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Simplon Steamer Aluminium Tested: Simplon are an Austrian based brand hailing from Hard in the east of the country on the shores of lake Constance. Their range of bikes is fairly conservative, but they have tried to cover the various market niches including a carbon framed Steamer which we tested briefly at the Eurobike days. Our test though with the Aluminium version has been much more extensive and over a longer period of time over more varied conditions, so is an Aluminium E-bike just as exciting as the carbon?
- Simplon Steamer – In Brief
- Simplon Steamer – Product Profile
- Motor & Battery
- Simplon Steamer – Hands On
- Simplon Steamer – On The Trail
- Conclusion – Simplon Steamer @eMTB-News.de
- Testing Procedure
- Further Information On The Simplon Steamer
Simplon Steamer – In Brief
A robust bike that will rack up the km’s with no fuss.
Having the Steamer for the last few months was an interesting experience as the bike varied somewhat from our other test bikes we have running in parallel. After 4000 km onboard we can say that Simplon have built a robust solid machine that fits pretty well their intended market of All Mountain riding.
Recommended Retail Pricing 5.299 € | Bikemarkt: Simplon Steamer kaufen
Simplon Steamer – Product Profile
Standover Height: 760 mm (Framesize L)
|Fork||Gabel||Rock Shox YARI 275 B+ 150mm|
|Shock||Dämpfer||Rock Shox Deluxe RT3 210x55mm|
|Shifter||Schalthebel||Shimano Deore XT|
|Derailleur||Schaltwerk||Shimano Deore XT|
|Cassette||Kassette||Shimano Deore XT 11-42|
|Cranks||Kurbel||Shimano E8050 Hollowtech 175mm 34 Zähne|
|Brakes||Bremse||Shimano Deore XT M8000, Ice Tech, Rotor RT-86 180/180|
|Wheels||Laufräder||Simplon AXM 1750-275 Boost 35mm|
|Tires||Reifen||Schwalbe NOBBY NIC Evolution 27,5x2,6|
|Seat||Sattel||Sellte Italia SL X-CROSS FLOW schwarz|
|Seatpost||Sattelstütze||Simplon LITE ROD ST, 31.6x350mm|
|Bar||Lenker||Simplon RISER 700 HIGH|
|Stem||Vorbau||Simplon Zero 60mm x 7°|
|Motor||Motor||Shimano Steps E8000|
|Price (RRP)||Preis (UVP)||5299 €|
Motor & Battery
Information On The Motor for The Simplon Steamer
It seems Shimano have created a very good motor that remains smooth after many km’s…
Mid-test we updated the software to the latest version of Shimano’s control software, this improved significantly the performance of the Steamer especially when hitting the 25 km/h limit. The Shimano Steps system is proving to be a reliable motor system that can take the punishment of many kilometers without rattling and showing excessive signs of wear. Admittedly we didn’t ride in the wet much but we did wear out one chain and the bottom half of an XT cassette. However considering this we are impressed with the performance despite the fairly large distance we have put on the bike.
- Motor: Shimano Steps 8000
- Battery: 500 Wh
- Power: max. 250 Watt
- Display: Shimano Steps 8000
37.8 km / 787 hm 2 h 23 min *
Quoted figures for range tend to be on the optimistic side, so we like to test bikes for ourselves, draining a whole battery and seeing how far the bike will go. For this test we managed 37.8 km and 787 metres of ascending, staying in the highest power setting throughout. Please note that these values in no way represent rigorous or normalised testing, instead they should be seen as ballpark figures. Using lower assistance modes increases the range significantly.
Bike Changes Or Suggestions
Shimano’s battery performs well after many recharges.
The Shimano 4.1.0 update is essential to get the best performance out of the steps E8000 motor, it can be done via the E-tube app. The battery performance after our extended test distance is still close to the “new” state we received the bike in, holding charge as we would expect, we don’t have a cycle count on the battery. However it’s encouraging how well the battery performs, in theory though all companies use similar cell suppliers, so this should be the norm across the industry if the battery is handled/charged properly.
Simplon Steamer – Hands On
Good for cruising around on flowing All Mountain trails.
Simplon have not tried to create a bike that is going to win prizes for a delicate look, instead they have created a bike that is made really well and has a well thought out frame and semi integrated look to it. The four-bar linkage and geometry lead to a bike that will track the ground well, but will not win prizes for out and out performance on Enduro trails. All Mountain is the target, and in our opinion the reach and rider position give the rider a comfortable position for long distance in the saddle riding.
The construction of the bike is top notch. The bearing and pivot hardware is all high quality with everything being towards the oversized end of the spectrum when it comes to bike design. The frame welds are smooth and the frame finish has a quality feel to it. We like the matt black look. After our extended test period from a technical point of view all frame components are still smooth and rattle free with no play.
The component hardware is well chosen reliable and performed as we expected during our test period. Brakes and suspension have performed well and reliably over the test period, XT brakes are solid stoppers that maintain a constant feel even on long descents. Only after we broke the chain, did we realise how many kilometers we had done on the drive train. We broke the chain when riding on a gravel transfer trail, shifting into an easier gear, there was nothing excessive about the pedal pressure or movement in that moment. The XT drive train is generally resistant, however we did not put it through thick mud and dirt that often. The bike has mainly been ridden on smooth single trail, gravel roads and some Enduro style trails in warm weather. Knowing this, we can say that the extra power that the motor puts through the system has increased the wear on the cassette, we had to replace the top five gears (11-10-9-8-7) when we changed the chain as otherwise the chain skipped. We are interested to know if Shimano are working on a cassette and chain that might handle power more smoothly. As the gears changes did become more noisy over time.
