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How To Demo An E-Bike | Our Top E MTB Test Ride Tips

How To Demo An E-Bike | Our Top E MTB Test Ride Tips


(chill hip-hop instrumental) – What on earth are you doing? – Well, I’m just giving
this bike a quick spin around the showroom. And
this thing feels amazing, it turns amazing, the
suspension is something else. This is the one Steve. – No, no. – I’m going to be buying this. – No, no. – Yes, yes. – No, no. Now look. If you’re going
to be riding your E-Bike in a showroom, or maybe on a tarmac road, then actually this is quite a good test. However, if you’re going
to go mountain biking, it’s time to get your hands dirty and demo that E-Bike in the woods. Because there’s a ton of
factors to consider to make sure you get the right E-Bike for you. So, why then would you do a
demo event in the first place? Well, the primary aim
is actually to make sure you make the right
decision of E-Bike for you. It’s also a good way to open your eyes to exactly what’s on the market. After all, the market is
overflowing with different brands. For example, Lapierre, Orange,
Specialized, Cube, Canyon. There’s so many bikes out there. Its not only just the
bikes, it’s also the model within the range as well. For example, this Haibike, an
Enduro, 180 millimeter travel. Or the AllMntn, 150 millimeter travel. It’s not just the models,
it’s the specifications with that range as well. Plus of course, there’s that important
thing about fit and sizing. Chris, what are you doing now? – Well, I’m checking out this little bike. Word on the street is
that you buy a bike that’s too small for you. It’s
going to return a really lively ride out on the trail. (buzzer) But, there is a big question
you need to ask yourself? Hardtail or Full Suspension? If you’re riding smooth trails, then a Hardtail is going to be perfect. But if you’re going to be considering proper mountain biking, off road stuff, then a Full Suspension is really a must. Then there’s a big
question of, what motor? – Yes, what motor? And there are lots to choose from. From Yamaha, to Brose, to Specialized, to Bosch, to Shimano. Each have their own characteristics and their own personality. So, it’s really important
to get to a demo event, to sample all of these, to see exactly what motor is for you. (chill hip-hop instrumental) So, what are the methods then
to demo your first E-Bike. Well, the first way, is by a brand demo. Individual and accustomed
for that brand only. Second way, could be
festivals, or maybe bike races. And then of course, you’ve got magazines, who have their own custom demo days too, where they bring in lots of
brands from around the market. – [Chris] So, the second option is heading to an independent bike
stop, like Race Co Cycles here in Stourbridge. Obviously,
there’s a standard car park test, where you can head out the front and have a bounce around on suspension, and try the different power modes. – [Steve] Or, you could
ride another showroom floor, like Chris did earlier. – [Chris] Yeah definitely. Or next up, they do a one-to-one service, where they’ll head out
to your local trails, with different bikes in
the van for you to try out on the trails that you ride. Lastly, you can borrow
a bike for a weekend. Leave a deposit, and ride
the trails that you ride all the time, to take a true comparison on a different E-Bike. – [Steve] Now, obviously
there’s a deposit involved when we would be doing
such a test like that. But, we will be covering that
off a little bit later on. I think the final way, Chris, is actually to borrow a
E-Bike off your friend. So, I think its time to start
making a load of friends. – [Chris] Loads of friends,
make sure they’ve got E-Bikes. (chill hip-hop instrumental) – How then do you approach
your first demo E-Bike event? Chris, what do you take
to your first demo? – Take some photo ID,
a credit card, pedals, and of course your riding kit. And a notebook, don’t
forget your notebook Steve. – But also, you need to be furnished, a little bit information about sizing, about models, about brands.
And of course, the motor. Chris, come on, let’s get in here. So, where do you go? Well, were here at Race
Co Cycles to get ourselves in the diary. Paul, can you meet us in
the forest in the evening? We need every brand,
every motor, every size. We basically need everything
for a whole weekend. Is that okay? – We can do that, yep. – Yes! – Get on it. – Alternatively, if you’re
going to borrow your mates bike, just make sure you try and borrow it when he’s away for a holiday or something. If he won’t let you, try and remember the combination code for his padlock. Go, let’s go. (chill electronic music) – Chris, do you think
that sizing is probably the number one thing to be armed with before you go to a demo event? Because there’s a lot of
misinformation out there – Yeah. – when it comes to sizing. – Definitely, a lot of
