At 144 kg, the Kalkhoff Entice 5B Advanced+ has the highest maximum payload in our E-trekking bike group test. Is the German off-road step-through ebike strong enough to handle heavy riders and big loads, or is the 170 kg maximum permissible weight limit too high for an ebike without a top tube?

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Kalkhoff Entice Advanced+ | Bosch Performance Line CX/625 Wh | 75/- mm (f/r)
25.9 kg (size L) | € 4,099 | href = “https://www.kalkhoff-bikes.com/de_de/kh0020066v2021-entice-5-b-advance” 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.

The Kalkhoff Entice 5.B Advanced+ in review – Borderline riding behaviour

Burly step-through bikes are extremely popular among ebikers. They make it easier to get on and off the bike and inspire lots of confidence, opening up new horizons, especially for inexperienced riders. However, for bike designers, the step-through concept presents a whole range of technical challenges. The lack of a top tube calls for special frame designs, where key areas have to be reinforced to withstand the added forces that go through an ebike. With their Entice 5. B Advanced+, Kalkhoff offer a step-through trekking bike with a captivating off-road look and maximum permissible weight of 144 kg. Our test bike retails for € 4,099 and weighs in at 25.9 kg. However, our test made it clear that Kalkhoff have failed in their attempt to combine a high payload with riding fun. To put it in a nutshell, the Kalkhoff Entice simply lacks composure. Even at moderate speeds, the bike suffers from vague handling and has a propensity for speed wobble. Strap a 10 kg pannier bag onto the rack and the bike is even harder to control, even if you stay below the maximum permissible weight limit of 144 kg. That’s why you should never take your hands off the handlebars and always stay alert. At low speeds, the agile Kalkhoff implements steering input willingly, allowing you to wind your way through dense traffic at rush hour. That being said, riders with big feet have to position them carefully to prevent them from touching the front wheel.

Analogue era
You might as well replace the Bosch Intuvia display with an analogue speedometer. The Intuvia doesn’t offer any connectivity functions but can be easily upgraded to a COBI.Bike onboard computer.
Toploader
In typical Kalkhoff fashion, the battery can be removed from the top of the frame. While the clever system makes it easier to remove the battery, it doesn’t allow you to put a bottle cage on the top tube.
Cable sausage
The cables are neatly routed through the adjustable Concept EX stem and run straight into the steerer, ensuring a tidy cockpit. Unfortunately, it’s a completely different story at the bottom of the steerer tube. What a shame! What goes into the frame, should stay in the frame.
Room for two
When pedalling seated, your weight is evenly distributed over the large surface of the extra-wide saddle, ensuring a bearable level of comfort despite the hardtail frame design. However, when stood up on the pedals, the wide saddle and fixed seatpost restrict the freedom of movement on the bike.
Lowlight
The low position of the Litemove 110 headlight prevents the cables from interfering with the light beam but causes the front wheel to cast a dark shadow right in front of you. On top of that, this position can cause the headlight to hit the frame and break in the event of a crash.
Belt-driven
Kalkhoff’s portfolio includes ebikes with belt drives. Although the Entice is only available with a conventional drivetrain, the frame has a connector to slip through a drive belt which, needless to say, affects the stiffness of the frame.
Mouse trap
The practical spring flap on the pannier rack is becoming increasingly less popular on trekking bikes. While the TRELOCK STOP LED taillight might clash with the overall clean look, it makes you visible at night and also serves as a practical brake light.

Kalkhoff Entice 5.B Advanced +

€ 4,099

Specifications

Motor Bosch Performance Line CX 85 Nm
Battery Bosch PowerTube 625 Wh
Display Bosch Intuvia
Fork SR Suntour MOBIE25 AIR 75 mm
Rear Shock mm
Seatpost Concept EX mm
Brakes Shimano MT420 180/180 mm
Drivetrain Shimano DEORE/SLX 1x12
Stem Concept EX, verstellbar 105 mm
Handlebar Concept EX Riser 690 mm
Wheelset Rodi Airline Plus 29"
Tires MAXXIS Rekon Race 2.25"

Technical Data

Size S M L XL
Weight 25.9 kg
Perm. total weight 170 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 144 kg
Trailer approval yes
Kickstand mount yes

Specific Features

Litemove 110/TRELOCK STOP LED
brake lights
adjustable stem

Upward trend
Uphill, the long rear-end ensures plenty of traction up front, providing easy and intuitive handling on climbs.

