Call me a traditionalist, but when I heard I was reviewing an electric mountain bike it seemed the antithesis of what mountain biking is all about. However, we weren’t reviewing your standard electric bike.
The Dyson Bikes Thredbo fat bike and Hard Tail Evo we had strapped on-board for our epic trip to Cape York were certainly head-turners. The rugged look of the Thredbo fat electric and Dyson Bikes’ clean sophisticated aesthetics meant 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, the Thredbo fat bike was by far the most fun. We took it out for a ride on wide open spaces of Loyalty Beach and despite the very soft sand its 4in tyres gripped the surface for good momentum up and down the beach. By contrast, we tested the Evo on the same surface and couldn’t even get out of the blocks. Just shows the criticality of the fat tyres on the soft sand.
In terms of specs, the Evo boasts 27.5in 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. Total weight is 25kg and a battery life of up to 7 hours with a range of up to 150km. The Evo retails from $2,299, which is well priced considering the quality of the package.
The fat bike by contrast has 26in Alex rims fitted with massive 4in Vee Tyres suitable for sand, snow and gravel, 9-speed Shimano Alivio gears, Tektro 180mm disc rotor brakes and 11Ah 36V lithium-ion battery Panasonic cells. Total weight is 29.2kg and a battery life of up to 5 hours with a range of up to 50-70km. The fat bike retails for $2,499 with the slightly higher price linked to the up spec’d tyres.
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 Bikes (no relation to the vacuum cleaner manufacturer) has cleverly embedded the electric components – including the battery – into the frame so that from a distance it looks very much like a standard pedal powered mountain bike.
The Dyson Bikes electric bikes give you the option of not using the electric assistance but can help you reach speeds of up to 25km/h when required (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.
The full product test appeared in Caravan World #572. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!