headfirst over the handlebars. While the E-Sledge+ ES steers with accuracy, the Schwalbe Nobby Nic tires could dish out more grip in corners. The suspension setup contributes generously to overall comfort, as it filters out both small bumps and big hits with aplomb. At high speeds, this bike knows how to keep its line but if you want do go full rowdy – change the stem.

Helmet Specialized Ambush | Jersey ION TEE LS SCRUB_AMP | Shorts ION BIKESHORTS SCRUB_AMP

The STEVENS E-Sledge+ ES in Detail

Fork FOX 36 FLOAT Performance Elite 160 mm
Rear shock FOX FLOAT DPS Performance 160 mm
Motor / Battery Shimano STEPS E8000 MTB / 504 Wh
Brakes Shimano XT
Drivetrain Shimano XT Di2
Seatpost Kind Shock LEV Si
Stem Oxygen E-Scorpo 70 mm
Bars Oxygen E-Scorpo 760 mm
Tires Schwalbe Nobby Nic Evolution
Wheels SunRinglé TR40

Fast and precise
The Shimano XT Di2 shifts with the precision of a heart surgeon. We’d have liked an 11-46t cassette for more gear range.
Too long
70 mm is too long for the stem on the E-Sledge ES+, giving the bike less direct handling. We’d recommend switching it for a 50 mm model.
Well guided
The E13 chainguide may be small, but it fulfills its purpose effectively and keeps the chain on the sprocket.
Extra protection
The stock Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2.8″ tires have a reinforced Apex carcass for added puncture resistance; however, their level of grip can’t compete with the MAXXIS models.

The geometry of the STEVENS E-Sledge+ ES.

Conclusion

The STEVENS E-Sledge+ ES is a great mountain bike that we reckon could all too easily be underestimated. Alongside its comfort, it handles with familiarity and predictability, two elements that shouldn’t be overlooked for long rides. It’s worth noting that its spec isn’t fully dialed for descents.

Strengths

– Very balanced handling
– Comfortable position
– A true cornering artist

Weaknesses

– Stem and tires

For more information head to stevensbikes.de!

For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: What is the Best E-MTB of 2017? – 14 Models in Test

All bikes in test: BULLS E-Core Di2 FS 27,5+ | CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 Action Team | FLYER Uproc7 8.70 | FOCUS JAM2 FACTORY | Giant Full-E+ 0 SX | Haibike XDURO AllMtn 8.0 | Lapierre Overvolt AM 900+ Carbon | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 900E | NOX EDF 6.7 Hybrid | ROTWILD R.E+ FS PRO | SCOTT E-Genius Tuned 700 Plus | Specialized Turbo Levo FSR Expert 6Fattie | Thömus Lightrider E1

Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer

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Christoph Bayer