PESU's Electric Mountain Bikes Can Tackle 40-Degree Inclines

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©. PESU Cycling

Both models of e-bike from PESU feature powerful mid-drive motors and battery packs that can get up to 100 miles of range per charge.

When it comes to cycling, there's a wide variety of riding styles and bikes, which means that there is no 'best bike', only the best bike for the intended use -- and of course the amount of money you're willing to spend. After all, some people get a kick out of just cruising to the store and back, some like to bike to work, others hit the road for a century ride, and still others live for the feeling of bombing down a singletrack. And e-bikes are no different, as prospective buyers should take into account their own cargo, range, and comfort needs before dropping a wad of cash on an electric bike, because while they all might have pedals, two wheels, a battery, and a motor, the riding experience can be drastically different between a bike intended for the street and one designed to be ridden off-road.

Whereas there are lot of choices for electric city bikes right now, and they're being adopted on the streets at a relatively fast pace, electric mountain bikes don't seem to be nearly as popular, perhaps because of the idea that it's somehow cheating if you're using an electric drivetrain on your MTB, or perhaps it's because a larger number of people are looking for e-bikes to use as transportation instead of for recreation. That being said, there are certainly options for e-MTBs on the market, and soon there'll be at least two more to choose from thanks to the startup PESU Cycling, with the company claiming to deliver a "no-compromise, electric powered mountain bike that is unbelievably fun and undeniably practical."

PESU Cycling electric mountain bike

© PESU Cycling

While the PESU Monster and Volador would be right at home on city streets, these two electric mountain bike models are designed from the ground up as all-terrain off-road machines, with aggressive geometry, suspension forks, dual disc brakes, and a strong stable frame intended to "conquer the mountain path easily." The two models feature slightly different frame designs and components, but both use TTIUM Power mid-drive motors (250W or 350W) that are high-torque and capable of handling inclines of up to 40°, and which are compared favorably (by the company) to other mid-drive motors.

According to PESU, instead of relying on an existing solution, the company developed its own torque sensor system, which is the component that senses the amount of force applied to the pedals and the pedaling cadence in order to best boost the rider's efforts with the electric drivetrain. It's a crucial, although non-obvious, element of e-bikes that can make all the difference in the world to the rider's experience, and PESU claims that its system has a response time of just 10 milliseconds, as opposed to similar units from other brands, which clock in at 50 milliseconds, which the company says "allows for a more intuitive riding experience."

Another distinctive difference of the PESU models is a shorter chainstay (the part of the frame that goes from the bottom bracket/motor to the rear hub), which measures in at 435 millimeters instead of the more standard 480 mm, and which the company says "increases maneuverability, which makes handling the PESU easier and more fun." It's also claimed to reduce chain "tangle" (perhaps referring to chainsuck?), as the chain on the PESU frames goes under the chainstay, instead of through the rear triangle of the frame.

With four different power modes on the PESU models (Eco, Normal, Sport, Turbo), riders can choose to amp things up to the highest assist mode (300%) for a range of about 40 miles per charge, or dial it down to the lowest setting (50%) for a range of up to 110 miles per charge. Charge times on the bikes' 36V battery packs takes between 4.5 and 5.5 hours, depending on whether it's the 11Ah or 13.4Ah model.

To launch these two PESU e-MTB models, the company has turned to crowdfunding with a Kickstarter campaign, where backers at the $1499 level can reserve one of the Monster models with the 250W motor (said to be $800 off of retail pricing), and those backing the campaign at the $2999 level will receive a Volador 350W model, which is $1500 off retail pricing, when they ship in November of 2017.