The CENTURION E-Fire Country F3500 was crowned the Best in Test in our 2020 off-road step-through group test. Its successor, the revised Country R2600i, is here to take on the E-trekking bike group test with a new frame and Bosch motor. Can it start a winning streak?

CENTURION Country R2600i | Bosch Performance Line CX/625 Wh | 80/- mm (f/r)
26.6 kg (size L) | € 4,199 | Manufacturer’s website

That eBike is part of our big trekking eBike group test. There you can find an overview of the test fleet and all information on the latest generation of trekking eBikes.

A step-through ebike for off-road trekking – The CENTURION Country R2600i on test

CENTURION recognised the potential of step-throughs early on. The CENTURION E-Fire Country F3500 previously impressed us with its sophisticated concept in 2018 and asserted itself as the Best in Test of our big 2020 off-road step-through group test. Can the completely redesigned Country R2600i, priced at € 4,199 and weighing 26.6 kg, build on this success in our E-trekking bike group test? We put the size L to the test to find out. Due to its tall front end, the riding position on the CENTURION is upright and relaxed, offering good all-round visibility and plenty of long-distance comfort on flat terrain. The riding position can be further fine-tuned to fit your body and preferences thanks to the adjustable stem. CENTURION have succeeded in constructing a stiff frame that doesn’t wobble or flex despite the missing top tube – a common problem amongst step-through bikes and one which affects the Kalkhoff Entice in our group test, making it difficult to control. On the other hand, the Country R2600i is stable and its handling composed. You can lean the ebike into long open turns in the park or quickly manoeuvre around obstacles on singletrack paths. The CENTURION exudes an agile character, coming in close behind the sporty Trek Powerfly FS 9 and MERIDA eONE-FORTY Equipped.

The PROCRAFT Adjustable Deluxe AICR stem can be easily adapted to the rider’s size and neatly routes all cables through the ACROS AZX Trekking Pro headset – clean!
Comfort package included
The 120 mm PROCRAFT Drop- Suspension dropper post features an integrated air shock that can be tuned to the rider’s weight. This makes the CENTURION significantly more comfortable than a hardtail with a rigid seat post.
The ABUS SHIELD Plus 5740L uses the same key as the battery lock and is great for securing the CENTURION for short stops. However, active riders who like to lean the ebike through corners will hit the lock with their right calf.
Half full, not half empty
The Country R2600i features a comfortably wide step-through section. To avoid obstructing it, we recommend using only the top of the two bottle cage mounts.
Not the brightest candle on the cake
The Lezyne Mini STVZO doesn’t dazzle other road users thanks to its well-defined beam, but it has no high beam function and it’s too dim for frequent nighttime commutes.
A firm grip on the steerer tube
The massive head tube of the Country R2600i looks bombproof and makes you feel invincible aboard the bike.
Lean on me, when you’re not strong
The simple CENTURION Racktime E-trekking rack is supported by just two struts and the mudguard. To increase the maximum payload from 20 kg to 30 kg, you’ll have to purchase a pair of additional struts for € 17.99.
The Bosch Performance Line CX motor is neatly integrated into the frame. The brawny grille accentuates the robust look of the Country R2600i and its bright yellow colour echoes other highlighted design elements.

CENTURION Country R2600i

€ 4,199


Motor Bosch Performance Line CX 85 Nm
Battery Bosch PowerTube 625 Wh
Display Bosch Kiox
Fork SR Suntour MOBIE34 80 mm
Rear Shock mm
Seatpost PROCRAFT Drop-Suspension 120 mm
Brakes Shimano DEORE BR-M6100 200/180 mm
Drivetrain Shimano XT/SLX 1x11
Stem PROCRAFT Adjustable Deluxe AICR 90 mm
Handlebar PROCRAFT Riser Pro 700 mm
Wheelset PROCRAFT MPD23 27.5"
Tires Schwalbe Smart Sam 2.25"

Technical Data

Size XS S M L XL
Weight 26.6 kg
Perm. total weight 150 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 123 kg
Trailer approval yes
Kickstand mount yes

Specific Features

Lezyne Mini STVZO Light
ABUS SHIELD Plus 5750L frame lock
adjustable stem

The agile yet composed handling of the CENTURION Country R2600i encourages you to venture off-road and explore new paths.

