Full Suspension E-Bikes: What You Need to Know
Looking for an electric bike that can tackle tough terrain and maintain high speeds during off-road adventures? Then you want to know a thing or two about suspension.
When it comes to electric mountain bikes, you’ll come across those with front wheel suspension, rear suspension, full suspension and more. Knowing the difference between these types of electric bikes and the difference they’ll make in your riding experience is important to make sure you get the best e-bike for your needs. Here, we break down the basics about electric bikes and suspension.
What is a Full-Suspension E-Bike?
In the most basic terms, a bike’s suspension is something that “suspends” you from feeling every little (or big!) bump in the road. It makes the ride smoother and more comfortable and is typically built into bikes made for off-road adventures, like mountain bikes.
Some e-bikes are designed with suspension only in the front (sometimes referred to as hardtail bikes). Others (though not many) have suspension only in the rear. Those with both front and rear suspension are referred to as full suspension electric bikes.
While it might seem like the more the suspension, the better, that’s not always the case. Which is best for you depends on who you are as well as how and where you want to ride.
How Much Suspension Do You Need?
If you’re planning on extremely extreme mountain rides over treacherous trails and plan to do lots of downhill racing, then you may want to consider a full suspension bike. They typically provide the most absorption and may improve handling in those circumstances.
The XC features a front suspension fork. That along with big, grippy, fat tires, tough shocks and a Shimano motor to flatten the rough stuff make for comfortable adventures. It can definitely handle tough mountain terrain with ease, but it’s also ready for adventures in sand, snow and over the speedbumps of your city streets. It’s not a full suspension e-bike, but it’s well equipped to take you places you never thought possible.
While suspension definitely affects your ride, there are so many other features that matter as well when it comes to finding the right high-quality e-bike experience for your needs.
If you’re looking for an off-road e-bike, you want to make sure you choose one that can power your adventures. The XC, for example, features a mid-drive 250-watt motor. It’s powered by a Shimano E8035 504WH integrated battery, which is weather-resistant, removable and lockable. That battery can take you up to 50 miles on a single charge and will power your pedaling up to 20 mph.
It has three pedal-assist modes (eco, trail and boost, plus a walk-assist mode), so you can determine just how much extra power you want at any given time. It’s lightweight when it comes to electric mountain bikes too. The XC weighs in at just 55 pounds with the battery, making it easier to transport and maneuver than a lot of other heavier electric mountain bikes on the market.
The XC, like all of our bikes, also comes with an array of standard features to make riding easier and more enjoyable. They’re not fancy bells and whistles that needlessly jack up the cost of the bikes. Rather, they’re practical, high-quality features that make all the difference when it comes to your riding experience. They’re included at no extra cost, so you don’t have to pick and choose between them. They include things like:
A high-quality, aluminum frame that’s lightweight, but built to last and ready to ride in any weather.
Locking, removable battery that gives you up to 50 miles on a single charge and can easily be recharged on or off the bike.
Folding handlebar and pedals that open and close in seconds—meaning you need less space to store or transport your bike.
Comfortable seats and grips, so you can get there and back with ease.
Automatic tire pressure sensors that take out the guesswork and show red when you need air, or green if you’re good to go.
High-powered, integrated front and rear lights and reflective tire walls that ensure you can see and be seen, day or night.
A sturdy rear rack that makes it easy to attach baskets, crates, or bins for all your daily essentials.
In other words, we’ve thought of everything.
Our goal is to move you, in every possible way, and we think these features add to the best overall experience for our riders.
The downside to full suspension bikes, however, is they’re typically heavier and more expensive than bikes with suspension in just the front or the back. And for all but the most extreme routes, most people don’t need (and probably don’t want) a full suspension bike.
At Charge we make three different e-bikes. The City is our electric hybrid bike made for urban life and commuting. The Comfort is our everyday electric cruiser bike that makes it a pleasure to get around. It’s The XC, our rugged electric off-road bike, that’s built with suspension for a smooth ride.
The Bottom Line on E-bike Suspension
Like we said, if you’re looking for a high-quality electric mountain bike, you definitely want to pay attention to the type of suspension various bikes have. If you’re planning to cover rough terrain and like to travel at high speeds, it matters. Just remember, more suspension doesn’t always make for a better ride. It’s the overall bike and its features as a whole you must evaluate to get the best ride for your needs.
Want to see the difference for yourself? Take a test ride. There’s no commitment, and with a growing network of dealers and test-ride centers across the country, there’s probably a convenient one near you where you can take one for a spin. Let us move you.
Behind the Motor
Electric bike motors are powered by batteries rather than gasoline or another fuel. At Charge, our bikes feature weatherproof, removable batteries that can be locked into place on your bike when they’re not charging. Our Comfort and City bikes feature 418WH Lithium ion batteries, while the XC boasts a Shimano E8035 504WH integrated battery.
The time it takes to charge the battery depends on how much power is left. The City and Comfort bikes each take about 3 hours to reach 80 percent capacity and 7 hours to fully recharge. The Charge XC reaches 80 percent capacity in about 2.5 hours and requires approximately 5 hours for a full charge.
How far can you go after charging the battery? It depends, as things like a rider’s weight, how much pedal assist you use and the terrain you’re covering can affect the battery life. In general though, Charge bikes are good to go for about 50 miles after a single charge. That’s some significant ground you can cover.
And you don’t have to worry about running out of power mid-ride either, as a display on the handlebar makes it clear just how much further you can go before you need to recharge the battery again.
Do electric bikes go as fast as a car or motorcycle? Nope. Our e-bikes go up to 20 miles per hour with pedal assist. You can pedal harder to go faster if you want, but in general, you’re looking at about 20mph.
Are you going to win any races? Probably not, but that’s fast enough to get where you’re going at a decent clip, and getting there will be easy and enjoyable.
Speaking of easy, getting your bike and getting it on the road is as simple as can be. We ship it to you free in 100 percent recyclable packing materials nearly fully assembled (i.e. not in hundreds of parts). Finishing up the assembly takes just about 10 minutes, and you’re good to head out to the road and go
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