Mondraker have been putting together some smart e-MTBs for a couple of years now; we tested the e-Prime R+ in March and we were impressed with the ride. That's quite a by-the-book electric mountain bike though, with the motor system bolted on to an existing frame design. Their new e-Crusher is anything but: a ground-up redevelopment of their suspension platform with the motor in mind from the start.
“Forget all of the electric mountain bike concepts that you’ve know until now”, the trumpet. “The new Mondraker e-Crusher Carbon changes the rules for high-performance e-MTBs”. The e-Crusher platform is a full-carbon frame with 150mm of rear wheel travel, using Shimano's E8000 mountain bike motor as the power plant.
Mondraker know a thing or two about making a decent full-suspension bike; current UCI world downhill champion Danny Hart rides a Mondraker, and although this bike isn't designed for that sort of abuse, it borrows some of the DNA, not least the Forward Geometry which features a lengthened top tube and shortened stem for better all-round control.
If it's not a downhill bike, what is it? “Categorising it is no easy task as the e-Crusher sets out to redefine the different categories and create a total e-MTB solution to shred all trails”, say Mondraker. “Combining the responsiveness and handling of a trail bike with the traction and bump absorption of a confidence inspiring enduro bike, the Forward Geometry based e-Crusher carves its own segment.”
The e-Crusher features an updated version of Mondraker's Zero suspension platform. The e-Crusher's suspension uses 15mm thru-axles and bigger bearings, and features a Trunnion mount shock, where the mounting point is in the shock body. This, says Mondraker, gives the e-Crusher “the most neutral pedaling efficiency with the most suppleness and capable rear suspension.” We haven't tried it yet so we can't tell you whether that's a claim that's backed up by the ride. The carbon swingarm features an integrated fender to keep the worst of the muck off the shock and pivots. The suspension design also means there's plenty of room for a bottle cage, if you like to run one.
The front end of the bike is beautifully integrated; this really is a look-twice kind of e-bike. Shimano's motor is small in comparison to the more widely-used Bosch, and the system allows for an internal battery; Mondraker are using Shimano's 504Wh internal battery and it's entirely hidden in the frame. That gives the e-Crusher a very clean look – hepled by the full internal cable routing – whilst also allowing it a comparable range to most of its competitors.
Two builds of the e-Crusher will be available. Both use the same frame and motor, and they're both 27.5+ bikes with wider Boost axles front and rear and Maxxis 2.8” tyres. 27.5+ is becoming the standard for e-MTBs – the bigger tyres give masses of grip and the extra weight isn't really a concern.
The e-Crusher R+ (£6,599) gets Rock Shox suspension: a Superdeluxe Debonair shock and a 160mm Yari RC Solo Air fork. You get a Shimano XT 1x11 drivetrain and SRAM Guide RE disc brakes with 200mm rotors. The Maxxis tyres run on an MDK wheelset.
The top-dollar e-Crusher RR+ (£8,399) has an electronic XT Di2 transmission, and the brakes are Shimano Saint with 203mm rotors. Suspension is from Fox: a Float DPX2 Factory Kashima Coat shock, and a 160mm Fox 36 Kashima Coat Factory fork. You get a Mavic XA Elite wheelset too.
Starting at over six and a half grand this is real top-end stuff, but there's a lot going on and it'll be interesting to see how the bikes perform out on the trails. We'll be pestering Mondraker for a go on one. Stay tuned.