FREY Bikes sent a shockwave around the internet last month when the manufacturer unveiled two new high-speed full suspension e-bikes.
With its previous e-bikes gaining a reputation for matching the specs of $6,000-$8,000 European E-MTBs yet at half the cost, all eyes were on the young e-bike company, which hadn’t yet revealed prices for its brand new models.
After I was fortunate enough to attend the unveiling of the two new models last month, FREY has now reached out to Electrek with the new models’ prices. And according to the company, orders are already flowing in.
FREY EX model electric mountain bike
The EX model is the company’s latest full suspension electric mountain bike.
It features the famous Bafang Ultra mid-drive motor that puts out 1,000 W continuous power and over 1,500 W peak power. The motor is so strong that many e-bike manufacturers have had trouble spec’ing bikes with components of high enough quality to withstand the 160 Nm of torque created by the motor. Owners of other FREY electric bikes have often joked about how many chains they go through in a year. One rider told me he’s on his fifth chain in two years, though it and the smallest chainring on the gear set are the only parts that have needed to be replaced.
FREY claims the EX model has a top speed of 50 km/h (31 mph), though in reality it can actually achieve a bit faster speed of around 55 km/h (34 mph) on flat ground under good conditions. Ask me how I know.
The EX model is available with multiple component load-outs, starting with a single removable 672 Wh battery hidden inside the downtube. The entry-level EX Basic is priced at US $3,380, but the parts on this bike are anything but entry-level. It comes standard with a RockShox Yari 180 mm fork. That’s a $500 fork on its own, folks. And that’s just the start of the high-end components that come standard on the entry-level model, such as Magura MT5 hydraulic disc brakes. A pair of those will set you back almost $250, not even including rotors.
The next step up is the EX Advanced, which comes with a second battery mounted just above the first. That second battery bumps the price up to US $3,760.
Lastly, the EX Pro is the top of the line EX model and upgrades to a RockShox Lyric Select 180 mm fork, which is a $700 piece of kit. The EX Pro also comes with dual batteries and is priced at US $4,010.
For comparison, we test rode some pretty nice Haibike electric mountain bikes at Interbike last year. These are bikes that cost upwards of $6,000 and have comparable components to the FREY EX Basic for everything from brakes, shifters and suspension components. Yet the FREY EX has more than twice the motor power and torque at roughly half the price.
And while many people will prefer the proximity and service options of a European manufacturer over a Chinese based manufacturer, at the end of the day the parts all come from China anyway, so the cost difference becomes even more striking.
FREY CC model full suspension commuter bike
While trail riders will be drawn more to the EX model, I personally prefer the CC because of its potential as a fast, comfortable commuter e-bike.
The CC model comes with an 840 Wh removable battery hidden in the frame of the bike. It features the same Bafang Ultra motor that the company underrates at 1,000 W and 50 km/h (31 mph), just like in the EX model.
The CC model is priced at $2,980 and offers a RockShox Recon fork with up to 150 mm of travel, plus a rear RockShox Monarch unit with 110 mm of travel. That’s certainly more suspension travel than nearly any other commuter oriented e-bikes. Plus you get the same Magura MT5 hydraulic disc brakes with massive 203 mm rotors, high-end Shimano transmission, Maxxis tires (even though the prototype bike I photographed here has Schwalbe tires), nice Promax components, etc. Basically, every part that looks cheap on a budget bike is replaced with something high end on this bike.
Suspension design is one of FREY’s specialties, and the geometry is engineered by FREY’s own founder. I think it’s really cool to see companies that are so passionate about the design process and use their skills to innovate in new fields, like taking the ride and handling characteristics of electric mountain bikes and applying them to city commuter bikes.
While some might call this overkill for a commuter bike, it’s certainly going to result in a more comfortable ride than a typical hybrid or city e-bike.
While I really like the CC model, the one thing I’d love to see changed would be to have the rear rack mount to the main frame instead of the swingarm. That would ensure that anything you put back there also benefits from the suspension. When I do grocery runs on my e-bike, I want my eggs to have the best chance of making it home unscrambled. But otherwise, I’ve found it to be an awesome ride and will be coming back to you guys soon with a full test ride experience and video on the FREY CC e-bike.
I can understand that when compared to $1,500 e-bikes like the popular Rad Power Bikes line, it can be hard to justify spending nearly twice the price. But with more riders demanding higher end e-bikes with faster speeds, more power, and higher quality components, bikes like these might start to become more popular than you’d think.
What do you think of the EX and CC models? Let us know in the comments below.
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