Once again exploring new e touring bikes.

K PierreR

Well-Known Member
I am once again exploring what is available out there in e touring bikes or what may be just over the horizon.
I built a e touring bike in 2016 because there was nothing even close to what I needed on the shelf. Things appear to be getting much closer and adding to the stable rather than build is what I am currently looking at.
Let me define long distance touring bike. "A bike capable of doing the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route no problem, no sweat". That means a bike with the capability to do off road/gravel, some sand, climbing, wind and heat for 135 miles without a charge. That definition is quite different to what the industry thinks is long distance.
I think I can now buy something better than what I have off the shelf with the exception that fast charging is still in the dark ages. Come on, 5 lousy amps is dismal. I currently charge with a 15 amp charger but might be able to live with 5 if other things beat the present bike.
I am retired, it's my fun and so there is no real budget.
The bike has got to carry about 250 lbs
Possibilities include:
Luna Z1 Enduro with a couple extra batteries $6k. Inexpensive, full suspension available and history with Luna, Cons Extra batteries, lack of racks and attachment points and not super water resistant.

QuietKat IBEX E Bike with a couple extra batteries $7K. Inexpensive, full suspension, available, history with company good attachments and racks. Cons, extra batteries, color schemes

Watt Wagon Hound Supercharged $9K+ Large very water resistant battery in case, good racks, internal charger, low center of gravity, great specs and geometry, high water resistance, powerful. Cons, Absolutely sht olive drab paint job. Looks like it needs white stars and American flags, A beast to handle in technical terrain. Heavy hard tail

Optibike R17 with extra battery $16K Well integrated, great company support, huge suspension travel, great geometry, rugged, great specs, nearly water proof, very capable low maintenance bike, fast, powerful. Cons, Very Expensive, looks a bit too much like a motor cycle, lack of attachment points and racks, accessories are too pricy, lack of flexibility to make it class 1,2 or 3.

Right now I would be leaning towards the Watt Wagon. Any one of these bikes I would need to locate and try before I committed to a purchase. I would also keep my present E bike as a spare for anyone whishing to join me on an adventure. Right now everyone's excuse is "I don't have a capable bike" Present bike is a Titanium E fat, BBSHD, 52 volt 2.5KwH battery. 20K miles.

I already know what it takes power wise to tour off road. The battery needs to push 3KwH and the bike 750 watts min to do the job. A solar charger would reduce battery size. Need to really investigate that. I am not a fan of solar.
Okay, the questions:
Anyone have any experience with any of these bikes?
What bikes am I missing?
What is jut over the horizon that I should wait for?
What an amazing trip and interesting brief. Following this thread with interest. Make sure you take pics and post back!

Reise and Muller? https://www.r-m.de/en-us/bikes/superdelite/. Looks like a number of 3000ft climbs on the route. These nominal 250W motors should eat that up no worries - they're built to go up and down Alps all day.

Pity the Giant Stormguard hasn't strayed beyond continental Europe yet: https://www.giant-bicycles.com/fr/stormguard-eplus-2. The 800W + 250W external would carry you 135 miles on mid power levels no sweat. I can attest the weaker Syncdrive Sport motor pulls like a bloody ox, and drags me up 20 degree inclines no issue.

Anecdotally among my local ebike group the Bosch users seem to squeeze the most range from their motors. In metric terms, I see 50km range and 1000m of elevation gain from a 500W battery quoted a lot. Plenty of Bosch CX-equipped trekking and emtb offerings that could be boosted with an extra battery or three.
I'm looking forward to a similar bike. We now have 3kWh batteries on ebikes, i'm testing one and it is nice. I want low maintenance so i'm testing Pinion 12 speed and belt drive on a regular bike. Getting the gearing right with pinion and electric might be hard with the limited options available. Need different sprocket ratios than are typically used with the manual bikes to get the right speed / cadence ratio. I intend to pair with hub motor, but that is not in stone. I'd like regen braking to save on brakes, i don't have that to test yet. I can carry a maximum of 4kWh of battery on one of my bikes, but currently that limits the cargo room too much so that max i've carried on a real trip is 3 kWh. The problem is getting everything on one bike with a suitable design that considers weight and makes tradeoffs appropriate more for touring that other considerations. Forget solar unless you plan to pull a trailer and even then, you can't really get the energy needed. taping into the electric car charging network seems like a better direction. Unfortunately the networks that are easy to tie into are obsolete now, so a new DC Fast Charger tap is needed. I've not tried that yet.
Explorer-1, like you I have found the biggest problem with a long distance DIY E bike is that it's a damned bicycle, therefore limited for weight carrying capacity and still have an enjoyable to ride low maintenance bike. I have done a fair number of bike packing tours and my conclusion is to limit the weight as much as possible and charge the batteries fast. The most reliable charging points are park pavilions and Gazebos.
Here is the heavy rig trying, 27 watt hours per mile with grades up to 34%. Charging at park pavilion


