The predecessor of the CONWAY CAIRON SUV FS 7.7 previously won our Best Buy award for the best full-suspension off-road step-through bike. For the coming season, CONWAY have refined their recipe for success and upgraded the motor to the Bosch Smart System. Can the step-through SUV ebike with a price tag of € 5,299 win again?
Click here for an overview of our SUV ebike buyer’s guide: The best e-SUV 2024 – 10 ebikes in our group test.
With the CAIRON SUV FS 7.7, CONWAY aim to make ebiking adventures accessible to a wide range of riders. The CAIRON website emphasises the riding comfort and safety of this full-suspension off-road step-through bike. However, when we tested it, we noticed another remarkable riding characteristic that sets it apart from other step-through bikes. To ride the CONWAY yourself and find out what it is really capable of comes at a price of € 5,299, making it the most affordable SUV ebike in this group test. The bike is available in sizes S to XL and comes with 27.5″ wheels. It’s powered by a Bosch Performance Line CX Smart System motor with a 625 Wh battery and weighs in at “only” 28.1 kg in size L in the top configuration with a robust alloy frame. This weight makes it the third lightest bike in our test.
What sets the CONWAY CAIRON SUV FS 7.7 apart?
Even though the CAIRON has SUV in its name, CONWAY internally classify it as an e-mountain bike, and with good reason. Once again, the CONWAY CAIRON stands out for its remarkably stable and safe handling, even on poorly maintained paths and light trails. In terms of suspension travel, however, the situation has changed for the CAIRON: the previous model had 120 mm travel at the front and 100 mm at the rear, making it the step-through bike with the most travel reserves in our off-road step-through bike group test last year. But the competition has now caught up and all step-through bikes offer more travel than the CONWAY CAIRON, which still has the same travel as its predecessor. Only the GIANT Stormguard E+ 1, with 100 mm travel at the front, has even less suspension than the other SUV ebikes on test. But it’s not just about the specs on paper, it’s about how the ebike actually performs. The CAIRON has a sophisticated rear triangle kinematics system with the shock running horizontally through the seat tube, controlled by an additional strut between the seat and chainstays. This system, borrowed from the legendary Specialized Demo downhill mountain bike, already provided excellent responsiveness on the CONWAY’s predecessor. What’s great for handling, unfortunately, compromises the aesthetics. Compared to the Advanced Trekking FS, the CONWAY looks less clean and tidy, giving the impression that it’s been designed primarily with functionality in mind. The glossy black paint finish, with a matte texture in high-wear areas around the low step-through and on the top of the down tube, is marred by somewhat bulky welds on the rear triangle and motor mount, which testify to the frame’s solid construction but detract from the overall look.
The charging port on the head tube has been moved slightly diagonally to the motor mount below the shock. The charging port cover is a bit fiddly to operate, and the port itself is best accessed from the drive side. Nevertheless, the in-house solution seems to offer much better protection from the elements than the rubber cover from Bosch.
The 625 Wh is at the lower end of battery capacity in this test. However, for most riders it will still provide enough power for a day’s ride. If you want to extend your range, you can attach the new Bosch PowerMore range extender with 250 Wh capacity to the water bottle mount on the seat tube. Please note that your dealer will need to replace the standard charging plug with one that has a special connector to make the range extender work. The CAIRON offers additional mounting points for a bottle cage on the down tube, so that the low step-through remains unobstructed. Practical! In terms of cable integration at the cockpit, the CONWAY appears less tidy than the rest of the test field. Cables and electrical wires are bundled in spiral wraps and fed through openings in the frame positioned to the left and right of the head tube. This requires a few more holes in the frame, but makes it easier for the DIY mechanic to manage the cable routing. The CONWAY offers a well-specced package that leaves nothing to be desired in terms of functionality. Apart from Moustache, CONWAY are one of the few brands to combine suspension components from two different manufacturers. The RockShox 35 suspension fork with 120mm travel provides solid performance at the front, while the FOX FLOAT DPS rear shock with 100 mm travel offers finely tuned responsiveness.
Tuning tip: Heavy trail rider install a 200 mm rear brake disc and simultaneously remove the kickstand
Conway Cairon SUV FS 7.7 Limited Edition
Motor Bosch Performance Line CX 85 Nm
Battery Bosch PowerTube 625 Wh
Display KIOX 500
Fork RockShox 35 Gold RL 120 mm
Rear Shock FOX Float DPS 100 mm
Seatpost Limotec A1L 75 – 100 mm
Brakes Shimano XT IceTech 203/180 mm
Drivetrain Shimano XT Linkglide 1x11
Stem Level 9 Adjustable
Handlebar Level 9 Low Riser 720 mm
Wheelset RODI Ready 30 27.5"
Tires Schwalbe Johnny Watts 2.35"
Size S M L XL
Weight 28.1 kg
Perm. total weight 140 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 111 kg
Trailer approval no
Kickstand mount yes
– Lupine/Contec light with high beam and brake signal
– compatible with range extender
|Top tube||580 mm||600 mm||620 mm||640mm|
|Seat tube||420 mm||460 mm||500 mm||540 mm|
|Head tube||150 mm||150 mm||170 mm||170 mm|
|Chainstay||500 mm||500 mm||500mm||500 mm|
|Wheelbase||1,176 mm||1,196 mm||1,217 mm||1,237 mm|
|Reach||319 mm||411 mm||424 mm||444 mm|
|Stack||634 mm||634 mm||653 mm||653 mm|
What can the CONWAY CAIRON SUV FS 7.7 do that other SUV ebikes can’t?
