Easy Motion Evo Cross/29er Question

rojagrande

New Member
Hi EBR peeps.
I finally got to demo the new Evo Cross last weekend. My initial impressions are that it's as good as expected.
Only possible negative was that the throttle only mode seemed a little timid. My guess is that once people discover the turbo assist mode they'll hardly ever use it - it's torquey all right.
Anyhow, my main topic to discuss is: Evo Cross vs 29er.
I'm probably going to use the bike 80% road 20% trail however bigger tires are a must for me on a trail. Yes they cause drag and are slower than the cross tires on the road but Hey, we're talking about electric
bikes here - We have help.
So would you modify the Cross or buy the 29er. There doesn't appear to be that much difference apart from the shox and aforementioned tires. I'm obviously waiting another couple of weeks to demo a 29er but in the meantime any thoughts? Any review on the 29er coming soon?
Best.
RG.
 

lilrich1959

Member
Will keep you posted as weather allows more test riding, been busy assembling the new stuff right now and seems the little time off is when old man winter rears his head. Dang these new machines are pretty though. Initial impressions of the performance like I said is spotty kinda hard to give a fair test when I can't feel my face. They should ship some of the California weather with the bikes brrrr.
 

Chandlee EBS

Active Member
Good question @rojagrande,

It's definitely a matter of taste, first and foremost. If you're a hybrid rider, then that's you're bike and you know it. These are going to be more efficient for long commutes and speedier without much/no power. Mind you, the Race with 700c-32/35 tire is the best for this, but you'll be loosing the front suspension. The Cross does very well with light trails. The Neo series didn't have the crankset clearance for hard trails though. Haven't tried with the Evo.

Also, the throttle isn't as bad as you think. We drag raced a 2013 Neo Cross against a 2012 48v Intercepter up a slight grade and the Neo won! It's simply programmed to build speed slowly.

That said, a mountain bike commuter makes a world of sense with ebikes. I'm riding a 29" Surley karate monkey w/ Bionx D-series and I LOVE it for commuting. I recommend running small block 8/ serfas sheriffs for your 20% trails, which will handle technical dry-pack very well, but still roll quickly. You'll still get largely the same speed as the Cross but the larger tires are more comfortable and it is a bit more work at high speed (kinda like an airbrake when you stop pedaling).

One difference between the two are the components. The Cross is using an 8 speed Alivio drivetrain, probably because people complain about too many gears. It's a very common setup on hybrids and works well. However, the mountain bike line appropriately stepped it up with an XT rear derailleur and shifters, which takes it up to 30 speeds and will hold up much better on the trails. It's going to be "clickier" than the Alivio and require more maintenance (I had to make monthly adjustments with my last XT 3x10 setup), but if you're serious about your drivetrain, then there is really no comparison. The XTs have quick, strong, powerful shifts that constantly reassure you of quality. The forks differ too, though the Suntour NEX has become a standard for hybrids (even the Focus Adventura uses it). Basically, one setup is for road and one is for trail, but the MTB is technically more bang for buck (and perhaps more work.)

Finally, I've got to go back to the Race. I have a Neo Race as well and run Maxxis Overdrive 32s on it (I'm pretty sure it could run 35s) and I love it. It feels so much lighter and the larger tire makes a big difference in comfort. It's probably my favorite out of the BH line up, but I rode hybrids for years before getting it. It's definitely my pick for a commuter. I think you could basically treat it like a cyclocross bike on the trails.

Hope this helps.

-Chandlee
 

rojagrande

New Member
Good question @rojagrande,

It's definitely a matter of taste, first and foremost. If you're a hybrid rider, then that's you're bike and you know it. These are going to be more efficient for long commutes and speedier without much/no power. Mind you, the Race with 700c-32/35 tire is the best for this, but you'll be loosing the front suspension. The Cross does very well with light trails. The Neo series didn't have the crankset clearance for hard trails though. Haven't tried with the Evo.

Also, the throttle isn't as bad as you think. We drag raced a 2013 Neo Cross against a 2012 48v Intercepter up a slight grade and the Neo won! It's simply programmed to build speed slowly.

That said, a mountain bike commuter makes a world of sense with ebikes. I'm riding a 29" Surley karate monkey w/ Bionx D-series and I LOVE it for commuting. I recommend running small block 8/ serfas sheriffs for your 20% trails, which will handle technical dry-pack very well, but still roll quickly. You'll still get largely the same speed as the Cross but the larger tires are more comfortable and it is a bit more work at high speed (kinda like an airbrake when you stop pedaling).

One difference between the two are the components. The Cross is using an 8 speed Alivio drivetrain, probably because people complain about too many gears. It's a very common setup on hybrids and works well. However, the mountain bike line appropriately stepped it up with an XT rear derailleur and shifters, which takes it up to 30 speeds and will hold up much better on the trails. It's going to be "clickier" than the Alivio and require more maintenance (I had to make monthly adjustments with my last XT 3x10 setup), but if you're serious about your drivetrain, then there is really no comparison. The XTs have quick, strong, powerful shifts that constantly reassure you of quality. The forks differ too, though the Suntour NEX has become a standard for hybrids (even the Focus Adventura uses it). Basically, one setup is for road and one is for trail, but the MTB is technically more bang for buck (and perhaps more work.)

Finally, I've got to go back to the Race. I have a Neo Race as well and run Maxxis Overdrive 32s on it (I'm pretty sure it could run 35s) and I love it. It feels so much lighter and the larger tire makes a big difference in comfort. It's probably my favorite out of the BH line up, but I rode hybrids for years before getting it. It's definitely my pick for a commuter. I think you could basically treat it like a cyclocross bike on the trails.

Hope this helps.

-Chandlee
 

rojagrande

New Member
Thanks Chandlee,
It looks like the 29er may be a none starter due to size. 19" frame is as big as they go. The Cross has a 21" option.
Your suggestions for tires were a huge help and may be the solution. Thank you.
Not being anything of a tire expert I've been doing some researching and that's where the answer may be.
A fatter tire that can still roll relatively drag free but hold it's own on the California hard pack and gravel trails I'll be riding.
One in particular caught my eye but I'm assuming there are size restrictions. "Continental double fighter 2"
Am I asking too much for a tire like this that's puncture resistant and has reflective walls that would fit?

Best.
RG.
 

Chandlee EBS

Active Member
Thanks Chandlee,
"Continental double fighter 2"
Am I asking too much for a tire like this that's puncture resistant and has reflective walls that would fit?

Killer tires. Evo cross isn't arriving here till next week so can't give you a definitive answer. It would be really close to the bottom chain stay on the old Cross. These look like the Conti Cyclocross tire trends, so those would work at a 38. Schwalbe Mondials are a popular for this setup too.