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E-bike News: Liv’s New Women’s E-mtbs, Nicolai’s Nine Hub Gears and Much More !
Mar 17, 2023
Giant’s sub-brand Liv is a women-specific and appears to have gone from strength to strength since it was launched in 2014. It’s not just a matter of scaling down a larger frame – Liv say their bikes and e-bikes are fully women-specific, where the frame itself has a distinct geometry designed specifically for women using only body dimension data from women, as well as different contact points and suspension tune. Given the success of the brand it begs the question, why aren’t more e-bike manufacturers making truly women-specific e-bikes?
Juiced to relaunch key models in wake of trademark dispute
Off-road access – class 1 education vitally important
The phenomenal success of Germany’s e-bike industry
LIV – GIANT’S WOMEN-SPECIFIC BRAND RELAUNCHES HIGH PERFORMANCE EMBOLDEN E-MTBS
The new LIV Embolden range of e-mtbs designed for women are the highest performance e-mtbs from the brand yet. All model variants get the powerful SyncDrive motors and a large battery with upgraded, longer travel suspension compared to previous Embolden models.
There will be two main models with spec variants, the Embolden E+ Pro and the Embolden E+. Built to make high performance and technical mountain biking even more fun and more accessible for all. Bikes in the Embolden E+ Series include suspension forks with 140mm of travel. They also get Flexpoint suspension – a single-pivot design with 125mm of rear travel.
The Embolden E+ Pro is equipped with a SyncDrive Pro 2 mid-drive claiming 85Nm of torque and a large frame-integrated EnergyPak Smart 800.
The other models Embolden E+1, E+2 and E+ EX are equipped with the smaller SyncDrive Sport2 motor, which offers a torque of 75 Nm.
UK prices released so far are Embolden E+ 1 Pro £4299 and Embolden E+ 2 £3499.
Giant’s Stance E+ range also now has two new models, the E+ 1 and E+ 2, both with the same 125mm of rear travel, and a 140mm suspension fork. Both models get the SyncDrive Sport 2 motor and an EnergyPak Smart 625 battery.
UK prices are Stance E+ 1 £3,999 and Stance E+2 £3,499.
HOVSCO LAUNCH SMALL-WHEELED E-CARGO AND FULL-SUS TRAIL MODELS WITH TORQUE SENSING
Once you’ve read a few e-bike articles one thing that comes up time and again is that torque sensing is generally considered a superior way of delivering motor power than cadence or motion sensors (though the latter vary hugely from the very crude to the rather sophisticated). Torque sensing, relying on pedal pressure rather than just pedal crank motion, is said to give both a more ‘bike like’ ride as well as making more economical use of your valuable battery capacity.
So two new models from Hosco, the HovCart and HovScout, caught our eye, not only because they feature torque sensing but because they are also attractively priced (torque sensing e-bikes have traditionally sold at a premium over cadence sensing ones.
The Hovcart has 20” fat tires, a class 2 e-bike, 20 mph rear hub motor (unlockable to 28 mph) and a 720Wh battery. There are a number of accessories for carrying kiddies or large loads on the rear. It retails for $1999.
The Hovscout is a full-suspension fat tire bike with similar rear hub motor and battery specs to the Hovcart that retails for $2499.
NICOLAI’S NINE-SPEED HUB GEAR, BELT DRIVE, FULL SUS EMTB
Nicolai are a high end German e-bike brand and have just introduced the interesting looking Nine 3×3 gear hub with Gates belt drive to their G1 Eboxx and GT1 Eboxx models. Apparently this makes Nicolai the first series manufacturer to implement this drivetrain technology in its e-bikes.
What’s so special about the Nine 3×3 hub gear unit? The gear ratio of the nine gears is 554% – about what a traditional high end mountain bike has. Thus, the manufacturer covers the complete mountain bike gear spectrum. Other units like the Rohloff 14 that cover a big range are 12- or 14-speed, the smaller steps being designed for muscle power, with the larger steps of the 3×3 more suited to e-bikes, say Nine.
The new gear hub even claims to be able to shift gears under load and it is even claimed it will take up to 250 Nm input torque.
The two Eboxx models differ in their geometry but both feature Bosch Performance Line CX motors with the latest Smart system and 750 Wh batteries.
JUICED TO RELAUNCH HYPERSCORPION AND HYPERSCRAMBLER 2 AFTER TRADEMARK STRUGGLES
Juiced is known for its fast, moped-style e-bikes. Online reports say their HyperScorpion and HyperScrambler 2 models will be renamed and relaunched in 2023 after legal battles involving trademarking names.
This interesting article from Bicycle Retailer and Industry News (BRAIN) stresses the importance of Class 1 e-mtbs and responsible use by riders as the keystones of continued expanding access for e-bikes on off-road trails.
It’s actually an opinion piece from someone who should know all about these matters – David Wiens, Executive Director of the International Mountain Bicycling Association. His organisation looks to be doing some great work in helping expand and improve responsible trail access for e-bikes and it’s worth quoting the following as it sums up the importance of education around class 1 use – class 2 and 3 e-bikes being much more restricted on off road trails – and it includes some interesting links too:
Given the void in e-MTB user education, an e-MTB Resource Hub has been built at trailsarecommonground.org that includes, among other items, two, single-page infographics: an E-Bike Buyer’s Guide and an E-Bike Identification Guide. These guides succinctly outline the class system and show which class is allowed on what trails. The guide’s bottom line message is that class 1 e-MTBs are the class most likely to be allowed on non-motorized trails, as long as they don’t compromise the non-motorized experience.’
In the same vein, BRAIN tells about further possible new e-bike off-roading in Alaska:
‘The Bureau of Land Management is considering allowing e-bikes on the Campbell Tract, which is a 730-acre Special Recreation Management Area (SRMA) here.
The BLM is holding a hearing March 21 at the BLM Campbell Creek Science Center in Anchorage to gather public input.
Nearly 500,000 people visit the Campbell Tract each year, with the Campbell Tract SRMA supporting recreation activities like running, mountain and fat tire biking, orienteering, horseback riding, and Nordic skiing. However, the Ring of Fire Resource Management Plan designated the recreation site as non-motorized, closing it to all motorized use on designated routes, including e-bikes.’
GERMAN DOMESTIC E-BIKE PRODUCTION SHINES
Cycling Industry News reports that ‘Bicycle production in Germany hit an all-time high in 2022, with 2.6 million bicycles and e-bikes produced. Bicycle production was flat (900,000 units) while e-bikes continued their growth trajectory, up 20% to 1.72 million vehicles.’
As in many other countries, sales of regular bikes are flat or even declining whilst e-bikes growth continues and is clearly helping to add a huge amount of value to the bike market:
‘ E-bikes were consistently positive, with sales values peaking in 2022 at 2.2 million units (up 10% on 2021). Looking at the longer term, the numbers revealed a startling quadrupling of the German market over the last decade; from circa €2 billion in 2012 to €7.36 billion in 2022.
Leading e-bike brands that have substantial manufacturing and assembly capabilities in Germany include Cube, Riese and Muller, Winora/Haibike and Canyon. What’s the secret of German success? Many of these firms are still controlled by families or at least original founders but can also boast huge facilities, some with miles of automated delivery tracks to deliver parts to the correct point once ordered up by computer – whilst it’s hard to know what the magic ingredient is these seem to be common factors, and being located in Europe’s biggest and richest e-bike market is probably helpful too!