It was Saturday and i just recovered from severe Friday diarrhea which i bet you guys knows how it felt like....weak, cold, lack of energy and stomach still grumbling even there's nothing in it. I ended up driving to work on that day and finished my work hours by noon. My friend Alvin who also member of our local R/C modeler invited me to ride on off-roading trails on the outskirt town on an demo E-bike from our friend's SPECIALIZED Concept store bike shop. At first i decline to do so because my diarrhea fatigue makes me felt wasted just to pedal a mountain bike up the hill. However i've never rode an E-bike before but i do really looking forward to experience it but i assume that 20 kilogram of bicycle lugged with heavy motor and chunky battery was too much for me to bear on that very unfortunate day. Plus i knew these guys more likely to ride really long distance deep into the forest. "Hey man if you can't we can just 'U'-turn" says Alvin over the phone. After pondering a while staring at Youtube on my TV looking videos at old dude smiling and laughing about as they weave around those rough trails and climbing mountains on e-bike i've decided to give it a go and soon meet them up at 3pm on a beautiful Saturday afternoon...so i took my chances..what could go wrong? It's an E-bike! Alvin helped me booked a demo bike, the Specialized bike shop owner who is also my cycling friend help tuned up the bike based on my height, weight and also put on clipless SPD pedals just as i wanted.
E-bike tech isn't new here but the hype wasn't caught up until the technology started to crept up into recreational mountain bikes and even road bikes which started to mature since 2016 until now. I stumbled when i saw a first E-mountain bike through my friend's local bike shop when i was sending my MERIDA road bike for groupset and parts replacement early this year 2019 which already passed its 10 year lifespan full of wear and tear on its moving parts. I was buzzing like a fly around on their E-bike at their showroom like curious puppy full of enthusiasm and started to do research about it. There are two demo bike on display; a black/blue matt colored SPECIALIZED TURBO LEVO and a bright lime colored SPECIALIZED TURBO KENEVO COMP; both mountain bike on 27.5" wheels with mid motor assisted pedal and huge battery well hidden under the down tube frame. Took me weeks of research, reading review at forum and watching video over the internet to get to know what these bikes are all about and i was so hooked!! But the price of these bike took me a plunge into a brick wall, despite some ownership factor setback the ride quality and experience on E-bike are much paramount of fun and life changing experience especially if you're a true mountain biker enthusiast.
Specification (as describe by vendor/manufacturer)
The bike frame:
Brand Name: Specialized
Model name: Kenono Comp
Frame riding type: Mountan Bike - Downhill & Freeride specification
Frame size available: S, M, L, XL (* The demo bike i rode is size 'S')
Frame: Specialized M5 Premium Aluminum, 27.5 Trail Geometry, integrated down tube battery, enclosed internal cable routing, 148mm spacing, fully sealed cartridge bearings.
Suspension fork: RockShox Yari RC 27.5″, Boost™, 15x110mm, 180mm of travel
Rear shock: FOX Van RC Coil, S: 400 lb/in, M: 450 lb/in, L: 500 lb/in, XL: 550 lb/in, 216×57
Saddle: Body Geometry Henge Comp, hollow Cr-Mo rails, 143mm
Seatpost: X-Fusion Manic, infinite adjustable, two-bolt head, bottom mount cable routing, remote SRL LE lever, 34.9mm, S: 125mm, M/L/XL: 150mm of travel
Seat binder: Alloy, 38.6mm
Stem: Specialized Trail, 3D-forged alloy, 4-bolt, 6-degree rise, 45mm
Handlebars: Specialized, 6061 alloy, 6-degree upsweep, 8-degree backsweep, 27mm rise, 800mm width
Grips: Specialized Sip Grip, half-waffle, S/M: regular thickness, L/XL: XL thickness
Chain: KMC X11ET, 11-speed w/ Missing Link™
Crankset: Praxis, 2D cold-forged alloy, custom offset, 165mm
Chainrings: 32T, custom steel
Pedals: Specialized Dirt
Shifter: Shimano SLX, 11-speed
Cassette: Shimano SLX, 11-speed, 11-46t
Rear derailleur: Shimano XT, Shadow Plus, GS cage, 11-speed
Front hub: Specialized, sealed cartridge bearings, 15x110mm thru-axle, 28h
Rear hub: Specialized, sealed cartridge bearings, 12x148mm thru-axle, 28h
Inner tubes: Presta, 40mm valve
Spokes: DT Swiss Industry
Rims: 27.5″ alloy, 20mm depth, 30mm internal width
Front & rear tire: Butcher, GRID casing, GRIPTON® compound, 2Bliss Ready, 27.5 x 2.6″
