Once again, Europe’s leading cycle trade show Eurobike delivered some exciting stuff, giving us an insight into the future of e-mountainbiking. Here’s an overview of the most important innovations in the eMTB segment, including new motor systems and frame concepts.
This year, too, there’s a clear trend towards light e-MTBs with a sportier orientation and smaller battery capacities. The main reason behind this trend is the newly-launched Bosch Performance Line SX motor, which delivers 55 Nm of torque and 600 W peak output, bringing considerably more power to the trail than the TQ HPR50 and FAZUA Ride 60 drives, for example. Despite being slightly lighter and more compact than Bosch’s Performance Line CX full-fat drive, the new SX motor is remarkably powerful, thus bridging the gap between light and full-power e-MTB motors. That said, many of the newly introduced e-mountainbikes featuring the brand-new Bosch SX drive, rely on little suspension travel and light components, which makes them suitable primarily for moderate trails and sporty riders. Furthermore, most of these bikes aren’t even available until the end of the year, while others are still in a prototype stage, meaning that they won’t be available for purchase until next year – what a pity!
Amongst the many exciting light e-MTB innovations there’s one product in particular that caused a massive stir: the new Pinion MGU drive system. In a nutshell, the German manufacturer combines an electric motor and gearbox in one package, forgoing two exposed, vulnerable components, the chain and rear derailleur. Churning out 85 Nm of torque, the Pinion MGU is aimed primarily at full-power e-bikes but, thanks to its wide range of applications and low maintenance requirements, is also a great match for urban bikes and e-SUVs that have to withstand the hardships of everyday riding scenarios. Moreover, the new motor/gearbox unit is also available as a speed variant for S-pedelecs, offering assistance at up to 45 km/h.
KTM Macina Scarp SX Exonic – As sharp as a sca(l)rpel?
With the KTM Macina SX range, the Austrians are expanding their eMTB portfolio, introducing the electric counterpart of their analogue XC racer. Built around a carbon frame, the KTM Macina SX Exonic is supposed to combine the best of two worlds, striking an optimal balance between weight and performance. Tipping the scales at 16.5 kg, the new KTM’s light eMTB comes equipped with a new Bosch Performance Line SX motor and 400 Wh battery, which can be removed from the top tube with an upwards motion. When embarking on epic backcountry expeditions, you can expand the battery with the 250 Wh PowerMore range extender, which can be secured directly to the battery cover. Unlike its analogue counterpart, which is available with either 100 mm or 120 mm of travel, the Macina Scarp SX Exonic generates 140 mm travel front and rear, which are supposed to make it suitable for rowdier trails with a scent of enduro. If you ask us, we can’t wait to take KTM’s new light eMTB to our home trails.
KTM Macina Mini ME SX – Mini-E for mini-me?!
KTM want your kids to have fun too, so the Austrain manufacturer is introducing the Mini ME SX, a kids-specific e-bike that forms part of the Macina SX portfolio. When developing the bike, the engineers’ focus was on creating a bike that offers excellent handling at the lowest system weight possible. The Mini ME SX rolls either on small 24” or 26 ” wheels and comes equipped with a new Bosch Performance Line SX motor, which draws its power from a 400 Wh CompactTube 400 battery. The new drive system allows for a new frame design and a compact, child-oriented geometry – even for e-bikes!
Find more information at ktm-bikes.at
BULLS VUCA EVO SPEED FSX 1 – Design and technology from the future
The new BULLS VUCA EVO SPEED-S pedelec Rolls into the future at the speed of light! It relies on a futuristic design language and comes equipped with the Speed-variant of the brand-new Pinion MGU E1.12 motor/gearbox unit. The 12-speed gearbox has 600% overall range and allows you to accelerate to 45 km/h without breaking a sweat. BULLS’ engineers will use the versatile frame platform as a template to create several more e-bikes, which will all form part of the VUCA model range, including a slightly different version of the VUCA EVO SPEED FSX 1 with mono-link swingarm, a step-through version and a 150 mm carbon trail bike. We can’t wait to test the BULLS EVO SPEED FSX 1 to tell you how it fares agianst its high-performance counterparts.
BULLS SONIC EVO AM SX 1 – slim tubing for a wide range of applications?
The BULLS SONIC EVO AM SX 1 features slim tubes and a discreet design language, which is also due to the slim 400 Wh battery that feeds the Bosch Performance Line SX motor. The super-thin seat stays merges seamlessly into the thin top tube. Despite its performance-oriented concept, the SONIC EVO AM SX 1 comes standard with a MonkeyLink mount under the stem and a rear light, which is neatly integrated into the chainstays, making BULLS’ lightweight, sporty trail bruiser suitable for late-night shenanigans. As soon as we get a chance to test BULLS’ slim trail eMTB, we’ll let you know how it performs.
