Ebike suggestion

RJUK

Active member
Sep 29, 2021
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285
UK
Hi folks,

I'm considering getting my first ebike and looking at the deals that are currently available, but not sure what to go for exactly.

I'd prefer something relatively light as I'm used to an acoustic bike, but was riding with a friend with an ebike at the weekend and my severe lack of fitness and his ebike made for me being constantly left behind.

I've somehow got an idea of a £6500ish budget in my head, pulled out of thin air, and would want to use Cycle Scheme.

I'm fairly flexible on spec, but generally like Shimano XT sort of spec and Fox suspension.

I've seen you can get a Trek rail with XT around this price, so I'm thinking that's likely my best option, and comes with the powerful Bosch motor and big 750wh battery. Also around this price is the Spesh Kenevo SL Expert, but of course that has a much smaller battery and less powerful motor, so I'm worried that even in Turbo mode I'd get tired out and left behind. I think from the available systems I'd like to go with either Bosch or Brose (though I'm only really considering the Brose because of the Spesh warranty and their neat top tube display integration.)

Ideally I'd love a Levo Pro, but even discounted they're £9600, which is far too much. Even the Levo Expert is £8k.

Am I missing any other great options that might fit the bill?

What would you buy at this sort of price range?
 

beanzz

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Feb 7, 2023
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I would personally go for a canyon Spectral cf9 or an orbea rise however it's a lot easier to get service with specialized and Trek
 

RJUK

Active member
Sep 29, 2021
535
285
UK
I would personally go for a canyon Spectral cf9 or an orbea rise however it's a lot easier to get service with specialized and Trek
Funny enough I considered both bikes. I actually almost bought a Rise M10 last year.

Both those bikes use the Shimano motor though and I saw some mutterings of an issue with the Shimano system at the moment?

Also, the Rise is another reduced power MTB. As much as I'd like the bike to be as light as possible I think it'll need to be a full power EMTB as I'm just so unfit. (Going to be using the electric power as a crutch to get me back out riding more often, and with 2 kids time is as limited as my fitness levels.)

I've also seen the Whyte E-160 RSX which looks amazing, but is really heavy. I need to be able to lift this in and out of my car boot by myself, so the lighter the better.

Also, I like the idea of being able to quickly remove the battery, so I can charge it inside and keep it out of extreme heat in the summer and freezing temps in the winter.

The Trek Rail does this perfectly with its simple removal but removal via an Allen bolt or two at the bottom of the downtube wouldn't be a deal breaker if the rest of the bike was on point.

If I ended up going for the Rail did anyone figure out a way to use the new Bluetooth controller with the gen 3 models yet? I prefer the Kiox screen, but don't like the massive bar remote. Why Bosch wouldn't allow you to use them together is beyond me. That seems like the obvious best option.

Oh, and good point about the aftercare. That's another reason I like the Trek and Spesh - both have stores in my city. With a normal bike that wouldn't be a concern as I can do most things myself, but it would be good having a nearby store in case of motor failures or servicing related to the electrical system.

For me, the Specialized store is closer and easier to get to, plus has its own car park. Also they have the same sale offers available online. Trek just seem to be powering ahead with last year's stock at full RRP, with bikes marked up several grand higher than they cost online. Crazy.
 

Tubby G

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What type of riding do you do? Will you be using the motor to shuttle you to the top of the hill and get as many laps on the local trails as possible, or are high mileage all day adventures your thing ? Some bikes are better at pointing down the steep trails whereas others are designed to be great at the technical climbs. Many are good all rounders.

£6k will get you a brilliant bike, especially if you go for a discounted 2022 model rather than the latest ‘23. There’s so many to choose from and they’ll all be great. Personally I’d go for an M10 Orbea Rise which has XT and Fox Factory, and can be snapped up now for around £6k, but that’s only because I ride a Rise myself and think they’re bloomin’ fantastic. No doubt others will all recommend the bikes they currently ride too 😀

There’s also some great deals to be had on Levo’s - are you sure your prices are correct? Are they the new ‘23 models? Maybe look at the discounted ‘22 models.
 

