The Ideal Commuter: Scott E-Sub Tour E-Bike: Recently, we were very fortunate at The Buzz to get our hands on Scott’s latest electric-assisted commuting bike: the E-Sub Tour. Watch the video above for a closer look and overview of the bike.
First things first – what is an e-bike?
Before we delve into the Scott E-Sub Tour – let’s briefly look at what an e-bike is. E-bike stands for electric bike. It has an electric motor and battery pack built into the frame that helps with propulsion. The motor works with you as you pedal and most bikes allow you to choose the level of autonomy you wish to have whilst riding, to make it easier or harder to pedal. You can even switch the motor off entirely and have it function as a normal push bike.
What are the benefits?
In a nutshell: electric bikes help you cycle further with less effort. E-bikes are the fastest growing sector of the bicycling industry worldwide, with many people now turning to them as their personal transport solution. The possibilities are endless – instead of arriving to your destination tired, sweaty and in need of a shower, you can arrive feeling clean and refreshed. Using an e-bike still gives you a workout – it’s just easier!
What are the rules/laws around e-bikes?
Since 2012, Australian laws match those in Europe. This allows a maximum motor size of 250 Watts (previously it was 200w). The law states that bikes with 250w are limited to a top speed of 25km/h and require the rider to access the power by pedaling (vs. using a throttle). From this, these bikes are classified as ‘pedelecs’. This doesn’t mean that you can’t go above 25km/h on a pedelec – it is just the maximum speed the bike will assist you to travel. We were able to hit a max speed of 70km/h on the Scott E-Sub Tour going downhill and 27km/h pedalling around the carpark with the Turbo-assisted mode!
If you’re riding on the road on an e-bike you’re considered a cyclist and must follow all applicable road rules and laws. You do not need a license or any form of registration to ride a ‘pedelec e-bike’ in Australia.
What about servicing and maintenance?
A high-quality e-bike should not require any more maintenance than your traditional push bike. Treat it right and service it regularly according to how often you use it. The two differing components of an e-bike, the battery and motor, are sealed units and not serviceable. If there are any issues with your battery/motor is should be replaced under warranty with the manufacturer vs. repaired.
The Battery and Motor
You will need to regularly charge the battery unit. The Scott E-Sub Tour uses a 36 Volt Bosch battery that is easy to remove (with a provided key) and can be fully charged in 3 hours – either on or off the bike. A full charge can get you up to 160kms in range, depending on your terrain and your wattage output/assistance mode.
The Display and Switch Assist
You can keep track of your battery status via the Display and Switch Assist, which sits on the handlebars. It acts as the control panel to your e-bike, allowing you to switch between assistance modes and showing you your conventional bicycle computer features such as distance traveled, speed, riding time etc.
Unique to the E-Sub Tour is an integrated front and rear light, rechargeable and using power from the engine. A simple click of the light button on your Display and Switch Assist turns the lights on or off. The lights aren’t going to light up the road on a dark night, but they’ll give you the visibility you need to be safely seen by cars and other road users.
The E-Sub Tour comes with four levels of assistance. They are controlled via the + or – buttons of the control unit on the handlebars. The four modes are:
- Eco: saves battery life and allows higher levels of autonomy
- Tour: for medium levels of autonomy
- Sport: for supported levels
- Turbo: for maximum engine support
Frame & Spec Details
The E-Sub Tour frame is made from aluminium and is kitted out with 10-Speed Shimano Deore derailleurs, shifters and brakes. It also comes with an in-built Abus frame and battery lock so that you’re protected on the go.
It comes in at a whopping weight of 24kg (the battery alone is 2.5kg!), but we barely noticed the weight or broke a sweat with the super powerful Bosch engine. It also has very comfortable front suspension forks – we tested them down a few gutters and were impressed with the performance, considering the bike’s weight.
The fenders, rack and sturdy kick stand are also a nice, well-thought touch – everything has been thought out with this bike to make your commute as ideal and easy as possible.
Overall, this bike feels more like you’re riding a moped than a push bike. It’s fun, it’s fast and it’ll get you from a to b super easily and in comfort. E-bikes are definitely the way of the future. We’re already starting to see more varieties of e-bikes expand into the market – in particular high-performance electronic mountain bikes. We can’t wait to see how they develop over the next few years.