E-Bike of the Year 2021 | Part 2: Direct-sales E-Bikes | Mountain Bike Rider

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Six 2021 direct-sales e-bikes put through the ringer – it’s part 2 of our very first E-Bike of the Year award.

To read the full reviews, click the link:

To skip to the sections on each specific model, use the time stamps below:

2:35 Intense Tazer 279 Expert
7:08 Commencal Meta Power Essential
12:11 Vitus E-Sommet VRX
18:55 Radon Render 10.0
24:01 Canyon Spectral:ON CF 8.0
28:43 YT-Industries Decoy Shred

In this, the second part of our E-bike of the Year test, we’ve got all of the new 2021 direct sales e-bikes. And what a line-up we have in store for you. With the latest models from Canyon, Commencal, Intense, Radon, YT and Vitus, the short list reads like a who’s who in the comparatively small world of direct sales e-bikes.

The target price point is £5.5k, and while that translates to top-end for Vitus, Commencal considers it entry-level. Whatever way you slice it though, by cutting out the middleman and buying an e-bike online you can save yourself a stack of cash, or simply get a better specced bike for the same amount of money as one available from a traditional brick and mortar store.

But even with the handsome savings that direct sales brands typically offer, it’s still a daunting prospect dropping so much cash on an e-bike sight-unseen. So how do you know which one to go for? To answer that question…just read on.

In the video we’ll uncover the strengths and weaknesses of each design and by the end of this shootout you’ll be armed with all the information you need to pull the trigger on that new rig.

With business model and price being the only criteria for this test, we have a wide range of travel options, from the 140mm Radon Render 10.0 all of the way up to the 165mm YT Decoy and 167mm Vitus Escarpe. The Intense Tazer and Commencal Meta AM Power both have 160mm of travel while the Canyon Spectral:On CF 8.0 hedges its bets with 150mm.

We also have a mix of wheel sizes. The Radon Render 10.0 and Commencal Meta AM Power both rocking 29in wheels, while the other four bikes have mullet configurations, so 29in up front with a smaller 27.5in wheel on the rear. But even here there isn’t consensus, Vitus opting for a 2.5in rear tyre on the E-Sommet, Canyon choosing 2.6in, while Intense and YT both rock high-volume 2.8in tyres out back.

One thing that’s almost universal with the direct sales brands though, is the dominance of the Shimano motors. Canyon, Vitus and Commencal are all powered by the new compact EP8 motor, while Intense and YT use the older E7000 and E8000 systems respectively. Why aren’t all the Shimano bikes using the latest EP8 motor? For Intense, it’s simply about price as the top-end Tazer Pro has EP8 but that bike is £6000. For YT, it is limited by its current frame design, which means it can’t simply pop the hood and drop the latest motor in.

In fact, Radon is the only brand to break ranks, opting instead for the Bosch Gen 4 motor. How this plays out in the test, remains to be seen, but raw power isn’t the only criteria we’ll be judging these e-bikes on. Infact, once you get used to having the assistance of the motor, all of the things that impact the handling of regular mountain bikes come into play. So we won’t just be looking at battery capacity or torque, as you could argue that weight distribution, suspension and sizing have an even bigger impact on handing due to the extra weight of an e-bike.

Which brand has balanced all of these attributes best to produce the most capable and versatile direct sales e-bike remains to be seen. So leave you biases and preconceptions behind, and enjoy this, our first Direct Sales E-bike of the Year test.

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JailBreak Overlander says:

bosch motor makes shimano look like it ISNT an ebike.

New York Vagrant says:

What's annoying is ya spend 5-6-7 grand for a -e-bike, and they are still not perfect. Range, weight, cheap materials(selling a $60 carbon frame for a few thousand), piss-poor geometry, and that typical prehistoric look all bikes still have. When a thirty pound e-bike with a range of one-hundred miles, and does not require a mortgage or six-figure income to possess, is produced…let-me-know.

ombra306 says:

Fantic Integra no?

