e-MTBike Handling

boss

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Seems like most e-MTB's are mired in the 50 pound weight class, and it will probably be a couple of years before OEM bikes that are affordable reach 40 pounds. However the manufacturers are combining mid-drives with batteries located as close to the bottom bracket as possible. What do the handling experts (not me by a long shot) think about this when compared to a FS MTB. Still cumbersome and difficult to steer or ??? Reason I ask is that I rode a Levo (not as optimized as some later e-MTB's IMO) on a gnarly downhill and it seemed pretty normal to me.
 

KiwiPhil

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The funny thing for me Fos'l, I enjoy riding my Levo 6Fattie comp downhill more than My Giant Reign. Not sure if its just the Geometry of the Levo that makes me more comfortable on the bike, along with those big tires, but even on my first ride on the Levo felt so much better than a ride I had done on the Reign a few days prior.
I think your right that with the lower centre of gravity from the weight being low in the frame, you dont notice it as much. I feel the steering is similar to a regular bike as well.
 

boss

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My friend and I rode the Levos up to about 4500' elevation or so and it was pretty cold at that altitude with abundant snow and ice, some covering frozen over puddles. The Levos handled it all with aplomb.
 

AGarcia

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The Levo has lots of grip through corners and the weight down low keeps it well balanced. It handles really well for what it is. I don't find it to be cumbersome or difficult to handle at all. In comparison to my Stumpjumper 29, however, the Levo feels less precise, and not as nimble or "poppy." That could also be a function of the 3.0" tires on the Levo versus the 2.35"s on my Stumpy. I guess I wouldn't mind throwing some 29" wheels on the Levo to see if the character changes. But in any event, I personally prefer the Stumpy's manners over the Levo's.

I wonder if anyone else has thrown some 29" wheels on the Levo?

Plus, my Stumpy looks Pimp! And as slow as I climb, my bike's gotta look good cause other riders have lots of time to look. :)
 

Barryboy

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I'd venture the less precise feeling is more the chubby tires than anything, it's the tradeoff with them. More traction and cush, less precision. It'd be interesting to see what 2.6" 29ers feel like, they'd raise the bb a hair as well.
 

boss

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It would be interesting to me to see some really fast guys and on the other hand more normal riders compare downhill times on equally equipped MTB's and e-MTB's (of course the e-MTB would have 15 or so more pounds down low).
 

AGarcia

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Agreed! I'd like to see some fast guys do it. I know I'm slower on the e-mtb downhill than I am on the stumpy. I've tried it twice on the Luge (which I've ridden many, many times with my mtb). Each time I was slower. I was a bit surprised because I expected to be faster on the Levo with the low center and grippy tires. Maybe its the 29" wheels v. the 27.5+ wheels. I'm starting to suspect that.
 

Walt

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To really do an apples-to-apples comparison, you'd need identical frame geometry/fit/parts (setting aside the motor, obviously). Comparing 2 different bikes is just comparing 2 different bikes - too many variables to say much about what the extra weight is doing (if anything).

Having ridden a lot of 2 wheeled vehicles in my life, both with and without motors, I'd guess that with a little bit of time to adapt, DH speeds would be identical.

 

boss

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Possible way to get an idea (although I believe Specialized states their Levo and its MTB counterpart have the same geometry) would be to stick a 15 pound weight in the crank area of an MTB and compare times.
 

#1ORBUST

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It would be less flicky, That's for sure!

I used to ride a 50lb Dh bike 15 years ago. If you could get one that had like a thumb throttle and it didn't stop at 20mph you could gain some time in flat sections and berms. Hard to pedal in rock though.
 

Barryboy

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Aside from the 100% subjective reports out there, these are the only ones I've found with seemingly legit data.

https://www.lift-mtb.com/accueil-faq...trava-english/

https://dirtmountainbike.com/bike-re...-downhill.html

I'm with Walt, I think given enough time to get used to it, I think you'd be essentially as fast on the same bike with the same set up going downhill, regardless of a motor or not. For me, the most important things are tires first, suspension second, bike weight would be a bit down the list.
 

boss

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Interesting and sound judgement; thanks for the responses. I agree (like it matters).
 

Phantastic79

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I just finished building my eV10. It's faster than I can ride but I'm still a beginner. Bike weights in at about 47lbs and I have no issues with handling. I'm as fast on this bike as I am on my 2012 regular Nomad. But maybe when my skills get better I may be faster on a regular bike. I use a backpack battery in case anyone is wondering.

I think I want test this motor on the Nomad. Motor comes off pretty easily and Nomad is like 7lbs lighter but the suspension is not as plush. I'm curious how it would feel and if it would ride better than the V10.
 

hobbit

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I rode a demo levo down Hope Line at Gisburn forest which is shortish jump line that i normally do in 2 and half minutes on my capra. On the levo I beat my previous best by 18 seconds, mainly I think due to the levo getting back up to speed quicker on some of the flatter sections..
 

rider95

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Don't over look the need to have your suspension set up right for you and tires are more important on a e bike both in wear and handling , same for your brakes you cant go fast with out good brakes E bikes are harder on all of them . I just got a really good deal on some M4s I am gonna try out , along with a muddy mary front tire these will be going on my new build which will be a 2010 Giant Regin with a fox talas 36 20 mm axle fork .
 

Butch

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Having owned a couple Levo's I can tell you the speed downhill depends on how techy it is. On my mtb, way faster through rocky "pick a line" downhills. Where as smooth, flow or plow over chatter type downhills my "seat of the pants" speedo tells me pretty close speeds.
 

av8or

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Owner of a fatboy here and contemplating on getting the levo fatbike, but waiting for the 18' model. I heard that is has some upgrades from the 17' like the handle bar control and better and stronger motor.
 
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