fbpx

Vitus Mach E Urban Electric Bike Review

This post contains affiliate links, to find out more information, please read my affiliate disclosure

Vitus Mach E Urban Electric Bike Review (and why I decided to buy one)

The Vitus brand is sold direct to consumer via Wiggle and Chain Reaction cycles and is synonymous with great value for money and good quality.  I recently had the chance to test out their Vitus Mach E urban (Alivio) electric bike and I was so impressed with it, I brought one! Read my full review below to see why I think it’s one of the best all round e-bikes currently available.

Summary

The Vitus Mach E Urban e-bike brings a breath of fresh air to the £2000 price bracket.  For starters it’s very light (for a crank drive e-bike) – weighing in at just 17.3kg,  it comes in at a whopping 6kg lighter than the similarly priced Bosch-powered Cube Reaction Hybrid Performance . Another big plus point is the excellent Shimano Steps E6100 crank motor and powerful 504Wh battery pack.

vitus mach e urban electric bike

Although styled and marketed as an ‘urban electric bike’ it comes across as an incredibly versatile machine that is equally happy on city streets or moorland gravel tracks.  The frame geometry means it’s not only comfortable, but responsive and stable to ride.  If you wanted to uses this as a gravel / adventure bike you could fit 650b rims with 47mm wide gravel-specific tyres or stick with the capable 700 x 40 Vee G-Sport tyres already fitted.

Riding the Mach E brought a big smile to my face. It remined me of the more expensive BMC Alpine Challenge AMP Cross Two electric bike. Riding without the e-assist wasn’t a problem – which is one of the things that attracted me to it (along with the price).

The Shimano Steps E6100 motor (also found on the aforementioned BMC) epitomises everything a good e-bike motor should be – lightweight, quiet, smooth and very responsive to rider input. The claimed battery range is a massive 185km in Eco mode – I have personally achieved a range of just under 100 miles (with one bar left on the battery indicator).

2021 Vitus Mach e urban electric bike

I borrowed the test bike from a friend and was so impressed with it, I decided to buy one. When I went onto Wiggle and found the 2020 model had been reduced to a very reasonable £1649.99, temptation got the better of me!  The 2020 model is now sold out but the latest 2021 model is now available in stock for the regular price of £2199.99.

So why did I decided to buy the Vitus Mach E?

I’ve been toying with the idea of getting another electric bike for some time now.  Riding an E-bike helped get me back into cycling and lose nearly 4 stone in weight (25kg) – I progressed on to road cycling (in 2017) and have since covered over 12,000 unassisted miles.

weight loss transformation before and after losing weight riding an ebike

Since I started this blog a couple of years ago, I’ve had the pleasure of testing out many different models of e-bike. They’re getter lighter, more efficient and a lot of the latest electric bikes provide a more natural cycling feel. Long gone are the days when e-bikes were ugly, cumbersome machines that were inefficient and quite frankly, unpleasant to ride.

I ride anywhere between 75-120 miles per week, purely from a recreational (and fitness) perspective. It’s fair to say that I’ve been well and truly bitten by the cycling bug, but I also realise I’m not getting any younger and staying fit isn’t just important for me, but it also inspires my kids to be more active.

Since I started riding a regular bike in 2017, I have completed many 100+ mile days in the saddle and lots of epic rides around the South West of England. I’ve seen my fitness increase to a level that I never thought possible and at 51 years of age I feel fitter than I did as a teenager.

So why have I decided to buy another electric bike? Well, for starters the Vitus Mach E is going to be complementing my current cycling regime not replacing it – I’ll still be putting in the miles on my regular road bike.

My primary reason for buying an e-bike is to enable me to ride on recovery days (at a lower intensity), but I’d also start factoring in more regular 100 mile bike rides.  Cornwall can be a very unforgiving place for an older cyclist. There are no flat roads in the area I live, you’re either cycling up hill or down hill. On an average local ride I regularly climb 3500ft (1066m) over a typical 30 mile ride. If I do 60 miles then it is usually nearly 6000ft of climbing.

This isn’t too much of a problem if you’re a lightweight rider, but I’m  6’1″  (185cm) tall and weigh 17 stone (107kg), I’ve always been a big lad – it’s just the way I’m built! Consequently the constant hill climbing does take it out of me and if I do go on a long ride, when I get home I usually flake out. Which isn’t particularly helpful for my wife!

strava map of 107 mile bike ride

I always said to myself that at one stage I would buy another e-bike, but a certain criteria needed to be met. I wanted an electric bike that was fairly lightweight, so I could pedal it unassisted for at least 50% of the ride and it needed to have a decent battery to give me a potential range of around 100 miles. It also had to cost under £2000.  I wanted an e-bike that would essentially ride like a regular bike, but would flatten out some of the more brutal climbs and enable me to ride longer distances at a better pace, but without me crumbling when I (eventually) got home.

Having now ridden over 250 miles on the Vitus Mach E, I’m 100% certain I made the right choice!

2021 Vitus Mach E Urban Electric Bike now available from Wiggle

Electric components

The Vitus Mach E Urban uses one of the best electric assist systems currently available. In fact this exact system is found on more expensive brands like BMC. The battery is also top-notch offering a potential assisted range of up to 185km on a single charge.

Shimano Steps E6100 Motor Review

shimano steps ebike system with battery and display

Photo courtesy of Shimano

Motors nowadays are so much more refined than they were a few years ago, and even though the Shimano Steps E6100 motor was released in 2018, it has stood the test of time very well. Not only is the E6100 very light at 2.8kg, but the battery weighs in at 2.5kg making the whole system 5.3kg which is excellent for a mid-drive system like this. It’s true that the Fazua Evation system is lighter at 4.6kg, but the battery has half of the energy capacity.

I would say the Steps E6100 compares favourably with the Bosch Active Plus system. The E6100 produces a very respectable 60Nm of torque and feels very lively in high power mode. Having ridden both, I prefer the Shimano as it definitely has a little more oomph, and the transition from assist to unassisted (at the 25km/h cut-off) is almost imperceptible. The way the assist starts is also incredibly smooth.

shimano steps e6100 motor fitted to the vitus mach e urban electric bike

What I really love about these high tech mid-drive systems is they take your pedalling effort and enhance it. The torque sensor fitted to the Shimano Steps is very sensitive to changes in pedalling force and what you get is a very intuitive level of assistance.

Having ridden this bike a good few miles now, for me the sweet spot is ‘Eco’ mode – this is the most efficient assist level and amplifies your pedalling effort by 70%. I find this really takes the sting out of the 15% climbs near where I live.  When using ‘Normal’ mode the motor gives 150% of assist – I use this if I need to go somewhere in a hurry. ‘High’ mode produces a massive 230% of assist and literally flattens out all but the steepest of hills. I can see maximum assist being very helpful for riders just getting back into cycling after either a long period without exercise or after an illness or injury – it really is a game changer!