Martin Desrocher says:

bike of the year 2021- first bike is a 2018 !

mogeking56 says:

I have an ebike, but it’s not a mountain bike 🚵‍♀️. My ebike is a cruiser fat ebike and yes it weighs as much as a small donkey, but it will hall as much as a small donkey thats fat ass me and all of my gear ⚙️ my ebike has two batteries 🔋 two motors that equals 31 amp hours. Don’t get me wrong 😑 I would love 💕 to have a much lighter ebike, but the cost of something like that is ridiculously expensive and I am not willing to go there. I am not one of those down hill mountain 🏔 ebike nuts 🥜 because I want to live long enough to enjoy 😉 spend the rest of my money 💵 on other things besides ebike parts and American 🇺🇸 medical 🏥 bills 💸 . I did the mountain 🏔 bike thing when I was a stupid ass kid 🧒 I am a grown ass man now with enough intelligence to know that mountain biking 🚵‍♀️ is for crazy 😜 as hell thrill seekers. So…….I will see you on the easer flat roads and the ER when you break your neck and legs🦵.

Last Call 170 says:

I dont feel guilty for spending $1,600.00 on an ebike now.

Cryptonando says:

incredible, i'm missing an e-mtb like this

Chandrachur Niyogi says:

I'm from Kolkata, India & I'm looking to buy 30 units of the finest most rugged & durable E-MTB with full front & rear working suspension!!! please advise!!! what do you think of the Haibike XDURO Enduring 10.0 E-MTB???

Dj Michael Braaps says:

Rocking a 21 Turbo Levo Comp and love it!

George Aspen says:

Never heard of these bikes. Are they sold in the USA

Ian Mangham says:

The cheapest just under 5k lmmfao smmfh

Martin Mellembakken says:

I liked the battery solution on the tazer and that it's cheap and light carbon,,,i have a LEVO fsr but always want new bike,. and it's good to have an extra bike because I broken both the motor and the battery,,so even it's a 2019mod it has 2020 motor and battery… The battery for the tazer is so much cheaper than all other ebike batteries i Guess that's one of the reasons it's a cheaper bike also what was said about the suspension on it, that's how it is on the Turbo levo to so I'm already used to that feeling you just need to have the fork sligthly stiffer I use it with one click compression instead of open most of the time

Going Bonzo says:

I bought a specialized turbo levo sl expert. I have been researching ebikes for a couple months and have not been able to find one until today. I think it was an impulse/want thing. The selection was KONA, SANTA CRUZ OR STUMPY. They had it in XL and made me a sweet deal! Cant wait to ride it!! I'm not bragging just super stoked!!!!

rob malan says:

Thanks for the reviews, very informative! Which is the overall winner between the rail and the yt?

longtig says:

How do you buy a Radon bike in the UK?

Josh Davis says:

Why do all these bikes cost about the same as bikes from a local bike shop? If I was going to spend $6,000 or more, I would expect local support.

Mrephi123 says:

Where can we buy the RADON RENDER 10? Coz it says no delivery to Uk on Radon website.

Crudo says:

sad that after all tests are done, non of the bikes are available anymore

Jason Theriault says:

Use dielectric grease in the connector. This will help water from shorting out your connections. I use this trick sub-sea on ROVs.

Kenneth Diaz says:

5k fuck that … I just bought a xion cyberx for 2850. 50 mph 100miles

jasmin japic says:

Focus Sam2? 🤔

Glen says:

I am new to looking at ebikes, so this may be a dumb question? but does the motor only give you assistance when you pedal or can you coast and use the motor? and if so what would the range be?

burt panzer says:

While enjoying British forests, it's good to find a bat-tree, but steer clear of the mila-tree.

Sion Jones says:

really enjoyed both this and the shop-bought brands test. I've been coming across so many hype-fuelled MTB "reviews" it's just so refreshing to see good honest, solid reviews.
Great work. Thank you.

55vdub says:

why are there no North American bike reviews… these are mostly European which we'll never see here

Steve Hetherington says:

Did you consider testing the Orbea Wild ?

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