Front & rear brakes: SRAM Guide RE, 4-piston caliper, hydraulic disc, 200mm
Battery: Specialized M1-460, integrated Trail Display, ANT+/Bluetooth® module, 460Wh
Charger: Custom Specialized 42V2A Charger w/ Rosenberger plug, AC power cord included
Motor: Specialized 1.2E, custom Rx Trail-tuned motor, 250W nominal
Wiring harness: Custom Specialized wiring harness
The riding experience on an E-bike: SPECIALIZED KENOVO COMP
I was skeptical at first before i rode on it, had no idea how it works and how it could enhance ones riding experience or maybe help out to improve the means of travelling places on two wheel until i've offered to try one. The first E-bike i rode was a 'SPECIALIZED LEVO' E-mountain bike model set as lower and affordable version available for public demonstration/test ride at my friend local bike shop which i rode around the parking lot....was not amused felt it was like a normal bike except it was heavy and not so nimble but the friend says i should ride it on off-road terrains for optimal experience but it took me few months to convince myself to take part demo'ing the E-bike. Passed mid year after much repeated persuasion from my friend who just bought a KENOVO E-bike i finally accepted to test ride a demo bike and went to our local MTB off-roading trails on Saturday afternoon....which conflicting time when i suppose to attend R/C 4x4 crawling club events...but for an E-bike experience yeah! why not.
My first ride was on late July 2019 offered to try out a demo bike; a bright fluorescent green colored E-bike the 'SPECIALIZED KENOVO COMP' the same bike i saw during promo early this year same day i sent my road bike to their store for maintenance and parts replacement. Its a big chunky electric mountain bike slightly more aggressive suspension layout and heavy than the 'LEVO' model i test rode around the parking lot earlier plus a bit expensive due to the fact this one build more for free-riding and downhill specification due to extra long travel suspension setup which is at 180mm travel than stock 150mm on down stream level mountain bike with the same badge. Weight around average 20kg which is far heavier than my full suspension mountain bike which is at only averaged at 10kg but KENOVO have more relaxing riding geometry on body posture and supple suspension system which makes rough ride more comfy like sitting on pillows. All SPECIALIZED E-bikes run on mid mounted motor where pedaling cranks attached directly to the motor hub (1.2E BROSE electric motor) beneath the bicycle frame bottom bracket and the rechargeable 460Wh battery pack are lugged on lower bulky down tube of the aluminum bike frame almost looked like integrated part of the bicycle frame yet detachable via Allen key king pin. Activating the E-bike is as easy with a push of a button beside the frame where the battery pack located with lit LED indicator shows 100% power bar around the button thus showed level of 'Power Assisted Pedal mode' available to the rider. By default on 'SPECIALIZED' models there are 3x pedaling assist mode; ECO (Economy), Mid (Normal) and Boost (Sports). All modes correlates the amounted of power consumed from the battery and riding distance you wanted to achieve. If you ride on 'ECO' mode you'll have 20% pedaling assist on the electric motor and less power consumption on the battery which allow you to pedal more distance but extra pedaling effort. The more extra assistance 'modes' you needed from the electric motor the more power consumed from the battery and the less distance you get on the electric. Switching between various assist modes can be done via pushing the control button located on the left side of the handle bar which have up and down buttons to shift the pedaling assist modes. Since the bike is heavy and there are time you need to unload yourself from the saddle to push the bike by hand over logs or obstacles there is walk assist button to give you a hand to push to bike over it. It also has a momentary 'boost' button to give few second of throttle during pedaling too. This E-bike can be connected to the smartphone via SPECIALIZED 'Mission Control' apps to fine tune individual modes of assisted power and also it can record your riding performance and other telemetry data about your riding characteristic just like STRAVA apps. How much power required to propel the motors as you spin the crank on your pedal is all detected via speed sensor.