Video of me analysing the ride data of the Vitus Mach E vs Ribble CGR AL e vs Regular bike

 When compared with the Fazua Evation and X35 drive systems, the Shimano Steps E6100 produces considerably more assistance. It’s not a million miles away from the high performance Bosch CX performance line or even the Shimano Steps E8000 e-MTB system.

Display

shimano steps e6100 display

Another great thing about the E6100 system is the wealth of functionality and information available from the display. When you compare it to the entry-level Bosch Purion display, there’s no comparison.  There is the usual info like speed, trip computer, assist level and battery indicator plus other useful information like estimated battery range and pedalling cadence (rpm). You also have the option of removing the display altogether or downloading an app and using your Android or Apple smartphone as the display.

The display is clear and easy to read, and there is also Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity – you can even pair the display with a Garmin or Sigma cycle computer (see below). You can also connect a lighting system and operate it using the display – really useful for commuting in the winter.

Shimano also offer a companion app the Shimano E-Tube Project – this can be downloaded as an Android or Apple smartphone app, and there is a version for Windows for your laptop or PC. From here you can download firmware updates and even configure certain pedal assist characteristics. Through this app you can also turn your smartphone (or Garmin) into the display – there is a list of supported devices on the Garmin website.

504Wh Battery

The Shimano battery on the Vitus Mach E is the highest spec 504Wh version and uses high quality Sony 18650 Lithium cells – even the more expensive BMC only has the 418Wh battery fitted. Shimano claim a range of up to 185km in ‘Eco’ mode which is based on a combined rider / bike weight of 100kg, riding on flat terrain – I’ve managed to squeeze nearly 100 miles from one charge, although the battery wasn’t totally depleted and the indicator was still showing one bar remaining (I didn’t have the assist on the whole time and only used ‘Eco’ mode). The battery charger is shipped with an EU plug, so you will need to purchase a EU to UK plug adaptor.

vitus mach e battery

Is the Shimano Steps system Waterproof?

Well, so far so good. I’ve ridden about 250 miles to date, nearly all of which has been on wintery, wet and muddy Cornish country lanes, with the occasional moorland gravel ride. I’ve ridden in heavy downpours, through fords and so far, no problems (fingers crossed).  After each ride, I give my bike a good wash (with a garden hose) and this hasn’t caused any problems. I wouldn’t recommend pressure washing though.

Bike components

The components fitted to the Vitus Mach E are about right for the price point. It’s nice that there are Shimano flat-mount hydraulic disc brakes and Vitus own brand rims with thru-axles. The gearing is provided by the dependable Shimano Alivio, which works absolutely fine.

Gearing

Alivio is at the lower end of Shimano’s MTB groupset range, but in my experience it is reliable and works well. The Alivio RD-M4000 rear derailleur has always been  my ‘go to’ mech when I’ve wanted to use a wider range gear cassette on my touring bike and road bike. It will easily work with an 11-36 cassette and I have successfully used an Alivio derailleur with an 11-40 rear cassette with no noticeable reduction in shifting quality.

shimano alivio rd-m4000 rear derailleur

The Vitus gearing is probably more suitable for undulating terrain – it comes as standard with an 11-34 9-speed cassette in combination with a 44t chainring. I personally found this gearing a little too high for the steep hills in Cornwall, so I initially replaced the rear cassette for a Sunrace 11-40 9-speed. I was also going to change front chainring for the optional 38t that’s available, but I’ve now changed to a complete 11-speed system with an 11-46 rear cassette. Mid-drive electric bike motors are more efficient at higher pedalling cadences, so if you live in a very hilly area you may want to consider this upgrade when purchasing the Mach E.

Brakes

The brakes are excellent Shimano UR300 flat mount hydraulic brakes with 160mm rotors. I find they work very well (once sufficiently bedded in and warmed up) and provided the right amount of modulation and bite. They also look very neat and the levers are comfortable to operate.

shimano ur300 flat mount hydraulic brakes

Wheels and tyres

The wheels are Vitus own branded components. They have the obligatory thru-axles and are shod in 700 x 40 Vee Tire Co G-Sport E-Bike tyres which come in a very nice ‘gum wall’ finish. These tyres seem to be a good all-rounder for road and a bit of gravel riding, although I couldn’t find a lot of information about them on the internet. They do make for a very nice ride and the manufacturer claims a good level of puncture protection. I’ve decided to fit a pair of Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres  to mine as I had a nearly new pair knocking about.

I Initially thought the wheels looked and felt quite tough, but within 150 miles of poorly surfaced Cornish back lanes (and a heavy rider) I had a broken spoke. This wasn’t too much of a problem for me as I had spare spokes and a truing stand. Whether this was a one-off, due to a combination of my weight and bad roads it’s hard to say, but I decided to err on the side of caution and purchased a Shimano RS170 wheelset  – if you decide on this upgrade, remember to get a pair of Shimano 160mm centre-lock disc rotors. I’ve used budget Shimano wheelsets on all of my bikes and they stand up to a fair amount of abuse.  The RS170’s are fairly narrow, and Shimano recommend a maximum tyre width of 38mm.

vitus mach e urban with shimano rs170 wheelset

Frame and finishing kit

The frame and finishing kit on the Vitus is very nice indeed. The frame is made of 6061 T-6 alloy and there is a full carbon fork (including steerer) and an ACROS Aix-Low R3 tapered headset. The geometry is definitely aimed at comfort / endurance with a nice and slack head angle and dropped seat stays.

vitus mach e urban e bike

I was also pleasantly surprised with the Vitus saddle. Usually when I get a new bike I fit a Charge Spoon saddle, but I will see how I get on with the supplied saddle as my first impressions were favourable.

The handlebars weren’t too wide at 620mm and the seat post and stem also looked to be well made and finished off.

Who is the Vitus Mach E electric bike aimed at?

The Vitus Mach E Urban really does have a broad appeal. I can see this bike being popular with a wide range of cyclists. It’s perfect for commuting through busy city streets or leisurely country rides. I can even see potential for credit card touring – with a potential range of over a hundred miles on a single charge you could cover some serious daily mileage on a bike like this.

I have already fitted a pannier rack and set of SKS mudguards to my bike, so it’s ready for winter rides and errands to the local shops. If you’re after a day to day runabout the Mach E would be an excellent choice.

It will also make a great training e-bike, and would be perfect for a rider who is looking to get back into the saddle after an injury. My friend who lent me the test bike also rides a road bike and he uses his specifically for a 15 mile daily commute – no more turning up for work sweating buckets!

vitus mach e urban e bike from the rear

 


My Vitus Mach E Urban

Below is a timeline from me first receiving my bike – I have added subsequent updates and photos further down. As of 10/11/20 I have covered nearly 250 miles and added a few significant upgrades.

