Meet the Kagu Pinion, SIMPLON’s bold design statement in the world of city ebikes. With its Pinion MGU E1.12 motor, SIMPLON also aim to deliver an adventurous trekking experience. We took the Kagu out for a spin to see if SIMPLON have succeeded, or if the Kagu Pinion should stick to the city streets.

SIMPLON Kagu Pinion | Pinion MGU E1.12/720 Wh
23.9 kg in size L | € 8,384 | Manufacturer’s website

SIMPLON, a premium Austrian brand, have become increasingly popular in the bike industry. Founded in 1928, SIMPLON initially manufactured cameras and accessories. Over the years, the Austrians have become a major player in the industry, particularly known for their high-performance MTBs (see our sister magazine ENDURO, where the SIMPLON Rapcon Pmax TQ excels in the light eMTB group test). However, SIMPLON are also well positioned in the city bike segment and are expanding their portfolio with the new SIMPLON Kagu Pinion. The Kagu is a versatile city ebike, optimised not only for daily commuting, but also for longer tours and occasional transport needs. Based on the SIMPLON Kagu Bosch CX 275, the main difference lies in its motor system, the new Pinion MGU E1.12 motor/gearbox unit. SIMPLON are breaking new ground with the frame, opting for a high quality carbon fibre frame instead of the typical aluminium, which is sure to turn heads at the ice-cream parlour. The city bike starts at an impressive € 7,999 in its basic configuration. Our test bike, customised via the online configurator, costs € 8,384 and weighs 24.06 kg. Dive into our review to find out if the hefty price tag is justified.

What sets the SIMPLON Kagu Pinion apart?

The Austrian company’s city ebike aims to incorporate a wide range of features, with the emphasis on innovative design, riding fun, comfort and everyday practicality. The SIMPLON Kagu Pinion’s stylish design immediately catches the eye. The two-tone paintwork and the carbon frame add to the SIMPLON’s striking appearance. Typically, carbon is used in performance-oriented bikes to improve stiffness and overall performance. In city ebikes, however, the focus shifts to weight reduction. The SIMPLON’s distinctive use of carbon as a frame material, an unconventional choice for a city bike, sets it apart from other bikes of its kind.

The SIMPLON Kagu’s carbon frame appears well-proportioned, with smooth rounded edges and a top tube which flows cleanly into the seat stays, giving the bike an inviting aesthetic. The cable routing on the SIMPLON Kagu is clean and tidy, with the controller wire, dropper cable and rear brake hose all disappearing into the frame through the headset. The front brake cable is also routed elegantly through the rigid fork, only reappearing down by the calliper. The light cable for the Busch + Müller IQ-XS headlight, however, seems to have been an afterthought, as it runs directly from the handlebar to the headlight without any attachment on or in the frame.

SIMPLON maintain their otherwise clean design philosophy in their branding, with the company name only appearing once on the side of the main frame. The black stripe is strategically placed on the down tube, seamlessly integrating the removable 720 Wh battery into the lines of the bike – something most bikes with Pinion MGU motor/gearbox units struggle to achieve. The only aspect that detracts from the ultra-clean look is the exposed keyhole in the side view. A small cover would have been a welcome addition for an even sleeker aesthetic. The Pinion MGU is one of the larger units on the market, but hats off to the SIMPLON team who have managed to integrate the motor/gearbox unit discreetly into the frame. The new motor system further contributes to the bike’s sleek appearance, giving the city ebike a clean, contemporary look. All in all, SIMPLON have transformed the Kagu Pinion into a visually appealing city bike. But does its stylish look belie its performance?

Looks good in the café too: The frame of the SIMPLON Kagu Pinion has a stylish, modern design.
The brand name is also reflected in the sleek branding, which contributes to the clean look of the entire bike.
SIMPLON offer bottle cage mounts on the down tube and a tool mount underneath the top tube.
Looks like someone forgot the cover for the open keyhole for the battery lock.

The motor system of the SIMPLON Kagu Pinion

SIMPLON use the new MGU E1.12 Pinion on the Kagu Pinion, where the gearbox is integrated directly into the motor, eliminating the need for a rear derailleur and cassette. Its low maintenance requirements offer enormous benefits, especially for everyday riders: without gears at the rear, there is no need for a chain; instead, a wear-resistant belt is used. According to Pinion, the internal gearbox is virtually maintenance-free and only requires an oil change every 10,000 kilometres. With the SIMPLON Kagu Pinion, cleaning and adjusting the drivetrain is a thing of the past, as the gear mechanism is sealed away inside the motor, and the belt doesn’t require cleaning or lubrication. That’s why the Pinion MGU E1.12 is the “carefree” drive among ebike motors. With 85 Nm torque and a 12-speed electric gearbox, gear changes are effortless even when stationary – perfect for those moments when you realise you’re in the wrong gear waiting at a traffic light.