For the first time when i first started to pedal on the KENOVO E-mountain bike i can feel an extra thrust under my feet few milliseconds after i press down the pedals. Once it keep on pedaling this 'thrust' started to synchronized with every pedaling revolution and i can finally ride like a normal bike with the exception i don't need to put 100% leg muscle effort on the pedal to keep the bicycle going forward but instead since i was on the 'Boost mode' i only need to apply between 20~30% muscle effort on the pedal to spin the crank easily. Still how easy your pedal effort to put load on the pedals depends on how good you utilized the gear shifting on the bike; by default the KENOVO e-mountain bike have 1x 11 speed gearing...so at start i was at grainy gear at 5th rear cassette gear which is good for cadence pedaling yet in comparison it still far easier to pedal than on my traditional mountain bike with the same gear placement. On flat road such as on tarmac if you're pedaling at normal cruise speed below 25km/h you'll felt more relaxing and enjoyable to pedal even if there's when countering heavy head wind resistant in front of me which on normal bicycle will slow you down. But if you decided to pedal very fast beyond 25km/h the motor started to cut-off leaving you riding a heavy draggy bicycle as if it felt like someone or something pulling me from behind, felt like the gravity goes horizontal pulling behind against my will...felt it was a worst bike to ride on!...almost the same feeling like pedaling a bike while squeezing the brake on...ouch! That was the moment i felt i realized the point of keeping my traditional bike as i need to ride with extra speed, so for now E-bike is not going to completely replace my traditional bicycle. As we were riding towards the trail i did ask my friend who sell this bike if its possible to tweak the bike to remove the speed limitation to have extra assisted pedal beyond 25km/h and he says it can be done but the warranty on these bike from manufacturer will be voided and at the same time its consider illegal from our country transportation law & regulation requirements on E-bikes. It was that moments i realized it was more of a 'relaxing cruise bike' rather rather than being a racer or competitive bicycle but definitely a Cons factor if i need to ride on narrow fast road full of cars/traffics during commuting back and forth from home to my workplace which is my original intention to get an E-bike.
This E-mountain bike started to shine its color once i've reached to a desirable terrains where it was born for; the hills! My first taste if riding up the hills on E-bike is an eye opener!..felt like pedaling on flat road when actually i was climbing up the hill even on steeper ones! It was very effortless yet you do have to keep pedaling to get the wheels running which means your heart still pumped to work out those muscles but not as hard or as intense on traditional bicycle. Quite few huff and puff on the breathing to ride up the hills much like you how felt on riding a traditional bicycle but the muscle felt more refresh and less intensive when pedaling with electric motor give you extra assistance. Once we reached on the top of the hill i didn't feel tired at all, felt excited and that feeling of 'the motivation' wanted to pedal more hills came to my mental state, the same true for my friend who are on the same bike too. Never we felt so enjoyed riding an E-bike; while able to keep our heads up and watched our surrounding like tourist, watching the land below us as we climbed hills, the beautiful horizon, the sound of the forest and feel the breeze of the wind around me. Used to be on our traditional mountain bike we have to struggle and put our head down in tiredness trying to recover our strength with no time to see what is around us, by the time we stop we just have to gasp some air and sit around with faint view of what's happening, missing those moment as the events or places passed by us in a blink of an eye. Only on E-bike i felt more enjoyable like being on skateboard rolling through corridors of candy shops enough time to take a glimpse of what inside the store. So as i said before when it comes to climbing hills and on very resistant terrains the E-bike is mankind best solution tool to overcome cycling difficulty without sacrificing the meaning of being a 'cyclist'.
