Bike Test: Islabikes eJimi
Bike Test: Islabikes eJimi
Islabikes eJimi £2699
The e-bike dilemma: if you need electric assistance, you’re not best served by a heavy bike that’s harder to manoeuvre and pick up. Islabikes address this by using the lightweight ebikemotion system for their e-Icons range. Ready to ride, the eJimi is 14.5kg.
It’s aimed at older or less able cyclists, like the unpowered Icons. It has a step-through frame, low gears, twistgrip shifting, shortreach brake levers, and easy-tyre-change rims. Like the Islabikes Jimi, the e-version is at its best on trail centre blue or green routes and non-technical bridleways.
On more difficult trails I found the handling unforgiving; it’s a rigid bike with a fairly steep head angle. Additionally, the 40Nm motor laboured on the steepest (20-25%) climbs. While a higher torque motor would climb better, you’d only find one on a much heavier e-bike. Given the riding expectations of most eJimi owners, the trade off for lower weight is worth it. The ebikemotion motor still plays a role on tough hills, and less precipitous terrain is a breeze.
The 250Wh battery is concealed in the down tube, where its weight is well balanced. There are anti-tamper bolts to prevent you removing it. That means you must park the eJimi near a power socket to recharge. Mileage will vary by usage but I’d expect 30-40 miles mountain biking – and it can easily be ridden unassisted.
There are three levels of riding assistance, plus a ‘walk’ mode, selected via an iWoc Trio handlebar controller. This shows the same colours (green, amber, red) in the same place for the power modes and the approximate charge remaining, which is a little confusing. It’s also hard to discern in direct sunlight.
There’s no handlebar display so if you want information like speed, distance, or exact charge remaining, you must install the ebikemotion app on your phone. This app isn’t flawless but is very useful for fault diagnosis as it sends information to Islabikes. (It helped isolate a problem I had with the rear wheel sensor.)
The eJimi adds discreet, lightweight electric assistance to a bike already well-designed for older or less able riders. The iWoc control could be better; everything else is spot on.
Ribble Hybrid AL E from £2199
Good value e-hybrid with the same ebikemotion setup, SRAM NX Urban 1×11 gearing, and 35-622 Marathons. 13.1kg
Kinesis Rise Hardtail E-MTB £3,650
Hardtail with the Fazua Evation system, an X-Fusion E-Slide 34 fork, and 1×11 SLX. 19.65kg.
Sizes: S, M (tested), L
Weight: 14.53kg (32lb) inc pedals.
Frame & fork: 6061 aluminium frame, fittings for rack, mudguard, external dropper post, internal battery. Carbon fork with tapered steerer, 12×100mm thru axle, fittings for mudguard and two luggage/bottle cages.
Wheels: 57-622 Schwalbe Rocket Ron tyres, Islabikes ETC rims, 32×3 ss spokes, Islabikes disc front hub, Mahle ebikemotion X35 rear hub.
Transmission: no pedals, 170mm Islabikes low Q-factor direct mount cranks, 30t narrow/wide chainring, KMC X10 chain, Sunrace 10-speed 11-40t cassette. SRAM 10-speed Gripshift shifter, SRAM GX rear derailleur. 10 ratios, 22-79in.
Electronics: Mahle ebikemotion X35 250W hub motor, 250Wh Panasonic battery, iWoc Trio handlebar control.
Braking: SRAM DB Level TL closereach levers & hydraulic callipers, 160mm rotors.