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E-Gravel Bikes: How Freedom Becomes Limitless

LISTICLE | 08/27/2021
Author:
Jens Vögele

Gravel bikes exude a lot of freedom. But off-road - or when bikepacking - cycling can also be particularly strenuous. E-gravel bikes significantly increase the fun factor. Purists will continue to swear by pure muscle power, but everyone else can expand their horizons in the truest sense of the word. ISPO.com shows which e-gravel bikes are the most important of the year.

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Centurion: Overdrive Gravel

Back in the days when cyclorosses were still called cross-country, Wolfgang Renner was a successful cross-country athlete, founded the Centurion brand and brought mountain biking to Germany. The gravel boom has now brought him full circle. With Centurion, he now builds gravel bikes that are quite similar to his competition bikes of yesteryear. However, only at first glance - because of course modern gravel bikes have much more pleasant geometries, are much more suitable for everyday use and are, if you want, even equipped with an electric motor. Centurion currently has three comparatively lightweight e-gravel bikes in its range. One with mudguards and a rear rack, one with an aluminium frame and one with a carbon frame. All models are available with Fazua drive, which supports with a battery capacity of 250 watt hours. The price range is between 4249 and 5699 euros.

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Bulls: Grinder EVO CX

Anyone who deals with the subject of graveling will inevitably be faced with the question at some point: Hardtail mountain bike or gravel bike? Bulls provides the answer with a decisive both as well as. The Grinder EVO CX is a mountain bike and gravel bike in one. Equipped with a high-quality suspension fork from Fox with 40 mm travel, it cuts a fine figure on the trail. Otherwise, however, it is equally convincing on the road, on forest paths, trails, on tour or on the way to work. The bike, which weighs just under 17 kilos, is powered by a powerful Bosch CX motor and a 500 Wh battery integrated into the down tube.

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Merida: eSILEX+

Merida is one of the international giants on the bike market. Of course, countless bikes for the mass market come off the production line - but the Taiwanese also play in the high-tech league. The mastermind in the development department is Jürgen Falke, who has already caused some technological drumbeats near Stuttgart, from which professional cyclists have profited on the road and off-road. No wonder that Merida's E-Gravel models also have sporty genes and inspire with many details. They are powered by the lightweight Mahle rear motor, resulting in low overall weights of around 14 kilos. The frame has all the important attachment points for luggage racks or stands, which guarantee the bike's suitability for everyday use and travel. And for those looking for the wide open: A 250 watt-hour Rage extender can easily be attached instead of a bottle cage.

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Specialized: Turbo Creo SL

Specialized focuses on independence - and that also applies to the e-gravel bike from California. As in the road and mountain bike sector, the Turbo Creo SL is also available for gravel use with an independent drive, lots of high-tech and a top frame. The top model S-Works, for example, weighs less than 12.5 kilos. With the Mission Control app, the support can be individually configured, which can lead to ranges of up to 180 kilometres. If required, this can be increased by another 50 percent via range extender. "Same effort, double the reward" promises Specialized. A special bike, but one that also pushes the price to special heights.

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Look: E-765 Gravel Green Mat

Fancy a bit of camouflage? Then the E-Gravel bike from Look with its matt green appearance could be the bike of choice. Technologically, the brand from France has been playing in the high-tech league for ages and has a long tradition in racing. With the E-765 Green Mat, however, not only the outer values are right. Powered by Sram's Force 1 groupset with Fazua motor, the bike is a lot of fun on and off the road, carbon frame and equipment ensure a low overall weight. And if you simply remove the battery and drive quickly, as is typical for Fazua, the look no longer feels like an e-bike at all.

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Bra: Core GravelX

If a bike can hide its E-gene on the outside, then it's the BH Core GravelX. The drive system developed by the manufacturer from the Basque country is so inconspicuously integrated into the noble carbon frame that even expert eyes have to look twice. The powerful drive together with the long-lasting battery is supposed to guarantee a range of up to 165 km - with an additional battery, the capacity can even be extended to a full 720 watt hours. E-biking doesn't get any better than this.

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Canyon: Grail:ON

The developers of Canyon's Gail:ON focused on three things: comfort, comfort and comfort. A comfortable carbon frame puts riders in a comfortable riding position. Canyon's double-decker handlebar absorbs vibrations, as does the seat post. Everything is designed for enjoyable cycling on gravel trails. The Bosch CX drive with 500-Wh battery powers Canyon's e-gravel bike with power and endurance. And, according to the philosophy of the Koblenz-based company, it should work discreetly in the background. Canyon promises that the Grail:On will ride like a gravel bike without a motor.

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Cannondale: Topstone Neo Carbon

Cannondale has always been a driver of innovation in the bike industry. Even today, the single-arm Lefty suspension fork sets standards for mountain bikes. On Cannondale's Topstone Neo Carbon e-gravel bike, a 30 mm Lefty at the front also absorbs shocks. But that's not all. The bike is fully suspended and also offers 30 mm of travel at the rear. Quite immodestly, Cannondale calls its E-Gravel flagship the most powerful and fun gravel bike ever. Bosch's Performance CX drivetrain is said to deliver up to 176km of range on 500 battery watt-hours. The only downside: The account is plundered by almost 10,000 euros after the purchase.

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Author:
Jens Vögele
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