Go slow! – The riding behaviour of the Kalkhoff Entice 5.B Advanced+

With plenty of backsweep, the handlebars enhance the agile steering behaviour while ensuring a comfortable, upright pedalling position that lets you focus on what’s happening around you. This position also makes for a high centre of gravity. At low speeds, this lets you carve through tight corners in an upright riding position but prevents you from leaning the bike into wider corners at cruise speed. When riding fast or on fire roads, the front wheel gets twitchy and makes it hard to control the bike. This can be a real safety issue, especially when riding downhill or on unpaved dirt tracks: here the Kalkhoff will quickly leave you a passenger and requires a high level of concentration to keep on track. Uphill, the long chainstays keep the front wheel planted, allowing for spontaneous changes of direction despite the upright pedalling position, even on very steep sections. The shallow tread of the MAXXIS Rekon Race tires rolls fast on hardpack and fine gravel but generates little traction in wet conditions and on soft forest ground. As a result, the rear wheel spins out of control a little too easily in wet conditions and off-road. Given the high maximum payload, the Shimano MT420 four-piston brakes with 180 mm rotors aren’t a great choice, overheating, losing power too quickly and thus robbing you of confidence, especially on steep descents.

Kalkhoff got a bit carried away with the 170 kg maximum permissible weight of the Entice 5.B Advanced+“

Helmet iXS Trigger AM | Glasses ic! Berlin Die Nebensonnen | Shirt Strenesse Polo | Trousers Joker Clark | Shoes Ride Concept Helium Elite | Gloves Roeckl

The riding comfort of the Kalkhoff Entice 5 B Advanced+

The step-through frame design makes it a lot easier to get on and off the bike but a dropper post, like the one of the CENTURION Country R2600i, would make it even easier to put your foot on the ground when stopped at a traffic light. Although the adjustable stem allows you to adapt the relaxed pedalling position to suit your needs and preferences, the Entice 5.B Advanced+ lacks riding comfort. The SR Suntour MOBIE25 fork isn’t sufficiently sensitive and the narrow, low-volume 2.25” tires pass on vibrations and impacts from potholes and curbs almost unfiltered. To improve riding comfort, it would make sense to resort to other comfort elements such as a suspension seat post. The extra-wide saddle distributes the weight evenly across your rear but rubs against the inside of your thighs when sprinting out of the saddle. When riding fast, off-road or with a bag on the pannier rack, a significant lack of stability and riding comfort prevents you from having fun onboard the Kalkhoff Entice 5.B Advanced+.

Specs and connectivity features of the Kalkhoff Entice 5.B Advanced+

The Bosch Intuvia display only shows basic data such as the current speed and support mode. More sophisticated and up-to-date connectivity features such as navigation and fitness tracking require an upgrade. For an extra € 299, the COBI.Bike interface will bring your Kalkhoff back into the 21st century. It’s easy to install and can be attached directly to the Intuvia bracket without tools. Upgrading to a modern Bosch Nyon display (€ 349) is a little more complex and should be done by an approved dealer. On the other hand, this option ensures a wider range of trekking-friendly features and better navigation. The everyday equipment is very functional and consists of mudguards, a pannier rack, kickstand, lights and even a bell. Unfortunately, some of the accessories are rather flimsy: the plastic fenders are too thin and bend easily, while the kickstand rattles loudly on rough terrain. The Litemove 110 LED headlight has a defined beam but isn’t powerful enough for full-on night riding. Moreover, the headlight is positioned far down the headtube, causing the front wheel to cast a shadow over the road ahead and restricting visibility even further. The rear rack features a handy spring flap and incorporates a TRELOCK STOP LED rear light with a brake light.

On patrol
The Kalkhoff Entice 5.B Advanced+ boasts a cool military look.

The Kalkhoff Entice 5.B Advanced+ in detail

The Kalkhoff team have come up with a few clever details to spice up the look and feel of the Entice 5 B Advanced+. The dark green and black tones of the frame stand in contrast with the light tan wall tires and make for a distinctive military look. The cables are neatly routed through the adjustable Concept EX stem and run straight into the steerer tube. Unfortunately, they quickly reappear on the other side, bundled up in a black cordura sleeve. Nevertheless, Kalkhoff have successfully integrated the motor components around the high-performance Bosch Performance Line CX drive. The plastic skid plate is well integrated into the frame silhouette, the 625 Wh battery can be easily removed from the top of the down tube and Kalkhoff’s own-brand charge port features a practical magnetic cover. When choosing the support levels, Kalkhoff opted to offer Bosch’s progressive eMTB mode – well done!

The cool military look of the Kalkhoff Entice 5.B Advanced+ attracts attention rather than blending in with nature.”

Kalkhoff Entice 5.B Advanced+ conclusion

The high maximum payload of the Entice 5.B Advanced+ is misleading. With or without a pannier strapped to the rack, Kalkhoff’s step-through ebike lacks stability and smoothness, failing to inspire confidence even if you keep well below the maximum payload. As a result, the bike isn’t suitable for trekking on forest paths or long excursions with luggage. If you’re looking for a step-through ebike with an upright pedalling position to cruise through traffic at moderate speeds, the Kalkhoff offers good manoeuvrability and responds to steering input willingly.

Tops

  • battery is easy to remove
  • relaxed pedalling position allows you to scan the road ahead

Flops

  • vague handling
  • poor stability with and without panniers
  • equipment doesn't match the high payload
  • inadequate riding comfort

For more information head to the manufacturer website

The review of the Kalkhoff Entice 5.B Advanced+ 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.