There is no mistaking that e-bikes have come a long way in what feels like a very short space of time. The machinery contesting Specialized EWS-E Zermatt bore little resemblance to the heavyweight two-wheeled battery packs which were lumbering around five years ago. With the launch of their all-new Rise however, Orbea have created a bike which may be looked back on in five years from now as seminal.
The headline figure is that the bike (in top spec) weighs in at 16kg (35lbs) or, put another way, it is extremely light for an e-bike. More than that however, the Rise is one of the first e-bikes to pull off the illusive ‘is it actually an e-bike?!’ optical illusion. It’s lines are svelte, neat and extremely smooth. Where most ebikes wear their lithium ion curves for all to see, the Rise offers barely so much as a tell-tale bulge.
Check out what our official media partners at EMBN made of the Rise, here:
At the bikes heart is the new Shimano EP8 power-unit which has been outfitted with the Spanish marques own RS firmware. Maximum torque is 60N/m and it’s maximum power-unit-assisted speed is 25kmh/20mph. The RS firmware ensures that the EP8’s power output arrives between a cadence of 75 and 95rpm where experienced riders tend to deliver their own highest output. Clever. This is also fully customisable via Shimano’s latest iteration of their E-Tube app.
Much of the low profile looks of the Rise come courtesy of its clever battery set-up. This includes a custom 360Wh unit as standard with an additional 252Wh range extender being available that can be connected up and mounted in the water bottle cage. The battery’s 21700 cells are the same as those used by car manufacturer Tesla and offer a much greater punch for their size when compared to standard items.
In terms of more ‘traditional’ bike geekery, the Rise is pitched a trail riding in terms of suspension and geometry figures. Twenty nine inch wheels are mates to 150/140mm of travel and a 66/65.5 degree head angle lead the way with a size large offering a wheelbase of either 1229 or 1238mm for plenty of stability.
With Orbea FOX’s team riders competing at the 2020 EWS-E races on board the Spanish brand’s Wild FS model complete with extremely similar geometry and just 10mm more suspension travel it’ll be interesting to see if the brand releases an even more aggressive enduro-orientated chassis for next season.