FIRST LOOK: PROPAIN LAUNCHES THE ALL-NEW EKANO E-BIKE
Freeride DNA is built into the new Ekano
PROPAIN LAUNCHES THE ALL-NEW EKANO E-BIKE
Words – Propain Bikes
EKANO 2 AL
Our goal for the new EKANO 2 AL was clear: A performance mountain bike which is THE absolute fun machine on every climb and descent. The handling of the E-Freerider was our first priority in the development. The bike should really feel at home on the “big stuff” without conveying in any way the otherwise accustomed unwieldiness of E-Bikes. With more travel, a significantly optimized weight distribution, a more efficient drive unit, more battery capacity, and a completely new frame design, we have definitely succeeded!
Concept & Geometry
The new EKANO 2 AL is the next evolutionary step of the first PROPAIN E-Bike. We have been able to transfer our proven PRO10 system to an e-mtb. This results in a significantly lower center of gravity and improves the kinematics considerably. Handling and downhill performance were absolutely paramount in the development. That’s why we didn’t engage in the “who has the biggest battery” competition. A relatively low overall weight with optimal weight distribution gives the new EKANO a playful and agile “spindrift-like” behavior on the trail. The new Shimano EP801 delivers 80 watts more peak power than its predecessor and that over a wider cadence range. Paired with the 3.3 kg lightweight 626 Wh battery and the from the ground up new frame design, this hits exactly the sweet spot for maximum fun both uphill and downhill. 170 mm of travel at the rear and optionally 180 mm or 190 mm at the front, reach values adapted to our product range, a slightly flatter head angle of now 64°, and a steep seat angle of 78° result in the modern geometry of our E-Freerider. The EKANO 2 AL is available exclusively in a mixed-wheel setup. The small rear wheel and the medium-length chainstays of 445 mm round off the playful handling. No matter if party laps in the bike park, exploring trails far away from where you usually ride, or even on more mellow home trails – the EKANO 2 AL is the absolute fun machine no matter in which direction.
Frame Concept PRO10
We are convinced that our PRO10 system represents the best frame concept. To now transfer it entirely to an E-Bike for the first time has opened up new possibilities. The 205/60 trunnion mount shock makes efficient use of the space between the redesigned links and the EP801 motor. This raises the kinematics to the level of Tyee and Spindrift, while taking into account the higher weight of the E-Bike. Due to the repositioned shock and the optimal integration of the motor and battery, the EKANO 2 AL has a maximally low and central center of gravity. This makes the weight very inconspicuous and the handling of the bike super close to our non-motorized models.
The PRO10 suspension system has been integrated into the EkanoIntegrated Cable RoutingOur Integrated Cable Routing “ICR”, developed together with Sixpack is also featured on the new EKANO. The stem is CNC machined in Germany and forms a molded fit to the top composite spacer. The cables, therefore, do not pass through the stem, but through a pinch-through seal underneath the stem into the top spacer, through the headset, and into the frame. Thus, the stem can be replaced effortlessly if necessary and the cockpit height can be adjusted by clip-in spacers, without having to remove the stem. To make the system as durable as possible in addition to the seal at the cable entry, an additional IPS seal is mounted on the upper headset bearing. To make the system absolutely bullet-proof stainless steel bearings are used exclusively in all frames. Wear in the headset is therefore absolutely no issue with our ICR system.
Silent Power & Brake Integration
Silence on the trail makes an unexpectedly big difference. The EKANO 2 AL always wants to go faster and conveys an enormous feeling of confidence through absolute silence. To make this happen in addition to the cable integration at the headset, we optimized cable routing, going directly across the main pivot points of the rear triangle. We also developed new chain and seat stay protectors that are made of a soft TPR rubber with excellent damping properties, similar to the ones on the Tyee 6. Air-filled nubs with an outward tilt stop chain slap with great efficiency, keeping the bike quiet on the roughest trails. The new and improved EP801 also plays its part in the virtually silent ride. The 200mm Postmount brake mount is integrated into the rear triangle, helping to achieve better transfer of braking forces into the frame.
New Shimano EP801 & 626Wh Battery
The EP801 fitted by us is the new top model of the Japanese manufacturer. The intelligent drive unit delivers superbly controllable high power with a maximum torque of 85 Nm and 600 watts peak power over a wider cadence range than before. The balanced power delivery and optimized control provide a very natural feel on the trail. These features in combination with the low weight of only 2.7 kg made it easy for us to choose the EP801 as the drive unit of our new E-Freerider. To provide a more affordable entry into our E-Bike world, we also offer the 300 gram heavier EP600. Apart from the extra weight of the aluminum housing, it delivers the same performance as its bigger brother made of magnesium. A powerful 626 Wh battery comes into play in the EKANO 2 AL. The new 21700 lithium-ion cell generation achieves a remarkably high energy density. The cells store more energy in less space and weight. This makes the battery of the EKANO 2 AL significantly slimmer, more compact and lighter than other batteries in this class and exactly the right energy storage to achieve the best trail performance. On top of all of this, the Shimano EP801 can be conveniently tailored to individual needs with the E-TUBE PROJECT app. 15 individualization modes allow fine-tuning the level of support to terrain and personal preferences. The settings can be saved in two different profiles and changed on the fly without using the app.
The PRO10 system is known for its drive neutrality. Especially for an E-Bike it was important to us to refine this even further. With an anti-squat in the SAG of 119%, the EKANO 2 AL climbs technical uphills with active suspension but without rocking. On descents, the system retains its wellknown sensitive responsiveness and begins to work on even the smallest bumps. The progression of the rear triangle provides plenty mid-stroke support and the specifically tuned shocks release the full travel both in air and coil shock configuration perfectly controllable when needed.
Size & Wheelsize Concept
The new EKANO is available exclusively in mixed wheel setup. For our E-Freeride bike it was important to us to ensure a maximum range of motion with good rollover behavior at the same time. Therefore, “business in the front & party in the back” is without a doubt the best option. The EKANO 2 AL is available in sizes S, M, L and XL. The stack is deliberately kept higher across all four sizes to achieve ideal handling despite the extra weight of the motor and battery.
Blend Alloy & Fresh New Colors
The frame consists of at least three different alloys, which in combination create the optimum between stiffness, strength and weight. On frame parts such as links and axles, 7075 T6 aluminum is used, which has a very high strength. For the tubes of the frame, a more fatigue-resistant 6066 T6 aluminum is used. Milled and forged parts, in turn, are made of 6061 T6 aluminum. Blend Alloy thus stands for our special and unique manufacturing process and ensures the optimal performance of the lightweight frames. The Ekano 2 AL is available in the three colors “Raw”, “Olive Matt”, and “Jolly Aubergine”. Our aluminum Raw is coated with a special sealant and stands out with a noble matte finish. The Olive hue introduced on the Tyee 6 is now available in matte for the first time, and our “Jolly Aubergine“ is a brand new addition to the range. As before, the PROPAIN logo and badge can be individually customized. So everyone has the freedom to choose his favorite color combination. For the decal kit a very robust, plotted vinyl foil is used, the badge is made of very thin metal. All of the already known colors will still be available.
When it comes to the selection of components, we continue to rely on a large and highquality variety from which every customer can configure his dream bike. Proven suspension options from RockShox and Fox, brakes from SRAM, Magura and Formula and wheels from NEWMEN and Crankbrothers, as well as various options for handlebars, stems, seatposts, saddles and tires offer countless possibilities for customization. To make it a little easier for customers to build their dream bike, in addition to the individual configuration, we offer three build kits. The build kits are recommendations from us to the customers, because this is exactly how we would configure our own bikes.