Unlike other E-bike on the market as an avid off-roader the SPECIALIZED KENOVO e-mountain bike offer more relaxing and comfy ride on bumpy tracks in comparison to my old full suspension mountain bike. Its front and rear full travel 180mm shock absorber unit soak up bumps extremely well while keeping my butt on the saddle all the time and let the electric motor assist me to keep on pedaling and rolls all over places. Huge tire just bites all loose terrains grips around like super glue make riding more confident and predictable...i felt like i was driving on cushy 4x4 Land Rover or maybe a huge HUMMER without too much effort to pedal about. Downhill was like a fun roller coaster ride without too much worries going over the bars, the handling feel planted probably because heavy E-bikes keeps the traction more pressed in on the ground compared to lighter mountain bikes..my 10kg 2004 GIANT TRANCE mtb bike would bounce around in the air if i hit bunch of boulder down the hills causing me loose bunch of traction in comparison to the overweight (avg) 20kg SPECIALIZED KENOVO. With SRAM Guide RE, 4-piston caliper disc brake the braking performance was more predictable yet really strong enough slow me down to a stop on steep slope especially when the bike is already twice heavy than normal, my mtb had only single piston even its on top notch SHIMANO XTR disc brake model. What i learn when pedaling on mid-mounted electric motor such as on the KENOVO is that its better to start riding on middle gear/cassette (where at 26t~36t) which is close to hill climbing style gear ratio to easily 'up' my pedaling cadence so that that the cadence speed sensor can start immediate give you assistance in natural way than start pedaling on lower gear cassette (11t~16t which is a bit slow due to resistance) so that it will give you a balance pedaling assistance without straining my leg muscle at startup. Its kind of pointless to start rolling a 20kg E-bike from stop position when your chain drive is at its lowest gear/cassette position where you ended pushing hard on your leg muscle to start pedaling before the speed sensor detects a movement to activate electric motor assistance unless you need to press a button on the handlebar to get momentary boot/push. As mentioned before even if you're a fit rider or performance cyclist it useless to hit beyond 25km/h on SPECIALIZED KENOVO even on remote rural off-road trails due to build in 'legal' speed restriction as dictated by regional (country's transportation regulation/law) factor...i tried to pedal fast on the rough off-road trails but felt a huge drag like a sudden uncommand braking/resistance on my pedal once the bike passes beyond 25km/h....that's when the motor assistance start to cut-off or shutdown on you. Even if you put all your might to pedal beyond 25km/h you'll just riding a hunk of weight or as if try to play tug war with horizontal gravity...don't waste your time just chill, relax and shift up your gear and pedal at easy pace so that the electric motor will kicked in to give you assistance...its not a race bike but if you think it is you better off riding back any traditional bicycle.
So we're already hit 29km mileage going at high elevation hills at steep angle, slalom and hit bunch of rocks, wade through thick bushes and thrilling down hills yet the 460Wh battery on KENOVO (on full BOOST mode) was drained only 50% power throughout entire ride on hot Saturday afternoon thus amazingly my whole body still felt refresh as if i just came back from walking between bed to the bathroom. I do sweat and the heart pumped up high adrenaline due to excitement but muscle usage intensity was at similar effort as wagging my foot under my office table, lol. Only my upper arm and abs muscle does lots of work in comparison to my normal mountain bike because of the heavy momentum i have to steer around rough terrains due to being on a heavy E-bike which is good upper body workout. At the end of the cycling session i started to question myself as a pure cyclist and a mountain biker; "Is that it?...we finished our ride too early?"..something felt not right because i felt that i didn't ride long enough. "We should continue to ride more!". We started at 3.30pm and ended 6.00pm...the two rider had to go home cause their wife started to cook dinner as for me i felt my leg muscle still refresh and begging for more off-roading adventures but unfortunately the day getting darker. On contrary if i was riding on traditional non-motored assisted mountain bike by the end of the ride i would have slump behind my car seat huff and puff around with exhaustion. I guess having an E-bike spelled out as; "Enjoy and ride more!" moto. To summarized out my 2 weeks experience on the E-bike especially on SPECIALIZED TURBO KENOVO COMP i must say i need to get my self an E-bike!..some day...but definitely will! It really motivates me to cycle more and explore places with my two feet. The possibilities of exploring new trails is unlimited on E-bike. Awesome! ...oh wait i'm not a Dentist!