My Vitus Mach E arrived quicker than expected and the delivery company had obviously taken good care of it as the box was completely unscathed. The whole bike took less than 20 minutes to assemble. Unfortunately I forgot to order an EU to UK plug adaptor for the battery charger so had to wait a couple of days before I could take it for a good spin.

I decided to fit the nearly new Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres I had spare, as I’ve used this brand on my touring bike and never had a puncture, despite covering over 10’000 miles. I also fitted a pair of LifeLine Ergonomic grips, a set of SKS commuter hybrid mudguards and a lightweight Tortec Ultralite Pannier rack.

vitus mach e urban fitted with mudguards and pannier rack

With all the extras fitted and taking into account the extra weight of heavy-duty tyres, the top tube bag, tyre pump and saddle bag (with toolkit and spare inner tube) I weighed the bike and was surprised to find the total weight came in at a whisker under 19.2kg – which is impressive, when the similarly equipped Cube Touring Hybrid One 400 weighs 24.9kg and has a less powerful battery.

I’ve yet to take her for a long ride, but early indications as to the battery range look promising. At the time of writing, I have ridden about 25 miles (with 2200ft of elevation gain) in ‘Eco’ mode and only used one bar from a total of five on the battery indicator.  Incidentally I kept the assist on for the whole ride, which is something I wouldn’t usually do, so I’m quite confident of being able to do 100 mile rides on a single charge. I also fitted a Sunrace 11-40 9-speed cassette, which has lowered the gearing enough that I can comfortably climb a 8-10% gradient without the assist on – Very useful if I were to run out of battery power after a long ride.  I’m still toying with the idea of fitting the optional 38t front chainring to lower the gearing even further, but I will see how I get on. The Shimano Alivio rear derailleur indexes perfectly with the larger cassette, all I needed to do was adjust the ‘B’ screw a couple of turns in.

vitus mach e urban fitted with an 11-40 9 speed cassette

All in all I’m really pleased and definitely don’t regret my purchase. I’m looking forward to many, many miles.  The only problem is I’m already getting crazy ideas, about fitting drop handlebars with Shimano GRX 1 x 11 groupset – I generally prefer drop handlebars on a bike, but the cheapest gravel e-bike I could find was about a grand dearer and had half the battery capacity. The GRX groupset with Shifters, hydraulic brakes, derailleur and cassette would set me back around £500, so it would still work out substantially cheaper than the cheapest electric gravel bike – maybe something for next year!


Update 25/10/20 

I’ve had the Vitus for a week and have now ridden a total of 97 miles with 9200ft of elevation gain (as of 25/10/20) and still have one bar left on the battery indicator! I reckon, I could manage another 20 or so miles before the battery shuts down, which is very good going. Bearing in mind, I’ve only used ‘Eco’ mode so this will vary depending on the rider’s ability. At the end of the week, my legs still have a little  bit of soreness, but not as bad as usual. The cadence sensor is a really useful metric, and the motor has allowed me to keep my pedalling cadence in the 80-100rpm range (while still putting my own power through the pedals). I will be getting a heart rate monitor and posting a separate article showing HRM data from the e-bike ride vs regular bike ride on a hilly 30-40 mile route.

vitus mach e pictured by a gate overlooking the sea

Update 10/11/20

I’ve now covered just under 250 miles and apart from a broken spoke, everything is going well. I’m riding about 25%  more miles per week (despite the awful weather) and find that riding the Vitus at a fast pace using ‘Eco’ mode, allows me to ride that little bit further, more often without the consequences of getting too tired.  Interestingly, even though I rode the Vitus for a week straight, then went back to my regular road bike there was definitely no decline in my performance, if anything it’s improved my endurance a little.

I have spent a bit of money on upgrades though, which I personally feel have made it the perfect e-bike for me. After I repaired the broken spoke, I decided to fit a Shimano RS170 disc wheelset, which was available for a great price at Chain Reaction.  This wheelset is not only lighter than the stock items, but they seem to roll better. As I’ve mentioned earlier in this post, I’ve always used Shimano wheelsets and found them to be robust and great value for money (plus they look quite smart as well).

vitus mach e electric bike ride

Another major upgrade I’ve done is change from the Shimano 9-speed to SRAM NX 11-speed gearing. Although I was quite happy with the shifting performance of the Shimano Alivio drivetrain, I wanted a bit more gear range without having to sacrifice the higher speeds afforded by the 44t chainring. The SRAM NX rear derailleur works flawlessly with a Sunrace 11-46 cassette, and the SRAM trigger shifter provides a buttery smooth gearshift on a par with Shimano XT.

I now feel the bike is set-up perfectly for my needs. Even with the upgrades the total bike stands me in at just under £2000. I’ve done a couple of 40 mile plus rides and it’s comfortable, but with a nice sporty riding position. Not once have I experienced any back or neck pain, and the pins and needles I sometimes get in my hands (on my road bike) is practically non-existent. All in all, I’m over-the-moon with my purchase and I will be doing a series of separate articles in the near future (along with some YouTube videos) called ‘The Ebike Diaries’ where I’ll be sharing some of my rides along with tips for increasing your fitness by riding an e-bike.

my vitus mach e urban electric bike with upgrades

Update 06/12/20

I’ve now covered over 500 miles on the Vitus since receiving it on the 17th October. It’s still going like a dream, despite getting it lagged in muck on every ride, and then subsequently cleaning it after each ride.

The battery range seems to be improving slightly (as expected) and I’m quite confident to be taking it on a 100 mile ride over the Christmas break. Recently I have had the chance to test out a Ribble CGR AL e electric gravel bike courtesy of Ribble cycles, and it’s been interesting comparing the two different bikes side by side. The Ribble is a lot lighter in weight at 13.4kg, but the small X35 ebikemotion hub motor doesn’t provide anything like the assist of the Shimano Steps E6100 unit.

In fairness to the Ribble it’s so light that you can ride it easily with the assist off, and it is aimed more at riders who already have a degree of fitness and are maybe just looking for a little help once in a while.

Below are some comparison charts of heart rate monitor data of me riding the Vitus vs Ribble on exactly the same route under similar weather conditions. It’s interesting to note that my heart rate is about 10bpm lower on some of the climbs despite staying in ‘eco’ mode on the Vitus and using ‘full power’ mode on the Ribble (beneath the red line).

heart rate data from the vitus mach e and ribble cgr al e

Another interesting thing is there is a 4.3 miles undulating segment and my average speed is marginally faster on the Vitus at 17.5mph vs 17.1mph on the Ribble (even though the Vitus is nearly 6kg heavier).

