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Tested: the Rapcon Pmax | A mountain biker reviewed the E-MTB

Jörg Bilger, a seasoned mountain biker and member of the assembly staff at Simplon, tested the Rapcon Pmax E-MTB for an entire weekend. Read what he says about it! 

The Rapcon Pmax E-MTB tested by a mountain biker

Jörg Bilger, member of the assembly staff at Simplon, shares his impressions. 

Not too long ago, I had the opportunity to try the brand-new Simplon Rapcon Pmax for an entire weekend – on Hard’s landmark mountain at Lake Constance. I’m actually a “mountain biker without E” at heart, and now I’m happy to share my impressions of this bike with you. 

The excitement is on the rise … 

It’s been a while since I last sat on an e-mountain bike. It’s not that I’m categorically against using them but I just don’t happen to ride one very often. The Rapcon Pmax , however, had captured my interest the moment I first saw it. The bike just looks like it’s a heaping load of fun to ride! 

And I‘m testing it in my favourite version: as a mullet (with 29’’ front wheel and a wide 650-b rear wheel) and with RockShox suspension elements in the front and in the rear. Trying the new RockShox Lyrik on the nearby trails only adds to the excitement of putting the bike to the test on the weekend. 

 
The latest Bosch CX drive unit on the Rapcon Pmax really lives up to all expectations.
-Jörg B.-

The first tour in Hard starts … 

On my first tour, two colleagues on “regular” mountain bikes accompany me. The ride along the lake is a breeze – even beyond its electrical support, the E-MTB rolls super smoothly. The latest Bosch CX drive unit on the Rapcon Pmax really lives up to all expectations.  

However, climbs are the E-MTB’s true speciality. Out of consideration for my rider friends, I opt for the slower eco-mode requiring only very gentle pressure on the pedals. And I’m just hoping that’s not tiring out my companions too much … 

 

Full speed ahead – finally! 

On a trail passage covered in roots, I take the liberty to really go full speed ahead. Turbo-mode on, and let’s rock’n’roll! It’s amazing how much flow is in this challenging technical trail all of a sudden. Approaching a particularly gnarly root which I usually tackle at a snail’s pace and in first gear, I now even have to briefly pull the brakes.  This much speed going uphill is simply very unusual. 

Thanks to the “business in the front – party in the back” wheels, the brilliant suspension setup and its well-balanced geometry, it would have probably been possible to go even faster. A wide grin on my face and moderately out of breath, I turn around after 50 meters of elevation gain and join my buddies again.  

 

Across the full-speed root passage with ease 

Starting at the highest point, we head back down the mountain on the usual steep and narrow trails. We’ve picked a full-speed root passage for that. The exceptionally muddy trails today make riding the Simplon Rapcon Pmax even more fun.  The only time I notice being on a slightly heavier bike is when I hop over a fallen tree trunk. 19 years ago, my first freeride bike probably wasn’t that much lighter – at an impressive travel of 100 mm in the front and in the rear … How spoiled we are by now! 

Approaching a particularly gnarly root which I usually tackle at a snail’s pace and in first gear, I now even have to briefly pull the brakes.
-Jörg B.-

“Turbo-mode on” during the second tour 

For the next tour, I have a friend join me who just bought his first E-MTB. Having hardly any MTB experience, he wants to dabble in riding on rough terrain for the first time. What stands out on this ride is that I get to use turbo-mode all the way through. While my friend stays on the forest road, I venture out onto trail shortcuts. It’s incredibly fun to test these in the other direction with plenty of speed for once! 

Downhill, we’re taking bumpy and relatively wide trails – appropriate for beginners. The Simplon Rapcon Pmax is hopelessly underwhelmed by those, of course. But there are still many opportunities to take off like a rocket … 

 

The verdict 

The Simplon Rapcon Pmax is immensely fun to ride – including electrical support. I’m still not going to switch over to it from my Rapcon 160 just yet. The unmotorised bike just fits my current riding style and tours better – and also, the groups I’m riding with. So … nothing’s changed? Not quite! 

Right after this weekend, I tried a 29’’ front wheel on my Simplon Rapcon 160 and deemed it fantastic. Hence, I’m converting my “organic” MTB into a mullet bike as well. 

And I’m certainly going to take advantage of the opportunity to borrow the Rapcon Pmax for an evening or a weekend once in a while. I would definitely recommend trying an E-MTB – even if you’re more of an “organic rider”.  

You’d like to find out more about the Rapcon Pmax? Check out the latest test reviews or dive right in and configurate your preferred E-MTB!

-Jörg B.-

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