E-bikes: SUV e-bikes at Warentest are fun, but damn expensive

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    They are the all-rounders among e-bikes – SUV e-bikes are intended for roads and dirt roads. When driving, they convinced the testers, but the prices are tough.

    They have been setting the trends in the e-bike market for several years: all-road, crossover or SUV e-bikes. What is behind it? It is a mix between trekking and mountain biking. The engine power makes it possible to install wide tires and lower suspension even in touring bikes without the riders getting out of breath.

    In terms of concept, the bikes are true all-rounders – suitable for the city but also for country lanes. Warentest doesn’t say it that clearly, but you have to be aware that these bikes are suitable for rocky paths, but not for trails or off-road. They are not mountain bikes. Nine bikes were tested – and seven performed well. Nevertheless, you should study the test carefully, because the bikes differ significantly in their characteristics. This e-bike class is anything but cheap, prices start at 3300 euros and end at 5350. All in all, the testers are satisfied: “In fact, almost all of them were convincing with good riding characteristics. And we also had major safety problems – unlike in previous tests – not fixed.”

    The best bikes in the test

    The test winner was the KTM Macina Aera 671 LFC for 4200 euros, it was tested with a low step-through and the most powerful Bosch motor (Bosch Performance Line CX/85) and achieved a grade of 1.8.” The very manoeuvrable bike rides well throughout, also with you Luggage – however, KTM only allows 10 kilos of additional luggage”. The testers also certify the winner “the best circuit in the test”. Which is at least surprising, because other candidates use the same 10-speed circuit and one generally has to say that the 11-speed circuit should be better.

    The Simplon Kagu Bosch CX 275 TR5 came in second (grade 2.1). A bike with a trapezoidal frame and stepless gear hub was tested here. The Simplon costs 5250 euros. The conclusion: “Equipped with hub gears and belts more for asphalt and comfort, both in terms of driving experience and maintenance.” The Flyer Goroc2 is particularly sporty. It costs a whopping 5350 euros and achieves a grade of 2.2. This model did not have the Bosch motor, but a Panasonic GX Ultimate/95 and thus the most powerful battery in the test (750 Wh instead of the 625 Wh from Bosch). The verdict: “Very sporty but bulky e-bike. Motor a bit too powerful.”

    disagreements

    You should read through the test at your leisure and consider whether you adopt the criteria as your own. In the case of the Flyer model, for example, a motor that was too powerful was criticized. While customers usually can’t have enough battery power, the testers find more than 500 watt hours “unnecessary” for most of them. They ignore the comfort gain of rare charging.

    The poorer handling characteristics of the Kalkhoff bike are criticized when the carrier is loaded with 20 kilograms. Other bikes like the test winner “shine” because they only allow 10 kilograms, so they don’t have to go through the test with a 20 kg load. Completely absurd: The bike from Cube is sold without a carrier, it is then tested without any load. It doesn’t matter that bikes without carriers or with a load of only 10 kg are completely unsuitable for touring.

    Just one variant

    The testers only check one specification of each model. Then the judgment can be that the bike is more suitable for covered paths. Forgot to mention that this model was ordered with hub gears and belts and not with derailleur gears. The same applies to loading times. They depend on the selected charger. A bike that takes a long time to charge in the test will of course also charge faster with the larger charger. It should be noted that the powerful chargers require some expertise. Several of them may not be plugged into an old three-way extension. The prices also vary depending on the equipment. With the tested Simplon Kagu, the gears, the belt and the CX motor drive the price up enormously – to 5350 euros. With a slightly weaker motor and derailleur gears, the Kagu only costs 3400 euros.

    Where do you get your dream bike from?

    Buying a bike today is not just a request, and no test can change that. Each basic model is delivered in umpteen specifications. If you want to determine all the details, you often have to order the bike before production – that can mean a waiting time of six months. Today, the tense situation in the supply chains is an added factor.

    If you want to buy from a dealer around the corner, you have to reach for the ceiling if you don’t want to wait months. Buying a bike online that you only know from photos is always problematic because of the individual riding position. In the case of repairs, when buying online, you should make sure that the brand is represented locally by a dealer with a workshop. Especially when the motor does not come from top dog Bosch.

    You can view the entire test here for a fee.