The E-Motion Jumper Electric Bike
I recently rode the twin motor all wheel drive Big Bud Fatbike on the beaches of Low Head here in Tasmania (follow the link to read that post). This post is thus overdue because I rode this bike before the Fat Bike out at Musselroe Bay (also here in Tasmania) and it was my first outing on an electric mountain bike. This article won’t go into much depth, it is just my first impression.
So although I’ve ridden many mountain bikes, this was my first ride on an electric bike in terrain I was familiar with.
You can see in the picture that it is a dual suspension, hydraulic disc, 21 speed bike. If you are unfamiliar with electric bikes you may miss that the fatter part of the frame at the front is the lithium battery that powers the 350Watt brushless electric motor that lives in the hub of the rear wheel.
To be more accurate, the hub of the rear wheel is the electric motor. A torque sensor near the rear cluster tells the computer that you are riding and also how hard you are riding and it then assists your riding by sending current to the motor.
You can see the computer/controller (2) has buttons to control how much boost the motor gives you, how fast you are going, how much charge is remaining and more.
So the first thing I noticed about this bike how quickly the bike heads off. You can hear the slight hum of the rear motor as it drives the bike forward and it makes getting up to speed very easy, so easy that you could easily forget to use the gears as I did.
I learned over the weekend that the more I used the gears, the less the motor had to do and so the greater a range I got. This is a bit of a guess. To know for sure I’d have to do some side by side comparisons over a fixed course.
Range wise, I didn’t test the bike to flat but the estimates of 30 to 50km on a full charge seem about right. I often road the bike on lower boost thinking it would save power, but my guess now is that it doesn’t make much difference since boost is proportional to how hard you pedal.
The controller comes off very easily (3) which I think would be useful if you were packing the bike in with a lot of others. The controller is well made and seems reasonably tough, but I am always careful of anything that has a screen.
Something you may notice in the picture is the standard gear change levers and hydraulic brake master cylinder. That is one of the nice things about these bikes, most of the parts are standard bike parts. Very little of it is special electrical e-bike magic.
I was curious to see if the motor would make sand easier. It sort of does (but not as easy as the fat low pressure tyres of the Big Bud would make it).
The motor on this bike means that I tended to keep my speed a lot higher on the sand so got bogged a lot less than I otherwise would have, but it still became a struggle once the sand was too soft.
I rode this bike around the harder parts of the dunes as well and coming down it felt nicely balanced. The weight is forward of the middle which means hanging back off the rear of the seat felt very safe when riding down bumpy parts of the track. I was not in fear of going over the front at all and I think this bike would handle well on proper down hill terrain. I hope to have a go of that a bit later.
The cables are nicely hidden in the frame so I think snagging the important electrical ones is unlikely.
Rear suspension is pretty standard and there isn’t much I can tell you about that. If you know about mountain bikes then you’ll already have an opinion, and if you don’t know then you are better off hearing it from a proper technical person. The rear shock has settings that change how it operates and I didn’t touch any of those. I was more interested in what an electric bike is like to ride.
Cruising along the road I noticed that my speed levelled out at about 30 kph and that when I turned the motor off that I backed back to 24 kph so that gives you an idea how much it assists. When you are riding along you don’t notice it is assisting at all which is why I kept turning the motor on and off.
I later found out that most of these bikes are designed to stop assisting once you get up to around 25 kph.
So that’s about all I have to say. The bike road like a normal bike. It didn’t feel heavy at all. It was nicely balanced going up and down hills but I didn’t test it on any particularly difficult terrain.
I think it looks nice and one of the things I like is that it doesn’t look like an electric bike. If you take off the computer and put it in your pocket I think the bike would be safe to lock up like any normal bike in a bike rack.
The battery is one of the most expensive parts on the bike and fortunately is locked into the frame. The charge port is also part of the frame so you can charge up your bike without removing the battery.
If you do remove the battery there is a charge indicator so you can tell where its charge is up to.
You can see the charge lights in the picture. Two batteries side by side are shown. Batteries come in 8 Amp Hour and 11 Amp Hour (one holds more charge than the other so you can go further) but both batteries are exactly the same size.
The battery locks into the frame with a key (8) so as I said, theft is a little trickier for the bad guys.
This feels like a normal bike. If you’ve ridden a bike before, you won’t find anything tricky about riding this.
I can’t say anything about its capability on proper hills or over rocks so best you pop in and find out for yourself.
Feel free to make a comment below or drop into the shop to check this bike out.