- A full suspension cross-country or all-mountain electric bike with beautifully hidden motor and battery pack, 120 mm suspension from Fox, available in two frame sizes for improved fit
- High-end 180 mm Shimano SLX brakes with tool-free adjustable levers, rigid thru-axles front and rear with quick release, removable battery pack and display panel
- Nimble Schwalbe Tough Tom tires offer 650b rolling momentum and traction but quicker, lighter steering at 2.35" width vs. plus sized, powerful climber with mountain specific drivetrain and one-way clutch Shadow Plus derailleur
- Battery charger requires a dongle interface with the battery which could easily get lost, the display is a little bulky and could get damaged in a crash easier
Electric bicycle technology is becoming smaller, lighter weight, and smarter. Electric mountain bikes are often on the forefront of new technology because they need to be powerful but also blend in… Nobody wants a loud motor disturbing the natural setting of a trail and most eMountain bike riders that I know, shy away from causing a scene or attracting any kind of special attention. With the Easy Motion ATOM Lynx 4.8 and 6.0 you get one of the cleanest looking, quietest mid-drive products available today. I tested the ATOM Lynx 4.8 27.5 Pro, which is geared for cross country riding with 120 mm suspension. It’s a stand out product thanks to the compact Brose motor system, purpose-built frame with integrated cabling, standard sized replaceable chainring, proprietary downtube battery, and a removable display panel. You get an 11 speed drivetrain with Shimano Deore XT Shadow Plus derailleur, with a one-way clutch for reduced chain bounce. And Shimano SLX hydraulic disc brakes with adjustable reach levers. I was a little surprised that the brake rotors are 180/160 mm vs. 203/180 mm on some of the other Easy Motion electric mountain bikes… but they still performed well during my rides. Perhaps this is another nod to the trail focus vs. all-mountain or nduro which would have longer travel suspension? Fox is one of my favorite suspension manufacturers because I like their logo and trust the quality of their manufacturing process, and you get two air suspension systems here which reduce weight and allow for sag tuning and adjustment with climb-trail-descend (CTD) clickers. My friend Marc Johnson from Ebike Supply was on hand to help with this video and he explained that the rear suspension design is licensed, split-pivot, designed to reduce bobbing and brake interference. It certainly felt good on my rides and I could tell that the pivot points were stiff and trail worthy. Note that the motor casing does hang down a bit below the rear linkage but that this is not uncommon and the Brose system is still one of the most compact options around.
The motor offers 250 watts of nominal power but peaks out above 500 and produces a maximum of 90 Newton meters of torque. That’s more torque than any other mainstream electric bike on the market today beating out the Bosch CX which produces a peak of 75 Nm. As a 135 lb rider, I feel that both systems (most of the mid-drives) I try are plenty good at climbing… as long as I shift down appropriately. And shift sensing is not a feature offered by Brose at this time. For that reason, I usually pedal ahead, ease off, then shift to avoid mashing the gears. With eleven speeds, the steps between the sprockets are smaller and mashing seems to be a limited issue. Still, I find myself riding differently on electric mountain bikes than non-electric. The shifting is one part but so too is the handling and jumping. Weighing in at ~52 lbs depending on which of the two frame sizes you choose, this is not a light ebike. But at least the weight is mostly low and centered along the frame. The battery seats into the top of the downtube and looks great until you scratch the paint. And that’s easy to do given how close it is to the rear suspension clicker. There’s no handle to grab and the bike doesn’t have a kickstand… so unless I was moving the bike, I’d probably just charge the battery on the frame.
The battery pack is large, fairly heavy, and high-capacity offering 600+ watt-hours. Unfortunately, it requires a special dongle to be charged off-bike and that’s just one more thing to keep an eye on and possibly lose. I did notice a winged twist-lock on the dongle connector but there’s no leash for the dongle. So going back to the scenario mentioned earlier, charging the battery on-frame, it’s easy to set the dongle aside when charging only to forget it there later. Consider using a zip tie or rubber band to connect the two parts. And another grip about the charger is that although it is compact and fairly lightweight, it’s just not that fast at 2 Amps. Some other companies are moving to 3 Amps and 4 Amps to cut the time down for larger 500+ watt-hour packs. So the battery pack isn’t perfect in a lot of ways but it sure does look nice. The paint matches the rest of the frame but I have heard from some customers that the paint can fade. The frame is Aluminum alloy while the battery is plastic. And someday, if you decide to replace the battery pack, it might be more expensive or difficult to get a paint matched pack. For a product that is so expensive, this is a difficult reality to stomach… and probably the reason that Bulls opted for a bottom-mount all-black battery on their Brose powered electric bikes. That battery is more difficult to mount and is exposed to rocks and more water from the front tire, but would be easier to replace. For both of these bike designs, the battery charging port and locking core are directly in the path of the left crank arm. This is just one more area to be careful with, you don’t want to bend either. And if you trip over the battery cord, you also don’t want it to pull the bike over. There’s a reason that some companies like Specialized have opted for the magnetic EnergyBus Rosenburger charging interface. It’s designed to pop out without tipping the bike.
