At A Glance
Rose wasn't early to the emtb party but now offer both a hardtail and a full suspension in their gradually increasing emtb range. The Elec Tec FS is the full suspension model and offers up 140mm of travel front and rear and comes in two specs; easily distinguished as the FS 1 and the FS 2 featured here.Buy Electric Bikes on
The geometry on paper suggests an ebike designed from the ground up rather than based on an existing mountain bike. The bottom bracket is kept high to avoid pedal strikes and the chainstays are long at 458mm to accommodate the motor but should improve steep climbing performance. The head angle sits at 66.5 which works well for a trail bike and the seat angle is 74 degrees, which is perhaps a little on the slack side from super modern trends.
The drive system is Continental, who are getting into the ebike game and produce the battery but use a Brose motor. The battery is of note, as it is a 612Wh battery as opposed to the more commonly seen 500Wh batteries on Bosch and Shimano systems. This obviously gives approx 20% more supply to play with and opens up even bigger adventures on one tank. The battery is integrated nicely in terms of looks and is simply removed with the key and can be charged on and off the bike. The motor is well integrated and keeps the lines smooth, and is lifted high to provide plenty of clearance from trail obstacles.
The spec is trail bike orientated with a Revelation up front rather than the more robust Yari chassis. The rear suspension is controlled by a Deluxe RT3 and the whole bike runs on plus-sized wheels, which are popular on ebikes currently. SRAMs EX1 drivetrain is specifically designed for ebikes and features an 8-speed wide range cassette and a shifter that allows only single shifting. This prevents excessive strain on the chain and improves longevity with a more robust chain. SRAM look after the brakes too with their excellent Guide RE, which combine a Guide lever with a Code calliper for huge amounts of power.
The cockpit continues the trail bike vibe with a longish stem, but the whole package is looking at all-round performance rather than a full-on gravity orientated machine.
On The Trail
Getting going with the Elec-Tec was pretty straightforward. Once the battery is charged, it's simply a case of locking it into place and hitting the trails. The Bluetooth remote sits unassumingly on the handlebars and is easy to use but not the most ergonomic with its small buttons. The power is divided into four different modes and gives plenty of options for finding the ideal level of assistance.
The Brose/Continental motor delivers power smoothly and quietly; the lack of noise is particularly noticeable. The power is well controlled and doesn't surge forward; rather it just simply compliments your power output gently and purposefully. The feel is somewhere between Shimano and Bosch systems, a blend of both characteristics perhaps.
What really struck me with the Elec Tec is the balance and composure of the ride. The 140mm of travel is less than many other emtbs, but it is well controlled and gives the bike a lighter touch through the turns on the trail. The lively ride is the Elec Tec's greatest asset, and it feels light on the trail, rather than sluggish even at moderate speeds.
I have issues with plus tyres, and although they do offer plenty of grip, I do not enjoy the feel on the trail, especially on the front. Fortunately, a 29er wheel can be swapped into the front easily and I found this to offer more precise control over the bike. I feel this could be the way things go for ebikes, as I enjoyed having the plus-sized tyre on the back for extra traction.
Climbing with a plus tyre on the rear gives plenty of grip and clawing up the steepest climbs is possible, but the seat angle could be steeper to make this even more efficient and keep the front down further.
On descents, the playful nature comes through immediately, and not only is the bike fun through the turns, but it will also happily get airborne and is great to throw around. The only issue comes in more technical terrain and when things get really steep. The head angle, low stack height and high bottom bracket don't give the confidence to really let it go through rock gardens and steep turns. This simply highlights the bikes strength on more moderate trails and keeps it firmly in the 'Trail' category rather than enduro. Find some endless flowing singletrack either up or down, and the Elec Tec will devour it with its huge battery capacity and endless enthusiasm for playful riding.
The 612Wh battery is a real bonus and allows for even more riding before a recharge. That twenty per cent increase over more common batteries allows for more confidence in long rides and I certainly didn't notice that the bike was particularly heavy because of it. This is a really great advantage over other systems on the market.
Continental offers an app, which can be used for navigation and monitoring battery use but can't be used to alter and fine-tune the power outputs. It works well, but other than checking battery power accurately, I didn't really use it much.
The only issues over the test were minor, with a rattle developing from the battery, which is easily fixed with some padding. The headset on the Elec Tec has 'stops' in it to prevent the handlebars from rotating fully and damaging the frame. When I crashed, they didn't do their job and simply rotated under the (not insignificant) force, which made it hard to get the bars straight again.
The wireless system does make for a clean handlebar set up, and fewer cables. The remote itself is ok but lacks the ergonomics of other systems with its small buttons and elastic mounting.
The Elec-Tec FS 2 is an exceptionally playful ebike with plenty of life and excitement in its ride. The 29er option up front is worth a consideration and the extra large battery certainly sets the Elec Tec apart. It may not excel on the most gnarly of terrain, but for long distance adventures and riding miles and miles of singletrack, this is a seriously good ebike.
This review was in Issue 57 of IMB.
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By Ewen TurnerEwen Turner is a self-confessed bike geek from Kendal in the Lake District of England. He runs a coaching and guiding business up there and has a plethora of knowledge about bikes with an analytical approach to testing. His passion for bicycles is infectious, and he’s a ripper on the trails who prefers to fit his working life around his time on the bike.