Find more information at bulls.de
NICOLAI SATURN 14 SWIFT – Mechanical engineering meets Bosch SX motor
The NICOLAI SATURN SWIFT isn’t a virtual training platform but a lightweight e-mountain bike made in Germany that prefers to hang out on real trails. The SATURN SWIFT generates 140 mm of travel front and rear and relies on NICOLAI’s distinctive, industrial design language with top-notch weld seams and countless CNC-machined parts. The Bosch Performance Line SX motor packs a punch – at least as long as the 400 Wh battery lasts – and is paired with a minimalist Purion 200 display/remote unit. We’re really looking forward to getting our hands on this bike for our first ride review – everyone else will have to wait until the end of 2023.
Find more information at nicolai-bicycles.com
ROTWILD R.X 1000 – Ab jetzt mit noch mehr Wyld
The new ROTWILD R.X 1000 relies on Pinion’s brand-new MGU motor/gearbox unit and huge battery with 960 Wh capacity, which was rounded up rather generously in the bike’s name suffix. The standard belt drive of Pinion’s 12-speed E1.12 motor/gearbox unit was replaced with a chain drive, while the big battery called for a wide downtube, which has a little bulge to remove the battery. Generating 170 mm of travel front and rear, ROTWILD’s beefy carbon eMTB should cut a good figure both uphill and on demanding descents. The ROTWILD R.X 1000 should be available from the fourth quarter of 2023.
Find more information at rotwild.com
CONWAY Ryvon LT 10.0 – No way, CONWAY!
CONWAY are one of the few manufacturers to pair a Bosch SX motor with a generous amount of travel, providing the new Ryvon LT 10.0 with 170 mm of travel front and rear. The 400 Wh battery is easy to remove and the magnetic charging-port cover can be attached to the top tube, preventing you from losing the cover in the process. According to CONWAY, the top-spec carbon variant of the Ryvon breaks under the 20 kg mark. If you’re looking for a light eMTB for your home trails you might want to take a closer look at the Ryvon’s short travel variant, the CONWAY Ryvon ST, which generates 150 mm of travel front and rear. Once we’ve tested the bikes, we’ll tell you which version suits which type of rider best.
Find more information at conway-bikes.de
THOK Projekt 4 – Printed Trail fun?
The Project 4 is THOK’s first light e-mountain bike. As the name suggests, it’s currently still a prototype, which is expected to hit the market in 2024. The special feature? Unlike most e-mountain bikes, the frame isn’t made of carbon but printed with aluminium using a specific 3D printing technique called SLM (Selective laser melting). The Project 4 combines 150/140 mm of travel but allows you to alter both the geometry and suspension travel. For the motor, THOK rely on the new Bosch Performance Line SX drive, which can be paired with different-size batteries with either 400 Wh, 500 Wh, 625 Wh or 750 Wh capacity depending on your needs and preferences. Moreover, the battery can be expanded with the optional 250 Wh PowerMore range extender.
Find more information at thokbikes.com
M1-Sporttechnik EN.400.SX – Enduro SX bike from a traditional German brand?
Just in time for EUROBIKE 2023, M1-Sporttechnik have integrated the new Bosch Performance Line SX motor into not one, but four different bikes, the EN, AM, CC and GT. These include three full-sussers with different amounts of travel and a fully-equipped commuter bike. We’re particularly intrigued by the EN variant, which combines 170/160 mm of travel and relies on a mullet setup with a smaller 27.5″ wheel at the rear and bigger 29″ Wheel at the front. The battery can be removed from the frame and the cover is secured with a Fidlock lock. The frame has several cut-outs around the rear shock and charging port and comes standard with a kickstand mount and cable connectors for a lighting system. For the production bike, the German manufacturer is planning to ditch the cable ports in favour of internal cable routing. We’re looking forward to testing the bike for our first ride review.
Find more information at m1-sporttechnik.de
Superior iXF 9.8 – New brand, new bike
With the iXF 9.8, Czech manufacturer Superior are rebranding their logo and at the same time venturing into the light e-MTB segment. For their 150/140 mm trail eMTB, Superior are pairing a 400W Bosch CompactTube 400 battery and Bosch Performance Line SX motor, which delivers 55 Nm of torque and 600 W peak power. The drive system is integrated into an elegantly-shaped carbon frame, which sports a rather discreet paint finish. DT Swiss supply the suspension, which is suitable for easier, more moderate trails.
Find more information at superiorbikes.com
Whyte Elyte 140
With the Whyte Elyte 140, the British brand has created an e-mountain bike with Bosch Performance Line SX motor that isn’t aimed exclusively at the elitarian crowds. Combining 140/135 mm of travel at the front and rear, the flagship model of the British e-downcountry bruiser tips the scales at just 16.9 kg, which makes it an interesting option for all eMTB weight-weenies. There’s enough room in the main frame triangle to accommodate both a water bottle and Bosch’s PowerMore range extender, which is included in the price with the top-spec model. The Elyte 140 should be available from December 2023. In our first ride review we’ll tell you how much truth there is in the manufacturer’s “Great British Bikes” slogan.
Find more information at whytebikes.com
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Words: Julian Schwede, Mike Hunger, Peter Walker Photos: Mike Hunger, Julian Schwede