Riding safety aboard the CENTURION Country R2600i

When going off-road, you’ll want slightly more aggressive tires that offer more braking traction. While the Schwalbe Smart Sam tires roll quickly and quietly on paved surfaces thanks to their smooth central tread, they tend to lock up too easily when braking on loose gravel and spin out just as easily on things like wet roots. On the other hand, the pronounced shoulder knobs ensure safe handling through corners. On steep climbs, the rearward centre of gravity can cause the front wheel to lift, though all you have to do to keep it planted is to lean forward slightly. The sensitive power delivery of the motor’s progressive eMTB mode helps to stop the tires from spinning out. On the descents, the agile handling of the CENTURION invites you to lean it into corners, making winding paths a lot of fun. The PROCRAFT Drop-Suspension dropper post has 120 mm travel, offering increased freedom of movement. On long descents, heavy riders are bound to struggle with overheating rear brakes. Considering the maximum payload of 123 kg, the second-highest in the test field, we recommend replacing the 180 mm rotor at the rear with a 200 mm version to get the most out of the Shimano DEORE two-piston brakes. With that done, packed panniers shouldn’t be a problem, as the CENTURION remains easy to control even when loaded, thanks to its stiff frame and good-natured handling.

Helmet POC Tectal Race | Shirt Oakley | Shoes Five Ten Sleuth | Panniers ORTLIEB Sport Roller City

A soft hardtail – Comfort aboard the CENTURION Country R2600i

On top of its upright and relaxed riding position, the CENTURION Country R2600i offers additional comforts that make it a great option for touring. The 80 mm travel SR Suntour MOBIE34 fork filters out bigger bumps such as curbs. The suspended seat post absorbs hard hits at the rear, keeping you comfortable even with most of your weight resting on the saddle. Its stiffness can even be adjusted to the rider’s weight by adjusting the air pressure – great! While the Country R2600i can’t keep up with the long-distance comfort of full-suspension ebikes like the Riese & Müller Homage or the Trek Powerfly, it fares much better than the other hardtails on test. Nonetheless, road vibrations remain noticeable on the CENTURION, in part due to the skinny 2.25 x 27.5″ tires. Getting on and off the bike is easy thanks to the dropper seat post and the low and wide step-through, even beating the other step-through ebikes on test, the Homage and Kalkhoff Entice 5.B Advanced+.

Tuning tips: heavier riders should upgrade to a 200 mm brake rotor at the rear | upgrade to a Bosch SmartphoneHub or Bosch Nyon display for better navigation and connectivity

The components and connectivity of the CENTURION Country R2600i

The Bosch Kiox colour display serves as the onboard computer of the CENTURION Country R2600i and is held in place by an adjustable bracket on the stem. The convenient USB port at its base can be used to charge your smartphone or other external navigation devices while riding. However, it doesn’t offer a comprehensive connectivity package. It can provide turn-by-turn instructions when connected to a smartphone but it can’t display a map. For a more sophisticated navigation system, you can upgrade to the Bosch SmartphoneHub (€ 229 with a remote) or, if you don’t want to use your smartphone, the Bosch Nyon display (€ 349). You won’t even have to visit your dealer to switch, since all it takes is a little handiwork with the Kiox, Nyon and SmartphoneHub all using the same connector for the remote and motor. Other accessories are more coherent than the bike’s connectivity features. The mudguards are very sturdy, the stand is stable, though it rattles slightly on larger impacts, the generous Curana Fly chainguard keeps your pants clean and the ABUS SHIELD Plus 5750 frame lock uses the same key as the battery lock. The Leyzne Mini STVZO E65 headlight offers a well-defined beam but if you frequently ride at night, you’ll miss having a high beam. The TRELOCK LS 611 DUO FLAT taillight and its built-in reflector attached to the rack allows you to be seen but it doesn’t make a particularly high-quality impression compared to the HERRMANS H-CARGO lamp on the MERIDA eONE-FORTY.

