In last year’s group test, the SIMPLON Rapcon Pmax impressed our test team with its all-round qualities. Now it is also available with the FOX E-Live Valve system. Is this just a gimmick or does it put the SIMPLON ahead of the competition in combination with the Bosch motor and optional dual battery?

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best eMTB of 2021 – 25 models in review

SIMPLON Rapcon Pmax | Bosch Performance Line CX/625 Wh | 170/160 mm (f/r)
23.74 kg in size L | € 11,134 | Manufacturer’s website

Since its launch, the SIMPLON Rapcon Pmax has been one of the most versatile eMTBs on the market. Using SIMPLON’s online configurator, the Austrians let you choose the wheel size, travel and spec of the stylish carbon bike with its Bosch Performance Line CX motor. New for 2021: the electronic FOX E-Live Valve suspension system, which controls 150 mm travel and raises the price of our test bike to an eye-watering €11,134. The smart suspension system, which relies on a control unit installed under the top tube, detects the riding conditions and regulates the suspension accordingly. Additionally, you can fine-tune adjustments using the app and adapt the suspension’s characteristics according to the E-Live Valve mode setting. The system requires the use of sensors both on the fork and rear end, which represents an additional challenge in terms of cable integration. SIMPLON bundle the cockpit-cables and route them into the frame through the headset, making for a tidy-looking and rattle-free bike. However, the external Bosch speed sensor and spoke magnet spoil the otherwise tidy look. As far as integration goes, other brands offer more successful solutions.

The choice is yours: Choosing your spec from the SIMPLON configurator

Almost the entire spec of the Rapcon Pmax, can be individually chosen in SIMPLON’s configurator. Our test bike rolls on 29” DT Swiss HX1501 alloy wheelset paired with 2.6” Schwalbe Magic Mary tires in the robust and puncture-proof Super Gravity casing. The Kiox display mounted on the stem is essential to the proper functioning of the E-Live Valve. Choose conventional suspension for your Rapcon and you can use any of the available Bosch displays. SRAM Code RSC brakes with 220/200 mm rotors decelerate the 23.74 kg SIMPLON effectively and proved to be the best brake in test. Our only criticism goes to the extremely hard, thin grips and the remote of the KS dropper, which is a struggle to operate. Moreover, the maximum seatpost travel available in the configurator is 150 mm, which is even more absurd considering the variety of models on offer.

Dream combo
Several tire/rim combinations are available in the configurator. This is exactly how we would have ordered our test bike, with Schwalbe Super Gravity tires and DT Swiss Alloy wheels.
Fancy an alpine crossing?
Thanks to the Bosch DualBattery system, you can reach a whopping total battery capacity of 1,125 Wh. The highlight: for normal rides you can leave the external 500 Wh battery at home and replace it with a bottle.
Decision maker
The E-Live Valve controller processes all sensor data within milliseconds. Using information such as gradient, E-Live Valve mode setting, harshness of the impact and numerous other parameters, the system works out whether the suspension should be open or closed.

SIMPLON Rapcon Pmax

€ 11,134


Motor Bosch Performance Line CX 85 Nm
Battery Bosch PowerTube 625 Wh
Display Bosch Kiox
Fork FOX 38 Factory E-Live Valve 170 mm
Rear Shock FOX FLOAT E-Live Valve 160 mm
Seatpost KS Rage-i 125–150 mm
Brakes SRAM CODE RSC 220/200 mm
Drivetrain SRAM XX1/X01 Eagle AXS 1x12
Handlebar SIMPLON CARBON 800 mm
Wheelset DT Swiss HX 1501 29"
Tires Schwalbe Magic Mary Super Gravity Soft 2.6"

Technical Data

Size S M L XL
Weight 23.74 kg
Perm. total weight 140 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 116 kg
Trailer approval No
Kickstand mount No

Specific Features

FOX E-Live Valve
Optional range extender

Small detail, big impact
While this might sound irrelevant, the super-thin grips of the Rapcon Pmax make for a very uncomfortable ride. We recommend swapping them right away, as the configurator doesn’t give you any other option for the time being.
Unfortunately, the settings of the E-Live system can only be changed via a submenu on the Kiox display. Therefore quick on-the-fly changes on the trail are not possible. For more information about E-Live Valve you can read this article on our website.
As good as it gets
E-Live Valve adds countless cables and sensors to your bike. At least the cockpit area is tidy, with the cables disappearing into the stem.

Compared to the 170 mm version featured in last year’s group test, the riding position of the new Rapcon is just as comfortable. The E-Live Valve System even helps save battery on long rides and flat trails. The system also makes for a more efficient rear end, even when riding out of the saddle, ensuring that motor and leg power are transferred to the ground more efficiently. Of course, by activating the climb switch you can achieve this with any other bike. And yet, when we hit the first pothole we felt… nothing. Because within a fraction of a second, the smart suspension recognises the impact and opens up. If there are no more impacts, it automatically stiffens again. In combination with the DualBattery system (500 Wh battery), the efficient yet super comfortable suspension makes travelling massive distances possible. Depending on the configuration, the Rapcon Pmax has what it takes to be the king of alpine crossings.

