What does the perfect summer look like to you? A bike ride, a refreshing dip in the lake, a barbecue with friends and family? Beer or wine? Whether it’s a multi-day adventure, exciting backcountry expedition or chilled family day at the lake with a BBQ and SUP in your luggage, these 9 fully equipped ebikes can handle (almost) anything you throw at them!
If just the thought of spending another blistering summer in the city makes you feel a little queasy, it’s time to find a way to escape the concrete jungle and explore the countryside. The nine hot ebikes we’ve used for our daily commutes and fun weekends prove that you don’t have to squeeze into a sizzling-hot tin box to flee the city with your camping gear and barbecue. Our fleet includes everything the ebike world currently has to offer, from comfortable step-through ebikes through touring-capable eMTBs all the way to off-road cargo monsters. A full equipment consisting of mudguards, pannier racks, lights and kickstand converts an eMTB into a versatile everyday companion that combines the looks and confidence-inspiring handling of a mountain bike with the excellent practicality of a cargo mule! While each of the 9 bikes has its own distinctive character as well as its pros and cons, all of them are very practical in everyday life and at the same time cut a fine figure off the beaten track, delivering tons of fun in all situations. Now that’s how you enjoy a summer to the max – and that’s exactly what we did, albeit in spring and with slightly cooler temperatures!
Loaded with all the essentials for a first-class BBQ evening on the beach, plus some bulky camping gear and a massive stand-up paddle board, we set off to catch some seaside vibes, albeit in a place without the sea – but with some awesome bathing lakes instead! Our journey took us out of town on gravel roads, through an abandoned air base and natural paths, all the way to the sandy lake beach – and back home through the darkness of a warm summer night. This exciting little adventure gave us a chance to check out all the practical features, the full equipment and off-road capabilities of the ebikes.
|Canyon Pathlite:ON 8 SUV ST||€ 4.699||Bosch Smart System||Bosch PowerTube 750 Wh||28,50||Click for review|
|Centurion Numinis R2700i||€ 5.299||Bosch Smart System||Bosch PowerTube 750 Wh||28,20||Click for review|
|FOCUS Thron² 6.8 EQP||€ 5.799||Bosch Smart System||Bosch PowerTube 750 Wh||28,88||Click for review|
|Moustache Weekend 27 FS Dual EQ||€ 6.999||Bosch Performance Line CX||Bosch PowerTube + PowerPack 1.125 Wh||28,10||Click for review|
|Nicolai GT1 Explorer Kit||€ 12.500||Bosch Performance Line CX||Bosch PowerTube 625 Wh||31,86||Click for review|
|Riese & MüllerLoad 60||€ 9.400||Bosch CargoLine||Bosch PowerPack 1.000 Wh||52,00||Click for review|
|SCOTT AXIS eRIDE Evo Tour FS||€ 6.299||Bosch Smart System||Bosch PowerTube 750 Wh||27,98||Click for review|
|Simplon Stomp Pmax EQ||€ 8.299||Bosch Performance Line CX||Bosch PowerTube 625 Wh||25,40||Click for review|
|Trek Powerfly FS 9 Equipped||€ 7.299||Bosch Performance Line CX||Bosch PowerTube 625 Wh||27,10||Click for review|
What are the key ingredients for the perfect ebike BBQ adventure?
Charcoal, veggies, steak, beer… True barbecue lovers have a list of all BBQ essentials engraved on their soul. For impromptu grilling escapades, they could whip up a grillicious meal from the desolate shelves of a suburban petrol station shop. However, coming up with a recipe for a coherent off-road ebike isn’t that easy! We’ll tell you what shouldn’t be missing from your ingredient list and what to look for if you want to get to the beach and get your BBQ party going in great style!