Tubby G

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And just to add, I’m over 18 stone and ride a lightweight bike. There’s plenty of power in those ‘reduced power’ motors. I have a full fat bike too with Bosch motor but have ridden that maybe twice since having the Rise (in almost a year)
 

Dave_B

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Aug 29, 2020
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For me, the Specialized store is closer and easier to get to, plus has its own car park. Also they have the same sale offers available online. Trek just seem to be powering ahead with last year's stock at full RRP, with bikes marked up several grand higher than they cost online. Crazy.

Go into the Spesh shop and get the Levo, just make sure you get one with the 700wh battery.

The alloy Levo comp is a great bike out the box and a great price.

No matter what ebike you buy, you will need support from the shop, so get the Spesh as they are closer to you. When you need. Motor replacing, they can probay get it done within a few days for you.
 

Tubby G

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Go into the Spesh shop and get the Levo, just make sure you get one with the 700wh battery.

The alloy Levo comp is a great bike out the box and a great price.

No matter what ebike you buy, you will need support from the shop, so get the Spesh as they are closer to you. When you need. Motor replacing, they can probay get it done within a few days for you.

Yeah and a quick google shows the ‘22 comp is around £5.5k
 

Tubby G

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All bikes on your list should have a Bosch CX Gen 4 motor. Then from that list choose the dealer you most trust.

I’ve got two bikes with the Bosch Gen 4. One of the motors failed and it took around 4 weeks to be replaced under warranty. I also prefer the way the Shimano motor delivers its power, feels more natural. The Bosch is instant power, the moment you touch the pedal it wants to set off like a rocket. Many people like that, some don’t 👊🏽
 

irie

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May 2, 2022
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I’ve got two bikes with the Bosch Gen 4. One of the motors failed and it took around 4 weeks to be replaced under warranty. I also prefer the way the Shimano motor delivers its power, feels more natural. The Bosch is instant power, the moment you touch the pedal it wants to set off like a rocket. Many people like that, some don’t 👊🏽
The point is that after warranty expiry Bosch motors can be repaired (for example by Homepage - eBike Motor Centre (Performance Line Bearings)) or a new motor purchased, whereas (IIRC) Shimano motors can not be repaired nor can new Shimano motors be purchased.
 

RJUK

Active member
Sep 29, 2021
535
285
UK
Interesting stuff. That's my concern - I don't want to spend car money on a bike if the motor can go bang 2 weeks out of warranty and turn the whole thing into an expensive paperweight.

The Levo doesn't use Bosch though - it has the Brose motor.

I prefer the idea of the Bosch system - big display, big 750wh battery and I've not seen much of them failing, but the Spesh system has the best integration, smaller remote, better integrated display and generally more discreet.

I'm tempted by the alloy comp Levo or Comp carbon, but then see the Trek Rail 9.8XT and it's both carbon and well specced...

In terms of the sort of riding I do, mainly trail type stuff. I like the idea of having a slightly larger battery than I need, so that I don't have to run it 100% to 0%, which should help battery longevity.

I don't need anything like a massive hard hitting rig, but I went into the Spesh store (and the Trek store, actually) last weekend and the Kenevo SL just looked really neat. It's just a shame they're so light on the assistance. Part of me thinks "sod it" just get the Kenevo SL Expert and the other part of me knows full well that I need as much assistance as I can get, so a full power is really the way to go.

I test rode a friend's Cube around a year ago and tbh didn't really like the Turbo mode, so ended up using trail most of the time I think, but I think the SL motor has even less assistance than that, so I'm concerned it wouldn't be enough.

Before popping into the bike stores last weekend I had been out with my friend who has the ebike and I was just so knackered trying to keep up that it was all I could think about. Hard to enjoy the ride when you're too tired to put the energy into it. I just want the ebike power to alleviate that and help me get fitter in the process, without losing out in the bike's kit spec.

My acoustic bike is a Canyon Spectral CF8, so XT groupset and brakes, Fox 36 Performance Elite (Grip2) and Fox float X on the rear. 160/150 travel.

So the Trek Rail and Levos seem to be the ebike equivalent, at least in terms of suspension travel and purpose.
 

RJUK

Active member
Sep 29, 2021
535
285
UK
And then this lands in my inbox...