Is it really worth buying an E-bike
So here are some big questions for many people who curious about getting an E-bike; is the E-bike right for me and is it worth buying? After trying out the E-bike i can say it depends what are you looking to get from an electric powered pedal assisted bicycle. The answer are very subjective but not straight forward and it depends on individual goal what they want to achieve on an E-bike...some people want to use it for commuting to work, some wanted to explore rough inaccessible places, some wanted to get in shape again and other just wanted to have fun. Recently on third week after our ride a local trail hiker just bought a SPECIALIZED KENOVO so he could travel easily and discover new trails in the forest for next hiking activity. So to keep it short and simple below i list down from YES and NO what an E-bike is targeted for especially based on my experience riding on the SPECIALIZED KENOVO COMP e-bike that i've ridden on.
YES, if your getting on E-bike for:
- You're just trying to have fun cycling and rides more especially climbing lots of terrains.
- Enjoying climbing hills and discover places without being to tired.
- Commuting to work, ride to avoid traffic and travel places.
- Keep on cycling for fun and commute everyday without being tired.
- Ideal for people who are at cardiovascular disadvantages/disabilities, old people or muscle recovery.
- You already have budget for next after warranty maintenance and battery replacement.
NO, if you thinking E-bike for:
- Competitive racing or getting ahead of others cyclist or rival when cycling.
- A direct replacement of traditional manual pedaled bicycle for serious sports and competition training.
- Long distance riding such as CENTURY RIDE (100km distance and beyond) or travelling around the world on bicycle.
- Thinking travelling faster at high speed than on normal bicycle...i'm sorry to say 'Law legal' E-bike is slow.
- Cheaper alternative mode of transportation than driving a car thinking you cost save 2~3 years of expenditure cost from fossil powered transportation.
So those are the key points that i came out after doing my own research and trying out the E-bikes. There's no straight answers but all depends on individual preferences but definitely the only brick wall ahead to own an E-bike is always the cost to own this technological marvel on two wheels which i'm going to elaborate below the page later.
How does an E-bike works?
There are lots type of E-bike on the market, the most popular method of propelling the E-bike both in pedal assisted and hand throttling comes in two mechanism; the wheel hub motor mounted and mid motor mounted.
- Hub motor mounted on wheels
Electric motor is mounted as part of the wheel hub. It can be on the front wheel or rear wheel, provide lots of torque through pedal assisted or on demand by push of a button. The hub motor start to spin when the cyclist started to pedal, the amount of pedaling effort is monitored through speed sensor via passing magnet on the wheel spoke or nearby hub providing information to the motor hub through ESC (Electronic Speed Controller) on how much revolution needed to get the motor spin about. E-bike runs on hub motor are much cheaper to manufacture and more affordable to commuters and avid cyclist. The Pros is some hub motor provide option to have non-pedaling throttle button to get extra boost cruising freely without pedaling. The Cons are since the motor is mounted on the wheel hub fixing a flat tire can be challenging as there are lots of connectors and dangling wires to remove from the bicycle frame and majority motor hubs are bolt on rather than using quick releases. Another Cons is because its motor is located far out from the center of bicycle frame the weight distribution between the front and rear wheels are uneven which causes un-natural bike handling especially when carrying extra load like baggage and riders weight and subsequently causes more wear and tear on the tires. Another important matter that contributes extra Cons is that the rider felt 'disconnected' when pedaling on hub motor powered bike, does not felt natural pedaling truly assisted because the hub motor are sometimes over powered and not very sync when riders pedaling cadence especially for cyclist who genuinely love to cycle a lot without feeling 'disconnected' bike culture. However if ones decided to have these type of E-bike just merely to commute disregard if you're a pedaling purist and going almost like E-scooter then the hub motor powered bicycle is way to go.