people are misinformed, that buying a smaller bike, you know, one that’s too small for
them, will in return, provide a lot more nimble and
playful bike out on the track. Simply isn’t true. What you really need to do,
is get the sizing dialed, and get that bike, you know,
sizing is definitely key. – Yeah, getting the
correct size bike should be your number one aim when
you go to a demo event. As an example, this size, medium Levo, could actually be the same size physically as a large from another brand. – Mhm, yeah exactly. At
home, I ride a large Kenevo. But I think if I was riding a Levo, I would probably go up to an XL. – Exactly, and that’s
the whole point of going to a demo event, is to
get that bike size right. (chill electronic music) Now a really really important
part of demoing bikes, is make sure you get
the setup right on each and every bike that you take out. Because, like I mentioned earlier, you need to make comparisons
between all the bikes. Now, if for example you’re
with a reputable bike shop on a demo day, such as Race Co Cycles. Their mechanics and
engineers will be able to setup that bike exactly for you. Such things as, the air pressure, front and rear, in the fork,
and in the rear suspension. Such things as, the tire
pressure, front and rear. Now, if you’re about say, 90 kilos, you should be around about
26 – 28 psi in your tires. Make sure you’ve got the right tires on that bike for the type of riding you’re going to be doing. The cockpit setup is equally as important. Seat type is probably number one. First of all Chris, you
need a seat in there. – Definitely going to need a seat. Saddle height is definitely
key when it comes to demoing an E-Bike. Get the saddle set right. Because too high, you’re going to feel perched up too high on the bike (buzzer) and if its too low, you’re
going to feel too bunched up. (buzzer) So getting that dialed
is definitely right. Moving the saddle forward in the rails, and back as well, is going to
differ the reach on the bike. Also, the cockpit is vitally
important to get set up. You need your levers
in the right position, get your bars rolled, get
the stem set on the spacers as well, its going to make big difference to how that bike feels. (chill electronic music) So the shop talk is all
done, its time to swing a leg over that bike and get out there. (upbeat hip-hop instrumental) – [Chris] It’s all very
tempting to jump on an E-Bike, and stick it in the highest
power mode possible, and blast out a demo. But is that really how you’re
going to ride the bike? If it is, you’re really
missing out on the bikes true potential when it comes to range. Try the bike in eco, just
to see if its manageable for the bigger rides. Even
trying it switched off is a good idea too
because you will, one day, run out of battery, and
you need to experience what the drag is like from the system. Fitter riders can often
ride with the motor switched off in sections when
their assistance is needed. Be sure to exceed the speed limiter. All motors differ with a
decoupling above the speed limit. You really need to try a
few different motors out, and see what works for you. – [Steve] What then do you
do when you when you get to your demo event? Well, the first thing to bear in mind, is that you need to replicate your rides, which is going to enable you to make direct comparisons between the bikes. So Chris, well you were out on the trail. Top six things to think about and explore? For me, it’s got to be
suspension, motors, and displays. It’s got to be, that’s
the first three right? – Definitely, and I think
you need to remember control unit, apps, and all the extras you’re going to need to buy too. (chill hip-hop instrumental) – So, you are at your demo
event, and there’s a massive array of bikes there. I think the first thing to
think about is suspension. Have you gone for a Hardtail
or a Full Suspension bike. And if you have gone for Full Suspension, how much travel is it going to be? Is it going to be 120
travel, 130, 150, 170? – So, the motor is probably number one on most peoples
lists, and they differ massively. You’ve got lots of
different options out there. We’ve got Shimano, Brose, Yamaha, Fazua, the list is literally endless. And they all differ massively
in the way they actually work. The way they deliver
power, the reliability, the noise they make,
and the way they differ and the derestriction limits. – Plus Chris, of course, you have the displays to think about. You could go for the COI
complex Bosch system, which is different, there’s actually four different displays
on the Bosch system. – Or, you’ve got the
minimalist specialized system. Yeah, very uncluttered
handle bar. Stealth mode, its literally a totally
different world to that bike. – But Chris, we’ve not even
talked about batteries. Yet. – Internal or external? And if it is internal, can you actually demount that battery, to