Simplon Steamer – On The Trail
Smooth riding uphill is a side effect of a solid frame.
The geometry on the Steamer gives the rider a more upright feel compared to an Enduro style bike and this means that uphill in corners you have a bike that corners very well and allows the rider to maintain grip and bike forward speed out of technical corners. The Shimano motor in our opinion is made for a smooth ride experience, and the use of a sturdy frame design combined with this means that the Steamer is able to charge pretty well through the rough stuff uphill without bouncing around. The rear wheel stays in contact very well with the ground and suited our desire of being able to keep the power constant no matter what was coming up ahead.
Smooth flowing trails is where the Steamer is at home.
Simplon specify clearly that this is more of an All Mountain/Trail bike and we would have to agree with them. The riders position in descents keeps the bike safe and stable. Even if you try to push harder and get more rowdy, the Steamer says to you “calm down, enjoy the ride…” If you want to get loose its not going to be the best bike for you. However on our smooth All Mountain forest trails around Punta Ala, Tuscany, we found ourselves cruising along and choosing the type of descent where flow is a priority, not rocky hard stuff.
The 150 mm of suspension and being setup well is key to getting the Steamer to ride in this suggested way. We think it is fundamental to spend some time making sure that the sag is as you like it. 5 psi difference on the RockShox shock and fork is going to make a difference to how the bike will behave for you. The rear end likes a smoother setup, the front end prefers a sag closer to thirty percent rather than the normal E-bike 20 percent we often use. This setup when combined with the solid stiff feeling frame means you have a very comfortable easy going bike. The tires at 2.6″ are just the right width to support the Steamer on descents with out being too bouncy. The Nobby Nic tires are a good compromise for this type of bike on easy going descents, giving enough support but rolling fast enough without excessive drag. You don’t need a gnarly tyre on this type of bike.
Long distance exploration is what we liked about this bike.
This is where we think the Steamer shines. When the trail goes up and down on varied terrain then the explore factor, which we love about E-biking, is when we will reach for the Steamer as we know after many hours in the saddle you are going to be comfortable and able to ride the next day another 70 km without feeling exhausted and sore. We see the E-bike market having a large core of bikes in this category, trail bikes that are solid and can take on a bit of extra gnar if need be, but wont be the ideal choice if you want to just ride down. The Steamer has the right choice of components and build quality to make trail riding fun and comfortable.
We think that Simplon have done a good job with component choices everything worked well, if you are going to ride a lot of long distance trails, we would think a SRAM EX1 cassette and gears might be better, Shimano gears under power are not as smooth shifting once they wear.
Conclusion – Simplon Steamer @eMTB-News.de
After 4000 km and counting, we think that Simplon have made a quality product in the Steamer that will keep many riders very happy on All Mountain and long distance trails. The choice of 150 mm of travel and Plus size tires gives riders the option of hitting more rocky trails if they wish, but we would say home for the Steamer is on trails that flow.
- Solid well made and finished frame.
- Well chosen frame hardware/suspension build that resists wear well.
- Good for riders looking for a exploration machine.
- Crunchy Shimano chain and cassette once you get past 3000km of wear.
Tester-profile Alex Boyce
- Name: Alex Boyce
- Height: 183 cm
- Weight (with riding-gear): 95 kg
- Inside leg: 88 cm
- Arm’s length: 69 cm
- Torso: 67 cm
- Riding style: soft, jumps preferred, every terrain, Uphill in turbo-mode
- What do I ride mainly: E-Bike, Enduro, Gravel.
- Preferred suspension: Responsive and direct steering, Plus-Tires
- Preferred geometry: Wide bars (800 mm), long frame, chainstays mid-length
On our test runs we usually stay in the highest assistance mode and drain the battery completely at least once. We then publish our results on our Strava-Account. Our loop has everything we need to test E-Bike capabilities:
- Tight uphill trails with roots, rocks, Mediterranean rocky loose climbs
- Flat trails with small climbing sections.
- Fast and flowing downhill trails.
- Long, loose trails downhill sometimes Enduro style.
E-Bikes are subjected to our route multiple times to allow us to draw our conclusions.
We tested the Simplon Steamer here:
- Location: On the trails around Punta Ala / Italy. Here there are many different types of trail, including hard Enduro trails. We spent most of our time on the smoother coastal trails. Punta Ala also gave us a chance to try some technical uphill trails as well.
How aggressive should trail bikes be?
Further Information On The Simplon Steamer
Website: Simplon Text & Edit: Alex Boyce | eMTB-News.de Photography: Alex Boyce, Ben Winder, Prisca Tozzi.
- 0 to 120 mm Travel (Hardtails and Full-Suspension)
- 100 to 150 mm Travel (Hardtails and Full-Suspension)
- 120 to 150 mm Travel (Full-Suspension)
- 150 to 180 mm Travel (Full-Suspension)
- more than 180 mm Travel (Full-Suspension)
- Das hier angegebene Gewicht ist die Summe aus den Einzelgewichten (E-Bike, Fahrer, Rucksack usw.), welches bei unserem Reichweitentest zum Einsatz kam.
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