A REVIEW By The Everyday Bearded MTB Man
For those of you who did a double take, yes this is an electric mountain bike. Before you turn away in disgust, firstly take a moment to look at this Moustache and admire what a work of art it is; secondly, try to think outside the box and consider the riding and exploration possibilities it presents. This was the first electric mountain bike I’ve ridden in anger and I must say……I’m impressed.
Massive thanks to Kelly from Gabriel’s Cycles in Widley for letting me demo his personal bike. I dragged myself up early the other morning and met my friend for a ride into Queen Elizabeth Country Park from my place in Petersfield.
We had two routes in both had steep hills to start off with. Now after having a quick play with the different modes on the cycle way on our way in, I thought I would give the Turbo mode a blast for the first hill to see what it could do. Now I’m not the fittest rider out there, if anything after the festive period I am below my normal standard.
But a hill that would normally kill me before I even get started was eaten up with relative ease. I even overtook two roadies. I was shocked at the power and inspired by the possibilities this bike could unleash.
Moustache is a boutique French company who specialise in beautifully made electric bikes, sort of the what the Noble car is to British super car brands this is the French equivalent of e-bike brands; in which case the Race 6 is the M12GTO of their line-up. It’s aesthetically stunning, has a cutting-edge motor, top-shelf spec and components, and this particular model has some tasty upgrades that the owner has added to make it even more of a weapon.
As you would expect with an electric pedal assist bike, the uphill’s become a laugh. Making you question your perceptions about fitness and of course I got a big f#@k you from my riding buddy on his traditional hardtail.
With their latest CX drive units, Bosch has developed a new smart mode called “eMTB”, which constantly adjusts the power output to match a rider’s needs by varying between the turbo and tour settings. This was definitely noticeable on steep technical sections, where I felt like an invincible mountain goat powering my way easily to the top. My only critique of the eMTB mode was that in tight low speed switchbacks it tended to surge the power on too much, making it difficult to hold my line and forced me to anticipate the surge.
Where the Moustache really excelled for me was, unsurprisingly, on the downhill sections. This was a lot of fun. The 160mm of travel combined with the wide tyre platform and the low centre of gravity makes the Race 6 remarkably secure and planted on the trails, I was genially surprised and found myself pushing harder and harder on the downhill sections and enjoying the grip level in the flowing berms.
With its monster-truck ability to ride over any line you choose I certainly didn’t have to compromise downhill trail choice; the bike powered down everything I’d normally ride and gave me the confidence to ride it harder and faster. The extra weight just made the bike feel planted in the corners and secure across technical sections.
I’m not suggesting you rush out and sell your beloved mid-travel 29er enduro sled and turn up to your Saturday ride on one of these, but imagine you were given one to have as a second bike. What you’d find is a whole new world of opportunities–back country access, long-distance big-vertical day rides, towing your kids around or simply commuting to work, to name but a few.
In my mind, e-mountain bikes should be seen as a new breed of tool to broaden your cycling experience, not a lazy-man’s motorbike that’s going to cause havoc on your local trails. They’re not for everyone, but don’t be too quick to judge.
I’d wager if there was one in your garage, you’d use it a lot more than you think. I know I would!!!
Stay tune for another Everyday Bearded MTB Man Review soon!