My only concern is support and servicing, plus it's the Shimano motor and you can't spec the new larger battery, you have to buy it additionally to the 540wh unit.

Also, not sure what the Fox DPS is compared with the X2? Otherwise it looks pretty neat. Didn't they have a Fox 38 on last year though? Seems to be a 36 this year.
B3971270-B7A4-470B-B60F-1932AC30BBC8.png
 

Tubby G

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Dec 15, 2020
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Interesting stuff. That's my concern - I don't want to spend car money on a bike if the motor can go bang 2 weeks out of warranty and turn the whole thing into an expensive paperweight.

The Levo doesn't use Bosch though - it has the Brose motor.

I prefer the idea of the Bosch system - big display, big 750wh battery and I've not seen much of them failing, but the Spesh system has the best integration, smaller remote, better integrated display and generally more discreet.

I'm tempted by the alloy comp Levo or Comp carbon, but then see the Trek Rail 9.8XT and it's both carbon and well specced...

In terms of the sort of riding I do, mainly trail type stuff. I like the idea of having a slightly larger battery than I need, so that I don't have to run it 100% to 0%, which should help battery longevity.

I don't need anything like a massive hard hitting rig, but I went into the Spesh store (and the Trek store, actually) last weekend and the Kenevo SL just looked really neat. It's just a shame they're so light on the assistance. Part of me thinks "sod it" just get the Kenevo SL Expert and the other part of me knows full well that I need as much assistance as I can get, so a full power is really the way to go.

I test rode a friend's Cube around a year ago and tbh didn't really like the Turbo mode, so ended up using trail most of the time I think, but I think the SL motor has even less assistance than that, so I'm concerned it wouldn't be enough.

Before popping into the bike stores last weekend I had been out with my friend who has the ebike and I was just so knackered trying to keep up that it was all I could think about. Hard to enjoy the ride when you're too tired to put the energy into it. I just want the ebike power to alleviate that and help me get fitter in the process, without losing out in the bike's kit spec.

My acoustic bike is a Canyon Spectral CF8, so XT groupset and brakes, Fox 36 Performance Elite (Grip2) and Fox float X on the rear. 160/150 travel.

So the Trek Rail and Levos seem to be the ebike equivalent, at least in terms of suspension travel and purpose.

When I first got the full fat Bosch powered bike I was going out for epic 35+ mile rides, just because I could. I’d also be turbo’ing up hills as fast as possible, just because I could.

However once the honeymoon period was over, I was mainly riding in Tour mode, and only doing on average 15-20 miles at the local trails as that is all time would allow. I’d only use about half of the battery on these rides, and I soon realised that I was carrying around a load of extra weight which I wasn’t using (big battery)

That was one of the reasons I went down the lightweight bike route. Trail mode on the Shimano is around the same power as Tour on the Bosch, and I still easily get around 20-25 miles at my local trails, without carrying the extra weight. If Im going for one of the occasional all day rides I just slap on a range extender, which then provides around the same range as a full fat.

I find my full fat is great for XC adventures, but not so great where agility is key on the steeper loam trails. Another reason I went down the lightweight route. My full fat is a heavy bike though, weighing in at over 25kg
 

Tubby G

❤️‍🔥 Hot Stuff ❤️‍🔥
Dec 15, 2020
2,570
5,173
North Yorkshire
And then this lands in my inbox...

My only concern is support and servicing, plus it's the Shimano motor and you can't spec the new larger battery, you have to buy it additionally to the 540wh unit.

Also, not sure what the Fox DPS is compared with the X2? Otherwise it looks pretty neat. Didn't they have a Fox 38 on last year though? Seems to be a 36 this year.
View attachment 108646

The DPS doesn’t have a piggy back. Pretty sure the shock in that photo is the float X2 🤷‍♂️
 

RJUK

Active member
Sep 29, 2021
535
285
UK
The DPS doesn’t have a piggy back. Pretty sure the shock in that photo is the float X2 🤷‍♂️
That's what I thought. Looks like an X2.

They also do the Decoy in a version with Ohlins suspension, which seems to be cheaper for some reason and in a nice purple colour... Just with none in stock. Bah!
 