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The Riese and Muller Superdelite with a Rohloff IGH and a front rack might met your needs. I use a dual battery Nevo with a Rohloff for bike touring on gravel roads. Loaded with camping gear on gravel roads and 3,000 feet of elevation gain I’ve gone 75 miles and had 40% of battery remaining. You would want the CX motor not the speed motor for the stronger low end torque. If you need to go faster derestrict the motor.


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If overland travel was not on my list of things I like to include in a tour then I would consider Riese & Muller and Trek Alliant. Overland travel is much heavier on power than gravel roads. I have two problems with Bosch systems. The 250 watts and troubleshooting and fixing the bike myself miles from anywhere. Price is not the issue.
I am really starting to look at the weight issue thing closer. Losing about 30 lb of body weight would help the weight issue on a bike immensely. Me and the dog weight 215 lbs together. Losing 30 lb would bring that down to 185 lb.
I have concluded that the big rig/trailer set up above is not really the way to go. That rig as shown tops 400lb and off road I am looking for a plug in at 70 miles with a 2.5KwH battery.

This dog goes everywhere with me. A 4 pound poodle. I never leave her home.


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The Super Delite is really a full suspension mountain bike with a rear rack. It’s a very capable bike. That said shedding weight is key, ultra light camping equipment and dehydrated food might help. The best option is a non-electric bike, go slower and push the bike up steep grades.
The Super Delite is really a full suspension mountain bike with a rear rack. It’s a very capable bike. That said shedding weight is key, ultra light camping equipment and dehydrated food might help. The best option is a non-electric bike, go slower and push the bike up steep grades.
Yeah, its been a hell of an adjustment period from heavy to light thinking. my days of knarly mountain biking came to an end about five years ago. At that point I tried and e bike and was hooked in 100 yards. I soon realized that I could probably off road/gravel tour but there were many obstacles in the way. The first one was finding a saddle that I could sit on that was long enough. I found the Infinity Seat saddle. The next obstacle was a bike that would be capable of the type of touring I had in mind. I have that bike
Then the really hard stuff started. I had not camped in 40+ years. I vowed to buy nice equipment but not before I could get over using expletives in front of all the gear words when thinking about it or describing the gear. I put it all on the bike and the bike handled like a pig. Maybe that is normal but I was coming from a Specialized S Works StumpJumper. I worked and solved it with a trailer, the trailer would haul more as well but overloading produced poor handling there as well.
Bottom line: What you see in the photos above of my heavy rig has no less than a cooler with ice, drinks and beer in that trailer as well as the camping gear, I also has a 10 lb repair kit with everything conceivable to repair anything in the field.
I have progressed enough in my thinking to once again think lighter. I assumed electric would let me bypass the light aspects of bicycle travel because of power. I now seeing this as wrong because in the end, its still a damned bicycle and I don't want to go moped or scooter.
Honestly there is a cornucopia of ultralight gear very suitable for bicycle travel. There are a lot of lower-cost options available from China on amazon, some of them quite good, some of them not so good. There are also more expensive cottage industry products (you can look at Garage Grown Gear for a good survey of those) that you can use. If you look at some of the ultralight backpacking channels on youtube they discuss a lot of the cheap Chinese gear and what is good and what ain't so good.

With some good planning and careful and appropriate gear choices you should be able to get your carry weight for all of your gear (less food, water, and other consumables) to under 25 pounds. With better planning and experience you can probably cut that to 15 pounds or even less, especially if you can pack your stuff in lighter and smaller bags. If you have to be self-sufficient in pretty extreme environments you might need to carry a bit heavier, but I really doubt that you'd ever need to carry more than about 30 lbs (again, less food and water).

My own personal observation is that most bicycle travelers carry too damned much stuff. Your possessions are truly your burdens. And you should only be carrying enough food to get to the next mini-mart, plus some modest emergency food for real emergencies.

Right now I am transitioning from larger rear panniers (about 20L) to smaller ones (10-13L) and small front dry bags on anything cage mounts. This is mostly because I have discovered that I don't need the space and moving some of the weight forward dramatically improves how the bike handles.