The best of both worlds
The Country R2600i combines the comfort and safety of a step-through bike with the touring capability of modern E-trekking bikes.

Good quality at a low price – The CENTURION Country R2600i in detail

In terms of finish, the affordable CENTURION shows its competitors how it’s done, despite some of them being much more expensive. The cables up front are neatly bundled and routed through the headset, making for a clean silhouette. The powerful Bosch Performance Line CX motor is smoothly integrated into the frame and accentuated with a striking, bright yellow grille. The self-explanatory pictograms on the bike match the colour of the grille and should make it easier for ebike newbies to get started, identifying key parts like the charging port. Speaking of which, the charging port is positioned high up on the down tube and covered with a convenient magnetic cap. CENTURION prioritised having two bottle cage bosses on the top of the down tube over easy access to the battery. This means that if you want to remove the 625 Wh battery for charging, you have to remove the somewhat fiddly battery cover from underneath the down tube.

The CENTURION Country R2600i strikes a good balance between stiffness and compliance: stiff for stable handling and compliance for riding comfort!”

CENTURION Country R2600i conclusion

The CENTURION Country R2600i makes the most of the added comfort and safety of a step-through design, performing well on long tours and weekend trips thanks to its stable handling and relaxed riding position. Its handling remains intuitive yet agile, even on unpaved terrain. As such, the CENTURION is equally suited to beginners and advanced riders. Thanks to its good-quality components and attractive price, the CENTURION is our deserved Best Buy. It’s only on very long trips that the hardtail can’t match the comfort of the best bikes on test.


  • low and wide step-through section
  • intuitive handling
  • comfortable while seated thanks to the suspended seat post
  • bosses for two bottle cages or other essentials


  • removing the battery cover is fiddly
  • active riders might come into contact with the ABUS 5750 PLUS frame lock

For more information head to the manufacturer website

The review of the CENTURION Country R2600i is part of our big trekking eBike group test “The best trekking eBike of 2021 – 8 modern eBikes for touring in comparison”. We’ve tested four different concepts and eight bikes to tell you what modern trekking eBikes are capable of and which one is the best to buy.

Test bike overview

CENTURION Country R2600i | FLYER Goroc3 6.50 | Greyp T5.2 | Kalkhoff Entice 5.B Advanced + | MERIDA eONE-FORTY EQ | Niner RLT e9 RDO | Riese & Müller Homage GT Touring | Trek Powerfly FS 9 Equipped

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Words: Rudolf Fischer Photos: Valentin Rühl

About the author

Rudolf Fischer

In his previous life Rudolf was a dab hand at promoting innovation, putting his brain behind big-ticket patent assessments that easily ran into six-or-seven-plus figures. These days, the self-confessed data nerd’s role as editor at DOWNTOWN and E-MOUNTAINBIKE is no less exciting. Given his specialism in connectivity, Rudolf’s often placed on the front line of future mobility conversations, but he’s also big into testing new bikes–both on the daily as a committed commuter and intensively for our group tests. The business economist graduate is as versatile as a Swiss penknife, and that’s no hyperbole. Away from two wheels, his background in parkour means he’s a master of front, side and backflips, plus he speaks German, English, French, Russian and a touch of Esperanto. Japanese remains woefully unmastered, despite his best home-learning attempts. Good to know: Rudolf’s sharp tongue has made him a figure of fear in the office, where he’s got a reputation for flexing a dry wittiness à la Ricky Gervais... interestingly, he's usually the one laughing hardest.