As a collaboration with ITEM designworks, the new BH XTEP is a mid-to-long travel full suspension e-mountain bike that comes in 140mm & 160mm travel options. With an advanced suspension and plenty of travel, what really stands out is the very low standover height created by its curved downtube design. Here’s the story…
The curved downtube hides a segmented battery. A covered opening in the top allows access to it, and that cover twists open with a dovetailed design to keep it secure while riding.
By using a slack 65º head angle to give solid trail handling, the design allowed that downtube to curve forward a bit more… which opens up room inside the front triangle for a full size water bottle even while the rear triangle sits very low…which means the rear shock starts low at the back. Normally, this setup could cramp the space inside the front triangle, but not so much here.
The suspension uses a Split Pivot design withs short-ish 465mm (18.3″) linkage-driven shock, similar to some of their other full-suspension mountain bikes. And, they say the frame is just 2200g, also inline with the non-electric-assist models. Of course, that’s without the battery and motor. And the battery is big, offering 720Wh for a claimed 155km (96.3 miles) max range.
You can customize power output with their app, and there’s a Trail Mode that boosts output when you need it while keeping it tamped down a bit when you don’t. It’s running a new Shimano EP8 motor, which should run quiet and smooth.
They say the new carbon frame is 70% stiffer than the prior model, with a an oversized rear main axle in the suspension adding another 36% stiffness improvement. Internal cables and hidden suspension linkage bolts maintain a clean appearance across the entire bike.
Available in five colors plus custom paint options, it’s available now. Check their website or local dealers for full pricing.
2021 BH Core Carbon e-Road Bike
Introduced in 2019 as an alloy line of electric assist road bikes and commuter bikes (which might just be the best looking e-commuter bike we’ve seen), the BH Core gets a sleeker Carbon version for 2021.
It’s not just the frame that’s changed, either. While the original models maxed out at 115km range (71.5 miles), the new one gets up to 165km with the stock 540Wh battery.
Add on the XPRO external booster battery and that bumps it up to 720Wh, giving it a max range of 220km (137 miles)! What’s particularly cool about the add on battery is that its bottle cage is the electrical connection to the bike. Just bolt the cage on, and when you slip the battery (which looks very much like a water bottle) into it, it’s connected to the system – no extra wires needed. Or, just use the cage for an actual water bottle when you don’t need the added juice.
Helping it achieve that range is the relatively light weight… it comes in as light as 12.6kg (27.75lb). This also helps it feel more like a regular road bike, not some clunky e-bike. And thanks to the minuscule new 2ESMAG motor, which provides 250W of power & 65Nm torque, it keeps the same geometry and handling as their traditional road bikes, too. Even the battery and downtube are slim, making it hard to tell this is even an e-bike at a glance.
Like the original alloy models, it gets a completely integrated cockpit with full internal routing from controls to the derailleurs and brakes. Aero shaping polishes things off. The display and control button is integrated into the stem’s top cap, so it’s virtually invisible when not needed. An app gives you more control over the settings and assistance at each level. The new e-bike available in 5 stock colors, or you can customize it.