[GASGAS]

GASGAS E-MTB: 5 STANDOUTS

2 months ago | Words: Jarrad Duffy | Photos: Wilko Photo / Flightcraft

We aren’t going to sit here and tell you that you should trade-in your beloved moto for a pushbike. That would be insane! But if you’re like us, you’d be lying if you haven’t thought how easy it would be to sneak in a midweek ride (or two) if you were to leave the moto at home and throw an e-MTB in the ute instead. The idea is especially tempting now that there’s more and more MTB trails popping up over the place, and fewer and fewer easily accessible moto tracks and forests – particularly if you live in suburbia! So, if you’ve got the means to ride both moto and e-MTBs, why not? That’s what we reckon, anyway.

Aside from some obvious fitness benefits, e-mountain biking can actually feel somewhat similar to dodging trees on a moto trailride, or like flying high at the moto track. At the end of the day, both sports are on two wheels, right?!

After hearing rumours for a few years now that GASGAS were producing their first e-MTB to hit Aussie shores, we were excited to see what they were all about. And we recently got the opportunity to spin the wheels of this spicy red GASGAS e-MTB that they call the “ECA3” at the Australian GASGAS media launch. Which just happened to be at the incredible Victorian property that GASGAS Pro rider, Daniel Sanders, grew up on.

WHAT PARTS DOES THE GASGAS ECA3 FEATURE?

If you are familiar with the way MTBs are configured, this won’t be anything new to you. But just in case you are all new to the game, here’s a quick rundown. Most MTB brands (GASGAS included) make the frame and a handful of selected parts on each bike. The rest of the parts – like suspension, motor, wheels, bars, brakes, drive chain, seat post, seat and tyres – are all sourced from other component-specific brands in the industry like … brands such as Fox, Schwalbe, Scram, etcetera.

Here’s a breakdown of the parts fitted to the GASGAS ECA3:

  • Frame: 29″, Alloy 6061. Available in 4x sizes: S, M, L, XL
  • Fork: FOX Float 38 Factory, Grip 2, E-Optimized, Air, 170mm, tapered
  • Shock: FOX Float X Factory, Air, 230x65mm
  • Motor: Yamaha PW-X3, 250W, 85Nm
  • Battery: Simplo, 72Wh, 36V
  • Charger: Simplo rapid charger, 4 A
  • Mode Switch: Yamaha X
  • Display: Yamaha Interface X, LED-Display, ANT, Bluetooth
  • Brakes: SRAM Code R, 4-piston, Hydraulic disc brakes
  • Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle, 12-Speed
  • Cranks: GASGAS EC40, Aluminium forged, ISIS
  • Wheelset: NEWMEN Evolution A.30
  • Front Tyre: Schwalbe Magic Mary, Evolution, 62-622, 29×2.4
  • Rear Tyre: Schwalbe Hans Dampf, Evolution, 60-622, 29×2.35
  • Handlebar: GASGAS Riser 35mm, 780mm, Sweep: 9°, Rise: 20mm
  • Grips: GASGAS MTB, Lock-on grips
  • Seat: GASGAS MTB
  • Seat Post: GASGAS, 34.9mm, Dropper post

After an afternoon aboard the GASGAS ECA3, here’s what stood out for us:

1. CONFIDENCE-INSPIRING RIDE

Being a moto head, I’ve always found an acoustic (non-electric) MTB twitchy and nervous to ride when compared to a moto. They might be light and easy to get off the ground, but I’ve always felt like the front-end could tuck in a blink of an eye and I’d be tits-up in the dirt before I knew what happened. But I didn’t get this feeling when riding a GASGAS e-MTB. The big burly 170mm forks combined with a slack (64º) steering head angle made for a stable and planted ride – both down rocky descents and jumping down a flow trail. It might have been exaggerated by a fun riding crew, but this was the most comfortable and confident I’ve ever felt riding an e-MTB (or MTB, for that matter). And it was the closest feeling to riding a moto I’ve ever felt from another sport.

2. POWERFUL BUT SMOOTH MOTOR

Some of the hills we rode up that afternoon were so steep, I normally wouldn’t have even attempted to push my bike up, let alone ride up. But to my surprise, cranking the Yamaha PW-X3 into its most powerful mode and shifting into granny gear was enough to have me peddling up these monster Victorian hills (only Daniel Sanders would be crazy enough to cut in with a dozer) with not that much effort. I was pleasantly surprised how well the bike pulled me up the hills, run after run – all while being pretty economical on battery consumption. This saved my energy drastically for way, way more downhill flow trail runs than I would normally do on a non-electric MTB. And that for me is one of the coolest things about an e-MTB; it’s like having a ute shuttle you to the top, without all the hassle of organising a driver or missing out on runs with your mates because it’s your turn to drive.

3. HOW FINE-TUNED THE PEDAL-ASSIST FELT

Having five different power modes (and 12 gears) to switch between made the bike capable of anything we threw at it. Whether we were climbing up rocky alpine singletrail, around tight switchbacks, then up and over boulders, or getting pedals in between jumps on the downhill flow trail, the motor would deliver the power assistance you were looking for. Sure, it takes a bit to get the handle of what power mode suits each situation, but once you do, it delivers power to the wheels in a very controlled and non-intrusive way that minimises wheelspin. And in the case of this Yamaha PW-X3 motor, it’s controlled through a very nicely designed and responsive power switch that sits up against your left handlebar grip – similar to the way a map switch does on your moto.

4. BANG FOR YOUR BUCK

Everyone loves getting bang for your buck. It’s great to see GASGAS bring out this premium e-MTB into the Aussie market at a competitive price. Especially when compared to similar bikes with comparable componentry from big brands like Specialised, Yeti, Santa Cruz or Trek, the Gasser is equal to or better than in terms of bang for your buck. So, if you are in the market, adding a GASGAS to your shed might be the best option price-wise.

5. SPICY LOOKS

I could be biased, but there’s just something really cool about the red, black and gold colour combo this bike is sporting. So many e-MTBs come out in weird and wacky colours, so to see a bike in fiery GASGAS red, it makes me want to ride it more. This bike is built with some premium parts that not only contribute to a great-looking eMTB, but will also help the bike stand the test of time. This ECA3 has a really nice fit and finish; exactly what you would expect from the Austrian powerhouse that is GASGAS.

If you want to learn more about the GASGAS ECA3, and where you can see one in the flesh yourself, click here.

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