- Motor mounted on the middle (bottom bracket mounted/mid mounted)
This is the E-bike that i rode and also most popular choices for serious bicycle enthusiast who want to feel the true 'naturally' pedal assisted bicycle . The motor is mounted at the frame bottom bracket where the pedaling crank set is directly connected to the motor on its side. The Pros having such setup is that your pedaling felt more natural and properly assisted by electric motor as you pedal. Since the motor is mounted on frame bottom bracket the wheels are independent part of the system which mean you can easily remove to replace puncture tires or replace the whole wheel if worn out or needed maintenance and not as hassle as wheel hub mounted motor. The motor and battery are the heaviest part of the E-bike; having it place at mid bottom section of the bicycle give good weight distribution load and center gravity between two wheels and provide stable maneuverability on the bike especially when e-mountain biking on off-road trails like i've shown on my attached videos. The Cons of mid mounted motor is that they are very expensive than wheel hub mounted electric motors, sometimes cost twice for the hardware itself and a complete E-bike with its proprietary designed mid mounted motor can cost more than petrol engine driven motorbike which resort many have to purchase such E-bike through loans and credits. The demo E-bike i rode cost average USD$5,000...wheeewwww!!!...ironically as a professional cyclist my other non-motored mountain bike cost almost the same too, lol.
When i rode the E-bike i was blown away how capable and fun it was cycling on motor pedal assisted bicycle...fun! lots of fun! A whole new riding experience lifted!..it motivates me wanted to ride more! I had 100% intention wanted to get an E-bike and i did went through many research and being calculative about the cost of owning an E-bike especially the one that i've rode the 'SPECIALIZED KENOVO COMP'. However to my dismay it can be a bit painful to own one due to exorbitant cost especially if looking forward to ride it for long term everyday use, regardless of how many angle i look at it and refine my calculated cost it always pointed out that these E-bike seems to gear to someone who are a Dentist, Doctor, CEO or someone worked in OIL industry or maybe you owe the bank back.....so you have to put lots of money just to have fun and easy life on so called 'law legit' E-bike. I've also met someone online who owns an E-bike who worked as normal mid income earner it seems for those who can't but owned one have applied personal loan or hire purchase services just to own a an E-bike for a weekend fun rides with buddies. To my horror after i did some calculation to own a SPECIALIZED KENOVO (USD$5,000 est/avg) e-bike is equivalent to the same cost of 9 years worth of RON95 fuel expenses on my car including monthly yearly maintenance and services of my 1.8L Sedan car! Holy cow! Not only that if i do own that E-bike and ride daily to commute everyday the Li-On battery more likely to last only 2 years; a pack of battery lugged with multiple 18560 li-on cylinders cost around estimated USD$900!!..and not forget to mentioned it runs on wear and tear-able electric motor! Of course we all know how long these battery and motor will last because myself as Radio Control modeler that are fundamental parts we bashed everyday...same goes to 18560 Li-On battery run on my R/C models especially on my UAV flying platform.
However if you do able to afford one thinking you might wanted to use for long term here are several costly factor you might need to think of:
- Battery lifespan
I've been working with various type of battery a lot for more than decades even in the past as graduate of Electric & electronics engineer i knew battery chemistry wouldn't last as longer than static silicone chip. When i hear it was running on bulk cylinders of 18560 Li-On battery and it costs around USD$900 per-battery unit with its proprietary electronics for its E-bikes then it had me the 'Uh Oh!' moment since i knew how long these lump of battery will last since these are the same battery i used on my R/C models and also FPV/UAV drones build which you can check it out on my other build section on my website. Assume if i used this E-bike to commute everyday to work place with the same intensity i rode on my road/mountain bike back and forth daily i'm sure it the battery pack will loose its effectiveness or worn out after 2 years through cycle of battery charge and discharged which is exactly close to the manufacturer's stated battery warranty. Knowing i'm going to spent extra USD$900 to revitalized my E-bike is just way too much money because for the same year length the cost is twice expensive than on my 2 years worth of expenditure on car fuel and maintenance plus its equivalent buying another high end fast road bike every two years!.....balance cost can buy me a nice meal at cafe between commutes within two years! *face palm*.