When you first sit down on the CONWAY, you’ll quickly notice that this SUV ebike isn’t as compact as step-through bikes usually are. The dropper post and comfortable low step-through make it easy to mount, but the riding position leans slightly forward for a sportier feel. If that doesn’t work for you, the angle-adjustable stem gives you the flexibility to tilt the handlebar towards you and straighten the front for a more relaxed position. However, on steep climbs, pay attention to your riding position. To prevent the front wheel from lifting off the ground when pedalling in the powerful Turbo mode, don’t sit too far back on the saddle. Instead, move to the front of the saddle and lean your upper body towards the handlebar. If you’re new to ebikes, it’s a good idea to start with the dynamic Tour+ or eMTB mode to get used to the vigorous power delivery of the Bosch Performance Line CX motor.
The CONWAY CAIRON SUV FS 7.7 exceeded our expectations: it offers much more than you would expect from an off-road step-through bike.
The choice of high-quality, dynamic Shimano XT brakes and groupset perfectly complements the sporty character of the CONWAY CAIRON SUV FS 7.7. The wide range of 11-speed gears allows you to tackle even the steepest climbs, while the LINKGLIDE configuration ensures smooth shifting even under heavy loads. On the way down from the top of a hill, the Shimano XT four-piston brakes, combined with 200/180 mm ICE-TECH discs, provide exceptional fade resistance and precise modulation, even during prolonged braking on steep descents. The knobby Schwalbe Johnny Watts tires offer reliable traction, and the responsive suspension ensures that the tire maintains contact with the road surface, virtually eliminating any loss of grip. Thus, giving you not only confidence in both the bike and your own abilities, but also tempting you to go beyond the marked cycle paths and explore easy off-road trails. As long as the pace of these trails is within reasonable limits, the CAIRON performs exceptionally well and delivers a generous dose of riding fun. Despite weighing in at 28 kg, the CAIRON is easier to handle than the Advanced Trekking FS or the Moustache J. The kickstand makes a slightly annoying rattling noise on descents, but the rest of the everyday features are solid, so you won’t have to worry about background noise spoiling your ride. You’ll also enjoy riding at speeds above the 25 km/h motor-assist limit. The only caveat is in tight corners, where you should avoid leaning in too far and watch your pedal position: The pedal on the inside of the corner should be up, otherwise you risk grounding the pedal.
To navigate back to your original route after a detour, you can use the navigation function via the Bosch Kiox 500 display. When used with the eBike Flow app, it displays a simplified schematic route and provides turn-by-turn instructions with acoustic signals (please note that the first batch of CAIRON ebikes will still be equipped with the smaller Kiox 300 display without the acoustic signal function until the Kiox 500 becomes available). Another highly practical feature of the Bosch Smart System is the eBike Lock, which disables the ebike’s motor. This feature deters opportunistic thieves when you leave your bike parked briefly outside the bakery, because they cannot make a quick getaway in Turbo mode. If you lose track of time during a stop in a beer garden and have to start your journey home at dusk, the new CAIRON has an additional advantage over its predecessor. Instead of a light mounted on the fork crown, the CAIRON SUV FS 7.7 features a Lupine SL Nano lamp with high beam, strategically positioned in front of the handlebar. Combined with the CONTEC LED rear light with brake light function, mounted prominently on the simple luggage carrier. This setup ensures excellent visibility and safety. Unfortunately, compared to the competition, the rear light appears more like a plastic reflector. The luggage rack, complete with spring flap and 27 kg load capacity, transforms the CAIRON into an efficient transporter. Even when carrying the maximum permissible weight of 140 kg, the bike remains easy to control. There is some minimal handlebar flutter only occurring at very high speeds, but it’s a problem often associated with step-through bikes.
Who should take a closer look at the CONWAY CAIRON SUV FS 7.7?
The new CONWAY CAIRON SUV FS 7.7 excels in almost every aspect – it performs exceptionally well as a relaxed cruiser, a practical everyday transporter, or even as an adventurous explorer on easy trails. As a result, it should appeal to a wide audience. The only downside is its style, which does not quite live up to the fancier models such as the CENTURION Country R3000i or the Advanced Trekking Pro FS.
Our conclusion on the new CONWAY CAIRON SUV FS 7.7
The CONWAY CAIRON SUV FS 7.7 has been fine-tuned in all the right areas, building on the strengths of its predecessor and improving on almost every aspect. It successfully blends safety and comfort with riding fun, and excels in a variety of riding scenarios. While it may not quite match the riding qualities of the Specialized Tero X, its attractive price makes the CONWAY CAIRON SUV FS 7.7 our Best Buy again – congratulations!
- high level of ride comfort and safety
- playful and intuitive handling
- fair price
- cluttered cockpit
- plastic rear light looks a bit old-fashioned
You can find out more about at conway-bikes.com
The test field
Click here for an overview of our SUV ebike buyer’s guide: The best e-SUV 2024 – 10 ebikes in our group test.
All bikes in test:
ADVANCED Trekking Pro FS Wave | BULLS Vuca EVO FSX 1 | CENTURION Country R3000i LX | CONWAY CAIRON SUV FS 7.7 | FLYER Goroc TR:X 8.63 | GIANT Stormguard E+ 1 | Moustache J. All | Riese & Müller Delite 4 GT Touring | ROTWILD R. C1000 TOUR | Specialized Turbo Tero X 6.0
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Words: Rudolf Fischer Photos: Jan Richter, Robin Schmitt