Audi Electric Mountain Bike: One minute review
The clue is in the name, as the Audi Electric Mountain Bike powered by Fantic (to give it its full title) is just one of the Italian marque’s XEF Enduro bikes with a little Audi attitude applied to it.
Anyone expecting motors developed by the German automaker, or quattro all-wheel-drive technology, will be a little bit disappointed. However, if you like the idea of a dream spec downhill eBike that looks fantastic when attached to one of Audi’s electric vehicles, this is the only bike to have.
It offers the rider a potent Brose S-Mag 250W electric hub motor that offers several rider assist modes. This is all neatly wrapped inside a chunky aluminum frame, with SRAM GX and NX Eagle components and gearing.
Stopping power is taken care of by IN.CA.S disk brakes, which are massive to help bring the action safely to a halt. In addition to this, shock absorption is left to Swedish experts Ohlins, which provides both the front fork (complete with 180mm of travel) and the TTX 22M shock at the rear.
It’s a serious package for riders looking to tackle some serious terrain and although we found the entire set-up to be arguably too heavy, the 720Wh lithium-ion battery pack copes with the mass well and offers a solid all-electric range. As for the Audi branding, it looks a bit like an afterthought in a few places, even though it is influenced by the RS Q e-tron E2 Dakar Rally car. But it will undoubtedly go down well with fans of the brand.
Audi Electric Mountain Bike: Specifications
Audi Electric Mountain Bike: Price and availability
Only available in UK and Europe
Heavily discounted to £5,990
The Audi Electric Mountain Bike was released in the Spring of 2023 and went on sale via the company’s official online accessories store soon after. Originally, it cost £8,499 in the UK, which is the equivalent of around $10,500 or nearly AUS$16,000, although it didn’t officially go on sale in those territories.
That said, the bike was claimed to be a limited run, but it is already heavily discounted on the UK site, with large frame models available to buy for £5,990, which feels like a bit of a bargain to us considering the components on offer.
Value score: 3.5/5
Audi Electric Mountain Bike: Design
Very well constructed, like other Fantic bikes
Heavy at 24 kgs
Excellent component choices
As previously mentioned, Fantic doesn’t really mess around when it comes to making hardy electrified mountain bikes, and its current range comprises everything from Trail to Mountain, Enduro to Downhill and even classic hardtail models.
In this instance, the Audi e-bike’s frame is fashioned from toughened aluminium, with some very obvious and robust welding in key, high-stress areas. The rearmost triangle is made from carbon fiber to help keep some of the weight down, but this is still a chunky machine. Neither Fantic nor Audi reveal the official weight, but we’d say it’s easily in excess of 24kg after hauling it from a rear-mounted bike rack a number of times.
Further robustness is added by Vittoria off-road tyres and ultra-wide handlebars, which in this case were provided by FSA, although official specification says it should be Renthal’s Fatbar offering. There’s also the ubiquitous dropper seat post for ditching the saddle quickly during punishing downhill descents.
Audi has removed all Fantic branding and has instead added its own grey, silver and red livery, which is apparently inspired by its current electric Dakar Rally car. There is red and black hatching on the battery pack, bold e-tron lettering, Audi Sport stickers on the cranks and the Four Ring logo on the front of the headstock. There is certainly no mistaking this is an Audi product.
That said, some of the stickering feels like a bit of an afterthought, with the red and black hatching on the rims reminding us of the cheap rim tape boy racers add to their sports bikes, while the “Future is an Attitude” logo on the chainstays makes little sense.
Design score: 4/5
Audi Electric Mountain Bike: Performance
Superb off-road handling
Great power delivery
UK road legal, so only 15.5mph-speed assistance
As is the way with most e-bikes on sale today, the electric motor offered here only provides assistance at speeds of up to 15.5mph: anything more than that and the electric motor cuts its power.
That said, this isn’t a bike designed for speeding around town, instead the 90Nm of torque offered up by the system is more than enough to ease riders up the toughest uphill sections so they can spend more time doing the fun stuff… namely careering downhill and trying not to hit a tree.
Four assistance modes allow the rider to tailor the power delivery and these are easily accessed via a small colour screen computer mounted to the bars. This also gives a readout of remaining battery levels, current speed and distance travelled.
Power delivery is based on the amount of torque being pushed through the cranks and the rider’s cadence. In Eco and Tour modes, the electric system will offer minimal assistance in an effort to eke the most from the battery pack - which can be removed or charged on the bike. Sport and Boost seemed to unleash full power, with the latter enough to have the rear wheel spinning on loose surfaces.
The wide bars, slack headtube angle and long, low chassis are all classic hallmarks of a downhill/endurance bike and the Audi offering is perfectly at home being thrown down steep trails. It’s also easy to ride over distance, but we wouldn’t say this is right for touring… it’s too heavy and clearly designed for adrenaline junkies.
“The Audi electric mountain bike in cooperation with Fantic is another fantastic example of how we can expand our mobility offering to customers that extends beyond the award-winning models they drive,” Andrew Doyle, Director Audi UK said.
It’s a strange sentiment, considering this is most definitely not a commuter bike, while we feel Audi has probably alienated a bunch of potential customers by opting for one of Fantic’s more focused off-road machines.
But we’re not complaining, as it proved an extremely fun way to tear up a few local trails and send down a number of root-laden descents. It’s certainly capable and at the discounted price we previously mentioned, it’s a lot of bike for the money.
Performance score: 4/5
Audi Electric Mountain Bike: Scorecard
Audi Electric Mountain Bike: Should I buy?
Buy it if...
Don't buy it if...
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