Our dedicated E-bike centre at our Whitwell store is beginning to take shape, with over 40 e-bikes now available to buy or hire. So we sent one of our staff riders, Mike Lear, out on the Scott E-Aspect 720 to see what all the fuss was about when it came to electric mountain bikes.
As a keen road cyclist and commuter, I have to admit I had a certain scepticism when it came to e-bikes. However, with the imports of electric bikes increasing by 80% from 2013 to 2014, this sector has taken the UK market by storm and with good reason too. Here at Rutland Cycling, we have a vast range of demo bikes available for customers to try and last week I borrowed Scott's latest electric hardtail, the E-Aspect 720, to see if it could win me over into becoming an e-bike convert.
Priced at £2299.00, and powered by Bosch's 250W Performance-line motor, my first impressions were positive. At 20kg, it's no featherweight, but that's only 7kg more than a standard Aspect, and I was surprised how light it felt. Using Bosch's intuitive err... Intuvia display, getting started is easy. Once you're powered up, there's 5 selectable modes: Off, Eco, Tour, Sport and the amusing named Turbo, each with a respective range figure displayed on the screen. It's possible to control accessories such as lights from the display and there's even a �Walk� mode to help when wheeling the bike up steep hills.
Setting off on this bike is grin inducing. The power kicks in smoothly, but the 60Nm of torque is immediately noticeable and getting up to a speed of around 15mph is virtually effortless. Riding in normal clothes, with flat pedals, alongside a co-worker on a non-powered bike, it was perfectly possible to keep up at a speed where I would otherwise be struggling. That's not to say that it was too easy - you have to pedal for the motor to work, and the assistance is related to the effort that you're prepared to put in, so you're still able to get a good workout. The biggest difference came on hills, where the motor is so effective that I found myself actively seeking out the steepest hills, just to see how fast I could get up them. A quick check on Strava revealed that speeds uphill were far higher than I rode on my road bike (don't worry - I deleted my ride afterwards!). I also took the E-Aspect to our local trail centre over at Wakerley woods to put the bike through its paces on the type of terrain it was built to handle. The position of the Bosch system, allows for a low centre of gravity resulting in it handling beautifully around all the switchbacks. While the 100m of RockShox Recon Silver suspension was perfectly suited to weekend trail centre type riding taking all the lumps and bumps in its stride.
So there you go - I'm convinced. The best thing about e-bikes has got to be their versatility and it's evident that since I last rode an E-bike, they've come on leaps and bounds. On a mountain bike with Rockshox suspension and wide 2.35� tyres, both road and gravel riding was perfectly comfortable, where before it would be a drag, and off-road climbs became a cinch. For a commuter, this type of assistance would be invaluable, so with this in mind it's easy to see how e-bikes could make cycling so much more accessible to casual riders. You can ride further, see more, and arrive far less tired. What more could you want?
- Frame - E-Aspect 700 / 6061 Alloy custom butted tubing / internal cable routing
- Fork - Rock Shox 30 Silver TK 27.5'' Solo Air / Tapered Steerer /reb. Adj. 100mm travel
- Number of Gears - 10
- Shifters - Shimano Deore SL-M610 Rapidfire Plus / 2 way release w/gear indicator
- Chainset - TH FSA CK-310 MTB 17T
- Chainrings - 17t
- Cassette - Shimano CS-HG50-10 11-36 T
- Chain - KMC X10
- Rear Derailleur - Shimano SLX RD-M675-L GS Shadow Plus Type / 10 Speed
- Bottom Bracket - Bosch
- Pedals - Wellgo C-128
- Rims - Syncros X-23 Disc, 32h
- Front Hub - Formula CL51
- Rear Hub - Shimano FH-RM 35 CL
- Front Tyre - Schwalbe Tough Tom 27.5x2.35
- Rear Tyre - Schwalbe Tough Tom 27.5x2.35
- Front Brake - Shimano M425 Disc
- Rear Brake - Shimano M425 Disc
- Brake Levers - Shimano BL-M425 Disc
- Handlebars - Syncros M3.0 700mm, 31.8mm, 9�, 12mm rise Syncros Evo Lock On Grip
- Grips - Included
- Headset - Ritchey Logic Zero semi Integrated
- Stem - Syncros M3.0
- Saddle - Syncros M2.5
- Seatpost - Syncros M3.0, 31.6mm
- Post Clamp - Included
- Weight - 20.3kg
Rutland Cycling Whitwell
Whitwell Leisure Park,
Bull Brigg Lane,
01780 460 705