The FIT Ultracore battery, available with either 720 Wh or 960 Wh capacity via SIMPLON’s online configurator, offers ample range. The “small” 720 Wh battery we tested is sufficient for most day trips, even for heavier riders, and with the 960 Wh battery, any range anxiety is completely unfounded with the SIMPLON Kagu Pinion. If you’re planning on taking longer trips without recharging, a 470 Wh range extender can be added for an additional € 850. Secured with a key and removable from underneath, the battery can be easily taken out for external charging. The only criticism is that the small bulge of the 960 Wh battery protrudes slightly, spoiling the otherwise slim silhouette.

The FIT Basic Remote is not exclusively reserved for bikes with a Pinion motor, and we have previously tested it on the KETTLER PINNIATO HT COMFORT. Due to its bulky dimensions, the remote requires some getting used to and didn’t really win us over. On the other hand, the large FIT Comfort display, cleverly positioned in the centre of the handlebar, provides an excellent overview of key data such as battery level, speed and current riding mode. And when linked to the FIT E-Bike Control app, this display provides additional features such as gradient information, navigation arrows and, in cold conditions, a warning of the risk of black ice. The visually appealing charging port on the seat tube is the perfect finishing touch to the motor system.

The noise generated by the Pinion MGU E1.12 motor defeats the benefits of the otherwise quiet belt drive system.
SIMPLON have effectively integrated the bulky Pinion motor into the frame.

Everyday practicality and comfort – tough choices or the perfect symbiosis?

There is no doubt that the SIMPLON Kagu Pinion boasts style. But a city bike must also be practical and comfortable for everyday use. Otherwise, the riding experience is compromised as soon as you saddle up. Not all bikes achieve this delicate balance, often requiring compromises that result in some significant shortcomings in one of these areas.
Our test bike doesn’t have a suspension fork or a dropper post, but both are available as options in the configurator. Instead, SIMPLON have chosen to equip it with some voluminous 27.5 x 2.4” Schwalbe Super Moto tires to improve comfort. These tires are wide enough to allow you to safely cross tram tracks without the front wheel getting stuck, and they provide a good level of general comfort. The bike only struggles on very rough, potholed roads. Nevertheless, in our basic configuration without active suspension elements, the SIMPLON Kagu Pinion still offers a good level of riding comfort in the city and comes with a good package of equipment.

SIMPLON use 2.4″ wide Schwalbe Super Moto voluminous tires on the Kagu Pinion.

In busy city traffic, safety is paramount. The Kagu Pinion comes with the robust MAGURA CT brake with 4 pistons and a large 203 mm disc at the front, while there is a smaller 180 mm disc and a 2-piston calliper at the rear. Thanks to the Schwalbe Super Moto tires, this city bike offers confidence inspiring deceleration on smooth tarmac. The standard Busch + Müller IQ-XS front and rear lights, the latter elegantly integrated into the luggage rack, ensure the best possible visibility in the hustle and bustle of the city. Additional everyday features such as a trailer adapter, anti-theft GPS, frame lock or RockShox 35 Gold RL suspension fork with 80 mm travel can all be selected in the SIMPLON configurator. For an additional charge, options such as a dropper post, front rack and bottle cage are available to increase versatility or enhance riding comfort.

The belt drive eliminates the need for tedious maintenance, and can be replaced easily through a joint in the rear triangle.
The rigid carbon fork is not only discreet, it also saves weight.
Small but mighty! The luggage rack on the SIMPLON Kagu may not be huge, but the integrated reflector ensures a safe ride.

SIMPLON Kagu Pinion

€ 8,384


Motor Pinion MGU E1.12 85 Nm
Battery FIT Ultracore 720 Wh
Display FIT Comfort
Fork Carbonfork
Seatpost BikeYoke Revive 125 mm
Brakes Magura CT 203/180 mm
Drivetrain Pinion MGU E1.12 1x12
Stem Simplon Zero 70 mm
Handlebar Simplon HI-BEAM II 670 mm
Wheelset Simplon 5.5 27.5"
Tires Schwalbe Super Moto 2.4"

Technical Data

Size S M L XL
Weight 23.9 kg
Perm. total weight 160 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 136 kg
Trailer approval yes
Kickstand mount yes

Specific Features

Busch&Müller IQ -XS lights
belt drive
integrated gear box

Size S M L XL
Seat tube 410 mm 460 mm 510 mm 560 mm
Top tube 575 mm 585 mm 595 mm 605 mm
Head tube 180 mm 190 mm 200 mm 210 mm
Head angle 69° 69° 69° 69°
Seat angle 73° 73° 73° 73°
Chainstays 485 mm 485 mm 485 mm 485 mm
BB Drop 72.5 mm 72.5 mm 72.5 mm 72.5 mm
Wheelbase 1,132 mm 1,142mm 1,153mm 1,164mm
Reach 374 mm 381 mm 389 mm 396 mm
Stack 657 mm 666 mm 675 mm 685 mm

Great on paper, but how does the urban ebike perform in the hustle and bustle of the city?