Size S M L XL
Seat tube 390 mm 420 mm 450 mm 480 mm
Top tube 571 mm 592 mm 625 mm 658 mm
Head tube 90 mm 95 mm 110 mm 125 mm
Head angle 66.0° 66.0° 66.0° 66.0°
Seat angle 76.0° 76.0° 76.0° 76.0°
Chainstays 460 mm 460 mm 460 mm 460 mm
BB Drop 30/ 20 mm 30/ 20 mm 30/ 20 mm 30/ 20 mm
Wheelbase 1,190 mm 1,212 mm 1,249 mm 1,285 mm
Reach 420 mm 440 mm 470 mm 500 mm
Stack 604 mm 609 mm 622 mm 636 mm
Helmet SCOTT Vivo Plus | Glasses SCOTT Shield | Hippack EVOC HIP POUCH 1l
Jacket SCOTT Explorair Light Dryro 2.5L | Pants SCOTT Trail Progressive
Shoes Five Ten Kestrel Lace | Gloves SCOTT Ridance

How does the SIMPLON with E-Live Valve fare on the trail?

Uphill, the SIMPLON Rapcon Pmax is the fastest Bosch-bike in the test and even manages to keep up with the super-powerful Specialized Levo. With the smart suspension set to “Sport” or “Firm” mode, the SIMPLON has the most efficient ride in the entire test field yet still provides tons of traction on steps, roots and rocks. This makes the 85 Nm motor feel even more powerful. The Pmax accelerates the fastest, rolls over obstacles with the most momentum and is pretty much unmatched on technical terrain. However, on winding trails, you have to actively shift your weight forward to prevent the front from understeering.

The SIMPLON Rapcon Pmax with E-Live Valve covers a massive range of applications! While shifting to electronic suspension was a bold move, it was totally worth it.

Favourite trail
Both our test rider Conny and the SIMPLON were massively enjoying the flowy “Canyon Trail” in Massa Vecchia. When carving through berms, the massive support from the chassis makes for very lively handling

Even downhill, the E-Live Valve suspension has a huge influence on the handling and character of the SIMPLON. On the whole, the bike is balanced and easy to ride even with E-Live Valve deactivated. The bike generates massive amounts of traction and negotiates open corners just as effortlessly as berms and root carpets. With E-Live Valve activated, the Rapcon Pmax becomes one of the liveliest and most fun bikes on flowing trails. The support from the suspension is truly mind-boggling, so good in fact that until you get used to it, you’ll find yourself carving through corners faster than expected and overcooking jumps by a few meters. On rough trails, the system works reliably and opens the suspension when needed. Only when transitioning from a smooth, flowing section into rough terrain does the first hit feel a little harsher than usual as the suspension opens up. Ultimately, when riding high-speed laps at the bike park, the FIT4-damping of the fork struggles to keep up with the performance of the best forks in this test.

Tuning tips: dropper post with more travel and smoother remote, also: softer grips

Traction meets efficiency
No other bike in our test field is as efficient while offering as much traction as the SIMPLON with E-Live Valve: the bike and its smart suspension system turn tricky obstacles into fun playful trail features.

Riding Characteristics



  1. sluggish
  2. playful


  1. nervous
  2. stable


  1. demanding
  2. balanced

Riding fun

  1. boring
  2. lively

Motor feeling

  1. digital
  2. natural

Motor power

  1. weak
  2. strong

Value for money

  1. poor
  2. top


Forest road


Flow trail uphill


Flow trail downhill


Technical single trail uphill


Technical single trail downhill


Downhill tracks



The SIMPLON Rapcon Pmax is among the best bikes in test and suits a wide range of applications. Ambitious tourers, tech-nerds and sporty trail-veterans alike will benefit hugely from the electronic E-Live Valve system and enjoy the bike’s outstanding handling. The electronic suspension system makes the SIMPLON one of the nimblest and most fun bikes in test. However, for the bike park, we would choose the 170 mm version without E-Live Valve.


  • incredibly versatile chassis
  • configurator
  • all-round qualities
  • innovation leader


  • dropper post and stiff remote
  • FIT4 damper lacks composure at high-speeds
  • Bosch and E-Live Valve integration

You can find out more about at

The test field

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best eMTB of 2021 – 25 models in review

All bikes in this test: Cannondale Moterra Neo Carbon 1 (Click for review) | Canyon Spectral:ON CF 9 (Click for review) | CENTURION No Pogo F3600i (Click for review) | CUBE Stereo Hybrid 140 HPC SLT Nyon (Click for review) | CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 C:62 SLT Kiox (Click for review) | Ducati TK-01 RR (Click for review) | FLYER Uproc6 9.50 (Click for review) | FOCUS JAM² 6.9 NINE (Click for review) | GIANT Trance X E+ 1 (Click for review) | Haibike AllMtn 7 (Click for review) | KTM Macina Kapoho Prestige (Click for review) | Lapierre Overvolt GLP 2 Team (Click for review) | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K (Click for review) | Mondraker Crafty Carbon XR (Click for review) | Moustache Samedi 29 Trail 8 (Click for review) | ROTWILD R.X375 ULTRA (Click for review) | Santa Cruz Bullit X01 RSV Air (Click for review) | SCOTT Ransom eRIDE 910 (Click for review) | SIMPLON Rapcon PMAX (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo SL (Click for review) | STEVENS E-Inception AM 9.7 GTF (Click for review) | Thömus Lightrider E2 Pro (Click for review) | Trek Rail 9.9 X01 (Click for review) | Whyte E-150 RS 29ER V1 (Click for review)

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Words: Photos: various