“The advantages of the system were obvious straight away: the motor is very quiet, only audible if you actually listen for it, and it operates very well on level ground and slight inclines, regulating its input there very smoothly. Changing gear is totally straightforward and possible at any time, because the motor does not place any extra burden on the transmission system.”
Johannes Haidn, Senior Product Reviewer, world of mtb
Just two or three years ago, e-MTBs were seen as exotics, whose right even to exist was frequently challenged within internet discussion groups and in the cycling press. Since then, a good number of those early critics have developed a taste for the benefits of packing a powerful electric motor. Each generation has seen a leap in output capacity; it was only a question of time before they began to be used off-road. And so we have endowed the top-selling Hoplit PI MTB with a reliable, Swiss-engineered electric motor.
In developing our first e-MTB we have, as always, remained true to Einstein’s guiding principle: “As simple as possible, but no simpler”. But as any product developer will tell you, the simplest things are usually the hardest to achieve. Many late nights spent wrestling with an idea are required, and usually more than a few set-backs, before finally the superfluous is stripped away and the essence of the product is revealed.
The Hoplit PI e-MTB is, in its distillation of simplicity, peerless. Neither paint nor decals spoil the beauty of the brushed, multi-tapered tubing; minimalist, sand-blasted lettering is all that indicates the origin of this spectacular machine. The sleek but raw stainless-steel frame will carry you in style, reaching beyond the treeline to that special place where you know that your mobile phone isn’t going to ring, bringing you a moment’s respite from our ‘always on’ culture.
The longer head tube ensures a more comfortable, upright riding position for when you’re spending hours in the saddle, and the relatively relaxed steering geometry also keeps the pressure off. And if you opt for the Falkenjagd rigid titanium fork, you’ll be taking the Hoplit PI e-MTB’s low maintenance requirements to the max – none of that suspension fork ‘diva attitude’. It might need cleaning from time to time, but that’s it.
And it’s the same further back: the Pinion gear system is totally sealed against dust and mud. The Go SwissDrive hub motor and torque sensor are similarly protected, in a rock-solid aluminium housing. The system incorporates an integrated controller that allows the torque sensor to function maintenance-free, contactlessly, and with no need for external sensors. The motor is brushless, and features low freewheeling resistance.
The Hoplit PI e-MTB is equipped with a Pinion internal gearing system which features evenly-spaced ratios and is available in either 12- or 18-speed versions and a ratio range of up to 636% – ready for any situation. A DT Swiss OPM O.D.L suspension fork keeps it comfy up front. Alternatively, the bike can be supplied with a Lefty suspension fork or our in-house developed titanium rigid fork, ready for an overall bike weight of up to 185kg. The Hoplit PI is available as a stripped-down off-road specialist, or ready for all-round use, fitted with mudguards, rear rack and lighting, as required. The rear drop-outs feature braze-ons for mudguards and rack. The Titanium package takes things up a notch with a Falkenjagd stem, handlebars and seat pin; visual accents can be added by specifying Tune Components products, available in eight anodised colours.
The GO SwissDrive rear wheel motor provides powerful acceleration, high elasticity in response to terrain variation, substantial power reserves and quiet operation. With a nominal power rating of up to 500W (peak: approx. 1000W) und 40Nm of torque, it sets the standard for direct-drive motors. In addition, the power is applied where it works best: directly to the rear wheel hub. This means there is no increased wear on the drivetrain, it combines perfectly with the Pinion system, and you can scarcely hear it: at 18-25dB, it’s as quiet as a whisper. Another benefit is the energy recovery capability: on downhill sections, the KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System, familiar from Formula 1 motor racing) converts your kinetic energy into electricity with which to recharge the batteries and reduces wear and tear on the bike’s brakes. The system’s maximum range is up to 150km.
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|Issue||Medium||Review on Hoplit PI MTB||Link to test report|
|12/2016||Elektrorad Magazin||Review First Ride||Elektrorad Test 12-2016|