I’m going to be doing the same ride next week on my regular road bike (unassisted) so it will be interesting to see the difference. Below is the heart rate zone data from both rides.

heart rate zone comparison between the ribble cgr al e and vitus mach e

It’s not a particularly scientific test, but I think it gives a rough idea of the difference between the two motor systems. Incidentally I lost one bar out of five on the battery indicator from my Vitus and the Ribble lost 35% from it’s 250Wh internal battery (according to the accompanying smartphone app).

Having said that the Ribble is a cracking bike and great fun to ride, it certainly felt livelier when there was no assistance, and the fact it’s very light and looks like a regular gravel bike will appeal to a lot of riders. Read my full review of the Ribble CGR AL e here.

ribble cgr al e gravel e bike review

Update 21/12/20

Yesterday I completed my longest ride yet on the Mach E – a 57 mile loop of Bodmin moor with lots of climbing (and bucket loads of rain!). I kept the bike in ‘Eco’ mode for the entire ride, start to finish and the battery indicator dropped down to one bar just before the finish – usually I wouldn’t use the assist for large portions of a ride like this, but the weather was appalling, and I wanted to complete the ride as quickly as possible.

The Strava data made for interesting reading.

I’ve completed a similar route on a regular bike, and my  average speed was 2mph less over the same distance – my average heart rate for this ride was 121 bpm with a max of 160 bpm and calculated calories used 1595kcal – I was still pretty tired after the ride, and have a bit of soreness in my legs the following day.

Below is a 3D view of the route


Conclusion

I wasn’t really thinking about getting another electric bike until next Spring, but after I had a go on this and saw the discounted price for the 2020 model, I couldn’t resist it. For me it ticks all the right boxes – smooth mid-drive, long range battery, great handling and comfort, and not too expensive. I’ve yet to test another e-bike that comes close to the Vitus Mach E Urban at this price. Even the £2199 price tag for the 2021 model is very reasonable, especially when you consider the BMC Alpine Challenge AMP Cross Two costs nearly £500 more, uses the same E6100 motor, but only has the 418Wh battery fitted.

I’m absolutely over the moon with my purchase. I was able to do a fairly tough 25 mile ride with sore legs from the previous two days riding. I still worked up a sweat, but the lowest power setting just made the steep climbs more palatable. I didn’t feel the need to go beyond ‘Eco’ even on a short 15% climb, the power was enough for my liking.

All in all the Mach E is a great e-bike. It looks great, but most importantly it’s really versatile and will appeal to a variety of riders. A big thumbs up all the way!

Buy Now: 2021 Vitus Mach E Urban Electric Bike from Wiggle

Also available from Chain Reaction Cycles

Thanks for reading this article. If you own a Vitus Mach E Urban, please share your thoughts in the comments section below. If you have any questions relating to this bike leave a comment and I will reply within 24hrs.

Please follow and like us:

Vitus Mach E Urban Electric Bike

£2199
9

Value for Money

9.5/10

Performance

8.5/10

Battery Range

9.0/10

Pros

  • I liked it so much I brought one!
  • Excellent motor and battery range
  • Very versatile

Cons

  • Gearing too high for hilly terrain
  • EU Plug on battery charger

33 thoughts on “Vitus Mach E Urban Electric Bike Review

  • January 12, 2021 at 12:16 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Tony,

    I’m still ‘only’ on 268 miles – there has been so much rain here in Kent. However, the bike is working well in its intended dual role for exercise and shopping though so far, which is great.

    I’ve fitted a pair of folding bead Panaracer GravelKing semi-slicks (the tubeless ready ones). They saved a whopping 820g in total over the stock tyres and roll very well. The weight saving is very noticeable. They’re slightly smaller, reducing the circumference by about 1 cm. But (there had to be one, didn’t there?) they are not good on claggy wet country roads where you get lots of tiny sharp stones mixed up with mud, dragged into the carriageway. I don’t think they’d like Cornwall either! I had my first puncture yesterday and the bike + panniers and associated junk is heavy! They’ll be coming off very soon until the weather dries up. In the meantime I’ll be trying a set of Conti Sport Contact II’s that are currently on offer at Planet X. They’re still 200g each lighter than the stock tyres and will hopefully be slightly more robust than the Panaracers on the lovely roads here in the slightly disheveled garden of England ; ) I probably should’ve just bought some Schwalbe tyres in the first place!

    I think you either have extremely strong legs or your bike is indeed set to Sportive. Mine was on Comfort. Using the E-Tube app to change mine to Sportive was easy and it’s very noticeable, especially in eco. The assistance level ramps up much more quickly in all three assistance modes. Battery life suffers as a result though.

    I was fortunate that I have a 14.1 mile ride that I’ve done many times, so when the Vitus kept telling me it was 14.5 or 14.6 miles I knew something was up. I’m basing distances on my old Cateye cycle computer rather than GPS by the way.

    To change the circumference I used the ST Unlocker app in the Play store. The app costs about £1.50, but then if you want the ability to be able to adjust certain other parameters you have to buy a license. Note: the license is per serial number on the motor, so if, for example, your motor was replaced under warranty you would need to pay all over again. I decided I was happy to pay the fee just because I wanted to know my mileage accurately! (Sad I know!). I also use the ST Ride tracking app, but I don’t want to HAVE to use it just to know how far I’ve really been. I should also note that I had to downgrade my motor’s firmware to use the Unlocker app’s extra features, including the circumference adjustment. I guess Shimano don’t want someone irresponsible to set the circumference ridiculously small to circumvent the speed limit. While I understand this, that means it’s impossible for a home user to change the circumference when changing wheels or tyres which is a bit daft. Moreover, as mine was wrong right out of the box I don’t think it’s particularly fair. Surely they could come up with a middle ground where a user could change circumference by up to 10% or something?

    As a side note, the S T Unlocker app also allows you to create custom profiles for each assistance level, so if Comfort and Sportive don’t do it for you, you could in theory tweak things how you like in that app. I think care is required here though to make sure you don’t ask too much of the motor. By default the app seems to think my motor is capable of 500w when I suppose it’s only 250w? So far I have t felt the need to tweak the settings at all.

    I’ve fitted wired lights now (sort of!). The lights must be 12 volt!! I made the mistake of skimming a forum that mentioned they were 6v, so that’s what I bought. 6 volt appears to be common on e-bikes so it seemed reasonable. Suffice to say, I now have a new 12 volt pair on order from Germany. Ahem. The 8000 series Shimanos apparently use 6 volt lighting, but the 5000, 6100 and 7000 use 12 volt. There’s a 2 amp limit for the front and rear lights combined to I won’t be fitting anything too powerful.

