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If you want a bike capable of getting you to work during the week, then tackling off-road trails at the weekend, the Fleetwood MTB v1.0 could be perfect. While it lacks commuter features such as a rack, lights and mudguards, its brakes, tyres, suspension and riding position meant we’d happily pilot this on the mountain bike trails surrounding the Wellington CBD. A bonus is the Shimano STEPS motor that assists pedalling up to 32km/h, unlike other examples of this system we tried that topped out at 25km/h.
Each e-bike was taken on a test route by two riders. The 5km route in and around Wellington’s CBD included city traffic, fast flat roads, hills, kerbs, wooden bridges and a busy waterfront path shared with pedestrians.
We also put the e-bikes through a gruelling 20km route around Wellington’s Wadestown and Northland suburbs. The main challenge was climbing a 2km-long hill five times at a steady 20km/h (a kilometre of vertical ascent) and descending the same twisty narrow road between climbs. It also included a short, steep section of rough path with a narrow barrier negotiated at walking pace, an undulating 5km of suburban streets, and a steep descent requiring brakes to keep the e-bike to the 50km/h speed limit.
Our riding tests, along with a static assessment of the features and functions of each e-bike, were used to score the performance of the motor system and the bike. Overall score includes:
Motor system (50% of overall score)
Bike (50% of overall score)
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