For those with serious offroad riding in mind, who are looking for a capable bike with Bafangs Ultra drive, take a look at this: http://www.exess-bikes.de/
The manufacturer is just an hour away from my home, so I went there for a test drive on the trails.
For the last 2 years I was riding and modifing my Mondraker Summum with BBS02/BBSHD so I was wondering how the Exess bike would compare. With similar geometry and wheelbase I felt right at home. First thing I noticed how quiet the bike was. Although it was a prototype there were less ratteling or squeaking noises compared to my Summum.
I wasn't so happy with the Airshock but that might be due to my preferences and what I'm used to. On my testride the prototype had only the long wheelbase wich is even longer than the longest setting on my Summum. It felt super stable at high speeds. I could even take both hands from the handlebar going Downhill at 60km/h. The downside was it did not feel as playful as my Summum on jumps and manuals. But on the production version you can change the wheelbase to the short setting.
Power-wise my BBSHD feels a tad bit stronger, but the torque sensing power controll and overall lower cadence speed made up for that. Of course it will smoke any of the EU-pedelec-legal bikes.
Would I buy one? The "legal" looks (integrated like Bosch or Shimano Steps) and the carbon frame are the main advantages to me (over my Summum). But the bikes are too similar and I allready have too many bikes
and there are some things that I like more about my Summum (primarily the suspension), so probably not. But I consider buying the fatbike version that will come soon.