    On the subject of actually fitting the lights, as there’s no hole in the front of the fork crown, for now I’m using an old clamp on the 38mm part of the handlebars to mount the front light. Actually threading the wires through the frame was a pain. For the front I used the spare hole on the right hand side of the frame closest to the headstock. To wire the lights to the motor, you just need to remove the front right part of the outer drive cover, which is held on by three small screws. There are two screw terminals under the cover. You don’t need to take the crank arms off. I downloaded the dealer manual for the e6100 to see how. I used a gear cable inner and a phone mounted endoscope with a magnet on the end to pull the wire through the frame. It was tedious. Hours tedious. For the front light the wire pops out of the lower of two holes in the frame near the motor mount (which is hidden from view until you remove the outer motor cover). This is where one of the e-tube cables and the two brake lines emerge (or is it one brake line and one gear cable outer?). The rear light is easier. I removed the mudguard and the rubber grommet that surrounds the cables that exit the rear of the motor mount area, then used the same gear cable inner to find a suitable path around the top of the motor, with the bike upside down. It would be easier to remove the motor but I decided not to. Once I’d used the gear cable inner to pull the lighting cable through I put the grommet back in. The bracket on the back of the rack you recommended is perfect for mounting the light!

    Once the lights were fitted I used the ST Unlocker app to turn on the light function in the bike’s firmware. It only takes a few seconds to toggle it on and off, so in the summer I’ll turn it off again to stop the system setting aside some of the battery for the lights. Using one button on the control unit to turn the lights on and off is great.

    I haven’t used my heart rate monitor for ages (I’ve gained weight, it’s depressing ; ), but what you’ve noticed with yours seems to mirror what I’m feeling. When I climb the Downs I’m still using a lot of effort; not max heart rate, but still getting sweaty and out of breath. This isn’t because I have to of course, I could just as easily set the assistance to high and then plod up at 7 mph with very little effort, but I’m finding I naturally tend to try hard at 9 mph or so in eco, or try very hard at 15 mph in high. What is good is that a) I can do this on what is now my daily shopping bike and combine an exercise ride with a trip to the supermarket on the way home and b) if I feel I’m straining myself I can just back right off, turn the assistance up and avoid hurting myself. This last part is where cycling was starting to become a chore and a burden for me, so this is very valuable. I think the industry should be screaming from the rooftops about this sort of benefit to both cyclists and non-cyclists alike.

    I may yet switch to an 11 speed setup. Since transferring my SRAM XX (not X5 😉 I’ve realised it’s actually five years old and has covered 12,700 miles. There’s no discernable play as yet, but even so the poor thing can’t go on forever. I might buy a cheapo 11-40 cassette and see how it copes before that happens though.

    Finally, I think with the lighter wheels I’m looking at (from Scribe – I need a good weight limit to carry both me and my shopping; I’d be over the limit for the Shimanos unfortunately) I can get the basic bike weight down to 16.3kgs, minus rack, bags and mudguards. This would be very useful to me because my partner has had an e-bike for several years and we take our bikes on holiday using a towbar mounted carrier. Unfortunately hers is a bit porky and the weight limit on our towbar is 50kgs, so our bikes and rack have to stay under that. I don’t mind removing the rack/mudguards/seat/pedals, but the less I have to take off the better! If I could get it down to just removing the batteries and maybe both seats that would be fantastic.

    Have fun tinkering with your Comfort and Sportive settings : )

    G

    Reply
    • January 12, 2021 at 6:53 pm
      Permalink

      Hi G,

      Thanks for update and info, much appreciated. I’m going to have a look at the ST unlocker app, it looks like it could be useful as I wouldn’t mind turning my eco mode down a little bit so I can get even greater battery range for long rides in the springtime.

      The Panaracer GravelKing is a good all-rounder, but not particularly puncture resistant. I’ve just fitted a pair of Schwalbe Marathon GT365’s to mine. They’re marginally lighter than the Marathon Plus, but have a more aggressive tread for gravel and country lane riding. I have a pair of Conti Travel Contact tyres (700×35) fitted to my CX bike and they’ve also proven to be very versatile and durable this winter.

      Glad you managed to get the lights sorted, it sounds like a particularly fiddly job. I think I’ll stick with my rechargeable lights for the moment, but I will probably do the upgrade at some stage in the future.

      I have been toying with the idea of getting a spare battery as I wouldn’t mind doing some proper exploring when the weather starts to warm up (and restrictions ease). I’ve got my sights set on either a LEJOG or maybe getting the train to Inverness and doing the North West 500 – I’ll have to see what my wife says!

      All the best,
      Tony

      Reply
  • December 14, 2020 at 12:00 am
    Permalink

    Value for Money

    9.5

    Performance

    9.5

    Battery Range

    9.5

    Thank you Tony, I’ve found your site invaluable in navigating the world of E bikes, and I followed your recommendation for the Vitus Mach, & am very happy with it. It is well worth downloading the Shimano E-Tube app to tweak the motor settings. I’ve found the Sportive Eco setting hits the sweet spot for me for most situations. I’m used to a more comfortable saddle than the one provided. My only disappointment with the machine is that it seems crazy to sell an E bike without a lighting system, and to install one that runs off the bike’s battery is expensive and complicated. However this does not detract from my pleasure in this lovely bike. It is so much fun!

    Thank you again

    Reply
    • December 14, 2020 at 12:08 am
      Permalink

      Hi James,

      Glad you’re happy with your purchase. I’ve just gone over the 500 mile mark on mine and it’s still going like an absolute dream. I have downloaded the E-Tube app but haven’t gotten round to using it yet. I also find eco mode is the best for training rides and general riding. I have just posted a video on YouTube which analyses the heart rate monitor data from one of my rides on the Vitus, compared with riding the same route on a regular bike. You still get a really good workout, but don’t feel quite so tired after. Here is the link to the video.

      Cheers,
      Tony

      Reply
  • November 23, 2020 at 7:57 pm
    Permalink

    Value for Money

    9.5

    Performance

    9

    Battery Range

    9.5

    Hi Tony

    Had my Vitus for 3 weeks now and very pleased, just found your review and agree 100% with your comments. I have fitted the SKS mudguards too. The only other upgrade was a set of raceface riser handlebars as I felt the front was a little too low for me.
    I found the height and the extra few mm in width makes the bike feel a little more relaxed. I purchased the bike to try and regain some lost fitness, I expect I will copy you with some wheels and gearing upgrade.

    Reply
    • November 23, 2020 at 11:25 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Johann,

      Thanks for sharing and glad you’re enjoying the Vitus. I’ve just passed the 400 mile mark with mine, I’m putting in more weekly miles than before and still mixing it up with my regular road bike. Interestingly I have found that I haven’t lost any fitness or leg strength despite doing 3 rides out of 5 on the Vitus. It’s definitely worth investing in the SRAM NX 11-speed with the 11-46 cassette (or alternatively Shimano SLX 11-speed) – the lower gearing allows you to climb steeper hills while remaining in eco mode. I’m also really pleased with the Shimano RS170 wheelset, they weigh a few hundred grams less than the stock wheels and also seem to roll better.