Gran turismo – Sporty long-distance ebikes
Before deciding on your marinades and sauces, you’ll have to figure out which kind of meat and vegetables you’re going to throw on the barbie – and the same goes for our ebikes! While all 9 bikes are all fully equipped (marinade), this doesn’t mean that they all meet the same requirements with regards to touring capabilities, simply because each manufacturer approaches these requirements in a different way. Depending on the concept, this can result in significantly more (or less) comfort and better (or worse) off-road capabilities and theft protection. For example, the Nicolai EBOXX GT1 Explorer Kit is basically a super-potent eMTB that was retrofitted with a full equipment kit. The Canyon Pathlite:ON, on the other hand, was conceived as a classic e-trekker and comes with a special equipment that boosts its off-road capabilities (e.g. more aggressively-profiled tires), but still relies on a hardtail frame. And then there’s the Riese & Müller Load 60 cargo bike, which rolls on knobby tires in the GX spec variant, allowing you to safely push yourself beyond the tarmac – a very unique concept in the cargo bike segment!
For our BBQ adventure, we also decided to invite the purist and sportier antagonists of the three fully equipped eMTBs in order to enjoy a little more riding fun on quick trail detours between the BBQ area and the beach kiosk – and of course to compare the handling and all-round qualities against their fully equipped doubles. The FOCUS Thron², Centurion Numinis R2700i and Scott Patron eRide are available both as fully equipped eMTBs and as “naked” bikes. As regards the fully equipped concept, the three manufacturers take completely different approaches. For instance, the Centurion Numinis R2700i EQ doesn’t call for compromises over its sportier counterpart, which comes already prepared for the full equipment, allowing you to add individual accessories piece by piece. With the FOCUS Thron², on the other hand, the German manufacturer replaces the sporty FOX suspension and aggressively profiled tires of the trail-oriented model with more basic suspension components with standard mudguard mounts and narrower, more shallow-profiled tires – also because the mudguards leave no room for wider tires. The fully equipped variant of the Scott Patron eRide goes by the name of Scott Axis eRide Evo Tour FS, but this only shares the main frame with its burly trail cousin. As for the rest, the Swiss tweaked the rear suspension, reduced the suspension travel and replaced almost the entire sport-oriented spec with more all-round capable components. Needless to say, these changes drastically change the character of the bike. So what’s your choice, meat, fish or peppers?
Fully equipped for all situations – Lights, kickstand, pannier rack and mudguards.
Whether you use your ebike for the daily commuter or epic weekend excursions, visibility is paramount and, ideally, you want to combine a headlight at the front and a tail light at the rear. And if you think you’ll be riding your ebike exclusively during the daytime when the sun is shining bright, think again. Do you really want to leave the BBQ before sunset and miss out on the sunset party vibes? No? We thought so! All 9 ebikes come equipped with a headlight and taillight that draw their power directly from the main battery, making you visible even long after the battery charge has dropped below the level at which the motor stops providing assistance. In other words, you’ll still have enough light to pedal home, even when relying solely on the power of your legs. Some of the headlights on our bikes, like the Supernova, Litemove and Lupine, also feature a high-beam function, enabling full-on night rides.
Not only are kickstands and mudguards extremely practical in everyday life and on rainy days, but also stopped us from dumping the bikes on the floor, thus preventing sand from contaminating the chain, drivetrain and bearings. Moreover, a kickstand makes it easier to get stuff in and out of the panniers without having to hold the bike with one hand. However, this has to be well-positioned and sturdy enough to withstand the weight of a heavily-loaded bike with panniers and thus prevent it from falling over – which is exactly what happened with some of our bikes .
Particularly on ebikes, the mudguards fulfill several tasks at once. When long enough, they keep the bike and rider dry and at the same time serve as the supporting component for a lighting system and the associated cables. For this purpose, mudguards should be sturdy enough and safely secured to the frame while at the same time offering adequate tire clearance. If that’s not the case, an epic ride to the beach will quickly become an irritating noise ensemble of rattling mudguards and clunking pebbles trapped between the tires and mudguards. In a best case scenario, the mudguards are wide enough to accommodate wide and aggressively profiled tires, which not only offer more riding comfort but also ensure decent traction in all conditions. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case with all of our bikes: the SCOTT and FOCUS, for example, have enough mudguard clearance to accommodate wide tires but employ narrower tires instead, robbing you of both confidence and traction. The Centurion, on the other hand, rolls on more voluminous tires but the mudguards have to be adjusted carefully to prevent annoying rubbing noises.