Powering the bike on to go for a ride is very straightforward and much improved from the older, basic displays that Emotion offers. Just mount the battery, make sure it’s charged, and press the power button on the control pad near the left grip. Very quickly, the display turns on and lists out your battery percentage, current speed, and assist level. Instead of naming assist levels like Bosch and Yamaha, Easy Motion has gone with percentages including 0%, 30%, 50%, 70%, and 100%. I’m a fan of percentages and like the infographic choices. I also like that the display offers walk mode (hold plus when in an assist level greater than zero) and backlighting (hold minus to activate). You get trip stats like max speed, average speed, total distance, trip distance, and something called miles to go. From what I can tell, this is an attempt at “range” which does not seem to account for the level of assist in real-time. I love going through the assist levels on a Bosch display to see how far the bike thinks I can go… and while I’m sure the Easy Motion system takes these steps into account, they don’t seem to update in real-time and so you’re left guessing. Every electric bike has its trade off’s and perhaps the better battery readout here helps to make up for the limited range estimator readout. I do love that the display can be removed for safe storage. I don’t like how bulky it is compared to some others but I understand that they had to mount it higher to fit a standard sized USB port in the mount. For people who use their smartphone devices, music or lights… this is a sweet addition. I believe it puts out 5 Volts but am not sure on the Amps, hopefully 1+ in order to charge iOS devices.
Easy Motion has been in business since 1909, producing bicycles in Spain. They were a leader in the US ebike space in the early years, starting in 2012, and continue to innovate with products like the ATOM Lynx with Brose. For the price, you get some excellent systems here and there seems to be a healthy network of shops that carry the brand. The warranty is solid, the systems should hold up, and despite a few minor gripes around charging, this is a fun product to use. It climbs and accelerates well without producing much noise. It blends in and balances weight well. And it offers standard 650b wheels with 2.35″ diameter tires vs. the new plus sizes which require longer heavier axles and increase drag and turning time. This is a nimble bike and the slightly higher weight is a testament to the larger battery pack which will take you further. I’d estimate 45 miles or more per charge given the top assisted speed of 20 mph and wide gear range. Big thanks to Easy Motion for partnering with me on this review and inviting me and Marc to their headquarters in Foothills Ranch California. It’s always fun to work with and learn from someone who runs a shop and is an enthusiast of mountain biking so check out Ebike Supply if you’d like to connect with him.
- Extra large 600+ watt-hour battery delivers increased range, I love how it’s built into the downtube for lower weight and a clean aesthetic vs. being bolted onto the frame like many other ebikes including Bosch, Yamaha and Shimano
- The motor is so compact, it doesn’t hang down the way that some mid-drives do (important given the off-road full suspension setup here) and it blends in perfectly with the red and black paint job
- The geared mid-drive motor uses a belt transfer to step up from planetary gears to the chainring, this reduces vibration and significantly cuts down on noise
- I love how large and easy to read the display is and appreciate that you can easily remove it, this might be prudent if you’re coasting downhill on rough mountain terrain because the display would be easy to damage if the bike crashed
- Two frame sizes, so you can dial in fit and comfort, the top tube is angled downwards to lower stand over height… it would have been nice to see a bottle cage interface on the downtube like Bulls has done with some of their full suspension models running the Brose motor
- Solidt brakes, large 180 mm front rotor with 160 mm rear using SLX calipers and brake levers (that have tool-free adjustable reach), they provide smooth, powerful stops
- Upgraded derailleur has a one-way clutch that reduces chain bounce and slap, the Shimano Deore XT Shadow Plus is mountain bike specific
- Uses split-pivot rear suspension which reduces interference for braking and improves traction
- Chain retention system (plastic chain guide) prevents drops and may also clear debris like grass and mud since this is a one by setup, I like that the chainring uses narrow wide teeth to reduce slipping
- Adding to the clean battery and motor integration are matching grips, saddle, and fork… it’s a minor detail but the bike just really looks good and complete
- Full sized USB 5 Volt charging port built into the display panel mount, you could use this to power a smartphone, GPS, or lights
- For $4,400 this ebike offers a lot of higher end systems, including the air suspension,
and comes with an industry-leading two-year warranty that jumps to five years if you register
- I love the upgraded pro display and button pad in part because they boot up much faster than the old slim design… though I believe that you can still use that with the left mount interface here if you prefer it and already own an Emotion electric bike
- Most electric bike display panels right now only show your battery capacity as an info-graphic with like five or ten ticks but the Easy Motion pro display has percentage written out so it’s way more precise
- I appreciate having control over the backlighting of the display vs. it always being on like Bosch, just hold the minus key to activate or de-activate display lighting
- You can activate walk mode by holding the plus button on the controller pad for a few seconds when any level of assist is active, this is handy for walks on difficult terrain given the ~52 lb weight of the bike
- Because the Brose motor works with a standard sized chainring (vs. the smaller rings on Bosch) you can swap in any 104 Bolt Circle Diameter (BCD) chainring to alter how the bike pedals
- The battery pack doesn’t have an integrated handle so it’s easier to drop and the paint looks nice but is thin which means you can easily scratch it, exposing white plastic underneath
- You can charge the battery on or off the bike but it requires a special dongle because the plug interface is different, this dongle is easy to misplace
- The charging port and locking core for the battery pack are both located in the rotation path of the left crank arm which makes them easier to bump or break if the pedals get kicked or you back the bike up (which turns the cranks backward)
- The Brose mid-drive does not offer shift sensing the way that Bosch and some Impulse motors do… but given the 11-speed drivetrain and higher end derailleur, the jumps between gears are shorter so that helps with mashing, the motor measures pedal torque so just ease off a moment before shifting
- At 8.2 lbs, the battery is much heavier than Bosch and some comparable packs that weigh ~6 lbs for the same capacity, this is part of why the bike is ~52 lbs while a lot of the competing models are in the ~50 lbs range
- Given the higher capacity 600+ watt hour battery pack, I’d love to have a faster charger… the standard 2 Amp is just that, basic vs. Bosch at 4 Amps and some others at 3 Amps