      Battery range seems to be improving a little as well. I’m going to try for the 100 miler over the Christmas holidays if we have a nice dry spell. The motor seems very water resistant, I’ve ridden in some heavy downpours and the lanes where I live are constantly wet and covered in muck from tractors so I wash the bike after every ride – no problems so far.

      All the best,
      Tony

      Reply
      • November 24, 2020 at 8:34 pm
        Permalink

        Hi Tony

        Thanks for the response, I have a couple of questions ( hopefully that’s ok ). Which chain are you running is it a Ebike specific chain ?. Are there any issues with the chainring ?. Last question are you running the Comfort or Sportive setting in the motor software ?

        Thanks

        Reply
        • November 24, 2020 at 9:25 pm
          Permalink

          Hi Johann,

          I’m currently using a SRAM X1 11-speed chain with 118 links. It’s not e-bike specific, but it’s a good quality chain and runs very smoothly. I have used regular SRAM, KMC and Shimano chains on DIY e-bike mid-drive builds in the past and they always seem to last well. I haven’t experienced any issues with the chainring yet, it’s steel so it should be fairly durable.

          Regarding the Sportive and comfort settings, I haven’t downloaded the E-Tube Ride app yet, but according to the Shimano Steps PDF in comfort mode the motor produces 50Nm max torque with 40% / 100% / 200% for eco, normal and high and in Sportive mode it’s 60Nm and 60% / 125% / %200. I reckon my bike is set at Sportive mode because I have only ever needed to use it in eco, and I find when I really put power through the pedals the power indicator (in eco) rises above halfway. I’ll download the app tomorrow and pair it up with my system to see what mode it’s in.

          Regards,
          Tony

          Reply
    • January 12, 2021 at 4:39 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Johann,

      May I ask which model of riser handlebars you chose, as this is something I am considering also for the same bike.

      Thanks

      Ryan

      Reply
  • November 6, 2020 at 10:21 am
    Permalink

    Some man Tony, thanks again. I ordered mine yesterday, so I’ll pop back to let you know how I find it.

    Cheers,

    Ryan

    Reply
    • November 6, 2020 at 4:28 pm
      Permalink

      Nice one! Feel free to post a review here, when you’ve had time to try it out.

      Cheers,
      Tony

      Reply
      • December 31, 2020 at 10:50 pm
        Permalink

        Value for Money

        9

        Performance

        9

        Battery Range

        10

        Hi Tony,

        Thanks very much for reviewing both this bike and the Boardman Hybrid 8.9e. I really enjoyed reading them both and it helped me make up my mind which bike to buy; well, that and the fact a cheap Vitus came up on eBay! My Vitus was over a thousand pounds cheaper than the current retail price of the Boardman so I just couldn’t justify the extra money on the latter! I bought the XL frame size and it weighed 17.9kgs with the supplied pedals (17.6kgs without).

        Like you I found the stock gearing too high, so the first thing I did was fit a 38 tooth chainring. I can still cycle up to 30mph comfortably downhill and I’m not strong enough to do more than about 20 mph on the flat, so I honestly don’t miss the extra top speed. In fact, today I pedaled up to 37mph down a steep hill, hitting about 130 rpm, which is more than enough for me! 25mph is about 90 revs. The new chainring was under £25 and it saved 50g (woohoo!). I did have to buy a socket to undo the threaded collar that holds the chainring on, but no doubt I’ll use it again. I opted for a 3d printed one available via eBay.

        I found the gearchange pretty poor no matter how I adjusted the rear mech, so for now I’ve fitted a 10 speed SRAM XX long cage derailleur and trigger shifter that I had on my old bike (in fairness it’s possible I was just spoilt by the SRAM stuff!). I’ve also added a new 11-36t cassette which is only 25g heavier than the stock 9 speed Sunrace item. The gearing still isn’t low enough for me to get up the North Downs in eco mode, but it’s much better than stock. In the highest level of assistance it flies up steep climbs even with the stock gearing, but it would be nice to get around with zero assistance if I ever ran out of battery – it doesn’t half feel heavy when you turn the assistance off completely going uphill!

        I’m hoping to follow your example and change the wheels. I checked the bike throughly when it arrived and the bearings were horribly overtightened both front and rear. They also use cups and cones rather than cartridge bearings, plus the non disc side of the front wheel has absolutely no seal whatsoever. For anyone reading this, clean the hubs very carefully indeed! The wheels are also pretty heavy weighing about 2.3kgs for the pair bare, apart from the rim tape. The stock wire bead tyres weigh 740g apiece so I’m going to ditch those right away then look for a pair of wheels that can handle my weight, plus the bike and my shopping.

        I’ve bought exactly the same mudguards and rack as you based on your recommendations (my old rack wouldn’t clear the mudguard) and the bike copes with weight of all my shopping just fine.

        On the subject of comfort, the bars were way too low for a few neck issues I have, so I’ve substituted a 90mm long 45° stem, as well as the bars off my old mountain bike which have a step in them. It helps a lot but I’d like the bars even higher really. I might try a 110mm stem next. I’m having a bit of knee pain so clearly I haven’t positioned the saddle correctly yet either. This is the first bike I’ve had in years where I’m using normal pedals, so that might be something to do with it. After tens of thousands of miles using cleats it’s really odd going back normal shoes.

        A few other bits: I noticed on mine that the circumference was set about 80mm too big so it wasn’t really assisting me up to the 15.5 mph legal limit. By default you can’t alter the circumference which really surprised me (though I understand why). You CAN alter the display speed via the settings menu, but behind the scenes the bike still cuts off the assistance at what it thinks is 16mph. I hate this kind of thing, so I’ve bought a license to use a third party app to change the circumference to what it should be.

        Also on the subject of the settings menu, by default I didn’t have an option to see my cadence. There’s a way to alter what parameters are displayed in the menu so I’ve added it and I quite like it!

        I’ll be adding wired lights soon, so I’ll use the same app to enable the built in light function (it’s disabled by default to stop some of the battery being set aside for lighting unnecessarily, which makes sense).

        All in all, I’m loving it and I hope to be able to get rid of both my old bikes to save space in the garage. I’m also fed up with having to service two bikes as well. I reckon with some more mods I’ll get the basic weight of the Vitus down to about the same as the stock Boardman Hybrid e, but obviously with a much larger battery. I’ve put just under 200 miles on it in the last two or three weeks so I can’t wait until the weather improves and I can try some longer rides.

