We wandered round the London Bike Show yesterday and there's plenty of fun stuff to see. It's not just e-bikes of course, and it's not just bikes: the Show takes place alongside the Outdoor Adventure & Camping Show, Triathlon Show London and Oceans Festival, with 1 ticket giving access to all 4 Shows and a host of things to see and do. If you're nearby it's definitely worth checking out.
We were mostly there for the e-bikes though. And here are 5 picks from the show that we thought you'd find interesting. Enjoy!
Orange Alpine 6
If you'd asked us to make a list of mountain bike brands that were going to dip their toe in the e-bike waters this year we probably wouldn't have picked Orange: their reputation is as more of a purist brand for the serious trail rider. It just goes to show how much e-MTBs have become a part of the landscape in the past couple of years.
This bike is a prototype, from Orange's Strange Bikes Division, and it's based on the Alpine 6 long travel trail bike. With a 170mm fork and 160mm of travel from Orange's ubiquitous single pivot suspension design at the rear, the powered version of the Alpine 6 shares exactly the same geometry as its pedal-only sibling.
The difference is that here you get a Shimano STEPS E8000 motor, and a 504Wh battery concealed in the massive down tube. The bike is also running Shimano's Di2 electronic gearing which is powered from the same battery, and it gets a wishlist build of Fox shocks, Hope disc brakes and Race Face wheels. Orange build all their frames at their Halifax base and this one would be no exception, were it to go into production.
Cannondale Quick Neo
We've been having a lot of fun on Cannondale's new Moterra e-MTBs of late: check out our Plus tyres vs long travel feature for a start, and there's reviews of the two bikes we have coming soon. But Cannondale also have a decent range of city e-bikes, of which the £2,499 Quick Neo is one.
It's available in a diamond or a low-step frame, and it gets the Shimano STEPS motor and a 10-speed Shimano Deore drivetrain, along with hydraulic disc brakes. You get full mudguards and integrated lights too.
The bikes get a rack as standard to make it easier to cart stuff around, and up fron there's a Suntour NCX fork to take the sting out of badly-surfaced roads, or unsurfaced paths. The 38mm Schwalbe tyres will help there too.
Focus JAM2 Pro
The JAM2 range of bikes from Focus have a clever trick up their sleeve: you can fit a second battery to extend the range.
The bike uses Shimano's E8000 mountain bike motor but not the standard battery; instead Focus have opted for a 384Wh internal battery that gives the bike a very integrated look and also means that it's a little bit lighter. The frame uses the same F.O.L.D suspension design as Focus' non-powered bikes.
That smaller battery (most mountain bikes get a 500Wh battery) also means you're a bit more limited in terms of range. But not if you buy the T.E.C pack battery extension pack, which pushes the bike's capacity up to over 700Wh: perfect if you're planning a big alpine ride or a two-day bikepacking adventure. If you're just having a two-hour blast round the local trails you can leave the extended battery at home.
The battery fits to a downtube mount that also accepts a custom bottle cage. You plumb it into the the bike via a connecting socket underneath the bike's top tube (sorry for the dodgy pic!)
The £4,799 Pro is the top model in the range with Shimano's XT Di2 electronic shifting, Rock Shox suspension and DT Swiss wheels. The piggy-back battery is another £460 on top of that.
Batribike Perdu and Quintessential
Last time we talked to Batribike they were talking about bringing some of their production over to Europe from the Far East. In fact they've gone the whole hog: their entire range is now produced in Lithuania, and they've teamed up with Danish motor system manufacturer Pro-Movec to produce some very nice-looking new bikes.
Most interesting is the Perdu, a £1,399 city bike. Can you spot the battery? We couldn't either.
In fact it's in the chain case. It's a proper-sized 370Wh battery, too, not a little one they've squeezed in there. The chain is fully enclosed, and the bike has hub gears, a rear roller brake, integrated lights, an AXA frame lock... it looks like just the ticket for easy city cycling.
The Quintessential, also £1,399, we like the look of too. This one uses the leather saddlebag to house the battery, and again it's a proper full-sized battery for a decent range. The bike gets a nicely-finished frame with colour-matched mudguards, a fancy chain case, lights, tan tyres and a wicker basket. It looks very smart, and like the Perdu you wouldn't notice it was an e-bike at first glance.
The London Bike Show runs until Sunday. www.thelondonbikeshow.co.uk