Winter riding in the snow might not be the first place you expect to see an e-bike, but Norco wants to change that with the new Bigfoot VLT. They’ve designed a new e-MTB optimized for performance in cold weather with integrated Shimano STePS pedal-assist powertrain to give you more time to enjoy playing in the snow.
2019 Norco Bigfoot VLT alloy STePS-powered e-fatbike
A real obstacle I’ve experienced winter fatbiking in the mountains has been the amount of energy expended on long climbs in soft snow. While I don’t mind the effort, it becomes hard to regulate my core temperature. (You can only go so slow.) And even with the best wicking gear and plenty of layering, I’d end up sweaty by the time I reach the top. That’s little concern when pedaling in balmy weather, but in sub-freezing temps it becomes risky, quickly. Those wet baselayers don’t dry quickly below 0°, and frostbite & hypothermia become very real, very quickly in the winter backcountry.
So, Norco’s thought is add a reliable cold-weather tolerant e-bike system, and extend your adventure. To optimize the Bigfoot VLT for cold winter riding, Norco says they integrated a Shimano STePS powertrain as the most powerful, most consistent performance e-MTB system in extreme conditions. Then they added a cold-weather optimized Manitou fork, SRAM hydraulic disc brakes with temperature-resistant DOT brake fluid, and a TranzX dropper post that works well with at low temperatures.
Two versions of the aluminum framed fat e-bike are available with either a top-level E8000 motor, 630Wh battery & Manitou fork for $4800, or a lower-cost build with E7000, a 500Wh battery & a rigid fork for $3600. Check out the full details, including its trail-ready geometry at e-Bikerumor.com.
there shouldn’t be too much argument about damaging trail (as long as snow is on the ground.) But now just make sure to keep the thing charged, so you don’t end up lost even deeper in the winter backcountry. And just as importantly so you don’t have to pedal an even heavier e-MTB with a dead battery home in deep snow. No word on expected battery range, or how even colder temperatures will impact battery life…