        All the best,

        G

        Reply
        • January 2, 2021 at 1:36 pm
          Permalink

          Hi G,

          Thanks for sharing, much appreciated. I agree with you about the stock wheels, the bearings on the KT hubs are way too tight. When I fitted the Shimano wheelset you can spin the wheels (on a bike stand) and they just keep spinning and spinning whereas the stock wheels would stop spinning within 30 seconds. I’ve noticed that my assist cuts out lower than my GPS speed. On my Wahoo Elemnt Bolt the speed always shows about 14.9mph when the assist cuts off, but the display shows 1mph faster – I’m going to get a hub mounted ANT+ speed sensor to double check, I’ve already got a separate cadence sensor fitted to my crank arm and that more or less tallies up with the Shimano display cadnce reading.

          I’ve got SRAM X5 shifters and long cage derailleur fitted to my regular flat bar CX bike and that works perfectly with a Sunrace 11-40 10-speed cassette, I would imagine the X5 derailleur has the same 1:1 actuation ratio. I noticed that Merlin Cycles do a nice 700c gravel wheelset for about £139 (with Shimano hubs), the main problem with the RS170 wheelset is the maximum tyre width is 38mm, and I reckon you could go up to 45mm on the Mach E.

          I have also looked into getting the weight down for when it gets drier and if I removed the mudguards, rack and fitted a carbon seatpost, handlebars and lightweight tyres I could get the weight down to the low 16’s. I have a full set of frame bags for doing a spot of touring in the springtime.

          I still haven’t had a chance to experiment with the E-Tube Ride app, but it looks interesting. My Mach E produces a little bit too much assist for me in Eco mode, and I’m wondering if it’s set to Sportive mode as standard.

          Please keep me posted on further mods you make. I’m coming up on 700 miles on mine and it’s still going like a dream, despite getting a proper soaking over the last few weeks. I’ve got some good YouTube footage coming with Garmin Virb overlays – it’s really interesting comparing the HRM data on hill climb segments, my heart rate is still in the 140’s on the steeper climbs (in Eco), but compared to riding my regular bike where it’s in the high 160’s – it just make’s riding a bit less strenuous and more fun.

          Roll on the springtime!

          Cheers,
          Tony

          Reply
      • January 12, 2021 at 4:44 pm
        Permalink

        Value for Money

        9.5

        Performance

        9

        Battery Range

        9.5

        Hi Tony,

        I popped back in to see how you were doing and it seems all is well. I’ve really enjoyed the bike so far, mostly using it to commute across the city. I did do a plus 3 hour 80km ride with some experienced rider friends, and they were impressed with the climbing ability on the gills we tackled 🙂

        Cheers

        Ryan

        Reply
        • January 12, 2021 at 5:05 pm
          Permalink

          Hi Ryan,

          Thanks for the update, glad you’re enjoying the bike – we just need some decent weather now! I went out on mine today and it chucked it down for most of the ride. I’ve just passed the 750 mile mark and things are still going very well.

          All the best,
          Tony

          Reply
    • November 21, 2020 at 7:35 am
      Permalink

      Hey Tony,

      The bike arrived Monday and been out for a few short spins, really enjoyable. I was wondering what “number” you have your seat post at? I’m a little unsure as I’ve set it at the lowest one to ride upright, but from your pictures it looks like it’s set higher? I’m 6 foot by the way so just one inch off you.

      Thanks

      Ryan

      Reply
      • November 21, 2020 at 10:55 am
        Permalink

        Hi Ryan,

        I’ve got my seat post seat on the mark below 01, which is the highest setting. The best way to set your seat post at the correct height is to sit on the bike and support yourself with your hand on a wall. With one of the crank arms at 6 o’clock and your heel on the pedal, your leg should be straight. With the ball of your foot on the pedal in the same position you should have a slight bend in your leg. To set your saddle correctly you need to have the pedal at 3 o’clock and your knee should roughly line up with the centre of the pedal. The tilt of the saddle is also important for comfort, I usually use a book and spirit level and have the nose of the saddle tilted ever so slightly down.

        I hope this helps, if you have any more questions, let me know.

        Cheers,
        Tony

        Reply
  • October 28, 2020 at 7:03 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Tony, great review. What size did you get, was it large, if so did you find this big enough, or marginal. I’m 6’3 and wondering if this size would be ok for me. Thanks.
    Cheers, Geoff.

    Reply
    • October 28, 2020 at 10:21 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Geoff,

      I’m 6’1 with a 32″ inside leg and the large frame is a good fit for me. I’ve done a couple of 40 mile rides and there’s been no discomfort in the back, neck or legs. There’s still some adjustment in the seat post, and you could potentially fit a longer stem with steeper angle. Ideally the XL frame would be best for your size – but with correct saddle height and maybe a longer stem, you should be fine.

      Cheers,
      Tony

      Reply
      • October 29, 2020 at 12:05 pm
        Permalink

        Thanks for your quick reply. Checked the Wiggle website and it had a XL in stock (wasn’t there last night), so I’ve ordered one! I’ll let you know how I get on.

        cheers,
        Geoff

        Reply
        • October 29, 2020 at 1:06 pm
          Permalink

          Feel free to post a review here after you’ve had a chance to ride it for a while, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

          Cheers,
          Tony

          Reply
    • November 3, 2020 at 8:20 am
      Permalink

      Hi Tony,

      Great review! So good I’m on the cusp of ordering the same bike. I’ve been researching for a month or two now as it will be my first ebike. Got a diagnosis of my knee which means I need to take a step back from football so cycling would be a great substitute. I have a few questions for you that your feedback would be really appreciated before I take the plunge:

      1) Biggest thing is riding unassisted. You mention doing this, is there any other comparable ebikes that offer this option also?

      2) For maintenance, I have been living in Spain nearly 8 years now. In terms of maintenance and service, do you know if I’d have to do this online, or should local bike shops be able to supply spare parts?

      3) I’d be mostly using it for leisure and exercise, occasionally taking it on some hill rides. From your experience, would you estimate an approximate lifespan of this bike on the assumption of good maintenance? Do the bikes battery have the possibility of upgrades as they get older, or always like for like replacements?

      Thanks again,

      Ryan

      Reply
      • November 3, 2020 at 9:49 am
        Permalink

        Hi Ryan,

        All ebikes can be ridden unassisted, but pedalling difficulty will vary greatly depending on the weight of the bike, gearing and electric motor system. The closest I’ve found in terms of performance and feel (when riding unassisted) is the BMC Alpenchallenge AMP Sport hybrid – but this does cost a fair bit more and has the lower capacity battery. There are other lightweight options like the Orbea Gain F40, which is very lightweight for an ebike (around 14kg), but it only has a 252Wh battery and uses a small rear hub motor, so it doesn’t produce the kind of outright grunt of the Shimano Steps motor. The Specialized Turbo Vado SL 4.0 is also very lightweight and feels like a normal bike (without assist), but that costs around £2600.