We put the SIMPLON Kagu Pinion through its paces on Stuttgart’s streets and cycle paths to find out what the city ebike is really capable of. As soon as you roll the Kagu out of the garage, it moves willingly and is easy to manoeuvre, despite its quite significant weight of 24 kg. Fortunately, the SIMPLON team chose to use lightweight carbon and a rigid fork to keep the weight low. Otherwise, it would probably have reached the 28 kg total weight of the aluminium framed SIMPLON Kagu Bosch CX 275, as stated by the manufacturer on their website. As soon as you get on your bike and start pedalling, you’ll immediately feel the support of the Pinion MGU E1.12 motor, enabling you to tackle steep climbs effortlessly. Even with minimal pedalling effort, the motor provides a significant boost. When the terrain becomes too steep or technical, the integrated walk assist function provides reliable support.

The SIMPLON’s frame geometry gives a slightly front-heavy yet comfortable riding position, making it easy to master steep climbs. While a belt drive is usually quieter than a conventional derailleur, the SIMPLON Kagu Pinion spoils this advantage with its loud motor noise in the first four gears. In the higher gears, the motor’s noise level decreases, even though it wouldn’t have been as annoying anymore anyway, due to the increased background noise at higher speeds.

The MAGURA CT brakes work reliably, but should be used with caution in bad weather and on wet surfaces. In combination with the low-profile tread of the Schwalbe Super Moto tires, traction is quickly lost in wet corners. However, the large aluminium mudguards, which sit close to the tires and wrap a long way around the wheels, offer excellent splash protection in such conditions.

All in all, the SIMPLON is like a MotoGP bike among other city ebikes, picking up speed quickly thanks to the smooth Schwalbe tires. Aptly named Super Moto, these tires allow you to glide across the tarmac like MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi on the racetrack. Even at high speeds and in Rossi style, this city ebike offers an exciting and agile ride thanks to its low centre of gravity. The SIMPLON has all the characteristics of an S-pedelec, so motor assistance up to 45 km/h would be a good option to have on the Kagu Pinion. The comfort features of the city ebike with rear rack and bottle cage, combined with the powerful motor and long-range battery, make it ideal for longer distance rides or a trip to the nearest lake.
We like the option of selecting a dropper post in the configurator, which allows you to put your feet down quickly at traffic lights and also makes it easier to get on and off the bike. However, the high seat tube length of 560 mm, in our test size L, is a concern. Combined with the BikeYoke Revive seatpost with 125 mm of travel, the result is an excessively high saddle. Even for riders typically suited to a Large frame, the saddle is too high when fully extended. You may need to visit a bike dealer or your own workshop to adjust the seatpost travel using spacers.

Even if you lower the seatpost all the way into the frame, it will still be too high when fully extended, and you will not be able to use the full stroke.
Caution in the wet! The combination of the otherwise reliable MAGURA CT brakes and the low-profile tread of the Schwalbe Super Moto tires can lead to a loss of traction on wet surfaces.

Tuning Tips: If you opt for the dropper post, you should also invest in a spacer kit for an extra € 5.
-For an additional € 240, city riders can add the FIT IOT Venture Tracker GPS package for theft prevention.
-Dog lovers can also mount their dog trailer with the trailer adapter for € 85.

Who is the SIMPLON Kagu Pinion for?

With the Kagu Pinion, SIMPLON are targeting style-conscious city commuters who don’t want to compromise on everyday practicality, reliability and comfort. This all-round bike also feels at home on weekend trips to the lake and wants to be used beyond the city limits.

Conclusion on the SIMPLON Kagu Pinion

The SIMPLON Kagu Pinion is a true gem from the Austrians, delivering plenty of power from the motor/gearbox unit, albeit with a fair bit of noise. SIMPLON have succeeded in creating an appealing riding experience with their city ebike, skilfully balancing everyday practicality and comfort. Their personalised bike configurator caters for a wide range of different usage scenarios, making it a versatile choice for commuters and leisure riders alike.


  • well-designed carbon frame and clean look
  • extensive configurator increases the bike’s range of use
  • powerful and low-maintenance Pinion MGU E1.12 gearbox/motor unit


  • noisy Pinion MGU E1.12 motor/gearbox unit
  • very high seat tube

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Words: Benedikt Schmidt Photos: Antonia Feder