- Motor lifespan
You all know by know my hobby always revolved around tinkering with electric motors; electric motors doesn't last too as it will loose its efficiency and torque due to core magnet get 'demagnetization' through heat and constant use. Since majority of the mid-mounted motor build/mechanism revolved around parts and multiple rotating gears inside the casing these little parts too will worn out due to friction and torque stress which is why some premium E-bikes offered limited warranty only to cover 'specific' period before the motor shows its true flaw when it started to 'expire' itself. Since we're now at 2019 the 'IP' factor (Ingress Protection) which show value to protect against water, rain and dusts still at developmental stage....so for me riding in the flood especially where i live in tropical region with constant heavy rain doesn't sound that promising yet.
- Price and novelty depreciation
Here are what i learned about anything that runs on electrics/electronics novelty....its will in time overshadows by latest new tech and a year or two older models will started to depreciate over time. This effect not only applied to E-bikes but also affect other innovations such as drones, smartphone and etc. "What was 'a hip' yesterday is too old for today". I bought a second hand DJI Phantom V1.1.1 what i assume to be the most sophisticated drone technology in hand about 4 years ago has now become stale because its technology was very old and crude compare to today cheaper, stable, portable and highly multifunctional drone in todays market. Ironically my old 1984 TAMIYA GRASSHOPPER radio control buggy still holds its face value until today and much sought after by radio control enthusiast around the world. When compare to DJI PHANTOM V1.1.1 drone which derived more on electronics capability vs TAMIYA GRASSHOPPER r/c buggy which derived on aesthetic physical feature of the model its obvious to point out that solid state physical aesthetic value lasts longer than anything than sophistication through electronics technology. Which is why people are wiling spend money on vintage collectibles such as cars, motorbikes or even shoes than vintage computers or heavily tech related devices. Aesthetics always wins. As for bicycle, vintage steel bikes are much highly priced than electric driven bicycle. Facts of life straight in the face. ...yes that's another tips for you why i don't prioritized myself to build FPV multirotor drones...their value and usability depreciated by latest incoming technology every years or worse every passing month.
E-bike technology is a new trend and only started to bloom in the market since 2014 first via commuter style bicycle and folding bikes but started to crept into mountain bike and road bike market in 2016 and finally hit trendy on social media. In 2020 we're going to see many model variant and competition the the market but the trouble is the cost will be more likely hitting the financial roof top of normal peasant's income. I've been monitoring the price of recreational bicycle such as mountain bikes, road bikes and even commuter bicycle unfortunately its keep rising as long the term 'luxury hobby' are labeled on them rather than treat the bicycle as 'essential tool for transportation'. I remember good competition grade bicycle used to cost only less than $400 USD in 1995 but now it will cost $2,500 for a low level sport grade mountain bike by 2018. I remember i have to save up 5 years few bits of money each month to build myself an competition grade full suspension mountain bike in 2004 the GIANT TRANCE mtb but in 'used' condition after it has been through few hands...was harsh and hard way to own mountain bike but for me it was worth it.
Does the E-Bike fits my expectation?
Lots of YES and also a few NO's, after riding the demo E-bike for numerous days i guess i was at partial side of the fence on my expectation of what benefit i can reap from an E-bike for long term gain but one thing for sure that E-bike is not likely able to fully replace my existing traditional bicycle for sure after mentioned the Pros and Cons above. Originally my intention to get an E-bike was as a transportation to commute to work through traffic and upscale treacherous hills on my way back home but when compare to my normal road bike that i used to ride everyday to work a 'law legal' E-bike is way too slow to weave through traffics because its max speed limited/capped at 25 km/h programmed to meet our country law and regulation on motor powered pedal assist bicycle while my normal road bicycle can easily reached 35~40km/h on average cruise speed with the same effort plus due to its lightweight frame its more nimble than E-bike and easy to park anywhere under any weather while E-bike is prone to heat and water exposure risk at parking area due to Li-On battery very sensitive to temperature and humidity. On the flip side as my age getting older each year which is now pass my 40's at the time i wrote this article i do need some assistance to ease my workload pedaling to work everyday which is helpful to make sure i don't stress up my body and able to do recovery without getting tired so that there's enough stamina to continue to ride for tomorrow and days to come. For old people the risk of riding everyday without enough rest and recovery can be catastrophe as i've experienced first hand; the immune system going all low, nose started to drip mucus, skins felt sticky, eyes dried up, the core body felt weak and you can easily get cold and fever anytime due to low immunity because not enough to let the body rest for a day after 2 days of interval ride back and forth to the office which i did from 4~5 day a week especially those steep hill climb on my return home. I can see the E-bike could help me relieve a bit of cycling load some part of the day where i need to cool off relax and still keep me pedaling and get the job done.