        As far as maintenance and servicing is considered, the Mach E uses very common Shimano Alivio gear components, which are easily available and cheap to replace – I’ve used Shimano Alivio on a touring bike and found it to be dependable over thousands of miles of riding. The Shimano UR300 hydraulic brakes are also widely used and have standard hydraulic brake pads which any bike shop should have in its workshop.

        Shimano state the battery should have a service life of around 1000 charging cycles and still be at 60% of its original capacity even then. Their batteries uses very high quality Sony 18650 lithium cells which have a good long-term reliability profile. A replacement battery (like for like) costs around £495 at the moment. As lithium battery technology is evolving at a rapid pace, it would be possible to get the battery upgraded by a specialist like ebikebatteries.co.uk.

        I am currently approaching 200 miles on mine, and have ridden it in heavy rain without any issues. If you are going to be climbing steep hills and want to keep the assist to a minimum, then I would definitely recommend upgrading to an 11-40 rear cassette. However, I recently tested full-power mode on a particularly brutal local climb of 15% over half a mile and it flew up there with only moderate pedalling effort.

        I hope this info helps, if you have any more questions, please let me know.

        All the best,
        Tony

        Reply
        • November 3, 2020 at 5:31 pm
          Permalink

          I understand that the Fazua motor system is also good for riding sans-assistance, since the motor disengaged completely, leaving just the gearbox to be turned over by the pedalling. Indeed you can remove the motor (with battery) completely and still ride the bike. It is also relatively lightweight, building up to about a 16kg bike.

          Reply
          • November 3, 2020 at 10:57 pm
            Permalink

            Hi Martin,

            Yes, that’s correct. The Fazua is a good option if you want to ride without assist for a lot of the time and only use it when you really need it. It’s the only e-assist system currently available that lets you have a regular bike and ebike in one – removing the battery and drive system reduces bike weight by a further 3.6kg, just leaving the extra 1kg from the BB motor gearbox. Fazua have also upgraded the battery for 2021 – the new Fazua X battery uses higher energy density lithium cells, which reduces the weight even further.

            Cheers,
            Tony

          • November 4, 2020 at 12:44 pm
            Permalink

            Thanks for the quick reply Tony, really appreciated. I’ve decided to take the plunge and order one tomorrow. I had a look for the grips and mud guards you bought and unfortunately they seem to be out of stock, are there any alternatives you would suggest?

            I’m also thinking about front and rear lights, any suggestions there? Thanks again for the info.

            Cheer,

            Ryan

          • November 4, 2020 at 5:29 pm
            Permalink

            Hi Ryan,

            The same SKS mudguards I have fitted to my bike are available on eBay through High On Bikes. The lights I currently use were purchased from Amazon – here is the link. The Lifeline grips are very similar to these ones from Amazon. I have these particular grips fitted to my nephew’s bike and they are the same design.

            All the best,
            Tony

  • October 21, 2020 at 11:07 am
    Permalink

    Can you add some photos of your own bike now it is equipped with mudguards and rack? Especially interested in the fixing detail of rear rack/mudguards, since there appears to be only one mount at the dropout for both. Also keen to see how the rack fits with the dropped seat stays.

    Reply
    • October 21, 2020 at 1:08 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Martin,

      I haven’t got round to fitting the rack and mudguards yet. So far, I’ve swapped the tyres out for Schwalbe Marathon Plus, fitted a pair of Ergo grips and changed the rear cassette from an 11-34 to 11-40. I have lined up the Tortec rack and it looks like it will fit as the seat stay mounts (on the rack) are angled at the ends. The mudguards I’ll be fitting are full length SKS and there shouldn’t be a problem using the single mounting points for the rack and mudguards combined. As soon as I’ve fitted them, I’ll post some photos one the article (hopefully in the couple of days). The rear derailleur works perfectly with the Sunrace 11-40 cassette, even though the Shimano spec says maximum 36t low, all I needed to do was wind in the ‘B’ screw a couple of turns.

      I’ll give you a heads-up as soon as the new photos are uploaded.

      Cheers,
      Tony

      Reply
    • October 21, 2020 at 6:25 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Martin,

      Rack and mudguards are now fitted, I have added a couple of photos of my bike towards the end of the article.

      Regards,
      Tony

      Reply
  • October 19, 2020 at 9:44 am
    Permalink

    Value for Money

    0

    Performance

    0

    Battery Range

    10

    This looks like the ideal bike for me as im about to buy an e bile. Would it cope with gravel and bikepacking/touring trips ?
    Im looking for a do all commuting touring bike with a long range. Im guessing the battery isn’t removable for charging ?.

    Reply
    • October 20, 2020 at 7:09 am
      Permalink

      Hi Gordon,

      I took delivery of mine on Saturday and it’s a cracking bike. I took it up Bodmin moor yesterday and it’s absolutely fine on gravel (I did a 3 mile loop on a disused mining train track). I rode a total 25 miles with 2200ft of climbing (in ECO mode) and only lost one bar off the battery indicator. The range indicator was showing 65 miles remaining (for ECO mode). Another thing that drew me to this bike was how easy it is to pedal beyond the 15.5mph cut-off point. The battery can be removed for indoor charging, there are 2 x sets of keys and a charging adaptor. You will need an EU to UK plug adapter for the charger to mains power lead.

      I weighed the bike using my digital scales and it come back as 17.8kg for the large version. All in all I think it’s one of the best e-bikes available for the price. I reckon a 100+ mile range should be easily achievable with careful use of the power.

      I’m planning to test this out in the next couple of weeks with a 100 mile loop of Cornwall (with about 8000ft of climbing) – I’ll report back with the Strava map.

      I wouldn’t have gone out cycling yesterday usually as my legs were still sore from a couple of hard weekend rides on my road bike, but just having that little bit of extra help made all the difference.

      I hope this helps, if you need any more info, please let me know.

      Kind regards,
      Tony

      Reply
    • October 20, 2020 at 7:30 am
      Permalink

      Hi Gordon,

      Another thing I forgot to mention is comfort. It’s quite a sporty riding position, I decided to fit some Lifeline Ergonomic grips and I’m also probably going to fit a stem with a bit more of a rise. Having said that I didn’t experience any back or neck discomfort. Now that I’ve ridden the bike for a reasonable distance I’m not so sure about the saddle, I adjusted it using a spirit level with a very slight ‘nose down’ tilt and had a bit of numbness in the nether regions. I might fit my Charge Spoon saddle as I find that’s a good all-rounder for longer rides.

      All the best,
      Tony

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *