Andi Spies
Andi Spies

High-end e-MTB in practice test

Tried out: The M1 Spitzing E-MTB with the TQ HPR® 120S drivetrain

E-MTBs are on the rise. Some purist mountain bikers may not like this, but mountain bikes with an assisting electric motor have long since become firmly established in the bike industry. And rightly so, because e-mountain bikes enable a completely new biking experience. was able to experience this firsthand during a two-day bike test at Lake Garda.

Modern E-MTBs like the M1 Spitzing Evolution are a prime example of the next evolutionary stage of sporty full suspension bikes. The full carbon bike with 160 mm FOX suspension and 650b tires is equipped with the powerful TQ HPR® 120S drive. This ensures even in the smallest version with its power of 250 watts for effortless uphill performance. And it is precisely here, in the often energy-sapping climbs, that the greatest advantages of e-mountain bikes lie. Steady and powerful, the TQ motor provides support even on extreme climbs. Suddenly, steep passages that you previously considered unrideable are no longer a problem.

For a balanced downhill performance, the overall weight and frame geometry play an important role. Due to the motor, the battery and the wheels and shocks designed for greater loads, E-MTBs are fundamentally heavier than conventional mountain bikes. In view of these conditions, it is all the more pleasing that the full carbon frame of the new M1 Spitzing Evolution is another 25 percent lighter than the previous year's model. The geometry, perfectly tuned for racy trail descents, and the TQ motor, which is deeply integrated into the frame, thus result in safe bike handling, as you would expect from a non-motorized trail bike.

Our conclusion: The powerful TQ E-drive brings clear advantages on the uphill. The effortless climbing saves a lot of energy for the subsequent downhill. Here, a perfectly tuned E-MTB like the M1 Spitzing Evolution convinces with first-class downhill performance and playful handling.

The powerful TQ HPR® 120S drive provides excellent climbing performance

Facts about TQ-Systems and the M1 Spitzing

For several years now, the innovative e-drives from TQ-Systems have been shaking up the bike industry. The company from Upper Bavaria offers the most powerful drive for e-mountain bikes, which has regularly caused a sensation in the bike tests of renowned magazines since its introduction. But what is so special about this drive? Is it just the higher power, and what advantages is this supposed to bring to the e-mountain biker? To answer these and other questions, we spoke with Simon Hoffmann, who heads the E-Mobility business unit at TQ-Systems.

Where does TQ-Systems' know-how in the field of electric drives come from?

TQ has been active for over two decades as an electronics service provider and drive manufacturer in many high-tech industries, such as aerospace, robotics or medical technology. It all started with e-bike motors when the inventor of the motor and long-time TQ employee Toni Roßberger first created the pin-ring gear as a core component and then the harmonic pin-ring drive in 2009. From his inventive spirit and his passion for engines and motorsports, a whole new business field has emerged at TQ.

How does a TQ motor differ from the E-MTB motors of other manufacturers?

First of all, by its unique driving feel. Also by its awesome power, its compactness and its efficiency. The secret is our patented harmonic pin-ring transmission, which enables enormous power transmission in the most efficient way and in the smallest installation space. What many people also don't know: The torque of 120 Newton meters is delivered constantly, i.e. over the entire power and speed bandwidth. It is not a peak value.

Reliable even in the most adverse conditions: The TQ HPR® 120S drive

At the system level, our open system thinking sets us apart. In other words, with our system it is possible for bike OEMs to integrate their own ideas (see FlyOn as an example, where we have integrated a completely new system). This is what makes TQ tick: The implementation of customer-specific ideas based on a strong modular system is our hobbyhorse in all industries in which we operate.

Why did TQ develop an e-bike motor with a maximum torque of 120 Newton meters?

To be honest, the motor can even give more! For us, it was important to develop a product that does not serve the average e-bike market, but appeals to the group of buyers who want to buy something special for their hobby. The 120 Newton meters stand for an extraordinary riding experience that is clearly different from the masses. But torque is only one factor. At least as important is the sophisticated software, which brings the high torque to the road very dynamically, but still naturally.

As a biker, aren't you overwhelmed with so much power?

Absolutely not. The TQ HPR® 120S even makes for a more comfortable ride by responding particularly agilely and intuitively to the rider's power and cadence. Even in technical terrain, the power can be dosed well, and you hardly notice the phasing in and out during speed reduction. As with today's sports cars, the software makes it possible for the driver to decide whether to drive very sportily. With the HPR® 120 S, we are expanding the scope of possibilities for the driver. In addition, a freewheel ensures that the engine never has to be "pedaled along" when switched off.

What advantages do I have with such a powerful engine when biking off-road?

Steeper climbs are mastered with ease - hence our motto "flyuphill". And starting uphill is also much easier. In technical terrain, the engine responds not only powerfully, but always precisely and harmoniously, so that most riders are first amazed at what new routes are even possible. In addition to the technical factors, however, we see the fun factor in the foreground. It's just huge fun to ride uphill passages as if you were going downhill.

How does TQ manage to control the power of the engine in a way that is easy for the biker to dose?

This is where our many years of experience with electronics, sensors and controls play a key role. We can even custom design the engine so that it fits from the driving dynamics to the characteristics of the individual bike brand. So beginners, but also experienced MTB riders can easily cope.

Doesn't such a strong motor need much more power than weaker motors?

No. With the same power, the TQ engine may even need less. Because basically, with the HPR 120S, we have a very efficient engine. Efficiency is around 85 percent, which means that most of the energy stored in the battery actually flows into locomotion and does not dissipate into heat, for example. Energy consumption is also highly dependent on the driving mode. The modes are tuned so that the biker can cover everything from long distances to short, intensive rides with a "standard-sized" battery with 600 to 700 watt hours.

What's coming in the future? An even more powerful engine for E-MTBs?

We already have interesting approaches for the future. However, we can not reveal more details about this yet :)

M1 and TQ - successful cooperation of two innovative companies

M1 Sporttechnik GmbH has been working closely with TQ on e-bike development for more than five years. This cooperation allows M1 to offer one of the best motorized e-bikes on the bike market with the Spitzing model. We wanted to learn more about the cooperation between the two Bavarian companies and asked Manuel Küspert, Head of Sales & Engineering at M1 Sporttechnik GmbH.

Why did M1 choose the TQ drive for the "Spitzing Evolution" bike model?

When the first SPITZING was developed six years ago, the TQ motor immediately impressed with its exceptional power development and torque. Equally decisive was the fact that the TQ system allows its own battery solutions. This allowed us as M1-Sporttechnik to precisely implement our requirements for an e-bike battery. With our battery, the Spitzing achieves an enormous range. On top of that, when using the TQ drives, it is possible to offer customers an S-pedelec. Especially with such a powerful motor, the speed variant is absolutely recommended, since a permanent "45km/h cruising" is possible without major effort of the driver. This makes it possible to cover long distances comfortably, but quickly at the same time.

The M1 Spitzing is a prime example of the next evolutionary stage of full-suspension E-MTBs.

What advantages does the TQ engine offer in terms of design and integration into the bike?

The extremely compact design of the TQ motor allows it to be integrated beautifully into the frame with well thought-out positioning of the battery and motor. The bike thus appears sporty and simple and promises at the same time large battery capacity. For the optimal rear kinematics of the Spitzing was the small engine volume of great advantage, because it allows a positioning of the main bearing of the chainstay close to the bottom bracket.

What advantages does the TQ drive offer the biker in riding practice?

The M1 bikes with TQ motor push the boundaries of e-mountain biking by quite a bit: Where sweaty challenges had to be mastered, fast-paced rides are possible with our Spitzing models. Even the steepest and most technically demanding trails can be climbed uphill with ease. The beaming face of every biker after an uphill passage testifies to first-class riding fun.

Does M1 use stronger batteries or other components such as brakes or dampers that have to be adapted to the powerful motor and the higher overall weight?

Yes, because we always offer customers the option of combining maximum riding fun and endurance. That's why we go one better in terms of range and offer a battery with 880 or 1,050 watt hours, depending on the choice. To ensure long-lasting power transmission from the motor to the rear wheel for all components of the drivetrain, we work with a shift sensor. This interrupts the motor power for 200 milliseconds during gear changes. In addition, a particularly strong e-bike chain is used. The suspension elements from FOX are "e-bike optimized". For the brakes, we rely on the proven MT5e with four pistons front and rear. Quality and safety are a must for us.

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Andi Spies
Andi Spies
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