Despite E-bike being over priced, heavy and can be technically overwhelmed to keep; the fun of riding on E-bike mitigate all the drawbacks that we have discussed before. As for commuting to work the assisted pedaling power and the torque allow me venture to alternate cycling route where normal bicycle is at advantages. Assume what if i do i owned the E-bike particularly like the SPECIALZIED KENOVO COMP model i should be able to ride through steep staircase thanks to bigger knobby tires, riding rough patches pavements, slalom through trees, huge urban obstacles, rocky cliff side along the beach, hilly short cuts and all those impossible terrains and my way to office or return back home without exerting much effort and get home feeling refresh...most importantly traverse all those challenging stuff are extremely fun especially if you're a mountain biker like me. When you're having fun those dopamine hormone created by our body will stimulate to create a good mood, healthy and tomorrow you felt you wanted to do again...so going to work is equal to fun on E-bike!
Here are sample of video of i posted on my Youtube channel contain test review on SPECIALIZED KENOVO E-bike.
- My cycling gallery: My Life Cycle
Support community and articles:
Places where you can find help and resources related to this product:
E-bike forum (MTB): https://www.emtbforums.com/
Details about SPECIALIZED KENOVO COMP e-bike: https://www.specialized.com/us/en/turbo-kenevo
Company website: https://www.specialized.com
Specialized E-bike performance calculator: https://www.specialized.com/us/en/turbo-calculator/app
Specialized MISSION CONTROL apps: https://www.specialized.com/us/en/missioncontrol
Now here a big question: will i get an E-bike?; 'YES!' When?; That's the problem the bike is expensive unless you have disposable income..but definitely i'm started to save up my budget for an E-bike such as like the one i rode; the SPECIALIZED KENOVO COMP. If i were at prime age between 15 to 28 my answer is always 'NO' because at such young age i should have plenty of muscle power and 'VO2 max' factor to keep cycling continuously daily. But in my current age pass '40' years with deteriorating body performance and lower 'VO2 max' factor cycling everyday can be tiring thing, we aged exponentially with time so the answer has always been 'YES' to E-bike if i need to keep enjoying cycling everyday.
Because the cost is exorbitant the procedure of buying an E-bike is exactly the same as like buying a real car; you'll need to consider lots of factor such as return of investment (ROI) when utilizing the E-bike such as what are the warranty coverage, where to service if the E-bike fail and the support you need to keep the E-bike in good shape to make sure the purchasing worthy of use for extended period of time. With no doubt E-bike is the future of cycling for everyone as a healthy alternative to keep us moving and be fit in life, i have to embrace the future and changes to cycling industry thus helps to keep me to pedal more since i've been cycling since i was only 6 years old till today.
After riding on that E-bike it was cleared that what i had doubt in my mind finally came to realized that its possible to keep on cycling even when i'm going to be frail and old in the future because cycling is always fun part of my adventurous life. As for the expectation to own an E-bike yes i will get one but its going to be a long wait because i'm saving my money each month hopefully bits by bits into my E-bike saving box so i can be proud to own one through sweats and patience without having to go through plastic cards swipes, loans debts and interest rate repayment which are how today majority cyclist own a 'quality' bicycle. I'm sure by the time i've saved enough there should be lots of new interesting and improved E-bike models pop up in the future which rides better than the one i've written now in this article. For now i'll be riding and be happy with my existing traditional road and mountain bike bicycles since i'm still a bodily 'able person' to ride everyday at my own pace and most importantly traditional bicycle has unlimited amount of speed, agility and capability as long you know how to utilized it with your own physical power and determination. For now let's keep on pedaling and have fun!