After a year of staying local many of us are craving the opportunity to get off the beaten track, travel a little further and expand our horizons. There’s even a lot of enthusiasm for a return to the office after 12 long months in which people have found themselves, living, working and sleeping within the same four walls. However, there’s much less excitement at the prospect of jumping back on to overcrowded public transport.
It’s a situation that E-Trends believes it can solve with the launch of the Trekker, an entry-level electric mountain bike designed with flexibility in mind. Equipped with a 250W Motor, chunky Kenda tires and double-wall aluminium alloy rims, it’s well-equipped for all terrains and situations. Whether that be riding to work without breaking sweat or taking it off-road to tackle muddy trails and rough terrain.
E-Trends Trekker price, competition and design
The Trekker retails for around £1,199, which puts it in direct competition with the likes of the Decathlon Rockrider and Halfords Carrera Vengeance. There are definitely some trade-offs in performance at this price bracket but there’s also value to be had for those seeking the assistance of an electric motor without breaking the bank.
At first glance, the Trekker’s smart-looking design belies the entry-level price. Competitor offerings tend to bolt a large battery directly on to the frame which ruins the sleek lines and aesthetics of the frame. Instead, E-Trends has cleverly incorporated the battery into the down tube. It’s certainly more pleasing to the eye and the casual observer may even mistake it for a traditional mountain bike.
The removable Lithium-Ion battery – about twice the size of that used to power your average laptop – is also well-thought through with regard to function as well as form. There’s even a simple lock to deter thieves from stealing the battery when the bike is left unoccupied. It’s a great option for those frequently needing to lock up their bike in a public place or who need the ability to recharge the battery far away from where the bike is commonly stored. And with a charging time of between four and five hours, starting each ride with a full battery is a breeze. The Trekker uses a proprietary charging inlet, where you’ll have to take its bulky power brick with you should you want to top up it up at work.
The electric display sits on the left handlebar. It’s fairly basic in appearance but is easy-to-use and presents the rider with all the information they need with a simple LCD screen and just four buttons. It clearly shows the current power from the motor, remaining battery, level of assistance, speed and distance covered at the same time without the hassle of having to switch across different screens.
Elsewhere, you’ve got a built-in kickstand that can be removed if you’re going to traverse challenging mountainous terrain, and its flat pedals can be exchanged for clipless ones. As for the saddle, we were impressed by the level of height adjustment on offer and the seat comfort isn’t bad either for regular commutes.
On a more negative note, we find it strange E-Trends has decided to omit mounts for a bottle cage on the down tube, which means it’s not easy to strap a water bottle to the bike. Indeed, in many e-bikes it’s impossible to attach one to the frame due to the space taken up by the bottle itself. On the Trekker, it feels like a missed opportunity as the integrated battery design leaves ample space.
E-Trends Trekker performance
There is a noticeable delay between starting to pedal and the motor kicking in but once off and moving the Trekker is a joy to ride. With minimal effort it is possible to roll along at a good pace on any terrain, even on hilly routes. For example, we were able to ride up 10% gradients with relative ease while almost not applying any pressure to the knees.
As for the gears, the Trekker comes fitted with a seven-speed Shimano set that’s complemented with a Rove shifter and derailleur. Given it’s an e-bike there’s only a singular front chainring. Shifting through the rear sprocket is seamless and is achieved via a grip shifter found on the right-hand side. A small display indicates which gear you’re in. Should you gain substantial speed, the front and rear disc brakes will provide an ample amount of stopping power.
The suspension, while present on the front fork, is a little too spongy for our liking. It also cannot be locked in place nor adjusted. One might expect this in a premium mountain bike.
The real problem comes when having to get the bike moving on hilly ground from a standing start. It’s here that the delayed responsiveness of the motor really niggles. For example, after stopping at a traffic light the Trekker requires you to make the first few pedal strokes unaided before being rewarded with assistance. Once it kicks in it is much appreciated but for what is a heavy bike, it’s disappointing not to have the additional support when it’s needed the most.
In terms of battery life, the Trekker is advertised as having a range of “up to 30 miles” which is at the lower end of the spectrum for similar-priced e-Mountain bikes. It should be noted however that in real-world usage we were able to get far better battery range. During test rides we were able to cover just over 40 miles on full-assist mode. It’s pleasing to see a manufacturer offering a realistic, perhaps even conservative, assessment of the e-bike’s range.
E-Trends Trekker verdict
E-Trends describes the Trekker as an electric mountain bike that’s equally suitable for off-road exploration and for weekday commutes. After significant time with the Trekker, we can confirm it’s a lot of fun to ride both on and off-road. However, that delayed response from the motor, unfortunately, prevents it from getting our wholehearted endorsement.
If you don’t plan to ride beyond the advertised range and are looking for a general-purpose bike that can cover all these bases then the Trekker is well worth your consideration. However, those looking for an e-bike solely for mountain biking or primarily for commuting would be better off exploring other options.
For those not planning to go off-road E-Trends’ Fly e-bike may be a better option. Especially if the main purpose of the bike is simply to pop to the shops or to get to and from work. It matches the Trekker for range and power, is £500 cheaper and comes with useful additional features such as in-built lights, retaining its status as the standout-out option in the e-Trends range.
E-Trends Trekker specs
- Adjustable leather saddle
- 7-speed Shimano gears with R:7S Rove shifter and derailleur
- Disc brakes
- 17.7-inch aluminium alloy frame with steel forks
- 27.5-inch wheels with double-wall aluminium alloy rims
- Size: 178cm x 60cm x 108cm / 70″ x 24″ x 43.5″
- Weight: 22 kg / 49 lbs
- 36V*7.5AH Lithium ion removable/lockable battery
- Recharge time of 4-5 hours
- 250W motor
- 3 Pedal power-assist modes and 6km/h pushing mode
- LED battery display
- Range of 30 miles (dependent on terrain, style of riding, weight carried and level of assist)
- Assistance provided up to 15.5 mph / 25 km/h
- Battery warranty: 2 Years / 700 charges (battery must be fully charged at least once a month).