A good-quality pannier rack converts every sporty eMTB into a practical transport machine. However, you may only mount a child seat on your rack if it’s explicitly approved for this purpose. Rear panniers are a great option for everyday errands and BBQ trips at the lake, because they don’t unnecessarily raise the bike’s centre of gravity and therefore don’t have too much of a negative impact on handling. The pannier rack of the Riese & Müller Load is secured to the main frame of the bike and not the rear end, ensuring added stability and making the luggage part of the suspended mass. You can choose from different mounting systems to secure your bags quickly and securely onto your bike: amongst the most popular ones are Ortlieb’s Quick-Lock (QL), and MIK standard, which are compatible with a wide range of bag models.
Mini gas cooker vs 4-burner Weber grill – How much can I load onto my ebike?
Before ordering the biggest panniers available on the market, you should try and work out how much stuff you’re realistically going to carry on your bike. When doing so, you’ll have to take into account not only the maximum load rating of your pannier rack but also the permissible total weight of the bike, which is a sum of the weight of the bike plus the fully kitted rider and all additional equipment.
The permissible total weight of our “beach bikes” ranges between a rather conservative 128 kg and very generous 200 kg.
In a nutshell, while the Riese & Müller Load 60 allows you to easily carry a BBQ and large cool box to the beach, the Scott Axis eRide already reaches the limit with a heavier rider carrying a couple of beer cans in their pockets. Unfortunately, there’s still a huge difference between what the bikes are designed for in theory and what they’re actually capable of in real life.
Can’t find my way to the beach through the pine forest – Navigation systems and connectivity for ebikes.
If you’re planning on venturing into the unknown, an ebike navigation system comes in extremely handy. Wouldn’t it be nice to let your ebike guide you to the beach BBQ instead of having to call your mates a million times to find out behind which dune they’ve set up camp? On our excursion, all riders with a Bosch Nyon display or Bosch SmartphoneHub were always on the right track thanks to the integrated navigation function. That being said, the bike models with SmartphoneHub still lack effective theft protection, forcing you to leave your bike unattended (and unprotected) when disappearing into the bushes for a quick pit stop – a very unpleasant feeling! To put off casual thieves from taking advantage of the situation, Bosch provided their Smart System motor with the practical eBike Lock function, which allows you to deactivate the motor functions via smartphone, thus making your bike less attractive to scumbags. Although the bikes with Bosch Smart System motor don’t have a navigation system yet, the Bosch SmartphoneGrip mount allows you to use your phone as a display and navigation system. Riese & Müller, on the other hand, offer both functions without the need of a smartphone, combining a Bosch Nyon display with navigation function and the proprietary RX Connect chip, which allows you to trace and recover your Load 60 cargo bike. Furthermore, Riese & Müller online configurator also includes an optional all-round carefree package with insurance cover.
Beach, bikes and barbecues – The 9 ebikes at a glance
The market for offroad-ebikes offers a wide range of products, making it hard to always keep an overview of all available models. Our “Meet you at the barbeque” story features nine fully equipped eBikes and provides a good cross-section of the different types of bikes currently available on the market. Here are the nine bikes at a glance.
The Canyon Pathlite:ON 8 SUV ST is the beach bum amongst our ebikes. Although the slightly adapted full equipment increases its off-road capabilities ever so slightly, Canyon’s relaxed step-through ebike is more of a city cruiser than an off-road explorer, combining excellent transport qualities and a high permissible total weight of 140 kg. If that’s still not enough, the Canyon comes with trailer approval, allowing you to tow an additional 50 kg in a trailer.
The CENTURION Numinis R2700i EQ is also suitable for sporty trail riding – find out all about it in our budget eMTB group test under € 6,500. However, the fully equipped version of CENTURION’s full-suspension tourer is the more sensible choice for mellow BBQ trips, offering a coherent overall package at a fair price for everyday heroes who like to take an off-road shortcut on moderate trails from time to time.