RJUK

Active member
Sep 29, 2021
535
285
UK
When I first got the full fat Bosch powered bike I was going out for epic 35+ mile rides, just because I could. I’d also be turbo’ing up hills as fast as possible, just because I could.

However once the honeymoon period was over, I was mainly riding in Tour mode, and only doing on average 15-20 miles at the local trails as that is all time would allow. I’d only use about half of the battery on these rides, and I soon realised that I was carrying around a load of extra weight which I wasn’t using (big battery)

That was one of the reasons I went down the lightweight bike route. Trail mode on the Shimano is around the same power as Tour on the Bosch, and I still easily get around 20-25 miles at my local trails, without carrying the extra weight. If Im going for one of the occasional all day rides I just slap on a range extender, which then provides around the same range as a full fat.

I find my full fat is great for XC adventures, but not so great where agility is key on the steeper loam trails. Another reason I went down the lightweight route. My full fat is a heavy bike though, weighing in at over 25kg
Yeah, I asked my local Spesh dealer if they had any SLs to test ride, but all they have is Levo Alloys in S3 and S4 sizes. I guess I could try one of these and ask what setting is roughly equal to 35nm...
 

irie

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May 2, 2022
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Yeah, I asked my local Spesh dealer if they had any SLs to test ride, but all they have is Levo Alloys in S3 and S4 sizes. I guess I could try one of these and ask what setting is roughly equal to 35nm...
What bike was your friend below riding?

I'd prefer something relatively light as I'm used to an acoustic bike, but was riding with a friend with an ebike at the weekend and my severe lack of fitness and his ebike made for me being constantly left behind.
 

Dave_B

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I just sold a Rail 9.8 XT and got the Levo.

The electrics on the Bosch are clunky compared to Spesh and the bar controller on the Rail is difficult to operate while riding.

The Bosch motor rattles very loudly, ruins the ride experience, the Brose is silent going downhill.
 

RJUK

Active member
Sep 29, 2021
535
285
UK
What bike was your friend below riding?
Nothing special, just a Haibike hardtail (Hard9 I think it's called). But I grew up with bikes so I like something a bit higher spec. He usually rides more flat stuff like cycle paths, but enjoyed his time on the trails, so I dare say the more we go out the more he'll be inclined to get something a bit more "proper" for trails and bikeparks.
 

RJUK

Active member
Sep 29, 2021
535
285
UK
I just sold a Rail 9.8 XT and got the Levo.

The electrics on the Bosch are clunky compared to Spesh and the bar controller on the Rail is difficult to operate while riding.

The Bosch motor rattles very loudly, ruins the ride experience, the Brose is silent going downhill.
Clunky how? And what Levo did you get? My only real concern with the Spesh is the Brose motor reliability. Also Rob Rides reckons the Bosch feels more powerful in general (across a wider cadence range), despite the lower torque... thoughts?
 

Dave_B

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Like a Tonka toy clunky. (Unless you buy the new one which looks better).

Spesh will replace your motor without question, on the same day, all Spesh stores carry spare motors.

The Bosch is a much stronger climber, no question.

I got the Levo alloy comp, but have upgraded it to an S works spec.

1EEEAD32-79B0-43A3-B08A-1FC19363A406.jpeg
 

RJUK

Active member
Sep 29, 2021
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Like a Tonka toy clunky. (Unless you buy the new one which looks better).

Spesh will replace your motor without question, on the same day, all Spesh stores carry spare motors.

The Bosch is a much stronger climber, no question.

I got the Levo alloy comp, but have upgraded it to an S works spec.




View attachment 108656
Did you strip the paint or do they come like that?! So what made you want to change from a carbon rail to an alloy Levo then? Did you buy it as above or buy it new and modify it?

I don't mind the gen 3 Bosch display when mounted on the top tube like Trek do, but the remote is crazy huge and bound to get damaged in any crash or if you ever want to turn your bike upside down for any reason.

The Levo's display, while smaller, has all the necessary info and a much nicer integration, for sure. And the bar remote is a sensible size.

I'm just note sure about an alloy bike. What does a Levo Alloy Comp weigh in standard spec? Maybe I could look at a Levo Comp Carbon and upgrade the fork damper.
 

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