Are they cheating? Outdoor tested out two of Dyson’s electric bikes to see just what all the fuss is about.
Call me a traditionalist, but when I heard I was to review an electric mountain bike, it seemed the antithesis of what mountain biking is all about. However, as I soon found out, this wasn’t your standard electric bike.
The Dyson Fat Bike and Hard Tail Evo that we had strapped on board during a recent epic trip to Cape York were certainly head turners. The rugged look of the Fat Bike and Dyson’s clean and sophisticated aesthetics really enhanced the fact that these bikes are miles away from the standard perception of a ‘commuter’ electric bike.
SO HOW DO THEY RIDE?
These bikes are seriously quick. The Evo is designed for various road surfaces and handled itself well on the corrugated dirt tracks of Cape York. However, it was the Fat Bike that was by far the most fun. I took it out for a ride on the wide open spaces at Loyalty Beach and despite being very soft underfoot, the Fat Bike with its four inch tyres gripped the surface well, and I had no problems getting some good momentum up and down the beach. By contrast I tested the Evo on the same surface and couldn’t even get out of the blocks, which shows just how critical fat tyres are on the soft sand.
TECH FACTS: HARD TAIL EVO
The Evo boasts 27.5 inch alloy Alex rims fitted with oversize Kenda tyres suitable for mixed surfaces, 9 speed Shimano Alivio gears, Tektro 180mm disc rotor brakes and 11Ah or optional 15Ah 36V Lithium-ion Panasonic Battery Cells. The total weight is 25kgs and it has a battery life of up to seven hours with a range of up to 150kms. The Evo retails from $2,299, which is well priced considering the quality of the package.
TECH FACTS: FAT BIKE
In contrast, the Fat Bike has 26 inch Alex rims fitted with massive four inch Vee tyres suitable for sand, snow and gravel, 9 speed Shimano Alivio gears, Tektro 180mm disc rotor brakes and 11Ah 11Ah 36V Lithium-ion Battery Panasonic Cells. Total weight is 29.2kgs and a battery life of up to 5 hours with a range of up to 50-70kms. It retails for $2,499 with the slightly higher price linked to the bigger tyres.
THE DOWNLOW ON DESIGN
Both bikes have a nice clean display panel that is easy to use and gives you all the standards; speed, battery charge, power meter, odometer, trip function as well as containing a USB port for charging your phone or headlight when on the road. I was impressed by the way Dyson (no relation to the vacuum cleaner manufacturer) has cleverly designed the bike in a way that the electric components (including the battery) have been embedded into the frame, so that from a distance it looks very much like a standard pedal powered mountain bike. The Dyson electric bikes give you the option of not using the electric assistance but when needed can assist in helping you reach speeds of up to 25km/h (the legal limit for electric bicycles in most of Australia).
Would I get one? I’d definitely consider it. The price point reflects the quality of the bike and the Fat Bike in particular was a heap of fun!
- Sleek design makes it look like a standard MTB
- Fat Bike does a great job on soft sand
- Easy to read display panel
- Heavier than a regular MTB
- Hard Tail has no front or rear suspension so not ideal for more hardcore trails
MORE OUTDOOR ADVENTURES
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- JetBlack Z1 Pro Fluid Trainer is a great training tool for the times when you can't hit the road
- From the inner city to the remote bush, these are 10 of the best cycling tracks across Australia
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