take into your hotel room for example, to charge it up over night. Lots to think about here. – Yep. – And what about watt hours? Now a lot of these bikes come
with 500 watt hour batteries. But such bikes as the Specialized, which we looked at
earlier, 704 watt hours. You’ve got the Rocky
Mountain with 660 watt hours. – Yeah, and smaller ones, 378 watt hours, meaning that the bike is
going to be a lot lighter, but you’re not going to get
the range out of that battery. – Yeah, such as the Fazua. But
that not quite right Chris. Because the Fazua has got
a 250 watt hour battery, but because there’s
less power on that bike, it means you actually get
the same amount of range. So, quite a complex subject, batteries. – [Chris] Definitely. – You know it’s very
easy for this to become a minefield of information,
and a sort of product guide on what E-Mountain Bike to buy. Rather than some practical
tips here on what you actually do on the trail Chris. But there’s a lot of
things to think about. For example, what we
talked about suspension. How do you actually work
out whether you need a Hardtail or Full Suspension,
and if you do choose Full Suspension, how do you know
much suspension you want? – Right, I think you need to, obviously at the demo day,
try a few different tracks, try some technical downhill
stuff, hit it on a Hardtail, do feel comfortable if
you feel you’re getting beaten around. Try it on
a shorter travel bike, does it feel comfortable? You’re going to flip it in
reverse, try coming up the hill, does that big travel bike climb as well as the short travel bike? – Yeah, is hill climbing for you? Because, you know, maybe,
a lot of people are more gravity orientated, a lot of people want to do loads of downhill,
other people want to do more cross-country. What type of E-Mountain Biker
are you, when it comes to choosing the suspension? These are the things that
you need to be thinking. Motors though, I mean,
everybody thinks that motors is number one. – Definitely. – For me, I think its about,
how much noise do they make? Because, you know, you might
choose one motor over another, yet you got on the trail and
gone, hmm this is a bit noisy? – Definitely. To think how much torch it
produces as well. You know, you can get the most
powerful motor out there, but if it rides totally
different to, you know, a normal bike, then you might
find this a totally unnatural feel. So definitely try the
different brands of motors out. – Yeah, just don’t go
looking at the numbers. Just because one brand
has got 180 millimeters, and another one has got 60,
doesn’t mean to say its a better bike out on the trail for you right? – Definitely make sure you
exceed that speed limiter, because they differ massively. – Yeah. – Make sure you go above 25
kph and feel that resistance. And there might be none,
there might be a little bit. It’s something you need
to know to deal with. – But maybe, equally, maybe
some riders don’t actually go on ride trails which exceed 25kmh. – Yeah. – It comes back to, think about how you’re going to apply
this, when you get back home. Is that bike going to work in the environment you’re
going to ride it back home. So, there you go. Demo
events, lot’s to think about. I’m sure you guys have got some comments, which you need to leave
down in the notes below. – #askembn, comment box below, we will get back to you asap. – Yeah, so you might well have found your near perfect E-Bike, maybe not. But remember, it doesn’t
end there, you might just want to get some add-ons, some after-markets, so you
can make your bike perfect. But I think the important
information here from demo events is, be armed with a bit of
information before you go there, so the demo event is actually
just a narrowing down process to find the correct E-Bike for you. And also while you’re
there, don’t forget to ride the right trails Chris. – Yeah definitely, I think you
need to be true to yourself, think about what sort of
riding really do actually do back at home on your home trails. If you’re more of a cross-country rider, make sure you’re demoing
a cross-country bike. No point in taking a 180
millimeter downhill style E-Bike out to the trails, and
riding that. Its nice to experience yeah, and get
an idea, but you need to be true and get a real idea of
what you’re actually riding. – And do you know what? A
demo event is a great way to open your mind, and
definitely sometimes throws curve balls out there. Maybe there’s that 120 bike there, with a bigger volume tire, which
is like, oh hold on, that’s actually better than the 150 bike. – Exactly. – It’s all about just experimenting right? – Yeah, getting out there and
trying those different bikes. – Yep. So for now, if you
want to see more about motors, there’s a Motors
Fundamentals we’ve done here. Don’t forget to subscribe EMBN. – Yeah, and if you fancy sticking
around a little bit more, Hardtail Vs. Full Suspension,
really cool video, lots of different options
out there. Get demoing.

39 comments on “How To Demo An E-Bike | Our Top E MTB Test Ride Tips

  1. "If your mate won't lend you their bike then just try remember the combination code"😂😂 brilliant. Covered alot guys! Awesome👍

  2. I've had my Scott E-Spark 710 (Bosch CX)  for 3yrs. How to ride an E-MTB. Exactly the same as a normal MTB. Use your gears 1st Then add the assist to make it as easy or hard as you want.

  3. Good vid however a few misses I'd like to add. Budget – this will guide you towards whats in your price zone. Financing options – personal or via the shop or manufacturer. Finally, the support and service level offered by the shop (Hot swaps for dead motors).

  4. Did anyone say that you should buy a bike that is too small for you? You should get Fabien Barel to explain it to you again (:

  5. A whole lot of good advice here! Think, try, and think again before dropping the cash. My wife and I lend our bikes out to everyone we meet! Most people jump on willingly, but some need coaxing. I have 3 friends that now have them because they rode ours….and they are letting people ride theirs too. Even a short ride is enough to make a person want to get out again on one.

    I envy the selection of bikes you have to try there. There aren't many E-Bikes here on Canada's west coast and few stores that aren't brand loyal, so the pickin's are slim. However, my wife and I were allowed to take some out and found ones that worked for us at the time. My wife got a Monster Fat Hard Tail because she was uncomfortable with skinnier tires due a crash long ago. However she has since ditched the fat tires and gained full suspension. Selling the Monster lightly used was a trial though because of the "newness" of E-Bikes where we live and having people either not finding it listed or wary of buying used from a private seller. I bought a well used test bike from our dealer because it was full suspension and priced right(being last year's model). I'd like to move into a more aggressive style Mtn bike now, but am thinking of waiting due to the technology getting better in leaps and bounds..also because of the price fluctuations. However to those that don't have an E-Bike yet, jump in and get one! They are fantastic for health, range and excitement. And be not fooled, they do challenge the rider in so many ways!

  6. Demo, that would be nice. Local specialized shop where I live wanted 80 bucks to test ride it in the woods. Absolutely silly. I've been test riding dozens of motorcycles during the years and paid nothing. Good luck selling bikes.

  7. Maybe take your own seat? I have a Haibike and hated the seat, to be fair I have not liked any bikes oem seat, and I've had lots of bikes. I like split nose seats, so my Haibike with a split nose (selle italia iron) feels really different to me than with the oem brick. I think you spend more time in the saddle on a ebike, especially when climbing normal terrain. I test rode a Turbo Levo and found that I really didn't need dual sus for my type of riding, so ended up finding a hardtail haibike inside my budget.

  8. I feel that it will take some special store to let their potential customers try their bikes. I forsee a lot of problems with that, e-bikes are costing a lot. The store will want to be able to sell all bikes they can but who will want a "new" bike with nicks in the paintjob and used tyres? On the other hand, it can be a massive load of cash you plan to spend and you really want to know if you have chosen the right model. This is tricky.

  9. I absolutely demo tested ebikes before choosing the one I purchased! I tested the intense Tazer and the Trek powerfly before deciding and buying my 2019 Specialized turbo levo expert. It was very clear there are significant differences between Motor performance characteristics. Noise, torque, and power application algorithms vary between manufacturers. Here is a playlist of my videos that I produced for my new My Turbo Levo Expert: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZEb8ngMuMU11GTmJTs7tqAOaWdEysOdN

    This playlist reveals videos I produced while test riding various manufacturers e-bikes: my eBike Demo Rides (all mfgr): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZEb8ngMuMU1LE6-QqRLc8pXbrlydECPm

  10. “If your going to be doing proper trail riding a FS is a must”. – Steve Jones, 2019. That should go in Blake’s “7 more rules to break.” He just did that today. I ride a 100 mm hardtail for EVRYTHING. I bomb down rock gardens that people have looked at twice on 170 mm enduro bikes.
    A dropper post, proper enduro tires and a shorter stem can turn a XC bike into a beast! #don’t underestimate the hardtail!

  11. This will be difficult for the shops to give demo rides because they are easy to e-bikes too expensive, it sounds awesome but they will be difficult. I do not say that they do not have a test bike but they are usually cheaper and I do not think it will be in the future what better.

  12. I live in a part of the country, where there's not a lot of choice, the only mid motor mounting bike Im going to demo, is a voodoo at halfords, I had a ride on my mates Levo and I have had a Giant Full E for over two years.
    In the end and After researching a bit, I decided to try something completely different, I bought my new E mounting bike online, and went for a Focus with a Shimano motor,
    although there is meant to be more torque on the Yamaha, I find the Shimano feels more lively, perhaps its just because the Yamaha motor is the original sport model and not the new Pro motor.
    One of the biggest things that sold me the Focus Jam, is the look of it, I have people looking and at first glance there not sure if its an E- bike.
    The battery is only 378 Wh, but It runs so smooth that I find I'm doing most of my riding in Eco and Trail, I will get the extra external battery when I have some spare cash, for the full on days out.
    I love the bike.
    The internal battery, may be awkward this summer if I take it away on a riding holiday, but I'm sure I could sneak it into my room, or get a power extension out the window of the Hotel. 🤣

  13. Great vid lads……and a big thumbs up👍 to Rich & Paul at Race Co Cycles. I bought my first EBike off them and used it for a few months……..I hadn’t had the chance to try it in the environment where I was going to ride most of the time……my fault for not pursuing this …….and after a while I agonised over whether I’d bought the right bike for me , and how I wanted it to perform. I had the chance to try a Spesh Turbo Levo….on a trail I’d previously ridden my bike on……Wow ! ….Game changer……it instantly felt like the bike I should have purchased in the first place. Luckily for me Race Co are Specialized dealers …..and we agreed a very fair trade in deal . The moral of this story is……..Try Try before you Buy !! . Good hunting guys

  14. Yeah, in the perfect world it would be best to try many different bikes before deciding but for most people this is impossible! You have to live near some major cities which have big bike stores with demo bikes or in high standard countries which have such demo events. But in smaller countries with small ebike markets that is just utopia. In my city none of the bike shops even have ebikes in stock, but even if they had they wouldn't give it to you to go out there and test it, except maybe around the shop. You can only decide which one you want and order it, and first you have to pay deposit to make sure you are going to take it or they won't even order it. They are too expensive and bought so rarely that bike shops hesitate to have them in stock. But anyway, most people are not that advanced riders that they have to pay attention to all these details. If you know which suspension you want and what size of the bike you need, and you can check that on the internet, you can almost order without even testing them, no matter which motor. All these bikes are so good you almost can't go wrong. If you are not a hard core enthusiast rider most of the details won't even matter and you can get used to which ever bike you get if only size is right

  15. I like to send my demo bikes out in pairs. One cheap, one expensive. Bring a friend, swap half way. It almost always validates their decision.

  16. #askEMBN Have you heard or seen ANY eBike batteries explode or leak?
    What WARNINGS are offered to avoid an exploding or leaking battery?
    Do the batteries get HOT when charging or do they get warm or?
    Thanks.

  17. You totally forget to talk about chainstay. Differences in chainstay will give the bike a totally different feel. Long chainstay will make your bike feel heavy in the front while short chainstay will make you bike feel nimble and playful. Maybe you should do a subject on that in your show. I personally really regret buying the wrong (long chainstay) bike…..

  18. #Love your stuff guys, but some of that background music is like they play in an elevator, how about some Ramstein?

  19. As well as considering what riding you do now its worth considering how your riding might change when you get your first ebike. I was a bit worried about what my Kenevo (180mm) would be like for general trail riding but have actually found it to be a great all round bike and the extra suspension travel has helped to increase my confidence for more challenging down hills too. In fact I would say that the electric motor as well as the additional suspension travel has lead me to ride different trails from what I was riding before on my conventional bike which had not insignificant 140mm travel. Very much agree with your sizing advice, larger bike will definitely feel more stable on steeper downs, so if like me your borderline between bike sizes do yourself a favour and at least try the larger bike on a decently long test ride.

  20. Didn’t do much demo my bike, just hired a Haibike Nduro 8 in Gran Canaria in October, loved it so much I bought one in my return to uk. Had no intention of buying one as I had a Giant Trance which I loved, but was just bitten by the Haibike and had to have one. Off to BPW again tomorrow with a load of mates to smash the trails!!! 🥰

  21. It's funny they never mention bafang when it comes to motors. And it makes me sad that they review only bikes that cost same as used car ..

  22. You are right.I was testing today 10 bikes. Before I was almost certain what I need from the bike, but after the test I found that paper values are something that can't be used for making final decision. For example – from the videos and from the topics on the internet I was against Yamaha motors. But in reality I really liked them.

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