Propain has announced the Ekano 2 AL e-Freeride bike, the very first Propain eBike to sport the dual-link PRO10 linkage implemented across the brand’s trail and enduro offerings. It is a dedicated mixed-wheel affair, with 170mm of rear wheel travel fronted by a 180mm fork, though it can also take 190mm for anyone feeling extra.
The 85Nm Shimano EP801 motor is the supplemental driving force behind this aluminum eMTB, paired with a removable 626 Wh battery from Darfon. With pricing starting at $5,889 USD, a closer look is absolutely warranted.
Propain Ekano 2 AL
The Propain Ekano 2 AL delivers its 170mm of rear wheel travel through the German brand’s PRO10 linkage, wherein the swingarm is coupled to the front triangle via two counter-rotating links, and the shock is compressed from both ends simultaneously. The new layout is said to result in a much lower center of gravity as compared to the 165mm travel Ekano 1 and, unsurprisingly, we are told this delivers a kinematic and ride feel that is more closely matched to that of the Spindrift – Propain’s freeride bike.
- Intention: E-Freeride
- Fork Travel: 180/190mm
- Rear Wheel Travel: 170mm
- Shock: 205mm x 60mm Trunnion
- Wheel Size: MX Only
- Motor: Shimano EP801/EP6
- Battery: 626 Wh
- Sizing: S-XL
- Claimed Weight: 24 kg – Goldrush in Medium
- Starting Price: $5,889 USD with EP801 / £4,994 and 4,994 € in UK & Europe with EP6
The Ekano AL 2 is a “Blend” aluminum frame; the tubes themselves are 6066-T6 aluminum, while the links and axles are made from 7075-T6 aluminum. Then, the milled and forged parts of the frame are 6061-T6.
Cable routing is internal, entering the frame via the headset. As we’ve seen previously on the 2023 Tyee Enduro Bike, a Sixpack stem is used here to guide cables through the top spacer via a pinch-through seal underneath the stem. The upper headset bearing gets an extra seal to help keep grime out. Cables exit the frame again near the lower link, before entering the swingarm.
The frame gets a set of bosses on the downtube for a water bottle, and another set underneath the top tube for accessory mounting. The drive-side chainstay and seat stay both benefit from soft rubber protectors with air-filled nubs said to keep chain slap noise to a minimum. Finally, the swingarm gets a SRAM UDH dropout presenting that all-important hanger-less interface for compatibility with SRAM Transmission.
We are told the lightest possible custom build of the Ekano 2 AL in a size small is 23.5 kg.
The Propain Ekano 2 AL eBike runs a dedicated mixed-wheel setup, in contrast to the Ekano 1 that can switch between 29″, 27.5″ and MX configurations. With the stock 180mm fork, the head angle sits at 64° with the seat tube angle at an effective 78°, consistent across the S-XL range. Chainstay length is also consistent at 445mm.
The Ekano AL 2 gets a shorter seat tube than the Ekano 1; that’s 430mm on the medium. Reach on the other hand grows considerably, stretching to 455mm. Another point of note would be the stack height; it’s pretty tall across all the sizes, at 648mm in medium. Propain say the tall ride height was necessary to “achieve ideal handling despite the extra weight of the motor and battery”.
Propain’s aim was to deliver a Spindrift-like ride feel for the Ekano 2 AL. They reckon they’ve achieved that by implementing the PRO10 linkage and the favorable weight distribution that comes with it. Over its 170mm of rear wheel travel, leverage begins at a ratio slightly north of 3, finishing up at around 2.15. The Ekano 2 AL is offered with both coil and air shocks with dimensions of 205mm x 60mm – Trunnion.
Around the sag point, anti-squat sits at 119% in the easiest climbing gear. This suggests that, rather than getting sucked into its travel, the shock will have a tendency to extend under pedal-induced accelerations.
The Propain Ekano 2 AL gets the latest Shimano EP801 motor, with a maximum torque of 85 Nm and a peak power output of 600 Watts. It is powered by a 626 Wh Darfon battery, which can be charged both on or off the bike. It can be accessed via a window on the downtube.
Pricing & Availability
Propain offer a full customization programme on their website, with builds starting at $5,294 in the US with the EP801 motor, and €/£4,994 with the EP6 in Europe. There are also three stock models of the Propain Ekano 2 AL; all are appropriately spec’d with a 12-speed drivetrain, dropper seat post and 4-piston brakes with a 220mm rotor on the front and a 203/200mm rotor on the rear. That said, there is clearance for a 220mm rotor on the rear.
As with all of Propain’s aluminum frames, the Ekano 2 AL is sold with a three year warranty.
Price2Ride – $5,889 USD / 5,889 € / £4,994
Propain’s most affordable Ekano 2 AL is the Price2Ride build. It gets the Shimano EP801 motor without the display, a SRAM GX Eagle 12 Speed drivetrain and Formula Cura 4 brakes. Suspension is taken care of by a RockShox ZEB Select+ Fork and a RockShox Super Deluxe Select Coil shock, and the bike rolls on a Newmen EVO EG 30 wheelset with a Schwalbe Magic Mary/Big Betty pairing.
Shred2 – $7,579 USD / 7,579 € / £7,579
The mid-range Ekano 2 AL actually gets the display to go with its EP801 drive unit. This one gets the latest SRAM GX Eagle Transmission AXS, SRAM Code RSC brakes and the RockShox Reverb AXS dropper. A 190mm travel RockShox ZEB Ultimate fork is paired with the Super Deluxe Ultimate RCT air shock. A Newmen EVO EG 30 wheelset is married to a Schwalbe Magic Mary/Big Betty pairing. The SQlab 60X Infinergy saddle is a nice addition.
Goldrush – $8,999 USD / 8,999 € / £8,999
The most expensive offering of the Ekano 2 AL is the Goldrush build. It benefits from a Fox 38 Factory fork, the DHX2 coil shock, Magura MT7 brakes and the SRAM XO Eagle Transmission AXS drivetrain. This time, the eBike rolls on a Crankbrothers Synthesis Carbon wheelset with a Maxxis Minion DHRII in the DoubleDown casing, and a Maxxis Assegai of the MaxxGrip variety. Other highlights include a Fox Factory Transfer dropper topped with an SQlab 60X Infinergy saddle.
All builds are available to order now, with delivery expected in 5 weeks’ time.