Anybody can work on electric bikes, even you: No need to learn about compression or carburetor turning, replacing parts of an engine or even mixing fuel. Anyone who can work on pedal bikes can maintain an electric hunting bike- no special licensing or degree required. If you don’t know how to work on bikes, you can learn how to pretty quickly. Moreover, replacing parts like a controller or motor on an e-bike is much easier than changing the crank or cylinder on a gas-powered engine, so long-term maintenance is much easier, too.
This is a question the designers and engineers of the FOCUS and BULLS bikes of this group test asked themselves. Instead of speccing them with the standard 500 Wh batteries, both have developed a sophisticated alternative. The idea: instead of riding around with unnecessarily large batteries and unnecessary weight on short tours, they integrated a smaller 375 Wh or 378 Wh battery into the bike. If you don’t have enough power for long loops, you can double the range of both bikes with an additional battery for up to a full 750 Wh. While the second battery is mounted in the front triangle of the FOCUS, it disappears sideways in the downtube of the BULLS. In practice, you’ll need the second battery relatively often with both bikes, and in either case, you should consider the additional € 499 investment in a second battery pack when you buy the bike.
The 150mm (fork) and 140mm (shock) suspension allows you to hit double-track ruts without veering from your line and are tuned for the added weight of the motor and battery. That makes the bike easier to handle than a bike this heavy might otherwise. The motor is powerful and torquey meaning you can stay in the lower two assist levels of the five available to save battery and still get enough kick to ascend just slightly faster than on a regular bike. The highest setting really has some oomph, with a little too much power to use on tight or technical trails. It’s better for fire road climbs or cruising on pavement to the trail head or back home after a ride.
The Super Commuter is aptly named. The 350w Bosch motor sustains speeds up to 28mph, and the burly, 2.4-inch-wide Schwalbe Super Moto-X 650b tires keep you secure on even the roughest city streets. Shimano Deore hydraulic brakes provide ample stopping power. Fenders protect you from road spray so you arrive at your destination fresh. Integrated lights are critical for post-sunset riding, and a side-view mirror hanging on the left side of the handlebar gives a great view of traffic around you. Best of all, you can ride at the speed of urban traffic on the Super Commuter.
EThe Best in Test and Best Value Electric Mountain Bike tips do not result from the sum of star ratings, but by the assessment of the entire test team, taking into account the overall concept of the bike. It would be methodologically wrong to only add up the star ratings to make a final judgment in a scoring system – saying that something is “good” will not help anyone if they don’t know what it is for and for whom it is “good.” For this reason, we give a clear recommendation in every test result for which type of rider and purpose the bike is suitable and which not. The bikes themselves are as individual as the riders are – we just want to provide you with all the information you need to make a well-informed decision before buying. Here’s to long-lasting fun!