With the new Simplon Rapcon Pmax, the Austrian brand seems to be shaking off its dusty image: visually, all sights are set on trail performance. Thanks to its customisable spec, balanced handling and optional dual battery system, the Rapcon Pmax promises to be a good choice for a broad range of riders. How will it fare?
Click here for an overview of the best eMTB 2020 group test.
Simplon too have launched a brand-new eMTB based on the new Bosch Performance Line CX motor and also allow the new Simplon Rapcon Pmax to be configured. The bike comes either with 150 mm travel front and rear, or with a 170 mm RockShox Lyrik Ultimate fork and a slightly longer RockShox Super Deluxe shock providing 160 mm travel at the rear, as on our € 7,979 test bike. The internal 625 Wh battery can be expanded with Bosch’s external 500 Wh PowerPack battery, which gets attached to the clever bottle cage mount and will set you back an additional € 1,000. The carbon frame is full of more smart details like the cables that are all bundled together and routed into the frame through the headset, making for a very tidy looking and rattle-free bike. We would have liked the same attention to detail with the speed sensor. Here, Simplon still rely on an exposed sensor on the chainstay combined with a spoke magnet. Despite the almost indestructible but as a result heavy Schwalbe Eddy Current tires on the high-quality DT Swiss HX1501 wheelset, our configuration of the Simplon Rapcon Pmax tops the scales at only 22.92 kg.
Components, weight and technical details of the SIMPLON Rapcon Pmax
SIMPLON Rapcon P MAX
Motor Bosch Performance Line CX 75Nm
Battery Bosch PowerTube 625Wh
Display Bosch Purion
Fork RockShox Lyrik Ultimate 170 mm
Rear Shock RockShox SuperDeluxe Select+ 160 mm
Seatpost Kind Shock LEV INTEGRA 150 mm
Brakes MAGURA MT7 200/200 mm
Drivetrain SRAM GX Eagle 1x12
Stem ACROS Gothic 40 mm
Handlebar Tune Wunderbar 780 mm
Wheelset DT Swiss HX1501 29"/27.5"
Size S M L XL
Weight 22.92 kg
Perm. total weight 140 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 117 kg
Trailer approval no
Kickstand mount no
Bosch DualBattery option
Geometry and size of the SIMPLON
One of the priorities in developing the Rapcon Pmax was giving the rider as much freedom of movement as possible. To do so, the seat tube has been kept deliberately short and the top tube low. If the 465 mm reach (size L) is too compact for your liking, you can go up one size up without issue.
|Seat tube||390 mm||420 mm||450 mm||480 mm|
|Top Tube||572 mm||594 mm||627 mm||660 mm|
|Head tube||90 mm||95 mm||110 mm||125 mm|
|Chainstays||458 mm||458 mm||458 mm||458 mm|
|BB Drop||23 mm||23 mm||23 mm||23 mm|
|Wheelbase||1,198 mm||1,220 mm||1,257 mm||1,293 mm|
|Reach||411 mm||431 mm||461 mm||491 mm|
|Stack||610 mm||615 mm||628 mm||643 mm|
The SIMPLON Rapcon Pmax on the trail
Once aboard the Simplon Rapcon Pmax you’ll be reluctant to get off anytime soon. The pedalling position is very comfortable on flat terrain and perfectly suited to long days in the saddle. The Simplon is one of the few bikes in the test field on which the additional battery makes sense for long rides or Alpine epics. If you’re riding without the extra battery and like taking on technically demanding terrain, we recommend pushing the saddle forward. The seat tube angle is a bit too slack for steep climbs, positioning you too far back. However, that’s compensated by the extremely grippy Schwalbe Eddy Current tire on the rear, which, in combination with the sensitive suspension, provides seemingly endless amounts of traction, even while standing!
Travel, wheel size, suspension, headlights…: you can customise the Rapcon Pmax in the online configurator to suit your needs, no matter if it’s to ride bike parks, Alpine epics or for commuting
On the descents, the Simplon Rapcon Pmax leaves you feeling integrated with the bike thanks to its low bottom bracket. The geometry strikes a middle ground between between extremely long and compact and thanks to the low top tube, smaller 27.5″ wheel on the rear and short seat tube it ensures freedom of movement while riding. Together with the powerful MAGURA MT7 brakes and the super-grippy Eddy Current tires, the Rapcon Pmax offers precision and composure in every situation, instilling you with confidence without feeling cumbersome or boring. On damp, soft forest soil, the grip offered by Eddy Current tire up front isn’t quite as reliable as in the dry. The suspension willingly absorbs bumps and effectively uses the available travel without bottoming out harshly and also provides enough support to get airborne or pump through rollers. The Rapcon Pmax feels more comfortable in fast, open corners than in very tight, winding sections. Although it manages to combine agility and composure in one package, it’s one of the more settled bikes on test and performs particularly well at higher speeds.
Tuning tip: slide the saddle forward for steep climbs | Magic Mary tire up front for soft forest loam
The Simplon Rapcon Pmax is a beautiful and sophisticated eMTB for every application from Alpine epics to the bike park. In addition to long-distance comfort, it’s capable of taking on any descent at speed. The sophisticated frame details, the customisable configuration, the cleverly solved dual battery system and the classy look all speak for the Simplon Rapcon Pmax. A bike for every man and woman which, apart from the lack of integration of the speed sensor, has no real weaknesses.
- customisable configuration
- extremely versatile
- great cable management & tidy cockpit
- speed sensor with spoke magnet
- lockout lever on the shock is difficult to reach
You can find out more about the SIMPLON Rapcon Pmax at simplon.com.
The test field
You can find everything you need to know about our test for the best eMTB of 2020 right here!
All bikes in test: BULLS SONIC EVO AM 6 | Cannondale Moterra 1 | Canyon Spectral:ON 9.0 | COMMENCAL META POWER 29 TEAM 2020 | CONWAY XYRON 927 Carbon | CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC | FANTIC XF1 180 Race | FOCUS JAM² 9.9 DRIFTER | Giant Reign E+ 0 Pro | Haibike XDURO Nduro 10.0 | Liteville 301 CE MK1 | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K | Moustache Samedi 27 Trail | Norco Range VLT C1 | NOX Hybrid Enduro 7.1 | Orbea WILD FS M-LTD | Pivot Shuttle 29 | Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay Carbon 90 Rally Edition | ROTWILD R.X750 ULTRA | SIMPLON Rapcon Pmax | Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert | Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo | Trek Rail 9.9 | Whyte E-180 RS V1 | YT DECOY CF Pro Race
Relaxed and comfortable riding on surfaced roads, both uphill and downhill.↩
Easy climbs up trails with few obstacles, wide turns and a moderate incline.↩
Active and playful descents on easy trails with few obstacles, wide turns and a moderate slope.↩
Single-track climbs on challenging terrain. Loose ground, steps, roots, tight corners and occasionally extreme inclines.↩
Singletrack descents on challenging terrain. Loose ground, steps, roots, tight corners and small jumps as well as some very steep descents.↩
High speed descents on sometimes very rough trails with large jumps and obstacles that you can’t roll over.↩
The rating used for riding characteristics refers to the bikes in the group test and the current state of development of eMTBs. The best bikes managed to blend supposedly opposite riding characteristics, feeling both lively and stable at the same time. The handling describes the balance of the bike on downhill sections. The information regarding motor-power refers to the ride-feeling in the overall context of the bike and not exclusively to the motor – that’s why the same motor can present different values.↩
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Words: Felix Stix, Robin Schmitt, Jonas Müssig Photos: Finlay Anderson, Robin Schmitt, Felix Stix, Markus Frühmann