The FOCUS Thron² 6.8 EQP doesn’t quite manage to bridge the gap between sports car and family van as neatly as the CENTURION. Instead, the FOCUS is and remains a thoroughbred tourer without great off-road ambitions. In return, it really comes to life in everyday riding situations and long tours, where it impresses with its harmonious equipment package, clever Bosch eBike Lock immobilizer and high permissible total weight of 150 kg.
The Moustache Samedi Weekend 27 FS Dual EQ is the adventurer among ebikes! The lip-rugged Frenchman isn’t too fond of long beach days and prefers to embark on epic expeditions to the Antarctic and around the globe. What makes it particularly suited for these scenarios are the high level of touring comfort, enormous range of the 1,125 Wh dual battery system and integrated offline navigation function of the Bosch Nyon display.
The NICOLAI EBOXX GT1 Explorer Kit combines the adventure capabilities of the Moustache and the stamina of an extreme athlete who loves to abseil steep cliffs and BASE jump into volcanic craters – and doesn’t mind a relaxed beach holiday either. However, at lower speeds, the extreme geometry of the NICOLAI takes some getting used to. Underneath the Explorer Kit that makes the bike suitable for everyday use hides a super-potent eMTB for demanding descents with a high-end spec borrowed from the eMTB sector. Needless to say, this ensures top off road capabilities and inspires huge amounts of confidence in the urban jungle.
The Riese & Müller Load 60 serves the other end of the adventure spectrum. While the Nicolai leads the climb to the summit, the Load 60 is the Sherpa who does all the carrying. With its practical cargo box and high permissible total weight of 200 kg, it’s a true transport wonder, whether you’re cruising through the city, heading to the beach or pushing yourself beyond the tarmac on moderate off-road paths. Riese & Müller’s extensive online configurator allows you to configure the Load 60 for different applications, e.g. with a child seat or a flat loading bay. The configurator also includes other clever features, like the Bosch Nyon navigation system, RX Connect trackiong chip and dual battery system, which improve the versatility of the bike a lot more than you might think.
The SCOTT Axis eRide Evo Tour FS is a toothless tiger that loves to soak up the sunshine on the beach. While the complex integration makes it a real eye-catcher, the low maximum payload of 100 kg calls for prudence when packing – at least officially. Moreover, the spec is significantly less off-road oriented compared to SCOTT’s electric lion king, the Patron eRide, thus seriously limiting the off road capabilities of the Axis eRide Evo Tour FS.
The SIMPLON Stomp Pmax is the surprise guest at every beach BBQ. Thanks to the versatile frame platform and extensive configurator, it can be customised and adapted to the specific area of application, from daily commutes to sporty trail sessions. Alternatively, you can follow the golden middle path and build yourself a versatile everyday workhorse with sporty trail ambitions – that’s what we did!
The Trek Powerfly FS 9 Equipped covers a wide range of applications straight out of the box and wants to redefine classic bike categories. It’s extremely practical in everyday riding situations yet comfortable enough to embark on weekend beach tours, and also tons of fun down sandy dunes in sport mode: who gets to the water first wins! To make this possible, it relies on an excellent component mix, solid everyday equipment and an efficient suspension that handles bigger impacts like kerbs and potholes as well as road bumps. The elegant frame and cool paintwork also make it a real head turner on the beach!
All bikes in the overview:
Canyon Pathlite:ON 8 SUV ST (Click for review) | Centurion Numinis R2700i (Click for review) | FOCUS Thron² 6.8 EQP (Click for review) | Moustache Weekend 27 FS Dual EQ (Click for review) | Nicolai GT1 Explorer Kit (Click for review) | Riese & Müller Load 60 (Click for review) | SCOTT AXIS (Click for review) | Simplon Stomp Pmax EQ (Click for review) | Trek Powerfly (Click for review)
Words: Rudolf Fischer Photos: Robin Schmitt