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Getting fit the cheap and easy way with an electric mountain bike that won’t send you broke! We test the EUNORAU UHVO.

ADB’s resident health guru, Stephen Gall, has been badgering me for years about working on my fitness. I often find myself sore and exhausted after a two-day ride or after the first three laps on a rough track. Even when shooting and practicing for the last How To Ride series on riding deep sand, I found myself gassed after just two laps. Gally tells me time and time again, get fit, that will solve your problem!

Lifting weights at a gym just isn’t my thing. I don’t mind running but three knee reconstructions means I can’t put too much pressure on my joints. Swimming I find boring and road cycling is too dangerous in the leafy Sydney suburbs. I’ve always wanted to get into mountain biking but could never justify the cost of a decent mountain bike. Runners and swimming goggles are a lot cheaper.

There was also the skill and fitness base of which I would be coming off for mountain bike riding. Having pretty much never done it before, my base is right at the bottom. I have some awesome trails nearby that range from pro to punter and all require a decent climb to the top.

If I thought regular dual suspension mountain bikes were expensive, boy was I shocked when I costed up a decent electric one. There wasn’t much change out of five grand from a reputable brand so I just accepted that I will always be sore and tired after a dirtbike ride.

Then, one day while browsing the interwebs I came across EUNORAU. They are an electric mountain bike manufacturer out of China. At, first I was sceptical as I’ve ridden Chinese dirtbikes and have always felt they were better suited to beginners or people who were getting into the sport. I scrolled past the article before realising, I’m that person in the electric mountain bike world! I watched a promotional video and after checking the price I was hooked!


AT $1899 for a dual suspension, electric mountain bike with some recognisable brands like Shimano on it I bit the bullet on the UHVO. EUNORAU stands for Europe, North America and Australia, the three markets this company want to assert themselves in. The UHVO is their base dual suspension mountain bike. In fact, it’s actually one of their cheapest bikes regardless of the intended purpose.

EUNORAU are an online store so when I placed my order I had to wait for it to turn up in the mail. A few days later it came pretty much preassembled. I just had to attach the front wheel, handlebar, seat and a few other bits and pieces and I was rollin’!

I was a little nervous that the build quality would be rubbish but to my surprise the welds and matte red finish were quality. It feels slightly heavy but at 26kg it’s only about two kilograms heavier than the Scott equivalent. Being a rear hub drive motor the weight is rear-end biased which isn’t great for downhill (a mid-drive would be better, I think) but I’m a beginner in this sport so I don’t need the best. The frame is made from 6061 aluminium and the rims are alloy too. All the other brands I researched had the same alloy frame so that gave me confidence it wasn’t going to snap in half on the first jump.

It runs a 250W, 36-volt motor which is pretty small but technically the only size you can legally pedal on the road in most states of Australia. At a max speed of 25km/h you’re not going to stand any hairs up on your neck but I’ve clocked 50km/h going downhill according to the unbranded LCD display. It says the motor has a range of 48 kilometres but I’ve already gone well-beyond that. That measurement is if you’re just holding the thumb throttle pinned the entire time.

You can recharge the battery without removing it and it takes a couple of hours to go from about 30 per cent to full. You can select from five different pedal assist modes with one being the least invasive to five, which cuts in much faster than you can pedal it. It runs Kenda tyres which are nice and fat, perfect for fire trails, and Promax disc brakes which are okay but didn’t quite pull me up as quick as I’d like. It means I have to be a little more planned with my braking. Oh and being an American model the brakes were on the wrong side of the handlebar! Boy did that scare me when I first had to stop.

It runs a Shimano seven-speed gear shift system and freewheel. This is good news as Shimano do awesome stuff and are the only mountain bike brand I really know. It has 27.5-inch wheels too so it is a full sized bike but the shape lends itself more to adventure riding than downhill mountain biking.

The only area that caused me some concern was the suspension. The fork is a ZOOM SAMS with 100mm of travel and the shock is a KS-A5 with 165mm of travel. Now, like I said, I’m no mountain bike expert but I’ve heard of brands like Suntour, Marzocchi and Fox so when I’d never heard of ZOOM or KS-A5 I had to Google them.

ZOOM have been around since 1995 making forks and their website seemed okay so I felt a little more confident. The KS-A5 shock was a little harder to get information on but based on the spec and reputation of the other gear on the bike and the fact it could take 170kg, I figured it must be decent.


Like all things coming out of China, build quality can be hit or miss. Well I’ve had this bike for four months now and ridden every week and nothing has broken (except the left lever when I crashed).

The shock linkage looks a little like it has been carved out of stone with a chisel but it is still in one piece and the stressed points of the frame have no cracks. The fork hasn’t leaked and the seals are all still in place. It selects gears fine and the wiring while filthy, muddy and wet has not shorted out or caused me any issues.

Battery life is still as long as the day I got it, I can ride for at least two hours and not even use a quarter of the battery. Even the brake pads still have plenty of life left in them.

After sending the UHVO down some pretty wild terrain, one thing is apparent. This particular model isn’t exactly a hardcore downhill mountain bike. It is better suited to trailriding or adventure riding which given my skillset, is better. The last thing I need is a bike that can ride much better than me, that will most likely result in my ending up in hospital.

In fact, I get more of a workout trailriding now than I did riding it downhill. The reasons that it feels more trail than downhill are the soft grips, soft suspension, frame shape and ride position. It doesn’t have an attack position with the flat handlebar and flat top frame rail.

The 250W motor is perfect for getting fit too as it still requires some leg work. A 500w-1000w motor would be overkill and the fitness benefits moot. Being able to adjust the pedal assistance has been great too as I can increase it or decrease it as I fatigue. The big fat tyres are great for riding over golf-ball sized rocks and I haven’t dinged a rim or bent a spoke.


The EUNORAU UHVO is proving reliable, fun and handy as a trail bike designed to improve my fitness. I can already feel the fitness benefit from getting out for one, two hour trail ride a week. Because it is a soft, electric mountain bike there’s less chance of hurting myself and ending my season of racing before it even begins.

The plan now is to run the UHVO in our long term test bike section for a while to see how it holds up. Durability and longevity seem to be what most people are concerned about with products like this so hopefully this long term test will prove the naysayers wrong!


Why an e-MTB over a regular mountain bike or roadie?

1/ The average travelling speed of an e-MTB is higher than a regular MTB so this simulates the speed of your motorcycle, resulting in improvements to your sight lines and depth perception.

2/ e-MTBs are slightly heavier and feel more like a motorcycle on rough terrain.

3/ With more speed, line selection is more important and very similar to a motorcycle.

4/ Though you may be carrying some extra weight when you start racing, it’s easier to start training on an e-MTB and particularly good for entry-level riders.

5/ Instead of walking, you can use your e-MTB for checking lines on the motocross track or the special tests of an AORC event.

6/ In regards to the weight of an e-MTB, not only will this weight give you a better upper body workout than a normal MTB but you will notice that any extra weight you are carrying doesn’t matter as much when you have power assistance.

7/ High heart rates are less likely on an e-MTB because of the electric assistance to help you pedal up the hill sections (good for old blokes).

8/ There’s less chance of injury on an e-MTB.

9/ An e-MTB is easier on your knees and ankles in the long term than a normal MTB.