When it comes to e-bikes, full-suspension electric mountain bikes are where the fun’s at. They give you the confidence and the comfort to do things you wouldn’t attempt on most other e-bikes. But that comes at a high cost – as in a high price. Budget eMTBs may not pack the same punch or performance as the top-dollar versions, but bikes like the Paselec GS9 give us normies the chance to have some real fun on a full-suspension electric mountain bike without having to sell a kidney.
I won’t bury the lede here, since the price tag is what really sets this e-bike apart.
If you’re one of those “an e-bike should never cost more than $500” grumblers, that price will still seem sky high. But if you understand the market (and realize that the good full-suspension e-bikes cost 2-4x that price or more), then you’ll realize that’s a steal of a price.
After having tested the GS9, I can absolutely say that it doesn’t stack up to the pricier versions. But it sure does get the job done for mere mortals like us that just want a decent, full-suspension electric mountain bike for playing around on the trails and getting in some fitness riding in the backcountry.
Check out my video review to see what makes this e-bike tick, then keep reading for my complete thoughts.
Paselec GS9 e-bike video review
Paselec GS9 tech specs
- Motor: 500 W geared rear hub motor
- Top speed: 40 km/h (25 mph)
- Range: Claimed up to 80 km (50 mi) with pedal assist
- Battery: 48V 13Ah (624 Wh)
- Charge time: 4-6 hours
- Max load: 150 kg (330 lb)
- Frame: 6061 aluminum
- Suspension: 100 mm travel hydraulic suspension fork, 40 mm rear suspension
- Brakes: Zoom hydraulic disc brakes with 180 mm rotors
- Extras: LCD color display, USB charging port, integrated battery that is still removable with lock/key, gel saddle, LED headlight and tail light, 8-speed transmission
A compromise, but a good one
The Paselec GS9 may not be the best full-suspension electric mountain bike out there, but it’s pretty darned good for the price.
The designers included key parts I’d look for in a light-duty electric mountain bike, such as the 180 mm hydraulic disc brakes, the 8-speed Shimano drivetrain, and some workable suspension.
The suspension isn’t top-notch, but it definitely allowed me to ride much more comfortably off-road than I can with my non-suspension e-bikes.
The gel saddle also adds to the suspension to give a very comfortable ride.
Would I take this off any crazy jumps? Probably not. Would I take it off light jumps? Definitely, for as long as I could!
Other parts offer similar compromises. There’s an included headlight but it’s nothing to write home about. It will let cars see you on the road but won’t entirely illuminate a pitch-black trail at night. And while the saddle has a rear tail light, it runs off swappable batteries, meaning you’ll eventually have to make the swap. I absolutely can’t stand it when e-bike companies do that – just give me lights that use the main battery pack! I’m already carrying a big battery, let me use it!
That’s probably the biggest offense on the bike, and the rest is mostly uphill. Good brakes, decent suspension, comfy saddle and bars, a Shimano 8-speed that works just fine, etc. All good, all works, nothing over the top.
My only other real gripe is that they went with a thumb throttle, despite having a trigger shifter. That’s a lot of levers in the thumb area, and I would have preferred to see either a twist throttle or twist shifter. Too many levers makes me feel like I’m operating an excavator.
Pedal assist vs. throttle
Even though I would have preferred a twist throttle to not interfere with the shifter, having any throttle is a welcome feature. I love having the option of both pedal assist and throttle when I need it. The 500W motor is decently powerful on throttle-only, though it doesn’t compare to the 1,000W and higher electric mountain bikes I’ve tested.
Even so, on both throttle and pedal assist I can get moving quickly. Reaching 25 mph (40 km/h) doesn’t feel shady, thanks to the mid-level construction of the bike. Again, this isn’t a pro bike, but it doesn’t feel like it’s going to shake loose on you, either. It’s decidedly middle of the road in that regard.
I’m probably guilty of riding with throttle-only more than I should, but only because it’s just so much fun. The battery isn’t huge at 48V and 13Ah, so I try not to overdo the throttle. The pedal assist is cadence-based, and so it’s reasonably responsive without being as spot on as a real torque sensor.
Using the pedal assist definitely helps eke out more range, though. I don’t think I ever saw close to the advertised 50-mile (80 km) range of the bike, but I also didn’t do a lot of pedal assist level 1 riding, either.
Let’s talk battery
While we’re discussing battery, let’s talk about the quirkiness. On the one hand, I love these integrated batteries. The Paselec GS9 doesn’t even look like an e-bike at first glance, thanks to the hidden battery. When you’re riding trails with snobs that give e-bikers a hard time, that’s a nice little bonus.
The downside to fully integrated batteries is that they can’t be removed for charging in order to lighten the bike when loading onto a car rack, or any of the many other reasons you’d want to pull the battery out. But the Paselec GS9 splits the difference with a battery that’s integrated yet still removable. It has a lock at the bottom of the downtube right in front of the bottom bracket. Turning the key allows the battery to drop right out, though the pack is so long that you need to either lift the bike up or lay it on its side to get the battery all the way out. You can see exactly what I mean in the video above.
Being able to remove the battery also means you could carry a spare or even replace it in a few years when the cells start to age and you don’t get as much range – another big benefit of removable batteries.
Here’s the thing: The Paselec GS9 isn’t some big-name e-bike. It doesn’t come from a flashy company and it doesn’t have big brand awareness. So I went into this review not expecting much.
And while I can tell it doesn’t have the quality level of those fancier full-suspension electric mountain bikes, it still surprised me with how well it handled what I threw at it.
To me, this is a great full-suspension electric mountain bike for recreational riders. If you’re a downhill enthusiast or regularly take the most technical trails at your local bike park, the GS9 probably isn’t the e-bike for you. You’ll want something more professional.
But if you’re just a weekend warrior that enjoys getting out in the dirt and mountains for some fun riding, the GS9 is more than happy to deliver that experience. It uses good but not great parts that help save on cost while still providing a more capable off-road ride than a typical hard tail mountain bike. It’s basically the definition of “value,” giving you just enough of what you need and at a reasonable price.
That’s exactly what I’m looking for in a proper budget-level, full-suspension electric mountain bike: something that gives me more capabilities without overly compromising on safety or quality.
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